It's been exactly 3 years, 4 months and 7 days from today's date since the release of Soul Calibur V. That being said, I feel it's been a substantial amount of time to try and formulate a tier list. Before we dive in, there's a few things we need to lay out when in discussion on tier lists.
Firstly, it's damn near impossible to create a solid, 100% accurate tier list. Reasons vary from things like region, the game's life-span, knowledge, and the fact that not everyone will agree on one tier list. I think it's important to honor this notion and get several tier list's from distinguished community member's rather than a group effort on an absolute tier placement.
When we see a tier list, there's always going to be a debate in which a lot of people will partake in, "flame wars." This is not the intentions of this article, so please keep discussion civil. It's also important to note that all the tier lists' in this article are opinions. Whether or not you want to deem it credible or ill-informed is entirely up to you.
All tier list's posted in this article are from members who've been in the competitive community for Soul Calibur for a substantial amount of time and/or has had success via competitive play. Note that I've restricted this only to the American Calibur scene (as far as who I asked to provide a tier list).
The purpose of this article is to try and solidify, as best we can, where characters fall in to place. I'm also hopeful that this could be good reference to new(er/ish) members who want to try and pick a character, know who to look out for, or just for general knowledge.
The layout for this is simple. I post the tier list, who's the creator and some information on said person that I think could be useful in attempt to try and understand the logic behind their tier placement. I will also be looking for comparisons and differentiation between the tier lists in hopes to reinforce some of the opinions.
Lastly, I want to highlight that the layout for the tier list's are going to vary from one another. I wanted each individual to feel in complete control of how they wrote out their tier list. Whether the tier list is detailed, not detailed, biased or attempted to be "fair" was completely up to the creator of said tier list. All this being said, let's dive right in.
@Party Wolf 's Tier List:
A: Pyrrha, Algol, Mitsurugi, Natsu, Patroklos
B+: Maxi, Cervantes, Nightmare, Yoshimitsu, Omega, Voldo
B: Tira, Hilde, Xiba, Aeon, Astaroth, Ezio
C: Ivy, Siegfried, Leixia, Raphael
Sucks Ass: Devil Jin, Dampierre, ZWEI
As far as credentials go, PartyWolf is an active member of the Soul Calibur community. Earning his credibility through various tournament standings, streaming, video tutorials, and having general knowledge of the game. Known as a top player in the USA scene.
- Mains Xiba
- Active member of the Florida Calibur scene
- Noteworthy offline competition: KilikABeast, DeathinmyEyes, Enkindu,
- Tournament victory/various tournament top 8 placements
@IRM 's Tier-Listing:
A Pyrrha, Natsu,Yoshimitsu,Algol,Patroklos,Cervantes
B Astaroth Mitsu,Voldo,Pyr O,Xiba
C Nightmare,Seigfried,Leixia, Aeon,Hilde,Ivy
D Maxi, Raph,Tira
IRM aka IRocktheMaxi, is an active member of the Soul Calibur competitive community. Regarded as the best Maxi in the scene, IRM's credibility stems from multiple top 8 placements, streaming, and also having solid, general knowledge of the game.
- Mains Maxi
- Resides in Virginia
- Noteworthy offline competition: N/A(?)
- Tournament victory/various tournament top 8 placings
@Woahhzz 's Tier List:
(NOTE: Woahhzz decided to issue two separate tier lists. As stated earlier, I want to honor the notion of no one, absolute tier list. So I found this very interesting.)
- Hyopthetical Tier List
S- Apat, Cervy, Viola
A- Maxi, Mitsu, Patrokolos, Natsu, Voldo, Algol, Tira, Omega
B- Xiba, Yoshi, Nightmarre, Ivy, Astaroth, Pyrah
C- Dampierre, Hilde, Lei, Aeon, Sieg, Ezio, Raph, DJ
- Tournament Viability Tier List
S- Patrokolos, Pyrah, Cervantes,
A-Viola, Alpha, Mitsu, Natsu, Omega, Voldo, Algol, Yoshi, Maxi, Tira
B. Xiba, Nightmare, Leixia, Astaroth, Aeon, Sieg, Ezio, DJ
C- Ivy, Hilde, Raph
D- Zwei, Dampierre
Woahhzz is one of the longest running top player's who're still active in the Soul Calibur V competitive scene. Was regarded as the best player, worldwide, in Soul Calibur IV. Woahhzz remains a strong, steady competitor in the Soul Calibur V scene. The man is decorated in a multitude of accomplishments in the past 5 years of the Calibur Community.
- Mains Alpha Patroklos
- Resides in Philadelphia, PA
- Noteworthy offline competition: JJJ, ZeroEffect, Malice, Sporko, InsaneKhent, Rigel, Bibulus
- Tournament victory/Multiple tournament top 8 placings
@Hawkeye 's Tier List:
S: Alpha Pat
A: Pyrrha,Patroklos,Pyrrha O,Viola, Natsu, Cervantes
B: Mitsurugi, Nightmare, Ezio, Yoshimitsu, Maxi, Astaroth
C: Leixia, Tira, Xiba, Voldo, Hilde
D: Ivy, Aeon, Zwei, Siegfried, Dampierre, Raphael
Hawkeye is one of the most accomplished players in the scene for Soul Calibur V. A top player since the beginning days of Soul Calibur V, he's earned his credentials through various top 8 placements, and earning a repuation via SC Community as a top competitor.
- Mains (or rather, most successful with) Natsu
- Resides in Chicago
- Noteworthy offline competition: LostProvidence, Thuggish_Pond, Antics_R_us, HumanTyphoon
- Tournament victor/multiple tournament top 8 placings
- Known for having the most second place standings in the community
@LP Tier List:
A+++ - Viola Although I do feel that no player has played Viola to all of her strengths, I think the fact that she's able to play outside of the normal flowchart and kill you while doing it (in addition to a somewhat decent 'normal' game of SC) makes her the biggest threat in the game.
A++ - Pyrhha If Viola did not have the Violage, then Pyrrha would be the best character in the game. She has, hands down, the best tools in the game.
A+ - Mits, Pat, aPat. It's kinda hard to say an order because, while I feel that aPat is better than Pat, Pat is much more forgiving than aPat. The only things I think keeping Mits from being placed with Pyrrha is his lack of an i12 attack (read: "good AA") and the lack of range on 3A.
A - Natsu, Astaroth, Cervy, Algol, Pyrrha Omega
B - Everyone not listed in any other spot.
D - ZWEI
LostProvidence, much like his training partner Hawkeye, has solidified his rank with the top competitors via Soul Calibur V. One of the most successful players in the scene, LostProvidence's credentials stem from multiple accolades and tournament placements. Also uses various character's at high level play- having success with multiple character's since the beginning days of Soul Calibur V
- Uses multiple character's at high level play
- Most prominently known for Viola
- Resides in Chicago
- Noteworthy offline competition: Hawkeye, Thuggish_Pond, Antics_R_Us, HumanTyphoon
- Tournament victor/multiple tournament top 8 placings
@Dr. Hates Tier List:
The Best (In order)
The Almost-Best (In order)
- Viola: Pretty ridiculous character. Touch-of-death 50/50s, excellent ringout potential, general safety, and the general utility of 44A BE (hit-confirmable, horizontal mid with excellent range) make her a fairly obvious choice for number one. To the extent that she has a weakness, it’s range, but she can always move you off of your spot with the orb irrespective of distance.
- Alpha Patroklos: Also ridiculous. His speed, damage, safety, and punishment ability make him incredibly effective. As for weaknesses, people tend to focus on limitations he has when it comes to covering sidestep, but I don’t find that argument to be too compelling thanks to the way many verticals tend to realign in SCV.
- Pyrrha: This character basically has no weaknesses. While some characters can do individual things better than she can (e.g. damage output, space control, etc.), it’s really hard to compete with her as a total package. She’s designed such that the best way to fight against her involves spacing, but the movement system (highly unsafe backdash, almost totally safe forward dash) makes this disadvantage negligible.
- Patroklos: Exploits the game system perhaps better than any other character, creating situations wherein the opponent is forced to make unpleasant choices between safe, high-damage options. Builds unreasonable amounts of meter. Strong YOLO factor. The knock against him is that he’s less safe on certain key moves than the other characters at the top of the pile--his playstyle suffers a bit when the opponent has a beefy i16 punish.
The Extremely Good (not necessarily in order)
- Algol: Spectacular damage, great range, reasonable safety on important tools, and he generally has a good option for most situations. He’s also one of the few non-Greeks who can reasonably hang with Pyrrha. The downside is that his throw range is about the same as Viola’s, his sidestep is abysmal, and he generally has to play very honestly--in other words, he has great tools, but few multitaskers (which is a bit unusual for really good SCV characters).
Honorable Mentions (not necessarily in order):
- Mitsurugi: Very good block frames on lots of moves--if he has any attacks that aren’t spammable as hell, please let me know. Strong mixup, decent range, good damage, versatile ways to spend meter.
- Natsu: Great damage output when you consider the speed of her attacks. Plenty of multitaskers, and most of them are safe. Quasi-safety on other important attacks thanks to PO options. 4A is one of the best lows in the universe. She does have range issues, however, and can potentially struggle to get damage without counterhits.
- Cervantes: Killer meterless damage, difficult to fight against if you don’t know the MU properly. He’s forced to rely on highly unsafe moves in order to control the flow of a match, however, and strong punishment characters can slap him around.
- Omega Pyrrha: Great general-purpose tools, DNS B is silly, good punishment, etc. She’s not a tier above simply because many of her moves are simply less impressive versions of Pyrrha’s. While a 1 frame difference here and there may not seem like much, it does affect movelist synergy.
- Maxi: Almost as intellectually demanding as Pat. He has some of the best multitasker moves in the game, great pokes and safety, and a surprisingly impressive ability to control space by chasing down backdashers. However, Greeks and Viola don’t really have a ton of reason to fear him.
Characters in this group have something really impressive (e.g. damage, tools, movement, range, etc.), but generally don’t stand out to the extent that the above characters do.
Holy Crap, Even Characters This Far Down Are Totally Legit (not necessarily in order):
Characters in this group are utterly viable, but may require a special player to really show off their potential. They may be hampered by a couple of bad MUs, or perhaps they’re just outshined by the really good characters, but by no means are they bad.
Doesn’t Exist As Far As I’m Concerned:
Characters in this group do not exist in SCV. Shut up.
- Devil Jin
Characters in this group are Z.W.E.I. and are thus worthless.
Hate's is a legend among player's here in the Soul Calibur community. Most know him as, "The smartest man in the universe." As well as being the first Soul Calibur doctor recorded. Hate's has a few tournament placings for Soul Calibur V, but has had huge success in previous installments, hence the "legend" title. Hate's has also been one of the more successful "OG's" of the community, who still has maintained a solid gameplay.
- Mains Algol
- Live in Northern California (But has been in other scene's in the past)
- Noteworthy offline competition: KrayzieCD, AlexJ, Manta, Ceirnian
- Solid player for over 10years and counting
Xephukai's Tier List:
S: Viola, Pyrrha
A: Patroklos, Alpha Patroklos, Natsu, Voldo, Cervantes, Yoshimitsu, Pyrrha Omega, Algol, Astaroth
B: Maxi,Mitsurugi, Xiba, Tira, Aeon, Ivy, Nightmare, Ezio
C: Hilde, Leixia, Siegfried, Raphael, Dampierre, Devil Jin
I'm one of the most successful player's in the Soul Calibur V scene. I'm decorated with various tournament victories, and various tournament top 8 placements. In short, I'm a badass.
- Mains Pyrrha
- Resides in Reno, NV
- Noteworthy offline competition: N/A
- Tournament victor/Multiple tournament top 8 placements
@Blueboyb Tier List:
S-: Cervantes, Apat,
A+: Natsu, Pat, Pyrrha, Algol, Yoshi, Maxi
A: Pyrrha O, Mitsurugi
A-: Aeon, Voldo, Nightmare (With 33b cancel)
B+: Xiba, Astaroth
B: Leixia: Siegfried, Ezio, Ivy, Hilde, Tira
B-: Raph, Damp C: ZWEI
BlueBoyB has earned his credentials through tournament victories, and tournament top 8 placings. Considered to be the best of the new school player's, BlueBoy has done a lot of damage to the scene and is a decorated tournament champion.
- Mains Patroklos
- Resides in Souther California
- Noteworthy offline competiton: Zane, Signia
- Tournament victor/multiple tournament top 8 placements
This will be the closing section of the article (I know, it was quite a lot to read). I want to point out that I feel these individuals have the most credibility in the USA community in terms of discussing the game. My intentions, however, are not to undermine other member's and their knowledge. I encourage this to bring debate/discussion. I'm very interested in what the community has to say, and if any of these tier lists coincide or differ from your's.
I'll add more input and discussion in the comments below. Hope anyone who has taken the time to read this found some useful information. Lastly, I want to repeat, I think this is the most effective way to formulate a tier listing- by not having an exact, 100% absolute tier list. In this game, there is still a lot I feel has been unexplored. I hope you all can understand my sentiment on the matter, and take this for what it is... a fun article!
Thank you to the player's above who provided the information needed for the article.