Dragon Ball FighterZ’s Cooler: a full breakdown
At EVO this year, Bandai Namco revealed the latest Dragon Ball FigherZ DLC character, Cooler (although he had been leaked several months ahead of time.) Seeing him in a trailer is one thing, but seeing him in action is something totally different. Recently, Bandai Namco invited fighting game personalities, Maximilian Dood and Hellpockets to test the character out.
The first thing to note is Cooler’s normals. Many of his normals cause him to attack with his tail, which gives him absurd range and a disjointed hit-box as well. His crouching medium is a long sweeping low attack and his jumping medium has about the same range. Players can play the poking game for a very long time just by jumping around, throwing out mediums and calling assists.
Cooler’s auto-combo is also very easy to combo into. The third hit is a hit-grab that causes Cooler to teleport with the opponent into the air before blowing them up with an energy blast. This allows you to take on the auto-combo as a finisher to any combo string. It’s extremely useful for picking up damage after vanishes, or for getting a full combo after a shaky confirm.
Cooler’s jumping 2H is another oddity. Although he performs an upward kick, it actually launches you to the side like Cell’s does. This might make some of Cooler’s combo paths a little tricky, but as it stands, it appears as if he can perform most of the simple combos available to the cast.
Cooler has a command normal on 3H. It causes him to rush forward and uppercut the opponent in the gut. What’s notable about this move, is that it is completely impervious to projectiles. That means, if the opponent is playing a zoning game, you can just push through all their beams and assists and open them up for a combo.
Cooler is also unique in that he has several low attacks. His crouching medium tail-swipe is one. He also has a command normal stomp on 6H that functions as a low as well. This move is tricky, because it looks like an overhead and can be tossed in to block strings to create high-low mix-ups.
Speaking of overheads, Cooler has a divekicks and it functions as a true overhead. Divekicks are always very powerful, except Cooler’s is very unsafe on block. This means it either has to be covered with an assist, or used as a combo ender. The EX version seems to be much safer, and allows for further combo opportunities, but it still shouldn’t be thrown out on a whim. Mix this in with his lows, however, and you’ll keep your opponent on their toes.
He also has a rising knee attack, similar to Vegeta’s. However, instead of going vertical, this attack travels further horizontally, similar to Hwa Jai from King of Fighters. The light version doesn’t do much damage, and is primarily used for combo fodder. The medium version, however, is completely invincible from startup, and can be vanished for a full combo (albeit heavily scaled.) The EX version of this move starts up very quickly, and is less vulnerable on the backend.
There is actually a second part to Cooler’s rising knee attack. If it hits, he can press a button to perform three different strengths of knockdown. The light and medium are similar, but the EX version causes him to dive kick afterward, stomping the opponent into the ground and setting them up for a mix-up.
It’s also worth noting that this is Cooler’s assist. It doesn’t appear as if his assist provides the same level of invulnerability as the normal move. However, it is still a very useful defensive assist, because of its immense horizontal range.
Cooler also has a hit-grab special on the ground that carries you to the pseudo corner. This means is that he will carry you to the corner of the current screen only. It’s not the best corner carry in the world, hut it will serve you well in neutral.
Cooler’s ki specials are interesting. His quarter circle forward ki special is just a beam and it operates like most beam specials do. It has a little bit more startup than most beams, but it works just fine. Cooler can perform this special in the air, or on the ground.
His quarter circle back ki special is interesting. It causes the whole ground to quake, hitting the opponent with a full screen low attack. This move can then be vanished for a full combo, meaning that cooler technically has full screen mix-up potential. Cover this with assists and general keep away strategy to frustrate your opponent to no end.
Cooler’s supers are a bit of a mixed bag. His level one ground super is a hit grab that always switches sides with the opponent, meaning you rarely want to do it in the corner. It does decent damage though and is very easy to combo into.
His level one air super works similar to Frieza’s level three. It causes him to form a giant energy ball around his body and then tackle the opponent. This is the only super that leaves the opponent in approximately the same position after being hit. This is the super you want to use if you are trying to corner carry.
Cooler’s level three always put the opponent in the middle of the screen, sacrificing your corner pressure for damage. What’s bizarre is that he has two ways of executing it, and neither is an attack. If you execute his level three super on the round, he will glow for a bit, and counter the opponent with his super. If you execute it in the air, he will attempt to grab the opponent. Note, you can tiger-knee the super in order to get the aerial version on the ground, but it’s still hard to combo into.
It looks like Cooler is a pretty powerful all-around character. He has a lot of tools that shut down other strategies, and plenty of mix-up tools as well. That being said, he doesn’t have much that sets him apart from the rest of the cast. It will be interesting to see whether or not there is a reason to pick cooler over other all-around characters, like Goku Black.
Cooler will come to Dragon Ball FighterZ at the end of September for all platforms.