Mastering the Gods of Smite: A Basic Guide to Ra
As one of the five free starter gods offered in Smite, Ra is an appealing choice for any beginning player looking to pick up an easy mage. Simplicity, however, does not equal weakness, as Ra packs quite the punch when played correctly. His kit focuses on dealing high amounts of damage while supporting teammates with healing. His play style will appeal to anyone that enjoys mages with a bit of utility and lots of damage potential.
In Egyptian lore, Ra is the deity in charge of moving the sun across the sky each day. His children, the great cats Anhur and Bastet, accompany him on this daily journey and protect him from the creatures of the underworld. Ra’s greatest struggle came when he was poisoned by his granddaughter, Isis, and forced to reveal his true name (thus giving her ultimate power over him) in order to be cured.
Speed of Light is Ra’s passive and only means of escape. It’s a buff that increases by one stack each time an ability is used, giving a 6% movement speed buff per stack (with a maximum of three stacks). This is most easily charged using his two and serves as a nice boost for getting around the map.
Ra's first ability, Celestial Beam, is a linear, medium-range damaging ability. It's Ra's best wave clear and serves as a strong source of damage, especially in the late game with a full build. It deals a base amount of damage, depending on its level, with an additional damage of 70% of Ra’s total magical power.
His two, Divine Light, is a flash of light that momentarily blinds and slows enemy gods. While it is charging, its stacks slows on enemies within the radius. After two seconds, it detonates, damaging and slow those within its radius and blinding players facing Ra. What many players use this for is a quick ability to add a counter to Ra's passive, thus increasing his movement speed cheaply and quickly.
Ra's healing comes from his three, the ability Solar Blessing. This is a circular beam of light that heals allies and damages enemies once per tick within its radius. Both the damage and healing gain a bonus effect from Ra’s total magical power (20% and 15%, respectively). This is not one of the stronger heals in the game as it requires players to stand within the circle for a few seconds to gain its effects, but its potency makes up for the required immobility.
Ra's ultimate is notorious for being one of the most difficult to hit in the game. Searing Pain is a far-reaching, thin beam of light that deals a high amount of damage. Unfortunately, it's long (and loud) charge up combined with the thin width make this impractical in most situations besides picking off distracted and fleeing enemies. If the player can land these shots, however, then these finishing "snipes" can be well rewarding.
Most Ra builds follow the standard mage formula and begin with a stack building item such as Book of Thoth or (when survivability is a priority) Warlock's Sash. Following that should be Shoes of the Magi for movement speed, magical power, and penetration. Chrono's Pendant works well as a third item because of the high magical power and the the cooldown reduction, which adds to the spammability of Ra's abilities. Obsidian Shard and Rod of Tahuti are a must, though the rest is up to player preferences. Bancroft's Talon further increases survivability with a nice life steal boost while not compromising on magical power. If you’re looking to improve the healing of Solar Blessing, then Rod of Asclepius would fit nicely.
In-depth build guides and additional information can be found at the community sites SmiteFire, SmiteGuru, and Tiermonster.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The great thing about Ra is that he’s an easy to understand god with a solid (though arguably somewhat underpowered) kit. He excels in the early laning phases as his lane clear with his one is excellent. As the game progresses, his three becomes a potent heal that can be used to heal teammates after a fight, allowing them to avoid having to return to base. Ra’s strength lies not in any particular area but in the fact that he’s an all around balanced and capable god.
Ra’s greatest weakness is his lack of an escape ability. Unlike gods like Raijin and Scylla, Ra has no way to get out of a bad spot apart from simply running. Although his passive grants him an excellent movement speed boost, smart positioning is still essential to avoid being caught in an inescapable situation.
As is the case with most mages, Ra fits comfortably in the role of mid laner. Celestial Beam is a great lane clear and Solar Blessing makes him less reliant on health potions and allows him to stay in lane longer than his opponent. If played in the solo lane, the player will have to be aware of the enemy player’s strengths and counter build effectively to avoid being overpowered by the opposing player. Ra is especially susceptible to ganks as he lacks a good method of escape, so be sure to buy plenty of wards and communicate rotations with your team well.
The aim of this guide was to give you a solid foundation of knowledge to use in understanding Ra, and hopefully you're feeling confident enough to try him out. If you have any questions, comments, or other thoughts, feel free to share them in the comments below.