Chronos AD Carry Guide (Zapman Build)

chronos-adcChronos, the Hyper Carry Oddball.

Only in the secluded duo lane is Chronos given the necessary time and space to get his early and mid game going. Save for his Ultimate, Chronos’ kit is that of a hyper carry, sporting low-cooldown burst, hard crowd control (stun), and a potent steroid ability to power up his auto-attacks. In the late game Chronos can melt down the opponent just as well as he can split-push. However, Chronos is a character with a very high skill cap and mastering him involves three things making it through the early game relatively unscathed and micro-managing his passive, the ever spinning Wheel of Time, in heated battles.

The god build discussed here is that by Zapman. The article closely follows his way of building, leveling, and playing the character. For more on Zapman, see his Twitch Twitch channel.

Smite Dictionary Spotted some esoteric SMITE lingo you don’t recognize? Look it up in the SMITE Dictionary — more than 300 entries specific or related to SMITE explained in concise and easily understandable terms.



Starter 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Vampiric Shroud
Vampiric Shroud
Doom Orb
Doom Orb
Shoes of the Magi
Shoes of the Magi
Obsidian Shard
Obsidian Shard
Chronos' Pendant
Chronos’ Pendant
Rod of Tahuti
Rod of Tahuti

Chronos starts out with Vampiric Shroud, Lost Artifact, as well as a health and a mana potion. Chronos then finishes rushing Doom Orb to begin stacking and continues developing the core of the build in Shoes of the Magi and Obsidian Shard before branching off into Chronos’ Pendant and Rod of Tahuti (both of which are interchangeable).

Vampiric Shroud is eventually sold in the late game for a situational item. Depending on the matchup at hand, Zapman picks from a variety of options including (from most to least situational) the following:

  • Bancroft’s Talon
  • Witchblade
  • Magi’s Blessing
  • Mystical Mail (specifically against late-game Loki)

Due to a lack of lifesteal, Chronos benefits from carrying health potions in the early to mid game.

Wheel of Time The ever-spinning Wheel of Time with its four separate sections and corresponding buffs is Chronos’ passive ability. Section IV of the wheel unlocks Chronos’ true power as an AD Carry as it grants him +35% magical power contribution to his basic attacks. The other sections of the wheel are rarely ever used barring Section I for its healing passive to walk out some damage (1.5% of maximum health per second).


Greater Purification
Greater Purification
Greater Aegis
Greater Aegis

Considering that Doom Orb is an integral part of Zapman’s build, Chronos yearns for even greater survivability despite his life-saving Ultimate. Greater Purification and Greater Aegis are the best fit here. Due to his Accelerate steroid ability (2) Chronos does not require any additional movement speed as most hunters do in the form of the active item Sprint.

Despite its appearance this Chronos build is actually 710 gold cheaper than the standard crit hunter build (cf. Rama AD Carry). Chronos should therefore have no problems purchasing actives relatively early and become very survivable as a result.

Tip It is Zapman’s personal preference to get as far down the build chain as he can before investing into any actives. In his own words, “Getting actives too early is a huge money sink and delays your power spike which you want to achieve as early as possible.”

First 5 Levels

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Time Rift
Stop Time
Time Rift

In the early game Chronos needs to unlock his entire kit first, with the focus lying on his low-cooldown Time Rift ability (1) for the clear and poke.

Ability Leveling Order

Time Rift
greater than Stop Time
greater than Accelerate
greater than Rewind

Generally speaking, after the first five levels, Time Rift (1) has the highest leveling priority followed by Stop Time (3). Both abilities enable Chronos to clear, poke, and secure kills. Zapman then maxes out Chronos’ steroid ability, Accelerate (2), prior to Rewind (4). Chronos’ Ultimate is already perfectly potent at rank 1.

Rewind Chronos’ Ultimate, Rewind, is more than a simple Get Out of Jail Free card or backup Aegis. Given the right circumstances after Ulting, Chronos can land right behind the enemy frontlines with replenished health, mana, and his abilities off cooldown for the re-engagement. Chronos’ Ultimate also makes tower diving for the kill a much safer undertaking in the early game. Taking sustained damage over time, however, mostly nullifies the effectiveness of his Ultimate.

Play Style

Chronos as a character is known to have one of the weakest early games. Playing him as AD Carry in the duo lane, however, mitigates that fact by giving him the necessary time and breathing space to farm and get big.

Starting Positions

On the left side Chronos can either start directly at the mana buff, or, given a support with good clear, he can begin with the back harpies into mana buff opening for the extra experience. Starting on the right side, Chronos is limited to mid harpies into mana buff.

Conquest 101 For a comprehensive guide on the different starting positions and openings in Conquest (including map illustrations), see the article Conquest 101 — Starting Positions for Every Role.

Early Game

The early game is all about outpushing the opponent.

Contrary to what one would presume with the Keeper of Time, Chronos can play the early game quite well in the duo lane. In fact, Chronos has both really good clear as well as poke — given he can land Time Rift (1) with high precision and consistency. As such, Chronos is perfectly capable of standing his ground against prime-pick hunters like Apollo & Co.

However, Chronos’ actual downside as an AD Carry is that he has no sustain in the form of lifesteal, which has become the gold standard in the duo lane for hunters. Without such sustain, Chronos simply has to play the lane with utmost care, also because dying halves the stacks on his Doom Orb each time, which is a painful sacrifice in and of itself.

As always, it helps to push the first minion wave hard in order to gain the lane advantage for the first 3–5 minutes of the match depending on how active the enemy jungler is. Also, in terms of sustain, Chronos still has Section I of his Wheel of Time — a passive healing buff — and he benefits from carrying with him health potions well into the mid game.

Thor The enemy jungler usually shows up in the duo lane looking to gank around the 3:00 minute mark, the arguably best time to gank for a jungler. By three minutes into the match the wards initially placed on the map have run out and no longer provide the necessary map vision to detect hidden enemy movements.

Mid Game

The mid game is all about items, rotations, and Gold Fury.

Once his third item, Obsidian Shard, is finished, Chronos is in great shape for rotations. Chronos excels at team fights thanks to his burst, speed, and stun. He can vaporize towers with the help of his Wheel of Time auto-attack buff just as well as he can melt down tanky characters now, which is something traditional hunters can only do well in the very late game.

However, mid game is also the phase where securing Gold Fury off the backfoot of rotations and team fights is one of the prime objectives. It is here that Chronos underperforms. Without Bancroft’s Talon as his fourth item Chronos has to heavily rely on either his teammates for tanking Gold Fury or his Ultimate to rewind time and gain back health.

Bancroft's Talon Only with Bancroft’s Talon can Chronos solo Gold Fury in the mid game (or Fire Giant in the late game) without using his Ultimate as a crutch to rewind time.

Late Game

The late game is all about team fights, split-pushing, and Fire Giant.

Chronos reaches late-game form once Rod of Tahuti is completed and work on the situational item has begun. In the late game Chronos reveals his true colors: scary in team fights, yet very survivable for a hyper carry. Aside from giving him a second chance at life, his Ultimate replenishes and repositions Chronos in often unexpected ways for the opponent. Chronos also possesses the arguably best split-push potential, right after Apollo with his otherworldly global Ultimate of course, as structures and titans melt away under his Accelerate (2) steroid like butter.


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