The Rhys Effect (Empires and Puzzles)

Rhys Empires and Puzzles Hero Card Screenshot

Rhys is a new Holy Legendary hero from Empires and Puzzles Challange Festival 2, and while he offers a boatload of synergistic opportunities, he also does something which is quite unforgivable…

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Caveat: This post contains gameplay speculation and personal opinion. It may also contain comedy and sarcasm. It is not advice and is solely for entertainment and informational purposes.

Rhys’ Stats and Special Skills (Empires and Puzzles)

Core: Holy, Cleric, Fast

Special Skill – Hymn of Enrichment: 1. Boosts health of all allies by 320 (can exceed max HP). 2. Alters the power of all Holy shields on the board. When attacking, shields become enhanced with +37% more mana. When defending, shields become weakened with -30% less mana. 3. All allies get +34% attack and a further 3% increase per Holy shield on the board for 3 turns (max +70% attack). 4. Cleanses status ailments from all allies.

Passive Skill: Mana Increase Reduction – Reduces the amount of mana increased by Special Skills by -50%. The effect applies to all enemies in the battle.

Talent: MANASHIELD ~ +35% chance to resist any negative mana status effects or effects that prevent the use of Special Skills.

Rhys Empires and Puzzles Hero Card Detail

Exposing Rhys (Empires and Puzzles)

When we first saw Rhys he was a shadow of the hero who emerged from that ever-so-hallowed gate. In between Beta and Real Life, he was stuffed like a Turkey at Christmas.

Tiny Tim would’ve been salivating.

He came out of that Portal more buffed than a banker selling derivatives!

Now, he had Over-Healing and his attack buff was bolstered (to a max of 70%).

Add to that, his Passive Skill was updated, only adding to his credibility:

  • Mana Increase Reduction – Reduces the amount of mana increased by Special Skills by -50%. The effect applies to all enemies in the battle.

He looked like a walking, talking, solution to Xnolphod and the other Mana Gods.

It’s true, on the surface, all was well in the Kingdom of men.

But soon it was apparent…

…he’s a collaborator!

He’s not anti-Xnolphod, he positively protects him!

-On Defense, he protects the Purple Gods by rendering your Holy tiles useless. Sacrilege!

The sneaky b#sta*d…

Sneaky Owl

Rhys 🧡 Xnolphod (Empires & Puzzles)

Rhys and X-O-Pod are a problem together because they destroy the mana-generating capabilities of two, arguably the most important two, sets of tiles in the game; Purple and Holy.

-Both reduced by -30%.

So if you go-in Yellow hot to target Xnolphod, then you better get there before Rhys.

Because those Yellow heroes might lose access to their Special Skills if Rhys gets there first.

If you go in Purple hot for Rhys, then Xnolphod will do the same thing.

Screenshot of Xnolphod hero in Empires and Puzzles

And with so many Purple monsters, Rhys could be the busier:

Xnolphod, Hulda, Ludwig, Bastet, Diaochan, etc etc, all stand to benefit.

Rhys Special Skills Empires and Puzzles Screenshot

But what if you go in with a completely different Element (Strong), say Green, Blue or Red?

Well, then you lose out on the potential additional damage Holy offers against Dark, and Rhys will still offer his array of tricks.

Which you may be doing anyway, of course.

Rhys and Dark heroes are a match made in heaven. But there’s more…

What about total Mana control?

I came across a team that utilised Rhys, Aino, and Khonshu.

Rhys and Aino Empires and Puzzles Screenshot
Rhys, Aino, and Khonshu

Rhys went for the tiles, Aino hit all enemies with -24% mana generation, and Khonshu’s passive later hit all enemies with -24% mana generation for 3 turns.

My heroes were finding it so hard to get Mana, I thought they’d unionized and gone on strike!

With so many new passives and heroes, the possibilities are endless.

And Rhys, with his Leatherman’s approach, could be a popular instigator.

ʕ•́ᴥ•̀ʔっ Related: How good is Kullervo?

Rhys Vs Empires and Puzzles

Let’s take a quick look at two of Rhys’ plethora of Skills.

We’ve already seen that he reduces the Mana of Holy tiles in line with Xnolphod’s reduction of Dark tiles.

He also reduces the amount of Mana increased by Special Skills by -50%.

Now, the Healing, which is 320 Boosted:

  • Garnet gives you 180 Boosted HP for her Ninja 1 (5 tiles) or 400 HP for Ninja 2 (10 tiles)
  • Milena gives you 25% healing (about 450/500 HP) for her Magic 1 (5.6 tiles)
  • Toxicandra gives you 30% healing for Fast (8 tiles)

So that Boosted healing slap-on was in line with Garnet for his speed (Fast).

Next, his Attack buff:

A few heroes will give you Attack-Up in their Special, with the old standard being around the 40-55% mark (Guardian Chameleon, C. Krampus, Ares, Theobald).

Zimkitha, who’s also Fast, only buffs for +25% Attack, although it’s for 4 turns.

But Rhys’ top-end 70% is on the aggressive side of what’s readily available, and in addition to his other skills, becomes a problem that needs Dispelling.

There’s no qualifier on Rhys’ Hero Card, and so I believe he boosts Normal Attack as well as Special Skills damage.

Rhys does a whole lot of things very well which combined make him a powerful force to be reckoned with.

Rhys on Defense Empires and Puzzles Screenshot

Rhys Review (Empires and Puzzles)

My final thoughts:

Rhys looks a great hero on offence, but it’s on Defense where most of us will encounter him.

And on Defense, there are lots of ways he can shine.

In isolation, he doesn’t obliterate the pack, but together, Boosted health, increased +Attack, Mana limited tiles, Cleansing, Family Bonus, and a Passive to kill for, means he’s got all the Smarties!

He does a lot of small things which together can have a big impact.

Rhys is a Holy hero who finds easy synergy with, and supports, the Purple Gods. That’s a problem because it happens to fall in line with the current game meta.

That said, the fact that Rhys benefits from working with some of the best heroes in the game can’t be discounted, as was my experience when searching for him to Raid.

And in that sort of company, he need not whistle his flute, to look impressive.

Hero Grade for Rhys (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 ⭐⭐

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6 Comments

  1. Got Rhys but sadly ate a ton of food heroes on a few other projects so no speed leveling for poor Rhys…
    But I’m truly excited to try out a few lovely defences paired with xnol and goseck to see how that double purp might hold up.

    It’s crazy how many ultra strong purple they put out, sometimes I’ve wanted to set a purple defence for fun to try and Rhys might just be the guy to make it happen 😁
    Liu Bu/Rhys/Xnol/khonshu/goseck or some other weird setup.

  2. Let’s say for the sake of argument you did pull Rhys and Xnolphod (He he). What configuration would you suggest to fully utilize this pairing?

    1. Hey Wulfgar, I don’t even need to create something new; I saw X-O-POD Tank and Rhys to his left. Standard Formation. I play Double, and would stick them both as Double tanks. Loads of options to try I feel, but he’s quicker than Xnolphod so it might be nice to bait the opponent with Xnolphod.

  3. Rhys is a complete monster. I usually go mono and my Holy team on offense became Kara/Rhys/G. Jackal/Mist/Inari even before I had Rhys fully leveled, let alone emblemed or limit-broken. The 5% mana bonus lets a number of my heroes fire with one less tile, and between the overheal, the attack-up, the increased mana per tile, and the useful cleanse, my team is basically unkillable once I hit 9 tiles. He’s so good that I may try working some other non-mono offensive configurations.

    I wish I had the squid man to pair with Rhys on defense, but I expect that he’ll put in work even as I wait for the next Holy Aether quest to break him. I have no idea how under-powered he was in Beta, but post-release he may be the best of the Bard heroes and that’s saying something.

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