Best Kusunoki Masashige Commander Guide: Skills, Talent Builds, Pairs & Roles

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Kusunoki Masashige is an epic commander that released in the original Rise of Kingdoms game. He is a solid garrison commander who specializes in archer and excels at using his combat abilities to aid him against the enemies.

Kusunoki Masashige
Best Kusunoki Masashige Commander
Title: Bushido Spirit
Civilization: Japan
Base Power: 600
Rarity: Epic
Archer ROKSkill ROK

Kusunoki Masashige Summary:

  • Deals damage up to 3 targets.
  • Increases counterattack damage by 7% while serving as garrison commander.
  • Increases archer attack by 15%.
  • Increases archer defense by 15%.
  • Small chance for troops to deal extra 450 damage per second.

Why Kusunoki Masashige is the Best Commander?

  • Sustained damage and can hit multiple targets.
  • Great defender thanks to increased counterattack damage bonus.
  • Always have a chance to deal additional damage with troops.
  • Boosts archer troops’ combat capabilities.
  • Good combatant commander on the battlefield.

Background Information

Kusunoki Rise of Kingdoms Commander

Kusunoki Masashige was a 14th-century samurai who fought for Emperor Go-Daigo in the Genkō War, the attempt to wrest rulership of Japan away from the Kamakura shogunate and is remembered as the ideal of samurai loyalty.

His origin has not been validated and it was merely six years between the start of his military campaign in 1331 and his demise in 1336. He received the highest decoration from the Meiji government of Japan in 1880. Legend has it that Emperor Go-Daigo had a dream in which he was sheltering under a camphor tree (“kusunoki”), and that this dream led him to the surname of the warrior who would support him.

Kusunoki Masashige is a hero because he “stands in the history of his country as the ideal figure of a warrior, compact of civil and military virtues in a high degree.”


Welcome to our in-depth Rise of Kingdoms guide for Commander Kusunoki Masashige. This informative guide was created to help provide an overview of Kusunoki Masashige skills, talent tress, gameplay, strategies, and guides in Rise of Kingdoms. The purpose of this overview guide is to help new and experienced players understand how to play Kusunoki Masashige effectively and maximize your strategic advantages.

Kusunoki Masashige is the starting epic commander for Japan and is one of the best balanced commander due to combination of defensive skill build and offensive skill build. Just like Sun Tzu for China, both commanders features Garrison skill that enhances their defensive capabilities when under attack by enemy forces. Kusunoki Masashige specializes in archer type as majority of his skills increases archer’s health, damage, and direct damage factor.

To obtain Kusunoki Masashige, you need to gather 10 Kusunoki Masashige sculptures. Once you get 10 Kusunoki Masashige sculptures, navigate to the Commander Selection Screen on the lower right corner. Scroll and tap on Kusunoki Masashige to summon him. He comes with Archer, Garrison and Skill abilities that makes him one of the best pick for defense and PvP/PvE field in Rise of Kingdoms.

Best Kusunoki Masashige Skills

In this part, we will cover skills that Kusunoki Masashige uses during the battles. While I want to point out that this epic commander prefers Archer due to combination of skills and talent tree. It’s optimal that you invest only archer in Kusunoki Masashige’s army in order to maximize his potential power.

Kusunoki Masashige ROK
Shichisei Hōkoku
Shichisei HōkokuRage Requirement: 1000


Removes all negative and control effects from Kusunoki Masashige’s troops. In addition, deals direct damage to a maximum of 3 targets in a fan-shaped area, then deals additional damage to targets each second for the next 2 seconds.

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Direct Damage Factor: 150 / 180 / 210 / 250 / 300
Additional Damage Factor: 100 / 130 / 160 / 200 / 250

This active skill is actually pretty strong when it comes to negating the effects from enemy’s forces. Damage over time, damage reduction, increased damage taken, and all of these negative effects will be lift by this active skill. Bonus point, the commander will deal direct damage to the enemy instantly and two more heavy strikes in the next 2 seconds. When maxed out,  it does a total 1,400 damage which is solid active skill. Invest in this skill first.

The Worthy Men
The Worthy Men ROKIncreases garrison counterattack damage when this commander is service as garrison commander.


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Garrison Counterattack Damage Bonus: 1% / 2% / 3% / 5% / 7%

The Worthy Men is an okay skill and only really shines when you place Kusunoki Masashige as the garrison commander during the wars. The 7% counterattack damage bonus is nice that serves cold on the top of Kusunoki Masashige’s combined direct and AoE damage.

Bravery and Wisdom
Bravery and Wisdom ROKIncreases the attack of archer units and defense of archer units.


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Archer Attack Bonus: 4% / 5% / 6% / 8% / 10%
Archer Defense Bonus: 4% / 5% / 6% / 8% / 10%

Bravery and Wisdom is another must-invest first passive skill that increases your archer’s attack and defense bonus. If you are running pure archer with Kusunoki Masashige, the 10% bonus goes a long way. Not only your archer will live longer, but they do more damage which is actually a nice passive skill.

Tragedy’s End
Tragedy's End ROKNormal attacks of troops have a chance to deal additional damage each second to the target for 2 seconds.


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Additional damage factor: 150 / 200 / 250 / 350 / 450

Believe it or not, Tragedy’s End is a very strong passive skill that you definitely will want to invest in. Basically, your troops have a chance to deal direct damage for up to a total 900 damage at max level. This passive skill goes nicely with Kusunoki Masashige’s active skill that makes up for majority of his strong direct damage factor.

Soul of the Samurai
Soul of the Samurai ROKIncreases the attack of archer units by 15% and defense of archer units by 15%.

Soul of the Samurai enhances Bravery and Wisdom by granting 5% additional bonus to archer’s defense and attack value. This expertise skill is amazing for pure archer army.

Best Kusunoki Masashige Talent Trees

In the next part, I am going to share the best talent builds for Kusunoki Masashige. There are three viable talent builds that you can pick for this commander. Depending on your strategy and gameplay, a specific talent build might be better suit for this commander based on your needs.

However, when it comes to playing in Rise of Kingdoms, Kusunoki Masashige is a very strong epic commander that shouldn’t be underestimate. His already strong AoE and direct damage factor makes him one of the best PvP commander in field and to protect your city. Check out our list of best talent builds for Kusunoki Masashige:

Garrison Talent Build

Kusunoki Garrison Talent Build Tree

If you plan to roll Kusunoki Masashige as your garrison commander, then this talent build is the best route. Ultimately, you want to invest majority of talent points into the Garrison. Then a small portion of the points goes into blue to help with rage generation so that he can dish out his active skill more often.

A few talent points goes into Archer area that both increases archer type’s healthy and damage. Which makes this talent build an ideal choice to roll with archer but is still flexible enough for some cavalry and infantry if you prefer.

Nuker Talent Build

Kusunoki Nuker Talent Build Tree

This talent tree focuses on transforming Kusunoki Masashige as your main nuker for PvP purpose. By taking advantage of his already strong direct damage factor against multiple targets, majority of the points are invested in improving archer’s attack, health and defense values.

When you max out passive skills with Kusunoki Masashige, the bonus values adds up a lot to the archer. Which turns this commander into a killing machine. Not to forget to mention that this talent build also dramatically increase the rage generation by a large margin. Excellent talent build for blowing past the defenses.

Field Talent Build

If you prefer to play PvE with this commander but want to stick to pure archer type, you can start investing in field talent build. Basically, this talent build empowers your troops’ march speed and active skill damage. Just like the Nuker Talent Build, this talent build also generate rage fast.

Personally, I like this build since it takes a much more balance approach for both PvE and PvP purpose. Which really makes sense if you want to have a commander for various purposes instead of just keeping him / her for garrison only.

Star Level & Talent Point Upgrade Priority

In the next part of our Best Kusunoki Masashige commander guide, I am going to talk about star level & talent point upgrade priority to maximize your commander’s combat potential. Here’s how to prioritize your Kusunoki Masashige effectively:

Garrison Talent Build:

  • Level Kusunoki Masashige to 2 ⭐ and max out his second skill.
  • Level Kusunoki Masashige to 3 ⭐ and max out his third skill.
  • Level Kusunoki Masashige to 4 ⭐ and max out all of his skills.

Nuker Talent Build:

  • Keep Kusunoki Masashige to 1 ⭐ until you max out his first skill.
  • Level Kusunoki Masashige to 3 ⭐ and max out his third skill.
  • Level Kusunoki Masashige to 4 ⭐ and max out all of his skills.

Field Talent Build

  • Keep Kusunoki Masashige to 1 ⭐ until you max out his first skill.
  • Level Kusunoki Masashige to 3 ⭐ and max out his third skill.
  • Level Kusunoki Masashige to 4 ⭐ and max out all of his skills.

Best Secondary Commander Pairs

If you are looking for a good secondary commander to pair with Kusunoki Masashige. Then you have come to the right spot because in this guide, we are going to share the best secondary commanders to go with Kusunoki Masashige. Ideally you will want a secondary commander that will benefit from Sun Tzu’s role as a garrison commander.

So in a nutshell you want to pair another garrison commander with Kusunoki Masashige. But if you prefer to play field role with him, you can do that with any commanders other than the ones with gathering roles. Let’s find out who are the best secondary commanders to pair with Kusunoki Masashige.


Keira Rise of Kingdoms Commander

One of the best commander to pair with for hunting down groups of barbarians is Keira. With her active skill which does a moderate amount of damage and causes the target to take increased damage from incoming active skill. Keira pairs well with Kusunoki for both Ian’s Ballads and Ceroli Crisis whenever you need a solid splash damage boost.

In addition to that, she comes with a passive skill which increases the overall damage done to barbarians. If you are looking to level up your commanders quickly or to do the barbarians events more easily, Keira is a strong option for grouping barbarians and mowing them down with relative ease.


Best Hermann Commander

Hermann is one of the best silencer commander to pair with right now in Rise of Kingdoms. He has the same specialization as Kusunoki Masashige does and will help neutralize any potential nukers by disabling the enemies from activating their active skill.

Hermann does a great job at curbing your enemies’ rage bar each time he gets to use his active skill. But if you do expertise him, then he will silence the enemies for 2 seconds. This is a great way to frustrate your enemies while Kusunoki focuses at dealing damage. Alternatively, you can roll with El Cid if you prefer to gain slight edge in combat effectiveness while having the ability to disable your enemies’ active skills.

Sun Tzu

Rise of Kingdoms Sun Tzu Preview

Sun Tzu is definitely Kusunoki Masashige’s best friend. Why? Both covers each other’s weakness. Kusunoki Masashige focuses heavily on archer and delivering direct damage. While Sun Tzu focuses heavily on infantry and delivering AoE damage. You bring the best of both worlds when pairing Kusunoki Masashige and Sun Tzu as the garrison commanders and in PvP battles.

The damage and defense bonuses that each commander gives to both archer and infantry makes this pair a very strong pick. If you like the idea of being able to cover each other’s weakness, this pick is absolutely perfect for PvP battles and in garrison battles.

Julius Caesar

Rise of Kingdoms Julius Caesar

For some of you who are experienced with Rise of Kingdoms, this pick might come across as a bit of surprise. Although, this pair is great if you want to be able to take advantage of expanded troop capacity and powerful short-term buff that increases your army’s attack, defense and reduces your enemy’s strength.

The Julius Caesar & Kusunoki Masashige pair makes up the full strength for more archer that contributes towards insane direct damage. Additionally, you do more damage to enemy cities thanks to Julius Caesar’s passive skill that gives buffs against garrisons. Due to his flexibility and strong leadership, he is an ideal choice. And, if you don’t have him, Scipio Africanus is next in the line.


Lohar ROK Character Screen

If you want to accelerate the leveling process and to do more damage to neutral units, Lohar is the best commander to pair with Japan’s starting epic commander. Thanks to Lohar’s flexible army type, you can easily roll pure archer and dish out serious damage.

You don’t even have to worry that much about losing your units since Lohar’s heals a portion of total army after leaving the battle. So, if you ever want to speed-level Kusunoki Masashige (or any commanders), pair him with Lohar for some fun PvE action. Alternatively, you can use Aethelflaed if you have her since she is a stronger choice.

Best Kusunoki Masashige Equipment

Equipment Name Stats
Golden-Age Golden Age
  • +13% Defense
Revival-Helm Revival Helm
  • +7% Defense
Revival-Plate Revival Plate
  • +7.5% Attack
Revival-Gauntlets Revival Gauntlets
  • +4.5% Attack
Revival-Greaves Revival Greaves
  • +7.5% Defense
Cloud Racers Cloud Racers
  • +5.5% Attack

Set Bonus: 

  • +3% Attack
  • +3% Defense
Overall Stats:

  • + 15% Attack
  • +31% Defense
  • + 5.5% Health
Equipment Name Stats
Dragon’s-Breath-Bow Dragon’s Breath Bow
  • +20% Defense
Dragon’s-Breath-Helm Dragon’s Breath Helm
  • +11% Attack
Dragon’s-Breath-Plate Dragon’s Breath Plate
  • +11% Health
Dragon’s-Breath-Vambraces Dragon’s Breath Vambraces
  • +7.5% Attack
Dragon’s-Breath-Tassets Dragon’s Breath Tassets
  • +11% Attack
Dragon’s-Breath-Boots Dragon’s Breath Boots
  • +7.5% Defense

Set Bonus: 

  • +3% Attack
  • +3% Skill Damage
  • +5% Health
Overall Stats:

  • +32.5% Attack
  • +27.5% Defense
  • +16% Health

Best Kusunoki Masashige Review


Best Kusunoki Masashige Commander Guide: Skills, Talent Builds, Pairs & Roles
Best Kusunoki Masashige Commander Guide: Skills, Talent Builds, Pairs & Roles
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