In response to the many MMCafe individual tier lists produced by members of the community, Seth Killian challenged people to do something more practical and tier the game by teams. After all, Marvel 3 is a team game and the rank of any individual character is both hard to pin down and somewhat meaningless by itself. What if this character has his best assist? OK, well what if he doesn’t? What if it’s a character like Trish who beats some top tier characters and loses to some bottom tier characters? What the heck do you do with a character like Frank who has a good assist and is a great character with level 5 but is a pretty weak character before leveling up?
So making the decision to tier by teams will make everything clearer and easier to understand right? Wrong! I expect this to cause just as much grief and salt as any individual list. Probably more. This cannot possibly be accurate. There are 117,600 possible team combinations out there not counting assists. Counting assists there are 3,175,200 combinations. Your favorite team will probably not make the list. In fact (and here’s the REAL problem), not only will your favorite team almost surely not be on the list, almost nobody’s favorite team will make it! Unlike MvC2 there aren’t very many common actual teams in this game yet. Due to the game’s diversity and relative balance (Marvel is like West Virginia, everything’s relative) very few 3 character team combinations repeat in top level play. Duos repeat and are quite common but actual teams? We’re not quite there yet. I don’t think we ever will get there.
So why do this at all? Well it’s fun. Second off, I’m sitting in an airport on my way to Chicago for UFGT8 and there’s an evil redheaded woman staring at me like I’m a lamb chop. If I pretend this is really important hopefully she’ll leave me alone. But the most important reason is because I want your feedback. Is there a particular team combination that you think needs to be highlighted because it’s that damn good? Tell me about it! Am I completely wrong and overrating theory in favor of results? Tell me about it! Am I a fraud who nobody should listen to? Keep that to yourself–I’ve already heard that one! And with that out of the way, here…we…go! We’ll start with the Top 3 teams; These team groupings seem to be above the rest in theory and in practice and most importantly they force bad matchups with many other top teams. Like in a solo tier list being strong in space in a vacuum is good but being strong against other likely tournament teams is more important.
Zero-any/Dante-a/Vergil-y, Zero-any/Vergil-y/Hawkeye-a, Zero-any/Vergil-y/Doom-b, Zero-any/Vergil-y/Akuma-b
Flocker: Zero/Hawkeye/Vergil or Zero/Vergil/Hawkeye
So let’s get started with something that will probably make everyone good and mad, the optimal Zero team as the #1 team in the game. A lot of people are going to complain since this team hasn’t done a lot of winning but people need to be patient; I don’t think there’s anyone out there who’s mastered this team from top to bottom yet meaning this team still needs to grow into its theoretical potential.
I think the best form of this team is team Zero may cry (or more appropriately, Zero will make you cry), Zero/Dante-A/Vergil-Y. The premise of this team is simple. Zero is a dominant point character. Vergil is a dominant anchor. Zero can kill off of stray hits in a meter efficient manner with the lightning loop meaning you can generate 1 hit kills while still building meter and Vergil with meter at the end of a game with XF3 is a monster who dominates other common and strong anchors like Phoenix, Wesker and Morrigan. The reason Dante is the preferred assist is that jam session works so well with both Vergil and Zero both for combos and mixups. Plus Dante and Vergil have excellent synergy together meaning that even if Zero is killed instantly this team can still do serious damage.
Other forms of the team are top notch as well with Doom-missiles working well with both Zero and Vergil for combos and lockdown potential and Akuma-tatsu providing for very difficult to read resets and Hawkeye arrows allow Zero to teleport in freely and set up some easy pressure without burning the buster. Still, Dante-a gets the nod from me. In my eyes, this is the most powerful team in the game; now it’s up to players of this team to prove me right. Stop dropping combos guys, make me look good!
Any/Morrigan-y/Doom-b, Morrigan-y/Doom-b/Any or X/Doom-b/Morrigan-y
FC | Chris G: Akuma/Doom/Morrigan, Morrigan/Doom/Akuma
I have a sneaking suspicion that we have found the villain of UMvC3. Instead of a pure and beautiful maiden like Phoenix, it’s an evil impure succubus named Morrigan. Judging by crowd reactions, she’s already the most hated character and she hasn’t even been maximized yet. The best form of this team may very well be Zero/Morrigan/Doom and it’s yet to make an appearance in tournament.
Getting the most out of MorriDoom is really up to the player. Starting Morrigan means you only start with one meter meaning you probably shouldn’t go into astral vision mode immediately, plus you’ll have to fend off an opening mixup. But when you start with 1 meter, the other side is starting with just 1 meter also—this makes it much harder for the other side to nuke Doom. Using a battery is guaranteed to keep your Morrigan safe at the start of the round and will give you more meter to play with especially if you use harmonizer assist liberally. But this leaves your Morrigan vulnerable to snapback mixups; as good as she is she doesn’t have the best evasion tools after being snapped in and nobody blocks Zero’s welcome mixups reliably. And while you’re building meter for your Morrigan, they’re building meter for a counter as well and they’re almost certainly targeting Doom. Morrigan is a great character on her own but with Doom she becomes a different and suffocating force; if the opponent takes out Doom this team is still good but it’s just not the same.
So while it may not be the best team in the game and while there may be some flaws to attack, there’s a very good chance it’s the most important especially right now earning it the coveted 2nd spot in my list. So many characters including a lot of very good characters and teams get shut down so completely that having a counter to this team may become a requirement to compete seriously. With the monkey-see monkey-do mentality that so many players have, this team is likely coming to a scene near you. Be prepared.
Viper-b/Dante-a/Strider-y. Viper-any/Doom-a or b/Amaterasu-b, Viper-any/Doom-b/Strider-y
BT | Marlinpie: Viper/Doom/Amaterasu
Viper is the least picked top tier character in any Marvel game since the beginning of the series and likely one of the least picked in any fighting game. Players almost universally agree that she’s incredibly strong but very few people have any actual experience with the character. While compiling this list I had to ask Viper players for help about what her best teams are (thanks to Chrisis) simply because aside from Marlinpie you just don’t see much of her. Her execution barrier is the reason for her underuse; only an actual master Viper scares anyone. Since her normals are so weak you need to take advantage of good assists and be spot on with her seismo pressure in order to mount any kind of serious threat. The proper Viper teams can not only beat the best teams in the game but they can prevent the other teams from even getting to play. Poorly constructed Viper teams simply aren’t very good at all.
Strider’s vajra assist and Dante’s jam session are key to making a great Viper team. Viper is one of the best characters at protecting Strider since she can ignore beams and projectiles and vajra gives her 2/3 screen pressure that she can convert into 1 million damage combos. Jam session and cold star give her near inescapable incoming mixups including potential unblockables. Luckily these characters work well as duos after Viper dies so the overall teams are strong.
So while the top Viper teams may be less flexible than other top teams their sheer muscle power makes up for it. It’s up to the players to decide if mastering multiple high execution characters is worth it to them. As Marlinpie has proved to everyone the brass ring of a major tournament win is there, it’s up to other people to grab it and run with it like he has.