A while back, Hi-Rez pulled a fast one on me. On their Facebook page, they teased followers with the silhouette of a familiar deity. Bat wings, tendrils, and a vague bit of text was all it took for a Lovecraft junky to go into a patch notes hunting frenzy. For about a day I thought the Lovecraft pantheon would make its way to Smite. As much as I enjoy their third person MOBA, they occasionally make me press my palm to my face.
Yes, I was disappointed to learn that the flying octopus monster revealed was merely a skin for Ah Muzen Cab (most of the skins don’t make much sense to me.) I personally feel that Lovecraft’s mythos is a fully fleshed out pantheon, and if it were a few hundred years older it might have made the Smite roster. Alas, it is a smidge under a century in age and not as extensively analyzed in literature courses as the classical world mythologies. I can still pose the ever enjoyable what-if questions. What if there were an opening roster for the Lovecraft pantheon? What roles would the Ancient Ones fill? What sort of abilities would they use? You know what. Stick around and I’ll tell you what one of them might be like.
Hastur: The King in Yellow
Little is known of the origins of Hastur. Scholars theorize that he is one of the ancient gods in service to Azathoth. His motives are unknown, but time and again he whispers his profane words to mortal ears. Hastur rarely works directly. He prefers to let others spread his word, particularly through a forbidden play entitled The King in Yellow. Any who read the play from start to finish are driven completely mad, often resorting to murder or the taking of one’s own life. Worse yet, cultist in Hastur’s service often attempt to perform the play before an unsuspecting audience. With the gods of earth growing ever more protective of their worshipers, Hastur must personally oversee the battlefield. All are invited to the performance.
Pros: High crowd control.
Cons: Only wears yellow.
As the match progresses, so too does Hastur’s play. Hastur’s abilities gain an additional bonus at the start of each new Act. Act I begins once minions spawn.
Hastur afflicts an enemy with the Yellow Sign. The Yellow Sign deals damage over time. Upon ending, it spreads a smaller weaker Yellow Sign to nearby enemies. Damage and spread radius increase with each rank. Act I: restores a percentage of Hastur’s health with each tick. Act II: Applies a slow effect. Act III: Detonates upon ending, dealing additional damage.
Hastur channels a song that bolsters nearby allies and demoralizes enemies. Allies gain a minor speed buff and health regeneration. Their next basic attack will apply a small Yellow Sign. Act I: Enemies receive an attack speed reduction. Act II: Enemy healing is reduced. Act III: Enemies tremble.
Hastur curses an area in yellow sludge, channeling an energy charged tendril to the center. The yellow ground slows enemies and the tendril damages them. Hastur may freely move with the tendril elongated. The tendril can wrap around enemies, stunning them if fully constricted. Act I: The tendril periodically drips yellow sludge on the ground, size varying on Hastur’s distance from the center. Act II: The yellow sludge becomes acidic. Act III: Successfully stunned enemies gain a Yellow Sign.
Hastur creates a field that turns enemies into a participants of his play. While in the play they will attack their nearest ally. If a target is afflicted by the Yellow Sign, they will take additional damage. If there is no one to attack nearby, the enemy will attack his or herself. Act II: Allies in the play gain an attack speed bonus. Act II: Allies gain additional life steal. Act III: All allies’ cooldowns are finished immediately.