Best Commander Pairings 2021 in Rise of Kingdoms (Defense, Rally, Open Field, Canyon, Barbarians)

rise of kingdoms best commander pairing guide

Pairing Commanders in Rise of Kingdoms can give you amazing synergies but using the wrong commander as your secondary commander can put you on a disadvantage as well. In this guide I wanted to show you the best option of secondary commanders to use with every commander that’s in Rise of Kingdoms.

So, my biggest problem when trying to create this list was… how should I do it? My first approach was listing every commander and then show which commander will be a good pairing. This was something I gave up pretty fast because some commanders are only good as secondary commanders and there wasn’t much benefit for you when I make such a list.

So, I was thinking that it will be a lot more helpful for you when I put here the main objectives (like raiding other people’s cities or hunting barbarians, etc.) and give you the best pairing that you should use for that.

Please note that I have this in close conjunction with my commander tier list so I only show pairing that work well for every cause. You can find my commander tier list here.

How The Pairing Table Works

For every aspect of the game, there’s a section in the table below (defense, open field and so on). Within that section you will find the pairings that make sense and work best in the current meta.

O course, you can also use other secondary commanders here but when I start listing everypossible combination here it will be like a thousand or more 😉

The background color of a row show you how strong a pairing is – from blue (Best pairing) via green (really strong) to yellow (still useful and better than any other combination)

Let’s say you take a look at city defense where YSS & Theodora are meta right now, you have in the lower ranking Sun Tzu with YSG. They are tagged yellow because the other pairings there are stronger, but they are still stronger than any other commander pairing not listed! 

Hope this makes sense in the way I described it 🙂


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Best Commander Pairing Ranking

1ST Commander 2ND Commander Alt. 2ND Commander Info

City Defense

Yi Sun-Sin Theodora Without doubt, the best city defense commander pairing you can run right now with great direct damage to multiple armies from both commanders and great troop buffs from YSS that help a ton defensively
Wu Zetian Theodora With Wi Zetian as primary commander you have a ton of defensive skills that will improve your troops and with her expertise skill she will also get great counterattack. The 2nd-strongest city defense commander pairing in Rise of Kingdoms
Charles Martel Theodora Better than the combination with Constantine or YSG is using Theodora as secondary commander with her counter ability.
Charles Martel Constantine Yi-Seong Gye This combination works against the current threat that Takeda and Attila have with Constantine. YSG works well anti-swarm but I recommend you to use Constantine as long as takeda Attila are out there.
Sun Tzu Yi-Seong Gye Best F2P and starter pairings you can get for defending your city. This is your first commander pairing you should work towards to.

Barbarians & Forts

Minamoto Yi-Seong Gye Against barbarians you have with Minamoto the strongest commander and pairing with YSg will make a great combo where you can even “collect” multiple barbarians and drag them together.
Boudica Keira Diaochan Mulan The most effective epic commander pairing you can use for barbarians. If you plan to attack Barbarian Forts, don’t use Boudica as primary commander!
Lohar Yi-Seong Gye Basically Lohar is the commander you use as primary to level up any other commander with his talents that should also be full in Peacekeeping to max the EXP you get (more about that here)
Cao Cao Genghis Khan The fastest march that you can get in Rise of Kingdoms and you don’t neccessarily need to build this, but if you do you will have a lot of fun!
Belisarius Aethelflaed The most effective commander pairing against barbarians with Belisarius as primary (easy to get) and Aethelflaed as secondary works really well. Also great agianst forts.

Open Field

Alexander Yi-Seong Gye Mixed Army March – Most players know how the healing bill can stack up, right? With Alexander as primary commander and YSG secondary, you have a great pairing that will provide shielding and buffing to keep that minimal when doing open field combat.
Guan Yu Alexander Sun Tzu Full Infantry March – Guan Yu is working great int he open field with his passive skills and his expertise paired with Alexander is a huge win-win. Alternatively you can also run any other secondary skill-basedcommander with him
Saladin William Takeda Full Cavalry March – 
Ramesses Yi-Seong Gye Full Archer March – 
Artemisia Cyrus Nebu
Harald Alexander
Constantine Aethelflaed Joan This support based pairing also works well and is quite versatile if you’re running multiple marches on the open field.
Genghis Khan William Takeda A great alternative to the Saladin pairing with Khan as primary commander, dealing a good amount of damage. The reason I’d prefer Saladin is that this pairing here is vulnerable to getting swarmed.
Richard Yi-Seong Gye Aethelflaed When it comes to the raw power of this commander pairing, I actually would rank this hier here in the section, but with Richard you have a really slow commander and in open field that is not that great that I can ignore it.

Rallies (Objectives)

Attila Takeda Although meta might change in the next months with the new commanders, Attila and Takeda are still THE rally commander pairing in Rise of Kingdoms.
Ramesses Yi-Seong Gye
Guan Yu Leonidas Alexander Great for infantry matches and Guan Yu with Leonidas are a great pairing as well as using Alexander as the secondary commander
Edward Tomyris Working really well in KvK and kind of meta in some cases unless Ramesses is available on your server.
Minamoto Cao Cao This is the bare minimum commander pairing you should have to be the rally leader. 
Genghis Khan Cao Cao A little worst than the pairing with Minamoto as the primary commander, vulnerable to get swarmed down.

Garrison Defense

Zenobia Theodora The best garrison defense commander setup you can run right now in Rise of Kingdomss
Wu Zetian Theodora Extremely effective when you’re willing to focus on using siege units here, otherwise run Artemisia with Wu Zetian.
Artemisia Wu Zetian Works great with either all archers or also with multiple troop types. 
Charles Martel Constantine The classic pairing and you can also flip them, but I personally like Charles as the primary commander more
Saladin Genghis Khan Still a remarkable pairing against most infantry and archer rallies you will see right now.

Rallies (Cities)

Attila Takeda Just like rallies against objectives, Attila and Takeda are the stronges commander pairing that you can run right now, no doubt about that.
Guan Yu Alexander Leonidas Great for infantry matches and Guan Yu with Leonidas are a great pairing as well as using Alexander as the secondary commander
Edward Tomyris Working well together, especially if you let Tomyris stack up her posion effect.
Saladin Mehmet You can also switch Mehmet and Saladin in their 1st and 2nd role, depending which one you have leveled higher. They do a ton of damage in city rallies.
Osman Yi-Seong Gye The most reasonable F2P option when you’re rallying cities with an epic commander.
Sun Tzu Yi-Seong Gye The most reasonable F2P option when you’re rallying cities with an epic commander.



Leave a Reply
  1. I like your pairings list, however, if you haven’t unlocked most of the ones you list it’s useless.

    Maybe I haven’t searched the page enough, but I’m level 23 Castle and focused on building power and reaching Tier 5 troops with research on combat and tactics.

    • if you dont know the game, STOP right now. T5 are the most powerful troop, however;without great commanders, those t5 are not worth the money your are blowing…

      Order of operations for this game: Get to. T4, VIP 15. do that by investing in City Builds, Tech, Geared Up Packs and buy out the Ancients (Twice a Month) and New World packs (Once a month)

      Create enough T4 for 4 full marches 310K ea

      get Charles M, YSG, Minamoto to expert level and exp level 60 (6 stars)


      You can get Epics experted all day long, but be very careful about your investments in Legendaries.

      All the BS you just wrote in you comment is based on you spending your way to T5, STOP NOW or you are a DUMAzz.

      Strong commanders, great gear, 3 million troops (1M ea Inf, Cav, Arch)

      Learn the game before you go T5

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