Marvel vs Capcom 3/Systems/Movement: Air Dashing
To perform an Air Dash, once again you have two options:
- Double Tap the controller, while in the air, in the direction you wish to perform your Air Dash.
- Hold the controller in the direction you wish to Air Dash in and press any two of the three main Attack Buttons.
For characters with both an Air Dash and a Double Jump, however, you cannot double tap the controller in any of the Up directions to Air Dash in those directions because tapping Up causes you to Double Jump instead.
Air Dashing Freedom
Air Dashes are very powerful tools because they give access to very quick and sudden attacks and , like Double Jumping, also allow character to alter their jump arcs, providing them with significantly improved mobility in the air to attack from different angles or to escape traps from the opponent.
You can perform an Air Dash during a regular Jump or Super Jump pretty much at any point of the Jump. So you can Air Dash right when you leave the ground, at the height of your Jump, or even right before you are about to land from a Jump. Also, for the most part, Air Dashes count as Special Moves so you can also cancel airborne Normal Moves into Air Dashes. However, there are some odd exceptions to that rule where a Normal Attack in the air can only be canceled by an Air Dash and not a Special Move. A perfect example of this move is Doctor Doom's Foot Dive: his Special attack in the air.
Note that when you perform an Air Dash, you preserve whatever state you started off in. So if you are in a Jumping State and perform an Air Dash, you stay in Jumping State, so you can still do things such as use a Cross-Over Assists. If you were in a Super Jumping State when you performed your Air Dash, you will not be able to perform a Cross-Over Assist.
Classes of Air Dashing
Air Dashing is only available to certain characters and, between the characters that do have Air Dashes, they can vary wildly. Typically, Air Dashing comes in two categories: 8-Way Air Dashes and 2-Way Air Dashes. So far, only five characters fall outside of those two categories: Chun Li, Spider-Man, Super-Skrull, Morrigan, and Amaterasu, but I will talk about them separately at the end of this section.
8-Way Air Dashing
The most powerful form of Air Dashing is the 8-Way Air Dash, which allows the character, while in the air, to dash in all 8 directions that you can hold the controller. The characters who possess an 8-Way Air Dash are:
- C. Viper
- Doctor Doom
- Iron Man
2-Way Air Dashing
The 2-Way Air Dash allows you to Air Dash in only two directions: forward in a straight, horizontal line and backwards in a straight, horizontal line. The characters who possess 2-Way Air Dashes are:
- Shuma Gorath
- Viewtiful Joe
Chun Li, Spider-Man, and Super-Skrull
For Chun Li, she can only Air Dash in one direction: forward and at a slight downward angle though the game just treats it as a Forward Air Dash, so you have to double-tap Toward on the controller or hold any of the three Toward directions when hitting two of the Attack Buttons. Spider-Man can also Air Dash forward, but he really does more of a web seing that goes in a slight arc in the air. You can double-tap Toward on the controller or hold any of the three Toward directions on the controller and press two of the Attack Buttons. Super-Skrull can only Air Dash in one direction as well, but unlike Chun Li his Air Dash goes forward at almost at a 45% angle, but is also treated as a Forward Air Dash.
Amaterasu can Air Dash in 3 directions, but all of them are forward directions either perfectly horizontal, about 30 degrees upward, and about 30 degrees downward. Theses are treated as the three forward directions on the controller.
And finally, Morrigan has 4 Air Dashes: forward, up/forward, down/forward, and back. Her forward and back Air Dashes make her travel fairly horizontal and the controller can be held forward or back to make it travel farther. Air Dashing up/forward makes Morrigan travel in a quick, parabolic arc going up and then down, sort of in a wide upside-down "U" shape. Whether you hold the controller or not makes no difference: once you start the Air Dash, it will travel the full arc unless you interrupt it with a move in the air. When you Air Dash down/forward, Morrigan does the opposite: she goes in a parabolic arc going down then up, in the shape like the letter "U." At the end of that Air Dash, she gets "launched" almost as if coming off a swing and will slowly sail forward and back down. Again, there is no difference on whether you hold the joystick or not, she will complete the full arc unless you interrupt the Air Dash with a move. To perform the four different Air Dashes, just double tap the controller in one of the four directions -- Toward, Up/Toward, Down/Toward, or Back -- to perform that Air Dash. If you use the method of hitting two Attack Buttons to perform the Air Dash, holding Toward gets you the forward Air Dash, holding Up or Up/Toward gets you the up/forward Air Dash, holding Down or Down/Toward will get you the down/forward Air Dash, and holding Back, Up/Back, or Down/Back will get you the back Air Dash.
The Power of Air Dashing
Just like with ground Dashes, the main benefit of Air Dashing is that you can cancel Air Dashes with attacks mid Dash. This allows you to perform many surprise attacks by changing your Jump arc and attacking immediately in a different angle than your opponent was expecting.
However, unlike ground Dashing, where you can cancel Air Dashes with Crouches and Jumps, you cannot cancel an Air Dash in any other way. Therefore, when it is said that the weakness of an Air Dash is that you are committed to the Air Dash, there is no way around it this time. So if you perform an Air Dash and your opponent activates a Hyper Combo, you will be eating that Hyper Combo. There is no Jump Canceling to save you.
Air Dashes in Combos
As with Double Jumps, Air Dashing can also be used to extend Air Combos. Canceling a move into an Air Dash allows you to squeeze in more moves in the Air for extra damage. However, only two characters possess a wide array of Normal Moves in the air that can be canceled into an Air Dash for this to be useful: Magneto and Storm. Otherwise, the majority of the characters with Air Dashes cannot cancel any Normal Moves into an Air Dash.