Cao Cao is the most recent addition to Empires and Puzzles’ War of the Three Kingdoms family. And I’ll admit, when I first saw him back in May, I thought he was a shoo-in Hall of Famer. But it feels like a lot has changed. Has it?
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Caveat: This post contains gameplay speculation and personal opinion. It may also contain comedy and sarcasm. It is not advice and is solely for entertainment and informational purposes.
Cao Cao Stats and Special Skills (Legendary Hero)
[This hero was buffed after this review – Details updated, although the review remains the same]
Key Facts: Ice (Blue), Slow, Rogue
Family Bonus (for 1/2/3 Kingdom Heroes): 1.
3/6/10% 2/4/6% Mana each time a minion is summoned for the Hero. 2. 4/6/8% 3/5/7% heal each time a minion is summoned for the Hero.
[This Family Bonus was buffed/nerfed after this review – Details updated, although the review remains the same.]
Special Skills (Order to Overwhelm): 1. Deals
275% 330% damage to all enemies. 2. Summons a Wei Soldier Minion for each ally with 20% HP and 25% attack inherited from the caster. 3. Each hit from a Wei Soldier Minion dispels all dispellable buffs from the target. 4. Deals extra damage against Fire. All allies get +30% defense for 4 turns.
Talent: EVADE ~ +20% chance to dodge direct damage from offensive Special skills.
How Good is Cao Cao? (Empires and Puzzles)
Cao Cao’s Special Skill has an appropriate name: Order to Overwhelm.
Because that’s exactly what he’ll do.
It’s his speed which keeps him from true greatness. After all, Slow is such a long time to wait for these guys to charge up.
But I suspect, it’s all in the synergy, that’s where he’ll crush his victims. When paired with the Mount Rushmores, he won’t look out of place.
Cao Cao Versus Diaochan (Empires and Puzzles)
I saw Cao Cao this morning and got to thinking about who I’d prefer, Diaochan or Cao Cao?
Here is how they look side by side:
|Diaochan||Fast (8 tiles)||Recovers 35% health for all allies||Summons a minion for caster and NB with 16% HP and 25% Attack. Minions steal buffs.|
|Cao Cao||Slow (12 tiles)||Deals 330% Damage to all enemies||Summons a minion for all allies with 20% HP and 25% Attack. Minions de-buff|
I wanted to compare them because their minions function in a similar way. Albeit, Diaochan’s minions will steal 1 buff from an enemy, while Cao’s will dispel all buffs from that enemy.
We now know how frustrating Diaochan can be, with her Speed factoring in. But if Cao Cao can fire off and his minions can be embedded behind other minions, Buffing will quickly become a pointless exercise for any unwitting invader.
Imagine Hulda healing while Cao Cao was Dispelling…
Again though, we return to the matter of Speed. This is pivotal, at least for lower-level players who live in the shadow of the Mana-Gods and have yet to find any Magic Troops.
On the matter of Buffs…
While we’re on the subject of buffs, it’s worth noting that so many of the new heroes we’ve seen of late, don’t actually buff directly. -Their minions do the dirty work for them, and so dispelling isn’t an option!
The before mentioned Hulda is a prime example, as is Zhuge Liang.
And some of the other big problems we face aren’t buffs at all, but rather immediate applications, like Xnolphod’s mana boost.
So while Cao Cao might have once looked like the bee’s knees, the game has changed a lot since then.
Cao Cao Versus Empires & Puzzles (Empires and Puzzles)
OK, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. What’s that hit worth?
We don’t have to travel too far to get our answer. This is Costumed Guardian Panther’s table:
|Cao Cao||Slow (12 tiles)||Deals 330% damage to all enemies||Summons a minion for all allies with 20% HP and 25% Attack. Minions de-buff|
|Costumed Guardian Panther||Fast (8 tiles)||Deals 280% damage to all enemies||-64% defense against Dark for 3 turns, All enemies are immune to new status buffs for 3 turns|
|Costumed Master Lepus||Fast (8 tiles)||Deals 280% damage to all enemies||Caster gets -24% mana generation for 4 turns|
|Lewena||Fast (8 tiles)||Deals 260% damage to all enemies||Blocks Talent activation for all enemies for 6 turns|
|Irritated Penolite||Average (10 tiles)||Deals 490% damage to all Summoners||All enemies get -50% decreased healing|
|Costumed Killhare||Average (10 tiles)||Deals 330% damage to all enemies||All allies get -20% attack|
|Congalach||Slow (12 tiles)||Deals 310% damage to 5 random enemies||Stacks -9% attack on target|
|Milena||Magic 2 (12.3 tiles)||Deals 420% damage to all enemies||Dispels buffs from all enemies|
As we can see, 275% isn’t anything outlandish.
It’s certainly enough to do some damage and finish off some enemies, but at Slow, he won’t be playing Whack-a-Mole like C. Guardian Panther does.
No, the real value here is found in those minions.
Cao Cao Review (Empires and Puzzles)
My final thoughts:
Cao Cao’s a formidable hero.
His minions weigh in at 20% HP, so they’ll be stoutly little things. -That’s Bera/Freya minion weight.
So, along with their unique skills, you’ll also benefit from a nice bit of pseudo-healing.
I like the look of Cao because:
- He will summon a minion for each ally
- They will remove all buffs from an enemy (with each hit)
- There should be meaningful synergy to be obtained from fielding him alongside a couple of common heroes (for those vying for the top 100)
- He will gain mana & healing for minions… See Family Bonus
- He hits for a decent amount, and
- He’s Blue, so not competing with the Purple superstars
Those with quality minion controllers will be counting their lucky stars because without them life could be a whole lot more difficult.
I do concede that Cao Cao’s speed is an issue, but I can’t in good faith discount him solely on that.
He’s still a star and I suspect his usefulness will be dependent on your roster, current set-up, and personal preference.
A subjective review…
I’ll be the first to tell you that my reviews are subjective. And none more so than with Cao Cao.
If you have Bera or a solid strategy for dealing with minions, then Cao Cao is less threatening.
If you don’t find the current best teams in the world challenging, those stacked with awesome heroes, where every tile hit counts, then Cao Cao is less threatening.
And if you don’t run or can’t build a Raid squad that Cao could fit into, then Cao Cao isn’t as useful.
I see Cao Cao as more than that, only because I don’t fit into the top 2 criteria! I have no Bera to call my own, and it is a challenge for me to monitor and control every hero when nearing the Top 100 in the World.
The idea of Cao Cao sitting among the group opposite, waiting his turn to fire off a cluster of minions who will destroy my buffs, well that sounds like it could get frustrating.
For me, Cao Cao sits on the border between Archangel and Deity, and due to the unique nature of his skill set, I’m going to lean towards Deity.
I would love to hear your thoughts! So let me know what’s up!
Hero Grade for Cao Cao (Empires and Puzzles)
So for my grading, the question is:
Is this hero’s Special capable of/likely to change the outcome of a battle? Yes
If not, do they still bring enough to the party to help defeat the deities? N/a
Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Deity ⭐⭐★
This hero was subsequently Buffed or Nerfed by the developers. Details have been updated to reflect the changes.
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