Erlang Shen: The Illustrious Sage joins the SMITE roster in patch 3.12. Erlang Shen is a Chinese warrior with an interesting move set that encompasses durability with sustained damage. It also has a dog that attacks his enemies as well which is never a bad thing. In addition to the new God, this update is fairly large and includes new items, new relics, and hero balance changes (including new passives for some gods) as well as the usual load of new skins and achievement.
Let's give a look at Shen's skills:
Passive: Howling Celestial Dog Each time Erlang Shen hits an enemy with a Basic Attack, his dog hits as well for 15% of his Basic Attack power, which trigger items for Basic Attacks at 15% of their normal damage and can Critical Hit.A good mix of damage, utility and movement abilities. His 72 transformations skill is pretty similar to the one of Sun Wukong but with a couple of key differences. Shen's ultimate has the potential to change the course of a game if used correctly and if the team can coordinate to make use of its full potential.
Spot Weakness Erlang Shen opens his third eye and analyzes the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses. When activated, Erlang Shen gains additional Physical Damage (+25/40/55/70/85 + 15% of your Physical Power) on each strike, and ignores Basic Attack movement penalties for the duration for 5 seconds. While on Cooldown, successful Basic Attacks reduce the Cooldown of this ability. Cost : 60/65/70/75/80. Cooldown 14s.
Pin Erlang Shen launches a spear that damages enemies (85/130/175/220/265 + 45% of your Physical Power) on impact. Enemies in the dead center of the effect when it lands are Crippled and Rooted in place for 1.15/1.3/1.45/1.6/1.75 seconds. Cost: 50/55/60/65/70. Cooldown: 12s.
72 Transformations Erlang Shen transforms into an Mink or Turtle and charges forward. Cost: 65/70/75/80/85. Cooldown: 18/17/16/15/14s. Mink: Damages all enemies (90/150/210/270/330 + 85% of your Physical Power), stopping on first god hit and increasing Attack Speed (+15/20/25/30/35%) for 6s. Turtle: Knocks up all enemies in path dealing damage (75/125/175/225/275 +40% of your Physical Power) and gains a health shield (70/110/145/180/215) for 12s.
Ultimate : Nine Turns Blessing Erlang Shen Taunts nearby Enemy gods, gaining Damage Mitigation (10/11.25/12.5/13.75/15%) for the next 4s. Afterwards, if Erlang Shen is still alive he is healed for a flat amount (150/240/330/420/510) plus 20% of his Maximum Health. Cost: 80/85/90/95/100. Cooldown: 85s.
Of course, it wouldn't be a SMITE update without a bunch of new skins. This time, Khepri, Bellona, Fenrir, Skadi and, of course, Erlang Shen get the new look while Thor receives a new card for its Heavy Metal Thor skin.
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Now we get to the balancing changes and, oh boy, isn't it rich. Most of the relics and many items have been changed, two new relics and two new items have been added and two items have been removed from the game entirely while many others received important changes.
Starting from the relics, we have two new entries:
NEW RELIC: Thorns “A variation of one of our favorite old Active Items has returned with a new name to fit the Relic scheme. The ability to reflect damage is especially effective on high HP characters vs. Hunters, Mages, and Assassins.”Thorns is actually a return of an old friend while Phantom is the new interesting addition. This new relic will make many assassins out there really happy. Other relics received substantial changes as well. For example, Wrath will now stun enemy gods for a second, making it more viable for jungler assassin and guardians.
NEW RELIC: Phantom “Players can now become a phantom at any time, passing through players and the obstacles they create. Phantom comes with an additional bonus that removes the movement penalty for basic attacking, allowing Hunters and Assassins to be extremely aggressive.”
- Using this item reflects 40% of all damage you take, before mitigations, for the next 5s back to its owner as Magical Damage. Cooldown – 120s.
- Using this item allows you to pass through players and player made objects for 5s. It also grants a 100% reduction to Basic Attack Movement Penalty for the duration. Cooldown – 140s
Many items have received big or small changes in this update, but the most interesting part is that we have two new items and two other have been removed from the game.
NEW ITEM – Ritual Dagger “Relic augmentation is something we are very excited to try. Ritual Dagger is launching with a set of stats that is useful to a wide array of gods, allowing for many different types of Relic based strategies. “
- 1850 gold
- +200 Health
- +10% Cooldown Reduction
- +20% Attack speed
- +10% Movement Speed
- NEW PASSIVE – Whenever you use a Relic, the duration of that Relic’s effects are increased by 50%
- 2200 gold
- +250 Health
- +30 Physical Protection
- NEW PASSIVE – Aura – Enemy structures within 55 units have their attack speed decreased by 30%. Allied structures within 55 units have their attack speed increased by 30%.
The other big item change in this patch is the fact that Golden Bow and Throwing Dagger have been removed from the game. For Hi-Rez, these items gave too much of a boost to hunters during all phases of the game. Hunters are a class that is supposed to work with their team for survival while the Golden Bow, especially, allowed them to be basically self-sufficient and have better clear potential than many mages or guardians.
Finally, let's give a look to character balance. Many gods have been touched by this update. Some of them, though, got a whole new passive from it. Let's give a look at these ones in particular.
Aphrodite New Passive – Center of Attention Aphrodite gains 4 Physical Protections and 4 Magical Protections for each friendly and enemy god within 70 units of her. Stacks up to nine times.
Guan Yu New Passive – Painless Each time Guan Yu deals -or receives damage he gains a stack. Stacks are gained from minions and gods. At max stacks the next ability used will have a boosted effect. Maximum stacks increased from
Ne Zha New Passive – Righteous Spirit Ne Zha gains stacks from successful Basic Attack and ability hit, and 2x stacks from Critical Hits. Each stack provides him with .5% crit chance. Stacks are lost after being out of combat for 5s.
Patch 3.12 is surely an eventful one for SMITE. One thing is sure: the battleground of the gods will not be the same anymore.