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# SantoriniPowerHydra

## Introduction

As the many-headed serpent, Hydra’s number of heads change in each turn she plays. If she can control when they spawn and when they disappear, having workers all over the board can be deadly. However, it can be hard to do if you haven’t played with her yet…

### God Power

At the end of your turn, if none of your workers neighbour each other, place a worker in one of the lowest available unoccupied spaces next to the worker you moved. Otherwise, remove one of your workers from play.

Player move

### Explanation

Hydra has at least one worker and at most ten workers on the board at any time. When she places a worker, it must be as low as possible, but it can possibly be on a third floor (although she cannot win due to that). When she removes a worker, it can remove any of her workers, not just those neighboring one another.

## Game Strategies

### Early Game

Hydra should start by spamming the maximum number of workers she can. Having at least 4 is an ideal number, and having more than 6 is rare. Moreover, the maximum number of workers Hydra can collect is 10. Of course that in a real game this is impossible to do due to several reasons. For example, the opponent has their own threats which Hydra will have to defend, they have their own workers (which can prevent Hydra’s workers from going to where they want) or there are blocks, which can force Hydra to place workers in not so ideal squares (since she has to place them in the lowest possible level).

So Hydra should spawn workers and I would recommend getting at least 4 to control each corner. Eventually, Hydra might have to do a detour to defend the opponent's threats, but once she gets a lot of workers, the opponent will be the one defending.

### Mid Game

If you have played some games with Hydra, you have probably realized that if Hydra could place a neighboring worker at any height (and not at the lowest possible), she would be much stronger. However, there is a clever way to overcome this problem. Hydra can use the LCE (leave the corner empty) formation which we explain below:

The LCE formation consists of not building in the corner but building in every possible adjacent square. If Hydra does this, when she moves to the corner, a new worker will be born at a higher level. For example, if Hydra is in B2(1), A1 is a level 0 (or 1), A2 and B1 are levels 2, then Hydra can move to A1, build in B2, and place a new worker (of course assuming that no other worker is neighboring each other) in one of these 3 squares: A2, B1 or B2. In the following moves, she can move to A1, build in A2(3), and place a new worker in B2, creating a winning threat.

I recommend that you try this strategy, you will see how effective it can prove to be.

### Late Game

Although Hydra controls the majority of the board (making it hard for the opponent to create winning threats), it might not be easy to keep many workers in a level 2. The opponent might be clever to the point of “forcing” your highest workers to a close area so that they “kill each other”. Hydra must be careful to prevent these situations and staying away from the central areas might be a good plan since a central worker can be more easily adjacent to Hydra's workers (and then she would have to kill a worker).

## Specific Matchup

### Aeolus

Aeolus is very strong, but Hydra’s workers can control several squares from several directions, so this makes an interesting matchup.

### Aphrodite

Hydra’s ability to generate new workers far away from Aphrodite makes things very difficult for Aphrodite. Aphrodite’s chances are very low on this one.

### Apollo

It might seem that Hydra could get several workers so that Apollo could not mark them all. However, this plan will still be very difficult to apply as Apollo can force Hydra to “where he wants”.

### Bia

Don’t even think about it. Bia’s presence is irrelevant here, Hydra will just get a new worker in the next turn.

### Charybdis

This might surprise a few Charybdis’s lovers, but it is very unlikely for the whirlpool monster to win in this matchup if the other monster knows what she is doing. Charybdis’s whirlpools work really well, but only when she can place them out of reach of the opponent. Against Hydra, this is just impossible since Hydra can control every single square without too much effort. Therefore, Charybdis will never find a way to make good use of her power and she will play as if she had no power.

### Circe

This is an odd matchup, but it is still playable. Hydra gets three workers, but will not be ALL neighboring each other, so the power will go to Circe. What will happen from that point on, is that Circe will be Hydra and Hydra, if she wants to, she will be a three worker mortal with no restrictions, except that if she ends her turn with all three workers neighboring each other, she gets her power back and at the end of her next turn, she will lose a worker. Once Hydra becomes a mortal, she will probably not want to regain her power since Circe will become a mortal with too many workers.

### Clio

This matchup can go both ways and it will depend on the strategy employed by Clio.

### Double builders

Most double builders won’t have a problem against Hydra, and their side should be prefered.

### Eris

If Hydra gets more workers, it might not be necessarily good for her, as Eris can also control more workers. At the end of the day, Hydra is no match for Eris.

### Eros

Hydra can use her new workers to create barriers between Eros’s workers, but this barrier won’t last for long, since Hydra must remove workers whenever she finishes with neighboring workers. This downside of Hydra’s ability can make the matchup tricky and Eros might shine out of nowhere.

### Europa & Talus

If E&T goes for a corner attack using both workers, it can be very complicated for Hydra to defend.

### Gaea

Gaea must play this matchup carefully. If she rushes to get more workers, Hydra might get an unstoppable attack.

### Graeae and Proteus

Both gods seem to be no match for Hydra. If Hydra is able to get four workers, it will be very difficult to catch up with all of them.

### Hippolyta

It is tough to choose the stronger side here, but I would definitely go with Hydra. Although it might not be easy to play without killing every single worker, Hydra is still very good at defending. This should be considered a balanced matchup.

### Hypnus

This matchup might be trickier than it seems, but Hydra should be superior due to the high number of possible moves at each turn.

### Morpheus

You might be caught by surprise on this matchup. Yes, Hydra is actually able to win against Morpheus, but it will take a player with some good Hydra skills to do it.

### Nyx

You are probably crazy if you are facing Hydra with Nyx. Hydra can get a lot of workers and then lose her power on purpose, so that she gets to play with all of those workers without any restriction.

### Tartarus

Although Hydra is stronger than Tartarus, she still must be careful not to drop a new worker in the abyss, otherwise she will lose immediately.

### Triton

Hydra can drop several workers in the perimeter and make things very complicated for Triton. Triton should be the one waiting for a mistake.

### Urania

Just like against Charybdis, since Hydra can control the majority of the board, Urania’s ability becomes quite useless and Hydra will easily defend against all possible threats.

## Conclusion

Hydra is a very strong power but it involves some experience. With practice, you will know the right time to get new workers and where to place them. Hydra can put up a fight against most gods, and even defeat some very strong ones, so you should definitely be very careful around her.

Tier ranking: A