Best Sunset Canyon Guide and Tips for Beginners

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Sunset Canyon is another popular campaign mode after Expedition Mode in Rise of Kingdoms. This mode is the place where you get to put your troops against other players and duel for rewards.

Both of the players will have the same amount of Tier 3 troops. Only commanders’ gears, skills and primary talent builds will take effect during the Sunset Canyon duel.

In this guide, I am going to share the best Sunset Canyon tips for beginners to maximize your winning chance. Every time you win a battle, you will earn tomes which is an experience book that can be used to power level your commanders.

Doing Sunset Canyon is a very good way to level up yourself quickly and a fun way to test your commanders before dispatching them to a real battle on the map, like The Lost Kingdom event and such.

Without further ado, let’s dive deep in this guide and find out what you can do to increase your winning chance in Sunset Canyon mode as a free-to-play player.


  • Basic Sunset Canyon Game Rules
  • Best Sunset Canyon Commanders
  • When to do Sunset Canyon
  • Troops Formation in Sunset Canyon
  • How to Increase Dispatch Size to 5

Basic Sunset Canyon Game Rules

Sunset Canyon Mode

Before you start playing Sunset Canyon mode, there’s a few general game rules that you need to know first:

  • All governors will have up to 5 free challenge attempts per day.
  • Additional attempts will cost you a challenge ticket.
  • To obtain a challenge ticket, you need to complete daily objectives.
  • Victorious governor will earn rating points and the defeated governor will lose rating points.
  • Sunset Canyon lasts for 7 days. At the end of each season, governors can claim season rewards based on their ranking.
  • Whenever a new season begins, the governor needs to complete at least one Sunset Canyon challenge to obtain an initial rating in order to participate.
  • Level of your commanders, talents and equipment will take effect during the Sunset Canyon mode. No other buffs will have an impact on the outcome of battle.

And then there are challenge rules that limits what you can do:

  • All governors can dispatch up to 5 armies at a time.
  • Governors need to place their armies in one of the following 8 squares.
  • Army that are positioned at the front row will attack first followed by the back-row. If there is no targets directly in the front, then they will attack the closest target.
  • Defeat your opponent armies within the timer limit to claim victory and receive rewards.

Best Sunset Canyon Commanders

In Sunset Canyon battles, having high level commanders matters more than the quality of your commanders. This is important in early games because epic commanders are easy to level up and gain power quite quickly.

Therefore, you will want to focus on power leveling commanders, including Aethelflaed since she is a free-to-play commander and can be obtained via Expedition Mode. Pour your tome books in upgrading your main commanders to gain power and expertise.

Recommended Commanders for Sunset Canyon

Below is a list of recommended commanders to use in Sunset Canyon:

Sun Tzu
Rise of Kingdoms Sun Tzu Preview

One of the best commanders to play right now in Sunset Canyon for beginners and free-to-play players is Sun Tzu. His active skill can hit up to 5 targets and generates a minor amount of rage.

Plus one of his passive skills increases the damage of active skill by 20%. Which makes him an incredibly popular epic commander to pair with nukers such as Mehmed II for instance.

Baibars ROK Selection Screen

Baibars is a solid cavalry commander to play in Sunset Canyon because of his powerful active skill and the bonuses that he gives to cavalry troops are big enough to transform his army into a major force.

His active skill hits up to 5 targets and slows them down. This makes a perfect combo to pair with Aethelflaed who gains increased damage against slowed targets. Making it possible to deliver devastating blows in the early game.

Joan of Arc
Best Joan of Arc Commander ROK

Joan of Arc is a very good epic commander to expertise in. She is a powerful rage generator once you max her out because when she activates her active skill, she gains 50 rage per second for 4 seconds (200 rage in total).

This makes it possible to pair with commanders such as Boudica to maintain high buff uptime for the troops. Not just only that, Joan of Arc works well with Hermann if you need a solid silencer to hold off the nukers.

Leonidas I
Leonidas I Rise of Kingdoms Guide

Truth to be said, Leonidas I is an amazing and absolutely beast commander when it comes to Sunset of Canyon. He is well equipped with some of the most damaging active skill and an incredible fast rage generation abilities.

Leonidas I pairs extremely well with all other infantry commanders. And as a bonus point, if Leonidas I army’s strength falls below 10%, then his troops will do 400% more damage and reduce damage taken by 50%. Which serves him as the ultimate final stand to deliver serious punches.

Hannibal Barca
Best Hannibal Barca Commander Rise of Kingdoms

Another solid commander to roll in the Sunset Canyon is Hannibal Barca. He is one of the most flexible and powerful attacking commanders that will have no issues working along with various troops. One of the main reasons why you will want to play Hannibal Barca in this game mode is his ability to reduce up to 3 targets’ attack and defense by 25%.

His already strong skill set makes him one of the most popular choices for this game mode. Because of his flexibility, you can pair him with cavalry commanders or even archer commanders if you are looking for additional damage boosts.

When to do Sunset Canyon

The secret trick to climb the ranking system quickly is to do all of the challenges at least a few minutes before the reset. This means do your Sunset Canyon challenges at around 23:50 UTC before the timer hits reset at 00:00 UTC.

Doing this means nobody can touch you during these final few minutes. In fact, you are much weaker when defending your rating compared to attacking. Because the opponent players can look at your formation and adjust to counter your troops.

Attackers have advantage in the Sunset Canyon mode.

But you will never have to defend your spot at all if you do Sunset Canyon late. It’s an easy way to top the spot pretty quickly and the majority of the players aren’t doing that.

This clock shows the current time for your server before the reset timer hits 00:00.

Troops Formation in Sunset Canyon

As an attacker in Sunset Canyon, you will want to format your armies around your enemy’s formation to maximize your potential damage. To illustrate this, each troops have a weakness and strength against other type of troops:

  • Infantry –> Cavalry
  • Cavalry –> Archer
  • Archer –> Infantry
  • Infantry + Archer + Cavalry –> Siege

In Sunset Canyon, siege units are absolutely useless and don’t do anything to help you win battle easily. They are good for conquering your enemy cities and gathering resources, but that’s just about everything for them. So, only use infantry, archers or cavalry troops.

Here’s a few ways to format your troops in Sunset Canyon:


Sunset Canyon Front Formation

Dispatching your armies at the front row will seek out the front row directly and attacks the back-row target behind them.


Sunset Canyon Back Formation

Dispatching your armies at the back row will seek the front row directly and attacks the back-row targets behind them.

Targeting Rows

Sunset Canyon Targeting Formation

When there is no direct front-row targets, then the army will seek closest front-row target and attacks the targets behind them.

How to Increase Dispatch Size to 5

To increase the number of armies you can dispatch to 5, you will need to upgrade your City Hall to level 22. This means investing your gems into upgrading your VIP Status to reduce building timer, accelerate rate of resource production and gather more resources to make progression.

With just 4 armies available to dispatch it is challenging to reach top 100 spots. Hell, you would be very lucky if you ever made into top 5 spots with just 4 armies. It’s very hard to obtain these spots as a free-to-play player without 5 armies.

Then you need to unlock Tier 5 troops as fast as you can so that you will have access to high-end military troops. I also wrote in-depth guide on how to avoid making mistakes with Tier 5 troops if your end goal is to become the strongest player in your kingdom.

Conclusion of Sunset Canyon Guide

That’s all Governors! I hope you find our best sunset canyon guide and tips for beginners helpful and informative. If you have any questions about how to increase your winning chance in this game mode, feel free to ask in the comment section below.

Lastly, if you want to have a smooth and optimal gaming experience. I recommend you to play Rise of Kingdoms on PC. It’s faster, smoother and gives you more flexibility to play your favorite game. You also can read my top reasons why I recommend players to play Rise of Kingdoms on PC.

Until then, happy ruling Governors and stay tuned for more Rise of Kingdoms news and updates at House of Kingdoms!

Best Sunset Canyon Guide and Tips for Beginners
Best Sunset Canyon Guide and Tips for Beginners
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