SMITE God Review – Baron Samedi – Life of the (After)Party
Disclaimer: This was written before the Samedi nerfs were announced. As we have not played with them yet, we cannot say one way or another if they’re what he needed/if he needs more.
Was there really a choice between any of the other loa than Baron Samedi? As soon as I heard “Voodoo”, his was the very first name that came to mind, thanks in part to Vampire: the Masquerade and their Samedi bloodline. It was through them that I found interest in the various Voodoo entities/spirits. Baron Samedi is truly the life of the party, and brings a wealth of unique features to Smite, from his look to his kit. Known for obscenity, debauchery and the party life, Baron Samedi can also bring life to those he thinks are worthy, curing them of any illness or disease. On the flip side, the Baron can deliver a hex/curse that will bring someone to the edge of death. What’s fascinating about this is how cruel it is, despite being an upbeat, party guy. If Samedi does not dig their grave, that cursed person will not die, and instead will merely suffer. He’s easily one of the most fascinating characters to come to life in Smite, and what he demands for his aid depends largely on how he feels at the time. Baron Samedi is the god of Life and Death, and whether he’s in the mid-lane or duo lane, he is guaranteed to spice up your life. Death is never the end.
Baron is classified as a “Hard” Mage to play; I can mostly see it. His 1 (Vivid Gaze) can take some getting used to, and he has virtually no mobility. His ultimate does not count as mobility, because it’s incredibly slow moving. He has incredible damage (which I’m counting on being nerfed in the very next patch), but his kit also requires a fair amount of thinking. The Hysteria portion of his passive means that once a certain threshold has been met on an enemy god, each of his abilities has a new trait, and you have to figure which is the most important to use in that particular setting. However, while his damage is absolutely bonkers, and it’s satisfying to make Ra turn into a tasty rotisserie dinner, given the utility in his kit, I’m seeing a lot of potential for him as a support. I tried pure tank Samedi, but it did not get far, but our team comp was…weird. It was not conducive to testing a new build. I see the potential for setting up kills with his ult and punishing people for running back to their team with his 3.
Hysteria (Passive, Unique): Baron shares “Baron’s Brew” with his team, and it’s purchasable from the Shop, which functions similar to a Chalice of Multi Healing (140 health/100 mana over 20 seconds per use – 3 charges). Enemies that are hit by the Baron also gain Hysteria (2 stacks per Basic Attack, Abilities have unique amounts. Cap is 70). Baron’s abilities afflict bonus effects when the target has over 30 Hysteria. Targets at Max Hysteria take 25% additional damage from Baron Samedi.
1st Ability: Vivid Gaze (Damage, Line): Baron Samedi animates a pair of skulls that briefly charge before firing beams of voodoo magic that damage enemies (.90/140/190/240/290 [(+60% of your magical power)] The beams will crossover wherever Baron Samedi was aiming. Enemies hit by both take 15% damage on the second hit. Hysteria Bonus: Targets Physical Power, Magical Power, and Attack Speed are reduced (30%). Cooldown: 9 seconds Hysteria Per Hit: 10
2nd Ability: Consign Spirits (Ground, Damage, Heal): Restless spirits are buried in the ground where Samedi directs. After a delay the ground erupts, dealing damage to enemies standing in the area (70/125/180/235/290 [(+70% of your magical power)]. If an enemy god is hit, friendly spirits fly from the area and heal nearby allies near the explosion/near Baron Samedi (Flat Heal: 40/65/90/115/140 [(+10% of your magical power)] Missing Health Heal: 15%). Hysteria Bonus: Friendly spirits cleanse slows, makes nearby allies immune to slows and increases their movement speed (20/25/30/35/40%). Cooldown: 15/14/13/12/11 seconds. Hysteria Per Hit: 20
3rd Ability: Wrap It Up (Line, Damage, CC): Baron Samedi throws his snake forward, and it wraps up any god it hits, and deals damage every .5s for 4s, slowing them until they are rooted (10/18/26/34/42 [(+5% of your magical power)]. Hysteria Bonus: The snake lashes out at nearby enemy gods who are too close after 1s. Enemies hit by this are poisoned and slowed until they are rooted, receiving the full damage over time immediately instead. Cooldown: 12 Seconds Hysteria Per Tick: 5 (40 cap).
4th Ability: Life of the Party (Ultimate, Cone, CC, Damage): Baron Samedi pulls the souls of the living towards his Coffin, and becomes CC immune for the duration (as well as 50% reduced damage). Enemy gods within range are pulled towards the Coffin and take damage every .33s (Tick Damage: 17/24/31/38/45 [(+6% of your magical power), On Hit:140/210/280/350/420 [(+50% of your magical power)]. If an enemy god gets too close to the coffin, their soul is ripped out, causing them to be stunned, take a large amount of damage based on their total health and gain Max Hysteria. This persists for 3-5s or until an enemy god hits the coffin. Hysteria Bonus: Pull strength of the ability is increased. Cooldown: 70/75/80/85/90 Seconds
The Final Deletion: You mark my words, Baron Samedi will be nerfed in a big way. He deletes people with almost no effort once he hit level 5. That damage is just unreal, and he has ways to improve his damage outside of the big-time damage/pen items. So even if he’s in the support role, he’s an unstoppable dunking machine. I love Baron Samedi, but it’s absolute lunacy the amount of damage he can pump out. But while it’s here, it’s crazy strong lane presence, and while it’s here, you may as well get the most out of it.
Flexibility is Key: Baron Samedi can go where he pleases. Seriously, he can support, he can heal, he can probably solo lane if he wants. He has the ability to sort of heal in the duo lane with his 2, not to mention it’s very hard to get in on him if you’re a melee support. He’s mean, has an incredible presence anywhere he goes, and before he gets a nerf, I’d kind of like to see jungle Samedi. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the plan of the God of Death.
He’s Unique: Isn’t that the strangest positive? I’ve said that way too much in this review, “Unique”, but damned if he’s not. Beyond his ridiculous, wonderful animations (like that jump?), beyond his amazing aesthetic/look. His kit is something new, that we definitely haven’t seen before. The numbers we’ve seen, the damage that heals we’ve seen, but his 1 is definitely something wonderful, as is the rest of his kit. His synergy with the whole of his kit and the Mage items is pretty fantastic, and while Hysteria might be a bit strong, it’s a cool new way to build abilities/effects on a character. His ult has a lot of style, and I’m so glad he came out this way, not another annoying, stupid edgelord. It’s very true to his style, and I’m looking forward to this wacky voodoo god coming to life in skins and in lore events perhaps. Oh, and he comes with a brand new item in the shops that only his team can use, Baron’s Brew.
Don’t Get Used To It: Seriously, he’s going to get nerfed. He can pretty much combo down everyone. From Hercules to Hou Yi, if they’re caught in his snare, they’re done for. And it’s not like his target is safe with their team, thanks to the Hysteria-powered 3. I love his Hysteria gimmick/passive, but that could be where the nerf lies. It’s not that hard to build Hysteria, and once he’s got it capped, the damage is just obscene. I’m not 100% what else he’ll get tuned down, but it’s coming. I guess it’s because he’s not mobile, which I’ll get to next, explains why he has so much damage, but it’s pretty insane. You have to build Hysteria to get him going, but that’s not hard.
Ra-Syndrome: He’s one of the most immobile gods going in the mage scene. If you just stand around and do nothing but cast, and miss? You’re dead, and back at spawn before you know it. He can be tanky, but he’s not Ymir. Ymir has the luxury of being strong, high-damaging, and tanky. Not mobile, but he has a wall. He can stop people from coming in, or at the very least, make them a little leery. But once they’re in, if you don’t have your ultimate, or your 3 to at least put the fear in them, well… bye bye, Baron.
Baron Samedi’s pretty easy to get to know, if I’m being frank. The key to his power is in Hysteria, which comes from his passive. The auto attacks aren’t as big on the Hysteria Building, it’s all in landing your abilities. His Vivid Gaze, in particular, is pretty hard to get used to. Wherever the mouse is pointed, that will reflect how the skulls are aimed. This isn’t one I’d personally want to smart/auto-cast, because I don’t have faith in my knowledge of how that will work out. He has a few really snazzy combos, whether it’s to heal his friends or make his foes disappear in a puff of smoke. I did not notice any real mana issues and combine that with a little CDR, and he’s a downright menace in the midlane. He also gets to start with a Chalice of Hybrid Healing, so he gets HP and Mana back with three charges. One of the things I really enjoy is that I can pretty much build whatever nonsense I care to. I started building mostly tank items, then the pen/damage pieces, because despite the 50% damage reduction during his ult, it puts him in “serious danger”™ and you don’t want that. So let’s talk a few combos:
Damage Time: 3 (Wrap It Up) -> 2 (Consign Spirits) -> 1 (Vivid Gaze): Treat this like a fighting game, and use the 3 as a hit-confirm. Once you’ve landed that, you pretty much can’t miss the rest of the combo. That will completely fill up your Hysteria Meter and lower their defenses and damage, so if for some reason they did not die, your jungler can show up and beat them down, or simply push them out of lane and farm, farm, farm away.
Support Combo: 3 (Wrap It Up) -> (Consign Spirits): I mean, does it get easier? Land the 3, then follow up with the 2 for the AOE heal for you and your allies. I don’t really build the Healing Items on him, but I absolutely would if I were going support. If for some reason that maxes out their Hysteria, you also make it easier to chase down your target, because you already basically deleted them with just those two buttons. Easy Peasy.
Dead Man’s Party: 4 (Life of the Party) -> 3 (Wrap It Up) -> 1 (Vivid Gaze) 2 (Consign Spirits): So you land the ult, which to me already feels weird, and now they dance into your coffin and are stunned. Now they also have Max Hysteria, so they take way more damage. Snake them before they get away, drop the 2 right on the edge of their movement, and as they desperately scramble away, snipe them.
Another thing I found to be interesting (that I’m not entirely sure will be patched out) is that Baron Samedi’s ultimate can be used through walls. I was in an Arena match and watched someone on my team (Axel I believe) who threw down the ultimate from behind Arena Base Wall, and the enemy, who got snared in the cone just walked into the wall, unable to be stunned, but unable to get away. It was hilarious, amazing, and so that makes me wonder where else I can abuse it. Ymir wall? Jungle walls if they aren’t too thick? There’s a lot of possibilities here. Ideally, though, I want to pair Baron Samedi with a little CC. Really weird, wacky picks to go along with the party nature of Baron Samedi. Let’s see some Jungle Hades! Solo Lane Ymir! Support Odin! Let’s see all the nonsense! The more crowd control, the more likely they are to suffer the ill-effects of too much drink (Hysteria). Bring the CC, and then bring the party. It’s a lot like “Bring the Noise, Bring the Funk”, but the funk is not in any way phoned in.
But how do you handle fighting Baron Samedi? Don’t give him any room to breathe. Know his range, know his aoe, bait anything out you can, or feign incompetence, let him zap you once, or see if he’s going to waste his abilities on the wave. It’s great wave clear, but that means he doesn’t have it for you to prevent bullying. Ward often, get people to show up and harass for you, and like I said, never let him breathe. He can’t run wild on you if you don’t let up even for a minute. His ultimate has a really strange hitbox, and it doesn’t seem to be hard to predict when he’s going to do it. He has no initiate leaps/dashes/jumps, so unless he takes Blink, it’s going to be noticeable when he wants to pop off.
This is a pretty simple section, honestly. Mage’s Blessing is an absolute must on Baron Samedi. Personally, I like Blue/Purple items on Baron. That means big damage items. Spear of Desolation, Spear of the Magus, Warlock’s Staff, Soul Reaver, stuff like that. I’m not big on stacking items, because I’m bad and don’t like to risk them. So I’d probably replace them with something like Void Stone, Mantle of Discord, stuff like that to make up for my insecurities/weaknesses in my game. Does the other team have a lot of healing? Snatch up Divine Ruin! The beauty of Smite is the ability to build whatever the situation demands, and I harp on that a lot. But there’s absolutely no need stick to just one or two builds and never stray. That’s how someone plays who doesn’t like winning. But there are some pretty common items/consistencies to look for. Spear of the Magus/Desolation is incredible, so are Soul Reaver and Chrono’s Pendant. CDR is pretty valuable for a god that has such a hard to manage an array of abilities to just slam those buttons as often as possible. As far as starter items, I want: Mage’s Blessing, Spellbook/Lost Artifact, then Baron’s Brew/Multi Potion. Here are a few ideas for builds, but of course, it’s up to you what you need. I’m not your dad.
- Spear of Desolation, Book of Focus, Soul Reaver, Book of Thoth, Spear of the Magus, Rod of Asclepius
- Divine Ruin, Shoes of the Magi, Warlock’s Staff, Chronos’s Pendant, Spear of the Magus, Rod of Tahuiti
- Void Stone, Boots of Focus, Mantle of Discord, Gem of Isolation, Pythagoream’s Piece, Divine Ruin
When it’s all said and done, I love Baron Samedi. Even with an impending nerf, I plan on continuing to play and learn him and figure out exactly how he’ll work in the duo lane, no matter how upset it will no doubt make my team. He’s a force to be reckoned with and has personality I haven’t seen on a god in a very long time. You can’t go wrong with him, and he fits a variety of comps, squads, and strategies. I was admittedly a bit worried he’d be an annoying, obnoxious edgelord (despite knowing what I do about the dev team and the god himself), but if he’s any indicator, the Voodoo pantheon’s going to be riddled with interesting, exciting loa. Nothing about him is boring, but I do hope that since he came out overtuned (and I can’t imagine anyone arguing that), that he doesn’t get nerfed too hard. The amount of Hysteria he builds is fine but the results of that bonus should be looked over. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and Baron Samedi bowled me over.
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