In The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth, as in all Hero Collectors games, Arena is the most important feature! Especially right after the release.
It is not available instantly, but it is always the main farming spot of the main (p2w) game resource. It is the same in SWGoH, MSF…and in any other game of this kind starting with Summoner’s Wars which set the path for this genre of mobile games.
In Arena, you are checking the strength of your main team and your current progress against teams of other players. It is considered a PvP feature but it actually isn’t.
Basically, you put the team of your choice to be your “Arena Defense”. You have a certain number of attack attempts during 1 reset (usually 24 hours) against the teams of other players from your Server.
How far you can reach by defeating teams of better-standing players, while having Arena Defense strong enough to defend your current position against others, decides your final standing for that day and the amount of resources you will get each day.
I am sure that you are familiar with the concept because it is really similar to most games of this kind. The most important thing you need to know is that you are not fighting against a human being – you are fighting against AI controlling a team put by players.
So, in other words, you will always have an advantage during the attack because sooner or later you will know exactly what to do in order to win – AI moves are always predictable!
Unfortunately, the same goes in both directions, so your defense will also be easily beatable by most especially if the power of your team is equal to or lower than the power of the enemy. A long experience with Gatcha games thought me really fast that expecting a result from the Arena defense (or any AI Defense for that matter) will never give real results!
So the only way to succeed is to know how to win against any possible opponent you can meet (know how to “counter” them) and to be active always!
LOTRh Arena will be opened to you when you reach level 20. Those are the most important facts that you must know about it:
- Everyone has 5 Free Arena attempts per Arena Reset;
- The first additional attempt costs 50 Gems and the price is gradually increasing;
- Arena Reset Rewards are given depending on your Time Zone (2:00 PM CET)
- After each Arena Reset Reward, there can’t be any activity in the Arena for 4 hours.
- The new Arena competition starts each day at the same time depending on your Time Zone (6:00 PM CET)
- Arena Rewards depend on a player’s current Arena League at the time when Arena Reset Rewards are given.
- Each day Arena Rewards count accordingly and nothing is set – it is open and an ever-changing competition.
There are 15 different Leagues (rewards) in LOTR Arena at the moment:
- Champions 1 – 1 player – 620 Gems; 575 Arena Coins
- Champions 2 – 1 player – 558 Gems; 525 Arena Coins
- Champions 3 – 1 player – 496 Gems; 500 Arena Coins
- Champions 4 – 2 players – 434 Gems; 475 Arena Coins
- Champions 5 – 5 players – 372 Gems; 425 Arena Coins
- Champions 6 – 10 players – 310 Gems; 375 Arena Coins
- Mithril 1 – 30 players – 248 Gems; 350 Arena Coins
- Mithril 2 – 50 players – 186 Gems; 325 Arena Coins
- Gold 1 – 150 players – 124 Gems; 275 Arena Coins
- Gold 2 – 250 players – 93 Gems; 250 Arena Coins
- Silver 1 – 1000 players – 74 Gems; 200 Arena Coins
- Silver 2 – 1500 players – 50 Gems; 150 Arena Coins
- Bronze 1 – 3000 players – 31 Gems; 100 Arena Coins
- Bronze 2 – 4000 players – 12 Gems; 50 Arena Coins
- Iron 1 – 10000+ players – 25 Arena Coins
For every 10k “active” players, a new Server will be opened so new players can compete and play normally. Unfortunately, that was not the case on the day of Global Release.
Because, contrary to wipe announcements, players who were active in the soft launch 2 weeks before the Global were allowed to maintain their progression and Arena standing. That made it almost impossible for all players who started playing on Global Release to be in a fair position and equally compete. It was such a lame move, tbh.
Nonetheless, that is the mechanic – it is known and familiar to most. The second Server was opened immediately 3 days after Global Release, so it seems that the competition will be real… As long as devs keep up the pace with community expectations 😉
Arena Standings and Farming
As you can see it is a big gap in daily Gems rewards between the top 10, top 250, and everyone else, but for steady and acceptable progress in the early game you don’t need much if you are f2p.
Obviously – the more gems=more shards=more characters=more acccountXP=more progress… but, have you already heard about Gold and XP “bottlenecks” in LOTRh?
I am sure you did, and let me tell you even in the middle leagues, you will not have enough Gold and XP to catch up with the progression allowed if you are in the Top 10. Don’t take me wrong – it is good having 600 Gems each day for free, it opens possibilities and widens your options, but it doesn’t substitute Gold and Character XP nor it will change the gear drop rate from missions.
As expected in the early stages of games like this Arena is owned by those who spend the most – it is the same in every game, but the quality and balance of the game are not measured by the speed of leveling and unlocking new characters, but by the overall balance and competitiveness of all those who reach the end-game… and only then the real game begins.
After all, all of you have experience with other games of this kind just remember your beginnings there 😉
Anyway, to maintain steady progress and character shards farming from the Arena Shop this is the minimum that you need while leveling (or until level 50 at least):
- 150-200 Gems daily (70 gems – Daily Objectives + Login Rewards)
- 450 Arena Coins (250 Arena Coins – Daily Objectives)
In short, Silver I in Arena is everything you need to have 3 Campaign Energy refills daily and to buy at least 10 character shards from the Arena Shop!
If you want to have 3 Campaign Energy Refills + 3 Guild Energy refills daily and to always know that you will buy all initial character shards at the shop you will need better Arena Standing. Without Daily and Level Login possible Gem Rewards and with all Daily Objectives, to achieve early mentioned maximum reasonable additional progression you need to be between:
- Mithril 1- Champions 5
Unless you just started on the new Server shard, being in Mithril 1, yet Champions League is literally impossible while leveling if you don’t spend and everyone is aware of that.
I must say that if you decide to be there nonetheless, and to maintain the progression while leveling with the current game economy and resource farming spots, the only way to have enough Gold and XP for all characters is to spend even more. It is not made like that by accident, and you should look at it as a good thing for everyone, especially the future of the game.
So if you are considering starting over just to be in a newer less populated Server Shard so you can exploit your early knowledge and farm the amount of Gems you think you deserved by downloading the game the first day, I say think twice. I don’t want to elaborate on this any longer, but in every scenario (the game is successful and lasts, or otherwise) being in the first Server Shard will pay off in the long run.
How to Dominate Arena?
Dominating Arena in LOTR Heroes of Middle Earth is similar to all other games of this kind but at the same time, it has aspects that are totally unique.
You will have to beat enemy Arena Defenses at the highest possible percentage (Win vs Lose) and to do that you will need to know which available setups counter the enemy you picked. The problem (especially for f2p) is that while leveling and reaching the end-game, it will be almost impossible to have more than 10-12 different characters at maximum progression and improvement.
Basically, you will be limited to the Light Campaign Team and Shadow Campaign team from which you will try to combine the best setup that will allow you steady and continuous Arene progress.
In our Arena Counters article, you will find the best counters for the teams that are mostly used as Arena Defenses at the time. As I said there, every Arena Defense can be beaten even with considerable punch-up once you learn character abilities and their weaknesses.
The most important thing is knowing the turn rotation of every member on the battlefield. When you know that you can anticipate future enemy moves and act accordingly.
However, I’m LOTRH Arena (as it is now), and knowing how to defeat enemy defenses is actually not the most important thing. As it seems at this moment, placing the right Arena Defense strong enough in power to match participants of your current League and Leagues below and above, is much more important than having the knowledge of possible counters.
The reason for that is that there are actually only 6-7 possible teams and their variations, so it is not hard for most to know how to beat all of them. That is why in the early-mid game you should try to assemble Arena’s defense strong enough to be usable but yet efficient enough to draw back as many attackers as possible.
To that you need to anticipate which teams will be mostly used for offensive purposes by the majority of players in your Server shard and to slowly build a team strictly for Arena Defensive purposes whose members can be used for other features as well if necessary.
As we all know (I also repeated it many times), in the current economic balance and update schedule, new players (especially f2p) are limited to 5 main Light characters, 5 Shadow, and so-called “side projects for future”. In our Farming Priorities article, I suggested early farming goals according to Quest and Adventures requirements.
However, it is totally legitimate that your goal is not to unlock new features or characters but to ensure your Arena standings by ignoring some of those requirements and leaving them for the future (when you should be able to reach them easily since your Gems farming potential will be considerably higher due to your early Arena focus and standing).
If you decide on that course of action, assembling the best possible Arena Defense should be your main priority. Let’s talk about your early options to ensure the least number of attacks against your Arena Defense.
Best Arena Defense Teams
At this moment (fortunately) there are not many acceptable or needed Defensive options that will improve your Defensive potential. What you need to know when assembling an Arena Defense is that your team will be controlled by AI, which will almost always do wrong moves to help your opponent.
For example, Ironhide will be the most improved character in almost every roster for obvious reasons. However, if you put him in defense, he will be easily countered by your opponents – Ironhide will play among last and any Blind or Disable will nullify the early advantage you used to have while attacking.
Or in other words, you will lose in most cases, except when he resists (you cannot count on that even though he will be your main improving priority).
At this moment there are no supporters or healers that can remove Bane from Ironhide in the first turn so he can be effective. Elrond will have that ability (we could see this in Wonderous Abilities Challenge). All of this suggests only 1 thing, no matter how ridiculous it sounds – do not place Ironhide in Arena Defense!
Now, when I explained this, and when I told you that the only true Arena Defense is that people avoid attacking you (either because of your power or setup), let’s list the best possible defenses at the moment.
The Month of Elves p2w Defense
- Halbarad, Elrohir, Mirie/Eomer, Strider/Eothain, Arwen
Players who started playing recently and even those who play from the start will be forced to farm Elves, so they can unlock Elrond (at least that will be required according to rumors that are not yet confirmed).
With the brand new availability of Elrohir, the usefulness of Rangers is finally as it should be. Halbard, their leader who is behind a paywall for most, now has the purpose even without maximized abilities. Halbarad is one of the 4 characters in the whole roster who can Taunt (Fro, Grimpa, and Tordok are others).
Taunt is very different compared to Provoke and allows Elrohir to take advantage of his passive during the whole time the Taunt is active. With Provoke He is limited to the number of activated Provokes, and that is never satisfying. In other words, all those who purchase Halbarad early will have an immediate benefit now since Elrohir can be unlocked on almost the second or third day of playing.
Strider is an obvious choice and you will not have doubt whether to invest in him or not, because in this team he can reach his full potential with his simple but effective skillset. Elrohir will enter Stealth immediately, the same as Mirie giving passive bonus damage to Strider who benefits from all allies in Stealth and plays immediately after those 2.
Arwen is a glue who connects this team at this point and who will give them the edge, especially in defense. AI cannot play wrongly with her. She will play after Strider and she will open with her special removing 1 Boon from an opponent.
In other words, if against her is someone with Provoke or Taunt she will attack them and remove Taunt or 2 Provokes immediately. You cannot expect anything better than that, honestly. Her other 2 active abilities are ok but nothing out of the ordinary (she will cleanse Banes on allies in the second turn, which is ok as you will see), but her passive is the reason why everyone will try to avoid it.
Being able to passively grant 1 Nimble to each ally during the combat (passive Level 4), is something that changes perspective entirely. This passive equal 5 Blinds and considerably reduces enemy dps potential.
It cannot be better, honestly, and even Ironhide with a custom team or with full Mordor will try to avoid you after they realize your strength.
It is important to say that Mirie is not mandatory due to her slow farming mechanics (especially for f2p who cannot refill Guild energy on a daily basis). She is good, without question and she can grant Eagle Eye, but if she is low for you, it is maybe better to use Eomer who can be farmed every day in Arena Shop regardless of your standing.
He will not have his bonuses granted from Eothain and Eowyn, but his assistance mechanics and almost the best base damage stats will cover Mirie if she is low on stars.
You can even go further and add Eothain to the Rangers instead of Strider. You will have more opportunities for Elrohir to activate passive, and you will have a Turn matter advantage in addition to the granted mass Counterstrike in the second turn.
You cannot fail with this concept – you just need Halbarad soon enough 😉
Isengard-Haradrim Defense (anti-Rohan)
- Ugluk, Mauhur, Wubete, Yeftu, Abel
Ok, this Arena Defense cannot be assembled fast, but it can be assembled for free while maintaining a decent Arena position and investing only characters you will use for the Light and Shadow Campaign.
It is pretty simple, you do everything that is widely accepted by everyone, except that your final goal is different – instead of going after Mordor as your first end-game goal, you fully invest in initial characters that proved capable of decent progression.
In other words, you fully invest in 3 Rohan (Eowyn, Eothaim, Eomer) and 3 Isengard (Ugluk, Mauhur, Dunhar). Your goal is to clear Shadow Hard 3-9 and Shadow Normal 4-9 as soon as possible.
I already explained Wubete’s real potential along with Mordor, but she is quite capable with other Shadow members as well, especially Haradarim. As you well know, Yeftu is available for farming almost immediately as soon as you clear Ligh Hard 1-9.
I will not talk a lot about the guy except that the only reason no one is using him is that by the time he is ready, most people are already using Ironhide as 5th Shadow investing everything in him (if you want to know about Yeftu check our Tier List). Yeftu is the best single-target damage dealer in the current roster by the way.
So, basically, you will be in a position to fully and constantly invest in 4 members of this team from the start while trying to unlock Robel’s farming spot (Shadow Hard 4-1). Unlocking Robel will be needed for the Shadow Quest at the time and you will just receive 175k Gold ready to be invested in someone. That someone should be Robel immediately.
At first, he will be only on 2* by the time you improve him on T6 (which will be easy because he will be the first Shadow that needs additional investment after assembling the team) but even on 2* he will do what you need from him.
Until reaching that point, you simply need to use Rohan + Ugluk + Ironhide as everyone else trying to progress by the power of the team (unlike many others you can freely try to bring some of the members of this team on t7 – it doesn’t affect your goal, on contrary)
So, what happens when you assemble this team?
First, you will have a really effective synergy that is not available at the start at full power to prevent those who invested everything in just 5 characters from the start, from easily beating you because of power advantage.
2nd – all those who thought that it is the only logical course of action to fully invest in ROhan+Ugluk+Ironhide and nothing else will be negatively surprised upon attacking you. Everything they get used to, and all advantages their team offers – will be easily negated by AI because everything is straightforward and there cant be mistakes.
3rd – you will have 2 of the best single-target damage dealers surrounded by 3 tanks that will preserve Provokes during the entire combat. That basically means that your main DPS potential will be protected all the time.
4th – Eothain will fully be countered – before he can give the Speed advantage to his teammates, Robel will do the opposite, except Yeftu will now play before Eothain and place him Expose that will fit really nicely considering that in the next turn, everyone will be forced to attack Eothain.
5th – At the end of the first turn your Wubete, fully maximized by the time will place Mass Slow. So instead of playing first and controlling the battle the attacker will have to wait for AI to play.
Mauhur and Yeft hit really hard, to be honest, and most importantly none of the members of your team will use AOE in the second turn, therefore, Eothain mass counterstrike effect will be limited and divided among several members of your team.
Don’t get me wrong, this defense like any other defense can be beaten by smart play and accurate moves, but compared to usual defenses whose power is never on maximum because of side projects, Isengard + Haradrim will be soon avoided by most. That will allow you to speed up your arena progress simply by having a greater win percentage than others.
Simply, cheap and efficient – and yes, Black Serpent Poison is a really nasty thing 😉
Usual forced Defense accepted by everyone
- Eowyn, Ugluk, Eothain, Eomer, Ironhide
Ok, this is in contradiction with what I said earlier about not using IH since he is your liability in defense. However, if you are f2p and don’t want to risk too much due to “Gold and XP bottlenecks” everyone talks about, so you want to invest only in the one team believing it will grant the best results at the start. This Defense offers you best chances for success. I will explain why.
The thing is that combining Ugluk and Eowyn alongside Ironhide for offensive purposes gives you an option to easily deal with any possible defense if you know their behavior in defense. Since 95% of the players are using almost the same team with some slight variables (because they are told there is no other way by both promoters and anti-promoters), you will learn the turn rotation and enemy moves after a few days.
Many of you will think that putting Strider instead Eomer is a better option since Strider will be stronger even if you don’t fully focus on him (which you will because of Light Campaign), but you will be wrong.
Eomer grants higher DPS (even with fewer stars or lesser Gear Tier) and most importantly he slowly heals Eothain on every. That healing is minimal, but when everyone is close min-maxing decides the outcome. Also, his ad will make at least 1 attack which is good enough to make a difference in the end.
Also, many of you will think that Ugluk will lose much without Mauhur (he will but that is not important) but his presence alone will be quite enough for what you want from him – to place Blind and to get Provoke after each basic attack.
Those 2 things will prevent an attacker from focusing on a single target and since Speed Bar is not changed by the time Ugluk can play there is always a chance that your Ugluk will play before the enemy Ugluk and that he will choose his counterpart for placing Blind.
If that happens your Ironhide in defense will not be blinded and the whole concept of countering IH will fail to give your defense a chance to fight. I mean 10% chance is not much (50% that your Ugluk plays first and then 20% to target the enemy Ugluk), but even those 10% can draw someone back from attacking you, especially if you have a stronger power.
In my opinion, if you are f2p and want to go after the general counsel investing everything in just 1 team that will be used in Arena, this is the best possible defense, without a doubt. Even after Elrohir and Arwen become available early, there is no better option for f2p now (if they wanna listen majority of CCs which I obviously am not)
Unlikely Defense with 2 “worst” characters in the game – fully F2P
- Fro, Nerimiri, Arwen, Elrohir, Ironhide
So, this is the thing. You know that you “must” invest everything in 1 offensive team so you can be competitive and get those gems. You also know that everyone talks that Elrohir and Arwen are amazing but you are confused because you can’t use them efficiently even though you started a new account so you can farm them from the start.
At the start of this article, I told you that Ironhide will be your Liability in Defense because he is easily controlled. You also (hopefully) read Bombadil’s tips Tier List which is ok with full explanations but whatever you do you cannot make Arwen and Elrohir useful in the way they are described.
Or even worse, by the time you will read this, there were already videos showing that Arwen and Elrohir are actually “useless” and everyone can beat them. Hmm… should you delete the game or you should back to your main farming everyone is farming with no actual point? I mean everyone is telling that there is content at all, but yet, the game is kinda new, it draws you to play it…
This is what I would do. I would invest and improve what you already started (Elves) and normally build Isengard for Shadow Campain. However, I would do something totally risky and against all advice – I would completely ignore Rohirims, use all Campaign energy on Shadow Characters, and start improving 2 “worst” characters according to everyone, including me.
Fro is available on Shadow 1-9 (he can be unlocked relatively fast without stalling the progression). You can start farming Nerimiri and unlocking Nerimiri before you unlock Elrohir Node – she just needs 15 shards.
Combine those 2 with Elrohir, Arwen, and Ironhide who are widely accepted by everyone and you will have an amazing Arena Defense and Light Campaign team (if you chose to do this you can completely ignore Hobits since they are “useless” – they are not of course but as a f2p you cannot have everything… on start).
What is the catch? – It is simple!
Fro is the slowest character in the whole roster and he will always play last in the first turn no matter what. Also, there is no chance that someone play twice before his opening. So when Fro, opens the fight, with Banes or without it, he will simply Taunt and nothing else. This will happen AFTER enemy Ironhide uses his special, so Taunt will not be removed!!!!
Why is this so important? It is important because since Fro is the slowest in the game, his Taunt lasts the longest, allowing Elrohir to benefit from his passive more than with anyone else, including Halbarad.
Most importantly at that point, only characters with removing Boons on attacks will be able to clear that Tauntand at this point according to the current community character focus that is only Pippin Took – if they chose leading him while attacking you which is unlikely.
Even Arwen will not have her special in that second turn in case someone figures out the danger you represent and bring someone to counter Fro. Yeftu can do it easily, but no one is using Yeftu, the same as some other characters.
And there is Nerimiri… What can I say about her except that she is ugly – I mean no one likes her. I didn’t even try considering her kit useful nor give any thought about it due to her repulsion. But then, that changed in Arwen’s Marques 5 and 6. I mean, it was Nerimiry who made it possible for all of us to clear that challenge, and yet no one talked about it.
That made me think, is there an actual use for her, and after just a few searches and checks, everything became fully clear. Now, I will paste what I wrote in our Guild Chat to my fellow Guildies while thinking out loud – I was in doubt should I share it or not, but in the end, I am not afraid if I am wrong or not.
In the end, this is just a theory craft according to stats and common sense:
” ….I must say that I made a mistake in a Tier List though. I shouldn’t put Nerimiri that low. She is actually OP against the usual offensive teams, atm.
But she is so ***** ugly so I will not remove her from tier 3 where she is now because everyone will agree, not knowing that I made a mistake.
It’s easier that way than to lose hours explaining what people don’t want to hear just because she is ugly…”
Then I post Screen Shots of her abilities and her speed and a List of the Speed of all other characters usually used in Arena atm…
” …So if you have Nerimiri in Defense along Elrohir and Arwen + 2 (we can debate who that should be)
This is what happens if she opens with ultimate (even though all have full HP).
Now, I am not entirely sure that AI will open with healing if everyone is on full HP. Basically Eowyn will cause damage to someone so someone will not be at full HP and that should be enough for triggering a yes for mass healing. I must check though, but if it does this will happen:
-Either Elrohir or Arwen will get + 1 Stamina (Nerimiri Ultimate on level 2). If Arwen gets +1 Stamina Ironihide (for example) will be cleared from Blind with Arwen’s ultimate.
-If Elrohir gets +1 Stamina, he will use Ultimate in the second turn just to have Expose and Might in the third turn immediately.
-Whatever happens while under the control of AI,, Nerimiri makes those 2 useful. Without her, they are not.
-Most importantly Nerimiry special also removes Banes, so in the second turn she will immediately remove Eowyn Disable.
-Ugluk will have another Disable which will stay. But, at that point, someone from defending team might be with Nimble already so he cannot put Disable on who he wants.
-In either way, the whole advantage of the most used synergy between Eowyn and Ugluk will be easily negated even by the stupid AI, not to mention what happens when you control them”
And then, I continue ranting about her looks (that is not for the public) to conclude with this: “No one will want to hear that she is good”
So. in short, this is a theory craft (because everything depends on Nerimiri’s opening while being controlled by AI, which I cannot check because no one will put this Defense any time soon). But, if I am right, that would mean that your Ironhide cannot be prevented from using his special in the first turn. I am not sure if you understand the importance but it is huge, at least from my perspective.
Usually, I would not put Theory Craft Defense which is against everything said so far even by myself, but I am constantly being triggered that there is no content in the game. I mean, if I would have time I would spam my Guild Chat even more than now with all the ideas that I have, so I really don’t understand all those who are claiming that HoMe is not fun and that there is no content. It is fun for me.
This page will be constantly updated with every new Defense that emerges. Hopefully, at one point, we will have the same situation as in SWGoH or MSF, when we will not be limited in progression and investing, and we will be able to actually play with all those characters (beautifully balanced and created I must say)
Until then, stay assured that I will always remind you that there is only one way available here and that there is much more than it seems for most.