SMITE Season 4 Item Guide: How to Build Guardians

Tired of bringing a knife to a godfight? Then check out these Guardian item tips for SMITE Season 4 that will leave you as tough as hardened steel.

For every sword there's a shield, every arrow a breastplate, and every axe a sturdy helmet. But to build suitable armor, you must know know the weapons you're protecting against -- and that's the job of any Guardian in SMITEGuessing wrong even once can leave you and your team bloodstained on the Battleground. And if it feels like you're a support wearing paper in the damage-heavy Season 4...that might be because the weapons have changed, but your armor hasn't.

If you've been here before for our God guides -- or our best picks for mid lane, solo, ADC, and jungle -- you know the drill. There's a lot of misinformation about how to stay alive in Season 4, but we're here to shield you from all of it. And give you some solid blueprints on how to craft suitable defenses for your Guardian. 

Shield to shield, shoulder to shoulder -- we'll hold the line together as we get you outfitted with the best items around for Guardians in SMITE

How to Build a Guardian in SMITE

Health, protections, and CDR are the bread-and-butter stats for the default "tank" of the team, but far from all we look at in our Guardian builds. The sticking point for newer players (who are often relegated to support roles in Conquest) is that Guardians are easy to build solidly, but a nightmare to build perfectly.

Since their raw health pools and abilities tend to be so strong -- but not the greatest as leveraging stats like Power -- there are few good ways to proactively and consistently build a Guardian. Much of what you're doing is based around successfully navigating through the enemy team's strategy in order to neutralize it, engage effectively, and keep your team safe. 

Below are some solid builds that will serve you well enough in a number of situations on the Battleground. With a little tweaking to each one, you can adapt to nearly any danger that comes your team's way.

Standard Guardian (Support)

Who Wants It: Standard Guardians filling the support role, with minor adjustments for Solo lane or Jungle play

Gods It's Good For: Most Guardians in most situations

 

Main Items: 

  • Shoes of Focus
  • Sovereignty
  • Heartward Amulet
  • Stone of Binding
  • Breastplate of Valor
  • Genji's Guard

Starter Items:

  • Watcher's Gift (if passively farming in lane)
  • Mark of the Vanguard (if Solo laning or engaging the enemy often)
  • Bumba's Mask (if roaming with the Jungler/Mid laner)

This is a well-rounded build suited to most Guardians in the traditional support role -- with plenty of MP5, basically all the protections you can ask for, maxed out 40% CDR (that's overclocked with the Genji's Guard passive), and up to 3 powerful Auras to boost your team's strength. If you can't quite figure out which items you want when, this is an all-around defensive build meant to keep you alive and well through most enemy strategies. 

If you're looking for a little more damage, don't be afraid to pick up a Soul Reaver or Ethereal Staff over Genji's Guard and Stone of Binding. Your ability to take magical hits does suffer -- but with the added punch, so will the enemy's. 

Offensive Guardian (Damage/Support)

Who Wants It: Offensively inclined Guardians when snowballing the early game and applying pressure is key. 

Gods It's Good for: Bacchus, Cabrakan, Ymir, Sobek

Main Items:

  • Shoes of the Magi
  • Void Stone
  • Ethereal Staff
  • Soul Reaver
  • Mantle of Discord
  • Bulwark of Hope

Starter Items:

  • Sands of Time
  • Soul Stone
  • Watcher's Gift

While low on the CDR and survivability front, this aggression-oriented build leans on the Guardian set's naturally high protections and health to keep them alive early. With Void Stone and Ethereal Staff coming online first, the Guardian's naturally high base damage (but typically mediocre scaling) is supplemented by damage bonuses other than raw Magical Power, and allows an aggressive Guardian to snowball their lane much more easily than a defensively constructed counterpart. 

Since they will fall off should the game go late (which is really what this build is meant to avoid altogether), Mantle of Discord and Bulwark of Hope come in to provide some semblance of survivability as carries on both sides come online. However, if you're steamrolling the enemy or not coming under heavy fire yourself, feel free to slot in a Rod of Tahuti, Book of the Dead, or Gem of Isolation -- and become a full-on Pretend Mage. 

Healer/Support/Tank Mage Build

Who Wants It: Healing Mages who are more at home in the middle of the fight than sniping from the backlines. Solo lane or support role Mages. 

Gods It's Good For: Sylvanus, Terra, Healer Mages in the Support Role (Chang'e)

Main Items: 

  • Shoes of the Magi
  • Shield of Regrowth
  • Breastplate of Valor
  • Lotus Crown
  • Rod of Asclepius
  • Rod of Tahuti

Starter Items: 

  • Sands of Time 
  • Watcher's Gift 

We talked about this in our guide on building Mages in Season 4, but a subset of Guardians can make just as solid use of the Healer build as their Support Mage counterparts. Sporting capped CDR, sky-high MP5, solid additional health, decent Physical protections (with a little Magical Protection thrown in), and a staggering amount of utility, this build has everything you need to keep your team fighting the long fight. 

You won't be doing a ton of offensive work yourself with this build, but you also don't have to. Just keep your team topped off and good to go. The bad guys will run out of health eventually

Situational Items for Guardians

While we can't tell you what to build every game, we can at least leave a few hotkey items a Guardian should keep an eye on as your game progresses, and try to pick up depending on the circumstances of each match. 

Winged Blade: Functional against slows stopping you from engaging correctly, like Poseidon's Whirlpool. This will be a later game pickup in most cases. 

Pestilence: Grab this item early to mid-game against enemy compositions that rely heavily on healers, like Guan Yu or Ra. 

Gem of Isolation: If you're performing more of an engaging/securing role than a defensive one, Gem can help buy your team precious extra seconds to finish the job you start.

Void Stone: Similar in role to Stone of Binding, feel free to pick up Void Stone in that slot if your team's damage is primarily magical -- or if you cannot reliably trigger Binding's passive with a Hard crowd control effect (Banish, DIsarm, Disorient, Fear, Grab, Intoxication, Knockback, Knockup, Madness, Mesmerize, Pull, Silence, Stun, and Taunt).

  • Ares, for example, can only reliably trigger Stone's proc off of his Ultimate, and so may opt for a Void Stone instead. 

While there's more countermeasures than this in SMITE Season 4, these are some of the most common, and should be the foremost in mind when considering enemies. However, as a general rule, every game as a Guardian (really all classes) should involve taking time to recognize exactly what the enemy is up to (as it relates to your role), and if there's an item available that can help mitigate that plan's impact or avoid it altogether.

If poor itemization is one of the leading causes of death for newer players, proper itemization is the calling card of an experienced winner -- especially on Guardians. 

Now go forth and Conquer. 

Published May. 8th 2017

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