Old Cynic’s Christmas Special 2022 (Empires & Puzzles Mag, Best HOTM+)

Christmas is here again and just like that, another year’s up and gone, and all that’s left is the space between now and eternity.

That’s right folks, I’m coming in hot and heavy! Make room, now.

I got Donny Hathaway singing in the background, doing things he’s got no business doing in ’71, and I’m telling you, the world’s beautiful again.

“But Old Cyinc, what in the blue moon has that got to do with Empires and Puzzles?”

Alright, alright. I got loads of E&P stuff! I’ve got Heroes and Jokes and countdowns and even a little E&P history. I’ve got E&P like you’ve never seen. -I’ve got E&P like you got T-Shirts…

Hold up! One Sec… Since it’s Christmas, why not give me the gift of Subscribing? That way, I don’t have to hunt you down… I can simply bug you for life with emails. (Or until you unsub… NO! Booo!)

Alright, enough nonsense, let’s get to it!

AGENDA (Empires and Puzzle at Christmas)
1. Empires and Puzzles most OP Hero of the Year
2. Old Cynic Talking Smack
3. My Favourite Hero of 2022
4. My Top 3 HOTM for 2022
5. Merry Christmas!

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.


Graphic with words, 2023 Empires and Puzzles

Old Cynic’s Christmas Special: Empires and Puzzles in 2023

I was gonna share my predictions (foretellings) for Empires and Puzzles in 2023 (hence the beautiful graphic above (clean, right?)), but things kept taking a more serious tone. So instead, let’s reflect on 2022.

2022 has truly been the year of the OP Hero.

Empires and Puzzles have churned out more monster Heroes than the UK has crowned new Prime Ministers.

But how much can she bear?

If you were to ask Scotty, he might say,she can‘nae take any more, captain“, but who really knows? -Let’s just hope the developers do!

Before we move into 2023, I thought it would be fun to find the Most Over-Powered Hero of 2022.

To that end, I’ve set up a Poll in my Facebook Group, which you can join and participate in [please agree to the rules to join], or simply comment on your choice below (don’t worry, you don’t need to sign in, you can do it anonymously).

So, what Hero has caused you the most Sorrow in 2022? …the most Rage-Quits? Or made you hit that ‘Skip Button’ repeatedly, until you ran out of Ham?

The Most OP Hero of 2022

Current Standings:

  1. Miriam & Midnight (32%)
  2. Anne (20%)
  3. Waterpipe (13%)
  4. Khufu (12%)
  5. Costumed Guardian Panther (8%)
  6. Jove (5%)
  7. Goseck (2%)
  8. Ogima (2%)
  9. Cleopatra (2%)
  10. Kalo (1%)
  11. None! The world is in perfect harmony (1%)
  12. Passive Skills (0%)
  13. Anyone else? Add them to the comments below!

Last updated: 19th Dec 2022 at 9:00pm – 128 Votes

For now, Miriam “what nerf?” & Midnight, rule the roost.

Image of the Old Cynic with a snowy Christmas background farm

Old Cynic and Hero Grades/Reviews

I love writing this stuff. -That’s the most important thing to note. But I wanted to point out that a simple Hero review can take about 8 to 10 hours to write, evaluate, add graphics to, edit, and publish.

It’s relevant for 2 reasons:

  1. This gives you an idea of just how much time I spend thinking about a Hero’s Grade before hitting Publish. And, you can see why my Individual Hero Review Grades are much more reliable than my Event Hero Grades. And,
  2. With all the new Heroes being pumped out, why I’ll never be able to cover everything. But we do what we can.

That’s it. Like a public service announcement.

Oh, and on that subject.

Over the next couple of months, I’m hoping to reevaluate many of the Heroes I’ve got listed on the Ranking Page, to make sure that they reflect the moving goalpost being set by all these new Monsters we’re seeing (and to clean up any of my mistakes). Also, I hope to add a few more big names that may be missing.

I’ll also look to fill in any review gaps left across the site, which may be empty due to a Hero appearing long after the Event post was first published.

Alright, that’s it.

Peace and thank you for all the support. I always appreciate it.

My Favourite Hero of 2022

Who’s my favourite Hero of 2022? Let’s find out.

This awesome post on the forum happens to list all of the Heroes that were released in 2022 (and more):

The Chronological List of all Heroes Ever Released

There are some interesting stats to be found, like the number of Heroes that have been released each year since 2017:

  • 2017 – 86 Heroes (58 from the initial release)
  • 2018 – 55 Heroes
  • 2019 – 35 Heroes
  • 2020 – 72 Heroes and 41 Costumes
  • 2021 – 103 Heroes and 47 Costumes
  • 2022 – 136 Heroes and 40 Costumes (year to date)

It’s an intriguing post, full of facts. For example, the first Spring Event in 2017 only had 3 Heroes: Master Lepus, Jack O’Hare, and Squire Wabbit!

Anyway, back to my favourite Hero of 2022.

First, let me say that this isn’t my pick for the ‘Most Powerful Hero of 2022’. -This is my personal pick for the most innovative and cool Hero of the year.

And for me, that honour goes to Rayne.

The wonderful Rayne…

Rayne Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Rayne was introduced as part of Clash Of Knights and was a breath of fresh air.

Her contagious Poison was a fun idea that forced you to field a Cleanser or pay the consequences.

A slow, infectious, murder, is just about as perfect a true-crime as one could hope to commit, and Rayne is a master.

Rayne is a well-balanced, quality, Hero.

Who’s your favourite Hero from 2022?

… [please don’t poison anyone in real life… only in pixel land. Or at least, don’t mention my blog when under Caution. Cheers].

Best HotM 2022 (Empires and Puzzles)

Just like last year, I’m gonna countdown my top 3 Heroes of the Month.

Let’s jump straight in!

3rd Place 🥉 Iris (February)

Iris Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Let me start by saying that 2022 wasn’t all that bad for the HOTM. -There were three other Heroes who could have ranked in my Top 3, and then a couple more decent snipers on the side.

Anyway, I had to start with Iris from February. I really like her Speed and her rolling Dispel.

It’s true, that she doesn’t hit like one of those new super Monsters, but she does enough damage for her Speed.

I also like her Passives and Element Link (when paired with the later HOTM Link; -Fiend Immunity).

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Archangel

2nd Place 🥈 Grace (September)

Screenshot of Grace Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

I think I may have underestimated Grace in my initial review.

Originally, the Archangel Grade was created with Devana in mind, and that’s one hell of a Hero to live up to.

And while many have acquired the Grade, not many have lived up to it. Not like Grace.

The Red Herring with Grace is the Taunt control. -That’s definitely a misnomer when used to sum up her qualities.

Because it’s actually her sheer damage output (285% to 3 targets -more than Francine btw), the Defense-Down Ailment against Special Skills, and her tremendous Fiend Immunity, that makes her a Star.

Add to that, Grace is resistant to Burn damage.

She’s just a great package for Fast. A superb Hero of the Month.

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Archangel

1st Place 🥇 Kara (May)

Kara Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Kara is a giant in the land of HOTMs. She’s sooo powerful that she can legit hold her own when compared with real, proper, nearly top-of-the-line, Heroes.

Just check out the comparison table in my review for her.

I love Kara because she made Taunt available to the masses. And while she doesn’t enjoy a General Defensive Bonus, she does get +74% against Special Skills.

She also Buffs the entire squad for +34% attack. AND she has that Element Link (+10% Defense for 4 turns), adding yet more great stuff to the mix!

And all of this magic happens at an Average Speed and lasts for 4 turns.

Kara will resist Defense Ailments and receive a 10% Mana boost every time a Buff is dispelled from her.

Oh, and she’s Holy. Perfect for going up against the Old Order.

Taunt is quickly turning into the only way to survive Hitters like Anne and Khufu. And with yet more Monsters en route, this powerful Hero of the Month had to be my pick of 2022.

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Deity★★

Sadly, the great Silvaria just missed out on my Top 3.

Who’s your pick? Also, who’s the worst?

Is it Klaern or Balur? Let me know in the comments below!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Christmas Card with the words, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I’ve written more posts for you in 2022 than any journalist in the history of paper. SG, to this day, are convinced that the OC is actually a team of disgruntled players!

They must monitor my account like the FBI; got my entire township over a barrel on threats of deletion. Singing like canaries, they are, spilling all the beans! “He’s online from 10 to 12 Gov, tapped me on the head on Tuesday for the POV boss, that’s all I know!”.

F*#king sellouts, the lot of them. 😁

Look, I don’t know if you’ll be reading my stuff in 2023, but while I got you here, let me offer my gratitude.

Of course, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

[Please always check in-game Hero Cards to confirm details]

Enjoyed the post? Then please help me, -share it with your alliance! and subscribe!

Want more Empires and Puzzles? Click here.

Have you seen Roughian & Nurgib? Empires and Puzzles January 2023 Hero of the Month.

Don’t forget to check out my Hero Ranking Page!

Follow me on Facebook? Old Cynic’s Page

Wanna read last year’s Christmas Post?

Copyright: oldcynic.com
Images used by way of review/tutorial – Copyright owned by Empires & Puzzles: Small Giant Games

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25 Comments

  1. You should make a review about your favorite hero costumes of 2022. I really love Augustus and think he is 1 of the top hero’s. As always love the posts!

    1. Hey Mitchell, I really need to review more Costumes. -They’re the easiest to miss coz they’re normally add-ons somewhere. Augustus is a good shout. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I don’t know, maybe E&P have all gone home for Christmas? I’m not sure about the odd Family Bonus on the Musketeers, either. Or M&M’s nerf. I always remind myself that it’s a massive company and that lots of eyes must look at something before it’s finalised… right?!

  2. What’s your opinion on where Phenexa would land? On a line with Ludwig they seem almost unstoppable. I think Fortuna is fantastic as well, I know the damage isn’t high but the dispel enemy buffs and minions make her a huge asset in my opinion.

    1. I did rate her over here, and she does look awesome in the wild. As a Healer and Buffer, she’s always gonna be the wind in someone else’s Sail, but the opportunity for synergy is strong. Fortuna’s very cool, too. I agree, not every Hero has to be crash bang wallop!

  3. First of all: my empires, year became a whole lot beter ánd definetely more fun reading your reviews. So I’ll keep reading them for sure!
    My favourite ascended heroes for this year are: 5star: devana (why I kept her on the Bench for so long, I have no idea best hotm for me period. Nr2: quintín: on lb great attack stats, and when you throw the right hero after him devastating on attack teams.
    Nr3: jabberwock costume. Think he’s way beter then without costume and I pair him with quintín 😅.
    4star: 1. Anna-belle. Just a great healer and especial y when timed for use. 2. Anastasia. If people wonder why they should Read your review, it about sums it up. Nr3:Franz. Love him on titans, rush and events. Also I have a special mention for eichgelborg because nobody Else ever does. I mean – 44def on fast, usually for half of the team you face? Together with his ok damage ánd circus bonus I love using him.
    Enjoy the jolly period cynic, looking forward to the coming year of reviews!

    1. Hey duende, thanks for the kind words. Devana is sooooo good. If only all the 5-Star Heroes I got after her were stronger than her, well, my gaming life would be a lot easier. She is so underrated. If rated today, based on all the Heroes that got Archangel after her, she would be a D.T1.

      Anyway, I’m not dating her, so let’s move on.

      Thanks again and have a Merry Christmas!

  4. Maybe not the best but one of my favorite of 2022 hotms is Viscaro. I found him very universal, healing control, Anti Minions fighter and few more. I’m even really regretting that I wasted my second copy in SE.

    Thank You for Your work and Merry Xmas

    1. I can remember when he was flexing on a bunch of Defenses earlier in the year. Thanks for sharing. He’s awesome.

      And Merry Christmas to you, too.

  5. Most people miss the obvious in-joke about your favorite hero that you listed above and I don’t know whether it was done on purpose or just turned out to be a happy coincidence. But I love the fact that we have Purple Rayne as a part of the game (RIP Prince). I’m hoping this was a tribute but who knows.? 2022 was a pretty good year for HotMs and all choices (and some others this year too) are all worthy candidates! I have been fortunate to pull every one but not fortunate enough to have the mats to have nearly enough maxed. Great content, once again.

    1. Hey Dave, thanks for all the support and your contributions. On reflection, there have been some decent HotMs, but they appear weaker alongside the very real Power Creep.

      I love Prince and Purple Rain so am glad for any happy coincidence.

      Merry Christmas! 🎄

  6. First of all, thanks for all the hard work you put this year. I think I discovered this page a few months ago and it has been a wild and fun ride.

    Shotgun to the infinite!

    It is ridiculous the amount of new content they have launched. It is not only the heroes, but also the events. The one with the island was awesome.

    Now, we cannot ignore they are overmilking the product. (Does the word ‘overmilk’ exist? Please remember I am not an native English speaker ) and there will be consequences. If you are a new player ready to use your credit card, it is possible to catch up veteran players. But if you only want to enjoy the game, the gap can be too big.

    The risk of the collapse is there, if the company behind E&P does not reconsider their policies, they may cause theur own ruin.

    Anyway, have a nice holiday season, my friend.

    1. Hey Mig-El. You can get away with ‘over-milking’… the cow or goat is definitely under a little duress at the moment. ‘Over-egging’ is a common term used here in the UK, but doesn’t directly apply. All told, I think we can confidently say they’ve been ‘rinsing’ the product for all it’s worth! 😁

      “The risk of the collapse is there”, -I think this is the common concern for many E&P players. It sometimes sounds like venting or rage, but I think most are just concerned because they’d like to see this game endure.

      Thanks for the support, it’s been a fun year!

  7. Hello again OC!
    I totally agree about Kara. She has to be the only HOTM that I’ve “chased” in my 3+ years of playing. Well worth it for the reasons you mention. Saves your team from devastating high damage attacks, mindless control from the likes of alfrike or the yellow dude “kulervo?” and any other crazy abilities that the latest wave of powerful heroes throws at you.
    #2 would have to be Iris, well because I have her and she helps me deal with the taunters out there.
    Your review makes me regret dumping Grace in the soul exchange for Ludwig. Alas, I like Kara so much, had to get another taunter!
    Therefore, #3 for me defaults to Tahir. Must admit, I’m still leveling him, but looking forward to putting him to use.
    The following aren’t “new” for 2022, but their buffs make them new and usable to me. Both Noor and Jade now get some use. Prior to their buffs, rarely did they take a turn at hurling gems towards the enemy.
    Finally, my final favorite hero for 2022. Grimble. He’s the only keeper I’ve ever pulled from the Hero Academy. He’s so much fun with all the minions out there!
    Happy holidays and thanks for another enjoyable article.
    Oh, by the way, any comments on the most impactful buffs from 2022?

    1. Hey NurglesGift, most impactful buffs from 2022? 🤔

      * Jade: She looks absolutely fantastic now. (from the August Update)
      * Thoth-Amun: He got a buff in the Sept Balance Update when X-O-Pod got the chop. Now 280% to 3 plus 3 fat (25% HP) Minions on a Fast charge.
      * And Neith, with the -20% Mana.

      Jade would be the one I’d love to have of that bunch. Can’t think of any others.

      Thanks for reading and supporting the blog, and Merry Christmas!

  8. Thank you for all you do for E&P players… the amount of time and effort that goes into your research and posts is amazing. I look forward to hearing what you have to say… as well as being informative your posts are a breath of fresh air.
    Wishing you and yours a very happy and safe Christmas and New Year. Looking forward to more Old Cynic in 2023

    1. Thank you Helen! I’m happy to be of service, it’s great to put a smile on people’s faces (when it works).

      Merry Christmas to you too! 🎁

  9. Have a great Christmas and New Year OC, you deserve a good rest. I hope you get Bera (will you level break her?)

  10. My favorite hero from 2022 is Kullervo. I’ve recently limit broke him and he is almost to level 82. Lord Loki is a close 2nd and one I got from my Vision Quest / Soul Summons.

    As far as HOTM, favorite for 2022 is Zagrog. I have nothing against any others, but Zagrog is the only one that I managed to level. My priorities just dictated that he was the only one that got attention. I do plan on getting around to others as soon as I can.

    That said, I’m really looking forward to January’s HOTM right out of the gate, and will try my best to get Roughian & Nurgib. Is it strange that I will probably team them up with Grazul, Anzogh, Gormek, and Nashgar for aesthetics?

  11. Rayne’s poison is uncleansable which makes her even more problematic (to face).
    At least with Morgan Le Fay killing her clears the poisonous drain.

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