Hello everyone who reads this(All 5 of you). My name is Colonel-Gilgamesh. By my greeting, you have all likely just judged me as ‘That n00b on the forums that thinks he knows something’. And you’d probably be right. But we’re not here to talk about that today. You can save that for when I’m out of the room.
This is the first in what I hope are to be a series of posts that will hopefully help further the community were it can. Which is to say in microscopic proportions, but lets move on. The goal of these posts, as the name might imply, is to get people to start exploring, or further explore, a certain tactic in the game that I personally feel is underutilized and often seen as inferior compared to other examples. I may call them as I see them often, and I may get ranty/soapboxy, but this isn’t about me. It’s not even about me validating my opinions. It’s about making you think. It’s about making you look twice to see if you’re passing up a gem or not. It’s about sounding The Call to players to explore something that deserves it.
In this first post, we’re gonna talk about your pocket rocket…raccoon. And his amazing assist, Spitfire Twice.
(Disclaimer: You will more than likely say ‘Yeah, I know’ multiple times while viewing. Please bear with me, and remember that saying ‘Yeah, I know’ is almost like an admittance that you understand everything about a subject is the easiest way to become uninformed about it.)
WHY DO PEOPLE NOT USE THIS MORE:
There are 4 main reasons why no one uses this assist. The first is the core reason: everyone just uses Sentinel Drones, which serve more or less the same function. Past that the next most important limiting factor is that no one uses Rocket Raccoon. Third, RR is often on point, making assisting kind of odd for him. Lastly, he has another amazing assist which people use more often in Pendulum
WHY DO PEOPLE USE THOSE THINGS INSTEAD:
1.Sentinel Drones. One of the best assists in the game, as everyone knows. Moreover, it was one of a kind back in ye olde days of MvC2 and MvC3. Sentinel reigned supreme, not only because of having an amazing assist, but also being a freaking solid character to back it up. As such, when people are looking for a pressure/offense/advancement tool, they look to Drones.
2.No one uses RR. This is simple enough. No one uses RR first of all because of his high barrier of entry. He’s a trapping character, and one who doesn’t have much to back him up if his traps fail. He’s frail and his risk/reward for using him is currently lower than it should be(in my mind). He doesn’t really have a champion for his cause either.
3.RR is on point a lot. RR is one of a series of character that I like to call ‘Accented Characters’. These are often the characters that are on point because they have to be. They either have a great weakness that needs to be remedied, or a strategy that needs someone else to complete it’s potential. Any reason one uses assists because they feel they need to.
4.Pendulum is more widely preferred. A great assist in and of itself, Pendulum has a huge hitbox, causes a wall bounce, and covers excellent angles. An excellent assist to be had on any team.
WHAT STEPS DO WE TAKE TO FIX THIS:
Before we start using Rocket Raccoon’s assist, we need to realize just what the pay-off is for using Sentinel, Spitfire Twice’s main competition. Let me start by saying this. THIS IS NOT MVC2. Sentinel is not dominant here and when making teams, dedicating a slot solely for an assist who can’t stand on his own is not always the best idea. Moreover, Sentinel is a hollowed out husk of his former self. Old Sentinel was a professional jack-of-all-trades, a sort of middle ground between Cable, Magneto, and Storm. This is not the case with current Sentinel. This new Sentinel’s normals are way too slow to invoke the fear and respect it used to earn. His zoning is poor at best, and he’s very unsafe at pretty much any point. He doesn’t anchor very well, nor is he great on point. His size leaves him a liability, waiting to be instant over-headed by pretty much anyone. So in exchange for one of the best assists in the game, it comes with one of the least functional characters.
The next step is to get people to start using RR. I am sure in time, people will learn how to use him, but to get to that stage, he could benefit from a champion for his potential. Some high tier player who shows off to the world exactly how effective a character can be. Now before you give me a list of all top players who use RR, remember that this is VISUAL. People need to see this character in action and see the fruits of his labors. Something like getting extremely far in a major and giving the likes of JWong and Viscant a run for their money. It happened with Morrigan via Dieminion, it happened with Wolverkuma back in vanilla. Any awareness of this nature will do.
Next comes team building. Your job now is to create a team that leaves RR in a position to make the most out of his assist, as well as the most out of an assist to back him up. 2nd slot will do. It’s now your job to figure out a team setup to accommodate Spitfire Twice and make the most of it.
WHY YOU SHOULD USE THIS INSTEAD:
Now we come to the part where we analyze why this should be used. Spitfire Twice puts out two fireballs with 3 low priority projectile points a piece. These travel along the ground at a medium pace until they collide with the enemy. That’s spitfire twice in it’s most basic form, a Sentinel Drones with a different angle, one less drone, and one less projectile point. So why use it in lieu of Drones? On paper, it’s no contest, but there are a few nuances that drastically improve RR as an assist. First off, and probably the most important, unlike Drones, Rocket Raccoon’s Spit Fire does not disappear if Rocket Raccoon is hit. This essentially means that the entire floor is 100% off limits. They have to either jump, block it, or out prioritize it. Secondly, RR is tiny, especially compared to Sentinel. People need to work to hit RR: People can just randomly hit buttons and they’ll likely hit Sentinel. Next, note how the projectiles come on the screen. Rocket will always come on top of the character who summoned him, like Sentinel does, but unlike Drones, who always come from across the edge of the screen, RR’s projectiles spawn in the regular fashion. Drones also have a nasty habit of dropping the chain into each other, whereas Spitfire Twice will only hit once if you completely miss the first one. Of course, Drones has it’s own strengths. It locks the opponent down for a longer duration than Spitfire and covers a better angle. And not everything I listed is necessarily a bad thing either.
WHERE COULD YOU START:
For starters, make a team where RR has a chance to shine, then learn how to use RR from there. Participate in making a hobby or experimental team, one to practice learning RR. Simply practice with the team using Spitfire Twice to see where it leads you. Replace with Sentinel Drones or Pendulum and see which is better. Everything is relative, so just knowing is victory enough. With RR in second, your priority is to figure out how RR best works with the point character, and then how the anchor best works with RR. A good suggestion for on point would be someone like Spencer. Spencer can advance along in a fashion that keeps players under constant pressure right above their heads.
Remember, the point is not to find whether to deem it good or bad. Just to explore. Investigate healthily. The next time you feel you need drones, experiment with the Raccoon instead. Remain open. And remember that a go-to answer maybe there for a reason, but that is not always the case.