Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3/Doctor Strange
Dr. Stephen Strange was formerly a renowned, yet arrogant surgeon. After a car accident damaged beyond repair the nerves in his hands, he desperately searched for a cure, and eventually came across a temple in Tibet. The Ancient One, the original Sorcerer Supreme, saw the arrogance in his heart and initially rejected him until he eventually decided to teach Strange the use of magic. Strange eventually reformed, and after thwarting an assassination attempt on the Ancient One by treacherous disciple Baron Mordo that, as it turned out, had been foreseen by the Ancient One himself, succeeded him as Sorcerer Supreme, and he now acts as a consultant for all things supernatural as well as keeping the world safe from a number of eldritch creatures, including Dormammu and Shuma-Gorath.
In a nutshell
Doctor Strange is a zoning character through and through. With projectiles for almost any scenario imaginable, fireballs that can be set up and delayed throughout the match, and teleports to add mixups to his own tools, his focus should be to annoy the opponent into making a mistake. Once an opening occurs, Strange can take advantage with his Impact Palm's immense hitstun and crumple properties for exremely long combos. Without using Hypers, Strange lacks options against opponents directly above him, and opponents on the ground; therefore, Strange should use assists that can cover his weaknesses, making him a devastating force.
Tips and Tricks
- Many of Strange's projectiles are slow enough that he can teleport behind the opponent before they reach them. Use this for ambiguous mixups, or to make tricky approaches completely safe.
- Eye of Agamotto, when struck by an Impact Palm, is one of the best projectiles for starting a mix-up, due to its slow movement and homing capabilities.
- Spell of Vishanti is an extremely fast Hyper that can hit the opponent anywhere on the screen. Use this to punish almost anything on reaction.
- Due to Spell of Vishanti's sheer speed, you can actually combo into it from Astral Magic (Strange's Level 3 Hyper), but the timing is somewhat strict.
- If the opponent is blocking in the corner, you can use Daggers of Denak from point blank range to have the Daggers hit from BEHIND the opponent, forcing them out of the corner, which can allow you to teleport behind them. Note that these Daggers have a lot of startup, so you'll often need to incorporate this into a block string, and / or use an assist to keep Strange safe.
- Eye of Agamotto hits up to 10 times while stationary, and up to another 10 times when in motion (when struck by Impact Palm). If the opponent blocks the initial cast of the Eye, you can Impact Palm it for 20 hits of chip, and use this time to start a new teleport mix-up!
- Mystic Sword projectiles have immense durability; they will destroy almost any other regular projectile in their way. If your opponent likes throwing fireballs at you, use Mystic Sword to pierce right through and hit them.
- While the Rings of Raggador hyper counters projectiles, some projectiles (mostly beams) will actually cease to exist if the opponent X-Factor cancels them. Bear this in mind, as some players may fire a beam, wait for you to attempt the counter, XFC their beam (or even Hyper Cancel), and punish (or mount a new offense), as they have X-Factor, and you have wasted a meter. This goes double for beam Hypers. Spend the time in training, and learn which projectiles stop when canceled. One example of this is Doom's Plasma Beam: if he shoots the beam, and you attempt to counter with Rings of Raggador, he can actually Hyper Cancel on reaction into Photon Array, causing you to both waste the meter, and likely get punished, or at least take chip, from the Array.
- Spend a lot of time understanding Strange's Teleport - it should be used to make any block strong safe, and mount a lot of offense and pressure. Strong Strange play will often have him Teleporting more often than walking or dashing!
When playing as Strange, the basic idea is to get away from the opponent and set up a projectile zoning game. From here, you can use teleport mixups in conjunction with projectiles to annoy the opponent and eventually land a hit, preferably with an Impact Palm, causing a crumple state. From here, you can land any of Strange's extremely long, damaging combos, and then apply wakeup pressure. In many ways, Strange is something of a momentum-based character. Once he gets the first hit into a combo, he can use many of his tools, such as Eye of Agamotto and Daggers of Denak to keep the opponent blocking on wakeup, and add new pressure. You just have to know when momentum has run out, or when you're unsafe, then run away, and zone again. Just don't forget to abuse Spell of Vishanti.
Strategy vs. Doctor Strange
- One of Strange's biggest weaknesses is the area directly above him. Outside of his Spell of Vishanti Hyper, he has no way to quickly stop or attack an enemy from above. Even his Illusion counter has enough recovery time that you can often punish him for trying it after a jump-in. With this in mind, teleports are often very useful against him, especially Strider's Vajra.
- Be very careful when Strange has meter. His Spell of Vishanti hyper comes out in one frame (almost instantaneously), allowing him to punish almost any move, from anywhere on the screen. He can also X-Factor Cancel this move, and lead to a full-damage combo. As long as he has meter, do not throw out random moves, especially from a range.
- Strange's attack has immense recovery time. On block, this is one of the most easily punished moves in the game.
- Strange lacks a strong mix-up game and mobility without the use of his teleports. When push comes to shove, you can block most of his assaults rather easily with enough patience. Note, however, that he can teleport to make many of his normal attacks safer, so don't get too anxious to punish.
- Strange, like Phoenix before him, is one of the only characters that cannot teleport behind his opponent when they are cornered. Use this to your advantage. Note above (in the Tips and Tricks section), that he DOES have tricks to pull you out of the corner, as well as the decent option select of Impact Palm / forward throw.