:l: = Light Attack
= Medium Attack
:h: = Heavy Attack
:s: = Special
:atk: = :l: or or :h:
:atk::atk: = :l:+:m: or :l:+:h: or +:h:
, = link
|> = land
() optional part of combo
sj = super jump
j. = aerial/jumping
~ = Move followup (e.g. :qcf::l:~:h: means using Wire Grapple :l: and using the :h: followup.)
OTG = Off The Ground* (A move that can hit OTG is capable of hitting the opponent after they’ve been knocked down, picking them up off the ground.)*
TK = tiger knee (motion entered as :qcf::uf:, button press delayed until airborne to use the move faster than you could just jumping and entering motion.)
jcc = jump cancel cancel* (motion entered as :qcf::uf:, button press delayed less than in TKing such that you cancel :s: to a super jump and immediately cancel jump startup to the grounded special move you want to use.)*
Important concepts for Spencer combos
Despite a limited number of moves, Spencer has quite a large number of ways to extend his combos, and especially in the corner maximizing damage is all about knowing how to use his various tools. Because different situations and especially assist-based extenders can change what you can do beyond the scope a simple list of combos can cover, first we should go over various important things to note.
Unscaled Vertical Grapple
The most important thing. ground :qcf::h:~:l: deals unscaled damage; regardless of where it is in the combo, the :l: followup to vertical Wire Grapple hits for 80k. It would not be an exaggeration to say that maximizing Spencer’s damage, for any given meter investment, is a matter of finding as many times as possible to connect an unscaled vertical grapple. But note that to do this, you have to be relatively under the opponent, so you need to set it up. As a rule, stuff like :l: :h: :s: jcc :qcf::h: against a grounded opponent will not hit; they’re not above you, so the wire will always miss. Various ways to set it up are discussed later and throughout this thread.
Zipline (ground or :ub: or :u: or :uf: or :f: + :s:+:atk:, air or :db: or :d: or :df: or :f: + :s:+:atk:; hereon notated as a direction + zip, for instance :f:zip) seems like purely a mobility tool, and in fact does very little damage, but notably it has unscaled hitstun. No matter where in your combo you do Zipline, the opponent will be unable to recover for the same amount of time. This allows yourself to maneuver into the correct position to do various things even late in a combo.
Air Wire Grapple (j.:qcf::atk:) can normally only be followed up once in a combo, as it uses up your wallbounce. But if an assist is called at the right time, the opponent can be hit after being picked up OTG before they’d be wallbounced, and you can do a followup without actually using the wallbounce, though you’ll need a long assist like Amaterasu’s Cold Star or Dante’s Jam Session to recover and do a really strong followup. It’s worth nothing that this can also be done after you’ve used your wallbounce if need be. The exact followup to do will of course depend on the situation and the assist.
j.:qcf::atk: has an interesting property wherein it inflicts a fixed knockdown upon the opponent if you use it after having already used up your wallbounce. They always get up in the same spot and cannot roll. After a long knockdown where you’re free to move, such as after an air :s: spike close to the ground or a Reel in Punch (the :l: followup to ground wire grapple), you can super jump up before using a j.:qcf::h: to force a knockdown they recover from just before you land, allowing you to come down with a j.:s: or not and have immediate mixup. At times you can’t, such as after Bionic Maneuvers, you can TK j.:qcf::h: and come down with a j.. Any other move will be cancelled by landing just a bit too early, but j.'s animation lifts Spencer up, allowing it to just barely hit.
Various Extenders, or Create Your Own Spencer Combo
:s: sj j., (delay) j.:df:zip, (delay) j.:h: |> :qcf::h:~:l:
Very strong thing to chain into at the start of a combo. In the corner, hits everyone; midscreen, fails against Rocket Raccoon always and is generally impractical against Arthur. Note that, since the j.:df:zip ends when it touches the edge of the screen, you generally can’t do this out of a chain that begins with you in the corner of the screen (not necessarily the corner of the stage) or else you’ll go past them with the zipline. It’s good as long as you’re even just a little bit out of the corner, though.
TK j.:qcf::s:, :h: ( :s: jcc) :qcf::h:~:l:
Corner only. Valid only near the beginning of a combo. jcc version will not hit Firebrand, Arthur, Zero, Morrigan, Akuma, Viewtiful Joe, Rocket Raccoon, Wolverine, or X-23. :h: :qcf::h: version is less damaging but works on all of those characters except Rocket Raccoon and Viewtiful Joe.
TK j.:qcf:, j.:s: :f:zip, :df:zip |> ( :s: jcc) :qcf::h:~:l:
near corner, or if in corner first backstep so that you can hit the opponent with j.:qcf:. :s: jcc version is valid in combos without assists, but if you use much in the way of assist extenders you have to do the version without it. If your combo has multiple hypers and/or assist calls, you won’t be able to connect this.
TK j.:qcf::h:, j.:s: (just before landing) |> :qcf::h:~:l:
Corner only. Often valid, but if you started a combo in the corner and did the TK j.:qcf::s: to UVG extender you won’t be able to get this. Due to the j.:qcf: one being stronger and more reliable, this is best when you can’t do that, for instance just after pushing the opponent to the corner with a Bionic Maneuvers.
TK :qcf::h:, j.:s: (just before landing) |> :qcf::s: :qcf::atk::atk: or TK :qcf::h:, j.:d::s:+:atk: |> :qcf::h: :qcf::atk::atk:
Though this is in the video, it’s outdated. Best not to do it.
TK :qcf::h:, :df:zip :db:zip |> :qcf::h:~:l:
The “criss cross” ender has become standard when you can’t get anything else, if you have a wallbounce you can always get this. To connect it against smaller opponents, hold down before the TK to avoid super jumping.
[j. j.:h: :df:zip :s: |> :uf:j] xN
Where N is usually 2. This is the standard zip loop, also known as the G.X. loop after the player who popularized it. You can transition into this from various things, but it’s most useful in a ground combo far from the corner.
If the starter doesn’t matter, it’s stated as :d::l: as this is generally the lowest damage starter you could do and the associated damage is a baseline value.
Far from corner, 0 to 2 meter
:d::l: :d: :d::h: :uf:zip j. |> :uf:j [j. j.:h: :df:zip :s: |> :uf:j] x2 j. j.:h: j.:s: :f:zip :f:zip :df:zip :d::h: :qcf::h:~:l:
0 meter: TK :qcf::h:, :df:zip :db:zip |> :qcf::h:~:l: (630.7k, gains 1.2 meter)
1 meter: :qcf::atk::atk:, TK :qcf::h:, :df:zip :db:zip |> :qcf::h:~:l: (722.2k, gains 1.2 - 1 meter)
2 meter: :qcf::atk::atk:, TK :qcf::h:, :df:zip :db:zip |> :qcf::h:~:l: :qcf::atk::atk: (913.7k, gains 1.2 - 2 meter)
Zip loop combo. See the above video for more information. Strong, reliable. Fails on Tron, alternate ender required on Sentinel/Rocket Raccoon as detailed in the video.
From a bit behind midstage, 0 or 1 meter
:d::l: :d: :h: :s: sj j. slight delay j.:df:zip, slight delay j.::h: |> :qcf::h:~:l: dash a short bit TK j.:qcf:, j:s: j.:f:zip j.:df:zip |> :s: jcc :qcf::h:~:l:,
0 meter: sj j.:qcf::h: (580.4k, gains .8 meter)
1 meter: TK j.:qcf::s: :qcf::atk::atk: (775.5k, gains .95 - 1 meter)
Against RR/Arthur or if you started from screen corner, better to do a zip loop combo (above). The alternate combo shown in the following video is obsolete.
Midstage to corner, 0 or 1 meter
:d::l: :d: :h: :s: sj j. slight delay j.:df::s:+:atk:, slight delay j.:h: |> :qcf::h:~:l: (dash up) TK j.:qcf::s:, :h: ( :s: jcc vs larger characters) :qcf::h:~:l:, backstep TK j.:qcf:, j:s: j.:f:zip j.:df:zip |> ( :s: jcc if you skipped the previous :s: jcc) :qcf::h:~:l:, end with sj j.:qcf::h: (692.4k, gains 1.15 meter) or :qcf::atk::atk: (883.9k, gains 1.25 - 1 meter) (on certain characters can link :qcf::s: before :qcf::atk::atk: for +18k damage)
Midscreen, against Arthur or if you started from screen corner, replace the sj j. slight delay j.:df::s:+:atk:, slight delay j.:h: |> :qcf::h:~:l: with sj j. j. j:h: j.:df::s:+:atk: j.:s:. In the corner.
Against RR/Joe, TK j.:qcf::s:, :h: :qcf::h:~:l: won’t connect; do TK j.:qcf::s:, :h: :qcf::l:~:l: instead.
Midstage to corner, 2 meter
:d::l: :d: :h: :s: sj j. slight delay j.:df::s:+:atk:, slight delay j.:h: |> :qcf::h:~:l:(dash up) TK j.:qcf::s:, :h: ( :s: jcc vs larger characters) :qcf::h:~:l:, backstep jump j.:qcf::s: :qcf::atk::atk:, TK j.:qcf::h: (delay) :df:zip :db:zip |> :qcf::h:~:l::qcf::atk::atk: (1046.5k, gains 1.05-2 meter)
Notes are as above. The 1 meter version of this combo sets up sj j.:qcf::h: to :s: but is obsoleted by the ability to use safe jump j. off of TK :qcf::h: in the previous combo’s 1-meter version, which is much better guaranteed damage.
From a command throw, it’s usually best to go into zip loops midscreen or a quick :h: UVG in the corner to finishing a corner combo. Against Sentinel, or Tron midscreen, TK a bionic comber into whatever basic combo you can.