TOP 5 SMITE BEST HUNTERS (2020 EDITION)

Top 5 Best Hunters in SMITE
In SMITE Hunters rain damage from distance and are a force to be reckoned with

Ever wanted to turn your enemies into pin cushions, at a safe distance that is?

    In SMITE the Hunter class is composed of gods who excel at ranged damage, and whose damage (typically) comes from their auto-attacks and thus most often fill the role of ADC (attack damage carry). Like Mages they have very low health and are therefore one of the more vulnerable classes in the game but, if given proper protection or allowed to get fed with kills, experience, and items they can snowball into some of the most dramatic hyper carries in the game. No class in the game makes better utilization of crit or lifesteal items than Hunters and if built correctly they can melt through even the most defense-heavy tank the opposing team can field. 

    Hunters can be hugely impactful in Conquest matches due to their ability to swing into hyper carries and saw through objectives and enemy towers like so much balsa wood. An unchecked Hunter can split push your tower defenses or melt through your squad one at a time in a team fight. Due to much of their  potency being built around their auto attacks and SMITE’s unique third-person skill shot design Hunters require a more nuanced and skilled hand to play successfully as there is a direct correlation between a Hunter’s success and your ability to land auto attacks. This applies to all Hunters, even those that can be built with a focus on their abilities. However; once you have tightened up your aim, choosing the proper Hunter can allow you to absolutely dominate the opposing team. Below is a list of the top performing Hunters in the game, if you take the time to master one or all of them you are guaranteed to see your win percentage steadily increase.

 

5. CHERNOBOG: THE DEVIL YOU KNOW

SMITE - God Reveal - Chernobog, Lord of Darkness

God stats & abilities

    Chernobog, despite looking like the mascot of a cracked out heavy metal band, is one of the safer, solid choices for ADC in SMITE. He is one of the most well-rounded Hunters available and has the flexibility to be built in the three main styles of ADC’s in SMITE: ability based, crit based, lifesteal based. His global ultimate also solidifies his relevance at all stages of the game after level 5.

    Why Chernobog is a great hunter:

   - He has excellent AoE damage. The majority of hunters are classically designed as single-target specialists, able to burn down one enemy after another before anyone can stop them but Chernobog has several abilities that inherently spread this damage. His passive, Heart of Cold, applies stacks to any enemy he tags with an auto-attack and once it hits three stacks the crystals of his auto attacks explode dealing not only additional damage to the primary target but hitting any targets nearby. His 1, Crystallized Curses, is a large diameter AoE that explodes for heavy damage and will root any enemies in range. Lastly his 2, Vicious Barrage, is a piercing shot that allows him to hit multiple enemies in a line. When it comes to a teamfight Chernobog spreads damage better than most ADCs in the game even while only targeting a single god.

   - He’s very safe. His 3, Into Darkness, is one of the more unique dashes in the game. He becomes shadow and can dash into a wall where he will remain untouchable until the ability terminates or until he dashes a second time. Aside from providing brief immunity this is a very unpredictable ability to track as it's not simply a straight line dash. He can also use the channeling of his ult to temporarily be damage immune as well.

   - He has a global presence. His ult, Living Nightmare, allows him to take to the skies and choose any enemy on the field to fly to. This not only affords an escape from a sticky situation but allows him to chase kills and pull off cross-map ganks. It is also useful when split pushing towers or objectives.

 

4. RAMA: THE UNDISPUTED KING OF AUTO-ATTACKS

​SMITE - God Reveal - Rama, Seventh Avatar of Vishnu

God stats & abilities

    Rama is like unsalted, unbuttered mashed potatoes: plain, boring, but they’ll get the job done. He is perhaps the purest Hunter in regards to the core mechanic of dealing out punishing damage through auto-attacks. Although his kit is one of the simplest in terms of how it works he has a very high skill ceiling due to the fact that his potency is entirely dependent on how great your aim is. This makes him frustrating for those still nailing down the specifics of auto-attack aiming and timing and a powerhouse for those who are snipers with auto-attacks.

    Why Rama is a great Hunter:

   - He is an unparalleled boxer and could beat any hunter in the game in a pure auto-attack face off. Boxing refers to when two characters are trading auto-attacks back and forth as it relies on juking and strafing to avoid attacks while also requiring precision aim and prediction to land blows on your enemy. Rama’s 1, Astral Strike, imbues his auto-attacks with the ability to pierce, deal additional damage, and slow. This is ideal during boxing as it prevents an enemy from shielding behind lane minions, makes them slower targets to hit, and of course deals additional damage. Combined with his 2, Infinite Arrows, it is deadly. Rama’s 2 is a pure attack speed stim, when popped Rama’s attack speed increases by up to 50% for 5 full seconds. This also frees him to by additional more deadly items while his opponent may need to continue building attack speed.

   - He is slippery. His dash was one of the more unique abilities in the game introduced. Sitting as his 3, Rolling Assault, this dash allows him to quickly bound in whatever direction Rama is moving which allows him to close a gap, dodge and attack, or exit a fight in a quick and decisive manner. His ult, Astral Barrage, allows him to jump into the sky for up to 5 full seconds allowing him to evade incoming damage and let his teammates regroup on top of the fact that it allows for three punishing skill shots (if you can land them).

 

3. IZANAMI: ZOMBIE BOOMERANGS FTW

​SMITE - God Reveal - Izanami, Matron of the Dead

God stats & abilities

    Izanami, aside from looking as though she stumbled right off the set of the Grudge, is one of the slipperiest gods in the game and a nightmare to try and avoid. Due to her unique auto-attack mechanic she will likely always be relevant in the meta as an ADC and the rest of her kit pushes her into a top spot for Hunters. If you want to dominate the duo lane she is one of the best possible selections to make.

    Why Izanami is a great Hunter:

   - Her auto-attack mechanic is difficult to evade. Unlike every other god in SMITE, Izanami's auto-attacks shoot out and return to her like deadly boomerangs. They pass through any targets in their way making body blocking impossible when facing her and allowing her to shred all the minions in a wave at the same time. This allows her to outpush most other Hunters and nullifies a tank’s ability to body block incoming damage to their weaker teammates or structures.

   - She’s even slipperier than Rama. Her 3, Fade Away, is one of the better movement abilities in the game. Although it has a long activation time (relative to movement abilities) it allows her to jump to a target location and become stealthed. This allows her to have some of the safer escapes in the game and set up for some of the most devastating ganks as it pairs well with her burst damage.

   - Her burst damage comes with strings. Her 2, Spectral Projection, is a wide, long, skill shot that deals significant damage and slows her target. This slow becomes heavier and heavier for each enemy she kills in the match while slowed. Her ult, Dark Portal, is a large diameter circle that deals heavy damage and silences an enemies hit, leaving them extremely vulnerable to further damage. Both of these abilities become even easier to hit when approaching enemies while stealthed. This allows her to have some of the most devastating and confirmable damage in the game.

 

2. HOU YI: BEWARE THE MARK OF THE GOLDEN CROW

​SMITE - God Reveal - Hou Yi, Defender of the Earth

God stats & abilities

    Hou Yi, as stated in the Arena power rankings, is one of the top gods in all of SMITE, in particular due to his significant presence in team fights. He deals very heavy burst damage, is a very safe duo laner, and has ample crowd control. In the hands of a skilled ADC player he can sway the tide of nearly every team fight and snowball during the laning phase.

    Why Hou Yi is a great Hunter:

   - He has one of the best escapes in the game. His 3, Dive Bomb, allows him to quickly leap into the air, assess a situation, and dive to a target location. He can use this to dodge incoming damage, flee over walls, or chase kills. When coupled with his 2, Mark of the Golden Crow, he can knockback enemies in the landing zone.

   - He has devastating burst damage. His 1, Ricochet, and primary damage dealing ability is a straight line ability that can rapidly clear a minion wave and deal significant god damage but it can also be shot to rebound off walls or other geometry gaining additional damage for each ricochet. This ability is lethal in the tight confines of parts of the Conquest jungle as it can pass through enemy gods allowing them to be struck multiple times. A perfectly aimed (and lucky) shot could feasibly do almost 1200 damage + 127% of your physical power on an unlucky enemy. When coupled with his 2, Mark of the Golden Crow, it will stun an enemy hit. His ult, Sunbreaker, is as awesome as its name suggests and is perhaps one of the most damaging team fight ults in the game. Hou Yi can select a huge target area and bombard it with suns that deal upwards of 1000+ base damage to any enemies in the range long enough. Enemies marked with his 2, Mark of the Golden Crow, are slowed and thus end up typically taking additional hits.

 

1. HEIMDALLR: ALL-SEEING, ALL-KILLING

​SMITE - God Reveal - Heimdallr, the Vigilant

God stats & abilities

    Heimdallr is the newest Hunter in SMITE as of this article being written and he is likely one of the most dominant Hunters ever introduced. Even after almost 10 rounds of developers nerfing his kit he still sits head and shoulders above all other hunters. He embodies the ADC role in that his answer to all situations is damage, damage, damage, and more damage. On top of his damage he lives up to his godly title of “the Vigilant” by being one of the most ungankable gods in the game due to his vision perks.

    Why Heimdallr is the best Hunter:

   - He has significant built in vision. One of the greatest weaknesses of Hunters/ADCs is their susceptibility to being ganked by enemy junglers and rotations. One great counter to this is buying wards and placing them in the jungle to allow warning of incoming ganks but Heimdallr has significant warding built right in. Due to his passive, the Vigilant, he continues to see enemy gods on the map for 4s after they would normally pass out of sight, whether that be moving behind a barrier, stepping out of a warded area, or stealthing. His 1, Piercing Sight, allows him to throw his sword in the air and reveal a large area underneath where it is cast. This allows a wary player to throw the sword over his nearby jungle during each casting and potentially detect incoming enemies. Lastly his 3, the Bifrost, allows him to place two Bifrost beacons which, although they can also allow travel between, are more tactically put to use as a signal tripwire. Any enemies that pass across the line between his two beacons are revealed to Heimdallr. A savvy ADC player will place these across avenues in his nearby jungle.

   - Damage. That’s it. 

         - Heimdallr’s auto attacks are slow but very damaging, hitting for 1.25/1.25/1.5x damage of a standard auto attack with the first two dealing AoE damage when they strike. This allows for quick lane clear and punishing boxing matches so long as you hit the slowly-timed shots.

         - His 1 allows him to launch the revealing sword to a target location up to a very long range and although slow to hit can cause devastating damage (310+85% of your physical power)

         - His 2, the Gjallarhorn, is a long range cone ability that ticks 5x and ends with a knockback blast. If you hit everything on this ability it can deal insane damage (370+180% of your physical power). It is also key to note that while enemies that are hit are slowed, Heimdallr is not and it has a range just longer than the standard auto-attack range in SMITE. This means against an enemy ADC you can apply much of this damage from outside their range.

         - His ult, Through the Realms, is one of the most damaging abilities in the game. Heimdallr dashes forward and smacks an enemy into a portal to the Norse realms. As long as you hit the dash the ability deals ludicrous damage (830+145% of your physical power). It also reveals where the enemy will land upon returning allowing you to prepare any of your previously mentioned high damage abilities for a vulnerable enemy, if they are still alive (which most of the time they won’t be). The ult can also be used to dash to safety or, for the quick fingered, can be flicked to place the return location backwards towards your teammates or your own towerline.

 

    Please note that, as always, these rankings were are being built based on gods’ kit designs while attempting to place as little emphasis on item utilization as possible since items are much more subject to change and balancing from patch to patch and season to season. However; of all the classes in the game Hunters are the most impacted by item changes and balancing since they are heavily dependent on items that augment their auto attacks (i.e. penetration, attack speed, lifesteal, and crit). For this reason Hunters swing in the game meta and rankings more sporadically than the other classes. To successfully play a Hunter on a competitive level you need to be very in tuned with current item balancing and metas.

 

As mentioned before Hunters, though very susceptible to item balance swings, can be game-swaying carries if built correctly and fed ample kills. Due to their usage of auto-attack enhancing items they can easily snowball into unstoppable streams of damage in the forms of critical hits and a feedback loop of lifesteal. Mastering the above listed gods and employing them intelligently in the duo lane is sure to supply you with piles of victories.

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