Team composition is an important aspect of Trials of Mana. You can only pick from three of the six total characters at the start of the game. This guide explores each character’s moves, abilities, and backstories, and gives an overview of the best starting characters in Trials of Mana.

There are 6 characters total that all have their own play styles and backstories that affect the game. In Trials of Mana, you can freely swap between your three characters at any point so you are not locked on one specific character.

Before deciding who the best starting character in Trials of Mana is, let’s take an in-depth look at each character so you can get an idea.

Hawkeye

Hawkeye is a fast thief that uses daggers with high luck, which is great for finding loot. He starts in Nevarl, where his party of thieves roams around evading the authorities. Hawkeyes moves are quick attacks that hit multiple times and his finishes are powerful.

Hawkeye excels in dealing damage quickly, so he’s good for going in and out of battle. His default Class Strike ability is Poison Dagger, which is a two-handed knife attack that hits enemies in front of him. Hawkeye can upgrade to either Ranger or Ninja class early on. Hawkeye’s third tier classes are:

  • Nomad – Supporting abilities.
  • Rogue – Traps and ranged combat.
  • Ninja Master – AoE damage specialist.
  • Knight Blade – Debuffs and weakening enemies.
Best Starting Characters in Trials of Mana - Hawkeye

Angela

Angela is a spellcaster who outputs high amounts of ranged magic damage and crowd control. She uses wands and has high intellect and spirit stats. Angela starts out in Altena, where she hopes to gain the respect of the True Queen, who is also her mother. Her basic attacks are simple wand melee attacks, but she will eventually get AoE spells and become one of the most powerful characters in the game.

Double Slash is Angela’s starting ability, which is pretty weak. Her second-tier classes are Sorceress, which does high elemental damage, and Mysticist, which does dark magic spells with a high MP. Angela’s third tier classes are:

  • Arch Mage – Variety of elemental and non-elemental spells.
  • Grand Diviner – Utilizes doppelganger clones that attack on their own.
  • Magus – Does high burst nuke damage.
  • Rune Seer – Inflicts status ailments on enemies.

Kevin

Kevin is a brawler capable of transforming during the night and uses his fists as a weapon while boasting high strength and attack damage. He is the prince of Ferolia, where he starts the game and has a falling out with his father. His basic moves are pretty strong compared to the other characters.

Best Starting Characters in Trials of Mana - Kevin

Kevin’s starting skill is Phenomenal Fist, which is a heel kick and punch combo that damages enemies in front of him. His second tier classes are Monk, who deals damage and heals, and Brawler, a warrior style class. Kevin’s third tier classes are:

  • Divine Fist – Good DPS with some support.
  • Warrior Monk – Absorbs MP and utilizes magic.
  • Enlightened – Life-leeches and deals magic damage.
  • Fatal Fist – High DPS and AoE damage class.

Riesz

Riesz is a well-rounded fighter and good support character who utilizes spears and magic/summons to attack. She starts in Laurent, where she is trying to save her brother Elliott. Most of her attacks are ranged and does a good amount of damage so you can look at her as a damage dealer with strong summoning abilities.

Riesz starts with the Whirlwind Spear which can be used to pick up enemies and deal damage to them. Her second-tier classes are Valkyrie, used to buff allies, and Rune Maiden, used to de-buff enemies. Riesz’s third-tier classes are:

  • Vanadis – Support class with high stamina and summons.
  • Starlancer – Support class with team buffs.
  • Dragon Master – Debuff enemies while utilizing a unique summon.
  • Fenrir Knight – Debuffs enemies and charges into battle head first.

Charlotte

Charlotte is a support class character specializing in healing and magic. She has high spirit and intellect and uses a flail which makes her effective at melee. She starts in Wendel, where she is having strange dreams and eventually runs into Hawkeye. Charlotte is actually quite agile and can move around quickly for a healer, with a bonus of having some high DPS spells as well.

Best Starting Characters in Trials of Mana - Charlotte

Charlotte starts with Whackbam, which is a pretty basic but powerful melee attack. Her second-tier classes are Priestess, which is a support healer, and Enchantress, a melee-focused class with debuffs. Charlotte’s third-tier classes are:

  • High Cleric – Team healer with high recovery skills.
  • Sage – Gets rid of debuffs and uses magic.
  • Necromancer – Raises undead minions and curses enemies.
  • Warlock – Debuffs enemies and utilizes powerful spells.

Duran

Duran is the most powerful melee character and tank in the game. As you can see, he has very high strength and stamina and wields a big sword as a tank would. He starts in Valsena where he demonstrates his dueling abilities to try and impress. Duran is probably the best melee combat character in the game.

Best Starting Characters in Trials of Mana - Duran

Duran starts with the Cross Cut ability, where he leaps towards enemies and slashes them. His second-tier classes are Knight, who utilizes a shield, and Gladiator, who focus on offensive attacks. Duran’s third tier classes are:

  • Paladin – High defense, great for tanking.
  • Liege – Upgraded Knight, excels at offense and defense.
  • Edelfrei – Strong fighter that exploits weaknesses.
  • Duelist – All out attack class with high DPS.

Best Starting Characters in Trials of Mana

Here’s a good example of a melee oriented build consisting of combat, tanks, and healers. It’s a good composition for very high damage and sustainability with Charlotte to heal and buff the squad.

  • Kevin – Fatal Fist
  • Duran – Duelist
  • Charlotte – High Priest

Here’s an example of a spell based build focusing on spells, MP regeneration, and team buffs.

  • Angela – Rune Master
  • Kevin – Warrior Monk
  • Riesz – Starlancer

Part of what makes this game fun is making your own party and playing the game how you want to play it. There are a variety of characters with different builds that you can use, which means there’s a ton of different combinations that could work very well.