so a while back i posted a long ass-thing about what i thought about umvc3 team composition (and how many people i saw playing a few weeks ago with rather awful teams) and now i thought i’d post a long-ass thing about my specific team, and why i like it so much (as well as the points where i don’t like it so much). the team is: zero (ryuenjin) doom (beam or missiles, usually beam) vergil (rapid slash).
can it kill a regular-health starting character with one combo from the beginning of the game? yep, thanks to zero — lightning loops will kill lots of characters with one bar and pretty much anything with two (even off a throw, random assist call, etc.); he also usually builds a bar during the opening combo. what’s more, with the right assists, you can hit confirm off almost anything.
does it have an anchor that could conceivably make XF3 comebacks against full teams? yep — vergil with XF3 can be almost as scary as dark phoenix, and you don’t need to save all your meter for him (though he is very good with meter). also, maybe it’s just me, but it seems like x-factoring out of blockstun -> spiral swords or standing H is really good at catching assists.
does it have other characters that could conceivably make XF3 comebacks against full teams? yes. it’s not fantastic in this regard; doom is okay with XF2/3, but i don’t love it because he has some matchups where he practically can’t move (ew hawkeye), and zero is…weird with x-factor. i don’t like x-factor zero of any level because i don’t know his combos, and he’s almost too fast, if that makes any sense.
does it have an anchor and/or assist that can come into the late-game phase with an extreme advantage? yes, vergil. if you run through the first two characters, you’re still dealing with XF3 with vergil and probably 3-4 bars, and his odds of running through at least your first two characters without breaking a sweat are pretty good if he can make it past the incoming character mixup (which he’s pretty bad at dealing with).
does it have an anchor and/or assist that makes for a compelling snap-in? vergil and sometimes doom (if you really hate hidden missiles). obviously snapping vergil in is a pretty good idea because you don’t want to deal with XF3 vergil in the lategame, but the problem is that if you snap him in from zero you’ve basically given zero a get-out-of-jail free card (in that you could have killed him instead of snapping him out), so you’ll still have to deal with him eventually, and if you do snap vergil in, he still has access to zero assist (which lets him hit-confirm a full sword loop combo off of helm breaker) and doom assist (for mixups). if you snap vergil in after killing off zero, he still has the doom assist AND XF2 is probably enough to kill at least two of your characters, so it’s not ideal. snapping doom in is only a good idea if your team loses to hidden missiles.
can it reasonably safely DHC any character into or out of any other character? yep. if it’s just for safety, zero and vergil can DHC into or out of spiral swords, devil trigger, and sougenmu; doom can DHC into or out of photon array. but as an additional bonus, these three characters can prolong combos with DHCs to kill pretty easily; dimension slash, sphere flame, and rekkoha all pretty much combo into each other for some deadly hit-confirms.
does it have a useful THC? not fantastic; with all three, you won’t get all that much out of it that you couldn’t get out of DHCing. i’ve been playing with doom/vergil, since vergil stays out a little bit longer and doom can use that to get close and mixup, but it doesn’t seem great unless you’ve got 4-5 bars stored and can afford to burn some.
does it have useful crossover counters? meh. zero’s isn’t bad; he can cancel it into sougenmu on the first hit and get a decent kill combo off of it, which is nice except that you’ll rarely have zero in second. doom missiles has some neat properties but most of them are highly situational (his missiles can turn into a throw if they’re REALLY close but it’s hard to set up; he can cancel his missiles into any special/super, which isn’t really that handy). vergil rapid slash has a few situational uses and could catch people off guard but it also gets stuffed and then vergil dies.
can its assists be used to effectively control screen space and prolong combos? yep; zero gets doom and vergil assists, both of which can be used to turn any throw/midscreen hit into a kill combo (with doom beam). alternately, you can swap beam out for missiles, which makes his left/right mixups and ground game mildly weaker, but gives you much more control over the screen (especially the upper regions; handy against firebrand, modok, doom etc).
doom gets vergil, which isn’t really that useful for him (as far as i can tell), except as a little additional horizontal pressure. sometimes i bring vergil in early because if i don’t need him to make a three-character comeback, he’s more powerful with XF2 and doom beam than he is with XF3 but no assist, and that way i don’t need to deal with incoming character mixups. basically, zero/vergil/doom is a better order IF you can count on zero to kill at least one character, and zero/doom/vergil is a better order if you need XF3 vergil as insurance.
vergil can use both zero and doom assists, if it comes to it (zero for combo extension off helmbreaker, doom beam for left-right mixups, and doom missiles for screen control in the areas he’s weakest (the air).
does this team have heavy-hitting, meter-building TAC combos? yeah, mostly doom. i can’t do the doom infinite (well, never tried) but i’ve seen enough people do it that it seems to be a seriously viable technique. zero usually just kills with lightning loop instead of risking TAC, but doom infinite is there if you want it.
overall, these team is fairly obnoxious! zero and vergil carry most of the killing duty, while doom’s job is mostly to assist and build meter for vergil, though doom can kill quite well if he’s not getting rushed down (magneto, zero) or zoned out (hawkeye, dormammu).
if zero kills your first character, he has some pretty stupid 50/50 incoming character mixups that can kill (and probably still leave you with a meter or two). if he kills your second character, you better hope you still have x-factor, meter, and a character that can use those to make a comeback (strider, vergil, wesker, or phoenix all come to mine) without assists, because either zero or doom can kill you with a touch or throw, and if you beat them both you’re going up against XF3 vergil.
if zero kills your first character and loses to your second, doom is practically guaranteed to give vergil a meter or two, which is his job. i can choose to keep doom on the field in the hopes of killing your second character without using x-factor (probably a throw, footdive, or c.L into combo that uses 2-3 meters), or i can choose to bring in vergil, who is plenty capable of killing two characters with doom assist, some meter, and xf2. if i keep doom in and he dies, you’re probably looking at XF3 vergil with 3-4 meters — more than enough to kill two characters.
the worst situation is if zero dies without killing anyone, of course. doom/vergil is not a fantastic pairing when doom is on point, and odds are anyone who killed zero is going to either competently zone doom or rush him down. however, all it takes is a single combo/throw from doom and a level 3 super to put me back on equal footing (which borrows a little bit against xf3 vergil — he’ll be coming in with 1-2 meters instead of 3+). and if i lose doom, i probably have xf3 vergil coming in. basically, i’m never 100% out of the game (or, really, even 60% out of the game).
the other weak point (for me, anyway) is if i can’t rely on xf3 vergil to kill at least two of your characters (typically these are people who are really lucky/good at blocking rapid slash, and/or people with teams that can run away from vergil fairly easily). against more mobile characters, i find that vergil has a harder time chasing them around and hitting full combos, meaning you can run down the xf3 clock fairly easily. of course, better vergil players than i probably don’t have this problem.
time to go to bed now.