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

honda tadakatsu

The Deer of Tokugawa

(1548 – 1610) – 62 years


Civilization: Japan


Honda Tadakatsu (1548-1610), also known as Honda Heihachiro, was one of Japan’s most prominent samurai, generals and daimyos of the late Sengoku through early Edo periods sometimes referred to as one of the “Tokugawa Four Heavenly Kings” or “Seven Great Spearmen of Japan”. His early years were spent in the service of the Tokugawa clan, for whom he first distinguished himself as a capable samurai in the field at 15. He further distinguished himself in the Battle of Azukizaka, Battle of Anegawa, Battle of Nagashino, and many others.

Honda Tadakatsu’s valiance earned him considerable praise from many powerful opponents. Oda Nobunaga called him the “Zhang Fei of Japan” and “a samurai among samurai” and, according to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, of Japan’s greatest warriors there is “Honda Tadakatsu in the east and Tachibana Muneshige in the west”. Honda Tadakatsu was promoted to daimyo of the Otaki han in his later years as a reward, and then afterwards appeared to live as a recluse.

Honda Tadakatsu’s ability to remain virtually unscathed in no fewer than 57 major engagements earned him the moniker “the Warrior who surpassed Death itself”. He was particularly well known for wearing a helmet famously adorned with deer antlers and his “Dragonfly Cutter” spear, an unusual sight that helped to cultivate his legendary reputation.

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Review of Commander Honda Tadakatsu:

  • Ways to obtain Honda Tadakatsu commander sculptures: Wheel of Fortune
  • Honda’s active skill deals damage to up to 3 targets in a forward-facing fan-shaped area, which provides great area-of-effect (“AoE”) damage in open-field battles. His active skill deals 2500 damage factor if Honda is the primary commander, and 1250 damage factor if Honda is the secondary commander.
  • However, the rage requirement to trigger Honda’s active skill is 1350, which is 35% higher than most commanders in Rise of Kingdoms. This means Honda unleashes active skill damage on enemies much slower than other commanders.
  • When attacking troops in open-field battles, Honda’s second skill provides a maximum of 40% boost to troops’ attack and 20% boost to march speed, both of which are very helpful in open-field battles.
  • Honda’s third skill increases march survivability with a maximum of 5% damage reduction. When an active skill is cast by the march, Honda’s third skill also deals a total of 400 Damage Factor to enemies over 2 seconds. You could use Honda as a secondary commander and pair him with a commander who requires less rage to trigger an active skill (e.g. Xiang Yu) to take advantage of this skill.

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Honda Tadakatsu Commander Skills:


Dragonfly Cutter
(active skill)
Rage requirement: 1350
Deals direct damage to up to 3 targets in a forward-facing fan-shaped area (Damage Factor 1500, or 750 as a secondary commander). Damage dealt to each target is reduced by 15% for each additional target.

Direct Damage Factor: 1500/1700/1900/2200/2500
Damage Factor (When Secondary Commander): 750/850/950/1100/1250

Samurai Of the East
(passive skill)
Troops led by this commander gain 3% increased march speed and extra 2% increased attack plus 10% when attacking troops.

Attack Bonus: 2%/4%/6%/8%/10%
March Speed Bonus: 3%/6%/10%/15%/20%
Extra Attack Increase: 10%/15%/20%/25%/30%

Samurai Among Samurai
(passive skill)
Troops led by this commander take 1% reduced damage. An active skill cast will cause the target to suffer damage over time (Damage Factor 100) and 20% reduced march speed for 2 seconds. This effect can trigger at most once every 5 seconds.

Damage Taken Reduced By: 1%/2%/3%/4%/5%
Direct Damage Factor: 100/120/140/160/200
March Speed Reduction: 20%/25%/30%/40%/50%

Tokugawa Heavenly King
(passive skill)
Troops led by this commander gain 2% increased troop capacity, and deal 1% increased skill damage per 8% (or 5% with 2 or more different unit types) units lost; the skill damage bonus cannot exceed 60%.

Troop Capacity Bonus: 2%/4%/6%/8%/10%
Skill Damage Bonus: 1%/2%/3%/4%/5%
The Undefeated
(passive skill)
Whenever receiving a normal attack on the map, troops led by this commander take 30% less damage from this attack. But this effect can trigger up to 57 times per hour after leaving your city.

Skills Upgrading Priority for Honda Tadakatsu:

  • 5551, and then 5555

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Best Commander Pairings for Honda Tadakatsu:

  • Open-field: Xiang Yu (Xiang Yu as primary commander) – Xiang Yu fires off his active skill frequently, and this works well with Honda’s third skill, which provides damage factor of 400 when an active skill is cast.
  • Open-field: Yi Seong-Gye (Honda as primary commander) – YSG’s fourth skill (Destiny) provides 50% increased skill damage, which greatly amplifies Honda’s high active skill damage when Honda is the primary commander. YSG’s second skill (Art of Archery) provides 10% chance to gain extra rage for each normal attack, which helps Honda to fire off his high-damage active skill sooner. To maximize the effectiveness of this pair, you should set Honda’s troop to comprise mostly of archer troop type.
  • Open-field: Tomyris (Honda as primary commander) – Honda’s flaw is the high rage requirement to trigger his active skill (1350 Rage). The increased skill damage effect to enemies (extra 3% skill damage per poison stack, up to a possible 15 total poison stacks) from Tomyris’ fourth skill (Massagetae’s Counterattack) makes the wait for Honda’s active skill to trigger worthwhile. However, note that enemies can simply avoid having long combats with your Honda/Tomyris march.
  • Open-field: Harald Sigurdsson (Honda as primary commander) – Like Honda, Harald’s active skill deals AoE damage (if your troop is surrounded). Also, when on the map, Harald’s fourth skill (Stamford Bridge) gives a 20% chance to trigger Harald’s active skill when troops led by Harald is on the map and use their normal attack. This, when combined with Honda’s “Rejuvenate” talent (as Honda is primary commander here), provides Honda with 20 rage whenever a skill is used, allowing Honda to trigger his high-damage active skill sooner. Lastly, the 5% damage taken reduction in Honda’s third skill goes well with the 20% increased counterattack damage dealt on the map in Harald’s Expertised skill.
  • Sunset Canyon: Alexander Nevsky (Nevsky as primary commander)

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Best Talent Trees for Honda Tadakatsu:

Open-field (Mixed Troop)

honda tadakatsu

Open-field (Single Troop Type)

honda tadakatsu

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