Rank List of All Heroes
With 150 hours into the game since EA launch, I have played all the Heroes up to level 8 (except Necromancer at 6), and some Heroes several levels above that. Thus, I feel I have a reasonable grasp of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each class. So, I have decided to do 2 rank lists.
The first list will be based on the Signature skill only, as this is what actually defines a Hero. I could rank them on the entire skill package at start, before you have a chance to swap out skills, but I feel this has only limited use.
The second list will be based on the optimal build for each School. What you can do after getting each Hero in that School to level 8. This is a work in progress and will need more tweaking and input as I test out various ideas.
I offer this list as a point of discussion. Obviously, its is based on my subjective opinion and personal experience in the game. Your experience maybe slightly or even radically different and I hope this list serves to generate lively but civil debate on the on the various pros and cons of each class/School.
The criteria for this list is based on three things. 1. The relative ease/difficulty in completing the quests with said Hero. 2. The general synergy of the Hero in different team compositions. 3. The fun factor (just a dash of this as it really is different for everyone). I stress again, this criteria is subjective. There is no objective fact based statistical analysis. I respect and encourage those who have a different viewpoint than my own.
Note, for consistency, this list is based entirely on PVE mode, that is coop vs AI. I wanted to have a vanilla baseline for testing each Hero/Build. I suggest that PVP may elevate some Heroes and devalue others. For example, I suspect the Exorcist class may have more value in PVP than where I have ranked it in PVE.
- Arcane Mender - While Missions can be completed without a Mender. It is certainly a lot easier with this Hero in the mix. The sustain of Mending Wave is unmatched and with the right buffs/positioning, you can heal ALL of your mates with nearly a 1k heal.
- Mana Warrior - Mana Strike is a very strong two way signature. Offering both damage and a HUGE shield that virtually makes this champ invulnerable. Add a bastard cleave for infinite sustainability, even without a Mender.
- Reaper - This tank just wont go down. A carry Hero who can win games on its own. The debuff and self sustain of Sow are great in any mix.
- Bloodstalker - At first glance this Champ seems weakfish. Really Cursed Strike only comes into its own when you add a strong melee attack with it like Assassinate for huge self sustain. This champ can go toe to toe with a Boss and take it down solo with the right build.
- Engineer - The Turret is a bit subtle in its strength. Not only for its ability to add a lot of DPS but also for its lesser known benefit of tanking and taking the attention of the VD minions.
- Demon Hunter - Sticky Grenade. Huge Spammable AOE damage. Nuff said.
- Shadowblade - Ambush has a good burst, bonus damage and a free cool down. Its a strong kill and my personal favourite as the most fun to use.
- Lich - Best Burst damage in the game. 3k or more on an Elite? Doable, if you are patient with Death Touch.
- Necromancer - At first I disliked this Hero a lot, but the more I play it, the more I see its potential. Even without the interesting minion skills the Necro has, Frenzied Shambler can do a lot of AOE damage where and when you want it.
- Gunslinger - Boom Shot is a solid skill. Not horrible, not fantastic. Gunslinger has some good starting skills though, like Rapid Fire. Carrying that over to Engineer is generally your best option.
- Nighthawk - Well, Bird of Prey is fun, but also a bit annoying for both yourself and your mates. There are some strange interactions with other skills and obvious bugs with in air fighting. That said, the Mob of Ravens build with and additional raven and perma buff is a carry build.
- Occultist - Meh. Tar Jar is ok. Damage is light and slow is a minor annoyance to the minions. Demon Hunter with one or two Occultist skills is a better choice.
- Chronomancer - Stasis Beam needs a buff. It does not have enough impact quick enough to make it worth while. Better would be to have a burst of damage/slow and then a sustain. Fight is often over before you can find the fight opportunity to use it. Yes it can sometimes come in handy to help out a team mate who is being chased or to finish off an elite already engaged, but overall, this signature needs work.
- Sniper - Ugh. Doing 900 Damage seems like it could be strong, but in practice, Snipe is annoying to use. In fact I think the Sniper is quite bad overall. Get a stealth mechanic and up the Snipe damage dramatically and maybe we have something useful to work with.
- Auros Gladiator - Zephyr Strike is not bad on paper but in practice, again due to issues with aerial combat, it seems to slow down the progress of your team then provide quality DPS. It is a good skill for isolating elites and also synergizes nicely with ranged DPS. I think a fair revisit will be in order when Aerial combat bugs are fixed.
- Vanguard - I rarely see the champ played and usually its just to swap a skill out. No one mains this. The reason is Resolute Block is too hard to time effectively and too passive for most to have fun with. I feel a built in taunt would be good plus a 3 second block time at 1.2k would be a lot better.
- Exorcist - Great concept. One I never see played (maybe 2). Was hard to get to level 8, not much fun. I suspect this champ might be a lot better in PVP, but in PVE, seemed pointless.
- Elementalist - Ouch. The worst signature by far. Not big enough shield. Not Long enough. Boring. Double the effect, quadruple the time and give it a reflect, then it would be interesting. O.k. maybe I went a little far with the buffs on it, but you get the idea.