Commentary on the Combo Breaker Patch

ravana-patchWith the Combo Breaker patch Hi-Rez aims to shake up the Conquest meta in a big way. For better or for worse?

This article provides an extensive commentary as well as bits of feedback on the major gameplay changes brought to Conquest with the latest patch.

Combo Breaker patch (June 30th, 2015) Patch Note Commentary
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icon_Ravana
Ravana
icon_bullet2Chain of Blows (Passive)
Each successive hit within 5 seconds adds to Ravana’s combo chain, allowing Prana Onslaught to do an additional 7.5% damage for each hit in the combo, up to a maximum of 60% total. Additional hits above 8 will not count towards this damage again until Prana Onslaught has been fired.
icon_bullet2Prana Onslaught (1)
Ravana throws a powerful punch, projecting his prana with it to deal 60/80/110/150/200 (+75% of his physical power) damage and slowing for 2s all enemies in front of him. Cost: 30/38/45/53/60. Cooldown: 6s.
icon_bullet2Overhead Kick (2)
Ravana performs a high kick sending a shockwave forward to deal 55/90/125/160/195 (+70% of his physical power) damage to all enemies in a line and rendering him damage immune during the action. Cost:60/65/70/75/80. Cooldown: 16/15/14/13/12s.
icon_bullet210-Hand Shadow Fist (3)
Ravana’s fists fly forward, dealing 115/140/164/190/215 (+55% of his physical power) in damage to enemies in a line passing through minions and stopping on the first god hit. Hit gods are rooted for .8s. Damaging enemies heals Ravana based on damage dealt. Cost: 55/60/65/70/75. Cooldown: 18s.
icon_bullet2Mystic Rush (4)
Ravana rushes to his target, dealing 70/100/125/150/175 (+35% of his physical power) in damage to them and knocking aside all enemies in his path. The target is then linked to Ravana, doing full damage to him while all other enemies do 40% reduced damage. Cost: 80/90/100/110/120. Cooldown: 90/85/80/75/70.
icon_bullet2Ravana is an autoattack-based Warrior (as opposed to ability-based). Designed to get up close and personal, he deals most of his damage using in-hands and close-range abilities, and can perhaps be compared the best to Osiris.
icon_bullet2While arguably fun to play and unique in design (think Street Fighter or Dragonball Z), Ravana is in its current state overtuned and not deemed a viable character by any stretch of the imagination.
icon_bullet2Most glaringly, Ravana lacks reasonable damage output, in no small part thanks to his low-damage abilities and low ability scaling, and high cooldowns for most of his kit (2, 3, 4). The necessity to build attack speed items on him further amplifies this.
icon_bullet2Prana Onslaught (1), very much a melee ability, interrupts the melee chain of Ravana’s Passive (since the hotfix), and it does not apply on-hit effects either. To fully utilize its damage potential, Ravana also has to built up his Passive first, requiring to stay on-target for the duration of 8 successful inhands.
icon_bullet2Unlike Chang E’s infamous Moonlit Waltz, Ravana’s Overhead Kick (2) can be interrupted as it lacks any sort of CC immunity. For instance, an Agni stun bomb or Isis Spirit Ball will fully interrupt Overhead Kick dealing due damage to Ravana.
icon_bullet2In terms of crowd control, Ravana has a 2s slow on his Prana Onslaught, the highlight ability of his kit. On the other hand, his 10-Hand Shadow Fist, itself on a staggering 18s cooldown, roots for a mere 0.8s and does virtually no damage.
icon_bullet2For good reason Ravana’s Mystic Rush (4) has been hailed “worst Ultimate in the game.” For an all-in ability as this, it lacks damage as much as low cooldown or CC immunity. (Note: Ravana can still Ult when crippled.)
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Icon_Gold Fury
Gold Fury
icon_bullet2Gold Fury scaling
The value of the Gold Fury kill now scales team gold starting at 100 and gaining +10 per minute of game time, to a maximum of 350.
The value of the Gold Fury kill now scales team XP starting at 100 and gaining +10 per minute of game time, to a maximum of 250.
The Gold Fury now breaks player deployables that bar her path.
icon_bullet2Reduced lifesteal
Fire Giant and Gold Fury now have 50% reduction in Lifesteal from hitting them.
icon_bullet2Prior to the patch, early Gold Fury secures would put a team dishearteningly far ahead. With the Gold Fury rewards now scaling, the danger of such snowballing is significantly reduced.
icon_bullet2Striking a similar vein is the reduced lifesteal from Gold Fury and Fire Giant. Hunters, in other words, are now prevented from securing those objectives all by themselves in the early game.
icon_bullet2Noteworthy, Gold Fury now removes player deployables in her path. That means, Anhur’s Shifting Sands pillar can no longer be abused to bar Gold Fury’s path and prevent damage upon leashing.
Icon_Player Kill
Kill Bounties
icon_bullet2Reduced XP for early kills
Globally, XP bounties for players has been adjusted to reward less XP for early game kills, by giving 50 + 30 * Victim’s Level.
In Arena, XP bounties for players remain similar to before, rewarding 50 + 13 * Victim’s Level.
icon_bullet2On the one hand, reduced XP rewards for early kills means less snowballing in the early game. On the other, now that there is also more farm on the map (see Jungle Buff Camps), the change to kill bounties further incentivizes players to farm the jungle instead of going for early lane aggression, let alone ganks.
icon_ward
Wards
icon_bullet2Gold reward for dewarding
Killing an enemy Basic Ward or Sentry Ward rewards 50 gold. (Last hit only, no assist).
icon_bullet2Various nerfs
Reduced the maximum number of wards placed per player from 3 to 2.
Basic Ward vision range reduced from 60 to 45.
All Wards are revealed for 1s when placed, and are not hittable.
icon_bullet2Ward active gone
Eye of Providence has been removed from the game.
icon_bullet2Players now gain gold when dewarding — basically a return investment on buying sentry wards and an incentive to place more of them especially for nonsupports.
icon_bullet2The vision radius basic wards cover has been reduced. This should in theory allow for more unannounced ganking, though it remains to be seen whether the reduction in vision was actually big enough or whether players simply won’t switch to sentry wards.
icon_bullet2Since now only two wards can be had on the map at the same time, more roles than just the support are incentivized to ward, and to ward smartly or with sentries due to the reduction in basic ward vision range.
icon_buffs_s2
Conquest Jungle Camps
icon_bullet2Attack Speed Camp (Purple)
Reduced respawn timer from 4min to 3min.
icon_bullet2Mana Camp (Blue)
Reduced respawn timer from 4min to 3min.
icon_bullet2Harpy Camps (Back)
Reduced respawn time from 100 to 80s.
icon_bullet2Elder Harpy Camps (Mid)
Now spawn at 10s.
Corrected issue where respawn was 3:10 rather than 3min.
icon_bullet2One of the most impacting changes in this patch are the significantly reduced jungle camp timers. There is so much farm on the map now that junglers will find themselves hard-pressed to harvest all those camps by themselves, or they may even feel conflicted whether they should gank in the first place (reduced kill bounties) or farm the jungle instead.
icon_bullet2This change and the reduced kill bounties heavily promote a tedious farm meta in the early game as opposed to a gank or teamfight meta, which would be more desirable.
icon_bullet2Mid Harpies are back at spawning at the 10s mark, allowing for more varied openings and starting positions we have come to know from Season 1. With some coordination between duo and mid, it is now possible, when starting at Mids, to get the mid laner to level 6 before Mid Harpies respawn for the first time (around 3-minute mark).
icon_cyclops
Jungle Creatures
icon_bullet2Cyclops (Small)
Reduced starting health from 250 to 180.
Reduced physical damage from 9 to 5.
icon_bullet2Harpy (Small)
Reduced starting health from 250 to 180.
Reduced physical damage from 8 to 5.
Increased XP value from 22 to 30.
icon_bullet2Elder Harpy (Big)
Reduced XP value from 140 to 110. This includes Mid Camp and Back Camp Elder Harpies.
icon_bullet2Cyclops Buff Holders (Big)
Reduced starting health from 1080 to 960.
Increased health growth from 55 to 65 every 3min.
icon_bullet2The reduction in both health and damage of the jungle creatures is to accommodate for the major changes to Hand of the Gods (which see under Items).
icon_bullet2But this change also speeds up the camp clearing for everyone. I expect supports to profit from this immensely, as they now have to spend less time on chipping away at Back Harpies or the like with dull autos or can save their HOG more often if they even have it.
icon_bullet2Mid Harpies also now give considerably less XP, making Back Harpies that much more valuable as they are on a shorter respawn timer also and not that far off XP-wise compared to Mids.
icon_bullet2That Mid Harpies are less valuable now is also a factor in countering excessive snowballing in Smite.
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icon_hog
Hand of the Gods
icon_bullet2Hand of the Gods (Rank 1)
Only hits a single target. Target is always the one with the highest maximum health.
icon_bullet2Rage of the Gods (Rank 2)
Now hits 2 targets. Targets are always the two with the highest maximum health.
icon_bullet2Wrath of the Gods (Rank 3)
No longer deals a % of health damage to objectives bosses.
Now deals 480 true damage to jungle camps, and 900 true damage to objectives (Fire Giant and Gold Fury, Siege’s Juggernaut).
Subsequent Wrath of the Gods uses by your team on the same target deal 50% reduced damage for 10s.
Objective health bars now turn yellow at 900 health.
icon_bullet2Fist of the Gods (Rank 3)
NPC Targets are always the three with the highest maximum health.
icon_bullet2This is a major nerf to the defacto objective and buff camp securer in Smite, making Hand of the Gods less desirable, and indeed less necessary, on solo laners. With more farm on the map (see Jungle Buff Camps) junglers could see themselves starting out with HOG2 more often.
icon_bullet2This change together with penetration on Shoes of the Magi are no less an invitation for mages to make a re-appearance in the solo lane.
icon_bullet2Supports with good jungle camp clear like Athena, Ymir, or Sobek might also feel incentivized to buy HOG late or skip the item entirely depending on the duo matchup and team composition.
icon_bullet2The big takeaway is that Wrath of the Gods (HOG3) no longer secures boss objectives at 25% health, more like ~10% health now. In many ways HOG3 should now be seen as a 900-damage instant Ult, for it no longer deals that percentage-based damage HOG3 used to deal.
icon_bullet2This change should allow mages with bursty Ults like Poseidon’s Kraken to act as a very real threat to stealing objectives even in the late game.
icon_GreaterSprint
Sprint
icon_bullet2Greater Sprint
No longer removes in-hand movement speed penalty.
icon_bullet2Heavenly Agility
Reduced duration from 6s to 5s.
icon_bullet2The removal of the “Hastened Fatalis” effect on Greater Sprint primarily affects hunters. Before the patch, Sprint was a necessary active item on any hunter. Now, Heavenly Agility, while slightly nerfed, or even Aegis might be the alternative.
icon_bullet2The Sprint change may remove those hunters without a gap-closer ability even farther off the meta, and it remains to be seen whether those character won’t have to integrate Hastened Fatalis into their builds, which isn’t exactly an inexpensive item, in order be effective mid to late game.
icon_bullet2Barring Freya perhaps, Achilles’ Spear seems to remain a suicidal alternative for AD carries.
icon_shoesofthemagi
Shoes of the Magi
icon_bullet2Shoes of the Magi
Reduces Magical Power from 65 to 40.
Now provides +10 Magical Penetration.
Price increased from 1550 to 1600.
icon_bullet2Having penetration on Shoes of the Magi elevates mages back into the meta. Expect more of them to show up in the solo lane, in no small part thanks to the Hand of the Gods change as well. Barring Janus perhaps, mages pretty much have to build pen boots now as the leap in power from CDR to pen boots is simply too large.
icon_bullet2There is a nasty side-effect to this change which could proliferate the guardian meta even further. Now guardians have access to pen boots too, and they were already dealing incredibly high amounts of damage before, while sitting at comfortable life and protection totals with very favorable scaling.
icon_heartseeker
Heartseeker / Doom Orb
icon_bullet2Heartseeker
+20 Physical Power, +10 Movement Speed.
You gain +6 Physical Power per stack, and receive 2 stacks per god kill and 1 stack per god kill assist. Half of your stacks are lost on death. (Max 10 stacks).
icon_bullet2Doom Orb
+40 Magical Power, +200 Mana, +7MP5.
You gain +10 Magical Power per stack, and receive 2 stacks per god kill and 1 stack per god kill assist. Half of your stacks are lost on death. (Max 10 stacks).
icon_bullet2Given how Heartseeker as well as Doom Orb were changed in this patch (stacks are harder to earn but still halved on death), these items might as well have been removed entirely from the game. As it stands, they are simply too risky to build anymore.
icon_bullet2With Heartseeker effectively out of the game, hunters are looking to build Transcendence instead if they are going that route (Transcendence, Asi, Boots, Executioner, Rage, Deathbringer, Malice). While the Trans build is far less swingy, the Heartseeker build was too strong to begin with on hunters.
icon_bullet2The nerf to Doom Orb might feel like an unjustified blow to certain mid laner mages or players and, of course, Chronos ADC.
icon_magis
Magi’s Blessing
icon_bullet2Magi’s Blessing
Increased price from 2250 to 2350.
Increased cooldown from 60s to 90s.
icon_bullet2The recent nerfs to Magi’s Blessing, including this one, go to show how universally strong this item is not only on supports. This is mainly due to the fact that Smite has an excessive amount of crowd control and little in the way of countering it.
icon_bullet2Players will still get this item very, very often, even with the higher price tag and increased cooldown. The nerf to Magi’s Blessing should also make late-game teamfights less cheesy and less drawn out.
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