Best Sun Tzu Commander Guide: Skills, Talent Builds, Pairs & Roles

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Sun Tzu is an epic commander in Rise of Kingdoms. He is a very popular starter commander for the majority of the players, simply because he is best at dealing damage and absolutely demolishes on the battlefield thanks to his high splash damage. Plus, Sun Tzu benefits from being tanky as well and comes with a skill tree which increases his overall active skill damage.

Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu ROK Commander
Title: Tactical Genius
Civilization: China
Base Power: 600
Rarity: Epic
Infantry ROKSkill ROK

Sun Tzu Summary:

  • Hits up to 5 targets in a fan-shaped area damage.
  • Versatile.
  • Increases active skill damage by 20%.
  • Pairs well with nukers.
  • Reduces enemy damage in field battles by 10%.
  • Increases Infantry Health by 10%.

Why Sun Tzu is the Best Commander?

  • Very tanky.
  • Great for nuking.
  • Provides extra damage.
  • Fast rage generation.
  • Awesome support commander.

Background Information

Sun Tzu History ROK

Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, writer, and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, a widely influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and East Asian philosophy and military thinking.

Sun Tzu’s work has been praised and employed throughout East Asian warfare since its composition. During the twentieth century, The Art of War grew in popularity and saw practical use in Western society as well. It continues to influence many competitive endeavors in East Asia and Western World including culture, politics, business, and sports, as well as modern warfare.


Welcome to our in-depth Rise of Kingdoms guide for Commander Sun Tzu. This informative guide was created to help provide an overview of Sun Tzu skills, talent trees, 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 Sun Tzu effectively and maximize your strategic advantages.

Sun Tzu is a starting epic commander for China and one of the best defensive commanders due to his insane rage generation build that lets him deal a consistent splash damage. This commander specializes heavily in infantry as his preferred choice due to a passive skill that reduces damage taken and increases infantry attack value. To obtain Sun Tzu, you will need to gather 10 Sun Tzu sculptures.

Upon getting 10 Sun Tzu sculptures, go to Commander Selection Screen on the lower right corner. Scroll and tap on Sun Tzu to summon him. He comes with Infantry, Garrison and Skill abilities which makes him the best choice for playing both on the defense and offense in Rise of Kingdoms.

Best Sun Tzu Skills

In this section, we will cover skills that Sun Tzu uses during the battles. Keep it in your mind that Sun Tzu prefers infantry due to his passive ability and talent tree, so it is best that you consider pure infantry for this commander in order to comply with his skills to max potential power.

Rise of Kingdoms Sun Tzu Preview
An overview of Sun Tzu, Tactical Genius, when selected in the Commander Screen.
Art of War
Art of WarRage Requirement: 1000


Deals direct damage to a maximum of 3 targets in a fan-shaped area, and deals additional damage to these targets on the next turn. Sun Tzu gains additional rage for each target hit by his skills.

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Direct Damage Factor: 150 / 210 / 270 / 360 / 450
Additional Damage Factor: 50 / 70 / 90 / 120 / 150
Rage Restored: 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50

This active skill needs to be maxed out first due to the rage restoration effect. While Sun Tzu is able to dish out damage up to three targets at same time, he gains rage which makes it possible to use this ability more frequently. Max this skill out first before leveling up other skills.

Philosophy of War
Philosophy of WarReduces damage taken by the garrison when this commander is serving as the garrison commander.


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Garrison Troops Damage Reduction: 1% / 2% / 3% / 4% / 5%

In my opinion, this passive skill is pretty good if you plan to play Sun Tzu on the defensive side. The 5% damage reduction is very nice when you play as mixed armies for this commander. However, to maximize this commander’s potential, it is best to go pure infantry.

Master Strategist
Master StrategistIncreases troop damage reduction; increases infantry unit health.


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Damage Taken Reduced By: 4% / 5% / 6% / 8% / 10%
Infantry Health Bonus:4% / 5% / 6% / 8% / 10%

As mentioned previously throughout the best Sun Tzu commander guide that infantry is the preferred choice. Whenever you use Sun Tzu and have this skill maxed out, your infantries will take 10% less damage and have 10% more health. Thus making them more tanky which is great for defensive wars.

Ever-changing Tactics
Everchanging TacticsIncreases active skill damage.


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Skill Damage Bonus: 5% / 8% / 11% / 15% / 20%

The ever changing tactics is absolutely a nice bonus to your active skills. At max out skill, each time Sun Tzu activates Art of War, they will deal 720 damage to each enemy force which adds up to 2,160 damage every time he uses it. It is a pretty lethal passive skill when Sun Tzu uses it in conjunction with his active skill.

Book of Aeons
Book of AeonsDeals direct damage (Damage Factor 800) to a maximum of 5 targets in a fan-shaped area, and deals additional damage (Damage Factor 200) to these targets on the next turn. Sun Tzu gains additional 50 rage for each target hit by this skill.

This is the ultimate enhanced skill for Sun Tzu and makes him an ideal choice for fighting against multiple targets. Each time he uses this ability, he will deal 1,000 damage up to 5 targets. Which adds to a total 5,000 damage each use. With Ever Changing Tactics, it pushes the overall damage to 6,000 which makes it an absolutely must-have skill.

Best Sun Tzu Talent Trees

In the next part of our best Sun Tzu commander guide for beginners, we will talk about the talent builds. Whether you are just starting off or looking for an optimized talent build to start building, we have 4 recommended talent builds for Sun Tzu. Depending on your gameplay and strategy, these talent builds are designed to provide you maximal flexibility and to take advantage of the battles in your kingdoms. Check out these best talent builds for Sun Tzu:

Garrison Talent Build

Sun Tzu Garrison Talent Build ROK

This is the best talent build for garrison. Basically, it focuses on accelerating the speed of rage generation so that Sun Tzu can use his active skill more often. In addition to that, the troops under his leadership gain massive attack, defense and health bonuses while serving as the primary garrison commander. The boosted rage generation provides support for Sun Tzu against multiple targets which really helps a lot in dealing heavy damage.

Offense Field Talent Build

Sun Tzu Offense Field Talent Build ROK

The Offense Field talent build focuses on dealing higher damage towards the enemy targets. By maximizing the troops’ damage, this talent build ensures Sun Tzu is able to neutralize the enemies with relative ease. The speed of rage generation is also improved which helps out with dealing against multiple targets at the same time.

Speed Field Talent Build

Sun Tzu Speed Field Talent Build ROK

If you prefer not to clash heads-on with your Sun Tzu, perhaps you want to go on the support side. This talent build is similar to the Offense Field version but focuses on improving march speed and has a chance to reduce your enemy march speed. Allowing Sun Tzu to clamp down on them while letting the big players finish them off. Speed of rage generation is also improved that allows him to deal damage against multiple targets with his active skill.

PvP Talent Build

Sun Tzu PvP Talent Build ROK

Lastly, Sun Tzu is good for PvP battles due to his active skill. That being said, this talent build works the best when you are rolling pure infantry army under Sun Tzu’s leadership. The infantry gains massive bonuses to their health, defense and attack with this talent build. Furthermore, the speed of rage generation is greatly improved which only means he is able to cast multiple fireballs in a matter of seconds. An excellent PvP talent build for dealing splash damage during the battles.

Star Level & Talent Point Upgrade Priority

In the next part of our Best Sun Tzu 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 Sun Tzu effectively:

Garrison Talent Build:

  • Keep Sun Tzu at 1 ⭐ until you max out his first skill.
  • Level Sun Tzu to 4 ⭐ and max out all of his skills.

Offense Talent Build:

  • Keep Sun Tzu at 1 ⭐ until you max out his first skill.
  • Level Sun Tzu to 4 ⭐ and max out all of his skills.

Speed Talent Build

  • Keep Sun Tzu at 1 ⭐ until you max out his first skill.
  • Level Sun Tzu to 4 ⭐ and max out all of his skills.

PvP Talent Build

  • Keep Sun Tzu at 1 ⭐ until you max out his first skill.
  • Level Sun Tzu to 3 ⭐ and max out his 3rd skill. Ignore his second skill.
  • Level Sun Tzu to 4 ⭐ and max out all of his skills.

Best Commander Pairs

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

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

Bjorn Ironside

Bjorn Ironside Rise of Kingdoms Commander

One of the best epic commanders to pair with Sun Tzu right now is Bjorn Ironside. This is a brand new epic commander exclusive to governors who select the Vikings as their starting civilization. Bjorn Ironside was introduced to Rise of Kingdoms through the all new Vikings Update which brought an epic commander and a legendary commander: Ragnar Lodbrok.

If you are looking to further increase the offensive capabilities, Bjorn Ironside can dish out major damage against three targets at a time and apply a 15% skill damage taken debuff. Which will bring the total skill damage to a hefty 35% bonus — which is especially nice if you are starting off and do not have any legendary commanders in your roster yet.

Charles Martel

Rise of Kingdoms Charles Martel

Another stellar commander to pair with Sun Tzu is Charles Martel. This hefty, tanky commander comes with a self-absorbing shield that reduce amount of incoming damage. Since both commanders specializes in infantry troops and performs the best when defending cities. Sun Tzu’s skill damage modifier have the advantage of increasing Charles Martel’s active skill.

Which means he can raise the value of shield to withstand even more damage. Plus the damage bonus boost will last longer as long as the shield remains active. This combo is a big win-win for the governors who wants to be able to take advantage of improved shield capacity in addition to dishing out more damage. Not to forget to mention that Charles Martel have a decent counterattack damage bonus, which plays a big role in PvP battles.

Eulji Mundeok

Eulji Mundeok Commander

One of the best commanders to pair with is Eulji Mundeok. Both have the same army specialization which means they are able to benefit off each other. In addition to that, Eulji Mundeok is a solid debuffer that reduces the enemy defense by 30% and deals a moderate amount of direct damage factor.

Whenever your troops are under attack, he will have a small chance to increase your troops’ next attack damage by 100%. If you were to ask me, it is definitely a huge bonus. Dynamically, this pair is great when playing on the defensive side.

Alternative options if you have better commanders such as Alexander the Great, Charles Martel or Richard I to dramatically improve your defensive capabilities when serving as garrison commanders.


Best Aethelflaed Commander ROK Guide

Aethelflaed is another good commander to pair with. But in order to maximize this pair, Aethelflaed will fill the role as the primary commander mainly because you won’t be using this pair for garrison. One of the advantages doing this pair is improved experience gain and increased damage towards barbarians.

Which means you can speed level your Sun Tzu as fast as you want to. Aethelflaed comes with a flexible army skill set that will pretty much work well with Sun Tzu’s infantry specialization easily.

If you don’t have Aethelflaed just yet, your alternative options are Lohar, and Boudica.

Julius Caesar

Rise of Kingdoms Julius Caesar

If you want to have a solid primary commander that gives Sun Tzu’s army massive buffs and to deal heavy blows to your enemy targets. Julius Caesar is one of the best choices since he gives buff to your army and reduces enemy targets’ combat effectiveness. Plus, he expands the troop capacity which means you can add even more infantry.

Julius Caesar’s flexible skill set allows him to easily tailor around Sun Tzu’s infantry specialization to maximize this pair’s combat effectiveness. The reason why we recommend Julius Caesar is because he is one of the easiest legendary commanders to get early in the game.

Even better commanders to pair with Sun Tzu would be Mehmed II later in the game as he is equipped with powerful nuking abilities and can pretty much clamp down targets, allowing the pair to deal massive splash damage.

Optionally, you can pair Sun Tzu with Osman I if you don’t have both legendary commanders yet.

Best Sun Tzu Equipment Set

Equipment Name Stats
Gatekeeper's Shield Gatekeeper’s Shield
  • +8% Health
Windswept War Helm Windswept War Helm
  • +4.5% Attack
  • +3% Movement Speed
Windswept Breastplate Windswept Breastplate
  • +4.5% Defense
  • +3% Movement Speed
Calvin's Hand Calvin’s Hand
  • +4% Attack
  • +1% HP
Sentry's Breeches Sentry’s Breeches
  • +6% Attack
The Scarlet Hounds The Scarlet Hounds
  • +4% Health

Set Bonus: 

  • +2% Attack
Overall Stats:

  • + 16.5% Attack
  • + 4.5% Defense
  • + 13% Health
  • + 6% Movement Speed
Equipment Name Stats
Sakura Fubuki Sakura Fubuki
  • +13% Attack
Witch’s Lineage Witch’s Lineage
  • +8% Attack
Quinn’s Soul Quinn’s Soul
  • +8% Attack
Seth’s Brutality Seth’s Brutality
  • +5.5% Defense
Karuak’s Humility Sentry’s Breeches
  • +8% Health
The Scarlet Hounds The Scarlet Hounds
  • +4% Health

Set Bonus: 

  • No Set Bonus
Overall Stats:

  • + 29% Attack
  • + 5.5% Defense
  • + 12% Health
Equipment Name Stats
Shield of Eternal Empire Shield of Eternal Empire
  • +20% Attack
Gold Helm of the Eternal Empire Gold Helm of the Eternal Empire
  • +11% Defense
Plate of the Eternal Empire Plate of the Eternal Empire
  • +11% Attack
Vambrace of the Eternal Empire Vambrace of the Eternal Empire
  • +7.5% Defense
Greaves of the Eternal Empire Greaves of the Eternal Empire
  • +11% Attack
Sturdy Boots of the Eternal Empire Sturdy Boots of the Eternal Empire
  • +7.5% Defense

Set Bonus: 

  • +3% Defense
  • +10% March Speed
  • +5% Attack
Overall Stats:

  • + 47% Attack
  • + 29% Defense

Best Sun Tzu Review


Best Sun Tzu Commander Guide: Skills, Talent Builds, Pairs & Roles
Best Sun Tzu Commander Guide: Skills, Talent Builds, Pairs & Roles
  1. Sun Tzu is the easiest epic-quality Commander to level up for starting players. His active skill damage and 20% passive skill is just too strong. Great guide by the way.

  2. sun tzu + charles martel is good combo? (sun tzu first, charles martel secondary)

    • Reply
      House of Kingdoms June 23, 2021 at 8:59 pm

      Sure it is. Sun Tzu’s skill damage bonus increases the value of shield, which is great because he will be able to absorb more damage while the troops under this combo will get to do more damage for a bit longer.

    • Reply
      ROK 1767 WP67 WARLORD March 15, 2021 at 1:42 am

      Yes, its good but you think this or sun tsu plus aethefeald which is better

    • I did that too but I’m not sure if it’s good

  3. Hey dont you think sun tzu primary and bjorn ironside is also good

    • Bjorn primary so Sun can benefit from Bjorn`s active skill which reduces skill damage taken by the target

    • Hey Shu,

      Bjorn Ironside and Sun Tzu are awesome commander pairing for sure! I will be updating the commander guides with new information and commander pairings. Stay tuned!

  4. can I ask a favor . I have sun tzu primary commander and eluiji mundeok secondary commander am I must build infarnity or attack talent or both of them in eluji mundeok ?

    • Reply
      House of Kingdoms June 21, 2021 at 7:56 pm

      Only the primary commander’s talent will be used regardless of who the secondary commander is. So for Sun Tzu pairing any commander with infantry skills, you will want to roll pure infantry troops build. Sun Tzu with Eulji Mundeok, you definitely will want to use infantry troops with talent points invested into infantry build for the primary commander.

  5. What do you think of Sun Tzu + Richard?

Leave a reply

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