Guilty Gear Strive Tier List: Best Characters

The early player makes the tier list.

Image via ArcSystemWorks

Fighting game tier lists change and evolve as the meta in a game grows along with the players competing in their title. 

Guilty Gear Strive is the latest entry into a more than two-decade old franchise, and it is likely going to be the most widely accessible and played version to date after fully launching worldwide on June 11. 

Typically, you wouldn’t be able to have a strong feeling of a fighting game’s roster strength ahead of launch, but GGST is in a unique spot because it had multiple beta tests. This let players across several regions play the game for days at a time in varying states of completion. 

Even though the final version of the game that players will be spending most of their time playing at launch ahead of any balance patches is going to be different from those beta tests, the characters will remain the same at their core. However, ArcSystemWorks did apply a lot of changes to balance out the roster prior to launch. 

With all of that in mind, here is an early version of the GGST tier list using the base launch roster. 

S-Tier

  • Sol Badguy

People just love playing as Sol. His moves are strong, he has great combo options, and his gameplay is just the right mix of blanched and flashy that Guilty Gear strives to achieve. 

As more players learn the matchup and more characters get labbed by the competitive community, the protagonist will likely be bumped from the top, but for now, he gets to burn away at the summit. 

A-Tier

  • Ramlethal Valentine
  • May
  • Ky Kiske
  • Giovanna

Since it is very early on in the game, the easier to learn characters with simpler combos tend to be used the most and to the greatest effect. 

Specifically with Ky and Giobanna, players just learning the game can use them and pull off strong combo strings after spending some time practicing. Ramlethal and May are at the higher end of the beginner spectrum, and thus, have a higher ceiling when played well. 

This will likely be the tier that sees the most characters rotating in and out over the first month of the game being out. 

B-Tier

  • Potemkin
  • I-No
  • Anji Mito
  • Nagoriyuki

From B-Tier down, everything really depends on the player you are facing off against. Some characters might be inherently worse than others, but there isn’t a precedent set or enough information out there to definitively say a character is unplayable yet. 

Potemkin is a great example of this, because some people will put him at the top of a tier list, but others would rank him at the bottom because grapplers are much harder to handle if you don’t know how to approach them. 

I-No, Anji, and Nagoriyuki can be very powerful, but players will need to spend some time practicing them before hopping online if they don’t want to get stomped by someone who is decent at the game and has been rocking Sol since the tutorial. 

C-Tier

  • Axl Low
  • Leo Whitefang
  • Zato-1
  • Faust

This tier is basically just the extreme version of B-Tier, with players needing to practice or learn the intricacies behind characters like Faust and Zato-1 before trying to use them against anyone beyond new players. 

Leo can deal a lot of damage, he can be zoned out, Axl is the exact opposite, where he can zone out players, but might have issues dealing enough damage to really bring home a match, and Faust is… Faust.

D-Tier

  • Chipp Zanuff
  • Millia Rage

This is the part of the list most influenced by my own experience in the game, as I ran into only a handful of Millia and she still felt like the easiest opponent to deal with outside of a few instances. 

Chipp will likely rise on the tier list once players spend more time with him, but for now, some of his moves felt a bit gimmicky and his fragile nature made him feel worse than he likely was against the plethora of Badguys running around.