Marvel Heroes Hero Rankings

Marvel Heroes Hero Rankings by Exqzr


  1. The first step is to develop a “criteria” a “standard” that is being used to begin this process. In this case, the “Standard” is overall effectiveness. It is not just a list of which Hero can do the Most DPS. Rather, this list takes into account every facet of a Heroes contribution both in solo play and in group play from level 45 and beyond. (more on solo/group play later). Survivability, mobility, versatility, fun factor, holistic skill interaction and importantly (but often over looked) party support. To help clarify this I have changed the name of the list from “Power Rankings” to “Ladder Rankings”. Important: Level 45+ is also a standard for the rankings. I feel that most if not all Heroes are considered viable until this point. At level 45, we can start to separate the good from the not so good, in particular, on how a Hero scales late into the game. It has been suggested that a list could be drawn up for levels 1-30 or for the “early phase” of a Heroes Career. Unfortunately, this is nearly impossible to do. Heroes change wildly and dramatically during this phase as new skills appear. But more importantly levels 1-30 are essentially a cakewalk for any Hero with any build.
  2. With Criteria established the next step is to to analyse the “on paper” stats of a Hero. What are his/her skills, how powerful are they, do they appear to work well together, and are there mutiple build paths? Further, we ask what is the relative (to other Heroes) Damage Per Second (DPS), damage mitigation, Crowd Control. mobility, Boss killing efficiency, mob clearing effectiveness and more. By studying each Hero we can begin to understand (in conjunction with our personal knowledge base and experience) how each Hero is likely to perform out in the field and thus start for form a basic “working theory” for the rankings.
  3. Armed with a criteria and first step analysis, we then go out into the field and test the “working theory”. This can be done by either directly playing a Hero OR by observing said Hero employed by other players OR if nothing else, read about the experience that others are having. We consider how said Hero performs in various situations but we have to have a “control” i.e. a place where the playing field is “the same for everyone”. In this case, and right now this would be Midtown Manhattan (MM). MM is used as the “control” to test all theories relating to a Heroes relative strength. Please note, it is a given that certain Heroes perform better in certain game maps. But for the purpose of this list, Heroes will be primarily (for now) ranked on MM only. At this point a second full analysis is done.
  4. With the criteria, initial analysis, observation and revised analysis in place we can now put the findings in a public space for a “Peer Review”. Thus anyone who may have some ideas of their own (backed with their own personal testing/experience) can offer some good insight to further adjust the formed list and begin the process of consensus
  5. As a myriad of ideas come up for discussion, healthy debate – a back and forth assertion of varying ideas will start to happen. A true consensus is nearly impossible to achieve (i.e. where everyone agrees with everything) but certainly a reasonable consensus can be achieved and Right now these ranking are in this phase. As the OP i am guiding and moderating this form in an as impartial a way as I can. True, I can not be completely impartial (no one can) and there will be my own personal bias (to some degree) in these rankings. But someone has to do it and I believe I am qualified to do at least a fair to middling job of it.

A disclaimer for the above: While I do want some “Science” to be an important part of these rankings there is and will always be an equal part of “feel” in the rankings. There are too many variables and too many potential areas of debate which will bog down the progress of the consensus.

IF you disagree with the rankings… please read the following…
The list, no matter how arrived at is still, just an opinion. None of us can prove or disprove a list which is half science and half “feel”. I share the 5 step method with you in case you want to participate in the discussion (which I hope you do). If you disagree with the specific placement of a Hero and would like your position to be considered you must at least provide along with your personal opinion some sort of explanation. More detail will result in more sway. The best way to do this is a side by side comparison between the Hero you feel should move up/down and another who’s place you feel they should occupy. It is also very helpful if you qualify your experience with a particular Hero either by direct play (and at what level) or observations you have made.

I promise you that your arguments will be given my full attention and weighed with my own ongoing research and the comments of others. Thus, together, we can present for the community and the Devs a very comprehensive, well considered and constantly monitored list.

Thank you very much for reading though all of the above!


RE: Dodge Heroes:
I have increased several Agility Melee Champs beyond what may seem natural. This is due primarily to the Fearsome Fist change (1.5 second of 100% crit after a dodge) and or Crit/Dodge builds. After much testing, I can say various equipment options have benefited Agility Melee Champs. If you are also lucky enough to have a 10%+ Pyms and a +25% Spirit/Health regain core. You will be nearly unstoppable. Please take into account that the ratings are with this gear. Drop the rating 6 spots or so without.

The “Sweet Spot” for these ranking is Level 50
Starting at level 40 a Heroes contribution starts to take on an identifiable and measurable performance. This continues to 60 with level 50 being the level standard to be used. I continue to note some disagreement to the placings based on xx level. To restate, I consider all characters for the first 30 levels to be “near” equal. In practice this may not be 100% accurate to say, but really any hero can complete the story line with minimal difficulty. The first 45 levels should be about trying out different builds and experimenting with play styles. Once folks start zeroing on a “Final” build is when we can start comparing relative effectiveness. As well we don’t need to go all the way to level 60 to start making comparisons as there are minor changes in skills/powers/effectiveness as you get closer and closer to 60.

Solo vs. Group play
I have noticed a particular leaning towards solo play in the opinions presented regarding a Heroes placement. This was bound to happen with the advent of MM and the switch away from more group oriented maps. BUT a Heroes Group buffs are a very important component of his Ladder ranking and I give “party” based Heroes the recognition they deserve. I believe that the best Heroes will have both individual AND party buffs/cohesiveness. Cyclops is a perfect example of this. Hard to play (sometimes) when soloing but one of my first choices to have in a party. His value (and that of other Heroes) in a party should not be overlooked.

Quick ratings at bottom of each Hero. This is used to give people a very quick and basic idea of how a Hero performs as the game progresses.
~ Ex = Excellent, VG= Very Good, G = Good, Fr = Fair and Pr = Poor.
OR Low, Med (Medium) High, Very High (VH), Crucial.

Early Game: A Heroes general easy of progression levels 1-40.
Late game : Life after 40+.
Versatility: Measures party support and build options.
DPS: Relative sustained damage a hero can put out.
Defense: Suggests a Heroes ability to survive under pressure.
Pop: An observed measure of how many people are playing said hero at various stages of the game with focus towards late game.
Gear Dependance (GD): Measures the need to get very good or very specific gear For the Hero Score to be viable.
Skill Factor (SF): is the relative difficulty of your playing skill in the Heroes performance overall. This includes your ability to find and employ optimal builds.
Stability (Stab). This is the confidence level the the Heroes score will not be adjusted too much as we work through all the data and observations. Thus an Excellent (Ex) Stability suggests only small adjustments are likely to the score (1-5 pts). And a Poor Stability (suggests a much larger swing could happen (from 5 to 10 pts. or maybe a little more) with the rest falling in between.


Galactic Heroes

1. Thor (95) “There is more from whence that came!”
Thor has finally come into his own after several reworks by the Devs. The potential was always there and he retains a very cool and fun to play ability kit. With several build options that all feel powerful and most of his survivability issues addressed (especially with a life steal or +25% life gain core), Thor rises top the top of the rankings with continued beneficial tweaks and awesome powers. You will see quite a few Thors running around now but remember many of them were high level before the buffs and his long time supporters paved the road for the rush of new players to enjoy him as well.
Early Game: Ex ~ Late Game: Ex ~ Versatility: VG ~ DPS: Ex ~ Defense: VG ~ Pop: Ex
SF: Med ~ GD: High (Lifesteal or + Health medkit) ~ Role: Destroyer ~ Stab: Ex

2. Hulk (93) “Really, is that all you got?!”
Hulk remains one of the 3 best heroes with the 1.2 patch. As of July 31st, Hulk was dead last and now, he has finally taken up residence in the top tier. He does not require fantastic gear or a lot of skill management to dish out large damage and take a pounding at the same time. He has become both enjoyable to play and party with. A great pick up for anyone who would like to breeze though the game and have a great time doing it.
Early Game: Ex ~ Late Game: Ex ~ Versatility: VG ~ DPS: Ex ~ Defense: Ex ~ Pop: Ex
SF: Low ~ GD: Low ~ Role: Destroyer ~ Stab: Ex

3. Cable (92) “I’ve been from the future to the past and back again…but I’ve run out of time”.
Cable takes no crap from anyone. He continues to get stronger with every tweak or patch. Scott’s son is the complete package – a Captain America with HUGE DPS. He has Self buffs, party buffs, escapes, sustained damage, burst damage, excellent synergy and a 10/10 on the cool factor. If every Hero were designed like Cable, players would have little to complain about. Cable does require a higher level of skill than some other Heroes to max out his optimal effectiveness and he is a bit slow out of the gate. Keep this in mind as you play him. He should not be played too casually – expect to put the time in to master all his abilities. Cable is the perfect choice if you want to test your in game skills and be rewarded for your time, effort and practice.
Early Game: G ~ Late Game: EX ~ Versatility: Ex ~ DPS: Ex ~ Defense VG ~ Pop: G
SF: Vhigh ~ GD: High ~ Role: Leader-Destroyer ~ Stab: Ex


4. Emma Frost (87) (projected score)

5. Human Torch (85) “Flame On!”
Torch solidified a top 5 placement very quickly after his debut. He is powerful with amazing visuals. a “blast” to play with fun skills, great synergy, and a cocky attitude. At 900 G, he is a bargain! Gaz’s first new Hero is a winner. If all new Heroes come out like Torch, we are in for a treat. Try him out with confidence, you won’t be disappointed.
Early Game: VG ~ Late Game: Ex ~ Versatility: Ex ~ DPS: Ex ~ Defense: VG ~ Pop: Ex
SF: High ~ GD: Med ~ Role: Nuker Stab: VG

6. Ms. Marvel (84) “I sort of accidentally blasted him in the crotch. Seven times in the crotch.”
Aug 1st patch brought majors changes to Ms. Marvel, and they look very promising. The Devs gave her some much needed love. As more people are now starting to play her, she continues to make her supporters happy. From 2nd last to top 10 in only a few days, It shows the Devs are paying close attention to feedback. Edit Aug 9th: Ms. Marvel is promoted to the top 5. After close inspection and playing with her a bit, I can see that she gets progressively better as she levels, not quite in an exponential way, but certainly accelerates more than linear; whereas, other heroes (like Capt.) have are more “linear” improvement as they level.
Early Game: VG ~ Late Game: Ex ~ Versatilty: VG ~ DPS: VG ~ Defense: Ex ~ Pop: Ex
SF: Med ~ GD: Low ~ Role: Bruiser ~ Stab: G

7. Storm (83) “I’ve been a thief, a goddess, and X-Man, and a queen. And yet, I somehow, I always end up in a sewer under New York City.”
August 1st patch brought a much more flexible Strom into the mix. I always felt, even before the patch that she was “subtlety” strong. She might even be top 5 with her current upgrades. Some Storm players were unhappy with the changes, but this is probably more due to having to rework some in game tactics, in favour of newer stronger ones. Once people get a certain play style they are used to, asking them to abandon it can be less than popular. If you have not played her yet and are considering. don’t hesitate, you will be very pleased with her performance. Edit Aug 16th. Seen a lot more Storm play and she is looking really good. 1.2 Edit. Very stable. Well liked. Early Game: Ex ~ Late Game: VG ~ Versatility: VG ~ DPS: Ex ~ Defense ~ VG ~ Pop Ex
SF: Low ~ GD: Low ~ Role: Dominator ~ Stab: Ex

8. Jean Grey (81.5) “Fools! You dare to trifle with the Phoenix?”
Jean has bounced around in the rankings from 1.0 to 1.1 and now 1.2. A strong pick that went south with changes to DoT damage. Most of this has been fixed and she is reported to be tanky and has good sustainable DPS. She can be confidently played as a fun and versatile Hero.

Early Game: VG ~ Late Game: VG ~ Versatility: G ~ DPS: VG ~ Defense: VG ~ Pop: G SF: Med ~ GD: Med ~ Role: Dominator ~ Stab: G

9. Thing (81) “It’s Clobberin’ Time!!!” All around very solid. Always at the front. Always soaking it up. Great self and party buffs. Everything you want from a Tank. Still, due to poor defensive scaling with the current game mechanics he is probably a little more squishy than what a Tank should be. The Devs have promised a rework of his skills, which should further “solidify” his his position. Edit 1.14 patch, other Heroes move around Thing both up and down with tweaks and changes but he remains relatively stable in his position. A testament to the original strong build he was given. Edit 1.2 Patch. Still “Solid” Improvements are well received thus far. Early Game: VG ~ Late Game: VG ~ Versatility: Fr DPS: VG ~ Defense: VG ~ Pop: G
SF: Low ~ GD: Low ~ Role: Tank ~ Stab: G

10. Cyclops (80) “I hope you all payed attention in class, because this is going to be one hell of a test.”
Cyclops has always been a source of debate. Many like him a lot. Other do not like him at all. In a party though, I guarantee you will like him, so much of his malign has been due to his solo play and poor survive. 1.2 addresses these issues giving him higher damage and better survive, and he is still THE hero you want to have in your party. A bit of a slow starter he comes into his own as you progress. Give him a chance and stick with him.
Early Game: G ~ Late Game: VG ~ Versatility: Fr ~ DPS:VG ~ Defense: G ~ Pop: Fr
SF:High ~ GD: Med ~ Role: Leader-Nuker Stab:Fr


11. Deadpool (79.5) “As American as apple pie and hand guns”
No major changes with Aug 1 patch. And drops 4 spots as other Heroes move above him. DP remains a powerhouse Hero but there are some concerns with his DPS as the game mechanics have changed. Still, FUN is at the core of everything he does and he has a versatile kit. A Soloing machine who is also great in groups. If there is any Hero that is “worth the price of admission” DP is it. Edit Aug 14th. Still fun, but no where near the clear potential as before. Patch 1.14 brings some much needed DPS increases. Edit Aug 29th. Meleepool looks good, give it a try.
Early Game: VG ~ Late Game: Fr ~ Versatility: VG ~ DPS: VG ~ Defence: G ~ Pop: G
SF: Med ~ GD: High ~ Role: Bruiser Or Sniper ~ Stab: G

12. DareDevil (79) “No, I don’t want to hear your excuses — and Yes, I’m here to kick your face in.”
DareDevil has become a great Hero to have. He is fun to play, has a very cool visual effect with Radar Ping, does great damage, can stay in the pocket indefinitely and is cheap! There are several viable build paths and some fantastic passives. He gets stronger as he levels and you begin to go deep into his skill trees. Liberal investment in his damage mitigation skills will let him plow through almost any size wave.
Early Game: Fr ~ Late Game: Ex ~ Versatility: G ~ DPS: VG ~ Defense: Ex ~ Pop: VG
SF: High ~ GD: Crucial (PSS + FFF) ~ Role: Bruiser ~ Stab: VG

13. Wolverine (78.5) “I need a beer!”
With Aug 1st. Patch, Wolverine has some good changes and some not so good one. He is being nicely balanced with smart upgrades from the Devs. He is the definition of “Bruiser”. Accellerating DPS, Very good damage mitigation, excellent mobility and versatility. The perfect “hole plugger”. Additional changes to game Defense mechanics might help him further. Wolverine may suffer a minor fall off at later levels as his early level OP heal (flat not percentage), doesn’t scale as well as dodging Heroes (percentage not flat) Wolverine is my personal favourite Marvel Hero who I am “saving for later”. Very fun to play. Not too easy, not too hard. A great Hero to have in your roster. Be careful when you get past 50, flat healing factor is not as effective as earlier on. Get a +25% health/Spirit core for additional sustain.
Early Game:Ex ~ Late Game: VG ~ Versatility: G ~ DPS VG ~ Defense Ex ~ Pop: VG
SF: Med ~ GD: High ~ Role: Killer ~ Stab: G

14. Black Widow (78) Don’t think I’m helpless, just because I’m soft and cuddly!”
1.2 brings some respectability back to Black Widow. She was at one point the highest DPSer in the game. When this was brought in line, her inherent weaknesses were very apparent. A nice rework by the Devs and some patience from her fans gives her a good score and prospects to move up even further. She is worth keeping an eye on. I do love her voice over and she gets my vote for sexiest Hero.
Early Game: Fr ~ Late Game: Pr ~ Versatility: Fr ~ DPS: Fr ~ Defense: Fr ~ Pop: Fr
SF: High ~ GD: High ~ Role: Killer ~ Stab: Fr

15. Black Panther (77.5) “Take your best shot. I will offer no resistance. Then it will be my turn!”
Aug 1st patch brings some good changes to BP, particularly with his ability to dish out some serious DPS. Unfortunately, these changes are hard take advantage of. It requires huge skill point investment to ramp it up, which then leaves him no points for survivability. It also leaves him perpetually spirit starved. In fact, BP is currently one of the most fragile Heroes in the game, saved only by frequent and timely use of Stealthy Escape. Still, in part, his weaknesses make him tremendous fun to play. BP presents a true challenge, good reflexes, timing and constant resource management. He has a great voice over and excellent combat animations. Another ideal Hero to pick up if you like your game experience to tend towards “difficult”. But if you find the right build, BP can be extremely effective. Head over to the BP forums for some great ideas.
Early Game: VG ~ Late Game: VG ~ Versatility: VG ~ DPS: Ex ~ Defense: G ~ Pop: Fr
SF: VHigh ~ GD: High ~ Role: Killer ~ Stab: G

16. Scarlet Witch (76.5) “I’m about to lose control!”
Much Stronger than what her ranking might suggest. Her CC is excellent and her damage output is decent but she is very party dependent, slow and awkward to use. Make sure you let her catch up before engaging and make sure you protect her during fights and she will make a great contribution. The Aug 1 patch gave her some minor improvements which deal with some of her mobility issues and increased her direct damage. Fair and reasonable changes. Edit Aug 9th: SW has been steadily demoted with community feedback and each new review. She is still fun to play and good in a party. Early Game: Fr ~ Late Game: G ~ Versatility: Fr ~ DPS: Fr ~ Defense: Fr ~ Pop: Fr
SF: High ~ GD: Med Role: Dominator ~ Stab: Fr

17. Capt. America (76) “We have no choice. So we fight — and we win. There are no other options.”
The Devs got The Capt. Right from the get go. He is both easy and fun to play. He is a good choice for your first “purchased” Hero, if you want to dive into one. He is versatile, great buffs, tanks well and has some decent costume selections. Be aware he does have mediocre DPS and as Heroes around him start to get buffed a general increase is probably in order. He drops in the rankings with 1.2 patch, not because he is worse off, but because his main strength (unkillable) is now a valid label to give to many Heroes. He is no longer unique in his ability to tank anything and his DPS is still much less than most other Heroes. Early Game: VG ~ Late Game: G ~ Versatility: VG ~ DPS: Pr ~ Defense: Ex ~ Pop: Fr
SF: Med ~ GD: Low ~ Role: Leader-Tank ~ Stab: Fr

The B Team

18. Hawkeye (74) “First Sign of Madness. Talkin’ to yourself. First Sign, definitely. Fishing’s the Second.”
Hawkeye is a grinder. As you plunk away with strong basic attacks and somewhat impressive Boss damage, Hawkeye’s workman like skills and play style will get the job done. IF you can put up with his purple and pink pajama’s and the “chunk, chunk, chunk” sound of his attacks, he will start to grow on you. He is easy to learn and a safe pick up to to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the game. As of patch 1.14, the devs have given Hawkeye some addtional DPS and a few quality of life improvements. More are probably coming but I expect this arrow slinger to be middle of the road for awhile. Edit 1.2 Huge bump in score for Hawkeye. His STDPS is possibly the best right now and his wave clearing has improved significantly. Early Game: Fr ~ Late Game: G ~ Versatility: G ~ DPS Ex ~ Defense Pr ~ Pop:VG
SF: Med ~ GD: Med ~ Role: Sniper ~ Stab: Pr

19. Iron Man (72.5) “Contrary to popular belief, I know exactly what I`m doing…”
As of Patch 1.15 Iron Man falls to the bottom spot. How he got here is probably a combination of game mechanic changes and quick fix solutions to his kit that do not measure up. The Devs have promised a major rework of his powers for the October Patch, so it’s going to be another month before he can hold his head up again. Temp hotfixes prior to that may give him a little blue sky. “Frustrating” is I word I hear often in association with playing him. Edit 1.2 Temporary Fix by the Devs seems to have been enought to help IM contribute in a meaningful way. Early Game: Fr ~ Late Game: Fr ~ Versatility: Fr ~ DPS: Fr ~ Defense: G ~ Pop: G
SF: Med ~ GD: Low ~ Role: Destroyer in waiting ~ Stab: Fr

20. Rocket Raccoon (72) “… together, we’re going to save the universe! Whether it wants to be saved or not!…”
RR still has very cool skills, but they are under powered comparitively atm. Others have moved past him with their beneficial changes. It is also true that his DPS is not the highest, nor should it be because of his high flexibility. RR is great to have in a party. Edit Aug 11th. I spent some time reading the RR forums and the DoT fix has hurt one of his main skills BFG. Further, the mob density is affecting his pet survivability. So RR moves from 2nd to 13th awaiting fixes and tweaks from the devs. Edit Aug 14th. Drops further, needs a tweak/buff to compete again.
Early Game: G ~ Late Game: Fr ~ Versatility: Ex ~ DPS: Fr ~ Defense: VG ~ Pop: Pr
SF: High ~ GD: Med ~ Role: Leader-Sniper Stab: Pr

21. Colossus (70) “Then comrades, let us end this battle — once and for all!”
Colossus has been slowly but surely dropping in the rankings along with his popularity. I took closer look at him after I was doing some greens and got paired with a Colossus (37) with my 35 Wolvy. It felt a little badly for the Colossus he could not keep up and was ineffective. So the player subbed in a Punisher to take over… of all things. I was surprised and noted how much better he did after the sub. Colossus still has a place as a reasonable tank and if he can get in the mix his damage isn’t too too bad. He has some helpful auras as well. 1.2 Data needed. Early Game: G ~ Late Game: G ~ Versatility: Fr ~ DPS Fr ~ Defense:Ex ~ Pop: Fr
SF: Low ~ GD: Med ~ Role: Tank ~ Stab: Fr


22. Spider Man (68) “I guess it’s easy to laugh in the face of danger when you don’t take anything too seriously.”
Spidey has some woes. No self heal, no reliable AOE clear and still a bit to squishy 1 v 1 vs a boss. but this may be temporary as the Devs consider his kit. His position may seems low when first looked at and Spider Man’s placement has generated some debate in the past. But if you directly compare him to other heroes, right now his impact is not up to par.
Early Game: Fr ~ Late Game: Fr ~ Versatility: G ~ DPS: Fr Defense: VG ~ Pop:Fr
SF: High ~ GD: Crucial (PSS+FFF) ~ Role: Bruiser ~ Stab: Fr

23. Punisher (67) “For the guilty there is no escape from my justice.”
Aug 1st patch upped his staying power a bit, He does have uber DPS skills but no more so than any ranged DPS champ and he lacks much of what makes other ranged Heroes great. Edit Aug 11th. Punisher inhabits last place ranking. Edit Aug 1.14 patch. Punisher moves up a few spots. Started to see some players actually playing him and a FIRST! a Punisher player actually rezzed me and another Hero.
Early Game: Fr ~ Late Game: Fr ~ Versatility: G ~ DPS:VG ~ Defense Pr ~ Pop: Pr
SF: Med ~ GD: High ~ Role: Sniper ~ Stab: Fr

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