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Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle guide: Getting to know the skill tree

What skills are, how to use them and which ones matter most

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Like so many things in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, the skill trees that allow you to customize your heroes are just a lot to take in. There are four categories, three new action options for your turns in battle and modifications to everything you can do. It all makes sense (eventually), but it’ll take some time to get comfortable with it. That’s what we’re here for: to help you understand skills and choose the best of them.

First, we’ll talk about what skills are and give you some guidance on where to spend your power orbs. Then we’ll wrap up with our favorite ways to build out the three base characters: Mario, Rabbid Peach and Rabbid Luigi.

Types of skills

Once you get some power orbs, you can start customizing your characters. Luckily, you can reset your skills, get back all of your power orbs and start from scratch as often as you like. There’s no penalty for doing so, which means you’re free to experiment and play around.

Being able to wipe your skills doesn’t tell you what they’re useful for, though. That’s what we’re here for.

Movement skills

Mario’s stomp jump.
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Movement skills are a bit of a misnomer. They don’t affect your base movement (the number of squares you can move), but they do affect the damage you can deal while moving or how far you can move after team jumping.

Movement skills modify your dash attack or your team jump. For some heroes (like Rabbid Peach), you can add extra dash attacks or extra effects (like Mario’s stomp jump). We are big fans of movement skills. In effect, they’re a free attack to execute while you’re moving.

Attack skills

Mario’s secondary attack is a hammer that will devastate three of the rabbids in his vicinity
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Attack skills are the simplest. The first tier unlocks your secondary weapon (and your secondary weapon is, in a word, awesome). The other two skills add damage when you have the high ground and give you extra coins when you pull off a golden shot.

Technique skills

Mario’s Super Saiyan hero sight technique.
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The first tier of technique skills adds a second technique to your repertoire. Mario, for example, has an attack buffing area of effect technique called M-power and one called hero sight that shoots enemies in range when they move. The rest of the skills in this category modify both your default technique and that second one. You can increase the range and effectiveness of both with these skills.

Other skills

Skills in the Other category let you do things like increase the number of squares you can move.
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The other category of skills covers everything else. For example, you can increase your base movement and the number of squares you can move after going through a tube. You’ll also use these skills to increase your health.

Which skills should you upgrade?

With so many options to spend your hard-earned power orbs on, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Luckily, you don’t need to. The first and most important thing you need to know about the skills trees is that you can completely reset your skill trees anytime, as often as you want. So you’re never tied to the choices you make.

We can save you some of that experimentation. You’re free to pick anything you want and just reset it later, but there are skills that you’re always going to pick and skills that are just flat-out better.

The first tier

Buying all three skills in the first tier
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Buying all three skills in the first tier will unlock all of the available skill trees, which is why we recommend it. With a caveat.

When you’re first starting out, buying all three is an expensive proposition. If you’re short on orbs, spending them on a second technique that you almost never use is not smart. Focus on the left side of the screen — Movement and Attack (specifically, just the secondary attack). These two add something to your movement options (usually something to do with a dash attack) and, most importantly, a secondary weapon. That secondary weapon adds another attack option. These weapons have splash damage, a better range (usually) and some even ignore cover.

Later, when you have more orbs to spread around, you can add that second technique and start improving both it and your default technique. Once you have all three first-tier skills unlocked, it also opens up the Other category, which we discussed above.

Dash attacks

It’s kind of strange to realize, but your primary/default gun is not really your most important weapon. After your secondary weapon (which you bought as part of the first tier), dump a lot of orbs into the movement-based skills.

Rabbid Peach’s indispensable dash attack
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Using Rabbid Peach as an example, she can hit multiple (up to four) enemies with her stylish dash when you upgrade the extra dash skill. She can deal even more damage per dash with an upgrade to the dash damage skill. With just 140 power orbs (about what you’ll have at the end of the first world, Ancient Gardens), you can unlock her entire first tier and hit up to three enemies with dash damage, dealing 30 points of damage each hit. With the right enemy placement, that’s a free and guaranteed 150 points of damage.

Techniques (THAT YOU ACTUALLY USE)

Upgrading the skills associated with your techniques gets expensive. And, frankly, there are techniques you’ll rarely get around to using. The Technique skill tree lets you extend their area of affect and effectiveness pretty cheaply, but there’s obviously no reason to upgrade the techniques you don’t use. That’s why you shouldn’t just dump orbs into technique skills willy-nilly.

There are exceptions to this, though. Techniques like Rabbid Luigi’s barrier, Rabbid Peach’s heal and Mario, Luigi and Peach’s off-turn attacks (hero sight, steely stare and royal gaze, respectively) are the ones you’ll use the most.

Cleansing jump

Once you get through the first world and into the second, your enemies will start to use techniques of their own and deal super effect damage. This complicates things. Happily, there’s a skill for that.

Peach’s cleansing jump clears a super effect
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Every hero has a skill called cleansing jump. When a hero does a team jump, they clear the super effects on their teammate. When you don’t need it, this skill might seem worthless. When you do need it, though, you’ll be so very thankful you spent the 10 orbs.

Movement and health

The skills above are where you’re going to spend the majority of your orbs, but if you have any left over, it never hurts to add some movement or health to your heroes in the Other section.

How to use the starter characters: Mario, Rabbid Peach and Rabbid Luigi

So now that you know what skills are and what they do, let’s put it into practice. Below, we’ll talk through our favorite skills for each of the three starter heroes, the best order to unlock them early in the game (when you’re strapped for orbs) and what this all means for using these characters in battle.

Mario

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Mario’s strengths are in the mid- to short-range, and you should upgrade his skills to fit that.

Start with his secondary attack for 10 orbs. This gives Mario a hammer attack that hits an enemy and the eight squares around it. Next, unlock stomp jump for another 10 to add another movement-based attack. This basically adds another team jump that you can use to get to more out-of-reach areas.

For the next bunch of orbs you get, dump them into increasing the damage of your movement attacks. Spend some more to upgrade his stomp range. This will give you a lot more flexibility in hit-and-run-type tactics.

Once you’re comfortable with the dash and stomp damage you’re dealing, unlock Mario’s secondary technique. It’s not that this technique is particularly useful in and of itself, but it unlocks the upgrades for Mario’s hero sight, which is a super useful ability for shooting moving enemies. If you’re flush with orbs, spend 60 to add a second off-turn attack. Otherwise, just increase the damage and reduce the cooldown.

Focusing on these skills makes Mario a heavy-hitting fighter. He’ll have a couple movement-based attacks for softening up enemies and then getting clear, as well as a crowd-control hammer for finishing them off. That beefed-up hero sight lets him disrupt enemies’ turns with guaranteed damage — which is made even easier when you keep Mario close(ish) to the action.

Rabbid Peach

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Rabbid Peach’s strength lies in movement damage and healing.

The first orbs you should spend on her are to unlock stylish dash, which adds a second target. Then increase its damage.

Next, you can turn to her secondary attack. She uses a drone that will drive toward a target (for several turns, if needed) and explode nearby. It’s the nearby part that makes her secondary attack useful — it deals splash damage over nine squares, drives around cover and can even destroy cover. Even if it doesn’t get to your enemy, that drone provides another target for your enemies and will trigger the enemy rabbids’ version of hero sight, meaning they won’t shoot at your heroes when you move.

It’ll take a while to save them up, but as soon as you have 60 orbs to spend, increase the stylish dash to three targets and increase the damage further. This is just guaranteed damage across multiple targets.

Somewhere in there, add in her heal technique and, if you have the orbs, extend its range. It’s one of those techniques you won’t use very often, but you’ll be very thankful to have it when you need it.

All of this makes Rabbid Peach another mid-range character. Keep her close enough that she’s within movement range of several enemies, but she doesn’t have to be on the front line. (Though, if she gets stuck there, she’s got her shield technique to help protect her.) She’s got a cover-ignoring, long-range secondary attack that you can use to clear some cover and take out groups of enemies. And she’s got her heal ability to help you get out of any tough spots.

Rabbid Luigi

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Just like Rabbid Peach, Rabbid Luigi deals most of his damage with his dash attacks. But he also gets to add some flair to it with vamp dash. Put your first orbs into unlocking vamp dash, adding a second target with extra dash and increasing the damage they both deal.

Now it’s time to unlock Rabbid Luigi’s secondary attack. Spoiler: It’s a bazooka. Another spoiler: bazookas are neat. Rabbid Luigi’s secondary weapon has fantastic range, deals splash damage and can bypass some cover. It’s kind of great to have. (The only reason we don’t recommend unlocking it earlier is its cooldown period. You’ll deal more damage more consistently with movement-based attacks.)

Generally, you can avoid Rabbid Luigi’s techniques. He’s got a useful special-blocking barrier and a neat enemy-nerfing weaken, but your orbs are much better spent on his movement attacks early on.

Just like the other two starting characters, this puts Rabbid Luigi in the mid-range. You’ll want him close enough to get in and vamp a couple enemies before running away again. But you’ve got the option to let him fall back a little bit, because of the range on his secondary weapon. It’s great for cleaning up far-away clusters of baddies before they become a problem on the front line.