The most important thing in arena is who strikes first. Sometimes in Arena you’ll be left with a tough choice where you can kill an opposing unit, but leave yourself open to losing one in return. The alternative is letting the defending team strike a tanky character so the next turn you can pounce and cleanup.
So the basic strategy revolves around, either hitting first or being hit first. Characters like Takumi, Hector, and Nowi are strong because they can bait the opponent. They’ll tank damage and destroy a few units in return.
A popular offensive strategy popped up a few weeks into FE:H, it’s basically Olivia buffs a Nino and Nino sweeps. But one of the reasons why it works so well is because Nino will clear, but Nino won’t be left to die because of Olivia.
The deal with attacking first though is that the player has to isolate opposing units without dying, anything else is almost worthless because of deaths lowing arena score. Melee units have a tough time because they’ll walk into enemy territory, but it’s likely that they’ll get cornered or destroyed by an enemy unit with superior color.
What’s someone to do right?
The strongest character in the game is probably Effie and viable strategies can move from understanding why Effie is so strong. See Effie is stupid strong because she naturally comes with Death Blow, and Wary Fighter.
Wary Fighter is strong because Effie can never be doubled, aside from Brave weapons. Most units rely on their special or doubling to do damage but because of Wary Fighter, Effie will generally always survive a few combats.
Death Blow is strong because Effie paired with Brave Weapon, is incredible. Effie doesn’t worry about speed, so Effie can have a Bane that doesn’t hurt her at all, while also doing massive damage. This makes Effie strong in an offensive or defensive game.
We can use Effie as a model to compare other units by. Will my Lyn be able to attack and live? How will she do either? If my Reinhardt is super strong but also flimsy, how will I push up with him? Should I just have a Nowi draw in the enemy team? What if I use two tanky melee units and two offensive ranged units?
Now there’s a few videos on Reddit about people using staff teams to clear arena or clear Heroic Grand Battles, and that’s interesting right. A lot of people like dancers on their team, it makes the game pretty deadly. But see staff users are super defensive. The whole concept is that the staff users tank and destroy their opponents through health and typing. This all put me on to thinking about, defense and offense.
I thought about how Hector used to be a terror but people know how to play around him now. In fact if you let Hector beat your team down, you’re in good position. Because he’s slow both in speed and movement, he’s not likely to murder your team. But if you attack Hector at full health he’s guaranteed to double.
Arena has evolved a little bit because there’s three types of teams now. There’s very tanky teams, very offensive teams, and balanced teams. I consider dancer teams to be very offensive, I don’t think anything else counts because dancer teams can easily pick off units. Usually tanky teams have a knight or dragon on them. And balanced teams are anything else.
Anyway, Arena is all about surviving. Though you have to kill the defending team, at the end of the day you need four heroes to survive for max points. Some people get there by being offensive, and some get there by being defensive.
I think what’s really important on a team is figuring out if you should be beating them down, or if they should be beating you down.