Hi everyone! Welcome to another written lesson of the Turtle Hermit School. A question I get asked a lot is, "What is a good team for a new player?".

It's a good question with many possible answers, I would argue that there's no bad team to learn the game with but I wanted to put together a starter team to act as an entry point for new players or a shell to start experimenting with team building.

I highly recommend skimming through the lessons before trying to take this in if you're new to the game. 

Without further ado, the Official™ Recommended™ Starter™ Team™ of the Turtle Hermit School is...

Gohan-Goku-Tien.png

Why this team?

I picked this team for a few reasons:

Strength - all three of these characters are really good, they have plenty of utility and damage output and each character is one of the best in their role.

Honesty - all three characters reward fundamental play and don't rely on gimmicks, for the most part anyway (looking right at you Tien).

They fit the meta - the skill sets of all three characters fit the meta well and reinforce a lot of the fundamental skills of the game, it's hard to get good with this team and not get good at the game.

Fun factor - all three characters get flashy moves and lack too many frustrating weak points, they're also pretty simple to get started with.

Depth - while relatively simple to get started with, all three characters have a lot of potential to explore.

Flexibility - swapping any of these characters out is very possible, so long as you think it through.

On that last point, if you have a character you absolutely can't do without, swapping the most similar character on the team is very possible. If I had to pick, I would say A Gohan is the most expendable member but he should be swapped with a good point character.

How is this team played?

I mentioned above that these three characters reinforce a lot of the fundamental skills of the game, to expand on that a bit more, when playing this team you will always have access to a lot of helpful neutral tools and they can all use traditional block pressure and mixups. The way I recommend you play this team is the same as the way I recommend people approach the game.

Your primary goal in the neutral game is to pin them down with one of your long range assists, rush in while they're blocking and then mix up or start a blockstring (more on that below). It should look like this.

 
 

If you aren't utilising these long range assists in the neutral, you really need to start doing so. Assist use in the neutral is one of the most vital and yet underused skills at low levels.

Your secondary goal in the neutral is to tag your opponent with a long range projectile and vanish to combo or force them to block the vanish where you are at an advantage. Following on from that, looking for opportunities to approach without assists will give you more powerful mixups.

In terms of keeping your team alive you would preferably lose Gohan first and keep Tien healthy for the end. I would say this team benefits more from tagging and keeping all 3 characters alive for as long as possible due to their synergy but a healthy Tien with sparking blast is a very happy Tien indeed.

That's the broad gameplan for the whole team sorted, let's take a look at each of the members of the team and how they fit into the team.

A Gohan Card.png

Adult Gohan

Adult Gohan is a very well rounded character, your gameplan is going to be focused around utilising the ridiculous range of most of his normal attacks. He also has access a few strong projectiles to pepper patient players with. Your primary focus will be to force them to block/be hit by his 2M and be forced to deal with his 2H > 236M blockstrings.

His assist is very short but quite quick and can be used for some tricky close range mixups. His long normals let him approach behind assists with ease.
 

Goku Card.png

SSJ Goku

SSJ Goku is one of the most honest and fundamental characters in the game. He lacks the strong mixup game of Adult Gohan and Tien but makes up for it with some of the best ranged conversions in the game. Your primary goal is to fire off as many beams as possible both from the ground and in the air, the aim is to frustrate your opponent into approaching recklessly. If you see them slip underneath an air beam, call your Tien assist or vanish to prevent them from approaching underneath.

His assist is one of the best in the entire game. It covers the entire screen and has a respectable amount of lockdown. This makes it a strong pressure tool and a phenomenal neutral tool. Call it as much as you can but try not to waste it.
 

Tien Card.png

Tien

Tien is another incredible fundamental character. He has a lot of unique tools to compliment this and does very well in the neutral game. He has a very annoying high/low mixup with his special attacks but can struggle with maintaining consistent pressure. His damage output is also very high but it often costs him resources.

His assist is fantastic for capitilising on small openings and it's long range and hitstun make it another great neutral tool. It's faster than Goku's but doesn't lockdown for as long. It pops the opponent up instead of back, letting you get some fantastic 2H conversions (more on that later).
 

Neutral tools

Here's a quick run down of the neutral tools each character will have access to and a rough estimate of their strength. Having a clear idea of what to prioritise in the neutral game is extremely important in the neutral game.

Adult Gohan

  1. Goku/Tien assist > forward dash
  2. 236S into vanish
  3. 2S or j5S into vanish
  4. 236S > Goku assist
  5. 214L > Tien assist
  6. Dash forward > 2M
  7. IAD jH
  8. j236H(Hold) when anticipating a tag/SD

SSJ Goku

  1. Tien assist > forward dash
  2. 236S or j236S into vanish
  3. 5S or j5S into vanish
  4. SD > Gohan assist
  5. 236H > A Gohan/Tien assist
  6. Dash forward > 2M
  7. IAD jH

Tien

  1. Goku assist > forward dash
  2. 236S into vanish
  3. 5S or j5S into vanish
  4. SD > Gohan assist
  5. 214S > SD
  6. Dash forward > 5M
  7. IAD jH

What To Do On BlocK

In no way affiliated with the excellent series of guides on YouTube (here's a link to the playlist, highly recommended), this section is all about block pressure. I'll start off by detailing some simple plans on block and then cover some of the unique options this team has.

The timings on the assist calls will vary depending on what mixups you want to use (more on that later).

I've used 'etc.' to take the place of your mixup options.

Adult Gohan:
5LL > 5MM > 5H > 2H > 236M > Goku Assist > etc.
5LL > 5MM > 5H > 2H > 236M > Small Delay >  Tien Assist > etc.

When confirming into a combo, use 3H in place of 5H. It's not quite the usual order but it give you slightly more damage and more time to hit confirm. It also gives you a later low than most strings which can catch people out.

SSJ Goku:
5LL > 2M > 5M > 5H > 214L > Gohan assist > etc.
5LL > 2M > 5M > 5H > 214L > Tien assist > etc.

Goku's mixup options are a bit lacking but this string is pretty smooth and leaves you close and at an advantage.

Tien:
5LL > 2M > 5M > 5H > 236L > Gohan Assist > etc.
5LL > 2M > 5M > 5H + Goku Assist > 236L > etc.

Tien has a lot of different blockstring options but this one is my go to. He can swap the 236L for 214L/M for an overhead option. This string is a great option but can be 2H'd and yu have to be prepared for them to not block the assist. If blocked, you can follow the overhead up with a forward dash into some normals.

5LL > 2M > 5M > 5H > 214L > Gohan Assist > Forward Dash etc.
5LL > 2M > 5M > 5H + Goku Assist > 214L > Forward Dash etc.

This is a great string if you're feeling confident your opponent will turtle up. Use it whenever you've scared your opponent into patiently blocking and are confident they'll block the overhead.

Mixups and Gimmicks

First off let's cover your options for the etc. sections mentioned above.

 

Crossup/Overhead

Which one you get can depend on the string and the distance but by using an IAD after a blocked assist, you can get a crossup or overhead with all 3 characters. The most consistent way to combo after these is 5MM > 5H > etc. This is best saved for when you use Goku's assist as it can't be mashed out of or deflected when timed correctly, it pushes them too far for a crossup.

 

Dragon Rush

The bane of all patient players is the dash in dragon rush. For the faster assists of Tien/Gohan, this is one of the best options for you to use. The constant threat of this will cause your opponent to make a lot of mistakes.

 

Going Low

Coupled with the above option, getting close and using your fastest low (5L for Gohan, 2L for Tien and 2M for Goku) will often catch them trying to escape the dragon rush. You have to make sure you leave a small gap for them to make a mistake or they'll most likely block it.

I mentioned above that these three characters are quite honest and they are. But this is Dragonball FighterZ, no one is truly honest in this game. Here are some key mixups and gimmicks you can use to keep your opponent on their toes.

 

6M conversions
A huge benefit of this team is that both Gohan and Tien allow you to confirm off your 6M with 6M > Assist > 2H. This lets you get good damage off a really annoying move that people struggle to block with any member of your team. Use with caution because you can be jabbed out of 6M but it's a tool that should be on your mind.

 

Overhead specials hit confirms
Purely by coincidence, all three of these characters have overheads they can hit confirm from. The timing is really tight and you want to be careful in case they block it. You can leave a delay and call a second super to try and catch them punishing you but that's not very reliable, it does work though. It scales hard though so it's best for sealing the deal.

 

Gohan's assist and dragon rush
I've already mentioned this but it's worth repeating. Gohans assist is so fast and has such short stun you can call dragon rush immediately after calling him in pressure. It's also an excellent follow up after using him to approach in the neutral.
 

Combos & Conversions

For the most part, these characters all use the generic universal combo covered in my combo guide.
There are some small variations that are worth taking advantage of.

  • For Gohan you'll want to use 5MM > 3H to juggle your opponent instead of the standard 2M > 5M.
  • For Tien, you'll want to use a slightly different air-ender. j5LL2H > jc j5LL2H > j236M. It's a little tricky at first but you'll get used to it.
  • For Goku, you'll want to end your air combos with jS > j236L for a bit more damage, it also let's him get sliding knockdowns off any confirm which is very strong. E.g. j5LL2H jc j5LL5S > j236L

For vanish conversions, you'll want to use any of the neutral tools mentioned at the beginning into a vanish, and then:

A Gohan:
Dash Forward > 5M > jc > j5LL2H >  jc > j5LLL

Goku:
Dash Forward > 5M > jc > j5LL2H > jc > j5LLL

Tien:
Dash Forward > 5M > jc > j5LL2H > jc > j5LL2H > j236

You can also catch them with 2M > 5M but I personally prefer the consistency of just using 5M, if you're used to 2M > 5M then by all means use it.

Assist Extensions

I normally hate to teach assist extensions because newer players can get the wrong idea and focus on them much too much but I'd be doing you a disservice if I didn't talk about some of the extensions this team can get. I'm not going to get optimal here but here's some ideas to get you thinking.

 

Tien w/ Gohan Assist
By comboing into the light version Volleyball Fist, you can use Gohan's assist to knock the enemy back up to you and land a j2H before ending the combo as normal.

5MM > 5S > 236LL > L + Gohan Assist > 2H > SD > j5LL2H > jc > j5LL2H > j236M

5k meterless damage

 

Gohan w/ Goku Assist
Great extension for near or in the corner. Adds a lot of corner carry or just corner damage. If you haven't used Goku's assist in the neutral or in block pressure then this is definitely worth going for.

5MM > 3H > jc > jM > jH > 236L(Hold) > Goku assist (while still holding L) > 5M > jc > jLL2H > SD > jML2H > jc > jLLL

5k meterless damage

Need some feedback or guidance?

We welcome discussion of all kinds on the Turtle Hermit School discord, if you are struggling to build a team that feels good for you, join our beginner friendly community and ask for a hand. We also have a Patreon if you'd like to offer your support!