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Here Comes A New Challenger (1) - Let's See What You Can Do March 2013

Greetings Readers

I've decided to start an article-esque blog for newer players who are just starting out. In this monthly updated blog, I will attempt to teach you the basics and possibly some character specific information. There might be more information I can part but I'm not really getting any ideas.

Editor's Note

First article written at the moment. Not sure if this will last long due to the lack of updates for this game. Whilst I'm not a big name player in the FGC, I'm very capable of tricks and team creation. I've also spent a lot of time researching the theory of fighting games to understand it completely. Not much to say on my first editor's note so onwards to the next part.

Basics and Tricks

Movement

Movement is a basic mechanic in this game but highly overlooked by beginners. Movement will allow you to evade certain moves or move in for a punish. Basic movements are left, right and jump. Walk speed generally differs from character to character and generally matter only in the first few seconds of a Fight (Before the FIGHHHT!!). Characters like Wolverine have a fast walk speed. This allows him to get into his opponent's face even before the fight starts. Such a move will apply pressure to the opponent, leaving them guessing whether Wolverine will go for the cr.L, the dive kick or a throw. Note that not all characters have the same dash and different methods will need to be used)

Then there is dashing, which is performed via 2 attack buttons or double tapping either left or right. Dashing is a fast method of starting a battle if your opponent is either doing something unsafe or not doing anything at all. Whilst dashing is used a lot throughout the fight, it is quite unsafe as you cannot block while dashing. The solution is to crouch which cancels the dash allowing you to crouch block or dash again. (This is not available to some characters though). There is a technique known as Wave-Dashing which involves pressing Attack button 2x, Arcade-Stick-Down, Attack button 2x, Arcade-Stick-Down, Attack button 2x, Arcade-Stick-Down, etc. This method is very useful for covering ground in a very fast time. Characters with short or slow dashes can utilise this to get up and close with the character. This allows characters like Haggar to close in on the enemy if they are far away. 

Another method of this is known as P-Link Dashing. This involves pressing Attack button 2xAttack buttonAttack button 2xAttack buttonAttack button 2xAttack button, etc. where the Attack button is different from Attack button 2x such as LM, H. Plink dashing is known as Priority link dashing where one action has a higher priority than the other action, so in this case, dashing is higher priority than the attack. The dash can be cancelled into an attack, but when the dash button is pressed 1 frame after the attack button, the dash is given priority and the character will dash. However, this technique is very hard as you need to press the attack button 1 frame after the dash. That's 1/60th of a second. This technique is very strong as you can use that normal to your advantage. If you use Attack hard as the attack, you can throw them as you are holding Right+Attack hard whilst being very close to them. If you use Attack light as the attack, you can catch them trying to punish you as you dash in with a fast Attack light.

Characters with 8 way dashes can use Tri-Dashing. This involves jumping forward into the air and then dashing down-forward, creating a triangle movement. This method is only best when in the sky with Flight Mode. Other than that, it is not very useful. Characters like Doctor Doom need it as he cannot wavedash nor plink dash, his dash will put him airborne a bit. Tridashing is also performed via a superjump and then dashing down forward, creating more of a steep triangle movement. This will leave you airborne however, it allows you to perform an aerial attack which hits high. This is vital for mixups which is important in a game like Marvel vs. Capcom.

Some characters have moves that push them forward like Ghost Rider's s.Attack medium. Some moves like these are useful into setting up command grabs which are close quarters grabbing moves or getting into range for a follow up in a combo. This is known as Kara-Cancelling. This is not very common as dashes in this game cover a lot of ground and tend to be very fast. Nemesis is one character who could potentially use this to his advantage.

Whilst Movement isn't as flashy as TAC swag combos or impractical combos that use up 5 meters, it is an important fundamental to master. Spend at least 5-10 mins on this, practicing wavedashing both forwards and backwards. Understand your character's dash distance and speed back to front and soon, you'll control the battle.

Character Spotlight

Frank-1
Frank West

Frank West is one of the newer characters in Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. Frank West has a unique niche of leveling up by using his move Snapshot. He levels up as more hits are counted in a combo. There are various ways to level him up, DHCs, THCs, TACs or even hard tag combos. Strategies will be discussed later in this area.

Frank is a quite aggressive character that is able to provide a lot of pressure in the corner. His Giant Swing is normally used to end blockstrings allowing him to negate pushblock and continuing the pressure. His Tools of Survival are generally used for combo extensions. His M/H Tools have a fixed hitstun, allowing him to easily continue the combo, racking up hits for his Snapshot. Hammer Throw is also a great pressure tool. A slow moving zombie that holds onto the opponent is very useful. It is also not counted as either projectile nor physical, making it very useful. As he levels up, he gains the Barrel Roll move. Very useful move as it's projectile invunerable. Combined with an assist, it creates a basic mixup. It is also notorious as an anti-Phoenix tech as the roll is able to avoid the explosion upon the arrival of Dark Phoenix. His Roundhouse Kicks are generally combo extensions with M/H Roundhouse Kick being comboable with each other. As he levels up, his normals gain more range as well as more damage, even chipping damage. He is more notable for his j.M which provides loads of pressure and chip. It is essentially his instant overhead, working very well against large characters. Its range as well as its hitstun is very good, allowing hit confirms off of his j.M for a full combo. He however loses to zoning as he has no options to tackle it. His Hyper Combos are Blue Light Special, Funny Face Crusher and Survival Technique. Survival Technique is usually used after Snapshot to rack up loads of damage. As a cinematic Hyper, if it ends up defeating one opponent, you are given a full 4-5 seconds to setup another mixup on your incoming opponent. During level 4/5, it has a lot of invincibility frames, great for reactive punishes. Funny Face Crusher is generally used for resets. Causing your opponent to recover in the air as well as a well timed FFC is a good setup for a reset. In the end, you can follow up with a H Tools of Survival creating a ToD.

As an assist, Frank has a very good assist. Shopping Cart is a very good pressure tool as it constantly hits your opponent whilst pushing them away to a corner or away from you. However, it does not have an invincibility frames so usage requires some thinking. Characters like Wolverine or Nova are able to utilise it's ability to push opponents to the corner and allowing them to mixup their opponent. Other assists, Tools of Survival and Bottoms Up are usually outclassed by other assists. Nevertheless, Frank's Shopping Cart is regarded as one of the best assists. His THC is the Blue Light Special, allowing his allies to OTG.

As I stated before, Frank has a unique niche of leveling up his moves and moveset. Because of this, Frank requires a team for himself with the gameplan of leveling up Frank as quick as possible. Nova or Super Skrull are very good at leveling up Frank through DHCs. Super Nova/Inferno rack up lots of hits in a short amount of time and by DHCing early, it causes a Soft Knockdown, allowing Frank to take a photo and level up to level 4. Their assists, Centurion Rush/Tenderizer allow Frank to take a subsequent photo, leveling him up to the maximum, level 5. Dante/Rocket Raccoon are good at leveling up Frank via THCs. Their long Hyper Combo allow Frank to take many photos in one go. Bottoms Up can even add more levels gain whilst the opponent is being shot at. If not, Jam Session after a Snapshot allows Frank to take another photo or even setup a FFC as the opponent will recover in the air. Log Trap adds to Frank's great pressure technique or even a hit confirm. Frank can level up via TACs. By using the Tools of Survival loop, he can go to level 3 easy but runs the risk of failing as the opponent can stop the TAC. Dante and Vergil are great for hard tag setups for Frank. Sky Dance and Lunar Phase causes a very hard knockdown, giving enough time for Frank to jump into battle and take a Snapshot.

Frank is a very fun character. As level 1, he is a fair character but in level 4/5 he is considered one of the best characters in the game. Leveling up Frank is always a great feeling and pressuring your opponent with chainsaws and bottles can be a lot fun. Frank may be the character for you.

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