Skullgirls/Mechanics/Team Mechanics

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Assists

An assist is when one of the supporting characters on a team comes on screen to assist the point character by doing one designated attack, then leaves. Assists are inputted by pressing two diagonal buttons simultaneously. For example, LP+MK, for the 2nd chracter, or MK+HP for the third character.

Pressing LP+MK, LK+MP, or LK+HP calls an assist from the second-in-line character on a team. MP+HK, MK+HP, or LP+HK calls the third-in-line character. Assists cannot be called during hit stun, during block stun, during a super jump, while preforming a special move, while preforming a super move, or while preforming a throw. An assist can only be called once during a combo. During an assist, after 4f of startup, the assist character enters from the side of the screen invincible (20f), goes through 3f of vulnerable start up, and executes their assigned assist attack. After the 3f start up, the assist attack executes as fast as it would if preformed by a point character. Any invulnverability in the assist attack still protects the character, but will not cover the minimum 3f of assist start up. After the attack is over, the assist character preforms a brief taunt before exiting the screen.

Assist attacks that would normally cause a red bounce (knockdown or sliding knockdown) will instead cause a slightly modified version of the knockdown, indicated by a distinct green impact effect as the defending character touches the ground. Assist knockdown allows a Ground Recovery in 9f after the green hit effect. Assist slides allow recovery as soon as the slide stun begins.

Starting a combo off of an assist's attack gives the combo 66% damage scaling. If an assist counter hits and starts a combo, it causes only 90% damage scaling.

All damage dealt to assist characters gets a 35% increase, but is dealt as 100% Recoverable Damage. If the assist character gets hit at any point it will leave the screen immediately after recovering, skipping the usual taunt before exiting the screen. Assist characters cannot be thrown.

As soon as an assist character leaves the screen assist become available again, as shown by the red and green lights on the assist indicator in the HUD. Assists won't preform their attack if the point character gets hit while the assist is on the way in. If the assist character takes any damage, the assist's team gets a 60 frame lockout where the point character cannot call any assist or Tag Out. Assist lockout stops the team's ability to heal recoverable damage for 300f.

Assists are not available when there are no other characters left on the team. Either assist command can be used if there is only one other teammate alive.

Assist attacks are referred to by the in-game tutorial as ensemble attacks.

Assist Categories

While not all assists will fit perfectly into each of these categories, many of the best assists have at least one of these traits.

  • Lockdown - Multi-hit moves that keep the opponent in blockstun, allowing your point character to perform more mixups and extend pressure. Example: Cerebella's Cerecopter, Eliza's H Osiris Spiral, Double's H Hornet Bomber.
  • Invulnerable DP - Call the assist and block. When timed correctly, if the opponent is dashing in or jumping in they will get hit by the assist as you're blocking their attack. Good usage of DP assists makes the opponent think twice about doing an aggressive move, forcing them to implement a counter strategy to get an opening. Don't forget that all assists have 3 vulnerable frames when they touch the ground, even if the point version of the move is invulnerable from the 1st frame. Some important factors that differentiate DP assists include size of hitbox, how easy it is to convert into a combo, and frames of invulnerability (which differ from the point version of the move in some cases). Example: Filia's H Updo, Big Band's L Beat Extend, Beowulf's H Hurting Hurl, Parasoul's Napalm Pillar. Note: moves that are only strike invulnerable as the point version can basically be considered fully invulnerable as an assist, since assists can't be thrown by the opponent's point character.
  • Armored - Armored assists are extremely hard to challenge since you either have to hit them multiple times or with a sweep to interrupt them. Example: Big Band's H Brass Knuckles, Cerebella's H Lock n' Load, Eliza's Butcher's Blade.
  • Setup - Any assist that lets a character build some kind of resource, allow unique conversions not otherwise possible, or enables some kind of setplay for the point character. If the assist has a lengthy animation, the point character has enough time to build a resource such as a taunt. Other times the resource building move itself can be called as an assist during combos, so the resource is available once the character is on point. Examples: Cerebella's Excellebella, Valentine's Vial Hazard, Painwheel's H Pinion Dash, Big Band's H Take the A-Train.
  • Low - Low hitting moves still hit low as an assist, enabling hard to block mixups for the point character as long as they're in range for the assist to connect. Jumping + calling a low assist can be very scary, since either the jump in or the assist can be timed to hit first. Example: Squigly's c.HP, Beowulf's L Hurting Hurl
  • Projectile / Neutral - Any assist whose function is mostly to benefit your character's neutral options and coverage that they might not otherwise have. Example: Peacock's George's Day Out, Robo-Fortune's H Theonite Beam, Big Band's H Brass Knuckles.

Tagging

Tag Out

The tag out command on MP+MK or HP+HK exchanges the point character with the second or third in-line character on the team, who enters the screen with a character specific tag in attack. On tag out the point character preforms an invincible, unique taunt animation before exiting the screen. The next character enters the screen with a tag in attack and becomes the point character.

Tag out is not available when there are no other characters left on the team. Either tag out command can be used if there is only one other teammate alive. The ability to tag out and recover life is a significant advantage to a 2 or 3 character team and the strongest argument against playing a solo character.

Tag In

Individual tag in attack direction and timing varies across the cast. Tag in attacks have no invulnerability. They always contain an extended recovery, taunt, or start up animation that make them unsafe against a cautious opponent. No matter the character, the classic random tag out strategy is never safe on block. Some tag out attacks are useful in combos.

Snapback

All characters have access to a snapback, or snap, with ↓↘→ + either tag command. All snaps use one bar of meter, deal no damage, have 12f of start up before the super flash effect, then have 3f of invulnerability before they are active. When hit by a snap, the defending character gets forced off the screen for a teammate to take their place. After the defending character leaves the screen, the defending team begins a lockout period. After the snap, the next character appears on screen in normal jump state after a 75f entrance delay similar to the entrance after a teammate's death. Using MP+MK or HP+HK tag commands for the snap will bring in the second or third-in-line character on the opposing team. Either snap command will work if there is only one other character on the opposing team.

Snapbacks in solo character team vs solo character team (1v1) matches cause a wall bounce instead of forcing the defending character off the side of the screen. The snap also will "reset" OTG for the combo, allowing another OTG hit on the defending player if it was already used before the snap hits. In matches between 2 and 3 character teams, snapbacks will use these properties if there is only one character left alive for the defending team.

When a solo character team faces any larger team (1v2 or 1v3), a successful snap will heal recoverable damage for the solo in addition to forcing the defending character off screen. Hitting a point character heals 2/3 of the current recoverable damage, hitting an assist heals 1/3 recoverable damage, and hitting both at the same time heals all recoverable damage. When the solo gets hit by a snap, it removes all recoverable damage and forces an invulnerable soft knockdown.

Snapbacks are referred to by the in-game tutorial as outtakes.

Alpha Counter

During blockstun, any character can perform an alpha counter with → + a tag command. An alpha counter uses 1 bar of meter, causes 9f of super freeze, tags out the point character, brings in the teammate with 13f of invincibility, then immediately preforms the assist attack of the new point character. Using MP+MK or HP+HK chooses the second or third-in-line teammate for the move. Blocking standing, crouching, and in the air all allow an alpha counter.

Alpha counters are not available when there are no other characters left on the team. Either command can be used if there is only one other teammate alive.

Alpha counters retain the properties of the move as if done on the point, and do not reflect any assist-only properties. For example, Headless Ms. Fortune H Fiber alpha counter will only be throw invincible (where the assist version is fully invincible), and Fukua H Platonic Drillationship alpha counter will be strike invincible (where the assist version does not have this invincibility).

Moves with follow up or hold button properties still behave as normal on point as an alpha counter too. For example, alpha countering into a Peacock George bomb allows you cancel into a second George, and alpha countering into a Painwheel armored normal allows you to hold the button and use the armor.

Alpha counters are referred to by the in-game tutorial as stunt doubles.

Burst Alpha Counter

Alpha counters can also be done during bursts, and behave the same as one done from blockstun. This is a significant mechanic that changes how burst bait interactions are done.

DHC

A DHC refers to cancelling a super attack by performing any super command for the next-in-line character on the team, after which the next character comes on screen and performs the inputted super. DHC'ing is available starting immediately after the super flash and at any point during the attack animation. The chance to cancel ends when the background color shift effect from the super ends.

The cost of DHCing is 1 bar of meter for level 1 supers. For any supers that cost more than 1 bar, the cost of DHCing is one less than the cost of the super. This means DHCing into a level 3 super only costs 2 additional bars, on top of the amount spent for the point character's super.

A team can continue to DHC until it runs out of meter and as long as it has at least one teammate alive off screen.

DHCs are the only way to reverse Damage Scaling. If scaled below 70%, the DHC resets damage to 70%.

DHC stands for delayed hyper combo, a term from the Marvel vs. Capcom series.

DHCs are referred to by the in-game tutorial as blockbuster sequels.

Incoming

Lockout

Hitting an opponent's assist or snapping the opponent will cause a lockout period for them, which prevents calling assists, tagging, and using DHCs. Also, red life recovery is delayed until 120f after the lockout ends. Lockouts last for 300f (?)

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