Rise of Kingdoms: Heraclius – Skills, Talent Trees and Best Pairings

The First Basileus


Civilization: Byzantine


Heraclius was the first Byzantine Emperor of the Heraclian dynasty. In 608, alongside his father (then the Exarch of Africa), he rebelled against the tyrannical Emperor Phocas. In 610, he defeated Phocas and became the new Emperor.

During Phocas’s reign, Byzantium had lost part of its eastern territory to the Sasanian Empire. Heraclius attempted to reconquer this territory, but was soundly defeated. The Sasanians advanced all the way to the Bosphorus, directly threatening the Byzantine capital of Constantinople. Thanks to the city’s mighty walls and powerful navy, Heraclius was able to avoid total defeat. Soon after, Heraclius adopted a series of reforms to rebuild and strengthen the Byzantine army. In 627, Heraclius finally defeated the Sasanians at the Battle of Nineveh. The Shahanshah of the Sasanian Empire was overthrown, and his successor soon sued for peace.

The territory Heraclius recaptured soon came under a new threat. The ascendant Rashidun Caliphate from Arabia had managed to swiftly conquer the Sasanian Empire, and made significant inroads into Egypt, Armenia, and Mesopotamia. Faced with this new crisis, Heraclius once again reformed the army, allowing his successors to slow down the Caliphate’s expansion.

Under Heraclius’s reign, the Byzantine Empire continued to become more Hellenized. Greek became the official language of the Empire, and Heraclius became the first Emperor to officially adopt the Greek title “Basileus”.

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Review of Heraclius:

  • Ways to obtain this Commander’s sculptures: The Mightiest Governor event (“MGE”)
  • Heraclius is commonly used as a Garrison Commander in ROK.
  • His Mighty Shield stacks with the normal Shield effect from Charles Martel and Alexander the Great.

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Heraclius Commander Skills:


Hammer of Nineveh
(active skill)
Rage requirement: 1000
Deals direct damage up to 5 nearby target troops (Damage Factor 600). Damage dealt to each target is reduced by 15% for each additional target. This skill also grants this commander’s troop a Mighty Shield for 5 seconds (Damage Factor 600).

Direct Damage Factor: 600/700/800/1000/1200
Mighty Shield Damage Factor: 600/700/800/1000/1200

(passive skill)
Increases the Health of this commander’s troop by 10%. When serving as a garrison commander, normal attacks from this commander’s troop have a 30% chance to increase its own counterattack damage by 10% for 3 seconds (20% if garrisoning your own city). This effect can trigger once every 8 seconds.

Health Bonus: 10%/15%/20%/25%/30%
Garrison Counterattack Damage Bonus: 10%/15%/20%/25%/30%
Garrison Counterattack Damage Bonus (Own City): 20%/25%/30%/35%

Skouton of Byzantium
(passive skill)
Increases the skill damage of this commander’s troops by 10%. When they use an active skill, their troop gains a Mighty Shield (Damage Factor 200, Damage Factor 300 if garrisoned in your city) for 3 seconds. This effect can trigger once every 8 seconds.

Skill Damage Bonus: 10%/12%/14%/16%/20%
Mighty Shield Damage Factor: 200/250/300/350/400
Mighty Shield Damage Factor (While Garrisoned in City): 300/350/400/450/500

(passive skill)
Increases the Defense of this commander’s troop by 3% and its Attack by 3% when garrisoned in a stronghold or your city. When their troop is attacked while it has a shield, it has a 30% chance to deal direct damage to the attacking troop (Damage Factor 500). This effect can trigger once every 8 seconds.

Defense Bonus: 3%/6%/9%/12%/15%
Attack Bonus: 3%/6%/9%/12%/15%
Direct Damage Factor: 500/600/700/800/1000

The Eagle Banner
(passive skill)
New Skill
This commander’s troop takes 10% less damage from normal attacks. If this commander’s troop contains at least 3 different unit types, damage taken is reduced by an extra 20%.

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Skills Upgrading Priority for Heraclius:

  • 5551 – This is good value for your commander sculptures even for free-to-play players.
  • 5555 – If you have sufficient universal Legendary Commander Sculptures, you should Expertise this commander for his Expertised skill.

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Best Commander Pairings for Heraclius:

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Best Talent Trees for Heraclius:

Garrison – Structure/Stronghold (Crusader Flag, Alliance Fortress, Pass)

Garrison – Ark of Osiris

Garrison – City

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