There’s all this talk of phoenix and how she changes the game, and there’ been a lot of saltiness over phoenix winning. Truth be told, though, there hasn’t been a solid gathering of effective anti-phoenix strategies.
So I’ll start with why phoenix works, and why our current mentality is wrong.
Having phoenix as your anchor hamstrings your team…x factor management and super management is even more important than on a normal team. That is because to get dark phoenix, you need to have 5 super bars, and when dark phoenix is on point, she loses life quickly. What makes her great is that dark phoenix is so powerful, that people focus solely on killing her. There are already many vids of level 3 xfactor phoenix chewing through entire teams on her own. The most obvious answer is to kill her before she gets 5 super bars, but people haven’t really set this up well.
First and foremost: The snapback.
There are 3 things that the current marvel players are doing wrong when they snap phoenix in. First, the typical snap combos I see right now hamstring the current snapping player’s super meters. I typically see ABC -> snap. First off, that combo didn’t do any damage. Against a normal player, you would have done a big combo into super that did 50-70%. ABC snap does nothing, doesn’t gain you any super meter, and puts you at a super disadvantage. You’ve essentially spent one meter to get phoenix in. In this situation, especially early in the match when both player only have 1 super bar, you can’t effectively punish random tag. Heck, i’ve seen people keep randomly tagging after snapping, because they recognize that you aren’t doing damage and are wasting your bars. Before you know it, you can’t snap anymore OR do damage because you’ve run out of super.
That leads to my 2nd point: positioning. Where you snap is as important as when you snap. The correct combo would get you another super bar and snap the character out after you’ve pushed into the corner.
3rd: Guardbreaking. I’m not really sure why this has developed slower in MvC3. Maybe because it’s harder. There was that guardbreak video with magneto using ironman beam. There are unblockable setups with taskmaster and trish. X23 has a guranteed guardbreak using her level 3. Spiderman does too. I think the real key, combining the first 2 points, is here…in guardbreaking. It’s not guranteed, but it doesn’t need to be, because if you get it, you win.
But what if she does become dark phoenix? Yes, she’s the most powerful character in the game when she comes out. But…
- If you have your back to the corner, she cannot cross up behind you with teleport.
- If she wishes to get in and throw you, she incurs great risk to herself.
- If she lands a hit you die, but block damage only hurts and it buys you time.
When xfactor runs out, dark phoenix loses life really fast. She only heals with her healing super if you’re near her. So…you start winning against dark phoenix if you WAIT long enough.
This is counterintuitive…but at a fundamental level, since she kills her own life, you get rewarded for defense with natural offense.
Don’t run away from normal phoenix. Run away from Dark phoenix. Go ahead and rush normal phoenix. If you can’t kill her before 5 bars, then the sooner dark phoenix is on point the better it is for you. The more life your characters have, the better the chance you can withstand her onslaught.
Heck, she turns into darkphoenix and has xfactor on? Go ahead and make her block a super. You’ll be rewarded later when xfactor runs out. You don’t need to chip her then. She’ll chip herself later.
It’s almost backwards from what people have been doing. Stop trying to fight her headon. Block and make her come get you. Wait for that time she tries to throw you (you can hit her then) or xfactor runs out. Unless she gets greedy, stop trying to random level 3 her. Be patient, random supers don’t work against good players watching for it. But when her life starts draining down, then the game changes. It’ll naturally open her up.
Lastly, the spiderman trick on the front page is but one template for killing her. With the plethoras of unblockables and assists in the game, I am certain there are other guranteed setups after killing normal phoenix you can use. Heck, I know X23 has one that people haven’t been doing. People need to go to the lab and work on them. Think: When I damage phoenix, I dhc into this character and do the setup.