E&P Mag 10: My Raid Squad 2023 Meta Raiding, Tanks, & Defenses, FEAT Aramis and Hathor (Apr)

I’ve been busy banging my way up to the top of the Global Rankings with my old-school Raid Squad, but they keep failing just before the summit. Nonetheless, what I’ve picked up from laying the smackdown, are the blueprints for beating some of the most powerful Defenses in the current Meta.

In this post, I’m gonna discuss the current Meta and share how I’m dealing with it. And, I welcome you to share your own main Raiding Squad in the comments below.

Hopefully, it’s somewhat interesting!

AGENDA (Empires and Puzzle Magazine)
1. Checking out some top Defenses
2. Key Hero 1: Aramis Breakdown & Grading
3. Key Hero 2: Hathor Breakdown & Grading
4. Role-players: Guardian Hippo, Hetepheres, Ludwig, Jove, Anne, Meresankh, C. G. Panther, etc
5. My static Raid Squad and Strategy

Wanna read the last Magazine?

This post may contain speculation, personal opinion, and adult comedy. It is not advice and is solely for entertainment and informational purposes.


My Raid Squad Trying to Capture a Cheeky #1

First, let me reiterate what I’m always saying; I don’t claim to know it all.

In fact, if it weren’t for the recent change in Meta, following M&M’s Nerf, and Ludwig’s Buff 😉, I wouldn’t have been able to compete at this level at all.

But since then, I’ve enjoyed a few stints in the top 5, but for lack of luck/Flasks/Gems/wins, I’ve not made it over the hill. 😢

Interestingly, I only needed 3086 cups to achieve #1 on the Global Leader Board back in June 22, whereas 5th spot last week required 3212, #2 around 3260, and #1 about 3350.

Number 1 in the Local Rankings - Raiding

Still, I’m happy that I have something to contribute concerning Ludwig, who was made available to the masses (including myself) in the November Soul Exchange.

~He’s been the key to my ability to compete at this level.

Later in this post, I’ll share my budgeted bunch of sweaty-palmed tryhards who take on all comers. Sharing how the team operates and functions.

But first, let’s check out what’s going on on Defense…

Some Meta Defense Teams at the Global Ranking Summit

These are the types of Defense Teams I’m currently seeing:



Spot anything?

Aramis is the new Best Tank in Empires & Puzzles!

Oh, and Hathor’s there, too.

Of course, Jove is staring you down for no reason whatsoever.

Guardian Hippo and Ogima are in the mix, and there’s more too, which I’ll cover below.

But if you go and spy out some of the top alliances, you’ll see that it’s also reflected there.

But why? Where’s the synergy?

Well, it’s overlapping, and it concerns Aramis and Hathor…

But it’s Aramis that’s the bigger problem.

Key Hero 1: Aramis Breakdown & Grading

Aramis Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Aramis was buffed* along with the other Musketeers, and they’re all super strong now. But Aramis is doing something which is quite simply ridiculous.

Not only does he slap 3 for 375% at Average, but he also Boosts the health of all allies by 30% of the damage dealt and makes them all immune to new Status Ailments for 3 turns.

The problem here is it’s non-dispellable.

Then, he gives himself +30% Defense for 3 turns*.

And when you’re facing an elite team involving the likes of Jove, the one thing you really need is a way to stick something on the b#st+rds!

I can tell you, there is nothing more unsettling than watching C. Roc return empty-handed after a busy day at the office. At first, we were both confused, but then we discovered it was this f#%k+r; Aramis.

-Just can’t clear that damn Immunity.

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Deity ⭐⭐⭐

This counts as an upgrade, but if you read my initial review, you’ll see why (Buff and Family Bonus).

Aramis does everything you’d want from a Tank. But who should back him up?

Key Hero 2: Hathor Breakdown & Grading

Hathor Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Hathor is a problem because she’s so quick.

When sat beside Aramis, she’s almost guaranteed to fire off and give her Average speed colleague the time he needs to get going.

A super quick bit of OverHealing followed by Immunity for 4 turns. Enough to support any teammate, but especially frustrating when your teammate is Aramis, who’s gonna take the initiative and make his Immunity non-dispellable.

On top of that, Hathor has a 50% chance to further Boost health by 10% and grant a small amount of Mana.

And I suspect Hathor will also get on with the new Tanky Hero, Green Knight, who was released a couple of days ago.

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Deity ⭐⭐

Behind these two superstars, we’re seeing a few different strategies: Brute Force, Minions, or Taunt.

There are loads of top-end options, the likes of Hetepheres, Ludwig, Jove, Anne, Meresankh, C. G. Panther, etc etc, on and on.

And I’m guessing, if you’ve got the Hippo you’re fielding him, regardless?

Well, let’s move on and talk about my Raid Squad and my basic tactics.

My Raid Squad and Strategy (Empires & Puzzles)

Here’s my current Raid Squad:

Nothing special.

I Stack 3/1/1 because that 3 Holy Stack will win me Raids on tile damage alone. Whenever I reduce the Stack or go Rainbow, I lose out on the high tile-damage benefits.

R&N is the most recent addition to my Raid Squad, and prior to her arrival, I was running Lady Of The Lake next to Ludwig. -Which is a totally wicked combo.

As for this lineup, there’s a whole heap of Control and dispelling going on.

My Strategy for Beating the Current Meta: Aramis

Aramis Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Going in, Aramis is always the focus.

Whereas you’d normally want a Hitter to fire off while Ludwig is flexing his new early Taunt, I don’t want that from Aramis. -At least, not until he’s been Checked by Malosi.

If Aramis fires first, he effectively barricades himself and the whole Defense.

And the only benefit I see is the absorption of the hit, by Ludwig.

R&N is an offensive Monster, sat next to Ludwig or not.

So if Malosi can’t tap Aramis to stop his Buffs, R&N can normally sneak his Mana.

Add to that, with Aramis occupying a Tank position, getting some Holy tiles will provide a good chance of removing him on tile damage. And if there’s more than one Dark Hero in the lineup, I believe it will increase the odds of Holy tiles appearing at the start of battle [but I have no evidence for this!].

My Strategy for Beating the Current Meta: Hathor

Hathor Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

I normally leave her be. Stay away, if possible, until I’ve resolved other issues.

In an ideal world, Malosi will tap Aramis (and Ludwig will absorb the hit), while R&N will own Hathor before she gets a chance to be silly.

But if Hathor does fire, it’s not a massive problem for my Raid Squad because both Devana and C. Roc can dispel her Immunity.

Normally, I’ll have Devana dispel first and then fire off C. Roc afterwards, because if C. Roc fires while the Immunity is present, he’ll only dispel (he won’t inflict his -44% Defense or Sand damage).

My Strategy for Beating the Current Meta: Role-players

Jove Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Ultimately, my goal is to manage the Tanks while also triggering one Hitter (Jove!) if possible, -while Ludwig’s Aether Taunt is active.

On most occasions, once Ludwig fires off, R&N will suppress the opposition, and Devana will go into hyperdrive.

It’s worth noting that Roughian & Nurgib is a Mana monster. She will:

  • Steal 50% of the Mana from the target and distribute it, often (enough) lighting up a teammate and also
  • Receive 5% Mana every time she is healed (great on a team of Healers (and Staggered Healers))

Malosi will continue to manage Status Effects, and C. Roc, when he finally gets his way, will spell the end of days for most teams.

That’s it, Folks! (Raid Squads – Empires and Puzzles Mag)

Of course, luck also plays a massive part in every Raid! And my strategy doesn’t work all the time.

I’m a huge fan of Stacking because I personally believe the starting tiles are influenced by the Tank Element, Defense profile, and your Raid Squad’s Elemental balance [although it’s just my opinion].

For now, the current Meta suits my roster and team-making abilities.

And it turns out, that’s really important.

I thought my days of getting into the top 10 were long gone, so it’s cool to see that you can compete with these older Heroes.

That said, I’m not claiming to be breaking the matrix or anything.

Minions continue to be a major source of pain for me, with Diaochan provoking my last Rage Quit. As you can see, we’re tailor-made for her due to Ludwig’s central role and she… well.. it’s too upsetting to talk about.

For the record, another team that was pretty powerful, but lacked the Holy Stack, was:

Devava | Ludwig | LotL | Azmia | Malosi

Also, sitting Azmia next to Ludwig creates a hybrid Oniwakamaru.

OK, I’m done chatting. Hopefully, you found this interesting or useful in some way.

I’d love to see your Raid Squads, -I’m sure it will help others, too.

Anyway, as always, thanks for reading!

[Please always check in-game Hero Cards to confirm details and never chase Heroes]

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

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  1. It’s a wild world out there, mate.
    I am not a big fan of raids, actually I only raid to avenge myself. The key player of my attack team is Laohu. He is so good shutting down full strategies that I do not know if I would have any chance without him.

    I am not a big fan of stacking, I always go 2-1-1-1, repeating the colour that is stronger against the tank/best opponent hero. I cannot explain the rage I feel when I was monocoloured raided. Your 3-1-1 is fair enough.

    Unfortunately, I am not sure if the downward spiral of power creep we are drowning in will allow us, the C2P keep rolling.

    Nice article as usual, OC.

    1. Hey Mig-El, it is. Laohu is a handy heavy hitter to have around. The power creep will get us in the end, but for now, at least with the current meta, it’s something I can work with!

  2. My raid team has been Adalinda, Hachiko, C-LotL (on regular), 2LB Ludwig, and Khufu. All are LB’d and finished on the talent grid. I came up to 11 on the raid chart with this grouping….although I lack a dispeller

  3. Hi OC great post as always. I’ve never understood a single raid team but I have a core of Kullervo, L90 Ludwig and Heimdall. I then pair up the remainder depending on tank/threats. Usually G Jackal and Joon for Ludwig/Aramis but sometimes Zocc/ Viselus or El Duque/ R&N. With a few good tiles to start I’m usually in the battle but I do struggle against Hathor as my mana troops aren’t quick enough yet to fire off Ludwig/Kullervo. Then again, I know I can’t challenge the leaderboard yet, so I raid for fun and the challenge of beating teams 500 points stronger than me.

    1. Hey Richard, thanks for reading and sharing! Kullervo must be ridiculous next to LW when he gets going. Re. One Squad, I don’t like to change the lineup because it interrupts my flow! I have no idea why, I just stubbornly want a team that can take on anybody (in theory, if not in practice 😁). Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Lately Hypnos has been getting a ton of time in the rotation. His first special charges in 6 which is typically faster than Hathor, Hippo, non-2x broken Ludwig and other taunters, and other casters. He prevents buffs on all five heros. It only last 2 turns but that’s usually enough to find a third match and pour hellfire into the defense. If the board is being stubborn Hypnos will usually be charged up again at his first special before Hathor et al will charge a 2nd time.

    C. Marj, Phenexa, 2x broken Kufu, and c. Guardian Kong round out the rest for my red mono attack team. I swap Kong out for other heros like Kravekrush, Xiaotu or c Gefjon depending on the defense.

  5. My main raid team is also with 3 holly hero : Devana, Leonidas costume 2 and Akkorog. I also have Malosi, but usually I don’t need him.
    Beside these 3, I bring Milena and Lord Loki (the 2 only heroes that I got from soul exchange).

    If I get 9 yellow tile, I’m almost sur to kill 2 or 3 opponent. If Ludwig has is taunt on, I fire Devav first and then I’ll kill only 1 or 2…
    If I don’t get the yellow tiles, I need 6 blue to have a heal with Milena, or 9 to copy Ludwig or another monster with Loki.
    I’m able to beat any Team if I get some yellow or blue tiles before the monsters hit me

  6. My main raid team sports three purples: Goretooth, Ludwig LB2, and Xnolphod. GT acts as a purple Malosi, stopping one hero with two matches. One more match and XN fires charging Ludwig, at least most of the time. Also, Ludwigs taunt allows you to fire lots of tiles at the enemy before anyone is charged. Then I tailor the other two heroes based on the enemy. My anti-minion package, for example, is Eloise and Xiaotu. Anti taunt is Grace and c2Caedmon. Big hitters on defense? Erlang Shen and Hachiko. Lots of 2 LBers? Cupido and c2Li Xiu and freeze em all. I found that 3/2 or 3/1/1 to be very effective even against the top defense teams.

  7. Hello. I play this attacking team: Xenda, Wilbur, Roughian and Nurgib, Nyx and Hetepheres. I pit it against every other team and when it loads up (9 red gems and 6 purple gems) it smashes everything in its path. OC thanks for your work.

  8. Hey. I use LB1 Guardian Hippo, LB2 Ludwig, LB1 Director Zuri, LB1 Costume Perseus, and a flex spot that is either LB1 Hypnos, LB1 Xiaotu, LB1 Francine depending on if I need dispel, minion blocking, or dispel. Sometimes I will flex in LB1 Emilio, but I find that he just isn’t that reliable.

    Blue tiles are the name of the game because G. Hippo and Costume Perseus will usually have charge at the same time and then setting off Hippo and then Perseus gives a huge boost to the Hippo damage. The damage continues if I can get the flex spot to go off after them as well.

  9. My current raid team is El Nadaha, C. Ariel, Ludwig, Khufu, and Kullervo. It’s been pretty well, mostly. I can often kill an Aramis team with sheer damage.

    But God, SO MUCH ailment immunity these days.

  10. I think it’s interesting what you say about the board being influenced by the tank and if there are multiple heroes of the same color on the defense. I find that if I switch the color I’m stacking when raiding, the board ends up strong for the color I just abandoned. I read one of your raiding strategy posts months ago and decided to stick with one raiding squad. For a while it was: Almur, Franz, Guan Yu, melendor, Kalo. I eventually subbed Alucard in for Kalo. Not switching colors around seems worth it to me. I’ve gotten some better heroes, and now run: costume Perseus, Milena (thank you soul exchange, no thank you big balance update), M’lady Winter or Iris, with Alucard(2xLB) and Tetisheri. Might try subbing Ludwig for Tetisheri after reading your post. I climb to top 50 or so regularly but haven’t broken through.

    I also find that sometimes the boards turn against you, and if you keep raiding, you will drop trophies quickly!

    1. The Devs have always insisted, and have done so again recently (see the bottom of my big balance update post), that the boards are random. But they don’t feel that way a lot of times, especially when entering the top 50. But it’s difficult to quantify because I’ve not got the time or energy to survey a thousand boards. & even if I did, I might find a variance. There’s also superstition at play! 😁

      1. I’ve played a lot of digital games and the ‘not random/algorithm that is bad for me’ belief is super widespread, no matter what the devs say.

        I think confirmation and recency bias are a big part of it. Human brains look for patterns, and negative events take precedence in our memories over good ones. We’re also terrible at identifying true randomness.

        Let’s be honest, when people lose the most common reaction is to try to explain or justify it. It’s far easier to assume that the game is out to get you than being mindful of hitting a pocket of negative variance or reflecting on one’s gameplay optimisation.

        Finally, why would the devs do this? This game is all about dopamine rushes,
        and rolling snake eyes isn’t fun or pleasurable. It’d be a lot of work for dubious benefit.

        Love your content btw

        1. Hey Rei, I don’t disagree, thank you for sharing, very well put! The brain does a great job of identifying patterns but that isn’t a reason to dismiss it. And that, together with some low-level poor coding I used to do, and I have all the input I need to re-enforce the likely fallacy; that the boards aren’t random. 😁 When I asked a program to generate random numbers, the randomness never appeared to mirror the randomness we’d see in nature. When you play on-line poker, at least a few years ago, you (one) got the same impression. But ultimately I’m happy to take the Devs at their word.

          It is fun to speculate on it though. Thanks again for your well reasoned argument. At this stage, with the Devs emphasising their position, I make you 99.9% right… always gotta leave space for new input!

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