The one thing missing from Arena mode

Back in v5.x when Arena mode got its overhaul, the Hero unit was removed from the team lineup and replaced by an Epic-tier Troop. Overall this is good, the ability of a player to include any weapon in their possession was infamously abusable, but…

To me, seeing the opponent’s Hero unit in the lineup was actually a big part of Arena mode’s thematic appeal because it made the run feel more personal, like a pseudo-PVP mode. Without an opposing Hero in the lineup, Arena mode feels barely different from fighting random cpu teams in basically any other mode.

Can we get that feeling back? Not like it was before, certainly! I’ve heard of its long and infamous history with Mythic weapons and certainly that is something that needs to stay history.

I’ve mulled over some ideas of how it could look implementation-wise, but the common themes throughout are:

  • The player is NOT required to include a Weapon in their Arena run; they can have four random Troops (as we have currently) or three random Troops plus a Hero Weapon. The opposing cpu team will likewise randomly assemble teams with and without a Hero Weapon. (Say, 50:50?)
  • The available Weapons must be picked at random from the same Rarity tiers as Troops (Common through Epic) and set to base level only (+0 Tempering). No stat buffs or additional effects allowed.
  • If using a Weapon, the Hero unit’s stats must be scaled comparable to a Lv.15 Troop of the same Rarity. No Class (or Traits and Talents) can be equipped.

Idea A:

  • When assembling an Arena team, the player is shown four choices for each slot – 3 Troops plus one (randomly selected) Weapon of the same Rarity tier.
  • If the player equips a Weapon all remaining slots show only three randomly selected Troops (or maybe 4 randomly selected Troops, so that there are always 4 choices?). No takebacks unless they reroll the whole team.

Idea B:

  • The player selects 4 Troops same as currently.
  • Afterwards, the player is shown a selection of randomly picked Weapons – one each of Common, Rare, Ultra-Rare and Epic tiers. (Or maybe 3 weapons, e.g. Common through Ultra-Rare or Rare through Epic?)
  • The player is allowed to skip this step and just use the 4 Troops as-is.
  • Picking a weapon will replace the corresponding Troop in their lineup (e.g. Epic weapon replacing Epic troop, Common weapon replacing Common troop). This should be clearly phrased by the UI (e.g. “Equip a Hero Weapon instead of a Troop?”)

I really like both/either of these implementations. Keep up the good brain work!!!

Another idea is to show a pool of 12 troops with or without weapons and you select out of the pool four troops (one troop per rarity). This way you can plan and synergize your team and you plan your strategy instead of random troops.


It could definitely be nice to see all 12 picks at a glance before being prompted to pick one of each.

Alternatively, after making your four picks (but before engaging the first round), if you click on a team member’s card in your lineup it could show you the 3 picks for that slot again so you can change it if you want.

I remember one run I aced because my Epic troop’s spell boosted damage by Purple allies and there just happened to be Purple troops up for all other slots … but I’ve also seen the opposite case where I pick an Epic troop that benefits one Mana color only for no other Troops to have it. Being able to re-think a particular pick after you’ve seen all options (without re-rolling the whole team) would be a nice convenience to have.

(Also, does it feel like Royal Engineer and Envy are kinda OP in arena runs?)

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There is a dodge you can use, which is to restart the game once you’ve seen but not selected the 4th card. When you start Arena again, it will have the exact same troops so you can choose differently. Of course it would be much more convenient to have a system like suggested above, but just wanted to alert anyone who didn’t know this workaround


On the downside, your opponents will have the same privilege and games may well be tougher and longer than they already are. Incorporating a means to earn hero class xp would be top of my arena shortlist. I don’t mind the current troop selection implementation even if i do very occasionally reroll a terrible set of options.

I don’t follow this reasoning? If the Hero can be appropriately scaled to be comparable to a normal Troop then the difference between an opposing Hero team vs. non-Hero team won’t actually be very much.

I could probably count myself lucky to have never seen Dawnbringer on opposing Arena teams (I hear it was secretly banned from the mode) but I still miss seeing an opposing Hero in the lineup.

I was referring to the current non hero arena and the suggestion of having all 12 on screen at once. I think this would make arena runs take even longer because many players will opt for summoners, stat buffers and such like particularly if attack options are lacklustre. Staying alive long enough is often the key to success and this can make for long fights/retreats. Arena daily 3 offers is fair enough but the weekend event? Please!!

Royal Engineer much? Good point though, summoners can be extremely frustrating to take down in Arena.

just limit the weapons to maximum epic rarity weapons and allow the hero on the team.
This way there would be no dawnbringer, or runic blade in arena.
During the selection offer 4 weapons first for each rarity with an opt out option if somebody wants a team without the hero, then offer the troops except one for the rarity of the weapon. Reroll should clear everything.

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(checks Epic tier weapon list)
Agreed, even Epic tier weapons have fairly limited effects, it’s Legendary weapons and up that are problematic. (Speaking of Runic Blade, there are already a few troops even in Ultra-Rare with “if the enemy dies, gain # to all Skills”)

Based on experimentation and research, this is NOT actually a problem.

prove it yourself:

1 - Engage Arena mode and select your 4 troops.
2 - When prompted to confirm/reroll the team, don’t, and close out the game instead.
3 - Restart the game and engage Arena mode again.
4 - Notice anything peculiar?
5 - Select 4 troops, but hit “Reroll”.
6 - Select 3 troops then close the game (without picking the 4th troop).
7 - Close/restart the game and engage Arena mode again.
8 - Notice anything peculiar?

Clearly (and as previously noted by @kamosloki, sorry that I missed your post) the available troop lineup – including whether or not you’ve rerolled – is to some extent seeded & synced serverside, meaning all you need to do to optimize your picks is write down the 12 troops, then close your game / restart and pick again. (Say, is that Barbearius AND Vine Marten on the same lineup? YES PLEASE)

So since we already have the ability to do it now, why not make it official? And it can’t possibly make Arena battles take any “longer” since it’s not real PVP; you get the ability to synergize your picks, the AI doesn’t care.

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AI doesnt need to care. If the opponent has picked a grief team (and many do given the chance) with summoners and or stat buffers (armour, life) its possible that you will need to retreat or face a long fight. That happens already and having access to all 12 troops from the off may well exacerbate that. Thats my theory based on experience of arena but in truth, personally there is nothing that can be done as long as hero is excluded that would make me grind arena events. Even if all my classes were maxed and I didnt need the CXP.

Well, barring specific information on just how the AI arena teams are picked (e.g. is it pulling from actual teams other players have used in Arena runs?) there’s no reason to assume it could make the mode worse.

I imagine they are player choice teams (currently active in arena) like player choice pvp defences, otherwise they would be anonymous pure AI line ups.

Pre-overhaul it was player chosen hero weapon with some random troops.
My brother sent me some screenshots “look what I’m facing” - it was my hero alright but I had never used that specific combination of other troops (and I can tell that for sure because I was writing everything down back then due to keeping BeatDawnbringer statistics).

How it hapoens now and has anything been changed? I have not the slightest idea.

…which kind of reinforces my impression that Arena was one of very few modes where you could actually see an opposing Hero at all.