Apex Legends Season 12 Defiance is upon us. In Season 11 we saw the rise of Caustic, the addition of Ash, and a renewed emphasis on Horizon due to her unique interactions with the gravity cannons on Season 11's unique island map. As we enter Season 12 and return to Olympus and Kings Canyon, there is a brand new Legend, Mad Maggie, as well as some balance changes that will likely have an impact on the overall Legend meta.
With all that in mind, here is our tier list ranking all the best characters to play in Apex Legends Season 12!
While Gibraltar's abilities may not appear overpowered at first, a closer examination reveals that his bubble shield is arguably the best ultimate ability in the game. The shield allows Gibraltar and his allies to instantly seek cover for 12 full seconds, which is very powerful later in the game, as circles grow smaller and the pressure goes up. Additionally, he revives his teammates 1/3 faster while inside the radius of the bubble and takes less damage in the dome. He also has a personal shield that makes him pretty tanky, even without his bubble active.
As a result of the usefulness of his abilities, and their ease of use, Gibraltar has dominated the pro meta and the upper-tier meta in Apex Legends. You could easily make the case that he is still the most important agent in the game in Season 12.
While many heralded the end of Wraith’s Tier-S status last season, after Ash was revealed to have a similarly useful teleportation ability, Wraith weathered that storm and came out on top. Her tactical escape ability still gives her what amounts to a get-out-of-jail-free card, and her ultimate ability remains extremely useful for rotating, especially when combined with the aforementioned tactical vanish ability. She has been a dominant legend for 11 seasons now, and in season 12 it looks to remain that way.
Lifeline is another mainstay of the Apex Legends roster. Her ability to heal herself and teammates is powerful, but what really sets her apart is that she can revive teammates with her drone without needing to take herself out of combat. This adds a lot of stamina to a team, leaving her a highly sought-after support agent, in a game that has a distinct lack of support agents to choose from. Her ultimate is also not half bad, allowing her to call in care packages, which is perfect for those who are searching for those extra powerful care package guns like the Kraber or the Volt.
Octane straddles the line between A-Tier and S-Tier. Ultimately, his popularity among movement players pushes him up to Tier S, considering he almost always can get out of sticky situations, and his ultimate gives your entire team the ability to quickly attack or retreat. This speed demon is unlikely to see any real reduction in his effectiveness in the upcoming season 12 meta.
Valkyrie is a great legend when played in the right composition with other legends. Her ultimate is perhaps the most effective rotation tool for early and mid-game circle rotations, and is especially useful if you have a Gibraltar to pop shield during the charge-up period before she blasts off with her team. She can also quickly and easily access high ground at any time with her jet pack. Her abilities aren’t quite as game-changing as the S-Tier characters, but her popularity in the pro-meta is on coincidence, as her mobility is highly valuable depending on your team's playstyle.
Horizon has quietly crept up in power level over the last few seasons, due in part to the extremely useful passive ability that combined in interesting, and at times broken, ways to offer her unprecedented mobility on the recent island map. Her tactical ability is also quite useful, both as a means of taking the high ground and as a means of adding some unpredictability to your fights. On top of that, her black hole ultimate has the potential to devastate enemies, as you can trap them and then finish them with explosives.
While Horizon is not quite as popular at lower levels of the game, there is a reason her play rate goes up in higher skill brackets. She has a lot of potential if you know how to play her.
Caustic saw a serious come up in the last season, boosting all the way into the S-Tier by the end of Season 11, in part due to the devastating damage that his Gas Traps dealt once triggered. His gas will remain dangerous, however, in Season 12 there is a new nerf to his abilities, that will leave the gas trap able to be destroyed even after it is triggered. So while he will be great still, he won’t be as unstoppable as he was last season.
That said, his gas traps will boast 150 health after being triggered, so they are still a significant distraction and tankier than many first feared when the nerf was originally rumored.
Bloodhound’s biggest value to a team is their ability to expose enemy locations through walls, frequently. This gives your team a great intelligence advantage over teams not running Bloodhound. While Bloodhound is not quite the must-have agent they once were, due to the addition of other agents with intelligence abilities, Bloodhounds intelligence abilities and hunter-centric ultimate remains desirable in Season 12.
Pathfinder is an amazing mobility-focused Legend. He can use his grappling hook to quickly jump on enemies, or escape a bad situation. His ultimate is a zipline that, while not game-changing, definitely comes in handy. And of course, like all recon legends, he can use the beacons to discover the location of the next zone. He has been around since the release of the game, and remains one of the best options on the Apex Legends Season 12 roster.
Mad Maggie is the newest agent added in Apex Legends season 12. It is not quite clear what her role in the meta will be, since she was only just announced, so take her ranking here with a grain of salt. Based on her announced abilities, which give her a drill that can harm enemies through cover, enhanced speed with shotguns, and reveals enemies she damages through walls, it seems like she might play a strong niche for players who love aggression.
Her ultimate is similarly aggressive, allowing her to damage enemies with an explosion and approach them quickly using small speed pads it drops in its wake. She likely won’t be meta-breaking, but she will probably be pretty solid, and her tactical can go through Gibraltar shields, which could potentially shake up Gibby's dominance.
Mirage is everyone’s favorite trick artist. His ability to send a projection of himself running can be useful for sussing out enemies, or for distracting them to get the upper hand in a fight. His ultimate can be really confusing, dropping a ton of those projections that all run around, making it difficult to figure out which version is the real you. Most of his abilities aren’t groundbreaking, but they are very fun, and when used right they can make a huge difference.
Ash was the new Legend in Season 11, and she left a solid first impression. When she first was added to the game, she was A or S-tier in the Battle Royale mode since she could spot death boxes on the minimap, allowing her to figure out a lot about what is going on on the map without much need for risk when it came to intelligence gathering. However, they ended up nerfing that ability, which left her still strong with her snare tactical ability and one-way teleportation ultimate ability, but less strong than she initially seemed.
Loba is a great person to have on your team when it comes to looting, since her Black Market Boutique ultimate allows you and your team to quickly find valuable guns, ammo, and shields. Her mobility is also decent, with her Burglar’s Best Friend tactical allowing her to quickly transport away from a situation as needed. Her abilities won’t really help you get crazy kills, but they will allow you to stay stocked up with solid weapons and have a reliable escape.
Rampart is a pretty cool character these days. She can set up barriers that help your team bunker down, and her ultimate is much better than it once was, since you can now take her mountain machine gun and go mobile with it. She still isn’t a top-tier agent, but she is solidly mid-tier and a delight to play.
Seer has had a serious fall from grace over the past couple seasons. He went from a must-pick agent following his release in Season 10, to a rarely picked agent who is outclassed by most other recon agents in Season 11. He likely won’t see any significant improvement in his status, since his much more limited heartbeat sensor is only marginally useful, and his micro-drone detect takes so long to activate, that a wary player can pretty easily dodge it. That said, if you can land his detect, he is still very powerful, and his ultimate is situationally devastating.
Another member of the original cast of Apex Legends, Bangalore has played a lot of metas over the years. She has a solid kit of a smoke ability, increased run speed while under fire, and an artillery strike ultimate. Unfortunately, this kit is a little basic and doesn’t have the impact on the battle than higher-tier character kits can. She is below average, and until they rework her kit, she is likely to remain that way for Season 12.
Crypto is moving up to Tier C, from Tier D, due to a new buff that could see him more useful in Season 12. Under the new buff, while he will still be able to control his drone for intelligence, he will also now have the option to send the drone flying in the direction that he is aiming, allowing for a more smooth and less demanding application of the drone. This could see him more viable since he won’t have to choose between fighting and droning anymore.
Wattson’s abilities revolve around her Perimeter Fence. While she got buffed in the last season, allowing for her to generate fences more quickly, her fences just aren’t that difficult to play around. For those who enjoy playing her, there are ways to use her effectively, but she is just too limited to be considered anything other than a low-tier option.
Revenant is Apex Legends resident edge lord, but his abilities just aren’t that great. He can fire an EMP that silences enemy abilities, and he can climb walls as high as he wants which is situationally useful. His ultimate has him dropping a totem that allows him to play as a kind of projection of himself, returning to the totem when that projection is killed. Overall these abilities just aren’t all that game-changing in Season 12, and there are much better Legends to choose from.
No one can deny that Fuse is fun to play, annoying enemies with your seemingly endless supply of grenades. However, he has one of the worst win rates in the game because his abilities aren’t game-changers. Sure you can launch a lot of grenades, and his Motherlode ultimate isn’t terrible if you have an enemy pinned down, but generally speaking, he is one of the more underpowered characters in Apex Legends Season 12.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.