Now that all of the hero enhancement systems that were introduced with Season 2 have been released, the PVP meta has become fairly interesting, as there is slightly more diversity seen at the higher tiers of arena. As nation-focused teams have clearly become the standard due to the Signature Force upgrade, players have been able to build teams based on the limited collection they own and still compete in the PVP setting. While there's still the existence of meta heroes, viable teams can now be built around those specific heroes as opposed to building a team solely composed of the top 5 meta units.
Here are five trends that I currently see climbing the PVP ladder to give some insight to those new to the Exos Heroes community.
1. Nation-focused teams are still top tier
Due to the strength of the Signature Force enhancement system, players are still focused on building teams composed of heroes that have Signature Force upgrades to compete in the PVP stage. This has allowed players to build teams of Green Land heroes, or teams with Estoris Republic heroes, etc., depending on what heroes they currently have in their collection and what generals they recruited.
At the higher tiers of arena, you will mostly see a combination of nations on a single team, due to most higher level players having the ability to gain multiple Signature Force upgrades, having recruited multiple copies of the fated generals (Bathory, Garff, Shufraken, Rachel, Jinai, Dorka, Schmid). In addition, they might not have had the resources to focus on building heroes of a specific nation depending on when they started the game and how many units they have been able to recruit.
However, that does not imply that nation focused teams are not as strong. Currently, level 2 of Signature Force is only available to Brunn, North Von Frosty, and Estoris Republic nations, with the latter two having more fatecore heroes. As more players are able to recruit more copies of the generals, I assume the meta will expand further with full North Von Frosty teams or full Estoris Republic teams with level 2 Signature Force upgrades.
2. The backline trio makes a strong return with Green Land Signature Force
The recent release of the Green Land Signature Force — the last of the nations to receive its Signature Force upgrade — has brought back the holy trio of fatecore Annie, fatecore Rera, and Bathory, the meta backline at the end of Season 1. The key to the Annie/Bath/Rera combo was the ability to provide massive burst damage, nullify an enemy’s damage dealer with Rera’s mark, and be able to survive an AOE nuke from an enemy team due to Bathory’s Tranquil mark.
However, once season 2 landed, this backline was replaced by many higher level players, given the lack of damage and survivability from the Green Land heroes Bathory and Rera. Now, with the added elemental damage and stat bonus from the Signature Force upgrades, this backline cleave team has returned to the meta with the same offensive threat they brought in the past. Although they are essentially used the same as they were in season 1, many start with Rera’s AOE skill to remove the Summer’s Blessing buff and setup a Bathory burst if the opposing team has a fatecore Iris in their frontline, which leads to the next topic:
3. Fatecore Tantalo and Fatecore Iris are still strong picks for the frontline
If you have been active in the arena scene since day one, you have probably seen many players using the combination of fatecore Tantalo and fatecore Iris as the main frontline duo in. This is not surprising with Iris given the strength of her fatecore passive and her utility as a mana generator and single-target damage dealer. She has remained one of the top tier support units since her fatecore released towards the end of season 1. With the North Von Frosty dark damage SF upgrade, she becomes an even greater damage threat. The increased usage with Tantalo can be attributed to his fatecore recently receiving an upgrade.
As the only gold fatecore to receive an upgrade similar to the Reverse Core upgrades seen with black fatecores, Tantalo received a major buff in the form of damage immunity for your party upon receiving critical hits. This is a huge upgrade that can counter the strong AOE cleaves like the FC Annie/Rera/Bathory teams or the more recent FC Jinai/FC Deva/FC Adams teams. In addition, with the release of the new fatecore Jinai, FC Tantalo has become a damage threat as well with his damage over time skills synergizing with Jinai’s DOT passive.
4. Fatecore Jinai now a top tier backline support to challenge speed teams
As the last of the original Generals to receive a fatecore, Supreme Queen Jinai instantly made an impact on the meta due to her strong passive skill. Her ability to boost the speed of the entire team while also lowering the attack power of opposing teams is game-changing. In addition, she greatly increases the damage of DOTs with the Superstar skill synergizing with units that provide DOT damage like other current meta units Ramge, Shufraken, and Tantalo. Lastly, she adds a final blow type of skill to all allies with the Anti-Fan skill.
She provides all of this while still retaining her mana absorption, Flow of Mana generation, and her Charm mark to opposing teams. To say she is a strong utility unit for your backline is an understatement. Fatecore Jinai is an easy pick for those looking to move first and counter potential speed teams if you have the gear to boost her attack above the 5-6k range to ensure Charm is applied to the enemy team.
5. The importance of Awakening and Core Memory enhancements in higher tier PVP
To reiterate the importance of Awakening your units, I’ll reference back to what I said in my previous article: if you haven’t read the basics to Awakening guide on our Inven Global site, you can read about it here for a better understanding of how the system works.
Although Awakening can be completed with any fated gear as long as it is level 60, utilizing guard stone sets provides the maximum benefit needed to improve performance. In addition, utilizing a full guard stone set provides more benefit than mixing sets. Due to the newly added elemental damage from Signature Force upgrades, it is almost always the best choice to awaken a hero with a full flame set. The set bonus alone provides damage reduction, add that to the HP increase from Awakening, and your unit will have the tankiness necessary to survive a hit from a full nation team utilizing Signature Force.
As you climb higher up the PVP ladder, it will be common to see teams with Signature Force upgrades and most or all of the top tier fatecore heroes. That said, the team composition alone will not guarantee you a win. The best way to gain a competitive advantage is through maximizing your stats, either through fated gear or Awakening. However, the easiest way is through Core Memory sharing. The additional 30% stat increase you can gain from forming alliances with some of the top players (and high spenders) with multiple fatecores at +5 fusion levels is ultimately what makes the difference between the Master/Grand and Legend rank. It is a necessity to have your core team enhanced further through Core Memory if you want to stay competitive. That said, it will do you well to stay active in the community and find out who you can form an alliance with to enhance your core units. I believe I have one of the only +5 fatecore Uloom’s on the Global server, but unfortunately, the amount of requests I have received far exceed the alliance capacity. So finding higher level players to share their +5 fusions may be tough at this point in the game, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Hopefully, Line games increases the alliance capacity in the near future.
I hope these five current trends are able to help you climb the arena ladder coming into the next season. These are not only seen in arena, but Squadron battles as well, so build your teams accordingly as more tanky teams benefit more in Squadron battles. If you want to stay current with weekly trends I highly recommend watching the battles in the top 16 tournament. Although they are auto battles, they do give a glimpse into the types of teams being used in the current meta. Good luck on the climb and please frequent the Inven Global site for weekly Exos news!
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