League of Legends has a brand new game mode on the way and for the first time in the game’s history players will team up with only one other player. As a duo, they will take on three other duos in what is essentially a 2vs2vs2vs2 elimination game. Arena is set to release on July 20th, and while it will return in the future, players will only have around 6 weeks this time around.
Arena has been described as a mix between League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics as teams have a set amount of health that is lost after defeats with teams being knocked out upon losing all their health. Action also takes place on a number of themed boards similar to TFT and players can expect to pick up unique Augments that warp the way the game is played. Competitive players will also be glad to know that Arena has a ranked ladder.
5 How Does Arena Work?
For Arena, players queue up either alone or with a duo partner and then will be put into a blind pick lobby with four teams of two. Each player gets one ban. There are no Runes in Arena and the only Summoner Spells available in the lobby are Flash and the movement speed-based Flee, which can potentially be swapped out via Augments mid-game. Once in-game, teams will compete in rounds which always consist of a Shop Phase and a Combat Phase. At the start of the game, every team has 20 overall HP, and after losing rounds they will lose an increasing amount of HP until just one team is left victorious.
The Combat Phase sees two teams paired off against each other on one of the four new small battlefields, all with their own themes and features. Every champion is more durable and there are plenty of other balance changes, all of which make fights last longer. It is a fight to the death with no respawns, and the team that kills off both opponents will win the Combat Phase. There is also a ring of fire that gradually closes in, forcing players to fight.
In some Shop Phases, players will be presented with a choice of three Augments, which are permanent buffs for either the player or their team. Augments come in three tiers of strength and some have mind-boggling effects, which are both fun and potentially overpowered when used in creative ways.
Up to twice a game, players can re-roll their choice of Augments, as certain buffs are better for specific champions or team compositions. Augments also help make each game of Arena stay fresh and exciting, even if players opt to play the same champions over and over. These are similar to the Augments in Teamfight Tactics.
3 Items & Juices
At the start of every round, there is a Shop Phase in Arena, and on non-Augment rounds, players will gain a set amount of gold to spend. 350g can also be earned each round by getting the first kill.
Items are slightly different in Arena with all Legendary and Mythic items now costing a standard 3000g with their stats adjusted accordingly. In the first Shop Phase, players might want to consider getting one of the strong starter items as they are incredibly cost-efficient. There are also some entirely new items unique to Arena. For 700g players can also purchase a Juice, which provides a buff for just one round. If teams are low on HP and facing elimination, the various Juices can be a game-saver.
2 Power Flowers
One of the new additions made specifically for League’s Arena game mode is a new type of plant, Power Flowers. Interestingly, controlling the Power Flowers is vital for success as auto-attacking them will provide the player with a heal and a stacking shield, on top of refunding 20% of their total cooldowns.
Each Power Flower will die after being hit three times, meaning they are an incredibly finite resource. Each map has a different number of Power Flowers, and players should position themselves in a way that allows them to contest the buff. Blast Cone plants are also found on the Arena battlefields, allowing players to reposition.
If fights in Arena don’t already sound hectic enough, then from round 4 onwards Cameos, or in other words, AI versions of League champions, will turn up on the map to cause more chaos. For this iteration of Arena, it will be champions who are getting Soul Fighter skins, as this all ties into the Soul Fighter event.
These champions usually have an exaggerated version of one of their already strong abilities. However, as they are neutral, players on either side are just as likely to fall victim to them. Often these abilities simply add something else that has to be dodged, although players could try to force the enemy into traps.
League of Legends is available for PC and Mac.