If there's anything I've learned from God lore, it's that Athena is not the nicest deity around. She might be "wise", but she certainly holds grudges like no other. As is also the case with Medusa; the once beautiful priestess of Athena, since transformed into a hideous creature with snakes in place of her once golden hair, when she couldn't resist the temptation of Poseidon's love. Now she cannot look anyone in the eye without them being petrified. Unable to find love, she slithers into the battlefield with her snake-like physique, ready to become the fairest monster of them all. Without further ado, allow me to guide you through Medusa - The Gorgon.
I hadn't played Medusa much until very recently when I decided to give her a shot. And let me tell you; she might be my new favorite hunter. I don't know what it is about her that makes me so excited to play her all the time, but she feels so smooth to play. This is most likely due to her passive, which removes strafing penalty and suffers only half of the movement penalty when moving backwards. This allows you to slither across the field effortlessly and makes dodging attacks a whole lot easier than it is for other hunters. Also, her dash seems longer than that of other gods. It probably isn't, but the animation makes it look like it is. I'm not saying the ability itself is amazing, because I've gotten into trouble more often than not when I wanted to get away by using it, but it still feels very slick. Another thing that I absolutely adore about Medusa, is that her ultimate allows her to leave stone statues across the battlefield when you kill someone with it. This is probably one of my favorite features in the entire game and makes playing her all the more fun. And her voice-pack is just eternally bitchy, which is just absolutely phenomenal.
I already told you about the smoothness of this passive in the introduction, but let me just repeat that for you: Sidewinder is absolutely great. It helps you out significantly when you're in a boxing match with another ADC and you're trying to dodge their attacks. It has allowed me to dodge Isis' Spirit Ball a dozen times as well, which makes you avoid a butt ton of damage that you would most likely suffer when playing other hunters.
When Medusa was initially released, Viper Shot was insanely over-powered. The damage-over-time effect worked on towers and phoenixes, which allowed you to just burst them down in a matter of seconds, which was exceptionally broken. Since then, it has gotten some nerfs, but it is still a great ability. Viper Shot makes Medusa shoot out 3 vipers in rapid succession that poison the targets hit. This ability allows you to shoot your next 3 basic attacks at an increased speed and applies a poison that hits the target every 0.5 seconds for 1.5 seconds. At maximum rank, this will increase your attack speed by 80% (which is massive) and does 30 damage every 0.5 seconds +10% of your physical power when you apply the poison on your opponent. The increased attack speed makes your boxing potential that much greater and, combined with your passive, makes you practically unbeatable in a 1v1 with another ADC. That is, if you can hit your basic attacks. The relatively low mana cost and the low cooldown make this a great asset for taking objectives and fighting other gods.
This is the ability you use to clear waves. Acid Spray makes Medusa spit out acid that damages the first enemy hit and it sprays out acid in a cone behind them. The acid spray can also explode on statues that Medusa has created using Petrify. It does the job of clearing waves especially well and it is a great way to poke your opponent as it will most likely hit them as well in the laning-phase of the game. I recommend you level and max out this ability first, as this will help you clear minion waves quicker and will increase your poke damage on enemy gods.
I called this an escape ability in the introduction, but Lacerate is actually a damaging ability. Medusa slithers forward, grabbing and slashing at the first enemy god it encounters, reducing their healing for 3 seconds. Using this ability offensively, however, is very risky. It makes your escape potential basically non-existent, quite possibly resulting in your death in the process. It is a great, quick way to catch up to your opponent when chasing though, so if you're in a 1v1 and your opponent tries to get away, you can definitely use this to catch up to him/her. Escaping with this ability is tricky, so be careful when using it. If your opponent is too close to you and blocks you when using Lacerate, your dash will stop and you're basically dead. So make sure to use this before your opponent is right next to you to avoid that risk. The health reduction of 50% at max rank is pretty nice to counter gods like Aphrodite, Chaac, etc. as well.
Behold the horror of Medusa's ugly face. With this ability, Medusa removes her mask, revealing her true face, delivering a powerful blast from her Gorgon gaze. If enemies are looking at her, they are stunned for 2 seconds. If they're not looking at her, they take half damage and are slowed for 3 seconds. First of all, this ability does massive damage. 700 damage at max rank in addition to 100% of your physical power is nothing to laugh about. Even if she only does half damage, it's still a massive chunk of health gone just like that. The 2 second stun is incredibly useful for finishing off opponents or hindering them from securing jungle objectives. It is quite hard to land the stun, however, as it takes quite some time to cast and people can just quickly turn around to avoid the stun. The slow is still very practical and will allow you to catch up to your opponents quite nicely. If you kill opponents with this ability, stone statues appear on the battleground for other people to see. It's a nice souvenir and a warning to others to not mess with your ugly face.
Here are the pros and cons of playing Medusa and all of her horrid morning appearance
Great damage from her abilities
Her escape works offensively as well
Sidewinder makes it easier for you to dodge attacks
Great wave clear with Acid Spray
Petrify has a wide range stun
Viper Shot isn't really a great ability on its own
Not the highest attack speed compared to other hunters
Petrify stun hard to hit
HER ESCAPE WORKS OFFENSIVELY
Extremely basic attack oriented
You might be confused about my pros and cons list. Why is Medusa so great if her attack speed isn't that great? Well, her Viper Shot gifts her with amazing increased attack speed for 3 shots, and it only has a cooldown of 10 seconds, making it decently spammable. Besides, if you need 30 basic attacks to defeat someone 1v1, you're doing something wrong as ADC. Now, for the most confusing part... Her escape is on both the pros and cons list. I know this is strange, but it truly can work both ways. It is great for catching up with people, and its healing reduction is an amazing asset if you're trying to defeat healing gods. But as soon as someone is blocking your path, you're screwed. Your escape will cancel and death will be imminent if your opponent knows what they're doing.
As for the roles, she's much like Neith in the season 2 meta. Let's narrow it down:
These roles don't need your horrifying face
Support: As a hunter, you're very squishy. You rely purely on being able to take down your opponent quickly and using lifesteal to keep your health up. You don't really have anything to offer as a support, as you don't have the best CC and you can't take the front-line. You can't build damage either as a support for your self-sustain, so support just isn't your role.
Jungle: What I look for in most hunters is that they can engage and hopefully get out as well. Even though certain assassins can't do this either, they can at least jump over walls most of the time. Medusa can't do that unfortunately, making ganks terribly obvious to your opponent and you will most likely not succeed in securing kills as easily as a jungler should. Her abilities are quite mana-costly as well, so I wouldn't recommend it.
Middle lane: The middle lane gets ganked the most, as there are two sides the enemy team can come from. With an escape that is easily countered, you're gonna have a bad time surviving in this lane. You're also basic attack oriented, and your opponent can use this to his advantage by making sure something blocks for him, so your only reliable damage output is Acid Spray.
Do you like a challenge?
- Solo lane: It works decently, but that's about all I can say about it. Your only way of regenerating health is through health potions and life steal from your basic attacks. You're not like Neith, who can use one of her abilities to heal. You're not like Apollo either, who has insanely high attack speed and decent damage meaning that he can basic attack a lot to recover more health via life steal. Your damage is quite nice though, so if you're full health you can definitely win against opponents. Just make sure you take out minions first, as they'll be the death of you if you don't. And death by minion is just embarrassing.
Remove the mask and show them your true nature, my beautiful Gorgon
- ADC: With a good support backing you up, no one will be able to defeat you. Hunters like Neith will be a challenge to defeat in the early game, but once you get your claws on a Hastened Fatalis, you're gonna shred through your opponents. Viper Shot will boost your damage output significantly in fights and you won't have much trouble taking down towers either. Get your hands on some nice attack speed and you're all set to rule the battleground of the gods.
My new queen of ADCs deserves a good build, so we'll be focusing on an updated ADC build.
We're still not gonna use any recommended starter items by the Hi-Rez team, as they don't fit Medusa's kit. So just get straight into building your first stacking item, which is gonna be Transcendence.
With a cost of 1200 gold, Charged Morningstar is an ideal pick-up for the early game. It gives you 20 attack power, 150 mana and 4 MP5, as well as 300 gold to spend on both health and mana potions so you can stay in lane longer. As you should get your hands on Transcendence as soon as possible in the Season 2 meta, this gets you closer to stacking much quicker.
If you've read all of my Smite god guides to date, you're probably thinking I'm extremely biased towards buying Transcendence. Honestly, you might be right, but that doesn't take away the fact that it's a very solid item for almost any physical attacker. Mana trouble is the worst kind of trouble in any MOBA, and by buying this item you'll make sure you won't have to worry about it nearly as often as you would without it. It doesn't take very long to stack in Conquest as it only requires 50 stacks, and you'll get a very nice chunk of physical power from it. 35 physical power plus 3% of your maximum mana being converted to physical power as well? This'll quickly get you over 100 physical power from a single item and a ton of mana to go with that, which makes Transcendence all the more useful. If you prefer to build Devourer's Gauntlets, more power to you, but so far I'm enjoying my Transcendence build.
Honestly, with Medusa it doesn't really matter which boots you get. I choose Warrior Tabi in almost all of my builds, as it just works better for me and I have learned how to use Viper Shot to get the attack speed I need. I have nothing against Ninja Tabi on her though, as it'll give her that extra bit of attack speed that you might need to snag kills. So far, I still prefer the 15 additional physical power from Warrior Tabi though.
As you don't have any built-in healing in your abilities, you will need to get your healing from your basic attacks like most hunters. Asi is a great pick-up as it'll provide you with 20% attack speed, 15% physical lifesteal and 15 physical penetration. The physical penetration is especially handy in the early game to make sure you have something to get through the defenses of guardians. If you picked Devourer's Gauntlet over Transcendence, choose Ichaival instead of Asi, as you won't need more physical lifesteal.
I just love this item, especially on Medusa. Hastened Fatalis just works incredibly well with Medusa's passive, as it'll now also remove the attacking movement speed debuff that you get when using basic attacks if you hit your opponent. This allows for more slithering and makes you even more impossible to hit while still dishing out your own basic attacks perfectly well. Just make sure your movements don't get too predictable, because a movement pattern is very easy to slip into as Medusa.
You hit pretty hard already thanks to the power of Transcendence, so why not boost that a little more by adding Rage? 30 physical power and 30% chance to critical hit your opponent? Don't mind if I do! Some might say that "building for critical hits is over-rated, blabla", but I have to disagree with that. I DO agree that you don't need two crit items anymore, however, so Rage is your best option as an only crit item as its passive increases the chance to inflict a critical hit on enemies over time if you haven't done so in a while.
Picking a final item depends on the situation you're in. If you're having a hard time hitting basic attacks, you should probably increase your chances of hitting by increasing your attack speed. If not, you could go for more lifesteal or more flat penetration. The choice is up to you. Here are my top picks for your final item slot.
Executioner is a solid item, as it grants you physical power and attack speed as well as some penetration through its passive. 30 physical power and 20% attack speed will greatly help you dish out basic attacks more frequent, increasing your chance to hit. The passive from Executioner will quickly stack up to 24% increased physical penetration and 18 flat penetration on gods, which will help you take down guardians quicker.
I never really use this item outside of Assault mode on any god but Medusa, but it works wonders on her. Bloodforge will give you 40 physical power and 15% lifesteal, but will also grant you +5 physical power and +3% physical lifesteal for each succesful basic attack, to a maximum of 3 stacks. I love the extra bit of physical lifesteal, especially if there's no healer on your team. It'll make you last just that bit longer in big fights, and might cause you to win the game in the process or secure a Fire Giant for instance.
If your team is having trouble taking down towers and/or phoenixes, I recommend you pick up Titan's Bane. With this item, all of your physical attacks will gain 33% physical penetration and, unlike Executioner, this affects towers, phoenixes and jungle bosses as well. It's my least favorite of the three options, but taking phoenixes is as important as any other aspect of the game, so it might just work wonders for you as it has done for me in the past.
Shocker, it's Greater Purification. I doubt I even have to explain my choice here, as it's just a really solid choice to lower cooldowns and remove crowd-control effects. Pick this up on every god if you're meant to damage and you might be focused by the enemy team.
I love this item, no matter what you say. As your escape is easily countered, I buy Combat Blink more often than not so that I can still get out of a tough spot without taking too much damage. Sure, it has a very lengthy cooldown of 180 seconds, but avoiding death is crucial in Smite, especially in the end-game. If you're in a massive lead and you just need to be able to catch up to opponents quicker, buy Greater Blink instead and have some fun!
Even though I absolutely loathe snakes, Medusa still stole my heart with her smoothness and snarky comments. She takes some practice (like all gods, honestly), but once you know how to play her she'll be your best pal on the battlefield. Just wait till you face that god darn Athena.. It's about to get real, ya'll.