Skip to Content

Punishing: Gray Raven Tier List: Ranking the Best Characters in the Game

Punishing: Gray Raven is a 3D hack-and-slasher with a rather high skill ceiling and incredibly short missions, sometimes with maps only as large as a couple of street corners. Most of these maps are dense with action though, so watch out! To do special attacks, you normally chain colored orbs together in patterns depending on your character, while slapping enemies with basic attacks to accumulate those orbs and dodging around like a ninja being chased by hornets. Then your ultimate button appears and an evil grin pops out on your face.

Set in a bleak post-apocalypse, the Punishing Virus has turned every robot, from war machines and deadly weapons to humble painter-bots and maybe even sapient toasters, into bloodthirsty Corrupted bent on wiping humans and human-like thought clean off of Earth. And if you thought this was only a computer virus, it also happens to make humans sick and die too.

You, a squishy human squad commander, lead a team of Constructs, fighting machines with human-like thought and feelings, through Earth to beat the scrap out of these crazy murder toasters and retake what precious little is left of the world. And as you progress, you notice there may be more to the Corrupted murderbot psychos than you initially realize.

punishing gray raven tier list

As a gacha game, one might be able to compare Punishing: Gray Raven to Arknights and Azur Lane in that respect, with all the pretty Construct girls and hot Construct dudes on display. Gameplay-wise though, they’re practically night and day. Skill is so important in this game that, we’ll be perfectly honest, one should look at this less as a tier list and more a general character overview, as the power difference between each tier is rather miniscule compared to most gacha games.

Related: Punishing: Gray Raven Beginner’s Guide: Tips, Tricks & Strategies to Assemble a Powerful Team and Reclaim the Earth

If you can dodge worth your salt and know your favored robot hottie by heart, then you have access to that much-coveted feeling in gacha games: Waifu over meta! Unless you’re comparing the Asia server-exclusive Compositor units to Constructs, since Compositors are blatantly, hilariously broken at the cost of not synergizing with each other very well, and not being allowed to sign up to the same team as Constructs, who have actual support units.

CONSTRUCTS

The bread and butter of Punishing: Gray Raven, the majority of your playtime will be spent controlling a small squad of these characters. Now let’s get one thing straight: No matter where they end up on the tier list, their power is roughly even enough that the lowest tier Construct with a competent player will have a much easier time than even the highest tier Construct used poorly. If you want to use a character based solely on their good looks or writing, that’s perfectly viable as long as you learn them inside and out.

S Tier Characters – Comically Violent

Luna-Laurel

Attacker, Stance Change, AOE Damage

luna-laurel punishing gray raven

Luna-Laurel can spam triple Orb attacks even if she doesn’t have enough of them, with the next Orb used after a three Orb still counting as a triple Orb, doing the same amount of damage. You’ll have to spam them as hard as you can anyway, since she gets Annihilation points to charge her core with after doing both triples and false triples.

Once you have at least 15 Annihilation points (a single triple is enough for this), you can hold down the basic attack button to go into Annihilation mode, with the transformation hitting an area around you for 200% Dark damage. Whatever Orbs you had sitting around turn into Annihilation Orbs, which throw spikes at bad guys for 400% Dark damage and, more importantly, give your Ultimate 10 energy.

You usually want to finish off your Annihilation Mode with your most-likely charged up Ultimate, which crushes an area with gravity for 2800% Dark damage. Don’t do this too early as it immediately ends your Annihilation Mode stance, instead wait for your basic attacks to drain it first so you make the most of it.

Lee-Entropy

Attacker, Triple-Spam, Aimable Ultimate, Target Marker, AOE Damage

lee-entropy punishing gray raven

It would seem dang near everybody except Lucia’s more advanced forms know how to fight like Lucia-Lotus. Just like the starter girl, Lee-Entropy is best used by doing triples followed by a Red attack. This makes his Red Orb attacks fire more shots for 50% Physical Damage each.

Their other attacks aren’t slouches either, as his Yellow can deal 180-700% damage depending on the Orb chain, and this marks the target so his other attacks fire again for 20-60% damage, and his Blue attack can pull enemies toward the center of an AOE, dealing damage over time on top of 100-300% damage to the initial sucker hit.

As for his ultimate, he calls his artillery buddies far away to bombard the area with a laser barrage, dealing 400% damage per hit. This ultimate’s targeting area can be moved, so you can adjust the barrage if your aim was bad.

Ayla-Brilliance

Tank, Pull, Shield Generation, Burst Damage

ayla-brilliance punishing gray raven

Ayla-Brilliance will feel familiar if you still remember how to use Lucia-Lotus, in that they have an enemy pull that activates if you get any triple Orb, then follow it up with a Blue attack rather than Lucia’s Red.

This also deals a 700% damage attack and gives you a shield worth 8% of your HP for 7 seconds. You can also use this if you find yourself unable to properly dodge a big attack in time, as damage taken while doing this move is reduced by 70%, turning lethal attacks into slight insults. Much like Karenina-Ember, giving Ayla-Brilliance a common-sense team with three different jobs gives everyone a bonus, this time a 10% defensive bonus and 5% ATK.

Nanami-Pulse

Tank, Shield, Stun Denial, Fire Damage

nanami-pulse punishing gray raven

She used to be your starter tank, now she has a shiny new upgrade. Nanami’s Pulse form is less a tank and more a murder train with a chainsaw. Both her Red and Yellow attacks are aggressive multi-hitters (Makes sense, she’s using a chainsaw), with their triple Orbs dealing extra fire damage.

With the Yellow attack in particular, her triple makes a ring of fire that can hit up to 12 times for 30% Fire damage every hit, on top of a double-hit 200% damage blow. Their Blue attack is the most important of the three, as it’s an AOE interrupt that lets her generate a shield with Super Armor, preventing enemies from interrupting her back and protecting her from Stuns.

On triples the 50-200% damage it deals is converted to fire. Her ultimate is incredibly cheap, costing only 30 Energy to hit enemies in between you and your target for 900% damage. She enters Overclock Mode after this, giving her basic attacks fire damage and enemies she hits with her flaming chainsaws a 15% fire resist reduction. Overall a simple character to pick up.

Rosetta-Arctic

Tank, Special Gauge, Burst Damage, Long-Range AOE

rosetta-arctic punishing gray raven

A tank ranger that’s less complicated to use than she looks, Rosetta relies on a special gauge at the bottom of the screen, which starts with three charges. Doing a triple (A good idea even without this gauge as all her triples do around 660% damage per hit) consumes a charge, making it hit even harder. Using your ultimate (jumping up and using an Ion Cannon GDI-style to zap an area for 2480% damage) expends two charges, making it hit harder too.

If you run out of charges, it’s time to back up a bit, since recharging it involves pulling out a big fat railgun by holding down your basic attack. This railgun attack does 1600% damage over a wide area and refills your charges after 8 seconds. Running out of charges seems less like a weakness and more an excuse to brutally kill robots with a huge gun at this point.

Bianca-Veritas

Attacker, Long-Range, Ranged Spam Attack

bianca-veritas punishing gray raven

A long-range sniper with nasty amounts of burst damage, Bianca’s older yet more powerful Veritas form comes with a sniper mode that is only slightly more complicated to trigger than other peoples’ attacks. You need a triple Blue then a Red to enter Sniper Mode, which gives you six long range shots for your basic attack, each dealing a big fat 500% Lightning Damage.

You can charge each arrow faster while dodging in Sniper Mode, and you’ve got six seconds to expend your shots before it ends. Her Red attack is a straightforward long-range shot for 240-720% damage, turning to Lightning damage when tripled. Her other two color attacks are for crowd control, with her Yellow being a damaging area slow and her Blue being an AOE knockback attack mainly used to set up Sniper Mode.

Liv-Luminance

Support, Healer, Slowdown, Debuffer, Extreme Self-Buff

liv-luminance punishing gray raven

Oh how your first healer grew up. Liv’s Luminance form is proof that people after the apocalypse think the Hippocratic Oath is a comedic masterpiece. Her Red Orbs can slow down the enemy and slightly reduce their damage on triples, on top of putting out a whopping 200-600% damage depending on how many Orbs you used. It’s her Yellow attack that takes the cake though: It gives her an utterly illegal basic attack buff, causing upwards to a deranged 16-32 extra hits on her basic attack for 30-50% extra damage each, for 2.5-5 seconds all depending on Orbs used.

You’ll usually do this after marking a crowd of targets with a Blue attack, since marked targets come with a 20% chance of being zapped by a Judgment Ray when hit, for 150% damage. Now if you hit a marked target 32 times with a single Yellow-boosted basic attack, you are mathematically guaranteed to laugh at your victim’s misery. This also helps you heal your teammates, since 5 Judgment Ray zaps mean your team gets healed.

She can also heal the team by doing triples. Her Ultimate is an aggressively murderous way to heal the team, as she starts zapping everything near her with Judgement Rays, and the 5 ray heal rule still applies while this is active.

Lucia-Crimson Abyss

Attacker, Triple-Combo, Stance Change, AOE Burst Damage

lucia crimson abysss punishing gray raven

If only the devs kept her usual bossfight name in the character select screen, she could have avoided being a big, fat, walking story spoiler. Lucia’s Crimson Abyss body deserves its villainous-sounding name, as pulling her attacks off well will deal a truly evil amount of hurt. Her color attacks on their own aren’t anything too special, it’s what happens after chaining them that makes her nasty: Doing a Blue triple followed by any other triple activates her Sword Wave mode.

This turns all her currently waiting Orbs and any Orbs gathered from basic attacks into Sword Wave Orbs, which throw out a 340% Physical Damage sword wave while giving her Super Armor. On top of this, the mandatory Blue triple you start this combo with gives you extra Energy to charge your ultimate, which deals a horrifying 2600% physical damage to everyone in front of you with a fancy anime slash. Nasty, spammy, and painful.

Karenina-Ember

Attacker, AOE Attacks, Triple Spammer, Super Armor

karenina-ember punishing gray raven

A powerful death dealer whose only weakness are enemies who are strong against fire. Even then, it only really stops a few specific attacks of hers, and she can just bludgeon them to death with her bazooka the old fashioned way. To use her is typically a simple affair of spamming triples.  She has a Thermal Energy gauge that fills up when doing triples or her Ultimate, and once she hits 50% Thermal, her color attacks deal fire damage and at higher numbers.

Usually more than double her original power. Keeping this gauge hot keeps the pain flowing and the fire burning. As for her individual skills, her Red Orb attacks deal AOE damage and more importantly, can’t be interrupted thanks to Super Armor. Her Yellow sends her flying towards her target for 180-540% (270-810% Fire if her Thermal Gauge is hot) damage and negating 30% of damage she takes. Her Blue calls in a bunch of laser guns to follow her around, and they will shoot enemies nearby for 20-60% (30-90% Fire when hot) damage.

Kamui-Tenebrion

Tank, Long-Duration Ultimate, Triple-Spam

kamui-tenebrion punishing gray raven

Kamui’s strongest body, his Tenebrion form has an Ultimate that stays active for as long as you can spam triples. Shadow Form massively increases the damage of his Orb color attacks, and gives a 40% Dark damage bonus to everything else. This works really well with his ability to generate energy while doing triples, since this means you’ll be doing hilarious amounts of damage just by trying to keep his ultimate active. His ultimate can also be saved by switching to another character while it’s active.

His Blue attack in particular comes with an AOE stun but doesn’t hit as hard as the others. If you have your Ultimate active it wouldn’t matter anyway, since it still hurts like crazy. Ult-boosted Blue attacks “only” deal 480-720% damage compared to the other two colors that deal 600-950% (Yellow) and 800-1200% (Red) damage respectively when the Ultimate is active.

Sofia-Silverfang

Support, Heal Spammer

sofia-silverfang punishing gray raven

With a ferocious name like Silverfang, Sofia’s model designation might give you the impression that she’s good at killing things. Ironic, because she’s far better at un-killing things with her absolutely spamtastic healing powers. Anything she does (Triple Orbs, QTE skills, her Ultimate, even her basic attack!) spits out healing Orbs, which lets her and her buddies keep their HP topped up.

If you have her as a teammate in co-op, you (or that aforementioned teammate) would have to be a special level of incompetent to get killed. She’s decent alone, and shines brightly with friends to appreciate her numerous circular gifts.

A Tier Characters – Powerful And Deadly

Liv-Lux

Support, Slowdown, Healing, Lightning Damage

liv-lux punishing gray raven

A fairly complex version of Liv. She has a very diverse set of abilities with her Lux body. She’s able to slow enemies down with her Yellow Orb’s (Or cube, as the attack itself is shaped like a cube) mild pull, mark targets for lightning strikes with her Blue attacks, and Red to trigger said lightning strikes on marked targets.

On top of this, these lightning strikes can be pointed at allies to heal them too! Her Ultimate is mostly useful in a Co-op team but still helps if she’s alone: She drops a support field, and anyone standing in it gets an Orb every second and a fat 20% attack boost. It also massively slows enemies down, by 50%. Bring her and learn her to let your buddies spam like maniacs.

Wanshi-Fate

Support, Dodge Fighter, Super Armor, Invulnerability

wanshi-fate punishing gray raven

A support that rewards skilled fighting while still being rather merciful to use. All their triple Orbs give Wanshi-Fate Super Armor, which prevents them from being knocked around and interrupted by enemy blows.

On top of that, their Red Orb grants super armor by default, and the Yellow Orb grants a very short duration invulnerability shield, on top of damaging enemies in a straight line. Their Blue is the only thing that doesn’t have some form of self buff by default, being able to heal allies and slow down enemies within an AOE.

It seems tempting to just waltz into the enemy and spam attacks since they’ll have a hard time interrupting you, but don’t. You get a damage bonus for dodging attacks! If you do a triple, you can hold down the basic attack button to go into Tactical Shooting Stance.

As long as you hold it down you will be in that stance, and letting go fires their Bloom Shot, which makes them move and does 200% Ice Damage. If you somehow dodge an attack with Bloom Shot, you get extended invulnerability and the damage ramps up like crazy, all the way to 700%.

Changyu-Kirin

Tank, Stance Change, Triple Spam

changyu-kirin punishing gray raven

Another complicated-looking character whose difficulties are rewarded with glorious, deadly basic-attack spam. They have a forced version of the Lucia-Lotus triple-then-Orb technique: They start with a grayed out Follow-Up Orb, and you can only activate it after a triple, flashing to indicate that it’s ready.

Do it fast, and you’ll follow up on your triple attack with another huge attack, based on what color you tripled. As for their ultimate, make sure you have a bunch of unused Orbs sitting around once you use it: His ultimate consumes all of them except the gray Orb, each Orb giving the ultimate an extra 5 points of energy to make it last longer after activation.

Now, with Formless Stance, you can spam the basic attack and gray Orb in that order to punch the enemy to death! Activating the Ult again stops Formless Stance, returning 4 Orbs to you and consuming more energy. You generally don’t want to do this, though there might be some tactical situations where your actual Orb attacks might be more useful than furiously beating robots into a greasy, metallic sidewalk smear.

Lucia-Dawn

Attacker, Lightning Element Bias, Target Marker, Pull, Single Target DPS

lucia-dawn punishing gray raven

Lucia’s first upgrade from her Lotus body, and the one you’re most likely to see on promotional art of the game. That being said, as long as you use her Yellow or Blue attacks to mark enemies for killing first, you’re gonna do well enough to kill them anyway. If Lotus pulled out two swords, Dawn pulls out even more swords with her ultimate, dealing extra Lightning damage with her basic attacks while it’s active.

The ultimate refreshes its duration if used again while active, and with a cost of 50 energy this isn’t too hard to keep going. Just remember that the Ultimate deactivates if you swap characters while it’s active, wasting energy.

Bianca-Zero

Attacker, Ranged Spammer, High Power Basic Attack

bianca-zero punishing gray raven

Another simple yet devastating damage dealer, Bianca’s Zero body has a Blue attack that when tripled, lets her shoot three arrows at once with her basic attack for some time. This adds up to a heck of a lot of damage, with her Blue-boosted basic attack easily able to mulch robots into small, easily recyclable pieces with the sheer amount of projectiles she throws out.

Her Yellow Orbs charge up her ultimate’s energy, while any triple Orbs charge up its actual damage power by putting arrows on her back. Her ult is to take all of those arrows and dump them on her target, so you’ll need to do your best to rack up triple Orb attacks so this hits as hard as it possibly can.

Vera-Rozen

Support, Stance Change, Dark Damage, Healer, Triple Spam

vera-rozen punishing gray raven

Oh great, one of those incompetent, bloodthirsty dogs from Cerberus squad. In any other military, their butts would probably get a big fat court-martial for the near-treasonous idiocy they put you through, but at least they can’t be morons if you’re the one controlling them! Vera-Rozen is relatively complicated- sounding but functionally, she boils down to Orb spam then attack spam. Every Orb she spends builds her Overclock meter, with triple chains being exponentially better at building Overclock.

Once her Overclock is full, you can hold down the basic attack button to activate her core attack, which turns her basic attack into a dark damage strike that hits harder and harder the more you slap people with it. It also gets splash damage while your core is active. Oh and she can use her Blue attack to heal people and mark bad guys. One wonders how much of a dummy you have to be to have such power and screw things up the way those Cerberus jerks do.

No. 21-XXI

Tank, Dodge Spammer, Crowd Control Denial, Combo Fighter, Blue Spammer

21-xxi punishing gray raven

Proof that maybe not all of Cerberus squad are worthless, heartless jerks, Vera took in 21 when nobody else would and yelled at her to get into fighting shape, for her sake. No.21-XXI relies on dodging a lot, as whenever they take a hit or do a triple Orb, they can use Forced Evasion to spend a little bit extra on their dodge gauge, removing any stuns on them and dumping a Twilight Matrix on the enemy. Doing this with a triple Orb dumps 3 Twilight Matrices on the enemy instead.

Everytime her Collab Bot hits a Twilight Matrix, the enemy eats a fairly weak AOE Dark attack and 21’s dodge gauge fills up by 40 points, letting her spam dodges even harder. 21’s Ultimate destroys all her other Orbs and gives her an infinite amount of Blue Orbs to rip the enemy to pieces with, along with an insane attack speed buff. For maximum ripping and tearing, use a Blue Orb then hit them twice with your basic attack, rinse and repeat while active.

This also ends in a big AOE explosion, emptying all her Orbs, energy and whatever’s left of the Overload Superposition attack-copying buff from spamming her Blue Orb attack. Doing her ult with 6 Twilight Matrices active makes said Matrices explode harder, for a rather hefty 300% damage each. If you like zipping around like a coffee-addled maniac, 21 is your girl.

Karenina-Blast

Attacker, AOE Damage, Pull

karenina-blast punishing gray raven

Explosions solve all problems. Karenina’s Blast body allows her to enter Burst State rather easily, activating for every three triple Orbs (That’s 9 orbs total) she triggers. This turns her basic attack to long-ranged artillery barrages with her bazooka. She can also pull enemies closer with her Blue attacks and QTE, usually into one of her big fat AOE attacks. Her ultimate is one of the aforementioned big fat AOEs, bombarding a target area with AOE attacks.

Once this ends, she also enters Burst mode, letting her bombard them again, this time with her normal attack! Her squad leader bonus is the same as her Ember body, though lacking the additional 5% for Attackers, again rewarding common sense teams.

Lee-Palefire

Attacker, DPS, Debuffer, Fire Damage

lee-palefire punishing gray raven

A very, very simple character to use, you’re mostly going to be spamming Yellow then Red Orbs in that order. Lee’s Palefire body uses their Yellow Orbs to fire an incendiary shot that not only sets the target on fire, but also adds extra fire damage to any follow up attacks. That follow up attack usually being his Red Orb, which lets him dump 15 shots (for 16-48% damage per bullet depending on Orbs chained) on the hapless, burning victim.

The Blue Orb deals less damage overall, maxing out at 600% (Still pretty good) compared to the Red Orb’s 15×48%, adding up to 720%. That being said, if you’re unlucky and just keep getting Blues, use it after the Yellow anyway.

Lucia-Plume

Attacker, Orb Arrangement Stance, Triple Spam

lucia-plume punishing gray raven

You remember Lucia, the starter girl? This is her now. Do you feel old yet? This is her strongest yet most complicated-to-use form (We’re not counting Lucia- Crimson Abyss for that since she’s… Let’s just say there’s two of her running around and Crimson is very, very angry).

Her main shtick is her ultimate, the fancy new Ice Mode: It swaps out her Orb attacks for a different set with ice damage rather than physical damage. It also rearranges all of your current orbs into triples: While this ultimate is very easy to charge (Triples power it up), you’d want to save it until you have a ton of orbs littering your screen.

Once you activate it, all those disorganized orbs get arranged into Triples, letting you wipe the floor with everything. If you charge it up while Ice Mode is active, then you can pile an ultimate on top of her ultimate: Her Ice Mode ultimate is an AOE crowd control ice attack that hits for a ton of damage and slows enemies down. Charge up your Ult bar with triples, hoard some orbs, turn on Ice Mode, spam triples like a madman then finish off whatever’s stupid enough to not die then-and-there with her real Ultimate. A bit complex, but it pays off.

Watanabe-Astral

Attacker, DPS, Dark Damage

watanabe-astral punishing gray raven

Another character that will feel very familiar to anyone who remembers how to use Lucia-Lotus, Watanabe’s Astral body is a more aggressive fighter than his Nightblade body, ditching the backstab evolution passive for the ability to mark targets with his Blue attacks, again with an S-rank evolution. Much like Lucia-Lotus, doing a triple then following with a Red triggers Watanabe’s core, melding him with the shadows and doing a very-anime multi-hit attack, dealing 60% Dark damage per blow.

After that attack, he enters the Enhanced Shadow state and starts dealing an added 300% Dark Damage with his basic attacks, though only for 5 seconds. His attacks also get converted to Dark element whenever he does triple Orbs, so keep that in mind when it comes to enemy damage resistances.

Chrome-Arclight

Tank, Shield-Spam, AOE-Spam

chrome-arclight punishing gray raven

It would seem quite a lot of A-rarity Constructs take after Lucia-Lotus. With Chrome-Arclight, he gets a shield if he uses a triple Orb then a Blue attack. The shield seems puny, being 10% of his HP and only lasting a measely 4 seconds. That short duration is a good thing though, because once the shield gets shot down, is renewed, or runs out its timer, an AOE lightning attack zaps enemies around him for 200% damage.  If you can spam his shields, you’re also spamming his AOE attack so keep that shield up!

Their ultimate also helps with spamming this shield: He pulls targets toward him, and his basic attacks are converted to Lightning Strikes. Every fifth attack triggers the shield, and with it, the electrical AOE attack. And with his second Evolution, swapping him in from another teammate immediately triggers his Ultimate, making it even more ridiculously spammy. A walking weather warning.

Vera-Flare

Tank, Shield Generation, Pull, AOE

vera-flare punishing gray raven

You’re gonna have to lose a bit of that Lucia-Lotus muscle memory for this girl, as Vera-Flare is just different enough to be annoying about it if you get her before learning other characters. Makes sense considering Cerberus squad likes messing with you! Rather than using another Orb after a triple, use a basic attack instead.

Vera-Flare has a mechanic with follow-up basic attacks, where doing a triple then a basic gives her a stack of Electric Charge. She can get up to 3, and holding the basic attack button consumes them to drop a Thunderfall with a minimum of 600% lightning damage, and it gets doubled for every stack it eats. It also reduces the victim’s resistance to Lightning attacks by 15% for 8 seconds, making them vulnerable to even more Thunderfalls.

Liv-Eclipse

Support, Healer, AOE Attack, HP Buff

liv-eclipse punishing gray raven

Your first Support Construct, Liv is also your first taste of being able to shoot robots rather than stab them in the face.  She can also fight in melee, and has wider area attacks to fend off crowds more effectively than Lucia- Lotus can. Assigning her to lead the squad gives your team a 10% HP buff with no strings attached. You probably won’t need this much if you know how to dodge or interrupt enemy attacks well, though it could be useful if you’re having a rough time early on.

Her healing ability, Nanofield Blossom, doesn’t just heal nearby allies for 20% HP, it also acts as an AOE attack and deals 200% Physical Damage to bad guys. She works best as a backliner, as calling her in immediately triggers her Triple Yellow Orb attack, a black hole that sucks enemies in and blows them to bits. Not to mention having her as a backliner after her SSS evolution gives everyone an ATK buff, more useful than her squad leader HP buff once you learn how to avoid attacks.

B Tier Characters – Eh, The Enemy Still Ends Up Dead Anyway

Chrome-Glory

Tank, HP-to-Shield Conversion, Shield-to-Damage Conversion

chrome-glory punishing gray raven

A high risk, high reward tank, you’ll need a second to figure out Chrome-Glory’s utterly weird HP mechanic. He only gets 40% of his actual HP, and the rest of it is converted to a Shield of Glory. It regenerates over time, but you do need it to do certain attacks which means you’re basically trading some of your HP to kill things harder.

If your Shield is past 50%, a triple Orb will eat that 50% and increase your damage drastically, going from roughly 500% damage to roughly 800% damage depending on which color attack you’re using. It sounds risky, but incoming attacks are rendered useless and charge your shield up by 50% while you’re doing the move.

Once your shield is full, you have the option to hold down the attack button and enter Frigid Soul mode, which eats all your shields and powers up your basic attacks massively, letting them do tons of extra damage and giving you the same damage-negating buff triples give. Doing triples while this goes on still renders enemy attacks useless, but doesn’t let them charge your shield back up.

Nanami-Storm

Tank, AOE Damage, DEF Reduction

nanami-storm punishing gray raven

An adorably cheerful chainsaw-wielding prankster and your first tank, rounding out the starter team since she’s the last of the three starter girls. Nanami-Storm will likely last pretty long as she’s a viable tank even in late game as you feed her, but she suffers early on before co-op gameplay is available for you.

She’s built to be used in a team where everyone is actually active. She can draw aggro for one thing, which is rather useless if you’re playing alone. Otherwise, she has an invulnerability field for an ultimate, and pulling any triple Orb followed by a Yellow Orb lets her use a defense-lowering attack so you and your buddies can clean house.

Watanabe-Nightblade

Attacker, Backstab Damage

watanabe-nightblade punishing gray raven

While a seemingly normal character early on, an evolved Watanabe- Nightblade gets a passive where they deal an extra 15% damage when striking from behind. This changes your playstyle from a rather standard hack-and-slash to constantly trying to get behind the enemy for those bigger, neuron-activating damage numbers. His triple combos are also stronger than normal: Unlike most characters who simply get a bigger number for doing longer Orb chains, he gets bigger numbers AND an extra strike when doing triple Orbs.

Spamming triple Orbs from the enemy’s back is the way to go with this guy. They’re quite strong, though being relatively hard to use when other characters who are easier to use yet are still just as powerful exist, can knock you down a peg here. You’ll get a lot of fun out of him though!

Kamui-Bastion

Tank, Stun, Counterattacks

kamui-bastion punishing gray raven

Kamui-Bastion is a bit more complicated to use than one would expect a tank to be since one of his attacks is a counter, more fit for a fighting game than an action crowd-puncher. Thankfully, his two second Yellow attack block stance is a lot more merciful than what you’d get out of a counterattacker in a fighting game, so just keeping an eye on your character and enemy attack windups can help you time his Yellow attack more effectively.

You’ll need to learn this counter since that and triple Orbs are how Kamui gains energy for their ultimate attack, which is to shove a greatsword into a target’s nostrils for a big fat 2000% damage. On top of that, keeping their energy above 60 makes them even tankier than they already are, so proper counters and triple Orb spam is essential for survival.

Lucia-Lotus

Attacker, DPS, Single Target, Combo Focus, Attacker Buff

lucia-lotus punishing gray raven

The starter girl, and a good one to learn the game with, Lucia is a seemingly overly-serious woman with a devotion for both her squad commander and plush frogs. She is a melee fighter specializing in killing single targets, with the ability to pull enemies toward her and into face-stabbing range. She can use her Yellow Orb attack to launch enemies into the air and make them vulnerable to follow-up attacks.

Her Core Passive is rather easy to trigger, all you have to do is stack 3 Orbs of any color together, press them and then use a Red Orb. This lets her enter Burst Mode which lets her normal attacks hit much harder, since she pulls out another sword.

Easy to use and easy to learn combos make her the ideal tutorial character, but you may want to swap her out for someone harder to use but with a higher skill ceiling eventually, or someone with better crowd fighting ability. Or not, sometimes you really just need to utterly shred one target at a time!

COLLAB CONSTRUCTS

These are characters from crossover game events. They are all S-rarity and are just as strong as any Construct. So far there are only a few of them, and all are from the NieR: Automata universe since that’s the only crossover to have happened so far. They’re not on the tier list proper since your chance of getting them is likely about the same as seeing pigs fly, though you may notice them on a co-op teammate.

2B

Attacker, Yellow Focus, Super Armor

2b punishing gray raven

Looking at her extremely long Core description may give you a headache, but she boils down to using Yellow triples, then any other triple, then using Red doubles or triples. Yellow, Any, Red. That’s because Yellow triples with any other triple afterward gives her 160 points for her Stance Stability gauge, which allows her to enter Combat Stance.

This lets her spam sword waves with any of her non-Blue attacks, with Blues being used to break out of enemy strikes and out of sticky situations. While this is all going on, Red doubles and triples give her a stacking 2% damage buff, up to a total of 3 stacks for 6%.

You can maintain this stance endlessly if you can keep the Yellow-Any-Red triples combo going, unless you use your Ultimate instead. Her ultimate wrecks a target with an 800% damage combo followed by a big fat 1800% slash. She works will with her fellow NieR:Automata buddies, since A2 and 9S’s presence doubles the power of her stacking buff.

A2

Tank, Ultimate ASAP, Shield Generation

a2 punishing gray raven

A2 relies on triples heavily, as not only does it give her a shield, that shield can also be used to charge her ultimate. She gets 5% of her HP’s worth in POD: Shields every time she does a triple, and once her shield gauge is full, she can go into Berserk Mode. Berserk Mode massively cuts down the damage she takes, by a thick 60%. She gets Super Armor on top of this, and hits harder by 30%.

Keep an eye on your Shield gauge though, as if it runs out, her Berserk Mode will start draining her Max HP instead! You can deactivate Berserk Mode manually, and usually it’s a good idea to do this once your shield runs out. That being said, levels are often quite short and you may get some mileage by keeping it running on the final stretch of the fight.

You can keep your Shield gauge topped up by doing triples even while the ultimate is active, so this isn’t much of a worry as long as you keep the triples going. As for her color attacks, her Yellow is simple, dealing 200-600% damage. Her Red is best followed by a basic attack when triggered as it buffs said attack for 300% damage and lets it give you 3% Shields. As for her Blue, it’s a pull that deals 150-450% damage in its direct field, but it can still pull enemies even outside the damage range, albeit more slowly.

9S

Support, Timed Orb Generation, Triple-Open

9s punishing gray raven

A support who rewards patience rather than sheer insane aggression, their hard-hitting (860%!) basic attacks cannot generate Orbs, instead Orbs are automatically generated every 2.5 seconds. Doing Triples spends 50 of the 100 Overclock points they start with (With 20 generated every second), generating an Overclock Orb of the same color as the triple, of which you can only have one at a time.

Using this Orb burns up all the Orbs of its color, which lets his POD give the enemy severe amounts of bullet-based lead poisoning, about 100-300% worth depending on how many Orbs it ate. More Orbs than 3 and it returns some of the extra to you at random. Their ultimate is a hacking minigame that can be skipped, and slams some unfortunate fool for 2600% damage.

Their color attacks are mostly for healing and crowd control, with their Blue being an expanding death ring dealing 180-540% damage to whoever hits it, while allies touching it get healed for 40-120% of 9S’s ATK. The Yellow is an AOE stop field, which hits anyone inside for 190-570% damage while making them forget how to walk for 0.6-2.4 seconds. As for their Red, it’s a boring but practical 200-600% damage laser zap. Oh well, a triple’s a triple.

COMPOSITORS

As a bonus, we’re also adding the Compositors, a different kind of unit built for Catastrophe Zones. There are only four of them at the moment. While they aren’t part of the tier list since they tend to be stronger than Constructs anyway, it still seems fitting to list them down so one knows what they’re capable of and how to use them, especially since their sheer stupid amount of killing power comes at a cost: They cannot join the same team as Constructs, and they don’t even syndergize with other Compositors as none of them are proper support units. That means they can’t bring healers!

In places like the Heterogeneous Maze and Tower of Babel (places with extreme concentrations of the Punishing Virus), they get a whopping 80% ATK boost, but get a -9% ATK debuff anywhere else. That debuff barely does anything to their truly bonkers murder ability though. They aren’t released in Global yet, but hey you might be playing in the Asian servers anyway.

Camu-Crocotta

Compositor, Pioneer, Triple Spammer, Stance Change

camu-crocotta punishing gray raven

The first Compositor you get after level 52, and one look at their numbers will show you why Compositors in general are just plain madness. Camu-Crocotta’s Red attack does 2 hits with 300-900% damage each, their Yellow hits twice for 280-840% each, and their Blue negates incoming enemy blows and smahes the area around them for 270-810%.

Big chunky numbers that even the strongest Constructs often need special stances to pull off. Triples also give you Rage stacks, needed to trigger your Ult along with energy, so you’ll need to spam them if you can. Her Ultimate is to go Berserk, increasing her damage by 20% Dark element.

Every single Orb she has now count as triples, so spamming them does crazy amounts of damage. Hits you take are redirected to your constantly draining Berserk gauge, leaving your HP safe but ending the mode quickly if you’re too careless.

Qu-Peafowl’s Plume

Compositor, Pioneer, Stance Change, Super Armor, Orb Spam

qu-peafowl punishing gray raven

Qu-Peafowl doesn’t even care about triples as much as other characters, as just using a total of six Orbs lets them enter Condensed State (You need 60 Homology points to enter, and an Orb gives 10), which powers up the next 3 Orbs they use. Of course, while he doesn’t care about triples, you should anyway since he still deals crazy numbers with them, usually totaling near 800% damage with any one of his color triples.

All of their color attacks give them Super Armor with or without triples while doing the move, making it nigh impossible to interrupt their attacks. Their ultimate summons their friend Huiyu for a combo, smashing a target for 1400% total damage, with Huiyu lingering to keep beating the target down for another 2240% damage. This also gets you 60 homology Points to enter Condensed Form immediately.

Selena-Tempest

Compositor, Pioneer, Triple-Combos, Buffer, Debuffer

selena-tempest punishing gray raven

A Compositor and a fairly complex one to use, she works best when chaining multiple triples together, so plan your Orb use ahead. A triple grants a Triad of its color, and the next Orbs you use grant a Chord. If they match colors, you take away 30% of the enemy’s ATK and slam them for 200% lightning damage, on top of whatever damage (All her triples deal 720% Lightning, with her Yellows giving her Super Armor) those triples did. Triads and Chords of different colors on the other hand buff Selena with an extra 20% damage.

The number of Orbs used for Chords expended give you a Temperament Charge each, which is why you ought to chain triples. If her Temperament is active, she can use her ultimate for 60 energy: This puts her into Chaotic Sea of Memory mode, which gives her as many Staccato Orbs as she had Temperament charges at the time of activation, while making her 30% faster and reduces enemy damage toward her by half.

The Orbs and her basic attack make her sing so badly that enemies get hurt for 650% lightning damage thanks to her sound waves Running out of Orbs or energy ends this stance. At her second evolution, you don;t even need to worry about matching colors anymore since Chords trigger both the self-buff and the enemy debuff and attack.

Roland-Theatrical Flame

Compositor, Pioneer, Combo Attacks

roland-theatrical flame punishing gray raven

Whether or not they were a Compositor or Construct, they would have been considered weird either way. Rather than doing Triples all at once, their color attacks have 3 stages. No matter the color, you use one Orb to attack, then follow it with another Orb right before the first stage attack ends if they have at least 30 points on their Bluff gauge. Don’t worry about losing damage since properly executed combos hit as hard as triples on other Compositors.

To fill up the Bluff gauge, open with your basic attack and follow it with any Orb. Orb attacks consume Bluff, and fill up your Ultimate gauge. Their ultimate opens up with a 1600% damage Fire sword combo, then puts him into Trick Climax mode. This gives him a Blaze Orb, which should be use dimmediately to smash something for 1100% Fire and Super Armor. Their Trickery gauge goes down by 5 every second and is also used up when consuming Orbs.

Orb attacks in Trick Climax are at their strongest, with all 3 of them giving you Super Armor and dealing roughly 1100% damage when Trick Climax is active. This trickster breaks quite a few rules, but they’re all the stronger for it if you figure them out.

And this ends our Punishing: Gray Raven tier list. Wherever your favorite characters end up on this list, learn them well and they’ll do you good. If you have anything to add or want to chat with your fellow Commandants, feel free to leave a comment below!