Note- This is an old guide. Some info and strats talked about in this article might not be applicable with the current meta. Please read our Updated Commanders Guide for better results in-game.
If there’s one thing that Lilith Games – the developers behind Rise of Kingdoms, Art of Conquest, and more – are known for, it’s their customer relationship management. Let us give you some context. Back in July, a Reddit post about RoK’s lack of sustainability for F2P players got a lot of attention. This is no small feat when you consider the fact that their community averages 13,000 individuals. Where there are numerous customers, there will be just as many opinions.
Yet, because many people felt the same way, the Lilith team decided to balance things out, so much so that you can now acquire commanders you might have missed out on, as well as participate in the Mighty Governor event without having to pay one cent. By increasing the value of their events, Lilith greatly improved the Rise of Kingdoms experience for F2P players.
The Best Choice for Early Game Levelling
Some epic rarity commanders, such as the Spaniard Pelagius, have known their fair share of tweaks and buffs. Previously, we did make the point that the nations of RoK are designed in such a way that each of them is compatible with a certain style of play. While this is still definitely the case, there are some nations that are better than others for those who are really serious about developing their Kingdom. It’s not just min/maxing that we’re talking about: it’s tens of hours’ worth of your time.
If you’re a returning player looking to play Rise of Kingdoms on BlueStacks in 2019, then you might want to reconsider your approach. For the early game, China is head and shoulders above all the other Kingdoms in terms of development speed. Their additional 5% building time reduction will get you to City Hall level 22 faster than anything you’ve ever seen. The more upgraded your base, the higher your overall power, the better your odds of getting into a good alliance. And we don’t have to stress how important it is to get into a good alliance early on.
Which brings us to the Chinese epic commander, the charming Sun Tzu. Although not a community favorite, he is one of the must-have heroes of this quality. His massive AoE potential gives you unmatched value in group fights. In expeditions, his rage refill passive ensures he’s nuking everyone around the clock whenever you’re surrounded. He might be an old man, but he knows the art of war alright.
Great Mid Game Choices
Although they don’t remain as relevant as Sun Tzu throughout your playthrough, Boudica and Scipio are strong choices for those who wish to PvP early on. The reason why we’ve left these two slightly behind the Chinese hero is their circumstantial use – they’re great in 1v1 engagements, but not so much otherwise.
When you’re facing Scipio Africanus with nobody else at your side, the troop damage increase from his Military Life and Utter Annihilation can be quite substantial. If this wasn’t enough, the troop capacity bonus from his Genuine Aristocracy will pretty much ensure he overpowers almost any other commander that leads a similar-sized army.
The Celtic Boudica is just as difficult to approach on her own as Scipio. Her Lament of the Insurgent decreases the opposing team’s troop attack by a massive 25% at max level, whereas the healing provided by Celtic Blood can easily function as an added army capacity through additional survivability. Although we wouldn’t necessarily recommend her as a top choice, you should definitely go for her whenever possible because she’s a peacekeeper and you need to have 5 of these.
The other really important epic hero you’ll want to get as soon as possible is the Byzantine Belisarius. Much like Sun Tzu, he remains relevant throughout the game, despite the fact that he’s not that strong on his own. 25% bonus attack damage when your opponent is below 50% health is not something you want to mess with. Your ideal commander composition in the mid/late game should have Sun Tzu as a main, with Belisarius and Pelagius as supports.
Speaking of Pelagius, the Spaniard is particularly useful for the several offensive and defensive buffs he provides to your Cavalry, namely 10% attack and 10% defense at max level, as well as a chance to heal from normal attacks. Much like in the case of Boudica, this passive can give you a lot of sustain throughout tough engagements.
Pela and Beli are incredibly useful at finishing off units that are weakened or fleeting from your frenzied Sun Tzu, but they shouldn’t be your first choices for the position of main leader.
Other Strong Epics
Even though Sun Tzu with Pela and Beli is one of the best routes you can have until more powerful legendaries are available, there are several other epic-quality heroes that have good total potential. Kusunoki Masahige is an all-rounded leader that can definitely wreak havoc on the battlefield, as well as a great replacement for Pelagius. The buffs Kusu provides to your Archer units are quite substantial, while his Tragedy’s End can significantly increase your army’s attack damage by means of a crit mechanic. He’s like a Pela for your Archers, only slightly more brutal in some instances.
Although Hermann’s skill potential is slightly lower than that of the other commanders we’ve talked about so far, the 10% attack damage bonus from his National Hero skill is not something you should brush aside. Your army’s normal attacks have a 10% chance to give him 100 rage in addition to his Military Genius skill, which will give your Archers another 10% attack at max level. Not bad.
Although we’ve only mentioned 7 of the 11 epic commanders currently available, this doesn’t mean that all the others are bad. Eulji Mundeok is certainly useful to have for his individual strength, but whatever you do, don’t spend your time and/or resources on Lohar. He’s just terrible. Cast the thought away from your mind and never look upon it again.
With the latest patches, there’s no stopping you from getting the best epic commanders and trying them out on the field. We had a great time with this composition, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make another one work. We’d love to know more about your own epic commander pairings when playing Rise of Kingdoms on BlueStacks.