Jove = Nerfed. Ludwig + Taunters = Nerfed. (E&P News August 23)

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Well, well, well! The Empires and Puzzles August 2023 Balance Update has brought a lot of pain. Jove was kneecapped and the Taunters were slapped back into line, and one thing’s for sure; it deffo will affect the balance of the game.

I won’t lie, Ludwig just lost a key ability and I’m mourning.

I’d like to go over a few bits from today’s update and give you the opportunity to have your say in the comments below.

It’s worth noting that this (imo) is part of a larger sequence of events, dating back to my initial post on the subject, ‘All Bets Are Off’:

All Bets Are Off (April 23)
The Balance Update (June 23)
Today’s Update (August 23)

Alright, let’s get this thing done…

Please help me by sharing a link to this post somewhere. Thank you!

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


Empires and Puzzles News

Balance Update – Empires and Puzzles August 2023

Yesterday, E&P announced the August 2023 Balance Update, which included a few significant nerfs, alongside some buffs for older Heroes.

If you want to read the entire post, you can find it here.

Let’s begin with Jove.

Jove’s Nerf (E&P)

Jove Empires and Puzzles Hero Card
Jove before the Update

Jove was one of the Headliners in yesterday’s announcement and as of this morning, when this Update went Live, his Special Skill damage is reduced by 80%.

Instead of 530% damage to the target, he now only inflicts 450%.

If you go back to my “All Bets Are Off” post, you’ll see that 450% is what he was being lined up to receive in the Big Balance Update.

Interestingly, his Secondary was supposed to lose 20% in its impact on healing. However, in yesterday’s announcement, and today’s reality, Jove no longer affects normal healing at all, -only Boosted healing.

And only for -50%.

So, Jove’s Secondary now reads:

  • All enemies get -50% decrease for any boosted health received for 3 turns.

OC’s View on Jove’s Nerf…

I don’t like nerfs, and while I’ve always said Jove is OP, he’s been that way for a loooong time.

This is a significant nerf for Jove, and as I say, I don’t like them and feel for his owners.

Regarding the facts of the matter, Jove hitting for 450% to the target and minor damage to all others (at Fast) is still premier hitting.

However, the change from reducing healing, to reducing Boosted healing (even with the current crop of elite Boosted Healers) will be a net loss.

Jove still has some control over Myoin-ni, Hathor, and Aramis, he just won’t be able to influence the likes of Flip.

For me, Jove has been manageable for one reason, Aether Taunt.

But nerfing Jove and reducing the length of the Aether Taunt are not as intertwined as this announcement might make them seem.

Because, as is the nature of this game, there will always be another monster Hitter.

However, there won’t necessarily be another way for the casual player to deal with them.

That said, nerfing Jove or any Hero is a bitter pill for the owner. After all, it was their exceptionally good luck or large expenditure of cash that netted them the Hero in the first place.

Anyway, that’s my opinion on Jove’s nerf. As for ‘IF’ the Devs should have nerfed him, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Ludwig and The Taunters (E&P Nerf)

The Aether Taunt Power has been nerfed, taking it from 4 turns to 3 turns.

Ludwig, Krampus, Kara, Phorcys, Queen Anne, Queen of Hearts, Black Knight (C), Thunderclap, and Shrubbear, are all affected.

Interestingly, this was also part of the initial Big Balance Update announcement.

OC’s View on Ludwig’s and The Taunter’s Nerf…

In my view, Aether Taunt has served as a fantastic aid to those players who lack a roster of top-tier Heroes.

It has allowed us to compete with all the new OP Heroes who are stronger and normally, quicker.

But with this reduction in the Aether Taunt, I suspect the player base who have previously relied upon it, are about to get a huge shock…

…as their bunch of budgeted Hopers are about to be exposed to the full wrath of the Power Creep.

-Raid Squads that have previously hidden behind the might of their Taunter (Ludwig in many cases), are soon to be left open and abandoned to the Will of Queen Guowang, Anne, Jove, Aramis, Constance, Aradia, Hachiko, Ogima, Phantom, etc, etc.

My advice is to talk to them now. Let them know what’s up so they can better prepare themselves!

I’ve tested Ludwig and I’m disappointed. But this will impact lots of other players, too (with their own Taunters).

As you may remember, I was an advocate for Ludwig in the Soul Exchange and he was also my first Aether Hero; so this definitely represents my own bitter pill.

What Taunter were you relying on?

The Buffs (E&P Balance Update)

There were some buffs to go along with the nerfs and here they are:


Direct damage: from 255% to 285%
Status Ailment reflection duration: from 3 turns to 4 turns


Direct damage: from 260% to 290%
Alternative 1: Mana generation debuff: from -24% to -34%
Alternative 2: Defense debuff: from -16% to -24%
Alternative 3: Attack debuff: from -16% to -24%


Defense Buff:
Charge 1: from +20% to +25%
Charge 2: from +40% to +50%
Mana generation Buff:
Charge 1: from +15% to +24%
Charge 2: from +26% to +33%
Charge 3: from +33% to +38%

Sir Roostley

Direct damage: from 280% to 310%

Yang Mai

Direct damage: from 280% to 310%
Chance of additional hits: from 50% to 60%


Direct damage: from 161% to 200%
Sand damage: from 339 to 399 over 3 turns
Duration of healing reduction: from 2 turns to 3 turns
Cleanse effect: from caster only to all allies

Costumed Yunan

Direct damage: from 176% to 215%
Sand damage: from 600 to 700 over 5 turns

And some of the Costume Bonuses have received Buffs:

Valhalla Realms

Attack: from +7% to +16%
Defense: from +7% to +16%
Health: from +13% to +28%
Mana generataion: +5%

Underwild Family

Attack: from +8% to +13%
Defense: from +8% to +13%
Health: from +12% to +24%
Mana generataion: +5%

Pirate, Guardian, Wonderland, Grimforest, Avalon Families (Challenge Festival 1 Families)

Attack: from +8% to +17%
Defense: from +8% to +17%
Health: from +12% to +30%
Mana generataion: +5%

Related: My Empires and Puzzles Review

August Balance Update | Empires and Puzzles

That about covers everything.

The floor’s yours. What do you make of the August Balance Update?

Will you now strip Aethers from Jove and Ludwig?

Let me know in the comments below.

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

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

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  1. Hey OC. Thank you for doing a quick article on the update as always. Jove has always been way overpowered in my opinion, but I do feel sorry for all of the people who used 100s (maybe 1000s) of summons to try and get him. I did feel like these events were related due to taunt being one of the few things that could stop Jove. I was never that lucky to get him, but maybe someday. He is still a headache for any attacker. I agree with you on Aether Taunt. It’s the only thing keeping my team defensible against the all star heroes in the 3000 to 3400 trophy range. Ludwig finally got the first aether reset of my heroes, but I had Phorcys with more durability and speed I had been looking at taking his place. This will change the Meta a lot at the higher levels.

  2. I don’t have Jove or Ludwig. I only have Shrubbear from the nerf list. Still, I’m outraged by this constant bait & switch from SGG. They are either a bunch of clowns who don’t know how to manage the game, or completely immoral and greedy who care nothing for the players. Either way, it’s terrible PR.

    What a farce.

    1. Agree Chris. Since Zynga acquired Small Giant this game has turned into a money grab. Think about this – when was the last building upgrade? Answer – pre Pandemic and pre Zynga purchase of Small Giant.

      That said I’m still addicted and keep playing just not spending 🙂

  3. The three hero’s I think need(ed) to be nerfed are Jove, Aramis and Anna. All three hit ridiculously hard at fast speed and normal for Anna. Would have liked to see Aramis nerfed too. I think the nerf on Jove is fair and he’s still an elite player.
    As for the taunt decrease I use Ludwig as my main tank and feel this is also a fair move by E&P and in many ways it’s still a somewhat overpowered skill with an instant taunt to begin battles.
    As a little good faith to us older players I think it’d be nice to un-nerf Tellaria as I think this was the one that still hurt the most and she would no longer be overpowered in current game

    1. Nerf for Taunt from 4 cycles to 3 is also a fair move???
      Who can trigger any of his his heroes special skill in 3 cycles?
      No one !
      So, nerfing taunt from 4 cycles to 3 is not a balance update
      .. it’s clearly a “disaster update” and nothing less

      1. This. Since taunt really only works vs specials, and it takes 2-3 turns to charge a special, taunt now does nothing. At least before it might have caused you to have to wait a turn to fire it off. Now it’ll be gone at the same time you wanna fire off your hit-all. Awesome job SG

    2. Totally agree about the early nerf on Telluria… she was so exciting to eventually get her but it didn’t last more than a couple of months. I don’t spend on the game so these ‘adjustments’ don’t just hurt the big spenders. Now it’s Kara… oh well.

  4. I do have Ludwig and it’s a bummer that his taunt was reduce, but I’m not too surprised as when I do face off against another taunter, especially a 2LB with starting taunt, it’s really hard at times to take them out. Yet the interesting twist is seeing what heroes at my disposal can be used. Maybe to get of my comfort zone of the same 5 heroes I use and try someone new. PLUS I’m notice a lot of OP classic 4* custume heroes getting some insane abilities, so I’m glad for that 🙂

  5. Hi!! What do you think about using my Jove eathers on Erlang Shen? Im also thinking in doing the same to Ludwig and using them on Hurracaine but maybe later (i just have 3 2lb heroes Ludwig, Jove, Myoin). Thanks for your response, nice article

    1. Hey Nestor, I’ve got a post here about how I think LB should be decided. Both of them are great Heroes but I’d test Jove and Ludwig before making any changes. Jove is still great, but I haven’t done the numbers. And LW is still LW, just without the early Taunt.

    2. I still think Ludwig and Jove are top tier hero’s. I’d see how your defense holds up. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised

  6. As newish player I’m very frustrated with taunt nerf; with a bad starting board in a raid, having lb2 shrubbear allowed me to trigger opposing teams special skill without having the whole team devastated, with it being nerfed to 3 turns, it ends just in time to have your enemy fire after it ended. I guess the bear lost most of its utility in anything that isn’t a rush tournament.

  7. Rebalancing has been part of the game since almost day 1 when Lady Locke’s special was reduced from 6 to 4 turns. Coupled with the fact we don’t own any of these accounts or heroes it is inevitable new, powerful ones will get adjusted if they overwhelm the meta. All one can do is to evaluate the changes and then adjust accordingly. Balance updates are even more inevitable when a boatload of new heroes get released and, even though they have gone through a beta simulation, going into production often reveals unintended and undiscovered issues that need remediation. Look at poor Kalo, released at Average speed and ended up at Very Slow, but still being used despite the downgrade. Best to just enjoy the D3s one pulls for as long as possible and when they get bumped to D1 (or less), pivot and move on.

    1. I still keep M&M at LB1 even though they’ve been slapped twice with nerfs FlyingKitty-style, and they still form a core part of my strongest rainbow team. My medium-term plan to LB2 Shrubbear also remains unchanged because those 3 turns can mean something, especially on an unlucky cascade.
      I don’t rely heavily on taunters (my Krampus is also still at LB1), and although I do have Elradir, building him is a non-priority, so this balance update has very little effect on my current game progression.

  8. I don’t have any of the nerved ones but can understand it’s painfull for those who do. Saying that i still think Ludwig is a Pain in the ass😅.
    I do use jabberwock costume (1lb) (in Lack of better options ) as a tank in war because we use purple. With the ridiculously high buff hé got hé is even tankworthy now, so i can only be happy. I also have Loki costume. His stats are now also crazy high on 1lb

  9. Got Jove in his recent portal last month, he is at 3/70 waiting on 1x more ring, but now have to decide whether he goes up or not.

    Some of the buffs are nice, have been waiting for Mica to get a buff for ages, though was hoping for something in addition like shared damage or cleanse.

    The one thing I do not get, heck even like, is the insane costume buffs for Season 3 and 4! It just whacks all costumes out of alignment, especially after they recent dragged Season 2 upto the respective line of the original costumes! Just to make matters worst the costumes for those Season 3 and 4 are still mainly direct copies of the original heroes, so just power creep buffs.

  10. I am becoming more and more apt to quit playing. Their undying commitment to axing powerful players after much time, effort and coin to build them up is beyond ridiculous. This everybody gets a trophy crap is ruining and ruined many a game. Hanging in by a thread.

  11. Step 1 – Announce Big Balance Update
    Step 2 – Cancel Big Balance Update due to No-Spend Movement
    Step 3 – Implement all the Big Balance Updates slowly over several months in an attempt to disguise your plans from big spenders
    Step 4 – Profit

  12. The timing of the nerf shows how greedy SG is. They let people spend money on the masked events then just before the next event, buff the the future event heroes (costume bonus) and nerf the heck of the masked events (Jove). And the previously cancelled big balance also puts Anne on the chopping block with similar nerf to Jove which is dropped to 450%. Will Anne be nerfed after the challange events over? Is the how SG planned to do in the future? Im starting to see a pattern here.

  13. Greetings OC,
    As you pointed out, we all knew that this was coming.
    In the case of Jove, I do seem to recall that he was said to be OP in beta. This nerf bears it out.
    I do feel for those who really spent money chasing Jove and spending even more for the aethers.
    Unfortunately, I have been around since the GTV (Gravemaker, Telluria and Vela for those who don’t know) era, and the subsequent fallout over that nerf.
    It was horrendous, but it was also an eye opener which I have never forgotten.
    After that it was dear old Krampus and the Christmas heroes, who even if they were buffed now, wouldn’t even make a dent on the new heroes.
    Personally, I have limit broken quite a few 5* heroes but only 1 of them may get LB2, and that’s because he is not a defensive hero.
    Instead, I have given the 2LB to a number of 4* specialists, and they are now performing very well in all manner of gameplay.
    Many of them are not defensive heroes either, they are utility heroes.
    For anyone considering the 2LB on any of their heroes, take my advice and avoid your defense heroes. They always get nerfed first, and hardest.

    1. Hey Cornelius, yes Jove was a cheat code when he first arrived. Unrivalled. It’s a sad indictment that folk are saying Not to LB maybe their best heroes for fear of the nerf.

      Logical, but not right!

      Thanks for sharing.

  14. This just a boiling frog scenario. Everything in the big balance update will come to pass, just in small chunks so there is not a complete revolt.

  15. I Pulled Uthragan two days ago. Woohoo! 🥳 I have been playing since 2017 and never pulled the HOtM inside the rollout month. He’s still signing autographs and taking ‘Show Off’ selfies. Lol.
    I wanted to share the news. And to thank you for all the fantastic work you do . The time and energy you invest for all of us to get better information and improve our own Heros. . I’ve been a fan of your work a long time . Your all that and a bag of chips ! 🤣 You bring a nice comical appeal. I also want to say that I don’t dish out a whole lot of lettuce into the game. I might purchase Valor sometimes and ViP is more regular. . Thank you again. Can’t wait to get Uthragan locked and loaded .

    1. Hey Queen Olivia, sorry I thought this already went through, I’ve been so busy! Congrats on the pull! 🎉 Also, thank you for your kind words of support, I appreciate it.

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