BlazBlue Cross-Tag Battle Beginner’s Guide – Breaking down unique mechanics for each faction

BlazBlue Cross-Tag Battle combines characters from four franchises: BlazBlue, Persona 4, Under-Night In-Birth, and RWBY. However, the game doesn’t tell you that each character from these franchises share unique mechanics that no other character can access. This guide will go over each of these faction specific mechanics and how to utilize them. It should help you in choosing your starting team.

RWBY

RWBY characters are the only new characters to enter the roster thus far. They were made from the ground up to fit BBCTAG’s mechanics and it shows. They have the fewest unique mechanics and are the easiest to learn if you are a newbie to fighting games. Yet, their individual movesets are usually complex enough to allow for deep experimentation in the lab. If you want a character that is easy to learn but hard to master, start here.

Launching Auto-Combos

Each RWBY character, including upcoming DLC characters Blake and Yang, have an auto-combo which ends in a standard launcher. These launchers can then be jump canceled and followed with a very simple air series. Making use of these launching auto-combos can allow you to score 5000-6000 damage off simple confirms with very little effort. Compared to any other characters in the game, RWBY characters usually want to follow their auto-combos to completion, so they are a little more forgiving if you are mash happy.

Unique Movement

All RWBY characters have some form of unique movement in their move sets. Ruby has command dashes while Weiss can change her trajectory by using her sigils. These unique styles of movement allow players to create unique mix-up opportunities when used in conjunction with assists.

BlazBlue

BlazBlue characters are definitely the most gimmicky characters in the roster. They each have a unique “drive,” a mechanic that they have that no one else in the roster has. Getting good with the BlazBlue side of the roster involves mastering each character’s individual drive in addition to their basic mechanics.

Rapidfire 4A

Each BlazBlue character’s A auto-combo tends to start with a mid-range poke. It doesn’t do much to stop people who are in your face and pressuring you. Their fastest normals tend to be mapped to 4A (back + A) which allows them to use a rapid fire jab of some sort. This is what you will be using to interrupt slow pressure strings, or to attack when you are at neutral advantage. Some 4A’s cannot be rapid fired (like Nu’s) and only one character, Tager, has an actual auto-combo mapped to 4A.

Drives

Each BlazBlue character has a unique Drive, a special ability that lets then play by their own unique rules. Some drives are attacks while others are just always on. The list of drives are as follows.

Ragna – Soul Eater: Some of Ragna’s attacks in his A combo, B combo, special moves, and distortions will drain the opponent’s life. Any time you see orbs draw from the opponent to you, you are absorbing life.

Jin – Frost Bite: Some of Jin’s attacks and specials freeze the opponent. This creates a special hit-stun that can extend combos.

Rachel – Sylpheed: By pressing a direction after certain normals and specials, Rachel can cause the wind to blow, effecting the trajectory of projectiles and the momentum of characters.

Hazama – Ouroboros: Hazama’s B combo is replaced with a long range chain which can grab enemies and pull Hazama toward them.

Noel – Chain Revolver: Noel’s B combo begins a unique combo series in which the A, B, and C buttons as well as all special move motions create unique attacks.

Azrael  - The Terror: Some attacks can become critical hits by pressing the attack button again as soon as Azrael hits an opponent. This greatly increases Azrael’s damage and hit-stun.

Tager – Voltic Battler: Some of Tager’s attacks and throws will pull the opponent toward him.

Makoto – Impact: Some of Makoto’s moves will cause a power meter to appear in the corner of the screen. By holding your button presses to charge the move until the power meter reaches the end, you can increase Makoto’s damage and hit-stun.

Nu – Sword Summoner: Nu’s B combos summon sword projectiles at the opponent’s position, provided that they are not directly in front of her.

Es – Crest Arts: Es’s B combos create crest trails that will damage the enemy after she completes her sword strikes.

All DLC characters from the BlazBlue franchise will also feature special drives, however it is unclear how they will work in BBCTAG.

Launchers

All BlazBlue characters have a launcher normal, though where it is depends on the character. Ragna’s launcher his is standing 5B, for example, while Jin’s is at the end of his B auto-combo. This makes them slightly more complex to play than RWBY characters, although they can jump cancel nearly every normal they have, allowing for a lot of air-combo flexibility.

Persona 4

The most unique aspect of Persona characters are, appropriately enough, their personas. In Persona 4 Arena, players had two buttons to control their character and two buttons to control their personas. Since there are fewer buttons in BBCTAG, these characters’ attacks have been completely remapped. Persona characters are a little bit more complex than BlazBlue characters, since you have to keep track of your character and Persona at the same time.

4A Light Combos

Persona characters take the quick 4As of BlazBlue characters one step further. While their 4A attacks tend to be slightly slower than the 4As of BlazBlue characters, they lead into their own unique auto –combo instead of rapid firing. This auto-combo can then cancel into the normal A auto-combo and then into the B auto-combo allowing for longer extended ground strings.

Persona Desynchs

All Persona characters have Persona attacks mapped to their B button (except Yukiko who has them mapped to her A button). Using a Persona will cause them to come out and attack the opponent, however your main character will be able to move slightly before the Persona is done attacking. This can let your main character and Persona desynch their position. This allows you to set-up some interesting gimmicks involving spacing. For example, Yu can be standing a screen length away while his persona, Izanagi, attacks and throws Zio lightning balls right at the opponent’s face. Understanding how to successfully desynch your personal and play with their spacing is key to Persona characters.

Persona Breaks

If a Persona gets hit after being summoned, it will disappear and the controller will take around five percent of their total health as damage. Note, that this does not cause hit-stun, so you can use your Persona as something of a human shield. Just don’t be too reckless or else you might find your health melting away.

Buffs and Debuffs

Thus far, Persona characters are the only characters that can apply RPG style buffs and debuffs. Yukiko can use fire-boost to increase her fire damage while Chie can more than double her attack damage with one of her supers. In the original Persona 4 Arena, characters could debuff enemies movement, damage, and meter gain, and buff their own, so expect to see more of this out of the DLC case. For example, it’s already been confirmed that Naoto retains her insta-kill meter.

Under-Night

Under-Night characters feel the most “fighting gamey” of any characters in the roster. They have their fair share of unique gimmicks, but they are all small riffs on standard fighting game mechanics. This actually makes them some of the most technical characters to play, with long and complex combo paths and deep neutral game. If you want a challenge along with a more traditional fighting game experience, choose an Under-Night character.

Reverse Beat Combos

Most characters in BBCTAG can combo A attacks into B attacks into C attacks. Under-Night characters don’t have this restriction. They can combo any normal into any other normal, so long as they don’t re-use the same normal in one string. This ability to combo from C backward into A is called a “reverse beat” and it forms the basis of the Under-Night combo structure.

This means that Under-Night characters can start combos with sweeps as makeshift launchers. It also means that they can use their jumping C attack as an effective long range aerial poke. They can also cancel their slower normals into light normals in order keep themselves safe.

Pursuit Air Dash

BlazBlue, Persona, and RWBY characters all have basic forward and back air-dashes. Under-Night characters, however, have something called a pursuit dash. Instead of dashing directly toward the enemy, Under-Night characters will dash in an arc toward the enemy’s current position. This air dash is slower than normal air-dashes making it less optimal for mix-ups, but it covers much more distance making it useful for evading projectiles and closing with the enemy.

Those are all the unique mechanics exclusive to each game faction. Come back when BBCTAG officially releases when we go over some tips, tricks, and basic combos.