Best Arts | Which Arts Should You Level Up? | Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition

First time playing Xenoblade Chronicles? Check out some of our useful guides below!

See our full spoiler-free review of Xenoblade Chronicles DE here!

Best Arts.jpg

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.

Arts List Updated!

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!

Author's Apology

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.

Some Art Changes Explanation

Here we explain some of the drastic changes to some arts we had after the updates.

Art Change Explanation
Thunder Bullet
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 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
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
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
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
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.
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 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.

Which Arts Should You Level Up?

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.

AP Farming Guide


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.

Synergy with character

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.

Best Arts Tier List

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.

Jump Ahead
Shulk Reyn Dunban Sharla
Riki Melia Seven -

Shulk Best Arts

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.

S Tier - Level Up Immediately!

Battle Soul Icon Battle Soul Shadow Eye Icon Shadow Eye Air Slash Icon Air Slash Back Slash Icon Back Slash
Slit Edge Icon Slit Edge

A Tier - High Priority

Stream Edge Icon Stream Edge Light Heal Icon Light Heal Armor Icon Armor Shield Icon Shield
Buster Icon Buster

B Tier - Upgrade If You Have Extra AP

Shaker Edge Icon Shaker Edge Cyclone Icon Cyclone Purge Icon Purge Enchant Icon Enchant

C Tier - Upgrade After Maxing Out Others

Eater Icon Eater Speed Icon Speed

Shulk Build, Arts, Skill Trees, and Usage Guide

Reyn Best Arts

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.

S Tier - Level Up Immediately!

Lariat Icon Lariat Berserker Icon Berserker Sword Drive Icon Sword Drive Wild Down Icon Wild Down

A Tier - High Priority

Dive Sobat Icon Dive Sobat Magnum Charge Icon Magnum Charge Shield Bash Icon Shield Bash War Swing Icon War Swing

B Tier - Upgrade If You Have Extra AP

Bone Upper Icon Bone Upper Hammer Beat Icon Hammer Beat

C Tier - Upgrade After Maxing Out Others

Anchor Chain Icon Anchor Chain Aura Burst Icon Aura Burst Rage Icon Rage Last Stand Icon Last Stand
Engage Icon Engage Guard Shift Icon Guard Shift

Reyn Build, Best Arts, Skill Trees, and Usage Guide

Dunban Best Arts

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.

S Tier - Level Up Immediately!

Soaring Tempest Icon Soaring Tempest Heat Haze Icon Heat Haze Serene Heart Icon Serene Heart Steel Strike Icon Steel Strike
Worldly Slash Icon Worldly Slash Peerless Icon Peerless Gale Slash Icon Gale Slash

A Tier - High Priority

Spirit Breath Icon Spirit Breath Electric Gutbuster Icon Electric Gutbuster

B Tier - Upgrade If You Have Extra AP

Blinding Blossom Icon Blinding Blossom Tempest Kick Icon Tempest Kick

C Tier - Upgrade After Maxing Out Others

Demon Slayer Icon Demon Slayer Thunder Icon Thunder Jaws of Death Icon Jaws of Death Final Flicker Icon Final Flicker
Battle Eye Icon Battle Eye

Dunban Build, Best Arts, Skill Trees, and Usage Guide

Sharla Best Arts

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.

S Tier - Level Up Immediately!

Cure Round Icon Cure Round Head Shot Icon Head Shot Heal Round Icon Heal Round Heal Bullet Icon Heal Bullet

A Tier - High Priority

Covert Stance Icon Covert Stance Heal Blast Icon Heal Blast

B Tier - Upgrade If You Have Extra AP

Head Shaker Icon Head Shaker Heat Bullet Icon Heat Bullet Metal Blast Icon Metal Blast Drive Boost Icon Drive Boost
Cure Bullet Icon Cure Bullet Shield Bullet Icon Shield Bullet Thunder Bullet Icon Thunder Bullet

C Tier - Upgrade After Maxing Out Others

Tranquilliser Icon Tranquilliser Heal Counter Icon Heal Counter Aura Bullet Icon Aura Bullet

Sharla Build, Best Arts, Skill Trees, and Usage Guide

Riki Best Arts

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.

S Tier - Level Up Immediately!

Freezinate Icon Freezinate Burninate Icon Burninate You Can Do It Icon You Can Do It Hero Time Icon Hero Time
Lurgy Icon Lurgy Sneaky Icon Sneaky Bitey Bitey Icon Bitey Bitey

A Tier - High Priority

Tantrum Icon Tantrum Happy Happy Icon Happy Happy

B Tier - Upgrade If You Have Extra AP

Say Sorry Icon Say Sorry Riki is Angry Icon Riki is Angry

C Tier - Upgrade After Maxing Out Others

Peekaboo Icon Peekaboo Bedtime Icon Bedtime Behave Icon Behave Roly-Poly Icon Roly-Poly
Play Dead Icon Play Dead

Riki Build, Best Arts, Skill Trees, and Usage Guide

Melia Best Arts

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.

S Tier - Level Up Immediately!

Summon Earth Icon Summon Earth Summon Copy Icon Summon Copy Summon Flare Icon Summon Flare Summon Bolt Icon Summon Bolt

A Tier - High Priority

Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast Summon Wind Icon Summon Wind Reflection Icon Reflection Summon Ice Icon Summon Ice

B Tier - Upgrade If You Have Extra AP

Burst End Icon Burst End Healing Gift Icon Healing Gift Summon Aqua Icon Summon Aqua

C Tier - Upgrade After Maxing Out Others

Power Effect Icon Power Effect Starlight Kick Icon Starlight Kick Shadow Stitch Icon Shadow Stitch Spear Break Icon Spear Break
Hypnotise Icon Hypnotise

Melia Build, Best Arts, Skill Trees, and Usage Guide

Seven Best Arts

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)

S Tier - Level Up Immediately!

Final Cross Icon Final Cross Air Fang Icon Air Fang Lock-On Icon Lock-On Zero Gravity Icon Zero Gravity
Spear Blade Icon Spear Blade Double Blade Icon Double Blade

A Tier - High Priority

Power Drain Icon Power Drain Double Wind Icon Double Wind Ether Drain Icon Ether Drain Cross Impact Icon Cross Impact

B Tier - Upgrade If You Have Extra AP

Speed Shift Icon Speed Shift Healing Energy Icon Healing Energy

C Tier - Upgrade After Maxing Out Others

Second Gear Icon Second Gear Guard Shift Icon Guard Shift Shutdown Icon Shutdown Mag Storm Icon Mag Storm

Did you agree with our rankings? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Xenoblade Chronicles - Arts

Arts List and Guide

Other Guides
Which Arts Should You Level Up?

    The Like Feature

    You can save a comment for later by giving it a Like.
    As a member:Get access to several features!

    Opinions about an article or post go here.
    Opinions about an article or post
    We at Game8 thank you for your support.
    In order for us to make the best articles possible, share your corrections, opinions, and thoughts about "Best Arts | Which Arts Should You Level Up?" with us!
    When reporting a problem, please be as specific as possible in providing details such as what conditions the problem occurred under and what kind of effects it had.

    Walkthrough Menu

    New Comment

    • I've been having trouble with Avalanche Abaasy. Does anyone have tips for that asshollll

    • >>[9]
      In her perspective, you're the shota.

    All rights reserved

    Back to the Top
    Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more