People all over the world will be faced with a tough question to answer this holiday season: what the heck Skylanders does my kid want?

It’s not a friendly world out there for people unfamiliar with Skylanders. With the release of each game, the figurines come out in waves, and there’s not exactly a set-in-stone schedule for their release. At least, not one accessible to us mortals. This is a list of the Skylanders that we think are essential to completing your SuperChargers experience. The Racing Packs will let you unlock as many tracks as possible, and the figures are some of the most interesting from the first and second waves of Skylanders SuperChargers.

Check out the full list of SuperChargers here to prepare for the future. Knowledge is power.

1) Fiesta

Fiesta Skylanders SuperChargers

Fiesta is a slender skull man who leads a Mariachi band, and I am probably in love with him. One of Fiesta’s abilities is to summon his band to play along with him. Fiesta attacks with his trumpet gun’s sound waves, and once you get the whole band going the effect is pretty lethal. Also I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want a army of small musical skeletons as allies.

Fiesta can also hide his body in the ground and become a bouncing skull to surprise his enemies. His vehicle is called the Crypt Crusher, and it’s based on the racecar bed that Fiesta slept in as a child. When he was a baby skull. The car is literally made of musical instruments, with a big bass drum for the rear wheel when it becomes SuperCharged. When it comes to creative, entertaining attacks and effects, Fiesta is king.

I would definitely pick up Fiesta and the Crypt Crusher, especially since they’re both available right now. Fiesta is regularly $12.99 but will likely be on sale during the holidays. Same with Crypt Crusher, which is regularly $14.99.

2) Nightfall

Nightfall Skylanders SuperChargersNightfall isn’t out yet, but her vehicle is. The Sea Shadow is available in the Skylanders SuperChargers Dark Edition Starter Pack, and you can also buy it separately. Not only is Sea Shadow a freaking awesome vehicle, but you can unlock Sea tracks with it. Since the Starter Pack only includes two Land racetracks, having those Sea tracks is important.

When you match a Skylander with their signature vehicle, they become SuperCharged. This gives them a special ability, and better stats and attacks. So if you’ve got Sea Shadow already, or if you get it now, you’ll be all set to go with a new SuperCharged Skylander and vehicle combo when Nightfall comes out.

Nightfall is a Dark element Skylander with long shadowy tentacle hair. She comes from the middle of the Poison Sea, and is basically super hardcore. She has hook weapons on her hands that she uses for melee attacks, and it looks like she can also ambush her enemies by dashing behind them, which gives her a bonus to attack.

Like Fiesta, Nightfall will cost $12.99, and the Sea Shadow is $14.99 or included in the Dark Edition Starter Pack, which is $99.99 altogether.

3) Stormblade

Stormblade Skylanders SuperChargersStormblade is a happy bird whose wings are covered in knives. She was one of the first
SuperChargers to be released when the game came out on September 20. Her vehicle, the Sky Slicer, is also part of this first wave of Skylanders. I’m not totally thrilled with the Sky Slicer. It kind of looks like a boring airplane. But Stormblade is excellent.

At her highest level, she can make deadly knife hurricanes with her wing blades. She can also dive bomb her enemies. Also apparently in the comics she called Nightfall a “walking bummer cloud” at one point, which is the best comeback I’ve ever heard. Also need I say it? She’s a girl character who isn’t marked by the usual things that makers of kids’ toys decide indicate “girliness,” like massive eyelashes or pink bows. There’s nothing wrong with that stuff, but Skylanders is generally really good about creating diverse girl characters. So you can have a pink character like Bone Bash Roller Brawl side-by-side with Stormblade or Nightfall, and everyone wins.

Stormblade is a happy, excitable character, and her figurine is one of my favorites. It really captures the character’s movement and personality. Stormblade costs $12.99 usually, and her vehicle, the Sky Slicer, is $14.99.

4) Deep Dive Gill Grunt and Reef Ripper – Sea Racing Pack

Sea Racing Action Pack Skylanders SuperChargers

I’ve written before about why the Racing Packs are a really important part of Skylanders SuperChargers. Basically, if you want all the racetracks to be unlocked, the Racing Packs are the most efficient way to do it. They give you a Skylander and their signature vehicle, plus a villain trophy that unlocks races and game modes.

The first Sea Racing Pack includes Deep Dive Gill Grunt, a strange small fishman with a trident. It also includes his vehicle, the deeply awesome Reef Ripper. The Reef Ripper is by far my favorite vehicle in terms of design. It’s a gorgeous seafoam green with gold accents, and when Deep Dive Gill Grunt pilots it it turns a shiny gold. The figure itself has a moveable fin that you can wiggle back and forth. All in all, it’s one of the coolest and most creative designs I’ve seen from Skylanders SuperChargers.

The Sea Trophy that comes with the Sea Racing Pack is modeled after the Golden Queen. You might recognize her as the villain of Skylanders: Trap Team, the game the preceded SuperChargers. The trophy unlocks the Tropic Plunder racetrack and the Golden Temple, which is a track full of Indiana Jones-style obstacles and golden water. You also get access to the Boss Pursuits, where you can beat villains and play as them if you win. The sea villains are Mesmeralda, Captain Frightbeard, and Spellslamzer.

If you beat the Golden Queen’s Boss Pursuit you get to play as her and drive her special vehicle, which is called the Glitter Glider. Literally what else do you need in life?

5) Legendary Astroblast and Sun Runner – Sky Racing Pack

Sky Racing Action Pack Skylanders SuperChargers

Why did Activision release the Legendary version of Astroblast before the regular one, and why is it only available in a Sky Racing Pack from Toys R Us? It doesn’t matter. The Sky Racing Pack is crucial to getting all the racetracks, and the Legendary coloring (black and gold, instead of silver and gold) only makes Astroblast look cooler. Luckily, the Legendary version costs the same amount as a typical Racing Pack.

Astroblast is the only Light element Skyander in Skylanders SuperChargers, and his Sun Runner vehicle is also incredible. It has huge translucent spikes coming out of the front and sides, and has a powerful laser attack.

With the Sky Racing Pack you get the Sky Trophy and a racetrack for Wolfgang, one of the more memorable villains in Skylanders: Trap Team. Wolfgang is a basically a big werewolf who fancies himself a musician. Of course he uses that music for evil means. Other villains in the Sky Racing Pack include Captain Pepperjack (another Trap Team favorite, he is a giant pepper), Lord Stratosfear, and Cap’n Cluck.

With the Sky Racing Pack, you’ll have access to all the Sky racetracks, which means you can play them in a circuit and get the most out of your racing gameplay.

This article was written by

Simone de Rochefort is a game journalist, writer, podcast host, and video producer who does a prolific amount of Stuff. You can find her on Twitter @doomquasar, and hear her weekly on tech podcast Rocket, as well as Pixelkin's Gaming With the Moms podcast. With Pixelkin she produces video content and devotes herself to Skylanders with terrifying abandon.