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# SantoriniPowerIris

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## Introduction

As the goddess of the rainbow, Iris can pull off wins all of a sudden. Therefore, most people think that she is overpowered. However, she actually does not work quite well against some gods. So how should we overcome this problem?

### God Power

If there is a worker neighboring your worker and the space on the other side of it is unoccupied, your worker may move to that space regardless of its level.

Player move

### Explanation

First of all, let us use the following terminology: When Iris jumps two squares from A to B by jumping over C, we call A the initial square, B the final square, and C the bridge (making the connection between A and B).

After playing some games with/against Iris, you should ask yourself the following question: “What are the ideal squares for Iris?, Is there any difference?”. Consider the following boards. The first, contains the number of squares to which Iris can jump using her ability and the second, the number of squares from which Iris can jump using her ability.

For a given square, number of squares to which Iris can jump using her ability:

For a given square, number of squares from which Iris can jump using her ability (using the given square as the “bridge”):

As we can already see from the previous tables, the center is the best square for Iris to have a worker and then the other central squares. So what happens if a dome is built in the central square C3? The previous tables would turn respectively into:

And you see how this central dome weakens almost every single square for Iris. Similarly, domes on other central squares (squares outside of the perimeter), will weaken Iris, but not as much as a dome in the exact center of the board.

Another aspect to take into consideration is the distribution of levels 3. Iris appreciates the presence of several levels 3, and the explanation for this fact is quite simple. Most of the time, only she can make use of them, especially if both player’s workers are close to the ground. For example, consider the following simple example in which Iris wins “out of nowhere”.

Iris plays b3-d3, build E2(3), creating two winning threats. There was only a level 3 in the board, but that was enough to create a surprising double attack. Now imagine if the board contains lots of level 3s… From this example, we can point out two facts: Iris is happy with having levels 3 all over the board, while the opponent should avoid them.

The last I would like to mention is a very good defensive resource Iris can use sometimes. Whenever Iris gets stuck in the ground, she might be able to move up next to the opponent by using a straight line formation. Consider the following example:

It seems that Iris is cut out from the game but she can defend the top left corner by moving c3-b3. With this move, the B3 worker is threatening to move up to B5 (in particular, the opponent cannot afford to build a level 3 in B5 this turn). Moreover, the B2 worker can jump (using the B3 worker as the bridge) to B4 in case the opponent’s B4 worker moves. This means that Iris will sucessfully move up to a level 2.

## Game Strategy

### Early Game

It is common for Iris to start with a central worker in C3, using it as a bridge. Then, building in the corners might not be a bad idea since a level 3 in the corner can be used as a winning threat for Iris and might be hard for the opponent to defend. However, Iris cannot stick to this only strategy of creating levels 3 and expecting to jump directly over there, otherwise she might possibly get stuck in the ground for the rest of the game.

### Mid Game

While trying to create level 3 winning threats, if the opponent is defending carefully you are probably starting to realize that that plan of moving directly from a level 0 to a level 3 is easier said than done. Moreover, the opponent is also finding it difficult to create winning threats such that Iris cannot defend, since she has access to a lot of squares and some of them which are far away.

### Late Game

The best quality is her defensive skills and ability to reach a lot of squares, preventing the opponent from creating their own winning threats. In the endgame, Iris is an annoying opponent, especially if there are no central domes (otherwise it is easier to dodge her).

## Specific Matchup

### Artemis

This is a balanced matchup and it is definitely worth a try. Artemis seems stronger at first, but Iris can use her ability to create dangerous threats.

### Asteria

Although Asteria is stronger than Iris (placing domes is great against Iris), Iris might be able to reach the endgame and Asteria could be left with no good moves.

### Circe

Iris usually prefers to play with her workers close by, and against Iris that’s exactly what you want to do. So there is not such a great problem for Iris to keep her workers close and she should hold an advantage in this matchup.

### Clio

Clio’s coins are very strong in this matchup, especially if placed in the center of the board. Not only can Iris visit the coins (as usual), but she also cannot jump over the coins.

### Dionysus

Both gods like the presence of level 3s, so this is an interesting combination. Although it might be easier to play with Dionysus, a good player with Iris can win for sure.

### Eros

Since Iris can defend very well, it is not easy for Eros to create winning threats such that Iris is not able to defend. Moreover, if Iris creates levels 3, she might be able to use them before Eros does. In conclusion, Iris is superior in this universe.

### Graeae

The three sisters have to cover the whole board and pay attention to every level 2, which can turn into a level 3. If Graeae is experienced, she will have no problem winning this game.

Iris is one of the few opponents which Hades can face (however, this doesn’t mean that Iris is as weak as Hades). This is because one Iris moves up, her moves are a lot more restricted, so she must choose carefully when to move up. This still won’t be an easy task for Hades, but you can hope for a win to either side.

### Harpies

Iris will probably be able to use levels 3 first than Harpies, but that might not be such an easy task because Harpies can force Iris to undesirable squares. Iris must be controlled by a very experienced player and even like that Harpies can still emerge victorious.

### Hera

This matchup will be almost hopeless for Iris. Hera can control the center of the board and that way it will be very difficult for Iris to do anything effective.

### Pan

You get a leveled game by offering this combination. Pan will have to create a few domes before he can try to move up to a level 2, otherwise Iris will most likely be able to defend.

### Persephone

This matchup is trickier than it seems at first since it might be the case that Iris’s ability hurts her. Since Iris has to move up whenever she can, this also applies to jumps over other workers. Persephone might use this fact to drag Iris to a corner and even to trap her (imagine if Iris jumps to the corner [because she has to move up] but then she does not have anywhere to build).

### Poseidon

Poseidon won’t have his usual “easy win”, but Iris is still no match for Poseidon.

## Conclusion

Iris has a very cool ability which is to be able to win by moving from the ground level to level 3 (one of the few powers that can do this). Moreover, she also has access to squares two squares away (by jumping over workers) and this is a very good defensive resource. I would even say that Iris is stronger by her defensive quality than by her attacking qualities and this is why she is not such a strong power as it initially appears. She can do well against all tier B or lower powers, but when they have a higher tier, things get more complicated.

Tier ranking: B