Xing Tian's Mountain: How to Conquer SMITE's Odyssey PvE Mode
With the release of Patch 3.17 (and this year's Odyssey) comes an inventive twist on the 3rd person MOBA we've all come to know and love (or know and be involved in a strange love/hate relationship with, depending how much Ranked you play).
It introduces PvE.
Person vs. environment. PC vs. NPC -- and we don't mean you and your friends steamrolling through your garden variety bot game.
That's right, SMITE is taking MOBAs into MMO territory with Xing Tian's Mountain. Groups of five players (at level 13 and with 7500) will form up, and much like MMOs you're going to need a balance of utility and roles if you want to get much farther than the first few "raid bosses" in this survival style level ladder - because what you start with is all you're getting on this climb to the top.
There's no gold for kills, no experience gained. From start to finish, you are level 13 with 7500g worth of whatever you bought in the raid staging segment before Round 1 -- and you only have one minute to complete each round. If your team wipes, or you fail to complete the objective, you're sent back to the bottom of the mountain and are forced to requeue and try again.
While the actual levels are in a randomly selected order, there's at least 15 different levels (each with their own rules) that your band of godly adventurers is going to have to overcome if you want the sweet Xing Tian portrait unlocked at besting level 25, or if you're shooting for the ultimate Hi-Score.
Currently, the farthest any squad has gotten is Round 41, with a team made of Lawbster, Funballer, Qvofred, Trixtank, and Xaliea. If that sounds familiar, it's because it's the SPL team Bipolar Method (though you might know them better as the old roster of Paradigm).
With some hard work and a good grip on the mechanics, though, you (and up to four of your friends) can certainly climb to a higher score - if you can get a hold of this mountain of information, anyway.
Oh, one last thing -- Xing Tian's banned in this mode, as he's otherwise occupied being a floaty, silently judging jerk.
The Stages are Set
He had a fog machine installed in the chair, apparently. Like a jerk.
Now, these occur in a pretty random order -- generally you won't get the same instance back to back, but you will run into each multiple times as you battle it out on Xing Tian's small floating arena. The possible encounters (at least, as far as anyone's been able to find) are:
There's an Amazon sized, permanently CC-immune Artemis with increased health - tucked safely behind a wall of three Ymirs with Magi's Blessings equipped, and drastically reduced cooldowns. Try not to get large clusters of your group locked in the Frost Breath spam, and as a general rule (in this stage and every other one) kill the Artemis first.
A Monster and His Friends
There's our old friend the Bull Demon King smack in the center of the stage, surrounded by two of his friends -- Artemis and Ra. As anyone familiar with MMOs knows, eliminate the smaller threats first. Down at least Artemis, if not both of his friends, before you turn your attention to the Monster himself.
Remember all those times you and your friends slew the Ogres in the Buff Camps? Well Red, Blue, and Yellow are here -- with a twist. Red only takes damage from the Magical half of the God list, Blue takes damage only from the Physical, and Yellow deals a ton to everyone. Try to work through Yellow first, followed by whichever one is weak to the damage you have the most of (usually killing Blue with your Hunter or Hunters) before finishing off the survivor.
RIP the Dream
The most straightforward of all the stages, RIP the Dream is the closest thing to traditional SMITE you'll find on Xing Tian's Mountain. No special rules, no buffs to the enemies -- just an all out 5v5 brawl between your crew and Ymir, Thor, Ra, Hercules, and Artemis. Be careful, though -- they have items of their own, and they definitely don't like your team healing.
For anyone that's ever had an enemy Chronos slip away at next to no health, I'm sorry in advance. There's three of them in this stage -- and Rewind is more of a trigger whenever they hit between 25-30% health. Line up your Crowd Control and burst skills to kill them one at a time before the Rewind completes. This map is going to take a lot of focus and coordination, but is relatively simple once you have those.
Alternatively, get an Ares and a bunch of AoE damage.
If you're anything like me, Nox has been a nightmare ever since her buffs (and the nerf of Purification with the introduction of the Relic system). She lands the root channel, and it feels like you're just sitting around for ages to die.
Well, in this mode, that's exactly what happens -- a superpowered Nox grips one of your team with Shadow Lock and won't let go unless you make her. Try to space out your Crowd Control to reset her targetting, though interrupting her Line of Sight (with a Ymir wall, for example) will also do the trick.
Tower of Power
There's you, an incredibly powerful tower that locks on at the start of the fight -- and an army of Fire Minions you'll have to slay before the Tower itself becomes vulnerable to damage. Do this just like we practiced in Conquest, except without any minions of our own to soak the damage.
This one is a bit of a sticking point for a lot of team compositions. There's a gigantic Geb standing across from you, and as he Rolls Out towards the team, it's looking like a pretty straightforward "tank and spank" fight. Then you kill him, no sweat -- and like some hellish, spherical Russian nesting doll, two more (smaller) Gebs with a thirst for the open Roll pop out. Kill them, and they'll each spawn two more Mini-Gebs, and each of those also undergo Micah-tosis upon death. Luckily, that's as far down as they go.
This is one of the stages that requires a real plan rather than just a powerful team comp. Poseidon and Cupid are both very good here, as their ability to turn off fast movement skills (like Roll Out) in a wide area keeps the later segments of the stage from Rolling all over (well, under since they knock anyone hit into the air) your team.
Strong Area of Effect compositions can get by on spreading the damage as wide as they can -- but you run the risk of being juggled to death by the tiny terrors.
Okay, there's one Loki. How bad can this b- OH GODS THERE'S EXPLODING DECOYS EVERYWHERE. WHERE DID HE GO? WHERE DID HE G- *hrk*
Welcome to Behind You, a mode where a Raid Boss level Loki will go through a specific attack pattern --
- Summons Decoys near everyone, waits a second, then does it again -- and again a second after that. Try to stay spread out during this phase -- don't accidentally cluster, otherwise you'll be quickly taken down by multiple Decoy explosions.
- Stealths after taking some damage/playtime and begins running/chasing his target. Sometimes this will happen as Decoys are still up.
- Assassinates whoever his target is, and begins attacking again. Take this time to turn on him and deal as much damage as you can before the next cycle.
Unlike normal Lokis, any damage over time ticking away will not be doing very much -- it seems Xing Tian's guardians are in their full godly forms, and the Trickster is totally immune to damage while invisible.
Thankfully, this one is a little more fair than the game against the Son of Giants. It's five of you versus three Bacchuses (Bacchusi? Bacchi?). The catch is, you're all hammered from the start of the round. While it's possible to avoid further Intoxicates if you're spread out enough, the timer on the debuff tends to be nearly the length of the round -- so you might want to just practice fighting with your beer goggles on, instead.0
Use the same plan as any multiple enemy engagement -- focus one down at a time, or use an Ares and powerful AoE to smash them.
The Bashful Lion
So a few things will be immediately apparent when you start this round:
- There's a GIANT lion monster
- There are four obelisks shooting laser beams into it.
- It has what looks like Thorns, except golden.
More like a fight in World of Warcraft than something you'd expect in SMITE, you're going to need two "teams" in this fight.
- Team 1: Someone that can grab the Lion's attention, and keep ahead of it while running in circles. It's big, and it's fast -- but it's also vulnerable to Crowd Control. Fafnir tends to keep ahead of Lion McLionFace pretty well, as does Ah Muzen Cab or anyone with a natural speed boost or multiple ways to create distance.
- Team 2: Literally everyone else needs to down the towers. They're pretty sturdy, so I suggest focusing one down at a time rather than splitting DPS.
Also, the Lion does have a supercharged version of Thorns on it -- as long as an obelisk remains standing. Traditionally called a "DPS Check / Gear Check", The Bashful Lion is a gauge of how much sustained damage your team can dish out -- and a great way to punish Guardian-heavy compositions trying to simply tank their way up the Mountain.
Feel the Thunder
There's a big super-powerful Zeus, and two smaller Young Zeustroops on either side that are only as powerful as Zeus normally is. So, y'know, incredibly powerful and able to easily Chain Lightning squishier team members to death.
Try to pick off one of the smaller Zeuses first to open some moving room, then turn your attention to the Big Boss in the center. Be careful, though - as his health diminishes he'll change out his basic attacks for a Lightning Storm, and the run is in for a rainy day if multiple allies get caught outside in that.
Just the Two of Us
Hi-Rez's take on one of the most beloved Dark Souls bossfights, Just the Two of Us has Ra and Vamana take over for Ornstein and Smough. They're not much harder than you'd expect either one to be in a normal game -- with the exception that once one is dead, the other will continuously Ultimate until they're slain.
I recommend cutting the Fifth Avatar down to size, as even Ra's super-homing Ultimate (that can and will turn to hit a target even after he's started firing) is far easier to deal with than an eternally regenerating Big Vamana.
Ornstein's armor was cooler, anyway.
Furious Fire Giant
The floor is most definitely lava in this encounter, and we have the Furious Fire Giant to thank for it. It's the same pseudo-boss fight from Conquest that we can do in our sleep, except: he attacks much faster, rifts much more, and spawns lava pools under each allies' location every few seconds instead of "once or twice a fight".
Stay spread out and don't stack the lava pools (or stand in them too long) and this hot-headed Boss will go down in flames without too much trouble.
It would have been a normal 1v5 with your squad pitted against Arachne in her gigantic true goddess form -- if it weren't for the dozens of Webs standing between you. Work your way through the webbing (though she'll grab one of you and drag you to her with her old hook skill), deal as much damage as you can, and preferably set some of the mini-nopes on fire as you do so.
When she reaches about 30% max HP, she'll take to the infinite web above with Night Crawler and skitter on over to the other side of the arena - respawning the mess of Webs in the middle as she does so. Once you crawl through the Festival of Nopes once more, though, she's out of tricks -- all that's left is to crush her like a bug.
With the lay of the land (well, the map of the mountain) in hand, you have all the climbing gear you'll need to be King or Queen of the mountain in no time. So gather your party, and venture forth -- to Conquer!
Best Gods For Climbing Xing Tian's Mountain
If you're getting a little stuck on the rocky terrain, here's a comp that got me past the Round 25 Mark, and helped me claim my PvE Mode Avatar:
Alternatively, you can use the "throw that ass in a circle" AOE comp:
- Odin/Poseidon (Flex Spot)
When you make it to the top, be sure to climb back down and tell us how you reached the summit of SMITE's wildly successful PvE mode -- Xing Tian's Mountain.