How to Build Hunters in Smite (Don't be an Elmer Fudd)
For Starters, What is a Hunter?
Hunter gods are pretty hard to define. Though the role that best suits them is "general damage dealer". Unlike assassins which we looked at in our guide on how to build Assassins in Smite. There, we shone a light on how assassins are meant to jump in on nearby enemies, deal a lot of burst damage to your foes, and escape out of there. While the hunter on the other hand can fulfill a variety of playstyles. It's up to you to decide which one you like. So let's look at some of them.
Some hunters are auto attack based, where they want to go ahead and hit as many foes as they are capable of. While other hunters are an ability based hunter, who prefers to sit back and wait until their combo is off cooldown.
We'll only be taking a look at two builds today. One that focuses on raw damage output, and another that focuses on getting as many crits as inhumanely possible. But primarily, hunters come in two variants.
What are Ranged Hunters in Smite?
Ranged hunters usually come equipped with a bow, and no, I'm not joking on this one. Most of the ranged hunters in Smite come with a bow, the exceptions are those that don't.
Let's take Hou Yi. He's a match for the typical ranged hunter. But not only is he a good example, but he is also generally considered one of the better hunters out there. You can often spot him in tournaments and pro matches as he has some of the highest DPS in Smite.
The reason Hou Yi is so good is because of his perfect blend of abilities (which makes him even tastier than KFC's perfect blend). He has great damage output, high mobility, and an excellent passive that helps increase his survivability by a great margin.
We'll be building him out for raw damage output, so let's see how that looks.
How to Build a Hunter for Raw Damage Output
The doctrine behind this build as the name implies is getting the most possible raw damage. You want to be a relentless stream of damage and violence toward your enemies.
In the early game, grab a Death's Toll and Purifications Beads as well as some potions. You want to be present in your lane for as long as possible and to pressure the enemy constantly, as well as grabbing farm.
That's the job of an ADC in Smite after all. Death's Tool will help you with that initially, and its upgraded variants will be pretty helpful until the mid game. While Purification Beads will help keep you alive in those critical situations. Most hunters benefit from this combo, so it's fair to consider them "hunter items".
From there you want to grab Devourer's Gauntlet and Asi as soon as possible. Start stacking those stacks as soon as you can. These items work effectively together as not only do they both give you lifesteal, but they are also great all-around items. Physical power, attack speed, lifesteal, what's not to love?
From there, the idea is to build as much damage potential as possible. Depending on the god you are playing and the abilities they have, you might want to go for either The Executioner or The Crusher first. If you have spammable abilities, choose the first, if your auto attacks are your primary source of damage, choose the latter. The next items should either be Atlanta's Bow or Hydra's Lament. Again, the difference being if your god has spammable abilities or not.
And finally, defense. You'll need to survive anything the enemy throws at you. If you have an advantage and have been dominating the whole game that nothing can challenge you, go for a Void Shield. As it not only increases your survivability by giving you physical protection, but it negates some of the enemy's.
If you're encountering troubles from CC, go for a Magi's. If you want general survivability, then a Mail of Renewal will serve you well. But if you really want to play a glass cannon, then Toxic Blade gives you some survivability while also putting a cherry on top of your already massive damage output by giving you extra damage and an anti heal.
What are Melee Hunters in Smite?
You can't do everything from range now, can you? Sometimes. Getting close and personal is much better.
Take Heimdall for example. He really likes getting close and bonking people with his axe. His passive helps with that by revealing nearby enemies.
With melee hunters, except for damage, you want to prioritize movement speed and survivability as well. Some of them benefit from a raw damage output build, while others are much better if you build them out to deal tons of critical hits. Like Heimdall for example. His abilities offer decent CC as well as mobility to engage and deal a lot of alpha damage in a short span.
So to that end, we'll be building him up with a focus on crits.
How to Build Your Hunter for Crits
The philosophy for this is simple. Stack as many items that give you a higher crit chance as you can, and supporting items that increase your attack speed and damage.
At the start, grab a Death's Toll as an early item and an Aegis Amulet. You should upgrade them as soon as you can as they will help you out a lot through the course of the early game and mid game.
After that, grab an Asi. It's an all-around great item for hunters, no reason not to have it as you gain so much from it. Plus the lifesteal will save your life in tough situations.
From here, you'll probably want to pick up The Crusher followed by any of the three items next to it. Though personally, I usually go with Deathbringer first as it gives me the most bang for my buck. Followed by Wind Demon, followed by Shadowsteel Shuriken. If you have enough gold for all of them by the end of the game.
Of course, survival is also important. If you're uncontested, go for a Void Shield (the king of offensive items, as we've discussed previously in our guides, as how to build warriors in Smite). If you're suffering from a lot of magical damage, then pick up Oni Hunter's Garb, it will also give you a decent amount of mana regen.
Ancile and Mantle of Discord are both "offensive-defensive items", paired with Heimdall's mobility, they make a dangerous asset. Both create a shockwave around you if certain conditions are met. Depending on your situation and the composition of the enemy team, pick up either/or.