When it comes to meter, Dragon Ball FighterZ doles it out at a very generous clip. After the first few seconds of the match, it’s pretty easy to go through an entire match while still having stocks to spare. However, I’ve run into no shortage of players that liberally burn their meter during the match, only to find themselves bankrupt when the match is in the balance.
Managing your resources is crucial to your success on the battlefield. Let’s talk about two of the most common wastes of meter that occur in a match and what can be done instead to ensure that you have meter when you need it most!
Vanish combos are an easy way of tacking on an extra few points of damage to a combo. I run into many players that use their Vanishes on every combo. Heck, the combo in the GIF above is me burning two meters for two Vanishes. As stylish as they look, they generally aren’t worth it if the only benefit you’re getting from them is extra damage to the point character. The problem is that if the combo resets the neutral, they can simply tag out and revive all that lost blue health, rendering the extra spent meter useless.
For the Vanish to be worthwhile, it has to give you more than a few ticks of damage. Some things you would want if you’re going to use the meter for a Vanish:
- Character kill. If tacking on that Vanish extends your combo just long enough to wipe out a character, then the 1-bar cost is well worth it
- Better positioning. If burning a meter puts your opponent in the corner, you now take control of the flow of the match and have the opportunity to break things open
- Snapback a character with lots of blue health. If your opponent has a character healing their wounds in the background, use a Vanish into a Dragon Rush for an easy snapback combo. In the example GIF above, I was able to knock off over 30% of my opponent’s recoverable health, making them much easier to kill in the long run
If you cannot gain a benefit beyond additional damage, don’t use Vanish.
Using meters for super moves
One of the biggest mistakes I see players make (including myself in the example above) is burning super meter on super moves that do not directly lead to a kill. Just as with Vanish combos, if they don’t kill, your opponent can simply regain a large portion of the damage thanks to blue health. By allowing your opponent to escape and recover each time, you’re allowing them to recover enough health so that the fight is more like 4.5 on 3.
If you hit confirm into a combo that could kill, burn everything you have to take them out. Even if ends up being a 5-bar DHC combo, the bigger loss is your opponent losing access to a character.
The are times where it can be okay to perform supers that don’t directly cause a kill, but they’re very situational in nature. For example, it’s generally okay burn your meters on a level 3 super early if it can weaken them to within one hit confirm away from death. After the level 3, your opponent is in a hard knockdown state, giving you the opportunity to mix them up for the quick kill. If you are not confident in your ability to mix someone up on wake-up, save your meters for a confirmed kill instead.
In the example above, I sort of messed it up by going for two jumping medium attacks instead of performing a combo after the first, but the sentiment stays the same. Use the level 3 to get them to a killable state, then confirm on the mix up to end it.
The other time where I’m okay with non-killing supers is when you need to tag a character out in a safe manner. Using a DHC or using the super of your tagged in partner, you can safely get your injured character out without putting anyone at risk of death.
Ending your combos without Vanish or super
If you’re not ending your combos with Vanish or super, what do you do instead?
End your combos with sliding or hard knockdowns to help create wake-up mix-ups
In the example above, Hit finishes the first combo with a jumping heavy, which causes me to slide on the ground. As I’m waking up, he hits me with a deceptive jumping cross-up, allowing him to score even more damage on me while taking on no risk to do so.
End your combo with a move that gives you some sort of positional advantage
Some characters can’t create hard knockdowns while they’re in the air, such as Piccolo. Other times, it’s just not going to work out in a way where performing a hard or sliding knockdown move is feasible. If this is the case, try and end your combo in a way that gives you some sort of tactical advantage, whether that means pushing your opponent closer to the corner, or ending the combo so that you’re side-by-side and you have control over the neutral. This way, you can continue to mount offensive pressure before they recover.
Out of gas
Above is a great example of what happens when you spend too much meter early on. Desperate for damage with one character left on each side, my opponent performs a level 3 super on my sparking Goku Black. He now has zero bars versus my seven. Even though I didn’t need any meter to finish him off, him being short on meter made it way harder for him to kill me, as he would need multiple hit confirms to end it. As for me, I could have simply Vanished seven times and eventually whittled him to his death, or perform a basic hit confirm into a super for the same result.
Using your meter efficiently goes a long way towards victory. By shaving a bit of damage off your combos during the course of the fight by not using Vanish or super moves in situations that aren’t as advantageous, it gives you access to super bars when you need it most. Spend it when it counts for a better chance of winning!