DBFZ/Nappa

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Overview

Overview

Before you read this overview, you probably noticed Nappa's massive Pros/Cons table. Nappa stands as a very unique character in DBFZ, as he is able to cheat many of DBFZ's rules and standards to vortex the opponent to death, a strength best showcased by his Saibamen. Saiba act entirely on their own, meaning that anything that Nappa does won't affect their behavior; this allows Nappa to set up high-damage combos, insane mixups, and even break him out of combos. This gives Nappa a phenomenal corner/mixup game with a truckload of options. He can also perform restands anywhere on the screen, forcing extremely high damage and terrifying mixups on his opponent. When Nappa manages to land a turn, he reigns supreme.

Now, uniqueness isn't always an upside, look at that Pros/Cons table again. Nappa's stubby and slow normals betray his tall stature and make his neutral and defense absolutely god awful, with no nice way to put it. Nappa may be able to set up a restand-to-death route off of any aerial hit, but getting that is a massive challenge. This massively raises Nappa's skill ceiling, and combined with his already knowledge and momentum intense playstyle makes him unforgiving and terrible for beginners.

Nappa starts the match at an uphill battle, but the moment he gets close he perhaps skyrockets to being one of the most powerful and terrifying characters in the game. If you take sadistic glee in watching opponents blow their Spark just because you got within five feet of them, play Nappa and never go back, as you've found one of the most fun and rewarding characters in the game.
Playstyle
Nappa is a slow, strong bruiser who supplements his attacks & pressure with Saibaman footsoldiers that he can grow during battle. It takes time for the Saibamen to grow and be of use, but once they are in the field, they can disrupt opponents and leave them open to Nappa's punishing blows and devastating mix-game.
Pros Cons
  • Saibamen: Saibamen attack freely & separately from Nappa himself, giving him built-in EZ-bake mixups. Saibamen also stay out when Nappa is hit, potentially saving him from a combo. Not only that but from the Season 4 Patch (v1.28) M Saibamen are invulnerable to ki blasts, and EX Saibamen are invulnerable to assists and non-super projectiles, making them genuine threats in neutral once they're on the screen.
  • Great Corner Game: Saibamen can be used to fill in blockstring gaps in the corner, and can even let Nappa restart his pressure for free. Nappa also supplements this power by having higher than average damage in the corner compared to the rest of the cast, fantastic mix-up tools, and...
  • Restands: Thanks to the unique properties of Saibamen's Spit & Explosion attacks, Nappa is one of only two characters in the game with access to consistent Restands nearly anywhere within his combos. Restands allows him to remove an opponent's tech options after a combo, forcing opponents to either waste their Sparking or play Nappa's excruciatingly difficult mix-game.
  • Corner Carry: Has a great 5H that launches the opponent all the way to the screen edge, allowing Nappa near instant access to the corner if he lands it in neutral.
  • Mixup Potential Probably the best mixups out of any character in the game. He is able to setup midscreen, 4 way, unreactable mix with the right assists. He also has corner 50/50 mixups that are incredibly difficult to block thanks to his high / low tools and Saibamen.
  • Large Movelist: has a reversal level 3 that can be cancelled into special attacks, allowing Nappa to either start combos at his conditions or add more damage in the cost of 3 bars. Most of his specials can be held (charged), which gives them different properties, either being range, damage or mix-up potential.
  • Poor Defense: Saibamen go down in one hit, and without one of them on-screen, defense options are limited. His 214S Guard Point starts at frame 5, and his only reversal is quite expensive at the cost of 3 bars.
  • Weak Neutral: Doesn't have a reliable Beam-type attack to threaten with, and his ki blasts are quite slow. 5S is difficult to use in neutral due to the long animation and recovery time, as well as not being generally safe.
  • Needs the Corner: Nappa struggles to utilize his Saibamen in his combos mid-screen more often than not, and he is incapable of performing his signature air combo extension without the corner or assists for a knockdown. This results in mediocre mid-screen combo options. He also struggles to keep offense going without corner, due to rather poor oki options mid screen.
  • Poor Air Game: While his j.L is a great air-to-air and catches Super Dash fairly well, his lack of solo combo extensions midscreen lead to poor damage and an over-reliance on assists to extend from a j.L air-to-air. Not to mention his j.S is quite slow and j.236S being a very situational Beam-type projectile tool. It's also a shame j.2H doesn't have any sort of Head Invulnerability to help with opponents Super Dashing from below Nappa in the air.
  • Sparking: The universal defensive option allows opponents to survive a single restand mixup and reset Nappa back to neutral, granted they know when it's happening. This often forces him to hard read it to punish, and guessing wrong either way leads back to Nappa's terrible neutral and can really sour the situation.

Normal Moves

5L

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
5L 400 Low 6 3 12 -3
5LL 700 All 11 3 -7
5LLL 1000 All U3+ 15 4 -5
5L
  • One of the longer 5Ls in the game
  • Can be repeated by holding 4.
  • Hits low

If you ever decide to play Nappa, this will quickly become one of your favorite buttons. It's not good for anti-airing thanks to the downward angle, but it's obscenely good in pressure. 4LL > 5M is three lows in a row AND a frametrap if 5M is delayed, but if you're afraid of opponents reflect mashing you can still go into 5LL from 4LL or go straight into 5M, giving you a truestring bridge to the rest of your lows.


5LL
  • 5LL is great for pressure, moves him forward quite a bit.

Mostly useful as a gapless bridge to his medium buttons. It being -7 means you won't want to stagger on it much, but not many opponents will risk mashing Nappa.


5LLL
  • Last hit of his L auto combo.

Really surprisingly huge. Great for post-vanish routes, and sends the opponent a great distance away for corner carry. Gets even better with Saibamen out, as the chain will give you plenty of ways to set up an on-the-fly restand.

5M

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
700 Low 11 6 14 -4
  • Low hitting 5M. Ground bounces airborne opponents.
  • Still gives medium scaling, leads to OBSCENE damage.

Frame traps from his jabs if delayed a bit. Really useful as a stagger tool as 2M > 5M is completely safe and pressing 2L or 5L afterwards will beat most 5L's. Also used a lot in Nappa's midscreen restand routes for a quick crossup low that can guarantee an opponent's death.

5H

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
850 All U1 15 3 23 -8
  • Unsafe, but absolutely insane range. Moves him forward more than half screen fairly fast. Can be pretty good to throw out with assists.

Your other favorite normal. The stupid range on his 5H combined with the ridiculous damage and corner carry it leads into makes it a staple of the character, and one you'll be throwing out in neutral a lot despite the risk and startup.

5S

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
450, 800 All 16, 28 -6
  • Nappa takes a step forward before he throws a piercing Ki blast, during this time it'll reflect all ki blasts that are S normals
  • A bit slow but an important part of his corner combos.
  • Will pierce through any other projectile S normal, but still lose to 236S type projectiles.
  • Wind-up hitbox vacuums on hit, and can easily confirm the followup ki-blast or allow you to combo into 2H.

Simultaneously awful and amazing. You won't be using this in neutral almost ever, as its slow startup and huge telegraph is too easily punished unless your opponent is already hurtling a barrage of shots at you. But in pressure it's just nonsense, as it's a two hitting stagger point that leads to a ton of easy reflect bait followups should your opponent disrespect it. Better yet, its massive hitstun lets Nappa corner carry even better along with comboing into superdash for restand setups.

This move could probably be used to explain the whole character.

2L

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
400 All 8 3 10 0
  • Good hitbox for a jab.

With 2L, you're trading a frame of startup on an already slow jab for great range and a 0 on block presence. Nappa's pressure is already loaded on lows, so he can get the best of both worlds with this.

2M

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
700 Low 15 4 22 -7
  • Good range but fairly slow.
  • Due to 5L, 5M, 2M being lows, and 5L being repeatable, Nappa has access to four lows in one string.

Extremely slow, and not at all a useful 2M in most situations. Unlike Hit, you don't have a crazy fast overhead to justify how slow this is, and there's no special features either. Purely blockstring filler compared to his 5M.

2H

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
850 All U1+ 13 4 25 -13
  • Anti-air with great vertical range and a mediocre horizontal hitbox. As such, it can whiff during some grounded strings/confirms if you're too far.

Utterly massive anti-air. Useful when catching uptech in the corner, as it can be plus when cancelled into 214S and covered by a Saibaman.

6M

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
850 High 24 6 10 0
  • Standard grounded overhead.
  • Slow 5L means Nappa's fastest option to beat mashing is 214S.

Nappa is blessed with the ability to easily make his universal overhead plus. Even basic strings like 4LL > 6M can leave him at advantage.

j.L

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
400 High 6 3 12
  • Great air-to-air.

It can easily whiff during air combos, especially versus smaller characters. Make sure to delay your initial jump cancel from 5M when confirming into air combos to minimize drops. The other 50% of his corner restand 50/50.

j.M

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
700 High 11 3 16
  • Good range for IAD crossups like a lot of j.M moves.

Not a bad normal, but mostly overshadowed by it's heavier cousin outside of combos. Decent for mixups as it can be cancelled into j.L where j.H cannot.

j.H

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
850 / 1000 High D1+ [D3+] 13 4 22

Pretty insane jumping button, as it has an amazing hitbox and can be done low to the ground.

j.S

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
800 All 16 1 24+3L
  • Piercing Ki blast. Z Broly's but it was there first.
  • Arcs downwards.
  • Crazy hitstun, combos into superdash and j.2H in the corner.

Nappa's main neutral tool. If performed low to the ground (via IAD, for example) this move generates enough frame advantage to dash up and continue pressure/confirm into a combo if it hits.

j.2H

(Hold OK)

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
650, 650 All U1+ 19[16] 1-8(1-2)2+
  • Dives and slams the opponent to the ground.
  • Input 2H again to only do the first hit and leave Nappa floating in the air for a second. You can also hold 2H and he will do the cancel ASAP. This cancel is only available early on in the move, falling for too long and Nappa will be stuck in the animation.
  • 1st hit will not have more than 8 active frames, regardless of altitude.
  • 2nd hit has a minimum of 2 active frames with additional frames based on altitude.
  • 2nd hit has 1 extra startup frame if Nappa hits the ground before the hitbox comes out (this only happens when activating the attack extremely close to the ground).

Another terrible move, except it's amazing and integral to Nappa's gameplan. j.2H gives Nappa so much in terms of combos and setups that it rises up as one of Nappa's best, if not one of the best in the game, and may just be worth his inability to get knockdowns midscreen. It has obscene damage, meter build and hitstun while also giving Nappa corner loops and god knows what you could come up with now that your opponent is dragged to the ground. It's even special cancellable on the ground as a cherry on top, just letting you go for even more nonsense. Sky's the limit when this hits, comboing into this is how you start your game.

Don't ever use this in neutral outside of extremely niche situations, it's just not worth it. Whiffing the move causes Nappa to slam the ground and have to bounce back and land, during which he is free to be punished (unless you have meter to Vanish-cancel).

Special Moves

Arm Break

236L/M/H (Hold OK)

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
236L 1200 High D1 24~33 3 -5
236[L] 1300 High D1 34~54 3 +2
236M 700, 900 High D1 26~33 3(12~21)3 -5
236[M] 700, 1200 High D1 34~54 3(22~51)3 +2
236H 800, 1000 High D1 24 3(12~21)3 -5
236[H] 800, 1300 High D1 24 3(22~51)3 +2
All Versions
  • Can be charged by holding the button down, resulting in a higher bounce with more hitstun that still goes into SKD should you not followup.

236L
  • Safe but fairly slow standing overhead, gives SKD

Because Nappa has four lows, this will end up catching people a lot more than its speed would leave you to believe. Although you can charge it, there's not much point.


236M
  • Runs forward before slamming the ground twice, causing a sliding hard knockdown state.

Important part of his combos, but not too useful outside of it, as he can be hit while running and has to run a minimum distance. Once again can be charged, but the first hit doesn't have enough hitstun for a proper full charge and everyone's already blocking high in anticipation for the second hit any way. It will, however, enable some good assist routes if you're able to keep them in stun, as Nappa can relaunch after the incredibly long bounce. Nappa's main combo ender used to set up a knockdown for planting Saibamen.


236H
  • Rushes forward with extreme speed and range into the attack.
  • Causes a ground bounce into a sliding knockdown on hit. Can be extended with either an assist call or a vanish during the ground bounce.

Very, very good for combos and even just general mixup should you expect your opponent to not react to the EX Flash, simply because it's a rare instance of an overhead that gives followups on its own. The charge has substantially less time required and the first hit nearly always gives enough hitstun for you to combo into a fully charged followup on its own, giving you a ton of time to plant a Saiba and go for safe oki with backup, or continue the combo.

The range is also nuts, ArcSys heard people complaining about Nappa not having a lariat and chose to make this it. As you could expect from Nappa it's not actually that great for neutral, but if you managed to poke them with 5S or j.S at midrange, this can confirm off of it where 5H can't and can be better than Vanish in a lot of ways - assuming you're able to get a knockdown again after this spends it.

Saibamen

214L/M/H (Hold OK)

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
214L Total 44
214M Total 44
214H Total 39
All Versions
  • After sprouting, the Saibamen will walk towards the opponent and only perform their attacks at close range. Disappear if they're hit, but not if Nappa is hit.
  • Input can be held to delay the sprout, e.g. if you do 214L, hold L until Nappa stands up for the delayed sprout.
  • Multiple Saibamen can be planted at once, but planting a new one before the last one can sprout will overwrite it, and new Saibamen will only sprout when there's no other Saibamen on screen.
  • If a planting spot is offscreen, Saibamen will sprout at the edge of the current screen instead.

214L
  • Plants a green Saibamen that performs Claw, Slide, Grab.

Combo food and blockstring fodder, as there are no Saibaman moves with Reflect-able blockstun.


214M
  • Plants a blue Saibamen that performs Spit, Slide, Grab.
  • Invulnerable to ki blasts.

Use near the end of corner combos for restands. There's a consistent setup that uses one assist into restand 50/50, you almost always want to use this over explosion restand.


214H
  • Plants a yellow Saibamen. Pressing L/M/H/S during the planting will program Saibamen to do the pressed sequence, up to 4 actions before automatically ending with Grab.
  • L does Claw, M does Slide, H does Grab, S does Spit. H will always end the sequence early.
  • Saibamen will perform Spit, Claw, Spit, Slide, Grab by default.
  • Invulnerable to non-super projectiles and assists.

Recovers faster than the L or M Saiba plants, and often lets you get away with overly specific setups or just multiple attempts at restands if you need that.

Saibamen Attacks

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
Saibamen Claw 700 All 8
Saibamen Spit 400 All
Saibamen Slide 600 All 8
Saibamen Grab 0, 1334 All 14
  • Claw launches on hit.

Useful as a combo extender, primarily after Blazing Storm in the corner. Extremely useful if put on EX Saibaman, and a reason to use 214L over 214M when in neutral, since the Saibaman jumps very high to swat opponents out of the air.


  • Spit Ki Blast properties.
  • On hit, puts the opponent in standing hitstun even if they're in the air, and they'll fall down to the ground in this state.

Nappa's main restand tool. From 214M, if the opponent is hit while they're high enough, the slide will whiff allowing Nappa to capitalize on the restand.


  • Slide launches on hit.

Useful as a bridge to a Dragon Rush close to the end of a combo.


  • On hit, the Grab immediately puts the opponent down on the ground in standing hitstun, then explodes.
  • The grab can only land once per combo.

Another restand tool: at high hitstun decay, the combo will drop in between the grab and the explosion. If they block the explosion, Nappa gets either a mixup or airtight pressure. If they get hit, he can easily confirm into a full combo. This is stronger than spit restand pressure wise, but the mixup is weaker. The fear of this and Spit will also generally make your opponent not want to tech, which can bail you out of some situations or even be abused.

In a normal combo, the explosion gives Nappa enough advantage to plant another Saibaman.

Blazing Storm

236S (Air & Hold OK)

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
236S 1100 All 18 10 -2
j.236S 1100 All 18 10
  • Nappa swipes his arm forward and makes a moderately sized explosion.

The explosion itself has fairly weak range, however the S button can be held down to extend the range the move strikes at, going slightly under fullscreen if held. This applies to both the ground and air versions of the move. Unfortunately, this move is one of the few S specials that doesn't clash with other 236S type moves; it will simply eat 1 hit, leaving the beam with 4 remaining hits. Single hit 236S moves will simply pierce it. This means your opponent will have an easier time wiping out Saibamen planted in neutral if they have a beam!

Too bad

214S (Hold OK)

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
214S 600, 800 All U1+ 12[25] 2[3] (24[32]) 5 -5 5-24[38] Strike Guard Point
214S Counter 1000 All U1+
  • [] = hold down S.
  • Nappa swipes forward and then brings his elbow down for a vicious strike.
  • Both parts of the move can be held.
  • Guard point from frames 5 to 24 (frame 38 if S is held down).
  • Blocks all physical strikes. Loses to any projectiles, throws, and supers.
  • If successfully blocks incoming attacks, Nappa responds with a more devastating elbow that ground bounces.

Useful after a blocked 6M or 5H. Normally, Nappa has a 7 frame 5L so he wouldn't be able to contest vs characters with 6 frame 5Ls after their 6Ms. Additionally, since the first part of this move is a strike, most point blank command grabs/Dragon Rushes are slow enough that the aggressor will be hit by 214S(1).

Can follow up after the second hit easily with either a super dash or by jumping forward with air buttons to get a full combo or an air 2h to get sliding knockdown outside of the corner. However, the second hit uses up your smash and prorates the follow-up combo heavily.

Z Assists

Assist A

Blazing Storm

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
850 All 28 10 +35
  • Tracks the opponent.
  • Good for neutral and combo extensions.

Remarkably high blockstun and relatively quick speed make this a great all-around assist. You'll probably be using this one the most because of how versatile it is.

Assist B

Too bad

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
450, 420 All 25 +29 Strike Guard Point
  • On hit, followup with a ground bounce.
  • Has guardpoint like 214S, making it a pseudo DP/barrier assist.

Remarkably good for the Gohans, as its guard point can stop people from Guard Cancelling air EX Legs. Otherwise decent as a pseudo-barrier like Android 17. In theory, it can be used to set up checkmate scenarios with command grabs using the guard point to cover the command grab and the hit to keep pressure afterwards.

Assist C

Deluxe Bomber

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
450×2, 350 All 60 [20] +33
  • Tracks the opponent.
  • On hit, adds a ground bouncing version of 236L.

Not really all that great considering his other options. It's decent as a tracking assist, but it also has all the drawbacks of a C assist without having an additional property like armor to prop it up.

Super Moves

Giant Storm

236L+M (Hold OK) or 236H+S (Hold OK)

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
2300 All 10+5 5 -21 9-20
  • Invulnerable from frames 9 to 20.
  • Minimum damage: 805

Nappa points two fingers into the air creating a big explosion that takes up most of the screen. If the button is held, the opponent will be sent in an arc behind Nappa.

Break Cannon

214L+M (Hold OK) or 214H+S (Hold OK)

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
4278 All 9+3 3 -24 1-15 Full
  • Values in [] are for the gut punch only.
  • Minimum damage: 1778 [608]
  • Gut punch only has hitstun if Smash! hasn't been used.
  • Advantage on hit: +44, enough for a safejump. L/M Saiba plant is 0, H Saiba is +5.

Nappa winds up for a big gut punch that, if it lands, sets him up to fire a huge laser out of his mouth. Has less utility than other level 3's due to the fact that he has to land the first punch for the followup. Invincible on startup like all level 3's. As of the Season 3 patch, the button can be held for Nappa to do just the punch and not the beam follow-up. The punch also becomes special cancelable, allowing Nappa to convert into saibaman combos and setups without any assists. Results in very high damage potential when used mid combo, and can turn reversal level 3 into a full setup rather than simple midscreen oki. Very resource intensive, but worth it in the right situation. A basic example of that kind of setup is 214[L+M] > microdash 5LLL, as if you're cornered you will corner them and be ready for a restand setup. Yeah, it's messed up, but it's all he has.

Colors

1Seasonal colors that can be unlocked at different times of the year.

External References

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