Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy Character Basics Guide

Terra Branford

First appeared in: Final Fantasy VI

Combat proficiency: Long-range, magic


As far as magic casters go, Terra’s a pretty solid choice. Her attacks are most effective from mid or long range. Her Holy spell has decent tracking and can combo into Ultima for a quick HP attack transition, while Fire, Blizzard Combo and Blizzara are useful for putting some distance between yourself and the opponent.


Though Terra has some great abilities, most of them have a slow start-up speeds -- especially Graviga. Though it’s a powerful attack and useful when line of sighting opponents, you’re completely vulnerable for the few seconds it takes to actually launch it. Because Terra usually requires an open area with room to move, landing a win can be difficult in cramped stages.

Learning curve: Easy


Tifa Lockhart

First appeared in: Final Fantasy VII

Combat proficiency: Close / mid-range, melee


Tifa's a great offensive character with quick attacks that can easily overwhelm an unsuspecting opponent. Aside from powerful strikes, she also has the ability to feint during the middle of an attack – a properly timed feint is perfect for tricking your enemies into guarding prematurely, leaving them open for a punishment attack – Waterkick can combo with Somersault, which is a great HP transition after you've built up your bravery pool.


Getting used to feinting properly is quite difficult and takes a bit of practice. Though her ground game is top notch, Tifa's air game is lacking, so keep the fight on the ground whenever possible. Some of her HP attacks can be difficult to land, so familiarize yourself with the ones you find most useful.

Learning curve: Moderate



First appeared in: Final Fantasy X

Combat proficiency: Close / mid-range, melee


Sometimes defense is the best offense, and Tidus has a skillset well suited for dodging and countering. His Stick & Move and Cut & Run abilities allow for an immediate counter following a dodge. Effectively chaining these abilities with an assist and following up with Sonic Buster nets a ton of bravery damage -- even more if it ends up in a wall rush -- making the opponent vulnerable to Tidus’ tracking HP attacks.


Getting used to dodging to open up for Tidus’ counters can be daunting for inexperienced players. Additionally, chaining his abilities together effectively takes some getting used to.

Learning curve: Moderate



First appeared in: Final Fantasy VIII

Combat proficiency: Long-range, magic


Ideal for dominating inexperienced opponents, Ultimecia is a deadly long-range fighter. Knight’s Arrow can be used as a defensive trap or for building offensive pressure, while abilities such as Knight’s Axe and Knight’s Blade have decent tracking and ultra-long range. If your opponent gets too close, use Knight’s Lance to quickly push them away and build some distance.


Ultimecia is the definitive ranged character. She moves very slowly, while sluggish start-up times plague most of her abilities. Letting an opponent get too close can quickly result in a loss. Her HP attacks can easily be dodged and have long cast times, so be sure to build distance and apply some pressure before launching one.

Learning curve: Moderate



First appeared in: Final Fantasy XII

Combat proficiency: Close / mid-range, melee and projectiles


A jack-of-all-trades, Vaan has a large arsenal of weapons to adapt to various situations. Most of his abilities are fast and inflict moderate damage. His Crossbow ranged attack hits pretty hard, and several of his bravery moves can break through an opponent’s guard. Switching weapons produces different effects: His Sword & Shield ability blocks attacks and switching to Spear draws nearby enemies within melee range.


Vaan’s HP attacks have slow start-up speeds and are a bit unwieldy, though Torrent is usually reliable.

Learning curve: Moderate


Warrior of Light

First appeared in: Final Fantasy

Combat proficiency: Close-range, melee


With a solid ground and air game at his disposal, Warrior of Light is a well-balanced character capable of doling out some serious pain. Sword Thrust is great for closing the gap between your opponent, leaving him vulnerable to Crossover or Ascension, which can combo into Rune Saber for some HP damage. Shield Strike and Dayflash are good for air control, and some of his HP attacks, like Shining Wave and Radiant Sword, have decent range and tracking.


A skilled opponent can dodge many of Warrior of Light’s abilities, and casters will have no trouble kiting you.

Learning curve: Easy


  • silversunset23 - June 18, 2011 7:55 a.m.

    Am I the only one who plays as Jecht here? He's such a badass...
  • ranzatsu - May 30, 2011 2:14 p.m.

    My bests are Firion (since his ground attacks deal heavy damage), Squall, Sephiroth and (sorry if he's not on the list) Feral Chaos. I use Cloud for emergencies on party battles. Jecht's an awesome Assist, especially after a Wall Rush attack. Laguna is hateable, but his Sticky Bomb and Machine Gun attacks are fun.
  • jacobtussler - May 12, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    Zidane is my fave. Run up close, rumble rush then Meo twister. Works every time. I usually party him with Lightning, Vaan, Cloud & Yuna
  • dimadimadima581 - May 1, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    But golbez + terrible air game makes no sense at all... His Gravity float systems, which have great tracking and link into cosmic ray, EVEN if you block his meele, the magic laser / whatever still hits so block his air attacks is pointless.. My 2nd main after garland. Lack of air game is the least of his worries.
  • dimadimadima581 - May 1, 2011 6:32 p.m.

    Still maining Garland since Dissidia 1, + kuja and seph. Flare just adds to his close range hp attacks :)
  • someonetgsn - April 15, 2011 10:49 p.m.

    @Minxriot Ah, I see... sneaky editing... well at least you are unlike some internet folk who simply complain about thinks they never bothered to check. Then again, it wasn't just you who had made that comment.
  • MinxRiot - April 15, 2011 6:32 a.m.

    @Someonetgsn, Tifa was NOT originally in the list. She was added in later. I checked three times before posting that. Haha.
  • someonetgsn - April 14, 2011 7:46 p.m.

    @MinxRiot & miguju999: Tifa is second from the top on page 5. I am somewhat suprised you think Tifa was forgettable. Despite her apperent lack of involvement in the story, the internet assures me that she is quite unforgettable. Unfortunately I do not have the game personally, but I wanted to see how some of the characters may stack up against one another.
  • Mirako - April 14, 2011 3:48 p.m.

    I want to use Exdeath but waiting for computers to attack can be so boring. Is it just me or is the Ex mode duration shorter in this game? I used to use Gabranth but not as much anymore. Golbez has terrible air game? I wouldn't say so his gravity and float systems are great for grabbing people.
  • MinxRiot - April 14, 2011 4:04 a.m.

    Not surprising though that Tifa was forgotten, in the story it just seems like she was randomly thrown in there at the last minute because they felt like it. Haha
  • MinxRiot - April 14, 2011 3:57 a.m.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Tifa is missing from this list. And also, the Emperor is not that hard to learn, frankly, none of the Dissidia characters are hard to learn how to play well. But maybe thats just how it is with me. @bigwill1221, At first I HATED playing Laguna but as I leveled him up and got used to him I actually started doing really well with him, so now I don't mind him so much. Is he my first team pick? No. Will that stop me from ever using him? Not really.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - April 14, 2011 12:07 a.m.

    Onion Knight all the way, beaches!
  • ashamaxa - April 13, 2011 11:56 p.m.

    Good Article. Im using Ultimecia as my main character and, is slow, but with a nice build-up can be deadly. Knight's Lance is awesome.
  • McSpermie - April 13, 2011 11:52 p.m.

    @Ryantalj Nice, I actually also switch between Yuna and Lightning as my main as well. I think I'm going to mainly use Yuna though now, thanks again for the article :)
  • TrAnMu - April 13, 2011 11:47 p.m.

    I freaking love using Vaan. With his moves set up right and a good assist character, you control all ranges! XD Zidane was my main character of the first game and he does have some decent long range moves. While they might not land, they do a good job of pressuring the opponent into closer range. Other characters that are fun to use are Lightning, Laguna (if you don't mind taking it slow), Kain, and Kuja.
  • Larinah - April 13, 2011 11:40 p.m.

    Great article. I personally use Lightning and Vaan, because I like how versatile they are. Also, @bigwill1221 I hate playing Laguna too. He feels so clunky, and it's hard to keep control with him. I also liked your comments on Sephiroth, Ryan. I tried using him full offense first time against Jecht, and got my ass whooped. He really does have to take advantage of any blunders your opponent makes, much like he does in Kingdom Hearts 1&2.
  • McSpermie - April 13, 2011 11:25 p.m.

    Very useful, I was hoping to find a character wrap up. Thank you. Who do you use Ryan? Would you recommend using them?
  • miguju999 - April 13, 2011 11:25 p.m.

    where's Tifa???
  • Corsair89 - April 13, 2011 11:02 p.m.

    Yuna and Cloud are the characters that I use most frequently.
  • bigwill1221 - April 13, 2011 10:37 p.m.

    Does any one else hate playing as Laguna? I feel his attacks are too slow and dodge-able to be any good(and whenever I play as him long matches FTL...) On side note.. why are computers god with ricochet shot.

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