MvC3 Assist of the Day Begins!

May 31, 2011 // Ryan

What’s up, MvC3 players!  Today we have the first in our new series, aimed at helping improving your game.  We’ve taken a gameplay video submitted by one of our fans, and passed it to a top pro to get their advice.  Today’s pairing is Michael Rodriguez, and Viscant, who has proven he definitely knows his stuff (see below). Check out his WNF highlights, or go here: www.theboxarena.com .

To get pro-level coaching of our own, submit your videos in the comments of this very post (a YouTube, Unity, or facebook video works)

Michael’s video is here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeafjHE5BEg …

(He’s the Akuma/Doom/Dante team).  See the amazingly detailed feedback below, and learn from it yourself!  Here’s the coaching:


There are a couple topics I want to mention before we get into the actual breakdown of the match that I think will be helpful.

The first thought I have is about meter management and team construction.  As I was watching this video for the first time more as a spectator and not looking to break it down, the first thing I noticed is that your Akuma played almost the whole match either without adequate meter or without any meter at all.  Most characters in this game either run a meter surplus or are meter neutral.  What I mean by this is that they either build more meter than they use naturally–through combos or through normal use of enhancement supers–or they are at least self-sufficient.  Akuma tends to run a meter deficit which means usually you don’t want him as your starting point character because you can run low on meter, as you saw in this match and probably in other matches you’ve played.

Now while you can mostly alleviate the problem by changing the order of your team (I personally recommend Doom/Akuma/Dante or Dante/Doom/Akuma), you can also change up the combos you’re doing with Akuma.  In MvC3 extending your combos not only helps you out damage wise, but builds meter which will help your future damage potential.  Generally I don’t think combos are as important as good setups and proper fundamentals but you might as well get as much damage as you can.

The standard Akuma combo off a ground launch is launch, air MMHS (delay the S as much as possible to get you closer to the ground), hyakki gojin (dive kick from the demon flip) to ground bounce, crouch H,S to relaunch, air MMH cancel to hurricane kick, then super fireballs (not beam).  If you’re in the corner, you then hit S to slam them down, then jump back and do the beam super.  If you’re midscreen, you can link the beam super as you touch the ground since they’ll still be in a juggle state off the fireballs.  You can always omit the 2nd super if you’re having meter problems.  The full combo with both supers does roughly 750k and builds back 1 meter, meaning that the combo only runs a deficit of 1 meter.  Without the 2nd super it does about 600k and builds back a slight touch more meter than it expends.  There are other combos that Akuma can use in different circumstances, but practice getting this one down since it’s easy and can be adapted to all situations.

The other main thought I wanted to touch on was the concept of safe poking.  The main reason this game turned out as a loss was because you either whiffed moves from too far away or had unsafe moves blocked.  Usually you were punished, whereas when you had the same opportunity to punish the opposite side for the same error, you didn’t take advantage.  We’ll start on the distance problem.  I notice that you like to start strings with Akuma low B.  This is a difficult move to start strings with since it’s so stubby and has limited range.  You may want to consider using a different button to start your offensive strings, especially since Akuma low B is not even a low attack and can be blocked high.  Your combos will be slightly better if you start the combo from a low B instead of a low A, but you have to know when to use each button in order to attack more safely.

The other side of this is having unsafe moves of yours blocked.  Your Dante S launcher is very unsafe at -9 frames on block, meaning that virtually every character in the game has a simple punish to this.  You want to be more aware of which moves are safe on block and which aren’t.  In Dante’s case he has many moves that you can safely confirm into against an opponent’s block, from a teleport mixup to bold move cancels, or maybe the reverb shock into fireworks, or maybe even some of the ebony and ivory extensions.  But S is not one of your safe options!

OK, so with these thoughts in mind, let’s look at the video.

0:18 and 0:21.  These are two opportunities to start a combo that were missed.  In both cases the window to get a successful air combo was not huge but it should have been hit.  You may want to practice these specific “scramble” situations in training mode, especially off the weasel shot assist because you’re going to come into that situation fairly often, you need to get the full damage.

0:25.  This is an opportunity to either kill Spencer or come very close if you hit the full combo I listed above.

0:30.  This is a situation where moving Akuma to a different spot on your team would have paid off.  I understand why you canceled the blocked tatsu into a super; your opponent was likely thinking to pushblock and then land the bionic arm so you figured better safe than sorry and burned the meter.  This is a fine decision, but looking at the overall meter situation it was costly.  If you like to use Akuma hurricane kick as a poke like this, you have to have sufficient meter to back this up.

0:40.  Here is an example of unsafe poking.  You whiffed low B in front of Taskmaster and your opponent took advantage and got an air combo out of it.

0:48.  And here is the flipside.  Your opponent gave you a chance to punish him for unsafe poking with a blocked Taskmaster S, but you chose to pushblock him away and gave up your chance for damage.  Sometimes advancing guard isn’t always the answer.  If your opponent is prone to unsafe poking, you might want to keep him close to you to see what kind of free damage opportunities you can sneak.

0:55.  Similar to above, he gave you a blocked S and you didn’t take advantage.  He seems to throw this move out liberally, this is something you’ll want to remember in your future fights with him.  Playing the man is just as important as playing the character.

1:07.  We haven’t talked about Doom much so let’s get to something here.  At this point in the match you do a normal jump and fall on him with M.  No airdash, just a normal jump.  This can’t happen.  When you go on the offense with Doom, you need to be moving faster than this, your opponent isn’t simply going to let you hit him with a slow move like that.  I recommend taking your Doom into training mode and instead of working on combos, work on moving around with him.  Practice triangle dashing with him.  Practice square dashing or box dashing (super jump, quickly dash straight forward and cancel that with an attack).  Practice dash canceling off standing normals, then transitioning straight into a triangle or square dash.  This is what’s going to make your Doom a lot better, the speed to confuse an opponent and make them make poor decisions.  Right now your Doom just isn’t moving fast enough to create openings, let’s turbocharge him!

1:18.  Akuma’s back in and you land the hurricane kick.  Instead of going straight into a super, go into an air combo to build more meter and get more damage.

1:28.  Again, we need to finish this combo!  You landed two clean starting hits on Taskmaster and he’s still alive.  This is just giving the opponent more lives and more chances to win.  If you land 2 clean hits with any character against any other character they shouldn’t be alive.

1:42-1:51.  Three chances to get damage on X-23.  She should be dead, instead she’s still breathing.

1:54.  I’m not sure what you’re going for here, possibly a goshoryuken?  It may be better to just block instead of going for a difficult move in a tight situation if you have enough life to get away with it.

2:01.  Here’s an example of what I was talking about with the blocked Dante S.  A very vulnerable move when blocked.  You happen to get away with it here…

2:08.  And here…

2:18.  But not here…and that ends the match.

There are a lot of execution related errors in here.  The good news is that all of these just require a little bit of time in training mode and you’ll see big improvements in your game.  Keep practicing!