How do you set up (or build) a Defense Team in Empires and Puzzles? It’s a question I get asked a lot, so today I’m gonna share my process.
It goes without saying, I don’t claim to be an expert. However, I feel I’ve been playing long enough, and have had enough exposure to varying views via this blog, to be able to construct this guide.
I’m gonna be covering a lot of information here, and I hope it proves useful for both the new P2P players, who are seeking to build Top Tier Defenses, and also the new F2P/C2P players, who may find building Defense Teams especially challenging due to a lack of quality heroes and, in general, online guidance.
And finally, if you’re one of the large pool of experienced players who frequent this blog, you are invited and welcomed to add your own thoughts/tips/contribution, to the comments below.
Before we start, please support me by sharing a link to this post, it really does help. Thank you!
Caveat: This post contains game-play speculation and personal opinion. It may also contain comedy and sarcasm. It is not advice and is solely for entertainment and informational purposes.
Why Doesn’t the Old Cynic Set Up Defense Teams on Request?
Setting up a strong Defense Team involves a lot of elements, all of which I’m about to cover in this post, and in short, I simply don’t have the time to build lots of teams. It’s just not reasonable for me to do.
Sure, I can pick out your best heroes. But as we’ll discover, a good Defense Team is about much more, -it’s about finding synergy.
If you’d like a Vice-Versa opinion on a couple of heroes, I’m happy to offer that. But if you want me to build a team for you, I’m going to refer you here!
I hope you understand.
I have long promised a post about building a Defense Team, and as my personality type hates letting folk down, here it is.
Before we get into the guide, it’s worth noting a number of other posts on this website which all add to the conversation. They explain many of the concepts which I’ll later touch on in this guide:
- The Ultimate Raid Strategy Guide – Concerning the methods used to win a battle
- The Complete Colour Stacking Guide – Concerning Team Stacking
- Empires and Puzzles Troops: A Complete Guide – A comprehensive guide to Troops. Guest contributor: David P.
- 1% Raid Tournament Guide – A comprehensive guide to building Defensive and Offensive Teams for Tournaments. Guest contributor: GamerrFreddie
- Stop Using Mono Tanks …in War – An insightful argument concerning the importance of Defense Team synergy. Guest contributor: Romain De Camas
- How to Read E&P Hero Cards – A guide to understanding Hero Cards
- Empires and Puzzles Jargon Buster – In case any of the words in this post draw a blank!
How to Set Up a Defense Team | Empires and Puzzles
Setting up a Defense Team can be a subjective affair, after all, our personal experiences and more importantly, our available rosters, play a big part in the equation.
Personally, I lean towards seeking synergy above all else when facing the problem of Team building.
In the years I’ve played the game, I’ve been most impressed by the dogged Teams, which create systematic loops, -making victory, a hard thing to obtain.
That’s the type of team I try to create myself, albeit, with a vastly inferior roster.
And, it’s that method which I’ll be sharing with you today, and hopefully, it will help you build a reasonable team with your own rag-tag bunch of rejects, -as I have with mine.
However, if you’re a P2P player wanting to know what your best Defensive Team looks like, there are a number of shortcuts available to you, which I’ll cover next.
Shortcuts to building the Best Elite Empires and Puzzles Defense Team (P2P Top Tier)
While the fundamentals are the same (synergy will be the cornerstone of this post), players who have access to all of the best heroes in empires and puzzles, have at least a few handy pointers available to them.
The Leaderboard Top 100 (Empires and Puzzles)
The first is the in-game Top 100 Leader board, which can be found in the RAIDS tab, just under your raid tier. Press the button called, ‘LEADERBOARD’.
The following is a list of the current Top 100 players in the world based on Cups held.
A short peruse here will show you what some of the best players in the world have constructed for use as their Defense Team.
Take a moment to see what heroes are being fielded, and Where.
Also, try to understand why they’ve been positioned that way (formation and order). What are the benefits?
The Top Alliances (Empires and Puzzles)
To take it a step further, hit the ‘TOP ALLIANCES’ tab, and select one of the top alliances to review.
There’s a lot of good info here to be found, and interestingly, you’ll see that some of the top alliances share similarly designed Defenses. -A common example is the use of Xnolphod as Tank.
Now, I don’t presume to talk for these alliances, but it’s clear that research, experimentation, and organisation, has occurred.
And all of that energy has been invested with two things in mind: Obtaining and Retaining Cups.
So, you don’t have to read about Xnolphod, to understand that he should be considered a viable Tank option.
Instead, you’ll have clear evidence laid out before you, from the people who play this game at the highest level, that good ‘ol Xnolphod, may be worth a punt.
Join an Organised Alliance (Empires and Puzzles)
If you want to, why not join an Organised Alliance and get some pointers, firsthand?
It doesn’t have to be a Top Tier Clan, so long as the players are committed, and it’s all relatively well organised.
Many Alliances, regardless of status, have off-game communications via Line & Discord. And many like to help others with their Defense Teams.
So, while you may not find a single player with access to all of your heroes, you’re bound to find a pool of experienced players who have access to, or are very familiar with, your roster.
Find Defense Team Synergy Yourself (Empires and Puzzles)
If you’re a new P2P player, your goal is ultimately the same as everybody else’s, -to find the most absurd amount of synergy you can.
To create a team capable of frustrating the living daylights out of any invader.
So, the rest of this guide should help you, too.
Universal Laws Of Setting Up a Defense (Empires & Puzzles Tips)
There are generally accepted rules which, on the whole, offer clear benefits when setting up a Defense Team. That’s not to say you can’t break these rules, but if you’re unsure, it’s easier to simply follow them.
- You don’t need to include every type of hero in your Defense – You don’t even need to field healers (for example) if you’d prefer not to. It’s all about finding what works best
- ‘Rainbow Teams’ are generally more advantageous (Read my Colour Stacking Guide for more)
- Speed Kills – If your heroes can fire off first, they stand a better chance of winning!
- If playing a Defense-Down hero, try and place them to the Left. That goes for Cleansers and Dispellers, too
- Some 4-Star heroes can contribute to a solid Defense
- 3-Star heroes are too weak to be effective in the Diamond league
- Don’t play a sniper as Tank
- Mother North is not a Tank
- It’s your Team, so do what you want – This is also my general rule for playing the game
Is your Strongest Team, your Best Team? Defense Synergy…
The main argument I’m going to make in this post is based on creating synergy.
What do I mean by that?
I mean, putting a team together which when viewed in their single parts may not be considered worthy of particular merit, however, when fielded together, make the invader say,
“Huh… wasn’t expecting that.”
Play heroes who complement each other’s skillset.
Of course, if you have all the best heroes, simply seek synergy.
But even if you don’t, there’s still hope… sometimes.
The best way for me to explain what I mean is by sharing my recently destroyed Defence (destroyed by SG when they nerfed Azmia):
A number of pointers:
- I’m generally a very C2P player, with my recent blog pulls being my biggest splurge to date.
- There are three 4-Star heroes in my Defense, although I could’ve fielded five 5-Star heroes (we’ll cover this later).
- I owe a general apology to the world over my stance on the White Wizard.
Explaining my budget Defense Team (Empires and Puzzles)
Pre-nerf, this team was holding me near 2700 cups.
That may not seem a lot for some players, but for me, it was an outstanding feat, especially as I don’t Raid as much as I’d like to.
Let’s break the entire thing down, and share my general process.
First, let’s look at the Formation
I used to run the Reverse formation because I found it to be the most frustrating to deal with. I also liked the layout and generally got better results with it.
However, once I levelled Azmia, I saw an opportunity to try something a little different.
I wanted her to fire off asap, but didn’t want to leave her out front alone. So, the Double formation made more sense. However, it was just another piece of experimentation.
-If it didn’t work, I would have moved on and tried something else.
Now, let’s go over the Team build and layout.
Choosing my Defense Team Tank (Empires and Puzzles)
This team was all designed to make the most out of Azmia. -To keep her protected so she could keep that (once) awesome counterattack going.
I wanted a co-Tank for that reason, and Freya seemed like a good choice (based on my roster).
I really value her ability to reverse, or simply increase, Defense. Also, she creates a solid meat market out front with her minions. And most importantly, she’s quicker than Azmia, at Fast.
Both of these heroes offer Team-wide protections and also get on with the work of inflicting harm on those who would steal our Pork.
Tank Tip: For me, choosing a Tank is about selecting a hero who does a lot, ideally both Defensively and Offensively. Telluria was a beloved Tank because she did it all, including messing with mana.
There are loads of good options for Tank, including:
Remember, a ‘weak’ Tank for somebody else, might actually be your best choice.
If you don’t have a better option, Buddy might make a great Tank for you. Because, when he fires off he summons a bunch of minions, inflicts -Attack, and inflicts -Defense, on 3 enemy targets.
In fact, he would make a better Tank than some 5-Star snipers/controllers, like Malosi for example.
The Rest of the Squad (Gormek)
Now that we have a little protection going on, we need heroes capable of winning this thing.
He’s an Average speed Fire hitter who, importantly, inflicts -34% Defense on 3 enemy targets. Imagine that with Freya’s minions peppering away.
Of course, my 4-Stars are Limit Broken, Emblemed, and fully insured.
While he’s not gonna win the battle by himself, he’s still the most offensive hero in my line-up.
Attrition is my Dream. And, his -34% Defense offers me some hope of p*ssing off and ejecting, any overreaching invader.
Left-Wing Tip: The Left Wing is an important spot because it houses the first hero to activate on the next turn.
That’s why so often, you’ll see a Defense-Down hero there, like Morel, Frigg, Costumed White Rabbit, and Finley.
And that’s why I put Gormek there.
Also, the Left Wing is the traditional spot for Mother North, because it gets the most out of her Special Skills (-should she revive any heroes who are fully charged, they’ll go off on that turn).
On the Right Corner is Devana (Empires and Puzzles)
Devana occupies the right corner because she’s a solid stand-alone hero.
She does so much, which I’ve documented, and I especially like her anti-minion… minion.
She also Dispels three targets, and that’s a theme I wanted to continue, with the centre spot…
It’s also a great spot to sit a free-radical, like Kalo.
The Right-Wing is also traditionally home to the common sniper.
Melendor, The White Wizard (Centre – Flank)
Costumed Melendor will regenerate health for all allies, cast +46% defense for 3 turns, and Dispel buffs from all enemies.
While experimenting, I first went with Franz in this spot, but he proved too slow. I also tested C. Jack O’Hare, but he never got me more Cups.
C. Melendor, I imagine, added to a reoccurring loop:
- Defense-Up (Freya + Melendor)
- Healing (Azmia + Melendor)
- Dispel (Melendor + Devana)
Plus, I got Defense-down from Gormek, Cleanse from Azmia (60% chance), and a tiny bit of minion control from Devana.
Flank Tip: I guess Melendor is playing in a Flank-type position here in my lineup. Flanks are great for Dodge heroes, Summoners, healers, and Taunters.
Flank heroes are the most interchangeable, once you have your core Defense Team set up.
Defense Team Hero Element Positioning (Empires and Puzzles)
Let’s reprint my Defense Team so you don’t have to keep scrolling back up:
Another way to gain an advantage is by placing heroes with due regard to their element. That means, understanding the colour wheel:
- 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
With that in mind, and as much as it falls in line with your other criteria, positioning weak next to their element opposite, is a great idea.
I placed Gormek (Red) to the Left, and Azmia (Blue) next to him.
So, if an invader goes Green (Nature) mono in order to target Azmia, there’s a chance Gormek could benefit from Green tiles hitting him (as they’re weak against him).
Therefore, helping him to charge his mana while taking as little damage as possible.
Defense Team Review (Empires and Puzzles)
This was a solid little Defense Team while it lasted, -with Azmia grabbing a fair few Cups:
All-in-all, I can say from testing, that it was Melendor (despite how much he has grown on me) who was the weakest link. Followed by, Gormek.
However, there was obviously enough synergy to get some wins, so overall, I was happy.
Who was left sitting on the bench?
As mentioned above, I could’ve fielded a full 5-Star team, and here’s a list of the key heroes I left behind:
- Hanitra (because I was playing Azmia and wanted her Counterattack to… count)
- Esme (actually a very good defensive hero, I even tried to field 2 Ice heroes to fit her in)
- Master Lepus (because I’m playing Azmia)
- Magni (a solid old-timer, but past his prime + Ice + sniper)
- Elkanen (a weak’ish Nature old timer)
- Reuben (an OK Fire 5-Star hero, but without another 2020 HotM, he loses out on a key strength)
- Elena (I think you’re getting the point. A bunch of old 5-Star heroes from here on in, many of whom were collected from TC20)
How do you Experiment with a Defense Team?
When I talk about experimenting, I’m talking about putting a Defense Team together and letting them defend the castle while you’re away. For maybe a day or two.
See how things go. Review the data. See how many you win and lose, and take a look at the teams who manage to steal your Cups.
Are your Cups going up? -That’s generally a good indication of a good Defense Team.
How to Test a Defense Team (Empires and Puzzles)
Finally, once I’m satisfied I have a half-decent Defense Team on my hands, I’ll ask an alliance member to ‘Battle’ them.
Often, this is actually my wife, where I can watch firsthand, my team’s performance.
I tend to put together a new Defense Team every few months or so, if my team’s losing too many Cups, or if I happen to get a new hero who’s worth shaking things up for.
If I had Kalo, he’d also be worth the effort, especially given my limited roster.
Picking a War Defense Team (Empires and Puzzles)
I believe all of my observations also apply to War Defense Teams.
The 1% Tournament guide is also especially useful for seeing how to respond to the different types of War Effects.
For example, prioritising your powerhouse slow heroes, in a Very Fast War.
And for that reason, I’m not going to duplicate information here.
My view is, that it comes down to finding the best synergy for each War. But remember, some you win some you lose, it’s all part of the learning process.
I say that because Wars are less forgiving. You don’t have the luxury of 2 days to test conditions, you simply have to be prepared to start recording data for future wars, or be willing to shoot from the hip.
Building a Defense Team in Empires and Puzzles
I hope this helps somebody, but please bear in mind, I don’t claim to be the master of the universe… I just play the game a lot.
If you’ve got tips to share, please do. New players are always looking for this sort of information, and I’d love for there to be enough here to empower them to start experimenting with their own rosters.
My best tip is to think about what you’re trying to achieve. Try to imagine how you want your team to respond to tiles. And, build a team around that concept.
For me, I wanted Amzia to fire off first, or to be protected until she did (Freya).
Anyway, that’s all I have to say about that.
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.
And finally, please Subscribe!
Copyright (decoration images and text): oldcynic.com
Images used by way of review/tutorial – Copyright owned by Empires & Puzzles: Small Giant Games