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 charatcers are close range. In addition, the 2x damage from BBs while he has armor can be devastating. 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. He dethrones Epic Sax for best Big Band for these reasons. Attack %, defense, and meter gain are the ideal stats for him. However, Peacock and Parasoul are two RANGED characters that counter him pretty hard, as they render his extra survivability from SA1 worthless (Peacock in particular does a good job at that). But other than that, Heavy Metal performs better than Epic Sax in all regards. 2. Epic Sax Rarity: Gold Element: Light Atk (at lvl 60): 10,157 Hp (at lvl 60): 68.6k FS (at lvl 60): 22.1k 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 best Big Band fighter, 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 pretty weak in higher pf streaks (25+), as his SA1 isn't enough of a boost to his only decent damage. Overall, Epic Sax is 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): 22.1k 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. Although it was a much needed nerf). He also deals decent damage and has quite a few moves that help increase his chance to stun. These moves are: Cymbal Clash, Noise Cancel, 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. 5. Resonant Evil Rarity: Silver Element: Dark Atk (at lvl 60): 6,471k Hp (at lvl 60): 71.9k FS (at lvl 60): 22k 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 (eclipsed only by Bio-Exorcist). 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, there are (obviously) ways to take on this Big Band. Beowulf or Cerebella are your best options against him, as they are bruisers and inflict very few hits, decreasing his chances of gaining the armor. If neither one is an option (for whatever reason), any fighter that inflicts armor break or curse will work as well. As of 2.6, he can no longer stun on the same hit he gets the armor (which, before the 2.6 update, was the biggest middle finger RNG could throw at you). He's insanely weak on offense as his mediocre damage will not get him very far. Interestingly, alongside Graveyard Shift Valentine and Scrub Valentine, he has THE worst damage stat in the entire game. He is strictly defense. He works as a cheap defensive fighter (for those who don't want to invest too greatly in defense teams). 6. 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 decent fighter. His SA is pretty good, as he gains 50% of his total hp if he stays in and takes no dmg while he's at it. As a defensive fighter, he'd be one of the best. If it wasn't for the fact that the A.I seems to like tagging out at most, 2 seconds after his SA activates, wasting his regen and armor. In higher pf streaks (+20), he is much more likely to stay in, thanks to the numerous buffs to his hp that he gains as you progress in the pfs. He's quite troublesome if you do not have a fighter that inflicts armor break, curse, or hex. Red Velvet Eliza is an excellent counter to him. Despite her low damage output, she can disable his SA and if he chooses to tag out, the next fighter that comes in will suffer 3 nasty debuffs. On offense, he's insanely weak due to his mediocre damage out. He'd be higher if the A.I didn't tag him out whenever his SA activates. Well, that and if RE was weaker, as G.I Jazz is outclassed by Resonant Evil. 7. 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 At first, Robocopy seems pretty broken. 2 stacks of armor and enrage plus 50% meter does sound pretty broken. However, he only gets all of this when he takes out one of the opponent's fighters. This makes him unreliable past 20 wins in a pf streak, as his dmg becomes outpaced by the enemy's hp buffs. On defense, he's decently tough. If he can take out one of your fighters, you're in for a bad situation, especially if a Tuba Tuba is up and ready. But again, the fact he has to kill someone for the buffs hinders his performance on defense. He also has surprisingly low health, especially for a Big Band (with only the bronzes having less health). He's worth evolving to gold, but expect to struggle if you use him in higher pf streaks. 8. 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 Speaking of the bronze Big Bands, here they are. I cannot tell you how many times I've seen people saying Beat Box is broken af. He's not broken. If anything, he's actually pretty weak. The meter gain is the only good thing about him. Enrage is not a bad buff, don't get me wrong. However, the enrage Beat Box gets is almost always too short to really take advantage of. On defense, he's fairly weak as the A.I doesn't too often take the chance to use specials. Plus Big Band's A.I is pretty dumb, so they won't ever take advantage of the enrage he gets. He's a weaker Robocopy. Only difference is he's not worth evolving to gold. 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 Bassline is just a huge no. He may have one of the strongest tag in related SAs, but that doesn't necessarily say much. Anything tag in related is generally not fun and is pretty weak, as tag ins aren't frequent. He also has mediocre damage. There isn't much else to say about this variant that isn't already known.