Ahh, guardians. The class where no matter what happens, it’s your fault. Assassin jumped into a 1v5 expecting to survive? “You Rock! Cancel that!” Someone under attack but your abilities are on cooldown after saving another teammate? “You Rock! Cancel That!” Shielding a teammate on critical health with your body, every ability you’ve got, both relics with two and a half minute cooldowns and they still die because they didn’t have the sense to just leave the fight like a sane person? You guessed it: “You Rock! Cancel That!” But seriously, guardians can be great fun provided your team work with you and show you a little gratitude now and then. You exist purely to be a tanky, kill-securing/preventing thorn in the enemy’s side, so onto my favourites!
Khepri – Whether in life or death, none shall escape the cuddly embrace of the hug bug! (Yes, that’s the community nickname for him… YES, I know it’s adorable.) Normally, he’s content to roll the sun across the sky, bringing warmth and light to all. But now he’s joined the war of the gods. He’s fiercely loyal, protecting his team at any cost. Seeing any soul, living or dead, as his children. Everyone is a friend to Khepri, he even laments or apologises for the killing of enemies sometimes. Where Khepri excels on the battlefield is in his ability to deny enemy movement, dictating the pace of battle for enemy and ally alike. He can root enemies in place with his solar flare and snatch people in his clutches, silencing and dragging them backwards. His second ability is a simple lane clear tool, but the protections it gives allies is nice.
What truly makes Khepri one of the most hated guardians in SMITE is his ultimate. Khepri blesses a teammate with his mark, this gives them bonus movement speed and cleanses any crowd controls they are afflicted with, as well as preventing slows. But if the teammate dies before the mark expires, their soul will be transported to Khepri’s location, reviving them with a portion of their health. To put it bluntly, dragging a teammate out of death’s jaws at the last second is exhilarating. Smart players will not attack the blessed enemy until the mark expires, but this acts as a sort of impromptu übercharge, as the blessed is untouchable. Another way to navigate it is by blessing someone a split-second before death. Risky, but it works! All hail the hug bug!
Sobek – If you want to treat everyone on the enemy team like a rag doll, Sobek’s your man. He’s devastatingly effective if you can marry his innately aggressive nature to his opportunistically charged play style. His first ability makes him rush forwards incredibly quickly, if he hits an enemy, they’re impaled on the spike of his axe and thrown backwards over Sobek’s shoulder. As your victim is thrown through the air, they have just enough time to reflect on their life and their horrible decision-making before landing in a pit of your encircling teammates who ravage them like piranha. Once you’ve done this a few times, the enemy will catch on and you’ll start performing the impale dance. You and your prey pacing back and forth while you wait for that split-second opening, all the while your gleaming crocodile smile adorns your features knowing it’s only a matter of time before the stab. He can also use it to forcefully throw an enemy off a teammate. This one ability is why Sobek is such a riot to play, but on with the rest!
His second ability allows him to briefly knock up enemies by tail whipping in a circle. Space out grouped up enemies, buy time for teammates under attack, or chain it with his first ability to juggle the enemy for the max amount of time for an easy kill. If timed correctly, it can either temporarily (escapes) or permanently (channeled attacks) prevent an ability. His third ability is a cone where he throws three axes, for each hit Sobek is healed a small amount and enemy healing is reduced by 50% briefly. Against healer heavy teams, that anti-heal is basically a free item. For his ultimate, Sobek dives underwater becoming CC immune and gaining 30% protections. Any enemy caught in the circle above where he swims are slowed. When time runs out Sobek erupts from the water, snapping his jaws shut on anyone above him, it can also be cancelled early for lower damage.
The funny thing about Sobek is for someone who will very happily tear out your entrails for fun if you anger him, he’s completely neutral if left to his own devices. His godly duty is actually to escort worthy souls down the River Nile… What a nice guy!
Fafnir – His ultimate allows him to transform into a dragon. Just figured I’d lead with that considering nothing after that matters by comparison. Unlike his guardian bros goody-six-shoes Khepri and neutral-as-water Sobek, Fafnir is evil, plain and simple. Mm, well… Kinda? He’s corrupted thanks to Loki delivering a fortune of gold to Fafnir’s father, wrapped in the pelt of his skinned brother… Who was an otter… Stick with me. Fafnir strangled his father to death and ran off into the freezing night with his prize, but the bounty of glittering gold was cursed. It consumed his already greed-fueled mind, he became paranoid of his last remaining brother stealing his hoard. The curse enveloped him in an unbreakable grip, slowly twisting his body over many years until the transformation was complete. He was a dragon. But he loves every second of it… So… I guess it’s up to your interpretation?
Fafnir helping is only a means to an end. By that of course, I mean obtaining the shiny gold the enemy holds dear. Once the war of the gods is over he’ll probably take his “allies” too. His first ability is a hammer throw that goes through minions but stuns the first god hit for one second. On top of that, a circle emanates from the impact point that slows enemies for 20% for 3 seconds. Dragon form adds three ticks of poison. His second ability is a buff that increases the attack speed of the target and gives Fafnir a portion of their power. Dragon form makes the buff AoE, capable of hitting multiple allies. His third ability is a leap with a cone attack. If it hits an enemy god, they’re disarmed, stopping their basic attacks momentarily. In dragon form, this stuns for two seconds and applies dragon poison for three ticks. Though I’ve already covered Fafnir’s ult, it does have a few nice bonuses to work with.
You’re untargetable during the transformation and anyone caught in the radius is poisoned, this is a fantastic bait tool for coercing an enemy ultimate or two. If you spam all your abilities before transforming, you regain them immediately upon finishing your transformation, meaning you can dish out a tonne of crowd control in a very short span of time. This applies both when entering and exiting dragon form. Basically, Fafnir’s shutdown and defense are as tough as his scales and it’s great.
It can be slightly heartbreaking
sometimes every time you destroy an enemy team with the perfect initiation, serve them up as a Penta-On-A-Plate with a side of It’s All Yours and your team decides this is the perfect time to go back to spawn whilst the entire enemy team walks away scot-free. But the majority of the time, guardian is a very rewarding class when you put the work in. A good guardian is the solid backbone a team needs in order to succeed and my next guardian will be as solid as a rock.