Ares Underwhelming?

I pulled Ares in the recent Atlantis, and I was quite excited to pull a hard-to-get ex-HotM, especially one that’s been highly touted in various places.

However, as I think about where he’d do well, he seems like a bit of awkward fit, except on a red titan team, where I’ll use him to replace BT.

Am I missing something?

He’d be great in a very fast raid tourney where blue heroes are excluded.


That is for sure true.

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I’ve used mine for a long time for raiding and Titans paired with Wilbur as they go off at the same time. Just put two of the strong color against tank or titan next to him and fire away. I got gravemaker recently so I haven’t been using Wilbur as much for raiding as he gets the raids over quicker, but ares is still a staple


That makes sense, esp paired with Wilbur. I can see them really improving another 1-2 punch combo like Jackel/Joon.

He’s incredibly useful. His crit and damage boost to himself plus two heroes is the best in the game, and his HOT works very well for keeping glass cannons alive.

Stick him between two hard-hitting snipers of whatever color in a 3-2 or 3-1-1 and watch the mayhem. And in a mono team, he turns the tiles into brutal weapons.

I tuck Zim under his wing when doing mono Red, and that’s all the healing the team needs.

At +7, with a couple of good flanks, he also keeps me over 2500 cups as a tank.


He’s in every titan team for me except blue and maybe red depending on the titan. He’s in every raid attack team for me except blue, and when I go after the 4300 teams in war he’s there too. He’s in my war and normal raid D.

Is he the best in the game, no. Is he in the upper tier. Absolutely.


I pulled Ares on initial release two years ago, so I’ve had a lot of experience with him. He’s really fine, particularly when you face a team without a dispeller.

At the risk of oversimplifying, there are two approaches to winning:

  1. Tile damage forward. Bring heroes with big attack stats and plenty of healing and attack buffs. Tarlak is the king of this jungle, and Ares plays well with Tarlak. Put in, say, Inari, Vivica and Margaret. Ares fits so well in this strategy because he heals, buffs and gives huge crit synergy on tile damage.
  2. Special-heavy. This is how most people think about teams, and here Ares is only okay. Boldtusk with emblems is probably a better fit.

This is a really good summary. Thanks!

The hybrid position does exist, but it needs some care. Ares can keep the heroes next to him healthy, boost their specials a bit, and he provides burst tile damage in the color of those heroes when he fires.

But those not covered by his special need to either be sturdy, or to have a secondary healing source like an element link or special-generated healing (Musashi, Leo, MLF, Victor, etc.).

Regarding the split between “tile damage forward” and “special heavy:” it is worth noting that a 54% attack buff affects tiles, low damage specials, and high damage specials very differently.

54% Attack buff is:

  • 79% damage boost to all tile damage
  • 16% boost to the damage of Joon’s special
  • 35% boost to the damage of Scarlett’s special
  • 54% boost to the damage of Zeline’s special

And this pattern is true to a greater or lesser extent for all snipers, splash and AoE heroes. Plan your team and damage sources accordingly.


This whole thing is very helpful, both in thinking about how to use Ares, but also how I should think about building my teams.

How does a +36% crit chance affect damage, and does it vary across attack types in the same way?

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Crit chance only affects normal attacks, so tile damage and slash attacks. A crit doubles the damage of the hit (a particular tile, or a slash) when it procs. So a +36% crit chance means 36% of the time, normal attacks do double damage. This equates to a 36% boost in the average damage, but the variance goes way up.

If you went 3-2 with Ares and 2 red flanks, the tile damage for red would be 179% of normal on 64% of tiles, and 358% on the remaining 36%.

That’s an average of 215% damage, but over an actual sequence of tiles, it means the damage will tend to be something like: pop, pop, pop, WHAM, pop, WHAM, WHAM, pop, pop, pop, and so on.

If a pre-Ares tile hits for 200 damage, a boosted tile will hit for 358, and a crit will hit for 716.


This also means that the desired talent path for Ares is a little complicated, because boosting his attack stat is a lot more valuable than it might initially appear.

And that around Ares, crit troops are devastating.


That sounds like stacking Ares and Tarlak could be devastating if you’re concentrating on doing damage with tiles. Their HoT would overwrite each other, but with e.g. Wilbur active, each tile could be hitting for a lot of damage.


Welcome to my Green titan stack :slight_smile:


Throw in Falcon and any of the many red glass cannons, and I’m guessing you’re doing close to 4k+ per crit tile?

Tiles that hit the weak spot are auto-crit, correct? There’s no stacking of that +crit from Ares, I assume?

Ares is still a awesome tank


That’s about right.

I believe that’s correct. 8k hits on a 12* titan would be bit much :slight_smile:


Yes Ares in underwhelming and Megan Fox is an ugly woman.

Also, no one like pizza.


Ares makes minions a real threat.

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I personally would say try him out before you come to a conclusion since by the phrasing of your question, it seems like you haven’t even used him at all.

In my experience bringing up an Ares from 1/1 to 4/80+7, he is surprisingly tough even at low levels, and it’s deceptive just how powerful he is. From what local historians have said, everyone underestimated him on release, so you wouldn’t be the first to do so nor will you be the last. Whenever Ares is playing on anything resembling a level playing field, he’s comically hard to take down and makes his neighbors just as tough as well, barring some bad RNG. The tile damage still catches me by surprise sometimes.

It was only when I’d been using him for a while that I grew frustrated whenever he wasn’t on the attack team. “Why is everything still alive and my guys dying? This doesn’t make any sense!”

I can only speak with certainty of my own experience, and Ares was my first 5* red I’d ascended. My poor max+18 Boldtusk sits on the bench with 43 emblems in the bank, coming out only in wars and on green Titans and reminiscing about the days when he was a contender. But that’s just me.