S Tier – Necessities
Posterizer: The best badge to get posterizing animations when you go up for dunks. Combined with a high dunk rating, you will get a big dunk meter and tons of highlight reel slams.
Limitless Takeoff: Another badge that unlocks some crazy animations. It can benefit any build with a high dunk rating, especially with some of the dunk packages.
Fearless Finisher: A badge that will help you convert through contact. Although underwhelming at points, it is still necessary to finish layups through contact.
Slithery Finisher: Another layup-based badge that helps you get around players that are paint sitting. While also sometimes underwhelming, it is a necessity for players without a high dunk rating.
A Tier- Great, but only Necessary for Some Builds
Unstrippable: Getting stripped while driving to the rim is a problem this year, and this badge helps limit these stupid animations. Necessary for players who try to finish through contact frequently.
Giant Slayer: A necessary badge for smaller guards to finish when guarded by a big man. However, we would not recommend it outside of point guards.
Grace under Pressure: A badge that has good results, but limited use. If you are typically shooting standing layups, this badge is probably pretty necessary for you. Otherwise you don’t need it.
Fast Twitch: Same deal as above, Fast Twitch will only help you if you are shooting a lot of standing layups/dunks. It’s a direct answer for Pogo Stick, so it definitely works well within its description.
B Tier – Helpful if You have Extra Points
Acrobat: A great badge if you are frequently shooting reverse layups or other funky layups, but does not have much of a use outside of that. Could be good on low levels to help in the case you need a special layup.
Backdown Punisher: A badge that works very well for post players and on mismatches, but otherwise pretty useless. Could be good on lower levels to attack smaller players, however.
Pro Touch: A good badge to throw an extra badge point on, as it will help you finish well-timed layups. However, you might not need the badge if you are not usually slightly late or early on your layups.
Rise Up: Another badge specifically for standing dunks, Rise Up will help you finish standing dunks instead of soft standing layup finishes. Not necessary for most of the player base, though.
C Tier – Hyper Specific for Certain Builds
Hook Specialist, Dream Shake, Dropstepper, and Post Spin Technician: All post badges that only work if you work in the post. Only necessary for post scorers.
Mouse in the House: A largely ineffective badge that supposedly works when guarded by a smaller player. However, the results have been poor and we can not recommend the badge at this point.
Lob City Finisher: A good badge if you catch a lot of lobs, but with the new dunk meter, lobs are a bit more difficult this year. Therefore we only recommend for the small number of players still trying to catch lobs.
Tear Dropper: Floaters with this badge are actually super easy, but the underrated move is only used by a small portion of the player base. If you learn how to use floaters, this badge is deadly.
Putback Boss: This badge can help you get some crazy putback animations, but good putback opportunities are few and far in-between. Therefore, we don’t recommend this badge at all.