Dead or Alive 5: Starting out a match

In Dead or Alive before the round begins you and your opponent can move your characters in position to where you want to be depending on your character to gain advantage in the match before it begins, similar to Marvel vs Capcom. Because of this whatever takes place at the beginning of the round can set the tone for the rest of the round. A lot of the faster characters have a big advantage over the slower characters but because of the defensive hold also known to a lot of people as the counter, it adds an extra layer to the mind games.


In DoA there is a triangle system where Attacks beat Throws, Throws beat Holds, and Holds beat Attacks no matter what. However at the beginning of the round Attacks are the most preferred way to begin and second to that would be the defensive hold. Throws are very risky to use since they don't have any priority and most players will begin with an attack. Hold is 2nd because you are left at a bigger disadvantage if you misread the opponent and will be subject to getting either stunned or thrown for high counter damage.

Attacks also have their own triangle system where Highs beat Mids and Mids beat Lows. Lows can beat Highs if they crouch and the same goes for mids and other highs, however they have to have crouch frames and be timed well enough to beat out highs and some attacks can avoid mids as well. On top of this there is another layer, sidestep which will beat all non tracking attacks.

Kasumi has a 9 frame high punch, a 11 frame mid punch and a 12 frame low punch. These are the best frames you can get for speed in Dead or Alive so she is the  be all end all in speed.

The dummy character being Sarah has a 10 frame high punch, an 11 frame mid punch and a 12 frame low punch. Sarah is special though because against 60% of the cast her 11 frame mid punch will crouch under other characters high attacks and hit them in a frame where she can land a counter hit for a stun making her very dangerous at the beginning of the match. However Sarah cannot use 6p to crouch these characters at neutral forcing her to play a regular game at the start:

- Kasumi, Kokoro, Christie, Ayane, Lei Fang, Eliot, Gen Fu, Pai, Hitomi, Eliot, Alpha-152.

Here are the characters she can use 6p to crouch their High punch attacks at neutral: 

- Brad Wong, Ryu Hayabusa, Mila, Tina, Helena, Bayman, Rig, Jann Lee, Zack, La Mariposa
Akira, Bass, Hayate

Against Helena, Brad, Bass, Bayman, Tina etc. They have 11 frame high punches so because of that her 6p hits on the same frame as their jab but because her 6p does more damage their high jabs will lose on the same frame thus allowing her to dominate at the beginning of the match.

On top of this those same characters who could try to use mids to begin the match will lose because her 6p is 11 frames and the fastest low attack in the game is 12 frames which they also don't possess which puts them at a major disadvantage, forcing them to either block, sidestep or defensive hold at the beginning of the match. This is a huge reason why Sarah is in my opinion one of the top 3 characters in the game. Shared with Christie and Lei Fang.

Thank you for watching the video and giving this a read!

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2 comments

  • Posted Jan 15, 2014 at 08:22
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  • Posted Jan 15, 2014 at 08:23
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