NEW VERSION!!!: 2021 version here with updated lists and reformatted for easier understanding. Includes an FAQ section.
This guide is my personal pick of beginner friendly heroes and a short list of heroes you should not get (yet) or invest too much on at the beginning of the game. Note that this guide isn’t to discourage you from building your waifu/husbando, since every hero is good if built properly.
Latest Update: Hilda Patch
For an overview of all heroes, check here.
King’s Raid has changed much over the years, and whatever is valid in 2017 might already be out of date by the time the next patch arrives. However, some heroes have remained beginner friendly and great for long term investment throughout many balance patches. (Beginner friendly meaning that they are good for clearing story maps/long term investment. I assume you’re not going into PvP yet.) Let’s have a look at some of them.
A general tip on team composition
A general 4-man team consists of a tank, a DPS (damage dealer), a sub-DPS/CC, and a support. The classes in this game is crazy so it cannot be said which class does what specifically. For example, the mechanics are mostly DPS, but Annette can be a support (and Cecilia is a friggin melee). The warriors are generally sub-DPS/CC, but Viska can be a tank.
The key is to make sure that your team has 1. a character that can take hits 2. a character that can utilize crowd control (CC) skills like stunning/freezing 3. a character than can deal good damage and 4. a healer. Most characters can be more than one of these, but do read the skill description to make sure you have everything covered.
Also, make sure that most characters in your team deals the same type of damage (physical or magic) so they can support each other well.
Now let’s move on to the heroes.
(Note: this guide does not cover every hero. This guide does not include NPC heroes (though I suggest getting Gladi, May, Juno, and Loman). I also excluded heroes that are generally not auto-friendly.)
Knight (the tanks)
All-around tank with self recovery and one extra life. She can also boost the team’s magic damage. In my opinion, she’s the best magic tank to start with when you’re still setting up your gears.
Everyone’s favorite onii-san is useful in beginner content. Can be used in both physical and magic team. Boost defense for the entire team and is still useful until late game content against bosses that deal physical damage.
Warrior (the melee/dodge tank)
She can be used as a sub-dps and CC in early content. Useful for variety of stages, a good CC that can mess up enemy lines. Her damage output is not that much, but her third skill can stun the entire map and is very useful. Can be used as a dodge tank.
Great CC and damage output, can constantly stun enemies. Be sure to use a tank with him since he can’t be used as a dodge tank.
(*Note: Theo is more suitable as a CC/sub-DPS because it is hard to time all his buffs to maximize his damage output.)
Has CC, dispel, and damage amplification. His third skill is useful in decreasing the boss’s gauge (especially dragons) in early game. Pair him up with someone who can deal good damage, since he doesn’t hit very hard.
Has damage amplifying skill which can boost the entire team’s dodge chance, and 2 CC skills. Good as a sub DPS and can be used as a dodge tank to a certain degree, though it’s not recommended. She is also commonly used in PvP.
Assassin (melee dps/generally annoying in PvP)
Also one of the most popular magic heroes and has high damage potential after her big buff some time ago. Also, maid elf.
Assassin is a complicated class since on one side there’s the PvP people and on the other, those that requires high investment like Roi (who got outperformed by Cecilia. I’m pissed).
Boss slayer lady with damage boost for the team, but she works as well in general PVE content because of her high hit counts. Tested her out, good starter DPS. Decent damage even on 1* UW.
Wizard (long range dps/sub dps/cc)
Artemia is currently one of the best wizard, with great damage output in both single target and multi target stages. Plus, her third skill can stun the entire map. Good for general PVE. Can also be used in PvP if heavily invested.
She is good at reducing CC bars and can deal decent damage with poison stacks. Comparable to the Maria of PVE. With her recent buff, she can also be used for PvP. (*Note: Lorraine’s role is a sub-DPS/CC, she’s not as effective as heroes like Artemia as a main DPS)
Aisha is a pure DPS with no CC, and her 2nd skill has some range and direction issues. However, she works well as a main DPS (with massive burst damage) even with low unique weapon star. She is one of your choices for early game DPS.
So you guys who read this post before might be confused why I kept taking her in and out. I’ve been using Aisha as one of my main DPS ever since she came out , but she fell out of use after Laudia, Theo, and Artemia came along. I had a big discussion with fellow guildmates Aisha users and found that the newbies are still using her and found her useful for clearing stages. That’s why I brought her back into the guide. I feel a bit more confident in Aisha now.
Archer (long range dps/sub dps)
Not really anyone I can recommend. Like assassins, this class needs a bit of investment to be any good. In short, the thing with this class is that people don’t usually build archers unless they like the character.
[Zafir is one choice for story PvE. He has a shield and a sandpit that can deal AoE damage + stun, but he works best on stages with 5+ enemies, so I cannot wholeheartedly recommend him. (He shines on stages like ToC 67 with skeleton mob and Trial of Sky.)]
[Yanne is also a good choice if you want to focus solely on dragons. Otherwise, other people works just as well. ]
Mechanic (long range dps/cc/support?)
Annette is a MUST HAVE support. She can carry you through most end game contents with her dispel, damage boost, and speed boost. She cannot be used as a DPS, though. If you want to use her instead of a priest, make sure your team has some lifesteal because her healing is not that strong.
She can get you through initial stages with her area damage and CC. Can also be used later in Cain trials.
She’s an all-rounder, got you covered on both single and multiple target content. Doesn’t need high investment. Very suited to PVE content and Trial of Sky.
Seriously, I recommend getting this crazy lady if you have no clue who to choose for a physical team. She is closest to what this game calls a meta character.
Good starter priest that you can use while setting up gears. Useful single target heal that can keep your tank alive and still one of the best shields in the game. You can change her out with Fallen Frey later, but you can build her for some extra shield.
Fastest cleanse in the game, continuous healing, and an all-around support who can do anything from damage amplification to mana supplying to giving magic shield. Also a popular PvP priest. Okay early on but is getting outshined in late-game contents by newer priests.
Mana supplier with good healing and shield, plus a bit of CC. One of the most popular support characters. Widely used in all sorts of content except PvP.
Magic: Fallen Frey
Aside from being free, she’s an all-rounder DPS-style priest that can carry you through until late game content. Worth building. Meta priest. Can go with both physical and magic teams. Get her.
Mediana is still the best starter physical priest for PVE. Her healing is very reliable and her third skill can greatly increase the ATK of your DPS.
Heroes you should not get yet:
These heroes either 1) require high investment to be any effective 2) have been nerfed so bad and you’ll regret ever building them or 3) used in content that beginner players are not focusing on.
Needs high investment just so that he does not kill himself. His unique weapon should be at least 3 stars. If you’re confident you can get his weapon to 3 stars from the get-go, then go ahead and build this guy. He’s useful for late content and deals massive damage.
Other people outshine her on every aspect. She needs to be buffed. (*is getting a buff(?) this upcoming patch)
Not bad, but requires high investment. Has good CC but is too reliant on his unique weapon. If you do max him out, he can do insane damage.
Other people does her job better than her, but if you like her, go ahead. Like Dimael, with 5* unique weapon and soul stone, she does insane damage.
Only good in stages that are over two minutes long, with bosses like guild raid or world boss. She takes time to stack her boost, and her damage output in regular PVE stage is not good. She’s getting overshadowed by newer heroes like Kara and Laudia. Very limited utility.
Same reason as Lewisia. I think he recently got balanced but still needs high investment to do any good and is not suitable to general PvE.
Very good support, but you won’t need him just yet. Is useful in 6+ man content like world boss, dragons, and Dark Legion. Note him down since you’ll need him for late game content. Nicknamed Goddy by some players.
Was used to counter PVP cancer teams. He got a balance patch that improved his performance, but he’s still strictly PvP. Although people say he sucks, I still use him just to troll people.
Strictly a PvP character with a weird skillset where Vespa tried to force her to be usable in PvE, but nobody use her and there’s no particular niche where she can be used.
Has very limited uses. His healing is not that good, and his skills are useful only for certain situations like Challenge Raids. Also, Lucias is a meme because to get a certain skill to work, he needs to die first lol.
Healing is not reliable enough to use as a beginner priest. (Although her damage amp is VERY good in late game content. I really suggest building her if you start going into boss contents/dragon raids. However, she needs Dark Legion set with 16 Crit damage options, which I doubt you will want to work on yet.)
Shea needs high unique weapon star (5*) and CC resist (as close to 100% as possible). If you can get her there, she’s very useful for 4+ man content.
PvP hero, needs Soul Weapon to function well. You can get him later when you start serious PvP, since his skillset requires some understanding of the game’s various stats to maximize his potential. If you play on JP, you’ll likely encounter him in higher tiers arena.
He requires insanely high investment to be good. (Dude, I really don’t know why the wiki listed him as A-ranked in all content because that’s not what I’m seeing at all lol.) Leaves back line vulnerable when he dashes, which is an issue in some stages like dragons. Doesn’t deal a lot of damage unless heavily invested in. Usually seen as a dodge tank and he… well, he is such a good dodge tank that it became a meme. But is he a beginner-friendly DPS? Nah, if you want a physical DPS, just get Pansirone.
Okay, before you go ‘wtf’ at me, read her skill description. She’s not very friendly to people starting off and getting a hang at the game mechanics. Her niche is the Technomagic raid, and even there the veteran players are still struggling to pass. And other people can also do her job, which is why she doesn’t even shine there.
List of heroes removed from guide:
[Nia. At first people were recommending her because she has free cri rate and cri dmg. I tested her out in PvP and she works fine, although there are other heroes that does her job better than her even after the buff. For PvE, she can mess up enemy lines, but sometimes found herself surrounded and can easily get killed. The only place I’ve found her extremely useful is Siegfried raid, which is an end-game content that you guys need not concern yourselves with yet. Nia is sort of a troll character to mess up other people, don’t expect her to be your main dealer.]
[Requina. She was a meta character at one point but has since fallen out of use. You can build her if you want, she has massive damage potential and is good for early-game PvP, and currently is only used as a support archer in end game raids.]
Pay attention to your gear sets. Like other games, if you equip gears from the same set, it will give you bonus stats. The go-to set for starters is the Black Dragon set, which gives mana recovery so you can use your skills faster. (Don’t get this set for Bernheim/Dark Lord Kasel. He can’t recover mana.) For tanks, it’s the Frost Dragon set. Poison Dragon is useless. Later on, you will get more varied options like Manticore, Lava, Dark Legion, and so on, which are useful in more specific situations.
For damage dealers, people usually put a 2+2 match, meaning 2 Black Dragon gears and 2 Fire Dragon gears (this depend on which DPS you are building. Ask if you are not sure). The DPS will get both mana and crit rate boost. Tanks usually start off with Frost Dragon, but Black Dragon works just fine. Priests also usually go with Black Dragon. Once you keep playing, you’ll figure out which hero should swap to which gear set, so keep calm. I know this is overwhelming, but take it step by step and you’ll get there.
Veteran players will have a hard time giving you advice on which team you should get, since there are gazillions of ways to structure your team. I would recommend first to choose between physical team or magic team, and then pick a hero that you really like, then build your team around that hero. If you give the community the hero you like, they will be able to advise you on which other heroes go well with him/her.
The FB group is very supportive. They’ll answer any of your beginner questions, so go ahead and pop your questions in there. Also, feel free to comment under this post and I’ll try to answer every question I can.
If you’re already past beginner stage, I have another guide for you.