Lost Ark has a surprisingly balanced class line-up in comparison to its competitors in the MMORPG sphere. This, however, does not mean that all the Lost Ark classes are equal in power. I’ll be judging these classes’ power rankings through their overall strength across the stages of the game, their difficulty and their cost efficiency.
With that in mind, here is the tier list of the first 15 classes in Lost Ark. Keep in mind that this tier list is for the PVE content.
S-Tier – Bard, Sorceress, Gunslinger
A-Tier – Gunlancer, Deathblade, Paladin
B-Tier – Striker, Scrapper. Wardancer
C-Tier – Shadowhunter, Sharpshooter
D-Tier – Berserker, Artillerist, Soulfist, Deadeye
Bard is the crown jewel of Lost Ark and the most desired class to have in a raid party. Bard has so much flexibility with her kit to cater to every situation. Against bosses with phases, where they dish out large amounts of damage, Bard can focus on her defensive skills to give almost unlimited amounts of shields and heals. Against bosses, that require bursts of high damage to stagger them, Bard has an arsenal of offensive buffs that make the total damage output of a 3 DPS and Bard team higher than a team with 4 DPS teams. On top of all of this, Bard requires fewer item investments than her DPS counterparts to be powerful. Bard’s difficulty comes from the necessity to understand enemy abilities to know how to react to each one while managing a hefty list of skills that have different purposes. Even with this high knowledge required to play her at the highest level, Bard’s supremacy is never challenged.
Sorceress is one of the newer DPS classes introduced to Lost Ark, and she does not disappoint. Her skills don’t rely on the front back attack mechanic to maximize their potential. Sorceress is an actual long-range DPS that can find clear windows of attack in almost every situation. Sorceress also has one of the best mobility spells in the game to evade any danger. These two factors drastically lower Sorceress’ difficulty in raids. She requires a lot of itemization investments to be powerful, so she is often used as the main character. If you’re planning on playing her, remember that you’ll need to put in a lot of time to make her strong.
If Sorceress is the best burst DPS, Gunslinger is the best sustained DPS. She can play at two different ranges. With her pistol and shotgun, Gunslinger can dish out massive damage in close-range. When things get dicey though, she can switch to her rifle and fight in a mid-range stance. This flexibility allows Gunslinger to fit into any team. She also has a plethora of Stagger abilities, which are really important in this meta with many bosses requiring fast staggers to deny their devastating abilities. With eighteen abilities to master, Gunslinger is also one of the most difficult classes to master. Properly tracking cooldowns for key skills between the guns is essential to maximizing her damage potential. This difficulty floor is the reason why she is rated slightly below Sorceress. However, with the proper investment in both silver and time, Gunslinger is inarguably the best hyper-scaling DPS in the entire game.
Advantages of the Gunlancer are very clear to his party members since they will start taking significantly less damage. Gunlancer is the only class with a taunt ability. This, along with his massive shields makes him the only true tank in Lost Ark. His role, by nature, implies that he doesn’t need to invest heavily into his items to be effective as well. This allows Gunlancer to be an excellent secondary class to play along with your main class. Despite his importance, Gunlancer suffers from low mobility that can put him in situations where he may not be able to reposition properly to continue his role as a frontline. Also, there is a Bard-like difficulty with the class since he has to use his defensive abilities to answer enemy threats, which require extensive knowledge and research. Despite his clunkiness, Gunlancer players are always excellent additions to any party.
Deathblade can often rival Gunslinger and Sorceress when it comes to raw DPS. The reason she is not with them, however, is because of extensive conditions that are required for such damage output. Deathblade is reliant on using front/back attacks to fully maximize her damage, which makes her far more difficult to pilot. She also has the same problem as other DPS characters: she needs high investment for her build. Nonetheless, she is still one of the best DPS options available.
Paladin is a prime example of what happens when you try to put too many effects into one ability. While this can act as a blessing, since it brings immense value upon activation, it can also be a curse. If you use it at the wrong time, it can leave the party vulnerable to fatal attacks. As a result, Paladin becomes increasingly difficult to play as enemies become stronger. His mechanical difficulty is very low and so are the required resources to optimize him. After all, support classes will always be sought by raid parties.
Striker lives for that one window where he can deal a tremendous amount of damage. When it works, Striker becomes one of the best hyper-scaling DPS in the game. There are many things that can go wrong to make such a scenario difficult to come to fruition. For one, many high-level bosses have phases where they constantly barrage you with attacks. Also, Striker relies on front/back attacks which adds yet another obstacle to his dream. This does not take away the cathartic euphoria that follows a perfect Lightning Tiger Strike one-shot that will inevitably happen.
Scrapper is not bad at anything. At the same time, this means she is not a master of anything either. She is a perfect middle point for the tier list, since she acts as a litmus test for others because of this reason. This balance makes her one of the easiest characters to learn Lost Ark with. As a result, she will always remain a good choice for new players.
Wardancer is only down here because she suffers the same fate of Striker and Deathblade. She relies also on front/back attacks which makes her damage output unreliable. On the other hand, she deals damage in a more consistent manner than Striker.
Sharpshooter is not this low on the list because he’s bad. In fact, he is highly popular in Korea at the moment because he is one of the two long-range DPS classes in the game. Many high-level enemies have phases where close-range DPS classes cannot approach them without dying. This is when classes like Sharpshooter come in handy. Sharpshooter, however, is only popular because of the meta. And, with the meta always shifting, his vulnerabilities can easily be exposed in the future.
Shadowhunter is a strange class. The transformation Identity skill makes her one of the best DPS classes in the early game, since its performance is not reliant on item level. However, this benefit quickly turns into a hindrance as item levels increase. Shadowhunters at higher levels cannot compete against DPS classes higher up in the list.
Soulfist is like Striker except it’s even harder to find a window of attack. Her two ultimate abilities require immense time to activate while leaving herself completely vulnerable to damage. Soulfist is the most difficult class to pilot at higher levels because of this, despite her relatively simple mechanics.
Simply put, if you want to play Deadeye, just play Gunslinger. She is better than him in every way. Please, don’t play Deadeye, and save yourself some tears.