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Armello Hero Guides: How to Use River the Howling Arrow

River of the Wolf Clan descends from the mountains of Armello to enter the fray! Learn the strategies and builds to bring this versatile and powerful Hero all the way to the throne. The best amulets, rings and matchups for River the Howling Arrow are all wrapped up in this handy Armello guide.

Armello Hero Guides: How to Use River the Howling Arrow

The first of 4 free DLC characters, River is a uniquely potent Hero who hails from the Wolf Clan. She is among the strongest heroes in all of Armello, so powerful that some players have called for her to be banned in competitive games. This infamous ranger is ready to enter the fray. With careful planning and keen instinct she rises to take the throne!

New to Armello? Try out these guides for other characters!

  1. Armello Hero Guides: How to Use Amber the Far Seeker – Amber the jack-of-all-trades punishes risky strategies!
  2. Armello Hero Guide: How to Use Sana the Forest Sister – Sana the spellcaster slays her enemies from afar!
  3. Armello Hero Guides: How to Use Mercurio the Grinning Blade – Mercurio the trickster sabotages his enemies to get ahead!

River Hero Overview

  • Hero: River
  • Clan Affinity: Night
  • Fight: 4
  • Body: 5
  • Wits: 4
  • Spirit: 3
  • Hero Ability: Huntress, River shoots her bow for 1 damage before initiating battle. If her target is killed, she stays her ground. This still consumes AP.
Armello - v2.0 Update

River boasts well-wounded stats and an incredibly offensive Hero Ability. Her Fight of 4 and Body of 5 are slightly behind the curve for a Wolf Clan Hero, but her Wits of 4 makes up for this slight deficit. Furthermore, River’s Spirit of 3 enables her to dabble into the Spell deck with ease. Her Hero Ability is among the strongest in the game, allowing River to take out enemies without engaging them in combat. River is a powerful offensive force, and can contend with the best Armello has to offer.

When to Use River

Because of her well-rounded stats and powerful Hero Ability, River has few truly bad matchups. While the build River uses will ultimately dictate her matchups, she favors games populated by Heroes with low Body. While River isn’t quite as strong a fighter as her Wolf Clan allies, her powerful Hero Ability allows her to go toe-to-toe with her aggressive Clanmates. Her mediocre Body may make her a target for powerful spellcasters like Sana, Yordana and Twiss, but River can still answer to these Heroes with careful tactical planning.

River loves to pick off frail Heroes!

River loves to pick off frail Heroes!

Bring River when the board is populated by Heroes with low Body, or when all of the other Heroes on the board will be in constant conflict. Mercurio, Sargon and Zosha fall into the first category, while Thane, Sylas and Fang are in the latter. Use caution when the board is populated with conflict-adverse spellcasters like Sana and Twiss, although River can still compete with these Heroes with a bit of luck and skill.

River’s Hero Ability

River’s Hero Ability, Huntress, is among the best Armello has to offer. Initiating combat will immediately deal 1 damage to her opponent, and if this kills the opponent, she stays her ground. This allows her to consume AP to kill adjacent enemies without having to veer far from her path. It’s worth noting that this ability also works when attacking the King, enabling River to win a Kingslayer victory without progressing to combat so long as the King has only 1 health remaining.

Players at 1 health are perfect targets for Huntress.

Players at 1 health are perfect targets for Huntress.

Using the Chrysocolla ring discussed below adds extra benefit to Huntress by granting River scout and extra swords against all Heroes with 3 or less health. This potent combo allows River to farm up gold and prestige, holding her opponents back while pulling herself forward.


Because of River’s well-rounded stats, the 4 stat-boosting amulets are of particular interest to her. Which one to take will be largely dependent on how you plan to build River, since it is wise to take +1 to a stat that will not require further investment. Wits is an important stat for all Heroes, so even with the Think amulet in tow, River will likely need to take quests with Wits rewards. Likewise, her 5 in Body will benefit from more than the single point that Soak provides. Combat-oriented River builds will enjoy the +1 Fight from Scratch, while sets that prioritize the Spell deck will benefit from the +1 Spirit granted by Feel.

the Feel amulet lets River dabble in spellcasting!

the Feel amulet lets River dabble in spellcasting!

The best amulet for River is either Scratch or Feel, depending on your build. She doesn’t benefit much from the novelty amulets at her disposal, and Soak and Think aren’t enough to save River from building their respective stats. Stick with either Scratch or Feel for your best shot at the crown.


Of all the Wolf Clan rings, River has a strong preference for Chrysocolla. The ring grants scout on, and +1 sword in combat against, any Hero with 3 or less health. This synergies well with River’s Hero Ability, and ensures that River has scout on all Heroes vulnerable to it. This keeps sneaky, stealth-loving Heroes like Zosha and Yordana from evading her completely while better enabling River to pick off her prey. Moonstone and Onyx both have niche use cases, granting +2 Magic or +2 Gold for each kill in battle respectively. Be aware, however, that these benefits don’t apply to enemy Heroes killed by River’s Hero Ability.

Chrysocolla's scout keeps injured Heroes from evading you.

Chrysocolla’s scout keeps injured Heroes from evading you.

The best ring for River is Chrysocolla, thanks to its powerful synergy with the Huntress Hero Ability. Other options include Onyx and Moonstone, but these are ultimately outclassed by Chrysocolla for most River builds.

Quest Selection

Despite her well-rounded stats, River is a fighter archetype first and foremost. With access to both an incredibly aggressive Hero Ability and the powerful Wolf Clan rings, River can run rampant. Her Fight and Spirit are both very close to passable, so most River builds will benefit from either the Scratch or Feel amulets. This allows her to select only Wits and Body quests.

The best quests offer ideal stats and good loot.

The best quests offer ideal stats and good loot.

Unlike some of her Clanmates, River relies heavily on equipping the best equipment cards. A spellcaster-type River can feel comfortable dipping into Spirit for offensive treasures such as Bane Blade and Reaper’s Trident. A more offensive River can dip into Fight, either for the aforementioned offensive items, or for defensive ones like Lionheart Breastplate.

River Sets

River is the rare case of a Hero whose powerful offense comes not from her stats, but instead from her Hero Ability and from her impressive Wolf Clan rings. Most River sets will be offensive in nature, but thanks to her rounded stats, she can slot herself in to either traditional fighting or hybrid battle mage archetypes. 

Standard River

  • Amulet: Scratch
  • Ring: Chrysocolla
  • Quests: 2 Wits, 2 Body

This is the most basic setup for River, leaning into her offensive prowess to create a hero-slaying menace. Her Huntress Hero Ability allows her to weaken her enemies before combat, and the Chrysocolla ring ensures her victory against Heroes with low health. On the board, standard River sets take advantage of these benefits. She can kill rival Heroes who get too close, setting them back while propelling herself forward. This River set relies on equipment from the Item deck for survivability. Managing your hand and equipment shelf is more important than ever for this basic River setup.

The most basic (and lethal) River hits hard and fast.

The most basic (and lethal) River hits hard and fast.

This set fares well against Heroes with low body, such as the Rat Clan Heroes, Nazar and Volodar. It also fares well when the board is populated by fighters who will likely be in constant conflict. Both of these boards give River the opportunity to capitalize off of injured heroes. Be careful with this set when faced with 2 or more powerful spellcasters, such as Yordana, Twiss or Sana. These heroes have the Spirit to burn River down from afar, but they can be torn apart by Huntress at close range.

Battle Mage River

  • Amulet: Feel
  • Ring: Chrysocolla
  • Quests: 1 Body, 1 Spirit, 2 Wits

While difficult to pilot, battle mage River can be a versatile and powerful force. The +1 Spirit from Feel puts River at a respectable 4 Spirit from the get-go. A single quest reward will bump her to 5 Spirit, enabling her to cast all but 2 cards from the Spell deck innately. This River set can draw comfortably in the Spell deck, allowing her to manipulate the board to her liking. She can use mobility spells like Teleport, Banish and Haste to ambush her victims. Her access to burn cards like Aflame and Leech can also invoke her Chrysocolla bonus.

Battle mage River uses magic to punish competition.

Battle mage River uses magic to punish competition.

Battle mage River trades her ability to compete with other fighters for a strategy to cripple bulkier spellcasters and tricksters. This set does well against most non-offensive Heroes who are susceptible to damaging spells. While this set can tolerate a single fighter on the board, it tends to fare poorly in boards populated exclusively by powerful offensive Heroes.

In Conclusion

River is a versatile and powerful Hero, and is among the strongest in all of Armello. Her potent synergies and incredible Hero Ability combine into a threat that is incredibly hard to counter. For those in search of a unique Hero who can dominate in difficult matchups, you need not look further than River.

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