It’s hard to make a team especially in this game that full compliments X-23. Her combo damage without self relaunches isn’t super hot near TOD status like some of the other high tiers of the game and she generally struggles to get really scary damage off a DHC without an OTG assist unless she has like Hulk behind the DHC or something. The nerf to assists further limits the amount of assists that allow her to DHC into her Weapon X Prime super and her rage trigger super pops people up too high after the last set of hits where it screws up a lot of DHC and THC’s. Either you won’t really get that much damage or sometimes it screws up certain supers from hitting correctly period.
She also has big issues with aerial opponents since she still has no way to ground bounce or hard knockdown an opponent to the floor if she hits them from the air. Plus the only real option she has for comboing someone from the air to the ground (L talon attack) got nerfed so pretty much if the opponent is at super jump height you can’t even hit them with a real combo. You can do 3 or 4 hits to them and then they can just fly back up in the air. You really have to grind to get characters like Trish/Storm/SpiderMan/Morrigan on the ground and having an AA assist like jam session or vajra helps but it’s not necessarily going to be a be all answer. It just increases your chances of doing damage to them temporarily as you try to find ways to combo them closer to the ground.
Having a beam assist is nice for the left/rights but some characters that are higher tier now like Morrigan can just duck under any beam assist that isn’t disruptor. While disruptor is fast it doesn’t have much durability and isn’t doesn’t really do enough hit stun or block stun to really cover ground with talon attacks as well as the slower more durable beams.
Long story short I feel like there’s a few ways to make a team around X-23 although they all ultimately have their faults for Laura that she must get around through smart play.
1. X-23 on point with 2 strong neutral assists. This is the way I play her and the only way I really find her fun to play with the characters on my team. One covering aerial (that preferably sets up aerial lockdowns for easy dirt naps) and one that covers your horizontal (like a beam or fast projectile assist) for left/right mix ups and covering your ground and aerial approaches. In this game characters laming out at the top of the screen is more of an importance and they some of them can easily snipe out your assists or DHC into supers that will severely hurt or kill your assists on a bad call. In the end though X-23 does like the help of assists like jam session so that she can pester people that are airborne and help give them a reason to come to the ground. Horizontal assists with solid durability are great for covering her aerial and ground movement so she isn’t just running into stuff all day trying to get in (especially against Sent drones). Pretty much all projectile based horizontal assists lose to Akuma assist so you’ll have to learn to just have strong footsies against Akuma assist whoring players.
You’re not going to get any real strong relaunch stuff on this team unless you pick a very specific set of neutral assists and until we figure out some crazy shit…X-23’s damage before super without an assist at best reaches in the 450 to 500k range. Then on top of that you have to specific DHC’s to get big damage off of her rage trigger super since Weapon X Prime still needs an assist to pop people up for it. Without very specific supers behind X-23 rage trigger will pop the opponent up too high on the last set of hits which means you will have to DHC early and miss out on some of that important damage. Which sometimes has you struggling to kill full health lower health characters even like Storm or Zero unless they got hit by something first.
This basically forces the X-23 player to play around resets and hopefully the second character provides a safe DHC when things get bad. Which is tough to do in a game of huge hit boxes and people that just wanna be in the air all day and kill you in one combo. All while you have to work on two touching them to death consistently. If you can get this play style down though it’s strong because it allows X-23 to have an option at every situation at the cost of having to touch most of the cast more than once to kill them. You’ll just have to be very creative and put together a lot of strong mix ups that the opponent can’t simply just tech forward/back out of.
There is a small set of neutral assists that allow you to relaunch off of air throws or general hard knockdowns at least so you can try to find a 2nd neutral assist that relaunches for you if you really want the extra damage that badly. Probably the best option for this being Iron Man’s repulsor blast assist since it will set up relaunch while giving you a great AA/dirt nap set up assist (although it is wonky to hit confirm from because of how it juggles people around). It also requires you to play Iron Man who is not a walk in the park to utilize and is about as online unfriendly as it gets.
2. X-23 on point with one neutral assist and one OTG assist. This is another solid way of playing X-23 and definitely has it’s benefits and downsides over the first method. Mainly what you’re going to be gaining over a 2 neutral assist team is the ability to relaunch off forward
I would say one of the ultimate goals with any team you make is to build a team where your goal is to stack X-23 with strong neutral assist and build up meter via resets for dirt nap. The other is to create a team that will allow X-23 to get near TOD damage and not be as reliant on resets/dirt nap. This ultimately makes it easier to capitalize on that one chance you get to hit the opponent in some of her counter matches at the trade of not having as great options for convincing more aerial characters to come down to where you want to play to begin with.
That isn’t the most terrible trade though if you consider that the one time you do hit them you will maximize profit and pretty much guarantee you’ll kill off the lower health characters that do that like Trish and Storm pretty easily. This team also has a bit better of a team building up meter for dirt naps since longer combos ultimately mean more meter for dirt nap. Turning on XF1 against a solid health character after you land a hit on them (especially if you already landed a small combo or set of hits on them before) will help you build the meter to XF1 kill the next character. This is because even XF1 gives you a boost in meter build and still lasts just long enough where you can kill one character and then use meaty d+H talon dive or meaty H crescent scythe to dirt nap kill the next person coming in.
Especially if you were able to kill the first character via resets this can give you opportunity to XF1 kill the next character and still have 3 meters for the dirt nap. Allowing you to kill off their anchor and win the match. That’s the ideal way to do it. If you feel confident in fighting their anchor without XF you can always XF1 kill the first character and then dirt nap down the second and then just 3 on 1 the anchor without XF.
3. X-23 in second spot with some type of strong meter building point character and neutral assist providing anchor. This is another solid way of playing X-23. You don’t get to have access to 2 assists to get as much versatility in your neutral and relaunch options but activating XF2 pretty much offsets not having a relaunch assist. You can activate XF2 just like Wolvie off any situation like air throws, hard knockdowns etc. and build the dirt nap meter you need to kill off 2 people easily. Now that people are finding that meaty air d+H and H crescent scythe setups are nearly as reliable as assist based setups for dirt naps (if a bit harder to time) this is definitely a good spot for X-23 still.
In some ways it’s an even better spot for X-23 now due to the buff to her talon attacks where any move normal or special moves wise that makes her airborne can now be cancelled into the talon attacks. This of course falls into choosing her crescent scythe assist so you can give your point character a very unique option. The ability to basically have a one meter safe reversal against pressure that with correct placement and timing can even convert into combos. Even if you don’t get the combo conversion at least you basically get a one meter guard cancel which is huge in a game with some much pressure and death always near anytime you get touched. If your point character doesn’t have a safe on block super this helps them out a lot as well although it might be preferable that they have a safe on block super so they don’t always have to rely on the crossover counter to safely get out of a match if you need to save them.
Though in the end the ultimate goal of this team is to use X-23 in XF2 to build up dirt nap meters quickly on any touch and get two people out of the fight quickly. If you already killed the first character this is pretty much a game win strategy. If you gotta fight 3 people this ensures that at bare minimum you take down 2 characters on their team free pretty free and only have to deal with their anchor after your XF is burnt.
4. X-23 as anchor. Now this is an interesting spot since at first I thought this was a mostly useless spot for her but her ability to self cross up off her M feint and some other tools make this spot for her a bit more viable. The big thing making this spot more viable for her also is again…the crescent scythe assist which allows X-23 to finally be a character that can safely get a character into the reserve/assist spot. Which if that character provides a strong neutral assist like Iron Fist, Magneto or Akuma…you can then play X-23 in the XF2 as well if you choose to.
This team set up is kinda gimmicky though and mostly revolves around the point character just being a really strong character that can do most of the work on their own with one strong neutral assist. The team pretty much forces you to go hard with dirt naps since you’re either going to TAC into X-23 to set up dirt naps from the 2nd character or just have the second character fight on their own and then X-23 will try to dirt nap down the rest of the team in XF3.
I would say probably the least solid of X-23’s team structures but very rewarding if things go right from the front often enough.
Whichever way you go, as long as you build X-23 around resets or heavy damage relaunch combos to set up meter for dirt naps you’ll be good to go.