I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the future of this game. Just when I think I have it figured out, someone comes in and throws a wrench in the gears with some revolutionary team or tech that baffles thousands. I’ve come to realize that this game is a lot different than we see it right now.
[details=Spoiler]First, a little backstory on how I came to the view I currently have (and will soon explain). I started playing fighting games in April of last year. Prior to then, the closest thing I had was Smash. I decided I wanted to move on to something more serious, so I went for the game that brought the fighting game genre to the masses - Super Street Fighter IV.
Now, keep in mind that I wasn’t your stereotypical Smash player. I didn’t waltz into the real FGC and expect to be a god. I knew it would take a long time to start to catch up with people, so I put in the work. After a month or two, I was actually starting to hold my own against mid-level players. I analyzed the game from a technical point of view, corrected my mistakes, and read. I read a ton of information. My head came close to exploding one time.
Mid-June came, and I decided to broaden my knowledge of fighting games by picking up Marvel vs. Capcom 3. I got my arcade stick a few weeks later, and I learned surprisingly fast. Why? A lot of reading. I watched videos too, but the reading helped tremendously. By the time Ultimate came around, I was a 4th Lord in Vanilla. I didn’t know quite enough to get creative and remain successful, so I was a Wolvie/Wesker/Akuma 4th Lord… But I was a 4th Lord.
Ultimate released, and I made a commitment to Strange for better or for worse. Obviously, the metagame didn’t shape up too well for him, but I stuck with it. About a month in, I decided to mess around in the lab with just a goofy team of characters I liked, regardless of tier or synergy (beyond the fact that I had an assist). It was pretty much a random selection of Strange and two other characters that I found fun to play.
I haven’t changed my team since.
The metagame changed since then, but I’ve adapted. I’ve learned new tricks, and I’ve found higher tier characters to be nothing more than an aid. I do believe that Phoenix Wright could win Evo if a good enough player was backing him. But is this my point yet? No. I know this is a lot of reading, but bear with me for just a bit longer so I can explain why I mentioned my history before I state my theory.
I wasn’t around for the Marvel 2 era. I didn’t get to see the hype and awesomeness that captivated the community for over a decade. I see it now in replays, but I didn’t see it then. But Marvel 3 is a different beast. Comparing it to MvC2 is like comparing SSF4 to SF3. It just doesn’t work. Sure, it has some of the same characters and a similar system. That’s not good enough. The reason my history is important is because I came into this game with an open mind that was willing to learn, and I was unaffected by everything except the present.[/details]
Now that I’m done talking about myself, it’s time to get to the point.
The way I see it is that current leading teams are very linear. They follow a strict pattern that, when broken, seems to invalidate the team’s competitive viability. But does everything really have to be Marvel 2 style, with two solid characters (preferably one battery) and an assist that can anchor? I think that’s a very tried-and-true method of teambuilding, sure. But what would be wrong with something else?
I agree that you need a good assist to win in this game. But is it really accurate to say that you need a dedicated assist, or that it needs to be at the back of the team?
Let’s take a look at an example team I’ve been messing with, Magneto-a/Sentinel-a/Doom-a. This is a very basic illustration of my concept - three characters who, in combination with any other assist on the team, are perfectly capable of winning matches, and they are all excellent anchors. This team can zone (Magneto + Drones, Magneto + Doom double beam, Sentinel Drones + Beam, Doom Photon Shots + Sentinel/Beam). This team can rush down (Magneto/Doom + Drones, Sentinel Drone push + beam). All three characters make a fantastic anchor. What can’t this team do?
Better yet, it is completely unaffected by snapback shenanigans that aim to affect team order, and can even change its order on the loading screen to cover bad matchups. You can even change Doom’s assist to Hidden Missiles for even more derp. Make a bad call and your assist gets caught and killed? No problem! You still have another good assist. Both of your assists are dead? No problem! You still have an outstanding anchor. Don’t like the matchup but can’t raw tag out? All three members have safe DHC’s to each other. I dare you to find a weakness.
I’m not saying this kind of teambuilding strategy will make conventional teams obsolete, but I do think it’s a concept worth considering. I’ve taken down High Lords with this team, and although I’m well aware that online Marvel means nothing, it at least proves it’s somewhat viable and not utterly horrendous. This isn’t the only team concept out there that isn’t being taken advantage of, but even this opens up an entirely new realm of possibilities.
If the mods think this should be moved to the Teambuilding or Tier threads, so be it. I just thought a separate thread for discussing a separate idea was in order, but far be it from me to make the final decision.
TL;DR - I think people should get more creative with their team structures, because the “classic” composition isn’t the only one that works.
Discuss, and thank you for reading.