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Editor's Note

So I was hit with a stomach bug and was MIA for a while. Also, it's a lazy holiday and didn't feel like doing this but ah well. I did go to a casual meetup to play some Marvel and I can safely say that I am getting better, I still need to be on the look out for throws. Still rocking Nova/Doom/Ammy and loving it very much. I'm trying to implement a combo that involves hardtagging Doom mid combo for more damage but it's pretty difficult when in the heat of a battle. 

Basics and Tricks

Mixups & Crossups

Once you have mastered the Neutral Game from last month's article, you can now harrass your opponent to the point where they start blocking a lot. This is where the mixup and/or crossup game starts. For simplicity, I will refer to it as mixups but there is a small difference between the two. A mixup is when you force your opponent to block overheads, lows or a throw, meaning they have to block high or low. A crossup is making your opponent block left or right. In a game like Marvel, crossups are much more prominent than say in Street Fighters. But they both achieve the same purpose, applying pressure to your opponent and making them guess. 

For this article, I will only focus on mixups in Marvel. These may not apply to other games such as Street Fighters or Tekken. Let us use Doctor Doom as an example. If your opponent starts to back off, you have a variety of ways to break open that block. His overhead could be the superjump tridash j.M. His low is a simple cr.L and he has excellent combos after a throw.

So how do we apply this mixup? Well there are a variety of ways you can trick your opponent.

  • Firstly you could tridash j.M which would either get them hit or they block. If they block, you will fall as you perform that move, allowing you to land and go for their legs, i.e. cr.L. Immediately the opponent must block low or they will get hit. Because Doom is capable of dash cancelling his normals, he can dash cancel this cr.L and go for a throw.
  • Alternatively you could fake the tridash j.M by using j.H instead. Doctor Doom will land faster and not do any aerial moves. When you do so, your opponent may think you are going for an overhead, so they block high. But in reality you are going for a low, the cr.L. By the time you land you use the cr.L and possibly get a full combo off of it. Again, Doom can dash cancel this and go for a throw.
  • Another option is to fake the tridash but not go for a low, but a throw. 
  • For a cross up mixup, a super jump forward to an air dash down foward can possibly end up crossing up your opponent with a falling j.M. The j.M has to hit behind the opponent's head for a cross up. If so, they would have to block the other way in order to not get hit.

Once your mixup is over, the neutral game starts again. There are other options that can be used such as using the overhead and then throwing them. Or using the low, dash cancelling it, jump cancelling that and going for an overhead. The possibilities are endless. 

Because of the long mixups possible in this game, Advancing Guard or pushblock is made available to the players. Pushblocking is very useful in ending the mixup game earlier than normal as it pushes the opponent away, giving yourself some space and breathing room. However, there is a catch.

You are stuck in blockstun for a set amount of frames, around 20. If your opponent can get back to applying mixups within those 20ish frames, then the pushblock was for nothing. This forced blockstun can also allow them to apply their own blockstrings, applying more pressure than before. 

EDIT: You can actually throw them while they are in a push-blockstun. So this increases the risk of random pushblocks.

To properly pushblock, you must have good knowledge of a character's options. Let us use Doctor Doom again and he is going for the standard mixup. We can pushblock his j.M but he can come back with a f.H Foot Dive. Alternatively we can pushblock his cr.L. He can dash cancel this to try and counter the pushblock but since he cannot cancel his dash into a move, we can punish him with a throw. If he tries to jump cancel this, we go for an air throw. Knowledge of a character's options is very important to keep yourself safe from a ToD. Experience in character matchups can also help expand your knowledge.

Character Spotlight

Vergil-1

Vergil

The other son of Sparda has arrived to the battlefield. Much like Dante in Vanilla MvC3, Vergil is regarded as one of the best and most stupidest characters in the game. He boasts a variety of ranged moves, a Beserker Slash esque move, an MvC2 Ouroboros, loops and a mini X-Factor power up. Vergil has achieved what he needs in this game, more power than anyone else in this game.

Normals

Vergil has very strong normals, all are ranged thanks to his sword Yamato and Force Edge. His st.L and cr.L are very good for hit confirms as they are fairly fast and have good range. His j.L is rarely used other than to link combos. His M is very decent, good range and good speed. However, his strong points are his H moves. All his H moves nullify projectiles. st.H covers at least 1/3 of the screen and puts the opponent in a huge blockstun, even being able to guard break it all by himself. His cr.H is a very good anti-air and has a very good range. It hits low and can juggle the opponent very well. j.H is a good move as well, covering again, 1/3 of the screen horizontally. It acts as a very strong option select. s.S is at least 1/2 screen range with the ability to cancel it into H on block, allowing Vergil to make it safe with a Dimension Cut. j.S is a good get away tool if you are cornered and fall out of a combo. 

His command normals are very strong too. Stinger is a good move being able to be cancelled on hit or block. It causes a stagger, making it easy to link combos. It covers 1/2 screen. High Time is only used for combos only or for sniping downed assists. It deceptively gains a lot of meter as well. You can cancel this into Trick by pressing any attack button other than S at a certain time. Helm Breaker is considered to be one of the most stupidest moves ever. Not only does it have a good range (even behind Vergil), it causes a Hard Knockdown, allowing OTG combos. On hit or block, it can be cancelled into Trick when landing or even s.S which can be cancelled into H into a Dimension Cut, making it very safe. This move is the bane of many players and there are ways to counter this, such as Chicken Blocking, i.e. jump blocking. Alternatively, you can avoid this move entirely and punish it.

Specials

Vergil has a good pool of special moves. His Dimension Cut acts as a zoning tool and as a combo extender. It has very strong durability, even nullifying Doom's Plasma Beam. He always steps back whenever he performs this move, making it very useful to end blockstrings. Keep this in mind however as your Dimension Cut may end up in a different place than what you previously planned. His other moves, Rising Sun and Lunar Phase are combo extenders only. His Rapid Slash however is much like Wolverine's Beserker Slash. It crosses up the opponent all the time and is very hard to see at first. Players keep this move safe by cancelling it into Devil Trigger or Spiral Swords. However, it is not safe when thrown out randomly as Vergil must run towards the opponent first with no hitbox. This allows opponents to hit him before he can perform this move, so a move beforehand must keep the opponent in blockstun to prevent them from punishing this move. Trick is Vergil's teleports, very simple and must always be protected with an assist. Round Trip is a very strong move of Vergil. Much like Trish's one, it travels a certain distance before returning to Vergil. Combine this with Trick, Vergil has a very strong cross up game. It is possible to perform the Round Trip glitch where the charging of the sword is skipped entirely, allowing new combos. You can look this up on youtube for an explanation.

Hypers

Vergil boasts one of the best sets of Hypers in the game. His Dimension Slash always causes a Hard Knockdown which makes it good for DHC into other characters. It's also good when he is coming in to punish the opponent. However, it is very unsafe when blocked. Spiral Swords is akin to Strider's Ouroboros in MvC2, it keeps the opponent in blockstun in fear of being hit into a full combo. It has a massive range around Vergil, about 2 character widths and lasts for 5 seconds. This 5 seconds will be in your favour, allowing you to mixup your opponent however you want. It can be followed up into Blistering Swords(Crowning). This is a very good pressure tool as your opponent must be careful of pressing a button or get hit with the swords. It also causes a long blockstun, allowing you to mix them up. It can only be countered by snapbacking Vergil. The other formation is generally a waste of meter. It is only used for instant overheads but is never worth that meter. Devil Trigger is Vergil's mini X-Factor. Giving him a 15% boost in power and speed, it is the equivalent of Wesker with no shades. Additionally, all of Vergil's special moves are increased in range, allowing easier punishes and faster combos. This powerup lasts for 10 seconds allowing Vergil to instill fear into your opponents. His Level 3 or technically Level 4 hits OTG and causes a crumple state. It deals a whopping 600,000 damage unscaled. 

Assists

Vergil lacks any strong assist. The most common choice is the Rapid Slash which always causes a soft knockdown, allowing combo extensions. It can be used on characters who are getting up, where the cuts will put them in a blockstun, allowing you to follow up with a mixup. It is unsafe however as Vergil must run before cutting.

Teammates

Vergil is generally a good teammate to any character as he can provide damage via DHC into Sword Loops. Vergil benefits off anti-air assist such as Dante's Jam Session or Strider's Vajra. Horizontal Beams also help Vergil as well, with Doom being the best choice for him. Lockdown assists also help Vergil such as Cold Star.

Gameplan

Vergil's gameplan involves mixing up your opponent with safe Rapid Slashes or pressuring them with Helm Breaker and other long ranged moves. Spiral Swords also provide that pressure, allowing him to take control of the battle.

If you're in need for some power, Vergil is the character for you.

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