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Android 17 dropped in Dragon Ball FighterZ on September 27, 2018. This means everyone in the FGC must have some sort of opinion or else they might get banished to the streamer purgatory. Alex De Armas AKA PhantomCombo isn’t in the doghouse though. He’s a multi-talented FGC streamer with a background in Guilty Gear, Tekken, Marvel v Capcom, and Street Fighter. He runs Dragon Ball FighterZ right now and hit the ground running with thoughts on 17’s release.

Getting Familiar With A New Friend

Once 17 was available in the Dragon Ball FighterZ roster, Phantom’s stream started with 30 minutes of practice. He ran through a few challenges and finding his way around the move set before jumping into a live lobby. His extensive FGC background meant he had a solid perspective on what adding a new character means for any fighting game.

So how does Android 17 compare to Dragon Ball FighterZ‘s current roster?

“He’s more complicated than Zamasu,” PhantomCombo said.

Android 17
PhantomCombo streams every day at either 3p or 4p PST. Follow him on Twitter @PhantomCombo

He fought with the combo sets in training mode at first. Working out some basic rekkas (chain move sets) and simple auto combo moves took 30 minutes. Then Phantom set up a live lobby. That’s when the fun really started.

He paired 17 with Gotenks and adult Gohan. The initial battle didn’t go well as he realized the amount of time and effort other competitors had already put in with 17. However, he crowed with excitement when he used 17’s assist move for the first time. It was an early highlight.

“Holy s***. That’s really nice,” he exclaimed.

I asked PhantomCombo what other fighters might pair well with 17.

“Just about anyone else would work well here,” he said. “I definitely like what 17 has to offer.”

PhantomCombo also found additional fun in some of the new colors from the Season Z capsule which also dropped with the Android 17 DLC. Yamcha has been one of his favorites in Dragon Ball FighterZ. Watching for an hour lead to more questions. PhantomCombo realized 17 is quite technical and takes more play time to get a deeper understanding.

“It’s definitely worth coming back to play again,” he said. “Android 17 is very technical, as are the other characters. I have never seen lobbies so full for a character launch. So I’ll keep playing him.”

Early Returns Are Solid

The true impact Android 17 has on the DBFZ roster has yet to be realized. That said, PhantomCombo and his entire chat agreed this is really just a move to keep interest in the game high. He did say Android 17 works best with beam attack characters as an assist, and the level of technicality wasn’t that much different than other characters. Time and training will reveal the true utility of Android 17 as the community finds strengths and exploits weaknesses.

Don’t sleep on Phantom’s advice though. It’s easy to drop into Twitch talk nice about a game, but Alex is no slouch in Twitch or Dragon Ball FighterZ. With 5,200 followers, he consistently had 85 and more concurrent viewers from the start of his stream. That speaks directly to the popularity of the game as well as the quality of the streamer and his chat, not to mention he supports a growing scene that provides a good time with little toxicity.

As for Android 17, the character seems to have a lot of value between his skill set and assist shown in PhantomCombo’s stream. It will be interesting to see where 17 falls in the hierarchy of the Dragon Ball FighterZ roster. He might not be so inviting to beginners, but his technical prowess means players may find some value with him on their team once they unravel the best of his abilities and figure out where he fits among other characters.

You can find Phantom streaming the latest in Dragon Ball FighterZ and other fighting games on his Twitch channel.

Be sure to check out our other Dragon Ball FighterZ coverage, including the return of Cooler, who launched beside 17!