Sometimes you will see a post on Social Media, or in this blog, showing Hero grades, like the one below:
This post will explain how you should interpret the values on the right. Without further ado…
How much that Hero’s presence makes a Team offensive. It helps you determine which Heroes you should choose, according to how much offensive power you’d like to have.
Q: If I want a good offense, should I choose merely on this attribute’s grade? Having a better grade makes one Hero “better” than the other?
A: Although the grades help you have a quick understanding of each Hero’s potential, picking Heroes with a higher offensive grade does not necessarily mean your Team will be better than the other. A very mobile Team with synergistic effects and combos, for instance, can easily undermine the potential of a high-scoring offensive Team.
One Hero can only be “better” than the other in the specific context of your Team build, that of your opponent’s, and battlegrid composition. Although some Heroes could easily beat others in a 1 v 1 Duel, they may perform much worse in full 4 v 4 matches, depending on the context.
Remember that each Hero has 4 unique attacks, a Passive Power, and attributes that play a huge part when you add all subtle events within a match. A simple grade can never determine if one Hero is “better” than the other.
How much that Hero’s presence makes a Team defensive. It helps you determine which Heroes you should choose, according to how much defensive power you’d like to have.
Q: Tanks have more defense and HP than Healers. Why do they score roughly the same in this attribute?
A: Because, in ARENA, teamwork plays a more essential role than individual stats. Considering Healers protect and heal their allies from a distance, it doesn’t matter if they’re defensively weaker than Tanks: having a Healer makes your team much more defensive, and that explains their grades.
How much that Hero’s presence makes a Team mobile. It helps you determine which Heroes you should choose, according to how much mobility power you’d like to have.
Q: Comparing with Offense and Defense, is this an important attribute?
A: Mobility is huge in ARENA. Offensive power is irrelevant if your attacks can’t reach your target, and you don’t need defense if your enemies can’t reach you.
Mobility becomes increasingly important the more tiles a battlefield has. Mobile Heroes can work their way around obstacles and lava on the ground, provoke less opportunity attacks, lose less turns moving around, and their enemies have a harder time creating an effective positioning strategy.
Indicates the number, power and variety of effects that Hero creates.
Q: What are effects?
A: Effects are secondary consequences of successful attacks (the primary being the loss/regaining of HP). They create or modify the circumstances of battle, by buffing allies, debuffing enemies, moving combatants, and more.
Heroes that impose lasting conditions on combatants can be very influential in a match, because they affect not only their own turns, but those of their allies and opponents (sometimes, even after they are dead).
Q: If some effects can buff/debuff combatants, is this attribute related to Offense/Defense…?
A: Yes, but not entirely. There are effects that: (i) only affect other scores; (ii) affect both the Effect score and another score; (iii) affect only the “Effect” score.
(i) Simple effects that increase the damage dealt by an attack (for example, “If you have less than 40 HP, deal 12 extra damage”) only affect that Hero’s Offense score.
(ii) Suppose a Healer buffs his allies by granting them more Defense or placing protective shields over them. This affects their Defense score, as well as the Effect score. The determining factor here is producing consequences for other Heroes in Turns outside of your own.
(iii) Some effects have applications so versatile and different that it is not possible to determine if they will be used for offense, defense or mobility. Thus, they affect only the Effect score. For example: “Transfer 1 Permanent Effect from a combatant to another”. You can use this effect, for example, to transfer a permanent Hastened condition (which affects mobility), or a permanent offensive/defensive buff (which affects offense/defense).
Don’t underestimate Heroes with low Offense/Defense/Mobility but a high Effect score. Their versatility can make them the best fighters on the field.
The straightforwardness of a Hero’s behavior. It indicates how easily an inexperienced player can make the Hero perform at maximum efficiency, due to its complexity.
Q: Are Heroes that score highly in Handling better than Heroes with low Handling?
A: Maybe. This attribute is not 100% related to the Hero’s inherent qualities, being more closely related to the relationship between the Hero and the Player that controls it, so the answer is not that easy.
Some Heroes are as simple as “get in front of your enemy and hit them as hard as you can”. Others are more complex (“I have to position myself exactly 7 squares away so my attack in area can be efficient, and I have to choose well which enemy will be hit first because of my Passive Power and the condition I have created in the previous Turn”).
In the cases described above, “handling” is the opposite of “complexity”; therefore, you just need to be an experienced player, and the Hero will perform greatly.
It’s like having to cover 100 yards with a remote-controlled car or a drone. If you’re new to ARENA and don’t know how to pilot a drone, you should choose the car, despite both being able to get the job done.
However, Heroes with low handling sometimes require more specific conditions to perform well (like playing alongside mobile Heroes, or having few walls on the field).
In those cases, a higher handling score means a higher chance that the Hero will perform with the same efficiency, no matter the circumstances (it’s like having to cross the length of a tunnel with tight curves. You could do it with a helicopter, but it’s easier not to crash if you are driving a car).
That covers it all! (Well, at least the basics).
Bear in mind: ALL Heroes are unique, AND powerful, AND balanced. Although these grades are cool general guidelines, it must not determine whom you should select, when the time comes for you to draft the perfect Team.
Do you have any additional doubts, not covered above? Feel free to write them on the comment section below!