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Lost Ark Tier List – PvP & PvE: The best Lost Ark classes

Here is a Lost Ark Tier List for PvE and PvP.

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Update April 21: The April update has arrived, with the Glaivier, aka the Lance Master now added to the game. We have updated the tier list to reflect the class in both PvP and PvE scenarios based on RU and KR data.

If you are one of the players lucky enough to have avoided the Lost Ark queuing system you are doubtless wondering how the different classes match up against each other. Here we are ranking the 15 different classes that are available for the western launch. Moreso, we are ranking them into two different tables, one for PvE and PvP. This is so you can get an idea, using the factors we value to most to get an idea of the best classes in Lost Ark.

Lost Ark Tier List Methodology

Before we go any further, we want to elaborate that the recent balance changes in Korea are the balance patch of the Lost Ark Western release. Therefore, it is easy enough to go on any Korean and Russian ranking website and see who the best players are in the game.

If you’re interested in finding out what class has the highest ceiling at the minute, we recommend checking out the Korean leaderboards. However, don’t get too bogged down with this, as there are quite a lot of factors that go into making a class good. Not to say that all classes are not good in their own right.

There are three main factors we are considering in this Lost Ark tier list in PvE:

  1. Party buffs and desireable
  2. Easy or hard to play
  3. Damage ceiling
  4. Cheap or expensive to build – also affected by popularity.

Let us start off with class buffs. Every class has a party buff, helping the team in some capacity. Some classes offer flat damage buffs, while others can lower the defensive stats of a class or offer crit chance buffs. Therefore, taking into account all the added bonus a class can bring to the table increases the likelihood of a class ascending this Lost Ark Tier List.

Lost Ark Sharpshooter Guide

The other factor we are looking into is the class’s difficulty. There are quite a lot of classes that are rather hard to play. Some classes are squishy and may require you to get in close range and deal damage, putting your character at risk of mechanics, or the boss switching aggro and bonking you into the abyss. Meanwhile, some builds you opt to make are more prone to death in favor of extra damage.

Another factor we are considering is the damage ceiling. Some classes have some incredible numbers when played optimally. You will need to know fights and your group composition to make the most out of them. It means that exceptional players are the ones who will reap the rewards out of it. These classes tend to be Berserker, Gunslinger, and Sorceress, based don’t the all-time highest Korean rankings.

This brings us to our last point – budget. Some classes are going to need a lot of gold to get going. The more gold they need, the more likely it is to find a worse player at a class. Eventually, when you can afford all of your gems, engravings books, awakenings, gear upgrades, and more, you will feel like a god. Therefore, it may take some time for a class to get rolling. If that is the case, we will mention it, and it will only slightly affect a class’s position on this Lost Ark Tier List.

On a final note, class popularity tends to affect the budget of a class to get the build going. Berserker and the Assassins classes are likely to run into expensive class engravings the most, as is the Sorceress, along with the Gunslinger.

As for the PvP methodology, we are looking at the classes ability to climb, combined with how good the class is in its role as the DPS, Initiator or as a Support.

Lost Ark Tier List

TierPvEPvP
S+Bard, Paladin (Support)Bard, Paladin
SArtillerist, Gunlancer, Gunslinger, Sorceress,Deathblade, Shadowhunter
A+ / S-Berserker, Deathblade, Glaivier, Wardancer,Deadeye, Gunlancer, Striker, Wardancer
AShadowhunter, Sharpshooter, Soulfist, Striker, DestroyerBerserker, Gunslinger, Sorceress
BDeadeye, Scrapper,Artillerist, Glaivier, Scrapper, Soulfist,
CPaladin (DPS)Sharpshooter, Destroyer

As you can see, this Lost Ark Tier List is naturally weighted by the overall support capabilities. If you have a class that offers so many damage buffs, or some form of sustain, then it naturally comes across higher. You will also find there are a lot of classes in the A tier in the PvE section largely because they do good damage, cost a lot, or have a ceiling. Meanwhile, some classes are easier to play, and do good damage, but don’t quite have the damage ceiling as the harder to play classes.

If you’re looking to play a pure damage class, then we recommend picking which one you like the most. For example, someone who hates back attacks will find that a pure ranged character will feel so much better. In that case, a Sorceress, Sharpshooter, Gunslinger, or Artillerist will feel more appealing. Perhaps you like the idea of back attacks and fancy having lots of mobility, so the boss doesn’t kill you with mechanics? Maybe an Assassin or a Martial Artist class is for you? Like big numbers? The Soulfist and the Berserker are for you.

The purpose of this PvE tier list is to help inform players on how balanced the game is for the most part, how viable many builds are, and inform you of the class you want to play. The third point, especially if you are reading this Lost Ark Tier List around the time of the game’s western launch or are new to the game. If you do like a class, we have linked beginner class guides in the PvE tier list table.

Lost Ark Tier List Explained

Lost Ark Paladin Guide
Supports are so desirable we have no choice to give them an S+ rating.

As you can see, there are two areas of the game that stand out the most: the S+ section. The S+ section contains the game’s two dedicated support classes, the Bard and Paladin. If someone plays these two classes very well and takes all the support utility and usual builds,  they are invaluable to any PvE and PvP comp. Both classes have several ways to shield and heal their allies. In addition, both classes have several skills and tripods that offer damage buffs to their targets. Take the Paladin’s Vestige debuff, for example, while the Bard has the Courage identity skill they can use to enhance damage and crit buffs. All in all, there should always be a damage buff up on your targets, hence why they are so valuable.

Also, it is worth mentioning these two classes tend to take the same engravings, like the Awakening and the Specialist Engravings, which tend to be cheaper as typically only supports need them. Moreso, the support classes, tend not to have that much overall popularity, so there is less demand for these engravings. They are still expensive, but nowhere near as expensive or demanding as the core DPS engravings. Therefore, these classes are extremely desirable, in short supply, and are relatively cheap to build.

With the supports explained, let us explain the rest of the Lost Ark Tier List for both PvE and PvP.

Lost Ark Tier List PvE: The best Lost Ark classes for PVE

Lost Ark Gunslinger
Gunslingers are very desirable for PvE and PvP. Image via Smilegate.

The S Tier of the PvE Tier List section contains the classes that you want in the party, either because of some incredible party buffs or their ability to carry the damage.

The most standout one on the list here is the Gunslinger. This character has quite a good party DPS buff, with her 10% crit buff from three of her skills. Not to mention she can do a mixture of damage from close range, medium-range and long-range thanks to her shotgun, pistol, and sniper rifle. Also, she can tripod out of the back attacks, meaning she can play much safer than her Deadeye counterpart, still do excellent damage, and have very little reason to fail mechanics with her movement skills.

On the other hand, the Sorceress has become very popular in Korea and Russia and is likely to repeat that trend in the west. This mage class does lots of damage, has great range, and therefore never needs to put herself in dangerous situations. Not to mention she has a nice 8-second-long damage buff thanks to two of her skills, with two very competitive and viable playstyles.

Meanwhile, the Gunlancer is an off-support that can do lots of damage too. It won’t do as much damage as dedicated DPS classes, but that is okay. This class has a unique interrupt skill, thanks to its howl. This means annoying tactics and skills from enemies will get animation cancelled when he howls. Not to mention the Gun Lancer has a huge shield, making it safe, and more likely to stand in the bosses face and pick up aggro. It also has a grip skill in case lots of trash runs into group content. Moreso, this has a wide AOE shield based on the Gun Lancer’s max HP, which it has a lot of, making its team utility in progression invaluable.

Lastly, we have an Artillerist. The Artillerist is relatively easy to play and doesn’t cost as much as other popular DPS classes. This class has great damage windows and applies lots of damage buffs to enemies. The Artillerist can put stagger damage, and armor reduction debuffs on its enemies, which is great for every DPS class out there. You want one of these in your party if you can get one.

The situationally good

Lost Ark Berserker guide
Berserkers a reckless fun, but have a few drawbacks. Image via Smilegate.

As for the other classes in the PVE Tier List, the picks are all great, with the potential to make it to MVP status when you’re doing your PvE content. Examples of these include the Berserker, Deathblade, and the Shadowhunter. The drawbacks to these classes are down to them being very expensive thanks to their popularity and needing the same DPS engravings as almost every other class. On the other hand, these classes can feel vulnerable if you mess up due to squishy build choices. However, these classes tend to pump out the most damage when played optimally, making them S+ in terms of the carry potential. It’s worth considering if you are all about the big damage.

There are also very stable classes like the Striker, Scrapper, and Sharpshooter. These classes do great damage, provide fine buffs, and are useful. However, they are not going to MVP unless you are a god. The other good thing is that these classes are not as popular, so they can be cheaper to build. It’s also worth mentioning the Scrapper has good buffs, and shares similarities with the Artillerist. However, the Artillerist is so much safer, so it wins out the battle of desirability, which doesn’t help its B tier score.

A special shoutout to the Soulfist. This class has great range for a melee character, and has some incredible burst. However, the common end game build has huge highs and huge lows. Not to mention it relies a lot on its Awakening. Suppose you miss that giant white ball of super Saiyan goodness, kiss goodbye to your damage and earning MVP. These balanced strengths and weaknesses earn it a slot in the B tier.

We have added the Glaivier as an A+/S- like character. The reason why is because of the pinnacle build. The amount of raw crit and crit chance bonuses you can give yourself makes this class incredible strong. However, if you fail to get the level three of your dual meter you will fall off a cliff in damage. It has some risk, but those who get used to the playstyle will enjoy the very few white hits you see on screen.

Destroyers are a good class in PvE, but, they are nothing special. The class relies very much on perfect swings, making it somewhat clunky if you ever have to cancel earlier. Not to mention it relies on key attack speed buffs and crit buffs from the party, meaning it relies on parties with Deathblades and Gunslingers. If you find you miss your perfect swings, are unbuffed, or straight-up miss, this class can lose hope of reaching that MVP status. It makes it a solid A as it’s not too hard to play, but don’t expect too much from it.

Lastly, we want to mention a special case for the Deadeye. This class’s playstyle can be unbelievably good. However, it requires point-blank back attacks to perform while still being extremely squishy. If the Deadeye makes a mistake, it could be grave. However, if you’re determined to build this class and play it properly, a good Deadeye will feel like an S+ class.

Lost Ark Tier List PvP: Best Lost Ark classes for PvP

Lost Ark Deathblade guide
Is anyone surprised an assassin class is good at PvP? Image via Smilegate

Okay, now we are onto the Lost Ark PvP Tier List. The things you must be aware of here are more related to the role of the class. Solid initiators are great here, along with how hard classes are to lockdown, along with their super armors, combo potential, and general skill ceiling. So, classes with lower cooldowns are better, and knock-up classes are better, thanks to recent changes. Our Lost Ark PvP Tier List also considers the recent CD nerfs that defined the PvP meta in Korea and Russia.

Outside of the supports, the best is the Deathblade. This class has so many movement skills it’s almost impossible to pin down. Combine that with every skill having some form of super armor. It makes holding a Deathblade even harder. Add in the fact they do great damage anyway, and this class is perfect in PvP situations.

The next best is the Deadeye and the Gun Lancer. The Deadeye is a squishy ranged class that excels in close range. Considering the fact most classes in the game are melee, the Deadeye has no issues with gap closing. Also, the class can be quite dashy, escaping certain doom. Not to mention this class has a counter ability that can knock enemies in the air, stop their attack animation and damage them. Combine this with other throwable skills, and you can get great burst in a small window. However, when they do get locked down, they can die quickly. Hopefully, you have some support to make sure that doesn’t happen; otherwise, this class will fall down the tier list to the C tier region.

On the other hand, the Gun Lancer is one tanky boy with plenty of CC and CC denial. His shield identity skill grants super armor so it’s nigh impossible to chunk that down and use CC effectively against it. Add in the fact it has decent movement skills, a hard stun, and even a grip, and this class is capable of setting anyone up for victory.

A tier

Lost Ark Striker Skills
Knock ups for days with the Striker and Wardancer.

Then we have the higher end of the A Tiers. These classes are more than capable of carrying the game and can climb to higher elos with the right player behind them. They are also the classes that will more than likely stomp lower elos games without any real thought process behind them. Take the Berserker, for example. This class is easily telegraphed but has all the knock-up, jumps and knockdowns to keep an enemy chain combod and defeated. However, this class has long cooldowns, so you will find yourself on the back foot if you mess your opener up.

On the other hand, we have the Shadowhunter. The biggest weakness of the Shadowhunter is that it relies on tripods for its super armors. Without them, this class gets knocked down, meaning you are forced to lose some power in favour of CC immunity. However, it comes with a solid mixture of ranged and melee attacks and is fast, so it can adapt to any circumstance and still perform in almost every situation.

Meanwhile, the Sorceress is a very solid damage dealer. It relies heavily on an initiator allyr, such as a Gun Lancer, Berserker, War Dancer, or even a Paladin to party with her. The reason why is because both her Igniter and Reflux builds require set-up. The Igniter build requires the target to stay in her spell zones to do damage, while the Reflux build requires her long casts and channels to land. If they do land, well, have fun with the numbers and the rage you can sense from your enemies’ headsets.

Then we have the Gunslinger. This character is really slippery, can perform incredibly well, and has a variety of weapons to adapt to any situation. However, she is one of the squishiest classes in the game. If she gets caught, the game is pretty much over for her. But, while she is alive, expect big damage and a fun playstyle that should carry you higher up the ranked ladder.

We wanted to make a special section for two Martial Artists, the Striker and the Wardancer. Both of these classes are similar, except with slight differences. The Striker is the more damage orientated version, while the Wardancer has great defensiveness, defense buffs to her party, and reliable CC. In the recent December Korean patch, knock-ups became extremely reliable CC forms. Since both these classes use these CC in nearly every skill, you can imagine this shoots them up the ranking in this Lost Ark PvP Tier List. Combine that with no nerfs thanks to the CDR meta change, and these classes have climbed hard.

The B and C tier

Lost Ark Soulfist Guide
Soulfist has great burst, but comes with a few costs for PvP.

This part of the Lost Ark PvP tier list is all about balance. These characters have niche playstyles that can work well but struggle to climb the higher elos. The Artillerist has one of the strongest combis on the game, but it’s easily telegraphed with its setup and jump into the turret wind up. Dodge this, and you’re fine.

Meanwhile, the Sharpshooter is squishy, has long CDs, but can harass effectively at long range and be annoying to see on the battlefield. It is also crit dependent, which is not fantastic in a skill-based competitive mode. In lower elos, you’ll also land your skills, but, in higher elos, good luck with that.

Moving over to the Soulfist, this class’ problems are the same in PvP ad it is in PvE. It is a very burst class, meaning it’s easily telegraphed when this character wants to fight. Also, the fact that the ideal Awakening skill requires so much setup time is rather unreliable. However, the Soulfist does have decent ranged poke though, which helps it be irritable to her enemies before diving in for the kill window.

Then we have the Scrapper. The Scrapper deals solid damage, has lots of CC with its stagger and bonus damage to staggered enemies. However, the class has some lockdown issues. If you do lock someone down, you can kill them, but getting there is the hard part. Scrappers also suffer from high CDs, meaning you are forced to play the weaker, yet more flashy build if you want to mitigate some of its issues.

We have slapped the Destroyer into the C Tier. The class isn’t bad in PvP, as it has some solid strengths in the melee compositions, such as bonking the meta assassins subclasses for ranked grinders. However, this class is clunky and is easily kited by good Sorcs and Gunslingers, which very much perform well in the PvP meta. This class is also open to easy interrupts and counters thanks to the reliance on its damage in perfect hit windows. Good players will shine on the class in PvP whereas the average player should stay well away from it for climbing the ladder.

Which class should you pick – Tier List summery

lost ark party 2
Image via Smilegate RPG.

So, if there is any indicator as to what Lost Ark class you should play, thanks to the outlying factors in the Lost Ark Tier List, you can easily break it down into several factors.

  1. Big damage and consistency
  2. Usefullness to the party
  3. Ability to climb ranked PvP

If you’re interested in doing big damage in PvE in Lost Ark, the obvious choices are Gunslinger, Sorceress, and Berserker. An exceptional player will bring out the most from the Deathblade and Shadowhunter too, as can an Artillerist, Sharpshooter, and Striker to a lesser extent. Deadeye cand o lots of damage, but it is even more volatile than the Berserker and other squicky melees. Therefore, we don’t recommend players play it until they are more experienced with the game.

However, if you’re like the author of this article, then bringing a plethora of buffs and tools is incredibly satisfying. If you still want to damage and be useful to the team, Artillerist is the way forward. Note, their execution window and build up time may mean they have a tougher time in group content like Chaos Dungeons or other end game activities, but in boss fights they are amazing for their alternative style of party buffs and Stagger capabilities. Meanwhile, more supportive classes like the Gunlancer, Bard and Paladin offer great damage buffs, armor buffs, shielding, taunting and more. It makes these classes incredibly good and extremely valuable for any pug content.

Then lastly, we have the PvP Rankings. If you want to climb PvP, you need a class with a wide range of super armors, decent mobility, and a solid array of movements skills. It is the reason why the Nightblade and Striker in the recent Korean patches do so well. Some DPS classes are much more squishy, like the Sorceress, but they can perform well with decent initiators. The general rule of thumb of PvP DPS is how self-sufficient is the class at carrying, or how good can a DPS classes damage be if they need an initiator to set them up for success.

The dedicated supports are great for PvP in Lost Ark, too, as they can make the stronger PvP DPS feel even better, but they are hard to get used to in PvP settings. If you like initiator playstyles, then tanky classes like the Gunlancer and Wardancer may be your thing, as they take a beating and have reliable CC tools to set their team up for victory.

This concludes our Lost Ark Tier List for PvE and PvP. We hope these snippets into class gameplay have helped inform you how classes excel in PvE and PvP. Remember to play a class you like the most, as playing a class for the sake of the meta is not desirable. It’s better to find a playstyle you like the most and go from there, as that means you’re more willing to learn, have fun, and generally perform better. Good luck out there.

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Staff Writer AT WEPC

Craig Robinson

Craig has spent several years in esports. He began his journey as a volunteer, writing about games he loved whilst studying at University. Upon graduating, he worked as a freelance writer, talking about esports and gaming for several years before landing in WePC's gaming section.

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