SMITE Season 4 Guide: The Best Picks for Support

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Support has changed in SMITE Season 4. With this season's heavy emphasis on early experience leads and objective control, Buff Camps have skyrocketed in importance -- leading Supports away from the duo lane to where the real fight is...the jungle. 

You may not be duo laning nearly as much as you used to, but don't fret. As long as we're here, you're not alone. We've already given you the Skinny on the best Season 4 picks for mid lane, solo lane, jungler, and ADC. And now we want to show some love to the best of the best in SMITE's most underrated role. 

It's your job to carry your team to victory on those broad guardian shoulders. You're going to be doing a fair bit more roaming around than usual in Season 4, but these top Support picks will give you a solid cornerstone while you're building up victories. 

The Gamechangers: Athena & Khepri

In this dynamic duo of defenders, one of the most iconic supports in SMITE teams up with one of the most powerful. Shield Mom and Bug Dad have been engaging, tanking, and securing at the highest levels for Seasons now, and neither one of them is showing any sign of slowing down. 

These two are all-star Supports that sport plenty of Crowd Control, survivability, and mobility that's helpful for both engaging and peeling. But where they really shine is that both of them are capable of breaking core game rules in ways very few (if any) other Gods or Goddesses can. 

Athena Support

Hard crowd control is insanely powerful in this season, thanks to the too-long cooldown time on Beads of Purification. So it should be no surprise that an effect as powerful as Athena's AoE Taunt can be fight-breaking. Enemies have to be on their guard early, lest the Grey Lady pull them toward her for a few hits, triggering minion aggro and dominating an early trade.

Once you're going mobile as a Support and roaming all over the map, it's hard to find better peel or gank potential in a Guardian than Athena's Preemptive Strike/Confound combo. If her team is paying attention, this combo makes her a potent force in the midgame. 

Where Athena really shines, though, is more or less the same area as her ADC half-brother Apollo - her mobility. Mapwide Ultimates are some of the most powerful effects in the game, since at any time Athena can simply show up anywhere she's needed, and usually brings a boatload of AoE Crowd Control and damage with her. 

Athena may not be as frightening in a 1v1. And she does suffer a bit now that Rallying Ritual allows other Guardians to imitate her mobility. But that 750g is precious money, so why pay for map presence when you can have it for free? Mobility is the name of the game in this new support meta, and the Wise Warrior has it in spades. 

Khepri Support

Literally a big ball of sunshine, Khepri (aka Bug Dad) just wants all of his allied children to be alive, safe, and home in time for supper. And since his kit is filled with Hard Crowd Control, % Damage Mitigation, and the abilitiy to drag enemies into a waiting mob....he can definitely make sure they are. 

And let's not forget that his Ultimate totally prevents a teammate from dying, and respawns them wherever Bug Dad is -- which is usually miles away from the enemy. Barring gods with last-chance mechanics like Kali or Chiron, he's the only god in SMITE who can outright prevent someone's death. 

 

There is some counterplay for this. Experienced enemies will simply hold their final blow until the Ultimate has faded. Even after all that though, they still have to execute these maneuvers correctly, and if they do that...well, Khepri still boasts one of the best Crowd Control and Support kits in the game. So...that's awkward for anyone opposing you.

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One of the most attention-commanding frontliners in the game, Athena is the picture perfect definition of "hard engage". Khepri might not be quite such a steady initiation, but when your job as a Support is to keep your carries fighting, and your Ultimate means your carry doesn't die, it's hard to picture a more perfect couple at the top of the Support power rankings.

What do we say to Death? If you're piloting one of these two Gamechangers, probably something like: "lol nope". 

The Support Elementals: Sylvanus & Geb

While they're inherently more "fair" than their Gamechanger counterparts, Geb and Sylvanus both pack considerably more firepower in trade while boasting relatively similar kits. 

Nothing too fancy, nothing too flashy. No Revive Ultimates or Mapwide dunks. Just good, clean, honest, old-fashioned A+ support kits and the ability to deal absolutely terrifying amounts of burst AoE damage. 

While they're not quite they're not the King or Queen of the class, these two are (at the very minimum) a solid pair of Jacks, and still absolute Support royalty. 

Sylvanus Support

Damage can happen incredibly fast in Season 4. Crowd Control is at a premium. And a single pick in the Jungle can make or break entire games. Enter Sylvanus -- a support with enough healing to keep his allies topped off while the enemy falls to half or below, more Crowd Control than you can shake a Grover at, potent protection shred, and a combo culminating in a powerful AoE strike that can totally erase enemy carries.

Oppressively powerful in both laning and the jungle -- and more than capable of handling a fight on his own -- Sylvanus trades in mobility for durability and damage, as well as the ability to apply Lotus Crown and related items to his nearby friendlies. Which makes him a big ball of support-relevant stats. 

Never to be underestimated, Sylvanus is a potent Support with a great balance of offense and defense. For further information, please consult the works of Tolkien for a recount of the last time a small man sent an intelligent tree to war. 

Geb Support

Khepri may be the shining example of defensive supports in this day and age, but the God of Earth is still a rock solid team defender that's great for saving those stupid idiots carries who've lost track of their positioning twice. (And he's been doing it twice as long as Bug Dad has been on the Battleground.)

On the surface, Geb is the same "big bundle of relevant stats" as Sylvanus. He sports a healthy mixture of defense with Stone Shield's damage absorption, boasts plenty of damage with Cataclysm and Shockwave, and he's got Crowd Control cleansing -- a huge plus on a Battleground with a 2-minute timer on Beads.

His worldshaking moments all come from the potency of his engage, though. With access to Blink Rune (or a clear shot for Roll Out), Geb can wind up in the middle of the enemy crew in a hurry. While normally surrounding yourself with enemies isn't the best idea, following with Cataclysm (dealing 35% of the afflicted enemies' health and stunning them for 2s) leaves the enemy team between a Geb about to activate Shock Wave and his swiftly approaching allies -- in other words, between a rock and a hard place. 

If your team needs a guaranteed rockstar to start the show in teamfights, look no further than the rolling stone himself. 

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A good mixture of offensive and defensive capabilities, Geb and Sylvanus don't bend any rules -- but they certainly excel within them. Quality picks for quality compositions (and some innate synergy with a potent Jungler in Awilix), these two Supports are the living embodiment of the role.

The Secret Carries: Ares & Bacchus

Somewhere between a Wildcard prospect and obvious lanewinners, Ares and Bacchus are on the far right side of the "Defense-Offense" support spectrum. Between Bolster Defenses and the Smash-O-Meter/Chug combo, they're certainly strong enough to support. But unlike the Gamechangers or even the Elementals, the Secret Carries are firm believers in the best defense being a good offense.

After all -- the enemies can't hurt your friends if all those enemies are dead.

While they don't play too well from behind, they play amazingly from ahead, and can spin even the slightest victory into a terrible snowball. Both these gods function essentially as a second magical damage dealer -- except loaded with twice as much health and tons of protections.

Ares Support

It feels a bit weird typing "Ares Support", as oftentimes aggressive Ares with competent teammates feel more like the star of the show than the second fiddle. With an early kill (which can be fairly easy to do at level 5 if the enemy is unprepared) the lane can very easily swap from "Ares supporting Rama" to "Ares running the lane and Rama flipping around".

He can't really escape danger since he lacks mobility, he can't heal, and he doesn't peel well (though the slow and cripple on Shackles can do a passable job). So what does Ares do?

He burns beads and Ultimates at bad times for the enemy like clockwork, has an Ultimate that spells almost assured death if not cleansed, and can murder most Gods by his lonesome in a few seconds.  

With Beads on a 130 seconds cooldown (when upgraded) and No Escape clocked in at 60 seconds when capped on CDR, Ares' old counter Relic just isn't enough to stop the God of War. And that leaves the enemy with two choices -- burn their Crowd Control immune skills on essentially nothing, or die. 

If Ares is alive and kicking after the Ultimate, and hasn't fallen behind on levels, there's a pretty good chance his Mage-level sustained damage output might make them die anyway. There' aren't many supports that can so single-handedly take over a game based on their damage output, but Ares is certainly at the top of that list. 

Bacchus Support

If you establish a gradient scale with Athena and Khepri on one side, Geb and Sylvanus in the middle, and Ares far, far off to the other side...Bacchus falls somewhere between Ares and the middle. 

Chug and Drunk-O-Meter together means the God of Wine is nearly indestructible (at least, he totally thinks he is), and the Belly Flop > Belch of the Gods combo makes him an absolute party animal on the damage and Crowd Control fronts. 

Of course, all of that is just pregaming. Bacchus' ability to carry entire games hinges on Intoxicate -- which is not only one of the most potent Crowd Control effects in the game, but also sends afflicted enemies stumbling around like their 21st. And he even sends them off with straight 200-proof damage right to the gullet, plus bonus Magical Power for the party foul.

Most of the time, Bacchus is just barreling around, taking shots from all over, and generally being "that one guy" from every house party. Out of nowhere, though, he can pop open his Jug and nearly 1-hit KO nearby squishy targets, and leave the rest of a disoriented team running like the cops just showed up. 

This insane burst makes Bacchus a deadly foe who's easily capable of carrying entire games. His opponents are always just one pour decision away from passing out with their shoes on -- and anyone slammed by a fully charged Intoxicate is guaranteed to feel that in the morning. 

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Usually support is a more defensive role. But if you want to take charge of the game from the Supporting role and bring the fight right to the enemy, you'll need one of these two Secret Carries -- though it won't be a secret for long as your kill count rises.

The game may have changed in SMITE Season 4, but the things you need to claim victory as a Support isn't so different -- durability, control, and presence. While the Warrior is off disrupting the enemy as best they can, it's up to you to keep everyone held together and fighting. 

Whether it's the steadfast presence of the Elementals, the mechanical superiority of the Gamechangers, or you throw your whole team on your back as one of the Secret Carries, these six Supports will protect something even more important than your teammates -- your W/L record. 

Now go forth and Conquer! But when your ADC gets lost and wanders back this way, be sure to follow them and tell us your favorite picks to Support your wonderful, competent teammates in SMITE Season 4. 

Published Feb. 27th 2017

Columnist

Writer, analyst, conqueror of games, vanquisher of Hard Modes. Can lift an entire car tire over his head. Capable of cooking even the most difficult of TV dinners. Drinks coffee from bowls. Known frolicker. Is a professional pretend wizard.


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