Boss Rush: Strategies and Builds

by Andrew Mirror

Fantasy Strike features a wonderful single-player mode called Boss Rush, in which you build your overpowered character to battle even more overpowered characters. You would think it's a one and done kind of thing, but since single-player modes are allowed in queue, we have a moral obligation to destroy the living pandas out of these broken OP AI.

It's not easy though, certain opponents are basically impossible, and luck is not always on your side. But, say, it is, what is the optimal build, and how do you execute with it? That's the question we're asking.

Universal strats

Super, Powered

There are two particular universal power ups that every character gets access to, and they have a very high chance of appearing. First is the golden power up Super, Powered that adds +3 to the damage of supers, the other is Quick Super, very common power up. Additionally these characters get additional super buffs:

The strategy revolves mostly around just using your supers as reversals, for a lot of characters it's their best invulnerable move, and with those power ups you can get up to +9 to supers and more, thus dealing quite a big chunk of damage without much risk, as late bosses really don't know how to block, and it's extremely easy to reversal them given you have a good enough reversal. It's a valid strategy to straight up win the game on certain characters, not as much for others, but buffing your super is almost always a good choice.

To conclude, in order to execute the Super, Powered strat you buff your supers as much as you can, and then in a match just wait until the opponent inevitably makes the biggest mistake of their life. Health buffs are also advised to stand better against chip damage

The bat strat

This is the most recent Boss Rush discovery that allows now all characters to have an easy strategy to beat this brutal mode more or less consistently. The strat utilizes an extremely common and quite powerful without the trick power up called Short Projectile (Shoot a short ranged projectile from your bA). The projectile is very versatile, it's not very long, but it's persistent, it doesn't collide with anything, gives very good advantage on connect, and chips on block, it's all part of what the strategy uses. But for the strat we also need to understand the mechanic called Kara Cancels.

Kara cancelling is cancelling out of the start up of a move. In Fantasy Strike it can happen when due to the macro system, you can set A+B or A+J as throw macros, and because of that you can cancel A, B, or J into T (even if you don't have a macro set), and B and C into S. The bA projectile though comes out frame 0, so if you time bA into T you get the projectile with the recovery speed of the throw, and you get to throw if the opponent is close enough.

And this interaction alone gives every single character an infinite (Speedy upgrade also recommended). It's not too easy to pull off, but it's so worth it. Basically you just spam bAT in the corner, timing it so you you produce a projectile on every press, and also getting close as needed. Not quite an infinite on block, and it's definitely pretty tough to pull off 10 or more in a row as you're required on late bosses, as well as it being not easy to even get the infinite set up, but it's manageable.

That's not it though, there's more. You can cancel to Throw, but you can also cancel to B, C, J, and even S. A is the lowest priority button in the game, so when you press, say, bA+B, the B move comes out, but since the bA projectile is frame zero - it also comes out. It gives a few characters some particularly strong strategies.

The projectile exploit

The AI in the game doesn't understand projectile mix ups, it will almost always try to block an incoming projectile, even if it's not even going to hit. Naturally that allows you to throw opponents that are under a projectile. It also very much synergizes with the bA projectile and the cancels it allows.

The Command Throw exploit

The AI tends not to jump on wake up, giving the three Grapplers almost a free win if you manage to knock down, more on that on the characters' sections, Midori, Setsuki, and mainly Rook. It's not particularly reliable, and you could get blown, but the tendency not to jump is there.

The Throw strat

High level AI is very spammy, which makes them very vulnerable to throws, the final boss will NEVER Yomi Counter. And you can build specifically for that, as the other bosses can be easily defeated by just being good, the final one actually needs quite some luck to defeat.

Useful buffs:

Not reliable at all, but could be the only chance you get. Particularly important on Setsuki, Valerie, DeGrey.

Character specific strategies


Just buff Super. Getting the Kamehameha super is very good (frame 1 full screen whiff punish), but very rare and not required, anything else doesn't matter, the Super build is superior.


Buff the supers just like Grave, but you have to react more accurately, you have a smaller margin for error.

Jaina gets to pressure the opponent's with the arc arrows, which is useful, and particularly the Crossfire Kick upgrade allows you to deal massive amounts of chip for free (Gold, fA is now Crossfire Kick, can hit twice for +1 damage, does block damage)


Probably the most balanced character in Boss Rush, doesn't have anything that just breaks the game, and his Supers don't work out the same way as others.

Double Flash Gear (C spins twice for 2 damage) is a must, since his gS doesn't work that well, it's his main reversal, so getting 2 damage instead of 1 is very important. It also synergizes with other buffs. Double Time Spiral (Gold, Press B again to do a 2nd Time Spiral) is a very good common upgrade that can get you through a lot of bosses, but you can't rely on it alone. Armored Step Kick (Gold, bA step kick is armored, +1 damage, and faster) is extremely valuable, synergizes with a lot of stuff, required for the "optimal build". Low Strong EX (nA attack reaches much, much farther) is very good, allows for more consistent combos. Drop Gear EX (Gold, jA and gC both cancel to jC) is the most valuable upgrade you can get. It's not very common, but the thing it does is make your Flash Gears plus and guaranteed 3 chip on block. Normal Upgrade, Armored Attacks, Quick Normals and Special Powered all synergize very well with Geiger.

The Optimal Build utilizes buffed bA's enormous plus frames and armor. The goal is to achieve the combo:

Which at its best deals around 16 damage, which is huge. But that amount of damage requires:

Low Strong EX also makes it more consistent The problem with this optimal build are several bosses, Bang Crackle Stomp in particular, the armor just isn't enough, and Geiger doesn't have anything in particular against them.

Geiger also gets a kind of an infinite with Double Time Spiral. bA into gBB can lock down opponents hard, and with better bA and Quick Normals it can become a true infinite on block.


Launching Staff (fC performs a launching staff strike) straight up gives Arg an infinite, it's not too hard to time, the main problem is getting close enough to the opponent in the first place, Walk Speed Plus and Speedy are helpful with that, as well as Armored Specials. Special Powered allows for the combo to not be as long. Building around the Launching Staff is essential with Arg, other strategies are not worth a penny on that, except for the Super Powered strat. It can also be infinite chip damage on block.

The combo can be quite finicky with the walk speed upgrades, so it's recommended to get just one of the two, but you can infinite with both too.


Significantly harder than the previous characters. Her super is not as invulnerable as on others, and she doesn't get much with new moves.

Super buffs are useful on her, but you also have to utilize all the other universal strats to your advantage, in particular you can go for the Throw build, as Valerie can walk at 110% pace which is ridiculous, so she can whiff punish moves with her throw from the other edge of the screen. And somehow it doesn't make her very strong in Boss Rush. The bat strat is recommended.


Also a tough character. Her game revolves around the Spin Kicks (Gold, Normal attacks combo to new A,A spin kicks, which combo to super) which can allow her to deal massive damage in a combo, as well as build up super. Normal Upgrade is highly recommended of course, it's not too difficult to build a build around spin kicks, the problem lies in that in order to land a huge combo, you must hit with your normal, and a lot of bosses, especially the final bosses, just don't allow you to do that, they hit you first, they hit you while you're in the middle of the combo, you just die. And that's unfortunate.

bA upgrades are very advised, the bat strat will work, but upgraded bA by itself is also a good move.

Setsuki also has access to command throws, you can use them, but they are flawed. They are not easy to meaty continuously, they always deal just 1 damage, and thus when opponents inevitably do something on wake up, Setsuki will blow up.

Lots of luck required.


Midori is a chill character, not hard, but not too easy either. His game revolves around his gS and Dragon command throws, buffing super is important, as it deals a lot of damage on activation when upgraded, without any recovery. Dragon's Claws (Gold,+2 damage to all special throws) are very nice to get, the goal should be to just comman throw until you can't. Other upgrades are nice, but absolutely secondary.

The problems arise with the super being limited, it's pretty tough getting back to human, and not having the reversal super for quite some time, as well as Dragon Buster armor that might kill you.


One of the easiest characters, just spam C, you might get hit back, you always need good luck on the final boss, but just spam C, it's good. Can spice it up with bAC.


Probably the hardest character in Boss Rush. Can get a particular set up with Badgering the Witness, but it's a very rare power up, and DeGrey doesn't get much fancy stuff besides that. The bat strat very much required, but DG can change it up for bA+B spam, or bA+B,A, not a block string either, but locks down good.


Also a hard character, getting many items on screen is important, but can easily get out of luck, the bat strat is very recommended.

Mini-lums and items in general are very good at making the opponent try to block them, thus the throw exploit can be used.


His Guard Crush mechanic makes him a bit easier in a lot of ways, but the bat strat easily beats any of that.


Quince gets quinfinites, multiple, with the last nerf to his bA he lost one, but he's still strong. Basically what you do is get Dodge the Question EX, which allows you to use gC without doing the attack, with instant invulnerability as well, and that allows you, during Two Truths, to infinitely juggle the opponent by spamming bC. Well, not infinitely, TT will run out before you can kill late bosses, but it's certainly a lot.

Of course he also gets the bat strat infinite, he can use bA+C to stall the opponents before he gets super.

In the corner he can use his mirrors repeatedly to throw exploit the AI, with Alternative Facts EX upgrade the mirrors also have the old recovery, allowing for tighter oki. The Patriot Mirror also counts as a projectile the opponents just want to block.

Boss Types

Here's a list of possible bosses:

The final boss specific: