Hello fellow players!
Now that 1.0.8 is out, it’s time to update the Arena guide. A few things have changed, most notably three points:
- Troops are now level 15
- You don’t benefit from the kingdom mana bonus any more
- Rewards have been modified
This guide will therefore be updated with newer screenshots that reflects the current Arena, as well as with up-to-date information.
What is the Arena?
Much like in any CCG/TCG game, the Arena is a place where the player has to go against other line-ups with cards drafted from a selected pool. In GoW, you will go to battle with your hero (and the weapon of your choice amongst those you already own), and three cards: a common, a rare and an ultra rare. You might play with cards you do not currently own (and are offered a choice to buy them with gems at the end if you’re so inclined).
Where do I start battling?
To be part of this elite gladiator group, you need to get to Broken Spire.
Thanks to the following screenshot, you can see that the Arena can be found at the bottom right of the city screen.
Pay the gladiator fee – a 1000 gold – and prepare to crush your opponents!
The fool let me in! What do I do now?
Good job, fellow fighter.
The game will now propose you nine cards: 3 commons, 3 rares and 3 ultra rares. You will have to pick one of each in order to create your line-up.
I will advise you to pick according to colours, so that you cover all of them. For instance, if your first choice is green, the second could be purple and red, and the third could be blue and yellow. Then, you can choose a weapon for your hero that is brown, and you get the full spectrum without any overlap! Of course, you can’t always get a perfect rainbow, so choose wisely.
Note that you don’t have to play the arena in one sitting, you can close the arena and come back to it later.
The point is to get as far as possible in the arena, up to 8 wins. The arena masters are nice enough to let you lose a battle and still carry on. Which means you can get to 8 wins, even if you screw up once. However, the second loss means that you are eliminated. It’s ok though, Luther will always welcome you back later on, as long as he gets his fee.
I should add a few points:
1. You can switch the places of your cards just like in classic invading mode.
2. You benefit from your masteries just like in any other battle, but not from your traits. All troops will be trait-less during battles.
3. You don't benefit from your kingdom bonuses while battling in the Arena.
4. You have the opportunity to earn random traitstones at the end of a battle just like in PvP mode.
5. If you close the arena before your first fight, and if you have changed your weapon, chances are you will have to change it again before your first fight. I don’t know if that issue exists for everyone (I’m a bug magnet), but I know the game never remembers it when I do it, so be careful if the weapon you currently use is not the right colour for your arena!
6. You can change the difficulty setting at any point during the Arena, but know that the rewards will be matched to the lower difficulty used.
(If you only want to play the Arena at a specific difficulty, I suggest you change it before going in. I’m quite unlucky so that might not be true to other people, but I have been surprised to play on Warlord IV just because I forgot to switch, and changing the difficulty didn’t actually let me play the Arena on lower setting. So be warned this might happen to you too, and it’s quite hard to win in higher difficulty when you get an average line-up.)
You suck at explaining, show me how it’s actually done!
Ok, here is a breakdown of my last arena.
This is my first choice, the common cards. I have to pick between the Goblin, the Ghoul and the Peasant.
I’m opting for the Goblin, since it’s one of the best common cards. I’ve been lucky! It also means I should avoid green troops for the next choices if I can, so that I don’t get mana overlap.
My second choice, the rare cards. I have to draft either the Dryad, the Acolyte or the Valkyrie. The good thing is, none of them uses green, so I can pick whichever I want without regret. But it’s a tough choice. The Dryad is really nice and feeds the Goblin, the Acolyte and the Valkyrie are both very good with brown and blue troops/weapons respectively. After some time, I settle for the Valkyrie: she’s a gem changer and not a gem creator, which means she’s “safer” to use. Also, if I don’t get any blue troop in the third slot, I can use an expensive blue weapon. Valkyrie it is!
The final choice, the ultra rare cards. The choice is between the Flame Cannon, the Ancient Horror and the Drake Rider. My choice will have to be amongst the two last ones, since I already have a yellow/red troop, but no brown or purple. I decide to pick the Drake Rider: a troop with decent stats that do a lot of damage and can feed the Valkyrie in the process.
Now, it’s time to pick a weapon! As you can see, the previous weapon I had was purple and red, but that does not work with my current line-up. I need some blue in my life!
I settle for Winter’s Woe. I usually don’t pick it since it’s a bit expensive, but the Valkyrie will fill it up pretty fast. It does a nice amount of damage and entangle the enemy. Time to go to war!
My line-up is ready. I decide not to switch my troops. The Drake Rider is more tanky than the Valkyrie, which means he can more easily soak up damage from satyrs rock worms or anything else that deals damage to the last enemy.
First battle: I won! The line-up works amazingly well, with the Drake feeding the Valkyrie who in turn feeds the hero. It’s a neverending loop, and the Goblin is there to finish off the wounded.
Time to get some rewards now! This was a really fun team to play with.
And what do I get for my valiant efforts?
Ah, the sweet taste of victory…
Here is the breakdown of all the bounties you can proudly bring home:
- 1 victory: 250 gold
- 2 victories: 500 gold and 2 trophies
- 3 victories: 1000 gold, 3 trophies and 1 glory key
- 4 victories: 1100 gold, 4 trophies, 1 glory key and 25 souls
- 5 victories: 1200 gold, 5 trophies, 1 glory key and 50 souls
- 6 victories: 1300 gold, 6 trophies, 1 glory key and 100 souls
- 7 victories: 1400 gold, 8 trophies, 2 glory keys and 150 souls
- 8 victories: 1500 gold, 10 trophies, 3 glory keys and 200 souls
Please note that the arena rewards will be adjusted according to your armour, if you do have one.
Any advice on troop picking?
I’d say first and foremost, pick troops you are comfortable with. We all play differently. For instance, I know a player who really dislikes any troop that removes gems, so even if a troop doing it is great, picking it will not be fun for him. You have to choose troops you truly enjoy playing with, and whose mechanics you’re comfortable with.
I’ll give my opinion on the current troops, but beware that these are my personal observations, and not guidelines – as well as the fact that troops are added regularly and the guide might be missing some at a later point (I can’t edit posts past a certain amount of time).
In general, I avoid troops that are too situational like the Dwarven Miner, and love troops that have some strong effect on the board, whether through high damage (like a Drake Rider) or through useful abilities (like silence or mana drain).
After each name, you’ll find a score. These are obviously completely subjective. Here are their meanings:
- 0 – Don’t even think about it
- 1 – Highly situational
- 2 – Situational
- 3 – Average, not a bad pick, but not great either
- 4 – Pretty good choice overall
- 5 – Go for it, it’s always a good idea
- Centaur – 4 – Decent damage from a decent cost, and can set up the board.
- Dire Wolf – 1 – Highly situational, since his effect is purgeable and you’re not guaranteed any skull while the effect is active.
- Dwarven Miner – 1 – Can help set up the board, but in a very limited way. Not the worse choice, but very situational.
- Fortress Gate – 0 – No. Just no.
- Ghoul – 2 – Not a bad troop per se, but fragile, and doesn’t help filling your other troops that easily, since he just removes some gems instead of explosing them. The increased Attack is nice if you can keep him alive and your hero is dead, though.
- Glade Warden – 3 – Decent damage, pretty fragile though.
- Goblin – 5 – Probably the best common. Fills up fast and does a nice amount of damage. Even his stats are decent. And the extra turn is the cherry on top.
- Golem – 2 – Better now that troops are level 15, since that means more armour and therefore more reasons for him to shine. And he helps filling up your troops, although very slowly.
- Lance Knight – 2 – He does very little damage, and is useless against true damage. Fills up quickly though.
- Musketeer – 3 – Decent damage for the mana cost.
- Ogre – 2 – I don’t like him at all, you don’t even get to choose the gem to explode. But he fills fast and his stats are ok.
- Orc – 3 – Very reliant on the state of the board, but overall ok.
- Peasant – 1 – See Dwarven Miner; slightly more easy to set the board with though.
- Pride Hunter – 4 – Silence is very good, and the damage is decent. Also, his stats are ok.
- Priestess – 2 – Pretty situational. Fills up fast enough, more useful if used with a Paladin or a low life troop.
- Reaver – 3 – Decent damage for the mana cost.
- Rock Worm – 4 – Fills up fast, does ok damage and replenishes himself, but you’re reliant on RNG being on your side when he creates the gems.
- Satyr – 4 – A lesser version of the Goblin, still pretty good.
- Scale Guard – 3 – Decent damage for the mana cost.
- Serpent – 3 – Reliant on RNG to keep the board when creating gems, but poison is still pretty useful in the Arena, and his life-giving ability can make him pretty tanky.
- Skeleton – 3 – I’m torn. It’s a pretty good troop, with a great ability that fills up fast. However, his very small life pool means any true damage wipes him in one shot.
- Tauros – 3 – Decent damage for the mana cost.
- Thrall – 3 – Fills up your troops and gives you an extra turn. You need someone or something to tank him up a bit, though.
- Zombie – 2 – Pretty situational. I don’t like him. Only good if you want to deny skulls from your opponent, but otherwise mostly useless, unless he gets lucky with the random stat gain.
- Acolyte – 4 – RNG-reliant, but pretty good with any brown-using troop/weapon.
- Alchemist – 4 – Gives you the board, fills up your yellow troops/weapon, and pays you in the process!
- Archon Statue – 4 – Good damage that becomes great damage once wounded.
- Banshee – 5 – Gives you the board, fills up your red troops/weapon and does a pretty good deal of damage.
- Boar Rider – 5 – Nice damage, rearrange the board and gives you an extra turn to boot.
- Bombardier – 4 – Nice damage and fills up your troops. Decent stats too.
- Cockatrice – 3 – Mana drainer. Gotta love them.
- Cyclops – 4 – Decent damage, decent stats.
- Dark Maiden – 3 – Poison is still useful in the Arena, and she fills up quickly.
- Dark Master – 5 – Awesome troop on every level: great damage, troop summoning AND team boost if the enemy died. Can you ask for more?
- Deep Borer – 3 – RNG-reliant, but pretty good with any brown-using troop/weapon. Quite tanky as well.
- Dryad – 4 – I love the 1.0.8 Dryad. She’s like a baby Emperina that doubles as a green gem creator. Very useful for durability and green-using troops/weapon.
- Dwarf Lord – 4 – Very nice damage and potential to be super tanky.
- Ettin – 2 – Fills up your troops, kind of. Might be useful if your hero dies.
- Frost Giant – 5 – Probably one of the best DPS in the game. Just give him a chance. Fragile though.
- Gnoll – 4 – RNG-reliant, but even if he does not strike a brown-using troop, he still does decent damage for the mana cost.
- Goblin Shaman – 5 – Gem creator who buffs your troops' life and grants you an extra turn. What’s not to love?
- Griffon Knight – 4 – Very good damage, but RNG-reliant. Good to play with a yellow troop/weapon.
- Hag – 3 – The stat buff is good, but random. The status effect is good, but random. Not a bad choice, but not the best either.
- Hippogryph – 3 – Ok damage for the mana cost.
- Mist Stalker – 3 – Decent damage for the mana cost.
- Night Terror – 3 – Decent damage for the mana cost.
- Nymph – 1 – I see no reason to ever pick her. Even if she looks all cute.
- Owlbear – 4 - Good damage for the mana cost, and good debuff on your enemy attack power.
- Paladin – 2 – Really good, but only if you can buff him. Think Priestess, Anvil, Great Wall, Cog, Wrenchmaster. Otherwise he’ll be a dead weight pretty quickly.
- Pegasus – 3 – Ok damage for the mana cost.
- Poison Master – 1.5 – Although poison is still fine in the Arena, the Poison Master doesn’t do anything else, chooses his target randomly, and exploding only one gem is not sufficient to fill any troop to be deemed useful. Still better than the Nymph.
- Ranger – 3 – Decent damage for the mana cost.
- Revenant – 2 – Can get a pretty high Attack stat, but needs to be buffed.
- Rex Warrior – 2 – Same as the Revenant, albeit a bit less squishy.
- Rhynax – 3 – Ok damage for the mana cost.
- Sabertooth Lion – 3 – Decent damage, which is increased if the enemy dies, but pretty fragile.
- Siren – 3 – Decent damage for the mana cost, but RNG reliant.
- Soothsayer – 5 – Awesome ability for a very low cost, buffs the whole team and fills up everyone.
- Star Gazer – 3 – Pretty good ability for a decent cost.
- Steam Turret – 3 – Decent damage for the mana cost. One-shot wiped by any true damage.
- Summoner – 5 – Increases everyone’s life and summon troops. Makes everyone super durable, and fills the empty spaces if you ever lose your units.
- Templar – 4 – Gives you the board while making the whole team tanky. Enables you to use expensive green troops/weapon.
- Valkyrie – 4 – Gives you the board, fills up your blue troops/weapon, and gives you souls to boot!
- Vampire Lord – 4 – True damage, especially good in the Arena.
- Warhound – 1 – Nice ability that fills fast, except that you don’t choose the target, and doesn’t do any damage.
- Warlock – 3 – Decent to great damage for the mana cost.
- Wight – 4 – True damage, especially good in the Arena. Works well with purple-using troops/weapon.
- Wolf Knight – 4 – True damage, especially good in the Arena.
- Ancient Horror – 3 – Decent damage for the mana cost, high Attack if the enemy dies.
- Berserker – 4 – RNG-reliant for the damage, but huge Attack pool and great starting stats. Better with some life or armour buffing troops/weapon.
- Black Beast – 2 – Not that good in the Arena, unless you have ways to really buff up your troops. Can only rely on skulls once everyone else has been eaten/killed.
- Blade Dancer – 4 – Fares pretty good now that troops are lvl 15 and therefore have more armour.
- Blast Cannon – 4 – Great damage, and silences the enemy. However the enemy is chosen at random.
- Chimera – 4 – Great damage, and poison, and entangle. Only works against the healthiest troop though.
- Drake Rider – 5 – High damage, gives you the board, fills up any red troops/weapon, and all of that for a decent mana cost.
- Druid – 5 – Very high damage for a decent cost.
- Flame Cannon – 3 – Nice AoE, becomes less useful as you kill off the enemies.
- Flesh Golem – 2 – Super tanky, but only ever good as a buffer bottom or with some attack buffing troops/weapon on top.
- Giant Spider – 4 – Small AoE damage, fills up purple troops/weapon, while getting tankier.
- Gorgon – 5 – Very high damage, and helps you set up the board.
- Grave Knight – 3 – Excellent against heavy armour line-up. Very low life so fragile against true damage.
- Herdmaster – 5 – Fills ups everyone for a small mana cost, and cleanse the whole team.
- Hobgoblin – 5 – Nice damage, decent cost, good stats.
- Knight Coronet – 4 – Decent damage for a decent cost.
- Lamia – 2 – Good but situational, and only works as long as two enemies are next to each other.
- Sacred Guardian – 4 – Super tanky, decent damage.
- Spider Queen – 4 – Mana drain is always good, she’s got decent stats, her spell is cheap and she removes armour on top of it.
- Stone Giant – 3 – Decent damage for the mana cost.
- Treant – 4 – Excellent in the top position if you can buff his life/armour. Can be an excellent buffer on the bottom of the line-up as well.
- War Sphinx – 4 – Nice stat, useful ability, extra turn.
- Watcher – 4 – True damage, especially good in the Arena.
Any advice on weapon picking?
In general, I pick my weapon according to the colours I need. Here are three tips though on good weapon picking:
- Any 6 or less mana weapon: they fill so fast, you can use them all the time.
- Any true damage weapon. Only four troops deal true damage in the Arena, so it’s always a good idea, especially if you’re against heavy amour line-up.
- Any AoE weapon. Level 15 troops take longer to kill than the Level 10 we were used to before 1.0.8, and chipping at the whole enemy line-up is always a good idea, especially since most AoE weapons buff your whole team in the process.
As with everything, just try them and see what fits you the most. ^_^
Any parting words? I want to fight now!
Crush them all!