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 1.0.53 (December 2021), with new heroes Honda & Suleiman

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 link “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.


LATEST GIFT CODES

Never miss a code again and get all the free extra stuffsee here all codes for Rise of Kingdoms →


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 and he defends this place with every update of my tier list over and over again. 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 circle AoE is crazy and prevents getting swarmed really effectively and you can’t be wrong using him. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Artemisia S+ S A S A S
I even adjusted some rankings of Artemisia higher since the release of Amanitore as they go so well together, especially in defending your city. Super effective against infantry rallies. But she’s also viable in all other parts of Rise of Kingdoms and the only 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.
Amanitore

⬆︎

S S C S A S
Amanitore really got a boost in rankings on this list since the previous update when I initially ranked her. She really shines as a defending commander (city and objectives garrisons) and in open field when paired with Artemisia. This is why I ranked her higher since the previous update. Also good in Sunset Canyon. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for her.
Xiang Yu

⬆︎

S D S S S+ S
I also ranked Xiang Ju higher now for the reason that a pass between zones in KvK is treated as barbarian before it’s first captured and he is really well in doing that (and that’s the current way to take down a pass). Other than that, 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. And also if you do rally cities, pair him up with Chandragupta and you will deal amounts of damage that’s beyond imagination I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
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. Now even ranked a little bit higher for rally cities since Gilgamesh makes an amazing combo with him. Also, mind the fact that Nebu can’t get swarmed easily.
Ramesses

⬇︎

S- D S S A+ 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. Loses some of his stands since the release of Amanitore but is still a really strong commander to have. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Guan Yu

⬇︎

S- D  A S+ A+ S
Still the best of the best in the open field. Massive AoE and massive silence just make him a beast there and paired with Leonidas one of the strongest marches in Rise of Kingdoms right now. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Saladin

⬆︎

A+ B C+ S  A  A
Adjusted his ranking for the open field a little bit since the previous update of the tier list. The reason why I did this is that he will not get targeted that much anymore when there are Xiang Yu’s on the table. Also, as he’s a cavalry commander, you will get away from a fight quicker. Extremely solid for a single-target damage commander. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
rok cheok gilgameshGilgamesh

⬇︎

A+ D C S S+ A+
Shaking up the rally meta and also great in open field. He counters healing well and is versatile. Now that he’s a few months into the game, it’s safe to say that he is amazing and paired with a commander like Nebu there’s only little that can stop him. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Harald Sigurdsson A+ D B+ S S A+
A super hard-hitting direct damage skill and quite versatile in using him for PvP, Conquering or open field hunting. I don’t feel there’s much to change here and he has his perfect pairings where he’s still making the world go upside down so I’m happy by leaving his ranking with this updating round of my tier list.
Pakal II A+ D C S 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. Paired with Harald, you can even trade positive when getting swarmed and works great to “cheeseburger” in KvK. 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 good defensive commander with also a good shield absorption plus a really strong counter-attack. Also really viable in the open field as well. There have been so many new commander introduced to Rise of Kingdoms that it’s just normal that he will lose his relative strength from past times slowly but steady. He’s one of the oldest commanders in the game but still viable but now building him from scratch is something you should consider really well. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Tomyris A+ B C S B+ 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 ranked like this. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for her.
Takeda

⬇︎

A C+ C A+ A+ A
Well, well, … the Attila/Takeda combo is falling out of the meta slowly but steady as there are new setups for rallying coming up with the new commanders. If you have your Attila/Takeda combo well-maxed and run around with them happily you can still use them as a great setup. If you don’t, don’t invest into them anymore. The new meta with Amanitore and Artemisia plus more changes will make them become more and more average so don’t waste any Universal Sculptures into a dying horse. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Attila

⬇︎

A C+ C A+ A+ A
Please read what I wrote in the comment field for Takeda, that’s all you need to know about Attila as well… 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. He’s not outstanding in the open field so I did decrease his overall ranking by a little for that.
Leonidas A C C S 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 and paired with Guan Yu you will have one of the (if not THE) most obscene open field marches available in Rise of Kingdoms. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
William A C D 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. Not much change since the last update of this tier list.
Alexander

⬇︎

A E 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. The truth is, he’s getting old and there’s not much use in building him these days as the newer commander are better. Still, if you already have him maxed you can have some fun with him, no doubt. 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.
Edward

⬇︎

A C S A A A
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. Still, with all these new commanders that have been released recently, he’s falling a little bit out of the meta. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Constantine

⬇︎

A A C 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. You should not invest into Constantine these days and rather focus on the newer commanders. Also for defense he’s not that outstanding anymore and there are so many better options available… here are his best talent builds & pairing options.
Richard

⬇︎

B+ C S+ A C+ A+
Richard did extremely well in the past but with every update of this tier list he’s falling a little bit lower. He used to be crazy for defense, now you shouldn’t use him for that anymore and besides some niche use-cases I really can’t recommend investing into him anymore. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Cheok Jun-Gyeong

⬇︎

B+ D C A+ A A
Boosts damage and deals a ton of single target damage and reduced skill damage taken makes him a nice commander you can use in rallies and in the open field. Doesn’t shine anywhere so you might want to wait and see where meta is dragging him. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
rise of kingdoms honda tadakatsu iconHonda Tadakatsu

NEW

B+ D C A+ A A
Quite disappointing for a new commander and can be particularly good with Tamyris or Harold in the open field. But we’ve seen this with other new commanders and how it will change over time but right now, I wouldn’t invest crazy into him and rather wait and see what will happen in the next months with him.
Mehmed B+ D C 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. As one of the older commanders he’s also slowly falling out of the stronger tiers so don’t invest into him if you haven’t built him so far. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Jadwiga B+ 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. Paired with YSS, She’s doing great at defending objectives in the current meta because it will be hard to swarm.
Trajan B D C S C+ 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. Still, there are better allrounder commanders when looking at the broad use-cases.
rise of kingdoms suleiman iconSuleiman I

NEW

B D C A A B+
I’m really disappointed but there’s no impact that the release of Suleiman did to Rise of Kingdoms. I really recommend you to wait before investing into him and see how he will find his place in the meta (or maybe a near-to-be-released commander changes meta completely). State if today, he’s a disappointment.
Moctezuma B D S A B+ A
Reduced counterattack damage makes him a good fit in a team but there’s actually nothing outstanding or relevant where I would recommend bringing him, even as an alternative to a top commander. Unless there’s a big change in meta, I don’t see any reason to invest into him.
El Cid B B C A B+ B+
El Cid used to be 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.
Genghis Khan B E 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 good choice for open field or for Sunset Canyon, although there are today a good bunch of commanders that can do it better. Don’t invest into him if you haven’t already. 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 always had the feeling that she will make it higher in the meta but it was always close but not enough. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for her.
Hannibal Barca B D B B+  A- B+
Hannibal Barca’s leading and conquering skills are good to work with mixed armies for open field or rallies. Still, he’s one of the oldest commanders in Rise of Kingdoms and falls off the meta more and more quickly with new commanders that get released. He’s not particularly bad, he’s just not that up-to-date anymore… I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Minamoto B C S B+  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.
Cao Cao B C S A C+  B+
Cao Cao is a useful 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.
Lu Bu B D C+ A C+ A
Lu Bu has no troop favorites (that’s nice) and also a nice damage skill and additional troop capacity. On the downside, he’s slow and lacks resistance against certain setups so, bottom line, I don’t really recommend him and I don’t see how he will make his way into the relevant circle of commanders in the future.
Frederick B D 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. Useful option and a strong composition on the open field or for rallies, but he has the same problem like all other old commanders in Rise of Kingdoms… the new commanders are just so much stronger that there’s no use in building Freddy anymore. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Julius Caesar B D 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.
Sun Tzu B A C+ B+ D 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.
Mulan B D C A+ 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. What’s really nice is the 30% march speed when you get into trouble, but overall not the best commander to trade positive so I couldn’t help ranking her here.
Theodora B S+ A+ D D A+
Theodora is still the #1 pick for defending your city as you normally stay above 50% health and get the full extra damage skill activated. She’s viable as well for barbs & forts but by the time you build her you have better options there as well as Sunset Canyon. She’s the commander you want to watch your city. That’s it. In the previous season of KvK she even felt out of the meta so we’ll see how she will perform in the future in defending objectives. I’m writing this because she’s amazing in defending your city but not the meta for defending objectives anymore
Ragnar Lodbrok C+ 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. Nice to use him to run around in a fresh kingdom, but no long-term investment. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Charlemagne C+ E C C A+ B
Charlemagne is nowadays nothing more than a niche role commander you shouldn’t build or use. The new commanders pushed him out of the meta that hard that he doesn’t even work well as secondary commander anymore. I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Joan of Arc C+ 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.
Wu Zetian C+ A+ D C+ C D
Wu Zetian is a good defendse commander but her real strength used to be stopping Attila/Takeda. Now that other defending commanders did that better and Attila/Takeda are falling out of the meta more and more quickly, there’s actually no big use in building or running Wu Zetian anymore… I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for her.
Zenobia C A+ C C D C
One of the strongest healing factors in Rise of Kingdoms and good commander for defending garrisons and cities with great support. Unfortunately, only effective in defending and with how Gilgamesh changed especially in last season of KvK, I had to rank her a little lower there as well.
Yi Sun-Sin C S D D D D
Nothing changed for him since the previous update of my tier list… 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 useful, 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 B C C 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 B C C D D
Pelagius is an epic defending commander that can also help you in Sunset Canyon and is viable in the earlier stages of the game, don’t use him beyond that! I also have here the best talent builds & pairing options for him.
Baibars C F D B 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 F E C D C+
Osman does deal solid damage so using him for rallies, attacking cities or also Sunset Canyon in the very early stages of the game is possible. 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 D 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 F 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 her.
Tamar D E F F F F
Pure gathering commander
Matilda D E F F F F
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 🙂

7 Comments

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.