In the European Smite Pro League, Hide of the Urchin is a common sight. The item has been picked up frequently by Solos, and sometimes even some Tanky Junglers. By my count, so far European players have picked up Hide of the Urchin 15 times this season in only three total days of play.
Hop across the ocean, though, and you’ll see a pretty different attitude towards the item. In the North American Pro League, this season players have only built Hide of the Urchin twice. Both times by Counter Logic Gaming’s Alec “FineOkay” Fonzo.
There’s a rift between these two continents in the value of this item. And that begs the question: Who’s right?
First off, let’s look at Hide of the Urchin’s stats. For 2450 Gold, Hide of the Urchin gives you: 30 Physical and Magical Protection, 250 Health and 250 Mana. The Passive can net you an additional 2 Protections for every kill or assist you get. After capping the item at 10 stacks, you get an extra passive: a 100 + 5 per level shield that regenerates when out of combat.
Hide of the Urchin’s stats are great, if you can manage to get the item stacked. 50 of each protection is a decent chunk more than its biggest competition, Spirit Robe. It’s also got 250 Health, which makes it one of only three items that give both types of Protections and Health. In one item you get every defensive stat you need to survive, which makes it efficient when building mostly damage items.
In addition to its decent base stats, if you get the full passive shield it’s technically giving you 450 health. That makes it the third most effective health you can get off a single item in the game, only outclassed by Bulwark of Hope and Warlock’s Staff. That is, if you can get the whole shield.
That’s Hide of the Urchin’s achilles heel: the shield is too difficult to regenerate fully. You have to stay out of combat for 30 whole seconds, eons in Smite time, to fully stack that Shield. Late game, that’s a privilege you can’t often afford. In practice you’re rarely going to get the full 450 health that the item potentially gives. Unlike real health, the shield on Hide of the Urchin isn’t immediately full upon respawn, and can’t be healed. Compared to Hide’s peers, this Passive is awful.
But that’s not Hide’s only weakness. Hide only gets to this level once you’ve received 10 stacks from kills or assists. Before getting those stacks, there’s no controversy: Hide of the Urchin is garbage.
2450 gold is relatively expensive for a defensive item, and with only 30 of each protection and 250 health you’re better off going with something else. Like its neighbor on the other end of the Robe tree, Spirit Robe. For 50 less Gold, Spirit Robe gives 10 more Protections, 10% Cooldown Reduction, 20% Crowd Control Reduction, and a powerful passive that gives you 15% Damage Mitigation when under the effects of Hard CC. Before you manage to find those 10 kills or assists, you’ll be much better off with Spirit Robe.
In some games, that might not be too easy. If your team falls behind after you commit to Hide of the Urchin, you might never get those stacks. And if you do, it will be much slower. Hide of the Urchin can make a bad situation much worse if you aren’t getting your stacks.
So that leaves us with the original question: Who’s right? The North American teams, or the European teams? That’s partially up to your own opinion and play style. Do you value immediate power spikes, or do you not mind getting your stats gradually? Do you value useful passives, or raw stats? Do you value a wide spread of stats, or do you want to focus on one or two?
But in my opinion, North America wins this one. The eventual stats just aren’t worth the downsides; too many things can go wrong with this item. And the passive shield is just terrible. But what do you think? Do you think Hide of the Urchin is better than I’m giving it credit for? Let me know by tweeting me, or in the comments below.
Top Image background courtesy of Smitegame.com, Hide of the Urchin image courtesy of smite.gamepedia.com