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How to build your team in Dragon Ball FighterZ
With over 40 characters to choose from, team composition is tough in Dragon Ball FighterZ. We’ve asked Kami99, one of Canada’s best DBFZ players, to help us help you build the team of your dreams.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is a game that catches the eye very quickly. The characters are ones you know, the visuals look amazing, and the gameplay is hype. Its most notable feature, however, is that DBFZ is a team game, meaning you’ll need to make a couple of extra picks to go with your fav. Many people have problems getting into team games because of the extra learning that goes into playing multiple characters in addition to the chaotic mechanics.
For those actively playing the game, switching out one of your characters can also be a daunting task. You’ll get some ideas from just watching other players, but that doesn’t always mean their picks or style will gel with you. DBFZ is a game where you can switch between fighters very quickly (since the combo structure is relatively the same for most characters), so you have to look a little past that. How are certain characters played? What is their favoured position? How are their assists used?
Answering those questions will help determine if your favourite character can run your game plan while helping you craft the team composition of your dreams. Characters are picked for a number of reasons - but they can be broken down into your favourite characters, playstyles, and use cases (think picking GT Goku for his assist).
Trying to fulfill these criteria changes the way you go about building your team, so what exactly do you need to know before creating/changing your team? With the help of Kami99, one of the best DBFZ Players in a very underrepresented scene (Canada), we can help steer you in the right direction.
This season I’m playing Bardock, Kid Buu, and Ultra Instinct Goku. Kid buu assist removes the threat of reflect in block strings and counters, allowing me to go for gapless 3 way mix that can be very risky to guard cancel.
1. Create your starting foundation
Picking your favorite Dragon Ball character is a great starting point. The game is versatile enough to allow you to do that, so you can most definitely slap 3 of your favourite characters together and create some impressive routes. On the competitive side, though, it’s a bit harder to give up the tools afforded to you by top tiers… at the highest level anyway.
If you would consider yourself a veteran of fighting games, you should know by now that character loyalty is a myth and being a low-tier god is not a trademark. To get around this, try picking your favourite character and use the other two slots to build around them - letting their strengths shine and covering their weaknesses. Obviously, your favourite character can be derived from many things including how cool their design is, seeing a pro player go to work with them, or just plain old nostalgia.
Your game plan is a huge part of DBFZ, but that’s not something you realize until you flesh out your playstyle. You could say your game plan is the next gradual step from your first created team, as you switch between characters to feel more comfortable, but there are some questions you should ask yourself first. What is it that you are looking to do?
Do you want to play honest fundamentals and outplay your opponent, or do you want to get in and mix? Are you looking for strong neutral tools or better defensive options? The answers come from how YOU want to play the game because there is a character (or assist) that fits every playstyle. One thing you’ll need to get comfortable with is trying characters out. This aspect of creating your team is what makes it unique to you, and ultimately will keep you interested in playing longer.
The last reason people pick up character is because of their assists. Since release, DBFZ has been home to many consistently strong assists that stand above the rest (think Season 1 SSJ Vegeta, Kid Buu Gumball, GT Goku beam, Bardock B etc). The utility is reason enough to pick up a new character and add them to your team, but it isn't the end all be all. Make sure the character fits you gameplay-wise because if you choose them for their assist, they’ll probably end up as your anchor with no help in sight. Now that you've covered the basics and picked your starting point, how do you go about placing them on your team?
2. Pick your point character
Point characters are the pride of your team. They show up in the intro, they start the fight off and can steamroll teams with the help of assists and momentum. Point is usually the most versatile position in DBFZ, one that theoretically any character can fit into thanks to the assists backing them up. Characters with strong assists are usually not put in this position because of the most obvious reason - that assist will help your point character.
The most important things to me in a point character are neutral, meter build, and good pressure on block. These things allow you to establish a strong presence on the screen early on, the ability to safely stagger pressure, and allows you to have a great reward on hit.
The point character is usually the weakest on the team. A character that doesn't have the greatest assist sees their options open up when given extra tools. This can include characters who are mix-up heavy characters (ex. Cell), have stubby normals (Vegeta Blue), play way more obnoxiously with back-up (Hit), don't have that much combo damage and could use the extensions (Nappa), or don't have access to easy sliding knockdowns (Android 21). Thankfully, with the addition of multiple assists in Season 3, you don't have to worry too much about giving up an amazing tool.
Your point character sets the tone for how you will play the game. They allow you to enforce your gameplan, but also give the most data to your opponent about your playstyle. When deciding on your point character you can either maximize their strengths with assists or minimize their weaknesses. By building around your point character, you can play DBFZ with total freedom - creating set-ups, TOD's, pressure, or whatever else you can come up with. While anyone can be a point character with Season 3.5's multiple assist inclusion/buffs, make sure to set the character with the worst solo potential as your team’s point. After the point position comes:
3. Build your shell (Mid/Anchor)
Mid and Anchor positions are meant to provide overall support to the team. Mid is more focused on the point character while Anchor helps out the whole team. Assists are a big deal in any team game so, with these two positions, you can pick an assist that caters to you and your playstyle.
Between Neutral, Invincible, and Mix assists, you need to decide what you’re looking for, before choosing a corresponding character. Mid is primarily recognized as the ‘battery’ of the team, providing a solid assist that backs up/compliments the point character AND is interchangeable. At mid position, you normally find characters with solid assists who aren’t really anchor material (e.g. Bardock). A strong mid character lets you manage your team’s health, apply supports from all sides, and is a character without glaring weaknesses.
Thanks to the most recently introduced Limit Break mechanic, your Anchor is more important than ever. The comeback mechanic, added in Season 3, gives the final character on your team (when both other members have been defeated) a permanent 16% damage boost along with 1 free bar of meter when they sub in. This makes mix-up characters with un-reactable command grabs (Base Goku, Broly) a real problem since they can destroy your health bar with a basic BnB.
“I still think Kid Buu is incredibly strong despite the minor nerfs he got on his super damage," says Kami99.
"I play UI anchor because he gives my team the ability to meter dump when I need to, and he's also a pretty solid anchor, as he has solo mix and great damage without even taking limit break into account.”
Characters that fit in the anchor position have tools you rely on a bit more than your mid, and expect to (as long as you don’t get snapped) have for the entire match. The anchor position should be held by your most fundamentally sound character - a character you feel comfortable within any situation.
Mid and Anchor characters together are usually named "Shell”, and some shells can be slotted towards any character and make them good. You might see a lot of pro-players playing the same shells, or shells specifically made for your favorite character. There are some great resources out there that are dedicated to team building, if you are just looking to get an idea before diving right in. One thing is for sure: with multiple assists, you can now create whatever shell you desire.
4. Never be afraid of making adjustments
“When making a team from a competitive standpoint I always want to see what is strong in the current meta, and pick characters that can counter these things well, while also not having many weaknesses themselves," says Kami99.
DragonBall FighterZ is a great game that has many interesting combinations. You can make your teams based on the most meticulous calculations or the most random reason. The best part is that it just works. You can have fun with any team you create in DBFZ, and just start learning from there.
With the many nerfs offense has received during the past seasons, defensive mechanics are much more prominent such as delay tech, guard cancel, reflect into raw tag, and frame 1 counter supers. Knowing this, I can adjust my team accordingly.
The best team you will make, however, is one that you feel the most comfortable with. Rather than having one solid character, you should feel comfortable playing every character on your team at a competent level.
Every position has a different plan but being comfortable with each character will give you things you can't prepare for like being calm when a character dies, or amazing team health management. Creating your team is ever-evolving, and when you deal to have that team you feel is meant for your playstyle, there is no better feeling.