When ending combos with HBR, it is best to direct the bursts in the following order: forward (automatic), up, up, forward, down. Once HBR finished, you are vulnerable until you land, and following that order always gives you time to land safely and calculate your next move. DO NOT SIMPLY MASH OUT HBR AND GO UP, UP, AND AWAYYYY. I cannot stress this enough. It’s not a mashable hyper. You won’t get more damage. All your opponent would have to do is call an assist for you to fall in and they get a free combo. All you have to do for each burst to choose a direction and press a button when the previous burst is finished hitting. Hit training mode and get used to the super.
7 – Hitconfirms/Blockstrings
To put our combos to use and understand MODOK’s mixups, we must first understand MODOK’s hitconfirms and blockstrings used to apply pressure and get a hit in. It is important to note that MODOK’s hitconfirms and blockstrings are far more situational and specific than most other characters, who can usually get away with chaining their normals any way they wish.
First, I will give you MODOK’s basic blockstring/hitconfirm against grounded opponents. This blockstring is: [cr.:l:, st., cr.:h:, jump, adf, (j.:l: or j. )]xN. This works against most characters, except for the very small characters, which give MODOK a lot of trouble, which cause his light and even medium attacks to whiff in a lot of situations. It is easy to start this blockstring from any aerial normal. If you get this blockstring to hit, you can easily transition into your BnB. Note that if they don’t block cr.:h: low and you do jump, adf, j.:l: afterwards, you can simply follow up with st.:l:, st.:s:, into combo. Just be ready to cancel into :l: blaster or :l: cube if they pushblock.
This next blockstring is similar and easier to confirm off of, but can take away for wallbounce early. This blockstring is: [cr.:l:, st., cr.:h:, :f::h:, jump, adf, (j.:l: or j. )]xN. This is easier to confirm if any part of the blockstring hits, since the j.:l: or j. will usually whiff is the :f::h: hits.
It is also good to note that these blockstrings can be started off from the following powerful and (in my opinion) underused hitconfirm. This is simply super jump up, add(f), sj., cr.:h:. With MODOK’s few lows, it is rare to make the opponent block from high to low quickly (and right back into an instant overhead), just know that the sj. must hit very low to the ground for cr.:h: to combo. This is also one of the better (and few) ways to open up smaller characters besides simply fishing for a hit with sj.:s: and bombs.
This hitconfirm works against grounded opponents and works excellently for starting the blockstrings notated above. This hitconfirm is simply: super jump, add(f), sj., jump, adf, j.:l:, cr.:l:, st., cr.:h:, etc. This works extremely well for applying pressure and confirming into a combo from a longer range. Similarly, you can do: jump, adf, j., dash, cr.:l:, st., cr.:h:, etc.
The another hitconfirm against grounded opponents that I shall give you goes like this: super jump up, addf, sj.:s:, cr., fly, adf, j.:l:, into basic grounded blockstring. Once again, if this hits, doing st.:l:, st.:s: after j.:l: allows you to go into your BnB. This gives good pressure options if the sj.:s: is blocked, and if the sj.:s: is pushblocked in the corner, this sets you up for an unblockable against some characters.
A similar hitconfirm goes like this: super jump up, addf, sj.:s:, fly, sj.:h:, unfly, j., dash, cr., into combo or blockstring. If your sj.:s: gets pushblocked and sj.:h: ends up whiffing, you are unflying right away anyway and can make your next move from there. Doing adf instead of unflying seems easier, but it does not automatically take into account this pushblock situation.
If you simply want to keep addf, sj.:s: relatively safe, doing a grounded :l: cube works perfectly, since it is safe on block and you can combo afterwards on hit.
Hitconfirming against aerial opponents is a bit trickier. When at normal jump height, you usually want to try doing: st.:l:, cr., cr.:h:, into combo/pressure. This is the best anti-air since it is quick and cr. propels the opponent to the ground. st.:l:, st., st.:h: can work, but it floats the opponent higher, making it hard to convert off of in some cases. Using a :f::h: at the end makes following up easier in that case, though it uses your wallbounce. In the rare case that you can use :df::h: as an anti-air, you can usually follow up by doing: jump, aduf, j.:s:, into combo. If you hit this in the corner, you can try doing: jump, adu, j.:h:, fly, j.:h:, adf, j.:h:, cr., into combo. If for some reason, your opponent jumps into an cube, you can follow up with dash, st.:l:, cr., cr.:h: into combo. You can also combo cube into itself multiple times.
At the super jump height, a basic confirm is either sj.:l:, sj.:s:, add, into combo, or sj., sj., sj.:s:, add, into combo. It is possible to save your groundbounce by doing sj.:l: or sj. after add, but it can be difficult to follow that up for a full combo. If you want to try squeezing in a little extra damage, you can try doing sj.:s: after add, before the first sj.:s: groundbounces.
The space between super jump height and normal jump height is tricky to hitconfirm into a combo, but it’s possible. One confirm is sj.:l:, fly, sj.:l:, sj.:s:, into combo. The other is: super jump up, addf, sj., super jump up forward, sj.:l:, fly, sj.:l:, sj.:s:, into combo. These are difficult to pull off, but they are doable. It is possible to replace the fly with an adf, which is far easier, but it hits less consistently. It’s good to adf instead against larger characters.
8 – Mixups
First off, I will say that MODOK’s mixups are not derp good, like the inherent ones granted to teleport characters. You have to find out what your opponent will or will not do, and exploit their weaknesses. Do they like holding up back? Do they like mashing buttons? Are they content staying grounded and trying to block? Do they like mashing throw on the ground? Do they like mashing advancing guard? Have a variety of mixups to throw out and keep cycling through them until you find something that works, then remember to use that mixup more often than not until they begin to block it. Then you can bait them into thinking you are using that mixup, but then do something else that counters what you are baiting them to do.
Another quick thing I’d like to mention is that with select assists, MODOK has little need for mixups. Why? Because MODOK has a self unblockable. Getting in close and calling a powerful lockdown assist is an easy hitconfirm or an unblockable setup. Once they are locked down, move to the distance where cr.’s edges will touch your opponent’s feet once it hits the floor, making it count as a low. Fly cancel cr. and dash forward with either j.:l: or j. for what is essentially an unblockable.
So what if they like holding up back? There are two main options you want to be going for. The first is going for an air grab. The second option is the use cr.’s persistent low property in your favor. Since jumping has some startup where you are standing, you can be hit low. cr. on the ground will then hit the opponent when they land, giving you a free combo. Combining the two of these strategies is particularly devastating, and should also be used as your main reset. When the opponent is jumping in the air, do cr., fly, adf, air grab. If the air grab is teched, do j. as you fall. This causes j. to hit when the opponent lands in cr., making this a very hard to escape unblockable setup. This is also good to go for when an opponent is advance guarding an assist in the air.
What if they like mashing buttons? Use frame traps and abuse the great hitboxes on some of your normals. A very simple one is: jump, adf, j…:l: or j., jump, adf, j.:l:. cr.:h:, jump, add(f), cr.:h:, etc, works decently as well. Another one is: jump, adf, j., cr.:h:, etc. A really good frame trap is: jump, adf, j., back dash, st., since this beats mashing buttons/throw. Simply staggering your blockstrings work too. These strategies work well against people mashing throw as well, just keep in mind that you must not get too close.
What if they are scared to do anything and sit on the ground blocking? This is great, since you can go for more throws. One setup is: jump, adf, j.:l:, jump, adf, j.:h: (whiffs), forward throw. Another setup is: jump, adf, j.:l:, wave dash and assist call, forward throw. Also, try mixing up what you do after a cr.:h:. You can either go for the instant overhead with j.:l: or j., or you can go for another cr.:h:. Of course, you can also try going for a throw attempt after cr.:h: as well.
What if they like mashing advancing guard? In the corner, these two strings beat advancing guard, and almost do outside of the corner. The first is: (jump, adf, j. )xN. The second is: (jump, addf, cr.:h: )xN. Add in some assist calls to get some pressure going. The nice thing about the second one is that it hits low, combos into itself anywhere, and can transition easily into your BnB. Just to reiterate, you can use the unblockable setup against opponents using advancing guard in the air, especially against assists. Otherwise, like the mashing buttons/throw scenarios, abuse your normals’ hitboxes and use frame traps to bait the advancing guard.
Always remember to use your assists to aid with your mixups and pressure. See how they can contribute and can help put you in a better position once you get your opponent to block something. Also, remember to throw in some cubes and barriers in your offense. st. is plus on block, so throwing that out there along with an assist call and chaining that into a barrier is great for setting up pressure. At midscreen, :h: cube goes directly to where your opponent will pushblock themselves to, so throwing that out during the middle of you blockstrings along with an assist call works great as well. Similarly, calling assists in the corner while doing cr., cube shuts down a lot of options for your opponent, especially when they are behind a barrier. :l: cube is also good to throw out in case an opponent is jumping in on you, since you will likely be safe with the trade and may in fact allow you to combo afterwards (think of it as a miniature version of Dorm’s flame carpet, except that it doesn’t disappear when you get hit). Cubes are always nice to throw in with assists if you can, since cubes are safe on block.
Before I conclude, I will mention some incoming character mixups MODOK can perform. At midscreen, an easy setup revolves around placing an :l: bomb just under where the opponent’s next character will spawn. From there, you can dash under or not for an easy left-right mixup, or if you notice that the incoming character has some air mobility, you can catch them trying to dash away by doing :df::h:, and following that up with: jump, aduf, j.:s:, into combo. In the corner, you want to get creative with your assists, as well as use cube, since cube goes directly on their spawn. Prepare for the cases when they get hit, block, and pushblock. Limit their options as much as possible and try to make them eat an unblockable.
As an example, this is my basic incoming character setup in the corner with Eye of Avocado. It is: cr. and Eye of Avocado, cube, dash, react. If they get hit, they fall into the Avocado for an easy (though heavily scaled) follow up into KO or jamming bomb. If they block, they fall into the Avocado and I have all day to find the perfect distance to do cr., fly, adf, j. or j.:l:. If I notice they try advance guarding the Avocado at the end in order to stay up in the air to avoid the unblockable, I can go for an air grab… which leads into the unblockable if teched. If they advance guard the cube, the dash forward nullifies that effect, and they either fall into the Eye if they have no air mobility or I can try going to the unblockable air grab setup.