Now time to run through a couple sets. A big thanks to FR Roachking and Dios X for helping out. These sets are recorded over XBL so again, not 100% tournament perfect but still pretty decent connections. Let’s get to it!
The first set is vs. FR Roachking. Going into this match I know from playing him in casuals before that he’s going to run Wesker/Haggar/Phoenix and Wesker/Magneto/Phoenix. I’m not sure which of them he’ll go to first but I’m hoping for Wesker/Haggar/Phoenix. In my opinion Wesker/Vergil/Strider does great against the Haggar team and very poorly against the Magneto team. Even though both are Wesker mirrors, the match is about the assist. Since Wesker has such a weakness to zoning in general, I have a big advantage over the Haggar team because I can safely zone him from all positions except back to the corner but I’m at a huge disadvantage to the Magneto team because he can zone me in all positions, including his back to the corner!
Roachking sent in a detailed review of the 1st game in the set and some overall notes for the rest. Here they are.
When the opportunity arose to do this set, I decided to not think much about the matchup beforehand and try to hop right into it— When you come across teams with higher tier characters on them in pools at a major, you don’t really get much time to think over all aspects of the matchup.
In my opinion, this team is a very hard counter to mine. You could argue that Wesker+Lariat beats Wesker+Strider, but I think it’s just a teensy bit more favored towards Wesker+Strider. While I can counter-call Haggar to hit Strider, there’s no solid offensive assist that can keep Wsk/Str from running away from me. Regardless, the end goal/backup plan with my team is dark phoenix, and the team Jay chose to play held 2 very hard counters to her.
At the beginning of the first match, I tried to play my normal style of play— keepaway. There were a few dropped opportunities and combos there (people drop wesker combos??), but that was just an attempt to get used to the Atlanta vs. California connection.
From the start, I realized that my usual style of play would not work against this time. When something like this happens, it’s extremely difficult for a player to adapt and play a wholly different style. I couldn’t keep away and keep my opponent frustrated with the threat of phoenix in the back. If I tried to run away, strider kept me down. If I called haggar, wesker crouched under him and could frame trap with L’s. I realized very quickly that I needed to maintain an aggressive style to counter his lack of defensive assist, and that I was either going to have to:
1. Play basically a solo wesker (I could mash haggar when I maintain aggressive pressure, but I try not to do that mindlessly)
2. Call phoenix assist aggressively (which won AND cost me a few games later on)
At 0:59, I like that Viscant kept going for throw tech punishes there throughout the set. I would always expect a throw, and get hit out of it with an air series.
Several times in the first game, I went for simple hard reads—I would go for raw ground grabs with haggar during different situations. I tried to take mental note of the tendencies of my opponent with each character.
Something like that is really essentially when trying to study an opponent. You have to realize that sometimes people will have different tech tendencies for each part of the screen, and sometimes different tendencies for each character. One thing I noticed simply from the first game was that Viscant loved to stay grounded with wesker, while up-backing with vergil. For the most part, Wesker had significantly more neutral techs from a ground state, while Vergil would mostly back-tech, throw round-trip, then go for mixups. I tried to adjust accordingly in the following games.
At 1:34, I went for a neutral tech headbutt. I knew that because of online/in general, someone would try to set up something to chip or some type of pressure to eventually kill haggar before he could do anything. I did an air neutral tech to get the fastest tech possible (thus trying to eliminate their meaty attempt), and counter-hit headbutt to knock them out of whatever they wanted to do.
At 1:39, I KNEW I couldn’t kill strider without meter or X-Factor. Earlier in the game, I did a corner reset on Wesker. (Jab xx Hoodlum Launcher unblockable). Viscant knows this team (obviously). He knows the limitations and the abilities it has. He knows to expect that reset. So here, against Strider, I did my jab and in my head I thought—“Okay. The most obvious thing strider can do to get out of this reset is to double jump.” So instead of my normal hoodlum launcher unblockable, I decided to Jab, WAIT, and then s.j command grab. I could also have just waited and delayed my unblockable to hit him on the way down, but I trust the s.j command grab more. HOWEVER, this attempt went to hell because if I’m not mistaken, Viscant was more concerned of a TAC than a reset, and was hitting S to counter a TAC. So instead of a dead Strider, I had a dead Haggar.
When Phoenix came in, I would’ve probably used vergil assist as cover, birds as something meaty, and gone for very quick mixups to get her to turn dark ASAP. Though, I can understand why one wouldn’t— you run the risk of XBL eating your inputs and getting a Happy Birthday. However, if the mixup had worked, strider could’ve done his Legion super and cancelled into Vergil Swords + Strider assist for total control.
At 1:53 I set a ground trap and plink-dashed rapidly backwards. When she is in the corner, phoenix’s teleports don’t cross the opponent up on incoming. She really has no ideal mixups to get a hit and kill the character. However, if you go full screen backwards, you can bring the screen with you, and thus the opponent doesn’t come in cornered—so you can teleport behind him.
(As a little jab, I would like to credit this mixup to Bum from NYC. He suggested trying this and upon finding that it worked, I started doing it, and then another west coast phoenix player copied it………. w/e I’m still a better dancer than Champ)
However, this brings up a new opportunity in the meta. The dashing backwards is very obvious to expect a mixup. OR, people could still be in the mindset of “Oh, I’m in the corner, she can’t mix me up.” Against players that I feel have seen the mixup, I typically will go full screen, and then just teleport in FRONT of them as a mindgame. However, being the first time I’d attempted this against Viscant, I went ahead and teleported behind him, and he blocked it.
After all that, I was turned dark in the air. This is extremely frightening for a phoenix player. For the most part, once swords were on cooldown, I would take to the air to not eat rapid slash mixups.
At 2:30, I stayed grounded since there were no swords. I knew he needed a hit to get meter, and I had the life lead (technically). I put down traps and covered his teleport ranges with cr.l’s. When he took to the air, I set another trap as cover and went for ground mixups. When he finally put swords on at 2:44, I was already putting a trap down. I knew if he teleported immediately, I would get caught. Thus, I cancelled my special move into healing field. This would keep me alive if he teleported, and also cancelled my recovery from my trap in general.
At 2:46, Vergil teleported. I was in the air and blocking something (I can’t recall which way I was holding or what my thoughts were. Probably something like “fuUUCchdshkgjshdgljsdhg”) However, when you land on the ground, all blockstun resets. Apparently I was holding some direction while in the air, and the other way once I was in blockstun—so when I hit the ground, I was opened up. Luckily, Healing Field kept me alive throughout the entire combo, and I was able to get out to kill Vergil.
Later on in the sets, I realized Haggar wasn’t going to be much use if the matchup was played correctly. Thus, I switched to an aggressive assist (Magneto). While I hate playing airdash characters like Magneto online, I knew I needed the assist. I feel like I have a solid Magneto, but please excuse the way he was played as a point character in these sets— It was difficult to adjust to a character whose movement is much more fragile through the latency. I feel like the switch was overall worth it.
00:43, 1:30. Roachking gave a really good analysis of the 1st game but I just want to point out the areas where I lost this game. 00:43 I’m holding straight back in the corner? Why? Am I worried about an overhead from Haggar? I had to know I was in the corner and I had to know that I should either teleport, jump or block. In my opinion that right there is why I lost this game. 1:30 is a close 2nd though. Choosing to bring in Strider here was a terrible decision, even if it would have got the kill. As it is, I have to think about fighting Phoenix meaning that saving meter is more important. His Haggar did enough damage that it threw me off my gameplan and wrecked the rest of the match for me.
3:49: This teleport is a direct response to what happened in the last game. Since I have vajra I’m just going to shoot some guns and call assists at this point. Roachking using Phoenix as an assist at 3:55 officially got my attention, which I’m sure it was intended to. I’m resolving to watch out for that from this point on. Gunshot into teleport at 3:58 is a teleport for information. I’m checking to see if he lariats teleports. The answer is yes. That’s free information for me; generally teleporting for information against Haggar costs you 2 characters. I’ll use that later on.
5:48: The drop here basically ended this game for me and I wasn’t really in the game from that point on. For the record I was going for the full ToD here, not worrying about saving meter for fighting his Phoenix. The goal here was kill Wesker at all costs, run from Haggar with gunshot+assist, deal with Phoenix. The drop kind of made me lose discipline though, I moved forward entirely too much for the rest of this game and that’s where he got his damage from.
6:38: I tag in Strider here even though I have the meter because I feel more comfortable making the comeback with level 3 x-factor Vergil. It’s not the orthodox way to play the matchup, it’s just what I do because my Strider is bad.
7:26: What I’m trying to do here is cancel launcher into swords. I do not get it which gives him a chance to land safely and he gets the hit and ends things. Just an execution error.
8:01: I go for a different combo here mainly because my execution has been so awful in the past couple games. Technically I probably could have got the kill with the glasses on BnB but I chose the path of least resistance even though it cost me a meter. Why is this important? At 8:49 when I pop his Phoenix I have 3.5 meters. Let’s say I keep that meter and I have 4.5 meters. I can Phantom Dance into Ouroboros now. Even though he still has Haggar assist, that’s probably GG. Bad decisions combo wise is what REALLY cost me the game more than any other decision, including the happy birthday. At 9:03 it would have been nice if I would have got Ragnarok instead of Ouroboros but yeah. Such is life.
10:15: I end this combo with a Phantom Dance because he’s so far away from 5 meters. At this point I’m playing to get Phoenix before she gets 5 meters. Comboing into snapback is a good decision here also, possibly a better decision but I’m confident enough in my Vergil/Strider shell that I played for damage there. I would have DHC’d to Vergil if I could have got a kill there with Dimension Slash. Trying to DHC into swords would have built him too much meter so it’s not worth it to me.
11:27: I have to use the more inefficient DHC because I used Vergil to open him up. It wouldn’t have cost me if not for the unfortunate drop on Phoenix at 11:48. That’s basically the game right there.
13:11: Healing sphere saves the day here. Because of healing sphere the only way I can get enough damage to kill Dark Phoenix is with the combo into level 3. Because this combo starts with my back to the corner I have to get the double jump starter (successful) then satellite into wall cling and divekick which would have built just enough. That’s the only way I’m going to win this game and I drop it. From this point on I’m playing just to get to 3 so I can put on orbs and win that way. After I block the last fireball I’m thinking “come on, one more…throw another fireball, put up a trap, do something I can block.” He’s too smart for that though and he takes this game.
13:45: So here’s where we are. I feel like I’ve created winnable situations in 5 out of the 6 games but I’m still down 4-2. The gameplan is working but I’m not winning. Since this is a FT10 set I don’t feel like I should change anything, I’m confident that my advantage in the opening part of the matches thanks to vajra is going to eventually get me the games. If I had less confidence in that I would probably start snapping but I’m confident that Vergil and Strider can handle Phoenix, I’m just making too many mistakes. My only real adjustment at this point? Play better.
14:14: I’ve been watching for the Phoenix assist for some time. Roachking uses his TK Overdrive assist WAY more than I do; it’s strictly a combo assist when I play the Wesker/Haggar/Phoenix team. I’ve been watching for it though and I haven’t been able to see it in cases that I can take advantage of. This time though, I see red and hit jump S…and it loses to the Overdrive. I’m not sure if that was by design or it just worked out that way but I’ve made a note of that.
14:39: After the round trip doesn’t come out on the combo to kill Haggar I get a little bit lucky here. Even though I got some information about him lariating teleports earlier, I hadn’t gone back to the well in long enough that I thought I could maybe slip one in as long as Strider put him into blockstun first. I was wrong. This really should have been the game but Strider fell back instead of falling forward. I don’t like the decision to tag in Phoenix here because once I see her as a point character I’m just going to put on the orbs and plow through both her and Dark Phoenix. I would have liked to see him try to fight it out with a low life Haggar knowing that any hit can kill me.
16:30: So now Roachking makes the adjustment going to the Magneto team. I’ve won the Wesker battle the vast majority of the time due to having Strider but the score is just even. I needed to be ahead by more because I don’t like this matchup. The Wesker battle is about to change dramatically and I can no longer get away with jump back gunshots.
17:43: So what I’m going for here is stand C xx Devil Trigger with Vergil as a semi-guard break type setup midscreen against Magneto. I just missed the timing because I didn’t come out of Dimension Slash in time. Having him backdash away is the worst possible outcome though because now he’s ready for it, knows I know about that and I didn’t even get anything out of it. I resolve not to do that setup for the next few games, I blew it big time here.
18:50: I got the hail mary launch and didn’t even capitalize. I’m hating life pretty hard right about now. Yeah I got some information that he comes out of the Phoenix burst mashing, but still I needed this game way more than I needed info. In long sets playing for information is fine early on since you can use that later on. But we’re past that point now. He’s probably going to stick with the Magneto team the whole way through so I’m at a disadvantage. Needed this win badly.
19:40: Here’s an interesting scenario. Do I snap or do I kill 2. If I kill 2 I’m handing him Dark Phoenix. I choose not to snap since I have Vergil/Strider in the back. Again, keeping with my overall philosophy for the set, I have faith in them.
20:08: That was swords, not Devil Trigger. It doesn’t cost me and my plan worked out in the end, still it’s a disappointing mistake. I gave him room to breathe; that could have been a catastrophe.
21:24: I’ve deliberately avoided rapid slashes for the first 10 games of the set, doing more judgment cuts than I normally do. This worked out well. The mistake here was going for swords instead of going for x-factor. If I do the x-factor combo on Magneto I can kill off Phoenix with the first mixup OR I’ll have 3 meters to fall back on if she blocks and goes dark, giving me enough time to wait her out with swords. I IMMEDIATELY kicked myself at this point. I should have been monitoring the meter situation more closely. The reason I choose to go for the air reset instead of finishing sword loop at 21:38 is because I want to save at least 1 for Phoenix. I shouldn’t have done the Dimension Slash to kill off Magneto at 21:42 either. This game overall was just a bad job of meter management by me.
22:14: If you kill Phoenix with a normal, make sure it’s S so you can chicken block. Especially if you’re Vergil and have swords on; your chicken block turns into a reset that could possibly end in a throw. Whoops.
23:47: Since he can’t use meter, I can do Phantom Dance here for free. Wesker can actually counter the Phantom Dance at this range on reaction with Rhino Charge but he’s not going to do that since he has Phoenix. At this range it’s a crossup 90% of the time so I was pretty sure it was going to hit (and if it didn’t I have Vergil behind so who cares), but it looks like he was hitting a button so he didn’t miss the block. Since it didn’t cross him up the trick wasn’t used up so I feel like I can use that later if I want.
23:53: I delay the H so much because I need the snap at this point, even though I have Vergil/Strider I have a chance to snap. Combo drops so bleh. Even though I manage to catch Phoenix with the Vergil/Strider special and catch her before she turns it’s still a mistake to miss the chance to snap.
24:55: Alright, credit where credit’s due. That was sick, using tiger uppercut on vajra in order to cross up Wesker. I completely did not see this coming. As I’m reviewing the match I notice that he telegraphed this trick and did something similar at 9:54. I didn’t notice it at the time; almost exactly 15 minutes had passed so it was completely out of mind.
26:53: Again, DHCing to Strider to kill Magneto is a mistake. I have to save the meter to give myself a better chance on Phoenix. It’s one thing if you make the decision because you have a chance to catch Phoenix but she’s already right up against 5 meters. This decision makes the fight against Phoenix harder for me.
28:16: I’ve lost too many games to Phoenix at this point. Even though strategically I have enough anti-Phoenix in the back, I’ve made too many mistakes and I want him to beat me with something else so I go for the snap.
29:43: Even though the snap here leaves me at 0 meters, I feel like I have to do it. I’m basically going all in here. Either I get Phoenix here or I lose. I did get her (thanks to an execution error on his part) but I make too many execution errors down the stretch to close out the game. The combo on Magneto finishes him off with a gram L giving me a full x-factor Ouroboros to take out Wesker but…just like in many other games I drop a Strider combo, let him live and it comes back to bite me. I needed this game to stay in the set so that’s a really crippling blow.
31:45: Just like last game I’m going for the snap even though strategically it may not be the right move. Didn’t work out and that’s basically it for me in the game and the set. Roachking takes it 10-7.
Overall I feel like strategically I had things in hand just too many drops, specifically with Strider. I count three games in here where Strider had a combo to kill Phoenix and missed them all, missing capitalizing on a raw launcher, missing the wall cling combo and not completing after XFC into ABC. Just didn’t play well enough to win. Here are Roachking’s closing thoughts on the set:
A few things to keep in mind against Wesker/Vergil/Strider
1. Don’t forget about the Kubota Escape! Vergil players can sometimes full screen put on swords or ouroboros with Strider, and you can simply take yourself out of the situation for a little bit. Of course, this is situational, and even if the opportunity presents itself, that doesn’t mean you should always use it.
2. If you are playing Phoenix, you probably shouldn’t. However, if you want to play her, you can typically play a solid TAC metagame and just go for free side exchanges to take their meter, which will save you some heartache.
3. Don’t forget to punish strider assist if Wesker is full screen! Yeah, you might take a gunshot to the face, but that’ll mean nothing when strider dies. Later on, I did a jump Headbutt with Haggar as counter-hit, then OTG’d and almost killed strider from just ONE full screen call.
4. With that particular team, if you aren’t saving meter, snap strider—this reverses the team and completely changes its dynamic.
5. Don’t just let Vergil be your Daddy. He has SUPER unsafe normals and unsafe teleports. Punish the raw teleports and don’t pushblock so much against his unsafer moves like his s.H and s.S. If you don’t pushblock, then you can punish.
Well… That’s all I’ve got. Hopefully someone out there learned something. If anyone has any questions about my team or wants to talk to a mad cute dude with dancing skills and great legs, just hit me up on facebook at www.facebook.com/achest2 or @FR_RoachKing on twitter. Peace, y’all! See everyone at Final Round!
Next up we have a set vs. Dios-X aka Dios X Reloaded. Out of everyone I play in Marvel, he’s my most frequent opponent. By far. We play online, we play casuals, and we play every tournament we both show up to. So we both know what to expect from the other at this point. I’m going with the Vergil/Wesker/Strider team order because his Doom destroys me. Since he’s going with Doom/Storm/Sentinel I’ve identified the threat to be Doom and I’m treating his Doom like I would normally treat a Zero or a Viper. His Doom must die. His Doom must die quickly. Otherwise I have enough matchup experience against Dios to know that I’m simply not going to get the win. Let’s get to the set.
00:15: So like I said, the goal is to take out Doom even if I have to burn x-factor right away. I’m using the Padtrick opener of helm breaker + vajra and it gets the hit and I follow through and get the kill after botching the x-factor combo. At 00:34 I do the same setup but with the teleport before the vajra. Because we play so often I’m not worried about using up a trick, besides I know he has experience against other Vergil/Striders also. What I’m trying to put into his head is “I’m going to do this. A lot. Sometimes it will be a straight block, sometimes a crossup, sometimes crossup timing with teleport in front, sometimes no teleport and just a rapid slash.” I want him to think it’s random and start guessing. I think the odds of blocking this kind of thing on sight is better than 50/50. When you do the A teleport Vergil disappears in horizontal lines as opposed to vertical lines for the other teleports. So if you do the same timing on helm breaker + Strider and just vary the button you teleport with, people will block this better than 50/50. But if you add a timing element to it, the same input will have to be blocked differently and it makes it seem “random” to the opponent.
1:49: He starts the round with instant snapback which probably would have worked if Vergil was closer. Instead of discouraging me, this actually encourages me to keep with my strategy. 1 game in and I feel like I’m in his head.
3:32: Same setup as last game (in case he tries another snapback) but fast teleport instead of slow teleport to get the crossup.
3:52: I bring in Wesker here because I like to have Vergil as my character to wait out his x-factor. Storm is actually pretty good against Wesker when she has x-factor because I have to respect lightning attacks much more than in the flow of a normal match. With Vergil I just put her in blockstun, put my swords on and ignore her. Once x-factor runs out I should be safe. The TAC at 4:05 is intentional. Because I couldn’t get Vergil out, I couldn’t do my normal Wesker/Vergil ToD so I went for a TAC. This team has a great team super when their backs are to the corner, but going into the corner it does nothing. TAC was semi-important to get the kill in this case even if I dropped it. Plus it sets up fake TAC mixup for later.
6:15: Phantom Dance is historically unreliable for DHCs. You want to either do it as early as possible so that Wesker has time to go “find” them or RIGHT before they hit the ground so that the first passthrough will hit them. The 2nd method gets the most damage but is unreliable coming from Dimension Slash. I did it early and it just missed. I chalk that up to bad luck, not bad execution. One of the great things about Dios’s team and any Storm teams in general is that it’s really hard to call assists against when the other player is OK with burning x-factor. He just happened to have 0 meters for long stretches so I could get away with more Strider.
8:05: Interesting adaptation. Dios emailed me and said that if this was a tournament match instead of casuals he’d switch to Wolverine instead but since this is just casuals he stuck with his main team, just started Sentinel instead of Doom. Sentinel gets a double jump AND has hard drive meaning it’s harder to do the Padtrick opening safely. Dios has happy birthday’d me from this position many times so I didn’t even try it; I just decided to play the match out straight. I was planning on sniping Doom as an assist but it never came to that point. Level 3 there was a mistake, it was supposed to be Phantom Dance quickly canceled into Legion.
9:25: I like the counter; he dashed away into photons expecting the helm breaker + Strider. The rest of the game is a useful illustration of why I really want to kill his Doom ASAP. 10:00 shows what I said earlier about how Dios counters assists with Storm. I don’t know how he sees/hears them right away but he’s really good at it.
10:43: Another counter. Starting with towards+H is an option select, it either techs the throw or hits a close helm breaker. Strider stopped him from converting into a full combo although Doom CAN complete the combo and still avoid Strider, it’s just a spacing issue and it wasn’t right in this case. One of the mixups I added onto the Padtrick opening is starting the round with walk up back throw after I’ve trained them to block and not try to challenge the helm breaker. The last time we played I actually caught him with that a couple times; I’m not going to bother doing it in this set after seeing him start with towards+H.
11:23: X-factoring Storm is usually a mistake. I like to save it for Dios’s Doom because his Doom mixup on incoming can be punished with x-factor. I don’t know why I did it here. There is value to x-factoring a Storm with meter because she’s such a threat to assists, but I feel like I should have saved it, regardless of the outcome of the match. Gotta keep my head in the game. The team super at 11:42 only kills if you teleport. I cut the beginning of the combo short because while Wesker has his glasses on, it’s very hard to get the teleport into gunshot into team super unless you delay the S a long time. Even still it’s semi-difficult with glasses on but I needed to try it because I respect his Doom too much to leave him alive.
12:37: When you do round trip into tag, obviously push blocks don’t affect Wesker since he’s not the one who threw the round trip. It gives you a nice throw/low short opening. I’m going to have to start throwing him off this, I’ve gone low twice in a row and it seems like he’s not respecting the Mustang Kick at all.
14:45: All I’m trying to do here is just build to level 3 and toss out animals until he comes in. He doesn’t have enough time to lame me out so he’ll have to come in eventually. When he comes in I’ll do Ouroboros, he’ll counter with hard drive and I can counter that with wall cling into the finish. Not much he can do at this point. The game shouldn’t have been this close though. My objective in this game should have been to kill the badly weakened Sentinel assist. I had openings at 13:47 and other moments but I brain farted on that. Almost gave it away.
15:23: This is my counter to the towards+H counter to the close version of the helm breaker. I paused and jumped away and that set it up. I do the stand C to set up the “guard break” (not a true guard break) trying to bait him into pushing but he thought I was going for a crossup so it went through.
17:38: This time I try to trust my execution and trust that I’ll be able to hit a basic Vergil ToD off an opening without burning x-factor. LOL. Why do I ever trust my execution? On a serious note though, this goes back to setting a gameplan and following through. The gameplan going into this set was “kill Doom at all costs, trust that things will work out in the end”. Up to this point I’m winning this set 7-2. The strategy is working! You can’t get greedy, just stick with what’s working, trust that I can take Storm and Sentinel 3 on 2.
20:16: Dios and I are playing the slowest game of chicken possible. My previous adjustment to his towards+H was jump back helm breaker+Strider to clear out space. His adjustment to this was to jump away from Vergil so the helm breaker will whiff, then set up his offense. Point Dios. At 20:35 I correct my mistake from the last game and just burn x-factor then I manage to drop the easiest combo possible. Tremendous.
21:00: Dios shows off by landing the butter gun combo in lag. This isn’t actually showing off though, this version does more damage. If you’re not going to do the launch, A, footdive, dash down launch, etc combo this one does the most possible damage. Extra credit for landing it in the middle of a lag spike though.
22:10: I manage to drop the easiest combo possible in a 2nd way by missing the super. This was not an intentional reset, I promise. I still might have won this game if I didn’t drop the same combo TWICE at 23:16, first missing the teleport into the corner, then missing gunshot into team super. Wow.
24:15: Strategy check time. So here we are. Dios has won 3 in a row. It’s 7-5 and we just got ourselves a real match. Generally it’s time to make an adjustment but in this case the only adjustment is to play better. If I didn’t drop easy combos then I would have won AT LEAST one of the past three games. Probably 2. I’m not going to adjust by going for easier combos, I’m already going for the easiest one. There is a better Vergil x-factor combo from helm breaker but I’m deliberately dumbing it down. I just have to buckle down and actually complete a combo.
24:20: Dios has the proper counter, dashing away from the distance helm breaker, just I was closer than he thought. I have now found a 3rd separate way to drop the easiest combo imaginable though. I <3 my crappy execution.
25:15: Dios does a lot of wakeup throws. Not really in this set, although he did get me with one earlier with Doom. But in this situation Vergil vs. Storm, Dios has got me with wakeup throw quite a few times in our past matchups. The only reason I would go for a helm breaker here is because I was anticipating it and the read paid off. It’s one of those things that looks sloppy but due to our history there was a reason for him to whiff H there and a reason for me to helm breaker for “no reason”.
26:55: Dios successfully blocks the helm breaker + Strider mixup. To this point I have ONLY teleported behind him to start a game. The difference between this block and the others that he’s blocked is that this is a clean block where he anticipated what I was going to do, didn’t try to counter it. Instead he just waited and blocked it. This is significant and something I’m specifically looking for. To this point I’ve just done timing variations on the same action, helm breaker + teleport behind, varying timing on if/when I call Strider and when I teleport. This is my cue to now change which teleport I go for.
27:43: The reason he does this is so that the photons in back will hit making for an obscenely damaging level 2 team super. It allows him to keep Doom in and get the Doom/Sentinel opening mixup he wants.
28:33: Instant gratification. I trained him to look for the back teleport setup so I expected the front teleport setup to work.
29:30: Here I do gunshot into team super. This is punishable. The reason I did it was to try to kill Sentinel off as an assist and possibly get the crossup on Storm. I achieved neither objective and was pretty lucky that he misjudged where Wesker was going to be after the super. If I had killed off Sentinel and he got the best punish possible it would have been completely worth it because Storm doesn’t do enough damage solo to kill off Wesker here. He would have needed 3 more hits to win (1 on Wesker, 2 on Strider) and I would have only needed 1 with either character. It didn’t work out but I don’t regret it, I’d do it again.
30:17: C teleport has the same horizontal stripes as the B teleport but is still in front (usually). I don’t get the hard knockdown because he changed it up by not chicken blocking.
30:52: He’s seen the “guard break” setup before so he doesn’t push. On reaction I go into the crossup setup here but he blocks that also. Usually I go into rapid slash here so not doing rapid slash is kind of a player specific mixup. Nothing doing though.
You’ll notice that the bulk of the analysis for this set was centered around one specific setup, the opening. The bulk of the gameplay in this set was based who got the first hit. Virtually every game that Doom lived was his. Only a couple games where Doom died early were his. Even though Dios has an excellent Sentinel and his Sentinel has had a lot of comebacks on me in tournament, he’s still Sentinel and I’m not afraid to burn my x-factor early.
Ultimately that’s what it came down to. Dios’s team struggles against Wolverine also so when I play him I try to make my point character as Wolverine like as possible. If you give his Doom time to set up, the Doom/Sentinel pairing will grind you down so it was definitely worth it to do whatever it took to stop that from happening. Since we play each other so often, you could see the counter, counter, counter element of the matchups where we both know the counters to each other’s preferred openings and we’re just trading them back and forth. An interesting dialogue so to speak.
Also to note from both of the sets today is the concept of knowing when to change it up. In both of the sets we looked at here, there came a point when I was losing a few matches and either losing control of the set or on the verge of losing control. In both cases I took a moment to think about what was going on and decided the strategy was fine, I just wasn’t executing. You have to be honest with yourself when you play games like Marvel. Are you losing games because your strategy is ineffective or are you losing because you’re just not playing well enough? Answering this question honestly will help you out. You can’t always blame the strategy, sometimes you just aren’t playing your best. Instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, just try again and play better next time.
That’s all for the Wesker/Vergil/Strider team tutorial sets. Big thanks to Dios X and FR Roachking for helping me out with these. This feature will return in 2 weeks with “The Science of the Reset”.