This [Punishing: Gray Raven] guide will provide an overview on what you should focus on investing your resources towards in the game.
We’ll start with the characters at launch there will be a total of 14 characters aka Constructs, split into ranks: B, A and S, 3 B-Ranks which you get from the tutorial, A-Ranks you’ll be getting most if not all of them pretty quickly once you start pulling on the character banners.
The remaining 5 are S-Ranks, you’ll be able to finish the beginner banner in the first few days of play, which will give you one random s-rank using the S-Rank selector, you’ll be able to choose a second S-Rank.
The core thought of [Punishing: Gray Raven] is always is what gives you the most DPS, whatever that is, it’s what you want to prioritize and invest in, as you may have heard already every character in this game is viable, if you play well, form synergetic teams and build your units correctly, you should be able to clear most of the content and challenges the game throws at you.
While a tier list might not make sense, because of that there’s still meta for those who prefer to optimize over time as more units are released, the meta quickly trends towards building mono teams, such as a team consisting of only damage type physical units, often these teams follow the mmorpg trinity of one DPS, one tank and one support (exceptions included), because of that units of the same damage type and role compete for spots on their respective teams.
My opinion on whether the starting characters are going to have a place on any of these mono teams, long term is what the following character section will reflect, with that knowledge let’s find out who stands the test of time.
I recommend investing in two out of three B rank constructs, those being “B-Liv” and “B-Nanami“.
B-Liv is a solid physical support at base rank, at SSS rank which you can farm, she unlocks a passive which increases all physical damage dealt on the field by 10, while she is not on the field at SSS, she is the default support class unit for physical teams and outclasses her s-rank version in matters of support, definitely worth investing in long term
B-Nanami, a physical tank, is a bit more niche unlike other tanks, she has an additional armor shred on one of her skills, which enables “Pain Cage Burst Strats” in combination with Alpha to be able to do this without having to restart each box 100 times, you want to liberate slash awaken her, this though is very costly and might not be worth it for only Pain Cage early on, and won’t be relevant after Rosetta drops in the future.
B-Lucia as the odd one out has split damage between physical and fire, but sadly excels it neither she’s what we call a fake elemental, fake elementals are units the game lists as stealing a high percentage of their damage in a specific element, but this ends up not being the case. B Lucia is a DPS and outclassed by most A-ranks, Also the competition for the DPS slot is the highest, not worth investing in.
Moving on to the A-ranks
A-Lucia is a great lightning DPS, but not too long after launch, we will get the s-rank lightning DPS S Bianka, who dwarfs A-Lucia, you can invest in A-Lucia short term but don’t try to pull her signature weapon and don’t affix the lightning DPS at Heisen to her, she’s a low priority invest, if you somehow have surplus resources.
A-Liv is a core part of the future lightning team, you’ll want her geared leveled and raised to SS rank by the third update “Eternal Engine” to support the aforementioned S-Bianca, she’s not an immediate priority but you can’t go wrong investing in her, especially if you need a healer.
A-Lee is another fake elemental DPS, he only deals fire damage when attacking enemies inside his AOE damage field, which is not enough fire damage to ward him as a fire DPS, his physical damage is also not outstanding, he’s a mediocre DPS in a crowded role, not worth investing in.
A-Karenina is another fake elemental, this time though you want to invest, A-Karenina is a great physical DPS early in the game, makes for an excellent backup DPS for Alpha and a great filler for any incomplete Elemental Warzone teams, the reason being her QTE gathers, she’s unique in that regard and this alone makes her worth keeping around for a long time to come, 100% worth your resources.
A-Watanabe competes with A-Karenina for the physical DPS spot at launch, sadly he can’t measure up to the utility A-Karenina brings long term, short term there’s no reason investing in a pure physical dps with Alpha one patch away, don’t invest!
A-Bianca, another physical dps focuses on single target physical DPS, but doesn’t excel at it enough to matter, Alpha out DPS’s her, she also has no utility, don’t invest either.
Lastly we arrive at the S ranks, for the S ranks I’d kindly ask you to check out my S-Rank Selector/ReRoll Guide, I go more in depth on the characters there, a few short notes though
S-Lee isn’t worth the resources if you plan to get Alpha, you won’t be building multiple physical teams so there’s no need to race both of them, if you have both you could run them together but in my opinion teaming up Alpha with A-Karenina for her gathering plus a tank for debuffing is more optimal.
S-Nanami isn’t worth building if you don’t have S-Karenina, as she doesn’t deal enough damage on her own
S-Karenina on the other hand is a solid fire DPS, in my opinion she’s only held back by the other fire units in the game, worth investing in because she’s a good DPS in her own right, if you have her and S-Nanami, she’s definitely worth upgrading, the fire team may be considered the weakest team in the game, but a complete team of one element is always strong.
S-Liv is a tanky self-healing fallback unit with decent DPS for choosing some of the non-timed content, she’s not a priority but worth investing in if you have surplus resources.
S-Kamui is a core member of the dark team and worth full investment since he deals great damage when played as a secondary DPS, going for a signature weapon can be considered but is not a priority.
Next up are the weapons, your end goal in terms of weapons is to have 5 star or 6 star weapons equipped on all your used characters, your DPS and sub DPS have top priority on this matter, support units and off-field debuffers can be kept at 4 star weapons till after your DPS units.
After 5-Stars and 6-Stars, 5-Star weapons are obtained from the Weapon Gacha, and co-op 6-Stars are exclusive to Weapon Gacha, most players won’t be pulling much outside the beginner banner because they’re saving for Alpha, because of that they won’t have many 5 stars beyond what the game gives them from the tutorials.
Co-op can provide you with 5-Stars early but requires a fair amount of stamina to grind out, it’s usually better to focus that energy on currently ongoing events instead, because their rewards are better.
As a necessary evil, you can level 4-Star weapons for your DPS units until you get their 5-Star or 6-Star weapons, for those planning to summon for signature weapons like Alpha Sword, I’d recommend waiting a bit and bridging the gap with 4-Stars instead, once you start summoning on the weapon banner you’ll have enough 5-Star weapons to go around.
There’s only one 4-Star and one 5-Star weapon per weapon type and one signature weapon per character, so the only thing you have to watch out for is to not accidentally pull for the wrong signature weapon.
To show you what I mean let’s check out the weapon banner for a second, as you can see there’s simply no shortage of six star swords in the game, after all every Lucia has one of her own, and only all the way at the bottom do we finally find the Alpha Sword.