I feel like SMITE has been doing great recently, with Baron Samedi’s well-received reception. I’m taking a look as Hi-Rez Studios dishes out another great God design: Pele, the Goddess of Volcanoes.
Lore wise, with Pele being the Goddess of Volcanoes, an assassin isn’t what I pictured. Yes it is an interesting idea, and the kit does resemble that of the Goddess herself. But I honestly felt that a Goddess of Creation wouldn’t be an assassin. Almost every single God in SMITE related to creation is generally a mage or a guardian, and Pele probably would have been better as a mage. Other than that, the flame like clothing bears an amazing resemblance to the Polynesian culture.
Passive Ability – Everlasting Flames
Being on low health activates a buff that provides extra damage and life-steal from her attacks for a short period of time. There is a cooldown period of 30 seconds each time it is used. First things first, I think it’s an interesting choice of passives. Most passive abilities for assassins tend to be based more around damage or chasing scenarios. An example would be Loki’s passive, Behind You, which does more damage when attacking an enemy from the back.
The idea for these passives reward the player for a certain playstyle, but it’s not a necessity. Pele’s passive gives this reward for being low on health. This doesn’t provide a player to be as affected or concerned by a certain playstyle anymore, but it instead becomes a safety measure. There is no skill to play around it; it’s just there in case you make a mistake. This makes Pele easier than most other assassins and great for beginners.
First Ability – Pyroclast
Shoots out a magma orb, damaging everything in a straight line. Moments later, multiple shards will return back to you, damaging any opponents in the way. The amount of shards increases with each point in the ability. This ability is very unusual on an assassin as it is something a mage would possess. The range is huge, easily reaching that of most other mages. A huge part of farming and jungle clearing will likely arise from this ability. It’s a solid ability overall.
Second Ability – Eruption
The bread and butter of this God. Pele does damage in a circle around her, throwing up every enemy close to her. The third and fifth ranks of this ability creates another outer circle that also throws up enemies in a small delay. I love this ability, and it’s what makes this God strong. Her crowd control is necessary to hinder a target.
Normally, as an assassin, having a massive area of effect is a bad idea due to the fact that assassins’ primary role is to take out specific targets one by one. But the reason why I think this ability is necessary to Pele is because it is her only form of defense and survivability as well. Most assassins have some sort of movement ability that is usually used to maneuver past enemy tanks, but Pele only has one reliable movement ability: her ultimate. Eruption allows a good Pele player to survive longer when played right and to even benefit her allies in a team fight. This ability is strong, but with the way this God is designed, it is a necessity to be this extreme.
Third Ability – Magma Rush
Pele gains a buff that makes her move faster and burn enemies near her. There is another resource mechanic known as fuel which can make it do more damage and increase the movement speed, but I don’t know the specifics. What I do know is that this is a decent chasing ability. Apart from her ultimate, this is used to catch out enemies and gank lanes. Nothing much to say apart from that it’s good.
Ultimate Ability – Volcanic Lightning
Pele dashes forward and slows the first enemy hit, dealing damage as well to all enemies in a cone. For a short duration after, all her basic attacks hits become a cone. Her ultimate is very powerful and is most definitely needed at all times to get off successful fights in a match. Its dash is great at position her, and the damage output would be insane in a team fight. As I stated before, this ultimate is very powerful, so I feel as if she is quite weak without it. This could be made on purpose for balance purposes, but honestly this ultimate, overall, is very balanced.
Pele is an assassin that can teamfight, and probably will be used to teamfight rather than catching out enemies or spilt pushing. She is quite ultimate reliant, and I believe she would be ridiculous strong with it as the rest of her kit is not very suited to an assassin play style.
But it’s great to see that not all assassins are the same, especially if the kit still works. Sure, it’s unusual, but it looks challenging. What she provides for the team is great if a capable player pulls off a great Eruption and Volcanic Lightning, but otherwise compared to a lot of other SMITE Gods, Pele seems to be entertaining and balanced. I think Hi-Rez did an amazing job with Pele, and I hope to see more reworks and new releases that are up to this standard. Well done Hi-Rez.