Fights in Arena of Valor are all about the proper use of abilities. The items and levels that players buy and earn throughout the game are mainly about improving the effectiveness of their abilities. Many heroes find their role defined more by what their abilities do than their base stats are. As such, it is important to understand how abilities scale and calculate their damage. Understanding ability progression will let players quickly get a grasp on when to take levels of a certain ability and in which part of the game it is most effective. Typically, increasing a rank in an ability increases its power. However, another big aspect of an ability’s power is its stat ratio.
Nearly every damaging ability in the game uses two different numbers to calculate its power. The first is the flat damage that rank of the ability offers. The second appears beside this number in the description, typically either green or red in color. This modifier is based on the hero’s stats. Green numbers come from ability power while red numbers come from attack damage. Let’s use Arthur as an example.
Below we can see the information for Arthur’s Righteous Fervor ability.
This ability naturally deals 180 physical damage on its own and deals additional damage based on Arthur’s attack damage. Specifically, Righteous Fervor has a 1.0 ratio. This simply means that Arthur’s attack damage is multiplied by 1.0 and the result is added to the base damage.
Arthur’s starting attack damage is 164, so here we see the damage shown to be 180 (+164). Other abilities, such as Arthur’s ultimate, Deep Impact, don’t use 1.0 ratios and are therefore a bit harder to calculate. Deep Impact has a 1.3 physical damage ratio. Therefore, we multiply Arthur’s base attack of 164 by 1.3 and find that the initial damage bonus is +213.
The rate at which abilities change over the course of the game is referred to as scaling. An ability that gets stronger faster would be said to scale better than one that doesn’t change much.
But wait, you may be demanding, the game tells me the final amount at any time! Why would I need to know the ratio? Well, impatient reader, I will tell you. To see some of the value of this information, one doesn’t have to look further than one of AoV’s poster boys and tricorne enthusiast: Valhein.
Valhein’s two abilities both enhance his basic attacks. The first ability, Bloody Hunt, makes his basic attack affect an area when it hits, and the second, Curse of Death, applies a stun to the target. In terms of utility, the second ability seems obviously superior. However, this changes once we look at both abilities’ scaling.
At rank 6, Bloody Hunt deals 315 (+0.91 AD) (+0.8 AP) while Curse of Death deals 250 (+0.58 AD) (+0.6 AP) damage. As Valhein is a physical damage carry, he’s going to be snatching up all of the attack power that he can. This makes Bloody Hunt a vastly superior ability to level after taking a single level of Curse of Death, its damage heavily outpacing the stun. So, we take an early level in Curse of Death for its stun before focusing solely on Bloody Hunt due to its scaling.
The more observant readers may have noticed that Valhein’s abilities have two modifiers, one for attack damage and one for ability power. In this case, both numbers are added to the ability’s power when calculating damage.
So when learning a new character or evaluating a build, take note of stat ratios. Doing so will give a better understanding of which abilities to take ranks in first and which items have the greatest effect on the hero.
How to Read Our Tables
You may have noticed that the information in our ability descriptions are slightly different from what you’ll find in the game. For example, at level 1, Veera’s Hell Bat reads (in-game) that it deals “520 (+0) magic damage,” while Mesmerize shows “285 (+0) magic damage.” Sure, it’s plain to see that 520 is a good deal more than 285, but the “+0” isn’t very helpful. In reality, Veera’s abilities scale like so:
Mages often have over 1000 ability power added via items by the end of the game. At 1000 added ability power, Veera’s level six Hell Bat deals roughly 900 more damage than Mesmerize at level 6 (and in an area as well). While newer players may prefer the reduced cooldown on the stun, they would be missing out on a lot of damage by ranking up Mesmerize over Hell Bat. Similarly, in a team fight where the enemy team is clumped together, using Veera’s standard individual-target combo (Mesmerize → Inferno Bats → Hell Bat) would deal significantly less damage upfront than simply hitting multiple members with Hell Bat.
How This Information Can Help You
Aside from knowing which abilities to choose first, understanding how certain abilities scale can help you decide how to properly combo abilities, or which abilities will deal the most damage if you only have time to use one. In addition, it can help you figure out which heroes become comparatively stronger as the game goes on, and what kind of items you should be purchasing. Use all of this information to get the leg up on your opponents in a multitude of situations.
Update: Here’s a full list of hero ability multipliers so you can compare and contrast how different heroes scale into the late game.
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