A few weeks into Dragon Ball FighterZ, and I’m starting to come to grips with my team. Having played the full cast now at least a little bit, I’ve had a chance to get a feel for fighting like a Saiyan, as well as a sense for what I like and don’t like. There’s still much experimentation to be done, but so far I’ve got a team that I’m really happy with. Until further notice, my main squad is Android 16/Piccolo/Goku!
My Approach to Team-Building
In a tag fighter like Dragon Ball FighterZ, there can be much to consider about the characters you choose and the order you arrange them in, especially if you start fine-tuning for optimal performance. If you’re just starting out, I wouldn’t worry so much about limiting your team options because you have to have Vegeta for his amazing assist (which it is). I think the most important thing is to use three characters you like to play as in the point position.
Whatever peripheral gains you’d get from assists won’t help you in the immediate term if you’re still learning the game and are forced to fight with all three characters. Find three characters that you like in isolation, then work on optimizations later. As of now, these are three characters I love to play as on point, and I’ve found ways to make their assists work for each other after the fact.
In the point position is Android 16. Normally, I steer clear of grapplers in fighting games, as they tend to suffer from issues with mobility and range. Android 16 is more well-rounded in this regard. He’s by no means a speedster, but he can jet around the ring as fast as he needs to. Having armour on his far-reaching launcher gives him a tool to punish whiffed moves from long distance. His two-punch homing ki attack isn’t going to win him any fireball wars, but it’s enough to pester opponents from distance, and any deficiencies with projectiles can be covered by his assists.
Best of all, the grabs! On the ground, in the air, or from across the screen, he has the ability to start or continue combos with his satisfying grabs that dunk his opponent into the ground with reckless abandon. Beyond the functional benefits of high damage, I think the way that Android 16 looks when he’s dunking his opponents repeatedly just looks awesome. As the icing on the cake, he has a wildly-impractical, but ultra-cool suicide grab that’s a 1-hit kill if it connects. I started playing him just because I thought his grab game was so cool and so far the decision is paying dividends! He’s one of my least favourite characters in the anime, but he’s hands-down my favourite character to play as in Dragon Ball FighterZ!
Planet Namek’s finest warrior may be a step below in power to the galaxy’s best, but that doesn’t stop him from being a fierce competitor and a fan favourite. He’s able to punch above his weight class and he serves as Gohan’s father figure for a notable portion of the child’s life due to Goku being…out of commission. In Dragon Ball FighterZ, what he lacks in power is made up in trickiness.
Piccolo’s special moves allow him to create a myriad of hard-to-block scenarios. His Homing Energy Blast is a slow projectile that can act as cover while he snakes his way in. As an assist, the Homing Energy Blast acts as a great decoy to cause my opponents to block while Android 16 runs in to grab them. His Demon Elbow is hard to use in combos, but its ability to hit in front or behind can keep foes unbalanced. Most useful is his Demon Slicer, which acts as a combo extender or ender in the air, and as a slick counter move on the ground.
What pushed me over the top was his special attack. Instead of chucking a fireball like most of the cast, Piccolo extends his arm and drags them in, sort of like Scorpion from the Mortal Kombat series. It’s not an easy tool to use, but it looks so cool when you do it right.
I’m not sure where Piccolo is going to land on the tier lists once the dust begins to settle, but as long as he’s fun to play as, and I continue to be successful with him on my squad, (and if I don’t find anyone better), he’s got a spot on my A-team.
The series protagonist is a bit of a vanilla pick. Besides being a fairly straightforward good guy who happens to be a bit headstrong, he’s designed to be a well-rounded character that doesn’t have any particular strengths or weaknesses. Besides my experience with him from the beta, he stays on my team for one primary reason: his Kamehameha.
All forms of it are wildly useful. As the anchor of my team, Goku’s Kamehameha assist provides cover for Android 16 to rush in. It also acts as a combo extender for both. Once Goku is in, he benefits greatly from having a strong projectile special move that trumps almost every other projectile in the game. Best of all, his ability to perform the super versions of the move in the air or on the ground allow him to end his combos with big super moves from pretty much anywhere on the screen.
My Game Plan
Backed by Piccolo and Goku’s assists, my game plan is to crush my foe’s entire team with Android 16. He’s great at landing first hits and converting for big damage. When his health starts to get low, I give him a break by putting in Piccolo. With the Namekian on point, I try to create an endless wave of pressure by converting on full combos and using his elbow and counter attacks to keep them off balanced. If both of them die, then it’s up to Goku to bring it home with his barrage of Kamehameha attacks.
Back to the Hyperbolic Time Chamber
Just because I have one main team now doesn’t mean my research and training stops here. There are a number of characters I want to experiment more with, some of whom I’ll write about in a future post. For now though, I’m kicking butt with Android 16, Piccolo, and Goku! Whose your squad so far?
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