A Guide to Playing Healer Compositions in Smite
Tue 10th Jul 2018 - 9:06pm
Healing characters are very popular in Smite right now. Compositions designed around healers are winning games from casual queues all the way to the Smite Pro League. When healing is too strong, Smite enters a healing meta. Right now, bringing healers onto the battlefield is a strong strategy but is not mandatory. Healing compositions can be basic late game waiting rooms or can have intricate win conditions. In this article, we will go over creating healing compositions in Smite and how to play them.
There are 7 major healers in Smite. Ra, Sylvanus, and Terra are standards in any meta and bring all the benefits of healing characters. Guan Yu sometimes sees play and isn’t dependent on a healing meta to be great. Healing comes into scrutiny mostly when tanky solo laners are being replaced in compositions by the dedicated healers of Aphrodite, Chang’e, and Hel. When these Mages are popular, the dynamics of drafting compositions often revolve around healing in general.
Aphrodite was the first character to break into the pro scene this wave of the healing meta. She can absorb pressure and bide her time until the late game, where she can feel unstoppable. Aphrodite’s biggest strength is her ability to keep a single ally alive in a fight. Aphrodite is a ticking timeclock. If she is given the time, she will run the game with her strong healing and damage.
Chang’e is currently the scariest of the healing Mages. She is a lane bully, poking down and pressuring even Warriors in the solo lane while staying in lane with her sustain and Jade Rabbit passive. Chang’e also has a great teamfight. In addition to sustain, she has low cooldown poke, anti-heal to shut down other healers, and a great ultimate for controlling teamfights. Chang’e is a battle healer with a strong laning phase.
Hel is the healing Mage seeing the least amount of play at the pro level. Hel has been having strong performances in the middle lane of the Smite Minor League, where a power build allows her to dish out amazing burst damage. Her short range can make her vulnerable and she requires a lot of hours of practice to be good, so she isn’t seen as often as other healers.
Ra is a burst Mage that also happens to have strong healing. Ra is played regardless of the state of other healing Mages because of his safe early clear and ability to destroy targets with his high-damage abilities. Ra is primarily a mid laner, unlike the other healers here, and builds more like a normal bursty mid Mage than the bruiser style of the Mages in the solo lane.
Healing Mages can be very powerful
Sylvanus is a Guardian that provides healing and protection from his Wisps ability. Sylvanus is often picked for pressure in the duo lane from his AoE basic attacks. Sylvanus tops off his carry in lane and then heals up his team during fights and skirmishes. Sylvanus is a popular pick and has a strong early game to push his team into the mid game. Sylvanus is a strong healer that brings innate tankiness and control to a composition.
Guan Yu was seeing a lot of play but has fallen off since Chang’e has risen in popularity. The matchup in lane is that bad for him. Guan Yu is another battle healer and is incentivized to not let his teammates fall by spamming his Conviction in team fights. Guan Yu is also the only physical healer and can be played to balance out a team’s damage profile.
Terra is the other healing Guardian. The healing from Terra’s Monolith has been nerfed a lot and the ability’s primary use, to root enemies, stops healing allies when activated. Even still, the Monolith can be placed down between fights or during objectives to keep a team healthy. Terra’s ultimate, Earthen Fury, also heals, providing a heal over time effect and burst healing when an ally is taking damage. Terra is an aggressive Guardian, but can sustain her squad in a pinch.
Some healers are very tanky
Other characters, such as Cupid and Hades, provide a little bit of healing, but they are not dedicated healers and are not brought into teams for their healing, but it is a nice side effect. The newest god to Smite, Baron Samedi, also brings a strong heal. His heal only works in combat as it requires him to hit enemy gods and, in return, he heals for a flat value and a percentage of nearby allies’ missing health. Baron Samedi cannot top off allies out of combat like a true healer but can pull off some clutch saves.
The major forms of healing in Smite are in combat healing and out of combat healing. In combat healing feels fairer to face and occurs during fights and skirmishes. In combat healing can be mitigated by anti-heal and burst damage. Some healing spells have been changed over the years to prioritize in combat healing, such as Ra’s Solar Blessing restoring less health but giving his teammates protections instead. Healers are threats in teamfights because they restore the health of their allies, prolonging the engagement in their team’s favor.
Out of combat healing is where the real frustrations of fighting healer compositions set in. Between fights or during objective dances, a team with a healer can group up and regen and be stronger on the reengage than teams that lack healers. Anti-heal debuffs only last so long and watching an enemy you couldn’t quite kill be healed back up without backing can be rage inducing.
Having one healer on a team is nice, but with many teams opting for healers, players are drafting multiple healers onto teams. Compositions with two healers double down on the teamfight and out of combat sustain, but also suffer even harder against anti-heal. Often, a Mage healer will be paired with a healing support. Ra can be played in the mid lane to secure a tank solo laner or non-healing support.
Healing compositions should be built with another win condition besides getting the healer to late game and sustaining through fights. Hypercarries such as Artemis or Mercury are often drafted with healers. When this type of composition reaches the late game, teams have to choose between focusing the healer and letting the hypercarry chew up their team or focusing the hypercarry with a healer for back up and peel. It is a hard decision and teams will often end up doing neither, letting the late game healer comp win the fight. Healing comps don’t want to be snowballed on, so early presence in some roles is encouraged to keep the team alive until the healing is unstoppable. Some healers, such as Chang’e and Sylvanus, can generate their own pressure, but some compositions need a jungler to slow down the game or control the enemy team.
Healing compositions with hypercarry Hunters can be especially devastating.
Healers are really hard to fight in the late game. They can keep their teams healthy in and between fights. Healing compositions are sometimes oriented around becoming deathballs in the late game. They charge into team fights 5v5 and run over their opponents with superior teamfighting and tenacity. As with every team composition, crowd control on key targets allows a team to take out priority targets quickly. Healers tend to have defensive measures beyond just restoring health, such as immunity or stuns, to keep themselves and their teammates alive against the enemy carries and backline penetrators.
Healers are also amazing in sieging situations. When trying to take down enemy structures, it sometimes takes multiple minion waves to bring the objectives to rubble. Healing compositions can group up and heal outside of the tower between waves and attempts. Eventually, this will force a response from the enemy team or they will be weakened and forced to give up the tower or die.
There are a couple items in Smite that boost the effectiveness of healers. Lotus Crown provides 20 physical and magical protections to anyone healed by the user. Rod of Asclepius has a friendly aura that increases healing by 10% that is boosted to 15% while in combat. Both of these items contain magical power, so are not pickable by Guan Yu, but Rod of Asclepius is an aura item, so it can be purchased by a Mage or Guardian to boost the healing coming from their entire team.
Some items increase the effects of healing spells.
Healing compositions can be oppressive but they have weaknesses and counters. The most obvious is anti-heal itemization. Through various item and god effects, healers can be reduced in effectiveness and healing on a target can even be eliminated with a combination of 100% anti-heal. Some gods suppress healing effects with their ultimates. For example, enemies inside of Odin’s Ring of Spears cannot be healed. Ah Puch is a unique counter pick to healers and healing compositions. If a character gets healed while effected by his Fleeting Breath spell, they will be stunned and take extra damage. Pros practicing Ah Puch has lowered the incidence of Aphrodite because she has to heal herself over time to clear the wave, making her especially vulnerable to an Ah Puch counter pick.
Healing compositions can also be countered by strategies. Healers tend to win the late game, so a composition designed to snowball and end the game early can win before the healers really get going. The downside is not winning hard enough and giving the healers a free win once they reach the late game. Healing comps can also fall victim to pick strategies. Instead of brawling in a 5v5, you can hard engage on a single enemy and pick them off before disengaging. The healer can also be suppressed or crowd controlled in a fight. Outright killing the sustain source is best but killing a carry while the healer is distracted or controlled can give a team the edge in a reengage or follow-up fight. Killing an enemy before the healer can come to their aid is key to fighting healing compositions.
Ah Puch is a good character to shut down characters with healing.
Healing compositions are in right now. Healing compositions work well in Smite because out of combat sustain allows teams to push the tempo of a match. Teams with two healing gods can be especially oppressive. Healing teams that don’t get behind often steamroll the late game but they benefit from multilayer compositions that protect their healers by distracting and pulling enemies away from the source of sustain. Itemization can be bought to power up healers or to shut down enemy healing. With the Summer LAN looming, we will see how the top Smite Pro League teams pilot and counter healing compositions.
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