A very, very subjective list.
To be clear about this: This is not based on powerlevel. I don’t think I’m expert enough to do such a list. Powerlevel is a factor here, but it falls behind a) the fun I have playing this particular hero and b) how I feel about the flavor. Not how good the flavor is or how close to they come to some storybook character (although this is again a factor), but how much I like the character.
So, fire up your pitchforks or something, because you might find this controversial (although you definitely shouldn’t because, again, subjective). Don’t ever follow this tier list if you want to rank. Instead, this is a sort of encouragement to just play what you like, if you don’t have ambitions about gettting into a big tournament or something. These also fluctuate wildly as I play and become bored with something.
I always choose Beauty over any other hero. She doesn’t really represent much of a strategicly interesting playstyle. Yeah, I can’t really defend this. I do, however, enjoy flavor. Being an Evil Monster myself, I can definitely relate to the idea of a warmhearted woman being able to melt my defenses. While the +2/+2 for monsters is the more important line of rules text in the early game, the other line of making all monsters good keeps getting more important throughout the game until we find out that the monsters love the Good Boys too.
Next, we have Loki. Loki also is very flavorful in the sense that he is very unpredictable. Sometimes you get four Free Rolls in a row and sometimes you start with five characters on round two. Much of the time I don’t even really pay attention, so I get these nice surprises like “oh, I’m somehow now one level higher than Skip” or “wait, didn’t I lock the store?”. Okay, maybe not all nice surprises. Still, it plays out fairly well, even though you might want specific spells in certain parts of the game.
I’m not sure I get the flavor in Trophy Hunter, but I’m guessing it’s about Native Americans often going to war trying not to kill the enemy, because no one wanted to devastate the opposition, just show them who was more courageous. You shouldn’t try this at home:
That might have influenced why Trophy Hunter was able to reach the S-tear. Puff Puffs are not a good strategy in general (and this is the way it should be, as they would be boring, if you saw them more often than you do, as there isn’t much to them), but here it just worked out nicely. (Also, I do find it funny that my Puff Puffs aren’t identical, in fact, they are all different.) I had an upgraded Good Boy sitting on the bench as well, but didn’t seem necessary (or even good). I want usually go for this strategy though, but I do like how this guy plays out, even if he isn’t very good. Might be my fascination with death as well.
Cursed King was the character I first bought with the fairy dust you get when you first start. I did not know what I was doing, but he felt like a strong character, even if I didn’t really understand how one gold scales in this game. Turns out that it’s quite a bit, even if you might not be able to use it much of the time. I’ve always been a sucker for these kinds of strategies where you take a risk to gain something. Of course, all games are like this, but here you make a commitment. Like black is easily my favorite color in Magic and early on it had these similar effects and you still see them at times.
I have my own little subgame with Merlin. It’s beneficial if you can get the bonuses on creatures that will hang around for quite a while, so I try to keep certain creatuers, if I can get them early, to hang around as long as possible. Merlin’s ability gives you this angle on how you manage your team. You just have to make sure you stay on top of it to maximize it’s usefulness.
Xelhua might be less known, but as the name probably implies to most, he was an Aztec titan. I guess that’s where the ability comes from, even if I dno’t quite understand it. Is the idea here that it could basically have been anything huge and Xelhua just happened to appeal to one or more of the designers? I find the ability to turn the corner after being an underdog in the first part of the game very fun.
Skip, the Time Skipper is fun just because you purposefully put yourself behind the curve and then just try to claw yourself back into the game before it’s too late. (Although there was a time I managed to tie the first round with Falling Stars and won the second round with Rome.)
The Fates are one of those things I’ve always had fascination with or more like the Three Crones trope. Still, I like how they can make certain units more relevant in the early game by making them big. While making them big might not be exactly what the Fates would do in myths, it’s close enough. If they are on your side, you will just do better.
Hoard Dragon just makes getting treasures more fun. They are already an interesting addition to the game, but there is a bit of extra fun in managing to find that level 7 treasure early.
Mordred basically gives you an extra spot in your team, but you have to be careful about how you do this. That extra dimension is interesting, making the whole thing pretty fun. For example, I’ve left the team smaller at time, because I would rather have a fifth character in the fron row than put them in the back row to block for some ranged creature, for example.
Peter Pants is probably one of the most powerful heros and there is something interesting about limiting yourself to managing with the early characters only. Sure, you can Kiss them, but that’s pretty random (and I always end up with Lordy with no other dwarves). I would much rather have a golden Wizard’s Familiar and Spell Weaver and just try to go off with those two.
Sad Dracula goes on the attack, which just makes certain cards better in this particular case. I like how certain heros push you to play cards you otherwise wouldn’t.
These are mostly the ones I’m not unhappy to play, but would rather do something else. Krampus and Mrs. Claus are here, because I like the mirrored pairing, but would otherwise fall into the C-tier.
These are the ones that never seem to work out the way I want them to. These aren’t still horrible. They are still mostly quite intereting.
These are the ones I’m not going to pick. I’ve played them, because I wanted try each out and I guess I’ve sometimes woken up as Grandmother, but in general I try to stay away from these. Although I do wonder how Jack’s Giant seems to get so much play. Sure, it’s very good in the first few turns, but not much after that, and it doesn’t seem like very much fun.