Learning DOA5 is proving to be quite a challenge. After so many years in the previous entries I sometimes try to hold out of stun like in 4 but that strategy doesn't seem to work as much in 5. For people like me who only have a single friend to train offline with, playing online is the only actual method of building up skills and learning match-ups. My friend uses Bass and Bayman and he's doing quite good with them, better than me. (We finished around 50-30 in his favor last night) but the problem in DOA4 was that I only played with him so I became to used to those matches and it made me lose that could have been easy fights when I went online.
Fortunately, DOA5 has an unranked system similar to other games like VF5FS but it looks like it puts you up against people of your similar skill level. I can play DOA and I'm not bad at it but when I try to play unranked and it puts me up against F-ranked Kasumi players, the game doesn't get much fun.
So building up some levels in ranked matches seems to be a good way to get to where you should be (B-A in my case) and go from there to unranked and try to train there. Since I still don't have a main character and spend hours messing around with like eight of them, this looks like a good strategy to help me.
Tina is the character I've spent the most time with and I even got a few quick set-ups to Critical Burst with her along with some nice and damaging juggles for every weight in the game. She's very good dealing damage but I'm still having problems starting my offensive. Gotta practice, practice, practice! But so far, I like Tina a lot even though I think she's much weaker than Bayman, Bass and Hayabusa. (Other grappling characters).