In this post I'm going to try to rank all the attackers in the game according to how powerful they are. My definition of powerful is basically 'how good is having access to it'. So I've used four factors to rank them: Efficiency, Convenience (how comfortable their cost is), Bonuses (how many intangible advantages or disadvantages they have whose values are hard to quantify), and Spammability (how much you can make an entire army of them instead of mixing them in with other attackers). Efficiency and Convenience are on a 1-9 scale (albeit some units' efficiency scores will be outside that range), Bonuses defaults to 0 (a vanilla unit with no interactions) but can be a positive or negative number, and Spammability will just be expressed as a word from "low" to "high". So here's the list:

Powerhouse Tier

Unit Efficiency Convenience Bonuses Spammability Explanation
7 5 +1 High Hellhound's +1 bonus is for providing defensive granularity and comboing with energy-using units. This is the best attacker in the game because it can out-value the majority of other random set attackers, doesn't need an enabler, isn't countered by anything, and can be spammed. The only thing it's not really good at is rushing, since against an opponent massing econ your Engineers won't get value for a long time, reducing the efficiency of your Hellhounds.
7 3 +3 Low The Wincer's +3 bonus score is a total of five smaller factors. It has a +1 bonus in that you can sometimes get value out of threatening to fire Wincer but not actually doing it, a -1 bonus in that running out of standard Drones can prevent it from firing, a second -1 in that the Drone saccing can overtech you after a shot or two, a second +1 in that the long buildtime can be taken advantage of to deny absorb (like Tarsier only better), and +3 from the pressure bonus - 15 damage all at once forces the opponent to turn to inefficient sources of defense, so it's more than 15 times as good as 1 damage.
9 4 0 Medium-High Plasmafier's 0 bonus is a net 0. It has three advantages: the pressure bonus, it can hold to deny absorb, and it can occasionally be good to absorb with it. The three disadvantage are that all Drone consuming can overtech you, that it needs standard Drones to fire (so it often can't do much in Vivid Drone games for example), and that it scales really badly with good soak due to being a Drone saccer. Medium-high spammability instead of high because it's not very good to open with - it gets value from the tremendous pressure it puts on, so early Plasmafiers tend to not be so good.
9 3 0 High This is probably the best non-double-Animus value unit. It's below Plasmafier on the list because it usually isn't worth going for in low-econ games, whereas Plasmafier is viable pretty much anywhere, but it's more reliable than Plasma in a couple of ways. It doesn't have really bad scaling with good soak, it doesn't need standard Drones to fire, and it doesn't progressively overtech you.

Strong Tier

Unit Efficiency Convenience Bonuses Spammability Explanation
7 7 -1 Medium-High The -1 bonus is that it's a lifespan defender, which can be exploited sometimes. The reason it's not high spammability is because it's not a permanent attacker, so you don't start with it. Even if it's the only attacker in the set you'll want to buy at least a couple of Tarsiers first.
10 1 +2 Low The +2 bonus is the built-in tech sink. It's a big deal.
5 5 +3 Low The +3 bonus is mostly the click ability. Red is the color that needs tech sink the most, generally speaking, and Blood Phage provides quality red sink. It's also the fact that you can rush red in a Blood Phage set without locking yourself out of expensive units. This is because Blood Phage will continue to increase your economy slightly as you ramp attack. This unit is a big enabler of low-econ builds in otherwise high-econ sets.
11 1 +1 Medium-High +1 bonus is net again. It has a huge advantage in that the freeze not only forces out defense but also can frequently deny absorb, but it has a disadvantage in that it's weak to a response such as mono-red rush, where they only have low-HP defenders. The medium-high spammability score is because even though all four of these are generally enough to win you the game, it's very difficult to buy the third and fourth unless you're just wrecking your opponent and they should've resigned already anyway. Normally you need defense once they start counterattacking and Tatsu takes most of your resources, because you had to go for it as soon as it was remotely feasible that it would win (if you waited any longer, the enemy would've gotten it first and it wouldn't have been too early).
10 2 +4 Low Odin is an incredibly efficient purchase, but the BBB requirement is only slightly better than an RRRR one, and the +4 bonus is comprised of two pluses and a minus. The -1 is that the threat can often be played around. A +1 is that clicking Odin is not just threat but can actually be good value sometimes (eg. versus Tatsu). It also gets +4 from being an absorber.
11 6 -3 Medium Feral Warden has a huge -5 in that it gets most of its value as an absorber (which is factored into the 11 efficiency here) and is therefore incompatible with other absorbers, but a +1 for being a counter to threat, and another +1 for being reasonably good soak. Medium spammability since you can buy it every turn, but can only get the massive efficiency out of one of them - Ferals just for attack are like Gauss Cannons.
4 by recursive inflation, 9 by Drone input. 6 +1 Low +2 bonus for the buildtime to deny absorb, but -1 for causing you to float a lot of green.
11 1 -3 High I gave it high spammability because Tarsiers have high spammability, and you only need one Amporilla to win the game. The -3 bonus is for not working with other attackers.
2 7 +5 Medium Scorchilla is actually less raw-efficient on a graph than Gauss Cannon. Wait, what? Then why is it so strong in practice? Well, to be honest I don't entirely understand it myself either (if I did my math wrong and it's more efficient than I think, please let me know). But I can explain part of it. One factor is the long build time to deny absorb. That's a +1. A bigger part of it, though, is the pressure bonus (like The Wincer): 3 damage all at once is more than 3 times as good as 1 damage. Especially since you buy two of them once, so it's 6 damage all at once. Then you buy two more Scorches every time they fire, and the value of the pressure bonus only gets bigger with each wave. That's another +3. The final +1 is the flexibility it provides. Medium spammability is because normally you only want to buy them when they fire.
5 7 +2 Medium-Low This is a really interesting unit that took me a while to figure out how to use correctly, and I'm still not certain that I have it right. Here's where I'm at: you should generally buy all four Smorcuses when you go red, and 4 Animuses to power them. Then, assuming you want to spend two red per turn, you click three and threaten with the fourth. If you're in the rare set where you can efficiently spend four red per turn, you click two and threaten with two. The rationale for doing this is that it's reasonably efficient when you buy an Animus to power its click and then click it every turn, but massively more efficient when it threatens to attack and then doesn't, instead allowing the red to be spent on more attackers. The +2 bonus is a sum of -1 for providing threat (since it can be played around sometimes), +1 for the first one being insanely good, +1 for being good tech sink once you don't want any red anymore, and another +1 for the offensive finesse.
9 4 0 Low I counted Bloodrager's effiency assuming it denies 1-2 absorb, which is why it doesn't have a bonus for that. The low spammability is because often you can't get more than one or two of them out before you have so much damage that they no longer deny absorb. In sets with stuff like Chieftain, or Energy Matrix and your opponent is going 3rd Engi without pressuring you at all, Bloodrager is a lot more spammable.
7 6 +1 Medium Lancetooth is more spammable than Bloodrager because it has buildtime, so you can buy two waves of Lanceteeth before your attack updates. The +1 bonus is the blocking ability - it's often good to absorb on Lancetooth over Wall (due to inflation).
9 3 -2 High There's a -1 bonus for it being so hard to get full value out of this attacker-absorber. Your opponent needs to have 7 guaranteed attack, and it's non-prompt, so you might have trouble getting it out if you wait until you know for sure it'll get full value. Also the efficiency I calcuated for it was assuming the threat of attacking on its first turn gets full value, which it often won't. The other -1 is for not being as good when there are other large absorbers, especially Defense Grid and Centurion.

Medium Tier

Unit Efficiency Convenience Bonuses Spammability Explanation
3 by recursive inflation, 6 by Drone input. 4 +2 Medium-Low +2 bonus is +1 for being good as a first attacker due to buildtime (effectively) and also +1 for being breachproof.
4 5 +4 Medium Doomed Mech gets a +5 for being a good absorber (so remember to discount that in cases where the absorb isn't relevant). As an attacker, it's only moderately efficient and fairly inconvenient, as you can see, so it's mostly good when either it's the best absorber or you already wanted BB. It gets a -1 for being a lifespan defender that is vulnerable to chill or offensive finesse.
6 7 +1 Low Electovore is an interesting unit to analyze the strength of because it gets hugely diminishing returns. If you were already buying 1 Engineer per turn for granularity and gold sink, which is common, then the first Electrovore attacks for free and is thus a 4R Fast Tarsier - more efficient than a Shadowfang! And it's a 4R unit! Unfortunately, you can't spam 4R Fast Tarsiers. The 2nd and 3rd Electrovore will likely require you to go out of your way to replace the Engineers every turn, and Engineer is actually a really low-efficiency purchase when it's not providing granularity - the only reason we buy it so commonly is because if you have 2 gold leftover then the other option is to float it, so it's like the Engineer is prompt. But the Engineers that fuel later Electrovores aren't like that. So that brings it down to about old Redeemer efficiency. And if you buy even more Electrovores, you'll start having to waste tech to buy all those Engineers every turn, which makes them even less efficient. The +1 bonus is for countering threat because the Engineer is vigilant.
5 if not clicked, 8 if clicked and the green is spent efficiently 9 0 Medium-High Meet Green Grimbotch. This unit is a lot weaker in general, but can be insanely strong when you have a combo for it like Cluster Bolt. Yes, clicking makes that much of a difference in efficiency.
4 8 +1 Low +1 bonus is for the buildtime to deny absorb.
8 4 0 Low 0 bonus is a combination of +1 from the click sometimes being good for pressure (like Odin), +1 from letting you tech out of blue, and -2 from the threat being easy to play around with Rhino. It has low spammability because you need a separate Blastforge for each one, so you can usually only get 1 or 2.
7 4 -1 High The efficiency of Arms Race really depends on how long it takes for the Engineers to get value. The value I listed assumes a ~1 turn delay. -1 bonus is for being counterable by energy-using units.
4 4 +3 High Mahar Rectifier, like Doomed Mech, gets a +5 for absorb but also a -2 for needing two of them to absorb.
7 4 -2 Medium-Low Tesla Coil is another unit that doesn't want to be massed. If you buy more than 2 you're likely to run into Engineer supply issues. The -2 bonus is -1 for making it hard to maintain your granularity, and -1 for making it hard to spend all your tech since you have to buy so many Engineers every turn besides the ones you need for granularity.
11 1 -1 Low I gave it a -1 bonus for being a chill unit with an activation cost, so it can be played around by vigilance. Nevertheless, this can be the most efficient unit in the game against things like Defense Grid or Centurion.
4 3 +5 Medium This unit lacks raw efficiency considering it's low convenience, but the true power of the unit lies in the potential to exploit the barriers. With no combos, you can usually get about 1 good exploit by opening with a Valk, clicking it, then holding it next turn to deal 0 damage while you buy more attackers. That's not usually enough to make it a good strategy though. When Valkyrion gets really good is when you have units like Thermite Core, Cryo Ray, Lancetooth, Mega Drone, etc.
4 8 +1 High The +1 bonus is for the offensive finesse, which can be really brutal in some games, particularly against an opponent with a "locked economy" - for example, someone with 12 Drones, a Blastforge and 2 Conduits in a Tantalum Ray set and is thus committed to Tant+Wall every turn with no extra gold to spend on Engineers.
4 7 0 High This unit was recently nerfed hard, but is still alright. It is more efficient than Immolite, just not enough to bump it up to a 5.
6 5 -1 High The bonus is mostly the same factors as Plasmafier: bad soak scaling, overteching you when you use it in non-breachproof games, but also it's breachproof. Venge "all-ins", where you build nothing breach-vulnerable and convert all your Drones to Venge Cannons, are a real thing, and don't need any other breachproof support in the set to be considered as an option.
7 4 +3 Low Tia's efficiency was calculated assuming a constant 2.3 BV and that she doesn't defend until she's out of stamina. The pressure bonus is a +4. There's an additional +1 in that sometimes she can be a prompt defender, and a -2 in that she often leaves you overteched.
4 5 +2 Low +2 bonus for the click ability.
8 3 0 High -1 bonus for being vulnerable to chill, but +1 for being breachproof.

Mediocre Tier

Unit Efficiency Convenience Bonuses Spammability Explanation
4 by recursive inflation, 9 by Drone input. 3 +4 Low Apollo's bonus is comprised of the following: +2 for being completely unabsorbable, +1 for tech building snipes sometimes having good utility, +2 for hard-countering a lot of units, and -1 for being not so good when the opponent has no snipable attackers or Vivid Drones.
5 4 +1 Medium +1 bonus is for providing granularity and being able to combo with energy-using units. This unit doesn't win base + 1 due mostly to costing 7 gold for just 1 red. That makes it very hard to spend all your tech if you go for Sentinels. Nevertheless, it's a good mid-term unit for high econ sets, a huge improvement over Rhino.
4 3 +5 High Omega Splitter gets a lot of its value from being an absorber, which is where the +5 bonus is coming from. Nevertheless, Omega is fairly weak in practice. If your opponent rushes you, the BBB tech cost probably forces you off buying any other attackers besides Omegas for the rest of the game, and being on mono-blue tech leads to being exploited a lot.
3 7 +1 High I decided to put this on the list even though it's a base set unit because it's still something you consider as an option. +1 bonus for buildtime that makes it well-suited to being your first attacker.
3 7 +3 High +3 bonus for offensive finesse, absorb that comes in handy early game sometines, and being vigilant. The reason it's lower than Tarsier despite having strictly better stats is that is that is actually is worse in both efficiency and convenience, just not enough to bump it down to a 2 or a 6.
2 4 +5 Medium-Low This unit is really inefficient mathematically speaking. Nevertheless, it gets a +5 bonus is for the insane pressure plays allowed by the click ability (which are especially good at countering red), and also for letting you tech out of blue.
4 8 0 Low It has -1 bonus for the snipe sometimes not being useful (for example against Steelforge), but +1 for it sometimes being insanely useful (like in Arka games).
2 8 +5 Medium It has +3 bonus for being able to synchronize to increase pressure and even deny absorb, +1 additional bonus for being good as a first attacker due to buildtime, and a final +1 for being breachproof. Medium spammability for not being good to buy off-sync.
9 2 0 High This unit is the classic example of an efficient attacker. Nevertheless, it's quite weak in practice.
4 5 -1 Medium-High The -1 bonus is, again, net. It has a +1 advantage in that the Gauss Charges will hurt less if the opponent isn't pressuring you, which makes Redeemer one of the attackers best-suited to rushing in the entire game, but a -1 disadvantage in that 6 damage all at once benefits from the pressure bonus, and an additional -1 in that it can sometimes be countered by additional burst like Grenade Mech or Nivo Charge (for the same reason). The medium-high is because if you buy too many of them too close together, you're essentially doing that to yourself. This unit used to be quite good, but then it got nerfed into the ground :( I think it BARELY beats Natural Animus into Tarsiers in base set anymore, to the point where it probably loses to base + Nitrocybe. Nevertheless, it's still a much better attacker than Splitters and Cannons when you already wanted green/blue.

Weak Tier

Unit Efficiency Convenience Bonuses Spammability Explanation
6 2 +2 Low This low convenience score is for requiring a Steelsplitter. Manticore is actually surprisingly efficient when you already have Steelsplitters. And of course, the +2 bonus is for the click to deny absorb.
0 9 +3 Low Incredibly inefficient on a graph - less so than Drone, even - it gets a 0 efficiency score. Nevertheless, Oxide Mixer is a great thing to spend blue on when Steelsplitter would get absorbed. It's even better at denying absorb than Militia (see below), and is also a borderline tech sink at only 3 gold.
Actually, one of the reasons Oxide Mixer is better than it seems - and I realized this recently - is because low efficiency and low cost pair very well. Let me explain. If you have blue that isn't needed for prompt defense and there are no good nonprompt defense options in the set, buying a Steelsplitter is the default choice. But this spends 6 gold on something inefficient. Although Oxide Mixer is less efficient than Steelsplitter, spending your blue on Oxide might lead to a more efficient overall turn because it means you spend less of your gold on something that is inefficient.
1 8 +1 High

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