Puzzling out Empires

All players love a good combo but have you ever stopped to wonder at how the game decides whether to reward you with an elemental power shard or an explosive dragon shield. We know the normal rules of match 4 for dragon and 5+ for shard and there are limited shapes that trigger these in normal game play. However, in a combo cascade the normal rules do not appear to apply.

Take this board for example in this board and look at the large number of blue tiles that have filled in for the exploded tiles.

There are at least 5 ways the blue tiles can be matched but some matches require a tile used by another match.

Matches 4 and 5 would be appear to offer the highest score without re-using tiles and would likely result in a shard at A3 and a dragon at A4. However, my observation is that the game would be more likely to make the following matches not possible in normal play.


A power shard would then be made somewhere (randomly?) between A2 and A4.

Do players agree that would be the likely outcome or would you expect all 5 of the matches in the second image to be made as the tiles are all adjacent in a region? Or indeed some other configuration.

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Hi, I am trying for this

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