The Little Swordsman who Couldn't
Marvel vs. Capcom 2
Hayato FAQ
by b0x0rzkirb0
acrawls09@yahoo.com

Version 1.01: Changed email address and some minor crap.

Version 1.00: FAQ Begins. More info will be added if I think it needs to, or
if someone contributes.

Table of Contents
-----------------------------------------
1. Hayato Kanzaki? Who?
2. Basic Swordsmanship (Basic Moves)
3. Advanced Swordsmanship (Special Moves)
4. Leet Swordsmanship (Hyper Comboes)
5. Trying not to Die (Strategy)
6. Recipes for Ass-Kicking (Comboes)
7. Hayato vs. the World
8. Other Fun Stuff
9. Thanks!
-----------------------------------------

=======================
1. Hayato Kanzaki? Who?
=======================
That's what I thought when I first saw the man. Here's his story:
 
---------
The Story
---------
Hayato comes from a line of a line of 3-D fighting games called Star Gladiator
and Plasma Sword. These fighting games had many innovations such as the Plasma
Comboes and such, but were pretty obscure in the fighting game world. Hayato's
backstory is as follows:

Basically, he makes a living as a bounty hunter in the year 2348. His weapon
is a Plasma Sword; some bad guy named Dr. Bilsten was sacrificing human beings
to create plasma weapons and Hayato apparently got his hands on one.

In Star Gladiator, Dr. Bilsten was jailed after it was learned that he was
sacrificing people to make his shiny weapons. Years later, Bilsten busts out
with his new rebel group named "The Fourth Empire"(probably referring to a
Fourth Reich) and moves to attack Earth. The government, knowing that Earth
is pretty screwed if Bilsten makes it there, organizes a troop of warriors
who are able to use plasma weapons in order to destroy Bilsten. Hayato was
among these warriors. Needless to say, Bilsten gets his ass kicked and life
is grand after that.

The sequel to Star Gladiator, Plasma Sword, also featured Hayato and Dr.
Bilsten. In this game, the good doctor had managed to plant some weird mind-
altering genotype in Hayato, which would make him, in some circumstances,
become Black Hayato, his evil form, who was not nice. In short, both forms
of Hayato managed to kick a lot of ass, and evil was vanquished once more,
unless you were Black Hayato, in which Hayato becomes mean and angry and kills
some innocents. Hayato tries to beat his evil self in an inner struggle, but
ultimately phails and Black Hayato reigns. Of course, this never actually
happened. The good ending had Hayato beating the doc. The doc's station begins
to explode while Hayato kills some other beastie and barely escapes with his
life. And everyone really did live happily ever after. Yay!

--------------
Hayato In MvC2
--------------
Hayato was fairly decent in his games, but in MvC2 he's easily one of the
worst. Not THE worst, but he's pretty bad. You'd think a cool-looking future
swordsman would be great in a game, but you'd be wrong. So without further
ado, the pros and cons:

-------------
Pros and Cons
-------------
+Hayato's Plasma Sword gives him some fine, fine reach, which is always a good
thing.
+His sword also gives him some pretty great priority with a lot of his moves.
He can even out-prioritize Cyclops's DF+HK, which is ridiculous.
+Somewhat small size, making his reach even better in relation.
+Great mid-range pokes with the sword which easily lead to comboes.
+Easily accessible ground comboes with his long-range and good-priority pokes;
can combo into all of his HCs, and can access his level 3 super with only 1
level via the Plasma Field.
+Sexy.

-Hayato's biggest, most glaring weakness is that he is forced to rely 100% on
rushdown while also being pretty bad at it. He has no long-range capability,
and other than his range and priority, his rushing skills are mediocre due to
the lack of an air-dash or any sort of high-low game, with a lack of mix-ups
other than the Byakko Hou, which is awkward.
-God, the lag! A lot of Hayato's moves carry some startup or recovery lag
that can EASILY be punished quite painfully by his opponent by way of things
such as pushblock or an Anti-Air Assist.
-Hayato isn't too big on the damage department. He needs meter to do big
damage, as any non-meter combo can't do too much.
-He also takes damage a bit worse than average. Not too much worse, but the
difference exists.
-Hayato is pretty bad at chipping, meaning a lack of guaranteed damage outside
of a good assist. This also makes his Plasma Field Hyper Combo a bit worse
than it has to be, because he has no reliable chipping super.
-Hayato has no projectile other than Engetsu, which is a shockwave Hyper Combo
that travels slowly. This means he'll absolutely have to get in close to do
damage, other than Projectile or certain Anti-Air assists. This gives him no
long-range game, and no real way to deal with good keep-away.
-He is still outprioritized by many of the best characters.
-Pretty poor air-based game; no air-dash or double jump, and the only
Hyper Combo he can do in the air is not that useful as a stand-alone.
-Mobility is not so hot; as stated before he has no way of air-dashing, no
extra jump...his only means of getting across the screen quickly are dashing
and superjumping.
-Pretty much HAS to fight with assists; a solo Hayato is a dead Hayato.
-His dash is low in distance.

+/-He has a unique dash attack. While this aspect is unique to Hayato, it
carries horrid lag even on a hit. Use the dash attack for mobility, and don't
expect to score big damage with it; you can combo it in with certain assists,
though.

As you can see, the cons definitely outweigh the pros; don't be disappointed
if you lose with Hayato, but do feel the need to celebrate if you win. Take
advantage of his mid-range combat ability in your battles.

------
Legend
------
I use many abbreviations in this guide because I'm lazy, so here's what they
mean:

LP, MP, HP- Light Punch, Medium Punch, Hard Punch
LK, MK, HK- Light Kick, Medium Kick, Hard Kick
P, K- Any Punch Button, Any Kick Button
PP, KK- Both Punch Buttons, Both Kick Buttons
A1, A2- Assist 1, Assist 2
B, DB, D, DF, F- Back, Down-back, Down, Down-Forward, Forward
AC- Air Combo
HC- Hyper Combo
DHC- Delayed Hyper Combo
OTG- Off-The-Ground
xx- Cancel
QCF- Quarter Circle Forward (D, DF, F)
QCB- Quarter Circle Back (D, DB, B)
DP- Dragon Punch Motion (F, D, DF)
RDP- Reverse Dragon Punch Motion (B, D, DB)
D.- Ducking
C.- Crouching (Same thing as ducking, but I tend to interchange the two)
J.- Jumping

----------------------
A Quick Dose of Hayato
----------------------
LP + LK/HP + HK: Tag
A1/A2: Assist
A1 + A2: Double/Triple Hyper Combo (requires 2/3 bars respectively)
QCF + A1/A2: Snapback (requires 1 bar)
B, DB, B + A1/A2(while blocking): Variable Counter (requires 1 bar)
B, DB, D + P when you hit the ground: OTG Roll
Start: Taunt

F + HP(up-close): Throw
F + HK(up-close, in air): Air Throw
F + HP: Spinning Jump Slash
D + HK(in air): Sword Dive
HP, HP(while dashing): Dash Attack

QCF + P: Shiden
DP + P: Guren
B, F + PP: Byakko Hou
B + Various Inputs: Plasma Combo (More on these in the Special Moves section)

QCF + PP: Rasetsu Zan (requires 1 bar)
QCF + KK: Engetsu (requires 1 bar)
QCB + KK: Plasma Field (requires 1 bar, can also be done in the air)
LP, HP, B, LK, HK: Black Hayato (requires 3 bars)

====================================
2. Basic Swordsmanship (Basic Moves)
====================================
-----------
Light Punch
-----------
Standing: Hayato makes a quick swipe with his blade. Above-average priority
and range for an LP, and pretty fast as well. A good combo starter.

Ducking: A quick swipe with his blade while crouching. Essentially the same
as the Standing version.

Jumping: A poke with his sword at a downward angle. Pretty worthless range,
yet does have some good priority for an LP. Even so, he's got better aerial
moves. Stick with the HP or HK.

------------
Medium Punch
------------
Standing: Hayato does a wide backhand slice using the majority of his upper
body. You pretty much HAVE to cancel this, as it's got some bad lag after he
completes it. Decent range, however.

Ducking: Hayato makes a powerful stab at the opponent's...abdomen. Also a
necessity to cancel this, as the lag on this is even worse than its standing
cousin.

Jumping: Hayato makes a forehand sweep at the opponent. Far less lag than his
other MPs because its aerial. You won't find much use for this other than
Air Comboes, however.

----------
Hard Punch
----------
Standing: Hayato does a mighty two-handed downward chop on his unfortunate
opponent. A decent attack with some good priority and reach, but it's best
used in comboes to cancel into Shiden xx Engetsu. Has a slight amount of
start-up and finish lag, hence the need to cancel.

Ducking: Hayato's launcher! It has pretty good horizontal range for a launcher
and some decent priority as well, but its kind of slow on the upswing. Pretty
punishable if blocked or whiffed, too. Makes for a somewhat decent anti-air
to the characters with weaker jump-in maneuvers. On a side note, this is his
only hard attack that can be comboed from a single Light Attack.

Jumping: Like a S.HP, only in midair. It covers some area above him. Can be
used as a jump-in or AC ender, but there are better choices for both options.
Still a decent Basic Move.

----------
Light Kick
----------
Standing: Hayato leans and makes a kick at his opponent's midsection. Useless
basic move, because his Standing LP is better in reach AND priority, although
the startup frame count for this is 2 less than S. LP. Stick with the S. LP
for your standing light move needs. You can use the fact that it has less 
range to get in closer to make it easier to perform Hien-based comboes,
though.

Ducking: Lame kick in the shin. Faster than D. LP but less priority and
range. You can interchange the two for low attacks if you so desire.

Jumping: He sticks out his foot in the same trajectory as he would his sword
in his J. LP. Nearly identical, except this has less range. You won't really
be using Hayato's J.LK other than air comboes.

-----------
Medium Kick
-----------
Standing: Hayato makes a powerful-looking kick at the mid-section. Much safer
than S.MP when blocked.

Ducking: Another kick in the shin. Combo filler, can link to a hell of a lot
of things and a lot safer than C.MP when blocked.

Jumping: More filler for your Air Combo.

---------
Hard Kick
---------
Standing: Here's where it gets good. Hayato makes two mighty 2-handed swipes
at his opponent. This move's main con is its extreme weakness to a pushblock
by a character that can easily punish it(Juggernaut, Cable, etc.). However,
it has good combo potential and can cancel from its first swing and after its
second swing as well. Can do things like combo into Black Hayato as well as
prolonging a ground chain so that an assist such as Sentinel Ground can
elongate the combo, enabling more damage. One of his more useful basic moves,
just be SURE not to have the opponent block this or whiff this thing. The 2nd
hit of this is Hayato's snapback.

Ducking: Hayato's sweep maneuver. He makes a swipe with his sword at the
opponent's feet, tripping him/her. This can do dumb things like OTG combo
into Shiden or Engetsu, but it's pretty easily rolled out of. Overall not
too important to Hayato's game, but still usable as a mix-up.

Jumping: Hayato's prime jump-in attack. It boasts less start-up than the
HP, and lacks a tiny bit of its vertical range. Still, it can knock a lot of
****. This thing can beat nearly any physical attack by your opponent, even
Cyclops's priority foot. So use it well.

=========================================
3. Advanced Swordsmanship (Special Moves)
=========================================

---------------------------------------------------------
Throw (F or B + HP on the ground while point-blank range)
---------------------------------------------------------
Hayato thrusts his sword inside the opponents stomach and then slashes upwards
in a vicious grab move.

Hayato's ground throw. Useful to some extent against turtling opponents, but
cannot be comboed into as its a throw. Also has nearly zero combo potential
after you complete it, since the opponent recovers before they start
descending from the launch. Still, you could probably do something such as a
throw and then call Doom AAA in the corner in order to add some chip damage
and keep them locked down. You could always do something lame such as a
S.LP, walk-up throw, but that's pretty useless, considering he has higher-
damage options from any light attack. Hayato also releases the opponent too
slow to combo into any sort of Anti-Air Assist EXCEPT Blackheart's, and even
then, it does piddly damage and you can't follow up on it. Not too important
to Hayato's game, but always an option.

----------------------------------------------------------
Air Throw (F or B + HK in the air while point-blank range)
----------------------------------------------------------
Hayato grabs his opponent in the air and uses his knee to slam them into
the ground.

Hayato's air throw. Also cannot be comboed into, seeing as it's a throw. Not
too important to Hayato, but can be used to stuff normal jumps if you have
ridiculous timing and luck. Can sometimes be used as a mix-up in an Air Combo,
but be wary you'll have to leave the opponent open for some time to do this
and they may smack you in that brief time they're open. You can call Doom or
Tron and then slam them into the assist, which is quite stylish and effective.

-------------
Hien (F + HP)
-------------
Hayato jumps and does a spinning slash while in mid-air. While in the air he
can avoid some low attacks such as shoto C.HKs, and some other characters'
sweep maneuvers, but can't avoid some sweep attacks from large characters
such as Sentinel.

This can be used in ground comboes. You can also link a B+HP Plasma Combo
after this to up the damage. A solid move.

--------------------------
Sword Dive (D + HK in air)
--------------------------
Hayato abruptly halts any motion in mid-air and dives straight down, sword
first. If he hits the opponent, he bounces off of them and cannot do any
more mid-air actions until he lands.

This is Hayato's ONLY way of manipulating his movement in mid-air. This is
pretty much only good for fake-outs or if you want to get to the ground
faster, or perhaps locking them down in the corner with Doom AAA for some
chip damage. This is due to the fact that, even if you hit them, the opponent
recovers faster than you do. Not TOO much faster, but it's enough time for
Cable to AHVBx3 you, or Sentinel to begin his Hyper Sentinel Force semi-
infinite. Hell, if you're close enough, any character and dash-in and launch
you as you descend. If they block it, you'll probably be pasted. Use this
in the corner to prevent opponents from jumping while you use Doom AAA to get
some free chip. You can also use this for super-jump fake-outs to return to
the ground and possibly nail your opponent with another AAA. You can also use
this for resets on a throw assist, hitting them with Zangief's throw and then
using this to spike them, following up with a Byakko Hou, for when you're
feeling juicy.

For comboes, it COULD be used as an Air Combo ender, but it's NOT recommended,
as it's hard to combo with, does piddly damage, AND spikes the opponent,
enabling them to recover much faster and be able to nail you on your descent.
Best used to allow assists to chip.

----------------------------------
Dash Attack (HP, HP while dashing)
----------------------------------
Hayato does a slash looking like his S.MP while dashing; he then glides along
the ground for a second or two, totally open. Pressing HP again initiates
a slash that looks like the second hit of his S.HK. The hits do not combo if
an assist is not used. Hayato can pass through the opponent during his dash
attack.

This move is seriously lame due to the massive, massive lag after you finish.
You'll HAVE to keep the opponent in blockstun while utilizing this move if
you don't want to get smote. Calling Sentinel Ground assist before the first
slash can help this; while the opponent is in block stun, Sentinel will come
out with his drones and as you go to the other side for the second slash, the
opponent will be pushed into the drones. Even so, this move is more of a
hindrance than anything else, despite it being unique to Hayato.

----------------
Shiden (QCF + P)
----------------
Hayato rushes forward with two powerful sword strikes. Both versions do two
hits, but the LP version travels a shorter distance while the HP version
goes nearly the full length of the screen, and also slightly more damage, even
though it has more lag. Important to Hayato's bread-and-butter combo.

One of Hayato's better moves; the damage is pretty good and it can find a way
into nearly any ground combo. It comes out fairly fast as well, covering a
large amount of ground. Its main weaknesses, though, are its weakness to a
pushblock and its somewhat lacking OTG ability. You HAVE to stick this in a
combo or the subsequent pushblock will DEFINITELY leave you hurting.

This move is one of Hayato's most malleable moves when it comes to comboes.
It can combo out of almost any basic move, and it can OTG to some extent, even
though it's pretty easy to safety roll out of. This move usually finds its
usage in cancelling into Engetsu, his shockwave HC. Hayato can do this from
the first slash or the second slash, though for the second slash you should
make sure to cancel RIGHT after it ends, to reduce the risk of a safety roll.
In the corner, he can cancel into Rasetsu Zan from the first slash since an
Engetsu is worthless in the corner. Shiden can be cancelled into from a hard
attack, Plasma Chain, Variable Countered into...this is definitely Hayato's
most combo-friendly move, except it can't be used in the air. Damn.

This acts as his Expansion and Balance assist, and as his Expansion Counter.

---------------
Guren (DP + PP)
---------------
In the LP version, Hayato rises to about half-normal jump height in a spinning
slash. In the HP version, Hayato dashes forward a small bit before rising up
a bit farther than a normal jump. Both versions do 3 hits, and the HP version
does more damage.

This is Hayato's sword-wielding and actually worse version of the Shotokan
Shoryuken. The main reasons this move is worse than its cousin is the extra
start-up on both versions and the lack of invincibility. This by far lessens
its use as an Anti-Air Assist. It does, however, sport some decent priority;
this is good if you use the LP version as an anti-air, as that is harder to
punish by any except the best characters. The HP version is near-suicidal due
to the totally lame recovery, as Hayato is helpless on the way down. Also note
that Hayato rises STRAIGHT up instead of horizontally like the shotos, so it's
possible to use HP to dash under the opponent's jump and then nail them from
the bottom, but it's extremely risky and the damage isn't too impressive. Its
main advantage over the Shoryuken lies in its hypercancellability into the
Plasma Field.

The move shines more as an Air Combo ender. Hayato can use either the LP or
the HP version as one(remember that the HP requires faster input due to the
small dash), but HP does more damage. It can also cancel out of Plasma Chains,
and in both instances it can cancel into his Plasma Field HC. If he's in the
corner, this can lead to even more damage. Solid combo move.

----------------------
Byakko Hou (B, F + PP)
----------------------
Hayato juts out his hand in an attempt to grab his opponent. If he succeeds,
he gives them a mighty upwards blow, launching them into the air. He can then
follow up with a combo. If he fails, he'll hold his hand out like a lameass
for a second or two, completely helpless. Note that both punch buttons are
required, and that this move is unblockable.

This is an average-speed command throw with pathetic range. Chances are, you
will not be landing this move, as opponents in point-blank can easily jab you
as you start it up and lead that to a combo. Even then, you've got better
options than this. A simple C.LK, S.LP, or B+HP Plasma Chain starter can do
better in close-range and they give you more options anyhow. That is to say,
this move is not at all useless, as it's unblockable, making it useful
for overly defensive foes. Just mind the pathetic range; whiffing this just
asks for an HC to the face. Fake-outs with this are still possible, an example
if you have the Plasma Field activated and your opponent turtles up, you can
use this and then follow up with a free Engetsu or other follow-up of your
choice. You can also try to do some sort of reset after the Plasma Field in
the air, like an S.LK, Byakko Hou, but it's risky and you have better options.
Not overly important to Hayato's game but still a decent mix-up, and you can
land some crazy resets in the corner to rack up some damage. If not for the
pathetic range, this would be so much of a better move, but it's still usable
as is. Your opponent likely won't be expecting it, so mix it up a few times
with this and the rewards will be great, as it's essentially another free
combo, and if in the corner, can lead to a kill.

This cannot be comboed into as it's a throw, but the launch leaves your enemy
completely helpless as he plummets to the ground, enabling you to move
slightly forward and re-launch them for an AC, or Engstsu.

------------------------------------------------
Plasma Combo - Suzaku Ranbu (B + LP, LP, LP, LP)
------------------------------------------------
Hayato flashes blue and does a flurry of weak slashes, finishing off with a
2-handed slash. The easiest and most basic of his Plasma Comboes. Also the
most useless.

Easily his worst chain by far, the Suzaku Ranbu has many cons. It has the
slower opening, no real flashiness about it, and the damage is PATHETIC, just
BARELY more than an LP Guren. Its one strength is that it can cancel mid-chain
into special moves, but so can the other Plasma Comboes. Avoid this.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Plasma Combo - Guren (B + HP, LP, HP, HP, HP) OR (B + HP, LP, HP, LK, HP)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hayato flashes blue again and does another series of slashes, ending with an
LP Guren. Pretty easy to use and somewhat useful for high blockers if you
choose to mix it up with the LK. Also has the fastest beginning swing of all
the Plasma Comboes.

This Combo's main use is its VERY fast start-up. The opening slash to this
combo even quicker then his standing LP and thus is excellent for trying to
catch an opponent from mid-range to initiate a combo without too much fear of
getting punished. If you catch them with the opener, you can smack them a few
times before making the cancel of your choice. A very useful offensive tool
for Hayato, and probably the most useful Plasma Combo overall. Also note that
Hayato moves forward with each slash, meaning you can catch someone with just
the tip of the B+HP and still get in a full-fledged combo. This is the main
advantage of the Plasma Combo.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Plasma Combo - Kegon (B + LP, LP, HP, HK, LP,) OR (B + LP, LP, LP, HK, LP)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hayato flashes blue once more and does a mighty thrust into the enemy's gut,
sending them in a short spiral, completely helpless. Although it has the slow
opening, this is probably the most powerful of the Plasma Chains. Not the
most useful, however.

The thrust at the end leaves many options for elaborating on the combo for
Hayato. Here are just a few:

     -Press LP again for a finisher.
     -Launch to Air Combo.
     -Engetsu.
     -Plasma Field.
     -Tag out safely.

You might not get many oppurtunities to land this due to the somewhat slow
speed and mediocre range of the start-up hit, but when you do, it's pretty
high-reward.

=====================================
4. Leet Swordsmanship (Hyper Comboes)
=====================================

----------------------
Rasetsu Zan (QCF + PP)
----------------------
Hayato does a fancy pose for a bit and then rushes forward, slashing the enemy
with 7 brutal swings. Ends with another pose and him yelling something in
Japanese that sounds suspiciously like "You suck!".

Hayato's first Hyper Combo is maybe his second most useful. However, its main
weakness is the big start-up and finishing lag, making it a very punishable
move if blocked. What this means is that you absolutely have to combo this in
or you will be suffering. Another glaring weakness is the fact that you cannot
use this as a juggle or OTG; you will connect the first hit or possibly the
second, but the rest will ultimately be blocked and you will be punished very
brutally. 

However, even with these faults, this HC still comes in handy; if at any
time if you connect with an LP or LK, you can chain those weak moves into a
Shiden (cancel on the first slash) xx Rasetsu Zan for some good damage. This
HC is also useful for corner comboes, where Engetsu is not an option. A decent
HC for Hayato, you just have to make sure to be careful with it, or it's your
ass.

------------------
Engetsu (QCF + KK)
------------------
Hayato raises his Plasma Sword and brings it crashing down, initating a large
shockwave that travels across the length of one screen. The sword can hit the
opponent into the wave. Getting you around 7-8 hits, this is basically a poor
man's Magnetic Shockwave.

This move is more useful then Rasetsu Zan in some situations, and less so in
others. It has a tad more comboability than the Rasetsu because it can OTG an
opponent. However, you might want to avoid this if you're not particularly
fluent in those as an opponent might safety roll when he hits the ground.
This move's main weakness is its uselessness in the corner. However, in those
cases, you can replace the Engetsu with the Rasetsu Zan; just be careful not
to OTG.

This move can OTG by means of cancelling after the second slash of the Shiden
or maybe a D+HK sweep. Still, be wary for safety rolls. This move is much
easier to combo into from assists then the Rasetsu Zan; meaning you can take
advantage of this HC far easier if you catch an opponent with Doom AAA or any
other juggling assist such as Akuma Expansion. This move all-in-all is quite
useful to Hayato's game.

-----------------------
Plasma Field (QCB + KK)
-----------------------
Hayato draws his power inward and then relases it while doing a pose; his
power takes the form of a blue circle with a somewhat small radius that
surrounds his body. If this field connects, a timer begins and during this
time, Hayato flashes blue and has infinite HC gauge. This can be used on the
ground or in the air.

This move isn't OVERLY useful, the reason being that Hayato has no HC that
chips a whole lot and thus can be spammed. However, this HC can still put some
decent pressure on an opponent; if you land this, start getting all over your
opponent, trying to score one tiny hit so that you can score a free HC. Don't
abandon all caution, however; this power-up doesn't change Hayato's attributes
in the slightest; it only gives him infinite HC power. If you slip up, you can
still be brutally punished just the same as always. Its true use lies in air
comboes, especially those in the corner.

This HC can be comboed in as an AC ender; it can be used by itself or you can
cancel it off an LP Guren or the second hit of an HP Guren. Once that's done,
apply pressure to try to make your opponent take a hit so that you can chain it
into a free Rasetsu Zan or Engetsu. If you're feeling ballsy you can try to
start a Guren Plasma Chain and cancel it into the Black Hayato. Also, in the
corner you can OTG combo this into the Black Hayato. You can also use this to
try to land some corner reset comboes for some nice damage. Pretty useful,
though its use is not obvious at first.

This would also be Hayato's super of choice when you want to DHC out, as it
can be done anywhere and is fast, making it ideal for this role.

-------------------------------------------------
Black Hayato (LP, HP, B, LK, HK) (Takes 3 Levels)
-------------------------------------------------
Hayato faces the camera and then dashes forward slowly. If he connects with the
dash, he takes a cue from the Shun Goku Satsu and the screen goes black, with
only the slashes that Hayato makes on his poor opponent visible. Afterwards,
Hayato strikes another pose in his Black Hayato evil form, then the opponent
is slashed a few more times as the move ends.

This move isn't really comparable to the Shun Goku Satsu because it's actually
usable in Hayato's game if you so desire; first impressions often think of it
as worse than the SGS because it's blockable due to the intiation being a hit
and not a grab, but this also means it can be comboed into. It's still pretty
difficult to pull off during a match, and the 3 meters make it somewhat low-
reward for the cost, but damn is it awesome when pulled off. I wouldn't
recommend landing this your highest priority, but it's satisfying to land.
Make sure it'll make an impact though, because this thing burns a lot of
damn meter, for a super whose damage can be equaled by a one-meter combo.

Comboing this move in is the only way you'll land it other than when your
opponent is COMPLETELY open. You'll find that it's actually not too difficult.
This HC's best friend is the LP Shiden. Why? Because you can buffer the rest
of the B. Hayato motion after you press LP, meaning the motion for the combo
becomes QCF+LP, HP, B, LK, HK. Pretty good stuff, and leads to some decent
damage. You can also make OTGs possible with the B. Hayato through usage of
this move. If the opponent hits the ground first, the move will fail. However,
a cancel from the S.HK into an LP Shiden and then using the buffer technique
will end up in a successful Black Hayato. What this also means is that after
a connected Plasma Field in the corner, you can do the OTG LP Shiden technique
to get a free Black Hayato, which is very good stuff. The LP Shiden is by far
the best move to combo into this, but it can also be done with S.HK or really
any hard attack if you're fast enough with the motion. You can also do really
fancy ish like AC, Plasma Field in the corner, land, C.LK, B. Hayato, but
that requires some damn fine input, and you'll also have to remember to make
sure the opponent's in the air when you initiate the Black Hayato, as they'll
just bounce off if they hit the ground first. All in all, this move does worse
damage then it should for its cost, but it's just oh-so-fun to land. Just
make sure it's going to hit, or you'll definitely be pissed off. Your worst
enemies in this fashion are OTG rolls in the corner, making the timing for
landing one in a juggle far more strict.

===============================
5. Trying Not to Die (Strategy)
===============================
Some random things that I numbered for some reason:

1. First of all, you must remember that Hayato is a low-tier character who is
very close to being bottom-tier. What this means is that if you use Hayato,
you've got to not be disappointed at a loss. A lot of the characters are
worlds above Hayato, simply because they have more tools for them to win the
game. Hayato is a decent poking character in a game that doesn't really call
for poking, and thus he falls short in a lot of match-ups.

2. Hayato CANNOT be used without an anti-air assist, as his anti-air ability
is pretty sub-par. Other than his high-priority launcher, he doesn't have much
and must instead rely upon a decent anti-air in order to complement his
offensive game and apply pressure. Captain Commando is good for sheer damage
and it covers the entire vertical screen, and Doctor Doom is great for a huge
amount of uses including chip and pressure. Hayato simply dies without assists
if youre fighting someone who has access to assists.

3. Turtling up isn't that viable with Hayato. His defensive measures and keep-
away ability are weak and thus defense is his weakest position. With Hayato,
you always want to be applying the pressure, being careful to cover up your
innate lag with assists looking for any window to score that one Standing LP
or Crouching LK that you can chain into an HC. Rather than play defensive,
play carefully, not attacking with reckless abandon, but waiting for a window
in which you can land an all-important poke.

4. Hayato has got the mad range for a character his size. This enables him to
land an all-important weak attack from mid-range. Standing LP and B+HP are
good moves for catching an opponent off guard without much fear of punishment,
and for more flashy maneuvers you must remember to watch your back with an
assist. Hayato's range and priority are his main assets; even his weak punches
have good priority and range. Take advantage of this. Also, remember that any
priority Hayato may have pretty much goes out the window if the opponent is
at point-blank; a character's distance away from Hayato is your ideal range.

5. Hayato gets pretty shafted by any good amount of keep-away, since he has
absolutely no long-range game. Runaway also completely screws him unless he
has an anti-runaway assist like Blackheart or Commando. Therefore, it's wise
to not use Hayato against an opponent who's doing more damage with his defense
than you can with your offense.

6. When it comes to poking, try to avoid using any of Hayato's MP attacks,
because they carry disgusting lag for whatever reason, and if they're
blocked, then Hayato will be forced to crap out some kind of cancel in an
attempt to be safe which will usually result in the opposite effect. Stick to
the B+HP or C.LK for poking purposes, or make sure that you only use LP moves
and not MP. If you are forced to cancel, resort to the S.HK or S.HP, as they
are somewhat safe.

7. Hayato has great priority, as you know; he can beat almost any barehanded
move with his sword, making his jump-ins dangerous. However, energy based
basic moves or launchers tend to destroy him. Know each character's launchers
and anti-airs, and judge for yourself whether it's safe to jump in.

--------------
The Byakko Hou
--------------
I don't really use this that much, but it can really mess people up if used
properly. However, it's hard as hell to land. This is for several reasons:
One, it can only be landed at point blank, which is not Hayato's ideal range.
Point-blank range means that Hayato's priority doesn't really matter since his
pokes are usually outsped by the masses. Two, it has start-up, meaning that
many characters can just jab him out of it. The other reason is the weird
command(B, F + PP). If you slide the stick from back to forward in a half-
circle, you'll do a Rasetsu Zan and leave your ass completely open for total
annihilation. Make sure you avoid the lower region when going for the Byakko
Hou; the Rasetsu Zan is not what you want at point-blank.

However, the Byakko Hou can be pretty devilish in terms of mixing it up,
because it's Hayato's main tool in terms of resets. Here are some basic fake
outs to get you started:

     -S.LK, Byakko Hou (better if the LK gets blocked)
     -Super Jump, Sword Dive, Byakko Hou (risky as hell, only try if you've
had the advantage applying the pressure)
     -Jump-in LP or LK, Byakko Hou
     -Normal jump-in, land, Byakko Hou (useful if you normally jump-in with
Hard Attacks in your offense)
     -HP throw in corner, Byakko Hou when they land.
     -Launch, Super Jump, J.LP, D+HK, Byakko Hou. Useful for resets here, this
can screw up an opponent if used right.

So what to do if you actually land a command grab? You follow up on that ish.
Here are some examples.

     -Get a free Engetsu.
     -Walk forward, C.HP, super-jump, J.LP, J.LK, J.MP, J.MK then end with
either a Hard Attack OR HP Guren xx Plasma Field.
     -OTG C.HK xx Shiden xx Engetsu.
     -Corner only: Above air combo, end with HP Guren xx Plasma Field, C.HK
or LP Shiden into Black Hayato. 
     -J.LK, J.MK, Byakko Hou again. Useful for humiliation factor.
     -S.HK(one hit) xx Black Hayato.

The Byakko Hou is hard to implement in most matchups since Hayato is usually
at a disadvantage in point-blank, but it's useful when you're the one applying
offensive pressure. Just try not to get predictable with this, since it'll
screw you if you do. Use it only when you have the advantage in offense, as
its startup and point-blank range make it unsuitable to turn the tides. 

--------------------------
Comboing the Black Hayato!
--------------------------

----------------
Hayato's Assists
----------------

-----------------------------
Alpha - Expansion - HP Shiden
-----------------------------
The HP Shiden is likely Hayato's most useful assist. It comes out quite fast
and covers a lot of space, as well as sporting good priority. It can be
used to put more pressure on an opponent, or cover yourself doing something
(this would leave Hayato wide open, so use it at your own risk). It's not
the greatest Expansion assist, but it's at least decent. As a Variable Counter
Hayato also does the HP Shiden. You can link this when someone's rushing,
outprioritize them, and then cancel into the ground HC of your choice. In
a THC, he does the Rasetsu Zan.

--------------------------
Beta - Anti-Air - HP Guren
--------------------------
The HP Guren is lackluster Anti-Air. It has high priority, but isn't too
quick, nor has invincibility. It's usable, but there are far better AAAs. As
a Variable Counter, you get the Guren. Also not too great, but you can
cancel into a Plasma Field, which can be useful in the corner.

---------------------------
Gamma - Balance - HP Shiden
---------------------------
HP Shiden as an assist, HP Guren as Variable Counter. On the Variable Counter,
he briefly turns into Black Hayato before reverting back to normal. All in all
it's fairly interchangable with the Alpha assist, but keep in mind that there
are more damaging options off of Hayato's Alpha counter than his Gamma.


-----------------
Assists...and You
-----------------

-------------------------------------------------------
All-Purpose: Doctor Doom (Anti-Air) & Sentinel (Ground)
-------------------------------------------------------
These assists are pretty versatile and will be quite helpful to Hayato. Doom
can do basically anything (except anti-air, wow) and Sentinel is helpful for
keeping opponents locked down, elongating comboes, and applying the pressure.
These assists are very useful to Hayato.

----------------------------------------------------------------
Anti-Runaway: Blackheart or Captain Commando (Anti-Air for both)
----------------------------------------------------------------
These are ridiculously important for Hayato if you're facing an opponent who
plays a mean run-away(Storm, Blackheart, etc.). Hayato has a very hard time
bringing down opponents who run away by himself and thus should rely on one
of these to bring them down.

---------------------------------------------------------
Get the Hell Off of Me: Ken and Cammy (Anti-Air for both)
---------------------------------------------------------
These moves both have ridiculous priority, so just in case you want an
opponent out of your face, call one of these out.

------------------------------------------------------------
Set-up/Guard Break: Psylocke and Cyclops (Anti-Air for both)
------------------------------------------------------------
These both knock an opponent up into the air so that Hayato gets a free combo.
Not too shabby, but not as useful on Hayato as it is on some characters, due
to his air damage being a tad lacking. These are also good assists for guard
breaking an incoming opponent in the corner for some free damage.

-------------------------------------------------------
Overheads: Juggernaut (Variety) and Chun-Li (Expansion)
-------------------------------------------------------
These assists are the only overhead attacks in the game, and thus could throw
an opponent off who's a fan of excessive crouch-blocking.

------------------------------------------
Ridiculous Damage: Tron Bonne (Projectile)
------------------------------------------
For some reason, this move does a sick amount of damage. You can stick this in
a combo to jack the damage way up. Puts a feeling of pressure on the opponent
if they know of this move.

-------------------------------------
Anti-Rushdown: Mecha-Zangief (Ground)
-------------------------------------
This move absolutely stuffs rushdown of any type. It gives even Magneto fits.
As regular Zangief, it's still useful, but try to get him to metal form before
using this assist. Holy hell, it's useful.

------------------------------------
Low-Hitter: Bone Wolverine (Variety)
------------------------------------
This is the only low-hitting assist in the game. You can use this in
combination with jumping moves to create some kind of mix-up. An interesting
assist. OTGs off it are possible, but beware of rolls.

====================================
6. Recipes for Ass-Kicking (Comboes)
====================================
Since MvC2 is extremely open-ended with combo possibility, I'm just going to
name a few practical Hayato comboes that you'll probably find yourself using.
Showboat 60-hit comboes and comboes banking off assists won't be found here,
as those are far less practical than these.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Whatever combination of ground moves xx Shiden xx Rasetsu Zan/Engetsu
---------------------------------------------------------------------
This is Hayato's bread and butter ground combo. You can vary up the hits
leading to the Shiden as you see fit. Note that if you want to cancel into the
Rasetsu Zan, you MUST cancel on the first slash of the Shiden. Any jump-in of
Hayato's should probably end in a combo similar to this. Some examples of
ground moves leading to the main cancel are:

     -S.LP, S.MP, S.HP xx Shiden...
     -S.LK, S.MK, Hien, B+HP, LP, HP, HP xx Shiden...
     -J.HK, S.HK xx Shiden...
     -C.LK, C.MK, C.HK xx OTG Shiden...(note that Rasetsu Zan would not be an
option here, beware of a safety roll)
     -Any Plasma Combo xx Shiden...

You get the point. Basically, you'll want to end the majority of your Hayato
ground comboes with this sequence. It's probably his main way of doing decent
damage, and it's very easy to access.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
C.LK, C.MK, C.HP(super-jump), J.LP, J.LK, J.MP, J.MK, Guren xx Plasma Field
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hayato's main air combo. The Plasma Field is optional, and you can replace
the Guren with something like an Air Throw or just your average J.HP/HK. Can
be followed up in the corner with our very own Black Hayato, which is free
because of Plasma Field.

And...that's about it. Since the ways to enter into these comboes are so many,
there'd really be no point in listing them all. There's a crapload. But all
in all, these are the most useful Hayato comboes.

Tron Projectile is extremely useful for Hayato; it tacks on a ridiculous
amount of damage to just about anything he does, so use it if you're going for
quick kills.

=======================
7. Hayato vs. the World
=======================

(Anytime I say B+HP, you can replace with an S.LP or C.LK or whatever...it's
just my personal preference. Personally, I recommend the B+HP or C.LK for
poking purposes.)

Generally, the world of MvC2 is one big uphill battle for Hayato. Thus, you'll
be hard-pressed to find a match-up that's truly in his favor, other than the
obvious(Dan). So, good luck in your Hayato journey, and without further BS,
here you go.

For a lot of these, it also helps if you're several levels of skill above your
opponent. >.>

--------------------
1. Akuma (AKA Gouki)
--------------------
Akuma, the dark shoto triplet, distinguishes himself from the other three by
having the most offensively-oriented strategy of them all. Akuma will be in
your face from the word "FIGHT", using assists and weak moves to score a hit
that he can chain to a Hurricane Kick juggle for big damage. Akuma has some
things going for him: he's got a fast dash, great ground punishing abilities,
a special move that does more damage then an HC in the air, and his Expansion
assist is one of the better assists in the game. However, Akuma is on the tier
of worst natural vitality in the game and takes only a few comboes to bring
down, and your priority trumps his. You must use these weaknesses to win.

Akuma is much faster then you, no question. He also has the possibility of
doing a lot of damage without too much meter, which makes him pretty dangerous
at any time. However, you mustn't let his speed overwhelm you. Get him off
your ass with an AAA such as Doom or a pushblock and concentrate on out-
prioritizing Akuma. Your sword will beat his fists easily, and once you land
an LP or jumping attack then capitalize on that with a Shiden xx Engetsu or
Rasetsu Zan. This will take a huge chunk off Akuma's terrible vitality, and
once you get Akuma on the defensive, you'll have the battle in your favor. Do
not discount him, though; Akuma can very easily land a light attack of his own
if you throw out moves and chain it to a Hurricane Kick xx Tenma Gou Zankuu or
Launcher to Air Hurricane Kick xx Tenma Gou Zankuu. Whoever has the offensive
in this battle longer will be the winner. Akuma may have speed, but you've got
the priority and superior staying power.

When it comes to punishing enemies on the ground, Hayato has his quick B+HP
or high priority sword swings that can lead to comboes; Akuma beats this quite
easily with his Hyper Combo, Messatsu Gou-Shoryuu. This HC has 1-frame startup
and has invincibility on his first uppercut, giving it unbelievable priority.
What this means is that it's very dangerous to fight Akuma on the ground when
he has meter, due to Hayato's lag. For example, suppose that you hit Akuma
while blocking with an LP, MP. He can push-block the LP and hit you with the
HC due to the lag on the ensuing MP. If you want to attack Akuma on the ground
you have to be very cautious, watching closely and making sure he doesn't
wreck you with a push-block to MGS or just an MGS in general.

This means that the best way to attack Akuma is through jump-ins. Akuma will
NEED an Anti-Air assist to combat you, as your jump-in HP and HK will out-
prioritize his launcher, and his Gou Shoryuken is a mediocre anti-air choice
because it's extremely punishable upon block and even on connection does bad
damage. So cover your ass with Sentinel Ground or Doom AAA as you jump-in,
and pressure him like mad. You don't have to worry about the Messatsu Gou
Shoryuu in the air, nor any of his other supers, for that matter. Just
always remember in an Akuma battle, that even if he does damage to you, you
are doing much more to him. You only need about two solid comboes to put down
Akuma, and with your priority and range advantage, you should be able to pull
it off.

As an Expansion assist, Akuma is pretty dangerous. He does not possess any
invincible start-up or mega priority, but his startup is almost zero and he
juggles you for about 5 hits, leaving your ass with a target on it, ready for
the follow-up of your opponent's choice. You might want to snapback Akuma in
if this assist is wrecking you, in order to deal with him accordingly. 

---------
2. Amingo
---------
Amingo is a wacky cactus-dude whose unorthodox moves can either lead to him
bring destroyed or you; it all depends on how he's played. Amingo is decent
versus Hayato on both an offensive and defensive front; he's got high-priority
and generally high-range basic moves, damaging corner and air comboes, cactus
babies that pressure you off the ground, and a very damaging anti-air HC.
However, he has a fat frame and is rather easy to pressure, despite being able
to pressure well himself. His non-HC anti-air options are also quite weak, but
this still will be a moderately tough fight for Hayato.

Hayato is likely to be spending most of this fight in the air; with Amingo's
cactus babies populating the ground and his Standing HP's ridiculous range and
priority that beats out even yours, you'll be hard pressed to win a ground
battle. Be wary while jumping in; his huge vine HC is a fantastic anti-air and
WILL stuff any attack you could possibly conceive with a jumping-in Hayato,
other than an assist. If you can bait the vine, try it; Amingo is punishable
on block and you could start an offense with a launcher or Plasma Chain, which
could begin a pressure game that can put the match in your favor.

Amingo is at his most dangerous in the corner or if he launches you. In the
corner, he can call out a pressure assist such as Doom or Sentinel and be
sending out cactus babies that could grab you and render you defenseless. Thus
you must try your hardest to stay out of the corner. On the same token, try to
get him in the corner; using any combo ending in Rasetsu Zan or Shiden are
good strategies to get him there. Amingo's size makes him susceptible to 
pressure, and Hayato's superior mobility and jump-in priority will help him
here.

In the case of Amingo mounting an offensive, don't underestimate him. Amingo's
got priority to rival yours in his Standing HP, and his jump-in HP or HK will
likely beat your Ducking HP. If he lands a jump-in, he can combo it into a
launcher with an AC ending with a damaging Onion Dive that will push you
closer to the corner, which you don't want. This is why it's important to not
get too bogged down with Amingo's pressure and start pressure of your own;
Amingo's launchers are pretty crappy and will be beaten by your sword. If you
use assists and patience, with smart blocking, you may come out the victor.

Despite how much I've been plugging Amingo's S.HP and his cactus babies (which
are still pretty easily avoided), Hayato still does pretty decently against
Amingo, due to his relative ease in getting close from the air; Amingo's S.HP
can't do jack if you're coming in with a jump. All you have to do is be wary
for his Vine HC; it's his only real anti-air option outside of an assist.
Amingo doesn't deal very well against pressure, and thus will cave if you
keep on applying it. Always be looking for a window to land a B+HP, and you'll
be in business.

Amingo is pretty lame as an assist character. His Heal and Enhance assists
aren't useful, and Amingo stays out for a LONG-ass time when performing them,
making them susceptible to attack. His Dash assist also isn't too impressive;
the Onion Dash is an alright move but it doesn't really affect much as an
assist; there are much better ones out there.

-----------
3. Anakaris
----------- 
Anakaris is a very goofy character, with weird moves and strange mobility that
make this fight quite ridiculous. That said, this will be a very difficult
fight if Anakaris is used properly; Anakaris has the weird moves and, despite
being slow in movement, can rush you quite well; he also possesses one of the
best command grabs in the game, a very potent infinite combo, fast overheads
which lead to multiple combo oppurtunities, not to mention having what is
probably the most damaging level 1 HC in the game. He, however, also has flaws
that can be exploited; his recovery on certain moves is awful, he's not very
good at keeping foes away, and takes damage quite horribly; he also is a large
target, making him easier to combo. This is a very difficult fight for Hayato,
as Anakaris can give even the best characters some trouble.

First, his command throw, the Mummy Drop. This thing is pretty damn good. It's
got two ranges - slightly in front of point-blank, and a little more than mid-
range. Regardless of which range he catches you at, this throw does some fair
damage and builds an assload of meter. This can hit Hayato ground-to-ground
or air-to-air, but not ground-to-air or vice versa. Hayato can crouch under
this throw as well; if ever you do, Anakaris will be wide open; use that to
rush at him with a Shiden xx Engetsu to score some good damage on Anakaris.
His hands are also hittable while they're grabbing, if you want to try
something weird. Air-to-air, you can't really counter it; just try to stay out
of the two ranges in the air and nail him if he whiffs it.

With this being said, Hayato will probably be crouching a lot against Anakaris
in order to avoid that Mummy Drop. But this is where it really gets dangerous.
Anakaris has two quick overheads that he can use to open you up for some huge
damage. He can either use his B+LK axe kick, or do his mid-air Pyramid Drop.
Either way, if he does connect an overhead, you can count on getting your ass
baked because Annie can follow it up with a ground chain, launcher to air
chain, ending in a Cobra Blow or possibly even a Cobra Hordes HC, and if he's
feeling sexy he can hit you with an LP, resetting you so that he can nail
you with an LP Mummy Drop to get some meter and do some fine damage. These
offensive merits make it a pain in the ass to have Anakaris rushing Hayato.

Always be weary of crouching too much; if Anakaris gets you with an overhead,
you'll be in trouble, and you don't have very many chances to screw up. Don't
try anything fancy here; any lag on your part, you will regret greatly. Hayato
wants to get around mid-range, be wary of an LP Mummy Drop, and try to swat
him with a fast light move or B+HP; doing this will lead to serious rewards
due to Anakaris's crappy vitality. The things to worry about in this range 
are his long-rage crouching moves and his Mummy Drop. Pressure him with some
assists in order to land that vital hit; Hayato's good range and priority will
help out here. You also don't necessarily have to be comboing it up either;
with Anakaris's vitality, you can concentrate on keeping him from landing
overheads while constantly smashing him with your high-priority jumping moves.
This could work, but keep watching out for whatever assists Anakaris may have,
as well as his launcher.

Another reason to avoid the overheads is his Pharaoh's Curse infinite. Using
an assist, he can launch you while calling an assist and then do a move
cancelling into the Pharaoh's Curse, turning you into a helpless little ugly-
ass doll thing. This combo will reset, so Anakaris only has to repeat this
a couple of times to ice Hayato. There is no real counter to this as Hayato,
so just concentrate on avoiding those overheads if ever you're placed in a
pressured position.

If you employ a defensive strategy of keeping him away and smashing him with
high-priority hard attacks, then you'll want to be aware of his pseudo-keep
away game of superjumping in the air and dropping coffins at you while having
the chance to stuff you with his Pharaoh's Curse air projectile. In this
case, your dash attack may come in handy; immediately dash and press HP to
rocket across the screen behind Anakaris, and either super-jump and get him
out of the air or call an Anti-Air like Captain Commando to nail him; Anakaris
is at his most vulnerable when using this strategy. All in all, this is a 
pretty damn hard fight for Hayato, but if you keep Anakaris off your ass or
get a chance to land a B+HP, you'll have won against one of the weirdest
characters in the game.

Anakaris as an assist can be dangerous, but not overly so. His Cobra Blow
assist is somewhat decent due to its range and power, but nothing to truly
worry about. His Throw assist is an HP Mummy Drop that doesn't build as much
meter, but still be wary of staying in that range with Anakaris using this
assist, as any character can launch you after this throw lands and do some
decent damage. His Variety assist has Anakaris using an LK Coffin Drop; this
does good damage and can zone you to some extent, but like the Cobra Blow, not
overly dangerous.

---------------------------
4. B.B. Hood (AKA Bulletta)
---------------------------
B.B. Hood can be far more of a dangerous contender than Hayato would expect;
she offers a few merits to those who use her. She's got some surprising
priority on some moves, very damaging Hyper Comboes (1 unblockable and one
that she can combo into), decent projectiles, small size, and a double jump.
The problem here is that B.B. Hood gets shafted by those with long-range
capabilities and Hayato has none of those. Using her Cool Hunting HC and her
J.HK, she can kinda sorta keep you away. However, while she CAN do this,
Hayato can still go after her.

If she employs this semi-runaway strategy, try to position Hayato above her,
which might be difficult due to no air-dash or doublejump on your part. You
can also use tracking assists such as Blackheart's AAA. If she tries to fight
you in the air, then counter back with J.HKs; all-in-all, B.B. Hood in the air
is far less of a threat then a B.B. Hood on the ground. This is mainly because
B.B. Hood air-runaway is mostly for meter building purposes, or waiting for
Hayato to screw up.

So, if she actually is on the ground, then the fight is likely to be much
tougher for Hayato, especially if she has a good Anti-Air assist. You might
even want to try to land a B+HP to snapback in the assist if it's causing
you a lot of trouble. Either way, it'll be difficult for Hayato, who has no
real air mobility; her Shining Missiles have extremely small start-up time
and lag time, and her D.HK can stuff a crapload of jump-ins; even Hayato's. If
you have no assists here, consider the battle lost. Hayato can call in a
Projectile assist such as Cable to nullify the missile and begin a ground
assault, or call in Sentinel Ground which will fly over the missile and keep
B.B. Hood in blockstun as you attempt to pressure. Your superior ground
priority may serve you well here, but be warying of jumping in.

Her Cruel Hunting HC is definitely her most dangerous. It comes out moderately
fast and can be comboed into, and it does an assload of regular and chip
damage. If at any time she lands a C.LK, you will no doubt be eating a Cruel
Hunting in a very short time. You'll obviously want to be landing your B+HP
before she lands that C.LK, and your superior range and priority in that
department may help you win that exchange. As for her other HCs...always
remember that you can NEVER block Hyper Apple For You, so don't even try.
You'll only regret it. Beautiful Memory, the one where she rushes at you, is
not much to speak of.

As an assist, her only one worth talking about is her Projectile, the Shining
Missile. It carries the same advantages as it did as an on-point move, and is
a pretty annoying assist.

-------------
5. Blackheart
-------------
Blackheart is one of the better characters in this contest, and could be one
of if not the best runaway characters there is. Blackheart accomplishes an
effective runaway because his demons are difficult enough to get by, and then
you have his ridiculous range to overcome. He also has a two-way air dash,
and when you're actually close to him, enjoys an assload of priority on many
of his moves. Essentially, he is one of the top defensive players of Marvel
vs. Capcom 2, and Hayato is pretty much gonna lose this match.

First of all, Blackheart's basic moves. The things to watch out for are his
S.LK and in air-to-air, his J.LK. These are some pretty long-range tail hits
that carry way too much priority for some reason. Hayato will definitely have
trouble getting past these, if he can even get into close range in the first
place. Why is it so difficult to get there? Because of Blackheart's zoning
with the combination of assists and his HP/HK demons. Each of Blackheart's
Hard Attacks throws out some demons that do no chip damage, but are a huge
threat due to their ability to control space and grab on to you upon a hit,
rendering Hayato defenseless. The HP pink pig demons are the ones to watch out
for, as they cover a greater space in front of Blackheart aand thus dominate
more. The HK demons only go in a straight arc as Blackheart launches them
down. His S.HP and S.HK both have start-up hits that come out fast and have
some great priority, thus potentially opening you up to being snagged by
demons. In short, Blackheart has one of the more impressive sets of basic
moves in the game, and Hayato will have a tough, tough time getting past them
even with assists.

If you're facing an exceptionally lame Blackheart, he might use a tactic that
may seem powerful but is generally quite weak and vanquished easily even with
Hayato. This is his Inferno xx Heart of Darkness. Granted, this'll do a lot
of chip, but you can easily pushblock the Inferno and jump out of it, avoiding
Blackheart's Heart of Darkness and nailing him as he rises up. However,
finding these Blackhearts is quite a rare occurence these days, so consider
yourself lucky if you don't have to face the true zoning and runaway menace
that is Blackheart. This Blackheart isn't much too common, but a lucky break
for you. Better Blackhearts will use this technique only when it's guaranteed
to do its thing.

There is another common type of Blackheart that still doesn't use him to his
full potential, somewhat of an intermediate Blackheart. This Blackheart will
use a crapload of random super jumps while throwing the HK straight-arc demons
at you, air-dashing around to throw more demons, and calling assists. This
Blackheart can prove to be a bit more of a problem, but is still too random to
be a huge threat. You can call a good AAA to swat him out of the air up there,
if you're aware of his air-dash; the assists he calls will likely be more of
a threat then the demons since they dont really dominate that much of an area.
You can even super-jump yourself and J.HK Blackheart out of the sky if you're
feeling pretty juicy; just watch out for any AAAs he commands. This Blackheart
puts more emphasis on runaway and not much on zoning, making him less menacing
then he would be.

The next level of Blackheart absolutely destroys Hayato. This Blackheart puts
much more emphasis on his jumping fierce pig demons that dominate more of an
area, all the while calling an assist such as the Sentinel drones that can
lock you down quite easily. Hayato cannot really find a way to move forward
because the demons block his way of both dashing in and jumping in, and any
super-jumping offensive is easily stuffed by an AAA. Facing this Blackheart
is generally not a good idea with Hayato, who can't deal well at all with
good keepaway. Try to deal with Blackheart's AAA assist character first,
because then he will be much less menacing; Blackheart without an AAA assist
loses a lot of his comboability and air defense. This Blackheart will focus on
controlling the space of the battle and locking you down, making him the most
dangerous Blackheart you can face. 

Considering Hayato really has no way of defeating an advanced Blackheart,
suppose you do get him in close range. Blackheart is not entirely helpless
here, so don't celebrate just yet. When it comes to pokes, Hayato can
effectively get opponents with the relatively long reach and priority of his
B+HP; Blackheart surpasses this with his S.LK. This is a poke of his that has
way too much damn priority and a lot of reach because Blackheart is so huge.
Hayato can usually rely on his B+HP for a fast combo initiator but Blackheart
and his tail can really screw you over. You must then assault him with jump-
in moves, as your J.HK performs well against Blackheart; his launcher blows
and his Inferno is too slow to stop you, meaning he needs an AAA to fend off
your jump-ins. A very difficult battle, so good luck.

Blackheart is also quite dangerous when not on point. This is due to his Anti-
Air assist, Inferno, which is one of the better assists in the entire game.
It covers the entire vertical screen AND tracks your position, making it
difficult to escape if you're not on the move. It's not TOO big of a threat
when jumping in due to the start-up, but it's always a very dangerous assist
to have to be facing.

--------
6. Cable
--------
This match-up is ****ing pitiful. It's probably one of the worst in the game.
Cable is a member of the "God Tier" which is made up of the four most powerful
characters in Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Cable is the dominant force in this game in
terms of full-screen capability and horizontal punishment ability. This is
largely but not completely due to the fact that he possesses what is one of
if not the best Hyper Combo in the game, the Air Hyper Viper Beam. An integral
facet of Cable is being able to pull off the AHVB at any time; this is done
with the Tiger Knee motion (D, DF, F, UF) so that Cable can instantly be in
the air and firing a big-ass beam out of his BFG. With its instant start-up
AND recovery, you'll be eating **** if you make one mistake in this fight.

However, you might be lucky and be playing someone who doesn't know jack about
using Cable. This is usually characterized by S.HP x4 xx Viper Beam or Hyper
Viper Beam(ground version). While this can keep you away for like 5 seconds,
it's still very easily jumped over and smashed with a jump-in. This Cable
likely won't know what to do up close, so Hayato can use his B+HP to score
some major comboes. If you're lucky enough to be facing a half-assed Cable
like this, your victory will come easy. Of course, don't assume just because
he pulls this little chain once or twice that he sucks. Going in all half-
assed will make you eat AHVB.

Cable with meter is one of the most dangerous forces in this game. If you make
any mistake, any mistake at all, Cable will pull out his enormous-ass gun and
instantly blast you from anywhere on the screen by taking advantage of the
Tiger Knee motion. The move is so fast that he can even chain 2 or 3 of them
together, which can effectively destroy you if he feels saucy with spending
his meter. This means that a good lockdown assist like Doom or Sentinel is
pivotal in this fight, because if Cable pushblocks any of your moves when he's
up close, you will definitely be AHVB'd, something that you will learn not to
enjoy; if Cable ever goes on the offensive, be extremely wary for his C.LK, as
if he lands one of these, he can and will follow up with a string of moves
cancelled into an AHVB. Essentially, when Cable has meter, you have to play
pretty much perfectly to not get blasted. 

Cable can guard-break you easily with his full-screen J.HP. He can shoot it,
break your guard, and nail you with an AHVB as you come in the screen from
another dead character. Just throwing that out there; meaning any mistake that
Hayato makes(and against Cable, there are plenty) might give you TWO dead
characters instead of one depending on how bad Hayato is damaged.

Even a Cable without meter is pretty dangerous, although not nearly as much.
This is because he possesses one of the better sets of normal moves in the
game, as well as many tools to keep you away. All of his HK moves are very
strong coupled with good range and priority, and his J.HP is one of the best
basic moves out there; it's fast, hits full-screen, and guard breaks like
crazy. The Air Viper Beam really limits your movement and does decent chip,
and his Electrap grenade puts some insane pressure on you. Try to utilize
Anti-Air Assists or any other assists that zone in order to get close; it'll
be difficult with Hayato's poor mobility. Cable will have to rely on a good
AAA in order to counter jump-ins, as his anti-air ability isn't really that
hot, as all he's got is a Psimitar and his launcher is absolutely terrible
(you won't be seeing air comboes from Cable), so take care of his assist
character by trying your hardest to snapback Cable's ass out. Once his assist
is out, this fight actually becomes bearable.

Up-close, the only thing to truly fear is his C.LK. His other moves are out-
sped or otherwise outprioritized by your B+HP or S.LP. If ever you catch him
with a poke, it's your job to make him regret getting poked by a character
on the complete opposite side of the spectrum by nailing that ass with a 
Plasma Chain xx Shiden xx Rasetsu Zan/Engetsu. If he lacks an AAA, he has no
real way to stop your jump-ins if you're careful of the Psimitar, as you'll
outprioritize anything he throws with your J.HK. Just know that these moments
are few and far between; Cables without good AAAs are exceedingly rare. You
really will get pasted against a half-decent Cable. All things being equal,
Hayato just falls very, very short against Cable, making this one of the worst
matchups in the game.

As an assist, Cable isn't really anything super-deadly. His AAA is what you'll
pretty much always be seeing. While it IS fast and it IS damaging, it's not
really that devastating as far as AAAs go. It only gets you off the opponent's
ass, and is really hard to combo off of due to the speed of it, unless you're
psychic or something. If ever you see Projectile, then your opponent is
probably new to the game; while his beam assist is alright at best, it still
is pretty lame compared to his AAA.

--------
7. Cammy
--------
Cammy is one of the speed demons of this game, having the almost-fastest dash
(Magneto holds that crown). Thus, it's pretty damn hard to not have her in
your face if you screw up. Being a decent rush-down character in this game,
Cammy's got speed and her comboes are intricate and can really hurt. To add to
this, her basic moves are FAST and one landed C.LK can mean an air combo with
Killerbee Assaults and OTGs all around, which isn't very tasty to Hayato. But,
her vitality is not too hot and her actual damage done with each move leaves
a bit to be desired, meaning you can probably take one or two of her long
comboes if you do screw up.

First of all, her speed. Cammy is FAST. Almost Magneto-fast. This means your
reaction time better be decent or you'll be in the air being way-laid by
Cannon Spikes and Killerbee Assaults before you know it. As always, you better
bring a good AAA into this match, as this will give Cammy fits(Doom, Commando,
Ken are pretty good here). If the Cammy isn't careful with her rushing, then
your AAA will completely destroy her. Otherwise, Cammy will be careful for
assists while rushing and look for ways to bypass them. Also, look for any
assists Cammy might have herself; anything such as Sentinel or Doom can help
her overwhelm you.

When it comes to basic moves and poking, Cammy's are definitely faster than
yours, but you out-range and out-prioritize her. Thus, if you can keep her
out of point-blank range, you'll eventually be able to land a poke and cancel
into the follow-up of your choice. Again, AAAs, Sentinel, or any other assist
that can control rushdown decently are good here. The ideal range in this
battle is just out of point-blank, where Hayato can land one of his relatively
long-range LPs or B+HP so that you can nail her with a Rasetsu Zan or Engetsu;
given Cammy's low staying power, these comboes will do about as much damage
as one of her more intricate air comboes does to you.

If you don't have assists, then the battle sways pretty massively in Cammy's
favor. She is much faster then you and without assists, Hayato doesn't really
have the tools to keep her out of point-blank. In this case, you're gonna have
to play it defensive since Hayato does not out-speed her at all, throwing out
B+HPs when you deem it safe. This is a bad situation for Hayato to be in, but
being patient and waiting for her to screw up may give you the window you need
to fight back. If she can never land that C.LK, she won't be getting anywhere,
so assist or not, make it your job to keep her out.

Cammy doesn't have all that much in the way of mixing it up...the main thing
to watch for in terms of that is her Hooligan Combination which can go through
your blocking with its command grab. However, this shouldn't be a problem if
your reaction time is up to par, because Cammy takes about a full damn second
to get to you. Use the range of Hayato's launcher to nail her ass in the
middle of the execution and follow it up with an AC(end it with Plasma Field
if you feel sexy that day). So, with this gone, Cammy should only be relying
on pure rushdown against Hayato, which you should be able to survive if you
have a good assist. Also, if she ever catches you in a Killerbee Assault, make
sure to try to safety roll so that she can't OTG. All in all, this battle is
easy if you block or stuff Cammy's rushes.

As an assist, you have need to fear her AAA. It's invincible and comes out
FAST. Thus, you can put it into the list of things that stuff Hayato's rushing.
This makes her dangerous in all positions to Hayato, making this a pretty
tough yet fun fight.

------------------
8. Captain America
------------------
Cap can be considered a ghetto Cyclops with regard to the ridiculous range and
good priority on his HP attacks. This is because he's got that mighty shield
of his. The good captain's also got a double-jump and cartwheel which gives
him some mix-up abilities, and he can do some decent damage. All of these
advantages make matching Cap in the air a nice little struggle. However, Cap
also suffers from a bit of slowness and lag or startup issues with special and
super moves. His decent strength and mix-up abilities will make this a tough
fight, but Hayato can manage in this fight of Japan vs. America.

In a battle between your sword and Cap's shield, Cap generally wins if he has
his timing down right. For example, in the air your J.HK has much quicker
start-up then his J.HP, so if he's late in his execution, you will likely beat
his ass. Be wary, though, of his ridiculous range; if Cap's got his timing
down, you likely won't be winning any air battles. And that's not even taking
into account his double jump. If EVER Cap throws out a Shield Slash at long
range, make him regret his horrible mistake by dodging it and immediately
applying immense pressure to get him the hell away from his shield. This will
take away Cap's priority and range, and thus shaft him of one of his greatest
advantages. It does increase his speed, but this will in no way make up for
the power he's lost. These moments are very rare, but make sure you're ready
if ever it does happen.

If you get inside the range of his shield, you could be in business, as all
the range in the world means jack when you've got a faceful of B+HP. Your
light attacks will overpower his, so if you can get past his HP range, you'll
get the chance to score some comboes. However, always mind Cap's vitality;
he takes only 90% of damage received, so you'll have to work a little harder
to scrape away a win. Remember to utilize those assists that help you get in
the desired range; Sentinel Ground helps a lot, for example.

Cap's double-jump deserves special mention. You should really be careful of
this thing, as it adds a lot to Cap's mix-up game. For example, he could
attempt a jump-in, and you, expecting a J.HP, dash and throw out a launcher
to catch him. However, he can jump again and then punish the enormous lag on
your whiffed launcher. He can also bait AAAs such as Captain Commando and then
evade them, giving him an oppurtunity to punish. He also can use the double-
jump to extend his air comboes, making it useful both offensively and
defensively, making it a nice tool for Cap and greatly helping his air game
against Hayato.

Captain America's cartwheel is his main tool for mixing up his game and his
primary way of crossing you up. With this he can do crap like launch, AC,
cartwheel, re-launch, etc, if you're bad at blocking the right way. He can also
seriously punish randomly thrown out moves (which you shouldn't be doing in
the first damn place) by cartwheeling through them. He can also screw up any
super-jumping offensives by cartwheeling behind where he predicts you'll land
and crossing you up. But, you can take the oppurtunity by faking HIM out if
he uses this tactic by D+HK in the air to screw up his prediction and nailing
him as he comes out of the cartwheel. Also, Captain American can be thrown
while cartwheeling, in case feels goofy and tries to cross you up when you're
standing. Cap's mixups, strength, and vitality may make this a tough fight,
but you can win if you can get into his HP range and not let him cross you up.
He has range and priority, but so do you. Good luck.

Cap doesn't have any TRULY dangerous assists. His anti-air comes out fast and
is damaging but is your average one-hit wonder, but is not very dangerous
compared to other AAAs. His Charging Star sports some decent priority and
range as well as speed, and can negate projectiles, but again is not really
too game-breaking. All-in-all, he's more threatening to Hayato as a point
character.

-------------------
9. Captain Commando
-------------------
You'll be seeing a lot of Captain Commando. Not because he's particularly good
at fighting, but rather because his Anti-Air assist is way too damn awesome.
It comes out FAST, has full vertical screen reach, decent horizontal range,
and does damn good damage. On-point, though, Captain Commando is not nearly
as useful as he is as an assist, although he does have a few merits. He's got
a move for a lot of situations, and generally quick, decent-ranged HP attacks.
However, he's got bad mobility and a lot of his moves are easily punished,
making him far more dangerous as an assist.

Captain Commando's most famous move is that damn Captain Corridor of his.
However, it's far less threatening as an on-point move. This is because it's
rather easy to see coming and block, and his recovery is less than impressive.
If you can bait the Corridor, call a (preferably invincible) AAA to punish
him while he takes 8 years to recover. If you're close enough, you can take
a juicy risk and immediately go into an HP Shiden xx Rasetsu Zan as you hit
the ground, but it's your ass if the first slash doesn't connect, as Captain
will likely recover. If you can master defending the Corridor, you'll have
taken away a chunk of Captain's game, but definitely not all of it.

CapCom may be able to keep you at a distance for a time with a combination of
Captain Corridors, Air Captain Fires, and Jennety the mummy for dash jump-ins,
but he's far too laggy to be able to keep this up. If EVER he does Captain
Fire on the ground, it becomes your chance for a dash jump-in so that you can
get close. Otherwise, trudge across the screen while calling assists to help
(Sentinel Ground is nice here), and then the fun begins when you can get up
close, as it's here that Hayato gets his chance.

Up-close, CapCom's only weapons against Hayato are his launchers and high-
priority HP attacks, the latter of which are nullified by your faster pokes.
This leaves his sweep, which can OTG you into a Captain Corridor. This can be
solved by a simple roll if you're ever caught. His kick launcher is the one
to watch out for on the ground, as it's got somewhat decent range. If he
connects one, he can immediately do something like Captain Corridor xx Captain
Sword, and that would not be good. If at any time you do block one, throw out
a B+HP and take out half his damn life. Be wary for any assists he has that
can push you into a more comfortable distance for him, and remember to be
applying your own pressure with assists. Also, make sure to stay up-close
WITHOUT getting point-blank, as CapCom's HK throw does sick damage for
whatever reason.

As I said before, Captain Commando is far more threatening as an assist then
as an on-point. Expect a near constant-usage of him, as his assist can and
will completely screw your offensive efforts. If you block, you have a chance
to punish him if you just watch out for the on-point character. When you get
a chance, snap his ass in, as when you take out Commando, you take out a good
chunk of their defense. Good luck.

----------------------
10. Charlie (AKA Nash)
----------------------
Charlie is definitely similar to Guile, but is definitely more of a threat to
have close to you. He's got more rushdown capabilities and his throwing game
with his HK is very intimidating. He also has a fast overhead that was pretty
much made for the Tiger Knee motion which enables him to land comboes decently
if you're getting overly defensive. He can also do extremely damaging corner
throw comboes, and can easily guard break a character coming in in the corner.
To add to that, he can control the air easily with his Somersault. In short,
Charlie can do wonders to break your defense, and within the "low-tier" cast,
is one of the best. This battle will be pretty damn tough.

Your main priorities here are getting Charlie the hell out of point-blank
and also staying the hell out of the corner. Both situations can lead to a
vicious overhead mix-up or an HK throw which will lead to massive damage.
Charlie can close the distance with the pressure and fast recovery of his
Sonic Booms, which Hayato has no natrual way of negating. An Anti-Air Assist
will work wonders here, as defense and also to prevent Charlie from landing
that point-blank. Without an assist, you can still keep him out of throw range
with your B+HP, leaving him with just an overhead option, which you can block
and counter.

Charlie's supers are a little unconventional, but have their uses. His Sonic
Break, the one with 345734 Sonic Booms, is arguably his most effective due to
the pressure it puts on Hayato. If you get caught in its blockstun, Charlie
can start dashing in, prolonging the time that the slow-moving projectiles
hit you, and achieve his desired range of point-blank and start mixing you up.
It has start-up, so if ever he draws his arm back, a sign that your enemy
threw it out at random, call an AAA and dash-jump in to punish. It's unlikely
this will happen, though; if you're already in blockstun or if this super is
DHCed in, you'll likely end up on the wrong end of a longass block stun and
it'll get nasty, fast. So always be on the lookout for this super. His
Somersault Justice can be comboed into for decent damage, as can his Crossfire
Blitz auto-combo HC. So, a Charlie with meter isn't astoundingly dangerous,
but always be aware of these new threats.

Since Charlie's most dangerous range to be in is point-blank because of his
grab game, the basic fundamental in this match-up is to keep him out of that
range while still in a comfortable range with Hayato(the B+HP zone). If ever
he gets in, you better be good at Tech Hitting or decent with spotting his
Moonsault Slash. Doctor Doom's AAA or Sentinel's Ground assists are decent
for this purpose. If you can keep him out of this point-blank, then he is
significantly weakened, and you may be able to scrape away a win. You can also
punish whiffed or blocked overheads with a Shiden xx HC of your choice. All in
all a difficult fight, but not impossible.

Charlie is somewhat dangerous as an assist character as well. His Anti-Air
is noteworthy due to the amount of space it covers that can screw Hayato's
super-jumping offensives. However, it's horizontal range isn't so hot and
Charlie is quite punishable upon landing. His Projectile assist comes out
fast and Charlie is nearly unpunishable because he leaves quickly, making it
somewhat decent at pressuring Hayato.

-----------
11. Chun-Li
-----------
Chun-Li, despite being the goddess she is in Street Fighter III: 3S, is on par
with Hayato in this game(i.e. bad). She's still got a few advantages, such as
great air maneuverability (triple jump, air dash, AND wall bounce), but she's
lost a lot of her simple, damaging ground comboes as well as one of her most
powerful HCs, and her ground game is just weak. Hayato definitely has what
it takes to win this fight, and that's a rarity; but by no means get cocky,
because she still has a few tricks.

Don't try to match Chun-Li in the air; her triple jump ensures that she can
easily be above you at any time and be able to stuff you with her Head Stomp
move or nail you with an elongated air combo. Hayato's poor air mobility seals
his fate in that conflict; his only weapons in an air-to-air are his J.LP,
J.HP, and J.HK, and those are easily avoided by a Chun-Li player. Therefore,
your task in this fight is to keep Chun-Li on the ground, where she can't do
nearly as much. If you can do this, you'll have this fight in your pocket.

Chun-Li will have to rely on assists to form any sort of ground rushdown game,
as her priority against Hayato is just too poor in order to fly solo. Expect
constant usages of assists such as Doom throughout the fight, and make sure
to use yours in order to counteract them. Chun-Li is only dangerous when she
gets closer than B+HP range, and it's your job to keep her out of there. Since
Hayato's pokes are far better than hers, you'll have ample oppurtunity to land
Hayato's damaging ground comboes if you utilize assists to get her out of the
air and keep her at the appropriate distance on the ground.

Of course, Chun-Li isn't COMPLETELY helpless while on the ground. She can
clear some distance and get some overhead hits in with a low air-dash.
However, you've faced far more dangerous mix-up games by now and should know
how to deal with this(if she air dashes too close to you, hell, you can just
launch her ass out of it). Her ground game is just too hampered though, by
setbacks such as a launcher with piss-poor horizontal range and practical
inability to combo into ground supers. Hayato can definitely win a battle with
Chun-Li if you confine her to the ground with his superior damage-dealing
ability, range, and priority.

However, a close-range game will probably not always be the case. Chun-Li CAN
opt to run away from you using her air mobility and assists to chip at you.
This is far more problematic than a close-range game, because you'll need
some sort of anti-runaway assist (Blackheart, Commando) to counter this. If
you don't, then you've got a problem on your hands because landing lucky J.HKs
is difficult against a character with such good air mobility. So, use assists
while being wary of hers (again, expect good chipping assists such as Doom)
in order to bring her down, so that she'll be forced to rely on her close-up
game. This is the position you want her in, and the position Hayato can
succeed in.

As an assist, Chun-Li can actually be dangerous. Her AAA is fast and can do
some damage, but is not truly dangerous, but her Expansion is (somewhat)
unique in the fact that it's one of the two overhead assists in the game.
This can be ridiculous if you're the type that likes to crouch-block, so be
on guard for these assists.

------------
12. Colossus
------------
Colossus is a dangerous mo'fo who can give you fits if you underestimate him.
He has comboes and special moves that are so damaging that Hayato will be
crying for his mama if he lets down his guard. Colossus is one of the game's
strongest characters, with simple yet highly damaging comboes, a super that
makes him a complete tank, and the second highest vitality in the game.
However, he also shares your weakness of poor mobility and sports lag on just
about all of his moves, and your pokes will beat his out. However, this fight
is still tough; so be careful.

Hayato is going to get up-close and personal with Colossus, so we really want
to be careful about those Shoulder Tackles and launchers; basically you'll
want to be throwing out safe B+HPs while being wary for a connection or until
Colossus screws up. Many of Colossus's normals are punishable and his Shoulder
Tackles are pretty much suicidal to throw out randomly, so Hayato can pretty
much have a field day if you play carefully. Just never get cocky if you begin
to land any big comboes; Colossus can definitely take the hits and also turn
it around with one of his own simple yet devastating comboes.

When Colossus commits to a combo string, he has no way by himself of making it
safe; each of his more progressively powerful moves will have more lag than
the last. His basic comboes usually have something to do with connecting a
bunch of normals and then ending in a Shoulder Tackle, so when you block the
ending hit, let it rip with the combo of your choice. This advice pertains to
you, too; Colossus is one of the more brutal punishers of mistakes and one
laggy move on Hayato's part can lead to something like 80% of your life bar
gone. So be aggressive, but careful in this fight; it really depends on who
catches the other's lag first, but you have less room for error due to his
far superior vitality. Fight smart.

On a side note, if you feel really sexy that day, you can air grab Colossus
out of an upward shoulder tackle. It's an incredibly satisfying complete stuff
of that move.

You'd be a moron to even try to match Colossus in a close-range battle when
he throws on his Hyper Armor; this is when Colossus can just barrel right over
Hayato without a second thought. Since Colossus will likely go bananas on your
ass when he activates this, Hayato's only real option is to jump away like a
wuss while calling chipping assists to get him the hell away. Your assists
will likely get hurt pretty bad if Colossus decides to go ape on them, but
it's the only thing you can do. When his armor subsides, revert back to
standard tactics.

Colossus is an assist to look out for; both his Shoulder Tackles can cause you
some pretty nice pain. His Dash can get you off the opponent's ass and his
Anti-Air can stuff your jump-in pretty hard. Watch out for these, as they do
sick damage.

-----------
13. Cyclops
-----------
Cyclops is one of the most dangerous opponents you can face; he's an extremely
safe fighter who has a hell of a lot of priority on just about everything he
does. He can build meter, has a practical infinite, decent mix-up abilities,
a double jump, and can chip well, too. He's one of the top ten characters of
this game, a force to be reckoned with; although not THE toughest, he's for
sure a definitely difficult fight. 

Cyke's ridiculous priority in the air with his J.HK ensures that you will not
win in an air-to-air conflict, and also makes it so that he's an extremely
dangerous character to have jumping in on you. Hayato will be hard pressed
to win a conflict of hard attacks, because although Hayato sports some great
priority himself, his moves are generally slower. J.HK battles in the air are
risky, but possible. He's faster, but your range is better. It's your choice
whether to be safe or not. Your jump-ins also outrange his DF+HK, but again,
be careful not to get cocky, because Cyclops can do some great damage if one
of his DF+HKs hits.

Because of his orgasmic priority, Cyke can easily run away and spam J.HKs to
build meter, and Hayato can't do much except rely on anti-runaway assists in
order to score damage in that situation. However, Cyclops can easily punish
blocked assists with his Super Optic Blast, so if you're going to call, make
sure it's going to hit. Once you get him on the ground, start throwing out
B+HPs in close range and the occasional C.LK, and follow up if one of them
gets through. If you're able to pull this off a couple of times, Cyke will go
down. You also can try to predict where he can land and try to nail him with
a C.LK as he lands, but this carries a lot of risk.

Getting in close range can also be a problem. Cyke can punish anything you do
from long-range with his fast, full-screen beams and his multi-directional
Super Optic Blast. That means you want to be as safe as possible when you
approach, something that's not always easy to accomplish. An assist to keep
Cyke locked down is always decent here, but make sure you superjump forward
when you call it so Cyke will have to pick where he aims. Once in an ideal
range, be sure to not be smashed by any hard attack, because it's pretty sure
that at least 50% of your life will be wasted by the ensuing Hyper Combo that
he pulls.

Hayato definitely does not have a very fun time against Cyclops; even
though Hayato does beat Cyke in some apsects of priority and pokes, Cyclops
will probably be aware of this and will try not to get into poking range, so
it's your job to force him to get there, which is far easier said than done.
Remember that even if you get clubbed in the air, Cyke doesn't really have any
high-damage follow-up, which is surprising(hell, even Hayato has his Guren xx
Plasma Field HC with follow-ups on the ground), so you can afford to get hit
in the air a couple of times. This is a very difficult fight, so don't be
overly dissappointed if you lose this one. It's not impossible, due to your
sword, but overall Cyclops has more tools. Good luck.

Cyke is also a monster when he's OFF-point, too. This is primarily because of
his Anti-Air assist, the Gene Splice. This assist has invincibility at the
beginning and comes out FAST, as well as putting you at a setup point, which
is perfect for Magneto to ass-rape you in several different ways or for Iron
Man to begin his infinite, or hell, anybody to capitalize and do some damage.
This is also a problem because even if you snap him in, you've got a hell of
a fight on your hands.

-------
14. Dan
-------
During Hayato's uphill battle against monsters like Cable and Sentinel, you 
may come across the tower of manliness known as Dan Hibiki. Dan is, bar none,
hands down, one of the WORST characters in the game, but also one of the most
lovable. You've likely encountered him before; the guy who taunts everyone
like he doesn't give a damn and can't throw a fireball to save his life. Well,
he's pretty much the same in MvC2. Perhaps Dan's only advantage is that using
one of his 43543 taunts builds a sick amount of meter. Other than that, he
sucks at like...everything. Hayato should have a field day here.

Any defensive effort of Dan's save an invincible Koryuken (which happens
randomly which means it's ridiculously unreliable) is outprioritized by
Hayato's sword. This means you can basically attack Dan anyway you like
without fear of being overpowered. Do so. Dan, like you, has absolutely no
long-range game and must be close to do any kind of damage. His HCs also have
horrible range which means they must be put in really simple comboes in order
to cause any significant damage. Hayato's moves outrange and outprioritize
Dan, so you can either jump-in with a hard move and then capitalize, or try
to go the conventional route and land a poke from B+HP range. Either of them
will lead to big rewards.

Even if you screw up, the consequences aren't too bad. Suppose Dan nails you
with his launcher. The only thing he can do is an aerial rave ending in his
HK Dankukyaku, or possibly an Air Throw if he wants to get juicy. Hell, Hayato
doesn't even give a damn about air damage and he trumps him in this with Guren
xx Plasma Field. So basically, don't worry about Dan's launcher, because most
of the time you'll overpower it's crappy horizontal range, and even if you do
mess up, you won't get hurt too badly. Dan's ground game isn't much better,
relying on simple C.LK xx HC comboes and the like to do chunks of damage. Even
then, he'll have trouble trumping Hayato's B+HP and Hayato's ground comboes
do a hell of a lot more damage to Dan then he could ever do to you.

The only time Dan could ever do sizable damage is in the corner. Let's suppose
that he gets you there. The most he can do is something like S.LP, S.MP xx LP
Gadoken xx Shinkuu Gadoken; the HC juggles the opponent leaving him open to
being blasted by more of Dan's HCs. While this does do decent damage, it's
hard for Dan to get any opponent in the corner and it's ridiculously wasteful
of the meter that he works so hard to get. Therefore, Hayato will pretty much
have this fight in the bag; even if he gets you in the corner and Dan goes
bananas on your ass, you'll survive because Dan's just not strong enough to
pull off anything groundbreaking. Just don't let Dan nail you with a lot of
random supers, and you'll be fine. You may feel guilty for destroying such a
lovable guy, but such is the harsh world of MvC2.

Dan is also lame as an assist. The only thing he has to offer is his anti-air,
the Koryuken, which does decent damage for a one-shot move, but is a bad
choice because of its piss horizontal range and its lack of invincibility.
Poor, poor Dan. He just doesn't have what it takes to beat our boy Hayato, let
alone...practically anyone else.

-----------
15. Dhalsim
-----------
Dhalsim is a pretty interesting guy because he's potentially one of the most
lethal opponents in this game, but has such a ridiculously high learning curve
that you'll most likely barely run into him. But when you do, it'll likely be
quite a trial, because Hayato just does not do well against Dhalsim. Dhalsim's
got incredible range with which he can easily keep you at a distance that's
comfortable for him. He also has extremely good runaway with the usage of
his airdash and teleport; when he combines the two techniques, he can stay
in the air forever. He can also rush you down to some extent with his air-dash
and he's got some insane corner comboes. Perhaps his only true weakness is his
terrible vitality. Hayato's gonna have quite a struggle on his hands in this
one.

Dhalsim's runaway is quite ridiculous; he can super-jump, airdash, teleport,
airdash, repeat ad nauseum, all the while calling assists to wreck you. Once
again, you're gonna have to rely on the trusty Blackheart/Commando AAA in
order to bail you out. Commando is more recommended, despite the fact that
it lacks the tracking of the Inferno; this is because it's way faster than
Blackheart's AAA, so while Dhalsim is zipping around in the heavens, you can
use the Captain Corridor to bring him down after a time and force him to stop
his goofing off.

Definitely don't count him out, though; he still plays a fine game of keep-
away even when you bring him down. He can use his long-ass limbs to poke the
hell out of you from afar and push you back in your struggle to get within
sword range. You can conceivably whack the limbs with a hard attack at their
apex, but this requires ridiculous timing and placement. Unfortunately, Hayato
will have to struggle through the sea of limbs to reach the main man himself.
Assists are, once again, vital in this goal. Using an assist that can control
distance and/or distract Dhalsim as you jump-in, establish sword range.

Don't get cocky even when you're there; Dhalsim can easily teleport away and
revitalize his keep-away. This means you'll want to keep him locked down,
preferably with an assist such as Doom or Sentinel, and look for an opening
to land a poke, which you definitely should capitalize with all haste upon
landing. Since Dhalsim has terrible vitality, the reward will be very high,
and if you can do it twice, then Dhalsim will go down. Still, it's easier said
than done, as Dhalsim can still land pokes of his own that will also lead to
some quite damaging comboes. If you're in the corner, he can land comboes that
can do as much as a full life bar, so try your hardest to keep the fight in
the middle. There you might be able to do some damage.

Don't expect too much danger from Dhalsim as an assist; his Yoga Fire is a
standard one-hit projectile, easily dealt with, and his anti-air, Yoga Blast,
is nothing overly dangerous. You'll likely be fearing him MUCH more as an
on-point character.

------------
16. Dr. Doom
------------
As much as you'll learn to love Dr. Doom while using him as an assist, you'll
also learn to despise him while facing (getting killed by) him as Hayato. Doom
has a ridiculous amount of advantages. He's got one of the most potent keep-
away games out there, consisting of a nice array of projectiles and some great
basic moves. He also has an air-dash, giving him good air mobility, and he's
got good vitality as well, meaning even if you do manage to get him in a good
combo, he can take the hits. He can also rush you down to some extent if he
feels like it, and he also, as you probably already know, posesses one of the
most powerful assists in the game. You're not gonna have a good time in this
fight.

The good doctor can really zone the hell out of you from the air with his
Photon Shot, and do decent chip while he's at it. If he's really high up,
you can conceivably use Hayato's dash attack to zip behind Doom, but it's
risky business. If he's lower to the ground, superjumping is your only option.
Dr. Doom can then blast you by air-dashing and then nailing you with his
full-screen J.HP. While not quite of Cable-caliber speed, Doom's J.HP has the
same amount of reach and keeps you out of the air and on the ground. To add
to these moves, Doom's Air Photon Array super is ridiculously potent due to
the amount of space it covers, its safety, and sick amount of chip and damage
it can cause. Doom can throw this out after any combo of his to add a lot of
free chip, and if he's good enough, can combo it in for sick damage, making
it a huge-ass thorn in Hayato's side.

These three moves are Doom's best, and you'll likely be seeing them. A LOT.
When Doom's way up there raining down all sorts of hell on you, you will
likely want to use a good Anti-Air to try and nail him, as Hayato will be
quite hard-pressed to do that by himself. Also be aware of the assists that
Doom commands; for example, he can form traps with Blackheart's AAA or Sent's
drones that Hayato could have a really difficult time escaping, so a nice,
invincible AAA could be really helpful in this situation. Fighting Doom as
Hayato, you'll learn, is a huge team effort. Another thing that'll help is
wavedashing, a technique where you dash, cancel your dash by pressing down,
and dash again. This will help you better avoid Doom's photons.

Hayato, again, is only left with pokes, as his jump-ins are COMPLETELY wrecked
by the good doctor's C.HP. This move has way more range then it seems, and
its priority is unholy. If you actually perform the miracle of getting Doom's
metal ass on the ground, then apply standard B.HP/C.LK tactics while calling
pressure assists. It just really sucks because even if Hayato can land one of
his ground combos ending with the Rasetsu Zan, Doom's above-average vitality
will ward it off to some extent. Even up-close, you've got to watch out for
anything weird that Doctor tries to pull, as a connected C.LK can lead to a
launch which in turn can lead to a sick amount of damage. Basically, this
fight goes nowhere near in Hayato's favor at nearly any time unless it's in
poke range, at which it's almost even. You'll likely be facing this fight a
whole lot, and it's one of Hayato's worst. Tragic, I know.

The reason for Doom showing up so much, other than his impressive performance,
is the sheer greatness of his Anti-Air assist(which, ironically, is bad for
Anti-Air purposes). This assist, which you might be fluent in being a Hayato
user, can do a hell of a lot of ish to you: it can chip you, pressure you,
do decent damage, keep you in blockstun, etc. It also sucks, because if Doom's
AAA is giving you fits, then even when you snap him in, it's a freakin' hell
of a battle. Hayato just doesn't want to be in this matchup, as it's quite a
toughie. But it's inevitable you'll encounter it, so good luck when it does
happen.

-----------
17. Felicia
-----------
I kind of (KIND OF) consider Hayato and Felicia to be alike in a few ways,
those ways being that they both have ass for anti-air abilities and that they
are both far more threatening on the ground. They both have the insane dance
moves. Felicia will try to keep you on the ground, as Hayato wrecks her air-
to-air with his superior priority; your objective will be to beat her on the
ground, since Felicia won't try to match you in the air. You could try jumping
in, but it's pretty certain that Felicia is carting an anti-air assist, as her
anti-air ability is weak. If for some weird reason she doesn't have one, then
you can add that as an option. This fight could go either way, but it's a
tough one.

If ever you manage to get Felicia in the air, you definitely need to try and
capitalize, as Felicia's air abilities in general are pretty bad. You can
nail her (heh) with a hard attack, or try to go for a small air combo. The
only thing to watch out for in the air is her air throw, which has a decent
amount of range for whatever reason. With all that being said, Hayato won't
have to worry about getting close, as Felicia will likely be in your face.
You can outprioritize any anti-air attempt that she alone makes with your
jump-ins, so that's an offensive option if she lacks a good Anti-Air Assist.
Other than that, Hayato can out-range her with his B+HP, which can lead to
decent damage if landed; our boy can actually do some damage in this fight!
Hot damn.

You still have to play it pretty safely with your moves in this fight, because
Felicia can land some major damage if she gets a hit in with her decently
damaging comboes. Stick to your usual poking methods of B+HP and C.LK and, as
usual, mount the offensive if one of them gets through. Whoever is controlling
the pace of the fight here will more often than not be the victor in this
fight, and we don't want Felicia playing that role. Apply the pressure, call
assists, look for ways to get a poke in and you could be successful in a
ground battle.

Your Hayato may also be facing a more defensive Felicia type. This Felicia
will be far more cautious and will be waiting for you to make a laggy Hayato
mistake so that she can destroy you with her Hyper Sand Splash HC that comes
out really ****ing fast and does hefty damage. Hayato will seriously eat it
if he makes any kind of mistake on the ground, so just play extra carefully,
making sure not to throw out a blocked MP or anything like that. A fight
against either style of Felicia will be difficult, but not nearly as difficult
as other opponents you've faced, so have fun with this fight.

Felicia has mediocre assists, so you'll likely be having much more trouble
with her on-point. The most threatening assist she has is probably her Sand
Splash due to its good speed, but there are far, far more threatening assists
there.

----------
18. Gambit
----------
Gambit, like Hayato, is one stylish bad boy who comes to the fight armed with
a big...stick. This gives him some Hayato-like priority on his HP attacks, and
add this to the fact that he's got one of better special movesets in the game,
and Hayato will have quite a battle on his hands. He's got a fast, nearly
unpunishable projectile in his Kinetic Card, his Cajun Slash has ridiculous
speed and range, and his Cajun Strike moves give him a fast way to move around
and are weird to predict. This should be a fun fight, but there's no doubt
it'll be a tough one.

Gambit has the ability to keep you at a distance he feels is comfortable
through the usage of Air Kinetic Cards, LP Kinetic Cards on the ground, using
his staff and LP Cajun Slashes in close-range, and his Cajun Strike moves.
Hayato is going to want to be very careful here; any landed cards put Hayato
in a brief stun in which he's susceptible to a Royal Flash or Cajun Explosion
HC. Hayato of course will want to resort to usual tactics: calling a good AAA
when Gambit's being goofy and try to land a poke when up close. Since Gambit's
anti-jumpin abilities aren't so hot, you can go for that if you please as long
as you're aware of a possible AAA. Also, don't count on being able to punish
any assists that Gambit uses; he can cover them quite well by throwing out
some of those damn cards.

Fighting Gambit up-close is a neat ordeal; you'll definitely have to fear and
watch out for the Cajun Strike, as it is just ridiculously fast with good
range and priority, and trumps any of Hayato's pokes. It'll also push you back
so that Gambit can revitalize his keep-away if that's what he was focusing on,
so definitely watch out for that move. Gambit has relatively fast light moves,
so you'll definteily not want to get all cocky if you manage to get him in
sword range, as Gambit has some good reach on his C.LK as well. Try to focus
on getting in a B+HP in between Cajun Strikes and poke attempts, and you may
get the oppurtunity to land some decent damage.

Gambit can also really screw with you in the corner. If he lands a throw in
there, he can capitalize on it by doing an OTG combo, so make sure you
practice your rolling. He's got some alright OTG mixups with his Cajun Slash,
so also watch out for those, as well as any attempts to OTG into the Royal
Flash. Also always watch out for any weird Cajun Strike/Explosion stuff he may
try to pull, as you can get yourself crossed up if you're slow with your
blocking. This is a difficult fight due to Gambit's ability to give Hayato a
great fight even from Hayato's most comfortable range, but it's, again, not
impossible, so good luck.

As if his point abilities weren't enough, Gambit also has a great assist with
his Projectile; it's one of the best projectile assists in the game. He can
effectively help opponents pin you down to an extent and, if he connects,
leave you wide open to just about anything. Gambit proves himself to be an
unexpected danger throughout the entire battle, so Hayato will definitely be
on his toes the entire fight.

---------
19. Guile
---------
Visions (or more accurately nightmares) of Cyclops battles may come back to
your mind because Guile also has ridiculous priority on a lot of his moves.
He, obviously, plays somewhat similarly to Charlie but of course not nearly
exactly. Whereas Charlie can get ridiculous damage off of one combo, Guile is
more about whittling you down while remaining relatively safe. Hayato is a bit
of a mixture of both of these styles but not quite the caliber of quality.
As with Guile's best pal Charlie, you're gonna have quite a fight in your
hands of yet another battle of America vs. Japan.

Our buddy Guile can throw out a bunch of Sonic Booms whenever he feels like it
because our main man Hayato doesn't have any way he can punish it. These can
put quite a bit of pressure on a lone Hayato, so rely on assists to do the
projectile negation for you. If Guile tries to do that infamous C.HK into
super routine, make him regret his mistake by rolling and then nailing him
with a jump-in or ground combo if he hypercancels instinctively. Other than
this, Hayato will be hard-pressed to find a pokable Guile mistake, so if this
is one of the only tricks he knows, then you'll have gotten really lucky with
this matchup.

Again, I can't stress Guile's priority enough. His J.HK is ridiculous and
gives even Sentinel a rough time, but however, his launcher is a physical
attack and beatable with Hayato's sword. This is good news, but Guile can
also control the air with Flash Kicks. If you manage to bait one of them out,
it becomes a very punishable chance. Make sure to seize it and captalize on
a landed hard hit by nailing him with a fine combo. In sword range, Guile can
use a weird-ass physics-defying overhead kick to punish low kicks; stick to
B+HP if you want to use maximum safety, otherwise mix it up. If you manage to
get into Hayato's poke range, the battle becomes much easier.

When Guile lands any kind of hit, it's bad news, because on the ground he can
destroy you with one of his ultra-fast supers, and in the air he can go for
some kind of air throw reset combo or find a way to nail you with his air
auto-combo HC. Thus, you should make it your goal to also make it bad news
for him if you land a B+HP; hell, go for a Black Hayato if you feel like it,
it'll give you some style points. Just make sure you play it as safe as
possible, as Guile's Somersault HC as instant startup and invincibility and
can nail you on any mistake, or even bypass your pokes if he's psychic.
He's probably a harder match-up for you then Charlie at the more relative ease
in which he fights you, but either way, you'll have your hands full in this
battle, so good luck; you'll need it.

You'll find that Guile is a pain in the ass as an assist because his Anti-Air
will wreck you due to its huge range, giving it great air control abilities,
and its priority over anything you do on the ground. Snapping him in MAY be a
good idea, but you also have to remember how he's a pain on-point, too. Guile
basically just harrasses the hell out of Hayato from any point, so be careful
of him at all times.

----------
20. Hayato
----------
Hey, it's our main man himself! Basically, this matchup is kind of gross. All
I can say is that look for oppurtunities to punish him if he tries any laggy
pokes, throws out any specials or supers out of nowhere, or the like. Whoever
lands more poke-to-comboes wins, in short; there's not much to this mirror
match. Use what you know about Hayato's weaknesses to take care of that
imposter on the other side.

--------
21. Hulk
--------
Hulk is one of the three guys naturally blessed with Super Armor, meaning that
he can negate a few light attacks or one hard attack before he enters hitstun.
This can give him an assload of priority on some moves, and allows him to tank
through any jump-ins or C.LKs you try to pull. Hulk will get in your face and
can overwhelm you if you're not prepared; he can do an assload of damage off
of even very simple comboes, and any more complex stuff he tries to pull can
kill you outright. This definitely is a tougher battle than you might think.

The Hulk carries a surprising amount of speed for such a big dude. So, you
can expect him to be all up in your personal space from the start. The big
man has a good set of normal moves; for example, on the ground his C.LK is
fast, has great reach, and his Super Armor gives it some damn good priority.
He can use this to do all kinds of hell to Hayato, for example he can link
a C.LK, C.MK to a Gamma Charge xx Gamma Quake for ridiculous damage, and
that's just one of his simplest comboes. His J.HP stops his movement, making
it good for faking you out, and its weird hitbox makes it adept at crossing
you up. His jump-in moves carry massive priority. Basically, Hulk is all
about finding ways to land one of his unbelievably damaging comboes on you,
and you will not have the time of your life if ever he succeeds.

Hayato does carry a good strength against the Hulk, and it's something you're
well familiar with: the B+HP totally ignores Super Armor, making the big guy
flinch without the need to combo it in. This will make it become your main
weapon against the green giant, and you should be throwing them out to keep
Hulk from steamrolling you. C.LKs become out of the question because Hulk
thrashes them, so form your offense around the B+HP. Hulk's range enables him
to land his damaging comboes easily, but he has to work a little harder
against Hayato due to the armor-ignoring B+HP; this definitely doesn't break
Hulk, but it does put a big thorn in his side, and Hulk players usually don't
expect a move that looks exactly like a light attack to pierce their armor.
Take advantage of this fact.

The Gamma Crush may or may not be a problem in this fight depending on if Hulk
knows how to make it unmashable or not. If ever you're hit by the Gamma Crush,
mash like crazy once you hit the ground and you may avoid it. However, Hulk
players love to find ways to make the meteor hit you before you hit the ground
thus making it unmashable, so watch out for that. Essentially, it's risky for
Hayato to go on an offensive rush since Hulk can find many ways to turn it
around. You'll want to be more defensive and wait for windows to B+HP. This
makes it a difficult, but not impossible battle.

Hulk's Gamma Charge assists are the ones to look out for since they come
at you pretty fast and have decent priority and damage. They don't really do
that much other than get you out of the opponent's face or to tack on some
extra pressure, so just be on guard for them, and you'll be fine.

----------
22. Iceman
----------
The subject of whining for many a player new to the game, Iceman actually
doesn't really have much to offer. His most highly lauded advantage is the
fact that he doesn't take chip damage from energy attacks, and since our pal
Hayato doesn't give a damn about doing chip, this is negated. You'll find that
Iceman doesn't live up to the hype that beginners give him, as he is pretty
limited in his damage-dealing. Magneto and Storm rip him apart, but even
Hayato has a few tricks against Iceman.

Iceman has three ways of being able to land his big damage; he can jump-in,
dash-in and try to land a C.LK, or throw you(it freezes you, leaving you open
to attack). You can negate his jump-ins with a well-timed launcher, and try
to keep him out of C.LKing and throwing range by throwing out long-range
pokes of your own. He can also do some decent chip with the Icebeam, but it's
laggy and easily punished at close-range, and possible to avoid at long range.
Unless he has a good trapping assist, you don't have to worry too much about
being chipped to death, and Iceman's poor anti-jumpin ability(all he has is
an HP Icebeam, which can lead to big rewards for you if avoided), jumping in
becomes an option for Hayato. Since Iceman's vitality isn't good, all you have
to do is land a few solid comboes and Iceman will be down for the count.

If Iceman hits you, it'll be around the same level as you hitting him; if
he lacks meter, he can do a ground chain ending in an Icebeam, and if he does
have meter, he can launch you and do an AC ending in his Arctic Attack; if
he's fluent in his ACs he'll cancel a special move super-fast into the Arctic
Attack so that more ice chips will hit Hayato, leading to decent damage. This
is about all he has in terms of damage. If he's carting Sentinel, however,
he can make judicious use of drones in order to chip you much easier and
make him safer, and perhaps elongate his ground comboes, so you'll want to
be careful in this case. Whoever lands more combo-to-HCs wins, so Hayato wants
to be in this fight with lots of meter. And also, even though you have far
greater variety in HC choice, his lone HC gives him more air damage than
Hayato if not in the corner. As this is his only HC, Hayato wins in terms
of ground damage and HC variety, while Iceman takes the crown in air damage.

You may manage to get Iceman to play defense, when using your better-priority
jump-ins and pokes, and land a combo or two(two Engetsu comboes practically
spell doom for a lot of characters, and Iceman is no exception). Iceman's
main weapons in this case are his S.HK which has decent range on the ground
and can prove problematic in conjunction with assists, and his Icebeams. Stick
to usual tactics, mixing up high and low pokes with assists to score that one
vital hit. Iceman only takes a few comboes to bring down, so take advantage
of this fact. Also, Doctor Doom's AAA doesn't give a damn about Iceman's no-
chip rule, and bypasses it, so this assist will be helpful in bringing down
the X-men's cool guy. Play it safe, don't let him poke or launch you, don't
be scared of his chipping power, and you'll do fine. Iceman's lack of variety
is one of his biggest weaknesses, and it becomes apparent the more you play
against him.

Iceman as an assist is of course everyone's favorite Icebeam. It has a bit of
startup when he comes out, so you can see it coming, and does a bit of chip
damage, so characters keeping you in blockstun can get a few free points of
damage. Other than this, the assist is nothing unique or groundbreaking, so
don't get too flustered about it. His Ice Rock assist can be somewhat
threatening to your movement abilities, but it's not the level of shutdown
that Dr. Doom or any invincible AAA can give you.

------------
23. Iron Man
------------
One of the toughest fights in the game, Iron Man is a very tough customer.
In addition to good vitality and fast, high-priority normals, he's got one of
the easiest and most useful infinites in the game, and about a million
different ways to kill you off having to do with said infinite. Iron Man will
try to land his infinite throughout the match on Hayato, so you don't have to
worry about closing any sort of distance. However, that doesn't make this
battle any easier; he also packs one of if not the best DHCs in the game in
his Proton Cannon, along with combo resets giving him even more damage
capability. He even gets an eight way air-dash which gives him even more
massive combo potential. Iron Man is an offensive monster, and it's gonna be
a rough ride.

Let's start with Iron Man's more impressive basic moves, which are vital in
his gameplan. While medium attacks usually aren't too impressive, Iron Man's
C.MP bears special mention for being able to lead to a load of stuff(launch,
Proton Cannon, among other things). His S.HK launcher, while lacking in
horizontal range, comes out really fast, lifts him off the ground thus
avoiding Hayato's C.LKs, and has great vertical range. However, the one to
truly be aware of is his J.HP. It can aim in three different directions, and
if at any time he lands an U+HP in the air, it's infinite time, and you'll
likely be dead if the Iron Man is worth his salt. His launcher also has the
property of being difficult to punish unless completely whiffed because, if
you block it, he can cancel it into an LP Unibeam to keep you in stun. All in
all, you've got to play it extremely safe, because if Iron Man lands a hit on
you, it'll be worth even more damage than if you land one on him.

Iron Man's game revolves around his infinite. When you attack, keep it as safe
as you possibly can; stick to C.LKs and B+HPs and never for the love of God
use an MP. Iron Man likes his opponent to attack because then he can start
looking for oppurtunities to destroy you. Also, try to stay put on the ground.
Most of Iron Man's infinites revolve around you being airborne and staying put
on Earth for as long as possible helps. As always with Hayato, never go
hyper-defensive; Iron Man is more than capable of mixing it up and he can pull
many of the same triangle jump mix-ups and super jump cancels that Magneto
himself can, and unless you're spot-on with your blocking, you'll find
yourself in quite a pickle. So, try to keep yourself on the offensive using
assists and fast pokes, although it'll be difficult. Iron Man is difficult
to punish, so waiting for an oppurtunity might not work; Iron Man's offense
is devastating, so you want to keep him off the offense for as long as
possible. You being the one on offense is the only way that's possible, which
is a very difficult task.

The Proton Cannon deserves special mentioning. It may be his only super and
also slow as hell to start up, but it's still the only HC he needs. He can
land it off of any infinite, through the help of assists, among other ways,
though the most infamous way is through DHC. DHCing this move in removes ALL
of the startup, so if you're being stupid at any given time, your opponent
could immediately do an instant super and then DHC to this, thus blasting the
hell out of you. This makes Iron Man a danger at all times. If a character
is coming in from another one's death, he can very easily guard break-to-
infinite them, which is similar to, but not quite of the caliber of Cable's
excellent guard breaking skills.

You'll really want to watch out for any assists, especially those of the
setup type, that Iron Man carts. If at any time he nails you with an assist,
it's an infinite oppurtunity that he can be sure to seize. All of these
possible ways that Iron Man can infinite you are what makes this match-up so
terrible; while Hayato capitalizes on his landed hits by a damaging combo,
Iron Man capitalizes on HIS landed hits by completely destroying his opponent.
Try your hardest; call an invincible AAA if you want him off your ass, and
try to assume some pressure so that he has trouble even getting there. This
is an extremely difficult battle, as winning against a well-played Iron Man
as Hayato is an impressive feat. Good luck.

You'll see Iron Man as an assist, his Anti-Air, the Repulsar Blast. It does
hefty damage and can snatch you out of a surprising amount of things, leaving
you open to all kinds of hell. He can conceivably Variable Counter into a
Repulsar Blast xx Proton Cannon, but it's risky and you probably won't see it
very often. This assist makes Iron Man dangerous in three ways: on-point, as
a DHC, and as an assist. Very nice.

--------
24. Jill
--------
Jill can give you headaches. She's got the ability to tack on pressure with
her zombies and crows as she attacks, good speed, great OTG abilities, and
decent comboes. You do outrange and outpoke her in several situations, but
this is still a tough battle. You should come to this fight with a Projectile
or Anti-Air assist; Hayato with his lack of ranged moves does badly against
a zombie-enhanced Jill game, so add this to your preparations for the fight.

Ms. Valentine has the ability to fill the screen with a lot of crap. If she's
packing an assist like Sentinel drones, she can fill the screen with even more
crap, piling on the pressure on poor Hayato. Expect Jill to summon stuff and
then rush in and try to land a hit that she can combo from. Hayato won't like
this at all. However, if you get rid of the zombies she calls with an assist,
you can substantially lower the amount of pressure being placed on you. Crows
are also a thing to watch out for, as they swoop surprisingly low and are fast
as hell, making them something you can't avoid too easily. If she lands a C.LK
with the help of zombie and assist pressures, she can expand from that into
her Hyper Shoulder Tackle thing and fry you for decent damage. Hayato won't
want this to happen.

The main way to prevent her pressure is by applying it close yourself. Jill's
natural summons require a lot of time (and her shocked expression is the
easiest thing to see ever), so if Hayato is in her face, then she can't call
them. This will take away a decent portion of Jill's pressure game. This
might not necessarily be easy; Jill could use assists to cover her ass while
she calls zombies. Her flaming zombie isn't knocked down by her crows or dogs,
so you'll have quite a bit of hell to avoid if she goes nuts with her summons,
making it quite difficult to apply the close-range pressure you want. This is
what your assist will be for. Call out the assist as soon as you see Jill's
shocked expression, and knock out that zombie. Jumping in is an option here,
as your jump-in priority is great against Jill.

Jill is still very fast even if she doesn't use summons; her pokes will
outspeed you, so keep within B+HP range to make things more difficult for her.
She, like you, relies on landing small hits that can lead to a combo, but has
a significant advantage in that her summons can give her the openings she
needs. If you try to take away her advantage with assists and being in her
face, you may stand a chance. Hayato has the power and priority in this battle
but Jill has the speed and advantage of oppurtunity. It will be difficult.

Jill is only alright as an assist. Her anti-air is a projectile, so it has
great priority; it's slow and not very useful, though. Her dash is alright;
its got decent priority and is pretty fast. Her Heal assist is completely
useless though, she's wide open for a million years if she uses it, so if
your opponent is ever dumb enough to use it, make sure to take a lot of
advantage by smacking her around for a bit while she holds out that herb.

-------
25. Jin
-------
I always found this match fun as hell for whatever reason; probably because
it's a battle of Japanese stereotypes. Jin and Hayato are alike in a few ways;
they're both low-tier rushdown characters, and they both rely on having a
comfortable distance to fight well. They also both boast a lot of priority
and reach on normal moves, and suffer from lag issues. With all that being
said, Jin has a slight advantage in this match-up: he sports a better distance
game, more strength, and more durability, as well an amazing AAA and a last-
ditch invincibility power-up. This match is tough, but possible.

Jinny has got quite a bit of power. He does a lot of damage with just a few
moves, and his flaming basic attacks do chip damage. However, his hard moves
take forever to start up and are punishable if successfully blocked, and his
light attacks, while very useful, are outranged by your sword. However, you
still need to be wary; his sweep lasts a while, but Jin can greatly reduce the
recovery by doing it from a farther distance. Even if you try to punish it
from the air or retaliate from blocking, he can cancel it at any time into a
Dynamite (GET NAKED!) and blow the hell out of you. His sweep has a surprising
range, so try not to fall for any of its mind games. His jabs are faster than
your sword swings, but have less reach. Keeping him at that specific distance
of advantage is a good key to mid-range combat with Jin.

If ever Jin does get into very close range, you'll surely be facing some
consequences. His throw has a lot of priority and he can mash the kick version
which can lead to some sick damage. His pokes are faster than yours, meaning
all the priority in the world won't save you. If he lands a hit he can easily
combo into a Typhoon xx Blodia Punch and it's your ass. This battle ends up
on who can establish the more comfortable distance; Hayato does better when
he's in B+HP range but Jin does better practically everywhere else. If you
can keep Jin within sword range, and mix it up to try to land a few comboes,
you will come out on top. 

This is easier said than done, though. Jin's ridiculous moves will have you
struggling to maintain your range; his Dynamite will ruin everything you do,
and it's nearly instant. His Hard attacks all have great range, which will
ruin you if you're not at the right distance. If Jin is able to control the
ground, it's over; Jin's Blodia Vulcan is UNBLOCKABLE if you're super jumping
above him, so stick mainly to normal jumps in this battle, because that HC
will ruin you. Call assists and apply pressure to try and win the battle of
control. Blocking laggy hard attacks such as his S.HP, S.HK, and C.HK (careful
of a Dynamite cancel) can also provide great windows for a Shiden xx HC. This
battle can be difficult, but definitely possible.

If Jin goes nuts (when he has 1/3 health and no partners), the battle becomes
a bit more scary. His attack and vitality get jacked up, and he gains Super
Armor. Luckily, Hayato has an answer to this in the armor-ignoring B+HP. Apply
that move liberally to a crazy-ass mode Jin, and continue with your standard
Jin tactics. If the opponent gets desparate when this move activates and goes
on a wild attack, you'll have won.

Jin's Anti-Air assist, the Dynamite, is almost obnoxiously good. Its priority
is unbelievable and it has a nice range, hitting all around his (naked) body.
This will stop any of Hayato's offensive moves in their tracks, and there's
not much you can really do other than a snapback to deal with Blodia's pilot.
You may be at an advantage doing this because you won't have to deal with
Psycho Jin, and when you dispose of him, your opponent will have lost the use
of one of the best AAAs out there.

--------------
26. Juggernaut
--------------
Oh, lord. Juggernaut is scary as hell. This is gonna be a tough fight, and
Hayato is gonna have to play extremely safely to scrape away a win. Juggernaut
deals amazing damage, takes it well, has the reach of a god, and his Super
Armor enables him to beat out your hard attacks. In addition, he has one of
the greatest punisher HCs in the game in the Headcrush. He can also jack up
his attack power to absolutely obnoxious heights with an easy-to-do glitch.
Hayato's gonna be having a LOT of fun here...

Juggernaut will likely be coming into this fight with a lot of meter, so that
he can Headcrush the living hell out of you whenever he wants. You should do
the same so that you can better capitalize on your B+HPs. B+HP, like the Hulk
battle, will be your best friend in this fight, as it will penetrate Juggy's
armor. Your whole game plan revolves around throwing out B+HPs and assists
and hoping you connect. Juggernaut's Super Armor and punishment capability
don't leave you with many other options. Getting in can be difficult; Hayato
has superior speed, but far inferior range. Jugg's pokes reach over half the
damn screen, so advance carefully, with assists to cover, to try and establish
a comfortable B+HP range. In this range, you may be able to do some damage.

However, Juggernaut can do WAY MORE damage. His Headcrush bears special
mention. This thing will barrel over anything you can do, and its speed is
absolutely ridiculous. He can combo it off of ANY landed poke, so be wary of
the big man's C.LKs. Two of them will cost you a character. The C.LK is his
fastest poke, so blocking low is generally a good idea. Juggy generally has
to play pretty safe up close, since his recovery is so horrible. If he gets
stupid and throws out hard attacks when you're up close, punish him as
brutally as you can. His vitality will reduce the rewards, but you'll still
do a sizable chunk of damage. Baiting out his moves becomes an excellent
strategy here; if you block a Headcrush, you can basically do anything you
want.

If you thought Juggernaut's damage was great, wait till he glitches himself.
This is where he does his "Power UP!" move and then switches out. Normally
that would be stupid, but the glitch makes it so that his massive strength
increase is permanent. This means that a basic Headcrush combo can kill poor
Hayato. There's no real counter to this then to try the hell not to get hit,
because one hit will cost you your character.

The corner bears more special mention. If he gets you there, you better be
ready to Tech Hit like hell. Juggy's HP throw, if he gets you with it, enables
him to follow up with many fun things such as a Headcrush, a launch, or maybe
an air throw reset if he wants to get juicy. Tech that crap. Essentially, this
fight is majorly in Juggernaut's favor; Juggernaut, with his amazing damage
output and high vitality, can afford to make a few mistakes against Hayato,
who in turn can only afford to screw up twice(once if Jugg glitched), AND who
only has one poke option. Play very safely, try and land that B+HP, block
those pokes, and tech that throw. This fight is possible, but QUITE difficult.

Juggernaut's assists are pretty nice. The Juggernaut Punch is like some kind
of steamroller from hell and will generally annihilate any of Hayato's
physical attacks, while the Body Slam is an overhead move which is usable in
mix-ups. They both help control the ground, which is where Hayato does all his
damage, so they're particularly difficult. Snap his big ass in or destroy his
assist with an invincible AAA.

-------
27. Ken
-------
Another shoto extravaganza. Ken, like Akuma, relies on offense, but is better
overall at defense. This is because Ken has WAY better vitality than the A-man
and has invincibilty on a ridiculous amount of moves. Hayato will have to be
wary of this fight because any mistake on the ground can lead to a Shoryureppa
and any mistake while jumping in will lead to a Shinryuken. Ken also shares
the amazingly damaging Air Hurricane Kick you saw with Akuma, and has a bit of
a mix-up game with his roll and cross-ups. This fight should be fun.

Mid-range is the place to be here. Your C.LKs are of equal speed, and your
sword will outrange him. If Ken has meter, he can Shoryureppa you to hell on
any landed poke, like you can do with Engetsu or Rasetsu Zan with any of your
pokes. Damage-wise, you both pose an equal threat at mid-range, which is good
for your superior range and priority. If you can keep Ken in mid-range and
land some comboes, then you will be at a huge advantage. All you have to do
is not screw up majorly; Ken can punish any blocked MPs or whiffed moves
easily with a Shoryureppa. It's not nearly as harsh as the Headcrush or AHVB,
but it's still a threat. The Shoryureppa is the only thing to worry about at
mid range.

Be wary when jumping in. Why? The Shoryuken and Shinryuken will destroy any
air-to-ground moves you have. If you do jump-in, try to bait out the Shoryuken
or Shinryuken, and destroy him when he lands due to the complete state of
vulnerability they leave Ken in. If Ken catches on to you and remains blocking
during jump-ins, land and throw or Byakko Hou him. Ken's launcher sucks
against Hayato, so those two options are all he has. Jumping in is viable,
but you have to think a little when you do so. Be careful of his launcher
nonetheless; if he gets you, you'll be eating an Air Hurricane Kick combo for
over half of your lifebar. If he succesfully resets you after one, you're
dead. And Hayato doesn't like being dead.

If ever you get into close range, get into sword-range ASAP. Ken destroys you
at close range with having way more options. He can do his mashable HK throw,
assault you with his quicker moves, or go for a roll mixup. Ken's roll passes
through you, so if he locks you down with an assist, he can cross you up if
you're not spot-on with your blocking. If he rolls without cover, throw him
out of it. His roll mixups are similar to Captain America's cartwheels, so
you can apply similar strategies. This battle is another tough fight for
Hayato, but it's possible if you bait out high-recovery moves in jump-ins or
otherwise, and keep Ken out of close range. Another uphill battle, but by far
not the most difficult.

Ken's Anti-Air assist is very, very annoying to an attacking Hayato. It has
orgasmic priority and will stuff anything Hayato does, while also being near-
instant. It leaves Ken extremely open afterwards, but that doesn't matter if
he hits you. You may want to snap Ken in if your opponent is relying on this
assist to screw your offensive efforts. You may also see Ken's Expansion, the
rising Hurricane Kick, which is fast, decently damaging, and can make for some
interesting setups. It's not quite the monster that is his AAA, but it's still
a threat.

-----------------------
28. M. Bison (AKA Vega)
-----------------------
Good ol' Bison. An A-Groove god in CvS2, Bison's been reduced to mid-tier
status in Marvel, which means you kind of stand a chance. Bison's a pretty
interesting character in this game; he can somewhat trap, he can sort of rush.
He's a mixed bag. Either way, he poses a threat. Bison has very damaging air
comboes, fast pokes, some alright anti-rushdown techniques, and a teleport for
getting out of the corner. This fight should be fun.

M. Bison has great air comboes which lead to massive damage, but that
advantage is hampered by his crapstorm of a launcher. He can only combo it off
of one light attack, so you don't really have to worry about any J.HK, launch
comboes like most other characters. His ground comboes blow compared to his
air comboes, but you still need to watch out, because they do their own share
of damage; his only choice is the Knee Press Nightmare since the Psycho
Crusher is terrible on the ground, with way too much startup and not much
damage.

Don't discount him on the ground, though; he may be fat and thus easier to
pressure with constant B+HPs and C.LKs, but he has some tools of his own.
His Psycho Field special stops Hayato's attack in its tracks and can provide
some decent pressure, enabling Bison to start an offense of his own. If he's
carting Doom he can do some decent trapping with his orbs and Doom's AAA,
which can screw you if you're in the corner, so keep this fact in mind. His
pokes, especially his crouching ones, are faster than yours at close-range, so
you'll be eating shinguard if you try to win a point-blank fight.

Bison can guard break with his fireballs, so watch out if you're coming in
from a dead character. He can also juggle his exploding orb HC in the corner
infinitely, but the damage isn't so hot for the meter burned. He can also
attempt to cross you up by doing a Devil's Reverse behind you and then going
for a Psycho Crusher. This isn't the most terrifying cross-up out there, but
watch out for it just the same. Jumping in is an option here due to Bison's
crappy launcher; just watch out for any AAAs he carts. This battle is winnable
if you can keep Bison within Hayato's sword range. Be wary of his traps, and
watch out for his cross-ups. Jump in if you like, since he has nothing for
anti-air other than an AAA. Can be tough, but definitely winnable.

The Variety assist that Bison has is one of the better ones in the game; it
forces Hayato to take to the air, AND Bison leaps out before it explodes,
enabling an opponent to call another assist. This is bad for Hayato, and it
makes Bison's presence known no matter where he is. Bison is punishable when
he releases the orb, but it'll still explode when Hayato is wrecking Bison.
All in all a very great assist; watch out for it.

-----------
29. Magneto
-----------
This matchup is disgusting. A member of the God 4 alongside Cable, Mags is the
god of rushdown, infinites, resets, mixups, and basically of all things combo.
Any landed C.LK or any landed jumping attack by Magneto and he'll Magnetic
Tempest, infinite, or reset you to hell and back again. Hayato, on the other
hand, needs to land 2 or 3 pokes with meter to score a win, which is on the
verge of impossible when playing against Magneto. While Hayato probably stands
the most chance against Mags out of all the top 4, that doesn't by ANY means
you'll do well in this fight. All things being equal, you'll get pasted. Harsh
but true.

A very beginning Magneto tactic is a Hyper Grav xx Magnetic Tempest air combo.
Even this does sick damage and Mag can continue to screw you after it ends.
You've got to learn to mash out of that damn Hyper Grav. Just start jamming
the buttons and stick like you want to break the machine as soon as Magneto
says "Hyper..." and hopefully you'll break out and block the incoming Tempest,
making your doom less imminent. Also, make sure you're spot on with your
blocking, because Magneto is one of those characters where at the same time
you're blocking his low kick, you get slammed by an overhead hit from his
air dash and start eating combo. This is due to the tri-jump, a move where
Magneto jumps and then cancels quickly into an air-dash, going down-forward
towards your head to try and land overhead hits and then wreck you. It's a
huge pain to deal with, so try and get Magneto off your ass.

But it's not like Hayato will be able to do that by himself, since B+HP only
can do so much(his C.LK completely owns yours, don't even try it). Then again,
Magneto may get cocky and dash right into it, but that's rare. Anyway, you'll
need assists to stand a chance. An invincible AAA could help, such as Ken
(Blackheart is a no-no). These will take priority over even Magneto, and push
him the hell away, which is always a plus. Another choice is to bring Zangief,
activate his Iron Body and then spam his Ground assist. That assist in Iron
Body form stuffs any kind of rushdown and Mags is no exception, the reason
being that Magneto can't hit him out of the Lariat. If Zangief connects, then
Hayato can launch Mags and start wailing on him, or go for an Engetsu; any
landed Gief assist will equal damage. And damage versus Magneto is a great
thing. Speaking of assists, watch out for any assists Magneto carts; Psylocke
AAA in particular. Any landed Psylocke equals a free infinite, so it's your
ass if you let her harrass you.

Other than those assists, Hayato has no real way to seriously damage Magneto.
His B+HP and LP attacks are normally good pokes, but they're not good enough
to do anything groundbreaking to Magneto; he'd have to **** up 3 times, and
even more times if you fail to capitalize on the small chance of a landed
poke. This rarely happens with Mags due to him being in your face in .5
seconds. There's not really a point to delving into Magneto's ROM or Slide
Infinites or any others, or resets, because Hayato has no real natural counter
for Magneto's devastating offense. Just come with a great anti-rushdown
assist, because it may be the only chance you have.

Thankfully, Magneto is rather unspectacular in terms of assists. However, he's
by no means bad. His projectile is a fast-as-hell full screen beam that hits
only once, but does decent damage. Fortunately, it's his best assist. Capture
is too slow to do much good, and Launcher is just terrible. Magneto definitely
is much more of a threat on point, so his presence isn't as scary as, say,
Sentinel.

----------
30. Marrow
----------
Marrow is a rare encounter; people seem to rarely play her, but she poses some
threats. She's relatively quick, and has some interesting moves. However, a
lot of her moves end up getting outperformed by Hayato's sword, and she takes
damage rather horribly. She is more mobile than you, but you have better
damage-dealing abilities. This fight may be annoying, but not too difficult.

First off, you outperform Marrow in terms of basic moves. She has faster moves
but their range is generally bad, and you can feel free to throw out your
pokes; she'll have no choice but to try to get past your sword range, and your
pokes and assists will keep her out. She does have a bit of a range game,
though; her Bonemerang is a useful zoning tool that she can use while in
Hayato's range, and her Towering Spine can outrange your jump-ins; her homing
bones HC can also be a pain.

If she's good with her Towering Spine, jumping in is not much of an option.
Establishing sword range is key here; Marrow won't be able to do much when you
do so. Her wall jump attack can be jumped and J.HKed, and her launcher is
a piss-poor choice against Hayato. Any attempts to jump-in can be launchered
or stopped with an Anti-Air assist, so Marrow is reduced to standard rushdown,
dashing in and attempting to land a combo. With assists and your fast and long
pokes, you can keep her out of the range she wants, putting you in a very
favorable position.

Don't let it make you cocky; remember to keep her the hell out of close range.
If she does land a combo, it can do some decent damage. However, Hayato will
do more to her, and has more of a chance of doing so anyway; she may cart a
close-in assist such as Sentinel, but this is standard rushdown fare and you
can easily call an assist of your own and jump away. Not a difficult fight,
but don't get cocky.

--------------------------
31. Mega Man (AKA Rockman)
--------------------------
This match-up is actually a huge pain in the ass. Mega Man eats rushdown for
breakfast, due to his innate talent for filling the screen with an unholy
amount of projectiles. His Air Buster Shot does a sick amount of damage for
a one-button move, and he's relatively speedy to boot. He also has a wall jump
technique to get him out of the corner, and great pin-down abilities if he
has an assist, and good mix-up capabilities in the corner. He even takes
damage pretty well, so Hayato will have to successfully poke him more than
twice. This is a difficult battle.

When approaching Mega Man, Hayato must always do so very carefully; Mega Man's
Air Buster Shot does good damage, and he can immediately throw out a Buster
Shot on the ground after landing, creating a wall of projectiles that Hayato
will either be forced to block(no chip, thankfully) or super-jump over. Mega
Man can then try to launch you out of the air (rare; Hayato will beat him in
this case, but make sure to take much advantage if he tries this), an AAA,
a Mega Upper (also stupid, if you bait this it's a free combo), or Hyper
Megaman you. With these at his disposal it's better to jump in defensively, to
see if he throws out a Hyper Megaman or launcher, and punish accordingly. Make
SURE not to accidently throw out a dash attack if you dash in to punish a
blocked Hyper Megaman; wavedashing could come in handy in that situation. A
Shiden xx whatever works if you're close enough.

Jumping in may actually be Hayato's only option. Mega Man basically controls
the ground, which is what makes this match-up so terrible. Since Hayato does
most of his damage off his fast, long-range ground pokes, Mega Man essentially
screws his main method of offense. His ground control is often due to carting
an assist, usually Sentinel Ground, to zone you even further while blasting
you with his Buster Shots. He can also kick a Rock Ball to control you even
further, making mounting an offense extremely difficult. Calling an assist to
cover yourself right before you go for a super-jumping offensive is very
recommended; put that Doom or Sentinel to work. If you keep Mega Man locked
down with Doom and jump in, you may be able to get the opening you need to
land a combo.

Try not to get forced into the corner; Mega Man is obnoxious there. His jab
is one frame, so if he gets close, there's not much you can do. If he lands
a jab, he can launch you and go into one of many air throw mixups; he can
launch you again after one and do some major damage, he can air throw you
AGAIN, or go for a Hyper Megaman to nail you. Either way, his combo resets,
so he does massive damage. Avoid getting cornered at all costs, and blow him
away with an AAA if he does get you there. If you force him into a corner,
he'll try to wall jump out, so AAA or try to slap the hell out of him with a
J.HK when he does. Since Mega Man makes approaching him on the ground near
impossible, this fight is difficult. 

Mega Man isn't very dangerous as an assist. Rather, he's annoying as hell,
because of that damn taunt of his. His Projectile is a multi-hitter, but it's
a basic fireball so it's not so hot, and his anti-air is so-so. He exerts far
more of a presence on-point than off.

------------
32. Morrigan
------------
A surprising amount of people have denounced Morrigan to just being a "Ryu
with more speed". This isn't very accurate, since the two play pretty
differently. While Ryu can zone his opponents with his Hadokens and then use
some basic, powerful comboes up close, Morrigan is more about confusing her
opponents with her weird-ass air-dash and quick moves. As Hayato, you are far
more powerful and more durable than her, but her superior mobility and mix-
ups form a huge problem. You need to be spot on with your blocking here, or
it'll be a tough fight.

Despite the fact that a few comboes are enough to lay Morrigan out, you can't
underestimate her. She has some ridiculous high-low options and her rushdown
can prove to be very formidable. The reason for this mainly is her air-dash.
It goes in an unconvential parabola arc, which enables her to both throw
people off and avoid some other crap when necessary. Morrigan has a near
Magneto-like way of being able to high-low the hell out of poor Hayato when
up-close. Since her innate damage isn't too hot, expect her to be packing a
heavy hitter assist like Tron. If she isn't, then good. If she is, then be a
hell of a lot more careful. Any successful mix-up could result in 35% damage
at the LEAST. She can also mix-up quite well on a character coming in after
a death with her air fireballs and air-dash combined, so look out.

Hayato isn't totally helpless here. Air-to-air conflicts can be won by your
trusty J.HK, and the majority of her pokes are overpowered by your sword. The
problem is that she is faster and has more mobility, allowing her to bypass
your sword range and get in your face where she doesn't belong. The best
course of action here is to take along your trusty anti-rushdown AAA. Morrigan
has trouble bypassing these when she's trying to high-low your ass, and they
will do pretty good damage to her crappy vitality to boot. After keeping her
out, you can apply some pressure with your sword swings and C.LKs.

Your main advantages in this battle are power and priority. Morrigan needs
assist to help her do big damage, but you alone can do huge damage to her with
your HC comboes. Her own HCs do some decent damage, but her game doesn't
largely revolve around them. Rather, this game will be one of mix-ups and
fake-outs which will test your ability to detect and block. If you can keep
her out, the match will go to you. Not the hardest battle out there, but
definitely not a cakewalk.

The assist to look out for is Morri's anti-air, her Shadow Blade. It does
some pretty decent damage and sports some nice priority, pretty similar to
Ken's AAA. Use the same tactics as you do for other AAAs that you face.

-------------
33. Omega Red
-------------
Omega's ability to throw the crap out of you from practically anywhere, as
well as his above-average vitality and good rushing skills make him a tough
customer. Although he's a rare battle, he's a tough one. Omega Red is
a nice mix-uper, and his priority is not too shabby either. If you combine his
rushing skills with his ability to take damage, he's a huge threat to Hayato's
health.

First off, he has a decent mix-up game up close, due largely to his air dash.
He can cancel his air dash by tapping back, enabling some instant overheads.
This can lead to a free combo for him if you're not expecting it, which has
the added benefit of restoring his life or meter if he decides to do an AC
ending in a coil. You can apply standard tactics of AAA to get him off your
ass if this is all he's doing. Your B+HP beats a lot of his crap up-close, so
work to get him within your sword range, because he's better everywhere else.
Be careful of his jump-in HPs; you won't be able to beat them with your
launcher, so just defend and keep an eye out for any **** he may pull after
that. In Hayato's ideal range, the battle works out quite well, but Omega has
a big advantage at all other ranges.

The reason he's better at all other ranges has to do with his great special
moveset, the Omega Strikes and coils. The Omega Strikes can go in five
directions and come out QUITE fast, making them nigh unpunishable by Hayato.
This can allow Omega Red to apply decent pressure while also giving him some
sense of a tri-jump if he uses Omega Strikes with his air dash. His coils can
go straight up or straight down as well as angles and straight-forward, making
him a menace no matter where you are. He can even combo into the coils, making
each of his ACs a guaranteed sliver of life or HC energy, as well as a slam
into the ground. These can start to add up, so keep in eye out for his
launcher. It has decent horizontal range, but you can beat it out with your
sword, so air-to-ground conflicts are good to go. Just watch out for possible
AAAs.

Omega Red has a few other neat tricks that can potentially screw you. If
you have horrible luck at 50-50 games, he can coil you, throw you straight up,
and then throw another coil straight up and at your falling carcass to play
a guessing game. If you guess wrong, you get screwed for some life or energy
and then tossed up again. This can get annoying as hell, so watch out for it.
You always have to keep on your toes with this guy, as his coils, mix-ups,
air-dash, and Omega Strikes make him a threat anywhere. If you can keep him
at your most comfortable range and smack him with some good comboes, you'll
be the victor; but this is far easier said than done, as Omega Red's very
damaging comboes and great mix-ups make this a difficult battle. Good luck.

As an assist, he can be decently dangerous. His Throw assist is blockable,
which is a plus, but it can set you up to be comboed, so watch out. His
Anti-Air leaves him wide open and isn't too good, so you'll likely not see
it too much. His Ground-type is interesting; it's his DB+HK attack, and it
comes out fast. Look out for it when you're fighting up close.

------------
34. Psylocke
------------
As with Captain Commando, you'll be seeing quite a bit of Psylocke, due to her
(as you may or may not know) amazing Anti-Air Assist. Although she's a decent
rushdown character on-point, her on-screen presence does not do justice to her
AAA. It's the best set-up AAA out there, making it perfect for Magnetos or
infinite-happy Iron Men. On point, Psylocke has some advantages; she's pretty
fast, has a triple jump, and some damaging comboes she would like to employ
on you.

Despite her amazing AAA, an on-point Psylocke is basically standard rushdown
fare; thus you don't have to worry about establishing a comfortable distance.
Psylocke is fast as hell, so be wary when she's dashing in; you can 
outproritize her efforts with your B+HP or C+HP if you're feeling juicy. If
you're paranoid, bring along a decent assist such as Doctor Doom or an
invincible AAA, and you'll be in business for whatever she's preparing to
throw at you.

Don't underestimate Psylocke, however; although you do outprioritize her and
overpower her, she sports more mobility and mix-up capabilities. She is one
of the two characters with a triple jump, which can really screw with your
air defense. Her triple jump and teleport ensure that air-to-air victories
will be rare, so battle her on the ground. One of Psylocke's biggest
weaknesses as a rushdown character is her lack of an airdash of any kind.
Thus, you don't have to worry about any ridiculous high-low game like Magneto,
Omega Red, or Morrigan. Just concentrate on defending against her onslaughts
and countering with your own comboes.

Her vitality sucks, so every combo you hit will definitely make its mark.
However, be wary of the damage she can do, as well; she can launch you off of
any landed C.LK and then do an Air Combo ending in Psi-Blade xx Psionic
Butterflies, which ends up with a truckload of your health being taken off.
This is her main way to do damage, so be wary of letting her in too close.
Your own B+HPs will overpower her, so use them to keep her out of where she
wants to be. You'll beat her launcher with your jump-ins, but her Psi-Blade
will wreck you, so careful. All in all not THE most difficult battle on-point,
which is very preferable to her terrifying off-point presence.

Obviously, you'll be almost 100% facing Psylocke as an AAA, so concentrate
your efforts on snapping out whoever is taking advantage of her, be it Mags,
Iron Man, any rushdowner, whatever. It'll be a tough one when the combined
efforts of the rusher and Psylocke are in your face, but you'll be at a big
advantage with Psylocke out of the picture. It ain't MSP without Psylocke,
so get her out of the way of any team ASAP.

---------
35. Rogue
---------
Rogue is a tough opponent to deal with; she's got decent rushdown and damage
output(better rushing than Psylocke, but you don't see Rogue as much due to
her assists not being as good). In addition to this, if she does her Power
Drain on Hayato, she gets one of her best possible power-ups: the Speed-Up.
Alone, she can give you headaches with her pseudo-tri jumping and her mixups
with her airdash, as well as her damaging Air Comboes. With a Speed Up, she
gets jacked up even further, gaining an infinite. This'll be a tough battle,
so watch out.

Rogue's got a decent game even without her Speed-Up. She's also got above-
average vitality, which is rare for a rushdown character. Couple this with her
damage and mix-ups, and Hayato's got quite a battle on his hands. Rogue is one
of the best low-tier fighters in this game. To start with, watch out for her
air-dash tactics. As with any air-dasher, she gains the ability to give you
a mad high-low guessing game, as well as instant overheads with assist aid.
Also, she can do ghetto tri-jumps with her dive kick, which is another thorn
in your side. Bring along the usual trusty AAA, and try to keep her grounded
so that you can outpoke her. In doing that, you'll gain some ground.

When fighting Rogue, always look out for her Power Drain. It's a real pain in
the ass due to the fact that it's unblockable, and easy to tick and to combo
into. It's not the level of ridiculous that it was an XvSF where she could
wreck you with her super after it in the corner, but it's still a big threat.
This is mainly due to the fact that it gives Rogue what you don't want her to
have: much more speed. Hayato is one of the characters that gives Rogue a
Speed Up, which isn't good for your health. To combat this, try not to be
fooled by her high-lows, and pushblock judiciously when blocking an attack
string.

If she does give Hayato a smooch, then worry; her new speed and comboability
make her more of a pain in the ass, as she gains an infinite. Don't let her
hit you with this, as it'll take a huge toll off your life. Apply Magneto-
like tactics here with conservative attacking and anti-rushdown assists (Mecha
Gief anyone?), and wait out her enhancement. On a side note, if she snogs you
while you're under the effects of Plasma Field, you'll net her a Power Up
instead. This is also dangerous, as her comboes do Juggy-like damage. Although
an extremely rare occurence, be careful nonetheless. This is a difficult fight
due to Rogue's great mix-ups as well as the Speed Up, but it is winnable with
good blocking and detection skills, as well as patience. Good luck.

As an assist, Rogue is pretty decent. Both of her punch assists can do some
damage, and her Anti-Air can set up some goofy comboes. Her Throw assist is
one to watch out for. While it does do ass for damage, it completely leaves
you open afterwards to eat combo, or Proton Cannon, or whatever. Look out
for it.

--------
36. Roll
--------
Poor Roll. Poor, poor Roll. Hands down the worst character in the game, Roll
does not pose a threat at all to our boy Hayato. Roll, being shafted from her
first appearance (in which she was also bad), has only three advantages: small
size, a double jump, and a decent throw. Otherwise, she's completely
unremarkable. Her damage equates to ass, she has just about no range, her
supers are terrible, and her vitality ties with Akuma's, Servbot's, and Bone
Wolverine's for absolute worst. She can do some intricate comboes with her
double jumping and throw abilities, but you should be able to deal with this
battle with ease.

Roll's disadvantage against Hayato is that she needs to go past his sword
before she can start doing damage, which she really can't do with her
abilities. Hayato easily keeps her out with low attacks and his B+HP (which
still hits her), and does a hell of a lot of damage off of a combo if he lands
a poke, which is very amplified by Roll's crappy vitality. If Roll gets in by
way of assists or her slide, then she can go for throw mix-ups. Her throw is
really fast, so it's hard to tech. It's one of her main weapons, so look out
for it.

Even if Roll gets into Hayato's range, there's not much she can do. Suppose
gets into range and hits you with a C.HK; she can then follow up with some
OTGs, such as a Roll Buster or Tornado Hold, that don't do too much damage.
Her main source of damage will come from assists; whether direct usage or
elongation of comboes, Roll is very much an assist-oriented character. Look
out for big tickets like Doom, Tron, and Commando. They'll help Roll immensly
in her battle.

All in all, mainly be watching out for Roll's throw. It's ridiculously easy
for her to tick into it, and she can do things like call an assist and throw
you into it, setting you up for a combo. The problem is that Roll does so
little damage, that even if she nails you with an intricate combo, you'll be
able to recover easily, and resume your offense. Each combo you land will do
a massive amount of damage, so it only takes two Rasetsu Zan/Engetsu comboes
to lay her out. If you still want to be cautious, be careful about the corner,
as Roll can do some interesting things, like combo into Hyper Roll, or do an
AC thick with air throw resets and double jumps. All in all, an easy battle.
Don't feel bad about slashing the little girl; she'll throw the crap out of
you if you go easy.

Roll's assists are also lame. Her Projectile is pretty pathetic; it's large,
but does one hit and awful damage. Her Flower Bouquet assist just manages
to be annoying; think of it as Dudley's taunt from SFIII, but a lot less
useful. Sad to say, but Roll's presence is not very intimidating, on-point or
not.

--------------
37. Ruby Heart
--------------
Ruby Heart is an interesting new character who's particularly adept at eating
rushdown. Ruby's ability to control the screen using her Fantome ghosts,
Sublimation, and assists can prove to be a hassle. Also, her Schwarzaile move
gives her great air mobility, and does great damage with her comboes, making
any mistake you make a painful one. In addition, she has some unorthodox
moves, and average vitality. This is an interesting, but tough, fight for
Hayato.

First of all, you have to be wary of Ruby's trapping game, made possible
through her Sublimation move. For example, if she gets you in the corner, she
can poke, whip you, then cancel into Sublimation, trapping you in blockstun.
Executed perfectly, you'll remain trapped forever. In this way, Ruby's like a
ghetto Doctor Doom; she can put a lot of **** on the screen, between her
Fantomes and Sublimation. Watch out for the corner, then. She can really
screw you if she gets you there.

She's also great at air-to-air combat, with her fast moves and Hyper
Schwarzaile. The regular Schwarzaile has ass priority and you can slash her
out of it, but the HC is a dangerous move and will overtake you quicker than
you'd think. Try to avoid confronting her like this; her superior moves and
mobility in the air will seal your fate in this conflict. On the ground, the
fight becomes easier, but not by much. Ruby works extremely well with assists
and with partners such as Doom, Sentinel, Tron, or Commando, can really wreck
you. With the help of Doom, she can utilize ridiculous air throw resets to
rack up some damage. Sentinel brings great use to her trapping game. Tron just
adds a ridiculous amount of damage to whatever she does, and Commando gives
her great anti-air abilities.

Ruby can be compared loosely to Bison for her ability to be able to somewhat
trap and rush. Her great versatility combined with her mobility prove her to
be a difficult opponent. As Hayato, patience and good blocking skills are key
to winning this match-up; Ruby has innate lag in a lot of her moves, so if
she's careless with them, your window to strike opens. Assists can also be
used to combat hers; big-ticket assists like Doom and Commando will aid
greatly. Her strength, trapping, and immense comboes make her an intimidating
opponent, but if you concentrate on her and not the crap she's spewing, you
can do fine.

As an assist, Ruby can pose some threats. Her Schwarzaile is a threat due to
its speed; however, it does crappy damage. Her Sublimation can really zone
you, and it has a wide area to boot. It's probably her greatest assist. Her
Capture Type, her anchor throw, is dangerous, but overall its threat is
lessened due to its lack of speed.

-------
38. Ryu
-------
Ah, the main man himself. An interesting character in this game, Ryu can be
considered a ghetto Cable for his Air Hadoken zoning as well as his Air
Shinkuu Hadoken for punishment. In addition to this, Ryu has average vitality
and a good set of specials and supers. Combined with an assist, Ryu can
control where you go with his Hadokens, while looking for an opening to land
a damaging combo. As Hayato, you outprioritize everything he does up close
with your sword, sans the Shoryuken. It's an interesting fight.

Ryu's Hadokens are huge, and with the Tiger Knee motion he can cover a bit of
space with them. However, they're nowhere near the speed of Mega Man's Buster
Shots or of the effectiveness of Cable's grenades. With enough maneuvering
or a Projectile or Anti-Air assist to cancel it out, you can easily get close.
Once there, start to apply some pressure; your range far exceeds Ryu's, but
watch out anyway. He can cancel Hadokens into a Shinkuu Hadoken, which is your
ass, especially if he DHCs. If he ever gets past sword range, he can land a
variety of damaging crap; for example, if ever he lands a Hurricane Kick, he
can cancel that right into a Shinkuu Hadoken. Roll when swept, or you'll get
Shinkuu Tatsumaki'd.

So Ryu is definitely a threat when close; therefore it's your job to keep him
out of where he wants to be. Liberal use of your superior range with the sword
and decent assists will achieve this. Ryu does far more damage inside close
range than from far away. Luckily, since Hayato is superior in priority, the
advantage in close range goes to him. The only trick Ryu can use to overpower
Hayato is a Shoryuken for when Hayato is jumping in. Thus, you should be
careful with your jump-in moves; you can overpower his launcher, but his
Shoryuken will wreck you. The LP version is difficult to punish, but if you
can bait an HP version, then Ryu's ass will have a target on it as he falls
down.

Also, be wary of Ryu's punishing capabilities. Any close-range mistake will
lead to the above damaging super comboes, but Ryu has a Tiger Knee Shinkuu
Hadoken that can punish full-screen. Basically, it's a vastly inferior AHVB.
It's got great speed and full-screen reach, but it does mediocre damage and
can't combo into itself. Still, watch out for it and don't do anything stupid
at long range. Ryu's throws are good, and one lands you right at his feet so
that he can continue to pressure on wakeup. Ryu is an interesting battle, but
definitely winnable; just make sure to land your comboes, while avoiding HIS.

As an assist, Ryu is decent; his Hadoken is large and relatively fast, but
isn't very groundbreaking. His AAA, though not quite the ridiculousness of
Ken's or Cammy's, is still a threat due to its damage and great priority.
Projectile can lead to a possible counter xx Shinkuu Hadoken, so look out for
that.

--------------
39. Sabretooth
--------------
The Tooth has fallen quite a ways from his last appearance in XvSF...he lost
his incredibly easy normal jump infinite, and his ability to super off of his
air throw. Also, his vitality is even worse than yours, despite being a huge
character. But, Sabretooth isn't totally helpless; he can do some decent
damage on the ground with Berserker Claw xx Weapon X, his HP throw builds a
massive amount of meter and can lead to mixups, and his chipping with Hyper
Birdie is decent. However, you can win this battle.

Sabre's large size really works against him, and to add to this, Hayato has
the ability to defeat him in close-range battles with his priority advantage.
The only problem is when Sabretooth is jumping in; his J.HK doesn't have
amazing priority, but its range is huge; even if you snag it with a launcher,
which takes great timing, punishing afterwards may be difficult, so stay
defensive when 'Tooth is jumping in, and make sure to block low after a jump-
in, as C.LKs afterwards in an attempt to land a Weapon X are the norm. Also
beware of throws, as Sabretooth's is a decent throw that can lead to mixups.

Air-to-air battles are easily won; Hayato's J.HK trumps any of Sabretooth's
aerial efforts, due to Sabretooth's poor air game, and so, Sabretooth ends up
putting up far more of a fight on the ground than in the skies. Keep out Sabre
with Hayato's sword; if Sabre gets in on him, it could be dangerous. Sabre's
HP throw, as stated before, builds a helluva lotta meter, so if you don't
tech, prepare to roll, as he can OTG you with a Berserker Claw afterwards. If
he cancels into Hyper Birdie after this, he gets some free chip. Otherwise,
be looking out for a C.LK. For example, a ground chain leading up to Berserker
Claw xx Weapon X does over half a lifebar of damage to Hayato. Make it your
goal to not let Sabretooth get in the range he wants.

The corner bears special mention in this battle, because advanced players of
the Tooth can use his corner infinite, which involves throwing you, then
repeatedly juggling you with C.LK, C.MK and the Wild Fang. If Sabretooth
is pressuring you towards the corner, make it your goal to get the hell out of
there; Sabretooth's most advantageous location is there. Call out assists and
use Hayato's superior priority to overwhelm Sabretooth's offense. Tooth's
low staying power combined with his huge size and poor priority really hamper
his effectiveness; this is a good fight for Hayato if you look out for Tooth's
tricks.

Sabretooth's assists aren't too threatening, but pretty noteworthy. His
Projectile, for instance, calls out Birdie, whose three small projectiles
keep Hayato in blockstun for a while and control the ground, sort of like a
vastly inferior Sentinel Ground. Berserker Claw is quite fast, but is pretty
basic. All in all not too dangerous.

----------
40. Sakura
----------
One of the more underestimated characters in the game, Sakura can pose more of
a challenge than the first glance would suggest. She actually does an assload
of damage with her basic comboes; if she follows up on a launcher to its
fullest she can do over 90 points of damage, and in the corner can connect
almost all hits of her HK Shunpuukyaku for similarly massive damage. Her
Shououken rushing uppercut has unreal priority and can barrel over whatever
you do, and she even has a guard-break corner infinite, as well as Dark
Sakura mode. Quite a handful, as you can see.

First of all, Sakura has a way to overpower your sword in the form of her
Shououken. This makes her dangerous at even your desired range, as it allows
her to begin to pressure you. Regardless, you'll still want to keep her at
that range, because it's the only one at which you can perform. Sakura's
launcher has great horizontal range compared to the other shotos, but it's
priority can be defeated by your jump-ins. However, it's still very dangerous,
as her follow-ups lead to massive damage no matter where you are. Jump-ins
would be an option if not for her Hadoken. Its massive size and quickness
in coming out seal that fate.

This leaves Hayato without jump-ins, and without taking the risk to get in for
Byakko Hou mixups due to the massive risk of getting launched into a very
damaging combo. You're left with your superior pokes, while still being
careful of a Shououken. This obviously turns out to be an unfavorable matchup,
because even in the air, Sakura has Shououken as a pseudo-air dash and the
Shunpuukyaku in a similar role. Be conservative in this fight; stick to your
basic strategy of looking for poke windows upon which you can capitalize.
Sakura's bigger array of tools leaves little room for anything else. She has
the advantage in terms of damage, even without meter; the only way you can top
her in that department is using the Plasma Field to Black Hayato follow-up in
the corner. It's a dangerous battle. Keep normal Sak out of close-range,
because her danger there is, despite her looks, huge.

Sakura needs 3 levels to become Dark Sakura, so if you're seeing her in this
battle, it won't be immediately. While this Sakura gains a beam super, Akuma-
style Zankuu Hadokens, and a teleport, she doesn't seem to pose as much of a
threat. Her Shououken, which allowed her to barrel over Hayato before, lost
the barrier that gave it mega-priority, relieving you of that worry. Also, her
Hadokens now go horizontally, turning jump-ins into in option if you watch out
for the Haru Ichiban. Still, don't get cocky; her teleport ensures you won't
be trapping her in the corner for long, her dash is faster, and she can combo
into now Ryu-esque Shinkuu Hadoken with the greatest of ease. Apply jump-ins
and standard poke tactics the same as before; her damage output is still as
outrageous as normal Sakura, so you still need to be quite careful. All in
all, normal Sakky is a tougher fight.

Her Dash assist is the thing to look out for; the Shououken is a pain as an
assist due to its great priority. It's likely you'll be seeing that assist
the most by far. Be careful of it; it has the ability to stuff Hayato's
offense and pokes and will knock him away from the opponent. Her Projectile
is the Hadoken of whatever mode she's in, so it's nothing TOO special. Her
Shunpuukyaku assist is the same in both modes, and does decent damage, but
isn't as threatening as Dash.

------------
41. Sentinel
------------
Holy hell. What a horrible battle. Sentinel is, if not the sole holder, tied
for the position of absolute best character in the game. Why? Let's start
with the basics: he only takes 3/4ths of damage received, and deals obscene
damage with his own hits. All of his moves, be them jabs or HCs, do chip
damage. He has Super Armor, being able to wade through a huge amount of moves.
He's got massive priority on just about all of his moves. He has full-screen
normals in both his Standing and Crouching HPs. It gets better: his ability
to cancel in and out of his super-fast Flight Mode gives him outrageous combo
abilities, and he even has a semi-infinite using his VERY good Hyper Sentinel
Force HC. As if to put icing on the cake, his Ground assist is one of the best
in the game, though you probably know this. This is a near-impossible battle;
so good luck.

Sentinel's basic moves are big threats; what with him having Super Armor, they
all carry great priority. His C.LK has great range. His C.HK is the only sweep
in the game to hit THREE times, and he can cancel or OTG into a Rocket Punch,
and cancel THAT into a Hyper Sentinel Force, effectively screwing you. His
HP is obnoxious in all three of its forms. On the ground and while ducking,
it's a full-screen mouth beam that can cancel quite well. In the air, it's a
fast frying-pan thing with massive priority. His J.HK is a stomp that can do
great damage and annoy the hell out of you when Sentinel is in flight.
Combining this with a great assist such as Doom, he can hammer you with his
massive foot and chip you with Doom, which is a decent trap in itself.

His other mainstay moves are huge threats in themselves. His Rocket Punch does
unbelievable damage, and is very easily cancelled into and out of. If at any
time he lands a Rocket Punch, he can cancel into Hyper Sentinel Force, which
can also screw you. Hyper Sentinel Force is a very useful HC. While it by
itself doesn't do astronomical damage, its ability to be comboed out of and
then into again makes it great. Sentinel can land an HSF and then HP xx Rocket
Punch xx HSF again. It sucks a lot of meter, but it also makes you pretty
dead.

His Flight Mode deserves a section all by itself. It can help to make Sentinel
even more outrageous than he already is. While Sentinel's walking speed is
slow(not counting his wavedashing which is weirdly fast), his Flight is wicked
fast, allowing him to zip around faster than most characters can dash. Sent
can then use his high-priority HPs and HKs to pin you down while calling
assists to smash you. It gets even better: since Flight Mode is considered a
special move, he can smash you with moves, "un-fly" himself, and re-cancel
back into Flight, giving him some obnoxious comboes. When combining this with
his great ground game, Sentinel becomes a true monster.

Against this massive onslaught of borderline-unfair, what can Hayato do? Not
much when it comes down to it. As with Juggernaut and the Hulk, you can
penetrate Sentinel's Super Armor with your B+HP. However, even if you land
a poke and capitalize, Sentinel's intense vitality will ensure that he's able
to take it and still be at his best. It's also hard to land a poke just
because of all of Sentinel's crap; if he's in Flight hammering you, there's
not much you can do then try and get him out of the air with a good AAA. On
the ground, his ridiculous range, priority, and general options make the
window to B+HP him very slim. If he does screw up and do a random HSF, you
can jump over and whack him with a J.HK and capitalize upon landing, but these
moments are very rare. All in all, between Sentinel's great Flight and great
ground game, Hayato just does really crappily against him. Your whole game
plan revolves around calling assists(be careful, he can wreck sloppy calls
with HSF) and hoping to land lucky B+HPs. If you win a battle against a decent
Sentinel, consider joining some prize tournaments.

Sent has two good assists: his Projectile and his Ground. His Projectile is
great because it's fast and does great damage. However, his Ground is really
great because it can has great versatility. It's very fast, so Sentinel is
pretty safe. It can elongate comboes, it can cover a character who's doing
a particularly laggy move, it can chip, it can pressure very well, it can
provide decent traps for a bunch of characters...truly a great assist.
Sentinel is an incredible character, both off-point and on.

-----------------------
42. Servbot (AKA Kobun)
-----------------------
What a lovable little dude. Servbot can actually prove to be a bit better than
first impressions show: this is because he actually has a decent chipping game
involving Doctor Doom and his AAA. Servbot has a fast dash, VERY small size,
and his Lunch Rush (Gamma version) does unreal amounts of chip. Combining that
with Doom, he can run around, goof off and call Doom, wait until he locks you
down and then call Lunch Rush for chip. However, Servbot has NO other way to
do any damage because of his pathetic attack power, and his vitality is tied
with Roll and Akuma: pathetic. This makes him a relatively easy battle.

If Servbot doesn't have Doom, then a lot of his damage capability is pretty
much screwed. He can opt for other lockdowners like Sentinel, but they don't
do as much for Servbot. Servy's basic moves are generally all useless, and
his only useful partner call (the grab) is far too slow to be a big threat.
Thus, you're free to wreck him as you please; especially if he's using the
Alpha Lunch Rush, which does ass chip but decent damage. However, to be hit
into this move, Serv has to stand right next to Hayato; and this simply won't
be happening with Hayato's FAR superior range and priority. 

With Doom, you have to be a bit more careful. If you get locked down with
Doom while Servbot has meter, he can chip the crap out of you with Gamma Lunch
Rush. This sucks up a LOT of meter, but is also very detrimental to Hayato's
health; it also doesn't make any red bar to recover while Hayato's on the
sidelines. To counter this, all you have to do is be careful not to get hit
by Doom. Lunch Rush is easily avoidable by way of super jumping. Some
helicopter Servbot's may seek you out, but they'll only result in a far lesser
amount of chip. From there, you can land next to Servbot and start to wreck
him.

Believe it or not, B+HP actually HITS a standing or even crouching Servbot.
Due to nearly all of Servbot's moves sucking, you can basically lay him out
with B+HPs because he can't really get in. One of your basic combos off of a
poke will result in over 60% of damage to Servbot, whereas he relies on slowly
chipping away all of your life. Since Servbot's range, power, and options
pretty much completely suck, and he relies on an assist to have any gameplan,
this match is easily winnable by Hayato.

Servbot's assist type does more than determine what move he uses as an assist;
it also determines what HC Lunch Rush becomes. The Gamma Lunch Rush is the
greatest threat for the reasons listed above. The Alpha Lunch Rush, though
it does a lot of unrecoverable damage, is terrible due to its awful range,
especially against Hayato. Beta Lunch Rush is among the worst HCs in the game;
it starts BEHIND Servbot and acts as a shockwave-type super, similar to your
Engetsu. His assists widely blow, making Servbot not much of a presence
anywhere.

----------------
43. Shuma-Gorath
----------------
Shuma's got a wide array of moves, that are useful at all ranges. He has a
damaging command throw, a regular throw that restores red life, high-priority
HK and HP attacks, what is probably the only useful Level 3 HC in the game,
and decent range. However, he's rather slow-moving, has low vitality, lacks
any good anti-air abilities against Hayato, and has many punishable moves.
This battle can be difficult because of Shuma's weirdness and relative
versatility, but his weaknesses make it quite winnable.

First of all, Shuma's highest priority basic moves are his HP Eyebeams. In
addition to being fast and having good range, they will wreck anything you
do. In addition, in the air he can aim them in 3 different directions a la
Iron Man. This merit makes it very difficult to combat him in an air-to-air
battle, so you should keep Shuma on the ground. There you can do some damage.
Shuma's anti-air abilities in themselves are quite poor, so your jump-ins
are a good choice for starting comboes. His HK Mystic Smash comes out quite
suddenly and can catch you off-guard when jumping in, and if blocked in the
air it's relatively safe. However, since Shuma has to charge back before
performing this move, make sure to jump in quickly when he hasn't already
been going defensive, to remove this option.

In mid-range, Shuma's HP Eyebeam has deceptive range, and can knock you away;
however, it doesn't pose too much of a threat due to throwing you out of
Shuma's range and complete lack of follow-ups. If you're smacked, you can get
right back in. His S.HK is very laggy and easy to punish, but beware of a
cancel into the Mystic Stare. If he gets past your sword, he can land his
damaging Devitalization command throw, or recover red life with his HK throw.
Make it your job to keep Shoom out of throw range; his most damaging options
are found there. If you can do that, you'll have a definite upper hand with
your superior combo damage combined with his bad vitality.

The Chaos Dimension deserves special mention, because if Shuma gets it off,
it does sick damage and he can even OTG after it. He can launch you, activate
it, and then hit you into it when you fall down. Seeing as how it's
unblockable, it becomes a very scary move. When Shuma starts glowing, start
calling assists and throwing out pokes to get him the hell away. All of
Shuma's hard attacks have been replaced by the Dimension, so he has no more
high-priority moves; you can easily overpower him, especially if he starts
being stupid and blindly rushes you. Chaos Dimension has a short duration,
so if you can keep him out for that duration, he'll just have wasted a huge
amount of meter, while also being damaged. Not the hardest battle out there,
but look out for his tricks.

As an assist, his Mystic Stare isn't anything impressive, but his Mystic
Smash can do some things. It comes out fast and covers a decent arc, so
it can catch you off guard. However, Shuma's assists are nothing really
groundbreaking, so there's no need to be extra wary.

------------------
44. Silver Samurai
------------------
Marvel's swordsman has quite a few tricks in his sleeve and can prove to be
a challenge. Unlike you and the other swordsman of MvC2, Strider, SilSam has
good vitality and can take some hits. In addition to that, he's got a very
damaging and useful HC in the Raimeiken and good chipping powers with his
Shuriken and Chou Shuriken. His sword gives him some good range, (though the
priority doesn't equal yours) and if he wants to get saucy he has three mode
change elements. This should be a fun battle.

In a battle of swords, Hayato generally comes out the victor; your B+HP in
close range defeats his pokes. This is great news for you. However, Samurai
has a few more tricks than you. His Shurikens do a great deal of chip damage,
and with a lockdown assist or a few pokes of his own, he can keep you pinned
down and do a big deal of unrecoverable damage while he's at it. This can
equal bad news, and a huge disadvantage if you become to block-happy. Practice
avoiding his projectiles more than blocking them if you can. It'll benefit
greatly in the end. His Chou Shuriken is of the same note. It does a very
ridiculous amount of chip, so it's of huge priority to avoid that thing. You
will regret it if you don't.

His Raimeiken HC is also of importance; it does an assload of damage and he
can easily combo it off his launcher, which is bad news due to the launcher's
great range. He can also sweep you into it, so roll like mad whenever you're
swept to increase your chances of not being smote. Although your priority
is generally greater than his, try not to take too many chances; Samurai has
got range equal to yours and WILL captialize on any chances he sees. His
chipping abilities and long-range powers are his main advantages over you, so
try to keep this fight close, where you can do your damage. His vitality will
make the battle slightly harder, but with enough perseverance you can win.

His mode changes aren't too much of a threat if he decides to actually use
them. For their use of meter, the disadvantages far outweigh the pros. His
Lightning Mode provides Samurai with the ability to do full chain comboes and
do the Chou Shuriken in the air,(!) but his damage is jacked way down, as well
as his vitality. Use your now VERY superior damage to trump him. His Fire Mode
can be a threat; his attack power gets jacked way up and his new super, which
can be comboed from his launcher, is VERY damaging. However, his new vitality
is even WORSE than Roll's! Be cautious in this form and take any chance you
can get to lay into him with an HC, and the rewards will be vast. Ice Form
is the most annoying; his vitality shoots to taking less than half damage,
but his attack power gets shot to hell. His new HC hits low and will
immobilize you, but his attack power is too jack to take any advantage of it.
Be conservative when he uses Ice, and don't use any HCs; his vitality will
greatly reduce the rewards. Also be on the lookout for the goofy properties
of his Ice HC. Make sure only to release your guard AFTER the icicles stop
touching you, as you'll still be frozen after the initial hit if you're
standing on an icicle and you release your guard.

Silver Samurai's only good assist is his Shuriken; it carries the same massive
chip as the on-point version. His other assists, his Hundred Sword Slap (or
whatever), and his launcher(WTF) are quite terrible. With his Projectile,
the opponent can add some great chip to his gameplan, making it a decent
threat. It's slow and quite easily avoided, but watch out for it nonetheless.

----------
45. SonSon
----------
It's easy to underestimate SonSon with her goofy appearence, but she can pose
some threats. Her staff can give her some wicked range, and her air-dash
and crawl moves some decent mix-ups. Her vitality is very poor, however, and
she dishes out low damage per hit. Even despite these setbacks, she still
proves to be a worthy opponent for Hayato, as her mobility and capabilities
tend to more than make up for her faults. Get ready for quite the party.

We'll start with just her projectile though, as Hayato is one of the 
characters that doesn't have an easy way of trouncing it. It's slow and does
ass for damage, but it still can apply pressure and she can Tiger Knee it,
which can lead to her being able to do some kind of goofy air-dash mixup with
her projectile. Bad as her projectile is, don't discount it entirely; her
mixups based off it can prove a tough obstacle for Hayato. Pack a decent
assist to deal with this, or otherwise dash-jump over the projectile and
waylay her with a jumping attack if she tries to airdash you.

SonSon's staff is quite akin to your sword in a couple of ways, due to the
fact that its priority is insane and her best moves revolve around it. Because
of this, Hayato can't just jump in willy-nilly like he can with some over low
tiers. She can easily tank through it with Seiten Rengeki, which can in turn
be cancelled into Tenchi Tsukan (giant staff HC) for some pretty obscene
damage. Getting nailed by any of her hyper-cancels is bad news. Her Oozaru
monkey deal, while not having very many ways to reliably combo into it, poses
the threat of decent chip damage.

In short, SonSon's offensive capabilities are greater than yours, so you'll
want to play it relatively safe. Make her come to you by thwarting any
projectile mix-ups she may attempt with your hard attacks to stuff air-dashes
while being covered with a decent assist. Once that's done, you're going to
try to land one of your basic pokes while avoiding any of hers, just like
most in-range fights. Your light attacks have more range and priority than
hers, but she has better ways of closing the distance and overall more damage
capability. However, if you essentially keep her in your comfort zone and are
able to consistently land some comboes, you will win.

As an assist, be prepared to see SonSon as Anti-Air. It's not the best AAA by
ANY means, but it's relatively decent, due to its super-quick startup. Heal is
just piss-poor because she stands out there for 9 years just begging to be
punished, and there are tons of other assists that could be better put to use
doing what her Projectile could do. Her AAA still isn't that devastating, due
to the fact that it possesses no invincibility, but it can still knock you
out if you're unguarded. All in all, a more threatening on-point fighter.

--------------
46. Spider-Man
--------------
Our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is not as tough an adversary as he would
be in older games of this series. However, he's still capable of some really
damaging crap against Hayato. Spider-Man is capable of zipping around and
crossing you up all day, but he also has absolutely ass for strength and
vitality(tied for second worst in the game). Due to this, you'll win just by
landing a few solid comboes. However, don't let this make you complacent.
Spidey is capable of doing some rather disgusting random mix-ups, and Hayato
will generally lose if he lets Spidey walk over him.

Spider has decent keep-away with his Web Ball-air dash bullcrap, but the real
danger comes in letting him close. He can use his pseudo air-dash capabilities
to form some sort of offensive game, which may or may not be completely
problematic to Hayato. Fortunately, your priority trumps his, even with his
nice J.HK. You can use this to stuff his air-to-air game with your pokes, and
B+HP reckless dashing Spideys. What sucks is that Spider-Man generally
approaches from the air, and Hayato has basically no way of doing decent air
damage across from good AAAs and basic Air Comboes.

The main thing to watch out for in this match-up is the potentially outrageous
mix-ups that Peter Parker can pull off. Coupled with the right assist to lock
you down, his air-dash cancelling combined with the fact that basically any of
his normals can cross you up makes it so that Hayato can barely even block a
rampaging Spidey. Against a Spider who has a great amount of skill with his
air-dashing game, a decent AAA to keep him off of your ass becomes pivotal.
Failing this, your high priority normals become your saving grace. Jumping in
is also an option, but be careful of any setup assists he could pull out to
stuff you and subsequently air combo the **** out of you.

Fighting Spidey is not a matter of going for massive comboes, as he has you
beat there, but rather about not letting him cross you the hell up. Spider's
poor vitality makes any connected hit against him fairly devastating, and
you can utilize the superior priority of your sword to keep him at bay. If you
manage to land a poke that can lead into a Rasetsu Zan or Engetsu, then by all
means go for it. Just don't make massive damage your top priority. Stopping
his rushdown comes first, and after that comes victory.

Spidey's assists aren't very threatening. His Anti-Air is probably the most
useful, but it carries no invincibility and doesn't do outrageous damage.
You'll definitely worry about him more when he's on point.

----------
47. Spiral
----------
Spiral will definitely give you fits, for mainly one reason: she's one of the
best trappers in the game, and builds obscene amounts of meter. The fact that
she doesn't have many ways to do big amounts of direct damage doesn't encumber
her in the slightest. She can hurl swords every which way, teleport all over
the place, and keep hurling swords. What does this mean? It means that
characters such as Hayato, who don't have a lot of maneuverability, have a
terrible time against Spiral. This will not be a fun battle.

Spiral's claim to fame is her swords. It's these that are the linchpin of her
game, and these that make her one of the better characters of the game. Spiral
will basically be calling swords and chucking them at you in various ways
throughout the battle. They do decent chip and also keep you pinned down.
However, she first has to call them. Calling swords takes a bit of time,
leaving her a bit open when she initiates the summon. If you whack her when
she has any swords floating around her, they'll all dissipate.

This doesn't mean that getting to her is easy, not by ANY means. Spiral has
one of the best teleports in the game. It's nigh unpunishable, quick, and has
the ability to take her pretty much anywhere. Don't count on trapping her any
time soon, with your rushing abilities. In addition to this, she can fire any
of her 6 swords at any given time, giving her a world of possibilities in
which to trap you. Essentially, you will NEED an assist to win this battle. If
you go in thinking Hayato's poking is enough, then you'll get burned really
badly.

The reason why you NEED an assist isn't just Spiral's great trapping abilities
but also the fact that she usually brings Sentinel Ground with her, which
enables her to use a deadly trap. Basically, she can pin you down, call
Sentinel to keep you even further locked down, then throw swords at you to
pin you down yet further, repeat ad nauseum. If done perfectly, this can keep
you in permanent blockstun. Basically, you'll want to pushblock her if she's
attempting this, and call some sort of invincible AAA to mess her up. Also
keep wary for any C.LKs she may throw in to keep things spicy. All in all,
this battle is pretty miserable, what with Hayato's low maneuverability
sealing his fate in a zoning war, and her manifold traps forcing him to bring
along an invincible AAA. Your only chance is to see if she ever ****s up, and
lay into her with a combo.

Spiral's not very threatening at all as an assist. The only thing you'll be
facing as her assists are either her S.HP or a sword as a projectile. Not very
terrifying. Indeed, Spiral is much more of a character to fear on point, as
her meter-building and trapping skills are worth far, far more than any of
her assists.

---------
48. Storm
---------
What a disgusting battle. Storm is regarded as one of the best characters in
the game, and Hayato will have fits trying to do ANYTHING to her. What makes
her so good? Well, she can basically do anything. She can run away using her
air mobility combined with her super-quick, high-priority J.HP. This builds
massive amount of meter, and good luck trying to bring her down without a
great assist. Once she's satisfied with the meter she's built and/or gets
bored, she can rush the hell out of you using her air-dash and high-priority
moves. She also has a killer DHC in the Hailstorm, and can completely
obliterate reckless assist-calling with that very same move. In short, she is
quite a goddess, and Hayato has a hell of a fight on his sword-wielding hands.

Let's talk about her runaway game. Well, actually, there's not much to say.
She can use her levitation abilities and her high-priority J.HP to run away
from you all day and build loads of meter doing it. You can respond by
building meter yourself by super-jumping and whiffing J.HKs, but you run the
risk of her actually attacking you. Basically, what Storm's runaway means is
that you better have packed Blackheart's AAA, or at least Captain Commando's.
Without any of these fully vertical assists, good luck trying to bring Storm
down. Without those guys, you'll be focusing on trying to land some lucky J.HK
and with Storm, that ain't happening. And even if it does, she can take right
back to the skies.

When you've brought her down (or she gets bored), don't get complacent; your
trouble is just beginning. Storm packs a damaging array of normal AND special
moves. Her launcher has unreal range and priority, and her air-dashing
capabilities can be used for deadly mix-ups. Storm's damage comes from her
Lightning Attack xx Lightning Storm comboes and setups, and she has a myriad
amount of ways to land them. She can straight up launch you, she can air-dash
for an overhead, she can triangle jump, she can reset by air-dashing past you
from the air...it goes on. You'll have to be spot-on with your blocking, or
this match-up just isn't happening. Your minute chance of winning depends on
if Storm ever hits the ground at some point. If she does, you must choose that
moment to lay into her, as Hayato's only chance of damage against Storm is
a damaging ground combo. One more thing; beware the Hailstorm. It's safe as
hell and is one of the best DHCs in the game; any character can just do a
super and then immediately DHC into the Hailstorm, and if you're not blocking,
it'll hit you.

What really sucks is that against Storm, this barely, if ever, happens. She
has enough air capabilities to just fly and float all over the damn place, and
her high-priority moves are enough to give anyone a fit. What it might come
down to is hoping that you nail Storm with assists over and over again.
Whatever AAA you might have packed will prove vital here, as B+HPs really do
not mean a thing when Storm is in the air. You can also try to land hard
attacks in the air, but Storm packs great aerial attacks and her rewards in
the air from landing one are far greater than yours. You better pack some
incredible assists coming into this battle...you'll need them. Good luck.

You'll often see Storm using her Typhoon assist. And compared to her
terrifying on-screen presence, it's not very threatening. It can't be stopped
once she launches it, but it's also quite slow and easily blocked or dodged.
Quite a grace note from her destructive on-screen abilities.

-----------------
49. Strider Hiryu
-----------------
Yet another terrible match-up. Your fellow Capcom swordsman enjoys way better
options than you. The most grand of these options, and usually the reason he's
picked, is the Strider/Doom trap, an extremely effective chipping trap that
involves his Ourobouros and Doom's AAA. In addition to this, he has a decent
teleport, making it hard to corner him, as well as an Eagle which can be used
to screw with your normal jumps. However, he has a few weaknesses. His
vitality is horrendous, and without Doom, his game plan goes straight to hell.

So basically, you may have gathered from above that you won't see Strider
without Doom. This means you must prepare to deal with one of the most
notorious traps in the game. This trap involves Strider calling his Ourobouros
and keeping you locked with it. When it's over, he'll call Doom AAA to keep
you locked down while he teleports to your other side. He'll then perform a
Tiger xx Ourobouros and repeat the trap. This requires a great amount of
execution, however, and it's likely he might eff it up. There's a variety of
factors that may go wrong. He may not send out rings to keep you locked down,
he may call Doom at the wrong time, he might time his orbs wrong...the trap
requires total mastery to get it to work competently.

Don't discount it, though. It chips off an assload of your health and is quite
difficult to escape from. Hayato doesn't have any groundbreaking moves that
can bust through the trap when caught in blockstun, so what can he do? You can
try to nail them with an AAA before they start up the trap, but be careful if
they try to bait the assist, or land a snapback. Once you get caught in the
trap, you better hope you have a character with a decent Variable Counter, as
this is Hayato's only hope other than Strider screwing himself up. For
example, Ken's Shoryuken will blow them both away. However, it's better if
your counter can combo to something else, such as Gene Splice xx Super Optic
Blast. Due to Strider's horrible vitality, he can't eat a lot of these
incidents, and a succeessful Variable Counter might screw with Strider's
psyche and make him more scared to try the trap.

Even without Doom, you need to watch out for Strider's individual strengths.
He's quick, he's got a double-jump and teleport, and his pressure abilities
with his orbs and animals can be problematic. However, he's still not even
half the character he could be with Doom. No-Doom Strider can actually be
outprioritized; Hayato's sword carries more range and priority than Strider's,
so even Strider's bull**** basic moves can be taken down by Hayato's pokes and
J.HK. Still though, keep up your guard; your blocking needs to be spot-on when
cornered by his Ourobouros, and his teleporting ensures that cornering HIM
won't be easy. Even with those strengths, Hayato can take down a non-Doom
Strider with his better priority and range combined with Strider's lack of
vitality. A shame that this situation is so rare; You'll hardly see Strider
without his best buddy Doom.

With Strider's heavy reliance on Doom AAA, you'd think that he'd have some
decent assists to recompense for his mooching. However, he doesn't! None of
his assists work decently. His Ground is total ass, his Vajra assist keeps him
on the screen way too long for a somewhat mediocre attack, and his Eagle can't
really do anything other than guard break if it's timed really well. You may
want to snapback Strider and bring in Doom. Although Doom himself is a very
tough battle, he won't benefit from Strider's assists, and if you take him
out, the linchpin of your opponent's team is gone.

----------
50. Thanos
----------  
After three terrible matches, it's good to know that this guy is not quite so
difficult. However, he still has some advantages. For one, he's got above-
average vitality, meaning you'll need to work a bit harder for a win. Also,
he's got four HCs, each of them quite usable and able to do decent damage.
In addition to this, several of his moves have high priority, and he also is
the only character with an infinite run. Even so, this fight isn't super
difficult. Thanos is also the only character without an air throw, and his
size makes him pretty easy to cross up and pressure. All in all, a pretty
even fight.

First of all, you'll want to watch out for Thanos's array of normal moves.
His S.HP carries great priority, so you'll want to stay away from that thing.
His D+HK shield drop in the air can also do some crossing up, somewhat of a
pseudo-triangle jump. His J.HP also has insane priority and covers a lot of
space, and his C.MP can link into his C.HP for a free launch. In short, Thanos
doesn't lack priority, and you'll get pasted if you try to assault his HP
attacks blindly.

Of all his supers, you'll want to watch out for Gauntlet Power the most, as it
gives him the most options. For one, it does good damage, is relatively quick,
and it's pretty safe. Also, it arcs at the end, making it so that if it hits
you in the corner, he can follow up with an aerial chain linked to his HP
attacks, provided he has a decent assist to keep you pinned in the combo, such
as Tron. In addition, he has a glitch where he DHCs before he releases the
Power ball, and the ball stays ATTACHED to him when he tags back in. He can
then launch it whenever he wants, as an assist or on-point. This can create
some really ****ed up situations, so be on guard for it if your opponent ever
decides to go insane and whip out that glitch.

Don't discount his other supers. Gauntlet Soul has a disgustingly fast
start-up, and sucks your life to restore his red life. He can whip it out when
you're doing anything, and its speed combined with its tracking ability can
stop you cold. However, if you block it, Thanos is left wide open for a long
time. So, if you are able to successfully bait the Soul, let him have it with
an extended ground combo. Gauntlet Reality hits you instantly if you're
standing either directly next to Thanos, or on the opposite side of the screen
from him, so be wary. He can only do simple comboes such as C.LP, C.MP xx
Reality if he wants to connect with it, so it's not too threatening an HC in
terms of damage. Gauntlet Space is able to do the most raw damage of all his
HCs if he hits you with the rocks both going up and down, but this simply
doesn't happen that much. Be more wary of it for the chip it'll do.

Thanos's air game consists pretty much completely of his J.HP. This move has
a massive hitbox and great priority. Essentially, you won't be able to defeat
Thanos in an air-to-air conflict, but if he tries to do a bull**** version of
Storm runaway, you can easily bring him down with an AAA. One of Thanos's
crippling weaknesses is the lack of an air-throw. Thus, you could, if you
wanted, take the lead and then just jump back and call assists and he can't
really do a damn thing about it. So an air game is ultimately won by Hayato if
he takes a defensive stance. Ground battles can be won if you work through
his S.HP and be wary for any chains that can lead up to a Gauntlet Power; a
rushing Thanos can be stopped by your quick B+HP and lead up to your own
damaging comboes. All in all not too bad of a fight.

You can find Thanos using his Capture and Dash assists. His Capture assist is
not really anything very threatening, because it comes out and moves so damn
slowly. It requires some pretty dumb set-ups to be able to be comboed in, like
an Akuma HP throw into a corner. His Dash is a relatively high-priority
headbutt charge thing, but it's not as devastating as Juggernaut's Dash assist
for example.

--------------
51. Tron Bonne
--------------
Tron is an interesting opponent who can prove to be quite a handful both on
and off-point. While she is large and carries some lag on some moves, she's
also got an air-dash, great chipping abilities, and good damage oppurtunities
in the corner. In addition to these strengths, her Projectile assist does an
obnoxious amount of damage, and can propel most any combo to crippling levels
of pain. When your opponent picks Tron, you'll always want to be wary of her,
whether on-point or not.

First of all, you'll want to watch out for her drill. This wonderful little
device can be mashed for an insane amount of hits, which is quite detrimental
to your health. Even if it's blocked, it'll still do some wonderful chip.
However, a blocked drill equals a very open and unsafe Tron, so capitalize on
this by socking it to her with a Shiden xx HC. Unfortunately, this rarely
happens, because Tron can pack an assist that makes her drill safe and much
more annoying. Doom comes to mind. She can also do an instant air drill to
help reduce her lag from the ground drill. Basically, you'll want to be wary
for her multitude drill tricks.

Tron's bag of goodies doesn't end there. Her throw game in the corner can lead
to some sick damage. Her C.LK can't be rolled out of when she throws you in
the corner, so you're going to have to try for a Tech Hit. If she does land
a throw, however, she can easily link it to an air throw to Lunch Rush reset.
What this means is that you'll want to be freaking careful about confronting
Tron in close proximity to a corner, especially if she decides to just jump
back and turtle there. If you're feeling ballsy, you can try to tick into a
Byakko Hou and score some excellent damage of your own, but just remember that
her throw game is far easier than yours to implement. Be on the lookout for
missed throws that result in an incredibly laggy S.HP. This is a prime
punishment oppurtunity if it occurs if you just be on the lookout for any
assist calls while she's spinning.

She can also rush down to some extent, using her air dash capabilities. Be on
the lookout for the high-low mixups she can do with that thing. She can easily
go for a near-instant J.LK with her airdash and link it to a devastating
Lunch Rush, an HC that does the same amount of damage no matter how many hits
there were in the combo previously. In the corner, she can totally wreck you
with throw resets. This isn't even factoring any help she may have from
assists. Keep her out of the corner when facing her. She's not as threatening
when in the middle. Call assists and look for laggy oppurtunities that you
can end up landing a poke on and capitalizing. A pretty tough battle, all in
all.

You'll very likely be seeing Tron's Projectile assist when she's off-point,
because it's ridiculous. It does HC-like damage, and any character can insert
it easily into a combo in order to give it the oomph it needs. This assist
has the unfortunate effect of forcing you to be far more cautious against any
rushing character, as this assist coupled with nearly any combo can jack away
more than at least half your life. Try to snap Tron in, but also be wary of
what she herself can do on point.

---------
52. Venom
---------
This symbiote-infected clown will try to wreck you using his very safe Venom
Fang, high-priority HP attacks, and damaging supers. Making sure this doesn't
happen is far easier said than done. Venom's Venom Fang backed with an assist
is hard for Hayato to overcome. You become pushed too far back for a B+HP to
connect, and by the time you rush forward, he's already recovered, and is
calling assists and Venom Fanging you some more. What's a Hayato to do?

First of all, Hayato shouldn't get flustered and just keep getting smashed
by Venom Fangs, because they add up. Venom has the advantage of range against
you, and this will get frustrating, as his Venom Fang will push you out of
B+HP range. Any assist he has (look out for Doom AAA) will only add to your
frustration. Be patient at first, and call out assists of your own to try
and counter his rushes. The Venom Fang, powerful though it may be, is no
match for any invincible AAA. Stopping his offense cold with one of those is
a good start to mount your own pressure. If you lack an AAA, you can wait
for him to get sloppy and do something dumb like jumping over the Fang and
punishing him on the way down.

Venom can choose to go on offense if he wishes, though his rushing won't be
as dangerous as his Venom Fanging. He can jump in with a hard attack and 
combo into his Death Bite HC on the ground, which can really ruin your day
if you're far away from the corner. Other than this, he has no truly
spectacular offensive tricks, but you do need to watch out for it. His jump
ins can just be destroyed by something like Commando AAA, and in that case
he can just revert back to his Venom Fang game.

Essentially, fighting Venom is a battle against your own patience. It all
comes down to how little you play into his hands and try to overcome his
Venom Fang with your own abilities. His anti-air ability sucks, so try to
look for an oppurtunity to jump in and land a B&B combo. His vitality is
slightly greater than yours, so the battle is slanted in Venom's favor due
to that as well as his Fang, but the battle is not impossible. Just don't
get pissed and start running into his crap.

The assist is also the lovable Venom Fang. While fast and packing decent
priority, it's not the greatest assist, as it's not invincible, doesn't
set up for a combo, and doesn't do the best damage. Watch out for it, but
don't panic if you get hit, as it won't be the end of the world. Just, as
with fighting Venom on-point, keep on running into them.

---------------
53. War Machine 
---------------
Although less threatening than his buddy and inspiration Iron Man, War
Machine is still very much a force to be reckoned with. Although his strategy
is essentially the same, there are a few slight differences in Iron Man's
and War Machine's gameplay that warrant mention. His missile-based moves
chip a tad more than Iron Man's lasers, he has a different C.HP, one more
super, and a low shoulder cannon, as well as having a faster air-dash.
However, his disadvantages against Iron Man outweigh the advantages: his
moves are overall slower and more laggy, his Repulsor Blast is worse, his
Proton Cannon is slower and essentially useless due to its tendency to pop the
opponent up, and his assists are worse.

These disadvantages make War Machine essentially a worse Iron Man, so sadly,
you'll hardly ever see him. When you do, however, still be wary of the ****
he can pull. His infinite and the various set-ups to it are just as deadly
as Iron Man's, so you'll want to not get stupid and walk straight into a
Psylocke assist. You'll also want to watch out for his Smart Bombs, as they
actually come out way faster than Iron Man's. However, they carry a ton of
lag, so he can't spam them as well as Iron Man can. These faster Smart Bombs
make War Machine threatening in the air, but this dragged down a bit by his
slower J.HP attacks.

Basically, you'll want to use the same strategy as Iron Man, cautiously using
C.LKs and B+HPs while looking to score a hit. War Machine is worse than Iron
Man on the ground (laggier launcher and worse comboability), so you can worry
slightly less about being obliterated. Still, be cautious; your lag is worse
than his, so you'll want to avoid MPs and thrown-out special moves. If he
nails you with a launcher, he can immediately link it to War Destroyer (his
new HC) and it's your ass.

You'll also want to watch out for his fast air-dash. While less threatening
to Hayato, as he doesn't care about keeping people away, it can still catch
you off-guard and open you up for an ass-whoopin'. His air-dash, his chipping,
his new super, and special moves are the things you have to look out for;
although he is inferior to Iron Man, he is superior to Hayato, and won't
think twice about swatting your ass if you keep making mistakes. Therefore,
you shouldn't make them. Try and keep War Machine on the receiving edge of
your ground comboes, and you might scrape away a win.

As an assist, War Machine's Anti-Air isn't as potent as Iron Man's; it doesn't
last as long and thus is worse for setting stuff up. His Projectile, however,
chips more than Iron Man's. You can see either of these assists in use, but
his Projectile is arguably more dangerous, due to their chip. He's not nearly
as dangerous as Iron Man as an off-point character.

--------------------------
54. Wolverine (Adamantium)
--------------------------
Wolverine is a crazy mo'fo whose insanely fast dash and combo options can give
you a headache. His dash is nearly as fast as Magneto's, he has a Speed Up
move that makes him even FASTER, his super comboes do relatively devastating
damage, and he even has ghetto Tri-jump abilities with his Drill Claw. What
drags him down is his terrible, terrible vitality. A Wolverine absolutely
can't make mistakes, as comboes of any length devastate him. His lack of
air mobility (other than Drill Claw) also makes him inferior to rushing gods
such as Magneto and Iron Man. However, the sheer ferocity of his attacks
still makes him a tough match.

Hayato and Wolverine actually have the same game plan; rush the opponent, and
pray you never get rushed yourself. Wolverine's crazy speed gives him the
advantage in accomplishing this goal, and his faster basic moves give him
the advantage up-close. Both of these facts add up to a very bad thing: Hayato
will more than likely have to be on defense as the battle begins. If Wolvie
has a good coverage assist like Sentinel Ground or Doom Anti-Air it becomes
even more ridiculous, as push-blocks become more difficult and openings
become very scarce. You'll want to come equipped with an invincible AAA or
other fast assist of your own, to try and catch Wolvie in. This will tack
on hefty damage and swing the flow in your favor.

The whole objective in this battle is to try and land two hits through
Wolvie's constant barrage of bull****. This is quite a task to accomplish
through all the flailing limbs, but it can be done. Your advantages here
are your LPs and B+HPs. Their superior range will prove to be boons in this
battle. Don't rely on your C.LKs, as Wolvie's close-range pokes are far
quicker. Only come out with C.LKs if Wolvie is already pinned down by an
assist in the vein of Sentinel Ground. When you land any hit, keep on your
toes, as you NEED to expand that hit into Hayato's bread-and-butter. Landing
two of those comboes kills or cripples Wolverine. If you're crazy psychic,
you can try to hop over a dashing C.LK with a F+HP and follow up with a
B+HP sequence, which would give you crazy style points.

A few notes about Wolvie's extra supers, the Fatal Claw and the Berserker
Rage. They're not the most useful things ever, but the Fatal Claw has the
potential to give him a few extra comboes. The Berserker Rage speeds him
the **** up and grants him an infinite, but it's rare you'll actually see it.
When you do, just be a bit more careful, as his crack-like speed can be used
to more easily conquer your pushblocks.

Wolverine has ass for anti-air, so you can jump-in all day if he doesn't
have good assists backing him up. In case he does, though, be cautious, as
Wolvie becomes ultra-dangerous with the right assists. For example, he can
cross you up very easily with Doom and his Drill Claw, and he can keep you
in blockstun for an annoying amount of time with Sentinel Ground. This battle
depends on if Wolvie makes mistakes, as Wolvie does his damage in this fight
by adding up his comboes, while Hayato does his damage in big chunks with his
B&B. Try desperately to keep Wolvie out, and land that B+HP. Not the hardest
task in the world, but certainly not the easiest.

Wolverine's assists are pretty bad. They're all pretty short-ranged and don't
do much in terms of damage or set-up. They might occasionally tag you for some
damage, but Wolverine all-in-all is far more dangerous on-point.

--------------------
55. Wolverine (Bone)
--------------------
This battle, is, as you should have already deduced (if you didn't, please
die, post-haste), similar to Adamantium Wolverine. Though they share the
same playstyle and objectives, there are a few subtle differences. The most
obvious of these are that Bone Wolvie can't do Fatal Claw or Berserker Rage,
but he is capable of doing the Tornado Claw in the air. His dive kick also
goes diagonally as opposed to vertically. He is also even faster than Wolvie,
and his D.MK doesn't sweep, allowing for easier comboes. However, he takes
even more damage than Wolverine, making him one of the most fragile characters
in the game. Despite this disadvantage, he is still a tougher opponent for
Hayato.

The reason that Wolverine is tougher is because his main disadvantage, the
worse vitality, doesn't really affect Bone Wolvie in this match-up. Hayato
does all of his damage in huge chunks through bread-and-butter comboes, so
a small shift in vitality doesn't make too much of a difference. With this
being said, your objective in this fight is the same as it was against the
Metal Wolverine: land 2 Engetsu/Rasetsu Zan comboes. That's it. Don't count
on Bone Wolvie making it easy for you, however.

Seeing as how Bone Wolverine is even quicker and has more range than his
metal clone, landing a combo becomes an even more difficult task than it
already was. In addition, any slip-up you make is punished harder than it was
with Metal Wolvie, because Bone Wolvie's air comboes are made much more
damaging by the mashable Tornado Claw. His Berserker Barrage is also more
damaging in this incarnation, meaning that he's more dangerous on all fronts.

Although this Wolverine is more dangerous than his counterpart, the battle
is still essentially the same. All it is is that Hayato has a bit less room
for error, and that this Wolvie will give up less oppurtunities for Hayato
to capitalize on. Still keep utilizing your superior range, and try to catch
Wolvie off-guard and sock it to him with a B&B. Two successful comboes will
result in your victory.

One of the main reasons Bone Wolverine is more of a threat than Adamantium
is his Variety assist. It's the only assist in the game that hits low. This
means that it can seriously **** you up if you keep getting smacked by it.
All you really have to do is block low the moment you see Wolverine pop onto
the screen. This can end up destroying you, as your opponent can get free
overheads. You might want to jump back instead. Just try to avoid that
freaking assist.

-----------
56. Zangief
-----------
This is always a fun battle. Zangief is one of the worst characters in Marvel
vs. Capcom 2, meaning he has to be resourceful and clever (and a bit lucky)
to scrape away a win, much like Hayato. Zangief's grappler status is a
detriment in a game like MvC2 with **** flying all over the place. When he
does land a few throws, they do very solid damage, but not as much as Hayato's
B&B, for example. He does, however, have very solid cross-up maneuvers, good
damage on mashable throws, damaging unblockable supers, and the ability to
transform into Mech Zangief, who does a hell of a lot better against Hayato
then regular Gief.

Against regular Gief, you'll want to do two things: avoid getting point-blank,
and avoid Gief's cross-up BS. A cross-up body splash by Zangief can lead to
terrible things, such as HK xx Aerial Russian Slam, an air combo, or various
disgusting FAB set-ups. Essentially, don't get crossed up. Try not to be
under Zangief when he super-jumps, as that's the only way he has of safely
getting around. He can use his HK Aerial Throw to move relatively quickly,
but your launcher can knock him out of that. Regardless of that move's
unsafe-ness, look out for it, as it can snatch you out of normal jumps
surprisingly quickly. If he covers it with an assist such as Sentinel, he
can get around fairly quickly, so keep this in mind and don't let Zangief
gather momentum.

What really hurts regular Zangief in this match is Hayato's sword. Hayato's
quick pokes, B+HP and nasty jump-ins are bad stuff for a Zangief who's looking
to get in grab range. Take advantage of this by following J.HK jump-ins with
quick B+HP Plasma Comboes while looking to score an opening. Zangief has
above-average vitality, so your efforts will have reduced rewards, but they'll
add up. Just make sure you don't get stupid, as Zangief can easily punish
your ground-based comboes with an FAB and turn the momentum in his favor, and
you don't want that happening. Try not to get knocked down, and roll when
you get swept, as usual. This will reduce the risk of getting crossed up,
which has the risk of leading into BS.

When Zangief transforms into Mech Zangief, this battle tilts way in his favor.
Mech Zangief is a HUGE threat to Hayato's health, as all of Hayato's
advantages in this match get washed away by Gief's Hyper Armor. Although he
can't block, he won't get put into hitstun by ANY attack. This is awful for
Hayato, whose offense relies 100% on comboes. Hayato's main ground comboes
get thrown out of the window in this situation, as Zangief will just FAB you
and laugh while doing it. You basically will just want to be as annoying as
you can, jumping around and smashing him with J.HKs, while calling assists.
This goofy little strategy is the most you can hope for against Mecha Gief,
as any combo offense you try to mount will get mercilessly stuffed.

All of Zangief's assists warrant some mention. His most dangerous assist
possibility is his Ground assist, when he's in Mech mode. Mech Gief using
ground assists completely stops rushdown, as a rusher can't catch Mech Gief
due to his hitstun immunity. A Hayato player will want to fear this assist,
and snapbacking Gief in won't do much good, since Hayato sucks so bad against
Mech Gief. Zangief's Throw assist is his running grab, and you'll want to
jump out of its path, as its unblockabnle and can give your enemy a free
launcher. His Air Throw can do terrible things to your normal jump, and is
probably his second most dangerous assist.

==================
8. Other Fun Stuff
==================
Hayato's Costumes:

LP: Hayato sports a white shirt and black pants.
HP: Hayato sports a pinkish tinge to the above costume.
LK: Hayato sports a bluish tinge to LP's costume.
HK: Hayato decides to go for a brownish tinge this time (super ugly)
A1: Hayato goes ultra-red in this ugly outfit.
A2: Hayato's only other decent costume. An all-black ensemble.

==========
9. Thanks!
==========
To:
Marvel
Capcom
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