As part of the 2nd Anniversary rewards coming with the Dossoles Holiday event arriving this January, all players (including future accounts!) will receive a Senior Operator Transfer Permit, which will allow you to choose and obtain one launch-date 5★ from Texas to Croissant (excluding operators that are not part of the Headhunting pool).
This permit was originally given as part of the Under Tides event, but due to differences in schedule, we will be getting it later. You can read all about it in the article below.
This tier list presents which operators will provide the best options to new players once they redeem the Selector. Remember that Operators are not ordered within tiers.
5★ Selector Tier List
Specter is the best 5★ Operator in the game, and there's no denying that.
Her unique status as an AoE/Centurion Guard with toggle-able invincibility (thanks to her second skill, Bone Fracture) makes her both an absolute killing machine and an undisputed queen of survival who can be used for both general content and the most challenging stages Arknights has to offer, such as High Risk Contingency Contract, where her invincibility lets her tank even the most dangerous enemies, even if just for a while.
If you still do not have her, there's very little reason not to get her from this Selector right now.
Whereas her 6★ counterpart Shining is focused on providing strong defensive buffs to Operators, Warfarin instead opts for powerful offensive support with her second skill, Unstable Plasma, that pairs extremely well with many top tier Operators, especially Ash and Exusiai, but that every other Operator can also take advantage of.
Not only that, but if you're already covered in the offensive aspect her first skill, Emergency Triage, can provide some great emergency recovery that only activates when it's needed the most.
While Silence is no longer an incredibly useful status effect, Lappland still maintains her position as a really powerful 5★ Operator thanks to her archetype and kit, which lets her hold lanes pretty well with a mix of Physical and Arts damage.
Newer players will also find her status effect very powerful, as early on most enemies are not immune to it and sometimes, like with the dangerous Infused Originium Slugs, get crippled by it. There may be more options to apply it now (such as the 4★ Podenco), but Lappland still retains the title of the best Silence applier.
Texas is a very difficult operator to place in this Tier List. She is an incredibly powerful Vanguard, and often the preferred choice of her Pioneer Vanguard archetype for harder content, but as of a recent update at the time of writing she has become FREE through the Pinboard Missions, which every player can complete with ease.
Still, as she is a Vanguard duplicates remain very powerful to her, since the decreases in DP cost are most powerful and impactful for this class that needs to be deployed as quickly as possible. If you are not interested in other Operators in this Selector, it might be worth considering getting a duplicate for Texas.
Even if our server's understanding of Ptilopsis has (finally) evolved away from her being the undisputed most powerful AoE Medic in the game (or sometimes the most powerful 5★ entirely), there's no doubt that she's still a great Operator to own.
Her second skill, Enkephalin, is an amazing burst heal option for when many Operators need to be taken care of at once, and her talent, the thing she's most known for, is still a great option to have. While 0.3 extra SP per second to all Auto Recovery skills is no longer considered game-defining, it's by no means useless.
Liskarm is quite a bit different from most Normal/Protector Defenders. While she's not as tanky as other Defenders, both in her own rarity and in lower ones, she can provide your Operators with the best SP Battery in the entire game if she can keep her talent going.
Thanks to her, strong DPS Operators like Eyjafjalla can constantly spam their skills if the conditions are right, or at least use them quite a bit quicker than they usually would if there's a constant stream of enemies. Other, more technical operators like Weedy can also benefit from this talent greatly, making her a solid choice for a lot of teams.
On-demand Stun with a short cooldown is a really powerful option for many teams, and Projekt Red is the best at it. Her usage is incredibly simple, but having such an Operator available opens up a lot of new strategies.
Additionally, her first skill Execution Mode is great for taking care of specific, dangerous enemies that are not extremely tanky (such as the aforementioned Infused Originum Spiders or Mortar Gunners), even if her second skill, Wolfpack, is the most used one for its interrupting and stalling abilities.
Much like Texas, she's also a great Operator to buy duplicates for if you aren't interested in any other one in this Selector.
Manticore remains a prime option for stalling even late into the game, with powerful tools for permanently slowing all enemies within her range and providing great support for other Operators. She pairs quite well with other stall operators such as Ethan or even Projekt Red, and the release of the 6★ of her same archetype, Mizuki, doesn't cut into her role a single bit.
Nearl is a powerful Healing Defender that acts as a strong upgrade to the lower-rarity Gummy. Thanks to her healing capabilities, she can act as both a powerful, self-reliant tank and support other operators around her, often removing the need to bring Medics or reducing the load they have to bear.
However, keep in mind that she gets replaced by the 6★ Healing Defender Saria, who provides stronger recovery with more tankiness and an incredible DPS Support skill which cements her as one of the most powerful Operators in the game. Still, she's incredibly good for players that do not own her.
Additionally, she's the only operator in this list with an Alternate form, Nearl the Radiant Knight, so keep in mind that you won't be able to have both in the same team and their uses are completely different.
Platinum & Blue Poison
Both these Marksman Snipers are really powerful options that perfectly compliment the higher-rarity ones with their specialized roles.
While Platinum specializes in high Attack, long range shots to punch through tankier enemies thanks to her second skill Pegasian Sight; Blue Poison instead focuses on multi-target attacks that more easily take down larger clumps of weaker enemies with both her skills, especially Venom Spray.
Still, keep in mind that certain low rarity Marksman Snipers (particularly May) are incredibly powerful and competent.
The Pusher Specialist archetype is a very scarce one. So much so that, without FEater or the 6★ Operator Weedy, players are forced to use the free 4★ Shaw, who unlike the other two options in this archetype cannot reach Force 3 to push heavier enemies. While this is not an incredibly game-breaking option to have and FEater will eventually always be replaced by Weedy, the scarcity of the ability makes her an option worth considering.
Another thing of note is her really good base skill if you're interested in getting a new Factory worker, as she provides a 30% boost to EXP Production right out of the gate at E0.
Texas is to Scavenger as Zima is to Courier. While she's often considered a worse alternative compared to the other Vanguard in this list (partly to her more defensively-oriented stat spread), Zima can provide some great buffs to your party if you decide to have your Vanguards out for a longer time than usual.
Her Vanguard-cheapening talent has seen some use in harder content, even if just primarily to boost the efficiency of other, more powerful Vanguards without higher Potentials.
Summoner Supporters are hard to use, there's no doubt about that, and newer players will struggle to use Mayer properly and may benefit much more from raising the simple-to-use and FREE Operator Scene, but that doesn't make Mayer any less powerful.
Meebo proficiency is a skill that must be acquired by using Mayer a lot, but if you learn how to she'll become a powerful operator able to cover multiple lanes at once, or even support other operators when they need just that extra bit of burst damage to take down a dangerous enemy.
Newer players are often recommended to raise 4★ Shirayuki if they are in need of an AoE Sniper due to her Arts conversion and her support in the form or her slowing capabilities, but Meteorite is also a very powerful option, if a bit more expensive to raise.
Her damage-oriented kit greatly helps in thinning out large groups of enemies within the massive range of her explosive shots, making her a decently good options for players in need of AoE attackers, even if there are similar options available in lower rarities or if they don't hold up too well for the later parts of the game.
While not incredibly more powerful that her lower-rarity competitor Podenco, Istina's skills can provide both a good deal of damage to single enemies with her first skill while keeping them slowed down for a really long time, or use her second skill to chip away at multiple enemies at a time in a large range around her.
If you haven't pulled Angelina yet, she can be quite a good option to cover her role. Just be aware that her damage will be lower than most good Single-Target Casters, especially if she's hitting single targets!
While her dodge makes her a better option than even Hoshiguma when things get really tough, her archetype as already almost completely phased out of relevancy before that happens, and until it does lower rarity alternatives like Cuora or Bubble are already excellent at fulfilling that role.
Don't get me wrong, Croissant is powerful, but not something worth building (or selecting!) without a good excuse.
Provence is a very powerful Operator with tons of potential DPS that can even out-damage rarer Operators if all her conditions are met.
Still, her archetype is difficult to operate for newer players and her damage is heavily dependent on positioning, so actually realizing her true potential is much easier said than done. I'd recommend raising some different ranged DPS Operators first before considering Provence.
While buffs and debuffs are undoubtedly an important part of the Arknights lategame, operators such as Pramanix only shine when they truly have someone to actually support, and there are better options when it comes to this, such as Shamare.
All of this isn't to say that she's bad by any means, but players should instead consider covering their most basic needs first before delving into these kinds of Operators,
Firewatch has powerful skills that let her provide both great, sustained single-target damage or drop big nukes of burst damage every so often to get rid of more dangerous threats. Either way, she's quite powerful.
I wouldn't choose her over more consistent and versatile Snipers like the ones in higher tiers (Platinum and Blue Poison), but she's still a nice option to have.
Franka's kit is not loaded enough to warrant choosing her in this selector if you have any other options available (including powerful potentials for higher-tiered units, such as Texas or Projekt Red), and she suffers from the usual problems the Dreadnought Guard archetype has. While she can deliver powerful damage against single opponents, this often proves to not be enough for what the game requires, as even the rarest operators of this archetype struggle to find a spot in the meta.
Sora's buffs are somewhat powerful, but not enough to make selecting her from this ticket a worthy choice, especially as you're unlikely to have something that can make good use of it if you're a newer player. The same applies for her Sleep-inducing first skill, which even less operators can take advantage of in any way.
In the end, you're probably going to be better off picking Warfarin, though be aware that she's the only Operator of this archetype you will be able to obtain any time soon, as the only other (and much, much better) alternative, Skadi the Corrupting Heart, is a Limited operator.
I would NOT recommend any player use their certificate on units of this tier.
They are either mostly overclassed by Operators in very high tiers (Silence with Warfarin), are generally considered very poor investments altogether (Skyfire) or are already free and do not benefit from potentials in any meaningful way (Cliffheart).
If you already have all or most of the units in the tiers above, you're much better off purchasing a duplicate of a better Operator to increase their potential, such as Texas.