Introducing Big Band: Big Band is the typical tank character. He has an enormous amount of health, plenty of ways to get armor and a marquee which reduces the damage he takes. He's somewhat balanced by his pretty low attack stat. I say somewhat because of his combo potential. His character ability can be used to force the opponent into the corner, where he can fully take advantage of his combo potential, which is the highest in the game. He tends to have some sort of stun effect in his arsenal as a way to control the pace of the battle, armor to increase his durability or a combination of both. Character Ability: Can't Stop The Beat - While dashing, Big Band cannot be interrupted (but will take damage normally) 1. Heavy Metal Rarity: Diamond Element: Water Atk (at lvl 60): 10,330 Hp (at lvl 60): 89k FS (at lvl 60): 25.7k SA: Going Platinum - 15% chance to gain armor for 5 seconds when hit with a close-range attack (includes blocking) - While benefitting from armor, blockbusters deal 100% bonus damage As of now, Heavy Metal is the fighter with the highest hp in the game. His SA is pretty good at keeping him alive, since most characters are close range. But, his primary strength on offense is walling for a while and then taking the chance to land the killing blow on his opponents. The 2x damage from BBs while he has armor can be devastating and helps to enforce that. As someone has pointed out to me, the Bagpipe taunt gives him armor for 15 seconds. This can buy him incredibly valuable time to take advantage of the bonus damage. It can also help him act like a brick wall on defense. The only real drawback is that equipping the taunt could be somewhat inefficient. Though that could be solved by giving him Take The A Train. For the most part thoguh, he beats Epic Sax. Attack %, defense, and meter gain are the ideal stats for him. 2. Epic Sax Rarity: Gold Element: Light Atk (at lvl 60): 10,157 Hp (at lvl 60): 68.6k FS (at lvl 60): 22k SA: Circular Breathing - Gain 3% bonus damage per combo hit, up to a 50% bonus - Gain a random buff for every 10 combo hits Epic Sax has now been dethroned as the best Big Band fighter by Heavy Metal. He's also been dethroned as the best fighter entirely for some time now. Epic Sax's SA1 used to be 6% bonus dmg and up to a 100% bonus (or something ridiculous like that). That aspect of his SA has been nerfed hugely. He is still the next best Big Band fighter if you do not have Heavy Metal, seeing as he can improve his damage to be far higher than every other Big Band variant. The random effect seems op, seeing as a ground combo>launcher>juggle>some more ground hits could give you 2 buffs. Although not specified in the description of his SA, all buffs Epic Sax gains only last 5 seconds. He's also pretty good on defense as he's still pretty tanky (despite his SA and stats implying that he's the offensive Big Band variant). He's an all rounder, although he leans a little more towards offense. He does become somewhat weak in higher pf streaks (25+), as his SA1 isn't enough of a boost to his only decent damage. But other than that, Epic Sax is overall a variant you will want a lot due to his incredible versatility as a fighter. 3. Megasonic Rarity: Gold (Shrouded relic exclusive) Element: Dark Atk (at lvl 60): 10,157 Hp (at lvl 60): 68.6k FS (at lvl 60): 22k SA: Chip-Tuned - When blocking a hit, reduce damage taken by 75% and gain enrage for 10 seconds. One enrage stack is removed on the next successful hit - While benefiting from enrage, 50% of the damage dealt is regained as health I used to think this variant was quite weak, seeing as he loses the enrage with every hit he lands and doesn't do enough damage for SA2 to mean much. However, when I actually looked more into this variant, he's actually pretty tough. Sure, his normal hits don't deal much damage. However, the following moves do a lot of damage and will synchronize will with the SA: Cymbal Clash, Sweet Clarinet, Tuba Tuba, and Super Sonic Jazz. SSJ works the best because it inflicts 5 hits (which is how long the enrage lasts) and does a lot of damage. Megasonic, though mostly offensive, is still pretty tanky. However, Epic Sax still has the edge on offense because the damage buff lasts until your combo ends on Epic Sax, while Megasonic loses his buff after 5 hits (at most), causing his damage output to suffer a bit. In addition, due to Megasonic's high hp, the self heal may not contribute all that much and the only way to obtain Megasonic is through the Shrouded relic. If you do get him though, he'll be pretty good. 4. Private Dick Rarity: Gold Element: Fire Atk (at lvl 60): 8,852 Hp (at lvl 60): 76.2k FS (at lvl 60): 22k SA: Stunning Performance - 5% chance on hit to stun opponent for 3 seconds - Gain a 50% resistance to all debuffs Private Dick is an all-rounder and can be used on both offense and defense, although he leans a little more towards defense. On offense, he's now the best stun-lock type of character (Parasite Weave Filia massively outshadowed him, but as of 2.5, she was quite badly nerfed in that regard). He also deals decent damage and has quite a few moves that help increase his chance to stun. These moves are: Cymbal Clash, Beat Extend, Noise Cancel, Strike Up The Band and my favorite, Tuba Tuba. On defense, he's incredibly tanky and his SA2 acts somewhat as debuff immunity. If you have already a 25% resistance on a debuff, expect to very often resist debuffs. Even if you don't already have any resistances upgraded, you still have a 50/50 chance of resisting a debuff. He particularly shines as a way to clear Accursed Experiments (except maybe on the node with HQ, SG, and Untouchable), seeing as every fight has a debuff somewhere that he could resist. That debuff immunity also protects him from debuffs his opponent may inflict on offense, especially if its something like curse or wither. 5. Beat Box Rarity: Bronze Element: Fire Atk (at lvl 60): 8,180 Hp (at lvl 60): 55.4k FS (at lvl 60): 17.8k SA: Freestyle - Gain enrage for 5 seconds when using a special move - Also gain 25% meter for all blockbusters On paper, Beat Box sounds like a pretty broken fighter. Free enrage and meter just for using specials sounds great. And it is, with enrage being a powerful buff to have. However, his damage is still only decent and his health is the lowest out of the Big Bands, making him a little squishy if he gets hit. His enrages also don't last long, which does hurt his damage output over the long term. He's a lot more strategic than he sounds because the player has to be able to strategically take advantage of his short-lived enrages in order to maximize his damage output. But, his main strength is spamming BB3s. Which does counter these drawbacks because being able to spam BB3s is pretty strong. Even moreso if you have enrages ready. Regally Blonde and Bloody Valentine are bad matchups for Beat Box because Regally Blonde could easily reduce his meter after 1 use of something like Beat Extend or SSJ, hurting his damage output more than being at an elemental disadvantage already does. Meanwhile Bloody Valentine will benefit for every special/BB that Beat Box uses, compensating for the fact she's at an elemental disadvantage. 6. Robocopy Rarity: Silver Element: Water Atk (at lvl 60): 8,717 Hp (at lvl 60): 58.8k FS (at lvl 60): 18.9k SA: Dead or Alive - Defeating an opponent grants 2 stacks of armor and enrage for 10 seconds - Also grants 50% meter for all blockbusters He doesn't require a whole lot of strategy to use, working best after he's taken out one of your opponent's fighters. His enrage stacks and meter gain will almost certainly be able to help him land another KO while he's buffed, which also keeps him balanced. A great situation for him to be in is when he manages to weaken all of the opponents' fighters enough to kill them quickly and essentially fill up all his BBs and double his damage. He's a fighter whose primary strength is snowballing to become a serious threat. However, landing these KOs is his biggest issue. Against high hp opponents and armored opponents (who you see a lot in late streaks), this becomes very hard to do. In addition, Regally Blonde can counter him by emptying out his meter if she chooses to use a BB other than BB3 against her. 7. Resonant Evil Rarity: Silver Element: Dark Atk (at lvl 60): 6,471 Hp (at lvl 60): 71.9k FS (at lvl 60): 18.8k SA: Master of Unblocking - Getting hit has a 10% chance to grant armor for 10 seconds - Gain a 5% chance when hit to stun opponent for 4 seconds if you have armor As of now, Resonant Evil is one of the best defensive fighters. He can easily gain 1 stack of armor, as most characters inflict quite a few hits. He also stuns, giving him a chance to do damage to the player's fighter and stalling the player. However, he is much the same as G.I Jazz, acting primarily as a safety net if you choose to use him for offense. He allows plenty of room for error due to the ease at which he gains armor. He is also a fighter whose purpose is strong defense, not offense. He ranks above G.I Jazz simply because he's much safer to play, despite doing way less damage. 8. G.I Jazz Rarity: Gold Element: Wind Atk (at lvl 60): 7,527 Hp (at lvl 60): 83.5k FS (at lvl 60): 22k SA: Reserve Tank - Once per match, gain 5 stacks of regen for 10 seconds when falling below 25% health - Also gain 3 stacks of armor G.I Jazz is a pretty bad fighter for offense. His attack is mediocre, so even with the longest Big Band combos possible and with the highest damage moves/attack boost possible, he won't do too much damage. He isn't hard to play at all because he's primarily a safety net. He'll struggle with armored opponents, as all Big Bands do because they have no armor break options available to them. The regen and armor stacks do a great job at keeping him alive if he gets BB3'd or something, so there's that going for him. But otherwise, unless you want a strong defense, just don't go for G.I Jazz. He just won't be doing enough damage. 9. Bassline Rarity: Bronze Element: Wind Atk (at lvl 60): 6,490 Hp (at lvl 60): 56k FS (at lvl 60): 16.2k SA: Second Wind - On tag in, gain heavy regen for 10 seconds - Also gain 35% meter for all blockbusters Anyone with even some knowledge of this game knows that Bassline is awful. He may be good in the very early stages of the game, where Rerun runs rampant and he can constantly tag in, but even there, he's only ok. His attack is the 3rd lowest in the game, making him hard to use on offense. He's overall not a good variant to use and should be ignored.