Spoiler warning if you haven’t unlocked all the characters yet!
I’ve beaten Chrono Ark on Expert with almost all the characters in the game and I just wanted to make this tierlist for fun. I haven’t beaten Blood Mist yet though, so take this tierlist with a grain of salt.
SS Tier – Absolutely broken
Ironheart synergizes with every single healer and does a lot of damage on top of protecting the team. Their passive(extra healing converts to barriers) even works when they’ve fainted so they make a good sacrifice for the Forgotten King or any battle where you can choose which ally will inevitably faint in the next turn.
Charon does a ton of damage through stackable pain debuffs, and she has some of the only debuffs which can be applied to enemies with high resistances(bosses, hedgehogs, balloons, etc.). On top of that she basically gives you reusable heal potions during fights via her Absorb Soul skill, which makes her just straight better than Joey even though she isn’t even a healer.
You only get to use Lucy during Lucy’s Challenge but she’s obviously broken. With high attack and healing stats, she can survive all on her own given you make her learn some healing skills with skill books. On top of that, she allows you to spam skills because of her passive resetting overload when using standby, and her skill Hit and Step lets you draw and play many skills if your deck is built well.
S Tier – Consistent value
Trisha has so many good debuffs and buffs and relatively cheap-costing skills, and her passive has good synergy with most allies by allowing you to play their high-cost skills for free if you play them as the fifth skill from hand. Her damage numbers might appear low at first glance, but their crit rates more than make up for that.
Azar synergizes with every single character in the game, and stacking multiple Sword of Infinity skills in his deck means you can lower rng by getting rid of most of his skills early on in fights which allows the other characters in the party to more easily synergize with each other.
Lian blocks about a third of the damage she parries which makes her just a better Momori in my opinion. Make sure you parry every turn and you’ll basically be playing with one extra mana each turn, since the first time you parry each turn gives you an extra mana the next turn. This is a massive save on soulstones since spending them on increasing your maximum mana becomes increasingly more expensive(to get 10 mana, the final upgrade costs 99 soulstones!). Her skill Protect Ally also majorly reduces rng by letting you save a character from dying at Death’s Door via single-target physical attacks and even tank The Reaper’s Death Sentence attack if you get unlucky with card draws or make a mistake with your card play order in that fight.
Huz is my favorite healer because she’s the only healer with consistent and meaningful overheal. The Healing Wound “debuff”(but is it really a debuff?) that she applies to your team hurts a little bit, but it overheals more than the pain damage it causes AND doubles as a less potent Death’s Door Immunity buff by instantly healing you and removing itself once you reach Death’s Door, making her arguably better than Miss Chain. On top of all that, her buffs and debuffs are very good, the most notable one being from This Might Sting! which essentially gives you +1 mana in exchange for taking a small amount of pain damage.
A Tier – Good, but…
Hein does high damage to multiple enemies at once, but he comes with some drawbacks. He is lacking in debuffs, sometimes needs to hurt himself significantly to deal a lot of damage, and has low accuracy on some of his skills. If you get lucky and all his attacks land, or you happen to have strong healing to heal back his lost health, then he can be very rewarding to play.
Miss Chain is super easy to use and fun to play, just not as broken as the other characters higher than her in the list.
Pressel is a jack of all trades, master of none. Good draw passive, but you lose out on her own prophecy buffs if you pick an ally’s skill to draw instead. Good healing, but basically no overhealing. High-damage attack skills, but they cost a lot of mana to play.
Silverstein does decent damage, but he’s just not as broken as the other damage dealers up the list.
Selena and Helia can output massive amounts of damage while simultaneously healing the team, but rng can mess up your runs pretty bad if you can’t learn the skills you need on them. For example, one run you can obtain Tears of the Sun and Tears of the Moon and win every fight except for boss fights super easily that way, but in another run you could obtain few or no skills that apply Solar Flame and Lunar Curtain which will inevitably perform poorly since those buffs and debuffs are the bread and butter combo of this duo.
Johan allows you to spam 1-cost skills in your deck pretty efficiently and regenerates mana slowly through his fixed ability which is great if you have Shadow Orb or anything similar. His damage isn’t exactly broken or anything though, which is why I put him in this tier.
Ilya can output massive damage at low cost since his skills do damage by discarding them, but the skill upgrades that come with using his Ilya’s Vodkas mean that you sometimes have to discard a skill you didn’t want to discard in order to play the skills that you want to in your hand. Overall solid but not as safe to pick as the other damage dealers.
B Tier – Meh
Joey’s healing is just meh, and his buffs and debuffs are pretty atrocious given that he is meant to specialize in them. He does have a couple good skills such as Health-Augmenting Patch and Chemical Weapon, but I would just much rather have any other healer than Joey in my party.
Sizz’s healing is pretty lackluster. Her extra damage with Eve is appreciated, but it forces you to play your heals in a very awkward way because the last ally targeted with a skill receives Eve, which means you might have to neglect healing wounded Defense role characters in order to put Eve on an Attack role character to do more damage.
Narhan can provide good value by being able to see which ally will get attacked by certain enemies, but I would rather take Ironheart any day and just prevent that damage in the first place. His special stun skill, Sleep, is definitely his most useful skill but it’s held back by the fact that the enemy will just wake up if you end up attacking them before the duration of Sleep runs out. Narhan’s debuffs are decent but he is overall just more clunky to use than other characters.
Momori does decent damage and can lessen the damage her allies take by 40% which is always nice, but the tradeoff is absolutely not worth it in my opinion since she takes all of the prevented damage herself a turn later. This means that she brings herself to Death’s Door pretty much every other turn. I’d rather not have her on my team in a lot of cases because healing back from being far in the negative hp or just straight up dying isn’t worth it compared to having a more functional ally who isn’t constantly dead or near death.
C Tier – Please no
Phoenix doesn’t have a healing gauge when he’s attacked so healing him up conventionally is a massive pain. He can heal himself to 60% hp each turn by eating bread and this is super good for making him survive as the last character on field, but his damage and utility is so mediocre that I would rather just have a normal character instead since they’re easier to keep alive anyways and if your healer faints during battle then the fight is most likely over anyways since the damage dealers will die shortly after.
Side note: Shadow Orb
This relic has single-handedly won about half of all my won runs in Chrono Ark. This relic can let you play 10+ cards per turn if used properly. Drawing and playing more cards at once through the use of relics and character skills and passives lets you spend less soulstones on Lucy skills, meaning more soulstones are leftover for getting one extra mana after White Grave or leveling up more characters to level 5 in a run. Now that you understand why this relic is so broken, here is my one outlier to this tierlist:
Leryn lets you craft Shadow Orb in the next run if you died with it in the last run you just played. I don’t think I need to explain why that’s broken. Additionally, her skill Infinite Spiral is a great replacement for Shadow Orb. Her healing is pretty miserable though, which is why I would rank her low if not for what I mentioned about her before.
Leryn is SS Tier if you had Shadow Orb and lost in the last run, and A tier otherwise.