Created By: Nap1100 on October 2, 2012 Last Edited By: Nap1100 on October 5, 2012

Keepaway Combatant

The character in a Fighting Game who won't let you get anywhere close.

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In Fighting Game terminology, "zoning" refers to the tactic of preventing an opponent from being able to reach you, whether it be through longer ranged attacks or spamming projectiles. The Keepaway Combatant is the character whose primary fighting style is zoning. They might be able to perform some Combos that can do some okay damage, sure, but their primary goal is to get you off and away from them and keep you away. These kinds of characters tend to have plenty of projectiles, long ranged attacks, and sometimes attacks that purposely knock their opponent back as far away from them as possible so they can do what they do best.

Often times because projectiles can be seen coming a mile away, these characters rely on a combination of Scratch Damage and letting the timer run out so they have more health than the opponent does, which means a win for them. This kind of tactic isn't encouraged by Tournament Play by any means, so sometimes competitive players use the projectiles in a fancy way to perform Combos that are more favorable. Still, there are some characters whose primary advantage comes in zoning, and there are players that will take advantage of it.

See also: Whoring, Kamehame Hadoken, Scratch Damage. Often overlaps with the Fragile Speedster or Glass Cannon, as these characters usually have lower health values than other kinds of characters.


  • Charge characters (such as Guile) have a tendency to become this, as in order to use them, you must hold in one direction for two seconds, often backwards, and while it's possible to perform combos using this method, it's easier to just walk back, use an attack, walk back, use another attack, and so on.
  • From the Soul Series
    • Link was this when he was a Guest Fighter in Soul Calibur II, as he brought with him his bow, boomerang, and bombs to keep his opponent at bay.
    • Algol has long ranged sword attacks as well as a cannon that shoots very slow orbs that cause huge amounts of pressure against the opponent when they guard.
    • Ezio, like Link, uses his crossbow to keep his opponent away from him, and it's really easy to follow up one arrow after another.
    • While they don't have any projectiles, Siegfried, Astaroth, Nightmare, and other similar characters have huge range which they can take advantage of to keep shorter-ranged opponents like Sophita away.
  • From Marvel vs. Capcom 3:
    • Chris is a straightforward example of this trope, as he has all manners of guns, grenades, and traps to get an opponent off of him.
    • Hawkeye is another straightforward example, using his many different types of arrows to make sure his opponent never gets near him.
    • Morrigan is a more unique example. In the original Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Morrigan was more of a Shoto Clone style character with less health but more mobility than Ryu. However, nerfs in Ultimate made her less mobile, and the competitive scene started to ignore her completely. That all changed when tournament player ChrisG found a way to cancel her Soul Fist into her flight and back into her Soul Fist into an endless loop. This new tactic became the way to play Morrigan in Tournament Play, and turned her into a Tier-Induced Scrappy because it discouraged the combos the Marvel vs. Capcom series is known for.
  • BlazBlue: Nu-13 filled this niche in Calamity Trigger, and it was so devastatingly effective that it turned her into an SNK Boss and a Tier-Induced Scrappy. This was nerfed in Continuum Shift when Lambda-11 came along.
  • Peacock from Skullgirls is this. She can fill the screen with bombs, stuff that comes out of her gun, and whatever falls down on her opponent when she uses the Shadow of Impending Doom.

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