Hero strength and rarity - A General discussion

Hey Everyone,

So there have been a lot of topics going around about buffing and nerfing heroes and it seems like a lot of these discussions boil down to the same thing even if it is about different heroes. A few things stand out to me that I believe warrant a general ideoligical discussion apart from the spicific discussions for the specific heroes. I would like to ask that we try to keep this discussion as general as possible and don’t get thrown off track by discussing particular heroes, there are topics for that allready, so please stick to examples only.

A few observations before we get started :

  • The most talked about heroes are all HOTM’s. Neith has way more votes for a buff than Mok-Arr for example.
  • There is strong onus in these forums for buffing weaker HOTM’s (Neith, JF), And retaining stronger ones ( Telluria ) as evidenced by the votes for neith and the poll result in the Tell topic.
  • There are very few to no topics and votes for rare event or S2,3 hero balancing. Whether they are very strong (Finley, BK) or weak ( Guardian Kong, Atomos )

So why is it that Finley and BK never got a succesful nerf topic and Tellurias is up to 1200 posts? Why does Neith have so many votes for a buff while she is clearly better than many event, seasonal and S2 heroes that get next to none?


It all boils down to how rare a hero is. How many people are impacted by the existance of a HOTM and how strong or weak they are vs how many are impacted by an event hero. The summoning odds don’t lie. The chance of getting a specific HOTM is multiple times higher than the chance of getting a specific event or S2,3 hero. How many people have at least one Neith and how many have an atomos for example?

Here is some personal data to back the statistics. Since I started playing a I have acquired the following 5* heroes :

  • S1 : 20
  • HOTM : 15
  • Event : 5
  • S2 : 5
  • Seasonal : 1
  • S3 : 0

As you can see, statistically and in practice HOTM’s are the second most common type of 5* hero in the game and I believe that the topics in these forums are driven by this fact. If a Hero is too weak or too strong how many people have pulled them for personal use and how many times will they appear on people’s defensive rosters? The more common the hero the more people have an interest in how strong they are and the more likely and succesful the Buff/nerf topic will be.

This brings me to the ideological debate :

Should HOTM’s be the strongest heroes in the game?

It is my personal opinion and conclusion after taking part in and reading a lot of the beta topics, buff/nerf topics that a significant part of the forum user base believe so. Telluria is dominating the games meta yet over 70% want to keep her as is. Neith is a much better hero than many other rarer heroes yet she gets all the votes. Beta topics have become extremely anti-Nerf minded and my general feeling is that people want the HOTM’s to be at the top of the power curve. This is my personal view based in what I have seen.

However, it is my personal opinion that a hero’s power should be a reflection of their rarity and that HOTM’s should not be the strongest heroes in the game. I think that this evolution and contunuing that trend is what could be the beginning of the end for this game as we see a steady decline in the variety of teams we are facing and have a reduced incentive to spend for the harder to obtain heroes.

Lets take an extreme example to kick things off :

Imagine that S1 heroes, the most common and easily obtained 5* heroes in the game, were the strongest heroes in the game. The best possible defence you could compose would use richards, lianna’s etc and HOTM’s would all be worse. Every defence team would be identical and there would be very little incentive to spend for other heroes. It would kill variety and slash spending.

The opposite is true if your strongest heroes are the hardest to get. People will have an incentive to spend to get them because your money represents added value. Guin is better than Tell for example. Because of how hard these heroes are to obtain you will see a much wider variety in the defence teams around and your “perfect defense” will be more uncommon. There will be more variety.

My statement is quite simple :

The more common the best heroes in the game are the less variety you will see in defence teams and the less incentive your player base will have to spend money to obtain the more rare heroes in the game.

Why spend money to pull for Guin or Ursena if you can have Telluria for a fraction of the cost? Why use Guin at tank if your results with Tell are better?

It is kindergarden logic to me that the strongest heroes in the game are the hardest to obtain. It makes for a more varied game and represents more added value for obtaining them.

My closing statement :

Imagine what would happen if they would release a hero of the month that is worse than a S1 hero? This would be entirely unnacceptable and the forum would be up in arms. HOTM’s are harder to get than S1 heroes so they MUST be better. Why then is it ok and even desired when a HOTM outperforms an event hero which is even harder to get? Its hypocritical.

In my opinion HOTM’s strength should be nestled neatly in between S1 heroes and event, S2,3 seasonal heroes as is dictated by how hard they are to pull. Anything else is bad for balance and bad for this games longevity. If you want powercreep then you need to see it at all rarity levels. Stronger HOTM’s also means stronger event heroes etc. The second you cross that line and common heroes outperform rare ones is the second your game slips in to decline.

That is my personal opinion and I am keen to hear all your opinions. Should HOTM’s be the strongest heroes in the game and why? Or why not?


My opinion is that every hero should shine in some areas and that a better version of the same hero shouldn’t exist (see Gravemaker and Clarissa1.0 for example), all of them should be balanced, wich is possible even without having clones of the same hero.

So while a HOTM could be the strongest in a field it shouldn’t prevent another S1/S2/S3/HOTM/event/seasonal hero to be the best into another aspect nor it should lack reliable counters to it.

Long story short, I think that the rarity of a hero shouldn’t impact how one is strong or not…
and heroes could still being useful by adding new effects without them being gamebreaking and periodical balance patches would be needed to let older heroes catch up with newer ones.


I agree that every hero should add something new to the game but just for a hero to be novel or worth having does not mean in my opinion that it needs to be the best hero in the game at any specific aspect. You simply cannot tailor every hero to the needs of every player. By adjusting the strength of a HOTM to make it appeal to those who allready own almost everything you are as stated in my original post slowly killing the variety in the game while also further increasing the gap between F2P and the rest.

While we all enjoy this game there simply aren’t enough niches and roles to go around. Tell for example may have a different color and a different skill but she achieves exactly the same as guin does for example. I would argue that Tell is similar enough in what she does to be considered a guin 2.0, a Tank which upon firing will slow the enemies special skills ( mana cut vs mana slow), heals over time and increase its own and others survivability( minions vs purple res ). Tanks, snipers, support heroes, there really aren’t that many different aspects in the game. Sooner or later you will get heroes that may look and feel different but in essence do the same thing. When a truly niche hero like Grimble for example is released the community is underwhelmed. With the amount of heroes in the game there really aren’t that many gaps left to fill. Innevitably you will be making better versions of older heroes.

Often I see people argue that if a hotm isn’t good enough that the more experienced players will have very little incentive to pull for them and save their spending for one that is. It is a good point but begs the question whether or net every hero should appeal to every player. To do that you need these HOTM’s to be amongst the best in the game which as explained in my original post isn’t healthy for the game in my opinion. If you want to give whales something to pull for then they should simply release new event heroes to fill that hole and keep the more common HOTM at a more modest level. A roster full of HOTM’s should be capable of competing for everything in the game but should not be the pinnacle. If they are then everyone will be using the same heroes before long and those that missed out will get left behind.

I think neith is a very good example of this. While Neith isn’t very appealing to the top players in the game she is by no means a poor hero and would improve many people’s rosters. Many of my alliance mates significantly improved their defences with Neith yet there is huge demand for a buff. This is a hero with a quite unique blend of abilities that adds something new to the game. She isn’t A rated sure but does that mean she needs a buff or is useless? Sure if you own 50+ 5* heroes you may not bother but if your roster is mainly S1 heroes she is a great pull. Same goes for JF. A HOTM doesn’t need to be one of the best heroes in the game to be of value.

You can pull a HOTM in almost every portal. Nowadays people are doing summons not for what the portal might give but for the HOTM that will most likely get pulled. I really want a Malosi but if I get an extra bunny that would be nice. It should be the other way around. I should be pulling for an event hero and get a HOTM as a bonus. The bonus draw has become the main attraction. For the first time in ages new seasonal heroes were released which are notoriously rare but everyone is talking about last months HOTM.

I don’t know about you guys but doesn’t it bother you that S3 has been out for 2 portals now and these brand new rare 5*'s aren’t showing up at the top of the leaderboard because everyone is running a cookie cutter HOTM defence? A new season just dropped, filled with new heroes, and people are more excited about a monthly hero. Something is seriously wrong here…

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I get your point but the data is incomplete. How can we say that S2 heroes are less common if we don’t know how many pulls did it take you to get those 5* heroes.

It may be that we have had two season 3 portals, but that still only approximates a week or so of time for pulls. With that amount of time having passed it is reasonable that the season 3 5* heroes just aren’t prevalent enough yet. Knowing that another portal will roll around in a month also means that players are more likely to bide their time and make summons when time is right as opposed to having to summon in order to get a hero that is gone in a month. Ursena, Ariel, and Kageburado are perfect examples of season 2 heroes who were, and still are prevalent, and are desired by the player base if they don’t already have them. But, in both cases there are perceived great heroes and perceived duds. Margaret being a perfect example of a dud hotm. In the case of season 3, I think Heimdall is a perfect example of an awesome hero that has yet to be fully realized with the amount of time since his release coupled with amount of summoning time actually available.

I do agree that Neith is great as she is and I have voiced as such here in the forum.

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You can say that because that is exactly what the pull odds say. My personal pulls are just used as an example of what you can expect as a distribution if you pull regularly as I do.

I am not drawing my conclusions from what I have. I draw those from the hard numbers as they are printed on every portal in the game. This isn’t a best kept secret. The chance to pull a HOTM is multiple times higher than that of pulling a S2 or Event hero. The numbers have been crunched many times before.

For reference. I would say that the lions share of my pulls are done in atlantis and now S3 with events being a close second, depending on which ones. I pull in seasonals only with tokens as I do for costumes with keys. I don’t do epic or elemental summons. The distribution I posted is a realistic representation of the odds.

This is a good point.

Maybe I have a bad idea of what can be realistically expected in the top 100 when it comes to these portals. I personally am assuming that since telluria was a worth while HOTM that there would have been significant pulling during the last S3 Portal and that many of these heroes would be being used by now.

I do kind of get the feeling that there isn’t much buzz around it though. Just as an example I think that if Telluria wasn’t a HOTM but a s3 hero that we would still be seing a lot of them in the top 100 because people would hunt for her. There would be less due to rarity but I 100% think that at her current power level she would be quite common at the top level. I am willing to admit hoever that I might be wrong. I feel like either the S3 heroes just weren’t good enough to pull for or are just on the bench right now because there are better options available. I look forward to seeing how that plays out though. It would be terrible if these heroes never break through…

Edit :

Also. I feel like Telluria is better than heimdall as a tank and that as a wing you already have MN and Albe. No real need to break the bank for him if you have a similar solution already and there is a better green tank in your roster. Not sure.;

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Very true. Like S2 though, there are destined to be a few duds and/ or misunderstood heroes.

That’s a reasonable assumption and I can absolutely see that being the case with Telluria.

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The original concept for HOTM’s was that they were only available for that one month, which theoretically made them very rare as they were not recurring. Seasonal heroes are avaialble yearly.

That has been somewhat diluted by making old HOTM’s available in Atlantis on a rotating basis, but they are exceedingly hard to get there.

I think from SG’s standpoint HOTM’s are the new signature face of the game and as such they are intended to be the strongest / most versatile / most useful heroes.

As I recall, when Guin was first introduced she was actually considered somewhat underwhelming. It wasn’t until players discovered the synergies of using her as tank that she became so valuable. She certainly doesn’t have the typical stats for a tank really. Compare her (2x Defense + Health) and she’s right up there with Horghall. So first looks can be deceiving too. Telluria is top dog right now in part because she is new and not everyone has figured her out.

For the record, I have 36 5*, 2 are HOTM, one is Atlantis, 33 are S1. Only 14 are maxed. All these nerf and buff threads about HOTM’s are entertaining but essentially irrelevant to my game play. I will never get the overwhelming majority of non-S1 5* (or 4* for that matter) as I don’t spend on pulls. I have to deal with all these shiny new heroes using my tired old rusted set. For the most part I can. I haven’t got Telluria or Ursena figured out yet, and I haven’t faced Boss Wolf or Yunan often enough. I currently reside in the low diamond area and only really meet the big whales if they are cup dropping (or I go on a raid spree and top 2700).

Do I agree that HOTM’s should be the most powerful? I guess so. Again, it’s about image and presentation to SG. I think the most powerful hero pre-Telly was Ursena (a non-HOTM). She was the one I had the most difficulty with. But then all my experience with these heroes is facing them on defense. I cannot say who is the best for attack. My best hero on my bench is Ariel. My best attacker is Lianna. My current favourite in raids is Isarnia.


I get the feeling that you are right about how things are as of right now but as stated I don’t think it is the most healthy way to run the game ( hence this topic and discussion ).

The problem with HOTM pull odds is that you have a % chance of every portal for a single hero while all other types of heroes have multiple heroes that fall in to that same pull %. I can pull for finley and hit that tiny % chance of getting a 5* and pull sargasso instead. If I hit the HOTM % I am getting the hero I want. The result is that the amount of pulls you would need to get a 95% chance to pull a HOTM is multiple times less than that of any specific other hero. Even if they are only available for a single month your odds of getting a telluria are still much better than your odds of getting a Finley. Theoretically they are rare but in practice they are quite easy to get when compared. You get more opportunities to pull event heroes but you will still need roughly 6 times more attempts (to get a 95% chance to get a HOTM you need like 230 ish pulls I believe while an event hero is 1500 ish ). In practice I think that there are more copies of any particular HOTM in circulation than there are of any event hero. More tellurias than Guins ( I have two tellurias and zero guins, not for lack of trying ).

I think that Ursena being the best tank was better for the game because she was rare. Sure lots of people have her by now but she wasn’t as common as telluria is now. This left room for Guin to hold down a nice appearance rate. Kunchen had good numbers despite being in my personal opinion a worse tank than many other harder to come by alternatives but this was due again to the fact the he was a hotm that quite a lot of people have. Telluria kind of proves my point of how a HOTM that is too strong will entirely disrupt the balance and variety of your game. Last time I checked 55% of all the tanks in the top 100 were tellurias and that number is likely to grow as mats are gathered and heroes levelled.

People will automatically use the strongest heroes in the game if they are available to them. The easier these strongest heroes are to get the more people have them available and the more they will be used.

In my personal opinion it is better if your best heroes are harder to get so that there is more variety in what people use.

Edit :

In the long run if HOTM’s keep being released that are better than event heroes, S2, S3 heroes etc then these heroes will slowly stop being used and your average war and raid defense teams will become more and more alike with each passing month.

I suspect HOTM’s are considered the lifeblood of the game. Every month there is a new shiny hero. Every month there are a slew of pulls made for that hero. That is a major source of income, and the trick is keeping that source alive.

This game is really two games in one. There is the competitive game at the top where players strive to be among the best. And there is the casual play to be entertained/distracted game where “being among the best” is a distant fantasy. I am firmly in the second game. HOTM’s don’t really affect me that much. Even if Telluria does start showing up even more frequently she doesn’t appear with Vela that often, and likely won’t in the future either.

For the top players, who are the most likely to have the new strong HOTM, there will always be counters. The very next HOTM blocks status effect specials. Most top players who chased Telluria will likely chase Malosi too.

For me personally the discussions about nerf this HOTM and buff that HOTM are theoretical, and provide possible clues on how to defeat them in raids.

As for the event/seasonal heroes, some will always be desirable (eg. the Guardians for their elemental def down) but they are also niche in that each event/season hero has a particular theme. I don’t find the Springvale heroes with their self-damage very appealing myself.

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I would like to know that (1) Since how many days you are playing, (2) How many summons you did so far. This question for @Impiousbe

I’m sorry, what??? Have you been raiding recently?
I mostly do revenge raids because the whole affair is tiring for me ( on that note, thanks SGG for making RT wins also count for the raid wins in POV, please don’t become sadistic and change it)… Today alone I faced up to 4 Telly tanks with Vela flanks and it’s annoying because

  1. The boards are mostly crappy.
  2. Telly slows Mana and BT (18) nor Rigard (18) can do much
  3. Vela reduces the attack stats of reds meant to kill Telly
  4. Start from 1.

So, I refuse to your opinion. And you should too. In the near future, we’re gonna see a lot of Clarissa, Telly, Vela teams

And thus I refuse yours.

:rofl: well, there’s that :thinking:

I started playing in June 2019 so approx 10 months in right now. Not sure about how many pulls I have done but I can say that I have done quite a lot of pulling, filling out my escension chest in atlantis on two occasions for example( so 100 atlantis pulls within the same month ). I would say that on average I will do ~60 pulls a month. Sometimes more, sometimes less. It kind of depends on what the HOTM looks like. I skipped a few months which sadly includes grazul, had I known about Tell back then I would have made sure I got one.

If you are more than C2P and spend something on this game it is quite realistic to get any given HOTM. Since I decided the game was enough fun to spend on I have pulled every single HOTM save 2 because I did not need or value them at the time and that without buying gems direct from the shop at their most expensive rate. Grazul had very few applications at the time and Neith came after Kingston who didn’t want to drop for me, depleting my warchest and budget , In the end I got 2 in a single 10-pull at the end of the month. At that time Vela and Telluria were in beta and I did not use any gems until january pulling 3 gimbles on EHT pulls ( Merry christmas to me right? ) saving for the Vela, Telluria combo long before they were released ( and succeeding. I own both these heroes ).

Even if you don’t spend as much as I do and pull for every HOTM you like or can use you can realistically still save for any particular one and have a realistic chance of getting that hero. In a sense we are lucky that Vela came out first and that many people thought she was meh and that Telluria came out so quickly after. I can only Imagine what would happen had Telluria been released first and they release the perfect flank afterwards. Many more would have pulled for Vela and we would have even more problems. Realistically anyone who knows their stuff would have seen the Vela, Telluria combo was going to be insane and even with a modest budget could have set up the best defensive combo in the game, especially since Vela was available during a seasonal event where you can use EHT.

That to me really is the core issue here. You are releasing the best heroes in the game in a way that even a modest spender can obtain them. I am not saying a modest spender should have a terrible roster or anything but they shouldn’t have the best possible heroes either. Something in between would be better suited.

You are right.

You most definately need HOTM’s to be desired. If noone wants them then there really is no point in releasing them. I just don’t believe that for a hero to be desirable they need to be the best in the game.

This is kind of something we have grown accustomed to so anything different will seem alien and weird. Why pull for this HOTM if I know that there will be better ones in the future? And because past HOTM’s have been very powerful you kind of need the next ones to be as or even more powerful. It is classic powercreep and everyone knows that this is a necessary evil.

My issue is that the powercreep is limited mainly to the HOTM and that the other heroes in the game remain stagnant and less relevant with every passing month. Powercreep should be had at every level and not just at the HOTM level and that is where SG is failing. S2 was a huge step up from S1 yet S3 is extremely underwhelming in comparison. These are your newest heroes that are more rare than HOTMs and noone seems to be bothered by them. I have seen a Heimdall or Sif tank here and there but neither match Telluria. Fenrir pops up in the corner every so often. S3 should have been a big step up in terms of power but it isn’t. the players with the budgets to get these heroes at this point either don’t want them or they don’t use them. Not enough new event heroes are released and too many of the event heroes are bad or mediocre.

I agree that every new HOTM should add something to the game but I disagree that they should be the strongest ones out there. Every new S3,4,5 hero should also be a step forward as should event heroes and seasonals. If hotm’s evolve to become stronger then so too should the other types of heroes. If they don’t then you will kill the variety in the game as demonstrated by Telluria and Vela. The second your HOTM’s start to outperform your rare event and S2,3 heroes is the second your game will start becoming stale.

Releasing more powerful S3 or event alternatives won’t make very strong HOTM’s less desirable. If Heimdall were stronger than Telluria would Telluria be something people wouldn’t want? Absolutely not she would still be amazing and add a lot for a lot of people. We would see more Heimdalls and less Telluria’s. More variety yet still a desirable HOTM.

HOTM powercreep and desirability does not depend on them being the best heroes in the game.

As S2 went on the heroes released later were more powerful. Kageburado, Poseidon, Ursena were released later. We’ll need to wait and see what they do with S3.

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Doubtful, unless people are willing to split emblems between both Clarissa and Telluria.

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But Telluria can’t go over 20 emblem’s nodes :stuck_out_tongue:

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