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A mathematical discussion about the benefits/trade-offs of Watcher's Gift as a starting item

SMITE: Should I Build Watcher's Gift? May 1, 2015 5:06pm UTC
We've all been there.

You play a ranked match as a support. You start by building ANY other item besides Watcher's Gift. You get everything short of death threats from your "team" for doing so.

Yup, that's pretty much a standard sequence of events. But here's the real question: Is it even worth getting this most-sacred-of-items "Watcher's Gift"? Let's dive in and take a look from a mathematical standpoint.

To start, the item description for Watcher's Gift is as follows:
PASSIVE - Being within range 60 of a minion or jungle camp monster death without dealing the killing blow awards +4 bonus gold, and also restores +10 Health and +5 Mana.

Many people look at this description and think, "Well jeeze, I'm not going to have any protections against anything when I get out to my lane if I go with this. I better choose something else."

A completely valid argument, but those ranked know-it-alls won't have it. Their argument might be something like, "OMG dood! U need that xtra gold or RIP duo lane."

...Okay, but you don't *just* get gold from this item. The more useful parts of watchers gift might actually be the +5 MP5 it provides, along with the 5 Mana and 10 Health you get when a monster dies, though the +10 Health trails off pretty quickly.

But that's not why you're reading this, is it? You want to know how much exactly you're getting (in terms of gold) from this item. So let's get to it.

First, let's lay out some facts:

  • In conquest, minion waves spawn every 30 seconds after the start of the match. This means 2 waves per minute, which means 12 minions per minute for each team.

  • With no items at all, you'll get +17 gold from being near the death of a front-row minion, and +12 gold from a back-row minion.

  • Assuming you're in your lane for 5 minutes (10 minion waves), you'll collect 870 gold just from standing there and doing nothing. This is our baseline number.

    Add on Watcher's Gift, and you're looking at 1110 gold over that same 5 minutes, a difference of 240 gold.

    Divide that across the 5 minutes you've been in the lane, and the magic number is an additional 48 gold per minute (24 gold per wave). Oh, and that's assuming you don't recall, go and help another lane, or die.

    In terms of Mana, you'll be getting back 30 Mana per wave, which might let you squeak in another ability every minute, but barely.

    So what does this all mean? In short, it means you get a small amount of extra gold to work with, but if you're being focus fired by the opposing team, and your ADC isn't scoring those minion kills fast enough, you're likely going to die pretty quickly. Why? Because you have zero item-based protections.

    Like all items in SMITE, Watcher's Gift is circumstantial. Think hard about your god's mana use, health, and who you're laning with before you blindly select this as your first item.

    Side Note:
    The difference between a good ADC and a bad one lies in their ability to last-hit minions in the laning phase. Scoring no last hits will grant them the same 87 gold per wave as you, but if they score every last hit, they're looking at 129 gold per wave!! That's 50% more gold just from scoring last hits.

    Interesting. Just, interesting.
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