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Anre feels built around negating his opponent's reward rather than seeking his own — Gameplay impressions for the newest GBVS character

This strange little fella can be really annoying when you're trying to enact your traditional gameplan

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • February 24, 2021 at 10:54 a.m. PST • Comments: 6

The latest addition to the Granblue Fantasy Versus roster launched last month, and the character in question was the somewhat controversial addition of Anre, one of the legendary Eternals.

Whatever your personal thoughts on Anre's appearance (which has been the most controversial part about him) may be, he has without a doubt brought a very unique gameplay concept and fighting style to the Granblue Fantasy Versus roster and thereby diversifying it even further. So how exactly does Anre's stated defensive playstyle work in the game's current meta? Let's have a look at Anre's strengths, weaknesses and his role in the game's competitive field.

At his core, Anre has been designed to be a defensive character at the developer's own admission and is designed around counters, parries and various moves which negate the opponent's approach.

This stands perfectly in line with the character's lore and his role in the source game Granblue Fantasy and is likely why developers chose to include him. He brings a very unique flavor to the game and represents a playstyle that wasn't really in the game yet as something of an anti-zoner.

While Metera, Ferry and arguably Cagliostro had some decent zoning capabilities, Anre possesses not only that but also the ability to shut down zoning from opposing players to a large degree, although it's curiously focused mainly on negating fireball-based zoning, which puts his matchup against Ferry somewhat in question to me.

Although he doesn't have any 5-frame moves and thus cannot reliably get opponents off him with quick buttons on wakeup or in pressure situations, he instead holds several different ways to stop their tools from working as you'd expect them to. One of them is a frame-1 reversal which functions as a counter — if the opponent does nothing, Anre will simply let loose an attack which is unsafe on block, but if he is hit the animation will instantly trigger and Anre wins the exchange, although said move is still susceptible to throws.

Besides this, he also has his Unique ability which is a general parry similar to what we've all experienced from the timeless classic Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike, albeit from a button press rather than moving the stick forward in a certain timing window.

Although it doesn't give you an incredible advantage, it is still a parry and therefore can be used in clutch situations to gain the upper hand, particularly against moves you normally wouldn't be able to punish through blocking. The Anre player must have high awareness to utilize it effectively, since you need to correctly parry each subsequent hit for it to work well, so it's definitely not a move you can overuse.

With his close range shortcomings and advantages out of the way, let's get to the meat of the character and where he truly shines — which is the mid-range, though also somewhat at the long range. This is where the anti-zoning capabilities of the character come into play big time, but also his general defensive capabilities against non-zoners.

Anre has many different tools at his disposal to keep enemies at bay while at mid range or even approach on his own. Both his crouching Unique, which is a slide, and his far heavy advance quite far forward and can easily tag opponent's buttons due to their high attack level.

He doesn't have to use moves that advance him forward, though, as he has many different long-range pokes as should be expected from a spear-wielder. His crouching medium in particular can be a very frustrating button to deal with since it can easily dominate the midrange game, though he generally doesn't get much from it.

This really ends up being the name of the game with Anre — slowly but surely chipping away at not only your opponent's lifebar with various pokes and specials which deal chip damage on block, but also continuously wearing their patience ever thinner and landing them exactly where you want them.

Once you've gotten them frustrated with the ground game, Anre's excellent anti-air comes into play. His crouching heavy reaches extremely high up meaning that he can deal with a lot of jumps which other characters may not be able to, and if you're ever unsure about your anti-airing capabilities you can also respond with a counter or even a parry from which you can go for more flashy options. You can even go for air-to-air situations as his jumping heavy also has an exceptionally large hitbox.

Anre's own airborne options are nothing to scoff at either. Besides the air parry, he also has access to several different moves which shift his trajectory while airborne. His Manta Wheel can be used in midair and will send him at a downwards angle after a short delay, making it a very effective tool for baiting anti-airs from your opponent.

Besides that, he can also use his One Rift Spear to either send himself forward in the air or at a downward angle, similar to how Zeta uses her Spear of Arvess, though not quite as intricate as she does it. In short, Anre has a wealth of options once he finds himself in the air and can easily keep opponents guessing to throw them off from their natural gameplan.

Anre is therefore able to both keep opponents at bay effectively while at mid-ranges but also can shift the tide in his own favor if he decides to go in — though that isn't necessarily his strongest area, but sometimes you have to.

Finally, Anre can also excel somewhat at long range depending on what character he's up against. One tool which can be exceptionally difficult to deal with depending on your own available options is his Rakshasa. While it has fairly slow startup, it's a move that reaches almost full-screen and is not punishable when blocked even up close.

When using Rakshasa, Anre can unleash a followup attack only on hit which will give him a knockdown on his opponent as well. It doesn't quite reach the entire screen, meaning characters with projectiles can feasibly challenge it, and if you're outside of its range you can use the recovery from it to inch closer to Anre as well.

If you start relying too much on projectiles, though, Anre has several different options to deal with that as well. His Spiral Spear will dispel any projectile sent his way and has a variety of followups including Radiance Ruination, his very own fireball which travels quite fast and is hard to counter as a zoner.

He can also use the followup of Spiral Spear to move closer to opponents, either with a hitbox attached or without, meaning that you need to be on the lookout for several different avenues of attack once he uses it against you. This combined with his parries, counters, Rakshasa and various normals make Anre a serious threat when he's outranging you, and it can be difficult to inch closer if the player has a good read on your habits.

To conclude, Anre is without a doubt a very unique character in the meta of Granblue Fantasy Versus and someone you should invest time in learning the matchup of since he fights quite unlike any other. He may not be the strongest combatant in the roster, but he's certainly someone who will give you trouble unless you take the time to learn his tricks.

His big weaknesses are that it can be difficult for him to string his tools together efficiently and that he has to take risks in order to utilize his defensive options once the opponent has gotten close to him.

At far ranges, though, Anre can very much control the pace of the match and your biggest enemy when up against him is yourself. The more you let his antics annoy you, the further you will be playing into your opponent's hand and victory will become less likely by the second.

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