How To Form Yuan in EU4 (Complete Guide)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
The Yuan Dynasty once ruled China after the fracturing of the Mongol Empire. But they were deposed by the Ming around 1368. After that, remnants of the Yuan fled north to Mongolia, where they eventually merged with the Oirat tribes.
They then became known as the Northern Yuan (or just Oirat) to make them distinct from the Great Yuan of the Celestial Empire.
In EU4, any nation with the Altaic culture can form Yuan & restore the Great Yuan on the Chinese imperial throne. Among all the eligible nations though, Oirat is still the best choice for doing that. They already own half of the requirements and can easily fulfill the rest of the requirements:
- Owns the following core provinces:
- Xilin Gol
- Beijing is part of a state
- Owns (directly or indirectly via a vassal) all provinces with the following cultures:
- Has at least 2 stability
- If the Empire of China exists, then you must become its emperor and take the Mandate of Heaven.
- If the Mandate of Heaven has been destroyed, then you must either:
- Be at the Empire rank (OR) have at least 1000 total development
Back in Control
|Form Yuan and be the only nation holding land in China|
- Forming Yuan (Oirat Strategy)
- I. Annexing Mongolia
- II. First War Against Ming
- Step 1: Declare war on Ming using the “Take Mandate of Heaven” CB
- Step 2: Defeat the Ming armies in detail
- Step 3: Seek and defeat the Ming Emperor
- Step 4: Siege and occupy Beijing
- Step 5: Wait for the rebellions in Ming to gain momentum
- Step 6: Annex Beijing, Xuanhua, and the provinces with Mongol culture from Ming
- III. Uniting the Mongols
- IV. Taking or Destroying the Mandate
Forming Yuan (Oirat Strategy)
I. Annexing Mongolia
Oirat starts the game with Mongolia as a vassal. Your first mission requires direct control over their provinces. By doing so, you can get permanent claims on the North China region.
They’ve 60% liberty desire at the beginning.
Once you get that below 50%, you can start diplomatically annexing them right away. You don’t need to wait for 1454 to do it, unlike other nations that start with vassals.
It’s also best to initiate their annexation early, as you won’t be able to do so if you’re at war.
Securing Mongolia’s loyalty and diplo-annexing them can be done in three steps:
1: Develop Sainshand three times. You’ve a core on it, so devving it won’t increase the time needed to diplo-annex Mongolia.
You also have enough monarch points at the start to dev the province in each category. Doing so will put Mongolia at 45–46% liberty desire.
2: Once it’s December, marry Mongolia. A royal marriage reduces liberty desire by 5%. This ensures they stay loyal, as liberty desire can fluctuate depending on your relative military strength.
As to why it has to be in December, a subject’s attitude will only change at the start of a month. So Mongolia will officially become loyal by December. They’ll accept your marriage offer by then.
3: Start improving relations with Mongolia. You need to have at least 190 opinion from them so you can start the diplo-annex process.
To speed this up, move your merchant from Siberia to Yumen and have them do the “Establish Communities” trading policy.
II. First War Against Ming
Oirat’s well-positioned to trigger an early “Mingsplosion” — where the Ming shatters into several breakaway states. A weakened Ming won’t be able to stop you from annexing the required provinces.
As such, you’ll want to have a war with Ming as early as possible. You can go about this in two ways:
- Go on the offensive and preemptively attack Ming, OR
- Wait for Ming to attack you so you’re in a defensive war
Either method is fine.
The difference in a defensive war is that you can get your allies to help you fight the Ming. However, the ones that you can ally with at the start are the small Jurchen tribes. They can only serve as a distraction and not much else.
As for the actual war, Oirat has a few advantages that you should know about.
The Tumu Crisis
Oirat has an exclusive event series called the Tumu Crisis.
It’s based on the historical Oirat invasion of Ming in 1449.
In the game, the crisis will play out in several conditional events:
|Event Name||Trigger Condition||Effect|
|The Tumu Crisis||Ming and Oirat are at war, and it’s been at least one month since the conflict began.||The Ming emperor becomes a 1/0/0/0 general, and he’s always going to lead an army.|
|The Capture of the Ming emperor||Oirat defeats an army led by the Ming emperor.||The Ming emperor gets captured.
Oirat gains two modifiers that’ll last until their ruler dies:
+20% Army morale
|The Capture of Beijing||Oirat occupies Beijing while still having the Ming emperor in their custody.
Note: As of patch 1.35, it seems this event happens a few months after Beijing falls.
|Oirat gains control of every Ming province in the regions of North China and Mongolia.
Ming loses 50 Mandate.
Note: The Ming emperor has a chance to die if at least 3 years have passed since his capture. If he’s still alive after 5 years and Beijing hasn’t fallen yet, then the Ming will replace him with a new emperor.
In either case, Oirat will no longer be able to trigger the “Capture of Beijing” event. Historically, the Northern Yuan did capture the Ming emperor but failed to take Beijing.
Weaknesses of the Ming
One thing that makes beginners hesitate is Ming’s size.
However, you shouldn’t fear them. They may start as the first-ranked Great Power, but they’re actually quite fragile.
Even if they outnumber you in battles, you can still prevail due to these reasons:
- Units in the Chinese Tech Group are inferior to Nomadic units at the start
- -5% Army morale due to the Ming ruler’s “Craven” personality
- +50% Fire and shock damage received, which scale with Ming’s Mandate value. These, plus several other bad modifiers, will come into effect once their Mandate goes below 50.
- The Empire of China has the “Unguarded Nomadic Frontier” disaster. It’s one of the catalysts for the Mingsplosion, as some of the breakaway states come from this disaster. This happens when there’s a Steppe Nomad nation with at least 300 dev on Ming’s border. Said nation mustn’t be a tributary nor an ally of Ming.
Strengths of the Nomads
Oirat has the Steppe Nomad gov’t form and follows the Tengri religion.
Both come with their own mechanic and modifiers:
1: You have a 100% cavalry-to-infantry ratio from the modifiers of your gov’t form and religion. This lets you field an all-cavalry army without any penalties. Just don’t pick a syncretic faith to keep the ratio modifier from your religion.
2: Your gov’t form also gives you +20% movement speed. Plus, the starting Oirat ruler-general has the “Goal Oriented” trait, which gives an additional +10% movement speed. These can help you kite the Ming.
3: +25% shock damage on flat terrain or -25% shock damage on non-flat terrain. This means that you’ll want to fight battles on deserts, drylands, plains, farmlands, and steppes. Avoid fighting on hills, highlands, mountains, and forests.
- You only have the Tribes as your estate. For their privileges, you should grant these:
- Larger Tribal Hosts
- Autonomy of the Tribes
4: Tengri nations have two mutually exclusive decisions.
They can either buff their missionaries for faster conversions or have higher tolerance for heathens.
For Oirat/Yuan, it’s better to have high tolerance, especially if you want to form the Mongol Empire later. You won’t have to worry about unrest caused by religious rebels. It’s also impractical for your lone missionary to try to keep up with your conquests.
5: Nomads can raze provinces. This is your main source of monarch power.
You can raze provinces that you own but haven’t cored yet.
You can also only do it in provinces with 4 or more development.
Razing reduces the province’s dev but gives you monarch power based on how much dev was lost. This also makes it cheaper to core those provinces due to their lowered dev.
Step 1: Declare war on Ming using the “Take Mandate of Heaven” CB
If you prefer going on the offensive, do this step.
Otherwise, wait for Ming to attack you and skip to Step 2.
They’ll eventually declare war if you keep refusing to become their tributary.
As an independent nation that borders the Empire of China, you can use the “Take Mandate of Heaven” casus belli (CB). It’s a special CB that allows you to take the Mandate away from Ming. For your first war though, you don’t want to do that yet. The reason you want this CB is ‘cause it halves the war score cost of annexing provinces.
Step 2: Defeat the Ming armies in detail
This means bringing all your forces to bear on separated stacks of Ming units.
You’ll also want to fight the Ming within your territory. China has a fortified mountain range that protects them from the steppes.
Remember that mountains give your nomadic troops a massive combat disadvantage. It’s only Beijing that sits vulnerable on the plains near the Mongolian border.
In comparison, most of your provinces are flat deserts and steppes, while your capital’s on some mountains.
Ming will try to go for your capital if they can’t catch up to your army.
Don’t worry if they do manage to occupy it. Just focus on hunting Ming’s armies.
Tip: If your own war exhaustion gets high, you can reduce it in the Stability screen. This costs diplo power, but that’s okay. You’ll recover more power later from razing provinces.
Step 3: Seek and defeat the Ming Emperor
When the Ming are deep inside your territory, track down the army that has their emperor. Defeat him to have a chance at triggering his capture event.
You may not always get him, especially if there are other armies nearby to reinforce him.
Also, if you wipe out his stack, he’ll jump to a different army. So just keep hunting him ‘til you nab him.
Step 4: Siege and occupy Beijing
With the Ming emperor in tow, march on to Beijing and siege it.
The modifier you got from his capture will make the siege progress faster.
Occupying Beijing will trigger the next event of the Tumu Crisis. A few months after it falls, you’ll automatically occupy all of Ming’s northern provinces.
While you could negotiate for peace at this time, it’s much more important that you prolong the war. You must keep Ming’s war exhaustion high so there’s unrest in their nation.
The occupation of Beijing and the North will add to their monthly war exhaustion gain.
Soon, large rebel separatists will rise up throughout their lands.
Step 5: Wait for the rebellions in Ming to gain momentum
Do not kill Ming’s rebels.
They’re important for the Mingsplosion. They must be allowed to occupy enough provinces so that their region will secede from the Empire.
So leave them to do their business. In the meantime, intercept Ming’s armies to prevent them from un-sieging their provinces.
Step 6: Annex Beijing, Xuanhua, and the provinces with Mongol culture from Ming
Once each of Ming’s separatists occupy 5–10 provinces, you can safely peace out of your war.
In the peace deal, be sure to annex the following provinces:
- Datong (Optional)
You need these provinces to form Yuan. Most have the Mongol culture, while Xuanhua and Beijing are required cores for Yuan.
As for Datong, it’s a mountain province that has a fort. So annexing it means you won’t need to deal with it in your future wars with the Chinese.
III. Uniting the Mongols
Your next task is to annex provinces that have the cultures needed to form Yuan. These are owned by Kara Del, Sarig Yogir, Korchin, and Chagatai.
Attack them in any order you like. They’re all a walk in the park compared to Ming.
They’re also tributaries of Ming (except for Chagatai).
So Ming may get called in to defend them, which is favorable for you.
You can beat them up again and force a separate peace for more money. Keep them destitute and unable to prevent their shattering. They’ll eventually go bankrupt, which further incites more rebels to spawn.
IV. Taking or Destroying the Mandate
The last thing you need to form Yuan is the Mandate of Heaven.
But you can also destroy it so you can stay as a powerful Steppe Horde. Both methods have their pros and cons:
|Taking the Mandate||Destroying the Mandate|
|Switch to a Monarchy with the “Celestial Empire” tier 1 gov’t reform
Gain access to the Celestial Reforms and the other special mechanics of the Empire of China
|Retain the Steppe Horde gov’t form and the ability to raze provinces|
|Switch to the weaker Chinese Tech Group||Retain the strong Nomadic Tech Group|
|Lose the Tribal CBs but gain the “Unify China” CB, which makes it easier to annex provinces in China||Retain the Tribal CBs|
Tip: If you’re going for the KHAAAAAAN achievement, it’s better to stay as a Steppe Horde. It’s faster to use the Tribal CBs to get the regions needed for forming the Mongol Empire.
A. Taking the Mandate
To take the Mandate, use the “Take Mandate of Heaven” CB on Ming (or whoever’s the current emperor). You only need 50% war score to demand the Mandate. After doing so, you’ll become the new Emperor of China, allowing you to form the Great Yuan.
It’s highly recommended that you annex Canton and Nanjing before or during your war for the Mandate.
Not owning these two will hurt your own Mandate value. It’ll make you vulnerable to the same instability that Ming had.
B. Destroying the Mandate (Form Without Mandate)
To destroy the Mandate, just completely annex Ming (or current emperor) without demanding the Mandate.
This permanently dissolves the Empire of China.
This also changes the requirement for forming Yuan.
Since it’s no longer possible to become the Emperor of China, you’ll either need:
- To be at the empire rank, OR
- To have at least 1000 development
Technically, you need to meet both conditions.
Upgrading your gov’t to the empire rank requires you to have 1000 dev in the first place. But that said, you’ll naturally reach that number by expanding across China.