Tessa (SvC)

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"My analysis of you is 78 percent complete... Can I get a bit more cooperation?" By: Tessa/Tabasa



This cute witch is Tessa/Tabasa(I'll call her Tessa), from the lost jewel of the niche's Capcom Board (CPS3) Warzard(a.k.a. Red Earth in Japan),and she is probably the most popular character of the game along with Leo of the awful Capcom Fighting Evolution/Jam. Here, she is very good for advanced players, because she is very technical(She can do basic things, but her game is really advanced).

The (Cute) Witch researcher's Good and Bad Things

Good Things:

  • Has nice reach on her normals;
  • Her Command Grab has nice reach(It even has some glitches, and you can combo with it after a normal too);
  • Has nice moves to create pressure games;
  • Has the best air-to-air in the game(By only pressing two buttons);
  • Has a Super that can juggle on the corner;
  • Exceed is an unblockable grab that can juggle your opponent after it hits(Thanks to it, Tessa has amazing 100% combos in MAXIMUM Mode);
  • Has nice MAXIMUM Mode options(And an easy loop in there);
  • Can use a jumping normal after a backdash(Pretty unique for her in this game).

Bad Things:

  • Very hard to Learn and Master(Yeah, she is strong, clearly High Tier, but she is very hard to use)
  • Her projectiles/long-range things have bad startup;
  • Has bad anti-airs(She has a DP-Like move, but... She stops for a little time before hitting with it, and I won't talk about her anti-airs in the normal moves);
  • Although it can look like, you can't juggle after her Command grab;
  • You can't do two trap moves on your opponent(Sadly, but it's okay, she would be broken if she could do that);
  • Can't cancel most of her crouching attacks(3 of them, to be exact);
  • Isn't very friendly with Light Attack chains.

Moves List

Normal Moves

s.LP - (Far) Tessa does a simple attack with her staff. It has bad startup, but nice recovery. You can use this move as a poke, and only that. (Close) A double-slap. Good to use on Light Attacks, but whiffs on low crouching chars. Any hit can be normal canceled, and this move can chain into itself, and other Light Attacks.
s.LK - (Far) An attack with Al(Her cat, if you want to make Tessa use the other cat, Evan, choose the other color). It looks like it hits low, but it hits mid. It's generally used as a poke, to hit as a meaty attack(The reach can help). Can't be normal canceled, and can't chain into any Light Attack. (Close) Like the Far one, but with less reach. It's probably the best finisher for her short Light Attack chains. Can be normal canceled, but cannot chain into the other Light Attacks.
s.HP - (Far) Just a poking move with ice magic, but the reach isn't what it looks like. You can't hit your opponent with the tip of the ice thing, and if it whiffs, you can eat a combo. Can't be normal canceled too. (Close) A move for combos, but this isn't her best one. Just avoid this move, due to the bad startup.
s.HK - (Far) This move is nice for poking(The HK attack are the best normals too). Faster, and the reach is what it looks like. Cannot be normal canceled. (Close) Her best normal for combos. It's the most damaging, and has great startup(When compared to the cl.HP). Just learn how to use this.

j.LP - The Diagonal and the Neutral versions are the same. Just an attack with her staff. Can be used as a jump-in attack, or as an air-to-air move(The reach helps).
j.LK - (Diagonal) A "kick" with her cat. Strange to use as a jump-in move(It can whiff on some characters if you try), but it has a decent angle. (Note: The cat is the attack here, not Tessa's leg.) (Neutral) Nice defensive move. Can be used as an air-to-air, due to the great reach. It can be used as a neutral jump-in too, but it's a little dangerous.
j.HP - The Diagonal and the Neutral versions are the same. Tessa will stop in the air, and will use her ice magic. This move is bad as a jump-in attack, due to the "stop". Interestingly enough, this move can be used after a backdash, like the dash hops on Darkstalkers(It's probably the only normal with this feature in this game)
j.HK - The Diagonal and the Neutral versions are the same. An attack with her "Dragon Tail". This is probably her best jump-in attack, because it can crossup(A little tricky, but it still can). Learn how to crossup with this move, and you'll do fine in your matches.

cr.LP - An attack with her... Magic bird? Dunno, but this move can be normal canceled, and can chain into all of the Light Attacks.
cr.LK - Just another attack with her cat. Has nice reach, and hits low this time. You can use this move as a poke, but this move can't be normal canceled(Just imagine you canceling a cat, or do it in MAXIMUM Mode).
cr.HP - Maybe... A normal anti-air? Not! She doesn't have reliable anti-airs, just don't use this, unless if you need a poke. Can't be normal canceled too.
cr.HK - Just another sweep that hits low, but this move can't be normal canceled(Unlike most of the other cr.HKs).

Command Moves

Inroad Fowl (aka Bird)

  • d+HK (In the air only; you can hold the button to delay the hit) - This is one of the things that make Tessa a good character. "Why? It's just a little bird..." Yeah, but not only that. It can just beat ANY move in the air in the whole game, because the bird can't take damage(Meaning that no one can trade hits in the air when against it, your opponent will just lose). Oh, it can defeat air projectiles too, and I think Demitri's ES fireball(It destroys normal projectiles, is very horizontal, and can be used in the air) can be included in this list. Oh, it can be a combo starter against tall characters too, but more details about this will be on her combos section. Well, you'll need to learn how to use this move, it's very useful for her game(If you like zoning, you can use this, and if you like to be broken against your opponent in the air, abuse of this move).

Flask (Tachi)

  • f+HP (You can hold the button to delay the hit) - This move is good for zoning, and can be used as an anti-air(Probably her best one), or as a meaty attack. It's very fast too, and you can even delay the hit(Dangerous, but you can). If you release the button pressed when the Flask isn't falling down, the ice magic will aim upwards. If you release it after the Flask passes Tessa's hat, the ice magic will be like her f.HP, but with way better reach. If you hold the button until the end(Or until it hits your opponent), the Flask will just be destroyed, but Tessa will recover faster than the two other versions mentioned before(On the other versions, Tessa points with her finger to fire the ice magic). Learn how to use this move if you like zoning games. (Important note: In case you hold the Flask until the end, it can act as a low-hitting move, but it depends of where it hits. And no, it won't act as an overhead if you throw the Flask on the opponent's head while he/she's crouching.)

Flask (Shagami)

  • df+HP (You can hold the button to delay the hit) - This version isn't that useful when compared to the version above. It can do anything that the move above can do: When you hold, Tessa will roll her Flask on the ground, and the attack will hit low(The above can do it), but your opponent can easily jump over it. "No worries! I can just release the button to predict his/her jump! Don't even try it. You'll just eat a damaging combo. Avoid this move, the above is just better.

Haul Flapper

  • df+LK - Decent move for combos(In the ground). Tessa uses her cat to do an attack aiming upwards. It's said that it can juggle without a counter hit, assuming that it hits your opponent in the air(Like an anti-air, but I don't know if it's reliable). It's fast, has almost no recovery, and can be used on some ground combos.

Restive Kitten

  • df+HK - This is the move. It's like a stronger version of the Haul Flapper above. Very useful, and I can confirm that you can juggle if this move hits your opponent(It sends your opponent flying right above you, and you know what this means... FREE DAMAGE GUYS!!!!) It can easily combo after a normal, and Tessa even has some easy-to-land loops with it in MAXIMUM Mode. Oh! did I said that you can followup her Exceed with this move? Yeah, that's the real juggle, and her Exceed is a setup for the loop mentioned, which is amazing for her. The cat will go higher, but a little slower than the "LK version".

Special Moves

Chakra Wave

  • QCF+P (In the ground or in the air) - A standard projectile for her zoning game. The recovery of this move is very bad(No matter how you use it), and the best way to use it is to catch jumpers(By using the air version). If EQ has meter, he can easily punish you by using this projectile.

Winder Fist (aka Dragon)

  • QCF+K - Tessa transforms her arm into a dragon. This part of the move won't do anything special, but it can combo after the cancelable Heavy Attacks.
    • Follow-Ups:
      • She's On Enemy
        • QCF+K after the above hits - The dragon will grab your opponent and throw him/her to the other side of the screen(It's not unblockable). If you whiff the move above, you still can use this followup. You can use this move on combos, you can need.

Reverie Sword

  • DP+P - Her... DP-Like move. Not that good for an anti-air, because she stops after using it, and it doesn't have invincibility frames, making it a risky move to use. It should be better if you stick with the LP version, because you can juggle(With almost any air attack) after it, and she has loops with this version in MAXIMUM Mode too.

Jamming Ghost (aka Ghost)

  • DP+K - One of Tessa's moves to do pressure games. It helps on zoning too(Some characters can hardly jump over it), but it's easy to block. If the ghost hits, four ghosts will surround your opponent, and move when he/she moves. They will attack him at the same time after some seconds, and that's what makes him/her block, leaving you open to move and do pressure things. The best ways to use it are on punish situations, or if you make your opponent fall on it. (Important note: While the ghosts are surrounding your opponent, you can't use the Cat Bomb, her Chakra Wave, or another Ghost)

As Sent Proof

  • HCB+P (While near from your opponent) - Tessa's unblockable grab. This move is very good to use(It even has some unblockable glitches), and the reach can help you(It can be used after any normal if you need more damage). Although it can look like, no, you can't juggle after this move, but it's still good to use(The gliches will be explained later).

Super Moves

Tricicle Edge

  • QCF(2x)+P (You can hold the button to delay the hits) - This is a cool super. You can juggle after this move, but only if does one/two hits. It can even be a followup for the Exceed! Good damage after incredible damage! It can combo into itself too, but only on the corner. If you hold the button until it hits the ground, it can hit low too(Like the other Flask moves), which is good, but you can't juggle after this version of the move.

Death Phenomeno (aka Cat Bomb)

  • HCB(2x)+K - Another move for pressure games. It's hard to hit(Can only hit while close from your opponent), but it has hit-confirm combos(Some of them will be on her combos section). If it hits, a timer will appear on the opponent's head. When the timer reaches zero(0), an explosion animation will occur(The explosion does incredible damage too, like when the super hits, which makes him/her block it). You can use the super as an anti-air too, but can you react with two HCBs? (Important note: While the timer is on the opponent's head, you can't use the Ghost Special Move)


Meteo Fall (aka Meteor)

  • HCB(2x)+AC (While near from your opponent) - Another unblockable grab with incredible reach and damage(Dunno if it has the same glitches mentioned before). After the move hits, many meteors will fall on your opponent, but where they will land is random(It's not the only random Exceed in this game). Like her Command grab, it can be used after any normal too, leading to more damage. Like said in the "Good and Bad things", you can juggle after the Exceed hits, but only if your opponent is on the reach. I think Tessa has 100% combos in normal mode due to the juggle, but I can't confirm that(I can confirm that she has 100% combos in MAXIMUM Mode involving this Exceed).

The Basics

Tessa's glitch with the unblockable grab

Yeah, the glitch mentioned above. It's very important for her game, and can make you win many matchups(Or, and it works with most of the cast, I think). "What I need to do to make it work?" Just wait for a jump. If he/she performs any normal attack, quickly do a GCF, and then do the Command grab's input. "But I can do it when my opponent's on the ground!" Yeah, but if you do it when he/she's is jumping, you'll still hit your opponent(While he/she is still in the air). It's very good to make your opponent stop jumping, which helps for her zoning game(I mean, never jump against Tessa). If you need some examples, click [here] to watch them. (Note: Here, I just used the GCF example because is seems easier to do, she has some more options to make the glitch work, just watch the video and you'll see.)

Another Glitch

This glitch is with the grab too, but it's kind of a better way to use the Ghost. First, just make the Command Grab hit(You can use the glitch above to do that, kind of a followup), and when you can move, perform the ghost's input. Now, just quickly do a Super Jump(Or dash and jump), but try to land on the other side of your opponent. Your opponent will wakeup with his back turned, meaning that he/she will have to block the ghost to the other side, which is a common glitch in the Neo-Geo games. You can abuse of this glitch with Tessa. Oh, did I said that you can followup with any combo after the ghost hits? Learn this glitch, that's one of the things that makes Tessa an OP char.

Tessa's gameplan

Tessa can be a zoning char(The best one), or a close-range char(The most technical one, but maybe stronger), just choose. If you choose "zoning", just spam things(Especially her Ghost and the projectiles), that's how zoning works. Know your anti-airs(They are very situational), and punish them when you need with a damaging combo. Her zoning game is the best if you like to build meter. When you score a knockdown, it's better to do the standard projectile(From far away), and after it, a ghost(If he/she jumps, he/she will meet the ghost). If you go to the MAXIMUM Mode, just be offensive, you have easy loops to land. If you choose "close-range", you'll be offensive everytime, and make sure you land the glitches(That means, don't jump that much). If you score a knockdown, you can do meaty moves from far away, like her standard projectile, or you can prepare your ghost, and be free to do what you want(The ghost can make your opponent be aware of jumping too, like an Aegis Reflector). Good luck in your future matches.

Some Combos (Without MAXIMUM Mode)
Tessa has many options for combos, I'll only put some good ones to practice.

1- [Optional Bird(Tall opponents only), Jump Attack] cl.HK, DP+LP, Bird/j.HK - 7 hits; 9 with the optional things

Easy combo to begin. The optional Bird is in there just if you need more damage(You don't need to learn how to use the Bird as a combo starter, but if you want, practice on Hugo/EQ). As you know, you can juggle after the last hit of the DP+LP, and the two options are good(The Bird will knockdown, and the j.HK will reset your opponent, this will be explained later). If you're on midscreen, and you're having problems with the j.HK, just use a j.LP instead. You can cancel the cl.HK into her Command grab, just if you don't like his combo.

2- [Optional Bird(Tall opponents only), Jump Attack] cl.HK, QCF+K(2x) - 3 hits; 5 with the optional things

Just a combo with the dragon. The combo is simple, and as damaging as the above. Oh, after the dragon finisher, your opponent will wakeup with his back turned(Meaning that he/she will wakeup facing the wrong side), you can throw a projectile on your opponent here, and maybe, it can hit him/her(If he/she knows this trick, he/she'll know how to block).

3- [Optional Bird(Tall opponents only), Jump Attack] cl.HK, df+HK, df+LK, Bird/j.HK - 4 hits; 6 with the optional things

Another reset/knockdown setup. It can be a variation of the first combo(If you use DP+LP instead of the df+LK, but it's easier with the df+LK only). Like in the first combo, if you're having problems with the j.HK, just use the j.LP instead.

4- [Optional Bird(Tall opponents only), Jump Attack] cl.HK, QCF(2x)+P - (Up to) 4 hits; 6 with the optional things

Just a combo to hit-confirm the super(She has better options, but it's still good to use). You can add another Super after the Super, but only if it does two hits. The damage is very good too.

5- [Optional Bird(Tall opponents only), Jump Attack] cl.HK, df+HK, df+LK(You can supercancel it if you want, but works if you wait a brief moment), QCF(2x)+P - (Up to) 6 hits; 8 with the optional things

A more damaging version of the combo above, but works better on midscreen(The Super won't even be on the screen if used on the corner). Good to practice, damaging, and you can add another Super after the Super(You already knew that)

6- (Midscreen only) [Optional Bird(Tall opponents only), Jump Attack] cl.HK, Exceed(The Exceed is random, but the combo will work most of the time), df+HK, df+LK, QCF(2x)+P - (Up to) 18 hits(Exceed is random, and the Super can hit 1/2 times); 20 with the optional things

This is a combo with the Exceed involved. It does so much damage too(I could KILL Ryu with it). You can add another Super(That's why I murdered Ryu), you know, to add more damage. You need to learn it, but it's just a midscreen variation(The easier to land). The corner variation is below.

7- (Corner only) [Optional Bird(Tall opponents only), Jump Attack] cl.HK, Exceed, df+HK, df+LK, HCB(2x)+K - (Up to) 16 hits; 18 with the optional things

This is it, the corner variation, and one of the best hit-confirms for the Cat bomb. It won't insta-kill, but you can apply pressure on your opponent. Watch out, if Tessa takes damage(Not chip damage), the timer will stop.

8- [Optional Bird(Tall opponents only), Jump Attack(Make sure you crossup this time)] cl.HK, df+LK, Exceed, df+HK, df+LK, Any Super here(Depends of where you are) - (With the Ice Magic Super, up to) 19 hits; 21 with the optional things. (With the Cat bomb, up to) 16 hits; 18 with the optional things

Another good combo, but a very hard one. Can do 100% damage on certain characters too. If you're having problems with it, just stick with the two above. This is just a more damaging version.

9- [Optional Bird(Tall opponents only, and no Jump Attack here)] cl.HP, cr.LK/HK/f.HK

This is just a link. Found this while testing a combo on the training mode(It's possible, but I don't know if it's useful in a real match). Dunno if you can normal/MAX cancel one of the normals to add damage.

Advanced Strategy


Resets are important here, it's said on almost every character's section. Tessa has easy reset setups with her DP+LP(You can juggle with a normal after the attack, making your opponent land without getting a knockdown). The resets aren't hard things to do, you just need patience. After any reset combo, just do any grab move(Time well, and you can get the hit). This reset can be done everywhere, so you can prepare her glitch by using this. You don't need to learn it too, it's just here because it's useful.

Some Combos (With MAXIMUM Mode)
Tessa's MAXIMUM Mode combos just involve... Her Exceed. I don't know many combos, but I can add some useful ones here. If you know some more combos, just add them below.

1- [Optional Bird(On tall characters), Jump Attack] cl.HK, DP+LP, (MAX cancel the first hit) df+HK, (Wait a moment) DP+LP, (Cancel again) df+HK, ... (When you want, after a df+HK), df+LK, Any Super(Depends of where you are, you know that) - (Dunno how many hits it can get, but I got 10 hits on the loop part, ending with the df+HK, so... In my case) 13/15 hits(Depends of the Super used in the combo); 15/17 hits with the optional things

You should learn it, just for the combo below(It won't work with the DP+HP too, just to say). If you're having problems with the below, just stick with this one(That's why it's here). It can't KO your opponent, but it's a good way to use your meter in MAXIMUM Mode. If you want to begin the loop with the df+HK, go ahead, but it will be harder. Again, after the QCF(2x)+P Super, you can add another one(If you haven't fully spend your meter, do it, you won't lose anything).

2- [Optional Bird(On tall characters), Jump Attack] cl.HK, Exceed, df+HK, DP+LP, (MAX cancel the first hit) df+HK, ... (After any df+HK) df+LK, Any Super - (I'll do some math here... Assuming that the first df+HK is part of the loop, and all meteors hit your opponent...) (Up to, in my case)25/27 hits(Depends of the Super used); 27/29 hits with the optional things

This one can guarantee a KO(If the Exceed helps). It's harder than the above, because it's a mix of some normal mode combos, and her MAXIMUM Mode loop. Learn it, and have fun with it. If you're having problems with it, just stick with the loop above, it can help you too, but don't worry, you have another options for combos with the Exceed.