SMITE The Morrigan Build Guide: Getting Anu Start with the Phantom Queen
The dust has settled for Season 3 of SMITE, the World Championship winners have raised Mjolnir in victory (again), and the Battleground has fallen into a lull as gods and players alike take a well-earned rest after months of war.
Unless, of course, The Morrigan has anything to say about it -- and she has a say about everything.
The hand that turns the wheel of Fate, the mother of all wars, and Queen to topple queens, Anu, Macha, and Badb -- collectively The Morrigan -- have come to the Battleground of the Gods with only one intention: to keep the blood flowing.
As powerful as Sovereignty, as fierce as War, and as inexorable as Death, The Morrigan is a magical assassin as merciless and indomitable as Fate itself. While poor play will leave you meeting a violent end at the hands of The Washer, follow us down this river of tips and tricks (and blood). With a little careful positioning and game awareness (as always) soon you'll be telling your enemies to come out and meet their Fate.
Making the Most of The Morrigan
The Morrigan is the first Goddess to raise the Celtic banner in SMITE. But as a fearsome magical assassin, she's very much in line with a familiar face on the ranked and competitive ban list -- Ao Kuang.
The bad news in the comparison is that she lacks an actual Execute finisher, which was a key factor in Ao's success as an assassin. The good news is that against squishy targets she is still perfectly capable of 100% melting them in a single rotation.
With a stun in the middle.
Without using an ultimate at all.
While her tagline says Mage, don't be confused -- The Morrigan is a game-stealingly powerful magical assassin who's primary objective is to press Delete on an enemy backliner before activating her ultimate...which brings us to our last point.
The Morrigan is the single most dedicated Goddess in the game when it comes to rewarding quick thinking and game experience. Period. Her ultimate -- which coincidentally gives her any god's skillset in the match for a few seconds, including their ultimate -- is hands down one of the single most potent skills available in SMITE, as well as one of the most versatile.
The possibilities of The Morrigan are staggering -- for those who are familiar with a wide spread of gods and goddesses on the Battleground. While her kit is powerful enough to somewhat carry newer players, her ultimate absolutely rewards doing your homework, and getting reps in with the other picks in SMITE (in addition to your games with her).
That said, The Morrigan is going to take a lot of practice with the abilities we cover below. But once you get a handle on this Badb to the bone Celtic goddess? You'll be yelling Morr, Morr, Morr.
The 3rd hit of The Morrigan's hit chain will explode, dealing damage to all enemies within range and Dooming all enemies hit. Doomed enemies will take additional damage over time.
- Damage: 9% of the target's maximum health
- Radius: 10
- Duration: 3s
Doomsayer, as far as recent passives go, is actually relatively tame -- though certainly still powerful. Instead of the typical Mage attack chain, The Morrigan adds an area of effect damage burst to each third attack which inflicts a minor DoT.
Magical protections make this deal a fair bit less than the tooltip 9% in practice, but still, a free Qin's Sai proc or so every third attack (in an AoE no less) is a fine bonus. Because remember that magical characters do, in fact, have a left click option.
It also makes a fine way to help make up for her mediocre waveclear in the early game, as aiming a third attack at the back archer line after swiping the wave with her Dark Omen usually cleans them up nicely.
When activated, The Morrigan begins combining the power from all three of her forms. When activated again, they simultaneously damage and stun enemies in front of them.
- Damage: 80/135/190/245/300 (+80% of magical power)
- Stun: 1s
- Cost: 60/65/70/75/80 mana
- Cooldown: 12 seconds
The second punch in The Morrigan's absurdly potent two hit combo, and her second primary level up after Dark Omen (sans her ultimate), Deadly Aspects will summon the other two thirds of The Morrigan's one-body form to float near her, "winding up" in a little less than a second. When activated again (or when your Basic Attack is pressed), the three-as-one stab forward to deal massive damage and stun the target.
It's worth noting the relatively short range of this ability. The Morrigan is limited to just outside of melee range in order to land the poke, though the cone of the ability is rather wide to compensate.
Also, (since you do essentially have to be sitting on the enemy's head in order to get close enough to show the target all those Deadly Aspects) it is possible to activate the first half of the ability while stealthed.
Not so hot on waveclear, but an excellent tool for godclear, Deadly Aspects is one of the shortest ranged magical attacks in the game, and one of the most telltale signs that if you wanted her to be a traditional Mage...well, Fate had other plans.
(Assassination. Mostly its plan is assassination.)
The Morrigan launches a wave of dark magic at her enemies that deals damage, deals bonus damage to minions, and applies an Omen to enemy gods for 8 seconds. Gods with an Omen will take bonus damage the next time they are hit by any damaging ability.
- Initial damage: 40/70/100/130/160 (+40% of magical power)
- God bonus damage: 40/70/100/130/160 (+40% of magical power)
- Minion bonus damage: 20/35/50/65/80 (+20% of magical power)
- Cost: 60/65/70/75/80 mana
- Cooldown: 7 seconds
This is Morrigan's bread and butter ability, her primary wave clear, her first hit on the insta-delete lategame combo, AND her primarily leveled ability after her ultimate.
Dark Omen is a small, fast moving purple fireball -- but it might as well be a gigantic flashing neon sign that blinks "You're going to die soon" over and over above its target.
All totaled, Dark Omen (when successfully triggered) does 320 (+80%), which is a solid entry as far as Mage spells go. Even better is that, at the relatively low cooldown of 7 seconds, it is also up fairly consistently.
While your basic attacks will not trigger the second half of the Omen (no, not even your fancy third one aided by your passive), it also doesn't necessarily need to be your abilities that trigger them -- any of your allies' damaging abilities will work just fine to slam the doom button.
The Morrigan creates a phantom of herself while becoming stealthed and increasing her movement speed. The phantom runs to the targeted area, deals no damage, and will die if it takes any damage. If the Morrigan attacks or takes damage, she will be revealed and lose her increased Movement Speed.
- Duration: 4/5/6/7/8 seconds
- Movement speed: 20/25/30/35/40%
- Cost: 70 mana
- Cooldown: 15 seconds
Some twisted cross between Loki's Decoy and Ao Kuang's Water Illusion, Confusion certainly lives up to its name. While experienced players will certainly spot many of the mobile clones in time -- or notice that The Morrigan is standing awfully still for some reason -- the transition into stealth is actually relatively seamless, and will still catch plenty of players off guard unless they're looking for it.
In the middle of a massive teamfight, you (or rather, your enemies) don't always have the time or focus to look for it.
While it's easy to say that the important part is the stealth (which sets you up for assassination combos), the clone can also be a valuable asset when used profitably. For example:
Wandering through the jungle, you notice an enemy jungler around the corner thanks to a ward you'd placed earlier. Using Confusion before they see you, your clone continues to wander forward towards them, as you stick nearby, but slightly off to the side. The enemy notices the clone and pounces on it, probably leaving them down an entire ability -- and right next to The Morrigan, with all of her Omens and Deadly Aspects. Guess who has Fate on their side...?
The Morrigan selects a God from the current match and becomes a copy of them. She copies all of their current stats and may use all of their abilities for the duration. She retains her own Relics and cannot use Consumables.
The Rank of her abilities will transfer to the skills of the god she copies. This ability's cooldown will be increased to match the target God's ultimate if she uses it while transformed.
- Duration: 10s
- Cost: 100 mana
- Cooldown: 160/140/120/100/80
The most potent ability in The Morrigan's kit -- and probably in all of SMITE so far -- Changeling is a game-breaking ultimate.
(Seriously, it broke the game for a minute there.)
The ability to copy any god in the game, as well as their stats, means that the Morrigan is one of the most versatile picks you could possibly make. Just consider...
The enemy Scylla got away at 5 health? Not when you can also access their Neith's World Weaver, she didn't. Arachne chasing you down with Night Crawler? Well, if it works for her...
Your Ares is getting every ult canceled with Purification, but what if your team had two? And what if one came from out of absolutely nowhere thanks to a stealth mechanic?
Fortunately for some, and unfortunately for others, Changeling means that the best players piloting The Morrigan will also be great at other picks, and at thinking quickly with tons more options than any other traditional god or goddess. It also means that the game has changed - while before you could keep a powerful ultimate out of enemy hands by drafting it early in competitive play, The Morrigan offers the enemy team a chance at the gamechanger themselves...unless, of course, you wanted two of them...
All of that said, Changeling can also be a bit awkward at times until level 20. While the Morrigan copies stats and the full spectrum of abilities of her Changeling targets, her ability levels stay true to her original form -- meaning Skill 2s followed by Skill 1s are going to be leveled the most. So unless you're in it just for the ultimate copy -- which in many cases you are -- try to avoid those gods who rely on their skills which occupy slots you currently have relatively unleveled.
If you don't know who that might be, then that's fair. There's a lot of gods and goddesses in SMITE. But it also means you might not be using the Phantom Queen to her full potential.
The Morrigan Item Build & Strategy
Morrigan's best trait is that she utilizes not only your own team composition, but also the enemy's. Look to pick her not only in games where your team has really game-breaking ultimates you want to double up on -- like Ares, Athena, or Janus -- but in games where the enemy has them as well.
Several gods and goddesses in the game have made a competitive space for themselves because they simply bend the rules, mostly in terms of mobility. Janus is a mid-lane master not because of his laning phase (which is fine), but because he has the unique ability to carry his team anywhere in the blink of an eye. Entire fights, objectives, and games have been won simply because a Janus team was always going to be there, be there first, and be there with more people, and there wasn't a whole lot the enemies could do about it.
Not anymore. Now The Morrigan can match Through Space and Time for Through Space and Time. Now Athena can no longer tilt battles uncontested with Defender of Olympus -- or, if Athena and the Morrigan are allied, they can definitely tilt battles in their favor. That's just a mess of Defending Olympus all over the place, and all over the map.
Other, more combat oriented ultimates like Hercules, Agni, Sylvanus, Artemis, or Serqet -- big damage buttons without much real utility -- aren't such a big draw for The Morrigan, as she already is perfectly capable of dealing insane damage bursts on her own.
In general, the less "get everyone in a big circle teamfight and hit the button" a god or goddesses' kit is, and the more unique or unconventional their ultimate is, the more The Morrigan should be considered.
There's two major decision points in building The Morrigan -- Jungle or Mid lane, and Traditional Mage or Burst Assassin Queen. While the second bit is harder to recognize and going to rely mostly on your ability to access your enemy's backline safely (or the necessity of you doing so), the first question is more straightforward. So we'll start there.
Jungling/Burst Assassin Build
For jungling, start with Bumba's Mask, Shoes, and some health and multipotions. While Talaria Boots has recently come into favor for junglers, The Morrigan just doesn't have the early clear to reliably eschew Bumba's Mask -- and possibly even Wrath (or HoG for older players) -- even if she's being escorted by a roaming support player. Most of your Jungling potential is going to come from successful ganks rather than powerful clear, so we recommend the early sustain help and kill potential found in the Burst Assassin build.
For the Burst Damage (aka Single Rotation Kill aka "look ma, I'm Ao Kuang") build, lead off with your relevant starting item, and work towards finishing Shoes of the Magi and Polynomicon as soon as you can. Polynomicon will help your sustain and slightly up the burst damage of Deadly Aspects, while Shoes of the Magi offer you valuable magic penetration -- which we want much more than simple cooldown reduction. From there, round out your insane burst damage potential with Soul Reaver, as now we're adding Deadly Aspect damage, Dark Omen bonus damage, Polynomicon bonus damage, and Soul Reaver bonus damage to our stealth gank.
If, by now, enemies have started to build magical protections, grab an Obsidian Shard to help keep you making rivers of blood. If not, spin the wheel of Fate a little more often with a Chronos Pendant. From there, follow up with whichever of these two items you didn't get, and round out with Rod of Tahuti.
Here's the burst combo/jungler TL;DR:
Starter item > Shoes of the Magi > Polynomicon > Soul Reaver > Obsidian Shard + Chronos Pendant > Rod of Tahuti.
Laning/Traditional Mage Build
For laning, start with Soul Stone -- or against Mages with good poke like Isis, Vampiric Shroud. Your relic is up to you, though we recommend a defensive relic like Sanctuary or Purification (usually Sanctuary). You'll also want to shoot for the more traditional Mage build, as your ability to sneak undetected into the back lines is much harder when the enemies don't have another powerful Mage to focus their attention on.
If you're stuck in a more traditional Mage role, then pick up Shoes of the Magi first, followed by getting a Book of Thoth online (though if you're under a LOT of pressure, Warlock Sash is a fine substitute when you need survivability more than damage). From there start getting your cooldowns online more often with Chronos Pendant, and keep your spells hitting hard with Obsidian Shard. Grab a Rod of Tahuti next to give you that familiar mage damage, and while the last slot is a bit of a flexible one (Mantle of Discord can be great when you're the primary target and running Warlock Sash, Winged Blade against Poseidons or Chaacs, etc...), Soul Reaver or Spear of Desolation are your go-to finishing Mage damage items.
Here's the traditional mage/laner/I can't get to their back line TL;DR:
Starter item > Shoes of the Magi > Book of Thoth > Chronos Pendant > Obsidian Shard > Rod of Tahuti > Soul Reaver/Spear of Desolation
And a traditional mage but "oh gods they're on me get them off help" TL;DR:
Starter item > Shoes of the Magi > Warlock Sash > Chronos Pendant > Obsidian Shard > Mantle of Discord > Rod of Tahuti
Wait, hold on. Sorry. Wrong Morrigan. My bad.
When selecting Morrigan, first pick out which build you're going to use. Do they have game-crushing backliners that need to be immediately deleted, like Ra, or Scylla? Or is your Morrigan pick more about equalizing enemy ultimates (or doubling up on your own)? Once informed, your role generally follows suit with your items.
As powerful as she is, it's important to stick to the plan. If the enemy is backdooring with Apollo before ulting away to a teamfight on the other side of the map, then save the ultimate to do just that. Trying to imitate Apollo's funtime Chariot ride as The Morrigan gets a lot harder when you burnt your ultimate for a kill thirty seconds ago.
Meanwhile, in terms of what to do between stealing the identities of friend and foe alike, The Morrigan should be attempting to move unseen through the enemy's ranks -- destroying a squishy with her Dark Omen, Deadly Aspect combo (a basic attack is occasionally required), and then running and hiding until she can do it again. She's not a flashy, Gandalf-esque "You Shall Not Pass" scene Mage that stands about and shoots lasers everywhere. She's an invisible wrecking ball, as unexpected and inarguable as Fate.
Put simply...all of The Morrigan's voicelines might as well be just an eighteen wheeler honking, because that's what her targets are about to feel they've been hit by. But once they've fallen before even registering what they were struck by, you need to make like a smooth criminal -- and get out of dodge before the enemy collapses on you. We recommend looking at the other assassins or warriors in the game early, as they typically have the best kits for escaping danger in a hurry.
Sovereignty. War. Death. There's no finer allies to have on the Battleground of the Gods -- so go forth and Conquer! But be sure to stop back and tell us how many rivers of blood you've waded in with The Morrigan, Phantom Queen.