What do you need help on? Cancel X

Jump to:
Would you recommend this Guide? Yes No Hide
Send Skip Hide

SonSon Part 2/2 by Vegita

Version: 4.1 | Updated: 07/17/03

Marvel vs. Capcom 2
   SonSon Guide - Part 2
      Versus The God Tier, Top Tier, and Near-Top Tier

Written by Reverend Eric "Vegita" Johnson (VegitaBOD@aol.com)
   Version 4.1


I    - Introduction
II   - The God Tier
     A   - Storm
     B   - Sentinel
     C   - Cable
     D   - Magneto
III  - The Top Tier         (Alphabetically ordered)
     E   - Cyclops
     F   - Dr. Doom
     G   - Spiral
     H   - Strider Hiryuu
IV   - The Near-Top Tier    (Alphabetically ordered)
     I   - Blackheart
     J   - Cammy
     K   - Dhalsim
     L   - Iron Man
     M   - Psylocke
V    - Various
     A   - My Own Personal Thoughts on The Tiers
     B   - Revision History
     C   - Thanks
     D   - No Thanks

If you wish to write to me about this particular guide, please put the name of
the game guide as the Subject of your E-mail; failure to do so will result in
me ignoring your mail (most likely).  Thanks in advance!

================================ MvC2 - SonSon ================================
     -------------------------I   -  Introduction -------------------------
================================ MvC2 - SonSon ================================

All right, I'll cut to the chase - if you're reading this, then you've probably
already browsed through my first SonSon guide.  This means you are here
strictly for the strategy purposes, something that I wholly understand.  So if
you are new to the competitive world of Marvel vs. Capcom 2, this probably
isn't the guide for you.  Yes, it covers most everything from basic to high-
level tournament play...but if you aren't familiar with the basics of the game,
this isn't going to help you any.  Go learn somewhere else before you step up
to this guide, kiddies.  Furthermore, if you want more details and such, I
suggest going to www.Shoryuken.com and heading straight for their forums.  The
best players in the world go there for this game (as well as other fighting
games), so if you can't get help there...then you aren't going to get help

First off, let's get one thing straight: Even though I am Vegita, I will try to
write from an un-biased point of view (although I still think I'm the best at
everything).  Second of all, if I catch anyone copying all or part of this FAQ,
ANY part of this FAQ (not counting little, inconsequential sentences like
"First off, let's get one thing straight), I will destroy you.  I will rip you
limb from limb like the excessively weak individual you are, and then I will
sue you for copyright infringement.  Well, ok, maybe I'll just sue you, but if
I got the chance I'd certainly go for the ripping of limbs from other limbs.

Third of all, I do not own the rights to this game, the names of the characters
in this game or FAQ, or have any ownership whatsoever of this game (except for
the cartridge sitting in my room, that is).  Those are the property of their
respective owners.  If I find a website with this FAQ on it, and it has been
changed in any way, does not give me proper credit, or is selling it without my
knowledge and consent, then I WILL have my lawyers contact that site.  Are we
clear (this means YOU, Vertsk8!)?

================================ MvC2 - SonSon ================================
       -----------------------II   - The God Tier-------------------------
================================ MvC2 - SonSon ================================

Ok, folks, here come the 4 characters in the game that are so good, they're in
a league all their own.  Presenting the 'God Tier', characters who have the
tools to destroy most anyone in the game 1-on-1, and become even more fearsome
with the inclusion of assists.  These guys are the ones that dominate
tournaments all over the country...and I hope to help you learn how to stop

        #####          ______________________===========_______________________
       #######                               A   - Storm
      #### ####        ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯===========¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
     ####   ####       Hello, #1 character in the game.  How are you?  Fine?
    ####     ####      That's nice.  Storm was initially tied with Sentinel as
   ####       ####     the Top characters in the game, but Sentinel dropped a
  #################    notch (and Cable moved up a bit) due to guard cancel-
 ####          #####   ling out of Sentinel's traps.  This really doesn't
####            #####  effect Storm much at all, since she rarely performs
                       combos that are long enough for you to Guard Cancel your
way out of 'em.  Likewise, she has no other attacks/combos/strategies where it
would really apply, making her just as safe as she was prior to Guard
Cancelling -- in fact, she has an extra tool to use against Sentinel, Magneto,
Cable, Spiral, etc.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                         In General                        ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Now, what is it that makes Storm #1?  For starters, she can absolutely
dominate other characters in the game with a few simple tactics.  She can build
her own meter in a practically 100% safe method (runaway), she has the ability
to rush thanks to her speedy air-dash and high-priority moves (j.HP, s.HK,
c.HK), and her modest aerial raves linking into her Lightning Storm are both
painful, rather simple to do, and are perfect DHCs into other damage Supers
(like a Hyper Sentinel Force, Hyper Tempest, Hyper Viper Beam, Heart of
Darkness, Orobouros, Electric Cage, etc).  She has the best DHC in the game
(any super xx Hailstorm), since it is almost completely impossible to hurt her
when she does it, she's almost 100% safe following it, it instantly combos
(meaning Magneto can aerial rave them, then perform a Magnetic Tempest and
immediately DHC into a Hailstorm, and the hail will connect before they can
recover), and it reams assists like nobody's business.  She can combo into the
Hailstorm fairly easily, pinning both the player and the assist and doing loads
of damage to both (regardless of where they are onscreen)...she is a demon,
through and through.

.......however, she does have faults, and it's your job to exploit them.  Let's
find out how.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                      Similarities...?                     ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   You know, I consider Storm and SonSon to be rather akin in a few ways...they
both have a fairly safe "moving" special that can be cancelled into a more
damaging super.  They both have some sort of an aerial game, they both have an
air dash, they both have a high-priority j.HP, they both have a special move
that links right into a damaging aerial super...ok, so maybe they're not THAT
alike, but that's just what I think.  Storm has quite a few tools that give her
an advantage to this battle, so it's a hard fight for SonSon to win effectively
(in a one-on-one situation, that is).

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                          Runaway                          ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   First off is Storm's Runaway, which is very effective in avoiding whatever
you might try to do, as well as adding meter and burning time off of the
clock.  Once you see her superjump, there's little you can do except dash
underneath and hope you can connect with a Tenchi Tsuukan.  Other than that,
you'd best just avoid any typhoons (vertical) she calls up and wait for her to
come back within striking distance.  As she is slowly floating back down, you
can attempt to superjump up and hit with a Seiten Rengeki - if she blocks it,
then there's no way she can retaliate, and if you whiff it then it is just
about impossible to catch you with anything (most likely a Lightning Attack).
If you connect, then your best bet is to cancel into that lovely Tenchi Tsuukan
for added damage.  She can't out-prioritize your Seiten Rengeki with anything
except her lightning Storm, and unless you're trying to hit her as she's doing
it, there's no way she can catch you...it has too much start-up to reflex-LS
you, so you should be in decent shape dealing with a runaway Storm.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                          Rushing                          ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Next up is Storm's rushing game.  She'll bound about the screen using air
dashes and Lightning Attacks, hoping to sucker you into taking a hit (which
will then be cancelled into a Lightning Storm for more damage, much like your
Seiten Rengeki).  She will have most likely built up enough meter for this
Lighting Storm via her runaway, which is why it is important for you to cut
that short whenever you can.  You can halt this by tossing out a jumping Shien
Bu to create a horizonal swath she can't get through (or, at least, probably
won't make the attempt), giving you a momentary lapse of time.  Careful,
though, as an unguarded Storm can still catch you in the animation of the Shien
Bu by using a Lightning Storm...and don't you dare jump up and perform on while
she's grounded, or else she can Hailstorm you back to the ground!

   Storm can reset her air combos, to some degree, by airdashing down past you
and hitting you from another angle with a Lighting Attack xx LS.  The momentary
lapse in comboing resets the meter, and if you blow the block then she gets
loads more damage from the combo than normal.  To avoid this, simply block
Storm from the opposite side when you see her airdash past.  Also, although a
little advanced, is Storm's ability to combo you and reset the aircombo with a
throw.  The reason this is more advanced is that if you tech out of the throw,
Storm can guardbreak you again by tapping you as you fall, then Lighting Attack
xx LS you as you recover from blockstun but before you hit the ground.  She's
pesky, that Storm!  She has the tools that give her an edge over just about
anyone in the game!

   Just because she isn't Magneto doesn't mean that Storm can't make use of
Triangle jumps.  Be wary of her ability to dash over and past you, hitting you
low from the other side and starting up another combo.  The difference between
her and Magneto is that Mags will want to do the combo, then reset the combo
and land another; Storm only needs the 1 combo, chain into a Lightning Attack
xx LS, then DHC into some other painful Super (HSF, Magnetic Tempest, POW, etc)
to do her work.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                       Assist Usage                        ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Storm, on the ground, can play well off of any assist that pins you down or
keeps you in one place.  The likes of Sentinel Ground, Doom AAA, Spiral Ground,
or Blackheart Ground work well for their pinning ability, giving Storm the
opportunity to run away or attack at her own discrecion.  Storm also can make
use of good AAA assists, either comboing into them and performing a Hailstorm
before they can recover (Cammy, CapCom, Ken, SonSon), or simply OTGing them
(Iron Man, Psylocke) and going into a combo off of that.  She doesn't really
need assists, but she certainly can use 'em effectively.

   The problem with Storm running away while calling an assist out is that it
is very difficult to effectively harm the assist; she may be away, but Storm
still has the ability to attack you through Vertical Typhoons, Lighting
Attacks, and Lighting Storms.  Thus, if you ARE going to assault the assist,
make it quick enough so that she can't retaliate in time, or somehow find a way
of getting both.  My personal favorite (in this instance) is to use Hyper
En'ou, since Storm cannot Hailstorm you (she's airborne, and would have to land
and perform it - something you will NOT let her do).  You punish the assist,
and the best she can do is LA xx LS, DHCed into something else.  In this
instance, you will have harmed the assist a decent amount, and will either be
forced to take the Lightning Storm damage (not advised) or to DHC into someone
else who can take a hit (i.e., Sentinel...whom I think SonSon should ALWAYS be
paired with, personally).  A DHC into Sentinel actually allows you to continue
damaging the assist, making it a rather costly mistake for Storm!

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                 Retaliating Against Storm                 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Anywho, so Storm is a dangerous woman just about anywhere.  If she rushes
you for a combo, you can out-prioritize her jump-ins with a Seiten Rengeki or a
Kingin no Hisago.  Be wary, however, as either of these moves WILL be heavily
capitalized upon if you whiff them (the Seiten Rengeki isn't too punishble if
blocked, but it is possible).  Your best bet, however, is to simply block her
rushes and wait for her to make the first mistake.  SonSon has too many moves
that leave her open to attack, so you'll probably want to play mostly defensive
- don't do silly things like try to rush her, since her s.HK will outprioritize
most anything you've got.  However, if you do land a good hit, make sure that
hit counts for everything you've got (which usually means a combo into the
Seiten Rengeki, DHC into someone better - Sentinel's HSF works well, and
Cable's HVB can catch them on the ground and do a little more damage).  You can
mess up her timing on attacks by performing wall climbs or Tiger-Kneeing a
Shien Bu to prevent her from zoning you effectively.  Normally, if you do this
Storm will either try a Typhoon xx Hailstorm (which you should recover from
quickly enough to block) or try to runaway.  If she runs, go tail her, and if
she uses the Hailstorm...well, you'll take a little block damage and she'll
waste a bar of meter.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                           DHC's                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   DHCing SonSon in can be risky, but in the right places it can be extremely
worthwhile.  Say, for instance, you have Cable/Sentinel/SonSon (in my opinion
the best team that SonSon can possibly be on, other than Storm/Sent/SonSon).
You've already DHCed Cable out to Sentinel (making the order Sent/SonSon/
Cable), and Storm has started to runaway from you.  If you feel like burning
the meter (and tricking your opponent a bit), maneuver Sentinel beneath Storm
and perform a Plasma Storm.  In that split second your opponent notices the
attack, DHC into SonSon's Tenchi Tsuukan.  She comes crashing down to Earth via
the staff (and if it's blocked, SonSon is untouchable), and if you feel like it
you can DHC again into Cable's HVB and beam her for more than half her life off
(or, if you're close enough, you can actually DHC into a Timeflip; the timing
is more strict, though, so you're better off going with the HVB).

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                        Hyper En'ou                        ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Another example, using the same team.  Cable blows an AHVB and his opponent
blocks it.  Since Cable is close enough to his opponent, he can DHC into
SonSon's En'ou super.  That's right, the En'ou super, with the specific purpose
of having Storm block.  If she takes the hit, then so be it; if she blocks it,
then you can chip off a good 1/5 of her life with the flame breath.  Storm will
most likely try a Hailstorm, which is why it's important to breath on her as
soon as possible (since SonSon becomes a bigger target, she takes a lot more
hail).  Blocked or chipped, it's a decent amount of damage, and Storm will
still be stuck in blockstun from the flame while SonSon shrinks back to normal.
At any rate, she'll either take a decent amount of fire damage or block damage
(if you're close enough, that is).  Heck, since she drops from the Deadweight
damage, you can DHC into Sentinel's HSF for a decent juggle, then wavedash in
and perform a corner combo and/or throw reset with the big lug.  Rock!

   ...problem is, Storm is more likely to superjump and dash over your head,
which is troublesome since you have to turn around to hit her.  This is a bad
day comin', since she's free to hit you (and keep hitting you) before you have
the chance to turn around.  If you can make the turn, breath on her and hope
you do more damage than she had the chance to do to you.  If you see her moving
to Hailstorm you, you're in for a LOT of trouble, since a DHC into someone will
get them hurt, and you're going to take a lot of damage if you don't DHC.  The
bottom line - hit her before she can do that!

   Finally, my favorite use of the Hyper En'ou:  Storm trys a Hailstorm without
the ground-covering Typhoon to keep you (and any possible assists) pinned.
SonSon waits until the Storm is almost at the wall, then performs the Hyper
En'ou.  Since you're invincible when transforming, you won't be harmed by the
hail (or, if any, very little damage will be taken), and Storm is forced to
either take regular damage or a decent amount of block damage.  This is also a
good opportunity to DHC into anothers' super (DHC into Storm if it connects,
'cause retaliating a Hailstorm with another Hailstorm is always a crowd

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                     Punishing Mistakes                    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Unlike Cable, Storm does not have an instant mistake-killer (the AHVB);
however, she has a decent equivalent in the LK Typhoon xx Hailstorm or Lighting
Attack xx Lighting Storm, following certain blocked/whiffed moves.  Since Storm
is a perpetual meter-builder, she will always have at least 1 stock to make use
of these, and should always be treated as such (if she doesn't, then you know
she's going to start running away and building more meter).  She is a constant
danger with her triangle-jumping ability (not as bad as Magneto, but it's bad
enough to warrant plenty of attention), especially if she has meter.  Learn to
block (especially if she's performing a hailstorm), and don't do things that
have a lot of lagtime on them if Storm is unoccupied - she can (and will) get
to you no matter where you are on the screen.  Stop her from getting the meter
she needs, and hopefully you'll do fine.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯              Guard Breaks and Entering Combos             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   When not using assists to do so, Storm has her own ways of guardbreaking
you.  Since she can't hit you with a projectile quick enough to recover and
Guard Break, and none of her Supers are going to do the job, she's going to
have to use a normal move.  She has an air-dash, though, which gives her the
speed and mobility to do so rather easily; she can superjump and hit you with a
HP or HK, airdash Down-Away with a LK to land quickly, then launch you with a
s.HK.  Also common is to see her dash underneath you as you appear onscreen,
hitting you low from the opposite direction (i.e., the direction you came
from).  Bleh.

   In general, look for opportunities to hit Storm, and don't throw out things
that she can easily blitz through/around.  Supers should only come out when
they are a sure thing, or when Storm is so high off the ground that she can't
catch you after blocking.

So, to recap:
  ~When she tries to runaway, avoid the possible Typhoons and wait for her to
   drop low enough to try and hit her.  When she's moving up (before she goes
   off the screen), you can attempt a Tenchi Tsuukan to bring her back to
   ground.  If you choose to, you can opt for a superjump xx Seiten Rengeki
   instead (in case you don't have the meter).
  ~Thwart Storm's rushes with a Seiten Rengeki, a Kingin no Hisago, or simply
   by (push)blocking and waiting for something you can sink your teach into.
  ~If Storm goes for a Hailstorm, your only real way to counter it is to time a
   Hyper En'ou to take the Hail as she's transforming.  Otherwise, don't try
  ~Never perform the POW super (unless you're safely DHCing into it off of a
   deadweight super); likewise, never do a Tenchi Tsuukan when Storm is
   grounded unless you plan on immediately DHCing out of it.  Oddly enough,
   the Hyper En'ou is your best option in a lot of situations against Storm,
   since her best options of doing a lot of damage to you are a Lightning
   Attack or a Hailstorm.  Watch for situations where you can use it (see above
   for examples).
  ~Wall climb = your friend.  Wall climb + quick drop blocking = even better
  ~Learn to block against frenetic Magneto players that triangle jump a lot,
   and you should be able to handle yourself against a decent Storm player.
   She just doesn't have quite the speed or complexity of attacks that Mags
   does, so she will be easier to work against.
  ~TK-Shien Bu, airdash backwards and cancel that with a HP.  There, you're
   back on the ground with projectiles headed toward Storm, and you're ready to
   block whatever she throws at you.  'tis a good way of zoning the mutant,
   especially since SonSon (dare I say it?) carries an edge against Storm when
   she tries to run away.
  ~If you attack Storm just off the ground, end the combo with a HP xx LP Shien
   Bu.  You really won't be able to do much more in the way of damage, and it
   gives you the opportunity to create a zoning atmosphere.

   As I said before, this isn't a clear win for either character.  SonSon
effectively removes Storm's ability to runaway by tailing her and using the
Seiten Rengeki, and has a mix-up game capable of preventing her from
effectively rushing as well.  She can zone and chip (to a certain degree), and
can even effectively avoid her Hailstorm if the timing is right...  However,
mistakes cost SonSon more, pound for pound, than they do for Storm (not
counting DHCs), which is why you're still going to have to play a very careful
game.  In a one-on-one fight, you're probably not going to want to use the
Hyper En'ou as often, as it's more of lead-in to a DHC than anything; this
holds true for random Tenchi Tsuukan's and just about any application of POW,
save that you should probably not use either as the start-up for a DHC (aside
from a runaway Tenchi Tsuukan).  In general, handling Storm means you don't
rush her, you don't run away from her, but you try to mix up your attacks and
counter what she does without giving her the opportunity to attack you.  If
this means doing practically nothing but jumping backwards and throwing out a
j.HP, then so be it.

  ##############     ______________________==============______________________
  ###############                          B   - Sentinel
  ###         ####   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯==============¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ###         ####
  ###############    Another troublesome fellow, Sentinel is the source of
  ##############     agony for many a lower-tier character.  Sentinel takes the
  ###         ####   least damage in the game (not including the two characters
  ###          ####  that can gain defensive bonus in-battle, Rogue and Silver
  ###         #####  Samurai), does the most damage in the game, has extreme
  ###############    range and priority with his HP and HK, a flying mode
  #############      faster than some characters can wavedash, he can destroy
                     assists with a few quick moves, his combos can take
anywhere from 1/4 to 5/4 (!) of your life, he has a semi-infinite with his
Hyper Sentinel Force juggle, all of his hits do chipping (some do more CHIPPING
than others)...the machine is a monster, period.  To beginners, they only see a
big, slow machine that can hit hard but is also a big target.  To call him a
big target is true, but to say he's slow is very, VERY incorrect.  Truth be
told, he's one of the faster folk in the game, and when you combine speed with
tons of power and the ability to wade through damage, you have a very potent

Surprisingly enough, however, SonSon is NOT altogether outclassed by the big
lug.  His large size makes him an easy target, true, and his Super Armor allows
him to finish attacks despite his being hit repeatedly.  These make him
difficult to even assault, since he can retaliate mid-combo.  Granted, this is
only to a certain degree - if you hit 'em enough, the super armor wears off -
but if your opponent has good reflexes, he can tap you out of whatever you're
doing.  Joyous, yes?  It only gets better, too.  Sentinel's standing HP and
c.HP are full-screen projectile mouthbeams.  This gives him the ability to zone
and chip you while building meter, and - since they are normal moves instead of
specials - he can cancel them into specials, allowing for more damage and/or
zoning.  Enough of the general analysis, let's get to the actual strategy, yes?

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                          Normals                          ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   First off, Sentinel's more basic acts are simple - j.LK, j.HK, both of which
have insane priority and range to 'em, and if they connect he can follow them
with a Rocket Punch for even MORE damage.  Those 3 hits can take off as much as
40% of someone's life, which is why it is VERY important that this does not
happen to you.  If you make a mistake on the ground (i.e., a blocked HVB),
Sentinel can Rocket Punch xx Hyper Sentinel Force you for tons of damage.  If
he's close enough to you, he can dash in and launch you after that, tacking on
even MORE damage to the combo.  If Sentinel's near a corner, then we're
talkin' about 70-80% damage, at LEAST. (He does only 60% on another Sentinel.
ONLY.)  He can also RP your assist and juggle them with a HSF, then perform a
HP Mouthbeam xx Rocket Punch xx HSF to continue the damage.  You really can't
do much about it, either, since his HSF covers the same height as he is tall,
and is very fast - meaning you're going to have jump out of there or block it
until he's done.  (Actually, there are ways around this, but I'll get to that
in a minute.)

   Other normals of Sentinels' you need to watch out for are his c.LK, c.HK,
   HP, c.HP, and j.HP.  Let's talk about each of 'em individually for a second.
  ~His c.LK is fairly quick and hits low (surprisingly), meaning he can combo
   you off of 1 good short kick.  Due to Sent's size, it also has good range
   for a LK, so be wary (it can lead right into an infinite, a rush-down, an
   air longer, and can even OTG).
  ~His c.HK is an extension of his c.LK (literally), hitting 3 times and
   hitting low all 3 times.  The problem with this maneuver is that he can
   chain into a Rocket Punch off of the 2nd hit (or OTG you with a Rocket Punch
   off of the 3rd), opening into the HSF juggle.  He can also cancel into fly
   at any point for a high/low mixup, and the blasted move has loads of range.
   The good news is that it's positively lag-tastic, so hurt him if he throws
   this out and you block it.
  ~His HP and c.HP are actually full-screen projectiles, a long pink beam fired
   from his unhinged jaw.  This makes for decent chipping, trapping, and
   pressure, although it actually doesn't hit if you're close enough to him.
   As was recently discovered, if you are in the path of the attack right as it
   is disappearing, it is actually an UNBLOCKABLE move.  That's right, Sentinel
   can turn an already-potent attack and make it unblockable.  If he's close
   enough to you, he can then Rocket Punch xx HSF, which is downright nasty.

   So mistakes can be quite costly, for you or your assist.  This is why it is
very important that you know how to handle Sentinel.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                        Flight Mode                        ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Next up is Sentinel's flying, which is excessively difficult to deal with
since he can travel very quickly and utilize his long legs and HP "Middle
Finger" (or "Frypan", or "Wok", pick your favorite nickname) to swat you down
and keep you there.  Since characters can call out assists while in Flying
Mode, Sentinel perpetually has another item at his disposal - whatever assist
he thinks will aid him most.  When he has the likes of Blackheart, Doom,
Magneto, any decent AAA, or Spiral, he can effectively begin one of his most
potent strategies: Stomping.  As you can see, Sentinel's HK has tons of range
and priority, and also chips; thus, if Sentinel can fly above you, he can begin
stomping on you.  Stomping, of course, has its faults (namely the lag after the
kick), but these can be remedied by unflying (to block, in case they try to
attack), then reflying and stomping again.  If Sentinel gets you in the corner,
and he has an assist that can prevent you from dashing underneath and/or
jumping up after him, then you might as well consider the match over - he's
going to keep you there for as long as possible, gaining meter and chipping
away your life the whole time.

   It gets worse, this flying mode - it is considered a special move, and his
HP Mouthbeam is considered a normal.  Put 2 and 2 together and you realize that
he can Mouthbeam you from across the screen, quickly cancel into flying as soon
as it hits, then unfly while throwing out a HP, land and do it all again.
Quick meter building, good for pressure and chipping, and he can call out an
assist at any time during this little escapade.  This means that he can
effectively use assists like Mag (Proj.), Storm (Proj.), Spiral (Proj.), Doom
(AAA), Blackheart (AAA), etc., to aid him in chipping and pressuring you.
Heck, he can also perform a c.HP while calling out one of these assists, cancel
the HP into Sentinel Drones or a Rocket Punch, then do the whole thing again.
If he screws up the timing on something, or leaves an opening that you could
easily superjump out of, he can also cancel into a Hyper Sentinel Force to
prevent you from jumping.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                   Sentinel...Rushing?                     ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Sentinel can rush you, too, although not quitely as effectively as pixies
like Magneto, Storm, Dhalsim, or Iron Man/War Machine.  Since you know of his
rapid ability to fly/unfly, you should be very aware of the fact that he can
rush you, perform a c.LK xx Fly, j.LK, HK xx unfly, land, c.LK, and so on.
Although not quite as fast as Magneto/Storm/Dhalsim, these "ghetto triangle
jump" attacks are even more damaging (per hit) than Mags' or Storms' rapid
work.  Sentinel is a tad slower when it comes to moving to the other side of
you and attacking from there, which means you have ample time to block or
retaliate.  As for his high/low mixups, blocking high and low should come
naturally after a little practice (especially if you're practicing against more
difficult targets, like Mags).  Pushblock him and give yourself some breathing
room if he tries to get in your face; or, better yet, block a couple of hits
and j.HP him to get in HIS face!

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                       He IS Limited                       ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Sentinel DOES have moves that he shouldn't just randomly throw out, or even
use in more controlled situations.  The Plasma Ball Super should only be used
when it's guaranteed to connect; if it is blocked, then you can pushblock it
and retaliate in just about any fashion you choose (my favorite is a LP Shien
Bu xx POW, giving a 4-hit insulting injury).  Random Drones can be avoided and
can sometimes be countered (i.e., Hyper En'ou), Random HSF's can be superjumped
away from, random HKs can be retaliated during the lag...Sentinel finds that he
has to pick his moves carefully, due to the lag on some and start-up on others;
if he does not, then he can (and will) be harmed when his makes an unwise

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                   Hyper Sentinel Force                    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   I should probably talk of the HSF on its own, as it's one of the more potent
Supers in the game.  If Sentinel does not combo into the HSF - meaning, you're
not already in blockstun when the move is initiated - then you can superjump up
and away from it, safely landing after it finishes.  However, if there is
anything hitting you when the move starts, like a HP Mouthbeam or Rocket Punch
(or assist), then you're stuck and have to take the damage.  The trick is,
block low when the 3 waves go by; if you're standing, you'll get hit by 2 of
the waves and have to take 2 drones' chip damage instead of just 1.  That's the
beauty of SonSon, as she's short enough to duck the top 2 drones.  However,
getting hit by the HSF is another story entirely, since Sentinel can juggle you
for quite a bit of damage via another HP xx Rocket Punch xx HSF.  If your
assist is caught in it, then there's open ground; your assist is being juggled,
and you have to block the damage as well, but since something else is taking
the hit first, you have the (brief) opportunity to retaliate or superjump out.

Another quick note - Sentinel can OTG you following the first HSF usage,
performing a LP Rocket Punch xx HSF.  The Rocket Punch is damaging enough, but
because you are barely popped up, you get hit by 2 of the drone-waves instead
of 3; this allows for much more damage to be inflicted, often yielding
somewhere in the vicinity of 100+ damage against your average character.
SonSon has less-than-average health, so she could easily be killed from such a
combo -- the bottom line, roll if you see him dropping you!

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                        Counter-HSF                        ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   What should SonSon do versus such a potent Super?  She has a few options,
the first being to block the blasted thing and hope for the best.  Not too
good, yes, but it's better than taking a bunch of damage.  If not comboed into,
SonSon can superjump out and airdash across Sentinel's head, allowing herself
to start up a combo or two.  Her j.HP eats Super Armor alive, so she can
actually SJ xx Airdash right above the Drones, landing on Sentinel's head and
proceeding to assault him.  Retaliation in regards to having your assist caught
(but not you) is simple - Hyper En'ou will allow you to be invincible during
the duration of the Super, and you can then proceed to flame Sentinel for a lot
of chip damage.  I say Chip because no Sentinel player in their right mind
would simply allow you to hit them with the flame, and since he's a big target,
he's forced to take a good deal of chipping damage as well.  Granted, he can
try to superjump and fly over your head, but you should be able to flame him
before he gets too far.  Assuming he makes it behind you, he'll try to attack
you; turn around and flame him from there.  The smart Sentinel will try to fly
and stomp on you, but 1 good uppercut should push him far enough away (or hit
him), and then it's back to fire-breath.  You should at least trade damage with
him by using this super; that's pretty good, considering how hard Sentinel

   Ok, so we have a general idea of what to do versus the HSF - which, not
surprisingly, is a common aspect of Sentinel's game.  However, there is 1
option not yet explored, and that is the art of Guard Cancelling.  If you GC
the attack immediately prior to the HSF, you can actually superjump out of the
HSF between the 2nd and 3rd waves, allowing you to avoid any further chipping
traps set in motion by Sentinel.  Granted, this means you have to play the role
of minor psychic by knowing which move to pushblock on...but most Sentinel
players stick to the HP xx RP xx HSF.  If you see this just once, you'll know
to pushblock the next Rocket Punch.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                   SonSon, ad infinitum                    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   This goes further, in fact, as SonSon can turn the tide of the match against
Sentinel just as easily as he can do it against her.  Did you know that SonSon
has an infinite, one that isn't that hard to do OR land?  It can only be done
against Sentinel, but it's a viable attack nonetheless and does loads of damage
when the hits are maximized.  If you successfully land a j.HP on Sentinel, then
all you have to do is hit HK right before you land (it looks like you're
hitting him in the knee), then immediately jump up-towards again and hit LP,
LK, LK, HP, HK.  The timing is a little tricky at first but with a little
practice you can have it down pat.  You have to hit [LP, LK, LK] rather fast,
the [HP] hits at the apex of your jump (so the LP, LK, LK has to connect before
you reach Sentinel's head), and the [HK] will connect right before you hit the
ground.  Once you have this down to a science, you can take off a good 1/3 of
his life, assuming you DON'T combo into the Tenchi Tsuukan and then DHC into
something else (optimal DHCs include HVB, Proton Cannon, Hailstorm, Magnetic
Tempest, HSF, or Headcrush).  Obviously, I suggest that you do DHC.

   I said that it's easy to land such a combo, and I wasn't lying.  With this
tool at your disposal, you can effectively turn any usage of the HSF into a
possible infinite for SonSon.  I've already discussed how to superjump out of
the trap, and you know it's possible to airdash over the drones and hit
Sentinel in the head with a HP.  This means that you can immediately go into
her infinite, thus turning a viable chipping strategy into an opportunity for
YOU to infinite him.  It's not that difficult, really, and makes the Sentinel
player a little wary of what else you might have in store.  Granted, Sentinel
can still mix up what he has left - i.e., instead of the HP xx RP, he can HP xx
LK Drones (aimed up) to trick you into taking more chip damage (then another HP
xx RP xx HSF).  However, now you've made him skeptical.

   If Sentinel is on the ground and is unprotected for even a second, he's
yours.  The only consistent problem I've encountered from SonSon/Sentinel
matchups is that Sentinel will repeatedly c.HP xx Fly to build meter and
pressure, followed by the occasional j.HP.  If you see him flying above the
ground, that's your (only safe) opportunity to TK-Shien Bu and airdash.  He has
to land to attack you, and his best attack he could hit you with in the time it
takes for you to stop and block would be a HSF.  If you're high enough, that's
asking for an infinite to be performed, and if you're low enough, you can block
it.  Take off a good 35-40% of his life, then DHC into something like a
Hailstorm, Proton Cannon, or HVB to total the damage count around 70%.  Against
someone like Sentinel, that's really, really good.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                        Hyper En'ou                        ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Actually, Hyper En'ou is a fairly safe opportunity for free damage against
Sentinel, since - unless he's already flying above - you can effectively attack
him for at least SOME chip.  The big lug likes zoning you, so when he tries to
Mouthbeam you, turn into a giant monkey and see what he does.  9 times out of
10, he'll superjump and proceed to fly around; however, he's very difficult for
him to avoid all of your attacks, and attacking you himself will most likely
get him hurt.  The remaining 10th time is when the Sentinel player knows what
to do and superjumps, then proceeds to Rocketpunch the entire time to slow his
descent.  If he flies, he'll hover too low, but if he hangs about via RPing, he
can actually keep away from you.  If you see Sentinel doing this, then he knows
how to actually avoid the attack, and you should (usually) stop using it.  Or
DHC into something like a Hailstorm, forcing him to take more chip and/or

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯          HP Mouthbeams, Drones, Assists, and You          ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   And what else might you have in store, then?  Avoiding Sentinel's c.HP xx
fly (while calling assists out) or c.HP xx LK/HK Drones are fairly easily
avoided, too, simply by superjumping away.  However, when you superjump depends
on what assist Sentinel uses, since he will most always have an assist of some
sort to aid him in this; if it's Blackheart's AAA, wait a short second for the
assist to hit, then jump before the drones reach you; any projectile assists
should be jumped as soon as the projectile is clear (but before the drones hit,
if possible); any slower assists should be jumped as soon as appearing.
Reflexes must be high here, so learn what to watch for and how to react
accordingly.  Here are a list of commonly-used assists to aid in his attacking:
   ~Spiral Projectile (Jump as soon as possible to avoid the swords)
   ~Blackheart AAA (already discussed)
   ~Magneto Projectile (Jump as soon as possible)
   ~Any AAA that doesn't reach far enough to hit you, like Cable/Cyclops/Iron
    Man/SonSon/etc (Jump ASAP; avoid Cyclops' optic bullet)
   ~Doom AAA (Jump as soon as possible and try to land behind him)
   ~Strider Variety (Jump ASAP)
   ~Iron Man Projectile (Jump as soon as the Projectile passes; jump before if

   For more fun, wait until a brief moment when you can start up the Hyper
En'ou, and do so.  Sentinel will most likely have to block it, and his assist
will take damage from it.  Now that's a trade!

   Great, so you've ruled out each others' ground games for the most part.  You
can't really do anything, since his HP mouthbeam will catch you during whatever
you attempt or he can HSF you, and a lot of his ground-based attacks could very
well end in him being hit by an infinite.  So it's going to be a bit of an
aerial fight, then.  Sentinel definitely holds ground here with his ability to
fly, but SonSon can do a decent-enough job of restricting airspace with a LP
Shien-bu.  Granted, if Sentinel is already flying, he can drop a bit and RP you
(or fly up and do the same), but if you're careful about when you use this,
you'll ground him for a short while.  When grounded, you can bet that Sentinel
is going to go back to his HP Mouthbeam tricks, so hopefully you'll know what
to do now.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                    It's Stomping Time!                    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Of course, what happens if you cannot get to the air, since Sentinel is
stomping on you?  Wellsir, it's not the end of the world, since you still have
options, although they're a tad risky.  Counter-stomping is mostly relegated to
Seiten Rengeki, well-timed Tenchi Tsuukan's, and dashing beneath him.  Problem
with these are that there's enough lag on the Rengeki and the TT for him to
stomp on you before you can block (assuming he blocks the attacks), and dashing
underneath is difficult if he has an assist that can keep you pinned (i.e.,
Doom AAA).  Once again, you can often find that Hyper En'ou is your savior,
since Sentinel has nothing he can do except avoid you or take block damage.
You are already in the corner, so he can't get behind you, and attacking you
will result in his getting juggled for more damage than he can possibly
inflict, giving you the edge again.

   If you have no meter, however, then it's back to dodging, jumping up and
trying to hit him (risky, especially since SonSon's HP will usually trade hits
with his j.HP), dashing, or using certain specials.  Your Wall Climb is not
suggested, since Sentinel will probably be in mid-stomp when you do it;
however, your ground crawl makes you a MUCH smaller target and moves you
forward, so unless he has an assist currently called out, you might as well
start crawlin' your way out.  Assists can help you, most notably AAAs that can
hit Sentinel or at least force him into blocking so you can escape...

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                         Unfly Mode                        ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   ...unfortunately, if Sentinel is hit by an assist that allows him to recover
in air (i.e., Unfly), he then gains an advantage to his stomping game.
When you are hit in air, but recover before hitting the ground, this is
referred to as "Unfly Mode", and is of great benefit to Sentinel (if you fall
to the ground without recovering, you are in "Deadweight" mode).  Normally when
Sentinel flies and then unflies, he is has 1 action to do until he touches the
ground again; this means that he can block, but that's it (he cannot go back
into fly mode, leaving him defenseless until he touches down).  In order to
remedy this, you'll usually see Sentinel simply go back into fly-mode and stomp
again.  The beauty of Unfly Mode (or travesty, however you look at it) is that
if Sentinel begins flying after it, he can then perform multiple actions after
leaving fly mode.  Thus, Sentinel can fly and stomp, unfly to block (if
necessary), stomp on you again and cancel BACK into Fly (which was previously
impossible), etc.  This makes his Stomping game MUCH more potent, which is why
it's important that you get out of the corner as soon as possible.

   Sure, I put a lot of stock in SonSon's ability to infinite Sentinel, but it
IS very effective and rather simple to do.  Truth be told, I'd say it's her
best edge over Sentinel, as her other tricks and tactics (i.e., TK Shien Bu,
ad-away xx LP/HP) can often be nullified by one or two of Sentinels' attacks.
The main thing about Sentinel, though, is that he IS slow (when not flying),
and you should be rushing the big fella for all he's worth.  If he has an
assist that is designed to keep you away (i.e., Capcom, Cyclops, Psylocke, or
some other quick-acting AAA), then you have to learn to avoid being hit by the
assist...but other than that, Sentinel is often too slow to keep up with
opponents rushing him.  SonSon's j.HP is high-enough in priority and quick
enough to stop him from booting you, and it trades with his j.HP - meaning you
can jump at him with relative safety.  SonSon can even guardbreak the fool by
sj.HP, immediately airdashing, then hitting him again (usually with a Seiten
Rengeki xx Tenchi Tsuukan).

So, to recap:
  ~Sentinel is great when it comes to countering attacks on the ground and
   keeping out of range for stopping him.  He'll try to keep you pinned,
   so don't let that happen!
  ~If you can keep Sentinel grounded and unable to fly around and attack you,
   he'll be forced to stick to basics revolving around the MP mouthbeam.  These
   are your opportunity to rush him!
  ~c.HP xx Drones w/assists can be difficult to avoid, depending on the assist.
   Learn when and where you should Superjump.
  ~Learn that infinite [j.LP, LK, LK, HP, HK]!.  It's quite useful and highly
  ~Rush the blasted fool until he makes a mistake that costs 'em.  He has
   trouble keeping faster characters off of him, since they can lay in enough
   hits to nullify his super armor before he can hit them.
  ~Your Toward + HP is a quick 1/2-screen attack that can be used to push him
   away if he whiffs a LP, LK, or HK; good for keepaway.
  ~Crawl, jump, bite, claw, and fight your way out of stomping attacks,
   especially when you're stuck in the corner.  If need be, Tenchi Tsuukan and
   immediately DHC into a safer Super (i.e., Hailstorm).
  ~GC your way out of HSF traps and airdash your way into an infinite.
  ~Beware of Unfly Mode (which can be caused by a connected Seiten Rengeki);
   it gives Sentinel quite the edge.

   Sentinel can be a pain, or he can be a breeze.  If neither of you have any
assists, then Sentinel will have trouble covering his c.HP traps, and you can
rush him with a little more safety to your credit.  However, it only takes 1 or
two j.HKs to lead into something you don't want to have happen.  If you're in
the corner, you might as well consider SonSon dead if he lands a launcher...but
you shouldn't be letting that happen, now should you?  Heck, if you're in the
corner, Sentinel is probably just going to stomp on you anyways.

     ##########     ________________________===========________________________
    #############                           C   - Cable
  ####        ####  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯===========¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
####          ###
####               "C is for Cable, that's good enough for me."
####                     'Prelude to a Beat-down', ~Random Scrub at the Arcade
####          ###
  ####        ####  Ok, folks, let's talk about Cable, one of the more feared
   ##############   characters in the game.  Beginners to the game know that he
      #########     can be annoying thanks to his s.HP x 4, but more skilled
                    players only know Cable for 4 little letters: "AHVB".  The
"Aerial Hyper Viper Beam" has almost no start-up (meaning it's instant death),
and - if close enough to the ground - Cable can immediately superjump and
perform another, initiating the move while barely off of the ground and
connecting with another one.  This allows him to combo the move into itself,
completely decimating you if he has enough meter.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                  Aerial Hyper Viper Beam                  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   It's very simple - if he has a bar of meter, and you make a mistake, he gets
a free combo.  It doesn't matter if you are in close or far away, as long as
Cable can get onto a horizontal plane with you in the next millisecond, you're
dead.  If you're grounded and you make a mistake or allow him to combo you on
the ground, then you can kiss 1/3 of your life goodbye.  If he has more than 1
bar of meter, he can continue to kill you.  3 or more bars is usually enough to
destroy anyone (not counting Sentinel, Juggernaut, Colossus, and other high-
stamina characters; they take 4).

   ...but once you remove Cable's meter, he's not too bad.  Granted, he's not
completely declawed without meter (he can still bite), but it's your best
opportunity to try and catch up to him and make sure he doesn't get any more
meter.  Let's discuss Cable's usual tactics, then cover some of his assist-
based strategies.  After all, Cable with no assists can be quite easy to
topple...you just have to know what not to do before you start doing it.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                     Cable With Meter                      ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   First off, I cannot stress the fact enough that Cable with meter is VERY
dangerous.  You have to make sure that whatever you are doing, it is
unpunishable.  If you call out an assist, he can AHVB you on reaction and catch
your assist as well.  Heck, even if you block it, he can take out the assist as
you are forced to do nothing but block (you can't counter since the assist is
onscreen, leaving you with practically nothing you can do to react).  Thus, the
absolute importance of facing a Cable with meter is that you do not giving him
any opportunities.  Easier said than done, I heartily assure you.

   In SonSon's case, this rules out a LOT of her abilities, since Cable can
tear right through most anything she can do, and that's not taking into
consideration the AHVB.  Any one of her supers thrown out randomly will end up
with her taking a lot of damage (unless properly used), even if they are
blocked or whiffed.  There are very, very few instances where she can use her
supers without fear of retaliation (assuming Cable has meter), so it's best to
just avoid the random super.  Yeah, I know, it's usually best to avoid the
random super anyways, but against Cable the danger is even greater.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                         Specials?                         ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   SonSon can't use supers, so what of specials?  She can't use her Shien-bu,
since Cable can just jump up and AHVB her right through the monkeys.  Even if
the monkeys whiff, there's too much lag to effectively get the attack off.
There's also too much start-up, allowing Cable to shoot her as soon as she
puckers up and blows.  Fuusetuzan is also a waste of time, as she is completely
defenseless during the move...heck, even if Cable takes the hit, he'll be
knocked backwards and STILL has enough time to hit you before you can stop the
attack and block.  The only time this move can be used safely is at the end of
an Air Combo, and that is the ONLY time you should use it.  The Seiten Rengeki
is a little more hit-and-miss, as you have more times when you can use it
despite the fact that you're quite open if it done out of the blue (or Cable is
grounded and able to block it).  If Cable jumps/superjumps and you catch him
from beneath, then you are generally safe even if he blocks it; however, the
same does not hold true for the Tenchi Tsuukan, which - if blocked - has lag
enough for Cable to capitalize on.

   Let's look at your other special moves - Air Dash, Kingin no Hisago, Wall
Climb, and Ground Crawl.  Aside from the Kingin no Hisago, which has too much
lag when blocked (and thus can get you killed), each one of these has fairly
useful applications.  The Air Dash can be use to fake Cable into wasting a bar
of meter - jump, airdash towards 'em, and immediately hop off and block.  If
the Cable player is "twitchy" (meaning they're waiting for you to do something
stupid to pounce on), then they'll waste a bar of meter when you block the
attack.  It's the concept of having something flying at you like that, that
will sometimes fake them into think it's actually you.  The Wall Climb can
quickly be cancelled out of, allowing you to block, so you can also fake Cable
this way as well.  If he superjumps, you can Wall Climb to throw off his
timing, or simply to end up beneath him and ill-preparred for a Tenchi Tsuukan
from beneath.  The Ground Crawl can be used to get in close to Cable, since she
can move a decent distance (1/3 a screen) with it and is partially
invulnerable.  If Cable is busy AHVBing your assist, but he's high enough that
you have a little room to move beneath it, use the Ground Crawl to move in
closer.  If you're lucky, you can get close enough to attack him, forcing him
to stop his assault on your assist (much like Magneto's c.HK slide to duck
underneath it).

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                  Runaway, Cable, Runaway                  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Cable can't just sit around and wait for you to make that mistake, however,
and I'm sure you're not going to let him build the meter necessary.  Thus, he
has a few alternating strategies that allow him to build meter and keep you out
of his face.  These usually involve jumping backwards while firing his HP gun,
then following this with either a grenade or a Viper Beam.  Since SonSon isn't
the most maneuverable monkey in the world, he can do a fairly good job of
keeping you at bay with this tactic alone.  Of course, it isn't foolproof,
leaving you room to dash in underneath the HP blast and block the following
move, thus getting you closer to the gun-wielding mutant.  Cable should always
be paired with a good AAA assist, such as CapCom, SonSon (!), or other quick-
starting assists, which can prevent you from getting TOO close.  He can fire
his gun while calling the assist, then finish the set to cover his assist
(Viper Beams and grenades are the bane of my existence, really), all the while
keeping you away.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                 Cable Unassisted - Ground                 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Let's forget he has an assist for a second, since assists tend to completely
rework the tiers.  After all, Cable with no assists actually LOSES to a fair
portion of the characters in the game...it's when he has a decent AAA that he
is able to cover up his own glaring flaws and become a God-like character.
Cable, without assists, has trouble with people that can get inside of his
game.  That is to say, for all that he jumps and fires that gun, he has trouble
keeping you off of his back once you get close to him.  If he fires the gun
while on the ground, you can jump and airdash straight at him.  Sure, he can
try to stop you by throwing out a Psimitar, but you can stop and block this (as
you should).  If he tries anything else, then he's asking to be punished, since
you'll glide right over it and have a perfect opportunity to beat on 'em.

   Your common new player thinks that you can just stand and throw 4 HP shots,
or HP x4 xx HP Viper Beam.  Neither of these are a good idea, as they each have
enough lag on them to be reciprocated upon (wavedash and Towards + HP xx Seiten
Rengeki xx Tenchi Tsuukan in SonSon's case, among other things).  In general, a
grounded Cable is going to try and leave himself open as little as possible;
this will rely more on mind-games than anything.  He might fire his gun once or
twice, then immediately do it again to catch you while you dash in.  He can
also make the attempt at firing repeatedly and then throwing a grenade; the
moment you see him go for the grenade, dash in and attack.  He could fire, then
throw a Psimitar out to recover quickly (and leave him with the ability to AHVB
you).  Heck, I've seen players use his Command Grab (which is actually fairly
quick) to cancel out of the HP animation, leaving themselves safe.  You should
only be looking for the safe options, since Cable has plenty of ways to mix up
his unsafe- and safe-strategies.  He certainly doesn't want to throw out random
grenades or crackdowns, as either of these will see him punished severely.  In
fact, unless he has an assist covering him, he shouldn't be using the
Crackdown, period!

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                   Cable Unassisted - Air                  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   If Cable Superjumps, he (once again) has a few options at his disposal,
although they are less varied and a little more limited in style.  He usually
fires his gun and cancels that into a LK Grenade (or HK depending on your
position), trying to pin you down.  This is all fine and good, if you don't
move at all.  The bottom line: when Cable superjumps, dash underneath him.
Heck, if you have a bar of meter, wait until you see him throw that grenade,
and then let him have a Tenchi Tsuukan.  If you have no meter, then you can
either wait for him to drop again (which usually has him firing his gun again,
to prevent you from jumping up in front of him).  If Cable is high-enough up in
his jump, he can even block the Tsuukan and you'll (usually) be safe from
retaliation.  If you want to try and hurt 'em even more, you can jump up and
perform a Seiten Rengeki, which (even if blocked) should leave you safe from
countering as well.  Or, if you want a little more control over the flow of the
match, you can move forward to avoid the grenade and throw out a LP Shienbu,
creating a pressure game along the ground that can allow you to get back in
Cable's face.  If he tries to jump over it, then he's no longer running and is
coming to you, thus making your job that much easier.

   Other options Cable has while in the air include jumping HP xx Viper Beams,
which slow his decent and allow him to effectively control the entire
horizontal space in front of him.  This means that your best bet is to attack
from beneath...however, you have to be careful when you attack, as Cable might
just try to switch it up and go for a j.HK instead.  This think has enough
priority to stuff almost anything you have, so only jump up after him once you
see him firing his gun, throwing a grenade, or Viper Beaming up there.  Only
then should you go after him...and if he's in the middle of a j.HK, I hope you
were planning on doing a Seiten Rengeki or Tenchi Tsuukan.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                       Assisted Cable                      ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   ...but what do you do if Cable has a good AAA backing him?  This is where
things get frustrating for you, since Cable is no longer the easy rushing
target he was before.  You'll have to find a way to bait the assist (this is
where those fake air-dashes can help, as well as ground crawls), then rush him
while the assist is missing.  If you're gutsy, you can bait the assist, attack
the assist for a few quick hits (via an aerial rave), then resume blocking when
Cable jumps up after you.  Keep this up and Cable will lose either his own life
or that of his assists, both of which are (obviously) costly to him.  Let's
talk about the more common assists that Cable uses, either to stop your rushing
or to generally keep you at bay.
   ~Any AAA that comes out quickly and has enough Horizontal range to stop you
    from rushing (CapCom/Psylocke/Ken/Cammy/SonSon/Cyclops/Morrigan/Jin)
   ~Sentinel Projectile, other "Ghetto" AAAs (i.e., Felicia Ground)
   ~Blackheart/Iron Man AAA (Assisted used to keep them away instead of beating
    them back)
   ~Projectiles that cover him during the lag of his HP x4 (such as Iron
    Man/Magneto/Spiral/Storm/SonSon, or Sentinel Ground)
   ~Doom AAA (gives him a little pressure and chipping, plus it acts as a brief
    set-up for the AHVB)

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                Get that Schmuck Offscreen!                ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Above all, I think the most important tactic you can employ against Cable is
to land 1 clean hit and immediately perform a snapback (SonSon's Snapback has
great range and speed, ideal for this).  I suggest bringing in that pesky AAA,
so Cable will lose his necessary backup and instead be left facing your
onslaught.  In a lot of cases, this is going to be an AAA character whom might
not rank as highly as SonSon, so you should be ok.  In the case of opponents
like Psylocke, Cammy, or Cyclops, you might have more problems.  Might.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                    (Un)assisted SonSon                    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Since Cable isn't one who is likely to rush you, you won't have to worry
about calling out assists on him.  In fact, this is usually a bad idea, unless
you are immediately superjumping to prevent Cable from attacking the assist (if
he does, then you airdash behind him and take off 1/3 of his life for such a
mistake).  Thus, you have to be very, very careful about which assist you use
and when.  There are certain teams (like Spiral/Sentinel or Strider/Doom) that
do not have to worry as much about their assist, since their attack plan also
includes protecting that assist.  SonSon is not very well equipped to handle
such a task, so you're going to be facing Cable mano-a-mano for the most part.
If he superjumps, then you can use certain assists to your advantage (such as
Blackheart's AAA), preventing Cable from effectively attacking while leaving
the assist safe.

   In general, assists aren't going to help you much here.  Cable, Sentinel,
and Storm are the top 3 characters in the game for (in my opinion) 2 main
reasons - their ability to completely turn the tide of a match singlehandedly,
and their ability to easily and effectively destroy assists with minimal
effort.  Storm has her hailstorms, Sentinel has his HSF juggles, and Cable has
the AHVB.  Do be careful with those assists, since they could very well mean
the difference between survival and loss.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                      Cable...rushing?                     ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Cable CAN rush you, sort of...if he can land 1 c.LK, he can continue the
combo (c.LK, s.HK) and superjump cancel into the AHVB...and again, and again,
killing you, your assist, or whoever he hit.  In other words, if Cable has the
meter, 1 landed c.LK can end up costing you more guaranteed life than 1 landed
c.LK from Sentinel, Storm, Magneto, Spiral, Blackheart, Cyclops... the only
other person in the game with that kind of sheer damage potential from 1 landed
hit is Iron Man, and he lacks the ability to make it to the Top Tier because he
has trouble getting inside other peoples' defenses and he can't handle runaway.

   ...but this is about Cable, not Iron Man! Thankfully, Cable's rushing
skills are relegated to running, jumping, and wavedashing...which means his
mobility is very limited, especially given his slightly larger-than-average
size.  You should always be aware of Cable's ability to do this, and therefore
be ready to block the big lug.  Learn to block high when he's jumping - if you
don't, then you could very well end up dying from it.  See, Cable's jumping HK
has more priority than...well, a ton of attacks, more than any of SonSon's
normal moves.  Because of this, you are going to have to block his attack or
try to counter with a Seiten Rengeki or Kingin no Hisago.  I wouldn't recommend
either of these, though, since - if you blow the timing or it turns out he
ISN'T kicking you - Cable can block the attacks and retaliate rather handily.

   The surest way to make sure Cable doesn't do something stupid like start a
combo xx AHVB on your assist is by superjumping away and dashing over his head.
Only in specific situations would the Cable player willingly continue to attack
the assist in this fashion, since he is essentially opening himself up to a
world of hurt when SonSon lands.  Cable can DHC into another Super to protect
himself (i.e., Hyper Lightning, Hailstorm, HSF, etc), which is why it's
important to keep in mind what options he has before you start exploring your

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                 King of the Guard Breaks                  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   As unfortunate as it is, Cable is also quite frustrating when it comes to
guard breaking.  Since he has a full-screen, near-immediate jumping attack (his
jumping HP gun), it is very easy for him to jump, fire, and - if he catches you
blocking - immediately AHVB and take you out.  You become even more aware of
this problem when Cable beats your first character or snapbacks them out -- as
your next character comes in, he can shoot you rather easily.  If you block it,
then he can jump and fire, then AHVB you before you touch the ground.  Heck,
I've seen Cable players that manage to time 2 jumping HP shots, thus
effectively catching you even if you take the shot (he recovers quick enough to
get you before you can block), or if you pushblock (thus throwing off his
timing slightly).  My suggestion is to simply take the shot and hope that he
blows the timing, since pushblocking seems to work less often as a means of
avoiding the AHVB.

   What happens with Cable has no meter and wants to Guard Break you?  It's
usually the same thing, only he'll use an assist and j.HP Viper Beam to inflict
the damage.  Hey, it's not as much, so you'll know what to look for.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                    Cable without Meter                    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Cable without any meter means he can't use the AHVB until he builds a stock
or two.  This means that he's going to be running away from you, hoping to use
grenades, HP shots, and LP Viper Beams to keep you at bay until he can build
that ever-so-precious meter he needs.  This is a very bad time for Cable, since
he is severly crippled in terms of offensive capabilities; however, his runaway
is just as potent as it ever was (if it can be considered potent, what with how
many holes there are in it).  This is your chance to rush him and inflict as
much damage as you can before he gets the ability to retaliate effectively.  As
I stated before, Cable will probably do little but jump away and fire his gun,
then throw a grenade or use a LP Viper Beam.  The trick to avoiding things like
this is that, after each repetition, to make your move - after the grenade (or
jumping LP Viper Beam), dash under his attack(s) and try to attack 'em.

   Of course, Cable should (and very possibly will) have an assist to give him
some protection while you're rushing him.  This is where things get a little
sticker, as that assist is generally going to remove your ability to
effectively rush Cable during those laggy-points.  You're going to have to try
and give yourself some room, or simply do something that throws off his timing
of the attacks and the assist-calling.  You don't want to be doing things that
could allow your or your assist to become cannon fodder, so be ready to move!
Granted, you have less to worry about if Cable has no meter, but he's still a
danger.  His dangerousness is seriously toned down, but he's still dangerous.
The thing is, the safest thing a meter-less Cable can do is build meter by
firing his gun and using his assists to back him.  Remove the assists and you
remove most of the problem.

   And how would you go about removing the assist?  Simple - launch them and
perform a quick combo, or Towards + HP xx HP Seiten Rengeki xx Tenchi Tsuukan,
DHCed into a safer Super (Hailstorm, HSF, Hyper Lightning, etc).  These will
allow for quite a bit of damage to the assist without SonSon being too open to
retalation, and (after a scant 2-3 times) will make Cable very hesistant about
calling that assist out any more.

So, to recap:
  ~Cable has the ultimate Horizontal punishment, the AHVB.  It's fast enough to
   catch you in the middle of most anything you have, so play very carefully
   when Cable has meter.
  ~Cable is vulnerable to rushing, since he has the inability to quickly halt
   your advances or simply run away.
  ~Cable on the ground = asking for punishment.  s.HP x4 = REALLY asking for
   punishment, unless he cancels into a Psimitar or grenade.  Regardless, dash
   in as soon as you see him moving (but don't hesistate to block if you see
   him try to AHVB following the Psimitar).
  ~Cable likes to jump away and fire his gun, then alternate between grenades
   and viper beams.  Rush underneath either of these and make sure he can't
   keep you away.
  ~Cable can combo into the AHVB, meaning 1 c.LK can possibly be the end of
   your character(s).  Learn to block those slower characters, please...if you
   cannot, then how do you hope to deal with Storm, Magneto, or any fast
   character that can quickly hit you with an over-head attack?
  ~A Hyper Viper Beam on the ground has tons of lag, practically begging you to
   smack him after the attack.  Likewise, a DHC'ed Time Flip has a bit of
   start-up to it, so beat on 'em before the Flip starts.
  ~Cable has a weakness for rushing; however, a good AAA assist (i.e., CapCom,
   Cyclops, Psylocke, SonSon, etc) can easily rectify this, and in some cases
   give him an AHVB opportunity.  Remember the fact that he has this assist and
   try to bait the assist, then use the opportunity to either attack Cable or
   the assist.
  ~Snapping Cable is out a beautiful, beautiful thing, especially if you're
   bringing in an assist character that SonSon can handle on her own.  If you
   feel the need to, screw comboing him and go for the Snapback instead.
  ~Cable is the near-undisputed king of Guard Breaks...but only if you let him.
   Take the j.HP when your next character comes in, and hope that you are able
   to block in time before his AHVB connects.

   So there you have it - jumping Cable gives you the opportunity to dash in, a
standing Cable is fodder for a jumping airdash (and if you have to block it,
big deal - he has to stop shooting some time), and a superjumping Cable is
asking for punishment.  You know what NOT to do to Cable in the way of specials
and supers, so rush that boy down and make sure he loses his edge in a hurry.
Assists should be well protected or not used at all (usually the latter), and
know when (and when NOT) to attack Cable's own assists.

##############      ______________________=============_______________________
################                          D   - Magneto
####        #####   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯=============¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
####         #####
####          ####  Hoo boy, here we have a fun target.  I don't care what
####          ####  anyone says about Iron Man...I say Magneto is the infinite
####          ####  king of this game.  The guy is fast enough to turn 2 kicks
####          ####  into an infinite (actually, he has a few different
####         ####   infinites revolving around 2 different kicks at 2
################    different times and places), and can set up a variety of
##############      infinites off of a dozen situations...provided the Magneto
                     player is worth their salt.  Thing is, these infinites
don't do that much damage, so the Mags player is going to have to pull a few
resets or simply do a LOT of infinites to make it count.  In my experience,
half the Magneto players have a general idea of what to do, but they can't
quite pull it off, while 2/5 of Magneto players know what to do, but also
realize that you can probably break out of it or avoid it and thus stick to
more basic stuff.  They're a danger, but not as dangerous as they  could be.
The remaining 1/10 of Magneto players know what to do, what to do if that
fails, and they don't blow their combos.  If they whiff an attack, it's 'cause
they want the attack to miss (i.e., resetting the combo).

   ...but I suppose I'm getting ahead of myself.  The reason people play as
Magneto is because he's fast, he's mean, he has some fairly flashy combos, tons
of resets, a bunch of infinites, and he can inflict moderate amounts of damage
starting with one good, clean hit.  This man can be an absolute pain if you
don't know what to look for and what to do against 'em.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                        Odd Man Out                        ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Frankly, out of the 4 "God Tier" players, Magneto is usually the only that
baffles me the most.  Storm, Cable, and Sentinel can easily ream assists
without getting themselves into a position where they can easily be hurt
(Hailstorm, AHVB, and HSF respectively).  They each have projectiles, the
ability to run away or rush (moderately in Cable's case, but probably more
costly if he connects), and are all good at zoning their opponents.

Magneto...well...the best he can do is actually directly attacking the assist,
or launching them and performing a Shockwave or Tempest.  In either case, he's
opening himself up to retaliation simply by superjumping over him (and/or the
shockwave) and hitting him from behind.  Thus, you're much more likely to see
Magneto launch your assist, hit them with a HP, then airdash down and hit with
another HP, HK.  It's respectable damage, sure, but he's going to have to do it
quite a few times to kill the assist, which means you'll have to be making the
same mistake over and over.  Cable, Sentinel, and Storm won't have to attack
the assist as many times to kill them off, nor do they have to actually
directly attack the assist.

   The bottom line - if he keeps doing it, learn to stop leaving the assist
open the same way.  Heck, if he does it more than once, stop him in his tracks
by attacking him.  It shouldn't be TOO hard...I hope.  SonSon can dash
underneath and use a Seiten Rengeki xx Tenchi Tsuukan (or just the TT, if you
prefer) and hurt him...and one good DHC (i.e., Headcrush, Hailstorm, HSF, or
HVB) will be enough to make sure he doesn't make the same mistake twice.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                   Master of Mano-a-Mano                   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Magneto may have the ability to take out just about anyone in a one-on-one
perspective, but when you throw assists into they fray (and the ability to hurt
the assist), he seems to falter.  Not THAT much, keep in mind - he's still on
the "God Tier" for a reason - but it's not as easy for him as it is for others.
He gains a more potent offensive structure, but he can lose to teams that trap
and/or keep him away, thanks to those assists.  Sentinel/CapCom, Cable/Cyclops,
and Strider/Doom can be quite a mess for him to wade through.  SonSon has
problems when facing him, since he has the speed to stay on top of here and the
faster priority moves to keep her from doing too much.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                     Speed is the Key                      ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Now, the #1 thing you have to be aware of with Magneto is that he is fast.
VERY fast.  Look at how fast he moves across the screen with just 1 dash.  No
one else can even compare with that kind of speed, which means he can easily
dash under your attacks or capitalize on simple mistakes just 'cause he's fast
enough.  His airdash is extremely fast, too, giving him the ability to rush you
and suddenly superjump up, airdashing down to the other side of your and
pelting you with an attack from behind before you can react.  This is the exact
reason people find Magneto to be so frustrating to learn (and even moreso to
play against when the Mags user is good) - the timing on his abilities are
extremely crucial to the point where you're going to mess up a lot more than
you are going to succeed.

   Let's look at Magneto in progressive stages, starting with your more basic
ones (and how to counter them) and moving up in the ladder of skill.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                       Basic Magneto                       ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Most people first pick up Magneto either because they want to learn his
infinites, they see how damaging his Hyper Grav xx Tempest combos are, or they
simply like the character and want to use 'em.  Most likely, the can't
appreciate Mags for what he can truly be - a king of mix-ups and mind games,
all devised to make you miss a block and eat another combo.

   Anywho, your basic Magneto will know that they can simply perform a c.LK,
c.HP (launch), aerial rave followed by a Hyper Grav xx Magnetic Tempest.  This
is a very potent combo...but you can mash out of the Hyper Grav and block the
tempest, leaving Magneto with a wasted bar of meter.  This is the first thing
you need to do against Magneto players - learn to mash out of that Hyper Grav
as soon as you see it.  The trick is to begin mashing as soon as you hear Mags
say "Hyper", then hold away from him and hope for the best.  I'll not lie, it's
not the easiest thing to consistently do, but it's VERY important that you
learn to do so.  Once you can mash out of a Hyper Tempest (as it is referred
to), you've ruled out one of Magneto's many, many options.

   Once you take that away from you more basic Magneto players, then they don't
have anything left except your basic combos and rushing.  Learn to block high
when he's jumping, low when he's not, and you should be fine.  This can get a
little more difficult when Magneto figures out how to tri-jump.  Tri-jumping is
the art of superjumping up, then immediately airdashing down-towards.  For
characters that can do this, it looks like they are jumping in a triangular
fashion.  Since you can be hit with jumping attacks when blocking low, this
means that Magneto - as fast as he is - can quickly triangle jump and connect
with a j.LK, j.LK while you're still crouchblocking.  Therefore, point #2 to
remember with Magneto: learn to when and how to block.  This can be difficult
at times, especially when Magneto has an assist to back him up, since he can
cross you up quickly and force you to block in a different direction as well as
a different height.

   ...this isn't TOO much of a problem, though, as your basic Magneto will
probably blow the triangle jump and instead Superjump and throw out a HP
diagonal beam.  Until they can consistently airdash down-towards without
messing up the motion, then they will still remain basic Magneto players.  The
higher levels of skill demand tight execution of this maneuver.

   SonSon's ability to stop Magneto's rushes are interesting enough, given the
fact that she should usually be avoiding Magneto instead of directly
confronting him.  For starters, her Wall Climb can really mess with Magneto's
rushes.  You run away from him, preventing him from accurately attacking you.
Since you can instantly drop out of the climb and block, you're generally safe
from anything Magneto has to offer; even better is when Mags whiffs an attack
of his own, in which then it's a free Wall Kick for you.  If he tries to jump
after you, drop and perform a Seiten Rengeki xx Tenchi Tsuukan (or just the TT
if he superjumps), or simply airdash away and follow that with a j.HP.
SonSon's j.HP beats any of Magneto's ground-based moves and only loses to
Magneto's j.HP (his highest-priority move) if Magneto is above her.  Drop on
his head with that stuff, and (if it connects) be sure to combo the dickens out
of 'em.

   Magneto's rushes can often fall prey to SonSon's toward + HP staff extend,
sending him across the screen.  Since it cannot be punished by Mags if he takes
the hit OR blocks it, you are sometimes safe to even throw out a Shien Bu and
use it to pressure him.  He'll try to jump over 'em, in which then you can
either attack him or go back to dancing on the walls.  Magneto's jump-ins can
be foiled by the Kingin no Hisago, sucking him in even if he's performing a
j.HP.  The problem in this tactic lies in the fact that Mags' is fast enough to
make it nigh-impossible to reflex the move on him, meaning you'll have to
anticipate his jumping and attacking.  If it works, then Magneto will feel like
a fool and you'll get some free damage, but if it fails...well, he'll block the
attack and MIGHT be able to retaliate, or he'll hit you and begin another
combo.  Watch out, Monkey Girl.

   Finally, Magnetos' HP throw encases you in Magnetic...uh...junk, preventing
you from moving, attacking, or defending.  Just like the Hyper Grav, it's
important that you learn to mash out of this as soon as it happens.  If mashes
successfully, you will bounce once (a very short bounce I might add), and on
the second bounce you'll break free.  This prevents Magneto from dashing in and
comboing you further.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                   Intermediate Magneto                    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Ok, so Mags has started to learn more about his own abilities, as well as
the fact that you're getting better at breaking out of Hyper Tempests and
avoiding his regular rushes.  Now things are going to get a little more

   The first way you'll be able to to tell if the Magneto player knows their
stuff is if they launch you and, instead of performing the normal LP, LK, LP,
LK combo, they hit you with a sj.HP (or HK), dash down after you, and perform a
LK, LK, before landing on the ground again.  For Mags, this is the beginning of
a million tricks and attacks of his, including unblockable super-setups and
infinites, not to mention the fact that it does more damage than your regular
Aerial Raves.  All a decent Magneto player needs is 1 of these set-ups to begin
controlling the match and owning your character, bit by bit.  Step 1 for the
intermediates is this - remember what I said about learning to block?  Yeah,
that becomes even more important when Magneto starts to pull resets on you.

   If Magneto performs "The Standard" setup (launch, sj.HP/HK, airdash/down-
towards, LK, LK, land), he has many options available to you.  Lesson 1 is to
learn what to avoid having happen to you when he tries to reset the combo on
you.  Resets, as I mentioned before, are intentional breaks in the combo that
cause you to blow a block and allow him to restart the combo, doing more damage
in 2 combos than he could have in 1 longer combo.  Magneto's most basic reset
is to land after 'The Standard', pause, then perform a c.LK, c.HP to relaunch.
In other words, be ready to block low again, and if you see him jump/superjump,
be ready to block in the appropriate direction.

   The next step in resets is for Mags to do The Standard, dash underneath you
(crouching just as he reaches the other side of you), and performing another
c.LK, c.HP to relaunch you.  If you see Magneto dashing, immediately block in
the other direction (low, you fool, low!).  Finally, Magneto can pause and
throw you, setting up for another combo or two (but I'll get to handling throws
in a minute).  Mags can also perform a variety of switch-ups meant to keep you
guessing, such as superjumping and hitting you with a LK, dashing down beneath
you and landing to hit you from the other side.  With utmost importance, you
MUST learn to watch Mags and block in the appropriate direction.  It would be
impossible for me to list all the possible resets and tricks he can use, so
I'll just say...watch out!

   Magneto is probably the most successful person in the game when it comes to
OTG combos.  (OTG means "Off The Ground", meaning that as your character hits
the ground, you are bounced up and rejuggled for more hits and such.)  He has 4
things of his own that can cause you to drop to the ground like this:
  ~his HK throw,
  ~his Magnetic Tempest super (the magnetic chunks),
  ~his c.HK, and
  ~'The Standard', but instead of LK, LK, he performs a LK, HP/HK.  This
actually initiates the flying screen, but since Magneto is so close, he can
OTG you easily.  Of the 4, the last one is the least of your worries -- by
hitting his opponent with more than 2 hits in the air and finishing with a
HP/HK, the game sends them flying (via the "flying screen", making them fall to
the ground).  If he performs The Standard and does this, then he can only
follow this with a c.LK, c.HK.  Thus, he's not going to get much damage out of
it, and you're going to be in fairly good shape (unless you were too weak to
take even that much).  The c.HK isn't much of a worry for intermediate Magneto
players, since they won't want to use an attack that effectively ends their

   ...but the first 2 can be nightmares, especially when you throw in assists
that also send you Deadweight to the ground.

   ("Deadweight", by the way, is the term used when you are hit with an attack
     that causes you to fall to the ground without the ability to recover in
     air, while "Unfly" is when you are still able to recover; Unfly is
     Sentinel's best friend, while Deadweight is Magneto's.  Be careful.)

Magneto is fast enough to catch you as you hit the ground with a c.LK, c.HK and
pop you back up for another attack.  He has a multitude of ways to follow this,
including Hyper Grav xx Launcher (combo) or even a s.HK xx Shockwave.  Your
concern is not that of how he follows the move as much as it is that you roll
as soon as you hit the ground, preventing him from OTGing you in the first
place.  Don't know how to roll?  Roll from AWAY to DOWN and press either a
punch or a kick, and you'll roll to safety.  You cannot be OTGed if you roll
(unless Magneto has his c.LK out right as you land on it, in which then you
cannot roll since he successfully juggled you).

   Magneto's at the intermediate level (and, to some extent, basic ones) tend
rely on Assists, most commonly Psylocke (AAA), Cyclops (AAA), Sentinel
(Projectile or Ground), Storm (Projectile), Iron Man (Projectile or AAA), T. 
Bonne (Projectile), and Spiral (Ground).  Generally ones that either pin you 
long enough for him to hit you, or ones that cause Deadweight damage.  Once 
they realize you're not going to fall for basic rushing, they have to resort to 
throwing in assists in conjunction with their attacks to make them connect as 
  ~~Iron Man's AAA gives Mags the ability to be rather aggressive while calling
    them out, trying to cross you up and make you miss a block that will send
    you to the ground or calling him out and using his ranged attack to catch
    you off guard and OTG you.  As long as SonSon hits Iron Man before his
    beams hit him, she's good to go.  Her towards + HP pole smash works well
    here, and can be cancelled into more damaging moves (i.e., Seiten Rengeki
    xx Tenchi Tsuukan, DHC'ed into something more painful and safe).
  ~~Cyclops sets you up for brief air combos, and covers a good portion of the
    horizontal ground area when doing so, while Storm, Sentinel (Ground) and
    Iron Man (Projectile) can set him up for more ground-based combos by
    hitting you with their projectile/ground assists and keeping you pinned.
  ~~Magneto/Sentinel is also effective when Sentinel is on Projectile, giving
    Magneto the ability to immediately launch you and tack on more damage to
    the assist's sizeable amount of pain.  Heck, Magneto can even be a mess if
    he picks Bonerine (Boneclaw Wolverine)'s sliding assist, giving him the
    ability to cross you up while calling out an assist that hits low.  Know
    your opponent AND what his assists can do, or else you're sunk.
  ~~Magneto with Tron Bonne's Projectile assist gives him some very, VERY
    painful resets and cross-ups.  If you blow the block, you'll not only lose
    1/5 - 1/3 of your life, but Magneto will be free to start up another combo
    on you.  If he opts for a Magnetic Tempest instead, you're as good as dead.
    Heck, if you've seen the Soo/Viscant matches (best of 7), watch how much 
    damage 1 regular combo w/Tron does to Cyclops.  50% done in, like, 5-6 hits 
    is so painful, it's almost unfair.
  ~~Spiral (Ground) is an interesting choice for Magneto, since she provides 
    tons of meter for Mags...but Mags tends to provide himself with plenty 
    anyways.  The 3rd member of the team (usually Storm) has to benefit Spiral,
    or else she simply won't be able to hit her potential...however, her use to
    benefit Magneto can be downright scary (go watch some videos of Soo's 
    Mags/Storm/Spiral to see what I'm talkin' about).  Spiral, blocked or hit,
    pins them down so that Soo can tag you high or low on either side of you, 
    essentially forcing you so that you cannot afford to blow a single block or 
    else you immediately eat a huge combo.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                       Mags/Psylocke                       ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Magneto with Psylocke's AAA assist get their own section, really, due to
their common use and general danger to you.  Magneto is fast, and so is her
assist, so she isn't out long enough to be in that much trouble if blocked;
likewise, Magneto is fast enough to keep hammering you and keep you from
hitting her, and has the necessary speed to start a combo should she connect.
Psylocke also gives him the ability to extend his combos or set them up
slightly differently, as well as make his Magnetic Tempest a combo attack
WITHOUT the escapable Hyper Grav.

   Using The Standard, Magneto can land, s.HK while calling out Psylocke,
cancel into the Tempest off of 1 hit of the HK, and Psylocke will act as a
buffer between the moves so that you'll combo directly into it.  (Since
Psylocke hits with Deadweight force, you can't recover and block it.  This
holds true for a few other assists as well, such as Ken's Expansion or Iron
Man's AAA.)  With Psylocke, Magneto can also make his resets even more
difficult by bringing in attacks from different positions.  Think about this -
since Magneto is resetting the combo (which you can only have 1 connected
Assist per combo), that means he can use Psylocke again if he resets the combo.
Once again, I can only stress that blocking correctly is the way to go, since
Psylocke doesn't hit low, and that rolling is very, very important.  Hope
Magneto misses the c.LK!

   SonSon, at this level of the game, is most likely against Magneto for one of
two reasons:
   1)  Your point character was snapped out and SonSon was snapped in.
   2)  You are down to your last character, whom happens to be SonSon.

   At any rate, you do NOT want SonSon playing against a Magneto of this
calibur (or higher), since Magneto has the skill level and ability to
effectively mess you up.  As long as you're blocking correctly, there's not
much Magneto can do except hope for a throw or a missed block.  From there,
you're back to messing him up with wall climbs and your s.HP or Towards + HP,
looking for a silly mistake that can be capitalized on by a Tenchi Tsuukan
(DHCed into a better character), or simply trying to land a clean hit and
snapping HIM out.  Your Seiten Rengeki may outprioritize any of his attacks,
aerial or not, but if he blocks it (or it whiffs) then Magneto has a free
combo, courtesy of your mistake.  At full screen, you are marginally safe to
use a Shien Bu, but use caution when doing so.  I suggest the Tiger-Knee Shien
Bu, followed by an airdash backwards cancelled into a HP.  It's fairly safe and
allows SonSon to throw out those projectiles and protect herself within
reasonable limits.  If you jump too high, he can cross underneath you; too low
and he can jump the monkeys and hit you with a j.HP.  However, Magneto can
easiliy superjump away and airdash over them, meaning your follow-up will have
to be swift.

   The Kingin no Hisago has to practically be a psychic move to be effective,
since Mags is fast enough to block the attack, then dash in and retaliate while
you are still in the lag-frames of the move.  Therefore, you'd have to do the
move just soon enough to catch Magneto as he's attacking, which is usually
before he has even attacked; thus, a decent Mags could stop himself from
attacking when he saw the move, then attack you.  Don't do it, man.

   In the way of Supers, you really want to avoid using any of them unless
you're DHCing or comboing into them.  It's very, very risky, but you can
perform SonSon's POW super as a ghetto Anti-Air move, stopping his jump-ins
with the super; however, this can also be very bad for SonSon, since - if
blocked - she is going to be in a world of hurt when Mags gets near her again.
The only assist I can think of that would aid you here would be Doom's AAA, and
even then Magneto can simply perform a Shockwave and get you both.  The Seiten
Rengeki has enough startup for Mags to dash in and hit you before the staff
drops, and the Hyper En'ou can be jumped over and (before you can turn around)
attacked from behind with a Magnetic Tempest.  Only if Magneto is unable to
effectively jump over you should you use the move, and even then it's risky -
you'd better block when the move ends, since Mags WILL be rushing you.

   Magnetos at this level are quite a pain to deal with, and you're going to
have to do all the damage you can and hope for the best.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                      Expert Magneto                       ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   These are the guys that you're not likely to face unless you're from
California or New York, since Magnetos of this calibur can only really be
created from prolongued exposure to high-level gameplay.  If the gameplay in
your area isn't that high, then the players don't have to work themselves to be
much better if what they are currently doing gets the job done well enough.
Since Magneto can often be effective enough at the intermediate level (and, in
some cases or areas of the country, even basic Magnetos can run the gamit quite
well), Experts are few and far between.

   What makes an expert Magneto, you might say?  First off, they know the
character.  I mean, KNOW the character...it's like watching someone use A-
Groove in Capcom vs. SNK 2, or a decent Yun player with Genei'Jin in SF3: Third
Strike:  they know what moves to use and when, how the other character will
respond, and know exactly how to adjust their tactics or which moves to switch
to in order to continue the combo or start up another set.  Sure, this holds
true for every character in every fighting game, but Mags in MvC2 seems to hold
some sort of twisted edge in terms of improvisational combos and tactics.
Within the myriad of linking combos and attacks that Mags utilizes, there lies
room for error and room for spontaneous changes without dropping the flow of
the attack; if the Magneto player isn't dropping these options, then you know
you're fighting someone that knows their Magneto.

   ...but maybe I get ahead of myself.  Magneto at this level will be using
infinites on you, to be sure, and some of these infinites are downright scary.
The standard is no longer your greatest fear, since it often ends up just being
a set-up for resets (which you should have learned a few by now).  The problem
with infinites is that Magneto can start up a combo and continue it
indefinitely, doing minute damage the entire time.  The problem with this
arises when you realize that he's setting you up in a rhythm, making you feel
every blow of his combo and experience the timing of it...so that when he
resets it, you are caught completely off-guard and he only needs 1 more combo -
the one he just started up - to kill you off.

   Magneto has dozens of infinites and even more ways of setting them up,
making everything from a simple air-combo to a c.HK sweep the catalyst for
something greater.  This is where the culmination of your efforts come into
play, as you'll have to learn to mash, block, and roll your way around whatever
Mags is doing and hopefully stop him before he can hit you again.  And Again.

   Since this isn't a Magneto FAQ, it would be a little ridiculous to tell you
how to do each of his infinites, or even what all of them are; instead, I will
list a few of his more common ones (that pertain to SonSon, since he has
infinites specific to larger characters), what some common set-ups are, and how
to hopefully avoid them.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯               Infinite #1 - the ROM Infinite              ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Created for the Japanese player "ROM" who busted this out, much to 
everyones' surprise...and then it was immediately ripped off by every wannabe 
Magneto player (much to no one's surprise).  Anywho, it's very basic - Magneto 
knocks you down towards the ground, then performs d.LK, d.LK to juggle you.  He 
then superjumps back up and performs another LK, LK, before airdashing back 
down again and hitting another d.LK, d.LK.  Repeat.  The beauty of this 
infinite is that, while it isn't THAT easy to set up, it can be done for quite 
a lengthy period of time, or until Magneto opts to try for a reset.  There are 
a good number of resets involved with this infinite, such as:
   ~Airdashing past/beneath you on the jump up, then hitting you from the other
   ~Dashing down and hitting you once, then pausing followed by a throw,
   ~Dashing underneath instead of jumping,
   ~Calling in an assist while dashing underneath, triangle-dashing back
   In general, the usual "make you blow a block so I can hit you again" sort of
thing, only now he has a tool to force your attention onto something else
instead of where and when the reset will come into play.

   The ROM infinite has a few practical ways of being put into play, thanks to
Magneto's speed and uncanny ability to guardbreak you right from the start.
Mags is fast enough to beat out most anyone with his c.LK, which means he can
start off with a combo; thus, he can do 'The Standard' and follow that up with
the ROM infinite.  If you jump and block, however, you're in just as much
trouble, as Mags can superjump LK, airdash down-towards, d.LK, d.LK, and it's
infinite time once again 'cause he guard-broke you.  Isn't he wonderful?

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯            Infinite #2:  The Deus Infinite                ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Granted, this infinite is extremely difficult to do on the likes of
Sentinel, but it IS possible for shorter characters, and it makes for a decent
tactic all by itself for rushing.  The Deus Infinite (named for Deus, who
successfully landed it on Duc Do's Sentinel in tournament play) simply has
Magneto superjumping with a HK, then immediately airdashing down-towards and
throwing out another HK.  sj.HK xx ad/df HK, sj.HK xx ad/df HK...good damage 
and VERY fast.

   This infinite is not something you are likely to see, per se -- you'll see
Magneto doing the movement for a variety of purposes, but usually not as the
infinite itself.  By doing a sj.HK, airdash/down-away HK, he can quickly build
meter and leave the ground for only a brief moment.  Likewise, he can rush you
with sj.HK, airdash down/down-toward/toward you with a HP or HK and make
himself very difficult to keep up with.  He can effectively close the gap
between the two characters while remaining fully volatile, which becomes
extremely helpful against characters that can't get away from him or don't have
the ability to fend rushing (i.e., Cable and Sentinel).

   Sure, it's not really going to be used as an infinite, but the properties
remain the same for the attack.  If you see him doing this, go ahead and use a
LP Seiten Rengeki (when he's above you, preferably).  It should be unpunishable 
in most instances, and if he's caught in the middle of a kick/punch when you're
using it, that's a free Tenchi Tsuukan (and possible DHC) for you.

   By the by, it IS possible to change-up this "infinite", performing j.HP
instead of j.HK, or using LK to touch the ground quicker.  On the likes of
Sentinel, you'll probably see Magneto do sj.HK xx ad/df, LK, HK over and over,
using the LK to give a little more time between HKs.  It's a little easier to
do (at least for me) than your standard infinite.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯             Infinite #3:  The Slide Infinite              ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   In my opinion, this is the hardest universal infinite that Magneto has, and
with good cause.  As you know, the game supports a very, very high level of
cancellability, not just allowing normals into normals, specials, and supers,
but giving a lot of lee-time on when you begin the cancel.  As such, that means
that moves you normally wouldn't be able to cancel - given the right timing -
can be cancelled into other attacks.  For characters like Magneto, whom are
fast enough to make this matter in a fight, that means he can turn his c.HK
into a devastating attack.

   Now, your intermediate Mags might learn about the ability to cancel off of a
c.HK, usually through an OTG xx Hyper Grav.  What they might not realize is
that the Hyper Grav will miss larger targets (unless cancelled into a Magnetic
Tempest, but you should be mashing out of those by now); plus, there are
several other options he has off of a successful c.HK.

   A more basic Magneto might superjump off of the c.HK, delivering a sj.HK,
then dash down after you and perform 'The Standard'.  (Granted, it has to be
faster, but it's possible.)  This can be changed, of course, by instead sj.
cancelling off of the c.HK and going right into the ROM Infinite.  However,
none of these are the slide infinite.  As you might have already guessed, the
slide infinite requires Magneto performing multiple c.HKs.  In order to do
that, he superjump cancels, then almost-instantly airdashes down-away.  Now, as
you've probably seen with Magneto (if you've been using him before), if you
airdash down to the ground, he'll actually hover a bit before touching down.
Due to this momentary hovering, Mags cannot actually land and hit his opponent
again with a slide...however, if Magneto perform a LP or LK, the animation is
much, much sorter than that of the hover.  Thus, Magneto can airdash down-away
and hit LP (or LK, which seems to be more commonly used), then land and
immediately perform a c.LK, c.HK.  The LK juggles them and the HK retrips
them, not acting as an OTG but instead hitting them before they reach the
ground again.  Think of it as a 2-button juggle, even though you're actually
pressing a bevy of buttons in the span of one second.

   What makes this infinite so bad?  Well, Magneto slides forward when he
performs a c.HK, meaning if you were to do something that ended up whiffing and
he were just out of range, but didn't want to walk right up and get himself
hit, he could c.HK trip them and immediately begin performing an infinite.  He
can then interweave other infinites, making you guess when the changeup is
going to take place and where he's going to try and reset you.  For example, if
one Magneto were to perform a Magnetic Tempest and the other Magneto
immediately SJ xx ad/df around him, he couldn't simply hit him 'cause he would
end up striking one of the magnetic chunks; however, a c.HK leaves him
perfecty safe AND opens the door to an infinite.

   Want even more frustration?  Magneto can connect with a c.HK, then
immediately superjump cancel, airdash down with a LK to tap you, then go right
into the infinite from there.  He doesn't need any deadweight damage or a HK
throw to start it, he can just trip you and start the infinite over and over.
Isn't this fun?  I didn't think so.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                         Throwdown                         ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Finally, one should mention Magneto's proficiency with throws, since they
are very, very handy in the right hands.  His HP throw can set up a bunch of
attacks, provided you don't mash out of it; thus, he has to try and hit you
before you bounce a 2nd time.  That's all fine and good, since he will usually
do nothing or throw out a HP Disruptor.  If he has enough meter, though, he can
Magnetic Tempest DHC into something that can hit you before you're safe, like a
HVB, HSF, Proton Cannon, Hailstorm, etc).  His HK throw, as already discussed,
is potent if you don't roll it...and sometimes, the Magneto player anticipates
your rolling and dashes backwards to catch you as a you stand up and
throw/combo you again.  Here, again, is where your reflexes and better
judgement will have to come into play, as there's not sure-thing against him
(he could hit low, triangle-jump to hit high, or throw you).

   These Magneto players stink to play against with SonSon, 'cause you're just
going to have to learn to watch everything and try to block whatever you can.
Magnetos of any caliber are good at staying in your face, so SonSon's best
option is actually to run away.  That's right, run -- sj.HP, airdash, keep away
from him, and do whatever you can to avoid that first hit. Find your safest
moves against him and abuse them, 'cause you're not going to want to try and
start countering whatever he does.  He has too much he can do, and it's too
easy to mix it up and force you into a bad position.  Heck, if SonSon were any
bigger, Mags would gain even MORE infinites and ways to set 'em up, so be
thankful it's not as bad as it could be!

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                How Good is YOUR Magneto?                  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Attention Potter, Soo, Wong,

   If you're fighting a Magneto that is proficient with at least 1 infinite,
then you can safely assume that they're going to know a couple of resets and
will try them on you.  No one I've seen sticks out any of his infinites for the
full 50+ hits, since they do rather paltry damage on your average character.
No, every Mags I've seen likes to get greedy, trying to reset you or do
something silly like Hyper Grav Magnetic Tempest (HGMT)'s.  As long as you're
good at rolling and mashing out of throws and Hyper Gravs, then you've removed
some very potent tools of his; he's going to have to get very good in order to
earn new tools to make up the difference.

   Anywho, your basic Magneto will do nothing but mindlessly rush and try to
hit you with c.LKs and a launcher.  Pushblock the launcher and harm him, or
simply wait for him to mess something up (which they always do) and launch xx
Seiten Rengeki xx Tenchi Tsuukan him somethin' fierce.  There might also be
random supers; feel free to retaliate to these however you feel most necessary
(Hyper En'ou and POW are both fun uses, although it's probably better to just
SJ over a shockwave instead of countering it).  The next logical step in
Magneto's repetoire is actually learning how to use the Air Dash effectively,
whether it's in a combo or used to triangle jump.  If they perform an aerial
combo with no dash OR a Hyper-Grav, then they're not too good; if they airdash
to extend the combo and end it with a HP/HK, they're getting better.

   Magneto players usually then learn to attempt the HGMT, usually in air
combos.  This is all fine and good, but you need to make sure they know you can
mash out of those immediately, and that they shouldn't waste their time.  This
means that Mags is going to have to learn other ways of doing those (i.e., with
assists) or he'll be forced to resort to his regular combos to do damage.  This
is when Mags players usually go back to using the air-dash, either to try and
reset you or to get 'The Standard' down.  Learn the resets, and hope you don't
get caught in 'The Standard'.

   As Magneto players progress, they learn the usefulness of assists - assists
like Sentinel and T. Bonne Projectile and for damaging combos, and Psylocke,
Iron Man, and Cyclops AAA for combo set-ups and HGMTs.  These can either be
handled by taking out the assist, snapping out Mags, or simply blocking the
assist and hoping Mags doesn't protect them too well (and thus hurting them
even more).  Psylocke and IM are very troubling when Mags realizes he can do
'The Standard', s.HK w/assist call xx Magnetic Tempest, and have it connect.
No Hyper Gravs, no mashing, just damage (and an OTG if you're not paying
attention).  Remember - SonSon can't be tripped or knocked down when in Hyper
En'ou form, so punish the assist if you so choose...the best Magneto can do is
a Magnetic Tempest, which will be a fair-enough trade considering what you'll
end up doing to the assist.

   Once you see some careful assist-uses (or simply the act of picking
Psylocke/Cyclops AAA), you can reasonably assume that your opponent knows how
to use them.  They both require being in range, so unless you have an assist
that can stop Psylocke or Cyclops, you'd best simply try to avoid Magneto's
assist uses and retort on every mistake made.  If your opponent builds meter
via the Deus Infinite, or they display the signs of knowing how to do any of
his infinites (and actually do any of 'em, come to think of it), then you know
you're facing a Magneto that's worth their salt.  Granted, it's possible to
play Magneto players that are only skillful with Magneto, yet don't know how to
effectively employ these strategies in fights...but if they can do 'em, that's
just as dangerous as a Cable with a bar of meter.  They can turn a single
mistake into something fiercely punishing, which is why you have to learn to

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                 Guard-Breaks and Dodges                   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Magneto may not have the consistent guard-breaks that Cable, Iron Man, and
Sentinel do, but he can mix things up a-plenty to make sure you die as soon as
you touch the ground.  Your most common guard-break is having Mags superjump
HK, then airdash down-towards with a variety of LK's, HP's, or HKs to continue
pummelling you.  Once he has you in the corner, you can expect a lot of quick
triangle jumping to try and keep you pressed in the corner while he bats you
left and right...and if he goes for a HK throw, you could very well be in for
the end of your character.  It is also common for Mags to dash underneath you
so that you appear on the opposite side of him upon entering, blindsiding you.
Keep him away from you and do what you can to kill the pest before he can get
to you first.

   Thankfully, Magneto lacks the ability to effectively chip, and his
projectiles aren't the greatest in the world, so if you're good enough at
blocking whatever the fool has to offer, then you SHOULD be ok.  Should be.
However, that's really, REALLY not likely, so get someone better in there and
try not to mess up when doing so.  I'd give a recap, but I get the feeling that
all it would amount to is "Learn to block", "avoid getting thrown", and "keep
Mags away from you".  Oddly enough, your best option for dealing with Magneto
is running away from him and snapping him out in favor of an opponent SonSon
could hope to better fight.

================================ MvC2 - SonSon ================================
       -----------------------III   - The Top Tier------------------------
================================ MvC2 - SonSon ================================

Presented alphabetical order, the God Tier presents 4 characters that - while
each great in their own ways - cannot quite seem to surpass those top 4
characters.  Yes, some characters might beat other in one-on-one matches, but
if you throw assists into the fray (which this game seems to be all about), the
entire thing is thrown askew.  The God Tier, with assists, seem to be
insurmountable...however, don't count out the Top Tier characters!  In the
right hands, they can be just as deadly as those godly ones listed above (if
not moreso in some cases).  There are other characters that arguably deserve to
be in the Top Tier, such as Blackheart, Iron Man, Dhalsim, Psylocke, War
Machine, Cammy, SonSon, Vega...however, this includes the use of assists as
well as without, which can often make-or-break these characters.  They all have
something that sets them apart from most everyone else, allowing them to
surpass their fellow roster, and that's what I'm here to discuss now.

By the by, you might be wondering why I no longer list Blackheart, Iron Man, or
Dhalsim in the Top Tier category; this is because they really aren't Top Tier
characters anymore.  Dhalsim still takes hits like a girl, and he really
doesn't gain enough from Guard Cancelling to become that much more effective
than he already was.  At least he doesn't lose anything...thus, he stays right
where he is in the listing, firmly planted as the best CapCom character out
there (aside from Strider, whom I think he beats).

Iron Man - whom I personally would consider to be a solid Top-Tier character -
just isn't widely recognized (outside of Japan) as being that great a
character.  He has above-average rushing and running abilities, decent air
combos, somewhat decent chipping and trapping (sans his Proton Cannon), and his
infinite can lead to the death of all 3 of your characters.  However, he just
doesn't get the cred he deserves.  Oh well.

Back in the day, Blackheart had a fierce keepaway-game, good chipping, and an
excellent AAA for trapping...however, since then people have figured out tons
of ways around his demons and his chipping has mostly been removed thanks to
Guard Cancelling.  This leaves...uh...his AAA, which - while good - is no basis
for making a character a Top-Tier player.  If I were to go by that rationale
alone, then T. Bonne, CapCom, Cammy, Ken, and a host of others would be Top
Tier as well.  No dice, folks.  Deal with it.

  ################  _______________________=============_______________________
  ################                         E   - Cyclops
  ###               ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯=============¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ##############    There is something to be said for characters that are very,
  ##############    very safe to play as.  Cyclops is arguably the safest guy
  ###               in the game, due to his high-priority (and FAST) normals,
  ###               fast (and safe) projectiles that can hit anywhere on the
  ###               playfield, easy meter-building, good chipping, high damage,
  ################  and a great assist.  If you want a good beginner character,
  ################  I wouldn't think of going any further than Cyclops - he is
                    great for learning the basics of the game, and has an all-
encompassing game that is easily workable on the higher levels of gameplay.
This, of course, is very, very bad if you're playing against him...so let's see
if we can't figure out how to debunk the optic wonder.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                 Lesson 1 - Priority Rules                 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Cyclops has loads of priority to just about every move he has.  Maybe it's
because some of his attacks seem to stretch a little further than they actually
do, but the fact remains that he is probably going to stop you cold rather than
trade hits.  How important is this?  Well, let's take a look at some of his
higher-priority normals and how he uses 'em:

j.HK  - A wide, circular kick where Cyc completely flips backward, slamming his
        feet upwards (and into you, if applicable).  Very fast, decent range,
        high priority.
j.HP  - Cyclops' sideways fist bash, for some strange reason, seems to have
        loads of priority to it.  I've seen him trade off with Sentinel's
        jumping HP...and beating a move like that is VERY impressive in terms
        of priority.  As with any of his other attacks, it is pretty much
        instantaneous, too.
jd.HP - That jumping HP of his is just as potent if you hold down in mid-leap.
        Ol' One-Eye smacks downward with a quick hammerfist.  Once again, very
jd.HK - This is THE Priority jump-in, lemme tell ya.  Cyc's double-leg jump in
        is one of the higher-priority jump-ins in the game, beating out just
        about any standing normal you can think of (and even quite a few
        specials, supers, etc).  It's disgusting, really.
s.HK  - Cyc actually has 2 standing HK's, the initial kick and then a flip-kick
        (similar to his jumping neutral HK).  Although the hit detection on his
        first HK is rather small, the priority is pretty good.  His 2nd HK,
        however, is the one you really need to watch out for.  Its wide arc
        allows for hitting small and large targets alike, crouching or jumping
        fools...and it's quite fast.
oc.HK - Cyclops' mini-launcher, his down-towards HK attack, is pretty much an
        instaneous attack; furthermore, since it is faster than, say, certain
        characters' LP/LK attacks, this means they'll beat those out in speed
        and outprioritize the rest.  What's even worse (for you) is that Cyc
        crouches when doing this, so he's an even smaller target...and his
        attack will probably take out whatever you're doing.

Now, why are these attacks bad news for you?  It's simple - if you're jumping
and he follows you, he has the necessary attacks to stop whatever you're doing.
If he's running at you on the ground, he has the range, speed, and priority to
stop a lot of attacks that you could mount from there.  If he's jumping in on
you, he has attacks with the range and speed to stop most counter-measures you
would go for.  This gives Cyclops free reign to attack you at just about any
point of your offense, giving him a potent offensive defense - you can't stop
him 'cause he has moves that will stuff tons of your own abilities.  Sure, he
may not have the instant-mistake killing ability of Cable, the sheer damage of
Sentinel, or the maneuverability of Storm...but good luck cracking his

You can't really jump in on Cyclops much.  Look at it this way - SonSon's best
jump-in attack is her j.HP, which tends to beat out tons of ground-based
attacks and specials.  The only times she loses, really, is when she faces off
against a projectile, an attack that is invincible, or an attack that hits her
(body) rather than her staff.  Thus, she beats out Cyclops quite a bit...
however, his oc.HK launcher makes Cyc very small, and can actually give him the
necessary range and priority to avoid getting hit by the staff and clubbing
SonSon instead (thus going into a painful infinite).  Sure, SonSon is more
likely to win out here...but don't assume it's a guaranteed hit.  In most
cases, your opponents' best bet would be to simply block and wait for an
opening to retaliate; against the likes of Storm or Cyclops, her odds of
winning out against their HK launchers aren't as good.

Against the rest of his maneuvers, they are fast and - unfortunately - don't
have enough lag for SonSon to easily punish.  At least...not unless you know
what to look for and what moves to use after certain attacks of his own.  His
jumping attacks have tons of priority against the rest of the cast; however,
unless he's directly above you and coming down with a d.HK, then he's not going
to be able to beat out SonSon's j.HP (he'd have to be in your face for any of
his other moves to beat her HP, which wouldn't happen because he'd be well
within range for the HP to stop him first).

Furthermore, SonSon is nigh unpunishable by Cyc if she tries to halt the
airborne Cyclops with a Seiten Rengeki - if it connects, then it's a free
Tenchi Tsuukan follow-up, if it's blocked then he can't retaliate in time, and
if it's whiffed...well, his only way of catching you is with an Super Optic
Blast, tracking your movements.  Even THIS is dangerous, since - if he can't
catch you in time - you can run underneath (remember, the Seiten Rengeki has no
lag once you land) and Tenchi Tsuukan him before his beam gets you.

Now, the problem with Cyclops' rushing you is that SonSon doesn't have anything
that out-and-out beats his d.HK jump-in, so she has to block his attacks and
hope for the best.  Yes, the Seiten Rengeki, Tenchi Tsuukan, POW!, Hyper En'ou,
and Kingin no Hisago can beat out his jump-in...but all of them have too much
lag to 'em.  If you guess incorrectly and Cyclops blocks instead of attacks,
then he has free reign to trash you during the lag of any of these moves.
Thus, SonSon effectively has no options against a jump-in from Cyclops aside
from blocking (or the ground crawl...but he can get you as you come out of
that, too).  Make sure all you do is block, then.

The bottom line - Cyclops has loads of priority where ever he goes...but
SonSon's j.HP can beat him out at crucial times.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯              Lesson 2 - Damaging Combos                   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Cyclops may not be the damage wizard that Cable, Sentinel, Iron Man, Magneto,
Storm (et al) are, but he can do a fair amount on his own.  Cyclops' bread-and-
butter combos usually follow the same gameplan:

   Jump-in (usually d.HK), 3 ground hits (using variations of LP, LK, and
   HK), HK Cyclone Kick xx Super Optic Blast.

Not too terribly damaging, but even if it's blocked then he is 99% safe.  So
despite its lower-than-average damage (60+ damage is nothing to sniff at,
really), its safety is key - the only way Cyclops ISN'T safe after this combo
is if you guard cancelled during the attack, then used the minute lag on the
move to attack within.  This is difficult enough to do, and only certain
maneuvers will effectively counter it - since you're pushed away, SonSon is too
far away for conventional means, so she would have to guard-cancel, then dash
in an Towards + HP Pole Smash him (or frame-kill him with a Tenchi Tsuukan xx
Fast-Start Super).  Let's face it, it's just not feasible in a fight, so we
might as well consider it a 100% maneuver.  Thankfully, it doesn't do that much
chip (unless you really mash the dickens out of it).

Now, suppose Cyclops wants to do more chip than actual damage.  That's fine -
ol' One-Eye can cancel the first hit of the Cyclone Kick into a Mega Optic
Blast, which does loads of chip.  The problem with this, as you'll quickly
notice, is that it has quite a bit more lag than the SOB, so it is easier to
retaliate upon.  Unlike the SOB, furthermore, the MOB does not push you back;
thus, if it is blocked, Cyclops will do quite a bit of chip damage...but he'll
be right next to you AND stuck in lag, ready to be hurt during those end
frames.  Because of this, Cyclops will only resort to this maneuver if he's at
a full-screen's distance (so that you won't be able to catch him, despite the
lag), or if you are so low on life that he can chip you to death.  It's simply
not as safe...so if you encounter someone that readily uses this when you have
more than enough life or are close enough to catch him, make sure you let him
know that it was a bad maneuver.

Another problem with Cyclops is that, if he manages to land a combo with you
blocking but your assist caught, he can continue right into the SOB and take a
bit of damage off of your assist.  Since it won't mean much chip damage, you
might as well pushblock it and allow the assist to book it out of there.  If
you can guard cancel it as well and turn it into a full-blown countermeasure,
then go for it.  Assist punishment really sucks, yo.  Supposing Cyclops makes
the mistake of going for a Cyclone Kick when he doesn't have meter?  Well,
that's a sticky wicket - there's just enough time to dash in and launch him for
a combo, or pole smash xx frame kill for an insult.  Generally, either take the
chip damage and hope you're close enough to retaliate.  SonSon doesn't have
anything that can beat him out here, so he tends to hold the advantage.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯           Lesson 3 - Watch out for that Infinite!         ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Landed hits mean trouble for you, even if they are blocked (free chip) or not.
So what happens if Cyclops can't land a ground combo (into a MOB or SOB), but
manages to launch you?  There's more trouble afoot, as Cyc has an infinite.
That's right, the one-eyed-wonder can kick you up into the air, then repeatedly
club you with attacks as you fall back to Earth.  Since he doesn't hit with any
HP or HK attacks, that means he never encurs flying screen...which means he is
free to oc.HK relaunch you, then jump back up and continue the infinite.
That's anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 your life, not counting finishers or resets.

So if Cyclops needs Meter - which, as I'll cover in a bit, he should NEVER be
hurting for - then he can land an infinite and take off a very good sized chunk
of your life AND build loads of meter.  However, it can get worse, as Cyclops
has resets to the infinite.  First off, he can simply pause upon landing,
allowing the hit-counter to reset, then relaunch you.  Logically, blocking is
your best friend in this matter.  However, Cyclops is above such petty
tactics...so block low, or else you could find yourself getting reset by a
pause, c.LK, LP reset.  Block low or else you could find yourself back in the

Now, if you can't pull a high-low mix-up, that means throws are going to come
into play, which is precisely what Cyclops uses for a most excellent reset.
Cyc is frequently paired with Sentinel, and Sentinel usually has his Ground
Assist paired up (since the two characters work VERY well together, so here is
what you need to watch for - if Cyclops lands a Leg Throw backwards into
Sentinel's Ground assist, it will combo cleanly...and Cyc can oc.HK relaunch
you, successfully taking off over 100 points of damage with the 2 infinites.
That's definitely nothing to sniff at, nossir; furthermore, there was no meter
used (tons built, though), so he is fully stocked at this point and ready to
punish you quite handily.  My best advice towards this situation is to know
that Cyclops (if he has Sentinel-Ground on his back) may try for the reset, so
when you hit the ground be ready to hit Towards + HK to break the throw.  It's
either that or avoiding the infinite, which certainly wouldn't hurt.

Cyclops can also reset the combo with a rather interesting mix-up.  If, prior
to hitting the ground, he decides to pull off a j.HK, this will cause you to
slam into the ground (not too far from where he lands) and Flying Screen will
occur.  The problem with this, of course, is that Cyclops cannot use any
cancellable moves...but his standing HP Optic Bullet is fair game.  This means
that you suddenly hit the ground, and - before you can effectively realize it -
Cyclops has launched an optic bullet at you.  This will cause 90% of players to
reflexively block...but they all block high, meaning that Cyc can run right up
to you and hit you with a c.LK (you didn't block low!) and start it all up
again.  The point to remember is that blocking low is your friend.

Finally, Cyclops has a couple of other ways to finish the infinite.  He can
simply AC you, ending with HP/HK, and let that be the end of it...but there are
more damaging ways to stop it, which is why you're more likely to see Cyclops
go for something else.  If you see a combo with a slight pause to it -
remember, Cyc needs to be near-constantly attacking to upkeep the infinite -
then a throw is coming, so be ready to hit Towards + HP to break that throw.
When you near the ground, he may opt to go for a LP Gene Splice xx MOB, tacking
on a little more damage to that combo of his.  If he reset it, then this is the
icing on the cake...so make sure you can do what you can to avoid letting it
happen, and - should it land - know of where to break it and how to do so.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯           Lesson 4 - Oh, That Crazy Meter Builder         ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Ok, you already saw me mention Cyclops' speed of aerial attacks.  Since HP and
HK tend to build meter quicker than LP or LK (and, obviously, you don't want to
be taking hits to build meter), and Cyclops is relatively free to run away from
you and superjump HK repeatedly...that means he's going to build meter quite
quickly.  Furthermore, he is pretty darn safe (99% of the time, only against
certain characters and in certain situations) when it comes to burning meter,
which means Cyclops is constantly building meter and, in turn, burning it for
free chip and/or damage.

So what can you do to stop him?  Unfortunately, there is little you can do to
prevent him from these tactics.  When he goes off jumping and kicking, as he is
prone to do, it's difficult for characters like Storm or Magneto to stop him
from these assaults; he's quick enough to stop and block anything you do
directly (like jumping and chasing him), and Cyclops players are USUALLY smart
enough to stop your set-ups from below with a fire-and-forget MOB.  However, if
he lacks the meter (or the intelligence) to make this move, then you can cross
'em up or lay a trap or two.

The first is obvious - Shien Bu, then use the pressure game to try and cross
him up, fake him into landing on 'em, or hold him just long enough to airdash
--> land a jump-in (and follow with a combo).  Jumping after him, you do carry
the advantage with SonSon's j.HP...provided you have it out there when he tries
to sock you back.  This can create a few mindgames within itself, as - if
blocked - he can't react quick enough (even with the MOB) to catch you;
however, you have to have the move out before you're in range for one of his
speedy attacks to knock you cold.  Specials are out for both of you, since Cyc
probably won't hit with his Optic Blast (and a whiffed one could give you
enough time to land a Tenchi Tsuukan) and almost all of SonSon's attacks can
easily be reciprocated upon by a MOB.  No good for you.

Now, SonSon CAN catch 'em from below with a Seiten Rengeki.  The thing about
this is...he has to be high-up enough so that you can safely land before he can
counter.  You'll remember that I suggested doing this when he's jumping in on
you, and the reason for this is because - in this instance - he is getting hit
by the middle-to-latter portion of the move (when SonSon is near or at her
apex), so she lands (and is blocking) before he can retaliate.  When he's
jumping at her, she is in the air longer due to her start time, and thus she
can be hit.  So remember SonSon's placement when performing this maneuver (and,
better yet, check and see if he has meter...wait, nevermind, you should
probably consider Cyclops as ALWAYS having a bar of meter on hand).

On the ground, Cyclops can probably get a couple of HKs in before you are able
to stop him (at a full screen's distance)...unless you make it very clear that
you will not allow him to do so, and continue to pressure him with Pole Smashes
and the like.  Problem is...he can play defensively very, very well, so this
ends up being very intersting match.  If there are any assists left over, you
can bet they'll be showing up to try and keep these two separate.  Problem is,
as we've already discussed, Cyclops holds the edge on punishing assists...so
Cyc is usually going to hold some sort of edge in this bout.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯              Lesson 5 - Assisted Cyclops                  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
The MOB might provide minor chipping, but if Cyclops is paired with Dr. Doom or
Sentinel, then he has that much more potential chipping at his disposal.
Remember that he can combo into a Cyclone Kick xx MOB and remain pretty much
untouchable; if adds in either one of those assists, then he's going to tack on
even more chip or damage to an already potent combo.  If he is blocked and has
Dr. Doom backing him, he can instead combo into the SOB and (depending on how
close you are) effectively chip off 1/5 to 1/4 of your life.  That's just sick,

Lemme see...Cyclops uses Sentinel (Ground) for his assist reset as well...you
will often see him paired up with CapCom for extra damage and anti-rushdown
uses, or T. Bonne for loads of damage and cross-ups for his infinite.  Of
course, if you're good at blocking your basic jump-over cross-ups (i.e., follow
the point man and ignore the assist) then these shouldn't pose many problems.
Dr. Doom will, of course, but that's a separate matter.  You also tend to see
Cyclops with anyone else on the God, Top, or Near-Top lists, so let's look at
what kind of assists he might be getting use from, as well as a few other
lower-tier characters and how he might be usin' them:

Storm          - Projectile or Variety.  Projectile would act the same as
                 Sentinel's, except that he wouldn't be able to infinite-reset.
                 Generally, this would act as a rushdown tool (using it to
                 clear projectiles out of the way).  Variety would require a
                 trickery to get to work effectively, but could act as a lock-
                 down tool in conjunction with HP bursts and LP Optic Blasts.
                 Not too big on damage or combo-ability, but it could provide
                 some interesting set-ups.  Since Cyke isn't the greatest when
                 it comes to continually holding you down, I don't think this
                 assist is going to be very beneficial to Cyke's gameplan.
Sentinel       - Ground has been covered; Projectile can offer setups to Cyke's
                 infinite, as well as tacking on a little more damage to his
                 B & B combos.
Cable          - Cable's AAA is the choice for just about anyone you'll see,
                 as his projectile won't offer much to anyone's game (aside
                 from scrubs that don't know any better).  Although Cyclops
                 probably won't be adding any damage to his combos through the
                 use of Cable, he CAN use the assist to get a pesky opponents'
                 assist character out of the way.  Also, if he lands Cable's
                 AAA on a point character (and his opponent isn't Storm or
                 Blackheart), he can spam on HK for 1/2 a bar of meter.  Not
                 too shabby, especially against guys like Sentinel or Cable
                 (where meter-building becomes rather difficult).
Magneto        - Mags' projectile is the usual choice, which really doesn't
                 give Cyclops anything to work with.  His Hyper Grav is a
                 little better, but Cyke usually has to worry more about
                 protecting his berzerker rushdown character than use him
                 effectively.  Sure, a landed Hyper Grav can mean a free
                 infinite...but more often then not, Mags will just get socked.
Dr. Doom       - Doom's Rocks have been covered...and that's just about all
                 Doom is used for.  Why would you use anything else?
Strider        - Strider's projectile might work for a mind-game or two against
                 your jumping...but not much else.  Variety is too difficult to
                 consistently play off of, so you won't see that happen,
                 either.  The best bet I can figure is, using Variety, Cyclops
                 timing a combo so that he can link into his SOB using Strider
                 as the buffer.  Aside from that, Strider doesn't come out
                 unless Cyclops feels like playing protector.
Spiral         - Projectile adds chipping to his combos, and (I believe) can be
                 used as a reset to his infinite.  Her Ground assist works for
                 cross-ups, but doesn't tend to fair all that well for Cyclops
                 unless he's already landed a combo and is looking to extend it
                 (and lessen the overall damage) or work into a SOB.  Most
                 likely, though, you'll see Projectile.
Iron Man       - Iron Man can use his Projectile to add a little more chip and
                 to Cyclops, or use his AAA for infinite set-ups and SOB
Dhalsim        - Cyclops has a VERY painful combo involving Dhalsim's AAA - by
                 launching and calling Dhalsim out, he can d.HK you into the
                 flame, then d.HK OTG you, relaunch you, and perform his
                 infinite from there...and presto, he's taken off over half
                 your life.  Disgusting, really.  Cyc doesn't have much else
                 use for the stretchy one, though, so this is all you should
                 worry 'bout.
Blackheart     - Cyclops can use Blackheart to halt runaway and effectively
                 cover the big demon with Optic Blasts of many kinds.  That's
                 about it, really.
Psylocke       - Psylocke's AAA can start up that blasted infinite of his very
Cammy          - Cammy's AAA...well, it knocks people away.  Great.  No
                 feasible combo-ing off of this (at least, none with Cyclops
                 that I know of).
CapCom         - CapCom is there for anti-rushdown, big screen-coverage, and
                 damage.  That's about it.
Silver Samurai - SilSam's Projectile adds more chip to his already-volatile
                 combos, although not quite as much as Doom does.  Also, one
                 landed Cyclops assist is a free Hyper Lightning for SilSam,
                 which is plenty painful for point characters and assists
                 alike.  Gotta love low-tier characters who pull off stuff like
                 that and end up reaming high-tier teams in the process.
T. Bonne       - Tron's Projectile assist, landed once, will guarantee that 1
                 AC will remove 1/2 of your life, and ground combos are even
                 more disgusting.  Avoid the cross-ups and remember to block
                 low and you'll do fine here, as she doesn't truly offer much
                 in the way of mix-ups (aside from the cross-ups, that is).
Ken            - Ken's AAA is just the same as Cammy's really.
Akuma          - See Cammy or Ken.
Zangief        - Zangief's Ground assist makes for a painful SOB set-up, or the
                 (frequent) Infinite, should it land.  If it does, then Cyke
                 mearly has to time his launch to get a free combo out of it.
Rogue          - Rogue's Kiss assist is much the same as T. Bonne's Projectile,
                 Spiral's Ground, or a variety of other assists where its usual
                 use is as a cross-up tool.  In her case, though, you'd best
                 just jump and hope that Cyke doesn't go for a re-cross.  Hey,
                 it's possible...
Anakaris       - Anakaris offers practically nothing for Cyclops to work with.
                 If you see an Anakaris/Cyclops team, then the Anakaris player
                 is trying to use Cyke for his infinite, and the Cyclops player
                 is hoping that he doesn't have to use Anakaris in the match.
                 I don't know of anything he gets out of the Pharoah. Really.
                 Sending out Anakaris is either an attempt at baiting you, or
                 simply a player looking to lose Anakaris.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯         Lesson 6 - Projectiles and Capitalization         ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
One of the things that make-or-break several characters is their ability to
turn minute openings - whiffed moves with tiny amounts of lag, blocked moves
that give you barely enough frames to try and hit your opponent before they
recover - into damage opportunities.  This requires a keen eye of what to look
for, a good knowledge of your own characters' moves and what will get there
quick enough, and just how much damage you can do.  Guys like Iron Man or
Colossus, for all the damage they can do in close, have practically nothing
they can hit with from afar; Unibeams and Shoulder Charges MIGHT get the job
done, but nothing more substantial.  It's the primary reason Cable is so
effective, is that he can turn so many minute moments into gamebreaking
mistakes.  Storm, Sentinel, Cable, and Magneto all have their own ways of
turning such moments, and Cyclops is no exception either.

Suppose you're at a full screen, and you throw out a HP.  Characters like Rogue
or CapCom MIGHT be able to catch SonSon with a Hyper Move, but that's still
pretty risky.  Cyclops, however, can LP Optic Blast xx MOB for a free 25%
combo.  If he has an assist to act as a buffer - like Sentinel Ground - then he
can time the assist so that it acts as that buffer for his LP Optic Blast xx
SOB combo.  However, this requires slightly larger windows of opportunity, so
you should 90% of the time expect a LP Optic Blast xx SOB.  Cyclops also has 
the Optic Sweep, which can knock you off of your feet and make for a good long-
range mix-up tool...but it's a pretty big gamble, since - if you roll it - he's 
vulnerable.  He's even MORE open if he cancels it into his SOB and you roll 
behind him, since he's going to be firing off that big beam for quite a while.

Protecting his assists is also quite easy, since - if you decide to go after
one of 'em - he can run away hit you with a MOB, ending your reign of terror.
Attacking your assists amounts to another LP Optic Blast xx MOB, since you
can't move and are forced to watch as the assist takes it.  As I suggested
before, just pushblock it (and try to turn it around, will ya?).

Cyclops, somewhat like Cable, can be countered in off of his AAA and
immediately burn a bar of meter to throw out a MOB.  Thus, if he needs a
really, really quick counter move, he can be countered in and blast you while
you're still in the frames of lag.  Sucks to be you, eh?

Finally...and THANKFULLY...Cyclops really doesn't have as much in the way of
damage capabilities when in the air.  While Storm or Magneto can combo into a
special xx hyper (Lightning Attack xx Lightning Storm, Hyper Grav xx Magnetic
Tempest), Cyclops can do little else than kick you or use a SOB/MOB to hit you.
So if Cyclops is running after you, at least you know that he's not going to be
able to easily stop your j.HP (unless he uses a Hyper).  Problem is, Cyclops
probably won't be running after you, since he can just perform a MOB from the
ground and peg you while you are in midair.  So don't superjump away unless you
know he's preoccupied (or unless he's already running).

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯             Lesson 7 - What's a SonSon to Do?             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Now we get to the stuff that really matters from this guides' standpoint - what 
to do when it's SonSon versus Cyclops.  Or, more importantly, what SonSon 
should be doing to handle herself in such a situation.  For starters, you need 
to realize that you cannot pull any full-screen maneuvers without running the 
risk of immediate retaliation.  Whether it's a SOB or LP Optic Blast xx MOB, 
SonSon can and will be hit from afar if she does anything.  No Shien-Bu 
pressure games for you, no Assist calls unless you are ready to jump out of 
there, nothin'.  Cyclops has to be occupied or else he can - and will - hit you 
from afar.

Great, so that means SonSon is going to have to keep Cyclops occupied to 
prevent him from attacking him.  This puts Cyke on the defensive, which can be 
just as dangerous if you aren't someone like Magneto or Storm (which SonSon is 
not like, unfortunately).  SonSon becomes quite limited rather quickly, since 
her airdash would have to be cancelled into an attack very quickly to ensure 
that Cyclops cannot counter the maneuver with a launcher or SOB.  Timing and 
maneuvering is very important.

Now, 90% of Cyclops players prefer to build meter, which they will in turn try 
to burn as chipping or straight-up damage.  Furthermore, Cyclops is not the 
rushdown wonder that some people like to make him out to be (he has priority 
moves, but he's not a blazing assault force), so his best option is an 
offensive defense - he's not directly trying to attack you, yet he's also not 
out-and-out turtling and expecting you to come to him.  He simply keeps hopping 
about, building meter and then burning it for "free" damage.  Cyclops players 
will also realize that, as long as he's on the other side of the screen from 
you, then punishing a M/SOB won't really be possible.  No good for SonSon, so 
you're going to have to do what you can to stop the meter-building or halt the 
beams.  SonSon does have some tools she can work with, then.  If you see 
Cyclops superjump away, mashing on HK to build meter, toss out a LP Shien-Bu, 
then apply pressure vigorously with air-dashes and a possible cross-up.  
Landing one can mean quite a bit of damage for the mini-monkey, and also makes 
for convenient DHCs (unfortunately, Cyke has some good DHCs as well).

Now, it's obvious enough that the Shien-Bu, Seiten Rengeki, Fuusetzu-Zan, and 
Kingin no Hisago are out of the question.  Blocked or whiffed, you're going to 
be in trouble (especially if Cyke has meter), so avoid using those outside of 
specific situations (such as the one mentioned above using the Shien-Bu).  
Ground Crawl can work if you're trying to dodge an Optic Blast or an S/MOB, as 
well as allowing you to mix things up and try to get around Cyke's (moderate) 
rushes; just make sure you know when to block (or attack) when coming out of 
it, or else you could get hurt.  SonSon's Airdash, as previously covered, will 
require that you drop off of it with her HP or else you could get harmed.  Her 
Wall Climb - and following moves - will work great for messing with Cyke's 
ground abilities, since you'll quickly scale up (hopefully faster than he can 
start up a S/MOB) and kick him before he can do anything about it.  SonSon so 
little lag off of the move that, even if blocked, she'll remain pretty safe and 
can try tagging Cyke in close (or whatever you have in mind).

Sometimes you'll see Cyke repeatedly firing off s.HP and c.HP optic bullets; 
this is a prime opportunity to Ground Crawl, Air Dash or Wall Climb, since all 
three will act as effective ways of getting in close while still leaving you 
relatively safe.  The reason behind this is that Cyke's HP bullets are not 
cancellable, meaning he also can't call out any assists, superjump cancel, dash 
cancel...so while it's an effective method of keeping you on the other side of 
the screen, it just won't work if SonSon won't allow it to work.  Getting back 
in Cyclops' face and tagging him where/when you can will force him to resort to 
safer options.  Unfortunately, this can be bad for SonSon, since she has 
trouble dealing with one of the safest guys in the game (if not THE safest).

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                     Close the Section                     ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Cyclops doesn't necessarily dominate the game, but he can really be frustrating 
to counter if he's plaing safe.  A good portion of the cast - SonSon included - 
simply cannot counter some of his attacks, so if he sticks to just those... 
well, you're going to lose.  SonSon has to change the flow of the match and try 
to stop him from abusing these abilities if she wants to stand a chance.  I 
think SonSon holds up better against the likes of Cammy and Psylocke, simply 
because they, too, have to take greater risks to be effective, and so she can 
wind up doing better in such matches.  Against Cyclops...well, it's going to be 
difficult.  Cyclops holds the advantage of quick punishment from just about 
anywhere, he can build meter effectively with minimal resistance, and his 
rushing or turtling skills make him pretty difficult to overcome.  Guys like 
Magneto and Storm can do it because of their phenominal rushdown abilities... 
while SonSon has to try and make up the ground everywhere.  

I apologize if I make it sound like SonSon has a more difficult time against 
Cyclops than against, say, Storm or Sentinel...it's just that I feel SonSon has 
the tools to directly counter some of Storm or Sentinel's best tricks, while 
Cyclops ends up countering some of SonSon's.

  ################  _______________________==============______________________
  ################                         F   - Dr. Doom
  ####              ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯==============¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ##############    Dr. Doom, like Cyclops, is a very safe character.  He does
  ##############    very well when it comes to taking on a variety of strange
  ####              situations, and both characters can build meter and expend
  ####              it equally for damage or chip alike.  How they go about
  ####              doing so, as well as how their assists are used (both of
  ####              which are excellent in their own respective ways) differ,
  ####              so let's start covering the other guy which I would say is
                    a solid contender for the God Tier...but not quite there
yet.  I mean...at once point, sure, people thought he was the best character in
the game.  Personally, I think Doom would rank higher if he had a decent HP or
HK that could be comboed into like Storm, Magneto, Iron Man, or generally
anyone else with an air-dash and HP/HK attacks that can be useable.  Still,
Doom has it where it counts, so let's see what DOES count.  And, of course, how
to get out of those situations.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

    ############    _______________________============________________________
  #####     #####                          G   - Spiral
####         ####   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯============¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
###      #########  One of the things you'll no doubt notice about the
###      #########  characters in the God, Top, and Near-Top Tiers is that they
####          ####  all have the ability to do a ton of damage through various
  ######    ######  combos or supers that they have.  Let's look at the list:

Storm      - LA xx LS combos and Hailstorms
Sentinel   - Any hit is free chip damage, plus his combos do loads of damage
             alone...not even taking into count his HSF juggles...
Cable      - AHVBx 3 = dead character
Magneto    - Standard combos do moderate damage, with resets they do more, and
             his Shockwave and Magnetic Tempest combos are quite painful
Cyclops    - Infinite can do decent damage, and his Cyclone Kick xx S/MOB
             combos are good for free chip or 40% damage
Dr. Doom   - Photons make for loads of chip, and can be combo'ed into for a
             good 50%+ combo
Strider    - Strider/Doom is massive chipping damage, and a connected Oroborous
             can mean at least 33% of your life gone
Blackheart - Inferno xx Heart of Darkness combos can take off 1/4 of your life,
             and if you don't GC out of it then you're still looking at a ton
             of chipping damage; plus he has an infinite
Dhalsim    - Corner combos are absolutely terrifying, ranging from 30% to 100%+
             taken off
Iron Man   - His infinite = you are probably dead, unless you're Sentinel (even
             then, though, he only needs to DHC)
Psylocke   - Basic Combos ending in Butterflies can do 30-40%, while more
             difficult combos can end up topping 50%+
Cammy      - HK Cannon Drill xx KBA combos (without resets) can do upwards of 
             90 points of damage to Cable (roughly 2/3 of his life)

   So you might wonder just how the blue blazes someone like Spiral would end
up making it onto the top chart.  Sure, she has her Power-Up hyper, which
allows each hit to do more damage...problem is, she is vulnerable when powering
up, and the timer bar is too short for her to make much of an impact before it
expires.  Her Speed-up Hyper gives her a brief infinite, but it's not lookin'
to do much damage on its own, and she is just as vulnerable as the Power-Up.
Her metamorphosis is a level 3 hyper, and (once again) has an incredibly short
timer for you to connect with; someone only has to run away for a few brief
moments to make you expend 3 bars in a wasteful gesture.  Finally, you have
Spiral's HP throw, which can do a bit of damage if you mash good and hard...but
they can mash out of it, leaving you with less damage done than if you'd
performed a regular throw.

   Spiral, as you can see, lacks the excessively huge damage of Iron Man, nor
does she have as many useful and highly-damaging combos as Sentinel or Magneto.
What does Spiral have, then, that would allow her to be ranked so highly?
Swords.  Lots and lots of swords.  Let's talk about Spiral's nigh-infinite
projectile count, and how she might not be able to singlehandedly turn the tide
of a match...but she can certainly keep you from doing it.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                       I Like Swords                       ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Never before (and, arguably, never again) will you see a character in a
fighting game that really only has to use 1 move to survive, and survive well
enough to be considered one of the best in the game.  Spiral has an infinite
number of projectiles at her 6-armed disposal, plus a little diversity in how
she can sling them to make sure you get the point quick enough, through the use
of her swords.  When Spiral calls swords, she briefly stands still (and
defenseless), causing 6 blades to appear around her and spin wildly.  These
swords, once in place, can be thrown in a number of ways...but more
importantly, the do not encumber her in (almost) any way, allowing her to move
about and attack freely while holding onto her projectiles for future use.

   And how would she go about using this, you might ask?  Simple - by pressing
LP, Spiral throws a single sword in a set order; the order goes from High-to-
Low and Low-to-High, starting in front of her and firing off the 3 that float
before her (High-to-Low) before shooting off the rear knives as well (Low-to-
High).  This gives her 6 moderately-fast projectiles that she can use at any
point she wants, allowing her to shuck-and-jive all over the place and still
continue to hurl stuff at you.  They may not do much damage, but Spiral can
keep hurling those things at you and do moderate amounts of chipping damage,
all without you being able to get close enough to stop her.

   Now what does this mean for you, the anti-Spiral player?  You have to be
able to avoid or counter a series of projectiles while trying to get close
enough to bopp her (which, by the way, 1 clean hit causes Spiral to drop all of
her swords).  This is difficult for larger characters or ones that lack much
maneuverability; thankfully, SonSon has a few tricks up her sleeve that can
give her an edge.  However, to know which tools you should be using (and
abusing), you should know just how Spiral is going to be throwing those swords.
She's a versatile lass with those knives, so let's lookit what she usually does
with 'em.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯        Swordplay - Throwin' Stuff Every Which Way         ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Spiral can do more with her swords than just throw them in single volleys.
I'll not go into directional motions for each move - for that, you should
consult a Spiral guide - so instead I'll stick to what each move does and what
you should do to avoid 'em.  Apart from the regular one-at-a-time throws, here
are what Spiral can do with swords:  Horizontal Circle, Vertical Circle,
Expanding Circle, and "Knives Out" Firing.  Let's cover each individually:

Horizontal - Spiral poses for a brief moment, taking as many knives as she has
             left (depending on how many she has thrown prior to performing the
             move), and launches them horizontally in front of her, all 6 (or
             less) forming a smaller circle.  This circle moves at a slightly
             slower pace than if the swords were thrown individually, but makes
             up for it with the fact that it is large-enough of a circle to hit
             characters as small as Kobun (or OTG characters); thus, it is an
             attack to be avoided, chipping or no.  If Spiral is wasting her
             time with this, then jump the circle, airdash toward her, and
             attack.  If she wants to waste her ammunition, then good for her,
             but punish those mistakes nonetheless.
Vertical   - Much akin to her Horizontal incarnation, Spiral poses before
             sending her cutlery in a vertical circle.  Due to the fact that
             you are left wide open to this attack, and it's not really wide
             enough to give you a good AAA, it's an attack best avoided.  Since
             we're talkin' about SonSon vs. Spiral, though, that means that if
             you see Spiral use this attack, by all means destroy her!
Expanding  - Probably the most common usage of the Swords (aside from singular
             attacks), Spiral poses (as always), gathers the swords in close,
             then causes them to spiral (sic) outward, spinning in an ever-
             expanding circle.  This circle will rather quickly enscorl Spiral,
             making attacking her physically a pain; however, the knives will
             drop harmlessly after hitting one of the 3 walls (or floor), so
             she can't very well do this while on the ground and have it be
             useful.  Instead, you are far more likely to see Spiral expand
             blades (known as "Circle of Swords", or CoS) while in the air,
             thus protecting herself as well as giving her the ability to lock
             you down and prevent you from moving in certain directions.
             Annoying, to be sure, since those puppies fly REALLY fast when she
             does this.
Knives Out - Finally, Spiral has the ability to take whatever daggers she
             has left over and fire them outward simultaneously in 6 different
             directions: Up-Left, Left, Down-Left, Down-Right, Right, and Up-
             Right.  This is the only way you can really hit someone diagonally
             with her blades; however, it's simply more feasible to perform a
             CoS and have the blades fly into your opponent.  Oh well; I
             suppose it still has its uses...

   The most common thing you'll see Spiral use of these four is the Circle of
Swords; it allows her the capacity to throw out a group of knives that create a
pseudo-barrier, preventing opponents from jumping or moving horizontally; of
course, these knives can be blocked...but that's not the point.  She zones you
with the swords, then calls up more swords and continues to batter you with
them from all angles and sides.  This can present problems between SonSon and
Spiral, although it's not nearly as bad as you'd think...

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                Countering Swordplay, Part 1               ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   To be honest, Spiral's #1 priority is to have swords and chuck them at you.
She has a bunch of ways to do this, which is why you have to throw her off
whenever you can, or simply avoid those swords and poke her when she tries to
make 'em.  First thing's first, if you see her on the ground call swords, a
quick dashing f.HP will smack her out of it; if you like (and if you're close
enough), cancel that into a Seiten Rengeki, further cancelled into a Tenchi
Tsuukan for added damage.  If it's blocked, then it's no loss, as Spiral has no
way of capitalizing on it.

   Ok, so that much is easy...but no Spiral player in their right mind would
simply call swords when you have the opportunity to retaliate so easily.  They
make things more difficult by calling out swords when you are currently
occupied.  Case in point - you will practically always find Spiral with
Sentinel backing her, his ground assist (drones) working as a buffer zone for
which she may call more swords.  If you're being socked by that assist - or ANY
assist that keeps you locked down for half a second - then Spiral has a free
opportunity to gain more swords, and she may begin her myriad of traps and
tricks anew.

   Let's go back to theory fighter, one-on-one...after all, if Spiral gets to
use Sentinel's assist, then we would have to level the playing field by giving
an assist to SonSon, and that would spring forth a wealth of debates over which
ones would give her a greater edge and why...blah blah blah, I'll spare you the
time and me the effort by NOT going into that.

  If it's a one-on-one fight, then Spiral is going to do what she can to avoid
you until she gets those swords; this means she'll be superjumping away while
calling them out, or going for a ground combo ending in HP (or c.HP to knock
'em further back) and cancelled that into a Sword Call.  If she runs, chase her
and continue to box her around the ears (arms?) so that she can't get those
blades to her disposal, and if she goes for the ground combo...well, hope that
you block it.

   Spiral's #1 priority is getting swords and keeping swords, and if you are
someone who can rush effectively (i.e., Magneto or Storm) than she is going to
have a major headache trying to do either.  SonSon isn't the most effective
rusher in the world, but she can still mix things up enough to mess up her
sword-calling.  For starters, you can crawl right underneath her swords via the
Ground Crawl.  Good for avoidance, yes, but it's only a temporary solution (and
a short one at that). SonSon's air dash gives her the ability to quickly sail
horizontally towards Spiral, closing the gap without superjumping (or, if
already superjumped, allows further chasing).  You can even use the Wall Climb
to force the screen's focus on you, throwing off Spiral's timing for a sword
call and possibly messing it up entirely.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯            Advanced Swordplay - [Blank] of Swords         ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Spiral's ability to quickly chuck single swords while moving, coupled with
an arsenal of 6 at any given time and the ability to call more even while
firing them off, gives her the ability to set up traps and such with a near-
constant fervor.  What sort of strategies might encounter from Spiral's
strength in sword slinging styles?  Well, she's really known for 4 solo tricks:
The Wall of Swords, Line of Swords, and Circle of Swords Traps, and
Metamorphosis Set-ups.  As with before, let's cover each separately (although
I'll cover the Metamorphosis stuff a little later):

Wall of Swords - Spiral jumps in the air, calling swords at the apex of her
                 jump.  She then drops to the ground, firing off 3 as she
                 falls, then jumps, firing the remaining 3, and calls another
                 group of swords when she hits the top of her jump.  This is an
                 extremely frustrating maneuver, since the first Sword thrown
                 is the topmost one, meaning it creates a diagonal line of
                 projectiles that - if not immediately jumped over - must ALL
                 be blocked.  Spiral can quickly do this over and over again to
                 build tons of meter, remain VERY safe from most everyone in
                 the game, and slowly lock you down while pushing you back into
                 the corner.  Also, the last knife thrown is (once again) the
                 top one, meaning that your only option for getting out of it
                 is to jump between the last blade of the first volley and the
                 first blade of the second.  This isn't TOO hard, but if you
                 blow the timing then you'll end up right back in blockstun, as
                 Spiral zones you even more and more.
Line of Swords - In terms of performance, this is the opposite of Spiral's
                 WoS.  Usually accompanied by a projectile of some sort (or,
                 more commonly, Sentinel's Ground Assist), Spiral will call
                 swords, then jump and fire off all of her projectiles when she
                 hits the top of her jump.  The effect is that of an entire
                 Line of Swords (hence the name) being fired off just above
                 head-level, preventing your opponent from jumping.  Of course,
                 this has a few problems with it, namely the fact that Spiral
                 cannot safely land and call swords without a covering assist;
                 thus, that is your opportunity to hit her hard.  If she does
                 have the likes of a projectile backing her, then you can
                 expect to see the LoS in conjunction with that projectile,
                 effectively hitting everything along the ground for at least
                 some chip damage.  Plus, if you get hit by 1 of the swords,
                 then you'll be forced to take the rest of the swords as well.
                 Either superjump when you can, or rush her in the openings to
                 halt this attack.
Power-Up Traps - Fairly simple, really - Spiral jumps (or, more preferably,
                 superjumps), performing a CoS xx Power/Speed Up.  This
                 essentially gives her a free powerup, allowing her combos to
                 be more potent per hit or simply give her tons more speed.
                 Thankfully for you, her Power-Up doesn't increase the damage
                 of her swords; however, if she lands 1 good aerial rave, she
                 can do as much damage with that combo as your average Sentinel
                 combo.  That certainly isn't anything to sniff at; however, I
                 think her Speed-Up can be far worse for you, as it allows
                 Spiral the ability to move a lot quicker, putting blades in
                 quicker patterns (and even a short infinite).  Bleh.

In general, you'll most likely see Spiral sticking to WoS and LoS, with CoS
occasionally rearing its ugly head and hitting you from above (or locking you
down).  Gotta love the [Letter]oS.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                      Let's Talk Assists                   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Spiral, by herself, suffers from rushing and characters that can avoid her
traps or effectively counter them (i.e., any of of the God or Top Tier).
However, pairing her with an assist that either enhances her trapping or
prevents such rushing easily allows her to surmount most any single character
in game, as well as quite a few potent duos.  Who should you worry the most
about, and why?  Let's take a look.

Spiral +...

.......Any AAA  = Spiral no long has the fear of being rushed, so she is slightly
              more free to reign terror with her knives all over the place.
              Since she's a natural meter-builder and doesn't expend much
              herself, you'll often see Cable as her AAA.  Cyclops is also a
              good matchup.
Projectiles = With the aid of a decent chipping projectile, Spiral can lock you
              down with knives while using the projectile to chip and damage,
              then protect the assist and go back to meter-building.  You tend
              to see Iceman, Iron Man, Cable, and Storm used here.
Blackheart  = Not quick enough to play the part of anti-rushdown, Blackheart's
              Anti Air allows Spiral to keep her opponents from (super)jumping
              away from her trapping/zoning attacks.  BH can also burn meter
              for a little chip (much more effectively and safely than Spiral
              can, at least), so it's a decent pairing.
Dr. Doom    = Although it can act as an anti-rushdown assist, Doom's AAA will
              often be paired up with the intention of adding more chip to her
              traps.  Superjumping out usually isn't a viable opportunity,
              since Spiral can bring you back down with a quick CoS and force
              you to eat all that chip damage.
Sentinel    = I'll get to this later.  Believe me, they deserve their own
              separate section.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                   The Spiral/Sentinel Trap                ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Did I just mention Spiral/Sentinel?  Why yes, I did.  Here's the deal - as I
have already described, Sentinel's Ground assist gives Spiral the ground
coverage that a projectile usually gives, plus it has fairly decent damage
(unblocked) and 3 points of chip otherwise; plus, it can even act as a pseudo-
anti-rushdown assist, although it's not quite quick enough to effectively
handle itself.  While the assist is hitting - blocked or not - Spiral has
enough time to call swords and rush in at you again.  What does this mean, oh
SonSon pupil(s) of mine?  That means that Spiral can rush you, perform a
standing HP for a few hits while calling calling in Sentinel, throw 3 swords at
you, load swords while Sentinel's drones are hitting, then rush you again.
When done correctly, this puts you in permanent blockstun...and since most of
the hits are special moves, they all do chipping.  Per repetition, that's 3
swords and 3 drones, counting as 6 points of chip (or the rough equivalent of a
couple of jabs)...and you can't get out of it unless you can Guard Cancel or
have an assist that can get you out of it.  Isn't this fun?

   Allow me to explain further: since you are continually stuck in Blockstun,
you can't attack, jump, call assists, etc.  Thus, you have to pushblock your
opponent to generate enough time to call an assist out; moreso, this assist has
to be one that can do SOMETHING quick enough to allow you enough time to either
jump out of the trap, or directly counter it.  Thus, you'll need an assist that
is fast enough to come out, plus it'll have to actually do something that you
can work with...which means you'll have to have an assist like Ken, Cammy,
Akuma, Cyclops, Jin, or CapCom AAA, or else you're sunk and Spiral will have a
field day with you.  Plus, I've seen Spirals that do this for a good long
while, then catch you low with a c.LK (you weren't paying attention, were
you?), s.HP, 3 knives (drones hit), s.HP, 3 knives.  That little combo is a
fairly decisive end, and - if the trap has been done long enough - it could
even kill Sentinel.  That's bad news for you, SonSon.

   Now, you have 2 ways of getting out of this, and 1 way of countering it
(although countering it is quite tricky).  First off is the aforementioned AAA;
for SonSon's purposes, she usually IS the AAA, so you'd better hope you had
someone like Cyclops on your team as well (fairly decent pairing, I don't see
why not).  Barring that, then it's down to escaping and countering through
Guard Cancelling.  I talked of this before, but I'll quickly cover it again -
Guard Cancelling is when you cancel the frames of animation for your guard,
allowing it to prematurely end and perform a cancellable move such as dashing,
normals, specials, supers, superjumps...a ha, Superjumps!  That'll get you
right out, now won't it?  So in order to Guard Cancel, pushblock the knives,
put the stick (or directional pad) to neutral, then superjump outta there.  The
timing's a little stiff, but it works.

   So what's the countering way, and how is it difficult?  Wellsir, we know
that Cable can Guard Cancel xx AHVB his opponents, but what can SonSon do?
Easy - GC xx Hyper En'ou.  She'll be invincible during the start-up, and with a
little luck (and precise timing) you'll catch Sentinel with your flamebreath as
well.  This leaves Spiral 2 options - run away or attack.  Most likely, she'll
run away until she realizes you're attacking her assist, so you won't want that
to go on for a very long period of time (especially since she can teleport,
initiate a metamorphosis, then grab you right as the super ends).  Thus, hurt
Sentinel for as long as you can, then DHC into something else.  If Spiral tries
to simply batter you with her knives and fists, then good for her - it's a much
better trade for you, damaging her assist so much.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                Spiral tries to Metamorphosize             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Spiral's biggest single-damaging trick would be her Metamorphosis Super, a
3-bar command throw with a short timer but a big damage-payoff if she lands it.
You should be aware that such a thing exists, and that - given the right
mistakes on your part - she can have that damage for free.  Since it's a
command throw, you had better make sure that you stay away from her for the
duration of the timer.  This can get difficult if Spiral is setting you up
for the attack, but you should hopefully be able to smack her or pushblock
before she gets a lock on you.

   So what are some of those set-ups?  Well, she can combo into the maneuver
with a c.HK (launch) xx Metamorphosis, then jumping up after and performing
sj.LK, LK, HP (grab).  It IS possible to tap her or throw her before the throw,
but the timing is very strict; plus, she can mix it up so that she only hits LK
once before grabbing, or simply not kick at all.  Tricky stuff; just try to
make sure she can't launch you - that shouldn't be TOO hard, given her rather
lackluster rushing abilities (speedup and teleporting are the only edges she
has, and those should still be easily blocked, avoided, or countered).

   Set-up #2 is often seen when Spiral beats the first character and the next
is set to come into play.  She jump and performs a CoS xx Metamorphosis, then
forces you into blocking the knives (and she can grab you before or after they
connect, so pushblock), or if you take the hit then it's more free damage
followed by a launcher, sj.LK, LK, Grab (ow!).  If you're not in the corner,
then she can teleport behind you and grab you while the knives cover 1/2 the
screen as she moves in from the other.

   In general, if you're doing something that leaves you open long enough for
her to initiate a Metamorphosis AND grab you, then you're doing something
wrong.  Any of SonSon's supers have enough lag for her to do so, which is why
it is imperative that you make sure you are covered when performing them (or,
at least, that she can't quickly get to you in time).  If not, then DHC before
that grab happens.  Trust me, it's a good idea.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                     Teleporting and You                   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Given certain situations, Spiral can teleport away from whatever you're
doing, then grab you during your vulnerable frames of animation; as I mentioned
before (in the Spiral/Sentinel section), using the Hyper En'ou is NOT a good
idea if Spiral has 3 bars of meter.  She can easily teleport over and over
again, the grab you as you shrink back to normal size.  Not good for you,
believe me.  There is also enough time (although barely) for Spiral to reflex-
teleport if she sees you performing a Tenchi Tsuukan, then grab you from
behind; also not a good maneuver.  However, you can always turn this around; if
Spiral teleports directly above your head, you can perform a Tenchi Tsuukan as
soon as you see her teleport and catch her as she reappears.  Still...don't
just randomly throw things out, as she probably won't either.

   When it comes to avoiding things that you're doing, Spiral really has 2
things at her disposal (other than the standard jumping, ducking, dashing,
superjumps, etc), Teleports and Quickfalls.  Teleports you should know a little
more about, namely the fact that Spiral can teleport to 1 of 5 locations: Above
you, above/behind you, directly behind you, above/in front of you, and in front
of you.  Since her teleport has no startup (literally; she can teleport and
disappear from the midst of a beam without being hit), this allows her to
continually avoid attacks simply by teleporting over and over again.  Mix this
up with her ability to place her reappearance at other points and you have a
very frustrating character to play against (not to mention the fact that she'll
be throwing Swords the entire time).

   Quickfalls are less-used, but can be just as irritating when used in the
right places.  She can call swords, then quickfall while throwing those swords
to close off the upper-portion of the screen and prevent you from jumping.  She
can combo you, then quickfall mid-combo, touching the ground at the same time
you do, and catch you off-guard with another c.LK, s.HK launch, or a HP Throw.
(This is actually key to doing a lot of damage with her Speed-Up ability.)  She
can avoid attacks by falling away from them, or quickfall, teleport to throw
off your timing of something.  She's a crafty little minx, I'll give her that!

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯         Everything Else You Should Bother Knowing         ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Spiral can guard break you upon entry by jumping and throwing a single
Sword, then launching you and ACing you.  These air combos usually end with her
command throw ("Raise the Roof", as it's referred to) followed by a Sword Call;
in the event that she decides to perform a Kick Throw infinite, learn to tech
the throw as soon as you see it coming.  (By the by, the Kick Throw infinite is
when Spiral performs a short AC, then does a Kick Throw away from the corner,
relaunching you before you can land from the throw and doing it again.)
Spiral's Sword Super is very easily avoided, as it has tons of lag AND start-
up; you have ample time to avoid it and punish her for her silly mistakes.

   So there's Spiral - she is there to build meter and keep you away, never
really looking to inflict tons of damage herself but instead avoiding what you
do and countering it with even more swords.  She is the ultimate projectile
character, as most of her gameplay revolves around constantly weaving and
throwing swords at you.  SonSon should do what she can to mess up Spiral's
swordplay, and counter whatever options you can.  If you can keep on her trail
and stop her from getting/using swords, then the match should be in your favor.

####         ####  ____________________====================___________________
####         ####                      H   - Strider Hiryuu
####         ####  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯====================¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
####         ####
####         ####
####         ####
####         ####
####         ####
####         ####

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

================================ MvC2 - SonSon ================================
       -----------------------IV   - The Near-Tops------------------------
================================ MvC2 - SonSon ================================

They aren't quite the Best of the Best, but these 5 characters deserve plenty
of attention all by themselves.  Here are...the Near-Tops: Blackheart, Cammy,
Dhalsim, Iron Man, and Psylocke.  Characters that probably SHOULD be considered
Top-Tier characters, but aren't...yet.

  #####  ____________________________================__________________________
  #####                              I   - Blackheart
  #####  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯================¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  #####  Blackheart is a pesky fellow, once being considered one of the top
  #####  characters in the game an' all.  In general, anyone with a long-range
  #####  HP/HK attack tends to do better in fights, and Blackheart has
  #####  projectiles for such attacks - thus, he has a master of keep-away, and
  #####  is quite good at building meter and even chipping a little.
  #####  Unfortunately, his keepaway has gotten terribly tiresome and
  #####  predictable, and his chipping has been nullified by Guard Cancelling.
  #####  Joyous stuff for the once-proud player, now reduced to just another
         Anti-Air player.  Still...he CAN be potent, and he still has the tools
to destroy some of the lower-tier characters.  There are people that have the
skills and abilities to stop his tricks, though, so you might find Blackheart
coming up short time and time again.  I like to think that SonSon has such
tools, so let's get crackin' on what Blackheart does and how you should stop
him from doing it again.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                   Superjumping.  A Lot.                   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  Blackheart is going to take to the sky and throw demons, there's no doubt
about that.  A Blackheart that doesn't superjump is like a human living a
normal life without any vital organs - it's just not possible.  Expect to see a
lot of superjumping and HK Demons to pin you down and build meter, interchanged
with the occasional Inferno xx Heart of Darkness to chip life.  He might also
try to throw HK demons while you're in the corner, then airdash backwards and
perform an aerial Judgement Day for added chip, so it's good to be careful of
this tactic as well.  If you jump after him, his j.LK tail is very fast and has
loads of priority for a LK, so he can effectively keep you away from him via
quick LK, LP, HK combos.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                        Demons R Us                        ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Blackheart normally cannot block after superjumping and throwing out either
HP or HK demons; this is remedied by airdashing back or forward, giving him the
use of another attack or a block.  Thus, you have to make sure your attack is
going to work or else it will be a wasted effort.  For this reason alone, I
suggest that you stick to using a Seiten Rengeki before cancelling into the
Tenchii Tsuukan.  No need to waste meter, you know.  You can't easily zone him
by superjumping and throwing out a LP Shien-Bu, since he will either hit you in
the air with something or simply Inferno xx Armageddon or Inferno xx Heart of
Darkness you.  It does no good to use a strategy that gives Blackheart the
opportunity to hurt you, so don't.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                     Keep Him Grounded                     ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   When Blackheart superjumps, jump up (and away) from him so that you can
avoid his demons, then throw out a LP Shien Bu.  Since Blackheart's already in
the air, he has no way of attacking you; likewise, he's not on the ground, so
he can't catch you with an Inferno.  The purpose of the Shien-Bu is not to
damage, but to make sure he can't superjump again.  By effectively grounding
him, he has very, very little he can do to stop your rushing him.  The most
likely attacks he'll use are HP or HK demons.  These are easily blocked,
although it can give him enough time to jump up and away (or past) the monkeys.
Thus, a slightly better option would be to airdash at head-level with
Blackheart.  This reduces his options to jump-attacks (which you can out-
prioritize with a j.HP or Seiten Rengeki), a launcher (again, out-prioritized
by the j.HP), or a HP Dark Thunder.  If he's silly enough to use the Thunder,
then prematurely drop off the cloud and punish him during the considerable lag
that the move has.  Blackheart's only other option is to block and hope you
don't hit him, which is not bloodly likely.  Once you're inside his game, make
sure he can't get away from you.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯               What NOT to do on the Ground                ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   It's not wise to do the standard TKSB (Tiger-Knee Shien Bu), Airdash xx HP
maneuver if Blackheart is grounded.  Granted, it will prevent him from
retaliating with an Inferno xx HoD 'cause the monkeys will hit him out of it,
but he will do more damage to you than you do to him.  Worse yet is if you're
hit by the Demons while in air, since you will begin bouncing...and if
Blackheart continues to hit you with HK demons while you're in the air, he can
infinite you until he feels like ending it (usually with a Heart of Darkness).

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯        Blackheart USED to have a Good Strategy...         ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Do you know what guard cancelling is, folks?  If you do, then you can very
easily remove Blackheart's ability to chip life off with the Inferno xx HoD.
Right as the Inferno connects, pushblock, then hold up-towards to jump out of
the demons' field (you'll jump right over a few of 'em, unless you would rather
super jump instead to be safer).  From here, walk (or dash) over to Blackheart
and hurt 'em however you want to.  He's out meter, he doesn't do any chip, AND
he takes a bit of damage.  Fun, eh?  This means the only way he can effectively
chip you is with his Judgement Day super, which can be avoided (and doesn't do
nearly as much as the HoD).  Congrats, you've just taken away Blackheart's most
reliable chipping strategy!  Good job!

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                Non-Maneuverable Entities                  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Now, the beauty of Blackheart is that he has trouble maneuvering about and
generally being mobile of any sort.  He can't ground-dash, since (when he does)
he turns to goo and crawls slowly, making himself very vulnerable.  Thus, his
fastest option for getting across the screen is superjumping and immediately
airdashing, then doing it again.  Plus, he's a big, slow fella, which means
that the smaller, faster characters (like SonSon) can absolutely destroy
him...provided he can't pin you down with demons first.  For SonSon, this means
rushing the big lug and hitting him wherever you can.  Be careful not to run
foolishly into a c.LK, 'cause he can combo right into an assist (and then into
the HoD, which stinks) or even into a ground-Judgement Day if you're near the

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                     The (Un)Punisher                      ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Blackheart has trouble punishing things that people do.  This is due in part
to the fact that he can't maneuver quickly enough to get close to you, and
partly because his fastest specials still won't be fast enough to get to you
before you will be able to block them.  I'm talking about 2 things, here -
sj.air dashes, and his HP Inferno (Dark Thunder takes more time, and leaves him
just as vulnerable), both of which are potent but still not enough to catch the
usual tricks.  There are exceptions - i.e., the aforementioned Shien-Bu trades
hits with his Inferno xx HoD, but you end up taking more damage from the trade
- but you can generally stick to ground rushes, Toward + HP to keep him from
throwing out any demons on the ground, and whatever you think will work well.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                       Assist Usage                        ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Blackheart lacks the ability to effectively stop you from rushing him
without assists, and he lacks Sentinel's flying ability (for mobility) or
Cable's AHVB (which means 1 mistake = free damage).  If you remove Blackheart's
AAA assist(s), then he has very, very little he can safely do to stop SonSon.  
In the event that you find yourself running into an assist too much, change 
tactics and wait for the assist to come out, blocking the attack and then 
assaulting the assist instead.  Blackheart, as previously discussed, have 
trouble retaliating after certain attacks, and the Seiten Rengeki is actually a 
good attack for this sort of thing.  Combo your opponent's assist and, if 
Blackheart is blocking it, you're free to finish the attack with a Seiten 
Rengeki.  Blackheart's best option will be to try and poke you, and since his 
assist will already be occupied, he can't use them to combo into an Inferno xx 
HoD.  Keep this sort of thing up and BH won't be able to call out the assist 
without worrying for their safety, meaning you're free to rush him again...

.......until his assist has healed enough life to be deemed safe again.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                     Intelligence Quota                    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   Now, this is all under the assumption that the Blackheart is going to be
playing intelligently, and knows what to do and when to do it.  Too often, I
see BH players that mindlessly jump and throw out HK demons without any
variation, and don't even bother with ground attacks or even use stupid, unsafe
moves on the ground.  These are SonSon's times to shine, as you should be
effectively figuring out how good the BH player is while you watch him handle
the giant archdemon.  If he throws out a Dark Thunder, Inferno, or any
crouching attack without cancelling them into anything, then SonSon only has to
block the attack and then retaliate on his oversized hide; heck, SonSon can
even allow herself to be hit by the Dark Thunder, roll behind BH, and then get
him during his lag.  BH can also superjump and throw out HP demons and
immediately airdash backwards, thwarting opponents from jumping up after him;
if you see him do this, start wavedashing beneath him, since the demons
shouldn't fall low enough to hit you.  If you see him superjump again, then
wavedash anyways - HP or HK demons can both be avoided this way.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                        Guard Break                        ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
   As with a lot of characters, Blackheart has a few ways of guardbreaking his
opponents.  Oddly enough, they end up revolving around his HP Dark Thunder,
which - in most any other circumstance - would be asking to be hit.  However,
by throwing out the Dark Thunder (forcing you to block it when your next
character comes in), Blackheart can then cancel into a Heart of Darkness or
Judgement Day and catch you before you hit the ground.  If you take the hit
from the Dark Thunder, you can't GC your way out of either Super, forcing you
to at least take some chip.  However, SonSon is one of those characters with a
pesky airdash, meaning she has the ability to dash right over the demons and
start the fight by clubbing Blackheart in the head with a j.HP/HK.  It's not
failsafe, but it works.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                         Roundup                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Ultimately, Blackheart tends to be a tad predictable in his methods, and he
can't handle rushdown too well due to his lack of quick priority moves (other
than his c.LK and j.LK).  His HP moves are fine for keepaway and building
meter, but if you remove his most reliable form of chipping (Inferno xx HoD),
that meter won't mean much and going to have to work harder to make the damage
count.  He does hit hard, and he takes less damage than normal, but he's also a
big, slow, not-very-maneuverable target.  Pound for pound, SonSon should be
able to take out Blackheart without TOO much trouble.  She's really only in
danger if he has the likes of a good AAA (like CapCom, Doom, Cyclops, or Cable)
to protect him from your rushing; these are helpful, but they can't protect him
when you take to the air and prevent him from mobilizing too much.  Remember,
if you're in the air and he tries his Inferno xx HoD, pushblock and airdash
over it; if you're on the ground, you'll have to guard cancel it.  Blackheart
has no good reason to continue using such tired old tactics that can easily get
himself killed, and that's the reason why he isn't Top Tier anymore.

            #####  _______________________===========__________________________
            #####                         J   - Cammy
            #####  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯===========¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
            #####  Cammy is a fairly common choice as a 3rd player, not because
            #####  of her amazing on-point abilities but more for her 100%
            #####  invincible assist (her Anti-Air).  As such, she is usually
            #####  the weakest of the 3 characters brought out to play, and
#####      #####  can seriously cripple the rest of the team by being
#####     #####   defeated.  Thus, snapping out that pesky Cable, Storm,
  #############    Sentinel, or whoever can be a good thing...but it certainly
    #########      helps to know how to deal with Cammy when she comes out,
                   lest you end up being the butt of several jokes after
snapping in the "assist" character and promptly losing to them.  For SonSon,
this is usually a bad situation to be in - since she's usually an "Assist"
character as well, her being brought out can spell doom for your team as well.
However, making sure that you can topple your opponents' Assist can do wonders
for your luck throughout the rest of the match...now let's get to it!

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                    Another Speed Demon?                   ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
First off, there's something you should know about Cammy: she is fast.  VERY
fast.  Her dash is the 2nd fastest in the game (behind Mags, of course), so she
can very quickly and very easily get underneath whatever you're throwin' out.
As such, you have to realize which moves of yours have even the smallest
amounts of lag; failing to realize this means you'll be rushed and pummelled
before you can even get a decent attack off.  Thus, a lot of SonSon's specials
and all of her Hypers can't simply be thrown out without them being punished.
Granted, this goes for quite a few characters - including the God, Top, and
Near-Top Tiers - but it's worth bringing up.  Cammy isn't quite nearly as
dominating as them, but she has a few points that make he quite dangerous.  As
long as you know what to avoid - and, failing that, what to do to avoid further
damage within her combos - then you should come out on top.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                   Pain from a Little Girl                 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
One thing you'll notice about the Top, God, and Near-Top tiers is that they
have 1 of 2 things going for them (or sometimes both):  high-damage combos (and
I mean HIGH damage), or extremely safe methods of attacking.  In certain
instances, chipping comes into play, but for those such characters their
ability to chip supercedes their high-damage abilities (i.e., Strider and
Spiral).  For Cammy, she has some fairly impressive combos that can do quite a
bit of damage...but she's not altogether safe when it comes to doing it.  For
starters, she is limited in much the same way that SonSon is (most specials and
all hypers can be capitalized on).  This means that the deciding factor comes
down to who has the better attacking style, who can do more damage, and
ultimately who is the safest in attacking the other.  For this, I think SonSon
wins out in terms of safety and style...but Cammy clearly holds the edge on
damage, and it doesn't take much to knock SonSon out of the picture.  Let's go
over that, shall we?

Cammy's biggest combo(s) revolve around ending with a HK Cannon Drill xx Killer
Bee Assault.  For the most part, you should be able to handle avoiding such
combos...let's look at it this way:  Cammy has to hit you first to chain into
her combos (since she lacks any reliable, SAFE chipping to hurt you with).  Due
to this, you'll see her rushing you a lot, trying to land a clean hit.  Of
course, blocking high is ok...until she tries to hit you with a crouching
attack.  Now, if you crouchblock her rushing, then she would have to hit you
with an overhead attack to connect.  Cammy doesn't have any quick-to-connect
air attacks that she can perform from a grounded position (such as various
characters' Tri-jumps), so she can't easily attack low and then catch you from
above...at least, not quickly.  Thus, she's much more likely to use a scant few
special moves to try and catch you off guard.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                      Mix-Ups...where?                     ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
What are those special moves?  Well, let's look at what she has: Cannon Drill,
Cannon Spike, Cannon Dive, Spinning Knuckle, Hooligan Combo, and her counters.
Which ones can she combo off of (i.e., combo into a super with)?  Her counters
and her Cannon Drill.  What does she have that she can use to mix up her
attacking?  Well, the Spinning Knuckle can be thrown in to add a little chip to
a blocked combo, and it's fairly unpunishable (unless it's pushblocked, in
which then it's even MORE punishable), but you should pay attention to the use
of the Hooligan Combo.  This little move doesn't yield much, but it's great
against those who lack the reflexes to counter/avoid it - she slowly arcs
towards you, ready to attack in 3 different ways - a cannon spike, a command
throw, or a sliding trip.  The real difficulty of this is the fact that it acts
as a command throw; the moment you see her doing this, smack her with a Seiten
Rengeki.  If you whiff it, then you're ok (she won't be able to counter you, as
she'll be stuck in her own lag), and it's impossible for her to block or
counter it once in this mode.  If she doesn't connect at all - meaning she
threw it out randomly - then she isn't safe at ALL, and should be punished

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                    OTG and You're Fine                    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Ok, so let's suppose Cammy DID land 1 good hit and AC's you into her Cannon
Drill xx KBA combo.  Then what?  Well, you should definitely be aware of the
fact that Cammy has OTGs and throw resets.  Cammy's air HP throw causes her to
chuck you straight to the ground...and since she has little-to-no lag on this,
that means (if she's close enough to the ground) she can OTG relaunch you and
do another combo.  In other words, learn to roll off of any/all airthrows you
see - Cammy lacks any defining cross-up techniques, so she despite her speedy
dash there is little she can do when you roll.  Her KBA ends with you being
dropped to the ground via an aerial Frankensteiner, which should also be
rolled; once again, Cammy is free to OTG you if you don't roll it, so any
further combos are avoidable through this simple act.

...and that really is about it.  She can't easily link off of her ground throws 
without creative assist usage, and she can't do any defining damage unless she 
lands a good hit and launches you (even if she lacks meter, she has some 
painful doublejump combos that you'd want to avoid).  Since she has no real 
aerial game (that doesn't leave her open to retaliation), most of Cammy's game 
is relegated to mindless rushing and hoping to land a lucky shot.  Sure, she 
can do a little bit of chipping with certain specials, but if they're whiffed - 
or, for some of them, even if they're blocked - they are punishable.  All 3 of 
Cammy's supers are heavily punishable when blocked or avoided, forcing her back 
into the rushing game she likes so much.  However, don't think that she's a 
buttercup; her KBA has an invincible start-up (go ahead, start one up and watch 
her fly through a beam attack to the wall), and is very fast when she kicks 
off, so she can counter easily.  Heck, she can full-screen counter with a HK 
Cannon Drill xx KBA, which certainly isn't too much fun.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯             One on One with the Killer Doll               ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Now, SonSon vs. Cammy is an interesting thing to see.  It's usually your 2 last
"assist characters" going at it, and they both take damage rather poorly.
Thus, 1-2 moderate combos from either person is going to severely cripple their
rival, and any DHCs or resets are sure to do even more damage (if not outright
death).  SonSon tends to carry the edge in terms of being able to land more
hits, or generally tricking Cammy into attacking when she shouldn't...and thus,
this should be your strategy.  Fake Cammy into a combo, or simply turtle
until she does something you can capitalize on.  90% of the Cammy players
you'll find only do 1 thing, and that is mindless rushing so they can land a
KBA combo.  Sure, it's easy and damaging, but Cammy has more than that to
her...but if they use the wrong tool at the wrong time, she'll get owned very
severely.  SonSon's airdash, ground crawl, and wall climb are all wonderful
assets for trickery, since 2 of them can be cancelled quickly and 1 of 'em
(ground crawl) is decent for baiting.

SonSon's Shien-Bu works for pressure, since - if done just off the ground
(Tiger-knee'ed) - Cammy can't KBA you or Cannon Drill you, so she has to
pass underneath...and by then, you're safely blocking again.  If she doesn't
move or superjumps, then she has to come down at you, which gives you the
opportunity to cross her up and attack in a variety of ways.  If she remains
grounded, then you have the ability to airdash over her head, drop to the
ground and attack, or simply wait for her to make the next move.  You have the
advantage at this point, and you can practically lounge around until she makes
another move.  Her Seiten Rengeki isn't too good a move, considering how open
it leaves her - blocked or whiffed, Cammy can rush in during the lag and launch
you for a combo (or two...that's why you have to roll!).  Thus, it's the kind
of move that you want to use only in combos that you KNOW are going to connect.
Of course, having it connect is a free Tenchi Tsuukan, so it's not TOO bad of
an attack...it's the equivalent of Cammy's Cannon Drill, really.

What else does SonSon have?  Well, you can keep Cammy at bay with her f.HP
smash - it's practically unpunishable anyways, and against someone like
Cammy this can do a fair amount of damage if it connects more than once.
SonSon's j.HP will beat any of Cammy's normals, although it fails - just like
everything else - against her Cannon Spike.  See, that blasted Cannon Spike is
invincible (that's why people use it as an assist), so SonSon can't hope to
beat it.  Thus, you can usually get a couple of free j.HPs in before the other
player realizes this.  My suggestion is to go with a couple of j.HPs before
faking her out and blocking, then making her eat a combo when she goes on the
offensive.  You can also jump at her, then airdash backwards to avoid being
hit; if worse comes to worse, you can perform a j.LP to cancel it and block
whatever comes your way (or j.HP to hit her in the head if she runs after you).

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                    Close it Up!                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Ok, so there you have it - she can be deadly, but if you know how to block then 
you should be fine.  Sure, she's fast on the run, but she unless she lands that 
c.LK then she's never going to get anywhere.  Make sure you drop her at the 
surest sign of convenience, and cripple your opponents' entire team.  Cammy has 
some serious power to her modest (and short) combos, so all you have to do is 
NOT allow her to land that c.LK or do something that has enough lag for a HK
Cannon Drill or KBA to connect.  If she tries to mix it up with a throw or
Hooligan Combo, you should know what to do.  Aside from that...well, what else
do you need?

####       ######  _______________________=============_______________________
####      ######                          K   - Dhalsim
####    #####      ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯=============¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
####  #####
#### #####         Ah, one of the two kings of Japanese gameplay!  Dhalsim
####### ####       simply does not see enough use anywhere throughout the
#####    ####      U.S., which is a darn shame; the guy has a lot going for
####      ####     him, including the infallable (though slightly tricky)
####        ####   infinite runaway, supremely damaging corner combos, a
####         ####  mashable throw for tons of damage (and, if close enough to
                    the corner, this can link into one of those 100% corner
juggles), near full-screen pokes...problem is, people only see him as someone
who is too difficult to combo with, doesn't have any useful supers, and takes
too much damage to be worth it.  He's no Strider, and he doesn't have one of
the 3 best supers in the game (Hailstorm, HSF, and AHVB), but he's got long
limbs.  You'll find out just how important those are once you start playing
some good Dhalsims.

....the biggest problem with Dhalsim, though, is that his learning curve is so
extremely high that people often look at him as a wasted effort.  He doesn't
have any (immediately noticable) normal combo that do as much damage as Iron
Man, Magneto, or Sentinel, and he doesn't have any (immediately noticable) ways
to combo into his supers.  These people are fools, through and through...
Dhalsim just takes a little more work to get those things down, that's all.
Let's discuss the long-limbed-(g)ladiator in detail, shall we?

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

  ####              _______________________==============______________________
  ####                                     L   - Iron Man
  ####              ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯==============¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
  ####              As you may have guessed, here is the OTHER king of Japanese
  ####              gameplay.  I tells ya, from what I've seen the Japanese
  ####              LOVE this guy...and there's plenty of reasons why, once you
  ####              start to flesh out the character.  Sure, he lacks the tools
  ####              to effectively handle any of the Top Tier (although he has
  ################  the damage to back it up), but for anyone below him...watch
  ################  out.  If you can't run away from him and keep him at arms'
                    length, then you could be in for more trouble than any of
the God Tier is able to provide.  So let's get to the guy I would say is sorely
underrated...Iron Man!

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

#####       #####  _______________________==============______________________
######     ######                         M   - Psylocke
######     ######  ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯==============¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
###  ##   ##  ###
###  ### ###  ###  As with Cammy, you will primarily see Psylocke taken into a
###  ### ###  ###  fight as an assist character.  However, unlike other assist
###   #####   ###  -oriented characters (T. Bonne, Captain Commando, Zangief,
###   #####   ###  etc), Psylocke can actually handle herself when on point.
###   #####   ###  Sure, she has one of the nicest AAA's in the game...but she
                    has a point game that shouldn't be scoffed, either.  Let's
find out what the Japanese psionic ninja has going for her, and how to take it
away from her and beat her over the head with it.  ...or something like that.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

================================ MvC2 - SonSon ================================
     ----------------------------VI: Various------------------------------
================================ MvC2 - SonSon ================================

Stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else?  Find it here!

                  A   - My Own Personal Thoughts on the Tiers

The tiers are very, very hotly debated across boards and within arcades
throughout America.  Coming up with a tier list is, essentially, the compiled
win/loss ratios of every character in dozens of situations, playing against
everyone in the game, analyzing matchups with players of equal skill as well as
players who are heavily inbalanced on either side of the sticks.  They
represent tournament placements, character abilities, specific matchups as well
as broader tactics.  These concepts are the basis for my guide, as I try to
cover the basic, all-encompassing tactics and abilities that each character
uses and what are most effective for them across the board as well as specific
situation occurances (and how to cover them).  I picked the character I wanted
to take the angle from (SonSon), and then went from the basics to the hard-core
one-on-one stuff.

...however, this is about the tiers.  Now, people have widely accepted that the 
"God Tier" - a tier comprised of characters that are so insurmountable that 
they are in a league all their own - is of the following order:

1 - Storm
2 - Sentinel
3 - Cable
4 - Magneto

Now, I'm sure to generate some interesting e-mails from the folks at
Shoryuken.com, with people (scrubs and vets alike) challenging my opinions and
thoughts on the matter.  That's fine; I hope to address some of the upcoming
arguments in this section right here.  We all generally take the SSCM listing
to heart, so there isn't much to comment on there.  The reason I said that
Sentinel and Cable are now tied is due to Guard Cancelling.

   ~Sentinel loses some of his excellent, excellent traps and juggles
    associated with his HSF juggles.  The guy, formerly an assist destroyer,
    singular-character demolisher and chipping wizard, loses some of his potent
    tricks through Guard Cancelling out of his traps.  Before, Sentinel could
    juggle an assist while the point man was forced to block it all; now, they
    can leap out and prevent Sentinel from juggling any further, meaning he
    can't harm the main character OR the assist as much.  That's quite a loss,
    really.  Still, I don't know if it is enough to allow Cable to completely
    rise up past him, since you can mix up the Mouthbeam, Rocket Punch, and HSF
    timings so that guard cancelling isn't as easy to predict.  However, for a
    lot of players, you can expect that first HP xx Rocket Punch to be followed
    by the HSF, so anyone with reflexes can avoid the trap entirely.  Not too
    good for Sentinel...but he is FAR from being without options.  He just
    loses a really, really good one, that's all.  Now, if someone could find a
    way to apply it to getting out of Sentinel's stomping frenzies, THEN he
    might officially drop a number...

   ~Cable moves up a spot by guard cancelling into an AHVB.  Remember, it is a
    VERY fast maneuver, allowing Cable to full-screen retaliate against many
    moves that some people couldn't even effectively retort against from 1/2 to
    1/3 a screen away.  Now, with Cable's ability to guard cancel out of
    certain attacks, he can (hopefully) turn even more situations into a good
    situation that can be remedied with the AHVB.  All he has to do is cancel
    at the right moment and either AHVB it (from a distance) or LK at the right
    moment (when in close) and the combo is his, regardless of what his
    opponent is doing.  Spiral loses even more safety against him, as does
    Magneto (formerly a TERRIBLE matchup for Cable), Dhalsim, Storm, Sentinel,
    Strider, Dr. Doom, Cyclops (not even the SOB is 100% safe anymore!)...in
    fact, pretty much anyone that has (had) an attack that usually leaves Cable
    in blockstun long enough for them to recover is now toast.  So while Cable
    had to work for those openings before, he can how take a slightly less-
    involved (yet much more skilled) attitude to the fight.  That's good enough
    for me to rank him higher.

Storm and Magneto...well, I already covered them.
__________                                                           __________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Now, when it comes to the Top Tier, the only 4 people that are ALWAYS on it are
Cyclops, Dr. Doom, Spiral, and Strider.  Many, many people will argue that
Strider/Doom should be listed as a God Tier member...but let's be honest, that
is actually nothing more than Strider with his absolute optimal assist backing
him.  If we were to play that game, then you'd see Cable/Cyclops,
Sentinel/Blackheart or Sentinel/Capcom or Sentinel/Doom, Mags/Psylocke,
Storm/Anyone, Spiral/Sentinel...we can't place teams or else the "God Tier"
gets muddied up with dozens of groups that are "arguably" the greatest out

Now, when it comes to the placement of each character in the top, I
(personally) would rank Cyclops and Doom as tied (5th), with Spiral and Strider
ranking as tied for 7th.  Cyc and Doom are both extremely well-rounded, having
moderate comeback skills of their own, excelling in chipping and doing quite
well in their own respective styles of rushing, running, and playing keepaway.
In order to raise either one above the other, you would have start debating who
has the more effective style across the board, as well as who handles
themselves better against the God, Top, and Near-Top Tiers (my money's on
Cyclops...but that's just me).

Spiral and Strider, to be as effective as possible, require certain assists to
truly get their games going, and - to be honest - neither of them have any
truly defining comeback tools.  Yes, Spiral has her Metamorphosis and her
glitched throw, but you can mash out of one and the other is VERY easily
avoided; thus, she is good for her amazing keepaway and battery skills, NOT for
her comeback abilities.  Strider's best combos, under optimal settings, can do
50% of your life...but those simply aren't going to happen much.  Furthermore, 
he has a very high risk/reward ratio, meaning that if he makes one mistaken 
move it can cost him dearly.  If he blows a teleport and instead clings to a 
wall, then dozens of characters get a free advantage in the fight and - since 
Strider has terrible stamina - that means he is losing FAR more life than he 
(probably) took off in the process.  Sentinel and Dr. Doom enhance both 
characters' gameplans to ungodly levels...but without them, each person is 
severely crippled, and lose far more than Cyclops or Doom do when they are
assist-less.  If I had to rank these two, I'd put Spiral below Strider for the
comeback factor alone.
__________                                                           __________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Now we hit the Near-Tops, which is definitely an interesting group.  Before I
even start covering the characters, I feel I should defend my position of NOT
including Captain Commando.  That, however, will be covered below with the
other miscreants that didn't make the cut.  Feel free to browse down below and
see for yourself.

I'll first cover the primary-assist characters, Psylocke and Cammy.  Both of
them have decent damage to their games, they both have enhanced mobility, both
are very fast...but they lack the safety to truly make their games effective.
If you block Cammy's rushes, then what else does she have to offer?
Furthermore, her rushing skills are a far cry from the likes of anyone with a
decent tri-jump (or ghetto tri-jump, like Thanos, Rogue, et al), so she can't
even do much of THAT well.  Since she has difficulty effectively working off of
a throw, then she has very little options left...still, she has the tools to
wreak havoc in certain situations, and she can do tons of damage if you blow a
block.  Psylocke doesn't have the damage of Cammy, but she has better (safer)
chipping, better mobility, and a few more mix-ups and traps going for her.
Since she doesn't have the damage of Cammy, and their assists have equally
useful applications, one could argue that the two of them are equals.  Not
quite as great as the Top or Near-Top characters...but they have enough in
certain areas to make them contenders.  I'd tie them and place them just
beneath Iron Man and Dhalsim, putting them at tied for 11th.

Blackheart, as previously discussed, is a natural meter-builder, but he's like
Gambit in a few respects - he needs someone to effectively combo into his
supers.  If there's an applicable situation, he can directly go into the
Inferno xx HoD (just like Gambit's Kinetic Card xx Cajun Explosion)...but that
can now be guard broken out of, meaning he's going to need an assist just to
make sure THAT works as well.  So not only can it be avoided or countered by
everyone, but he relies on an assist regardless of whether or not it hits!  No
good.  Furthermore, his aerial keep-away game has been seriously debunked by
people dashing underneath his demons and catching him from below, or
superjumping up after him (avoiding either batch of demons) and hitting him
horizontally.  Blackheart also severely suffers from bad rushdown, meaning that
if you stay in his face, he has no safe options to keeping you away from him.
Yes, he has good damage and some comeback capabilities...but if you're someone
that can effectively rush (which, in certain styles, is most of the cast of
this game), then Blackheart is going to be severely disabled.

.....still, for the kind of power this guy has, and an excellent anti-runaway
assist that he brings to the table, you cannot discount Blackheart.
Underestimating a smart Blackheart can be just as bad as underestimating one of
the God Tier.  If I were to rank Blackheart, he would be 13th.

Dhalsim is a huge bundle of potential, dragged down by his frustratingly high
learning curve.  Unless you have the timing exactly precise on his j.HP and
d.LK maneuvers, then you're not even going to be able to add substantial damage
to combos, and you can forget about comboing into supers and such.  However,
once you get past that learning curve, you'll discover that Dhalsim has tons of
ranged and close-quarters abilities, one of the best runaway games ever created
(infinite teleport at the top of the screen, nigh untouchable), amazing corner
combos, and some mix-ups that even Magneto would be proud of.  However...he
just doesn't have the same consistent damage of Storm, his mix-ups aren't as
workable as Magneto, and he doesn't have the high-damage count of Sentinel or
Cable (outside of a corner).  Still, for what he has, he really does it well.
I'd easily rank him at 9th, tied with Iron Man.  He may have better tools for
getting about and dealing (or avoiding) damage, but Iron Man - with his modest
tools - certainly does get more damage done than Dhalsim.

Finally, we have the man that I think is sorely underrated - Iron Man.  This
dude isn't as fast as quite a few members of the cast; however, he has a tri-
jump that is VERY workable, giving him some very potent mix-up games.
Furthermore, one well-played mix-up (and the proper level of skill) can turn
into an Iron Man infinite, which can easily mean the end of that character...if
not the entire team.  If he is blocked, then he can still take the free chip
from a c.HK xx LP Unibeam (only the likes of a God Tier character will be able
to counter this), and his modest runaway skills are still difficult to
supercede.  Since he has a great mix of everything (lacking a good DHC-out or -
in, really), I would easily rank him up as a Top Tier, bordering on God
Tier...but since he DOES falter to excellent rushdown or trapping, you'll soon
discover that he ends up handling like 90% of the other guys in the game.
Heck, even Cable - with his average maneuverability - can avoid quite a few
traps with his offensive play style.  Iron Man, however, can't seem to get the
job done quite as well even though he DOES get around better.  I don't
necessary agree that he should be dropped to Near-Top status...but at least
he's getting the mention.
__________                                                           __________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯                                                           ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
My closing argument will be for those whom are probably going to be debated as
Top or Near-Top worthiness, but were left off.  Let's get the list rolling.

CapCom   - Sure, some people will tell you that he has the best assist in the
           game.  Loads of damage, works well as a counter-in (for more
           damage), it covers a good portion of the screen, and he even has
           modest retaliation abilities.  The problem is that he just doesn't
           play that safe, and he has trouble on a lot of fronts that other
           characters can effectively handle.  He doesn't have the enhanced
           mobility of Cammy or Psylocke, whom also have Top-Tier assists, and
           although he has the damage of Cammy, it just isn't as consistent or
           as feasible as Cammy's is.  Furthermore, he isn't as safe at
           chipping as Psylocke is, so he loses there as well.  When it comes
           to one-on-one matches, he has to take more risks than usual just to
           get the job done, and while he CAN turn the tide of a match with the
           damage he can reap...well, the risks too often outweigh the rewards.
           You whiff or block a special (unless you are Blackheart, or he
           decided to use Sho's Katana Fall) and you are in SERIOUS
           trouble...and in high-level tournament play, that's just not a good
           move.  He is there for assist-uses ONLY at this level of
Anakaris - Anakaris has some serious damage potential, including his assist-
           related infinite.  Unfortunately, the guy plays in such an unortho-
           dox way that he is sure to give a headache to plenty of players
           (instead of competition).  Furthermore, his level of risks vs.
           rewards is a little too high to work in competitive play, since he
           is too easily guard broken, he lacks good runaway, he doesn't have
           the tools to counter or combat certain situations...yes, he can
           rushdown in his own odd way and there can be tons of damage to be
           brought from it, but that doesn't automatically make you a Top
           character.  He could be a contender for a Near-Top slot, but he
           tends to fail because he relies a little too much on assists, he
           doesn't have any assists that aid his teammates very well, and he
           lacks the right kind of tools to stop the onslaughts that the
           God/Top/Near-Tops can wreak.
Rogue    - Sorry, Vegita-X and VDO, but she just isn't quite up there as a
           Near-Top character.  Rogue has the mix-ups that Cammy and Psylocke
           lack, using he d.HK jump-in for cross-ups and etc., and she can
           combo into her super (on the ground) for a decent amount of damage.
           However, for all that, Rogue has some serious problems in safety:
            ~If she whiffs a move or is blocked, then she is right next to her
             opponent and ready to be pounded on (same with Cammy, but Cammy
             has certain other tools to her advantage so that this might not  
             be the only outcome);
            ~Rogue doesn't have an assist that consistently aids her opponents;
            ~Her mix-ups, revolving around her Command Throw, are risky enough 
             to cause serious pain if they fail;
            ~She has trouble dealing with being rushed or being run from;
            ~She can't stop trapping teams.
           Psylocke can teleport or use her blazing speed and three jumps to
           get out of stuff, and Cammy can either doublejump and invincible
           through something or simply KBA through the bulk of the attack and
           rebuff the rest.  Rogue can airdash, block, and hope for the best.
           She doesn't have a good DHC-out or DHC-in in terms of safety,
           especially if she needs to get out in a hurry, while everyone in the
           God, Top, and Near-Top tiers has such DHCs...save Strider, Spiral,
           and Iron Man, of course.  Strider has his instant-start Legion
           super, and Spiral can just load swords, toss a few, and tag in the
           next guy while their opponent is still in blockstun, preventing a
           counter-attack.  Iron Man is stuck like Rogue - their DHCs leave
           them open before they can DHC out, messing up their team and
           possibly losing a character in the process.  Rogue may be faster and
           can really wreak havoc with some of her mix-ups...but she doesn't
           have the chipping of Iron Man, the damage capability of Iron Man,
           the keep-away of Iron Man, the assist-punishment of Iron Man, or
           assists that help quite as much as Iron Man's.  And, of course, if
           Iron Man is only a Near-Top...then what does that make Rogue?
T. Bonne - Tron has quite a bit going for her, really.  She has good offensive
           capabilities (damage-wise), and - with the right assists - she can
           do quite a bit of safe chipping in her own makeshift-lockdown sort
           of way.  She has a versatile j.HP with good priority and range, she
           has an air-dash for mobility, she can punish moves quick quickly and 
           easily, she can somewhat-safely DHC in or out, she's not too big, 
           and she has an assist that can aid just about anyone in the game 
           very well.  However, she ends up losing quite a bit when she doesn't 
           have assists backing her, since she cannot play nearly as safe as 
           she did before.  She can c.LK, s.LP for a few hits, then throw out a 
           Tron Strike if it connects (or refrain if it is blocked, giving her 
           enough time to make that decision).  However, if she throws out that 
           Strike, she is right next to her opponent and in for a world of 
           hurt.  Tron has a spot of trouble dealing with rushdown, since she 
           doesn't have any really safe anti-air methods (I've seen people use 
           her s.HK rock throw to AAA, but this is a bit of a gamble), and 
           trapping teams can give her headaches as well (her airdash, while 
           nice, simply isn't as effective as it could be in avoiding some of 
           Blackhearts' or Spirals' stuff).  She may have good long-range 
           capitalization and decent damage, but if you can rush her or turtle 
           at the right times then you're just not going to get anywhere with 
           Tron.  Now, her assist on the other hand...
SonSon   - Ah, the one you've all been waiting for.  Well...SonSon has some
           really good damaging combos, and she has the tools to work certain
           situations and combos in her favor.  Howver, she lacks a cancellable
           air-dash (which means she can't halt an airborne move and dash away)
           or feasible way to combo off of her Wall Climb overhead.  She ends
           up with the capacity to do the damage of Cammy, but she is less able
           to succeed in landing that damage and doesn't have the mobility to
           make up for the lack of damage.  If you have the tools, then you can
           land more combos and ultimately do more damage...if you only have
           the damage, then you could be in trouble.  Juggernaut and Colossus
           have the damage, but they lack the tools to make use of 'em.  SonSon
           may have less damage and more tools, putting her ahead of them, but
           she just doesn't have the right kind of abilities to completely put
           her up into the next league of gameplay.  She has a great assist and
           some wonderful abilities...but the best she can possibly hope for is
           high "Wanna-Be a Near-Top" Tier.

           ...yes, I just made that term up.

                            B   - Revision History

07-06-03:  So I've decided to split up my SonSon guide.  Yay.
07-14-03:  First version put up online.  I've added my "thoughts on the Top
           Tier" section, as well as most of the Cyclops section.  Plus, as you
           may (or may not) have noticed, I changed the style for this
           particular game guide, suiting quick searches easier.  After all,
           this guide does amount to rather extensive passages of text, so
           making those section breaks easier to notice through browses is a
07-17-03:  Cyclops is finished, and I added Tron to the "Sorry, but you're Just
           Not a Near-Top Tier Character" list.  Next up will probably Psylocke
           or Strider...I get the feeling that Dr. Doom and Iron Man will be
           VERY difficult to cover.

                                 C   - Thanks

~CJayC (CJayC@gamefaqs.com, www.gamefaqs.com) for putting this FAQ up.  Your
 hard work as earned my respect.
~Al Amaloo (www.gamewinners.com) for being such a cool guy, and having a great
 site.  Your tenacity will live forever!
~Vertsk8pro@hotmail.com for giving me a heart attack with your childish "I
 stole your FAQ and sold it with my name on it" antics.  Because of that, I now
 do dozens of things to make sure people don't steal my work.  If they do, I
 know exactly what to look for to see if they took MY work or not.
~Uh...I can't exactly thank God for the role he's taken in my life, because
 that would seem like I'm trying to force my religious opinions on someone else
 (which I'm not).  Therefore, I'd like to thank "Murray" for the role he's
 taken in my life (Murray, you know who you are).
~Those crezzy, crezzy guys at www.Shoryuken.com.  Guys, if you want to know
 something about a fighting game - really, ANY fighting game - then head to
 SRK's forums.  The best players in the world (on a lot of fighting games) go
 to those boards, so if you can't get your game some help there...then you're
 not going to get helped at ALL.
~Brian Clevenger (www.nuklearpower.com) for his wonderful comic "8-Bit
 Theatre".  Taking the characters from Final Fantasy and making a comic strip
 was a great idea, but the jokes you've managed to create thus far have
 bordered on absolute genius.  Plus, I decided to quote Fighter in my guide
 (see the "Spiral" strategy section), so I might as well give credit where
 credit is due.
                                D   - No Thanks

If you write me asking for help with the game, I'll send you a link to my FAQ.
If you ask for specific help, I'll try to aid you.  However, if you ask me
about something that is already covered in the FAQ, I will simply refer you to
the FAQ again.  I wrote the FAQ so that your questions would be answered here,
not so I could repeat that FAQ bit by bit through e-mail for the next few
years.  If you need clarification about something in the FAQ, ask about it -
but don't ask me to repeat anything.

                                    End FAQ

The following are sites that can NOT use my work.  If you see these sites using
ANY of my FAQs, please e-mail me ASAP.  Each of these websites are sites that
have plagiarised myself or others in the past, or simply taken our work(s)
without our prior permission.  Since they do not have enough respect for the
authors (or an ignorance of the law), I am expressly forbidding them from using
my work.  I will not promote such sites that partake in these actions.

   911 Codes                     http://911codes.com
   9 Lives                       http://www.9lives.ru/eng/
   Bean's PlayStation Dimension  http://www.bean.dk/psx/index.htm
   Cheat Code Central            http://www.cheatcc.com
   Cheat Index                   http://cheatindex.com
   Cheat Matrix                  http://cheatmatrix.com
   Cheat Search                  http://cheatsearch.com
   Cheatstop                     http://www.panstudio.com/cheatstop/
   CNET Gamecenter               http://games.netscape.com/Faqs/
   Console Domain                http://www.consoledomain.co.uk
   Dirty Little Helper           http://dlh.net
   Dark Station                  http://www.darkstation.com/
   Dreamland                     http://kirby.pokep.net
   Games Domain                  http://www.gamesdomain.com
   Game Express                  http://www.gameexpress.com
   Games Over                    http://www.gamesover.com/
   Mega Games                    http://www.megagames.com
   Square Haven                  http://www.square-haven.net
   Ultimate System               http://www.flatbedexpress.com
   VideoGaming.net               http://www.videogaming.net/
   Cheats.de                     http://www.cheats.de

(Taken from Jim "Red Phoenix" Chamberlin's FAQ Theft Guide, as well as added

As I stated above, if you want to use one of my guides, I ask that you e-mail
me to gain my permission first.  I like to keep track of which sites use my
work, so I know where to send the updates, and it's a little difficult to keep
you updated if you don't e-mail me.

This Document Copyright Reverend Eric "Vegita" Johnson, 2003

View in: