SMITE Raijin guide: How to keep the beat with the Master of Thunder
Lock your doors, stay away from your windows, and roll up your Thor posters boys and girls - there's a new storm god rolling into SMITE with enough flashes and bass to start his own EDM show. Raijin is a god with a sky high skill cap that will leave some players stuck outside in the rain, but we're here with the guide that will have you drumming up victories in no time.
The Rundown on Raijin
The second member of SMITE's Japanese pantheon, Raijin is bringing the thunder and the hurt as a hard-hitting, tanky Mage. Sporting about average health (beginning with 385hp and gaining 80 per level) and decent armor progression, what's notable is that Raijin also gains magic resistance (MR) per level - something that helped catapult fellow tanky mage Zhong Kui to the Smite World Championship 2016 stage, while more traditional Mages like Zeus or Agni lack entirely.
Equipped with an extra 3.1 armor and 1.25 magic resistance per level to help bolster his relatively mild starting numbers, Raijin's defenses scale more like a guardian's than a true mage's - making him a dangerous threat that's much harder to take down than usual. Combine this extra durability with the abilities we'll cover below, and unlike our drum practice sessions in the basement, Raijin sounds good.
Raijin's drums gather static charges as he fires basic attacks and abilities. When all four drums are charged, his next ability does 30% of his magical power as additional damage.
Raijin's passive is a great way to bolster damage at any stage of the game, and encourages good habits by building fastest when you use both abilities and basic attacks. While he has an indicator right above the skill bar for static charges, the drums he carries also begin to glow from left to right as Static Crescendo builds. Charge your passive with basic attacks, and when the rightmost drum is blue and glowing, fire off an ability to quickly get the extra damage and begin building another four charges.
Raijin pounds his drums sending forth a peal of thunder in a line, then another, then two at once, each growing wider as it travels. The thunder deals magical damage to enemies it hits, and stops on the first enemy god in its path.
This ability grants one Static Charge each time he strikes the drums, for a total of 3 Charges.
Damage: 25/40/55/70/85 (+30% of magical power)
Cost: 80/85/90/95/100 mana
Cooldown: 10 seconds
Percussive Storm is Raijin's first ability, and the primary one to level up. Since the "thunder peals" are only stopped by enemy gods, not minions, Percussive Storm is your best choice for clearing waves. While it's tempting to use Percussive Storm to build charges on your passive, you will usually want to wait until you're fully charged to fire this off - the extra 30% should help you clear enemy minions quickly, allowing you more time to move around the map to objectives or fight enemy gods. While it's a little awkward to use, as the slower speed of the thunder peals force you to lead your shots, Percussive Storm should be leveled before everything except your ultimate.
Raijin marks a target enemy by dismissing his ally Raiju, who hides in the enemy's navel. While asleep, Raiju reveals the target to Raijin's team on the minimap. The next time Raijin damages the target, Raiju awakens and claws his way out, damaging the target and 5 nearby enemies in his attempt to flee.
Dismissing Raiju grants Raijin a single Charge.
Damage: 80/125/170/215/260 (+70% of magical power)
Duration: 4/5.5/7/8.5/10 seconds
Cost: 70/75/80/85/90 mana
Cooldown: 18 seconds
Raiju, Raijin's belly-button devouring little buddy, is an excellent utility ability for keeping track of enemies in messy jungle teamfights - but he's even better at punishing enemies that gets too close to either you or each other. While sending Raiju into a swarm of enemies and triggering him with your Ultimate is a great way to wreak havoc on a clumped enemy team, don't be afraid to call your Mini Me for help in a 1v1 - basic attacks wake him up just as well as any of your abilities, and he's more than happy to help tip the odds in your favor with his best alien chest-burster impersonation. Grab a point in Raiju at level 2 or 3, and level him after your ultimate and Percussive Storm.
Raijin sends a bolt of lightning crashing down at his ground target location damaging and mesmerizing enemies, while Raijin himself ascends into the sky. Shortly thereafter he crashing down at that location, doing a second burst of damage to all enemies in the area.
Raijin gains one charge when he sends the bolt of lightning, and another when he arrives in a crash of thunder.
Lightning Damage: 20/30/40/50/60 (+20% of magical power)
Thunder Damage: 40/60/80/100/120 (+40% of magical power)
Cost: 70/75/80/85/90 mana
Cooldown: 15 seconds
Thunder Crash, Raijin's third ability, is an incredible way for the Master of Thunder to get in and out of fights quickly. We talked about the Blink relic here, and Thunder Crash is everything Blink ever wanted to be - without costing you a relic slot. While this ability is a fantastic way to escape from enemies that are shredding even your tanky hide, or to leap over walls and other obstacles, it's also a great way to engage or secure kills - the "mesmerizing enemies" component stops opponents in their tracks for a second, which is hopefully long enough for you or your allies to finish the job. Pick up a single point in Thunder Crash early (level 4 at the latest) then leave it for last - the damage isn't as relevant as it appears, since you'll be using it (and your natural armor and magical resistance) to keep yourself safe on the battlefield more than anything else. Something to keep in mind is that despite its animation Thunder Crash is still a leap, so be careful of Awilix's ultimate and enemy cripples like Poseidon's Whirlpool if you're planning on Crashing the party anytime soon.
Raijin flies above the battlefield, beating his drum 4 times to summon peals of thunder. With each hit, he has a choice of three beats:
Beat one: 100% damage.
Beat two: Taunt and 50% Damage.
Beat three: Fear and 50% Damage.
Raijin receives one Charge each time he strikes a drum, for a maximum of four Charges.
Damage Per Hit: 120/150/180/210/260
Taunt/Fear Duration Per Hit: .5 seconds
Cost: 90 mana
Cooldown: 90 seconds
Raijin's Taiko Drums is a powerful swiss-army knife that still deals tons of damage. Upon activation, your ability bar will be replaced by three different abilities that send a thunder peal (similar to your Percussive Storm missiles, but larger) each. Your first ability slot is replaced by Beat One, second by Beat Two, and third by Beat Three. The Ultimate only lasts a few seconds, and will end whether you've fired off all your shots or not. Left clicking (or firing basic attacks, for those on controllers) will default to Beat One. Taiko Drums also gives Raijin the telltale golden glow of Crowd Control immunity, making it an effective way to counter enemy CC (like Ares' ultimate) and retaliate. Look to use Beat Ones primarily, while a Beat Two can be effective for keeping enemies clumped in your team's area of effect damage, and Beat Three is fine for spreading enemies out - perfect for counter-engaging, or when your team wants to keep their distance.
Items and Gameplay
While relatively beefy (I mean really, look at those biceps), Raijin is still a mage - and as a mage needs two things: money and space. While money varies from game mode to game mode, look to keep your farm up by using your Static Crescendo / Percussive Storm for clear, and rotating to objectives when you can. The new item changes have left Cooldown Reduction (CDR) a little harder to come by in Season 3, but the combination of Chronos' Pendant and Breastplate of Valor leaves you "capped" at the 40% maximum, while giving you a good bit of Mana Per 5 seconds (mp5), power, and armor.
The capped CDR and mana restoration will allow you to Thunder Crash more often, while the Breastplate will help buy time should anyone manage to catch you off guard. Look to finish Shoes of the Magi and either Breastplate of Valor or Chronos' Pendant early, with Book of Thoth being a fine pick up in between for longer game modes like Conquest. If you find yourself not particularly needing the armor from the Breastplate, Shoes of Focus and Chronos' Pendant leave you at 30% CDR and are a fine two-item alternative.
By the time midgame hits (usually* around 10-15m, though every game is different) you're going to want to start working on keeping your damage high with Magic Penetration - the Shoes of the Magi help here, as does a Spear of the Magus (or if you're just rolling in gold, Spear of Desolation). Next grab a Rod of Tahuti to give yourself a huge raw damage boost. Finally, consider Soul Reaver or the Spear you didn't already build for more damage, Divine Ruin to counter enemy healing from the likes of Hel and Ra (or self-sustainers like Hercules), or Bulwark of Hope to give you a colossal edge in Mage on Mage battles as well as making you a miserable target for most assassins.
As always, every game will want different things from your item slots and there is no "single build," so keep your eyes on what your enemy is doing, and don't be afraid to buy a defensive item or two if you're being targeted. The armor and MR items might not increase your damage, sure - but your damage is 0 when you're dead, and everything's an increase compared to that.
In terms of play, Raijin heavily rewards players with map awareness and discipline. Using your passive as often as possible is key to maximizing your damage, so keep those static charges up and don't forget to weave in basic attacks when you can. Lead your Percussive Storm shots to compensate for the missiles' slower speed, and try to keep Thunder Crash up for when you need it - every Crash in to try for a kill leaves you vulnerable to counterattack for 9-15 seconds depending on your CDR.
With your natural tankiness and mobility, smart positioning can keep you safe while you rack up kills as fast as lightning, but poor use of your mana and abilities can leave you about as scary as a summer drizzle.
Now that you know how to beat your enemies like drums, go forth and conquer! But be sure to stop back and tell us how you braved the storm with Raijin, Master of Thunder.