Raid Stats: Telluria Edition TWO

In this post I will present some data and my thoughts on the changes to Telluria and Vela, which occurred in the mid-May 2020 balancing. I am still working with small-ish samples here, so I feel it is useful to look at this as trends and possible areas for future inquiry more than as conclusions.

You may wish to review my previous post about Telluria and Vela (which deal with their pre-balanced forms), but here is a brief summary:

  • Telluria appears to be the best tank in the game
  • Telluria holds this distinction by a very wide margin (the second best tank and all other elite tanks were closer to mid-tier tanks than they were to Telluria, in terms of win rate)
  • Even without Vela, Telluria ranks with the elite tanks (and, it would seem, above them)
  • But when Vela is combined with Telluria, their win rate skyrockets

Telluria Win Rate

N.B. this is for ALL Telluria teams, whether or not Vela was on the field.

Time Period Wins Losses Percentage
Before Balancing 26 164 13.7%
Post Balancing 22 150 12.8%

To give those numbers perspective, only eight other tanks post a win rate above 7% against me.

In terms of the outcry over Telluria being “nerfed” as a tank, I’m not sure I see it. Well, I definitely saw the outcry. I’m just not sure I see the justification. The shift in her win rate appears discernible, but it’s hardly huge. And Gravemaker beats me 11.0% of the time, so Telluria is still outpacing him by a decent amount. These are elite tank numbers.

Three Theories

Why does Telluria beat me so much? The most obvious explanation is Vela. Here is Telluria’s win rate WITHOUT Vela.

Time Period Wins Losses Percentage
Before Balancing 15 119 11.2%
Post Balancing 12 98 10.9%

Two interesting observation from this:

  1. Even without Vela, Telluria puts up formidable tank numbers. Her weakest form - post balancing and without Vela - still positions her near the top of the tank win rate leaderboard (again, GM is at 11%, so for the first time he nudges her out of the top spot).
  2. Again we see a minimal difference between the pre- and post-balancing versions of Telluria.

It appears that Telluria is NOT beating me because Vela is on the field. Telluria is beating me because she’s Telluria, which is essentially my second theory.

Telluria’s kit is very powerful. To counter it, you need a cleanse, a dispel, mana (which is, of course, impaired), and ideally an AoE attack (for the minions). That’s difficult to come up with once she fires. If post-balancing Telluria fires and then something else bad happens (e.g., another defender fires, Telluria fires again, you can’t get one of your attackers charged, etc.), it makes little difference if that third turn of HoT / mana slow ticks or not (the third turn that pre-balancing Telluria would have had). In other words, it appears Telluria’s pre-balancing special skill was win more. She’s still more than viable now.

Alternative theory: I just suck at beating her.


So what is Vela’s impact? Here is the win rate for Telluria tanks WITH Vela in any other position:

Time Period Wins Losses Percentage
Before Balancing 11 45 19.6%
Post Balancing 10 52 16.1%

To my eyes, these are very impressive win rates, especially when we account for the fact that I should have been able to drive down their win rate at least a little bit just by gaining experience against them and forming more effective counter teams.

This shift is bigger than the previous sections, suggesting that the more impactful change was to Vela (which makes sense, as my first post on Telluria keyed in on this - my data showed that Telluria was great, and the addition of Vela drove them into the stratosphere).

It feels like I can make this point in basically every section, but Telluria is still amazing.


I don’t know how many more ways I can say it: Telluria is still the best tank in the game. I have been vociferously critical of SGG for the Telluria/Vela debacle and the atrocities that are the AL and HA. However, I feel in this case - the balancing - they did well. Telluria is still the A+ tank that people wanted and both she and Vela are still widely used and viable. The line between preserving their value and toning them down must have been hard to walk, yet it appears this was a reasonable compromise.


Extra Damage

In my first look at Telluria I discussed her powerful synergy with Vela and noted that they appeared to be peerless. I wanted to take a little deeper look at that and expand on the point, but separately from my main post (as I feel this does not in any way change or affect my primary conclusions and, while interesting, I think fewer readers will be inclined to this part of the discussion).


Zeline is the hero most similar to Vela. They both have fast mana speed, a full AoE, deal extra damage against an element, and have an attack debuff. Of course, the difference is that Vela can be reflected, which, in terms of perfectly complementing a tank, is somewhat offset by her DoT.

So my first thought was to look at times Zeline flanks a red tank. Unfortunately, I only have eight instances where this happens and the red tank is elite (Gravemaker, Black Knight, Elena). A shame, as I think red tank + Zeline flank is the most interesting comparison for Telluria + Vela.


As he does extra damage against green, GM is the ideal flank for blue tanks. The only blue tank with GM flank where I have a modest sample size is Richard (43 raids). It’s imperfect, but the best l have, so let’s look and see what we can learn:

Tank Win Rate, All Teams Win Rate, Ideal Flank
Richard 6.23% 11.6%
Telluria, Pre-Balancing 13.7% 19.6%
Telluria, Post Balancing 12.8% 16.1%

Normal caveats about small sample size, but Vela’s complementing Telluria appears to be in a similar ballpark, and it is somewhat interesting that the pre-balancing form appeared to be more impactful (in shifting the combos win rate), and the post-balanced form may be less impactful.

To me, that strongly suggests that the original Telluria + Vela form was too strong. Given his superior mana speed and place in the E&P pantheon (widely regarded as one of the best heroes and strongest defenders), it feels like a GM flank should be the high water mark, in terms of being a perfect complement. Having Vela now come in below this feels right.


Bonus, for which I have no good title

One interesting thing I came across while running these numbers down: in my first look at Telluria I mentioned that I felt Poseidon was the ideal complement to Kunchen. At least from my perspective, as I often try to attack Kunchen with mana control. I’m going to present this without further comment, as it’s likely mostly a product of my roster. Also, I don’t view this as problematic, given how inaccessible Poseidon is / how Kunchen has lost tank share. Ideal flank scenario encompasses 59 raids.

Tank Win Rate, All Teams Win Rate, Ideal Flank
Kunchen 8.48% 22.0%

Excellent Analysis, @IvyTheTerrible!
I do not have data to backup my observations and opinions. However, they - as anecdotal as they may be - concur with your analysis of Telluria.
Simply put, she is still the best tank out there. Period.

Thanks for your wonderful post!


Great info Ivy. Arguments with facts and numbers like yours are way more credible than the average response! I’m sure SG uses analysis like yours when making decisions with heroes

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I actually tried that combo not so long ago. Killhare - Zeline - Gravemaker - Vela - Joon. Enough to keep me over 2600, but not close to what Tell + Vela were before the update. I did not have any sophisticated stats but my impression was they were on par if not slightly worse that Telly + Vela after balance.

Edit: actually made me reconsider that option again.
This time I will try with these teams:

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Those defenses are all pretty ferocious! It’s hard to weigh in on Costume Magni vs. Vela, as I don’t have a good feel for him yet. He should be stout though, based on what I’ve seen so far: good class for a defender (I think he’ll actually be surprisingly durable), defense down is always devastating and pushes the attacker to come up with a lot of cleanse, and his single target hit actually makes him less susceptible to being killed by Mitsuko reflect (where Vela always dies). Tough call there.

I think I’d favor Killhare in the corner over Evelyn. I see what you’re trying to do: Evelyn + Zeline for greater effect plus Vela protects them from a red heavy stack. I don’t think the timing will work out perfectly often enough, plus neither of the greens are heavy damage dealers - Zeline’s there for her debuffs and the damage is a bonus I think.

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Fantastic in depth analysis! As for the Zeline - flank, + red tank situation, I used to run that defense.

So Seshat-Zeline-Black Knight-Vela-Joon. The idea being that Blacky’s berserker mode would boost the AoEs’ attack. It went quite well for a while.

I found however if I attacked a team like that the retaliation was too soft.

Regarding Telluria: I like your pairing theory. How she works with her friends. What makes Tell great individually is her many talents. A bit of everything, minions, healing…

I attack the standard GTV center with my purple biased team and I use Blacky to absorb all the AoE badness that’s invariably thrown at me. He usually dies in the process but leaves 4 good heroes relatively unscathed. Ideally :grin:

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Do you have any stats on Yunan or Heimdall tanks? I don’t have Telluria and could use a green tank. Trying to decide if I should use my tokens on Sand Empire. Also curious to see the difference between her and Heimdall.

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Heimdall gives me way more trouble than Telly. I have Telly/Vela well sorted and don’t mind facing them. Telly can fire 2/3 times and it’s still winnable.

If Heimy fires once, it’s usually over. Twice and it’s done


Wow excellent and detailed analysis! I concur with that; she’s still a top class tank. GTV combo doesn’t help either. But I love how you dissect your analysis individually and as a whole; I’ve been scratching my head on how do I want to sample my result post balance!

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Me too. Telly is a pushover really, even at +20 surrounded by beasts! Heimdall is trouble if he fires, Telly not so much.

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@IvyTheTerrible do you have heimdall data?

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Nice data, congratulations

Before balancing my numbers was 50% wins and
After balancing, they change to 75% wins on diamond level (2600 upper)

I use 4 or 5 reds strategy, after kill Telly with red stones, I use the skills to beat Vela.

If I have a bad board, I just clean It and avoid Vela. If Telly cast, there is no problem If worked the board in the right way before and after.

Telly - Marjana - JF - Gormek - Bold are the better counter team I had used.

Some times I use Scarlett, Marjana, JF, Bold, Gormek. Willbur some times in place of Gormek.


I usually use Boldtusk Gormek Tyr Marjana Jean-Francois against Telluria. When I lose, it’s mostly due to bad starting boards.


Yes, but the problem is the sample is much more limited. This is likely due to

  • Heimdall has less time since his release
  • Heimdall is harder to acquire than Telluria
  • Many who later pulled Heimdall may have already pulled Telluria and outfitted her with emblems, leaving no real reason to shift to Heimdall if they got him later

Heimdall tanks are 5-17 against me. That’s 2-9 WITH Vela, 3-8 without. Tentative conclusions:

  • That’s a very high win rate - it seems impossible it’ll converge to anything other than a top tier tank number
  • Way too early to say how the addition of Vela affects him - sample size is too small and I don’t love shedding half of it to even think about that scenario
  • The sample size is too small to speak about if he’s a better tank than Telluria (which, I suspect, is what many will want to know). Keep in mind that, with Heimdall, it’s still very early in terms of making counter strategies. I mentioned this in my Telluria post - that I expect to drive a tank’s win rate down a bit just because I gain experience against them. I’m likely still pre- that stage with regards to fighting Heimdall.
  • However effective Heimdall is NOW, it’s entirely possible that more effective counter heroes (e.g., max HP reducers) will come later in Season 3, further reducing his efficacy

I tossed off Heimdall data in my previous post, so let’s do Yunan now. He is 2-27 against me, including 0-2 with Vela. He’s just not that common a tank, given his low availability. I do think he likely improved with the addition of emblems to the gain (since he got a good and useful class for a tank).

It wasn’t clear to me from your post: if you already have Heimdall I would NOT chase just for Yunan. You already have a perfectly (much more than) serviceable green tank in that case. If you were somehow able to choose between them, I would opt for Heimdall, because

  • He’s better on titans
  • He’ll make the S3 map easier for you
  • I think he’ll be the better attacker
  • He appears to be the better tank, so far. ‘Worst’ case scenario is that you choose Heimdall and we later demonstrate he and Yunan are in the same league. In that case you still have an elite green tank and the superior hero in all other game phases. Even if I knew Yunan was better, it’s only be by a little bit, so Heimdall’s superior utility in all other game aspects would still make me opt for the latter.

I dont have either right now, I’m currently using Zeline +14 as my war tank until something better comes along. I also have Vela +9 as flank.

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I don’t think that’s bad at all, with the major negatives probably being that they’re both full AoE (rather than one being a sniper, so you’re not as likely to generate an outright kill) and that their attack debuffs overlap when your opponent brings red. But if you have a few fast snipers surrounding them I think that’s a perfectly viable defense.

Great post, and well executed tests, thanx for interesting info.

Interesting points about optimal flanking, and im sorry to derail slightly from the highlighted zeline/vela/gm thoughts… but im interested also if the new kid in town,Clarissa is shaking the balance of yellow tanks Guin/Onatel when paired with Kunchen… a well talented Guinevere is close to impossible to remove without setting of the heavy purple backup.

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