Beginner's Guide to Cerebella - 'The One and Only'

This guide is for players who are new to the character, or new to fighting games. I aim to explain Cerebella’s main tools, and give some ideas for where to start. For people who are more interested in quick factoids and/or want some bread and butter combos to start off with, I’ve bolded what I think are the most important points. Think of it as a pre-emptive tl;dr.

How to do a 360 motion without jumping
*-*This slipped my mind at first, but I’m sure some people are wondering how it works. If you are unaware, “Ultimate Showstopper” is Cerebella’s grab super which is performed with a full circle (360) motion and a throw command (LP+LK). Normally if you hold up though, you will jump making it impossible to do Cerebella’s supers. In Skullgirls, a 360 is registered if the 4 primary directions (forward, down, back, up) are input in either clockwise or anti-clockwise order within a short time. Unique to the game is that if it registers a 360 motion by Cerebella, it will not perform a jump. However, a partial 360 motion will not register.

-What does this mean? The correct way to do 360 and avoid jumping is to always start from forward, or back, and always go down before going up. :f::df::d::db::b::ub::u: or :b::db::d::df::f::uf::u:.

Character Overview


Cerebella is a grappler with above average mobility on the ground and in the air. She has several moves with armor, a projectile reflect, and solid normals. Her best position is with the opponent locked down in the corner where she can subject them to high, low, command throw mixups that lead to big damage. Her options for reversals are somewhat limited, but not the worst.


[details=Spoiler]Before we discuss combos, resets, and lockdown, we need to figure out how to get hits, and control space. Our main tools are the jumping medium punch (j.MP), and the crouching light kick (c.LK). These are useful since they have good range and speed, lead into damage in most situations, as well as being relatively safe from punishment. As a Cerebella player, you should get comfortable with the range of these two normals and use them to poke at your opponent from a safe distance, when they connect you can go into a combo or a blockstring/mixup.

Additional tools to add to your belt:

-The instant jumping light kick (j.LK) which has similar speed and range as c.LK, and is useful against some air moves and in situations where the opponent is expected to jump.

-Super jump hard kick (sj.HK) which can be used as a surprise to quickly gain air dominance if j.MP is insufficient.

-Jumping hard punch (j.HP or Glide) which is useful for movement and in partially defensive situations if you have time to jump backwards. The hitbox and hitstun on it are pretty ridiculous, though if you hit air-to-air with it, they will be sent flying out of range. It also stops horizontal momentum, so can be counter-productive when pushing the opponent towards the corner.

-Titan Knuckle (f+HP) which is useful to throw at long range as a surprise, or at the start of the round. As with footsies in general, out-ranging your opponent can give you an advantage, so backing off and testing the opponent with a titan knuckle, cancelled into something else to make it safe or used in combination with an assist, is a good way to control space.

-Merry-go-rilla (qcb+throw) can be somewhat useful against people who like to crouch block

-Excellabella (dp+throw) can be used as a poke against Painwheel if she is flying[/details]


[details=Spoiler]Cerebella needs to be able to keep within a certain range to stay dangerous, which means you need to have her movement down. She may appear sluggish at first, but with the right timing and space control, she can be a juggernaut that makes the stage seem tiny to the opponent.

-Dashing (double tap a direction or press two punches)

There is very little reason to walk forwards, when dashing is faster and can be done while blocking. Cerebella’s dash is slow to gain momentum, but if you learn the timing for when the dash picks up speed, you can cancel into c.LK (or other moves) to cover ground very quickly into hitconfirms or pokes. Alternatively, there is very little reason to dash backwards, since you cannot block and it is not much faster than walking back.

-Jumps and Double Jumps (up or up+direction, same in the air)

In Skullgirls you can block while jumping, so if there is room to get off the ground, there isn’t much risk to doing so. If you realise you are in a bad position, the double jump can be used to adjust, or pushblock (two punches near the end of blockstun) can be used to avoid getting stuck in the opponent’s pressure. One of Cerebella’s best ways to cover ground is to cancel her ground dash into a jump just as it gains momentum. The arc of the dash-jump will vary depending on the speed of the dash at the time you cancel it. As with normal jumps, you can immediately hold back once in the air to be able to block if needed.

-Glide (Hold j.HP, release to perform the attack at any point in the glide)

This can be thought of as a ghetto air dash, but is mostly inferior to dash-jumping. If used from full screen, many teams will be able to hit you before you are able to block. It does have its uses as a way to extend your jump arc if the opponent is retreating quickly. You can also call a horizontal assist, jump backwards, and glide to either use j.HP defensively, or continue the glide covered by the assist. I tend to use glide in mixups on incoming characters, since it can be cancelled to Grab Bag (qcf+throw in air), or held down to cross up with an assist.

-Lock n’ Load (qcf+P)

As far as I know, only the medium and heavy versions of these have armor. They can be used to get closer as long as you do not get hit with a sweep. There are usually better alternatives for movement.

-Command Run (charge back, down back, or upback, then f+K)

This is again vulnerable to sweeps, however it moves Cerebella quickly along the ground, and the followups give some mixup opportunities. It can be used to follow horizontal assists, or power through projectiles at close-mid range. The MK follow-up is actually invincible to mid attacks (non lows/overheads) and slides slightly faster than the run, if close enough to the opponent, it will continue through and perform an unsafe attack, but if not it will stop short. Learning when to hold back to charge the command run is an important part of Cerebella’s offense and defense.** As a rule of thumb, unless you need to use the joystick in a different way for a motion or for positioning, always hold back, up+back, or down+back.**[/details]

Relevant links

Skullgirls Battle Feed ~ Playlists of Skullgirls content on youtube
My youtube account ~ Low quality footage of long sets, and some other bits and pieces
Dustloop’s Combo Guide for Cerebella ~ A great place to start if you want to build your own combos
SRK Skullgirls Wiki - Cerebella ~ Detailed information on damage, and frame data for her normals

Xbox Live Matchmaking
Xbox Live Metatag
Playstation Network Matchmaking
Weekly online tournament for PSN
Weekly online tournament for XBL
Skullgirls IRC channel

Beating the final boss (spoilers)
Guitalex’s Casual Player’s Guide to Improvement
Jmcrofts’ Filia/Cerebella Guide

Teambuilding for Cerebella
Combo discussion
Reset discussion
Video thread ~ Record/upload your matches for critiques and advice
Matchup discussion


[details=Spoiler]Assuming you have your footsies down, you should be able to put your opponent into blockstun. To capitalize on that advantage, you need to mix up your attacks so they fail to defend at some point and allow you to do damage. The Skullgirls system has a few attributes that are important to keep in mind when trying to mix up the opponent.

-Unblockable protection means that if a high and a low hit simultaneously, only the first hit needs to be blocked correctly

-If someone is in blockstun, they are vulnerable to high/low mixups, but not left/right mixups since the block will be auto-corrected if the stun overlaps.

-Preblock prevents a character from jumping if they are holding any back direction while an enemy active frame is occurring nearby. This means that command grabs on the ground can be hard to escape without neutral or forward jumping and hence being vulnerable to other hits.

Some beginner mixups;

c.LK c.MP c.HP (if blocked) qcf+throw or dp+throw

j.MP (if blocked) land qcb+throw or dp+throw

j.MP land c.LK

The dp+throw should be used sparingly, as at midscreen it does not lead to more damage, and if it whiffs it’s easier to punish than whiffed qcf+throw. Additional mixups can be made to include the command run-throw follow up which hits overhead, and the MK followup which crosses up, however these are quite unsafe on block.[/details]


[details=Spoiler]These are a couple of beginner bnbs, they work on every character, so if you practice them enough they should be reliable. If you hit with moves other than the starting move listed, experiment with how to lead into the bnb.


c.LK c.MP c.HP jump cancel (jc) j.MP j.HK land c.MK HK (2 hits) qcf+LP qcf+PP


c.LK c.MP c.HP jc j.MK j.HP land c.LK c.MK jc j.MP j.MK land c.LP c.MK dp+throw qcf+PP

Some new players might find these combos daunting, so I’ll attempt to simplify it into real-world actions:

Use c.LK while it is in range by holding down on the joystick and pressing the A button (default on 360). While still holding down on the joystick, you press the Y button as soon as c.LK connects, then the the R1 button as soon as c.MP connects. Now you should be able to see whether those attacks were blocked or not. If they were blocked, continue on the midscreen bnb by holding up+forward to ‘jump-cancel’. Then once at the correct height, press the Y button, and then the R2 button when j.MP connects. This will knock the opponent to the ground and they will bounce with a purple circle. Before they bounce a second time, you will land next to them, hold down on the joystick and press the B button. As soon as you press the B button, you can let the joystick go back to normal, and then press the R2 button. This will hit twice, giving you time to take the joystick from a down position through a quarter of a circle motion to the forward position, and pressing the X button as soon as the second hit connects. Then do the same quarter circle forward motion :qcf: (if facing right) and press two punch buttons (X+Y, Y+R1, or X+R1) when the Lock 'n Load connects.

It’s easiest to learn combos by splitting them up into sections, and practicing them separately. Eventually the patterns for what to do when you’re on the ground, or after you launch them into the air become automatic and then you can start mixing-and matching to make new combos.[/details]


[details=Spoiler]c.MK is a great move for setting up resets, since it opens up left/rights in the corner and avoids ground based escapes.

Here are a few resets based on the corner bnb above up to the last c.MK

c.MK jc qcf+throw
c.MK jc(back) j.MP -triggers IPS
charge down back c.MK Command Run, Kanchou(f+k, MK)

And one for the midscreen bnb up to HK

HK (1 hit) qcb+throw or dp+throw

New players may be unaware of what resets are. Generally speaking they are deliberately dropped combos where the attacker has a strong mix-up immediately after the drop. They are usually used to avoid using meter while having a good chance of doing additional damage. They are good for this since in new combos, each move does closer to it’s full damage, and since performing a combo that takes 100% of the opponent’s health is difficult or impossible, it is better to have a strong mixup than a weak one after the full combo. In Cerebella’s case, ending a combo midscreen with Diamond Dynamo leaves the opponent far enough away that the mixups on wake-up are not very strong/safe, in comparison a reset from c.MK can be safe and have more options to surprise them with.[/details]


[details=Spoiler]Blocking is almost always the best defense, as with all characters if you crouch-block while the opponent is on the ground and stand-block while they are airborne you will usually be safe. Learning to change your blocking as they mix you up takes experience. If you are in a combo, you should usually be holding back to block in case they drop their combo or try to reset you. If you manage to block their attacks, and they hit multiple times, the heaviest hit will usually be unsafe on block, meaning you can connect with a c.LK once the blockstun is over. Beware of frame traps where they wait until you try to punish and cancel to a special move or a super.

Push-block is an ability to get some distance if you block something. It is performed by pressing two punches while in blockstun. If you pushblock during the early parts of a chain or multi-hitting move it will not work, so wait until late in the blockstun to do it. Cerebella does very well at medium range, so pushblocking is quite a good option unless they are ending blockstrings with unsafe moves.

Throw tech is tougher to do than blocking, you cannot tech while crouching in Skullgirls so keep that in mind, and try to see patterns in your opponent to guess when they might go for a throw. If you are being combo’d, mashing throw can be useful to guard against some resets, but it is a guess, and will sometimes backfire.

Supers are all invincible on startup, so they can be used to avoid getting hit and punishing the opponent for trying. The downside is that often if they get blocked, you will be the one punished, and you have less meter to do damage with later.

-Diamond Dynamo has a huge hitbox, and is quite useful against characters like Painwheel that like to get above you. If you are confident that they are attacking (or in Painwheel’s case, flying) then it is an option to go to. If it hits, you can DHC (Blockbuster Sequel) to a teammate’s super to get more damage. If it gets blocked and you do not have a safe super to DHC to, you will most likely get punished with a full combo.

-Ultimate Showstopper (360) has great invincibility, and will hit anything that is in range, on the ground, and not invincible, even if they are blocking or trying to throw you. It is also easy to use when avoiding resets, since you can continuously move the joystick in circles mashing throw and not worry about timing. However,** most experienced players know about this tactic and will be prepared to jump and then punish a whiff**. Select Supers can be used to extend the damage from Showstopper, but it does a large amount by itself. It is most useful on wake-up, at the end of blockstrings, or as a very late anti-air, but should always be used sparingly. Against Cerebella, a 360 is never the best option, since if they are not in recovery from their own super, and are on the ground they can cancel whatever they are doing into 360 and the second one will always win.

-Diamonds are Forever is quite useful defensively due to the unlimited armor, and being safe on block. It can be used as a late anti-air, otherwise it is largely guesswork. If the opponent is too far away, they will be able to jump the projectile and likely punish. It is a bad option if you are very low on life, since armor does not protect you from damage. If it hits, you can usually follow up with a combo unless you started facing a corner.

Raw tags (MP+MK, or HP+HK while on the ground)
Raw tags will make your current point character become invincible and exit the stage, while another member of your team enters. This can sometimes be used to escape mixups and allow Cerebella to recover red life. However, the character that comes in is not invincible, so if the opponent is ready to block, the new character can be punished with a full combo.** Use this sparingly, and remember that you can’t do it while in the air.**

Stunt doubles (Forward+MP+MK or forward+HP+HK while blocking)
This uses 1 metre, and can be used in the air or on the ground if you are in blockstun. It makes Cerebella invincible while the other teammate comes in and performs their assist move with some invincibilty. The usefulness of these depends a lot on what you choose for an assist, and what other defensive options there are. Keep it in mind when building your team, consider using it to avoid being chipped to death, or to avoid particularly difficult mixups once you block the first hit.

Assists (LK+MP or LP+MK for assist 1, MP+HK or MK+HP for assist 2)
These can be used defensively or offensively depending on what assist you choose to be on your team. You can call assists on the ground or in the air, during combos or in the neutral game, but not after a superjump. A jump cancel from c.HP counts as a superjump.

Every assist is vulnerable for at least a short amount of time before they start their move. If Cerebella gets hit before they start their move, they will stop and exit. If the assist is blocked that character can often be punished unless you protect them with Cerebella.

To avoid the risks in calling assists, it’s important to learn when they’re useful, and to call them at good times. An assist such as Parasoul’s Napalm Pillar is invincible during the move, and makes for a good anti-air, so calling it while the opponent is jumping is a good idea. However, if they are too far away, or too close, the assist could whiff, or be hit before it starts. Experience will tell you when it works or doesn’t.

Command run
Slide (Command run, MK followup)
This is a risky move, but since it it invincible to mid-attacks, it can be used to slide through multi-hitting projectiles or normals such as painwheel’s charged spikes. It can even go through some supers like Filia’s Gregor Samson. If close enough, it will attack the opponent from behind, but will probably be blocked unless they are doing something with long recovery.

Battle-Toads (Command run, HK followup)
This move can come out very quickly if you double tap HK when doing a command run. Since it has 2-3 hits of armor it can beat most attacks, and it serves as a decent anti-air. Unfortunately it is not safe on block and leaves you in the air where you cannot cancel to super. Use it as a late anti-air against 1-hit attacks like Parasoul’s j.HP, or sparingly on wake-up. Occasionally when it is blocked there is time to land and do 360 before you are punished, but it is not consistent.

Lock n’ Load (qcf+P)
The HP version of this move serves as a decent anti-air that is harder to punish than Battle-toads, since it can be super cancelled. Use it as a longer range anti-air, but beware of whiffing underneath them. Against moves like Painwheel’s j.MP or Double’s j.HP, as long as the startup of Lock n’ Load is out of their range, the multiple hits do not hit fast enough to stuff it. A sneaky technique to use with this move is to do it while the opponent is close to you on the ground, then cancel into 360 before it hits. The armor will absorb single hits, and the super will punish. The same thing can be done with command run as long as you don’t use a followup.

Reflector (dp+LP)
This move is quick, and cancels any projectile it touches, retaliating with a quick projectile that staggers on hit. The timing is often difficult even from full-screen, and most moves have time to recover and block before the reflected projectile can hit from that range. That said, it is useful against Painwheel’s charged spikes, which can’t be armored through. Against Parasoul’s zoning, do not attempt a reflector if there is already a tear in range of Cerebella. Against Peacock, it’s usually better to try to rush her down, but if you manage to block Argus Agony, reflect the second part of the super and you could potentially get a full combo.

Devil Horns (dp+MP)
This has some invincibility, but very short horizontal range. Rarely used outside combos, but if a painwheel is hovering directly above you, it could work.

Excellabella (dp+throw)
This has much better horizontal range, and has good vertical range too, against Painwheel, learn the range and attempt to dash in and grab them out of their flight. In most other situations it is a risky anti-air.

Glide (j.HP)
Jumping back and gliding, especially while calling an assist is a good mid-range defensive option when the opponent is approaching. React to their movement and release the button as soon as they get in range, even if they are blocking you will have the initiative.

When jumping back this is slightly inferior to glide, but with a double jump you can wait and see what the opponent is doing before deciding how to react. If you see that they will land without hitting you, a double jump towards them with a j.MP can cross them up, or do enough blockstun to give you the advantage.

This can be used as an anti-air normal, but can be difficult to use effectively. It has a good vertical and horizontal hitbox for a light, but is not one of Cerebella’s main tools. Close range air pressure that is low to the ground such as Painwheel or Filia are where it can be useful.[/details]

Starting the round

[details=Spoiler]Unlike marvel you cannot move prior to the start of the round, so the options for the very beginning are somewhat limited. In general you can either go for a safe option to scout the opponent, or take a gamble to potentially get an immediate lead.

Safe options:

-Jump back
Air dominance is very important in Skullgirls, and Cerebella is no different. Jumping back and blocking gives time to see the opponent’s opening move and react with a double jump or anassist call, or a glide. It doesn’t give up air dominance either, since a double jump can match super jump height with the right timing. Holding back is important to avoid getting caught off guard and also to set up a command run when you land if needed.

-Horizontal assist
Assists such as Double’s Hornet Bomber, Filia’s Hairball, Parasoul’s Egret charge can be used to put pressure on the opponent, or punish a failed gamble. Most will not protect you against a quick jump-in attack, but if you are charging back you can use whichever anti-air is appropriate including Battle-toads.


As discussed before, this is an unsafe move, but has a good chance at beating any normal or special they decide to use at the beginning of the match. You can time it to be instant to beat people moving forward, or delay it slightly to give yourself a chance to choose different followups.

-Pummel Horse (command run, throw)
This hits overhead, and if you call a horizontal assist before the run it can be used to catch air attacks, throws, or crouch-blocks. It is very risky, as the recovery is extremely long.

With an assist this can actually be semi-safe, however you can be thrown or swept out of it.

Slightly delayed can catch some jumpins, but the best chance is using the ground dash, or c.MP to kara-cancel it into range. It is only unblockable if the opponent is on the way up, so if done late it will be less effective.

-Merry-go-rilla (qcb+throw)
If the opponent has a habit of blocking your first attacks on the ground, dashing into range (try to get it just on the edge of the right range) can be a good gamble. The recovery is pretty quick, but will get punished by jump-ins. If backed by an assist that is delayed such as Egret charge, it is a bit safer.

-Super jump j.HK
If the opponent tends to jump forward, or immediately attack when jumping, this will usually beat whatever they’re doing. Beware though, if you super jump you cannot call assists, and cannot super until you land.

-Titan Knuckle (forward+HP)
This is quick and safe on block at starting range. It will catch back-dashes, and if they jump it can be cancelled into a special move anti-air. You can also call assists during the move. It will not beat all attacks, but due to the distance, most openings that stuff Titan knuckle do not lead to big damage.[/details]

YES! This is exactly what I need!!!

Added a section on doing 360s without jumping, as well as a link to guitalex’s guide.

If there’s stuff I missed let me know.

This guide is the shit man.

I think you should create a space for cancels.

Things like Titan Knuckle xx Run stop is great for getting in.

Not sure exactly what you mean. Are you talking about run-stops specifically or the general cancelling mechanism for special moves/supers?

titan knuckle into run stop isnt possible since the command for titan knuckle is forwards plus HP. Titan knuckle into M/H locknload though is totally viable.

you can charge while the titan knuckle animation is happening and do a late cancel.

Beat me to it.

Edit:@ AGE:I mean in general.

I’m planning to make a video or two for basics like that post patch. I don’t think there’s anything really cerebella specific about it except not being able to cancel excellabella to super.

titan knuckle actually recovers very fast so you wouldnt even need to. i used to cancel titan knuckle into command grab until i realised that titan knuckle on its own recovers faster than cancelling it into something else.

Titan knuckle xx Lock N load > run stop is good for approach.

Titan Knuckle on block, run stop 360.

Titan Knuckle on block, run stop buttons.

Titan Knuckled on block, run stop excellbella.

Dat pressure.

they have like a million years to react to all of that from a blocked titan knuckle. the blockstun isnt that good on it. wont stop them from just manically jumping all over the shop. basically while you are running at them they are free to do whatever the fuck they want. that is NOT pressure.

Yeah… that doesn’t work. Don’t do that. You probably have less time to react to their jumping than they do to your buttons. You are better off gliding across the screen all the time. It gets good distance, avoids ground attacks, will beat nearly anything else in the air with it’s huge hitbox (as long as you react appropriately), you can combo from it easily if it hits a grounded opponent, etc.

Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t think I know exactly what pressure is… I sorta just attack until something hits. Is that pressure?

Are you able to make a video of it? preferably in a match.

non stop attacks with little room for the opp to maneuver is what i would call good pressure.

also doing a simple dash jump/double jump is good for closing space. you can really fuck with peoples timings esp if you double jump straight upwards above their head. its fucking awesome for baiting stupid napalm pillar as well since it gets you above the hitbox for it as well and gives you a million years to hit with something afterwards.

just watch out for air throws if you do it a lot. i get caught by them quite a bit once the opp sees im in the air almost all the time. i gotta work on that really.

i see what you did there…

ive tried similar stuff in matches and you are lucky if you land it once out of even 10 times to be honest. like i said earlier most players are gonna stay off the ground as much as possible vs bella drastically reducing you chance of landing any throw based moves.

If you do it from about half the max range of Titan Knuckle, it’s a legitimate 50/50, and in this version, since there is the psuedo option select of excellebella-360, it’s pretty cheap when done properly.

I’m sorry I didn’t clear up the range of this before, but by no means should you do it from max titan knuckle range.

@Age:Sure, I wouldn’t mind, but I don’t have, like, any equipment, but, I’d be happy to play someone that does.

Also, gliding across the screen all willy nilly gets your ass airgrabed.

Fiber Uppercut beats it clean, Filia’s Dp beats it clean, Naplam Pillar beats it clean, Buer grab whatever thingy from Painwheel beats it, pretty sure Val can counter it, or air super it, double hornet bomber or cattelites it, any good peacock will never ever ever let you into the air because they will just light item drop.

I’m probably missing a few things, Haven’t played in a little bit.

You can play me, and I’ll record our matches. Just got a new camera thingy. Oh yeah, I was supposed to record that new reset… doing that now.

Oh, and I’ll even tell you before hand; I’m going to be gliding all willy nilly.

Sure, if you’re on now, I’ll play a ft10 or something like that.

Can’t be too long, I have something I need to do before 4:30.