Counter playing: Thor
Who is Thor?
Within Smite Thor is a physical assassin that is usually played in the jungle role, though some players will opt to use him in the support role. He is a notoriously safe pick and many players will suffer against him without any idea what to do due to his high mobility and crowd control capabilities. Thor will also, generally, be either picked or banned in competitive games purely based upon players being able to play him well with ease, having the enemies bewildered as how to stop them bringing the thunder and the lightning down onto them!
Thor’s passive icon
This is Thor’s passive which will simply give Thor additional physical power for the amount of enemies, this will be able to stack to a total of three times also giving him a total of 45 additional physical power. The passive gives Thor the means to invade and pressure groups of enemies very early into the game and will often give him first blood when an enemy is caught out by this so it’s best to avoid him as much as possible in the early stages of the game until this falls off as defense items are built.
Thor’s first ability icon
Using this ability, the first in Thor’s kit, he will throw out his hammer in front of him which will then proceed to return to him in a boomerang like effect. In terms of damage it is vital to note that this ability will deal double the damage on the returning hit if the target is a player which has already been hit once by the initial throw. Depending upon players this ability may be levelled first and if this is the case the hammer could easily take very high percentages of an unprotected target’s health, another part of Thor truly worth avoiding. This can also be used for utility though as Thor is able to teleport to his hammer as it travels in front of him and this will give him the ability to escape threats with next to no effort at all if the hammer is thrown correctly.
However the Thor may choose to engage with the teleport and once he has committed by using this the window of counter playing opens. If played correctly players can catch him out as he will likely put himself into a bad position and no longer has an escape, though in a dire circumstance Thor may choose to use his ultimate ability to save himself, indicating a important requirement of burst against him.
Thor’s second ability
This is Thor’s second ability which will bring up a wall in front of him as he slams his hammer to the ground, the wall will stun any enemies that are initially hit and will then function to block enemy movement. This ability is purely used for utility, having such uses as a set up, an escape or a zoning ability. The set up comes from the stun as this then allows Thor to easily hit the double attack from his hammer on enemies and then teleport to them before they can react. The escape part of the ability comes from not only the stun but the wall also as when running away from enemies (allies or himself) Thor is able to stop them in their tracks, in some cases stopping the enemy potential of chase completely. The zoning aspect of the ability is much the same respect as the escape and will be used to alter enemy movement.
Generally a player should try to position themselves in such a way that prevents as much utility as possible, as it’s likely a player won’t be able to dodge the ability the best idea is to minimize the capability from it. In the respect of the aggressive use of the ability players should put themselves in a safe position such as behind tower lines as it is likely an enemy Thor will not commit to a kill that is too risky for himself and to prevent an impact on movement players who believe that they are the target should move to areas that their team don’t require, so even if they are locked into certain spaces others are able to continue the fight.
Thor’s third ability
Berserker Barrage is Thor’s third ability, within which he will spin his hammer around him, creating an area of damage that will tick every 0.4 seconds. The ability concludes after two seconds but during this time Thor will be immune to knockup effects which means characters such as He Bo and Geb will be useless at cancelling this ability. The third ability is generally another big source of damage for Thor, much like his first, which enables Thor to clear minions rather easily compared to having to use his first ability. As you may have guessed where this ability cannot be countered by knocking him up it can be stopped by using a form of crowd control such as a silence or a stun, both of which then increase his window of vulnerability to the player against him and is essential in countering him in games.
Anvil of Dawn
Thor’s ultimate ability
Anvil of Dawn is Thor’s ultimate ability in which, after a short build up duration, Thor will launch up into the air and once in the air Thor is able to travel large distances over the map to come raining down on the target location, the fall dealing damage and stunning enemies in the area. This ability is a greater form of mobility for Thor and can, again, be used aggressively or just for utility and escape.
As the ult stuns it’s a great starting point for Thor to use all of his abilities against you while being faced with no resistance. It is also important that your team doesn’t go all out on Thor when he attacks using this, as this is not the window of counter opportunity as he can use his first ability straight after to escape unless your team has high burst damage.
Counter picking Thor:
As mentioned previously the main idea to counter Thor is to catch him in his small window of vulnerability, which is when he has committed or generally used everything that could save him, meaning that crowd control and burst damage is essential. One of the best characters for this would be Anubis as he the crowd control of a stun and a very high amount of burst damage as all of his abilities deal high amounts of damage and strip protections from enemies.
Two other examples of a variety of characters that would be ideal in a team against Thor are Arachne and Nu Wa. Arachne has a stun also but her third ability,Web, will create a trail on Thor which she can then follow, disabling his potential to escape further than just having burst and crowd control. Nu Wa is also good against Thor as she has crowd control and burst in the same ability which her third, Shining Metal, when it activates on her Clay Soldiers that will strip protections from their target prior to the skill being activated.
Nu Wa can also counter Thor in the respect of removing value from him committing to kills as when she begins to suffer a player can activate Fire Shards which will escape Thor’s crowd control, make her immune to his damage whilst in the air and then deal damage to him when the ability lands.
Another obvious counter is warding the enemy Thor as this will allow you to predict his future actions, this will also apply to most characters in the game. Wards win games!
Counter building Thor:
In terms of item selecting against Thor you should focus on items that provide physical defense, of course, with a possibility of cooldown on the same item such as Breastplate of Valor as cooldown items will also be useful against thor if you are playing one of the characters previously mentioned that do well in shutting him down via the use of their abilities. An item that I would particularly suggest is Magi’s Blessing as this will negate the crowd control on the ultimate and second abilities of Thor which means he is then unable to set up much further damage against you though you have to be sure not to waste this effect of the item as it could mean your life.
In terms of actives negating his crowd control is again important so Purification Beads is a great choice and at max rank this active will also reduce the cooldown of your abilities which could leave great potential to catch him out in his window of vulnerability or even increase the duration of this window. Another great active is Greater Aegis as this again disables his crowd control but this active will also negate all incoming damage from Thor, correctly catching him out would mean that the enemy would lose all potential from a waste of abilities.
These two aren’t the only actives to consider though as they do not apply to all characters, other actives could include Heavenly Agility/Sprint as this will allow a wider opportunity of escape or gap closing if required or Shell Absorption as this will reduce all incoming damage coming out of Thor for nearby allies and yourself.
Good luck in making Thor lose his ‘spin to win’ reputation!