Two new fighters, Broly and Bardock, hit Dragon Ball FighterZ this week. Bardock comes from an appropriately named TV special, Dragon Ball Z: Bardock — The Father of Goku. Broly also hails from his own special movie named after himself, Dragon Ball Z: Broly — The Legendary Super Saiyan, as well as a few other properties.
Bardock’s regular hits are reminiscent of his son’s fighting style, with lots of jabs and kicks. Where Goku Sr. differentiates from junior is his supers and specials: the daddy Saiyan has a lot of potential for neutral pressure and mix-ups using his quick dash moves to craft combos that are hard to defend against. He also has two level one supers, and one of them—Saiyan Spirit—is invincible on start-up.
Bardock is a beast on point, in my experience. He can make good use of meter, but even without, he gives you a lot of options to take the early lead on an opponent. Keeping him up front means you have an easy swap out once you’ve put your opponent in the corner, and his quick moves can frustrate opponents.
You can also do some high-level technical stuff, like this jump install technique:
Overall, he’s a fun character that could see some competitive action. He’s got some touch-of-death combos (of course) and his moves are very satisfying to chain together. The game’s combo challenge for him lays out a simple one-two punch using his Rebellion Spear special that I highly recommend. At the very least, he’s got some cool potential and could fill a brawler slot on a team that needs one. But he’s not shaking up the metagame up nearly as much as his expansion counter part is.
The primary thing about Broly, a Super Saiyan legend, is that he is fucking huge. Look at this unit!
The big boy’s straightforward, aggressive move set pairs well with his girth. He wants to slam you into the ground and is very good at it. Some of his biggest moves have super armor, meaning he can punch through whatever moves a character might be throwing out in defense to grab you. And his laugh diverts from the archetypal anime character “ohohoho” with a piercing “ahaha.”
His unblockable loops, though, are what matters most about him. Once he has an opponent pinned in the corner, he can beat them up and snap them back repeatedly. Snapback is a mechanic special to Vs.-style fighters like Dragon Ball FighterZ, where you can catch one character open and boot them out, forcing the previous character in. So if Goku was in, then tags to Vegeta, you can snapback Vegeta to bring Goku back in. It’s useful for keeping pressure on the other team’s high-value, low-health characters.
Here players are using Broly’s arsenal to snapback on a loop, killing one character and bringing another to extremely low health. Pro player Yohosie lays it out:
She’s put up a spreadsheet of who can escape the unblockable and how; it seems extremely difficult. Yohosie has also dug up a truly unblockable combo that does over 8,000 damage. In short: Broly probably won’t be this strong for that long. Enjoy him before his inevitable nerf.
What does this mean for the casual players? If you’re not playing at the higher end of the ranking board, you probably don’t need to worry about loop tech or touch-of-death combos. For the average player, Bardock is a mix-up fiend who might give you trouble with his quick moves and wall-bounces, and lots of players (myself included) will pick Broly and mindlessly charge at you.
The high-level competitive ramifications aren’t totally clear just yet—this weekend’s NorCal Regionals won’t have Broly or Bardock enabled—but you can always fight back against any wave of new fighters with the basics. When in doubt, 2H.