A general, comprehensive guide to understanding Saber combat in this game.
No idea what inspired me to make this, was just kinda bored to be honest. Title basically, nothing with too much depth or difficulty for the average player to pull off, as it's mostly rather straightforward anyways. This covers the general premise of combat, so no individual Hero strategies aside from examples relating to my points. Also strictly for 1v1s, as there are more elements in play for 1v2s and/or 1v3s. This guide assumes you at least understand the most fundamental principle of Saber combat which is NOT just spamming RT hoping for a kill or just holding LT hoping just to survive.
Note: This is a lengthy post, so feel free to read it in chunks. Also apologies for the mundane formatting, I'm on mobile.
Single asterisk (*Basic): What you must know and implement to succeed at a basic level.
Double asterisk (**Intermediate): What you should know and possibly implement to succeed at a more higher level.
Triple asterisk (***Advanced): What you could implement to maximise your potential, but not necessary.
*If you're going to be successful in Saber duels, you need to play at least above 30% soldier sensitivity. Anything less, and your inability to rotate fast enough will severely hinder your ability to react defensively and limit your offensive capabilities. ~50% is ideal, the best Saber players I know play on 70%+.
2. Types of dashing.
*Default dashing, self explanatory. Dash to avoid unblockable attacks, cover ground quicker, or dash through an opponent's mass for a back slash etc.
*Back dashing - dashing backwards, great for turtling. Constant back dashing makes it very difficult for opponents to get behind you without considerable effort. Allowing you to recover health with no pressure, also often opening them up for a counter due to predictability and vulnerability.
**Bait dashing. False, unnecessary dashing with the intent of causing an error or opportunity for attack. Very simple but requires the ability to read and predict your opponent, whilst also ensuring you yourself are unable to be predicted by your opponent. Sprinting into an abrupt back dash could potentially trigger an instinctive reaction from your opponent like activating an ability, thus leaving them open to a counter like Choke or Freeze etc. for example.
Note: Better players will be able to read these consistently, so be careful not to over do it. You can just be equally caught in a punishment.
**Counter dashing involves simply dashing in the opposite direction OR in accordance with an opponent's anticipated move or attack. This prevents opponents from getting behind you for a back slash or maximising their damage output from an ability. Rey's MT is very easy to avoid by doing this for example.
***This also allows you counter attack if you dash in accordance to your opponents attack i.e if you correctly predict your opponent is going to attempt a dash through back slash for example, you then time your own back dash just before they initiate theirs - usually catching them with an unexpected slash of your own or ability as they're caught up in their own attempt to back slash you.
3. Types of standard attack.
*Default slashes are the most common, can be used in combinations with abilities, calculated back dashes and counter dashes, or repeatedly spammed for the most effectiveness when necessary i.e high backslashing DPS potential or draining blocking stamina on turtles with low blocking stamina like Anakin and GG. Tracking, speed and hit detection varies from Hero to Hero naturally.
*Back slashes are also fairly common, but should always be prioritized over standard slashes whenever possible for the slight damage increase. Dashing through > back slash is one of the most widely used and effective tactic, but also very predictable.
**Jump slashes are a bit more niche in their usage, consume more stamina but have more utility. You use jump slashes as a subsidiary for slow or clunky standard slashing animations for certain Heroes i.e Yoda, GG, Dooku etc.
**You can also use jump slashes to trade with someone who spams with a lower risk of receiving damage due to the forward momentum carried from it, harder to track and hit a non stationary target. As well as the larger hit boxes that most jump slashes have, allowing you to hit from more tighter ranges/angles from a slightly safer distance.
Note: the effectiveness of this is determined by the size of your Heroes own hit box, and the speed at which the jump slash carries you forward. Maul > Vader in this regard for example.
***Jump slashes can also be utilised to angle an attack around an opponent, bypassing their block entirely provided they don't anticipate and counter dash. Some jump slashes have large hit boxes because of the return swing of the animation, Luke and Rey's for example. Its just a matter of positioning yourself at an angle to the far side of the blocking player, then jump slashing inwards and torwards them, rotating the camera around them, the momentum allowing you to strike them essentially from behind with little time for counter play.
Note: I'd recommend playing on at least 40% soldier sensitivity to do this consistently. Ideally anything above.
4. Stamina management.
*Managing and being aware of your stamina bar is absolutely crucial, don't be afraid to back off of fights to temporarily recover. Similarly don't over exert yourself by over slashing. Pacing yourself in fights is essential in being able to compete long enough without being caught up in needing to constantly recover and thus mitigates your exposure to damage.
*Use natural cover to regain stamina when you need lower your block. Similarly, using certain abilities that have a relatively long duration like HM or UA are great for recovery periods. However be aware this lull in combat is mutually beneficial to your opponent, as they will likely use this time to recover too.
*Be aware of your own Heroes stamina recovery speed and pool, and play in relation to this. This is going into individual Hero tips, which isn't the purpose of this guide. But just make sure you're playing in relation with this. i.e don't play Anakin like you would play Luke or Rey, the so called "dancing around people" strat which people like to commonly phrase. You just won't have the stamina for it, and it'll get you killed, as this is the gameplay of Heroes with a high stamina recovery and pool to begin with.
**Consider your opponents individual playstyle. Are they reserved? Or are they really aggressive? These are things you should consider in the opening stages of a duel and should determine how you approach the fight, regardless of Heroes in play. If they're reserved and cautious, maintain a high pressure and try and inflict chip damage wherever possible, however always wary of a sudden counter. If they're aggressive, just play passively and play for a pick, or simply turtle and wait them out until they need to recover, then launch a sudden attack of your own. You get the jist, entirely situational. Your ability understand opponents greatly affects your ability to adapt your playstyle.
***Being able to read and understand your opponent or the flow of a duel is critical in higher levels. This will occur naturally over time through experience of numerous duels against varying degrees of skill, but this is a good practice to pick up early.
**Understanding your opponents stamina usage is quite important too. Consider what Hero they are using and the strengths and weaknesses of their individual stamina pools and/or abilities that complement this. For example, GG has comparitively poor attacking and blocking stamina to most Heroes, but has great abilities to recover. You'd need to balance an offensive and defensive mindset in accordance to the situation. Attack when he exerts himself, but be cautious of his abilities that allow him to recover. It's a bit of a fine line.
**Another quick example is Obi Wan, high blocking stamina, only average attacking stamina. Almost every time RMT is utilised 99.9% of Obi Wan players will become ultra aggressive and continually try to back slash you. If you manage you survive this, you need to counter attack hard while his stamina is recovering as he most likely blew it all attempting to punish you for the duration of RMT.
5. Intelligent and well timed usage of abilities.
Note: This is really hard to define clear cut without touching on individual Heroes, which I don't wanna do in this guide, so excuse some of the vagueness.
*Abilities win fights, therefore don't waste them if a suitable opportunity doesn't present itself, especially for the more powerful ones like Choke, Frenzy, and Pull Dominance. Try to either chain them within a combo or at the end of one, where an opponent would least expect it to occur. Using abilities to counter an opponent's actions is the most ideal situation, as it limits your own risk of taking punishment, if one countered appropriately, whilst maximising your chances of inflicting your own punishment.
*The utility of self buffs such as Presence or Focused Rage should also be considered. Sometimes it's better to leave them for the mid engagement when you need to recover health or a slightly less stamina drain, to just gain that slight edge. Other times it might be better to pop it immediately before an engagement, and maximise your effectiveness overall and early in order to quickly take max health from your opponent. This is down mostly to personal preference.
**Understand the damage, range, and utility values of your abilities. This is more down to game knowledge, and less emphasis on mechanical skill. Just be aware of what abilities to use and when, whatever the situation pertains. Sometimes the ability that allows for the best damage or allow you inflict the most damage might not be best used offensively, rather defensively. Freeing you up to recover if it necessary, sacrifice damage over stability depending on its utility. Also note the importance of using your abilities within and around the line of their maximum range. Most players generally underestimate this, but you can easily catch opponent out with their guard lowered if your positioning relative to the maximum range of your ability is on point.
Some generic examples:
Some generic examples:
*Basic example as Luke; Jump slash > Rush > Repulse > Rush etc. the aim would be to catch them on the back dash as they try to avoid the Rushes or back slashes from you dashing constantly through them. The knockdown of Repulse allowing for free punishment. Rushes would be great for trading on an opening with lower risk of punishment, jump slashes perform a similar albeit less effective role.
**A slightly more intermediate example as Vader; Choke > back slash/jump slash > Saber throw. The objective here is to catch an opponent that overextends or makes a mistake with an absurd punishment combination. Turtling and/or baiting until you catch them with a Choke, then performing the above mentioned combo, deals significant 400+ damage consistently, more with other factors considered. This is great for whittling down a tanky Hero, like Yoda or Anakin.
***A really advanced example as Maul; Choke-hold =/= any other CC in the game. Basically a frame trick, but Maul's Choke-hold has I guess what you could call 'CC priority' over other CC abilities in the game. Meaning that if you use it within the same frame as Unleash, Pull, Repulse etc. Maul will still receive damage but will be unaffected by the CC as it has priority, whereas your opponent will. This is a great counter play and allows for an opening for a quick Spin/slash combo as your opponent is recovering from the knockdown.
***Another really advanced example as Kylo; slight jump > Pull > Freeze > back slash > Frenzy. Another frame trick essentially, but you can chain both Pull and Freeze in quick succession to effectively break any block of any Hero due to the stagger. You need to a very miniscule jump, barely high enough to just trigger the jumping Pull animation, this is so you can trigger the Freeze animation near instantly when you land. The stagger from the Pull allows an opening for Freeze. Your opponent is now completely vulnerable and open to a very lethal back slash into Frenzy combination. Just ensure you wait for them to expend their dash first before using Frenzy, as you will then maximise your stagger and damage output potential of three consecutive hits.
Well that's all I can think of right now, might add more minute details later. If I miss anything be sure to let me know. I don't play anymore so I'm sure I've missed some of the newer, more niche strats if any have become known.
Thanks you for reading and hopefully this post can help you in becoming a better player overall. Good luck.
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