Rise of Kingdoms: Guan Yu – Skills, Talent Tree and Best Pairings

guan yu

Lord of the Magnificent Beard


Civilization: China


Guan Yu, courtesy name Yunchang, was a general serving under the warlord Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han dynasty of China. Along with Zhang Fei, he shared a brotherly relationship with Liu Bei and accompanied him on most of his early exploits. Guan Yu played a significant role in the events leading up to the end of the Han dynasty and the establishment of Liu Bei’s state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period. While he is remembered for his loyalty towards Liu Bei, he is also known for repaying Cao Cao’s kindness by slaying Yan Liang, a general under Cao Cao’s rival Yuan Shao, at the Battle of Boma. After Liu Bei gained control of Yi Province in 214, Guan Yu remained in Jing Province to govern and defend the area for about seven years.

In 219, while he was away fighting Cao Cao’s forces at the Battle of Fancheng, Liu Bei’s ally Sun Quan broke the Sun-Liu alliance and sent his general Lu Meng to conquer Liu Bei’s territories in Jing Province. By the time Guan Yu found out about the loss of Jing Province after his defeat at Fancheng, it was too late. He was subsequently captured in an ambush by Sun Quan’s forces and executed.

Guan Yu’s life was lionised and his achievements glorified to such an extent after his death that he was deified during the Sui dynasty. Through generations of story telling, culminating in the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, his deeds and moral qualities have been given immense emphasis, making Guan Yu one of East Asia’s most popular paradigms of loyalty and righteousness. He is still worshipped by many Chinese people today in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and among many overseas Chinese communities.

In religious devotion he is reverentially called the “Divus Guan” or “Lord Guan” (Guan Gong). He is a deity worshipped in Chinese folk religion, popular Confucianism, Taosim, and Chinese Buddhism, and small shrines to him are almost ubiquitous in traditional Chinese shops and restaurants. His hometown Yuncheng has also named its airport after him.

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Review of Commander Guan Yu:

  • Guan Yu is currently one of the best (top 3) infantry primary commanders for open-field battling and rallying in RoK, with an active skill damage factor of 2000.
  • Guan Yu should only be used as a primary commander. If he is used as a secondary commander, his active skill damage decreases from a damage factor of 2000 to 1000, and he becomes mediocre.
  • The Expertise skill of Guan Yu requires him to have a Shield effect to gain 15% increased skill damage for 3 seconds. However, none of his other skills provide a Shield effect. Therefore, you will need to equip him with legendary accessory Scolas’ Lucky Coin that provides a Shield effect. Pairing Guan Yu with Alexander or Charles Martel will not trigger his Expertise skill as their shield effects will not last long enough.

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Guan Yu Commander Skills:


Saint of War
(active skill)
Rage requirement: 1000
Deals direct damage to up to 3 enemies in a forward-facing fan-shaped area (Damage Factor 1100; if secondary commander, Damage Factor 550). Damage dealt to each target is reduced by 15% for each additional target. At the same time, all targets are Silenced for 3 seconds.

Direct Damage Factor: 1100/1300/1500/1700/2000
Damage Factor (When Secondary Commander): 550/650/750/850/1000

Five Tiger Generals
(passive skill)
When attacking strongholds and cities, troops led by this commander deal 3% increased normal attack damage, and their normal attacks have a 10% chance to reduce the target’s attack by 10% for 3 seconds.

Normal Attack Damage Bonus: 3%/6%/9%/12%/15%
Attack Reduction: 10%/15%/20%/25%/30%

The Slaying of Hua Xiong
(passive skill)
Infantry units led by this commander gain 10% increased attack and 3% increased march speed. Upon leaving battle, this commander heals a portion of slightly wounded units (Healing Factor 500).

Infantry Attack Bonus: 10%/15%/20%/25%/30%
Infantry March Speed Bonus: 3%/6%/9%/12%/15%
Healing Factor: 500/600/700/800/1000

Green Dragon Crescent Blade
(passive skill)
When the skill “Saint of War” hits exactly one enemy, it has a 50% chance to deal an additional damage (Damage Factor 600). When the skill hits two or more enemies, it has a 50% chance to deal an additional damage (Damage Factor 800) to the targeted enemy.

Additional Damage Factor: 600/700/800/900/1000
Additional Damage Factor: 800/900/1000/1200/1400

Lone Rider
(passive skill)
Whenever Guan Yu gains a shield, he also increases his skill damage by 15% for 3 seconds. Whenever Guan Yu leaves a structure, he increases his march speed by 100% for 3 seconds.

Skills Upgrading Priority for Guan Yu:

  • 5155 – This is the best skills set-up for him in open-field battling if you have insufficient legendary commander sculptures to expertise him, as his second skill is only useful for rallying.
  • 5555 – If you have sufficient universal Legendary Commander Sculptures, you should Expertise Guan Yu for his Expertised skill, but note that he requires a Shield to gain increased skill damage from his Expertised skill. To get the Shield, you will need to equip Guan Yu with the legendary accessory Scolas’ Lucky Coin (which gives 10% chance to gain a damage-absorbing Shield for 2 seconds when attacked, can trigger once every 5 seconds).

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Best Commander Pairings for Guan Yu:

  • Leonidas I (Guan Yu as primary commander) – Guan Yu’s active skill has a Silence effect on all targets for 3 seconds, while Leonidas’ active skill causes current target to take extra 50% damage if current target is Silenced.
  • Alexander the Great (Guan Yu as primary commander)
  • Scipio Prime (Guan Yu as primary commander) – Scipio’s Expertised skill increases growth of Rage by 30% when target is Silenced and Guan Yu’s active skill has Silence effect.
  • Sunset Canyon: Constantine (Guan Yu as primary commander)

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Best Talent Trees for Guan Yu


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