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Xenoblade Chronicles 3: The 2 Best And 2 Worst Defenders

Monolith Software's "Xenoblade Chronicles 3" has taken the JRPG scene by storm since its release in late July 2022. The Nintendo Switch exclusive title has been critically acclaimed for its story, characters, worldbuilding, and for having an abundance of content that players can sink their teeth into. While having a highly engaging story and a cast of loveable and endearing characters is essential to creating a good JRPG game, arguably no feature is more important than an intuitive combat system that is both fun and challenging. In this respect, "Xenoblade Chronicles 3" more than delivers.

There are many ways to approach combat in "Xenoblade Chronicles 3." By default, there are a total of six controllable characters that players can switch to at any given moment in a battle, as well as an additional Hero slot that can be filled by a character your gang meets along the way. These characters are split into three distinct classes that all serve specific roles on the battlefield: Attacker, Healer, and Defender. Of course, being able to inflict damage and repair damage are both important aspects of fighting in "Xenoblade Chronicles 3," but unless you have a talented Defender with you to not only protect your squad but also put all the heat on themselves so others can do their jobs, you won't get very far in the dangerous lands of Aionios.

With that in mind, here are the two best Defenders you can get in the game, as well as the two worst.

Mio and Zeon are the best defenders

Despite meeting her relatively early into the game, Mio is arguably one of the best Defenders in "Xenoblade Chronicles 3" due to her meta Zephyr class. Most of her Arts are Aggro-based, allowing her to constantly take the heat off the rest of the team. On top of that, she's extremely quick and can evade enemy attacks with little to no trouble. Most importantly, she shares an Ouroboros form with Noah, which proves invaluable against tougher opponents.

Behind Mio, Zeon also serves as an extremely formidable Defender. Available as early as Chapter 3, Zeon can be recruited into your squad by returning to Colony 9. At first, Xeon won't take too kindly to seeing you and will fight you until half his health has been drained. After that, help him defeat Moebius B, and Zeon will join Noah and the gang for the rest of their journey. Zeon's stats are impressive, boasting an A rating in defense and support (via Game8). Zeon is also decent when attacking enemies as well, possessing a respectable C grade in that category due to his Guardian Commander class. Even if he isn't the best at drawing Aggro, he'll still provide tons of use.

Luckily, both of these characters are available quite early into the game, so finding decent Defenders shouldn't be much of an issue.

Ashera and Lanz are the worst

On the surface, Ashera looks like a good soldier to have. She has top marks in both the defending and attacking stats, making her a dual-threat Defender capable of both protecting her squad and dishing out decent damage as well. Unfortunately, these valuable intangibles are offset by some glaring weaknesses in others. While she packs a good punch and can do her defending job as well as anyone, she will require constant healing in order to stay in the fight. And what good is a defender adept at both defending and attacking if they aren't around long enough to stay in the fight?

Finally, as much as it hurts to say it, Lanz is the other worst Defender in the game. On the surface, Noah's right-hand man is very good, and players could easily get through the game given his impressive abilities with the Heavy Guard class,with which he has an S rank. Unfortunately, Lanz's usefulness kind stops there. Outside of the Heavy Guard, Lanz has his impressive Defending and Attacking attributes nerfed or is completely incompatible with others. While he's not a bad option, Lanz simply doesn't compare to some of the other Heroes you'll meet later in the game.