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Darknest Rallies

T's Ultimate Darknest Rally Guide

Victory over a Darknest isn't just about how many troops you send at it. It's about which troops and why. Sure, you might be able to beat it by just throwing a ton of troops at it, but you'll end up with more wounded than necessary.

Why Do Darknest Rallies?
It's basically free loot. Random, but you don't need to do much for it other than hold the rally correctly and heal some troops. Troops sent to a Darknest will never die unless you don't have room in your Infirmary.

There are 5 grades of essence just like gear and heroes and... well, pretty much everything. The grade goes up with the Darknest levels. Level 1 nests give you common up through level 5 nests giving you legendary.

Theoretically, the higher the essence, the better the loot. I say theoretically because sometimes you cook an epic one for 12 hours and still get something useless to you and other times you do a common one and get something you need. Here is the official drop rate list. No matter what loot you get, it's always better than nothing! So hold rallies often and always have an essence transmuting.

Pick the Right Nest
Start by clicking on the nest level your guild has been beating. Look at the might of it. Compare it to other mights of the same level. Lower mights usually mean easier nests, but a lower level essence.

Always scout first. Look for nests with single troop types. These are the easiest to beat. If you can't find one, do two troop types. Last resort should be all 3. You don't really have to worry too much about the siege in a nest. You're not carrying a wall around, so they won't do much.

Don't be afraid of Darknests with anti-scout on. These sometimes have the highest level essence for that Darknest level and they are beatable.

If you don't get a victory, use the battle report to see what you can improve and try again. Darknests reset automatically so it's not like a castle or Skirmish where when you take the wall down you're good for the second wave. You've got to start from scratch each time.

Look at What is in the Nest
The better your research in Intelligence Report, the better your report will be. If you get quantities with a ~ behind them, these are estimates. Usually low estimates. What you need to find out is:
• How big is the wall?
• What type of traps?
• What tier traps?
• How many traps?
• What type of troops?
• What tier troops?
• How many troops?

Most importantly, Essence level! The higher the essence, the more difficult the nest. Additionally, the nests get exponentially harder as they get higher. The difficulty difference between a level 1 essence and a level 3 essence isn't very much. But between a level 14 and a level 16? It's significant. Between a level 20 and a level 22? Even greater.

What Troops Do I Send?

Certain troop types counter others and therefor do the most damage. You want to always send the troops that will counter the ones in the nest.

If one troop type in the nest is much higher than the others:
• If Infantry send Cavalry
• If Ranged send Infantry
• If Cavalry send Ranged

If two troop types in the nest are about even:
• If Infantry/Ranged send mostly Infantry*
• If Ranged/Cavalry send mostly Ranged
• If Cavalry/Infantry send mostly Cavalry
*Why? You can still send both counters, but if you send all Cavalry in to defeat the Infantry, the Ranged troops in the nest will just slaughter them before they can defeat the Infantry. (And so on for the other types.)

If three troop types are in the nest:
If the nest has all three, but has overwhelmingly high numbers in one or two types, send the counters listed above. If the nest has a fairly even mix of all three, find another nest. I joke. Kind of. This is the most difficult kind of nest to beat later on. If you're just starting out, it might actually be the easiest because not many players can send a full march of a single troop type yet, so you're going to get more troops from everyone than if you did a single troop type nest.

If it's got 3 and they're about even, send even mixed troops back at it. Not a random, "send me whatever you've got on hand" kind of thing. Specially aim for 33/33/33/0 or 30/30/30/10 depending on if you need siege. If you want to do the math and figure out the actual percentages needed, go for it. But participants might get confused.

Should I Send Siege?
Sometimes. It mostly depends on your rally leader's stats, what you're up against, and how big the leader's hall is. In general, you rarely need siege. I haven't sent siege to a Darknest rally in so long I can't remember.

Traps are important because they will kill your troops as long as the wall is standing. Like troops, traps have specific counters:
• Crushing will hurt Infantry
• Towers will hurt Ranged
• Spikes will hurt Cavalry

However, once the wall falls, the traps are no longer effective. So if wall comes down quickly, it will be a battle between only troops.

So when do you send siege?
• If the traps on the wall are a high tier and specifically counter the troops you're sending
• If the wall is particularly large
• If you're just unsure, go ahead and send some. Send about 10%. That will usually do it. Never more than 20%.
• If you have a really big hall and not many troops

Who Should Lead?
You might think the answer is whoever has the biggest Battle Hall, but that's not always the case. It should be the player with the best everything for the troops you're sending. Best Military Research, best heroes, best gear, highest player level (most talents), and a hall large enough to accommodate the number of troops needed to defeat it.

How to Prepare to Lead
So you know what troops to send and the appropriate ratio. Now what? Set your stuff:

• Put on war gear that has ATK boosts for the troops you're sending or Army ATK boosts. (See Gear)

• Set your formation to the appropriate Phalanx/Wedge. Put your strongest troops out front for Darknest levels 1-3. Sometimes level 4s. The more difficult the nest, the higher the chance the nest's formation will be unpredictable. Set your formation to put your strongest troops in the back and send 4 (one for each squad) of the other two types (8 total) to keep them there.

• Reset your talents. (See Talents)

• Choose your heroes. (See Heroes)

Make sure your Leader's command type and Battle Skills match at least one of the troop types you're sending or has an army boost. The rest of the heroes should also match the troop type. HOWEVER, only 4 heroes that command the same troop type can be active at once. If you look at your formations, each type of troops is divided into 4 squads. There can only be one hero per squad. If you send 5 of the same, one of them is not going to provide the squad boost.

Rose Knight and Bombin' Goblin are excellent choices for your 5th hero once they are Rank 7 as they will give you an Army ATK boost. Rose is Cavalry, so send her as the 5th with Infantry or Ranged. Goblin is Ranged, so send him as the 5th with Infantry or Cavalry. Of course, there are many P2P options with Army boosts as well.

Choose the heroes that are the highest rank (they command more, so you can send more) and the ones that have appropriate Battle Skills (See Hero Battle Skills). Do not send admin only heroes unless you've run out of other heroes that command the troop type(s) you're sending and heroes with army boosts.

This can sometimes happen if you're still early on and sending a single troop type. It is better to have an admin only hero that commands that troop type than it is to have a hero with troop specific battle skills, but no troops to command, because the admin hero will still give you a squad boost while a hero with no one to command will be idle. (Yeah... You might have to send Trickster if you're sending only ranged. There I said it. I think I died a little on the inside...) But only if you're sending a single troop type! If you're sending mixed troops, check for other options that will give you both a decent squad boost AND a Battle Skill boost.

Call the Troops
Don't just say, "hey guys, join my rally." Give them the info they need. This is how I like to call a rally:
@@JOIN RALLY!! • Lvl 9s • 0/100/0/fill • NO T1s@@

However you call it, make sure it's got the 3 important bits of information: essence level, troops needed, tiers needed/not needed.

Tell them the essence level in case they're full and need to delete an essence if you're getting one higher than what they've got.

Tell them which troops to send. Using i/r/c/s (infantry/ranged/cavalry/siege) as a percentage usually works. It gets more difficult with people who are inexperienced with rallies or you have a language barrier. Try i/r/c/s first. If people are confused, spell it out. Literally. 100% Ranged! If you're having a language issue, try other words that are similar. Ranged can be archers, snipers, or bow and arrow. Infantry can be sword and shield, saber, step, or walking. Cavalry usually works, but horses or ride/riders are good alternatives. (Side bar - the reason I say fill instead of a number for siege is because I have a very large hall and a very small guild. My team now knows this means to send only ranged, but if you have room in your march, send siege too.)

Give them the tier of troops you're looking for. Or not looking for. Don't send any tiers lower than what's in the nest. If you're going up against a nest with only T3s and T2s in it, don't send T1s. Nest has T4s and T3s? Don't send T2s or T1s. IT'S IMPORTANT! They will die very quickly and impact your morale negatively, potentially making you lose. If a member doesn't have the minimum tier to send yet, have them send ONE siege or ranged of the highest tier they have so they can collect the essence.

Watch What is Being Sent
If someone sends you the wrong troops, send them back. Wrong tier, send them back. Train your team members to give you what you ask for. If the nest is called correctly, you've got a better chance for a victory and everyone will have less healing to do.

If the last person in fills the hall, but there is still a decent amount of time left and you're under the minimum participants (only 30 people plus the host can join a single rally at once), send him back. Have him send all but the number of remaining participants up to 31. Then have everyone else send only one troop in order to collect the essence.

How Many Troops are Needed?
Well that depends on the tiers in the nest and the tiers you're sending.

• These are the approximations:
1 T4 = 1.5 T3s
1 T4 = 2.25 T2s
1 T4 = 4.5 T1s
1 T3 = 1.5 T2s
1 T3 = 3 T1s
1 T2 = 2 T1s
These do not account for heroes, gear, talents, familiars, or another other kinds of boosts. They are the base approximations.

• Use those numbers to calculate the number of troops you'll need. Lets say the nest has 120k T3s.
You will need a minimum of:
80k T4s or
120k T3s or
180k T2s or
360k T1s
Assuming they are the counter to what's in the nest. Send the wrong types, you'll need more and you'll have more wounded.

• You can beat a nest with fewer troops than "needed", because the leader's stats are also playing a role. If your rally leader has great stats, awesome gear, and talents set correctly, you might need as few as half of the troops because they are more powerful than the base troop. Every troop in the rally gains all the boosts of the rally leader.

Real Example
Level 2 Darknest; Level 3 Essence
• Wall HP: 354,076/354,076
• Metal Spikes (T2): 29,914
• Sniper Tower (T2): 29,486
• Stealth Snipers (T3): 25,772
• Royal Cavalry (T3): 46,566
• Sharpshooter (T2): 244,645
• Reptilian Rider (T2): 165,007

The nest has a total of 481,990 troops of varying type and tier. About 56% Ranged and 44% Cavalry.

Math tells us we need:
T4s - 230,293 or
T3s - 345,439 or
T2s - 518,159 or
T1s - 1,036,318

So if you're getting a 50/50 mix of T3s and T2s, you're going to want about 443k total troops.

But what type? Your first instinct might be to send 56% Infantry to take care of the Ranged and 44% Ranged to take care of the Cavalry. However, the Cavalry in the nest is going to chew up your Infantry before they can finish off the Ranged leaving just your Ranged troops to battle. Since there are mostly T2s in the nest, that might work if you're only sending T3s and you'll probably get a victory. But at what cost? To minimize losses, I'd send mostly Ranged.

Do you want siege? If you've got a huge hall and never fill it - send siege. Why not? But if your hall gets full quickly, be more attentive. If you're sending a full rally of T3s, probably not. If you're doing a T3/T2 mix, sure. Go ahead and send 10% siege. When you attack a nest with only ranged troops, the defenders will exit the castle wall; however, any Towers will still be targeting your ranged troops.

Level 5 Darknests with 19+ Essence
Level 5s are a totally different story. You'll use the same basic principles, but they are significantly harder. The jump from level 15 essence to level 25 essence is enormous. Much more than any other Darkest level. It's a HUGE leap. So even if you're easily winning level 15 essence, you may still lose while trying for 19+.

Things you can do to improve your chances of victory:
• Be REALLY picky about the nest you try. Only do one type of troop. When you get to Level 5s, you're going to spend way more time looking for nests than you will actually rallying them.
• Only send the counters. Some say extra siege is the key, but realistically it isn't the traps that are going to do you in - it's the troops.
• You have to have T4s. You just do. And lots of them. If your guild is mostly made up of T4 players, have the T3 players only send one troop. If your guild is mostly made up of T3 players, I would highly recommend that Leadership delete the 19+ Guild Fest quests immediately.

Why is it So Complicated?
War is complicated, man. These principles aren't just applied to Darknests. They're applied everywhere in this game. Think of Darknests as practice runs for rallies on real enemies. Learning to send an appropriate troop composition based on the troop composition of your target is essential. This is why it's really important to use an anti-scout if you're not shielded. If you don't, your enemy can get a good report on you and send exactly the right troops to wipe you clean. But the flip side of that is that if you're going to attack someone and you get a clean scout, you've now got the tools to zero them. So practice doing Darknests the "right" way and you'll be learning powerful techniques to implement in the game.

©Tormund ᵃᵏᵃ Ꭲ


  1. Hey bro, if a level 4 dn has 700k cavs and 500k ranged, what would you send ?

    1. I would send 90% Ranged and 10% Infantry. The Infantry will all die, but it will occupy the Cavalry in the nest for a minute to give the Ranged a chance to pick them off.

      What would you send, Arc?

    2. Will you send your siege too? How many if you send your siege?

    3. Me personally? No. Should you? Depends. Please scroll up to the section regarding siege.

    4. The one and only way to force cavalry out of the gate is to make sure there are zero Infantry/Cavalry troops in your rally. Seige doesnt matter. ONLY if your rally is 100% ranged (+seige if you like) will cavalry come out the gate. If only 1 member sends you an Infantry/Cavalry troop to rally...cavalry will not come out the gate.

  2. 100% Ranged. The CAV will rush out and engage first, regardless of formation. Works every time but only when talking RNG+CAV

    1. I've never had much luck with sending Ranged only to nests and having the defenders rush out. Every time they jump the wall, I have issues. When I send something with the Ranged, I don't. Something to experiment with I guess. Need to find me some RNG/CAV nests!

    2. T is right. Although for me I might change the 10% infantry to cavalry based on the traps in the Darknest.

      The reason is mainly because (I'm not 100% sure on this) based on what I saw on the Darknest battle video the troops will always focus on destroying the wall first regardless on whether the defenders have charged out or not.

      If the defenders do not charge out then while you are destroying the wall your troops will mostly get hurt by the traps.

      But if the defenders do charge out then your troops will also mostly get hurt by Darknest's troops while they are still mainly focusing on destroying the wall. Hence your troops' morale will drop a lot faster than the DN's troops' morale.

    3. It depends on your stats, depends on how quickly you can take down the wall. If it takes 1-3 hits, maybe 4, it is ok to send only ranged against range/cav darknests since, if they happen to have the ranged troops infront of the cav then you change the formation, forcing the cav out front. And cav vs range means your range don't take as much damage as you think, the few hits they will get in while you take down the wall is worth having your troops targeting the cav before ranged once the wall comes down.

    4. Yeah, exactly what Anonymous #2 and Syckhero said.
      • Changing the 10% Inf in my original response to 10% Cavs would probably be better unless the wall was full spikes.
      • The charge out can work for small nests. But a Lvl 4? Eh... maybe? A Lvl 5? I wouldn't.

    5. 100% Ranged always works on cav ranged nests.. if you have a high walk you can add siege as well to help you..nothing wrong with that since you cav only send 4 ranged heroes(because you only have 4 squads for each troop type) and you would be better off sending one siege as well.. but also use infantry phalanx so you keep your ranged as far away from the wall as possible.

    6. Trick is to use calvary phalanx and 10 calvary, 10 infantry in lineup. The calvary troops inside nest will not charge until the slow infantry in the back make their way up to the wall. Do not ask me why they wait, but I do this daily and that time gap gives time for wall to come down.

  3. defeating Darknest, what will get the guild?

    1. The guild itself? Nothing. The members who joined the rally will each get Dark Essence that can be Transmuted into loot.

  4. You didnt have a list of the DN wall heroes and their troop command type....

    1. You are correct. I do not. But Hephbot does! Checkout the command Darknest Heroes.

  5. Is there a way to decrease the rally attack time from the one of the options you originally chose? I didn't realize the darknest will disappear by the time we attack it

    1. Nope. The time is the time once a rally is set. But you can cancel it and start over.

      Darknests reset once daily at 23:55 GMT-5 (the time on the countdown when you click one). See When Does Stuff Reset for additional details.

      If a Darknest disappears any other time of the day, it was beaten by a different guild or hit by a Lords Ball.

  6. Hello, didnt undesrtand the 5 hero part. Can you explain to me better? If i send 5 cav hero, 1 wont give bonuses?
    Other question, if my leader is CAV, but i send no cav, i still get his bonus because he is the leader?


    1. Let's talk about the different kind of bonuses you can get when you are in battle.
      • Tactical Battle Skill - Squad Bonus
      • Logistical Battle Skill - Army or Troop Specific Bonuses
      • Logistical Talent, Gear, and Jewel Bonuses

      Every hero has a Tactical Battle Skill. It gives a % bonus based on the grade (color) of the hero. It affects one squad of troops of that hero's command type.

      There are 4 squads of each troop type in every formation. Their location will be different depending on which Phalanx/Wedge you have set, but there will always only be an option of 16 squads: 4 Infantry, 4 Ranged, 4 Cavalry, and 4 Siege. If you don't send any troops of a particular type or less than 4 troops, there are no squads formed for that troop type. If you do send a particular type of troop, there will only ever be 4 squads. It might be 4 squads each containing 575k or it might be 4 squads each containing 1, but there will only ever be 4.

      So the 5th hero. If you send 5 heroes that all command the same troop type, you will only get the Tactical Battle Skill bonus from 4 of them because there are only 4 squads to command.

      Logistical Battle Skills are a different story. These are things like Rose Knight's Army ATK boost or Demon Slayer's Infantry ATK and Infantry HP. Logistical Battle Skills are active when that hero is in battle as long as the the skills are applicable. So if you want a Logistical Battle Skill, the hero needs to be stationed on your wall or sent into battle. He doesn't necessarily have to be the leader, but he does have to be in the battle.

      If you send Rose Knight (a Cavalry Hero) with only Infantry troops, you will get her Army ATK Battle Skill bonus because it is applicable. If you send Child of Light (a Cavalry Hero) with only Infantry troops, he's just along for the walk since none of his Battle Skills would be applicable in that battle.

      (Side note, Administrative Battle Skills like Rose Knight's Timber Production and Trickster's Research Speed are always active as soon as they are unlocked unless that specific hero is in prison. Leader, fighting, gathering, garrisoned - it makes no difference.)

      Now, Logistical Talents are only active if your leader is in the battle, but the talent doesn't need to apply to that hero in order for it to be active. For example, if Child of Light is assigned as your leader, you will still receive any boosts from talents assigned to Ranged Offense as long as Child of Light is in the battle.

      If you're the defender, he needs to be home and not sheltered (he'll automatically be stationed on your wall). If you're the attacker, he needs to be assigned to the battle. If your leader is in the shelter or you do not send him, you will not get any talents that are applied to Offense, Health, or Defense. (Administrative Talents will be active if your leader is in the shelter.) If your leader is in prison, you will not get any talents at all.

      Gear and any inlayed jewels need your leader and must be on before you start the thing. So if it provides a Logistical Battle Skill, your leader must be engaged and it must be on before you become engaged in the battle. If it provides an Administrative Battle Skill, it must be on before you start whatever you're doing - before you click research, before you arrive at the resource tile, etc. If you put the gear on in the middle of doing the thing, it won't count. So if you've already started walking, any gear that provides a speed boost won't apply. If you've already started the research, it won't apply. If you take off the gear before you arrive at the resource tile, it won't apply. Same as talents, if your leader is in prison you will not get any bonuses from gear at all.

  7. I was literally looking at this last night, then came across a wegamers post that literally plagiarized all of this post, just FYI


  8. I’ve recently been browsing online even more than 3 hours presently, but I never determined all fascinating content such as the ones you have.
    It’s fairly worthy of an adequate amount of in my position. In my view, if just about all web owners as well as the blogosphere prepared excellent content whenever you had, the net will be a lot a lot more valuable prior to now.

  9. Hello, and thanks for great blog.
    I have a note regarding hero per squad.
    Just tested 100k cav On 3rd Darknest.
    With two options:
    A) Only Child of light (yellow)
    B) CoL and Night Raven (purple)
    Results were different on the same other options, including cav phalanx.
    So each hero brings his help to each squad.
    Possible the game has changed...
    Could you comment this moment please?

    Also, I'd like to ask for more details about DN5 success. Could you please dive into details?

    1. Aha, found an answer on my first question above in comments.
      But second request still alive :)
      Plus, are Rose and Bomber equal to each other I put 4 cavalry hero as first four for only cav troops? I mean, you are making the difference that Rose is cav hero, and Bomber is range hero?

  10. Thank you. I learned more in this 5-10 minute read, then weeks of game play. Bookmarked.

  11. What happened if someone attacks your turf while you are rallying for a darknest?

    1. The troops, and heroes if you are the rally captain, assigned to the Darknest are unavailable to defend your turf.

  12. Can beastmaster be used in rally?

  13. "Rose Knight and Bombin' Goblin are excellent choices for your 5th hero once they are Rank 7 as they will give you an Army ATK boost. Rose is Cavalry, so send her as the 5th with Infantry or Ranged. Goblin is Ranged, so send him as the 5th with Infantry or Cavalry. Of course, there are many P2P options with Army boosts as well."

    How you can choose which hero will lead X squad?..

  14. As you said, there is no need to send any cav troops in a full ranged march (to get army boost from Rose knight, cav hero)

    But someone had tested this on a darknest and the result after using just 1 cavalry unit, is quite different.
    Do check this out

    1. I tried the same situation, but it seems to be interpreted differently.
      The change from infantry to cavalry has nothing to do with boost activate.
      When placing only infantry, the tactical skill from enemy range heroes deployed on the wall will kill the infantry by attacking from the range earlier.
      In infantry phalanx, the cavalry is located slightly behind the infantry.
      So by changing to cavalry, the first tactical skill deal damage changed from archer to cavalry.
      As a result, it was possible to suppress the deterioration of morale at first.

  15. Stats. There is anything about the stats you need to beat 19+? I mean. Around wich % should anyone try it?

  16. Why my rallying troops move slowly like they are not even walking at all.

  17. if dn4 have 1m rc ,780k rg or
    330k rr then which troop will u send?

  18. Hello, this is a very good guide, i have 1 question. Does the 20% army attack buff stack in a coalition army? If I pop it does it increase the whole coalition army's attack, or does it only affect my army in the coalition army if i am the only one that pops it? Also, does it stack if multiple players in the coalition army pop it?

  19. Hi, when members sends troops to DN and I am the rally leader. Do they need to activate attack boost before sending the troops. Or its unnecessary? Thanks!!!

  20. Stats. There is anything about the stats you need to beat 19+? I mean. Around wich % should anyone try it?

    I managed a level 20 finally at 400% stats but half my guild is t3/t4 x

    Hi, when members sends troops to DN and I am the rally leader. Do they need to activate attack boost before sending the troops. Or its unnecessary? Thanks!!!

    You just need the attack boost on :)

  21. How would you calculate your total rally size?

  22. How would you calculate your total rally size? What are the things that are considered?

  23. Vejo muitas pessoas com dificuldade, inclusive eu, em derrubar ninhos que tenham os três
    tipos de soldados, infantaria, arqueiros e cavalaria. Os arqueiros ficam atrás atirando e geralmente o bonus do ataque esta concentrado em uma tropa apenas.

  24. Eu li os comentários e vi que atacar apenas com arcos os ninhos que tenham cavalos + arcos. Aprendi a fazer os cavalos inimigos sairem pelos muros. OBrigado pela orientação.
    Se tiverem mais dicas como esta para atacr ninhos postem aqui, por favor

  25. If I join rally than and we defeat then my troops will be killed and wounded or not????


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