This is a comprehensive (adventure, pvp, bossing) tierlist that will be frequently updated as long as I am still playing the game. Explanations are included for each category and unit. This an endgame tierlist designed to be helpful for f2p and whales alike.
I am Monkey in game and MonkeyGotCrit on discord. I have been the best or one of the best in the world at every game I have played seriously. This includes both f2p and p2w games across various platforms and genres. A full list can be found here:
In this game I have one of the strongest accounts, consistently pushing a 3.5x+ real deficit in Adventure, winning Section 1 (toughest section) of High Ranker Arena with weaker teams, and helping popularize many bossing strategies, including the usage of Shibisu and Blarode.
The higher the tier, the more consistently the unit can be used now and in the future in the corresponding game mode to succeed. Succeed: push a 3.5x+ real deficit in Adventure, win given equal real power in regular and ranker arena, deal more damage to bosses given equal real power. R/SR units will be included in the tierlist if at least B tier in 1 category.
This applies to triple team adventure stages. 3.5x deficit means that each enemy team is 3.5x the power of your team. Real deficit: Main carry 20 levels up, all units level 30 EE, +5 gear, level 6 rapport, maxed limit break, equal stats in research lab, ignition weapon, and tri essence. 3.5x+ real deficit is a measure of how good a unit is in adventure. S tier units can always be used at this deficit; the lower the tier, the less success it will have at 3.5x+ real deficit. I have seen many people claim to have no problem in endgame using a unit, while they are only pushing something like a 1.5x fake deficit, which is closer to a 1x real deficit. For example, it is theoretically possible to push 10x+ deficits in early game with a fully maxed Hatz and 4 uninvested units, but this is a "fake" deficit, because as you near endgame and max all units, you will find that gaining 4x the power by maxing your other units will not get you much further than when you only had Hatz maxed. The reason only level is not equalized is because only the strongest whales can reach maximum level on all 5 units. Thus the optimal strategy for the rest will always be to overlevel the main carry by 20 levels. Other power sources such as gear and limit break you will eventually reach the cap for in endgame.
In terms of your units, this means the same parameters as the real deficit mentioned above. In terms of content, this means Chapter 37+ in Adventure.
As resources are scarce, investing in a unit is a big decision and takes a long time, so you would like to invest in good ones. This tierlist designed to be "future proof" in the endgame, meaning that even when new units powercreep, the high tier units on this list, while not optimal, will still be very good. As f2p, you will progress slower than spenders, but this is an idle game, so that is ok. You would rather have invested in a unit that is a little bit worse in your first 2 weeks if you are a new player, but very good for the next 6 months, rather than something slightly better for your first 2 weeks but unusable for the next 6 months (wasted resources). Because it is extremely unlikely for f2p to join high ranker, the pvp section of the tierlist is based on regular and ranker arena only.
Has not been fully tested at endgame yet. I will add it to the tierlist in once tested.
The previous argument that whales did not experience accuracy issues like f2p/low spenders, thus making rangers and assassins worse than they appear is now no longer valid. While adventure accruracy was nerfed, the release of new floors up to F45 now means that all players, whale or not, experience the accuracy issue. This also means that once you reach the maximum possible 3.5x+ real deficit mentioned above, and are at the point where your accuracy is lower than enemy evasion, the real deficit you can push actually goes down, making it no longer important. At this point the auto god meta begins, referring to the use of the auto progress feature and having the game up 24/7 while monitoring it on the side to change formations every so often. With enough retries (I've seen 1500+), you will eventually get lucky enough to land most of your skills despite having much lower accuracy than enemy evasion, clearing the stage. With the game's poor optimization, this puts people who cannot be on all the time to change formations/restart the game when it crashes at a disadvantage, which is in my opinion an unhealthy state for an idle game, but I digress.
While previous meta was Acc Eva, since the release of F45 the accuracy needed to reach enemy evasion has been massively increased. With how IWs work by giving you the ability to hard focus on 1 stat, it is therefore optimal to focus on accuracy over evasion, because splitting would result in the worse of both worlds. I had still previously recommended Acc Eva build, due to devs saying that there would be nerfs to adventure accuracy and evasion stats, but with the nerfs coming in the F50 patch being not enough, it is clear that they plan to keep the maximum evasion on enemies right above the range of the reachable accuracy, even for whales. Thus if you are accuracy focused on IW, evasion is no longer stackable to the point where you are not getting hit, which means a pivot to another stat in tri essence is the play. For most people, I would recommend this to be swiftness, due to how it is useful in all 3 gameplay types.
There has been recent sentiment among many of a new tank meta, deriving from the fact that you are able to stack double resistance slot 4 and 5 IWs, and with similar substat rolls on other IWs, reach close to an average of 100% on both resistance types on characters without inbuilt resistance buffs. Because of this, you would be taking essentially 0 damage against all characters without inbuilt pierce, which is especially useful in adventure, given the stat differential.
This is true, because mathematically, pierce scales infinitely (with diminishing returns past 100%), whereas building resistances over 100% does not actually do anything given no enemy pierce. This means that building resistances will actually give you compounding returns as you build more, instead of the diminishing returns pierce gives.
For example, if I were to want to do 2x my original damage, I would have to build 100% pierce. However, I would only have to build 50% resistance to 1/2 my original damage taken. There is attempted balance with the fact that there is both physical and magical resistance, which means that 50% of both resistances/100% pierce is the break even point if both resistance types have equal value, which is a whole other conversation. But pierce can only be guaranteed on slot 5, whereas resistances can be on both slot 4 and 5, which makes it easier to stack resistances.
There are a couple of things to take away from this. Many think that characters like Kurdan/Ren with inbuilt resistance buffs would become better because of this, but is actually the exact opposite. If you were to be following my tierlist in building characters, you should be building Zahard then Urek then Evankhell. The role of a tank is to protect your carries, but what if your carries themselves are tanks? These 3 characters with magic resistance and bergamot builds in addition to inbuilt invincibility, lifesteal, stat buffs allows them to be both the tank and the dps, meaning that characters like Kurdan and Horyang that pretty much do nothing but tank are obsolete.
What about yellow and purple? Yes Durek cannot tank, and neither can Yeon, but yellow has Evan, which makes your Yeon a tank. Purple has the old tank/cc combination of Karaka Endorsi Khun, but even if that does not allow your Gustang/Hoaquin to survive, purple should be your last concern, because it is currently the weakest element that can only be used against weak enemy teams. Whenever an actual S tier purple adventure carry releases is when the support purple has will already be enough. This is not even taking into account that if you resistance stack on Gustang/Hoaquin, you would also be the tank, further making regular tanks obsolete.
Another takeaway is that there is now branching patches between adventure builds and pvp/boss builds. The current optimal build in adventure is to stack resistances and accuracy, whereas for pvp/bosses you want pierce and much less accuracy. Personally, because I focus on pvp specifically, this would mean that my build makes the real deficit I can push in adventure lower than someone who is focusing on adventure, although even then I am pushing 3.5x real deficit.
So with all of this being said, do I recommend you to resist stack? No. I tested stats a day after initial IW release and arrived at a conclusion that pierce/magic resist on slots 4 and 5 are optimal for most characters, and I stand by that conclusion.
For pvp and bosses, pierce is the obvious choice. For adventure, despite resistance stacking being currently optimal, I predict that this will change in the future. Considering that it takes a full +20 on slots 4 and 5 with high level IWs with good resistance rolls to resist stack, If this is changed, this will mean that you will have wasted building a slot 5, and have suboptimal stats on your other 4 slots. We all know netmarble is prone to adventure buffs/nerfs, and meta shifts as a result of new systems. If everyone were to resist stack, then that would mean you can push real deficits infinitely up to a point where you do you not have enough to outdamage potential healing. I would estimate this to be something like 6-7x real deficit.
Seems extremely unlikely that Netmarble, an experienced gacha milker would allow such an obvious loophole to continue existing. To combat this, they can either release almost all future characters with inbuilt pierce, or just add new IW stats, including pierce to adventure enemies, which would making resistance stacking useless. As for which one is the more obvious and logical choice, I'll let you decide. You know my thoughts.
It has been a while since I have updated the tierlist, with no updates in January. Part of that was because of lack of time, but the other part was because of certain theories I had unrelated to gameplay testing/meta, that I wanted to confirm. I have now confirmed those theories, and with the timing on this tierlist update, I'm sure you can draw your own conclusions on what those theories were.
- February 4, 2024:
- Added "Tri essence stat meta" section to the Intro and FAQ
- Added "Rumors of a tank meta - my thoughts" section to the Intro and FAQ
- Added "Reason for January tierlist update gap" section to the Intro and FAQ
- Units that were only optimal on event bosses are now universally moved down to D tier, due to the uniqueness of the event bosses we have had so far. Explanation remains unchanged
- Units that can be used on certain bosses, but are not optimal on any are universally moved to D tier
- Khun Edahn boss A>S, explanation updated
- Khun Edahn pvp explanation updated, no tier change
- Mascheny pvp explanation updated, no tier change
- Mascheny boss A>D, explanation updated
- Karaka boss explanation updated, no tier change
- Evankhell boss explanation updated, no tier change
- Viole boss C>D, explanation updated
- Zahard boss D>B, explanation updated
- Zahard adventure explanation updated, no tier change
- Yeon boss C>D, explanation updated
- Wangnan boss C>D, explanation updated
- Vespa adventure B>D, explanation updated
- Vespa pvp B>D, no explanation change
- Vespa boss explanation updated, no tier change
- Shibisu adventure explanation updated, no tier change
- Hunter Rak adventure B>D, explanation updated
- Goseng boss C>D, explanation updated
- Hoaquin boss explanation updated, no tier change
- Khun Aguero boss explanation updated, no tier change
- Khun Kiseia boss C>D, explanation updated
- Khun Kiseia adventure B>A explanation updated
- Narae boss B>D, explanation updated
- Lurker Kim boss D>B, explanation updated
- Amigocharz adventure C>D, explanation updated
- Amigocharz pvp B>D, explanation updated
- Michael adventure D>B, explanation updated
- Michael pvp C>B, explanation updated
- Michael boss C>D, explanation updated
- Apple adventure C>B, explanation updated
- Lero Ro boss B>D, explanation updated
- Khun Ran boss B>D, no explanation change
- Khun Ran adventure A>B, explanation updated
- Kurdan adventure B>C, explanation updated
- Kurdan pvp A>B, no explanation change
- Horyang Kang adventure B>D, explanation updated
- Horyang Kang boss D>B, explanation updated
- Quant pvp C>D, explanation updated
- Quant boss C>D, explanation updated
- Ha Yuri adventure C>D, explanation updated
- Ha Yuri pvp B>C, no explanation change
- Laure boss C>D, no explanation change
- Miseng Yeo adventure D>A, explanation updated
- Miseng Yeo pvp C>S, explanation updated
- Edin Dan pvp C>D, explanation updated
- Yeonhee boss C>B, explanation updated
- Shane pvp B>C, no explanation change
- Leeron 3 adventure D>B, explanation updated
- Leeron 3 boss explanation updated, no tier change
- Blanc boss B>D, explanation updated
- Gustang boss B>D, explanation updated
- Added [Dollmaker] Verdi
- Added [Data] Urek
- Added [Mad Dog's Angel] Ron Mei
- Added [Punisher] Ren
- Added [Compressed] Rak
- Added [Gemmed Rings] Yeongsuk
- Added [Flail] Tin
- December 25, 2023:
- Updated all Intro and FAQ sections containing "3x real deficit" to "3.5x real deficit", as this is now the new maximum possible with the addition of ignition weapons
- Updated "What does 3.5x+ real deficit mean" section of Intro and FAQ to include ignition weapons
- Updated "What does engame mean" section of Intro and FAQ to be F37+, to account for the inroduction of ignition weapons and 2 previous adventure nerfs
- (Re)added "The accuracy issue 2.0 and auto god meta" section to the Intro and FAQ
- Units that are now only optimal on 1 boss are now universally moved down to B tier, to be consistent with Evan boss rating
- Viole adventure A>S, explanation updated
- Vespa adventure A>B, explanation updated
- Hatz pvp C>D, explanation updated
- Hatz boss A>D, explanation updated
- Narae adventure A>B
- Novick boss A>B, see above explanation
- Khun Ran boss A>B, see above explanation
- Child Endorsi adventure C>B, explanation updated
- Child Endorsi boss A>B, explanation updated
- Chungchung adventure B>D, explanation updated
- Chungchung pvp B>D, explanation updated
- Rachel (collab) adventure B>C, explanation updated
- Rachel (collab) boss A>S, explanation updated
- Added Blanc
- Added Gustang
- December 6, 2023:
- Viole adventure B>A explanation updated
- Viole pvp B>S explanation updated
- Laure adventure C>B explanation updated
- Hansung adventure explanation updated, no tier change
- Xiaxia pvp A>S explanation updated
- Gyetang pvp explanation updated, no tier change
- Karaka adventure A>S, explanation updated
- Vespa pvp A>B, explanation updated
- Deleted "accuracy issue" section in Intro &FAQ, with the November adventure accuracy nerfs and the addition of ignition weapons as another source, accuracy is no longer an issue
- Goseng pvp C>A, explanation updated
- Ghost pvp explanation updated, no tier change
- Anaak pvp A>B, explanation updated
- Blarode pvp A>S, explanation updated
- Khun Hatzling adventure C>B, explanation updated
- Khun Hatzling pvp C>B, explanation updated
- Child Endorsi pvp explanation updated, no tier change
- Added Rachel (green)
- Added Yeonhee
- Added Shane
- Added Leeron 3
- November 22, 2023: Changed Hoaquin boss rating to S
- November 18, 2023: Added Hoaquin
- November 14, 2023: Changed Novick boss rating to A
- November 8, 2023: Added Novick
- November 4, 2023: Created tierlist, units up to Urek