The Mages of Smite
Mages are the largest and probably most diverse class. Remember that the chief criteria for a mage is that they are magical carries, as opposed to guardians who typically do not carry. Thus “mages” can contain gods that correspond to all three physical roles of Hunter, Assassin, and Warrior. Mages can be very unique, and are difficult to compare to one another because of this. It’s best to look at each mage individually and see what they can bring to the table. Without further ado, let’s begin. The Hindu God of Fire is the quintessential artillery mage. He will usually keep his distance and fire shots of his ultimate to do high burst, then either waiting to recharge or going in to finish off his target. The slight delay can make his ultimate hard to hit, but by shooting it and then immediately dropping his Noxious Fumes underneath makes very reliable CC so you can hit the next two shots of Rain Fire. Path of Flames should normally be used only to escape, and it can be comboed with his 1 to delay your enemies further. If Agni separates his ults to keep up sustained damage over time, it can easily zone the enemy team away or punish them for hesitating, making him very powerful towards the end-game. Agni’s weakness seems perfectly contrary to his strengths. Aside from his dash and his short stun, he doesn’t have many tools to self-peel from assassins. His 2 does significant damage, but not enough to for him to out-damage many other gods, especially considering its cooldown. He really relies on keeping enemies away, because his cooldowns are all fairly long. He can be easily punished for failing to burst someone instantly. If you enjoy barraging your enemies from a distance, Agni is an excellent choice for you. The Egyptian God of the Dead has incredibly high DPS, and it’s mostly in AOE, so a grouped-up team can be killed entirely within 3 seconds, especially if they line up. His single target stun sets up his other abilities very nicely, allowing him to do incredible burst. His passive gives him greater lifesteal and free crowd control reduction, but perhaps above all it steals protections each tick of damage (up to 3), so that in the early game his burst even applies to tanks and making it so you need more than just one tank item to counter him. Anubis, however, is immensely squishy and has only single target CC, so if he is approached from two directions, he will struggle to defend him. Furthermore, his two most damaging abilities require him to stand still for the duration, and while he can still out-damage almost any single enemy, against multiple enemies it is unlikely he will be able to survive while motionless for very long with a lot of peel from allies. As such, even though he does high damage at all stages, he still “falls off” in the sense that he can’t reliably land all of his ticks when in teamfights. If you like blowing enemies (and even poorly positioned teams) up before they can blink, Anubis is the pick for you. The Greek Goddess of Beauty has a kit that, fittingly, is functions by partnering up with allies. Once partnered, she can do a variety of things to keep them alive while simultaneously granting them mana regen and movement speed, and can use her spells to heal them, knock away enemies near them, or cleanse and make them damage-immune for a short duration. The short* cooldown on her 1 allows her to frequently change Soul Mates in fights, partially making up for her single-target heal. It is a targeted heal, though, which is good because it allows low-health allies to try to dodge or reposition, even while receiving the heal. It’s also worth noting that stunning an enemy with Kiss causes your Soul Mate to do significantly increased damage to them.
On the other hand, Aphrodite’s downsides are mostly tied in to her unique Soul Mate mechanic, notably the tough decision-making and sometimes poor clarity of her Kiss. For one, it can be body-blocked by her own teammates. If Aphro wants to heal a weak ally, but another ally steps in between, she will latch to the middle one, delaying the healing and possibly resulting in her ally’s death. The same also goes if you try to land the stun: if an ally is too close to the enemy you wish to stun, Kiss will prioritize allies- a great benefit if you need to heal someone inside a throng of enemies, but not so great if you are trying to stun an enemy. Also related to her 1: the cooldown is much longer when used on enemies than on allies (hence the asterisk earlier), meaning once she uses a Kiss for a stun, she is stuck to whichever partner she has, if any, for several seconds. At the end of the day, Aphrodite is a great mage for those who like to keep allies alive and happy.