The final character joining the Street Fighter 5 launch roaster is newcomer F.A.N.G. He stands as the second-in-command at Shadoloo, with his power rivaled only by M. Bison. While the final Street Fighter 5 beta takes place this weekend, F.A.N.G is one of the few characters not playable. It’s unlikely we’ll get a chance to play as F.A.N.G before the launch of Street Fighter 5 on February 16, 2016, but we do have some early details on how the character plays.
At present F.A.N.G is a charge character. That means most of his special moves require you to charge back for two seconds, then press forward and the appropriate attack button. You may also have to charge down, then press up depending on the desired special move. As a zoning character that wants to keep you out, this isn’t a bad thing, but it should be noted that the game is not final and things could change just like how Necalli has changed from a charge character to circular motions and back throughout the course of the beta.
F.A.N.G’s primary form of attack is poison-based. He throws small poison balls at a variety of angles, but these aren’t normal projectile attacks that you may be accustomed to in Street Fighter. First and foremost, the poison balls do not have any hit stun. That means an opponent can walk through the projectiles without being phase at all. They will add the effect of poison and nothing more. In addition, the poison effect immediately stops if F.A.N.G is hit, which means adept players can use the lack of hit stun on the projectiles to punish F.A.N.G immediately if a mistimed poison ball is used, negating the effects completely.
While F.A.N.G’s normal poison ball projectile launches in an upward arc (similar to Dhalsim’s new projectiles), his V-Skill offers a slightly different option. The V-Skill (Nishodoku) shoots a slow-moving poison ball straight ahead like a normal projectile. You can use this in conjunction with his normal arcing poison balls to make it difficult for an opponent to safely approach F.A.N.G. In fact, his arcing poison balls even work well as an anti-air attack when properly timed.
F.A.N.G’s V-Trigger is called Dokunomu, which surrounds the character in a poison cloud that inflicts damage to anyone near him. This is similar to Reptile’s Noxious variation in Mortal Kombat X and should offer similar strategies. Expect to see F.A.N.G players activating V-Trigger as soon as they get an opponent trapped in the corner. This makes it far more difficult for the opponent to escape the poison cloud. Near the end of the round the poison cloud will also be effective in preventing an opponent from getting near F.A.N.G for fear of dying due to the damage from the poison cloud.
From what we’ve seen of the character, F.A.N.G has a decent amount of combos, although they aren’t particularly long in length unless you combo into his Critical Art. F.A.N.G’s game plan is to keep opponents out with his various poison projectiles, as he slowly drains their health. His combos don’t seem to be quite as damaging as some of the other characters, but the poison factor should make up for any damage he may be lacking.
If you need to check out strategies for Ryu, Ken or any of the other beta characters this weekend, be sure to head over to our Street Fighter 5 game hub! We’ll have more on Street Fighter 5 as the game approaches its February 16, 2016 launch on PlayStation 4 and PC.