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 Overview Works
I decided to put the pairings here that work well so you can take the ones that you can run or want to work on without bloating the list completely. You will find the best pairings for the different game modes in the color blue in the table, very strong ones are in green and the ones in light green are the ones that are more suitable in the earlier stages of a kingdom but will fade off quite quickly.
Hope this makes sense in the way I described it 🙂
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Best Commander Pairing Ranking
Let’s start with the pairing grouped by the mode you’re playing (defense, open field, rally etc.).
Best Open Field Pairings
While you see below very specific commander pairings, I wanted to keep the open field part as universal as possible as many players simply won’t be able to run the meta setups. What I have here is the best primary commanders for openf field and what you can combine them with, so every player will find a setup to run…
Aleksander Nevsky (primary) + Joan of Arc (Prime) as secondary commander are the prime pairing for open field and pretty much nothing can stop them. They work so well together, can sustain so much and deal a ton of damage and unless there are new commanders released in the game I don’t see anything coming close to them.
Xiang Yu + William with his area defense reduction and low rage requirements is also a great primary commander here and you will also deal a lot of damage with him. Great secondary commanders, if you don’t run him with William, is Hoda, Mehmed or even Chandragupta. But the combination with William is pretty good and, although not as mighty as Nevsky/Joan(Prime), it can be very safely considered the 2nd-best open field pairing in Rise of Kingdoms right now.
With the increased skill damage debuff Boudica Prime offers, she’s also a beast in the open field and can be paired with so many different commanders to work well here. A great pair will be Honda as secondary commander or literally any of the archery commanders available. Even leadership commanders like Mehmed will run well as secondary commander with her
Runner up to the other Archer open field pairing is the new commander Zhuge Liang as primary and you can combine him will with Nebuchadneezar as secondary commander. Zhuge is the better YSG and can even work similar at 5511 and if you expertise him and give him a secondary commander with a little bit of defense you can havoc the open field and even get the top pairing with Nevsky and Joan (Prime) into trouble
Guan Yu is so evergreen for open field but infantry has been falling off heavily towards cavalry and also archer marches here. His silence and area damage is simply so strong and I think he will be in the meta here for a lot longer. Still one of the best options here will be Sargon as secondary commander but click the link below and you will see more great pairing options to run with Guan Yu in the open field
With Tariq + Scipio you can also form another infantry march that makes sense. Please mind that I have this list created so you can have two marches of the same kind as you can form one, theoretical, stronger march but then your second amrch will be a lot weaker.
Last but not least, Trajan is still a very popular primary commander int he open field and can be paired Harald, Aethelflaed or even Cyrus.
Best Rally Pairings
Xiang Yu + Nevsky are crushing it right now, with extreme damage and a fast-paced skill cycle and also Nevsky provides a lot of tanking abilities that it’s also durable, too. To cool thing here is that it works great against archers, other cavalry combos and also against infantry. Unfortunately, Zenobia & Flavius counters that so you need to run a different setup against that very specific setup to deal with the silence effect that Falvus has.
With Alexander Nevsky + Joan of Arc commander pairing you also deal a ton of damage and it runs really wild. I see it rising more and more but this is always the case in Rise of Kingdoms if you see new commanders being introduced that kind-of either boost of existing ones or neutralize other commanders that run the show before.
And last but not least, the pairing of Nevsky + Attila, you run a pairing that’s tanky on one side from Nevsky and provides a lot of anti-swarm from Attila – so, it’s not the craziest rally setup for cavalry to run, but one that punished any opponent that tries to swarm your march heavily. But mind that this rally pairing will not deal much damage so rather one to launch into a swarming situation to stall.
If you’re looking for a archer rally setup that works pretty much against everything, Henry + Boudica is your go-to option and deals great damage, provides lots of other treats and works really great. You can swap out Boudica for Nebuchadnezzar to get more anti-swarm abilities with his insane counterattack that swarming your rally will backfire so hard for the opponents.
For the case that you run into a Zenobia setup, use Gilgamesh and you have an insane setup to deal with Zenobia. In this case, Gilgamesh should be your primary commander to reduce the health and gets his passive buffs in, especially the boost against remaining troops.
Please mind! With Jan Zizka that counter archer rally quite well, this might see some downfall in the future, but unless you’re attacking into that setup, this is one of the best rally pairings to run with right now.
Pakal + Harald are the only infantry rally combo I can recommend if you really want to run a rally pairing with infantry. It’s not as good as the other ones, I just have it here in case you want a infantry rally setup that makes somewhat sense. Depending on what kingdom you’re playing in, this setup can work fine, but in the tough kingdoms where you’re supposed to run the meta pairings or you will get crushed, I can’t recommend it. In general Harald provides a lot of damage while Pakal mitigates the downsides of the defense reduction, making them a great commander pairing in general.
Best Garrison Pairings
There is a new boss in town and the best overall defensive pairing you can use right now is Dido + Heraclius which works so well and is perfect for getting swarmed with her active skill that not only deals massive damage but also debuffs numerous attacking armies. Throw in Heraclius and you have a setup that is literally impossible to drown.
A little surprisingly for some might be the 2nd best garrison setup you can use with Heraclius + YSS which is not only really easy to use but also the shielding and counterattack synergy they share make them extremely effective and you don’t have to think much about troop types.
You can see how strong Dido is in the current meta as she is also the 3rd best garrison combo here with Dida + Zhuge where you will have a killer fort defensive setup that is literally unswarmable with the damage to multiple targets, debuffs and everything else they do together. Yes, the investment is horrible but it’s worth it looking at the results.
With Jan Zizka you deal a ton of damage which simply performs better than the traditional more defense-oriented setup below.
The former best setup has been falling off with the new commander we have gotten in the past months so only use it with caution!
With infantry you’re running the garrison commander pairing right now in Rise of Kingdoms and Zenobia + Flavius is the best setup that works against the meta rally marches the best and protects most efficiently with the silence effect that Flavius provides.
You can also use YSS as a secondary commander (like towards the end of KvK when everyone is running lower on troops) or when you don’t have Flavius and get benefit from the mixed troops from YSS and still benefit from counterattack and other treats that work well.
I hope this frequently updated guide here gives you some insights what commander pairings are working well right now and run the show in the stronger kingdoms. Please mind, just because your pairing that works is not on the list means your commander pairing is bad as this list is from what the strongest kingdoms in Rise of Kingdoms run and should be an inspiration what setups you should aim for.
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