SMITE Season 3 relic guide: Actively conquering the new relic system
We know what you're thinking: change is scary. Here we are, right at the start of a whole new season of SMITE, and our beloved (or behated) actives are gone, replaced by the relics. The bad news is: there's a lot to know about the new system.
The good news is: while it's dangerous to go alone, you can take this guide with you.
One of the most important aspects of the new system to get across is that relics are level based, as opposed to the purchased Actives before them. With one free relic at level 1 and another at level 12, relics are far more predictable than their old counterparts - if the Bellona squaring off against you in the solo lane picked up Purification as her first relic, she's not going to be Teleporting back to lane any time soon. The flip side of the coin is that over the course of a game everyone has about 1800 more gold to work with. That's a sizeable chunk of change at any stage of the game, and more people are going to have more items (and more power spikes) earlier than before.
Luckily, most of the relics do things similar to their older iterations, at rates somewhere between their old tier 2 and tier 3 levels. There's still a more powerful core of relics that players will want to pick up at least one of in most cases, as well as a few situational choices both old and new that are worth taking a look at down below.
The Big 5
The best of the bunch, these five relics have the power to make or break entire games for the players that wield them. Get comfortable with using the "Big 5" of SMITE's relic system, and allies will be following your lead in no time:
Purification: Using this relic removes Crowd Control effects and makes you immune to new ones for 2s. 160 second cooldown.
The most common relic, Purification helps squishier targets like mages and hunters escape the crowd control that so easily spells death, allows assassins to close in on their victims while resisting defensive crowd control, and lets tanks and bruisers wade through the enemy team without being peeled off target. Purification's CC immunity also allows you to evade some gods' ultimates almost entirely (looking at you, Ares and Fenrir), making this one of the more powerful effects in the game - and thanks to the new relic system, it's free! If you're ever unsure of what relic to spend a slot on, Purification is always good to have on hand.
Sprint: Using this relic increases your speed (and your allies') within 55 feet by 40% for 6 seconds. It also makes you immune to slows for the duration. 120 second cooldown.
Whether it's chasing down enemies low on health, or escaping from enemies when it's you that's getting low, Sprint is a highly useful combination of mobility and specific CC immunity perfect for assassins, hunters, and mages. While your basic attacks will still reduce your movement speed, other slows won't, making it much easier to get where you need to go. Keep in mind that the speed increase will also apply to nearby friendly gods, making this a great active both for early game plays in and out of dangerous situations, and late game rushes to objectives.
Curse: Using this relic reduces all enemy gods' ground speed by 40% in a 55 foot radius around you for 5 seconds. Their healing is also reduced by 65% for the duration. 150 second cooldown.
The relic update of Weakening Curse, one of the more prominent actives in SMITE play before the new season, Curse is powerful both proactively and reactively. On someone like a support (the primary role to pick this particular relic) with damage dealers backing them up, Curse is a strong tool to secure kills or ganks by limiting the enemy's ability to escape and recover from the damage you're throwing their way. While it's most often picked up as a counter to dedicated healers on the enemy team like Hel, it's also potent when your team has heavy sustained area of effect damage like Zhong Kui.
Sanctuary: Using this relic makes you invulnerable to damage for 2 seconds, but prevents you from attacking or taking actions. You may still move. 160 second cooldown.
Sanctuary is a fantastic choice for anyone that needs a little more help surviving in SMITE, though it's most common on mages or other "high priority" targets that are coming under heavy fire. This updated Aegis still allows movement, giving you a couple seconds to breathe while you move yourself out of harm's way.
Teleport: Using this relic allows you to teleport to any allied tower or ward, without damage interruption, while being unable to move. You are still interrupted by hard crowd control. 180 second cooldown.
While not as prevalent as some of the others in the Big 5, Teleport is a huge advantage to players in the solo lane, allowing you to return to base, heal, upgrade your gear, and get back to lane far faster than gods without it. With the new system locking players into a single choice until level 12, taking Teleport when your opponent has taken Beads early in the solo lane leaves you at a pretty big disadvantage when it comes to fights, but a huge favorite on keeping ahead on farm. As the game moves beyond laning phase, start looking to Teleport where you're needed to defend objectives, and try to make any fights as unfair as possible.
The Conditional Picks
Not all relics are created equal, and more often than not you'll be using the main relics we went over above. However in certain situations the more conditional relics can still shine, and it's important to become familiar with them. While not as common as the Big 5, the remaining picks of SMITE's relic system all have their uses - and knowing every tool you have at your disposal is a huge step towards playing like the pros.
Blink: Using this relic will allow you to teleport short distances instantly. You must have not taken damage for 5 seconds before it can be used. 120 second cooldown.
While the Greater Blink active that came before wasn't exactly uncommon as a tool for some gods to get in there and engage the enemy, Greater Blink this isn't - clocking in at nearly double the cooldown of its predecessor. It's still fantastic when you absolutely must get to a high priority target or really want a gap closer (Tyr...), but with all the drawbacks of what came before it and none of the good bits, this relic's already limited scope just got even more limited. Look for this relic mostly when you're on tankier gods that start fights for your team with strong ultimates, like Ares or Geb.
Meditation: Using this relic restores to the owner and their teammates within 35 feet 15% of the owner's health and 35% of the owner's maximum mana. 120 second cooldown.
While it's an all-star in the Assault game mode, your more typical Conquest games are left a little wanting by this particular relic. Rather than pick this up for sustain (since you can usually handle that with items), you'll most often want Meditation to counter gods with "execution" ultimates like Thanatos or Ao Kuang. Since their ability to skip damage completely and just kill a target relies on their prey being at or below a certain percentage of HP, a sudden heal on yourself or a nearby teammate can keep you out of range of the execution, and potentially even "waste" an ultimate they've already started.
Sunder: Upon activation fires a bolt that deals 40 true damage + 14 damage per god level and reduces the target's protections by 25% for 4 seconds. 120 second cooldown.
One of the new offerings of the relic system, Sunder is a bit odd all around - there's a wind up before it actually fires, and the shot itself is pretty easily blocked or avoided due to how thin it is. What it lacks in ease of use, though, it makes up for in power. 25% protection reduction is huge, coming up just a little shy of fully applied Executioner or Spear of the Magus debuffs. The window to exploit the now much squishier target is fairly open at 4 seconds, making this a fine choice for assassins who want some extra hurt behind their hits.
Scout: Upon activation you may place a single Sentry Ward. The cooldown of this relic resets upon returning to your fountain. 140 second cooldown.
Ask many different SMITE professionals what wins games, you're liable to get many different answers - but vision is going to be pretty high on most of their lists, and so is gold. While the cost is high at a relic slot, the potential gold savings over the course of a long game are staggering, and the easier early control over what both you and your enemies can see can be game winning. The other four positions probably can't spare the relic slot, but supports looking to advance their items a little faster while keeping their team and objectives safe could do a lot worse than Scout.
Frenzy: Using this relic removes the Disarm debuff from all allies in a 70 foot radius and gives them a +20% physical and magical damage buff for 10 seconds. 120 second cooldown.
The brawler's best friend, Frenzy is perfect for a tank with a team that wants to be in the thick of things. When your fights are more bloodbaths than brief skirmishes, Frenzy can easily turn the tide of battle in your team's favor with a colossal damage increase. What keeps this from being an even bigger contender for your relic slot is that a lot of the time fights are skirmishes, leaving with you a rather potent relic but no particularly obvious time to use it.
Shell: Using this relic gives the owner and their allies +45 physical and magical protections for 5 seconds. All damage taken is reduced by 15%. 140 second cooldown.
The fluffy huggy feel-good inversion of Frenzy, Shell has a bit more use than its bloodthirsty brother, allowing your team to more effectively survive heavy area of effect damage, like Hou Yi's suns or Agni firebombs while they follow you to victory. If the enemy team tends to deal chunks of damage in large areas rather than singling out specific targets, consider grabbing this relic.
Wrath: Using this relic does 480 damage, in a 15 unit radius, to a single enemy minion or jungle monster. Target is always the one with the highest maximum health. This item deals 1000 damage to jungle bosses. Subsequent effects from your team on the same target will deal 50% damage. 60 second cooldown.
How the mighty have fallen. Once a "must-have" for competitive SMITE matches, Wrath (or HoG, as it was formerly known) has been chipped away at enough that it's now only a roleplayer, helping junglers with poor early clear or doing its best to secure or steal objectives. While its ability to take Fire Giant or Gold Fury from teams that let their guard down is drastically reduced compared to its glory days, Wrath is still certainly fine at taking early jungle buffs from the enemy. Keep an eye out if the enemy solo laner or jungler happen to be particularly good at fighting early, and are packing this relic - they're probably planning on spending a lot of time on your half of the map.
With the new relics under your belt, you'll be the shining light of your team in no time! Go forth and conquer, then come back and tell us about your own tips and tricks with the relics of Smite.