Challenge Festival: Empires and Puzzles Guide (with Hero List)

The Challenge Festival is an Empires and Puzzles Mega Event; designed to replace a bunch of old events, thus making room for a bunch of new ones (I assume).

On losing the old events, we all collectively wondered, “what about Our Lady Of The Lake?

Well, the nervous laughter can stop, -Here’s the answer, wrapped up in bow and ribbon. I give you -The Challenge Festival!

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MENU (Empires and Puzzles Challenge Festival)
1. Challenge Festival Guide
2. Challenge Festival Special Rules
Elemental Resistance
Color Reflect
3. All Stage End Bosses
4. Challenge Festival Summoning Portal
5. All New 3 Star Heroes
Guardian Lemur
6. All New Costumed Heroes
Costumed Jabberwock
Costumed Lady Of The Lake!
Costumed Snow White
Coming Soon ˋ°•*⁀➷
✗ Costumed Marie-Therese
✗ Costumed Finley
✗ Costumed Panther
✗ Costumed Guardian Kong
✗ Costumed Black Knight
✗ Costumed Rumpelstiltskin
✗ Costumed White Rabbit
7. All Challenge Festival Heroes

Caveat: The post represents game-play speculation and personal opinion. It is not advice. It is based on Beta information and is therefore, subject to change.

Challenge Festival Event Guide | Empires and Puzzles

The Challenge Festival is a 5 day event which gets its first outing on 15th Dec 2021, ending on the 19th.

The Challenge itself consists of 10 Stages in Rare, Epic, and Legendary (30 Stages in all), and prizes improve with the level of difficulty.

As with similar events, the goal is to get the highest score possible -better scores mean better prizes.

Your personal ‘Master Score’ is made up of all the Stages you complete within a certain difficulty (say, Rare for example), and you can improve on that score by replaying Stages to your heart’s content.

Finally, the difficulty level (Rare, Epic, and Legendary), limit what heroes, troops, and battle-items can be used.

Special Gameplay Rules for the Challenge Festival (Empires and Puzzles)

This event is like an amalgamation of a bunch of older events, including:

  • Pirates of Corellia
  • Guardians of Teltoc
  • Knights of Avalon
  • Fables of Grimforest
  • Riddles of Wonderland

As a result, those heroes feature heavily in the Challenge itself and are known as the Challenge Festival ‘Families’.

Owning those heroes will also help you when completing Stages, because non-event heroes will all be cursed.

The curse?

-25% everything (attack, defense, health, mana received).

And if that’s not hard enough, the heroes you face will get the following Special bonuses, according to the Family they’re part of:

  • Pirates of Corellia: Every 3 turns, they steal 10% Mana and 5% HP from all heroes.
  • Guardians of Teltoc: Every 3 turns, tiles of a random element are weakened by -50% attack.
  • Knights of Avalon: All direct damage from Special Skills is reduced by -20%, as is any healing.
  • Fables of Grimforest: Every 3 turns, they summons a Grimforest fiend which has 5% HP.
  • Riddles of Wonderland: In an interesting twist, every 3 turns they rotate the element of heroes. Order of change: Holy → Dark → Fire → Nature → Ice → Holy ››

Special Challenge Event Feature – Elemental Resistance (Empires and Puzzles)

There is another interesting feature called, ‘Elemental Resistance’.

The idea is that if you use two heroes of the same element (two Holy heroes for example), it will reduce the damage that enemies receive from that element.

-At a rate of -10% per additional hero.

It’ll be interesting to see what impact this anti-stacking measure has, because clearly, with the non-family curse, players will seek to stack in hope of redressing the balance.

Color Reflect for Stages (Challenge Festival E&P)

Each Stage will reflect a different color. See the table below for more.

All the Bosses, for All the Stages, in the Challenge Festival

DarkFire and DarkPeters (Nature), C.Marie-Therese (Dark) and Captain Kestel (Fire)
HolyNature and HolyGuardian Chameleon (Nature), C.Guardian Panther (Dark) and Guardian Gazelle (Holy)
IceIce and DarkKing Arthur (Ice), C.Lady of the Lake (Nature) and Merlin (Dark)
FireFire and NatureBoss Wolf (Dark), C.Rumpelstiltskin (Ice) and Puss in Boots (Fire)
NatureNature and DarkQueen of Hearts (Fire), C.Jabberwock (Dark) and Captain of Diamonds (Ice)
DarkNature and DarkSargasso (Dark), C.Finley (Ice) and Lady Locke (Nature)
HolyNature and Holy Guardian Jackal (Holy), C.Guardian Kong (Fire) and Guardian Owl (Holy)
IceIce and DarkMorgan Le Fay (Nature), C.Black Knight (Fire) and Guinevere (Holy)
FireFire and Nature Red Hood (Fire), C.Snow White (Ice) and Hansel (Nature)
NatureNature and DarkThe Hatter (Nature), C.White Rabbit (Holy) and Alice (Ice)
Challenge Festival – Stage End Bosses (Empires and Puzzles)

Related: How Good Is Hanitra?

Challenge Festival Summoning Portal (Empires and Puzzles)

This is one of the first portals not to include Season 1 heroes. Here are the highlights:

  • Full odds can be found at the portal itself
  • The portal will use Challenge Event coins or 300 gems

What heroes are up for grabs?

There are what feels like a million heroes here:

  • A bunch of new 3-Star heroes,
  • 10 Costumes for 5-Star heroes (3 released initially),
  • and all the original heroes!

New 3-Star heroes in the Challenge Festival (Empires and Puzzles)

There are five new heroes in the Challenge Festival, all of them are 3-Star.

On a personal note, I love the fact we get more Rare heroes because I enjoy playing them in Tournaments. Also, the odds of getting Rare heroes are greatly improved over Legendary heroes.

Anyway, onto the heroes:


Treevil from Challenge Festival Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Treevil is Purple (Dark), Wizard class, Very Slow, and part of the Avalon family.

His Special deals 250% damage to all enemies and inflicts -54% attack, -56% defense, and -44% mana generation -all for 6 turns.

A complete monster (and possible addition to my Best 3-Star heroes list).


Sally from Challenge Festival - Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Sally is Yellow (Holy), Barbarian class, Slow, and part of the Pirate family.

Her Special deals 270% damage to the target and creates an attack-chain which hits all enemies adjacent to any hit enemy.

Guardian Lemur

Guardian Lemur from Challenge Festival - Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Guardian Lemur is Blue (Ice), Fighter class, Average, and part of the Guardian family.

His Special recovers 32% health for all allies and buffs them with +94% defense against Nature for 4 turns.

Wow. I’m sure he’ll be popular.


Gnomer from Challenge Festival - Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Gnomer is Green (Nature), Rogue class, Very Fast, and part of the Grimforest family.

His Special deals 250% damage to the target and they’ll also bleed for 140 over 2 turns.


Phoenicus from Challenge Festival - Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Phoenicus is Red (Fire), Monk class, Fast, and part of the Wonderland family.

His Special buffs all allies (besides himself) with +50% attack and +24% mana generation, for 3 turns.

Not bad for Fast.

New Costumes in the Challenge Festival Portal (Empires and Puzzles)

Only 3 New Costumes will be released in the first Event, with more to follow in future.

The initial 3 Costumes will be for Jabberwock, Lady Of The Lake, and Snow White.

Costumed Jabberwock

Costumed Jabberwock Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Costumed Jabberwock is Purple (Dark), Druid class, Fast, and part of the Wonderland Family.

His Special deals 300% damage to enemies on the edge of the formation, and if there’s only one enemy left, they receive double the damage. The target(s) also receive poison damage of 131 for 3 turns, and their mana generation is lowered by -12% per turn. This effect can not be cleansed.

Jabberwock is the original double hitter, with the likes of Zenobia and Zekena, following in his wake.

How is the Costume different? That mana control and more poison damage (was 258 over 3 turns before, Vs. 393 now). The hit damage is the same.

Costumed Lady Of The Lake!

Costumed Lady Of The Lady Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Costumed Lady Of The Lake is Green (Nature), Fighter class, Slow, and part of the Avalon Family.

Her Special Boosts her allies health by 550 (this is Over-healing), she also Summons a Sword Minion for her and NB mates (worth 14% and 15%), and the Sword inflicts -24% mana generation for 3 turns (which can’t be cleansed).

Well, you lose and you win with this Costume; the Over-healing is awesome (if a little low), but the -24% mana generation isn’t great -not when compared to what they used to do (-10% mana… period).

Lady Of The Lake is one of the best heroes in the game because those Minions make it difficult to build up steam.

While the Costume Boost is welcomed, I wouldn’t choose to wear this version of the good Lady.

How is the Costume different? As above, healing has changed from 42% straight, to Over-healing, and the Sword Minions lose their edge.

Want more Lady Of The Lake? Read her full review here.

Costumed Snow White

Costumed Snow White Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Costumed Snow White is Blue (Ice), Ranger class, Slow, and part of the Grimforest Family.

Her Special dispels and cleanses all buffs and status ailments from all enemies and allies. And she deals 140% damage to all enemies, plus an extra 25% per removed status effect -with an upper limit of 530% damage.

How is the Costume different? Just a slight mix about of the figures; damage is down from 180%, additional damage was 15% (now 30%), and the upper limit was 420% (now 500%).

The Following Costumes are Coming Soon

Costumed Marie-Therese

Costumed Marie-Therese is Purple (Dark), Druid class, Slow, and part of the Pirate Family.

Her Special deals 138% damage to all enemies, all allies are Boosted by 600 HP over 4 turns (can’t be dispelled), all allies receive +30% defense for 4 turns (can’t be dispelled), all allies receive Zombie Blessing (if made dead, they revive as a Zombie), and finally, all allies get a Happy Meal and toy.

That’s a lot of stuff going on. Still, it seems reasonable for Slow.

How is the Costume different? Damage has been reduced from 168%, and healing was Regeneration over 6 turns (now Over-healing). Buffs are non-dispellable now, too.

Costumed Finley

Costumed Finley is Blue (Ice), Fighter class, Fast, and part of the Pirate Family.

His Special deals 365% damage to the target and if the target has buffs, he’ll hit another enemy with a buff…again and again, or hits a random enemy if there are no more buffs. Each enemy can only be hit once. Also, all targets receive -44% defense for 3 turns.

Finley was already a family favourite, now he’s a little stronger +he’s got that Costume bonus.

How is the Costume different? His hit damage has been reduced, from 385%. -Not a bad trade off for the extra 10% defense-down he inflicts (it was -34%).

Costumed Panther

Costumed Panther is Purple (Dark), Paladin class, Fast, and part of the Guardian Family.

Her Special deals 160% damage to the target and nearby enemies, inflicts -64% defense against Dark, and makes all enemies immune to new buffs (all for 3 turns).

How is the Costume different? Damage is down from 210%, although defense against Dark was increased from -54%, and before she dispelled buffs from the target and nearby enemies.

Costumed Guardian Kong

Costumed Guardian Kong is Red (Fire), Monk class, Average, and part of the Guardian Family.

His Special deals 250% damage to all enemies and allies reflect all status effects plus 115% damage, back to the attacker. They’ll also block other negative effects from Ice Specials (all for 4 turns).

How is the Costume different? His damage has been increased, from 220%. Also, before he gave +94% defense against Ice for 4 turns (so a complete change there).

Looks like a great upgrade for him.

Costumed Black Knight

Costumed Black Knight is Red (Fire), Wizard class, Average, and part of the Avalon Family.

His Special gives him a 50% chance to limit any damage to 1 HP, Taunts the enemy team -preventing them from using Special Skills on his allies, and all allies get +30% attack (all effects last for 4 turns).

How is the Costume different? His Taunt (and the rest) has increased to 4 turns, but the allied +attack is now limited to +30% (before it was +45% plus a further 20% every time they were hit).

Costumed Rumpelstiltskin

Costumed Rumpelstiltskin is Blue (Ice), Monk class, Average, and part of the Grimforest Family.

He has a random ‘Draw a card’ Special.

The first reduces max health of all enemies by 450 HP (it can’t go lower than 30% original health), all enemies get poison damage for 3 turns, dealing 59 damage and lowering their mana generation by -9% each turn.

The second Boosts the health of all allies by 400 HP (Over-healing), and all allies are immune to new status ailments for 3 turns.

The third inflicts -24% mana generation on all enemies for 3 turns (which can’t be cleansed), and all enemies are immune to new buffs for 3 turns.

How is the Costume different? The whole card is a new approach to Rumpelstiltskin, and I prefer it. A lot of mana control here which didn’t appear in the base version.

The original did this: 1. 270% damage to all plus 156 damage over 3 turns. 2. Heals all allies for 27% plus dispels status ailments from allies. 3. -34% defense for all enemies and +48% attack for all allies for 3 turns.

Costumed White Rabbit

Costumed White Rabbit is Yellow (Holy), Wizard class, Fast, and part of the Wonderland Family.

His Special deals 260% damage to the target and nearby enemies, they also get -34% defense for 3 turns (and this effect is reset if the target is healed -and can’t be dispelled).

How is the Costume different? Instead of targeting only one enemy with -defense, he now targets three. In exchange, he gives up 1 turn (3 now, instead of 4) and a little damage.

Related: Santa’s Challenge Guide

All ‘Family’ heroes in the Challenge Festival (Empires and Puzzles)

A list of all the heroes available at the Challenge Festival Summoning Portal:

Pirates of CorelliaCaptain KestrelBoomerSally
Lady Locke
Guardians of TeltocGuardian ChemeleonGuardian FalconGuardian Bat
Guardian KongGuardian JackalGuardian Lemur
Guardian Gazelle
Guardian Panther
Guardian Owl
Knights of AvalonBlack KnightMerlinBauchan
GuinevereSir LancelotTreevil
King Arthur
Lady of the Lake (+C)
Morgan Le Fay
Fables of GrimforestBoss WolfGretelGnomer
Puss in BootsHanselPixie
Red Hood
Snow White (+C)
Riddles of WonderlandAliceCaptain of DiamondsPhoenicus
Jabberwock (+C)Cheshire CatShrubbear
Queen of Hearts
The Hatter
White Rabbit
All Challenge Festival Heroes

Challenge Festival – Empires and Puzzles Guide

On a personal note, I prefer this format of Events (10 Stages) over the longer Towers, as I find them more manageable.

The fact that this portal omits Season 1 heroes is a fantastic bonus! Hopefully, I can get Lady Of The Lake, but there are so many other heroes I’d be happy with.

If you’re interested in the heroes from this event, be sure to subscribe. There’ll be more on the way!

Enjoy the Festival!

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Images used byway of review / tutorial – Copyright owned by Empires & Puzzles: Small Giant Games

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  1. Gotta say, of all the new additions, Treevil scares me the most. Holy moly that special is strong! Unless you block or cleanse those ailments ASAP, getting hit by that special seems like it’s lights out.

  2. Thanks for the breakdown of the new event. This looks like an excellent redo of their old challenges. The thing I appreciate more than anything though is that there’s no season 1 shoved into it.
    Thank you again for taking the time.

  3. Just a quick fix. Jabberwock costume description says 131 poison damage per turn for 3 turns, whereas the og is 240/3 turns = 80/ turn. So the costume is overall better.

      1. Your eval says the costume does less poison damage, but the wording on the cards is different, and he actually does 131 each turn for three turns (393 total) whereas the original does 240 over three turns.

        So the costume does the same initial damage, more poison damage, and adds mana speed reduction. You state that “before he did more poison damage” which isn’t the case.

        Sorry for being nitpicky. Love your writeups!

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