Reading the HUDEdit
As with any competitive game, information is the root of all strategy – as such, let’s examine the information available within the game’s HUD.
This is your current life. It depletes as you take damage and once it reaches zero, you will respawn based on your Stock Cost and the available resources in the Team Stock Pool.
Below your own life, you can see your partner’s. As this game is 2-on-2, adeptly tracking and responding to your partner’s situation separates average players from great players.
Team Stock PoolEdit
Each character has a stock value that ranges from 1 to 3 and this shared pool is the resource by which your character can respawn and continue the fight. The team that forces their enemy’s Team Stock Pool to zero earns victory.
Your own Team Stock Pool appears at the upper left corner, while your foes will be directly under. Developing and coordinating your strategies around the Team Stock Pool is the key to victory.
Ammo counts and cool downsEdit
Aside from your basic melee attacks, all attacks have some measure of ammo count or cool down associated with their use. Ensuring each attack is available the moment you wish to call upon it will require careful resource management.
Select abilities will not be available when the match begins, instead, they will build up over time becoming available later in the match. Once used, these too will conform to cool down times and become available as time passes.
The Action GaugeEdit
Dashing, Jumping, Flying and Guarding consume the Action Gauge. Although the Action Gauge replenishes over time, a depleted character will have few defensive options so careful management is the difference between maintaining your offense and leaving yourself utterly exposed.
Understanding the radarEdit
Within the radar you can determine your partner’s location as well as the location of the two foes you are facing. Consider your surroundings and look for ways to create momentary 2-on-1 situations.
Understanding potential threatsEdit
The HUD will show arrows indicating the location and nature of incoming threats. Yellow markers indicate your character is currently being targeted and the direction of that foe. Red markers indicate an incoming attack and show the direction – be prepared to evade as soon as a marker turns from yellow to red.
This is your basic projectile attack. These attacks vary by type and strength per character, but will typically be most effective from long to mid-range. For select characters, their core damage will come from ranged attacks, however, most characters will benefit from powerful Melee Attack combos above all else.
This is your basic close-range strike. As always, the strength and form of these attacks will vary per character, however, these are almost always close-range only.
Character ability powerEdit
The effect of this will vary per character; however, it is typically the means to unleash the ultimate power that defines their personality – transformation, summoning, life steal and more.
Holding this down modifies your basic attacks giving you access to Special Move 1 and 2. You can cancel basic attacks with Modify attacks creating combo potential that goes beyond Dash Cancel.
You can guard any attack from the front, however, will remain vulnerable from the back or sides. Guarding consume the Action Gauge, so you must manage it wisely.
As you are facing two foes, effectively toggling between them and understanding when you can effectively pressure one or the other is the first key to victory. Also, never forget you can.
No two Incarnates awaken in the same way, but all Incarnates will replenish their Action Gauge and ammo.
How to charge the Awakening Gauge and how long awakening lasts depends on the Incarnate.
The stage will turn blue if your tag partner awakens, red if your opponent awakens and purple if members of both teams awaken.
Nomal Awaken Launch close enemies into the air (no damage)
Awaken while; taking damage or downed. Launch close enemies into the air (no damage) If you use awakening to escape damage or downed state, awakening duration will last 30% less than when not taking damage/downed.
Mastering the Target MarkerEdit
The Target Marker reveals a wealth of subtle information easily missed in casual play.
At the opening of the match, your foes will be their furthest and at this range the Target Marker will appear grey indicating Ranged Attacks have little chance of connecting and Melee Attacks are impossible. From here, you must strategically place your character in their most effective range without needlessly burning through your Action Gauge pool.
As the marker shifts from grey to yellow, Ranged Attacks grow more effective, however, most Melee Attacks will still be too far to connect. Floating between yellow and orange ranges is ideal for characters with powerful Ranged Attacks.
At this point Melee Attacks are more likely to connect, however, each action leaves you more exposed than ever. For characters adept in Melee Attacks, maintaining pressure from orange ranges is ideal, however, ranged characters will need to find a way to distance themselves.
This is the Tag Combo marker; depending on your range you can follow your partner’s Tag Launcher with your Tag Combo Finisher. From far, finish the Tag Combo with a Ranged Attack, yet when close, the Melee Attack Tag Combo Finish is devastating!
Often overlooked, this marker indicates the opponent is fully down and no longer vulnerable to attacks. In the same manner, they cannot influence the battle until they have recovered, so use this time to create 2-on-1 pressure with your partner. Knowing which attacks will leave your opponent in this state and the measure of time you have available to create 2-on-1 situations will allow you to create relentless pressure.
Instinct may crave to stay focused on a single target; however, success develops through working together and creating advantaged situations. The single easiest way to create an advantage is to create 2-on-1 situations and maximize your output therein.
Additionally, there are attacks you may execute or periods of helplessness you may experience that will offer a brief opportunity to toggle targets and determine your partner’s situation and thereby, your next action.
By holding the Left Stick characters will run in a given direction. While the evasive capacity of this basic movement is low it does not deplete the Action Gauge. While in the air, characters will coast in the direction held while gradually falling back to earth. In this case the Action Gauge will be taxed, however, the rate is exceedingly low.
Jump and flyEdit
Elevation can provide unique advantages and characters can pursue this by tapping or holding the A button to leap upwards in the direction you are currently holding. The longer you hold down A, the higher they will rise, however, this consumes the Action Gauge and once depleted, the character will fall helplessly back toward earth.
Dash and flyEdit
Doubling tapping A will execute a dash in the direction held (or forward for neutral). By holding A during the double tap characters will extend their dash length and continue to consume the Action Gauge.
Dashing is the fastest and most effective means to evade and close distance, however, as you are vulnerable once the Action Gauge depletes, you must carefully manage your movements.
Ranged and Melee AttacksEdit
Although every basic attack will not conform to this dynamic, attacks are segregated by Ranged and Melee.
For characters with powerful ranged options, maintaining distance and controlling space become paramount. Characters with Melee Attack focused dispositions will use ranged options as a means to close distance, control space, and corner their foes. In both cases, by firing off a Ranged Attack during brief 2-on-1 situations you can contribute to your partner’s fight and achieve success as a team.
For characters with strong ranged options, force their evasion with basic Ranged Attacks as you pay careful attention to your opponents Action Gauge and look to unload the moment it appears depleted.
For most characters Melee Attack combos represent your single highest damage source and the single greatest moment of risk. Patience is critical when cornering a foe with Ranged Attacks, feints, and skillful movement – once you can seize an opening you want to make sure you have enough Action Gauge available to explode.
As mentioned before, Melee Attacks will vary depending on the direction held so take time to explore your character’s options as you head into battle.
Before you head into battle, consider your strengths as a team and select characters that will compliment these. Understand character strengths can be further complimented with the right teammate while the right partner can wholly compensate character deficiencies. For example, the Grim Reaper does not have an especially high damage output, but his ability to summon hordes allows him to fully occupy an opponent while diligently tracking his partner’s situation. Thus, when paired with a high damage output character like Ares, the team becomes stronger than the sum of its parts.