Raid Formations in Empires and Puzzles

Raid formations are optional defense alignments you can use for your defense team in Empires & Puzzles. Introduced as an in-game "Global Beta" on February 15, 2021, Raid formations added a whole new defense flexibility into the game. I cover the essentials and some great strategies for using and attacking formations in this guide. The four defense formations are:

  • Standard
  • Reverse
  • Double
  • Reverse Double.

Set Raid Formations in Hero Academy

You can select a raid formation in the Hero Academy building. So, if you wish to select a defense formation other than the Standard Formation, you need to have built the Hero Academy already. When you click on the Hero Academy building you have built, you will find a tab for Formations. Click there and you can select the formation you want. 

NOTES: 
  • 1x Per Day: You can only change your formation once per day.
  • Regular Raids Only: The new formations apply only to regular raids and friendly matches, and not to raid tournaments, and not to Alliance Wars.

Standard Formation

The Standard Raid formation is the "normal" formation. This is the team alignment that has always existed in Empires & Puzzles.

Standard Formation Strategy

The defense strategies have not changed for the standard formation, since it is the same as it always has been. In the standard formation, the middle hero (#3 position) is the tank. So, you should position your best tank there. Examples of popular tanks include: Telluria, Heimdall, Guinevere, Ursena, Alrfrike and Garnet. 
NOTE: The formation images are from the Beta testing period, and are being used with express permission from Small Giant Games, the creator of Empires & Puzzles. For one-time only, Small Giant Games decided to allow the use of images from the Beta period, during the beta testing of version 35 of the game.

Reverse Formation

The Reverse Raid Formation has the middle hero positioned at the rear, and the two heroes on the edges up front.

Reverse Formation Strategy

In attacking the reverse formation, two tile lanes attack each of the wings (the #1 and 5 defenders), but only a single tile lane attacks the "tank" and and "flanks" - the #2, 3, 4 defenders.  Because of this, position your "tanky" defenders on the wings, and your normally wing defenders in the middle, at one of positions 2, 3, 4.  

For example, common "wing" defenders include Finley, Cobalt, Onyx, Seshat, Jabberwock and Joon. If you use the Reverse Raid Formation on defense, you should consider putting them at tank or flank.  

Double Formation

The double raid formation is shaped like a "W". Two heroes are in the front row, and three are positioned in the back row. 

Double Formation Strategy

In attacking the double formation, 4 of the 7 tile lanes attack the heroes in the front row - the #2 and 4 defenders. Each of the front row defenders get hit by two lanes. Each of the rear row defenders get hit by one lane of tiles.
Defense Teams in Double Raid Formation: The double formation can be very powerful for defense teams. In effect, the heroes in the front row protect those in the back row. Because of that you want to position your tanky heroes in the front row, and fast mana heroes in the back row. Alternatively you can use a Defend 3 hero in the #3 position.

Hit 3 / Defend 3: All the hit 3 attack heroes or protect 3 defense heroes can hit/defend 5 with this formation. On defense, all of the heroes are considered "nearby" to the middle hero (#3). For example, if you position Guinevere or Sif or Khagan at the #3 position, firing their special skill helps all "nearby" defenders, and that affects all 4 of the other defenders (# 1, 2, 4 and 5), if they are alive.  

Attacking The Double Raid Formation: Because there are two tank positions in the double raid formation, it can be more difficult to kill the heroes with tiles alone. Still you should stack heroes on your attack teams that are stronger against the colors used in the front row, since that maximizes the tile damage on those heroes.  Also on attack, if a hit 3 attacker hits the middle hero in the back row (the #3 defender), then its special skill actually hits all heroes. For example, Kingston's special skill hits the target and nearby defenders with an attack down ailment. Normally this was a maximum of three defenders. However, if you are attacking double defense formation, Kingston will give its defense down ailment to the entire defense team, if you target the #3 defender. Other examples of hit 3 heroes include Onyx (charge 2), Thorne and Richard.

Reverse Double Formation

The Reverse Double raid defense formation is shaped like an "M". Three heroes are in the front row, and 2 are positioned in the back row. 

Reverse Double Formation Strategy

In attacking the reverse double defense formation, all 7 of the tile lanes attack the heroes in the front row - the #1, 3 and 5 defenders. The middle defender (#3) gets damage from 3 tile lanes, and the two on the edges of the front row (#1 and 5) each are hit by two tile lanes. The heroes in the back row (#2 and 4) are completely protected from tile damage until one or more of the front row heroes are defeated.  

Defense Teams in Double Raid Formation: The reverse double formation can be powerful for defense teams. In effect, the heroes in the front row completely protect those in the back row from any tile damage until one of the front row heroes is defeated. 

Hit 3 / Defend 3: As with the Double Formation, all the hit 3 attack heroes or protect 3 defense heroes can hit/defend 5 if used well. On defense, all of the heroes are "nearby" to the middle hero (#3). If you position Guinevere or Sif or Khagan at the #3 position, firing their special skill helps all "nearby" defenders, and that affects all 4 of the other defenders (# 1, 2, 4 and 5), if they are alive.  

Attacking The Reverse Double Raid Formation: If you face a defend 3 hero, such as Guinevere, that hero is buffed up to defend 5, instead of 3. So defeating the middle hero becomes even more important. You should use color stacking against the middle hero preferably, or the middle hero and one of the others in the front row, since that maximizes the tile damage on those heroes.

Comments

Unknown said…
I'm glad to see them finally doing this, this was always the best way to shake up the Meta, a thought about the "M" and "W" configurations, all of the sudden Norns (and all the "nearby damage" heroes) will become a powerful character, as she can target the middle hero and hit everybody, effectively becoming an AOE with an element change
Unknown said…
I think this will have some unintended consequences, the Counter heroes can now impact the entire team, which will result in Debuffs becoming disproportionately significant
Telly said…
Definitely Norns and other hit 3 heroes get a nice buff when attacking the M and W formations. I pointed this out via beta feedback, but think they just want to proceed and shake up the game this way, for now. It's not definite that this is a long term change, since SG is saying that the raid formations will be tested with an in-game trial period. Personally, I think it makes things interesting.
Greengoo said…
I have heard, that fighting against double or reverse double formations, heroes hitting all enemies (eg. Isarnia) will only hit one line of enemies. Is that true?
Telly said…
@Greengoo No, the hit all heroes still hit all when fighting against formations.
Unknown said…
So, having dealt with the new formations for a week, my preliminary feedback is that instead of shaking up this existing Meta, this is solidifying it, Speed still kills, and the Double formations give you no easy holes to work with
Telly said…
I've been finding the new formations to be more difficult to beat, making raids more favoring defenses. Whether this is good or bad I think depends on personal preferences. Sometimes I've come back to the game after a few hours and see on defense alone I've gained +200 or +300 cups.
Anonymous said…
Not wanting to be annoying and pick on little details, but in your example of Kingston, you said he gives defence down. I think he gives special skill attack down doesn't he?

I'm a platinum to diamond level player and I don't have a HA yet. I am finding it a lot harder to break the 2,400 barrier because of the formations. It is especially because M and W formations mean it is a long time before you can ghost tiles and speedily fire up your specials.

It definitely gives defences a better chance of winning. I don't mind that, but it wouldn't really work as a feature if nobody wants to use standard formation any more. I would like to see a better balance between the formations
Telly said…
Not nitpicky...typo fixed.