Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3/Firebrand
Firebrand was originally a villain in Ghosts n' Goblins who fought Arthur and is part of a demon race known as Red Arremers. Though eventually he got his own game called Gargoyal's Quest and Demon Crest, he is hailed as a hero among his race.
In a nutshell Firebrand uses flight mixups and projectiles to open an opponent's defenses. While he may not deal much damage, his combos are quite long, and his crossups, divekick, and ability to swoop through the opponent make it so he can frequently start new combos every few seconds. When his abilities are boosted by his speed boost hyper, he becomes one of the fastest and hardest to hit characters in the game, especially with X-Factor activated. However, perhaps one of the strongest abilities in the game is his ability to unblockable an opponent by charging Demon Missile H fully. If you pair him with an assist such as Super Skrull's Tenderizer, Ironman's Repulsor or Amaterasu's Cold Star, you can literally lock an opponent in to their death.
Players to Watch
Zak Bennet, ApologyMan, Udaterasu, Kresent, SkillzDatKillz
Unblockable Set Ups
This section is dedicated to one of Firebrand's biggest strengths, the unblockables. All the characters presented here are using assists or DHC to set up an unblockable.
Doctor Strange: with Dante's Jam Session, FB/Strange/Skrull set up
Dormammu: using stalking flare and assist call
Ironman: Repulsor Set up
Storm/Doom: a concept using DHC
Super Skrull: a near infinite snap back loop
Trish: After a kill with trish, DHC with round harvest
Firebrand's biggest weakness is his damage, this section is dedicated to tagging in various partners for optimal damage. Use this as a reference to help build your team in conjunction with unblockables. It is worth noting that different hard tags work on different characters, so it is recommended to do some research on who they work on along with what positions on the screen they work at.
Doctor Doom: Doom BnB after Bon Voyage, Midscreen raw Bon Voyage confirm, Corner to Corner
Doctor Strange: a difficult tag that may be character specific, an interesting hard tag using wall cling fireball H after bon voyage, hard tags that lead to THC ToD
Frank West: BnB into Frank level 4
Hulk: BnB to Hulk
Nova: Concept after Bon Voyage
Shuma-Gorath: Bon Voyage into Shuma 1.1M
Zero: Lightning loops from BnB, another variant
Dormammu: Zak Bennett Combo, only on Firebrand, Wolverine, and Rocket Raccoon, Alternate Zak Bennett Combo
Hit + 70,000
caused only by last hit.
results in a
. However, if
has already been used
up in the Combo, a "fake"
occurs that results in a .
Firebrand will always drag opponent all
the way to the wall. The further from
the wall, the more damage he will do.
Hitgrab state during drag where Firebrand can't be interrupted
Tips and Tricks
- Firebrand has an unlisted move, performed with against a wall. This wall cling is great for avoiding moves and opponents, and saving time on your flight.
- Learn the ranges of all versions of Hell's Elevator and Hell Dive. Not only are these great mobility tools, but at certain ranges they can make for amazing ambiguous cross-ups.
- Perform a ground throw into the corner puts you at exactly the right range for an OTG Hell Spitfire . Use this for relaunches out of your throw. Outside of the corner, it is recommended to do a forward dash before your OTG Hell Spitfire, as the juggle on the fire may cause the opponent to fall out vs certain characters if you are not close enough.
- While using the Devil's Claw dive kick, you are put into flight mode. On hit, use Hell Dive to land with enough time to easily combo off of the dive kick. If the opponent blocks the dive kick in the corner, you can repeatedly use it (spam it) to add a lot of pressure. Use this in conjunction with assists or the Chaos Tide level 3 Hyper to lock the opponent down, or use Hell Dives to mix the opponent up or escape.
- With X-Factor level 3 and/or Luminous Body, Chaos Tide can be used to effectively lock the opponent down from full screen, causing a lot of chip damage. One way to do this is to press to trigger the Red Arremer clone's Demon Missile swoop, then immediately cancel into a Hell Spitfire , causing a fireball / swoop loop.
- If possible, try to use Devil's Claw before Bon Voyage in your combos. Bon Voyage scales harshly and will decrease the damage of the rest of the combo. Along with this, Devil's Claw has too much start-up to connect at high scaling.
- Concerning throws: When on the ground, go for forward throws, as Firebrand cannot convert back ground throws outside of Luminous Body or XFactor. When going for air throws, try to go for back throws instead of forward throws. At super jump height, Firebrand cannot convert forward throws. However, he can convert back throws with QCB+M into j.L (land), QCF+H. At any height below super jump, go straight into whiffed Bon Voyage (land), QCF+H
- Firebrand's j.L can instant overhead a large majority of the cast. This is great for fuzzy guarding your opponent. Along with this, while in XFactor or Luminous Body, you can connect a j.L into Bon Voyage for a solo instant overhead conversion anywhere on the screen.
- Firebrand Basic Bread and Butter
L M H S Air M M H Air d + h air qcb + L land d + H S Air M H qcf + S Land Backdash S air M H S Dark Fire
Firebrand is a dangerously fast and mobile character, especially when he activates Luminous Body. His mix-up game is one of the strongest in the cast when paired with the proper lockdown assists, and he can easily convert nearly any hit he gets. Unfortunately though, his damage is some of the worst in the game and his normals (while possessing great properties and angles) tend to have somewhat weak hitboxes. This forces him to rely on his team to get his damage for him, and his assists to cover his approach. However, a properly optimized Firebrand team can be one of the scariest teams to fight against, as Firebrand is capable of killing two or even three characters off of one touch using his Demon Missile H combined with DHCs or assists to unblockable the incoming character.
Firebrand makes up for his poor damage through the use of his team. His combo potential tends to be pretty lackluster, using both the wall and ground bounce. However, he is always guaranteed corner carry on any combo thanks to Bon Voyage. This, combined with hard tag set ups off of Bon Voyage and other set-ups, make easier to compensate for Firebrand's poor damage and meter build. His moveset is pretty good, with a lot of tools that can be used for both mobility and offense. Both of his level 1 hypers are very good, though Dark Fire can be hard for some characters to DHC from. All of his normals have great angles and frame data, with his j.L being an instant overhead on most of the cast and his j.H being two hits. He also has a great c.L and s.L, and his c.H slide is very good too.
All in all, Firebrand is a character that specializes in not letting the opponent play. He can run away and zone with fireballs until he can get in. Once there, he can lock you down and put you through 2-3 high/low mix-ups. Depending on your team, the first hit that Firebrand gets could lead to you winning through unblockable set-ups. However, while the character's combos are easy to execute, Firebrand is still an executionally demanding character. His low damage and meter build force you to be perfect with your hard tag set-ups and TAC infinites, while his neutral requires a lot of inputs to move around (Quarter Circle Backs instead of an air dash)
Firebrand has a lot of mobility tools in his arsenal. To start it off, he has a better-than-average forward walk speed, and a fairly fast normal jump speed. This makes him good at pressuring at the start of the round, but also helps a lot with his mix-up game (more on mix-ups below). Both his forward and his back dash are fast and have short active frames, making them really good for OS plink dashing. These factors combine to make Firebrand a very fast character on the ground, but he also has grounded Bon Voyage (qcf+s) and Demon Missile M (dp+m) to cover large distances quickly. Hell's Elevator (qcb+atk) also causes Firebrand to leave the ground and enter flight mode.
In the air, Firebrand has some very unique options. The most noteworthy is Bon Voyage (qcf+s). This move launches Firebrand down forward with a hitbox on his feet, like a divekick. If it connects, it enters a special hit grab state that can't be interrupted and always corner carries. This is a great move on its own but is ALSO very useful as a mobility tool, as it starts up and moves very quickly towards the ground. Hell's Dive (qcb+atk) allows him to perform a short command dash in one of three directions (down back, down forward, or down. They act similar to air dashes, in that if you "cancel" it into a normal, you will keep your air dash mobility all the way down. The short active frames (15) on these dives allow you to "chain" them into each other, changing your direction and momentum on a whim. Devil's Claw (down+H) has a lot of start up, but has a decent hitbox and leaves you in flight on hit or block. Even if you have used your flight mode already, this move will put you back in flight mode. Luminous Body (qcb+atk+atk) also leaves you in flight when done in the air. Lastly, he has his wall cling to stall and "fling" himself (see Wall Clings and Fireballs)
Firebrand's mobility is his most vital asset. He can't bully his way in like some characters can (such as Vergil with Spiral Swords or Zero with Sougenmu), so he must rely on mobility and mindgames to bait and punish the opponent. Understanding how to use his mobility both offensively and defensively is very important in getting the most out of Firebrand.
Firebrand has an exceptionally good grab game. As mentioned in the mobility section, he has a good set of dashes for OS plink dashes. This ties into his s.H though. His s.H is a very good normal with two hits, a decent hitbox, and is +1 on block. This makes his ground grab attempts a lot safer if whiffed, but his fast forward walk speed makes it even more threatening. It is recommended to go for forward ground grabs instead of back ground grabs, as you can't combo off of back ground grabs without XF2 or faster. His air grab game is strong too, mainly due to having a good option select in his j.H and the ability to buffer Bon Voyage to cover missed grabs. His hitbox is very small in the air and he rises very fast, causing Firebrand to be really good at grabbing people just off the ground. It is recommended to go for back air grabs over forward air grabs if possible. Both grabs can be comboed from at normal jump height, but you can only combo a back air grab at super jump height.
Unfortunately, Firebrand has miserable damage and meter off of throws. Still, every bit of meter and damage counts, along with the possibility of a TAC infinite. Being able to grab well with Firebrand is important and shouldn't be looked over.
Wall clings and fireballs
Firebrand can wall cling using the input of back, back. While clinged, he can shoot a fireball by using l , m, or h . The button used correspond to the inputs of Hell Spitfire (qcf+atk). If you hit s while clinged, Firebrand will jump off without performing an action. If you choose to shoot a fireball while on the wall, you can't block until you touch the ground. Also, if you choose to shoot a fireball while on the while, it counts as an air action. As in, the wall cling itself counts as one air action, and then shooting the fireball counts as the second. If you simply jump off with s , you only use one air action. This is very important to remember, as you only have a total of 3 air actions. Once you have used all 3, you will fall straight to the ground. However if your third action is a wall cling, you can still shoot a fireball off the wall, allowing you to perform a "fourth" air action.
His normal fireballs are pretty good as well, and are a vital asset in his game. Sporting an average 5 points of durability, aren't the strongest things around. Fortunately though, they do great damage (100,000 each) and travel pretty slow. Firebrand also has very good angles with this move, being able to shoot it forward on the ground and in the air, and being able to shoot it up forward on the ground and down forward in the air. Air fireballs also stop your decent during the duration of the move. All of this combines to give Firebrand some very good angles on his fireballs. His H fireball is useful in very specific match-ups (like vs Wolverine) in that it acts somewhat like Dormammu's Flame Carpet.
You can switch between regular fireballs and wall cling fireballs to allow you to get multiple on the screen at one time at a bunch of different angles. Use this to abuse the angles that individual characters have trouble covering. Being able to seamlessly switch from offense to zoning is a key trait of Firebrand and one that takes a lot of practice.
Firebrand happens to possess very good mix-ups when combined with assists. He has a lot of cross up set-ups using beams or horizontal assists along with cross up Bon Voyage or Demon Missile H, but also has a powerful high/low game. His j.L is an instant overhead on nearly every character in teh game. Not only that, but it can be cancelled into Bon Voyage or Hell's Dive L to get back to the ground fast. This makes it very easy for Firebrand to instant overhead you the moment you block an assist, or fake out a high with Hell's Dive L into c.L. As mentioned before, his grab game is very powerful and allow for some good guard break set-ups using fireballs and Luminous Body. His fuzzy guard set-ups also work on a large amount of the cast.
When trying to figure out mix-ups with Firebrand, try to thing about the unique properties of his specials and the angles they cover. Simple ideas can be something like Demon Missile M + Plasma Beam on an incoming character for a cross up. More advanced things including plink dashing to full screen into a low wall clinged L fireball, and then plink dash behind it to attempt a guard break from the fireball's blockstun.
Bon Voyage Hard Tags
Bon Voyage is one of the most powerful tools in Firebrand's arsenal, and it is important to understand how it works. Bon Voyage can connect at 3 different heights (ground, normal jump, super jump), and at 4 different screen positions (corner, near corner, near full screen, full screen). This causes 12 different ways that Bon Voyage can hit. While each of them have minuscule differences, the most important thing to note is that grounded Bon Voyage ALWAYS throws farther into the corner than normal or super jump Bon Voyage. This is really important when considering hard tags, because a midscreen grounded Bon Voyage into hardtag will NOT work the same way as a midscreen normal jump Bon Voyage. Be very wary of how and where your Bon Voyage connects and if/how you can hard tag out of it. Be very wary of hard tag videos that use grounded Bon Voyage, as they may not work off of air Bon Voyages (which are way more common).
Wall Clinged Fireballs
Firebrand has the ability to shoot fireballs out of his wall cling using L, M, or H. However, the wall cling can only be done while airborne and with your back to the wall. Fortunately, there are ways to do this right off the ground. This technique has a lot of names, but the most common is "instant wall cling fireballs". These take a lot of practice, but are a big part of Firebrand's game. They can be put on the screen very quickly, and can be combined with standing or aerial fireballs to cover a lot of angles. If done at the lowest possible height, they will hit Morrigan while she is standing. As it currently stands, there are two ways to do this:
1. Back, up-back, neutral, back
This is the more optimal way to do it. You start at back, and then slide it into up back. This counts as the first "back" in the input, and also your jump. After you hit up-back, you need to go back to neutral. This is the only way the game can register a wall cling. After you go back to neutral, you tap back again.
2. Up, up-back, neutral, back
This method is the easier one to learn, but isn't as optimal. As in, your wall clings will probably be higher off the ground than if you can do the first method. On the input screen, it looks like a quarter circle starting from the top and going to back, but you still need to put the neutral in there.
This technique is easiest on a Hitbox, though it is definitely still possible on stick. It is considered one of the more executionally heavy things that Firebrand can do, but it's not something that you can do blindly. It takes a lot of practice to be able to instant wall cling fireball on command, and it takes even more practice to use it properly. However, it is recommended that you learn to plink dash as well to make use of this. It will allow you to shoot a fireball and then plink after it (probably with an assist behind you), or it will allow you to shoot fireballs until you are too close to do it again, where you can then just plink back to full screen and shoot more fireballs. This technique is becoming a staple in Firebrand's neutral, so don't skip over this part of his game. Watch Apologyman for some good examples of instant wall cling fireball use.
Unblockable Set-Up Basics
Firebrand can set up unblockables using his charged Demon Missile H. This seems overpowered at first glance, but there is more to it than meets the eye. As a Firebrand player, it is up to you to know what set-ups your team has, but also how to escape them. Here are some factors to be aware of when trying to unblockable an enemy:
- Incoming height/options: Different characters come in at different heights on incoming. For example, Magneto comes out significantly higher than Vergil. This makes it a lot easier for him to escape even meaty set-ups. Dante and Strider also come out significantly higher than others, but also have double jumps. This makes it a lot easier for them to escape solo or poorly timed incoming unblockables. Sentinel has an air okay invincible super, so he has a pretty good chance of escaping any unblockable that has a gap. Try to be aware of what options your opponent has on incoming and the heights their characters come in at.
- X-Factor: A lot of unblockables can be escaped using Xfactor. Set-ups that seem guaranteed can be escaped using XFactor guard cancelling. For example, Angelic's "Heaven or Hell" set-up (Shown above) can be escaped by blocking the Stalking Flare, and then XFactor cancelling the block stun and then taking the hit from the Purification assist. This carries you up too high for Firebrand to convert. Some characters can also XFactor cancel blockstun into invincible hypers. While it seems advantageous to force your opponent to use XFactor, try to be aware of how much of your resources you commit to your set-up.
- Available resources: As mentioned in the above paragraph, be very aware of your available resources. You do not want to blow all of your meter to unblockable a character and then be unable to kill them once you get the hit. You also do not want to waste a lot of meter only to have the opponent escape your set-up. Firebrand requires a lot of resource management.
- Opposing team composition: When trying to unblockable an enemy, make sure you are very aware of their team composition. If you were to get a hit on Magneto/Doom/Vergil, you could kill Magneto and attempt to unblockable Doom, but then later end up having to deal with anchor Vergil. On the other hand though, if you were to get a hit on a Magneto/Dormammu/Doom team, it would be better to unblockable Dormammu and leave the with anchor Doom. This aspect of unblockabling is open to interpretation and can vary a lot based on the player. However, it is still something to be aware of and requires a lot of thought.
- Ground vs Air: If at all possible, it is usually better to go for air-based unblockables. Only three characters in the game have air-okay invincible supers (Phoenix, Sentinel, and Morrigan). However, a large portion of the cast have invincible ground supers. Be very conscious of the opponent's available meter and whether they have XFactor, as you don't want to attempt a ground unblockable on Spencer, only for them to XFactor cancel into Bionic Arm and hit both Firebrand and the assist you are using to unblockable.