Watch the video and then we’ll discuss …
Player 1 is yours truly. Player 2 is Jamie.
Welcome to Marvel vs Capcom 2 class. This is the first in a series of ongoing looks at one of the most divisive fighting games to come out in recent memory. A staple of any arcade in the United States (and maybe Japan, if you’re lucky), MvC2 has been known to divide and bring together based on its mash-up of 56 characters with 3-on-3 fighting.
A little about me
I am a longtime player, having started playing MvC2 in February 2000. The first character I ever chose was Ruby Heart and after about two months of playing settled on a team that I still use to this day: Ruby/Doom/Cable. I use other teams (Doom/Black Heart/Cable, Sentinel/Ken/Cable, among others) but I feel most comfortable with my primary team because I can play all three characters well on point if needed.
I am a member of the forums on Shoryuken.com and have, from time to time, written a few posts for the Ruby Heart thread in the MvC2 strategy section. I have competed in a number of tournaments in the Southeast in my 12 years of playing MvC2, and I own the Dreamcast and Xbox 360 versions of the game. I do not profess to being a great player; I just enjoy healthy, constructive competition. I pick up strategy and ideas from playing and watching matches, something I enjoy immensely. A semi-interesting note: To date, I have cosplayed as Ruby Heart and Akuma.
Before we before start …
We’re here to talk strategy and fighting, not bash characters or competitors. We will point out faults and strengths alike, and we will respect the strategy and skill level of all who play. We will not demean anyone.
This series of strategy assumes that you, the reader, have some type of exposure to the game and have at least played more than once. This is intended to be general strategy with a little bit of advanced talk. If you don’t know what delayed hyper combos are or understand the game engine on the basic level, stop reading right now and play the game until you do. Training mode on the Dreamcast version provides a wealth of opportunities and information just waiting to be discovered.
On with the show …
Some terms you need to know before you read this:
1. Point character – Your main character is on-screen at the time. For example, if you use the team Ruby/Doom/Cable and Doom and Cable are your assists at the time, Ruby has to be your point character.
2. Hit spiral – Not to be confused with the character of the same name in the game. Hit spiral can be described as the state that the opponent character or yourself is in if the character is hit by a tag in. It’s a special stun type that is only achieved by several moves in the game, one of which being actually hit by a character’s tag in.
3. DHC – Delayed hyper combo. Say you have Ruby/Doom/Cable and you perform Ruby’s Partennaire super. As the super connects and the cannons fire, you can switch Doom in by either performing the Electric Cage super (QCF+2P) or Sphere Flame (QCF+2K) or Photon Array (HCB+2P), and then Cable (if you have enough super levels) to do Hyper Viper Beam (QCF+2P) or Time Flip (QCF+2K). Keep in mind that some supers cannot be DHCed into or out of, such as Sakura’s Level 3 change super.
4. QCF, etc. – Quarter circle forward, 2K= 2 kicks, 2P= 2 punches, HCB= half circle back
Part I – Character team ups/combinations
In the variable cast of 56, there are several potent two-character teams or duos that you can make. Yes, the teams are three-character based, but two of the three characters always make an impact because you can only call one assist at a time during the normal course of play. With your character on point and an assist behind them ready to come out, who you choose to pair and what assist type makes a difference. Here’s a list of known assists and their assist types that you should choose (point character is listed first):
1. Strider/Doom – You choose Doom’s rocks (Anti-air assist Beta-type) for the inevitable Strider Ouroboros, which does a lot of damage including cross ups and chip.
2. Blackheart/Doom or Doom/Blackheart– Call Blackheart’s jumping fierce air demons as Doom calls rocks as an assist. Conversely, Blackheart’s Inferno (Anti-air assist Beta-type) with Doom on point directing should control movement on all sides. Doom controls the tempo of the match while on point as Blackheart narrows down and traps.
3. Ruby Heart/Doom – A personal favorite, Ruby calls Sublimination as Doom calls rocks to control space. This is a decent trap team in that, with the Sublimination keeping the opponent’s point character locked down and blocking some (and I use that term lightly) assists from coming out, Doom can also prevent stuff from moving forward and touching Ruby. If Doom is taken out though, it’s going to be hard for Ruby. Real hard.
4. Magneto/Psylocke – One of the ultimate trap teams in the game, Mags and Psylocke can destroy opponent’s point characters within seconds in the right hands. Good Magneto players will attest to the fact that all they are waiting on is for you to screw up and get hit by Psylocke (Anti-air Alpha assist) so they can roll in, pop you up, chain combo into hyper grav, Magnetic Tempest. Rinse and repeat ad nausea. With at least two of those, you will be dead or very close, depending on who you are. Psylocke’s assist is perfect in this instance because she pops you up just enough that Magneto can hit his launcher with little trouble.
5. Spiral/Sentinel – I haven’t played this team much at all, but I have played against a very good version of it. Basically, Spiral calls Dancing Swords and throws them across the screen with jab as Sentinel (Ground type Gamma-assist) calls drones on assist. With this combination it’s easy to control space and your opponent. It’s literally called “Wall of Swords.” When you see it done correctly, you will know why.
6. Sentinel/Doom – Again, another controlling space duo. With Sentinel on point Doom can call rocks all day as Sentinel calls ground drones into Hyper Sentinel Force. Lots of chip damage being done here and pinning down of the opponent’s point.
Who your third character is, is solely up to you. I personally play alot of Ruby/Doom/Cable and Sentinel/Doom/Blackheart, which encompasses some of the above teams. I’ve found a few that I like to combine for non-tournament level matches, and that’s come from experimentation and practice.
COMING UP: Part II – Top tier teams and what they mean.