SMITE Domination Guide by lsric
Hello, this is meant to be a guide to the game mode of Domination, which was a previously permanent (and much beloved by yours truly) queue that was removed by the Powers That Be, but since they removed it and everyone still kinda liked it Hirez decided to bring it back from time to time as a Match of the Day.
Since it was a queue a while ago it’s a little bit more in depth than your average Motd, which is honestly usually just arena or conquest with a gimmick, so I feel a guide is justified.
I write this because we as a community are growing more and more each day especially in the last few months and there seems to be a lot of new players going into Domination with no clue how to play it, which not only frustrates them but the players on each team as well.
So here is a brief overview of the goals how to accomplish them, and a little bit on the meta and some tips and tricks to get you started.
Table of Contents
- The Basics (General Rules, Ticket Loss, The Sand Guardian)
- Strategy (The current meta, good team compositions, Vital Information)
- Tips and tricks
Domination is a lane pushing game mode kind of like a mix between conquest and arena, in that the goal is to deplete your opponents of tickets like arena, but there are towers and lanes to deal with like Conquest. The main departure from Conquest is the lack of a Titan, starting at level 3 with 1500 gold, and gaining 6 gold per second. The main difference from Arena is that the minions and god kills are far less important compared to capping and holding the towers, and that the method of ticket depletion is different.
- Gods start at level 3 with 1500 gold each.
- Towers spawn at 0:00 along with minions.
- Three lanes, left, right, mid, side jungle corridors.
- Teams push their lanes and try and gain the towers as a means of making the enemy team lose tickets.
- If you control 2/3 towers or 3/3 towers, your counter doesn’t go down and your opponents counter does. and vice versa.
Your enemy loses tickets when:
- You kill a god (1 each).
- Every 5 secondsish based on how many towers you control (2 for 2/3 towers, 4 for 3/3 towers, and you lose 2 every 5 seconds with only one)
The Sand Guardian
Understanding how the Sand Guardians works in Domination is crucial to success. It’s a bit weird because it’s a tower that can either be helpful or hurtful, but it follows these simple rules:
- The first time the Sand Guardian Spawns, it is neutral, it will attack the first thing that comes into range, and continue to do so until it dies or someone takes threat off you.
- A neutral Sand Guardian will automatically target the first god to hit another god, and afterward target the aggressor’s minion wave even if they retreat from the circle.
- Once your creeps get past the enemy creeps their target is an entrance into one of the main buildings in the centre of the map. Each creep that makes it into the doorway restores a little bit of life to your Sand Guardian.
- They do ascending true damage, though less than towers, it still really hurts, especially at early levels.
- They can be damaged by both basic attacks and abilities, and can also be lifestole from.
Capturing a point
When the Sand Guardian dies and only gods from one team are within the radius, that team captures the tower, a friendly Sand Guardian immediately spawns and starts attacking their enemies. If a Sand Guardian dies and the circle is contested, it won’t switch over or respawn until one team wins control of the point.
Note: THIS MEANS NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, NEVER. LEAVE. THE CIRCLE. This is Spartan rules. Come back with your shield or on it, you staying and possibly dying by contesting it is more than worth it if your team can come assist you and cap the point, towers are just too valuable to give up. You die in the circle or you win.
The Domination meta is based around three different starting combinations of the 5 gods in lane, with no jungler. Those combinations are 2-3-0 (2 left or right, 3 mid) 2-0-3 (two left or right, three opposite), and 1-3-1 (one on each side, and the rest mid).
Pretty much the simplest formation, what you’ll usually see out of people who haven’t played, show up in lane, try and beat your opponents out of the circle, good luck.
This is a slightly advanced formation where two physical damage dealers (or in some circumstances fantastic pushers like Ra or Ao Kuang) go to either side to contest left and right. If the opponent is doing a typical 2-3-0 split then that means one person on the side will face 2 people and the other will face none. In this scenario the lone ally will proceed with capping the tower while the ally who faced opposition will go mid, making it 1-4-0, and 4 on three in the midlane.
This formation is a direct counter to the 1-3-1 split since you’re letting them waste 4 people getting an empty tower while your team steam rolls the lone side people trying to cap. If you’re doing 1-3-1 scouting is extremely important to make sure this isn’t happening, while on the flip side you should usually try and stay out of sight until creeps show up if you are the opposing team.
Generally whatever is good in Conquest is good in Domination. You need a good strong support (Guardians or Warriors) to tank a tower if you can’t wait for minions, a mage or two to keep the minion waves in check, some assassins or hunters with crit to kill towers as fast as possible. Keep in mind abilities work on towers too so you can ult it as Anubis and nuke the thing back into the stone age, or Ymir ult it, or Ao Kuang ult it.
Keep in mind that it’s king of the hill so gods with good zoning abilities (Isis ult, Ares pull, Ymir, Odin, etc.) are good picks. You have to make it as dangerous as possible for them to be in that tower with you.
Mobility is also extremely important, so you can get to where you’re needed in time. That is why gods with far travelling ults like Apollo, Athena, Thor, Janus etc. are usually good picks, but it’s not the most important thing in the world.
Tips and Tricks
- Kill the minions first before targeting the tower. Your minions auto target your enemie’s minions and if there are no minions around that is a massive DPS boost for you to take down a tower.
- Stay in the god damn circle, even if it means giving up on a tasty morsel you can hunt down. If you’re defending, your guardian respawns faster if there are more people in the circle, if you’re trying to cap, you have to hold down the fort until your allies can back you up.
- Stay out of sight until the minion wave is entering the tower radius, so your enemies don’t know what kind of strat you’re running.
- Pay attention to your minimap at all times to see who is going where, react accordingly. If you see an enemy Apollo heading toward your empty left tower, either head over to stop him, or if you can get there in time, immediate counter and attack their right or mid tower.
- Get greedy and go for three towers. If you’re way ahead that’s fine, if the game is close then it’s not worth spreading your self so thin because your enemy can just plow through one together and use the momentum to pick up another. It’s much safer to stick to two.
- Hit an enemy god while under a neutral tower. It will start attacking you until you’re dead and believe it or not that is a negative thing.
- Be in the circle when the Guardian spawns at the start of the game. It’s stupid, you’ll take a poop ton of damage, and the Guardian will auto target your side when the creeps get into range.
- Wander off to get creep camps when your team needs you to defend or push into a tower.
- Care about your death. Towers are more important, you live and die by the towers, not your k/d spread.
- Care about kills. You’re trying to zone them. It’s king of the hill, kill them as much as you can obviously, but don’t chase someone down unnecessarily (unless it’s irresistible, we all get the blood rage sometimes).
- Since you can lifesteal off the towers, big crit Hunters are very good for going off solo late game and melting a tower before you can react. always try and have at least one person defending each tower at a time so they can stall until back up gets there.
- If you’re the support and you see a chance to take an empty tower, don’t be afraid to rush in if you know your team will follow you, chances are they can nuke it before you take too much damage and waiting for creeps could give the enemy long enough to mount a defense.
- If you can pick up a jungle creep quickly and get back before anyone notices you’re gone, great. If there is any chance your tower might get sniped while you’re gone, don’t risk it.
- If your Sand Guardian is low and you are about to win a team fight, some times it is better to let the enemy kill the Guardian first and then push them out, since it will respawn again with full health and you might not have to time to heal it with creeps. Keep in mind that while damaging abilities work on the Sand Guardian, heals do not.
So that’s about all I can think of right now. If I think of anything else I will just add it as a comment, and feel free to comment if you have any questions, or disagree with something I said or anything like that. Like I said, I just wanna try to educate the newer members of the community in the playstyle of one of the funnest ways to play Smite, in my opinion. Maybe if the Dom MotDs get popular enough again we can convince Hirez to re add it as a Queue it really is a unique perspective on the game we all love so much.
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