Every Character From The DNF Duel Beta, Ranked
With the second beta coming to a close of the upcoming exhilarating anime fighter DNF Duel, we were able to get a solid handle on the eleven characters present in the build. While they will undoubtedly see a few changes before the game's launch on June 28, 2022, the beta still had clear powerhouses that stood above the rest.
However, this doesn't mean that there are terrible fighters in DNF Duel, and it's actually the exact opposite. Every character brings something unique and exciting to the table, all of them being deadly in the right hands. But, as with most fighting games, some characters shined brighter than others.
Inquisitor isn't a terrible character by any means, but her kit primarily relies on slow, punishing attacks that can be challenging to hit in a game as fast-paced as DNF Duel. Additionally, she only really poses a significant threat whenever she can perform her MP moves, but her meter drains much faster as a result.
We feel the lack of a training mode in the beta greatly impacted Inquisitor's potential. Finding the right balance between spending MP for devastating attacks and controlling the space around her was hard to grasp in live matches. Still, she showed excellent promise in the right hands!
Vanguard suffers from a similar fate as Inquisitor but is slightly better at maintaining his playstyle and keeping opponents out, though it is not an easy task in a game like DNF Duel. In most other fighting games, Vanguard would probably be much higher on the list, but the breakneck pacing of this game has him struggle quite often.
Against the handful of ranged-focused characters, Vanguard will get to showcase his mid-range prowess and dominate the playing field with his unique skillset. However, when matched against the speedy close-range fighters, he will cave the moment they get remotely close to him, making him tricky to pick up.
Aside from being one of the more unique archetypes present in the DNF Duel beta, the Grappler falls short when compared to other close-range fighters on the list, such as Striker. While his handful of armored attacks does give him some advantages in battle, it isn't enough to make him a threat to most other characters that outrange him.
Grappler does big damage and is fun to play, but he is simply playing a much different style of game than seemingly everyone else on the roster. Relying on getting up close and personal while managing his MP gauge and keeping an eye out for the opposition's attacks is demanding and one of the most risk/reward playstyles in the game.
One of the best neutral players in the game is Hitman, who possesses a nice blend of ranged and close-quarters combat. Unfortunately, it can be quite challenging to find your opportunity to close the gap and go on the offensive. The majority of Hitman's damage comes from his scimitar, with his SMG acting as a way to lock his opponent into place and apply pressure from a distance.
Overall, Hitman isn't the worst character by any means. His playstyle is just very specific and hard to get a handle on. Though, with that said, Hitman is still an excellent character that packs a punch. Ultimately, he is a character that would benefit from a training mode to get his gameplay down to a science, and we expect him to be a much greater threat in the full release.
The zoning fighter of the beta is none other than Ranger, who puts impatient opponent's in the ground before they can react. Ranger can dish out combos from across the arena and close the gap with a stylish somersault that has him popping shots off below him, allowing him to continue his onslaught and deal an absurd amount of damage.
Ranger's lack of defense and responses when an opponent closes the gap on him is what keeps him from climbing higher into the ranking. Ranger is extraordinarily strong if you can confidently control the match's tempo and execute fullscreen combos. However, this is much more challenging to do than it sounds in DNF Duel, which keeps him slightly out of the top five.
Due to Ghostblade being the new guy on the roster in the second beta of DNF Duel, he has a strong showing and seemed nearly unstoppable at first. However, as the days went by, Ghostblade slowly started falling off, becoming easier to predict and match up against, which slightly shifted his positioning.
Still, the number of players trying out Ghostblade forced everyone to adapt to his playstyle and get better at the matchup, which is likely more than half the reason he seemed to lose steam over time. Overall, it's not Ghostblade's fault, but the lack of training mode stinted his strong potential, and the large volume of people playing as him made it hard to gauge just how good he actually was in combat, placing him just out of reach of the top five.
5 Dragon Knight
In the first beta, Dragon Knight quite possibly had the most potential, but most players couldn't grasp her unique moveset and couldn't pick her move list apart in a training mode. And while training mode was absent in the second beta, it seems everyone who was all in on Dragon Knight before retained the information gathered from the first session and launched into this one ready to go.
Dragon Knight can fly through the air, send her adorable dragon out to do her bidding, grab opponents with her dragon head gauntlet, and launch into ridiculous combos from many hit confirmations. Despite her high-ish skill ceiling, Dragon Knight had a much better showing in the second beta and was dominant throughout.
Though she relies heavily on being glued to her opponent, Striker overcomes that challenge with a wide range of hard-hitting moves and the ability to apply suffocation amounts of pressure on the unfortunate soul caught in her barrage of attacks. Putting the opposition in a long-winded blockchain and capitalizing on their mistakes and impatience is the name of her game.
Due to Striker having limited ranged attacks, she can be tough to learn but is maybe one of the most rewarding fighters in the game as a result. Furthermore, Striker was already a solid option in the first beta and has only gotten stronger since, making her a formidable opponent in most situations.
Berserker is a solid all-rounder in DNF Duel and is almost comparable to Guilty Gear Strive's Sol Badguy. He doesn't do anything too spectacular, but what he does do is strong, calculated, and will win matches. And that's really all that matters. He has excellent aerial attacks, spacing and can exchange his health for higher damage output, keeping everyone on their toes at all times.
Despite being super beginner-friendly, Berserker still maintains a fun kit with a decent skill ceiling. Matching against him is challenging and exciting, and playing as him is an absolute blast. In terms of the beta, Berserker is undoubtedly one of the best characters on the roster, and we hope he remains in the discussion when the game launches.
Kunoichi is another character with an incredibly unique and deep moveset that worked against her in the first beta. However, in a similar fashion to Dragon Knight, her fans came out with force in the second round of testing, looking to turn her potential into accomplishment. And they succeeded by a mile.
Aside from Ghostblade, Kunoichi was also among the most popular characters in the beta but showcased strong performances throughout the weekend. Her overly-aggressive nature feeds nicely into the exhilarating gameplay of DNF Duel, and she has excellent mixup potential that forces her opponent into potentially hazardous situations. Kunoichi's pressure is unmatchable, making her one of the best in the beta.
Depending on who you ask, Crusader was also the best character in the first beta and retains his title as he lugs around his enormous hammer and portable wall. Crusader is possibly the only infuriating character on the roster to get matched against, and that's more than enough to place him firmly at the top.
His attacks hit hard, and his erected holy wall can turn his opponent into a ping pong ball as he relentlessly bounces them around with powerful swings of his mighty hammer. His range, defense, strength, and abilities make him the most intimidating character by a long shot. This big, strong holy boy is nearly unstoppable.
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