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A tier list to the best Arts in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (XC1) for the Nintendo Switch. This guide will show you which arts to level up first for each character in order to build the strongest team.
List of Contents
The team have edited the arts list page! After some more time getting to know the game, we have changed the ranking to further reflect what we have learned. Check out our new Best Arts List!
We do know that several people have followed our rankings and the sudden change may have sparked some confusion. We do apologize for the experience our dear users have experienced and we hope that our users would continue using our guides.
Here we explain some of the drastic changes to some arts we had after the updates.
|Thunder Bullet||We originally placed Thunder Bullet as Sharla's main damaging skill. We instead focused her art skills to healing and survivability which is why it was moved down to B tier.|
|Enchant||Enchant is a great art and it should be maxed out, At first glance atleast. Enchant's duration is already off the charts at lower levels and leveling it gives your allies a measly 50 damage buff per level.|
|Head Shot||Sharla is a bad character for Chain Attacks but Head Shot solves that problem (somehow). Head Shot together with a x2 or x3 multiplier can deal tons of damage and allows a physical art team to reach a x5 multiplier.|
|Say Sorry||Originally an S tier art, we moved Say Sorry down to B tier since the damage it provides doesn't justify the removal of enemy debuffs. Specially when it can even remove topple and Daze which you don't really want to happen.|
|Aura Bullet||10 second buff for an existing aura. We originally thought it's great since it allows aura users to further abuse their aura art. But after a while, it becomes too unwieldy and most of the time, becomes a useless art if no ally has any auras up.|
|Metal Blast||Metal Blast follows the same problem as Thunder Bullet. We switched up her healing arts above (with the exception of Head Shot) and moved almost everything below.|
|Lock-On||We bumped up Lock-On to S tier due to Seven's insane tanking capability with it. Lock on forces the target to fight you but it's true worth lies in it's 50% critical chance buff. With Critical Drain, this allows Seven to regain massive amounts of HP without any healers to help her.|
|Dunban's Aura Skills||We put 4 of Dunban's aura to a high tier due to their sheer effectiveness. But do note that you can only have 1 aura active at all time so it is wise to choose at most, 2 among the four suggested auras to level up.|
|Thunder||Thunder is a niche Art in that it requires a condition to be used. It can be easily used by comboing with Tempest Kick but the AIs inability to be able to use this art properly made it reach the C tier. Only level up Thunder if you plan to use Dunban as a party leader.|
We listen and we act as fast as we can. If there are further questions, leave it in the comments below and we'll do our best to provide answers to the best of our abilities.
The following criteria was used when deciding which Arts you should level up first. Keep in mind that each character can be played multiple ways, so no Art is entirely useless, though some are inherently more useful than others.
Not surprisingly, an Art that works in many situations and will pretty much always work in your party's favor is an Art you should level up. This may seem obvious, however, Arts with high utility are an essential part to a character's kit. The first thing to consider for each Art is its effect.
There are some Arts that are pretty good on their own, but when the character that learns them is considered, they start to feel less useful. A good example is Melia's Starlight Kick, which can be used to inflict Topple on a foe. Normally topple is something you want for a character, but in order for her to use it, she would have to equip two physical arts, which is a bit counter-intuitive for Melia, the best ether attacker in the game.
(Once again, this Art is not entirely without its uses, and can be made use of for Topple Locking. However, generally speaking, Melia should not be using physical arts due to her low strength stat.)
Not considered for Monado Arts of course, but for other Battle Arts, this is a big thing to consider. If an Art is very powerful, but has an extremely long cooldown, you'll generally only be able to use it once, maybe twice per battle, save for long battles with tough bosses. While a long cooldown typically means a very strong skill, sometimes the benefits just aren't quite worth the long wait times.
The following tier list shows the priority for setting/leveling up each art by character. We highly recommend setting/leveling S and A Tier Arts, while B and C tier Arts are optional for most characters. If you want to see a particular character's best Arts, use the table to jump ahead.
Shulk is a special case, in that unilke other characters, he has access to all of his arts in battle. This means that setting skills is not somehting you need to worry about with him, and instead, you only need to think about which skills should be upgraded first.
For Shulk, a combination of good support and offensive ability make up his S/A Tier Arts. Really, none of his Arts are bad, and they are all worth using to some extent, but when it comes to leveling priorty, these are our recommendations.
|Battle Soul||Shadow Eye||Air Slash||Back Slash|
|Stream Edge||Light Heal||Armor||Shield|
Reyn is the master of tanking attacksーa human shield of sorts. His best skills are the ones that can allow him to tank attacks even harder, combined with a few heavy hitting physical attacks. Arts like Engage become a bit redundant with his already high ability for drawing enemy aggro, and Anchor Chain just seems to be a bit too niche.
|Lariat||Berserker||Sword Drive||Wild Down|
|Dive Sobat||Magnum Charge||Shield Bash||War Swing|
|Bone Upper||Hammer Beat|
|Anchor Chain||Aura Burst||Rage||Last Stand|
Dunban is probably the best tank in the game for one reason: high agility. He is so quick that enemies will have a hard time even hitting him. Dunban is also good because of his high strength and battle capability. The Arts to prioritize for him are the ones that help him land quicker attacks and boost his attack power, as well as the battle arts that are essential for him to deal tons of damage to the foe.
|Soaring Tempest||Heat Haze||Serene Heart||Steel Strike|
|Worldly Slash||Peerless||Gale Slash|
|Spirit Breath||Electric Gutbuster|
|Blinding Blossom||Tempest Kick|
|Demon Slayer||Thunder||Jaws of Death||Final Flicker|
Sharla is primarily for support and healing, so her best skills are the ones that let her support her team in this fashion. However, she's rather useless if she doesn't have any way to deal damage to the enemy, so a few Arts for damage, like Metal Blast, Thunder Bullet, and Head Shot, need to be prioritized as well.
|Cure Round||Head Shot||Heal Round||Heal Bullet|
|Covert Stance||Heal Blast|
|Head Shaker||Heat Bullet||Metal Blast||Drive Boost|
|Cure Bullet||Shield Bullet||Thunder Bullet|
|Tranquilliser||Heal Counter||Aura Bullet|
Riki boasts some of the best debuff skills in the game, capable of inflicting damage through Freezinate, Burninate, etc., which will also drain the foe's HP. His many debuffs, combined with Say Sorry, a skill that does more damage for each active debuff, make him one of the better support characters for your team. He also has Happy Happy, which might just be the best healing art in the game.
With his other debuffs, Bedtime and Behave become unnecessary. Play Dead, on the ither hand, just seems to be kind of a waste, when he has many other good Arts that could be used instead.
|Freezinate||Burninate||You Can Do It||Hero Time|
|Say Sorry||Riki is Angry|
Melia is the best ether-attacker in the game, so it makes since that her ether-based attacks are the ones you will want to focus on setting and leveling. All of her Summon Elementals have some use, with Bolt, Flare, and Earth probably being the best for raw damage. Healing Gift and Summon Aqua allow her to heal herself and other teammates, which is something useful for a team that doesn't use Sharla as the dedicated healer (she'll definitely need assistance from another healer, however).
Melia's Physical Arts are in a weird place. On the one hand, being able to topple an enemy is never a bad thing. However, unless your whole party is centered around toppling the enemy, it is hard to justify giving up any of her powerful ether attacks or buffs in place of two physical attacks. Hypnotise as well, is rather hard to justify including in her setup, when there are already so many other good Arts she can make use of instead.
|Summon Earth||Summon Copy||Summon Flare||Summon Bolt|
|Mind Blast||Summon Wind||Reflection||Summon Ice|
|Burst End||Healing Gift||Summon Aqua|
|Power Effect||Starlight Kick||Shadow Stitch||Spear Break|
Seven has several powerful Arts to cement her abilities as a speedy physical / ether attacker. However, she also has a couple skills that push too hard for her to be a tankーa role which she is only okay at. Seven's AI is not the best in the game, but given the right Art setup, she is extremely powerful when player-controlled.
(Seven is the what the last character unlocked in the game is referred to as. Be wary of spoilers when clicking on the character's skill names)
|Final Cross||Air Fang||Lock-On||Zero Gravity|
|Spear Blade||Double Blade|
|Power Drain||Double Wind||Ether Drain||Cross Impact|
|Speed Shift||Healing Energy|
|Second Gear||Guard Shift||Shutdown||Mag Storm|
Did you agree with our rankings? Let us know what you think in the comments!
|Which Arts Should You Level Up?|
>>6 Mhmmm, I just got blindsided by this change too. Even before the change there were some weird inconsistencies where you’d click through and the rating on the art’s page was different; not sure if this just reflects that or not. But it sucks to suddenly change it on people when it’s not like this info wasn’t already out there to figure out what’s best, and I’m hoping I didn’t get totally screwed over by it. Guess I need to go looking for other guides before I upgrade more.
Seriously, what's wrong with them ? The way they graded dunban's arts is a mess. You DON'T need to level up 4 different Aura if you'll only use 2 of them 90% of the time. you just choose the 2 of them you'll use the most and that's it. You should add a warning about that. Also, tempest kick and Thunder at 'C' ? Those two together are 'A' grade. free daze on enemies is extremely useful, especially on enemies immune to topple. It also allow to break visions easily should it be a dangerous one.
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I've been having trouble with Avalanche Abaasy. Does anyone have tips for that asshollll
In her perspective, you're the shota.
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