Leveling

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The prowess in combat of your heroes is measured by their Rank, which is similar to the standard term Level used in most D&D RPG-systems. Correspondingly, the act of Leveling-Up a hero/character is called Promotion.

This article refers to the single-player game, The Banner Saga, but some of the mechanics also apply to Factions, the online free-to-play multiplayer game.

Ranks[edit | edit source]

ATTENTION: The game uses the term 'Rank' to measure the power of several different things:

  • Playable Heroes (also called characters) — This refers to the single-player game and ranges between 1-5 (Saga 1) and 3-10 (Saga 2).
  • Equipable Items — This refers to the single-player game. Item ranks are fixed and also range between 1-5 (Saga 1) and 1-10 (Saga 2).
  • Class-specific Active Abilities — This applies to both the single-player game and Factions; ranges between 1-3.
  • Unit Classes (0-3) — This mostly refers to Factions, but is also used in the single-player game to quantify enemy unit's power (Dredge, human or Varl); ranges between 1-3.
  • Unlocked Talents — This refers to the second part of single-player game only and ranges between 1-6.

Ranks of heroes (and items) are usually displayed by with a gold number on a red disk, in the bottom-right corner of the hero-portrait (and item-icon).

Requirements[edit | edit source]

PromotionReady Rook.jpg

Promotions can be done via the 'Heroes Tent', accessed while in camp or when you are inside a friendly village or city, by clicking on the red 'Promote!' banner appearing below the character portrait.

To promote a unit, you will need to spend Renown. Be warned: Promotions are final, meaning that you cannot get the Renown 'invested' on that promotion back! You are always asked to confirm the spending action before proceeding.

The only criterion for promotion is the number of Kills, i.e. number of enemy-units knocked-out during combat; this number (along with the Kills needed for promotion) is displayed in the box marked with a skull, below the character's portrait in the 'Heroes Tent'. When a hero acquires the necessary number of kills for promotion, a purple banner will notify you of the fact during the battle and a special screen at its conclusion.

Factions[edit | edit source]

The following table summarizes the requirements for promotions along the available Ranks, for the The Banner Saga: Factions.

Rank Renown (Total) Kills (Total)
0→1 20 (20) 5 (5)
1→2 80 (100) 10 (15)
2→3 160 (260) 15 (30)

Saga 1[edit | edit source]

The following table summarizes the requirements for promotions along the available Ranks, for the first part of The Banner Saga.

Rank Renown (Total) Kills (Total)
1→2 5 (5) 2 (2)
2→3 10 (15) 3 (5)
3→4 15 (30) 4 (9)
4→5 20 (50) 5 (14)

Note: Kills from Training matches do not count for promotion.

Saga 2[edit | edit source]

The requirements for promotion in the second part of The Banner Saga are slightly modified, as follows:

Rank Renown (Total) Kills (Total)
3→4 7 (7) 5 (5)
4→5 9 (16) 3 (8)
5→6 13 (29) 3 (11)
6→7 15 (44) 4 (15)
7→8 17 (61) 4 (19)
8→9 19 (80) 5 (24)
9→10 21 (101) 6 (30)

Note: Kills from Training matches (and Scenarios) now count for promotion!

Benefits[edit | edit source]

BattleBanner PromoteEarned.png

Each time a Hero is promoted to a higher Rank he becomes 'stronger' in the following senses:

  • Stats: Firstly, for each promotion you get 2 points to be allocated among the hero's stats (Armor, Strength, Willpower, Exertion, Break); so from Rank-1 to Rank-5 you characters can get stronger by 8 points, in maximum. Higher stats is the primary means of making a hero stronger and more resilient in combat. Finally, when a stat is maxed in Saga 2, stat-points can be used to unlock a Talent for the Hero, on that stat. Don't forget to CONFIRM the stat-points' allocation; once assigned, stat-points cannot be re-allocated!
  • Abilities: Secondly, when a hero reaches Rank-3 and Rank-5, he gains access to the Rank-2 and Rank-3 active abilities corresponding to his/her class, respectively. Higher-rank abilities are more powerful, each in its own context, but they also require more Willpower to execute: Rank-{1,2,3} abilities require {1,2,3} Willpower. Of course, the heroes have access to any lower-rank abilities, in case they do not have (or do not want to spend) the extra Willpower. Finally, when a Hero reaches Rank-6 (in Saga 2), he gains a second active ability. For some Heroes the ability is predetermined while for others there is an option.
  • Items: Thirdly, a hero can equip items that are of equal or lower item-rank to his/her hero-rank. Higher-rank items are significantly stronger but cannot be used unless your character possesses the necessary experience.

Factions[edit | edit source]

In the online game, there are some important differences compared to the above mentioned rules:

  • One stat-point is gained per promotion (so up to +3 from Rank-0 to Rank-3).
  • Stat-points can be re-allocated between stats, anytime, for free at the Proving Grounds.
  • When base-class (Rank 0) units are Promoted to Rank 1, you choose their promoted-class (and associated ability) and you can also rename them.
  • Ability Ranks 2 and 3 are unlocked at unit Ranks 2 and 3, respectively.
  • There are no items (yet).

Hero Comparison Table[edit | edit source]

The following table summarizes the stats of all the playable characters in game. Base-stats apply at the moment that each character first joins your caravan and is available for use in a battle. Max-stats apply for each character in particular, measuring the maximum potential he has. Note that many characters may start out as quite weak but later become very powerful, either due to their max-stats or to their active abilities.

Tips:

  • You can sort the rows of this table by clicking on the up/down arrows of each column.
  • To sort a table using multiple sort keys (e.g. first by Race, then by Hit-Points, then by max-STR and so on), hold down the SHIFT key while clicking on the column headings for the subsequent sort keys.

Saga 1[edit | edit source]

The stats of the heroes available in the first part of The Banner Saga are listed in the following table.

Hero Armor Strength Willpower Exertion Break Hit-Points Total
Name Race Class base max base max base max base max base max base max base max
Alette Human Archer 7 9 7 10 6 12 1 3 1 2 14 19 22 30
Oddleif Human Archer 8 9 7 9 5 13 1 3 1 2 15 18 22 30
Yrsa Human Archer 6 10 6 7 6 13 2 3 1 3 12 17 21 29
Nid Human Archer 6 8 7 10 7 12 1 3 1 2 13 18 22 30
Egil Human Raider 10 16 9 12 5 11 1 3 1 3 19 28 26 34
Ekkill Human Raider 10 14 11 12 5 13 1 3 1 3 21 26 28 36
Hogun Human Raider 10 12 8 11 5 13 2 3 1 2 18 23 26 34
Mogun Human Raider 8 11 10 12 5 13 2 3 1 2 18 23 26 34
Onef Human Raider 9 12 9 10 6 13 1 3 1 3 18 22 26 34
Valgard Human Raider 12 - 10 - 6 - 2 - 2 - 22 - 32 -
Eirik Human Landsman 9 11 8 11 5 10 2 3 1 3 17 22 25 33
Rook Human Landsman 8 11 10 12 4 8 1 3 1 3 18 23 24 32
Tryggvi Human Spearman 8 12 10 12 5 10 2 3 1 2 18 24 26 34
Ludin Human Spearman 8 12 10 12 5 10 2 3 1 2 18 24 26 34
Eyvind Human Mender 6 9 7 9 8 12 1 2 1 2 13 18 23 31
Bersi Varl Warrior 9 12 12 16 4 11 1 2 1 2 21 28 27 35
Gunnulf Varl Warrior 7 12 15 18 3 11 0 2 1 2 22 30 26 34
Sigbjorn Varl Warrior 10 12 14 16 4 11 2 2 2 2 24 24 32 32
Hakon Varl Warrior 9 12 14 18 4 8 2 3 2 3 23 30 31 39
Krumr Varl Warrior 11 13 13 17 4 9 1 3 2 4 24 30 31 39
Fasolt Varl Shieldbanger 15 19 10 13 4 9 1 2 1 3 25 32 31 39
Griss Varl Shieldbanger 12 15 12 15 4 10 2 2 2 4 24 30 32 40
Iver Varl Shieldbanger 14 17 12 15 4 10 1 2 2 4 26 32 33 41
Iver(*) Varl Warrior(*) 12 16 12 17 8 10 1 3 2 3 24 33 35 43
Mogr Varl Shieldbanger 14 18 10 14 4 9 1 2 2 4 24 32 31 39

Notes:

  • Hit-Points are given by the sum of the hero's Strength and Armor, and represent the total damage that is required to 'one-shoot' them when at full health.
  • All units (except three—see below) can be promoted four times, from Rank-1 to Rank-5. For each promotion, 2 stat-points are given, thus their total-stats can be increased by 8 points (max) from the base-values.
    • Valgard is only available for one battle, and no access to him in the 'Heroes Tent' is possible.
    • Eyvind comes already promoted to Rank-5, with 8 points for you to allocate.
    • Sigbjorn comes already promoted to Rank-5, but you cannot re-allocate his stats (shaded max-values).
  • Egil cannot reach his max Hit-Points (shaded max-value), needing 9 points from his base-value.
  • Mogr & Gunnulf need to spend all their promotion points (8) on Strength and Armor in order to reach their max Hit-Point limit.
  • After his 'transformation', Iver becomes the most powerful playable character. Just like Egil, his max Hit-Points cannot be reached.

Saga 2[edit | edit source]

The stats of the heroes available in the second part of The Banner Saga are listed in the following table, ordered by the story point they are first encountered.

Hero Armor Strength Willpower Exertion Break Hit-Points Total Talent
Name Race Class Rank bs mx bs mx bs mx bs mx bs mx bs mx bs mx points
Gunnulf Varl Warrior 3 8 12 16 18 4 11 1 2 1 2 24 30 30 45 -1
Eirik Human Landsman 3 10 11 10 11 5 10 2 3 2 3 20 22 29 38 5
Hakon Varl Warrior 5 11 12 16 18 6 8 3 3 3 3 27 30 39 44 5
Mogr Varl Shieldbanger 4 17 18 12 14 4 9 1 2 3 4 29 32 37 47 2
Ludin Human Spearman 4 11 12 11 12 7 10 2 3 1 2 22 24 32 39 5
Yrsa Human Archer 3 7 10 7 7 6 13 3 3 2 3 14 17 25 36 3
Bersi Varl Warrior 3 10 12 13 16 4 11 2 2 2 2 23 28 31 43 2
Rook (†) Human Landsman 5 9 11 11 12 7 8 3 3 2 3 20 23 32 37 5
Alette (†) Human Archer 5 8 9 8 10 9 12 3 3 2 2 16 19 30 36 4
Iver Varl Warrior 5 14 16 16 17 9 10 2 3 2 3 30 33 43 49 4
Egil (♦) Human Raider 4 13 16 10 12 5 11 2 3 2 3 23 28 32 45 -1
Tryggvi Human Spearman 3 9 12 10 12 6 10 3 3 2 2 19 24 30 39 5
Oddleif Human Archer 4 8 9 8 9 8 13 3 3 1 2 16 18 28 36 4
Hogun Human Raider 3 11 12 9 11 6 13 2 3 2 2 20 23 30 41 3
Mogun Human Raider 3 10 11 11 12 6 13 2 3 1 2 21 23 30 41 3
Ekkill (♦) Human Raider 3 10 14 11 12 7 13 2 3 2 3 21 26 32 45 1
Griss Varl Shieldbanger 3 13 15 13 15 5 10 2 2 3 4 26 30 36 46 4
Fasolt Varl Shieldbanger 5 17 19 10 13 6 9 2 2 2 3 27 32 37 46 1
Krumr Varl Warrior 4 11 13 14 17 6 9 2 3 4 4 25 30 37 46 3
Eyvind Human Mender 5 7 9 8 9 12 18 2 3 2 2 15 18 31 41 0
Nid Human Archer 3 7 8 8 10 7 12 2 3 2 2 15 18 26 35 5
Sigbjorn Varl Warrior 5 10 12 14 16 8 11 2 2 2 2 24 28 36 43 3
Aleo Human Skald 3 9 11 10 12 6 10 2 3 1 3 19 23 28 39 3
Bolverk Varl Beserker 5 12 14 11 13 8 10 2 3 2 4 23 27 35 44 1
Folka Human Shieldmaiden 4 14 17 10 12 6 10 1 3 2 3 24 29 33 45 0
Dagr (♥) Human Raider 3 11 13 9 11 6 10 2 3 2 3 20 24 30 40 4
Sparr Human Skald 3 10 12 9 10 6 10 2 3 1 3 19 22 28 38 4
Oli Human Raider 3 11 12 9 11 7 13 2 3 1 2 20 23 30 41 3
Bak Human Spearman 3 10 11 11 13 6 10 2 3 1 2 21 24 30 39 5
Zefr Human Mender 5 8 10 7 8 12 18 2 3 1 1 15 18 30 40 0
Nikels (*) Human Mender 3 7 9 8 9 9 14 2 3 2 2 15 18 28 37 5
Gudmundr Human Raider 4 12 14 10 11 7 9 2 3 2 3 22 25 33 40 5
Dytch Human Landsman 4 9 11 8 11 6 11 2 3 3 4 17 22 28 40 0
Scathach Horseborn Teulu 5 9 11 13 15 5 10 2 3 3 4 22 26 32 43 -1
Ro'Ech Horseborn Teulu 5 9 12 12 14 7 10 2 3 2 4 21 26 32 43 -1
Derdriu Horseborn Cantref 5 10 12 11 13 6 10 2 3 2 2 21 25 31 40 1
Canary Horseborn Cantref 8 10 12 13 16 8 11 3 3 2 3 23 28 36 45 -5

Notes:

  • Each of the five Stats is divided in two columns: bs='base' and mx='maximum'.
  • The last column contains the minimum points that can be used on Talents at Rank 10, i.e. after all five Stats have been maxed.
  • The stats and Ranks for Heroes continuing from the first part of The Banner Saga are the ones provided by using the 'canon start'.
  • Heroes from imported saves of the first part of The Banner Saga at Rank 1 and 2 are automatically promoted to Rank 3.
  • All Heroes can be promoted up to Rank 10, earning 2 points per promotion. Nikels (*) is the only Hero capped at Rank 5.
  • Some Heroes from the first part of The Banner Saga are mutually exclusive: Rook & Alette (†) and Egil & Ekkill (♦).
  • Dagr (♥) does not actively join the caravan Roster; he is only available for certain battle(s), under specific circumstances.

Promotion Strategies[edit | edit source]

  • Most heroes start with very low Break so increasing this stat—and probably maxing it—should be a first priority.
  • Depending on the role fulfilled by a unit in your team, you should then invest on either Armor or Strength. Armor is necessary for breaker units, like Shieldbangers or Raiders while Strength is useful for damager units, like Warriors or Archers.
  • Willpower is used to hit harder, move farther and use active abilities. Most units start with sufficient Willpower that can be moreover boosted by (1) resting, (2) using the Horn, (3) high morale. Consequently, Willpower is not usually a top priority, with a notable exception, Eyvind, owing to the nature of his active abilities.
  • Exertion measures how much Willpower you can use in a single act of attacking or moving. Units with high Willpower (e.g. 6+) should also have higher Exertion (e.g. 2+) so that they can make better use of this resource. Units with zero Exertion should be avoided at all costs!