Team Valor: The top 4 Warriors in SMITE Season 3
SMITE happens on the Battleground of the Gods, right? Not the Hogwarts School of the Gods. Not the Huggy Safety Zone of the Gods (and Friendship). The Battleground of the Gods. It's where steel clashes, weapons ring out, and blood is spilled. Where the some of the mightiest soldiers, saints, and swordsmen can test their might against the stuff of legends. As the battle of the Gods rages, one thing is clear - this is War.
And a War needs Warriors.
So if the mystic Mage mumbo jumbo keeps you a little too far from the fight, and you don't exactly have that protective instinct, never fear -- I've done the boring bookwork to get you back in the fight with the top 4 bruisers, beaters, and battlehardened badasses of SMITE Season 3.
So get your trusty sword and board ready, Warriors -- this might get messy.
Fighting for the top slots
Though you're familiar with how we decide which picks claim the victor's spoils and which Warriors were sent home packing if you've checked our lists of top Mages or Guardians, I'll take a moment to fill in those of you a little green behind the ears. While Win Rate or Kill Participation are easy first glances, they fail to account for much when actually assessing a god's performance throughout the season -- Hades, for example, is currently batting a solid 100% win rate in the North American SPL. Of course, Hades has also won an incredible 1/1 games played.
Rather, the metric by which the following picks are judged is mostly the rate of contest: How often they're picked (or banned). Being a contested god says much more about the desirability of any given character than nearly anything else -- cause when most (if not all) of the professional scene operates on the assumption that either you have this pick, or no one does, it's usually for good reason.
Now, this approach has a few of its own flaws -- specifically, certain players are just "known for X", tilting the pick/ban rate a little more in a specific god's favor than it would be in a "normal" game - but overall, contested picks are usually above the power level curve much more often than they are targeted bans. These are some of the best players in the world competing against some of the other best players in the world. While comfort on a pick is certainly something, it's rare that they'll pass up obvious opportunities or advantages, and far more likely they'll simply learn a new god that's above curve if the opportunity presents itself.
With that out of the way, let's go over which picks have been reading up on their Sun Tzu, starting with:
In a list of Warriors, it's hard to do better than the Saint of War himself. Wielding a hefty 62.39% contest rate in the SPL, Guan Yu is the single most picked (69 games) or banned (72 games) Warrior in the professional scene this Season. Once incredibly powerful, then relegated to more of a role-player, Guan Yu is back on the front line with a mighty vengeance (and a respectable win rate of 56.52%).
Where Guan Yu thrives is right on the battle lines between teams - while he can certainly dive back lines with a Cavalry Charge or keep his own glass cannons healthy with Conviction, he is at his best when he's drawing out fights, letting his ability to grind small advantages turn the tide in his team's favor. A Taolu Assault here, a Warrior's Will there, a Conviction to top off your friendly meatshield, and suddenly the enemy team will be fleeing from a war of attrition they're not equipped to handle - straight into being run down by a Cavalry Charge.
While he's not as disruptive as some other picks, Guan Yu is simply one of the most durable, mobile warriors available -- and in a game that revolves heavily around movement and staying alive, it's hard to ask for much more out of your frontliners. This gives the Saint of War top slot in the war report - but not by much, as hot on his horse's heels is:
Bae-lona, the First Lady of SMITE, was the face of much of Season 2. Those who fought with the Roman Goddess of War triumphed, and those who did not were often sent fleeing before her. Or died.
Mostly they died.
Luckily for the patron(ess) saint of sledgehammers, not much seems to have changed in Season 3. Rome may have forgotten her, but the pro scene certainly hasn't, as Bellona has managed to Rally straight into a close second place with a 57.96% contest rate overall, and a colossal 131 total games contested (seeing 41 bans and 90 games played).
While she may not be at the top of the godpile this time around, Bellona is still a hyper-efficient, disruptive pick for any team in the market for a solid initiator. She fights well, moves well, survives well, and has a remarkable amount of utility built into her Shield Bash, Scourge, and Eagle's Rally. Whether she's fending off enemy engagements or starting the party herself faster than you can say Roma Invicta, she's great at it.
The perfect combination of offense and defense, mobility and disruption, Bellona is a "Hall of Fame" level frontliner - maybe not in her prime, but still standing proud at the Number 2 Warrior slot.
Of course, eager to take that Proud queen down a peg is the Humbler of Kings:
Another one of our early picks for best solo laners, The Fifth Avatar of Vishnu has been making big waves for the Warrior class in Season 3 of the pro scene. While he's a little more distant from the top slots than he'd like at a 45.58% contest rate, Vamana's still clocking a sizeable 103 games contested, seeing play in 63 and being banned for 40.
Lil' Mana is a little more pigeonholed into a role than the other two on this list, but is no less powerful. While Guan Yu and Bellona both are flexible on offense or defense, Vamana really only wants to be one place in a teamfight - the enemy's face. A hardcore initiator and disruptor, Sleeping Giant keeps him swinging hard on the squishier members of the opposition, while Clear the Path and Umbrellarang keep them close enough to beat on.
If all else fails, Colossal Fury adds even more oomph to his basic attacks, letting him share the love to all the baddies nearby from smack in the middle of them where he wants to be. Luckily, it also offers him enough Protections and regeneration to make sure he can finish the job.
Hard to escape, and even harder to kill, Vamana's "lock jaw"-esque playstyle and raw power has earned him a death grip on the Number 3 slot, though he's awfully close to getting bombed down to 4th place by:
The King of the Ring (of Spears), the Allfather Odin is quickly climbing the ranks of Season 3 Warriors, managing a 42.48% contest rate. Though he does have our first sub100 set of games contested at 96, only 29 of those were picks.
That's a lot of respect and tactical bans for the warrior king of the Aesir, and a huge chunk of those were before Mr. Wednesday got a substantial buff to his kit. With a fearsome domino-effect passive in Path to Valhalla and several improvements to the Ring of Spears, Odin has the playstyle of a Warrior but the power of a hard carry -- and is ready to ragna-rock the jaw off of anything much squishier than a 6-item Guardian.
As we said above, Season 3 (and SMITE in a more general sense) heavily expects and rewards moving and staying alive. So when the Long-rider Lunges into the enemy team with a Raven Shout, shows them all Gungnir's Might, and keeps them bundled together in a nice big (completely devoid of Healing) bullseye with Ring of Spears -- well, it doesn't take a magic well to see the future of that fight.
Odin's fearsome early game presence is something many teams can (and do) use to snowball games in their favor straight out of the gate, but his real selling point is his strategic counter to any "sustain" picks like Ra, Hel, Aphrodite, Hercules, and (most notably) Guan Yu. The Saint of War's Conviction starts wavering pretty quickly in the Ring, it turns out. As both a powerful pick in his own right as well as a direct counter to the reigning champ, Odin more than earns his spot in this elite four.
While these four Warriors have certainly led the charge so far in Season 3 of SMITE, be sure to keep up your guard - Erlang Shen will soon be available for ranked and professional play, and shows all the signs of being able to brawl with the big boys and Bae once he's here. Only time will tell if his bite's as bad as his bark, but it never hurts to be prepared.
This is War, after all.
So go forth and conquer! With Valor comes victory, and we want to hear all about yours with the Warriors of SMITE Season 3.