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Dissidia 012 Stuff (pt.3)

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Lightning is a really interesting character to play as. She's a complete warrior and a complete mage, with a BRV building mechanic to boot. Her gimmick might take some getting used to in order to use her effectively, but once you get the hang of it, she's well worth it.

To start off, lets examine her three roles: Commando, Ravager, and Medic. Commando is her warrior role in which she uses her gunblade to attack physically. And what great attacks she has. Blitz is a charging attack which runs through and staggers the enemy's guard followed with a gun shot to the back. Unguarded, Blitz hit multiple times before the gunshot sends them flying. So it's cool in that respect. But where it really shines is that even if the first attack is blocked, the gunshot can still hit your staggered opponent in style. Furthermore, Lightning has one of those coveted HP to BRV attacks, Flourish of Steel, which makes dealing HP damage easy, especially since it links from her standard combo, Launch. And did I mention she has good speed?

Her Ravenger role is her mage role. It has a bunch of nice little tricks which combines pressure mechanics with Lightning's speed. Her Watera basically creates a giant bubble which will slowly track the opponent across the stage and is great for mind games. It can be guarded, but doing so will stagger your opponent, leaving them open to an attack. Another fun attack is Blizzara which creates a giant mass of ice which sucks in the enemy before launching them into the air. This is really fun to use when you enemy is busy trying to avoid you and Watera. But the real fun attack here is Army of One. The most badass looking BRV attack in the game (next to Jecht's combos of course). And as a plus, it generates extra EX Force which leads into something I'll discuss later.

Medic is more of a gimmick role than anything else. Personally, I don't use it, but it is free BRV. I've seen it become especially effective when coupled alongside stuff like Snooze and Lose.

With all that said though, I highly recommend only using two of the roles Lightning has at any given time. If you don't equip any skills for a certain role, then that role is skips in battle when switching paradigms. This is really helpful in that it helps you maintain pressure and speed in your game.

Her HP attacks are really good as well. They all have great range and/or coverage and are great for punishing enemies that dodge too soon. And really, if you think about it, this really makes Lightning one of the hardest characters to actually defend against. The major downside though is that they all have a noticeable start-up time similar to Squall's attacks.

And now, to make Lightning even better, she has what is probably one of the best EX modes in the game. Her EX mode makes her immune to wall rush. So not only does this make her immune to that additional damage, but it also makes her immune to a bunch of combos in the game that leave the player defenseless. And to make things worse, her EX mode automatically causes a Bravery Break if your opponent is simply near it. I forget the percent, but you get the picture.

All in all, Lightning is a solid character. She's fun to play as and fun to fight against. Her only real weakness I would say is predictability. But even still, Lightning can bring the pressure.

Tidus is more fun to use if you're a patient player. Personally, I don't like using him competitively but he's still a pretty good character. He follows the hit-and-run tactic and really needs to stick to that to bring out his full potential. And in the transition between the first game and 012, not much was done to him to add some variety to his tactics.

To start off, Tidus has one of the most infamous attacks in the game: Hop Step. This little gem is damn near instantaneous and hurts too. And if I'm not mistaken, it got better by having its range increased. Best of all, he has a ground version and aerial version of this attack. It's a staple move. And when you stack this on top of the fact that his moveset incorporates a lot of dodges which go into HP attacks, Tidus becomes almost as good at mindgames as Exdeath.

One thing I'll say that hurts Tidus a bit is the fact he lost his ground version of Wither Shot. For me, this was his equivalent of Cloud's Fire and it helped to close in distances. So now, what this means is if you're not backing Sphere Shot, you'll always have to close in to do any real damage. However, if you equip something besides Sphere Shot, you'll also be creating a hole on his offense. For example, if you equip a dodge you'll be thinning out Tidus's options because more than likely you'll be waiting for your opponent to attack you (and you better hope it's a close-ranged attack). And if it's an attack, you pretty much won't be taking advantage of Tidus's bread and butter attacks.

Furthermore, even though Tidus relies on his dodges, you really need to use the right one for the right attack. Using the wrong dodge can end horribly, but with you only being able to equip but so many attacks, no matter what you do, Tidus will just about always have some shortcoming in his moveset.

EX Mode is still fun. Just not as useful anymore.

Also, being that he's basically a counterattacker, he hates fighting against defensive opponents like say Exdeath.

Onion Knight
Onion Knight was already pretty cheap in the first game and they just made him even better in this one. I'll start off by saying this (cause I'm not sure how many people really realize it), but if you equip Onion Knight with Speed Boost ++, you can literally run circles around your enemy. When I use Onion Knight, I hardly ever need to use dashes and I hardly even have to think about dodging. You can really just run up to your opponent, sneak up behind them, and wail on them. Combine this with Sneak Attack and Counterattack and you can create some really unfair Crit Strings.

His already fast moves execute faster now and like one or two got improved range for that matter. Blade Torrent is usable now and Wind Shear and Comet got even harder to deal with. And lets not forget the many BRV to HP attacks he has. Those always help. On top of this all, he got two new brave attacks which boost either his magic or his strength. I forget whether they stack or not, but you get the idea. Onion Knight lives up to his name.

The only weak point I see with him is that his attacks are pretty linear. But really, if you're running circles around your enemy, does that matter?

Onion Knight loves larger stages.

Zidane is yet another character close to my heart. He is a gimmicky character who excels at aerial combat, and boy does it show. In 012 it's a lot easier to get enemies into the air now because of Zidane's new attack Booster 8. This is a pretty fast charging attack which hits multiple times and can immediately be followed up by an aerial attack. What's more, this new attack of his has the added bonus of staggering an enemy's guard without having any affect on Zidane at all.

He doesn't have his Swift Attack on the ground anymore, which is kinda bad because it was quick and led into a nice Meo Twister. But really, Booster 8 more than makes up for this. And while we're on the subject, Meo Twister doesn't generate EX Force anymore. Just so ya know.

Anyways, any Zidane player worth their weight will have no problem keeping the combat in the air. And boy...Zidane loves ceilings! If you're playing as Zidane and your opponent hits the ceiling, jump for joy. With his fast attacks and good aerial coverage, Zidane will be attacking your enemy before they even get off the wall. So if your opponent hits the top ceiling, you can practically Storm Impulse them to death. And did I mention that Grand Lethal got better? If you're close to your opponent in the air and you pop out one of these, even if they dodge, chances are you're going to hit them.

Now, I will say that Zidane lost his awesome Turn-Cancel combo that made a lot of people hate Zidane players. But, Zidane is the only character that can recover jumps after dodging now through the use of his EX mode. This makes the fact that he can interrupt his attacks to optimize damage even more deadly.

Free Energy had its range reduced (which makes it pretty awkward to hit with now) and it can be blocked. But this is somewhat remedied with the fact that his Tidal Flame got better. It's slower now, but it tracks better, bounces off walls, lasts longer, and it crushes guards. Which means the days of having it deflected are over.

Scoop Art is faster now, which is his equivalent to Cloud's Fire. Always nice for light mind games. And Solution 9 actually hits the enemy more if I'm not mistaken. It's good for poking and interrupting the enemy.

Zidane also has good synergy with a lot of other characters as assists. Some examples are Cecil, Sephiroth, Kain, Yuna, and Kuja. Also, if you plan on using him, I recommend trying out some BRV boost on dodge accessories. And remember, he loves stages with low ceilings.