Besides the incredibly diverse range of playstyle options that Arena of Valor provides its players with, the devs take it a step further with the Arcana system.
Arcana are items that you slot in before a match to provide powerful bonuses to the character you plan on playing. It’s not something you have to dabble in extensively, but it gives you the ability to maximise the potential of any hero.
You don’t get access to Arcana till level 7, so beginners can experience the game and its balance without the changes that Arcana will introduce to it. Levelling up will grant you access to more slots, and the final slot is unlocked at level 30.
The Arcana pool is split into red, purple, and green slots that can be slotted with Arcana of the corresponding colour.
• Red Arcana provide damage boosts to the damage you deal through bonuses to attack damage, ability power, critical chance, attack speed, and the like.
• Purple Arcana are somewhat of a middle ground between red and green. They provide boosts to max HP, HP regeneration, life steal, magic life steal, and so on, affecting both defence and offence.
• Green Arcana are of the defensive variety, giving heroes boosts to armour, magic defence, armour pierce, magic pierce, and similar facets.
So, how do you get Arcana in the first place? Well, a couple of different sources:
• The shop, where you can spend gold to buy them. Level 1 Arcana cost 10 gold each, so they’re very accessible even to beginners. Level 3 Arcana, since they provide much more significant bonuses, cost 2000 gold each. The Arcana tab in the shop even has filters which allow you to search for Arcana that only have specific bonuses, making finding what you’re looking for much easier.
• Arcana can also be found in chests or in the lucky draw.
• And finally, some events also provide players with Arcana.
In keeping with the balanced and fair nature of the game, players are only allowed to buy Arcana with in-game gold. This keeps players who spend money on the game in the same level as free-to-play players.
The easiest way to use the Arcana system effectively, at least until you learn the ropes, is to go to the ‘Recommended’ page in the Arcana menu. This will show you Arcana that is most relevant to the hero you want to play.
But if you want to create your own builds, the best approach is to think about how you want to play a particular hero.
If you want your mage to be a bit more tanky and stay in the thick of the action for long, you should be slotting Arcana that provide armour, HP, magic life steal, and other relevant defensive Arcana. On the other hand, if you prefer playing as a glass cannon mage and blowing up people quickly, you could stack the damage on with Arcana that provide magic pierce, ability power, and cooldown speed.
In the same way, if you want your tank to be harder to kill, go all in on Arcana that provide defences. With the caveat, of course, that if the hero has an ability that makes them more tanky, you could invest in that instead, with cooldown reductions and boosts to ability power.
Another tip is to keep in mind that Arcana that provide percentage boosts are usually better for the late game and ones that provide flat boosts will allow you to be more effective in the early game.
Choose wisely, and pick the highest level Arcana that you can to unlock your favourite hero’s potential.