@Elayanith It’s a bit off-topic of course, but I actually do use Hu Tao quite a lot these days! I’ll quote something I’ve said about him before as a start (note that “them” in the quote below is Hu Tao and Boril):
Hidden Blades - Colen, Santa, or Neither
I still use them regularly, and I’ve actually found as I’ve gotten other new heroes that they have new life.
Hu Tao was getting some serious hate from me for a while when I got sick of his slow speed and low attack stat, but he’s back in my good graces and gets pretty frequent use now that I can pair him with other heroes where those are made up for and his blinding shines through. I’m probably not going to get to my duplicate any time soon, but I’m loving me some panda again.
And to add on:
I use him a lot for raiding now as my third yellow against a purple tank, usually in a 3-2 or 3-1-1 stack with Proteus and one of Rigard/Sabina/Melendor/Boldtusk. While he’s slow and hits softly, he’s a big pile of blubber who’s relatively easy to keep alive, and blind is incredibly powerful in this game, so mixing him in with mana control from Proteus, Leonidas, and Chao often makes anything other than a truly terrible board a total control fest. I can keep most specials from firing, and those that do may well miss.
That “bad board management” piece is where this fits on topic. To tack on more thoughts:
Hu Tao got new life in my Season 2 Hard progress too, where I used him with Boldtusk, Melendor, Rigard, and Proteus on levels with more purple.
I do think his days outside of War and Class Trial usage are numbered, though. I’ve got Vivica at 3-1 as my yellow leveling priority after I finish Wu Kong who I finally got this past Atlantis. And it’s hard to imagine I’d pick Hu over Vivica, Leo, or Chao in the long run when stacking. And on Atlantis Hard levels, now that I have Wilbur, he usually takes that last slot that I used to rotate depending on enemy and boss colors.
So I don’t regret maxing him, and I’ve gotten more than enough use out of him to be happy about it. But I do think he’s less useful in the long run than other 4*.
With a little buff, that could change. I made a case for one here:
Rebalance Old Heroes General Discussion
Hu Tao and Little John are often maligned because of their slow mana, but both can be extremely useful for events and quests. And I think Hu Tao is the more frequently maligned of the two, so I’m going to use LJ as a comparison to justify buffing Hu Tao a bit. LJ is squishy but has the advantage of a high attack stat, so at least he’s also useful for titans and makes a difference when he goes off. Comparatively, Hu Tao is a pile of blubber for defense and hp stats, but his attack stat and AoE…
And to answer your last question, I have 15 orbs at the moment, so using 4 on Hu Tao a long while ago didn’t end up costing me any choices or delays along the way so far.