SMITE: How to Play King Arthur with Variety
Sat 13th Apr 2019 - 10:20am
King Arthur has been one of, if not the, best gods in Smite in Season 6. With the Smite Pro League just recently starting, we have had the chance to see him at a professional level and it shows why he is one of the best in the game. We spoke to Dignitas solo laner Harry "Variety" Cumming about King Arthur and what you need to do to utilise him.
With solo having a focus on bullying out your lane opposition to gain the advantage of the Totem of Ku, King Arthur has become the top pick in the lane and a must pick or ban for your team to be successful. Early game, he controls the lane and has good survivability on top of his high damage output. Late game, his damage still has an impact and with teams grouping late, it allows him to easily gain energy for his ult, so expect to hear a lot of “FOR CAMALOT, FOR AVALON!”. With his kit allowing him to use eight abilities consistently, it allows him to output a metric ton of damage, but what are the key things you need to focus on with Arthur to get the most out of him?
Variety says, “The key things to focus on are your cooldowns for you combo, more importantly your 2b into 1a combo for the most guaranteed damage. Also your energy meter so you know when you can all-in.”
Both 1a (Overhead Slash) and 2b (Uppercut) are integral parts of his combo. The abilities provide a lot for Arthur. 1a starts off his combos and it is his main form of wave clear and poke, whereas 2b is his control. Knocking up the enemy allows you to control the lane opposition and late game it can help isolate a target for your team to pounce on. Both abilities provide plenty of damage for Arthur. 1a does 280 at max rank (+60% of your physical power) and an additional 50% when they’re in melee range and 2b does 230 at max rank (+40% of your physical power). These will be the main two abilities you’ll be using, for both control and damage output, both in lane and during teamfights.
These abilities provide plenty of damage and control for Arthur
Variety also mentioned about the energy meter and knowing when you can go all in. At 35 energy you can use Sundering Strike, which is a great ability to stun and set up your team in teamfights but that’s not the fun part of his kit. Excalibur’s Wrath is the combo part of his ult and requires 80 energy to use. With the ability doing 660 (+110% of your physical power) and 22% of max HP as true damage during the full duration it’s a lot of damage to output. This is what you’ll be wanting to charge up as quickly as possible. Making sure you keep an eye on your energy so you know when Excalibur is fully charged, as it is an indicator as to when to go all in and possibly take down a target. Energy charges quicker the more enemies you hit with your abilities, which means more ults. A great example of this comes from Variety in the Pro League.
Early game in the solo lane focuses more on bullying out your opponent and making sure you have control of the lane. From this position, you can look at snowballing the lane and start to use the pressure you have to gain advantages across the map.
Variety mentions that, “Your focus should be poking out the enemy solo laner when you finished your Gladiator's Shield and absorbing pressure from the jungler/putting pressure on the jungler by invading into the enemy jungle.”
Once you have completed Gladiator's Shield, you need to look at putting the pressure on the solo laner and the jungler. Force them to come to your side of the map and keep an eye on you. Alternatively, you can look to invade their jungle between waves to gain farm and also draw the attention of the enemy jungler. If you are taking the enemy jungle consistently, it should bring the jungler to your lane, which will allow you to gain more energy, which means more control and damage. King Arthur is difficult to lock down and kill, so having the jungler over on solo side trying to deal with you allows your jungler to have free reign across the map and can help either mid or duo.
Using the pressure you gain in the lane, you need to look at invading the enemy jungle
Going into the late game, your priorities shift. You’re still looking to poke the enemy and dish out plenty of damage while still looking to be a frontline presence. Mid and late game you need to look at ulting the backline. Getting either the ADC or mid up in the air will stop the enemies damage output in teamfights.
Variety says, “The best way to play King Arthur is to buy Blink at level 12 and initiate onto the mage or ADC with your max charge ult (4b) since even if they Beads the ult, they still take a large chunk of damage (around 50% HP at max rank) giving you a free kill for your team as well as free setup. Once that is done, you just want to use all of your abilities on as many people as possible to charge your energy up as fast as possible in order to 4b ult again.”
Mostly you’ll be looking to isolate the backline and provide setup for your team. Even if they Beads your engage, you’ll still do significant damage and set your team up to follow on from your setup. If your 4b isn’t charged, then all you need to focus on is hitting as many people with your abilities. You’ll still do a lot of damage, but the main aim here is to charge up the ult as quickly as possible. Blink will allow you to completely ignore the frontline and cause chaos for the enemy team as you’ll be taking one of their main forms of damage out of the teamfight.
Making sure you hit as many of the enemy team as possible will charge the ult quicker
King Arthur provides plenty of damage and control in his kit, which allows him to prioritize building tanky but what are the key items you should look to build on him?
Variety advises, “The most important items for Arthur to build are Gladiator's Shield, Void Shield and Genji's Guard. The rest doesn't matter to some extent as long as they make sense with your in-game situation.”
Gladiator's and Void provide plenty of physical protection on top of the physical power that you gain from the items. Gladiator's is important on Arthur, as it allows him to sustain consistently in lane, with six abilities that you can use to sustain. Both abilities provide a combined total of 80 physical protections and 40 physical power for Arthur. This will give him 133 physical protection at level 12. Void Shield also reduces the enemy’s protection by 20 when they’re close to you, which will help you in lane and also help your team out late game when taking down the enemy team. As mid and ADC won’t be getting any physical protection, Void will help you, your ADC and your jungler (unless they are playing Ao Kuang). As you’ll be frontlining, it’ll be easy to apply this effect as all you need to do is get close to the enemy.
Both Gladiator's Shield and Void Shield provide plenty of protection and their passives help Arthur in teamfights
The other item that Variety mentioned was Genji’s Guard. This is a great item for Arthur as it provides so much for him: 70 magical protection, 40 MP5 and 10% cooldown. This will give him 20% CDR. With Gladiator's Shield, it will reduce his 1 and 2 to 11 seconds, allowing you to get more energy quicker. On top of this, the 70 magical protection provided by Genji's will give him 111 magical protection at level 12, which will help him if the mid rotates over to gank him or if Arthur looks to rotate towards mid. The MP5 will help him spam his abilities and help him late game. Arthur shouldn't need to constantly get his blue, which allows him to rotate more often in the mid and late game. The passive effect of Genji's helps him in teamfights, with it reducing your cooldowns by three seconds when you get hit by magical damage. This helps Arthur, as it gives him a chance to get more energy for Excalibur. While this effect only occurs once every 30 seconds, it still allows him to use more abilities on the enemy team to build up energy.
Genji's gives plenty of benefits for Arthur that allow him to use abilities constantly
Arthur can pretty much enter any team comp and thrive, and he is a must pick or ban currently, but who benefits the most from Arthur?
Variety says, “Gods who can dive in with Arthur work well: Janus, most assassins, Rama, Hachiman. You need your team to be able to dive with you, otherwise the enemy team could potentially turn around, all-in you, and win the fight off that.”
Arthur needs gods that can follow up instantly with him. Assassins like Bakasura, Ratatoskr and Kali work really well with Arthur as they can dive into the enemy team with him, having the enemy team split up as they have Arthur and an Assassin on their backline and the rest of the team driving towards them. This can cause a lot of chaos and disruption, which can really benefit the Assassin and Arthur. Janus provides this as well, giving Arthur a lot of initiation options and a way out if things get too heated. Janus can provide a lot of damage as well, which can help Arthur, but his main tools to assist Arthur are his portals, whether it be from his ult or his 1. Rama and Hachiman are great ADCs to pair with Arthur. They can provide damage from range and their ults synergize well with Arthur. Rama’s ult combines well with Arthur’s, as you can hit the snipes upon landing for plenty of damage. Hachiman’s horse provides a great tool to follow up Arthur and close the distance if Hachi is too far away from the fight. His abilities also allow him to provide damage from a safe distance.
Both Janus and Hachi can follow up when Arthur initiates and have tools to help get him out
These are a few of the highlighted gods that work well with Arthur, but the real thing that you need to look at is who counters him?
Variety mentions, “There are no counter matchups for King Arthur, which is what makes him the strongest god in the game.”
Well, urmmmmm, I guess there are none then? The only noticeable counters for Arthur are cripples to an extent and basically surviving the lane. As Variety mentioned, there are no straight up counters, but Artio can provide some counter with her cripple but can't fully lock down Arthur. She can hold her own and help her team isolate him, but he can still escape and, so long as he is not overextended, will still get out. Another notable thing that you’ll have to look at when laning against Arthur is surviving. It isn’t an objective to win the lane, it’s more down to surviving the lane. Camazotz has come out recently in the solo lane as one god that can survive the lane against Arthur. Camazotz's 3 allows him to sustain in lane, he has a cleave that can help him clear, and he is one of the best at surviving in lane against Arthur.
Well now having mentioned that not much counters Arthur, there must be a way to shut him down. Right?
Variety says, “The only way to shut him down in the early game is for your jungler to build Brawler's first item after boots and to camp his lane.”
The jungler will need to go from boots straight into Brawler’s and stay on the solo side of the map. They need to basically all-in Arthur to stop him early. If Arthur doesn’t get shutdown early, he will snowball all game, with the jungler looking to shut him down and stay around that side of the map and constantly look at ganking his lane. As the jungler, you need to link up with your solo laner to get the best chance of killing Arthur and look to constantly set him back. You can’t just kill him once, you need to do it over and over again. You need to keep him behind. On top of this, you need to keep looking at farm. If anything, that side of the map should always be cleared. You will go to the other side for farm, but you can’t drop the pressure.
Brawler's early is essential for a jungler if they want to stop Arthur
Overall King Arthur is a hell of a pickup. If you are thinking of playing solo you need to learn this god. If he makes it through bans, he will be the first pick. He is a must for the team and can control games on his own. He has recently had a nerf, and we asked Variety how much that will affect the King.
Variety says, “I don't think the changes will change anything for Arthur. He will still be the best god in the game by quite some distance.”
The changes don’t really nerf him enough to bring him out of the top pick/ban spot, as he still does a lot of damage and can tank a lot of damage once he has Gladiator's Shield. The nerfs don’t put him down and you will either ban or see him in your games. He will still be able to dictate a game and control easily. With him being so strong in the solo lane and the top pick/ban god, would he work in other roles?
Variety mentions, “I would say solo is the only role that Arthur can be used to his best potential, since he has great 1v1 potential and great pressure in the lane. It is also easier to charge his energy up in the solo lane.”
So you don’t need to worry about seeing him in other roles and if you aren’t a solo main, you won’t really see him in your lane until he’s fed and can rotate freely without being punished. In all seriousness, Arthur is best suited for the solo lane and can dominate from there. If he goes to other roles, he can hold his own but he won’t be as impactful as he can be from the solo role.
If he isn't focused and pressured, early King Arthur will control games easily
King Arthur is a fun god to play but a horrid god to play against. Playing as him is enjoyable beyond just the ability to stomp on the enemy team. Hitting a full combo is still rewarding and with the intricacies of his kit provide him outplay potential during fights. He can get punished if he overextends and gets focused, so there is a moment where you need to hold fire and reposition. You can’t get too carried away with him.
Variety adds, “The thing I enjoy about King Arthur is the amount of outplay potential the god has as well as the amount of combos you can pull off. Also, he has a high skill cap so it's always nice to have a challenge.”
Hopefully this gives you a better idea on how to play King Arthur and also why he is so highly regarded in the game.