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Soul Calibur 6 (or Soulcalibur VI) is the latest entry in a series of 3D fighting games from Bandai Namco Studios that started in 1995. What makes it different from its sister franchise and fighting game contemporary series Tekken is that in Soul Calibur the fighters all clash with various weapons. New in this entry is the Reversal Edge, a defensive parry that rewards players that use it effectively with the power to slow down time.
We really wanted to find out where guest star 2B from NieR Automata and Geralt from The Witcher sat in the hierarchy of the game’s 29 characters, so we decided to do the research ourselves and rank them all. Now we share our research with the world, so no one ever has to wonder about it again…
We’ve just listed the Soul Calibur 6 characters alphabetically within each tier, as we reckon that’s enough of an indicator of how good they are. With that said, here’s Gaming Verdict’s Soul Calibur 6 tier list.
Geralt of Rivia
S Tier characters are the best of the best.
Geralt is an up-close scrapper, relying on closing gaps and dealing huge damage with moves like The Cleaving Pirouette. Keep the pressure on by using Berserker Crush to break your opponent’s guard.
Ivy has a ridiculous reach with her whip sword, so play her as a zoner that deals damage from afar. Her biggest advantage is that she can avoid aggressive players and beat them up as they try to get near her. Use that!
Nightmare is a bruiser that deals massive damage. He can make himself terrifying to attack, with “revenge” via moves like Blood Storm and Adamantine Cracker that will do a damaging counter move if interrupted by his foe. If you’re facing a Nightmare then good luck, your best bet is to stand in the mid-range and get good at sidestepping.
Seong Mi-na is a speedy, long range fighter that shouldn’t be letting her opponents get anywhere near her if played correctly. She’s great at knocking enemy fighters out of the ring for an easy victory, which she’ll need to do a lot as her damage output is fairly low.
A Tier characters are generally pretty good.
2B is an easy to learn character with good juggle combo potential. She plays very similarly to how she does in NieR Automata, so if you’re a fan of that game it won’t take much for you to adjust to playing her here.
Azwel can summon and throw weapons across the stage. The more weapons he summons, the quicker he’ll get, so it’s good to do it at every opportunity. He’s tricky to play as he can’t move while summoning, which leaves him open to being punished. He can be dangerous up close, so practice those combo strings!
Groh is a new character that excels at attacking quickly and then keeping the pressure on. This makes him a good choice against overly defensive players or characters. Be careful though —if he misses even one attack the fight could end swiftly, as the young warrior often struggles to recover.
Setsuka has been one of the series’ fastest characters since Soul Calibur 3. Her combo strings can deal large amounts of damage in a short amount of time, and her counter attacks can leave an opponent off balance. Make sure you study her move list thoroughly, as her individual attacks aren’t the best.
Sophitia is good at closing gaps and breaking her opponents’ guards. Once they’re on the back foot, she should focus on dealing as much damage as she can as quickly as possible with moves like Paladin Purifier. Make sure you also learn Roaring Stream, which will let her counter enemy counter-attacks. A counter-counter!
B Tier characters are above average.
Cassandra is good at punishing opponents that miss their attacks. Get used to stepping around the opponent and do that. She also has a pretty great set of throws so she’ll often win with a Ring Out.
Haohmaru arrives from SNK’s Samurai Shodown and makes a solid first impression for anyone who hasn’t encountered him before. He’s massively powerful and his sword is hard to avoid. He can also throw fireballs. Sadly, he’s a bit slow and can’t really close bigger gaps. Play him defensively and damage opponents at mid-range.
Hilde is the only charge character in Soul Calibur 6. In this context, that basically means that you can hold the attack buttons for up to 30 seconds to increase her damage output. Hilde is good at any range and can punish whiffs with ease. She’s quite speedy in terms of sheer movement, so you can use those strengths for an easy win.
Kilik is a character that pokes opponents from far away to chip down their health bar or get a Ring Out. As Kilik you’ll often need to patiently harass his opponents while avoiding them until he can use his Soul Charge —and then use his new found aggressive style to unleash devastating moves that will finish off foes. He’ll need to be quick though, as Soul Charge makes his health drain.
Siegfried’s primary advantage is the massive reach of his zweihander. Focus on using quick attacks like Armlet Crusher and Illusion Rampart to deal damage without getting close. If you feel claustrophobic and like you’re unable to get your moves out, you’ll want to bust out the Nightbane Slasher to make yourself some space.
Yoshimitsu (namesake of the Tekken fighter) is a skilled warrior that uses a katana to fight, along with a wakizashi and other tricks and perhaps mystical techniques. Yoshimitsu excels at close range combat, so you’ll want to play aggressively. Don’t worry about getting close, as counter hits like Vampiric Rain and Golden Bar will make them regret trying to fight you. If facing an overly cautious foe then Yoshimitsu also has four guard breaks, our favourite of which is a low move called Knee Cap.
Zasalamel is a trickster that will often leave opponents off balance with a series of feints and quick strikes. He also has curse moves that make his opponents more vulnerable to magical attacks. You can tell how cursed Zasalamel’s foes are by checking how many purple orbs are floating around them. The maximum amount of stackable curses is three.
C Tier characters can win, but expect to have to work for it.
Amy is high-maintenance, and would be in one of the lower tiers if she wasn’t so devastatingly powerful. Her complex ‘Rose’ system takes a lot of work to use, and she will need to build up four of each to truly excel. Once that’s done though, she has a three move combo that can take off half a health bar.
Cervantes is a great zoner, with a unique gunshot mechanic. He has two moves that will do a lethal critical hit to an enemy after 9 bullets have hit them. You’ll have to keep track of those yourself, as nothing will track them on screen for you. He can be very flashy and powerful with close range combos, but as he’s quite slow he should often wait for opponents to approach him and just punish attacks that miss.
Hwang is a long range trickster that has unique lifeforce moves that can even be lethal. Don’t abuse them too much however, as overusing them can lead to starting later rounds with a diminished health bar. Hwang struggles to punish opponents that miss attacks, but that won’t matter if you’re putting the pressure on and not letting them fight back anyway.
Raphael is great at avoiding the attacks of his foes and punishing them afterwards, but his overall damage output is too low for him to be in the higher up part of our Soul Calibur 6 tier list. If you act decisively you can also hit opponents from long range, but you’d probably just be better off picking Seong Mi-na or even Kilik.
Voldo is and always has been a weirdo. He’s basically two characters, with his entire move set changing when he’s in Blind Stance with his back turned. His best quality is his unpredictability and mix-up potential, but he’s bad at closing gaps and struggles against anyone fast.
Xianghua is another close combat scrapper, so one way to play her is to get up in the opponent’s face like Geralt. She’s pretty good at getting in-and-out, striking and evading, or ‘playing footsie’ so that’s an option too. She has a few feint attacks, so use them to add additional surprises that will make her enemies realise they’ve made a reckless mistake by going for a misjudged strike.
D Tier characters are fun, but not great in a competitive setting.
Maxi has good combo potential and with his many stances can be an effective fighter at several distances. If an opponent is new to Soul Calibur 6, they’ll undoubtedly be taken off balance and crushed by a good Maxi player, but that concept goes both ways. Maxi takes a lot of work to learn, so if you’re not confident with him you could find yourself in a bad match-up and be unsure of what to do to counter it.
Taki is all about getting in your opponent’s face and staying there. Close that gap, strike fast and strike hard. If against an aggressive foe, she can also use her Assassin’s Strike for a sneaky lethal hit after a side step to dish out large amounts of damage. Taki’s Critical Edge move Fu-Ma Seal, Fatal Violet is long ranged, but it provides her with temporary invincibility and counters feint attacks. She has a severe disadvantage in most other cases at long range, so keep that in mind.
Tira is even more unpredictable than Voldo. She’s quite similar to him, with two combat styles, except for Tira they’re based on her having mood swings. You largely can’t control when they happen, so she’s frankly a bit annoying to even control. Tira players have to be good at thinking on the fly, but considering she can sometimes stun herself we’re not even sure if she’s worth it. The only reason she’s not in the E Tier of our Soul Calibur 6 tier list is because she can do an infinite combo … if you’re lucky. Honestly, maybe we should reconsider her spot here.
E Tier characters aren’t necessarily bad, but we’re not going to tell you they’re good.
Astaroth is a grappler that does a lot of damage and has a ridiculous amount of range. “So why is he in the E Tier of your Soul Calibur 6 tier list?” I hear you asking in the comments section already. Well, dear reader, he’s just too big. He’s easy to hit, he’s sort of slow, and it’s hard for him to dodge. The positives don’t outweigh the negatives, sadly.
Mitsurugi has a lengthy attack range and is fairly easy to learn, but too many attacks leave him open to be struck back. To make matters worse, his sidestep might be the slowest in the game. He’s just not worth picking when compared to Kilik, let alone Ivy.
Talim is a quick fighter, but she also telegraphs her moves way too much. This will lead to her being beaten up more often than not, as she’s so punishable when her moves are blocked. She struggles to close gaps and doesn’t really have good movement backwards or sideways either. Honestly the roster might’ve been better off if she’d stayed on vacation and skipped this entry like she did Soul Calibur 5.
Inferno is a boss character. He’s cheap and he’s banned from tournaments. Honestly, you shouldn’t even let your friends play as him at home. If we could grey him out on the menu altogether with a patch, we would. At least he’s not a stupid mimic character this time. Stupid Inferno. He’s lucky I even let him on our Soul Calibur 6 tier list at all.
Soul Calibur 6 has a competitive metagame that changes all the time as players put time into getting to know and use the characters. As new DLC characters are added and balance patches happen, we’ll try and update this list. Do you agree with our placements? Let us know in the comments below. If you liked this list, you might also like this one we did for Mortal Kombat 11.
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