Many Guilds will have a set amount of minimum
Expert Hack: A good idea is to have a set time every day to run a few back-to-back or consecutive Darknest rallies.
Here are the topics covered in this comprehensive Darknest Guide:
- What is
- How to Start a Rally
- Rally Planning for Attacking
- War Strategy Techniques
- Fighting Composition
- Leading the Rally
- How much Siege?
- Tips for a Successful Rally
- Darknest Heroes
- Best Heroes for Rally Leader
- Darknest Rewards
- Darknest Notification Etiquette
- Fake Rallies
- Final Thoughts
What is a Darknest?
A Darknest is a computer-generated enemy castle that is spread out throughout the Lords Mobile Kingdom. There are Darknest Castles scattered all across all of the kingdoms. If you defeat a Darknest you will receive a Dark Essence as a reward. Dark Essences can be converted into fantastic prizes.
A minimum of two people will be needed in order to rally and destroy a Darknest. Even if you are strong enough to destroy a Darknest all on your own, you will still need an additional player to send at least one troop in order to begin the attack.
Why? Not sure! Stop asking me stupid questions!
The good news. You won’t have any red-dead troops fighting against a Darknest. Some troops will go the infirmary, but you won’t actually lose any troops! Your heroes are also safe if you lose the rally against a Darknest.
Like usual, Lords Mobile likes to romanticize things that should be rather simple. We will skip their romantic explanations and just keep it technical and professional (with a small dose of sarcasm and wit). Here is your guide on how to defeat a Darknest – and do it with the least amount of damage.
I recently put out a video on how to Rally a Darknest in 2020. Here’s everything that you need to know!
How to Start a Darknest Rally
Rallying a Darknest is very very easy.
- The first step to starting a Darknest Rally is to find a Darknest and to click on it.
- The next step will always be to scout the Darknest. DO NOT attack a Darknest without scouting it first. You can only formulate a successful attack if you know the troop/wall breakdown within the castle walls. (Failing to scout a Darknest before attacking is like pouring scotch into a baby bottle. You will know what type of whiskey it is. And besides, the baby will be drunk. And you’ll get arrested for endangerment. And I may be drunk as I’m typing. We’ll never know…) Scouting a Darknest does not activate Battle Fury and can also be done while keeping your shield up.
- Once you scout the Darknest you will receive a Turf Scout Report in your mail. The first thing that you should look out for is the reward. In this case, because we are scouting a Level 4 Darknest, the prize is a Level 14 Dark Essence. In general, the stronger the Darknest the greater the reward.
The more powerful the Darknest, the greater the potential reward, hence the Essence Level.
If the Dark Essence is too low, and you have the man-power to attack a more powerful Darknest, keep scouting other Darknests.
If you scroll a little down on the report you will see the troop, wall, and trap breakdown of the enemy turf. This is the important part. The statistics over here will let you know if you have a chance of winning or not. Make sure that you put all the details into your attacking strategy.
The biggest consideration, of course, will be the troops. The wall and traps aren’t near as important.
Rally and Planning for Attacking
Once you have scouted the Darknest, you will need to determine if you (and your guild) have the ability to defeat it. You will also need to decide who will be the best person to be the rally leader.
It is critical to note that the entire rally will inherit the attributes of the rally leader. So if for example, the rally leader only has a total infantry ATK boost of only 40%, and then massive players join his rally (and they’ve personally researched 450% infantry ATK boost), the entire rally will only receive the 40% boost for their infantry during the Darknest Rally. This also applies to Hero boosts, Gem boosts, and Darknest Research Boosts. All statistics follow the rally leader!
Here are the 5 elements that go into formulating a plan of attack against a Darknest:
- How many troops and what type?
- Are there traps and how many?
- What is the Wall Health Power?
- Are there any boosts and boons active?
- The Army Lineup of the Darknest. (You won’t know the answer unless you attack and fail…)
If you decide to go ahead, and you are the appointed (or self-appointed) rally leader, you will be the one who will need to initiate the rally.
Click the “Rally Attack” button and proceed to the Rally Leader Time section.
There are 4 options available when it comes to setting the schedule for the Rally Attack. If everyone in your guild is ready, just set the clock to 5-mins or 10-mins and get it over and done with. Quick and easy!
If, however, your guildmates are picking their noses or not at the screen, you’ll need to give the clock some more time. Also, if you’re rallying a Darknest that’s really tough and you want as many players involved, set the clock for 1 or 8 hours, and let the rally simmer.
Please note that while the players have their troops in the rally, neither you nor they can port around. You will all be stuck to your locations. The long rallies will get really annoying for players that are itching to fight. They won’t even be able to take their troops back unless you do it for them.
Only plan long rallies after reminding people that the clock is running for 8 hours.
How to Plan an Attack Strategy?
The chart below is the Attack Strategy screen from Lords Mobile. This chart will prepare your troop composition. It’s simple. Just learn it until you can do it in your sleep.
This graph is all over Lords Mobile and it is critical to memorize it. I made a small mnemonic and it is now really easy for me to remember without having to look at a sheet.
- Horses eat humans – but hate the sound of archers
- Infantry hate springy gadgets (like archers) – but are much smaller than cavalry
- Archers make holes in horses who are big – but can’t aim at infantry soldiers who are skinny
- Seige hates everyone – but can only harm walls
These catchlines may help. But probably not. You’re dense. Nothing will help that…
Who are we trying to fool? The mnemonic went over your head.
In any case, just print a wall-sized print of the chart above and stick on one of your bedroom walls.
This chart is obviously a gross oversimplification of the battle techniques, but it is the single biggest indicator of success if all the other things were equal.
You will need a strategy. Keep reading the next section!
How to Formulate a Fighting Composition
Here is a hypothetical situation.
What if the Darknest has 100,000 infantry, 200,000 range, and 400,000 cavalries and you have only 700,000 troops to send? There are several strategies to use. None of them are wrong. Their applications will depend on your style and also on your personal strengths.
- Either you can counter with 100,000 cavalries, 200,000 infantry, and 400,000 range. This is called the “perfect-counter attack”. Some rally leaders will only always use this technique.
- You can use 100,000 cavalries and 600,000 range (or 200,000 cav and 500,000 range). The range will be able to counter the cav and range. The cavalry will counter the infantry. The advantage would be that you could set up your heroes, gear, and gems for a Cavs and Range Attack. (Trying to set up your offense for 3 troop types at the same time is ineffective and not economical)
- (My Personal Preference) You can just send 700,000 range and focus your heroes, gear, and gems only for the range. Many high-level rally leaders will prefer this option as they will have advanced heroes that will specialize in one troop type. I will sometimes also add 10% – 20% siege for high powered walls, if necessary.
- Alternatively, you can send only siege troops and watch with excitement as they all get slaughtered. Please don’t forget to get the popcorn ready 🙂
Usually, the rest of your guild will mimic whatever lineup you do. If you send only range troops, they will also send only cavalry troops. It is a good idea to specify regardless. Just use the chat or guild-message to tell everyone what they should send.
Slide the troops that you want. Important: Don’t forget to add the leaders and Familiars. If you plan on hitting the Darknest without the heroes and familiars you are asking for an infirmary full of soldiers for everyone!
Important Note: Now that IGG has added War Familiars, don’t forget to add them to the battle. They are critical to all battles.
Preparing to Lead a Rally
Once you’ve set the rally up, (and assuming that people don’t hate you) your guildmates will start joining the rally. But there’s still more work to do. You need to prepare your statistics in order to give as much power to the rally as possible.
Spoiler alert: Positive energy vibes and good spirits won’t help even a little! Neither will yoga or meditation.
Here are the steps you need to take to ensure that you’re giving the rally the best chance:
- Get into speed gear for your trip towards the Darknest
- Make sure that you have a leader attached to the rally. Don’t worry, the leader can’t get captured by the Darknest. It can’t help to check your list of heroes and make sure that there are five heroes with the battle symbol on them
- Make sure that you have the correct gear ready. If you need more help on battle gear, take a look at my complete gear guide
- Put your talent points onto the correct battle settings
- Use an Army ATK boosts
- Make sure that you’re positioned in a good location to the Darknest. Speeding up a rally isn’t pleasant and will also end up being quite expensive. It’s easier to relocate next to the rally and then ask everyone to speed up their troops towards you…
How much Siege?
As my fans already know, I’m not a fan of siege (and the friend of my fan is my fan!). It’s mainly a waste of time and space. Very few enemy players in Lords Mobile will ever have a wall that actually warrants the use of siege weaponry.
Some rare Level 5 Darknests are an exception to this golden rule! Darknest walls can be millions of might strong. Your troops will be slaughtered by the time they manage to take down even half of the health out of the wall if you only send a few troops.
If the wall is under 4-million might (and you have t3 or t4 troops), you won’t really need siege. If the wall is stronger and you don’t have T3, T4 or T5 troops, you may want to include a 5% – 10% siege.
Most experts disagree with me and believe that you should never put siege into a Darknest Rally, especially in Darknest 4 and Darknest 5. They say that you will want to get as many real troops into the rally in order to actually win and the siege will just be a waste of space.
Tips on how to Strengthen your Darknest Rally
Everything until now was how to operate a Darkness Rally. There are, of course, many tricks to ensure that your rally is successful! Here are the best tricks in the book!
- Add the correct Heroes! And make sure that they are actually the correct Heroes (see below)
- Add the correct War Familiars. There are bad familiars and good ones. Don’t waste your time with the bad ones!
- Re-scout the Darknest to ensure that you rallied the correct one
- Change your gear to battle gear that is appropriate for the troops your sending. Click here to learn more about gear
- Reset your talents and pick talents that match the troops that you are sending
- Set your formation to the correct troop formation (focus the formation based on the strongest troop type)
- Use Turf boosts. A great example would be the Army ATK Boost (20%) for 4 hours
- Add the Max Army Size boost to add more of your troops to the rally.
- Research Darknest upgrades!
Here is one of the most critical tips to consider that almost no one actually does. Why? Because they are stupid. That’s why. They are just plain stupid.
Just like your castle has five heroes on the wall, the Darknest castles also have heroes on their wall.
Pay attention to which heroes they have!
This will help you determine which formation and Army Lineup to pick before attacking. This is a BIG DEAL. Don’t underestimate the power of the troop formation.
Here is a chart of the Darknest formation based on the primary hero:
If you don’t see a hero that represents a particular troop type or if there is only 1 hero from a particular troop type, you can probably assume that the Darknest is not using that Army Lineup…
Which Heroes to Choose for the Darknest Battle?
This decision can be more impactful than the number of troops that manage to come into the rally. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who has failed a lot of rallies. They’ll back me up. Or they won’t and in that case, throw them out of your guild. They’re a waste of time. Make sure to burn them before they port away.
Here’s an article that will break down which heroes to use in Lords Mobile. Use this new-found wisdom careful. With great power comes great responsibility!
In general, I’m a big fan of Rose Knight. She’s a powerhouse of a hero. Bombin’ Goblin is also a great star when it comes to rallies. They are Free to Play and impact powerful army boosts.
The heroes should obviously be focused on the troop type. If you are sending all range, don’t use Death Knight (he’s only good for cavalry).
One more important note before continuing: you can only send 4 heroes with the same skill set. If you send 5 heroes that all focus on the same troop type, one will sit in the corner like a cranky child.
And just one more time, Trickster is a great hero in general, but NEVER send him to battle! He’s as effective as Prima Donna!
Don’t forget, of course, the Pay to Play (P2P) heroes. Click here to learn which ones are actually worth their money…
Cavalry Rally Heroes
This list will really depend on which heroes you’ve advanced, but here are my favorite picks assuming that they’re all equal. I’ve placed them in order of effectiveness.
- Rose Knight has Army ATK 20% and Cavalry Max HP +50% at gold
- Child of Light has a Cavalry ATK 30% and Cavalry Max HP +50% at gold
- Night Raven has a Cavalry ATK 30% at gold
- Death Knight has Cavalry Max HP +50% at gold
- Sage of Storms is as useless as he looks. You are better off using an army hero even if you have all cavs!
Infantry Rally Heroes
I’ve also listed the Infantry heroes in order of effectiveness as battle heroes. I’ve only listed their notable battle boosts.
- Demon Slayer has Infantry ATK 30% and Infantry Max HP 50% at gold
- Oath Keeper also has Infantry ATK 30% and Infantry Max HP 50% at gold
- (P2P) The Big Guy has Infantry ATK 30%
- Sea Squire has Infantry ATK 30%
- Soul Forger has Infantry ATK 30%
- Scarlet Bolt is useless even at gold
- Shade is also (useless you happen to like the color purple – and in that case, he’s useless and pretty – and completely useless)
Range Rally Heroes
I personally haven’t developed my range heroes to where I want them, and so I use my Army heroes instead of the traditional Range Heroes. But range heroes are critical when sending range. Make sure you send the right range heroes, because like the other troops, the ineffective range heroes are really bad!
- Snow Queen has Range ATK 30% and Range Max HP 50% at gold
- Bombin’ Goblin has Army ATK 20% at gold. I’m putting him second in this category although he belongs in almost all rallies if he’s a gold hero
- Tracker has Range ATK 30%
- Death Archer has Range ATK 30% at gold
- Black Crow has Range Max HP 50% at gold
- Trickster is useless in battle. He’s an incredible hero (possibly 2nd best F2P), but as good as a rotten tree in battle!
Oh wow. Did you think I was going to put the siege heroes as well… That’s a funny joke. Gosh, I’m still holding my stomach from the laughter.
Don’t use siege troops unless you are fighting a massive wall. A wall that requires siege heroes would need to be as strong as the Great Wall of China!
Rewards for Defeating Darknests
As mentioned (and illustrated above) each darknest comes with a reward. The higher the level of the Darknest, the larger the potential reward. Once you defeat (or participate in the defeat) a Darknest you will receive an essence that will appear in the Transmutation Lab. To get the prize you will need to transmute the essence and wait, and then wait some more.
When the essence is ready, you will receive a prize. The prizes are random and won’t be the same for the other members of the rally.
As mentioned before, everyone involved in the rally still gets the same level prize. If there is someone in the guild more equipped to lead the rally, let them. Even if you send one troop, you will get the Dark Essence.
Darknest Notification Etiquette
The protocol of how to notify your guild-mates when rallying a Darknest will vary from guild to guild, but here are the important things that you want to mention.
- What troops to send. If it’s mixed it will be Inf-Range-Cav. So, for example, half Inf and half Cav will look like 5-0-5.
- How long is the rally? (5-mins, 10-mins, 1-hour, or 8-hours)
- What Level Darknest you’re attacking. Some guilds will announce the level of the essence instead of the level of the Darknest…
Some guilds will want rally leads to send a guild-message and some guilds will only want the message to appear in Line or in the Guild Chat.
Learn the protocol of the guild before sending out messages!
Also, here is a professional guide on how to annoy your guild.
If you’ve been playing for a few months, you will probably come across the term “Fake Rally”. A fake rally is an effective way to hide your troops for 8-hours without shielding or sheltering.
You can rally a target for 8-hours, ask no one to join and so long as the rally is still pending, all the troops and leaders that have been designated towards that rally are safe!
It’s a great technique, but only a fool would fake rally a Darknest… If you plan on running a fake rally, make sure to only rally against a castle!
A Darknest can get disappear (another guild kills it, it disappears on its own, a lord cup ball hits it) but a castle can’t disappear as easily…
Darknests are the bread and butter of Lords Mobile. Not because of the rewards. The rewards are great-and-all but hardly justify the bother.
If you want to learn more about defensive battle strategy in Lords Mobile, click here.
In order to be a better fighter there are a few articles I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you read: