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How to Battle in Arena

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    How to Battle in Arena

    Just some quick arena strategies to share with those who wish to step into the ring. If anyone wants to ask about a certain matchup, I'm happy to share my thoughts.
    Here are some generic tips, not specific for countering anyone. L = Left Main Hand, R = Right Off Hand.

    Cruel Berserker: Key Feature is lifesteal on second strike, and offhand crit. Win by consistently dealing damage and healing self at the same time.
    If no Quick Strike or Battle Plan, 2nd turn you should hit with offhand. Don't be afraid if your hand is full. Use those weapons. Main Off Main, Left Right Left.
    If you have 5 AP consider L Burning R (L), or L Premed R (L)
    If you have 6 AP consider L Heavy R L, or L R (Bath L), or Reinforce L R.
    If you have 8 AP consider L R (L) Chain L R (L)
    If you have overpower in hand, You can prebuff up with Crushing Blow. Even if dispelled it's not a big deal.
    If possible always buff up the weapon when you strike for a second time that round such as L R Crushing L. It will have inbuilt 50% life steal.

    Mastery Berserker: Parry gains damage. Has a very balanced offense & defence mix when parrying.
    We only have 20% parry, so don't dream too big. It does give a 10 damage boost, which can combo with overpower nicely.
    When you have decent options without using the weapon, go for it. Parry is nice to have, and may prevent enemies from dealing damage.
    Turn 3 Bath or Reinforce can be decent options. Same as Turn 6 Crush.
    When you can attack twice in a row, whether it's chain or reinforce, activating Enrage for the Mastery chance is great.
    You better have a 0-1 charge trinket by the time you reach 60HP. If you have any more than that you're doing it wrong.

    Resilience Berserker: Healing Bath. Weak Damage.
    Always have 6 or less tokens. We love Blood Bath. and would hate to miss one. Against Dual Wield Cruelty enemies 5 or less may be good.
    Prioritise using tokens over items to keep some free space for possibly getting blood bath.
    Due to weak damage, the common win condition (especially against non-cruelty) would be Berserker Rage, (Battle Plan), Quick Strike, L L L L L L L. Each buff will raise damage of weapon. Battle Plan and Quick Strike are both buffs that will last for the entire turn.
    Can consider saving Premed to raise Max AP.

    Cruel Crusader: Crits hit HARD.
    First 3 rounds of Cruel Crusader can be really important. Swap all cards in hand in anticipation of Quick Strikes. Do as many L R L as possible before Turn 4.
    You would like to be able to do as many double strikes as possible before you have 4AP. Once you reach that you can reliably L R L.
    Tokens will have to give way to your Axe strikes.
    Shield Slam is used to disrupt possible enemy combos when you want to make sure next round no big burst hits you.
    Reserve Cleanse for important stuff, not some lousy 4 dmg DOT. Hopefully you know what's important (Disarm Numb Freeze Seduce Terror cough cough)
    Defense tokens can still raise axe damage, if it crits.

    Mastery Crusader: Heals are strong in Last stand, and weapon damage heals.
    You can prebuff with mighty and beacon before the turn you plan to trigger Last stand.
    Boost defense when you are in last stand, or when you plan to shield slam.
    All your heals and chain strikes should be used when you are in Last Stand.

    Resilience Crusader: Weak damage, Good Shield.
    Keep 1 Beacon up at a time (Unless you have like 4 of them through perk). Your shield has 30% chance to block full damage when beacon is available. When it fully blocks your weapon will hit much harder. if opponent has a weapon of 7 damage, prioritise defense Beacon. If they are 2 handed or have no weapon that deals 6+ damage, prioritise attack beacon.
    Try to gain the +5 damage from fully blocking opponent as much as possible.


      Cruel Assassin: Crits allow main hand to ignore defenses. Crit rate higher when attacking from stealth.
      Prioritise weapon attacks over tokens. Weapon Crits gain AP and heals. Plan your AP usage wisely and have backup tokens to use when you surprisingly get extra AP.
      Against shield classes try not to break shield if you don't need to, just bypass it.
      Mutiliate best used when 4 mana left.
      With an offhand that generates stealth, don't use ambush when not in stealth.

      Mastery Assassin: Mastery Trigger permanently adds 1 damage. Evades will retaliate for 5 dmg.
      Keep in stealth as much as possbile, especially at the end of the turn.
      If nothing better can be done, sometimes consider passing the turn for stealth.
      Build a strong main hand and stab opponents with it, while evading their damage and retaliating.

      Resilience Assassin: Offhand +3 dmg when unused. Poison Blades refresh main hand.
      If nothing else better is planned using offhand for 5 damage is better than saving for another +3 (and prone to dispels)
      Offhand allows for a potential for a HUGE ambush strike.
      If better things can be done, don't use offhand and save the buff.


        Cruel Witch: Weapon Crits give Magic Damage, Offhand Crits reduce token cost and refreshes main hand.
        The more AP you use the better the crit chances will be. Weapon Crits restore AP quite often.
        Spell Tokens best used after main hand crits, like immolate.
        Constantly putting out pressure while disabling the opponent.

        Mastery Witch: Heals. Bursts, Disables.
        Heal 2 HP and get 2 dmg for each AP recovered. Quick Strikes are not for early game use, but rather strategic weapons.
        50% chance to get back what you played when focused. Don't play useless tokens first when focused, unless you know exactly what you are doing.
        Magic Missile and Chain Strikes are highly valued cards, essential for a burst
        Recovery is essential to recover large amounts of HP.
        Chip away enemy HP and stay alive until you have enough AP and good cards to start a burst.

        Resilience Witch: Fire Chant is stronger and lasts 2 turns. Refreshes Weapon.
        40% parry chance. Can elect to not use weapon if other options exist.
        Fire Chant can actually block DOTS since it lasts 2 turns.
        Fire Chant and make sure the staff parry is activated next turn, if staff is not used again.
        Seduce L Chain L will provide loads of damage while disabling opponents.


          Generally Speaking, Resilience Beats Cruelty, Cruelty Beats Mastery, Mastery Beats Resilience.

          Resilience > Cruelty seems to apply quite correctly, Cruelty > Mastery isn't always as obvious. Mastery > Resilience is about right, as not critting often doesn't allow resilience to get their tokens.
          There are 2 notable exceptions. Mastery Berserker does quite well vs some Cruelty Classes. Mastery Witch has too many tricks up her sleeve, and has an easy time against everyone except Cruel Crusaders.

          Most builds have a certain strategy that they cannot really change. Some classes apply constant damage and heals. Some classes rely on defense to outlast. Some rely and stacking buffs and bursting. Mastery Berserker has a little bit more variety, as it can focus on the more defensive parry, or the more offensive enrage attacks.

          Mastery Witch is just good at everything if you know what's happening. She can heal for lots of HP, she can burst down hundreds of HP in one go given a bit of luck, she can disable and delay her death using her tokens. But if you have no cards in hand, no special state, and your opponent has more HP than you, you are dead.

          First step in arena you need to remember the main specialties of each of the 12 classes. As soon as you see the opponent, choosing the cards you keep in the beginning will allow you to tailor a strategy against that particular class. You do not have time to check all of their items before choosing your starting cards.

          Example: Cruel Berserker vs Resilience Crusader
          B: Hmm i have a 7 atk weapon, i can destroy his 6 defense shield without giving him buff. I need to attack as much as possible. Keep 0 and 2 mana cards only. Save Crushing Blow + Blood Bath + Overpower + Lifesteal combo since Crusader can't dispel.

          C: Hmm he can break my shield easily. I need to ditch my entire hand in hopes of getting some Beacons to raise defense to 9 ASAP. I should then get a steady stream of Beacons which I can use for attack. When opponent prebuffs, I might need to shield slam in order to minimise the chance of overpower, and that might make him pass the turn without attacking with weapons.


            Great post!. Very informative.


              Ya, good stuff. I pinned this thread.


                I'm gonna retire from the game now, as I officially reached 1million gold. Dunno if that is enough to buy all the items in the store.

                I don't claim that I'm a master at all classes, as I almost exclusively arena with Mastery Witch, but I dare say I'm good with witch.

                I will probably still hang around the forums for a bit, for about a week. If there are nobody asking questions, I'll write another Mastery Witch vs All other 11 classes guide, and that will be the end of my ironbound journey

                Enjoy your game, everyone! Sorry for hogging the arena



                  Well after playing around a bit more after the update, I've uninstalled the game. Maybe I'll play again after a few months, and share my thoughts again.

                  I can still occasionally come forum, just not in game.

                  Mastery Witch got the nerf bat! I guess David you think it's too overpowered too? It's still quite playable even after the nerf, but definitely a lot weaker. Before in the right hands, it's almost godlike, and only Cruel Crusader (50%+ crit rate) can give her a bit of a threat. Losing to other classes is more often than not due to extremely poor RNG.

                  I have tried Resilience Witch and it's still good, but the other arena classes it's really more luck based than skill based. It's really annoying when seduce disables only 2 tokens, you whack a resilience berserker twice and they get 2 blood baths, or a Cruel Crusader crits you 5 times, no parries, no Fire Chant tokens. These are annoying against average players, but will cost you the game against experienced players.

                  The Mastery Witch Guide that I planned is no longer relevant. I will not go ahead with that anymore.

                  Thanks for the 120 hours of fun I had on Ironbound!


                    Hate to see you go, but there's a lot of fun happening in ranked play. It's been really active since the reset.


                      Mastery witch nerf was long overdue and imo still not enough. Still far too easy to win.


                        I have won countless games in a row with the master assassin, I have SLAUGHTERED all of the above builds with it. I could school any of you with the master assassin in the arena.

                        So I would have to dispute your ideas, though the master is assassin is a build few have what it takes to use.


                          Very helpful. Thanks, Feiyun.