how to rank up champions in raid shadow legends

RAID: Shadow Legends Guide: Tips, Tricks & Strategies to Rank Up Your Champions and Grind to Midgame

RAID: Shadow Legends is an immersive role-playing game with a focus on collecting characters and customizing them. Your job, as the leader of a band of champions, is to rally the forces of Telaria, plow through every campaign stage, and sock the Dark Lord Siroth squarely in the face, ensuring he will never get up again.

Fortunately, you have a very diverse pool of champions to accompany you on this epic quest, each armed with a variety of weapons, magic, and dangerous appendages to aid your journey through the game’s campaign and various dungeons.

Unfortunately, getting this pool of heroes to the level where you can indeed take the Dark Lord down is another matter entirely. The game’s opening cutscene impresses this by having Siroth’s pet lizard eating your entire party alive with little effort. The journey of a thousand campaign stages begins with a single party wipe indeed. So, your other job from here on out is to make sure this never happens again.

Our goal, which this RAID: Shadow Legends writeup is going to help you with, is to get you all the way till stage 12-6 of the campaign mode on brutal, then get your team strong enough to beat stage 13 of the Minotaur dungeon, thereafter futureproofing you and any potential champion recruits from ever getting effortlessly destroyed ever again. And here’s how you’re going to do it.

raid shadow legends dragon

The first thing you should do after you pick your starting champion, or starter, is to progress as far as you can through the campaign with them and the other free heroes you get along the way. Feel free to pick who you like, because no matter who you picked, every starter has the skills to piggyback you and your other champions to the Dark Lord and beyond.

Let your team start slapping things around and get a feel for the game as they do so. Your main combination for a large chunk of your grind to midgame will be your starter spamming skills while the Warpriest you pick up at the end of chapter 1 strengthens your team attack and heals you when things get dicey.

If the stages with Force-type enemies are giving you trouble, don’t be afraid to use Warpriest or other champions of your choice as backup to clear it. Your starter can most likely handle the stages past them, especially if they have Spirit-type enemies. Do this until either your starter reaches max level or you cannot go any farther in the campaign.

When either your starter hits max level or your team of champions can no longer progress through the campaign, two vital components of RAID: Shadow Legends’s gameplay come to the top of your priority list: Leveling champions to raise rarity, and upgrading equipment. First we’ll cover rarity and raising it.

1. Rarity And Raising Ranks: The First Core Gameplay Loop

Rarity in RAID: Shadow Legends equals a massive amount of starting power. Higher rarity champions have significantly higher stats, starting amount of stars, known as rank, and more diverse skills compared to lower rarity ones. The higher the rank, the higher your champion’s maximum stats and level, or level cap. However, high rarity is not an absolute guarantee your champion will be good.

raid shadow legends magic keep boss

Some 4-star champions are hardly ever used, while there are some 3-star champions which are irreplaceable in certain team compositions. Examples of such 3-stars are Coldheart, Apothecary, and Spirithost. To elaborate, Coldheart debilitates pretty much every boss in the game with devastating status effects like healing reduction, accuracy debuffs, and poison. Apothecary both heals and speeds your team up with wonderful consistency, and Spirithost can buff attack and make sure your team aren’t debuffed, ever. Don’t ever count your 3 star champions out, or even your 2 stars. With enough grinding you can find a niche for them.

While starting rank differs according to champion, every champion’s rank can be raised by merging it with other champions once it hits max level. We call the champions you feed to others for the sake of increasing rank, fodder. The amount of fodder you need to merge, and their required rank, changes according to your base champion’s rarity.

Once your champion’s star rank goes up, its level resets to 1 but it gains a significant increase in base stats and will get even stronger once it reaches max level again. Since your starter begins at 3 stars, he or she will need 3 more 3-star champions to progress into 4 stars.

Related: RAID: Shadow Legends Beginner’s Guide: Tips, Cheats & Strategies to Outsmart Your Enemies

An important note is rarity and rank are different. You can upgrade a champion’s rank, but its rarity is determined by their starting rank. Common champions are 1-star, Uncommons are 2-star, Rares are 3-star, Epics are 4-star, and Legendaries start at 5 stars.

2. A General Overview Of Ranking Up, And The Leveling Loop

Ranking up champions is the first of Raid’s core ways to power them up, and is an arduous process early in the game. To give you an idea of how much work you need to do, let’s get into the numbers. disregarding 1-star champions for now. Now, a 3-star is composed of three 2-stars, one to upgrade and two to merge. So you merge two 2-stars into another 2-star to get a 3-star champion. Easy enough.

Following that though, getting a champion to 4-star will need three 3-stars in addition to the one you want to upgrade. And so on. If I put into words the sheer amount of champion fodder you’d need to farm, it’d be a massive headache to read so please see the attached flowchart instead.

raid shadow legends ancient shards

Raising your starter’s rarity to 4, 5, and eventually 6 stars will be your first foray into one of RAID: Shadow Legends’ main gameplay loops: Bringing along one farming champion and 3 champions you’ll be leveling as “fodder”. Most players prefer using 1-star or 2-star champions for this, since you never know if you’ll get a specific 3 star champion twice, let alone a spare 4 star champion.

Players gain fodder champions through playing campaign stages, which sometimes drop 1 to 3-star champions, or by spamming Mystery Shards, which you also get from campaigns or buy from the Market, and gives champions up to 3 stars in rarity as well.

So the loop to raise rank goes like this: Stick your starter and 3 fodder champions into the hardest campaign level your starter can reliably clear on its own, repeat the level until the fodder champions reach their max level, swap them out for 3 more champions, rank some of them up if need be, then rinse and repeat until you have enough food for your starter to reach 4 or 5 star rank. For 4 stars, you’ll need three 3-stars, and for 5 star rarity, you’ll need four 4-stars. And to get your starter up to 6 stars, you’ll need five 5 stars.

Throughout your journey into the campaign mode, you’ll be repeating this process to help you power through stages you get stuck in until you reach Chapter 12 stage 6 on Brutal. This is the first gameplay loop you’ll be using to power up your starter in preparation for soloing the campaign. Let’s move on to the second.

3. Equipment And Farming: The Second Core Gameplay Loop

If rank-ups are the first main way to power up your champion, equipment is the second. Compared to how ranking up is harder in the early-game and easier in the lategame due to 12-6 Brutal’s EXP gain per clear, equipment is relatively easy to start with in the early-game and absolutely heartbreaking in the lategame. This is because the game gives you a good starting set of equipment as part of the beginner’s 7-day login bonus and replacing the parts you don’t need is simply a matter of farming some early campaign stages on Hard mode.

raid shadow legends mastery tree

A full set of equipment comprises of the following parts, or “Artifacts” as the game calls them: A weapon, helmet, shield, gauntlets, chestplate, and boots. Each Artifact boosts one specific stat, such as attack, HP, defense, etc., and can be upgraded 16 times max, reflected by a “+” sign and the number of times it’s been upgraded right next to it. Upgrading them increases the stat boost, and at very 4th increment, adds another boost to a different stat. This is known as a substat.

When an Artifact has 4 substats, the upgrade randomly boosts an existing substat instead. Artifacts also have ranks and rarities, though unlike champions they cannot be upgraded. The rank determines how high the stat boost is, and the rarity determines how many substats the Artifact starts with. Any and all equipment, regardless of rank, can be upgraded to +16.

One of Raid’s rules of thumb is percentage values being infinitely more desirable than “flat” status increases. Helmets, Weapons, and Shield Artifacts will always give a flat boost to HP, ATK, and DEF respectively, but Gauntlets, Boots, and Chestplates can boost almost every stat with either flat or percentage values. Of note is that substats can be either flat or percentage boosts as well. A 6 star gauntlet which gives a flat amount of attack is very undesirable compared to a 4 or 5 star gauntlet with percentage attack.

The main exceptions to this rule are equipment with Speed, Accuracy, or Resistance as their primary stat due to how the calculations for them differ compared to HP, Attack, and Defense. Speed type equipment is especially treasured for certain support champions because they need to repeatedly outspeed rival champions in the arena, otherwise they die and can’t give your team the support they need.

Another thing about Artifacts is they come in “sets”. Each set has a unique icon and provides a “set bonus” depending on how many Artifacts of the same set you have equipped. There are sets for each stat, like ATK, DEF, etc. which give you a 15% increase to the stat if you have two pieces equipped, and there are sets which give your champion special abilities if you have 4 Artifacts from the set equipped. The Lifesteal set is one of the latter types, giving your starter the ability to heal according to how much damage he or she deals to enemies.

raid shadow legends set bonuses

Take note: you have to equip the specific number of Artifacts to get the set bonus, and you can have more than one bonus active at a time. As an example, you can equip 2 attack set Artifacts to get 15% ATK up and pair it with the Lifesteal set to gain the passive. It doesn’t matter what type of Artifact you have on, as long as they’re all from the same set. Unfortunately, if you only have 2 or 3 Lifesteal Artifacts, you don’t gain the bonus. This applies to similar sets as well.

Related: RAID: Shadow Legends Advanced Guide: Tips & Tricks to Level Up and Farm More Effectively

There are also Artifacts called Accessories, which always give flat bonuses to stats, though that’s for another guide.

For the sake of speedy progression, do not be afraid to get your starter’s lifesteal set all the way to +12 or even +16. 4 or 5 star white equipment for your gauntlets, chestplate, and boots are fine too as long as its main stat is attack % up. Do not be pressured into trying to farm the perfect blue or purple equipment for your starter; You’ll have a much easier time of it if you shell out on plain equipment for now.

4. Ascension: Seasoning The Champion

While going through your campaign, you may notice one of your starter’s skills has an exclamation point on it when you check its stats out. Upon poking the skill, you may also notice your starter needs to be “ascended to 3 stars” to give the skill a new effect. Allow me to briefly explain how to ascend your champions and why it’s necessary to you and your starter.

Ascension is the third way you can power up your champions. The maximum amount of times you can ascend a champion is determined by their rank; the more stars they have, the higher you can ascend them. Compared to using new equipment or ranking up champions, Ascension only gives decent powerups at 3 stars, where you unlock new skills or additional effects for existing skills, and 5 and 6 stars when you get extra accessory slots.

raid shadow legends ascension

The boosts you gain from ascending to the other star ranks aren’t really worth it, since they’re very minimal compared to increasing rarity, so the most advisable strategy is to farm for ascension materials until you 3 stars or 6 stars and save the rest for after you’ve done other things, like farming equipment or maxing out masteries.

You can earn the materials for ascending champions by running through the various keeps in Raid’s Dungeon mode. Each keep, except the Arcane Keep, corresponds to your champion’s type. Beat the dungeon corresponding to your starter’s element (the Magic Keep) and any other choice champions as well as the Arcane Keep to earn materials to ascend your champion to your desired star level.

Since this RAID: Shadow Legends guide is about getting to the midgame, you don’t have to worry too much because your starter can most likely sweep through the early dungeon stages of the required keeps and get ascended without much trouble.

Once you have your starter at 6 stars, ascended to at least 3 stars, at +16 for each equipment, and fully capable of soloing at least the Campaign’s 6th chapter on Brutal (since you get more EXP from there compared to Chapter 12 on Hard), you can start farming for rare champions to 6 star as well in order to pay a very violent visit to the Minotaur Dungeon.

5. Paying A Violent Visit To The Minotaur Dungeon

The Minotaur dungeon is the final step in powering up your champions to really tackle the myriad of content RAID: Shadow Legends has to offer. The stages in this dungeon give you mastery scrolls which allow you to power up champion masteries, which increase a variety of stats and give various beneficial status effects. There’s a whole smorgasbord of strategy involved in selecting masteries to turn your champion into an unstoppable killing machine, but two masteries stand head and shoulders above the rest for progression: GIANT SLAYER and WARMASTER.

how to beat the minotaur dungeon in raid shadow legends

GIANT SLAYER and WARMASTER are two of the strongest masteries in the game, especially for damage dealing champions. Their effects are as follows:

Warmaster

Has a 60% chance of inflicting bonus damage when attacking. Bonus damage is equal to 10% of the target Champion’s MAX HP or 4% of the target’s MAX HP when attacking Bosses. Bonus damage can only occur once per Skill and does not count as an extra hit. Damage based on: [Enemy MAX HP].

Warmaster mastery is excellent for all Champions that is used for Clan Boss and any Dungeon boss since it has higher chance to deal high amount of damage compared to Giant Slayer. Warmaster proc does not count as a hit on Fire Knight Dungeon.

Giant Slayer

Has a 30% chance of inflicting bonus damage when attacking. Bonus Damage is equal to 5% of the target’s MAX HP or 2% of the Boss’ MAX HP. Bonus damage can occur on each hit of a Skill, but does not counter as an extra hit. Damage based on: [Enemy Max HP]. Giant Slayer mastery is an excellent for Champions that can perform multiple hits on both their default and other abilities such as Coldheart. Giant Slayer proc does not count as a hit on Fire Knight Dungeon.

Once a damage dealing champion has access to either of these skills, any boss become so much easier to kill. The problem however, is gaining access to these skills in the first place.

The Minotaur is a fairly straightforward boss who will simply kill you if you don’t deal enough damage to him within a certain timeframe. Unlike the other, more aggravating dungeon bosses, the Minotaur is a simple, straightforward creature. The boss fight starts with him gaining the “Rage” buff, increasing the damage he deals by 400% for 3 turns. Once this wears off, he receives the “Dazed” debuff instead, which increases the damage he takes by 200%, which is your team’s cue to wail on him with every hard-hitting skill not on cooldown.

Related: RAID: Shadow Legends Champions Guide: The Best Legendary, Epic and Rare Heroes in the Game

how to unlock all masteries in raid shadow legends

The biggest issue with fighting this boss is building a team to help carry you all the way to stage 13, the most efficient stage to farm for your mastery scrolls. Your fully geared 6 star starter can only carry you so far, at the very least until stage 9. The good news is your starter can now help rank up your champions with devastating efficiency. Since you should have access to every stage in the Brutal Campaign, you can both level up fodder and begin farming for specific rare champions to help you take down the Minotaur and experiment with the other game modes in Raid! Which brings us to…

6. Farmable Champions To Pave The Way Forward

Of the farmable rare champions, the best ones you can get are Diabolist, Berserker and Spirithost due to their various utilities. Spirithost can be your primary buffer so be sure to give her as much speed as you can from both primary stats and substats to make sure she can cast her skills without dying. Berserker serves as an attacker who will finish off any enemies close to death, and Diabolist’s speed centered skillset is especially good in pushing through the minotaur stages.

In fact, you’re very likely to get at least one Diabolist in your inventory since you’ll be farming primarily in the Brimstone Path due to how much experience it gives. The other farmable champions available have their niches as well, though these 3 are the most flexible champions you can get.

Hopefully, by the time you finish following this progression, you can take on the Raid world with confidence in the fundamentals. If you have anything to add to our list of RAID: Shadow Legends tips and strategies, feel free to leave us a message in the comment section below!

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