Hello there! I am EwokRampage and it is my job at Team Instinct to help our new members with their team building. Since I have been doing quite a lot of this recently I thought I would share some basic tips that can you use to help decide which character choices you should make for arena! Keep in mind this doesn't mention specific builds, rather the thought process behind building your team.
First off some beginner arena tips:
1. If your server leaderboard has level 60's at 1st place congratulations when climbing the ranks you actually be fighting a lot of people who have left the game, this means that it is less likely that you will be beaten and have your rank lowered. So abandoning all defense in the beginning is actually a good thing. If you are on a new server expect to have scratch and claw your way to the top with people who have the same power level as you do.
2. Do your research and pick your team early. The earlier you decide on a team the better, spending valuable resources on extraneous characters limits your growth speed and arena potential.
3. To speed the process up of maxing your characters try and select ones that are spread out in the different features of the game so you don't end up double dipping in a certain resource. This is very important when competing in new servers.
4.Only do the necessary PvE. It may seem like it is a good idea to try and spend all your time trying to finish up 4,5,6 light side and dark side missions, but you are really wasting time. Once you have your base team gather resources for just the people you think will be in your end game arena team. During their gearup only do the PvE necessary to get them the parts they need. Spend all available energy getting their parts.
5.Do hard modes only until you get to the character you need to farm, only do that hard mode, never ever do other hardmodes they are waste of energy. There is nothing worth slugging through hard modes for, no light at the end of the tunnel or extra reward.
Congratulations you made it to the top 500 of your server! Now you need some help fine tuning your team to make a run for the top 10. Here are some good questions to ask yourself when deciding what to do with your team.
1.What is the theme of my group? What synergy is present besides the obvious character type? Jedi/Sith/Empire etc... are only part of the synergy of the team. The goal is to look deep into the skills and how each character is used to see if the team meshes well together.
One exercise I like to tell people to do is using the speed values of your arena team go over in your head how a hypothetical battle would go and what skills you would like to use. Each character during their turn should bring something to the table. For example My Leia goes first she attacks once giving a crit buff to my team, my Rey goes second she uses that buff to skip her first skill in her rotation and get an offensive buff, my Poe goes next taunting and make sure my Rey and Leia glass cannons don't die, he exposes someone giving my resistance trooper, who is usually slow, a full turn meter letting him attack next...so on an so forth. If you are having trouble with this exercise it is likely your team lacks synergy and may struggle getting to the top of the arena.
2. Are you an AOE or Single Target team? Now this does not mean you can't have a mix, but generally you want to stick to one type of team. If you are using an AOE team with Sid/Vader/and Old Ben would it make sense to put Leia with them? Sure she is a great meta pick, but she would only pick off one wounded person instead of lets say Maul/Boba Fett who could wipe out their entire team. Same goes for the other way around, if you had FoTP, Leia, and Rey why get Boba Fett? By the time he goes only one character would be weakened and he may or may not take that person out. Everyone else is only slightly damaged and a healer could erase all your hard work.
3. Imagine yourself as the opponent, which player do you go after first? Always imagine the other team has a very fast team. Lets say, for example, you said my Luminara she has low health and no defense against a fast team. The next question you should be asking yourself is how do I protect my luminara, and if I can't then she shouldn't be on my team. The reality is even if you have a maxed Luminara if you don't protect her she will mostly like be dead round 1 then you are fighting a 4 v 5 matchup. You never want to give the opposing team the obvious choice in who to go for first.
4. Putting synergies aside remember the main factor for how good a character is is how well geared they are. A max geared five star will destroy a 7 seven star gear 1. So don't feel like because you have one seven star you absolutely need to play it.
5. One of the most important things to remember is the AI is really really dumb. It will always try and use AOE first and only heal when when a characters health gets to a low amount. It doesn't know the best time to use your skills like you would or even who to focus on. You should stay away from characters that have certain conditions required for their skill to do well. For example Anakin's aoe only gives the offensive team buff if it kills someone. Since AOE always gets used first and Anakin is very fast he will use it an not kill anybody wasting that part of the skill. You should always be asking yourself how would the AI use this character and is the character still worth using if the answer is badly.
6. The last thing I can recommend to help you with arena is to take things on the forum with a grain of salt. Many people are commenting about characters from the view point of 4/5 stars at gear 4/5. Try and find posts where people talk about that specific character at a max star standpoint and then try and make your judgement. swgohcantina has a good resource for beginners to look at. Team Instinct has a more complete compendium, but you will need apply and be accepted to our team to have access to it at the moment.
Good luck in the arena and may the force be with you!