Buying Boots in SMITE is taken as gospel. If you don’t buy boots, you get BM’d instantly. But, are boots really a core item for every character? Or, are they overrated and can be safely skipped? Together, we’re going to look at boots and figure out why they’re considered essential for *almost* every God in SMITE.
SMITE is a game based around objectives, like towers or jungle camps. Whoever can reach those vital objectives gains an advantage over their opponents. Before considering items, all gods in SMITE have a “movement speed” ranging from 355 (the least mobile Gods, like Zeus) to 381 (the “Fastest God Alive”, Mercury).
If Zeus decided to buy a simple pair of boots, his movement speed would increase by six percent, giving him a total of 376 (rounded down). That’s only five points less than Mercury. That tiny difference might give Zeus problems if he and Mercury raced across the map. But, those boots might save Zeus’ life if he’s running under his tower to dodge Mercury’s gank!
Movement speed and mobility matters, from the early game (when being able to hide under your tower could save your life) to the late game (when you’re rushing up the lane to destroy a phoenix). Boots provide the single greatest boost in mobility from a single item that the game allows. When you pass up that opportunity, you pass up a major strategic advantage at every point in the game.
You Pass, You’re Last
Because most people consider boots in SMITE to be a core item, choosing not to build them forces you to pay a steep opportunity cost. Without boots, you are constantly subjecting yourself to an 18 percent or greater slow in every game where everyone else buys boots.
For comparison’s sake: Osiris, a god notorious for his constant slowing with his Sickle Strike ability, inflicts a 20 percent slow for three seconds. Playing a game without any boots is just like playing a game while permanently under the effect of Sickle Strike. You can’t chase anybody down over any sort of distance, you can’t escape from ganks without a lot of help, and you’ll always rotate to a lane or objective slower than your enemies…unless you buy boots.
They’re Such a Deal!
On top of the invaluable movement speed, boots in SMITE provide you with an excellent stats-to-cost deal. For physically powered Gods, the Warrior Tabi provides 40 physical power for only 1600 gold, a rate of one power for 40 gold. This ratio of physical power to gold is one of the best in the game, beaten only by expensive luxury items like Bloodforge (75 power for 2800 gold; about one power per 37 gold).
Similarly priced physical power items don’t provide nearly such a good ratio of power-to-gold compared to Warrior Tabi, and the other variations of boots (Ninja Tabi, Reinforced Graves, Talaria Shoes) offer similarly efficient returns on investment depending on what you most desire.
For magically powered Gods, the deals are just as good. Shoes of the Magi provide 45 power, 10 penetration, and 18 percent movement speed for only 1600 gold. Shoes of Focus offer 40 power, 10 percent cooldown reduction, 250 extra mana, and 18 percent movement speed for 1550 gold. Comparing these items to ones like Dynasty Plate Helm (45 power, 35 physical protection, 10 penetration for 1700 gold) should emphasize the efficiency of boots, because they provide a variety of similar statistics as well as movement speed.
Well, Who Can Skip Boots in Smite?
Typically, no God can afford to suffer the disadvantages of passing on boots in SMITE completely. Mobility around the map, and safety during the early phases of the game, is simply too precious to give up. However, certain Gods and roles can delay purchasing boots to obtain a more significant tactical advantage, if they are crafty.
For example, Solo laners and Supports may skip buying boots first so that they can “rush” other items, such as Stone of Gaia, Breastplate of Valor or Gauntlet of Thebes. Those items provide increased sustain, so you sacrifice mobility in exchange for hoping to outlast your opponent. Other roles might pick tier 1 items that provide some power first. That way, they can clear Jungle camps and lane minions faster.
One of the only Gods who might consider playing “bootless” is Freya. Freya is unique among Mages because she relies almost entirely upon Basic Attacks, which are primarily boosted by rings. Rings happen to provide movement speed in addition to other statistics, so a careful Freya may be able to gain as much movement speed as other Gods wearing boots by buying a couple powerful Rings instead.
Other “Magical Carries,” such as Chronos or Sol (who use Basic Attacks to deal most of their damage), may also be able to play Bootless, but Freya is generally considered the most adept at this unusual play style because she is the most reliant on the other special abilities that the Rings provide her.
Why else are boots a critical item for most Gods in SMITE, while playing Conquest? What are some corner-cases where boots in SMITE aren’t necessary, or maybe are even a liability? What do you want to know more about to play Conquest and enjoy yourself? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below.
By Sam Boyer (aka Thanatos1342)
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All images retrieved courtesy of smite.gamepedia.com, and are owned by HiRez Studios.