Understanding MBAA as a SF Player


With Melty Blood: Actress Again now an official game for EVO 2010, the audience for a game with a comparatively small player base has grown by possibly hundreds of the size it used to be. When this is combined with the fact that the game itself is not only complex but also very different from what the audience is used to, the result is this: a very large amount of people have no idea what in the world is happening! Although it turned out to be a bit lengthy, I’ve written this to help the average competitive Street Fighter to understand this new, up-and-coming competitive game that Japan has been enjoying for years. Whether you want to understand MBAA just to watch, or you plan to learn and try out the game, what I’ve written here should help you get past the minor details and mechanics and see the bigger picture in the game.

First and foremost, there are many Melty resources that many people still do not know about. The three most useful are the MBAA wiki, Melty Bread, and the IRC channel #mbaa on irc.mizuumi.net. Without at least one of these three, it would probably be impossible to actually learn how to play MB as a new player in the US, so utilize these as much as you can.

One of the biggest obstacles in learning Melty is the difficulty in understanding the overall flow of the game, and basically its general “feel”. Often this is because it incorporates so many mechanics, several of which are unique to the game, that just to play the game without it looking like a match of a SF game, you have to become more than familiar with air movement, reverse beat, and a number of other very necessary things that can make things overwhelming.

However, with what most people know and understand about SF4, the process of learning the game can be made a lot easier by pointing out the many similarities and parallels that MB has with SF games. Like most fighting games, the different “phases” of MB’s gameflow can be split up into offense, defense, neutral or midscreen, and transitioning between these phases. Seeing as how the game starts at neutral, let’s start there:


Neutral game in MB is not too different from footsies in SF games, but there is another dimension added to it–the air. For those who don’t know what I mean by neutral game, it’s that time when each player is about half-a-screen away from each other, just outside the range of each other’s pokes, focusing not on getting in or getting away, but controlling their space. There are many reasons why this zoning happens in the air for MB: you have little risk in terms of the damage you can suffer because of shorter combos (not counting counter-hits), anti-airing in MB from the ground is much harder than in an SF game, and your reward is greater in damage from being able to score jump-ins on grounded opponents, and counter-hits on air opponents.

Learning how to play air-footsies in MB is really tough, but the first step is understanding all of the movement options you have. Everyone has the same jump, airdashes differ a little from character to character, superjumping forward from the ground leaves you in the air at a unique trajectory, and a super double jump is a new addition that can also take you farther while already in the air. C and H moon have air dodge which not only add another movement option, but obviously will dodge anything your opponent pokes with which can directly be offensive or defensive as well as a movement option. Lastly, there are also character specific moves that can alter your momentum and trajectory.

Actually playing footsies with your air pokes can turn out to be complex. First, understand that of the directions that you can move, what do each accomplish? An air backdash is sure to be evasive enough to get you away and out of the situation, but you will never be in a position to punish anything or counterattack at all. And on the flip side, a good forward air dash is such a direct and in-your-face maneuver that if you’re airdashing at an opponent who isn’t moving backwards, you better be rushing with a move that can win or you might as well have not airdashed in the first place. Jumping upwards can often be evasive, yet still put you in a position to counter attack, so if you feel your opponent might airdash directly at you with an attack, an upward jump will avoid this and tag him with a jump-in as both of you land; this is and “jump back, airdash forward” make up the fundamental SF “walk backward to avoid poke, counter-poke” basic footsie maneuvers of MB. To further complicate things, some characters with a fast fall or divekick-type attack can actually change the situation by landing faster than their opponent and choosing to be below their opponent; characters with good anti airs or air attacks with more upward hitboxes can really make use of this. All of this only covers the movement of footsies, without even touching upon the use of your air normals.

Thankfully, the use of air normals is a bit simpler in MB. For the most part, every character has at least one normal for the following three situations: air-to-ground (usually j.C, the ideal jump-in), air-to-air poke (usually j.B), and a fast air attack (almost always j.A, or basically your aerial jab). Combined with movement and your other air options, you have to use these to achieve your main objective against your opponent in the air, which most of the time is to gain the offensive, either through getting one of your air pokes blocked and gaining the momentum, or landing a hit into a combo and a knockdown, resulting in offensive momentum. The latter has a twist: landing a counter-hit means that the opponent cannot recover until they hit the ground. This means you can land before them and follow up with a combo that will deal around 40% life and knockdown which is a rather high payoff for some footsie game.

But how do we use our air moves to this objective? Well, firstly, a strictly air-to-ground move is really useful at any time the opponent is below you, so this gives you not only a way to attack from in front of them, but also above them, likely avoiding their attack. But how do we use this and our other two buttons to score air hits? Given that j.B is our air-to-air, and j.C is our air-to-ground, and j.A is our jab, the situation looks a little like this:

-j.B would lose to opponent jumping forward and doing j.C
-jumping forward and doing j.C would lose to jumping up and doing j.A
-any attempt to j.A when out of range would likely lose to j.B
-superjump from the ground at an airborne opponent to bait a j.C
-if you guess that he does not take the bait and block, you get j.ABC or some similar air blockstring that will score you momentum into a ground blockstring
-if you guess that he does take the bait and j.Cs, you can jump up or away and then airdash forward and hit him with whatever you wish
-if you guessed that he’d take the bait and were wrong, he can use his movement options to get away from you or he can use j.B when you come at him which is less likely to lose than a j.C
-if you guessed wrong that he wouldn’t take the bait and were wrong, he would hit you in the face

In reality, this is oversimplifying things more than a little bit, but it serves as an example of how the footsie game can play out in two dimensions.

Things can get even more complicated because there are even a few specifics for other moon styles: depending on moon style, air normals can be airdash cancelled on block, creating air frame traps ideal for counter-hitting airthrows, and Crescent and Half moon styles get access to an air dodge which functions a lot like a roll in SF games…but it’s for air footsies. The mindgame rabbit hole goes that deep.

All that overwhelming information aside, when does all of this stop?


Offense and defense basically start when one players scores a random hit on the other and it leads into a knockdown, or when one player throws out a move that the other player blocks and it leads into a blockstring on the ground. The game flow shifts back to neutral once both characters are out of range of each other’s normal attacks UNLESS one of the characters has a special move that can lead things back into their offensive despite being out of range of normals, for example the infamous EX deer.

Simple enough, but what next?


Rushdown in Melty Blood is a little unique but you’ll see that it’s made up of parts of play that you’re already familiar with. First off, normal moves are much, much more useful and used more often than special moves for offense and for really most of the game. A lot of the rushdown consists of greatly varying blockstrings either completely airtight or littered with frametraps, depending on whether you’re trying to beat attempts at a clean EX reversal or trying to beat something like an alpha counter or a poke to get out of pressure (aka random mashing). The great variation arrives with whiff cancelling and reverse beat, or one of the most difficult yet most defining features of Melty Blood.

Only and Crescent and Half moon can reverse beat, which is why Full moon is often the recommended moon style for SF players. Before I explain whiff cancelling, first imagine this: if FADCing normals in SF4 costed no meter, but each time you did it, damage you dealt over the next few seconds would be reduced by 25-50%. This is very, very much how whiff cancelling in MB works. It lets you extend your offense, is technically unsafe, although requires focus and very good reaction to stop or punish. This is basically what happens when you see someone doing a seemingly endless blockstring on someone else in the corner. They string together some blocked moves, unexpectedly end their string with a whiffed standing A and suddenly start a new string with a dash or with moves that will move them forward. Learning how to use this and the rest of your moves to blockstring on-the-fly in MB takes YEARS of practice, so don’t expect to get it right the first time.

Full moon offense is easier, although weaker. Full moon characters are often given better zoning tools, but for offense, they often possess more moves that are safe or advantageous on block, giving a much more familiar and strict rushdown and mixup sometimes similar to characters like M.Bison’s lockdown with scissors or Urien’s Aegis Reflector mixups in the corner.

What about mixup? Mixup is for the most part the same as you already know, with one minor exception: because of the crossup protection in MB (if the opponent is facing away from you, you can block their move both left or right), ambiguous crossups are instead done as setups that are ambiguous as to which side the offender will LAND on and attack from, rather than the side they will be on when the defender gets up into their kick.

All that’s great, but what if you’re on the receiving end?


Defense in MB has a lot of blocking. Because throws are generally high risk and low reward (i.e. they are not really used), you’ll find yourself wanting to block most of the time. The trick to not taking damage is to block correctly, and the trick to escaping or punishing is to find the gap in the offensive string. Blocking correctly is as simple as reacting to overheads and guessing right on certain mixups, but finding the gap in the offensive string can be tough, but remember, there always is one, and you have an alpha counter as well as a parry for expected frametraps. And remember, whiff cancelling is never advantageous on frames, so if you expect it, that’s your way out, as long as they don’t fake you out and kara cancel that standing A into the last few moves they haven’t yet used in their attack sequence (i.e. their attack string did not end, the A was cancelled into and out of).

If you’re coming up from a knockdown, chances are you’ll have some kind of orb, flame, summon, plant, or some other “item on the field” on top of you that will force you to block and will give your opponent lots (and I mean lots) of frame advantage, forcing you to deal with any high/lows they decide to run on you while they are safe to do so. Occasionally this madness won’t happen and all that happens is a simple meaty and you’ll be facing standard pressure without crazy mixups…or your opponent will back off SF4-style expecting a wakeup EX and the game will flow back to neutral.

Lastly, as a general rule, try your hardest not to ever ground throw or ground tech (tech recover, not tech throw) while on defense. It’s just a bad idea and common beginner mistake and you’re gonna get smashed in the face for it, hard. If you really, really want throw tech, at least option select it (exactly the same as in SF, crouching lp+lk) as the risk of doing so will go down considerably.

Other than that, there’s not much that can be done about teaching defense in MB. Just block, block a lot, and focus on doing something when you see someone whiff a standing A. There isn’t much fireball-keep-away, reaction defense (as featured in a recent front page SRK strategy article), etc. It’s much more like a mindgame of when you think your opponent is out of shots and is vulnerable because he’s busy reloading.

With all of this, I hope that learning MB becomes easy for all of the new players we see in the future enough that our community can finally grow to truly rival other games. I leave our learners with a few quick, generic tips:
-It might be easier to learn the game with a full moon character rather than a character with more offensive and defensive mechanics. However, realize that your offense and rushdown will likely be weaker and you’ll spend more time learning zoning and learning to spot gaps in pressure strings for you to escape out of or make more risky reversals against. However, this also means less time learning how to reverse beat and when you shouldn’t heat or dodge.
-Unless the game’s at neutral and you know it’s safe, don’t ground tech ever. I know I’ve said this three times already, but a stupid ground tech is the easiest way to lose 30% life right after you just lost 30% life, and new players get into a very bad habit of doing it.
-Take tiers with a grain of salt. The tiers in this game are always rather tight and every character in this game is solid at worst. Play the character you like, because then you will play them more and you’ll learn faster and like the game more.
-Have fun.

awesome rhino picture

Some work taken from my own Guide to Learning MBAA as an SF Player, this article was originally supposed to be a revised version but the original is too much of a mess format-wise and not suitable for an article. Nevertheless it is still worth checking out if you’re still interested, it has probably 5x the information given here.


Character summaries- these are here to help you get a quick gist of the playstyle of each character so that you don’t have to try out 80+ characters to find the one that suits your playstyle.


“Frame trap and Rush down. Sion is mostly an in your face rush down character. She has numerous frame traps and fast movement with a plethora of options to make an opponent block for a long time. She is a solid character with Plenty of options on offense and defense and even some zoning tools in her whips and gun shots. Her rush down is augmented by the fact she can easily circuit break and if you get caught in a whip combo you cannot burst. She also has some of the highest average damage in the game though her combos are somewhat tricky. Her downfall is her lack of range. She does have some range in her slow whips (which are easily punishable). most of her normals don’t reach that far compared to most of the characters which means she is more susceptible to pokes and reversals. Her high point is nearly any hit you land leads into her main bnb which will net you an easy 4-5k damage.” -Tempered

“Frametrap/Rushdown character. Her Air Slides and her gunshots have advantage, and she can put herself in scenarios where she can use these again and again, forcing you to take risks to escape. She has some weaknesses in her neutral game. Her Jump [C] bnbs have some variations which can be used to deal high damage.” -Sp00ky

“Rushdown character. Several innate overheads combined with several forward moving normals. Also has a good DP. Has one of the game’s best post knockdown scenarios, but does not always have what she needs to capitalize on it. She has some surprise zoning factor with her B whip and her Gunshots. Has some Fancy BNBs involving jump [C]” -Sp00ky




“The strongest character in the game. Very strong pressure, high meter gain, high damage, great mixups. She moves quickly, has good zoning with 6[ B ] and has 5B to use as a good anti-air. She literally has everything.” -Lord Knight


“Combo movie character. Not very beginner friendly, but still decent in terms of strength. Her greatest asset is the ability to corner from pretty much anywhere.” -Lord Knight
"C-Arc has the most mixup/punishment potential of all the moons. See j.63214a/b (air rings). Also the hardest to combo consistently with, out of all the moons." -SilentShinobi

“The strongest version of this character. Good zoning tools with 236A, 236B and 623B. Her damage output is the highest overall between the moons, and she has good mixup off her fuzzy guard. She also gets the highest damage off of random hits.” -Lord Knight

“She’s a generic H character. Her mixup game is substaintially weaker thanks to the loss of 5[ B ] - being able to play her well means you can hitconfirm well and generally understand MB well. Doesn’t really stand out in any other way.” -Lord Knight


The strongest Warc. Great zoning with j214A/j214B, and her jB is a long reaching, fast aerial. Her damage output is extremely high off random hits and off properly hitconfirmed hits. Her rushdown is extremely strong, and she can keep you blocking for a long time. Her mixup, while not amazing, is still decent, and if you use meter midscreen, can be a bit deceiving." -Lord Knight

“An interesting variation of Warc. Her rushdown is extremely strong, but doesn’t have the same ambiguity that WarcC has. Her mixup is all right, but she is definately the best at guard crushing.” -Lord Knight

“The weakest Warc. Basically used for matches where you may have to zone on the ground. Her rushdown is all right, but pales in comparison to C. Her greatest strength is being able to corner easily with her 624C and her 236A/236B on the ground.” -Lord Knight


“The devs love this character. As far as mixup she has an easy 50/50 thanks to her tk j2C, an instant overhead. She can send you to the corner from pretty much anywhere. New to MBAA is a command grab that she can use as a combo ender. As far as midscreen she can zone with her air flametounges, the A version keeps her momentum and the B one stops her in place. However her range is mediocre and her damage output is sort of low.” -Lord Knight

“The most technical Akiha. Her zoning is the strongest out of all of the moons. She can negative edge her flame pillars - on knockdown, this gives her a pretty strong high/low game.” -Lord Knight

“Formally the strongest character, they nerfed her pretty hard but she’s still pretty good. However thanks to her j2C being a mid, her mixup game is much weaker. Her damage output, while lower, is still decent. In the air, her greatest tool is jC, a big move thats great at fetching counterhits.” -Lord Knight


“A hollow version of her former MBAC self.” -Lord Knight

“The strongest V Akiha. Great pressure, great mixup, great damage. She gets an air flame puffball that hits below her and adds to her mobility. She also gains an air flame pillar to aid her zoning.” -Lord Knight

“Not too shabby. Her pressure is stronger thanks to 5A6A, and she has auto ignite pits to keep enemies from sitting around. However, she doesn’t have air flame tounges, so her air game is a bit weaker. She has two airdashes, making some of her mixup strong, and she is one of the fastest characters in the game. Her damage output is pretty good, and she can send you to the corner off a good hitconfirm, but she has the worst defense in the game.” -Lord Knight



"(With Kohaku on point) Trap character. Strong Zoning tools, good bnb damage combine with knockdown into corner pressure setup. Her corner pressure can go on perpetually for as long as her meter holds out, mixing in the occasional high/low to keep you guessing while chipping you down. She is especially strong versus half moon characters who cannot escape perfectly executed guard crush setups outside of using Bunker or Risking an inv move of some kind." -Sp00ky



"‘Morphing’ character. She starts as a soso zoner, using her Dust and her Stuff-Fu specials to establish pressure, while also abusing her 5[C] and her divekick. She transforms when she lands a hit close enough to the corner, setting up one of the game’s best tech trap setups and forcing essentially guaranteed damage regardless of your tech or no tech options using j.BB from the perfect height into land 5A2C. She also has a strong post throw game. Her defense is lacking, forcing her to depend on calculated risks to escape." -Sp00ky

“Zoning type character.
She really wants to play on the defensive side throwing fireballs to space the opponent out, and a good ex dp that wall slams. Really good 5b, use it kind of like ST Guile’s forward mk (even better since you can combo off hit on hit).” -Mizuki



“One of the most improved characters from MBAC to MBAA. She gained two new normals (4B and 6C) to help with her pressure, along with 2BB and 5CC - manual inputs for her multi-hitting normals. She does big damage with her 6C loops, all of which lead into solid knockdown into mixup. Combine this with her great normals and her plant oki and you have a very strong character.” -Lord Knight

“The weird Kohaku. She has great normals, but her damage output is a bit lower than C/H. Her mixup is a bit weaker than Crescent, but she still has plants. She has counter specials and can zone with her 236A/B. Definately the simplest Kohaku, easy to pick up and play.” -Lord Knight

“One of the strongest characters in the game (some say the best). She gives up plant oki for a simple poke/throw mixup. Both of these options, if you have the execution, lead into huge damage into her bomb mixup, which resets the poke/throw mixup. Her normals are also great, but not quite as good as Crescent, and she loses 2BB and 5CC (replaced with 2B and 5C).” -Lord Knight


“Zoning character. Focus is on jetpacks to cover the air, long range ground normals and lasers to prevent ground advancement. Her defense is weak but strong C-Mech players will use frequent heat activations and arc drives to push the opponent out far enough to reestablish her game. She also has occasional offensive spurts involving her whips as well as using deep jump C to set up a fuzzy situation.” -Sp00ky


“Momentum-based character. *H-Mech could be considered a “morphing” character, similar to characters like Venom (GGXX), Dhalsim, or maybe even E. Honda at a stretch. *With access to a myriad of projectiles and zoning tools, H-Mech can control the screen and force the opponent to take the initiative in closing space, often putting them in disadvantageous positions. *Once she scores a knockdown, she is free to begin applying her 3-way mix-up, usually protected from reversals somewhat by a meaty 63214A. *Her tech punish game is very strong, especially at midscreen, thanks in part to long range normals such as 5B and 2B. If at any point you feel unsafe continuing offense, you are free to revert back to zoning/annoying your opponent, as you will likely outrange them and thus still maintain a situational advantage.” -Ceehill




“The hero of Tsukihime, you can kind of consider Shiki the Ken of the game. Fittingly, he doesn’t have super complex specials to rely on and confuse opponents. He overcomes this by having simply fantastic normals. It is very easy to lead into generously high damaging launcher combos with Shiki. His 2A is one of the best in the game, as well as his j.c. His 6C, quite frankly, is one of the best moves you can have in any fighting game, PERIOD. While he does have a DP, he does not have a fireball, or any projectile or move that stays out on the field, so he can occasionally have trouble getting in on zoning characters. Regardless, Shiki is one of the best in the game.” -Butters


“This character has very strong normals, almost every single one of them grounded moves him forward a lot (even on block), and his air normals also have great zoning potential. As a payoff, almost all of his specials are extremely weak/situational. He lacks good mixup, but the payoff is that once he has you under pressure, he can keep that going a VERY long time with many ambiguous frametraps/whiff cancels. He has fairly high damage output from clean hits but the amount of reverse beating/whiff canceling he does in his blockstrings leads to his overall damage being sub par due to proration penaties. Also the only character in the game to have a fastfall, j22. This cancels all movement and drops him to the floor very quickly, can be canceled into from air normals or done neutral. This allows him to get some decent mixups going for left right off a throw. (But, again, this fastfall counts as a reverse beat so your proration on this mixup is bad).” -Irysa

“An almost entirely reworked character, most of his normals have much worse range/hitboxes, the only thing he retains in common with his other styles is his trolling potential. With an absurdly strong divekick that has no crossup protection and counts as an overhead along with his j22 fastfall this gives him some disgusting okizeme potential, further exemplified by the fact his basic combos go into rekkas for oki knockdown. He also has a ridiculously strong dragon punch in his 623b, doing the flip kick can make it near safe against some chars if they don’t react very fast. Despite focusing on knockdown from easymode rekka combos, he does have a few notably hype combos, using his fastfall to net a second dp link in. Some like to compare him to Yun/Yang from 3S but specials aside, the comparison isn’t too strong.” -Irysa

“A sort of mix and match of Full and Crescent. Half retains some of the better normals (read, sillykicks) from Full, such as 5b and 5c, but also keeps more of the core of Nanaya’s pressure game, his 2c. He also gains a low hitting 2a but as a result it’s much slower than the other moons. His pressure game is even easier due to his 5a6aa reset ability, and his damage output is high…with meter. His 214 series is similar to Ryu’s donkey kick in 3S or Shingo kick in KoF, except it can be used in the air as well. It’s a strong but risky zoning tool. Half Nanaya for the most part is an “easier” Crescent, but overall doesn’t get as much payoff and loses much of what little mixup game Crescent had in the first place.” -Irysa


"‘Jack of all Trades’ Character, she can rushdown effectively using her amazing dash and fast air movement, but she also has powerful zoning using her variety of fireball specials. Has Decent mixup with her fuzzy guard and 214[a] 2c knockdown setups, and fairly high damage output in the corner. Isn’t particularly missing anything but not really the best at any one thing." -Rayza
"Her rushdown is fairly effective because she has a variety of normals that can be used to keep her close to the opponent and bait the opponent into a counter hit situation. C-Ciel also has a nice selection of anti-airs with 4C and 22B. She is also great at punishing mistakes against zoning characters because of her 236C and 623C which can punish some of best zoning options at full screen in addition to sloppy ground techs. These makes her a significant threat when she has at least 100% circuit. Remember, she is a Jack-of-All-Trades, which also implies that she is master of none." -HF-Blade




“Zoning character. One of the game’s best jump normals for runaway (jump C.) Also has controlled risk in his 4C. His summons establish his ground game and allow him to pressure you into a knockdown or punish you for not attacking carefully. Notoriously difficult to antiair. Post Corner Knockdown ex crows establishes pressure that is unescapable for many characters and a high risk for others.” -Sp00ky


“Lockdown/frame trap character. *H-Nero is at his most fearsome with his opponent in the corner; standard mix-up tools such as 2A/2B and throw are simple, but effective. *His 236A sonic boom crow and his 623A deer are both string enders which leave him at an advantage, allowing him to frame trap with 4C to catch jumps/mashing, or to reset his pressure for free once the opponent starts respecting the threat of 4C. *H-Nero retains his trademark air normals, as well as his crescent moon 5B/2C and full moon 3C for anti-air, allowing him to control the space around him with authority. *In the context of pure zoning, his projectile/summon game is a bit lacking compared to other moons, forcing him to play a bit more pressure oriented; however, he does have a very strong, albeit a bit unwieldy, tool in his 63214C Bee summon, allowing him to safely apply pressure to airborne opponents and disrupting run-away games to some extent.” -Ceehill


“A char who’s gameflow is average in every way, his zoning/footsie strength is fairly good (but sometimes difficult to hitconfirm off), his pressure game involves a lot of IADing for Highs/Lows but he lacks reliable ways to reset/good staggers, he has some strong okizeme mixups but these usually come at the cost of low damage. He has many long ranged/disjointed normals and is actually one of the faster characters in the game. Somewhat similar to playing a KoF character such as *regular Yashiro, many safe strings/good normals/movement but doesn’t shine outstandingly in any area.” -Irysa

“Pressure based character. *F-Wara excels at keeping momentum once he forces his opponent to start blocking. *Unique to his character in the context of Melty Blood is his upward angled dash, similar to that of K-Morrigan (CvS2) and I-no (GGXX), allowing for a devastating wake-up game should he score a knockdown. *Opponents who manage to block his mix-ups face the risk of 236C guard-break traps (236C being an EX fireball which eats up roughly half of a guard bar on block) and relatively safe pressure resets off of his 2B. *Despite all of this, F-Wara is a bit underutilized in comparison to his crescent moon counterpart; this is most likely due to many of his better combos/set-ups being meter dependent (a factor alleviated somewhat by full moon being able to charge meter, but still notable) and the comparative lack of certain high-utility moves such as summons and 236x/623x kattos. *Still, F-Wara is a solid choice if he fits into your niche, as he can easily decide a round off of a single knockdown provided he has a good stockpile of meter to burn.” -Ceehill



“Plays very similarly to Full, but some combos and setups differ a little. The main playstyle stays very close to the same, however, so the only real difference here is the application of the moon style mechanics.” -S-Blade

“Mixup & Air Footsies character. Like Kouma, she gets only one air attack, but her j.B and j.C are very very strong air-to-air and air-to-ground moves respectively. Combined with her great movement, she can play a lot of air poking and baiting games by choosing to rush at people from neutral or baiting the risky ways that they use to try to combat her air game. Once she scores a combo into a strong knockdown, she has various 3-way-mixups that go into a combo and more mixup and so on and so forth, much like a vortex. Her pressure/lockdown isn’t great, but if your opponent is either respecting or just afraid enough to block, she has good blockstring enders like her 236x series or her 22x series as well as moves that move her forward like 236[x] or her standing or crouching slides that let her rush down her opponent. While her ground dash has been much improved, a lack of good ground normals makes her ground footsie game weak, but the dash is great for comboing off of counter hit (which will happen often) or for utilizing her range with dash 2c or dash 3c.” -S-Blade



“Crescent Miyako is a character who is adept at unending rushdowns and wants to keep you in the corner as much as possible. *Her okizeme is fairly weak but she makes up for it with damage in spades when a move connects. *Her combo game relies on slamming you against the wall repeatedly, and she can do this from as far as midscreen. *Many would argue that her anti-air capability is fairly weak, so she is more well suited to playing ground footsies compared to most characters that prefer to jump around. *Also different from most characters is that she has more overhead moves than low moves. *Her poor range makes it difficult to get in at times but she sports the best dodge in the game as it is fairly quick and moves her forward. *If you like to MIX IT UP C.Miyako is the character for you” -LegendaryBlueShirt

“Risk versus Reward character. Highest consistent damage in the game. j.B And j.C are difficult to antiair and lead to big damage, they also can win air to air against defensive pokes. High/low game is also strong. This character is known as the one trick pony of the game, but is very effective at what she does - hit the opponent with a clean hit twice, you win the round.” -Sp00ky




"‘Morphing’ Character. In her first phase she is a strong zoner, utilizing orbs to stop jump ins and tiger shots to pressure the opponent into wanting to jump. She also has one of the games best DPs, making her playstyle not unlike Sagats. After building meter she morphs into a trap character, using her Blue Fire to set up dangerous 50/50s, repeating until she is out of meter or you are dead." -Sp00ky



"‘Grappler’/Rushdown character. *Kouma in crescent moon plays similarly to hybrid type characters such as Alex (3S) or Abel (SF4); while primarily notorious for his 214x command grab series, he also boasts a set of more standard mix-up tools including his low hitting 2A/2B and his 6C grounded overhead, the former making his command throws more dangerous and vice versa. *On top of retaining a useful set of rekka moves in his arsenal, this is also the only style in which all of Kouma’s air normals are normal and jump cancelable; these facets of his character give him relatively high-damage BnB combos as well as solid damage off of random hits. *To top it all off, C-Kouma has access to a number of reversal options, including his 214C EX Dunk, the ability to activate heat at will when over 100% meter, and his 22C which grants him 2 seconds of super armor. " -Ceehill

"‘Grappler’. Many multiple use throws for defense or offense, some with high damage followups. His raw physical damage is high as well. He has 2 dead zones that cannot be effectively attacked by the opponent using his 2B and 5C, and can use these to pressure the opponent into bad positioning. Has a strong tech punish game after BNBs, allowing him to pile on the pressure after getting started." -Sp00ky

"‘Grappler’. *Inheriting aspects of both his full and crescent moon counterparts, Kouma in this style retains full moon’s 2B anti-air as well as crescent moon’s low hitting 2A. *Access to 6AA and reverse beats makes his pressure strong and his grapple options scary, however the inability to do “standard” air combos causes his damage off of random hits to drop somewhat (BnB damage is still very strong though) and the lack of full moon’s 623X series forces him to work a bit harder to keep momentum after a knockdown. *Retains his reversal options from crescent moon with the exception of heat on command; in exchange he gets access to half-moon mechanics such as shield counters and automatic heat at full meter. *Arguably lacks extra tools in comparison to crescent and full moon styles, however this style is more than playable simply because he can still apply his notorious hit/throw mix-ups and control the space around him using his excellent set of normals." -Ceehill


“Zoning Character
Full Ries varies quite a bit from the other moons. She loses her dash, but gains an excellent anti air and in addition to her long normals. She also loses her charge, but gains a locking move that gives her time to charge or okizeme. This character can be very successful while played defensively, but can easily switch to a solid offense when its her turn. Getting damage with her will require learning more difficult combos and the corner, but her oki-game is strong with just basic combos, allowing variability. This is probably the easiest Ries to learn.” -Curbeh

The rest does not fit within SRK post character limits. The full (and probably updated) list will always be at http://www.meltybread.com/forums/game-engine-mechanics/wip-guide-to-learning-mbaa-(as-an-sf-player)/


reserved (street fighter character -> corresponding melty character post)

work in progress

Ryu -> Tohno - no fireballs, but spectacular normals
Ken -> Nanaya - more mobile and in-your-face rushdown/pressure oriented
Guile -> Nero?
Chun -> F-Ries - very poky
Honda -> none…if you want turtley, you can get akuma-style turtle with Mech-Hisui or V.Akiha, otherwise there isn’t much, maybe Ciel’s HVB will help you "play by reaction"
Zangief -> F-Miyako (linear, but once she gets in damage/mixup is strong), Kouma (grappler)
Dhalsim -> Mech-Hisui, expect to gain some rushdown abilities
Blanka ->
Vega -> Warakia (meant for poking and turtling more than rushdown)
Balrog -> Warc for strong footsies and decent damage?
Sagat -> F-Aoko, Nero
M.Bison -> none?
Abel -> definitely Kouma.
C.Viper -> Sion? I also want to say v.sion, they control the ground well
Rufus -> F-Nanaya, V.Sion, have fun with divekick pressure
El Fuerte -> C-Kohaku or F-Kohaku, abuse those plant mixups
Akuma -> V.Akiha (great offensively and runaway but takes a lot of damage)
Seth -> Mech-Hisui
Gouken ->
Cammy -> Satsuki - very mobile with great pokes although loses a bit to patient blocking
Sakura -> F-Miyako, linear and have trouble getting in, but once you get in, it’s on
Fei -> C-Kouma or H-Kouma, certain grooves of Tohno and Nanaya

Urien -> F-Aoko, run blue fire high/lows
Makoto -> Kouma
Ibuki ->
Dudley ->


You miscredited a lot of the char summaries, and I really don’t see correlation between a lot of your comparisons. Especially comparing some of them to SF4 counter parts… There’s no way Sakura is like F-Miyako at all. El Fuerte has hardly any similarities at all to C/F Kohaku. Nor the Blanka comparisons. I think that whole post should have been disregarded, because in reality it doesn’t help at all, and people will be mislead by it. The small character summaries are just enough.


yeah i did those correllations in like five minutes i’m not really sure about them

also i just checked and all of the character summaries were credited correctly

except yours :stuck_out_tongue: lol i just fixed it for you


congrats on the front page

if this is going to be at evo i gotta get in on it, where can i play this at?


MBAA can be played on the PS2. Unfortunately, the game is import-only from Japan.



Am I the only one who can’t see any comments on the article version? I can see comments on other articles just fine…


Not like it matters, since 90% of the community pirates it instead of paying for it.


Good article, man. I think it would be cool to make a wiki about mbaa in srk using your stuff and that material writed by arlieth (http://www.meltybread.com/forums/game-engine-mechanics/game-mechanics-reference-thread/msg70250/?topicseen#msg70250). What did you think about it?