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Arknights: Class And Archetype Guide

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Last Update: 8/2/2020 - Added Sacrificial Specialist Archetype for Aak.

What is a Class?

There are 8 Classes in Arknights: Caster, Defender, Guard, Medic, Sniper, Specialist, Supporter, Vanguard.  An Operator’s Class primarily determines its Position (where it can be deployed: on Melee grids, Ranged grids, or both).  It is also a major factor in the Operator’s Main Attack Type (Physical Damage, Arts Damage, or Healing), though there are a few Archetypes that are exceptions.

What is an Archetype?

An Archetype in Arknights is a subset of Operators within a Class that share similar attributes. It is a categorization of similar types of Operators that allows us to more easily talk about and compare their uses, strengths, weaknesses, and replacements. They are abstractions, or generalizations, that help us to more easily understand, analyze, strategize, compare, and discuss.   

We generally define Archetypes using a combination of their Traits, Attack Ranges, Attack Types, and Attack Intervals.  Archetypes are NOT meant to describe all of the “possible uses” or “best uses” of a set of Operators.  This is because usability and opinion can vary dramatically from person to person, making it too detailed and too subjective to be a useful categorization.  Thus, Skills and Talents are generally NOT considered in determining Archetype, as they often cross Class and usability boundaries.

Caster

caster
  • Position: Ranged
  • Main Attack Type: Arts Damage
  • Description: Casters are deployed on Ranged tiles and inflict Arts Damage, which is particularly effective against high-DEF and low-RES enemies.
  • Full list of Casters 

Caster Archetypes

ST Caster

  • Trait: Deals Arts Damage
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Arts
  • Attack Interval: 1.6s
  • Attack Range:

STCasterRangeE0STCasterRangeE0

  • Description: ST Casters are characterized by their single-target Arts-based damage, average Attack Interval, and average Attack Range.

AoE Caster

  • Trait: Deals AoE Arts Damage
  • Attack Type: Arts damage that splashes to all enemies near the main target.
  • Attack Interval: 2.9s
  • Attack Range:

AOECasterRangeE0AoECasterRangeE1

  • Description: AoE Casters are characterized by their AoE splash Arts-based damage, slow Attack Interval, relatively short range, and high DP Costs.

Ifrit, The Burninator

  • Trait: Deals AoE Arts Damage in a long line
  • Attack Type: AoE Arts Damage that hits all enemies in range.
  • Attack Interval: 2.9s
  • Attack Range:

IfritRange1IfritRange2

  • Description: Currently the only member of this Archetype, we believe that her Attack Type and Range make her different enough from other AoE Casters that grouping and comparing her with them doesn’t make sense. So she gets her own.  For now.  Try her out and you’ll see for yourself. Since she is currently the only member, this Archetype could change in the future if similar Operators are introduced.

Defender

defender
  • Position: Melee
  • Main Attack Type: Physical Damage
  • Description: Defenders are deployed on Melee tiles and are typically used to block enemies and mitigate their damage.
  • Full list of Defenders

Defender Archetypes

Normal Defender

  • Trait: Blocks 3 Enemies

  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical
  • Attack Interval: 1.2s
  • Attack Range: Varies
  • Description: Normal Defenders have Block-3 at all Promotion Stages.  Usually they also have damage mitigation Skills and/or Talents.

Healing Defender

  • Trait: Can heal allies using Skills
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical
  • Attack Interval: 1.2s
  • Attack Range:

DefenderRange

  • Description: Healing Defenders Block-2 at E0 and 3 at E1.  They usually have less DEF and physical mitigation abilities than their Normal Defender counterparts, but gain abilities and Skills to heal their allies.  They typically have innate RES.

Arts DPS Defender

  • Trait: Normal attacks deal Arts Damage while a Skill is active
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical normally; Arts when a Skill is active
  • Attack Interval: 1.6s
  • Attack Range:

DefenderRange

  • Description: Arts DPS Defenders have high ATK and abilities that increase their damage output.  During Skill use, their damage changes to Arts, useful against high DEF enemies.  Their survival capabilities tend to be lower than the other Defender Archetypes.

Enmity Defender

  • Trait: Cannot be healed by Allies
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical
  • Attack Interval: 1.6s
  • Attack Range:

DefenderRange

Description: The only current member of this Archetype is Vulcan.  She has incredibly high stats, but has a high DP Cost and cannot be directly healed by allies.  Instead, she heals herself through Skill use.  She has her own Archetype because she is impossible to compare directly with other Defenders.  Since she is currently the only member, this Archetype could change in the future if similar Operators are introduced.

Guard

guard
  • Position: Melee
  • Main Attack Type: Mostly Physical Damage, 1 Archetype is Arts Damage
  • Description: Deployed on Melee tiles, the Guard is the most varied and flexible Class in the game, offering many different Archetypes and able to fill many roles.
  • Full list of Guards

Guard Archetypes

AoE Guard

  • Trait: Attacks X enemies simultaneously, where X is their current Block count
  • Attack Type: Multi-Target Physical (note that their base attacks are not true AoE)
  • Attack Interval: 1.2s
  • Attack Range:

GuardRange

  • Description: AoE Guards typically have high damage potential with their multi-target attacks.  They are the only Archetype outside of the Defender Class that can Block-3 (which they achieve at promotion level E2).

Duelist Guard

  • Trait: Blocks 1 enemy
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical
  • Attack Interval: 1.5s
  • Attack Range:

GuardRange

  • Description: Duelist Guards typically have high ATK and low DEF, and are designed to take on enemies 1v1.  They are often used as drop-in assassins or front-line attackers.

Ranged Guard

  • Trait: Can launch ranged attacks that deal 80% of normal ATK
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical
  • Attack Interval: 1.3s
  • Attack Range: Can hit aerial enemies

RangedGuard1RangedGuard2

  • Description: Ranged Guards are one of the most versatile Archetypes in Arknights.  They typically have good, balanced stats, extended range, and can hit aerial enemies.

Brawler Guard

  • Trait: Blocks 1 enemy
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical
  • Attack Interval: .78s
  • Attack Range:

GuardRange

  • Description: Characterized by their super-fast attack speed, they typically have lower ATK stats to compensate.  Their basic attacks are especially effective against low DEF enemies.

Support Guard

  • Trait: Can attack enemies from range
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical
  • Attack Interval: 1.05s
  • Attack Range:

SupportGuardRange

  • Description: Support Guards offset lower individual power by increasing the capabilities of their allies.  Their extended range allows them to attack from behind other Operators, but they cannot hit aerial enemies.

Arts Guard

  • Trait: Deal Arts Damage
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Arts Damage
  • Attack Interval: 1.25s
  • Attack Range:

GuardRange

  • Description: The only Melee Archetype whose default attacks do Arts Damage.  They Block-1 at base, and are typically equipped with survivability abilities.

Dualstrike Guard

  • Trait: Normal attacks deal damage twice
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical Damage
  • Attack Interval: 1.3s
  • Attack Range:

GuardRange

  • Description: They Block-2 and hit twice with each attack, but typically have lower ATK to compensate. Their basic attacks are especially effective against low DEF Operators, and they tend to have large diversity in their Skills.

Enmity Guard

  • Trait: Can't be healed by other units; Recovers HP every time they attack an enemy
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical Damage
  • Attack Interval: 1.2s
  • Attack Range:

GuardRange

  • Description: They are Block-1 self-sustain Operators that are good at functioning solo.  All current members also have a Talent that increases their capabilities at lower HP levels.

Robot Guard

  • Trait: Blocks 1 enemy and ignores the Deployment Limit, but has a long Redeployment Time
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical Damage
  • Attack Interval: 1.5s
  • Attack Range:

GuardRange

Description: Castle-3 gets his own Archetype since he’s too different from anything else for proper comparison.  Unlike other Operators, he is not used for his presence on the battlefield, but instead for his Talent, which provides a buff to all melee Operators when he is deployed.

Medic

medic
  • Position: Ranged
  • Main Attack Type: Healing
  • Description: Medics are the primary healing Class in Arknights.
  • Full list of Medics

Medic Archetypes

ST Medic

  • Trait: Restores the HP of allies
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Healing
  • Attack Interval: 2.85s
  • Attack Range:

MedicRangeMedicRange2

  • Description: Provide strong single-target healing.  Some offer various forms of utility.

AoE Medic

  • Trait: Restores the HP of 3 allies simultaneously
  • Attack Type: Multi-Target Healing (note that they heal 3 targets at base, not a true-AoE heal)
  • Attack Interval: 2.85s
  • Attack Range:

AoEMedicRange1AoEMedicRange2

  • Description: Provide multi-target healing, though each individual heal is weaker than their ST counterparts. As with ST Medics, some offer various forms of utility.

Wide-Range Medic

  • Trait: Has a large healing range, but the healing amount on farther targets is reduced to 70%
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Healing
  • Attack Interval: 2.85s
  • Attack Range:

MedicRange2WideRangeMedic2

  • Description: They cover a very large area at the cost of decreased efficiency for farther targets.

Robot Medic

  • Trait: Restores the HP of allies and ignores the Deployment Limit, but has a long Redeployment Time
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Healing
  • Attack Interval: 2.85s
  • Attack Range:

MedicRange

Description: Lancet-2 gets her own Archetype since she’s too different from anything else for proper comparison.  She is used primarily to augment healing to an already fully deployed team, and for her Talent, which provides an emergency heal to all Operators on the field when she is deployed.

Sniper

sniper
  • Position: Ranged
  • Main Attack Type: Physical Damage
  • Description: Snipers are the primary Ranged Physical damage dealers, and the core Class responsible for taking out aerial enemies.
  • Full list of Snipers

Sniper Archetypes

Anti-Air Sniper

  • Trait: Attacks aerial enemies first
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical Damage
  • Attack Interval: 1s
  • Attack Range:

SniperRange1SniperRange2

  • Description: This is the Archetype primarily responsible for bringing down drones and aerial enemies.  Their low DP Cost also makes them great early-stage DPSsupporters.  They typically struggle against high-DEF enemies.

AoE Sniper

  • Trait: Deal AoE Physical damage
  • Attack Type: Physical damage that splashes to all enemies in the area around the main target.
  • Attack Interval: 2.8s
  • Attack Range:

AoESniperRange1Screen Shot 2020-07-14 at 3.50.11 PMAoESniperRange3

  • Description: Long Range and AoE splash damage make them great at taking out groups of enemies.

Close-Range Sniper

  • Trait: High accuracy point-blank shot
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical Damage
  • Attack Interval: 1.6s
  • Attack Range:

CRSniper1CRSniperRange2

  • Description: Known as “Boss Killers,” these Snipers have a small range but make up for it with explosive DPS powers.

Long-Range Sniper

  • Trait: Prioritizes attacking the enemy with lowest DEF within range first
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical Damage
  • Attack Interval: 2.7s
  • Attack Range:

LRSniper1LRSniper2

  • Description: Their extremely high ATK stat and large Range is balanced by slow attack speed.  They are good candidates for picking off pesky low-DEF targets like enemy Casters.

Boomstick (Close-Range AoE) Sniper

  • Trait: Attacks all enemies within range, and deals 150% damage to enemies in the row directly in front of this unit.
  • Attack Type: AoE Physical Damage to all enemies in Range
  • Attack Interval: 2.3s
  • Attack Range:

BoomSniperRange1BoomSniperRange2

Description: Executor’s unique Range and true AoE attacks make him different enough from other AoE Snipers that grouping and comparing him with them wouldn’t make sense.  He is currently the only member of this Archetype, so it could change if similar Operators are introduced.

Specialist

specialist
  • Position: Mixed. Some Archetypes can be deployed on only Melee grids, some on only Ranged, and some on both.
  • Main Attack Type: Physical Damage
  • Description: The Specialist Class, as the name implies, contains Archetypes that are specialized for specific functions.
  • Full list of Specialists

Specialist Archetypes

Pusher

  • Trait: Can Shift enemies by using skills.  Attacks X enemies simultaneous, where X is their current Block count. Can be Deployed on Ranged grids
  • Attack Type: Multi-Target Physical Damage
  • Attack Interval: 1.2s
  • Attack Range:

PusherRange

  • Description: Pushers can be placed on Ranged or Melee grids, and have Skills that push and displace enemies.  There are various uses for pushing, including instantly killing enemies with environmental hazards, reducing damage, or changing enemy pathing.

Puller

  • Trait: Can Shift enemies by using skills.  Can be deployed on Ranged Grids
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical Damage
  • Attack Interval: 1.8s
  • Attack Range: Can hit aerial enemies

PullerRange1PullerRange2

  • Description: Pullers can be placed on Ranged or Melee grids, and have Skills that pull and displace enemies.  There are various uses for pulling, including instantly killing enemies with environmental hazards, reducing damage, or changing enemy pathing.  Pullers can also hit aerial enemies.

Controller

  • Trait: Deals Damage to all targets within range.  50% chance to dodge Physical and Arts attacks and is less likely to be targeted by enemies.
  • Attack Type: AoE Physical Damage to all enemies in Range
  • Attack Interval: 3.5s
  • Attack Range: 

ControllerRange

  • Description: Controllers deal true AoE damage and have slow attack speed, Block-0, and abilities that lean toward crowd-control.

Fast-Redeploy

  • Trait: Significantly reduced Redeployment Time
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical
  • Attack Interval: .93s
  • Attack Range: 

FastRedeployRange

Description: Fast-Redeploy units are characterized by their extremely fast Redeploy Time.  They typically are deployed to do a specific job (like bait ranged attacks or Stun enemies) and then are retreated to be deployed again later.

Sacrificial Specialist

  • Trait: Continually loses HP over time
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical
  • Attack Interval: 1.3s
  • Attack Range: 

Screen Shot 2020-08-02 at 12.36.16 PMScreen Shot 2020-08-02 at 12.36.27 PM

DescriptionAak's unique attributes set him apart from any other Specialist in the game.  His continual loss of health over time is a major consideration for his deployment, as he will quickly perish without outside assistance.  Other distinguishing characteristics include a Talent that applies a random effect to every normal attack and Skills that buff both the user and a nearby ally... but also inflicts damage on that ally in the process.

Supporter

support
  • Position: Ranged
  • Main Attack Type: Arts Damage
  • Description: The Supporter Class augments a team’s core performance with various utility-focused abilities.
  • Full list of Supporters

Supporter Archetypes

Slower

  • Trait: Deals Arts Damage and Slows the target for a short time
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Arts Damage
  • Attack Interval: 1.9s
  • Attack Range: 

SlowerRange

  • Description: Slower Operators apply the Slow debuff to enemies on every attack, giving your team more time to take them down.  To offset this utility they typically have lower ATK than Casters.

Summoner

  • Trait: Deals Arts Damage. Can use Summons in battles
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Arts Damage
  • Attack Interval: 1.6s
  • Attack Range: 

SummonerRange1SummonerRange2

  • Description: Although fairly weak by themselves, Summoners can Deploy Summons to aid the team in battle.  Summons have their own special characteristics, but cost DP to deploy and count toward the deploy limit.

Buffer/Debuffer

  • Trait: Deals Arts Damage
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Arts Damage
  • Attack Interval: 1.6s
  • Attack Range: 

DebufferRange1DebufferRange2

  • Description: The Debuffer/Buffer Archetype specializes in debuffing enemies and/or buffing allies.  They are notable for their large and unique Range after Promotion.

Aura Supporter

  • Trait: Does not attack but continuously restores the HP of all allies within range (the HP restored per second is equal to 10% of this Operator’s ATK)
  • Attack Type: -
  • Attack Interval: -
  • Attack Range: 

AuraRange1AuraRange2

Description: Sora is currently the only member of this Archetype.  The Arknights idol is just too different to compare reasonably with any other Operator.  She plays a supporting role by stalling enemies, healing and buffing allies, and helping your team to shine!

Vanguard

vanguard
  • Position: Melee
  • Main Attack Type: Physical Damage
  • Description: The Class that specializes in generating DP to facilitate faster team Deployment.  Typically deployed first, and often retreated once DP needs are satisfied.
  • Full list of Vanguards

Vanguard Archetypes

Skill-DP Recovery

  • Trait: Blocks 2 enemies
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical Damage
  • Attack Interval: 1.05s
  • Attack Range: 

VanguardRange

  • Description: These Vanguards generate DP through the use of Skills, so they can consistently generate DP throughout a fight.  They can also Block 2 enemies.

DP-On-Kill

  • Trait: Obtain 1 DP after this unit defeats an enemy; Refunds the original DP Cost when retreated
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical Damage
  • Attack Interval: 1s
  • Attack Range: 

VanguardRange

  • Description: These Vanguards generate DP by killing enemies (they need the killing blow).  Thus, they are typically deployed early to kill weak enemies, or at other times for chip damage or baiting.  They fully refund their DP on retreat, meaning there is no cost at all for using them as long as they don’t die.  Since they only Block-1, enemies can easily leak.

Utility Vanguard

  • Trait: Cannot block enemies during the Skill duration
  • Attack Type: Single-Target Physical Damage
  • Attack Interval: 1.3s
  • Attack Range: 

VanguardRange

Description: These Vanguards generate DP by using Skills, but cannot block while Skills are in use.  This plus their Block-1 makes them prone to leaks, but they are the most efficient DP generators of all Vanguard Archetypes.  Their abilities typically provide some form of team utility (hence the name).

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About the Author(s)

Arknights: Alyeska#2654

Discord: Alyeska#7717

Wanderer, Gamer, Eternal Student, and Weeb.

Lover of Language, Learning, Unique Humans, and Community.

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