Not all characters are programmed equally. The characters' differences are so significant it can make the difference between destroying bosses' health on insane mode in seconds with S rank characters, or getting stuck on the last few bosses on normal mode with E rank characters. Keep in mind that this list does NOT take Arena Mode into account.
If you notice, all the characters with the best magic end up on top. That's because they only differ by magic, and nothing else (with the only exception of Green Knight).
Notice that the top-tier characters are mostly boss slayers and/or have good crowd control, or have unique and special magic move-sets that enable them to do unique things other characters can'tdo (Take Saracen and Bear's tornado juggle for example).
The E and some of the D rank characters' magic is rather poor, which means that if you want to use them effectively then you'll be stuck with juggling and arrow spamming, which is are things all the other characters can do, and it's no fun if your character isn't even unique.
Character's mage types in Latin and/or Greek will be added just for fun. They have no relevance to a character's rank.
Professional players are the best of the best, they can all solo insane mode with any character with little struggle. They also know the ins and outs of all 31 characters and have learned the intricacies of the game. They are the de facto leaders and are always the ones to come to with questions. The professionals who endorse this list include:
Aichomancer - author of over 25 guides on Steam and bureaucrat on this wiki, has 26 gold skulls on Steam
BeatsBD/Hazard - A bureaucrat on this wiki that is known for carrying less skilled players to gold skulls on 360/One. Author of 10+ guides on the forums, 93 gold skulls between both Xbox platforms and PS3 (Although he also has streamed multiple insane mode runs on characters already owning gold skulls.
Ccvector - 31 gold skulls on Steam
Fenix Stryk - author of the first tier list for CC, 31 gold skulls on xbox 360, first person to share juggling combos with the community at large
Rushmilk (ENDORSEMENT PENDING) - 18 gold skulls on PS3, 4 gold skulls on Steam, author of a tier list on Steam
Shenanigans (ENDORSEMENT PENDING) - 31 gold skulls on Xbox 360, several gold skulls on Steam
Skilled players have a few gold skulls under their belt, but don't take the game as seriously as a professional. Skilled players who endorse this list include:
Barrels o' Fun - (ENDORSEMENT PENDING) has 4 gold skulls on Steam, has 30 characters at Full Moon on Xbox 360 because
Ryshokka - author of several guides on Steam, has a gold skull
SonicDen220 - active contributor on Steam discussion forums, with 4 gold skulls
Serge (ENDORSEMENT PENDING) - has 3 gold skulls on Steam
SilentBD (ENDORSEMENT PENDING) - author of a few guides on Steam, has 7 gold skulls
Characters that are ranked SS make insane mode beyond easy. It's literally impossible not to succeed with them. They have no significant flaws, so they're the best characters to use for your first insane mode run.
7 - Highest splash damage output on bosses (1,024 damage per cast when maxed)
7 - Splash reaches above/below/behind the player creating immunity to all melee attacks
7 - Splash is EXTREMELY quick
7 - Best boss slayer
7 - Best crowd control
7 - Best splash for starting juggles
7 - 32 hits per splash cast when maxed
6 - Splash ignores terrain and map boundaries
5 - Splash provides great cover for team and can be used as a trap
5 - Splash stays out for a while
5 - Splash hits heavyweight beefy enemies eight times
5 - Splash has max range from level 1
3 - Splash hits heavyweight enemies twice
2 - Makes the volleyball game very easy
X - Splash does slightly reduced damage to normal enemies
Characters in S Rank are here because their magic and abilities are so top-notch that they can make insane mode easy when combined with even just a little bit of skill. They're beyond perfect, and it's impossible to have trouble or difficulty when using them properly. They're more than 100% effective all of the time.
6 - Splash can start juggles easily before magic has even been upgraded
3 - Splash is good for dealing with the Industrial Machine's hand
3 - Projectile moves very quick
2 - Less hits on bosses
5 - Splash hitbox is only effective during its animation despite staying out longer than normal
D Rank is where we start to dive into the horrible characters. To be fair, King is MUCH more useful than what he gets credit for here, because in multiplayer, the more his disadvantages start to disappear, and the more valuable his advantages become; either way all eight characters in this rank are playable. In the end though, it can and does get much worse from here.
In multiplayer, he's roughly equal to Red/Orange Knight.
At max potential, King's splash can heal every player in his party for the equivalent of 2.83 pieces of fruit EACH.
These are the only characters that are truly horrible. A common theme shared between these characters is that they both seem great at first sight (Alien and Hatty are from other behemoth games and have lots of hype because of it), but the truth is that really neither one of them are even close to actually being special. It's almost as if the Behemoth thought that they could get away with really lazy design on these characters and still have people play as them... And obviously it worked.
Advantages and disadvantages are ranked by relevancy on a scale from 1-5. 5 is the most relevant and 1 is the least relevant. The points will be added up (advantages will be positive, disadvantages will be negative), and the characters with higher scores will be ranked higher. If an aspect of a character is equally an advantage and a disadvantage, it will not be listed. This is the scale used:
1 - Almost no relevancy
2 - Low relevancy
3 - Moderately relevant
4 - High relevancy
5 - Very relevant
6 - Game changing
7 - Game breaking
X - This is a value that is determined by the individual. Since in the right hands, this dis/advantage won't make an impact on gameplay, it's not counted for or against the character. It's up to the player to decide what they think it's worth, and from that they can subtract whatever value they insert for it onto the character's score. As such, all character's scores will show their default, minimum, and maximum possible scores.