CS Early/Late Game PVE Tier List Overhaul

Comprehensive Tier List Review

With CounterSide Global’s 1st anniversary under way, we have taken the time to overhaul Prydwen’s PVE tier lists. This tier list overhaul has given us the opportunity to address many long-standing issues with the tier list and rework everything from the ground up.

The intention behind this PVE tier list overhaul is to:

  • Set clear boundaries between early and late tier lists.
  • Reassess and formalize an updated set of tier definitions.
  • Adjust ratings across the board.

We hope this long overdue tier list overhaul provides you, our community, with a fresh perspective on the ever-changing meta by reflecting the current state of PVE to the best of our ability.

Tier Definitions

The tiers have been adjusted to better present the state of PVE meta across the various game modes consolidated into the Early and Late ratings.

It is important to stress that a character’s rating is not reflective of their general performance. Under the current format, the Prydwen tier list essentially averages character performance across some arbitrarily defined “Late game” and “Early game” game modes. Certain characters will have high ratings because their gimmick is relevant, but this rating does not indicate anything regarding their performance outside the specific situations you would bring them to.

SSS – Characters who almost always represent the strongest option on the team.

  • You can expect these characters to have widespread application. These are flexible characters that can be easily slotted into the team and you can expect them to consistently perform far above the baseline relative to other frequently used PVE characters.
  • These characters significantly impact their teams’ performance by contributing an incredible amount of value, either as stat stick monsters or through powerful utility built into their kits.

SS – Characters not strong enough to be SSS but better than the average S tier unit.

  • These characters are exceptionally good at what they do.

S – Characters that excel in their role/ in a frequently occuring niche. 

  • These characters are good at what they do. They are staples members of the roster that will see frequent use across CounterSide’s various PVE game modes.

A – Characters that excel in an uncommon, but important niche.

  • These characters are as good as S-tier characters, but there may be less opportunities for them to display their strengths. 

B – Characters playable if you like them

  • B-tier characters won’t be the best at what they do but their stats are decent enough that they can contribute to the team. Many of these characters have significant role-overlap with stronger alternatives.

C – Characters with limited application.

  • Many characters have one or two very specific use cases for certain stages. These are situations that are more-the-less exclusive to one particular stage. These novel interactions are worth noting, but it does not occur enough for it to be considered a “niche”.
  • Many of these characters do not have the stats to compete against high-tier alternatives that occupy the same niche.

D – Strictly worse than the alternatives.

  • These characters struggle to make a noticeable impact, and you are generally discouraged from using them. Oftentimes these characters lack the raw stats needed for them to perform the basic duties of their roles.
  • Contrasting PVP, you won’t be punished for bringing a D-tier character into any particular PVE stage. Given the nature of PVE, it is entirely possible for D-tier characters to perform their role. However, there will be a significant gap in performance between a D-tier character and the stronger alternatives.

E – Removed

  • The E tier was deemed unnecessary and so it has been removed. All previously E-rated characters have been shifted up to D.
  • It turns out there’s not much point determining if a bad character is so bad they’re unplayable, or bad but still functional by virtue of their raw stats. Regardless, you wouldn’t use them.

Early PVE Tier List Overhaul

The previous iteration of the Early PVE Tier List became redundant over time because most characters had the same Early and Late ratings, and the few truly relevant characters were given high arbitrary ratings to signal their importance. A painstaking amount of care has been put towards distinguishing between Early PVE and Late PVE and setting clear boundaries to prevent overlap. We hope our new approach, as detailed below, will help return some sense of purpose to the list.

The Early PVE Tier List gauges character performance in the following PVE content:

  • Mainstream (Story) Chapters 1~6
  • Substreams
  • Challenge Mode
  • Shadow Palace
  • Dives 1~50

Early PVE ratings account for the cost involved in building units: Rearm characters are being assessed with consideration for the resources new players would have to spend to build them. There is a clear opportunity cost to unlocking and fully leveling rearm characters; while the vast majority of rearms are going to be an objective improvement over the base versions, the marginal increase in value will not always be worth the resources spent. You will find on the Early PVE Tier List that certain rearms are rated lower than their base versions for this reason.

Early PVE ratings account for the longevity of early game units: Units with long-term value (aka they scale well into the late game) are rated more favorably than other units. The nature of early game CounterSide makes it so you can very easily statcheck content because you build your characters significantly faster than the game ramps up in difficulty. You can slap a completed gear set on anyone and they will perform as well as any other unit from an early PVE context, so this was done to distinguish between those units carried by gear and actual good ones with more staying power.

Late PVE Tier List Overhaul

The Late PVE Tier List gauges character performance in the following PVE content:

  • Mainstream (Story) Chapters 7+
  • Britra, Inhibitor, Kraken Raids
  • Consortium Coalition Battle
  • Dimension Trimming 
  • Dives 51+
  • Danger Close

Late PVE ratings assume players have ALL characters fully built: Late PVE ratings will not account for leveling costs or incidental gearing costs involved in preparing characters for the content they are clearing. This metric is relevant in the early game because most characters perform their basic roles well enough, but there is significantly less leeway when clearing the harder content in the game.

Late PVE ratings reflect the current state of the PVE meta: This tier list will not be considering suboptimal strategies or old strategies that have since been powercrept by newer character releases. This decision was made to most accurately reflect the current state of CounterSide late game PVE. To illustrate an example of how this affects ratings:

  1. Kaci Bins is used as part of a strategy for high level CCB Demolition Worm clears. 
  2. Awakened Hilde’s reactor achieves the same effect as using Kaci Bins, so she can be removed to free a team slot. 
  3. Although none of Demolition Worm’s mechanics have changed and players are still free to incorporate Kaci Bins into their strategy, Kaci Bins’ late game rating does not account for her now defunct value in Consortium Coalition Battle.

Key Takeaway

To reiterate on the updated rating standards:

  • Character ratings only consider performance in the game modes identified above.
  • Character ratings exclusively reflect performance within the criteria they were rated for.
  • Character ratings are not reflective of those characters’ general performance. 
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