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LRoq617
02-18-2016, 12:58 PM
Hello, all. There have been a lot of recent posts about personal ranking systems for characters in this game, so I thought I'd bother to include my own, this one being for the classic 1-character variation. This one will include all expansions (with a few exceptions) and our group uses several mixed decks across all sets. I'll be sure to accommodate which characters work better with what sets if need be, but as a general rule, if a character is only good with one specific configuration, then that probably means they aren't all that great to begin with, in a general sense.

I've since eliminated the use of the Street Fighter DBG. It was a very fun experiment, but now that "zones" have been ruled to be different, there's really not much point in trying to utilize it anymore. Plus, removing it has brought about a better sense of balance, especially in terms of Weaknesses.

Here are some specifics:

1) No "Crisis" mode characters. I've tried them, and while some are fringe playable for utility (Wonder Woman, Starfire), the rest are either too broken (Cyborg, Shazam), actually unplayable (Black Canary, Booster Gold), or underpowered. So as a general rule, they're all left out, unless we decide to break out 2-character mode.

2) Batman 15 and Joker 15 are purposely excluded due to their lack of playability. They might as well be Crisis characters.

Here's my list, and I'll be sure to update it over time:

Top (The best, and it's always an uphill battle fighting them)
Aquaman (Still the best character, combos way too efficiently, can grief everyone, stacking just too good)
Shazam (Overpowered infinity, worse than Aquaman due to inconsistency, wins when variance is in his favor)
Starfire Promo (Most consistent drawing power, goes to work as early as turn 1)
Cyborg (Second most consistent drawing power, gets bonuses from the most accessible purchasable card)
Indigo-1 (Very similar to Cyborg, but only slightly worse due to the lack of a bonus from Kicks)
Batman 12 (Needing two types hurts, but drawing the best card in the lineup is not to be overlooked, combos easily)
Martian Manhunter (Very powerful, but also very sluggish, clunky when not streamlined)
Green Arrow (Ramps very quickly, only character that can directly interact with the SV stack regardless of top card)

High (Very good, can contend with the Top, may struggle based on availability)
Green Lantern (Solid and dependable, but can suffer if he doesn't maintain a good card flow)
Animal Man (Easier to trigger than Green Lantern, but the difference between +2 and +3 is huge)
Wildcat (Arguably the best draw character in the game, but there is a major downside in that it triggers on cards you don't want)
The Comedian (Originally higher, but the new FAA ruling hurt him quite a bit, just a worse Indigo-1 now)
Bane (Ramps very quickly, but doesn't ramp well if the lineup doesn't contain at least one 6 or 7-cost bomb)
Dr. Fate (Probably my favorite character, somewhat inconsistent, very powerful when he does what he needs to do)
Felicity Smoak (Combos very well, just requires some patience, but it's still mising free VP)
Ozymandias (Love the ability, but it really doesn't do enough on its own, only great early)
King Shark (Character has exceeded expectations, better in Forever Evil, but plays fine with any set)
White Lantern Deadman (I like this character, and he is good, similar to Wildcat in that he works best with bad cards)

High Mid (Fun characters, but very high in variance, hard to be a contender)
Nightwing (Similar to Cyborg, but definitely worse, relies too much on one card type)
Rorschach (Surprisingly good, makes great use of Vulnerability, can grief discard pile-reliant cards when no deck is available)
Beast Boy (Very good utility, works best with Super Powers and cards like Starbolt, same with Heroes and Hawkgirl)
Captain Boomerang (Excellent early game, best in Forever Evil with cards like Royal Flush Gang or Bizarro Power)
Black Adam (One of my favorite characters, easy to grind, very fun to play, albeit a bit redundant)
Dr. Manhattan (Surprisingly consistent, and definitely the best trash character)
Wonder Woman (Better than Luthor due to the higher rate of SV triggers that she can hit)
The Flash (Going first is huge, and you'll almost always have first access to the better draw spells)
Harley Quinn (Very good with Teen Titans since popping Ongoing counts as a discard, worse Flash otherwise)
Superboy (The best of this particular Teen Titans cycle, takes very little to trigger, benefits greatly from non-Titans cards like Force Field and Promise to a Friend)
Sinestro (Would be higher if his ability couldn't be defended, better in Forever Evil when he can mise VPs from cards like Transmutation)
Cheetah (This one's still under the microscope, but she seems fine here, better in FE and TT with the additional cheap purchases)
The Joker 12 (Worse than Batman 12 since he can whiff, but at least it's easier to trigger thanks to Kicks)
Roy Harper (Griefing Super Power characters is juice, only downside is he's kinda slow)
Bizarro (Anti-griefing can do wonders, but may not do much if he can't acquire a trash card)
The Joker Promo (He has some very cool interactions like Time Travel, but outside of Forever Evil, he's fairly risky)

Mid (Very specific requirements are needed in order to be good)
Poison Ivy (Very good in Teen Titans with continual Ongoing plays, but acquiring non-Kick Super Powers can be a struggle)
Lex Luthor (Cheaper cards are better than Wonder Woman's options, but no SV triggers hurts, obviously better in Forever Evil)
Superman/Hawkman/Black Canary (All essentially the same, all fine, none great or special, just do what they do)
Starfire TT (Very consistent trashing ability, but obviously better in Teen Titans)
Skitter (Green Lantern for Teen Titans, very good with multiple cheap ongoing cards)
Kid Flash (I feel like I haven't seen this character's true potential, except in Teen Titans where he just buys everything)
Batman (So much worse than ilk like Hawkman/Black Canary/Superman, cannot compete with better equipment characters at all)
Raven/Red Robin/Wonder Girl (All very similar, obviously better in Teen Titans with more Ongoing cards)
Booster Gold (Better options as Defense wins out over Stargirl, actually busted with static defense like Blue Beetle/Mon-el)
Stargirl (Defense cards are way better on offense here, but that's not why you bought them, is it?)
Red Tornado (Very fun to play, but requires too much work, also plays for the long game so he gets blown out by fast starts)
Black Manta (He's so much worse than Aquaman that it saddens me, no stacking Kicks is an automatic thumbs down)
Batgirl (Fluid utility, but just not very powerful)
Zatanna Zatara (Essentially a slightly worse Batgirl)

Low Mid (Just worse than the rest of the mid tier)
Constantine (Not consistent enough, way worse than someone like Bane)
Deadshot (He has some awesome interactions in Teen Titans plus some great turns, but it takes a lot of work)
Oliver Queen (Needs Arrow cards to get there, biggest nerf is the fact that you can only ability at the start of your turn)
Red Lantern Supergirl (I don't like characters that depend on the opponent, but at least the support is there)
Sara Lance (Mildly worse than Black Manta aside from some support, essentially the same boat as Oliver... see what I did there?)
Nite Owl (Can set up some really cool turns, but the power level just isn't be there, probably only good with the Bat Signal deck)
John Diggle (Cute ability to reuse defense cards, but definitely worse than others that require them)
Swamp Thing (Arguably very powerful, but does squat if no Locations appear, which is somewhat common)
Deathstroke (Better in Forever Evil, but just not powerful enough overall without a card like Lobo or Phantom Stranger)
Killer Frost (She's awful without VP to spend, better in Forever Evil when you can just blow up 1-drops in the line-up for all of the value)
Mr. Terrific (Deck-stacking is good, but when he bricks, he's just the worst)
Saint Walker (Seems good on paper, but way worse in practice, it's awful when you miss as you effectively have no ability)
Blue Beetle (Reminds me of Crisis Flash, just too much work for what other characters usually do better, only good in Teen Titans)
Batman 9 (Not very good, only triggers off one purchase per turn, strictly worse than Wonder Woman or Luthor)

Low (Avoid at all costs unless you just want the challenge)
The Joker 9 (If he triggered on Kicks, he'd be OP, so we got this instead)
Brainiac 5 (Without Time Travel, he's a worse Beast Boy, won't get there often enough)
Cosmic Boy/Lightning Lad/Saturn Girl (Not enough oomph to really get there, too resource intensive)
Chameloen Boy (I haven't found a configuration where he does enough, only benefits from Time Travel)
Phantom Girl (With even one Time Travel card in the lineup, she's insane, but that can be a big "if")
Power Girl (Worse than Superman, as in way worse)
Alan Scott (Even worse than that)
Silk Spectre/Jay Gerrick/Star Sapphire (Moderate ability, but deck tunneling is just worse than actually drawing, only redeemed by multiple triggers in a turn)
Kyle Rayner (Only seems to win by losing, which isn't a good strategy to get ahead, maybe a decent counterpick?)
Robin (Still the worst character in the game IMO, ability doesn't trigger nearly often enough, not concise in any way)

Akatzukilord
02-18-2016, 04:54 PM
Is this a 1 character Tier List? Also do you Play 1vs1 or more players? You forgot Kid Flash :D

StormKing
02-19-2016, 12:23 AM
Just wanted to point out with Stargirl: You say Defenses are much better on Offense... but her power works when you avoid attacks as well... so Defense cards are just all around good for her whether it's during your turn or being utilized as a Defense.

LRoq617
02-19-2016, 05:11 AM
Is this a 1 character Tier List? Also do you Play 1vs1 or more players? You forgot Kid Flash :D

Yes, it's a 1-character tier list, and I've updated the post to reflect that. Sorry, I could've sworn I acknowledged that.

And yes, thanks for pointing that out. I knew there were at least 2 characters I forgot, and I also forgot The Joker Promo, so they've been added now.


Just wanted to point out with Stargirl: You say Defenses are much better on Offense... but her power works when you avoid attacks as well... so Defense cards are just all around good for her whether it's during your turn or being utilized as a Defense.

Absolutely, but my wording was forming a comparison between the two. It breaks down like this (strictly my opinion):

Offense: Draw 1 + Discard 1 > +1 Power (Stargirl advantage)
Defense: Draw 1 > Draw 1 + Discard 1 (Booster Gold advantage)

Sometimes looting can generate some good value over just simply drawing, but it's rare. In 99 cases out of 100, I'd rather just have the singleton draw, and that's especially true if I'm holding a Defense card like Blue Beetle or Mon-el.

StormKing
02-19-2016, 09:10 AM
Ah, didn't realize you were comparing to Booster.

andymo24
02-24-2016, 04:00 PM
How does your list look without considering Street Fighter characters/cards/mechanics?

LRoq617
02-24-2016, 07:07 PM
How does your list look without considering Street Fighter characters/cards/mechanics?

I don't use the characters or the "buy under your hero" mechanic, so it just comes down to the easier weaknesses and the assist for Arrow characters. Felicity and Roy probably aren't that much worse, but Oliver, Sara, and Diggle all take a hit. Bizarro should also get better since he becomes the only character with an easy way to get rid of Weaknesses.

There's a good chance that this will be what ends up happening at some point, likely whenever the next large expansion hits, for spacing purposes.

sharkboy666
02-29-2016, 05:19 PM
I've had some real success with Constantine, suprised to see you have him so low

gerrymul
03-01-2016, 10:31 AM
Constantine works really well if you have at least one Magic and/or a Signature Trenchcoat along with one or two cards that let you check or put cards on top of your deck. If you play him in a set without these sorts of cards that are prolific in Heroes Unite, or if you get shut out of those cards he can be a bit tough. It's a real shift in gameplay for a lot of people (myself included) that I really didn't get until Forever Evil came out and amped up the small deck where you trade lower power cards for the higher power - sacrificing big points in a long game in favor of a fast win with a smaller point total.

LRoq617
03-07-2016, 01:21 AM
Constantine works really well if you have at least one Magic and/or a Signature Trenchcoat along with one or two cards that let you check or put cards on top of your deck. If you play him in a set without these sorts of cards that are prolific in Heroes Unite, or if you get shut out of those cards he can be a bit tough. It's a real shift in gameplay for a lot of people (myself included) that I really didn't get until Forever Evil came out and amped up the small deck where you trade lower power cards for the higher power - sacrificing big points in a long game in favor of a fast win with a smaller point total.

Personally, I'm all for hearing about some successful Constantine stories, because I have yet to see any from him. The primary reason why I have him ranked so low is due to the fact that the wording on his ability is completely out of his favor. Let's pretend for a second that his ability destroyed the card on the trigger instead of waiting until end of turn: You'd have a version of Bane with multiple applications that can still get what he wants by abusing cards that people normally don't want to be. It'd be awesome, and hardly overpowered, but instead, we got a poorly-worded ability that doesn't allow for a lot of abuse.

If this were a 2-character list, I'd have him ranked a lot higher due to his synergy with characters like Shazam and the aforementioned Bane. But as it is, he just doesn't do enough. As previously mentioned, deck-stacking helps, but even with that, it becomes difficult for him to fight characters that are just that much better.

LRoq617
03-07-2016, 01:24 AM
The OP will be updated soon with the inclusion of the six Crisis 3 characters. Hopefully I'll get some time to play this week. From what I've seen thus far, Captain Boomerang seems solid yet easily griefed, King Shark can do a lot as long as he has synergy, and Poison Ivy is a beast in Teen Titans due to triggering from Ongoing cards. Killer Frost seems... not great, at least not without VP gaining. Deadshot seems fairly lackluster, but I like Cheetah quite a bit, at least on paper.

SpiritDetective
03-07-2016, 10:29 AM
I'm looking forward to playing Poison Ivy in Teen Titans. Giving people starters is so much fun.

gerrymul
03-07-2016, 12:07 PM
As said, Constantine requires Magic to really work well (reveal a Kick with Constantine's ability - draw it, get a total of 3 power, use Magic on it, so you have 5 power from a kick). Agreed, he's less powerful than Bane outright, but you do have the potential to get a free draw and plus 1 power on your turn. On his own he only has a slight precog ability that can help if become a location hog, or grab Animal Man, Two Face, T-Spheres or other cards that ask you to guess a card type/card in order to draw. As with most oversize heroes, being able to get the blue hero card associated with your character can be a great help for that character. He also requires quick culling of starters so you don't end up with dud turns from his ability.

SushiSquid
03-09-2016, 07:07 PM
As said, Constantine requires Magic to really work well (reveal a Kick with Constantine's ability - draw it, get a total of 3 power, use Magic on it, so you have 5 power from a kick).
6 power. The wording on Constantine's card is very intentional. It says the card itself now has +1 power. So in that case you'd have 6 power. But without some locations from Heroes or other cards to let you look at your deck, you likely won't get that very often.


Speaking of looking at your deck, you should really reconsider Mr. Terrific. Sure, his ability sounds like it might be too reliant on one card type without enough reward, but look again. He can look at the top three cards of his deck! That can be abused so well with so many cards. Firestorm Matrix becomes guaranteed awesome, but even things like Two Face and Animal Man are better when you're playing as Mr. Terrific. And Blackgate Prison becomes actually worthwhile. Even draw cards are more effective when you can stack the top of your deck.

LRoq617
03-09-2016, 10:46 PM
6 power. The wording on Constantine's card is very intentional. It says the card itself now has +1 power. So in that case you'd have 6 power. But without some locations from Heroes or other cards to let you look at your deck, you likely won't get that very often.


Speaking of looking at your deck, you should really reconsider Mr. Terrific. Sure, his ability sounds like it might be too reliant on one card type without enough reward, but look again. He can look at the top three cards of his deck! That can be abused so well with so many cards. Firestorm Matrix becomes guaranteed awesome, but even things like Two Face and Animal Man are better when you're playing as Mr. Terrific. And Blackgate Prison becomes actually worthwhile. Even draw cards are more effective when you can stack the top of your deck.

He's a character I wish I liked more, because deck-stacking can definitely be to an advantage, but unfortunately, it's just too limited. Not only do you have to discard a punch (which limits the potential value to a card like Daughter of Gotham City), but, as you said, you also need a specific card type. If his ability was just "Discard a card, stack your next 3," I'd like it a bit better, because then you'd get value out of Vulnerabilities and no downside without a discard pile, i.e. you could discard a Hero to your ability only to pick it up with Bat Signal or something similar.

His ability is interesting, yes, but it's just too narrow IMO for him to be considered a good character in 1v1. 2v2 is a completely different story. He's busted as hell in that mode, especially with Harley Quinn.

gerrymul
03-10-2016, 10:27 AM
I absolutely destroyed yesterday in 2 games with Mr Terrific. Like most JSA characters, they are early game focused, letting you get the jump on higher cost cards earlier. After turn 4 I had managed to get Monument Point, a Deadman to get rid of 2 Vulnerabilities, and then got a Plastic Man and Mind Control Hat by turn 6. Game over.

LexLuthorJr
03-10-2016, 04:14 PM
I absolutely destroyed yesterday in 2 games with Mr Terrific. Like most JSA characters, they are early game focused, letting you get the jump on higher cost cards earlier. After turn 4 I had managed to get Monument Point, a Deadman to get rid of 2 Vulnerabilities, and then got a Plastic Man and Mind Control Hat by turn 6. Game over.

I would attribute those victories to luck, not Mr. Terrific. An early game Deadman is a big advantage, and Mind Control Hat pretty much guarantees any victory.

LRoq617
03-13-2016, 08:35 PM
OP has been updated to reflect Crisis 3 characters. I've also completely removed all traces of Street Fighter, so Weaknesses are balanced once again, making characters like Joker Promo and Bizarro better, while making characters like Captain Boomerang slightly worse.

EDIT: Is there any way to edit topic names?

Matt_Hyra
03-13-2016, 11:48 PM
EDIT: Is there any way to edit topic names?

I'm able to, so I did it.

LRoq617
03-14-2016, 12:02 AM
I'm able to, so I did it.

You da bess.

SushiSquid
03-14-2016, 08:40 AM
I don't know how you can say Killer Frost is awful without VPs. It's very rare that I'd rather pay a VP than just discard a single card. And her power might not be amazing (because of the 4 cost limit), but it's pretty solid. Some cheaper cards are quite good, and being able to deny other players some of those cards helps. I do wish she'd been 5 or less, though. 6 might be pushing it, but 5 would have really improved her.

I'm also really curious why you think King Shark is anything but a turd. He's +1 Power every three turns, which is terrible. And if you want more, you have to waste VPs from other sources at an astoundingly bad conversion. Even at 2 VPs per power I wouldn't like him. 3 is jokingly bad.

midnight_rider
03-14-2016, 09:52 AM
I think Kyle Rayner is very good. The thing is being aware of what is in your deck. My strategy with him is to always discard a hand of power 5 or less when I can (unless there is a 5 cost card I really, really want), as I know a new hand is likely to be better. A simple +1 or 2 power hand upgrade makes a big difference. The more the better.

gerrymul
03-14-2016, 02:45 PM
Ditto on Kyle Rayner.
However, I do agree with Killer Frost being tough to play, but it can be entirely lineup dependent. I played yesterday and had very few time there were any cards in the lineup that I would discard a card cost 1 or greater to use. Part of that was being denied any of the 3 cost destroy cards that I could use to play a card in the lineup, but eventually got Pandora's Box. Problem was that it was too late to catch up by that point. There aren't too many 4 or less cost cards in FE that are going to be more useful for me to discard a card, use, and destroy than to just buy. Power is at such a premium in FE...

LexLuthorJr
03-14-2016, 10:55 PM
King Shark isn't that awful. He's leaps and bounds better in Forever Evil, but there are a few things going for him in other sets as well. In FE, he's able to use Man-Bat Serum right out of the gate. Most characters can't use it for some time, but Shark can get +4 Power as early as turn four, which is huge. He can also maintain this +4 Power by carefully orchestrating the use of his ability. If no MBS is available, another option is to simply stock up the VPs, then dump some of them to gain a Super Villain quickly. Even getting the first SV can make a big difference in the game as a whole. If nothing else, when playing a set other than FE, he basically gets 4 VP for free by the end of the game. I've seen many games decided with only a two or three point difference.

LexLuthorJr
03-14-2016, 11:01 PM
Killer Frost is actually also very good in Teen Titans. Many cards are Cost 1 and 2, which can be discarded to play something better out of the line up. Teen Titans also has many good cards of Cost 4 to play from the line-up.

LRoq617
03-15-2016, 12:29 AM
I can promise this much: I didn't rank a character like King Shark that high without testing it. He was consistently performing well against characters that are among the all-time best. He does have some significant upsides, including always having the option to have an additional +1 Power on turn 3. Not a lot of characters can do that; characters like Hawkman or Black Canary have to be able to draw the Hero/Villain they bought on said turn in order to reap the benefits, whereas you just always have it. It's not uncommon at all for him to be able to buy a 6 or 7-cost bomb on turns 3 or 4, whereas others have a bit more variance. Yeah, in FE, he's definitely at his best, as Man-Bat Serum is insane with this character; on turn 3, it's a Gorilla Grodd that you paid 3 Power for, and it's going to be a Punch at its worst. The VPs also matter quite a bit, as pointed out. At the end of the game, if you're just sitting on 4 naturally-inherited VPs, that's essentially another Super-Villain in your deck.

Killer Frost, eh... I just feel like no matter what she does, she has too many limits. She can have quite a bit of upside, however; if you're spending 1 VP to play a Kick-equivalent out of the Lineup (i.e. Mera, Element Woman), then that's a better trade-off than King Shark, but you're trading variance for consistency, and that tends to not win many games unless you have an OP ability like Shazam or something. I do, however, agree on the Teen Titans bit. One of my utilized strategies for Frost was to always try to have cheap Defense cards that are horrible when you have to play them on your turn (i.e. Magic Bracers, Katana) that can be discarded for an upside. It's similar to the strategy I employ with White Lantern Deadman, but there's a significant drawback: cost 4 or less. She really can't do much with that, with Forever Evil being an exception since you can destroy the 1-drops for free value (especially Emperor Penguin). I do wish it had been 5-cost, because you could get a lot more mileage out of that, in addition to griefing, say, Power Rings for example, or even burning away Royal Flush Gangs. 6, however, would've been too much. I think her ability is interesting, but it just isn't powerful enough for her to be a good character, I guess.

Kyle Rayner may be another character that I'll have to test out again. Based on previous suggestions, I've re-tested characters like Constantine and Mr. Terrific that I haven't played in quite some time, so I'm open to other implied low tier characters to try again. In my history, Kyle just hasn't really done enough, and all he's really done is anti-grief. Someone pointed out the option of discarding any hand that doesn't have at least 5 Power; I can completely understand that reasoning, but... if you're waiting for a bad hand like that, then why even play the character? Besides, aren't most 5-Power hands something like Kick-Punch-Punch-Punch-Vulnerability? You can't discard that hand with Kyle since it only has 2 colors.

midnight_rider
03-15-2016, 09:20 AM
Early game it's not uncommon to have something like a kick, Katana, a couple of punches, maybe a weakness, If I know Brother Blood is in my deck, that hand is ditched without a second thought. Mid to later game, if you're drawing a 6,7 or 8 power hand, depending what's in the deck, a 9,10, 11 or better as a replacement is a gamble I'd take. Or the lineup may be currently undesirable, so a calculated risk/swing at the SV is more enticing. There are naturally exceptions and variables depending on how the lineup is looking, and what kind of draw power you've been able to assemble.

I'm not saying Rayner is as easy as Martian Manhunter or Aquaman to get rolling, but I've found him to be rewarding to play. As opposed to someone like Robin. Too much work for little to no payoff.