In our advanced guide to Dragon Ball FighterZ we’re going to discuss the meta game for this and a few others in the genre. Players of older Marvel vs. Capcom games will comfortable with the team-building concepts.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is a game where one player controls a three-person team, acting as the brain of a three-headed monster. In addition to the tag team dynamic, one character effectively borrows the moves of the other two via assist moves, augmenting their arsenal. You can slap any three characters together, but do they work together? There is a lot to think about here.
A major consideration for any character in Dragon Ball FighterZ is the quality of their assist move. We want to give each character on the team abilities that they didn’t have before by virtue of their teammates. Goku’s assist is a really easy example: Characters who have little in the way of long-range attacks like Android 18 clearly benefit from access to a huge, screen-filling Kamehameha blast. Here are some other notable assists to get you thinking.
Piccolo’s assist is a slow-moving energy ball that makes it difficult for the player on the receiving end to attack or defend while it’s on screen. This is a great all-around move to throw out whenever you have the upper hand, especially after you’ve knocked the opponent down.
Krillin’s assist is an unusual type: He tosses either a stone (which can hit the opponent, opening them up for a combo) or the healing Senzu Bean from the series. If you call Krillin and stand still for a moment to catch the bean, you’re likely to get a substantial heal. This is a great assist to run, but especially if you’re running a long-distance gameplan like, ironically, Frieza’s.
You should also keep a more straightforward attack-type assist on your team, as they are the only way you can get a combo — and thus more damage — out of the standard overhead attack. Android 16 has an excellent point-blank assist move meant for this purpose: Unlike other attack assists, which pop the opponent into the air, Android 16 holds them to the ground, allowing you to follow up with anything you want. Gotenks’ Galactic Donuts assist is almost as good for this purpose.
Tag super attack synergy
In Dragon Ball FighterZ, combos often end in super attacks and then tag super attacks after that. The problem is that tag super attacks are not guaranteed to hit.
For example, it’s very easy for Goku to do an air combo that flies about halfway up the stage and finishes with a Kamehameha.: I was doing it by reflex in a lot of my matches in the beta. The problem with this combo is that, once he’s in the middle of that super move, it’s unlikely that any of his teammates’ tag super moves will reach where he is on the screen. If you’re in the air, teammates will still tag in from the ground. In this case, a character like Trunks or Krillin will switch in and perform their super move in exchange for one bar of meter — but it won’t hit, and you won’t get any damage out of it. This is inefficient.
Not only do you want to pick characters whose super moves effortlessly cancel into each other, but you want to build combos that allow that to happen. Though how you’re going to do this depends on your team, you generally want to land super attacks close to the ground. Goku’s Warp Kamehameha is specifically meant for this purpose, and other characters have attacks that allow them to slam an opponent to the ground during an air combo and continue with a super attack.
Super meter management and team roles
Though there’s nothing wrong with burning your super meter away as you get it, you will only get so many bars in a match. You may want to consider where you’re typically going to use meter in a match and which character is going to use it.
To borrow from Marvel vs. Capcom parlance, your “point” (starting) character should function well without a lot of super meter in the early stages of the match. At this stage of the game, you’re either spending meter as you get it, or you’re saving it up for big damage later. In either case, you want a character with powerful basic moves and combos who’s a threat without much meter.
Some characters need just a little meter to get going. Adult Gohan has to land his Potential Unleashed super move at least once to unlock his full slate of attacks. This character is a prime candidate for the second slot: You can land a super with your point character, and when you tag in Gohan he’ll be powered up and ready to go.
To borrow once more from Marvel vs. Capcom players, your anchor character is the one you’re saving for the end, typically one who can put a lot of super meter to good use alone. As a standout case, Tien can burn all seven bars of the super meter by himself in a single super move, delivering damage well beyond what other characters in Dragon Ball FighterZ can do alone. Gas guzzler characters like this are best in the back, where they can use a lot of super meter when there’s nobody else left on the team to do so. The Sparking Blast move, which supercharges characters for a brief time (depending on how many characters are left on the team) was made for this situation.
Assembling a team
Keeping these points in mind, it’s really up to you where you go with team building. So long as you understand the strengths and weaknesses that a team can have, you don’t have to build a perfectly balanced team. You want a big guy team composed of Majin Buu, Android 16 and Nappa? Go nuts. Only want to play as Vegeta and his son from two different time periods? Sure. Do you want to play as three different Gokus? You can.
Start with characters that you like, and keeping this advice in mind, keep playing around the roster and thinking about how your characters go together. Stay curious about the possibilities. This game just came out, and nobody has even scratched the surface. Eventually you’ll find a combination that fits you like your favorite weighted practice gear.
This is the end of our advanced Dragon Ball FighterZ guide, but there is one more section: combo basics. Combo technique in this game can get very advanced, and so we isolated the topic from everything else.