Destiny of an Emperor: Tactics

Destiny of an Emperor: Complete Tactic Reference

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While it seems more and more people are discovering and playing the old gem of a game known as Destiny of an Emperor, many of the people who enjoy it have beaten it many times before. As one of them, I presented a challenge in our forum, and at lordyuanshu.com, that turned out to be so much fun that I’ve decided to share it with all of you. Basically, the challenge creates rules that must be observed while playing the game in order to make it much more difficult. Other Destiny of an Emperor challenges created by people will also be added to this page.

Quick Reference: Tactics by Level

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A quick listing of Destiny of an Emperor tactics sorted by level learned with short summaries of each tactic’s function. Use when you want to know what your strategist will learn soon, or what other strategists in your billeting may or may not know.

TacticLv.TPsDescription
Lian Huo22Targets one enemy; damage potential: 60 soldiers.
Wuo Jian34Significantly reduces damage of fire tactics.
Shui Tu43Targets one enemy; damage potential: 100 soldiers.
Chi Xin53Targets one ally; recovery potential: 100 soldiers.
Cheng Nei65Reduces the defense bonus provided by castles.
Qi Shou74Increases target ally’s agility, helping them to go first.
Ye Huo84Targets one enemy; damage potential: 140 soldiers.
Shui Jian93Significantly reduces damage of water tactics.
Shui Xing106Targets one enemy; damage potential: 160 soldiers.
Jie Ce115Counters opposing tactics (e.g. Ji Mian, Ce Mian, Bei Ji).
Fu Bing126Gives officer second 50% strength attacks against target.
Tong Xian135Targets one ally; recovery potential: 500 soldiers.
Yan Re146 Targets all enemies; damage potential: 170 soldiers.
Shui Lei158 Targets one enemy; damage potential: 200 soldiers.
Yin Xian1610Targets all allies; recovery potential: 1,000 soldiers.
Ji Rou175For a battle, reduces all received damage by 50%.
Bei Ji1810Doubles strength of an ally’s tactics and attacks.
Yi Xin195Prevents target opposing officer from taking turns.
Li Jian206Turns target opposing officer against his allies.
Hong Shui2111 Targets all enemies; damage potential: 1,500 soldiers.
Da Re228Targets one enemy; damage potential: 1,300 soldiers.
Wan Fu2310Targets one ally; fully recovers all lost soldiers.
Ji Mian247While active, opposing officers cannot make attacks.
Tui Lu255Has a chance of causing party to retreat from battle.
Gui Huan266Retreats from battle, returns party to Liu Bei’s palace.
An Sha2710If successful, kills one target enemy general.
Jin Xian284Targets all allies; recovery potential: 4,500 soldiers.
Shui Long2915 Targets all enemies; damage potential: 2,500 soldiers.
Huo Shen3012 Targets all enemies; damage potential: 2,000 soldiers.
Ce Mian3117While active, opposing officers cannot use tactics.

Quick Reference: Tactics by Category

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A quick listing of Destiny of an Emperor tactics sorted by category with short summaries of each tactic’s function. Use when you need to quickly remember what a tactic does, or when you are curious what you can look forward to in any given area’s upgraded tactics.

Fire Lv.TPsDescription
Lian Huo 22 Targets one enemy; damage potential: 60 soldiers.
Ye Huo 84 Targets one enemy; damage potential: 140 soldiers.
Yan Re 146 Targets all enemies; damage potential: 170 soldiers.
Da Re 228 Targets one enemy; damage potential: 1,300 soldiers.
Huo Shen 3012 Targets all enemies; damage potential: 2,000 soldiers.
Water Lv.TPsDescription
Shui Tu 43 Targets one enemy; damage potential: 100 soldiers.
Shui Xing 106 Targets one enemy; damage potential: 160 soldiers.
Shui Lei 158 Targets one enemy; damage potential: 200 soldiers.
Hong Shui 2111 Targets all enemies; damage potential: 1,500 soldiers.
Shui Long 2915 Targets all enemies; damage potential: 2,500 soldiers.
Healing Lv.TPsDescription
Chi Xin 53 Targets one ally; recovery potential: 100 soldiers.
Tong Xian 135 Targets one ally; recovery potential: 500 soldiers.
Yin Xian 1610 Targets all allies; recovery potential: 1,000 soldiers.
Wan Fu 2310 Targets one ally; fully recovers all lost soldiers.
Jin Xian 284 Targets all allies; recovery potential: 4,500 soldiers.
Special Lv.TPsDescription
An Sha 2710 If successful, kills one target enemy general.
Bei Ji 1810Doubles strength of an ally’s tactics and attacks.
Ce Mian 3117While active, opposing officers cannot use tactics.
Cheng Nei 65Reduces the defense bonus provided by castles.
Fu Bing 126 Gives officer second 50% strength attacks against target.
Gui Huan 266Retreats from battle, returns party to Liu Bei’s palace.
Qi Shou 74 Increases an ally’s chance of acting sooner in battle.
Ji Mian 247While active, opposing officers cannot make attacks.
Ji Rou 175 For a battle, reduces all received damage by 50%.
Jie Ce 115 Counters opposing tactics (e.g. Ji Mian, Ce Mian, Bei Ji).
Li Jian 206Turns target opposing officer against his allies.
Shui Jian 93Significantly reduces damage of water tactics.
Tui Lu 255Has a chance of causing party to retreat from battle.
Wuo Jian 34Significantly reduces damage of fire tactics.
Yi Xin 195Prevents target opposing officer from taking turns.

Complete Reference: Fire Tactics

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Fire tactics serve as the most consistent and dependable of offensive tactics in Destiny of an Emperor. Be careful of the Wuo Jian tactic, which causes the affect of fire tactics to be reduced dramatically. If you have Jie Ce, you can break the affects of Wuo Jian. Fire tactics can be used safely in water-tactic regions as opposing officers will not cast Wuo Jian under these circumstances.

Tactic NameLv.TPsReplacesIntelligence Req.
Lian Huo22 TP----- 60
Fire tactic which targets one general defeating roughly 30–70 soldiers. Useful early in the game but starts to become obsolete into Chapter II, but fortunately it won’t be long before it is replaced with Ye Huo. Use Chen Deng, Guan Yu, or Liu Bei for good success, but don’t bother with it after Wuo Jian has been cast by the enemy general.
Ye Huo84 TPLian Huo 90
Fire tactic which targets one general defeating roughly 90–150 soldiers. Ye Huo, when you get it, is a very powerful tactic, and makes enemy officers such as Lu Bu, Dong Zhuo, Ji Ling, and Wen Hun much easier to defeat if used properly. Use with Huo Hu, Guan Yu, or Xu Zhe for best success. Ye Huo isn’t very valuable after Wuo Jian has been cast, but its power can be restored with Jie Ce.
Yan Re146 TPYe Huo 120
Fire tactic which targets all enemy generals defeating roughly 140–250 soldiers. Yan Re, once you obtain it, will become a staple tactic in your arsenal, especially when facing multiple enemy generals. In these battles you should approximate how many spare TP you have, and begin casting Yan Re with the likes of Xu Zhe, Guan Yu, or Zhao Yun. Can still be useful after Wuo Jian has been cast, but should be restored to power with Jie Ce.
Da Re228 TPYan Re 180
Fire tactic which targets one enemy general defeating roughly 1,000–2,500 soldiers. Da Re will serve you well if used properly, especially in combination with Bei Ji (which will double its damage). Begin a battle by casting Bei Ji with a fast officer on a general like Pang Tong or Zhuge Liang, then watch as your enemy’s army goes up in flames.
Huo Shen3012 TPDa Re 220
The most powerful fire tactic in the game. Targets all enemy generals defeating approximately 1,500–4,500 soldiers each. Like Da Re, Huo Shen should be cast in combination with Bei Ji by a very talented officer such as Pang Tong, Zhuge Liang, or Jiang Wei. Huo Shen provides a quick way to end battles with numerous strong but not-too-intelligent enemies (while people like Zhuge Liang can even hit China’s finer tacticians with reasonable consistency) when An Sha isn’t available.

Complete Reference: Water Tactics

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Water tactics, unlike fire tactics, are used in special cases (you must be within four spaces of a water source) and nearly always yield better damage than equivalent fire tactics. Water tactics are weakened by Shui Jian, a tactic frequently used by strategists who know it in these areas, and in these cases it may be best to use fire tactics instead. When you can use water tactics reliably, it is always a good idea to do so. Hong Shui is far better than the fire tactic version Da Re, and Shui Long is the most powerful damage-dealing tactic in the game.

Tactic NameLv.TPsReplacesIntelligence Req.
Shui Tu43 TP----- 70
Water tactic which targets one enemy general defeating roughly 50–80 soldiers. Shui Tu, along with other early water tactics, isn’t very useful due to the comparable damage provided by similar fire tactics and the fact that Shui Jian will be cast frequently in many water-area battles, while Wuo Jian will be completely neglected. This actually increases the value of fire tactics in these scenarios.
Shui Xing106 TPShui Tu 100
Water tactic which targets one enemy general defeating roughly 120–180 soldiers. Shui Xing, along with other early water tactics, isn’t very useful due to the comparable damage provided by similar fire tactics and the fact that Shui Jian will be cast frequently in many water-area battles, while Wuo Jian will be completely neglected. This actually increases the value of fire tactics in these scenarios.
Shui Lei158 TPShui Xing 130
Water tactic which targets one enemy generals defeating roughly 160–280 soldiers. Shui Lei is a particularly useless water tactic. Although its base damage is slightly higher than Yan Re, it only targets one enemy officer. The only case in which you might want to use this tactic over Yan Re is if you only hope to damage one enemy and the slight increase in damage will benefit you. Shui Lei does cost less TP.
Hong Shui2111 TPShui Lei 160
Water tactic which targets all enemy generals defeating roughly 1,000–2,800 soldiers. Hong Shui marks the end of useless water tactics, as you may learn in your early introduction to its power while facing Pang Tong, or at least Zhou Yu. Unlike its fire tactic cousin, Da Re, Hong Shui targets multiple opposing officers, and it does so with brutal efficiency. When you have the opportunity to use this tactic, do so, and if it can be combined with Bei Ji all the better.
Shui Long2915 TPShui Long 220
The most powerful water tactic in the game. Targets all enemy generals defeating roughly 2,000–5,500 soldiers. Shui Long has no equal in the world of offensive tactics, and when used in combination with Bei Ji by a talented strategist like Zhuge Liang, it isn’t uncommon to kill 20,000 or more soldiers in a single use with multiple targets. If Shui Jian is used, you should obviously default to the comparable Huo Shen.

Complete Reference: Healing Tactics

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Healing tactics serve as the only tactical means to heal your troops. The game provides an item called ‘Resurrect’ that heals a routed officer with 400 soldiers, and various Elixirs, but later in the game nothing compares to the power of your healing tactics. Early in the game, on the other hand, it is always wise to have some Resurrect items on-hand.

Tactic NameLv.TPsReplacesIntelligence Req.
Chi Xin53 TP----- 70
Healing tactic which targets one allied officer, healing anywhere from 40–90 soldiers. Chi Xin is useful at the beginning of the game, but by the time you reach chapter II, where you may still have the tactic, it will only be good for minor health recoveries. Keep a few Resurrects around just in case things go sour.
Tong Xian135 TPChi Xin 160
Healing tactic which targets one allied officer, healing anywhere from 260–450 soldiers. Tong Xian is much more useful than Chi Xin, and up until the most difficult battles in Jingzhou or in Yuan Shao’s territory, it should handle nearly all of your healing needs. It is still useful to have a Resurrect or two around, though, just in case.
Yin Xian1610 TPTong Xian 200
Healing tactic which targets all allied officers, healing anywhere from 750–1,200 soldiers. Yin Xian will be, without a doubt, a tactic you regard fondly. Not only that, you will miss it dearly when it evolves to the powerful Wan Fu tactic just prior to Wu (which is, ironically, where Yin Xian would have been most valuable). Though it carries a relatively steep TP cost, you should keep some TP set aside for a user or two just in case things go badly. Here’s a hint, though: if a situation at this point in the game requires Yin Xian’s power, Ma Liang is the strategist to turn to—he never forgets it.
Wan Fu2310 TPYin Xian 220
Healing tactic that fully recovers one allied officer. Wan Fu sacrifices Yin Xian’s versatility for unmatched power focused on a single target. Later in the game when you will be dealing with tens of thousands of soldiers, this can be very helpful, but its cost combined with its inability to handle situations in which multiple officers are being injured (Hong Shui comes to mind) will leave you wishing for the multiple-target capabilities of Jin Xian or Yin Xian in earlier areas.
Jin Xian284 TPJin Xian 252
The ultimate healing tactic. Jin Xian targets all allied officers healing anywhere from 4,000–7,000 soldiers. This, in and of itself, makes the tactic priceless in value, but it offers more to boast: a cost of only 4 TPs! Later in the game, provided tactics are used responsibly, this gives your party nearly unlimited healing potential—something that easily makes up for an inability to heal tens of thousands of soldiers to a single officer in one attempt. The catch? Only Zhuge Liang learns this tactic, meaning it comes with Ce Mian and Bei Ji, but you lose Ji Mian and An Sha.

Complete Reference: Special Tactics

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Special tactics don’t fall under any specific categories, but the further you get into the game, the greater a role they play. It is also a good idea to be familiar with them as you start to see them on enemy generals to avoid particularly nasty surprises (An Sha being the biggest surprise of all, if you don’t know what it does). Aside from An Sha, other key special tactics include Ji Rou, Li Jian and Yi Xin, Ji Mian and Ce Mian, and last but not least, Bei Ji.

Tactic NameLv.TPsReplacesIntelligence Req.
An Sha2710 TP 180
An Sha, if successful, beheads (i.e. completely defeats) the targeted enemy officer. Perhaps the most entertaining tactic in the game—and one of the most powerful. Cast with an intelligent officer for good results, even when targeting enemy strategists. When using An Sha, make sure Zhuge Liang is active in your party, as nobody compares to him when it comes time to collect heads. Hint: If you don’t hire Zhang Bao, or make Zhou Yu your strategist, you can have both Jiang Wei and Zhuge Liang in your active party simultaneously, increasing your ability to use An Sha exponentially. Another hint: Zhou Yu is the best An Sha tactician in the game.
Bei Ji1810 TP 240
Bei Ji doubles the attack power of a single allied officer while attacking or using offensive tactics until the end of the battle (provided it isn’t countered with Jie Ce). Bei Ji replaces the powerful An Sha tactic. Though expensive, if used properly, Bei Ji is enough to turn the tables on even the most difficult battles. Combine with a weapon like the Halberd, an officer like Zhao Yun, and a Power Pill to kill as many as 15,000 soldiers with a single attack. Combine with Shui Long or Huo Shen, cast by a strategist like Zhuge Liang, to kill tens of thousands of soldiers.
Ce Mian3117 TPJi Mian 240
Ce Mian prevents enemy officers from using all tactics. Learned only by the most intelligent strategists in the land, Ce Mian provides the most reliable solution to be used while defeating dangerous An Sha-using strategists like Cao Zhi or Xun Huo, or while facing powerful Wan Fu-using tacticians like Sima Yi. Give Chi Tu Ma (the horse mentioned by Lu Bu in Chapter II) to an officer with high agility, like Jiang Wei or Guan Xing, for a high probability of casting it before enemy officers. then use Bei Ji with physical attacks or Power Pills to finish the most dangerous enemies quickly.
Cheng Nei65 TP----- 120
Cheng Nei, if successful (which it usually is), reduces the defense level of an enemy’s castle. Success depends on the intelligence of the casting officer, and the intelligence of the opposing general. In Destiny of an Emperor, castles and gates provide the officers defending them with a hidden attack and defense bonus. Cheng Nei helps to counteract this bonus. Unfortunately, you will usually find an extra attack, or extra fire tactic casting, to be much more helpful in these situations.
Fu Bing126 TP 220
Fu Bing, if successful, provides the casting officer with a second attack at 1/2 strength. Success depends on the intelligence of the casting officer as well as the intelligence of the targeted opponent. Physical attacks placed on a successful target, after casting, will continue to yield a second attack from the caster’s ‘hidden soldiers’. If you switch to another target, however, you will enjoy one final ‘hidden soldier’ attack before the tactic wears off. Useful with officers like Guan Yu and Zhao Yun in some situations (as they have high strength and intelligence), but you will usually find a casting of Ye Huo or Yan Re to be a better use of your TP.
Gui Huan266 TP 150
Cheng Nei, if successful, returns your army to the palace in which Liu Bei is located. Cheng Nei’s success depends on the intelligent of the officer using it, and the intelligence of the opposing commander. Use to retreat in emergencies, or while in battle with a weak enemy like Rebel Forces when you are feeling too cheap to use a Gullwing.
Qi Shou74 TP----- 140
Qi Shou increases the targeted officer’s agility, improving their chances of going first. Combine with Chi Tu Ma to go first on nearly every turn. Unfortunately, this tactic would have been much more useful later in the game, when your strategist will have forgotten it long ago. Early in the game, you will usually find that the best defense is a good offense, especially considering the fact that your healing tactics won’t be powerful enough to fall back on.
Ji Mian247 TP 200
Ji Mian prevents the enemy officers from using physical attacks on your party. Though Ji Mian is always successful, after each round it has a chance to fail, and intelligent strategists in the opposing force increase the possibility of this happening. Use in battles while facing powerful enemy officers (e.g. Taishi Ci, Dian Wei, Xu Zhu, Sima Yi after he casts Bei Ji on himself) to reduce the punishment leveled on your party. Completely disables opponents such as the Pirate Forces in Wu.
Ji Rou175 TP 200
Ji Rou halves the damage received by your whole party, from physical attacks, by 1/2. Ji Rou always succeeds, and is only countered by Jie Ce. Going into Shu (Liu Zheng’s territory), Ji Rou will be your salvation. It turns would-be heavy-hitting enemy officers into manageable opponents, giving you a chance to adapt to a new area without wasting time saving up experience. Once you learn this tactic, focus all your attention on clearing as many enemy castles, gates, and fortresses as you can before it is replaced with another tactic, increasing the difficulty of the game once again. Too bad you won’t be able to keep it too far into Wu.
Jie Ce115 TP 160
Jie Ce counters all active opposing strategies, returning the battle to regular conditions. This includes Wuo Jian, Shui Jian, Yi Xin, Li Jian, Cheng Nei, Ji Rou, and perhaps most importantly of all, Ji Mian. If your strategist happens to know this tactic, keep it in mind, as you will encounter situations where it can make a noteworthy difference more often than you might think.
Li Jian206 TP 140
Li Jian causes an opposing officer to turn against his own allies, making physical attacks against them as long as it lasts. Success depends on the casting officer’s intelligence, and the intelligence of the targeted officer. The targeted officer has a chance to break free from the tactic each turn. Li Jian is superior in nearly every way to Yi Xin, but officers who learn Yi Xin will never learn Li Jian. Think of Li Jian as a tactic which can be used to disable dangerous opposing officers while you deal with them through other means. Cast with an intelligent officer like Zhuge Liang to enjoy reasonable success even against opponents like Zhou Yu.
Shui Jian93 TPWuo Jian 110
Shui Jian significantly reduces damage inflicted by enemy officers’ water tactics for a battle’s duration. Shui Jian is always successful when cast, and can only be countered with Jie Ce. If your strategist knows Shui Jian, and you are in a water-region battle against officers with fire tactics that could threaten your party, it is a good idea to cast it after the battle begins.
Tui Lu255 TP 140
Tui Lu, if successful, causes your party to retreat from a battle. Tui Lu can be used to retreat from castle battles as well, but success becomes much more difficult. There isn’t much use for this tactic beyond emergency situations as for general confrontations you are usually better off using the ‘run’ command, and you will have lost this tactic long before the dangerous late-game random encounters.
Wuo Jian34 TP----- 80
Wuo Jian significantly reduces damage inflicted by enemy officers’ fire tactics for a battle’s duration. Wuo Jian is always successful when cast, and can only be countered with Jie Ce. If your strategist knows Wuo Jian, and you are in a non-water-region battle against officers with fire tactics that could threaten your party, it is a good idea to cast it after the battle begins. There is no need to cast Wuo Jian in water-region battles as opposing officers in these areas won’t use fire tactics.
Yi Xin195 TPJie Ce 180
Yi Xin causes an opposing officer to distrust his allies, preventing him from taking actions on his turns. Success depends on the casting officer’s intelligence, and the intelligence of the targeted officer. The targeted officer has a chance to break free from the tactic each turn. Yi Xin should be used to disable dangerous enemy officers while you deal with them through other means. Cast with an intelligent officer like Zhuge Liang to enjoy reasonable success even against opponents like Zhou Yu.

Understanding MTP (Maximum Tactic Points)

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Your MTP is an indication of your ability to cast any given number of tactics in battle. The higher your MTP, the more tactics you can cast before you run out of TP to spend. The higher your strategist’s intelligence, the more TP they will have available (for example, the TP you can spend after resting while Zhuge Liang is your strategist is always your MTP minus one, while using Jiang Wei will provide a TP level 17 less than your MTP).

Each time you gain a level-up, and a strategist in your party learns a new tactic, your MTP will increase randomly between three and five. Your last tactic is learned on level 31, and you begin your game with 10 MTP. In addition, it is impossible to get an MTP bonus on level 12, as Xu Zhe, the only tactician you can have toward that point of the game, can only be obtained on level 13. This means the highest possible MTP value you can attain is 10+(5*29), or 155. The lowest value you can obtain is 97. This range can have a considerable affect on your game.

Through normal gameplay, most new players can expect to wind up with an MTP somewhere between 110 and 120. However, keeping a talented tactician in your party at all times possible, combined with keeping your level down (by avoiding random and unnecessary battles to an extent) up until either Pang Tong or Liu Bei joins, can help boost that variable range into the 125 to 135 range. Just a small gameplay hint that could make a difference in your conquest of China.

© 1989 Hiroshi Motomiya, © 1989 M and M Co., © 1989 Shueisha, Produced by Capcom Co. Ltd.

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March 7, 2014