This guide will be updated periodically; we’re still playing it and figuring it out.
Fantasy Strike, a 2D fighting game on PC, Nintendo Switch, and PS4, has recently adopted the free-to-play model: the game’s matchmaking, online, tutorial, practice, and current roster are available for all to play for no charge.
As such, the game has been seeing a lot more reception and playtime than usual, and deservedly so. Fantasy Strike removes the execution barrier that’s (in)famous for its genre but preserves its nuances and complexities. You move forward and backwards, jump with a button, and pull off attacks with three separate buttons (plus a throw and Super move button).
At the same time, tactics such as footsies, zoning, mixups, and counterattacks/throw punishes are used to win matches. Less fiddling with controls, more focus on mindgames and reactions. The fact that it’s made by a company led by former Street Fighter 2 developer Dave Sirlin speaks volumes about the quality and design of the title.
We decided to craft up a guide that features tips not present in the game’s tutorial. Do that segment first, then check out the rest of the guide to up your game.
Tips & Tricks
Get Used To Yomi Counters and Jumping Using A Separate Button
Fantasy Strike’s streamlined controls mean that even fighting game veterans will need to acclimatize to its new control scheme.
To do a Yomi Counter, don’t press anything and don’t hold any direction on your d-pad. Just let go of the controls for a brief second and let your opponent throw you. You’ll instantly do a counter move that damages your opponent and net you a full Super meter.
Play The Tutorial, Then Practice Every Character
Fantasy Strike removes input complications and execution barriers in fighting games, which means you have a lot of time to practice and figure out each of the main cast in the game. Everyone plays differently from the grappler Midori to the rushdown Tits McGee fighting game archetype Valerie.
If you want to get far in Casual and Ranked mode, you’ll need to understand how everyone plays and sort out their strengths and weaknesses. You’ll not only realize how punishable Onimaru is after his attacks, but also how Geiger is the ultimate stonewall. And also why the next page’s tier list makes sense.
Let’s now do character-specific tips.
When Using Valerie, Use Her Air Super More
It opens up a ton of mixup potential. Once you pull off her color wheel Air Super, you can either (i) jump + B, (ii) do B rekkas and end with a crossup or front attack, or (iii) do nothing and wait for a whiff. Either one of these is the right answer depending on how your opponent reacts. To get to this point, you may need to start fishing for throws from your opponent to get that sweet Yomi Counter bonus.
Setsuki’s Jump+C Can Cancel To A Jump+A Attack
Setsuki’s Jump+C isn’t just a nice getaway tool. You can cancel it to do a 2-hit combo air attack that lands either at the front or the back of your opponent. It’s essentially one more useful mixup tool to keep your opponent guessing, or even bait them to do an uppercut.
Don’t Forget About Jaina’s Divekick
Remember when we said earlier to “get used to not doing inputs and holding directions for a fraction of a second” for Yomi Counters? Jaina’s offensive toolset is the reason why.
While you should still use projectiles and space properly using this red-clad bow-and-arrow lady (and use the occasional B invincible uppercut and Jump Super), do not forget that she can go offensive when needed. Use her divekick to close space or even go super-close, because chances are your opponent will mash a throw out.
That’s when you do nothing for a free Yomi Counter and meter, leading to more Jump Super arrow shenanigans and keep-away nonsense.
Grave Has A Simple Mixup After Throw
While Grave is classified as a zoner, don’t count out his offensive capabilities. After you land a back throw, immediately jump. Then either go for a front jump kick or jump B for a simple crossup. Simple, yet effective.
Also, use his Jump C wind power-up whenever you can. His fireballs are buffed temporarily and are great to keep your opponent away.
Use Rook’s Jump C For Plenty Of Mixup Opportunities
Once you score a knockdown with Rook, your opponent is pretty much DOA if you play your cards right. You can either Jump A for a simple body splash mixup followed up with A. Or do a Jump C in front of them; this earthshaker ground pound move is pretty hard to react to.
Or you can go for a ground C if your opponent is known to do simple ground wakeup moves. The possibilities are endless. To score the actual knockdown though? That’s the tough part you have to figure on your own. My advice? His ground B has armour and makes him travel forward a tad, while doing regular Jump C stuns your opponent as you keep walking forward. Slowly.
Use Midori’s Super To Get Past Fireball Traps
Midori is an effective grappler, but he will have trouble getting up-close, especially against zoners. If you see either Grave or Jaina throw out a fireball, just use Super. Then in his Midori dragon form, do his flying forward grab since it has armour to power through it.
Getting meter for Super can be tricky, which is why you need to use Midori’s parries to build it up quicker.