SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive back story of lore. From the Greek to Hindu, each week we’ll look at two characters from a major pantheon and provide a quick recap of their history and in what capacity their digital incarnation will represent on the field of Hi-Rez Studios’ upcoming MOBA.
Lore: Aphrodite, by all accounts, is incredibly attractive. The Greek goddess of love, procreation, beauty and pleasure is so desirable that the rest of her pantheon feared that godly rivalries for her hand would result in war. This is despite her being born a full adult from the mutilated genitals of Uranus. Ehem. Origin aside, her beauty resulted in an arranged marriage to Hephaestus, the ugly and deformed equivalent of the Roman smith Vulcan.
Being a deity in the Greek pantheon means such a social chain as marriage wouldn’t stop her from messing around. Aphrodite had the pick of any man she desired, gods and mortals alike. The rotating consorts caused as much strife as Zeus and the other leaders likely feared. For instance, her union with the violent God of War Ares bore Phobos and Deimos, the personifications of Fear and Terror that road to battle with their father.
Her most interesting tale wis her role in the creation and her eventual enrapturement of Adonis. It began when the Goddess of Beauty took offense of King Cinyras’s wife claiming their daughter was more beautiful than the Goddess. In return, Aphrodite cursed the daughter, Myrrha, to have an undying lust for her father. Through disguise Myrrha eventually has her man, became pregnant and was hunted for her incest. The child bore was Adonis, whom is brought to Hades and Persephone by Aphrodite to be raised in the Underworld. Growing into a striking man in his own right, Aphrodite demands his company, eventually winning it when Zeus intervened. Eventually, a jealous and disguised Ares castrates and kills Adonis.
Better to have love and lost than to never have loved at all. Unless you’re Aphrodite who managed to throw her beauty around eventually gaining visitation rights to the Underworld.
Aphrodite is gorgeous enough to be a routine depiction in ancient and modern art. Perhaps the best known piece is The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli.
In-Game: Aphrodite is as strikingly complex a character as her beauty at first glance. The Goddess of Beauty isn’t as difficult to play as she may appear initially, but she is one of the most complex characters in SMITE. A tandem offensive and defensive support character, utilizing the same abilities no less, her abilities are completely dependent upon her Soul Mate that she leashes to by blowing an allied character a Kiss.
Unlike nearly every other God, Aphrodite does not gain bonus damage for additional magic power. With her abilities being modified heavily when she possesses a Soul Mate, such a attribute would be a balance issue. This fact means Aphrodite players should focus on maximizing her support capabilities. Items increasing mana regeneration will increase personal and Soul Mate sustainability. Additional healing and aura buffs/debuffs are crucial to accentuating her breasts…I mean attributes. Think Void Stone, Bracer of Replenishment or even Vampiric Shroud.
Head over to SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained for details on all of the playable characters.