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Hello everyone, this guide is written by me even if some players (RDF, LXD92, Muggshotter) gave me some advices to improve my gameplay as an Emperor player (and I thank them for that). This guide will focus on PvP (Player vs Player) builds and only that. So as I proceed in my guideline I'll give you explanations about why I choose this build or another in particular. Let's get started for those who are interested in playing Mateus (The Emperor). Here is a summary of what I'll talk about : Movesets Assists Set A : EX Depletion and SBS (Side By Side) build Set B : Assist Depletion and EX build Set C : EX Core build (optional) Tips I - Movesets Basic Abilities (Actions) - Supposing that the first abilities that appear in this list are equipped I'll tell you which ones you should have : Reverse Air Dash Free Air Dash (against another Emperor player to prevent him to fully cast Starfall or against Exdeath to prevent him to use Aerith's ground HP assist which is Planet Protector + Exdeath's Maelstrom) otherwise you can use Omni Air Dash or Reverse Air Dash Omni Ground Dash + Assist Gauge Up Dash (if you are using Free Air Dash) Ground Evasion Boost Midair Evasion Boost Evasion Boost Basic Abilities (Extra) - I'll only mention the most useful ones, the rest is up to you : Precision Evasion Counterattack Sneak Attack EX Critical Boost (EX build only even if it's obvious) EXP to Assist II - Assists - Yuna : She's the most useful assist for him in most cases because she can punish your enemies quickly and safely with a rare chance of being locked by your opponent. And on top of that she can't be locked by a LV2 assist change so you can still build your assist meter. She should be used in small stages such as Pandemonium - Top Floor for example because you have the time to place yourself and hit your opponent with Thunder Crest when he falls on the ground. Be careful : only use her when your opponent is in midair, not on the ground. Otherwise it will result in the wrong move (Ifrit) which cannot punish him at all. - Tidus : I think he's as quick as Yuna except that you should use him in larger stages such as Order Sanctuary for instance because Yuna Assist's air bravery attack will be too weak for the opponent to fall on the ground if he's close enough to the ceiling whereas Tidus Assist's air bravery attack will end up in a chase so you can perform a combo anyway. - Aerith : In my opinion she should only be used against Exdeath to prevent being hit by his famous combo " PP + Maelstrom " but it's only a short-term solution against him because a good Exdeath player will build assist meter way faster than you so he can do this again without you having your full assist meter to counter it unless you manage somehow to not let him have the time to do it. Other than that you can also use her against other characters if you want to bait them using Aerith's Holy (midair HP assist) but you don't really need that to succeed. - Jecht : If you are looking for extra bravery damage then this assist is for you. When your enemy is directly hit by Thunder Crest you can either land 2 Landmines before calling the assist and extend the combo by using another Thunder Crest ; or land 1 Landmine before calling your assist and throw 3 Landmines + another Thunder Crest if your opponent is beside a 2-corner wall or a 2-corner edge of a stage (see the video provided by Mericus below to have an idea). - Sephiroth : Sephy assist is also good for Emperor if you want damage, if you're getting air Flare hits -> floor-rush, you can throw in Mines during his ground assist and still get the chase; it's not as devastating as throwing 2-3x mines during Jecht, but he's harder to lock after a change = useful for someone like Emp who sux at protecting assist. Only thing is, comboing Flare off his ast chase is harder than with Tidus due to Flare's bad tracking; you have to be facing him before you initiate it else Flare will go totally wrong way - dash in or block before initiating the chase will solve this problem. (explanations & recommendation on Seph assist by Irae, an Emperor player) III - Set A : EX Depletion and SBS (Side By Side) build Use the CP glitch to be able to equip Piggy's Stick (see this thread to know how to http://dissidia.community/topic/19-ddffguide-equip-anything-without-using-cp-like-bartz-labyrinth-bug/) Seal of Lufenia set effect : EX Depletion +5% This build is used against anyone who can build EX Force and grab EX Cores because as I use SBS on this build my opponent will get any EX Force and have a full EX bar quickly as a result so I better have a good EX Depletion to prevent any EX Mode(s) or EX Revenge(s). The high bravery base is good to end matches quickier and the Bravery Orb with a sufficient amount of Boosters can negate the -80% Bravery Recovery from Piggy's Stick. Besides Battle Hammer is a must for reducing one's assist meter and since you expect your opponent to get hit by traps you can continue to use them without being dodge punished by his assist. The more Boosters, the more depletion you get, and that works for any Basic accessory equipped. Pros : Decent Assist Depletion Good EX Depletion High BRV base High BRV recovery (after a HP hit confirm) Excellent Assist gain and duration with SBS and TAO Cons : Low defence Empty EX Gauge because of SBS IV - Set B : Assist Depletion and EX build Use the CP glitch as mentioned above (III) for the appropriate equipment. Judgement of Lufenia set effect : Assist Depletion +15% This build is used against characters who generate low EX Force or/and who have a slow dash speed, this way I can grab EX Cores easily if I'm near them. Mateus' Malice allows you to have EX Intake Range +3m meaning that you can collect EX Force in a 3m radius around your character and his exclusive weapon offers better raw stats. Moreover, I prefer to keep Gluton (more EX Force gathered when being hit) and reasonable booster multipliers so I can still have a pretty decent EX Depletion while keeping a decent BRV damage thanks to the Earring accessory. Pros : Good EX Force generated Excellent Assist Depletion Decent EX Depletion High defence Cons : Lower assist building Lower assist gain V - Set C : EX Core build (optional) Use CP glitch as mentioned above (III) for the appropriate equipment. Soul of Yamato set effect : LUK+3 / Regen+20% / HP to BRV (you gain BRV if your HP is full) / EX Core Appearance Boost I would say that this build should only be used against Exdeath players if ever you have to fight him because of blind picks in case you're playing against him in a tournament. Even if this build does not drastically help you to beat any good Exdeath players it should nonetheless help you a bit for gaining more EX along with all dash boosts in order to collect EX Cores as the battle progresses. EX Breaker is here in case you can't allow yourself to grab EX Cores and Exdeath does because you want to be careful about his Aerith assist so if you succeed at hitting him then you have a chance to decrease his EX bar to 0. The difficulty is that this matchup is basically an assist meter race. And as I've said previously, any good Exdeath players will always have an advantage at this. To be honest I hope for any Emperor players (including me) to avoid this matchup at all cost, especially if you have to fight in a large stage. The only thing I can wish for you (if you think this matchup is likely to happen) is to pick the smallest possible stage and do everything you can to prevent PP + Mael (grab EX Cores if possible and be constantly close to Exdeath). Note : if you have an idea of which character your opponent likes to use in tournaments I'd suggest you to avoid the following ranged-characters matchups : Exdeath, Kefka, Ultimecia, Kuja. VI - Tips - Flare (ground) is good at tracking down your opponent even if it's slow so you can put some distance between you and him and set traps unless a character has a HP attack that can reflect the blue Flare, meaning that you'll have to reflect it with Bombard (ground BRV) so use it with caution in that case. - You always have to be right in or slightly under the Red Flare (midair) and have at least one Dreary Cell set in order to be as safe as possible in midair combat as well as ground combat (Thunder Crest + Red Flare + Dreary Cell) against any melee characters. - Using Dreary Cell without paying attention to your opponent's assist bar can be bad for you : they can punish you with a quick assist (Tidus or Yuna) so make sure you'll not be punished while using it. - Use Starfall as much as you can to build assist quickly by doing dodge cancels (basically perform a dodge right after Starfall, that way you can repeat the process right away). You can also try to hit your opponent with it if you ever have an opportunity to do so. Very important detail when playing The Emperor : go to the option menu and set the Camera Angle Lock to : On (camera constantly has character in-frame). If you can't have a focus on your character it will be difficult to see your traps because the camera will only have a focus on your opponent, not you. And since battles are usually played in aerial you'll likely have a view where your opponent is above you and in that angle you can barely see your traps, which is more than problematic. Hence you must have a look at your traps and be surronded by them because if you're misplaced, then anyone can find an opening and exploit it. This concludes my guide on The Emperor. I hope this helped you in your approach with him and don't forget : the purpose of this guide is first and foremost to gain knowledge and be familiar with the character. My builds are surely not the best ones, these are only recommandations for those who have not any idea on that matter. In other words you can adapt these builds to your liking depending on your playstyle.