DNF Duel: Kunoichi Guide

DNF Duel: Kunoichi Guide

Quick Links

  • Kunoichi Overview
  • Kunoichi Special Moves
  • Kunoichi MP Special Moves
  • Kunoichi Awakening Skill And Effect

Every game needs a ninja character, and Kunoichi fills that role perfectly in DNF Duel. Everything from Substitution Jutsu that replaces her body with a log to catch her opponents off-guard to using Naruto-esque hand seals to cast powerful Ninjutsu had everyone falling in love with the character's design ever since the game's first beta.

Kunoichi thrives at laying down suffocating amounts of pressure and keeping it there, using her Ninjutsu, speed, and deceptive abilities to cross her opponents up, making them constantly guess which direction she's approaching. As the game's ninja, she passes with flying colors and is far and away one of the best-designed characters DNF Duel has to offer. Though she can be slightly jarring to pick up in a game where everyone is maxed-out to eleven, she can dominate the arena in competent hands.

Kunoichi Overview

Kunoichi expertly blends the strengths of a rushdown fighter with a pressure/mix playstyle and does in style as a ninja. While not the most complex character to pick up in the game, Kunoichi has a surprising amount of depth, making things a bit difficult for complete newcomers to the genre. However, it's nothing too drastic, and with a bit of practice and experience under the belt, you will be a Splendid Ninja.

The ability to cast Ninjutsu to summon explosive toads, fire twisters, and more is infinitely satisfying. It allows you to keep applying pressure as you look for your chance to strike and open your opponent up. Kunoichi's biggest weakness is her lack of range in her normals, which can spell trouble against some of the genuinely ridiculous characters in the game, such as Swift Master or Launcher. Her Specials will help overcome this to an extent, but you will still need to close the gap and execute your plan to make any use of them, which is why we're hesitant to give her the "Beginner Friendly" seal of approval. Still, all things considered, Kunoichi is an incredible choice if you love her aesthetic or playstyle.

As always, before we throw you into the deep end, we would like to quickly go over the general terminologies and notations of DNF Duel, so you don't come across something like "5S" and have no earthly idea what that means. If you're new to the game and genre, we strongly urge you to give the table below a quick look before moving on!

DNF Duel Notations

Command NameCommand Display
Standard AA
Standard BB
SkillS
Mana SkillMS
Awakening SkillAS
GuardG
Down Back1/⭩
Down2/⭣
Down Forward3/⭨
Back4/⭠
Neutral5
Forward6/⭢
Up Back7/⭦
Up8/⭡
Up Forward9/⭧
Jump


Jump will always refer to any of the three "Up" commands unless specified otherwise.

789/⭦⭡⭧

Kunoichi Special Moves

Every character in DNF Dual possesses two types of Special Moves: Normal Skills and Mana Skills. This section will cover all of Kunoichi's Normal Specials, which are beefy actions that (usually) don't require any sort of gauge or MP to execute. Normal Skills are here to help you get to the stuff that costs Mana and allow you to set up combos, block strings, or extend ongoing combos. This is a crucial part of any character's Command List, and having a general understanding of how everything works will allow you to start planning and testing out combos of your own and building off what's already there. It's neat stuff, and Kunoichi has many ways she can approach most situations!

Flame Cut

Flame Cut is the first Special Skill we'll kick things off with as it will be one you rely on quite frequently to chain into other actions. This is her 5S skill and has her perform two swift and decisive slashes with her kunai knives. This move is particularly good because you can cancel into another Special Move after the first or second hit, allowing you to launch into a whole mess of things depending on which route you want to take.

Typically, you will almost always cancel out of the second kunai hit, but it's all situational and is something you will develop the sense for after a bit of playtime. The most common actions you can chain Flame Cut into are: Ninpo: Log Clone, Flying Squirrel, or a standard jumping slash with either A or B. Additionally, if you are close enough, you can cancel into your Toad Oil Bomb Mana Skill. As far as Normal Special Moves go, Flame Cut is a sharp and powerful tool that you should always try weaving into your attack strings!

Rising Cut

Rising Cut is the next Special Move we'd like to focus on. It has loads of potential due to its unique properties and sneaky mechanics that allow Kunoichi to take advantage of clueless or overly aggressive opponents. Not only is Rising Cut a phenomenal anti-air, but you can perform Kunoichi's double-jump on recovery since you recover mid-air, which opens the door for a whole bunch of whacky stuff. This action is also her 2S skill, making it easy to perform if you're holding down back and see your enemy jump in.

This freedom of being able to do pretty much whatever you feel like in the air after using Rising Cut means you can launch into air normals, Kunoichi's Kunai Throw or Flying Squirrel, or even bait the enemy's reaction by double jumping then swiftly capitalizing on their eagerness. The only downside of this Special Move is it's not a traditional Dragon Punch and lacks invincibility frames, making it a poor defensive option.

Kunai Throw


Are you truly an anime ninja if you don't hurl kunai at your enemy with blinding speed and accuracy? Kunoichi's Kunai Throw is a decent way to control spacing and manage the general flow and pace of the match. This is Kunoichi's 6S and has her throw three kunai knives ahead that travel the entire screen length. Again, this is the ideal tool to keep your opponent at bay as you try to plan your next course of action. It won't be your go-to in most situations but can come in clutch in those low-health, end-of-the-round type situations.

Additionally, Kunoichi's Jump S will have her perform a jumping Kunai Throw, which sees her throw the three kunai knives downward at an angle, with all of them spread out to cover a wide area. The jumping version of this action acts the exact same way the grounded version does, so use both in the same manner!

Ninpo: Log Clone

Substitution Jutsu! Or, Ninpo: Log Clone, as it's called here, is Kunoichi's teleporting ability executed with the 4S input. As covered already, Ninpo: Log Clone is primarily used as a way to extend your combo after using Flame Cut. Still, it also has other substantial uses, giving you ways to keep putting unrelenting pressure on your opponent, especially if they are in a block stun in the corner.

For starters, if your opponent is cornered, Ninpo: Log Clone will place Kunoichi above them, giving you a free overhead if they are blocking via the down back command. Furthermore, suppose your opponent has the Burning Stigma effect applied to them (covered in the MP Special Moves section). In that case, Kunoichi will teleport behind them, allowing her to catch them off guard or summon in more chaos to overwhelm her target. Ninpo: Log Clone is an excellent ability to enforce pressure and gain the upper hand, but avoid using it to get in or close the gap on your opponent, as the ability is easily telegraphed and punishable on whiff.

Flying Squirrel

The last of Kunoichi's Normal Special Moves is Flying Squirrel, performed with the input Jump 2S. With this action, Kunoichi hurls a bomb at the ground at a slight angle, knocking opponents on the floor down and pushing herself backward in the air. While you can use this in the same manner as the air version of her Kunai Throw, we suggest only using it as a way to end aerial combos or if you think you will need the extra pushback it provides to avoid an anti-air or to create distance. Additionally, this can be paired with her Flame Tornado (covered below) to increase the overall damage output of the combo.

Kunoichi MP Special Moves

Time to start cooking with fire with Kunoichi's MP Special Moves, which are her intense playstyle's heart and soul. Mana Skills are part of everyone's kit in DNF Dual and are resource-based actions that can push you to victory if you manage them properly. However, your MP Gauge will dictate how many MP Special Moves you can perform in a specific window, forcing you to let it regenerate if you want to avoid going into an exhausted state. Being in an exhausted state slows the recovery time of your MP and makes it so you cannot use any MP Skills. If the resource management didn't tip you off already, Mana Skills are extraordinarily powerful, and Kunoichi has some of the best in the game, which we will now go over!

Burning Stigma

Burning Stigma is a debuff that Kunoichi applies to her opponent via any of her Mana Skills. Burning Stigma will explode a few seconds after being implied and deal 50 damage to the target. This debuff is extraordinary as it gives Kunoichi the chance to keep pressure applied even when her turn has ended or maintain pressure in urgent situations. The only way the opponent can negate taking damage from Burning Stigma is by blocking before it explodes or landing a hit on Kunoichi. Both force their hand into making a timely decision, allowing you to effectively regain control of the encounter.

Fire Art: Fireball

Fire Art: Fireball is an excellent poke that costs 40 MP and allows Kunoichi to launch into practically any combo string, depending on her positioning. While Fire Art Fireball is an incredible ability in its own right, holding the action turns it into Nin-Bound Fire Art: Fireball, which buffs nearly all aspects of the Mana Skill.

Nin-Bound Fire Art: Fireball is plus on block by two frames, covers a much greater distance than its un-held counterpart, and even deals more damage. And, if that wasn't enough for you, this version of the attack costs less Mana, coming in at 35 MP. However, it has a slightly longer cast time, meaning you will have to use it cautiously, but the risk might be worth the reward in most situations. To activate Fire Art: Fireball, execute the 5MS input, and hold the input to get its Nin-Bound version!

Heavenly Fire Blast

Kunoichi leaps high into the air before tossing three explosives towards the ground one after another with her Heavenly Fire Blast Mana Skill. After exploding, the projectile will expand back towards its starting point, damaging anything in its path. This action costs 60 MP and can deal up to 180 damage if all three explosives hit the target.

Heavenly Fire Blast also has an upgraded version if its input is held, turning it into Nin-Bound Heavenly Fire Blast, which has Kunoichi toss three explosives at once instead of one after another. Due to throwing every explosive at once, this version has a much larger hitbox and covers a broader area. The charged version can also be chained into a 9A standard attack/combo. Due to throwing the same amount of bombs, this MP Skill also costs 60 MP!

Some Mana Skills in DNF Duel have motion inputs, which will let you regenerate your Mana slightly faster when executed. For the Heavenly Fire Blast, you can either use the standard 2MS input or the 623MS (⭣⭨⭢MS) motion input.

Flame Tornado

Flame Tornado is one of Kunoichi's strongest MP Special Skills as it forces her opponent to act fast or be forced into a block stun, giving her ample time to close the gap and capitalize on the situation. This action will allow Kunoichi to apply mix-ups effortlessly and launch into combos. But, the most crucial thing to know about the Flame Tornado is that it is OTG okay, meaning it can hit knocked down opponents, which is beyond insanity. However, it does have a high Mana cost with 90 MP but deals a whopping 158 damage to make up for it.

And, like the previous two entries, Flame Tornado has an enhanced version if you hold its input, transforming it into the Nin-Bound Flame Tornado. This version has a much higher hitbox than its un-held counterpart and will traverse the entire screen length. While it shares the same 90 MP cost, it has a longer startup time and deals 216 damage as a countermeasure.

Some Mana Skills in DNF Duel have motion inputs, which will let you regenerate your Mana slightly faster when executed. For the Flame Tornado, you can either use the standard 6MS input or the 236MS (⭣⭨⭢MS) motion input.

Toad Oil Bomb

Another powerful Mana Skill of Kunoichi's is her ability to summon a giant toad with Toad Oil Bomb. This action costs 70 MP and will drop the firey toad into the arena above Kunoichi, having the chance to hit enemies on its way down before promptly shooting a giant fireball out of its mouth that deals excessive damage. Unlike some abilities in DNF Duel, the Toad Oil Bomb remains in play even if Kunoichi gets hit.

And, as you probably guess, the Toad Oil Bomb has an upgraded version accessed when holding the input in, granting you the Nin-Bound Toad Oil Bomb. This version shares the same properties as the un-held version. However, instead of summoning the toad on your position, you call it in directly where the enemy is, forcing them into making a split-second choice, allowing you to follow up in many ways.

Some Mana Skills in DNF Duel have motion inputs, which will let you regenerate your Mana slightly faster when executed. For the Toad Oil Bomb, you can either use the standard 4MS input or the 214MS (⭣⭩⭠MS) motion input.

Flying Air Shuriken

Perhaps the best way to overcome those pesky characters with armored attacks is via Kunoichi's Flying Air Shuriken Mana Skill, which costs an excellent 50 MP. This is an air-based MS that has Kunoichi toss several flaming shurikens towards the ground beneath her in a cone pattern, having each explode as they reach the ground, counting as separate hits if they all make contact. Flying Air Shuriken is an excellent way to end specific combos, break through armor, or even maintain pressure.

Yup, you guessed it once more, the Nin-Bound Flying Air Shuriken exists and is accessed via holding in its input. The 50 MP cost is the same as the non-held version, but its damage is significantly increased due to Kunoichi hurling three sets of flaming shurikens at the ground instead of one, leading to mass destruction, chaos, and damage in their wake. However, the trade-off is this version takes slightly longer to cast.

Some Mana Skills in DNF Duel have motion inputs, which will let you regenerate your Mana slightly faster when executed. For the Flying Air Shuriken, you can either use the standard Jump MS input or the Jump 214MS (Jump ⭣⭩⭠MS) motion input.

Kunoichi Awakening Skill And Effect

And last and certainly not least, we have Kunoichi's Awakening Skill and Passive Effect, which is DNF Duel's "comeback mechanic" of sorts, offering the severely wounded an opportunity to perform a devastating action with a flashy cutscene. Every character enters their Awakened State when reaching 30 percent health remaining, which enables their one-time-use Awakening Skill and activates their Passive Effect.

The "Sword of Kusanagi" is Kunoichi's Awakening Skill, which has her summon a flaming greatsword from a Ninjutsu Summoning Circle before swiftly slicing through her oponent with it, creating nothing but an inferno hellscape in its path, dealing 400 damage to her target. While a genuinely epic sight to take in, this Awakening Skill should only be canceled into during a combo as its range is incredibly short, and its wind-up is very predictable and well telegraphed.

Let's wrap up this entire thing with Nin Boost, Kunoichi's Passive Effect that becomes active whenever she drops to 30 percent health. Nin Boost makes all Nin-Bound Mana Skills cost five less MP and increases the speed of her binding Nin by ten frames, which makes her endgame incredibly strong as she can summon much more held-versions of her Mana Skills than previously allowed, and at a faster speed.

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