Arena of Valor (AoV) - Analyzing Arcana Gold Values

Our Arcana list now has gold values listed for each Arcana, but how did we come up with them? Also, which Arcana are the gold values underestimating, and which are they overestimating?
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Analyzing Arcana Gold Values

We recently added a gold value to each Arcana on our Arcana list. In order to come up with these values, we assigned a gold value to each attribute by comparing the most basic items to their price. For example, Short Sword costs 250 gold and provides 20 attack damage, so we valued 1 additional attack damage at 250 / 20 = 12.5 gold. Thus, the Strength Arcana is valued at 0.9 * 12.5 = 11.3 gold.

As Arcana became more complex, we simply added the gold values of each of their components. Taking a look at Benevolence, we get (0.4 Movement Speed) * (11 gold per 1 Movement Speed) + (45 Max HP) * (1 gold per 1 max HP) + (5.2 HP / 5 sec) * (4.7 gold per 1 HP / 5 sec) = 73.7 gold.

Gold Values of Attributes
Attribute Attack Damage Attack Speed Critical Chance Critical Damage Life Steal Armor Pierce Cooldown Speed
Gold Value 12.5 per 1 29 per 1% 40.8 per 1% 6.2 per 1% 35.6 per 1% 3.4 per 1 43 per 1%
Ability Power Magic Life Steal Magic Pierce Movement Speed Max HP HP / 5 sec Armor Magic Defense
7.5 per 1 30.3 per 1% 2.8 per 1 11 per 1%* 1 per 1 4.7 per 1 2.4 per 1 2.4 per 1

*Update: Basing movement speed on Tempest Blades severely underestimated it, so I created a 2nd value derived from Boots of Speed and converted it to a percentage based on 380 movement speed, giving me 31.7 gold per 1%. Because the values were drastically different, I included this second value in each affected item in the Arcana List.

Potential Discrepancies

For Attack Damage (Short Sword), Critical Chance (Gloves), Attack Speed (Dagger), Cooldown Speed (Magic Ring), Ability Power (Spell Tome), Max HP (Ring of Vitality), HP Regeneration (Talisman of Strength), Armor (Light Armor), and Magic Defense (Gladiator’s Gauntlets), there exists a tier 1 item containing only that particular attribute to establish its baseline value. However, for Life Steal (Bloodied Club), Armor Pierce (Astral Spear), Magic Life Steal (Vlad’s Impaler), Magic Pierce (Spoopy Mask), Movement Speed (Tempest Blades instead of Boots of Speed because it’s a percentage) and Critical Damage (Slikk’s Sting), the lowest-value item contained a mix of attributes. To determine the gold value of these attributes, we subtracted the gold value of the “other” attribute and then divided the remaining gold. Bloodied Club, for example, costs 410 gold, but contains 12.5 * 10 = 125 gold worth of attack damage, so we can deduce that 1% life steal is worth (410 – 125) / 8 = 35.6 gold.

The issue with this approach is that tier 2 and tier 3 items are purposefully more cost-efficient than their tier 1 counterparts. Cleaving Claymore, for instance, is “worth” 12.5 * 80 = 1000 gold based on its stats, but only costs 910 gold. So because the six items we used to derive the value of Life Steal, Armor Pierce, Magic Life Steal, Magic Pierce, Movement Speed, and Critical Damage could be overly valuable compared to basic items, the extracted gold value of these attributes could be understated. Though it’s impossible to affix an objective value compensating for the way they were calculated, we’ve marked Arcana containing these attributes with an asterisk to indicate that their gold value is likely underestimated.

Some Attributes Overrated? Underrated?

Starting from the top, the Arcana with the highest gold value compared to the cost of items are those that have a Max HP component in them. In fact, every Level 3 Arcana that has a Max HP component in it sits at the top of their color. The only other attribute to have a comparable impact in ranking Arcana is HP Regeneration. The Arcana that have the lowest value – by far – are those with Armor or Magic Defense components.

This finding begs the obvious question: is Max HP simply being overvalued (and by extension, defense undervalued)? Perhaps HP items are themselves too expensive, driving up the cost of HP Arcana in our analysis? To find out, let’s compare Colossus (+75 HP) and Bastion (+9 Armor), two Arcana that are undiluted by other components, using the concept of Effective HP. We’ll start at 3500 HP – the baseline for many tanky heroes – because the rate that Effective HP goes up is affected by the base HP number.

Comparing HP from Colossus to Effective HP from Bastion (Start at 3500 HP)
Number of Arcana Colossus HP Bastion Effective HP
0 0 3500 0 3500
1 75 3575 9 3552
2 150 3650 18 3605
3 225 3725 27 3657
4 300 3800 36 3710
5 375 3875 45 3762
6 450 3950 54 3815
7 525 4025 63 3867
8 600 4100 72 3920
9 675 4175 81 3972
10 750 4250 90 4025

So Bastion contributes 52.5 Effective HP per Arcana, compared to 75 for Colossus when starting at 3500 HP. This is certainly a win for HP, if a small one, at the beginning stages of the game. Let’s take a look at how it affects the late game:

Comparing HP from Colossus to Effective HP from Bastion (Start at 7500 HP)
Number of Arcana Colossus HP Bastion Effective HP
0 0 7500 0 7500
1 75 7575 9 7612
2 150 7650 18 7725
3 225 7725 27 7837
4 300 7800 36 7950
5 375 7875 45 8062
6 450 7950 54 8175
7 525 8025 63 8287
8 600 8100 72 8400
9 675 8175 81 8512
10 750 8250 90 8625

This time, Bastion provides 112.5 Effective HP per Arcana, beating out Colossus. Though Arcana are more useful in the early stages of the game, the value of HP-based Arcana isn’t triple that of armor-based Arcana, even if that’s what the numbers are telling us.

That all said, if you’re still curious as to which attributes contribute to the highest gold values, the order is:

  1. Max HP
  2. HP Regeneration
  3. Critical Chance (this is #2 for Level 1 Arcana, likely because changing Shock to +.4% would make it too poor)
  4. Attack Speed
  5. Life Steal
  6. Magic Life Steal
  7. Cooldown Speed
  8. Critical Damage
  9. Attack Damage
  10. Ability Power
  11. Armor Pierce
  12. Magic Pierce
  13. Movement Speed
  14. Magic Defense and Armor

Again, it bears repeating that the gold values for Armor Pierce, Magic Pierce, and Movement Speed were derived from tier 2 items; perhaps Astral Spear, Spoopy Mask, and Tempest Blades are simply great value for their gold cost.

Attributes Dependent on Other Attributes

Most attributes rise in value as related attributes’ numbers go up. We’ve already gone over how attack damage, armor pierce, and critical chance are linked, as well as how armor is more effective with more HP (above), but now let’s take a look at Movement Speed and Critical Damage.

Movement Speed

Because the movement speed bonuses in Arcana are based on percentages, they disproportionately affect heroes with high movement speed (compare heroes’ movement speed). The slowest heroes, at 340 units per second, only receive 34 bonus speed from equipping 10 Guerilla or Assassinate Arcana. Meanwhile, Batman with Hermes’ Select can chase enemies at 702 units per second due to the 52 bonus speed he gains from those Arcana in combination with his base movement speed and stylish footwear. (In case you were wondering, percentages in Arena of Valor don’t compound).

Critical Damage

Critical Damage is a rare attribute, both among items and Arcana. It works by increasing the damage dealt on critical hits – so with Slikk’s Sting (update: the old version that provided 50% extra critical damage) equipped, a player with 100 AD will deal 250 damage on a critical hit rather than the standard 200%, assuming no armor. Therefore, the +3.6% critical damage for Rampage equates to upping your damage by 0.036 times your attack damage per Rampage Arcana on a critical hit. Incidentally, determining the gold value of critical damage via Slikk’s Sting is a bit of a dubious proposition, since tier 3 items are typically the most cost-efficient of all.

Because you can only take advantage of the extra damage if you score a critical hit, it’s most useful to compare Atrocity (1.6% critical chance) and Rampage (0.7% critical chance, 3.6% critical damage) at a variety of critical chance starting points. Let’s first take the average damage dealt for each, starting at 0% critical chance and damage at 1000:

Comparing Atrocity and Rampage Average Damage – Start at 1000 AD / 0% Critical Chance
Number of Arcana Avg. Damage (Atrocity) Avg. Damage (Rampage)
0 1000 1000
1 1016 1007
2 1032 1015
3 1048 1023
4 1064 1032
5 1080 1041
6 1096 1051
7 1112 1061
8 1128 1072
9 1144 1083
10 1160 1095

This outcome is expected, otherwise Rampage would be strictly better: Atrocity adds a flat 16 average damage per Arcana, while Rampage adds 7 damage from 0 to 1 and gets to just under 12 from 9 to 10 Arcana.

Next, let’s look at what happens when the player already has 30% critical chance (ie Claves Sancti is equipped):

Comparing Atrocity and Rampage Average Damage – Start at 1000 AD / 30% Critical Chance
Number of Arcana Avg. Damage (Atrocity) Avg. Damage (Rampage)
0 1300 1300
1 1316 1318
2 1332 1336
3 1348 1355
4 1364 1375
5 1380 1395
6 1396 1415
7 1312 1436
8 1328 1458
9 1344 1480
10 1360 1503

This time, Atrocity added the same 16 damage, while Rampage added 18 at the start and 23 by Arcana #10.

So at what percentage does Rampage start to outdo Atrocity? We already know that Atrocity will add a flat 16 damage if the AD is 1000, no matter what percentage we’re at. So let’s take a look at the added damage from Rampage when Gloves (12%),  Devil’s Handshake (20%), 2 Gloves (24%), and Slikk’s Sting (20%, +50% critical damage) are equipped:

Rampage Average Added Damage – Start at 1000 AD
Number of Arcana Gloves (12%) Devil’s Handshake (20%) 2 Gloves (24%) Slikk’s Sting (20%, +50% Crit Dmg)
0 0 0 0  0
1 11.6 14.5 15.9 18.0
2 12.1 15.0 16.4 18.5
3 12.6 15.5 16.9 19.0
4 13.1 16.0 17.4 19.5
5 13.6 16.5 17.9 20.0
6 14.1 17.0 18.4 20.5
7 14.6 17.5 18.9 21.0
8 15.1 18.0 19.4 21.5
9 15.6 18.5 19.9 22.0
10 16.1 19.0 20.4 22.5

So if you were to equip 10 Rampage, it would start to outdo 10 Atrocity once you purchase Gloves (490 gold). With Devil’s Handshake, 4 Rampage equals 4 Atrocity if your remaining 6 red Arcana are different, while incidentally the best combination of the two would be 6 Rampage and 4 Atrocity (though it’s unclear why one would only equip Devil’s Handshake).

In the end, choosing Rampage or Atrocity comes down to whether you prefer extra damage early or late. The advantage gained from 10 Atrocity over 10 Rampage at the start of the game is roughly the same as the advantage from 10 Rampage over 10 Atrocity when both Claves Sancti and Slikk’s Sting are equipped.

Critical Versus Attack Damage

Finally, let’s compare Critical Chance and Critical Damage to Attack Damage, specifically the Atrocity, Rampage, and Obliterate Arcana. Many damage dealers in Arena of Valor start at roughly 170 AD:

Average Damage with Atrocity, Rampage, and Obliterate – 170 Base AD
Number of Arcana Atrocity Rampage Obliterate (+3.2 AD)
0 170 170 170
1 172 171 173
2 175 172 177
3 178 173 180
4 180 175 184
5 183 177 188
6 186 178 191
7 189 180 195
8 191 182 198
9 194 184 202
10 197 186 206

Rampage predictably gets off to a poor start. With not much AD to double off of, Atrocity also “loses” to Obliterate.

Now let’s add Claves Sancti (while ignoring any leveling up):

Average Damage with Atrocity, Rampage, and Obliterate – Claves Sancti Equipped (270 AD, 30% Crit Chance)
Number of Arcana Atrocity Rampage Obliterate
0 351 351 351
1 355 355 355
2 359 360 359
3 363 366 363
4 368 371 367
5 372 376 371
6 376 382 375
7 381 387 380
8 385 393 384
9 389 399 388
10 394 405 392

Both Atrocity and Rampage beat out Obliterate here – Rampage by a significant margin – so it’s clear that Obliterate should only be chosen if you need a greater advantage in very early stages of the game.

Attack Damage Versus Pierce

While we’re here, let’s take a look at Attack Damage versus Pierce. We’re using Onslaught rather than Skewer to compare to Obliterate, because Skewer is a different color, and there are no other ADC-focused Level 3 green Arcana (for the same reason, we won’t go into comparing Ability Power and Magic Pierce here, because the only comparable red magic-based Arcana have Magic Pierce and Attack Speed, respectively, as their other attributes). Comparing the two at different stages in the early game gives us:

Obliterate vs Onslaught
170 AD, 100 Armor 300 AD, 200 Armor
Number of Arcana Obliterate Onslaught Obliterate Onslaught
0 145 145 225 225
1 148 148 227 227
2 151 150 229 230
3 153 153 232 232
4 156 155 234 235
5 159 158 237 237
6 162 160 239 240
7 164 163 241 243
8 167 166 244 245
9 170 168 246 248
10 173 171 249 251

Similar to the comparison with Critical Chance, Obliterate slightly outperforms Onslaught at the very start of the game, but falls behind after a couple minutes. In both situations, the difference is very slight.

Final Thoughts

Throughout all of these comparisons, the value of certain Arcana fluctuated depending on the stage of the game. Though Arcana are typically seen as early-game bonuses to help snowball the match, one could put together a set of 30 Level 3 Arcana worth 2126 gold based on the price of tier 1 items. Clearly, Arcana can be useful throughout the game, so personal preference and play style are a big factor when choosing particular Arcana.

Arcana that boost movement speed, for example, are rated pretty low in terms of gold value (though, again, maybe Tempest Blades is just really good), but many players find the extra movement speed invaluable for rotating between lanes or chasing/retreating from the opponent. Preventing a single additional death or securing a single additional kill with the increased movement speed would be more valuable than the extra couple of stats from other Arcana, needless to say.

In the end, the gold values can help you determine how valuable Arcana are in the context of Arena of Valor items, but they should be taken with a grain (or more) of salt. Pick what suits your play style, and when buying level 3 Arcana, have them affect as many heroes in your hero pool as possible.

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