UPDATED December 2021 Calendar - Empires and Puzzles Events and Quests

This is the December 2021 Empires and Puzzles calendar, listing the major events and quests in the game for the month. This calendar also includes grades for each of the numerous hero summons portals. 

Savvy Game Strategy for December

Like previous months, the huge power inflation will reward patient players. My best advice for this month is summons wisely ...  The new heroes coming in early 2022 continue with the power inflation trend, so a gem saved today is more valuably used tomorrow! 

New Development: Like the "Black Friday" summons in November, December 2021 has a hero summons portal with NO SEASON 1 heroes (those are the "Classic" heroes). This means any of the old summons portals that still are dominated by these outdated heroes should be avoided. The only smart way to play for now on is AVOID any portal dominated by these undesirable outdated heroes.

The effect of power inflation is discussed more in the November calendar, and in the Limit Breakers article. Basically, and unfortunately, you can expect a lot of continuing stat inflation into 2022. So, BETTER heroes and new costumes will keep coming at least into the beginning of 2022.

December Events, Quests and Portal Grades

As usual, the Empires & Puzzles quest dates can change, so approximate dates for the major quests are given in this calendar. Major quests are the ones that drop unfarmable ascension items on the last two stages, so you don't want to miss them. The calendar is updated as additional information comes out.
Dec. 1 - Dec. 31 - Santa's Challenge Christmas seasonal event. New costumes and a new hero named Mr. Pengi (a hard hitting Grade A) are introduced to attract gem summons into this old portal.  Generally speaking, the 5* event heroes in this portal are good, including Mother North, Krampus and the new Mr. Pengi. However, this portal STILL is dominated by old, outdated Season 1 heroes. The odds are 75% you will wind up with one of those undesired heroes, and just 1% chance of getting one of the event 5* heroes. Now that there are portals in the game that have NO Season 1 hereos, this portal has been downgraded: Summon Portal Rating: F. 

Dec. 1  Hanitra - the December 2021 HOTM is introduced. She is a fast mana hero with a dodge special skill. Unfortunately, she does not do any damage, and this makes her a relatively weak dodge hero compared with others already in the game, like costume Kadelin. However, this HOTM may still generate some excitement for players lacking a dodge hero. Grade: C.

Dec. 1 - Dec. 5 Voyagers of the Underwild event. This will include one new event hero. But, the summon portal still includes outdated Season 1 heroes. Summon Portal Rating: D.

Dec. 5 Major Quest Expected (i.e. Mount Umber, Farholme Pass, Shrikewood, Shiloh, Frostmarch etc.) (appx. date).  

Dec. 7-12 Tower of Magic event. The event heroes have turned out to underperform and I would not rate any of them over A-, and most are in the C-B range. The portal also still includes Season 1 heroes. Summon Portal Rating: F.

Dec. 12-14   Atlantis Rises. Expect some new costumes to be introduced. However, that does NOT rescue this hero summon portal. Even with the new costumes all the 5* heroes still feel quite outdated. Some of the 4* heroes can be good though if you do not have them already, like Proteus and Wilbur. The portal still includes outdated Season 1 heroes. Summon Portal Rating: F.

Dec. 13 Major Quest Expected (i.e. Mount Umber, Farholme Pass, Shrikewood, Shiloh, Frostmarch etc.) (appx. date).  

Dec. 14-18 Challenge Event Festival. This is a new challenge event that incorporates each of the 5 older challenge events, including: 
  • Pirates of Corellia
  • Guardians of Teltoc
  • Knights of Avalon
  • Riddles of Wonderland
  • Fables of Grimforest 
Different levels of the event feature different opponents from one of the 5 old challenge events as the bosses in the final stage. The summon portal also is interesting because it does not include any of the old Season 1 heroes. Instead, it includes: all of the old heroes from each of those events, plus 5 new 3* heroes, plus trainer heroes. However, a lot of the heroes from these events are feeling outdated and relatively weak compared with the overpowered heroes introduced the past few months, and also coming in 2022. In addition, the chances of pulling one of the good 5* heroes is under 2.5%. That means over a 97% chance you will not get one of the good 5* heroes on any particular pull. UPDATE: only 3 new costumes will be in the portal to update the old outdated heroes, even though there were a lot more in the beta testing round. Because of that, I've downgraded this month's Challenge Festival portal rating Summon Portal Rating: C, although it is better (B-) for newer players who do not have many of the old 3* or 4* event heroes.

Dec. 19 Major Quest Expected (appx. date).  

Dec. 18-21 Valhalla Forever Summons Event with Season 3 Valhalla heroes, including a handful that still are considered good, such as Frigg, Odin, Bera and Alfrike. However, this still includes Season 1 heroes, and is starting to feel outdated. Summon Portal Rating: D-.

Dec. 21 Mirages of Of Omega Expected - get aethers (appx. date).  

Dec. 27 Major Quest Expected (appx. date).  

Dec. 22-26 Tavern of Legends. Summon Portal Rating F (F-minus if that's a thing!).

Dec. 26-28 Mythic Titan event. Offer Rating: F.  Prize Value: F.

Dec. 30  - Jan. 2 Second Voyagers of the Underwild for December. Like other Voyagers events, this will include one new event hero. But, the summon portal still includes outdated Season 1 heroes. Summon Portal Rating: D.


Unknown said…
Hi Telly, in November you gave the portal challenge Santa Claus rating A. Now in December you give the portal rating F, which one should I believe

D K said…
Great heroes, but low chances. Guess its F rating. However you should use epic hero tokens.
Telly said…
@Unknown and @D_K: What happened between the start of November and now is: the introduction of portals that contain no Season 1 (or "Classic") heroes. Those are the heroes, which are mostly outdated now, except perhaps one or two of them that have costumes. But the costumes are not even in the Christmas portal, and most portals. Instead the Christmas portal has an over 80% chance of one of those outdated heroes, which really are just feeders for most established players at this point. So, now that there are portals with no Season 1 heroes for now on, any portal that is mostly Season 1 is downgraded.

That explains why I have downgraded the Christmas seasonal event portal. As D_K said, the 5* heroes still are very good, but at just 1% pull rate, 99% of the time you won't get one.
Anonymous said…
Yeah, I am just looking to finish Underwild before I think about taking a more indefinite hiatus from the game.
Unknown said…
Thanks for the heads up. Saving for 2022!
PinkBird said…
I personally find it hilarious how just because SB introduces a portal with no S1 heroes, every other one that does you automatically grade an F now. Get real, seriously.
Unknown said…
@ pinkbird, I think telly points out the reasoning for his grades in a reasonable fashion and states that in his opinion the season 1 heroes are underpowered, so therefore a summons with NO chance of drawing an underpowered hero is vastly superior than one with a 75% chance of a season one hero. In addition SG is making a lot of chances in a short period of time so that makes it a very fluid environment that requires a rapidly changing outlook in response to the new portals and new heroes and subsequently what was once new is now old and what was once a good hero is now underpowered.

I would be interested in what season 1 heroes you would prefer to have than the newer heroes. personally.
Anonymous said…
Is there a chance that you can use epic hero token for no-seson 1 hero summon later?
Unknown said…
Great to have you back Telly. Really useful input Nov and Dec. Get your logic on recalibration of summons. Do you have any rated at A on the new criteria?
Anonymous said…
You didn't mention the element for the HOTM. Lots of people wondering.
Thanks for coming back, we've missed you.
Anonymous said…
Hinatra is a yellow hero.

I can see the excitement because we’ve seen the BF portal and now the Challenge festival portal excluding S1 heroes. But SG hasn’t made any indication that other ‘regular’ portals are going to be removing S1. Seems to be a couple one off events that I don’t think we should count on as a permanent change. I still see a ton of value in S4 heroes like Xnol, morel, Liz, Hannah…. The blue healer being released should be useful and they should all be relevant for quite some time. Several S3 heroes are still relevant, despite the massive release of new heroes and events.

If you need current heroes to be relevant in today’s game, I’d still say pull. If the plan is to wait until SG slows down, you might be waiting forever…
Anonymous said…
The caveat you're missing on the Xmas portal is on Epic Hero Tokens. They should be saved and spent on the seasonal portals. Since the heros for summer and Halloween aren't very foosy, burning through your Tokens since last April is prudent and wise. Spending gems on a 10 pull is another story.
Anonymous said…
Hi Telly, I was wondering if you were the one who updates the All Heros Cards database? It been behind and I always enjoyed those ratings on the characters. Thanks in advanced
TLK914 said…
Dont forget that Tellys ratings are relative. So saying a portal is an F, means its the lowest likelihood of happy compared with better portals out there (Or previously done in single events). There are no "A+" portals. All the portals have some level of weakness. And each time they release a new hero, the pool dilutes rurther. It doesnt make the portals themselves worse than they were a year ago, it just means they are rated less and less because new heroes drop top hero chance percentages (by teeny weeny amounts, but its still a drop). If you are a FTP or CTP, you are still gonna eventually add up to a coin pull or even a saved diamond 10 or 30 pull here or there, and waiting for once a year makes no sense as the value shifts when it does. It only takes 1 of these stat-insanity events with 2 or 3 uber-hero releases to suddenly flip up the meta and make us all wanna retool lineups. 3 years ago everybody wanted 400+ Snipers, then they wanted defensive tanks, ala Justice, then later Ursena, and later pre-nerf Telluria, flanked by speed hitters (Everybody wanted a Gravemaker and a Vela. Then later it was 3 or 4 Ninjas on a team, then it was costume heroes like Kady. Of late its been the minion and fiend heroes. But recent releases may make those more vulnerable, and some other flavor of the month will take over. When the Magic event 1st rolled out and we saw the ridiculous numbers and multifaceted powers on the heroes people went nuts thinking they would set the new bar. BUT, it turns out though the numbers are ridiculous, the synergy isnt so great. Who did sorta bend the rules were the Circus heroes. Mostly poor reviews on release. But they have been taking higher and higher steps up the usage list because despite being slower than the magic heroes, they worked well with teammates better. (Much better on average).

Currently people rave and fear over the Wolf Clan. Not many out in the wild, but the big 3 in the middle can be terrifying to stare down knowing that if Ludwig fires once...his flankers will fire 3x in 5 turns and the 2nd time (or 3rd) for Quenell will probably kill everyone on the enemy board. But again, few of them out there. The recent Ninjas were very good, very good...and sick level ridiculous. Will the group meta revert back to a ninja team meta again? Only time will tell.

Bottom line is...all specialty portals are better than regular and therefore eventually youll accrue enough diamonds to use one. Pick your fave and do so!
Ones where you can get a desired specialty at a higher rate of drop are "best" if they help you. I have Santa...never leveled him. He wont help me with anything and I have plenty of better than him reds. UNLESS I drew Pengi and Mrs Claus. THEN, well heck, Id have 3 family boosting minion makers(who all self boost Pengi), 1 is a wicked hitter, 1 is a solid tank with solid support ability, and the games best resurrect hero. That may change my mind and make me level old Santa.

the game keeps changing. Dont lose all hope...just dont expect this months best hero to be your best hero in a year. More likely youll be feeding your best hero to someone newer next year. But it is what it is.
Anonymous said…
Is there no costume event this month?
Anonymous said…
Welcome back, Telly. We missed you a lot. Thanks for the update!
Sir Aardvark
Anonymous said…
Where are the new hero reviews?? This site has become disappointing!
Anonymous said…
Why are the magic heroes rated so poorly. I’ve gotten to #1 multiple times running a mostly magic hero team. I sit around 2700 cups and have a 4 magic hero team. Their synergy is top notch and using their chargers at the right time makes the fight last so much longer if it’s not going well for you.