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Why are players taking Smite mid in patch 8.23?

We had to specify the patch in the headline because people take Smite mid at least once a year for some reason

Riot Games

It’s that time of the year again, when players are taking Smite into the mid lane. What’s the deal with it this time, though? Why is it happening again?

With patch 8.23, Riot took away the “Monster Hunter” passive on jungle items, which means you got less gold from lane minions if you have the highest CS on your team. This passive is what put the gold funneling strategy that we saw in pro play into place! Now that turret plating gives an extra chunk of gold and bounties have been changed, this isn’t needed. That being said, it started letting mid lane players take Smite without the penalties again.

This time around, the move is to take the raptor camp at the start of lane and whenever you can. Of course, if you’re taking raptors as a mid laner at level one, you need a champion with pretty good clear to do so. Talon works for this, as well as Nocturne, if you want to go for a cheeky mid lane Noc pick. You end up being really ahead in gold of your enemy laner, so long as they did not also take Smite and do the same thing.

So, yes, Smite mid is back in fashion, though we can’t imagine it’ll stay this way for too long. Riot has yet to say anything about the return of the trend, but we know Smite doesn’t belong mid, so ... we’ll see what happens.