Contents Copyright Ricky Chua 2010. Powered by Blogger.


Most Viewed

Latest SGS Questions

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

3vs3 Character Selection Guide (Drafting)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 4:08 PM 4 comments
Dear readers,

It brings me great pleasure to present the first contributed article on SGS English! This article is a very thorough piece of work, written by OMGLOL.



PS: If you would also like to contribute an article to this blog, please contact me at

- By OMGLOL @ Server 6, Sanguosha Online
(Please direct all questions to SGS Forum: 3v3 Drafting Guide)

Drafting is a very important aspect of 3vs3, many games are won and lost by the draft alone. You will have a pretty good idea how the game is going to turn out by the characters that you deploy. Being a good leader means you'll need a good understanding of all the characters and how they interact with each other in 3vs3.

Target Audience:
People who wish to play 3vs3, especially in the Leader position. Note this guide only covers what's available in SGS Online, e.g. Base + Wind Expansion.

Synergy - This character's ability works well with another character's ability to form a combo, greatly increasing its effect.
Counter - This character's ability can counter another character's ability, making it less effective, if not stopping it completely.

The key to a successful draft is to aim for creating team combos and preventing your opponent in creating team combos. Some characters have more synergy with other characters. Get the perfect combo together and you'll be able to "go-off" and win the game easily.

It's hard to determine who the best character in 3vs3 is, but some are definitely better than others, and some are so bad that you should never play them. I will group them into 3 basic categories, GOOD, SITUATIONAL, BAD. The list is loosely sorted by power level from top to bottom.

GOOD - These characters have a big impact on the game and should be played most of the time.

LiuBei - The ultimate combo enabler. Simply pass the type of cards that your teammate needs. Concentrating your firepower on one end will often overwhelm your opponent on one side. Being able to heal yourself means LiuBei's side will not fall that easily. Note that if you've been assigned the role of LiuBei, you will not be the hero of that game, but you're in a support role that will greatly increase the effectiveness of your teammate. On the other hand, it's not always best to give away ALL your cards on your 1st turn. For example when your ally is forced to discard cards (e.g. Acedia), it's better to hang on to them yourself and wait for the next turn.
Synergy - HuangYueYing, DaQiao, ZhangFei, GanNing, SunShangXiang, SunQuan, ZhangJiao, XuZhu

ZhangLiao - Amazing basic ability. While not very combo friendly, he's a powerhouse on its own. The sheer card advantage that's generated by him will eventually win the game for you. I've seen many games won/lost simply because of this guy alone.
Synergy - XuZhu
Counter - Huatuo, SimaYi, ZhangJiao

SimaYi - Two good basic abilities, plus ability to form some decent combos makes SimaYi a good contender.
Synergy - ZhenJi, DaQiao, XiahouDun, MaChao, ZhangJiao
Counter - ZhenJi, DaQiao, XiahouDun, MaChao, ZhangJiao, HuangGai combo

DaQiao - Two great abilities. Equip a long range weapon and you're almost invincible. Don’t forget you can intentionally attack your own DaQiao teammate and pass the attack onto an opponent, almost like a -1 Horse.
Synergy - LiuBei, ZhugeLiang, GuoJia, SimaYi

GuoJia - GuoJia has the ability to "Sell Blood", meaning intentionally taking damage in order to draw 2 cards, and then feeding the right cards to your partner depending on their need. You can think of this as a very weak version of LiuBei's card giving ability. Your opponent will think twice about attacking you or firing off AOE cards (Barbarians and Arrows) for fear of giving away cards. Don’t forget, you can intentionally attack your GuoJia teammate if you have a healer or in a desperate situation.
Synergy - Card Giver(Same as LiuBei's List), Healers(HuaTuo, SunShangXiang)
Counter - DiaoChan, DaQiao

HuaTuo - Having almost unlimited Peaches is good. If your opponent does not have a way to steal/destroy cards. HuaTuo can make your team unkillable.
Synergy - HuangGai,GuoJia

SunShangXiang - Couple of weak but useful abilities. Healer for male characters only and small chance to go on a rampage when she gets loaded with equipment cards.
Synergy - LiuBei,GuoJia, Healer for all Males

GanNing - Good basic ability, there are many situations where you wish you can destroy someone's card.
Synergy - LiuBei,ZhugeLiang,GuoJia,XuZhu
Counter - DaQiao,HuaTuo,ZhangJiao,SimaYi

ZhangJiao - Best of the wind expansion characters. Makes you think twice about attacking into this guy. He's so good that I included his name in base section.
Synergy - LiuBei, ZhenJi, DaQiao

SITUATIONAL - Not the best, play when situation calls for it. I will further divide this into 2 sub categories, Combo Pieces and Left Overs.

Combo Pieces - These characters should only be played as part of a combo, otherwise, they fall into the BAD category.

ZhugeLiang - Less powerful version of LiuBei, just use GuanXing to give the cards that your partner needs. Also best counter to Acedia(DaQiao)
Synergy - HuangYueYing, DaQiao, ZhangFei, GanNing, SunShangXiang, SunQuan, ZhangJiao
Counter - DaQiao

HuangYueYing - Can go on a rampage more often when people are feeding her tool cards. Some people like to play her alone in hopes of rampaging by herself, I don’t like that personally because she's pretty weak and can be killed easily.
Synergy - LiuBei,ZhugeLiang,GuoJia

XuZhu - The 2dmg per attack skill can be devastating when you are sure that your opponent has no dodge.
Synergy - ZhangLiao,GanNing,LiuBei

ZhangFei - More SHA means more dead people, simple, yet effective.
Synergy - LiuBei,ZhugeLiang,GuoJia

ZhenJi - Messing with judgement in order to increase your odds to go on a rampage with LuoShen. Note, you will get an abundance of SHA, so your best weapon will be the crossbow(LIANNU). Don’t ever throw that away!
Synergy – SimaYi. Like LiuBei, SimaYi should not play any black cards and just pass all of them to ZhenJi.

HuangGai - Ultimate suicide character. The basis of this combo is for HuangGai to convert health into cards, while being healed by HuaTuo. Goal is to get a crossbow and then take everyone out. I hate this combo because it's extremely unreliable. New players love this combo, while most experienced players will shun away from this. The success rate is about 50%. Success rates are higher with the super-combo discussed later.
Synergy - HuaTuo

Left Overs - Play only in specific situations or characters that have weaker abilities.

DiaoChan - She is the ultimate situational character, deadly to male characters like SimaYi and ZhugeLiang, she is almost a must-play when you know your opponent has 2 or more male characters, and this comes up very often, You can usually use it to cause one dmg with pinpoint accuracy. Plus the extra card at end of turn is just gravy. Remember to target your own male characters when you're about to make a killing blow.
Synergy - LuBu, duel opponent against your own LuBu and they'll need 2 SHA, something that they probably do not have.
Counter - All male characters.

SunQuan - The card switch ability is decent on its own. Good enough if nothing else is available.
Synergy - LiuBei

ZhouYu - The extra card per turn is decent on its own. FANJIAN is ok, but not great, because it's not a guaranteed hit, and your opponent gets a card. You only want to do this when your opponent is low on health. He is just a weaker version of DiaoChan. Good enough to play if nothing else available.

MaChao - Some people really love this guy due to the extra range. I'm not a big fan. You probably have better options available.
Synergy - SimaYi

LuBu - Almost a guaranteed hit, but still, doesn’t contribute enough for my taste.

XiaoQiao - Interesting ability. Combos with CaoCao to reuse AOEs.
Synergy - CaoCao

WeiYan - Good Vanguard due to life-stealing ability.

XiaHouYuan - His ability is good enough on its own. Use if nothing better available.

ZhouTai - Decent vanguard because he's hard to kill.

HuangZhong - I guess he's OK, nothing special, similar to LuBu in terms of power.

BAD - These guys are so bad that you should never play them in 3vs3.

XiaHouDun - This guy is pretty bad because people can play around his ability, but noteworthy that he is ok counter against the HuangGai Combo.
Counter – HuangGai

CaoCao - Not enough impact. If you re-use AOEs, you are killing your own teammates.

LuXun - Some people play this guy as a counter to DaQiao, you probably have better options, or your draft went poorly. I rather use a more useful character and suck up the Acedia abuse.
Counter - DaQiao

GuanYu - You really need a crossbow to be effective, and it doesn't come up often enough.

ZhaoYun - Not enough impact.

LuMeng - You want to be playing cards and attacking to build up pressure, not holding back.

YuJi - Too easy to play around his ability.

CaoRen - Horrible ability, just like LuMeng, you want to be attacking and doing stuff, not sitting back!

Super combos! - you form this team and you have big chance of winning.

HuaTuo/HuangGai/Guojia - Note: HuangGai is Leader. Built off the HuaTuo/HuangGai combo, the basis of this combo is for HuangGai to convert health into cards, while being healed by HuaTuo. Goal is to get a crossbow and then take everyone out. Throw GuoJia into the Mix and you have even more card drawing madness. You can use the following methods against GuoJia to get 2 cards, SHA, DUEL, the 2 AOEs. GuoJia should give all red cards to HuaTuo and rest to HuangGai. Don’t forget you can kill GuoJia to get 3 more cards. HuaTuo should not try to save GuoJia's life, this should all end in 1 turn. Success Rate is about 80%. The downside of this is, if you don’t win on 1st turn, you lose.

A weaker version of this is LiuBei/Huato/Huanggai

LiuBei/SimaYi/ZhenJi - Messing with judgement in order to increase your odds to "going-off" with LuoShen. ZhenJi will get an abundance of SHA, so your best weapon will be the crossbow(LIANNU). Dont ever throw that away! With LiuBei feeding blackcards to SimaYi, LuoShen will net a huge amount of cards. Not as explosive as the HuangGai combo, but there's zero risk even if you don’t win on your 1st turn.

Cute combos - not as potent as the super combos, but still fun to play with.

LiuBei/HuaTuo/SunShangXiang - Unkillable team

LiuBei/GanNing/XuZhu or ZhangLiao/GanNing/Xuzhu - Deadly attack

LiuBei/SimaYi/DaQiao - Eternal sleep

Character drafting strategy
The person that picks first picks 1 character, then other team picks 2, then each team picks 2, etc.
You always want to pick first, then you dictate how the draft will flow. Quickly scan through the available characters and see what potential combos are available. Then pick the key member of the combo team. This can be difficult on SGS online because time is limited, so you really need a good understanding of what each character does and their possible combos.

Here are some things to consider throughout the drafting process:
Are there any super combos available? If so, then you better pick up one of the pieces!
What regular combos are out there?
Do I pick up a combo right away? Or do I pick up the key pieces for each available combo?
Do I counter-draft to steal a member of the combo that other side is trying to form?
Or do I take the combo that is available and sitting on the table? Your combo better be stronger than your opponent's or you have some way to deal with it.

Finally, after you're done with drafting, put together a team with the characters that you have picked up. Put up a team that has a good combo in it, and if possible has a counter to the combo that the other team has formed. It's very possible to end up with two teams that have no synergy because of the counter drafting. Go over all the options and put together a team, the goal is that your team should be stronger than the other, either in terms of synergy or raw power.

Contrary to popular belief, you do NOT need a "battle-oriented" character in your team. Note that most of the "battle-oriented" characters are in the BAD list. It is better to have members that can control the flow of battle.

Final word.
Even with the best draft plan, sometimes things just do not go your way. You had the best draft, played perfectly, but still lost. It's very possible for a superior team to lose simply because the other team had better luck of the draw. Don’t just give up on your team because of one bad loss. If you believe your team had the better draft, stick with your team, and you'll eventually come out on top.


  1. I've seen this epic combo on youtube
    Guo Jia + Xiao Qiao + any character (preferably Hua Tuo), and let Guo Jia be leader

    Yeah So Guo Jia fires off some AoEs, then have Xiao Qiao redirect back damage to Guo Jia (So guo jia's going to be drawing a lot of cards)
    Have Guo Jia give spade cards to Xiao Qiao via his ability and diamond cards to Hua Tuo and distributing heart cards accordingly...

    So on the first redirect Guo Jia will be down to 3 health, 2 cards from ability + 1 card from Xiao Qiao's ability

    Second redirect, 2 cards + 2 cards from Xiao, down to three health

    Third redirect, 2 cards + 3 cards from Xiao, 1 health left

    Redirect and have Hua Tuo heal at the brink of death and mass cards... Easily stock up over 20 cards

    Rinse and Repeat as needed to get the -1 horse + Zhuge Crossbow... Then unload

  2. That is scary... killer combo there.

  3. same idea for Xiao Qiao + Cao Cao, as long as Xiao Qiao has cards and Cao Cao has life, he can use AOE indefinitely.

    I was also thinking about a combo which depends on a certain game mechanic I am not sure of. If Lu Bu uses KILL on Zhang Jiao, Zhang Jiao basically gets the chance to use two thunder strikes is that right?

  4. Yes that's right. Zhang Jiao can use Lightning Strike twice, provided he has 2 Dodge cards.

    Trouble is, in 3vs3, Zhang Jiao cannot use his Ruler ability. Lu Bu cannot give him Dodge cards. Plus Zhang Jiao can only hold 3 cards max since he only has 3 health.

    So even if Zhang Jiao uses 2 Lightning strikes, he does not have enough "spades" to change the judgement card for guaranteed hit. One way to mitigate this is for Zhang Jiao to lay down as much equipment with spades as possible, freeing up his onhand cards for Dodge only. Tough to do though, requires luck and quite a few turns to build up.

    The other option is to have card givers as the 3rd player. That would totally change the equation.


Site search