RAID: Shadow Legends is notorious for its complex gameplay and depth of choices in terms of team building, gear, and masteries. For a new player, however, all the different aspects of the game can seem overwhelming. Before you get the chance to know what’s what, you’re likely to make at least a couple of poor decisions that are bound to slow your progression later on.
What’s more, RAID throws you straight into the fray as soon as you enter its vivid fantasy world. Just a few minutes in, you are asked to choose one of four great champions and discard the rest. Seeing that you’re not yet familiar with the mechanics of the game, there isn’t much to go on aside from role-play… and this BlueStacks guide, of course.
Choosing Your First Champion
As you decide which of the four Rare heroes should be the first on your team, you should consider your priorities carefully. Some of the champions are better during the early game, while others remain viable options throughout your entire progression. We prefer the latter, but if you don’t intend to play for long, you might want to choose a hero that is more useful and fun right away.
A High Elf Attack champion, Elhain is perhaps the most annoying character in the brief introduction to the game. This should not disqualify her, however, because she is also one of the most powerful heroes in terms of how well she scales through your progression. She has fantastic AoE damage potential and she stacks up fairly well against single targets as well. Her abilities include:
- Keen Shot – A single-target attack that is repeated if Elhain deals critical damage.
- Lightning Arrow – An attack that focuses one enemy first, then shoots all enemies. If the initial target dies, Elhain gains a Crit Rate bonus for 3 turns.
- Valley of Death – An AoE ability that targets all enemies twice.
The Dark Elf Attack champion Kael is an equally formidable choice, but his focus is more on damage over time effects, rather than direct attacks. He is not necessarily as balanced as Elhain when it comes to AoE vs. single-target potential, but he scales into a beast against bosses during the later game. His abilities are:
- Dark Bolt – A single-target attack that has a chance to poison the enemy for 2 turns.
- Acid Rain – An AoE attack that damages all enemies. For each opponent killed, Kael’s turn meter is refilled by 25%, which means the hero acts more often than others.
- Disintegrate – A semi-AoE ability that targets 4 random opponents and can poison them for 2 turns.
This Orc Attack champion is likely the best choice for early domination, although he will not scale as well as Elhain or Kael during the late game. Galek has a good share of both single-target and AoE abilities and he does consistent, increased damage thanks to the debuffs he places on enemies. His range of abilities includes:
- Cross Slash – A single-target ability that lets Galek attack twice.
- Hellraiser – An AoE that targets all enemies and buffs Galek with speed for 2 turns.
- Cursed Blade – A semi-AoE attack that targets 4 enemies and has a chance to debuff them with decreased defense. In addition, if any of the opponents suffer from more than 2 debuffs, an additional defense decrease is applied.
Athel is a Telerian Attack champion and the only hero with a self-buff in the initial pool of choices. However, she is also the weakest option both short- and long-term. Her stats are not as impressive as those of other starter champions and she is fairly lackluster in when it comes to dealing damage. Her abilities are:
- Strike down – A single-target, triple attack that can inflict a weaken debuff on the enemy for 2 turns.
- Higher Blessing – A self-buff for increased attack, as well as increased defense and an extra turn if Athel is below 50% health.
- Divine Blades – A simple AoE attack that targets all enemies.
Overall, the best champion long-term is Elhain, but Kael comes in a close second and might be preferred by some players. Galek is a monster in terms of damage and farming campaign stages during the early game, so he is definitely more fun to play right off the bat. The only option that does not seem viable to us is Athel, a champion that might have her own merit against dungeon bosses, but that just comes up short when compared to the alternatives.
How to Navigate the Early Game
There are so many things you can do in RAID: Shadow Legends and most game modes become available after just half an hour of gameplay. To begin with, however, your focus should be to create a core team of heroes that can take you through 3-star Normal and Hard Campaign stages. Once completed, you can use this team to clear early levels in Dungeons, farm Silver and shards, as well as get more heroes and additional teams for specific challenges.
Some of the rookie mistakes you might want to avoid are the following:
- Spending resources on Common and Uncommon heroes. The only use for these champions is to upgrade other, better heroes, so you shouldn’t spend any resources to gear them up or improve their abilities. What’s more, you’re likely to get a full group of 3-Star Rare heroes in a matter of hours so save your goodies for them.
- Using low-level heroes to upgrade your best champions. It’s easy to sacrifice poor heroes at the Tavern as soon as they become available, but you get more from your Shards if you fatten them up a bit beforehand, so to speak. Have your rookie heroes farm Campaign Stages using the BlueStacks Combo Key and feed them to your best champions only when they reach max level.
- Trading Gems for Silver or building the Gem Mine. Silver is very easily obtained from a myriad of sources, which is why you should never waste your rare Gems on this currency. The Gem Mine, on the other hand, seems like a good idea. It is, after all, a form of passive income in terms of Gems. However, the return on investment is so tantalizingly slow that you should only purchase this upgrade if you are literally drowning in Gems.
- Using good Skill Tomes on terrible champions. You might not be aware of this at first, but Rare and higher Skill Tomes are difficult to come by in RAID. As such, you should never waste these resources on Common and Uncommon heroes, regardless of how attached you might be to the latter.
If you avoid these simple errors and choose a good first champion, you can form your first great team in a matter of days, especially since your first week on the game will benefit from more or less constant XP bonuses. This will set the foundation for consistent farming and, eventually, for an arsenal of RAID combinations suitable for each dungeon and event.