Guilty Gear- Strive- Goldlewis Dickinson: FGC Early Impressions


Goldlewis Dickinson has officially joined the Guilty Gear- Strive roster as the first playable character in the Season 1 DLC Pack. He’s the first ever Secretary of Absolute Defence in the history of the United States who is also an active-duty military officer and carries a big coffin around (that may or may not contain an alien) to brute force his way to victory.

It’s the huge coffin he uses as a weapon (and appears to be the new Area 51 now) that makes up the bulk of his gameplay and his special moves. Behemoth Typhoon is his big-hitting, coffin-swinging special move that has 8 different half-circle variations depending where you start your input. All of the variations can be performed in the air and on the ground and have different properties, such as lows, overheads, highs and launchers. So, it will take a while to practice with and figure out which Behemoth Typhoon is the right choice for the specific situations you’ll find yourself in.

He’s certainly a unique character, so to help give an early first impression, I drafted in a wide variety of personalities from the Fighting Game Community to give their professional opinions.

This is what the experts had to say:


Rooflemonger (FGC Content Creator)

I think he is very fun and a great embodiment of the “big body” character archetype without having to fall on the usual hitch of just being another grappler. Almost every single big body character in fighting games is a grappler, and he is not. He gets by on large, devastating moves, most that leave him at an advantage if they are blocked.

I think there are some technical hiccups as, balance-wise, he’s honestly potentially the single worst character in the game right now. In a game with an incredibly heavy offense, he has no defense, and he has little way to control the opponent/the screen to stop them from just running wild over him with slow moves and somewhat poor range. That said, balance stuff can be fixed in time with patches, and the core spirit of the character is very fun and well done. Other than balance/power issues, I think the character is incredibly well done, well thought out, has a lot of heart, and just all around fun.


Romolla (EVO 2019 Guilty Gear Winner, Streamer)

I think Goldlewis has a lot of potential to be one of the strongest offensive characters in the game, but what will make or break him is how consistent his neutral is. He’s undoubtedly one of the weaker characters when he’s forced to block, so how much he can avoid that by controlling neutral will be key for what makes him strong. I think, though, his damage and offense are extremely strong.


SonicSol (Content Creator and FGC Enthusiast)

So, it’s been about 3 days since Goldlewis dropped, and from my findings and listening in on other top players, I think it’s a safe assumption to come to the conclusion that he’s not very strong within the context of the current meta. 

Goldlewis has really strong options up close, his Behemoth Typhoons on the ground are all guard breaks that leave him +19 on block and guarantee further pressure that can’t be Faultless Defended or Yellow Roman Canceled. Goldlewis’ combos hit extremely hard, causing near Touch of Deaths on middle to heavy-weight characters with high Guts rating. +3 on block punches and a standing low with 5K that can be jump canceled allow for great pressure, and fuzzy guard break/instant overhead mix-ups on top of the air behemoths to convert for hard knockdown and set-play using his thunderbird. 

Goldlewis’ air normals are also very strong, jump K, jump D, and jump HS all enable his pressure, while jump S is a strong anti-air to convert into air Typhoons. Also, his Supers do enable and reward his playstyle very well. 

However, the main problems are Dickinson’s neutrals. The slow mobility, lack of strong grounded normals outside of at best 2S and far 5S, abysmal anti air-options in 6P, which has subpar forward distance and proper hit confirms, make it really hard for him to approach to make that oppressive offense happen often. 

At best his goal is to just flail around Behemoth Typhoon or 6HS in the neutral at further distances, which are all also whiff punishable. The bright side is that his Typhoons do have disjointed hitboxes, making it risky for more midrange-focused characters to handle him.

His defence is also very poor as his fastest button, 2P, clocks in at 6f, and he lacks a proper reversal outside of his Super, but this is understandable since Goldlewis can side-swap off of a jab hit-confirm when cornered. 

Dickinson is a fun character overall, but he’s not going to beat what is currently the norm in tournaments. The biggest issue is Sol right now, and any competitive player will want to invest time playing what will net the highest chance of consistent victory. I don’t see that in Goldlewis. If you’re playing for fun, however, you can try him out. 


From I-no v Goldlewis Perspective

I think this is the one matchup I can definitively say is in I-no’s favour. When Goldlewis is playing the neutral, he is relying on 2S, far Slash and Behemoth Typhoon to connect so that he can convert into a hard knockdown and gain space on you or potential okizeme (wake up game/setplay). Either that, or he’ll jump at you. 

Despite the introduction footage showing him running under Horizontal Chemical Love, HCL actually works as a strong whiff punishing tool against Behemoth Typhoon, many of his useful but high recovery normals and his Gatling Gun, Skyfish (Gun), around midrange. I-no can also use S Sultry Performance to punish Skyfish on reaction when he pulls it out as well. 

I-no can also use Stroke the Big Tree to go under both Thunderbird (Drone), Skyfish (Gun), and his far Slash. She has no problem nullifying a lot of his options in the neutral, and once she gets in due to Goldlewis’ slow 5P, which starts up in 7 frames, and other slow defensive options, the Goldlewis player will need to be correct on defence to get out of I-no’s pressure, which can be hard to react to in the heat of the moment for any player. 

I think Goldlewis will have to swing Typhoon to swat I-no away like a fly and force her to focus on whiff punishment so that he can sneak in Thunderbird and slowly advance while forcing the I-no player to react to their approach in the air or on the ground. That will probably be the most efficient way to work around her ways to bypass his options. To force the neutral RPS. 


Ben ‘tragic’ Cureton (Founder/Owner of Dustloop and fightingelement)

I find Goldlewis to be a pretty cool character with a very interesting design. Right now (day 3 or so), Goldlewis suffers from obvious defensive issues. However, his offense has some interesting potential (if/when he gets the chance to attack). 

I think his viability will come down to how players end up utilizing Thunderbird, his low-hitting IAD cross-up (j.H), Burn it Down, and of course, Behemoth sequences for both confirms/conversions and chip sequences. Skyfish is another tool that has unique applications, especially for forcing players to choose between eating chip (damage) or losing their meter. Definitely a character that will need time to develop.


Brian_F (Competitive Fighting Game player and streamer)

Goldlewis is one of the most mechanically interesting characters I’ve seen in a game in a long time. His Behemouth Typhoon special takes full advantage of traditional fighting game control schemes and allows each version of the move to directly correlate with the input you do on your controller.
It’s both more intuitive and extremely confusing at the same time due to having so many options to juggle. He’s a really fun character when you get to play. The problem is his lack of mobility and EXTREMELY sluggish lights, and no invincible reversal make his defence a nightmare. It feels like you have to establish momentum, keep it up, and win off of a single opening, and failure to do so means you lose.
I think we might see some specialist optimize his offense and do some work with him. At least I hope so, so I can watch others play him at a high level!

Mezza (Host of Double Tap podcast)

My thoughts on Goldlewis Dickson is that he is strong but difficult. He is far from a bad character. As a Ky player, I find his buttons are not scary to challenge, but there is still a lot to be discovered as this character has a lot of tools. This character is going to be very entertaining when we see him at the highest level.


Romanova (FGC Commentator and Host)

My first impressions on Goldlewis was this guy is going to be a heavy hitter. And he TOTALLY is. That is part of Goldlewis’ gimmick with his Behemoth Typhoon move and its various options. I feel his design is very unique to the game, even though it is not the type of character I’d play (I’m very particular on rushdown archetypes). He does have some set play, it seems, with the drones he can set up.

However, it does seem like you’re hoping to either get some armor break off of Behemoth Typhoon and catch your opponent into a wall combo that breaks for max damage. This guy hits like a TANK. I’m glad he’s not a grappler, but he gives me grappler vibes, for real.


Diaphone (Competitive Fighting Game Player and Content Creator)

I feel like his strengths/weaknesses are really obvious, but what surprised me the most about him is his technical nature. Combos can be tricky, half circles aren’t as consistent as you would think, and being able to do grounded versions without jumping off his half circles, that is really useful but also very technical. 

So because of this, I think it’s a bit early to say his strengths, despite what the Twitter hive mind thinks about him so far (AKA he’s bad). Some of his matchups are pretty polarizing for sure, the Axl matchup is really as bad as everyone says it is, but I think he will have some favourable matchups as well.

Ilan Raschkovsky (Host of Best of V podcast)

Goldlewis is a very unique character, I can’t think of another character that is similar to him. He has strong tools to mix up opponents with his high/low Behemoth Typhoon options, as well as the use of his mine and Burn It Down specials to keep the opponent guessing after they get knocked down.

I think one or two very creative people will make this character shine, but he’s tough to play because, even for a big character, his buttons are on the shorter and slower side, and by design, there are a lot of openings in his block strings. However, once you train your opponent to stand still, your opponent will be losing rounds with one or two big combos. 

All in all, Goldlewis is a very unique, extremely explosive character that has great tools for many crazy situations, IF they’re used wisely


Lord Knight (Fighting Game player and YouTuber)

So to be honest, I’m not sure how good he is going to turn out, and I’ve played no matches against him yet. These are just initial impressions still.
– Damage is high (a theme in Strive, to be fair)
– Guard crush. He has a bunch of very strong guard crush moves with a lot of frame advantage. If you don’t know what Guard Crush is, it is a mechanic that if you guard it, all you can do is block or burst. NOTHING else.
– He is strong when the opponent is cornered
– Good anti-zoning (Skyfish)
– Builds resource passively, all his tools that are tied to the security meter are strong
– Not mobile. He has a slow run, no double jump, low super jump height, slow jump start up.
– Defence is bad. No DP, fastest normal is 6P.
Goldlewis looks somewhat like a standard GG bruiser, with the additional quirk of a lot of his strings ending with Guard Crush, so it somewhat makes up for his lack of mobility (since the person who blocks Behemoth Typhoon can’t move). I’m interested in seeing what he looks like a month out.
Also, even if he may look weak at a glance (I’m already starting to see it on socials), there is the thing of “how will he work in the system”. For example, how will he work in Positive? This is a meme clip, but it goes to show there might be some untapped potential.
I’m looking forward to seeing how he develops.

Globku  (Anime Games Expert and Streamer)

I do like his pressure a lot, his oki as well, and his combo roots are a ton of fun. They feel so heavy, that coffin has a good impact, it feels so satisfying to connect with and he is definitely unique. He brings something new to Guilty Gear, and on that front, he’s definitely good DLC, but I don’t think this is a character that I’ll be personally playing. I love the lore of Goldlewis, but this is not a playstyle I can have fun with, and that’s just my opinion, to each their own.


ScrubQuotes (FGC Enthusiast)

He’s fun and cool for sure. He’s a bit tougher to play and more specialized than the base roster, so it’s easy to see why he’s DLC, and that may indicate what the other future characters will be like. My favourite thing about him is the Colonel Sanders outfit mod.


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