Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy Character Basics Guide

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

The Emperor

First appeared in: Final Fantasy II

Combat proficiency: Mid-range, traps

Strengths: Those looking for a unique approach to decimating opponents should look no further than The Emperor. Instead of attacking head-on, his main damage abilities come in the form of traps. Thunder Crest leaves a trap on the ground that damages and paralyzes opponents unfortunate enough to step in it, leaving them vulnerable to powerful bravery attacks like Mine and Bombard, which deal huge amounts of damage. Flare is a decently quick HP attack while Starfall is great against magic casters due to its magic block capabilities. Opponents will have trouble landing hits when they have to dodge his vast defenses.

Weaknesses: The fact that The Emperor relies heavily on traps means he’s vulnerable to opponents that know how to get around them. Though a powerful choice once mastered, The Emperor initially requires a lot practice and experimentation.

Learning curve: Difficult

Exdeath

First appeared in: Final Fantasy V

Combat proficiency: Any range, blocking

Strengths

The master of blocking, Exdeath’s fighting style will undoubtedly be strange to those unfamiliar with his abilities. With Omni Block, Turn Guard and Reverse Polarity, Exdeath must first block an incoming attack to deal any damage to his opponent. Playing this character is all about mastering his various blocking skills and familiarizing yourself with each character’s attacks to perfect your defensive capabilities.

Weaknesses

Though he can teleport around the stage, Exdeath’s regular movement speed is abysmal. He’s one of the most difficult characters to master, but becomes one of the deadliest characters in the game if perfected.

Learning curve: Difficult

Firion

First appeared in: Final Fantasy II

Combat proficiency: Close / mid-range, melee

Strengths

Firion has great ground game compared to his Dissidia counterpart. Many of his attacks can be used to draw enemies closer to unleash his powerful combos, and he has access to a variety of weaponry. His HP attacks are quick and accurate, making him an attractive choice for those looking to dole out some heavy punishment on the fly.

Weaknesses

Unfortunately, Firion’s air game is atrocious. Some abilities like Fire are great for building pressure, but he lacks the necessary offense to be much of a threat in the air -- take the battle to the ground whenever possible.

Learning curve: Easy

Gabranth

First appeared in: Final Fantasy XII

Combat proficiency: Close / mid-range, melee

Strengths

In his normal form, Gabranth’s bravery attacks are extremely limited. Sentence, Circle of Judgment and Lunge are meant to push your opponent back, giving you time to use his default HP ability, EX Charge -- as the name implies, this simply builds your EX Meter. Gabranth’s power comes from activating his EX Mode. In this state, he has access to a variety of some of the hardest hitting abilities in the game. Once Ex Mode is activated, he can unleash an intense series of quick combos before using his EX Burst to inflict serious damage.

Weaknesses

While Gabranth is undoubtedly a powerhouse, his abilities are limited until EX Mode is activated. Even then, you have a very brief window in which you must land your attacks before your gauge runs out, forcing you to repeat the process. It will be difficult to take advantage of EX Charge when playing against skilled opponents who know better than to let Gabranth’s EX Meter top off.

Learning curve: Moderate

Garland

First appeared in: Final Fantasy

Combat proficiency: Close / mid-range, melee

Strengths

He may move slowly, but Garland is brutal in the right hands -- he’s even gotten a bit of a buff since we saw him last. Slightly quicker attack speeds and faster launching HP abilities makes him a powerhouse, not to mention he hits like a truck. Bardiche is one of his strongest bravery attacks -- following it up with Flare will make your friends cry themselves to sleep.

Weaknesses

Garland’s a big guy, covered head-to-toe in plate armor -- naturally, he doesn’t move very quickly. His lack of mobility may be difficult for newcomers to handle, meaning you’ll need a bit of practice to tactfully dispatch your foes.

Learning curve: Moderate

Golbez

First appeared in: Final Fantasy IV

Combat proficiency: Mid-range, melee and magic

Strengths: Golbez’ strength lies in his ground game. Most of his abilities have a good amount of range, deal both physical and magic damage, and are good at keeping constant offensive pressure on opponents. Nearly every bravery attack is linked to an HP ability (Cosmic Ray), so you can easily cut down your foe’s health pool by landing bravery combos. Golbez is well-suited for holding his ground while pressuring enemies into keeping a distance.

Weaknesses: Getting used to Golbez’ non-traditional attacks can be tricky, as learning to combo off of abilities like Glare Hand and Rising Wave takes practice. His air game is pretty awful, so you’ll want to stay on the ground when possible.

Learning curve: Moderate

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