Apollo AD Carry Guide (Zapman Build)

apollo-new2Apollo may no longer be overpowered, but he is still a strong pick and ever-omnipresent threat.

This updated god guide introduces Apollo as a character, goes over various aspects of Zapman’s build, and details how games progress with the God of Music.

Icon_Player Kill This article details Zapman’s particular way of building, leveling, and playing Apollo. You can watch his SMITE video content at Twitchzap55 and youtube iconSZapman.

Introduction

Apollo, Omnipresent Split-Pusher and Teamfight Party-Crasher

apolloStrong in all phases of the game and compatible with any support, Apollo was the measure of all things AD Carry in Season 1. Through various nerfs he may no longer be overpowered in Season 2, but he has retained much of what made him OP in the first place which makes him ultimately still a very strong pick indeed.

His kit is pregnant with utility and covers every possible angle from attack to defense a hunter could wish for. It consists of a potent clear and poke, strong disruption (hard crowd control), a great dash ability, and a true global sky ultimate that does massive amounts of damage upon landing. To top if off, Apollo can also call a free attack speed steroid his passive.

Apollo gravely impacts how the match is played out. His global ultimate bestows on him the ability to split-push out of nowhere or to get in on team fights in a mere heartbeat — or do both together if he so desires.

Build

Season 2 sees the return of the Death’s Toll start to the front and crit builds are once again the top-damage performers. In terms of actives hunters bade farewell to Greater Sprint.

Devourer’s Build

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Devourer's Gauntlet
Devourer’s Gauntlet
Warrior Tabi
Warrior Tabi
Ichaival
Ichaival
The Executioner
The Executioner
Rage
Rage
Deathbringer
Deathbringer

Apollo starts out with Death’s Toll, Spiked Gauntlet, and a health potion. He then finishes rushing Devourer’s Gauntlet in order to begin stacking and continues with the remaining core of the build — Warrior Tabi, Ichaival, The Executioner — before branching off into crits with Rage.

Death’s Toll is eventually sold for the complementing crit item Deathbringer, and in the end game Ichaival is traded in for Malice to round out the build with triple crits.

More so than other hunters, Apollo benefits from carrying extra mana potions up until the end game. He can pop a potion and then Ult in from a great distance away without having to fear running out of mana once he lands with Across the Sky due to how mana-consuming his sky Ult can be.

fatalis
Hastened Fatalis
Apollo has the option of building Hastened Fatalis in lieu of The Executioner. Doing so reduces the sustained damage output of the build by a significant 100–200 damage per second, but the item’s passive is not irrelevant in chasing down kills as a hunter, especially because Greater Sprint no longer removes the in-hand movement speed penalty and is thus foregone as an active entirely. In the end the decision to build Fatalis is as much personal preference and match-situational as it is a meta call.

Actives

1st 2nd
Greater Purification
Greater Purification (Beads)
Greater Aegis
Greater Aegis

With the beneficial passive gone on Greater Sprint (it no longer removes the in-hand movement speed penalty), Apollo is looking to invest into actives that increase his survivability instead. This is especially true with Hastened Fatalis as part of the build whose passive outclasses everything Apollo can build in terms of Sprint actives.

Beads is still the go-to must-have against crowd control for any hunter. Rather novel for hunters, however, is the use of Aegis to counter bursty Ults or for overcoming clutch situations in a showy but effective manner à la Zapman.

The buy order for actives relies heavily on the match at hand. For example, with an Artemis on the enemy team Apollo is forced to go for early Beads due to the mere threat of her boar Ultimate.

gold
Buying Actives
Zapman prefers 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.”

Leveling

So Beautiful
1
So Beautiful
greater than Serenade
2
Serenade
greater than Across the Sky
4
Across the Sky
greater than The Moves
3
The Moves

So Beautiful (1) has the highest leveling priority for the clear and poke, followed by Serenade (2) for the offensive and defensive disruption. Apollo’s dash ability, The Moves (3), is maxed out last. The Ultimate, Across the Sky (4), is leveled as necessary or upon impending use.

Audacity
Audacity
Apollo’s passive is a free attack speed steroid making him a force to be reckoned with in 1-on-1 duels. After 10 successful basic attacks (structures included), Apollo gains Audacity, attacking with both hands and increasing his attack speed by 100% for the next 5 attacks (hit or miss) he makes. His passive also allows him to clear the jungle buff camps very quickly at the start of each match, which should give him lane advantage most of the time due to how early he enters duo lane as a result.

First 5 Levels

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
So Beautiful
1
So Beautiful
The Moves
3
The Moves
So Beautiful
1
So Beautiful
Serenade
2
Serenade
Across the Sky
4
Across the Sky

In the early game Apollo needs to unlock his entire kit first. The focus lies on So Beautiful (1) for the clear and poke. Apollo wants put a level into The Moves (3) as soon as possible in order to be safe in lane or to go on the offensive.

Play Style

Apollo’s play style is greatly influenced by the global map presence his ultimate allows him. As such, it is possible for him to do multitasking by, for example, pressuring one side lane while also getting in on a team fight on the complete other side of the map. Apollo’s lane push is underwhelming in the early game when compared to Rama, his nemesis.

adc-mid-sup-standard-order
Starting Positions
There are various ways for Apollo to start a match. For a detailed look at the different starting positions in Season 2, see Season 2 Starting Positions for Each Role as well as The New Combo Breaker Openings.

Early Game

The early game is all about first blood in lane and denying the opponent farm.

While he doesn’t possess the strongest push in the early game, Apollo’s laning phase is nonetheless rock solid. His kill potential in lane is high due to his free steroid passive and the overall raw strength off his kit (penetrating clear/poke, disruption, mobility), allowing him to punish overcommitting opponents easily or outright focus underleveled supports for the first blood.

After unlocking his global ultimate at level 5 Apollo can start looking for fast rotations to get in on team fights worth having or for securing the important kills the team needs. Mana is only ever an issue for Apollo if he decides to Ult in from a long distance away. In that case it is beneficial to use a mana potion before initiating Across the Sky (4) to avoid being mana-starved when landing and attempting to secure the target.

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 and successful the enemy jungler is. It also helps to have a support with good level-one clear so that the jungle camps at the start of the match can be cleared as fast as possible to enter lane early and exert lane pressure.

Mid Game

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

Apollo is in mid game form once his third item, Ichaival, is finished and work on building The Executioner has begun. Apollo should look to farm as much as possible until he reaches that point. Only then will he become a real asset in team fights. During the mid game Apollo should look for rotation opportunities more so than he would in the early game.

Apollo’s prime objective in the mid game remains securing Gold Fury and towers off the backfoot of rotations and team fights.

Late Game

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

Once Apollo has started building Rage he can already be considered in late game form and should be a beast in team fights and boxing duels. Apollo is now capable of completely shredding most targets (including towers and phoenixes), and his ultimate deals such massive amounts of damage that he can, virtually out of nowhere, annihilate the backlines of the enemy team where the squishy damage-dealers (mages) are bound to hang out.

Thanks to his ultimate also, Apollo is unarguably the best split-pusher in SMITE and perfectly capable of taking down, on a whim, phoenixes, Fire Giant, or even the opposing titan if the enemy fails to watch out for it.

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