How to play Ability Arena

Select a God card

When you’ve entered an Ability Arena match, you’ll first choose your Arena. This is purely for cosmetics and doesn’t affect your gameplay. You can get the various types of Arenas by purchasing the Battle Pass.

Select a God card.

Next, is choosing your God card. Different types of Gods earn you different types of special perks. For example, the Pudge God gives you a higher starting health. So while you normally start with 200 health, selecting the Pudge God gives you 260 starting health.

Apply the God perk to a selected hero (unless it is a passive God card).

Another example is the Kanna God which gives a selected hero bonus attack speed for each ally summoned. Unlike some Gods (like Pudge) which are passive, you need to activate this perk. Once you have entered the Arena, you must select the God card on the bottom-left of your screen and give the perk to any hero you deem suitable to activate it.

Select a hero

The game will randomize 3 heroes (1 Str, 1 Agi, and 1 Int) for you to choose from. If you are unsure of what to pick, you can look at their stats by pressing Alt or hovering over the hero. Heroes have different tiers (D,C,B,A,S) and as the rounds go on, you’ll have the option to select higher-tier heroes. You can also reroll heroes for 2 Gold.

Select Abilities

In the starting round, the game randomizes 4 abilities for you to choose from. Unlike heroes, you can buy more than 1 ability at a time and each costs 3 gold.

After purchasing an ability, it will land in your inventory and to use it, transfer the spell to your hero’s ability slot. If you don’t want the ability anymore, you can sell it for 2 Gold. You can also transfer abilities from one hero to another but it costs 1 Gold for each transfer.

In every game, 50 random spells will be banned from the overall ability pool. You can check all the available or banned abilities by pressing «Spell Deck» on the top-left of your screen. Several spells and abilities are more powerful than the rest and they are called «ultimate abilities» which are also the ults in Dota 2. These ultimates only pop out after you’ve upgraded for the 3rd time and a hero can only hold one ultimate at a time.

Press Spell Deck to see all available or all banned abilities.

In the starting round, you’ll have 4 gold. In the next round, you’ll earn 6 gold, and it adds on. It’s important to note that unlike Dota Auto Chess, Ability Arena doesn’t have a Gold interest and the gold resets each round.

Be alert to the timer so you can finish adjusting before time runs out.

There is also a timer before the battle begins. During this time, you can change your heroes, add more abilities, adjust hero positions, and more. But when the timer ends, you can’t change anything until the next round. You can, however, purchase and sell abilities while the battle is ongoing.

Watch the auto-battle unfold and reassess

Once the round starts, your heroes will clash against any random player — and you just have to watch your piece(s) do their thing. If you lose one round, you’ll lose a portion of your HP. Once you lose all your HP, you are OUT!

Stack abilities to dominate your game

The goal of Ability Arena is to stack abilities. If you buy 2 duplicate abilities, it’ll turn into a Level 2 ability which means it is stronger. You can see the level of your ability from the little number at the top-right corner.

Stack abilities to get powerful perks.

On Level 3, the ability earns a max upgrade. Level 6, the ability becomes a Super Level Spell which gives either a special power, Shard, talent, or item. On Level 9, the ability becomes a Gaben Level Spell which gives a crazy powerful perk. N OTE: There are no upgrades on Level 4, Level 5, Level 7, and Level 8.

For example, take a look at this Dragon Slave ability. From Level 1 to 3, it upgrades like how it usually is in Dota 2 (again, some abilities are tweaked if it’s too overpowered). By Level 6, Dragon Slave gets a damage increase of 150 and a lesser cooldown. By Level 9 (Gaben), Dragon Slave spawns a Helm of the Overlord buffed Black Dragon.

The Dragon Slave ability and its upgrades in Ability Arena.

What is the key strategy to win Ability Arena?

The way to play Ability Arena is to get your hands on abilities that can synergize well together with your hero lineup and your God card. For example, you’d want to use the Ogre Magi God -which gives a Multi-cast perk — on a hero with a powerful spell, not heroes with low-cooldown spells or passive abilities.

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You don’t want magic spells on a Strength hero or you don’t want Attack Damage spells on an Intelligent hero. You’d also want to pair up abilities nicely so they are utilized as best as they can — for instance, a low-cooldown spell coupled with Warpath.

The main focus is stacking your abilities or better yet your ultimate abilities. You want to hit that Super and Gaben points to earn a power spike. Reassess what’s happening in the Arena to figure out your lineup’s strengths and weaknesses. You can view the summary of each battle on the right side of your screen to see which hero dealt the highest damage and if it’s Magical, Physical, or Pure.

After every battle ends, a summary of the damage dealt is portrayed.

Sunsfan’s newest game has made quite the splash and has quickly become a hit among Dota players. Ability Arena combines both the Ability Draft game mode as well as the inanely popular arcade game of Auto Chess with a hint of Dota Underlords. In this guide, we are going to focus on the hint of Dota Underlords that is in Ability Arena, with a breakdown of the available Gods in the game.

What are Gods in Ability Arena?

Gods are essentially a character from the Valve Universe that provides an extra layer of gameplay with niche abilities. Currently, there are a total of 20 different Gods that are available in the game. 8 of which are free to all players, 1 of which is unlocked after the 7 day newcomer quest. The remaining 11 are unlocked through either God Chests or by reaching specific requirements.

The current roster of Gods in Ability Arena

God Chests cost 10,000 gold, which is earned by wining matches or by purchase. On the Ability Arena website, you can purchase gold in certain amounts. Starting at 1.99 USD for 3500 gold all the way to 200,000 gold for 79.99 USD. Although Gods aren’t the only thing you can buy with gold as there are tons of different cosmetic items that are available.

The Free Gods of Ability Arena

Right now there are 8 Gods that are available to players when they first start up. The Gods are: Bloodseeker, The Boomer, Centaur, Dazzle, Kanna, Legion Commander, Ogre Magi, Pudge and Selemene. There is also Aghanim, which is unlocked after completing the newcomer questline, so we’ll also include him in this group. Here is a quick breakdown of each god and what they do:

So what with all these different options, what Gods should you pick up when you are playing Ability Arena? The best gods when you are starting out in Ability Arena are Ogre Magi, Aghanim and Centaur and here’s why.

Ogre Magi

Ogre Magi has the ability to multicast spells which is huge. With regards to both ultimate abilities or basic spells, getting a multicast off can change fights in an instant. If you get an early level 3 shop with some big ultimate abilities, you can easily secure wins. Getting multicasts on these big ultimate abilities like Chain Frost, Chaotic Offering or even abilities like Paralyzing Cask or Plazma Field can deal huge damage. The only real downside is finding a big enough mana pool to support multicasting your spells.

Aghanim (yes, the one the Scepter is named after)

Although Aghanim doesn’t technically count as a free god, he is unlocked after the newcomer quest. This is pretty easy to complete for such a strong god. This is because the ability to randomly upgrade one of your abilities at the end of each round is phenomenal. During all stages of the game, upgrading your abilities is a crucial and essential aspect of winning. So, to do so at no cost is why Aghanim is definitely worth the unlock.


Centaur is a underrated hero at first glance. The selected hero gains both additional HP but also a 20% damage return. That’s the equivalent to a level 3 dispersion in Ability Arena. Slapping it on a strength hero that sits on the front line can put in work. On the leaderboards Centaur has the highest winrate out of all the other Gods.

Locked Gods

Outside of the free gods, there are also the remaining 11 gods that are locked when you first start playing Ability Arena. Each of them has unique abilities and we are going to highlight some of the most interesting gods there.

Rix, Oathbound

Rix is really unique and has 2 abilities. The first ability is a passive that revives a targeted hero after they die with 50% less health. The hero stays alive as long as there is another ally on the field. Then with the active, silences the hero but provides an additional damage boost. Although right click builds aren’t the best in Ability Arena, with Rix there is some pretty unique potential with multiple lives.

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J’muy the Wise

Another really unique God is J’muy the wise. This god has the ability to reduce cooldowns by 50% at max level. However, the cost is that cooldowns are not reset at the end of each round. So, this benefits a lot of the medium to short cooldown spells like Paralyzing Cask, Wild Axes or Nethertoxin. However with longer cooldowns which are typically the good ultimates like Chain Frost might suffer.

A full Breakdown of the Gods

For simplicity sake, here is a quick summary of each of the 20 different Gods that are in Ability Arena. So, you won’t need to purchase each of them and find out for yourself:

Ability Arena is the newest Dota 2 game mode that has been sweeping the Dota community. The combination of Auto Chess, Dota Underlords, and Ability Draft has a complex, yet fun gameplay loop to it. However, with each match being unique and having a pool of over 100 spells per match, its hard to figure out which spells to pick. So, lets dive into the best spells you can pick up in your game of Ability Arena.

How Spells work and purchasing them in Ability Arena

In total there are 150 spells available in Ability Arena that are a combination of basic abilities, passives and ultimates. At the start of each match, 50 of the spells are banned at random, leaving a pool of 100 spells for the match. Then, each spell has 20 copies of it that players can fight over. Spells cost three gold each. Once a spell is upgraded six times it gets an additional upgrade which is a shard or talent and then again once its been upgraded nine total times. With Ultimate abilities, you’ll need to upgrade your shop to level 3 to unlock the ability to purchase them.

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Basic Spells in Ability Arena

Basic spells are the bread and butter of Ability Arena. With a pool of 100 different spells there are a lot of options per match. So, here are some of the best spells you can pick up in Ability Arena.

Frost Shield

Most defensive spells that supports have go a long way in Ability Arena, and Frost Shield is a perfect example. When its cast on an ally, that hero essentially gets alarmingly tanky. The hero receives 8 seconds of 60% damage reduction and attacks get slowed by 35%. On top of that, each pulse of the frost shield (once per second) deals 50 damage, which totals out to 400 damage over the duration. Then, with Super, things get out of hand.

Frost Shield’s Super upgrade grants an additional 10% damage reduction and gives 50 HP regen per second. All while boosting the duration to 10 seconds total. So lets just to go over the stats again to show how powerful it is. Every 15 seconds, a hero gets 70% damage reduction, 50 HP regen, 35% Attack slow when attacked and 500 damage over the duration. At that point, the Gaben level grants Shivas Guard aura and cast but you don’t even need to consider it.

Fade Bolt

At first Fade Bolt doesn’t seem like much. But in reality, Fade Bolt can really put in the work. Enemies hit with the bolt receive 35% damage reduction for 10 seconds and the ability has unlimited bounces. There is also a damage component to Fade Bolt, at 325 damage, but on each bounce the damage is reduced by 6%. What makes this so good is that with a 10 second cooldown, you can basically always keep the damage reduction up on your opponent.

With regards to the Super and Gaben levels, the super lowers the cooldown to six seconds, attacks every enemy hit by the fade bolt and increases the damage reduction to 45%. If you manage to get the Gaben level, Fade Bolt also steals damage. However, with how popular the spell is, especially at early levels, that might pose a challenge.

Rolling Boulder

On the more offensive side of things, there’s Rolling Boulder. With this spell, your hero rolls into a enemy hero and stuns them for two seconds and deals 30 + 100% their strength as damage. But what makes Rolling Boulder such a good ability is that its on a four second cooldown. So essentially there’s a two second window where the enemy hero can attack or cast spells. What others typically overlook is that the AI places the a stone remnant before the cast, so you are getting an extra one second on the stun. But, when the super upgrade is unlocked, the damage and stun are also increased. Totaling to now a 3 second stun and 150+100% strength as damage.

This makes Rolling Boulder terrifying, as your hero can essentially lock a enemy hero with stuns because of the low cooldown. At Gaben level, the spell grants 80% status resistance for two seconds. Typically, you give Rolling Boulder to a Strength hero and they can jump and focus down a backline enemy hero. They’ll be doing more than enough damage and be tanky enough to win you the round on most occasions.

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Passive abilities in Ability Arena

There are a couple really stellar passive abilities in Ability Arena. Although most of them are offensive that have minor effects like Inner Beast. However, the next two we talk about are some of the best in the game.


Spectre’s Dispersion is probably one of the best defensive passives in the game. The ability to reflect 20% of damage taken is a great passive for frontline tanks. For the same reason why Centaur is one of the strongest Gods in the game as they have almost the same ability. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on your view, the Super and Gaben abilities aren’t that good. The upgrades essentially casts spectral dagger on attacking foes. But again, you essentially pick up Dispersion for the damage reflect and nothing else.

Jingu Mastery

Next up is any right click attacking hero’s best passive. Like Monkey King, once your hero gets four attacks on the same target, your hero gains four stacks of Jingu Mastery. These attacks do bonus damage as well as grant bonus lifesteal on each. With a bonus 100 damage and 70% lifesteal on four attacks, if you can get enough attack speed, your hero can do tons of damage and survive for a while. With the Super, the bonus damage is kicked up to 130, totaling to a bonus 230 damage and 70% lifesteal on that. Unfortunately, Jingu is a really popular passive, so it’ll be a insanely rare match if you find the Gaben level of Jingu.

Ability Arena’s Ultimate abilities

If basic spells are the bread and butter, ultimate’s are the main meat. After getting the shop upgraded to level three, you unlock the ability to purchase ultimate abilities. Each hero can get one ultimate unless the god they are playing allows them to have multiple. So, here are some of the best ultimate abilities you can pick up.

Chaotic Offering

Just like in your average Dota game, Warlock’s ultimate can really turn a fight around. The spell is a 600 unit one second AOE stun that summons a Golem that does great damage. Specifically, the Golem has 12 armor, 75 health regen and a whopping 3000 total HP. So suffice to say, the Golem won’t be falling anytime soon. What makes Chaotic Offering so scary in Ability Arena is that enemy heroes don’t prioritize it as an attack target. So with its Flaming Fist and Immolation aura, its slamming right clicks into heroes.

At level 6 is where you can somewhat diversify your strategy. Rather than having Chaotic Offering on a backline caster, you can use it on one of your frontline heroes. With the super level, your hero will summon a Golem on death. So having the ultimate on a frontline hero that typically dies mid fight will have a huge AOE stun and summon a another huge DPS monster. At that point, the Gaben level doesn’t even matter, but as the saying goes. » Two is always better than one».

Mystic Flare

Mystic Flare is just pure damage. Over a small 2.2 seconds, heroes that are unfortunately caught inside the area of Mystic flare will take 1600 damage. This damage is sure enough to out right kill most non strength heroes or severely cripple them if they do survive. However, with such high damage, the cost is 500 mana, so you’ll be needing a hero with a pretty decent mana pool to support Mystic Flare.

The Super and Gaben upgrades crank Mystic Flare to 11. With the Super, Mystic Flare will cast again on another hero within 700 range. This essentially means you get to wipe out two heroes at the cost of one spell if they have to take the full Flare. The Gaben ability pumps the damage up to 2050 total damage and doesn’t cause the damage to split. Because a decent counter to Mystic Flare is to group some heroes together to split the full 1600 damage together. However, that won’t work anymore with the Gaben upgrade.

Ghost Ship

Last but certainly not least is Kunkka’s Ghostship. What makes Ghostship such a strong spell is that it combines the best part of different spells. The arguably weakest part of Ghostship is the 300 damage on impact. However, to offset the low damage, Ghostship stuns for 1.4 seconds and the rum buff which is the best part about the ultimate. The Rum buff grants 12% move speed and 30% damage delay for 10 seconds.

With the super and Gaben upgrades, Ghostship only gets stronger. With the super upgrade, the hero also gets Tidal Wave which is a great stun tool that is really good for displacing enemies mid fight. Then with Gaben, there are two more boats after the first that all have the rum buff for your team.

Life in Arena is an eight-player hero survival custom game.

There are currently 24 heroes available to play.

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