SMITE Jing Wei build guide: Staying wei ahead with the Oathkeeper
Like a blackbird singing in the dead of night, SMITE's Jing Wei has more than made her presence known as she's spread her wings and flown straight into the battleground of the gods. While measuring up in Season 3 is no easy feat, "impossible tasks" like that are just another day at the beach for Jing Wei -- and you too, if you listen to what our little birds have to tell you.
This Jing Wei build guide is going to go over the best tactics for playing Jing Wei, as well as some recommended item builds for The Oathkeeper.
The Wei she works
A mobility-based Hunter addition to SMITE's Chinese pantheon, Jing Wei is a just a hop, skip, and a jump away from being one of the most difficult to pin down goddesses on file. While her damage isn't anything to write home about, and relies mostly on the 3-round burst of Explosive Bolts, her ability to get in and out in fights makes her a threat to nearly every angle of an enemy team.
While other hunters like Skadi or Hou Yi are damage first, disruption and mobility second, Jing Wei is radically changing the Hunter game -- smart positioning and good use of her Persistent Gust/Agility combo will leave her one of the hardest kills to secure in SMITE, which makes her one of the safest Hunter picks available.
Her "skill-ceiling" is incredibly high, but so is the floor - it's going to take a lot of persistence with Jing Wei and practice with the abilities we cover below to make the most of the Oathkeeper. If you put in the effort, though, Jing Wei shows a lot of promise for a hard-carry -- and she's a goddess of her word.
When exiting the fountain, Jing Wei prepares for takeoff and then ascends into the sky, allowing her to fly over obstacles at an increased speed with Crowd Control immunity. Jing Wei can decline to fly by using the cancel key on her way out of the fountain.
Duration: 5 seconds.
At first, Jing Wei's relatively unassuming, non-combat passive doesn't seem to do much -- but it's a quiet powerhouse. In Conquest, Rapid Reincarnation allows you to cover the entire distance to Mid Tower 1 in its 5 seconds, or a good chunk of either sidelane. This means less time away from enemy minions, and all of their tasty, tasty gold and exp -- and less time away from fights at major objectives.
In smaller maps, like Arena or Joust, Jing Wei can fly to about (or in Arena's case over) the halfway point of the map. This gives the Oathkeeper an express lane to major objectives, teamfights, and fleeing enemies right from the fountain -- meaning she's topped off and good for a fight, while the enemy may not be.
Jing Wei creates a gust of wind that damages enemies and knocks up enemy gods when summoned. The gust persists for 6s and continues to knock up and deal additional damage to enemies every 1s.
If Jing Wei walks onto the area she is knocked into the air and gains a 25% attack speed buff for 5s.
Initial Damage: 90/140/190/240/290 (+90% of physical power)
Damage per tick: 10/20/30/40/50 (+5% of physical power)
Cost: 70/75/80/85/90 mana
Cooldown: 14 seconds
Jing Wei's form of CC, Persistent Gust, is a potent tool in both "boxing match" 1v1s and teamfights. The attack speed buff is certainly powerful, giving her a potent "steroid" for increasing her damage, but the Gust is also a fairly persistent disruption tactic for dense fights in the Jungle or clustered teamfights. The knock up only lasts a second or so, but that's more than enough time for a coordinated team (or focused Jing Wei) to down most nonTanky targets -- especially with friendly gods or goddesses that like knock ups, such as Awilix.
It does take around a second for the wind to pick up, though, so aim accordingly. Proper use of Gust is the difference between flying high or crashing as Jing Wei -- so keep an eye out for opportunities to make the most of it when you can. Be careful, though, as you're also vulnerable in the air unless your Agility is off cooldown.
Jing Wei loads her crossbow with explosive bolts that augment her next 3 Basic Attacks. These attacks are wider, have increased critical chance, and deal area of effect damage.
Additional Critical Chance: 5/10/15/20/25%
Cost: 70 mana
Cooldown: 16 seconds
Jing Wei's primary damage boost (and primarily leveled skill), Explosive Bolts, is a fantastic way to clear enemy minion waves and spike some damage onto opposing gods and goddesses. While it's only three shots at a time (and on a relatively long cooldown), with the focus on Critical Chance that this ability gives Jing Wei, three shots is often all you'll need.
Most worth noting (other than how fast it will tear through enemies) is that this lessens Jing Wei's reliance on Rage for her Critical Strikes, allowing her to up her damage over angrier Hunters by building the harder hitting Malice instead.
Jing Wei dashes straight forward. She may use this ability while knocked into the air for a longer range dash and a 5s immunity to basic attack movement penalties.
Cost: 75 mana
Cooldown: 20/18/16/14/12 seconds
Keeping out of harm's way before diving in to secure a kill is one of the greatest strengths of Jing Wei, and Agility (as well as the combo it enables) is a large reason why. While it's just a normal dash on the ground, Persistent Gust gives Jing Wei the knockup she needs to increase its 35 range to 55 and trigger its "Fatalis" aspect, or the temporary removal of movement penalties for basic attacks.
While this is your primary way onto a high priority target and will most often come after flying high on a Persistent Gust, any knock-up will do -- an enemy Sylvanus ultimate or Sobek throw works just fine to get the "bonus" from Agility.
Jing Wei channels briefly before taking to the sky. She then flies forward and upward while covering the area below her in explosions that damage all enemies in the area. After her attack she hovers for up to 2s before landing at a ground target location.
Damage: 200/280/360/420/500 (+100% of physical power)
Cost: 100/110/120/130/140 mana
Cooldown: 90 seconds
We've covered the hop and the skip - and here's one powerful jump to round Jing Wei's insanely mobile kit out. After a wind-up channel roughly the same length as Thor or Thanatos' ultimates, Jing Wei rockets off into the wild blue yonder -- and drops a whole lot of "blue yonder" below her in the form of explosive energy bombs before she lands daintily nearby.
As an offensive tool, Air Strike is a little awkward to use in anything but very fenced in teamfights like Jungle combat - the wind up is pretty long and the path predictable, making a bombing run fairly easy to avoid by any enemy paying attention.
Where it shines, though, is as an escape tool - Jing Wei does receive that telltale golden glow of CC immunity right before takeoff, and nothing covers a retreat better than "bombing literally everything behind you straight into oblivion forever". So should any clever opponent actually manage to catch you between Persistent Gusts and Agility dashes, Air Strike is a perfect last-ditch effort to make it to safety.
Of course, on the offchance there is an incredibly clustered teamfight...well. "Nuke it from orbit" is always a solid plan.
Items and Gameplay
While every Hunter in SMITE generally wants to stay alive (your damage is zero when you're dead, after all), Jing Wei specifically is built to deliver bursts of damage before retreating into the world's most painful game of "keep away". Keep yourself safe at all times, and try to bring your cooldowns up whenever you don't need to use them to stay alive - the combo of Persistent Gust's attack speed buff, Explosive Bolts crit buff, and the "Fatalis" effect of an aerial Agility will leave those crossbow bolts hitting a lot harder than twigs and stones. Be careful, however, as heavier armored foes will shrug Jing Wei off a little more easily than some other Hunters.
The name of the game here is patience and persistence - both in learning the goddess herself, and being content to take plinks and potshots where you can while always keeping a step ahead of (and above) the bad guys.
While most Hunters in the game are currently fixated on the "Qin's Sais" build, Jing Wei specifically encourages a more Crit-oriented approach reminiscent of Season 2. Explosive Bolts is a fine way to avoid picking up Rage, allowing her to maximize her AoE critical effects with the more potent Malice and Deathbringer.
Starting Throwing Dagger will help keep your wave-clear sky high, while Warrior's Tabi and Asi will make sure every shot counts (and give you a little bit of sustain). Qin's Sais or Executioner next will make sure your damage between "combos" is at least tolerable, while Deathbringer and Malice will leave your enemies drowning in a sea of extra Critical damage. If you've built the Sais, then Titan's Bane (and finishing Golden Bow) is a great way to give your attacks some extra punch, while the Executioner build wants more flat armor penetration like Jotunn's Wrath or Brawler's Beatstick. You should sell Throwing Dagger to get your final items.
Here's the TL;DR:
Qin's Sais: Throwing Dagger > Warrior's Tabi > Asi > Qin's Sais > Deathbringer > Malice > Titan's Bane > Golden Bow
Executioner Build: Throwing Dagger > Warrior's Tabi > Asi > Executioner > Deathbringer > Malice > Jotunn's Wrath/Brawler's Beatstick
In either case, just remember that she's not really a brawler. Jing Wei isn't likely to win very many fair shootouts against some of the more powerful Hunters in SMITE Season 3 - but with proper play and a lot of patience, very few fights will actually be fair.
With this new goddess under your wing, go forth and conquer! Then come back and tell us how you made it one victory at a time with Jing Wei, the Oathkeeper.