As Black Ops 4’s lifespan has moved along, a meta has surfaced among its many Specialists.

A “meta” within a game refers to a set of popular & powerful picks which win out over others. This phenomenon happens due to balancing differences, gameplay changes, and player preference.

Black Ops 4 has been out for a while now and its players have slowly carved out the game’s meta. Today, we take a look at the current tier listings of Specialists as of patch v.1.11.

The Specialists are divided into four tiers: God Tier, Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. God Tier contains Specialists which dominate the current gameplay meta in public multiplayer and Tier 3 contains any lackluster Specialists.

Explanations and reasoning for each tier listing will also be given with each tier section. All tier listing are based on public multiplayer usage of the average player, not on top level optimal usage.

God Tier

  • Seraph – Though originally a mid-tier pick, Seraph has risen due to the recent balance changes. Seraph’s Annihilator packs one hit kills, can be used to destroy scorestreaks, and mitigate other Specialists’ abilities like Torque’s Barricade. Additionally, her Tac Deploy can be easily used to quickly provide team wide support and respawns close to objectives.

  • Prophet – The combined power of Prophet’s Tempest and Seeker Drones gives him control over wide areas of the map. The Tempest includes a tight hipfire reticle for close range and a scope for long range. The electricity also attaches to enemies in a mighty range. The Seeker Drone provides near-perfect intel on enemy movements.

  • Ajax – The Ballistic Shield can be easily used to break objectives and rack up kills due to its machine pistol. Nothing can penetrate the shield and Ajax can heal safely behind the shield. A single Ajax shield play can often lead to a victory. Ajax’s 9-Bangs provide immense utility, recharge quickly, and are only partially countered by Tactical Mask.

Tier 1

  • Battery – The Cluster Grenade quick recharge and high damage place Battery in Tier 1. With Flak Jacket buffs, the Specialist has seen a bit less use. Flak Jacket is a less used perk in public multiplayer, though if it continues to rise in popularity among casual players, Battery may be downgraded to Tier 2.

  • Firebreak – While the Purifier is a finicky weapon due to glitches with its hit detection, it can pack a punch when it works properly. Deep fuel reserves allow for multiple objective clears before running out. The Reactor Core may have a longer cooldown than some other equipment, but it’s huge area of effect and ability to force enemies out of objectives keeps Firebreak at Tier 1.

  • Nomad – Mesh Mines are a common occurrence in Multiplayer. The red line which denotes a deadly trip wire charge can be hard to see against many of the game’s lighter surfaces. Nomad can also place the mines at separate entry-points to maximize zone control. El Doge aka the K9-Unit still continues to have a presence in Black Ops 4 due to her fast movements, no aim assist hitbox, and the tracking of a Javelin missile.

  • Recon – Recon’s Vision Pulse is an extremely powerful tool that allows for information to be relayed to teammates without the need for voice comms. This comes in handy when playing public matches. The Sensor Dart acts in much the same way and provides compact intel to all teammates.

  • Zero – While Zero can be used ineffectively from time to time, her ability to steal enemy scorestreaks earns her a Tier 1 spot. Many players tend to use EMP grenades as ineffective flashbangs, but due to their wide area of effect, the grenade still disable key equipment oftentimes. Her Ice Pick can be used from complete safety and destroy/steals all current enemy scorestreaks. A powerful ability to say the least.

Tier 2

  • Torque – The Barricade began life as a fairly effective piece of equipment, but with the addition of EMP grenades, Torque usefulness has taken a hit. With the Barricade easily disabled by a grenade, Razor Wire is Torque’s best crowd control option. The wire poses as a key annoyance and requires several clips of ammo or an explosive to take out. This saves Torque from the Tier 3 positioning.

  • Crash – While Crash’s Assault Pack helps teammates get scorestreaks and abilities more quickly, the bonus +25 points is minimal and often times makes little difference. Crash’s Tak-5 health boost provides a powerful tool, but timing the boost in coordination with teammates can be extremely tricky in a public environment with minimal communication.

  • Ruin – Ruin’s Grav Slam and Grapple Gun work great when used in conjunction with one another. This also becomes Ruin’s weakness due to the Grapple Gun’s minimal use while Grav Slam is charging. The Grapple can be used to cover distance, but outputs a loud sound cue that gives away his position. The very essence of high risk-high reward gameplay.

Tier 3

As of the current patch, no Specialists fall into this “near useless” category. This tier is specifically reserved for Specialists that could be considered significantly under-powered. Due Treyarch’s balancing efforts, we will leave this tier blank for now.

This tier listing naturally may differ from your own experiences. Tell us if you agree or disagree and why. You can give your opinions of the rankings here in the comments or on Twitter at @CharlieIntel.

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A life-long Call of Duty player, Bachelor of Game Design, and a lover of eSports. Floodsye is my real name, Tommi is just the gamertag my parents gave me.