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Guilty Gear Strive"s release is nearly upon us, and based on its open-betas, Arc System Works" intense action, beautiful graphics, and unparalleled online experience are all positioning it as the best fighting game of the year. The positive press earned from the game"s many qualities has not only turned the attention of gamers everywhere onto the formerly obscure Guilty Gear series but also legitimized it as one of the biggest names in the genre.
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But as many of you already know, Strive is more than just your average fighting game, it"s an anime fighting game. So with that in mind, it"s fair to say that Guilty Gear deserves a discussion on its playable characters" power levels, just like all the best fighting anime.
This mysterious servant of the being known as That Man proves the potency of pumpkin power with Halloween-themed abilities that have shocked even the strongest fighters of the Guilty Gear universe.
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But like many characters in the series, Jack-O" has more than just raw power, as her abilities also include summoning an army of magical minions to do her bidding and can comprehensively analyze people or machinery. She also has a Deadpool-esque healing factor and can, in time, recover from any wound that is not instantly fatal.
Jack-O"s fellow servant of That Man one-ups her healing factor by being completely immortal. Figuring out a placement for Raven gets a bit difficult beyond that, though. While his destructive potential is undeniably high, most of Raven"s powers lie in the realm of spatial manipulation and such reality-altering abilities are difficult to measure.
The full extent of Raven"s powers remains up for speculation, but we know his mastery of space is strong enough to defeat others with similar powers like Faust, as seen in the Guilty Gear X Lightning the Argent novel.
Although Dizzy"s kind heart has been said to stop her from reaching her full potential strength, you wouldn"t know that by looking at her achievements. Her Gear body has shrugged off a 20,000-foot fall (just under 6,100 meters), survived powerful Guilty Gear mainstays like Ky and her mother Justice, and transformed itself into monstrous forms.
These transformations come courtesy of Dizzy"s two guardians Necro and Undine, who live in her wings and can keep fighting on her behalf even if she"s knocked unconscious. Dizzy is not a Gear to be taken lightly.
Like Raven, Axl"s reality-bending powers are hard to quantify. His martial arts expertise and fire magic are elevated by his manipulation of time and space, but the efficacy of his temporal shenanigans has been consistent only in its inconsistency.
He starts off unable to control his time-slipping, only to retroactively learn he was controlling it the whole time on a subconscious level but didn"t learn how to do so consciously until -Revelator- and then later was implied to have lost his powers. It"s not clear how to quantify Axl"s strength, but whatever it is it probably wouldn"t be anything to sneeze at.
Most of the characters featured thus far have had power levels that are somewhat unclear, but I-No"s is the least clear of all. Not much is known about this hard-rocking witch, in fact. She"s the third servant of That Man alongside Raven and Jack-O", has reality-altering powers that rival and debatably surpass those of Axl, and uses an electric guitar for devastating attacks of both the physical and magical variety, but that"s about it.
Even her Guilty Gear XX bio doesn"t know anything about her, simply consisting of the word "UNKNOWN!!" repeated ad nauseam. She has been implied to be capable of erasing people from reality completely if she cares to, though. And while that"s yet to be seen, her powers are enough to at least justify sixth place.
With Judgment"s strength, there"s finally no ambiguity. He"s the king of hell, final boss of Guilty Gear Judgment, and has such powerful magic that he can effortlessly shred holes into the dimensional fabric of reality.
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Although Judgment was ultimately defeated, his full power was implied to be unstoppable, hinting that he only lost due to lacking the experience to fully tap into his incredible magical potency. If Judgment ever comes back, you can expect to see him move up a few ranks.
Guilty Gear"s main good guy wouldn"t be able to fight off as many superhumans and reality-destroying monsters as he has without being pretty tough in his own right. His incredible Gear power, powered-up dragon install form, and self-designed Junkyard Dog Mk III weapon have all made Sol powerful enough to make mincemeat out of his fellow Gears, even ones the size of Mount Everest.
But the series protagonist has the resilience to match his destructive power too, as evidenced by the time I-No killed his past self only for the present-Sol to remain alive by sheer will alone, despite the obvious time paradox.
It should be well established by now that the Gears tend to be obscenely powerful, so the fact that Justice is not only ungodly strong even by the standards of her race, but has the power to control almost all of its other members to boot, should explain why she"s so strong.
She barely even needs them, though, considering she"s a one-woman army in her own right, able to obliterate all of Japan in a single blast from her gamma ray. Though she was defeated by Sol, she was stated to be in a weakened state at the time, meaning she could be capable of even greater destruction.
Bedman is so strong he can beat you without even getting up. Jokes aside, Bedman is another character whose full potential remains shrouded in mystery, but unlike the rest of them, his known abilities are enough to put him over nearly the entire cast. Not only has his strength been referred to in-game as unlike that of anyone else, but his magical abilities easily eclipse those of any other fighter.
Raven, I-No, and Judgment may be able to alter reality, but Bedman can create new realities like it"s nothing. Bedman is also essentially omnipotent in these realities too, so anyone pulled into them won"t have very good odds of beating him in a fight.
This vampiric Tom Bombadill loves three things: his wife, a good scrap, and being way too powerful to care about your petty mortal struggles. Slayer is a vampire whose power easily eclipses that of any Gear or human. This can be shown by his ability to swat entire dimensions like they"re houseflies, or by his seemingly limitless telekinetic ability. But, it can best be seen in his animations.
The guy just does not give a hoot about any apocalyptic power his opponents may possess, smirking off their strongest attacks and only looking amused when losing a round. This was even the case in his canon fight against Bedman, who caught Slayer off-guard but still failed in eliminating him. There"s no telling what danger the world will be in if Slayer ever takes a fight seriously.
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Will Bertazzo Lambert is an experienced writer who"s held a passion for gaming since he was old enough to hold a controller. His talent has been honed writing for such publications as Smashboards, Honey"s Anime and We Got This Covered. He is always on the hunt for gaming"s next major hits and overlooked gems.