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Smite God Guide: Guan Yu
This Guide is mainly meant for Arena and Assault
Who am I to write a guide on Guan Yu?
As of updating this guide I have played 307 matches as Guan Yu
He is my most played and loved God in the game and I honestly don't see that ever changing.
But as stated above, I have not tried this build in Conquest as I stopped playing Conquest when Assault was introduced. But this is proved to work time and again in Arena and Assault. I'm writing this guide since I see so many people miss out on Guan Yu's true potential. So I hope it helps.
Ever since he first entered the game, Guan Yu has changed time and time again. Now over a year from him first being introduced, he is now a physical damage god instead of a mage. To be honest, I absolutely hated the new Guan Yu at first (as he was my personal most played God) but after several months of his new life as a physical damage bruiser, I've finally fallen back in love with how this god plays.
After many matches I've determined that there are 3 key items that every Guan Yu should have at the start of his build.
#1 Breastplate of Valor - 75 Physical Protection, 550 Mana, and 25% CDR
#2 Ninja Tabi - 30 Physical Power, 9% Attack Speed, 18% Movement Speed, 15% CDR
#3 Stone of Gaia - 100 Health, 70 Magical Protection, 25 HP5, 10 MP5, Regenerate 2% of Max Health every 5 seconds.
I consider these essential and I would only replace Breastplate of Valor with Jotunn's Wrath if the enemy lacks physical damage. The next 3 are much more flexible and should either be damage or tank focused items depending on what you feel is needed. Typically I will go for damage as you have plenty of control as Guan Yu as I will explain below.
#4/5/6 I have no set items for these as it varies on a case by case basis but I will tell you my typical choices.
I almost always pick up Qin's Sais for a bit of extra damage on my in-hand attacks. I also will typically get Hastened Fatalis for more run speed and to make up for Guan Yu's terrible attack progression.
Finally I usually cap off with either another tank item or a critical strike item if I want a bit more damage, this one constantly changes so there is no real suggestion.
Explanation of Build
Not too many people seem to realize just how powerful Cool Down Reduction is for Guan Yu. When he was a mage it was incredibly important and even now as a physical Bruiser it still is just as essential. The reasoning for this comes from his passive CDR from his abilities and the way Guan Yu plays in general.
Even as a physical damage God, Guan Yu still acts very much like a mage. The majority of his damage comes from his abilities and not his in-hand attack. I almost feel like Hi-Rez intentionally gave Guan Yu a terrible attack progression so people would realize using his abilities was the way to go.
Another abilitiy Guan Yu has that some may forget is that whenever he heals a fellow player(s) or Charges enemy players, a few seconds are taken off of his Cool Downs. When you couple this with max CDR, you will often find yourself having 30-40 second CD ultimates in the heat of battle which often allows you to use it twice in one team fight or shortly after to finish an enemy off.
So why is the Stone of Gaia so important? MP5, simple as that. The other stats are also good as well, but to play Guan Yu to his utmost, you'll want a healthy amount of mana coming in to the point where it is not uncommon for me to pick up Meditation even in arena.
The ability I usually focus on leveling first is Taolu Assault. This is Guan Yu's main damage source and it is great for harassing the enemy without having to get in too deep and while still being able to charge to escape.
Next I will focus Conviction just for the heel. Guan Yu's heal is actually quite strong with his passive, and as you should be initiating a lot of Guan Yu, you will get a lot of worth out of it.
Your ultimate should always be leveled every chance you get as it is very powerful.
Finally I focus Warrior's Will last as i use it more as a means of escape but it still does good damage of course, so if you don't feel that threatened, don't be afraid to level this over Conviction.
As a bruiser (warrior) you will find yourself doing a lot of damage while not taking all that much yourself. I'd argue that Guan Yu is one of the most powerful Gods of this type in the game as of now.
With your CDR and MP5, you will be wanting to initiate the fights more than likely. Guan Yu's ultimate, Calvary Charge, is great for initiating battles as you can typically pick out a target to do a good amount of damage to and then stun them. Whoever you go for will most likely be taken out if your team is behind you. People also have a tendency to run away from Guan Yu's ultimate, so it also does a pretty good job of zoning out the enemy team.
If you can do it without risk, use your Warrior's Will on enemy Gods when you can. For the damage and the reduction of your ultimate's CD length. The same goes for healing your team with Conviction. Try to get as many of your teammates in the heal as you can, as the more people you heal (even if they are at full HP) the more your CD's are reduced. It is almost never a waste to heal.
Finally Taolu Assault to do damage or zone out enemy Gods as it will do enough damage to make them back off a lot of the time. And when nothing else is available, use your in-hand attack. It does something at least. And if you build damage for your last 3 items, it will actually hurt quite a bit, the slow attack progression is usually what kills it however.
If you have a friend to play with, try out a Guan Yu and Aphrodite combination. In arena, this build is very strong but even more so when you have an Aphrodite to back you up. Lacking tank items will no longer matter with the support you can receive from her. The increased movement and damage she gives you allows you to juke more efficiently and to kill faster. Her ultimate immunity buff can completely cancel out what would of otherwise taken you down. Ever since I started playing with this god as my support in arena, I have only lost 1 of 10 games. Again though, this only works well if you are communicating with the Aphrodite so grab a buddy if you can.