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What makes a fighter good: a general guide

Discussion in 'General Strategy' started by Scorialimit, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Scorialimit

    Scorialimit Active Member

    Mar 30, 2018
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    Disclaimer: This guide is not the end all, be all say in who you should invest in. It is merely advice on how to see who is a strong fighter. I also do not claim to be the best advocate for this; it is just a resource that hasn't been available up until now.

    If you want a tl;dr, just read what's in bold

    A lot of people ask for a new tier list whenever new fighters are released. This is quite difficult to do: people will have opinions on what high tier is, viability on offense and defense can affect it, some fighters excel in counter-picking while falling short in general use, player skill makes some variants better than others, some fighters have powerful but inconsistent abilities, and the goal of each player is different.

    This guide will teach you about the different types of fighters you can use, and what niches they use. This will help players rely less on tier lists and build their own intuition and their own judgement on who to build.

    First thing's first: Don't be afraid to use who you like
    Having strong fighters is good, but what's the point of a game if you're not having fun? Of course, you should learn what makes the fighter good and build into supporting that, but even the worst fighters can be used if played well.

    With that being said, there are four things that dictate what a fighter is good for:
    * Damage
    * Consistency
    * Utility
    * Ease of use

    While this isn't everything, it's a good place to keep things simple yet precise.

    1: Damage
    This one is pretty straightforward: damage can come from natural Attack stat, SAs that boost damage, move stats, combo potential, move rarity, enrage, bleed, and the individual moves themselves. A good example of a fighter with good damage is Buzzkill: her SA gives her Heavy Bleed and Enrage, and her moves can inflict good bleed and damage as well. A fighter that relies less on bleed is Harlequin. Being a Bella means she's blessed with strong stats and moves as it is, and her SA allows her to use high damage SAs such as Merry-Go-Rilla more often, as well as hitting even harder with them. Bleed can be great against any fighter that doesn't resist bleed (Bloodbath and ICU Valentine are the big counters to it), while pure power fighters are harder to counter without having the sheer defense to withstand and punish their attacks. There's never a scenario where damage is bad, although having different forms of it might allow you to take on different content.

    2: Consistency
    In general, the more reliable a fighter is, the better they will be at clearing content with minimal energy usage or least streak loss. Consistency will be most defined by how often you can get what you desire from a fighter. If you want meter control a fighter such as No Egrets will be very consistent. You can improve her crit rate, and the disable will always come when you land a crit. Meanwhile, Regally Blonde is much less consistent. While she has two ways to control meter (draining it on opponent use and getting disable from tears), they both rely on randomness in order to get it.

    Consistency isn't just about randomness, but also how easy the activation condition is to get, and how long it lasts. If you're looking for a bleed fighter, you might look at Parasite Weave and Bad Hair Day. Technically, Parasite Weave has a higher rate of bleed in her SA, but it's locked behind stuns, which she can only get 3 seconds of every 10 seconds. It also only lasts for 5 seconds. Bad Hair Day only gets 10% chance of bleed, but it's constant and lasts for 7 seconds. She can quite reasonably get bleeds throughout the fight, which allows her to take better advantage of The First Cut.

    3: Utility
    Fighters might not always stand well on their own, but some fighters do well in supporting their teammates either through buffing allies, reviving allies, or debuffing opponents. Valentine in particular is great at this; Trauma Center allows allies to survive a mistake they may usually not, and Forbidden Procedure allows her to revive dead allies, giving them one more shot at defeating the opponent. Sundae School can also be very helpful here, as extending debuff duration 3 seconds can actually be quite useful.

    Not all fighters with utility are pure support: fighters such as Harlequin and Peashooter can support their teammates with the SA boosts and projectile boosts respectively while being quite strong on their own. On the other side of this, not all utility fighters are supportive, as utility can be anything that limits what the opponent can do or improves what you can do. In general, a utility fighter that doesn't support the entire team is referred to as a control fighter. A great example of a control fighter is Cold Stones: while he doesn't support his entire team, he can completely disable an enemy with stun, allowing for longer combos, more throws to gain hype, and possibly more stuns with good timing. Claw & Order is also good at control: her blockbuster disable lasts a long time, and she can reset it quite often with decent crit rate.

    4: Ease of Use
    This on it's own doesn't make or break a fighter, as a fighter easily using a bad SA won't be doing much. However, A good fighter that can easily and often use a good SA will generally do better than a fighter that can't access a fantastic SA very often or easily. For example, Claw & Order has several ways to inflict debuffs in her moves, and can easily reset them simply by investing in crit rate or having sheltered support. On the other hand, Hack & Splash has a very powerful SA that in theory can quickly reducing an opponents HP, but requires investing in crit and utilizing headless mode. In terms of maximizing damage, you'll always want to invest in attack instead, as getting that 3% damage is going to be less overall than that same combo if you keep armor break from blocking on (except maybe streaks so high you shouldn't be using her anyways) and increasing crit rate makes her a bigger liability against MA Painwheel and Dread Locks.

    A bit of a sidenote for this section, but some fighters are easy to use in the sense that they are more forgiving when you make a mistake. In general, this means a benefit for getting hit, either gaining buffs, inflicting debuffs, resurrecting, etc. In general, these are defensive variants, and building a fighter specifically for defense will yield fewer benefits than building for offense. If you're still learning the game and get hit often or have an offense that you're satisfied with you can invest in defense, but it's generally a backburner project, and you want all 3 of your defense members to be at least fairly strong or it's just a free bounty for most players that will fight it.

    When looking at how powerful a specific fighter is, see how they do in all four of these points. Tomb & Gloom for example has a low attack stat, a fairly good SA that inflicts good debuffs without much difficulty, last long enough to switch to another fighter and but can't rely on any individual debuffs. She's an alright fighter, but nothing spectacular. Wrestler X, on the other hand, has a high natural attack stat, reliable access to Regen and Bleed(in hype mode), access to BB3 for an okay meter control, and isn't too complicated while being very forgiving. He might not be top tier, but he's very powerful regardless.

    Fell free to ask questions or leave comments and discuss with others who did. I'll try to be involved and open to adding information, but have a habit of forgetting about these and being too busy to remember lol
  2. Zuzuska

    Zuzuska Active Member

    Jul 19, 2017
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    This is EXACTLY what I was getting at while working with the water diamond eval list! My argument is that Twisted Mettle's ease of use and her bleeds exceed Hack N' Splash's natural stats & complicated kit. What're your thoughts on this? Other than that, this is a very helpful guide you've set here, thanks! :)
  3. Scorialimit

    Scorialimit Active Member

    Mar 30, 2018
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    Thanks for the thoughts!

    I don't personally have HnS either, but I have a good amount of experience with Twisted Mettle. I think diamond doesn't benefit her much outside of the defensive stats, since her damage comes from chaining bleeds, and getting a single one from moves is all you need. Hack N Splash has the highest natural attack of any water (only tied overall with Buzzkill), and the debuffs she inflicts help her as a counterpick against AF and RE, and if you run into them Grudge Painwheel.

    I think Twisted could do better overall if you aren't utilizing Fortune combos (which might be difficult with headless being so different), but there are better water diamond options than both of them. In general, bleed fighters don't get much improved with diamond evolution since it's just a stat buff.

    That's just my personal opinion though. Pretty much after Cold Stones, Brain Freeze, and Silent Kill (as a counter fighter), the other options are pretty meh overall and it's not an easy decision.
    Zuzuska likes this.
  4. infine

    infine Active Member

    Sep 28, 2017
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    There is one case where damage is bad - Accursed Experiments node that has stun on %damage. At one point I suddenly dead to beo after upgrading some moves with %ATK on a fighter, because suddenly some move in a common L5+Launcher+Juggle went over the threshold.

    Also another dimension of Consistency/Ease Of Use is fighter specifics. Big Band, I believe, has almost no fighter specific stuff, Parasoul has some niche non-critical thingies (like napalm shot going over Filia head when she does a charge attack, or motorcycle followup after launcher on different fighters IIRC). Meanwhile Filia almost consistently whiffs Dash->Jab against Val due to the latter hitstun animation (L1 does not reach Val's hitbox if you counter after a normal blockstring) and Squiggly whiffs Dash->Jab or Jab against most cerbella blockstrings that put fighters sufficiently apart - Jab is too short, Dash has too long a startup I think. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I've noticed that Cerbella manages to go into L1 startup frames when Dash hits, meaning if she has BB ready instead of ground combo, you die (Squiggly is stupidly sensitive to range in general. You can whiff L5->Drag'nBite->L5 on range after DnB, you can whiff Drag'nDrop, especially against Val and her hitstun animation, you can even whiff a launcher sometimes). And Double has lots of fighter specific connections, though failing them Isn't going to get you killed generally.

    Oh, and there's stuff that's general to characters, not specific fighter cards. Like what charge attack does (look at Painwheel VS, say, Filia), what options you have after a throw (Double can pretty much combo off a throw), stupid Balancing Act, Big Band's unflinching charge, Squiggles bloody damn Tremors.
    cappatacus likes this.
  5. cappatacus

    cappatacus Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2018
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    I love this evaluation and I think it's crucial for new players, but I do have to say that defensive characters will soon become important. Remember the dev notes on the Rift Battles? They suggested about 20 good defensive fighters for this. I guess we'll have to see how useful the rewards from this are, but if it is any good, then I think it should be noted that defensive fighters are useful.

    Even then, offensive fighters will do you better for active playing, which I assume is most people's preference.
    Made In Heaven likes this.

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