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Building an Arena Team

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Introduction

The basic premise behind a solid Arena team reflects on the current PVP Defense Meta. Though there are a variety of unique team compositions, a handful of characters show up fairly frequently on Defense. As of December 2019, Arbiter Vildred, Seaside Bellona, Fallen Cecilia, Basar, and ML Ken are the 5 most popular heroes that dominate the Defense meta. When approaching the PVP scene, one should be aware of the current meta before investing in a team. Here’s our Arena Defense Popularity Ranking:

Tiers

The gear difference between tiers can be easily spotted: 

  • A majority of Legend tier defenders are equipped with unexpected builds, high imprints, optimal gears, and maxed Artifacts. 
  • Legend tier can hold their place by constant grinding, unexpected builds, and unexpected RNG on Defense. 
  • Champion tier showcases similar levels of power as Legend tier but is ranked lower from Legend tier due to being more casual, having predictable team compositions, or having subpar gear. 
  • Challenger tier showcases subpar gear for 1 or more characters and mostly depends on team synergy to be successful. This is the reason why speed cleave is more common in Challenger Defense but becomes less common in higher ranks.
Average Opener’s Speed
Tiers Min Max
Challenger 220 240
Champion 230 250
Legends 240 270

Speed Imprints

Imprints are buffs that a hero's ally can inherit if they are enhanced with a duplicate copy of themselves. There are two types of imprints in Epic 7. There are regular imprints and imprint release. Imprints are buffs that are granted to all allies. Imprint release sacrifices their team buff for self buff. Unfortunately, there are currently no hero with a speed imprint release. Heroes with speed imprints will not be able to take advantage of their own bonus, only their allies will be able to inherit its effect.

Speed Imprint Chart
Hero Base Speed Min Max
Celeste 126 +2 +8
Cidd 124 +3 +10
Gloomyrain 102 +2 +8
Helga 114 +2 +8
Mirsa 120 +2 +8
Roozid 114 +2 +8
Schuri 110 +4 +14
Tieria 100 +2 +8
Vildred 116 +3 +10
Watcher Schuri 106 +3 +10

Fast/CC Team

This composition consists of fast CR boosters, Dispellers and Debuffers. This team type excels in out-speeding and shutting down teams with Basar and DJ Basar’s openers. The main goal of this team is to outspeed the enemy team and overwhelm the opponent through pure damage or crippling them via Stuns, Blind, and Sleep.

A fast cleave can be achieved by synergizing CR boosters alongside CR buffers to enhance the main DPS’s damage. A safe CR booster, like DJ Basar with Water’s Origin, can open up with his S3 to increase all allies’ CR by 30%, cleanse any ailments, and grant Immunity. An Atk buffer can follow up with their buff, clearing the way for a cleave DPS to unleash their burst damage.

A fast CC/ DPS team consists of having CR boosters alongside dispellers in order to set up an AOE crippling CC, followed by a main DPS. 

These teams can be countered by a counter-play team that has Champion Zerato, ML Ken, or Seaside Bellona. Below are some “specialists” in the roles necessary for this comp. NOTE: These are not the only heroes viable for these roles. 

Main CR Boosters
Hero​​ Speed Notes
Judith 117 Currently the fastest CR pushing in the game with a base speed of 117. Judith’s Mark of Acceleration increases the Combat Readiness of all allies by 30%. Judith’s role is a turn 1 opener. Aside from this, her kit is fairly lackluster. Her S1 grants a 75% - 100% chance to Stun the enemy for 1 turn, but she must be stealthed. Judith will be countered if she gets outsped.
Righteous Thief Roozid 114 Vildred and Cidd’s best friend. Righteous Thief Roozid currently has the second highest CR pushing base speed in the game, tied with Faithless Lidica. Roozid’s Moonlight Roar increases all allies Combat Readiness by 25% as well as granting increased speed to all allies for 2 turns. His 2-turn speed buff is very beneficial to characters like Vildred and Cidd who scale with speed. Roozid is also a CR booster that can offer a +8 SSS speed imprint.
Faithless Lidica 114 A Moonlight hero with the ability to remove one buff from each enemy with her S2 as well as increasing Combat Readiness for herself by 25% per target and other allies by 5% per target. In Arena, she will receive a 100% Combat Readiness and her allies will receive a 20% Combat Readiness. Faithless Lidica can follow up with her S3, disabling a single target by increasing their skill cooldown to the max, right after using her S2.
Desert Jewel Basar 108 With a base speed of 108, Basar can act as a decent main CR booster, but for a Fast/ CC-reliant team Desert Jewel Basar will perform better as a secondary booster. Bastet’s Roar dispels all debuffs from allies, grants Immunity for 3 turns, and increases their Combat Readiness by 30%.
Dispellers
Hero​​ Artifact Notes
Hurado Tagehel’s Ancient Book An accessible 3-star Moonlight hero with the ability to remove all of the enemy's buffs, leaving them vulnerable to CC. Similar to Basar, Hurado’s S3 has the ability to reduce the enemy’s CR by 15%. Additionally, when outsped, Hurado has the ability to “cut-in” due to his passive granting him 20% CR when an enemy uses a non-attack skill. Hurado’s S3 can be countered by evasion/ high Effect Resist.
Basar Tagehel’s Ancient Book Currently the most optimal counter to the Immunity buff due to his ability to ignore Effect Resist by Soulburning his S3. Basar has the ability to reduce all enemies’ CR by 30% and remove all of their buffs, leaving them vulnerable to CC. Basar’s S3 can be evaded by Fire-elemental heroes and other means of evasion.
Lidica Sashe With her recent exclusive equipment, Lidica now has the ability to cleanse 2 buffs from the enemy. With a base speed of 124, Lidica is currently the fastest single and multi-buff AOE dispeller in the game. Unfortunately, she will be somewhat hindered by her element due to the popular blue meta in arena.. Unlike Basar and Hurado, Lidica will not be able to carry Tagahel’s Ancient Book because she is a ranger.
Secondary CR Boosters/ Buffers
Hero Artifact Notes
Rose Aurius With a base speed of 97, Rose will not be a reliable opener. However, she performs extraordinarily well as a secondary CR pusher because her S3 grants all allies increased Atk for 2 turns alongside a 25% CR boost.
Challenger Dominel Tagehel’s Ancient Book With a base speed of 96, CDom will not be a reliable opener. However, she performs extraordinarily well as a secondary CR pusher due to her Supercharge ability, which grants all allies increased Critical Hit Chance for 3 turns alongside a 20% CR boost. CDom’s passive also grants her 10% CR each time an ally makes a critical hit.
Auxiliary Lots Tagehel’s Ancient Book A very popular single-target CR booster that grants increased Atk and 100% Combat Readiness for a single ally before granting increased Atk and 30% increase Combat Readiness to himself. With a speed of 112, he can also act as an unreliable main CR booster, especially when run alongside allies with speed Imprints.
Sub DPS/Debuffer
Hero Artifact Notes
Dizzy Tagehel’s Ancient Book A very powerful debuffer. Her Emotional Gamma Ray attacks all enemies and inflicts decreased speed, attack, and hit chance for 2 turns (regardless of miss). When Soulburned, she is granted an additional turn, allowing her to follow up with Gamma Ray to decrease all enemies’ CR by 50% and increase all debuff durations by 1 turn.
Judge Kise Portrait of the Saviors Judge Kise can perform as a main DPS, sub DPS, or support unit. Her S2 attacks all enemies with a 75% chance to dispel one buff from each enemy and, when Soulburned, gives her an extra turn. This lets her follow up with her S3, which attacks all enemies and increases their skill cooldowns by up to 3 turns.
Silver Blade Aramintha Tagehel’s Ancient Book Despite her nerf, Silver Blade Aramintha’s S3 can still cripple the opposition by inflicting Stun and two 2-turn Burn effects on all enemies. She can also CR-push herself by Burning enemies with her S1, which triggers her S2 passive to deal AOE damage and increase Silver Blade Aramintha’s CR by 20%.
Main DPS
Hero Artifact Notes
Blood Blade Karin Portrait of the Saviors An excellent DPS that gains strength as her health drops. Blood Blade Karin has a neutral element, which allows her to bypass RGB check and makes her an excellent choice for a cleave. When she lands a killing blow with her S1, she gains 50% CR, and when she kills at least one target with her S3, she is granted an extra turn. This makes her an extremely good pick against Arbiter Vildred teams.
Celestial Mercedes Portrait of the Saviors A character specifically designed for AOE damage. Multiple crits on her S3 can grant her up to an 80% CR boost, allowing her to potentially lap enemies and follow up with her S2. Celestial Mercedes has incredible synergy with Challenger Dominel due to the amount of crit she is outputting. As a Mage, she can also hold Tagehel’s Ancient Book, which helps with Soulburning. Celestial Mercedes can be countered by Arbiter Vildred.
Arbiter Vildred Portrait of the Saviors Currently one of the most overpowered characters in Epic 7. Arbiter Vildred’s S3 deals incredible damage. If he lands a kill with his S3 he will be able to use it again. When Arbiter Vildred dies, he will resurrect and gain 100% combat readiness and 5 focus. This allows him to instantly cleave again with even higher scaling thanks to 5 focus

Defense Penetration Team

Defense Penetration is a popular approach against stall teams and counter-play teams. This team strategy relies on opening with Hurado, Basar, or Iseria and Tamarinne. Hurado/ Basar synergize well with an AOE defense breaker. Iseria and Tamarinne only have synergy with each other. It is important for this team comp to target team comps that are slower than your opener. 

For an AOE Defense Break team comp, Hurado or Basar simply opens up with an AOE dispel. An AOE Defense Breaker then follows up with their defense-crippling skills. Once the enemies’ defenses are broken, a CR booster with an attack buff simply pushes the main DPS cleave to the front so they can cleave down the entire team in one strike. 

For a Tam/Iseria comp, Tamarinne is required to have an Immunity set. Iseria opens with her S2, resetting all of Tamarinne’s CDs. Iseria can then proceed to remove all buffs from a single enemy and inflict Defense Break. Tamarinne can follow up with her S3 to remove any harmful effect inflicted on her allies, healing herself to full health and granting an additional turn. She can then buff all allies with a 50% CR push and a 2-turn attack buff. Judge Kise, Arbiter Vildred, or Blood Blade Karin can proceed to cleave the enemy team.

Dispellers
Hero Artifact Notes
Hurado Tagehel’s Ancient Book Unlike a Fast/CC team, the main CR pusher position will most likely be substituted for a hero with defense break. This means Hurado must be heavily invested in speed since he will be forced to open the fight. If a faster hero outspeeds Hurado then the cleave will most likely fail.
Basar Tagehel’s Ancient Book Similar to Hurado, Basar will be force to open in a Defense Penetration team. Heavy speed investment will be required. Even with his ability to reduce all enemies’ combat readiness by 30% and remove all of their buffs, leaving them vulnerable to CC, if he gets shut down early it will be useless..
Iseria Sashe Ithanes For PvP, Iseria has incredible synergy with Tamarinne. Her role is to swiftly reset the CD on Tamarinne’s S3. Aside from this, she is able to dispel all buffs and inflict DEF Break to one hero.
DEF Breakers
Hero Artifact Notes
Tywin Cursed Compass Tywin is currently the best Defense Breaker in the game, since he has a 100% chance to inflict Defense Break on all enemies with his S3. Additionally, Soulburning his S3 grants him an additional turn, allowing him to follow up with his S2 to grant 30% CR and a 50% ATK buff to a single ally and himself. Tywin is also an Aurius holder, which help with team survivability. Tywin’s Defense Break can be evaded by Earth-element enemies.
Bellona Cursed Compass With the recent release of her exclusive equipment, Bellona’s S3 can reach 100% effect chance. Bellona is currently the second best Defense Breaker in the game and also the only other 100% Defense Breaker in the game. Bellona’s Defense Break can be evaded by Fire-element enemies.
Iseria Sashe Ithanes Her role is to swiftly reset the cd on Tamarinne’s S3. Aside from this she can be used to remove all buffs from 1 enemy and inflict defense break. Her S1 has a 50% chance to inflict defense break as well which is a nice bonus.
CR Booster with Atk Buff
Hero Artifact Notes
Tywin Cursed Compass Tywin is a primary defense breaker. If your team has 20 souls to spare, Tywin can offer 50% ATK buff alongside a 30% CR boost to a single ally and himself. Souls can be achieved through Tagahel’s Ancient Book held by a mage. This makes Tywin very versatile as a pseudo tank/buffer.
Tamarinne Magaraha’s Tome When paired alongside Iseria, she’ll be able to shower your team with multiple buffs. When Tamarinne transforms with her S3, she will remove all debuffs inflicted on her allies. This removes the need for an Immunity set on allies (though Tamarinne herself still needs one so she doesn’t get disabled). Tamarinne can follow up with a 50% team-wide CR boost along with a 2-turn ATK buff. If equipped with Magaraha’s, Tamarinne will gain an 80% CR boost. Tamarinne S1 will proc a dual atk with the highest attack ally.
Auxiliary Lots Tagehel’s Ancient Book A great substitute for players who do not own Tywin. Auxiliary Lots pairs very well alongside Bellona’s 100% defense break. Auxiliary Lots can offer up to 100% CR boost alongside a 50% attack buff.
DPS
Hero Artifact Notes
Judge Kise Portrait of the Saviors Judge Kise can perform as a main DPS in a Defense Penetration team due to her ability to one shot Martial Artist Ken when he is crippled with defense penetration. Her soul burn grants her an extra turn which is optimal for shutting down Arbiter Vildred that plagues the current meta. Element neutrality as a light hero makes her exceptional at her role.
Blood Blade Karin Portrait of the Saviors Blood Blade Karin role is exactly the same in a Defense Penetration team as it was in a Fast/CC team. With defense break inflicted on the enemy, she has the ability to one shot the enemy team without the need of a sub dps to soften the enemy prior to her cleave. Her element neutrality makes her exceptional at her role.
Dizzy Kaladra Dizzy is an exceptional cleaver in an offense PvP team when equipped with rage set and paired with Kaladra. Dizzy will receive a 60% damage bonus when the enemy is inflicted with a debuff (most likely defense penetration). Her S3 makes her viable against green heroes, her extra turn grants her coverage over Arbiter Vildred as well as reducing any survivor’s CR by 50% (not likely).

Counterplay/Sustain Team

A counterplay/ sustain team involves pairing one or two bruisers alongside multiple supports and/or tanks. This team composition works best when countering a fast/ CC team.

In a counterplay focus team, heroes are chosen who can absorb damage then counter the enemy. Support restores damage dealt, allowing the counterplay heroes to retaliate more often. Champion Zerato can completely counter any Dizzy or Silver Blade Aramintha team when paired with 3 supports. Martial Artist Ken and Seaside Bellona are vulnerable to debuffs but can be safeguarded through means of Immunity, cleanse, and Effect Resistance.  

Sustain Team involves building support around extremely high HP heroes like Krau, ML Ravi and Dark Corvus. Krau and Dark Corvus has the ability to release very high burst of damage once certain requirements are met. Support heroes that provide immunity, cleanse, and health regeneration are vital for this strategy to be successful.

Healers
Hero Artifact Notes
Maid Chloe Idol’s Cheer Maid Chloe has a huge presence in the meta due to her resurrection ability. Chloe can resurrect all allies to 20% Health and grant revive for 3 turns to all living allies. Additionally, she also increases Atk of all allies for 3 turns with her S3. Maid Chloe's attack buff will be granted to resurrected characters as well. A resurrected BBK or Arbiter Vildred can potentially one shot an entire team. Maid Chloe resurrection can countered by Lilibet extinction.
Ruele of Light Idol’s Cheer Ruele of Light is able to resurrect a single ally, recovering all of their health and granting them invincibility for 1 turn. If used on a living ally, she will dispel all debuffs before granting invincibility. She is perfect for keeping one counterplay hero (i.e., Champion Zerato) alive at all costs.
Destina Idol’s Cheer With healing output every turn, Destina is a great support for both counterplay and sustain team. She is a soulweaver with the ability to heal and cleanse all debuffs from all allies. Her S3 healing is basically a reset button that recovers allies’ health scaled to her massive HP.
Defensive Tank
Hero Artifact Notes
Fallen Cecilia Elbris Ritual Sword Currently the most overused tank in the meta. Her passive alone shuts down all single buff dispellers due to barrier buff being dispelled prior to immunity buff. She grants all allies a barrier scaled to her health at the start of the battle. Furthermore, she will grant the ally with the lowest health a barrier every turn. Elbris Ritual Sword will allow Fallen Cecilia to Provoke enemies more often to disrupt their synergy, while Aurius is always a good Knight Artifact to use.
Troublemaker Crozet Elbris Ritual Sword A 4-star ML tank that offers a built-in Aurius for ONE hero. Troublemaker Crozet absorbs 40% of the dmg dealt to the ally in the back row. Troublemaker Crozet makes his backline ally very beefy with that passive. Additionally, he has a 35% chance to counter if they are hit. Troublemaker Crozet also dispels all debuffs from himself and an ally before increasing defense for 3 turns and grants a class enhancement. Unfortunately, he will be absorbing a lot of AOE damage so he will be forced with a HP/DEF build making him very predictable. Elbris Ritual Sword helps Troublemaker Crozet to Stun more enemies, while Adamant Shield reduces critical damage dealt to all allies.
Crimson Armin Aurius A 4-star ML hero who reduces 15% of the damage from critical attacks as her passive. With an adamant shield inspired passive, Crimson Armin can tune down cleaver’s dps for counter-play hero to excel in their role. Her S3 grants Invincibility for 1 turn and Immunity for 2 turns. This will essentially guarantee an additional turn (unless debuffed) making her a very strong support. Unfortunately, her speed is abysmal. Hilga Lance can compensate for her speed. Elbris Ritual Sword allows Crimson Armin to Provoke enemies more often, as it does for Fallen Cecilia. Arius will allow her to increase survivability of her allies.
Offensive Tank/ Bruiser
Hero Artifact Notes
Krau Holy Sacrifice A 5-star tank with high HP and DEF stats. Krau’s S2 grants a DEF buff to all allies and reduces CR of one enemy by 50%. Once Krau reaches 50% HP, he should unleash his S3, dealing damage based on the amount of health that he has lost. Krau has the ability to 1 shot an enemy with his S3. Holy Sacrifice on Krau resurrects him once he dies, giving him a chance to use his S3 if he has not done so.
Charles Elbris Ritual Sword Charles is a tank who provides an ATK buff to all allies with his S3 and a DEF buff for himself. His S2 removes all buffs from his target. Elbris and a Counter gear set on Charles are excellent because his S1 has a 25% chance to activate his S2 (and when the target is buffed, the chance doubles). This allows Charles to become a very annoying tank.
Dark Corvus Crimson Seed Dark Corvus has a very strong S3 that deals damage based on his HP and can potentially one-shot an enemy. Unfortunately, this is locked behind a 9-turn CD. This forces Dark Corvus to absorb lots of hits. Crimson Seed and Stark Gauntlet protects him against debuffs.
Counter-Play Bruiser
Hero Artifact Notes
Martial Artist Ken Sigurd Scythe Martial Artist Ken has the ability to 1v4 a fast cleave team. His passive gives him 100% chance to counterattack whenever he suffers a critical hit and 30% chance to counter when he’s hit with a non-critical attack. Martian Artist Ken’s presence will typically scare away Judge Kise team with his presence alone. When ML Ken suffers a critical hit, his counterattack scales proportional to his lost health. Sigurd Scythe and a Lifesteal set will grant him massive sustain.
Seaside Bellona Reingar’s Special Drink Seaside Bellona (SSB) is a limited 5-star Ranger who excels against cleave teams. She gains 1 focus whenever damage is dealt to herself or an ally, and she counterattacks whenever she reaches 5 focus. If an enemy uses an AOE ability that hits your entire team, she will gain 4 focus. Reingar’s Special Drink deals damage scaled to 30% of her Atk whenever she uses an AOE ability… and this includes her counterattacks.
Champion Zerato Sira-Ren A 4-star Moonlight hero that is very strong against CC teams. Champion Zerato is passively immune to Stun, Sleep, and Blind. Anytime Champion Zerato is struck with a debuff, he will counter, transfering the debuff back the enemy and an additional target. Sira-Ren will spread even more debuffs to the enemy whenever Champion Zerato counters.

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