The end of the world has come and gone, and most of us didn’t really notice any apocalypse, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t create some awesome marketing potential.
Hi-Rez Studios cashed in on the Mayan apocalypse by releasing a new god into the wilderness of its MOBA, Smite. Xbalanque was one of a pair of heroic twins who defeated and slew the powerful Vucub-Caquix, usually translated as ‘Seven Macaw’, and then went on to kill the lords of death themselves to avenge their father, with Xbalanque becoming the moon afterward.
Xbalanque is a ranged physical god, with a passive that reflects such. Whenever he kills an enemy god while his ultimate ability is in active, he permanently gains physical power, up to a cap. The increase from this passive is fairly significant if farmed, so make it a point to hold off on using the ult until you can ensure the kill during its duration early on to build this up.
His first ability is one of Smite’s toggle abilities called Branching Bola, costing mana for every one of his ranged attacks, but causing them to deal additional damage and split into two extra shots after hitting the first target to hit up to two more behind that initial target for about a third of the damage of the original attack.
Poison Darts is his second ability, a series of missiles fired in a cone in front of him that do damage and poison targets hit, with poisoned targets taking extra damage for a few seconds. Gods can be hit by up to three of these darts, but the poison only takes effect once.
Third on Xbalanque’s list is Jaguar Frenzy. He charges forward before leaping into the air, doing damage to nearby enemies. The ability does more damage to enemies he has already poisoned.
With his passive based upon it, Xbalanque’s ultimate is obviously important if he wants to be a valid threat in Smite. Fortunately, its effect does offer him a form of utility entirely unique in the game.
Darkest of Nights reduces the vision range of all enemy gods down to a small radius around them while increasing Xbalanque’s attack range and movement speed. Additionally, any enemy gods who are moving when the duration ends are stunned for a second and a half.
Overall the Mayan hero has definite possibilities. Being able to drop enemy visibility can wreak havoc on teams, especially the type of random teams that can be generated through automatic matchmaking, and the rest of Xbalanque’s kit offers a dash, an attack steroid, and a straight nuke, giving him some flexibility depending on what sort of fight he’s engaged in.
Only time will tell if this god will leave his mark on Smite for good, but as the first Mayan god in the game, he’s definitely got his own style.