Rok Cao Cao Talent Tree Build, Pairings, and Equipments Guide

Cao Cao or CC is a legendary cavalry commander in the rise of kingdoms(rok). He is one of the oldest commanders in the game being released at the launch of the game.

In this guide You will find Cao Cao’s Talent tree builds, the Best commanders pairings, the best equipment to use, a Formation Guide, and pretty much everything you need to know.

Is Cao Cao Worth Investing?

You can obtain Cao Cao’s commander sculptures by opening gold keys in the Tavern. However, should you put universal commander sculptures in him?

The answer is absolutely not. Cao Cao is really great commander at early KvKs however he becomes less effective as new commanders start getting unlocked.

So, it’s better to save your legendary commander sculptures for later and unlock CC just using the gold keys.

If you are wondering how he compares to other legendary cavalry commanders, you can check out ROK commander Tier list.

Cao Cao Skill Overview

Dragon Rider (Active Skill)

Required Rage: 1000

Deals direct damage to the target (Damage Factor 1400) and reduces its Attack by 40% and March Speed by 10% for 3 seconds.

Direct Damage Factor: 600 / 800 / 1000 / 1200 / 1400
Attack Reduction: 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% / 40%
March Speed Reduction: 5% / 6% / 7% / 8% / 10%

The Qingzhou Army (passive)

Troops led by this commander deal 50% increased damage against barbarians.

Bonus Damage to Barbarians: 10% / 20% / 30% / 40% / 50%

Tiger Knight (passive)

Cavalry units led by this commander gain 10% increased March Speed and 30% increased Attack

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

Conqueror of Chaos (passive)

The normal attacks of troops led by this commander have a 10% chance to heal a portion of slightly wounded units (Healing Factor 1000), restore 100 rages, and increase troops’ march speed by 20% for 3 seconds. This effect can only trigger once every 5 seconds.

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

Emperor Wu of Wei (expertise)

Cavalry units led by this commander gain 25% increased attack at the expense of 10% reduced defense.

Skill upgrade order


The best way to upgrade Cao Cao will be to avoid his second skill. It only gives you bonus damage to barbarians, which won’t be useful in real fights. Don’t forget to max out his active skill damage before anything else, it’s the most important skill for any commander.

His expertise skill is decent but not worth it enough to spend your legendary sculptures to rush it towards it. Just try to upgrade it using gold keys.

The second way you can use him is for bastion and auxiliaries skills. In that case, wait till KvK starts and then try to get 3rd skill maxed out first. A 30% cavalry attack and march speed bonus would be quite useful in open-field fights.


  • Powerful cavalry commander for new players
  • One of the fastest commanders in the games(March Speed)
  • Quick skill cycles with
  • Decent nuking power
  • Excellent for hunting barbarians and forts
  • The best Ark carrier
  • Healing


  • Greatly falls down in fighting power just after KvK1
  • Don’t have AOE, buffs, or debuffs
  • Relic isn’t powerful enough to make him relevant in SoC

What is Cao Cao good at?

Without a doubt, Cao Cao is the best Cavalry commander for new players. However, he will keep on getting weaker as new commanders start unlocking with each KvK.

Even though you won’t be using CC in the end game, he still has lots of usefulness. He has the fastest march speed in the game, which can be quite handy in some situations.

His mobility can be used to quickly pick up runes, carry ark during Ark of Osiris, or quickly hunt down forts with rallies.

Cao Cao’s second skill “The Qingzhou Army” provides a 50% damage boost against barbarians. So, the best way to use Cao Cao is for field fighting during KvK 1 and KvK 2 and after that simply for mobility-related stuff and barb hunting.

Cao Cao Talent Tree builds

There is three way you can use him. First for open field fighting, second for barb hunting, and third for mobility. Below, You will find a talent tree for all three situations.

Open field

Cao Cao talent tree as secondary commander

This talent tree is designed for open-field fighting. It will allow you to do lots of damage while being in fights as well and it will allow you to make a quick escape from the fight.

Barbarians and Fort rally

cao cao talent tree

If you are hunting barbs or doing a barb fort rally then this is the talent tree that will work best for you.


cao cao rok talent tree

This is a mobility talent tree meaning full focus on March speed, however, remaining points are added to which will also allow you to hunt barbs. it’s sort of hybrid talent build which will give you mobility as well as AP cost reduction against barbs.

If you are not doing fort rallies or field fighting with CC, then this is the best talent tree for everyday tasks.

Cao Cao’s commander pairings

Cao Cao can be paired with a bunch of cavalry commanders. Below you will find the best pairings for him for every Kvk.

Minamoto no Yoshitsune (primary) – Best pairing for Kvk 1

Rise of kingdoms minamoto no yoshitsune

Minamoto with Cao Cao will be your best pairing for KvK, they both have a great amount of nuking skill damage and attack buff for cavalry. They are also quite fast in the field, which will help you hunt down archer marches.

Aside from that it is also a great pairing for fort rallies, not just for KvK 1 but also for Season of Conquest. The only downside is that Minamoto’s sculptures can only be acquired by buying bundles, so it’s not a good option for free-to-play players.

The reason you should be using Minamoto as the primary is because his skill talent tree is better than CC’s cavalry and mobility tree.

Pelagius (both)

rise of kingdoms Pelagius

If you want more F2P-friendly options for CC during KvK 1 then Pelagius would be a good choice. Since he is epic commander you can get him with silver keys and gold keys.

Pelagius and CC is rage machine, meaning they will fire off skills very quickly and both also have a healing effect and cavalry attack bonus. Pelagius is sort of f2p Minamoto, of course not as powerful as him but still gets a job done.

Now you can Pelagius primary to take advantage of the skill tree. However second people see epic commanders in the open field, they will try to pounce on them.

Another option is to hide him behind CC and use him as a secondary. Which way you wanna go is up to you.

Baibars (both)

Rise of Kingdoms Baibars

Another epic cavalry commander which can be also used by Cao Cao. The main thing Pelagius and Minamoto’s pairing lacks is the AOE damage.

Baibars not only bring AOE to the table but it’s also 5 target AOE damage, meaning you can hit the 5 different targets at the same time.

He also has a small healing factor as well as march speed reduction debuff, which is always helpful for field fights.

Belisarius (both)

Rise of kingdoms belisarius

Belisarius won’t be a great option for open-field fighting. However those mobility-related stuff like picking up runes and ark carrying, that’s where he would be perfect for CC

Belisarius is the fastest epic commander because of his third skill. Combine the fastest and epic commander and fastest legendary together and you got yourself the perfect mobility march.

Aethelflaed (Secondary)

Rise of Kingdoms Aethelflaed

Aethelflaed is a powerful de-buff commander who is available for free. She reduces attack, defense, health, and march speed while doing some AOE damage too. You will be helping your allies a lot by using her in the field.

You can hide her behind CC and just run around debuffing enemies and helping your ally take them down.

Saladin (Secondary) – Best pairing for KvK2

saladin rise of kingdoms commander

Once you reach KvK 2, Saladin will become available. You will be able to get him for the Mightiest Governor event.

Saladin is simply the best cavalry commander for KvK 2. He will do lots of skill damage, reduce enemies’ march speed and healing, reduce the amount of skill damage you take, and provide base stat buffs.

He would be the perfect cavalry open-field option for KvK2. You can use Cao Cao as secondary to him because his support tree is better. Together they can do some serious nuking while also being Tanky.

Genghis Khan (Primary)

Rise of kingdoms genghis khan

Genghis Khan is a rage machine and so is Cao Cao and they both have high active skill damage.

With faster rage generation they will just keep firing one skill after another and melt the target before they even know it. The only downside is the lack of AOE damage. However single-target damage is so high that it will surely make up for it.

Genghis Khan will be primary because of the skill talent tree.

The best pairing for SoC

Even with the SoC buff from Relic, CC is simply not powerful enough to survive in SoC’s open field. However, if you don’t have much of options and absolutely must use him then XY, William, Nevsky, Joan of Arc Prime, and Huo Qubing are all great options.

Those cavalry commanders are themselves quite powerful and will carry Cao Cao through the battle. However, once again there are far better pairing options for these commanders available and you should avoid using them with CC.

Don’t forget to check out this best commander pairing guide for 2023 to get the most out of your commanders.

Cao Cao Best Equipements

Ultimate equipment set

  • Weapon: Lance of Hellish Wasteland
  • Helm: War Helm of Hellish Wasteland
  • Chest: Heavy Armor of Hellish Wasteland
  • Glove: Armband of Hellish Wasteland
  • Legs: Tassest of Hellish Wasteland
  • Boots: Boots of Hellish Wasteland

Stat boost from the set:

Cavalry Attack – 31%
Cavalry Defense – 23.5%
Cavalry Health – 18.5%
All troops Health – 3%
Counter damage – 10%

Medium equipment set

Stat boost from the set:

  • Weapon: Lance of Hellish Wasteland
  • Helm: Windswept War Helm
  • Chest: Windswept Breastplate
  • Glove: Windswept Bracers
  • Legs: Tassest of Hellish Wasteland
  • Boots: Windswept Boots

Stat boost from the set:

Cavalry Attack – 35.5%
Cavalry Defense – 4.5%
Cavalry Health – 5%
All troops Health – 3%
All troops Attack – 2%
March Speed – 10%

F2P equipment set.

  • Weapon: Vanguard Halberd
  • Helm: Windswept War Helm
  • Chest: Windswept Breastplate
  • Glove: Windswept Bracers
  • Legs: Vanguard Greaves
  • Boots: Windswept Boots

Stat boost from the set:

Cavalry Attack – 11.5%
Cavalry Defense – 9.5%
Cavalry Health – 10%
All troops Attack – 2%
March Speed – 10%

ROK – New Redeem Gift Codes List

Cao Cao Best Formation

Cao Cao is a skill-heavy commander. So the best formation for him would be wedge Formation, which can give him an extra 5% skill damage.

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