Android 21 Guide
Android 21 is unique for the universe of Dragon Ball. She was created by Akira Toriyama, the author of the whole franchise, especially for Dragon Ball FighterZ. Not every day an anime-based game gets its own “exclusive” villain.
That’s great for the story. But does Android 21 have potential as a fighting game character?
She has very strong neutral tools and effective mix-ups. Her skill to copy abilities gives many great options in DBFZ matches. In general, Android 21 is a valuable member of various teams. Still, she lacks super effective defensive tricks. And she’s pretty dependent on resources.
Let’s take a closer look at Android 21 in this DBFZ guide.
Who’s Android 21?
The world of Dragon Ball needs villains. They are the biggest moving power for every hero (including Goku) to grow beyond any measures, becoming the strongest warriors on the cosmic level. Naturally, DBFZ needs a villain as well.
In this Majin form, Android 21 is precisely that villain. She seeks power for her irrational destructive ideas, and to get that power, she consumes mighty warriors, both good and evil. Android 21 can turn people into sweets to eat them and absorb their energy — exactly like in her in-game Super Move Sweet Tooth.
Actually, this hunger for might is a kind of disease. While being in her good form of Lab Coat, Android 21 tries to prevent herself from being evil. She invents various tricks, the best of which is to bring an outer-world soul (the player) to this action. That’s an excellent idea in fighting games storytelling!
The heroes don’t want to get consumed, and they demonstrate miracles of compromise. For a while, such personalities as Frieza and Cell work in one team with Goku and Piccolo. They create so many obstacles that Android 21 has to eat weaker clones.
Anyway, not only is the story of Android 21 significant for the DBFZ story mode, but also it’s pretty interesting. Treat yourself to playing this awesome adventure!
Playstyle of Android 21
This character combines a very strong neutral game with the tricky feature of coping abilities.
Her normals are mighty and very effective. Base your gameplan on them. Android 21’s neutrals allow her to dominate at a close range on the ground and in the air. Also, she has mighty projectiles to keep the pressure at a distance. Mix 2S and 5S to beat ki blasts of your opponents. Neutral tools of Android 21 are even considered one of the best in the entire game.
But yeah, that might be insufficient for shining bright in Dragon Ball FighterZ! Android 21 has very special moves — Connoisseur Cut (236S and j.236S) and Aerial Connoisseur Cut (214S and j.214S). With them, she copies/steals/absorbs an ability of her opponent. Then, that move can be activated by the same input.
You need to spend some time in training and battles to understand this feature properly. Android 21 has four slots right above her ki meter. Each represents a version/input of Connoisseur Cut. When a slot is filled, it means you can activate this stolen ability.
So, what abilities can be copied? All the DBFZ characters are divided into four groups. Each group gives Android 21 two predetermined moves.
- Earthlings, blue icon — Kamehameha (236S) and Solar Flare (214S);
- Saiyans, yellow icon — Consecutive Energy Blast (236S) and Sticky Energy Blast (214S);
- Androids, green icon — Explosive Energy Blast (236S) and Barrier Sphere (214S);
- Aliens, purple icon — Homing Energy Blast (236S) and Sonic Warp (214S).
Android 21 can use every ability only once. It’s possible to activate them one after another by repeating S in the input — they follow each other pretty well.
Heavy Total Detonation Ball clears the queue of those icons, so Android 21 should repeat the copying. But with that, 236H gains extra power with every ability it “consumes.”
Connoisseur Cut significantly strengthens the long-range tools of Android 21. Sure, these additional options in the movies expand your active arsenal, but also, they make the character a bit more complicated for learning.
Probably to compensate for that, her pressuring options are not too difficult. If you have even basic experience with Dragon Ball FighterZ, you know what to do with her neutrals. For example, you should definitely go for mixups with j.M or 2L.
Android 21’s normals are her strong side; she has many very good buttons.
- 2L hits low, and not every DBFZ character has such an option among their light attacks. 2L has 7 frames of startup and can be chained into itself. The range is not that big, but the speed makes this attack great for mixups and pressure.
- 5M covers a surprisingly big distance, and it’s an excellent tool to check opponents or punish their whiffs. It’s only -6 on block.
- 2M can follow 5M in strings and combos. It has a special variant, 3M, that increases the range. The move has relatively good tracking. It can be followed by a projectile, 5H, 5S, or Vanish. Use 2M and especially 3M as a full-screen check.
- j.M is a long-reaching air-to-air normal. You can use it as an overhead, and with j.L, you get two overheads in a row. Also, j.M is effective for cross-up.
- 5H comes with a movement forward, so it helps you approach the opponent and activate follow-ups. It is a good combo filler and has some usage in strings.
- 2H is remarkable for its big hitbox, vertical and horizontal. It’s a very good anti-air tool. Still, Android 21’s 2H has a long recovery on whiff. You can string into it from S attacks.
- j.H doesn’t have a knockdown effect; that’s why this attack can be used as a combo filler. j.H has a big range. Hitboxes are spread around Android 21, making j.H a good oki tool. j.H can be used for mix-ups as it’s not clear for the opponent whether you go for a cross-up.
- 5S — Android 21s ki blasts are just solid projectiles with pretty universal usage as for DBFZ. It’s fast, and you can use it to make other moves safe.
- 2S shoots three projectiles, which deal significant damage together. It’s not easy to land all three, but they cover a big area, so your opponent will have difficulties avoiding the hit. It’s a great zoning tool for Android 21. Use 2H if the opponent decides to Super Dash you. j.S is a more risky attack due to its longer recovery. With 2S, Android 21 moves a bit backward, and with j.S, the movement is forward.
Let’s take a look at Android 21’s Special Moves.
- 214L/M/H, Hors d’Oeuvre Stab, is highly damaging, and you can end combos with it. The move is safe on block (all versions). The Stab might be risky as the opponent can 2H it. The Medium version keeps a nice balance of speed and damage, so it has more usage than L and H.
- 236L/M/H, Total Detonation Ball, can be used to stop projectiles as it beats normal and clashes with command ones. The Light and Heavy versions shoot forward, while 236M moves slightly up, so it’s anti-air. Use H mindfully as it resets the copied abilities — but it becomes stronger, sure, and gets more plus on block. Total Detonation Ball can start combos if you use Vanish after it.
- 236S, j.236S and 214S, j.214S, which are Connoisseur Cut and Aerial Connoisseur Cut, are command grabs that copy abilities of the opponent. Beyond this absorb feature, Connoisseur Cut is not really usable as Android 21 pushes the opponent a bit too far away, so it might be difficult to continue pressure. In general, Connoisseur Cut is rather situational.
Android 21 has one Level 1 and two Level 3 Supers.
- 236L+M/H+S, Photon Wave, is a Level 1 Super. It’s interesting because of the area it covers. But that’s only if the opponent is on the ground, and they can avoid damage in the air. If your opponent is too high for this Super, use Hors d’Oeuvre Stab to smash them down. It’s easy to combo into Photon Wave. The move is fast and invulnerable on frames 9-18.
- 214L+M/H+S on the ground, Sweet Tooth. This Level 3 Super is a reference to the story mode. Android 21 turns the opponent into something sweet and eats that. Not only is this cinematic, but also it restores a bit of blue health for Android 21, which is rather cool than practical. One of the good things about this Level 3 is that Android 21 moves closer to the opponent after the eating animation, so you have many options for continuing the pressure. The move is invulnerable from frame 1. The damage is not that big, though. With Sweet Tooth, Android 21 fills up all four slots for stolen abilities, and her next Heavy Total Detonation Ball becomes super powerful.
- 214L+M/H+S in the air, Excellent Full Course. With this Level 3 Super, Android 21 deals good damage, but it’s tricky to combo into it. There’s a way to activate Excellent Full Course on the ground — press 21478L+M/H+S to make Android 21 jump and then activate the attack sequence. Invulnerability is also from frame 1.
However great the feature of absorbing abilities sound on paper, it definitely has some downsides in actual matches. Yeah, you need to put some additional effort into practicing all the variants of those abilities, And above that, the whole idea lacks consistency and reliability. Most of the other moves/attacks are always in your arsenal. You just know it’s there, and whenever there is a moment, you activate the thing. Sure, Supers require energy, but you gain it within general fights.
You need to take steps to have that exact ability — for one single usage. And you should clearly understand what type of moves your Android 21 has stolen. Even more practice is required.
This section gives you additional information on the topic through short explanations for each ability.
Blue, from Humans
- Kamehameha, (j)236S — it’s a solid beam, similar to other Kamehameha in the game.
- Solar Flare, (j)214S — attacking energy surrounds Android 21, so it’s a decent anti-air to stop Super Dashes. It can be used in combos, for example, after Vanish.
Yellow, from Saiyans
- Consecutive Energy Blast, (j)236S — it’s a ki blast attack from the air. The opponent can use Super Dash against it. The attack might be helpful for long-range pressure.
- Sticky Energy Blast, (j)214S — this command grab can be avoided by crouching, so keep that in mind. Its advantage is being invulnerable to air attacks (head) from frame 1.
Green, from Androids
- Explosive Energy Blast, (j)236S — Android 21 shoots two energy spheres, and they explode in a big area. The attack is +10-11 on block. The opponent might use Super Dash, so be aware of that. And be aware of the Super Dash bait potential of this attack.
- Barrier Sphere, (j)214S — the protective barrier around Android 21 can absorb projectiles. If you use Hors d’Oeuvre Stab right after it, the character will keep the barrier during the dive kick.
Purple, from Aliens
- Homing Energy Blast, (j)236S — the energy sphere is slow, but it has tracking. It opens some additional opportunities for your pressure.
- Sonic Warp, (j)214S — this is an excellent teleportation tool. Android 21 appears right behind the opponent, and it’s a great way to bring your mixups to the scene.
A Assist of Android 21 is Total Detonation Ball. This projectile helps you start combos, and also, it’s good separately. As an assist, Total Detonation Ball copies most characteristics of the Light special move. It’s a solid versatile choice.
B Assist is Hors d'Oeuvre Stab. It’s better for close-range usage. The hitstun and blockstun are longer than those of A Assist.
C Assist is Snack Time. It applies a long blockstun, having +15 on block, so your active character has a chance to cover the gap between them and the opponent to start short-range pressure. C Assist can be used to extend combos.
Android 21’s C Assist is pretty good. Consider it if you are ok with waiting long for your assist to be active again. For most players, A Assist is recommended.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Even in the neutral game, the range of Android 21’s Medium attacks is impressive. This is one of the strengths of this character, as you have good options for opening/punishing the opponent. In addition to that, she’s also effective at both close and long range.
This character has effective midscreen pressure tools. Android 21 can pretty easily find an opening as the mixup options are her strong side.
Connoisseur Cut can be very dangerous in skilled hands, but it’s both an advantage and disadvantage for Android 21. For beginners, it might be difficult to build their strategy with such an unusual mechanic. And even experienced players need to put additional effort into managing this resource of copied abilities.
Android 21 is pretty good at dealing damage to her opponents, especially in the corner. Still, her moveset lacks sliding knockdown, and that limits her midscreen pressure, making her assist-dependent.
Android 21 can’t be proud of her defense — nothing extraordinary, just some general stuff.
Android 21 in DBFZ Team Composition
You might benefit from playing Android 21 in the Anchor position. Here, she has an advantage over most other FighterZ 1v1 as her Medium attacks reach farther.
Also, Android 21 is decently effective even without assists, and that's an obvious plus for Anchors. You can use her as a Mid character as well.
As for other characters in your team, feel free to experiment with anyone from the roster. Android 21 is versatile, so she will support your decision from the Anchor or Mid positions.
How to fight against Android 21
Android 21 is not an easy opponent, and still, you can use some of her weaknesses. First of all, be aware of the excellent range of her Mediums and don’t fall into this trap.
At close range, this character doesn’t have a devastating advantage because her Lights are struggling against Ls of the opponents. Use this chance!
Keep an eye on Android 21’s slots to know what she has in her pockets. It’s a good idea to take your time and visit the Training mode with Android 21 to understand what abilities she gets specifically from your characters.
You can use these blockstrings with Android 21:
- 2L -> 5LL -> 2M -> 5M -> 5H -> 214L (or 214M)
- 2LL -> 2M -> 5M -> 5H -> 214L
- 2L -> 5LL -> 2M -> 5M -> 5S -> 5H -> 214L
- 2L -> 5LL -> 2M -> 5M -> 5H -> 5S -> 5M -> 2M
- 2L -> 5LL -> 2M -> 5M -> 5H -> 5S -> 2M -> 5M -> 5S -> 5M -> 2M ->...
- 2L -> 5LL -> 2M -> 5M -> 5H -> 5S -> 236L (or 214M)
- 2L -> 5LL -> 2M -> 5M -> 5H -> 5S -> 236S
- 2L -> 5LL -> 2M -> 5M -> 5H -> 5S -> 214S
- 2L -> 5LL -> 2M -> 5M -> 5H -> 2S -> j.214M
Android 21 Combos in Dragon Ball FighterZ
This character has impressive combo potential thanks to different abilities she can absorb. You definitely have the freedom to experiment and coin your unique combinations.
Here are some examples.
Midscreen combos of Android 21 in DBFZ
- 2M -> 5M -> (j)214S
- 3M -> 5S -> Vanish
- 2M -> 5M -> jump cancel M(LL)2H -> SD -> j.MLL2H -> jump cancel LLS -> j.214L/M/H or j.236S
- 2M -> 5M -> j.MLL -> 2H -> SD -> j.MLL -> 2H -> jump cancel LLS -> j.236S/L/M
- 2M -> 5M -> j.MH -> 2H -> SD -> j.MH -> 2H -> jump cancel LLLS -> j.14S/L/M
- 2M -> 5M -> SD -> j.LL -> 2H -> jump cancel LLS -> j.236S/L/M
- 5H -> delay SD -> airdash j.M -> dash jump -> j.LLL2H -> jump cancel LLS -> j.214L/M/H or j.236S
- 5H -> delay SD -> airdash j.M -> dash jump -> j.LML -> jump cancel LL -> j.214S
- SD -> j.LL -> j.214H -> 665L(it should whiff) LL -> SD -> j.LL2H -> j.LLS ->j.214L/M/H or j.236S
- 236S~H -> 665L(it should whiff) LL
- 3M -> 5S -> Vanish
- Vanish > 665L(it should whiff) LL -> SD- > j.LL2H -> j.LLS -> j.214L/M/H or j.236S
Corner Combos of Android 21 in DBFZ
- j.214S/j.236S~M -> Vanish -> 2M -> 214S
- j.214S/j.236S~M -> Vanish -> 236S
- j.214S/j.236S~L -> Vanish -> 66DR
- 2M > 5M -> jc.MH2H- > SD -> j.MH2H -> jc.LLLS -> j.214L/M/H or j.236S
- 5H -> delay SD -> j.M -> delay j.H -> jump -> j.LLL2H -> jc.LLLS -> j.214L/M/H or j.236S
- 2M -> 5S -> slight delay 5H, 2L -> 5H -> 5S -> SD, j.M, delay j.H -> jump -> j.LLL2H -> jc.LLLS -> j.214L/M/H or j.236S
- 2M -> 5S -> 5H, 2L -> 5H -> 5S -> SD, j.M, delay j.H -> jump -> j.LLL2H -> jc.LLLS -> j.214L/M/H or j.236S
- 2M -> 5S -> 214M -> 5LLL -> SD -> j.MH2H -> jc.LLLS -> j.214L/M/H or j.236S
Android 21 is traditionally high on different DBFZ Tier Lists, and you can see many esports professionals using her at top-level tournaments. It’s a character worth putting effort into — of course, you should enjoy Android 21 in general to add her to your team.