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Trunks is one of the most agile and versatile characters in DBFZ. His Light Autocombo and all of his non-S special moves give him high mobility and decent mixups for a mid 2L character. This character excels greatly at opening your opponents defence by any means necessary, as combining all of his mixup tools makes him really hard to block. Trunks also has great anti-zoning abilities, as his S specials all beat Ki Blasts in some way or another. His 214S in particular is an excellent anti-projectile move, and it can be also used as a projectile invincible dash if the button is held. It also functions as his fastest crossup out of 5LLL. On top of all this, it's safe on block and can be made plus if it hits meaty.
Trunks has the mixup tools to play point, but his toolset and good assist favors being further back on the team.
This used to be the position to play Trunks. However, he is now fully self-sufficient in the corner with meterless slide knockdowns, making him a viable anchor as well.
It's really up to you to play Trunks here or as Mid. He works well in both places because he can usually use meter in place of an assist in neutral, blockstrings, and mixups.
Trunks generally favors lower blockstun assists to cover his crossup mixups. Characters like Z Broly can help because of the explosion caused by his A assist obscuring Trunks from view. Trunks generally isn't very picky, but higher blockstun assists require more technical 214H setups.
- 5L > 5LL > 2M > 5M > 5H > 2H...
Safe normals: 5L, 2L and 5S.
- 5L > 5LL > 5LLL...
Sideswitches after 5LLL and pulls the opponent out of the corner for mix-ups.
- 5L (reflected) > 5LL > 2M > 5S (Reflect proof)
214S is generally safest way to end pressure (-5 on block) although there is a big enough gap for vanish, reflect or reversals. Use 214[S] to reset pressure or bait defensive options.
- Sparking 5LLL
Jump canceling 5LLL immediately will cause Trunks to stay same side. 5LLL > jc > 236S (same side) only has a 3f gap in between, while 5LLL > 236S (crossup) has a 4f gap. This means this setup cannot be mashed out or jumped out.
Another setup is 5LLL > jc.S vs 5LLL > delay jc.S. This is slightly harder to do, has a bigger gap than 236S (6f at minimum), but it'd either be a trade in favor of Trunks, and if j.S lands he can cancel to airdash j.M into a meterless rejump.
Standard sliding knockdown, dash up IAD for a safe jump. In the corner Trunks can end the combo with j.H > j.214L > j.L > j.236M for a safe jump. Medium slash is +2 if blocked grounded and +8 if the enemy up techs and blocks it in the air.
Meaty change the future (214S)
When blocking 214S normally Trunks is -5 but because of the insane active frames this move has it can be made plus by having it connect with the opponent meaty. (28-31 frames to be specific) On hit this can be confirmed (All be it very difficult) into j.L. This is also considered a “safe jump.” Using 214[S] feints the energy blast and can make your opponent flinch.
Basic DR mixup off meaty 214S:
- Take your turn (214S > 5L)
- DR on plus frames (214S > DR)
- Reflect bait or catch opponent flinching (214[S] > 5L/5M/2M)
- Feint into DR (214[S] > DR)
- Disrespect (214S/214[S] > IAD j.ML)
In order to get 214S to hit meaty you can either time it manually or use a frame kill. j.H smash can be somewhat inconsistent but using 236X gives Trunks a set frame advantage depending on which strength is used. (Not including delayed tech)
Frame Kill setups:
- 236L/j.236L (+55)
66 > 2L > 214S
- 236M/j.236M (+60)
2LL > 214S
- 236H/j.236H (+65)
5M > 214S
Heat Dome 214L+M
Heat Dome leaves Trunks at +28 on a hard knockdown and this may not seem like much but it’s almost perfect for his kit. Midscreen Trunks can use tiger knee EX flip (2147H) for a left right 50/50, this will require practise to hit consistently and allows Trunks to be very creative, so experiment with your options. Midscreen or in the corner Trunks can perform the meaty 214S mix up explained above. IAD j.H/j.ML for an overhead safe jump. In the corner 6M can hit meaty and on block is plus and on hit can be confirmed into a full combo Don't forget to mix 2M, DR and reflect proof strings in your options to keep them on their toes.
Tips and Tricks
COMBO: Can combo off of 5H, 2H, give him a sideswitch and even the ability to combo into Heat Dome from midscreen.
MIXUP: Trunks has the ability to create crazy left/right mixups with the ridiculous amount of control it gives. Athough this can be challenged when solo, proper supporting assists make it true and supplement its capability, especially when it is Tiger-Knee'd. Post-level 3 Tiger-Knee flip in particular is a prominent example of how potent 214H can be, as it is a true 50/50 left/right overhead mix-up. Notably, in conjunction with Sparking!, Trunk's mix-ups are elevated into an entirely new level. Combined with 5LLL being jump-cancellable, Trunks can choose which side to be on and also choose again with 214H to continue pressure. Not to mention during all of this, he still retains access to all other air options such as airdash, superdash, Cyclone Buster, Shining Slash, Empty Vanish, as well as all the other traditional options like high/low, tick throw, or also simply choosing to reset the blockstring again; his freedom with this type of movement is unparalleled. Taking all these factors into account, it is almost impossible to anticipate every scenario Trunks can decide to do, making his Sparking! blockstring pressure ultimately unpredictable and truly terrifying.
NEUTRAL: Because of how fast it is, it can be used to zoom over moves such as beams and assists and escape the corner on pressure gaps. Subsequently it can also be used to whiff punish even from afar. Lastly, it can also be used to bait 2H or another anti-air, then dive down to punish.