You know those times when your support temporarily disconnects from the game and you just instantly lose? I reckon that was quite frustrating, but did you ever stop to realize how important your support is to you? That’s why we’ll be talking all about the father of all guardians in this week’s guide; Ymir – Father of the Frost Giants.
I swore I didn’t just play female gods, so here is my evidence. Whenever I play support, Ymir is my man. Ymir has been here since the very beginning and Hi-Rez just adores him. You’ll see that he has a ton of skins available to him (most are exclusives unfortunately) and that’s because he is just a solid god in the Smite meta. He isn’t very over-powered, yet he holds his own in almost any lane. So without further ado, let me guide you through what gave Ymir the reputation he has today.
Is it chilly in here? I think it’s chilly in here. Can someone turn up the heater please? Oh wait, it’s my boy Ymir freezing the place with Frostbite. This passive is beyond terrifying and will chill you to the bone, literally and figuratively. All of Ymir’s damaging abilities apply a debuff to the enemy called Frostbite. All of Ymir’s basic attacks on an enemy with Frostbite now do 100% more damage. Even as a support, this will significantly boost your damage in lane and help you clear jungle camps quickly in the early game, resulting in getting to the lane faster than the enemy team. Extra experience and extra gold; what’s there to complain about?
I get myself stuck in battle more times than I care to admit with this ability. Ice Wall is a risky ability with a high pay-off if used correctly. It can be used to block an enemy’s escape route, interrupt someone’s escape ability or help you flee from a battle in safety. It helps with securing kills for your team and saving allies by making sure the opponent can’t get to them. It is unfortunately very likely you’ll place your wall just that inch too far every once in a while, resulting in your ally not being able to escape anymore and possibly dying. And of course, they’ll blame you. So make sure you practice with this ability; know where and at which angle to place your walls and wreck your opponents.
Glacial Strike has the shortest cooldown out of Ymir’s abilities, with only 8 seconds without any cooldown-reduction items. This ability is great for wave-clearing and a good way to keep Frostbite on the opponent. It also applies a slow on your opponent, which will allow you to catch up to your opponent quite easily. Pair this with some basic attacks with your 100% damage increase from Frostbite, and you’ll do a load of damage to the squishier enemies. I would recommend using Frost Breath first however, as Glacial Strike is rather easy to dodge. By using your freeze it basically secures you hitting Glacial Strike.
This ability truly spreads fear amongst your enemies. Frost Breath is an AOE ability that deals damage to the target and freezes them. Unfortunately this ability has quite a lengthy cooldown. Of course, you can reduce the cooldown by purchasing items like Breastplate of Valor or Chronos’ Pendant. These items aren’t typically used if you use Ymir as a support however, but feel free to try them out if you wish. It is crucial that you land Frost Breath in battle, as it is a tide-turning ability for both you and your team. This will help you and your ADC secure early kills, which will help you out in the long run. Especially if your duo lane partner is someone like Xbalanque, who gets stronger the more people he kills.
SHARDS OF ICE
This ultimate is extremely powerful if you can fully charge it, great for taking objectives if your Wrath of the Gods isn’t up yet. The full charge takes 3 seconds, which will do 1100 damage and 150% of your magical power at max rank. If you build Ymir with some nice damage items, you can perhaps even 1 shot an opponent. You can cancel this ability early for reduced damage if you feel like your opponent is getting away or you feel like you don’t need the full damage of the ability. Just like Glacial Strike, this ability applies a slow and applies Frostbite. Enemies will want to avoid this ability to the best of their abilities, so it’s great for scattering opponents to later pick them off 1 by 1.
Here are the pros and cons of playing Ymir
- Great natural defense
- Lots of CC, making him a great support
- Relatively easy to play
- Doesn’t need specific team-mates to function well
- Can be played as almost any role
- No escapes
- Very slow
- Long cooldowns on his abilities
- Isn’t great at initiating (without blink)
- Relies heavily on abilities
First of all, I would like to mention that I mostly play Ymir in the duo lane as a support, so I haven’t got much knowledge of him regarding other lanes, although I have witnessed what he can do. Ymir is incredibly fun to play, as he can cut off enemies with Ice Wall, then freeze them with Frost Breath when they’re trying to go the other way. Shards of Ice might not be the most useful ultimate in certain situations, but it is still incredibly funny if you can pull of a fully charged ultimate and blow your opponents’ faces off. Even without damage items, your ultimate does a butt ton of damage to everything when it’s fully charged, and it will help you significantly in securing jungle bosses.
As I mentioned earlier, Ymir can take on almost any role, so let’s talk about the ups and downs of taking on each role.
Do NOT play this role
- ADC: Ha-ha, you’re funny Ymir; thinking you can be the equivalent of a hunter in a match. Ymir’s damage is nothing to laugh about, but he’s simply too slow to be an ADC. He has no escapes and not a lot of chasing potential, and his auto attack damage only becomes decent when you’ve hit your opponent with an ability already. He doesn’t have any ranged abilities either and no initiating skills, so opponents can burst you down before you even get to them.
Tough, but fun
- Middle lane: If you build Ymir as a mage, he can do some hefty damage! His wave clear with Glacial Strike is great and he can cancel some escaping abilities with a well-placed Ice Wall (Agni’s dash for instance). If you can get a freeze on an opponent and then use Glacial Strike, you’ll do significant amounts of damage. Ymir in the middle lane shines the brightest in the early game and slowly becomes weaker and weaker compared to other mages.
- Solo lane: It’s basically the same story as the middle lane, but this lane is a bit safer for Ymir. Middle lane has 2 sides in which you can be ganked from and the solo lane only has 1, making it easier for you to get away. Since Ymir has no escapes, ganks will most likely be the death of you if you don’t have your lane warded 24/7. Your jungle camp clear is quite good as well, so you’ll be able to solo your blue buff at around level 6 without losing a lot of health.
- Jungle: I don’t see this often, but the few times I did see it, it worked flawlessly. The problem with Ymir in the jungle, is that he can’t really gank people. Once he does, he can freeze them and burst them down quite easily, but people will see him coming from a mile away. Once again, he won’t have any trouble clearing jungle camps so he won’t fall behind in gold, but his 0 mobility and no initiating capabilities will cause him to fall short as the game goes on. If you wish to play Ymir in the jungle, Blink is an absolute must.
Shine my sweet, sum… Winter child
- Support: Ymir is a guardian for a reason, and that reason is that he’s great as a support. His natural high physical and magical defense give him some great early game bulk in the early-game and allow you be a bit more aggressive in lane than other guardians. He has 2 slows and a freeze (of 2.25 seconds at max rank!), which will help your team mates secure kills, as your opponent won’t be able to get away. Ymir pairs really well with Artemis, as she can put a trap under the frozen opponent and give you an extra 2 seconds of bursting down the opponent whilst he/she cannot move.
I’ll be guiding you through an item build for Ymir as a support, as I feel like this is the easiest lane for beginners to play in and will teach you the basic principles of your role as a support.
Watcher’s Gift is a great starter item for almost every guardian. The only guardian I don’t get it on is Sylvanus, as he last hits most minions in the early game anyway. Watcher’s Gift gives 100 extra health and 5 mp5, as well as +4 gold if you’re within assist range of an enemy minion or jungle camp without dealing the killing blow awards. It also restores your health by 10 and mana by 5 if you’re in assist range.
Get the first tier of Wrath of the Gods; Hand of the Gods. This will help you secure the blue buff in the early game and you will build into Wrath of the Gods sooner so you can take on the Gold Fury and Fire Giant with a bit more ease.
I never leave base without at least 2 wards with me, so I can immediately ward the duo lane when I start rotating. Before, you’d have to choose between health and mana potions, but now you can just get 5 multi potions and 2 wards.
Again, the debate on which boots to pick continues. For Ymir – keeping his quite lengthy cooldowns in mind – I pick Shoes of Focus, so that his freeze is up sooner and you can support your team better. As a support you don’t really need that extra magical power or extra penetration, so cooldown reduction is the more logical choice in my opinion.
Sovereignty is a must-have for every support. It gives you 200 extra health and 55 physical protections. It also grants all allies within 70 units +20 magical protections and +25 hp5, so it’s a great item for yourself as well as your team if they’re around you.
Much like Sovereignty, Heartward Amulet is a must-have for a support. This is the equivalent of Sovereignty, but with magical protections instead of physical protections. It gives you 300 health and 60 magical protection, and in return grants allies within 70 units of you +20 physical protections and +20 mp5. They both cost the same amount of gold, so you can pick whichever you think is most useful first, although Sovereignty helps against jungle objectives, while Heartward Amulet does not.
Up next is Winged Blade. I personally love this item, as it’s useful in many situations and helps you boost your movement speed a bit. The extra attack speed it gives you is great to have of course, but the cooldown reduction, movement speed and extra health are what it’s all about. Because of Ymir’s long cooldowns and his slow movement, this item is a great pick-up as it helps you out with both of these problems. The extra health, 10% increased attack speed and useful passive are of course a nice bonus.
And the last core item I desperately wish you’ll get is Ethereal Staff. Ymir has a lot of health naturally, and with all of the previous items it gets even higher and higher. So you’re probably thinking; why even more health? It’s true, Ethereal Staff’s main objective is to give you more health and mana, but it grants you a bunch of magical power as well. It gives you 30 magical power right off the bat, but additionally it converts 2% of your maximum health to magical power. Let’s say you have 4k health (which this build will get you), you will have 80 extra magical power just for having a large amount of health points!
The last item slot is all about observing the enemy team to see which side of the spectrum does more damage. If the physical attackers do more damage, you pick Midgardian Mail, and if the magical attackers do more damage, you pick Void Stone.
Midgardian Mail is a great item to deal with ADCs, especially since they’ve gotten so out of control in Season 2. A lot of teams have more than 1 auto-attack based god now, so Midgardian Mail helps you deal with them and equips you with yet another slow! The extra 350 health and 60 physical protections are nice to have as well, I guess…
Void Stone, even though it doesn’t give you any health to boost your Ethereal Staff bonus even further, is an amazing item to have, as it reduces the magical protection of enemies within 55 units of you by 15 points and gives you 50 magical protections! It also gives you 40 magical power, which will in turn help you take down enemies.
This is an item I use on a bunch of guardians, but mostly on Ymir and Ares. Blink will give you the ability to initiate whereas you couldn’t before. It’s great for catching enemies off guard when you blink through a wall and freeze them. They might panic and use their beads, meaning they won’t be up for another 90 seconds, in which you can focus them and hunt them down.
Wrath of the Gods is the only logical choice to have in this situation. You most likely already purchased Hand of the Gods, and as there’s no use for Fist of the Gods for an Ymir, it’s better for you to get the one that helps you clear jungle objectives quickly so you don’t have to take as much damage.
Playing Ymir is quite the chilling experience (see what I did there?). He isn’t very hard to play, but it isn’t very difficult to mess up things for yourself and your team either by some poor plays. Especially in the summer however, this Popsicle man could be your best friend.Related: Column, Guides, MOBA, SMITE