[Primer] How defense teams effect your rating or a new game show The World's Bloodiest Spelling Bee - Updated with Raid/ War/ Tourney comparison

[Primer] How defense teams effect your rating or a new game show The World’s Bloodiest Spelling Bee

The World’s Bloodiest Spelling Bee or a defense team simile

Defense teams are not live PvP ( I shudder at the thought of live PvP in Empires ). You can not help your defense team defend itself.

Think of raiding like a game show “The World’s Bloodiest Spelling Bee”.

In “The World’s Bloodiest Spelling Bee” ( TWBSB ) you compete against other players for rewards.

A speller - Adam - is matched with a word giver - Dee. The defender Dee asks the attacker Adam to spell a word from the defender’s Blood Dictionary for example Dee looks in her Blood Dictionary and says “Spell Crosswalk”.

The attacker can look in their Blood Dictionary for 60 seconds, or forfeit some rewards for a different word giver.

Example Adam may look up Crosswalk or cross or walk or crossing or walker or boss or talk. It depends on what words ( heroes in this simile ) the attacker has.

The attacker must then spell the word from memory.

Spelling bee success

Spelling bees are a combination of collecting a large vocabulary ( hero roster ) being able to figure out an unknown spelling from roots, or similar words ( skill with raiding and choosing attacking teams) and being able to spot trap words that violate normal rules of the language ( original Boldtusk and original Guinevere).

Different word giver

Spellers - attackers in this simile - quickly learn which words they have trouble spelling and forfeit some of their rewards to reroll these word givers.

Many Empires players get confused by enemy rerolls, because they are not displayed in the Watchtower.

Your watch tower may only display two attackers in the last 8 hours but 200 may have rerolled for better rewards, more rating points, less rating points or an easier win.

High rating rerolls

Because their is a hard limit of plus or minus 300 rating - at the time of a matchup - high rating spellers may reroll several times only to keep being matched with the same word givers.

This mechanism is one of several reasons 3000+ trophies is an anomaly and will self correct as other players catch up in heroes, troops, and classes.

Good Boards

A 13x Combo with a rainbow 5* 4.80 team is like correctly guessing “Antidisestablishmentarianism” in TWBSB.

Bad Boards

Even if the attacker knows how to spell the word, they could mess up. Stage fright, full bladder, brain hiccup, etc. This is like having a bad board in Empires.

But even with stage fright, a full bladder and a brain hiccup, a speller is more likely to get “Dada” correct than “Antidisestablishmentarianism”.

Rematches and bad Boards

This is also why you get three attempts - your original try and up to 2 rematches - to try and defeat a defense team.

Rematches and good Boards

Players forget that if a speller - in the simile an attacker - gets the word correct, they do not have to spell it correctly two more times.

Rematches are only for retrying failures.

This means spellers ( attackers ) only need one lucky guess when spelling and they get up to three attempts to succeed.

2x 1* 1.1 defense team

In TWBSB setting up a 2x 1* 1.1 defense team is the same as a word giver choosing “Dada” from their Blood Dictionary. Even if it is not in a spellers Blood Dictionary the speller will likely spell it correctly ( in this simile the attacker ).

Setting up a 5x 5*+20 defense team is the same as the word giver choosing “Antidisestablishmentarianism”. Even if they know how to spell it, they may mess up ( see bad boards above ).

Defense team versus Hero Roster

This is the part that confuses a lot of new players.

I set up my defense team “Uranium” but when I go to revenge I see my attacker has the defense team “Cat”.

In TWBSB the word “Cat” is only one word out of the many, many words in the speller’s Blood Dictionary ( attacker’s hero roster in this simile).

In Empires, their defense team is only the 1- 5 heroes they set out. They could have a team roster of 150+ heroes.

Defense team tanking

Why set up the defense team “Cat” when you have “Positron” in your Blood Dictionary?

This is called tanking and means the system rewards tanking in some material, or immaterial, way.

That is a whole different discussion.

Just understand that where there are rewards, and expenses, humans will try to optimize rewards while minimizing expenses.

What is the purpose of a defense team

In a rating system based on Arpad Emmerich Elo’s math a defense team is a way to self correct a speller’s rating based on their attacks.

As a speller gets more words correct, they will run out of word givers with easy words and words in the speller’s Blood Dictionary.

Eventually the will mess up and their rating will self correct.

A speller ( an attacker in the simile ) will continue to spell until unable to look up, guess, or know enough words that the penalties for continuing out weighs the rewards.

An interesting experiment is to have every speller choose “DaDa” as their word.

Every speller would get into Diamond arena with the comparable rewards from Diamond arena.

This tends to immediately break down due to “The prisoner’s dilemma” ( linky, linky)

New words

Every time new words, or languages, are added to the World’s Bloodiest Spelling Bee, it will be a race for players to add the new to their Blood Dictionary and figure out it basic rules of spelling and trap words.

Players without updated Blood Dictionaries will find a drop in rating and new players will have to spend more time improving their Blood Dictionary to reach the same rating.

This is Elo based rating deflation.

Unintended Consequences


Raids not fun, how you, the player, can understand why and fix it

Raiding in the Top 1000, Pt. 1

Raids are unfair, but not for the reasons you think - Raids MASTER

Ultimate Raid Strategy Tips for the Casual Player


This is very good. I hope that players struggling with raids take the time to read it.

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Bravo. This must have taken a considerable amount of time to create. It is eloquent and comes at the construct in a new and unique way. I’m bookmarking it.


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Raid defense teams

For raids, defense teams are basically a limited form of raid shield

I tend not to get raided, and when I do, I tend to gain +15 to +75 points.

War defense teams

For war, defense teams actually lock up enemy points. This rewards good defense heroes.

My war defense team usually gets wiped out after the baby defense teams have been wiped twice.


It will be interesting to see Tourney defense teams since rumors say they can actually earn points.

I do not know why this does not happen with raids ( killed attacking heroes count toward your Wanted Heroes Mission Chest or Wanted Monster Mission Chest or both ) or war ( points for each attacking hero killed ).

Tourney attackers

Since tourneys are rumored to be free until the fourth defeat, one possible technique is to specialize in a type of tourney hero - 2* or 4* or slow or sniper or buff - and only attack if you specialized heroes are useful in that tournament. After four defeats your tourney attack team is rumored to be done unless you pay. But depending on how many attacks you have left, paying may be a wast of gems. So forming a specialized team of attackers and concentrating on a limited number of tourneys may be better.

But the pay to continue only hobbles your attacking teams.

Tourney defenders

For the remaining tourneys you can set up your best defense team and see how many points it can get you without ever attacking once. Since you get unlimited defense, it may even be more cost effective to level and emblem and skin defense heroes before attacking heroes. The number of optimal defenders will be smaller than the number of optimal attackers since defenders do not get color stacking buff, combos, and smart AI targeting.

Tourney may turn out to be a significant source of emblems and 3*/ 4* materials for people with good 1* / 2* / 3* / 4* / 5* tourney defenses.

Latest edit- Unintended Consequences

Unintended Consequences