Created by Hellsguards and Backward
Table of Contents
1A - Introduction
1B - Key Layout
1C - Demonstration Video
2A - Part 1: Shimmer Fundamentals
2B - Part 2: Shimmer Mixups
2C - Part 3: Late Dashing
3A - Afterword
3B - Glossary
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This guide was created to explain and demonstrate some of the new dagger techniques used by modern D-Stylers. There has been virtually no exposure for these new techniques since they were pioneered in 2010-2011, so we decided to create a guide for players who want to learn them without having to hunt down a D-Styler in-game and ask them for help.
It is greatly advised that newer players gain a mastery of old-school D-Style or at least a grasp of the fundamentals before you learn these moves. There are two reasons for this; firstly, these moves do not replace the older techniques, instead building off of and supplementing them, so you'll need to know most of the older moves in order to master these. Secondly, these moves are difficult and require great dexterity and familiarity with your controls to perform properly, as well as a very good control setup that possesses certain features. I highly recommend checking out Cysote's Tactical D-Style Guide and other dagger-oriented tutorials and resources like it before reading this guide.
We believe that this new wave of techniques represents the true potential of the dagger, and that mastering them can greatly improve the effectiveness of any D-Styler. If you're willing to put in the work to improve, continue reading.
When a * is displayed next to a term or concept you can refer to the glossary at the end of the guide for a brief explanation.
Key Layout [1B]
Dagger = Shift
Gun 1/Gun 2 = Q/E and Scroll up/Scroll down (Numbers 1 - 3 are good too)
Reload = R and Right Click
Lunge = Whatever you can E-Lunge consistently with.
The important thing about your key layout is the idea of maximizing finger usage and separating actions that need to be pressed simultaneously among keys that are far apart from each other. As an example, let's say your keys are set to a classic QEF setup; Q = Dagger, E/F = Gun 1 and 2. If you were attempting to yoyo to the right, you'd have to press down the D key with your index finger for momentum, then hit space and E or F at the same time. However, E and F both require use of your index finger like the D key, meaning you'd have to somehow press both D and E simultaneously with the same finger. This would be unnecessarily difficult and uncomfortable.
Now let's say you're trying to do the same maneuver with the suggested setup. When you go to yoyo to the right, you hold down the D key with your index finger and then hit Q with your ring finger as you jump, thus delegating the inputs to different fingers. If you needed to yoyo to the left, instead you would hold down the A key with your ring finger and hit the E key with your index finger as you jumped, making your movements fluid and easy in both directions.
Key separation is very important for Expert D-Style, as even the more basic moves will have you hitting 3 keys at once with extremely close timing. A bad key setup can not only make more basic play difficult, it can render you completely incapable of mastering the moves contained within this guide. If you do not like the setup suggested above and want to adopt something more personal, make sure to check all your moves and focus on incorporating good key separation before you start using it in your matches.
Demonstration Video [1C]
Part 1: Shimmer Fundamentals [2A]
These moves provide a new basis for gunning movement that improves upon old-school D-Style and covers some of its weaknesses.
Also known as SD. Often confused with the term "gundash".
Video time: 0:00
Combo: gun out - dash + switch to dagger - switch to gun(buffer frame* during dash) - repeat
Keys: d - shift - d - scroll down(buffer) OR d - d + shift - scroll down(buffer)
Switch Dash is an evasion move performed when you merge the animations* of a dash and a switch animation by launching them at the exact same time. The switch will shorten the dash to its own length, rather than the full length of the dash. This allows you to chain dashes faster than you normally could both in the air and on the ground. Doing Switch Dash chains at full speed is a good way to move quickly and unpredictably.
Execution of Switch Dash is easy, but chaining it decently is not so easy. To perform a basic Switch Dash properly, all you need to do is make sure you are hitting the switch key and your SECOND dash key at the exact same time, or alternatively hitting the switch key between the dash keys. This isn't all that difficult and should be mastered easily.
To perform Switch Dash chain at full speed, you'll need to do a perfect quickswitch between your dashes, meaning the switch to your gun should be split-second at least or completely invisible at most. This is done by buffer framing the gun switch during the dash, opening up your fingers to perform the dash + dagger switch for the next part of the chain. Generally, using the scroll directions for your gun switch is much more efficient for executing this move than using Q or E.
Switch Dash is also a good way to practice the motion for the next move, Shimmer Shot.
Bounce Switch Dash: Add a jump between your Switch Dashes for slower chains but extra motion.
Hawk Drop: Mostly a show-off technique involving chaining a Shimmer out of a long aerial Switch Dash chain at high altitudes.
Also known as SHS or Shimmer.
Video time: 0:50
Combo: gun out - shoot + reload + switch + dash
Keys: q - d - left click + right click + shift + d
Shimmer Shot is a fundamental gunning technique designed to create zero delay between a shot and a dash, occupying a flexible middle ground between Blink and Yoyo. It uses the same mechanic as a Reload Shot, except instead of shortening the animation of a shot to perform another shot, you're shortening the animation of a shot in order to dash sooner. This technique can be used in a variety of ways which will be detailed throughout the guide, but "Shimmer Shot" strictly refers to its performance as a basic gunning movement. Chaining this move is not ideal for much besides throwing off your opponent, but mixing it in with your other movements is a very effective way to be unpredictable and fast while still shooting.
Not unlike Switch Dash, Shimmer Shot revolves around switching to your dagger and dashing at the same time, except this time around there's a shot and a reload cancel before it. To perform it properly, you need to fire, then reload, then switch and dash all at nearly the exact same time. This means you will be pressing left click, right click, shift and your second dash tap all at the same time, or close to the same time.
This uncomfortable and difficult movement is the primary reason for having a certain key setup, as the execution of the four button combo will simply become more and more complicated from here on out. Make sure you completely master this before moving on.
Shimmer Phantoming: It's possible to perform a Phantom* while doing a Shimmer Shot toward your opponent.
Also known as SLS or Sling.
Video time: 1:39
Combo(male): switch to gun - (pause) - jump - shoot + reload + switch + dash
Keys(male): Q - (pause) - space - a - left click + right click + shift + a
Combo(female): switch to gun + jump - shoot + reload + switch + dash
Keys(female): Q + space - a - left click + right click + shift + a
Sling Shot is essentially an aerial Shimmer Shot. It can work one of two ways: the male version involves delaying the jump slightly, causing you to Sling below the peak of your jump. This will avoid an accidental yoyo because of the animation merging and timing of switch + jump. The female version, often referred to as Perfect Sling(pSling), has no need to avoid a yoyo as females cannot yoyo with shotguns. This allows them to perform their Sling Shot at the top of their jump, which ties in heavily with highly advanced speed D-Style that will most likely be explained in another guide at a later date by somebody else(in other words, not here).
The trick to getting Sling Shot down as a male D-Styler is the timing of the jump. Generally, you want to follow something called the one-step rule: every time you want to perform Sling Shot you should switch to gun, TAKE A STEP, -then- jump. Following this rule of thumb will build a good habit of pulling off the male version of a Sling Shot properly.
Bounce Sling: This is where you perform a sling a mere split second after a jump, generally at the end of a prior movement like Blinkstep. Good for adding extra motions in your movements.
Sling Half: Perform a Sling Shot and then dash again before you land.
Sling Quarter: Perform a Sling Shot then do a dagger flash before you land. Easier with a female's pSling.
SlingSD: Perform a Sling Shot and then Switch Dash before you land. If used with pSling it will line up perfectly with your landing.
Part 2: Shimmer Mixups [2B]
These are some of the ways you can change up older moves using Shimmer's fast dash after each shot.
Also known as BlinkH.
Video time: 2:30
Combo: jump + switch to dagger - dash + switch to gun - shoot + reload + switch + dash
Keys: space + shift - a - a + e - d - left click + right click + shift + d
Blink Half is a fairly simple movement where you append a Shimmer to the end of a Blinkstep before landing. This move is not all that useful compared to simply doing a Sling or a Shimmer straight up, as Blinkstep's windup time is very inconvenient and will make you easy to lead while only giving you one shot. BlinkH can be good for firing from a low perspective and giving you time to aim during the windup, but compared to other techniques it is best left for abusing corners in a Half Step type of way, and even there Yoyosh tends to outclass it.
Blink Half Half: Add a bounce at the end of the blink before Shimmering for extra motion.
Also known as Yoyosh.
Video time: 3:00
Combo: jump + switch to gun - tumble - delayed shot + reload + switch + dash
Keys: space + e - d - d - (pause) - a - left click + right click + shift + a
Yoyo Shimmer is the most basic modification of an older move with Shimmershot. It is essentially a Yoyo half except the shot is delayed until a split second before the dash. Perform a yoyo as you normally would, but take care not to shoot; wait until after you've begun to fall, then perform a Shimmer in another direction. You have full control of the delay between the yoyo and the Shimmer, allowing you to time the movement as fast or slow as you need. It's a good technique for potshotting and Fartlek*, as the control over timing makes it great at cover control and fakeouts.
Yoyo Reload Shimmer
Also known as Yoyorsh or Yoyo Reload Shot Half.
Video time: 3:37
Combo: jump + switch to gun - tumble + shoot + reload + switch to gun 2 - shoot + reload + switch + dash
Keys: Space + q - a - a + left click + right click + e - d - left click + right click + shift + d
Yoyorsh is a staple of Expert D-Style, representing a combination of high speed movement and quick firing that D-Style previously did not possess. It essentially combines Yoyo Reload Shot and Yoyo Half, allowing two shots and a dash before landing. To perform it quickly enough to keep the shimmer in the air decently, you must tighten the reload shot so that you switch to your second gun the exact second you reload. Take care not to chain this move too many times consecutively, as it can be predicted by someone perceptive. Additionally, if you try to spam in place with this technique you will notice that the Shimmer will cause quite a bit of drift in your movements, so generally it's best not to perform it more than twice in the same directions.
Part 3: Late Dashing [2C]
Learning D-Style's Late Dash is a good way to make small improvements when you've already mastered everything else in this guide.
Late Dash Blink
Also known as ldBlink.
Video time: 4:06
Combo: jump + switch to dagger - dash + switch to gun at top of jump (exact timing) - shoot
Keys: space + shift - d - d + q - left click
Late Dash Blink is the inverse of Late Dash Yoyo, where you combine the slow glitch tumble speed of a yoyo with the late shot of a blink, sort of like the worst of both moves whereas Late Dash Yoyo is the best. As such this move is fairly useless in practice. The only thing it's good for is tricking people into thinking you can Yoyo with a female and some basic Fartlek.
Late Dash Yoyo
Also known as ldYoyo.
Video time: 4:32
Combo: jump + switch to gun - shoot + reload + switch to dagger + dash (exact timing)
Keys: space + q - a - left click + right click + shift + a
Late Dash Yoyo is where you combine the early height-of-jump shot and cancel potential of a Yoyo with the silent dash speed of a Blink, essentially getting the best of both moves. To perform a Late Dash while Yoyoing, you need to reload cancel the shot and switch to your dagger fast enough that it comes out as you do your glitch tumble, causing your client to become confused with its animations. In practice, this means you will have to press Switch to Dagger and your Dash key simultaneously, so the shot + reload needs to be very quick and precise. This move is easy to do once or twice, but difficult to master and consistently perform.
Late Dash Yoyo Reload Shimmer
Also known as ldYoyorsh or Late Dash Yoyo Reload Shot Half.
Video time: 5:04
Combo: jump + switch to gun - shoot + reload + switch to dagger + dash (exact timing) - switch to gun(fast) - shoot + reload + switch to dagger + dash (before landing)
Keys: space + q - a - left click + right click + shift + a - e - d - left click + right click + shift + d
The longest and most complicated of D-Style gunning moves. Generally speaking, Yoyorsh will work fine if you don't want to learn this move. This move is for those people who have the urge to completely master everything while learning. The benefit of this move is that the first glitch tumble of a Yoyorsh becomes a Blink's silent dash, making the initial motion faster and keeping the second shot higher to the top of the jump than a normal Yoyorsh. It also evens out your movements, allowing you to chain it in place without any drift, unlike Yoyorsh.
The key to performing this move is the timing of the first shot. After you fire your shot at the top of your jump, you need to switch to your dagger just as you're hitting the dash key to perform the glitch tumble so that it becomes a silent dash instead(like with LD Yoyo). After you've done that, however, you need to instantly switch to your second gun(as if you were doing a normal Blink Step) to prepare for the next shot. After that you simply Shimmer with Gun 2 while landing. It's a fairly difficult technique for so little gain over the move it's based on, so I wouldn't recommend learning this before anything else and only if you really want to.
And with that, we've covered the new techniques used by most good modern D-Stylers. Keep in mind that this guide was written with the original intent of giving exposure to some of the more generally applicable moves that were pioneered post-2010 and is not a complete guide to the new techniques. In fact, the moves outlined in this guide are only about 20% of the new techniques created in recent years and it's fairly safe to say that there are still many things to be discovered and worked on. I do not think that it will be any time soon, but they'll turn up.
Credit for pioneering these moves and popularizing them goes to DDaggerDD and FlytermoTS.
If there is anyone who needs help learning these or other D-Style techniques, feel free to send me a message in game(IGN for FGunZ and Aeria: Backward) or on GunZFactor and I'll see what I can do to help.
Animation Merge: An animation merge is a subtle glitch that happens sometimes when two animations are launched simultaneously. The two animations' lengths will affect each other, one usually extending the other to match its length. A good example would be Elunge, where the lunge extends the dash animation to the full extent of the lunge, causing the sliding phenomenon that Elunge is known for. Another example is Yoyo or Blink, where switching and jumping at the same time shortens the rising animation of your character allowing a larger window of animation lock before falling for the glitch tumble/silent dash.
Buffer Framing: A Buffer Frame(or so it's been called lately) is where you deliberately perform a movement before the one you're currently performing ends so you can delay the launch of the second move until the end of the first move's animation. This is used for opening up finger movements and allowing extremely fast movement cancels. An easy example would be to dash, then hit the jump key before the dash ends. The jump will wait, then launch on its own right as the dash ends, so that right as you jump you can already be hitting another key. Using Buffer Framing with the right moves can help with inducing animation locks and reduce human delay substantially.
Phantoming: A phantom is where you successfully take advantage of a dash's small frame of invincibility, avoiding the damage or stun of anything from massives, to slashes and even shots.
Fartlek: A German term meaning "Speed-play", referring to where you deliberately manage and change your speed and movement patterns to throw off your opponent. Refer to Cysote's Tactical dStyle Guide for more information.