Mawk's Heroes and Villains Guides

Mawk's Heroes and Villains Guides: Darth Vader

Darth Vader

Darth Vader: Force Guide

Overview: Darth Vader is a powerful character to play in this game. He has improved hit points. His force powers are choke and throw. He has the ability to float/hover. His saber I would classify as strong, and his dash is powerful.

To begin, Vader moves at a slower walk than the normal pace. To first get use to Vader, you must get use to his pace. If you have played any normal speed hero or villain, Vader will seem slow to you. His dash is faster than normal dash though, which will give you an advantage when chasing an enemy. If you are completely new to Vader, try dashing into bots to get the distance and timing down. At first you will miss a lot. You'll find that as you dash, you want to click your saber just before you reach the enemy, because he does an extra lunge. If you click your saber as you would another character when on top of the enemy, you'll find that you miss.

Now if you think Vader is slow walking, you will find he is even slower while choking. Choke is very valuable to Vader. Once you have an enemy in choke, if they are in saber range, they are dead. Unless there is lag, and you choke for even just one second and start the saber combo, the enemy will die. Occasionally with lag, or higher ping someone can roll out of your swing once you stop choking. The trick to this is: hold choke for more than a second if you have enough power, and begin your swing. The game is built so there is half a second recovery time after choke where the enemy drops to their feet. In this time if you have already begun your saber combo, the character will die.

Because Vader's movement is slower, you'll want to avoid long distance choking. Yes choke has the same range as push, but it is worthless to you at that range. If you are going to long distance choke, you need to do so at a distance where you can dash into them before they recover, otherwise you may get pushed/pulled, or they will roll away. Once you are familiar with the distance of your choke, I would recommend setting your dash to ? of that distance max, else your prey may escape.

There is always the advantage of choking someone until your power is drained, and if you are in a safe spot, wait for power to come back. They will generally either run away or come after you, both work to your advantage. If they come after you, you will have refreshed enough power to stop them with another choke. If you are in range: Dash and kill, or saber combo for a finish. If they run, you can either catch up with a dash (they are at half health anyway), or you can stalk them via roof floating. This brings me to my next point, Floating.

For those who don't know, to activate float you hit jump twice. While you are floating or falling, Vader has an extremely powerful downward hit. Put this together with his sprint and you are very lethal at a long distance. Aiming your downward hit takes practice. If you have a target on a roof in the distance, begin by sprinting and hit jump before you leave your platform this will make you soar through the air. As you get to a closer point, you can click your mouse and Vader will begin his downward descent, while in this downward descent you can control it be using the directional keys. If you are straight on, your forward and backward will prove useful. If you feel you will overshoot your target, hold down the backward key and Vader's descent will slightly slow down. You have little time to make these changes because his downward attack is fast.

Another trick to floating is the choke float. Once you are floating you can choke an opponent at the same distance you would. This requires careful aim. When you are floating and the opponent is choking, to finish them off, just click you mouse. You are already pointed at them, and if you are close enough they will not roll out of the attack, because it follows the same principle as ground choking (they have half a second recover time). The choke float is especially useful when you are on the ground below your opponent on the roof. Just slightly float up until you are high enough to do your downward hit.

Vader's saber combo is strong and his single click can interrupt a few of the hero dashes. I find that moving to the side, away from the enemies saber while comboing, is the safest place to be. If a Luke or Yoda is dashing you, sidestep and single click generally stuns them. It's tougher against the others but still can be done. His backslash is harder to time and it does take practice. It seems most effective when you are moving slightly away from them.

I will not spend much time on any of these posts regarding saber throw. This is really just aim and click. I will say however, an opponent tends to dodge it when they see it coming by moving left or right. When you are in a saber throw battle with someone, throw to one side of them. They walk into it half of the time. I have won many fights with saber throw by pre-predicting the way the opponent will flee to.

As everyone knows, against saber throw or saber combos for that matter, block is fickle. I always say it works 5% of the time, when in essence it works about 60%. The trick to blocking seems to be putting it up at the last second. I tend to block more when this happens. Now some sabers go through block no matter what, primarily Maul, Luke, and Aayla, so you want to not have block up when fighting these and get yourself in a defensive position to choke.

I will close each of my posts with a section on how to fight a specific enemy:

Vader vs. Pullers: The simple fact about pulling is that it has a huge distance. Against a puller it is best to block you from them with an object. Pullers tend to hug open spaces or roofs, so it makes it difficult to just fight them in the open. I have found it most effective to stay behind the domes on the buildings and wait for them to come to you, or if they are below you: choke and drop over and finish them. If they are further and are facing you don't even try the sprint jump, you will get pulled. If the puller is on a roof, get down on the ground and shield yourself from them with the building they are standing on. Then do the float choke and downward hit. This is very effective. Over time, you will still be pulled from behind no matter what, so get use to it.

Vader vs. Pushers: Pushers are the easiest for Vader to kill besides gunners. Their push has the same range as choke, so if they are close enough to attempt to push you (which you will block) all you have to do is hit choke and go in for the kill. Now power pool may not permit a block fight (ie, you are both blocking to see who runs out first), With Vader make sure you are near a building to hide behind. Pushers tend to chase, so you will build enough power to be able to choke them when they come after you.

Vader vs. Dashers: Plain and simple, the game makes it so when they get close and you are trying to choke them, they will stop at your front door. You won't be able to stop them from a roof as they are sprinting unless they begin to swing. Once they begin their swing in a dash, choke takes hold. This is just the way it is.

Vader vs. Gunners: Poor Leia, Han, and Chewie. Choke 'em. If you don't, they will run, jump, flee, roll, shoot, or blow you up. They will complain saying "Pretty sad to choke a gunner." My response to that is simple "Ok next time I'll just let you kill me." If you want to be noble and go no force, so be it, then dash is your best bet with Vader, but if you just want the kill and not to be headshot or blown up, just choke and kill.

As stated previously, these are my own findings, tips and tricks. Some may work well for you and some may not. I have had success with every tip, or else I wouldn't have put them in here. If I have forgotten something, it is most likely that I don't use it, or have found it ineffective.

Darth Vader

Darth Vader: Non-Force Guide

This is the first installment of the non force guides/studies. Most of the basics of the characters can be found on the force pages, such as health, movement speed, and basic attacks. So these points will not be focused on too much unless directly talking about strategies. Most of the ideas in these guides regarding arena duels are from the pen of Sneek, while the full map tactics and little edits here and there are from me. So, let's begin:

Vader is a strong no force character with a powerful dash attack, a decent saber combo, the fastest dash speed in the game, good air attack, good backswing, but a terrible block.

In duels, Vader's biggest advantage is his running speed. Since the arena is a very limited space, you can quickly get from one side to the other without spending much energy. The dash is also good for running behind opponents who are attacking and striking from behind. A commonly used tactic is running straight at someone, stopping and baiting an attack (getting them to start swinging). The primary baiting method you can use with Vader is by faking a dash at them, and getting close enough for them to want to start an attack. You then sprint to the left or right, and end up dashing them as they finish their combo. This is especially powerful in duels. It is very hard for them to get away because of the speed that Vader can cover ground. Vader's dash attack is also very easily blocked, so be ready to get out of there.

His biggest advantage can also be a weakness. Vader requires careful management with his energy. Since his block is the worst in the game, you cannot rely on it as much as other characters. You need some energy to run out of the way of attacks, and for rolling.

Vader's block radius is terrible. If Vader is attacked from the sides while blocking, the hit will almost always go through. The same thing even applies to the front because most attacks cover a range of attack greater than the range that Vader blocks. What this means, is that if someone is hitting your block and even touches the side of you, the hit will go though your block and you will die. The only times I (Sneek) use block with Vader in no force fighting are against dash attacks such as Obi-Wan's which are pretty easy to block. After Obi's attack is blocked, I can easily run up and do a charge attack.

Since Vader has such a terrible block, you have to play very offensively with him. However, offensive players have to watch out for two things: block, and backswing/nulling. Because of the time Vader takes to pivot after a dash, you can easily be killed if an opponent blocks an attack, and hits you with a saber combo. One simple way of getting around blocking opponents is roll canceling, which is simply hitting roll immediately after a swing to cancel the recover animation. Be careful doing this against advanced opponents, they may wait for you to finish your roll and dash you.

Advanced opponents require different strategies altogether. On tactic is not to directly dash them, but to sprint up to them, stop the dash, and begin a combo (behind them if you can). There are many advantages to this: your opponent will expect a dash and may release the block before you are done with the saber combo. Vader's saber combo is hard to block so you may just puncture the block anyway. There isn't nearly as much of a cool downtime between his saber combos, so you can just hammer away at your opponent's block until something breaks through.

There are many applications for Vader's air attack when dueling, but unless you have almost complete mastery over when and when not to jump, these techniques are not recommended. One common technique is the jet jump ground stomp. This is when you run, then jump, then immediately do a vader ground stomp (in essence you hit jump and click at the same time). You will move faster than vader's dash in the air for a certain distance and land with the ground stomp. The hit will also cover a slightly greater distance than normal allowing for a bigger margin of error. This is a very good tactic for hitting someone at the very start of a duel when the person will most likely not expect it. Another ground stomp tactic is to bait your opponent into dashing at you or doing a saber combo, then you can jump above quickly and land an attack. Be careful with Vader's close range air attack though, if you do not get high enough you could be pulled down with a combo and lose the fight.

As a last thought on dueling, the best way to avoid deaths, is not being where their saber is. As Vader you need to be quick and agressive. His block will rarely save you so evading and getting out of the way can be much more efficient. Be patient and wait for the proper time to strike. Many new duelers will dash then roll, dash then roll, dash then roll. They will learn their error as soon as you avoid the dash and wait for them to roll. A quick dash to their finishing roll position takes care of that.

Vader on full map no force is also extremely effective. You will want to utilize all the tactics mentioned with dueling, but you will also want to be wary of the buildings and where you are located. I've (Mawk) said it a million times and I will say it again, the rooftops are the truly pivotal position in Mos Eisley, the higher ground is truly a defining factor. Think of it as camping if you will, but one day you will realize that you die less by using rooftops to your advantage.

Due to Vader's great sprint jump (previously mentioned as jet jump) he can cover a lot of distance on the map. This can be used to confuse your opponent and also spring at them from far away without them even realizing it. If you see your opponent in the distance about ready to jump to a location close to them, you can launch over and stun them. You can use his jump to run out of minimap range and still remain safe. As Vader even in full map you want to be aggressive. If you are not aggressive and try to wait for them to get close it will not always work. I tend to wait a lot for specific moments in full map as Vader, not just camping and waiting, but waiting for that perfect moment to strike. It is quite different than being a defensive Vader player.

One moment to wait for is the enemy jumping to your location (assuming you are above them). You can simply dash them as they land. If they are near the edge of the roof they may be thrown off, this will not stun them so follow them carefully. They will most likely backswing once they land and you do NOT want to dash into that. Most people will attempt 2-3 backswings before realizing you aren't coming. At this point be sure to dash them before they can get away. If they jump up to you and you dash and they are stunned, great, finish them off. Vader's dash attack can also hit an enemy in mid air, and force them in the direction you are dashing them. This can stun them in the right instances, and can also confuse them. Again be careful if you do not stun them, this is usually when they fall for a full story or more, like from a flat roof to the ground. However the shorter falls will stun them, like the top of the cantina on to the flat north side. Just be wary and don't always rush in if you've hit them mid air.

Using obstacles in full map non force is essential. You want to use objects that will make you in a key position against your enemy. Full map is a lot about how you are positioned and involves a lot of strategy compared to force. As Vader you will not want them to get close to you enough to begin a combo, because Vader will rarely block it. Instead coax them to your locations either by waiting or you can jump toward a roof and then switch locations (they will most likely jump to where you looked like you were going). At the point where they are near you, do a quick dash and finish them. If your dash is blocked GET OUT OF THERE. The times you want to saber combo are generally not right after you dash. After you dash you can quickly hit roll and usually can escape.

The times you DO want to saber combo them in force are generally as follows: When you are behind them and they haven't seen you. You can also sprint past them without being hit and do a surprise combo instead of dashing. If they start their combo before you, you should probably roll away and try to dash, instead of also starting your combo. Vader doesn't always win in head on saber combo battles. He will however get through and interrupt them if they are more in front of him and he is hitting their back or side. Otherwise try to get away, it's pointless otherwise.

With characters that have a longer reaching finishing combo move (primarily Luke, Mace, Ki-Adi, and Dooku), try to stay out of the way of that final swing. It will usually penetrate block and will usually kill you.

The whole point really of using Vader in non force full map, is quick attacks and evasion. Try to force your opponent to keep leaping around and having to land. When they land they are vulnerable, and you have to be quick. I choose roofs mainly for people to try to come get me and have that slight downtime when they land. It makes your job much easier, especially since they won't be blocking.

The final tactic that I will mention now and probably later with the characters, is the backhand while they are leaping at you. This is a very powerful tactic that really has yet to reach it's potential in non force. If the enemy is across from you and does a leaping aerial attack at you, you can flip around quickly and backswing as they are landing on you. If you are full health you will probably not die, but they will be thrown forward and stunned (if they land on something). You can then follow them and finish. If this trick is done quickly it can nearly negate all aerial attacks against you. They can sometimes squeeze through but usually you'll stun them and get hit once. Don't try this when you're low health unless you think you won't be hit, which does happen, it takes practice and timing. Due to Vader's height, he usually always gets hit with this trick. If you do this tactic and they fall off a roof, or fall more than 1 story (just as above) they most likely won't be stunned, so be careful as you follow them to finish them off.

Non Force is quite fun once you get into it, and once you realize that you don't need force to survive, you'll feel a huge relief. Then you'll be able to conserve your energy for your block, which is very important to many characters in non force. Not so much for Vader in particular, but the more guides that come out you will see what we mean.

Thank you all for your patience waiting for these guides to come out. I hope the next few months we will enlighten those who haven't played non force and make the non force population improve in play style.

As a final reminder, Non Force is NOT about Dash-Roll-Dash-Roll.

Darth Granny

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