Best Commanders Tier List in Rise of Kingdoms (with Talents)

rise of kingdoms best commanders tier list 2021

If you’re lost what commander you should level up and take to the route to max out in Rise of Kingdoms I hope this guide here will help you, including my recommendations in what order you should stuff their level trees and what commanders they work best with as secondary commander.

Up to date with version 1.0.49 (September 2021), with new heroes Gilgamesh & Amanitore

The Best Commanders & What Talents To Level

I have totally reworked the table with some feedback from you that I got.

(1) Game Mode Ranking

The total ranking is shown and when you click on the small “+” at the end of the line you will see the ranking for a commander for open field, defense, rallying or Sunset Canyon as well as short annotations.

(2) Ranking Changes

I have ⬆︎ and ⬇︎ in the rankings to show you how a commander changed recently, this helps you identify trends so you don’t invest in a commander who is strong right now but is in a downward trend.

(3) Builds & Pairing Options

The button “Best Builds & Pairing” will take you to the page where you can find more detailed info about the different builds that you should use with that commander and also what secondary commanders make sense.

Important! This list should help you to also decide how to invest your Universal Sculptures. For that reason you will see the gathering commanders, except Joan, ranked poorly as you should NEVER invest Universal Sculptures into gathering commanders. Their plain performance on the battlefield is, on paper, better as shown in this tier list.


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Commander Total Tier Def Barbs Open Field Rally Suns. Cany.
Yi-Seong Gye S+ A S S A+ S+
Yi-Seong Gye is the best commander for me right now. He’s really overpowered commander in Rise of Kingdoms and that’s because you can use him extremely well either on defending your city or also for rallies with a full archer army. His AoE is crazy and prevents getting swarmed really effective and you can’t be wrong using him. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Artemisia S+ ⬆︎ A+ A S A S
She can do fine countering Attila/Takeda but the downside is you need all archer troops to really get her rolling great. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for her.
Ramesses S D+ S S S- S
What makes Ramesses so strong is that he can simply kill the healing of whatever you’re hitting with him and this is really strong in many situations, even though it might sound less powerful on paper. He will be great in almost every part of Rise of Kingdoms, except defending. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Guan Yu S C+ A S S- S
Guan Yu is a relatively new commander we have and already really versatile, especially when it comes to rally stuff. His great benefit of silencing other heroes that already have full rage makes him really powerful and can also work well in defending objectives as well. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
rok cheok gilgameshGilgamesh S- B- C S S A+
Shaking up the rally meta and also great in open field. He counters healing well and is versatile. As a new commander it will take some time until he settles down in the meta but right now he’s super strong. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Xiang Yu S- ⬆︎ D C+ S S+ S
In open field he is really strong with his AoE and you shouldn’t underestimate his power. Probably the best cavalry commander in Rise of Kingdoms. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Amanitore S- S- C A+ A A
She really shines as garrison commander but also works alright in open field. She’s really new in Rise of Kingdoms so this is how I see her right now and this could change around in the coming months a little bit. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for her.
Nebuchadnezzar S- ⬇︎ D B+ S S- S
The first real conquering archery commander with a devastating active skill is built to attack garrisons and cities.
Attila A+ B C A+ S- A
Attila is actually a beast when it comes to rallying anything along with Takeda. This is where he really shines, especially with conquering Wu Zetain who is defending a lot in the current meta. Please mind that the strength for rallying only applies when paired with Takeda as a secondary commander. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Takeda A+ B C A+ S- A
Takeda isn’t that strong when looking at him in general but he has great use in countering Wu Zetian and this makes Takeda one very useful commander in the current meta, primarily for rallying. Please mind that the strength for rallying only applies when paired with Attila as the primary commander. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Charles Martel A+ ⬆︎ A C+ A+ A- A+
Looking at Charles Martel you can say he is actually a great defensive commander with also a good shield absorption plus a really strong counter-attack. Also really viable in the open field as well. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Saladin A+ B+ C+ A+ A+ A
Saladin is extremely helpful when you see someone defending with Richard (what happens a lot). Well, not only the fact that Saladin can counter the healing of Richard makes him that strong on it’s own but it’s a huge factor in the current meta and one of the only options to overcome this whole Richard defending setups right now. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Tomyris A+ B C S A+ A
If you manage to stack Tomyris’ poison skill she will wreck insanely. I recommend pairing her with Edward so both of them will work perfectly on that and will give you such a high output of DPS that she needs to be here in the S-Tier section for sure. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for her.
Alexander A+ ⬇︎ D+ C S+ A+ A+
Alexander used to be one of the strongest commanders in Rise of Kingdoms with his shield and actually all of his talents in the talent tree translate directly on the battlefield very well, especially his skill that will boost attack when there’s no skill active but gives bonus defense when there is. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Harald Sigurdsson A+ D B+ A+ S- A+
A super hard-hitting direct damage skill and quite versatile in using him for PvP, Conquering or open field hunting.
Richard A+ B+ S+ A+ B- A+
Richard did extremely well in the past but with the current meta he has been falling some spots down here in the tier list, still making him an excellent choice to use. It’s crazy how well you can use him for city defense or also defending flag or fort but also on the open field. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Chandragupta A+ D+ C A+ S A
Really effective in hitting cities and strongholds with his buff and a solid choice here with versatile use whenever you want to hit a city or stronghold. Still, Attile/Takeda combo is stronger for that, no doubt.
Edward A+ C+ S A A B+
Despite the fact that Edward of Woodstock has quite a high rage requirement he works insanely well on countering infantry units as well as skill damage bonus that you can use with many other commanders to pair up a really viable combo for rallies or open field actions as well as defending flag/fort. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
William A+ ⬇︎ D+ C S A S
William makes a massive difference on the battlefield with his defense and rage boost and if you make his buff work on all marches you really get it rolling. So, taking him to rallies, in the open field and also Sunset Canyon makes absolute sense. Not that effective for hitting cities and rather for swarming things down.
Constantine A+ A+ D A+ B S
Contantine is an evergreen commander on the list and his damage reduction buff is simply super useful in Canyon and also the open field that he will always be higher on the list and a solid long-term investment in Rise of Kingdoms. Also a solid pick for city defense as well. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Cyrus A+ ⬇︎ D C S A+ A
Cyrus is a full-blown archery commander and has skills that make him a beast when it comes do dealing skill damage and buffing troop damage. You need to use a full archer army with him, but that’s fine for the use cases you will use him. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Pakal II A+ D C A+ S A
With several nice buffs the only downside is that Pakal deals single target damage but works quite well against getting swarmed and can also rally quite well. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Mehmed A C+ D A A+ A
Mehmed is a solid commander if you want to conquer cities but other than that there’s not much use for him as there are better commanders in the above section. Nothing special but also not bad is the best way to describe him. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Leonidas A C+ C A A S
Leonidas is actually a really strong one as well with great AoE and rage speed up. Although Leonidas is in the lower range of the S-Tier, rallying objectives and open field is something you will enjoy with him. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Cheok Jun-Gyeong A D C A+ A+ A
Boosts damage and deals a ton of single target damage and reduce skill damage taken make him a nice commander you can use in rallies and in the open field. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Jadwiga A A+ C A C+ A+
Paired with a secondary commander that also deals high direct damage, she will be quite strong but you need to make her generate rage. Overall, right now, I’d not recommend her that much but we will see how she will develop in the next months.
Trajan B+ D C S+ B- S
When looking at the raw stats, Trajan doesn’t appear to be that strong but he will be a monster and can enable a lot of other commanders to become really strong.
Minamoto B+ C+ S A B- B+
Minamoto is a full-blood nuker with crazy damage output and is helpful for many situations like open-field combat or hunting down barbarians. He is, and I don’t think that one player here will disagree, also the easiest and cheapest legendary commander in Rise of Kingdoms to unlock and also to max out and a great choice to use. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
El Cid B+ B+ C A B+ B+
El Cid is a very good commander in Rise of Kingdoms but the reason why I don’t have him higher in the list is how his skills are arranged. His 2nd skill is really strong but only has a 10% chance to get activated and his Out of Control is really far away when you first start using him. I like his power but it can be squishy in many situations to really get the proccs needed and that could end in a fail if it’s a close battle. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Moctezuma B+ D S A+ B- A
Reduced counterattack damage makes him a good fit in a team and swarm.
Genghis Khan B+ C C+ A B+ A
Genghis Khan has the lowest rage requirement below 1,000 and a massive damage factor plus the chance of 30% to cast that skill again makes him stand out a lot. This makes him a top choice for open field or also rallies and you will not regret having him, I can promise you that. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Aethelflaed B D+ A+ A+ C A+
Aethelflaed deals area damage and can run the support tree which makes her a really great option for doing almost anything, except defense and rallying things and cities. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for her.
Frederick B C+ D B+ A B+
The special thing about Frederick is that he’s a leadership commander with a skill tree and this means he is your best choice to build a huge mixed army for one march, also due to his fresh recruit skill. You can also pair him up with different commanders that use leadership but also with a commander that nukes like Minamoto. Great option and a strong composition on the open field or far rallies. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Cao Cao B C+ S A C+ B+
Cao Cao is a great commander if you’re hunting players or Barbarians because his Mobility tree is working great for that, but he’s not exactly the best primary commander for anything else. Still, if you use a cavalry army and need a good secondary commander he is a great choice. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Julius Caesar B C D B+ A- A
Julius Caesar has his benefits in the early stages of the game and that’s the reason why I wanted to mention him here but the more you come to the later stages of the game the less bang he has, unfortunately. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Hannibal Barca B C B B A- B+
Hannibal Barca’s leading and conquering skill he is great to work with mixed armies for open field or rallies. Especially in situations in KvK where you will be running low on troops at some point this is the leadership commander that will put you back on track. In cases like that you should have him available and that’s the reason why he’s on the A-Tier section. If his heal skill would work in all situations he would be ranked higher but it only works for attacking cities, that’s the reason why I have him in this spot here. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Lu Bu B D C+ A B A
Great PvP commander and also useful as a primary and secondary commander without any troop favorites. Great damage skill and troop capacity but only strong at attacking cities because he’s slow and lacks resistance against specific troop types.
Mulan B D C S D S
Don’t get me wrong, Mulan is a great secondary commander with an insane buff in her active skill and is super versatile to use with any unit and commander. But for the sake of getting her as primary commander, there are many other commanders you should go after before that.
Wu Zetian B S- D C+ B D
Wu Zetian is a really good garrison defender commander and also her skills are on point – but the reason why she isn’t higher on this list is the reason that her support talent tree is not exactly on point and it feels like you need to “waste” several points there. Still, working really great as a secondary commander and is no waste to use at all. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for her.
Sun Tzu B A C+ B+ E+ A
Sun Tzu’s area damage is simply great and very useful in Sunset Canyon but also useful when defending your city or doing anything else. Away from that, you can pair him up with almost any other commander for almost anything so having him is a great choice in the long run. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Theodora B S+ A+ D D A+
Theodora is, when it comes to city defense, a replacement for Yi Seong Gye but not really useful in any other part of Rise of Kingdoms. Also really effective in defending against Attila/Takeda attacks with her counter.
Ragnar Lodbrok B D D B+ B B
Yes, we all wanted Ragnar to be an awesome commander but the reality is that he will lose value quickly the further your kingdom develops and more and stronger commanders become available. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Charlemagne B D C C A+ B
Charlemagne is more like a niche role but he can shine in rallying so he deserves this place here in the tier list. He can also be a great secondary commander for the stronger rally commanders so keep him on your list but don’t make him your priority right now. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Joan of Arc B D D A D A+
Joan of Arc is actually a really nice commander when fully rocking her support tree and she will boost the whole army and when you pair her up with a commander that can benefit from that, she will rock the party. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for her.
Zenobia C+ S C D D C
One of the strongest healing factors in Rise of Kingdoms and excellent commander for defending garrisons and cities with great support. Unfortunately, only effective in defending.
Bjorn Ironside C+ D D B+ D B
The combination of an infantry commander with area skill damage taken debuff works really well with him. He’s a great early-to-mid-game commander that wrecks. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Yi Sun-Sin C+ S D D D D
Amazing city defense commander with an amazing troop buff that works on all of your troops. Other than that not really useful and for that reason that low on the tier list
Kusunoki C+ B C C D B
Kusunoki deals nice damage and is not only a nice commander for city defense, he’s also a nice addition to many other commanders as a secondary commander and a nice option in the early game. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Keira C D A C E+ B
What makes Keira strong is her 4th skill that really skyrockets skill damage taken and makes her pretty much one of the strongest epic commanders in Rise of Kingdoms. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for her.
Eulji Mundeok C C+ D D D C+
Eulji Mundeok is a quite decent addition for defending your city, viable to use against barbarians and in the Sunset Canyon (lacking AoE here) but still useful to have. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Pelagius C C+ C C E+ D
Pelagius is a nice defending commander that can also help you in Sunset Canyon and is viable in the earlier stages of the game. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Baibars C E D C+ D C
Baibars is great with cavalry and effective in the open field hunting down other armies effectively with his speed and his buffs/debuffs effectively. You could also use him with his 3rd skill to swarm cities. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Diaochan C D A D D D
Diaochan is a pure PvE commander and also great for hunting barbarians for EXP but not versatile in any PvP situation. Also, you can easily use her as a secondary commander as she doesn’t have any favorite troop type.
Osman C E E C D+ C+
Osman does deal really solid damage so using him for rally, attacking cities or also Sunset Canyon. If you’re F2P this is interesting but overall the legendary commanders above are stronger. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Belisarius C F+ B+ C E C
Belisarius can be built to be really fast which gives him advantages in the open field and also with his debuff you can use him against Barbarians well. Sunset Canyon can also be a good option for him. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Hermann C C D C F+ D
In the beginning of the game you can use him to defend your city or also in the open field, later he will become less important. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Boudica D E B+ D E D
Boudica is an extremely effective commander smashing barbarians and that makes her a very solid pick for newer players, other than that she is not that strong. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for her.
Scipio D E E D D C+
Soemwhat alright to use in the open field, Sunset Canyon or rally but more if you’re F2P or in the early stages of Rise of Kingdoms. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Lohar D F B+ F F F
His extra experience makes him useful in the beginning to level your other commanders and hunt Barbarians, but other than that he is simply useless. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Cleopatra D F D E F F
Not much to talk around here, she’s a gathering commander that’s it, no use to invest Universal Sculptures into Cleopatra. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for her.
Ishida D F D F F F
Pure gathering commander. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Seondeok D F D F F F
Pure gathering commander. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Matilda D E F F F E
Pure gathering commander

And The Other Commanders?

Well, to be honest, the other commanders aren’t that great so use them as secondary commanders but don’t spend too much effort in leveling them up or think about maxing them out. The ones above will give you the best bang and should be the ones you focus on.

I do update this list here frequently so make sure to come back here and see updated versions and also new commanders when they get introduced to Rise of Kingdoms.

Also feel free to leave a comment below if you disagree with some ranking here or if you have any question related to the commanders 🙂

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