Ranking the Slay the Spire Classes

Over the past few months, I’ve made some serious strides towards slaying the spire. I’ve beaten the game with every class at least once. Still working on conquering the “secret” 4th level and unlocking the game’s true ending.

All four classes have their strengths and weaknesses. But which one is my favourite to play as? Let’s rank them!

4. The Silent

Silent and deadly in the right hands (sorry), The Silent has so many cool tools at her disposal. I love her poison mechanic and I love raining on my foes with daggers. Nevertheless, she was the one I struggled to beat the game with the most.

She can do so much on the offensive end, but her low health and defensive options feel a bit too all-or-nothing. I also feel like it’s really difficult to build an all-around hand with The Silent. Maybe I’m just a scrub, but it feels like focusing your efforts on one aspect of her toolkit works better than trying to have a bit of everything. Even so, she’s still a ton of fun to play and quite the power trip when you’ve got the right build.

3. The Watcher

The Watcher has some of my favourite cards in the entire game. The Alpha > Beta > Omega setup that eventually unlocks 50 damage every turn is mind-blowing! When the stars align, she’s an absolute wrecking ball. I managed to beat the game with The Watcher long before maxing out the character and unlocking all of her kit.

At the same time, she can also be the ultimate glass cannon if you get caught in the wrong stance. In her powered-up Wrath stance, she deals double damage at the cost of eating double damage. It’s critical to mastering her, but even great runs can literally disintegrate in one turn if you mess up the timing. She might be the character I’m most effective with, but I feel like I’m walking on eggshells throughout.

2. The Ironclad

Compared to the other characters, The Ironclad’s play style is a bit…vanilla. Though you don’t have to manage any extra layers of depth, there’s definitely an art to climbing the tower with The Ironclad.

What makes The Ironclad rank so high on my list is his raw damage output. Many of his cards hit hard at face value and can be absolutely devastating if you build the right deck to amplify his firepower. I also like a few of his key tools that allow him to block and attack at the same time. Great character to learn the game with or fight with to unlock the true ending!

1. The Defect

Every character in Slay the Spire is a joy to play. But if I’m forced in a position to only play one class, I’m going with my favourite: The Defect. This robot is designed around engine-building, where many of its powers come from managing orbs that grant a myriad of active and passive abilities. Though it takes some work to get The Defect going, it can be developed into an absolute unit. Best of all, its fundamental design allows for a ton of play style flexibility. If I’m going to truly slay the spire, I’m aiming to do it first with The Defect!

2 thoughts on “Ranking the Slay the Spire Classes

  1. Jay May 12, 2021 / 2:08 PM

    Once you understand -“The Silents”- tools, the class becomes the most reliable in the game. You can go Poison or Shiv but blending works just as well. (And for me, beating the game well before unlocking much of her leveled rewards.)

    -“Iornclad”- would be second for me, simply because his kit is the most straightforward but if the RNG isn’t kind he’s more likely to stall out in Act 2 because you couldn’t get that 1 card to make the build work.

    -“Defect”- is third, while incredibley fun to play if you don’t balance his cards properly you fall a little bit short. Either he stalls out before the first act (for me) or he has no trouble making it to 3. Maybe there’s just a % of runs where he aquires a defect.

    Saving the worst for last, which doesn’t really mean bad , is -“The Watcher”- Several of the charactets best cards end turns making the cards themselves entirely average. Early card cycle’s can be difficult and The Watcher easily has the steepest learning curve.

    All this being said, if I were to do a tier list

    S = The Silent (can infinite cycle and stack poision and block endlessly)
    A+ = Iornclad (Begginer friendly, can deal damange for block or stack block for damage)
    Defect (Can retain block while dealing direct and passive damage (or passive buff depending on your build)
    A- = The Watcher (Steep learning curve, needs a good understanding of all cards but can cycle between dealing x2 damage and good block or lean heavily towards either one.)

    While they can be broken down from best to worst, they’re really isn’t a huge gap in power.

    • Andrew September 23, 2021 / 1:17 AM

      While I would agree that most classes are balanced in damage output, by far the highest potential for damage is with the Silent. I had a run the other day where I focused ONLY on blocking and poison stacks. I managed to put over 1100 poison stacks on a single enemy in just 3 or 4 turns, instantly ending the fight.

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