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=============================================================================
                    MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 2 NEW AGE OF HEROES
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Strider Hiryu Character Guide
=============================================================================
         Arcade and Sega Dreamcast versions - North American release
                         Last Updated: 21 March 2003
                                 Version 1.0
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
                Written and compiled by Jeff Chan [Atom Edge]
                          <atomedge@houston.rr.com>


 Copyright 2003 Jeff Chan [Atom Edge]  All rights reserved

 This document is the sole property of its author, Jeff Chan, who reserves
 all rights.  It is protected by "United States Code: Title 17 - Copyrights"
 and the "Berne Convention for the Protection of Literacy and Artistic
 Works," as well as any and all other International Treaties and copyright
 laws applicable.

 This document is exclusive to GameFAQs <http://www.gamefaqs.com/>.  Under
 no circumstances is this guide to appear anywhere else.

 This document may not be reproduced or retransmitted in any way, shape,
 form, or medium.  You may not alter, edit, format, remove or add materials
 to any part of this document.  It must always remain in the English
 Language.  It will not be translated to any other language for any reason
 whatsoever.  It will not appear in any publication.  This document was in
 absolutely no way intended for commerical, promotional and/or profitable
 uses.  This guide is limited to personal and private use only.  Any other
 uses MUST be priorly approved by the author, Jeff Chan.

 Strider and related articles belong to Moto Kikaku.  Marvel VS. Capcom is
 a registered trademark of Capcom.  Capcom and Capcom Character names and
 distinctive likenesses thereof belong to Capcom Co., LTD.  Marvel and all
 Marvel Character names and distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of
 Marvel Characters, Inc.  No breach of copyright intended.  Any and all
 trademarks and copyrights not directly acknowledged in this document are
 respected.



              +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
                       T A B L E   O F   C O N T E N T S
              +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+


     I.  Forward
           - Revision History
           - Author's Note
           - Strider Hiryu Background Information
           - Miscellaneous Notes
           - FAQ Notations

    II.  Character Analysis
           - General Overview
           - Pros and Cons

   III.  Movelist
           - Command Attacks
           - Special Moves
           - Hyper Combos
           - Assists

    IV.  Playing Style
           - Strider/Doom Trap
           - Strategy
           - Combos
           - Miscellaneous

     V.  Partners
           - Doctor Doom
           - Teams
           - Other Choices

    VI.  Versus
           - Top Tier
           - Secondary Top Tier

   VII.  FOOTER
           - Credits and Special Thanks
           - Final Notes


      *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *


=============================================================================
     I.  Forward
=============================================================================

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Revision History -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Work began on this guide on 17 February 2003 *

Version 1.0  - Conception of guide
21 Mar 2003  - First Draft
190 kb       - Initial Release


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Author's Note -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Marvel VS. Capcom 2 (at the time of this writing) is roughly 3 years old.
Even now, after the release Capcom VS. SNK 2, Tekken 4, and the rest, this
game still dominates the arcades.  Why?  56 characters from the Capcom and
Marvel universe are playable.  The game engine is still the most fast paced
one out there.  And the three character tag action is simply unrivalled.

This guide is written to explain how to effectively play Strider Hiryu
against top level competition.  Now, obviously, I am not the best Strider
player around.  And, obviously, I'm not the greatest person to play MvC2 and
make no pretensions as such.  I am, however, a fairly competent player,
capable of holding his own against the best AHVBing Cable, air-dashing
Magneto, and runaway Storm.

This guide is compatible with both Arcade and Dreamcast versions.  I have
not played the Playstation 2 version, but it likely won't make a difference.
Just for reference, all strategies were devised while playing the Arcade
version but have also all been tested on the Dreamcast version.

Because of the aim of this guide, I will not bother with explaining the
gameplay basics.  I expect you to know what a Snapback, or Hyper Combo, or
Cancelling, or Super Jump, or Air Dashing, etc. is.  If you don't, refer to
Kao Megura's FAQ/Movelist found at GameFAQs:
  <http://db.gamefaqs.com/coinop/arcade/file/marvel_vs_capcom_2_a.txt>

Marvel VS. Capcom 2 is like any other fighting game.  Some characters are
better than other characters.  Strider isn't the top dog of the game, but he
is certainly close enough.  The characters are generally categorized into
tiers.  Different people have different ideas on the rankings and placing of
each character, but the general positions are about the same.  In tournament
play, there are only a select few characters that are used, because they are
simply the best, so I'll go into great detail on fighting these characters.

The tiers (as I see them, again, different people see them in different ways)
are arranged as follows.  Keep in mind, the order they are listed within each
group is alphabetical, and does not denote subrankings within the groupings.

  TOP TIER     Superior Top Tier     Cable
                                     Magneto
                                     Sentinal
                                     Storm
               Sub Top Tier          Blackheart
                                     Captain Commando
                                     Cyclops
                                     Doctor Doom
                                     Iron Man
                                     Psylocke
                                     Spiral
                                     Strider
                                     War Machine
  2ND TIER     Superior 2nd Tier     Cammy
                                     Ken
               Sub 2nd Tier          Anakaris
                                     Dhalsim
                                     Omega Red
  Then everyone else.

Superior Top Tier are the four that are the tournament winners.  Sub Top Tier
are those that are usually along the teams of the tournament winners (of
course, truth be told, War Machine is never used because Iron Man outclasses
him.  Still, he can be just as effective).  The Superior 2nd Tier characters
consist of two.

Cammy and Ken are both subpar as point characters.  Sure, Ken has the
massively damaging Air Hurrican Kick and Cammy is one of the quickest pixies
in the game.  Problem is neither of them can truly compare with the top tier.
They are decent point characters, but what really makes them shine is their
anti-air assists which are invincible (and useful to boot).

Lastly, there is the Sub 2nd Tier.  Dhalsim has the best runaway game out
there, even beating out Storm in some aspects.  But he's not nearly as good.
He can't really accomplish much that the higher tiers can't so he's left in
the dust.  Omega Red is a great character, but hardly ever used because of
his unorthodox style and weak Hyper Combos.  A good Omega Red is a force to
be reckoned with (especially against Strider), but this isn't much a threat
because there are very few Omega Red players.  There are even fewer _good_
Omega Red players.

It should also be noted that Strider is seldom used without Doctor Doom.  To
be quite frank, people in general don't play Strider, they play Strider/Doom.
Though he isn't incapable without Doom, 90% of his usual battle plan is
effectively flushed down the toilet, and he's no longer close to top tier.
Frankly put, for the most part, Strider without Doom is pointless.  It is
akin to playing Cable without meter (or more accurately AHVB).

For the Movelist section, the damage done is equivalent to what is listed for
the damage data feature in the Training Mode for the Dreamcast version.  All
moves where tested on two characters who take normal damage (100%) from all
attacks, Cable and Venom.  Some characters (such as Sentinel) take less
damage from all attacks, whereas some characters (such as Akuma) take a lot
more damage from all attacks.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Strider Hiryu Background Information -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Strider was the name of a action side scrolling platform game first released
as an arcade in 1988 (Japan; the US version was released in 1989).  A second
game starring everyone's favorite ninja was for the NES.

The Striders were a secret society and organization of the world's most
powerful warriors.  Within the organization, the Striders were broken down
into classes.  C-Grade being the lowest, B-Grade the intermediate, and
A-Grade being the best of the best.

Among the A-Grades, a man named Hiryu was the youngest person to ever achieve
such a position.

In the original arcade game, Grand Master Meio, an extraterrestrial, plagued
Earth with viscious monsters who erradicated the great majority of the
world's populance.  It was the duty of Hiryu to stop and defeat Grand Master
Meio, a feat he obviously succeeds in.

In the Nintendo game, Hiryu left the Striders after a falling out.  He was,
of course, forced back into action when Strider Matic uses hostages to
attempt to coerce Hiryu into killing his friend Strider Kain.  After some
events, Hiryu uncovers the ZAIN project, which is out to control human's
minds.  Obviously Hiryu again saves the day and all is well.

His weapon of choice is a specialized blade called the Sipher (which is a
stylized spelling of Cipher).  It is unique because of its double hilt
design, which has an additional handle running perpendicular to the blade.

Basically, a Strider is a ninja belonging to a group of highly powerful
warriors.  So his first name is not Strider.  His name is Hiryu, and Strider
is simply a title/position.  Still, I prefer to refer to him as Strider
anyway.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Miscellaneous Notes -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-- Name References --

Hiryu means flying dragon in Japanese.  Strider, as mentioned above, is
simple a fiction organization of ninjas.  It is also his position or title,
when used in "Strider Hiryu."  Kind of like "Officer Smith," or "Governor
Lewis."

The term "Cipher" as a noun denotes a nonentity which has no effect or value,
or the absense of quantity, as in the numerical zero.  More commonly, though,
it is used as a verb to mean decoding a cryptographic system of transposed,
arbitrary letters, numbers and symbols.

Cypher is also an unmanned remote controlled aircraft used for surveillance.
Metal Gear Solid 2 fans will know what one looks like.  Obviously, none of
these have anything to do with a weapon.  I suppose Cipher is simply a trendy
sounding name as it appears in various different video games under various
spellings (such as Seifer, the main protagonist's rival, in Final Fantasy
VIII, and Cypher, a mecha, in Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram).


-- Entrances --

If you start Strider as a point character, he can have three different
entrance animations.

* The first has Strider flying in on his glider.  When he gets into position,
  he drops down and lands, while the glider flys offscreen.
* Strider will ride in on one of his mechanical Tigers and teleport off of it
  into position.  The Tiger will continue off screen.
* Strider will be standing in position along with a capsule.  He performs a
  c.MP to open the satellite, which walks offscreen.


-- Winning Poses --

Once Strider wins a battle, he, like every other character, has an assortment
of winning poses.

* Strider defies gravity and "falls" from the ground, and "lands" on the
  ceiling.  Reminiscent of the old Strider games.
* Strider assumes the Ragnarok pose with the Sipher blade held in front of
  his face.  One of his mechanical Tiger leaps on screen as well.
* Strider takes the same pose as above and then slashes his hands downward.
* He will turn away from his opponent.


-- Colors --

LP - This gives Strider the standard costume.  It is primarily blue, with a
     red character on the shirt and red scarf.  His gloves and belt are
     white.
LK - Pretty much exactly the same as the standard costume, with the exception
     being the costume is a yellowish-white as opposed to the blue.
HP - The costume is primarily green, with an orange scarf and character.
HK - The main costume is a brownish-maroon color.  The scarf and character
     are both orange.
A1 - The costume is mainly black.  The scarf and character are both white.
     His gloves and belt are red.
A2 - His costume is bright red, with a white scarf and character design.  The
     gloves and belt are grey.



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- FAQ Notations -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gone is the tradition button styles made classic by Capcom.  Though the six
button layout still exists, the uses are somewhat (read: largely) different.
And in case you're playing the DC version, seriously consider investing in a
joystick.  Otherwise, the level of enjoyment kind of dwindles with the thumb
burn caused by the standard Sega controller.

This FAQ will make use simple notations that are generally used throughout
the MvC2 community, for your convenience.  They are as follows:

     P  - Any punch
     K  - Any kick
    PP  - Both punch buttons
    KK  - Both kick buttons

    LP  - Light Punch
    LK  - Light Kick
    MP  - Medium Punch
    MK  - Medium Kick
    HP  - Hard Punch (also referred to as Fierce)
    HK  - Hard Kick (also referred to as Roundhouse)

    s.  - Standing
    c.  - Crouching
    j.  - Jumping
    sj. - Super Jumping
    dj. - Double Jumping

    AAA - Anti-air Assist
    xx  - Cancel into
    DHC - Delayed Hyper Combo (will also be used as a verb, as in, DHC into
          another character's Hyper Combo)

  1/2/3 - Denotes a team.  Keep in mind, Strider/Doom/Sentinel is not
          necessarily the same team as Sentinel/Strider/Doom.  In different
          arrangements, team dynamics can alter greatly.



=============================================================================
    II.  Character Analysis
=============================================================================

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- General Overview -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Strider is easily a top tier character.  Of all the Capcom characters, he is
basically top dog (which isn't saying much considering the only other Capcom
character considered top tier would be Captain Commando, due solely on his
AAA).

Strider's most obvious strength (and his general strategy) revolves around
Doctor Doom's Molecular Shield assist and the infamous Strider/Doom Trap.
This is widely considered the best trap in the game, and fairly difficult to
escape from.  On top of this, used effectively, it is a chipping monster.

Aside from that, Strider is a fairly fast fighter, with a rushdown game not
to be taken lightly.  His attacks are fairly easy to chain together, and most
of his normal normal attacks have high priority.  Strider is highly mobile,
as well, with a double jump, and his mighty teleporting abilities.

Against some characters, Strider can even safely build meter while chipping
at the same time by calling animals and assists.

His Hyper Combos may not seem like much to the casual player, but they are
quite effective.  Chief amongst then, Ouroboros.  This Hyper Combo basically
acts to immediately put Strider on the offensive.  If it connects, you can
mash buttons for crazy damage, and safely tag in another character (which
leads to a free combo for extra damage as well).  The great thing about this
Hyper Combo, though, is that unlike all others in the game, it is almost as
effective if it gets blocked.  This will put the opponent in the Strider/Doom
trap, that will chip their health away at obscene rates.

The greatest strength possessed by Strider is his matchups.  Against most all
of the top tiers, he fares rather well.  In addition, he has very few terribly
bad matchups.

Of course, Strider is not without his faults.  For starters, his Achilles'
Heel is his stamina.  He ranks amongst the bottom five characters out of 56
in terms of taking damage.  Every attack does 25% more damage on him, than it
would on a character who takes normal damage.  What this means is that when
you make a mistake, you're going to get punished.  Two AHVBs from Cable and
you've got one dead Strider.

Further, unlike most all other Top Tier characters in the game, Strider is
the sole one who cannot be an effective assist (then again, some of the Top
Tier characters are used solely for assists).  All three of his assist
attacks are sub-par, at best.  In addition, using them is a risky venture to
begin with, because if the opponent anticipates it, Strider takes a whooping
(which is considerable when you factor in both his crappy stamina and the
fact that characters take more damage when they act as an assist).

To add to that, Strider is played primarily with Dr. Doom.  So choosing
Strider can mean you have two of the three characters already selected for
you.  Not necessarily a bad thing, considering Doom is Top Tier in his own
rights, but the freedom just isn't there.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Pros and Cons -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-- Pros (i.e. Strider's lovable qualities) --

  * The Strider/Doom Trap is the best in the game.  It is inescapable, easy
    to start up, chips like nobody's business and leaves Strider safe if you
    decide to cut it short or are forced to (i.e. no more meter to burn).
  * He is fast.  His hits are quick enough to beat out most other character's
    and he can chain them together with the best of them.
  * Strider is a small target.
  * Strider is highly mobile.  He has a double jump, fast dash, and most
    importantly, the Warp.
  * The teleport, double jump and speed all combine to make him one of the
    cross-up kings in this game, and he doesn't even need an air dash to
    accomplish this.
  * Huge priority.  His j.HP is a great attack that overrides most other
    character's attacks.  Likewise, his air throw beats out most others.
  * He has a decent chipping and meter building game against some characters
    by throwing out animals and calling assists.
  * The Eagle is a great guard breaking method for incoming characters.
  * Strider has very few truly bad matchups.
  * Matches up well with many of the top tier characters.
  * Ouroboros is among the best Hyper Combos in the game.  It gains something
    regardless of whether it connects or is blocked.
  * Legion is a one frame start-up, meaning it provides a very useful means
    of switching to another character.
  * Matches up well with most all of the top tiers.
  * And here's the money shot:  Ninjas are freakin' cool.

-- Cons (i.e. what makes Strider a sissy-man) --

  * Apparently, he was prodigy in the ninja arts, yet no one ever bothered to
    teach the guy how to take a hit.  Strider's a pansy in this sense, taking
    more damage from attacks than characters like B.B. Hood, Dan, Dhalsim,
    Morrigan, and Megaman.  Frankly put, his stamina is the pits.
  * No Hyper Combos can be performed in the air.
  * He deals low damage per hit.
  * His assists are useless even on their best day.
  * Since a great deal of his game plan revolves around Dr. Doom, you're
    basically forced to pick him.  There are alternatives, but none of which
    are even close to being as effective.  Picking Strider essentially means
    you are forced to have two-thirds of your team already picked out for
    you.
  * Ouroboros' duration truly blows.
  * He is a meter hog, and cannot effectively build it for himself.
  * Strider possesses a plethora of useless moves.
  * If proper care is not taken, Strider becomes highly predictable.
  * One mistaken is all it takes to wipe him out.

Basically, what all this means is that Strider is a highly effective point
character who can rushdown and trap, while remaining fairly difficult to pin
down.  The problem, though, is that one opening is all it takes to eliminate
him.  Strider is a high-roller; he is a high-stakes bet and in this game, it
is all or nothing.



=============================================================================
   III.  Movelist
=============================================================================

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Command Attacks -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-- Light Punch --

Deals 3 damage.

STANDING:  The s.lp is a simple martial arts spear-hand attack.  It has
little range and deals close to no damage (like most other jab attacks in the
game.  Doesn't matter though, as this jab is one of the fastest light punches
in the game, making it great for starting up a chain combo.

CROUCHING:  The c.lp is essentially exactly the same as the s.lp.  The only
difference is purely cosmetic, with Strider crouching down while poking an
opponent.

JUMPING:  The j.lp serves the same purpose as its standing and crouching
counterparts.  It is a very fast jab attack which serves to start a chain
combo.  This is very useful, because this is the convention beginning attack
for Aerial Rave combos.  The reason is because it starts rather high in
comparison to Strider's body as opposed to his j.lk, which hits below his
character.  Of course, most people are generally used to starting off an
Aerial Rave with the j.lp anyway, so it isn't remarkable.


-- Light Kick --

Deals 3 damage.

STANDING:  Strider's s.lk is a simple kick to an opponent's knee.  Much like
the s.lp, it has limited range, and has no purpose in terms of trying to deal
much damage to an opponent.  Likewise, it is simply a fast attack used to
start up a chain combo, or used for a chain combo (e.g. s.lp, s.lk, and
whatever).

CROUCHING:  Strider will perform a short leg extension from along the ground.
Again, like the standing variation, it is short-ranged and deals close to no
damage.  The difference, though, is that this is a low-hitting attack (i.e.
you must block low to avoid being hit by it).  Great for starting up combos.
It also serves as the attack to hit an opponent lying down off the ground
(OTG) into Strider's launcher.

JUMPING:  Again, this is a simple, quick attack used in chain combos.  The
actual attack, itself, connects below Strider's body.  Aside from simply
being within combos, this is the attack used to catch an opponent in the
double jump combo.  A fast and to the point attack.


-- Medium Punch --

Deals 6 damage.

STANDING:  Sipher, Strider's blade, is used to slash at head level.  Like all
his normal moves, this one is quick.  In the original MvC, this was a great
attack, along with the MK, because it was so fast and had decent priority.
Now, to access it, you first have to connect with either LP or LK, making
this attack highly unremarkable aside from being within chain combos.

CROUCHING:  Basically the exact same thing as the standing variation.  The
only thing of note is that this is better because Strider's a smaller target
when performing the crouching medium punch.

JUMPING:  Again, exactly the same with the exception being Strider is now in
the air.  In the original MvC this was a great lead-in to attack characters
who super jump around because it is highly fast, and has better priority than
the LP or LK.  Of course, in this game you cannot lead-in with it.  The good
news is that the way Strider is played in this game makes the lead-in not as
necessary.


-- Medium Kick --

Deals 6 damage.

STANDING:  Strider swings Sipher from one knee to the opposite shoulder.
Nothing too remarkable.  Just like all his other normal attacks, it is quick,
deals little damage but chains well into other attacks.

CROUCHING:  Again, Strider performs the same attack, except he is crouching
down.

JUMPING:  Once again, the animation is fairly similar.  Used mainly in the
middle of a chain combo.


-- Hard Punch --

Deals 12 damage.

STANDING:  Strider takes a step forward and swings Sipher in a wide and
ranged (for Strider's attacks, anyway) arc starting from the floor, going up.
When it is over, he will be back in the same position as before the attack.
It is rather fast, deals moderate damage, and has decent priority.  This
attack knocks the opponent away from Strider.  Not quite to the effect of
Doom's Fierce, or others like it, but it keeps opponents at a respectable
distance.  The nice thing about about this attack is that the manner in which
the opponent is knocked away leaves them vunerable.  For example, you can use
s.HP xx Legion, DHC into another Hyper Combo with fast start up (Proton
Cannon, Hyper Sentinel Force, etc.).

CROUCHING:  This attack is Strider's only launcher.  Starting from the floor
in a crouching position, and stands straight up, slicing in from of him with
Sipher, ending when the blade is directly above his head.  This attack has
very good range.  The priority is quite good as well.  Used primarily to
start air combos, it will be used often enough.  A nice bonus to this attack
is that you can immediately go into the c.HK if blocked.  This catches _many_
people off guard, as it isn't a technique enough characters can perform.
Usually people try to rush in after a missed launcher because most characters
are left open.  The confusion from an instant low hitting sweep bothers many
players.

JUMPING:  This is much like the standing fierce, only done in the air (and
he swings Sipher from top to bottom, though this makes little difference).
Some use this as a combo ender.  It is much more effective than the j.HK,
because it covers a better area (directly in front of Strider) and is just a
bit faster.  In addition, you can chain this into the j.HK, but not the other
way around.  Because of this, it is generally more effective to use that the
j.HK.

UNIQUE LAUNCHER:  Deals 13 damage.  Accomplished by pressing down-forward
fierce.  The animation and effects are basically identical to the standard
c.HP launcher.  The only difference lies in the damage dealt, as this unique
launcher deals 1 extra point of damage at 13, as opposed to the standard 12
damage dealt by c.HP.  It is put to little use, though, as one point of
damage isn't likely to effect the outcome of a battle and if you perform
other hits that combo before the launcher, performing the unique launcher
will still activate the c.HP launcher, instead.


-- Hard Kick --

Deals 12 damage.

STANDING:  Strider steps forward and swings Sipher from shoulder height down
to knee height and back up to the other shoulder.  Unlike the s.HP, this
Strider will remain in the position that the initial step puts him in.
Its effects are like the s.HP, it has fairly good range (actually a bit
better), deals moderate damage and is quick.  The priority is about the same
as well.

CROUCHING:  Strider sweeps the Sipher along the ground.  This is a fast and
highly effective low-hitting attack that will knock a person down.  The range
is poor, but Strider is meant to be played in an opponent's face anyway.  To
add to its usefulness, this attack can be performed immediately after the
c.HP launcher, which catches many opponents off guard.  Likewise, if this
attack connects, Strider can use his c.LK to OTG an opponent.  The timing is
a bit tricky, but simple once you get it.  As soon as an opponent is tripped
by this, wait for his/her/its back to hit the floor.  Now use the c.LK to
OTG.  This OTG can be followed by the c.HP.  Makes for some interesting play,
because if an opponent blocks a c.HP and comes in to punish Strider, they are
met with the c.HK to trip, then the c.LK to OTG, and back into the c.HP to
launch.  Aside from that, you can effectively cancel this attack into the Ame
no using the LP to combo.  More effectively you can cancel this into the
Tiger calling, which is highly effective at pinning an opponent (and starting
the Strider/Doom trap).

JUMPING:  Animation wise, not much different than the standing roundhouse
variation.  It is useless compared to the jumping fierce to protect Strider,
and not as effective a combo ender either, because of the direction of the
attack.  It does have good reach, however, and sports amazing priority for
jumping down at an opponent.  If you end a combo with the j.HP, you can
perform this right after.  You can chain the two together, but it is often
very difficult.  Of course, even if you miss, which you likely will, it
builds that bit of extra meter before Strider lands.  Not much, but more than
if you hadn't done it.  Generally, if you're coming down at an opponent, this
is the attack to use, since its priority beats out most grounded attacks.  Of
course, if your opponent is also in the air, the j.HP has better coverage and
angle of attack.

SLIDING KICK:  Also deals 12 damage.  Accomplished by pressing down-forward
roundhouse.  Strider will slide low along the ground with his foot extended.
He covers a good distance (roughly three-fifths of the screen).  The speed
isn't all too impressive, but since it has to be blocked low, it can catch a
few opponents off guard at times.  Be careful as the recovery lag on this
move is atrocious.


-- Throws --

Deals 16 damage.

STANDING HP:  Strider grabs the opponent, jumps high into the air and brings
them crashing down.  Nothing particularly great as the opponent ends up away
from Strider, so a follow up just is not likely.

STANDING HK:  Strider will flips around over the opponent, and use his sickle
to throw them across the screen.  If they land here, you cannot effectively
follow up.  If they roll (effectively coming back to Strider), be prepared.

JUMPING HP:  Strider will attach his feet to his opponents throat (using his
mad ninja skillz, no less), perform a 270 flip in mid-air (again, mad ninja
skillz), and drive them into the ground.  The great thing about this throw
is that it has insanely high priority.  If he's close enough, Strider will
catch anyone out of whatever they are doing and throw them.  What makes this
even more effective than most air throws is that it can be performed
immediately out of a teleport.


-- Dashing --

STANDARD:  Either tap forward, forward or tap LP and HP at the same time to
dash.  Strider's entire dash covers about two-thirds of the screen.  The
first part is a quick sprint that goes roughly half the screen.  Then Hiryu
will skid to a halt.  The last part is quite slow.  Like most dashes it can
be cancelled midway to attack, crouch, block or jump.  Very effective to
close the distance and start up a chain combo, especially with an assist to
cover Strider and pin an opponent down (such as Sentinel's Ground assist
[Drones]).

WAVEDASH:  Many characters can utilize the cancelling aspect of a dash to
"wavedash."  This is based on the idea that most dashes (Strider's included)
start quickly and end slower.  So the basic idea is to dash, then cancel it
with a crouch before the slow part begins.  After cancelling the dash, you
can dash again.  Doing this continuously covers a long distance _very_
quickly.  Characters like Doom make very good use of this technique.  Hiryu
doesn't get much use out of this because he can travel more effectively using
the teleport ability, but it is good to know how to use.


-- Jumping --

DOUBLE JUMP:  Strider is one of the few characters in the game with a double
jump.  During a jump or superjump, Strider can jump an additional time.  This
helps Strider to position himself, as well as adds an extra dimension to his
air combos that many other characters do not have.  It also has the bonus of
being able to stay in the air longer and avoid certain ill-timed Hyper Combos
by your opponent.

TRIANGLE JUMP:  When Strider meets a wall while in the air, he can bounce off
it to perform another jump.  Though not too useful, it does allow Strider a
bit more freedom when in the air.  A nice bonus is that performing a triangle
jump will reset Strider's double jump.  So you can effectively superjump,
then double jump, "land" on a wall to triangle jump, then perform another
double jump before landing.  Of course, you cannot triangle jump again until
you touch the ground, so you cannot stay in the air indefinately.  Only
Strider, Marrow and Chun-Li have access to both a double jump and triangle
jump, although their are characters with an air dash and triangle jump.  Of
course, with the exception of characters with the flying ability, Chun-Li
trumps all with a _triple_ jump, triangle jump, and air dash, making for some
sick hang time.

* Take note, this is not to be confused with the Triangle Jumping associated
with airdashers like Magneto or Storm.  Their triangle jump consists of doing
a super jump and cancelling it into a down-forward airdash, which is
infinitely more useful.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Special Moves -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The names of moves are referenced from Kao Megura's FAQ, simply because his
translations are basically the ones everyone is familiar with, and I would
prefer not to confuse anyone with _my_ translations, which on top of sounding
really weird, are likely incorrect.  You can find his works at GameFAQs here:
<http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/85.html>.


-- A Quick Reference List --

Ame-no-Murakumo             down, down-forward, forward + P
Excalibur                   [In air] down, down-forward, forward + P or K
Gram (standing)             forward, down, down-forward + P
Gram (crouching)            forward, down, down-forward + K
Gram (air)                  [In air] forward, down, down-forward + P
Vajra                       down, down-back, back + K
Kabe Haritsuki              down, down-back, back + P
Warp                        back, down, down-back + P or K
Formation A                 down, down-forward, forward + K
Formation B                 charge back, forward + P (again to shoot fire)
Formation C                 charge back, forward + K


-- Ame-no-Murakumo --

down, down-forward, forward + P
Deals 14 damage.

Strider quickly moves forward and performs a swing with the Sipher similar to
the s.HK.  If you use the LP, Strider will travel a short distance before
attacking and if you use the HP, he will traverse much of the screen before
attacking.

This attack isn't particularly useful.  It has slow startup, slow recovery,
few practical uses and is easily punishable.  Its uses are far and few
between.

Amongst them is that this attack (only the LP variation) can combo directly
after a c.HK.  Be absolutely positive, though, that you are going to connect,
otherwise, prepare for retaliation.  You can, of course, use this liberally
during a Strider/Doom trap, as it does chip, and with Ouroboros activated,
you have no fear of being attacked back.

Given that for the attack to be performed, Strider has to step along the
ground, this attack can not be performed in the air.  Instead, Strider will
perform the Excalibur attack when in air.

NAME ORIGIN:  Ame no murakumo is Japanese and translates directly into
English as "Rain of gathering clouds."  There are no clouds or rain present
for this attack, so I assume it is simply a stylish name for the move.  I
suppose one could see the sword swipe as a cloud shape.


-- Excalibur --

[In air] down, down-forward, forward + P or K
This attack is multi-hitting; damage dealt depends on how many hits connect.
  * One hit will deal 7 damage.
  * Two hits will collectively deal 14 damage.
  * Three hits will collectively deal 21 damage.
  * Four hits will collectively deal 27 damage.
  * Five hits will collectively deal 33 damage.
  * Six hits will collectively deal 38 damage.

This is an air-exclusive attack.  Strider will momentarily pause in mid-air
then dash forward in a linear path, followed by after-images of himself.  If
an opponent comes in contact with him, they get hit.  At most, you can hit
six times per Excalibur.  If you connect with at least five hits, this is
Strider's most powerful attack.

The distance traverse is roughly two-thirds of the screen.  He can go in
four different trajectories depending on which attack button was used.
  * LP makes him go roughly 70 degrees (think 1 o'clock)
  * LK makes him go roughly 290 degrees (think 5 o'clock)
  * HP makes him go roughly 20 degrees (between 2 and 3 o'clock)
  * HK makes him go roughly 340 degrees (between 3 and 4 o'clock)

Once you perform this move, Strider is totally vunerable and uncontrollable
until he lands again.  The riskiest, of course, is the LP variation, with the
LK variation being the least risky (though still not safe).  Given how
predictable the trajectory is, the use of this move should be severely
limited to only two cases.

The first is to use it at the end of an air combo, when you are positive you
will connect.  In these cases, it is almost always best to use the LP
variation, as you get the max number of hits, whereas the other ones tend to
only hit a few times.  If you happen to miss, expect a dead Strider.  Again,
don't do it unless you are guaranteed to connect at the end of the combo.

The second is to use it to get across the screen while an opponent is locked
into position by a Hyper Combo, and the double jump just isn't a viable
alternative.  This can happen in many cases, such as Cable's AHVB or Iron
Man's Proton Cannon.

NAME ORIGIN:  Excalibur is the well-known magical sword belonging to King
Authur of Authurian legend.  Excalibur is said to be the sword of the true
king.  In one account, Authur is a young boy who happens to be the only
person capable of removing the fabled sword from a stone it is magically
imbued to.  In a different account, Authur is instead given the mystical
blade from the Lady of the Lake.  After a final battle with his illegitimate
son Mordred, Authur is critically wounded.  He has Sir Benivere throw the
sword into the lake (an order he does not obey until the third request),
returning it to the Lady of the Lake.  Authur is then carried off to Avalon
where he rests destined to awake and lead his people again when the time
arises.


-- Gram --

forward, down, down-forward + P or K
Deals 18 damage (the standing and air variants).
Deals 16 damage (the crouching variant).

Strider pauses momentarily then performs an attack similar to his MP, only
that this time, it reaches three-fourths of the screen.  The standing
version (P) deals slightly more damage and can be done in the air.  The
crouching variation (K) deals slightly less damage, but makes Strider less of
a target.

The start-up and recovery are bad enough that a fast character (e.g. Magneto)
or a character with a super fast attack (e.g. Cable) can make Strider pay
for using this move.  There really isn't any use to this move, as any purpose
it can serve can be accomplished just as well using a different attack.


-- Vajra --

down, down-back, back + K
Deals 17 damage.

Strider teleports and reappears with several mirror images of himself in
mid-air.  All images converge on a single spot with a kick.  Using the LK
version, Strider will appear closer to the left side of the screen, whereas
the HK variant will have him reappear closer to the right side of the screen.

Like most all of Strider's special attacks, this has a slow recovery, so if
blocked, Strider will likely get beaten pretty badly.  What's worse is that
it has a very slow execution, so anyone can see this coming a mile away, and
be able to block.  On top of this, Strider only has two places he can
reappear after execution, making this very predictable as well.  All of this
is before factoring in that the attack doesn't deal much damage, certainly
not enough to justify use.

It does have a strong point in that the startup is deceptively quick.  Of
course, this isn't much use when you factor in that the slow execution and
slow recovery make this all but moot.  All in all, it is an attack that has
no great uses and should be avoided.

NAME ORIGIN:  Vajra is the thunderbolt which serves as the primary weapon of
the chief Vedic god Indra.  Additionally, it can be translated as diamond,
because the sanskrit of vajra means adamantine.  Further, in Mahayana
Buddhism, the vajra is a meditation objects.


-- Kabe Haritsuki --

down, down-back, back + P

More commonly known as the Wall Cling because that is what it is.  Strider
will jump back and cling to the wall that his back was facing before, using a
small sickle.  He can do an assortment of things while in this position, but
he cannot block, and will involuntarily fall off the wall after an extended
period of time.

Moving the joystick up or down will cause Strider to do so.  Tapping forward
will cause Strider to fall off the wall, thus ending the action.  Either
punch will cause an attack similar to the s.MP.  Either kick will cause
Strider to leap off the wall, making a direct beeline to his target with a
flying kick.  LK typically places him near the middle of the screen, whereas
HK will travel further.  Of course, this is not always constant because of
his position on the wall.  Tapping back, then forward will cause Strider to
glide straight over to the far side wall.

When falling off the wall towards the ground, Strider is completely helpless.
Until he reaches the floor and lands, he cannot block, double jump or attack.
So if you get caught with your pants down by performing a Wall Cling, do not
immediately try and get down.  You're still vunerable.  Instead, depending on
who the opponent is, you should either attempt to kick, or climb higher to
bait the opponent into a super jump, at which point you can safely land.  Of
course, certain characters like Cable and Storm will simply pull out a Hyper
Combo, and there isn't anything Strider can do about it.

This move is far from helpful, and should be avoided at all costs.  Using
this move is akin to bending over and asking someone to give you a swift kick
in the ass.  You'll simply get blown out of the sky from something like an
AHVB, Mega/Super Optic Blast, or Air Photon Array.

As a note, many inexperienced players tend to perform this attack when
attempting the Warp.  Be wary of this.

NAME ORIGIN:  The name is in Japanese.  Kabe means wall, and Haritsuki means
to cling to.  So, together, it means Wall Cling.


-- Warp --

back, down, down-back + P or K

Far and wide, this is Strider's most used as well as useful special move.
Learn to do it quickly and effectively in your sleep, or your Strider isn't
going to be very effective at all.  Simply put: the ability to use Warp is
what will make or break your Strider.

When performs, Strider will quickly fade out and reappear elsewhere on the
screen.
  * Using LP will place Strider in the top left of the screen.
  * Using HP will place Strider in the top right of the screen.
  * Using LK will place Strider in the bottom left of the screen.
  * Using HK will place Strider in the bottom right of the screen.

When using either punch buttons, Strider will appear in mid-air at just under
jumping height, and begin to fall to the ground.  He can immediately attack,
block or double jump from this position, as well as call an assist.  If you
use either kicks, Strider will appear on ground level, but will require a
split second to land.  This isn't too much of a problem, as it doesn't take
long for him to fall all the two centimeters, but the position is pretty bad
compared to that of the punch variations.  Truth be told, there is no point
to use the kick variants with the exception of confusing your opponent if you
become too predictable.

The beauty of this move is two-fold.  First, Strider can attack immediately
after a punch teleport.  This is even more useful after factoring in his
insane air-throw priority.  Second, the punch variations usually place
Strider on the other side of the opponent, effectively crossing them up.
This is doubly effective if you call an assist before performing the teleport
at which point you'll sandwich the opponent between your assist and Strider.
Lastly, 

This move provides Strider with the level of mobility unobtainable through
double jumping and wavedashing alone.  It makes it so he can be in any
position he needs to be, and is useful to counter many top tier strategies.
Unlike various other character's teleporting abilities (such as Psylocke and
Spiral), Strider can only perform while standing on the ground.

Again, the Warp is the key to a good Strider.  Used ineffectively, you will
either end up performing a Wall Cling (and subsequently getting Strider
killed) or teleport right into a big attack.  Used effectively, Strider can
counter a great deal of attacks, Hyper Combos and traps, effectively negate
many strategies, go from defense to offense smoothly, and start up the
Strider/Doom trap at any time he so pleases.  In all seriousness, this move
alone can defeat many top level characters like Cable or Sentinel.

The one constant counter to the teleport is an anti-air assist.  Worseover,
most all players make use of AAAs, as most come equipped with either instant
startup or invincibility; sometimes they come with both, which really gets
nasty.  Of course, with the proper use of blockstun, calling animals and
assists, baiting out the opponent's assist and pushblocking, you can get
around this minor snag.


-- Formation A --

down, down-forward, forward + K
Deals 16 damage.

This attack allows Strider to call his mechanical animals.  Using LK will
cause a tiger to charge from one side of the screen to the other, starting
from the screen that Strider's back is facing.  HK will cause much the same
effect, except an eagle will fly at jump height across the screen.

Each is quite fast, both in startup, execution, and recovery.  The problem,
though, is that each animal has to start from one edge of the screen, unlike
most projectiles which originate from the actual character.  The uses for
these moves are very limited, but they end up being used very much as these
purposes are essential to a good Strider player.

The tiger is usually used at the end of a chain combo on the ground.  This
keeps an opponent pinned so that Strider can either cancel into Ouroboros
and start a trap, or he can call an assist, and teleport to the other side of
the screen and resume an offense from there.  In fact, you can use both of
these strategies together.  Basically, the tiger is used as a means of
pinning an opponent down after a rushdown combo.

The eagle is quite good at snuffing air-dashes like Magneto and Storm from
performing triangle-jump rushdowns.  Aside from this, it can serve to stop
Storm's dreaded Hail Hyper Combo.  It's main use, though, is that it can be
effectively used to guard break incoming characters after a successful
Snapback, or after defeating a character.  This proves highly valuable.

Both the tiger and the eagle are used often before cancelling into an
Ouroboros, because they can pin an opponent down, and effectively start a
trap.  Aside from this, they can be used in conjuction with a chipping, or
space controlling assist to effectively build meter and do quite a bit of
block damage in the process.  Not the greatest of traps (given it is highly
escapable), but against characters with bad/slow projectiles such as
Blackheart (and to a lesser extent, Storm) or those without projectiles,
like Cammy, it can prove quite frustrating, and when they do manage to
escape, they can't advance on you until Strider is fully capable of
fighting back.


-- Formation B --

charge back, forward + P

When performed, this causes one of the trademark satellites to appear behind
Strider.  This, in itself, doesn't actually accomplish anything.  However, if
you perform the attack again, Strider will fire off a fireball from the
satellite, which will subsequently disappear.  The fireball deals 14 damage.

The satellite can only be summoned while Strider is on the ground.  It can be
fired, though, from the ground or in mid-air.  Because the fireball comes
from the satellite, and not Strider, it will begin just behind him.

The uses for this move are quite few.  Using it, like most things, leaves
Strider way too open because he has to perform it twice.  You are better off
acting as if it weren't even in your arsenal.


-- Formation C --

charge back, forward + K
Hits twice.  The first deals 12 damage, the second 20.  32 damage total.

Strider will call his eagle again, this time it is carrying a very large bomb
for the opponent.  When it reaches a certain point, it will drop the cargo,
which will proceed to fall at a slow rate due to the attached parachute.  The
bomb will detonate on impact, be it from the ground, or hopefully, an
opponent's head.

This is another one of those attacks that have slow start up, slow execution,
and slow recovery.  Strangely, many consider this an effective attack,
because if someone attempts to punish Strider, they get off a few hits, then
have the large bomb fall on their heads, effectively snuffing their attack.

Strider will be completely vunerable until after he releases his summoning
pose.  This takes a day short of forever.  For him to release his pose, the
bomb must travel to its destination, then fall halfway down the screen before
any action can be taken.

Using LK will drop the bomb at about one-third of the screen.  HK will prompt
the bomb to fall at about five-sixths of the screen.

The only truly effective use for this attack is against Cable.  You summon a
bomb, Cable uses AHVB.  Strider takes some damage, and the bomb then falls on
Cable's head, causing him to take damage and preventing him from chaining any
addition AHVBs which would kill Strider.  Of course, the bomb only deals 32
damage, and AHVB will do much more, so the tradeoff is not in Strider's favor
in the least.

The main reason people do this is because they plan to cancel out of the bomb
into Ouroboros.  Against most opponents, Strider would simply call an animal,
then cancel into Ouroboros from that.  Against Cable, this is unsafe, as the
animal starts from one side of the screen, with Cable on the other.  AHVB
happens to be too damn fast for the tiger or eagle to effectively cover
Strider.  The bomb, once summoned, will remain onscreen regardless of whether
Strider takes damage or not.  So the idea is to cancel into Ouroboros from
the bomb, as if Cable catches on and decides to pull out his Hyper Combo, he
won't get as far as normal because of the bomb looming over his head.

Of course, this isn't a full proof strategy against a good Cable.  Aside from
the fact that the Cable player will likely want to trade hits with Strider,
he can do two other things that makes the bomb a gamble, at best.  First of
all, he could simply perform the Hyper Combo, then DHC into a safer character
such as Storm when needed.  Secondly, since there are only two spots the bomb
can fall, and the move takes way too long to pull off, Cable has plenty of
time to simply walk into a blind spot and attack from there.

Still, if you can't get into Ouroboros through other means, this provides an
opening, somewhat.  Just be sure to keep in mind that even on its best day,
the bomb is simply a risk.



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Hyper Combos -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-- Ouroboros --

down, down-forward, forward + PP

Ouroboros is the reason for the season.  Simply put, it is Strider's best
option.  Though it may not seem like much to the naked eye, and it has been
greatly weakened since the first MvC, this is amongst the top five Hyper
Combos in the game.

When used, Strider will summon two of his satellites that will continue to
orbit him for the duration of the Hyper Combo.  Pressing either punch button
will cause both satellites to fire small blue, ring-shaped projectiles.

The satellites will cause damage to anyone who touches them.  Their strong
point, though, is that once an opponent is hit by a satellite, they get
locked into a damage hold that will continue to damage them, all while
Strider can pelt away with normal attacks.  If the opponent blocks the Hyper
Combo, they are locked into blockstun for the duration of it, unless the
push-block.  Of course, this is largely futile, as the ring projectiles will
continue to advance on them, giving Strider enough time to teleport, or
wavedash in.

Each satellite or ring will deal 2 damage for the first 3 hits.  Afterwards,
subsequent satellite hits or rings will only deal 1 damage.  Not much, but
the Hyper Combo is used to trap an opponent for Strider's normal hits, so it
doesn't much matter.  Only the satellites deal chip damage, the rings do
not.

Most people tend to start Ouroboros by cancelling into it after calling an
animal.  This keeps the opponent pinned so that Strider can move in.

While Strider is in Ouroboros mode, he cannot perform another Hyper Combo
under normal conditions.  He can, however, perform Team Hyper Combos.  Also,
if you only happen to have one more meter, perform a Team Hyper Combo to
have Legion come into play.  Not much use, but good to know, nonetheless.

If an opponent is caught in Ouroboros, against an opponent who takes
normal (100%) damage, you can remove a little more than half the life bar.
From what I've seen, it seems better to simply continue to perform the
launcher over and over again.  Chain combos do not deal enough damage, and
regular standing fierces and roundhouses tend to push opponents away.  The
launcher deals solid damage and since it knocks an opponent up, while the
satellites orbit downward, it works to keep the opponent right in the same
position.

As the duration is about to end, you have many choices.  The simplest is to
perform a launcher, and end in an air combo.  This is effective, but you can
do so much more.  Another choice is to end the Ouroboros with a launcher,
call Doom's AAA and then teleport to the other side, effectively trapping the
opponent and giving you another opportunity to start up the Strider/Doom
trap.  A little better, but there's still more that could be done.

One example would be to tag out to another character.  Because of Ouroboros,
you are guaranteed to connect.  If done right you can open up opportunities
not often presented.  For example, you can tag in Iron Man, who will connect
with the tag in attack.  While the opponent is flying around the screen, Iron
Man will finish his taunt, and have enough time to land his infinite combo
and remove an opponent from battle.

Another example would be the full use of the DHC.  End Ouroboros by tagging
in Doom.  Wavedash forward and nail a c.HP.  For some odd reason, most often,
the c.HP will OTG, but fail to launch.  No problem.  Simply perform a AHVB
styled Photon Array and then DHC into Storm's Hail.  The possibilities are
limitless.

Ouroboros happens to be the only Hyper Combo in the game that is almost as
effective when blocked.  This is due primarily to the Strider/Doom trap.  I
will explain more in-depth in a specific section later on, but the general
points are simple:

1.  Ouroboros keeps an opponent next to Strider in blockstun.  Perform c.HP
    to constantly shoot rings and build meter.  This also helps to keep an
    opponent pinned in case they get smart and use Advanced Guarding (the
    pushblock) to get away.  The rings will advance, keeping them pinned
    and Strider can teleport back into their faces, thus negating the
    pushblock.
2.  When the duration is about to run out, call Doom's AAA right in their
    faces.  The whirling rocks will keep the opponent pinned.  Teleport to
    their other side, and perform a chain combo and finish by calling a
    tiger to pin them.
3.  Cancel the tiger into Ouroboros and repeat.

Take note that this trap, to be effective, requires great timing.  Doc Doom
should be called just at the end of Ouroboros.  This will give Strider enough
time to teleport over, and start a chain combo.  Make it a short one.  At the
end, the tiger called should connect just after Doom's rocks end, so that
the opponent is kept in blockstun just that second longer.  Cancel the tiger
into Ouroboros and the trap is reset.

The main portion of this trap deals with Doom's AAA assist that amounts for
a great deal of block damage.  The beauty of this trap is that it is the only
one in the game that is totally unescapable (at the moment, anyway).  Most
traps (such as Sentinel's Fierce mouthbeam xx Rocket Punch xx Hyper Sentinel
Force) can be escaped with proper timing and/or pushblocking.  There are no
such holes for the proper timing to save a character from this trap, and the
pushblock is useless because the rings will advance on an opponent, and
Strider can cover the distance quickly with a well timed teleport or using
the wavedash.

That isn't to say that the trap doesn't have its flaws.  For one, it requires
so lot of meter.  The nice thing is that you can build nearly a half bar
_during_ Ouroboros, so that's nice.  Secondly, it requires quite a bit of
execution and timing.  Many uninitiated players tend to perform the Wall
Cling instead of the Warp, effectively making the Hyper Combo useless.

Contrary to popular belief, Ouroborus does have the potential for assist
punishing... just not very well compared to other Hyper Combos.  If you catch
an assist in the satellites, Stride can continue to mash punches and use the
rings to pin the active point character opponent, and call Doom to damage the
assist along with the satellites.  Not very effective, but still useful if
the rare opportunity presents itself.

Ouroboros is immensely useful.  It deals tons of damage when it connects.  If
it is blocked instead, it leads into the most effective trap in the game,
which causes obscene chip damage.  After connecting, the possibilities are
boundless, as you can do a plethora of different things to make use of the
situation.

One of its strongest points though is that this Hyper Combo will immediately
change the tide of battle.  It puts Strider on the offense 99% of the time,
which is where he wants to be.  Another ace is that with this activated, he
can waltz through many attacks while blocking, allowing the constant
satellites to give him a lead.  For example, once activated, Strider can
leap into the heart of a Magnetic Tempest while blocking.  If he gets close
enough for a satellite to hit Magneto, it cancels the Tempest, and gives
Strider an opening to attack.

It isn't the be-all, end-all attack, though.  Even though it affords Strider
a great deal of protection, it lacks the near-invunerability granted in the
original MvC.  Also, the duration has been shortened to almost half the
original time.  If you don't properly pin your opponent, they can take to
the skies and wait out the duration of Ouroboros.

Still, I'd rank Hyper Combo as number two Hyper Combo in the game, just
below Cable's AHVB.  AHVB is simply killer, and if you do not know why, I'll
explain in the Versus Cable section.  I suppose one could argue that Storm's
Hail is a little better than Ouroboros, and on some levels (like DHCing and
assist punishing) I'm inclined to agree. but even if it is, the difference
wouldn't be much.

Ouroboros deals huge amounts of damage and opens the door to a multitude of
additional damaging combos, that can lead into further Hyper Combos.  On top
of this, it places Strider in the driver's seat to control the flow of
battle, and once the duration runs out, leaves him completely safe.  And
let's not forget chipping power.

NAME ORIGIN:  Ouroboros is the name of a symbol that depicts either a dragon,
snake, or serpent biting its own tail.  The symbol is said to have first
appeared in Egypt around 1600 BCE, and has since been seen in countless
civilizations around the world, throughout history, in Africa, Asia, Europe
and the Americas.  It has even been transmitted into myths such as the Norse
Midgard Serpent Jormungand.  The symbol represents various concepts, such as
perfection, completion, balance, harmony, continuity and chief among them,
the constant death and renewal of all.


-- Ragnarok --

forward, down, down-forward + PP

Ragnarok is one of the many all-or-nothing Hyper Combos in the game.  If you
connect, a series of attacks will ensue.  If you miss, you get nothing, with
the exception of being left vunerable.  Similar to Hyper Combos like Captain
America's Final Justice, Wolverine's Weapon X and Cammy's Killer Bee Assault.

Upon performing this, Strider will raise Sipher infront of him and then rush
forward for about the length of his dash.  If he connects with the current
point character, he will jump up into the air with them in his clutches, and
then split into several mirror images of himself.  They will converge several
times against the opponent in Excalibur fashion, causing them damage.

Some enemies take 16 hits from this, while others take 17.  The damage dealt
against an opponent taking normal (100%) damage fluctuates around 54-57.

Some say variety is the spice of life.  Perhaps it is, but spice doesn't
amount to much in the world of MvC2.  Ouroboros stands at one extreme on the
scale of usefullness of Hyper Combos.  That is to say it is one of the best.
Ragnarok, though, stands at the other extreme.  That is to say is is pure
crap.

The attack is difficult to connect with, lags too much to combo effectively
(though this can be done, it really isn't worth it), and doesn't deal enough
damage to be worth anything.  It does happen to be Strider's most powerful
convention attack, but used right, Ouroboros outpowers it.

There are times this move can be effectively pulled off.  Such times are
usually when your opponent falls asleep.  Otherwise, avoid using this move.
Even when the opportunity presents itself, such as an opponent completely
missing a Hyper Combo and having too slow of recovery time, these chances are
better put into strategies like Ouroboros or tagging in another character.
It would be a waste to try Ragnarok.

NAME ORIGIN:  In Norse Mythology, "Ragnarok" was a term to describe the "Doom
of the Gods."  It was effectively the end of the universe and the starting
point of our current reality.  Prior to Ragnarok, three winters without a
summer occurred.  Then, the wolves Skoll and Hati swallow the sun and moon,
respectively, effectively plunging the universe into darkness.  These events
free Loki from his chains, Fenrir from the dwarven magic ribbon, and the
Midgard Serpent Jormungand from the sea.  Hymir, who leads the giants, Loki,
who leads the dead, and Surt, the giant carrying a blade that contains fire
as powerful as the sun all converge to attack the gods.

Heimdall sounds his horn and the gods and heroes come together to do battle
with their enemies.  The God of Harvests, Freyr, will be the first to fall.
Surt will find Freyr without a weapon (because he gave his sword to his
servant for his services in making the beautiful giantess Gerda his wife) and
kills him.  Thor kills Jormungand, but is poisoned in the process, which will
eventually cause his death.  The one-handed God of War Tyr will encounter the
guardian dog of hell, Garm.  Tyr is victorious, but like Thor, he will die
from the wounds he acquires during battle.  Loki and Heimdall will kill each
other in battle.  Odin, knowing he is fated to die at Ragnarok, rides into
battle nonetheless.  Upon charging Fenrir, whose jaws reach from the ground
to the heavens, Odin is swallowed whole.  Vidar, Odin's son and second most
powerful of the Asgardians after Thor, will come and rip Fenrir's upper jaw
off its body, killing it.

At the conclusion of the battle, Surt will use his sword and throw fire to
all nine worlds, engulfing everything in blazes.  The old universe is
destroyed and our current one takes its place.  Few gods survive, among them,
Thor's children whom inherit the mythical hammer Mjolnir, and Vidar.


-- Legion --

down, down-forward, forward + KK

This Hyper Combo is similar to his Formation A attacks where Strider calls
animals.  Only difference is that this time, a _lot_ of tigers and eagles
fill the screen at once.  Same start-up, execution and recovery time as the
Formation A.  Also, the animals still start on one end of the screen and fly
across to the next.

The damage dealt by this varies depending on how many animals connect.  So
obviously, the closer the enemy is to Strider's edge of the screen, the more
damage s/he will take.  Of course, this isn't always great considering you do
not want them close to Strider for this attack.  At most, I've seen it deal
57 damage to a character who takes normal (100%) damage.

This attack can be interrupted.  If you perform it, and eat an Optic Blast
before the animals come out, they will not come out (or at least not all of
them).  Given that the animals travel such a distance, quick projectiles can
often snuff this Hyper Combo completely.

In MvC, this attack was at least a decent chipper.  Now, not so much.  You
really shouldn't try to chip with this unless an opponent is on their last
leg and falling toward the ground.  If they are planted, then any character
can safely and quickly super jump over the animals, rendering the Hyper
Combo wasted.

Truth be told, there is really only one use for this attack, and that is to
DHC Strider out.  It is a one frame attack, so that you can perform this, and
during the Hyper Combo freeze screen, DHC into someone else.  The one frame
startup is great, because if the opponent lets up for even a split second,
Strider can get his ass out of there with little effort.

If you don't feel your opponent is going to snuff the attack, you can wait an
extra split second for Strider's arm to extend, then DHC out.  This way, the
animals will still come out.  This is a bit riskier, but for the most part,
it is usually safe to do.

The best Hyper Combo to DHC into is obviously Storm's Hail (though this is
true for most everyone, as Hail is the best DHC in the game).  There are two
particular reasons for this.  First, Hail is the best DHC in the game, and
comes out so fast, it will combo anything.  Not to mention it fills the
screen, so nothing is left unturned.  Given the quickness of Legion, if an
opponent should slip up and leave his defense down for a second, Strider can
use it, and DHC into Hail and be sure it will connect.  Basically, free
damage.

Second, Hail is one of the few Hyper Combos that will put a character in
completely safe.  So you can be sure that Strider will exit safely, while
your next character comes in safely, and do a respectable amount of chip
damage.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Assists -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-- Alpha Assist [Ground] --

Ame-no-Murakumo (HP variation)

Let's be blunt: this assist is pure crap.  You may have a better chance of
winning if you played with your feet.  The assist, obviously, suffers from
the exact same faults as that of the move itself.  This time, though, there
is an extra bit of fun thrown into the mix: characters acting as assists take
more damage than if they were a point character.  Ouch.  Double ouch for
Strider who takes damage like a sissy-man.

Don't count on it to be a pressure attack, as it won't work.  Don't count on
it to do chip damage, as it will be pitiful.  Don't count on it to control
space, as it won't.  Basically, don't count on it, because it likely isn't
going to deliver at all.

The only feasible use for this assist is to tack on at the end of a combo.
It just isn't fast enough for anything else.  The problem with this is that
it knocks an opponent away, thus limiting chances for follow up attacks.  All
in all, this is quite useless.  Anything it can do, another assist can do
better.


-- Beta Assist [Variety] --

Vajra (performs the one that takes him to the opposite side of the screen)

As far as measuring things as a pure assist, and nothing else, this is
Strider's best.  Though it is predictable and slow, the assist tends to
confuse many, and catch them off guard.

It also happens to be a wonderful stopper attack.  For example, you call out
Strider, and he begins his attack.  Cable goes trigger happy and pulls out
the AHVB.  You get hit, and then Strider kicks good ol' Cable in the jaw,
cutting short the Hyper Combo.

Likewise, the added pressure from this attack is sufficient to work in as a
stall for rushdown characters.  This is due to the weird nature of the attack
as well as the delayed timing to connect.  As such, it serves well in keeping
the opponent grounded because, though they know what the attack is, they are
not always certain what's to come next (from your point character).

Of course, Strider is not a assist character, and as such, you do not measure
his assists as pure assists.  He's played as a point character, and you need
to take this into consideration before constantly risking him to die as an
assist.  For starters, the timing on this attack is quite bad.  Even with
practice, most wouldn't dare risk using it in the above Cable example, cause
one slip up means dead Strider.

This attack is a bad choice because of the length of time it forces Strider
on the screen.  In addition, it is a terrible attack for Variable Counters.

Your best staying away from this assist, though it still is better than the
Ground assist.


-- Gamma Assist [Projectile] --

Formation A (HK variation, the eagle)

This is the assist I'd recommend for Strider.  For starters, this is the one
assist that keeps Strider on-screen for the shortest amount of time.  Which
is a decidedly good thing when you take into account that this means it is
harder for opponents to punish him.

Aside from that, this is a great method of guard breaking.  After defeating
an opponent, call Strider's assist, and set up an opponent for some hurt when
their guard is broken.  You could, for example, use a Magneto reset combo to
finish someone off, and as the next character enters the screen, call Strider
out.  The eagle will guard break, and the opponent will land in the middle of
a well timed launcher.  Or, the opponent will land into a Typhoon that is
immediately cancelled into a Hail from Storm.  The possiblities are nearly
limitless and almost always highly effective.

As an added bonus, it may not seem so, but this is by far Strider's most
potent Variable Counter.  Obviously, the eagle is of little use, but you can
Variable Counter into this assist, and then immediately cancel into an
Ouroboros.  This immediately switches the tide from blocking (and thus on the
defensive) to activating a dangerous Hyper Combo and placing your side on the
offensive.

The only true downside to this assist is that it can never be effectively
used as an assist.  It doesn't work well to control space, or chip, or pin
down, or trap, or whatever else people use assists for.  Not too bad, though,
as no one plays Strider for his not-so-wonderful assisting abilities.



=============================================================================
    IV.  Playing Style
=============================================================================

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Strider/Doom Trap -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-- The Trap --

Since this generally comprises about 90% of Strider's main tactic, I'll begin
with it.  This trap is easily one of the most inescapable.  In fact, there is
only one real escape.  In addition, it also happens to be one of the best
chipping.

There are many minor variations littered throughout the trap, so you do not
have to necessary follow one set method.  In fact, I suggest you don't, or
you become too predictable.  Mix and match methods to keep the opponent
guessing.  There are certain points, however, that have to be done in order
to keep the trap effective.

* The opponent must be grounded.
* Ouroboros locks an enemy down.
* At the end of Ouroboros, call Doom's AAA in the opponent's face.
* Doom's Molecular Shield rocks will keep an opponent locked down.
* Warp to the opposite side via a punch teleport.
* Attack coming down, and use chain combos to push the opponent into Doom.
* As Doom is about to end his attack, call a tiger to hold them in blockstun.
* Cancel the tiger into an Ouroboros.
* Repeat as necessary.

That's the general jist of it.  Usually it is started rather simply by using
a ground chain combo cancelled into a tiger, cancelled into Ouroboros.  Throw
some rings with LP (this serves to lock them down and put them in blockstun),
then use a punch teleport to get the drop on them.  Land and keep them next
to Strider so that the satellites keep them in blockstun.  When the Hyper
Combo is about to end, call Doom.

He'll land where Strider is (i.e. right next to the opponent).  The rocks he
surrounds himself with will keep the opponent in blockstun.  Quickly teleport
to the opposite side via a punch Warp.  Land (or attack while landing if the
opponent's position is cooperative) and start a ground chain combo again.
Time this so it ends with a tiger just as Doom's attack is over, keeping them
in blockstun.  Cancel the tiger into Ouroboros.  Now repeat as necessary.

There are various weak points in the trap that deserve some attention.  For
starters, after activating Ouroboros for the first time, use punch to throw
rings out.  If you do not, an opponent can pushblock the end of the chain
combo or tiger, then superjump and stay in the air, rendering Ouroboros
useless.  The rings will keep the opponent in blockstun long enough so that
you can Warp and fall right on top of them, putting the satellites to use.

When holding an opponent with the Ouroboros satellites, make sure you attack
in some manner with either punch button.  Kicks will not prompt the rings to
be fired.  Doing so ensures that if an opponent pushblocks, they will still
be locked down by the rings for a period of time sufficient for Strider to
close the distance either through wavedashing or teleporting.

You must make certain that you call Doom when Strider is right next to the
opponent.  Otherwise, you have nothing to hold the opponent down while Hiryu
warps.

After calling Doom, _immediately_ warp to the other side.  If you do not,
the opponent can pushblock his way out of the rocks, and your trap is wasted.
Teleporting to the other side will make his pushblock useless, as he will be
pushing against Strider while Doom is to his behind.  A fairly quick and well
coordinated player could effectively pushblock right at the beginning of
Doom's attack.  This is also not a problem so long as you warp immediately.
In doing so, the teleport is fast enough to put Strider right above an
opponent after a pushblock.  Since you can attack coming down, you again keep
them in blockstun, and almost helpless.

Be careful when using the Ouroboros again.  You cannot activate it again
until after the satellites have "walked" off the screen and are no longer
visible.  Actually, it seems to me as if you have to wait for a second after
they leave the screen for the game to "register" they are gone, although this
may just be poor execution and timing on my part.  You should have enough
time if you called Doom at the end of the Hyper Combo.  The blockstun can be
extended by timing a chain combo just before Doom is going to leave, giving
the satellites a bit extra time to leave if you called Doom too early.


-- How It Works --

The damage from this trap comes from two main sources:  Doom's Molecular
Shield AAA, and the Ouroboros satellites.  The former makes up the majority
of damage (which is considerable).  The satellites do minimum block damage,
but added together with Doom, it is sufficient.  Strider's normal attacks
as well as the rings do not do any block damage.  The tigers called also do
chip damage, but not very much.

While the opponent is locked by the satellites, it is best to perform dash,
s.LP, s.MP over and over again.  This causes the rings to shoot out from the
satellites constantly, and serves well to push the opponent towards Doom.  It
also builds a respectable amount of meter, about half a bar each Ouroboros
duration.


-- Troublespots --

Simply because Strider/Doom is one of the best traps in the game does not
mean it is the be-all, end-all strategy.  It does have weaknesses.  The most
potent problem for Strider/Doom players is facing someone who knows how to
effectively Variable Counter.

Why is this so dangerous?  Because it has all the workings to completely
dismember the Strider/Doom trap.  Unlike most traps which involve some form
of long range attack (Sentinel's ground trap, Spiral/Sentinel sword traps,
Doom/Blackheart Photon Array and Infernos, etc.), this trap places Strider
and Doom primarily in melee range.

Then there is an assortment of other factors, such as Strider's Ouroboros
lacking enough priority and his vunerability during ground chain combos.  All
this leads to disaster.

For example: you are playing against Magneto/Storm/Psylocke (which happens to
be a very popular and effective team).  You attempt a chain combo against
Magneto and are about to cancel into the Ouroboros.  All of a sudden, you get
variable countered and hit with Psylocke's Psyblade which your opponent will
immediately cancel into Psionic Butterflies.  If your opponent really wants
to be saucy (and has enough meter), they will DHC into Storm, and Strider
eats a Hail.  Which will likely kill him if he's not near full health.

Psylocke isn't the only dangerous one.  Cyclops can come in via Gene Splice
cancelled into Super Optic Blast.  Iron can use Repulsar Blast xx Proton
Cannon.  If positioned correct, Storm can Typhoon xx Hail, and Blackheart
can Inferno xx Heart of Darkness.  Interestingly enough, this is one of the
few instances where Strider (and others characters alike) do not have to fear
AHVB, because Psimitar takes the opponent away in such a manner that you
cannot effective catch them with Cable.

Still, even those characters without an easy to cancel Variable Counter are
pesky.  The Variable Counter still damages Strider, cuts short his offense,
and brings in a different opponent safely.  Not a *terrible* set back, but it
does get annoying.

The second bane to the Strider/Doom trap is the AAA.  Most of them have some
invincibility and/or instant startup.  All of which will work to repel and
stop the Strider/Doom trap.  Now, in theory, they shouldn't pose too much of
a problem, because when an opponent is in continuous blockstun, they cannot
call an assist.  In practice, it doesn't work out so nicely.

If you're getting creamed by an AAA, there are several ways to effectively
deal with this.  One is to bait the assist.  Teleport in, but instead of
going into the offense, double jump away from the AAA that your opponent is
going to likely call.  This will make the AAA whiff, and you can call your
assist to punish both the point character and his AAA.

Aside from this, you can go straight to the source.  If you ever connect a
ground chain combo, perform a Snapback and bring the AAA into the game as the
point character.  The assist character is likely not a strong point character
and the point character you removed is likely not a good assist.  This makes
the fight so much easier.  If you can manage to eliminate the assist
character, you've made the battle that much easier to win.


-- Choose Your Targets --

Do not go performing the Strider/Doom trap blindly.  It's a quick way to
crash and burn.  Generally speaking, anytime you can connect with a blocked
ground chain combo, you can start the Strider/Doom trap safely.  Doesn't mean
you *should*, though.  Likewise, you could continue the trap until Strider
runs out of meter, but that does not mean you should.

Choose the situations wisely.  For example, if you have only one meter, and
the opponent has five, then you really shouldn't pursue going after the trap
when they block a chain combo.  This is because if you do, you get one
rotation, then your Strider is left naked on the battlefield.  Calling an
assist would be bad, because it would likely get punished.  And you cannot
Variable Counter or DHC Strider out of there if things get hairy.

The same problems apply to continuously performing the trap through several
rotations.  You'll find yourself without any bar, and likely in a world of
pain.  In addition, trying to pull it off for so long will increase your odds
of doing something wrong, and leaving Strider and Doom in the middle of No
Man's Land.  Or at the very least, you'll end up wasting a meter.

Realistically, I'd suggest repeating for no more than two rotations.  I tend
to generally stick with performing one rotation, then backing off.  This
causes more problems for the opponent because you can always put them back
into it, and you always have something you can do.  If you lock them down for
too many rotations, they will simply wait you out, then will attack safely,
because you can't as easily turn the tables on them.

Likewise, there are certain opponents it is advisable to repeat against, and
some that aren't worth the effort.  Among the top tier that you can repeat
against effectively are:  Cable, Magneto, Sentinel, Blackheart, Cyclops, Iron
Man/War Machine, and another Strider.

Cable's game plan is primarily AHVB.  Against the Strider/Doom trap it is of
little use, because he either gets Strider and eats Doom's rocks, or he gets
Doom and leaves Strider free to do whatever he wants.  Magneto may be fast,
but he's also rather tall, and cannot effectively punish you too severely
should you slip up (not to say he can't, just that it isn't likely).  The
main problem from trapping Magneto is that if you make a mistake, he can
superjump up, air-dash, then perform a Magnetic Tempest to waste time.  This
isn't too big a deal because you can chase him down with the superjump and
double jump and block.  The orbs will still knock him out of Magnetic Tempest
if you are fast enough.  Sentinel is one of Strider's simplest matches, and
it is too large and cumbersome to effectively counter the trap.  The same
reasons apply to Blackheart, except this battle is even more of a mismatch,
since Blackheart suffers all of Sentinel's weakness, but on a greater scale.
Cyclops cannot effectively use his high priority attacks to free himself, and
neither of his Hyper Combos are great at snuffing a two-pronged attack.  Iron
Man and War Machine are too slow to deal with the trap, and there's no
feasible way for them to pull off their infinity in this situation.  Finally,
Strider cannot teleport away with this constant blockstun.  Likely a Strider
player would not even try for fear of exposing Strider's weak stamina.

It is ill-advised to attempt to repeat the rotation against the likes of
Storm, Doom, Captain Commando, Psylocke or Spiral.

Storm is a dangerous to repeat against because of several reasons.  For
starters, most Storm players are runaway players.  As such, when you try to
start the trap initially, before you have either Doom or Ouroboros out, they
will take to the skies and stay there.  It likewise isn't smart to have Doom
or Ouroboros started *before* attempting the trap (a strategy you can use on
most other opponents).  This is because she will simply float in the air
until the threat is over.  Also, if you leave a hole by any chance, she can
use her deceptively ranged launchers to punish Strider and Doom.  Further, if
you do not properly cover Doom, she can perform a quick Lightning Attack into
Lightning Storm and damage him.  Since Lightning Storm is unidirectional,
Strider can't attempt to interrupt her attack on Doom safely.

Dr. Doom is a tricky opponent for Strider in general.  A good Doom player who
has meter will keep Strider on his toes with random Air Photon Array Hyper
Combos.  If Doom suspects that Strider is going for a trap, he'll perform the
Hyper Combo and likely nail at one of the two between Strider and you Doom
assist, if not both.  Also, if you fail to properly cover your Doom assist,
he'll likely eat a Tiger Knee styled instant-startup Air Photon Array.  If
Doom doesn't manage to pin Strider, he can always DHC into someone else, and
you Doom assist just ate two Hyper Combos, and you gained *nothing* at all.
In addition, if you drop Doom incorrectly, you'll have to fear the high
priority c.HP, that covers both sides of your target.  Though it is safe to
repeat against Cable, who also has a Tiger Knee instant-start up Hyper Combo,
this isn't a case of that.  AHVB doesn't harm Strider when you're close up
(the big gun deals no damage, only the beam).  Not so for Air Photon Array.
There's no area of security if performed right.

There are two particular reasons why it is not recommended to attempt a
repeat VS. Captain Commando.  For one, he can use the Captain Cooridor to
counter any holes you leave.  And two, it is wasted on him.  Strider should
not need to waste meter on a Captain Commando because he is a terribly weak
point character.

Psylocke has the fast-as-hell Psyblade xx Psionic Butterflies combo, which is
not pretty when you lose all your health.  She likewise can superjump and
use her triple jump to stay in the air.  If Strider tries to go after her,
she can teleport right back down to the ground, making your look quite
foolish.

Spiral, too can use her teleport.  What's more, her's is lightning quick, and
thus an easy way to escape if you do not perform that trap flawlessly.  Plus,
she is more a battery character than one that should worry Strider.  Save the
meter for the real threats.

Aside from the top tier, there are certain other enemies to watch out for.
Those with an all-encompassing Hyper Combo are deadly.  Silver Samurai, for
example, will punish both Strider and Doom with a well-timed Raimeiken.
Juggernaut can also punish either Strider or Doom with his instant-startup
Juggernaut Headcrush.  Worse if he manages to mash all eight hits in.  Since
the Hyper Combo carries Juggy off in one direction, neither Strider nor Doom
can save the other if it came down to it.  Add in his Super Armor, and Juggy
gets much more tempted to use it.  Jin is also difficult to repeat against,
but not dangerous.  Once he sees a split second he's free, both Doom and
Strider are likely to eat a Saotome Dynamite.  Again, not deadly, but
terribly annoying.

Of course, it is safe to repeat against _anyone_ so long as you have perfect
execution.  But that is the stuff dreams are made of, and not something you
should readily count on.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Strategy -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-- Beginning of a Battle --

The flow of battle and momentum are two factors that greatly affect the
outcome of a battle.  With Strider, you can do a fairly decent job of taking
control of both factors because he has his speed and Ouroboros.

If Strider happens to be your point character, as the fight is about to
commence, move Strider next to his opponent.  From here, you can take two
routes.  For starters, you can begin the battle with c.LK, c.MK, c.HP.  Due
to the sheer speed of Strider's attacks, he'll beat out most anyone, given
your timing isn't terribly bad.  If you connect, you can do several things,
usually a simple Aerial Rave combo.  Most players will have the good sense to
block Strider at the beginning.  If this is the case, no worries.  Just tack
on a c.HK (from the c.HP) xx the tiger xx Ouroboros.  You begin with a full
meter anyway.  So using this method, you either begin the battle with an
Aerial Rave, or a trap, all because of a simple chain.

Of course, there are those that counter this strategy by jumping up at the
beginning of battle, and calling an assist, most likely an AAA with instant
start-up or invicibility.  No worries, in this case, just block the AAA, and
call your own assist to punish theirs.  At the same time, teleport to the
other side.

The other choice is to perform a j.LK towards to opponent.  As you do this,
call Doom's AAA.  Again, Strider is fast enough to beat out most anyone in
speed, and since you start right next to the opponent, it's almost always a
case of an opponent eating all the chip damage right away.  In addition,
since Strider is jumping forward, you're likely to cross them up at the very
beginning of battle.

If you prefer a safer alternative to crossing them up, you can perform c.LP,
c.MP, call Doom, Warp.  You spend a little more time before you cross them
up and it ends up in much the same position.  Additionally, it works better
against the tall, Super Armor characters like Sentinel.  The one folly to
doing this at the beginning is that some characters are fast enough to jump
straight up, and then call an invicible AAA, making both Strider and Doom
eat something at the beginning of battle.

Choose whichever option your more comfortable with.  I suggest you learn all
three methods, and apply them where it is safest.


-- Game Plan --

Regardless of the fact that many see Strider as a one-trick pony, he is one
of the most complex characters around.  Most top-tier characters can get away
with a few set patterns they can repeat against any and all opponents.
Though Strider has his set patterns as well, he cannot be as liberal in using
them as consistantly because of all the top tiers, he is the easiest to kill
off, stamina-wise.

Because of this, Strider needs to stay in his opponents face at all times, to
prevent any breathing room that results in one dead ninja.  In Hiryu's case,
the best defense is an offense.  Good thing for Strider is that he has all
the essentials to get this done.

For starters, abuse the teleport.  It is far from the best teleport in the
game, but because of Strider's other pros it happens to be the most effective
there is.  So long as Strider is grounded (and considering he has little
reason to superjump outside of dodging and Aerial Raves this shouldn't be a
problem) he can appear on either end of the screen fairly quickly, and attack
as soon as the teleport is complete.  Though the Warp is far from
instantaneous is it quick enough that few can attack you out of it, save for
blind luck.  There are exceptions, but those are far and few between.

The attack is relatively safe because of Strider's ability to immediately
attack, coupled with his high air priority.  He'll pick anyone out for an air
a great deal of the time.  Another point is that you can usually safely drop
an assist and teleport, as it is so quick.  An alternative would be to first
teleport, then drop an assist after you reappear (you'll be in the air, but
it counts as a stand jump, not a superjump, so you can call the assist).
This works even nicer if you're calling an invincible assist.

If your opponent is a trap character, make use of the teleport to get in
their faces.  If your opponent is a rush down character, use the double jump
with high priority j.HP and j.HK to cover Strider.  If you have access to an
assist that "pins" well, such as Sentinel Ground Drones or Blackheart AAA
Inferno, then call them when it is safe, and wavedash in for quick chain
combos.

Once Strider is in an opponent's face, you can do much of anything.  If they
do the unthinkable, and don't bother blocking, launch for an Aerial Rave.
Likely, they will block.  Perform a chain combo making sure to utilize the
low hits so the opponent blocks down.  Cancel the combo into a tiger, then
you can either cancel that into Ouroboros and start the trap, or teleport to
the other side.

If you choose the latter, attack on the way down.  Most opponents are still
blocking the tiger, but they are blocking low because of your chain combo.
Since Strider is now in the air, it turns out to be a mistake for the
opponent.  The combination of high and low hits with the cross-up midway
through really messes with some people's heads.

If you ever find an opponent superjumping, you can usually drop Doom's assist
and then teleport to the opposite side.  They cannot safely attack either now
because if they go after Strider, Doom's rocks will nail them from behind,
and should they go after Doom, Strider can turn on Ouroboros and teleport
back over.  This works less effectively on characters like Storm and Sentinel
because they can easily prolong or adjust their descend while in midair.

Strider's power comes from Ouroboros and nothing else.  If he can catch an
opponent in it when they do not block, you can usually eliminate them
outright.  This is because unblocked, you can take off roughly half a bar of
life with Strider alone.  When it is about to end, you can tag out safely and
be assured it will catch.  From here, you can do many things.  Magneto can
dash in to OTG into a Aerial Rave and kill.  Iron Man can catch directly off
the tag in attack with his infinite.

If the opponent blocks Ouroboros, you've got the Strider/Doom trap to be
content with.

Long story in short:
* Play aggressively so your opponent has little chance of placing you in the
  defensive.
* Abuse the teleport and make use of Strider's high mobility.
* Use meters for Ouroboros whenever you feasibly can for Strider's main
  bread and butter damage dealing.  Use discretion when picking your chances.


-- Snapback --

The Snapback is performed through a simple down, down-forward, forward +
assist button.  If you use the Assist 1 button, the opponent's second
character is brought in.  If you use the Assist 2 button, the opponent's
third partner is brought in.  Keep in mind it takes one meter to perform a
Snapback attack, regardless of whether you connect or not.  Strider's is the
same animation as his standing roundhouse attack.  Generally there are two
particular uses for the Snapback:

* Remove a potent point character in favor of character who is largely
  useful as an assist and nothing more.

  One such example, would be Sentinel on point with Captain Commando as an
  AAA.  Captain Commando is a largely useless point character, but his assist
  is perhaps the best for Sentinel.  Quick solution: Snapback Sentinel and
  bring in Captain Commando.  You have it much easier trying to eliminate the
  good captain, and once he is gone, Sentinel is a lot simpler to defeat.

  This can be achieved simply whenever you catch your opponent in an
  unblocked chain combo.  Just cancel into the Snapback before you use either
  the fierce punch or roundhouse kick.

* Perform the "cheezy" defenseless assist kill.

  One of the attributes of a assist is that they cannot block.  They simply
  come out, perform their attack, taunt, then run away.  Normally, you cannot
  abuse this flaw because of the point character.  Even if you manage to
  eliminate him/her, though, an assist character will still leave the screen
  once they are hit and touch the ground.

  But there's a way around this.  After removing a point character from the
  screen, if you perform a launcher on the assist character, they go straight
  up.  Launch them again, before they touch the ground, and they go up again.
  So, as long as you keep launching them before making contact with the
  ground, you can keep this up indefinitely until the assist character is
  dead.

  Now, there are two ways to eliminate the point character and keep the
  assist character out.  The first is to catch both characters in a chain
  combo with Strider and hit both with the Snapback.  The point character is
  sent flying out of the screen, and the assist is sent flying like he would
  have been if hit by a standard s.HK.  The next character will not be able
  to come onscreen until the assist leaves.  Now, if you are fast and can
  wavedash over to the temporarily prone assist character, you can OTG him
  with a well placed c.LK into a c.HP launcher.  Continue to launch, and the
  enemy will soon be eliminated.

  The second way is not at all related to the Snapback, but worth mentioning
  regardless.  If you can manage to kill the point character before the
  assist leaves, and catch him/her with a launcher, you can again launch
  them to death.

  Keep in mind, in standard play (i.e. non-tournament), this is highly
  frowned upon.  It's a cheap way to keep your opponent from getting their
  fifty-cents worth of play, so I suggest you do not abuse it.  In
  tournament play, this is usually allowed (and abused, as well it should be,
  by Magneto players).


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Combos -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ordinary, most people would automatically assume Strider is primarily a combo
intensive character.  However, the way the game engine works, Strider ends up
being comparatively weaker in the combo department.  He lacks combo resets,
an air dash, or an air Hyper Combo, so don't expect to perform many crowd
pleasers.

Strider's greatest asset is the Ouroboros and his combos take a backseat to
the teleport as well, in terms of importance.  Still, they are used to build
meter and act as lead ins for the use of Ouroboros, so they deserve quite
some attention.

Keep in mind, for each combo, there are dozens of different variations that
make minor differences (such as dropping a s.MP).  They make no difference in
the greater scheme of things, and to avoid writing thirty thousand combos of
the same thing, I'll only list the standard and useful combos.  Anyway, on to
the combos:

s.LP, s.LK, s.MP, s.MP, s.HP, slide (down-right roundhouse)
`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
This is a rather standard and simple ground chain combo.  Does decent damage,
and builds a good amount of meter.  If you have a good OTG assist, you may be
able to follow up, but Strider has no effective way of doing so himself.

c.LP, c.LK, c.MK, c.HK xx Ame-no-Murakumo (LP)
`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
Works, but is not at all effective.  This is because of the next combo...
Still, if you connect, it catches better than the tiger because the origin of
the attack is Strider himself, and not the edge of the screen.

c.LP, c.LK, c.MK, c.HK xx call tiger
`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
Probably the primary ground combo of choice because it ends with the tiger,
which is useful for cancelling into Ouroboros.  Since the majority of your
ground chain combos are going to end up getting blocked, this is your best
bet as it is the most direct lead into the Strider/Doom trap you're likely
going to make use of.  Additionally, you can sometimes cancel this into the
Legion effectively, but there are better ways to burn meter.

c.LP, c.LK, c.MK, c.HP, superjump, sj.LP, sj.LK, sj.MP, sj.MK, sj.HP, sj.HK
`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
The standard, use-it-all-the-time Aerial Rave.  It deals nice damage (nowhere
near the amount as those character with Hyper Combos that can be done in the
air, but it is still respectable) and very easy to perform.  Nothing too
flashy but it gets the job done, and that is what counts in the end.  Keep in
mind that the final hit (j.HK) will likely miss since the j.HP will send the
opponent away fast.  But there's always a chance, and it does add that meager
bit of meter it will build.  After all, there's no reason not to.

c.LK, c.HK, pause, c.LK to OTG, c.HP, superjump, sj.LP, sj.LK, sj.MP, sj.MK,
 Excalibur (LP)
`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
Another Aerial Rave, this one is quite a bit more flashy than the one above,
a bit more difficult to do, and the rewards aren't much greater.  But, there
are times when we just want to do stuff like this moreso than the stuff that
has little chance of failure.  Oh well.  To begin with, the pause comes after
the c.HK which sweeps the opponent.  If you don't pause long enough, Strider
will sit there looking like an idiot, doing nothing, as you hammer the c.LK
because the game has not yet finished Strider's recovery lag from the c.HK.
Pause too long and you will miss the c.LK OTG altogether.  The length of the
pause is almost exactly the same as the time it takes for the opponents back
to hit the ground after being swept.  Aside from this, the air combo goes as
normal, until the Excalibur.  You could use any variation, but the LP offers
max hits.  The problem is that it is also the most likely to miss.  If you
are close enough to the opponent throughout the air combo, you are likely to
connect.  If not, then you may miss, and land very vunerable to attack.

c.LP, c.LK, c.HP, superjump, sj.LP, sj.LK, sj.MP, sj.MK, pause, sj.LK, the
 briefest of pauses, double jump forward, dj.LP, dj.LK, dj.MP, dj.MK, {dj.HP,
 dj.HK} or {Excalibur (LP)}
`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
This is Strider's infamous double jump combo, or rather one variation of it.
It's not much better than the other combos, and quite a bit more difficult to
do.  Damage scaling renders the extra hits nearly useless.  The pause after
the first sj.MK is to allow the opponent to descend ever so slightly so that
the sj.LK can catch him.  After that hit catches, you must wait the briefest
of pauses so that Strider can actually double jump.  Do it too soon, and you
won't at all.  If you really want a crowd pleaser, begin this combo with the
OTG from above first, and make sure to end with the LP Excalibur.

[against Sentinel] j.LK, j.MK, brief pause, j.HP, pause, j.HK, land, repeat
`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
This is Strider's infinite and it only works on Sentinel.  You must begin
right next to it.  Jump forward and hit the j.LK, j.MK in quick succession.
Pause long enough and attack with j.HP at the peak of your jump.  Pause even
longer on the way down and do not hit with the j.HK until you are just about
to land.  Ideally, it should slash at Sentinel's shins, and the attack
should be out just long enough to hit, and then immediately land.  Repeat for
as long as you'd like.



=============================================================================
     V.  Partners
=============================================================================

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Doctor Doom -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

As I've stated dozens of times by now, so it should come as no surprise:
there is no better assist for Strider than Dr. Doom.  It is not even close.
It provides the oh-so-lovable Strider/Doom trap.  In addition, given the
cross-up style employed by Strider, Doom is a very good at covering him.

In addition, Doom happens to be a top-tier point character in his own right.
He deals high damage, takes it well, and has a few high priority attacks in
the s.HP and c.HP.  His j.HP is among the best in the game, being a fairly
effective keep-away attack.  The j.HK is equally useful in that it is largely
unique, gives good coverage, and has high priority.

Doom also has an eight-way airdash and flight mode.  With the use of the
Photon Shot, Doom is one of the better trappers in the game, regardless of
the fact that his traps are outdated.  It deals good chip damage as well.

One of Doom's greatest attributes is the deadly Photon Array Hyper Combo, or
more accurately, the aerial version of it.  It has near instant start up, and
projects several Photon Shots in a wide angle.  If you perform this is a
character's face, they take huge chip damage.  If you perform in the air,
they are usually locked down because of the wide angle of attack.

The great thing about the Hyper Combo, though, is the ability to chain it
into other DHCs.  You can hit a simple air combo with Doom and end it with
the Air Photon Array, in itself dealing massive damage, then DHC into most
any other Hyper Combo.  You can go from Air Photon Array to Legion.  You can
go into Magnetic Tempest.  You can go into Hail.  You can go into Hyper
Sentinel Force.  The limits just do not seem to exist.

Likewise, because he is very uncommonly used top-tier (at least as opposed
to characters like Cable and Magneto), many people aren't used to fighting
him, much like Strider.  They only expect Doom to be jumping around like a
madman raining down pink crap at them.  They are seldom prepared for his fast
wavedash in with a easy air combo.  They are seldom prepared for ridiculous
priority all of his fierce attacks come with.  What's more, they are seldom
prepared for such odd quirks as his unblockable c.HK (at certain ranges).

Back to the main topic:  If you're going to play Strider, chances are you are
going to want to play Doom.  Otherwise, Strider's main strength gets a boot
out the door.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Teams -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Marvel VS. Capcom 2 uses a three-man team.  Strider and Doom amounts to two.
Which means, obviously, you still have one more slot for a partner.  When you
play Strider/Doom, you play it as your main offense.  It is your proverbial
"big cheese."  As such, the third partner would likely need to effectively
compliment the Strider/Doom trap.  In addition, since Strider is so weak
stamina-wise, and will likely be killed before the end of a fight, or Doom
may likely be killed by an assist-punisher, then you need the third character
to perform well with both Strider and Doom individually.  Only a handful of
characters fits this bill well.  Listed in alphabetical order:

-- Blackheart --

[Beta] Anti-Air Assist ~ Inferno

Blackheart as an assist is one the better compliments to the Strider/Doom
trap.  He may very well be the best.  His Inferno reaches to the top of the
screen and does something Captain Commando's does not: track the opponent.
It comes out fairly fast and deals decent damage.

It serves a bit of uses, such as pinning down opponents and bringing down
characters in the air.  Both of which are valuable to Strider.  If you call
Blackheart, most people become wary enough to block Inferno, giving Strider a
free opportunity to teleport in and do his thing.  If they don't block, they
will likely take some damage given the speed of Inferno, and its tracking
ability.  It works wonders on runaways, like Storm.

For Doom, this assist may even be better.  The Doom/Blackheart traps are
fairly well-known, and do great chip damage.  Blackheart is called, while
Doom superjumps into the air and rains down Photon Shots.  Though the traps
are easily escaped, they are difficult to punish.  Going after Blackheart
will not work effectively, because Doom is going to throw out some Photon
Shots.  Going after Doom is bad because Blackheart's Inferno will cover him
adequately.

On point, Blackheart is quite simple, and thus predictable.  Blackheart will
superjump into the air, rain down HK demons, airdash one way or the other,
then rain down either HK or HP demons to cover his landing.  In doing so, he
builds loads of meter easily.  As an added bonus, this strategy, in itself,
is quite effective against the ill-equipped.  With Doom at his side, this
becomes a somewhat effective trap.

With the advanced guarding/pushblocking available, his main chipping tactic
of Inferno xx Heart of Darkness is gone.  As such, he uses far less meter
then he used to, but he still builds it quite well.  So Blackheart is an
effective battery character for a team that relies heavily on Hyper Combos.
This is always a plus.

Blackheart can be started as the point character on the team and serve
mainly to be the battery and build meter so that Strider can enter in and
immediately perform the Strider/Doom trap.  If you prefer to start Strider
first, you can do this, but place Blackheart as the second string.  Doom
should be last, as he generally performs better unassisted, than does
Blackheart.


-- Captain Commando --

[Beta] Anti-Air Assist ~ Captain Cooridor

Captain Command is one of those characters that is only useful for his assist
and nothing more.  In fact, he is the _only_ one that is nearly useless is a
point character.  At least characters like Cammy and Ken have some strategies
they can employ on point.  Captain Commando is useful only for his Captain
Cooridor.  Of course, even with this handicap, people still use him very
often.  That, by itself, should give you an indication of its potency.

The Captain Cooridor reaches to the top of the screen, much like Blackheart's
Inferno.  It is, however, more powerful, faster, and covers more range.  In
fact, it is better in nearly every way, save one critical feature: it does
not home in on the enemy.  Captain Commando will come out and appear where
the point character is.

As an assist, I truly do not find this more useful than Blackheart's.  For
Strider, the main purpose of attacks like this are to pin an opponent, and to
bring down runaways.  Inferno is twice as good at both than the Captain
Cooridor.  The only thing that this has that can trump Inferno is that it can
be used to keep rushdown characters away from Strider.  Inferno is quite bad
at this.

For Doom, it is also not as effective as Inferno.  Because Inferno can be
used at a range, the Doom/Blackheart trap can be pulled off.  Captain
Cooridor is bad at implementing this strategy.

As I've said, Captain Commando is a poor point character.  He is top tier on
the merit of his assist alone.  If you plan to use him, stick him dead last,
because you're going to have to play with the intent to win with Strider and
Doom at the helm alone.  You don't have the comfort of having a third point
character if need be.  This is why whenever you play with Captain Commando,
the opponent is going to go after one particular strategy: Snapback Captain
Commando into the battle.  In doing so, they can easily eliminate him, since
he is so poor a point character, and then you're down one vital assist.

All in all, Captain Cooridor may out-pace, out-power and out-prioritize
Inferno, but it certainly does not out-perform it.  Inferno has all the
makings for being a great assist for Strider and Doom, but Captain Cooridor
just doesn't cut it.  Blackheart can even serve point, if need be.  I would
personally never use the good Captain over Blackheart with this team.


-- Cyclops --

[Beta] Anti-Air Assist ~ Gene Splice

My personal favorite partner for the Strider/Doom team.  As an assist, he is
great for both Strider and Doom individually.  The Gene Splice has a certain
limited invunerability when used.  In addition, it covers a large area for an
AAA an juggles an opponent in such a way that each connect equates to a free
air combo, which both Strider and Doom can use to their advantage.

In terms of the Strider/Doom trap, it is a great lead in.  Strider can drop
Cyclops, and force the opponent to block, then teleport to the other side or
wavedash in and strat up a blocked ground chain.  Further, Cyclops comes out
fairly fast and is a great deterent to rushdown and pixie characters.  It
works for both ground rushers and air rushers.

Cyclops also happens to be one of the best assists you can possibly have for
Dr. Doom.  Because Doom has some potent air combos with the Air Photon Array,
an assist like Gene Splice, which leaves an opponent in prime position is
highly valuable.  In addition, Cyclops is great to drop down to pin an
opponent, then have Doom take to the air and pelt the opponent with Photon
Shots.

There is little worry about getting Cyclops punished as well.  He does have
frames of invunerability in the Gene Splice and it comes out quickly.  He
usually beats out anyone or any attack save for a select few (Cammy, Ken), so
that in itself is enough to keep him alive for a great deal.  In addition,
though he may be vunerable after the attack and during the pose, like anyone
else, this is hardly a problem for either Strider or Doom.

When you drop Cyclops with Strider on point, you usually take the opportunity
to either wavedash in their face and start a chain combo, or teleport to the
other side and do much the same.  Either will keep the opponent preoccupied
enough for Cyclops to disappear like an errand thought.

When using Cyclops with Doom on point, you again either wavedash in and start
a c.LP, c.MP, c.HP, or take to the air and fire off a Photon Shot or two.
Either will be sufficient to protect the X-Man.  Alternatively, you could
rush in with the wavedash and use Doom's unblockable c.HK.  This will cause
some serious problems for the unprepared.

As a Variable Counter, Cyclops is amongst the best.  I actually consider him
the best there is at it, though some would argue Psylocke is a bit better.
If you have two meters stocked up, and you are blocking an opponent who is
performing a chain combo, Variable Counter One-Eye in.  He'll connect with a
Gene Splice which you can then cancel into the Mega Optic Blast for huge
damage.  This will take off huge amounts of life from the careless.  It is,
in fact, highly useful against the Strider/Doom trap itself.  Even if an
opponent is not in your face, you can safely Variable Counter Cyclops in,
allow his limited invunerability in Gene Splice to protect him, then cancel
into the Super Optic Blast and hit anyone anywhere.  Even if they block, you
get chip damage, and you've safely brought in Cyclops.

As a point character, Cyclops is decent.  He doesn't excel enough to be
considered in the same level as most of the top tiers, but he is at the very
least servicable.

For starters, he has the fast as hell Optic Blast.  I wouldn't suggest
abusing this as it has terrible recovery, but you can always cancel it into
the Super Optic Blast even at full screen.  Cyclops is quite good at rushdown
as well, with fast hits, and a chainable Cyclone Kick.  Both the the Mega
Optic Blast and the Super Optic Blast are good chipping Hyper Combos.  The
latter is particularly effective, because Cyclops can aim it, and hit anyone
from nearly anywhere.  He even has a double jump to boot.

Cyke's greatest assets, though, are his insane priority attacks.  Some of his
moves beat out just about anything.  His down-forward HK, for example, may be
short, but the priority on it is simply sick.

More commonly abused, though, are three of his jumping attacks.  The standard
j.HK is a somersault kick.  It is fast and covers a wide range.  Useful for
jumping up at an opponent and bringing them down.  You can cleanly knock both
Storm or Sentinel out of the air, and those two are considered to be the
supreme as far as aerial battle is concerned.  Next up comes his jumping
down + roundhouse.  This performs his dropkick styled attack, similar to that
of Cable's.  This covers a great range and is one of the most effective
attacks to jump-in at an opponent with.  Likewise, his jumping down + fierce
(double-axe hammer) is quick and has just about as much priority.  The only
difference is that the dropkick is better in terms of range, and the double
axe hammer is better in terms of speed.

With those attacks, Cyclops utterly owns the air.  He can knock much of
anyone out of the sky, and if he is coming down at someone, he usually wins
out as well.  This is a fairly good compliment to Strider's whose main
weakness is the air.

As it is, Cyclops can be started as the point character, the second string,
or the main assist of the team.  Any position can be filled by him without
missing a beat.  This is another definite plus.

Cyke has a great way of building meter by playing runaway.  Superjumping with
an added double jump while performing j.HK will rack up meter quickly.  The
only reason why he isn't a good battery character, though, is that he uses
about as much meter as he can feasibly build up.

On the subject of burning meter, Cyclops can either use Optic Blast xx Super
Optic Blast, or he can use a standard ground chain combo of s.HK, s.HK xx
Cyclone Kick xx Super Optic Blast.  Cancel into the Super Optic Blast after
the second hit of the Cyclone Kick connects.

Additionally, Cyclops can almost always drop an assist without worry, because
he can superjump up and nail someone with a Super Optic Blast if need be.
Generally, Doom works well on point with Cyclops as an assist.  The reverse
works as well, because Cyclops can drop Doom, then take to the air, and use
either the jumping down + fierce or jumping down + roundhouse to come in at
an opponent.  Should someone attempt to punish Doom, simply perform the Super
Optic Blast and aim.

Since One-Eye has Hyper Combos that can chip quite well, as does Doom, along
with the tried-and-true Strider/Doom trap, you've got a very effective team
for block damage.  The only true weakness is that all three characters tend
to use up way more meter than they can build up.


-- Iron Man --

[Beta] Anti-Air Assist ~ Repulsor Blast

The Repulsar Blast is an interesting assist.  It serves more of a hybrid
between a mildly effective anti-air, space controller and attack stopper all
rolled into one.

As an anti-air, it works, but not as well as others.  It isn't anywhere near
the class of Gene Splice or Inferno, but it does deter opponents from jumping
in or airdashing in at Strider.  Because it covers much of the screen at
standing height, albeit at intervals, it works to control the ground area,
which is Strider's prime hunting ground.  In addition, because of the type of
range it covers, it causes to spread havoc.  That is, because of the unique
attack, it tends to disrupt the flow of battle for the other character.  Take
Magneto for example.  His main game plan is to rush in via his quick dash or
airdash and proceed to start up a combo of some sort.  If you let him get an
opening, Mags will be relentless and continue to attack and attack until he
catches you with your pants down.  If you drop Iron Man into the mix, the
tables suddenly turn because the attack keeps Magneto from pressing on.

As an assist, it is fairly effective.  When an opponent superjumps, drop
Iron Man and teleport to the other side.  They are usually forced to block,
and then Strider can teleport back over and start an offensive.  Otherwise,
Strider can hang back, and when the opponent is going to advance, he can
drop Iron Man, forcing the opponent to block, then close in himself.

If an opponent gets hit by the blast, they invariably are thrown into a
second hit in the center.  From here, Strider can run up and hit a launcher
and perform an Aerial Rave.  He can also jump at them and hit with a chain of
j.HP, j.HK, land and call the tiger xx Ouroboros.  For a simpler and more
reliable strategy, call the bird xx Ouroboros, then teleport over and you've
got the trap started.

Iron Man is an effective point character as well.  His main strength comes in
his simple to do infinite combo.  It is performed at mid-jump height.  Jump
after the airborne opponent and hit j.LP, j.MP, j.MK, jumping up + fierce,
land and repeat.

The particular beauty of Strider and Iron Man is that if you connect with a
Ouroboros Hyper Combo unblocked, the enemy is helpless.  Further, at the end
of Ouroboros (or whenever) you can tag out safety, and the tag-in attack will
_always_ hit.  If you decide to tag-in Iron Man, then the opponent will fly,
Iron Man will taunt, and recover fast enough to jump and connect with his
infinite.

So, in essence, with this duo, one connected Ouroboros equals a beaten and
dead character for your opponent.  Once you finish the character off, the
next will be forced in.  You can then call Strider's assist to guard break,
and the opponent will land directly into a well-timed Proton Cannon.

Aside from that infinite, Iron Man has little going for him.  He has strong
air combos for a guy without a Hyper Combo in the air because he can has both
an airdash (an eightway airdash, no less), and a fierce attack that does not
necessarily knock the opponent toward the ground.  You can do this to get
good damage.


-- Magneto --

[Alpha] Projectile Assist ~ EM Disruptor

As an assist, Magneto is fairly useless to both Strider and Doom.  It is
servicable to pin down opponents while Strider teleports, and it has a motley
assortment of other uses, but it does not excel in any aspect.  Just an extra
trick up your sleeve nothing more.

The reason anyone would play Magneto is because he is one of the best point
characters in the game.  In addition, he is one of the few that can work
quite effectively without the use of an assist, so he can fit in real nicely.
He also serves as a fail-safe plan in that you can still comfortably win a
match if both Strider and Doom are taken out.

Magneto is easily the best rushdown character in the game.  He has the single
fastest dash in the game and the fastest airdash as well (not to mention it
is an eightway airdash).  So anytime you make a mistake, he can dash in from
the other side of the screen and pummel you.

And pummel you, he will because Magneto is MvC2's reigning monarch of combos.
He can pull out infinities or reset combos from nearly any position.  If you
are hit by a single c.LK, expect to lose the good majority of your health
bar.

The Mutant Master of Magnetism also serves as a great battery.  He can
perform the Storm-like runaway game of superjumping with sj.HP, airdash up,
and more sj.HP to build meter.  More importantly, though, is if he gets you
in an infinite combo, he can amass tons of meter.  Moreover, though Magnetic
Tempest is a great Hyper Combo, many Magneto's now limit its use because of
the mashing escape of Hyper Gravitation xx Magnetic Tempest.  Still, there
are various unmashable Tempest combos that are simple enough to pull off,
but generally speaking, Mags will build far more meter than he will need for
himself.

Of course, this is where the teamwork for the team ends.  Magneto just is
not a team-player, so don't expect him to be.  If someone where to play him
with Strider/Doom, he's basically there so that you have at least two
effective offenses, neither of which are linked together.

Playing with Magneto, you can start him in any position.  Most people would
prefer starting him first, and hopefully taking out one or two opponents,
while leaving tons of meter for Strider/Doom to bat cleanup.


-- Sentinel --

[Gamma] Ground Assist ~ Sentinel Force

Sentinel is widely considered to be the single best partner for the Strider
and Doom team.  Between Strider's animals, Doom's rocks, and Sentinel's
Drones, the three can control space like nobodies' business.  The Drones are
also somewhat effective at chipping, stopping rushdown characters, and
pinning opponents down.

Until you actually have the trap started up, you will likely be calling out
Sentinel every chance you get.  The Drones effeectively cover Strider as he
runs in to perform chain combos.  Sentinel also provides one of the most
effective ways for Strider to start up Ouroboros from full screen.  You can
call the Drones for added coverage while you call a tiger or eagle and cancel
into Ouroboros.

Doom works well on point with Sentinel because his Photon Shot is as always,
effective at chipping.  With the coverage of Photon Shot, and the ground
control afforded by Sentinel, the team can zone opponents like none other.

On point is where Sentinel really shines.  Being one of the best characters
in the game and all that good stuff tends to help him.  Sentinel deals some
of the highest damage per hit in the game and he's no slouch in the combo
department if you play your cards right.  Every single one of his attacks, be
it Hyper Combo, or special move, or even plain ol' jab will deal chip damage
from Sentinel.  Not only that, he takes the least amount of damage in the
game.  He can eat Hyper Combos all day, and still be kicking it.  This is, of
course, a side bonus when calling him as an assist: you don't fear getting
punished as much as with a different assist.

But wait, there's more.  Sentinel comes fully loaded with Super Armor, so he
can wade through many attacks.  He also sports one of the best fierces in the
game, whether standing or crouching: the much vaunted mouthbeam.  His special
attacks are something to brag about as well.  Sentinel Force is great for
zoning, and Rocket Punch deals insane damage.

You'd expect such a large (the largest) character to be quite cumbersome.  On
the ground he may be a bit sluggish compared to some, but Sentinel is still
one of the most mobile characters in the game.  His flight mode is the single
fastest in the game, giving him the ability to travel at a rate on par with
most characters' dashes.  He is one of the best characters in the air with
his j.HP (the infamous "frying pan") and his stomping kicks.

In addition (does it ever end?), Sentinel comes with one of the better Hyper
Combos in the game: Hyper Sentinel Force.  It is great for chipping, assist
bashing, and trapping (part of his ground trap of mouthbeam xx Rocket Punch
xx Hyper Sentinel Force, repeat).  The beauty of this Hyper Combo is that
Sentinel will recover *before* it ends.  So if you nail someone with it, it
can dash forward, launch with a s.HK, superjump, sj.LP, sj.MP, Rocket Punch
combo to deal a decidedly large amount of damage.

Hyper Sentinel Force also happens to be great to DHC in.  For example, if
Strider connect with a s.HP, he can immediately cancel into Legion, and
immediately DHC into Hyper Sentinel Force, and it will catch.  This of course
can be followed up with some crazy damage from Sentinel.  All with a single
s.HP.  Additionally, if Doom nails an air combo, he can end with a Air Photon
Array DHCed into Hyper Sentinel Force.

Doom's AAA works quite well with Sentinel as well.  Not as well as Captain
Commando, but it is servicable.  Sentinel takes to the sky by cancelling into
flight mode through the crouching mouthbeam or the j.LK.  From here, he can
stomp at the opponents and continue to call Doom to zone and chip.

When playing with a team of Strider, Doom, and Sentinel, you can choose to
start Sentinel as point or second.  Personally, I prefer to start Strider on
point, and use Sentinel primarily as a assist to get things rolling.  The
zoning and lead-in's provided by Sentinel are just too good to pass up.  He
can allow Strider to do things most characters couldn't, such as covering
with Drones while letting Strider call a bomb to cancel into Ouroboros.
Also, this way, if Strider falls, you still have a really strong duo of
Sentinel/Doom.

Others prefer starting Sentinel on point to hopefully take out a character or
two, making the Strider/Doom trap much more effective, because it only has to
finish a job that's almost done.  If you have a good Sentinel, this can work
fine, but you'll lose a lot of the benefits of Sentinel as an assist.


-- Storm --

[Alpha] Projectile Assist ~ Typhoon

Storm's assist is a variation of Sentinel's.  It isn't as versatile in the
aspect of controlling space, because Sentinel's Drones tend to move around,
rather they stay at ground level.  The nice thing about Typhoon, though, is
that once it has been released, it will continue along unimpeded.  It cannot
be cancelled by another attack.  It can not be interrupted by striking Storm.
Once it is out, a grounded opponent will either eat it, or be forced to
block.

As it is, you can make great use of it for zoning.  It also provides a nice
cover to dash in and attack an opponent.  Likewise, if they are locked down
blocking it, teleport over and say hello.  Used in conjuction with the eagle,
Strider can effectively play a bit of keepaway against rushdown characters
like Magneto, while doing minor chip work and building extra meter.  At the
very least it will frustrate the opponent.

Storm's main purpose in a team of Strider and Doom is to serve as a point
character.  She is easily one of the best point characters in the game, and
most people consider her to be _the_ best.

At point, Storm is highly powerful.  She is quite fast, with an eight-way
airdash second only to that of Magneto's.  She has an addition feature of
being able to float in the air causing her to descend much slower than any
other character.  Coupled with her high priority fierce's she can take to the
skies, and build a lot of meter fairly quickly.

Storm also serves well as a rushdown character.  Her s.HK has large priority
and has some deceptive range.  Her attacks are quick as well, leaving her
able to perform great combos.  An Aerial Rave can be cancelled into the
Lightning Attack cancelled further into the Lightning Storm Hyper Combo.  For
extra damage, Lightning Storm can be DHCed into a great deal of other Hyper
Combos.  You can, for example, DHC into Legion.  You can also try DHC into
Ouroboros and take the offense from there into a Strider/Doom trap.

Storm also possesses a great assist punishing tactic in Typhoon xx Hail.  If
need be, this serves to chip as well.  Hail is one of the best Hyper Combos
in the game.  For starters, it does decent damage.  Further, it fills nearly
the entire screen so that no one is safe.  Because of the way it attacks,
Storm is nearly 100% safe after using it, so she needn't worry about that.

The great thing about Hail, though, is that it is the single best DHC in the
game.  When DHCed into she is almost always 100% safe before and after.  It
also combos off of just about anything, because the speed at which the screen
is filled.

So basically, using Storm, you've got a few options to consider.  For one,
you can use her primarily as a battery character.  She can superjump into the
air and use her sj.HP to build meter, airdash up, build more meter, then use
the Lightning Attack to sore over tehe top of the screen, and gently float
down to the ground, all the while, building meter.

Or, you can employ her to act as a dangerous rushdown character.  Using her
fast dash and airdash, she can corner an opponent, launch them up, perform an
air combo xx Lightning Attack xx Lightning Storm and then DHC into the next
character safely.


-- Everyone else... --

There are other alternatives to fill the third slot for a Strider and Doom
team.  None of them are quite as good as those listed above, but perhaps you
are just better with different characters, or just prefer them.

CABLE:  Cable is hardly the best partner for Strider.  His AAA is servicable
but lacks the invicibility and ability to combo off of that Cyclop's AAA has.
The main point to use Cable is if you don't feel confident with Strider/Doom
and need a contingency plan.  Should Strider/Doom fall, Cable is one of the
only characters who can still effectively dismember an opposing team all by
himself.  The flaws in this team is that Cable makes a poor teammate for the
other two characters, and this team hogs up way to much meter, with no way
to effectively build it back up.  You are better off using Cyclops or Iron
Man.

CAMMY:  She would be used primarily for her AAA.  Cammy does have a decent
rushdown game by perform c.HP, superjump, sj.LP, sj.LK, sj.MP, sj.MK, Cannon
Drill xx Killer Bee Assualt.  But characters like Storm and Magneto outshine
her by quite a bit.  Her AAA has quite a bit of horizontal range and
near-complete invunerability going up.  But this alone isn't that great when
you have other characters with AAA just as effective.  Again, Cyclops and
Iron Man are better choices.

KEN:  Much like Cammy's AAA, but better.  Much better.  Ken's Shoryuken is
the single most prioritized attack in the entire game.  That is to say it
will single-handed beat out every other attack in the game, hands down.  One
can see the uses for an assist like this.  If forced into a point position,
Ken comes equipped with the glitched Air Hurricane Kick that does not adhere
to damage scaling.  As such, one good air combo, without the use of a Hyper
Combo, can take off as much as 75% of an opponent's health bar.  He also
still has the invincible Shoryuken, as well as Hyper Combos that have
limited invunerability as well.  The problems with Ken is that the Shoryuken,
much like Cammy's Cannon Spike puts the opponent in such a position that they
are not vunerable to further attack.  Though the invunerability is nice,
Cyclop's Gene Splice and Iron Man's Repulsar Blast are more practical and
useful.  Also keep in mind that if Ken is forced into point, even with his
advantages, he can do nothing if he can't get close.  And it isn't difficult
to keep him away.

SPIRAL:  Spiral is the absolute best pure battery character in the game.
Using her swords, she can run effective chipping traps by herself.  In
addition, she's one of the most mobile characters in the game because of her
teleport, which is the best.  She can start up a teleport after the beginning
of Hyper Sentinel Force and clear it with time to spare.  Add these two
together, and you have one of the most annoying characters to fight.  What
makes her above and beyond everyone else in terms of being a battery, though,
is that she has absolutely no use for meter at all.  Her Hyper Combos aren't
any good, and she can use her swords to cover for a character tagging in, so
you do not have to DHC.  Of course, Spiral has her limitations.  For one, she
can never really punish any mistakes.  She has no way of dealing a massive
amount of damage at once.  Further, as annoying as the swords can be, they
aren't a real threat in terms of damage.  Spiral is only useful as a battery,
and to that end, you can just as easily use Storm, Magneto, Blackheart and to
some extent Cyclops.  All of whom are better compliments to Strider and Doom.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Other Choices -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just because Doom is the best assist for Strider does not mean you _have_ to
use him.  There are various alternatives in the event you want to try
something different.

-- Chun-Li --

[Gamma] Expansion Assist - Sen-en-shuu

Chun-Li possesses one of the two assists in the game that count as an
overhead attack.  Used in conjuction with Strider's Sliding Kick, this can
end up quite effective.  Aside from that, she isn't all too useful.

Chun-Li works well with Wolverine as a third choice (see below).  This team
would be the high-and-low nightmare, because if you can stay on the offensive
(abuse Ouroboros), the opponent will always have to stay on the defensive.
This is a bad position when you have assists that hit high and low.


-- Juggernaut --

[Gamma] Variety Assist - Juggernaut Body Press

Juggy has the other overhead attack in the game.  This one is quite a bit
slower, and the assist in itself isn't quite as effective as Chun-Li's.  The
nice thing about Juggy's is that he just high and then proceeds to land.
This better accomodates Strider, as it doesn't leave both him and his assist
in the same path, ready to be hit at the same time.

Additionally, Juggernaut possess one of the better Hyper Combos in the game,
Juggernaut Headcrush.  It has amazingly fast start up time, and can be mashed
for obscene amounts of damage.  Though, be warned, his Hyper Combo may be
good, but it doesn't do enough to make him a great character.

Juggy works well with a battery character.  Because he is so dependant on
meter, he needs one badly.  The team works somewhat well because a battery
character builds for Strider and Juggernaut.  Strider has mobility, so he can
take point whenever Juggy would be up against a trapping character.


-- Thanos --

[Alpha] Capture Assist - Death Sphere

One of the more interesting assists in the game, Thanos' Capture assist uses
his infamous bubble attack.  On the outside, it seems rather bad.  It is slow
moving, and extremely easy to dodge.  The point of this assist, though, is to
make situations for this assist to hit.

For example, you can launch an opponent, call Thanos and then perform a short
Aerial Rave.  If you have your timing down, you can knock the opponent right
into Thanos' attack, trapping them.  This leaves a world of opportunities for
Strider to take advantage of.

Many characters work well with Thanos.  He isn't a particularly useful point
character, so find a third teammate that also works well with this assist.
Characters like Cable and Magneto love this assist as they can abuse their
powerful Hyper Combos.


-- Wolverine (Bone Claw) --

[Gamma] Variety Assist - Sliding Claw (down-forward HP)

This assist is the only one in the entire game that attacks low, meaning you
have to crouch block this attack.  This can make for interesting effects when
used in conjuction with Strider's teleport.  Drop Wolverine on one side, then
teleport to the other.

This forces the opponent to first block low one way to defend against Wolvie,
then they must block against Strider who has now crossed them up, and is
attacking from above.  Used against the inexperienced, this tactic alone will
reak havoc on them.

The problem, though, is that this strategy doesn't deal much damage, and once
you use it enough, the opponent will quickly catch on.  Still, even when the
opponent knows what to expect, it is difficult to dodge.

In addition, you can lock an opponent down with Ouroboros, call Wolverine,
then jump up and forward with the j.LK at the same time Wolverine strikes.
Makes for an effective strategy.

Be wary of those that can easily punish mistakes.  Wolverine and Strider are
two characters who take an obscenely high amount of damage.  As it is, it
would take a total of two well-timed Hyper Combos to take out both of them.

Given the fragility of this duo, and the lack of power it provides, it isn't
the best there is.  But high and low combinations with cross-ups is never a
bad thing.  Add in a character like Chun-Li or Juggernaut, with their
overhead assist, and you have a mean team, though a bit weak on the stamina
side.



=============================================================================
    VI.  Versus
=============================================================================

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Top Tier -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-- Cable --

Cable is easily one of the best characters in the game, along with Magneto,
Storm and Sentinel.  And four letters can explain it: AHVB.  The letters
stand for "Air Hyper Viper Beam," easily the single best Hyper Combo in the
entire game.

Unlike the grounded version, the aerial Hyper Viper Beam has instant startup.
In addition, if performed just above the ground, Cable will recover as soon
as he lands.  Taking advantage of the game's internal workings the classic
"Tiger Knee" motion (down, down-forward, forward, up-forward) produces the
superjump effect.  Further, it still counts as a quarter circle forward
motion as well.  Combine all these together, and you can perform the AHVB
from the ground in less time than it takes to blink.  If you slip up at all,
and the opposing Cable has a meter, you're going to have a big-ass beam in
your face.

But wait, it gets better.  Because Cable will land, and recover, he can
chain one AHVB into another.  Thus comboing a Hyper Combo into itself.  If
he has enough meter, he can do it until you are dead.  Most characters take
three AHVBs to before they croak.  Strider, being as weak stamina-wise as he
is, takes only two.  One mistake, two meters, and you lose your entire main
offense.

But it doesn't end there.  Strider can effectively guard break incoming
characters with his eagle.  Cable can trump that.  His j.HP shoots a bullet
across the screen.  This gives Cable the ability to kill an opponent with the
much feared AHVB, then guard break an incoming character with teh j.HP, and
catch them with another AHVB.  If he has enough meter, he can take out a good
majority of your team rather easily on just one mistake.

On that same train of thought, he can force the opening himself if need be.
It is especially dangerous to get close to cable because if he connects with
one c.LK, he can chain it into a c.MK, s.HK xx AHVB with the greatest of
ease.

In addition, AHVB is hands down the best Hyper Combo for punishing assists.
Call one out without properly providing cover, and Cable will shoot you dead.
What's more, if he can catch the assist and force your point character to
block, he is quick enough that he can continue to chain them together and
kill your assist, and the only thing you can do is sit there, block, and
watch.

But this doesn't mean good ol' Nathan Summers is a one trick pony.  Far from
it actually.  Cable, for starters, has some of the best regular attacks in
the game.  His j.HK is much like his father's in that it looks similar, and
carries much the same priority.  His j.HP is quite unique, and one of the
better aerial fierces there are.  It is great for runaway, and especially
useful for guard breaking.

Aside from this, Cable has an assortment of great special moves.  The Viper
Beam is quick, and actually pushes the opponent back.  The grenade is one of
the better stalling attacks in the game.

Cable is both a great keepaway character and a trapper.  For the latter, he
can continuously jump back, perform j.HP, and throw a grenade or use his
Viper Beam to keep himself safe.  If he wants to trap, all he needs is the
right assist.  Many will do, but I'll use Sentinel for example.  Cable will
simply perform the standing fierce x 4, call Sentinel Ground, then throw a
grenade, jump up and back performing the jab Viper Beam.  He will perform
the Viper Beam so that he will land immediately, and he can go into it again.

At this point, you may think of Cable as a monster, and he probably is.  The
nice thing, though, is that Strider is a character that matches up extremely
well with Cable.  The key to all would be Strider's best buddy, the might
Warp move.

Cable's best moves are those that lock him into a certain animation for
awhile, and target only one direction.  So, when Cable is getting ready to do
something like jump backwards, j.HP, then throw a grenade, teleport behind
the sucker, and let him eat your blade.  With the teleport alone, you've
effectively removed both his trapping game, and his runaway game.

With these two out of the way, the only thing left for Cable is to superjump
into the air, then use the jumping fierce xx grenade.  Though this is a
somewhat effective strategy to pin most opponents down, and build meter, it
doesn't work so well against Strider.  Cable has no airdash.  He has no
double jump.  He has no flight mode.  Basically, once Cable jumps, he cannot
change his trajectory by much, and will land in a very obvious spot.

Predict where he will land, drop Doom, then teleport to the opposite side.
Cable will likely land into the rocks.  Doing so prevents the chance of AHVB,
and adds in a pincer attack as well.  If he tries to hit Doom with a j.HK,
then teleport over while he is preoccupied and air throw him.  If he tries to
go after Strider, Doom's rocks will cut short any offense he can make.

Alternatively, you use the wavedash to keep directly under Cable during the
superjump.  When he performs the sj.HP, superjump up yourself.  He will
likely be locked into the grenade throwing animation, but the area directly
under him is completely unguarded.  So you can effectively come up right
under his nose, and beat the crap out of him.

The important thing to remember against Cable is to keep blocking.  Only go
for a teleport after he's already committed himself to an attack.  Use his
slow recovery time against him.  This way, you prevent being hit by the AHVB,
which is the only truly dangerous part about facing Cable.

As an assist, you hardly have to worry.  Cable is a workable AAA, but he is
not nearly as good as many of them.  He may have a swift startup, but he has
no invincibility, and Psimitar drags an opponent to the top of the screen,
where they can block.  It doesn't set up for any combos or Hyper Combos, so
if you're hit, no big deal.  Treat it like any other AAA, but with less
potential for damaging you.  There is no need to worry about Variable Counter
either.  Though Cable can cancel into AHVB from a Psimitar, the attack will
carry you out of the range of AHVB.


-- Magneto --

Magneto is in the same league as Storm, Cable and Sentinel; that is to say,
way better than everyone else.  Magneto is one of the best characters in the
entire game.

A good Magneto is something to truly fear.  He is far and wide the fastest
character in the game, with his dash and eightway airdash blowing everyone
else away.  Magnus also happens to be the god of reset combos and infinities,
and in a game like MvC2, that's saying a lot.  If you slip up once, Magneto
will dash right in, connect with a c.LK, and then it is all over.

A high-level Magneto is truly a monster.  The nice thing about it is that
there are an exceedingly few amount of truly high-level Magnetos out there.
The character is easily the most difficult to play of the top tiers, because
the timing and execution required is ridiculous.  The scary thing, though, is
that even a mid-level Magneto can be a nightmare.

The secret to defeating the mutant dread lord is to know his rushdown
techniques and understand when to block.  Magneto only has one real way of
damaging you, that is to say he has to be right in your face.  Mags only has
two ways to approach you: the dash-in, and the air-dash-in.

The dash-in is used to cover the screen and stop right next to Strider.
Magnus will them perform a c.LK and chain it into a variety of different
combos.  A lot of times Mags will also call an assist to cover him, so you
cannot simply drop your own assist and stop him.  Obviously, you will need
to block low.

The air-dash in is usually performed with a j.LK, j.MK chain and then
followed up by a myriad of other attacks.  This is obviously blocked with a
standing block.  Seem simple?  This is were it gets interesting.  You are
lulled into comfort by the simple tactics of blocking Magneto.  Then, as he
is approaching via a dash-in, he will cancel the dash with a superjump and
airdash down-forward cancelling the superjump.  This happens all in the span
of time you are blocking low, anticipating the c.LK.  Instead, you just
witnessed a "tri-jump" and Mags has landed a pair of kicks in mid-air on
your face.  Instead of blocking high, you were blocking low because you
expected something else.  If Mags wants to get saucy, he can throw cross-ups
into the mix by using the tri-jumps to get past Strider while covered by an
assist.  He can further confuse you if need be.  He will dash in, and you
will instinctively block the c.LK.  Only it won't come.  Instead Magneto
comes right up to your face and you get thrown.

Now let's get into the common Magneto combos.  The original bread and butter
combo of Magneto was c.LK, c.HP, superjump, sj.LP, sj.LK, sj.MP, sj.MK,
Hyper Gravitation xx Magnetic Tempest.  This dealt fairly good damage, and
after it connected, Magneto could further catch the opponent with sj.LK,
sj.MK, airdash, another combo, Hyper Gravitation xx Magnetic Tempest again.

Now, this combo isn't employed as much because of button mashing.  If done
properly, you can escape the hold of the Hyper Gravitation and block the
Magnetic Tempest Hyper Combo.  Of course, even with mashable Tempest combos
gone from his arsenal, Magneto is no less dangerous.

After a launcher, Magneto can superjump after his opponent.  If he hits them
with a sj.HP or sj.HK before anything else, the opponent will still fall
like normal, but the scrolling screen effect will not occur.  As a result,
Magneto can airdash down-forward and catch up with his opponent.  Then he
usually connects with a j.LK, j.MK, and lands, ready to perform any number
of deadly combos.

A simple follow up would be to jump up, j.LK, call Psylocke AAA, j.MK,
Psylocke AAA hits, Magnetic Tempest.  This is one of Magneto's many
"unmashable" Tempest combos.  Afterwards, he can OTG with a simple c.LK or
s.LK and go from there to produce even more combos.  Think that's bad?  That
is what happens if you are _lucky_.  Instead, Magneto could always opt for
something like his infinite (j.LP, j.down + LK, pause, j.MP, j.MK, land,
repeat).

I'll stop with the Magneto combos for now, but I suppose you are starting to
realize that one mistake is a terrible thing to make against Magneto.  With
his combos and Strider's poor stamina, you're going to get killed, and rather
quickly at that.

The good thing about all this is that you likely won't have to deal with all
this.  Strider is one of those characters who can match up well with just
about anyone, Magneto among them.  There is one key point to remember when
attempting to defeat Mags: he can only truly hurt you if he is close.

Take advantage of that fact.  Play a zoning game with animals, with heavy use
of the tiger.  This will force Magneto into airdashing.  At this point, you
can drop Doom, and teleport over to the other side.  Additionally, if Magneto
is approaching, you could always jump back and perform j.HK.  From a dashing
position, there's no move Magneto can perform that will outprioritize Hiryu.

Assists like Sentinel Ground and Doom AAA wreak havoc on Magneto like nothing
else.  Since Magneto can only really start off combos with his jab-style
attacks, you don't have to worry about range.  He's one of the few characters
Strider can effectively play a runaway game against.  The one thing to watch
out for is the corner.  Do not run into a corner, or Mags will have a field
day with Strider.  If you get near a corner, drop Doom and teleport over, or
superjump and come down with j.HK.

If at any time you can get Magneto into blockstun via an animal or assist,
teleport in and start up teh Strider/Doom trap.  This is particularly
effective against Magneto because he is much like Strider: he has to stay on
the offense.  As such, it is easier to catch Magneto in an unguarded
Ouroboros than most opponents.  If you ever catch Magneto in a standard chain
combo unguarded, use the Snapback.  It will make life so much easier.


-- Sentinal --

Sentinel is also among the top four characters in the game, and with good
reason.  His hits deal the most damage in the game, and he takes the least
damage as well.  In addition, Sentinel sports the Super Armor so that he can
wade through many attacks.  He has one of the best Hyper Combos in the game
(Hyper Sentinel Force), and the fastest fly mode there is.  Did I mention
every single hit he does will deal chip damage?

Sentinel players have two gameplans.  They either play a trapping, zoning
and chipping game, or they play the head stomping game.  Both are annoying,
effective, and highly damaging.

The former usually involves using Sentinel's crouching fierce punch mouthbeam
then cancelling into fly, while calling an assist.  The Sentinel will then
land and repeat.  If he has meter to burn, and wants to deal some serious
chip damage, he'll use the combo fierce mouthbeam xx Rocket Punch xx Hyper
Sentinel Force, repeat.  If he catches an unguarded assist, he can chain this
to his heart's content (or rather until the assist dies or he runs out of
meter).

If Sentinel ever catches a character with his Hyper Sentinel Force, he can
continue to use the mouthbeam xx RP xx HSF, or he can dash up and land a s.HK
launcher, superjump, sj.LP, sj.MP, Rocket Punch to deal a lot of damage.

When Sentinel is playing his stomping game, he will use either the crouching
fierce mouthbeam or the j.LK to cancel into the fly mode.  Then he will call
assists while using j.LK and j.HK to pin you to the ground, while stomping
on your head.  If you try to superjump away, Sentinel will simply use the
fierce punch frying pan and squash you back down to the ground.  Smart
Sentinel players will keep this up for a short time, then drop down to the
ground and run a few ground traps before going back into this (so they do
not leave themselves open for too long).

Though the robot sounds intiminating at the moment, he is like most of the
other top tiers, bad against Strider.  Our friendly neighborhood ninja has
all the tools needed to take down any Sentinel.

Sentinel is one of the simplest characters to perform the Strider/Doom trap
on.  He is the tallest, and easily one of the most cumbersome.  Once you have
it started, it can be continued very easily because Sentinel lacks the speed
to break it.

Additionally, Strider's only infinite combo exists against Sentinel.  If you
stand right next to him, you can perform j.LK, j.MK, brief pause, j.HP,
pause, j.HK, land, repeat.

When dealing with the trap game, you need to find an opening to superjump.
Pushblock like there is no tommorow.  When you're in the sky, Sentinel has no
attack that will out-prioritize Strider's j.HK.  The only thing you have to
watch out for is the AAA.  Try to Snapback the assist in if at all possible.
It shouldn't be too difficult to do considering the cumbersome Sentinel.

Additionally, the lag between the Drones in Hyper Sentinel Force is just
enough for Strider to pushblock, then perform Legion and immediately DHC into
another Hyper Combo to tag Sentinel.  This is a very difficult technique to
pull off, especially considering the risks, but it can completely change the
tempo of the game.

As an assist, Sentinel is great for controlling space, and stopping most
rushdowns.  He can't do anything to Strider though.  The teleport completely
counters the assist in every which way.  Anytime Sentinel enters the screen,
drop an AAA, and teleport over.


-- Storm --

Often regarded as the single best character in the game, Storm is a force to
be reckoned with.  She has high-priority moves, a quick dash, very fast
eightway airdash, the ability to float from a jump, one of the best Hyper
Combos in the entire game (Hail), and some mad combos.

There are two types of Storm players you will face.  The more common of the
two is the runaway Storm.  These players tend to drop an assist, superjump
and throw j.HP every which way.  Then they airdash higher, throwing more
jumping fierces.  Then they will use Lightning Attack to sore over the screen
and float back down slowly throwing even more j.HPs.  This builds a lot of
meter really fast.  In addition, because of her manuvuerability, and the
priority on her fierce, she can do this rather safely as well.

The second type of Storm is the rushdown type.  She has both a fast dash, and
quick attacks that lead into some mean combos.  Her s.HK launcher so very
deceptive range and priority.  Storm can easily dash in and perform s.LK,
s.MK, s.HK, superjump, sj.LP, sj.LK, sj.MP, sj.MK, Lightning Attack xx
Lightning Storm.  At this point, she can easily DHC into another Hyper Combo
if she so pleases.  This is a very effective tactic, because by playing
runaway Storm first, she builds tons of meter.  Now, she uses one for
Lightning Storm, she can spare a second to deal more damage, and bring
someone else into the mix.

Storm stands second in assist killing behind Cable.  Anytime someone throws
out an assist, Storm will try to perform Typhoon xx Hail and completely
annihilate the assists.  To beat out Hail, it takes only one move: the eagle.
Anytime you call out an assist against Storm when she is grounded, call the
eagle immediately afterwards.  Alternatively, anytime you see Typhoon, you
can teleport over and smack Storm with a j.HP to cancel Hail.

Storm can either be a difficult match for Strider or a simple one.  If you
can keep her from playing runaway, the game is in the bag.  Strider tends to
out-prioritize Storm in most attacks.  You can keep her zoned and locked in
blockstun rather easily with the Strider/Doom trap.  Be sure to throw plenty
of eagles to dissuade superjumping, and prevent any random Hails.

If she manages to runaway, you better hope you picked the right assists.
Blackheart is the man of the hour for this.  Nothing can compare to Inferno
for bringing Storm down.  Otherwise, you can activate Ouroboros, and jump
after her.  With the combination of superjumps and double jumping, Strider
can easily catch up with Storm, and force her down because of the Ouroboros
satellites.

As an assist Storm works on a mediocre level.  The Typhoon is nice in that it
cannot be stopped once it is out, but it isn't the greatest assist.  Strider
has no fear of it because of the teleport.  Typhoon is much to slow to pose
a threat to Strider.  Anytime you see it, assume it is a free invitation to
teleport in, because you'll be secure in the knowledge the opponent cannot
call in an AAA (since Storm is already out).


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Secondary Top Tier -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-- Blackheart --

Blackheart is probably the simplest of all the Top Tier level characters.
The son of Mephisto is a slow lumbering character who is also overly large.
His main game plan focuses on trapping, runaway, and chipping.  Because of
the use of pushblocking, Blackheart's uses have diminished quite a bit, but
he still serves teams well as an assist and effective battery.

Walking on the ground, Blackheart is amongst the slowest characters in the
game.  His dash is also unique, and leaves him unable to cancel, meaning if
he tries it, you can hit him.  His leaves Blackheart only one choice to get
around quickly: superjumping.  As an added bonus, Blackheart has an airdash
(two-way) that comprises most of his battle plan.

The demon will jump into the sky, throw out some demons via roundhouse or
fierce.  He will then airdash forward or backwards, giving him back the
ability to block after performing an attack.  Usually, though, he will make
use of this extra attack by throwing more demons before his landing.  Due to
the range of these demons he throws, this is an effective trapping technique,
especially when paired with an effective assist.  It also builds a large
amount of meter for him to burn at will.

Back in the day, Blackheart could effectively use the Inferno xx Heart of
Darkness to deal massive chip damage (somewhere in the vicinity of 10% of a
health bar).  This coupled with his massive meter building efficiency, and
his trapping game, made Blackheart a true monster.

Of course, that was back in the day.  Now, players employ pushblocking to
crush Blackheart.  Once he performs Inferno, pushblock, and superjump out of
the field of Heart of Darkness.  This leaves Blackheart floating in the air
like a moron, while his demons fly around in a confined area away from you.
He's wide open, so you can do a variety of things to punish him.

There's an additional weakness to the Heart of Darkness Hyper Combo now.
Once you are hit by this, and your character does not have his back to the
wall, it will cause you to fly away with the scrolling screen effect similar
to being hit by an Aerial Rave.  As such, Blackheart is automatically forced
to dash forward.  Since his dash leaves him vunerable, and he cannot cancel
it like others can, you can take advantage of this weak spot.  Call out the
one-frame Legion, and DHC into a Hyper Combo with quick start-up.  The only
ones that I've ever tried to use are Storm's Hail, which is very effective
for this.  This is not really worth it, since you take the hit of Heart of
Darkness and have to waste two meters, but sometimes you slip up.  If that's
the case, keep this in mind.  (Just as a side reference, Cable players have a
field day with this because they can recover and perform AHVB and totally
decimate Blackheart.)

Keep in mind, though, it is still a viable chipping tactic if he manages to
catch you in the air.  Of course, Strider spends little time jumping around,
so this isn't a particular problem.  With Inferno xx Heart of Darkness out of
the picture, some Blackheart players will resort to Judgement Day performed
in the air to chip.  Most players, though, will just use Blackheart to build
meter, then serve as an assist for the rest of battle.

Given his lack of variety, Blackheart is simple to stomp.  He will spend the
great majority of his time in superjumping and airdashing, and he only has
two variations of demons, so he becomes quite predictable, even before battle
begins.  The simplest method to take out Blackheart is through the use of
assists.  you can employ assist like Captain Commando, or Blackheart himself
to effectively drop him.  Characters like Cyclops and Ken, though, are better
because they have invunerability against whatever assist Blackheart himself
is employing.

Aside from assists, you can always attempt to "catch" him.  Neither of the
demons covers just below Blackheart, so you can superjump up at him while he
is directly above Strider.  Make sure he is otherwise occupied throwing the
demons, because his j.LK has quite a bit of priority.  If he is attacking
with demons, then just jump up at him and use an Aerial Rave to ground him.

Or you can attempt to intercept Blackheart with a teleport.  After Blackheart
superjumps, throws demons, airdashes, and throws more demons to cover his
landing he is vunerable.  That span between his second wave of demons and his
landing is a period he can do nothing at all.  Given his trajectory can no
longer be altered because he has used up his airdash, the landing point will
be simple to deduce.  Teleport over there, and introduce him to Sipher.

Alternatively, you can wait until this vunerability period to call Legion,
allow animals to come out, then DHC to something like Proton Cannon so that
Blackheart eats two Hyper Combos.  I wouldn't suggest this, though, because
it is a terrible waste to spend two meters against Blackheart when he poses
so little threat to Strider.

You can, of course, opt to keep Blackheart pinned.  He is simply too
cumbersome a character to stop the Strider/Doom trap.  Though, again, I do
not suggest doing so because it is a waste of meter, and Blackheart is simple
enough for Strider even when you let him get into his attacking rhythm.

When facing Blackheart as an assist, you have a slight problem.  Inferno is
quite fast, especially when you have another point character gunning for
Strider.  Unlike Magneto, you do not have the sheer speed to avoid it
consistantly, so you may find yourself in a bind.

First order of business would be to attempt to connect a chain combo against
the point character, leading into a Snapback to bring in Blackheart.  Failing
this, attempt to bait Blackheart out.  Use the teleport in method, and double
jump away while calling an assist.  Most other AAA's tend to out-prioritize
Inferno by quite a bit.


-- Captain Commando --

Captain Commando is good for one thing, and one thing only: as an assist.  He
is a terrible point character.  Still, there are times you'll find yourself
against the good Captain, so it is nice to know his strategies.

The most overused tactic of Captain Commando players is to bait an opponent
toward them, then use Captain Cooridor xx Captain Sword.  The quickest way to
beat this outis to call an invincible AAA after Captain Cooridor.  If you do
it this way, the AAA will hit *during* the Captain Sword.  By doing this, you
knock Captain Commando out of the attack, but not before he wastes an entire
meter.

To do this effective, you can simply jump into Captain Commando while you
block.  The Captain Cooridor will get blocked, and you can release block
during the Captain Sword to call the assist because Captain Sword starts out
high.  If you land quickly enough, you can teleport to the opposite side of
Captain Commando, while he is performing the Hyper Combo.  From here,
activate the trusty Ouroboros and attack.

Aside from that, Captain Commando is totally unremarkable.  No double jump,
no airdash, no teleport, no anything-that-would-make-him-any-good.  He has
the standard projectile, complete with a huge recovery lag.  He has the
anti-air attack of Captain Cooridor which also has an enormous recovery time.
he has a half-assed expansion attack, and several buddy attacks, that serve
somewhat like Strider's animals.  Basically, not too impressive.  You can
teleport in on Captain Commando, secure in the knowledge that he only has
the Captain Cooridor to protect himself, and that is a simple attack to get
over (as described above).

As an assist, Captain Commando truly shines.  He comes out quickly, the
attack covers a nice area, has some priority, reaches the top of the screen,
deals decent damage, and is highly effective in keeping opponents away.  The
best bet when dealing with Captain Commando as an assist is to use the
Snapback and bring him into the battle as point character.

If you cannot manage that, there's an alternative.  Teleport over, and
immediately block, or double jump away.  This will likely bait out Captain
Commando.  After blocking or avoiding his attack, call an assist of your own
to nail Commando.


-- Cyclops --

Cyclops is the priority king and one of the best aerial combatants in the
entire game.  As described earlier, his down-forward + HK launcher has some
sick priority for whatever reason.  In addition, his jumping fierces and
roundhouses beat out nearly everything else, and makes it so that Cyke is
the most dangerous character to have jumping down at you.

Aside from this, he has a speedy projectile, a partially invincible anti-air
attack, an ublockable attack that can be used after a sweep, and two highly
effective Hyper Combos.  The Mega Optic Blast covers a very large area, and
chips rather well.  The Super Optic Blast can be used from nearly anywhere,
starts up fast enough to be cancelled into by an Optic Blast on the other
side of the screen, and can serve to chip well itself.

When facing One-Eye, he will likely be doing one of two things.  For one, he
will call an assist, then take the skies use his jumping roundhouse and
double jump to build a large amount of meter fairly quickly.  It is dangerous
to attempt attacking his assist, because he can simply perform the Super
Optic Blast in the air and cover his assist.  Or he can always just drop down
using either his down + fierce or roundhouse and stop that tactic in its
tracks.

Otherwise, Cyke will employ his rushdown game.  He can easily chain a simple
combo into a powerful Hyper Combo by using s.HK, s.HK, Cyclone Kick xx Super
Optic Blast.  Or, Cyclops can trip you with his sweep (c.HK) then perform his
Running Neckbreaker Drop when you get back up.

The main problem when facing Cyclops is that his high priority attacks pose a
problem for Strider's trying to teleport in.  You'll likely eat a boot to the
face if you're not prepared.  The key to defeating Cyclops, it would seem,
lies in keeping him grounded.  Easier said than done.  Cyclops will likely
always find a way back into superjumping, because he has the ability to deal
enough damage, giving Strider concern for pushing any type of offensive.

So you are basically forced to take his aerial game into consideration.  You
cannot hope to jump up at him, like against Cable, because Cyclops has too
many high-priority attacks in the air.  You likewise can't employ the Doom
pincer attack by dropping Doom on one side while Strider teleports to the
other.  This is because Cyke can simply stay in the air and blast Doom with
Super Optic Blast.

Your best bet is to activate Ouroboros and hope that makes the Cyclops player
a bit hesitant to attack.  If so, teleport in and proceed to lock Cyclops in
blockstun once he is about to land.  Add in an invicible AAA to cover Strider
and you should be able to break Cyclops' game.

Off screen, Cyclops is no less a monster.  Gene Splice is easily one of the
best AAAs in the entire game, complete with frames of invunerability, good
coverage, and ease to combo after it connects.  It makes life much harder
since Strider can no longer teleport in and attack.

Baiting the assist with the teleport is a bit difficult because of the
horizontal range it covers, and the speed it has.  If you are facing a
rushdown type character, you have one alternate method of baiting, though.
Call your assist so that the opponent calls Cyclops.  Cyke will connect.  At
this point, activate Ouroboros and stand where Cyclops will land.  Hit the
punch buttons to continuously send rings out to trap the opposing point
character.  Cyclops will land into the rings of Ouroboros and take massive
damage.

Do not abuse this technique, as the opponent will catch on fairly quickly.
Of course, given how much damage you will have inflicted with one Ouroboros,
you likely won't have to because the opponent will use the assist less often.
If you have some meters to burn, you can wait until the opponent advances
with Cyclops, then perform Legion and DHC into a damaging Hyper Combo such
as Hyper Sentinel Force or Photon Array.

When Cyclops is acting as an assist, it is fairly dangerous to rushdown your
opponent.  A Variable Counter of Gene Splice can easily be cancelled into
Mega Optic Blast, effectively nuking Strider.  There's really not much you
can do in these cases, since the good majority of Strider's options force
you to get up close and personal with the opponent.  Make sure you keep in
their faces when they do not have two meters, when they cannot effectively
employ this tactic.  Or you could try to bait out Hyper Combos.  If the
current point character is also a rushdown type character, you can always
try to zone him/her with the animals and your own assists.


-- Doctor Doom --

Given you are playing Strider, you should be fairly well aquainted with the
good doctor.  For Doom, fierce is the key.  His standing fierce has quite a
bit of priority behind it.  The crouching fierce also sports priority, and
hits either side of Doom, making it difficult to cross him up.  His jumping
fierce is almost as good as Cable's.

In addition, Doom has his ever handy chipping/trapping game of using an
assist in conjuction with superjumping and raining down Photon Shots.  Then
there is the ever present threat of the Air Photon Array.  This Hyper Combo
has near-instant start up, and deals massive damage, normal or chip.

The main problem with Doom is that he can utilize his Air Photon Array very
quickly to punish any mistakes.  You cannot abuse the teleport to hop around
the screen like you would against other characters, because if you do, you
may end up eating an Air Photon Array in the face.  If you try and cover
yourself with the Doom AAA, you risk having your assist eat the Hyper Combo.
Likewise, you cannot simply try to advance on Doom through wavedashing,
double jumping and superjumping.  Doom is too well equipped with projectiles.
The Photon Shot pushes you back, and the j.HP is too good for ground control.
Further, though Strider's j.HK will likely cleanly beat out Doom's launcher,
the Doom player will likely drop an AAA, then wavedash to the otherside, all
the while shooting you with a projectile or two.

There are a few safe ways to approach Doom players, however.  For starters,
wait until he is locked into an attack.  For example, when a Doom player
jumps backwards, do not immediately teleport over, or you are going to be hit
with an assist, or worse, an extremely well placed airdash xx Air Photon
Array.  Rather, wait until you see him perform the laser, then teleport in.
Since Strider is so short, he doesn't have to worry about the laser at all.
You can even use the eagle to bait out the laser to so extent.

Aside from this, you are going to have to zone him yourself.  Make use of the
animals, particularly the eagle, since it can hit the towering Doom even when
he is just standing.  Your eagles are faster than his jumping, so he will be
forced to abandon his j.HP as a main way to zone (it doesn't work well on
Strider anyway).

This leaves the monarch of Latveria with two options.  Either he can use a
rushdown game, attempt to perform his superjumping traps.  If he does the
former, you're facing a stupid Doom.  Strider trumps Doom as a rusher; Hiryu
has faster attacks, and many of them outprioritize Doom.  Doom will likely
lead in with c.LP, c.MP, c.HP.  The c.HP has very slow startup and very slow
recovery time, which is the key to stopping the rushdown game from Doom.
There is one point to note, though.  His c.HK is an unblockable at certain
ranges.  If you get hit by that, roll immediately.

Doom will likely opt to take to the skies and rain pink crap at you.  The key
to breaking the Photon Shot/Array is its scope of attack.  The attack covers
a good range, but the area directly under Doom and beyond is entirely safe.
If you see Doom superjumping, it is simply a matter of using the wavedash or
teleport to get directly below him.  From this angle, he has no effective
options himself to stop you.  So you can just come right up under him, and
give him an air combo for his troubles.  Even easier if he decided to blow
meter on Air Photon Array for chip.  Remember, the Hyper Combo may have near
instant startup, but the actual pink stuff takes awhile to travel.  If he
activates it high in the air, you have all the time in the world to get in
position, and attack him before he leaves the animation.

Of course, most Doom players aren't idiots.  They will have an assist they
use to cover themselves.  If they abuse this, activate Ouroboros, and Warp
over.  The Warp almost always carries Strider to a safe area away from the
Photon attacks.  Interestingly enough, it usually lands him directly on top
of whatever assist Doom is using.  The lag on the Photon Shot is even large
enough that you can wait a few frames for any invincible AAAs to run there
course, leaving them powerless for you to pummel them.

Of course, once he realizes what is happening, Doom will attempt to get to
you in a hurry and cut short your attack.  No worries, since Doom is a slow
fellow, and most of his attacks have a bit of lag in startup.  You can often
get in way more than enough damage on an assist to make up for the spent
meter.

Doom as an assist isn't used very often outside of Strider/Doom.  It has
fallen out of favor over time because Sentinel is so much better for ground
control, and he is one of the best characters in the game.  As such, people
use Sentinel and not Doom.  Still, when you are facing a Doom in the assist
position, know it is meant to chip you.

Of course, Strider doesn't need to sit around and take damage like a fool.
There are two particularly simple ways to handle Doom, both of which are very
obvious.  First, you can just call out an invincible AAA.  Otherwise, you can
simple teleport across the screen.  More than likely you will end up behind
and slightly above Doom, and point where he is entirely vunerable.


-- Iron Man/War Machine --

Iron and and War Machine generally play quite similar.  Their strategies and
the like are quite similar, and thus I'll list them together as one.  Just
note, though, Iron Man is worlds better than War Machine.  Their respective
Proton Cannons are vastly different.  People don't generally play War Machine
since they can play Iron Man.

Iron Man has a lot going for him.  For starters, he has an eightway airdash.
In addition, his jumping fierce is a great attack, because it has quite a bit
of range, and can be aimed up, straight or down.  His various special attacks
are useful, and though he only possesses one Hyper Combo, it is the only one
he needs.

The strong point behind Iron Man lies in his simple to perform infinite
combo.  If he can get his opponent at jump range, he can perform j.LP, j.MP,
j.LK, jumping up + fierce, land, and repeat.  It is one of the simplest and
most used infinities in the entire game, and it doesn't require as precise of
execution as Magneto's infinites.

Aside from that, Iron Man is great for air combos, because he has both the
airdash and a fierce attack that does not knock an opponent flying.  Combine
the two, and the damage done is quite a bit because Iron Man can air combo
and end with a fierce, then airdash, and produce a second air combo ending
with another fierce.

The main thing to watch out for when facing Iron Man is the assist.  The main
battle plan will be to catch you in the infinity, and that is not what you
want.  It is exceedingly difficult for Iron Man to set you up for it himself,
and players usually utilize assists for this purpose (such as Psylocke).
When Iron Man is grounded, approach carefully.  Smart Iron Man players know
to wait for the teleport, so they can drop their assist, catch you, and
infinite you to death.

So don't teleport wildly.  Don't walk up to him either, cause it will amount
to much the same thing.  Instead, use the animals to zone Iron Man.  If he
tries to Unibeam through it, then bait him, then teleport during the Unibeam
when he cannot punish you.  If he doesn't bother with Unibeam, and stays
grounded, then call animals, and then drop Doom.  When Doom sends his rocks
toward Iron Man, use this opportunity to teleport in.  Even if Iron Man can
catch you, his combo will be cut short by the rocks.

The Iron Man may catch on to your tactic of using Doom to bait.  In this
case, he will use the Unibeam only when you drop Doom, thus eliminating him.
Just use this time to jump over and smack Iron Man with j.HK or use the
Sliding Kick to go under the beam.

Some Iron Man players will use a pseudo-Doom style trap, by calling an
assist, superjumping, and dumping Smart Bombs.  This can be counter by much
the same method as you used to defeat Doom's traps.  Either come up under
Iron Man, where the Smart Bombs cannot protect him, and air combo, or you can
use Ouroboros to punish the assist.

One last tactic of Iron Man's is to use Repulsar Blast and if it connects,
cancel into Proton Cannon.  To protect himself he calls an assist that
properly covers him during the Repulsar Blast.  If done correctly, this can
be difficult to counter because of the range it covers.  It isn't dangerous,
though if you simply block, because the chip is minimal.

Iron Man is one of the more potent, and underrated assists in the game.  The
Repulsar Blast is one of the most effective assists in the game, serving a
multitude of purposes, ranging from anti-air, to ground control, to attack
interruption.

Obviously, invincible assists are one way to defeat Iron Man's assist.  But
baiting the assist is very effective, primarily because the Repulsar Blast is
a slow technique.  This assist is also easily punished by blocking, then
using a s.HP xx Legion DHCed immediately into a good Hyper Combo.

Iron Man also possesses the same threat that Cyclops does through Variable
Countering.  Iron Man can Repulsar Blast into Proton Cannon with the greatest
of ease.  Don't worry about it as much as Cyclops, though, because Iron Man
isn't as quick, and has a greater recovery lag than Cyclops, so most players
do not opt to use this strategy.


-- Psylocke --

Psylocke is much like Captain Commando: great assist, not-so-great point
character.  The only difference is that Psylocke is _better_ than Commando as
an assist, and she is still _better_ than Commando as a point character.
Though she isn't a bad point character, she isn't a particularly good one
either, because she can't match up with characters like Magneto or Storm.

Still, do not underestimate Psylocke on point.  She is one of the faster
characters in the game, and has some mean combos.  One such staple combo
would be c.LK, c.HP, superjump, sj.LP, sj.LK, sj.MP, sj.MK, Psyblade xx
Psionic Butterflies.  Because of her speed, and the ease of chaining a combo
into a Hyper Combo, you have to be wary.

Of course, she isn't any different than most other rushdown characters.  If
she is dashing in, Strider can outprioritize her by using c.HP.  If it gets
blocked, you can further chain it into the c.HK to protect Strider, then
cancel into a tiger and further cancel into the Ouroboros.  So every time
Psylocke tries to dash in, you can a free opportunity to perform the
Strider/Doom trap.  If she tries to come down at you, drop Doom and teleport
away.

If ever the Psylocke team has the lead, she may attempt to run out the clock.
She will superjump into the air, and stay up there with her triple jump for
as long as she can.  Then if you try to superjump after her, she will use her
teleport to get back down to the bottom of the screen.  If you want to beat
her the patient way, drop Doom and teleport to the other side when she is
about to land.  If you want to beat her the impatient way, drop Doom, then
immediately superjump after her.  If she chooses to use her teleport, she
will eat Doom's rocks.

As an assist, you have to worry.  Psylocke is one of the fastest assists in
the entire game, and one of the most useful.  If she connects, Magneto gets a
free combo.  If she connects, Iron Man get a free infinite combo.  She can
stop your teleport with the greatest of ease, and turn it to the advantage of
your opponent in the blink of an eye.

Most people are trigger happy when it comes to Psylocke because she is so
fast (not what I meant; get your minds out of the gutter), and effective.  In
addition, she performs her duty quickly and leaves the screen so that there
isn't much chance of getting punished.  Because of this, it is exceedingly
easy to bait her out with the teleport and follow up with an attack.

If you are playing against someone who is careful with his assists, then you
may not be successful with your teleporting bait.  Instead, drop Doom and use
his rocks as cover for teleporting in and starting an offense.  Even if
Psylocke is fast enough to hit you and leave before the rocks hit her, they
will still cut short any attempt by the point character to further attack
you.  Make sure you roll after each time you get tagged by Psylocke so you
won't suffer any extra hits.

As always, employ the Snapback if at all possible.  It is always in your best
interest to remove Psylocke from the assist position because she is also a
dangerous character to have for Variable Countering.  Much like Cyclops and
Iron Man, Psylocke can get Variable Countered in via Psyblade and cancel into
Psionic Butterflies, dealing extremely high damage to Strider.


-- Spiral --

The master battery, trap and chip character goes by the name of Spiral.  In
the end, she happens to be one of Strider's tougher matches, not because she
is dangerous, but because she is so damn hard to hit.

Spiral will spend the majority of the time calling swords and throwing them
Strider's way.  Against most foes, Hiryu would just teleport in and smack
people around.  The problem here is that Spiral will just teleport away.
Think that's bad?  It gets worse.  Spiral's teleport is significantly better
than Strider's in every which way.  It can be done in the air.  It has many
more exit points.  And it is _faster_ than Strider's teleport.  Oh the horror.

The only way you're going to beat Spiral is to go after her.  Keep on the
offense, and don't give her many chances to summon swords.  Remember, every
time you hit her, the swords go away.  Whenever you superjump, drop Doom first
so that she cannot escape to the ground.  If you call Doom enough, she will be
forced to take to the air to call swords (she generally prefers to anyway).

Pay no heed to the swords; they deal about as much damage whether you block
them or not, and with the amount she throws, you can't avoid them all, so do
not even bother trying.  Keep on advancing.  Teleporting isn't too useful,
because for as fast as it is, Spiral players can still see it coming a mile
away.  Superjump and double jump, all the while, using assists and animals to
to zone Spiral as best you can.

The secret to this battle is simple: Spiral cannot punish you.  Aside from a
level three Hyper Combo (which is a risky prospect at best), the most she can
hope to do is place you in a mashable throw, which is easily escapable.
Abuse your assists like it is the end of the world.

All in all, facing Spiral isn't a matter of taking her out, it is a matter of
taking her out before she can build enough meter.  You may even consider the
use of the Snapback to bring in a character before she can build enough meter
for *them* to kill you.

As an assist, Spiral is a poor man's Doom.  Her assist chips like crazy, but
in the end, it is just a shorter, and quicker Doom AAA.  Easily dodged, and
forgotten about.


-- Strider --

I never really liked the mirror match.  Since I play Strider/Cyclops/Doom, I
usually just put Cyke up against Strider.  If you prefer a different team,
you may or may not have your work cut out for you.

I really shouldn't have to describe to you Strider's strengths and weaknesses
as I've done that enough.  In the end, it is the defensive Strider that wins
the day.  Let them try the teleport first.  You can call an AAA.  If it was
a bait, then you can just attack their assist, whose is attacking your own.

The main way to defeat a Strider mirror match is to force yourself into the
Strider/Doom trap.  That's right, be on the receiving end.  Allow them to run
as many rotations as they please, and when they run out, perform a Variable
Counter to bring someone in (Cyclops, Iron Man, Psylocke, etc.) and then
cancel into a powerful Hyper Combo (Mega Optic Blast, Proton Cannon, Psionic
Butterflies, respectively).  This will utterly crush an opposing team, cause
it takes away a good percentage of Strider's health, and does so after they
have used up all their meter.

Remember one important aspect to fighting Strider/Doom: you only have to take
out one of them.  Once you beat one, you've just broken the trap, and screwed
up their entire game plan.  The one to target, though, should generally be
Doom.  Strider without Doom is weak.  Doom without Strider is still strong.

If at all possible, use the Snapback.  The best time comes after an opposing
teleport.  Call an AAA, and if they block, dash in for a chain combo.  If
that isn't possible, attack Doom whenever he comes out.  Legion DHCed into a
fast Hyper Combo works wonders.

Do limit your rotations of your own Strider/Doom trap.  You do not want to
eat a Variable Counter yourself.



=============================================================================
   VII.  FOOTER
=============================================================================

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Credits and Special Thanks -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

* My local arcade:  For the atmosphere, for the competition, for being open
  on rainy days, and for sucking my pockets clean of quarters.

* Capcom:  For MvC2, for Mega Man, for Resident Evil, and for all those hours
  of my life I wasted away.  If I could go back and do it all over... I would
  not have it any other way.

* GameFAQs <http://www.gamefaqs.com/> and CJayC:  For the greatest video
  gaming site in existance.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Final Notes -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The road ends here.  Marvel VS. Capcom 2 is one of the best fighting games
there is out there.  So go out and enjoy it.

     "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no
      path and leave a trail."
                                                   - Ralph Waldo Emerson





=============================================================================
MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 2 NEW AGE OF HEROES - STRIDER HIRYU CHARACTER GUIDE
Version 1.0 - Last Updated on 21 March 2003
Copyright 2003 Jeff Chan [Atom Edge]
----------------------------------------------------------------------- FIN -