Rank List of All Heroes

edited January 30 in General Chat

Hello Everyone,

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.

Hero Rank

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Demon Hunter - Sticky Grenade. Huge Spammable AOE damage. Nuff said.
  7. 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.
  8. Lich - Best Burst damage in the game. 3k or more on an Elite? Doable, if you are patient with Death Touch.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.

Comments

  • Just want to point out that Elementalist's signature have cd reduction based on the dmg it take. If the entire shield is consumed before the duration expire you can cast it again immediately. if the shield is not entirely consumed, it take 650 dmg absorbed for the ability to be off cd one the duration run out.

  • I pretty much have refused to play this game any longer until the Mana Warrior is nerfed. No joke they can solo the whole game and its not fun AT ALL. Either playing as one, or playing against one as the VD is zero fun. They will not die. I have ended the game with 8 potions left multiple times while playing as one, which is not fun being able to play the game blindfolded and still win. Equally as frustrating to play against one as well.

  • ExqzrExqzr
    edited February 1

    @Dangnoob said:
    I pretty much have refused to play this game any longer until the Mana Warrior is nerfed. No joke they can solo the whole game and its not fun AT ALL. Either playing as one, or playing against one as the VD is zero fun. They will not die. I have ended the game with 8 potions left multiple times while playing as one, which is not fun being able to play the game blindfolded and still win. Equally as frustrating to play against one as well.

    The Mana Warrior is very strong and perhaps a smaller shield is in order. That said, when I looked at doing a ranking list of the each school, using an optimal build, I found each school could put a champion on the field that is able to compete without too much imbalance. I had a hard time deciding on one school being better than the other - this is a good thing.

    Going into more detail with my take on powerful builds for each school, assuming you have level 8 on all the Heroes.

    Battle School: Mana Warrior. Arcane Charge with Haste and explode buff. Bastard Cleave. Strike of the Aegis ult and the final skill is open for your preferred play style. I use Auros Grasp. Health Gems and two that suit to round this out.

    Arcane School. Arcane Mender. Aqueous Globe, Temporal Field. Guardian sprite buffed with all allies. Final skill can be either Cease Continuum or Elemental Quintessence. Other considerations are Haste, or Chronoleap instead of Aqueous Globe if you want to be a little less dependent on and supportive of your allies. Choose Health and Healing Gems.

    Dark School. Reaper. Sub in the Phylactery in place of one of your traps (I prefer to drop Grasp of death). Haunting Wraiths, Overwhelming power and Crippling rake can also work nicely depending on composition depending on whether you want/need more dps, more peal or more protection. For gems choose Health and damage to CC targets or Ult accrual. This build almost never gets knocked out in a fight.

    Hedge School. Demon Hunter. Sub in Healing Pact and one of Hellfire or Incendiary Shots. I personally prefer Hellfire with the Breaks Root buff, but Incendiary will add more dps and if you are comfortable with your timing, Confound is a VD frustrater. Explosive shell could also work but its a bit wasted without Exorcism. This build is very well rounded and you can deal with most any threat and be an excellent secondary source of healing. Use Health or DPS and Ult Accrual gems

    Shadow School. Bloodstalker. Sub in Lethal Strike with 30% damage buff on bleed. Use Mob of Ravens with permanent and add 1 buffs. Sub in Assassinate with Gem based on your health, instead of enemy health. This build can one v one a boss. Use DPS and Health Gems.

    Tech School. Engineer. Sub in Quick Feet with Snare buff. Rapid Fire Shoot (if you can get it to work). Add the duo Turret buff. The final skill can be based on your preferred play style, but I recommend staying with the stun or slow grenades. Use DPS and Health Gems.

    So, considering the best that each School has to offer, I would ask would you rather the mostly invulnerable Mana Warrior or the buffing, debuffing, heal-all-day goodness of the Arcane Mender? Or what about the best two way DPS and Support of the Demon Hunter? Then there is the Boss shredding machine of a turbo charged Bloodstalker and his 3 frenzied raven guards. How about the Reaper who can snatch a nail biter of a game from defeat by reviving all 3 of his downed mates without breaking a sweat? I actually think all of these schools are fairly equal in their potential impact with only the Tech school being a slight step behind - its hard to argue with both sustained and burst damage and the need arises.

    And it is also true I have heard VD players complain about Nighthawks being immune to their ground effects and then winning the game while dead! Or of Mender plus Occultist parties reviving and healing Heroes over and over again and how it's just not fair! I have also heard calls to nerf the Bloodstalker and/or Reaper, cause to OP! I actually dont hear that many complaints about the Mana Warrior, but that could just be circumstance :).

    In any case, I am not sure the best version of the Battle School is any more or less impactful than the best version of the other Schools. I find all of them very fun and very satisfying to play.

    Thoughts?

  • @Torae said:
    Just want to point out that Elementalist's signature have cd reduction based on the dmg it take. If the entire shield is consumed before the duration expire you can cast it again immediately. if the shield is not entirely consumed, it take 650 dmg absorbed for the ability to be off cd one the duration run out.

    This is true, but do you not agree this signature could use a serious buff?

  • Pyro Review

    After playing a few games as the Pyro and many with the Pyro in the party I can say I am not a fan. Yes the Pyro can dish out some serious DPS, and yes the skills are fun to use, but this is not my issue. Rather, the Pyro does not have that much opportunity to swap skills with the other Arcane Classes.

    For me, this runs contrary to the theme of "make your own class". The skills are heavily co dependant, pushing a linear skill usage of a, then b, then c. Better, much better would to make the skills stand alone and interchangeable with the other classes. I would have liked to see something like a Firewall with root/stun an AOE ground burn, not dependant on the signature and then maybe a two way mechanic like the Reaper with Sow/Reap.

    On its own, the signature skills is lack lustre. I dont currently see a build for this signature that does not include all the skills as given for the Pyro. Its counter intuitive to the theme of the class flexibility and it doesn't stand on its own. Its a wrong direction first offering after the initial EA Heroes. I hope to see less of this.

    Rank 18, Elementalist drops to 19.

  • @Exqzr But the problem is i have never had a problem with any of the other classes. If i go all out on a single class, i can usually down them. Whether or not they get back up is whatever. But i can down them. But if u focus the Mana Warrior, he just doesnt go down.. Ever. And that is my problem i guess.

  • @Exqzr LOL how is pyromancer rank 18? Sure it is't that flexible, but neither are either of the aerial combatants (Auros/Nighthawk) in terms of their signatures, and Pyro dishes out good damage without buggy verticality and other melee hating you.

  • @Bnol said:
    @Exqzr LOL how is pyromancer rank 18? Sure it is't that flexible, but neither are either of the aerial combatants (Auros/Nighthawk) in terms of their signatures, and Pyro dishes out good damage without buggy verticality and other melee hating you.

    Hi Bnol,

    Well, I am looking just at the signature itself not the other skills. If you take the champion as is and compare to others out of the box, yeah its pretty solid. It can almost? compete with the Gunslinger for total damage and generally does better than the Shadow Assassins and Demon Hunter for DPS but without the flexibility. Thus, If we look at the Heroes at start, before making any swaps, I agree it would fall somewhere in the middle. Not too bad.

    BUT, and this is the big BUT. Breach is a game that markets and pushes its flexibility of builds. The ability to exchange skills from one class to another to get an end result you are really happy with. The signature, on its own, is not that strong. The signature sort of requires the other Pyro skills to make it shine or vice versa, the other skills require the signature to make them shine.

    For example, would you take the Pyro Signature and add Elementalist, Mender or Chrono skills to it? If so, which ones? I dont see it. I mean maybe you could bring in Meteor or exchange Flamestrike for Temporal Field or something, but why? As soon as you start making changes, the built in co-dependent synergy of the Pyro suffers.

    I was really looking forward to mixing and matching some new skills in the Arcane school and Pyro just doesn't do it. Further, I think the signature should be buffed. 250 or 300? Damage with Burn seems more in line. Then you could justify mixing and matching other skills into and probably have some sort of decent hybrid Supportive DPS class.

    That said, if anyone is using the Pyro Signature with swapped in skills from the other Arcane Classes, I would love to get their input.

  • @Dangnoob said:
    @Exqzr But the problem is i have never had a problem with any of the other classes. If i go all out on a single class, i can usually down them. Whether or not they get back up is whatever. But i can down them. But if u focus the Mana Warrior, he just doesnt go down.. Ever. And that is my problem i guess.

    I agree the Mana Warrior is tough (impossible?) to bring down. Knowing this, and with what you said about your ability to focus down all other classes, The tactic here would be to circumvent or just CC the MW and focus the others. Having to work around a tank is not all that new in any holy trinity of DPS Tank and Healer party mixes. In fact its generally a tactic of the Heroes to try to get you focused on the Tank so the others have free roam to do their thing. If the party is successful in getting you focused on the Tank, they are probably going to win more often than not.

    I have considered putting MW at the top. And, I also agree that maybe his shield could use a small nerf. But if push came to shove and I had to vote for having either a Mender or a MW in the party, I think I would vote for the Mender? Would you agree?

  • @Exqzr Except that is the same thing as the aerial combatants, they don't work well with other skills, and their signatures are worse in terms screwing the damage output of their teammates. They can only maybe slot in 1 other skill from their school, before they might as well be another class. Exorcist works similarly, and we will invariably see more classes with more internal synergies as classes get more specific and unique.

    Pyro has the only damage focused signature for Arcane, so any pure nuker will have to grab it. Pyro can ditch the Ult to grab Ele or Chrono ult if it wants to be more hybrid, it can ditch Flamestrike to grab Meteor (assuming meteor gets buffed) or Haste for more damage. You can even set-up teamplay with an Arcane Mender taking Combust and just exploding all the burns. Sure, the core of Pyro still revolves around Firebolt/Wildfire/Combust, but that is not much different than a lot of classes, and it is certainly a lot more potent a combo than a lot of classes.

  • @Bnol said:
    @Exqzr Except that is the same thing as the aerial combatants, they don't work well with other skills, and their signatures are worse in terms screwing the damage output of their teammates. They can only maybe slot in 1 other skill from their school, before they might as well be another class. Exorcist works similarly, and we will invariably see more classes with more internal synergies as classes get more specific and unique.

    Pyro has the only damage focused signature for Arcane, so any pure nuker will have to grab it. Pyro can ditch the Ult to grab Ele or Chrono ult if it wants to be more hybrid, it can ditch Flamestrike to grab Meteor (assuming meteor gets buffed) or Haste for more damage. You can even set-up teamplay with an Arcane Mender taking Combust and just exploding all the burns. Sure, the core of Pyro still revolves around Firebolt/Wildfire/Combust, but that is not much different than a lot of classes, and it is certainly a lot more potent a combo than a lot of classes.

    I see your points.

    So I think I should clarify a little further. When looking at a signature skill on its own, I also do consider its ability to work with other skills in the school. I did not really explain this properly. But this is why I have the Auros quite low and the Nighthawk much higher. I agree the Auros seems to slow progression whereas the Nighthawk is actually quite useful in comparison. Given that their signatures are essentially the same, really the reason is the complimentary skills that are available to that signature within the school. My Nighthawk build is Talon Frenzy, Assassinate, Stealth and Ravens. Buffed by 500 health for aerial Juggle, permanent ravens, plus 1 raven and Basic Echo. This build seems to work really well and can carry (again coop vs ai when I have low levels in party). Whereas the Auros constantly struggles, no matter what build I try.

    When I look at the Pyro, I agree those skills you mentioned can be slotted in and maybe it could work, but my first pass on it suggests it only weakens the class overall. I admit this is just speculation at this point, but it also true I have yet to see it and it is also true I find the Pyro has dramatically fallen in popularity after day 1.

    I also agree on the Executioner being hard to mix and match with, hence the low rating. when you say we will see more of this, I think ouch, that is exactly what I dont want to see. Classes that are synergistic in and of themselves go against one of the strongest drawing points of the game. I mean yes you can still swap any skill you want into Pyro or executioner, or Necro, but why would you when it only seems to lower the overall effectiveness of the Class?

    My final point on this is looking at the Pyro signature itself. Dont you think its pretty weak? 150 plus burn, even with spam? I think overall DoTs are underwhelming, but it seems particularly underwhelming on a glass cannon. Im trying to think of a situation where a Pyro would be a better choice than a Gunslinger or Engineer or Demon Hunter and perhaps its my current lack of understanding of the class, but I cant see it.

    That all said maybe 14th spot makes more sense.

    Thoughts?

  • @Exqzr said:

    So I think I should clarify a little further. When looking at a signature skill on its own, I also do consider its ability to work with other skills in the school. I did not really explain this properly. But this is why I have the Auros quite low and the Nighthawk much higher. I agree the Auros seems to slow progression whereas the Nighthawk is actually quite useful in comparison. Given that their signatures are essentially the same, really the reason is the complimentary skills that are available to that signature within the school. My Nighthawk build is Talon Frenzy, Assassinate, Stealth and Ravens. Buffed by 500 health for aerial Juggle, permanent ravens, plus 1 raven and Basic Echo. This build seems to work really well and can carry (again coop vs ai when I have low levels in party). Whereas the Auros constantly struggles, no matter what build I try.

    I get that, but I don't understand dropping a self-contained class lower down the list, even if the class performs well on its own. I would put it over Nighthawk, since it outputs more damage without the corresponding aerial negatives. Further, if you want to run perma-Raven you might as well just play Shadowblade for pure damage (or Bloodstalker for self-sustain).

    When I look at the Pyro, I agree those skills you mentioned can be slotted in and maybe it could work, but my first pass on it suggests it only weakens the class overall. I admit this is just speculation at this point, but it also true I have yet to see it and it is also true I find the Pyro has dramatically fallen in popularity after day 1.

    Sure, from a PVE standpoint, dropping the ult for the other ults just lowers your damage, and thus your clear time. However, dropping the CC for the damage of Haste (especially if you are using it on the right teammate) can help your clear speed. Again, I don't think inflexibility is a bad thing, if you can perform the job.

    I also agree on the Executioner being hard to mix and match with, hence the low rating. when you say we will see more of this, I think ouch, that is exactly what I dont want to see. Classes that are synergistic in and of themselves go against one of the strongest drawing points of the game. I mean yes you can still swap any skill you want into Pyro or executioner, or Necro, but why would you when it only seems to lower the overall effectiveness of the Class?

    Well, the last dev livestream they said a goal would be to have every school able to fill every role, in their own unique ways. That will likely lead to signatures for roles that don't necessarily mesh with the rest of the school. Further, there are only so many generic abilities you can make, and even then there will be a particular best combination of those generic abilities, there needs to be some unique synergies to have different builds and playstyles.

    My final point on this is looking at the Pyro signature itself. Dont you think its pretty weak? 150 plus burn, even with spam? I think overall DoTs are underwhelming, but it seems particularly underwhelming on a glass cannon. Im trying to think of a situation where a Pyro would be a better choice than a Gunslinger or Engineer or Demon Hunter and perhaps its my current lack of understanding of the class, but I cant see it.

    I don't think it is weak, since it works so well with the rest of the kit. I will agree that DoTs are underwhelming, but this is mostly because the TTK, even strong minions, is so short and the visual indicators of DoTs are buggy and harder to track, thus DoTs lose some value. Obviously, Demon Hunter is generally the right choice, especially with Occultist ult, but that is a balance issue, similar to MW being the obvious choice in the battle school. Pyro has better AoE than either Engineer or Gunslinger, both in terms of raw output, and in terms of minimal sacrifice to single target. While this is not critical to completion, the raw AoE damage does help clear rooms faster especially if you are playing with a single target tank or dps and you can passively destroy annoying walls, adds, or orbs in the boss rooms.

  • I personally love all of the debate here surrounding the various classes. Also curious how this maintains as we continue to update and the meta adjusts week after week with changes to the game.

  • @OneLetter said:
    I personally love all of the debate here surrounding the various classes. Also curious how this maintains as we continue to update and the meta adjusts week after week with changes to the game.

    Thank you for commenting on this post.

    I plan to revise the list with an out of the box list. That is before any modifications and skill swapping is done. Then I will rank each Hero in their ideal state, with a discussion on each.

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