I’ve played about 100 matches and gotten to #2 on the ranked leaderboard with dive, so ill share some of my thoughts on matchups and gem selection.
Keep in mind that these are still just opinions and this game is still very new, random, and all over the place.
Also, I am going to use the term “Kick dashing” to describe use a series of low divekicks to move forward across the screen, which is used to get under opponents and is key in a few matchups for closing distance on the ground.
G: Parabolic: good against kick, mr.n, dive, basically any character that spams kicks to build meter. Most people think they can get away with a couple regular divekicks at the start of the round to build meter, so hit them with a quick parabolic-kick to keep them scared, which will also help you move them into the corner. You can even score some nice headshots off this
A: Terminal velocity: Good against :s-kill, mr.n, shoals, stream(?). Seems to work well against double jump characters and characters who can control their air movement through their air moves. Im not too experienced with it, but it definitely helps to avoid s-kill baiting you into going into the air only to have him double jump or trick above you.
Kung Pao: Gem- kick
Go with kick gem cuz you already jump above her anyway, and that isn’t the problem. Like Hanson said, I feel that this is one of dives harder matchups, as a good kung will be able to stop any sort of offenseive dive dashing towards her with well placed kicks and kickbacks low to the ground. My advice is to try to keep with her distance and get her to kick herself back into the corner where you can get above her, and neutral jump-kick her if she gets too aggressive with kicks. Be careful for her teleports also, if you kick her and she teleports in the air, she will come out in the same spot facing the other way ready to kick you in the face in and annoying s-kill way.
One of dive easiest matchups in my opinion. Using the dive gem and being able to dive higher when you both have the same kick is very advantageous, as you will win almost every neutral jump fight. Kick will have to do a lot of Kick Dashing underneath you, and if he gets too meter build happy you can parabolic kick him right in the face
Dr. Shoals: Gem-kick
I use kick gem to speed up my kick dashing, and because shoals has much more air control than dive. This matchups is about 5-5 in my opinion, but for now it is just very annoying to deal with shoals kickback. The key aspect in this match is recognizing if you should kick-dash underneath her if she is kicking high in the air or kickback and try to hit her if she is trying to kick you low to the ground. This is crucial, as a low to the ground kick is her counter to kick dashing, and a full screen foot dive can crush/headshot a kickback. This is the reason why many new players can be crushed by shoals, because you need to realize that the way to avoid her is not kickbacks, but in fact kick dashing towards her. While Kick or Mr. N are better at kickdashing, Dive can punish shoals from underneath by hitting her with a parabolic kick, as long as you don’t miss time is and she uses her fucking backdash -_-
The Baz: Gem-kick
Use kick gem as you already dive higher, and you wont need to be that high above him. The baz is really annoying so far, probably just because that you have to fight him differently than any other character. What you want to do is kickdash your way towards him and try to back him into the corner. Kickdashing helps to advance dive without being caught by a full horizontal lightening strike. The closer you are to the baz the better since his regular kick comes out so slow. But be careful, the baz has his defensive special abilities to try and counter your offense. Watch for the lightening corridor, and jump above the rope swing. Still a very variable matchup, but I would give it 5-5. I am thinking about just picking kick for this, as dives special moves don’t seem to help too much except for parabolic helping close distance, and kick is way better at kick dashing and party starter could counter his lightening corridor.
Use kick gem because you already dive above him and you will need to kickdash under fully charged dropkick. While I am reluctant to call Jefaily a “good” character due to his weird specials and head gimmick, his dropkick and its angle is no joke. Thinking you can jump in on jefaily free will result in many kickback-dropkick headshots. Try to get a handle on the spacing of his drop kicks so you can jump around and bait dropkicks while building meter. Your ultimate goal is to get him into the corner, where if you position yourself right you CAN get free kills on jefaily. Not too much use for special moves here, you should mostly try to get kickfactor and 90 degree kick him in his face.
Quick matchup notes:
Characters I haven’t played enough at a decent level, meaning I don’t have a lot to say about them
Watch out for air trick. When he has the meter for it, stay back and watch his gauge. If you see it disappear, kickback then kick for a guaranteed kill. Get close to s-kill, and try to dive into the air with him. if he jumps another time, terminal velocity and kickdash to get underneath him so that you can punish him. S-kill is not an offensive character, so headshots do not results in him taking multiple round as it is hard for him to reach you. He will, however, build a lot of meter, which is very bad. Try to headshot his meter away
Still dealing with this matchup, very variable and hard to gauge character. Do not kickdash at the start of the round as you are very likely to be head shot. Avoid the spring item as it bounces you at a very disadvantaged height.
Uncle sensei: Gem-dive
You have to watch uncle sensei a lot, always know which kick is next and plan accordingly. Dive above or kickdash beneath the Divefist, and kickback or dive above his divekick. Watch out for super jump if you are trying to meet him in the air.
Thats all for now. Also be sure to work on not doing specials when you are trying to kickdash, I know I need to.