So the game's been out for a while. It's been beaten and re-beaten. The secrets have all been discovered, the items have all been collected, the Easter Egg has been unearthed, and the exasperated rumors have been debunked. For all intents and purposes, the game is solved. That means there's only one thing left to do...
...That's right. It's time to get on the internet and argue about which characters are the best.
It seems inevitable when you've got a game with Loads and Loads of Characters; the time will come when the only thing left is to try and figure out whether or not this character is powerful enough to solo an endgameBonus Bossordungeonall by themselves. It can be a polite discussion or a Flame War; a debate of logic and reason or a contest to see who can stick their fingers in their ears the longest. It can even birth legions of Scrubs and "Stop Having Fun" Guys. If the game happens to have a competitive scene, expect even more of this.
The characters are usually divided into rough levels of ability, or "tiers", from which the trope takes its name. Those tiers frequently look something like this:
- God Tier: Characters that are ridiculously good, to the point that it is almost unfair to use them. Most likely some sort of secretboss character that was not meant to be used in normal competitive play. There have been very few games with characters that could be truly considered to belong in this tier, and they are probably banned due to over-centralizing the metagame. These tiers can even have affectionate (or not-so-affectionate) nicknames for one or more specific characters belonging in this tier, such as "The Four Gods" for example.
- Top Tier: Incredibly good characters that are still overpowered, but less so than those in God Tier, and not overpowered enough that they warrant a ban. When God Tier characters are banned, these are the characters to choose more times than not. They are generally better than most other characters below them tier-wise, counter-picks notwithstanding.
- High Tier: All-around good choices. Usually, they are here because they have advantages over a Top or God Tier character(s) and beat a lot of lower-tier characters. They have only a few weaknesses.
- Mid Tier: The "middle ofthe road" guys. They are usually here because they have an advantage over at least one Top or God Tier character, but have too many flaws to be used effectively elsewhere. Alternately, they have no glaring weaknesses compared to the lower tiers or any solid advantages over the higher ones.
- Low Tier: You probably don't want to choose these. They could theoretically be useful, but choosing such a character is a sub-optimal choice; take only if you need to fill space. Sometimes, these characters find a niche for their shock value, an advantage over a higher-tier character, or because they work well against unprepared or surprised opponents. This sort of usage stops working once your opponents get wise, at which point you should return to a higher tier.
- Bottom Tier: Joke Characters, and those who are just bad. They may have an advantage over someone in Top or even Mid Tier, but outside of that specific situation, be prepared to have extreme difficulty using a Bottom Tier character in high-level play. Like God Tier, these tiers can also have affectionate (or not-so-affectionate) nicknames for one or more specific characters belonging in this tier, such as "Roll Tier" for example.
- No/Unknown Tier: Occasionally, a character is so poorly or unusually-designed that they Broke the Rating Scale. This may be due to highly variable or buggy skill-sets, requiring strategies outside of the traditional metagame, having very strange match-ups, relying on luck, or changing their focus and level of power heavily depending on certain factors. These characters tend to solidify into one of the above as the metagame evolves, or simply get banned for their potential Gameplay Derailment.
Sometimes a lower-tier character has a strangely favorable match-up against a much higher-tier character, as mentioned earlier; this is known as the Anti-Metagame Character. When players choose this type of character in response to their opponent's choice (often after they lose, since tournaments commonly have the winner pick first), it's called a counter-pick.
Sometimes the tiers get shaken up due to metagame shifts, and characters that were once below-average can become more useful. However, the chances of this phenomenon occurring diminish if no new content is added to the game. Said new content usually came in the form of numerousre-releases (the most (in)famous of which being the Street Fighter II series of games), game updates, and straight up sequels.
Depending on the game, tiers may not be as pivotal as they seem or are portrayed to be. (Indeed, some games are closely balanced enough that the tiers are only rated as a formality, with Street Fighter IV being one such example.) Most often, they exist, but are generally less important than than the skill, advantages, and/or tools of a particular character or adaptive player. Which, of course, leads to discussion for which play-style is best.
All of the above notwithstanding, some players simply don't give a damn about this trope and will simply use whichever characters they want. It can also be a sort of Self-Imposed Challenge. After all, anybody can probably beat the game with enough practice if they're using a God-Tier character. Beating it while using a Low- or Bottom-Tier character is a Bragging Rights Reward in and of itself, more so if they did it with said character alone.
Compare: PVP Balanced, Competitive Balance. When a character's tier placement negatively affects players' opinions of him, he becomes a Tier-Induced Scrappy. See also Super Weight for character power levels narrative-wise.
Examples in order of genre:
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- Although the Gran Turismo games don't explicitly use Car Tiers, their cars can be pretty much divided into snail-slow subcompacts, slow sedans, medium sports cars, fast supercars, super-fast JGTC racing cars, lightning-fast Le Mans racers, and the Polyphony Formula Gran Turismo.
- The arcade mode in the first three games had an explicit series of tiers. They were Class C for compact sedans, Class B high-power sedans, Class A sports cars, and Class S supercars (in GT2) or racing cars (in GT3).
- Need for Speed: Carbon
- The game divides its cars into three tiers. The first tier is made of cars such as the Mazdaspeed 3 or the Chrysler 300C, the second tier includes the Dodge Charger and the Lotus Europa, while the third tier includes the Dodge Viper and the Lamborghini Murciélago
- The game also actively enforces the tiers by denying lower-tiered cars performance upgrades that would put them on par with higher-tiered cars, a sharp contrast from the Underground games and Most Wanted which allowed the likes of the Chevrolet Cobalt to, once upgraded, compete with (and even surpass) a Porsche Carerra GT.
- In Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2, the PC version has classes, in PS2 you can tell the tier by the police car that chases you, though the corvette tier, featuring cars from the Corvette Z06 all the way to the Ferrari F50 was wider than the actual tier wherein players of a similar ability would have a decent chance to win (excluding unlucky mishaps).
- Need for Speed: Rivals has a subtle tier system based on the heat level they start off when leaving a hideout as racer or the max level of pursuit tech they can mount. An early game 2015 Mustang starts at heat 1 and only mounts level 1 pursuit tech while an end game Ferrari Enzo starts at heat level 4 and can mount any pursuit tech at level 4. This is more apparent in friends only or offline play.
- The Forza series simultaneously adheres to this trope and subverts it: every car is designated a "performance index", complete with a corresponding tier denoted by a letter grade, but most low-tier cars can be upgraded enough to compete with higher tiers. The Performance Index is calculated from an algorithm that rates the average flying lap time of the vehicle on an imaginary track; so it's possible for cars with a low PI (but tuned to a specific track type) to beat cars with a much higher PI.
- Mario Kart
- Mario Kart: Wii gives each character has a subtle boost in certain stats like Speed and Drift. Players have already begun to make a tier list based on who has the biggest Speed bonus, etc. While the differences do not really make much of a difference in a VS race, some people will still use the top rated characters anyway.
- This tier system is much more apparent in Mario Kart DS, because of the drift system. Characters like Yoshi got huge boosts off drifts and would be relentlessly used online by anyone who could snake well. Drifting in Mario Kart Wii was toned down because of general dislike of the system.
- Mario Kart 7 basically mirrors what Mario Kart Wii did. Not only are people only using Metal Mario for his extra top speed, but kart parts used online and in time trials seem to be only the B Dasher and Mushroom Wheels (or Gold Tires), because this combo gives the best top speed possible without sacrificing too much in acceleration or steering.
- In Mario Kart 8, the super-heavyweights (Bowser, Dry Bowser, Morton, Wario, and large Miis) have the highest speed stat of any racers in the game, and you'll rarely find a world record time that doesn't use one of those five.
- Arcade racing games Initial D Arcade Stage and Wangan Midnight mostly avert this, since all full-tuned cars can compete on an equal footing. There are, however, cars that are meant as novelties, most notably the AE85 Levin for IDAS and the Subaru R2 for WMMT.
- Blur has (from slowest to fastest) classes D, C, B, and A. Differently-tuned versions of the same car can appear in different tiers; for example, the Nissan 350Z (D- and C-Class), Chevrolet Camaro (D-, C-, and A-Class), and Dodge Challenger SRT8 (D-, B-, and A-Class).
- Note that Tournament Play will shake tiers up. Sometimes a victor discovers an overlooked technique with a low-ranked character that the upper tier characters have no counter for. Also, some characters are fantastic counters against half the cast but get mopped by the other half, instead of being above or below-average consistently.
- David Sirlin (who did balancing for Street Fighter and Puzzle Fighter HD Remix) accepts that perfect balance is impossible, as characters with differing abilities will always have advantages and disadvantages over each other, but believes that the God Tier and Garbage Tier should be empty, and that no specific character-versus-character matchup should give more than a 6-4 advantage (meaning that if equally skilled players play ten matches, the character with the advantage should at most win six and lose four). His own games (Kongai, and especially the tabletop games Puzzle Strike, Flash Duel, and Yomi) go through years of playtesting and tweaking in search of this.
- Capcom vs. SNK:
- Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 actually codified its tiers in-game, and based the number of characters one could select for their team on what tier each character was; this didn't go over very well with gamers, and was dropped for the sequel. (In the sequel, the player splits 4 "Ratio" amongst up to three characters, giving the player some input as to the character's tier.)
- The problem with Capcom vs. SNK was that how the tiers were codified had nothing to do with how strong the characters actually were in competitive play. Nakoruru was the strongest character in the game bar none, yet she was only Ratio 2.
- Tiers are completely evident in nearly every single Dragon Ball Z game.
- In general, throughout the series, transformed characters are far better than their untransformed counterparts.
- The Tenkaichi and Raging Blast series are notorious for their tiers (which is somewhat expected with over 100 characters).
- The Raging Blast god tier features completely broken characters, including Kid Buu, Super Saiyan 2 Gohan, Super Gogeta, and Super Vegito. Each has ridiculous stats and can easily chain massive combos.
- Super Smash Bros.: The competitive Smash community maintains tier lists for each game decided upon by top-level players on Smash Boards. Most tournaments are composed exclusively of high and top-tier characters, because other characters are generally seen as too weak or too finicky to be consistently competitive. Special tournaments are sometimes run where players are restricted to playing mid-tier and below characters.
- The original game on the Nintendo 64 has a small cast of 12 fighters, making for a much closer gap character balance-wise. Isai, a well known Smash 64 player, is known for being the only player in the 64 community to be consistently good with all 12 characters in tournament play.
- Melee tournaments often feature both Star Fox reps, Sheik, Marth, Jigglypuff, Princess Peach, Captain Falcon, and the occasional use of the Ice Climbers, Pikachu, Yoshi, Dr. Mario, etc. Special note goes to Fox and Falco, who are considered the best and second best characters in the Meleemetagame respectively due to being good at just about everything. The former has a high learning curve, but when properly played, is a sight to behold. In fact, Fox is so good that a community meme known as 20XX was spawned as a result. Explanation 20XX is a hypothetical year in which the metagame has been pushed as far as it can go, making Fox the only character worth playing anymore. Of course, every Fox is played to perfection, and as a result, rock-paper-scissor matches are held for port priority. Whoever wins that wins the actual match.
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl:
- The third Smash game has a single borderline god-tier character — Meta Knight. Universally considered the best character in the game, he dominates most of the cast with extremely fast and safe attacks, excellent recovery and edgeguarding capabilities, and unrivaled ledge game. He has one or two match-ups against other top tiers that might be considered 50-50, but many are skeptical. He was been dominant enough in the competitive scene for many fans, and some tournaments, to support banning him.
- After Meta Knight are the Ice Climbers, whom some would argue are better than Meta Knight in some ways due to being too good with chaingrabs.
- Brawl also has the odd case of King Dedede, who isn't really overpowered, but can counter a handful of specific characters so effectively that they are essentially non-viable in tournaments.
- Thanks to the occasional balance patch and a roster that's significantly more balanced than Brawl's was, the tier lists in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U has a case similar to Street Fighter IV's where the bad characters aren't that much worse compared to the top tiers and even low-tier characters are capable of decent tournament placings, given some effort.
- That said, pre-1.06 patch, Diddy Kong was seen by many as the new Meta Knight due to a frustratingly good down throw to up-air combo many came to call "Hoo-hah". It got so ridiculous that at one point, it was common to see Grand Finals of Smash 4 tournaments where both players used him. Diddy ended up getting nerfed throughout two different patches; although initially perceived to have dropped from top to high tier, players who mained him discovered that although he was indeed less powerful in certain areas, his greatest strengths remain untouched, and he retains his top-level placement.
- With that said, Sheik, a character who was already universally considered back in the Melee days to be top tier, has since become one of the best character in the metagame. At one point, she was the best character in the game, though patches brought her down a bit. She still solidly remains in top tier.
- The characters introduced through DLC have all been unique cases similar to Little Mac or Ike from Brawl in that at first, they tend to perform well if not dominate the meta game until players get enough match up familiarity to counter them. Of all the characters introduced through DLC, Mewtwo was initially considered to still be a low-tier mess, even after having been buffed from Melee, until a series of patches nullified or alleviated most of his weaknesses and turned him into a viable top-tier fighter. Fellow Melee veteran Roy wasn't as lucky and remains low on the tier list, largely due to his bad approach. Lucas plays about the same as he did in Brawl as a low-mid tier character. Ryu is considered to be high-tier, since his being a Jack-of-All-Stats in his home series plus his combo oriented style of play from said series translates well to a Smash Bros. game.
- This isn't even beginning to mention how Cloud Strife affects the metagame. Wanna know how crazy he is? Players of all sorts simply discarded their mains for Cloud and still did well or started placing much higher at their weekly local tournaments. Granted, he has some of the worst recovery and a very limited throw game, but that's just a small price to pay for his insane priority and being able to KO at 70% or even less.
- Corrin is perceived as a solid high to top tier character because of his/her incredible frame data; disjointed attacks; good kill power; and his/her signature move, Dragon Lunge, which lets him/her pin his/her opponents into the ground.
- Bayonetta was so overpowered at release due to her absolutely killer aerial game and combo ability that an infamous patch was dedicated solely to nerfing her and no one else... and it still didn't keep her from being considered the best character in the game.
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been surprisingly durable to the concept of Character Tiers, due to the mix of an extremely large roster and relatively good balance in that roster, along with Balance Buff patches to help or hinder certain characters. That said, most players seem to agree that Joker, Pikachu, Peach/Daisy, and Snake are near the top, while Dr. Mario, Bowser Jr., Piranha Plant, Isabelle and Little Mac languish behind the rest of the cast.
- Street Fighter:
- Street Fighter II:
- You can select the old Super Street Fighter II versions of the characters in Super Turbo by quickly inputting a code after selecting them. Old Sagat is considered top tier, and is "soft-banned" in some tournaments (meaning that there is a tacit agreement not to use him, but he can be used anyway), not because he is so overpowering (Balrog and Dhalsim are better characters overall), but because he's extremely hard for several other characters to counter, and players agree that that makes for a less interesting game.
- Akuma is considered god tier in ST for a variety of reasons, such as his ability to lock down opponents in inescapable blockstun with repeated red fireballs (they can even let go of the joystick and are still stuck blocking until they die). Akuma was toned down a lot in HD Remix, but due to bugs such as his Raging Demon super being inescapable from blockstun 75% of the time, he was banned from tournaments.
- Street Fighter III: Third Strike was supposed to be a more balanced revision of the previous two games, given the complete and obvious advantages certain characters had over others, and succeeded in this endeavor for half the characters. The others simply moved around between tiers.
- In most fighting game communities, the Chinese characters (Chun-Li and Yun in particular) were top tier throughout all three games.
- Sean went from godly in New Generation to 2nd Impact/Giant Attack to bottom of the bottom.
- Q is a very interesting example. Unaltered, he's practically a Joke Character. But using his Practical Taunt three times raises his defense to such a massive degree that almost every attack is reduced to nothing, at which point his strengths (a powerful command grab, extremely strong supers, armored Dashing Punches) become significantly more meaningful. And that increase lasts for the rest of the round. Some tier lists actually put Q on two separate tiers, one for "normal" and one for "three taunts".
- Lethal Joke Character Rufus from vanilla Street Fighter IV is considered nearly godly, to the point that he was commonly placed in the game's Top 5 along with Sagat, Ryu, and Balrog.
- Street Fighter II:
- Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes has 56 characters, and therefore tiers are inevitable. The unique thing is that the current god tier isn't banned, but are actually favoured for tournament play simply because all the options and tactics available to them mean that they're also the most interesting characters to play in the game. There's also the fact that the game is less dependent on individual characters and more on team synergy. Some good teams aren't totally dependent on the god tiers, but instead team them with lower-tiered characters who have really good assists that make the overall team stronger.
- In Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, the Japanese developed a different tier list for the characters (partially because unlike in the United States, the players didn't stop thinking that Karas was a broken character), using two tier lists — one for the overall character performance being the point (combat) character and another for the character's Assist. Roll isn't considered the lowest tier (she's mid), and her Assist is ranked high in the tier list, upping her rank as a Joke Character to Lethal Joke Character.
- Due to the massive changes that occurred between the original Guilty Gear and its sequels, it can be quite hard to pinpoint exact tiers at times. From Guilty Gear X onward, the tiers became more or less well-defined due to the series' mechanics becoming more and more polished over time, which in turn affected the balance of power for better or worse. Of note is that, like Capcom's Vs. series, much of the combat in Guilty Gear favors a fast-paced and technical approach, with characters that possess incredible mobility, mix-ups and disjointed hitboxes constantly being at the top.
- The first game would almost be counted out due to how broken some of the mechanics are, such as having infinite Tension meter when below 50% life which allowed for perpetual Overdrive spamming. Because of this, there are at least two characters considered to be quite dangerous: Millia Rage with her infinite Iron Maiden projectile spam and Justice with her infinite Gamma Rays. And that's not getting to how easy it is to land Instant Kills that would end the entire match as opposed to merely ending a single round like it does in later games.
- In GGX, the Assassin's Guild characters note Millia, Zato-1 and Venom consistently ranked very high on the list, if not outright at the top, while the two main characters (Sol and Ky) would consistently dance around the midrange area. Newcomer Johnny also landed in the top tier due to highly tricky but incredibly strong mobility and unblockable mix-ups.
- Guilty Gear XX had a very unusual tier setup — partially because the game is so well-balanced that tiers rarely affect a match significantly, but unusual in that the top tier consisted of only ONE character — Eddie. Mainly because of his ability to destroy you on wake-up due to unblockables. Eddie was crippled somewhat in Slash, but he recovered in Accent Core (with a triple unblockable sequence) and now shares his spot with Testament. The catch? All of the characters have a steep learning curve, and it can take several months (or even years) of practice to use them effectively in Tournament Play.
- Guilty Gear Xrd, having been openly described to be based off of #Reload (the second revision of XX), once again saw Zato at the top due to unblockable setups and disjointed hitboxes, followed closely by Faust, Johnny, Raven and newcomer Elphelt Valentine who also possesses her own brand of unblockable mix-ups. However, it also returned to having a slightly more unbalanced tier selection, with the high/top tiers possessing significant advantages over other characters in terms of zoning, pressure, mobility and damage output. In fact, three out of the top 8 players at EVO 2016 all had Zato as their main. Still, most match-ups depend largely on individual player skill, and any competitor worth their salt can still find a way to dominate with their favorite character no matter the odds.
- An interesting case in particular across all games is Axl Low, who started out as a quirky character in the first title. note For reference, he could chain a P > K > S > HS gatling combo from half a screen away due to his sliding standing kick, has an infinite ground combo consisting of repeatedly chaining standing P and K until your opponent got dizzied, and was the only character to possess a special move that doubled as a Dust Attack His GGX retool was widely considered as his weakest incarnation due to poor mobility, abysmal move recovery and a severe lack of pressure/mix-up tools compared to the rest of the cast, basically painting him as a poor man's Dhalsim and earning him the derogatory nickname "Axl Low Tier" which has stuck with some to this day. While somewhat mitigated with the discovery of his infamous high-damage Axl Bomberloop, it took until XXnote especially the Accent Core +R iteration to truly fix his design by adding new tools for close quarters defense, footsies, space control and the ability to use special cancels on some of his moves, thus elevating him into high tier. Come Xrd, however, despite losing many of his tools from Accent Core, he was considered to be the absolute god tier character on Day 1 due to the addition of Sparrowhawk Stance, which lets Axl pressure and juggle his opponent from across the screen at the cost of temporarily losing his mobility. This lasted until players learned about Sparrowhawk's weaknesses, after which his ranking plummeted and eventually sat at around upper mid-tier.
- Calamity Trigger has three characters in the top tier spot: Rachel, Nu, and Arakune. In that order. Rachel is extremely good, but VERY hard to use effectively unless you know how to control her wind. Nu has magical flying swords which enable ridiculously long and damaging combos, but she has very low health and defense. Arakune has BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES.
- In contrast, the Top 3 in Continuum Shift were Bang Shishigami, Litchi Faye-Ling, and Ragna the Bloodedge — all of whom are combo-oriented characters instead of zoning characters. Litchi has numerous combos which can lead into resets. During one of her combos, she will inevitably (and it WILL always happen) get enough heat to end her combo with a knockdown and follow with her Great Wheel Distortion Drive, which is used to trick the opponent when they get up, repeating the process. If played correctly, she can trap you in a corner and shred you to pieces. Bang went from bottom tier to top due to several of his hitboxes being altered, and many of his moves come out much faster. His basic combos can also deal around 4000-5000 damage. Ragna is like Litchi and Bang combined: he has a large amount of reset opportunities with his new Belial Edge and oki game, but utilizing this takes the simplicity of using Bang.
- The Continuum Shift II update is considered to be very well balanced. On the top, there's Makoto and Noel, and on the bottom Tager. Most characters are viable, and tournaments top 8 generally have few overlapping characters.
- Continuum Shift Extend is also considered to be very well balanced. Thanks to the damage nerf, characters that can produce high damage like Ragna, Valkenhayn, and Hakumen tend to rank high on the tier list.
- New system mechanics in Chronophantasma changed up the listing a bit. The CSEX tops were still pretty up there, and a few mids went up a bit. Newcomers like Azrael became top due to their damage potential and all around good movepools. The other newcomers ranged from mid to low tier, with the sole exception of Kokonoe. The first two iterations of the game had her as the undisputed god tier due to having tools that fucked over the entire cast, including being the only character to have a truly unblockable setup.
- The third iteration, Chronophantasma Extend, saw a significant change in the list due to overall damage buffs but as well as the nerfing of many character options. Notably, Iron Tager, a character considered by many to be low tier for quite a few games, has become one of the best characters in the game. How good? Players actually conclude that he stands a significant chance of beating Nu, a character he notoriously did poor against throughout the entire series and also another top tier character in this iteration.
- Soul Series:
- Soulcalibur IV tiers generally class Hilde as god tier. This is mainly due to her "Doom Combo" that can ring out from pretty much anywhere, though there are other characters agreed to be just/almost as dangerous but without as dominating a ring out/corner carry game. Other generally good characters to use include Sophitia, Amy, Voldo, Setsuka, and Kilik, whereas Rock in particular is awful.
- Soulcalibur V currently has no "concrete" tier list, but match-up charts tend to place Cervantes and Alpha Patroklos very high on the list. Raphael and Z.W.E.I. are considered the weakest characters, while Dampierre gets his own placement below them for being a Joke Character. That being said, the game is very well-balanced and considered an improvement from IV in that department.
- Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown is largely considered to be well-balanced. Most players agree that Akira is at the top, but he's not overpowered due to the high learning curve required to be decent with him, as well as his lack of full circular attacks. You can watch many matches and see that there isn't any one character who dominates the screen time.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future: One thing certain is that Kakyoin is very much high tier due to his Mystic Trap setups. Oh, and Petshop? He's so broken he's tourney banned.
- The Gundam Vs Series, like Capcom vs. SNK, codified its tiers as part of the gameplay. Each team has a resource meter (worth 6000 points in the Extreme Versus series and 1000 in Gundam Versus) and characters are divided by how much they cost. The lowest tier units can respawn four or five times before depleting the resource meter, while the most powerful machines can only do this twice; however, the tiers are by no means a hard-and-fast measure of character quality. The Zaku II Kai is always placed in the lowest cost tier but consistently ranks high overall because of its trap grenades, resulting in its being the only bottom-cost unit to get tournament banned; the Gundam Epyon is the opposite, being in the highest cost tier but generally ranking at the bottom overall because while it can string together insane melee combo chains, melee is literally all it has and thus players have to be incredibly good at getting in close in order to actually get to use those combos, generally making it more trouble than it's worth.
- SaltyBet has five tiers based on how powerful a character is. If a character wins 15 times in a row, it can ascend to the next tier, but if it loses 15 times in a row, it will be demoted to the lower tier. It's not uncommon to see characters who are too good for one tier, only to be completely annihilated by the next tier up. Some characters may even be untiered because of factors such as A.I.-breaking super armor, regularly cause problems such as slowdown, have an unusual gimmick that most normal characters can't deal with, or are just so confusing, not even the creators know how they work.
- X Tier: The god tier. Reserved for the most broken and overpowered characters, such as Rare Akuma. These can typically overwhelm normal fighters in a few seconds, liberally spam One-Hit Kills, and have TAS level A.I. Some characters even have alternate palettes that make them powerful enough to fit in. Unlike most tiers, characters have to be manually put into this tier, and the fights are best two out of three with no tourneys in rotation. Sometimes nicknamed eXhibition Tier because these characters tend to be requested in exhibitions often (ironically enough, several of them have been banned from being requested due to causing problems such as crashes and freezing the game so long, the match skips automatically).
- S Tier: The high to top tier and the highest a character can ascend without being X Tier. It consists of standard SNK Bosses, characters with professional level A.I., characters that have absurd damage output from regular attacks, and powerful and diverse movesets.
- A Tier: The upper tier. Consists of characters who have solid A.I. and decent movesets or strong characters who have at least one weakness keeping them from being true S tiers (such as lack of agility or health).
- B Tier: The low to average tier. Consists of regular characters with okay A.I. and movesets but have a tendency to throw fights. May even consist of P Tiers who were freed.
- P Tier: The bottom (Potato) tier. Consists of characters who have no A.I., very poorly made characters, Joke Characters, and those that just can't keep up with the more modern B Tier fighters. With good reason, it has been Demoted to Extra due to how boring the fights can get. Even though P Tier tourneys have been discontinued and matches rarely show up in matchmaking, Gold members can free just about any of them for an in-game price and request them in exhibitions (either to see if there are any promising characters unfairly put in or just to troll the viewers).
- League of Legends has spawned lots of tier lists, the most popular can be found here. They're constantly being changed, cause every patch brings nerfs and buffs to certain characters. As such posting a tier list here would be kinda useless. Once in a while, low tier characters get "discovered" and end up in top tiers. Many agree that characters in lower tiers can still be effective, maybe being less all-rounder than the top tiers.
- Despite having over 800 Pokémon of varying balance (as well as mons with alternate forms and Mega Evolutions), the series has taken to heart its preaching of using your favorite Pokémon. The most well-known tier system, Smogon's, organizes all Pokémon into 6 tiers. It is also continuously changing, with Pokémon changing tiers based on usage, and even implementation or removal of clauses. In the most popular format, Overused, or OU, acts as Top Tier and is considered "standard", while Ubers falls under God Tier since it functions as a banlist tier (though it has a metagame in itself). Beneath that, there was initially just Underused for everything not in OU, but as the list of Pokémon grew, more tiers were added to encompass the Pokémon with low usage in UU, and then the Pokémon with low usage in that tier as well. The current metagame as of the eighth generation boasts, in descending order, AG (Anything Goes, for Pokémon too overpowered for Uber), Uber, OU, UU, RU (Rarely Used), NU (Never Used), PU (no common meaning; the name was a bad pun that ended up sticking), and Untiered, also known as ZU (Zero Used). Since the tiers are usage-based, the viability ranking thread does contain quite a number of Pokémon that's residing in a lower tier. Additionally, each tier besides Ubers and AG has their own banlist, which is for Pokémon that are banned from a lower tier, but don't have enough usage to rise to a higher tier. As for Doubles, it has 3 tiers, Doubles Ubers, Doubles OU, and Doubles UU.
- Additionally, there exist "in-game tiers", which try to rank Pokémon in terms of how good they are at finishing the game efficiently rather than at competitive battles. This can result in some suddenly becoming very useful, while typical competitive standbys become Awesome, but Impractical, due to factors like ease of accessibility and catching, Level Grinding, the areas they're found in, how they match up against that game's Gym Battles and other bosses and evolution methods suddenly becoming very important, while things like egg and TM moves or specific items that can normally be counted on suddenly often fall into "too tricky to be worth it." For a good example, the original generation's in-game tiers have Joke Character Farfetch'd placing highly, while Infinity -1 Sword Dratini ends up at the bottom: one only requires trading away a common Spearow and is immediately effective, while the other requires either lots of gambling or getting lucky in the Safari Zone, not to mention so much grind it won't be fully evolved until the endgame.
- Fire Emblem:
- This is a big thing in the fandom, where the participants don't stop simply at unit performance. They also take into account joining time, joining level, starting stats, stat growths, weapon options, support options, elemental affinity, promotion requirements, and other, additional abilities in their quest to accurately rank the characters. Due to the waythe system works in Fire Emblem, the vast majority of characters are at least usable if you really want to play them, and so the tier lists are mostly arranged by merit of which characters are most helpful for Ranked or low-turn playthroughs. The Fire Emblem community's mantra in these debates is "personal experience means nothing"; just because a character worked out for you does not make that character good; you may have simply gotten lucky with the Random Number Goddess. Hence, the community judges a character's stats based on averages for their level progression. Generally, judging characters based on higher difficulties is preferred as well, since that tends to exacerbate differences between units: simply cranking things down to the lowest difficulty, and, in post-New Mystery games, switching on Casual Mode, will make pretty much any character somewhat viable at base and overpowered when raised, which turns tiering into a simple question of "who can effortlessly kill everything on the map first?"
- As a general rule, the top tiers of a Fire Emblem tier list are mostly dominated by mounted units. This is largely thanks to the how poorly balanced mounted units are compared to foot units, who have better movement and solid stats, plus often several other advantages depending on game (the rescue/drop system, the ability to move after attacking, access to multiple weapons). Fliers are usually put in the same category thanks to their ability to ignore terrain, which allows fast clears of a lot of maps when used correctly. For everyone else, unless they have a utility that matches the mounted units (e.g. healers, which not only keep units alive, but can utilize staves to teleport allies or disable enemies, and dancers, which can give an Extra Turn) or have really good stats, they will not be as high as units with mounts.note The major exceptions to these rules are Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem and Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, which feature dismounting as a very real downside to mounted units, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, where mounted units suffer severely from the revisions to terrain (though fliers remain powerful), and New Mystery of the Emblem, where the Jack-of-All-Stats nature of mounted units holds them back. Additionally, Crutch Character units tend to outdo Magikarp Power units, due to the former being seen as more reliable and efficient—after all, would you rather work your butt off for an overpowered unit, or spend little to no effort for a serviceable one?
- Character who sit in their game's god tier are generally those who influence the game to a much bigger extent than the rest of the cast, such as Caeda and Lena, Palla, Sigurd, Safy, Melady and Rutger, Marcus, Seth, Titania, Jill, and Marcia, Haar, and Robin. The exact parameters and reasoning varies from character to character—some are high-level, others are low, some are purely combat, others are mostly utility—but they are generally seen as units where not making use of them makes the game much harder, or at the very least, much more tedious. This is also partly why Magikarp Power characters tend to perform poorly; rather than making the game easier for the player, raising them pretty much forces the player to spend dozens of turns bringing them up to par.
- Chrono Cross, despite being an RPG, has over 40 characters to choose from, so tiers were bound to arise, especially since some characters are worse than others.
- Glenn is considered one of the best in the game, and the principal reason to not help Kid when she is poisoned. The alternative choice gives two useless characters and Razzly. While she is a fantastic mage, the player will already have Leena, who is just as good, only tougher. Later in the game, Karsh is almost always picked over Zoah since the player already has a powerful Yellow innate with Norris. Irenes tends to be the go-to pick if Harle's black elemental nature would do more harm than good.
- Chrono Trigger has a pretty cut and dry agreed upon tier list for endgame.
- The very top of the list is Robo, a literal do anything robot who can be invested in to fill just about any part on the team. His only low point is that even with investment he doesn't break any records in damage dealing and he needs that investment for any payoff.
- In the high tiers is the specialized attackers in ruff order of their damage dealing capabilities Crono, Ayla, Lucca then Magus. While they lose a few points for not having Robo's utility they make up by dealing the most amount of damage possible within their own field.
- Below them is Frog. His list of moves makes him a Jack-of-All-TradesMaster of None. He can heal and deal damage but not to any significant degree worth using over anyone else and his best move requires that he be as low health as possible for maximum damage.
- And the lowest is Marle, who takes White Magician Girl a little too far. She lacks a third tier spell for damage, a party wide heal and her final spell is a full revive. Which means she is most invaluable when her healing abilities have proven insufficient.
- Radiata Stories proudly boasts over 150 characters you can collect and use in battle, and the quests to obtain them have a wide range of difficulty which doesn't always correspond to each character's strength. There are characters you'd have to be crazy not to go into the final battle with, characters that are only there for the lulz, and inevitably you'll find a character that you just plain like. They're all pretty interesting.
- The game actually gets slammed by those who play only the early sections of the game for this, as many of the early characters are outright useless except as decoys. One very early character, a Farm Boy cleric, even outright says he has no skills at all (his only attack is very slow and unwieldy), but he's still better than some characters, which have no attacks at all, and their only support ability is to remove status ailments. The win-the-fight-single-handedly good characters, however, are almost invariably the leaders of certain sub-factions, and require you to collect every one of their subordinates before they can be added into your group. This means you have to do things like drag that annoying, useless brat mage around until he gains 10 levels to recruit his father just so you can recruit that father's boss. Oh, and if we're speaking power levels, the humans have much better character choices than the non-human faction does.
- After the arena system was introduced in World of Warcraft, players and developers alike have been compiling statistics about which character classes are over- or underrepresented in high-rated teams. Naturally, these statistics are then (ab)used regularly in flamewars about class balance.
- Urban Rivals (which sometimes advertises on the sidebar to your left) has their marketing strategy built around this. Each virtual card represents a character that appears in comic book features, has a backstory, a set of stats and abilities, and their description pages contain reviews on the cards appearance, strategic applications, and effectiveness. Many forum threads are about which cards or dream teams a given player advocates. The auction market for these cards can be manipulated into high fluctuation based on current popularity, collector status, or how much cleavage or implied nudity is on the card.
- Valkyrie Profile has a lot of characters but they are clearly examples of Character Tiers. The two lancersnote Lawfer and Aelia tend to rank at the top because of their god-tier like weapons which are available starting in Chapter 2, and can be purchased. The heavy swordsmen rank just below them, also due to weapons. The swordsmen are under that, and they fall under Can't Catch Up. Janus and Valkyrie are extremely useful as archers, but Llewellyn and Badrach are useless. The sorcerers are fairly interchangeable. While there are tiers of them based on starting magic powernote High tier are Gandar and Lyseria, mid-tier are Lorenta and Mystina, while the bottom is everyone else, the difference is minimal, and only one sorcerer is needed. This all changes in the Seraphic Gate, where swords just ridiculously overpower everything.
- This happens in Dark Cloud. Interestingly, the tiers match up with when the characters join the party, with earlier ones generally being more powerful. See that game's YMMV page for a more in-depth analysis than what is presented here.
- Toan, and Xiao are hugely powerful, to the point of almost being broken, and are the first two characters.
- Goro and Ruby are hard to use, but very effective when used properly, putting them neatly in middle tier. They join third and fourth, respectively. Ruby is ahead of Goro in this tier due to being more intuitive, and thus, easy to unlock the full potential of, for most players.
- Ungaga and Osmond are plagued by different kinds of problems, and there's never really a time when another character won't outdo them. They join last.
- Note that this is a somewhat loose tier list, as the game has a very extensive and involved upgrade system; any character can become a powerhouse with the right items, equipment, and other power-ups.
- The Super Robot Wars games, in which both mecha and individual pilots are ranked.
- Notable on the God tier are GaoGaiGar, Zeorymer taken further by Great Zeorymer in J and the Aussenseiter (Daitrombe) as well as its pilot
ElzamRatsel in every game they're in. The Black Selena HM in all games Nadesico is in except W. The Vaisaga also makes a good case for this in OG at least, but on the GBA version of OG 2 you can only get it on your second playthrough and it's kinda hard to get. You can get it your first time through in the PS2 version though. Also, strangely, the Gundam X Divider can be deadly without many upgrades in Alpha Gaiden, as well as Kamille and his Zeta Gundam, which Kamille is God tier (Better stats than ALMOST every other pilot in all the games I've seen, even more than Char and Amuro), and the Zeta is Top to High most the time. If it's not the best MS in the game, you can just switch him.
- The Mazingers in Alpha Gaiden is a unique case.
- First, Mazinger Z, a decent unit in and of itself. It's extremely cheap in term of energy consumption, doesn't need morale (in contrast to other super robots), accompanied by relatively strong weapon with good range coverage that gets a slight power up later in the game, and Mazinpower to increase attack power by 20%. It's fairly sturdy to boot.
- Great Mazinger is a contender for Top tier. Tetsuya is involved in a lot of scenario in higher number than most other character, have good stats, high SP and Great is one of the best overall unit having High damage, need no Morale requirement for all of its weapon except for it MAP attack, and all of them consume few energy, but while its strongest attack only has 1 ammo but deals massive damage. It also get Mazinpower.
- Then theres Mazinkaiser. It has a massively powerful weapon on all range with its weapon able to reach 4-6 range, all of its attacks don't need will to be used, massive armor, high HP, and its dodge is higher than some reals. It gets Mazinpower to further enhance its already powerful attacks. In fact, its attack is so powerful that a fully upgraded Mazinger Z without power up is of the same power as fresh Mazinkaiser. Also, it has good terrain modifiers. It goes without saying that it's a God tier unit. Not to mention Koji is a Top Tier pilot only being slightly worse than Tetsuya.
- You've also got Ideon up there on the God tier or beyond, at least in Alpha 3 where you don't have to worry about that pesky universe ending IDE gauge. Banpreios in Alpha 3 also is God tier. On the low ends, you have mook Gundam pilots and most supporting characters like Katz, Fa, Musashi in Getter 1, any MS that isn't piloted by Char or Amuro that's not a Gundam, and any Astevailis that isn't piloted by Akito or Gai. The Valzacard in W is God tier as well.
- The resident Joke Character Boss and Boss Borot is an anomally in the tier list. In older SRW, boss is Mid tier at best, having decent Seishin set, and Boss is one of the better Ressuply unit. Its extremely cheap repair cost lets you to use it for suicide bombing purpose just in case. However, some newer SRW gave Boss his subpilots, having awesome Seishin but get hit by Magikarp Power to fully achieve its biggest potential. Then come J, L and W. in J, and W its a Swiss Army Knife able to repair, ressuply, and have strong and economic weapon and its really cheap to upgrade. In L, boss has an awesome Squad bonus, and a lot of its attack deals massive damage AND lower morale. Both game also has 3 Pilot Seishin for Boss. In these SRW, Boss is a contender for Top tier.... then you have games like the Z series and V where he's based off of the Shin Mazinger version and is absolutely useless.
- Notable on the God tier are GaoGaiGar, Zeorymer taken further by Great Zeorymer in J and the Aussenseiter (Daitrombe) as well as its pilot
- The popular Warcraft 3 map Defense of the Ancients has characters divided according to early or late game, extent of item dependency and ganker/tank/carry types, amongst others. One key type is the "pubstomper", which can do over 1000 DPS with a full compliment of items, but is dependent on "farming" heavily and thus only dominates in individualist "pub" games, being usually hunted and shut down in Tournament Play. Competitive worthy champions vary wildly in role, to say the least.
- There really are no truly best or worst characters when playing a full 5v5 game. Under other conditions this may not be true. 1v1 match-ups favor DPS characters, early-game harassers, and single-target stuns. Only-middle-lane games favor Area of Effect spells and pushers. Even "pubstomper" characters aren't necessarily overpowered in pub games - if the opposing team is poor, those character can most quickly become unstoppable, but if its own team is poor then those characters can also most quickly become useless.
- Disgaea has some degree of tiers; other then the in-game tiers (unlocked by leveling up their "lower tier" units), some classes have definite advantages over other; until you realise that Divine Majins beat everything except maybe Flonne in a single stat. They are very time-consuming, though.
- Later games balanced this out a little, to the point where in Disgaea 3, Majins are considered the worst class in the game.
- In general with Disgaea, since only the PSP port of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness had PvP, this is mainly based on stats and performance against other stats and performances. Equipment, residents, and abilities play heavily into each character, and the Story characters can also be ordered along the same way. While each game has a definitive "best" class, it all depends on how one combines a character with its equipment and according to its abilities and overall stats. As an example, assuming one faces off against a Ninja with an Iron Knight, one has to take into consideration their abilities, the evasion potential of the Ninja versus the exceptional defensive wall of the Iron Knight, movement, attack possibilities, and what residents are in each item. If an Iron Knight has a 100 Specialist Alchemist in their weapon, it could take only one hit to win since the poison would pretty much assure repeated damage, but may never get the chance considering the dodging ability of the Ninja especially if the ninja has equipped a weight to activate its ability by keeping its health low, and also has a 25 Lover specialist, making it like catching air with your bare hands. In contrast, a Baciel never misses thanks to its ability, making a Ninja worthless, but it hardly matters if you can't miss if you're up against an Iron Knight with such incredible defense that you're doing basically no damage. Disgaea, in the end, mainly comes down to math and performance on whether something will perform in a given situation or not, but since the game has 9999 levels, the majority of all the battles fought in the game will mainly come down to being higher level unless one is up against the very last bonus bosses in each game, or wants to see the true potential of the character in question.
- In the first Mass Effect game, Adepts were basically the top class - their powers kept enemies under permanent lockdown to the point where they could never fight back. Even the final boss was not immune. This made the hardest difficulty in the game (Insanity) pretty easy. Sentinels were considered the absolute worst class in the game, due to being a Spoony Bard class that was basically the Master of None, having the worst weapon skills and weaker biotic and tech skills than any class bar the Soldier (who had no biotic or tech skills) without anything to really make up for it. In an attempt to tone down Adepts in the sequel, the game was changed so that biotic powers no longer work on enemies with any type of shielding (Armor, shields, or barriers). Every enemy in Insanity difficulty is shielded after the first mission, dropping Adepts from the best class to the worst. Sentinels also got a huge boost when they were given the same weapon skills as Engineers or Adepts (still technically the worst, but this could be remedied in a later mission that let them upgrade their weapon selection to include assault rifles) and the Tech Armor power, which made them the most durable class. They also got abilities to deal with pretty much every protection (Overload was especially useful considering how common shields were).
- The first game was also very glaring in two regards: One was that the Krogan Battlemaster (aka Wrex) was very powerful due to him being sort of a Vanguard (soldier/adept hybrid), while still retaining most of the perks of the soldier class (heavy armor, regeneration, wide array of weapons to choose from...) as opposed to the standard vanguard. The other was the predominance of synthetic opponents, which made classes that were good at controlling/hurting these comparatively strong. Mass Effect 2 did away with this due to geth not being nearly as prominent in this game as in the first one.
- NPCs in Mass Effect 2 are ranked based on their powers. Miranda's powers are always useful, and she gives a damage bonus to the entire squad, making her the best overall. Mordin is feast or famine - against organics (particularly the Blood Pack, since he works well against armored foes), he is utterly amazing. Against synthetic foes, he is terrible. At the low end of the tier list is Jack (who has no skills for dealing with armored foes and is very fragile), Jacob (who is simply inferior to Grunt in all respects) and Morinth, for having all the problems of Jack without the Warp Ammo bonus power that makes her playable.
- Companions of the same class in Dragon Age: Inquisition have access to the same class abilities, so they are pretty much interchangeable in the party... until you unlock the Specializations, that is. Since each companion has a predetermined spec in this game, and not all specs are equally powerful and/or useful, it induces a certain inequality. Among party mages, for instance, the Knight-Enchanter Vivienne is easily the best pick, as her specialization counteracts most of the weaknesses inherent to her class (low defenses, lack of effective melee capabilities), while also boosting the party's overall survivability; Solas, whose Rift Mage spec gives him an impressive damage output boost, comes secondnote This is also good if the party has two mages, because the AI can't properly handle Knight-Enchanter, while Dorian's Necromancer abilities are sadly very situational and rarely see much use.
- Suikoden is in the same boat as Chrono Cross in that the huge roster of characters (technically 108, but only about half of that can be used in battle) has greatly encouraged the use of tiers. Typically, physical fighters come up above magic users and weak fighters with several rune slots (and thus, plenty of customization potential) are far more valued that strong fighters with few or no rune slots.
- Not all of your recruits in Valkyria Chronicles are created equal. While every class's basic stats are about the same, their "potentials" are assigned purely based on their personality, resulting in some characters with nothing but useful perks, and some with absolutely crippling drawbacks. Since there are plenty of people to choose from, each with their own very unique personalities, and even the worst of them are usable with a bit of clever tactics (plus the entire game is singleplayer only) it ends up adding charm and individuality without taking away from gameplay.
- Due to the way Elemental RockPaperScissors works in ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal, Psi, Ice, Light, and Dark faeries are inherently the most powerful combatants, so at least three of them are more-or-less Required Party Members by the endgame (most likely Light, as you'll mostly be fighting Dark and Chaos fairies); whereas Nature, Stone, and Chaos tend to become Tier-Induced Scrappies because they are mostly one-trick ponies with lots of easily exploitable weaknesses.
- The party members in South Park: The Stick of Truth had a very clear character tier delineation,
- Butters the Merciful was the go-to party member for most of the game. His attacks were very good at hitting heavily armored opponents, and his special skill made him great at harming vertical columns of enemies.
- Elf King Kyle was overpowered as soon as he became available, with a high-damage all-hitting attack he could one-shot almost all enemies, even on higher difficulties. The only reason people rank Butters higher than him is because Kyle only joins in the late game.
- Princess Kenny was better than Butters at dealing with lightly armored foes because the bow attack hit multiple times, and the unicorn attack hit enemy rows, which enemies often grouped themselves as. Unfortunately, a failure would kill Kenny.
- Stan hit very hard and was decently tough, but became less useful once Kyle joined the party.
- Jimmy only had one use, putting Al Gore's Secret Service to sleep. Other than that, he wasn't useful.
- Cartman's magic wasn't bad, but it simply wasn't as good as Kyle, and by the time Cartman was available, so was Kyle. He was really only useful to gain achievements.
- Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, due to it's real-time battle system, had a strong character tier system.
- Cliff and Maria were considered to be the two top-tier contenders. The former could lock enemies in place, and the latter did the most damage in the game. In the late game, Cliff's ultimate ability Max Shockwave is considered one of the game's best powers.
- Nel was considered a godsend in the early and mid-game, and she had skillful powers even in the late game, she just tended to be outclassed by the top two.
- Albel was hard to use, but his ability to juggle could be used against extremely powerful bosses like Lenneth and Freya. A skilled player could literally juggle the boss from one end of the arena to the other and prevent them from getting any attacks at all.
- Fayt had the game's highest defense, but his skills in the late game tended to taper off.
- Peppita, like Albel, was considered difficult to play, but good (if outclassed by Maria).
- Mirage was considered good at solo runs or useful on the AI, but she just wasn't as useful as the others.
- Sophia has powerful magic chains to lock enemies, but she does almost no damage and almost all her spells do elemental damage.
- At the bottom, Adray and Roger were considered to be a Joke Character who do nothing spectacular.
- With the numerous amounts of characters players have access to in the Trails Series, chances are that this trope comes into play.
- In the Sky Series, art users dominate the field since physical attacks are weak without significant buffs, especially in higher difficulties. Estelle is a Jack-of-All-Trades character who usually sits in the middle tier while Joshua is usually placed at a higher tier due to his speed, Delay Craft, and an S-Break that hits every enemy in the field. Estelle gets bumped up a little higher after she gains Wheel of Time, the second most powerful S-Craft in the trilogy. Among Arts users in particular, Kloe easily dominates in this category thanks to her sheer Art Strength, with most players keeping her in the party. This only changes after Renne is playable. The only physical based characters that are really worth using are Richard in The Third whose speed is just insane and has the strongest S-Craft. Or Agate if he's spamming Wild Rage and using his S-Craft/Break with strength or critical bonuses on those turns. Surprisingly, once the Orbal Gear Craft is obtained in her Moon Door, Tita jumps from one of the lowest tier characters who has range and area of effect attacks and little else to a tanky, incredibly strong Lightning Bruiser that's equal to, if not stronger than Richard.
- It's the same story with The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero and Trails to Azure where physical attacks are still terrible but not as bad as the ones in Sky, though because you only have up to 4-6 characters by the endgame, the tier list isn't as varied though Randy usually gets benched in favor of Wazy due to his powerful S-Craft. Lloyd is usually kept in the field thanks to Burning Heart plus his evasion stat and Elie and Tio are there to cast buffs. Lloyd sometimes gets swapped out with Rixia mainly thanks to the range of her weapon.
- Due to the Loads and Loads of Characters in the Cold Steel Series tier lists are bound to happen, especially with 27 overall characters by the end of II and 39 characters by the True Final Boss in IV (though guest characters can't change their Master Quartz and equipment setup so they're stuck with what the get). Rean is usually rated high to top in the tier lists mainly thanks to needing the levels to participate in Valimar fights, his absurd Arc Slash in II that inflicts heavy delay to enemies meaning no one's ever gonna take a turn unless they're immune to delay, and his three restricted slots (two Time Elements and one Fire element) are really great since Rean can equip more speed or delay quartz which helps out his Arc Slash even more. Meanwhile on the lower end of the spectrum, Elise ends up being the worst playable character in II due to her terrible crafts and her so-so arts where everyone else excels so much better.
- With extra characters from the DLC, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order has over 50 characters. Most are going to decent albeit mediocre, a lot will be very good or even fantastic and there's even a couple of complete game changers. Then you have a few stinkers...
- Once you factor in the DLC, the game has two in the God Tier list: Thanos (Infinite) is a wrecking machine with almost universally the best stats and his abilities when charged, hit with the power of a synergy or a weak Ex attack. Phoenix is squishy but she has two game-changing powers: her Ex can resurrect her team mates and gives her a time limited self-revival, but most importantly her Cleansing Flame ability will steal energy from enemies and give it to your entire team. In a game where abilities are key, Phoenix lets a team spam these. Before Phoenix, players would have to manage their teams's energy use and avoid particular low-tier characters. With her on a team, every character can be viable to play.
- The bottom tier are Dr. Strange and Scarlett Witch, both characters have awful stats even in the key attack stat for them (Mastery is the stat for doing energy and ethereal damage, many bruiser melee characters have higher Mastery than these two), the abilities they have look good on paper but can be underwhelming in actual gameplay and neither character are effective in synergizing abilities (the only character worse than Scarlett Witch at synergy is Thanos (Infinite) who's designed not to have any).
- Sailor Moon: Another Story has each of the Senshi as a playable character, and they very easily fall into a tier list:
- Mercury is God Tier: Her Shabon Spray, which weakens enemies. Boss fights in this game tend to be slogs, so weakening them is very useful. She's also got high defense making her nigh-unkillable, as well as a Link Tech that blocks status effect changes with Moon, which tends to be the most dangerous thing a boss can do after they've been weakened with Shabon Spray. She also has a powerful Link Tech attack with Jupiter.
- Pluto is God Tier: She has Time Stop, which is an always successful attack that stops any enemy from moving for three turns. It costs all her EP, but she can use EP restoring items on the 2nd turn and keep enemies locked (EP items are also purchasable and cheap).
- Saturn is God Tier: She has high power and cheap Death Reborn Revolution attack, which hits all enemies for high power. She can also heal and/or revive the party with her Link Techs, making her very versatile.
- Jupiter is High Tier: She has the games highest attack and powerful Link Tech attacks with Mercury or Mars, and a Link Tech heal with Moon (since healing is based on her attack power, it typically heals the whole party)
- Venus is High Tier: She has a Link Tech with Moon that can buff attack power, as well as powerful Link Tech attacks with Mars. She's just not as strong as Jupiter and attacking or buffing is all she can do.
- Mars is Mid Tier: She's right on Jupiter's heels with attack power and great link tech attacks with Moon, Jupiter, or Venus, but she's slower than Jupiter.
- Uranus is Mid Tier: She's powerful as well, but her only good Link Techs are with Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto, the latter two of which are either outclassed or better off doing something else. Plus, Uranus has very low defense and can fall victim to a one-hit KO very easily.
- Moon is Mid Tier: The best Link Techs in the game require her to use them, but that's really all she has. On her own, she needs to use the Moon Chalice to have any decent attack power, and when she does, she can't use the Link Techs.
- Neptune is Low Tier: Her attack power is very low and can really only compensate with Uranus. But if the player wants to use Uranus, they might as well use Jupiter or Mars and get even more attack power.
- Chibi-Moon is Bottom Tier: She has the lowest attack power, low HP and defense, and her Link Techs are pretty much exclusively attacks, so the player is better off using someone else.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- The Dungeons & Dragons community has an ultimate prototype for a (ridiculous) God Tier character: Pun Pun the Kobold. Pun Pun was initially created in 3.5e and has since been worked out in other editions as well as versions in other RPGs mechanics. It's essentially the most minmaxed character possible in a given set of mechanics.
- In 3rd edition, versatility (how many problems a character can contribute to solving) is often at least as important as power (how powerful the character's abilities are for problems) in tiering. In one popular system, the top tier is characters who, with the right spells prepared, can solve nearly anything the GM can come up with as a standard action. Lesser tiers either have less versatility or less power. For example, Druids tend to be high/top-tier due to their highly versatile magical powers which include conjuring and purifying food and controlling the elements as well as the ability to transform into various animals, as are Wizards, who depending on whether or not they prepared the right spells and still have spell slots the cast them, can either be a Useless Protagonist or effectively overcome absolutely anything; Fighters on the other hand tend to be low-tier as they are unparalleled allies in battle but have few useful skills outside of Intimidate (i.e, outside of a fight, the only thing they're really good for is preventing one). In general, while a character of any tier can be a Game-Breaker with the right factors, only a high-tier character can be a Story Breaker. Imagine how The Lord of the Rings would have turned out if Gandalf could teleport any distance, read minds, identify any item instantly, and make anyone immune to mental influence... and that was just a fraction of his abilities.
- More in-depth: The generally agreed list is six tiers. Tier 1 is for characters like wizards, clerics, and druids, who possess Story-Breaker Power and can utilize pretty much every type of it. Tier 2 is for characters like sorcerers, psions, and favored souls, who have access to similar Story-Breaker Power, but to a more restrictive degree (the creator compared it to the difference between a nation with a thousand nukes and one with ten). Beneath them, the tiers refer to characters in terms of how good they are at their given focus, and how many things they can do well. Tier 3 is for characters like bards, factotums, and duskblades, who can either do one thing incredibly well and still pull off other tricks passably, or do pretty much anything effectively. Tier 4 is for characters like rogues, barbarians, and rangers, who can do one thing incredibly well but struggle at doing anything else, or can do a lot of things to a passable degree. Tier 5 is for characters like fighters, monks, and paladins, who can generally be okay at one thing but not much else, or can do a lot of things but kinda sucks at all of them. Tier 6 is for classes that can't even be okay at the thing they're supposed to be good at, and is mostly reserved for deliberately weakNPC classes and the worst-designed PC classes. And then there's the truenamer, which is so mechanically broken that it doesn't work as intended, fluctuating between 4 and 6 depending on whether they can make their rolls consistently.
- Tiers themselves are based on "As Written" comparisons based on how effectively the class can deal with different situations. The original author pointed out that optimized fighters can still be a low tier but capable of taking down the Tarrasque in a single turn. In the the right hands, many classes can be equal to higher tiers in power, even though they still remain in their tier because of their lack of versatility. The Truenamer breaks the tier system by dint of its mechanics not being properly thought out, getting worse by every level, until level 20, when it will just spam Gate Celestial Angels.
- Prestige Classes generally are set on separate tier system, ranking them on how they might move the expected base class through standard tiers. Marvelous tier advances base class by two tiers, Great to Good Tier by one, Medicore don't advance it at all and Bad to Awful Tier and Catastrophic Tier can actually move the class down one or two tiers. What you enter Prestige Class from is also important - for example, Warshaper is Marvelous Tier when taken by classes who cannot use magic, but only Medicore Tier, when taken by a caster. Some are also very situational - Dragonstalker and Dragonslayer are Bad to Awful Tier, but if your game is focused heavily on fighting dragons, they're respectively Good to Great and Medicore. A few prestige classes are informally referred to as "Tier Zero", which doesn't have a precise definition but is generally accepted to mean a prestige class designed to make a Tier 1 class significantly better - for instance, the Planar Shepherd upgrades the druid's already-powerful Voluntary Shapeshifting to let them turn into celestial beings instead of animals and lets them set up bubbles that run on different laws of physics, while keeping basically all their old power.
- The 4th edition of D&D sought to remove this by making all the classes follow the same progression, so everyone is linear. Predictably, this nevertheless didn't result in a uniform power level, and discussions about which classes are higher-tier than which others are common. For example, "iconic" classes like the fighter and wizard have many more spells, feats, and abilities printed than "what on earth is that" classes like the Battlemind or the Seeker.
- On the other hand, it's been said that the power spread of the entire 4E tier system could fit within one tier of 3.5, partially because of more aggressive errata and the inability to do things which simply break the gameplay in half. Additionally, while some classes have many more powers to choose from, in reality all that actually matters is the -strongest- powers at any given level - unlike in 3.x, where spellcasters had access to every single new spell in every single book (at least potentially), characters in 4th edition are limited in their number of powers, so no matter if you have four powers or thirty to choose from, you still have the same breadth of ability. The primary advantage lies in that with a higher number of powers, it is more likely one will be overpowered, and less likely that all will be bad or unsuitable for your build.
- D&D Minis had informal tiers based on the perceived usefulness of a particular miniature. Unlike the RPG, spellcasters were rarely in the top tier due to Squishy Wizard Syndrome, among other things. Also, very few of the most powerful monsters from the RPG were top tier as minis, due to poor playtesting by the Devs.
- 5th edition tried to rebalance the classes and eliminate the tier system and... ultimately ended up just reshuffling the tiers around a tiny bit. Wizards and Druids are still more than capable of wrecking the game in every situation, while Bards somehow ended up sharing a God Tier spot with them due to their ability to break the skill system entirely and learn up to 9th level spells from EVERY classes spell list. Clerics were bumped down a little bit and Paladins became less specialized, but ultimately the tier system is still prominent, it just looks a little different compared to 3.5.
- Pathfinder, D&D 3.5e's Spiritual Successor, strives to make all characters much more balanced, with limited success. All classes received upgrades, but low tier 3.5 classes received more extensive rewrites while powerful 3.5 classes only received minor enhancements to make them more fun to play along with some nerfs to the most well-known exploits. A good example is that the Wizard, a top tier character, received new abilities which are hardly worth a mention and had many metamagic feats nerfed, while the Paladin, a tier 5, had its trademark Smite Evil boosted into a permanent buff against the designated target, its Lay on Hands ability was boosted to be far more useful as a source of healing and status removal, and its other abilities were generally enhanced, pushing it up into Tier 4. The overall balance of the game is unchanged, however, and competent casters can still break the universe in half while fighter-type characters still tend to lack any versatility outside combat.
- While it is generally agreed that tabletop wargames Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 have army tiers, getting anyone to agree which armies are in which tier is nearly impossible. It also revolves around the competitive metagame as much as individual matchups and will often depend on how easy or hard it is to make the army competitive. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that the more popular armies get updated much more often than the less popular ones.
- Daemons of Chaos in Warhammer Fantasy is an exception to the rule, everybody agrees that they're God Tier.
- It's a joke among the 40k fandom that you're not allowed to bitch that GWS hates, ignores or deliberately nerfed your army unless you play Dark Eldar. Their original codex was released in 1998 for the launch of 3rd edition 40k, and they did not receive a new codex until 2010, for the Fifth Edition of 40k.
- Necrons had similar issues. The changes from Fourth to Fifth Edition almost completely gutted their competitive metagame, and since their army had such little variety it was nigh impossible for players to find new tactics. This was eventually fixed with the release of a new, much larger codex in late 2011note and to prevent the same problem from happening twice in a row, the codex was written with the upcoming Sixth Edition rulebook in mind rather than the then-current Fifth Edition
- The Orks also had a long time between their 3rd edition codex and their next one. They were one of the first to come out for 3rd edition in 1999 but didn't get another until early 2008 just before Fourth Edition was replaced by Fifth Edition. Their next scheduled Codex update is early 2014.
- That said, they never quite tipped into Bottom Tier or God Tier at any point since 2000.
- In Apocalypse (extremely high-point games), however, two God Tier factions have emerged. The Imperial Guard simply have more and more powerful vehicles than anyone else, especially fliers (and Apocalypse is won on vehicle power), while Chaos Daemons...can cherry-pick units from any faction so long as the model has spikes on it.
- A lot of debate goes on in Magic: The Gathering fandom as to whether one card can be "strictly better" than another. While it's certainly true that as the game gets more powerful in general newer cards outshine old ones with the same casting cost and power/toughness (though all of the very strongest cards ever printed are long since out of print), it gets harder to judge recent cards against each other due to how situational many cards are these days.
- This is complicated by Wizards releasing cards that seem useless, only to either 1) release another card later that makes it useful, 2) have a player suddenly realize how it was meant to be used in the first place, or 3) to have a player use it in a way that they didn't intend but that completely breaks the game; the last tends to be the largest problem. Ironically, One With Nothing itself was meant to be a completely useless card, but due to a deck that wizards never even thought was viable, let alone good, coming to exist - a deck that won by forcing its opponent to fill up their hand with cards all the time - One With Nothing briefly became a tournament staple, though the popularity of the deck in question (Owling Mine) declined dramatically after everyone started playing aggressive decks that simply didn't care because they were throwing lightning bolts at people's heads, and drawing more cards just meant more lightning bolts and Kird Apes.
- In Mirrodin's case, it was a whole mechanic that worked mostly as intended, but was more dominant than expected. Cards costing one-fourth what they should proved slightly too strong. The same thing happened in the Urza block. Due to the way the mechanic counted the resources spent, what was supposed to give back the resources (and maybe a bit more) winded up returning a lot more. In both cases, the ability to play your whole hand in a turn or two and do it sooner than you should be able to was a bit too much for the metagame.
- The same debate goes on regarding different decks - generally there's the "best deck", several other top-tier decks, and a large number of second-tier decks. Then there are the "rogue" decks that aren't popular enough to have an obvious tier, and the decks that are pure Metagame choices. Being able to select the right decks is considered as much of a skill as playing well.
- It's important to note that there is an official definition for "strictly better" - a card is strictly better than another card if it does more for an identical cost (or the same/more for a smaller cost). Lightning Bolt, for example, is strictly better than Shock - both cost one red mana, but Lightning Bolt does an extra point of damage. Of course, with the way Magic tournaments are run, those strictly better cards might not always be legal.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! has a similar tier list to Magic, with decks being judged mostly by how well they do in tournaments. Generally, the most important tiers are Tier 1 (the best decks of the format that regularly win tournaments), Tier 2 (not as good as the Tier 1s but can still win tournaments in the hands of a good player), Tier 3 (can do well in tournaments but will rarely ever top them), and Rogue (can win individual games against the other tiers, but is too inconsistent to win tournaments). With Yu-Gi-Oh! being one of the all-time kings of Power Creep, decks maintaining their tier position for more than a year is quite rare, and the vast majority of decks and archetypes aren't even considered Rogue-tier. Very occasionally, there are decks classified as Tier 0, which refers to a deck so overpowered that nothing in its format can beat it reliably aside from a mirror match, resulting in all tournament placings being variants of that deck—these decks are usually short-lived, due to them getting smacked by the banlist after a month or so.
- In traditional chess, the white player is considered to have a slight advantage simply because he moves first, which agrees well with statistics. This is not the case in other chess-variants, especially shogi (Japanese chess) where both players have an almost even 50% chance of winning.
- One way to fix this advantage in chess and other games where turn order can be an unfair advantage given identical starting circumstances is with the "pie rule" - where one player makes the first move with white. The other player then has the option of either playing as black or switching to white for the game.
- On the other hand, the first-move advantage for Black in Go is not disputed. Strangely enough, it took until the twentieth century for compensation for White to become standard. It's called komi and consists, depending on the ruleset, of 6.5 to 8 free points added to White's score.
- Blood Bowl has a fairly well-agreed upon tier system divided into three tiers: Tier one consists of all teams that are perfectly capable of running a main scoring strategy (running, throwing or bashing) out of the box. Tier two consists of teams that either need some SPP development to do so, or have an obvious drawback when playing their favoured strategy. Tier three are obvious joke teams who basically depend on luck to win. Notably, something like 80% of the game's teams are in tier 1. How strong a team is also depends a lot on the type of tournament/league you're playing, other teams participating, and rules (such as time limit per move) that are implemented. And, of course, ultimately Nuffle is the final arbitrator.
- Ace Combat:
- Since Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation comes with multiplayer capability, the planes themselves have been separated into tiers. All of the planes are divided into three categories: "fighters", "bombers", and "multirole" planes. Within each category are other tiers based on each individual plane's performance attributes. Naturally, many modern planes such as the F-22 or SU-47 would be far superior to older planes like the F-16 or A-10.
- Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies had a Versus mode, albeit it (and Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War) referred to the bombers as "attackers" and doesn't state tiers, it's soon clear where each plane fits in.
- In Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., tiers do exist, but many planes toward the top are close enough that it's not that clear cut and while the F-22 is near the top it's hardly alone. This also ignores that "guns only" still rather illogically allows unguided rockets which can be a significant edge and a reason to chose another plane. Guns only actually gets rid of one of the F-22 edges which is that it's hard to lock due to stealth, but also has high maneuverability unlike most of the other stealth planes. Without missile the extra lock time is a non-factor and a number of other planes are just as or very nearly as maneuverable.
- In nearly every online sports game, there is a small group of teams with an enormous advantage (much like Real Life).
- In the NCAA Football series, for instance, there are over 115 teams, but only show-offs and super-fans pick outside the Top 10.
- The FIFA series, being a reflection of the current state of world football, is naturally this. The tiers in-game are actually startlingly accurate when compared to real life.
- The campaign modes in Europa Universalis and its sequel, being based on and seeking to emulate late medieval to modern European history, do not pretend to create balanced factions in any way: various nations are more economically and militarily well-off from the very beginning, and scripted historical events affect gameplay in such a way that make it more difficult even for successful nations to continue dominating if history says that they cannot, effectively altering tiers based on the length of the game. Skilled players can take advantage of game mechanics to turn the tiers on their heads, but non-Christian, non-Western European nations have a much harder time at it.
- In fact, until a almost world conquest by a native american faction in a AAR in EU3 (Here it is), it was considered impossible to become a world power with them, merely surviving being already a lot.
- Note: in the third game, the scripted events disappear, monarchs are no longer pre-determined (which means that you are no longer certain if you start in the 1600's as France that Louis XIV is going to live as long as he did - and it brings up the possibility that he might be succeeded by a douché with a weak claim due to sudden heir deaths and after the succession, crisis after crisis) and non-European powers can "Westernize" and thus increase their tech rate - reducing the gap to the Europeans.
- In fact, until a almost world conquest by a native american faction in a AAR in EU3 (Here it is), it was considered impossible to become a world power with them, merely surviving being already a lot.
- Similarly, Koei designed Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Nobunaga's Ambition to be historically accurate. As a result, both games are unbalanced, and both have at least one scenario where Cao Cao and Oda Nobunaga (respectively) are at least twice as powerful as the second strongest force.
- EVE Online goes through this with every major patch. Each of the four races has had a turn at being the Flavor of the Month depending on who boasts the current Scrappy Mechanic; maybe it's the Caldari with ECM jammers being overpowered, Minmatar dominating because of unbalanced speed tanking, Gallente hurting because their close range ships suffered from the super-speed nerf or players calling for a boost to the Amarr all around. Fortunately, the EVE devs generally listen to the community....even if they swing the Nerf Bat a little to hard at times.
- GoldenEye for Nintendo 64 included at least 2 playable characters in multiplayer that were considerably shorter than other characters, specifically including Oddjob. Thanks to the way the game's auto-aim worked, it would fix on a point that would be where the head was on any other character - and just above the head in his case, requiring you to manually aim down (which was difficult on the N64) and give the Oddjob player plenty of time to gun you down. It got so bad that tournaments (and friends) banned use of Oddjob and the Moonraker Female (the other short character) from use.
- The Gundam Vs Series has its tiers built into the game; the Universal Century and Cosmic Era games use a five-star system (with half-stars), typically following technical progress (which means in the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny-based game, most of the returning SEED machines are downgraded). In Gundam Vs. Gundam the system is simplified to three levels (3000 for hero machines, 2000 for middle-of-the-roaders, and 1000 for Mooks); Gundam Extreme Vs. adds a 2500 tier consisting mostly of Rival and Lancer machines.
- WWE Raw Deal, a Professional Wrestling collectible card game, took almost no time to sort itself into character tiers from Stone Cold and Chyna nearly unbeatable in earlier sets, to Andre the Giant and Largest Athlete in Sports Entertainment, the Big Show alternate, in later sets. Interestingly, the devs insisted that the game was perfectly balanced and that players just weren't finding the other characters' "killer archetypes." Said archetypes, if they ever existed, still haven't been found yet ten years later.
- Hearts of Iron 2, what tier a country belongs to depends almost entirely on its size and industrial capacity. The strongest countries are, in order: Germany, the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, and Francenote At the start of the game, anyway. The order can change quite dramatically when certain industrial advances are researched, or peacetime production penalties removed. It's possible to conquer a continent or more with some of the smaller countries (especially Brazil and Argentina, which are far away from the main super-powers), but almost any country on the European continent will either be conquered by Germany or allied with Germany. Same with Japan and Asia.
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 has this for the countries rather than characters. When playing multiplayer with the expansion, Yuri's side is Top Tier and can border on God Tier. For the Allies, Korea and the USA are Top Tier since their special units/abilities don't cost anything extra (USA gets free paradrops, Korea gets about a 50% upgrade to Harriers without a corresponding cost increase), Great Britian is slightly lower on the Top Tier, and Germany and France are Mid Tier - useful, but rarely worth skipping out on either free stuff or long-range instant protection against enemy special infantry units. For the Soviets, Iraq is Top Tier, Cuba is Mid Tier, and Russia and Libya are Low Tier. When facing an Allied player, Cuba drops to Low Tier, and Russia and Libya drop to Bottom Tier because often only Iraq can stop hordes of Mirages Tanks (especially in vanilla RA2, without the expansion) if the Allies survive the early game.
- Shining Force 1 and its subsequent games have this in spades. It makes sense, since there's always going to be those who excel, and those who don't. The problem is that many characters always had decent stat gains, if you're lucky every five levels. The most notorious bad character that isn't even a Joke Character (but might as well be) is poor Hans.
- Even worse is the only response to this: "Use better characters". Yep, that's right. Now imagine if everybody did that. The game would get pretty stale pretty fast, then. That's why they give you 29 different characters to choose from, so you can try something new.
- Another notorious example is in Shining Soul 1, where the Dragonute is the only character with no redeeming qualities. Yes, he gets a breathe weapon counter, but... that's it. He's slow, has bad range, hits as much as nearly everyone else(as in rarely), and gets very few useful abilities save that particular one. In fact, the list in order would best be considering(from High to Low) Mage, Archer, Warrior, Dragonute.
- Unreal Tournament 2004 has an In-Universe example: the teams the player fights in the single-player mode have a different tier. (Weak-Tough-Strong-Godlike) The Weak tier characters can only be fought in the Team Qualification round, and the challenges. Those in the Godlike tier are the candidates to be the team the player faces in the Finals. This is also reflected in the bots chosen for these teams, as the Weak team has "weak" bots (overall low accuracy, low aggressiveness, low agility and low team tactics) while the bots in the Godlike tier are the inverse.
- Dungeon Crawl:
- The many gods available have been ranked into tiers. While almost all of the gods (except Xom) are very powerful if chosen wisely, some gods are easier to use and are useful in more builds than others.
- High: Kikubaaqudgha, Okawaru, Sif Muna, The Shining One, Trog, and Vehumet
- Middle: Beogh, Elyvilon, Lugonu, Makhleb, and Yredremnul
- Low: Ashenzari, Cheibrados, Fedhas Madash, Jiyva, Nemelex Xobeh and Zin
- Joke: Xom
- The races have also been ranked into tiers of "Easy-Medium-Hard," again more based on ease of use than strength. Classes haven't as such (as they only affect the start of the game, not your progression), but each race has classes (and often weapon types) that synergize well with them.
- Easy: Centaur, Deep Dwarf, Draconian, Gargoyle, Halfling, Hill Orc, Kobold, Merfolk, Minotaur, Spriggan, Troll, Vine Stalker
- Moderate: Deep Elf, Demonspawn, Ghoul, High Elf, Human, Naga, Ogre, Tengu, Vampire
- Hard: Demigod, Felid, Formicid, Mummy, Octopode
- The many gods available have been ranked into tiers. While almost all of the gods (except Xom) are very powerful if chosen wisely, some gods are easier to use and are useful in more builds than others.
- The Geneforge series uses a Point Build System, with skills divided into three categories (Combat, Magic, and Shaping) and the cost of buying skill ranks dependent on class affinity. Character classes each had one strong skill category, one average, and one weak. General fan consensus on class viability usually goes...
- God Tier: Sorceress (Strong Magic/Avg. Shaping/Weak Combat). Added in the final game, and it's pretty obvious why it was never in any of the previous ones. Average shaping skills are sufficient to make powerful creations, and strong magic is far handier than strong combat if you've got a meatshield or two handy.
- Top Tier: Shaper/Lifecrafter (Strong Shaping/Avg. Magic/Weak Combat) and Agent/Infiltrator (Strong Magic/Avg. Combat/Weak Shaping). Both solid choices, they trade off the top dog slot between games as spells and creations are rebalanced.
- Mid Tier: Servile (Strong Combat/Avg. Magic/Weak Shaping). Added in the fourth game. Mathematically more powerful than the Agent if minmaxed, but harder to play if you don't know the system inside-out.
- Low Tier: Guardian/Warrior (Strong Combat/Avg. Shaping/Weak Magic). Competitive in the first two games, and at least usable in the third, but outclassed later on. Strategically simple, so doesn't adapt well if played on high difficulty levels.
- Rubbish Tier: Shock Trooper (Strong Shaping/Avg. Combat/Weak Magic). Added in the fourth game, apparently just for the sake of completeness. Again, average combat is much less useful than average magic if you've got meatshields you could be buffing.
- Rogue-like games such as Ancient Domains of Mystery have this in spades. While the game can hardly be considered easy under any circumstances, playing a Wizard or Archer in ADOM is much, much easier than playing a Farmer or Thief.
- This is usually deliberate. Since these are single-player games, there's no need for the classes to be balanced, and this is one way to adjust the difficulty level. The Tourist in NetHack is clearly intended as a challenge class (though it does offer some late-game advantages, if the early game can be survived).
- You might think that simple Simulation GameAnimal Crossing wouldn't have character tiers. You wouldbe wrong. As a rule, the tiers are based solely on villager popularity (which, in turn, is based mostly on villager cuteness) and are mostly used in villager trading, so anyone who doesn't trade can just ignore them. Even if you do trade, you can probably ignore the tiers—but you might be less likely to have a deal go through if you try to trade a low-tier villager for a higher-tier one.
- Advancements in pinball, both in technology and in competition, has resulted in some games having their own tier lists too:
- AC/DC pinball machine has tiers regarding its songs. At the beginning of the game, and after hitting some milestones, you're asked to pick a song, which changes the rules of the table. Naturally, different sets of rules would contain different high-scoring options and different ways to exploit the rules, and this means that some songs are considered to yield higher scores than others. Although there are disagreements on which song is the best to use due to differences in play style, some songs are far, far less popular than others. (You will hardly see "TNT" or "You Shook Me All Night Long" in competitions, for instance.) All of the top players know exactly how each song stacks up against the others and why, and this knowledge is essential to doing well in tournaments.
- When you begin a game of Game of Thrones, you are asked to pick a house to play as. Each house has one or more advantages in particular areas and also affects which objectives will be available at the start. With several months since its release, the choices for houses in competition have solidified (but that may change with patches later on).note As of July 2016, the tiers are as follows, based on frequency at major competitions: Top tier are Martel and Tyrell, high is Greyjoy, middle is Targaryen, low is Stark, and bottom are Baratheon and Lannister.
- For StreetPass Mii Plaza:
- In Mii Force, Brown, White, and Light Blue shirts are better than other shirts. Brown and White can destroy purple plasma shots while Brown also gives a perpetual shield against physical attacks. The only drawbacks of Brown is that when it blocks a physical attack it launches you in the opposite direction, potentially into another trap and Brown shirts can be really hard to find. Light Blue shirts just have good range, rapid fire, damage, and destroy fire based attacks. While other shirts like Blue, Red, and Orange are good in general and other shirt colors are good in certain levels (2-3 for Black, 3-1, 4-1 and 4-3 for Light Green), Light Blue, White, and Brown are the best shirts to have on your ship during most levels of Mii Force. They make arcade mode a bit easier. The only useless power is Dark Green, whose attacks are both weak and unreliable.
- In Find Mii, Yellow, Light Blue, Dark Blue, Red, Black, and White shirts are often required for passing certain levels. In addition, Red and Dark Blue magic is handy for armored enemies where, if not strong enough, can still deal damage that way, and Light Blue and Light Green magic can be handy against the Green Slime. Once again Dark Green is the most useless type of magic in the game.
- In This War of Mine, Marko and Bruno are at the top (since their abilities are so handy and universal), Marin, Pavle, Katia, and Roman are high tier (Marin's good for shelter development while the others are good for trading or hostile engagement), Zlata, Boris, and Arica are mid-tier (Zlata being a Jack-of-All-Trades, Boris being strong but slow and having a huge backpack, and Arica for her stealth abilities), Anton and Emilia are low tier (Anton merely being better with animal traps and creating the not too useful herbal medicine and Emilia is simply emotionless), and down at the very bottom is Cveta (with the fantastic ability of being friendly to children).
- The counselors in Friday the 13th are easily divided up in terms of utility, and the game rewards speed over every other trait they might have. That, by itself, puts Mark and Crissy right at the top of the list, with Laura trailing behind them since she can't jump as high. George, Paul and Debbie will count themselves fortunate to be used by any players who aren't specifically making a point to actually use each counselor's individual strengths, or who aren't playing a Self-Imposed Challenge. Your only incentive to use the low-tier characters is the game employs Permadeath, meaning you might want to put the worse characters to use in order to save your better characters for later.
- The Nintendo Wars series tends to have fairly atypical tier rankings. It's generally agreed that the "bottom-tier" characters in the game come off more as balanced mid-tiers (Andy, Olaf), with the next step up being characters who feel noticeably stronger than those (Sami, Eagle), then characters who are pretty much broken (Colin, Kanbei), and then characters who might be fair in a two-on-one game (Sturm, Hachi). The exceptions are Flak and Jugger, who are basically Joke Characters.
- In Diablo II, the Sorceress is god tier in Single-Player mode as she is far and away the best item farmer than the rest of the classes combined for 99% of the game, thanks to a combination of easy gearing, access to Teleport and Static Field.
- The Necromancer could easily fall into bottom tier if built around raising skeleton minions. Bosses gained big buffs against minions, allowing them to kill them almost instantly while taking virtually no damage. In addition, most bosses were fought in gated areas with no other monsters around, meaning the Necromancer was left with no corpses around to raise, or to use for other skills like corpse explosion. Since Hell difficulty allowed monsters to regenerate health, it was no longer possible to use tactics jumping in and out through portals to slowly wear them down, and progress past a certain point was simply impossible.
- Below the Root was an early example with a choice of five questers of varying ages, races, and genders. These were theoretically balanced, but Pomma ended up being Top Tier with her high starting mana, favorable NPC reaction, and good starting location making her crazy-good for speed runs. Neric and Herd were considered Mid-Tier because they had about a 50-50 chance of a good NPC reaction, good strength, and moderate mana. Genaa and Charn were Low Tier and suitable mostly for challenge gamers; Genaa due to her complete lack of psionics (meaning she had to visit every trainer to boost herself up enough to win) and Charn due to lacking either Herd or Neric's strength, but being only slightly sturdier than Pomma, and having only average mana.
- While the character you use in Hearthstone's Battlegrounds mode isn't as essential as rolling good minions and getting decently lucky, the better ones have a better chance at surviving to Top 4 with either free early-game stats, more reliable rolling, or a mid-game power burst. The characters' win rates are comprehensively recorded in stat-gathering sites to determine their overall performance and tier placements. The game mode's Balance Buffs have wildly fluctuated character performances. There's been at least five instance of a character going from the bottom of the tier list to the absolute top, or sometimes the other way around, by adjusting a single number by 1.
- Meme Generator is a website for generating memes, ranks the available 'characters' by popularity/ubiquity as God Tier, Demigod Tier, Legendary Tier, Top Tier, Fascinating Tier, Meh Tier, Lame Tier and Fail Tier.
- The Wheel of Time: The setting's magic-users, channelers, draw on The One Power, the very juice of creation itself. The amount of Power any given channeler can wield is an important metric (especially with the Sealed Evil in a Can breaking free and a "Save the World" Climax looming), but pinning them down specifically would have led to endless Fan Wank about Power Levels. To avoid this, author Robert Jordan deliberately classed his characters into tiers, simply saying "Egwene is about as strong as Elayne, but Nynaeve is stronger than either of them," without bothering to be specific about how much stronger Nynaeve was. (And then we add in the fact that channeling is a Gender-Restricted Ability, and that men have their own tiers, which Jordan specifically refused to cross-correlate with the female ones. And then we add in the fact that the Quirky Miniboss Squad are all "at least as strong as Nynaeve, but we don't really know how much stronger". And then we add in the fact that said Quirky Miniboss Squad can also channel power directly from the Big Bad. And that's how fans get obsessed with The Wheel of Time.)
- TierZoo is a video series that treats life like an MMO game and places animals into tier lists depending on how well they can survive as a species. Rankings are determined by various factors such as stats (Intelligence, Power, Defence, Speed, Health and Stealth), abilities that the animal has (such as venom or armor piercing bites) and finally, how well they match-up against predators and prey in the "server" (habitat).
Alternative Title(s):Tier ListsSours: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CharacterTiers
God tier or classpect powers are a series of themed powers with which all destined players of Sburb/Sgrub are born. Every player who is born inside a session innately has some connection to these, but their fullest potential is unlocked by god tiering, dying inside the game under very strict conditions.
Becoming god tier
For someone to go god tier, they must be killed upon (or, if recently deceased, brought to) a quest bed or a crypt slab. A quest bed (or quest recuperacoon in Sgrub terminology) appears to be a magnificent bed made out of stone with four orbed spires at each corner, often bearing the symbol of its destined player's aspect. Quest beds are found at certain locations on the player's Land. A crypt slab is less ornate, appearing to be a simple slab of rock found deep in the heart of the player's dream moon, Prospit or Derse. A player without a dreamself can only god tier upon a crypt slab, because a quest bed's operation requires a surviving dreamself. When brought to the bed or slab in an appropriately dead-ish state, the player will be revived as their dreamself by default, or simply transform if they are already living as their dreamself. They will be granted the full extent of their powers, and, notably, comfy pajamas that match the color scheme and motifs of their classpect. Revival can also heal previous injuries or disabilities (i.e. limbs repairing or returning altogether). This is ultimately up to the person however, if they so choose that they would rather keep characteristics about them. Troll players also receive a pair of insect/fairy-like wings, the color of which depends on their blood color. There is no known prerequisite or requirement that needs to be met before a player can ascend; the only known limiting factor is their ability to reach their bed or slab, and the knowledge necessary to be aware of its significance.
While in the process of god tiering, the player will raise off of their bed or slab, overcome with glowing light and surrounded by spirograph patterns similar to those of Sburb's gates. The symbol of their aspect will appear in Skaia (if Skaia is present), and the skies of the entire session will flash with brilliant light until the transformation is complete. Upon the completion of the revival, the god tier player will appear, awake, either at the crypt slab where they were killed or where their dreamself was last located, if it still existed.
God tiering in NIC
Conveniently, beds/slabs of all twelve known aspects are currently in the possession of Lab 10. These were once held by Jade Harley, who passed them to the custody of the Lab upon her departure. They might still be shrunk down with her Space powers, however, which would make their use tricky. A non-ascended destined Sburb/Sgrub player can possibly access these if given approval by the Lab.
A god tiered person's core powers are tied to their classpect (see below). There are, however, some abilities which appear to be common to all god tiered players. Among these are the ability to fly around with ease, and access to new echeladder rungs. A god tier player is considered to have mastered the echeladder, and as a result seems to have access to a series of "master" rungs which improve their power at a far greater rate. Being god tiered also grants the player conditional immortality. This immortality makes it so that upon death, a metaphysical grandfather clock somewhere in the ether swings its pendulum, deciding if the person died for a Heroic or Just reason. If conditions meet either of these, then they die permanently (as permanent as death ever is in NIC, at least). If the pendulum lands in the space between these options because the death was neither, then the player will begin to revive after a few minutes, fully healed of all wounds.
Alternates of players
Anyone who is born as a destined player in a Sburb or Sgrub session is given a classpect title. When ectobiology is performed in the game, two sets are made - a set of paradox clones, and a set of offspring made from mixing together the ectoslime of those clones. In each universal instance, only one set will play the game, but the other will still technically have the same class and aspect as they would have if they played - they merely can't realize it to its fullest potential. Thus, the Dolorosa, for example, as the post-scratch iteration of Porrim Maryam, would still be a Maid of Space and have the fate of such a player reflected in her life, even if she never had a chance to see it through. This is backed up several times in the comic, when the lives of the guardians and ancestors reflect those of their counterparts who played the game.
A classpect or title is the combined class and aspect granted to all players of Sburb/Sgrub. All known classes and aspects are described below to the best of our ability to do so. Many of these have never had their exact scopes explained in Homestuck canon, so much of this is necessarily informed by speculation. The reader should use discretion when deciding what is and isn't canon, and shouldn't take most of this as gospel. The exact way in which each part of the title should inform the player's power is best left up to their own creativity.
- For more information, particularly on what is known in canon, see the MSPA Wiki article on classes.
A player's class describes their general role in the session, and the manner in which they interact with and use their aspect. Classes are often split into two categories, "active" and "passive". This split was suggested in canon by Calliope, but has been expanded greatly by fan speculation. All fourteen known classes are split into supposed passive/active pairs below, with each closely reflecting the other, according to a popular fanon interpretation. The true roles and relationships of these classes to one another are not actually known. As stated above, this is all mostly guesswork and should be taken with a grain of salt.
The Rogue/Thief dichotomy is one of the few which is actually explicitly drawn out in canon. Both are "stealing" classes, with Rogue seeming to be the passive counterpart, and Thief the active one. A Rogue steals their aspect from others or from the world around them, distributing it to their allies or elsewhere. All three Rogues in canon appear to be rather optimistic and excitable, and to have trouble finding enough of their aspects for themselves. For example, Nepeta Leijon, the Rogue of Heart, could never find the courage to pursue love herself.
As the active stealing class, Thieves take their aspect from others and hoard it for themselves. Thieves seem to suffer from a shortage of their aspect through their lives, and try to take as much of it as they can later on to make up for it. Both Thieves in canon are seen to have cocky, domineering personalities which serve to hide an underlying vulnerability. Meenah Peixes, the Thief of Life, rebelled against a life that was chosen for her at birth, and eventually went on to stunt the growth of others to foster her own self-importance. Vriska Serket, the Thief of Light, appeared to suffer from bad luck as a result of her crappy upbringing throughout her young life, and took importance from the narrative itself to bring herself into the spotlight.
The Heir/Witch dichotomy is one of the more speculative ones. Both classes appear to be "manipulation" classes, who have remarkable levels of control over their aspect. If this dichotomy is to be held up, then Heir would seem to be the more passive of the two. Heirs gravitate toward their aspect almost unwittingly, happening into great amounts of power. They might often lack focus, however, and not clearly understand how best to use their abilities. Heirs seem to be a little quirky and oblivious as a general rule.
By contrast, Witches actively control and manipulate their aspect. They appear to gain a comprehensive understanding of their aspect and can perform incredibly powerful feats as a result. All three Witches in canon are known to have radically altered the nature of their own aspect in some ways, so Witch could, in a way, be read as a class that bends the rules of its aspect. In this vein, Damara Megido, the Witch of Time, affected the flow of the entire narrative by sabotaging and scratching the Beforan session, necessitating every single thing that happened on Alternia and the two iterations of Earth as a result. Feferi Peixes, the Witch of Life, changed Life itself in an unimaginably crucial way by convincing the Horrorterrors to create the dream bubbles, preserving all dead characters in a state of half-life with untold effects on the story. Jade Harley, the Witch of Space, succeeded in shrinking and transporting the lands and battlefield of her session to the post-scratch human session, enabling the creation of Universe C and consequently the existence of the cherubs. It's also worth noting that all three Witches are held back significantly in their development, whether by contrivance of the villains or the game itself, perhaps as a check on their possible power. Notably, the known Witches also all possess figures in their lives which, at first, are more powerful in their own aspect than they are. You could call these "Witches' familiars": Damara had Lord English, Feferi had Gl'bgolyb, and Jade had Bec.
The Sylph and the Maid could possibly be read as "creation" classes. That being said, Kanaya Maryam tells us in canon that a Sylph is Sort Of Like A Witch But More Magical, which leaves the possibility that Sylph and Witch are actually counterparts, and Maid and Heir in kind. A Sylph could be read as a player who reacts to the need for creation by healing wounds where they exist. They form strong opinions about their aspect, and are sure to let everyone hear about them by explaining them as best they can. They are infamous for bugging, fussing, and meddling, having an instinctive need to address lack of their aspect. Aranea Serket, the Sylph of Light, could heal eyesight with her aspect powers, and attempted to take up relevance in the narrative by attempting to rewrite the alpha timeline into one more favorable. Kanaya Maryam, the Sylph of Space, took it upon herself to foster the rebirth of the troll race.
If Sylphs respond to a lack of their aspect on an often individual basis, Maids constantly keep their aspect in its best possible condition for their entire team. Aradia Megido, the Maid of Time, served her role as a custodian of time quite fastidiously, closing loops and using her doomed variants to take more than a few hits for the team. Jane Crocker, the Maid of Life, played a healing role during [S] Collide, keeping the health of the entire team topped up. They could also be interpreted to embody their aspect in some respect, thus several jokes about, for example, Aradia being "made of time". All known Maids appear to have a fierce independent streak, one with which they must make peace if they are to wield their aspect effectively. Porrim Maryam, the Maid of Space, felt constrained by the expectations of her caste to care for the young and was reluctant to carry the Matriorb during her life. It was only later, during death, that she came to peace with this. She also displays a healthy skepticism for the roles and norms of her society. Aradia has a notably sassy and playful personality, defying the single-minded march toward entropy which her aspect apparently entails, and at one point even lassos the embodiment of time himself, Lord English. Jane was limited by the expectations placed on her as the heiress to Crocker Corp, fostering her own ideas of what she would do if she were in charge, and defying her father's attempts to ground her for her own safety.
Page and Knight could be interpreted loosely as either "protection" or "exploitation" classes. The link between them has been drawn in part because in real-life parlance, a page is a step along the road to a true knight. Pages are able to reach phenomenal levels of power, but much like Witches, they are hampered in achieving that, albeit by their slow growth and not by the caprices of fate. This is backed up by statements from both Calliope and Aranea in canon. It is possible that the role of the Page is to passively provide others with their aspect, something which surely grows in importance as the Page matures.
The Knight is the more straightforwardly "protection" based of these two classes. Knights appear to use their aspect as a weapon with which to defend their sessionmates, or their session itself from outside threats. They are also implied to be the most combat-oriented of any of the classes. Knights suffer as a rule, however, from deep insecurities which might affect their ability to partake in their role in the session. Latula Pyrope, the Knight of Mind, projects a fake, over-the-top coolgirl personality to shield herself from the scrutiny of others. Dave Strider, the Knight of Time, puts up a cool, stoic front to avoid broadcasting his various hang ups about his life and upbringing. Knights also seem to play a role in aiding their session's Space player with frog breeding. Unless the Knight is a Space player themselves, I guess. Then they're all set.
The Seer and the Mage are strongly implied to be counterparts as "knowledge" classes. Of any of the classes, these two are (ironically) the only ones to have members who lose their vision completely. Seers appear to use their foreknowledge to benefit their team, guiding them through the session by foreseeing possibilities, paths, or timelines. In at least two cases, post-scratch iterations of Seers have been seen to have recollections of their previous lives, with Roxy's Mom writing memories of Rose's life into her Complacency of the Learned series, and the Signless recalling his Beforan self's life. Seers particularly seem to suffer from circumstances (meddling from outside forces, distraction with unimportant matters) which impede their ability to guide their team. Terezi Pyrope, the Seer of Mind, was targeted by Gamzee Makara for the purpose of preventing her from Seeing for her teammates properly. Rose Lalonde suffered from various insecurities and alcoholism, both of which dented her clarity of vision.
Mages don't appear to have the same powers of Sight as Seers do, but they do still possess uncanny knowledge and perception of their aspect. Mage is one of the less well understood classes in the entire comic, and it's hard to gauge what, exactly, their role is. It can be surmised that they suffer from the negative effects of their aspect in order to benefit their team. Meulin Leijon, the Mage of Heart, suffers from romantic misfortune throughout her life and unlife, despite passionately tending to the love that other people experience by way of her uncannily accurate fanfics. Sollux Captor, the Mage of Doom, dies more times than any other character in the comic (barring doomed Time players) on his way toward understanding Sgrub's rules well enough to keep his fellow players from suffering the same.
The Bard/Prince duology is another one of the few pairs which is actually explicated in canon. Calliope tells us that these two are the "destruction" classes. In the case of the Bard, this is realized in a passive fashion. Bards cause and invite the destruction of, and through, their aspect, often without consciously willing it to happen. Bards are chaotic and unpredictable wildcards whose role in a session can never be predicted accurately. Gamzee Makara, the Bard of Rage, engineered events which affected the mental state and integrity of his party, usually for the worse.
Princes wield their aspect as a potent weapon in a similar way to a Knight. Princes, however, use it as a means of destruction instead of a means of defense. Princes both destroy with their aspect, and destroy their aspect directly. It could be alleged that a healthy Prince who has fully realized themselves would destroy the bad parts of their aspect to hone it down to the good ones, and use that for the benefit of their party. But it goes without saying that imbalanced or immature Princes can do more harm than good. Eridan Ampora, the Prince of Hope, both destroys using his Hope-fueled weapons, and destroys Hope itself by obliterating the Matriorb, trollkind's last hope for survival. Dirk Strider, the Prince of Heart, nearly destroys a soul he created himself in his Automatic Responder, and is seen trying to rip another player's soul (Aranea's) from her body.
The last class pairing is the least ambiguous. The Muse and Lord are what are known as "master classes" which only appear in sessions of two players. They are undoubtedly the most powerful, and are also the most passive and most active classes, respectively. It's possible that this is the case because a session of two must embody all of the classes in as few people as possible in order to function. A Muse and a Lord are never, however, supposed to occur in the same game. The only two-player session we see in canon is one that's only meant to be played by one, with the other dying before it can start. Muses appear to have some sort of passive influence on their aspect throughout their reality, inspiring others to act with magnificent feats relating to it. Their influence can be cryptic and difficult to perceive, however.
A Lord literally embodies their aspect, becoming the most powerful force relating to it within their reality. Lords can be immensely destructive and domineering, sometimes taking control of other players connected with their aspect to use in their plans. The only known Lord in canon had Yaldabaoth, a denizen reserved only for the strongest of players. Killing this denizen seems to present the Lord with a chance to destroy their clock and become unconditionally immortal, but it is unknown whether this was exclusive to Caliborn (or, indeed, whether this option is also presented to Muses).
- For more information, particularly on what is known in canon, see the MSPA Wiki article on aspects.
A player's assigned aspect determines just what facet of reality they will be tasked with using (or being used by) while playing the game. Many aspects have innate powers or attributes which will be listed where appropriate. In a similar way to the classes, aspects seem to be paired as counterparts, with some of these being more obscure than the others and requiring guesswork. For example, Doom and Light share some opposing qualities, which muddies the waters a little. Again, many of these have not been explicitly explained in canon, so some speculation will be employed below. Use your better judgement.
- The aspect of Blood appears to be associated with relationships, bonds, and unity. This is one of the less well understood aspects, because none of its bearers had their abilities explored in canon. Most of our information on it comes from speculation around Karkat Vantas, the Knight of Blood. Blood players seem to enjoy a particular level of empathy with other people and try to become leaders and helpers. They can, however, be terribly stubborn, and when they become fixated on irrelevant matters, it can be to the detriment of their possible use to the session.
- The aspect of Breath is associated quite literally with wind, and more symbolically with direction, movement, and freedom. Breath is one of the few aspects to have a consistent visual manifestation in the form of literal gusts, which certain classes can use to bear things aloft, become weightless, and blast things with powerful gales. Breath players appear to be fancy-free and not to make attachments easily, staying detached from problems in their session. This can oftentimes be to the player's detriment. Breath players can also be stubborn in a similar way to their Blood counterparts, as John Egbert often demonstrates, while being frustratingly quick to change their minds in other cases.
- The aspect of Doom is apparently associated with death, rules, and fate. This is another poorly-understood aspect, with only two users, neither of which god tiered. Sollux allows us a few guesses, however. With an innate knowledge of Sgrub's rules relating to his Mage abilities, it seems that rules, guidelines, and other things which restrict people (such as fate) are part of Doom's purview. Sollux also has great skills with programming, or creating a set of rules that behave in a predictable, logical way. Doom players can be pessimistic and difficult to get along with.
- The aspect of Life is associated with life, health, growth, and change. For all three of those that we've seen in canon, this aspect's abilities tend to manifest themselves as affecting literal health and lifespans. Feferi Peixes, the Witch of Life, can entirely resurrect someone who's died, when we meet a god tiered alternate of hers, and Jane Crocker has exceptional healing and revival abilities herself. Meenah Peixes seems to be incredibly durable thanks to her ability to steal the health of others, and even her post-scratch counterpart, Her Imperious Condescension, who didn't even play the game, is said to have been able to prolong others' lifespans. Life players are irrepressible, seeming to have a hard time even staying dead, as we see when Jane's dreamself revives after an attempted assassination by Jack Noir. They can also be a little bossy and imperious. Both troll Life players are fuchsiabloods who feel inclined to rule trollkind, and when Jane loses her inhibitions by going Crockertier, she attempts to do the same to her sessionmates. Life players, further, seem to possess abnormally high levels of physical strength. Feferi is seen to be able to lug around an entire whale lusus effortlessly, and both Jane and her biological son, Dad Egbert (and Dad Crocker by proxy) appear to be very strong.
- The aspect of Heart is chiefly associated with emotion, intuition, literal souls, love, and the essential self. The soul in Homestuck canon appears to be an essential piece of a person which exists across all alternates, as can be seen when post- and pre-scratch versions of people seem to reflect their own personalities, despite the distance in time and space. Heart players have an uncanny understanding of this sort of thing, and can interact directly with souls. Dirk Strider seems to be able to take away pieces of himself, destroying his own soul as a Prince to create shards and other personalities with which he can interact. His handle's reference to Plato, a philosopher who argued for "ideal forms" which existed for everything in nature, seems to be a callout to the central idea of his aspect. The practical powers of the troll Heart players, Meulin and Nepeta Leijon, are not established in canon, but they do both have a particular affinity for romance, the most literal application of the aspect.
- The aspect of Mind is associated with thought, logic, and choice. As opposed to Heart's link with the essential self, Mind players have an affinity instead for changes to the self that come from making choices and decisions. Terezi Pyrope, as a Seer, saw countless possible pathways caused by decisions, and was able to see the experiences of her alternate selves. Her dancestor, Latula, seemed to have an innate understanding of how her post-scratch counterpart, Neophyte Redglare, could come to have a terrible destiny with Marquise Spinneret Mindfang despite not caring about Aranea herself. Where Heart players are empathetic and touchy-feely, Mind players might be more objective and clinical. Some classes who carry this aspect might have powers such as direct mind control or mind reading, among others.
- The aspect of Light is associated with perception, luck, importance, and knowledge. Light players appear to be innately lucky, though some classes might begin their journey with an apparent lack of it. They are also innately easily located and tracked, as said by Calliope when Rose Lalonde inadvertently found her in the dream bubbles. Even when they aren't a Seer, Light players seem to have uncanny powers of perception. Aranea and Vriska Serket share an uncommon mutation (as well as being the unlikely combination of cobalt, female, and psychic, another example of their natural improbability) in their vision eightfold, which offers them a powerful means of sight. Light players are often interested in knowledge and destiny, and tend to enjoy being the center of attention.
- The aspect of Void appears to be associated with nothingness, lack of importance, and obfuscation. By contrast to Light players, Void players prefer to remain obscured and to not have their efforts exist at the center of things. This could be because they operate best in the shadows, or simply feel themselves to be unimportant. Some Void players are capable of turning totally invisible, and in the case of Roxy Lalonde, the Rogue of Void, can make things which don't exist real. Void players have innate powers of obfuscation. The software used by the Cherubs to track the post-scratch kids could not monitor Roxy accurately, showing only a screen of static. Void may also be related with spirits and the literal void beyond the veil, as exhibited by all known Void players being Derse dreamers. This could mean that they have a stronger innate connection with the Horrorterrors as well.
- The aspect of Rage is apparently associated with anger, sanity, madness, and negative belief. Gamzee Makara is overcome with the innate rage of his caste and goes on a murderous rampage, and is motivated strongly by his hateful belief in the destruction that will be wrought by the Dark Messiahs. Not much is known about this aspect, because both of its bearers in canon are extremely unhelpful and antagonistic, never exploring their aspect much, let alone telling us about it. It can be assumed that it is chiefly concerned with negative emotion and pain.
- The aspect of Hope is associated with positive emotion, hope, and belief. The best example of this aspect we have in canon is Jake English, the Page of Hope, who has the power to passively make fake things just a little more real by sheer power of belief. Jake is seen to affect a positive demeanor even when he is probably a little doubtful underneath, and fantasizes about becoming an adventurer, among other fanciful notions. A destructive Hope player like Eridan, by contrast, might come across as a little pessimistic.
- The aspect of Space is associated with literal space, birth, and creation. Along with Time players, Space players are among the most important in a session - so much so that without both a Time and a Space player, a session is inherently doomed to failure without outside help. It is the duty of the Space player to breed the Genesis Frog and stoke the forge on their world, eventually releasing the frog into Skaia where it can germinate within the battlefield. All known Space players have something of a link to art and creativity, and may possess a caring or motherly demeanor. Space players have difficulty grappling with the idea of alternate selves and other timelines, and may react toward them with frustration. Once god tiered, they have access to powerful spacial manipulation abilities, including teleportation, altering the motion and dimensions of objects, and so on. Because of its duties in creating a new universe in the game, Space is tied inexorably with creation and beginnings.
- The aspect of Time is associated with literal time, death, and entropy. Like a Space player, a Time player is essential to the operation of a successful session. As well as being tasked with preventing the timeline from becoming doomed by certain mistakes, the Time player's land possesses a device which can be used to scratch the session and restart the universe with a new instance. Time in Homestuck canon is rather inflexible, creating firm loops and containing only a single true timeline which is fed by its doomed offshoots. Time players understand this innately, and discover how to time travel early on for the purpose of using doomed copies as fodder and for keeping the timeline on track. Depending on their class, they can speed up, slow, or reverse time, freeze enemies, and destroy things by subjecting them to the advance of time. Time is tied inexorably with the ending of things and with destruction.
God tiered characters
- Adam English, Sylph of Doom
- Aina Martell, Bard of Light
- Antare Serket, Knight of Light
- Aranea Serket, Sylph of Light
- Ayasi Haima, Heir of Blood
- Damara Megido, Witch of Time
- Dave Strider, Knight of Time
- Dio Serket, Prince of Blood
- Dirk Strider, Prince of Heart
- Dorian Olriya, Thief of Time
- Dragontula, Knight of Mind
- Feferi Peixes, Witch of Life
- Fefeta Peijon, Rogue of Life
- Gamzee Makara, Bard of Rage (dead)
- Jade Harley (Anti), Witch of Space
- Jade Harley (Fina), Witch of Space
- Joan and John Egbert, Heirs of Breath
- Junko Enoshima, Witch of Rage
- Kanaya Maryam (Fina), Sylph of Space
- Kopeo Melan, Mage of Time
- Latula Pyrope, Knight of Mind
- Meulin Captor, Heiress of Heart
- Meulin Leijon, Mage of Heart
- Nepeta Leijon (Alpha), Rogue of Heart
- Nepeta Leijon (Fina), Rogue of Heart
- Nepeta Leijon (Val), Rogue of Heart
- Nianta Zephos, Knight of Doom
- Riff Raff, Prince of Mind (dead)
- Rose Lalonde, Seer of Light
- Roxy Lalonde (Rose), Rogue of Void
- Roxy Lalonde (Fina), Rogue of Void
- Saeyoung Choi, Rogue of Doom
- Sollux Captor, Mage of Doom
- Tavros Nitram, Page of Breath
- The Emissary, Sylph of Space
- Vasila Thales, Thief of Breath
- Viki Strider, Thief of Time
- Vriska Brando, Prince of Light
- Vriska Serket, Thief of Light
- Yataru Sunsin, Page of Rage
- Between the fourteen classes and twelve aspects, there are a total of 168 possible titles offered by the game, of which only 34 have been seen in canon.
- Various puns have been devised due to the ridiculous designs of some god tier outfits, or just out of the fact that the puns are so easy to make.
- Jade has been referred to as the "dog tier", due to the dog ears she gained by fusing with her prototyped dreamself (and Bec).
- Gamzee has been referred to as "cod tier", due to the presence of his class's iconic codpiece.
- Eridan has been referred to as "duck tier", or "Psyduck tier", due to the headband along with the buttons and color of his outfit resembling that of a duck's head and bill.
- It is possible that the outfits don't grow along with the player or are somehow open to customization, as Jade's dress and John's shirt both appeared to be shorter after three years of traveling. However, in [S] Ministrife, Meenah displays the ability to customize her god tier outfit, although it should be noted this happened in a dream bubble. The color scheme stays the same in all shown variations.
- According to Dave, god tier outfits don't need to be washed or changed, and are very comfortable because they are enchanted.
- ↑"theyre magic fucking pajamas they stay like perma clean or something
theyre enchanted and comfy as fuck" —Dave Strider, on the topic of god tier outfits
Find your Sburb title!
a quiz by RLabs
If you've ever wondered what your Sburb title would be, you've come to the right place! Answer the sixteen questions as accurately as you can. It seems that you get better results if you come up with an answer to the question before looking at the choices.
All classes and aspects in this test are canon. The descriptions you receive for them are a bit less canonical, however, due to the lack of information about many of them. If something doesn't look like you've seen it before in the comic, it's almost certainly based on the personalities/actions of the characters in the comic with that aspect. Note that sharing a title with a character doesn't mean you're necessarily identical to that character; you're simply likely to respond similarly in certain situations. Some of the outfits are wrong and I'll probably update those someday maybe.
God tier images used are credit to Andrew Hussie and zynchilada, with the exception of the Lord/Muse images which were made by me. Changelog here.
Anonymous said: What would the powers, land, anf weapons of a Lord of Rage entail?
The Lord and the Muse are the active-passive pair that are described as the Master classes. In embodying their Aspect, these classes are the ultimate description of activity and passivity in regards to god tiers and their Aspect, and as such suffer no risk of inversion. And where Muses can be considered the great creators, Lords are the great destroyers, the ultimate forces which lay waste to all in their way and forever will, as per their decision in regards to the Choice indicates.
Rage is the Aspect which stands opposite to that of Hope. Where Hope stands for happiness, for faith and power granted through some external source, Rage stands for anger, despair, and internal power, as often denoted by Rage players having a berserker switch of sorts. Rage is a dangerous Aspect, and unlike Hope, is dangerous in all the wrong ways to players allied to a Rage player. A lot of tabs have to be kept on a Rage player to keep them from going berserk and killing all who stand in their way, and as such, a Lord of Rage (a tier that is hypothesized to only appear in one- or two-player sessions (and, let’s face it, a Lord of Rage would be surrounded by naturally weaker god tiers even if they were in a session with other players)) would be a destroyer by all known factors, and they would potentially be even harder to stop than even Lord English himself (so aren’t we glad Caliborn wasn’t a Rage player?).
That being said, a Lord is believed to have all the powers of Mages, Witches, Maids, Princes, Knights, and Thieves of their Aspect, and these powers come in all at once, intertwining and truly allowing the Lord to come into their role as the embodiment of their Aspect.
As a Mage of Rage, the Lord of Rage would know what it would take to bring out the pure, raw power of anger, not only theirs, but others’ as well. They would take that energy and use it to further their own ends. They would know how to force despair onto their enemies, making them feel as though it would be impossible to beat them, making it impossible purely by their own lack of belief in their abilities. As a Mage, the Lord would already be able to take out a sizeable chunk of their enemies, purely by the virtue of Knowing.
So when it comes to Manipulating, the Lord would be all the better equipped. As a Witch of Rage, the Lord would be able to exchange Rage between given parties, and would be able to change what makes someone angry, afraid, despaired, make even the slightest sign of the end send them over the edge. The Lord of Rage would be able to essentially give someone any sort of phobia, be able to give them anger management issues, a ton of problems that would cause them a ton of problems.
As a Maid of Rage, the Lord would be able to create for anger, fear, despair, and would grant them incredible strength through invoking a berserker rage. The Maid of Rage could create inexplicably strong despair in their enemy’s leaders, destroying their enemy’s faith in them, keeping them from working in the way they ought to,
As a Prince, they would be able to destroy great things, armies, empires, entire concepts like religion or revolution using that berserker Rage, a frightening concept. On the flip side of the Prince’s powers, comes the Lord’s abilities to destroy Rage, possibly the only ability of the Lord’s that ISN’T outright belligerent or offensive. Quite the opposite, in fact, as a Lord of Rage might be able to use this to HELP allies, destroying their fears or despair. Or they could get rid of their opponent’s strength or anger towards them, defending themselves in potentially the best way.
As a Knight of Rage, the Lord of Rage could effectively use their berserker mode, put it on and take it off like one would a coat or a belt with a holster. Rather than simply having to wait until the Rage runs its course, which could be potentially quite dangerous depending on what they’re doing and who they’re with, they could simply make it the most efficient weapon they have by being able to turn it on and off like a light. They could potentially even learn to do the same with all the portions of their Aspect, remove their despair like a ring, fling away their fear like a flannel, make themselves the ultimate machine of destruction they were always destined to be by removing a lot of what makes them human…or troll…or maybe cherub, I don’t know.
And of course, as a Thief of Rage, the Lord would be able to steal their opponent’s anger and strength to power themselves and their berserker mode up. Conversely, they COULD help their allies by stealing their despair and/or fear, but a Lord of Rage who has entirely come into their role will not be caught DEAD in a supporting spot like that. I mean, that’s kind of the point of their role, to be destructive and loud and do whatever they want.
The Lord of Rage will be found on the front lines of whatever fight they’re involved in, and you can practically guarantee that whatever side they’re on, even if they’re not on a side of a war, it will win. They’re not a Lord of Hope, changing the tide of a battle they join in on, as a Lord of Rage doesn’t join in that late in the game—whatever battle they’re a part of, most likely, they’ve had at least some small part in starting it. Their mere presence often indicates that some battle is on the ledge, about to start, and it would take a Muse of Hope to stop them—a Muse most likely that will not be around to stop them in their chain of destruction.
Well, well, well. Quite the pickle here. Not only a Lord, but a Lord of Rage, no less. This will be a challenge.
There exist a terrifyingly small number of examples for the weapons of both Rage players and for Lords, but I will do my best to tell you what I can. First off, Lords, as I have stated earlier, tend to be the type to use larger, more ostentatious weapons, like Caliborn’s gaudy and flamboyant automatic rifle. These weapons tend to be pretty powerful, but their looks give away exactly how strong they are, as opposed to the weapons of a Muse, which tend to be deceptively more powerful than their small package would lead you to believe. Furthermore, the Lords tend to wield a larger counterpart of their Muse’s weapon. However, if there is no Muse, then this will not be a problem, leaving any large, ostentatious weapon as fair game for your Lord to potentially use.
As for Rage players and their weapons, there also seems to be only one example, this being the clubs used by Gamzee and Kurloz. This does not mean that all Rage players are juggalos, however. Unless you want them to be, in which case you are simply reinforcing the stereotype. From what I gather, Rage players use melee weapons more often than not, which makes sense, seeing as Rage is the aspect of overwhelming physical strength. Furthermore, I might even go so far as to infer that Rage players use weapons that tend to indicate that which they believe in above all else. Kurloz and Gamzee held their faith in higher regard than anything else, and as such, they used weapons that were typical of their juggalo cult. If your Lord believes in, say, a certain religion, then they may use a weapon that symbolizes their religion for them. If they are an atheist, and believe in science, then they may use a tesla coil, or something electric and flashy. If they believe solely in the strength of their own body, then they might use a sword, or an axe. (But not a knife. Knives are a more muse-y weapon.)
As such, here are the specibi that house the gaudier melee weapons. The one that best suits your Lord is up to you, and what they believe in.
- Artkind: Oh, you’re one of THOSE people.
- Axekind: Just don’t go swinging at any gold rings.
- Bladekind: *Starts playing One-Winged Angel from FFVII*
- Bookkind: This book doesn’t have any answers!
- Chainkind: How very… infamous of you.
- Chainsawkind: Like chainkind. Only more… saw-y.
- Clubkind: Sup, my juggalo brother?
- Explosivekind: Nothing flashier than that, amirite?
- Flagkind: I claim your face in the name of AMERICA!
- Footwearkind: Oh. My. God. Where did you get those shoes?
- Glovekind: Perfect for taking off and slapping people with!
- Hammerkind: Stop… Wait a minute. Fill my cup, pour some liquor in it.
- Lancekind: Ha, I bet you thought I was gonna say hammer time on that last one, didn’t you?
- Polearmkind: No, no… dude… get that pole out of your arm… that’s not what that is… why would you do that???
- Sciencekind: Thomas Dolby be damned.
- Scythekind: Seasons don’t fear the reaper. But they will.
Land and Quest: TC and CA
Lord and Muses are unique titles, and, therefore, have unique lands. The thing about the two Master classes is that they only essentially need their lands for one thing and one thing only: to have a platform for themselves and their denizens in order to allow them to make the Choice. But the problem comes in when they have to play in sessions with other people. I mean, hypothetically this is possible. They would need a member of the opposite Master class in the session with them, or, at the very least, in a session that appears with theirs that interacts with theirs, but they should be able to be in a session with other players. As such, what would their land be like in a session with other players? Well, TC’s and my personal theory is that it is a land reflecting their Aspect to the T. And it’s reflected in all the wrong ways. Wars span this planet amongst the consorts, and where there aren’t wars, there’s despair.
There is technically no quest. That doesn’t mean the Lord doesn’t take one on for themselves.
They believe their quest is to stop this war. And they do. They end up destroying the world, piece by piece. First they destroy the warmongers. Then the footsoldiers. Then whenever a fight spawns, the Lord destroys the town it took place in. They come around to believing that this world of theirs is better off gone. Purged. That is their quest, setting up the world by destroying it for the Muse that inhabits it next.
When the Lord of Rage makes the Choice to destroy forever, they do it for the sake of ending all wars by ending them before they start, inadvertently starting the wars they desire to avoid, to end. It’s a tragic end, one only a Muse of Hope could stop. And not only does the Lord, but all creation hopes they do.
Superpowers god tier
RIDICULOUS FOLLY. INEXCUSABLE.
Even though sloppy is fine, it might be a bit of a good idea to arrange this particular page because, to be quite frank, as it is right now, it is just absolute garbage.
The god tiers are a series of the highest levels of power available to players of Sburb. Achieving god tier status provides the beneficiary with godlike power in their respective aspect, channeled through their respective class. Reaching the god tiers allows players to level further up even after reaching the top of their echeladder, which is the limit under normal circumstances.
After attaining god tier status, the player then begins to level up further, though the increase in power to a person already called a god is likely redundant in a normal session. John and Jade, as well as Dave and Rose, have all leveled up after attaining their god tier. It is unknown how far the troll god tier players got into their levels but it was indicated at one point that Vriskastill had tiers she hadn't reached. As shown by the leveling up of John and Jade, normal stats still increase in the god tiers. However, instead of Boondollars (because that shit is for babies), the player in question receives Achievement Badges for their Kiddie Camper Handysash, the sash itself being modeled on the players' kingdom alignment, Prospit or Derse.
There are two methods to ascend to the god tiers; a player with a living dream self must have their recently deceased or dying body present on their Quest Bed (or Quest Cocoon), or a player with no other living selves must have their recently deceased or dying body present on their Sacrificial Slab, a process apparently referred to as taking a "legendary nap" by Consorts.
In the first method, after the death or fatal injury of the original body, the dream self will be teleported to a corresponding Quest Bed on the Battlefield. On their planet the player's original body may be surrounded by a totem creature (if any), while on the Battlefield the dream self will be healed, and the consciousness of the player will permanently merge with it, ascending them to the god tiers.
If the original body is kissed by another player instead of being placed on their Quest Bed then the dream self will still be healed and the consciousness will still merge but the player will not ascend. As the first method requires two bodies this will prevent the player subsequently using this method, the death of a dream self will also prevent it being used unless it is somehow revived. If the Battlefield is destroyed or it never evolves to a point at which its Quest Beds exist then the first method will not work.
John, Jade, Vriska and Meenah all ascended by dying on their Quest Beds, however Jade's dream self was in a sprite, so she did not appear on her Skaian Quest Bed. During this process, both Jade and John were visited and enshrouded by a totem creature of their Planet - John, by fireflies and Jade, by hummingbirds.
In the second method a player must die on their Sacrificial Slab, a stone slab hidden at the core, or "crypt", of their respective dream planet's moon. After death, the player is resurrected in their current spot as a god tier right away, regardless of the state of their original or dream body. This method requires the player to have either lost their dream self or lost their original self. If the player's Quest Bed, or its Skaian counterpart, is destroyed or never comes into existence then a player must use this method to ascend.
Aradia, Rose, Dave and all the B2 kids ascended by dying on their Sacrificial Slabs.
Aradia's dream self was already situated upon her Quest Bed within the crypt of Derse, rather than in a tower like the other dream selves. Andrew Hussie has stated that since she was dead to start with, her dream self didn't "belong" with the living players on the moon, and was sequestered in the planet. This is also why the moon of Derse only had five towers. Another unusual aspect of her ascension is that a separate instance of herself existed as Aradiabot. When she ascended to the god tiers, her soul and consciousness merged with that of her dream self, thus leaving the robot empty and causing it to explode soon after.
This unusual aspect also applies to Jade, who resurrected her dream self as Jadesprite. It doesn't seem to matter where your dream self is in relation to the bed on Skaia, as Vriska's dream self was transported from Prospit to her corresponding Quest Bed, where she ascended, while John's dream self, and then later Jade's dream self as Jadesprite, were already on Skaia. It should also be noted that Jadesprite wasn't anywhere near her corresponding Skaian Quest Bed when Jade ascended, though this might relate to Jade's dream self being a separate sentient being at the time.
It is unknown if a player absolutely has to have gained all the levels (all of them) of their echeladder before proceeding with the ascension. John, Dave, Vriska and Aradia fulfilled this alleged requirement. It is unclear how far up Rose and Jade scaled their echeladders, however Jade's successful breeding of the Genesis Frog likely allowed her to reach the top, as important mythological milestones have been shown to result in major jumps in the echeladder. It is also unclear if Jane, Jake, Roxy and Dirk managed to completely scale the echeladder before ascension, having been stuck in a void session for several months with nothing to do but wait and slay underlings. The argument can be made that they may have gained levels during their partly unseen trickster mode adventures. Jane, for example, solved her quest to bring her planet back to life with a single trickster energy blast.
Accompanying the ascension is a new hooded outfit for the newly-ascended god—a "godhood", as it were. The shape of the clothing is defined by their class, while the color and symbol of the outfit is determined by their aspect. For no given reason, the player's choice of eyewear is also included in the outfit, even if just an accessory (such as Dave's shades), although this could be because of specific items being on their person at the time, considering Dave and Dirk still had their swords with them after ascension. Whether a player who needed corrective lenses still has impaired vision after ascending isn't clear - Vriska was upset at losing her glasses, but didn't seem to need them. It may vary from player to player. Ascension can also repair old injuries and unwanted bodily alterations, which seems to vary from player to player. For example, when Vriska ascended, her lost arm and eye were restored, while Caliborn retained his robotic leg and gold tooth, and Jade ended up looking mostly human, but retained Jadesprite's dog ears and some of her dog instincts. (This seems to be similar to how Terezi's dream self reflected Terezi's injury, while Vriska and Tavros's dream selves did not. An alternate timeline version of Tavros with working legs was also seen in Caliborn: Enter, and while that very well might support the pattern, it could also be the result of a timeline where he was never paralyzed. As for tattoos, Dirk still retained his after ascending, though it is unclear whether Jake still retained his (possibly not, since he seems todislike it.)
According to what the trolls believe, the process required to ascend is a test issued by Sburb to see if the player in question is willing to face their own demise in order to obtain greater power. In the course of the sessions seen, 13 characters have undergone a confirmed ascension, and only one of them has done so unequivocally willingly; Dave and Terezi even explicitly denied the ability to face their own deaths. John was killed by Jack Noir and Jade by the Courtyard Droll's shaving-cream bomb, but other characters arranged their transportation to their Quest Beds. Vriska chose to die in her Quest Cocoon only after she was beaten half to death by Aradia. Aradia's dream self was sleeping in her Quest Cocoon at the heart of Derse when she was killed by Jack Noir's powers. Likewise, Dave and Rose died in the wake of their creation of the Green Sun, though they did not make any attempt to escape the explosion and had previously accepted this task as a suicide mission, arguably making them the only ones to face their own death properly. Although the B2 kids had planned to kill each other or themselves they were very hesitant, and in the end they all died in explosions caused by Jack Noir and the Condesce, which destroyed the moons of Prospit and Derse respectively. Aranea and Meenah also reached god tier status in their session, along with others. While no details have been revealed about Aranea's ascension, Meenah was beaten to death by Damara. Meenah also speculates that Damara was fatally injured during the same fight and taken to her Quest Cocoon by Rufioh, a possible parallel to Vriska and Aradia's situation in [S] Make her pay. Damara does not, however, confirm any of this or if her alpha self ascended at all. Out of all the seen players, only Caliborn has been shown to have ascended completely by his own hand, declaring it A TRIVIAL ACT OF SELF SUICIDE in his quest for power.
Powers and abilities
- For specific players' abilities based on their title, see Mythological roles.
The key aspect of the power of god tier players relates to their mythological aspect: the level of power they exert over is significantly enhanced to the point of near-complete control.
Having only one self left, god tier players dream in the dream bubbles of the Furthest Ring. It is unclear if Vriska's ability to enter and interfere with the nightmares of the Wayward Vagabond is related to this or an independent phenomenon.
The physical result of ascension to the god tiers has ties to the cultural image of perfection and the perception of what godhood should be like for the species in question. Since troll biology is largely based on insect-like metamorphosis, fairies are often seen as an (imaginary) ideal, in the same way that a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Consequently, the god tier trolls gain butterfly wings. Mindfang's journal mentions that Tavros' ancestor, the Summoner, revealed wings similar to the ones trolls receive upon ascending to god tier status, though this was eventually revealed to be a mutation unrelated to the god tier wings, which even his pre-scratch version had. Wings can be concealed, as seen with Vriska and Meenah. A player can also choose not to wear their god tier outfit. Meenah does not usually wear her god tier clothes, as she disliked the Thief outfit and Life color scheme. Aranea, Vriska and Meenah also changed between outfits at will, but this is likely due to the nature of dream bubbles.
Humans have no real cultural equivalent to the trolls' wing ideals, and so instead merely get the outfit. Jade, however, retains the animal ears of Jadesprite upon ascension, which could be concurrent with her ideal for the pinnacle of human form and its manifestation in her love for anthropomorphic fauna. It should be noted that Aradia did not retain any visual frog traits, due to her frog sprite being prototyped with the ghost of her original self, as opposed to her dream self.
It appears that ascension to god tier also permanently disconnects a player from the Computer Terminals used by Exiles to give them commands, since John's and Vriska's ascensions caused the terminals used by their exiles to go dark, as seen (respectively) here and here. No god tier player has ever been shown receiving a command from a terminal.
It is unclear if a player needs further training to use the full extent of their aspect's power after ascending. Jade and Aradia demonstrated immediate mastery over their power. However, it should be noted that they were likely aware of what these powers were and how to use them due to each integrating with a version of themself that was once a Sprite. John was able to use his powers soon after ascension, but had already previously learned about his ability to control the breeze. The B2 Kids show no immediate understanding of their powers upon ascension and are instead easily overwhelmed by their aggressors.
There are several abilities that all god tier players gain, regardless of their associated aspect and title, such as the ability to fly and the ability to surpass the need for a strife specibus and presumably use any weapon if they level up enough.
In the Epilogues, it is shown that god-tiers can take a higher amount of damage than mortals, as shown when John casually resisted the heat from a column of air above lava.
- Main article: Conditional immortality
Players who achieve god tier are also biologically immortal, meaning that they cannot die [ex: of old age] unless they are killed, and after completing a session, would live in the newly created universe as literal gods. Even if they are killed, they are resurrected unless the death was either "Heroic" or "Just."
Characters known to have attained god tier status
Pre-Scratch troll session (A1)
Damara Megido, Mituna Captor, Meulin Leijon, and Kurloz Makara did not give straight answers when asked by Meenah whether they had attained their god tiers.
Post-Scratch troll session (A2)
Pre-Scratch human session (B1)
Post-Scratch human session (B2)
God tier players from unknown doomed timelines
- At least three instances of Tavros Nitram, the Page of Breath
- At least one instance of Sollux Captor, the Mage of Doom
- At least one instance of Karkat Vantas, the Knight of Blood
- At least one instance of Nepeta Leijon, the Rogue of Heart
- At least one instance of Kanaya Maryam, the Sylph of Space
- At least one instance of Terezi Pyrope, the Seer of Mind
- At least one instance of Equius Zahhak, the Heir of Void
- At least two instances of Eridan Ampora, the Prince of Hope
- At least two instances of Feferi Peixes, the Witch of Life
- At least two instances of Damara Megido, the Witch of Time
- At least two instances of Rufioh Nitram, the Rogue of Breath
- At least two instances of Mituna Captor, the Heir of Doom
- At least one instance of Kankri Vantas, the Seer of Blood
- At least two instances of Meulin Leijon, the Mage of Heart
- At least one instance of Porrim Maryam, the Maid of Space
- At least one instance of Latula Pyrope, the Knight of Mind
- At least one instance of Horuss Zahhak, the Page of Void
- At least one instance of Kurloz Makara, the Prince of Rage
- At least one instance of Cronus Ampora, the Bard of Hope
- At least one instance of Calliope, the Muse of Space
- Revenge of Doctor Ragnarok
- Growing Panes Await
- Sayonara Kansas
- Pentacle Therapist
- Ariadne's Threadspinner
- Surya's Lurid Glare (not yet achieved)
- Hotpotato Butterfingers
- Revenge of Ricky Schrödinger
- Pimpslayer (not yet achieved)
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