I made this over on the Divekick forums, but I’de love for all of you to pick it apart. These are my thoughts on the matchups, what are yours in response to them?
First I’m not going to place any “advantage” or “disadvantage” dislcaimers by any of the matchups. This is just information on how to treat them as fighters. It is still a bit too early to boil the neuances of a match down to “7/3.” And now, a note on the various gems and their uses.
Dive Gem: This is strictly used in two matchups to counterpick your opponent. Outside of those, there is no real point in selecting this gem.
Kick Gem: The most useful gem on The Baz, in my opinion. Both increasing his kick speed, making him safer while crossing/going under his opponent, and extending the hitbox of his lightning for a better punish, this gem will go the further is making your game tighter and more reliable. Never a bad pick for any situation.
Meter Gem: While not as versatile as the Kick Gem, the Meter Gem is important for matchups where meter is the most important thing you can have, period.
YOLO Gem: Old and busted. Don’t use it, period.
Dive: Kick Gem: I don’t have too terribly much experience versus competent Dives, but this is about as basic as it gets. Build meter when you can, don’t let him pressure you into the corner, and when he is landing use that as an opportunity to cross over his head for more space. He is fairly punishable since his kick is so slow and he has no way to modify its speed, so feel free to look for punishment opportunities. Only annoyance is he can evade kickfactor moderately well, so you may only get a kill or two with it.
Kick: Dive Gem: This is really good news for The Baz. One of the most powerful characters in the game has no answer at all to a The Baz with Dive Gem simply diving to maximum height, then fully charging a kick to cross the screen when he is getting pressured. Use this to your advantage and build free kickfactors all day. And, if the Kick player is trying to keep up with you by rushing you down recklessly, feel free to slap him with some lightning or even a Mighty Swing headshot to cool his jets. As a warning, Kick can clip The Baz a bit easier if he himself has a Dive Gem, so if he has one, be careful. It is still hard for him to tag you, but it is physically possible for him now. Let him pick his gem first, and if he picks anything but Dive, go to town on him with safejumps and lightning all day.
Shoals: Kick Gem: This is a hard one I’m still getting everything down for. Two things to keep in mind; you will never hit her with your normal lightning, and there is nothing she can do if you just stay under her and build meter. What this means is, you need to focus absolutely all of your mind on playing defensively, and getting past her guard one time so you can stand under her. Once you do that you can jump to meet her where ever she goes to land and she cant get away from you. About the only thing you can hit her with reliably, however, are The Shocker lightning bolts, so try to keep those stocked as much as you can. Two The Shockers are better than one Kickfactor. Lastly, if she gets a headshot on you then she gets two KOs out of it. Accept it, and try not to let her go on a rampage or you’re free.
Kung Pao: Counterpick Dive/Kick Gem: Without her own Dive Gem Kung Pao has the same problem that Kick has wherein she physically has no way to stop The Baz from simply jumping and crossing over her to build free meter and completely evaporate her pressure. If she does pick her own Dive Gem then this matchup gets a bit harder thanks to her good horozontal movement and ways to avoid your lightning/The Shocker thanks to those portals. Try not to let her rush you down and build meter for Kickfactor. A good Kickfactor is worth four kills on Kung Pao.
Redacted: Kick Gem: This is one of the more difficult matchups for The Baz. Not as bad at the character that follows, but still not great. The Baz does not deal very well with Wall of Pain characters, as he can neither consistently cross over or under them because they can dive/kick so quickly in response to him movement. Redacted can not advance quickly/safely, however, so take advantage of this and try to grind out as much meter as you can. Try not to get yourself cornered, you should always be looking for when you can get past her, more so than trying to get her to sit on your lightning. There is not much she can do to escape kickfactor, but her jumping can eat up a bit of it, so only expect 2/3 kills instead of 3/4.
Mr. N: Kick Gem: This is a bit like Redacted on hard mode. Same basic rules apply, don’t let yourself get pushed into a corner, look for times you can pass by safely, take advantage of his less than stellar horizontal movement to grind out meter. This is one of the hardest, if not the toughtest matchup for The Baz simply because Mr. N combines aspects of both a Wall of Pain character, and an Uncommitted character thanks to his hover. Just keep in mind that he can’t interrupt his kick with a hover outside of karacanceling it, so if you see him wiff a kick to advance forward, that is your time to go over his head. Just be careful, the timing to do so is extremely tight.
Markman: Kick Gem: This is an interesting fight for two reasons. First, Markman’s items are a bit buggy with The Baz. If The Baz lands in a glue puddle after kicking, then another new lightning bolt will appear exactly where the first one was the next time he jumps. Likewise, The Baz can kick through Markman’s Spring and stand under, making it slightly less deadly. The second reason is that The Baz can punish Item Dig on reaction if he is all ready prepping a kick. Keep this in mind and aim directly ontop of any Markmen digging for trash. Past that this is a pretty standard fight similar to how you would space against Kung Pao. Build up to your free meter if they just want to dig, or kick over and past him if he commits to a long range kick. Just be careful and make sure you clear his head by a good bit, since Feint gives him what is essentially a second jump in the air. You’ll likely be killing him with Kickfactor, which he can not do much to escape from, so grind that meter out.
Uncle Sensei: Kick Gem: While his kick arcs are similar to Dr. Shoals, he is not nearly as vulnerable to staying up on him. He jumps high and kicks far, so do your best to weave past him once he commits to an aggressive action (keeping in mind the variance in movement options from his stances) and grind up that meter. Kickfactor is the safest way to nail him, but he can evade it pretty effectively thanks to his very high dives and floaty kicks. Odds are you’ll be nailing him with The Shocker projectile more, so try to treat him like Shoals in that respect. Something to note is that he is noticeably taller when he is standing on his hands, making him much easier to clip with a normal lightning kick. If you absolutely want to punish him, do it when he’s going to land on his hands.
S-Kill: Meter Gem: This is a very defensive fight, and one much in contention between myself and Adelheid. Since S-Kill’s horizontal movement options are so poor, and he has no real way to rushdown, this becomes a meter economy fight more than anything. Begin the match by grinding out as much meter as you can until S-Kill is about to get a Trick loaded, then advance to the center line and hold it. Watch his meter hard, because he can Trick for an instant headshot on most of what you can do, but if you react to his meter being drained (not him appearing. If he has all ready teleported than it is too late) you can be fast enough to punish him with a Shocker. The following round you can then grind up to one kick from kickfactor, go to the center line, rinse and repeat. All of his offensive options and movement are extremely telegraphed, so keep this in mind if you ever see an easy punish/kill. Just don’t go in too deep, S-Kill is a better defensive character than The Baz, so try to let him come to you.
Stream: Kick Gem: From all I have seen Stream has a terrible matchup versus The Baz. His kick is so slow that you can simply kickback if he trys to chase you down and pass through him with lightning when he runs out of distance. If he instead ops to sit back and meter build, you can do the same, and you’re better at it. The Shocker even beats flame foot. Don’t panic when he does a Spooby Please, build meter patiently, and make sure to thank your opponent for the win after the match is over. Oh, last thing, if you do get kickfactor then odds are you will get two kills with it. The first from the initial activation and hitting him as a punish, and the second for chasing him to the corner on the next round after he kickbacks twice and perform a The Shocker to snag him. Don’t worry about it feeling wasted too much, you’ll get a new one soon enough.
Jefaily: Kick Gem: This is another defensive match where you are completely free to grind out meter to your heart’s content. It takes him forever to charge a kick that goes any kind of distance, and your kickback meter building can outpace his rushdown. Once you have a decent amount of meter or kickfactor he’ll probly try to hit you with a Disqualified, so look for it and get out of the way. It holds him in place when he does it, so take that opportunity to get under him and put him down with a The Shocker, which, incidentally, also punishes every other one of his options since his kicks are so telegraphed. Not as free as Stream, as he can be scary if he pushes you into a corner, but be mindful of your spacing and you should be fine no matter what he does. Just don’t try to get under his kick.
Kenny: Kick Gem: Kenny roughly matches the stance of the fighter he is mimicking with a few exceptions. Most notably, Dr. Shoals and Mr. N are both much easier than their normal counterparts. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that your kickfactor still drains he if hits you with a Spirit Bullet, so do your best to avoid it.
The Baz: Meter Gem: The worst matchup in the game. While I said I wouldn’t use an advantage/disadvantage or number system to describe this matchup, this is the only fight that deserves it. 0/10, The Baz is free against The Baz all day. Neither Baz can prevent the other from meter building, due to the wall of lightning out prioritizing the aggressive Baz before his own lightning becomes active. This means that both Bazs grind up to kickfactor, then it each other with the red glow active, netting a double KO and no points scored. Every Baz v Baz matchup is staged, the only way one player can win one is if the other players messes up hard. Don’t do Baz dittos, swap your character if your can. It is worth it to learn Mr. N or Redacted just for this matchup.