Hey everyone, I’m lead writer for AllisFighter.com and I just recently posted up an article entitled “ABC’s to MvC2” which is a guide of things newcomers to the game need to know to catch up on the nine-year learning curve that veteran players are accustomed to. Anyways, I wanted to post this article here for further fact checking to see if I expanded enough on what I have. Without further adieu, the “ABC’s to MvC2.”
With the recent release of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for Xbox Live, and soon for Playstation Network, a new generation has decided to pickup the nine-year old classic fighter. Despite the not-so-serious collection of Capcom characters squaring off with warriors of Marvel Comics, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is considered one of the deepest and hardest fighting game by many veterans to the genre. With years of knowledge only known to the seasoned players, newcomers to the game will be overwhelmed by the game’s steep learning curve and the almost unbelievable amount of skill that a person using team MSP (Magneto/Storm/Psylock), Santrax (Storm/Sentinel/CapCom), or Clockw0rk (Sentinel/Strider/Doom) may wield.
To help the members of All is Fighter, I’ll provide a list of tactics, tips and techniques that one will have to use or get used to in order to survive the higher competition of Marvel vs. Capcom 2.
A is for Air Hyper Viper Beam
- This technique is critical for Cable players as it is the sole reason why he is considered god-tier. Air Hyper Viper Beam, AHVB as it is more commonly abbreviated, is when a Cable player unleashes his laser super as close to the ground as possible. If done correctly, the Cable can continue the combo by doing another AHVB after the first one has finished. For this technique to work, players either hold up on the joystick to jump as soon as they hit the ground for the followup. This is best used after an assist that pops opponents in the air (Cyclopse Anti-air, Iron Man Anti-air) or whenever an opponent whiffs an assist.
B is for Blocking
- Blocking is the simplest way to play defense but it is the hardest practice to follow. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is a fighting game that encourages players to hit buttons because how easy it is to combo into whatever. Having the ability to block, especially in high level play, will help in the long run preventing unnecessary damage.
C is for CapCom
- Not only is this a shout out to the makers of the game, CapCom is the shortened name of one of the most powerful assist characters, Captain Commando. While CapCom is possibly the weakest characters to have on point versus a high-tier team, he has one of the most useful Anti-Air assist in the Captain Corridor. This massive pillar of light appears in front of your character covering all vertical space, does a good amount of damage and knocks the opponent to the other side of the screen on hit. This assist does wonders for people getting rushed down with little options while being good for creating offensive pressure, especially for Cable, Storm and/or Sentinel.
D is for Double Snap / Delayed Hyper Combo
The Snap Back is a powerful move universal to all characters in the game. This move performed by QCF+Assist 1 or 2 (button determines which character on the opponent’s team gets snapped in) will force the opponent’s character out of the fight and brings in another teammate. The most effective use of this technique is the Double Snap where one not only snaps out the opponent’s point character, but their assist at the same time. While the point character goes off screen, the assist remains on screen and is open to further juggling until they either drop to the ground or is killed off. This is best used to kill off an annoying assist (Psylock, CapCom, T.Bonne, etc…). Characters with great snapback reach include Magneto, Psylocke, Spiral, Rogue and Venom
Double Snap Glitch: If one player is successful in killing off two of the opponent’s characters via double snapping, the final character NOT brought into the fight through the air. Instead they will be instantly appear grounded in the opposite corner. Practical way to capitalize on this glitch is to rush in and hit low while the opponent don’t know how their final character came on the screen.
Delayed Hyper Combo, or DHC for short, is the technique used to cancel one character’s super into a teammate’s super. DHC’ing is generally more damaging than a Team Hyper Combo because it resets the damage scaling back to 100 percent. Thus, one can save an extra meter to do equal or more damage. A common damaging DHC is Storm’s Lighting, DHC, Sentinel’s Hyper Sentinel Force for 95 percent if you combo into and out of each super. In addition, you cannot DHC past your third character unless you juggle after a super with another move (Hyper Sentinel Force, laser, rocket punch, HSF), which resets the DHC counter back to zero.
E is for Eight-way Dash
- Eight-way dashing is the ability to air-dash in any direction upwards, downwards and side-to-side. Only Magneto, Storm, Iron Man, War Machine, Dhalsim and Dr. Doom, can perform Eight-way Dashes. Because of the eight-way dash, it opens up a powerful technique to these characters known as the Triangle Jump where a character Eight-way dashes downward immediately after jumping for a very quick overhead. The faster the Eight-way Dash, the more effective the Triangle Jump offense will be since it’s hard to Anti-Air it on reaction. Triangle Jumping off a normal jump is generally hits faster than off a super jump; however, you land faster when triangle jumping off a super jump. To perform a triangle jump, veterans typical describes the finger motion as either the “Slap” or the “Claw.” The slap is when a person hits both punches to initiate the Eight-way dash and sliding the index finger to the Short or Roundhouse button to get the desired overhead. The “Claw” is used the same way except the player uses the thumb to hit the Short button and is generally used during Magneto’s ROM infinite.
F is for Fly/Unfly
- One more character specific abilities is to be able to fly for a limited amount of time all across the screen. Sentinel, Dhalsim, M.Bison, Dr. Doom, Storm, Magneto, Iron Man and War Machine are able to fly by hitting QCB+KK. Flight can be canceled in and out of normal moves, opening up new ways to mix up and/or combo for these characters. The character that benefits the most of flying is Sentinel since his ground speed is comparably slower than many characters but makes up for having the fastest flight speed in the game (he travels the same speed Megaman’s fireballs).
G is for Guard Break
- “And you’re broken.” A classic quote from SoCal player Potter, helps illustrate this tactic for breaking guards. Guards are typically broken three ways. 1) Forcing an opponent to block both high and low at the same time. Since they cannot do so without having the other hit, they will have their guard broken and can suffer a combo if the opponent can followup. This is usually done with an assist that hits low like Wolverine’s sliding assist while jumping in. 2) Forcing the opponent to block in the air, then attacking before they hit the ground. In MvC2, a character is given one action (attack or block) while normal jumping or tagging in. By forcing the opponent to block the first hit, the opponent is an open target for another attack before they hit the ground. An example is Cable’s jumping.fierce used to break the guard of an opponent tagging in, then Cable able to land and get a free AHVB before the opponent touches the ground. 3) Hitting behind the opponent while standing in front of them. Arguably the hardest of the three but seen throughout the video example.
H is for Hailstorm
- This is one of the best supers in the game, exclusive to only Storm. As Storm calls her Hailstorm super, she is safe to almost all attacks while hailstones covers ALL of the screen. It does decent chip damage, can be mashed for more damage on hit and can be combo’ed from Typhoon (QCF+K). Aside from Hailstorm, Storm has other assets that contributes to her being god-tier. Her ability to move around in the air for long periods of time, damaging Bread and Butter combo and great assists help make her one of the best, if not THE BEST character in the game.
I is for Internet
- Unlike Street Fighter II and precursor Marvel vs. Capcom 1, MvC2 came out to arcades during the golden age of the Internet with Shoryuken.com providing the one-stop shop all things MvC2 during it’s first year. Nearly a decade later, the Internet makes it easy to view matches, tutorial and combo videos of not only MvC2 but any other video game out there. Aside from YouTube, Preppy (Seattle player) has created a Web site virtual library of just about every notable Marvel vs. Capcom 2 video since 2001 and beyond. With a useful search function and well organized tabs, Preppy’s site is the go-to spot for any MvC2 video reference.
J is for Juggernaut Glitch
- Not to be confused with a certain famous Juggernaut YouTube video, the Juggernaut Glitch is one of the few game altering glitches acceptable by tournament rules (which includes Evolution regulations) initiated by powering up Juggernaut (DP+PP) and tagging out. Normally Juggernaut’s power-up deals double damage for one attack; however, the Juggernaut Glitch retains his powered-up status throughout the remained of the round or until he attempts to power up again. Needless to say, this ridiculous boost in strength offsets Juggernaut’s weaknesses as a huge hitbox and slow character by being able to kill off any full-life opponent in two Headcrush supers (or any assist in one).
K is for Knives
- One of the most underrated trap-based characters is Spiral. As demonstrated by old skool, SoCal veteran Duc Do, his revival of Spiral’s knife trap used in conjunction to Sentinel’s drone assist helped win him Evolution2k5. Spiral can summon swords with QCB+lp, which gives her many options on how to slowly chip away at her opponent while controlling a lot of space. Jab will send single knives forward for an aggressive rushdown trap which can be hard to escape with additional cover fire from Sentinel or Dr. Doom assists. Circle Swords (QCF+lk after Swords Dance) uses all six swords in an ever-growing circle above Spiral and serves as her Anti-Air protection. While Spiral is good at controlling space and setting up annoying chip traps, her defense is below average and is vulnerable once momentum has gone against her. Her best answer is teleporting away.
M is for Magnetism
- One of the four god-tier characters, Magneto is master of magnetism and the king of rushing down in Marvel vs. Capcom 2. With his unmatched speed, he can easily start offense in the blink of an eye. He is usually placed first in team order because while he rushes down with a barrage of attacks, his main purpose is to build meter for the next character in the team lineup (usually Storm, Sentinel or Cable). The rule of thumb when fighting Magneto is to avoid getting reseted, or recombo’d, three times in a match (five times if you’re Sentinel) or else your character dies. The preferred assist to work with Magneto is Psylocke as she is quick, high priority and helps pop up the opponent after every successful reset into the favorable ROM infinite (super jump.short short, air dash down.short short, repeat). Once Magneto has done his job in destroying the opposition while building meter, it’s best to combo and DHC into your character that uses up that meter. While Magneto is the king of rush down, those who can zone out Magneto effectively (Spiral, Megaman, Cable, Sentinel) will at best break even in the heads up matchup.
N is for NEVER GIVE UP
- “Pro Tip #7: Never give up. No matter how bleak the situation you just never know.” We’ve all seen the video, but not enough people have what it takes to believe in themselves when the situations turns for the worst. The people who has the ability to clutch out victory are those who believe that they still can win despite the odds. By not being fazed by the situation, this sort of person has the proper mentality to bring victory closer than those who just decide to let it all go.
O is for Optic Blast
- As seen in the “Never Give Up” video, Cyclops can be a force to be reckoned with. Cyke is preferred to be an assist rather than a decent meter-building point character in the fact that his Anti-Air assist has the second-longest invincibility for any assist in the game (behind Ken’s Anti-Air assist). With the invincibility and the fact that the assist travels full-screen, Cyke’s AA assist is a powerful tool to have in turning defense into offense, especially for Storm, Cable and Sentinel. On point, Cyke is a versatile fighter in that he can build a lot of meter by super jumping and spamming roundhouse, and he can use up his meter for the controllable Optic Blast super. This super is more preferred since it can cover any area, recovers faster can hit more than one character at a time. He also has a very advanced but practical infinite; however, other than that he lacks a decent air-to-air game.
P is for Push Block
- Push blocking has been a technique that has evolved since it was first used in X-Men vs. Street Fighter. By pressing both punches while blocking, it forces the attacking opponent to the other side of the screen. The drawback is that the user is faced with a longer block stun so it will take a little bit longer to recover. However, this is where the advance tactics comes into play. Originally tinkered back in 2002, by push blocking certain moves in a bread and butter will give the defender a short window to escape inescapable situations. Classic example is by push blocking the moment Sentinel’s rocket punch hits and he cancels into Hyper Sentinel Force. The recovery after the push block will happen somewhere in between the second and third row of drones in the HSF. With strict timing, one can super jump out of HSF and is freed from the Sentinel pressure string. All advanced cases of push blocking is situational so its best to take this into account to learning each matchup.
Q is for Queen Tron Bonne
- Okay, I lied. I can’t think of anything starting with “Q” and Tron Bonne is my favorite character in the game. Aside being one of the coolest characters in the game, she is one of the best assists characters with her projectile assist. Unlike her regular MP attack, her assist version is glitched in that it will deal 15 points of damage per hit guaranteed. In other words, if all rings hit then the assist does about 20 percent on any character minus any combos it help open up afterwards. On point she’s a decent character to have fighting off the other assist characters. Versus the god-tiers, she’s severely at a disadvantage unless you can pull off a grab into the the corner. From there, she can relaunch into a combo, into another throw into super for a nice 60 percent worth of life. Tron’s cute, slightly tsundere and my character. No one is allowed to pick her with fierce.punch blue color EVER!
R is for Rocks + Orbs
- This is what usually fills up the screen when someone plays the classic trap-based combo of Dr. Doom and Strider. When paired with Sentinel this team is known as Team Clockw0rk, named after it’s originator Clockw0rk. While Sentinel builds meter while pressuring the opposition with Fly/Unfly pressure, Doom’s anti-air rocks assist fills the holes and adds additional chip. After building enough meter, Sentinel will DHC out for Strider’s Ouroboros super to continue the advanced chip string. By overwhelming the opponent with a barrage of orbs and Doom rocks, a player with tip-top execution can chip around 40 percent off using two bars. The weakness to this strategy is that it’s most effective against grounded opponents so catching a flying Sentinel or a runaway Storm wastes a meter. In addition, it takes a lot of execution and practice to make the trap air tight to prevent any escape once the offense has started. Finally, once either Doom or Strider dies then the majority of offense is lost.
S is for Switch Glitch
- This glitch occurs when a player opts to switch his/her team order during the loading screen. If they hold down any of the four attack buttons while switching the character order, then that attack will come out the frame the match starts. This is particularly useful for Magneto players in that his crouching.short kick comes out in one frame so by switch glitching, the short kick comes out as soon as the match starts and can potentially start a combo by calling in Psylocke. The Switch Glitch is tournament legal but is not accessible on Xbox Live ranked matches since you cannot change character order during the loading screen (still works in local matches).
T is for Tiers / Team Dynamics
Like any other fighting game, tiers exist because some characters are naturally better designed to win than other characters. After nine years of Marvel vs. Capcom 2, the tier list is set in stone with Storm, Sentinel, Magneto and Cable on top as the four god-tiered characters. They have the ability to beat an entire team with their incredible combo possibilities and can work in situations that no other characters can match. Behind are Cyclops, Iron Man/War Machine, Dr. Doom, Strider, and Spiral as they either have respectable combo options or great zoning patterns. All other characters are mid to low-tier characters because they lack either damage potential, mobility or team dynamics. For those interested, Roll is considered the worst character in the game to the point she has her own tier bracket named after her, “Roll-tier.”
Team Dynamics is how one constructs their 3-person team. By creating a team that can build off each others strengths can mean the difference between winning and losing. The common winning MvC2 team is built in this order - Battery/User/Assist or Anchor. A Battery is a person who can charge up the super meter as quickly as possible. Notable Batteries are Magneto, Storm, Megaman and Spiral. Users use up the meter that was charged from the previous character to apply great amounts of damage. Users generally are poor at generating meter for themselves such as Cable, Sentinel and Thanos. Anchors are generally the best character at your disposal. Usually seen in low-tier based teams they act as the last stand to prevent loss. Assists are self-explainable since they are the best assists to help the overall team. Notable assists include Captain Commando, Psylock and Dr. Doom.
U is for Unblockable Laser
- This glitch is exclusive to Sentinel after a knockdown or snapback, veteran Sentinel players will throw out a meaty, or late, laser where the tail end of its cr.fierce laser is unblockable and therefore can be combo’d afterwords. This is because the move itself hits twice; however, the second hit is not registered as an attack so the fighter on the receiving end will not guard the hit. This glitch is acceptable by tournament standards and contributes to the reason why Sentinel is god-tier. Along with the glitch, Sentinel has the highest defense, highest damage output, all normal moves chip and have the fastest fly speed in the game. Sentinel’s only exploitable weakness is that it is a very tall target so it can get infinited standing up and in some cases crouching.
V is for “Victory”
- This is what Iron Man says whenever he wins. Finding no other place to put Tony Stark, Iron Man is considered as one of the most threatening non-god-tier character in the game. Iron Man has arguably the easiest infinite (j.jab, jab, fierce) in the game and has many options in assists to pop the opposition in the air to do so. Iron Man’s Proton Cannon super is one of the most damaging supers in the game and can end the Iron Man infinite with a kill on any character with below average health. He also can fly like Sentinel and has good zoning options as an assist. The flipside is that Iron Man depends on having an assist to make setting up the infinite easily, Proton Cannon isn’t invincible on startup and a lack of defensive options hinders him from being gdlk.
W is for Wavedashing / Winning
Not to be confused with Smash wavedashing, Wavedashing in MvC2 consists of dashing on the ground and tapping down on the joystick to cancel the dash animation. Players can immediately dash again afterwards to emulate a runnning animation for characters who can only dash. Obviously, characters with very quick dashes like Psylocke and Magneto heavily benefit from wavedashing.
By now I’ve said enough times that MvC2 is an old game. By now, the game has evolved to the point where people will win using the god-tier characters using flashy combos, infinites and resets. For beginning players, understand that you are literally years behind the curve so there is a lot of ground work ahead. Other than practicing your butts off with the high tier characters, I suggest learning every shenanigan that your character has in their arsenal. It is important you use every advantage you have if you use low tiers because they are low tier for a reason. They are likely to have some sort of crippling disadvantage or are just overall inferior to the top tier so you’ll want to make the most out of your character. Even if you find a lot of tricks that will only work once those are still little surprises that can make the difference between a win or a loss in a clutch situation. It is also important to note that assist and team mate selection is even more crucial since you will most likely want to depend on them to make up for your low tier character’s weaknesses.
X is for X-ecution
- Like any other ABC list, X is tough to fill. Rather than focusing on the X-Men, execution is more important to stress. MvC2 is a fast paced game so the quicker you can pound a combo into your muscle memory, the better player you will end up. Endless training mode will help sharpen those skills so they will not let you down during a real match. If your execution fails during a match, then you’re missing a lot of potential damage needed to end a round in your favor.
Y is for Yipes
- Y is for the only player I really want to feature. Placing third this passed Evolution tournament and winner of Evolution 2k7, Yipes is known for his incredibly sharp control of Magneto and his off the wall commentary in “MAHVEL BAYBEE.” Single-handedly introducing popular slang such as “Pringles” into the Marvel vernacular, Yipes is the voice of MvC2 as well as one of the best players in the game.
Z is for Team Z
- Made famous by SoCal player Mike Z., the powerful team of Dr.Doom/T.Bonne/Juggernaut is one of the most popular low-tier teams used at high level competition. By utilizing the Juggernaut glitch and superb team dynamics, each member of Team Z is capable to fend for themselves by themselves but are very deadly when backed by any assist to set up 100 percent DHC combos.
Shoryuken Wiki - Detailed analysis of game mechanics, tiers and how to play low tiers
Event-Hubs - Character movelist and game terminology
Preppy’s MvC2 page - Largest collection of MvC2 and classic Street Fighter videos available on the net
Inventiveflow - Collection of the most in-depth character/game tutorials with annotations