- 1 Introduction
- 2 Game Strategies
- 3 Specific Matchups
- 4 Conclusion
As the god of the sky, Zeus has his own way to go to the pantheon. His power seems great, since a good player can reach level 2 with this easily… or is it?
Your worker may build a block under itself.
Zeus does not win if he builds under himself when he moves to a level 2, since building under doesn’t count as moving up.
It is easy for Zeus to play the early game. He can play more defensively by building under himself next to the opponent so that the opponent doesn’t leave Zeus on the ground. But he can also play more aggressively by building levels 2 over the constructions of the opponent. The point of this is that it will be much easier for Zeus to make use of those constructions. If for example, the opponent builds a level 1 adjacent to one of those levels 2 (intending to move up to the level 1 and then to the level 2), Zeus can move next to the level 2 and build under himself, moving to the level 2 first.
In this stage of the game, Zeus can hope for the L-corner level 2 strategy (check it out below). Furthermore, notice how the presence of levels 3 is usually very good for Zeus. If there is a level 3 and an adjacent level 1, Zeus can move to the level 1 and build under himself, thus creating a winning threat. The more levels 3 there are, the easier it is for Zeus to be aggressive. Consider this position:
Zeus can win in 3 moves by making use of the levels 3 in A4 and B5 by building on A5 first, then move to there and build under it.
Zeus has a very powerful strategy that will work against most of the powers called L-corner level 2. Whenever he controls three levels 2 in an L formation, the win is almost guaranteed. Let us see an example of how to do it:
Zeus takes advantage of his ability by playing to C3 and building under himself and now there is nothing the opponent can do!! If the opponent builds in one of the levels 2, e.g. C4, Zeus moves down to the other level 2 and has two threats next. If the opponent “ignores” Zeus, he moves down to B4 and builds a level 3 in C4, creating once again 2 threats.
You should be aware of this strategy as Zeus since it will work against most of the gods and the opponent loses out of nowhere. However, you should be careful when you do this because there are some powers against which this strategy might not work. For example, the domers and the double builders can easily defend this.
Zeus might surprise Aphrodite. As we all know, it is very difficult to play against Aphrodite, but Zeus makes it a little bit easier. In this matchup, the ability of building below the worker proves to be very useful. Still, it will take some good skills and a lot of patience if you want to beat Aphrodite.
At first it might seem that Zeus is defending well and Asteria isn’t making any progress, but this matchup will be very tough for Zeus.
Building under yourself does not count as moving up, so is Zeus extremely good in this matchup? Not quite! Athena is still better in this matchup and this is all due to the fact that she can create level 3 threats which Zeus cannot use.
Castor & Pollux
This is a balanced game and it is interesting to see how the powers complement each other.
If Dionysus forces Zeus down, it is easy for Zeus to get right back up. What I like about this matchup is that Zeus doesn't have many of his usual strategies as Dionysus can take advantage of level 3s.
This is a very tricky matchup. Gaea can’t just go immediately for another worker or she will most likely lose. But if Gaea is able to defend and get one or two extra workers, Zeus could be suddenly lost.
Although Zeus looks very good against Harpies (he stops but then builds under himself and moves up), it is tricky to play this matchup and it will take a good player against Harpies to actually use Zeus effectively.
Zeus might not seem aggressive so you might be wondering how he can defeat Hera. Here the point is that it is easy for Zeus to move up to one of the nine central squares, and he can use that fact to win. In general, I would consider this to be a balanced matchup.
A balanced game (it is easy to find balanced games with Zeus) where I feel like Zeus is more comfortable but he should work on building several domes since on an open board, Iris would rule the position.
The first time I saw this matchup, I was kind of surprised because Minotaur is really strong and Zeus, not being weak, isn’t that strong. But Zeus has a nice strategy which can be very scary for Minotaur.
The strategy consists of continuously building level 2s and then you move up, when you think your position is better. If Zeus is able to move up to a level 2 with some adjacent level 2s, this is very problematic for Minotaur as we would be stuck on the ground without being able to do anything (note that this strategy doesn’t work against Apollo).
There is still another trick for Zeus, if Minotaur and Zeus are both on a level 1 and Minotaur threatens to move up to a level 2 next to both gods, Zeus can move up and build under himself, and Minotaur can’t use that square. The more domes there are the weaker Minotaur becomes, so he needs to choose his builds very carefully. Anyway, Minotaur should still be stronger in this matchup, although there are good possibilities for Zeus.
This is an extremely drawish matchup and what could likely happen is that you reach an endgame where both powers appear to be mortals. The powers counter each other very well, and it is hard for the opposing god to make progress.
This is another balanced matchup (Zeus is slightly stronger) and it is an opportunity for you to use your Santorini skills.
Although Urania is stronger than Zeus in this matchup, she needs to be careful. For example, Zeus might try to use the L-corner level 2 strategy and that would work perfectly against Urania. However, Urania’s initiative to use only the corners of the board can be a headache for Zeus and force him to defend.
Zeus is a very interesting power, and it brings a lot to the game. Not being super strong, he is still playable against the majority of the powers. It is easy to defend, but then you also need a plan to attack, which could consist in building level 3s.
Tier ranking: B