SMITE Achilles God Review: The Hero We Need
Alright, let’s get one thing out of the way right now. Achilles isn’t a stance-changing god. Does he change from Aggressive to Defensive? Sure, absolutely. Does it change his abilities or kit in any way, shape or form? No. He’s a stat-changer, but not a stance-changer. Achilles is special; he’s likely to be divisive and also terribly fun. Achilles looks like he stepped right off of your favorite (or your friend’s favorite) romance novella. He’s chiseled, handsome, and perfect. He’s arrogant to a fault, and that fits the idea of Achilles, Hero of the Trojan War. He was given control of a thousand ships to lay siege to Troy, to get revenge, to get his daughter back from Paris of Troy. He was a man that could not be bested or defeated, thanks to his mother dipping him into the River Styx, save for his ankle, as that’s what his mother held. So he had one minor weakness, other than his arrogance.
Agamemnon slighted him by withdrawing his army from the field: He would fall in that battle, and perhaps the gods themselves guided Paris’ arrow into the heel of Achilles. A mortal man that could not be bested would not be something the gods would suffer willingly. But ten years have passed, and he walks free, no longer bound by the underworld, broken free of Hades. Now even his one weakness is clad in armor, and the man that cannot be harmed is determined to get revenge on the gods that would hold him down. How do you stop a man that not even the gods could swindle out of his own life?
I was so happy to see Achilles, even though I certainly was hoping for someone else. The Greek pantheon needed something else, anyway. They’re something like 80% mages, and a hunter and guardian. Something needed to be added that wasn’t another damn mage, and Achilles was that pick. I was hoping to see him as a Guardian, and I know that isn’t a shock to anyone that reads these. He can jungle, he can solo lane, and yes, he could be in a kill-lane in the duo. I absolutely could see it. The word on the street is that Achilles is wildly out of balance, and irrevocably over-powered. Do I think he’s strong? Absolutely, and I’ll get to that. I do think he’s very easily brought into line. I don’t think he’s got a kit that’s bloated though, as he has four powers and a passive, just like the vast majority of Smite. The other major complaint I’ve heard is “Waaah he has an Execute!” It’s also the slowest, most unwieldy execute in the game. You know how you dodge it? Just… cha-cha slide to the left or right. Not very hard to evade. The other executes in the game are sudden, horrifying and powerful. His makes him weaker every time it succeeds. You can set up some insane wombos with him, but that takes so much communication and work, more than you’re likely to see in your average ranked game. Speaking of which, let’s break that kit down.
Passive: Gift of the Gods (Buff): Achilles adapts to the tide of battle. As it sways, he can adjust to overcome what perils he faces. While in base, he can choose to wear his armor, or forgo it (using Left Click to swap). While in armor, he gains Health and Protections (HP: 35 +10 per Level Prot: 5 +1 per Level), and without it, he gains Movement Speed and Physical Power (Move: 3% +.2% per Level and Power: 10 +2 per Level). He can only do this in a base, but can do it as often as he needs.
1: Shield of Achilles (Cone, Damage, CC): Achilles thrusts his Shield forward, dealing incredible damage to any caught in its wake (100/160/220/280/340 (+90% of your physical power)) and deals 80% of this to the outer layer of the cone. Those caught in the inner section will be stunned (1.1/1.2/1.3/1.4/1.5s). Base Cooldown: 15 Seconds
2: Radiant Glory (Buff): Thanks to his bath in the Styx, Achilles is blessed by the gods. He can bask in that radiant glow, which grants him temporary (6 seconds) Physical Power (15%), Protections (15%), and Crowd Control Reductions (20%). While this blessing is active, Achilles will heal himself upon successfully damaging enemies with abilities (Heal: 23/26/29/32/35 (+10% of your physical power) Heals Per Ability: 2/2/3/3/4). Base Cooldown: 10 Seconds
3: Combat Dodge (Dash, Damage): Achilles can dodge in eight directions, able to act before many of his opponents can even consider attacking him. He can then throw an attack at them as a result (65/105/145/185/225 (+50% of your physical power)). If his attack hits a god, he can dash and attack again before the cooldown resets. Base Cooldown: 10 Seconds
4: Fatal Strike (Ultimate, Execute): Glowing with a brilliant power, Achilles winds up and leaps, slowly sliding forward. He will blast through minions, and collide with the first god that is in his path. He deals damage to them (180/270/360/450/540 (+100% of your physical power)) and if they were below 30% health, he executes them. Those in range will have a signal on them, a’la Thanatos. If Achilles successfully Executes a god with this ability, he can use it again, up to 5 times. As Achilles successfully Executes his enemies, he becomes more reckless in combat and leaves his heel exposed. Achilles will become more susceptible to damage, stacking up to 5 times (10% damage taken per stack). Base Cooldown: 90 Seconds
Put me on a team! Or you know, don’t.
Break Your Bones Upon My Body: Achilles is insanely strong. I mean, just ferocious. With his passive, you can set yourself in Defensive Mode, and build like you would an Assassin or Bruiser, without bothering with quite as many defensive items. You still should have one or two, but his damage will be such that he can bully basically anyone he wants. Any god that requires being near the minion wave will be in serious peril as long as Achilles has his 1 off cooldown. Which leads me to …
Shield Slam: Achilles’ real power lies in his 1. It’s ridiculous, and will probably be nerfed in the coming patch. I’d put money on it. It does crazy damage (90% of Physical Power?!) and while I know it’s popular to build Warriors in defensive gear, with that kind of number, you’d be a fool to not consider a heavy power/pen build on him. It’s very satisfying to do. You activate your 2, to get those lovely heals, dart in with the 3, and blammo! Whether it’s one person or five, those people are very sad they chose to side against Achilles.
I Like Flexibility: There isn’t really anything that’s out of his range. Achilles can fill three roles on the team with ease. One of the things I enjoy about him is the vast range of equipment and builds you can run on Achilles. I feel like there aren’t too many wrong ways to play him (though your teams will surely say different). He’s powerful without a serious kit bloat, and while he might be a bit tuned too strong, you don’t even need to build much in the way of aggressive items either. He has the power to go into a variety of roles, despite being a warrior, and you can take his already solid defenses and make them better, creating a very frustrating duo lane to be in. And with the current trend of Mages or Guardians going into the solo lane, it might be in Achilles’ best interest to wander elsewhere.
Sure, Executes Are Cool But: Oh my lord, it’s the slowest moving thing in the history of the whole universe. I have time to get up, go get a drink and come back. You have to know the enemy will be in the execute range at the right time. The percentage does not go up, which is great and fine, but it is so monstrously slow. I’ve landed maybe four executes so far, because my team just swoops in and makes sure they get the kill. If they considered weakening the 1 just a hair, and maybe sped this up a bit? It just feels tedious to use right now.
Danger, Will Robinson: You know what I’ve been seeing a lot of in Conquest? Damage Guardians/Mages/Hunters in the solo lane. If you pick Achilles into this, he’s gonna get wrecked and wrecked badly. Sure, as long as they have to be close to the minion wave, his 1 is powerful, but if you have to run them down to use it? What’s going to happen when Sol just stands back and blasts him all day, or Cupid drops his stun into the wave? You’re going to get slapped down, and the Hero of the Trojan War will just be another casualty. Don’t let Achilles’ arrogance be your downfall too.
He’s Really Good: Now, you might wonder “why is that a con? He’s good!” and if you give me a moment, I’ll get to it. He can heal, he can stun, he can execute. He has a kit that can do quite a lot, without him being a “stance changer”. You can build him tanky and stomp, or build him damage and stomp just as hard. He’s incredibly good, and he’s fun. He’s going to see a lot of bans, and that’s going to make it harder for him to be balanced I’d say. Either he’s going to see very few matches, with a lot of wins, and get nerfed into the floor, or the opposite will be true. I love Achilles as a character, but I think he’s going to be in for a really wild ride.
These should have been mine. #Teamwork.
According to Smite Wiki, Achilles is “average” difficulty and for the most part, I’m inclined to agree. There are parts of his kit that are harder and parts that are easier. Successfully utilizing his ult seems to be incredibly challenging, though I’m again willing to chalk that up to simply not having the reaction time needed. By the time I had started my wind-up, someone had already secured the kill instead of me. I watched another Achilles play last night, who did it a much smarter way. Simply pair him with some major CC, like say, Ares. Ares pulls the whole team down, your team beats them up, and Achilles simply sweeps in and steals all the credit. That seems to be the key to starting off with Achilles. Hang back, poke with your incredibly powerful 1, and when people start to get low, swoop in and murder them with the 1 and 4.
As far as the solo lane goes, he’s pretty easy, provided you are dealing with another solo laner. I can’t think of any of the other warriors that really can stand up to this bully. I am reasonably sure he has a slightly longer auto-attack reach than any other (though Erlang Shen has a polearm too, his is 12 units I believe, where Achilles has a 16). Speaking of weapons, I could have put this in the “con” section, but it is worth mentioning. He does not have any AOE auto-attack animations. Instead, he thrusts twice and follows up with another thrust that spins into motion. While he does have a lot of lane presence, he can’t bully too hard, as he only has one ability that he reliably will use on the minion wave, maybe two if you use his projectile 3. But doing that means you can’t use it to dodge something else, so be aware of what kind of position you’re putting yourself in. It may not take you far, but it’s an incredible kiting tool. Most of the meta Warriors have some manner of AOE swing at the end of their animation, and while that may not seem like much, consider positioning again. They can, instead of standing at the end of the wave and taking the 1, can move to the side, and use their abilities + the AOE attack animation. Hercules, for example, is all AOE. The last hit less so, but certainly something to consider.
Despite this, he still has the potential to bully and harass, especially after you put some CDR on him. His other cooldowns (including his ultimate) are surprisingly generous, at 10 seconds and 90 seconds. His most important ability (his 1) is on a 16-second cooldown, so you have to time and plan it decently well. There are times where I can see players holding it until it he is engaged, and pair it with his 3 to kite and back off. Speaking of which, this is definitely a god that takes well to the Frostbound Hammer. In the event people are poking hard and he needs to either go in or get out, swing once with the hammer to slow them down, and pop your 3, dash back, land the projectile, and do it again. Now, you can get out! The way to beat out Achilles is to either have better range than him or to out-aggress him. There’s a philosophy I’ve discovered in Solo Lane, and it may not be true for everyone, but it’s a very psychological thing. Even if I’m playing a god that I’m comfortable on, like Bellona, someone who is strong in the lane, I can be bullied down if I see someone has more experience in the role or on the god. I wind up playing a bit less aggressive, and they’ll see it and start bullying down the lane. Don’t let ‘em see you sweat.
You’re fast, but not fast enough!
Remember, your kit combos well, and you, like a lot of warriors, also have potential lane sustain. Your 2, Radiant Glory gives you damage, CC Reduction, and heals on your abilities, for a baseline 40 mana. That’s pretty great in any mode. It also does not specify “gods”, so you can use it on the wave to gain some HP. I feel like in the early game, you’ll probably want to use his Aggressive stance, to get that extra poke and lane presence in, but as the game goes on, the Defensive stance will be the wiser choice. Personally? I play in the Defensive stance for most of the game, because I can still deal damage no matter what I build because I’m playing Achilles. This is one of the reasons that while he’s fun in the solo lane, I can see him being a surprise pick for the duo. The tendency right now is to build tanky warriors, and many of them never seem to die (Cu Chulainn, Hercules, Odin, Chaac), so even if you have two warriors, you can have a pair of tanks that can still harass, set up kills, and be very intrusive. And the best part? Your build probably won’t be all that different!
I’m still working on “jungle” Achilles, but despite his lack of AOE auto-attack, his kit would probably see him do just fine, especially with Assassin Blessing, Talaria, and Transcendence. Though I’m not a jungler, I can certainly see him having a slow start but an explosive finish. He would probably not be a jungler that you see tons of ganks from, as he lacks the mobility of a Mercury or Camazotz. But he’d show up in lanes when things are low or sticky, and bop ‘em with his ult when they can’t see or react to it. The best time to use his ult, when they hear it, but can’t see it. I can see him doing well with Xbalanque, in the lane or not, thanks to that sudden darkness. One of the main reasons I can see him doing so well is even if you’re building full tank, you can swap to his other form, activate his 2, and now you’re dealing reliable, if not terrifying damage. He’s a threat anywhere he goes.
I could honestly just write “build whatever lol” and be done with this. But where’s the fun in that? Seriously, Achilles can build almost any item he wants. Decide to build tanky? Hang out in the Aggressive Stance. Want burst-damage, assassin, face-masher time Achilles? You probably just want one or two defensive items, and let his Defensive stance do the work. But there are certainly some consistencies in items for the solo lane. Dealing with another warrior in the solo lane? Grab Breastplate of Valor and Stone of Gaia, and laugh as they desperately attempt to break themselves upon your body. And I know Teleport Glyph is fun but I’d also consider, especially with any Warrior that has Sustain, Cursed Ankh. It’s pretty good when it slows down healing, but when you have the gold to upgrade it? Now you’re dropping a damage amplification on anyone in range, and they’re going to be very very sad about it. There are so many amazing build options for Achilles though. Personally, I tend to go with mostly defensive items, and the aggressive items even have defensive options. Masamune is a no-brainer, giving defensive stats, while also offering the Power/Health/Movement Speed that plants crave. So I’m going to give a few builds here, but they can be very flexible, depending on what form and what team comp you’re running/dealing with. As always, please do not consider this an end-all-be-all, as I’m certainly not a pro. You have lots of Relic options, so build whichever you feel like you need. I like Hunter Blessing on him, but I also really like Guardian’s, if I think I’m going to be bullied/I’m playing tank Achilles.
Revenge is mine, Ao Kuang!
Potential Jungle Build:
- Talaria Boots, Transcendence, Jotuun’s Wrath, Hydra’s Lament, Hide of the Urchin, Void Shield.
Annoying Tank Build for Solo:
- Warrior Tabi, Breastplate of Valor, Stone of Gaia, Void Shield, Genji’s Guard, Mystical Mail.
My Annoying Arena Build:
- Warrior Tabi, Breastplate of Valor, Masamune, Shogun’s Kusari, Bulwark of Hope, Jotuun’s Wrath.
It only took six matches to land this. #Hotskills
Achilles is incredibly strong. I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. He’s insanely strong, and he’s either going to get nerfed next patch or left alone and banned out in every game. You can choose to get an early-game damage item (Hydra’s, Masamune, Jotuun’s, etc), and then go tanky once you’ve established lane dominance. He works incredibly well with CC, but doesn’t everyone? His execution/ultimate has such a slow wind-up, but the rest of his kit feels solid, if not a bit much. Some people have said his Auto-Attack needs to be weakened and I could see that argument being made. I’d start with just lowering the insane ramp on his 1, as that’s the core of his damage that I’ve seen. He’s very high-risk, high-reward, especially with his ultimate weakening him the more you do it back-to-back. You can play him pure damage, you can play him pure tank, you can do so many different things. As of right now, there’s really no wrong way to build him that I’ve seen, other than you know, dumb stuff like Mage items.
I’m very curious what changes will happen in the next patch because if he isn’t adjusted, I do feel like a riot will break out. The thing people are missing, when they take to the Internet to whinge, is that he’s designed to be both a warrior and an assassin. He can do either exceptionally. There are plenty of options to tone him down. You could increase the cooldown on his 2, so he heals less. He could get his “Debuff” whether his ult executes or not. I think they should consider lowering his base damage, not his scaling. That still lets him perform late game, while not being an unstoppable monster in the early game. I do think he’s strong, and he will see some kind of adjustments, I think people (as they do in most cases) are overreacting. He’s not playable in ranked yet, anyway. I feel like that’s the point of the first patch of a god, to see what he/she are like in a real, live setting, and adjust from there. Consider it an Open Beta of a god. Achilles is good, needs a little toning/adjusting, and he’ll be the Hero we Deserve, and the Hero we Have.
Achilles is the fantasy verison of Fabio given shape.
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