In this post we explain why the statue of Zeus is by far the worst wonder in 7Wonders Duel.
Weak and Expensive
To understand why the Statue of Zeus is so bad, it is best to compare to the wonder that is most similar to it: Circus Maximus. Circus Maximus costs three unrefined resources (two stones and a wood) and one refines resource (a glass). This is cheaper than the Statue of Zeus, which costs three unrefined resources (stone, wood and clay) and two refines resources (two papyrus).
The effects of the Statue of Zeus and Circus Maximus are similar. Both grant three points, a military step and the ability to shred one of your opponent’s resource cards. The only difference is that Circus Maximus allows you to shred one of your opponents refined resources, and the Statue of Zeus allows you to shred an unrefined resource. The question is what’s better, shredding a refined or an unrefined resource?
Since the Statue of Zeus is more expensive than Circus Maximus, one would suspect that shredding an unrefined resource is stronger. But the opposite is the case. There are three resource cards of every unrefined resource, but only two of every refined resource. Moreover, every unrefined resource has a yellow commercial card that lets you buy that resource for one coin, while the refined resources share such a commercial card together. Since refined resources are more rare than unrefined resources, they are more valuable, and shredding them is a bigger deal.
On top of this, because the Statue of Zeus is more expensive, you cannot build it until later in the game. And at that stage, your opponent has had more time to use his resource cards already, and also to obtain extra resource cards as reserves. Later in the game the effect of shredding a resource card is thus greatly reduced.
The statue of Zeus is thus more expensive that Circus Maximus, and its effect is weaker. And Circus Maximus is not even a exceptionally powerful wonder. We therefore recommend to play without the statue of Zeus, or to reduce its cost by one papyrus. Otherwise the player that is forced to pick the Statue of Zeus is at a great disadvantage.