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Hi there! My name's Hodaka and I'm the creator of SmiteGuides.net. I'm by no means a great player, but today I'd like to give you my 2 cents on He Bo, the God of the Yellow River. Hopefully by the end of reading this guide, you will be able to take away a thing or 2 about He Bo! If not please don't hesitate to give feedback or even better, submit your own guide!
The general skill priority for me is (starting with top priority):
As you can see I prioritise Water Cannon over Crushing Wave. Obviously you should get Crushing Wave at level 5, as it has great damage and utility, however at level 9 I prefer to choose Water Cannon over Water Cannon. The reasoning behind this is because although looking at it from face value ranking up Crushing Wave will provide more damage upon cast (ranking up Water Cannon ups it's damage by 55, whereas ranking up Crushing Wave will provide 80 additional damage), you will be using Water Cannon at least twice in a fight at this level. Having 55 additional damage is therefore a big deal. I am aware that Crushing Wave scales better with your magical power, but again the difference in scaling is offset by the fact you will use Water Cannon more often per fight/game.
I personally like to take middle lane, and start by getting Boots of the Magi (level 2) and 3 health potions. I rank Waterspout first, as it allows you to damage creeps and harass enemy gods from a safe distance. Try not to use too much mana though, as you want to aim for early kills if possible.
Although it doesn't have a huge impact, I choose my abilities at level 2 & 3 depending on who I'm facing. If for example I'm facing Ao Kuang, I'll feel quite comfortable so will level my abilities as shown in the "Ability order" section below this guide. However if I'm against a god like Anubis, I prefer to get Flood Waters before Water Cannon so that I have more maneuverability.
I usually start playing very passively, occasionally using mana to attack the creeps. I then start harassing at about level 4, and hopefully secure a kill by level 5. Ideally you want to wait until the enemy doesn't have too many creeps alive, as they still hit hard at this level. Start by prepotting (using a health potion even if you're at 100%) and putting down Flood Waters to restrict the enemy god's movement. I personally like to do this near our tower, by placing the river diagonally across just behind the enemy god. The enemy god should just be on it, and the end of the river should be touching the wall. The reason it's good to position your river like this is because it forces them to run through the river.
The above isn't a great example, but it helps get the point across. By placing your Flood Waters like this, you're able to pretty much cover the width of the lane even though you're approaching from in front. The reason this particular placement isn't ideal is because:
After you lay down the river, immediately follow it up with your Waterspout while moving towards the enemy to get in range to use Water Cannon. If you're level 5 you can then use Crushing Wave. Make sure you think about the direction you're going to end up in though! For example if you're right next to the enemy god, and facing back towards your tower, you maybe better off waiting a bit until you're chasing him towards his tower. This will allow you to use your Crushing Wave to deal damage, close the gap and position yourself in the direction they're heading.
From here just use your abilities as they come off cooldown. The bulk of your damage comes from your abilities, so it is a good to keep moving until you have an ability ready. Make sure you don't panic and aim your abilities properly. Taking an addition 0.5 seconds to aim is better than trying to use is as quickly as possible and missing! This applies to all gods to be fair!
One quick final thing about early game. I recommend getting Meditation as one of the top priorities as it will help you stay in your lane for longer without having to port back. Another thing I prioritise is getting Purification Beads, especially if I'm against Anubis. He is one of the gods that you often meet in the middle lane and his Grasping Hands > Mummify > Death Gaze combo will kill you unless you have Purification Beads. If you do have it on the other hand you can easily counter his combo by using Purification Beads > Crushing Wave to damage him / get out of his Death Gaze and then nuke him down from there. Just the fact that you avoided the bulk of the damage from his Death Gaze will give you the upper hand.
Just a quick note about Crushing Wave, I generally like to use it as early as possible when against aggressive players that I'm not 100% confident I can beat. The reason I say this is because it's best to get the opposing players on the defensive as early as possible. I would say however that you should try to get Water Cannon and Waterspout on cooldown first, so that by the time you finish casting Crushing Wave they'll soon be coming off cooldown. This is of course unless you want to keep it for escaping their ultimate etc... like in the example I gave about Anubis above.
During mid game you should be pushing mid as necessary while looking for opportunities to gank the left and right lanes. If you played your early game right then you should be the highest level / best geared in the game, and you should take advantage of this to snowball yourself.
As you're moving around the map a lot, you'll probably meet enemy gods in the jungle quite often. This is where you need to really take advantage of your Flood Waters. A lot of inexperienced He Bo players will use Flood Waters to move in one direction, but in the jungle it should be really abused to maximise it's potential.
For example if you meet Bakasura with Frostbound Hammer you will obviously try to kite him while dealing damage. As you have Flood Waters he will be forced to use Take Down to close the gap. If you time it well what you can do is use Waterspout as soon as they land, which will launch them back into the air in the direction they were moving, which will cause them to overshoot and give you enough room to move away again. This will give you space to safely damage them until their Take Down comes off cooldown again.
Remember, Flood Waters persists for 7 seconds and it's on a 10 second cooldown. There's the 3 seconds inbetween where you won't have a slow at all, so make sure you have some distance when when the river's about to disappear!
The longer the game lasts, the more the other gods will catch up with your level and gear. You need to play more carefully at this stage and be more of a team player than a lone wolf. Work together with your team mates to push / defend as necessary.
During late game team fights you should stay back and harass with Waterspout. You can also try to force an enemy god out of position by using Waterspout as they run forwards, launching them towards your team. This will allow your team mates to engage in a safer situation.
Your main job is to stay back, harass and be alert. As soon as your team engages, you need to join them and output as much damage as you can. Use Flood Waters to dip in and out so that you can cast Water Cannon and watch for opportunities to use Crushing Wave. Be careful though - don't get greedy and put yourself in a bad situation by using Crushing Wave to get 1 kill, just to end up being ganked by the 4 other enemy gods!
I would say He Bo works well with most gods, but I guess the ones that shine in particular are ones that have stuns or abilities to pull the enemy team together. These include but are not limited to:
You'll notice in my item build below that I have opted for getting the Polynomicon as my fourth item. The reasoning behind this is because at this stage you will have high enough magical power for Polynomicon to start shining.
He Bo is in my opinion, the god that compliments Polynomicon the best due to his short cooldowns. Polynomicon has an internal cooldown of 2 seconds, which means that you can pretty much get the proc after each spell you use. You should therefore try to alternate between using an ability and auto attacking once to maximise the damage from Polynomicon. Bear this in mind whenever you engage an enemy and you'll notice you output a lot more damage.
I really can't stress enough how strong Polynomicon is with He Bo. As I always tell my friend, it's like having an additional ability that has a cooldown of 2 seconds, costs no mana and yet can hit for 400+ damage late game.
It really is that insane.
I hope this guide helped in some way or another, if not please don't hesitate to ask questions below. Obviously any constructive criticism is welcome too, but if you think you can do that much better I invite you to submit your own guide!
Bottom line is He Bo is a great god with high damage. He is also squishy though so know your limits, keep your distance and aim your attacks!
Happy He Bo-ing around!
This is pretty much the standard set I get. Obviously I'll switch out items as necessary if I feel the need. Be sure to read the section in the above guide concerning the Polynomicon, as it's a vital part of this build!