"I am Karkinos."

Karkinos Profile
Karkinos the Warmaster is a hero in Kingdom Rush: Frontiers. He is unlocked by paying $2.99 as an in-app purchase, and is not available on Flash. He is unlocked at Emberspike Depths on the Steam version and he starts at level 5.



Karkinos 1  IRON PINCER (passive) (2/2/3 hero points):

Improves Karkinos' base attack damage by 5/10/20 points.

Karkinos 2  BATTLE HARDENED KarkinosInvincible (passive) (2/1/1 hero points):

If attacked while under 40% health, Karkinos has a 35%/50%/65% chance to become invulnerable for 4 seconds.

Karkinos 3  PINCER ATTACK KarkinosPincer (active, cooldown: 8 seconds) (3/3/3 hero points):

Shoots a mechanical pincer dealing 15/25/50 to 35/75/100 True Damage to enemies in a line.

Karkinos 4  SHOULDER CANNON KarkinosCannon (active, cooldown: 10 seconds) (2/2/3 hero points):

Fires a bolt of watery glue that deals 30/45/70 explosive area damage and slows enemies by 40%/50%/60% for 4/5/8 seconds.

Karkinos 5  BURROW KarkinosBurrow (passive) (1/1/1 hero point):

Grants Karkinos the ability to move 60%/120%/180% faster under the ground.


  • Karkinos can 'burrow' through seawater, but cannot stay on it. He cannot burrow under trees, buildings, mountains, across gaps in cliffs or through any other bodies of water besides those in the Rising Tides campaign.
  • Karkinos' 'burrow' nullifies negative effects such as poison

Order of Importance

When all of Karkinos's powers are active, he uses them in this order:

  1. Shoulder Cannon
  2. Pincer Attack


Karkinos has a 5% heal rate, taking 20 seconds to fully heal.

Level HP Melee Damage Armor Respawn
5 400 10-29 (15-34/20-39/30-49) 25.5% 20s
6 420 11-32 (16-37/21-42/31-52) 27.5% 20s
7 440 11-34 (16-39/21-44/31-54) 29.5% 20s
8 460 12-37 (17-42/22-47/32-57) 31.5% 20s
9 480 13-40 (18-45/23-50/33-60) 33.5% 20s
10 500 14-42 (19-47/24-52/34-62) 35% 20s

Numbers in brackets indicate melee damage with Iron Pincer upgraded.

Tips and Tricks

Karkinos is a melee specialized hero. He has a decent health bar, good armor, and great base damage, capable of taking quite a lot of hits and return heavy blows. However, Karkinos is not as durable as he seems to be, thus remember to micromanage him when strong enemies come. Karkinos' skills make him very versatile, so you should not be afraid of moving Karkinos, instead, you should always get him to where enemies start clustering, to make the most of his AOE abilities.

  • Pincer Attack is Karkinos' strongest skill, serve as a light crowd control method and add to his already high base damage. Strangely, the skill does not show its correct damage output, which, at tier 3, can reach up to 200 points of True Damage. This amount is enough to heavily wound or kill most regular enemies, so try to group foes in front of Karkinos or position him within a mass of enemies, to maximize the killing efficiency of the ability.
  • Iron Pincer provides Karkinos with a major bonus base damage, allows him to quickly destroy unarmored enemies. It should be upgraded as soon as possible since the extra damage drastically improve Karkinos's power.
  • Burrow is a passive skill that massively increase Karkinos' movement speed, exceeding all heroes but Nivus (or Dierdre with Wings of Light), who can teleport instantly. Thanks to this skill, Karkinos' versatility is drastically increased, allowing him to support multiple choke points, catch a wave of enemies, or retreat and come back into the fray at will.
    • This is very important because Karkinos' durability is not that great, so with such improved speed, he can quickly hide from stronger foes when low on health, and moving him into battle takes less time.
    • Because of Karkinos's frustratingly slow base movement speed, you should upgrade this skill by at least one tier to improve his mobility, which is one of Karkinos's strongest asset when he is fully upgraded.
    • With Burrow, Karkinos is one of the few heroes able to move across the water in the three levels of the Rising Tides campaign (Port Tortuga, Storm Atoll, The Sunken Citadel), the others being Dierdre (with Wings of Light), Bonehart, Ashbite and Nivus.
    • Karkinos does not instantly burrow when he is commanded to move, he staggers for a moment instead, therefore his movement is not as smooth as other heroes.
  • Battle Hardened makes up for Karkinos' modest durability by giving a percentage to turn invulnerable briefly when struck at low health. This skill, while useless offensively, enable Karkinos to take significantly more damage and give him a fighting chance versus mighty enemies, such as Saurian Brutes and Bloodshells. Poison is negated by Battle Hardened, because every time the poison ticks is counted as a hit, making activation almost insured. 40% is actually a misread; the bar is approximately 200 health regardless of level. Possible glitch.
    • While it is not recommended to use this tactic due to chance that Karkinos may die, posing a problem with his long respawn time, smart tacticians can use Karkinos as meat shield to distract ranged enemies who would otherwise plow through soldiers at ease, such as Savage Hunters, Poukai Riders, Saurian Blazefangs, Saurian Savants, Bluegales. If you use this tactic, remember to provide Karkinos with sufficient support and retreat him when necessary to heal.
  • Shoulder Cannon is not quite as good as other slowing methods you can obtain, such as the DWAARP, skeletons from a Necromancer Tower, Captain Blackthorne's Release the Kraken skill, ... due to its rather long cooldown for a short period of slowing and almost nonexistent damage output. Thus, do not rely on it to slow down groups of foes, instead only use the skill versus slow, single enemies against whom you can control easier. It also shares the artillery's inaccuracy.

Karkinos' main playstyle is wreaking havoc within dense hordes of enemies. His high damage output is great at killing unarmored foes, however he falls short against well armored, durable ones, such as Saurian Myrmidons, despite his Pincer Attack ignoring armor. He also lacks a good crowd control skill and cannot stand for long against stronger foes, unlike Alric and Grawl. Support Karkinos with soldiers and plenty of fire power, preferably Magic Damage to make up for his weakness against armor, and grouping foes will make much better use of him.

On a side note, Karkinos' extremely slow heal rate, means that sometimes it is better to let him die without retreat him, especially when he has reach death's door, because the amount of time he spends behind the line, healing, can be just as long as the period he takes to respawn.


  • I am Karkinos!
  • I am made of rage!
  • Never retreat, never surrender.
  • You want piece of me?


  • In Greek mythology, Karkinos (Greek: Καρκίνος) was a giant crab that fought alongside the Hydra, in its battle with Heracles (more commonly known as Hercules). Though crushed underfoot in battle, it was then lifted to the heavens and became the constellation Cancer.
  • Karkinos, Saitam, and Durax are the only heroes to speak their own names.
  • "I am Karkinos"
    • Most likely a reference to the Marvel character Groot, from Guardians of the Galaxy. Groot's catch phrase (and only spoken line) is "I am Groot."
  • "Never retreat, never surrender."
    • Similar to a line spoken by King Leonidas in the graphic novel/film 300. The full line is 'Spartans never retreat. Spartans never surrender.'
  • "I am made of rage!"
    • A quote made by the character Colossus in Marvel's Astonishing X-Men, under the penmanship of Joss Whedon.


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