I still have no idea whom I'll choose as a main and that's kind of awesome

One rather odd side effect of the extreme accessibility of FS is that there’s no longer any sort of need to choose a main based on execution barrier or style that’s more comfortable (e.g. which can you do more consistently: QCF, QCF, QCF rekkas or 360° motions?). Instead, it’s just a matter of: which general archetype do I want to play?

It turns out that my brain has no idea whether it prefers to play big burly grapplers like Rook or mixup-rushdown like Setsuki or zoners with a fairly strong up-close knockdown mixup game like Jaina, and I kind of love it, because it means that I can choose which character to use pretty much entirely based on my current mood, without having to worry about messing up my muscle memory too much. Well, except when I try playing DeGrey after playing Midori for a while, and forget that DeGrey’s parry isn’t free. ; )

Part of me wants kind of an over-the-top mode where you can switch characters after each loss to do a counterpick like Pocket Rumble, though I suspect the load times would be… prohibitive? Would be kind of fun in its way, though. ^^


I’ve got a different problem. I want to try and get into the game but I don’t know where to start. With very little fighting game experience I’d like to have a good idea what each character is about before I dive it.

Could some one give a brief explanation of what each character is about with maybe their strengths and weaknesses?

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Grave. Controls the match with his projectiles. Can often deal block damage with them. The combination of his normal projectiles, his big one, and his wind-blowing move give him a lot of control. He can also rushdown if he wants and cross the screen quickly with air B. His super gets him out of trouble if you pressure him.

Jaina. Create an obstacle course of fireballs for the opponent to deal with. Extremely strong zoning. If anyone gets in on you, you have two options, each of which have drawbacks. Your super is really slow, and your dragon punch deals self-damage. The thing is, having any options at all is very good because most of the time you can zone them anyway. When you need to rushdown, you have a short range divekick that leads to a simple 3 damage combo.

Rook. A grappler who wants to get in. Has one of the craziest throws in a fighting game in that it beats even jump ins because it has super armor. Has all the tools needed to get in, such as a fullscreen knockdown move, a move that destroys fireballs, a move that goes through fireballs, a super armored move that travels across the screen, an air super that gets in any time he uses it.

Valerie. Strong rushdown. Can punish things for 2 damage from farther away than most characters. Then has a mixup for a third damage. If the opponent just stands there, or if they are getting from a knockdown, using air B (to crossup) or putting her air super above them allows her to do nasty mixups and explosive damage. She needs to get in to do this stuff though and her two deadliest mixup things (the air B and air super) both have a fair amount of startup time.

Geiger. Geiger will be revised in the next update. He will still be a zoning character, but just slightly less so. He will have more options for setups, tricks, and combos in the next update. Note that Geiger has a “gear meter” that acts like charging up for a Sonic Boom in Street Fighter. It fills up very quickly, but it will instantly empty if you hold forward. So you have to hold either neutral or back in order to do his Time Spiral (“sonic boom”) or Flash Gear (“flash kick”).

Setsuki. All rushdown all the time. Requires by far the most inputs per second of any of the characters. Has a bread and butter combo that does 4 damage. Can use air kunai to help her get in. Can mixup with two different kinds of special throws as well as a teleport kick that gets her to the other side. Overall, your goal is to do a lot of fast stuff (that has to be precisely spaced, so she is a bit hard to play) and overwhelm your opponent. Don’t mess up though, you have only 5 hp.

DeGrey. Sort of rushdown, but hard to classify. Has a special mechanic that gives his moves deadlier properties if you hit the opponent out of the startup of their moves. He wants to trick the opponent into attacking at the wrong times. His ghost is a big part of his gameplay in that he can throw it out often (such as forward+A to kick, then cancel that into ghost). Putting the ghost between his various moves allows him to attack and move around safely, but if the opponent does something stupid, they will get grabbed by the ghost and DeGrey can pilebunker for 2 damage. It’s a lot of dancing around and trying to be safe during that and trying to punish the opponent for wrong guesses.

Midori. A grappler. His base form is somewhat weak, but he’s still capable of beating any character even in this form. His parry is a big part of his human form in that prevents people from attacking him too much (but doesn’t help at all against projectiles). He does his best to get in. He can also turn into a dragon where he becomes ridiculously good. So playing him is about doing the best you can while you’re human, then maximize the unfair advantage you get during the time you are a dragon.


I have been dabbling in all characters (because you totally can) but I enjoy Valerie immensely. Her crazy walk speed and incredible normals give her insane footsies. The easy Rekka punishes (honestly the chore of spamming qcf for years always kept me from playing Fei Long) and air super are just pure magic.

I’m awaiting a record feature in training mode so I can figure out how to get 3-4 damage out of Rainbow Disc mixups on the regular.

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So far, I find playing the match-up as opposed to maining a character more fun for me. I enjoy using Jaina against Midori and Rook because they are slow and are so hard pressed to get in that I have all the time in the world to do whatever fireball traps I want. Against Setsuki and Valerie I like using Rook because I can win with 2 hits because of their low life and the fact that I don’t have to worry about them zoning Rook.

Awesome rundown, Sirlin. I don’t suppose you have whiteboard scrawlings for Arg and Lum just yet? :stuck_out_tongue:
I’m also looking forward to the Geiger revision. As much as I love the character, I think he’s actually the most boring character atm. :C I wanna be able to enjoy repping time man! More tricks is exactly what I want, with time stop being my favorite aspect atm. :slight_smile:

Some of my own thoughts:
I’ll add that Grave is pretty well rounded, as fireballs give him pretty good chip pressure for aggression. (Especially meaty big fire ball. Follow that one up with another fireball followed by sword swing when they’re at 1 for a pretty hard to escape chipout!)

It should also be noted that Rook’s Ground Super is really busted and pretty much prevents the other guy from throwing fireballs from anywhere closer than “direct opposite side of the screen”, unless they want to take 3 and a knockdown, lol.

Valerie demands answers immediately once she’s in, almost certainly the fastest chipper in the game and is usually crazy plus (or perhaps just plus enough to frame trap) basically all the time. If you don’t have a panic button ready when she makes you block, get ready for the next round. (Setsuki and DeGrey are probably the two most vulnerable. DeGrey has to land the super or lose, and Setsuki has to pray for a gap or mistake in Val’s rushdown to escape!)

Geiger is really really safe, but lacks combo potential without meter, often only netting 2. This character is like “no risk, low reward.” Probably the grodiest supers in the game, with cycloid being a meaty, chippy death sentence on low health guys and time stop having a million different applications from escapes to combo extension to nasty strike/throw 50/50s with time spiral, to free fireball war victories. My personal vote for best char in the game atm. :wink:

Setsuki writeup is pretty much the size of it. She can actually net 5 if you disrespect the meaty kunai! So uh, don’t do that lol.

DeGrey’s counterhit aspect is hard to utilize, but gives him nasty burst damage. Sometimes you get counterhit by pilebunker and die, oops. Beyond that, he’s very much focused on varying up the timings of his blockstrings to open up the enemy to ghosting or a counter hit, while downbacking against him opens up a nasty crossup into more pressure. mixup doing A, AA, A b.A, A dandy, A ghost, AA ghost, and off of dandy use the lunge punch to continue pressure or empty dandy -> throw to keep them guessing. He’s a mixup monster who gets high reward for making his opponent panic, but his answers to zoning are pretty limited and predictable.

Nothing to add about Midori or Jaina, oops.

Anyway, yeah, characters in this game are overall simple enough that you really can play all of them at a competent level if you have fighting game knowhow, with Setsuki and DeGrey probably overall being the most complicated. I love it!


DeGrey is far and away the fighting game character with the fastest actual* KO potential of all time. Given how much I love SF5’s Crush Counter system, he is a pretty fun option to play overall!

*i.e. Excepting things like instant-kill shenanigans

Thanks for the rundown.

That makes it really tough to pick. It only really eliminates 3 of the 8 for me atm. I’m not big on rushdown so Setsuki and Valerie are probably out. And Midori feels more complex then I am able to handle right now.

Jaina sounds appealing because I like keeping people away. But Yomi has taught me to like grapplers so maybe Rook. Then again I like the all around fighters like Grave. And Degrey dodge madness just seems fun. Hmmm, it’s a tough choice.

it is a trick question EVERY CHARACTER IS FUN


If it helps at all, I found Rook an excellent character to learn with. His tools and their purpose are very clear, his mix-up is easy to explain, and you don’t have to worry about combos at all. Great way to get used to the game imo.

What if Geiger had a CRAZY long super meter, like it covers the whole bottom of the screen and it takes a long time to build up (and he only gets like, a chunk for Yomi Countering instead of a full meter).

Then when you use the super, he enters Temporal Distortion and on any confirm you can spam B to literally kill your opponent? Then he’d be like Yomi Geiger and could play a super lame runaway game until he gets super


Learn both Rook and Jaina! It would give you really good match-up versatility as a player. I would learn Rook first since he’s easier to use in terms of execution and timing. Jaina requires a little bit more precision since miss-timing fireballs or anti-airs leads to big punishes.