I have three 5-star reds. Which should I ascend to 4/80?

  • Khagan
  • Azlar
  • Red Hood

0 voters

I pulled Red Hood, Khagan, and Azlar.

They’re my only 5 star reds. I have the mats to bring one up to full ascension. I’m aware of the hero ratings, but having a hell of a time with this conundrum.

Here’s my line of thinking?

Who do I fear most when playing offense?

Azlar. I wipe him out fast on any team, or prepare Rigard for a nuke if worse comes to worse. He is scary. Red Hood is a punching bag. Khagan isn’t that hard to counter.

Who looks the coolest?

Red Hood and Khagan both have fantastic models. I’m not a fan of the awkward lion headed Azlar. Red Hood is a cutie and Khagan is the platonic form of a madman warlord.

Who’s special is coolest?

Azlar and Red Hood. Azlar because he burns everything and it’s terrifying for noobs/lower players. Red Hood because she has cute fox forest friends. They’re rather worthless though - I tear up Hood and Delilah

What does my team comp need?

Not heals… I have Rigard for that. Eventually I’ll have Vivica and/or Kunchen. Hence, Red Hood not-so-good. Yes buffs, so Khagan is useful. Hell-yes to AOE damage. I don’t have an aoe up at tier 3 right now.

Which position do I need to fill?

Most of all center. By far. I can put a fully maxed Rumplestiltskin in center, but all 3 of these reds would probably do better. Tough choice. Best center among the 3 reds? Probably Azlar.

So I’m left with this dilemma… Which red to ascend? Wait for a better one?

Any feedback, especially from owners of these heroes, would be much appreciated.

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With healing taken care of, I’d say Azlar over Hood. She’ll only help if you need an extra healer.

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Well without having more information, it’s hard to say what would be a good choice. It sounds like you want a hero to fill your tank position, but only knowing your red heroes limits my suggestions. It’s harder to know what would be of benefit not just now(ish) but also for the future as well.

It’s a bit like ascending Kashhrek. Kashhrek is a fine tank, but after a while you’ll outgrow him, assuming you play for a while of course.

What aspect of Empires and Puzzles do you find most enjoyable? What is your bench? Are you cheap 2 play, free 2 play, or “spend all the money and make all the pulls”?

In a complete vacuum, I’d say Red Hood just because her ability is so unique. As the owner of a Red Hood (3/70), she’s started to grow on me since I’ve taken her on raids more, partially because I have a complete lack of red hitters at a higher tier. She has her uses, and being average speed, she’s more likely to fire than Azlar or Khagan (not that I have either, but I do have a Gadeirus who is slow speed, and… well, some days are better than others). Sure she doesn’t do niche roles like Azlar or Khagan as well, and from what I understand, Hood is more of a generalist than either, but as a red minion creator ranger healer, she fills a lot of holes that nobody else really does.

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Reposting under reply - oops.

Thanks for the thoughtful response.

You definitely identified my main problem: “it sounds like you want a hero to fill your tank position.”

Just so. I don’t have a tank. I outgrew Boril and Rigard.

My current top-shelf heroes are all fast action snipers: Lianna, Hansel, Joon, Sartana, Grimm

And then an off-tank weirdo: Rumplestiltskin

And some good 4-stars: Rigard, Boldtusk, Boril,

And of course, the titan twerps: Wilbur, Wu Kong

As you can see: no tanks, minimal heals.

I’m cheap to play, after splurging my first couple months (on month 4 now). I’m starting to think my summer D-team is:

Sartana | Lianna | Red Hood | Rumplestiltskin | Joon

You could swap Red and Rump there, and I don’t think it’d be much difference. I don’t chase cups, I fill chests, so I’m really thinking more about offensive raiding and war. Azlar would be an obvious thrill in a red 2-stack. But the case is easily made for Red - she’s unique, interesting, 118% damage is comparable to Azlar’s 180%, but instead of burn, she drops minions who: heal, protect from mana burn, and add 14% hp to all players. Finally she’s average speed rather than slow. Might be more fun in the longrun with her, but it’s hard to not enjoy setting hair on fire with Azlar.

Thanks for the reply and sorry for spam :stuck_out_tongue:

If your goal is to hold platinum, really anyone at tank will do that… except maybe Hansel. Or Grimm. Or Joon. That might not work that great overnight. You have fine tanks. None of the great tanks, let alone the top tier ones, but they’re fine.

If your goal is to hold diamond. Well, I’m trying to figure that out myself.

I have a similar but opposite problem in that my bench is full of tanks, healers, and support and very few hitters. My heavies are talented Grimm, Caedmon… 3/70 Elk… talented Chao… I’m starting to run out of good options now… Merlin? He’s okay, but not really a hitter. A 3/50 Panther? A 2/40 Frida? Man this is starting to get sad… I was getting to the point of seriously considering ascending Quintus just because. Quintus, man! QUINTUS! I bring Gadeirus along because I can pretend he’s a hitter, though that’s not what anybody brings him to a team for. I just finished Richard at 4/80, but… he’s not considered a hitter. Cleanup after Grimm/Frida? Definitely, but he’s no Lianna. Not that I have one of those to compare, but still.

If you’re bent on ascending a red NOW, then I don’t think you can do wrong with Red Hood. She’s a super annoying tank if you get a bad board, and it’s not just the healing that makes her great. The mana protect can be pretty important sometimes, especially when facing Guinevere or Li Xiu or Chao. But it’s also just building up that reserve of foxes in events, rare quests, and wars. When you’re fighting a healing aid or buff field in a war, and having Hood around who can build up a buffer to take some of the edge off Azlar firing? Man, sometimes its the difference between life and death. Between Merlin being at a comfortable 500 hp or within punching range to bad RNG.

That’s what makes minion creators so annoying. It’s not that the minions are individually dangerous. Once they build up past a certain point, it’s just game over. You’re not coming back from that, especially if you lost your heavy hitters early on.

There’s a lot of people who do what Azlar does. There’s a few that do what Khagan does… but they’re harder to get and arguably better. There’s… what… maybe three other people who do what Hood does? Realistically? And two of those (Santa and the Misses) are at slow speed.

Also Hood helps with Ranger class quests, so that’s nice too.

OH RIGHT back to the topic at hand. There are a lot of decent and even great tanks. Just because luck hasn’t dealt you one doesn’t mean you should rush off willy nilly just because you want a tank NOW, even if it’s not that great. I’d just be patient, but if you must, I’d go with Red Hood.

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The big cat AZLAR!!! :wink:

In your original post, you talk about Viv and Kunchen as your future healers. You don’t mention either in this one. Do you have them?

I have Kunchen and Vivica at 1/01, but I’m not quite there with the ascension mats. I’m ready for a red at the moment. Kunchen is so good though, I can’t imagine not using him as a center. He’s viable in the leaderboards from what I understand - a tanky Rigard. In raids, he’s proven a tough foe. So I’ll eventually get to him. But I just blew mats on Sartana. Likewise, I have Vivica in the roster, but blew all my yellow mats on Joon.

In the longterm, Kunchen will probably be my d-team tank, since I don’t see myself somehow getting Guin or Aegir anytime soon.

tl;dr no mats for Viv or Kun, and Rigard is like Kunchen Lite, so I’m not prioritizing him just yet, despite him being a solid center.

I’m changing my answer to Hood then. Definitely Kunchen for your next Purple

Azlar for right wing. Not tank.


Slow characters are terrible on the wing, taking 15 turns to charge their special if they don’t get hit by tiles. Wing would be the absolute worst place for Azlar.

At tank he’s a double edged sword. He’s very punishing if opponents have bad board or screw up. But his defense is low so if opponents colour stack correctly and don’t get a horrible board he’ll just melt. Overall he’s a pretty bad tank IMO but he is scary.

Azlar isn’t great for defense but IMO the only place you can play him realistically is flank.

I voted Red Hood

I am deciding between Anzogh and Azlar myself. Leaning quite heavily towards Anzogh cause I think he’s better on defense.


I used to have the same mindset that Azlar should be tank or flank.

But after certain raids on teams with slow heroes on wings (not Albi or MN), I realized the value of being slow in the corner.

Only thing is that the middle 3 must be relatively strong to hold out. By the time my middle 3 is dead, it should be time for Azlar to shine.


The poll is overwhelmingly in the favor of Red Hood. And she feels right - very useful for PVE. My five star rainbow team will come together after the long gnarly process of feeding hundreds of heroes like so:

Sartana | Lianna | Red Hood | Rumplestiltskin | Joon

Eventually I’ll get a proper tank, like Kunchen, in there. But this should be a nice counfounding defense team for platinum-tier. No way I can hold 2400 cups without a proper tank, but it should be a team that’s frustrating to lose to, and fun to beat.

Meanwhile on offense, I have a lot of niche players to rotate in for color stacks: Hansel on mana-control, Sonya for enemy-debuffs, Rigard for a purple stack and more heals. It should be fun. And I’m happy to say all 5 of my defense characters are pretty cool in my eyes. 3 heady hitters with fast mana regen and 2 pseudo-healers/soaks with average mana regen.

I could try different rotations and styles of flanking, but I like those 5 heroes.

Thanks to everybody who participated in the poll - it’s very interesting to see the resounding preference for Red Hood. I’m not sure why (could be that people who voted are leveling her, or that they like qt pies, or it’s an honest assessment of what’s most useful) but in any event, interesting to see the results.

Azlar for titans and events. Red Hood otherwise.

Red hood for me.Since i pulled her i use her everywhere exept for titans.pair her with wilbur in raids and once they fire its game over

I was just thinking how nasty Wilbur + Boldtusk + Red Hood + 2 hitters might be in a 3:2 red stack… gnarly if they pop!

Thanks for the post from experience - I took her for a test drive and love the passive heal.


I use Hood for Titans (once again due to a lack of better options). She just never fires. :joy::rofl::sob:

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Hahahaha!thats the real problem

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I feel that.

Hansel? Sartana? Lianna? Joon? Sure to fire, especially in a stack. I count on it.

But average/slow heroes feel like a total crap shoot whether you can get a special fired off when it matters.

My matches are basically won or lost by round 8. It feels like it used to be 12-16. Not sure if my play style has changed (boril rigard and boltusk tended to draw out matches), or higher-levels result in harder nukes that shorten the time span.

You have a sniper heavy bench, so they’re fast Ferraris that either make the jump or crash and burn.

For me, with a much slower and ponderous, tank heavy bench, I usually have multiple fires of even slow heroes due to ghosting. I sometimes run in with three healers just because I’m not paying attention. Oops. Lemme tell you, digging that Elkanen out of a corner is a chore, especially if I got unlucky, and my Grimm died, so it turns into a tickle war between Richard and whomever is left. :rofl:

Also Hood is bad on Titans mostly because of the fox heal animation burning up time. If that wasn’t the case, she’d be… okay I guess. If you’ve got a bunch of foxes just going, it really clips into the clock. So she just sits in a corner, and I only blow her if it looks really dire.

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