The highly anticipated Slavic Goddess, Baba Yaga, joins the Smite roster in the Witch of the Woods Update – available now on Xbox One. Sometimes she is cruel and sometimes kind. But two things stay constant: Baba Yaga is cunning and unpredictable.
Dwelling deep in the woods, Baba Yaga lives in a house atop gnarled chicken legs, adorned with human skulls. Travelers seek her in hopes for power, freedom, or influence but there is always a price that must be paid for her aid. If you are foolish enough to seek Baba Yaga, know that she might punish you, aid you, or both just for her own amusement. And sometimes, very rarely, she helps without harm. In Smite’s lore, Mulan seeks out the powerful witch in hopes to find the cause of the strange corruption happening in the universe. Only time will tell if Baba Yaga is friend, foe, or quite possibly neither.
When creating Baba Yaga’s kit, we wanted to really stay true to her personality traits and folklore themes. Her personality can be described as chaotic neutral which means she can help, hurt, sometimes both, or neither. Her unpredictable nature is showcased brilliantly in her first ability, Wild Witchcraft. Baba Yaga throws forward magic that follows a random path, leaving behind magical fields on the ground. The magical fields add gameplay effects that can potentially help teammates, or hurt enemy teams. Only Baba Yaga will know the next path and effect, leaving enemy teams uneasy on the Battleground.
At her core, Baba Yaga is a powerful and scary witch who uses her mortar and pestle to create a wide array of potions and spells. We showcase this in the ability “Baba’s Brew,” where Baba Yaga throws together random ingredients to brew a Potion. Each ingredient applies a different effect to the potion. Again, this ability shows the unpredictable nature of Baba Yaga’s witchcraft.
One huge part of Baba Yaga’s lore is her strange cabin with chicken legs. To really stick true to the folklore that still brings shivers today, we needed to include the cabin to her kit. As terrifying as the hut may look, for Baba Yaga it acts as an in-game home away from home, providing her with healing and other benefits. Yet the mistress herself doesn’t fully control her cabin, which erratically paces around with delightfully unsettling animations. When using her ultimate ability, Baba Yaga’s cabin will crash onto her and launch nearby enemies away. Baba Yaga will then command the cabin, throwing Witchfire onto the Battleground.
Baba Yaga has by far been the most requested God by the Smite community. We’re truly thankful to have such a supportive community that will bring amazing ideas to our attention. I hope you all enjoy playing as Baba Yaga and we’ll see you on the Battleground!