How do I "Create" combos ...?

I’m not talking about creating combos in any game. I play ST and really, I don’t need to “create” any combos, any useful ones are already created / can be figured out just by watching videos.

If for some reason I do need to “create” a combo, or there’s a cancel that’s too fast to see, all I need to figure it out is frame data…

What I’m asking about, are games where combos are much “freer” like the vs series, (and why i’m interested is the upcoming skullgirls)

Now I’ve played a little MvC3, and even less of the earlier vs series. Again, I’ve relied on combos that are already created. There’s a few problems with this.

  1. Nobody has my exact team. So, I can probably increase the damage output by extending these combos but I have no idea how.

  2. Sometimes I “see” a combo but I can’t land them myself, (some wierd spacing that happens in the middle of the combo that causes to drop… ) I need to modify it so it’s easier / the character falls enough etc… etc…

Now, I know in the vs series, the magic series for each character cancel into specials, and they cancel into supers. And obviously I can “create” those basic combos. But how do you people do things like “control” other characters to the ground for a relaunch? or “control” a character so another special will land?

Is it just purely trial and error? or are there some “tools” that help?

tl;dr. I would really like to stop relying on pre-made combos and make my own. especially with skull girls coming up. How do I make combos that are a bit more advanced and aren’t ABCS->BBCS->Special->super?

And I mean, how do you “make” infinites and loops. (cuz i know how to use wall bounces, and stuff too) (Think XvsSF)

I make combo videos for a couple of my characters in Marvel 3, so maybe I can explain a few things. probably applicable for combo newbies in general.

1. Understand the properties of your characters’ moves.

  • a fireball isn’t just a fireball, likewise a projectile isn’t just a projectile. with that in mind, look deeper into the properties of each of your characters’ moves. I’ll be using Dante in MvC3 as an example from here on out, since he’s the best example. Acid Rain, for instance, has Dante shoot several orbs of energy up into the sky, then comes down as rain. okay, so what? well, if you’ve seen the Acid Rain loop that’s been done by Dante players since Vanilla, you’ll notice you can do two or three of these in a row on an airborne opponent and they won’t drop out until they hit they ground, at which point they recover immediately. this must mean that Acid Rain is soft knockdown, which means one of several things: a) a move that leads into Acid Rain (let’s just say Dante’s standing S here) that normally has a hitstun value that would normally cause opponents to drop if used too far along in a combo, will NOT cause the opponent to drop out. you’re basically overriding that hitstun value with Acid Rain’s soft knockdown, thereby increasing your damage AND extending your combo no matter how further you are into it.

  • learn the other properties and states as well. in addition to soft knockdown, there’s ground bounce, hard knockdown, forced ground bounce, crumple, capture, etc. the SRK Wiki is useful for this.

  • properties aren’t limited to just “x move causes y state”. certain moves, such as Dr. Strange’s Impact Palm, even though it appears to be just another command normal at first glance, have constant hitstun values. these moves don’t always put your opponent in a particular state. you’ll know that if you have either the guide or do a little investigation yourself.

2. Abuse these properties.

  • now that you know x move has this property, you can begin to work around the hitstun deterioration system, which is based on a timer. you need to put all these various states and moves together to make one unified combo that makes the HSD system your bitch. the reason why, for instance, Dante and Strange have much more damaging and longer combos than Hawkeye, is because you can exploit these states and moves to work around the HSD. moves like Impact Palm completely ignore the HSD timer as long as you land them. put these moves together and you have your basic ToD combo. let’s say I was messing around in training mode one day, and without looking online, I “discovered” that an uncharged Flames of the Faltine fireball actually has a constant hitstun value. okay, really cool because that isn’t even listed in the guide, and I found that all by myself. what other moves does Dr. Strange have that does the same thing…? Impact Palm. put two and two together, and you get this:


3. Execute, Analyze.

  • so you have your fancy ToD combo now, and you’ve just shown your friends how godlike your execution is… after about 20 attempts. first thing you need to ask yourself after all is said and done, “Is my combo practical? can it be done in a real match?” if the answer is yes, then good for you. if not, maybe it’s time to go back to the drawing board and simplify things a bit. which part do you find yourself dropping the combo most often? I have a Dante combo with Doom’s Hidden Missiles assist, for example, and when the missiles hit, I have one of two options: the easy way, just jump and hit j.S to cause hard knockdown, or the slightly harder but more rewarding jump, Skydance, which allows me to do several more things for added damage. if the latter causes me to drop my combos more often than I should, and thus costing me a character sometimes, I’ll just go for the first one-- anyway, the added damage and meter building is negligible compared to a potentially risky situation that will cause you to lose a character because of an execution error.

hope this helps. :slight_smile: also, do note that not all assists can be used mid-combo because assists are subject to hitstun deterioration now. again, you just need to look for the ones that bypass this rule.

What you said is mostly about overriding the HSD system in MvC3 (which is something I need to know, and that helps me with MvC3).

But, here’s the thing, It’s specific to MvC3. As I said in my original post, think X-men Vs Street fighter. Those types of 100-200% loops/combos. Or relaunches. While I appreciate what you wrote up. (and definitely will put it to good use) I was actually asking for more general things that apply to most games…

The reason why I took a sudden interest in combo making is because of skullgirls, the only thing stopping the combo is the infinite prevention system. At that point I realized, I really don’t know anything about combos…

Eg, If I launch in to an air combo, how do I juggle them back to the ground for a relaunch?
(in general, what things to look for etc… of course I can always wait for other people to make combos, and copy them, but for once I want to make my own and tweak to fit my own playstyle)


So I do a magic series chain, what are the different types of move properties that allow me to land a normal after and restart the chain?

Obviously MvC3 has things like wall bounches and OTGs, but. I’m pretty sure games from MvC2 and earlier didn’t have them yet, I see people “going backwards” in the Magic series all the time, (often with game breaking combos)

I think to really be able to take advantage of the combo system in skull girls, I need to understand this FIRST, and then like you did with MvC3 and overriding the HSD, I need to find a way to continue the combo inspite of the infinite prevention system. (game specific, which again, while helpful I prefer things that I can transfer to many games I will play in the future)

I’m not sure if combos can even be “created” anymore outside of exploiting the game’s mechanics. One example of an exploit becoming a major part of a combo system would be what used to be called two-in-ones in SF2. That exploit led to cancels being an essential part of Capcom’s fighting game mechanics. I believe that it was gamers almost outsmarting the developers in this way that led to game engines becoming tighter and all combo possibilities programmed into the engine itself. I know it is definitely possible to “create” combo-like strategies that don’t necessarily register every hit on the counter, Dictator’s corner trap strategy from SF2: CE, and how in MK1-3 Sub Zero could almost always launch, freeze, jump kick, slide, then catch the opponent on wakeup with another free hit. I could be way off, especially since I haven’t played fighters seriously since Capcom’s Vs ames on PS2, but I think, since fighting games have gotten more technical, combos are more discovered than created, whereas certain patterns and techniques can be more easily invented and developed.

I’m assuming you mean juggles when you say combos. For links and ground loops, etcetera, the process is pretty simple if you have frame data.

For games nowadays, your major restriction is damage/hitstun scaling. What does this mean to you, in practical terms? Find a short sequence (the “meat” of the combo) that does a lot of damage per hit (or however scaling is computed). Try to fit as MANY of those high damage sequences as possible. If something doesn’t work, is it a juggle priority, hitstun decay, or spacing problem? If it’s a juggle priority/hitstun decay problem, either revamp the entire combo or just go into an ender you have. If it’s a spacing problem, is there another way to continue the combo? Does your character have an attack that will reach when no other attacks will? If not, can you change your juggle timings so you can connect a different attack?

Let’s take a simple MvC3 Wesker combo. There a couple of factors that limit combo potential in MvC3. For Wesker, the ones that matter are hitstun decay, damage scaling, the wallbounce limit, and spacing. Just from a damage scaling perspective (which is a hard limit), Wesker’s Ghost Butterfly is his highest damage attack but it requires a wallbounce so you can usually only combo one in a single combo . Cobra Strike doesn’t do as much damage but it still does 100k unscaled. However, the combo from Cobra Strike to OTG to whatever only works at low hitstun scaling. Therefore we save his wallbounce for later and use Cobra Strike first.

j.s, j.h, cr.h, and df.h are his best damage normals per hit. So a max damage Wesker combo would start of j.s -> cr.h xx cobra strike. After the OTG shot, you can’t combo a cr.h (with glasses on) so you need to do a faster move, like cr.m. However, at this point you can’t combo off Cobra Strike anymore. So we’ll use our Ghost Butterfly. However, you can’t do cr.m cr.h xx ghost butterfly in this situation so we have to do s.h, which does less damage overall because of its two attacks. Regardless, it lets us continue the combo. Anyway, we do cr.m, s.h xx Ghost Butterfly. Off the wallbounce you can do whatever you want until they get knocked down. You can also teleport cancel Ghost Butterfly, so let’s do some more of his high damage moves. Teleport with :h: for positioning, do a late j.s -> cr.h. We’ve already used Ghost Butterfly so right now the only option to continue the combo is a launcher. Wesker’s best damage air series is mmhs. After that you get a free OTG gunshot but you can’t combo off it assistless. So the combo is done, hitstun scaling wins at this point.

What should you take from this whole thing? How to build optimal combos rests primarily on system mechanics. What are the limiting factors? In Marvel, Magneto j.h xx air dash xx j.h xN is good in flight mode because it’s a single move that does good damage and the system doesn’t care about repeating the same move over and over. In Skullgirls, the combo would drop quickly. So therefore Skullgirls combos are going to be about extending combos in unique ways. There’s no damage or hitstun scaling, so you should try to use all of your moves in every combo. Your attacks are ‘capital’ because they let you extend your combos longer. So when you do a combo, try to use as many different moves as possible. If you haven’t used a normal or special in the combo yet, try to use it to extend the combo.

I wasn’t asking for optimal combos. I guess you were right about how to “juggle”. Although I guess to be more clear some terms need to be definied. Either way, I think I got the information I needed. We’ll know if i have problems once skullgirls comes out and I try and apply it =), But as I suspected, it’s mostly a little bit more than trial and error =/