Neema is Empires and Puzzles’ November 2023 Hero of the Month (HotM) and quite possibly, the most game-shifting HotM since dear old Telluria. -At least for mid-tier players.
She’s a fantastic Hero who ignores Taunt like capitalism ignores democracy, or like history ignores the truth. Wonderful stuff.
It’s November, baby!
Soon enough, I’ll be writing up the Christmas Special. Crazy how time flies.
But before all that and before we start, please consider sharing a link somewhere!
It always helps.
Caveat: This post contains gameplay speculation and personal opinion. It may also contain adult comedy, sarcasm, and Human error. It is not advice and is solely for entertainment and informational purposes.
Neema’s Stats and Special Skills (Hero Of The Month)
Key Facts: Fire (Red), Average, Druid, Legends 2023 (Not activated yet)
Special Skills (Fire Tigers): 1. Deals 220% damage to all enemies. 2. Summons a Fire Tiger Fiend for all enemies. The Fiend damages its target for 45% attack every turn and disappears after absorbing 45% of the target’s max health. 3. While present, the Fiend’s target cannot cast any new Taunt Status Effects (can’t be cleansed). 4. [Element Link] Gives +10% Special Skills damage to all Fire allies for 4 turns (can’t be dispelled).
Passive Skills: 1. IGNORE TAUNT ~ This character’s Special Skill is not affected by Taunt. 2. RESIST SPECIAL SKILLS BLOCKING ~ This character has an innate resistance against Ailments that block Special Skills.
Talent: COMPANION ~ +15% chance to summon a Thorn Minion after receiving any damage. The effect is applied at the end of the turn.
Aether Power: AILMENT IMMUNITY ~ Immunity to new Status Ailments for 6 turns.
Neema and the Conspiracy to Bring Down The King (Empires and Puzzles)
Before we examine the strengths and benefits of Neema, there was something odd that happened in the lead-up to her release.
See, in the comments section of my Edwin Post, before Neema had even appeared in Beta, an Anonymous reader stated:
‘Ive often wondered why they never had the idea of a hero skill to ignore Taunt? …’Anonymous Reader – Bizarre
What are the chances?
If this was you then wow, congrats on calling it!
When I first saw Neema’s anti-Taunt Special, I immediately thought she was here to quell Lord Ludwig.
Yes, I said quell.
I mean, do the Devs really want Ludwig fronting as much as he does? -I’m guessing not, but I’m a Cynic.
Still, I can’t be the only mid-carder relying on Ludwig to stay relevant.
I’ve always said that Ludwig’s Special Skills were timeless and it’s evident. For as long as mana floats in the sky, Ludwig will be a superpower.
That said, I’m not 100% behind the idea that Neema is here to reduce his use. After all, why target Ludwig with a Hero who’s also capable of taking down and subduing other newer, and much more premium, Heroes?
And more than that, this counter (Neema), will be readily available to a large section of the player base as a Hero of the Month. -Well, if you’re lucky enough.
Regardless of the intent, Neema is impressive. I particularly like the way her meaty Fiends restrict Taunt until they’re properly resolved.
Meaning, the opposition will need to consider fielding a (good) Healer with every Taunter or risk losing their hero to mediocrity.
Neema’s Special Skills in Review (Empires and Puzzles)
As I mentioned in my Xiamara review, Neema and Xiamara were actually tested together.
I’m willing to admit that while I was trying to focus on Neema, I was easily distracted by Xiamara’s tremendously powerful thunder thighs:
Nonetheless, Neema is special, but not because of her hit, but because of her masterful control of Taunt.
The hit itself, 175% to all in Beta and 220% now, isn’t earth-shattering. In my tests, she hit for about half of what Xiamara did.
Improved to 220%, that hit will be better, still, it’s worth noting that Neema possesses a rather low Attack Stat (824) compared to Xiamara’s 1019.
The table in the next section will further help to illustrate the difference, but in short, we have a…
- Decent Average hit-All Hitter
- Who will hit through Taunt
- Lay a hefty Fiend (45% max health) and
- Stop future Taunts if left unremedied.
In fact, I think Neema is incredibly impactful and I’m especially pleased to see her available as a HotM.
Neema Vs. Empires and Puzzles
This is Neema Vs. some Fiend Summoners and Hitters:
|Hero||Mana Speed||Damage||Secondary||ATK Stat||Total Hit Score|
|Neema||Average (10 tiles)||Deals 220% damage to all enemies||Lays Fiend that weighs a ton (45%) and stops Taunt||824||9,064|
|Cardinal R||Average (10 tiles)||Deals 330% damage to all enemies||Summons a Fiend (30%) that steals Buffs||881||14,536|
|Elizabeth||Average (10 tiles)||Deals 175% damage to all enemies||Summons a Fiend (28%) that reducing mana regen by -24%||768||6,720|
|Viscaro||Slow (12 tiles)||Deals 220% damage to all enemies||Summons a Fiend (50%) that does nothing (hell of a Passive tho)||731||8,041|
|Xiamara||Average (10 tiles)||Deals 300% damage to all enemies||More power next attack and Mana Punishment||1019||15,285|
|Xiamara 2nd||Average (10 tiles)||+200% max power||Mana Punishment||1019||25,475|
|Brimstone||Average (10 tiles)||Deals 200% damage to all enemies||Summons Fiends that do loads, including reduced Defense, plus Passive does 180% damage||939||9,390|
|C. Guardian Kong||Average (10 tiles)||Deals 300% damage to all enemies||Allies reflect Status Effects and 115% damage back to the attacker… /Ice. Dispels buffs from all enemies||848||12,720|
(Total Hit Score = Atk Stat x Damage % x Number of targets)
Neema is clearly underpowered when compared to the current top of the meta. She’s missing a couple of thousand fictional points to be considered anywhere near.
However, her weighty Fiends should be seen as a net benefit here because they do more than simply damage the opponent; they reduce or overwhelm the capacity to heal.
So in an ideal situation, Neema could negatively impact the abilities of 2 types of Heroes: -Taunters and Healers.
Which is interesting because her mere presence in the opposition will encourage the fielding of a Healer in order to recover the Taunter if needed.
Neema Vs E&P’s Anti-Taunters
Here are some anti-Taunt Heroes who came to mind:
|Neema||Average (10 tiles)||Deals 220% damage to all enemies||Lays Fiend that weighs a ton and stops Taunt|
|Grace||Fast (8 tiles)||Deals 335% damage to 3||Inflicts -34% Defense against Special Skills and stops Taunt for 3 turns|
|I can’t||think of||any others||who directly deal with Taunt in their Special|
But I can’t think of others who directly deal with Taunt (although, I’m sure there are).
Neema really excels in the fact that her Taunt suppression remains for as long as her Fiends are attached.
We should recognise that while Neema will control Taunt, she won’t have any bearing on Ludwig’s Magic-Mana sharing or Phorcys’ ability to summon Minions.
But at this point, and for me personally, Taunt, in general, is what’s keeping my Raid Squad alive most of the time when facing these new nightmare meta teams!
Neema Empires and Puzzles – Hero of the Month November 23
My final thoughts:
I often review HotMs that I wouldn’t necessarily choose to level myself. However, I always try to find the good in them, understanding that new players won’t have the same depth in their roster as I have in my own.
But with Neema, we’ve bumped into a Hero who I’d personally really like to get and would choose to level.
That said, I suspect Neema’s value is going to be predicated on your own ability to manage Taunters and whether or not you already have a decent All-hitting Fire Hero.
I haven’t touched on the rest of her build, but it’s clean:
- An innate resistance against Ailments that block Special Skills, and
- Immunity to Ailments as an Aether Power
Meaning, Neema is going to fire.
Sure, she may be missing that spark without a Taunter to face, much like a Politician without the public.
But let’s not discount her reasonable hit, weighty Fiends, and modern Power Stats. -Because she should be useful across the game.
At her core, Neema is an awesome specialist, with a Special Skill that should enjoy a long shelf life.
She forces any opposition that includes a Taunt to ensure they have an anti-Fiend system too, or to risk losing out.
And that forced proposition is what makes Empires and Puzzles such a great game.
Now, if they would only balance the Heroes a little better, it could return to the splendid game of strategy it once was.
Hero Grade for Neema (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? Yes, although this is a specialist with otherwise good all-round abilities.
If not, do they still bring enough to the party to help defeat the deities? N/a.
Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Deity ⭐★★
Bonus: Neema in Puzzle Combat!
I heard that Neema’s artwork and name were both from Empires and Puzzles’ sister game, Puzzles Combat.
So I re-downloaded it to find her for your amusement, and here she is:
In Puzzle Combat, Neema’s a Minion Summoner and Healer. Fantastic.
Have a great November, guys!
[Please always check in-game Hero Cards to confirm details and never chase Heroes]
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