The Advance Wars community has often discussed which characters in the series are the best and worst.  While there isn't any official tournament play still going on, there are general standards of Competitive Play that players abide by when determining how the CO's rank (i.e. Comm Towers, Silos, Ports, Sea Units and repetitive Terrain are generally excluded.)

Advance Wars

Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

The most highly ranked CO's by the community are Sensei and Hachi for their abilities to produce very high unit counts.  Usually, this is followed by Colin (for his money skills), Kanbei (for his strong stats) and Rachel (for her Super CO Power).  Sami, Eagle, Jess and Kindle tend to rank among the upper half as well.

Among the relatively weaker CO's of the game:

  • Lash - Her offense boost from terrain got reduced compared to AW2.
  • Adder/Koal - Despite his speed, dearth of stat boosts make it challenging for him to get over enemy units.
  • Grimm - Defense is seen as more important in AWDS than offense, so his abilities cancel out.
  • Sasha - Underwhelming Super CO Power, plus not many stat boosts
  • Javier - Without Comm Towers, he's mostly dillemma with exception to protection from the occasional indirect.
  • Flak/Jugger - Nell does everything these CO's do, but better.

The status of Grit is debated in the community.  Some have argued his ability to range out the opponent, deploy powerhouse Artilleries for dirt cheap and dominate in chokepoints makes a strong CO.   However, his direct units have a large firepower penalty and his indirects are weak to Infantry and Black Bombs.

Advance Wars: Days of Ruin

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