MECHANICS: Damage and Protections

Protections are an important mechanic in SMITE, but it is also one of the most misunderstood. In this page, we will try to explain how Protection and Damage work as simply as possible and explain all the other additional conditions that can modify these values.
We first need to separate the Attacking God and the Defending God. The Attacking God (AG) will be the God who will be dealing the damage to the Defending God (DG). This separation is important as the formulas we will use will affect each God separately.
Lets first talk about AG. The AG will be dealing damage; whether it’s from Auto Attacks or from an Ability. The Damage value can be calculated from the Base Damage + Scaling of the Auto Attack/Ability. This is somewhat easy to understand but we can give an example. Let’s have a look at Skadi’s Piercing Cold, her first ability.
Piercing Cold deals 90/140/190/240/290 (+80% of your physical power). What does this mean? At Rank 5 of this ability, Piercing Cold will deal 290 Damage + 80% of her Physical Power. If her Physical Power is 300 at the time of casting, Piercing Cold will have a Damage Value of:

290 + (80% of 300) = 290 + 240 = 530

Understand this is Damage with no modifiers in place. What do I mean by modifiers? Anything that can Increase or Decrease Skadi’s Physical Power is not considered. We will look at modifiers next.
This Damage Value is now modified with our first equation. It is as follows:

Adj. Damage = Damage * (1 + Damage Dealt Increase – Damage Dealt Reduction) * (1 + Conditional Increase)

Damage Dealt Increase: An example of this would be Aphrodite's Jealousy. If Aphrodite is linked to Skadi with her First Ability, Kiss, and she casts her Kiss Ability on an Enemy God, Skadi will be given the Jealousy Buff (8/11/14/17/20%).
Damage Dealt Reduction: An example would be Horrific Emblem Upgraded. This will reduce Skadi's Damage Dealt by 15%.
Conditional Increase: This modifier is active when a condition is fulfilled. In this case, Runeforged Hammer's Passive. If an enemy is affected by Crowd Control, you will deal an additional 15% Damage.
For our example, a Skadi using Rank 5 Piercing Cold, with 300 Physical Power, affected by Aphrodite's Rank 5 Jealousy, affected by Horrific Emblem Upgraded, and activates Runeforged Hammer's Passive would be:

530 * (1 + 0.2 – 0.15) * (1 + 0.15) = 639.97

This value is the Adjusted Damage Value. This is the value that will be used in the Final Damage Calculation.
We will now move on to the Defending God (DG). There are four modifiers that exist that affect the final Adjusted Protection Value for the DG. The formula we will use is as follows:

Adj. Protections = ((Protections * (1 – % Reduction) – Flat Reduction) * (1 – % Penetration) – Flat Penetration)

Percentage Reduction: An example of this would be Void Shield Passive or Void Stone Passive.
Flat Reduction: An example of this would be Cerberus's Ghastly Breath.
Percentage Penetration: This is the Percentage Penetration of the AG, built from Items. An example is Heartseeker (10%) or Obsidian Shard (20%).
Flat Penetration: This is the Flat Penetration of the AG, built from Items. Examples include Jotunn's Wrath (10) or Spear of Desolation (15).
Carrying on our Example, lets assume the DG is Xing Tian with 300 Physical Protections. A Xing Tian being affected by 15% Percentage Reduction (from Void Shield), Flat Reduction of 12 (from two ticks of Cerberus's Ghastly Breath at Rank 1), 30% Percentage Penetration from Skadi (Titan's Bane (20%) + Heartseeker (10%)), and Flat Penetration of 30 from Skadi (The Crusher (15) and Brawler's Beat Stick (15)) would give us:

((300 * (1 - 0.15) – 12) * (1 – 0.3) – 30) = 140.1

This value is the Adjusted Protection Value. This will be used in the final calculation.
Finally, we can move to the Damage Taken Formula. It is as follows:

Dmg. Taken = Adj. Damage * (1 – Damage Mitigated + Increased Damage Taken) * (100 / (100 + Adj. Protections))

Damage Mitigated: Percentage Mitigated from items such as Spirit Robe, Oni Hunters Garb.
Increased Damage Taken: Percentage Increase Damage Taken from Relics such as Cursed Ankh Upgraded or Sundering Spear Upgraded.
To finish our example, a Xing Tian with 140.1 Adjusted Protections with 9% Damage Mitigated (3 Stacks of Oni Hunters Garb), and 20% Increased Damage Taken (from Sundering Spear Upgraded) facing a Skadi with 676.2 Adjusted Damage:

639.97 * (1 – 0.09 + 0.2) * (100 / 100 + 140.1 = 295.86

In this scenario, Skadi would deal 295 Damage to Xing Tian with her Piercing Cold, accounting for every modifier and variable!
We at smiteCORE have created a Damage Calculator for you to work this out, giving you a full breakdown of everything! We’d also like to give a special thanks to flareb00t for the Word of Thoth document detailing this.
by skathi, Last Updated: 24 August 2020