cu chulainn build ideas

Cu Chulainn Build Ideas

Latest posts by Johnathan Faubert (see all)

Cu Chulainn is one of the most high-pressure solo lane bullies in Smite. Even with warriors being less powerful after the changes that were made to the game recently, Cu Chulainn is still a brute force to face. These Cu Chulainn build ideas helped me play him as he is meant to be, a bully.

Early lane pressure is Cu Chulainn’s top advantage. Although the recent increase in health and protections across the board makes this a little less viable, he is still a fierce early game character. Cu Chulainn can also take advantage of the extra health because he normally builds into health items.

I like to make sure I can dive into the backline in the mid and late-game team fights, so my standard build for Cu Chulainn focuses on defense and health. I’ll also delve into some exciting but riskier bruiser builds for him as well. Let’s check out the standard build idea for Cu Chulainn.

Standard Build

Here is the main build for Cu Chulainn with the key items upfront. If I am up against a magical enemy, then I swap numbers 2 and 3 for the early magic defense.

  1. Bluestone Pendant (upgraded to Bluestone Brooch at level 20)
  2. Gladiator’s Shield
  3. Talisman of Energy
  4. Sovereignty
  5. Bulwark of Hope
  6. Pridwen

The main goal with Cu Chulainn is to take what your enemies throw at you, build up rage, and poke down their health while keeping them in place for your damage-dealing allies to finish them off. This build will take advantage of his abilities and all of the crowd control they give you with the 30% cooldown from these items.

Cu Chulainn does not use mana (his passive will convert 20% mana to health) and is better off with items that give only health. Taking and giving damage will get that rage built up, so the longer the fight lasts the more trouble the enemies are in. All that health coupled with the shields from Bulwark of Hope, Pridwen, and Cu Chulainn’s transformation make him very hard to take down.

I love diving in and busting up an enemy player who suddenly realizes I am not going down. This build helps Cu Chulainn turn solo into a cuckoo lane…(sorry I had to). Let’s look into the details of the build.

Starter Item: Bluestone Pendant

Bluestone Pendant

  • Cost – 700 (1500 for Bluestone Brooch at level 20)
  • +15 Physical Power
  • +15 HP5
  • Passive – Enemies hit by your damaging Abilities take an additional 20 Physical Damage over 2s. (Max 2 Stacks) Can be upgraded at level 20.

I know I said I am focusing on defense, but this starter will help with early-game lane clear, jungle clear, and poking down enemy health. That is everything you want out of the early game. Bluestone is a little expensive, but it is well worth it.

I find that with this starter I have to be more careful with that first wave of minions. I try and out-clear my opponent while hitting them with my abilities at the same time, but if it doesn’t work I back off; minions hit a lot harder now. Bluestone is a more aggressive way to go with Cu Chulainn, but once you get past that first wave it is great.

I prefer the Bluestone Brooch for the level 20 upgrade. It gives more defense than Corrupted Bluestone with +200 health and +30 HP5, and does more damage with the passive doing 7.5% health damage. Corrupted Bluestone could work if the enemy team has a lot of gods that rely on attack speed. The choice may come down to who you are facing, but the Brooch is almost always a better choice.

Alternative Starter Item: Warrior’s Axe

Warrior's Axe

  • Cost – 650 (1500 for Hero’s Axe at level 20)
  • +10 Physical Power
  • +10 Physical Protection
  • +10 Magical Protection
  • Passive – Damaging an enemy god steals 20 health (+1.5 per level) away from your target and restores 20 mana. This effect can only occur once every 10s. Can be upgraded at level 20.

Warriors Axe is a safer choice for Cu Chulainn, but it doesn’t quite give him what he needs in the early game. The protections are nice to have; however, the tradeoff in damage will make it hard for him to clear minions in the early game.

The health steal on the passive looks tempting, but it can only happen once every 10 seconds against enemy gods.  Bluestone can passive damage happens with every ability and affects minions too.

The upgrade to Hero’s Axe makes this starter a little more enticing. It has +300 health, +45 physical and magical protections, and +30% crowd control reduction. The passive giving a shield to allies who get hit with hard crowd control is nice, but it doesn’t come up often since I am diving the enemy back line as Cu Chulainn. Overall, the Bluestone is a better choice, but the Axe can work if you are worried about taking too much damage early on.

Gladiator’s Shield

Gladiator's Shield

  • Cost – 2400
  • +25 Physical Power
  • +40 Physical Protection
  • +250 Health
  • +10% Cooldown Reduction
  • Passive – When damaging an enemy god below 60% health with an ability you deal an additional 15 + 25% of your Protections from items and abilities. Can only trigger once per enemy per ability.

Gladiator’s Shield has everything I want from a first item in solo lane: a little power, good protection, health, and cooldown reduction. Cu Chulainn will use all of those to keep the bullying going. Gladiator’s Shield is not very cheap, but it is very good.

Cu Chulainn’s abilities are his bread and butter, so the 10% cooldown and passive work in his favor. I am usually fighting it out with my opponent in solo lane until we both get quite low on HP. Then, the Gladiator’s Shield passive kicks in. With Cu Chulainn’s transformation, that is a lot of abilities being thrown down which means a lot of extra damage with this item’s passive.

If the enemy solo and jungle are physical, then Gladiator’s Shield is a great pick for the protections. Lately, there are a lot of people picking mages into the solo lane as well. Switch the order of Gladiator’s Shield with the next item when you are up against a mage.

Talisman of Energy

Talisman of Energy

  • Cost – 2150
  • +60 Magical Protection
  • +300 Health
  • Passive – Getting a kill or assist on enemies causes you and your allies within 70 units to gain stacks of energy. Energy stacks provide 2% Movement Speed, 2% Attack Speed, and 10MP5 per stack. Lasts 10s and stacks up to 6 times.

I don’t see many people building Talisman of Energy as much as they used to, but it is still great to have on Cu Chulainn. The item’s health and protections are more than enough to justify this item, but the passive makes it a top pick.  It’s also a relatively affordable item.

One of the biggest issues with Cu Chulainn is that once I transform, the enemies run away from me. Talisman of Energy’s passive gives up to 12% movement speed. That can make a huge difference when chasing someone down…or running away (not that I ever do that).

The passive on Talisman of Energy will also help your team out a lot when rotating and doing team fights. With many teams running multiple hunters, the extra attack speed will help them. The MP5 doesn’t do a whole lot for Cu Chulainn, but your teammates will be happy. Happy teams win games.



  • Cost – 2100
  • +250 Health
  • +40 Physical Protection
  • Aura – Allied gods within 70 units have their Physical Protections increased by 15 and their HP5 increased by 35.

Sovereignty is usually a support item, but Cu Chulainn can take advantage of the health and HP5 on it. The protections are also helpful with so many people playing hunters and assassins lately. Also, remember that Gladiator’s Shield passive works with protections.

The aura will help your teammates as well. These protections and HP5 can give your team the edge when rotating and team fighting. The aura will not stack if the support on the team builds Sovereignty. I like to check and make sure my teammate is not building it before I do.

Thankfully, there are some fun alternatives if the support already has Sovereignty. I’ll include a few other choices to replace Sovereignty with.

Alternative Physical Protection Items

There are fun alternatives to Sovereignty that could easily be part of the standard build. These are my three favorite choices.

Emperor’s Armor

Emperor's Armor

  • Cost – 2000
  • +300 Health
  • +60 Physical Protection
  • Aura – Damageable enemy structures within 55 units have their Attack Speed reduced by 30%. Damageable allied structures within 55 units have their Attack Speed increased by 50%.

This may seem like a strange pick, but Emperor’s Armor can turn the tables when tower diving or defending against a tower dive. With the recent patch, towers are stronger, so this item is now very enticing. The item’s health and protection are also a huge benefit for Cu Chulainn. All around this item is strong for how cheap it is, especially when you want to chase the enemy into the tower.

Mystical Mail

mystical mail

  • Cost – 2450
  • +200 Health
  • +35 Physical Protection
  • +20% Crowd Control Reduction
  • Aura – ALL enemies within 25 units are dealt 20 (+1 Per Level) Magical Damage per second.

Mystical Mail is expensive, but it meshes well with Cu Chulainn’s Vent Anger ability. Mystical Mail has a decent amount of health and protection on top of that. The 20% crowd control reduction will help with chasing down enemies that have CC abilities.

Chasing down an enemy that is just out of reach from basic attacks can be frustrating when all of my abilities are on cooldown. Mystical Mail can do just enough damage to finish them off. It can also make a difference when diving into the back line or when the whole enemy team is attacking you.

Spectral Armor

Spectral Armor

  • +60 Physical Protection
  • +200 Health
  • +300 Mana
  • +10 MP5
  • Passive – Physical Critical Strikes bonus damage taken is decreased by 30%.

Spectral Armor is the go-to item when the enemy team is building critical hit items. Sadly, it’s the only anti-critical item. That is the main reason this is on the list, but it is almost a necessity to protect against critical damage. The health and protection will work with Cu Chulainn and the other items in the build. The mana and MP5 can help a little too. Cu Chulainn’s passive turns 20% into health. Now, let’s get back to the main build.

Bulwark of Hope

Bulwark of Hope

  • Cost – 2300
  • +70 Magical Protection
  • +250 Health
  • +20% Crowd Control Reduction
  • Passive – When you take damage and are below 40% Health, you gain a Shield with health equal to 12% of your Maximum Health for the 20s. Can only occur once every 60s.

Bulwark of Hope pairs well with the health gained from the rest of the build.  Cu Chulainn already has a shield from his passive transformation, so this additional shield is extra irritation for your enemies to deal with.

The protection from the Bulwark of Hope is massive.  The health is great too.  Couple those with the crowd control reduction, and this item gives Cu Chulainn great survivability in fights.  Bulwark of Hope is expensive but worth the price.  There are a couple of alternative magical protection items for this slot as well.

Alternative Magical Protection Items

These items can still work well with Cu Chulainn and are mostly situational.



  • Cost – 2250
  • +80 Magical Protection
  • +250 Health
  • Aura – Enemy gods within 55 units have their healing reduced by 25%. This does not stack with similar Auras.

Cu Chulainn already has built-in anti-heal on his Barbed Spear ability, but if the enemy team has a lot of healing, Pestilence is a great choice.  It has the most magical protection in the game and a lot of health.

This item works well with the rest of the build and is a much better choice for anti-heal than Contagion based on the stats it gives.

Genji’s Guard

  • Cost – 2200
  • +150 Health
  • +70 Magical Protection
  • +40 MP5
  • +10% Cooldown Reduction
  • Passive – When you take Magical Damage from Abilities your cooldowns are reduced by 3s. This can only occur once every 30s.

Genji’s Guard is a helpful item for Cu Chulainn when the enemy team has a lot of magical gods.  It has a lot of protection, and the passive helps get your abilities back up.  Genji’s Guard can keep Cu Chulainn on the offensive against the enemy back line.

The health and 10% cooldown reduction are also great to have on Cu Chulainn.  I choose Genji’s guard if the enemy team has three or more magical gods.  Now, we can check out the final item in the build.



  • Cost – 2400
  • +30 Physical Protection
  • +30 Magical Protection
  • +20% Cooldown Reduction
  • Passive – When your Ultimate ability has finished casting, you gain a Shield equal to 90% of your Protections from items and abilities for 5s. When destroyed, by timing out or being depleted, it explodes and deals Magical damage equal to 75% of the Shield’s initial Health and slows targets by 25% for 3s. This can only occur once every 45 seconds.

This is another expensive item, but the stats on Pridwen are too good to worry about that.  The protections are nice to have, but that isn’t the best part.  The 20% cooldown reduction and the passive are what make Pridwen an awesome finale to the build.

Using Cu Chulainn’s abilities is the key to keeping the pressure on the enemies.  The cooldown makes this so much easier.  Then, all the protections come into play with the passive shield after using an ultimate ability.  This is even easier to trigger since Cu Chulainn technically has two ultimate abilities.  I also love the surprise of blowing up the shield on an enemy who is trying to get away.

Alternative Builds

Though Cu Chulainn is best as a bruiser bully in the solo lane, he has the potential to do a lot of damage.  He can also abuse the fact that he does not use mana and have an HP5 healing build.  Here is what I like to use for these two situations.

Damage Build

Cu Chulainn Damage Build

These items focus on doing ability-based damage with a little defense in there too.  Cu Chulainn won’t survive as long as he would with the standard build, but he will deal a lot of damage.

  1. Bluestone Pendant (upgraded to Bluestone Brooch at level 20)
  2. Shifter’s Shield
  3. Jotun’s Vigor
  4. Ancile
  5. Void Shield
  6. Heartseeker

This build is aggressive with a little bit of defense in it, but the main goal is to beat down the enemy with your abilities.  Combining Bluestone with Shifter’s Shield early gives Cu Chulainn a lot of damage, and the passive on Shifter’s Shield has saved my life when fights don’t quite go my way.

Jotun’s Vigor helps the abilities keep coming with a 20% cooldown reduction; the flat penetration and power help with dealing more damage too.  Ancile also has a 10% cooldown reduction, and the passive silence can be a real pain for the enemy team.

The Void Shield gives a little defense and power, but the main benefit is the aura that reduces enemy physical protection by 15%.  Finishing off with Heartseeker gives Cu Chulainn a big damage spike with the passive doing additional 3% health damage on abilities.  It also has 10% penetration which will help more in the late game.

This build can keep the pressure on the enemy team, but it lacks somewhat in defense and survivability.  I have to shift my focus on dealing out damage and getting out when I use this build on Cu Chulainn.

HP5 Healing Build

Cu Chulainn is not a healer, but he can take advantage of HP5 items to the point of almost being a healer.  This build is a bit silly; still, I love having health that never seems to go away.  If you want to try something fun and different, this is it.

  1. Warriors Axe (upgraded to Sundering Axe at level 20)
  2. Stone of Gaia
  3. Mail of Renewal
  4. Caduceus Shield
  5. Runeforged Hammer
  6. Relic Dagger

The max HP5 is 100; this build gets me 95 HP5.  In addition, this build has a lot of passive heals.  Warriors Axe (Sundering Axe) has the health steal.  Sone of Gaia has a passive heal and a heal when hit by knockup, knockback, pull, or grab.  Mail of renewal has a passive heal after getting hit by enemy gods.

Adding Caduceus Shield to the mix increases healing, which now includes HP5 and item heals, by 20% for Cu Chulainn and your allies.  This build gives a modest amount of protection and power as well.  The relic dagger gives a 10% cooldown reduction and reduces relic cooldowns.

This build is very frustrating to fight against but fun to play.  It feels like I can’t die.  Runeforged Hammer, Relic Dagger, and Caduceus Shield help the team a little;  Other than that, it’s kind of a selfish and silly build.

Relic Options

The situation and enemies tend to determine relics, but there are a couple that almost always work well with Cu Chulainn in the solo lane.  Here are my recommendations:

  1. Teleport Fragment (upgraded into Persistent Teleport)
  2. Blink Rune (upgraded into Corrupted Blink Rune)

Teleport is convenient to have in the solo lane.  It gets me back to the lane quickly in the early game so I don’t miss out on the farm and back to the fight late game so my teammates don’t die without me there.  The upgrade into Persistent Teleport keeps the cooldown low which allows me to use it more often and have a much better map presence.

Blink Rune is great for chasing and escaping.  The worst feeling is when I transform as Cu Chulainn and the enemy gets away.  With Blink, I get right back on them.  Corrupted Blink will reduce their movement speed and attack speed, making it even easier to catch them.

I always try to coordinate with my team to make sure I am getting relics (and items) that work well with what my team has and counter our enemies.


Question: How do you counter Cu Chulainn?

Answer: Cu Chulainn may seem unstoppable, but he has his weaknesses. He has a lot of trouble with ranged enemies that can keep their distance. Using a god that has longer-ranged abilities and basic attacks will frustrate Cu Chulainn. Using crowd control on him will also keep him at bay.

If you keep him away from multiple enemies or minions, Cu Chulainn has a hard time building up rage to transform.  Then, just run away while he is berserk and wait for it to end. Coordinating with your team and keeping him away is the best counter to Cu Chulainn

Question: Does Cu Chulainn use mana?

Answer: Not in the traditional way. Cu Chulainn does not use mana for abilities, but his passive will take 20% of his mana and MP5 and convert it to health. This is more of a balance for him to get something out of items that give mana. Still, it makes much more sense to just build health and HP5 on Cu Chulainn.

Question: Does Cu Chulainn have a healing ability?

Answer: No, but people usually build so much HP5 and health on him that it seems like he has a heal. Anti-heal does work on HP5, so it can help if it looks like his health is coming back too much. His transformation gives him a health shield as well, which may look like a heal if you didn’t know about it.

Cu Chulainn Build Ideas: Conclusion

Cu Chulainn goes into beast mode, he visually turns into a beast.  It is a great feeling that is very distinct from other characters in the game.  The key to building items for him is to lean into the berserk nature of Cu Chulainn.

Focus on getting him health and cooldown reduction.  Gladiator Shield is great and works well with building protections on Cu Chulainn.  However, I am always ready to swap out an item for one that will work better at countering enemies or helping my team.  Build up that rage and make your enemies flee in terror!

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