Vault of Time – AFK Arena Abyssal Expedition Ultimate Guide

Vault of Time Abyssal Expedition Guide
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The Abyssal Expedition is an event in AFK Arena where you, your guildmates, and a few other guilds form a militia group that will explore a map from two different sides until you will all get together at the final boss region.

You will fight enemies in tiles, capture villages and cities and to progresses further in the map you are going to have to fight bosses until you reach the final boss.

This is an ultimate guide to The Abyssal Expedition event in AFK Arena, with valuable tips, formations, and strategies to get to rank maximum rank – Prince, defeat the final boss, and earn a lot of valuable rewards!

Check also the latest AFK Arena codes and my guide for the best Wrizz & Soren teams in 2021.

Note: This guide still needs a lot of work but as I progress in the Abyssal Expedition it will get to the level where it will be helpful for everyone, hopefully!

The Abyssal Expedition - Vault of Time

Enrollment to the Abyssal Expedition (ABEX)

Two days before the event starts, you will have to enroll in 1 of 2 modes in AE; Casual or Honorable. There are no differences in gameplay between the two, but note that you will be team up with players who made the same choice as you. In total, you are going to team with 70 players.

Enrolling into Casual is free and players will be able to receive the standard rewards.

Enrolling in Honorable costs 3000 diamonds. The bonus being that 6000 diamonds are added to the Rewards List, netting you a profit of 3000 diamonds if you reach the highest Title (Prince) and complete the event.

The Abyssal Expedition event uses Martial Ratings.

What is Martial Rating?

Level: All of a player’s hero ascension tiers will remain the same and start with a hero level of 240. Hero levels may be additionally increased based upon the player’s Resonating Crystal level.

Formula: New level = 240 + (Crystal Level / 10).

For example, if your Crystal level is 306, your Martial Rating level should be 240 + 306/10 = 271.

Gear: All hero gear (including unadorned parts ) are Mythic T1 and include Faction Bonuses but are un-enhanced. If a hero is already equipping Mythic T3 gear, their Hero Bonuses will be retained.

Signature Items: All signature items and their abilities will be retained

Elder Tree: Players’ current Elder Tree levels and Virtue attributes will be retained, including all of their effects.

Oak Inn Furniture: All the effects and abilities granted by a hero’s furniture are preserved.

Artifacts: The effects of artifacts will not be retained.

Unions: The effects of hero unions will not be retained.

Rank & Requirements

RankHero SlotsMax TerritoriesMax Relic LevelQuests to Rank Up
Squire emblem
10201Occupy 1 tile within the Verdant Prairie.
Occupy 3x Tier 1 Settlements or better.
Acquire 3,000 Blessed Essence.
Acquire 3 Ordinary Blessed Relics.
Occupy 1x Tier 2 Settlements or better.
Garrison a hero at 3x Tier 1 or higher settlements.
Knight Emblem10252Occupy 15 tiles within the Verdant Prairie.
Occupy 5x Tier 2 Settlements or better.
Acquire 12,000 Blessed Essence.
Reach Level 2 with a Core Relic for any Relic Class.
Acquire 2 Rare Blessed Relics
.Garrison a hero at 3x Tier 2 or higher settlements.
Baron emblem15253Occupy 20 tiles within the Verdant Prairie.
Occupy 8x Tier 3 Settlements or better.
Acquire 36,000 Blessed Essence.
Reach Level 3 with a Core Relic for any Relic Class.
Acquire 6 Rare Blessed Relics.
Garrison a hero at 5x Tier 3 or higher settlements.
Viscount emblem15303Occupy 1 tile within the Winding Valley.
Occupy 10x Tier 4 Settlements or better.
Acquire 90,000 Blessed Essence.
Acquire 3 Elite Blessed Relics.
Occupy 1x Tier 5 Settlements or better.
Garrison a hero at 5x Tier 4 or higher settlements.
Earl emblem15354Occupy 1 tile within the Sacred Ruins.
Occupy 20x Tier 4 Settlements or better.
Acquire 180,000 Blessed Essence.
Reach Level 3 with all Core Relic for All Classes.
Occupy 10x Tier 5 Settlements or better.
Garrison a hero at 8x Tier 5 or higher settlements.
Acquire 4 Legendary Blessed Relics.
Marquis emblem20405Occupy 1 tile within the Forsaken Territories.
Occupy 20x Tier 5 Settlements or better.
Acquire 600,000 Blessed Essence.
Reach Level 4 with a Core Relic for one Class.
Occupy 1x Tier 7 Settlements or better.
Garrison a hero at 10x Tier 5 or higher settlements.
Deal 45M Damage with a Single Attack to the Final Boss.
Duke emblem25405Participate in Exterminating the Final Boss.
Occupy 20x Tier 6 Settlements or better.
Acquire 900,000 Blessed Essence.
Reach Level 4 with all Core Relic for all Classes.
Occupy 1x Tier 8 Settlements or better.
Acquire 5 Mythic Blessed Relics.
Deal 100M Damage with a Single Attack to the Final Boss.
Prince emblem25405

Blessed Relics

There are 5 Core Relics, one for each class: Warrior, Tank, Ranger, Mage, and Support. The player can level up the Core Relic by activating six lesser Blessed Relics; leveling the Core Relic also unlocks Unique skills.

By doing so, the heroes in the player's Expeditionary Forces gain Relic Bonuses.

The Blessed Relics can be obtained from Territories, by using Blessed Essence or by combining Relics.

Captured territories (Villages, Towns, Cities) can drop Relics depending on it's Tier (from Common to Legendary Relics).

Dura's Might Skills

EnrageDura's Might - Enrage SkillLevel 2Enemies of the heroes receiving this blessing are dealt 15 % more damage.
ResurgeDura's Might Resurge SkillLevel 3Heroes receiving this blessing have their Life Leech attributes increased by 25 points when their health falls below 50%.
EndureDura's Might Endure SkillLevel 5When a hero receiving this blessing is dealt damage that exceeds 6% of their max health, 75% of the damage will be mitigated.

Dura's Fortitude Skills

ProtectDura's Fortitude Protect SkillLevel 2Heroes receiving this blessing receive 30% less damage for the first 30 seconds of battle.
ResilienceDura's Fortitude Resilience SkillLevel 3Heroes receiving this blessing are immune to the negative effects caused by settlements.
Double StrikeDura's Fortitude Double StrikeLevel 5When heroes receiving this blessing receive damage, the attacking source of the damage loses 15 Haste points and 15 Crit Resistance points and also have a 15% greater chance of receiving Critical damage for 3 seconds.

Dura's Celerity Skills

Adrenaline BurstDura's Celerity Adrenaline Burst SkillLevel 2Damage of Normal Attacks is increased by 20% for heroes receiving this blessing.
FocusDura's Celerity Focus SkillLevel 3Heroes receiving this blessing gain an additional 12 Haste points when their health is above 75%.
Battle FervorDura's Celerity Battle Fervor SkillLevel 5Heroes receiving this blessing will gain an additional damage increase of 1% for every 2 seconds that they are alive up to a maximum amount of 25% additional damage is reached.

Dura's Sorcery Skills

RechargeDura's Sorcery Recharge SkillLevel 2Heroes receiving this blessing gain 60 Energy points at the beginning of battles.
ConcentrationDura's Sorcery Concentration SkillLevel 3Heroes receiving this blessing have their damage increased by 10% when their current health is above 75%.
BlazeDura's Sorcery Blaze SkillLevel 5The Normal Attack of heroes receiving this blessing cause enemies to burn for 2 seconds. Enemies lose a health value equal to 50% of the attacker's Attack Rating every second while burning and their Health Recovery effect is reduced by 25%. This ability cannot be stacked.

Dura's Sustenance Skills

EvadeDura's Sustenance Evade SkillLevel 2Heroes receiving this blessing are able to mitigate 10% of the damage that they receive from backline enemies.
ClarityDura's Sustenance Clarity SkillLevel 3Increases the Insight points of heroes receiving this blessing by 25 when theif health is above 75%.
HarmonyDura's Sustenance Harmony SkillLevel 5Reduces the amount of damage that is dealt to 1 ally located directly above the hero which is receiving this blessing by 8% and increases their damage output by 8%.

Tile Tier List

The Enemy Power column in the table below is based on my own martial ratings. I started Abyssal Expedition at Level 272. The enemy power scales to your martial rating.

(with bonus)
Enemy Power
Serpent's Prairie (T0)30 N/A~1.8M
Village I (T1)4048~2.5M
Village II (T2)6072~7M
Village III (T3)8096~12M
Winding Valley Wilderness (T0)100TBA
Town I (T4)120144 TBA
Town II (T5)200240 TBA
City I (T6)240288 TBA
City II (T7)280336 TBA

Your Starting 10 Heroes in Abyssal Expedition

You should try to start the even as soon as possible to start gaining more stamina so that you can capture tiles and progress as fast as possible.

At the start of the Abyssal Expedition event, you can have 10 heroes, or 2 teams.

  • The first team should be your strongest campaign formation. Some people (like me) start (almost) full Celerity though
  • The second team is self-sustaining or strong AoE heroes for clearing weak enemies.
twins afk arena elijah laylahEzizhBelindaCeciliaAthalia

Cyberfunk's Starting 10 for Vault of Time

Below you will find my starting 10 for May 2021's Vault of Time. I'm not suggesting they are the best options available. This is more to show that several things can work. With these 10, I captured 20 tiles at the start of ABEX, including several “Challenging” ones.

As you can see, I love AoE heroes as they work well in 1-3 hero formations to clear tiles with the minimum stamina spent.

EironnDrez LycaRowanAinz Ooal Gown

Other Great Starting Heroes: LucretiaNakoruru

Unless you are not using any  Ranger carry (like Eironn), focus only on Celerity Relic Tree initially as it gives the highest chance of getting 3-star wins during the first days.

As you move to capture more tiles, try to focus on 2 level upgrades. For instance, you should go from Village Rank 2 to a Town Rank 1 instead of a Village Rank 3.

Reaching the Knight Rank : What to Do Now

To reach the Knight rank you will have to complete all the Squire Rank Quests. The main benefit to reaching the Knight rank is that you can capture 5 more territories and your max Blessed Relic level increases to 2.

Reaching the Baron Rank : What to Do Now

To reach the Baron rank, you will have to complete all the Knight rank Quests. At this point, your max Blessed Relic level increases to 3 and but instead of increasing the max territories, you can capture by 5, now you can add 5 more heroes to your team.

First of all, you really want to reach this rank within the first day of Abyssal Expedition so you can have 15 heroes on standby when you are AFK, recovering stamina.

At this point, you will need to add more Celerity heroes to your team (for now). We are still at the point where Celerity helps you move faster, and you should have it prioritized.

I added the following 5 to my team:



Rowan -> respen

Ainz Ooal Gown -> Vurk

Notice one obvious omission from my 15 heroes and that is Cecilia because she is not available for Abyssal Expedition since mine is still Elite. Make sure to add Cecilia in place of Respen, Thane or Athalia, if you didn't start with her. But she should be in your starting 10, ideally.

Reaching the Viscount Rank: What to Do Now

To reach the Viscount rank, you will have to complete all the Baron rank Quests.

This is fairly easy and you can do it by the end of the first day.

Now, to advance to Earl you will probably need some help from your militia members to capture your first Tier 5 (Town II) settlement/territory.

So, you will have to do double-team fights for the first time. A fellow militia member can take out the first team, and another one can weaken the second team if need be.

Your max territory cap will increase by 5 once again. The easier thing to do will be to initially capture 5 Tier 4 territories and then replace a village 3 (Tier 3) with a Tier 5 one.

At this point, you should start replacing all your Tier 2 settlements with Tier 4 ones.

With the first boss at 90% I was able to get all my tiles to T3 and T4 at this point for +3206 Blessed Essence/Hour.

Those Tier 4 ones are going to be with you for a long while. I'm confident that only strong players can replace all the Tier 4 settlements with Tier 5 and 6 ones.

In fact, by the time I was able to do it in the previous Vault of Time ABEX, I have already reached the Prince rank. I consider the Tier 4 territories the most valuable ones.

Reaching the Earl Rank: What to Do Now

To reach the Earl rank, you will have to complete all the Viscount rank Quests. Now you can capture 5 more territories (35 in total), and your max Blessed Relic level increases to 4.

This is where things get interesting. I hit Earl at about 42-44 in the Abyssal Expedition.

This is the point where you can focus on T4-T5 territories. At the moment I'm at 6,924 blessed essence/hour.

Now, to rank up to Marquis you need to take down the next boss (Tidus/Oscar). You will also need to reach 4.4 with one Relic and level 3 with all others.

Celerity + Sustenance work better for Tidus and Oscar but the Sorcery side needs to start preparing for Demonic Entity.

However, I think that the best thing you can do here is to go 4.4 on Celerity and maximize your blessed essence earnings. As soon as you reach 4.4 Celerity start focusing on Sorcery if you are on the left side. Granted, you are not going to achieve maximum damage on Oscar but you will be in good shape for Demonic Entity.

As for those on the right side, I reached 4.4 Celerity and 2.4 Sustenance before starting Tidus.

I also made a few replacements to get ready for the upcoming fights (after consuming stamina on these heroes):



Vurk->twins afk arena elijah laylah

I never add Warriors and Tanks to my teams at his point. And step by step, I try to go full Mage + Support or full Ranger + Support. The blessed relic provides such a significant buff that it will dictate how you will do in fights. At the moment, I can breeze past all T6 cities as long as they aren't cursed tiles or they don't have double Flora + double Orthros formation, 5xLucretia, or 2xBrutus/Thoran.

Reaching the Marquis Rank: What to Do Now

To reach the Maquis rank, you will have to complete all the Earl rank Quests. Now you can add 5 more heroes to your team, capture 5 more territories, and your max Blessed Relic level increases to 5.

This is a very important rank.

By now, you should have mostly tier 4, 5, and 6 settlements. You will now need to capture your first Tier 7 settlement, and once again, you need to avoid cursed tiles that debuff heroes that don't belong to the faction of the tile.

There will be a point towards the end where you will be able to take down Tier 6 and possibly Tier 7 tiles, but you are not there yet. So make sure to avoid them.

Keep in mind that with 20 heroes available you need to start preserving the ones that are going to fight bosses, especially the final boss.

If your teams are weak, you probably won't help the first bosses (you will be mostly a runner than a nuker). One boss is remaining on each side (Grotesque Mage and the Demonic Entity) – along with the last boss.

You are not going to rank up for a while now as you need to reach the last boss and hit it for 45M to get to Duke.

Your priorities here are to increase your primary relic to 5 and sustenance (in most cases at least) to at least 4.5-4.5. At this point you also need to focus on getting rid of Tier 4 cities for Tier 6 as sooner or later you are going to breeze through them. Try to get as close to 10,000 BE/hour as possible.

The best advice I can give to newer players is this: don't compromise your damage on the last boss just to help with the Demonic Entity.

You will need to get your Sorcery tree to 4 anyway to rank up to Prince, but if you can't afford to go higher than 4.0, then don't. Keep working on your Celerity relics to ensure that you get the 100M damage on Ezizh. Players on the right side have a much easier task. At the moment I stand at 4.5 Celerity and about to hit 5.0 before the 4th day ends and I've been slacking very much. My sustenance is at 4.0 but I hope I will attack Grotesque with something like 5.2 and 4.0-4.1.

But to reach Prince, you need to make sure that your best last boss lineup will have enough stamina as you may have to fight multiple times as you increase your Blessed Relic level until you hit the 45M and then the 100M mark to get Duke and then Prince.

It's a good idea to know what heroes you will use on the final boss to preserve their stamina. For instance, I think will use the following lineup for the last boss:

EironnDrezLycaMortastwins afk arena elijah laylah
SI +30, 6/9F, ShroudL+SI +20, Dura's Eye/ShroudE+ Dura's CallSI +20, Dura's Call

For Grotesque (Idre) I'm going to use an entirely different lineup, like this:

L+L+E+SI +20, Dura's EyeE+

I may change this lineup but you get the idea. I won't any of the heroes I'm going to use on the last boss

Reaching the Duke Rank: What to Do Now

To reach the Duke rank, you will have to complete all the Marquis rank Quests. Now you can add 5 more heroes to your team for a total of 25. At this point, you have 20 heroes to help you capture higher-tier settlements and the 5 that will get you to Prince.

If you are reading this guide you probably can't capture a Tier 8 settlement without (a ton of) help. Personally, I have never captured one by myself and I have one my guildmates abandon theirs and weaken it along with another one so that I can barely defeat the third team.

At this point the final boss will be already down so now it's time to get ready for its respawn.

You should be close to 5.3/5.4 on Celerity or Sorcery and hopefully 5.0/5.1 on support as in most lineups you will need the Twins and Mortas.

Winning Fights to Regain Stamina

Stamina is required to initiate a fight, and the amount depends on if the fight is a regular tile or a boss. In general, regular tiles take 12 stamina per attack. The player generates a fixed 4 food per hour, 96 food every day, or 8-16 battles, depending on bonuses.

  • Win Fight (+2 Stamina)
  • No Heroes Lost (+2 Stamina)
  • Win Within 30s (+2 Stamina)

Since losing a fight consumes 12 stamina while retrying only takes 1 (again for regular tiles), it’s sometimes better to play on slower speeds so you can quit/retry before your team gets wiped!

Abyssal Expedition Best Boss Team Comps

Zaphrael Best Team Comps


Tidus Best Team Comps

Cecilia LucretiaDrezMortasRaine
LorsanAinz Ooal GownSatranaRowanVurk

Idre (Grotesque Mage)


Evil Nemora (Demonic Entity)

Celerity comps also work on Demonic Entity. Keep that in mind if you can't afford to go sorcery. Joker in particular with his AoE can be invaluable.

Note: For Lucretia formations to work best you are going to need her at +30 SI. Raine of course needs 3/9F.

SI +20SI +20SI +20SI +30SI +20
AthaliaFawkes VurkRowanKren The Fanatical
3/3F SI +20+AE+SI +30A

Abyssal Terror (Ezizh) Best Team Comps

Best Team Comps from my Militia Group

I underestimated Lucretia. Even at Legendary, she is insane. I hit 286M with the team comp below and 5.6 Celerity & 5.2 Sustenance. I will stick to this team as it doesn't require me to work on other relics. Obviously, with Lucretia on M and increased SI+, this team comp wrecks. Drez is also very, very good here.

Update: I had made a mistake here and put Lyca instead of Raine. Raine is far better with without 3/9F, as she boosts damage insanely. I hope I can get her to 3/9F before the end of this ABEX and she how much higher the damage output can go with the formation below.

LucretiaDrezRaineMortastwins afk arena elijah laylah
L, Dura's EyeM, SI +1, Dura's Eye3/9F (Ideally), Dura's EyeE+, Dura's CallSI +20, Dura's Call

Eironn didn't work for me but he works for others. I think Grezhul made him hit so hard because mine did not.

GrezhulEironnCeciliaSaurustwins afk arena elijah laylah
E+AASI +30E+

And now two Warrior x Support teams. I think that Raine only has Legendary furniture.

Izold Grezhul Saurus Mortastwins afk arena elijah laylah
Izold Grezhul twins afk arena elijah laylah Raine Mortas
Izold Saurus Mortas Ezio twins afk arena elijah laylah

Below you will find the best team compositions for the final boss, Abyssal Terror (Ezizh). Visual Guide compiled by Carbon#5141.

abyssal expedition may last boss best team comps
Abyssal Terror Best Formations Guide. Credit: Carbon#5141

Abyssal Expedition Beginner Tips

  1. Always communicate with your militia/guild, either through in-game chat, DMs, or discord.
  2. Use the “Settle” feature on a plains tile connected to a boss for a 5% damage boost.
  3. When unlocking new hero slots, use the stamina from your best 5 and add them to the new slots to instantly give them 60 food.
  4. Avoid using 4x and sometimes even 2x so you don’t accidentally wipe out. Restarting only costs 1 food, losing costs 12.
  5. Save Stamina by pathing with 1-3 heroes instead of a full team when facing weak enemies. However, don't risk too much; using an extra hero is better than losing or abandoning the fight.
  6. Try to obtain 3 stars from fights to recover 6 stamina.
  7. Do not attack the boss right away. Generally, you only want to attack it after maxing out the relics of a specific tree.
  8. Focus on only one relic tree (preferably Celerity tree) until Relic level 4.
  9. Abandon and recapture tiles to complete rank-up quests if there aren’t enough. This is very useful to get from Duke to Prince since you need to capture 20 tier 6 settlements, but not recommended before. Protection Status 85864542