ROK Commanders Talent Trees and Commander Pairings in Rise of Kingdoms

ROK Commanders Talent Tree – Welcome to my page on all commanders in Rise of Kingdoms. Click on the commander for my summary review of the commander, commander talent trees, best commanders to pair with, and upgrade priority of that commander’s skills.

Note that for any commander pair leading a troop or rally or defense, only the talents of the primary commander will take effect.

ROK Commanders Talent Tree – Click on the commander of your choice to be directed to the commander’s page.


The most efficient Commanders in utilizing your precious Action Points (“APs“) in hunting barbarians.

BoudicaÆthelflædCao Cao
KeiraDiaochanMinamoto no Yoshitsune
MulanMoctezuma I

The most efficient Commanders in gathering resources.

CenturionSarkaGaius Marius
ConstanceJoan of ArcSeondeok
Ishida MitsunariCleopatra VIIMatilda of Flanders
Queen Tamar of Georgia

Every player should have a Commander who can reach a destination in the shortest possible time, to gather buff Runes, or to join rallies.

Dragon LancerLancelotBelisarius
BaibarsCao Cao

The best Commanders to use in open-field fighting.

Infantry Units:

Sun TzuEulji MundeokBjörn Ironside
Charles MartelRichard IConstantine I
Alexander the GreatGuan YuLeonidas I
Harald SigurdssonK’inich Janaab’ PakalCheok Jun-gyeong
Scipio PrimeSargon the GreatPyrrhus
Liu CheGorgo

Archer Units:

MarkswomanTomoe GozenHermann
Kusunoki MasashigeEl CidYi Seong-Gye
Edward of WoodstockCyrus the GreatRamesses II
Nebuchadnezzar IIAmanitoreArtemisia I
TomyrisBoudica PrimeImhotep
Thutmose IIIHenry VZhuge Liang
Hermann Prime

Cavalry Units:

BaibarsCao CaoMinamoto no Yoshitsune
SaladinGenghis KhanAttila
Takeda ShingenWilliam IChandragupta Maurya
Xiang YuAlexander NevskyJoan Prime
Huo QubingJustinian I

Siege Units:


Mixed Units:

Joan of ArcOsman IMehmed II
Julius CaesarMulanTrajan
Honda Tadakatsu

The best Commanders to use in rallying against enemy cities and strongholds. Note that some commanders are only good for rallying enemy cities and not strongholds.

Infantry Units:

Björn IronsideGuan YuHarald Sigurdsson
K’inich Janaab’ PakalTariq Ibn Ziyad

Archer Units:

Edward of WoodstockTomyrisRamesses II
Nebuchadnezzar IIGilgameshBoudica Prime
Henry VAshurbanipal

Cavalry Units:

BaibarsMinamoto no YoshitsuneSaladin
AttilaTakeda ShingenChandragupta Maurya
Xiang YuAlexander NevskyBertrand du Guesclin

Mixed Units:

Osman IScipio AfricanusFrederick I
Mehmed IIJulius CaesarHannibal Barca
CharlemagneLu BuSuleiman I
Ragnar Lodbrok

The best Commanders to use in defense of cities and strongholds.

Infantry Units:

City KeeperSun TzuEulji Mundeok
Charles MartelRichard IConstantine I
ZenobiaFlavius AetiusPericles

Archer Units:

HermannKusunoki MasashigeYi Seong-Gye
AmanitoreArtemisia IImhotep

Cavalry Units:

PelagiusJadwigaJan Žižka

Mixed Units:

Wu ZetianYi Sun-sinTheodora

Introduction to Commanders in Rise of Kingdoms

In ROK, to do practically anything outside your city (i.e. march, battle, occupy flags, reinforce cities, gather resources), you need a Commander to lead the troops and carry out the task that you have assigned. In simple term, we called it commanders talent tree.

Every Commander is differentiated by his:

  1. Rarity;
  2. Star level;
  3. Commander level;
  4. Talents;
  5. Skills; and
  6. Equipment.
ROK Commanders Talent Tree


There are 4 rarity tiers, represented by the background color of the Commander icon, namely:

  • Advanced (green);
  • Elite (blue);
  • Epic (purple); and
  • Legendary (orange).

Legendary Commanders

Legendary Commanders are the strongest Commanders in ROK, with skills that overpower those of Commanders of lower grades. Their Commander Sculptures are the rarest to obtain amongst all Commanders, and it typically takes a longer time for players to accumulate and maximize the potential of Legendary Commanders. You can acquire Legendary Commanders and their Sculptures through the use of Golden Keys at the Tavern, use of Expedition tokens at Expedition campaign (recommended to exchange for Æthelflæd Sculptures), and certain events like the Wheel of Fortune, The Mightiest Governor, and spending real money (e.g. Minamoto no Yoshitsune).

Epic Commanders

In general, Epic Commanders are next in line after Legendary Commanders in term of strength. Some Epic Commanders are so useful that players continue to use them even later in the game, e.g. Sun Tzu, Joan of Arc.

For each account, at the start of the game, you are given an Epic Commander (“Starting Commander“) based on your choice of civilization. See this post for more on this. As you progress in the game, you will acquire additional Commanders in addition to your Starting Commander.

Elite Commanders

There are currently 5 Elite Commanders in ROK, and 3 of them are very useful for gathering resources. See this post for my review of the Elite Commanders. In terms of firepower, the Elite Commanders (with the exception of maybe Lancelot in early-game) do not pack much of a punch, so you would want to focus more on at least the Epic Commanders to defeat your opponents in battle.

Advanced Commanders

Advanced Commanders, though named “Advanced”, are widely regarded as the lowest lifeform of ROK by many other critics. However, I have found use for some of the Advanced Commanders, where others have not, especially early in the game. See this post for more.

Advanced Commanders are the weakest Commanders in ROK and should not be relied upon for firepower.

Star Level

Every Commander starts off at Commander level 1 with a Star level of 1. At each Star level, your Commander is allowed to gain experience and upgrade its Commander level to a maximum of 10 levels for every Star level. For example, at Star level 1, you can increase the level of your Commander to a maximum of level 10, beyond which, you will first need to upgrade its Star level to 2 before you are able to further increase his Commander level to above 10, up to 20.

Likewise, you are able to upgrade the Star level only when you have reached the Commander level cap for the Star level (e.g. Commander level cap for Star level 1 is Commander level 10). See illustration below:

Commander levelStar level
1 to 101
11 to 202
21 to 303
31 to 404
41 to 505
51 to 606

To upgrade the Star level, you need “Star experience” from expending “Starlight Sculptures“.

There are 4 grades of Starlight Sculptures, corresponding to the grades for Commanders (i.e. “Obsolete Starlight Sculpture” for Advanced Commanders; “Ordinary Starlight Sculpture” for Elite Commanders; “Brand-new Starlight Sculpture” for Epic Commanders; “Dazzling Starlight Sculpture” for Legendary Commanders).

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The number of Starlight Sculptures you need to upgrade the Star level increases with each higher Star level. Thankfully, for each grade of Starlight Sculpture shown above, there are 3 different variants: the single/regular Starlight Sculpture, the “Blessed” version, and the “Bundle” version, with the Blessed and Bundle version granting greater Star experience. “Luck” bonus in each attempt is the likelihood of chance for the particular attempt to result in double Star experience gained, i.e. the higher the “luck” bonus in any attempt, the higher the likelihood that the upgrade will result in double Star experience gained. You should expend the single Starlight Sculptures at lower Star levels, and keep the Blessed and Bundle versions for upgrading higher Star levels.

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An illustration of the amount of Star experience you gain from expending each Starlight Sculptures, ignoring effect of luck bonus:
Star experience gainedSingle Starlight SculptureBlessed Starlight SculptureBundle Starlight Sculpture
Star level 1 to 220.00%80.00%130.00%
Star level 2 to 310.00%40.00%80.00%
Star level 1 to 41.54%6.15%12.31%
Star level 4 to 50.62%2.50%5.00%

Commander Level

This is basically the level of your Commander that will increase with experience gained by defeating barbarians and neutral units in open-field, or through the use of Tomes of Knowledge. The higher the level of your Commander, the higher the Commander Power of your Commander.

The best advice I can give you is, try not to level your Commanders past level 10, unless you have achieved the maximum skill level of his first skill, which is usually the Commander’s only active skill and strongest skill. This is less applicable for Gathering Commanders, for which you should look out for skills that boost gathering activity and look to reach the highest skill level of that skill before leveling your Commander further.


Each Commander has 3 Talent trees.

There are a total of 15 Talent trees:

Every Commander has one Red Talent, one Yellow Talent, and one Blue Talent. The Red Talent determines whether the Commander excels at leading a specific-type troop (infantry/archer/cavalry) or a mixed-type troop. The Yellow Talent determines whether the Commander excels at gathering resources, defeating barbarians, attacking cities, defending cities or a generalist. The Blue Talent determines whether the Commander excels at using powerful skills, acting as a damage dealer or tank in battle, movement in open-field or providing support in battle. The Commander’s Talents provide a hint of how best to utilize the Commander in the game, so pay serious attention to them before you start leveling them up!

When the Commander gains a Commander level, it also gains a Talent Point, which you can use to activate or upgrade a node of your choice in the Talent tree, granting a boost in various areas such as attack/defense/health of your troops or others.

As you will not be able to activate all the nodes in the Talent tree for any Commander, you will need to plan wisely on which nodes to spend your Talent Points on. For most Commanders, you can choose the “build” or “style” of play that you want for the Commander by activating the nodes in the Talent tree that provides the most support to that “build” or “style” that you have chosen for the Commander. Typical styles include “City attacker”, “City defender/Garrison”, “Open-field PVP”, “Peacekeeper”, “Speedster”, “Gatherer” etc. You can reset the Talent tree for any Commander with the Talent Reset item


Every Commander has a maximum of 4 skills, with the first skill available to the Commander from Commander level 1. To unlock and use subsequent skills, you will have to increase the Star level of the Commander. Each Star level upgraded unlocks 1 new skill, up to a maximum of 4 skills per Commander.

For Epic and Legendary Commanders, you can also unlock an “Expertise” skill, which is a 5th skill, and it can either be an improved version of one of the Commander’s first 4 skills or a totally new special skill. To unlock the Expertise skill, you will need all 4 skills to be upgraded to the maximum skill level of 5.

To upgrade the level of a skill, you will need the “Specific Commander Sculptures” and/or “Universal Commander Sculptures“. Initially, each skill level upgrade will cost a total of 10 sculptures (Specific and/or Universal). Subsequently, the number of sculptures required to upgrade skill level will increase in multiples of 10 (i.e. 10, 20, 30, 40, and up to 50).


Once your City Hall reaches a certain level, you will unlock the Blacksmith structure for your city. With the Blacksmith, you will be able to produce materials required for forging, and forge equipment that provides additional boosts to your Commanders. Such boosts can include:

  • Increase to Commander EXP gain;
  • Increase to damage dealt to barbarians;
  • Increase to attack/defense/health of specific-type troop led by the Commander; and
  • Increase to gathering speed.

One point to note is that equipment on a Secondary Commander does not provide boost to your troop. The equipment has to be equipped by the Primary Commander of the troop.

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