DOTA 2 Arcana – Arcanas Ranked Worst to Best

Monkey King’s Great Sage’s Reckoning is the newest DOTA 2 Arcana to be added. At the time of this writing (Jan 2017), we are hopeful that the much-anticipated Juggernaut arcana will be arriving soon.

We’d like to present to you our top 9 DOTA 2 arcanas. Here are the criteria we used when ranking them:

  1. Standalone Item – How good is the item if it is the only item equipped?
  2. Compared to the base model – How good it is when compared to the base model of the hero
  3. With Other Items – How good is it when you combine it with other items

With the above criteria, we have broken the items down into 3 tiers. Ordering within each tier doesn’t matter.

Tier 3 DOTA 2 Arcanas:

If a DOTA 2 Arcana is here, then it’s missing something. We believe there’s room for improvement.

Lina – Fiery Soul of the Slayer

Fiery Soul of the Slayer DOAT 2 Arcana

First is the worst this time. Completely understandably as this is the first Dota 2 Arcana released by Valve.


Techies – Swine of the Sunken Galley

Swine of the Sunken Galley DOAT 2 Arcana

I had a tough time putting this one in the lowest tier, mostly due to my love towards Techies. It is here for a reason though:

  • On its own (including the legendary items that come in the bundle) it’s pretty well done.
  • Base model is really nice. I wouldn’t say the arcana itself is much better.
  • No additional items unfortunately (unless you count the legendary items that come in the bundle)


Terrorblade – Fractal Horns of the Inner Abysm

Fractal Horns of the Inner Abysm DOAT 2 Arcanas

The Terrorblade arcana has amazing potential, but unfortunately a lot of bugs still exist (just Google ‘Terrorblade arcana bug’ for an endless list of issues).

  • On its own the arcana is really good (if we ignore all the bugs) and has the best Gem customization
  • His base model is alright. But this arcana is simply spectacular.
  • Only a couple of sets are available for Terrorblade at the moment. They do look cool with the arcana; though the Gem customization is much better.

Tier 2 Arcanas:

Quite noticable differences from the Tier 3 arcanas. These are very polished and just miss that something to be Tier 1.

Legion Commander – Blades of Voth Domosh

Blades of Voth Domosh DOAT 2 Arcana

A further look:

  • Lovely…but one thing that could be improved is the Duel animation. It’s a bit too much fire/particle effects for my taste. But if you like flash/flare, this one is for you.
  • Legion’s base model is fine. It’s nothing special but not too shabby either – arcana is definitely much better in all aspects though
  • When you add Legacy of the Fallen Legion (the banners immortal) paired up with Errant Soldier set (especially the Cowl)… Legion looks like a guardian to Hell’s gates



Shadow Fiend – Demon Eater

Demon Eater DOAT 2 Arcana

Even though this one brings minimal improvements when compared to the base model, I do think its done beautifully.

  • I like the fire aspect and how the design was done. But what I like the most are the animations.
  • Remember the Gummy Bear SF? Good thing I’m not comparing this to the old model. The new model is just as good as the arcana. I think its more about preference here.
  • Pairs up wonderfully with Arms of Desolation and Pauldrons of Eternal Harvest, I very much prefer the combo to the solo arcana (preview).



Zeus – Tempest Helm of the Thundergod

DOAT 2 Arcana Tempest Helm of the Thundergod

It’s a tough choice between a God and Super Mario, but a deity beats the super hero this time for me. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of the helmet design here, everything else is great!

  • Even though the whole arcana is amazing, I am not the biggest fan of how the Helm was designed.
  • Super Mario base model is cool and all that, but when compared the arcana is just amazing, all the added effects look stunning
  • When you add immortal to the mix along with that Warthorn Heavens set (if you are lucky to have one) this turns into something BEYOND GODLIKE (preview)


Tier 1:

Here for a reason, every single Tier 1 Dota 2 Arcana has additional Styles, and that’s exactly what got them the top tier.

Phanom Assassin – Manifold Paradox

Manifold Paradox DOAT 2 Arcana

Second arcana to have dual wielding and boy are those animations pleasant to the eye.

  • When looked at as an individual item this arcana has it all, the cool effects, the detail, animation and sound
  • I very much dislike the base model’s animations and the weapon, so arcana trumps it in all aspects IMO
  • My favorite set with this arcana is the Creeping Shadow. But if you are not lucky enough to have that one then go with Toll of the Fearful Aria.



Crystal Maiden – Frost Avalanche

Frost Avalanche DOAT 2 Arcana

Crystal Maiden arcana is probably my favorite in terms of quality design, and of course you also get a puppy. For Team NP fans, just choose the no puppy style! Kappa.

  • As an item on its own this is stunning. The flying animation, particle effects, level of detail and of course the puppy all look incredible!
  • Flightless Maiden; that’s what CM is without an arcana, and arcana > base in every aspect here.
  • Yulsaria’s Glacier looks absolutely stunning when paired with the arcana, I personally also have Sleeves of the Lumini Polare and Shards of the Crystalline Comet equipped.



Monkey King – Great Sage’s Reckoning

Great Sage's Reckoning DOAT 2 Arcanas

As the latest one to be released. It’s easy to see why the Monkey King DOTA 2 Arcana is top tier. It has it all: the animations, the effects, the details, the ideas and their execution.

  • On its own I do think either this or CM’s arcana are the best we have in-game. The details are top notch and I love the idea of dynamic styles
  • Monkey King’s base model does look really nice, but I’m not a fan of his head. Without a doubt, the arcana fixes that.
  • No additional items so far. I am looking forward to them though. Hopefully a cooler staff and a badass cape!

Hope you like this list. While some of the ranking was done on preference…you can’t go wrong with any of the arcanas if you plan any of these heroes.