DNF Duel is a fighting game based on Dungeon Fighter Online. For that reason, playable characters are called adventurers, each representing a class of the game, and use the same abilities that they do in the original game.
The characters also use MP in DNF Duel instead of an Ex gauge or a similar system usually seen in other fighting games. Besides learning how MP works in DNF Duel, players also have to learn about the adventurer’s Awakening state and how it works.
It’s nice to see a game that feels familiar but introduces new and fresh mechanics to the genre. So if you are wondering how Awakening works in DNF duel, or what it even is, stick around. This guide will tell you precisely what you want to know about it.
What is Awakening in DNF Duel?
Awakening is a unique state, a comeback mechanic, and a buff. Characters become awakened when their health is lowered to about 20% of the total.
When Awakened, each character gains a different effect. For instance, Grappler takes less chip damage, Striker deals more damage, and Ranger applies penalties to the target of his attacks.
Awakening also allows adventurers to perform an Awakening Skill, which is a high damaging special attack that can deal a lot of damage and costs no MP. However, once used, you lose your bonuses from the Awakening state.
In other words, Awakening is DNF Duel’s comeback mechanic. It’s important to note that it’s unique for each character. Unlike most ultimate attacks in other fighting games, like supers or fatal blows, the Awakening does not have armor or invulnerability. You must know when to use it, and most likely, you will be using it as a combo ender.
When you press the Awakening Skill button, the character will perform an attack. If that attack hits, an animation will play out, and the damage will be applied to your adversary. The attacks adventurers do to activate the Awakening Skill can vary significantly.
For instance, Striker’s is more like an area around her, Ranger’s is a full screenshot, Crusader’s is just a hammer swing, and Grappler’s is a point black command grab. There are fast ones and slower ones. Some are easier to hit than others, but it’s all part of how the game was balanced. It also helps to keep the characters different from one another.
All Awakening Effects in DNF Duel
Since each adventurer gains a different buff, it is important to know what they do so you can learn how to use their Awakening and how to fight them as well.
For instance, since grapplers Awakening reduces his chip damage, you might want to go for grabs instead of block strings that he might interrupt with his counter skill.
Striker’s Awakening – Power Fist
Striker’s Awakening Effect, Power First, increases your minimum attack damage. This means that your combos have less scaling, and you can benefit more from longer combos which are Striker’s specialty.
Longer combos usually have diminishing results, which can cause some high damaging moves not to hit as hard as expected.
This Awakening buff does not entirely remove scaling from Striker combos. However, it will cause Striker to deal much more damage during her long combos. Power Fist will make her damage scary even if she uses many light attacks to start a long sequence of attacks.
Ranger’s Awakening – Sudden Death
When Sudden Death is active, Ranger debuffs the adversary when he lands a hit. The opponent hit gets three different penalties: Attack Decrease, Defense Decrease, and MP Recovery Speed Decrease. Suppose an opponent uses their MP and fails to reach Ranger.
In that case, they become significantly less dangerous to him since they will take longer to regain MP and deal less damage.
Not being able to use MP Skill to punish Ranger while having less attack power makes opponents significantly less dangerous. This is a fun Awakening Effect. It isn’t just extra damage or lower MP cost like many others.
Ranger wants to keep the enemy away, and it becomes much safer for him to do that during his Awakening. On top of that, the enemy’s defense is also lowered, so they can’t just stand back there and keep taking his shots.
Hitman’s Awakening – Battle Command
Hitman’s Battle Command, his Awakening Skill, is a follow-up attack to his MP skills. For instance, you can press MP right after performing an invincible reversal by pressing down MP again. This will cause Hitman to cancel his recovery animations and perform a move called Shattering Strike.
This extra attack can make moves safer, increase the pressure you are imposing on your adversary, extend your combos, and throw off the enemy’s timing. On top of that, this attack can catch enemies trying to approach you by running or dodging through one of your MP Skills.
As long as he has MP and is awakened, Hitman becomes incredibly hard to read and punish.
Swift Master’s Awakening – Wind Master
Swift Master’s Awakening is Wind Master. When Awakened, this adventurer’s movement speed is increased. The change is noticeable and can be really hard to deal with. This adventurer’s natural movement speed is ridiculously good, so his Awakening buff makes him really hard to deal with.
Wind Master allows Swift Master to microdash and be on your face before you have the time to properly react to it. Players who main Swift Master can use that for dash grab mix-ups and powerful whiff punishes that can lead to full combos.
Berserker’s Awakening – Thirst
When at low health, Berserker gains the ability to recover HP each time he lands a hit. You don’t regain a lot, but it can be significant during long combos. On top of that, it makes Berserker much scarier since this Awakening Effect allows him to use conversion even more.
Berserker is a very oppressive character that can keep inflicting white damage upon himself, allowing him to use more conversions. This is also a way to activate his Awakening buff even earlier so he can get health back after landing a combo. Berserker’s abilities are risky, but the reward is absolutely worth it.
Dragon Knight’s Awakening – Dragon’s Wrath
Dragon Knight is very powerful, and all her MP skills are all quite handy for pressure and mix-ups. However, she is a bit mana hungry, which can hurt her effectiveness when you are running low on mana. However, her Awakening Effect, Dragon’s Wrath, allows her to regain MP much faster when landing attacks.
This means some of her combos can get much longer, and her MP starts recovering much faster, especially if you use technical inputs. You might want to check how MP works in DNF duel to take advantage of Dragon Knight’s Awakening Effect.
Kunoichi’s Awakening – Ninjutsu
Ninjutsu, Kunoichi’s Awakening Effect, increases the speed of binding Nin and reduces the MP cost of Nin-Bound moves. In other words, your charged MP Skills deal more damage and cost less MP.
Kunoichi is a somewhat complex character that can perform long combos. However, she can be highly technical when you are trying to optimize her.
This character becomes very powerful when she has access to Ninjutsu. She can already be played as a zoner without the Awakening buff. However, once she has awakened, dealing with Kunoichi gets even more complicated.
Ninjutsu allows her to spam her MP Skills for pressure and mix-ups even more as long as she charges them, turning Kunoichi into a way too dangerous adventurer.
Inquisitor’s Awakening – Coldhearted
Inquisitor’s Awakening Effect, Coldhearted, allows her to spam her MP Skills even more. Coldhearted reduces the delay between using an MP Skill and MP Recovery. This recovery might become even more significant if you use Technical Inputs to minimize the delay and keep spamming your MP Skills.
Inquisitor’s pressure is scary with her spinning wheel and dive attacks. Once she has her Awakening, fighting her becomes a nightmare. She has the power to keep the pressure going while you try to block everything that comes your way.
Vanguard’s Awakening – Demonic Lance Mastery
Demonic Lance Master, Vanguard’s Awakening Effect, makes him deal even more damage on the enemy’s guard gauge when they block his attacks. Vanguard is a character that can deal massive damage from really safe start-ups. You will be in trouble if you can’t get close to him when this effect is active.
Vanguard is already a very oppressive character due to his immense range. For that reason, his Awakening Effect is very scary. He can quickly chip out one’s guard gauge and force the adversary to take risks or get guard broken.
Grappler’s Awakening – Iron Physique
Iron Physique diminishes the amount of white damage this character takes when guarding. To be fair, Grappler’s Awakening is a bit odd.
Most adventurer’s in the game get Awakening Effects that help them reach the adversary, deal more damage, or force them into taking a risk. However, Grappler’s Awakening is a defensive one.
For it to work, you must be blocking, which means this Awakening Effect is very underwhelming when compared to many others.
Grappler needs all the help he can get to get a turn in any matchup, which is why I find his buff a bit disappointing. However, his Awakening Skill is a command grab, so maybe he doesn’t need a super-strong Awakening Effect.
Ghostblade’s Awakening – Phantasmal Binity
Phantasmal Binity increases damage dealt with your opponent when you’re hit or guarded against. Ghostblade is a character that has above-average damage already, which means that his damage output becomes crazy high when he is Awakened.
Ghostblade’s defense is pretty bad, but you don’t want to be hit by him when Phantasmal Binity is active.
On top of that, his Awakening Skill, which also deals significant damage, is easy to use as a combo ender. It can take away 40% of your HP if it hits raw or as the second hit of a combo.
Don’t ever underestimate Ghostblade, and don’t trust your HP bar when fighting him. One hit might be all he needs to steal the victory from you.
Launcher’s Awakening – Overheat
Overheat increases the amount of White Damage dealt by Launcher when her attacks are guarded. This Awakening Effect is outstandingly good when combined with her multi-hit attacks, such as her laser beams and machine-gun attacks. It does so much White Damage that it looks as if the adversary isn’t even guarding.
This offensive Awakening Effect, like most, forces the adversary to take risks when fighting Launcher since they cannot just sit back and block against her. It will cause their entire HP bar to be depleted. The adversary will have to attempt approaching Launcher somehow, and that’s when she’s supposed to end the round.
Crusader’s Awakening – Merciful Strength
Crusader has a defensive Awakening Skill called Merciful Strength. However, this one is much better than Grappler’s. Merciful Strength decreases the amount of damage taken on your HP bar and Guard Gauge. On top of that, your White Damage recovery is increased. This makes an already tanky character able to withstand even more damage.
Crusader is a big boy with a lot of HP. His Awakening makes him able to last much longer. If he reaches his Awakening due to White Damage, chances are you will be in a lot of trouble.
Crusader is already annoying to finish off when his HP is low. For that reason, allowing him to Awaken and recover HP is like giving him even more HP.
Enchantress’ Awakening – Favoritism
Enchantress’ Awakening Effect, Favoritism, reduces MP passive consumption while Showtime! is active. Showtime! is her Neutral MP Skill, which makes you able to control Madd, her teddy bear.
While Awakened, Enchantress can keep Showtime! active for much longer and abuse the fact you are playing with two characters against the adversary.
Enchantress is not one of the best DNF duel characters for beginners. She can be a highly technical adventurer to master, and making good use of her Awakening goes way beyond just spamming Madd’s MP Skills.
However, with practice, it can be overwhelmingly annoying to fight her if she keeps her teddy bear next to you all the time.
Troubleshooter’s Awakening – Handle Explosives
Handle Explosives makes Troubleshooter’s MP Skills more powerful. They get increased attack when guarded.
Troubleshooter is a character that can be played in any way. He is able to zone you or rush you down, and he excels in set play. Although he might not be a specialist, he is well-rounded enough to be a fantastic character due to his high damage output.
This Awakening Effect makes his oppressive specials ever scarier. He has one of the largest hitboxes in the game when using his invincible reversal.
On top of that, he has an even more absurd hitbox when firing his gun with his Forward MP Skill attack. That gunshot, in particular, is fantastic when he is Awakened due to its insane, full-screen range.
Lost Warrior’s Awakening-Logic of the Dimensions
Lost Warrior’s Awakening Effect is Logic of the Dimensions, which increases the duration that an enemy stays time frozen during Engraved Time.
On top of that, hitting an MP Skill will make your adversary freeze for a bit. This creates new combo opportunities and makes hits much easier to accomplish.
Lost Warrior is a boss character and everything he does, although very gimmicky, looks insanely powerful. That includes the fact that he can stop time, then MP Skill loop you until he wins the round. However, note that to get a screen freeze, Lost Warrior must apply five stacks of Engraved Time.