By Jason Parker (Ragachak)
Smite’s Season 3 has officially begun! Lots of fun stuff arrived in the 3.4 Patch, titled “Winter’s Bite,” but the big takeaway is a new Norse Goddess! Skadi, Goddess of Winter. Along with Kaldr, her trusty wolf, she’s a unique and powerful new Hunter here to show that a Hunter doesn’t need to jump around like a Mexican Jumping Bean to be viable in the meta. I’m not the greatest Hunter, but even I can plow through people with icy spears, an infuriating kit, and tons of damage; Skadi is packing heat, if you’ll pardon the expression. She’s rated as “Hard” Difficulty, but I don’t really see it. She’s easy to get used to, but I suppose the hard difficulty is in reference to the insanely tricky stuff you can pull off if you really play your keyboard like a piano. A few pros to Skadi:
- Pusher: She absolutely mauls the lane with Kaldr, her 1, and her long-range auto-attack. Popular guardian supports just got chewed up and spit out.
- Crowd Control: Her “1”, “3” and “4” dole out lots of CC that is very difficult to deal with. Lots of shenanigans to come with them.
- DAMAGE: Holy crap, her damage. She sold her mobility soul in exchange for the devil’s deal in the damage department. If a target is afflicted by Piercing Cold , Kaldr’s autos do double damage. She’s here to fight, and is an insane duelist.
Her kit is pretty simple from the outset. Her passive is “Kaldr, the Winter Wolf”. When it’s active using her “2” it’s in Beast Form, has half of Skadi’s AS, and 110% of her Move Speed. He has his own HP, and loses 1 HP per 5 minion hits, and 1 HP per 1 ability/attack from a God. When he runs out of HP, he retreats and takes on an Elemental Form, regenning 1 HP every 10 seconds. It’s interesting to note that her Ultimate, “Winter’s Grasp” restores Kaldr to full HP, so I tend to use him to catch someone out, and when he dies, set up for my Ultimate to give him another round. Think Bastet’s cats coming back as zombie cats you can’t kill the second time. Yea nightmare fuel. Her 1 is “Piercing Cold,” a straight line spear throw. It does a considerable amount of damage [baseline damage +80% of her physical power], has a ridiculous slow of 3 seconds, but does have a 15 second cooldown. You can’t really spam it with that high cooldown, and for most of the game likely wouldn’t have enough mana to anyway. While Kaldr is in Beast Mode and her 1 is active on a God, he deals double damage, so make use of it!
Her 2 is “Rune of the Hunt,” and is the power that activates Kaldr. It can be used with 0 ranks, but ranking it up adds new powers to Kaldr. Rank 1 adds a dash attack, 3 lets him heal off kills, and 5 makes his attacks grant Move Speed to Skadi. It has no mana cost and a very low cooldown, meaning the only consideration to sending him in is if you want to risk losing his HP early. I also tend to use it on minions to really push if I have no threat in the area. It’s fun to pit him against the end of the minion wave as a threat to anyone who might try and push on the mighty Skadi. Her 3, “Permafrost,” could very well be an Ultimate on its own. For 5 seconds, a pool of ice lays on the ground. Skadi gains move speed while on it, but Gods who step on it hurdle in the direction they are moving, losing control. It also deals damage, and for every .5 seconds they are on it, the enemy takes damage. How can you make this last longer? ODIN. BACCHUS. BODY BLOCKING. Trap them in the ice and punish them, or make them drunk and slippery. Team comps built around control of the fight will synergize nicely with her. It’s worth noting that fast players can use a jump skill to get out of this frozen hell asap, so against skilled opponents you might want to wait till they blow their escape skill before tripping them up.
And finally, “Winter’s Grasp.” A Snowstorm surrounds Skadi and Kaldr, and enemies in range of it are rooted immediately. The storms last for five seconds; Kaldr is immune to damage for the duration and regains full hp. The radius of each circle is decent sized, and takes up the full lane when in close quarters and ven diagraming in coordination with your wolf. If Kaldr is already out and about, it can mean bad bad things for someone that happens to offend Skadi. Her kit practically exists for control and dominance, so building your team around that notion will grant a lot of power that can’t be easily contained. One great item for her can be Transcendence, giving more mana to let her spam her abilities without having to leave lane/consume mana pots. As far as Relics go, Purification, Blink, and Sanctuary are my go-tos, or Sprint if I really want to get into the thick of it. If the enemy team isn’t packing CC, I don’t waste time with Purification and just go for aggressive relics.
Crowd Control is key with Skadi. So Frostbound Hamer is probably my most used item. Midgardian Mail is great too late game if the enemy carry is getting out of hand, or an assassin won’t leave you alone. Jotuun’s, Ichaival, or if you’re really trying to push, grab Odysseus’ Bow instead. Asi and Qin’s Sais are key for Life Steal and Attack Speed, but I would not forget the Hammer. Bulwark of Hope is probably my favorite defensive item on her, or Magi’s Blessing if the enemy comp is built for wombo combos. Anything that helps me initiate instead of being initiated on is a solid purchase as Skadi excels at winning the fights she picks.
What do I think of Skadi? Love her! I don’t really like many of the Hunters in the game (I’m more a guardian player), but Skadi has some tricky moves, lots of synergy with a variety of Gods, and can do more than just Hunt. I’ve seen streams of her going into the jungle, and just absolutely wrecking whole teams. The Smite professional player and streamer “weak3n” had this to say: “Skadi is the strongest god in the game,” and I’m not going to dispute that. With little knowledge of what I was doing, I could go into Arena, or Joust, or whatever map I want and just drop snowy assbeatings onto my foes. Skadi’s got the moves, and definitely brings the pain. I see her being a huge force in the 3v3 Ranked scene, being able to duel any Hunter thanks to her CC and Kaldr.
Be sure to join us tonight, March 18th, for a livestream with Skadi starting at 5pm PT. We’ll be giving out codes to unlock her and other new skins on Bottom Tier stream! Or enter our forum event for a chance to win codes in our raffle!