DNF Duel has been out for a bit over a month now, and it has been one of the most fun fighting games I’ve played in a very long time. It’s the perfect balance of interesting neutral, incredibly busted characters, and super rewarding play when your character executes their gameplan. Despite all of that, there are definitely problems that have arisen early in the game’s lifetime. Earlier in the week, it was announced that the game will have a balance patch late this month, which is certainly welcomed.

Overall, I think the foundation of the game is very good. It’s clear what kind of game 8ing wants the game to be, and I really would like them to lean harder into that. That said, I think Swift Master in particular is leaning exactly too hard in that direction. There’s a ton of room for improvement for the less popular classes, and I don’t think much needs to be done on the top end. Here are the characters I think could, (and in some cases, should), be changed


His DP just isn’t very good, and I think making his DP on the same level as the others would help tremendously. I don’t think it would go against his archetype to just have it hit crouchers, even if they have to take something away. I can see making it a bit slower, to make it easy to safe jump, but I think that’s okay. His lack of reliable reversal is a big contributor to his lackluster defense, and I think his DP is the key to shoring that up. I also think her Guard Break can be improved a lot, especially when he’s in Awakening. If he’s going to be the character that does it, then let him do it.


I don’t think he needs any changes at all. He is exactly the type of character that should set the bar for what balance is in this game.

Swift Master

Oh geez, where do I start?

First off, Storm Strike ( ]S[ ) does not need to be +3 on block, while also being nearly full screen, and nearly impossible to jump. This move is the most egregious move in the game, and it’s not even close. I don’t know what I would take away from it, but it can’t have all of that.

Secondly, his hitstun needs some adjusting as well, particularly when Wind Orb is involved. I don’t mind Swift Master being the best character in the game, but he also doesn’t need the highest damage in the game. It’s possible that Wind Orb can stay how it is, but Storm Strike can only be looped once in a combo somehow. If I had the wheel, I would make him unable to regenerate mana as long as Wind Orb is out.


I don’t think Striker needs too much. Is her gameplay pattern a little miserable to play against? Sure. Is it healthy within the scope of the game? Definitely. I think increasing the recovery on her air tornado kick would be a good start. If you make that punishable, then she doesn’t get to just wake up DP safely. Other than that, maybe some quality of life treatment with her combos. That’s about it.


Another character I don’t think needs a lot, but his DP can be rather inconsistent. Making it more reliable, along with giving him a slightly faster normal would do him wonders.


I don’t believe Launcher needs any big changes, but she does need a lot of small things across the board. Giving more damage, especially midscreen, or giving her a much better way of corner carrying, would be a big plus. Also, her walk speed could be improved moderately, particularly her back walk.

I also think that while she’s commonly viewed as a zoner, she doesn’t actually play like one in practice. If they want her to be that, then she needs a lot of work on her air moves. J.B should be a bit more plus on block, to allow her to play a more classic “in and out” style. 2S should probably be a bit faster, to allow her to catch jumps during pressure, similar to Testament’s 236HS in Guilty Gear Strive. Quantum Bomb could probably use a bit of a damage bump, and I wouldn’t mind her 4S to be a bit bigger, making her corner enders more reliable.


The only thing I think Inquisitor truly needs is a slightly faster normal. 9 frames does not cut it for a character of her archetype, but 8 frames would do her wonders in a lot of situations where mashing would be the preferred option. I also don’t see a reason why she is tied for the lowest health in the game at 850. Let’s bump that up to 950.

Dragon Knight

She could use some quality of life changes, particularly when it comes to combos. Currently, her execution is relatively high, but on top of that, a lot of her combos can be super finicky. A slight change to her hitbox on her charge MS, making it hit a bit higher would help this a ton, and remove the weird timing issues she has on her corner routes. Additionally, making Astra commands a bit easier to plink would be very welcome. Currently, you can’t quite plink the commands; you have to delay them slightly. This can lead to very weird confirmation problems, and will often result in drops. Being able to just do the command as fast as you want, all the time, would remedy this.

Other Characters

All of the other characters don’t really need changes. The only exception here is Lost Warrior, as he’s the only character that I have no knowledge of (and neither does anyone else, apparently). This balance patch is pretty pivotal for the longevity of the game, and I definitely feel that while things are in a pretty good spot, there’s always room for refinement. I want to see DNF Duel in its best state, and I think 8ing has a really good handle on things in that department.

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