Choosing the best Slay the Spire character is of course completely dependent on your playstyle and the strategies you generally adopt to beat the game.
That being said, with enough experience with each class, you can start to see where the pros outweigh the cons between them. It’s highly probably that I’m still very much classed as a beginner in the game, but I’ve had a go at listing my favorite characters anyhow. This is subjective, but read on for the Slay the Spire classes ranked in order of worst to best, and let us know if you agree in the comment section below!
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4. The Silent
This may be a controversial choice for the bottom of rank, as many people love the Silent. Don’t get me wrong, the Silent is a strong character and was actually the first class that I completed a run with.
Yet, the more I played, the less progress I felt I could make with her. She has a good solid mix of Block, Attack, and Status cards, but is not really that great in any one field. If you can get your hand on a Wraith Form, then your likelihood of being victorious increases tenfold, but sometimes the cards you are dealt leave you struggling to get halfway through the first floor – this rarely seems to happen with other characters, at least for me. Perhaps this is because she has the largest starting deck (12) so there are more possible deck combinations.
The Silent has some of the worst relics in the game, too, and I find some of them confusing. The Ring of the Serpent, for example, almost feels like a curse as on turn 1 you draw 1 additional card as opposed to 2 with the Ring of the Snake (please correct me if I have got this wrong!). TIngsha and Tough Bandages are also very average relics if you don’t have the right deck.
There are some things I love about the Silent, though. Her ability to deal progressive Poison damage is one of my favorite things to do when playing as her. Having a few Noxious Fumes, Catalyst, and Crippling Cloud cards in combination with the Snecko Skull or The Specimen can lead to a very fun run.
That being said, I don’t think that the Silent is one of the best characters in Slay the Spire, and usually opt for another class to play as.
3. The Ironclad
The Ironclad is a very solid character with good health and a number of different approaches you can take to complete a run.
My favorite option is to take an aggressive approach that focuses on Strength and can lead to some devastating attacks. For this, you’ll likely want to have Demon Form, Inflame, and Feed. You may also choose to go the defensive route, using Barricade and high Block cards to consistently keep your Block stat high.
There are also some great builds you can form with the Pain curse, too, and when used in combination with Self-Forming Clay and Rupture, the Ironclad becomes almost undefeatable.
I also think that Burning Blood is the best starting relic of all of the Slay the Spire classes as the increased health gives you more chances to Smith instead of Rest.
With all that said, I wouldn’t say that the Ironclad is one of the best classes in Slay the Spire, as I personally think that the runs can get a bit samey with little variation. But his Strength and Health stats mean that she doesn’t come at the bottom of this Slay the Spire classes ranked list.
2. The Defect
For the longest time, the Defect would have topped any Slay the Spire classes ranked list of mine, and is still probably my most played class of the 4.
Playing as the Defect requires a fair amount of strategy and thought, as you must try and place your orbs in optimal positions and tactically decide whether your next move/s will be offensive or defensive.
I tend to opt for an offensive Lightning based approach, loading up on Ball Lightning, Static Discharge, Electrodynamics and Storm. My strongest runs, though, have actually been when Frost orbs have been the most prominent.
Defragment is a highly useful card in any build, as are Loop and Dualcast. Biased Cognition can also be a game changer, but this depends on how long you anticipate a battle to last for (the longer it goes on, the worse it gets).
All in all, the Defect is easily one of the best characters in Slay the Spire and I have no qualms about putting it second in this Slay the Spire classes ranked list.
1. The Watcher
It took me a very long time to get to even a decent level playing as the Watcher, but once you master her, she easily becomes the best character in Slay the Spire.
Her ability to Scry and switch between different stances was a genius addition by MegaCrit when she was added in early Jan 2020, and the Watcher managed to make an already fantastic game even better. This may, in part, have influenced the decision to place her at the top of this Slay the Spire classes ranked list, but in truth she just really is that good.
You really feel like a ninja-like monk when you play as the Watcher, and it is imperative to know your enemy if you want to progress far. This is why experience pays off when playing as her.
If you know that your opponent will attack next turn, switch into the Calm stance and build your Block in preparation. When your opponent/s lay off the attacks is when the real fun begins. Here you can switch to the Wrath stance, doubling your attack power and potentially your Energy, too.
A pro tip for the Watcher is to not sleep on her Scry ability and get used to it as early as possible – it can be incredibly powerful. Scry allows you to avoid curses, plan your attacks better, and maximize the effects of any statuses you have applied.
For me, the Watcher definitely tops the list of the best classes to play as and it was an easy decision to place her at the top of this Slay the Spire classes ranked list.
Get in Touch
Who do you think is the best character in Slay the Spire? Did you agree with our Slay the Spire characters ranked? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
In truth, they are all very well balanced and there is no character that is completely above or below another. This is one of the things that I like most about the game. You can pick it up and choose any 1 of the 4 Slay the Spire characters and still be in with a good chance of completing a run.
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If you want to see a review of all of the Ironclad cards, watch the video below by one of the best YouTubers around, Northernlion.
10 thoughts on “Slay the Spire Classes Ranked: Which is the Best Character?”
your starting relic with the watcher draws two extra cards only on the first turn. the upgraded card lets you draw one extra card every single turn. definetly not a curse but an upgrade
Ah okay, perhaps I’m not as good as I thought I was at this game, I’m still learning every time I play it. Thanks for reading!
You’re a fucking idiot.
Thanks Anonymous! I’m still a beginner at the game, as stated in the article, but your constructive feedback is going to really help me get better and I appreciate that immeasurably. Thanks for your detailed insight and I hope you have a PHENOMENAL day!
Don’t listen to this moron.
Watcher is generally considered the strongest among high skilled players, and I believe Silent the weakest. Those are based on consistency though, if you’re looking at the ceiling for classes it may be much different. And of course everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.
Thanks Will, really appreciate the insight. I’ve sunk many hours into this game and would say that I’m still nowhere near being a high skilled player. I agree that Silent is perhaps the weakest, despite having some very fun poison-focussed runs with her. Thanks for the comment!
Great post! I guess I’m still not used to Watcher, only had a few games with her and couldn’t do much, but it seemed a very strong early game character and what you had to say made much sense.
Thanks! Yes the watcher certainly takes some getting used to
This fucking game is hard. I finally made it to the 3rd act boss on the Defect. Unlocked The Watcher yet to make it to the 3rd act yet. Still mastering her.
Yes, one of the hardest games around. That’s why we keep coming back for more!