The Marvel vs. Capcom series is one built around the concept of team synergy. You’re able to get the most out of the game if you’re able to operate your team as one cohesive unit. Having said that, the game itself doesn’t immediately make it clear what team synergy is. On top of that, the concept of team synergy has changed a few times as the series has evolved.
During my struggles of trying to formulate my own team, I’ve made the following observations about aspects to make note of when you’re trying to polish your team dynamics. Hope these help you out!
In some previous Marvel vs. Capcom games, it was possible to succeed with a team where you weren’t proficient at playing the point position with every member of your team. Instead, these secondary characters could help in other ways, such as providing support to your point character through their assists. In this world of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite where assists no longer exist, the value of a character’s secondary contributions is greatly reduced.
You can no longer afford to have a weak link in your midst. No matter how hard you’ll try, your weak character will spend a substantial amount of time in your control, and will likely get exploited. First and foremost, you team must have two characters on it that you’re proficient using at the point position. With the open-ended nature of the tagging system, you can figure out the rest later.
Out of harm’s way
An important part of keeping your team alive is having the ability to safely tag between your two characters. While tagging is fast, failing to do it safely leaves both of your characters open for attack. The best way to do it is to tag between your characters after the first one puts your opponent in an extended state of hit stun or block stun. For example, if Ryu is able to successfully make contact on his opponent with a Hurricane Kick, that gives his partner ample time to come in safely. In a worst-case scenario, you can even use a hyper combo as a starter in order to get your partner in. You should know which moves in your character’s tool sets and actively use them to cover your partner’s incoming run.
Leveraging the concept above, you can not only leverage hit stun and block stun to safely tag in your partner, but you can also use it to to create devastating mix-ups. Once you’ve got your opponent pinned in block stun, try to open them up with your new point character by performing jump-in attacks, overheads, low attacks, and by switching sides. The trickier the mix-up, the greater chances you’ll have at breaking down their defenses and scoring a full combo!
Pick up where I left off
One of the best ways to score big damage is to involve both of your teammates in every combo. You can do this by tag cancelling a move to bring the other person in. But exactly at what points in the combo should you bring them in? The easiest connection point is on the jumping heavy kick that spikes foes to the canvas. As you knock them to the ground, your partner will have ample time to pick them up and perform a full combo of their own.
If you need to squeeze out a bit of extra damage to confirm a kill or a win, you can also tag during your point character’s Hyper Combo. As your first point character is landing a barrage of hits, you can then take control of the other character and add a few extra hits or even another Hyper Combo for good measure.
In past Marvel vs. Capcom games, once you got caught in a combo, you might as well put the controller down and watch your character get beaten to a pulp. This time, you do have some form of an escape measure. By holding down the tag button, you can force your partner to run in, giving you a chance to break up the combo. Breaking at the right time will help you keep a character alive, but be careful. At the cost of two bars, it’s an expensive proposition. On top of that, if you’re incoming break is sloppy, your opponent can catch both of your characters in a devastating combo. Over time, gain an understanding for when you need to break and when you can let it go.
Out of nowhere
Tagged in characters will run onto the screen based on the direction their partner is facing. If they’re facing towards the player two side on the right, they’ll enter from the left and run towards the right, and vice versa. One cheesy way to confuse your opponent is to jump over them with your point character and tagging before you land. By doing so, the original character appears to pose a threat behind them, while the real threat is the incoming character that is attacking them from the front.
I’ve seen players online exploit this and variations of this tactic to great success. However, if your opponent is ready for it, you’re sending your partner straight into a devastating combo. Use it when they least expect it for maximum effectiveness!
Who’s on first?
Over the course of a fight, you’re going to switch between your two characters constantly. That said, it certainly can matter which character you start with. Generally speaking, I think the character you should start with is the one who is best able to generate openings on their own. In a game absent of assists that could help break through someone’s defense, the ability to break someone down solo is a huge asset.
For example, let’s say you play as Ultron and Haggar. If Haggar is your point character at the beginning of the fight, he may struggle to get the offense going, as his limited mobility and slow normals make it difficult for him to break someone down on his own. Meanwhile, Ultron makes for an excellent lead-off character, as his quick speed, 8-way dash and killer jumping normals allow him to get things going. As such, generally speaking, it’s better to have someone like Ultron up front in order to score early conversions and control the flow of the fight.