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Editor's Note

I've tried to advertise this blog to many places. I'm not too sure if it gets a lot of reads but I will continue to do this regardless as this will be an attempt to mould the basics for newcomer players. My schedule is getting a little more busier so I'm not too sure if I can keep up with the deadline which is one every month. I'm still open up to suggestions as to what I should discuss or add. 

Basics and Tricks

Execution

Going for an easy topic here, execution is one of the fundamentals for fighting games. For Marvel, the execution barrier is relatively low compared to other fighting games. This is mainly because most moves have a fixed hitstun, allowing plenty of time to link moves. In other cases, it may be very high for certain characters such as C.Viper, i.e. Rapid Seismos.

Improving execution can be achieved through one way only. Practice. By practising these motions, you are subconciously remembering these motions, so when the time comes to perform a combo, you can easily do this with your eyes closed. A good way to improve execution for newer players is to practice all the motions available in the game. That is, Arcade Stick QCF, Arcade Stick QCB, Arcade Stick S, AS RS, Arcade Stick HCB and so on. When I first started out, I believe I spent a good hour, practising these motions with Doctor Strange, just teleporting away. It is vital to learn these motions for both the left and the right sides.  

Arcade Stick S AS RS

These motions are generally the most confusing motion as you have to jerk your thumb in 3 directions quickly. A simple solution to this is to just move as so

Arcade Stick Right Qcf

The buffer in this game is very large. Meaning they will hold onto the last motion performed for a long time. E.g. You could do Qcf and half a second later, you can just press Attack button to perform a Hadoken rather than perform a normal attack. In this case, the game remembers you press forward. As you input the QCF, the game recognises this motion as 

Arcade Stick SArcade Stick Right

Congratulations, you can now perform Shoryuken. This motion does have its flaws however. First off, the buffer in this game is large but it still can forget the last motion performed. In this case, it may just read the QCF input only and thus you only get the Hadoken. However, this problem is rarely ever seen.

Another thing is that you could be holding forward or be double tapping forward for a dash and then immediately input Qcf. From this, you could not end up with a Hadoken, but a Shoryuken. To remedy this, just dash with Attack x2, cancel it with Arcade-Stick-Down, and just input the Qcf from there.

In next month's topic, I will go through Tiger Kneeing as an addendum of Execution. Practice execution of motions for a while until you can perform them with your eyes closed. It may not be much, but it's one of the biggest factors to winning or losing a match as shown

At 8:10, you can see that execution is very important in matches

Character Spotlight

Nova-1

Nova

The Nova Corps has brought one of it's finest warriors to the battlefield of Marvel vs Capcom. The Human Rocket is a very versatile character with many options to various situations. A good Nova can easily switch it up from rushdown to zoning, both very strong compared to most of the cast. 

Normals

Nova has very slow normals. His Ls being the fastest and relatively good for hit confirms. St. L is very good for catching those in the air whilst his j.L is very good as an instant overhead, performed by super jumping, air dashing down and j.L. This will allow Nova to perform this move very low to the ground, making this a very quick and ambiguous mixup. Cr. L is not too good unless you are punishing the opponent. It does not hit low however so st. L may be preferred. Cr. M, or his slide is notorious for catching those who aren't careful when fighting Nova. It has a good distance and easy to confirm hits. However, it is very unsafe when whiffed and should only be used when backed up by a horizontal assist. Cr. H is very good to end blockstrings as it pushes you away from them, escaping throws as a result. J. M is very good for ambiguous aerial cross ups. J. H is probably Nova's best normal. It has a large circular hitbox that protects him from being thrown. It can also be used in conjunction with air dash forward to cover distances very quickly. It also is great for option selects as it has a large hitstun. 

Specials

Nova has very slow specials. However, they are very strong in terms of utility and each special move can be used for different situations. Centurion Rush L/M are very useful for closing the gap when Nova is pushblocked. Backed up by an assist, this move becomes safe on block, allowing Nova to perform mixups once again. L hits low whilst M hits high, making this a pseudo mixup as well. Centurion Rush H has super armor, making it useful for catching assists. It is unsafe on block so it must always be used in conjunction with an assist to keep it safe. Rocket Punches are generally used for combos only. However, they can prove to be very useful in closing the gap, just not as effective as Centurion Rushes. Rocket Punch H is often used along with Spencer's Slant Shot assist to get the crumple state. This crumple state is useful for raw tag combos such as Doctor Strange's Flame of the Faltine Loops. Gravimetric Pulse is an interesting move that uses up red health to get stronger. It increases speed, damage, range and causes a fixed hitstun. This is very useful for Nova to catch those unwary opponents. Gravimetric Pulse L is generally followed up with Speed Tackle to continue the combo. Gravimetric Pulse M is just followed up with a normal as it causes a Wall Bounce. M is also useful for incoming characters who do not expect a long ranged Gravimetric Pulse. Gravimetric Pulse H is very strong and is best used when you have no red health. It is a shield that acts as an obstacle to your opponent's movement. This is a very strong lockdown tool and helps Nova mixup his opponents as they are left there with little space to move around. Energy Javelins are very good for lockdown too. However, they are slow and should be used with an assist. If Nova is hit or touched in anyway, the Energy Javelins disappear.

Hypers

Not much can be said about Nova's Hyper Combos other than his Speed Tackle which is useful for punishing fullscreen. It has a long startup but is quick to get into your opponent's face. It is also potentially safe as you can control the direction of each tackle. By moving away from your opponent, you keep yourself at a safe distance from your opponent. If it hits, you can score a clean combo that deals an easy 700k points of damage. Gravimetric Blaster is a beam hyper that eats up your red health in order to get stronger. Only damage and size change but it doesn't affect this move's utility too much. It is generally used for linking DHCs or for getting some space between you and your opponent. Super Nova is generally for combos only. However, you can use this move as you enter the battle, catching those who try to setup an ambiguous cross up on you.

Assists

Not much can be said about Nova's assists as well. The only assist that is worth using is Centurion Rush M, which hits high. This allows unblockables to be performed. The angle also makes it very useful for cross ups on incoming characters. It also causes a Forced Ground Bounce, making it useful for combo extensions. Another assist which is overlooked is his Gravimetric Pulse H assist. It does use up red health as an assist, so it turns players away from using it. However, it does act as a great psuedo-lockdown. Though, it is very slow and risky to use during the neutral game. Overall, Centurion Rush M is a decent assist.

Gameplan

Nova is a very well rounded character. He has many options to deal with various situations. But most of the time, Nova will be playing a rushdown game where he is in your opponent's face all the time. Get in your opponent through either Centurion Rushes, cr.M or air dash j.H whilst backed up by an assist that covers him. From there you can mix it up with iOH j.L or cr.M or a throw whilst you call a lockdown assist. Once pushblocked, get back in with Centurion Rush L/M with an assist to back him up. When Nova is kept away, a well timed Speed Tackle can solve the problem, dealing a good amount of damage to the opponent and bringing Nova very close to the character to perform more mixups. When overwhelmed with loads of pressure, make sure to utilise your Gravimetric Pulse H or Gravimetric Blaster to give yourself some space. Try to catch them with Gravimetric Pulse L/M for a punish.

Nova is a very strong character. When used correctly, Nova can pose a problem to most characters and win most matchups. If you are after a well rounded character at the start of a match, Nova is the character to go.

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