Chaos Breaker/Mara

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Mara's victory screen

Introduction

Mara has a very unusual playstyle that involves making careful use out of his undead summons and is not a character for beginners. He has decent normals and poor defense, but where he really shines is his ability to deal lots of damage in a short span of time. Another interesting quirk for Mara is the fact that a lot of his abilities will trade with the opponent and will usually be in his favor, depending on his current health at the time. Definitely one of the more complex characters in the game.

The Basics

Combos

Mid-screen

6B > 41236D

  • Really basic 2-in-1. Used as a staple in many Mara combos and is a great way to build meter.

2A > 623A, 623A

  • 2A is only cancellable on hit.

j.D, land, 2B > 41236D

  • Quick anti-clash combo. 2B has pretty fast startup and is easier to cancel and does more damage than 2A.

j.C, land, 6C > 41236D

  • Heavy jump-in combo. One of Mara's more damaging meterless combos, it's also something you should use with caution since the j.C needs to be performed low to the ground.

5D > 623A, 623A or 214214A/B

  • A nasty surprise on wakeup. The timing for getting the fireball to connect properly isn't too difficult, but it does vary on certain characters. Use the B version on Curse Head and Gerhardsen and do it slightly later than usual on the dwarf. If you do this combo in the corner, you shouldn't have to worry about button strength or timing as much and you'll be able to start Mara's loop.

Corner

2C > 236A xx 6B > 41236D

  • Basic corner combo that's used to score extra damage and meter. Works on everyone.

2C > 236A xx 2C > 236A xx 6B > 41236D

  • Only works on characters with a wider hitbox such as Troll, Gerhardsen, Manticore, and Orc. Bernhard can be hit by the 6B, but the 41236D will not combo. Use the Naught Weapon IB if you really want to get that last hit. Strangely enough, this combo only seems to work on the right side of the screen and not the left.

2C > 236A xx 6B > [623A, 214214A, 236C]x3

  • Mara's Bone Loop and 100% combo when done correctly. The most crucial part of maintaining the juggle is timing the super to get 4 hits to connect, and this can be more difficult to accomplish on some characters. Works best on regular-sized characters but will also work on Troll, Bernhard, and Curse Head.
    • For the regular-sized characters, you generally want to make sure that their head is about the level of Mara's outstretched hand when the super connects in order for 4 hits to connect. 3 hits means you did it too late, and 2 hits means you did it too soon.
    • Goblin and Nsidor can juggled as well, but they must be nearly touching the ground when this occurs and the timing can be incredibly frustrating. If all 6 hits of the super connect, they are no longer in juggle state and the loop ends. Also, if for some reason the C skeleton hits during the second slash (there are 3, but only 2 connect normally), Nsidor/Goblin will be knocked down and the combo will end, which is usually as a result of being hit 4 times by the super. These two characters must be hit by the super 5 times in order for the loop to continue.
    • It would seem that the Dwarf Team is immune to this loop, as none of the members can be floated high enough to sustain 4 hits of the super as required. The only other method would be to burst cancel Mara's DP into the super, but this is currently beyond my abilities, so I cannot test it further. This would, of course, consume more meter than usual and may or may not be worth it considering the low magic defense of the Dwarf Team.

Requirements: Talisman

2C > 236A xx 6B > Talisman IB, dash up, 2C > 236A xx 2C > 236A xx 6B...

  • Similar to the idea used on larger characters, this combo can do 100% on all characters but will cost you 3 full bars to do so. Once you activate the initial Talisman IB, dash up to meaty distance in order to score 2 reps of 2C > 236A. If you ever find yourself outside of comfortable range to do both, just 6B into Talisman IB and try again. Once you've exhausted all of your meter, finish off with 41236D.

Strategy

Item Compatibility

Mana Potion

  • Mara is at his most dangerous when his Mana Gauge is stocked, so Mana Potions are a good way to keep on top of it.

Character Chemistry

Nagar

  • In the arcade version of the game, Nagar's assist could be used to set up unblockables by summoning zombies (214X) at the opponent's location immediately after Nagar had connected with the overhead. This has been patched in the console version but still remains a viable method of mixup if the opponent doesn't expect it.

Evetta

  • Along the same veins as Nagar's assist, except Evetta hits the opponent with a low, meaning the Mara player should use an overhead in order to take advantage of the mixup. Or try to sneak in the zombies after.

Matchups

Serious Advantage Matchups

Mara has no serious advantage matchups.

Advantage Matchups

  • Fina
  • GerhardsenII

Fair Matchups

  • Evetta
  • Bernhard
  • Nsidor
  • Curse Head
  • Goblin
  • Dorgan

Disadvantage Matchups

  • Zon
  • Troll

Serious Disadvantage Matchups

  • Vritra
  • Nagar
  • Vargan
  • Elion
  • Ramda
  • Sandra
  • Orc

Move Analysis

Normals and Command Normals

Standing

5A

  • Quick jab with the front of the staff. Close-ranged annoyance poke that can't be comboed into much of anything and isn't terribly useful overall. It will link into his 214214A super, but there are more effective ways of comboing into it.

5B

  • Turning poke with the back of the staff. Slightly faster than 6B, but with less range. A decent way to combo into Mara's attack throw and good for quick, meterless punishes.

5C

  • Heavy downward bash with the head of the staff. Works as a low altitude anti-air in a pinch, but isn't exactly the greatest for that use. Use as a slightly quicker alternative to 6C when comboing but bear in mind its lesser range.

5D

  • Mara raises a glowing hand high above his head before slamming it down on the opponent. As a cancellable overhead, it is easily one of Mara's best moves and a great tool for oki. It has a slow startup, but it has decent range that's aided by the fact that it moves Mara slightly forward. Space this move correctly and don't throw it out too often, especially when your opponent is still standing.

Crouching

2A

  • Crouching staff jab. Looks similar to 5A but actually has more range. It is cancellable on hit, but not on block. Can be used as an annoying close-ranged poke.

2B

  • Identical to 2A, except the animation is slower and the hitbox is about a pixel longer. Mainly used in the middle of combos, but can also be used when you want a crouching normal with range that doesn't knock down.

2C

  • Low meaty staff bash. One of Mara's principle mixup tools that he can use instead of 5D, this move is good for applying skeleton pressure on wakeup. It has very pitiful range, but a solid hit can lead to a lot of damage in a lot of different ways.

2D

  • Glowing hand sweep. Comes out fairly fast and has more range than it looks. Good for tricking your opponent and punishing clash attempts.

Command

6A

  • Quick sideways swipe with the staff. A mid-ranged poke that can be used in place of 5A when your opponent is up close and personal and can also serve as a quick anti-air or clashing normal at the right angles.

6B

  • Lunging staff attack that moves Mara forward about half a character and is hands down, his best poke. Easily combos to 41236D, except near max range.

6C

  • Advancing staff bash to the face. Has a larger hitbox and more vertical range than 6B, but it is also slower. It can be incorporated into your pressure game as an alternative to 2C > Skeletons and it can also be used for comboing from a j.C jump-in. Just keep in mind that 5C is the faster of the two normals and whether or not 6C will combo is based largely on your spacing and when the j.C connects.

6D

  • Mara's blowback attack. Moves him forward about the same distance as 5D. Important for moving your opponent into the corner since Mara's pressure game grows much deadlier there.

Jumping

j.A

  • Downwards staff jab. Used in air-to-air situations where the opponent is directly below you and works well for clashing ground moves. Has the strange property of making Mara float more than usual after clashing with a move on the way up. It can be used as a cross-up, but you're probably never going to use it for that. Amazing for instant overheads.

j.B

  • Forward staff jab. Your best choice for jump-ins and a pretty decent air-to-air. Make sure you combo into 6B on landing after a successful hit.

j.C

  • Upwards staff jab. Used for very specific air-to-air situations, resets, and as a heavy jump-in when performed low to the ground. As a rule, j.C should not be used a jump-in unless you're absolutely positive that it will hit. Given how low to the ground you have to be in order for it to connect, it's too great of a risk otherwise.

j.D

  • Downwards glowing hand. Makes for an okay jump-in and a good way to keep your opponent from clash-dashing. Can actually cross-up, but works better on taller characters and is kind of awkward.

Normal Throws

Forward Throw: 6D (when close)

  • A blue circle appears under the opponent, which allows Mara to lift his opponent over his head with telekinesis, then slam them down in front of him. Ermac would be proud.

Back Throw: 4D (when close)

  • Same as the front throw, except he slams the opponent into the ground behind him.

Mana-Counter

A palm thrust that's basically the same animation as 6D, only with a flame effect put on top. Grounded opponents hit near the corner can be hit with 623A, 214214A, or even 6B as a last resort due to being out of range for the other two options. At mid-screen, a grounded opponent can be assaulted with 214A/B/C/D to pin them down on wakeup and a downed aerial opponent can have your choice of 5D or 2C mixup applied.

Specials

Skeleton Animate: 236A/B/C

  • Summons a skeleton warrior directly in front of Mara.
  • A version is 2 hits and goes active immediately. Can be comboed from.
  • B version is 2 hits, floats on the second hit, but is slower to come out. There is also a delay between when the skeleton appears and when it attacks.
  • C version is 3 hits, is slightly slower than A but faster than B. The attack hitbox appears right away but is vertical at the start.
  • Will still come out after a certain frame even if Mara is counter-hit.

Zombie Animate: 214A/B/C/D

  • A number of ghoulish hands reach out from the ground to trap the opponent.
  • Appears at 4 different locations on the screen (A being closest, D being farthest) that change depending on the distance from your opponent and the corner. It will never appear off-screen.
  • Hits low and does 4 hits.
  • Will still come out after a certain frame even if Mara is counter-hit.
  • Incredibly unsafe on block.

Death Bone: 623A/B/C

  • Bone pillar Shoryuken. Launches on hit.
  • A is fast, one hit, and appears slightly in front of and on top of Mara's sprite. Combo follow-ups are possible.
  • B is slightly slower, one hit, and appears further in front of Mara than the A version.
  • C is even slower, 2 hits, and appears on either side of Mara as a protective wall. Has really bad recovery.
  • Burst cancellable.

White Touch: 41236D

  • Dashing attack throw that does 7 hits.
  • Plummets on air hit and only does one hit.
  • Good for building meter.
  • Miss animation on whiff.

Mana Bursts

Skeleton Army: 236236A/B/C

  • Summons a series of skeletons that attack in a largely random pattern until the final hit.
  • During the summoning, a number of lightning bolts also appear and these cannot be clashed. Unlike the skeletons, they can be controlled by the button strength.
  • A version has 3 bolts that stay close to Mara. B version has 4 bolts that move further forward. C version has 4 bolts that move the furthest away from Mara.
  • This move can be used as a surprisingly effective anti-air due to the appearance of the lightning bolts and large amount of invincibility frames.

Bad Blood: 214214A/B/C

  • Very big, purple projectile that hits anywhere from 6-10 times.
  • Holding down the attack button after the projectile appears will slow the release of it, increasing the hit count and causing a significant amount of chip damage.
  • Button strength determines how fast the projectile becomes active.
  • Will even be released on counter-hit, usually resulting in a highly damaging trade.

Frame Data

Attack Cancel State Total Start-up Active Hit Guard
5A No Mid 18 6 +3 -1
6A No Mid 25 6 -4 -1
2A No Mid 23 7 -1 0
j.A No Overhead 6
5B Yes Mid 28 11 +2 -4
6B Yes Mid 32 12 -1 -4
2B Yes Mid 29 10 -2 -4
j.B No Overhead 7
5C Yes Mid 41 16 0 -16
6C Yes Mid 43 19 +1 -16
2C Yes Low 39 13 -1 -16
j.C No Overhead 9
5D Yes Overhead 43 22 -2 -11
6D No Mid 39 14 Blowback -15
2D No Low 37 14 Knockdown -13
j.D No Overhead 10