Aphrodite is my most played god in Smite with over three hundred hours mostly spent in the conquest mid lane. (I know...)
Aphrodite - Beautiful and Violent
Book of Thoth and the Early Game - Give Aphrodite great power and mana to clear her wave. Aphrodite makes for a great Book of Thoth rush thanks to her great sustain that lets her forgo health potions. If you are conservative with your abilities you should be able to comfortably pick up Book on your first back and forgo both health and mana potions from here, giving you extra money to ward or simply get a leg up on your competition. Since Aphrodite prefers to avoid early fights this gives her a great opportunity to focus on stacks and farm. Remember, you play for the late game, if allies are getting pressured out early, there is little you can do to help them. Focus most of your early efforts on maintaining your own lane. Throw Love Birds right over the wall when helping clear speed and rush to lane. Aphrodite doesn't have great early game damage but she can last, so play back and farm while looking for openings provided by your jungle. Level Kiss when you see fit as in can be great self peel or used to interrupt channeled clear abilities from Raijin or Isis. If you think you need it at level 3 or even 2, take it, but it's costly so use it sparingly until you get Book of Thoth online. Conserve mana as much as possible, and hold Love Birds for wave clear unless you or an ally are in dire need of a heal. This way you get the most bang for your buck, healing and clearing at the same time instead of healing straight after a gank and sitting awkwardly without your clear and draining extra mana. Your job in the early game is quite simple in theory. DON'T DIE. Aphrodite's camp clear is soso, you will need to focus all your efforts on the wave in the early as most mids will out clear you and enemy jungles may hover you looking for an easy gank. Stay close to your tower and wait until levels 7, 8, or 9 to start pushing into the jungle for mid camps and red when you aren't working with your own jungler. These are the levels you will really start taking off.
Shoes of Focus and the 10 Minute Mark - You should be able to last straight through lane until it's time to back for your boots. From here you get movement speed and cooldown as well as some more power and mana that will convert into 22.5 more power when Book is done. Your ult is short in duration early, you should be saving this to cleanse CC or block very clear attacks, like Scylla's I'm A Monster or Thanatos' Hovering death. Don't be fickle though. Your Undying Love's cooldown is low, so don't hold it if things look 50/50. With boots comes rotations, and greater ability to escape ganks, allowing you to pressure your opponent more. Come out from under your tower. Look to cooperate with your jungle and support. Aphrodite with her ultimate and Heavenly, has essentially three defensive actives at once which should allow you to escape enemy rotations. And there will be rotations. But you aren't an easy gank anymore. Take trades, Aphrodite wins her lane through shear endurance. If you didn't die, and they took damage too, you are winning. They should have killed you when they had the chance darling.
Chronos' Pendant and the Start of Something Beautiful - So long as you and your team aren't in the weeds, the hard part is over. Chronos' Pendant will give you a nice chunk of power and some helpful MP5, but of course the massive amount of CDR is the real value. The pendant is expensive but the item more than pays for itself with Aphrodite. By now you should already be healing and hitting for a fair amount and with team fights starting to enter full swing CDR will ensure you can heal and ult as needed, get the most value out of your two damaging abilities and kiss change when necessary. With Book, Shoes of Focus, and Chronos' online you should be well prepared to put out large healing and damage.
"It's Britney Bitch" - Spears, you'll need them. Penetration is something you will need to bring to the table to help against tanks. While you can usually expect your ADC or Jungle to do most of the damage to structures and objectives, you, even as a healer, are the next in line when it comes to focusing things down. Remember in a traditional team comp you provide most of you teams magical damage. Two great options are either Spear of the Magus or Spear of Desolation. Magus is great if you have an extra magical damage dealer on you team, or just a third magical in general. Not only will Aphrodite's Love Birds shred protections substantially and allow bigger hits from Back Off on fragile targets it will also weaken tanks. Another option is Spear of Desolation which gives more power and pen up front as well as cooldown. With a very handy passive for Aphrodite this item is more effective than spear when you teammates are killing tanks for you allowing you to simply focus on putting out bigger number heals more often and still hitting squishy gods hard. I think both items are good and if you can't settle on one, consider purchasing both, especially if your team is still overall having issues with tanks after you get one.
A Girl and her Rods - By now the enemy team has gotten anti heal and to combat this you will need Asclepius. Lucky for you the power is nice and the movement speed also can help the already fast when linked Aphrodite avoid attacks. Or outpace enemies when you teammates are running just slightly outside your Kiss range away from you. If the enemy is getting anti heal very fast, or has come in their kit, consider moving this item up as a priority. Rod of Tahuti is another fantastic pick to give a ton of power straight up, which you will find yourself wanting. The passive affects enemies you hit, and your healing onto yourself and your allies, so all damage Aphrodite should pick this item up, if any. By now you are into the late game a good ways and should be finding your grove healing and hurting and generally being very annoying to the enemy team and giving them a hard time.
Book of Souls
This consumable heals 150 Mana over 25 seconds.
This consumable heals 150 Mana over 25 seconds.
This consumable heals 150 Mana over 25 seconds.
Using this item increases the Movement Speed of allied gods within 55 units by 20% for 5s and makes them immune to Slows. Cooldown - 140s
Evolved Book of Thoth
PASSIVE - 9% of your Mana from items is converted to Magical Power.
Shoes of Focus
PASSIVE - Every 10s the Pendant activates, subtracting 1s from all of your abilities currently on Cooldown. The initial countdown will not start until you leave the fountain.
Rod of Asclepius
AURA - Allied gods within 70 units have their Healing increased by 20%.
Rod of Tahuti
PASSIVE - Basic Attacks and Abilities gain 25% additional Magical Power against targets below 50% Health.
When looking to sell boots, or simply needing an alternate item, look at these items. Builds are just a guideline and won't work in every game.
Spear of Desolation - Outlined above in "It's Britney Bitch"
Divine Ruin - Sure building anti heal on a healer is somewhat petty, but a girl's gotta do what she's gotta do.
Doom Orb - If you are looking for pure power after you sell boots you can't go wrong with Doom Orb.
Soul Reaver - With two attacks Aphrodite does not make the best use of this item but it provides almost as much power as Doom Orb with a passive that helps against high health foes.
Gem of Isolation - Improves Aphrodite's already decent slow and gets even more longevity from her DoT. If you want to annoy your enemy, pick this up.
Lotus Crown - Lotus Crown isn't as great on Aphrodite as other healers as it only ever effects her and one ally at a time. But the effect is pretty and I'm a basic bitch. Also since it gives some power it isn't a terrible bridge item if you need some physical prots early. It's fairly cheap and can be sold later. Cu Chulainn has an interesting interaction with this item based on his passive converting mana regeneration into healing. Kissing Cu Chulainn gives him Lotus Crown's passive until the link is broken.
Void Stone - If you need to snag some magical protections over physical void stone can be the way to go while still giving you some power.
Mantle of Discord - While it gives no power some mixed protections and CDR can always be valuable especially on a utility mage like 'Dite. It's pricey, but your ult, Mantle, and Beads or Aegis can really make the enemy jealous.
Sheild of Regrowth - You are getting run down by melee gods who want to stick to you? This item can help you widen that gap for a low price and with fair stats. Since Aphro's heal is a HoT, you have that much wider a window of opportunity to activate the passive.
Pythagorem's Piece - If your team is doing very well, this item can let you double down on utility. It can be good training wheels or essentially, a crutch, if you are having trouble keeping the team alive.
Heavenly Wings - With Undying Love and Heavenly you can be made very hard to pin down. Pop Heavenly defensively unless it WILL get your team a kill.
Magic Shell - Buy and upgrade Shell if you are being pressured by auto attack based gods.
Purification Beads - If the enemy has multiple or particularity potent CCs, Beads can be a life saver and give you more options about when you do or don't want to ult.
Aegis Amulet - While it negates healing during, Aegis can be great against concentrated burst or prolonged anti heal effects for similar reasons given for beads above. Don't underestimate Undying Love into Aegis or vice versa. More than one Serqet ult has been countered with this combination and most enemy's won't expect such prolonged invulnerability.
Horrific Emblem - If your enemies make the mistake of getting Cursed Ankh upgrading Horrific can reduce their bonus damage back down while slowing them. It's greatest when combined with Heavenly. Bonus points if you just hold your heal until the effect is over.
Phantom Veil - This item can ruin the predictable Odin ult as you are essentially a blinking sign to him saying to "Ult Here." Even better an Odin that recognized you have it will be more leary to ult you in the future.
Get wards, they win wars. GET PURPLE. GET THE SPEED ELIXIR. Late game they will be essential.
Spear of Desolation
PASSIVE - If you receive a kill or assist on an Enemy God all of you non-ultimate cooldowns are reduced by 2 seconds and your ultimate cooldown is reduced by 8s.
PASSIVE - Enemies hit by your abilities have 40% reduced healing for 6 seconds.
PASSIVE - Killing or assisting an enemy minion provides you with 1 stack, granting 1% Movement Speed and 4 Magical Power per stack. Stacks last for 15s and stack up to 5 times. Enemy gods provide 5 stacks.
PASSIVE - Your abilities deal an additional 2% of the target's maximum Health as Magical Damage. If the target has over 2000 Health, your ability bonus damage scales up. This effect reaches a maximum of 9% Maximum Health damage at 2750 Health. Subsequent hits on the same target do half the bonus damage for the next 3s.
Gem of Isolation
PASSIVE - Enemies hit by your damaging abilities will move 20% Slower for 1 seconds.
PASSIVE - Any god affected by your ability heals gains 20 increased Physical and Magical Protection for 5 seconds.
AURA - Enemy gods within 55 units have their Magical Protection reduced by 10%.
Shield of Regrowth
PASSIVE - After healing yourself from an ability, you gain +30% movement speed for 4 seconds. This cannot occur more than once every 10 seconds.
AURA - Allied gods within 70 units have their Magical Lifesteal increased by 12% and their Magical Power increased by 30 or their Physical Lifesteal increased by 10% and their Physical Power increased by 20.
Heavenly Wings Upgrade
Using this item increases the Movement Speed of allied gods within 55 units by 20% for 5s, makes them immune to Slows, and grants Haste causing them to be immune to Basic Attack Movement Penalty. Cooldown - 140s
Magic Shell Upgrade
Using this item applies a shield to himself and allies within 35 units for 100 Health + 12 Health per God Level for 3 seconds. Additionally, all allies receive 2 stacks of Block, absorbing the next 2 Basic Attacks. Cooldown - 150s.
Purification Beads Upgrade
Using this item removes Crowd Control Effects and makes you immune to new ones for 2s. Cooldown - 130s.
Aegis Amulet Upgrade
Using this item makes you invulnerable to damage and healing for 1.5s, and prevents you from taking any actions. You may still move. Cooldown - 150s.
Horrific Emblem Upgrade
Using this item Slows the Movement Speed of all enemy gods within 35 units by 30% for 5s. Their Attack Speed is reduced by 25% for the duration. Additionally, their Damage Dealt is reduced by 15%. Cooldown - 130s.
Phantom Veil Upgrade
Using this item allows you and allied gods within 35 units to pass through players and player made objects for 10s. It also provides a 15% Damage Mitigation Buff for 5s. Cooldown - 150s.
This is a ward that allows you to see normal enemy movements with 45 units. It does respect line of sight and can't see through walls or stealth. It remains for 3 minutes or until killed.
This is a ward that allows you to see enemy movements and other wards within 45 units. It does respect line of sight and can't see through walls or stealth. It remains for 3 minutes or until killed. Can only carry one at a time.
Center of Attention - Gives free protections the more gods are around you. It's handy, if boring, but check the indicator. It can warn you if an enemy is trying to sneak up on you, as you can see yourself getting protections before you see the enemy.
Kiss - Kiss allies when they need healing or support or when you see an opportunity to land a heavy Back Off. Aphrodite's allies are an extension of herself. Kiss has a much longer cool down time when used on enemies so make it count. Stop channeled abilities when possible.
Back Off - This can hit enemies very hard. Harder than some enemies might expect. Use it to land kills, spread slows, self peel and knock enemies into bad positions. With the speed from kiss you can catch up to an enemy, stun them, get ahead and knock them right back into your team or tower.
Love Birds - Heal up your team on cool down when out of combat during the mid and late game. In fights try to always hit you enemy when casting if possible. If a low health ally is lagging behind or in no immediate danger, make them wait a second or two to nail an enemy as well. The birds come out on a delay, so at longer ranges try to commit to enemies stunned or otherwise immobilized if possible. The delay can also be abused when clearing the wave as minions will walk into the damage and allow you to stay a few extra feet back.
Undying Love - Don't be afraid to ult higher health allies at later stages of the game as the short cooldown and rapid nature of burst in smite won't let you regret it. When coming in clutch you can ult before the Kiss link is formed, including Ult into Kiss to allow the remaining ultimate duration to smother your ally with dat big pillowy lurve.
Aphrodite is best against predictable mids where she can break their mold with her phenomenal healing and defensive ultimate. Discordia's apple or 2-1 combo can be easily countered, if you know the timing. If an ally is going to spread an apple onto you or a low health ally, save your ult to block the second detonation. Make sure you are ulting just before the apple bursts, not when it is first applied, as the explosion, and damage, is delayed. He Bo has strong early damage, but his damage is easy enough to heal off if you stay passive and don't let him get off multiple big hits. Let him take the lead in the early game and focus on your own farm. In mid and late game you can easily block or heal his big damage, which leaves him out of position and ready to be collapsed on. Kukulkan's telegraphed ultimate can be quickly blocked or out right avoided in a pinch thanks to the movement speed from Kiss. The movement speed will also allow you to move out of the area of his Whirlwind before it starts to do damage, and you can heal up those afflicted by the DoT. Nox will find it more difficult to land her 1 on you or your soulmate thanks to your speed. Your ultimate and healing will also make it harder for her to get a kill if she succeeds. Nox's hit or miss playstyle can be kept as a hard miss if you are quick and perceptive. Nu Wa will find it difficult to get any target low enough to ult if you do your job right between your healing and ultimate. Her minion explosion can drop anyone in an instant but is somewhat slow so keep your distance and ult when you cannot push the minions away with your 2. Poseidon's infamous Kracken will be esay enough to block with your ultimate. Avoid grouping too close to your soul mate and Kiss him right as he drops Whirlpool to give allies a chance to get out of the cripple. Scylla can be difficult to pin down alone, but her extremely telegraphed attacks can be a non issue if you know when to ult and when to heal.
Generally Aphrodite doesn't lose any lanes she doesn't get hard pushed out of, but she does not win any either. Agni's powerful and safe clear can make it hard for you to approach the wave without getting blown up, so pull back and stay near the tower. You need to respect his pressure. If you draw out multiple large attacks quickly shift into the aggressor where you can heal yourself and harm him in one fell swoop. Gain advantage through sustain. Chang'e will get close and weaken your healing. Her strong sustain and passive can make her hard for even you to outlast, so lure her into a gank for your jungler and stagger your CC and damage with their's to bait out her Moonlit Waltz. Sol wants to box you and won't be scared off by getting hit hard by your two attacks like some ability based mages. Long fights favor Sol more than you while you are alone. She can rotate or push your tower down very quickly so place wards in or around mid to keep tabs on her and not give an inch against this goddess.
Watch for characters who want to drop down you or you allies quickly or CC you into disadvantageous positions and use your powerful healing and ultimate to neuter their strongest aspects.
Be weary of gods who want to get on you quickly and take you down with sustained damage. It's even more a threat than anti heal. When forced to fight these gods try to dump your damage on them as you disengage. Get support from you teammates to get these dive focused characters off of you. Do save your peels and healing for yourself if you are getting focused to buy yourself and your allies more time to react.
Aphrodite's closest allies are those that can get in on, and stay on, targets. Especially gods that can provide their own reliable damage so Aphrodite doesn't have to 100 to 0 a target herself. From there her priority for a Kiss should generally be; In Need of Healing>Assassins>Frontline Tanks>Close/Mind Range Mages>Hunters>Long Range Mages>Backline Tanks. Remember this is just a guideline and to switch links often based on who needs healing/peel, where you see an opportunity to secure or assist in a kill, and simply who is most valuable to the team.