At long last, Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu god of success and fortune, is coming to SMITE. According to the trailer made by the game’s developer Hi-Rez Studios, he is built for granting others success instead of claiming it for himself. That, and the “a” at the end of his name is silent.
As one would expect from a god with an elephant’s head, Ganesha is a melee tank in SMITE. However, his abilities are mostly designed for support and crowd control rather than survivability. This is no more obvious than his passive ability, Good Fortune. Whenever Ganesha kills an enemy god, he gives a nearby ally credit for the kill and receives the assist reward instead. Every time Ganesha kills an enemy, the range of this passive ability increases until it eventually resets. Good Fortune highlights how Ganesha excels at team-play rather than glory hogging, so players who complain about kill-stealing or brag about their kill-to-death ratio: you’ve been warned.
Ganesha’s first activatable ability, Turn of Fate, also highlights how he focuses on teamwork. This ability shoots a sphere in a straight line that damages up to five enemies and buffs the attack of nearby allies. The more enemies who are hit the bigger the buff. The trailer is unclear if Ganesha receives this buff or not, but allied gods who focus on attack power, such as Guan Yu or Camazotz, are clearly meant to capitalize on Turn of Fate‘s attack buff to devastate and possibly kill weakened enemies.
Ganesha’s second ability, Ohm, once again, is more focused on supporting allies than on helping the god. When he uses this ability, Ganesha moves slower than usual, but he increases ally defenses and silences enemies (i.e., prevents them from using abilities) in front of him. This ability is clearly meant to be used when allies are nearby, as Ganesha is stuck in the lotus position for the duration and cannot attack. Smart players will likely use Ohm right after Turn of Fate to transform their allies into offensive and defensive powerhouses who wail on helpless opponents, especially ones who rely on abilities.
Ganesha’s third ability, Remove Obstacles, is very different from his other skills. This ability makes Ganesha rush forward, much like an elephant, and try to spear an enemy. Unlike an elephant, Ganesha uses his goad instead of his tusks. Ganesha either dashes forward a set distance, or he runs into an enemy and tosses him or her into the air. This ability is not just a simple dash attack, as it lets Ganesha pass through walls and barriers made by enemies gods, which makes it both an effective attack and a means of escape.
Ganesha’s final and ultimate ability, Dharmic Pillars, just might be the ultimate cage. Granted, it’s made out of four giant pillars and a light barrier that doesn’t prevent enemies from leaving, but it damages, slows, and weakens the defenses of enemies who try to enter or exit it. Essentially, Dharmic Pillars is the ultimate cage in that it is a conundrum: stand and face a rampaging god that hits like an elephant or flee at a significant cost to survivability. Furthermore, the barrier constantly deals damage, which means anyone who is stunned while trying pass through barrier is as good as dead.
Ganesha is a god who can make or break SMITE matches depending on how well players support one another. Teammates who stick close to Ganesha and capitalize on his abilities’ buffs are almost guaranteed to bulldoze opponents, but that all depends on whether or not they work together.