Ranked Conquest in SMITE
Many of you who have been following the blog over the past few months are probably fully aware that Nerd Farm is all in on Hi-Rez Studio’s Smite. We’ve had multiple podcasts (with plenty more to come in the future) about gods, items, counter building, and strategies. So it should come as no surprise that there would eventually be a post about how toxic the ranked conquest in Smite is.
The road to my first ranked Conquest in Smite has been a long and arduous one. Can you believe that A) I just used the word arduous and B) I spelled it correctly the first time? I. Am. On. It. Nic has been coaching me pretty well, it’s more like the teacher in Whiplash, constantly berating me and telling me half the shit I’m doing is wrong, but that’s how the world of MOBA‘s work right? It’s always your fault? In my case, as of right now, that probably is the case.
So in my prep for this moment I’ve followed Nic’s guidance, I’ve toiled over God’s I’m typically good with, mastering to at least Rank I in each category of Hunter, Mage, Warrior, Guardian, and Assassin. To play ranked Conquest in Smite you have to have at a minimum of 16 gods mastered, I have just over 30. I’ve toyed with different builds, I’ve watched pros play, I’ve even watched a few videos to learn just exactly how you should play as and against certain gods.
Of course to actually play ranked Conquest in Smite you have to be level 30, this was the easiest part of the quest, playing other level 30’s is the harder part. Besides the actual work I put in to achieve level 30 and master a good amount of gods, it took about a days conversation with Nic to muster up the courage to que up my first ranked game. I’ve heard terrible things about ranked anything, not just Smite, how toxic the games can be, so the intimidation factor to perform was real. You’ve been nice enough to read this much into the post, so let’s just get into it, the train wreck or as Nic like’s to call it, the fail boat.
Here’ it is, my first ranked Conquest in Smite
Like many other MOBA’s, or so I’m told, ranked starts with banning certain gods you don’t want to play against or gods that can counter one of your stronger gods. My team was strong and the gentleman in charge of banning gods was obviously knew what he was doing.
My team slammed up their preferred lane, leaving me with, you guessed it, support. Which ultimately turned out to be a good thing. Solo taking Hercules, Jungle Arachne, Mid Isis, and Xbalanque carry. The bans weren’t too substantial except for my own team banning my favorite Guardian, Athena. I was already worried that I wasn’t going to play well, so when my own team banned one of my favorite Guardians and a God I’m actually good with, my heart sank into my stomach. My heart raced, who the hell was I going to pick? Thousands of thoughts screamed through my head: Who works well with Xbalanque? Who can counter the CC of Hades and Bacchus? What other Guardian am I actually good with?
I looked towards my team mates for advice. “Sobek or Yamir?” I asked. No one answered, obviously no one had a mic. I had to make this decision on my own. It was ok though, Nic had prepared me for this. “If they ban a god you’re good with, who are you going to pick?” With about 15 seconds to spare I exhaled deeply and picked the giant with the cold heart, Yamir.
I wont go into crazy details about how the conquest match actually went, but I will tell you exactly how I did and what I built. I can give you a quick run down though, spoiler, I was carried. Our Herc was a beast easily taking his solo lane and them some. I didn’t see much of our Isis, one of her towers went down early, but before I knew it our mid lane was taken care of also. So then that leaves us with Xbalanque and myself in the long lane.
Against Bacchus and Neith my main focus was farming, poking to hopefully get Xbal some early kills, warding the jungle, and crowd control, not only my CC but also to counter Bacchus’ drunk ass and mitigate damage from Neith and Hades. My build was basic tank, or at least I felt it was.
Watcher’s Gift for starter, Reinforced Shoes for CC, Sovereignty for ally aura protections, and Stone of Gaia since I was being left in the lane by myself pretty often. Those were the straight forward items I was able to throw on.
I hadn’t played Ymir since I mastered him, so my play was rusty, and knocking that rust off was taking some work. I was missing my Frost Breath’s, painfully watching the cooldown timer tick away after each miss. But I trucked on, poking, letting Xbalanque farm, and keeping Bacchus and Neith under their tower for much of the game. That was until I was left in the lane by myself which I was able to successfully fight under my tower until reinforcements arrived.
After my early items, improvements on actually sticking my abilities, the stress again started kicking in. What the hell was I going to build now? I had to figure this out and I had to do it quick. I had assisted in taking down one gold fury, my team took it down again minutes later, towers were falling down all around me and I could sense we were going in for the final kill. I had to spend this gold and I had to spend it wisely. Yamir is a beast, so I decided to pick up Ethereal Staff to increase my Health and Mana, then threw on Winged Blade for more health and some cooldown reduction. But I still had this damn starter item and I didn’t know what to sell it for, so I left and went back to work.
Those wondering what I had for actives, I had HOG 2 to take camps and snagged Blink because I had the gold and I’ve seen the pros use it, so it must be good.
I scrambled to join the team fights, at the late game I just wasn’t sure where I needed to be. Jumping from my lane to another was a difficult decision, but one that ultimately worked out. My little experience with watching pros had paid off. I joined most of the team to take out the final solo and mid towers, followed by the mid and solo phoenix. Hell, I even managed to get 2 kills during team fights. I was actually doing good things as a support, it felt good to be serving my purpose and doing it well.
We won the game in about 33 minutes, losing only our one middle tower, taking two gold furies, and one fire giant I had no idea we were attacking until I received the buff. I had more gold than I knew what to do with so I finally went back to base to buy my final item. Selling my starter item I scanned all of the items I could possibly buy. Witchblade or Midgardian Mail? I clicked back and forth between the two, then I looked up, we were attacking the titan. I aborted the whole item purchase and rushed to join my team fighting at the titan…without a first item. Rookie mistake, but it didn’t matter, their titan had fallen and I was there to help take it down.
I had successfully played Ymir, as a support with a k/d of 2/3/8 and a measly 18k damage mitigated, nowhere near the 49k our Hercules mitigated. Still, not to shabby for my first time though.
Although I was obviously carried, my first ranked conquest in Smite turned out to be quite the opposite of toxic. Sure I could have played Ymir better, but I played him cautiously and defensively. I never got yelled at or sarcastically emoted to. I joined team fights at appropriate times and actually did some good during them. Let’s not forget that I only fucked up my Ice Wall once, throwing it up and blocking the 2 gods coming through the jungle but also blocking my Hercules from going in. He probably could have killed them, but Nic brought up a good point that it most likely kept him from getting ganked.
My first ranked Conquest in Smite was a very positive introduction, and I obviously understand not every game is going to go like that, in fact I’m pretty sure most will be the complete opposite. But Smite did me a solid, the luck of the draw I guess, I was put into a match with strong players, and given a straight forward god with limited responsibilities making it less likely for me to fuck up. This wont be my last ranked match, but I’ve definitely prepared myself for other games where I’ll be given more responsibility, a god I may not be very good with, and with a team that wont be able to carry me. There’s still a lot of work to do.
As a note from myself it you actually read this far, I want to say thank you, but also if the Xbox One actually had a worthwhile screen cap and video program like the PS4, I would have had a nice little video and pics for you, but it doesn’t, so you’re left with generic caps and videos.