Reuben December 2020 HOTM Review and Grading - Empires and Puzzles Hero of the Month

Reuben is the December 2020 Hero of the Month in Empires and Puzzles, and is designed for raid attacks on the Vela - Telluria - Gravemaker (or Jean Francois) defense meta. Reuben Hero Card Empires and Puzzles

Reuben's Stats:

Base Stats:
  • Power: 782
  • Mana speed: Fast
  • Class: Cleric
  • Element: Fire / Red
  • Origin: HOTM - December 2020
  • Level: 5* Legendary

Reuben Special Skill: Occult Redemption

  • Deals 215% damage to the target and nearby enemies.
  • All allies get -50% reduction to damage received from status effects for 4 turns.
  • Element Link summons a Fire Minion for all Fire allies with 5% HP and 10% attack inherited from the caster.
  • Innate Ability: Resist Mana Generation Ailments - This Hero has innate resistance against ailments that affect Mana Generation. Doesn’t apply to status ailments that stop mana generation or steal mana.

Reuben HOTM Review:

Reuben is not the long-awaited Fire/red sniper (that's Gefjon from the Valhalla portal), but he is a good all-round hero - acceptable for all aspects of the Empires & Puzzles game, but not outstanding in any particular area. 

On raid or war attacks, Reuben provides a good skill set for attacking the popular GTV defense. His relatively high base attack stat of 760 means that his 215% damage to 3 enemies is not overly weak, and can make some impact. In addition, he acts as a decent support hero, giving a 50% reduction in status effect damage. That means that the huge damage over time coming from popular defense heroes like Vela, Clarissa, Gravemaker and Jean-Francois is substantially reduced, although not completely eliminated as it would be if cleansed. If you use Reuben in a red stack, then all the red heroes also get a small minion. On top of all that, Reuben's innate ability is to resist ailments that affect mana you hear that Telluria? 
All in all, Reuben deals some damage, and also largely negates the special skills of a lot of popular defense heroes. Since his original design was created that particular defense alignment became much less common due to the rebalancing of Telluria and Vela in October 2020, but still is used a lot making Reuben still relevant, but less than he might otherwise have been.

On raid or war defense, Reuben also can be good, but not great. His base defense and HP stats are in the middle, so he won't be killed too easily. His special skill also can be quite helpful, both in reducing damage over time, and also providing a small minion to himself and any fire allies.

As for titan attacks, Reuben has a good attack stat, which normally would make him a good addition to a red stack attacking green titans. However, Reuben also spawns minions to red allies. Minions tend to be a negative factor in titan attacks, since they slow down each turn with the time it takes them to fire. Because of the minions, I have downgraded Reuben's titan attack rating.

Reuben's Emblem / Skill Path:

Like Glenda, Reuben can be good on both attack and defense. Because of that, an attack/defense emblem path on the Cleric talent tree could work, as could a defense/HP path.  On balance, Reuben would benefit most from increasing his attack potential, both because of his direct hit-3 damage, and the minions he spawns, so I recommend going with an attack/defense embleming path. 

Reuben Grading:

  • Attack: C
  • Overall Defense: C
    • Tank: C
    • Flank: C+
    • Wing: C+
  • Titans: B-
  • Raid Tournaments:
    • Rush: C+
    • Buff Booster: A-
    • Bloody Battle: B
Overall Reuben Rating: C
NOTE: As you can see, Reuben is a mediocre HOTM, and a solid C hero, or even lower. I have downgraded him from B+ to a grade of B- and subsequently to C, as he just has not aged very well in the game. What do you think? Have I been overly generous or harsh with Reuben?


TLK914 said…
Hmmm. Id like Reuben better if his damage reduction were more totalitarian, ala Sif, where during the effect, ALL damage, direct and tile is reduced. Even if it meant reducing the length to 3 turns say, It would make him more rounded and thereby potentially useful. 215 damage was once adequate, but as time and Valhalla heroes have staked their spot in the current really is middling. Certain heroes that were once considered powerful at 150 or 175 are all but forgotten, and even 250 is often simply not enough. IE, anyone with Tyr who has had him as last man standing vs an average speed healer. You may not win, because even at 280, he simply doesnt hit hard enough to wear down the healers speed. You have to survive till the timer boosts his attack to close with him.

On paper I dont think I really would have plans for reuben even if he dropped in my next pull. He just, doesnt do any 1 thing well enough to deserve a spot over others I havent leveled yet.
Telly said…
@TLK914 If I could click thumbs up on your evaluation I would. For someone who has some hero roster depth, Reuben does not add much, if anything. For new to mid level players, he could be a useful addition.
TLK914 said…
And just to rub salt in it, he dropped in my Xmas pull. :P

WHich so did SANTA, which is good, red tank finally to fill out my missing tank color, and Rube...

It has been said by some, that there are NO bad 5 stars, just a few that arent matches for some players play styles.

Excepting Margaret of course who WAS a terrible 5 star...AWFUL in every sense of the word, But then she got buffed up to where she is now...well no, shes still pretty bad, but at least she still exists and that makes Reuben look better, so she is useful for something! :)
Anonymous said…
Having leveled and used him a lot the last few days, I think you’re analysis is accurate. I would say where he has been most useful for me, however, is in raid and war attacks against heroes with non-dispellable damage over time, such as Jabberwocky and Natalya. I would say that secures the B+, and you weren’t too generous. The damage from his skill is not huge, but it can still be useful.

LoLo said…
with puss an boots he looks great, especially with that dark bitch
Telly said…
@Xantho Good point, that 50% DoT reduction would be really useful against Jabberwocky, who I'm seeing more and more in raids these days.
Telly said…
@TLK914 Nice pull! Santa's great. You're luckier than I am, as Reuben didn't drop on my Xmas event pulls, and I made a lot. I wouldn't level him anyway, since I have a decently deep roster at this point and he wouldn't make it into any of my war teams. I'd still like to pull him sometime this month, bc I want to collect all the HotM just in case I change my mind sometime in the future, or the game meta changes again. But I don't think I'd be sad if I miss him.
madmax said…
Just pulled him, also lucky to pull Krampus and Santa.
being new to the game and 5* heroes in general, going to run Krampus as my main tank.
Any idea who to give the rings to: Santa, Rueben or Anzogh in flank or wing position?
My other 5*heroes are Domitia and Joon from tc20.
Telly said…
@madmax Congratulations on the great pulls. Regarding your next red, Santa, Reuben and Anzogh each have their own advantages and disadvantages. I like Anzogh for his little heal, beefy stats and decent AoE damage, but he doesn't do any of those very well. Santa has a great defense down ailment, and very beefy stats, but is slow. On balance, I'd prefer Santa because that defense down ailment makes everyone else on the team more powerful when they hit the opposing team. He can be great on attack, and also decent on defense. I'm not very enthusiastic about Reuben, unless you find you still are having trouble against the Telly-Vela defenses; he's really designed to counter them. Even then, I think Santa will have longer term value. Let me know what you decide to do.
Anonymous said…
I got him three days ago off a golden token. I'll take him because I dont have Vanda,Garnet or Grazul. And I think hopefully with him I don't have to sweat at heroes that do undispellable DOT. Previously I used a 370 Aeron but he only protects three or a health boost hero that is slow.So I think a fast Reuben is good ๐Ÿ˜€
Telly said…
Sounds like an ice step up for you!
Anonymous said…
I have to take what this game gives me ๐Ÿ˜… especially when it's free ๐Ÿ™‚and I think it's always good to keep one of each kind just in case. Thanks for your analysis of Reuben ๐Ÿ’–
Telly said…
That's a good practice, saving at least one of each HOTM you get, even if you don't plan to level it up. I keep a copy of each as well. After pulling Garrnet (I put it in a video), I doubt I'll get to Reuben any time soon, given how rare the Mystic Rings can be.
Anonymous said…
Speaking of rings, I had 11 and only two red 5*s to max. I already had a maxed Tyr๐Ÿ˜ So I thought I could max JF whom I also like a lot. On the same day I gave him rings, I got Reuben from an EHT๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ™ƒ
Telly said…
That always seems to happen. But, a lot of people think JF is great, better than Reuben, me included.
Anonymous said…
IF is my first hotm.i remember when he was released people demanded a buff of him.Maybe they didn't realize how good he is against the general defence debuffer and some of the powerful heroes most top-tier players use๐Ÿ˜☺ Of course there are heroes that can completely negate him but then no hero is unbeatable ๐Ÿ˜ฎI hope the same might be true for Reuben๐Ÿ˜ƒ
TLK914 said…
Important Reuben question that just occurred to me. OK, so his special effect special damage only. SO, does or doesnt it effect tiles charged by specials, or even WuKong'd attack+ tiles? (Im thinking it probably does NOT?)

If it DOES reduce those damages, then it becomes far more useful. Still doesnt make him a to 5 red for me, but at least I wouldnt totally write him off?
Telly said…
@TLK914: That's an interesting question, but no, attack buffs happen before they get to the target, and Reuben does not affect them. I agree with you that he'd be a much more effective hero if that were the case.
Anonymous said…
I wonder if Reuben isn't also the anti-Elizabeth, given that he resists Mana Generation ailments (and is Fast to begin with) & generates Minions that can push the Fiends away?

Also, Reuben's "-50% reduction to damage received from status effects" could be very useful against Uraeus, if he's used in conjunction with Elizabeth, as you suggest.
Jason P said…
I whole heartedly disagree with this rating! Reuben is awesome and has great potential in certain areas. You made him like he is trash. I disagree.
Anonymous said…
I think Reuben needs to be regraded with the newest update with the HOTM year ability regarding him.