DNF Duel is filled with characters that are deceivingly complex to play. In fact, this is a common theme throughout the whole game. Striker is undoubtedly one of those characters. Although she is one of the best characters for beginners, she is also viable at higher levels.
Striker’s gimmick is her never stopping a flurry of blows. She can cancel any normal into any Skill and vice versa. She can also cancel anything into an MP Skill, including another MP Skill. This is what justifies her ranking high in the DNF Duel tier list.
That said, to make the most out of Striker is not that simple. There is a lot of practice involved. There are many ways to make her much better than she seems. Don’t worry, though. This DNF Duel Striker guide will teach you everything you need to know.
Striker’s Unique Combo System
Most characters can follow the same sequence when pressing buttons to make a combo. Most of the time, you can go A, A, B, S, and MS. If not that, a slight variation of that system. However, Striker is very different from the rest of the roster.
All her moves have unique properties. For instance, her A, B, and S button can be used in a chain in any order you want. So you can go A, B, and S or B, A, then S if you want. This is why I recommend Striker for those who just started playing DNF. She is the type of character that makes almost everything work.
Her combo system also works with directional inputs. For instance, you can follow A with down+A, B, and then S and go back to down+B. You can also cancel any of her moves into an MP Skill, which can help you not be punished by your opponent after performing a special move.
Striker’s Game Plan: Pressure Your Opponent
Striker has to work harder than most characters to deal damage. It’s not that her damage output isn’t high. However, she doesn’t have high damaging combos that start from low attacks.
Most of Striker’s best combos start from her standing B or Forward S. It’s not the end of the world, though. Striker’s pressure is one of her scariest features. That’s why you have to practice your block strings.
Putting your adversary in a corner is meant to be the scariest thing you can do. Your objective is to have more MP than your opponent at all times. In order to do that, you have to make your opponent spend theirs on a Guard Cancel.
You should work on baiting Guard Cancels whenever you can. Blocking such a move or grabbing the opponent’s out of it will put you in a perfect situation for this character.
Suppose your opponent is exhausted from Guard Canceling or any other reason. In that case, Striker can break the opponent’s guard uncontestedly and possibly finish the round — check the video above.
Essential Tips and Tricks to Play Striker
It’s usually quite challenging for Striker to get on her opponent’s face. Striker players must prey on their adversary’s mistakes. Getting in is possible but dangerous.
Remember, Striker doesn’t use weapons. Her range isn’t great, but her pressure is outstandingly good. You must make the most out of it. That being said, if an enemy knows how to keep you out, things will get tough.
For that reason, you must use every tool at your disposal to start to pressure your opponent to either deal damage or break their guard.
You must learn Striker’s Basic moves and basic combos. The tutorial is a great place to understand how this adventurer is played, what makes her different from others, and how hard her combos can be.
You will learn basic and advanced combos in the trials, and you will also learn how awakening works in DNF Duel. Generally speaking, Striker’s Awakening Effect improves the scaling on her combos.
Once you’ve read and understand how the adventurer works, do the trials and then the challenges. You don’t need to complete them immediately, but you need to try them.
You will have to be able to complete them all at some point, but before that, you have to understand how it feels to play this character. The challenges do a great job at teaching you the fundamental aspects of a character’s neutral game.
The Best Ways to Use Rising Fist
This character is very fluid and very fun. However, when you start getting technical, you can take advantage of her combo fluidity to bend the game’s system.
For instance, Striker can cancel any of her MP Skills into any other of her MP Skills. This helps her make her invulnerable reversal safe if you cancel her first hit into Mountain Pusher or Shadowless Kick.
Rising Fist, Striker’s invulnerable reversal, is a multi-hitting attack that can be followed up from the ground or air. For instance, if you hit your opponent with it, you can cancel it into her air MP Skill, Tornado Kicks.
If you cancel Rising Fist into One Inch Punch, you recover faster than your opponent. However, there is a gap between Rising Fist’s hit and One Inch Punch. If your opponent notices it, they can press a button to counter-hit you.
The safest thing you can do is to use Shadowless Kick right after Rising Fist’s first hit. However, you can cancel Rising Fist into Mountain Pusher and then go for Shadowless Kick if you have enough MP.
Bait Buttons With Late Cancels
Striker is my favorite character because of her unique combo system. She can cancel her moves at almost any point, allowing for early and late cancels.
Mastering the different cancel timings is what makes block strings and combos work or fail. It’s also how you bait button presses from your opponents at a more basic level.
Striker’s most common MP Skill block string is a loop in which the player repeats Shadowless Kick and Mountain Pusher over and over.
By delaying any of those cancels, you might catch your opponent pressing a button. You can also just guard after Shadowless Kick to save some MP for later or to bait an invincible reversal.
Use Conversion to Get in And Stay Safe
Ending your strings with Shadowless Kick makes you safe, but your offense will most likely be over after that. On the other hand, finishing your block string with any other of her moves might put you in a very bad situation.
Striker is quick and tricky, but she is pretty vulnerable to punishment and pressure once her turn is over. Since she is mana hungry and doesn’t have any reach, not getting a knockdown or running out of mana is especially troubling to any Striker player.
Besides, considering that Rising Fist’s reach is very short, she might be in a really bad stop against characters that can take advantage of it.
Striker is a momentum-based character who is already in trouble when she isn’t on her opponent’s face. Unfortunately, although it’s tempting to keep pressing buttons with her, it can make you lose the round.
You can keep your pressure going by using conversion. By doing that, unsafe attacks can be made safe. By using conversion like this, your momentum can go on for much longer.
That way, the opponent might think that it’s their turn to attack when you are just waiting for them to commit a mistake.
Condition your opponent to believe you will always stop attacking when you are out of MP. Once they start pressing a button, you will have a trap set. End the string with an unsafe move, use conversion, and counter their punishment attempt.
Considering that Striker has an invincible reversal, you might use it right after conversion if your opponent decides to attack. You can also wait for them to use their reversal. Many players do it to interrupt Striker’s pressure. Baiting it will grant you a full combo.
Learn Striker’s Blockstrings
When characters are blocking, moves have different properties. Some attacks might be good to end a block string but not as good to be used in a combo.
For instance, Striker’s down+B is an excellent tool to extend a block string. Although it is also a good combo starter to catch standing opponents, it might not be good to use once a combo has already started.
Other moves might behave differently depending on how you hit the target. If Striker hits with A or B, the character will stay much closer than if the opponent blocks it. But Mountain Pusher will send the opponent much further on a hit than when blocked.
That being said, practicing Striker’s block strings is good for many reasons. You want to change the timing of your block strings to catch a button with a late cancel. You also want your opponent’s Guard Gauge to be depleted so you can cash in the white damage you caused.
Use Mountain Pusher as a Gap Closer
Mountain Pusher moves Striker forward and hits the enemy with a high damaging blow. It has a lot of pushback on block and launches opponents away from her on a hit.
On a Counter Hit, Mountain Pusher will cause a wall bounce. This enables you to reach the opponent with a Crushing First, Striker’s forward+S special move.
Although it is a bit hard, you can also continue the combo with Shadowless Kick if you run right after the shoulder strike hits.
Mountain Pusher is a relatively fast move. It makes you move forward quite a bit, and, more importantly, it goes through blasts and fireballs.
This is the tool you will want to use in order to approach characters that are zoning you. You should practice what to do after a hit to make the most out of it.
Use Everything You Learned
If you learned some basic combos, a few block strings, and how to approach the enemies, take Striker for a spin on a ranked match. Practice makes it perfect.
You might want to practice some mix-ups too. Striker doesn’t have many. However, you can always go for the strike or throw and high or low.
Going for a dive kick, you can hit A before touching the ground and down+A as soon as you land. You can also repeat your dive kick as soon as you hit the floor to bait a late button.
Although you have seen and read what you are supposed to do, chances are you won’t be able to apply any of that correctly for a while.
Facing real adversaries is crucial in the learning process. Doing it helps you know what skills you’re lacking and what you should practice in order to improve.
Don’t worry, though. It’s part of the process. Your moves, combos, and block strings have to become reactions to what you are seeing, but it takes time and depends on muscle memory. In other words, keep practicing and playing. Eventually, you will get there.
Remember, your plan is to get as close as possible and apply pressure until your opponent cracks by hitting a button or using Guard Cancel to knock you away. If you have an opportunity, use a combo and finish strong to keep pressuring the opponent.
Remember Striker’s Win Condition
Once you’ve mastered Striker, you won’t need a hit to win. Striker is probably the only character in the game who can guard break someone with only 100 MP.
If your opponent is exhausted, you have a chance to deplete their Guard Gauge completely. With Striker’s Awakening Effect, she has a way to deal guaranteed 900 damage from a guard break. Half of the roster wouldn’t survive this even if they were at full health.
Please note that, even when you master this character, this won’t happen in every match. The exhaustion time might change depending on your opponent’s last used MP Skill or how much mana they had before using it. On top of that, Striker demands a lot of button pressing, so you will get it wrong sometimes.
However, even if you don’t manage to always guard break your adversary, you must make them afraid that you will. Force them to commit mistakes so you can get in and deal as much damage as you can.
Striker is, in my opinion, one of the most fun characters in DNF Duel. She is fast, aggressive, and won’t stop punching. Now you have a complete guide to unlocking her full power. Go practice, have fun, and strike down some adventurers online.