Zhuge Liang Review – Empires and Puzzles

Zhuge Liang Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Zhuge Liang is a new 5-Star hero from the Empires and Puzzles event, the War Of The Three Kingdoms. And in this post, I hope to present a detailed breakdown of his strengths and weaknesses.

For more on the War Of The Three Kingdoms, please check out my complete guide, here.

Before we start, please consider sharing a link to this post with your alliance or on social media. It really does help.

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.

Zhuge Liang’s Stats and Special Skills (Martial Masterstroke)

Element: Holy (Yellow)

Class: Sorcerer

Mana Speed: Slow

Family Bonus (for 1/2/3 Kingdom Heroes): 1. 2/4/6% 3/6/10% 2/4/6% mana each time a minion is summoned for the Hero. 2. 2/3/4% 4/6/8% 3/5/7% heal each time a minion is summoned for the Hero.

[This Family Bonus was buffed/nerfed after this review – Details updated, although the review remains the same.]

Special Skills (Martial Masterstroke): 1. Summons a Shu Soldier minion for each ally with 9% 18% 16% HP and 17% attack inherited from the caster. 2. Shu Soldier minion gives its owner the ability to counterattack with 50% 65% 60% of the damage received for the life of the minion. This effect can not be dispelled. 3. Summons a Shu Guerrilla Fiend for all enemies. The Fiend damages its target with 65% 75% attack every turn. 4. The Shu Guerrilla Fiend absorbs healing. It disappears after absorbing healing equal to 50% of its target’s max health.

Talent: DELAY ~ +15% chance to drop the mana generation of the enemy by -50% for 2 turns after dealing damage. The effect is applied at the end of the turn.

[Zhuge Liang was buffed/nerfed after this review. His stats have been updated, however, the review remains the same.]

Zhuge Liang – Empires and Puzzles

Is Zhuge Liang worth Levelling? (Empires and Puzzles)

Depending on your roster. He’s not a Plugin and Play hero, and I suspect it’s gonna take a bit more to get the best out of him.

It’s actually his Minions that look the most promising, offering a unique ability that (for the right level of player) should be worth exploring.

So for that reason, let’s start with them first…

Zhuge Liang’s Minions (Old Cynic Review)

Here’s a table comparing Zhuge Liang with some of the best minion summoners in the game.

HeroMana SpeedMinion AbilityMinion HealthMinion Attack
Zhuge LiangSlow (12 tiles)Gives its owner 65% counterattack which can not be dispelled9% 18%17%
Lady of the LakeSlow (12 tiles)Mana reducer14%15%
DiaochanFast (8 tiles)Steals buffs15%19%
Director ZuriAverage (10 tiles)15%22%
MotegaTier-1 (5.6 tiles)Target feels punch drunk 14% 20%
BeraFast (8 tiles)Stop enemy getting their own Minions and poisoning them, too.20%20%
OldCynic.com – Zhuge Liang’s comparison table

There’s no getting around it, his minions look seriously frail here, -like Celery Detox kinda frail.

Nothing against celery, of course, but these minions need a buff… or some protein powder.

Motega, the Magic Hero, recently got his minions buffed, but before that, they were like 8%, too.

Here’s the math on their health, but take it with a pinch of salt…. -cuz I didn’t finish school.

1516 is ZL’s base Health
9% of 1516 = 136.4

~They’re only worth around 140 HP as standard.

That means, one chain of tiles, or one Special slap, should see these little buggers off.

Still, with 65% counterattack, you’ll get some of that negative karma back, by way of a Palm Heel Strike to the nose.

***Remember to put cute/funny Slapping Gif here***

How Good are his counterattacking Minions?

50% is a nice solid number to start counterattacking minions off at.

However, there’s no doubt about it, these minions were born to die; the plight of us all… to chase the light into the next simulation… to drift away into the endless slumber.

But not if we protect them.

I figure, we need to start up some sort of Big Brother program, so these malnourished little halflings got a chance at life.

I don’t know who’s got the collection bucket, but you gotta make sure some of that gets to the kids!

And, if you’re not gonna feed them, at least play a decent summoner alongside them, -it would mean all your heroes get to enjoy that 50% counterattack for much longer.

Jokes aside, I saw this cool YouTube video which provided some early insight into how potent these minions could be, and I remain quietly optimistic about the possibilities.

Here’s the thing, whenever it comes to a Specialist like Zhuge Liang, I’m always thinking about how I’d use ’em.

But if you’ve got a stacked roster, these minions might not warrant any further attention at all.

Let’s move on to the fiends.

Zhuge Liang’s Fiends Vs. The Rest (Empires & Puzzles)

This table is populated with some of the game’s finest fiend summoners.

HeroMana SpeedDamage/OtherFiend DamageHealing Absorbed by Fiend
Zhuge LiangSlow (12 tiles)Zero damage to all enemies +
Summons counterattack Minions
65%50%
Lu BuSlow (12 tiles)295% to all enemies
Fiend stops target from getting new buffs
48%32%
ViscaroSlow (12 tiles)190% to all enemies60%45%
ElizabethAverage (10 tiles)175% to all enemies +
Fiend gives -24% mana generation for life of Fiend
43%28%
Motega Tier-2Slow (12 tiles)Zero damage to all enemies +
Fiend gives -50% accuracy for life of Fiend
43% 50%
SenanSlow (12 tiles)275% to all enemies45%30%
HannahFast (8 tiles)215% to Target & nearby +
Fiend gives -20% attack for life of Fiend
43%20%
OldCynic.com – Zhuge Liang compared with other Fienders

Zhuge Liang’s fiends meet the top-end 50% healing absorption rate. But they hit for 65%, which sets a new precedent for Fiend damage.

Sadly though, they don’t do anything else, -no secondary at all.

What we can say is,

  • they’re heavy,
  • they hit hard,
  • but it’s gonna take a long Slow charge to get them onto faces.

Zhuge Liang Review (Empires and Puzzles)

My final thoughts:

Zhuge Liang’s value is found in his minions. Although short-lived, their impact could be greater than the fiends they were born with.

If I pulled him, I’d be interviewing minion summoners to work alongside. And of course, if I had them, I’d stick a big ‘ol mana booster in the cubicle opposite.

Empires and Puzzles is all about building teams to withstand all comers, and Zhuge Liang could be part of that team.

However, I want to share a grounded view of the card you’re holding in your hands, and based on all the information above, he’s not a Deity in the end.

His speed is a major concern, along with his pitiful minion food budget.

When measured against the best-of-the-best in E&P, he simply doesn’t do anywhere near enough to justify the mana required to charge him.

PS. Placed with a mana god, or fighting in a Rush Tournament, he’s golden.

Hero Grade for Zhuge Liang (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? No.

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

Old Cynic’s Hero Grade: Archangel

This hero was subsequently Buffed or Nerfed by the developers. Details have been updated to reflect the changes.

A GIF of someone turning someone's head towards them and then slapping them

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

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Copyright: oldcynic.com
Images used by way of review/tutorial – Copyright owned by Empires & Puzzles: Small Giant/Zynga Games

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12 Comments

  1. In a minion themed Team 3 Kingdom heros he can be fired of constantly with 9 Tiles. Like any Slow Kingdom Family Hero.

    An Example-team. Motega/ Anastasia/ Zhunge Liang /Sun Shangxiang / Zhou Yu. If you Have an lvl 23 Magic Troop with 3 Yellow Matches Motega Anastasia and Zhunge Liang, can use their Special. Furthermore, Sun ShangXiang and Zhauyu will have 18 % of their bar filled up. Such Teams can very fast spam Minions and Fiends (they do not need any heal), that is very Powerfull in assaults but not in defense Teams. Mainly because heros like Miki counter this kind of heavy use of Minions. Pretty restricted Teams must be build to take advantage of this to this extend, but when you have the Rooster to do it, it will be worth.

    For further Information about building such Teams, see my reddit post, here.

      1. No Problem, I have Limit broken him with full Emblems and using him in two ways.

        First Autoplay Farming:
        Team: Frosth, Xiahou Dun, Zhuge Liang, Mr. Pengi, Mother1 North

        With permanent Meat shield Minions boosting his mana and the reletivly hard hitting Fiends, Zhunge Liang gives the Team in auto mode the constant dmg out put. this team needes Pengi and blue Tiles are responsible for burst DMG. I can run Auto till Area 30 in season 4 in hard mode with it, with no issues.

        Second is a War Team /standard Raid Team.
        Motega/ Anastasia /Zhuge Liang /Xiahou Dun /Wang Yuanji

        With 2 matches, Motega and Anastasia generate a fine meat shield, while Motega provides some DMG boost to the tile DMG, since it is 4:1 team. With the third match, you can trigger Zhunge and after that Wang. After that, you have enough HP to try to fully charge Motega. Xiahou is perfect for countering Taunts, evades (minions are not affected by that) and reflects, and fiend summoner are no Problem for Wang. Since Zhunge Minions are the last summoned you have 600 Minion HP to maintain the Dmg reflect and additional 626 to 700 Hp from Wang on top. Zhunge Fiend hits for about 40 to 50 Dmg unbuffed (Motega gives 20% on top ) each Round and prevents a lot of heal. This team can deal with a lot of meta defenses, since taunts, fiends and dodge buffs are not of your concern, hard hitters potentially kill themselves. A Problem can be Bera and other heroes preventing minions summons and of course Skadi. Other minions hate heros are no Problem since you have such an output of them that there is no harm in erasing them once, plus you still get the mana boost.

  2. I fully emblemed and limit broke Zhuge. On defense I play Alberich C, Zhuge, Ludwig, Pengi, GraveMaker C.
    Zhuge is a real tank and does tanky things. On offense he can take hits when the tiles go bad. The minions, fiends, counterstrike, all work together and are really one attack in 3 parts, but might also provide constant damage wearing down heros for your snipers. And he has the -50% mana delay talent that is helpful too.
    Not my best hero, but a better tank than the large portion of 5* holy tanks you typically see.

    1. Sounds like a devastating team Crash, Zhuge next to Ludwig is awesome. Speed must be the main concern, but as you say, he can take a hit.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  3. Hi dear Old Cynic! How do you think about the overall grade of the buffed Zhuge Liang? And who will you choose between Zhuge Liang and Motega now? Hope for your opnions!

    1. Hey Albert! Well, there was a lot of action yesterday and I haven’t been able to evaluate all of the buffs in isolation, but Zhuge Liang’s buff is so significant that it breaks my review! Minion strength and improved counterattack will be a big problem. I personally prefer Motega for his versatility and mana speed. So, without any further research/evaluation, I still prefer Motega.

      1. Thank you for your advice, and I decide to limitbreak Motega. I will keep my eyes on your updates of hero reviews~ They are so instructive.

  4. I broke Zhang specifically to use w/ Liu Bei on defense. So far I’ve been blown away by the results. This last war I avg’d 8 flags per kill. And our opponents were pretty powerful. Adding him to my raid defense was a game changer. I’ll usually get hit a dozen plus times when I’m offline. I’ve always won more than I lose but now after 15+ hits I’ll be up a handful of cups. Its pretty crazy really.

  5. I love the Slow 3K heroes because they don’t get nerfed 🙂 I have zhuge with full emblems and LB, also Wang 4* healer full LB plus Lu bu full yet still don’t have balls to LB him… but will. I use zhuge in purple/yellow offensive team, with wang, lu bu, freya and anastasia LB and full. And they are devastating if get tiles on time. It’s the lawnmover :). Second raid team – and basic defence team – is lu bu, ariel, zhuge, elisabeth and arco. Only ariel and lu bu not LB (but wil be) and arco not full, yet they can be even more devastating. With 3 minions each and 4 fiends per each enemy it’s just a matter of time when the enemy goes down.

  6. Zhuge’s minions overwrite Ferant’s riposte which is just silly and I think since it’s a different special it’s a bug.

    Anyone any idea if it’s supposed to be like this? /or should I report it as a bug…

    1. This is the rule of one. Only one defense down, or in this case counterattack. These effects do not stack they overwrite.

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