Santa’s Challenge: Empires and Puzzles Guide & Reviews

Santa’s Challenge is the Empires and Puzzles Christmas Event (linked with the Winter Family), and for 2023, we have a bunch of new Heroes to check out.

In this post, I’ll provide a guide for the Challenge itself and cover all the new and old Heroes!

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started. If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to this blog. It would really help me grow.

MENU (Empires and Puzzles Santa’s Challenge)
1. Santa’s Challenge Guide
2. Santa’s Challenge End Bosses
3. The Summoning Portal
4. Santa’s Family Bonus
5. All 5 Star Santa’s Challenge Heroes
Mr. Pengi
Mother North + Costume
Krampus + Costume
Santa + Costume
Augustus
Peppermint
Tinsel
Cookie (New)
Ginger (New)
Zappa (New)
6. All 4 Star Santa’s Challenge Heroes
Buddy
Carol
Holly
Dizzy (New)
7. All 3 Star Santa’s Challenge Heroes
Frosty
Rudolph
Buster
Jolly (New)

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

Empires and Puzzles official Poster for Santa's Challenge
Santa’s Challenge Poster © Small Giant

Santa’s Challenge 2023 Guide | Empires and Puzzles

Santa’s Challenge is an annual Christmas Event that starts on the 1st of Dec and ends on the 1st of Jan.

The Challenge consists of 24 Stages in Easy, Normal, and Advanced (72 Stages in total), and prizes improve as the level of difficulty increases.

There are no Hero restrictions in this event, no Elemental Barrier, and you can’t replay Stages once complete.

As for gameplay, there’s only one feature; Frosted Tiles (or Frosted Shields).

Frosted Tiles / Frosted Shields (Santa’s Challenge)

At the start of the battle, and as Tiles are used up, some Tiles will be randomly covered with Frost.

Although you can still move these Tiles, they won’t fire off any damage when matched. Instead, they’ll lose their Frost when matched and can then be used on the subsequent turns.

Finally, matching a Diamond or a Dragon by swiping a Frosted tile won’t result in a Diamond or Dragon.

All the Bosses, for All the Stages, in Santa’s Challenge

This Monsters and End Boss list has been updated for 2023!

STAGEMONSTERSEND BOSS
1Fire and IceRudolph and Fire
2Fire and IceBuddy and Ice
3Holy and FireCarol and Holy
4Fire and IceAugustus and Fire
5Holy and DarkJolly and Dark
6IceBuster and Dizzy
7Ice and NaturePeppermint and Nature
8Fire and IceZappa and Fire
9Nature and IceFrosty and Nature
10Fire and DarkHolly and Fire
11Nature and FireCarol and Nature
12IceDizzy and Ginger
13Holy and DarkTinsel and Holy
14Fire and DarkBuddy and Dark
15IceRudolph and Ice
16Holy and NatureCookie and Holy
17Nature and DarkCarol and Nature
18Fire and HolyFrosty and Mr Pengi
19Ice and NatureHolly and Ice
20IceDizzy and Ice
21Fire and IceSanta and Fire
22Nature and DarkMother North and Nature
23Dark and IceKrampus and Dark
24IceMother North + Krampus + Santa
OldCynic.com: Santa’s Challenge – The Stage End Bosses – Empires and Puzzles

Santa’s Challenge Summoning Portal (Empires and Puzzles)

One of the most significant things about Seasonal Events (including Santa’s Challenge), is that you can use Golden Epic Hero Tokens at the Summoning Portal.

At the Santa’s Challenge Portal, you’ll find all the Christmas Heroes, their Costumes, and this bunch of new superstars:

  • Cookie (5-Star)
  • Ginger (5-Star)
  • Zappa (5-Star)
  • Dizzy (4-Star)
  • Jolly (3-Star)

That’s it for the Challenge itself. Let’s take a look at the Heroes, starting with the Christmas Family Bonus…

Santa’s Challenge Family Bonus (Winter Family)

All of the Christmas Heroes are part of the same Family, the Winter Family. Here’s the Family Bonus:

For 2/3 Heroes: 1. +2%/+3% health for minions inherited from their summoner. 2. +5%/+10% attack for minions inherited from their summoner.

Now it’s time to check out the Heroes.

As always, I’ll provide a short review for each Hero and where possible, I’ll link to my full review (which I hope to be adding over the coming days!).

All 5 Star Santa’s Challenge Heroes (Empires and Puzzles)

In this section, you’ll find a review for the base Hero and also, a review for their Costumed counterpart (if they have one).

Mr. Pengi Review Empires and Puzzles

Mr. Pengi Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Herring Blaster): 1. Deals 450% damage to the target. 2. Deals an additional 130% damage to as many random enemies as there are Minions owned by allies. The damage is reduced on each consecutive hit. 3. All hit targets receive 132 Frost damage over 3 turns. 4. Summons an Elf minion for the caster and nearby allies with 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster.

Initial Thoughts on Mr. Pengi

That’s a lot of damage for Fast…

5 Heroes X 3 Minions = 15 hits

(A big Thank You to my primary school maths teacher -You were right, I got this.)

Yes, the damage decreases with each hit, but that’s still a shedload of damage.

According to my math 😉, he dishes out near 1,498%* damage, if you have a team stacked with Minions. And that’s without the Frosted Ailment.

Quenell (also Fast), with her long run-up, will do 1,560% damage (total). But without it, she’ll only hit for 960% (total).

Mr. Pengi has all the traits of a Monster Hero. And given he’s the only new Hero among this bunch, it’s no surprise.

The Frost damage (132 over 3 turns), looks like more of an afterthought. And with more and more Heroes targeting, or being triggered by Status Effects, it may prove to be his Achilles’ heel (here’s hoping).

Finally, the Minions mean that Mr. Pengi does just about everything…. Sniper, Mass Monster, Status Caster, and pseudo-Healer.

☃️

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Archangel

Grade Revised

Want more Mr. Pengi? Read his full review here.

Mother North Review Empires and Puzzles

Mother North Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Super Porridge): 1. Recovers 30% health for all allies. 2. Each fallen ally has a 50% chance to get revived with 10% HP. 3. Summons an Elf Minion for each ally with 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster.

Thoughts on Mother North

Mother North is best known as the Hero who never gives up.

Just when you think the battle’s won, she gets to stirring her tiny pot, with her big ass spoon, and soon enough, you’re surrounded again.

The thing about Mother North is, she actually raises the dead -consistently. I mean, how many times has she personally pissed you off?

Have you ever targeted her just because you’re scared she’ll fire off?

You ever rage-quit over her? I have.

Mother North is a legend, an Icon, and the most notable Reviver in all of Empires and Puzzles.

Oh, and she’s about to get an upgrade.

…more than deserving of the highest honour I can bestow…

☃️

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Deity★★

Grade Revised

Initial Thoughts on Costumed Mother North

Mother North Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Hyper Porridge): 1. Each fallen ally has a 55% chance to get revived with 15% HP. 2. Summons an Elf Minion for each ally with 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 3. All allies regenerate 612 HP over 4 turns.

Ever since Mother North was created, people have moaned about her imperfections.

And I get it, she should revive allies first.

Well, you have your wish. Mother North has received the Buff of all Buffs and looks even better than before.

Besides the order of her Special, the other significant change is incremental healing, rather than one big wave of it.

Oh, and instead of a 50% chance of reviving with 10% HP, allies now have a 55% chance of being re-born, with 15% HP.

Mother North was already a Deity…

☃️

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Deity ⭐⭐

Grade Revised

Want more Mother North? Read her full review here.

For more on Reading Hero Cards, see this.

Krampus Santa’s Challenge (Empires and Puzzles)

Krampus Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Scourge of Joy): 1. Summons an Elf Minion for each ally with 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 2. The caster gets Taunt which prevents enemies from using Special Skills on the caster’s allies for 3 turns. 3. The caster gets +44% defense, and a further 10% increase every time they are hit during 3 turns. This effect can’t be dispelled. 4. All allies get +50% attack for 3 turns.

Thoughts on Krampus

Krampus has been on my Top Defense Heroes List since it started.

He’s a Taunter who summons a Minion for all allies and increases Attack by +50%.

And despite his prominence, he likes to keep his head down and focus on the job at hand.

Why? So the Heroes around him can shine.

I imagine he plays “Wind Beneath My Wings” on loop… and rings his little bell at the end of each line.

Yeah, you can safely disregard that constipated look on his face; this guy’s a sweetheart.

Krampus is one of the best defensively-minded Heroes in the game, and I’m sure he’ll be a target for many this Christmas.

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Deity ⭐⭐

(Just for research purposes, did you go back to check his face?)

Initial Thoughts on Costumed Krampus

Krampus Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Merriest Misery): 1. Summons an Elf Minion for each ally with 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 2. The Caster gets Taunt which prevents enemies from using Special Skills on the caster’s allies for 3 turns. 3. The caster gets +30% defence for 3 turns. 4. All allies get +45% attack, and a further 20% increase every time they are hit during 3 turns.

Update (11/02/22): Costumed Krampus was recently nerfed: His Taunt was reduced from 4 turns to 3 turns, and his Defense was reduced from +50% to +30%.

In addition, his Class was changed from Rogue to Barbarian.

Overall, this was a significant Nerf which minimised the difference between the two versions.

My personal preference now leans towards the Base version.

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Deity★★

Santa Claus Review Empires and Puzzles

Santa Claus Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Ultimate Gift Sack): 1. Deals 150% (Buffed) 200% damage to all enemies. 2. Summons an Elf Minion for each ally with 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 3. All enemies get -34% attack for 3 turns. 4. All enemies get -44% defense for 3 turns.

Thoughts on Santa Claus

I find it strange that Santa, the real star of Christmas, is the third fourth-strongest Hero out of Santa’s Challenge. -The thing’s named after him!

Back in the day, when I first started playing E&P, he was in quite a few Defenses, -he was a real badass.

But time’s been cruel to the old man.

Nowadays, he just looks dishevelled, and I know I’m not the only one who pretends not to smell the alcohol on his breath…

Despite all of that, Santa thinks he can still deliver, so every once in a while, you’ll face him in a Raid.

(Buddy, hide the sleigh keys.)

☃️

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Meek

Grade Revised

Initial Thoughts on Costumed Santa Claus

Santa Claus Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Gift of Rock): 1. Deals 150% damage to all enemies. 2. Summons an Elf Minion for each ally with 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 3. All enemies get -24% attack for 4 turns. 4. All enemies get -54% defense for 4 turns.

This Costume provides a Power stats improvement, a focus on the Defense-down part of his Special, and when considered alongside the Winter Family Bonus (and synergy), makes him a viable option for all occasions.

Costumed Santa isn’t going to close the show by himself, but he could play a crucial role.

☃️

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Archangel

Grade Revised

Want more Santa Claus? Read his full review here.

Augustus Review Empires and Puzzles

Augustus Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Wisdom of the Gnomes): 1. Cleanses Status Ailments from all allies. 2. Boosts health of all allies by 690 HP (can exceed max HP). 3. Boosts health by an additional 30 HP per Nature Shield on the board, up to 930 Boosted health. 4. Summons an Elf Minion for each ally with 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 5. All allies get +34% Defense and a further 6% increase per Nature Shield on the board for 5 turns, up to +82% Defense.

Initial Thoughts on Augustus

There’s a lot to like about Augustus, he’s fun, cheery, and useful.

He loses a little credit due to his speed (Slow), but in fairness, his return on tile usage is reasonable. And on top of everything, he has that ever-precious Cleanse at the beginning of his Special.

I did find him slightly frustrating to use in Beta, and this goes for Tinsel, too, in that the board played such a significant role in deciding how much I got out of them.

I would say, all in all, Augustus does just enough to be considered a Deity.

And I expect this will be the story for all the new Christmas Heroes following last year’s Nerfing round.

☃️

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Deity ⭐⭐

Grade Revised

Peppermint Review Empires and Puzzles

Peppermint Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Putrid Perfume): 1. Deals 250% damage to all enemies. 2. Summons an Elf Minion for each ally with 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 3. All enemies receive 280 Poison damage and an increase of 16 damage per Dark Shield on the board for 4 turns, up to 408 damage.

Initial Thoughts on Peppermint

Peppermint is a cool-looking character, and that goes a long way with me. And the same goes for all the new Christmas Heroes; their Hero Cards look awesome.

Peppermint is a damage dealer and dishes out loads of it.

He looks completely at home standing side-by-side with some of the game’s best Hitters:

Take Ogima for example, just outta the Challenge Festival II, today. He’s Fast and will give you 275% damage to all enemies. And more for each Minion destroyed.

Or Hachiko, from the Pets Family, who’s Average speed, too. He’ll give you 270% to all plus counterattack up to 140%, and all enemies get a +50% Critical Chance for 4 turns.

Or C.Hel, who’s also Average. She deals 300% damage to all enemies and steals Mana!

Wolfgang also, who’s Average and deals 250% to all, while healing all allies on the back end.

As you can see, all of these Heroes are elite.

Peppermint is a fantastic Hero to own. A powerful mass Hitter who should be prized. That said, I don’t expect to see him on many Defenses due to his Element (Dark).

☃️

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Archangel

Grade Revised

Tinsel Review Empires and Puzzles

Tinsel Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Malevolent Toys): 1. Deals 340% damage to the target and nearby enemies. 2. Summons an Elf Minion for the caster and nearby allies with 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 3. The target and nearby enemies get -14% Defense and a further -5% for every Ice Shield on the board for 4 turns, up to -54% Defense. 4. The target and nearby enemies get -10% accuracy and a further -5% for every Ice Shield on the board for 4 turns, up to -50% accuracy.

Initial Thoughts on Tinsel

As I mentioned with Augustus above, these two Heroes can be a little frustrating on Offense.

If Tinsel reaches her full potential, she’s a Deity: Tier-3.

That would be 340% to 3, a Minion to self and nearby, -54% Defense to 3 and -50% accuracy to 3.

As it stands, I think she’s more likely to offer:

340% to 3, a Minion to self and nearby, -29% Defense to 3 and -25% accuracy to 3.

And when on Defense, that could improve (if the opposition hasn’t been keeping up to date with new Heroes and leaves too many Ice Shields on the board when she fires) or diminish (if they are aware and so play accordingly).

Tinsel is tougher to score as a result. I’ll be positive and mark her down as a Deity: Tier-2 but will accept arguments that she’s a T-1.

☃️

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Deity ⭐⭐

Cookie Review Empires and Puzzles

Cookie Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Mystery Potions): 1. Reduces the Mana of all enemies by 20%. 2. Summons an Elf Minion for each ally with 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 3. All enemies receive a Mystery Potion. After 3 turns the Mystery Potion explodes and deals 450 damage to the target. After the explosion, the target can’t gain Mana for 3 turns.

Cookie’s Hero Grade

☃️

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Deity★★

Ginger Review Empires and Puzzles

Ginger Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Hasty Trigger Finger): 1. Summons an Elf Minion for each ally with 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 2. For the next 3 turns, this character deals 500% damage to a random enemy each time any other ally casts their Special Skill. 3. All other allies’ Special Skill (except the caster) deal an additional +20% damage for 3 turns.

Ginger’s Hero Grade:

☃️

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Deity ⭐⭐

Zappa Review Empires and Puzzles

Zappa Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Blue Shroom Wand): 1. Deals 350% damage to the target. 2. Summons an Elf Minion with 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 3. The target receives 723 Frost damage over 3 turns. This effect spreads to nearby enemies.

Zappa’s Hero Grade

Coming soon …

Related: Leadria’s Review (December HotM)

All 4 Star Santa’s Challenge Heroes (Empires & Puzzles)

There’s one new 4-Star Hero (Sugarplum) and also Buddy and Carol.

Buddy Santa’s Challenge Empires and Puzzles

Buddy Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Gift Sack): 1. Deals 205% damage to the target and nearby enemies. 2. Summons an Elf Minion for each ally with 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 3. The target and nearby enemies get -24% attack for 3 turns. 4. The target and nearby enemies get -34% defense for 3 turns.

Thoughts on Buddy

Buddy looks great, very similar to Santa, just quicker and only targets 3.

205% damage to the target and nearby is a solid offering. The Minions add a nice bit of protection, and the Defense-down is a handy bonus.

Buddy’s a fantastic allrounder and I’m really happy to have recently pulled him myself.

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Archangel

Carol Review Empires and Puzzles

Carol Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Perilous Present): 1. Reduces the mana of the target by 25%. 2. Summons an Elf Minion for each ally (Buffed) with 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 3. The target receives a Gift Bomb. After 3 turns the Gift Bomb explodes and deals 374 damage to the target and nearby enemies. The Gift Bomb also explodes when the target is defeated.

Thoughts on Carol

No no no.

Not this “hold onto a bomb” stuff. Nope. Not interested.

She can keep her gift. Don’t care.

I don’t have 3 turns to wait for this one to do something.

3 turns?

Game’s already over & done by that point.

I’m in a bubble bath, celebrating. Candles lit and all sorts.

Sorry, Carol. But no.

PS. I think you’d really like this guy. You two have a lot in common.

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Meek

Holly Review Empires and Puzzles

Holly Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Hearty Stew): 1. Recovers 20% health for all allies. 2. Recovers an additional 3% health per Holy Shield on the board, up to 44% health. 3. Summons an Elf Minion for each ally worth 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 4. All allies get +14% Attack and a further 5% for every Holy Shield on the board for 4 turns, up to +54% Attack.

Initial Thoughts on Holly

No, I don’t like Holly.

She’s a mess. Carrots everywhere; she looks embarrassed, and so am I.

20% for all on a Slow Charge?

Why not just play a proper 4-Star Healer, of which there are tons to choose from?

The real Red Herring with all of these Christmas Heroes is the Minion. SG need only turn the dial back up on them and they’ll all look more substantial again.

As for Holly, I’m gonna grade her Meek, because I really can’t see any reason to play her when faster and better 4-Star Healers are readily available… even from Season 1 (with Costume).

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Meek

Dizzy Review Empires and Puzzles

Dizzy Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Gloomy Tune): 1. Deals 250% damage to the target and nearby enemies. 2. Summons an Elf Minion for the caster and nearby allies with 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 3. The caster and nearby allies reflect all Status Effects and 100% damage back to the attacker and block all other negative effects from enemies’ Holy Special Skills for 4 turns.

Related: Empires and Puzzles Soul Exchange

All 3 Star Santa’s Challenge Heroes (Empires and Puzzles)

There’s one new 3-Star Hero (Buster) and also Frosty and Rudolph.

Frosty Review Santa’s Challenge

Frosty Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Joyful Backup): 1. Recovers 32% health for all allies. 2. Summons an Elf Minion for each ally with 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster.

Thoughts on Frosty

Frosty was one of the best 3-Star Heroes in Empires and Puzzles before the Nerf.

Now, he’s just “decent”.

Frosty heals, pseudo-heals, and cries when alone. Caught up in memories of what he used to be.

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Archangel

Rudolph Review Empires and Puzzles

Rudolph Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Antler Attack): 1. Deals 285% damage to the target. 2. Reduces the mana of the target by 20%. 3. Summons an Elf Minion with 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster.

Thoughts on Rudolph

Rudolph’s not too bad at all. He’s Fast, does a decent amount of damage, reduces Mana, and summons a Minion.

I can see how the Mana reduction would help, but it’s not really enough.

In today’s game, 3-Star hitters have to really bang, and Rudolph doesn’t. Those bells don’t help either, cause the target can hear him coming.

That said, the Minion will probably keep him alive longer than most.

If I pulled Rudolph, I’d take a serious look at my other 3-Star red Heroes and think it over.

He’s OK, not Great.

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Warrior

Buster Review Empires and Puzzles

Buster Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Frosty Punches): 1. Deals 275% damage to the target and nearby enemies. 2. Summons an Elf Minion for the caster and nearby allies worth 7% HP 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 3. All damage received by the target and nearby enemies is increased by +24% and a further +2% increase per each Fire Shield on the board for 4 turns, up to +40% increased damage.

Initial Thoughts on Buster

275% to the target and nearby enemies is a top-end 3-Star hit.

The Minion, sadly, is pretty weak. -As is the case for all of the Winter Family.

We also have between 24% and 40% increased damage for 4 turns. This is Franz’s flex, and he does it at V.Slow, and 50%, for 6 turns.

That’s a reasonable trade-off.

We all know, Buster is only really gonna be relevant in Rush or 3-Star Tourneys. But for both, he looks formidable.

Speed is a factor. In a Rush setting, he’s a Deity: T-2. And in a normal Tourney, he’s a T1.

Tiles make all the difference, as we so often see with Sudri, but all told, I think that’s fair.

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Deity★★

Jolly Review Empires and Puzzles

Jolly Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Special Skills (Birch Blessing): 1. Boost health of all allies by 475 (can exceed max HP). 2. Summons an Elf Minion for each ally with 10% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster. 3. All allies reduce all received damage by -45% for 6 turns. 4. All allies get +35% Mana generation for 6 turns.

Santa’s Challenge – Empires and Puzzles Guide & Review

We have made it!

Santa’s Challenge is a popular Quest and Portal because awesome Heroes like Mother North, Krampus, and Mr. Pengi, are all up for grabs.

And with the addition of the new Heroes, there’s even more to hope for.

That was another epic post! Spot an error? Just let me know and I’ll update it.

Enjoyed the post? then help me! – Share it with your alliance!

Want more Empires and Puzzles? Click here.

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Copyright (decoration images and text): oldcynic.com
*Figure based on information that came out of Beta testing, combined with general guesswork. Some data was sourced from the SG forum. Thank you to those who contributed, especially PFF. Images used by way of review/tutorial – Copyright owned by Empires & Puzzles: Small Giant Games

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50 Comments

  1. Really good post, thank you for it. I have had Krampus for a year now, never leave home with out him.
    While I HATE Mother Christmas and refuse to fight a team with her in it, I would LOVE to have her in my line up.
    I fed Carol to another hero, I had levelled her up and it was a total waste of time. She is nothing but food for better hero’s.
    I was interested in your views on Frosty as I pulled him recently and he is in the queue to be levelled up, I will now move him up the queue.

    Thanks again, I think yours are the best reviews of hero’s out there, keep it up please.

    1. Thank you Steve, it’s really nice to hear you enjoyed it.

      This Christmas, I will be having a little go for Mother North, Krampus, and Mr Pengi. But I already know, the Universe will hand be a big fat Santa for the way I spoke about him.

      Thanks for visiting and reading!

      1. I had saved my tokens and spent some money this morning so I ended pulling 16 of the Seasonal Hero’s.
        I now have 2 Buddy’s, 3 Rudolph’s and 5 Frosty’s plus a Carol.
        No sign of Mother North or Mr Pengi.
        Not very happy with the result.

      2. Hey there, just pulled hanitra(very few 5stars I have, and I wanted mother north). So should I upgrade her? She doesn’t do any damage in her special. As I’m new and almost f2p(just the vip pass n mini purchases) so I don’t have resources for final ascension so I need to use them wisely. Please help!!!!

        1. Hi Dunk, Hanitra is a fantastic hero, you should read my review here. Also, check out my Christmas Post, which has a countdown of the best HotM for 2021 (Hanitra features).

          In answer to your question, all the normal caveats aside (your choice, not advice, no guarantees, etc.), I would upgrade her. Especially if I didn’t have many other 5-Star heroes.

          I’ve been playing awhile and after pulling her recently, I’m really impressed. She’s already in my Raid squad, before final ascension. She’s awesome. I play her with Rigard (2nd healer) and it works a treat.

          She’s improved my win rate by a long way. She is a modern hero, designed to deal with these modern monsters.

          Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Really enjoyed the review. I have MN (maxed and broken maxed) and getting her costume would be amazing. Frosty is great, but I prefer Helo since he removes status effects too.

  3. Woot!!!
    34 pulls for Christmas with token, Krampus and hotm. Christmas came early.!!!

    Great review and always a joy to read it.

          1. I was hooked in to your page from the very early stage I think. just usually shy to comment. LOL
            I always came here when new /hero or event came up. get a few laugh at it (youtubers always very serious on doing pulls and review and didnt cover as much as you did, no comparison table, etc). I always shared any info to my alliance’s chat. when a member asked about a hero, here is where i sent them (i do search it here first to make sure you did cover that hero). haha. Keep up the good work OC!!!

    1. Hi Eric, where is the 1960%? It is completely possible it is an error (this was just published).

      As for the 960%, it’s the sum of all her damage: 320% to 3 targets. Again, it is getting late here, so please correct me if it’s wrong. Otherwise, it’s just a fun way to attribute damage from a single hero.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Edit – I thought this was on Mr. Pengi’s review -which I did just publish. Thanks again!

  4. Costume Krampus’s defense buff appears to be dispellable. Despite the extra taunt turn, I feel this really gimps him as any attacker who sees him will simply add a dispeller to their team. Based o that do you still regard C. Krampus > Krampus?

    1. I don’t know. I prefer the non-Costumed version, but still think that extra turn would produce better results. -There’s no way to prove it, just my opinion. I use a dispeller and timing is important, as is the depth and strength of the opposition squad.

      Anyway, it’s a close call for me. As a defensively minded player, I prefer the +defense, so it’s hard to let go of that for the extra turn, however I really wouldn’t argue over it. Fantastic hero -just what works for you/ your team (for example, you might get +attack elsewhere and not care too much about losing it here).

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Hello! I really like your posts! I got Mr.Pengi and costumed Santa with 40 pulls that I was saving for a long time, I agree that Santa is the weakest hero among the Christmas 5 stars because he is so slow. HOWEVER, the +1% costume bonus lets him charge with 10 tiles, making him an average hero (15% lvl.29 mana troop + 4% emblem bonus + 1% costume bonus = 20% mana regeneration). That wasn’t possible with regular Santa before because the essential 1% was missing. Sadly I am far from having a lvl.29 red mana troop, but I believe that this mana combo adresses the low speed problem of this hero.

    1. Hey Johnny, you make a very good point. It’s something I need to look at again and will do, taking what you and others have said into account. Thank you for sharing and explaining your viewpoint. It’s appreciated.

      1. The same deal with the +1% mana goes for costumed Lady of the Lake, but that one was already one of your favourites!

  6. I had 97 EHTs only wanted Mother North or Tinsel since i have C Santa, Mr Pengi and Krampus. 8 pulls in MN, now am saving 89 EHTs for Easter or Kalavala.

    Once maxed can test some Ludwig defenses, even though I don’t think he’s a great defensive hero, but Jove-Kalo-Ludwig-Mr Pengi-C. Mother North will be very frustrating for people. Probably the only way to beat it is something that can fire faster and kill me before I fire.

  7. I just pulled Augustus. Seems awesome but don’t know who to ascend: Frigg, Augustus or x2 costume Elkanen. Thoughts? Love the posts!

    1. That’s a tough call Mitchell. The 2 faster Heroes are gonna feel much better as they’ll fire off. Whereas, there will be some battles where Augustus just doesn’t get there. C2. Elkanen looks great and that decreased healing could really weigh in your favour if you have a top-tier squad able to put it on the opposition. We know what Frigg does and why’s she’s so highly rated.

      No one can tell you what to do, but while Augustus was fun to play with, he was *sometimes* underwhelming when he fired.

      I would deffo get some testing done at 3/70 to get a sense of who you like. All 3 are great heroes, as you say. Good luck!

    2. I have found 2X elkanen to be underwhelming at 4/80 without emblems. He just tickles the enemies, so maybe it depends on who you have emblems for.

      1. I just maxed my Gullinbursti with emblems (druid) so I cant max Augustus right now, although I could reset Gullinbursti because he would be gladly replaced with Augustus.

  8. Had to pick my jaw up off the floor….after getting both Mother North (C) and Augustus without having to skip a mortgage payment! LOL! I had all but given up on ever getting Mother North costume so I recently decided to level up Alberich Costume…..which I sort of regretted after less than stellar results. Have to start saving up on sturdy shields and work on getting Mother North levelled up tout suite. I have Toto and Augustus frowning at me in the wings….

  9. Hi OC,

    Nothing to argue about, Tinsel is a definitive T2 deity. As (almost) always, you were spot on. You’re unequivocally the most insightful author on this RPG. Best, RM14

  10. Just pulled Krampus but I’ve been working on Fortuna, fully ascended level 10 so far. I know they are completely different players but what’s your opinion on what my focus should be? I think Fortuna is a game changer but I’m not finding much for reviews on her.

  11. Well, with 50 pulls, I managed to get Tinsel, 2 Santa’s and 2 Peppermints. I know what to do with Tinsel and was excited about Peppermint when I saw your review, but when I went onto the forum, people were saying that he was the weakest 5* of the group (next to Santa). I think Peppermint would pair well with Matilda with her resetting of enemy ailments. Do you stand by your 2* deity review? I have a surplus of purples and am trying to prioritize. I’m currently finishing 2c Dominitia, then I need to choose between Khepri, Khonshu, Peppermint, or Ludwig. Any leanings in priorities? Much appreciated!

    1. Hello Bouncer! 😁 ‘Do you stand by your 2* deity review?’ – I’m not selling caravans here; I don’t offer any guarantees or assurances, -just an opinion.

      As for Peppermint, he was very nearly a T1, which gives you some idea of my initial thoughts. However, when comparing him to other top-tier Heroes, his sheer HP output was putting him on par. He not only does a whole heap of direct damage, but then you have pseudo healing, then more Poison damage. With 2 tiles the Poison goes up to 300, which is close to half what C.Roc gives you in Sand damage (So, he could finish off some enemies teetering on the edge with it).

      Problem with Peppermint, when compared to the Heroes I’ve selected, is that they have dynamic secondary skills, like counterattack, additional attack, or healing. Whereas, Peppermint summons a Minion and inflicts Poison damage. And of course, some of his peers have powerful Passives, which he doesn’t.

      On the whole, he was doing way too much to under-grade him, but he doesn’t do anything as inspiring as any of his direct peers. Also, he’s Dark, and isn’t better than the wall of Dark Heroes ahead of him. Just see my Ranking page.

      I remained positive in the review because many people who pull Peppermint will not have other elite Hitters, and in that sort of roster, he’s a prize. Also, if you stick him on an elite squad, he could be a pain. But if my T-2 was broken down further, he would be in the lowest grouping.

      Hopefully this added detail will help in some way.

      I should add, there’s no reason in the world that I can’t be plain wrong. It’s just a pov. And I don’t get to spend as much time on these mass breakdowns as I do for a single review.

      Thanks for visiting!

      1. Thanks for the additional info, it’s much appreciated! You’re my number one place to go for new hero info. Sorry about the strong language, I was think I was upset with what other people were saying about Peppermint and wanted to say to them, “hey, I’ve got it on good authority that Peppermint is T2 deity! So take that!” Anyway, I’m always sharing your posts with my alliance for making hero decisions. Thanks again. With this info, I think I’m going with Ludwig, Khonshu, Khepri, Peppermint, then Dark Lord.

        1. No worries Bouncer, I appreciate the support.

          Just to play the advocate and explain how I would rank the heroes you mention in isolation and without knowing anything about your play-style or roster, it would be:

          Ludwig, Khepri, Peppermint, Khonshu or Dark Lord on your preference. (I’m not a fan of snipers generally).

          Khepri might be the most useable. But if you can find synergy, Ludwig can be a complete game-changer (has been for me).

          Anyway, all are great heroes so congrats!

  12. Hey old cynic, thanks again for the reading material ;-). You deserved your christmas ice cake (but not too icey, mind your teeth!)
    Happened to have 6 tokens and was, of course, hoping for an August like kind of hero, maybe even a pinguin somewhere. Instead I got my usual s1 3stars and……. (building up the suspense…) HOLLY!!!
    She must be about the worst 4 star healer in the game, and hasn’t even got a nice look to make up for that. Also I already have d’André and my sturdy old boar in that colour so she will soon be fed to any hero that’s in dire need of upgrading.
    Still, life is jolly, and we live on hope for the two tokens I can get from the event 🙂

  13. Hi Old Cynic,

    A pleasure to read your pov on these new and old heroes.
    I got Tinsel but no Pengi. I wonder if Tinsel is comparable to Pengi in offense and defense, alongside with Mother North C. Thanks for your analysis!

    1. Hello SteveyWolfy, I’m sorry for this very late response.

      I see Pengi as the superior of the two for his sheer damage output, but Tinsel is hitting 3 for 340% at Fast, plus Minions, plus DD. That’s a crazy package too. I suspect, with all the Minion controllers now present in the game, Tinsel might actually offer more on D as she doesn’t rely on Minions. I think we all try to limit Minion production when we see Mr. Pengi.

      Both are fantastic top-end heroes in my eyes with Mr. Pengi having more potential on Offense, and Tinsel (in the current Meta at the top), likely having more potential on Defense.

      Sorry again, and Merry Christmas!

  14. Greetings OC!

    I try to stay as C2P as possible. Do $1 per pull here and there. Save up hero tokens for seasonal events such as the game is running now. Out of roughly 10 pulls, had some long awaited luck. With that being said, still haven’t pulled a 5 from Dunes. 😉 anyhow, I ended up with Tinsel and Mr. Pengi. Ending up with two viable heroes from the same color presents a bit of a quandary. Which one to level? Tinsel puts out good damage and I like her hexes, but she’s reliant on the board set up. Mr. Pengi can be devastating, but need minions to fire his gun (reminds me of the an ork shokk attack gun if you’re into 40k). I have Freya and Noor to provide minions. Which hero do you believe will perform most consistently?

    1. Hey NurglesGift, though call -both are top-drawer. Both would work together as well, as Tinsel will summon Minions and inflict DD, so Pengi could clear the floor. Mr. Pengi still looks like a one-button winner with very little synergy required (especially on Offense where you can set up those Minions). Personally, I would go for him, but man, both are great options. Congrats. … And Merry Christmas! Nearly there, one more day.

    1. Hey Mig-El, looking at my notes, they actually improved Cookie from Beta, now with that 20% mana reduction and only 3 turns for the damage and mana stop (down from a 4 turn wait). That was following some negative feedback.

      He’s not that bad of a hero, it’s just the speed of the current game is off the charts. So I appreciate he might not be of much use to you! He’s currently in the Think Thank and I’ll be upgrading the grades here but no, he’s not the most immediately dynamic hero.

      Sorry you didn’t get the hero you wanted!

      1. At this point, I cannot afford the luxury of “wanting” a hero. All I can do is try to pull something good, hopefully purple because it is my weakest colour.

        I cannot believe Cookie was even worse before. With the current meta we cannot wait three turns after the skill is triggered to actually cause some effect. Hell, even three years ago it was bad, because Hel already existed.

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