I apologize for my brutal honesty but as I’m sure you’ve realized by now, there is no skill component in this game. No amount of grinding will give you skills over another player with a credit card. The late-to-end game factor for winning is based on the heroes you get and how you use them.
However, with the right strategy and determination, it’s still possible to become powerful and rank among the top players without spending money.
In this Rise of Empires heroes guide, I will be covering all the essentials you need to know about heroes in the game. I will also give some tips on effectively using your heroes in battle.
Best Rise of Empires heroes?
Once you’ve maxed out your buildings and researched some of the most important technologies, the only RNG (Random Number Generator) factor remaining is heroes. This game is based on a Cardinal Scale: the higher your attributes, the better chances you have at winning.
This is why it’s common for most people to think “there’s always someone stronger than me” because unless you are fully maxed out, chances are this is true. Fortunately, even among the maxed-out players, there is no God mode. Legion composition and Hero Synergy will still be the determining factor for winning, ceteris paribus.
That said, this guide is meant to help make your choice of heroes easier based on what you already have. Please do not get bogged down in trying to get the “best heroes” if you don’t have them. Make the best legion composition based on your heroes, not on what you want to get in the future.
How to recruit legendary heroes
The legendary or orange heroes in Rose of Empires can be recruited in the Bar building, using Super Recruitment tickets. For that, you need to tap the building, and next, the “Recruit Heroes” button.
From there, depending on how many tickets you have, you can recruit legendary heroes by using 1 Super Recruitment Ticket or 10, the latter option giving you a better chance to get legendary heroes.
On the same page, you can also use your Free ticket, which is given once every 18 hours. If you swipe left, depending on how advanced is your province, you will also notice Seasonal Recruitment. These types of tickets can be purchased from the Honor Shop with Honor Coins or can be earned by participating in the Reign of Chaos / Eden event.
However, the Seasonal Recruitment option has a lower drop chance and is based on a Luck System, where each time you use a Seasonal Recruitment ticket, you generate Luck. The higher the Luck stat is, the higher the chances of recruiting a seasonal hero are. Once the hero is recruited, the Luck resets to 0.
How to upgrade your legendary heroes
The most straightforward ways to upgrade your legendary heroes are by defeating Marauders to gain experience and increase their levels, and by using Wisdom and Hero Medals. If you want to learn more ways to level up legendary heroes in Rise of Empires, make sure to check out our dedicated guide.
The heroes you have, determine your unit choice as well as the purpose of your legion formations. In this game, there are 3 units: Footmen, Archers, and Cavalry. There is no single “best unit”, each has its own good, evil, and intended use; it is like a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors.
- Footmen have the highest defense, hp, and destruction power. Best for defense and for taking tiles in Reign of Chaos/Eden.
- Archer units have the highest damage. Best used for offense and for countering cavalries.
- Cavalry units are balanced and have the fastest march speed and highest load. Good for gathering and raiding.
With all 3 units at T9, if you have the money to spare and you are trying to get that extra edge over someone, you should be enhancing your troops, it will make the difference especially if your opponent has enhanced T9s and you don’t.
Rise of Empires Hero Combinations
We’ve put together some of the best hero combinations for Rise of Empires: Ice and Fire, based on our analysis. We’ve only included several combinations out of the many possibilities. Further testing is required to prove the viability of these combos.
Some heroes have buffs, some heroes have debuffs, and most heroes do damage. However, only a few select heroes possess hero abilities. These are the heroes you want to pay attention to. Most hero abilities will specify how many turns they are active for, some will trigger more often than others and a select few can stack as well.
- Blunt Blade: Lowers 30% might for enemy target. Only Rough Rider has this ability.
- Burning / Flammable / Ignite: Makes the enemy target take X% damage. Heroes with this ability: Hunk (SX), Desert Storm(S4), and Witch Hunter(S2).
- Counter-Attack: This will return X% damage when basic attacked, back to the attacking source. Heroes with this ability: Wind Walker(SX), Elk(SX), Soaring Hawk(S4), Beast Queen(S2), and Peace Bringer(S2).
- Curse: Makes the enemy target take X% damage whenever you cast combat skills. Heroes with this ability: Desert Storm(S4) and Jade Rakshasa(S2).
- Dodge: Every turn has X% chance to obtain -40% skill damage for enemy troops. Heroes with this ability: The Cincinnatus (S1) and Ebony Knight(S1).
- Massive Damage / Ferocious Damage: As the name implies, these abilities do a lot of damage to the enemy target. Heroes with this ability: Jade Eagle(S4), Rough Rider, and Demon Spear
- Pierced Armor: Lowers 30% resistance to an enemy target. Only Heaven’s Justice has this ability.
- Poison: Makes the enemy target take X% damage. Only Desert Storm(S4) has this ability.
- Splash / Sputtering: Basic attacks can deal X% damage to 2 back row enemy squads, this is known as AOE (Area of Effect) damage. Heroes with this ability: Divine Arrow(S4) and Beast Queen(S2).
- Weakened: The enemy target does -20% less damage. Heroes with this ability: Lion Heart(S1), Orochi, and Rough Rider.
- Evade / Evasion: This ability allows you to avoid damage. Heroes with this ability: Hunk (SX), Cicero(SX), and War Lord(S3).
- First-Aid / Recover: This ability allows you to recover units, usually at some percentage between 20% to 97% (up to 160% stacked). Heroes with this ability: Wind Walker(SX), Immortal Guardian(S4), Soaring Hawk(S4), Desert Storm(S4), Sky Breaker(S3), and Bleeding Steel(S3). Heroes that prevent recovery: Jade Eagle(S4) and Living Saint(S3).
Disarm: This ability makes the enemy target unable to basic attack. This is the first of four counters in this game but this doesn’t affect skills, they can still use Status, Prep, Combat, and Passive skills. Heroes with this ability: Divine Arrow(S4), Jade Eagle* (S4), The Brave(S4), Sky Breaker(S3), and Inquisitor(S2)
Silence: This ability makes the enemy target unable to cast combat skills. This is the second of four counters in this game but this only affects combat skills. It does not affect Status, Prep, or Passive skills. Heroes with this ability: The Brave(S4), The Immortal(S2), Witch Hunter(S2), Demon Spear, and Orochi.
Suppression: This ability makes the enemy target unable to take action (new wording has been changed in every hero with suppression).
This is the third of four counters in this game and this is the best full counter. Since they can’t take action: they can’t basic attack nor will they be able to cast any skills. Heroes with this ability: Rozen Blade(S3), Inquisitor* (S2), The Pacer(S1), Iron Hand(S1), Dual Blades, and North’s Rage.
Confuse / Confusion: This ability makes the enemy target’s skill and basic attacks target randomly. This is the last of four counters in this game and is a very interesting ability.
All combat skills already target ‘random’ enemies. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is this makes the enemy target themselves as well. Heroes with this ability: Hunk (SX) and Bleeding Steel(S3).
Clarity / Sober: This makes you immune to Disarm, Silence, Suppress and Confuse. This is the ultimate protection for the four counters in this game. Heroes with this ability: Elk(SX) and Roku Boshuten(S3).
*Heroes with an asterisk require other conditions to be met before triggering.
Before I get started on Hero Attributes, I just want to say that you will go insane trying to figure out the math behind damage calculation. Unless you have access to the developer code behind the war engine, there is no point in trying to optimize your attributes. Without the exact formula of how it all comes together, there are too many unknown factors. Therefore, it’s just easier to have more.
With everything maxed out, you’ll have your base attributes. From this, the only additional attributes you’ll gain are from having specific heroes in their respective rows to boost your squad and formation attributes.
Squad and formation are the keywords the game uses, hero’s squad is for that specific row in your legion whereas the hero’s formation is for the entire legion. For the purposes of discussion, the attributes that I am referring to are:
- Troop Amount: Used to sustain hits to avoid losing morale as well as calculating damage. Skill 1 and 6.
- Might: Affects the damage dealt by basic/normal attacks. Skill 4, 6, and 7*.
- Resistance: Affects the damage taken from basic/normal attacks. Skill 3, 6, and 7*.
- Tactical Might: Affects the damage dealt by skills.
- Tactical Resistance: Affects the damage taken from skills.
- HP: Determines how many hits you can take before dying. Skill 6* and 7*.
- Combat Speed: Determines who attacks first. Skill 6* and 7*.
*Hero specific, not all heroes give the same buffs.
As mentioned earlier, there is a distinction between a hero’s squad and a hero’s formation.
- Hero’s Squad (that specific row) is affected by Skills 3, 4, and 6.
- Hero’s Formation (entire legion) is affected by Skill 7.
Also, Skill 6 (Awaken), has varying amounts of Might and Resistance buffs. In addition, most people miss the fact that it also includes an extra buff for Might, Resistance, HP, Speed, Damage, and Demolition Power.
Generally speaking, S heroes have better attributes than normal orange heroes. However, even among S heroes, there are a few heroes worth highlighting as well:
- Jade Eagle(S4)’s Skill 4: +60% Might, +20% Damage Dealt, +20% Damage Taken
- Rozen Blade(S3) Skill 6: +180 Cavalry Speed
- The Pacer(S1), Lion Heart(S1), and Iron Hand(S1)
Each of these heroes has very unique Skill 7’s which can be activated. Once activated: 15 Hour Cooldown, lasts for 20 minutes, +100 March, +100% Might. Passive: +30% Might.
You’ll notice Skill 1 and Dictator are the same for all heroes, so every legion will have the same amount of troops. Therefore, the only difference between legion formations is based on attributes and ultimately, combat skills.
Hero Skills are undoubtedly the ultimate weapon in your legion formation. The right combination of heroes and skills can overpower a stronger legion with the wrong combination of heroes.
Legion Composition and Hero Synergy are very important in the late game. However, as I mentioned earlier, you should only work with what you have, not what you want. If you don’t have the heroes or the duplicate medals to unlock their skills, there’s nothing you can do.
The first thing you need to understand is there are 4 types of Hero Skills:
- Prep: The majority of Prep Skills have “First X Turns…” where a buff, ability, or damage will trigger during those turns. The remainder of Prep Skills will trigger during battle or on specified turns or rounds.
- Status: Status Skills will buff the hero’s squad. The skill range is usually 0 or 1, which makes sense since the buff is for the hero’s squad. Living Saint’s status skill has a skill range of 4 because it also does damage to an enemy squad.
- Combat: Combat Skills have probabilities associated with them, ranging from 30% up to 100% chance of triggering. Some combat skills require 1-2 Turn Prep, this is known as channeling. Desert Storm is the only hero that can interrupt channeling skills.
- Passive: Triggers after basic attacks. These have probabilities associated with them as well, however, no prep is necessary.
Seasonal Heroes are hard enough to get, let alone to get duplicate medals to unlock their skills. Most people won’t use nor work on their seasonal heroes until they have at least 2 duplicates to unlock Skill 6 (Awaken) and 8.
Skill 7 will always be your last skill to unlock, positioning will determine if you unlock skill 6 or 8 first. A maxed-out legendary hero will almost always beat a partial seasonal hero. Only a few awakened seasonal heroes with exceptional 8th skills will overcome a maxed-out legendary hero.
Skill priority is dependent on the hero and his respective position in your legion:
- Front Row (Prioritize Skill 6): Primary Meat Shield/ Tank and thus, should have as many troops as possible to avoid losing morale.
- Middle Row (Prioritize Skill 6 or 8): Secondary meat shield and damage dealer.
- Back Row (Prioritize Skill 8): Primary damage dealer, which needs to be protected in the rear.
There are exceptions of course, where front heroes have the 8th skill that is so good, that they are worth unlocking first but being placed in the middle to use their skill. Your legion should have at least 2 awakened heroes otherwise you will likely lose morale and end the battle early.
If you’ve ever played a Trading Card Game (TCG) like Magic The Gathering, Pokémon, or Yu-Gi-Oh, you’ll recognize that the battles in this game follow a similar format. Battles are move-based, going through various phases each turn.
The game doesn’t explicitly state the various phases of each turn but essentially, you have the following:
- Pre-battle phase: prep and status skills trigger
- Battle Phase I: troops deal basic damage
- Battle Phase II: combat skills trigger
- Post-battle phase: passive, prep, and status skills trigger
Why does this matter? For now, it’s just something to keep in mind. However, if you’ve been following the trend of combat skills: you can see skills are becoming more and more multi-layered.
There are so many skills and abilities they can introduce before overwhelming players. The only way to add another dimension to the RNG factor is by triggering skills during different phases. Thereby altering the sequence of actions and reactions.
This mindset carries throughout the gaming world, not just limited to TCGs, it can be seen in Chess or even in the fighting world. Where one deciding factor, one move at the right time determines who wins and loses.
- Everyone plays to the best of their ability to win
- Good players calculate the risk& reward to limit losses while maximizing gains
- Master-level players have the foresight and ability to see the end game
Will this game become that complicated? Can it? I don’t know…For now, the only thing you need to understand is during each turn, actions occur in sequence, and each action causes a reaction leading to a compounding effect.
Everything up to this point has been objective and observational based on the game. Everything from this point onward is subjective and is of our own personal opinions. So just keep that in mind while reading this analysis. Everyone has their own play styles, mindset, and testing methods. You may find different results from your own tests compared to our analysis.
When building your legion composition, you should keep the following in mind:
Are my hero ranges optimal?
Remember that range is irrelevant for hero skills that affect friendly squads. Just because a hero has range 5 doesn’t mean it needs to be in the back row.
It’s all relative, if you have multiple heroes with range 5, the one dealing the most damage would be placed in the back and the one dealing the least can be in the front.
Front-row heroes will get hit the most and therefore, may not survive long whereas back-row heroes will last longer so you want your highest damage-dealing hero to survive longer.
How many targets will my heroes hit?
You could build high damage, the focused legion that solely targets the enemy’s front row, or you could take the shotgun approach and use heroes that target multiple enemies throughout the battle.
How often will my hero’s abilities trigger?
No Prep, 1 Turn prep, and 2 Turn prep affect how often they trigger during the round.
Coin, toss, or guarantee?
How are the percentages, if you have a legion filled with high-damage skills with low probabilities? You need to be lucky in order to win versus having mid-range damage skills with 100% trigger rates.
Balanced legion example
The front row has a range of 2-3, resistance buff, and some type of counter, or friendly skills. The middle row has a range of 4-5, might buff, mid damage hitting multiple targets with enemy debuffs. The back row has a range of 5, might buff, and high damage-focused skills.
The Meta is always changing
Meta short for Meta game is a gaming terminology, it’s basically the trending strategy. As new heroes are released, patches are applied, and game functions are updated. The meta can change as people try new combinations of what is to find out what works or not.
What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow, always be fluid and dynamic. Always account for variable change and adapt to the situation. That’s the end-game skill to develop, see what your opponent is using and prepare a counter for it.
Each hero has its intended use as an offense or support hero. Thus, you need to complement it accordingly:
- Full Offense Legion: All Offense Heroes.
- Full Defense Legion: All Support Heroes
- Well Rounded Legion: Mix of Offense and Support Heroes
The possibilities are endless… but remember, work with what you have, not what you want.
Congratulations on making it to the end of this guide! This guide is not for everyone, it’s probably too much for casual players. However, considering you’ve read this far, I think it’s safe to say that you are not a casual player. You are hardcore and you strive to be better than the rest.
That said, please do not withhold knowledge. If you meet someone who needs help, please share this guide using the share buttons below or at the top of this page. Thank you!