Arena of Heroes Basic Strategy Guide by Andulvar.616
Hi, I’m Andulvar, and I’m just a strategy game enthusiast and would like to help new players understand the basic strategy of the game in the hopes it will lower frustration, increase the number of strategically interesting games and increase the number of players that continue to play the game.
I’d like to consider myself in the top 20% of players currently and my stats are below. Although it shows 11 defeats, only 4 of those are what I consider “Real” defeats, 3 of them are training mode (Why do they count!! XD), and 4 are from game freezes that I had to quit out. I have a 95% win rate and I would like to increase the number of players that can play strategically.
I’ll talk about the following in this guide:
2. The First Turn
3. Enemy Ranges and Kill zones
4. The Importance of the Ramps
5. Take & Consolidate
6. Retreat and Reinforce
7. Four Mid and why it’s so strong
For this guide, I’ll be assuming the standard 1-2-1 deployment. There are other options that can be effective that won’t talk about but I will have a section on 4-mid at the end. To help with the visuals I’ll name the side lanes top and bottom for easy reference. Formation 1-2-1 means 1 Hero top, 2 Heroes mid and 1 Hero bottom. Typically you want to deploy the top and bottom Heroes close to the ramps so they are in a position to threaten Mid if the opponent goes super aggressive on turn 1. You want to space the middle Heroes out a little so they can’t be caught in the same AoE if the enemy has AoE Heroes in the middle lane. Certain strategies will vary from this, but this is a very safe and reactive formation. Top and Bottom Heroes should have some form of ranged attack (even just one ability). Heroes that have to get close for their abilities make for poor side laners and should stick to the middle (Blink, Tempest and Grit and Grot currently).
The First Turn
Because of the changes to the minion spawn locations the red and blue sides are no longer equal. The minion advantage is on the red side, while the xp advantage is on the blue side. This is likely to change in the future, but the fundamentals on the first turn should stay. Also, the first turn is not random in Classic matches and whoever deploys their units faster will go first.
If you are on the red side you want to go first so deploy your units as fast as possible to have the greatest chance at going first. Assuming you go first, check your opponents position and see if they are too far forward. Kill the minions in range in all lanes by stepping forward, attack and stepping back (unless the opponent is too far forward then judge if you + your minions can get a kill).
If you are on the Blue side, you will typically want to go second, so take your time with deployment. If you go first as Blue you currently have to over-extend your Heroes to get the early minion kills and can put yourself in a dangerous position. Waiting to go second means more minions closer to your heroes and you will likely have an xp and level advantage. Same discipline applies here, move forward, kill minions, check position of enemy, go for a kill if you think you can or move back.
Enemy ranges and Kill Zones
It’s important to know the relative ranges and threat zones of the enemy. This takes experience with the Heroes and some calculation as you think about the move and ability ranges. If you end your turn in the threat range of 2 or more enemy Heroes you are in danger. If you are in range of 3 Heroes it’s almost certainly going to end up in a death. These are the kill zones, and while minions play a role in these zones, it’s important to be aware of all the enemy Hero ranges. In the example below I’ve highlighted possible threat ranges and kill zones from three Heroes will a ranged ability and one Hero in the bottom lane with only short range attacks. This could be an opportunity for the red team to make a play to take control over of the bottom ramp. I’ll mention the importance of these ramps in the next section.
The Importance of the Ramps
After the first Turn is where the first plays for area control will take place. The most important objective on the map is the two ramps from the side lanes. If you control both of these ramps and your opponent is behind his towers, you are likely winning. To take control of the ramps you need to place your heroes into the area. Be aggressive, but don’t be suicidal when moving in to control the ramps. I like to use the enemy walls as a guideline for advancing my Heroes into the ramps. If the enemy is full behind this line, move in while controlling the minions. If the enemy is at or beyond the wall line, you need to create or wait for an opening. In the example below, minions have pressured the Blue Top Hero and he has moved away as a reaction. But his move was too far and relieved all pressure on the top ramp. This allows the Red Top hero to move in and take control of the ramp. The added pressure from the Red top Hero will also allow the Red bottom hero to slightly contest the bottom ramp as well since now the middle lane is under a lot of pressure from the 3 Red Heroes.
Once in control of the map ramps your team is able to create all types of interesting plays from harassing a tower, ambushing an enemy Hero or creating a diversion while minions destroy a tower.
Take & Consolidate
Through the course of the game, openings for plays will always occur due to minions having the ability to crit. This one feature means that after the first few turns minion behaviour is going to change and one side will create an opportunity. Watch your minions carefully and your opponents reactions to them to see when an opening for control is available. In the below example the Red Team minion pressure in the bottom lane creates and opening for the bottom Red Hero to take the ramp. Moving into that position requires support from the mid Heroes so they need to move forward and protect that bottom Hero. This is what I can Take and Consolidate.
Retreat & Reinforce
Of course the game can sometimes go against you and you’ll find yourself in a position where the enemy advances into a poorly defended area and your Hero is vulnerable. In this situation you will likely need to retreat, but also remember to back-up that retreat and prepare for a possible counter attack. In these situations minion control is very important since the game will usually favor the aggressor and you will need an advantage to counter attack. The minions can provide this advantage. This is Retreat and Reinforce.
4-Mid and why it’s so strong
4-Mid is the strongest formation you can have in the game, period. If you just want to win, this formation will do that. The reason is that since the deployment zones are so large, it gives immediate control of the ramps to the 4-mid player. Control of the mid lane and ramps means the enemy will have an incredibly difficult time creating plays that aren’t immediately obvious and easily countered. Your capability of sending all 4 Heroes to use even one ability each, will mean a kill on an enemy Hero. Even if you are not able to kill enemy Heroes in the first turn, you will output immense pressure on the mid turret and likely force at least one enemy Hero out of position and get an easy kill along with the turret. Most high level players avoid using 4-mid out of principle but if they are looking for a quick win, it will demolish new players and even give a significant advantage in an equal skill game. If you far out-skill your opponent, yes you beat this formation easily. I’m hoping the deployment zones get a little smaller so that this strategy isn’t as dominate as it is currently.
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