Best Cao Cao Commander Guide ROK

Best Cao Cao Commander Guide: Skills, Talent Builds, Pairs & Roles


Welcome to our in-depth Rise of Kingdoms guide for Cao Cao. This informative guide was created to help provide an overview of Cao Cao 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 Cao Cao right and maximize strategic advantages.

Cao Cao is a legendary commander with China as his nationality. He is obtainable via gathering 10 Cao Cao sculptures. Once you have acquired the required materials, go to the Commander tab to summon Cao Cao. He is an unique commander with above the average offensive combat capabilities and can be opted for barbarian hunting in contrast to Aethelflaed and Boudica if you prefer speed.

Since Cao Cao specializes in cavalry, which means your troops will get attack, health and defense bonuses under his leadership. Emphasis on the march speed is also greatly enhanced which makes him one of the fastest legendary commander in Rise of Kingdoms.


Best Cao Cao Skills

In this part, we are sharing the best Cao Cao skills and dive deep on how you can use them to your advantage. As I pointed out early in the introduction section that Cao Cao is a cavalry-focused commander, which means you can expect his skills to benefit horsemen the most. Ideally, you should be going for pure cavalry troops build to maximize his skills. Here’s list of Cao Cao skills below:

Cao Cao ROK

Dragon Rider
Rage Requirement: 1000
Deals direct damage to the target, and decreases target’s attack and march speed for 3 seconds.Upgrade Preview:
Direct Damage Factor: 600 / 800 / 1000 / 1200 / 1400
Attack Reduction: 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% / 40%
March Speed Reduction: 5% / 6% / 7% / 8% / 10%

The Dragon Rider is one of the most powerful active skill that deals heavy blows to enemy targets. In addition to that, their attack is reduced by 40% and march speed is reduced by 10%. Which means when you are playing Cao Cao, you will be able to crowd control them effectively.

The Qingzhou Army
Increases the damage on Barbarians.

Upgrade Preview:
Bonus Damage To Barbarians: 10% / 20% / 30% / 40% / 50%

Simply put, the flat 50% damage bonus towards barbarians is too good. This passive skill makes it easy enough for Cao Cao to exterminate neutral units with relative ease.

Tiger Knight
Increases cavalry units’ march speed and attack.

Upgrade Preview:
Cavalry March Speed Bonus: 3% / 4.5% / 6% / 8% / 10%
Cavalry Attack Bonus: 10% / 15% / 20% / 25% / 30%

As I mentioned previously that Cao Cao is a cavalry-focused commander, this passive skill further cements the need to use pure cavalry build. All cavalry-type will gain 30% attack bonus and march 10% faster. Which makes him one of the fastest commander in Rise of Kingdoms.

Lofty Ambition
Troops’ normal attacks have a 10% chance to heal a portion of the slightly wounded units, restores rage, and increases troops’ march speed by 20% for 3 seconds. Effect can only trigger once every 2 seconds.

Upgrade Preview:
Healing Factor Bonus: 500 / 600 / 700 / 800 / 1000
Rage Restored: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 100

The fact that this can be trigger once every 2 seconds as opposed to some of the commanders who have 3 seconds to 5 seconds trigger restriction makes this passive skill very powerful. Plus, each time this is triggered, troops gets healed for 1,000 and upwards to 100 rage is restored that helps Cao Cao maintains his active uptime.

Emperor Wu of Wei
Increases cavalry attack by 25%, decreases troop defense by 10%

A flat 25% attack bonus towards cavalry and reduces enemy defense by 10% is simply too good. This is an enhanced skill which will be automatically picked up once you unlock and max out all skills.

Best Cao Cao Talent Trees

As you have seen the preview of Cao Cao’s skills, we will be talking about the best talent builds for this legendary commander. He is one of the best peacekeeping commanders due to his unmatched speed and offensive combat capabilities. However, we have 3 best talent builds that we highly recommend for this legendary commander. Without further ado, here’s the best Cao Cao talent builds:

Peacekeeping Talent Build

Cao Cao Barbarian Talent Build ROK

By default this is the best talent build if you plan to roll Cao Cao as a specialized barbarian hunter for speed. The peacekeeping talent build maximizes on damage towards barbarians as well as experience gained. Some of the points are invested in building rage and further increasing cavalry damage as well as march speed.

PvP Talent Build

Cao Cao PvP Talent Build ROK

Believe it or not, Cao Cao is great in PvP battles. If you plan to use him for battles in Expedition, then use this talent build. Because expedition is a short battles, often consisting of scenarios and face-off against other player, you do not need speed. In this talent build, majority of the points are focused on improving cavalry’s attack, defense and health values. Some of the points also helps build resistance against movement impairments which enemy commanders gain damage bonus when slowed as a defensive counter-effect.

Field Talent Build

Cao Cao Field Talent Build ROK

Another great talent build for Cao Cao that focuses on providing support to your friendly commanders and team members. The field talent build greatly increases march speed, provides resistance to movement impairment effects. Not just only that it transforms Cao Cao into a lighting fast commander, cavalry also gains bonuses toward health, defense, attack and march speed. An exceptional talent build for any player who wants to provide support with speed in mind.

Best Recommended Roles (Primary / Secondary)

While Cao Cao is a strong commander and pretty much fits in the primary role. Secondary role is also suitable for him when there’s a commander that focuses on damage the most, especially for nukers who can take advantage of their own talent builds. Otherwise, Cao Cao is definitely the best for barbarian hunting when paired with other commanders that has similar skill set.

Mixed Armies

  • DPS (Secondary)
  • Tank (Secondary)
  • Budget Siege (Secondary)

Pure Infantry

  • DPS (Secondary)
  • Tank (Secondary)
  • Budget Siege (Secondary)

Pure Cavalry

  • DPS (Primary / Secondary)
  • Tank (Primary / Secondary)
  • Budget Siege (Secondary)

Pure Archers

  • DPS (Secondary)
  • Tank (Secondary)
  • Budget Siege (Secondary)

Best Primary Commander Pairs

Likewise, there’s a number of commanders that pairs pretty well with Cao Cao. Unless you are rolling Cao Cao for barbarian hunting, he is going to take the back seat. In the other words, he is good as a secondary commander when there’s a primary commander that’s damage-focused especially in PvP battles and alliance wars.

Mehmed II

Mehmed II ROK

Cao Cao and Mehmed II pairs pretty well. Mehmed II is a very powerful nuker and best of all, he is incredible flexible. He can easily work with pure cavalry build and stands to take advantage of the passive skill bonuses that Cao Cao gives.

Furthermore, Mehmed II covers one of Cao Cao’s hindsight, lack of the ability to deal AoE splash damage. The combined of direct damage factor and splash damage only means this combo can deal massive amount of damage. Not to forget to mention that Mehmed II is capable of clearing enemy garrison fast thanks to his enhanced skill.

If you don’t have Mehmed II, then Baibars is a good alternative choice that capitalizes on slowing down your enemies and does relatively a good job at clearing enemy garrisons.

Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan ROK

If you are in need of a powerful single-target nuker, Genghis Khan pairs well with Cao Cao. Since both deals direct damage factor to a single target and stands to benefit a lot from each other due to dual cavalry-focus specialization.

Genghis Khan is good as a primary commander because of his talent builds are designed around damage-dealing effects. Plus, he has a small chance to activate his active skill for free, which will cause massive amount of damage. Cao Cao, on the other hand will benefit from Genghis Khan active skill damage bonus. Plus, his healing effects gets improved which means more troops will be able to survive during the battle.

While Genghis Khan can be obtained after the kingdom turns 120 days old, an alternative option to this legendary commander is Pelagius.


Best Attila Commander ROK

Lastly, Attila is a solid legendary commander to pair with Cao Cao. He goes into primary role and will transform this combo into a very powerful debuffer force, thanks to Attila’s active skill. The debuff effects will be able to neutralize enemy’s combat capabilities, which allows the troops in this combo deal high and sustained damage.

Likewise, both Attila and Cao Cao stands to benefit the most from each other as they both are cavalry-focused. If you don’t have Attila, Belisarius is a solid alternative choice and pretty much does the same as Attila, just slightly less power.

Best Cao Cao Gallery

Cao Cao ROK

Cao Cao Active Skill

Cao Cao Rise of Kingdoms

ROK Cao Cao


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