Gilligan Empires and Puzzles HotM March 23 (and a Small Amount of Mana)

Gilligan Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Gilligan is Empires and Puzzles’ March 2023 Hero of the Month (HotM), and he’s got me and my entire Staff collectively scratching our heads.

What in the hell is this Hero trying to communicate? And why do I have to break the Matrix to find out?

Look, let me get my disclaimer outta the way so I can make use of all the symbols I’ll need for this one (#*%!):

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

Gilligan’s Stats and Special Skills (Hero Of The Month)

Key Facts: Holy (Yellow), Slow, Barbarian, Legends 2023

Special Skills (Reckless Charge): 1. Deals 300% damage to the target and nearby enemies. 2. The attack has a 60% chance to bypass defensive Buffs (including counterattacks). 3. All allies get +35% Defense for 4 turns. 4. [Element Link] All Holy allies get a +5% chance to dodge Status Ailments for 4 turns (can not be dispelled).

Passive: 1. MANA PER ENEMY BUFF ~ Gains a small amount of Mana for every active Status Buff that the enemy team has at the start of each turn (max. 20 Buffs). 2. RESIST MANA AILMENTS ~ This character has an innate resistance against Status Ailments that affect Mana.

Talent: WOUND ~ +30% chance to apply bleeding from any normal attack.

Legends 2023 Family Bonus: 1/2/3 Heroes: +10%/+15%/+20% Defense. Bonus for 2+ Heroes: Element Link affects all allies.

Gilligan Empires and Puzzles Hero Card Detail
Gilligan – Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Gilligan, what does it all mean? (Empires and Puzzles)

If we only consider his Special Skills and Gilligan’s Slow Speed, it would be easy to write him off as weak. But look at that Passive:

  • Gains a small amount of Mana for every active Status Buff that the enemy team has at the start of each turn (max. 20 Buffs).

300% damage to 3 enemies and +35% Defense for all allies at Slow is pretty poor, but what if it was at Average, or Fast, or Very Fast?

But before we get to that, I need to gripe a bit first: See, I’ve been covering the HotM for ages and often find that this type of Hero is shrouded in mystery; are they good or bad? Who in the f#*k knows?!

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell coz it’s all based on some oddly contrived Passive or Skill. -Of which, we’d never really see with a Premium Hero.

HotMs have all these Bells and Whistles attached as if to suggest some sort of payback for their shortcomings. However, all too often, they feel like empty words designed to take up space (See that Status Ailment Dodge Element Link above).

Morax was awful for it but turned out to be a decent Hero.

I get it; you don’t want this again:

Telluria acting as a Defense Tank

But keep it simple!

Just give us the weak HotM we’re all expecting from time to time.

In my humble opinion, Hero Cards should read like the Law used to, -you know;

  • Don’t hurt another person for s*#ts and giggles
  • Don’t steal s*#t that don’t belong to you, and
  • Don’t be trying to get into somebody else’s partner’s pants

You know, the simple stuff.

If it applies to me, I should be able to understand it at a glance and shouldn’t need to hire a lawyer or accountant outta fear of penalty!

But for a Hero Card in a game to have this level of ambiguity?

Yes! This entire tirade is about Gilligan’s Mana Buff based on Status Buffs (the Passive), which is ruthlessly annoying because I can not find but one single piece of concrete documentation explaining what in the f#*kry “a small amount of Mana” is!

You may as well tell me that Gilligan blows cherry blue bubbly farts out of his a** for all it’s worth!

Meanwhile, his entire value is predicated on it. Ha! Wonderful.

I’ve checked the forum, Google, in-game Support, and even my own blog!

It’s true; I haven’t officially requested comment from the company itself, but really? ~Have I got to go all deep undercover to get answers round here?

I don’t know. Challenge my intellect if you must and just blame it all on me; surely, it’s my own mental limitations that have prevented me from adequately comprehending the simple equation laid out before us.

Anyway, I’m done moaning. Let’s find out what in the blue moon this all means for Gilligan.

And to that end, this morning before brushing my teeth and as a matter of urgency, I contacted the Institute of Maths, Science, and Digital Reasoning (M.S.D), and together we managed to come up with some answers…

What is a Small Amount of Mana? (Gilligan – Empires and Puzzles)

The great minds of our time have tried to decipher what The Programmer inputted on that fateful day, but to no avail.

It is considered one of the greatest mysteries to elude humankind.

When the moon was set on its course above us in the heavens, did it know that its value was not to be found in the balancing of the Earth, but in the notion of a lover’s lasso?

..I’ve digressed, haven’t I? Sry… A Small Amount Of Mana!

Look, today I spent wayyy too much time reverse-engineering the value of a Small Amount of Mana based on its pixel-based, digital representation, and the “Small amount of Mana” shared by some HotMs via their Element Link (Yang Mai in this case).

And my estimates came to around the 2.7% mark for a Slow Hero.

However, I bumped into a couple of problems:

  1. Pixels on the screen and human eye perception could have affected the results, and
  2. I wasn’t 100% sure what Mana System Gilligan was actually using (hence my rant above)

In the end, I decided to base my Mana accruing assumptions on this post from the forum.

A contributor, Elioty33, had concluded that a Small Amount of Mana, worded as an Element Link Buff, is worth 0.32 tiles. While a Small Amount of Mana Gift (I believe this means as part of a Special Skill) is worth 0.5 tiles.

The 0.32 figure for the Element Link equates to 2.66% for a Slow Hero, which is close enough to my own 2.7%.

A Small Amount of Mana Example (Gilligan, Empires & Puzzles)

I’m gonna compress this part down, show you the graphics, and provide you with a table showing the values for the two Mana Systems.

First, my tests. This is a Small Amount of Mana as provided by Yang Mai’s Element Link, applied to a Slow, Average, and Fast Hero:

A Small Mana Amount from Empires and Puzzles explained with Overlay
A Small Amount of Mana (Empires and Puzzles)

Yang Mai’s Element Link wording:

Yang Mai Hero Card with Element Link

Next, this image shows a Small Amount of Mana graphicly repeated over Lady of the Lake’s entire Mana Bar, which fits in just under 37 times:

A Small Mana Amount from Empires and Puzzles show in an Image

This is the crude method I used to arrive at my figures.

Let’s move on to the table. First, we need to quickly work out how much 1 tile is worth as a percentage of the whole:

100 ÷ 12 (no. of tiles for a Slow Hero) = 8.333333333333333% per tile

(not taking into account Mana Troops or Emblem bonuses)

So, for this table, I’m going to give you two sets of figures (looking at the Element Link Buff value at 0.32, and the other Small Amount of Mana gift at 0.50), because I can not be sure which one Gilliagan is using, but I suspect it’s one of them.

# of Buffs per Hero# of Buffs Total# of Tiles Value (0.32)% of Mana Gained (0.32)# of Tiles Value (0.50)% of Mana Gained (0.50)
4206.453.33%1083.33% with the charts and whatnot

That means, if these numbers are correct, based on 0.32 tiles per Buff, Gilligan will charge in 2 turns without tiles (with the enemy loaded with 4 Buffs each).

Also, with just a single Buff on 5 enemy Heroes over 3 turns (a fairly standard duration), Gilligan will be assisted in his Mana charging by 39.99% on the side – That’s 4.8 free tiles.

…and Buffs are fairly common in this game!

That said, please test this stuff in-game yourself before committing any materials to this Hero.

How Good is Gilligan? (Empires and Puzzles)

Finally! We can discuss the Hero.

Gilligan has the Special Skills of a Fast Hero in a Slow Hero’s body, flexing on a wing and a prayer in the hope that, at some point, he’ll be a lot faster.

And he may be. ~Sure, when facing a Bufftastic team, Gilligan may well operate at an Average or even Fast Speed.

But that’s proper budget stuff.

You’re out here holding onto a lotto ticket while your competitors are living a life of complete opulence!

~They’re coming to the party with that dough, while you’re clinging onto a fistful of Raffle Tickets.

But, there’s more to it. ***

First, let’s compare Damage:

HeroMana SpeedDamageAtkSecondary
GilliganSlow (12 tiles)Deals 300% damage to target & NB743…a Small Amount of Mana! +Defense to all
KhaganSlow (12 tiles)Deals 380% damage to target & NB710+Mana Gen and Defense for 3 allies
KlaernSlow (12 tiles)Deals 240% damage to all enemies762Sets up paddling pool
QuintusSlow (12 tiles)Deals 270% damage to all enemies747What’s a ‘Secondary’?
GoseckSlow (12 tiles)Deals between 355% to 700% damage to all enemies809Has the Grim Reaper on Speed dial
Costumed KillhareAverage (10 tiles)Deals 330% damage to all enemies742All allies get -20% attack
Queen GuowangAverage (10 tiles)Deals 330% damage to all enemies778Some cool Mana stuff
AdalindaAverage (10 tiles)Deals 395% damage to target & NB753Fiend and Defense Ailment
MilenaMagic 2 (12.3 tiles)Deals 420% damage to all enemies784Dispels buffs from all enemies
QuenellFast (8 tiles)Deals 320% damage to the target & NB795Pain
StaintongueFast (8 tiles)Deals 320% damage to the target & NB850-Acc and more damage
GraceFast (8 tiles)Deals 285% damage to the target & NB756Taunt & Defense Ailment – Gilligan Comparison Table

Gilligan’s Fire Rate based on Status Buffs (Empires and Puzzles)

I believe that ‘Status Buff’ refers to Buffs that you see attached to a Hero in-game, like so:

Example of Hawthorn On Defense


And that’s a key point about Gilligan’s Mana Speed, coz he’s not Slow, Average, or Fast; he’s actually operating on Free Mana. ~Like a Ludwig burst or Xnolphod.

And reading the Hero Card, taking it at its word, Gilligan looks set to receive a Mana boost based on Status Buffs, every turn they’re active. So, not a one-off, but a turn-based loop:

‘Gains a small amount of Mana for every active Status Buff that the enemy team has at the start of each turn

Interestingly, the new Limit Breakers x2 may have Status Buffs attached to all Heroes at the beginning of the battle.

Meaning, from the very start of battle, Gilligan could be earning 13.33% Mana for every turn.

That said, as it stands, Gilligan will likely have to earn that Mana by staying alive long enough to see those Buffs appear.

But when they do, you’ll begin to see him speed up.

Furdinand will generate 4 Status Buffs per Hero for Gilligan to feast on, representing 53.33% Mana per turn.

So, every 2nd turn, Gilligan would be slapping… and slapping at a reasonably heavy rate given the tiles required to get him there (zero). And possibly, slapping through Furdinand’s Defensive Buff.

Gilligan at the Summons Portal Empires and Puzzles

Gilligan Empires and Puzzles – Hero of the Month March 23

My final thoughts:

In my view, Gilligan could easily slip through the net. Of course, if you’ve got elite Heroes that basically offer what he’s got, but at Fast, maybe he’s not for you.

It’s true; Gilligan is a Slow Hero at heart with Fast Hero ambitions. But this Free Mana thingy could and should quickly mount up under the right circumstances.

And Gilligan doesn’t need all the Buffs to be worthwhile, just some of them.

Hell, even those Fast Heroes won’t charge for Free.

Outside of those opportunities, when you should bench him, he should be considered Meek (at his normal Slow Speed).

If I pulled Gilligan, I would only level him to a point where I could test the Mana Passive, and I would not use final Mats on him until I was confident of the payback when facing Buff-heavy teams/quick Buff teams.

As HotM go, I don’t see him as a Balur or a Klaern. I see him more as a Morax type… dare I say, he may prove to be even better (in his way) over time.

However, that’s limited to a bunch of selected Raids and Wars.

If you do see Gilligan on Defense, remember that the clock starts the moment you start Buffing your team. And if you’re a Buff-crazy player, he may become a problem for you.

Oh, and if the x2 Limit Breakers appear with Status Effects from the very beginning of battle, everyone’s gonna want a Gilligan.

Now, a final caveat that repeats what I have already said; this post is based on crude tests I have run and unofficial information I have sourced. If “a Small amount of Mana” turns out to be 0.10 tiles, then I’m out, and this guy’s Meek.

And it is hard to grade him as a result, due to this ambiguity.

But if near correct, and this guy collects Free Mana ranging from 13.33% to 53.33% from certain Buffers per turn, he’s gonna be very useful imv.

So, burn down the sheds, coz I’m gonna grade this guy a…

Hero Grade for Gilligan (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? No.

If not, do they still bring enough to the party to help defeat the deities? Yes, in selected battles.

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Archangel

Update: This YouTube video by AG shows an unlevelled Gilligan’s Mana Boost Passive in effect. That looks like a nice chunky jump.

If you wanna learn more about Mana Speeds in Empires and Puzzles, check out this post which also includes Mana Charts.

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

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Copyright: (including initial images)
Images used by way of review/tutorial – Copyright owned by Empires & Puzzles: Small Giant Games

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  1. First, this seemed an exhausting job, kudos for that.
    Second, leave Morax alone, he is great and awesome 😛

    I remember there was a guide indicating how much are small, moderate and I think there is a third one of these ambiguous adjectives, but honestly, I have no idea where I read it, my bad.

    Thanks for the great analysis OC

    1. Sorry Mig-El, this comment was in the spam folder, my bad. Thanks for reading, it was a tough one to drill down on! I love my Morax too, so I don’t say it lightly. This Hero isn’t a great Hero by a long way, he’s just a lot better than the other two I refer to. At least, there’s something here to work with, of course, imho!

      1. I got it a couple of days ago. I will not level him up because I am about to finish Laohu, then I will “take a break” leveling Rekhetre. Then it will be time for Eset and the Topaz… Therefore I will be busy for at least 4 more months. And I have Onatel looking at me with disapproval parked at 2. something.
        However, I think it is a decent hero.

          1. And I agree with you. I think it will not be a waste to level him up. In my alliance several peolpe have told it is a new Reuben (you and I do not think Reuben is the worst, but he has a bad reputation).

  2. Seems like a semi-decent utility hero. Paired with White Rabbit costume + Leonidas costume I think this could wreck things.

  3. Great review, you forget mist important thing, minion with buffs, he is direct antagonist on Hulda and minion summoner like her, he would be awesome against this kind of heroes and great in buff attack war, and fast mana wars.

    1. I totally agree with you ! And also, does the mana gain benefit from mana/magic troops ? From mana buff from Alberich, Ariel or so ? It would makes him a lot faster !

  4. Sounds like against a buffer enemy, he’d slap really hard. And give near permanent 35% defense.

    I’d not write this guy off so easily. (I don’t have him).

  5. It’s bouncing between a Meek and an Archangel? I mean… Doesn’t that entail it’s just a Warrior then?

    I’m so mad i got him from pulling on the Underwild summon while not getting a single underwild hero. First look at his abilities and i immediately thought ‘Meek’ straight up. Only silver lining is that at least i got another easy HA or SE to feed.

    1. Hey Wood5hats, he could’ve been a Warrior, the reason for the bump was the areas of the game he’ll be useful; Raids, Wars, and Tournaments, even some low-level Defenses. Areas of the game I enjoy the most and consider more prestigious.

      Sorry you didn’t get a better hero from the portal!

    1. Yeah, I used to pair Finley with Wilbur a lot. (Sometimes I still do.) Exploiting buffs on enemies is a lot of fun.

      If I picked up this guy, I’d probably run a Finley, Wilbur, Wren team (with whatever else).

  6. Old Cynic, I want to say Thank You! for the attempt at breaking this down. I am an avid reader and enjoy your work greatly. I drew this hero today and I was very confused, and that I’m short on yellow heroes. I’m thinking of doing maybe 2 chevron, level 60 just to see if this hereo is worth the fine gloves or the other mats farther on. But I’m more educated now. Thanks.

  7. Nice work on this one, definitely required some extra work!
    Free mana is great, but it feels counterproductive to want the enemies strengthening themselves.

    I assume the def up is there as a counter to the fact that you want the enemy to have buffs.
    He’s quite far back in the queue for me, but I like that Passive. I expect that we will see different versions of that one going forward

    1. Hey Tobov, thanks. Beta is back around and the LB2 is still there. Interestingly they changed the wording of my beloved Malosi’s Special; linking it to Status Effects cast with Special Skills. I may be reading a little more into it than necessary. Anyway, yes, the Passive should make an appearance on a more Premium Hero. -And I’ll defo review it since the legwork is done 😁 Thanks for stopping by.

  8. I really look for your posts and information. You make it easier to understand. I’m only 3 weeks into this game and wasn’t reading up. Now, I am learning so much more on how to be an effective player. Have a long ways to go, but have found a few tricks on my own. I’m almost 70, and waiting patiently at home for husband to retire. So, thank you! I am no longer bored.

    1. Thank you Leila, only too happy to bring a little entertainment. This is a fun game that can be as involved, or not, as you like. I hope you enjoy the journey, and that your husband retires soon!

  9. Brilliant as always. I just got him tonight and will level him as my yellows consist of healers (Viv, Prof, Zuri, Celi), Leo, and Caitlin. I think he’ll be useful for some rosters – especially considering how many alliances are stuck on purple tanks for War.

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