How Good is Zekena? Underwild Hero Review (Empires and Puzzles)

Zekena Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Zekena is a new 5-Star hero from Underwild, Season 4 of Empires and Puzzles. And it’s fair to say, this guy looks incredible. In short, he’s a 5-Star Bjorn, but with a serious sting in his tail.

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


Zekena’s Special Skills & Core Data

Class: Barbarian

Family Bonus (for 1/2/3/4/5 Underwild Heroes): 25% / 30% / 35% / 40% / 45% chance to spawn an Underwild Gem on board when this hero casts Special Skill. The Underwild Gem deals 50 damage to a random enemy each turn.

Passive: Duration of the first 3 buffs is increased by 1 turn.

Special Skills (Swift Stingers): 1. Deals 300% damage to the target. 2. Deals 450% damage to a random different enemy. 3. Deals extra damage if the target is Dark. 4. The target of the second hit gets -56% defense for 3 turns.

Talent: WOUND ~ +30% chance to apply bleeding from any normal attack.

Zekena – Empires and Puzzles

Is Zekena Worth Levelling? (Empires and Puzzles)

I can confirm your suspicions; Zekena’s another All-Star.

We’ve recently seen a bunch of new quick hitters, including Mr. Pengi, Quenell, and Penolite, and Zekena is part of the same trend.

What I like about him, is his core damage stats. The developers could’ve held back a bit, or slowed down his mana speed, but they didn’t. The result is a stone-cold-killer.

His first hit is for 300% damage and the second for 450%.

And just like Bjorn, if there’s only one target left, he’ll slap ’em both sides for 750% damage.

So, as the battle rages on, and as heroes are dismissed, Zekena becomes more and more dangerous -as his list of potential victims decreases.

And the Stinger? He leaves the second target with -56% Defense-down.

Let’s get into the comparisons

This is gonna be a bit of a numbers game. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Fast Hitters
  • Powerful Snipers
  • Heroes who hit the wings
  • and, Quenell – Because she’s the current Gold standard

I’m also going to add another Column to measure Max possible total output.

HeroMana SpeedDamageSecondaryTotal Damage
ZekenaFast (8 tiles)Deals 300% damage to the target & 450% to a random targetSecond target gets -56% defense for 3 turns750%
JabberwockFast (8 tiles)Deals 300% damage to the enemies on the edges. If there’s only one enemy alive, the damage is doubled Enemies on the edges receive 258 Poison damage over 3 turns.600%
ZenobiaAverage (10 tiles)Deals 320% damage to the enemies on the edges. If there’s only one enemy alive, the damage is doubled.Alters the power of Fire shields on the board…640%
Captain NemoFast (8 tiles)Deals 300% damage to the targetDeals 600% if the caster has a status ailment600%
QuenellFast (8 tiles)Deals 320% damage to the target & NBDamage increases by +40% power every turn -up to +200% in total 1,560%
CobaltNinja x2 (10 tiles)Deals 325% damage to the target & NB85% chance the attack will bypass buffs975%
Zekena compared with other hitters

750% damage isn’t earth-shattering, but it is impressive when you consider Zekena’s speed -Fast.

As more of these heavy hitters are released, we either continue to rate them highly based on damage output Vs. Speed, or we say, Damage alone does not = Superstar. -A hard argument to make.

Especially when these new, fresh-out-the-box, heroes continue to wipe the floor with your sorry bunch of “peacefully protesting”, in-bed-by-nine, cucumber sandwich eating, introverted part-timers.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all of those things, but still… I expect more from my heroes.

Related: Countdown of The Best Valhalla Heroes

Zekena Vs Titans (Empires and Puzzles)

It’s obvious to everyone, even those who just started playing E&P, that Zekena will do quite well against Titans.

The good folk at E&P leaned into his Element and gave us a little extra bonus damage against Dark, which will make his inclusion into any Titan team, a certainty.

That’s because both of Zekena’s attacks will fire and hit the Titan, causing severe discomfort, general anxiety, and a loss of Zen. And it’s expected, the -56% Defense-down which accompanies the hurt, will also cause untold hypersensitivity around its fragile parts.

But Zekena will also do well in the normal world. After all, his Defense-down is not Elemental.

At the end of the day, he’s a top-end hitter. No doubt.

Zekena – Empires and Puzzles Grade

My final thoughts:

I remember pulling Bjorn and thinking how cool he was. Bjorn is clearly the base model -without the Defense-down. He hits the first target for 200% damage and the second for 350%, at Average speed.

Zekena is in a completely different league, of course. With so much to like:

  • Speed: Fast
  • Concentrated damage: Substantial
  • Defense-down: High Level
  • Bonus against Element: Don’t Forget To Hit The Titan

I hope to never see one of my heroes standing alone, across the battlefield from Zekena.

With no hope left and only a solitary skull to offer, to serve as a living sacrifice and to bear witness, to his awesome destructive nature.


So for my grading, the question is:

Is this hero’s Special capable of/likely to change the outcome of a battle?


If not, do they still bring enough to the party to help defeat the deities?

Yes. He is very close to a Deity and I’m sure he’ll be a fantastic asset for anyone who pulls him.

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Archangel

What are your thoughts? Did I get it wrong, or miss something? Let me know in the comments below.

[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 Games

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  1. Well, I’m doubt that Z should hit titan twice due to second description which says random “different” enemy. If it could not hit twice, then Z is just normal hero.

    1. Yes, I saw that and confirmed it on the Forum -which states that he does hit the same target twice. I’ll keep my eye out for a vid to see it for myself, too.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Great hero, I like him. Note: your description of Quennell’s special is wrong. She gets 40% extra damage per turn, not per activation.

    1. Hey byzanthia, yes I say per hit but I’ll change it to say Special so it’s clear. Thank you for pointing it out, and for visiting!

      Correction -per turn as you say!

  3. I pulled him today, and checked his ability against a sole opponent. Sure enough, much like Bjorn, Zekana hits his lone target twice for all 750% damage, which makes him my next ascension target, for sure (when I get the darts). Poor Akkorog is never going to get Ascended (my last set of darts went to a lucky Faline that I pulled the last Starfall event).

    Someday, Akkorog…

  4. He will be valuable on titan for sure. Apart from Vivica costume and White Rabbit, he is only the 3rd Yellow 5 stars with def down and its the highest compared to the others too. Tried to pull for him but no luck on that. I bet all the top spenders will cashed in just for that def down.

  5. I was very lucky to pull him and cant wait to get him levelled, the recent HOTM Hanitra was going to be my holy upgrade but this feller definitely trumps her!

  6. Hi. I already have Wolfgang and pulled today Zekena and the hotm. With only 6 darts who i should choose? My yellow mono is Odin in 85(20 grades), Ureaus(20 grades), Leonidas(20 grades), G. Jackal in 75(20 grades), Ranvir(7 grades). I already have Joon in 4/80. Thanks for your help.

    1. Hey Paulo, welcome!

      Let me start where I normally finish, with a legal disclaimer: this is not advice, just chewing the fat.

      That said, -it’s a really difficult choice. If you don’t have another Dodge, Hanitra will be useful but really, you’re gonna wanna get both done in time. Based on my roster, I’d probably go Hanitra, in hope that she’d help both with my D and Offense.

      However, Zekena is going to be a looootttt more fun. He’s a hitter and leaves a victim with -defense. You can see, with your own eyes, what he does. Whereas, Hanitra requires Faith.

      Anyway, as you can see -I can’t tell you which one to choose, but maybe I’ve helped in some way?

      Thanks for visiting!

    2. When people ask WHICH REALLY COOL HERO SHOULD I LEVEL? it almost never has enough info to make a choice. If you tell me I HAVE 3 REDS, WHO DO I LEVEL, GARNET, ELIZABETH OR GEFJON?!?!
      There is no wrong answer on average. But for certain players, there are better and definitively worse answers. If I drew Pengi today, I WOULD NOT LEVEL HIM. The reason I would not is because, I have only 1 other minion maker I rarely use (because I have only 1). AND because Im blue heavy already. 4-80 Magni cant get his face in a fight on my blue roster. So why would I dive into Pengi? Now my buddy who has ALL the Valhallan Minion makers will really see benefit. We have different rosters and different needs.
      Keep in mind, offense is a 6 pointed sword. for wars you need 6 top teams who can survive, kill, and score points for your team.

      You really only need 1 defensive brute squad to take on all comers over and over. True, depending on the war buff of the week you will have a few who rotate in on very fast wars or what have (Alfrike, you slow and undeniable death machine! We all love you! Call me!). If you get the latest great hero…you can usually find a circumstance to fit on a war attack squad. But a defense squad is the best synergy best surviving squad you have when the mana is a constant and the buffs favor the defense. I have like 60 leveled 5 stars, at least 40 of them have NEVER spent a single day on a defense team for me. they would weaken me to try. (Or should I say, the 10 or 20 who all do rotate into my defenses, the others cant outdefend on their best day so I dont even consider them for the role).
      Level the hero you will USE. Even if its just on team 6 of wars (At least for now). Or if its specialty…like quite a few friends of mine have Isarnia leveled up. She sits, and gets pulled out for very fast events only. And shes deadly when her slowness is bypassed. If you have the room to keep specialty heroes like that…do so…its wicked!

      But if you dont…build the best defensive mega squad you can…and any new hero who obviously cant crack it…I tend to take offense 1st if theres a choice on who to level. Offense you can always find uses for…particular enemies to counter. Defense, they will be assessing YOU, and countering choices you already locked in. If the new hero isnt better than your best…it never will be for defense.

      Hope it helps.

      And please, nobody ask WHO SHOULD I LEVEL, if the name RUBY is one of the choices. Somebody will slap you.

      1. Hahaha, ‘…Call me!’
        and, ‘if the name RUBY is one of the choices. Somebody will slap you.’

        Thanks for the info TLK, useful for all players -and fun. Cheers!

  7. For ages my holy team featured White Rabbit. because he was fast, gave a solid 34% defense cut and could work well alongside Guardian Jackal to set titans up for the big hitters.

    Rabbit doesnt hold a candle to Zeke, Zeke hits bigger (way bigger), is the same speed, can hit 2…or 1…

    Another overpower sees a funeral barge released for a hero past…
    Fare thee well White Rabbit. You were a top performer, till you were replaced. And the new young warrior takes your place…
    And your wife, your stuff, is rockin your trenchcoat and driving your car…

    But such is the future.

  8. How will he do on war defense and where would you put him? I’m thinking wing since there are plenty of heros with higher defense.

    1. Hi Mike, I’d stick him on the Flank and see how he gets on, but Wing is cool too. I like the idea of hitters getting an early chance to rattle the opponent… this is not science, just an Old mans opinion!

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