An Evony General Guide, for players who want to find out the best generals are, learn how to use them, and learn how to build them to their ultimate potential. Including equipment selection and refining.
Table of Contents:
- The List
- The Basics
- Where to Obtain Generals
- Roles for Generals
1) The List (Best Generals)
Here is the list, all by itself. The culture is stated so that you can easily reference the general in the portrait section of your tavern.
Explanations are later in this guide for those who are interested.
Important note: The order of this list changes quite a bit as you reach K33+ and begin covering your sub generals in debuff gear. Given that debuffs are limited to reducing enemy stats by HALF, certain stats become more important. In particular, Andrew Jackson is surprisingly good, while Arminius loses effectiveness (because he targets stats that are easy to debuff).
2) The Basics
Here are 3 sample generals. Let’s look at what makes them unique.
Border Color – This represents the quality. Gold is the best. After that you have purple, blue, green, and white. Don’t invest much time/gold/gems into anything below gold. It’s not worth it.
Historic Status – This is denoted by the “helmet” icon in the top-left of the portrait (or the lack of one). Do not bother with any non-historic generals. Honestly they are so bad. No exceptions.
Personal Skill – Only Historic generals have a built-in skill. Non-historic generals (like the first example) get NOTHING. They’re stuck with only 3 skills. Avoid non-historic generals always. But even among historic generals, only a small handful have a skill that’s any good.
Specialties – Non-Historic Generals get 3 specialties. Historic generals get 4 specialties. Historic Generals skill and specialties typically follow a cohesive theme. Like the above example, Elektra, whose stuff all improves ranged fighting stats. Note that specialties are incredibly costly to unlock. They cost runestones. And you will perhaps have enough runestones to fully unlock ONE general’s specialties if you reach K35. So choose wisely.
Base Power – This is essentially a summary of the stats for easy comparison. Later, things like levels and equipment will increase the power associated with your generals.
Stats – The attack, defense, leadership, and politics stats contribute to the general’s fighting power and more. The number on the left side of the arrow represents the stat’s base value, while the number on the other side represents the stat’s growth-per-level.
Gold Historic generals have superior stats and stat growths, and therefore much better potential. Notice how the stats of the example purple historic and gold non-historic generals are much weaker, compared to Elektra.
Leadership – Improves troop HP and March Speed
Attack – Improves troop Attack
Defense – Improves troop Defense
Politics – Improves troop Death-to-Wounded and Gathering Speed
Perceptive readers may notice this information is all found on the screen where you Cultivate a general.
3) Where Do Generals Come From?
Short answer: There are Free generals available in the tavern all the time, and Premium generals available when you buy $100 packs.
There are a few other methods to get Premium generals that I’ll cover in this section.
The strongest generals are premium, but that doesn’t mean every premium general is strong.
After level 18 Tavern, they can appear for purchase, for a hefty gold cost. Somewhere around 20m-42m for the good ones. Supposedly, the higher level your tavern, the more often they appear… but it’s hard to tell. I’ve never heard of gold historic generals appearing in level 17 and below taverns.
You can refresh the tavern lineup for 50 gems. This is actually a good plan, once you have enough gold! It’s better to spend a few 1000 gems shopping for a great general, than be stuck with mediocre ones that will need to be replaced and discarded someday. Before doing this a lot, I do suggest trying to push your tavern in levels a bit. The tavern description says, “upgrade your tavern to increase the chance of recruiting higher quality generals.” It’s sort of hard to tell if it’s true, but it probably is. It shouldn’t be too difficult to reach Lv21 or 22 before shopping for a general.
Note that certain generals are not found in the tavern, as seen in their portrait info – Tavern -> Recruit -> Portraits). These generals must be obtained from Events, Challenges, or Packs.
Blue – Summary of generals currently available for purchase. The spiky icon means “historic general”
Red – 50 gems can refresh the lineup.
Green – (Left) Click Portrait to view portraits of all generals. (Right) Some generals are identified as being “unavailable in tavern” – you will only be able to find these with the other methods.
Events and Challenges
Watch for events and read them all – you should be doing this anyway! You get tons of amazing things for doing events, but this will be a whole other guide.
Unfortunately, it’s pretty uncommon and difficult to get a general from an event. One example though, is getting Mehmed II by completing all of the Kings Path challenges, or getting the same guy as a royal thief chest drop.
This is great! Sometimes generals (in the form of a random scroll) are available for purchase here at the cost of 6000 Dragon Crystals or 2000 Badges. (Note: I feel like I remember seeing other prices here when I was lower level, like 4000 dragon crystals. At K35 I consistently see these prices. If anyone sees other prices, please leave a comment.)
You might have other plans for the items first… Badges are needed to upgrade Dragon (Lv27) gear to Ares (Lv30) gear. Dragon Crystals are needed to lock in stats when refining your dragon(s).
Regardless, this means that if you regularly play in the BoC/BoG events, you can afford a new general every so often. Without spending real cash.
I do NOT recommend buying anything from this shop except for generals. It is all extremely bad value.
Great General Chest & Puzzle Pieces
IMPORTANT: Because of this feature, non-coining players no longer have to settle for investing in a “Best in Tavern” general. Sooner or later, all of us will realistically get one of the top tier premium fighting generals like Martinus, or Minamoto. Keep this in mind before spending all your gems building up a Takeda!
The Great General Chest and puzzle pieces are new and very welcome additions to the game. The chest can be opened once every two days for free, and once every single day if you reach 145 Daily Activity Points.
You might get puzzle pieces from the chest. 30 pieces can be composed into a general. You will never get a general this way unless you play for 5 years.
Except, you also get a daily puzzle piece in your gems area (and you can see the little chest waiting at the top-right of your screen when it’s available. It seems they offer the same piece for about 30 days in a row, which means you’ll certainly get a general this way if you collect every day. A new one every month!
You also have a low chance (about 3%) of getting an entire general from the Great General Chest, rather than a puzzle piece. This is straight up amazing. If I have those odds right, that’s a little better than one per month. And they can be “unavailable in tavern” generals.
4) What Roles Can Generals Be Used For?
Remember this part?
These categories are separate from each other, because generals in them fulfill different purposes, or roles.
Generals here will get you more stuff. Which is obviously super important if you plan on getting higher level and stronger.
Baibars (Arabia) and Queen Jindeok (Korea) are the king and queen of this category. They are, in my opinion, the most important generals in this game by far.
Baibars comes with a wonderful skill that gives 25% chance of double items from monster battles. This even includes when he joins another player’s battle with 1 troop. You will want 3-4 copies of Baibars, each wearing a King’s Ring or Dragon Ring that adds even more % double item chance. There is no need to level up or add stars to your Baibars, unless you want to use them to lead boss rallies (which honestly isn’t a bad idea at all). You can give him march speed and monster march speed skills, to help him join and return from rallies more quickly.
Queen Jindeok has another wonderful skill that brings back 40% extra resources when gathering. You will want 5 copies for sure, so that you can gather with 5 marches while you are not playing. I also recommend gathering with a few marches while you are playing. It’s a reliable and quick way to get resources. It is good to level up Jindeok, give her stars, and cultivate her Politics stat. Politics is a direct contributor to gathering speed. The other stats do not matter for the role she fulfills. You can also add 3 of the 4 gathering speed skills (food/lumber/stone/ore). You may want to vary the skillsets, because you’ll need all resources eventually.
Shajar al-Durr is a Premium general, so she is hard to obtain. If you are lucky enough to get her, keep her on the wall for a hefty resource production bonus. Make sure to keep your bubble up, because she’s not designed to take a hit! Switch to your regular defense general when it’s time for PvP.
Amir Timur (Arabia) is another guy who fits better here in the growth category than anywhere else. He is not essential like Baibars and Jindeok, but it might be useful to have 1 copy. He is the best general for Troop Load.
Cleopatra (Other) is basically a mini-Baibars, with 20% double drop chance instead of 25%. She can do the trick until you collect all your Baibars. So can any general with an added Lv4 Luck skill book (for 17%) drop chance.
Princess Lucy (Other) and the free purple general (maybe named Belesarius, Tariq ibn Ziyad, or something else) give benefits to gathering. You can also use your best fighter(s), or any other general with a high Politics stat.
Atilla (Other) is a lesser version of Amir Timur.
And that pretty much covers it for growth-related generals. Aren’t they great? Onward.
For Leading Attack Marches
This section will cover all 4 troop types: Ground, Ranged, Mounted, and Siege. This all boils down to selecting your main fighting general.
Pick one troop type and fighting general to work on at a time. Most people are good with one until K33 or so. This general should get the bulk of your investment… and your love! 🙂
Mounted troops are special, because they are by far the best troops for killing bosses. They are not the best PvP troops, but honestly they aren’t as bad as most people think. If you solely dedicate yourself to mounted, you will crush people at your own level who are wishy-washy and try to evenly raise more than 1 type of troop.
The best mounted generals are simply the ones who give the most mounted attack (mounted hp/def and march size are nice, but less important). While Hannibal and Martinus gives the most pure attack, Roland sacrifices a small amount of Attack for a nice amount of Defense and HP, so I consider Roland the king of mounted troops.
Ranged troops are pretty much just for PvP, and they do a fantastic job at it. You can use them for bosses, but 100k mounted can pretty much do the job of 300k ranged against a boss, assuming equal investments into tech and general.
The most important stat for ranged troops is Ranged Attack. With enough ranged attack, they can even overcome their counter (ground troops). If you overpower the enemy with numbers and attack stats by enough, you can kill all the ground and mounted before they’ve had enough time run up to melee range. In other words you can defeat those troops with virtually no losses.
Anyway, Simeon is the king because, with specialties taken into account, he gets the most ranged attack. Alfred is basically his equal, until the 4th specialty is unlocked and Simeon pulls ahead. Elektra and Minomoto are close behind them. Don’t be distracted by their secondary benefits to mounted, siege, etc.
Ground troops the natural counter to ranged troops. People often leave ranged or ranged/siege in buildings to defend them, and those are extremely juicy targets for a well developed ground attack.
Because of the way they work (always weathering a few attacks before getting into melee ranged to attack), they need a mixture of Attack, Defense, and HP. So we need to look who gives the most overall bonuses. Scipio is the undisputed king of ground, giving a whopping 70% total stats, along with awesome specialties to boot. The only other guy in the conversation is Trajan who gives 50% total and has decent specialties.
Siege troops are generally not used for attacking that much, because they are extra expensive to heal… and sort of weak. Until you are very late, lategame K35, where they get some utility.
Siege troops attack from back to front, so when somebody sends a “siege bomb” they are basically using the siege as a sacrifice to thin the enemy siege/ranged numbers. Leading to a followup attack with mounted or ranged.
Napoleon, Ulysses, and Qin Shihuang all do a pretty good job of leading a siege bomb. Attack is the main thing you need with siege, just like ranged.
I do not recommend focusing on a siege attacking general until you are very powerful and very experienced, and maybe not even then. Better to work on your ranged, ground, and mounted generals.
For Wall Defense
First off, I don’t think people should worry about wall defense until they reach K33 and start building Achaemenidae and Ares equipment, and start training troops like crazy to reach 250-300m power. It’s not really possible to defend your city against a proper attack (even from a big solo attacker) before that point.
Trying to be as clear as possible here. If I see a K30-32 with 300m power, I’m salivating. I know that is a really juicy target – basically free points in Server War or Battlefield. It doesn’t matter who their wall general is. If you’re smaller than that, don’t even dream of it. Quit spending so many many troops and try to push for K33 instead.
Work on your growing and fighting generals first, and learn to ghost. Wall defense should be an afterthought until late game. Stay bubbled, or ghost, or lose everything.
All that said, it doesn’t hurt to think about who you want as a wall general someday. When you reach the stage I’m talking about, around K33+, you can start investing in all the troop types more equally.
Defense relies heavily on siege. In order of importance, I think the stats you need are siege attack, mounted def/hp, ground def/hp, and ranged attack.
Until you have a few million siege, you will be in an awkward phase where your mounted are pretty bad defenders and basically get sniped off for free points by ranged attacks. Skilled players ghost a large portion of their mounted troops when they see/expect a ranged attack, and unghost them if see/expect a ground attack.
Tran and Joseph are considered the best wall generals, due to their focus on the above-mentioned stats. Kiet is pretty good too, giving a nice bonus to ranged. I do not consider trap activating bonuses on Kiet or anyone else very important. Traps are far too expensive for how weak and easy to lose they are, and I honestly don’t recommend building traps at all. Resources are better invested elsewhere.
For Sub Cities
Long section. Very important.
First of all, and this is one of the most common sources of misunderstanding… Any general that improves “sub city gold production”, “sub city training speed”, or “sub city troop death to survival” IS NOT GOOD.
Julius Caesar? Abraham Lincoln? In real life they might have been amazing. In Evony, these guys are not qualified to govern a dog pound.
Sub cities have a very special and unique way they can help you in battle. The city can be selected when you perform a solo attack, right? Then the mayor and all the sub’s troops will join the battle. The mayor’s skills and specialties will come into play.
The problem is, the mayor’s skills only affect their portion of the army, which are likely a bunch of pathetic weaklings, because your subs level will be way below your main city’s level.
The interesting thing is this: when the mayor has a skill that reduces the enemy’s fighting capabilities, it will take full effect. Skills like -15% attack, -15% hp, -20% ranged attack… These are going to hit the enemy. Because after all, there is only one enemy army for you to affect.
Think of it, you can hold up to 8-9 sub cities if you are towards the top in server prestige. All added up, this can be a huge blow to the enemy’s fighting strength.
The best stats you can reduce, in order for the most part, are:
- siege/ranged attack
- mounted/ground hp
- mounted/ground def
- mounted/ground attack
- siege/ranged def/hp
Therefore, the best sub generals are the ones who do the most of that. Jester, Cnut, Arminius, and Harald are the best ones. Jester is only available for a lucky few during April Fools, and the others are Premium generals. Darn.
Cixi and Andrew Jackson are very nice substitutes though. Better than you might expect to find in the tavern. Since we need so many subs generals, most people rely on many copies of Cixi or Andrew.
For Building Duty
For the most part, it doesn’t matter who you use for duty in buildings. It’s all the same, except stronger is better. Most people just move their strongest, best fighting general(s) around into the various duty positions when they want to use them. For example, moving into the keep before starting a construction, and then removing it.
If you can reach medium, senior or special duty level, that’s the only way to get better benefits from duty.
Except for guys like this:
They provide a special (fairly small) bonus when put on duty in a certain building. There is one general like this per building duty. Here is the list again:
- Archer Camp – John I of Portugal (Europe)
- Stables – Oleg of Novgorod (Russia)
- Barracks – Abd al-Rahman I (Arabia)
- Workshop – Gwon Ryul (Korea)
- Trap Factory – Askia Muhammad I (Arabia)
- Hospital – Skandenbeg (Europe)
- Rally Spot – Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Japan)
- Archer Tower – Ban Chao (China)
- Academy – Eulji Mundeok (Korea)
- Keep – Menshikov (Russia)
They are all premium generals, so they are hard to find. Don’t feel too bad if you don’t find them, because again, their bonuses are very minor, and you have to build them up to duty level to even use them. Plus, lots of these duties aren’t available until later keep levels.
Eventually you should have permanent rally spot, hospital, archer tower, and trap factory guys – so you would need to build those ones up to special duty to have an edge on regular generals.
The rest can be left at junior duty, and switched in and out as it makes sense.
5) How Do I Select and Add Skill Books?
Planning Your Skill Books
Here is a list of priorities. This is my opinion only, and there is (a little) room for debate. If you’re totally lost, just follow these.
Note: Sometimes your general can’t wear a certain skill. For example, Washington can’t wear mounted attack, because the game considers his personal skill the same, and says he has it built in. And by the way, his position on my tier list suffers because of that.
Boss Generals should prioritize…
- Mounted attack
- Monster March Speed
- Mounted HP, DEF, or March Speed
PvP Generals should prioritize…
- Range or Speed
- Possibly range again (ie both archer and siege range)
Wall Generals should prioritize…
- Archer Range and Siege Range
- Siege Attack
- Ranged Attack
Sub Generals should prioritize…
- Troop Training Speed
- Sub troops are weak, but we need a few alive or the general won’t join the battle.
- Note: The benefits from gold production are so small that it’s not even worth mentioning here.
Gatherers should prioritize…
Any 3 of the 4 gathering speed skills.
Rally-Adders (Like Cleo and Baibars… or anyone you want to add Luck to) should prioritize…
- Monster march speed
- March speed
- Maybe mounted attack if you want to use them for weaker bosses
Custom builds that I like…
- The hybrid boss/pvp general with luck, mounted march speed, and mounted attack or HP
- The rally-leading Baibars with mounted attack, monster march speed, and march speed
- The secondary rally-leading Baibars with ranged/ground attack, monster march speed, and march speed (for leading your pvp troops on an extra rally)
I use my Baibars for rallies 99% of the time. Even when leading them. I’ve cultivated, levelled, and geared him up. When it’s time to kill the max level of boss that I can, I switch the equipment to my Martinus.
FI think building a Baibars as your premier boss killer is a very good idea. Give him the Bird of Hurricane for even more drop rate bonus. You will be swimming in items compared to most people.
Adding Skill Books Without Waste
Skills are added to generals using Skill Books, and there is a trick to it so pay close attention to this section.
Do NOT just start yoloing and adding Lv4 skills. They will probably just get deleted by accident.
Also, make sure you know WHICH skills you plan to use since they are a major cost and pain in the butt to redo. Read the previous section of this guide and discuss your plan with your alliance.
For the video inclined, here is a good one (not mine) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KE_cbBbEi4
The above videos covers:
- Adding Lv1 skills to a general
- Replacing Lv1 skills with a Lv4 skill
- Examples of skill loadouts
- Where to get skill books (Wheel of fortune is best by far)
I will also summarize in writing. Here it is.
The issue with adding skills is this: when your general has a skill or two already added, and you try to add another one, there is a significant chance of overwriting a skill that is already there.
Luckily, there is a special method to minimize the cost of getting a perfect set of skills.
The trick is to use only Lv1 skill books until you have a perfect set of 3 that you wanted. It’s still annoying, and you may go through 5+ copies of the skills you want before they all stick, but it’s the best way available.
For example, let’s say I want Minamoto to be my PvP general. He already has Ranged Attack built in as his unique ability, so I want to add Ranged HP, Ranged Def, and Ranged Bonus Range. Let’s say I have the most copies of HP (6) so I start with that first. It obviously sticks first try.
From there, I have to continue adding skills that are not already on that general. If I add bonus range, it might overwrite the HP, but we have to try and try again until it doesn’t. They may overwrite each other several times. Keep adding Lv1 skills you want, that are not already on the general. Eventually all 3 will stick.
After you have 3 perfectly placed Lv1 skills, you can overwrite those with the Lv4 version.
(Lv2 and Lv3 books you have can either be used in place of Lv1s for this method, or broken down for their pages. 10 skill book pages = 1 Lv4 skill book chest.)
- Choose a set of 3 perfect skills that work well on your general. Read this guide’s previous section and discuss with your alliance.
- Add Lv1 skill books until you have these 3 perfect skills all stuck. Yes they will overwrite, and you will need several copies of each, but just keep trying.
- Apply Lv4 skills of the same name on top of the Lv1 skill. If they are the same skill, replacement is guaranteed.
Equipment is a huge source of stat increases for fighting and for gathering.
In short, you’ll get best results if you make specific goals to work towards. Then select and build the proper items that enhance stats which help you achieve those goals.
When to build?
I’m not going to talk about equipment below the level of King’s Gear (Forge Lv21). If you want lower level gear, go ahead. It’s not very strong and will need to be replaced, but at the same time it doesn’t cost much, so who cares.
Just do me a favor and please don’t trade gems for equipment or scrolls in the black market. It’s a horrible deal.
Dragon Equipment is where stuff gets serious. It’s available starting at forge Lv27. First of all, it’s strong. It makes a big difference in battle. Second of all, at forge Lv30, you can upgrade these items into Ares Equipment.
Ares Equipment (Lv30) and Achaemenidae Equipment (Lv33) are actually equally powerful. They have comparable stat increases, and both can be refined to a maximum of 25% x4.
For King’s and Dragon equipment, you always have 2 choices for every equipment slot (ie. helmet, torso, leg, boots, ring). You have 4 choices for the weapon slot.
For Ares and Ach gear, since they are equal in power, you actually have 4 choices for every regular equipment slot, and 8 choices for the weapon.
There are also Spiritual Beasts and Dragons. Dragons are generally stronger, but more costly and challenging to purchase, feed, and refine. Note that a dragon’s attributes and built-in skill increase with levels. Click the shield-looking icon in the lower-right area of the dragon screen to see its innate abilities.
What to build?
Equipment is one of the first places where you will encounter two important ideas.
The first is extreme scarcity. This isn’t like saving up a few hundred million resources for a building. This is more like… you can make a final equipment build for 1 general every 2-12 months depending on how active you are. I’d say it takes at least 3,000-6,000 vikings to fully gear up one general in Ares or Ach gear.
The second idea is opportunity cost. You can either equip a bow that increases mostly ranged stats, or you can wear an axe that increases mostly siege stats, but you can’t wear both. In essence, every stat point you assign towards one thing takes away from another thing.
If you build equipment randomly, you might end up with an equal mixture of enhancements towards all 4 types of troops. If you build equipment thoughtfully, then you can focus entirely on increasing one type of troop, and assigning that equipment to an appropriate general that also focuses on that troop.
This means you always must compare and evaluate your options. If you’re trying to build up a ranged-focused general to lead a ranged-heavy march, then compare the options to find the most Ranged Attack and other ranged stats. If you are using mounted, it will require entirely different gear, looking for Mounted Attack and other mounted stats.
If you are equipping a wall general, thinks get more interesting. Wall generals lead armies potentially composed of large amounts all four troop types, since they lead everything in your whole city. This part touches on Battle theory, found in the battle guide.
If you are a smaller player (K32 and lower) — you should probably not have too many ground or siege troops yet, and you should:
a) Mostly forget about defending your city because any k33+ who knows how to attack can probably trash you no matter what, and
b) For battlefields and various times that you must try your best to defend, you probably want like stuff like Kiet + Ranged Gear or Boudica + mounted gear to complement the troops you DO have.
This is a sample Ranged-focused general. She wears:
- Fearless Ares Bow (More attacking benefits than the Ach bow)
- Fearless Ares Helmet (Only option with Ranged Attack)
- Fearless Ares Armor (Best debuffs)
- Courageous Ach Armor (Ranged Attack)
- Fearless Ach Boots (Ranged HP and enemy siege debuff)
- Fearless Ach Ring (No brainer. A beautiful ranged item.)
- Red Dragon (Ranged attack and March Size.)
Here is another example. A Mounted-focused General. He wears:
- Courageous Ares Spear (More attacking benefits than Ach spear)
- Courageous Ach Helmet (Mounted Attack)
- Courageous Ares Armor (all 3 Mounted stats)
- Fearless Dra/Ares Armor (Mounted Attack, I still need to upgrade from dragon to Ares, but it only adds 2% so it’s not a top priority for me.)
- Fearless Ares Boots (Mounted Attack and Defense)
- Courageous Dragon Ring (This one is not upgraded on purpose. It’s a choice. This ring is the best for double-drop chance and I mainly use mounted to kill bosses. For PvP, the Courageous Ach Ring has better mounted stats and can also be refined more effectively. It also lets you use the 2 ach item set bonus. So basically it’s way stronger.)
- Purple Dragon (Mounted attack)
Let’s do more. Here is a Wall General, for city defense. He wears:
- Gold Dragon (Siege attack and ground defense. Alternatives: Blue Dragon, Siege Spiritual Beast)
- Ach Axe (Siege Attack, Ground Defense, great debuffs)
- Fearless Ares Helm (Siege Attack, Ranged Attack, Mounted HP)
- Courage Ach Armor (Siege Attack)
- Courage Ares Leg (Siege Attack, other 3 stats are great too)
- Courage Ach Boots (Best of 4 mediocre options)
- Courage Ach Ring (Added siege range is ESSENTIAL. the Siege attack and ranged debuff are also amazing. What an item.)
Lastly we have a sub general. Unique case, because the only things that matter for sub generals are enemy troop debuffs. So he wears:
- Blue Dragon (Only dragon/beast that provides debuffs. He can fit pretty well here on a sub general if you have nowhere else important to use him.)
- Ach Axe (Best debuffs on a weapon imo. Ach spear is also a consideration)
- Courage Ach Helmet (Better debuffs)
- Courage Ach Armor (The -30% range/siege ares armor is a consideration, but since introduction of the 6x ach set bonus I think this is the clearly better choice.)
- Fearless Ach Legs (No brainer)
- Courage Ach Boots (No brainer)
- Courage Ach Ring (This ring is a little better because Ranged Attack is the best debuff… until you cap it out. See final note)
What to say about refining…
This is definitely one of the most misunderstood areas of the game, and one of the top places where people waste some of their most precious resources (gems and refine stones in particular) to achieve basically nothing.
Here is the logic that leads me to say that:
- Refining stones are extremely rare and valuable, when you consider how many you will need to properly refine an item. I ballpark a single “correctly” refined item (up to my standards anyway) at around 50,000 stones, minimum. So we’re talking at least 300k stones for 1 general’s gear. We don’t want to waste any.
- Refining an item that isn’t “best in class” is a waste. By this I mean, an item that will be replaced by something better as you grow bigger. Plan out your finalized gear sets FIRST.
- Settling for weak refinements on a good item is a waste. It will need to be redone at some point.
- Settling for incorrect refinements on an item is obviously a waste. So make a thoughtful plan first.
The previous section covers how to decide on the best items for your general, based on their desired purpose and troop focus. If we’re gearing up a ranged general for instance, the proper way to refine is to eventually get 4x ranged % increases… as high % as possible.
Note that the flat increases (ie. +532) are worse. It’s a little unclear how much worse, but depending on how the math shakes out, I think the top result for a flat increase is only equivalent to about 12-15%.
Where to Start?
What are the first items we should dare refine?
Here is a shortlist of the earliest “best in class” items you can find. It’s worth refining these, so if you feel ready, these are great places to start when you unlock them.
1. The King’s Equipment Gathering items. See this section in the gathering guide for details on what particular items I mean. The earlier you can do this, the better.
Weapons, Helmets, and Leg Armor can be refined for gathering speed. King’s equipment can go up to 15% x4. You should enhance what the item is already good at. So if the item is designed for Stone Gathering, then add Stone Gathering Speed.
For example, you can refine your King’s Sword and Fearless Hero Leg Armor for Stone Gathering Speed, and it will benefit you for as long as you play this game. Obviously you should prioritize the gear that you use the most.
2. The Red Dragon (from Lv26 pasture). Unless you place top 50 in All Star Battlefield and unlock Ladon, this is the best beast/dragon you will ever get for a Ranged-focused attacking general. Why? Because it has built in ranged attack and march size. So if we lock it into that purpose and further enhance it towards that, it’s the best thing we can do. Let’s use our refines to further improve its ranged attack. (the most important stat for ranged attackers).
3. The Courageous Dragon Ring (from Lv27 Forge), which provides 28.0% Double Items Drop Rate. This will always be the best ring for a general that kills bosses. If we refine it for Mounted Attack, our boss killer will do a better job. Technically there are some Ares/Ach rings that are better for PvP Mounted. But in my opinion, anyone who doesn’t use the Courageous Dragon Ring for boss battles is shooting themselves in the foot.
4. The Purple Dragon (from Lv30 Pasture). Unless you unlock wonder 3, which is one of this game’s most challenging tasks, this is the best beast/dragon for Mounted or Siege attacking generals. Most people use him for mounted, so I’ll speak on that. He comes with built-in Mounted Attack and March Speed. So let’s further enhance Mounted Attack to make the dragon excel at this purpose.
5. The Ares Spear and/or Bow (from Lv30 Forge). These weapons are better for attacking generals than their Lv33 Achaemenidae counterparts. Just compare them, it should be obvious why. These weapons have fairly lax requirements to unlock, compared to some other Ares items, so you should be able to get one shortly after achieving Keep Lv30.
The other exciting thing about them is that you can refine weapons for Attack %! A properly refined spear or bow will be worth somewhere around 150-160% mounted or ranged attack, respectively. Just for one item. That’s huge! Especially at K30.
6. The other Ares items. Refer to the previous section and select the best possible final items for your Ranged, Mounted, Ground, Wall, or whatever general. If one of those is an Ares item, and you can build it, feel free to refine it.
How to Refine?
Refining itself is pretty simple and easy. It really just has these core mechanics:
- Spin for random bonuses.
- Accept the results if they’re better than what you had
- If you get a result you want to keep forever, lock it in. (costs gems).
Ares Equipment (above) can go up to 25%.
King’s Equipment (below) can go to 15%.
Simple enough, right? So why have I placed this section all the way down here?
Because, if you start refining without a solid plan, you will mess up, and you will waste those incredibly scarce refine stones, and you will waste gems. You should carefully read the previous sections about equipment and the introduction to refining, before ever actually attempting to do it.
You should have a plan, down to the specific detail of what stat % you are willing to settle for. It’s not really viable for anybody to aim for 24-25% x4. That would probably cost 500k refine stones and millions of gems. Per item. But you don’t want to settle for 19%, 18%, 14% either, because eventually, I promise you, that’s going to bother you. You will just have to redo the item.
Check out my bow (left). When I first did it, I thought it was great! But now it upsets me and I’m going to eventually redo it from scratch. Now check out this other bow that makes me jealous (right). It probably cost this player more refine stones than mine did, but he will never have to redo this item. Don’t settle!!
Here’s a rough guide to my standards today:
- First lock-in needs to be 24% or higher
- Second lock-in needs to be 22.5% or higher
- Third lock-in needs to be 21% or higher
- Fourth lock-in, we’ll take pretty much anything. We can always come back later and improve the last one.
You may have higher or lower standards than me, but I do suggest following this basic formula of more patience at first, and settling for less with each lock-in.
Why do the numbers descend like this? It’s because of the related costs and probabilities. The more lines you roll at a time, the higher chance you’ll find something good, and the cheaper it is (gemwise). Until you lock something in, the rolls don’t cost any gems at all. So it makes sense to be way more patient for higher numbers on your first rolls.
Yes, being patient sucks. You will sometimes roll dozens and dozens, if not hundreds of times, and feel like you’re getting nowhere. That’s just how it is. Like I said earlier, with my above-mentioned standards it usually takes me about 30,000-50,000 stones to finish a single Ares/Ach item. And you might be way more or less lucky than me, I have no idea!
ONE FINAL TIP that can potentially save you a lot of refine stones and a lot of headache. This is not a proven theory, but a lot of testing by myself and others points towards it being correct.
When spinning for bonuses, if you see higher numbers, Accept it (not saying to lock that in – just to accept the result). No matter what it is.
The theory is that high numbers lead to finding more high numbers. If you have 20% and 22% for anything, even sub construction speed or troop load or whatever. It will give you a higher chance of finding more high numbers.
The reverse seems true also: if you’re stuck in 6-10% land, it’s hard to find anything too much higher than that. So accept those high numbers, and consider it progress if your numbers get higher and higher, even if you haven’t found anything worth locking in yet.
Keep in mind that you still only want to lock in a super-high result on the actual stat you need.
So go ahead and get started! Grab a best-in-class item as outlined in the last couple sections, roll until you find 24-25% and lock it in 🙂