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# SantoriniPowerAphrodite

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## Introduction

To many people, Aphrodite seems rubbish since she doesn’t have an active god power. However, many people overlook her power to stop opponents from winning. With her power, she can avoid opponents from moving to the third floor, or even worse, they cannot move at all? So how to unleash her power and make your opponents gaze at her with love and fear?

### God Power

If an opponent worker starts its turn neighbouring one of your workers, its last move must be to a space neighbouring one of your workers.

### Category

Opponent blocking

### Explaination

One of Aphrodite’s greatest strengths is to prevent the opponent from winning not by removing the threat, but by making sure that the winning square is not neighboring her. If the opponent starts their turn neighboring Aphrodite, and if they are threatening to win by moving up to a level 3, they can only do it if that square is neighboring Aphrodite. Some opponents can move across the whole board and can even visit squares which don’t neighbor Aphrodite. So what happens if during those intermediate moves, the opponent moves up to a level 3? Do they win? Is that move even allowed? Consider the following scenario where the matchup is Triton vs Aphrodite.

Can Triton play a4-a3-a2, resulting in a win? No, because in that case that would violate Aphrodite’s restriction (see End Your Turn Early from the rulebook).

Can Triton play a4-a3-a2-b1 (finishing his turn next to Aphrodite)? No, if Triton could play this move, this would mean that he would win when moving a3-a2, but as we have seen, he cannot do so.

So this is a weird situation where if A2 was a level 2, Triton would be able to travel to B1, but since A2 is a level 3 and moving through that square would imply winning far away from Aphrodite, he cannot do it.

## Game Strategies

### Early Game

As said previously, many of you may think that Aphrodite is no good and will usually lose. You might be thinking, “well if I am up against a brutal builder like Hephaestus, how can I possibly win?” That may be a hard matchup, but you can still win. If you use her to its full potential, you can win. In early games, what I like to do is start using the power right away. You can do that by holding them back. Since they can’t move away from you, you can literally decide where you want to allow your opponent to move. Usually, when you go first, I just do a random move. But when I go second, what I do is I follow the opponent worker that built and I build a level 1 next to his level 1. Yeah, he can just move up and block me with a level two, but then I can block him again and have him pinned to the corner with me. You want to try and keep your workers separated at the beginning so that he can’t move next to your other worker. If you start with that play, you are already starting to put the opponent in a bad position.

Now, you don’t want to use the same strategy for the other worker. That is because both your guys will be in the corner and you will eventually have to move, releasing the opponent worker. Therefore, I would suggest that you start building like normal on the other side of the board. It is most likely that the opponent will follow you and it will turn into a blocking game, but you can eventually get the high ground. On the other hand, if they are a good builder, they might try to start building their own building. If they start building next to your worker in the corner, you can just move that worker and be holding both opponent workers with that one. That is the goal at the beginning, to try and get both of them pinned under one of your workers. On the other hand, if they build away from that first worker, you are in a little bit of trouble if they are a good builder. My suggestion would be to try and pin him with your second worker so he can’t keep building without moving to the floor. Then, even though it is not ideal, you will want to move the first worker closer to where your second worker built. Even though that will release that worker you pinned earlier, you want to hold that position on the worker that is about to get high ground.

Once you have done any of those things, you are in a good position. It would take forever to say all situations, but one more that might come up is that the opponent just goes in random places and really is unpredictable. What I would suggest is again, try trapping them in one corner or pin both of their workers with one of your workers. Another strategy that might help if you can’t seem to do that is keep both of your workers on any of the five spaces on the line in the middle of the board. Therefore, your opponent workers can never reach the outside perimeter spaces. Yes, they can go in the middle too, but if they do, you can move towards the perimeter space leaving the other opponent worker in your dust!

### Mid Game

Once you have pinned or gotten off to a good start, this is what you should do next. If they are a good builder, you want to keep targeting their workers by pinning them. If they are not good builders, and you are on a higher level than them, you can just try to win normally. If you are in a bad position and the opponent workers are on a higher level than you, what you could do is try to pull them to the middle. If you have both your workers in the middle line, then you could hold your opponent workers from the edges. If you do that, you can kind of keep them contained until you see an opening where you can build a level 1 and the opponent worker cannot block you. The way that works is every time someone moves, they build and they keep building until, say for instance, there is a level 2 on b4 and d4, you can move to c4, and build behind it. That would get you in a good position.

If they are not good builders, and you are beating them, and you are doing the strategy of just building your two towers, you may be in a good position. One key detail here though is that if you are building two towers up as you go, for instance: e1 and d1, you are set up for placing that level 3 and winning. The key tip is if someone is standing on either e3 or d3, that worker will always be able to block that level 3. That is because that worker has two possible ways for each of the two towers to block it. So even if your second worker comes in and builds a level 3 trying to block the opponent worker from stopping them, there will always be a second square for the opponent worker to move to. So if you are in a situation like that, you are going to want to keep that tower to intimidate them, but use your second worker to try to hold back the other opponent worker from moving up and making a tower themselves. That way, that worker has to either move off of the level 1, and building there, completely letting you take advantage by blocking and building a level 1 so they can’t block you, or they will have to move the other worker, allowing you to either win with your worker on the two towers, or just kind of waste a move and a build for them.

So basically, a good mid-game situation is if you are on a level 2 or a level 1 surrounded by level 2’s. The way you do that is by using your power to your full advantage and building a tower of your own, while also holding back an opponent worker’s, and taking the high ground. You can use Aphrodite to your advantage in a lot of different ways. Just by simply holding back your opponents from moving up, you can annoy them by not allowing them to move up to victory. Furthermore, they will have no choice but to play the defense game, and you can take the win!

### Late Game

Once you have the high ground, here is what you do. First, you want to make sure there is no way for your opponent to get up with you. Remember, if you are holding back someone, they can move away if they end up next to your other worker. So, if you are on a level 2, and there is a level 1 next to you, one of the opponent workers is adjacent to that level 1, and your second worker is holding that opponent worker back from the level 1, keep in mind that they will still be able to move up to the level 1 because they will be next to your other worker. You aren’t stuck to the worker that is holding you, you are stuck to either worker if one of their workers is neighboring yours. So that is the first step. Make sure there are no paths up for your opponent worker. You don’t want them sneaking up on you!

Next, you want to make sure that you have blocks. By that, I mean 2 level tower blocks. Aphrodite may have a good strategy for getting the high ground, but doesn’t have one for winning. You see, when she is moving up for her first tower, she can have the opponent workers trapped on the other side of the board. Once she gets up though, the opponent workers can come up to the building because that is adjacent to you. So, what you want to do with the blocks, is make blocks so they can’t block you when winning. For example, you are on a level 2 on e2, and there is a level 2 at d2 and d1. If that is there, you have blocks for e1. They won’t be able to block you there. One of the most common win strategies is in the corners because it has the least amount of adjacent spaces. As you can see in the example below, the opponent has nowhere to block you.

Now that strategy is great, but you might be asking, “How do I get there?” Well, the answer is simple. First, if the opponent isn’t experienced, they might try to place a level 1 next to your level 2’s. As we have previously gone over, that is not a good strategy because you can just block it. So if they do that, you can block it and slowly get more mobility on the high ground. If they don’t do that though, you have to build them on your own. If you build a level 1 next to your opponent workers though, they will just move up. So, what you have to do is build a level 1 away from them so that they can’t move up and next turn you can make it a level 2 before they move up. Well, what if they are smart and keep both workers next to your tower so you don’t have a chance to expand? Simple. Use your worker that is on ground level and start building high with that worker. When you place a level 3, 1 of the opponent workers have to block it, allowing you to place a level 1 where they can’t move up. A few other small things that could happen is they could be standing on a level 1 away from your towers, and then build a level 1 next to your tower. You can’t build a level 2 because they will just move up. What you can do is move down onto the level 1, cutting him off and then building somewhere that woe\rker can’t move to. Another thing that could happen is when you build a level 1 away from the opponent worker, they could move next to it and build a level 1 away from it. That might be hard to understand, so here is an example.

Basically, there are two level 1’s that aren’t adjacent to each other. If this happens, you can build a level 2 on one of them. The opponent worker will move up to level 1. Next, build on one of the level 2’s adjacent to the level 1 the opponent worker is standing on. Here is an example related to the previous one.

Then,

Now, the opponent worker has to move down, and you can move down to one of the level 1’s and build on the other. Even though you had to waste one of your towers, it put you in a better position and gave you more!

So now you know you want blocks. One more strategy is hiding out. For example, if you can trap both opponent workers with one of your own on one of the edges, you can just stay there. This is because you can use the other worker on the opposite side of the board, and they can’t get over there, this is because they won’t be close enough to be able to move over to be adjacent to your other worker! There is literally no way they can block you! They can try to build up but you can just block them with your other worker! This is a good strategy for Aphrodite, on blocks, and holding back. She can be very annoying sometimes! She is definitely better than she sounds.

## Specific Matchup

### Iris

Iris can be tricky since she can jump over people. This is because, if doing a strategy like the blocking strategy, she can jump over you and get up there with you. Iris can also get away from one worker and get to the next easier. Sometimes, the holding strategy will not work. If you have a choice between these two, you would probably want to choose Iris.

### Charon

Charon is also a tough opponent. This is because, once again, your holding strategy will not work because he can force you to the middle of the board and then follow you over there. Also, doing the block strategy, he can force you off of the building which is bad. Charon is always a hard opponent and you should choose him if you have to pick between these 2.

### Scylla

Yet again, another tough opponent because she can move you. She can move away from you and then pull you towards her. That right there is dangerous because your power is pretty much useless. I would say always pick Scylla in this situation. Aphrodite’s tough opponents are the ones with good mobility and can force her.

### Hermes

Although Hermes has a lot of movement and can go around the board as long as he finishes his turn next to Aphrodite (assuming he starts next to her), he will still face a lot of trouble trying to defeat Aphrodite. At the end of the day, this matchup is tough for both powers and it might come down to a single turn in the endgame.

### Good Builders (e.g. Demeter, Hestia, Hephaestus, Morpheus)

These powers aren’t deadly to Aphrodite, but you have to be careful. All the normal Aphrodite strategies will work. The problem is they can build fast. So if you are trying to out-build them for your tower, it will not work. That is why you have to be careful with them. However, if you can stick with them on level 2, you have almost won the game.

## Conclusion

As it is mentioned in the article, Aphrodite is definitely more powerful than she seems. Not only she can trap her opponent's workers, she can also force them to move to an unwanted position. Therefore, although she is much complicated than simple gods for beginners, her charm is far more than pinning and defending. Therefore, she definitely deserves an impressive ranking.

Tier ranking: A

Unlike most other gods, her strategy is not as clear or easy. However, with proper use, it is game over if she steps on level 2. Moreover, as an opponent planning will be more difficult than usual and preventing her is a challenge when you are chained with her. So she is usually a good choice unless you are facing forcers or movers.