Rainbow, Mono or 3-2? Empires and Puzzles Colour Stacking Guide
Colour stacking in Empires and Puzzles is a great way to beat teams much stronger than your own.
There’s a lot of discussion about formations: be it Rainbow, Mono, or 3-2. But in this post, I’ll explain what’s best for Raiding, Defence, Titan, Maps, and Quests.
This is a 2-part series:
Part 1: The Ultimate Raid Strategy Guide For Beginners
Part 2: This post (The Complete Colour Stacking Guide)
Before we start, please consider sharing a link to this post with your alliance or on social media. It really does help.
MENU (Empires and Puzzles Colour Stacking Guide)
1. Colour Stacking Explained
2. Rainbow Team Setup
3. Mono Team Setup
4. 4-1 Team Setup
5. 3-2 Team Setup
6. 2-2-1 Team Setup
Caveat: Suggestions in this post are based on the assumption that all heroes, & rosters, are equal. But in reality, if you have two 5-Star yellow (Holy) heroes in your roster, but no 5-Star green (Nature) hero, then it may make more sense to play your two 5-Star heroes because you’ll most likely win more battles that way.
Empires & Puzzles Colour Stacking Explained
Let’s begin with an explanation of how tile damage occurs:
First, you need to understand that not all tiles are equal: A yellow tile will do more damage to a purple hero than it will do to a blue hero. And, it will do very little damage to a yellow hero.
See, each colour is strong against one colour, and weak against one colour.
If it’s strong, it deals double the normal damage. If it’s weak, it deals half the normal damage. This only applies to tiles, not to Special skills. It works like this:
- Yellow (Holy) is strong against Purple (Dark), but weak against Yellow
- Purple is strong against Yellow, but weak against Purple
- Red (Fire) is strong against Green (Nature), but weak against Blue (Ice)
- Blue is strong against Red, but weak against Green
- Green is strong against Blue, but weak against Red
If you plummet 20 red tiles into a blue hero, you’ll simply charge their mana and set off their Special skill. So, it makes sense to minimise hitting a blue hero with red tiles, if possible. It’s much more preferable to hit them with green tiles.
Colour Stacking Teams
Colour Stacking is the name given to E&P teams which contain more than 1 of the same colour hero in them.
There are five hero colours (as shown above): Holy, Dark, Fire, Ice, and Nature ~also known as ‘Elements’, and five hero slots available in every game; So why don’t we just play a Rainbow team every time?
There are a couple of good reasons not to:
- Stacking tile damage – Two heroes of the same colour will do twice the damage. Stacking colours is often done to inflict more damage on the opponent’s Tank (centre hero), using the colour that’s strong against it.
- Hero selection – You might have three great red 5-Star heroes, but no decent green heroes. Why bench two of your great 5 star heroes, just to play a balanced Rainbow team?
There is a downside to Colour Stacking; missing colours will not do any damage (technically, they hit for 1 point per tile). So those tiles will charge the opposition’s Special skills, without doing any damage to their HP.
Now, let’s examine each formation separately:
Rainbow Team Setup – Empires & Puzzles
Rainbow teams are teams containing one hero of each colour element.
Strengths and Weaknesses:
Rainbow teams are great for Raids, and most of all, Defense.
With Rainbow teams, you don’t have to worry about what tiles appear on the field, because whichever colour is dominant, at least one of your heroes will charge their mana.
On Defence, fielding a Rainbow team makes it much harder for any Raiding team to take you out. For example, if you play a yellow Tank (centre hero) and two other supporting yellow heroes, the Raider could play two or three purple heroes and benefit from the innate strength of purple over yellow.
Whereas, with a Rainbow Defence team, any Colour Stacking done by the Raiding team will only impact one hero in your line-up.
When to play a Rainbow team:
You can win Raids with a Rainbow team, but you’ll win more by Colour Stacking.
Finally, Rainbow teams are perfect for AUTO-PLAY, as no tiles are wasted due to CPU tile selection.
Related: E&P Limit Breakers Explained
Mono Team Setup – Empires & Puzzles
A Mono team is a team consisting of only one colour group. For example, a team of five yellow heroes.
Strengths and Weaknesses:
The point of a Mono team is to get the most bang-per-buck out of every tile in its colour. -To be very strong against a single colour.
Fielding a Mono team can result in amazing successes, but also frustrating losses. If the tiles for your chosen team don’t materialise, you won’t score any points or do any damage.
When to play a Mono team:
There’s only one situation where running a Mono team makes sense (considering the risk/reward ratio) -and that’s when fighting Titans.
Why? Because the Titan is one unit & one colour, so you can maximise damage against it.
That said, players with weaker rosters may run Mono Raiding teams to improve their chances of beating a much higher Defence level. I wouldn’t though, ’cause it can get really frustrating.
4-1 Team Setup – Empires & Puzzles
A 4-1 team is a team consisting of four heroes of one colour and a single hero of another.
Strengths and Weaknesses:
There’s not a whole lot of difference between 4-1 and Mono. A single hero isn’t powerful enough to cause any substantial damage, but the reason to play him/her will be to make use of their Special skill.
For example, you might be going against a blue Titan who hits all enemies for 300% with his Special skill. In that scenario, you might want to play Bai Yeong, a yellow hero, to make use of his -75% accuracy Special skill.
So, while you forfeit some attacking power, you still get the damage of four heroes and the use of Bai Yeong’s Special skill.
When to play a 4-1 team:
The scenario above is the only time I would play a 4-1 team: When you need the assistance of a particular hero’s Special skill for a Titan.
Playing 4-1 on Raids (or elsewhere) may limit your choice of tiles to such an extent, that you can’t win the battle.
3-2 Team Setup – Empires & Puzzles
A 3-2 team is a team consisting of three heroes of one colour and two heroes of another.
Strengths and Weaknesses:
I find 3-2 to be the perfect balance for Raiding.
It also gives you the tile damage of three (or two) heroes, while not limiting your choice of tiles too much.
3-2 teams are also useful if you, like me, want to play the same heroes for all Raids, regardless of the colour of the opposing Tank.
When to play a 3-2 team:
Any Raiding strategy (including War) would be boosted by playing 3-2.
You can also play a 3-2 team in Quests, Maps, or on Titans. But, all heroes being equal, 3-2 is best suited to Raids.
2-2-1 Team Setup – Empires & Puzzles
A 2-2-1 team is a team consisting of two heroes of one colour, two heroes of another, and a single hero of yet another colour.
Strengths and Weaknesses:
This formation is similar to the 3-2 team setup. But instead of a 40% possible selection of tiles, you get a 60% selection.
The single hero in this formation is much like the hero we saw in the 4-1 setup; he/she is weak, but we get access to their Special skill.
When to play a 2-2-1 team:
2-2-1 may be the most versatile of all the team setups, but it’s just not as dynamic as 3-2 on Raids, or as Mono on Titans.
I would play 2-2-1 on Map/Quest stages, where the formation occurred accidentally due to my hero selection. I would also play this formation if I couldn’t field 3 strong heroes for the 3-2 formation.
This would also make a safe formation for using up left-over heroes in War.
Raid Colour Stacking Guide
Choosing the right formation is as important as choosing the right heroes. You can improve your Titan scores, clear difficult Stages, and beat top tier Defences, with the right formation.
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Read Part 1: The Ultimate Raid Strategy Guide for beginners
Images used by way of review/tutorial – Copyright owned by Empires & Puzzles: Small Giant Games
I like a lot how structured, clear and presented in an attractive manner your explanations are 🙂 I will keep in mind to share it when the opportunity comes (don’t share E&P content on social media and I am drifter now alliance wise).
Did you think about making a youtube channel? Watching wars and interesting challenges is my favourite E&P content
Thank you! It’s a lot of work putting these together, so it’s great to hear some positive feedback.
I do plan on starting a YouTube channel, but want to create more good posts here first. I’ll write a post when I do, so people can find me there if they want. Anyone that wants to subscribe to this blog can do here.
I must say i do like the way you present your blog. The information, and concise way you present it is a welcome relief.
I have subscribed to your blog and I wait in anticipation for your foray into You Tube. Regards and keep up the good work.
Thanks Cornelius, I appreciate it. I’ve now started a YouTube channel and made a couple of videos. I’ll focus on this blog for a little while yet, before maybe dedicating more time to making videos. We’ll see, but thanks for the encouragement!
Hi, thanks 4 your blog, it’s very much useful, specially now that classic e&p references like titanmafia, tellysgame, … are not updated any more.
I used to go 3+2 in wars but many months ago i changed to mono and things go much better in average.
I see 2 main reasons 4 this, although I may be wrong. First, HoTMs favor going mono with their elemental link, specially the mana givers like yangmai, devana, malicna … and minion invokers like glenda, other heroes like elemental defense down and tile improvers have the same effect. And lately the limit broken tanks make it harder to prevent their special with just 3 heroes of neutral color, I wish I had 18 high level heroes per color so i could go 3+2 against the 6 tanks of the same color I’ll encounter in war, but that’s not the case and it won’t be in the future.
Thanks 4 your effort and opinions.
Thanks Victor, and thanks for the explanation re going Mono. I’ve been 3/2 for a long time now, but do notice with some Tanks it’s not enough. If I pulled the right heroes, I’d probably take the dive. Re. Wars -I’m with you. I tend to run 4-1. The 1 = Last Hope.
No mention of the anti stacking algorithm which frequently starves one of tiles of the stack colour
Hi JRS, there’s no direct reference to it. I’ll update it soon. Thanks!
I raid 4/1 mostly or sometimes mono depending on the opposition. The 1 in 4/1 is usually a healer to keep the others alive while riding out the anti stack tile starvation. The healer will be from a different colour set: 4 red/green/blue then yellow or purple healer; 4 yellow or purple then healer red, green or blue
That sounds like a great strategy and I’ll be giving it a go in today’s War. Thanks again.
First of all, many thanks Old Cynic for creating and maintaining this site. You are my go to for hero reviews and I enjoy the writing and the clear explanations.
Re: Hero stacking algorithm… is this a thing? I pretty much always use Mono attacks in Wars and it generally works. I typically get 5/6 wins against stronger rainbow defenses. I always stack against the tank unless the defender has stacked a color then I go against that. Broadly, the element bonus and the power of hits works better for me. Obviously, you get the sinking feeling from time to time when the tiles appear and there are barely any of your chosen color, but you also get times when the gods smile upon you and you smash trough the defenses. I’ve seen comments about stacking algorithms but it seems more that some players who have been hit by weaker mono teams complain about the tactic. Thoughts?
Hey Merso Infernus, thanks for reading.
Yes, I do believe I see evidence of an algorithm going against the stacked color. And in honesty, it’s always been there as far as I can remember.
I think it gets interesting when you open the question to the impact of heroes; do newer heroes have an impact on the tiles? 😁
And further, does the algorithm change as you get into the Top 100?
Well, on the first question of Stacking, I’m happy to offer my opinion that it matters. As for the rest, it’s the sort of comment that requires some experimentation to publicly claim!
Thanks for reading Merso!
I meant to ask, as someone who runs Mono, what do you think?
I am enjoying reading your content, I appreciate the perspective you have as opposed to Anchor, who seems more grading based on having literally every single hero and not a limited roster like most F2P/C2P players like me use! (Nothing against Anchor FYI).
Do you have a list or anything that explains how many troops you need to feed to a 4* troop to max it? Or 3 and 2* as well?
Also I just pulled Lepiota, will you be grading her soon?
Hi Mike, thank you. I do have this pretty detailed Troops guide, here. But there isn’t a count for cost of maxing. -It may be below your experience level.
As for Lepiota, she looks like a great raid hero, loving the Control/Delay she can inflict. At Fast too. I’d love to have her.
While I don’t have a reviewed lined up for, I’d rate her as an Archangel. Congrats -must be fun Ghosting those monsters.
I’ll find out soon! Still working on getting her battle ready, but as a cheap 2 player I was excited to get her because I’ve heard good things for her on raids!
I think you have significantly understated the benefits of going mono. When computing tile damage, hero attacks are added and compared to target defense. This means that five heroes don’t do 5x tile damage, it is more like 9x. You also tend to have multiple hero specials available at the same time allowing you to fire your defense down then your attack increase hero then your snipers. Finally the real benefit of monostacks for the intermediate player is in war. By monostacking in war, a player can put together five teams with a good change of winning. The first time I went mono for war, I ran the board for the first time even while giving up 500 points between attacking and defending teams on every flag. People might describe this as high risk, high reward, but my experience over nearly 15,000 raid wins is that it is more like moderate risk, high reward.
Thanks for sharing your experience Fast n Sharp! I think it’s a great contribution to this page.
Terrific guide for a beginner like myself! This provides me a baseline to begin with until I develop a deeper bench.
Deffo, as you shape your team, your win/loss record will decide their fates.
Thanks for reading and commenting!
I appreciate this guide and I’m trying to implement the color stacking (usually 3-2 or 2-2-1), but it seems like the tiles I get are always for the color hero I don’t have. I’ll have to read about this anti-stacking mechanism other commenters mentioned. I was actually going to ask if these strats were better once you’re levelled a bit more, but maybe it’s the anti-stacking. It’s really frustrating! When I am able to use tiles for the heroes I brought, these techniques are amazing.
Hey SuperG, this will work once you have a few heroes who enjoy a synergy. I prefer 3/2 and do find the tiles are more reasonable at that level.
Now, I do have personal suspicions about the tiles, including a Theory that the tiles get worst if the team you’re facing is significantly stronger than yours.
Anyway, I would suggest taking your time to grow the strength of your squad and it will come together. The most important thing is to have fun, and if that happens with a Rainbow team, then do that ’till you have the heroes you want/need for a 3/2 or 2/2/1.
Thanks for visiting!
Anti stacking? Not sure I’ve heard that one yet. This guide does give valuable tips, and I can attest to many of them.
Personally I use the 3-2, or 3-1-1 method most often and it works about 80% of the time.
As to being levelled up, I can’t quite say, but I have been using a variation of 2-2-1, and 3-1-1 since i started playing and I’ve found no major problem with it.
As for what we call “Rainbow” i.e. one of each colour, that is completely up every player.
The biggest draw back is that many heroes have special skills that only apply to heroes of the same element. And you will lose out on those bonuses no matter how far you are levelled up.
That’s yardman (you know, the Mr Pengui fan :D)
I have an idea/debate/discussion for a further post.
Hi Yardman! I’ve sent you an email, thanks.
Thanks for the great blog. Since subscribing I have been reading up on the Heroes I have.
I find your reviews to be easy to understand.
Will you please do a blog on which heroes stack (like Wu Kong stacks with anyone)
Hey Khelban, thanks for finding me! I’ll add stacks to the list, but I’ll be honest, I’ve got a lot on the way.
Thanks again for reading, I appreciate it.
Mono attacking in wars can be very successful if you can stack HOTM’s. The elemental links can’t be dispelled and if you stack the correct ones (like defense, attack, and crit bonuses) ontop of heroes who specials also increase those things and you’ll wipe a team before you can blink. Yeah, a bad board will beat you but that happens with any method, I’ve had frustrating losses with them all so IMO going with the highest possible DPS is the way to go, and has worked best for me. Then again I’m very lucky at pulling HOTM’s so my teams heavily consist of them.
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