Maximizing Arcana Purchase
Updated: Feb 11, 2019
INTRODUCTION Since Arcanas cost 2K each, it is logical that you should get good return of your investment. The first step in maximizing Arcana is to determine your primary role as this is where you'll base your first Arcana buys. Just imagine playing an RPG where you get to choose a class then you'll get to crossclass. For example, if you're planning to main marksman and try tank as secondary role, Guerilla would be a good buy as it's utilized by both classes. Mages can utilize it too but most opt for Benevolence, which is also considered a premier Tank arcana. For assassins, obviously, Assassinate is their primary arcana. Tanks and mages can still utilize it for the extra MS.
DON'T BUY TIER I or II ARCANAS. They're just a waste of gold and are given freely anyway. I actually sold mine just to clear up inventory.
To start, these are the basic arcana setups:
MARKSMAN 10 Blitz 10 Guerilla 10 Skewer
TANKS 10 Indomitable *(or 8 Indomitable, 2 Blitz) 10 Benevolence/Guerilla*/Assassinate* 10 Valiance***
*There are some builds that try to get 1% crit for the random chance of hitting it. If you're MAINING MARKSMAN which you usually get Blitz anyway, you can opt for just 8 indomitable and just slot in 2 Blitz arcs for 1% crit/3.2% AS if you're planning to make a dedicated tank page. You'll save 4K gold from this. I'm not a fan of RNG so I don't personally advocate getting crit. Still, 4K gold is a lot.
**Benevolence vs Guerilla: Both are good. Benevolence gives a little bit of tankiness and some sustain. I like having Benevolence if I'm uncertain about my lane. There are situations where you'll be facing 2 laners (yeah, happens in soloQ, low ranks) and the added regen can help mitigate some of the poke. If you're playing a hero that doesn't synergize much with AS and you're planning on setting up a mage arc page, Benevolence is the better choice. Guerilla on the other hand gives better mobility and some extra attacks. Certain heroes like Maloch, Arduin, or Ormarr can utilize Indomitable/Guerilla/Benevolence well.
Assassinate is a good choice if you're starting out on maining assassins.
***Skewer or Flurry are good options if those are the ones that you have available. Valiance is for a dedicated tank page.
WARRIORS 10 Indomitable 10 Benevolence ( or Guerilla) 10 Skewer
For me, this is the most balanced arcana page to get as it can also be used on marksmen and even tanks with physical damage.
MAGES 10 Violate 10 Benevolence/Guerilla* 10 Flurry
This is the basic mage build. Specialized ones use magic lifesteal purples but I feel they're not cost effective unless you're one-tricking. Magic lifesteal purples are quite niche even in mages.
*Guerilla vs Benevolence: Personally I'd go for Benevolence for HP, sustain and MS. Still, guerilla is fine if you're maining marksman/mage.
ASSASSINS 10 Onslaught 10 Assassinate 10 Skewer
This page can actually be utilized by some marksmen (Joker, Yorn) and tanks/warriors. If you're a dedicated assassin, I'd suggest going with just this for any physical damage hero and build a second mage page.
CHOOSING A CLASS AND CROSSCLASSING Please note that the secondary arcs suggested for this are for budget purposes and not specialized ones. Crossclassing from AD (marksmen/assassins) to AP can be quite costly as most arcanas need to be replaced. It's better to plan ahead as this allows you to further maximize your investment.
ASSASSINS - Get Onslaught, Assassinate, Skewer
Secondary tank - you can use the same assassin page on AD tanks. If going deeper, replace Onslaught with Indomitable and Skewer with Valiance (especially when on Maloch)
Secondary mage - This would be a total revamp but replace Onslaught and Skewer first with Violate and Flurry. You can go with Assassinate since mages usually just go for MS anyway.
Secondary marksman - use same (can work on Joker or Yorn) or just replace Assassinate with Guerilla. Personally, I'd just use this and make a secondary AP page instead.
TANK - Tanks are actually flexible in arcana. A dedicated tank page usually consists of Indomitable, Benevolence, and Valiance. IMO, the most important arcana for a tank main is Benevolence as you can use it for secondary classes without hurting your build too much.
If you're using AP tanks and planning on secondary mage, I'd suggest getting Indomitable, Benevolence, and Flurry instead. If you're planning on physical damage tanks and secondary AD, just build a warrior page.
Secondary marksman - First to be replaced would be Valiance for Skewer. If you're investing on AS, replace Benevolence second with Guerilla. Some marksmen can work on Indomitable/Guerilla/Skewer (or even with Benevolence). I played Yorn to some success with just a Skewer for Valiance. Marksmen tend to rely on items anyway. Arcs are good for early game though. Another suggestion if you're a tank main and you want a marksman, master Yorn. Yes, he sucks and he's too item dependent (most marksmen are anyway) but you'd save a lot of gold with him since he's free plus he can function with your regular tank arcana. Just rush blitzblade
Secondary mage - Replace Valiance with Flurry. If lacking ooomph, replace Indomitable too with Violate. Some mages like Mganga can work on Indomitable/Benevolence/Flurry though.
Secondary assassin - Replace Valiance with Skewer then Indomitable with Onslaught. You can even go stay with Benevolence if you're saving for a third page, i.e. mage.
Secondary warrior - You can go with same or just replace green with Skewer for pierce
MARKSMAN - Get Blitz, Guerilla, Skewer
Secondary tank - replace Skewer first with Valiance. You can get 8 Indomitable and leave 2 Blitz for crit. If you want to make a pure tank page, just go on and replace Guerilla with Benevolence.
Secondary assassin - replace Blitz with Onslaught then proceed to get Assassinate for Guerilla
Secondary mage - major overhaul again. Replace Blitz and Skewer with Violate and Flurry; complete Flurry first.
MAGE - Basic would be Violate, Benevolence, Flurry. No idea for specialized arcs. Sometimes they go Devour for purple but it's hard to crossclass with that.
Secondary AD - for assassins, total revamp Violate and Flurry would be replaced with Onslaught and Skewer. Benevolence can either stick or be replaced with Assassinate. For marksmen, same except for Violate to Blitz, Benevolence to Guerilla. For warriors, replace red and green with Indomitable and Skewer.
Secondary tank - if playing AP tanks like Chaugnar, you can stick with the same page. If going for a dedicated tank page, replace Violate and Flurry with Indomitable and Valiance.
WARRIOR - As mentioned, basic warrior setup is Indomitable, Benevolence, Skewer.
If you're planning to get a marksman page, you can opt for 8 Indomitable and 2 Blitz instead of 10 Indomitable to save 4K gold (as shown on pic below).
Secondary tank - if playing an AD tank, use the same. For a dedicated tank page, replace Skewer with Valiance.
Secondary AD - For marksmen, use the same or replace Indomitable and Benevolence with Blitz and Guerilla. Personally, I'd just use the same and try to build an AP page instead. For assassins, replace red with Onslaught and see if you're fine with Benevolence.
Secondary mage - Just replace reds and greens with Violate and Flurry; complete Flurry first.
SPECIALIZED ARCANA You can further tune up your arcana page to fit specific heroes. For example, Wukong utilizes a high crit page with Tyrant (which is suboptimal in some heroes). If you're planning to one trick a certain hero, you can get specialized pages. Otherwise, just go with the basics and just invest on specialized arcana when you have spare gold lying around. For example, this is the setup I'm using for Maloch:
As mentioned a lot of times above, offensive arcanas can be utilized on tanks to good effect. I've seen Ormarr with Assassin arcanas to help with early ganks then given his usual tank items.
Defensive arcanas can also be used in offensive heroes, especially if you don't have enough arcanas yet. I used the setup below for Mganga and currently using it for Xeniel.
Being a tank main, I used to run Indomitable/Benevolence/Skewer on Yorn as I didn't have enough for a full marksman set. Yorn benefits from the AS from Indomitable and HP gives him some survivability. The trade off though is you'll be lacking early game damage so you'd have to compensate with items. In return, you'll be able to survive from damage that was supposed to kill you.
EDIT: 09/02/2018; FOR MAGES:
Zill, Preyta, Raz: Violate/Sap-Guerilla mix/Flurry
CONCLUSION To get good value of your gold, try to plan your main and secondary roles well. Sometimes it would even vary depending on your playstyle. You can play a lot of heroes with even just 2 to 3 pages of arcana. Hero mastery is still the key and arcanas are just there to enhance your stats.