Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy Character Basics Guide

Decide who to choose as your main with our basics guide on all 31

When you’ve got 31 of Final Fantasy’s greatest heroes and villains to choose from in Dissidia 012: Duodecim, selecting a character as a main can be a daunting task. Some are complex while others are simple; some are best suited for offensive pressure while others are better off punishing defensively. While you should choose to play whomever you like best, there aren't enough hours in the day to get a feel for all of them. Don't worry, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you.

We’ve included a brief synopsis of each character’s strengths and weaknesses, and how easy it is to learn their style. Any character can potentially become complex when you consider level, gear and equipped abilities, but we’ve got the basics covered.

Basic Terms

Bravery attacks: Attacks that reduce your opponent’s bravery pool while increasing your own. These do not damage an enemy’s actual health bar.

HP attacks: A secondary set of abilities that deal damage -- equal to your bravery rating -- to your opponent’s health meter.

Start-up speed: The time it takes an attack to actually launch after using the correct input. Some abilities have longer launching animations than others, which can potentially affect whether or not they’re interrupted or countered.

ExMode: Attacking opponents fills your Ex Meter. Activate Ex Mode when the meter is full by pressing Right Bumper + Square. Each character receives special bonuses while Ex Mode is active, such as HP regen or a boost in critical strike chances, and can use their Ex Burst ability, an HP attack more powerful than typical HP abilities.

Tracking: A ranged attack’s ability to follow an opponent.

Bartz Klauser

First appeared in: Final Fantasy V

Combat proficiency: Mid / close-range, melee

Strengths

Bartz has the unique ability to mimic the moves of other characters, combining two different attacks into one hybrid strike. He has a solid close quarters game with fast abilities, high damage output and versatile HP attacks. Holy is good for putting pressure on opponents and can combo into Flare to chip away at your foe’s HP pool, and Reel Impulse can be used to pull distant enemies into melee range.

Weaknesses

Best suited for ground combat, Bartz’ air game is rather mediocre. Some of his bravery attacks are also difficult to land or easy to counter.

Learning curve: Easy

Cecil Harvey

First appeared in: Final Fantasy IV

Combat proficiency: Close-range, melee

Strengths

With the ability to switch between two different forms, Cecil can adapt well to combat on the ground or in the air. His bravery attacks in Dark Knight form are powerful, and he can use the Dark Cannon ability to draw enemies within melee range. If the opponent takes to the air, switch to Paladin form to access aerial combos. He also has a flexible pool of HP attacks with a solid mix of range and tracking.

Weaknesses

Because Cecil has two forms, each with a different set of abilities, memorizing all of his skills can be tricky. Though his Dark Knight form has strong attacks, they have a rather slow start-up speed, so you’ll have to time your strikes carefully.

Learning curve: Moderate

Cloud of Darkness

First appeared in: Final Fantasy III

Combat proficiency: Mid / close-range, melee

Strengths

Cloud of Darkness uses her tentacles to execute stylish combos with devastating results. She plays very well as a pressure character, as her tentacle abilities can combo to various ranges depending on your opponent’s location. She has some of the most adaptable HP attacks in the game and is a solid choice for anyone looking to play an in-your-face character.

Weaknesses

Because you’ll want to blitz your opponent whenever possible, Cloud of Darkness is vulnerable to skilled ranged players, as she has little to offer in terms of ranged attacks. All of her bravery attacks rely on her tentacles, so experienced opponents will be able to counter many of your attacks.

Learning curve: Moderate

Cloud Strife

First appeared in: Final Fantasy VII

Combat proficiency: Close-range, melee

Strengths

If you’re looking for an easy character to pickup and play, look no further. Cloud has a strong ground game with high-damage bravery attacks and a few mid-ranged abilities. Sonic Break can combo with Finishing Touch, putting a nice dent in your opponent’s HP pool, while Double Cut allows for a quick strike when you’re in a pinch.

Weaknesses

Cloud’s air game isn’t that great -- he does have Aerial Fang which is useful for bringing the fight back to the ground, but he’s weak when it comes to aerial skirmishes. A lack of mid / long-ranged attacks means you’ll want to keep up with ranged opponents when they try to build distance.

Learning curve: Easy

Learning curve: Easy

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