Grand Kingdom isn’t a game you rush through. This is the sort of strategic endeavor you savor. I’ve spent five days with it so far and honestly? I’m not even exactly sure what my team is going to look like. I’ve been spending more hours experimenting with possible combos, rather than relying on one troop. It’s a freeing kind of feeling, knowing that there are so many options available, and each one is viable. What I have discovered, however, is that balance is the key to putting together a party that can survive most assaults.
The first thing every Grand Kingdom player should do is pay very close attention to the initial tutorial mission. The team you’re assigned for these first few fights is quite possibly the most balanced one in the game. You’ve got a Fighter, which acts as a tank and damage dealer, a Hunter that can deal damage while staying away from danger, a Witch to cast spells from a distance, and a Medic that can control the battlefield, heal allies, and cause damage as needed. If you’re unsure what you want to do with your crew, it’s absolutely okay to fall back on these four characters. The classes should be available for creating your first custom party.
For additional parties, it could be a while before you get the team that you want. Set characters will appear in the hall to be hired after each quest. You don’t know who will or won’t show up. Even if there are two characters from the same class, their stats and potential could be very different. Grand Kingdom is a game where I recommend constantly checking to see who’s available and picking up anyone you might see yourself using eventually. As an example, I had one Rogue available the first time I checked in. I didn’t see another Rogue appear until five quests later, and by that point I realized how helpful the character could be to the party.
As far as composition goes, I recommend a party that has two melee characters, close range or ranged, one magic user, and one specialist. However, this isn’t set in stone. A Medic is a good choice early on, since she can heal and lay down traps that punish anyone who goes through spots in certain lanes. Someone might want to go with a Challenger, with his bomb barrels, after they’re more accustomed to battles. But, if you really want a great character in your specialist slot and think you can get by with only three characters, the Dragon Mage is fantastic. She can switch between magic and melee, which becomes invaluable in online battles against other people’s units. She starts with attacking skills and works well on the front line. Dragon Breath, with its area of attack and multiple hits, is one of my favorite things, as it remains useful even once the Dragon Mage’s level hits double digits.
For your primary melee unit, a Fighter, Lancer, or Paladin is an essential party member. These are three units that have substantial defenses. You can send them into enemy lines, deal a good amount of damage to an enemy, and have them draw fire. These sorts of characters might not be able to defeat an enemy on the first try, I know my Fighter never does, but they give foes a target that distracts them from your other units. I prefer the Fighter, since I’m also using a Dragon Mage and could use the support of an attacker with a solid combo, but people who have a full, four person party may favor the more defensive Paladin for his guarding skills.
The secondary attacker could really be any other melee or ranged unit you’d like. Personally, I like using the Rogue on occasions where I don’t have a Dragon Mage in the party. She doesn’t have the highest defense, but she’s able to inflict quite a bit of damage on an opponent. She acts quickly, heads into enemy territory, and usually has no problem taking out an enemy magic user, ranged unit, or specialist. She even has her own guard, though it pales in comparison to a real warriors’.
But, if someone is just starting out and wants to play it safe, going with a Hunter, Archer, or Gunner is probably best. These are characters that will have a great range. If they’re attacking a character like a magic user or ranged unit, there’s a great chance they’ll take the enemy out. But, they’re also good for finishing off a stronger unit someone like a Fighter, Lancer, or Paladin has worn down. I like the Gunner best in this situation, because the bullets can hit multiple targets and certain shots can inflict status effects on foes.
When going all out, I recommend a Noble, Blacksmith, or Dark Knight as the second melee unit. These are characters for when you don’t need someone who’ll pick people off from the back lines. They won’t be as sturdy as your tanks, but will be able to rush in, take a hit, and last a turn or two. In this situation, I say go completely risky and use a Dark Knight. It’ll inflict crippling attacks on enemies, so even though it succumb to attacks quicker than a Noble or Blacksmith, he’ll do a lot of damage in the process.
For your mage, I recommend going with a Witch or Arcanist. The Witch is strictly for attacks. Every one of her skills is going to deal damage, which can be a big help. If you ever think you’re going to go with a party that doesn’t include a Medic, then you should go with an Arcanist instead. He’s a character that learns damaging attack spells and support skills. Like the Dragon Mage, he has an early level skill called Guard Zone that sacrifices 20% of his health to increase the defense in a zone by 90%. He’s a good guy. The Shaman is another option, if you’re lucky enough to have one show up. I’ve only come across one and haven’t had an opportunity to really use her effectively yet. Her Shadow Skull ability, which hits multiple times, and Dark Spark that target an area, certainly seemed useful in practice!
As for recommendations, I’ve found a few teams that work as very well balanced crew. My default team is an Arcanist, Dragon Mage, and Fighter. The Dragon Mage is my main damage dealer, the Fighter acts as a tank and assistant, and the Arcanist offers support and ranged attacks. My backup troop, for when I’m playing it safe, consists of a Cleric, Gunner, Paladin, and Witch. It’s basically a variation on the first party you use in the game and gives you the sort of attack and defense that will weather any storm. My most recent troop, however, is the one I’m most interested in experimenting with. There’s a Blacksmith, Dark Knight, Noble, and Shaman. I want to see if I can make that my shock and awe group, where I attempt to deal as much damage as quickly as possible. Assign one of the melee masters to each of the lines, make sure the Shaman’s casting all kinds of curses, and hope I hurt the enemies more than I hurt myself.
But again, these are only my finds in what amounts to less than a week’s worth of experimentation. Grand Kingdom is a huge game, one which keeps going thanks to the online wars. I could see someone spending a week or two before they even begin to find the first troop that really works for them. It’s that varied. Again, as I’ve mentioned, these are only my personal observations. This game is designed in a such a way that anyone could make practically any combination work, if they can put together the right battle plans. I’d be interested to see and hear about what kinds of crews other people are putting together.
Grand Kingdom is immediately available for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.