How Good is Balbar? Empires and Puzzles HotM Review

Screenshot of Balbar's Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Balbar is the November 2021 Empires and Puzzles Hero Of The Month (HotM). He’s pretty good in my estimations, but let me explain why.

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Caveat: This post represents game-play speculation and personal opinion. It is not advice.

Balbar‘s Special Skills & Core Data

Element: Nature (Green)

Class: Druid

Mana Speed: Average

Family Bonus: 2021 (Coming soon)

Special Skills (Slumber Spores): 1. Deals 300% damage to the target. 2. The target falls asleep. 3. While asleep, they can not attack or gain mana. 4. All damage dealt to the sleeping target is increased by +60%. 5. The sleeping target is woken once it takes damage. This excludes damage from Minions and Fiends. 6. [Element Link] Element Link gives +10% increase for any healing received for all Nature allies for 4 turns. This effect can’t be dispelled.

Passive: 1. Has an innate resistance against status ailments that give immunity to new buffs. 2. Recovers 5% health when he receives a buff.

Talent: COMPANION ~ +15% chance to summon a Thorn Minion after receiving any damage. The effect is applied at the end of the turn.

Balbar – Empires and Puzzles

Is Balbar worth Levelling? (Empires and Puzzles)

Yes –depending on your roster and your interest in seeing how good he can be.

The idea is simple: Balbar can make one enemy hero go to sleep.

And if you read my Malosi review, you’ll know how much I value Control-heroes like him.

Imagine sending Alfrike to sleep, while you sort out the rest of the Defense, before returning to focus on her.

What about Mother North, who’s always sitting on that left wing, looking to laugh in your face and crush your dreams.

What about Elizabeth, Quenell, or Ludwig?

The idea, the concept, that Balbar presents is certainly appealing. Question is, does it work? Is it effective? Let’s find out.

Balbar‘s Special (Slumber Spores)

Balbar hits one target for 300% damage, which is very low for an Average speed sniper.

But it’s the rest of his Special we want.

And the rest is great: The victim falls asleep, and while asleep, they can’t attack or gain mana.

Fantastic.

Also, all damage dealt to the sleeping target is increased by +60%. Another bonus -but that’s only for the first damage inflicted.

So the ideal outcome will be…

  • To Wake the target when you have a monster locked-and-loaded and ready to go,
  • Or maybe, to keep them asleep while you deal with some other enemies first.

Either way, we ideally want a Special Skill hit to wake our sleeping beauty. Because, if it’s Tile-damage that Wakes them, they’ll only get +60% damage for the first tile.

And a dead tile, with just 1 HP damage, will still count.

Thankfully, damage from Minions and Fiends won’t Wake them, so we don’t have to worry about that.

Balbar Special Explained (HotM)

Balbar’s Special is all about managing Tiles and Special Skills.

The idea of sending a hero to sleep indefinitely, is ridiculously awesome. And to me, it’s reasonable for such a strong Special, to require a little more technique.

With Malosi’s and Bai Yeong’s Special, we have to time it correctly, or we lose it. And with Balbar, we’ll have to manage the spread of damage, or we’ll lose it.

Balbar’s Comparison (Empires and Puzzles)

HeroMana SpeedDamageSecondary
BalbarAverageDeals 300% damage to the targetSings them a lullaby
LepiotaFastDeals 158% damage to the targetRemoves Status Effects from target, then shifts them into Ghost mode. While in Ghost mode, they can’t gain mana or be healed. Ghost mode lasts for 4 turns
MalosiVery FastDeals 300% damage to the victims headTarget cannot cast any new status effects or stacks on enemies or allies for 3 turns
Bai YeongFastDeals 320% damage to the target Target gets -75% accuracy for 2 turns & target gets -75% decrease for any healing
Zocc AverageDeals 300% damage to the targetIncreases the mana of the target by 50%, who then casts Mindless Attack on a random ally when mana is full (Stops hero from using their Special Skills)
Balbar hero comparison

All of these heroes impair the target by limiting the use of their Special Skills in some way.

Is my Squad right for Balbar?

Balbar’s value to you, will be based on how well he fits into your Raid team.

I say Raid, because I can’t see much use for him elsewhere.

If you play heroes who inflict damage to ‘all enemies’, then you’ll always Wake the target when they fire-off.

And that may be fine, because you’ll still get that extra +60% damage against the target.

However, a better use of Balbar might be to reduce the opposition down to 4 heroes. So you can more easily defeat them, while one Sleeps.

And then, when the target hero does wake up, yawns and takes look around, -they’ll see, the jig is up.

Finally, as Balbar renders the victim to Sleep indefinitely, there’s no reason not to keep targeting other heroes. Maybe, you’ll only need to face 3 heroes for a short while.

To get the most melatonin out of Balbar, I’d pair him with snipers, 3-hitters, and Fiend/Minion summoners.

And since most mass-destroyers are elite heroes, Balbar could ultimately turn out to be, The People’s Hero.

Balbar – Empires and Puzzles Grade

My final thoughts:

Balbar’s all about Raiding and managing the Defense.

And while I wouldn’t go Pulling in search of him, I’d certainly welcome him as a Bonus. I think Balbar is very much in the same vain as Devana, Malosi, and Bai Yeong.

Anytime you can stop a hero from acting, you’re onto a winner.

The downside here, is his Speed. Average is a little slower than I would have liked, -especially for all the work it’s gonna take to coordinate this guy.

But that said, I’m gonna have to grade Balbar based on his potential.

The fact is, if he can Sleep a Wing or Flank hero and buy you a little time, or stop Alfrike just as she’s frothing at the mouth then Balbar, may be worth his weight in gold.

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Archangel

What are your thoughts? Did I get it wrong, or did I miss something? Let me know in the comments below.

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Copyright -Text and Initial Images: oldcynic.com
Images used byway of review / tutorial – Copyright owned by Empires & Puzzles: Small Giant Games

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23 Comments

  1. I already have Lepiota and Zocc maxed, won’t be disapointed if i don’t get this one…

    Also, HOTM December is way better!

    1. Welcome Miguel, I try not to look too far forward but on your suggestion, I took a peak. You’re right. She’s fantastic. For a Hero Of The Month to give +45% dodge is great. Also, the resistance against Health Reduction makes it sound like the next HotM was created with Alfrike in mind.

      For those who don’t know what we’re talking about -it’s the next HotM:

      Hero Name: Hanitra
      Special Skill: Dancing Dodge
      All allies get +45% dodge (Special Skills) for 3 turns. Each dodge boosts health by 275 HP. If the health exceeds max HP, it is added as temporary HP.
      All allies resist max health reduction for 3 turns.

      Well…

      C.Kadilen gives you +45% for 3 turns too -while Margaret gives you between 30-90% for 3 turns.

      Anyway, back to Balbar. Thanks Miguel!

  2. I’m sorry, but I’m confused with this heroe. If the target awakes at any damag, it means that any tile, just one little tile, even of the opposite colour, will awake him. In that case, Balbar lose all his potential.

    1. Hi Nachomain, yep that’s it. One off-color tile, that only does 1 damage, will wake the target.

      I really do think Balbar will have a different value to different players, based on how he fits into your team. At the moment, I use heroes like Balbar to get through a raid, so the idea of Sleeping a Wing hero appeals to me. And I imagine it won’t be too difficult to ignore & avoid that hero, while I work on the others.

      But then, I don’t have any heroes on my Raid squad who can damage all enemies at the same time. So, most of the time, I’ll just need to be mindful of where the tiles go.

      Is Balbar a Deity; a hero capable of winning a battle by himself? Nope. But could he help stop the Deities? I think so.

      That said, the idea of this blog is to create discussion, so thank you for sharing -Because lots of people will agree with you!

      1. I agree: Balbar is just for wings. Well, I have no tonics anyway. Quenell drunk them all last weekend. And the ethers too 😉

          1. Balbar could be really annoying on defense. It will be pure luck and chance since AI will not target specific attacking hero but what if he puts your healer / cleanser to sleep. There are no turns for the special to wear off. Then you have to wait for the enemy hero slash or special attack to wake him up since defense does not shoot tiles. It could be too late for the attacking team when the healer / cleanser wakes up.

          2. Welcome! Yes, I was thinking the same thing, but haven’t seen him appear yet.

            Hopefully, I find him for a raid today to check.

            Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I will say that I appreciate a good control hero, even if they are usually not valued as highly by the community as the big damage guys. Balbar does seem… situational though, and pretty useless at taking out tanks. Especially at average speed. For a green guy, there’s a ton of better choices, although for ftp, he may be ok.

    1. Hey Weston, absolutely re the Tanks. I wish he was Fast, that would be better. As for F2P/C2P – I just got my first Green 5-Star hero after nearly 2 years playing.

      Thanks for sharing your view!

  4. I think a lot of these comments are completely missing Balbur’s potential. Saying hes situational is a bit overplayed since he can fit into every team as ALL defense teams have wing heroes that can be slept. Sure Alfrike, or Mother North, is a big target, but so is stopping an Isarnia. Or a Seshat. Or a Frigg. Or a Bera. I can go on, but the point is this guy can stop them completely. Even at average mana, even if they have fired once, its useful. Because a lot of these heroes are deadly at MULTIPLE fires. Its extremely easy to tile manage and play down the other side while the enemy is asleep and you build your mana. I do it with reflect heroes all the time. I really hope I get Balbur, and I have a maxed Lepiota and Hel already. I love control heroes and their usefulness cant be understated. I agree hes prolly not deity level, but as you said, he can take deitys out of the battle.

    1. Yes! Someone who agrees with me. I thought I was the only person on earth who thought this guy could be any good. I’m really hoping to pull him cause I love control heroes too.

      I also think he’ll be fun.

      Well, I agree with everything you said; he’s not the best, most powerful, hero in E&P. But he might be able to stop them.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Hi Balbar is really only for raids. We can’t really control those tiles, you trigger those tiles not to hit opponents but the next replacement tiles came on and auto hit the opponent you targeted. The only usefulness is you make opponent sleep, then all your sniper is up and running and you fire to kill that particular opponent’s hero that you wanted to get rid off.

    1. I agree that he’s a Raid hero. I do think you can manage tile disturbance in the game, but we’ll have to see how difficult it turns out to be.

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your view!

  6. Sorry, but what about Monk. As I understood they might have resistant from balbar. Is it right ? Hello from Ukraine!

    1. Hi Oleksii, I haven’t seen anything myself about it, but it does make sense. The Sleep looks like a Status Effect, so Monks should have a 30% chance to resist it.

      If I can get him, I’ll test it out!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    1. I tried to play him. Of course it is my personal opinion but he is useless for myself. Literally the worse 5* I have. I like control heroes Zocc even Proteus is an asset. Unfortunately for Balbar usefulness game changers usually are tank heroes so putting wings to sleep has marginal value. Moreover, any hit wake the hitted even those made by underwild gems, so matching him with 4 season heroes is pointless. For myself only regret for lost resources to develop this weakling.

      1. Oh many Thanks Mac!

        I’ll concentrate all my picks (except maybe Costumes) in December hoping to have Hanitra.

        So Balbar is meh.. that was my initial opinion, and still valid! 😉

  7. I just got mine today. Too bad, I just used up all my druid emblems to Chacszarott (whatever!). Hope this Balbar is good. I have few five star green, so he’s a good addition.

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