We’ve got your Assist of the Day #4 with Coach Clockw0rk. The professor of the infamous Doom/Strider trap in MvC2, Clockw0rk was generous enough to lend us his time to help out Dewitt Ward and his Zero/Doom/Dante team. Check out Dewitts video and Clockw0rk’s comments below!
Be sure to check out the past “Assist of the Day”s if you’ve missed any!
Hit the jump to read Clockw0rk’s tips!
“The very first thing I noticed with your team is that you have an extremely damaging DHC “map” given your characters are chosen in the order of Dante/Zero/Doom. That way, you can DHC trick with Dante/Zero by doing any Dante combo ending in his Grapple move (qcf + H ~ qcf + H) xx Devil Trigger xx Sougenmu. By doing that, damage scaling as well as hit stun deterioration reset in the middle of your combo, so any decent combo following the DHC (during Sougenmu) will do a ton of damage. You also get a good Zero to Doom DHC using Rekkoha xx Sphere Flame, which is good because Doom can be a tricky character to properly DHC due to the odd nature in which his hyper combos hit. Landing either of these DHC’s should kill off whatever character they touch, so be sure to get in training mode to optimize your combos! Dante and Zero have ton of combo options to utilize so that you can ensure the effectiveness of these DHC’s.
About comboing into Grapple: a good way to combo it is (when opponent is grounded during your combo) OTG with downforward + H ~ H to forward+H xx S+L xx qcf + H ~ qcf + H, Devil Trigger. The timing on this combo can be tricky to learn, but with some practice it’s not too bad. Learn this combo!
Also, it’s important to pick assists in which you can use in conjunction with Dante’s air throw. After successfully landing an air throw with Dante, you can immediately down + H ~ H + assist xx qcf + L into the combo of your choice. Learn how to properly do this combo given the assists you have (Doom’s Plasma Beam should work fine) and you’re in good shape! Zero has a similar setup off his air throw with Sentsuizan, so make sure to learn it as well.
Anyway, the aforementioned order sets Doom as your anchor, whom I feel is probably the strongest as anchor on your team. In MvC3, I think it’s paramount to have at least one character on your team be able to really handle business during X-Factor, and Doom fits that category fine, which we’ll go over later.
Given all that, the basic plan for your team can be to simply land a hit with Dante, DHC to Zero => land a hit with Zero, DHC to Doom => Doom clean up whatever is left. Of course it doesn’t always work out like this, but it’s good to have a plan and goals in mind while you’re playing so that you’re focused on what you need to do to win. So with that, let’s take a look at the match.
0:16 – think of your first hit as the game winner. Ideally, first hit will net you first character kill, which will obviously give you the upper hand. It’d be good to optimize your combos so that they will net you at least one meter upon performing it, which will then lead to DHC’s to kill any characters they touch. Zero has wild combos so it wouldn’t be difficult to come up with one. Once you have that established, make your opponent pay for ANY mistakes with said combo. Once you optimize your combos, you can focus on landing them on live opponents, which is arguably more important.
0:35 – seeing as how Zero’s hits are so quick and successive, I think it’s best to drag out his combos as long as you possibly can. This combo can be much longer/damaging, so get to training mode! Here your combo wasn’t strong enough to kill Taskmaster, though luckily you ended up getting him anyway around 0:50. Otherwise, it’s possible Taskmaster could have escaped and come back later in the round to do some heavy damage that otherwise could have been avoided by finishing him off when you had the chance. Always go for the kill – you don’t want to regret letting your opponent’s character off the hook.
0:50 – when you kill off a character and a new one is coming in, your opponent’s new character is mega vulnerable to setups. There’s nothing better than getting rid of one character and getting a good mixup on the next character coming in right away. For Dante, try using assists in conjunction with Air Trick (down down + S) for tricky crossups, or even Acid Rain (qcf + L ~ qcf + L) into Air Trick. Even the best players will have a hard time properly blocking well timed Air Trick mixups.
Assist calling should be less like 0:54 and more like 0:57. At 0:54 you risk your Zero (who has low life to begin with) for no real gain, while at 0:57 you use Doom assist to fill in the gaps of your offense. Once you clean that up, your Dante offense will only get better.
1:19 – you get hit here. Though if you pay attention to the life gauges, you have quite a sizable lead. No need to put yourself at any huge risks if you have the life lead. Let Trish come to you and capitalize on any mistakes she makes in trying to get past your defense. Dante’s various projectiles are effective in this situation.
1:30 – that flame carpet that Dormammu has stops ground rushing cold, but I don’t think it works as well against Zero. It seems Zero is most effective when he attacks directly on top of you rather than from the front. So in this situation you could have taken advantage of the fact that Doom Plasma Beam assist sails over the carpet (pinning Dormammu down) while positioning yourself to attack Dormammu from the top using air Hienkyaku in conjunction with Zero’s standard air dash. Zero falling on top of your head with jumping H can be a nightmare to deal with.
1:40 – as you can see, playing a fullscreen game with Dormammu might not be the best option. His long ranged special attacks along with a screen-clearing hyper combo and even the ability to negate projectiles with his normals help him maintain control of the match. You gotta get in there against Dormammu.
1:50 – it’s important to learn combos specifically designed for aerial tags. In this situation, you could have gone into a huge meter building combo (Doom comes in from the exchange, jumping M xx flight, M M xx airdash to M M repeated up to 4 times) or a standard combo for damage (jumping M, forward + H, airdash downforward M into combo of choice). Make sure to take into account which type of aerial tag you use as well as the height in which your character is to decide which combo to use. Make your combos and openings count! What could have been a possibly dead Dormammu at this point ends up being Dormammu getting away and doing huge damage later.
1:59 – if Doom avoids a big super like this, you can always fly, dash over to the opponent, unfly and punish. If they decide to DHC to counter, you can usually unfly to safely block. Doing flight here not only gives you a huge punish, but saves your meter. Though the air Photon Array kept you in the air to avoid the Chaotic Flame, you got very little damage from it and also had to use up some meter that could have been better used elsewhere.
2:18 – again, you have the life lead but decide to take a huge risk and knock on Dormammu’s front door, which is probably the turning point of the match. Play it safe and solid – life lead often means you’re in control of the match and your opponent has to take your pace, play on your terms. You’re in control so play it as such. And again, attacking from above with Zero is probably a better option than going in from the front vs Dormammu.
2:30 – with Doom, it’s not always best to X-Factor right away, especially if you don’t have any red health to gain back. One of the best uses of X-Factor for Doom is to interrupt any of your opponent’s close range attacks by X-Factoring and immediately performing his level 3 hyper combo (Doom’s Time). Given it has invincible 4-frame start up, it will stop anything and everything your opponent does if you time it right and they’re close enough. This tactic makes it so it’s unsafe to attack Doom at close range at anytime really. If used when Doom is the last character in, chances are the level 3 X-Factored Doom’s Time will kill whatever character it hits and then Doom is ready to take out the next guy coming in with the rest of his X-Factor. Also keep in mind that Doom’s Sphere Flame does ridiculous damage during X-Factor (a whopping 825,900 during level 3 X-Factor by itself), so your combos during X-Factor should end with it if you want guaranteed kills. Lastly, be sure to take advantage of Doom’s speed and chip damage during X-Factor. Mixing up straight airdash forward jumping M, airdash downforward into low L, and superjump airdash downforward M (typical Doom offense) during X-Factor can be really confusing for your opponent to block. And anytime you need extra damage + screen control, Plasma Beam does crazy chip damage during X-Factor and can be cancelled into a grounded Photon Array to reset the pace of the match.
2:40 – due to Doom’s dash not behaving like a standard dash, your setup right here is easily avoided. If you’d like to dash under a new character coming in and launching them with S (just like MvC2), your best bet it so take a small normal jump forward and airdash downforward to get underneath them. It takes some getting used to, but it’s not difficult at all really.
All in all, it seems you have a ton of potential and your style is still being discovered as you explore the options and synergy of this team. I’d say your main goal at this point is to figure out the most effective and practical ways to kill off your opponent’s characters in just one opening so that you can focus solely on how to open up your opponent.
A good way to force mistakes is to frustrate your opponent with ranged attacks combined with assists. While your goals is to land your hit so you can get into a damaging combo, your opponent isn’t just going to let you do it. With Doom for example, it usually only takes one or two Plasma Beams or Photon Shots from full screen to frustrate your opponent, or at the very least get them to change their game plan (such as rushing in out of frustration). This goes for Zero and Dante as well, Zero’s Hyper Zero Blaster immediately comes to mind. Give your opponent the choice of letting you chip them to death while you gain meter, or actually coming to get you. Control the pace of the match with these frustration tactics, cause your opponent to take an unsafe risk, punish for the win.
It’s all about confidence! Give your opponents a reason to be scared to give you any openings, and fully capitalize on any mistakes. Full capitalization should be somewhere along the lines of killing off your opponent and having a strong mixup game against the fresh character coming in. Once your confidence gains, it will definitely show in your game. For example, when you were fighting with Zero against Dormammu, the first thing I thought was your Zero seemed a bit lost and I couldn’t really figure out what you were trying to do. With some practice and focus, your Zero will be killer because it’ll be exactly clear what you want to do with your character given your team and your opponent. Once you are confident in your game, it will be communicated as such through your game and you better believe your opponent will pick up on it, hopefully making mistakes because of said confidence.
So in closing, I’d say the best thing for you to do is create clear, concise and realistic goals for your game. Instead of having a goal like “kill the other guy’s characters as fast as possible” or something similarly unhelpful, it would be better to make your goals as specific as possible, such as trying to land a crouching L with Dante to lead into a combo to DHC to Zero => dead character => Acid Rain to Air Trick cross up (or fake cross up!) to kill the next character. I think from then, everything else will flow together and you’ll not only refine your style but start finding clever ways to achieve your goals.
As per your questions,
It seems to me that while your characters do have some defensive, full screen options, your team is best played offensively. If in the future you feel like you’re struggling to succeed, maybe it’s a good idea to have a back-up team that is more defense oriented (with characters such as Trish or Dormammu) and see which one you resonate more with. With that said, I definitely think Zero/Dante/Doom is a strong team and you should stick with it!
It’s difficult to say what things do and don’t carry over from MvC2, seeing as how they’re almost completely different games engine-wise. One thing that definitely does carry over from MvC2 is utilizing assists to fill in the gaps of your offense so that your attack strings have a natural and tight flow to them, which you demonstrate in your match. One thing that definitely doesn’t carry over is the utility of anti-air assists in MvC2. I’m wondering if there’s a better assist you can put Zero on? Anyway, the most important thing I feel you can take from MvC2 (and maybe any other fighting game) is to punish mistakes as hard as you can. In MvC2, a single mistake could cost you the entire round – MvC3 is no different.
Keep practicing and hope that helps!
What do you think? Any feedback to add?
We’ve got some other awesome pros lined up so don’t forget to keep submitting your videos!