As a dungeon-crawler, Lost Ark’s core gameplay revolves around sweeping through wave after wave of standard enemies en route to a conclusive boss fight.
The three core elements to which players can contribute to this gameplay loop are in the form of dealing enough damage to cleave through enemies, having enough health to tank their attacks, or possessing the means to mitigate the damage taken.
Several of Lost Ark’s classes better orient themselves to the tank, healer, damage-dealer meta that Player-versus-environment-based role playing games of this type tend to fall back upon.
Paladin: The best of all worlds
Featuring the Warrior’s trademark tankiness and near bottomless health pool, while also granted conventional means of team healing and support, the Paladin acts as a core staple to Lost Ark’s dungeon-crawling.
The area-of-effect capabilities from skills like Wrath of God and Law of God, in tandem with the wide, sweeping sword slashes of Flash Slash and Execution of Justice, make Paladins ideal for sawing through incoming enemy hordes.
The Paladin’s greatest weakness — that being the Warrior class’s generally slow movement and lack of mobility skills — is made irrelevant as dungeon enemies often feed aggressively into the class’s attack range.
Bard: The power of friendship
As the most optimized class for playing in a supporting role, the Bard best uses her kit to provide buffs to a team of tankier, more combat-oriented classes.
Skills like Oratorio and Heavenly Tune offer a wide range of moderate AoE damage, while also providing allies within these attacks’ ranges passive boosts to attack speed, critical hit chance, and defense against incoming attacks.
While lacking in any real means of large damage output, the Bard succeeds in zoning enemies by stunning them and knocking them back — as with the Rhythm Buckshot and Prelude of Storm skills — buying her teammates the time they need to heal or allow their skills to cool down.
Artillerist: The sidearm sidegrade
While comparably as tanky and high damage-dealing as the Paladin, and featuring longer-ranged damage options to make up for its slow speed, the Artillerist lacks any tangible support options, and contributes slightly less to the dungeon-crawling team overall.
Sorceress: If you want something done right…
The more damage-oriented mage, the Sorceress lacks the Bard’s glut of support skills, instead lending herself better to teams with weaker damage-dealers.
Scrapper: Off the leash
While not quite as tanky as previous options, a Scrapper is capable of dealing high amounts of damage to multiple enemies, when in the right position and allowed to play by her own rules.
She might not stick around inside a support class’s AoE for very long, but boosting an already competent damage-dealer is the little bit of icing on top of a cannonball-like cake.
Related: The Best Scrapper builds in Lost Ark
Gunslinger and Deadeye: Jack of all trades, master of none
The three-weapon fighting style of these two classes, and the unique utilities provided with each weapon, make for multifaceted fighters that are never really out of place in any scenario.
However, where most PvE scenarios involve massive amounts of enemies and demand wide-AoE attacks at high damage, Gunslinger and Deadeye can’t really hold a candle to the damage-based contributions of most of their higher-tiered contemporaries.
With no inherent support skills, these two are best used as supplemental contributors to the damage-per-second of a team already anchored by a Paladin or Artillerist.
Shadowhunter: Something’s missing
Shadowhunters are capable of near-unrivaled damage and mobility — that is, when in demonic form. Without this temporary boost, the class has little to contribute until this power can be replenished and used again.
Seeing as some dungeon raids can last upwards of 10 minutes, most Shadowhunters will only see a few opportunities in which they get to contribute at peak efficiency in a given raid.
Sharpshooter: Wrong tool for the job
Primarily designed as a precision-based pick class, Sharpshooters have very little to offer in terms of AoE. As a result, not many of the class’s skills can be used to their fullest potential when trying to cleave through countless targets.