SMITE God Review – Pele: Amplifiers and Melted Wires
Pele is another solid choice for a starter god of a pantheon, but I do wish she would have been a Guardian instead of an Assassin. From my testing and play, she’s not the type of assassin you can really build tanky, but I don’t really crunch the numbers in any meaningful way (because numbers are hard). It just doesn’t seem like tank items synergize with her at all, more than having one or two just to add defenses. Pele had a lot riding on her though, not only as the first Polynesian representative. Let’s be honest: Baron Samedi came out of the gate furiously powerful, and probably still is dominating. I want to say right from the outset something that many readers already know: I don’t play many Assassins. However, Pele might be the one for me. She’s not insanely OP (I don’t think, anyway), but she’s very high-risk, high-reward. Much to many of my team’s chagrin, that’s my kind of playstyle. She’s very strong in the mid-game, with a lot of damage potential but isn’t going to free-wheel and just murder a whole team for free all game. She’s an “Average” difficulty Assassin, which suits me fine. If I can play her, just about anyone can.
Pele is the goddess of Fire, Dance, Wind. Goddess of Volcanoes and Violence. Madame Pele is not a deity to be trifled with, and in her mother tongue is known as “Ka wahine ai honua”, or “The woman who devours the land”. Capable of horrific destruction and violence, she is both a destroyer and a creator. Born of Kane Milohai, who wrought the earth, sky, and heavens, and the Earth goddess Haumea, Pele is one of the fourteen children, seven sisters, and seven brothers. It is from the enmity between these siblings that Pele arrived in Hawaii, after her exile at the hands of Kane Milohai for her fiery temper and conflict with her sister Namakaikahai, Pele wrought Hawaii into a paradise. She is a giver of life and a bringer of fire, and she devotes herself tirelessly to those who devote themselves to her. Pele is an interesting, fascinating goddess.
Everlasting Flame (Passive, Buff): When Pele is below 50% health, her flame glows bright, and her Power/Lifesteal/Ability Lifesteal all increase for 6s (Power: 5+2 per level) (Lifesteal: 40%) (Ability Lifesteal: 20%). This passive has a 20s cooldown.
Pyroclast (Projectile, Line, Returns): With a flick of her wrist, Pele lobs a ball of Magma in front of her (60/100/140/180/220 (+60% of your physical power). After a few moments, it solidifies and returns in pieces, the number of pieces based on the rank of the ability (20 (+15% of your physical power). This ability has two charges in her UI. Cooldown: 14 seconds.
Eruption (AOE, Knockup): Pele angrily stomps the ground, and with it comes a wellspring of fire and lava. Those caught in it are knocked up (280/240/200) and take damage (Inner Damage: 85/130/175/220/265 (+80% of your physical power) (Outer Damage: 80/120/160/200/240 (+60% of your physical power). At ranks 3 and 5, the Ring of Fire expands, clearly identifying which areas are which.
Magma Rush (Amplified Damage, Speed Buff): When activated, the flames and land churn and spin around Pele’s feet, amplifying her speed as long as it’s active. This ability can be turned on a second time to increase that number even higher (Activated: 20%, Amplified: 60%). It also deals damage to nearby enemies, and this is increased alongside the Amplification (10/15/20/25/30 (+5% of your physical power) every 0.5s, Amplified: 20/35/50/65/80 (+20% of your physical power) every 0.5s). This ability has no cooldown but consumes fuel, with a baseline of 5 to activate it, and cannot be activated while under 10 fuel.
Volcanic Lightning (Dash, Buff, Damage): After a short delay, Pele dashes forward, smashing into the first enemy god she comes into contact with using lightning (200/280/360/440/520 (+60% of your physical power) and also slows them (20/25/30/35/40%). For the following ten seconds (or three auto-attacks), she deals damage in a cone (00/140/180/220/260 (+40% of your physical power).
Evolution of Power: I like that she grows in power and fury as the game progresses. From her 1 having multiple return shots, the growth of her knockup on the 2, being able to increase her speed and power on the 3. You have a lot of variety in how she grows, depending on what your needs are/where she is. If you want to try her in a lane, you might want the powered up 1 first for wave-clear. If you want to secure your ult a little easier as a jungler, maybe take the powered up 2 first. She has options!
Packs Her Own Lunch: Sure, it’s great to have a support with a knock-up, pull, stun, taunt, et cetera, but once she’s engaged, Pele has her own thanks to the 2. Not to mention, each layer of it has a potential to knock-up. So not only can she make it easier to set up her own ultimate, she can also help her team get kills with it. It’s the only thing she really brings to the team other than damage.
One, One, One: I always feel like the 1 is active and useable. The two charges really make up for how awkward it is to use, and makes me think that she’s better served in the mid lane instead of putting her in the jungle. It’s great and lets her clear waves with the greatest of ease, and her kit lets her box pretty reliably. If her 3 were a different mobility skill, I’m sure she’d be busted. Knowing when to turn on and off the 3 could really see her being a mid-lane powerhouse when dropping her 1 and boxing out mages/hunters.
Selfish Shellfish: I love Pele, but she doesn’t really bring much to her team in my estimation other than raw damage, and a knockup. I understand that that’s the way of assassins, but I like my gods and goddesses to bring something else to the team. Perhaps I’m overthinking it, but she’s possibly greedier than some of the other assassins in that way. I think there’s potential for her to fall off in the late game if she doesn’t get fed, to be honest. She’s got a solid mid-game burst, but is it enough?
Weird Range: Her 1 has a range of 60 units, and then it starts firing back towards her. However, it’s very (very) easy to avoid the initial shot. It’s a big part of her damage, and she’s fascinating in that she’s a part ranged/part melee hybrid, but one of her shots is incredibly easy to evade and walk around. In fact, a lot of her damage seems to be very easy to get around. She has a knock up, sure, but it’s a lot easier when you can pull them in with Athena’s taunt to guarantee damage. The high-risk, high-reward comes not just from her limited mobility but the hard-to-land damage. Her 1 and 2 are pretty easy to get around if you’re aware of what she’s leveling up. See it once, and be advised!
Limited Mobility: Pele has a dash on her ultimate, but using your ultimate just to escape, while smart, really eliminates a huge chunk of her potential DPS. She can move “faster” using her 3, but if you burn out all of her fuel being greedy/trying to go for damage using it, you aren’t going to have enough to get out and will have to hope your opponent does not have an engage. Sure, it doesn’t have a cooldown, but your own hubris could spell disaster.
Pele is honestly just fun to play. She has a lot to keep track of it seems, with the Fuel Meter and the two charges of her 1, but it’s not as hard as it sounds. Since I play a lot of Arena, I was leery of her in that mode at first, because Pele can’t stay in the mix for very long. She’s fragile, and while she packs a punch, if that punch doesn’t kill, she might get killed in response. Getting in with 3, killing and getting out is much safer than running up, knocking them up and then blasting with the one is very satisfying, but kind of risky in such an open field. However, I found myself mistaken when I realized I always had a support nearby to CC/taunt someone in for me to get a kill. Unsurprising, I had a very hard time simply picking Pele, and spent a lot of time watching other people play her to get a feel for how she moved and fought. That isn’t to say I didn’t play her, because I definitely did.
While I think Pele will thrive the most on maps with lanes (Conquest, Clash, Siege), I was certainly wrong about her strength in Arena. She’s still a powerhouse, and possibly more so, since her team will always be close by. Having Athena, Ares, Cerberus or one of the tougher warriors near to stop foes will basically guarantee a kill. I’ve also found that her kit works well with Odin (which shouldn’t be a shock), pinning them against the wall of his cage and blasting them with the “Chidori”. . . I mean Volcanic Lightning ultimate. Pele’s really not hard to play, which I think is great. I don’t think the first god of a pantheon should be rocket science, and a nice entry for assassins is another positive. Some of the assassins to me at least, feel very complex, with lots of basic attacks cancel, tricks, and a pretty high skill ceiling. You can show off incredible skills and tricks with Pele, but even a beginner can play her and feel like they are contributing to the team.
The hardest part for me is effectively using her 3, Magma Rush. It builds up when not in use, and the overcharge for it burns down the fuel incredibly fast. I don’t really use it for the aoe damage per se, more for the mobility. The damage is just a nice bonus. It doesn’t seem as potent in Arena compared to laned modes. It’s a fantastic rotation tool to get to a lane much faster, especially if you’re packing Heavenly Wings, to have even more movement, you can go from farming camps to getting set up for a kill much much faster. Taking that to Arena, everyone can see where you’re coming from, can see the ability is active, and know to be ready for a gank. In Conquest, however, you’re not as likely to see it coming (because nobody wards, let’s be honest with ourselves), and even if they see the unit on the way on the mini-map, that ward coverage only does so much. There are a hundred different scenarios that could occur, and most of them are pretty safe for Pele, since seeing a blip on the map is different, as opposed to literally seeing her running for you in an open field. It’s a great power, but using it wisely ultimately is where I see the gap in skill coming from, not so much landing her abilities. Speaking of her abilities, I don’t have a particular priority for upgrading them, except 1 or 2. 3 isn’t as big of a deal, and always her ultimate when it comes up. But whichever is stronger/more useful to you at the time, focus on that. I try to balance 1 and 2, alternating between them. I want to have as much of their power as I possibly can.
Power, Power, Power. That’s all I want on Pele. Power items. Power with Pen is great, Power with Lifesteal is also wonderful, but I want power on Pele. She has a lot of ability burst, so let’s capitalize on that. One of the most interesting items for me on Pele has to be Hydra’s Lament. +40 Physical Power, 10% CDR, and after using an ability, your next basic attack deals +50% damage? That’s beautiful. I don’t believe it triggers on her 3, but everything else, it’s no question that it’s valuable. Blessings: Warriors or Assassins. In Arena, I think Warrior is fine, but in other maps, you need that sweet, sweet Assassins blessing. There is a pair of stacking items I like for her as well: Transcendence and Soul Eater. Transcendence early is fantastic, because it has Power, Mana, Mp5, and CDR and only gives you more mana. After that, Soul Eater’s Physical Power, Mana, Lifesteal, and CDR makes you far more of a threat. Plus you gain stacks when “anything” dies near you, and when it evolves you gain Physical Power and Physical Abilities heal you for 15% of the damage dealt. This is going to let you stick around when you burst someone down, so you can kill their buddy too. I’m not so sure about the Masks yet, but I can see the Assassin mask going well with her. I’m still learning those, I’m afraid. There are so many items that synergize well with her. Anything with Power + Something else? That’s on the menu. I’m more for Power+Pen and use Soul Eater for my sustain.
Jungle: Assassins, Warrior Tabi, Transcendence, Soul Eater, The Crusher, Hydra’s Lament (or Heartseeker), Deathbringer.
Arena: Warrior’s Blessing, Warrior Tabi, Jotuun’s Wrath, The Crusher, Shifter’s Shield, Bloodforge, Titan’s Bane.
My final thoughts:
I love Pele. She’s an absolute blast to play. She is mobile, active, has sick burst. But who does she work well with? This feels like such a cheap, cop-out answer, but anyone with at least one CC ability will do well with Pele. She can’t really keep someone near her once she’s in, after the knock-up or slow wear off. So some kind of stun/pull is key to keeping them near her. She has no dash, no leap, no teleport, but she can “move faster” briefly. So bring CC and make them all perish to the goddess of violence and volcanoes. How do you deal with her? Pele can’t really get out once she’s in, unless she burns her ult (What? I thought it was funny). She’s also pretty fragile, and tank items don’t help her all that much, so once she’s there, don’t run; turn and fight her. If you have the damage and sustain to outlast her, it won’t be so bad. She’s not an OP, 1v5 god is, in my opinion. I’m sure there’s someone out there who can play her like Kali, move in and murder everyone, but I’m not seeing that. She eliminates a target or two and then backs off, to set up more nonsense. Pele’s one of the most balanced gods I’ve seen in a while, and she sincerely brings something different to the Assassin game. I’m confident that her differences and style will see her get picked in the SPL.
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