This is basically an updated guide for Firebrand after about a year and a half of UMVC3 gameplay.
Firstly the main stats.
Hurtbox: Small-Med (Wings do not have a hittable area)
Playstyle: Tricky Rushdown, Frame Trapping and Light Zoning if necessary
Ideal Position: Point
Ideal Assists: One Lockdown (ex. Cold Star), One Stun-Heavy Neutral (ex. Drones, Bolts, Plasma, Tatsu, etc)
Comfort Range: Short (Imagine the width of Rocket Raccoon and that is Firebrand’s best range of combat)
Combo Difficulty: Easy
Typical Solo Damage (no meter) Output: 350k-400k
Learning Curve: Intermediate-Somewhat Difficult.
Most Challenging Thing About Using the Character?: Mastering use of his Command Air Dashes and Mobility.
Second Most Challenging Thing?: Finding creative ways to mitigate his “low” damage output. Only a few members of the cast can really help Firebrand.
Firebrand’s Assists: Don’t use them unless…well…maybe you can find a use for them, but they’re all pretty shitty and they expose his body for a very long time.
Overall Verdict: Firebrand has all the tools he needs to get in and wreck havoc. He’s a very solid and extremely mobile character. But in a metagame where the top tiers have godlike range, superior teleport mobility, crazy solo damage, and derpy normals he simply gets outshined on a lot of things as you move up beyond the A-tier cast. But by no means let this stop you from using Firebrand. He has plenty of tricks up his sleeve to harass the opponent into oblivion.
Oh yeah, and he’s cute as a button. So that’s another plus.
The rest of the guide implements a 1-10 scaling system.
1 - 3 = Terrible
4 - 5 = Decent
6 - 7 = Good
8 - 9 = Great
10 = Amazing.
Normals: (Overall moveset, not an average) 7.5/10
Despite his short range, Firebrand has some very good normals in his arsenal. The one’s I’ll be going over first are Lights, followed by Mediums and then Heavies.
St.L (10/10) = This move covers a sizeable area in front of Firebrand and gives you +6 on block. Great for frame-trapping with staggered L’s.
Cr.L (5/10) = An underwhelming Rapid-Fire Cr.L, Would be quite bad if it wasn’t mashable.
Air L (7/10) = Since you can combo from J.L into J.M -> J.H -> J.DH, This makes j.L a very fast attack for starting round gambits. Is useful in a few Okizeme setups as well. But it’s not an outstanding good air-to-air in most cases do the range.
St. M (4/10) = Combo Fodder mostly. Why use St.M when St.L starts up faster, has range, and leaves you with +6 on block?
Cr.M (2/10) = Same range as St.L, Negative on Block, and slower start up. Need I say more? Definitely Combo Fodder
J.M (9/10) = Da’ Heel Slap is a great Air normal. It’s fast, Has an Awesome Angle, and Deceptively Good Range, and it can lead into a combo on hit. Also its great for swooping down and taking the opponent by surprise. I highly suggest using this as your go to air-to-air in Close Range.
St. H (4/10) = Decent Anti-Air, but the slow start-up kills it’s usefulness. It’s neutral on block though, so that’s good.
Cr. H (8/10) = Firebrand swagger-jacked Frank’s awesome slide. Although it’s extremely unsafe on block you can cancel it into a Command Jump in order to make it safe. Firebrand’s slide is his longest reaching normal by far, and a great low poke IMO. It also shrinks his hurtbox to Raccoon Size. In addition, you can use it to catch up-backers after a recovery roll if you time it right. Oh yeah, but stick to St.L as much as you can though…that move is truly the godlike one.
Air.H (7/10) = Either Karsticles or Kresent (forgot which one) has quite a few set-ups using this move. I personally don’t use it as much as I should. But the double hit effect is good for catching people of guard. Also it’s very safe on block and we can set-up some nasty frame-traps with our good friend St.L. So throw this out every once in awhile and see how the opponent reacts.
S (1/10) - Do not use this unless you’re launching in a combo. Period.
Air S (7.5/10) - I really like the angle of this move when I’m swooping down and the massive advantage it lands on hit or block. But if I’m not swooping then I feel I have no use for this move. But since I do a lot of swooping with command dashes I use this move rather often. However, Da Heel Slap is still my numero uno on a swoop down aerial approach.
Ground Bon Voyage (5/10) - This move is the best whiff punishing move in the game hands down. But it’s also -30 on block and even more so on whiff recovery, so
you have to make a godlike read or punish a big whiff to use this move effectively. You’ll use it no doubt, but the uses will be seldom and few. However, if you feel like you can read the opponent like a book at match start, then using GBV when the round begins is a very risky but rewarding option. But I repeat, you must have a great understanding of your opponent and their habits for this to work.
Air Bon Voyage (10/10) - This move attacks at a great angle, has massive priority, +10 frames on block, Converts to a grab on hit (giving Firebrand invincibility for the rest of the duration), and it’s a corner carry. Air Bon Voyage is Firebrand’s best move. Some could even say that Bon Voyage is nearly everything about Firebrand (which is somewhat true.)
Hell’s Spitfire L/M (6.5/10) - It’s a cute little fireball that deals 100,000 points of damage and like 30k Chip. It trades with other fireballs like Soul Fist, Hadoken, And Akuma’s Thing. It has pretty slow start-up and Firebrand isn’t going to win a zoning war. But it’s better than no zoning ability at all. Get creative in your spitting patterns and you’ll land a few hits on the opponent most cases. But if you feel like playing more of a cautious Firebrand then partner him with something like missiles so you can utilize this move more often.
Hell’s Spitfire H (5/10) -OTG’s, Has Massive Startup, And +50 on block. The reason this is rated so low is because Firebrand is completely prone if he uses this in the air and he can be knocked out of start-up on the ground. So its only really useful to combo off an air grab/ back ground grab. Still, you can make this move very good by combining it specifically with Amaterasu’s Cold Star assist (on block). However, this move dramatically scales damage to the point where you’re basically giving the opponent 1/10th a bar of meter in exchange for taking 1000 points of damage.
Demon Missile L (2/10) - This is probably the least used move in my arsenal. It’s +1 on block and Firebrand flies forward… but on hit or block he get’s knocked back half screen. We do not want to be knocked back a half-screen when playing Firebrand.
Demon Missile M (8/10) - Firebrand passes through the opponent like a ghost, and this move ignores advancing guard. It’s unsafe unless covered by an assist like plasma beam, drones, cold star, etc. But the move is awesome for left/right shenanigans when covered by a partner. I use this move very often.