Siege of Winterfell is a real-time strategy in Game of Thrones Winter is coming, in which dragons or rally size has no effect! What matters is your troop stats and the commanders you use. In this guide, I will review why they’re important in this event and will give you some suggestions.
During this event, all players can have 3 deployments on the battle map. In each of these deployments, players can have up to 3 commanders and no dragon. Commanders will have special skills for “Real-time strategy events” that they can use during the event.
Please note that not all commanders have their strategic skills yet. You can review all available commanders on the event page in the Cross-server events tab. You need to set your lord as one of the commanders with strategic skills if you want your lord to be in the event and to use their stats.
In this event commanders won’t use might - they will use Rage. Your commanders will try to cast their skills in the same order you deployed them in battle (I mean first your chief commander will use their skill, then your deputy commander 1 then your deputy commander 2) When your troops are in combat the rage will start to fill at different rates. If you have fewer troops your rage fills faster. when commanders have enough rage they cast their skill automatically.
During the siege of Winterfell, troops have different marching speeds. In this event Cavalry > Infantry = Bowmen > Spearmen in terms of speed and lower-tier troops have a higher marching speed (T1 > T2 > T3 > T4). The attack range of troops is also different. In this event Bowmen> Spearmen > Cavalry = Infantry in terms of attack range.
Quality and Skills
Commanders use their special strategy game skills during this event. These skills are either active or passive. They can either target a single enemy or an ally or they will have AoE (Area of Effect). The AoE skills can affect multiple enemy/ally deployments that are in range and will not just affect your deployment and the enemy deployment that you’re fighting with and targeting, instead, they will affect all deployments that are in range.
Each commander has 1 active strategy skill that will require rage and one or few passive strategic skills that will increase your troop's stats by a lot. Just owning a commander will be enough for you to be able to use their active strategic skill with full power and effect. However, the quality of commanders will increase the passive stats significantly. For example, if you own a grey Cersei, you will have her “Wildfire Siege” skill which is damage heavy AoE attack and damage reduction to the full extent but you will only have her boosting your army with 6.25% total health, defense, and attack. This is when a gold Cersei has 125% of total health, defense, and attack for her deployment.
Awakening commanders have no effect on their strategy skills either. The only benefit you earn from having a commander awakened in this event is their increased army size.
You can also hire commanders with few black diamonds for each match that will give them in great condition to use them in an event (just with a lesser army size). This way if you like to use a certain commander skill in more deployments, you can hire them as well and use them and their extra in two different deployments. Note that if you create a duplicate of your lord, only your own lord (that you didn’t hire) will benefit from lord bonuses.
Formation and Setups
In this event, you can only have 3 commanders with each deployment; which means 9 commanders in total. You can’t use the same commander twice in the same deployment (You can’t use your own Annie and hired Annie in the same deployment for example). These restrictions make it important to design your marches to gain the maximum benefit from them.
Because of the nature of the deployments and the way commander skills work, using pure setups or close to pure setups is the best way to maximize your troop's bonuses and will give you more mobility and range during the event when needed. Suggested formations to use are pure formations of Infantry, Spearmen, Cavalry, and Bowmen, or at least close to pure formations. You need to make sure to have your buffs and bonuses set up before the match in a way to support the troops you’re bringing to the match. Using a pure bowmen march with no bowmen attack bonus will be useless for you.
It’s best if you use commanders of the same type with your troops so they can boost your troops with passive skills at the same time they can use their skills.
Commander skills and combinations
I will discuss commanders by breaking them into different groups based on their skills:
Group A: Ultimate commanders
Daenerys, Jon Snow and Cersei are available in the Siege of Winterfell event and their skills are very powerful and useful as you could expect. These skills are available even when you own these commanders at grey so you can use them even at lower qualities. The only downside will be, not being able to use their passive bonuses that are available at higher qualities. Since they are total attack commanders, they can be used with any troops you wish and they are better to be used in your main deployment.
Group B: Healers
Sansa, Annie, Patelo and Simon are the commanders with healing skills. [p1] In the siege of Winterfell there are two kinds of wounded:
- Serious injury: You can heal these wounded troops in an event special hospital with special healing speed-ups that your alliance leaders can buy with alliance supplies. This is just like the way you heal your troops in alliance conquest.
- Normal injury: This is only in the Siege of Winterfell so far. Basically, if troops are in this state they will remain with your deployment but won’t fight anymore. As soon as your normal wounded troops return to your castle they will be auto healed.
Healer commanders can heal normal injuries. Annie and Simon are ranged commanders that can use their AoE skill to heal allies that are around them [p2] and Sansa and Patelo will only heal the march she is deployed in. That being said it’s very important to use Annie and Simon [p3] in a deployment that will not be alone on the match and alongside allies. If more players in close-by deployments have Annie and Simon [p4] with them, it will be very harder to defeat them. In addition to healing, Annie adds to commanders rage (making them use their skills more often) and makes them immune to enemy debuffs so even though Simon heals more than her, she is a bit better as a general support commander in the field.[p5]
Commander Egbert can also improve the heal your troops can receive and can be a good combination with other healers but not as a standalone healer.
The important thing to remember is, you won’t need these commanders to be of a high quality (gold, …) for them to be useful healers. Annie is better with spearmen and Sansa is better with Bows, however.
Group C: AoE Damage
Daenerys and Cersei are the main AoE damage dealer commanders but commanders Leila Mormont, Hector, Enzo, Robb Stark, Chris, Kevin, Soren, and Melisandre also have area damage. These damage skills work only based on the troop damage that is with the commanders so it's important to use these commanders only if you have them at higher qualities (so they can boost the damage of the troops with them with their passive skills). AoE damage commanders will attack multiple enemy deployments at the same time and are more useful for the crowded battlefields which are most fights in a competitive SoW match.
You always need to use these commanders with their respectful troop type. Total attack commanders can be used with all troops, however.
Group D: Single Damage Dealer
Unlike group C, other damage dealer commanders can only damage the single target that your deployment is acting against. This includes Seg, Haley, Maranda, Arya, Sheila, Kravras, Russel, Jaime, Julien, Sinara, O'Biehn, Jeane, Merrel Peake, Barret, Arslan, Varys, Feis, Robert, and Patelo.
Just like AoE damage dealers, it’s best to use these commanders only when you have them at high quality and just with their favorite troop type as their damage is based on the troop's damage that is with them. It’s very important to have at least 6 damage dealer commanders in your 9-commander setup to not have a low damage output.
Group E: Debuffers
Many commander’s active skills have 2 parts if they can deal damage and debuff the enemy or buff allies. Some commanders however are made to be only debuffers or buffers. Daenerys and Theon are the main debuffer commander that is in-game with his massive AoE debuff skill. Because of the AoE effect, it’s best to only use him in crowded areas against the mass of the enemy deployments. Chris AoE's damage skill also has a debuff effect attached to it.
Commander Daenerys also has a huge AoE debuff
Many other commanders can debuff the enemy as well: Seg, Gorell, Leila Mormont, Arya, Kravras, Kevin, Hector, Enzo[p1] , Russel, Soren, Jeane, Varys.
Between all commanders, the only commander that will debuff your own troops are Julien, which is the tradeoff for his extra damage output. Julien's active skill has the highest damage output and he buffs your troop's damage but makes them more vulnerable to incoming damage as well.
Sinara and Barret are not de buffers but they will reduce the enemy rage which will reduce the number of times they will use their skill.
To use the debuff skills, you won’t need these commanders at high quality but since the commanders are used for multiple purposes (such as dealing damage and debuff at the same time) it’s important to have them at high quality for their damage skills.
Group F: Buffers
The main buffer commander is Jon snow and he will increase both damage and survivability by a lot. There are many other buffers that will increase troops' stats and survivability. Other buffer commanders are: Sheila, Andrea, Jaime, Julien, Sansa, Jeane, Merrel Peake, Egbert, Arslan, Melisandre and Cersei.
Also commanders Annie, Robb, Laena will grant immunity from debuffs to your deployments.
O’Biehn and Cersei can add to your rage and will increase the amount of time your deployment uses the skill as well.
For different troop types these commanders are suggested in order (from high priority to lower):
Universal: Daenerys, Cersei, Jon snow, Annie, Simon, Theon, Kevin, Julien, Sansa, Seg, Arya
Infantry: Chris, Sinara, Haley, Barret
Spearmen: Patelo, Merenda, Hector, Jaime, Arslan, Gorell, Varys
Cavalry: Leila Mormont, Enzo, Laena Waters , Robb Stark, Russel, Merrel Peake, Jeane
Bowmen: Melisandre, Kravras, O’Biehn, Sheila, Soren, Egbert
To read more about the event itself check out my other guide about it: here
Good luck and enjoy!