SMITE Season 4 Item Guide: How to Build Right for Every Role
One of the most important aspects of performing well in a MOBA — and specifically in SMITE — is itemization. When to build what, which character synergizes with which item, what item clusters go together — it’s a lot to take in. So it’s not really a surprise that one of the biggest mistakes newer players make when it comes to a MOBA is simply building incorrectly, and getting farmed as a result. They didn’t do their homework, and it shows in their Win/Loss screen.
Luckily, if you’ve been here before for our God guides, or our best picks for Mid lane, Solo, ADC, or Jungle you already know we’re here to be your SMITE Gradesaver. While common item clusters and ever-changing stat lines may be a long story, we have the SMITE-Notes on how to build for every role — and for this class? Feel free to have us open during the test.
As a word of warning, though — while these builds are rock solid, they are overarching outlines for character archetypes, and should be treated as such. Ne Zha wants Deathbringer much earlier than other Assassins, for example, and Poseidon prefers Gem of Isolation where Anubis wants Book of the Dead. These builds are solid starters, and good standards to hold your itemization to — but each character is just a little different, and those last few steps towards mastery are ones only you can take.
— Assassin Builds Guide —
We’ll start off slow with Assassins — usually Junglers with a handful moonlighting as Solo Laners, most Assassins prize effective burst damage over all else. They’re not here to be Mages spreading damage all over the Battlleground, and they don’t usually have the time or the distance Hunters do, so sustained DPS is less of a concern. Power, Penetration, and Cooldown Reduction are hallmarks of an effective Assassin build:
Assassin Transcendence Build
Warrior Tabi — Transcendence — Jotunn’s Wrath — Hydra’s Lament — Titan’s Bane — Flex Slot
Starter Items: Bluestone Pendant + Bumba’s Mask (if Jungling)
A good build for games when the enemy frontline can’t effectively keep you off of their squishier high priority targets, The Transcendence build keeps your mana bar full and your damage high — especially in short bursts. Use tier list to find the best character.
The flex slot at the end is an additional bonus, as the strength of this item cluster is enough to carry you through to endgame on its own, leaving you a little wiggle room for things like Winged Blade, Magi’s Blessing, or lifesteal.
Who wants it: Ability-based Assassins that get in, throw their cooldowns at the enemy.
Ex: Fenrir, Bastet
Assassin Crit Build
Warrior Tabi — Heartseeker — Jotunn’s Wrath — Titan’s Bane — Deathbringer — Malice
Starter Items: Bluestone Pendant + Bumba’s Mask (if Jungling)
Additional movement speed, a burst damage proc from Heartseeker, and some savage basic attacks thanks to Malice and Deathbringer all make this build fantastic for games when you’re playing an assassin that can weave a few good left clicks into their rotation.
It requires a little more time, since Heartseeker is a bit harder to “turn on” than Hydra’s Lament and your Crits are only happening 2/5 swings or so, but has better prolonged DPS overall and is perfect when the fights are dragging on.
Who wants it: Assassins with more of a basic attack focused kit.
Ex: Ne Zha, Serqet
Self-heal (Physical) Build
Warrior Tabi — Hydra’s Lament — Shield of Regrowth — Spirit Robe — Flex Slot — Flex Slot
Starter Items: Bluestone Pendant + Bumba’s Mask (if Jungling), or Death’s Toll if laning
If this looks more like a Utility build than an outright Assassination set up…well, it is. A shared build between Warriors and Assassins, this combination gives a solid 40% CDR, a good deal of utility and survivability, decent MP5, a small burst damage boost, two wide open flex slots — and what is currently perhaps the strongest item effect in the game (for those that can trigger it) in Shield of Regrowth’s passive.
You’re not going to knock any damage meters offline any time soon with this build, but it will still more than get the job done when the game is a little too treacherous for a “glass cannon” approach.
Who wants it: Self-healing Assassins that rely on their kits to do most of their damage (thanks to % damage or otherwise) and their items to keep them alive.
Ex: Ratatoskr, Thanatos
— Mage Builds Guide —
Raw power and mana are the name of the game for most Mages. You have one job, usually, and that’s to bring the pain to as much of the Battleground as possible. We’re going to need to pick up a little bit of Magical penetration along the way to keep base resistances low against other squishy targets, though, and a little CDR never hurt anyone…well, anyone on our team…which leaves us with this:
Mage Standard Build
Shoes of the Magi — Book of Thoth — Chronos Pendant — Rod of Tahuti — Book of the Dead
Starter items: Soul Stone (if aggressively dueling), Sands of Time (if passively farming), Vampiric Shroud (if mixed)
Sporting a little bit of everything in just enough amounts, this is more or less the standard look for most Mages across most games in Season 4 of SMITE. While the order may change (for example, Anubis prefers Book to be around his first or second item as opposed to his last), the overall roster very rarely does. With MP5, CDR, Penetration, Power, and survivability all rolled in to a single build, this is the default approach for your standard damage Mage.
If you’re not coming under heavy fire or taking much poke damage, and thus don’t need so much survivability, Soul Reaver can take the spot of Book of the Dead to massively increase your kill potential in a single rotation.
Who wants it: Standard mid-game dominant mages that are fairly one dimensional — all they do is bring the pain and maybe a little CC.
Ex: Agni, Janus, Zeus
Mage Assassin Build
Shoes of the Magi — Polynomicon — Soul Reaver — Obsidian Shard — Rod of Tahuti — Chronos Pendant
Starter Items: Soul Stone + Bumba’s Mask (if Jungling)
Some Mages are Mages only in name (and their Magical damage, I suppose), but functionally Assassins. They’re not here to spread death over the Battlefield — they’re here to move in, instantly annihilate one enemy, and move out. Sporting an absurd burst damage package in Polynomicon and Soul Reaver, and the single biggest power item around in Rod of Tahuti, this build is for them.
If your Mage Assassin already has fairly low cooldowns or solid mana usage, or the enemy keeps escaping with a sliver of health left over, replacing Chronos Pendant with Ethereal Staff can sometimes give you that last little push you need to seal the deal.
Who wants it: A small but slowly growing subset of Mages that are functionally burst assassins.
Ex: Ao Kuang, The Morrigan
Mage Hunter Build
Shoes of the Magi — Hastened Fatalis — Demonic Grip — Polynomicon — Obsidian Shard — Rod of Tahuti
Starter Items: Vampiric Shroud
Unlike the Mages we talked about above, who are obviously confused, this build is for Mages that value Basic attacks more heavily, prefer sustained damage output to raw burst, and are totally aware of what they truly are — Hunters.
With the Hastened Fatalis and Polynomicon keeping your basic attack damage sharp, Obsidian Shard filling in for Titan’s Bane, and Rod of Tahuti doing all it can to boost your overall damage output, this build is the default for those Mages who wandered off into the old Duo lane and decided to stay.
Who wants it: Basic attack reliant Mages that left click as often as they use abilities. ADCs from Europe.
Ex: Sol, Chronos, Freya
Mage Support/Tank Build
Shoes of the Magi — Shield of Regrowth — Breastplate of Valor — Lotus Crown — Rod of Asclepius — Rod of Tahuti
Starter items: Sands of Time (if alone), Watcher’s Gift (if supporting)
There’s a subset of Mages who exist in the strange, blurred line of “traditional mage, except also a frontliner”. Their damage output isn’t nearly as high as other magical varieties — and this build isn’t exactly going to help that — but that’s also not really their job.
This build is for usually for those Mages (with a self-heal) who have taken up the mantle of the Solo lane or the Support role, and focuses on making sure you and your allies stay safe and in the fight.
With a ton of Armor and MP5 in Breastplate of Valor, a fair bit of additional health and high mobility options for otherwise fairly immobile characters with Shield of Regrowth and Rod of Ascelpius, and two fight-breaking utility effects for their team with passive Healing increase and the Lotus Crown effect, this build has everything a Mage needs to keep their team rallied and topped off during long fights.
Who wants it: Healing Mages more at home in the middle of the fight than sniping from the backlines. Solo lane or support role Mages.
Ex: Hel, Chang’e, Aphrodite, occasionally Ra (when he’s not his team’s primary magical damage dealer)
— Hunter Builds Guide —
Sustained, consistent damage and pressure are what we’re after in our Hunter builds. As a Hunter your job isn’t to instantly delete targets (though occasionally you can) — that’s the Mage and Assassin’s job. You’re there to keep damage steady and pressure constant during their downtime, whittling away at the enemy team with the steady thwap, thwap, thwap of your left-clicks. This also means you tend to prize lifesteal a little more highly than most, since you need to stay in the fight more consistently. So we’ll start off with an easy one:
Hunter Standard Build
Warrior’s Tabi — Devourer’s Gauntlet — Qin’s Sais — Hastened Fatalis — Flex Slot — Flex Slot
Starter Items: Bluestone Pendant (if aggressively dueling or poor early waveclear), Death’s Toll (if passively farming or good early waveclear)
Lifesteal, raw damage, and a little bit of attack speed and mobility boosts make this an effective core for most Hunters in most games. With emphasis on overall quality and two free flex slots, the Standard item core gives any Hunter equipped with it a shot at major objectives or PvP duels alike.
Finish out with Brawler’s Beatstick and Titan’s Bane against healers or heavy tank line-ups, Wind Demon and Deathbringer if you’re shooting mostly at other unarmored targets, or Asi and Frostbound Hammer if you find yourself on the back foot a little too often against the enemy Warriors or Assassins.
Who wants it: Most mid to lategame Hunters can pull this off, and the flexibility of the two open slots keeps you adaptable to your evolving role in the game
Ex: Rama, Apollo
Hunter Early Pressure Build
Warrior’s Tabi — Ichaival — Asi — Hastened Fatalis — Wind Demon — Deathbringer
Starter items: Bluestone Pendant (if aggressively dueling), Vampiric Shroud (if passively farming)
Attack speed, move speed, a little bit of lifesteal and some RNG burst with Crit — this build has a lot of what you’re looking for as role based around positioning well and staying alive and shooting. While it’s a little weaker in the late-game, where other builds have power items like Executioner and Bloodforge to our Ichaival and Asi, this build still has solid core stats and one major advantage:
It’s cheap as dirt.
Ichaival, Asi, and Fatalis are well below the price range of those more powerful options, allowing you to come online much earlier and turn boxing matches in your favor. By the time you have Ichaival, they’re still sitting on a Tier 2 Balanced Blade. By the time they’ve finished Qins Sai, you’re already about done on Asi, and nearly a full Tier 3 item ahead.
Perfect for early game bullies or aggressive Hunters, the Early Pressure build seeks to win the lane early, and snowball the match out of control before the enemy’s more expensive builds come online.
Who wants it: Early game Hunters looking for a boxing match
Ex: Anhur, Cupid
Hunter Transcendence Build
Warrior’s Tabi — Transcendence — Qin’s Sais — Asi — Brawler’s Beatstick — Titan’s Bane
Starter item: Charged Morningstar
Some Hunters exist in the game which function more like Physical Mages or Ranged Assassins — while sustained left-click damage is the calling card of their class, these Hunters need Power and Mana, and they need it now.
A bit slow to get going (and weak until Transcendence comes online) this build is for those who lean heavily on their abilities, left-click mostly when their skills are down, but tend to dominate the midgame. The Power and MP5 of Transcendence matches well with the physical penetration of Brawler’s Beatstick and Titan’s Bane — as does the raw damage passive of Qin’s Sais, which helps keep your basic attacks still dangerous. Asi rounds out the build with some much needed lifesteal and an emergency passive in case you’re caught in a duel with your skills down, as well as some additional penetration.
While not quite as powerful as some of the more left-click based builds in the ultra-late game, you’re not far behind as long as your skills land. And as a bonus, this build is fantastic at wrecking towers — so if you can’t win a boxing match, you can always just break the enemy base.
Who wants it: The Hunters that function more like Mages, relying on their skills first and foremost, and their left-clicks second.
Ex: Hou Yi, Neith, Ah Muzen Cab
— Warrior Builds Guide —
Among the two most open (but thus most easily misbuilt) classes, Warriors operate on much the same principles as Guardians — much of the time your build is going to be a combination of what your character itself needs pit against what the enemy team’s composition demands on you.
That said, there are strong cores of items you can rely on to do most of the heavy lifting, buying you valuable time to figure out the rest as the enemy’s strategy and playstyle become more clear. If there’s no clear problem and you’re just looking for a mess of good stats, there are builds for that, too. Like this one, for example:
Warrior Standard Build (No healing)
Warrior’s Tabi — Breastplate of Valor — Jotunn’s Wrath — Hide of the Urchin — Titan’s Bane — Bulwark of Hope
Starter items: Bluestone Pendant + Bumba’s Mask (if aggressive solo), Mark of the Vanguard + Bumba’s Mask (if defensive solo), Conqueror’s Flag + Bumba’s Mask if supporting.
A solid middle of the road build for a solid middle of the road class, this build offers most Warriors a healthy dose of everything they need to get in the backline and generally disrupt the enemy.
A solid ball of good stats and protections, this build is perfect for those Warriors who mostly just want to be in the middle of the fight swinging at things. With only one passive proc this build isn’t anything too flashy, and isn’t going to let you catch many people off guard — but you don’t always have to. Sometimes your job as a frontliner really is to sit there and soak enemy fire, and if all you need from your items is a hammer, this build nails it.
Other options to keep in mind are Winged Blade against heavy slows like Poseidon, Pestilence against teams with powerful healers, and Frostbound Hammer if you find your team needs more secure on their kill attempts, or Shield of Regrowth if you’re a self-healer more concerned with absorbing damage than performing specific maneuvers.
Who wants it: Disruptive Warriors that need a good mix of stats. Brawlers
Ex: Sun Wukong, Bellona, Nike
Warrior Utility Build (Healing)
Warrior Tabi — Hydra’s Lament — Shield of Regrowth — Spirit Robe — Flex Slot — Flex Slot
Starter Items: Bluestone Pendant + Bumba’s Mask (if aggressive solo), Mark of the Vanguard + Bumba’s Mask (if defensive solo), Conqueror’s Flag + Bumba’s Mask if supporting
The same core set for Assassins that could heal and blur the lines toward Warrior, this build functions just as well for Warriors that function a little more like tanky Assassins. The speed boost from Shield of Regrowth helps keep you out of trouble — or catch up to targets in order to put the hurt on them with a Hydra’s Lament proc. Spirit robe caps off CDR and offers a powerful defensive effect to make up for the lower than average protections.
As a downside, this build is going to require much more careful use of your mana. Without Jotunn’s Wrath and Breastplate of Valor around to make your blue bar essentially infinite, almost every skill has to count — though the Lament’s MP5 does at least give you a little wiggle room.
On the upswing, however, this build has something very important the “Big Ball o’ Stats” doesn’t — insane flexibility. With a lot of your bases covered in 4 items (power, mana, mobility, survivability), the last two slots leave you plenty of room to itemize heavily against the enemy team while still retaining core Warrior functionality.
Who wants it: Warriors with self-heal that can function well offensively or defensively, or have a specific role to perform (like plucking enemies or driving out backlines) as opposed to just being a scary damage sponge.
Ex: Tyr, Hercules
— Guardian Build Guides —
Saving the hardest for last, Guardians are easy to build solidly but a nightmare to build perfectly. Since their raw health pools and abilities tend to be so strong — but not the greatest as leveraging stats — there’s very few good ways to proactively and consistently build a Guardian. Much of what you’re doing is based around successfully navigating through the enemy team’s strategy in order to neutralize it, engage effectively, and keep your team safe. Like this build does:
Standard Guardian (Support)
Shoes of Focus — Sovereignty — Heartward Amulet — Stone of Binding — Breastplate of Valor — Genji’s Guard
Starter items: Mark of the Vanguard (if aggressively engaging enemies) or Watcher’s Gift (if more passively lane sitting early) + Bumba’s Mask
Maxed out 40% CDR (that’s overclocked even further with the Genji’s Guard passive), effectively “all of the protections forever”, plenty of MP5, and up to 3 powerful Auras to boost your team’s strength leave this a well rounded build suited to most Guardians in the Support Role. If you can’t quite figure out which items you want when, this is an all-around defensive build meant to keep you (and as a result the rest of your team) alive and well through most enemy strategies.
If you’re looking for a little more damage (say, if you’re guarding the Solo lane), don’t be afraid to pick up a Soul Reaver or Ethereal Staff over Genji’s Guard and Stone of Binding. Your ability to take magical hits does suffer a bit, but with the added punch so will squishier targets.
While we can’t tell you what to build every game, we can at least leave a few hotkey items to keep an eye on as the game progresses -
Winged Blade — Functional against slows stopping you from engaging correctly, like Poseidon’s Whirlpool, but a later game pickup in most cases.
Pestilence — Grab this item early to mid-game against enemy compositions relying heavily on healers, like Guan Yu or Ra.
Gem of Isolation — If you’re performing more of an engaging/securing role than a defensive one, Gem can help buy your team precious extra seconds to finish the job you start
Void Stone — Similar in role to Stone of Binding, feel free to pick up Void Stone in that slot if your team’s damage is primarily magical, or if you cannot reliably trigger the Stone’s passive with a Hard crowd control effect (Banish, DIsarm, Disorient, Fear, Grab, Intoxication, Knockback, Knockup, Madness, Mesmerize, Pull, Silence, Stun, and Taunt).
The shiny Ares above, for example, can only reliably trigger Stone’s proc off of his Ultimate, and so may opt for a Void Stone instead.
It will take reps to really get the gears turning on exactly which god or goddess wants what, but before long you’ll have forged plenty of good habits and mental shortcuts to keep you building properly for every matchup. Now that you’re equipped with these builds, though, we’ve lined all the item info you need in SMITE Season 4 — it’s up to you to hammer it home.
Now go forth and Conquer.