Cloud (Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy)

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Revision as of 06:05, 22 May 2021 by Muggshotter (talk | contribs) (Added more bravery moves.)

Cloud.png
Info
Name Cloud Strife
Original game Final Fantasy VII
Weapon Sword, Greatsword, Katana, Spear
Armor Shields, Bangles, Hats, Helms, Clothing, Light Armor, Large Shields, Chestplates
Run Speed tier 7
Dash Speed 77F
Fall Speed 87F
Fall Speed Ratio After Dodge 39
Exclusive weapons Buster Sword, Force Stealer, Butterfly Edge, Fenrir

Overview

Cloud Strife (Japanese: クラウド ストライフ) is the main protagonist in Final Fantasy VII. Primarily a close range fighter, Cloud utilises a variety of pokes, projectiles and large sword swings to establish his advantage. Akin to an all-rounder with an emphasis on damage output, Cloud has something for many situations, although his mileage will vary.

Cloud is recommended to players who

  • are new to the game
  • wish to learn more about Duodecim's many gameplay elements with a single, easy to understand character.
  • enjoy doing a lot of damage with a single combo

Strengths

  • Unreactable bravery pokes in Double Cut that recover fast on whiff, generate a good amount of EX and can be converted to HP damage with assist
  • Can safely attempt to generate assist meter with Double Cut
  • HP links with great wall rush potential, allowing good independent damage output which is then greatly bolstered by assist and Side by Side
  • Solid, straightforward ground game with Double Cut pokes, Climhazzard punishes, Sonic Break HP link starter, four different projectiles and average running and dash speed
  • Mid priority projectile in Firaga that can hinder or wall off melee fighters in their approaches
  • Flexible assist and build synergy
  • Can punish opponents below and above him with relative ease, latter being stronger with Rising Fang's range and wall rush potential
  • All of his melee priority moves become high priority (same as HP moves) during EX mode
  • EX Burst baseline strength is among the strongest in the game when at full health
  • High base defense of 112 at LV100, reducing bravery damage taken more than majority of the cast

Weaknesses

  • Both HP link follow-ups, Finishing Touch and Omnislash Version 5 are long animations that are susceptible to punishment after Assist Change. Against stronger characters that can reliably build an assist meter and make it difficult for Cloud to connect hits, this can greatly neuter Cloud's damage output.
  • Average fall speed, resulting in floaty aerial dodges that can make them unsafe against many characters
  • No move to perform out of dodge that can consistently threaten dodge punish attempts, fastest being Double Cut that relies on clashing with an opponent's low priority bravery move.
  • In addition, as most of his key moves involve sequences of melee priority attacks, LV2 Assist Change can be exploited against Cloud to a good effect.
  • His good (and only) bravery projectiles can only be accessed on the ground, which greatly reduce their effective application in stages and matchups that favor aerial combat.
  • Barring a linear aerial Meteorain, Cloud's aerial approaches are limited to close range physical attacks, with no utility properties on moves to bypass mid / high priority projectiles and traps without notable risk.
  • While capable of punishing with braveries vertically with Rising Fang and Aerial Fang, they are flawed enough to justify omitting Slashing Blow or aerial Double Cut for. Both are somewhat slow moves with either a notable start-up, end lag or lack of notable reward on hit, mainly in consistent assist conversion opportunities.


Bravery Moves

Double Cut (ground) (連斬り (地上))

Damage multiplier Startup frame Type Priority EX Force Effects CP (Mastered)
7,13 (20) 13 Physical Melee Low 90 Chase 30 (15)

[Close] Quick slash. Low power, fast execution.
A quick sword slash, with a second hit as a followup. This is one of Cloud's staple moves, fast start-up animation and low end lag make it ideal catching a cautious opponent as well as building assist meter on whiff.
90 ex for finishing the move is almost 1/10 of an EX bar which is quite good. On top of that, it allows assist follow ups on the first hit or even the second hit if you use Aerith, Onion Knight or Ultimecia assist. Fast and versatile.

However, if you have to choose between the ground or aerial version, it is recommended to drop the ground version. Without the aerial Double Cut, Cloud's aerial combat is severely lacking in safety and meter building. Grounded combat will suffer from the lack of a proper, unreactable move but Firaga, Sonic Break and jumps can compensate.

Sonic Break (ソニックブレイク)

Damage multiplier Startup frame Type Priority EX Force Effects CP (Mastered)
8,12,25 (45) 21 Physical Melee Low 30 Wall Rush, Absorb 30 (15)
  • Branches: Finishing Touch (HP)

[Close] Strike with three powerful blows. Sends foe flying.

Another staple move, a fairly fast bravery attack with wall rush potential which by itself does a decent amount of damage. The move has a vacuum effect on it's start-up, making it easier to land this attack out in the open, but what really sells this move is the HP attack it can branch into after the second hit, Finishing Touch. In any match-ups that can be commonly played on the ground, this a must-have.


This move is not used for poking, but as means to initiate a head-on assault or a punish. It's fast, but errs on the side of being reactable, especially with the effects that signify the vacuum properties. It gives leeway in Sonic Break's effective range and each attack being confirmed with a separate button input makes it fairly easy to call the assist for a combo, if the opponent can punish Finishing Touch after escaping from it.


If the opponent is playing passively, you can use Sonic Break and Double Cut in succession to build assist meter.

Climhazzard (クライムハザード)

Damage multiplier Startup frame Type Priority EX Force Effects CP (Mastered)
3 x4,8,15 (35) 27 Physical Melee Low 30 Wall Rush 30 (15)

[Mid] Charging attack. Slow strikes, easy to wall rush.

If Sonic Break is used as a starter for offense or a damaging combo, Climhazzard doubles down on it at the cost of slower, reactable start-up and lack of HP branches. The combo opportunities with the move are above average due to the second hit inflicting a lot of hit stun and the third hit causing a guaranteed wall rush on the ground.


These points will be explored in greater detail under the combo section, but a stand-out trait for Climhazzard is the ability to link an aerial Double Cut or a Slashing Blow with precise timing after letting the second hit's animation end naturally, essentially turning Climhazzard into a bravery attack with an HP link in practice.


And while not as a notable trait, Climhazzard starting with a forward lunge lets Cloud build assist meter with this move while moving in any direction he is facing, as long as Lock On is not active.


If the player has a full EX gauge, Climhazzard's slow start-up can be used to it's advantage by activating EX mode to turn the move into a Melee High priority during the lunging motion. Considering the aforementioned follow-ups, it can be a useful trick against people who have gotten comfortable blocking Climhazzard.


In many ways, this is what could be called a "combo move". A move whose aspects primarily (or only) complement combos, either during it or as a starter. Picking this move is a matter of preference and is usually influenced by the assist the player is using for Cloud.

Blade Beam (破晄撃)

Damage multiplier Startup frame Type Priority EX Force Effects CP (Mastered)
15,5,10 (30) 37 Magical Melee Mid, Ranged Low 90 Chase 30 (15)

[Mid] Launch shockwave. Fast, but has weak homing.

One of Cloud's four projectiles on the ground. Due to the low priority it's not as useful as a flat out zoning tool, but the projectile's range can catch people falling to the ground after a dodge, providing a Chase afterwards. And if you are confident in using it up close, the Mid priority on the sword slash itself can win clashes, generating the prescribed 90 ex and then some due to the stagger the attack caused.


By itself, Blade Beam is not a priority pick for Cloud. It is linear, low priority and thus easily maneuvered around at it's intended range. Other moves in his arsenal like Firaga and Double Cut complement it, but it's EX generation and assist followups at the wall may be it's strongest assets, something his other moves can already do well.

Fire (ファイア)

Damage multiplier Startup frame Type Priority EX Force Effects CP (Mastered)
10 (10) 25 Magical Ranged Low 0 None 30 (15)

[Long] Hurl fireball. Slowly tracks opponent.

A low priority, slow, homing fireball not used as means to fight from a distance, but to create a stronger presence in the following approach, however fickle it may seem.


Fire is most notably used in combos involving Climhazzard and Aerith assist, allowing Cloud to link two or more bravery attacks in succession with the help of Fire holding the opponent in between the attacks. This can result in extraordinary bravery damage but it is not something that he can necessarily go for in all match-ups.


Much like Climhazzard and Blade Beam, Fire is not an essential pick by itself. It's easily dashed nullified, the bravery damage is not noteworthy and it shares the same start-up time with Firaga, a move that arguably does more on average whenever applied in combat. It caters to specific desires of a player and the lingering projectile can interrupt an otherwise unfavorable interaction on an occasion. If you carelessly play with fire, you will only get burned.

Fira (ファイラ)

Damage multiplier Startup frame Type Priority EX Force Effects CP (Mastered)
5 x3 (15) 25 Magical Ranged Low 0 None 30 (15)

Firaga (ファイガ)

Damage multiplier Startup frame Type Priority EX Force Effects CP (Mastered)
each (7,10) 25 Magical Ranged Mid 0 None 30 (15)

[Long] Shoot three fireballs. Short range, but can restrain opponent with explosions.

Arguably Cloud's strongest bravery projectile. The mid priority and it's slight vertical tracking allow this move to halt nearby loitering opponents in their tracks, while also deflecting any low priority projectiles that the opponent may attempt to utilise. And of course, blocking any of the fireballs will result in a stagger, allowing Cloud to convert it to damage with the help of assist or even by himself if the stagger happens late enough in the animation.


Each fireball has a base damage multiplier of 17 and with the help of assist followups after Omnislash Version 5, it edges out as the single highest bravery damage move at 51 and as a result, also has merit in combos.


The somewhat lengthy end lag on the move is a notable con, however. Fast ground assists like Jecht or Squall can punish the move on reaction and an aerial opponent can dodge through the fireballs and at the very least apply pressure if not punish Cloud outright for using it.


Firaga also does not generate any EX on hit, losing out on a long term plan that the EX meter provides which is unfortunate, as it can be applied fairly often to varying degrees of success.

double cut combo notes
After whiffing the first hit, you can cancel it into a block to trick the opponent into thinking you were wide open. Despite this, it is not possible to cancel it into a dash to perform Dash feints. However, this trait is not shared among all quick pokes like this one, making it a vital trick in Cloud's arsenal as the competition improves. Think of a situation where a Cloud whiffs Double Cut and then dodges, in which the opponent swiftly dashes in and punishes Cloud for dodging at all. Guards also block dashes, so opting to block instead of dodging in this situation could turn the tide in Cloud's favor. Use it carefully.



The first hit has enough hit stun to visually react with the second hit or an assist. If the opponent is grounded and you have a slow ground assist like Kuja on during this moment, you will need to finish the attack near a wall to get a proper conversion with the assist. It is also possible to hit an airborne opponent with the grounded Double Cut. Should this occur, cancelling the end lag into Cross Slash can be a true follow up due to landing lag.