Although it was released as early as January this year, Raid: Shadow Legends has not quietly faded into the background of the mobile gaming scene. On the contrary, Plarium’s take on the Gacha genre has consistently gained in popularity and is now backed by a fervid community. A lot has happened since the game hit the Play Store, but it’s not too late to get started now.
If you’d also like to join the craze for Raid: SL, this crash course for beginners will help you make up for lost time. Or, perhaps you’ve already tried the game, but were unsatisfied with your performance. This guide can help. No, it won’t replace hours and hours of dedicated gameplay, but at least you’ll know you’re headed in the right direction.
Q: Can You Play Raid: SL for Free?
A: Unfortunately, Raid: Shadow Legends is not one of those mobile gacha games that give F2P players a decent shot at the competition. This is not to say that you can’t have fun without spending money – you most definitely can. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get far in the arena, for example, if you don’t invest any real currency.
Regardless of whether you choose to invest or otherwise, you’ll frequently find yourself in the situation where you have to buy one thing over another. Setting some clear priorities from the start can help you spend less overall, which is why we recommend the following:
If you’re a P2W player with long-term plans for this game, upgrading the mine should be your first goal. You have to spend 1,500 Gems in the process, but the mine will pay for itself in just 100 days.
It offers no less than 5 blue shards per month, as well as the occasional decent artifact. However, you have to spend 250 Gems to upgrade it before these deals become available.
The Sparring Pit
This building isn’t your top priority, but it does offer idle XP, so it’s more than worth it in the long run if you have the Gems.
Like in most Gacha games, Energy is one of your most important resources and greatest limitations. Sometimes, you’ll need extra Energy to either upgrade a great hero or participate in some event, so this is a good way to spend Gems if you’ve already completed the 3 upgrades above.
Q: How to Manage Your Heroes?
A: We’ve already discussed your first rare hero choice in a different guide, so, this time, we ought to talk about your future lucky pulls. Common and Uncommon heroes will, at one point or another, become XP fodder, so never invest in them. Rare (blue) heroes, however, are slightly more difficult to manage because you’ll need some in order to progress through the early game, but you’ll keep very few (if any) by the time you reach the late game.
Generally speaking, if you sift through some of the available tier lists, there are some Rare champions that are simply awful. You should only ever keep 1 copy of them in your vault for possible fusion requirements for legendary champions later on. You can then use all subsequent copies as XP fodder.
On the other hand, there are a few mediocre Rare champions that you can use to advance in campaign missions (such as Kael, for example). These are worth upgrading to the degree that you find this necessary to progress in the game. Otherwise, you should bear in mind that you will very likely replace them later on, so they’re not worth very expensive upgrades.
Finally, a handful of Rare heroes can be kept all the way into the late-game and should, as such, be upgraded properly. These include Athel, Coldheart, Hyria, Doomscreech, Executioner, Apothecary, and a few others. As for purple and Legendary champions, needless to say, they are always keepers!
Q: How to Prioritize Your Energy Uses?
A: As you start a new game, your reserves overflow with Energy, which might give you the wrong impression that you’ll always have more of this resource than you can use. Sadly, this is not the case. As such, you’ll actually have to set strict goals for yourself and be wise about your use of Energy. Before you start a mission or event, you should ask yourself whether the Energy you’re about to spend will pay off and, if so, by how much.
During the early game, the most effective ways to spend Energy include:
- Beating all campaign maps with 3-star victories on all difficulties,
- Getting your best champions to 6 stars,
- Gearing your champions with basic gear from brutal campaign missions,
- 6-Stars ascensions,
- Obtaining basic jewelry, and
- Obtaining masteries.
While end-game gear and jewelry are certainly important, you should only go for them once you have a solid team or two of fully upgraded champions. As for masteries, it is definitely worth farming Minotaur for 1st tier, but, unless you have a very strong comp, you should only attempt higher tiers later in the game.
Q: What are the best Starter Hero Comps?
A: The fun part about Raid: Shadow Legends is that this is a very tactical game. As you leave its early stages behind, almost every encounter requires a specific team composition, which allows players to strategies to their heart’s content. Unfortunately, as a beginner, you won’t have much to choose from when it comes to powerful champions. For the time being, some basic team comps you can go for include:
High AoE for Campaigns
You actually only need one great hero with high AoE damage and low cooldowns to clear the majority of campaign missions. If you happen to get a legendary hero that fits the profile early on, he might be worth investing in right away since this will make your campaigning life much easier.
Offense/Defense/CC for the Arena
The team you use in the arena depends on what you have at hand. If you have a group of heroes that can kill the enemy team before they take their turn (such as, for example, a good starting hero + Diabolist, Spirithost, and a strong AoE), then you should go all-in on Offense. Otherwise, you’ll need heroes that can withstand the burst of the opposing team, which includes either very good tanks or nifty CCs with speed boosters.
HP Burn for Clan Bosses
Participating in Clan Boss fights is an entirely different kettle of fish, which is why we’ve put together a separate guide for it. As a general rule, however, new players should utilize one HP burn hero together with several poisonous ones and a very good healer.
Much more can be said about Raid: Shadow Legends, from gear to legendary champions, and other PvE and PvP challenges. You shouldn’t try to cram it all at once, though, because by the time you leave the mid-game, you’ll likely gain a good deal of first-hand experience and knowledge. Just make sure that, before you spend too much time trying to excel at the game using your smartphone, you play Raid: Shadow Legends on BlueStacks. You’ll thank us later!