Edited(5/7/2014): I've re-written a lot of this thread, updating it for 2014.
Firebrand is a character who demands a lot from his team. He generally doesn't offer much, but there are unique synergies amongst every character. This thread will be periodically updated to add information to it. However, I only play Firebrand with a couple of characters (Dormammu, Doom, Amaterasu). While I can learn a lot from watching other players, there's only so much one person can know. Because of this:
If you want information added to this main post, state your case
By this, I mean try to bring information that is both credible, TESTED/TESTABLE, and worth while. Firebrand has a lot of character specific combos and Bon Voyage hard tags can have a lot of variables involved. If you're trying to demonstrate a combo or set up with Firebrand and someone else, try to have a video for it. If a character doesn't have their own section listed below, it means that I do not know enough about them to write it, and no one else has done it yet. If you want to write a section about a character, please try to follow some kind of format so that I can keep this thread pretty consistent. Please use proper punctuation and grammar, or I'll have to be the one to edit it. If your information is good and I add it to the thread, I will credit you. I would love to eventually have some information about every character, but I can't do it alone.
This thread is for the discussion of Firebrand teams. This guide in the first post is just a bonus to the thread. Feel free to post about potential Firebrand teams, discuss specific teams, and about your own team and ask for advice about it.
Without further ado, let us talk about Firebrand
Firebrand is a character that demands a lot from his team. He boasts some of the best actual mix ups, as he is one of the only characters to have a (near) universal instant overhead (j.L) on the whole cast, but he also has both Bon Voyage and a command dash to go back to the ground for another high/low. Both of those tools also work very well for left/right mix-ups as well, but these mix-ups all require an assist to be truly threatening. Yet despite his strong mix-ups, his low base damage and minimum scaling causes him to lot on his partners to build the damage and meter for him. Unblockable set-ups are unreliable without assists or DHCs behind them, and fuzzy guards are a lot hard without an assist.
This post is dedicated to the individual characters and how they work with Firebrand. I will first cover assists briefly, and then more in depth in the individual character's page. Please feel agree to argue with me, as it is impossible for me not to insert my opinion sometimes.
So what are you looking for in a partner? The first thing you'll need is a good assist. Firebrand likes having something that has lockdown, enough for at least one or two mix-ups. You want something that has some form of durability too, usually something fast like a beam and having something for unblockable set-ups is always nice. This following section considers ONLY the assists, not other synergy. Not every assist is listed, there are no order in the tiers, and the gaps between the tiers are pretty small. This list does not consider assists primarily used in unblockable set-ups. They have their own section below. For more info on specific assists, refer to each characters individual section.
Assist rankings for Firebrand (No order within tiers)
Dr. Doom (Plasma Beam), Iron Man (Unibeam), Amaterasu (Cold Star), Akuma (Tatsumaki Zankukyaku)
Dr. Doom (Molecular Shield), Dante (Jam Session), Iron Man (Repulsor Blast), Rocket Raccoon (Log Trap),
Dr. Doom (Hidden Missiles), Dante (Weasel Shot), Magneto (Electromagnetic Disruptor), Frank West (Shopping Cart), Sentinel (Drones), Hawkeye (Triple Arrow), Rocket Raccoon (Spitfire Twice)
Assists that can be used for "inescapable" unblockable loops on incoming
Super Skrull (Tenderizer)
Iron Man (Repulsor Blast)
Dante (Jam Session)
This next section will focus on the individual characters. I will try to stick to some form of formatting, but it might change slightly from character to character.
I ran Firebrand/Akuma for over a year so I have a lot of knowledge about this. Unfortunately, their synergy is average, at best.
Assist: Tatsu is one of the top assists for Firebrand, and the only one of Akuma's worth using. It provides very fast lockdown that allows for instant overheads or fake out lows. Quick recovery and short lockdown means you get to use it a lot. It's great as a GTFO for Firebrand against certain characters as well, also giving him projectile negation potential. As far as rushdown Firebrand goes, Tatsu is the best assist for relentless pressure and mix-ups.
DHC/THC: The DHC synergy here is unfortunately lackluster. Dark Fire brings them too high for beam and the last hit of the beam brings them too high for all of Dark Fire to hit (If any of it at all). Since you better be running Tatsu, your THC will be the uppercut super. This is actually pretty good for Firebrand because Dark Fire carries them at the exact same speed/angle. So, in most cases where you want to use two meters, just THC instead. Most Firebrand/Akuma teams will have a character in the middle to mitigate the TAC/DHC/THC problems.
Conclusion: The best part about having Akuma is the Tatsu. It is amazing for Firebrand, especially for rush down. The quick start up, fast travel speed, high priority, and low duration combine to allow Firebrand to keep it fast and a lot. The lockdown is just long enough for at least one mix up every time, it doesn't scale much, and the projectile negation and high priority helps a lot with Firebrand's lack of invincibility. However, the DHC synergy here is poor, and Akuma's has very limited TAC options. The best bet it to put a character in between these two that will cover the damage/meter problems that Firebrand/Tatsu has. This can be hard, as Akuma is a very tough character to play well in this metagame, and not many characters can abuse Tatsu like Firebrand while still offering him the damage/meter options.
Potential teams: Firebrand/Doom/Akuma, Firebrand/Dormammu/Akuma, Firebrand/Dante/Akuma, Firebrand/Sentinel/Akuma, Firebrand/Storm/Akuma, Firebrand/Taskmaster/Akuma
Zak Bennett is the prime example of Firebrand/Amaterasu right now and he makes it work.
Assists: Cold Star. Always. There is no reason to use either of Amaterasu's other assists. It's easy to argue that Cold Star is Firebrand's best assist. Long term lockdown means that if they block it, they are getting opened up. Firebrand has a lot of ways to force the opponent to block it so blocking this assist once may spell the end of the game, as Cold Star also allows for unblockable resets and incoming unblockables against certain characters. The only problem with this assist is that it can be hard to force air based characters to block it.
DHC/THC: Both characters have an install super that work in opposite ways. Firebrand's speeds himself up while Amaterasu slows everyone else down. They are good for DHCing in and out of each other. You get access to a LV3 DHC and Okami Shuffle isn't bad as a DHC. However, the THC here is amazing. Regardless of assists, you get Dark Fire/Okami Shuffle. Firebrand finishes way before Amaterasu, allowing him to either charge an (solo) unblockable for the incoming character OR add on another Dark Fire after Okami Shuffle ends.
TACs: I don't think Amaterasu has much to offer, TAC wise. There is an infinite, but a lot of characters have better infinites and in most cases, Amaterasu should be your anchor anyway.
Conclusion: Amaterasu is a great partner for Firebrand. Bringing Cold Star to the table is enough to solidify her as one of his best partners. The added benefits of the DHC/THC are great too. She works amazingly with Doom, Firebrand's other best partner. The main problems with Amaterasu are her low damage (Shown more when you're already playing the low damage Firebrand) and her learning curve (Which is arbitrary anyway). However, a good Amaterasu player is a scary thing when he has XF3
Potential teams: Firebrand/Doom/Amaterasu, Firebrand/Dormammu/Amaterasu,
I don't run Dante and have tried to get into him several times so all of this is just what I've theorized/tested about the two.
Assists: Starting off, Jam Session is amazing for Firebrand. Short range lockdown that comes out fast. Very easy for him to convert at any height and is completely cuts off part of the screen. It really powers up Firebrand's fireball/zoning/keepaway game and allows instant overheads and faked lows everywhere. It works for incoming unblockables but if they take the hit, it can be hard to convert unless you are expecting it or are just really fast. Weasel Shot is also pretty good for Firebrand if you need a horizontal projectile, working similarly to a combination of Jam Session and Cold Star. It comes out faster than Cold Star and reaches farther, so it is definitely worth considering if you want to run Dante too.
DHC/THC: Dante half fails in this department. Having Devil Trigger allows for safe DHCs in and out of each other but Dark Fire and Million Dollars don't connect well at all. This problem also arises in the THC, as Dark Fire carries them out of Million Dollars.
TACs: Dante only has decent TAC stuff in Devil Trigger. He has a small TAC combo and then the TAC infinite but Dante is notorious for bad scaling already.
Conclusion: When it comes to Firebrand/Dante, I recommend playing Firebrand/x/Dante. The lack of DHC synergy and the poor TAC options from Dante make him bad in second for Firebrand. However, Jam Session is just too good to pass up. And despite popular beliefs, Dante anchor is pretty good. When I think of running Dante with Firebrand, I think of him as the "glue" character that ties Firebrand and the other character together.
Potential teams: Firebrand/Doom/Dante, Firebrand/Dormammu/Dante, Firebrand/Sentinel/Dante, Firebrand/Frank West/Dante, Firebrand/Vergil/Dante, Firebrand/Dante Akuma
I've been running Firebrand/Dormammu for almost a year now. Like everyone else, I got the idea from Zak Bennett. Personally, I don't think that the "best" Firebrand team has Dormammu on it, but a lot of the stronger ones do. I'm currently running Firebrand/Dormammu/Doom, so here is my opinion
Assists: This is the only part where Dormammu doesn't shine. Firebrand can use Dark Hole better than most people, but it's still a lackluster assist. Liberation has potential but that all depends on the spell you have. Even then, Firebrand has a hard time converting these spells (Both leave in a Hard Knockdown and Hell Spitfire H scales so much that sometimes you can't even pick them up. Early grounded Bon Voyage is the best bet). Purification is bad as a neutral assist, but is the best for incoming Stalking Flare unblockables.
DHC/THC: Now where Dormammu shines the most. ALL of Firebrand's combos lead to the corner because of Bon Voyage. So that means that ANY combo ended into Dark Fire can be DHCed into Stalking Flare, where you can then build 1B1R and use it, into however you want to end the combo. The main thing about this is that it allows Firebrand to drop a lot of meter if necessary. This obviously makes the team more meter heavy, but the ability to do this is important. It works against most characters, though not against certain important ones. Here is a video.
The list of character it does not work on is in the description. If you want to go into Chaotic Flame, you have to end Dark Fire early. However, you can use a SJ Dark Fire to clear the screen of projectiles and then DHC into Dormammu's Stalking Flare or Chaotic Flame. DHCing from either of Dormammu's LV1s into Luminous Body is very useful. As far as your THC, you get Chaotic Flame unless you pick Liberation, where you get Stalking Flare. I recommend Chaotic Flame, unless you have tricks with the Stalking Flare THC with your other character.
TAC: Dormammu's TAC infinite has been known for a while now, but it wasn't until recently that LintLicker discovered a consistent repetition for it. It wasn't long after that Angelic found a way to make the starter consistent, and now we have a Dormammu TAC infinite. This changes a lot for this pair. This solves the damage problem completely and will always kill pretty fast. You can also pull off incoming unblockables with the meter you just built from the infinite. It may come to a point where getting a TAC from Firebrand to Dormammu may lead to two dead characters instead of just one.
Conclusion: Dormammu's synergy really shows in the damage department for Firebrand. He brings Firebrand's BEST DHC and a particularly useful TAC infinite. Dark Hole allows for combo extension to help bring all your combos to 1 meter and can also be used for reset capabilities, due to it's long blockstun. The hardest part of running Dormammu with Firebrand is finding that third character who is not only good for both of them, but brings a good enough assist to the table that your team can survive off of ONLY that assist. There are others who work there, but this requirement really limits the potential of running Dormammu with Firebrand. One of the benefits of running Dormammu is that if you have meter to use, you always have ways to use it.
Recommended teams: Firebrand/Dormammu/Doom, Firebrand/Dormammu/Dante
Assist: All three of Doom's assists have different uses for Firebrand, and which one you use tends to come down to match-up. Plasma Beam stands out as the most universal, being useful in every match-up. The start-up, durability, and lockdown of the beam is perfect for Firebrand's moveset, sharing similar start up to his specials. Plasma Beam gets a big point here in that it is the shortest duration of Doom's assists, and doesn't leave anything on the screen after he leaves. This means that out of Doom's assists, you can hard tag the quickest after Plasma Beam. Molecular Shield is really good for Firebrand as well, being the best of the three at the incoming mix-up game. It tends to shine in match-ups vs rushdown characters, like Wolverine or Spencer. You get Sphere Flame THC for this assist, though. Missiles is most useful against characters or players who like to jump around a lot, like Magneto or Trish. It is the longest lasting and most likely to mess up your hard tag, but it does allow Firebrand to play a different kind of game, flying around "recklessly" with Missiles covering him.
DHC/THC: While not Dormammu level, the DHC synergy between Firebrand and Doom is pretty good. Both characters corner carry, so DHCing is easy. Dark Fire->Sphere Flame or Air Photon Array -> Dark Fire. DHCing from Sphere Flame or Photo Array into Luminous Body is good too and it's possible to combo off of either hyper, if they connect properly. If you force them to block Photon Array on the ground, you get a free mix-up by DHCing into Luminous Body. If not using Rocks, your THC is decent. Both cover the same area, but since Doom is grounded, not all of the lasers hit. I avoid THC when my Doom is alive.
TAC: One of the many reasons that Doom help's Firebrand so much is because of TACs. Along with the obvious option of infinites, you get a very powerful normal TAC combo that ends in Sphere Flame into either a DHC/hard tag into Firebrand. Not much to say here since everyone knows about Doom's TACs other than that the additional damage and meter build is extremely appreciated by Firebrand. A lot of assists can be used to set up unblockables after finishing a TAC infinite by DHCing from Sphere Flame into Luminous Body.
Conclusion: Hard tags are the biggest part about running Doom with Firebrand. Off of any Bon Voyage past mid screen or any throw NOT into the corner, Firebrand can hard tag into Doom for at least 2 relaunches. Works on every character as well. Since you have to be a certain distance from the corner to do it, the combo is very scaled from the Bon Voyage. Doom's scaling doesn't care though, and you build more damage/meter by hard tagging into Doom and then hard tagging back out at the end. So, as you can see, Doom offers a lot to Firebrand. Good DHCs, amazing assists and TACs, and hard tag combos. IMO, the best Firebrand teams require Doom. He just offers too much. Because Doom is such a versatile support character, this allows you to run a lot of X/Doom or Doom/X shells and just run Firebrand on point. He also synergizes well with both Dormammu and Amaterasu, arguably two of Firebrand's best partners.
Potential teams: Firebrand/Doom/Amaterasu, Firebrand/Dormammu/Doom, Firebrand/Doom/Strider, Firebrand/Doom/Vergil, Firebrand/Doom/Dante
I'll start by saying that Iron Man is bad on point. Support wise, he brings a lot to the table.
Assists: Iron Man comes with two assists that are good for Firebrand. Unibeam is really good for Firebrand, but lacks the consistent hard tag combos that come with choosing Plasma Beam over it. Other than scaling, this beam is amazing for Firebrand. Very few characters duck under it, it's long lasting, and keeps the opponent standing (Which is GREAT for Firebrand confirms). The other assist is Repulsor Blast. If Iron Man were a good character, you would definitely see more Repulsor Blast players. It puts a square (X, technically) of safety around him and protects that entire area. It lasts a good amount of time for lockdown and once it hits, it also juggles for a while to make it easier to visually confirm the hit. This can be used similarly to Molecular Shield as a tool to handle heavy rushdown. Repulsor Blast is also one of the assist to allow for tight incoming unblockables.
DHC/THC: In most case, Iron Man's angled beam is a joke hyper. Why give him two inputs for the same hyper at different angles when Ryu can just point his? Regardless, the angled beam DHC's perfectly from Dark Fire. I'm sure there are ways to DHC into his LV3 as well, albeit losing some damage from Dark Fire. The THC between these two is pretty good simply because Iron Man's beam is a great hyper during THC.
TAC: Iron Man has his own TAC combos and one of the more practical infinites. If you've opted to run Iron Man, you might as well be going for the infinite every time.
Conclusion: Firebrand/Iron Man is amazing as long as you don't have to play as Iron Man. He is another one of the characters where you're going to need to put in the work if you want the results with him. It's up to you if he's worth it though. He brings amazing assists, DHC, THC, and TAC options. Not many characters do all of those for Firebrand. The main problem I have with Iron Man and Firebrand is finding that third character that works for both of them. As far as Firebrand helping Iron Man, all of Firebrand's assist allow for an extra Repulsor Blast in the corner, which is where a lot of Iron Man's damage comes from. He has some hard tag options, but they are not as universal as some others.
Potential teams: Firebrand/Iron Man/Sentinel, Firebrand/Dormammu/Iron Man, Firebrand/Iron Man/Rocket Raccoon,
Assists:All three of Raccoon's assists work well with Firebrand much like Doom. Pendulum is the first assist I started with, and while it takes away Firebrands's wall bounce, it vastly improves Firebrand's neutral game. It will knock most other assists away (if called at the correct time) while also grounding the opponent's point character. It also forces the opponent to use extra caution in their approach, so Firebrand will not have to deal with recklessly dashing opponents. Also, it provides gimmicks galore, demon missile M+ Log Trap assist is a nice little setup to use on the opponent's wake up to provide for some silly oki mixups. Spitfire Twice provides for great ground coverage (5 low durability points per spit) as well as some great fuzzy guard mixups. Really, it works a lot like Sentinel's drones except there's a shorter window to mix the opponent up, but does not disappear when the assist character is hit (if you can even hit him.) Lastly, Claymore assist provides for some crazy lock down which lets you setup some more high low mixups on the opponent. It makes Firebrand safe at the end of blockstrings. The Udaterasu knockdown setup works with this assist too because Claymore will cover the neutral wakeup options thus giving firebrand a 50/50 wakeup reset.
TAC: Raccoon has a meter steal setup which is useful against Phoenix teams, and apparently, but other than that, there's no worthwhile reason to TAC into him.
DHC/THC: Dark Flame-> Rock n' Roll is not that much more damage than just Dark Flame, but it still works. DHC out to Mad Hopper is a pretty good way to get Firebrand out safely.
Conclusion: Rocket Raccoon's assists make Firebrand's approach and neutral game overall more solid. However, in order to get the full strength of the pair, Firebrand has to have a TAC infinite character in the middle.
Potential teams: Firebrand/Iron Man/Rocket Raccoon, Firebrand/Dr. Doom/Rocket Raccoon
For a long time, I wanted to run Firebrand/Sentinel/Akuma. I ran it for a bit and wasn't satisfied, though the team is good.
Assists: Your obvious choice is drones. Long lasting projectiles that really help Firebrand. Mix-ups, unblockables, and oki set-ups everywhere. Drones make a lot of Firebrand's stuff a lot safer without any extra effort. However, while an amazing assist, Sentinel is huge compared to Firebrand and it can be hard for Firebrand to keep him on the screen. Other than that, the bombs assist isn't a bad choice either.
DHC/THC: The DHC synergy here is good. Plasma Beam and Dark Fire DHC into each other with ease and both do significant damage. Hyper Sentinel Force into Luminous Body is a good DHC in for Firebrand, as well. The THC here is bad because Dark Fire carries them out of Hyper Sentinel Force.
TACs: Sentinel has a basic TAC combo but there is also the option of his infinite (probably what you should be going for if you're playing Sentinel).
Conclusion: Sentinel is a great support character for Firebrand but I feel him as a character is going the way of the dinosaur. His huge hurtbox is a significant disadvantage in such a flood based game. There are match-ups where you will not be able to get Drones on the field at all. It's still possible to run these two together, but you're going to have to work harder than a lot of other people to get the same results.
Potential teams: Firebrand/Sentinel/Dante, Firebrand/Sentinel/Akuma, Firebrand/Doom/Sentinel
Firebrand/Super Skrull has become known as Apologyman's team and has been terrorizing the meta lately.
Assists: The only one worth using is Tenderizer, and only for the unblockable loop
. Otherwise, his other assists are lackluster.
DHC/THC: Dark Fire DHCs into Inferno very easily for a lot of damage but that's about it. Inferno will DHC decently into Dark Fire if you cancel it early or do it super low to the ground, but you probably won't be getting max damage from either hyper that way. You WILL be using Tenderizer, so you will get Skrull Torch as your THC (If not obvious, that's a bad thing).
Conclusion: Skrull+Firebrand is alright. However, if you're not running him for the sake of the unblockable loop, then there are better options. Decent DHC synergy overall and Skrull covers some of Firebrand's tough matches. Outside of that, the unblockable loop is very good and invalidates a large number of characters. If you run this pair, it is best to run Firebrand/X/Skrull, where X is a character with a TAC infinite. The main problem with this pairing is that it relies completely on the unblockable loop. If playing against a team that complicates the flowchart, the flows show a lot more. Against most of the cast though, it doesn't matter.
Recommended teams: Firebrand/Doom/Skrull, Firebrand/Sentinel/Skrull, Firebrand/Iron Man/Skrull
MysticRay: Firebrand/Skrull TAC Unblockable (side/up direction) (cost 2 meters)
Tac to Skrull -> Fully Charge Stone Dunk (Big Fist Air Thingy) -> Ground bounce -> Inferno (DO NOT FULLY MASH! All 98 hits of Inferno cause a Hard Knockdown only the 99th hit causes a flip-out) -> Luminous Body -> Charge Unblockable
GimR: Cross assault glitch with Firebrand unblockable:
Assists: Taskmaster comes with both the horizontal arrows and vertical arrows. I would recommend up arrows because you can get unblockables off of them (Against characters without good invincible ground options). However, if you have no horizontal assist, horizontal arrows is worth using instead. Overall, they're nothing super special for Firebrand but they are still good assists overall.
DHC/THC: Taskmaster can aim his hyper so the DHC options on this team are good. If using up arrows, your corner THC will also be up arrows and work very well with Firebrand's Dark Fire.
Conclusion: Taskmaster is a pretty good for Firebrand. He gives you the ability to counterpick with your assist and good DHCs. You don't get TAC options but they're still solid together. He fits very well with a lot of other characters that work with Firebrand because of his overall versatility.
Recommended teams: Firebrand/Taskmaster/Akuma
Shuma Gorath - (EMPTY)