Gears POP! Tier List: The Best Characters and Pins Ranked

Gears POP! is a brand new arena battler on mobile that draws a lot of inspiration from Clash Royale. You’ll open packs to unlock pins, which function the same as cards in Supercell’s offering. Pins represent characters from the Gears …

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Gears POP! is a brand new arena battler on mobile that draws a lot of inspiration from Clash Royale. You’ll open packs to unlock pins, which function the same as cards in Supercell’s offering. Pins represent characters from the Gears of War franchise, as well as various different equipment and abilities.

Figuring out the pros and cons of each pin by playing the game is a very time-consuming task indeed. Not only do you have to unlock each of them, which can take an awful lot of time, you also need to figure out how they play in practice and how they sync up with other pins.

Fortunately for you, we’ve done the legwork so you don’t have to. Below, we’ve listed the entirety of the pins in the game in order of what we consider to be the strongest and weakest. That’s not to say that those in the lowest tier are useless. Chances are, they might just offer situational advantages while other cards are strong across the board. We’ll try and go into detail in the description.

Gears POP! Tier List – All Characters and Pins Ranked:

A Tier:

This is our top tier, featuring pins that can slot easily into every single deck. If you’re looking for the best of the best, look no further.Ink Grenade:

  • Emergence Hole: This is your match winner, which is a fitting task for an Ultimate Ability. You can pop it anywhere on the arena, and it can provide defensive cover or take down a tower all on its own.
  • Ink Grenade: The Ink Grenade is second only to Emergence Hole in terms of our favourite pins. This nifty grenade can help you defend a horde of foes, assist your Emergence Hole in bringing down a tower, or simply put off an enemy from attacking down a particular flank. In short, it’s good at everything.
  • Seeder: The Seeder is our second favourite Ultimate Ability, and some might prefer it over the Emergence Hole due to how easy it is to defend. It can take down a tower from a ridiculous range, deals area damage, and has a solid pool of health.
  • Old Man Marcus: Old Man Marcus, and his younger counterpart, are the absolute kings of capturing cover. Old Man Marcus gets the edge though, due to his ability to dodge grenades or sniper fire and his solid DPS. He’s an absolute nuisance, in the right hands.
  • Augustus Cole: Cole is a very popular choice for beginners and veterans alike. He’s a solid tank, costs a mere 3 energy, and deals considerable damage at close range.
  • Dominic Santiago: Dom is a great pin that can provide support at any point on the field. His strength comes from his ability to heal all nearby units though his DPS is fairly solid too. He can assist on defence or offence, and is best placed behind a tank like Cole or Carmine.
  • Clayton Carmine: When used correctly, Carmine is an absolute beast of a card. He’s one of our favourite cards for a counter push, as his skill can wipe out hordes of enemies if you pull it off right and he can then serve as an effective tank as you push on the offensive.

B Tier:

B tier features pins that will feature in the vast majority of our decks, but don’t really get a chance to shine without synergising with another unit. They might also provide solid alternatives to an A tier card that you haven’t unlocked yet.

  • Savage Grenadier: The Savage Grenadier is a solid defensive pin that can also capture cover. He’s best used against hordes of oncoming enmies, though he’ll likely need protection due to his smaller health pool. He can also provide offensive support on the other side of the arena.
  • Shepherds: The Shepherds are the absolute best tank support cards in Gears POP!. For a mere 3 energy you’ll get three units that deal solid damage at a good range. If effectively protected by Cole or Carmine, they can prove quite devastating.
  • Marcus Fenix: If it wasn’t for Old Man Marcus, this pin would likely appear higher on this list. The younger variant is still solid though, and can capture cover as fast as his older counterpart. It’s still a powerful pin, though you’ll miss that dodge ability.
  • Longshot Gear: The Longshot Gear is an exceptional defensive pin that can take out units from a considerable distance.
  • Lancer Gear: We’re torn about the Lancer Gear. He’s pretty weak defensively, doesn’t deal much damage, and is slow to capture, but he also costs a mere 1 energy. If played correctly, he can provide solid offensive and defensive support, as well as regain lost ground.
  • Frag Grenade: The Frag Grenade isn’t our favourite pin to use, but there’s no denying its usefulness. It can take out a dangerous horde of opponents or finish off a tower, and is a great panic button.
  • Snub Soldiers: Much like the Shepherds, the Snub Soldiers are absolute support specialists. While the Shepherds are best placed on an offensive push, the Snub Soldiers are best used to defend against a tank or to capture lost ground.

C Tier:

C tier features cards that either feature very situational use, or could use a bit of a buff.

  • Wretches: Wretches will absolutely tear through tanks like Cole, and are particularly strong against the Butcher, but there’s a bit of a shortage of the types of enemies they’re strong against in the meta right now. They’re also a tad too expensive at 3 energy.
  • Kait Diaz: We like the concept of Kait Diaz a lot. She can cover ground really quickly, deals solid damage to buildings, can mantle kick, and has a health bar comparable to a tank. However, we feel like she could do with a slight decrease in energy cost to allow her to shine. Right now she’s out shadowed a bit by Cole, the cheaper push card.
  • Reyna Diaz: Reyna shows potential as a counter push card that can deal solid damage to a tank before pushing on to hurt the tower before she falls, but she’s a little too situational right now. Her low health makes her an easy counter, so you’re unlikely to get that damage off unless your opponent falls asleep.
  • Locust Drone: The Locust Drone is a solid card in its own right, with decent damage and health, but it’s way too expensive for what it offers, which is basically a slight upgrade on the much cheaper Lancer Gear. Could do with a drop in cost to 3 or even 2 to really shine.
  • Butcher: The Butcher is an absolute juggernaut, and against certain builds he will absolutely shine. He’s a bit easy to counter in his current form though, and deals disappointingly low damage when he eventually makes it to the tower. He’s just totally outshone by Cole and Carmine right now in the tank spot. Needs a serious boost in damage to justify a place in your deck.
  • Sentry: We like the Sentry as a concept, but haven’t managed to find a decent place for it in any deck just yet. It’s a great counter to the Emergence Hole or groups of enemies, and is a solid defensive powerhouse with decent uptime. It’s just difficult to justify bringing it over the likes of the more effective Longshot Gear or Savage Grenadier.
  • Skorge: Skorge is a fun pin to use. He’s fairly fast, mantle kicks, and deals solid damage but lets face it, you’re using him for that epic Leap skill. This will destroy all nearby enemies and heal Skorge depending on the number hit. We love playing Skorge, but he’s far from essential and Carmine has the slight edge in that slot.

D Tier:

D tier pins have potential but are in need of a buff to realise this. We like many of these pins but struggle to justify bringing them into our deck:

  • Lancer Crew: The Lancer Crew suffers from the same issue as the Drone Division in that it’s way too expensive, but it’s a much more promising offering. With a reduction in energy to 5 or 4, the Lancer Crew would prove a decent alternative to Marcus Fenix or Old Man Marcus for those that like attacking in force. Right now, the Snub Soldiers are a much better alternative.
  • Grinder: Grinder has potential, but is too expensive in its current form. Its a solid counter to a slow moving tank and has potential as a counter push like Carmine, but it takes too long to build up to max damage to justify that energy cost. It would probably work best as a support card behind a tank, at a lower energy cost of 4 or 3 and reduced HP and max damage.
  • Hammer of Dawn: We’re surprised that the Hammer of Dawn wasn’t an Ultimate Ability, but that isn’t the reason it’s so low in this list. It deals insanely high damage, can stun any unit strong enough to withstand its blast, and deals considerable damage to objectives. The problem is, it’s just outshone by other pins. The Shock Grenade costs a mere 2 energy for an 8 second stun while the Savage Grenadier, Frag Grenade, and Ink Grenade deal enough damage to the units you’d use this against. It’s meant to be a counter to powerful tanks, but few of them are in meta right now so it’s just an overkill flair pin that you can live without.
  • Decoy: The Decoy is a great idea but those skilled at the game will have no use for it. It’s a great panic button and solid counter to a tank like the Butcher but it can’t deal any damage and becomes useless after you’ve brought the threat down. Use it if you’re new at the game and prone to panicking, but drop it as soon as you’ve discovered a better counter to troublesome foes.
  • Nemacysts: Nemacysts are only really useful against hordes of weak enemies, which you’ll have loads of counters for in an average deck. They also won’t attack behind cover, limiting their use further.
  • Shock Barrier: The Shock Barrier is a solid counter to the Diaz sisters, as it will slow them down and stun them for 4 seconds, limiting the damage they’ll deal to your tower, but aside from that we can’t see much use for it. It has very low health, so is very easy to counter unless you time it just right. You’re better off using the Stun Grenade.
  • Kantus: We love the idea of Kantus but in practice he provides very little effect. We’d like to see his damage buff given a serious boost. His damage and health is low, so he’s far too easily countered right now to justify bringing with you. One to watch.
  • JD Fenix: JD Fenix is too expensive in his current form. For five energy you effectively get the COG equivalent of a Locust Drone – a useless pin in itself. The Dow But Not Out skill has situational use for drawing out a counter card to initiate a counter of your own, but JD is a bit too expensive to justify bringing for that niche use.
  • Damon Baird: Baird is another pin we really wanted to love, but he’s too expensive right now and too useless on his own to justify bringing over the Sentry on its own. Needs a buff to find his place.
  • Stun Grenade: The Stun Grenade is great in theory, but we can only think of a single use for it: stunning the Seeder. That by itself might be reason enough to place it in your deck – and it’s totally worth it for inexperienced players – but those experienced will likely find a better alternative.
  • Myrrah: Myrrah, much like Skorge and Kantus, is another card that we really want to love but that really needs a reduction in cost. Bring the cost down to 5 and Myrrah will provide a solid alternative to Carmine as a counter push card, though one that specialises in bringing down tanks instead of hordes of enemies.
  • Deadeye: The Deadeye should pose a decent long-range threat, capable of attacking towers from your base and dealing minor damage to any units that get caught in his line of sight. The result is too underwhelming though. His damage is far too low to be of any real threat. The Longshot is the better option in this slot right now.

E Tier:

E tier are our least favourite options right now. They’re either totally outshone by similar pins, are very unbalanced, or feature far too situational use to warrant a place in any deck.

  • Boomer: The Boomer is just an utterly pointless pin in its current iteration. It’s far too expensive at 6 energy, and pales in comparison to Carmine, who has more health and a powerful AoE attack skill for a mere 5 energy. Needs a drop in energy to 5 or 4 to justify considering over Carmine.
  • Drone Division: We’re not huge fans of the Drone on its own, so why would we want two of them for an extortionate 9 energy? This is a contender for worst pin in the game. It’s ridiculously expensive, serves no real purpose, and is ridiculously easy to counter. Needs a serious drop in energy to 7 or 6 to even justify considering.
  • Sentinel: We’re not entirely sure what the point in the Sentinel is aside from momentarily distracting a powerful foe like the Grinder. It has temporarily invincibility, which should prove useful, but it’s too slow to trigger. Chances are it will be dead before it even triggers it.
  • DR-1: The DR-1 has slightly more health than Cole for double the cost. It also deals considerably less damage. Skip this one and just bring the far superior Cole.
  • Gnasher Gang: It’s very difficult to see why the Gnasher Gang is the joint second most expensive pin in the game as it doesn’t really have much of a use. They’re a horde unit that’s strong against other hordes and are totally outclassed by the likes of the Savage Grenadier, Ink Grenade, and Carmine.
  • Stun Tracker: For the same price of the Stun Grenade you get a unit that has to run towards the enemy before unleashing a weaker 2 second stun with a minor AoE damage tacked on. Not worth bringing over the Stun Grenade.

Head of Editorial
Glen has over a decade's worth of experience in gaming journalism, writing for Pocket Gamer, Pocket Tactics, Nintendo Life, and Gfinity. When he's not badgering everyone about the dangers of passive text, you can probably find him playing Wild Rift.