Blackheart by JMargaris

Updated: 05/09/99 | Printable Version

From: (James Margaris)
Subject: Blackheart FAQ
Date: 09 May 1999 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <7h4tj8$>
Sender: (Verified)
Organization: Cornell University

In the spirit of of doing something useful I finally put together a Blackheart 
FAQ I had been thinking about. It has a pretty good strategy section that I 
think many people will find useful. I have never witten a FAQ before so the 
format may suck. Send suggestions my way.

James M

Blackheart Faq, MvSF and MSH  

Table of Contents: 
FAQ Introduction 
Basic Info
Normal Moves 
Special/Super Moves 
Character Specific Matchups 
MSH Tidbits 

        I'm writing this FAQ because of the lack of information that exists 
about Blackheart on the web. There is very little that deals with Blackheart 
tactics and strategy, and very few FAQs even get the moves right. (Almost 
nobody seems to understand how the fierce demons work, for example) I get the 
feeling that very few people understand how to play Blackheart, and hence he 
is a vastly  under-rated character. This FAQ is written for MvSF. Anyone can 
use it, although often I will compare MvSF Blacky to MSH Blacky, so knowledge 
of MSH Blackheart, while not required, may be helpful. In the end of the FAQ I 
go over some tactics for the original MSH Blackheart, in enough depth so that 
MSH players will find this FAQ of some use. Of course many of the strategies 
for MvSF Blackheart are also useful for MSH Blackheart.

        Blackheart's ground magic series is kick to punch, I don't even 
remember what his normal jump is. Either punch to kick or kick to punch.

Switch in:
        Blackheart flies in with a super fast jumping forward.

Team Super:

Does a low Dark Thunder, waits for a second and leaves. Too slow to be 
effective in most circumstances, but decent if your other partner is also 
Blackheart and you cover him with some demons. You can Combo the HoD off of a 
team assist that hits!

Jab: A fast standing punch, OK range and priority, overall not terribly 
Strong: His launcher. In MSH this was fast with good priority. In MvSF it 
basically cannot be used as air defense because it is just too damn slow. 
Alright in a few combos, that's really about it.  
Fierce: Blackheart bares his chest and demons fly out. (For an explanation of 
how the  demons work, see the end of this section). It takes a while for them 
to get going and doesn't have very good range. Too slow to be effective, but 
is his most damaging normal if you can get it to hit from close.  
Short: A quick bash with his tail. This move (like many of his) has worse 
speed, range and priority than it did in MSH, where is was one of his most 
useful moves. It is still decent for stopping someone from dashing in on you.  

Forward: Spikes from Blackheart's back hit enemy. This move will stuff just 
about anything apart from an invincible super. Use it frequently. His best 
standing normal move.  
Roundhouse: Blackheart stomps the ground and demons fly across the screen. 
Kind of slow  start-up. Alright if used infrequently, don't get sloppy using 
it too often or you will pay.  Best from far away or close, where Blackheart's 
foot will actually hit them as well as the demons that come out. Avoid using 
it from midrange, where the opponent can jump over on reaction. (For 
exceptions see tactics)

Jab and Short: These have about the same range and speed and I use them 
interchangeably. Good, high priority quick attacks for when you are right next 
to the opponent.   
Strong: Blackheart does a straight punch as dark energy swirls around his arm. 
This move knocks the opponent back but if they are near the corner they can 
recover and hit you before it finishes. Furthermore it has much worse range 
than it looks. I *never* use this move, and would suggest you do the same.  
Fierce: Blackheart punches the ground and a bunch of demons come out and go 
3/4 of the way across the screen. Useful in limited application. (see tactics) 
Forcing your opponent to block all of this will build meter for you like 
Forward: Similar to standing forward, use this move a lot. Generally I use the 
low forward if I think the opponent will do a ducking attack and use standing 
forward if I think they might try to jump away. This move will stuff a lot of 
things and is very safe.  
Roundhouse: Demons crawl across the floor towards opponent. I never use this 
move. If it has a use I don't know about it.  

Jab: A horizontal punch with good range. Useful for air to air confrontations. 
Strong: A 30 degree angled downward bolt of energy emanates from Blackheart's 
hands. In MSH this move was quick. In MvSF is has horrible lag before 
start-up. Even so it has *monstrous* range. I use this maybe 2-3 times a match 
but I almost always hit with it when I do use it because the range and angle 
can catch people sleeping. (See tactics)  
Fierce: Your best friend. This is THE move. Best pressure move, best air 
defense move.  
Short: This move even looks slightly different from in MSH (I think). Any use 
it has is lost on me.  
Forward: This is the best jump-in from close range. A good crossup and high 
priority. Will stuff many anti-air moves *but* you cannot be right above them. 
If the opponent is going to do a Ryu low fierce, for example, to not get 
beaten or trade you must be about an character width away from them, not right 
on top of them.  
Roundhouse: Demons fly at a downward angle. This move can be useful but if you 
miss with it you cannot block and are dead meat. The angle takes some getting 
used to.  

Roundhouse Demons:
When the roundhouse demons hit someone they will be stunned, unable to move. 
They can wiggle the joystick to become unstunned quicker. In MvSF the stun 
time is very low if the opponent is trying to shake out.  

Fierce Demons:
*Only* the air fierce demons come back to you, contrary to what many FAQs out 
there would have you believe. When the demons hit someone they will grab onto 
them and  start sucking away energy. The opponent can shake to make them get 
off faster. If you hit with the air demons, as soon as you do the next air 
attack the demons on the opponent will go away. 
If you are hit the demons will disappear. If you do an air fierce or 
roundhouse you cannot black afterwards.  

Dark Thunder (HCT + P): 
Using jab, strong or fierce will make this go along the ground, at chest 
level, or at a 45 degree angle upwards. In MSH the Dark Thunder has the 
peculiar property that if it hits an opponent *or* they block it they will 
freeze in place, lose any forward momentum they had, and then get pushed back 
as the move ends. As such it was a decent keep away move. In MvSF it lost this 
property. If an opponent blocks it they are not frozen in place, and if it 
hits them it immediately knocks them over. Sadly this causes some major 
problems. For example, if you hit someone with the upwards Dark Thunder, they 
can sometimes hit the ground, get up and super you before you are able to 
block. Furthermore many characters can walk underneath the mid-level one. If 
my opponent is jumping up or back in the corner or from far enough away I 
might use the jab or strong version to force a little block damage on them or 
get a lucky hit. Aside from that it is not useful. 

Inferno (HCB +P): 
A portal will open underneath the opponent and fire, lightning or ice will 
shoot upwards. The fierce version will track an opponent anywhere on the 
screen, the strong version will track to within 1/2 screen away from 
Blackheart, and the jab version will always appear directly in front of 
Blackheart. In MSH you can choose fire, ice or lightning by pressing fierce, 
stong or jab after the punch that activates the portal. In MvSF the far portal 
is always fire, mid ice, close lightening. 
        The inferno has suffered a similar fate to the Dark Thunder. In MSH if 
the portal opened underneath the opponent they would be forced to block three 
times and could not move until the move was almost finished. In MvSF they only 
have to block once and then they are free to walk right through it and hit you 
with anything they want. Blocked portals are a very bad thing in MvSF. The 
only nice thing about the portals is that they open faster in MvSF, which you 
can use as a surprise element or to counter air-fireballs. In general they are 
fairly worthless now though. It is nearly impossible to do anything after a 
portal hits, because the recovery has been increased and they hit only once or 
twice instead of the three times on MSH.  Occasionally the blocked portal will 
hit twice, with the second hit sometimes occurring well after the first. I'm 
not sure exactly how to get this to happen. Also a  portal that hits will 
occasionally do the same thing, hit again well after the first hit. 

Armageddon (Crunchberries) (QCT +PP):
A bunch of rocks fall down and hit opponent. In MSH this would combo after a 
standing strong from anywhere on the screen. This does not work in MvSF. 
Furthermore, if a rock hits them instead of stunning them until they hit the 
ground it will only stun them for a 1/2 second or so, and sometimes they can 
recover and block the rest of the rocks. In the corner you can still do stand 
strong->Armageddon. Other than that the only real use I've found is crossing 
people up with it as they super jump over you.  

Heart of Darkness (QCT +KK): 
A portal opens up under then opponent and a bunch of demons fly up and hit 
them. Now that this cannot be comboed after a portal there is not much use for 
it anymore. It doesn't even do very good damage in MvSF, even though it is 
near impossible to land. If you try to anticipate a fireball and use it the 
fireball will often hit you and the HoD will end. I find it useful to do block 
damage in a few specific situations, when you *know* the opponent will not be 
able to dash or super jump away. (for example, if they jumped backwards in the 
corner or the second char is jumping in after the first one died)  

Judgement Day(QCB + PP): 
A *very* useful super for Blackheart. On the ground a bunch of fierce demons 
fly out of his chest are varying angles, in the air roundhouse demons fly 
downwards. With the proper set-up this move will do *huge* block damage. Much 
of the tactics section has to do with landing this super. This super 
constitutes a very large portion of my offense when I play Blackheart. It also 
is the *only* thing MvSF Blackheart has over MSH.

Blackheart is at his best when the opponent is on the offensive. Most of 
Blackhearts annoyance patterns and set-ups involve the opponent being 
aggressive. Blackheart has a tough time making comebacks against turtles. None 
of his supers can be thrown out in desperation and he has no dashing combos. 
Do not get behind.

Jumping Fierce: Your Best Friend
      We will start with the jumping fierce. There are two times to use the 
jumping fierce. The first is when your opponent is on the ground. This is the 
obvious time. The slightly less obvious property of the jumping fierce is that 
it is far and away the best air-defense Blackheart has, and is also the best 
set-up for his super.
      You have to practice a bit with the jumping fierce to get the range 
right against an opponent on the ground. In general you want the opponent to 
block the demons or you want the demons to be flying around in front of the 
opponent. The two mistakes you want to avoid are doing the fierce demons from 
too close, where the opponent can hit you with an anti-air move, or doing them 
too high up where the opponent can dash underneath them and launch you. The 
demons to not come out very fast so make sure you are not on top of the 
opponent when you do them. You should never do the demons from closer than 1 
character width, and usually two is better. Remember, is it much better to 
have the demons fall short than for you to drift too close.
      Certain characters (wolverine and Shuma) are decent at running 
underneath the demons and hitting you. To avoid this you must make sure not to 
throw out the demons from too high up. You can also mix in a jumping forward 
or strong from the appropriate distance. Often times the opponent will dash in 
for the launcher and get stuffed by the forward or totally surprised by the 
strong, which has a great angle for this sort of thing.
     The goal with the jumping fierce against a ground opponent is not to do 
damage. The goal is to annoy the opponent, frustrate them, and also build your 
meter. Forcing the opponent to block demons builds meter very quickly.
     Note: If you are adventurous, you can purposefully make the demons go 
over someone's head, land and block as they attack you, and then watch the 
demons come from behind them and hit them while they are attacking, letting 
you do your best combo or a super. The idea is to bait them into thinking they 
can hit you by going underneath the demons when in  reality you have time to 
block. Just make sure you really do have time or else you will be eating huge 

        Now that the opponent has been frustrated on the ground chances are 
they will take to the air. This is your best opportunity to do damage. When an 
opponent super jumps at you there are two plans I like to use. One is as they 
jump I do a normal jump and throw out fierce demons. Then, I super jump and 
meet the opponent in the air. Usually I just air block and let them attack me. 
As they attack the demons come from behind and hit them, and you can often 
follow with another attack. If they block the demons you can air throw if you 
get the positioning right.
        The other tactic, the one I use whenever I have super, is to wait 
until they are at about the height of their jump and then jump and throw the 
fierce demons. When they come down I block and once again the demons come and 
hit them from behind. As the demons hit you do a Judgment Day. Even if they 
block the demons, if you do the Judgement Day at the  right distance (close to 
you at chest level) *every* single demon will hit them and do huge block 
damage.       If your opponent begins jumping around a lot you have won. Every 
time they super jump in you can just throw out the air fierce demons and have 
your way with them.

        Using the jumping fierce on the ground and as anti-air is your primary 
annoyance and keep-away strategy. Very few characters have any chance of 
getting in on Blackheart if he plays a good keep away game.  

The Pressure Strategy:
This is a strategy designed to pressure the opponent and build up meter, and 
as an alternative to keep away. Basically I will do stand, low and jump 
forward attacks along with jump straight up fierces from outside normal move 
range. Forcing your opponent to block the fierces will build meter very 
quickly, and the standing forward and jump fierce will catch the opponent if 
they try to jump away. If they try to get closer the low forward will push 
them back, and I use the jumping forward if I have been pushed back too far or 
they are not in the corner yet. If this continues for more than a few seconds 
usually the opponent will get very antsy. To take advantage of this one thing 
I might do is the standing roundhouse, which they might run into. Another 
thing I might do is jump and air dash above them and do the air Judgment Day 
over a limb. If they happen to get super while you are using this strategy 
they will probably try to use it pretty quickly so it's usually not too hard 
to lure it out of them and then go back to pressuring.
     A third tactic is to interrupt a low forward with a low fierce. From most 
ranges the  opponent has time to jump out after the first part of the low 
fierce has hit them but before the second wave of demons has reached them. You 
*never* want to do this if they have super meter and a quick super. If they 
don't, however, it can be very effective. If your opponent blocks the low 
fierce you get a ton of meter. Another possibility is that they do a normal 
jump at you. If they do this you can interrupt with the Judgment Day and hit 
them or force them to take good block damage. If they super jump you can time 
an Armageddon to "cross them up" as they go over you in the air. I generally 
use this low fierce strategy when I get the feeling my opponent is either 
antsy enough to make a big mistake or that they will soon break out of the 
pattern anyway. 

The "Twitch" Strategy:
The other Blackheart player at Cornell used this very successfully. This 
strategy (like most) relies on the opponent feeling frustrated. Unfortunately 
this strategy leaves you open sometimes, but on the plus side you can use it 
to deal damage quickly. The way it works is this: You want to do a series of 
moves with such spacing so the opponent has enough time to twitch between each 
move and get hit by the next one. 
        If the opponent super jumps you super jump to meet them and do a 
jab->roundhouse air chain. You want the timing such that you will hit the 
ground a bit after they do, just as the demons are finished hitting them. As 
you land you do a standing roundhouse timed so that if they blocked the air 
roundhouse they have time to just barely begin a dash or jump. If your timing 
is right the roundhouse stomp will catch them just as they twitch. If you hit 
with the stomp you can do whatever is most appropriate. If they block the 
stomp and you are close enough you interrupt the stomp with the standing 
strong. The standing strong when blocked will let them recover before you have 
finished, so as they recover you open a portal to catch them as they try to 
move in. If you are too far away for the strong you can go directly into a 
portal from the end of the roundhouse.
        If your opponent blocks everything including the portal you are 
screwed. However, there are ways to prevent against this. For one you can do a 
Dark Thunder instead of the portal for some safe block damage. However, 
remember that he nice thing about this strategy is some quick damage. Another 
thing you can do is not always do the full series of moves. If you stop a few 
times at the roundhouse or the standing strong you can train your opponent to 
expect nothing afterwards. One nice thing about stopping after the strong is 
that the first time you do it, if the opponent is not quite fast enough to hit 
you after blocking it (and they usually aren't the first time, although if 
they have a super you might not want to risk it) they will be looking for it 
the next time and get taken by surprise by the portal. If you end up far away 
from the opponent after the roundhouse stomp you can open a portal in front of 
them. This will force them to just sit there waiting until the portal is 
finished to do anything and will add to their impatience as well as train them 
to not fear the portal, allowing you to open it beneath them next time. There 
are ways to get around the portal in front though, you have to judge your 
opponent to see if they can do it. (Never, ever do this if they have a beam 
super though)

Using Throws:
        In MSH Blackheart has good throw range. In MvSF he has reduced range 
and low damage. Furthermore, when you throw someone they recover at about the 
same time you do and usually you don't have very good positioning. To make 
matters worse, three of the four buttons you can use to throw (fierce, 
roundhouse and strong) produce very laggy attacks if the throw does not come 
out. Blackheart also has no dash in attacks and his walking speed sucks. Stick 
mostly to air throws.

The Air Dash:
        The best way to use the air dash if for positioning. If an opponent 
super jumps at you you can normal jump and air dash underneath them to quickly 
change positions. You can air dash forwards or backwards to quickly change 
distancing. Often times you can air dash up to someone and air throw them 
before they realize what you are doing. Blackheart has the fastest air dash 
but because of it's angle you can not really use it to attack.
        One of the best uses is if you find yourself coming down from a super 
jump while your opponent is on the ground. You want to avoid getting launched 
at all costs and also avoid landing right next to them where they can tick you 
or low short->super. You should wait until you are right above the opponent 
and then air-dash backwards and throw out a forward, fierce or strong. This 
will let you avoid any launchers and also make sure you land at least one 
character width away from them.

Dodge the Beam Super:
        The jumping fierce is very susceptible to beam supers, so when your 
opponent is powered up you have to be careful. What you want to avoid is 
throwing the demons from far away and high up in your jump arc. Once they have 
the beam super powered up if you want to throw fierce demons try to throw them 
right before you hit the ground. This way if they react with a beam super you 
have time to block, and often the demons will hit their foot and knock them 
out of the super after you have taken only a few pixels of block damage. If 
you have been frustrating your opponent chances are that when they get the 
super powered up they will try to use it pretty quickly so you some careful 
timing you can lure it out of them. Another thing you can do is use more 
jumping roundhouses and forwards. Remember, the main thing to avoid is 
throwing air fierce demons from high above the ground or doing a low fierce 
from anywhere.

Other Notes:
Judgment Day does *only* recoverable block damage, so make sure you actually 
hit them with something once in a while.

If your opponent likes to air-pushblock the fierce demons you can take 
advantage of the fact that when they pushblock they freeze for a moment and do 
a HoD or Judgment Day and force them to take block damage. 

        Is one of Blackheart's toughest matches. His Mega Optic Blast covers a 
huge portion of the screen and does huge damage. You must avoid it. His normal 
beams will hit you easily if you try to throw fierce demons from far away, and 
his Gene Splice will hit you cleanly out of a jumping forward or close jumping 
fierce. I use a lot more jumping roundhouses against Cyclops than any other 
opponent, since the angle keeps me safe from any beams. Your best bet it to 
play the pressure tactic and give up on the normal jumping fierce strategies. 
From about 1.5 characters widths away your low and standing forward will stuff 
basically every move he has, including the Mega Optic Blast. You can do the 
straight up jumping fierce from about 2 character widths away with relative 
safety. The key to this match is to stay on him and keep him from powering up 
or using beams from long range. You cannot play keep-away against him at all. 
Tough match.

        Not really all that hard. Watch out for a desperation BBX from close 
range. Wolverine is short but during his dash he stands up a bit so he can't 
dash under the jumping fierce as well as you might thing. If you mix in a fair 
number of forwards and strongs with the fierces you should be pretty safe. If 
Wolvy likes to go for air combos starting with the toe tap he is asking to get 
hit by an anti-air fierce and a super. Just remember that if he hits you the 
demons go away so make sure to not get taken by surprise. Your jumping jab and 
forward will do well against him in the air. If he ever gets close push block 
and then super jump and air dash to get far away again. 

Spider Man:
        A fairly similar fight to Wolvy. Don't let him dash beneath the jump 
fierce and just keep away and keep pecking him with block damage. The maximum 
Spider will bounce off of the fierce demons or the Judgment day but goes 
through Armageddon.

The main thing to watch out for is the beam super. Remember it can be done in 
the air also. Besides that Ryu is pretty easy to beat. You should not have 
much problem playing keep away forever. Ryu should never be able to get as 
close as he wants to you.

With his dash and lack of beam super he is easy as hell. Watch for a 
desperation super, but if he hits you with the Super Uppercut you will land 
before he does! One of the easiest matches.

No air to ground, horrible dash, no long range moves, his supers are all 
worthless against you. He might get a hit on you if he is lucky. 

Same as Dan. His big body makes it easier to get good block damage off the 
Judgment Day on him. Watch for the air-to-ground SPD, but other than that 
Zangief simply does not have the tools to get in at all. If you fear the SPD 
just do an air-dash underneath when he super jumps and stay far away. 

Run first, fight second. Do not use any specials or supers against him, 
because these will give him time to close ground. Stay as far away as possible 
and just nibble with fierce demons. If you take your time he will never hit 

Similar to Wolvy or Spider-Man. None of her supers are particularly useful 
against you, your jumping forward will work very well against her as long as 
you are not right above her. The annoying thing about Chun-Li is her triple 
jump. It makes it harder to use the anti-air fierce effectively. Careful 
application of the pressuring strategy will work well, and the keep-away 
strategy will work, but at a pretty slow rate.

Captain America: 
Watch out for the Super Charging Star, it will go through demons and do 
excellent damage on you. Other than that watch for the long range on his jump 
fierce and remember his double jump. As with Chun-Li, do not do a Judgment Day 
thinking they will fall into it and let them double over you and super you. I 
don't use the pressure strategy when he has meter because the Super Charging 
Star is just too quick.

Shuma is the best in the game at dashing underneath an air fierce. His dash is 
very low and his launcher has surprising range. Use plenty of forwards and 
strongs and make sure you fierces are done low to the ground. The good news is 
that the pressuring strategy works very well against him. Another plus is that 
Blackheart is good at avoiding the Chaos Dimension. If he activates it get him 
to block a jumping fierce and then a Judgment Day to keep him pinned for a 
while. Not a bad fight if you stay close.

Omega Red: 
The tentacle grabs will do huge damage on you so be judicious in your use of 
the jumping fierce. Do not become predictable. Up close his low strong is 
decent air defense from the right range but other than that his air defense is 
weak. Use lots of jump forwards and go for the crossup. Unlike most characters 
you are pretty safe if you are right on top of him, due to the angle of his 
air defenses. This fight ends up being similar to Shuma-Gorath. Stay close and 
forward away.

Basically the same fight as Ryu. The dive kick is free damage for you. Because 
Blackheart is tall and slow some Akuma players will try to rain down air 
fireballs on him. If they try to do this your best bet is to immediately open 
a portal beneath them. If you are quick you will get both hits of the portal 
before the fireball reaches you and will win the trade by a lot. If the 
fireball hits you after only one hit of the portal the trade is about even, so 
be quick. You can also super jump and meet him in the air. I often find that 
air-dashing and throwing will take them by surprise. If he is throwing air 
fireballs do not meet him in the air with a fierce, because you will land on 
an air-fireball afterwards. If you can deal with the air fireball you should 
be able to play this the same as Ryu.

His annoying limbs make keep-away pretty difficult. Instead just get on him 
and don't let up. If you pressure from the right distance his launcher or 
Super Grab should never come into play. If he likes to slide jump up and do an 
air Judgment Day.

?? Nobody I knew played Bison too much in MvsSF. I would guess that a blocked 
head stomp is a free Armageddon for you. I doubt if there is much he can do 
against solid keep-away. Should be pretty easy. 

The pressure tactic is highly susceptible to her Super Upward Fireball, so 
just play keep away. She has no real way to get in.

 Evil Sakura: 
She has a beam super but the damage is pathetic, even against Blackheart. 

Because of his size it is easy to get good block damage from the Judgement Day 
on him. His Gamma Wave does great damage but is easier to avoid than a beam 
super. If you play solid keep away against him there isn't a lot he can do 
other than go for the lucky Gamma Wave. If you are in the corner though (as 
you often are playing keep away) even the Gamma Wave won't do a lot of damage. 
Easy fight.
Blackheart kicks ass. Only Cyclops has a clear advantage over him. Zangief, 
Dan, Sakura, Hulk and Ken get destroyed easily by him, they have literally no 
way to do anything against him. Chun and Cap might be slow and tedious to 
fight if they double jump a lot but they can't do a lot of damage on you if 
you are careful. Shuma, OR and Dhalsim are easier to fight close than to play 
the normal keep away. Spidey and Wolvy are easy to beat if they are impatient. 
If they are more reserved just keep them from dashing underneath you and you 
should be able to do alright. Akuma and Ryu have the beam super but no real 
way to get in.

After reading this FAQ you probably have a good idea of how Blackheart plays 
in MSH. To summarize the major changes his Dark Thunder and Inferno are much 
safer and much more useful, the standing strong is good air defense, you can 
combo a HoD after a portal (or a standing strong if close), and you can do 
stand strong->Armageddon from anywhere on the screen.

        MSH Blackheart standing short is an amazing move. It has huge range, 
speed and priority. Your opponent simply cannot dash in on you if you throw 
this out. If you use it frequently your opponent should never get close than 
1.5 character widths away on the ground.

        There is a stage in MSH where you can jump backwards forever. This is 
Blackheart paradise. Even more annoying then normal keep away.

        MSH Blackheart is fast enough to do some useful air chains and to be 
more combo oriented than in MvSF, but you should still stick mostly to keep 
away strategies.