Hand of the Gods: Smite Tactics goes into open beta

Smite Tactics

As our resident person-we-push-towards-digital-card-games-whether-he-likes-it-or-not, Brendy has the most RPS experience with the Smite spin-off, Tactics (now called Hand of the Gods: Smite Tactics [official site]). But now pretty much any Tom, Chris or Richard* can develop their own expertise vie the game’s open beta which starts… now!

In case you need a touch more backstory, Hand of the Gods: Smite Tactics is a turn-based collectible card game set in the same god-themed universe as the Smite MOBA. Let us now observe the trailer:

M-m-m-multi Scott!

Hello Scott Lussier, Lead Designer, via a press release, what do you have to say on the matter?

“Over the course of Closed Beta we’ve reworked the strategic elements of gameplay and deck building while making combat much easier to read and understand. Today with the launch of Open Beta, we invite everyone to download Hand of the Gods for free and lead the legends of mythology into battle.”

What about you, Scott Zier, Project Lead, via the trailer? What do you think?

“We’re also thrilled to announce a $50,000 tournament at the HiRez Expo this January that kicks off the esports scene for Hand of the Gods.”

Thanks Scott x Scott.

Anyhoodle, Brendy wasn’t keen when he played but in terms of some caveats: that was back in February and the game was in closed beta, actively seeking feedback as players tested it. I’d be loath to assume its state then is its state now, especially given some of the things like bugs and weird UI choices are the things I’d specifically expect to be picked up and fixed as part of a beta. The old-fashioned and kinda eye-rolly art style is typical Smite though so if that’s the thing putting you off I’d assume that won’t have changed.

The game itself is free-to-play but, as with most of the free-to-play games out there there are a bunch of paid packs and paid gubbins. The new big pack is the Venus Competitor’s Pack which unlocks the character Venus and a bunch of cards and cosmetic bits in Tactics as well as a Venus skin for her Greek counterpart Aphrodite in Smite (the MOBA). That pack is $14.99.

The open beta is downloadable via the official Hand of the Gods: Smite Tactics site.

*This throwaway statement handily covers approx 94% of all people in this profession :D Sometimes I call myself Tom just to fit in. If I add “wearer of a plaid shirt” the percentage goes up even further but then also starts to encompass grunge nostalgia as purchased on the high street and I feel old and cross!


  1. Freud says:

    Is universe that important when it comes to card games. Does anyone care about the lore of Smite, Fable and Runescape?

    • Deathmaster says:

      … or the Elder Scrolls.

    • Tayh says:

      You do realise Smite is built upon the real-world mythologies of the Greek/Roman, Norse, Hindu, Chinese, etc. pantheons?

  2. kwyjibo says:

    Smite started off as a Duelyst clone. I have no idea on the state of this directionless paint by numbers, but here’s the former engineering lead on where the game has gone.

    link to twitter.com

    They’ll probably do quite well still, can’t go to far wrong with the Smite advertising dollars.

  3. Captain Narol says:

    I’m been in and out since the closed beta, and I am quite disappointed by this game so far.

    The mix of Turn-based tactics and CGG (should we call them TCCG ?) is currently my favorite PvP genre, but Smite Tactics fails to deliver for me, being too simplified and not deep enough :

    – Decks are only 25 cards, so games get quickly repetitive

    – Battlefield is empty of obstacles so quite boring

    – Card choice is very limited, so deckbuilding lacks options

    – Units are too weak and get wiped fast by spells, so board is mostly empty almost all the time until one of the player takes an edge (at which time it’s usually very hard to catch up)

    – All units have the same base movement (3 cases) and all ranged units have the same base range (3 cases too) leading to a lack of variety and tactical options

    Game is fun and solid for a moment, but not clearly not deep enough for tactics fans it just doesn’t stick with me.

    Instead, I would rather recommand in the genre Shardbound (still in EA but very promising) and Warbands Bushido (more focused on the tactics side and quite epic).

    • mball1297 says:

      I created an account just to say thank you. I tried out Smite Tactics, but it doesn’t work too well on my tablet. I’m looking into the two options you posted, and they look like just what I want. Thanks for the recommendations.