DBFZ/Tien

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Overview

Overview

One of the few people to have ever beaten Son Goku in a fight, Tien enters into the FighterZ ring as a character with some very scary tools up his sleeve. Much of Tien's gameplan is based around "sacrificing" resources to further increase his damage and knock out his opponents in a final, desperate blast. Tien's Tri-Beam Supers are well-known for the incredible amount of damage they can dish out, and his Neo Tri-Beam level 3 can be used as a full seven meter dump, allowing it to be the one of the highest damage individual super attacks in the entire game and can be almost certain death for your opponents. Tien's supers come with a steep cost, however- each Tri-Beam that Tien fires takes chunks out of his health, and Neo Tri-Beam in particular will tear through the triclopses' health like nobodies business... unless Tien is in Level 3 Sparking and/or Limit Break. In that case many of the side-effects of his Supers are not only drastically lessened, but the damage output is also amplified. As for his non-Tri-Beam Super, Farewell, Tien... can only be used once, and landing a hit with it will prevent him using Telekinesis and erases his B assist. Regardless it is the most powerful Super at full scaling, and these downsides are put in place because if it's power.

Outside of his supers, Tien is a straightforward character with a solid number of tools to help him to hold his own. He has some decent mix-up game and powerful oki while solo, (Telekinesis can put the opponent on block anywhere shortly after a sliding knockdown) and he offers a respectable amount of utility with his assists, each with their own utilities in neutral scrambles, blockstring safety, and combo game. His Dodon Ray special has the unique property of allowing Tien to fall to the ground while using it, making it a very irritating poke and letting Tien approach somewhat safely. And lastly, because Sparking! enables jump-cancelling during blockstrings, Air Volleyball Fist becomes a near-unreactable overhead using the Tiger-Knee motion and a great mix-up option.

If reading this hasn't been screaming at you to put Tien in the anchor slot, then let it be known that playing Tien outside of the anchor position is asking for trouble. Not only can he perform well enough on his own to survive without assists, but the health drain from his Tri-Beam Supers are near nonexistent when Limit Break and Sparking are activated. This means that a Point or Mid Tien will struggle to maximize his damage without either hurting himself too much or miss out on finishing opponents due to a lack of sufficient meter. Tien is built to be the last man standing on your team, and if you can succeed in accommodating for his penalties, you gain access to a truly frightening anchor.
Playstyle
Tien is a balanced, stalwart character that with resources, has insane damage potential with Super Moves.
Pros Cons
  • Solid Mix-ups: Has multiple quick lows, an overhead, a command grab, and special moves with guardpoint.
  • Super Damage: All his Supers boast among the highest minimum damage in the game even after scaling along with efficient meterburn options.
  • Upgrades: Limit Break and Sparking do a lot to mitigate the health penalties from Tri-Beams, and the latter unlocks j.236H as an instant overhead.
  • Assist Variety: A is good for neutral, B is nice in blockstrings and builds a little bar. Both are useful for combos.
  • Meter Hog: Unremarkable damage without bar, and unreasonable to place in a position outside Anchor.
  • Flawed Assists: A has very little blockstun and B has very poor tracking in neutral while dealing no damage.
  • White Bread: Tien's simplicity gets the best of him. His neutral, blockstrings, oki, and combos are very straightforward, sometimes to a detriment

Normal Moves

5L

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
5L 400 All 6 3 12 -3
5LL 500×2 All 9,7 3,3 17 -4
5LLL 100×8, 250 All U3+ 13 [1 (1)]×8, 1 19 -4
  • Larger range than average.
  • 6 frames.

  • Good forward momentum for long range confirms.
  • 2 hits, which also helps with confirms.

  • Gimmicky place to sneak in a command grab, but you can also sneak in a low with 236L/M.
  • Has enough blockstun to safely switch Tien out to another character while the move is still active.

5LLL is a standard fair LLL launcher, does 9 hits allowing more time to think through next step than LLL usually allows if you ended up mashing it out. Usually you got this by accident.

5M

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
700 All 9 3 17 -4
  • Good forward reach.
  • Reaches opponent on roundstart.

Excellent stagger pressure tool due to it's reach and frame advantage. Also a very consistent combo tool.

5H

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
850 /1000 All U1 13 4 24 -9
  • Has good horizontal reach.
  • Can link into 5L in the corner with Smash.

Mostly used in his optimal corner combos, otherwise does not see much play. Good as a blockstring tool and advances far forward.

5S

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
750 All 15 26 -5
  • Single projectile.

Good pressure tool due to it's frame advantage and leads to a mindgame. 5S > delay 5H will catch buttons, and 5S > 5L will reset your string for more pressure. Not all that great in terms of neutral, as Tien has stronger projectiles in the air anyway.

2L

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
400 Low 7 3 13 -4
  • Can chain into itself.

This normal can sometimes whiff the 2nd time after a specific air normal, or depending on the size opponent you're facing. Otherwise, a good pressure button and helps Tien get mixups with lockdown assists.

2M

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
700 Low 10 3 20 -4
  • Fast startup, but short range.
  • -4 now allowing for better staggers than before.

Punishes with this normal can be sometimes difficult due to it's short reach, but it gets the job done.

  • Incredibly active, making post vanish combos very easy to land.

2H

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
850 / 1000 All U1+ 12 3 28 -15
  • Frame 4 anti-air.
  • Combos into SD on Smash hit.

Tien's main and only ground anti-air. Can cancel into j.236L or Dodon Ray to stay safe if it is blocked.

6M

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
850 All 24 6 10 0
  • Universal overhead.

j.L

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
300×2 High [All] 6,3 2,2 15
  • Once a hit has been blocked, the remaining hit can be blocked low.

Both hits count towards scaling, and subtracting one of them can even enable slightly more damage early in a combo. Subsequently, should only be used late into a combo to mitigate the extra scaling.

j.M

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
700 High 9 5 17
  • Good air to air normal.

j.H

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
850 / 1000 High D1+ [D3+] 12 4 21

Not used much as a combo ender, as j.2H > j.236M combos without smash and will always result in a sliding knockdown on it's first use. If you don't want the sliding knockdown, j.2H > j.236L has you covered too. j.H's only real purpose is as a high damage jump-in.

j.S

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
750 All 15 27
  • Stops Air momentum
  • Has decent angle.
  • Has enough hitstun to combo into superdash and Dodon Ray.

j.2H

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
850 All U1+ 12 3 19
  • Combos into superdash on Smash hit.
  • Combos into j.236X on non-Smash hit.

Usually followed up by 236M for a sliding knockdown at the end of air combos. It's not fast enough for neutral use so you'll mostly see it in combos.

Special Moves

Volleyball Fist

236L/M/H

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
236L 700 Low 11 8 20 -5
236M 700 Low 21 12 20 -5 4-30 Guard, 1-30 ki blast
236H 1800 Throw D2 24 1 29 -5 4-28 guard
  • 236L performs a sliding low attack.
  • Press additional buttons on hit-confirm to extend the special.

The quick version of the Volleyball Fist. Useful for catching opponents off guard or spamming high attacks.


  • 236M strikes a pose, gaining guard point before doing a sliding low attack.
  • Press additional buttons on hit-confirm to extend the special.
  • Guard point does not activate on frame 1, but it’s very early.
  • Blocks projectiles, mid, low, DP and overhead attacks. loses to supers
  • Due to having guard point, this version will scale your combos and followups more than L version.
  • Reaches full-screen.
  • If used during your blockstring, it will block the opponents buttons if they attempt to mash out.

Guard point is active when Tien enters the pose and remains for the very beginning of the slide. If Tien is hit while his guardpoint is active it extends to cover the rest of the move, allowing him to slide through beams and other large attacks. due to the move being unpunishable on block, this makes 236M good for stagger pressure or calling out an opponents offense.


  • 236H is a short ranged command grab that costs half a bar.
  • Follow-up hits are automatic and cannot be vanished out of.
  • Stays same side.
  • Causes a sliding knockdown.
  • Scales like 236M.
  • Possesses a guardpoint like 236M, which blocks all the same types of attacks too.

An honest grab which is incredibly powerful thanks to its guardpoint, it can be used to create powerful conditioning on your opponent especially when combined with 236M and j.236H, making the only options to counter is a large read with level 3, or incredible patience to jump at the right time, ultimately forcing them to respect your blockstrings.

Volleyball Fist Follow-up 1

L/M Volleyball Fist > L/M/H on hit

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
236X > L 800 All 12 -5
236X > M 800 All 12 -5
236X > H 1200 All U1+ 12 -5
  • L/M switches side.
    • An important tool if you want to reposition yourself behind the enemy. Usually most useful if the "wall" behind you is closer than the one in front of you.
  • H leaves Tien enough time to land j.M.
    • By delaying button press so that Tien doesn't do Follow-up 2, you can start air combos with this. Very useful when you want to get a sliding knockdown with good oki, along with some relatively decent damage off a special move.

  • Damage depends on what the starter is. 236L will scale better and do more damage than 236M.
  • All version launches the enemy vertically and follows them into the air.
  • Pressing an additional button will cause Tien to slam the enemy to the ground.

Volleyball Fist Follow-up 2

Volleyball Fist Follow-up 1 > L/M/H on hit

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
236X > X > L 900 [1080] High 31
236X > X > M 900 [1080] High 31
236X > X > H 1800 [1980] High D1 35
  • L knocks the opponent straight down.
  • M knocks the opponent a little further away than the L version.
  • H knocks the opponent even further away into a sliding knockdown.
  • Using this after the H version of Follow-up 1 will keep Tien grounded for additional combos. Given that the cost for an EX special is now half of a bar instead of a full bar, and the damage done by this alone is considerable, it's probably worth going for this now.

  • Damage depends on what the starter is. Starts with 236L will do more damage than 236M.
  • If you time it perfectly on any version, it does extra damage and has Smash property.
  • [] is on just frame.

Air Volleyball Fist

j.236L/M/H

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
j.236L 1000 High 15 3 18
j.236M 1000 High D1 20 3 18 4-24 guard
j.236H 1300 High D1 17 3 18 4-14 guard
  • L causes a soft knockdown.
  • M causes a sliding knockdown.
    • Brings Tien higher in the air to hit, whiffs if opponent is directly in front of Tien.
    • Can link from j.2H.
    • Has a guardpoint on frame 4 which blocks overheads, lows, DP, projectiles, ki blasts and superdash. Loses to supers and 2H.
  • H causes a sliding knockdown.
    • Has a guardpoint on frame 4 like j.236M, which can block all of the same attacks.
    • Nearly unreactable overhead during Sparking! if you TK the move, but you can only continue pressure or use a Super if it lands since this immediately puts the opponent in sliding knockdown.

Being a decently sized attack and possessing a guardpoint, this move can be used as a dominant air option beating an opponents buttons outright, or it can be used in blockstrings as an overhead by TK'ing j.236H when in sparking!. Like 236X on the ground this move can be used to heavily condition your opponent, forcing them to respect your buttons rather than attempt to mash out.

Crane Strike

214L/M/H (Air OK)

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
214L 1300 High D1 24 2 24 -2
214M 1400 High D1 26 2 24 -2
214H 1500 High D1 24 2 25 -2
j.214L 1200 High D1 20 Until Landing 24 -2
j.214M 1300 High D1 24 Until Landing 24 -2
j.214H 1400 High D1 20 Until Landing 24 -2
  • Light version pops Tien back upwards on hit.
  • Medium version pops Tien foward on block, allowing for a potential high low mixup with airdash
    • j.214M crosses up on block if it hits high enough on the opponent, sometimes allowing for a left right mixup with airdash
  • Heavy version also pops tien foward on block, allowing the same mixup.
    • j.214H is also able to switch sides in the same way as j.214M
  • Causes a sliding knockdown.
  • Brings Tien higher in the air to hit, whiffs if opponent is directly in front of Tien.
  • All versions connect following j.S in combos, only whiffing if the combo is too long.
  • All versions are 2H'able making them unsafe without assist.

A useful overhead which can lead to mixups, it should be used sparingly as all versions are 2H'able on reaction. this can be used as you condition your opponent with guardpoints, in order to occasionaly steal turn or confuse them with a new attack. (still 2H'able).

Dodon Ray

236S (Air OK)

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
236S 900 All 19 24 25 -5
j.236S 900 All 18 24 31 -5
  • Pops up the opponent.
  • Despite only being 1 hit, this will still clash with other beams.

Dodon Ray while having a thin hitbox Tien can fall in the air while doing it making it a scary neutral tool (you can stop him from falling by holding down while doing the move).

Telekinesis

214S

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
214S 0 All 44 3 11 23 [42 on hit]
214S Fail 83
  • Tracks the opponent anywhere on screen. Deals very high hitstop and hitstun on hit.
  • Won't perform the move if Chiaotzu is still on screen or after he self-destructs.
  • Every third use will not work and will leave Tien vulnerable.
  • Beside the Ki gain on hit, normal calls also build 10% Ki gauge even on whiff and 25% on failed call. This special Ki gain is not affected by Ki gain penalty.
  • Like other special moves, can be cancelled into by normals.

On hit, can be converted into a solo combo anywhere on screen.

Can be used after every knockdown, but best at the corner.

Z Assists

Assist A

Dodon Ray

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
800 All 30 24 +20
  • Is very unique as a beam assist, since it pops the opponent up instead of sending them towards the wall, allowing for better midscreen confirms.
  • Allows for longer combos due to the single hit compared to other multi hitting beam assists.

Better for combos than other beam assists, but much worse for blockstrings. Generally the preferred assist, but there are characters who like the combo utility and blockstun of Assist B.

Assist B

Telekinesis

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
0 41/61 +40
  • Does 214S but unlike the point version, this assist doesn't fail every third use.
  • Builds 10% Ki Gauge each call. Is not affected by Ki gain penalty.
  • After Chiaotzu self-destructs, Tien does not attack and only shows up to build meter.

Similar to Gotenks A assist as it holds opponent in place, allowing for vast utility to expand combos full-screen, help get sliding knockdowns or meterless snapbacks, and fortify pressure with its high blockstun. Rather slow start-up and has worse tracking than his own 214S, so needs some labbing and getting used to.

Assist C

Volleyball Fist

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
1030 all 35 [20] +55
  • Blockstun C assist.
  • Tracks to the opponent.
  • Spikes the opponent towards you on hit.

Arguably the best of his assists. The tracking of Assist B may be better for some characters, but almost everyone can use a high-blockstun tracking assist.

Super Moves

Tri-Beam

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

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
236L+M 2400 All 13+4 3 38 -20 13-25
j.236L+M 2400 All 13+4 3 38 -20 13-25
236[L+M] 1699×2 All
j.236[L+M] 1699×2 All
  • Deals unrecoverable 750 damage to Tien. Tien cannot die from self damage, and can use this even at 1 HP.
  • Self damage decreases during Sparking or Limit Break, and becomes 0 with both activated (See here)
  • Minimum damage: 1032.

This is the second highest damaging Lv1 Super at max scaling, losing only to Goku's Kaioken x20DBFZ Goku KaiokenFinisherHS2.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
1+1
Recovery:
-
Advantage:
-42


  • Hold L/M/H/S during Tri-Beam's startup for this version.
  • L or M keeps the Tiens lined up on the same side, H or S shoots from both sides.
  • Minimum damage: 1426.

Can whiff sometimes on DHCs or high hitstun decay combos.

Neo Tri-Beam

214L+M (Air & Hold OK)

Version Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
214L+M 3600 All 17+3 3 85 -42 1-68
j.214L+M 3600 All 17+3 3 85 -42 1-68
214L+M > X 1000 All 35 3 85 -42
  • Holding L/M/H/S allows Tien to tack on additional damage at the cost of one meter per extension. Deals unrecoverable damage to Tien per use.
  • Self damage decreases during Sparking or Limit Break, and further decreases with both activated (See here)
  • Minimum damage: 1872, followed by 600 for every subsequent use.

The big one. Tracks the opponent and leaves Tien next to them. Deals a godly amount of damage with a lot of bar, which is accentuated greatly if you have Limit Break and/or Sparking. If you're at max scaling in a combo, however, you'll probably prefer going for Farewell, Tien..., unless it won't kill or you're going for style points, which is always a good option.

  • This move simply being in the game is a good enough excuse to run Tien in anchor sometimes, providing insane damage off of DHC's that you can use often if your team as a whole isn't too meter hungry.
  • You can also just use this as a reaction to almost anything to close out a match, including supers, as Tien is offscreen while this move is playing out.

Farewell, Tien...

214H+S

Damage Guard Smash Startup Active Recovery On-Block Invuln
3600 Throw 9+1 25 40 1-14
  • Travels in a straight horizontal line, level with the enemy when the move is initiated. Whiffs on crouching characters.
  • Won't come out if Chiaotzu is still doing Telekinesis. Chiaotzu also goes away if Tien is hit during the attack.
  • On hit, Telekinesis, B Assist, and this super become unavailable for the rest of the match.
  • Like other super moves, can be cancelled into by normals and special moves.
  • Minimum damage: 2610.

Absurdly high damaging combo ender but lacks the versatility of his other Supers.

On hit, plays a really long grieving animation after the explosion that doesn't freeze time, allowing Sparking opponents to regenerate their health. This along with the low raw damage makes the Super useless for damage if they survive.

Colors

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

External References

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