Oniwakamaru of the Ninja Tower (Empires & Puzzles)

Screenshot of Oniwakamaru Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Oniwakamaru is one of the new Ninja Heroes from the Empires and Puzzles upgraded Ninja Tower event Portal. I’ve picked Oniwakamaru to review first because he interests me the most and actually received a slight buff from Beta, -which I think could be pretty significant.

Let’s jump straight in!

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


Oniwakamaru’s Stats and Special Skills (Standing Fortress)

Element: Ice (Blue) Class: Monk Mana Speed: Ninja Charge

Ninja Family Bonus for 2/3 Heroes: 1. 5%/10% chance to dodge normal attacks and Special Skills. 2. 5%/10% chance to counterattack with 60%/90% of the damage received.

Special Skill (Standing Fortress): Special Skill has a different effect when charged with 100%/200%/300% Mana:

Charge 1: 1. Boosts the health of the caster by 390 (can exceed max HP). 2. The caster gets Taunt which prevents enemies from using Special Skills on the caster’s allies for 2 turns (can not be dispelled). 3. The caster counterattacks with 50% of the damage received for 2 turns.

Charge 2: 1. Boosts the health of the caster by 490 (can exceed max HP). 2. The caster gets Taunt which prevents enemies from using Special Skills on the caster’s allies for 3 turns (can not be dispelled). 3. The caster counterattacks with 105% of the damage received for 3 turns.

Charge 3: 1. Boosts the health of the caster by 540 (can exceed max HP). 2. The caster gets Taunt which prevents enemies from using Special Skills on the caster’s allies for 4 turns (can not be dispelled). 3. The caster counterattacks with 133% of the damage received for 4 turns.

Talent: WITHSTAND ~ +30% chance to resist negative status effects.

Oniwakamaru Empires and Puzzles Hero Card Detail
Oniwakamaru – Empires and Puzzles

Is Oniwakamaru Worth Levelling? (Empires and Puzzles)

Yes. I love the look of Oniwakamaru but you gotta understand;

I’m never gonna have a team consisting of M&M, and 4 Joves. So when I look at a new Hero, I’m figuring just how much of an impact they could have on my roster.

And Oniwakamaru looks to be full of promise, even for a budget player like me. But imagine him surrounded by an elite squad…

That said, let’s get it out of the way; this is a Ninja, and Ninjas are notoriously bad on Defense (due to their 3-tier charge system).

However, the crazy Ninjas we saw in Beta (this second Wave that was released today) were designed to somewhat mitigate their limitations, but that’s something I’ll cover a little later on.

For now, and as far as I’m concerned, Oniwakamaru looks awesome.

Oniwakamarus Special Animation Screenshot - Empires and Puzzles
Oniwakamaru’s Special Skills animation

Looking at Oniwakamaru Piece by Piece (Empires and Puzzles)

First, it’s noteworthy that in Beta Oniwakamaru didn’t Over-Heal himself. That’s new and pretty significant. In truth, I worry that this one might be hard to stop. Maybe if I tap my heels and say, “It’s just a Ninja, it’s just a Ninja, it’s just a Ninja”, everything will be alright.

Oniwakamaru’s Build:

Element: Ice (Blue) Class: Monk Mana Speed: Ninja Charge Stats LB: 800 Att | 1034 Defense | 1907 Health

I’m loving the fact that Oniwakamaru’s Ice. Great elite options for teaming on Offense, while likely keeping him away from Miriam & Midnight on Defense.

He’s also a Monk, so has a +30% chance of resisting negative Status Effects. -And that’s a whole heap of preventative shielding built in.

And his Stats are Tanky and appear designed to withstand all the drama:

Screenshot of Oniwakamaru With Emblems

Oniwakamaru’s Special Skill:

Charge 1: 1. Boosts the health of the caster by 390 (can exceed max HP). 2. The caster gets Taunt which prevents enemies from using Special Skills on the caster’s allies for 2 turns (can not be dispelled). 3. The caster counterattacks with 50% of the damage received for 2 turns.

I’m gonna focus on the first charge for the moment (5 tiles). That’s the most important as it’s the most readily available.

Oniwakamaru Boosts his own health by 390 before shutting up shop. So before you do anything, he’s already winning, baby!

Then he applies an undispellable Taunt for 2 turns, so you have no choice but to go see him.“Don’t smack talk Jove, See me. Don’t harass C.G. Panther, Come See Me. Before you try check Ogima, COME CHECK ME!”

And just as you look to wipe the floor with this big mouth, he pulls out Counterattack!

Albeit, on the first charge it’s only worth 50%. But that’s still a decent amount of damage returned to your attacker.

After all, Oniwakamaru is designed to take damage; but is your attacker designed to receive it?

And given time (10 tiles), Oniwakamaru will Over-Heal himself for 490 HP, Taunt for 3 turns, and counterattack for 105%.

And finally (15 tiles), Oniwakamaru will Over-Heal himself for 540 HP, Taunt for 4 turns, and counterattack for 133%.

Oniwakamaru Vs. the other Taunters (Empires and Puzzles)

Here’s the same Taunt table from Queen Anne’s review, with Oniwakamaru inserted at the top:

HeroMana SpeedTaunt TurnsMain TauntSecondary
OniwakamaruNinja (5/10/15 tiles)2/3/4Caster Boosts own Health by 390/490/540 HP and 50/105/133% counterattackFamily Bonus
Queen AnneSlow (12 tiles)6 All allies get +65% Defense for 6 turns. All allies get +44% Mana generation for 6 turns.Family Bonus and Passive
Average (10 tiles)4Caster gets +74% Defense against Specials for 4 turns. All allies except the caster get +34% attack for 4 turns.[Element Link] All Holy allies get 10% Defense for 4 turns which can’t be dispelled
KrampusAverage (10 tiles)3The caster gets +44% Defense, and a further 10% increase every time they are hit during 3 turns. This effect can’t be dispelled. All allies get +50% attack for 3 turns.Summons a Minion for each ally with 7% HP and 10% attack
Costumed KrampusAverage (10 tiles)3The caster gets +30% Defense. All allies get +45% attack, and a further 20% increase every time they are hit during 3 turns.Summons a Minion for each ally worth 7% HP and 10% attack
Queen Of HeartsAverage (10 tiles)MinionSummons Minion (16% HP 30% Att) which gives its owner Taunt and +74% Defense against Specials for 4 turns.Deals 240% damage to the Target and NB
Black KnightAverage (10 tiles)3Caster has a +50% chance to drop damage to 1 HP for 3 turns. All allies get +45% attack, and a further 20% increase every time they are hit during 3 turns.N/a
LudwigSlow (12 tiles)6Caster gets +84% Defense against Specials for 6 turns.Nearby allies receive loads of mana over 6 turns
OldCynic.com – Oniwakamaru Vs. Taunt Heroes

Oniwakamaru: A Taunter with Counterattack… (Empires & Puzzles)

The single biggest advantage Oniwakamaru has over all the other Taunt Heroes (besides counterattack) is the same thing I’ve been calling his weakness; his Ninja nature.

Oniwakamaru will give you Taunt in 5 tiles, flat (without Troops).

On Offense, he’s gonna be fantastic, where you can Stick or Twist on his ever-growing repertoire, as the tiles mount up.

Finally, Counterattack on a Taunt Hero is outrageous and could really give you the edge when going up against the current meta of big hitters.

Counterattack on a Taunt significantly changes its dynamic. Gone is the defensive posture normally adopted by the Hero, and in its place, the awesome ability to dismantle teams from the Taunt itself. (Well done, Tobey!)

Screenshot of Master Lepus slapping Oniwakamarus
Master Lepus, testing Oniwakamaru’s chin

The Way Of The Ninja on Defense (Empires and Puzzles)

For me, all of the new Ninjas were designed to mitigate their unreliable nature on Defense, -by making them utter monsters.

But what we saw in Beta is not what was released. Most of these Heroes have been dialled back.

Oniwakamaru is one of the Ninjas who actually looks stronger now and his Boosted Healing is a major reason for that.

On Defense, he’s still likely to have the age-old Ninja problem of reliability. But the Skill itself will offset some of that.

And of course, there are loads of Heroes who could offer the synergy required to make the attempt worthwhile.

Still, Oniwakamaru in particular has the issue of only offering Taunt for 2 turns on that first charge. Representing yet another potential problem for Defense (because you’d really like to manage its timing manually).

ʕ•́ᴥ•̀ʔっRelated: Check out my Top 10 Empires and Puzzles Tips.

Oniwakamaru’s Synergy (Empires and Puzzles)

My final thoughts:

To me, Oniwakamaru presents a lot of opportunities to unlock yet more potential by synergizing with other Heroes.

Of course, the game has somewhat evolved beyond the subtle cohesion we used to see prior to the OP rush. Still, every once in a while you might come across some unique interaction between two Heroes that makes you say, “hmm, that’s smart”.

~And your world is all the brighter for it.

There are a great number of Heroes who, if sat next to Oniwakamaru, would garner the same response. Just gotta find them all!

To my mind, all defensive measures could be directed through him and so the rest of the Team could be arranged to compliment him.

But as mentioned, as a Ninja, he may still fail to perform adequately on Defense, although, I look forward to seeing it first-hand.

Oniwakamaru is undoubtedly a powerful Hero. He’s interesting in a way that makes you think.

I would love to pull him for all the reasons mentioned above and have to rate him highly as a result.

If he can be shown to work adequately on Defense, for me he’s a T-3. If not, he’s a T-2.

Oniwakamaru has the strength to alleviate much of the pain the massive Slappers are currently causing, all available at the tips of your fingers, within 5 standard tiles. — And some crazy luck at the portal.

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Hero Grade for Oniwakamaru (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.

If not, do they still bring enough to the party to help defeat the deities? N/a.

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Deity ⭐⭐

[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/Zynga Games

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  1. first taunter that doesn’t have a defense up skill. If I am going up against him just going to wait out the first taunt and if the AI doesn’t fire right away it waits for 2nd or 3rd charge and can probably kill him before those come out. Also while the taunt is undispellable the counterattack is.

    Really going to depend on the full defense team. Can’t wait to try to fight him. Probably will try to just brute force without a dispeller first then, if I lose use caedmon or melandor to remove the counterattack.

    1. This is a bit of misconception the EP community has about tanktypes.. and this one has a fast overheal, a huge amount of hp and retaliates.
      Some early tacticians has everybody believing that Def is the first and foremost skill for tanketypes, but this one actually benefit more from beefing up the bulky hp reservoir because the more damage youre able to withstand the more damage is returned.
      AI is most certainly gonna screw this one over like the rest of the ninjas, but seeing the marigins of Hp this beast has and with the ninja failsafe ”use special if hp drop below certain%” its still gonna be pretty close to viable even on defense.

  2. Once again a really good review so thanks for taking the time to do it. We all appreciate it.
    The only down side to this and every other new hero that has been released in the past 6 months or so is that I have ZERO chance of pulling him!
    I am halfway through my third round of “Fated Summons” so 250 pulls in all areas of the game and they have produce no new 5* heroes. OK the two from the Fated Summons are good but come on, they aren’t exactly new out of the box are they? The current Ninja Tower produce Valen for me. Great, thanks Zynga.
    My enthusiasm for this game is beginning fade quite sharply.

  3. A hero cast taunt with very fast to slow speed range and can not dispelled but only hey deity 2? I don’t know what is your review criteria about taunt hero. No taunt hero do such a undispelled taunt with wide speed range. This make him a incredible beast. I think your review is still needed to be revised.

  4. @Steve – I feel your pain, I was so hyped for MN or Pengui but nah … (and I had loads of EHT). I have not been able ever to get a 5* Ninja or Gargoyle and maybe a few more. I’ve decided to focus on what I have and build depth, maybe try to be a super raider like OC? One last thing I have stopped dwelling on the latest and the greatest, they will be replaced soon anyway. Now if OC would stop writing such enticing reviews ….

  5. Oh yes.. this might be the first or second best taunttank ingame currently.
    I could compare him with the eternal piece of cake..
    You bring a cake to work because it is your turn.. and you wonder how you will make is last so everybody gets a piece?
    You put a note on it that anybody is welcome to take a piece as long as it only is max 50% of the cake.
    Ok the pieces are getting smaller, but since ppl are only allowed to take half of whats left it will last pretty much until its only molecules left..

    This tank has an undispellable taunt and a pretty fast overheal, that can be boosted with +%heal and brought down to vvery fast speed with troops and skills.
    He has the potential to last way longer than you want… (like the cake-mechanics)

    The only hole in the armor i could think of is that the counterttack can be dispelled… but seeing he already have counterattack in the familybonus he can still hurt.

    I predict we will see him in raids/wars to come.

    *maybe bring back the guardian chameleon from the shelf….

  6. Is it good enough to surpass Krampus as the Blue one with taunt? It could, but ninjas have bad reputation as defenders.

    I wanted the new green, I got Topaz. It’s something.

    1. Krampus is still the special kid who makes minions so they are competing in slightly different fields.
      But in general i dont fear Krampus at all seeing he does nothing but recast his defensive skillset when you are bombarding him with tiles.

      Krampus cant heal himself, he is easily cut down (not like BK who way too often negates damage), and everything he does is dispellable.
      So there is no real danger in dumping tiles on him until you got the mana you need to take the fight thru the front gates.

      Onichika-chika-connymaru (or what the ninja name is) Hurts every time you attack him.. and with full ninja bonus its also dodge and more counterattack involved.
      And you dont have any choice but to attack him because his taunt cannot be removed… and as icing on the cake he heal/overheal.
      The base skillset is the ingredients for a bennu that you have to kill in order to move on..
      I would say he is better than Krampus in many fields.

  7. Hes powerful, we knew that since he gave Bruce Willis a key at the beginning of The 5th Element, I too have faced him to some disgust because of his no-stop taunt. But as often as not his randomness is his undoing.
    If he fires and refires at very fast, you are likely doomed to repeat till you wear down and die. But he often does not. He often gets it in his head he will wait till level 3. And those 15 tile countdowns especially leave him open to be dealt with by whatever cast of preventers, slowers, or snipers who will stop him from achieving his long slow climbs to level 2 or 3. He is difficult when hes fast. When he isnt, he hurts only himself

  8. Got this beast boy from the first day he came out (he wasnt even featured and came to me easily) and I just finished him some weeks ago… I gotta say in defense he might be a bit unstable due to the algorithm many times waiting til the 3rd charge BUT in offense he is a life saver…he is an unstoppable power that saves the whole game. I go in raids with the team I use lately (Sneferu, C. Tyr, Khepri, Roughian) and him instead of a healer and I win without a second thought beasts like Khufu, the Musketeers, Anne, Jove… players that before having Oni in my team I wouldnt even think to fight against! He does miracles, he is a Deity 3 in offense for me!

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