In most other mobile games, the arena is a simple place where players compete to see who has better items or who got luckier with character gacha; however, the Arena in Returners actually involves some strategic elements.
Each match in Arena features three separate 3v3 battles, each one with a different trio of heroes. Each team only fights one round, and the matches are all best of three. Because of the format, one good strategy would be to create two strong teams, rather than spreading your best heroes over all three teams.
Of course, you shouldn’t just neglect your third team; making all three teams as well-rounded as possible certainly wouldn’t hurt your chances. However, you still should try to put most of your power into two teams, as it’s more strategically sound to do so. If two players both have a total CP of 30,000, but one has an equal 10,000 division while the other has a combination of 14,000, 14,000, 2,000, the latter would be much more likely to win.
The strength of all the heroes can vary depending on what composition, opponent, or strategy is involved, but there are still a number of heroes that are generally prefered.
- Tank - King Arthur for most situations, Alexander for taunting, and Siegfried for damage
The Arena requires nine heroes in total, all split into teams of three. Because of this split, you do not necessarily need to have a support and a tank in each team, but you still do need to be aware of your team composition. Since there are less slots per team than usual, you have to make sure that each hero you select contributes to a winning strategy.
Players mainly use tanks in the Arena because of their survivability; tanks can keep enemies occupied or beat them simply by outlasting them. Just like in Adventure mode, the best tanks in Arena are those that provide CC and have a good gap closer. Given that, King Arthur and Alexander are some of the best Arena tanks, since they both have CC skills, a gap closer, and high survivability.
Although they don’t deal a whole lot of damage, they make up for it through their survivability and ability to nullify enemy skills. Both go well with healer supports, but Siren in particular is an optimal choice due to her silence skill. Be sure to fill in that last slot with a strong damage dealer.
Since players cannot directly intervene in Arena matches, each hero’s prefered target is important to consider. Most players will prioritize heroes that target all characters besides tanks; there are some that create tank-melting teams, but those are few and far between.
Because players tend to avoid targeting tanks in Arena, damage tanks like Siegfried are a major threat. With his fairly strong damage, gap closer, and AoE CC skills, Siegfried can in some cases singlehandedly dominate the enemy team.
- Support - A damage support or SIren with a tank
In general, having a support on an arena team is not a good choice. However, if the support can deal a fair amount of damage or has good synergy with a tank hero, then they can be quite viable.
Siren is the latter of those two types, and is extra useful in the Arena since she also has an AoE silence skill. Her sustained healing makes her a very good match with Alexander and King Arthur.
Another good Arena support is Mozart. He is obtained in the mid to late phase of the game, and is highly favored in high-tier Arena for his ult, which can often turn the tides of battle.
Zhuge Liang and Cleopatra are also good supports thanks to their damage dealing and disruptive skills. Zhuge Liang’s Mind Control is exceptional in PvP and gives you more freedom when making a team with him. Although supports tend to get taken down quickly, Cleopatra’s Fatal Attraction grants her immense survivability, to the point where she can often outlast her enemies.
Cassandra can also be a reliable choice when teamed up with damage dealers like Taejo and Jumong. Her skills increase the skill cooldowns of the enemy team while decreasing the skill cooldowns of her allies, significantly boosting their damage output.
- Damage dealer - Mages with CC and rangers with damage,
While tanks and supports have solidified positions, the preferred type of damage dealer changes with every patch.
Currently, the most favored heroes in the high-tier Arena are mages with CC skills; Little Red and Alice have had particularly strong results..
Damage-focused heroes like Rasputina or Nikola Tesla are also quite strong, appearing quite frequently in diamond tier.
Rangers are generally used for their heavy damage, with the most prominent rangers in both Adventure and League being Taejo and Jumong. However, neither have any CC skills, so they usually need another hero who can CC the enemy and allow them to deal damage safely.
Since a good amount of the stronger heroes can only be obtained later in the game, many rely on Kunoichi instead. While she does make herself vulnerable when charging into enemy lines, she can still deal a considerable amount of damage when teamed up with a good CC tank or fighter.
In the current meta, fighters are pretty much inferior across the board. In PvP, CC is often the key to victory, so fighters are almost useless unless they have some sort of CC or gap closing skills.
If you don’t have some strong ranged heroes though, Musashi and Theseus are pretty viable for early Arena; Musashi’s ultimate skill can deal a lot of damage to the whole team, and Theseus has two fairly effective CC skills.
Musashi is best paired with Cassandra since she can make him use his ult earlier. If you want to use Theseus, try to make note of the enemy team’s formation since Theseus attacks the closest enemy.
Effective Arena hero composition
At the start, your Arena team is usually made up of the handful of heroes you have been leveling up through Adventure mode, so your options are fairly limited. However, as you continue to play, you will gain more heroes that will allow you to create a wide variety of teams and strategies.
Once you’re at the point where you have a fair amount of choices, then you can make some proper team compositions. Remember to take note of which classes and heroes suit each other, and what the preferred targets of your heroes are.
For example, a team built around Taejo should be quite different from a team built around Jumong.. Jumong’s preferred target is a fighter with the lowest health, thus he should be teamed up with heroes such as Siegfried, Cassandra, or Zhuge Liang who also target fighters. Taejo, on the other hand, primarily targets supports, so it is more advantageous for him to be with Nikola Tesla and/or Hong Gil-dong who have a similar preferred target.
There are a wide variety of compositions to try. For instance, If you wish to focus on the enemy tank, a team with Alexander, Rasputina, and Theseus would be best, since they attack the closest target, which usually tends to be a tank.
If you can see that your enemy is using that sort of team, you can create a counter team. You could use a tank that has temporary invulnerability, or have a healer support like Siren or Panacea on your team to keep your tank alive.
The possibilities are vast, so explore and experiment as much as you want.
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