No. 1 in the World – Topping the Empires and Puzzles Global Leaderboard

Graphic of Fire with words, Number 1 in the World Empires and Puzzles Leaderboard

On Wednesday the 1st of June 2022, I stood aloft the Empires and Puzzles Global Leaderboard, and for a brief moment, was number 1 in the World. In this post, I want to share how my newly tweaked Defense Team, and a single outstanding hero, changed my fortunes.

I’m happy to say, I achieved this goal with two 4-Star heroes in my Defense Team and one 4-Star hero in my Raid Team.

And… I don’t care if they get nerfed! The deed is done!

Let’s break it all down:

MENU (Reaching #1 in the World)
1. Speech speech speech! (The hero who made it possible)
2. The importance of a decent Defense Team (& my Tweaks)
3. Building a Raid Team capable of beating all comers
4. The midway point… Do or Die?
5. Facing my shadow (facing #1 in the world)
6. Mine eyes have seen the glory…
7. The great fall from grace (but a nameless mortal)

This post will hopefully contain some decent tips and may even serve as a basic guide for beginners. Ps. Never chase heroes.

Before we start, please support me by sharing a link to this post, it really does help. Thank you!

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

Screenshot of the Empires and Puzzles Leaderboard showing Old Cynic at Number 1

The No. 1 Player in the World (Empires and Puzzles)

I always thought it’d be cool to be #1 in the world, but after a couple of lame attempts, over a year ago, I resigned myself to mediocrity.

See, I was facing 2 major issues:

  1. My heroes were too weak and couldn’t compete with top-tier opposition
  2. After a flask or two, I wasn’t making enough headway to believe it was possible, so I’d give up

So, what changed?

A few things:

  1. My Defense Team was greatly improved with the introduction of Azmia.
  2. The Double formation I adopted to accommodate Azmia offered an easy route to Team synergy.
  3. I replaced the White Wizard (Melendor) with another 4-Star hero, who fitted in perfectly.
  4. And the big one, I pulled the completely underrated Costumed Roc, vastly improving my Defense and Offense.

Once I pulled Costumed Roc, I knew I had a Game Changer on my hands.

He’s a total monster for a F2P/C2P, more than capable of winning any battle.

-Albeit, he’s far from the Best Hero in Empires and Puzzles, but he’s still a total monster and the most powerful hero I’ve ever got my hands on.

Costumed Roc Empires and Puzzles Artwork
Roc is One Bad Bird

-It was time to come outa retirement, dust off my gaming glove, and dare to dream my wildest dreams.

[It’s worth noting: Most Sand Event heroes are pretty weak when compared with other portals.]

A Decent Defense Team (Empires and Puzzles)

If you want to get Number 1 in the World, you really need a decent Defense Team.

This is to get you to a reasonable starting place before you begin your ascent.

My team got me >2700 Cups, meaning they had done some of the heavy lifting for me.

What steps did I take?

First, I needed to level C.Roc ASAP. -I needed him in Defense, and fully fit for Raids.

I also made a change to my Defense Team, engineering a slight improvement over what I previously had. This is the team I recently shared in my Defense Team Guide:

An Empires and Puzzles Screenshot of Old Cynic's Old Defense Team – My Old Defense Team

And, here’s the change:

An Empires and Puzzles Screenshot of Old Cynic's New Defense Team – My New Defense Team

You’ll notice, Brynhild replaced Melendor.

What does Brynhild do?

  • She’s a Fast healer who recovers 37% health for herself and nearby heroes
  • Also making them immune to buff dispels for 3 turns
  • Gives them +74% defense against Special Skills for 3 turns
  • And, a tidy +24% mana generation for 3 turns
Brynhild Empires and Puzzles Hero Card Small

An absolute 4-Star Demigod.

Talking about synergy, you’ll note the 2 heroes in front of Brynhild in the formation (Azmia and Freya), who both employ powerful Buffs. Meanwhile, this super quick 4-Star healer protects their Buffs, protects them (+74% defense), and speeds up their mana.

The C. Roc Upgrade

The other change I made, was to upgrade my Defense-Down hero… From Gormek, to Costumed Roc.

While Gormek only targets 3 enemies, C. Roc targets them all, -for a massive -44%.

On top of that, he inflicts 684 Sand Damage over 4 turns and Dispels all enemies before tending to his feathers.

All-in-all, he causes a number of problems for the opposing team, and those problems translate well, onto the Offense.

Building the New Raid Team (Empires and Puzzles)

For the longest time, I was running with this Raiding Squad:

Screenshot of Ferant in a Defense Team with Quenell
Rigard | Freya | Devana | Hanitra | Malosi

-A 3/2 stack which wasn’t quite strong enough to consistently beat top-tier Defenses.

But soon enough, Azmia broke into my starting 5, and moreover, proved herself capable of being the sole healer (even after the nerf).

And then later, I was able to level and field the almighty, C. Roc.

I had my team:

Screenshot of my new Raid Team in Empires and Puzzles
Malosi | C. Roc | Devana | Azmia | Freya

Side notes: 1. I tried to drop Malosi but he was pivotal against Status Effects. 2. Azmia is still a superstar.

And at the heart of the team was Costumed Roc, whose Special often marked the beginning of the end for my enemies.

Now I had a decent Defense Team, and a strong Raiding Team, I just had to wait for the perfect moment.

What was I waiting for?

  1. To login to over 2700 Cups (the more the merrier)
  2. For it to happen when I wasn’t busy in the real world!
  3. For that Special tingling feeling in my bones

And, I didn’t have to wait long…

Do or Die | The March to the Summit!

On Wednesday, I logged in to this:

Screenshot of Winning Cups offline - Old Cynic's Defense Team in Empires and Puzzles

I was like, yeah, yeah! -It’s time to go.

2743 Cups was to be my starting point.

I put up our secret symbol and it flickered across the sky. And within seconds, the team had assembled.

It was easy going to begin with, as my team quickly rose to 2917 Cups, taking me to 33rd in the world.

A picture of Old Cynic at 33 in the World - Empires and Puzzles

“It wasn’t this easy before, was it?”, I asked myself.

But then I lost one. Then won one. Then lost one again.

I was now down 2 Flasks and questioning everything:

  • Had I reached my limit?
  • Was this the end of the road?
  • Would history remember my name?
  • Why does toast always fall butter-side down?

It took a moment to gather myself, but with the words of my childhood teacher ringing in my ears (“You’ll never amount to anything, you bum”), I journeyed on.

Soon, I was among the elite, now #1 in the UK! (GB)

Every battle was harder than the one before. The tiles were against me, the fates sought my demise, and the elite heroes mocked my budgeted bunch of try-hards.

But it was C. Roc in these moments, who took a step forward while others stepped back.

And so we faced down #5 in the World and continued our march until we sat Ranked #2…

Photo of the Old Cynic at number 2 in the World in Empires and Puzzles

Facing #1 in the World (Empires and Puzzles)

I sought out my next opponent, and who would E&P offer me, but the current guardian of that ever so sacred spot.

Screenshot of Empires and Puzzles No. 1 in the World

It dawned on me, ‘I don’t need to beat number 1 in the World to take their place’.

Yes, the devil on my shoulder encouraged me to side-step the champion, to dethrone them without even so much as looking in their eyes.

NO! Not me! I declared, tapping that Attack button like it vindicated my life.


There it was. The Defense Team for the No. 1 player in the World:

Screenshot of Empires and Puzzles No. 1 in the World

C. Mother North | Mr. Pengi | Hannah | Penolite | Quenell

First, came the stare-down.

Then, I threw out a tile or two, just to see what reaction I’d get.

Mother North smiled her homely smile, of course, trying to sucker me into a false sense of security.

Then, I noticed Penolite and Quenell, who were nudging each other, giggling at some kind of inside joke which I’m sure, was about me.

Quenell's last stand - Image of Quenell from Empires and Puzzles
Bloodied from battle…

The battle raged on, and even the angels fled for safety.

There were explosions and cries, and sounds I hope to never hear again.

But in the end, there was silence.

Quenell stood alone, Defenses Down, suffering Sand damage, and all outa moves.

And I swear she winked at me, just before meeting her maker.

Victory Screen in Empires and Puzzles
Azmia fell 😢

It was only once the dust had settled that I realized, ‘this could be it, I might have made the summit’.

I’m King of the World! (Empires and Puzzles)

Screenshot of Old Cynic at 1 in the World - Empires and Puzzles

There it is! I had made it.

An unspoken joy filled my heart. I shouted aloud in my living room, “What did I tell you! I’m the greatest!”.

My wife responded by turning up the sound on the TV.

I looked at the names now listed below mine on the E&P Leaderboard and started to nod knowingly like I was Lord of all Creation. “This must be what famous people feel like”, I muttered.

Screenshot of the Empires and Puzzles Leaderboard showing Old Cynic at Number 1

But just as I began to revel in my newfound glory, there was a tug, -something pulling me back to reality.

While I was still online, the rug was pulled from right under me; I was being Raided and losing Cups in real-time!

And so I fell, like an angel cast from heaven.

Until finally, I logged off, unable to watch it any longer.

On my return, I discovered I had lost 348 Cups!

Once again I was nameless, just another face in the crowd.

But every now and then, I like to remember how, for one fleeting moment, I saw the sun ablaze across the morning sky.

And even if no one ever remembers my name, maybe the servers at Small Giant HQ will keep a record of those who once occupied Data Slot, number 1.

Screenshot of Player Chat with words: Back to earth with a Thud

No. 1 in the World – Empires and Puzzles Leaderboard

Screenshot of the Ducks from Empires and Puzzles

This was just a bit of fun, which I hope you enjoyed.

How was your first stint at No. 1 in the World?

Or, do you not care to try? If so, what could SG do to make it more desirable?

Lots of questions, so let me have your answers in the comments below!

Spot an error? Just let me know and I’ll update it.

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

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  1. Congrats. You r the best (and you r Lucky :p )
    I m a bit deceived by the n1 défense team. Not that much impressive or efficient. Clash of knight heroes + hulda combined with Mother north C are much more impressive/efficient.
    Next time, let s fight together to the top ! 🙂

    1. Hahaha, you are 100% right. I was so jammy, no doubt. & for some reason not many Hulda’s were out. But the fates are the fates… it happened!

  2. Massive congrats on the top spot of our Parallel World Old Cynic!!! Damn, that must have been a rush only topped by the world in the film Limitless 😉
    I´ve had Freya since about the 3rd week of playing E&P and never maxed her out and now, looking at your team, I´m fuming at myself haha!!!
    But who cares, this is about you and your top spot….. Once again CONGRATS sir 🙂

    1. Cheers Matt, it was fun. I think I did well to do it while the rest of the world was sleeping, but it’s a fun story to tell! -I’d prefer Bera, but really got a lot of use outa Freya. Thanks again.

  3. Congrats! You give hope to the everyday players. I enjoy your writing and look forward to every email notification of your next article.

  4. Raiding in the highest possible regions is the most important aspect of the game as you’re steadily faced with top defense teams and have to develop attack teams and strategies against them. If you’re raiding constantly around 2700/2800 cups, your war results will improve and you know which heroes to level up and which not.

    I made it to global top for the 2nd time today after stumpling into Top 100 with 6 raids. It wasn’t the same demiurge feeling as the 1st time standing there m but it was fun and I’ll sure try it again in some months.

  5. Fantastic achievement, even if it was for the shortest time, you stood on top of the mountain and looked down at us mere mortals and could sneer in derision.
    I actually had to look at what my global position was, it has never occurred to me to look before as I don’t consider it important.
    I really enjoyed that post.
    Congratulations again (now do it again!!)

    1. Hahah, I’m still hovering in the 2700 range, so I’m tempted to but… It never really bothered me before and won’t really bother me after. In all honesty, I saw the opportunity with C.Roc, but more importantly, I saw the potential of a great story. And I really wanted to tell that story.

      1. It was an awesome story. I love your insight and the simplicity in which you explain and tell things.
        Thank you for sharing and congratulations!

  6. Congrats, Old Cynic! A moment to remember 👏👏👏
    A big thanks for all your posts… I really enjoy reading them… they are like a breath of fresh air in the muddy world of e&p

  7. It was both fun and frightening at the same time, I bet, which is just how I feel each Alliance War. Congrats on the accomplishment and thanks for channeling your inner Thucydides, taking us along on your adventures. You breathe new life into this game with every new entry.

  8. hahaha. Great story, congrats OC!!

    Amazing that you managed that with 2 x 4* heroes, and with the same team! It’s been an absolute age since I last did a charge at that top spot, and I think you may have just motivated me to have another bash.

    Keep up the great work!

  9. just read it – totally worth it and… CONGRATS!!
    as I mentioned in my other comment (if it will be posted lol) I do struggle not to get slaughtered after I poke the top positions. with my offensive team I can get quite high. Need some luck and couple of flasks, but I can get to maybe even into top 50 (perhaps I could try #1 too) BUT then I just get killed. In couple of minutes offline I can get to almost 2400 cups and for me it’s just not worth it because I hate losing.

    Anyway, this post is supposed to be a celebration of your success and not my moaning, so let’s discuss that maybe under a different post and once again:


  10. I made it #4 globally and #1 US a little over a week ago for the first time (playing since 10/21). My cast was Krampus, Pengi, Xiahou Dun, Azmia, and c.Athena. (I’ve now swapped Quintin with Athena in last couple days though)

          1. I posted in SG forums the pics. Lol, made sure to reference you as well. I stayed up well past my bedtime but I kept getting so close and finally broke through.

  11. Congrats!! Loved the fact you did this with four star hero. I did raid myself up to number 1 in the US and I think maybe number 5 in the world but currently getting to 3200 cups is hard! Recently on holiday to Mexico I briefly raided myself up to number there. Perhaps we can put up a friendly competition to see how many countries you could raid up to number one haha!

  12. Inspired by your story, I gave it a shot. Didn’t get (close) to #1, but I did rise all the way to #28 in the world! Still new-ish to the game (7 mos) but my defense team of Quintin, Guan Yu, Ludwig, Wolfgang, and Lepus gets me between 2600 and 2700. Then my yellow attack team (Jackal, Mist, Anastasia, Motega, and Wolfgang) takes on the dominant purple tanks at that level. No 4-stars on defense, but 3 on raid squad. Synergy!

  13. I reached 2,700 cups for the first time today. I wouldn’t have reached that milestone if not for what I’ve learned from the content in your blog. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us!

    1. Congrats 🥳 🎉 I’m sure you would have! But thank you for your support and for reading my blog, I really appreciate it. Now to target the local Top 10 board 😁

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