In SMITE Season 7, mages have seen more changes in terms of item balance than pretty much any other role. If you play mid yourself, you know that itemization works a little differently for mages than it does for other roles. There are so many mage characters that do so many different things — meaning your build is going to be highly situational depending on which mage you choose. So this guide may not be quite as cut-and-dry as others in our item build series, but we’ll at least be able to get you started in the right direction when it comes to itemization.
To help us make sense of all the Season 7 magical item changes and get more insight into the potential build paths for mages, we’re enlisting some help from pro mid player for eUnited, Hurriwind! In this guide, we’ll go over some of his recommended mid builds for mages and who they’ll work best with.
*Note: The mage builds listed here are recommended as of Update 7.2. If later patches produce item balance changes that change the efficacy of these mid builds, we’ll update this guide with the latest info as it becomes available.
Standard Mage Damage Build
For most mages, your last two items (fifth and sixth) are pretty open and heavily god-dependent — so we won’t be focusing specifically on late-game builds in this guide. Instead, Hurriwind will be sharing some advice on how to start your builds so you have a solid foundation to build on by the time you’re ready to purchase items for those fifth and sixth slots.
Your starting items for a standard mid mage build will probably include:
- Shoes of Focus
- Chronos Pendant
- Charon’s Coin
- Soul Reaver
Hurriwind recommends starting your mage build with Magic Shoes (T2 of boots), Lost Artifact, and some potions. The next time you go back to base, you can finish off your boots with Shoes of Focus. Next, turn that Lost Artifact into a Chronos Pendant for some powerful CDR and lots of MP5 that will make it easier for you to stick around and farm the map.
Once your CDR is online, pick up some magical penetration with Charon’s Coin so you can make sure you’re doing relevant damage in fights. Charon’s Coin is a brand new mage item in Season 7, and Hurriwind says you should go ahead and get familiar with it because it’s really strong right now. On top of the percent magical penetration it grants, you get some extra movement speed and HP5. Starting to notice a theme?
The last item Hurriwind recommends picking up in almost every game is Soul Reaver. This should be a familiar item to our long-term players — but with the added twist of 10% penetration this season, this item has shot up in viability. This extra penetration and the added damage from Soul Reaver’s passive will help you frag in team fights.
Once you’ve got Soul Reaver guild, your build path is going to open up and become pretty god-dependent. But Hurriwind outlines a few items you might want to consider:
Rod of Tahuti: This is a great item to round out your builds if you feel like you’re not doing enough damage. Its passive will help you lock down low-health targets that think they can escape your clutches.
Divine Ruin: If there’s a healer on the enemy team, Divine Ruin is your friend! Pick this item up a little earlier on in your build so you can put a damper on the opponent’s healing before it comes fully online.
Spear of Desolation: If you don’t have another flat penetration item yet, picking up Spear of Desolation can round out your CDR and provide a good amount of power.
With the solid core Hurriwind has established in this build path, it’s hard to go wrong from here as you start to look at your more situational late-game pickups!
Late Game Mana Mage Build
For most gods, the standard damage mage build is going to be your best bet. But Hurriwind also highlights a mana build that leverages the late-game nature of certain gods like Scylla or Kukulkan. (This is an especially good build path for Kukulkan, considering this mana-based passive.).
This build path can be a little slower to come online sometimes, but once it does it’s incredibly powerful on the right gods.
Your core items for this mana-based mage build will probably include:
- Shoes of Focus
- Book of Thoth
- Soul Reaver
- Charon’s Coin
- Book of the Dead
Similar to the damage mage build, you’ll start with some potions and go right into Shoes of Focus. Once you’ve built boots, you want to get Book of Thoth online as quickly as possible so you can start stacking it. This item’s passive will grant you extra mana for each stack, then convert that mana to added magical power that’s guaranteed to pack a punch.
Next, start looking at Polynomicon to give yourself even more mana and some additional magical damage that synergizes well with all that magical power you’re getting from Book of Thoth.
Now that you’ve cranked up your mana and magical power, it’s time to start building penetration. Pick up Soul Reaver for some flat 10% pen and additional damage from the passive. Then you’ll move on to Charon’s Coin for some added percent penetration — plus some bonus HP5 and move speed to help you out of sticky situations!
As you barrel toward the late game, Hurriwind recommends you start building into Book of the Dead. This item will give you extra magical and mana that will synergize well with the Book of Thoth and the Polynomicon that you picked up early on so you can absolutely shred the opponent with your attacks. It’ll also grant you a temporary shield equal to 20% of your maximum mana — so all that extra mana you’ve been building up to this point is going to come in handy and help you stay in the fight when things get dangerous.
Mage Items to Avoid
Now that we have a solid understanding of what items we should be picking up when we lock in a mage, we asked Hurriwind if there are any mage items he’d advise staying away from in the current meta. A couple of items did come to mind, but he cautions that these are early impressions and may be subject to change as further patches come through:
Obsidian Shard: This item has been a staple in most mage builds for years, but Hurriwind argues that it just doesn’t compete anymore. Charon’s Coin does the same job, but better in most cases. He also said the new passive on this item is so situation that you don’t get as much value out of it as you may be used to getting in seasons past.
Spear of the Magus: This is another item that used to be super popular, but most mages just don’t use this item very well at all. Hurriwind recommends staying away from it for now.
Final Tips for Mages in Mid
Before we cut Hurriwind loose and let him get back to his scrims, we wanted to know if he had any general advice for mages going into the mid lane in Season 7. (Can you blame us? We need every bit of help we can get.) Here are some of his early tips:
You are a lot safer than you were in previous seasons. Thanks to the new closed-off mid camp wall, junglers and supports can only easily get to you from one side of mid harpies. So you have a bit more freedom than you’re probably used to.
If the jungle shrine is fully stacked, and you can pick between the shrine and back camps, pick the shrine. Remember, the jungle shrine grants global gold for your team, so it does need to be prioritized a bit higher than your other camps.
You’ll still be able to play a lot of your picks from last season. Merlin, Persephone, and Kukulkan are pretty much still as strong as they were last year — so don’t be afraid go right back to locking those picks if you’re comfortable with them!
If you’ve been taking notes on these pro tips, you’re guaranteed to frag the next time you lock a mage. But before you head into your next queue, be sure you also check out our pro tips guide for the Season 7 Conquest map, or take a look at our other recommended pro build guides:
We’d like to thank Hurriwind for sharing his mage tips with us. You can follow him on Twitter @Hurriwind or catch some of his mage builds in action when the SMITE Pro League kicks off this March. In the meantime, there are plenty more pro tips guides coming your way for all things Season 7.
No go forth and conquer with your mage! And be sure to follow us on Twitter @SmitePro for more news, guides, and tips on how to play SMITE like a pro.