Who are the best Arcane characters? When Riot Games, Fortiche Productions, and Netflix released Arcane to the world, few could have expected the level of world-building that it delivered. After all, it was just a videogame adaptation, right? However, both longtime fans of League of Legends and brand new inductees to the world of Runeterra were treated to an exceptionally-crafted Netflix series, filled with complex characters acting within a morally-grey environment.
From Powder’s descent into Jinx, to the beginnings of Viktor’s glorious Hex Core evolution, each member of Arcane’s main cast undergoes a transformation to some degree throughout the series’ first season. For us, this makes picking the ten best Arcane characters a monolithic task, as some of the characters we initially kicked to the curb ended up becoming firm favourites by the end and vice-versa.
With that said, we’re not ones to shy away from a challenge. While we’re not quite brave enough to pick a side in the Jinx vs Vi debate – our Twitter mentions can thank us later – below you will find the Arcane characters who left the biggest impression on us, ahead of the Arcane season 2 release date. That’s enough preamble; let’s dive in.
What are the ten best Arcane characters?
How can you not love Caitlyn? She may come from one of the wealthiest families in Piltover, but she isn’t just some snooty rich kid. Though she at times wields her privilege, she never does so for her own personal gain. And despite her purity, she’s never afraid to get her hands dirty, which is only amplified by her involvement with Vi.
Caitlyn’s Sherlock-esque detective skills are matched only by the fact that she is one hell of a shot. Being able to line them up alongside the sharpest of shooters like Grayson and Jinx is no small feat. Queen shit.
Silco is a prime example of a well-layered character, who we see stripped away piece by piece throughout the show. Initially appearing as your typical mastermind with a Piltover-sized bee in his bonnet, we gradually see Silco’s mask slip as he experiences moments of intense fear and anguish.
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Throughout the first season, we expected him to betray Jinx at any moment; however, he remained steadfast and loyal – both to his ambitions for a united Zaun and those he held close to him – surprising us in the process. Though he served as the first season’s primary antagonist, by the time he meets his end at the hands of the monster he helped cultivate in Jinx, we found it difficult to see him as a truly evil villain.
Sevika will certainly come across as a surprise addition to most, what with big dogs like Heimerdinger and Singed in the running. However, her unflinching determination and desire to fight for Zaun makes her a badass in itself, and that’s before we consider her fighting prowess and chops as a mechanic.
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Although Sevika appears to simply be Silco’s lackey, the pair share a much more complex relationship, with Silco even taking her advice regarding Jinx. Sevika’s autonomy is also displayed when she opts to kill Finn – something Silco clearly wasn’t 100% sure would happen. To us, this was a clear message to him that Sevika wouldn’t hesitate to turn her blade on him should his leadership wane.
Indeed, this scene cemented Sevika as a powerful character beyond her brawn, with her showing once and for all that she isn’t loyal to individuals, but to the greater cause.
Vander may have only had a very limited amount of screen time during Season 1, but we feel that his major impact on its course and his unorthodox dad energy earn him a place on our list.
Although he hung up his gauntlets, Vander never stopped fighting for Zaun, and instead found a new way to do so by working above board with Grayson. Not only did he deftly juggle keeping the peace with the overcity with keeping the peace in his own backyard, but he did so while dragging up Powder, Vi, Claggor, and Mylo, who we all know were prone to finding trouble on a regular basis.
Arcane is a show about various opposing forces trapped in a brutal tug of war, and Jinx can be seen to symbolise the outcome of one of these struggles as she is psychologically split in two. Forever trying to bring good to those around her as Powder, the young Zaunite, unfortunately, does anything but in the show’s pivotal moments.
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Under Silco’s guidance, Powder sheds her name, embraces the chaos that shrouds her and begins identifying as Jinx. Though she spends the remainder of the first season fighting her inner demons, we can’t help but root for Jinx to overcome them, even though we (as League of Legends players) ultimately know the outcome.
Vi embodies how we feel Vander would’ve been in his youth. Even as a kid, she lived up to her in-game line, “punch first, ask questions while punching.” However, Vi’s confidence in her ability to throw a good punch is betrayed at points by her stunted emotional growth (years in the slammer plus plenty of childhood trauma will do that to you), and she is ultimately unable to assuage Jinx’s anxieties during the season 1 finale.
Despite having the weight of Vander’s promise to look after her last remaining family member on her shoulders, Vi remains cooler than cool for the most part. Needless to say, Caitlyn isn’t the only person she made swoon during season 1.
Ekko has seen some shit, and it shows when we are reintroduced to him as the hardened leader of the Firelights. The sassy young kid that we first meet is completely unrecognisable, as he appears to have sacrificed his own cheerful innocence for the prospect of building a brighter future for Zaun.
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As the leader of this resistance to Silco’s murky vision for Zaun, Ekko’s vigilante actions have earned him a spot in the hearts of not only the citizens he is fighting for, but in ours as well. A boy genius and cunning businessman, we can’t wait to see how Ekko develops when the Arcane Season 2 release date rolls around, especially with the forcibly-retired Heimerdinger by his side.
Viktor’s story is beyond heartbreaking, yet despite all he has endured the ailing scientist wishes only to use the power of science for the betterment of others. Tragically, and similarly to Jinx, he ends up taking from others instead, setting him on a path that by the end of Season 1 is already spiralling out of control.
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A source of inspiration, Viktor epitomises the mantra that hard work and determination can take you far. However, it is the golden boy, Jayce, who takes all the plaudits, despite his growing distance from the Hextech project. With his health rapidly declining, Viktor throws himself into his work, and while the Viktor we know in League of Legends is a twisted individual, we can only hope that he treads a brighter path in Arcane. Viktor deserves the world. Rito, pls.
Similarly to Ekko, Jayce also discards his innocence, transforming from a budding scientist chasing his boyhood dream into a statesman thrown into the middle of a bitter political struggle. Though Jayce enters the ring as a confused cub, by the Season 1 finale he has grown into a fierce lion who is finally able to make his own decisions.
Whether he is raising a hammer to help build up Piltover’s future, or to strike down its enemies, Jayce will always take what he believes to be the correct course of action – even if that belief is at times easily swayed. We had a bit of a love/hate relationship with Jayce throughout season 1, but in the end our golden retriever boy managed to redeem himself.
To us he is one of the most human of Arcane’s extraordinary characters, making mistakes over and over throughout, yet persevering and learning from them at every step.
Mel is a wicked politician, which we see as she progressively builds soft power throughout the show. However, while she meticulously develops her hold over Piltover, it later becomes apparent that she really is a small fish in a much bloodier pond. Mel’s attempts to distance herself from traditional Noxian ways of state-craft are admirable, even if the spectre of the clan which disowned her continues to loom over the former Merdarda heir.
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With potential links to the Black Rose, and some sort of special jewellery on her back that reacts to danger, season 2 could see us learn a whole lot more about Mel outside of her political life.
And there you have it, our rundown of the ten best Arcane characters. Needless to say, Riot and Fortiche have done an amazing job of portraying deep characters while giving them plenty of space to develop over the course of a single season. If you want to check out more character guides, take a look at our list of the best MCU characters.