Top 10 Best Champions To Try Out in Paladins

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Hi-Rez Studios’ wonderful free-to-play “dungeonpunk” FPS Paladins was released in 2016, and since then we’ve seen it develop from an open beta to a full-fledged competitive experience with its own personality that even offers cross-platform play.

In a game with such a vibrant ever-changing meta, it’s easy to find oneself lost as to which heroes to play.

Given that the time to learn moves and strategies is such a big investment, it’s easy to be left paralyzed when we want to change things up and try a new champion. Or simply choosing one to main when still getting to know the game.

Worry not, for I had to face these same issues recently as I got back into Paladins following a months-long hiatus. And I’ve come up with my picks for the best champions to try out, distilled from my own research and experiences.

This considers how well they perform in Ranked, their versatility, how much they add to a team, and generally how fun they are to play with.

In other words: I put the time in, so you didn’t have to.

Damage, Flank, Support, Frontline; no matter what you play, there’s a character for you here.

10. Inara (Frontline)

Inara frontline in Paladins

My first suggestion, especially for those of you who like playing tanky characters and not moving around a lot, is The Stone Warden: Inara.

Her race of stone-people was created in the distant past to aid the Paladins in protecting the realm, and Inara is one of the few left fulfilling their oath.

As a frontline she excels at holding areas and soaking up damage with the Earthen Guard skill, which reduces damage on herself and her deployable rock sentries.

She can also summon a wall of stone to act as a shield for her and her allies, blocking the enemy’s line of sight as long as it holds and forcing them to get in range of her stone-shooting spear if they want to displace her.

Even if forced to fall back, her Seismic Crash ultimate ability will make taking back points a walk in the park.

Among her talents Mother’s Grace is the most advisable, as it’ll improve Earthen Guard’s damage reduction and also make her immune to CC while it’s active.

This is best supported by load-out cards that give her more health and generally improve Earthen Guard.

9. Jenos (Support)

Jenos Support in Paladins

I’ve always been a prolific support player(meaning I sometimes avoid sucking) and so I was very invested in identifying the best champions in the class.

Jenos, The Ascended, is a staple of the game at this point finding his way into matches more often than not.

This space-Buddha carries an automatic carbine rifle called the “Star Splitter” he uses to rain enlightenment down on his foes.

His weapon is only second-priority though since Jenos is built around making his team shine.

His Astral Mark ability will heal allies over time, even through walls, and his Void Grip will raise enemies and hold them in place so his teammates can turn them into Swiss cheese.

He’ll also get his own time to shine once his ultimate is charged up.

This straight beam of cosmic energy will ignore all shields and deal massive damage to anything in its path.

Ideally you’d pick cards that improve Astral Mark for your load-out.

In regards to talents, there’s only one choice for Jenos and that’s Luminary, which amplifies damage on characters being healed by his healing ability.

He may not be great at keeping team-dependent tanks like Inara alive. But he sure as hell will make aggressive frontlines like Khan pack an extra punch.

8. Lex (Flank)

Lex flank in Paladins

One of the most popular characters right now is The Hand of Justice, Lex.

Like the flank he is, this brutal space-cop specializes in singling out other champions and picking them off one by one.

While he’s better used by players with nice accuracy who can pull off head-shots to help his damage, he also has some auto-aim attacks that anyone can use to devastating effect.

Running for cover is pointless with him around!

His two semi-auto magnums are a relatively fast and very accurate weapons. And this is very handy to bring health bars down from a distance in battle.

His Combat Slide ability is especially useful. It’ll let you close the distance while chasing an enemy without ceasing to fire, while also being your main tool to disengage.

Both his In Pursuit skill and his ultimate will let you finish off wounded enemies without even having to aim. This means you can get a lot of value out of him even while still learning the ropes.

There are two main talents most people choose from when playing Lex.

Death Hastens will make you fire slower but do more damage, which is ideal for accurate players who can land head-shots and truly take advantage of the power-up.

Alternatively, Heroism is also worth checking out if you’re fond of Combat Slide. This will make you almost invulnerable while sliding and therefore let you maneuver well in very dangerous situations.

7. Drogoz (Damage)

Drogoz in Paladins

There’s not much to be said about Drogoz the Greedy other than “NERF NOW”.

This wingless dragon with a jet-pack belongs to the damage class and he’s a great champion in the way that the grenade launcher attachment was “great” in CoD: Modern Warfare 2.

That is, he’s broken and stupidly easy to use even for new players.

He’ll spend most of his time gliding around high in the air while raining down fire with his rocket launcher.

His collection of skills offers both burst damage and CC and almost always guarantee a kill if used correctly.

Chief among them is his ultimate ability which is almost impossible to miss.

You need only direct yourself towards an enemy to tackle them at high speeds, resulting in an instant kill.

In regards to talents and load-out cards, you generally want to focus on keeping Drogoz in the air. Which means grabbing his W.Y.R.M. Jets talent and cards like Altitude, both of which replenishes jet-pack fuel for every successful elimination.

Pro-tip: You’ll be getting a lot of them with this beast.

6. Lian (Damage)

Lian in Paladins

The Scion of House Aico and Heiress to the Ruby Throne is a champion of the damage class that’s perfect for players who are good at positioning themselves, but not so much at aiming.

She’s very popular in the meta right now thanks to her Grace skill, which lets you get out of danger and disengage while also firing an auto-aimed burst at the enemy closest to the player.

Valor will also hit all rivals unlucky enough to be in front of you when activated.

Both skills combined make her a great option for eliminating flank characters with a lot of mobility, but limited pools of health.

For Lian you either want to take her Precision talent for increased damage, or Alacrity which will increase the number of champions Grace targets at once.

Depending on your choice, you’ll either want a load-out that focuses on improving Grace or simply survivability cards to keep you alive in sticky situations.

5. Khan (Frontline)

Khan frontline in Paladins

Lean’s advisor and protector, Khan, has been a favorite among frontline mains ever since he came out. And it’s easy to see why.

The Primus of House Aico isn’t only a very durable aggressor. But his grabbing skills can be devastating if used correctly.

His Heavy Repeater automatic weapon is precise enough to pull off head-shots in 1v1 duels, but also fast enough for you to effectively spray-and-pray when the situation calls for it.

His Commander’s Grab ability is perfect to disengage while also re-locating enemies for easier execution by your teammates. And his ultimate, Overpower, can even be used to throw people off ledges for an easy kill.

All of this fun is supported by his Battle Shout which will make you immune for a couple of seconds and heal surrounding allies in a jiffy.

It’s especially useful to survive sometimes unavoidable ultimate abilities such as Drogoz’s tackle of death.

Ideally you’d take his Storm of Bullets talent, which makes your weapon fire faster and carry more rounds by default.

This will increase your damage potential considerably and let you effectively harass your enemies to draw aggro while toggling your Bulwark shield.

Cards that increase your health and overall survivability like Platemail are also very desirable.

4. Furia (Support)

Furia Paladins

Among my all-time favorite champions in Paladins is the Angel of Vengeance, Furia.

This winged beauty is righteous wrath incarnate, sent down by the Eternal Pyre to serve as its cleansing flame and slay us all with her thick thighs.

She also happens to be a very competent support character.

Her weapon is the Pyre Blade, a burst-fire rifle with a very long range and high accuracy.

Its rate of fire will increase substantially the more allies you heal with your Kindle Soul skill, which is a great incentive to proficiently do your job as a healer.

You can use it at virtually any range as long as you can see your target. This makes Furia great for going in and out of cover, positioned behind your teammates to heal and pick off enemies in the distance.

Generally her Cherish talent card will provide the most usefulness by improving this already excellent skill.

Both her Pyre Strike and ultimate ability are great for taking back a position or counter an enemy push.

They’re also useful if you find yourself cornered since Furia isn’t very mobile.

Her Wings of Wrath will certainly let her dash away from immediate danger, but only a short distance.

It’ll also fire energy bombs back at the closest enemy and it’s meant to let you reposition for a counter-attack rather than to flee.

The fact that’s she’s equipped to fight back also means she’s often forced to, so keep that in mind when trying her out.

3. Maeve (Flank)

Maeve Paladins

The smallest bounty-hunter in the Realm, Maeve of Blades, is all about remaining mobile and pouncing on weakened enemies with short bursts of massive damage.

She can escape almost any situation to recalculate her approach and be back in seconds thanks to both her Pounce dash and increased mobility with Prowl.

She can also do it over and over, as her Nine Lives ability will reset their cooldowns(which aren’t too long anyway).

It may take some practice and getting-used-to with how squishy she is. But once you do you’ll realize she can hold her own even in 1v1 duels, so long as you apply her burst damage correctly.

Her Street Justice talent is perfect to deal with large health pools or barriers, as it’ll enable her Pounce to execute characters below 35% health.

Other than that I’d recommend favoring cards for your load-out that increase her survivability. Even a little bit of extra health will make a difference and save you potential frustration.

2. Willo (Damage)

Willo Paladins game

The bad-tempered Tinkerbell of the Summer Court may be squishy, but don’t let that fool you.

She’s one of, if not the most effective damage champion in the game as it stands.

Her wand and her Seedling skill do blast damage covering wide areas. And considering she’ll spend most of the time flying around with her Flutter skill and ultimate ability, your enemies won’t know what hit ’em.

She’s also valued for her Dead Zone skill which prevents healing in a wide area, letting you mow down tanks and generally enabling you to control the battlefield.

Your two main talents to pick with Willo will be Scorn, to make her Seedling skill deadlier… or Nightshade, which adds damage to her Dead Zones(as if they weren’t deadly enough).

With the mobility of a flank, the offensive capacity of a WW2 bomber, and some cards to keep her alive, a Willo on your team will always be an asset.

1. Io and Luna (Support)

Io and Luna Paladins

The kemonomimi waifu Io and her spectral furry friend Luna are two sides of the same amazing support champion.

She’s the newest hero to join the roster. And of course, something everyone’s thinking of trying if they haven’t already.

Luna, functioning as a deployable, will rush and stun enemies you’ve marked with your bow every couple of seconds. But that’s only a fraction of what she can do.

As she’s supposed to be a part of your character she can actually capture points and push objectives, making her an invaluable asset bringing much utility to your team.

With the Lifelink talent card she’ll also heal over time in an area around her, which is great if you set her behind cover where your mates can easily reach her.

Io herself functions as a very competent healer with her Moonlight skill.

But keep in mind she has to continuously aim at the character you’re healing. Your main mobility skill is Lunar Leap which will have Io jumping up and backward a considerable distance.

You can fire and use all of your skills while moving, but be careful not to jump over a ledge!

Overall she’s a very unique and fun character to use. A great option for both new players and returning regulars looking to shake things up a bit.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.