- Guide written in 2019 -
As far as characters builds in Castle Age are concerned, there are basically two ways to go, with variations in the middle:
High LSI / Monster Hunter build, and High BSI / PvP build.
This guide is about the High LSI build.
Keep in mind that you'll never be as strong as players spending thousands of dollars on the game - but if you play for free, or only spend a little, you'll get a lot stronger a lot more quickly with this build than with any other build! And you can have tons of fun with it.
TL;DR - In a nutshell
If you want to have an overview without getting into the details of the guide, you can read this section!
Otherwise, simply skip it.
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|The most important thing, if you know from the beginning that you want to be a "powerleveler" (high LSI), is that you shouldn't add any Skill Point (SP) in attack or defense. That's the case if you know you want to be 100% Monster Hunter for instance.
Put all your points in Energy (and a few to Stamina if you wish), and you'll be able to level up without waiting for hundreds of levels.
For example, you can add to energy only until you reach 3k or 4k energy (in the meantime, you can add some stamina to reach 150 stamina for instance). Then you can still add energy, or you can begin adding to stamina more substantially if you prefer, for more Monster Hunting fun. You could reach about 5k energy / 2k stamina by the time you reach level 1000 (which can be achieved in only a few months time).
The current best general alliance for a Monster Hunter is 1-Barbarus 2-Dolomar 3-Sahar/Monkey King (Sahar is way easier to obtain, and should also be a lot better until you reach great amounts of attack from runes & IA).
This build is the best for a Monster Hunter, and makes it really easy to get essences, red & green crystals, and a lot of freebies during events. So you can level up your generals a lot more easily. It also makes it a lot easier to complete the Hunter & Engineer Conquest Paths, which otherwise can take extremely long to complete. And of course it's also easier to get gear from monsters, and to complete Chaos Campaign tasks.
It should be noted that nowadays, your generals stats (& equipment) can be a huge factor in the damage you'll deal to monsters, now that you can level them up to level 80 and easily promote them to at least 5 stars.
After you reach very high levels, you can then also become useful in Guild Battles and the like with high runes & IA, great generals, great gear and great chaos gems.
Of course, if you don't care about spending (a lot) of money on the game, you can use any build and still get all items and gear more or less easily. But for a F2P player (or mostly F2P), if you want to be a Monster Hunter (and probably even for other stuff), I believe this is the build you'd want to use.
Introduction & Definitions
High BSI build
BSI = Battle Strength Index = (attack + defense) / level
High BSI means that relatively to your level, you have very strong stats (attack and defense). In a nutshell, if you want to use this build, you should:
- Add energy up to 2,000 and stamina up to 1,000 so that you can make full use of Full Potions and refills (which give a maximum of 2k energy and 1k stamina).
- Put all further Skill Points (SPs) into attack or defense (or health, depending on how much you are interested in Guild Battles and which guild class you want to use). Currently, attack is usually considered a better choice than defense (mostly because of Chaos Gems bonuses).
The issue with this build is that your leveling speed will get slower and slower if you play for free; at high levels it will take ages to level up if you don't refill.
If you're starting the game (or a new account) now, I would strongly advise against this build, unless you know you want to spend a lot on the game - in which case this is the best build for you (you will still be able to level up fast with refills, while having better PvP stats).
I won't talk about this build any further in this guide.
High LSI build
LSI = Leveling Speed Index = (energy + stamina*2 ) / level
High LSI induces a fast leveling speed.
High LSI means that you will be able to level up very fast, with all the benefits it brings. I strongly believe that this build is from far the most fun and beneficial for a player who wishes to play for free (or only spend a bit).
In a nutshell, if you want to use this build, you should:
- Only put SPs into energy and stamina (never into any other stats).
- Put all your SPs into energy first, stamina will come later (explained below).
With this build, you'll be able to enjoy all aspects of the game even without spending. You'll be a very strong Monster Hunter, and when reaching higher levels (which won't take that long), you'll be able to be relevant in other aspects of the game (PvP).
This guide is about this build.
Getting started - SP allocation, Earning SPs & Using resources
The importance of energy
The first very important thing to do is to put all your SPs (from leveling up and quest completions) into energy from the very beginning. This will allow you to level up continuously without waiting (starting as low as level 20+). If you put SPs into other stats (even stamina at the beginning), this will end up slowing you down considerably.
Why energy before stamina?
The reason why it's important to add a lot of energy before stamina is that energy is used for quests, which give you a lot of SPs. Then you add those SPs to energy, and you get more SPs again. You get the idea. Stamina doesn't allow this. In addition, energy gives better XP per SP than stamina.
Furthermore, with energy you can know and choose how much XP you're going to make, by choosing which quests to do. With stamina you could be bad lucky and miss your level up because of that.
Recruit a Friend: Should you use it?
I strongly advise against using the Recruit a Friend feature. You won't be able to level up continuously if you do so, and it will considerably slow you down. The reason is that you would be put to level 100 without the SPs earned from quests otherwise done between level 1 and 100, and thus you would have a lot less energy to work with at first.
Main ways of earning SPs
You will have 2 main sources of SPs:
Additionally, you can get get quite a lot of extra SPs via other means, principally:
- Demi-pray (usually 1 SP per day) ↓
- Achievements (including PvP ranks: Battle, Conquest, War, Duel Champion) ↓
- Monster Gold Medals
- Conquest Paths ↓
- Feats of Strength ↓
Leveling up & doing quests efficiently
You should quickly be able to level up without having to wait for your energy and stamina to regen.
To ensure you will be able to level up continuously, it's important to optimize the way you do quests.
At first, do all the quests which have the highest SP/energy ratio and which will allow you to increase your max energy quickly. These are all the first quest lands (Land of Fire, Land of Earth, Land of Mist at least) and all the demi-quests you'll unlock.
See here for more: Power Questing.
Purchase enough Territories to get the maximum XP bonus of +35% from them. Be careful, this XP bonus will completely stop once you reach level 200 (which will come quickly).
You do not need to level up your Territories by invading to get the bonus.
At some point you will probably have to care about the XP/energy ratio of each quest (this will probably happen more when you'll have some SPs put into stamina, as the XP returns with stamina can vary a lot and leave you with more or less XP to earn to level up).
The Master Quest List page may be useful to check the ratios.
For instance, when you're close to leveling up and still have quite a lot of energy remaining, to avoid wasting it, you should do quests with a bad XP/energy ratio.
On the contrary, if you're short on energy, you can then do the quests with a high XP/energy ratio to still be able to level up.
While the XP bonus from Territories is active, you probably won't have issues leveling up and it may be a good idea to leave high XP/energy quests aside for after level 200, but it's not essential.
The quest with the highest XP/energy ratio is the Duel Cefka's Knight Champion subquest from the Land of Water, which has a 1.75 XP/energy ratio.
You can spam it sometimes if you're short on energy and don't want to wait to level up. Be careful though, if you only spam this quest and neglect uncompleted quests, you won't earn additional SPs and your leveling speed will be reduced later on.
It should also be noted that the first demi-quest from Malekus, Aurora or Azeron can drop an Energy Potion (which replenishes 10 energy). However the XP/energy ratio from these small quests is very low (1:1). Thus they can be very interesting in this way:
When you are going to waste energy when leveling up because you have too much energy remaining, spam one of these quests to stock up on Energy Potions. You will then be able to use them later, if you're lacking energy to level up. Be careful, you can only stock 40 Energy Potions at once. If you get more, when you use one, it will leave you with 39 potions remaining no matter what.
Lack of Gold
Since you'll be leveling up really quickly, you may lack Gold when reaching the Underworld quest land which is the first land which requires the purchase of expensive items to unlock the quests.
To reduce that annoyance to a minimum, it is probably best not to put the totality of your Gold into Territories as soon as you earn some. However Territories will end up bringing you more Gold than what they cost, so I'll leave up to you how you want to handle your income and expenses.
Just don't waste your Gold on anything unnecessary.
In any case, if you find yourself with no new quest to complete because the next ones are locked, personally I'd advise to either wait a day to collect your Territories gold (if that's enough to get things going again), or do some quests with a high Gold/energy return.
The quests from Underworld are the first ones to give a lot of Gold. If you haven't reached it yet, the very last subquest from Demon Realm or from the Land of Water (Cefka) are probably your best bets.
It's important to note that with this High LSI build, you'll get a lot more Gold from questing than from Territories.
Lack of Hero Crystals
You should always be leveling up a hero while doing quests, otherwise you're wasting resources, in a way.
In the General Alliance section below, I explain which heroes you should use and focus on.
With this High LSI build, what could happen is that you will level up your heroes very quickly and thus won't have enough Hero Crystals to extend their max level, hence wasting resources with no hero to level up.
There's not much you can do about it, except joining a Guild for a chance at a Hero Crystal every day (active and strong guilds will give better odds), and take advantage of the events happening regularly.
However since the introduction of the Colosseum, this will definitely be less of an issue if you use your Honor Points to buy up to 12 Hero Crystals each week (you won't go above the Gold rank as a low level, which has a limit of 6000 points/week, and a Hero Crystal costs 500 points).
What should you use your little stamina on?
In the very low levels (< 30), you should focus on Duels. In these levels no one has significant attack or defense, so your general and equipment will matter the most and make a huge difference. Get 20+ army members to unlock all the Reinforcements gear and Darius. Get the items from the Legacy Meph Gift and Legacy Malekus Gift if you can, and you should have no problem winning your Duels against the vast majority of your opponents.
Get the "Win 100 Duels" achievement for 5 SPs. Around level 20 you should reach it, as well as the Battle rank 5 (Knight) for an additional 20 SPs.
Afterwards, it will become easier or even necessary to do Invades in order to find Battle targets easily. Which means you need to grow your Army (up to 501, the quicker the better). This will allow easy wins against players with very low armies.
Growing your Army
There are several ways to increase your Army. You should post your army code on several places, for instance on the Add Me for Army Thread on the Castle Age forums, or on the official Castle Age Discord server. On these same places, you will find army codes to add (you can add up to 20 a day). The chat on the World Monster is also a very quick way to find new Army members (but this feature is currently disabled). You will also find many Army codes under certain posts on the official Castle Age Facebook page, as players are required to write their Army code to enter giveaways.
There are probably a lot of other places where you can post or find army codes, such as certain Facebook groups. You can search on Google or Facebook to find more info.
To maximize the SPs earned from praying, pray to Ambrosia (energy) every day except on Saturdays where you should pray to Azeron (stamina).
This will give you 6 energy and 2 stamina each week (10 SPs), as praying on Fridays and Saturdays give double the amount of SPs (cf. Daily Bonus).
However, at some point you can also pray a few times to other Demi-Gods in order to unlock their first demi-quests, which have a great SP/energy return. You should at least unlock 2 demi-quests for each Demi-God (600 demi-points), but you can go a bit further than that later on.
When starting to add Stamina?
Nothing is mandatory of course.
Here are some guidelines that you may or may not follow:
- When you reach 1000 energy, you can add up to 150 stamina to be able to start hunting small monsters.
- Note: You can add a few points in stamina (~50 e.g.) before reaching 1000 energy to begin ranking up in battles etc. But be careful not too make it difficult for you to level up.
- When you reach 2000 energy, you can add up to 300 stamina (so you can use 100x3 hits with Barbarus before leveling up - see General Alliance section ↓).
- Then simply go for 4000 energy. When you reach it, add up to 600 stamina. With Solara equipped (see General Alliance section ↓), you will then have 1000 stamina, and be able to make full use of Full Stamina Potions if necessary (although you shouldn't need it at this point).
- Note: you will probably be around level 550 or 600 at this point.
- I think you should then aim to reach 6000 energy (or at least 5000 energy) and 2000 stamina.
- Whether you start by adding more energy first (past 4000) for a better leveling speed (and being able to level up continuously for a bit more time) or more stamina first (past 600) for more Monster Hunting fun is up to you. I would suggest reaching 5000 energy / 1000 stamina first.
- You can also shift towards a more "heavy-stamina-oriented" build, staying around 4000 energy and only adding to stamina from this point onwards. Be aware that your leveling speed will decrease.
- After that... I believe you'll know enough about the game and this build to make all the decisions by yourself! As long as you keep using SPs for energy and stamina and nothing else, you should be good to go.
On forums, a player documented his journey starting an account from scratch with this kind of build:
My Energizer - a LSI build
He reached level 1000 in 96 days. There are a lot more details inside the thread.
At level 2722, he has 9035 energy and 5429 stamina. This is about 4 years after starting his account, however at some point I believe he started using bought Favor Points (FPs) for refills. I haven't read through the whole thread.
Every time you reach a certain threshold for each stats, you can go to the Feats of Strength and "Test your skills" for a few additional points in the specific stat. With this build, you will quickly reach the max ranks for energy and stamina for a total of 24 bonus energy and 12 stamina (total 48 SPs). You can also get 9 SPs from the Army Feat.
Spending & Promo Packs
Even though spending is not required at all to have fun with this build, and is pretty much useless for at least the first 700 hundred levels, if you know you will buy FPs later on in the game, you can buy the promo packs as they appear while you level up and save the FPs for later. There are certain Promo Packs that are only available at certain levels and that you won't be able to buy after you've gone over those levels.
However, temporary Promo Packs are very often offered in the game (at least once a month), so unless you want to spend quite a lot, you should be able to buy promos when you need them in the future.
Things to work on while leveling up
The first generals you need to invest in are Monster Hunting (MH) generals. You will fight a lot of monsters and you will get your equipment and build your Item Archives (see below ↓) thanks to monster hunting.
General stats play a huge role in the damage you will deal to monsters. As well as equipment stats. They are actually much more important than your own player stats.
The reason for this is that general stats and equipment stats increase your damage linearly, no matter how high the stats go; while your own stats have diminishing returns.
You can learn more about it on this page: Monster/Damage and Healing.
A decent MH alliance can easily reach 2000+ attack (see General Alliances stats ↓).
This is a suggestion, however it is the best alliance you can have with Favor Generals. Having a better alliance would probably require a lot of money.
It should be noted that having several generals with the same ability in an alliance is usually suboptimal, as only a certain percentage (sometimes as low as 17%) of the abilities of the 2nd and 3rd generals are then transferred to the alliance abilities.
Check the General Alliance page to see how alliances linking mechanics / stats transfer work.
Barbarus should be the Master of the alliance, as otherwise his "Power Attacks x3" power won't work.
It's his "+X% Extra Monster Damage" ability though which makes him worthy of being in your MH alliance (+11.9% at level 54 unpromoted).
In addition, he doesn't require a lot of general XP to level up, so you should level him first. Which means he will have better stats and thus should be the first in your alliance (as the 2nd and 3rd general don't transfer the full amount of their stats to the alliance).
Dolomar is the best "+X% Critical Chance" (CC) Favor General (+15.87% at level 54 unpromoted).
Sahar gives "+X Attack vs. Monsters". She is required because you have virtually no attack on your own, so she provides a great boost (+1760 at level 54 unpromoted).
I suggest you use all the FPs you can gather (see Earning Favor Points ↓) to buy generals, and nothing else before you have at least promoted those 3 generals to 5 stars (see General Promotion).
At some point, you should also buy the 3 pieces of equipment of Barbarus for the "10% hero equipment set bonus" and the +1% CC it will provide.
You can buy Barbarus at level 40. Level him up and begin promoting him first.
You can buy Dolomar at level 100 and start leveling him up a bit if you want.
You can buy Sahar at level 265. I suggest you then start leveling Sahar before Dolomar; at first the "+X Attack vs. Monsters" ability increase will most likely have more impact than the "+X% Critical Chance" ability increase.
Leveling up generals:
At first, you should focus on leveling the Master of your alliance to level 79, and the Primary Link to level 54. You can also level up the Secondary Link a bit, or any other generals of course, as the first levels are usually easy to reach and won't take long.
The reasons for this are:
- Up until level 54, leveling up generals doesn't require a lot of crystals.
- Leveling a general from level 79 to 80 requires a lot of crystals, but will only make you gain one single additional level. Even though the boost in stats can be nice, I personally believe it shouldn't be done until the very late game, when all the most important generals you use are level 79 already.
Other MH options:
- Malekus: He is the best MH general, because he has from far the best attack stat of all the generals in Castle Age. However he is a Treasure Chest general, which makes him hard to obtain and even harder to promote. Promoting him enough in order for him to become more powerful than a 5 or 6 stars Barbarus would probably cost thousands of dollars.
- Monkey King: He can basically make you save a lot of stamina thanks to his ability (at a high level and relatively high promotion). He would go in the 3rd spot of the alliance and replace Sahar. However he is quite hard to obtain and thus to promote. Furthermore, for him to become more efficient than Sahar, you would need to reach probably at least 3000 or 4000 player attack (thanks to Runes and IA). This won't happen for a long time. The extra XP he provides makes him amazing for your build in later levels however, no matter his efficiency regarding monster damage.
- Zarevok: He has the same ability as Sahar. But his ability is weaker and more importantly his stats are weaker (as he is not an Aggressive general). You should use him as a replacement for Sahar until you can buy her. However you will never use him again after buying Sahar, so all resources invested in him (mostly Hero Crystals) will be "lost".
Other interesting generals:
- Solara (unlocked at level 55): While equipped, Transfer (X% Max Energy / 2) to Max Stamina. At the beginning, you will have a lot of energy and very little stamina. If for some reason you want more stamina for a moment, you can equip her before leveling up for instance and you'll have less energy and more stamina. It can also be used to take full advantage of Full Stamina Potions while you still haven't reached 1000 max stamina. Don't level her past level 4.
- Sano: He helps you complete quests a little bit faster. You will complete a lot of quests, so in the end he will help you save quite a lot of energy. Put him behind a general you're leveling up while doing quests. Don't invest too many resources in him though, as when you'll have completed all quests he will become useless.
- Kobo: +X% Trade Market XP. You will get a lot of essence from all the monster hunting you will do. Kobo will help you gain more Rune XP when trading this essence. He shouldn't be a priority at all, but in the late game if you can afford it, level him up to a high level.
- Orc King: Power Attacks x5. Using a 200 stamina button, you will use 1000 stamina at once. It can be useful sometimes to avoid wasting resources before leveling up, among other things. You will very rarely use it though so don't waste too many resources on him.
- Layla: +X% Clone of Alliance General Ability. Layla will boost the ability of any general behind her in your alliance. In particular, she can do wonders paired with a highly promoted Monkey King to bring you a lot of extra XP. She is however extremely hard to obtain; but this alliance would allow you to level up continuously even at extremely high levels (10,000+).
This guide will not cover the different PvP alliances and Guild Battle classes alliances. You can once again refer to the General Alliance page for more info about this.
Leveling materials (Evolution Crystals & more)
Leveling up generals will be relatively easy with your build. You need two things to level up a general:
- Hero XP
We've talked about Hero Crystals. You can mainly get them from Praying in Land of Mist (LoM) in Guild Conquest, alchemize them with ingredients from 10v10 battles, buy them in the Conquest Path Shop or in the Colosseum.
The other crystals are Evolution Crystals, usually referred to as Blue / Red / Green Crystals.
The Daily Bonus shows you how to obtain them.
Blue Crystals are considered the easiest to get from far: you will get them using conquest tokens in Land of Earth (LoE) in Guild Conquest on certain days.
However with your build, Red and Green Crystals should also be rather easy to come by. You can get them while hitting monsters on certain days. In addition, you can obtain Green Crystals when collecting on an excavation quest on certain days.
As far as Hero XP is concerned, you can check all the XP sources here: General Levels.
Basically, doing quests and hunting monsters will be your main source. With your build, getting hero XP shouldn't be too hard either. In addition, Hero Potions will give great XP boosts.
Joining a Guild
Joining a guild is essential. It will unlock and allow many things. The most important are:
- Earning Hero Crystals (and Lumber & Iron Ore)
- Earning Guild Coins (GC), through Guild Battles mostly
- Unlocking Conquest tokens & Conquest Paths
Unlocking Conquest tokens and doing various conquest-related activities is essential: it will allow you to earn points in the different Conquest Paths, unlocking equipment, SPs and other items little by little.
There are also many Campaign tasks which require doing guild-related actions.
To find a suitable guild for you, you can check the Guild Leaderboards. On each guild's page you can click on "View Statistics" and check how many Battle and Monster points they have, which will give you an idea of how active they are, and whether they're more of a monster hunting guild, a PvP-oriented guild, or both.
The Conqueror and Guardian Paths require the use of your conquest tokens.
Make sure to always use your tokens. Don't waste any. This will slowly make your Conquest level go up. As it goes up, you will increase your max amount of tokens and they will refresh more quickly.
This will allow you to earn points more easily in the Conqueror and Guardian Paths as you level up (among other things).
This Path is the easiest of all Paths. It would be very hard to find targets to hit in LoM at first, as your stats will be extremely low. You should simply use your tokens by invading in Conquest Duel. You can also begin climbing the ranks and earning a few SPs and increasing your max Battlelust (which will be great for essence trading ↓ later).
You probably won't be able to earn points in this Path for quite some time, as it requires you to have more defense than the ally you're using your defensive action on. It's alright, for now use your tokens in Conquest Duel for Conqueror points as said above.
This Path will unlock most of the best MH gear, as the equipment you will be able to buy there has up to +2% Critical Chance each. To get points, you need to use stamina on LoM monsters. You can start working on this Path whenever you like. At some point, you will begin having a lot of stamina to use, so it should be easy to often hunt LoM monsters in addition to the other monsters you're usually hunting.
The equipment from this Path is bad and pretty much useless. Getting points in this Path requires the use of a lot of energy, which I believe will be better used on quests as long as you haven't completed them all. You can start working on this Path later in the game.
Additionally, many Legendary alchemies require to own equipment from the Conqueror, Hunter and Guardian Paths. This is for later in the game though.
At first, only hunt small monsters as you will have very little stamina. You can already start working on Item Archives though (see below ↓), and getting the Gold Medal for small monsters for extra SPs.
You can get decent gear rather easily by getting the Rare drops of a few monsters:
These will give you equipment with nice stats and some basic piercing and resistance.
Epic and Legendary drops from Phantom of Fire or Epic drops from Phantom of Lightning are also great pieces of equipment.
Ouroboros is not found as easily as Vargulis and Samael as he can only appear sometimes in LoM, so try to hit him every time you get a chance.
IA will be the main source of your own attack and defense stats.
You will get the items which provide an IA bonus mostly by hunting monsters. Conquest Paths equipment and many generals and items from Treasure Chests also provide bonuses, among other things.
Here is a very good guide on which monsters to hunt at which point to build your IA bonus efficiently:
Ultimate Monster Guide - Archive-Divine-Legendaries
The attack buttons which you have access to on monsters depend on your max stamina. For monsters on which the biggest button is 50 stamina, you unlock the 20 stamina button at 200 max stamina, and the 50 stamina button at 500 max stamina. For monsters on which the biggest button is 200 stamina, it appears you unlock this 200 stamina button when reaching 400 max stamina.
Earning Favor Points
I suggest using FPs exclusively to buy Favor Generals, as least for a while. Definitely don't use them for energy or stamina refills, you shouldn't need them with this build.
You start the game with 20 FP.
Other than buying them, you can get FPs from:
Praying will only give you a few extra FPs.
Achievements can bring a lot of FPs in the early-mid game:
- Monster achievements (mostly 5 FP per "kill X number of this monster") - 327 potential FPs
- Quest achievements - 41 FPs (very easy)
- Dueling and Invading achievements - 83 FPs (will be hard for some at the beginning)
- Alchemy achievements - 16 FPs
For a total of 467 potential FPs only from achievements, many of which will be easy to get (it will still take some time though).
Make sure to take advantage of this to be able to buy and and begin promoting your Monster Hunter generals quickly.
Monster Hunting will keep bringing you FPs throughout the whole game.
With your high LSI build, you will be able to get FPs more efficiently than most people, as you will kill many monsters. You don't need to focus on farming FPs specifically, you will get them naturally.
However if you do want to get FPs more quickly, you can try to focus on certain monsters - certain "small" monsters require a small amount of damage to unlock "demi-slots" (and thus the possibility of a FP drop). You can hunt them whenever you see them on the public list (low tier). Dragons and Serpents are probably good candidates. Personally I prefer Cronus, the World Hydra.
Attack, Defense & Health
As already said, never invest SPs in these stats. Runes and Item Archives will take care of that for you. Your general alliances stats will also reach high levels of attack and defense. Equipment and Chaos Gems (see below ↓) will also increase your power.
Runes increase your attack and defense, and your health and damage in Guild Battles. You can level up your Runes by using Essences. With a high LSI build, essence drops should come by easily.
All essences can be obtained through hitting monsters. Not many monsters drop Defense essence, and even less drop Health essence (and the quantity is low for Health essence). However you can obtain both those essences from Excavation quests.
I advise focusing on completing quests before focusing on excavating essence though.
You can however excavate some essence (Health should be the best choice) if you need it for a Campaign task. It's always good to have some essence stacked in case you need to use it for a Campaign task.
As your Runes levels go up, it requires more and more essence (and energy) to level them up further. You can use some essence to level them a bit during early game already.
After that, if you want to maximize the use of your essence, before trading a lot of it you should wait until you can have nice trading bonuses from:
- Battlelust: up to +18% bonus
- Your Guild Arena rank: up to +10% bonus
- Kobo (optional): +4% bonus at level 4, +6.5% at level 54, +7.8% at level 80 (estimated, unpromoted)
Thanks to Runes, you should reach a bonus of around +500 attack / +500 defense relatively easily. Going above +1000 would probably take quite a long time. However there is no limit to Runes level.
See this section ↑.
You can reach +3,313 attack / +1,769 defense from IA bonuses through Monster Hunting, Conquest Paths and Battle ranks items.
From Monster Hunting only, you can reach +2,591 attack / +1,026 defense.
See the All Item Archives (IA) bonuses thread on forums for more details.
+X Attack vs. Monsters
At level 79 and promoted to 5 stars, Sahar will increase your own attack by +3050 (against monsters only).
To show you the boost in stats a good alliance can provide, here is an example of the stats of an alliance with 3 Aggressive generals, all level 79 and promoted to 5 stars, with the master having the "10% hero equipment set bonus":
Barbarus - Sahar - Dolomar: 2747 attack / 1621 defense
One general on its own (Barbarus) has: 1621 attack / 953 defense (with the 10% bonus).
This is without any "external" boosts, in particular the "General Boosts" from Chaos Gems (which can give very significant boosts).
The stats of a Defensive alliance would essentially be the same but with attack and defense reversed.
With all generals level 80 and 8 stars, the stats would be: 3866 attack / 2291 defense
However it costs 1080 FP to promote all 3 generals to 5 stars, while it would cost a total of 4860 FP to promote them to 8 stars.
It would also have an additional cost of 900 Red / 540 Green / 108 Blue / 120 Hero Crystals to level the 3 of them from level 79 to 80.
Note on Piercing and Resistance
In a nutshell, Piercing and Resistance are extremely important in PvP as physical and elemental piercing multiplies your attack power while physical and elemental resistance multiplies your defense power.
Certain generals, equipment and Chaos Gems can bring large amounts of piercing and resistance. You shouldn't care too much about it in the early-mid game though.
Chaos Campaigns are a very important part of the game, as they will bring very powerful items: the Chaos Gems.
You can forge one (and only one) Chaos Gem on any item with at least one slot. You can check all items with slots on the Forge page. You can also see on this page that certain types of items can only be forged with offensive gems, while some others only with defensive gems.
Currently, you can have 9 Chaos Gems equipped at the same time, as there is no Magic with a slot. Warbanners (with a slot) are purchasable as a 100vs100 Donation Rewards (but your guild needs to be in the Vanguard rank), and you can get Medals from the Colosseum Shop. Boots with a slot are very hard to obtain, and Amulets with a slot are rare. So in practice, it will be easy to have 5 or 6 Chaos Gems equipped at once (if you have earned at least 5-6 Chaos Gems of course), can be hard to have 7-8, and will definitely take a long time to have 9.
Chaos Gems can bring great bonuses for all aspects of the game: Monster Hunting, PvP strength, Guild Battles...
For instance, it can greatly improve your Monster Hunting power with the "Aggressive General Boost" and "Critical Strike" powers.
In PvP, the main bonus these gems bring is the huge boost in Elemental Pierce or Resistance, and also for people with a High BSI build, the "Base Attack" or "Base Defense" bonuses (these last two won't be of any use with your build as they only boost the "raw" attack and defense, and not the bonus gained from Runes or IA).
Gems can be refined to change the value of their powers.
Fully completing a Campaign will give you a Gem, while only completing certain tasks will give you shards (alchemizing 1000 shards makes a Gem).
If you want to get Gems quickly, fully completing Campaigns is better. However, it will force you to kill certain monsters (and sometimes deal a lot more damage that what is required to get the best loot, thus "wasting" stamina); and some of the top row tasks will be annoying or hard to complete anyway (especially in early game, some may be impossible).
In the very early game, you should probably start Easy Campaigns as you won't be able to do the tasks of harder Campaigns.
Afterwards, the Campaign difficulty you choose should depend on whether you are able (or willing) to fully complete the Campaign or whether you're just doing some of the tasks.
If you can't / don't want to fully complete Campaigns, I strongly suggest choosing the hardest difficulty as soon as you are able to complete some of the tasks, because not only will you get better shards, you will get more of them for each completed task.
For Hard Campaigns, each of the top row tasks gives 60 Epic Shards. While top row tasks from Normal give only 40 Rare Shards, and those from Easy Campaign only 20 Common Shards.
On the other hand, if you aren't able or willing to fully complete a Hard Campaign, but can complete a Normal Campaign for instance, it is definitely better to choose the Normal Campaign - as it will in the end give you Epic Gems as quickly or more quickly than by doing partial Hard Campaigns, and in addition will give you Rare Chaos Gems to use in the meantime, as opposed to unusable epic shards.
You will find more details on this guide I wrote at a later time: Making the most of Chaos Campaigns
Since 2017, several events are coming back to the game every few weeks. These events often involve monster hunting, which means that with your build you will be able to get a lot of benefits from them for free.
Be sure to reach at least top 1000 in Meteorite when the event is live, as soon as it's not detrimental to your build anymore (if you're still in your early levels it may be too soon).
Colosseum - Even if you keep losing, you can easily reach 6000 Honor Points each week. It's the only place you'll get Unbind Stones from (alchemizing them would require a lot more effort), which will be very useful in the late game. Hero Crystals and Skill Points are also interesting. The Time Keeper is one of the strongest Defensive general in the game and you can get it for free. However it will take quite some time to promote him to at least 5 stars (if ever you're interested in a defensive alliance) and your Honor Points may be better spent on other things. It's up to you.
Enhance - You can improve your weapons stats with this feature. However it costs Gold and you may not have a lot. Reaching at least +19 on all the main pieces of equipment you use shouldn't be too hard though.
Duel Champion - Works the same as regular Battles, except that you can only duel your opponents (no invade option). It will be hard for you to find beatable targets, and except for the SPs the rewards aren't useful. You can try to reach rank 2 (Vandal) at a low level for 10 extra SPs and come back to this feature when you're stronger if you're interested in more.
War - It's a battle which involves your generals. Each battle costs 10 stamina, so trying to reach a high rank will use a lot of resources. I suggest reaching rank 7 for 25 extra SPs whenever you want, and coming back to it in the late game if you're interested in more. War is unlocked at level 100.
Mystic Emporium - You can buy 1 item for Gold there every day. Whether the price is worth it will depend on you. Buying Lumber & Iron Ore often may deplete your stash of Gold. This is also the place where you can buy copies of generals beyond 12, to be able to promote them beyond 5 stars. Be aware that it will be hard to afford it without buying FPs.
Daily Spin - Get a freebie every day - don't forget to do it!
Mid to late game
If you are interested in PvP and becoming relevant in Guild Battles (we could argue that the final purpose of monster hunting is to help you become better at PvP), the best way to do it with your build is to get the best equipment and the best Chaos Gems possible, for the stats but mostly for the pierce and resistance they provide.
Having good PvP alliances (pure offense and pure defense) will also help quite a lot. For Guild Battles it's even more important to have generals which will enhance your Guild Class powers, as they can make a huge difference.
You will hunt monsters that will get you the best Legendary Equipment possible, do Hard Campaigns and get Epic Gems for all your equipment, and then Legendary Gems.
Most of your equipment will have 2 or 3 slots which will let you forge up to 3 gems in it: a (Legendary) Chaos Gem, an (Electrum) Ingot and most likely a Shining Gem of Earth.
Of course, never stop working on all the things mentioned in the previous section unless they're completed!
As a final note, I'll add that nowadays it's possible to keep leveling continuously even above level 10,000. The requirement for this is to have a highly promoted Monkey King, and Layla also probably becomes mandatory at some point to boost your Monkey King. They are however hard to obtain for free, especially Layla. Although with your build it will be much easier to get Legendary Chests from events.
This about wraps it up! I won't go into any more details, as if you've reached this point you most likely don't need a guide to play the game anymore ;)
Guide by St0liae