Arena Guide – Marvel Contest of Champions

Marvel’s Contest of Champions by Kabam

Today we present you an Arena Guide for Marvel’s game Contest of Champions. Like most new players, we found that guides and information to be scattered and to be difficult to completely understand at our level. We’ve summarized what we’ve found for your convenience with the goal in mind of min / max’ing game for the end-game. This is more for the newer player but more experienced players may find some information helpful as well.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write them below. We’re always looking to update and clarify this guide, and we’ll be glad to answer any questions if we can.

Don’t forget to take a look at our other Marvel’s Contest of Champions Guides at the Guides-Section.

New Mastery Setups for 2018!

1. Why is arena so great in Marvel Contest of Champions?

  • Best way for new players to build up their roster fast. It is very easy to win 4*s from arena in the first 2 months of playing!
  • Practice for general fighting techniques like parrying and evading specials.
  • Exposure to fighting the entire pool of released champions to learn their specials and how their skills work, other than special bosses like Kang/Thanos/Maestro.
  • Learning how to deal with and fight opponents with willpower.
  • Learning the patterns of the opponent AI. Infinite streak especially helps with learning how to deal with the hardest difficulty opponents, you will learn that they are actually very predictable.
  • Arena crystals are great for building up gold and units.
  • Milestones are probably the best source of guaranteed units.
  • It’s a good idea to put some time into each arena if you can to at least reach the requirement for getting ranked so you can receive ranking rewards at the end of the arenas. The 4-star shards are especially helpful so you may as well play some arena to get strong!
  • It’s even better if you can reach higher milestones to receive higher ranking rewards. Your ranking will of course depend on which champion the arena is for; arenas for new champions will be especially competitive.


2. Arena Milestones and Champion Reward Requirements

How long you’ve been playing the game determines which player bracket you’re in and thus how many points are required for ranking.

  • Under 30 days: Newbies bracket
  • 30-60 days: Intermediate bracket
  • 60+ days: Veteran bracket

It is extremely easy to win champions while in the newbies and intermediate bracket, so if you’re a newer player take advantage of this and play a ton of arena to build up your pool of champions fast!

In the newbies bracket, generally hitting the top milestone will get you the top prize in either arena. In the 4* arena, the cutoff for the featured is usually around 700-800k for new champs. I’m not too sure about this however. There are also newbie-exclusive arenas that will be different from the regular ongoing arenas with 3* champs as prizes; definitely play in these as it is extremely easy to get the top prize! We won Captain America with like 20k points with rank 13 for example.

In the intermediate bracket, the top milestone in the 2* arena will get you the 3* almost guaranteed. In the 4* arena for new champions, 2.2 million points should be safe for the 4* prize. Arenas for older champions can be won with about 1.7 million.

If you’re aiming to rank for top prizes, it is ALWAYS a good idea to overshoot by several hundred thousand AT LEAST. You don’t want to be the sucker who missed ranking by a couple fights.

Generally speaking for the veteran’s bracket milestones and ranking rewards:

  • 600k
    • 31%-60% prize bracket: 2 premiums + 100 shards
    • Not that great of a prize, but the shards are nice.
  • 1 – 1.5 million
    • 11%-30% prize bracket: 3* crystal + 125 shards
    • Excellent for duping your current 3*s to get even more 4* shards, or to build your roster of 3*s. A dupe is 55 shards which gives you 180 shards in total, almost 1/20th of a 4* crystal.
    • Great milestones to go for. 1 million is a great stopping point for playing arena casually.
  • 1.75 – 2 million
    • 6%-10% prize bracket: 3* featured + 150 shards
    • Always aim for higher if you’re going for the featured 3*. Check previous arena cutoffs so you have a good idea of what to shoot for and not get burned.
  • 3+ million
    • 1%-5% prize bracket: 3* featured + 4* basic
    • Note that if you already have the basic 4* unduped, this will “awaken” your 4* and its signature ability will be level 1. Nothing extra is rewarded.
    • 4 million has always been enough for the basic champion but this may change in the future as more players build up their rosters and compete.

The top prize will require anywhere from 4 million all the way to 11.5 freaking million points.

If we want the basic or featured champ I’ll usually go for the second arena of the run since we can guesstimate how much I’ll need based on the results of the previous arena and other factors. Even so, it is always a good idea to overshoot by a couple hundred thousand at least.

Factors causing more players to compete, thus raising the cutoffs:

  • Alliance arena events – Perfect series and Arena Combat
  • New fancy featured champions – raises minimum needed for the top prize
  • Desirable basic champions – raises cutoffs for the 1-5% bracket

Factors that lower cutoffs:

  • Concurrent tier 4 basic (T4B) catalyst arena
  • Legacy (already released) featured champions
  • Less desirable basic champions

Data for past arenas can be found at

3. How the Arena Works in Marvel Contest of Champions

When you send in a team, the game will calculate your team’s rating and give you three choices of teams based on your rating and win streak.

The first team will always be the weakest of the three and the third the strongest.

As your streak increases these teams get stronger but there will be certain points where the pattern changes depending on the ranks of your champions, and ways to make it easier to build a streak if you’re going for infinite!

With a balanced team of roughly the same ratings, you can expect the enemy teams to be roughly around these ratings at these streaks. This is true for maxed 3* 4/40:

  • 1-3 : 0.7x your champion’s PI and slowly increasing
  • 5-6 : 1.2x
  • 7-9 : 1.6x
  • 10-12 : 1.8x
  • 13-14: 2x or more
  • 15+: roughly the same, usually lower

As you can see, maxed 3*s start having a very tough time starting at streak 7, but have it easier after 19. This is where it is possible to start infinite streaking with maxed 3*s.

If you have 4*s at 5/50 , you can start hitting Kang/Thanos teams as early as streak 5. These are the minimums required to activate these teams (thanks to trackhurdler):

  • 5: 3x 5/50
  • 6: 2x 5/50, 1x 4/40
  • 7-10: 1 x 5/50, 2 x 4/40
  • 11-13: 2 x 4/40, 1 x 3/30
  • 14-15: 3 x 3/30

At streak 19+:

This is infinite streak territory, a nice place to play in forever as long as your team are at least certain ranks. Enemies will be around your rating or lower.

The minimum champion and rank combinations are:

  • 1 x 4* 3/30 + 2 x 3* 3/30
  • 1 x 4* 3/30, 1 x 3* 4/40, 1 x 3* 3/30

If your team is below these ranks then the game will give you enemies that are pretty much maxed out 4*s as punishment. Do this only if you want to throw the streak.

Difficulty of the enemies are also constantly changing depending on the streak, and how much higher/lower their PI is compared to yours. These difficulties before 20 are guesses, but for opponent PIs roughly the same as yours:

1-4 : easy

5-6 : medium

7-9 : hard

10-12 : medium

13-15 : hard

16-19 : very hard

20: hardest (duels and highest level difficulty)

If the opponent’s PI is higher than yours then they will be relatively easier to fight but only before streak 20.

The teams that you may face are reset with every Thursday, meaning every time the arena changes to a new champion.


4. Building teams in Marvel Contest of Champions

Try to group your champions into teams with synergy bonuses. Reason for this is because it’ll increase the rating of each champion which increases your team’s rating and thus gives you harder opponents for more points gains.

Use this tool to help with building teams with synergies:

Diversified teams are a good idea as you will be less likely to be screwed over by class bonuses. The enemy teams are never guaranteed to be diversified of course. This doesn’t matter as much during infinite streak as enemies will be around your rating or lower.

We personally like to keep all 3 champions roughly around the same rating to give us the best chances at winning all 3 fights. You can also sandbag with 2 stronger champions and one very weak one to help with maintaining win streaks.

5. Strategy for Maximizing Points

This section is for if you don’t want to do infinite streak. Generally infinite streak is much superior to throwing the streak as it is way less stressful over time. We originally wrote this part back when we didn’t know about infinite streak haha but have adapted it to the new knowledge.

If you’re feeling confident with your fighting strategy, use your weakest teams at the start to build up your multiplier so you can make attempts with your strong teams at high multipliers to gain the most points.

We like to use teams at around the same rating as we believe we can win all 3 fights always. You can also use teams with 2 strong champs and 1 weak one to have a slightly easier time with 2 of them; this is a good strategy to build up multiplier at streaks 8-13.

Here’s how we ideally send in teams depending on the win streak.

  • 0 – 4
    • Building up multiplier. Use your weakest teams.
  • 5 – 8
    • Best place for your strongest teams, for example 4*s at rank 3+!
    • Enemy ratings will be higher than yours guaranteed but their difficulty is slightly harder. You can get a ton of points here!
    • This is also a good place to use weaker teams to continue increasing the ratings of the enemy teams. You can save your rank 3 4* teams to make it easier for yourself at 13-14.
  • 9 – 12
    • Best place for maxed 3*s for points. Use lower ranked 3*s to make it easier for yourself. If you have teams of 4* 4/40 you can use them at streaks 10-12 to get Kang/Thanos teams.
  • 13 – 15
    • Best place for teams of 4* 3/30 or higher. 4* 3/30 can be used for Thanos or Kang teams for easy points. Teams below 4* 3/30 rating can be used as well if you feel like getting some fat points off enemies over 3x your rating, but those will be very difficult fights.
  • 16 – 18
    • Best place for 4* 3/30 or higher. A 3* 4/40 can be mixed in as well. You will fight teams around or weaker than your ratings. BUT if you send in teams less than the above star and rank combinations then the game will punish you by giving you teams of maxed 4*s!
  • 19 – infinity
    • Use valid teams for infinite streak ONLY! You will fight teams around or weaker than your ratings. BUT if you send in teams less than the following star and rank combinations then the game will punish you by giving you teams of maxed 4*s!
      • 1 x 4* 3/30 + 2 x 3* 3/30
      • 1 x 4* 3/30, 1 x 3* 4/40, 1 x 3* 3/30

Some fights will just be impossible if the enemy is using Willpower; for example, duped Deadpool X-Force VS an enemy that is more than twice their rating. If you cannot do enough damage to prevent them from healing up then there’s no point in trying, give up so you can use your time effectively. Or you can attack their block and slowly chip them down.

6. How to Make Points Fastest

Learn to defeat opponents as fast as possible! The more you can get done in less time, the more points you will get and the faster your teams will refresh.

Arena points are calculated off your champ’s PIs, so get those numbers as high as possible! Masteries affect PI the most followed by synergies; both are very important in gaining as much points as possible in the shortest amount of time.

Other than making more points in arena, masteries are especially important in making the game easier and more enjoyable for you. The guide we like to use is this Masteries Guide – Marvel’s Contest of Champions.

If you need help with creating synergy teams use this tool:

When choosing opponents, we like to choose the bottom and third (hardest) one to make the most points per fight. Some people like to choose the first (easiest) just so that fights end quicker; there are valid arguments for both in terms of points per time in the arena. Do what you think is right.

During actual arena runs, if all your champions are fresh, then use the most efficient way of sending in your teams especially if you’re starting your streak.

Once your champions are off cooldown you can do two things. Either

  • Play your teams as soon as they’re off cooldown regardless of streak
  • Wait a bit so you can send all your teams more efficiently

Both ways have their merits. Playing your teams ASAP means you start their cooldowns ASAP so you can use them again which saves the most time. This is fine for infinite streak, but if not infinite then you may be sending them into hopeless fights due to the way enemy ratings are calculated. This way will also burn you out the fastest.

Waiting a bit means that you can play efficiently which can get you the most points per fight, but cooldowns won’t be started as early. When doing this, check the cooldowns of most of your champions and decide at which point you will start sending in teams as per their cooldown. We like to have around 4 teams available before playing again.

If you’re paying units to kill cooldowns, use the units on your strongest team always to get the most out of the units. We personally use units on our 4*s at streaks 5-8, as these fights are guaranteed to have enemies at higher ratings to get a ton of points with relative ease. Streak 10-15 is also good for the same reason if you have 4* 4/40s for Kang/Thanos teams. If you’re at infinite streak then feel free to pay anytime, Kabam thanks you 😉


7. Fighting Strategy in Marvel Contest of Champions

In arena you want to end fights as quickly as possible.

Having the right masteries help a lot with this:

  • Parry/Evade lets you fight more effectively
  • Greater Precision/Cruelty will help you do more damage
  • Willpower will help save your ass, giving you heals from debuffs
  • The suicide masteries are expensive when combined with willpower but will help end fights extremely quickly, the 60% attack boost with both is no joke but will hinder you in other parts of the game.

Again, refer to a guide like Masteries Guide – Marvel’s Contest of Champions to help you in deciding your mastery setup.

Learn how to optimize your combos. MLLLM should be your standard combo at all times when going in, LLLMM is also good after a parry or as a punish after blocking a special.

Learn your champions and how to use their specials effectively. Some specials like Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel’s special 2 are extremely difficult to combo at the hardest difficulty, so cut your combo short and just use MLLL then special.

The ones we know of who currently require shorter combos to land:

  • Miss / Captain Marvel special 2
  • Scarlet Witch special 1
  • Black Bolt / Iron Patriot special 2 (?)
  • Electro special 2 (?)

Learn how to quickdraw parry, which means getting a parry after finishing a combo or hitting the opponent’s block. Very reliable way of getting a combo in during infinite streak, and you’ll feel like a f$#@ing boss.

If you’re fighting opponents around your rating you can tank their level 3 specials to give you more special meter to end the fight faster.

For harder opponents always bait out the level 1 or 2 special! You can tank it from full HP if they’re roughly around 2x your rating and depending on the champs, but it can be very dangerous especially if they’re high damaging, stunning, or if your champ is fragile.

The AI will use their specials depending on its range. For example you have to get close if their attack is close range, but full screen beams can be baited from any range.

To bait out specials (from order of most reliable to least):

  • Dash back then walk towards the opponent
  • Wait until they’re blocking, dash in and hit their block, pause a fraction of a second then backdash
  • Whiff (miss on purpose) tap attacks and backdash
  • Hold block

Holding block is the worst way as they may charge up a strong attack that you will have to react to. You can block with your left finger and backdash with your right to make it easier for yourself.

Many arena opponents have willpower. With most champs you might have to just attack their blocks to prevent their willpower from activating but this will make it a very long fight, but if their PI is much higher than yours then this could be the only viable strategy. However, make sure the AI is already blocking when you attack, don’t expect the AI to block as you go in!

The reason why you should wait until they’re blocking is because most players have parry, which means a possible instant stun if you just go in with dash attack. The AI can also just use a special on you right when you dash in, which for some champions can be blocked right away but others will hit you for sure. Very dangerous. However, the AI will never parry on purpose so use this to your advantage!

Hitting them while blocking will also build up their meter, so as their meter builds you may want to just be patient and whiff attacks instead. Try not to get hit. This can be difficult if you’re backed up into your corner though.

If they do get their level 3 special it’s time to go HAM.. and hopefully they won’t use it before they die!


Thanks to user Timiant for helping to create this Arena Guide.

New Mastery Setups for 2018!

More Tips for the Arena in Marvel Contest of Champions

If you find this helpful and would like to say thanks use the comments below. If you have any more ideas for this Arena Guide for Marvel Contest of Champions, let us also know this in the comments and we will this add this.

7 Comments on "Arena Guide – Marvel Contest of Champions"

  1. Very good and detailed guide. Since I actually learned something (the Kang/Thanos teams at streak 5 up) I’m going to share something. The minimums you posted can actually be lower. I do all 3 star arenas, and always get to at least a 100 streak in each. I have a couple thousand fights at least and always rank 1-3 in perfect series in my alliance. Just pointing this out to emphasize I know I’m correct in what I’m about to post.

    After streak 19, use a minimum of:
    2x 3* 4/40 OR 2x 4* 2/20 OR one of each + 1x 3* 2/20
    1x 4* 3/30 + 2x 3* 2/20

    Use a minimum of that you will NEVER get death squad. Would like to point out that the second formula I posted can be quite difficult as 3*’s at level 2 rank 20 aren’t very powerful. Still, you won’t get a death squad. However if you use a minimum of 3* 3/30 you not only never get a death squad, but I rarely come across a difficult fight that doesn’t result in a perfect series.

  2. Excellent tips. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  3. it’s not easy at all to get any 3* champions or even 4*, wasting of time and power and result crystals, those crystals mostly landed on 2* champs what a nice and fair game LOL

  4. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO WRITE THIS!!!!!!!!!! This has helped us out tremendously. Thank you!

  5. Great read, a lot of useful information . Thanks

  6. | March 22, 2017 at 9:53 am | Reply

    It’s near impossible to land lvl2 special of Ultron after a 4 or 5 hit combo.

  7. A true eye-opener

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