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There are three ways to divide up Tiers in Marvel vs Capcom 2: by overall team value, by assist value, and by solo value. The following list is the commonly accepted tier list, and represents evaluation of characters garnered from years of experience and play by masters at those characters. Thus while certain characters do not often get seen or represented well, they really do have strong advantages - or disadvantages.
Joo's Tier List
This tier list is from Japanese player Joo. While there will be disagreements about the placement of some characters, it is a long-standing list and represents a generally accurate picture of the game's accepted balance at a competitive level.
- God tier
- Sentinel, Storm, Cable, Magneto
- It is generally accepted that Sentinel and Storm are slightly above Cable and Magneto within this tier, but this is a very very slight difference.
- High tier
- Cyclops, Iron Man, War Machine, Doctor Doom, Strider, Spiral, Dhalsim, Blackheart
- High Middle tier
- Psylocke, Captain Commando, Tron Bonne
- Middle tier
- Ruby Heart, Omega Red, Colossus, Juggernaut, Rogue, Cammy, Mega Man, Guile, Anakaris, Silver Samurai, Marrow, Gambit, Iceman, Spiderman, Wolverine - Bone, Wolverine - Claw, Venom
- Low tier
- B.B. Hood, Sakura, Sonson, Akuma, Ken, Ryu, Charlie, M. Bison, Captain America, Hulk, Jin, Jill, Felicia, Hayato, Morrigan, Sabretooth, Thanos, Zangief
- Bottom tier
- Amingo, Chun-Li, Shuma-Gorath, Dan, Kobun/Servbot
- Roll tier
While there are way too many possible assists to have a full assist tier list be valuable, the following are the highlights of the possible assists. Since the assists available on a team greatly affect team dynamics, there is no true best assist - simply a lot of great options that will help sculpt your team.
Listed in alphabetical order:
- Captain Commando: Anti-air assist.
- Cyclops: Anti-air assist.
- Doctor Doom: Anti-air assist.
- Psylocke: Anti-air assist.
- Sentinel: Projectile or ground assist.
- Tron Bonne: Projectile assist.
Other Notable Assists
- Akuma: Hurricane kick assist.
- B.B. Hood: Projectile assist.
- Blackheart: Anti-air assist.
- Cable: Anti-air assist.
- Cammy: Anti-air assist.
- Captain America: Anti-air assist.
- Chun-Li: Anti-air assist.
- Guile: Anti-air assist.
- Iron Man: Anti-air assist.
- Jin: Expansion or anti-air assist.
- Juggernaut: Juggernaut punch or overhead assist.
- Ken: Anti-air assist.
- Magneto: Projectile assist.
- Ruby Heart: Anti-air assist.
- Sonson: Anti-air assist.
- Spiral: 'Arms' projectile assist.
- Storm: Projectile assist.
- War Machine: Anti-air assist.
- Zangief: Ground assist.
Marvel has 56 characters to choose between, each with three assist types to pick between. As such, there is over a million team variants to pick between. The following are particularly noteworthy choices. Generally the order of the characters can be switched within reason. Storm and Sentinel can generally be interchanged on point, but Magneto should generally always be either the first or last character on a team, and only last if he's paired with Sentinel on point. The assists chosen for the characters listed are the general preferred assists to use, but other assists can certainly be used if they're effective for you.
Generally there are exceedingly strong pairings - Storm backed by a good anti-air and hopefully Sentinel (for the DHC), Sentinel backed by any good anti-air, Cable backed by Sentinel and a good anti-air - that form the backbone of all great teams.
Top Tourney Teams
- Magneto-A/Storm-A/Sentinel-A. AKA MSS. One of many teams that allow you to exploit the Storm/Sentinel DHC, which generally should allow you to completely kill an opposing character.
- Magneto-A/Storm-A/Psylocke-A. AKA MSP.
- As Desmond "X-cutioner" Pinkney said, "Duc Do created MSP. Shady K and SooMighty refined it. And Yipes remixed it and revamped it to make it the best team in the game."
- MSP wants to hit fast and quickly, and fortunately because of the combination of Magneto's mobility and the knockdown and priority of Psylocke's assist, this is not difficult. However, your execution must be spot-on and you might have a hard time getting in range to go for a mixup on characters like Sentinel.
- Note that while playing at breakneck speed like Soo or Mixup or Yipes is an effective way to fluster the other person into getting double-snapped, it is equally important to know when to back off and bait out the other player. For example Ricky Ortiz's MSP would often start out with cLK, backdash, dash forward with Storm-A assist coming through and often get a double-snap in response to that cLK feint.
- Storm-A/Sentinel-Y/Cable-B. AKA SSC or Team Cody. Favored as a keep-away team. Make sure to get the rushdown, and watch out for the quick Cable AAA.
- Storm-A/Sentinel-Y/Cyclops-B. AKA Matrix. Storm being Trinity, Sentinel being a robot, and Cyclops being Neo and spreading the code via his optic blasts.
- Sentinel-Y/Storm-A/CapCom-B. AKA Team Santhrax. After Sanford Kelly, a top New York player. At the time when the team was created, Storm was first, and Sentinel was second.
- Storm's air combo ending in Lightning Attack cancelled into Lightning Storm, DHC'ed into Sentinel's Hyper Sentinel Force. Proper timing results in only two or three of the top drones hitting and Sentinel being positioned primarily to do a damaging combo afterwards. With Commando assist and fast fly available as an option, this can result in a 100% combo.
- Cable-B/Sentinel-Y/CapCom-B. AKA Team Scrub. This is a fundamentals-focused team that beginning players can do well with. Once Cable has three levels, it's quite deadly.
- Sentinel-Y/Cable-B/Cyclops-B. AKA ScrubClops.
- Magneto-A/Cable-B/Sentinel-A. AKA Team Row or Team RowTron. After Rodolfo "RowTron" Castro, a top Seattle player. Rodolfo first played this team in the summer of 2001 and used it (then virtually unknown) at the B5 tournament of that year. He went on to dominate the West Coast with it over the next year and took second to Justin Wong at ECC and Evo2k2 in 2002, when the team truly got noticed. He continued to use this team in tournaments for years afterwards until it became widely known as "his" team.
- Team Row places Sentinel on Alpha (Rocket Punch) assist instead of the more commonly used Gamma (Sentinel Force) assist, further increasing the team's notoriety.
- Magneto-A/Iron Man-B/Sentinel-Y. AKA Combofiend. After Combofiend, a top California player. He would use this team either in this order or in Sentinel/Magneto/Iron Man order, which rotates easily between that and the Magneto-base configuration via DHCs. Later players who adopted this team often substituted Sentinel-A (rocket punch) assist for Sentinel-Y (drones assist) in order to get an easy setup assist for Magneto and Iron Man.
- Sentinel-Y/Strider/Doom-B. AKA Team Clockw0rk. After Clockw0rk, a top California player. Generally a very interesting team, but if Strider or Doom dies the team is usually in bad trouble.
- Magneto-A/Storm-A/Tron-Y. AKA MST. This team does an incredible amount of damage. As Isaac put it, "mash buttons and good things happen".
Top Not Quite God Tier Teams
- Rogue-A/Storm-A/Tron-Y. Played to near perfection by Vegita-X, it showcases Rogue's speed and cross-ups, as well as having a painful DHC.
- Juggernaut-Y/Tron-Y/Doom-B. AKA Team Z. Famous as being MikeZ's team, it does incredible damage and generally benefits from a glitched Juggernaut.
- Any Character/Cable-B/Tron-Y. Generally Tron Bonne's assist is very exploitable and make most non-high-tier characters relatively playable.
- Ruby Heart-A/Iron Man-B/Doom-B. A very serious trap based team. It has solid DHCs, not to mention it can also deal out a lot of damage.
- Claw Wolverine-A/Sentinel-Y/Bone Wolverine-Y. Primary team of low-tier technician Joe Zaza, who has made impressive showings in various occasions. It is almost entirely an old-school rushdown kind of team.
Other Teams of Interest
- Spiral-A/Cable-B/Sentinel-Y. AKA Team Duc, after Duc Do, a top Los Angeles player known as THE Spiral player. The team that basically won Evo2k5. Extremely good at trapping and chipping.
- Blackheart-B/Sentinel-Y/CapCom-B. AKA Team Watts, after Mike Watson, an old school Los Angeles player who used this team in the very early days of the game - a very fundamental team that's great at controlling space. Alex Valle used to be a dominant player with this team in early 2001 until Justin Wong arrived on the scene. It's still played in tournaments today by StiltMan and others.
- Storm-A/Sentinel-Y/Cammy-AA. Justin Wong's second team, and the first Storm/Sentinel team ever to win a major tournament, first seen by a wider audience at B5 in 2001.
- Magneto-A/Cable-B/Cammy-AA. Justin Wong's first team, the first Magneto team ever to win a major tournament. This team was what he first established his dominance with in mid 2001. Historically speaking, it can still be viewed as the strategic ancestor of Team Row, which first appeared shortly afterward in Seattle and was first used in a major tournament by RowTron himself at B5.
- Iron Man-B/Storm-A/Cable-B. AKA Team Japan, used by a number of the top Japanese players.
- Iron Man-B/War Machine-B/Doom-B. One of the many Iron Man/Doom pairings, used to creatively set up the Iron Man infinite.
- Cable-B/Storm-Y/Doom-B. A very versatile team that can keep an opponent at bay big time.
- Magneto-A/Cable-B/Psylocke-AA. SooMighty's Team Old.
- Blackheart-B/Cable-B/Doom-B. A trap based team with a user concept. BH/Doom builds meter for Cable, who then keeps away and uses that meter.
- B.B. Hood-A/Juggernaut-B/CapCom-B. A very hostile team. B.B. fills the meter up then unloads a THC to punish opponents' mistakes.
- Wolverine-A/Gambit-A/Bonerine-B. Joe Zaza used this team to take out SooMighty's MSP during a casual match.
- Charlie-B/Storm-A/Doom-B. AKA "Slash Shock"
- Magneto-A/Charlie-B/Tron-Y. AKA "RomSlash"
Low tiers are characters that are lower in overall ranking and generally in gameplay strength compared to those considered top tier. They usually lack many of the advantages and damage potential those higher on the tier list enjoy. There are still people who play them for a variety of reasons, be it different play experience, to test one's skill, catch a opponent by surprise, or because a particular low tier has a good match up against a top tier character. Notable low tier players include: Vegita X (Rogue), Viscant (Anakaris/various/counter team), Mike Z (Hulk, Juggernaut), and Joe Zaza (Wolverine).
It is still possible to win with a low tier character in MvC2 although it takes much more skill, patience, and overall work than it generally does with a top tier character. Many top assist characters are low tier when used on point but the advantages their assists bring usually nullify their poor performance on point.
- The more commonly picked "low tier" characters tend to be...
- Ruby Heart, Omega Red, Colossus, Juggernaut, Rogue, Dhalsim, Morrigan, Anakaris, Marrow, Iceman, Gambit, Cammy, Mega Man, Silver Samurai, B.B. Hood, Thanos, Tron Bonne, SonSon
These are things to look for when trying to use a competent low tier character (does not necessarily means they should have all of these):
- A overhead attack you can combo off of
- A throw attack you can combo off of (preferably not limited to the corner e.g Charlie's kick throw)
- A slow moving, fast recovering projectile
- Air mobility
- Ground mobility (usually this means a good dash)
- Fast attacks
- Good damage output per combo
- Good meter building ability (must be able to do it safely)
- Good chip damage
Depending on what your character has then you can start building a strategy around it. In the early stages of the game people would build their entire game plan on making you eat the same chippy projectile over and over again, you have to find your objective and try to find ways to achieve your objective. This is the first fundamental step in using low tiers since few people use them and thus it is unlikely for you to find a established play style or strategy to use with your low tier character (although the room for innovation is one of the main reasons you might want to use low tiers).
Other things you should consider doing when playing a "low tier":
- When you are playing a character that is unable to protect your assist then the best option is usually to super jump over your opponent.
- If you have a fast or far reaching snap out attack (e.g Venom, Psylocke) it might be a good idea to sparingly dash in and perform a snap out. Some players have been known to do this at seemingly random times in a match and use its high priority to sometimes hit both the assist and the point so they can attempt to relaunch the assist to death.
Now in order I will go through general tactics to try to use with these traits:
- Overhead Combo ability
- Most experienced players will see the main advantage of this which is why low tier characters with this ability are usually the most commonly seen. Much like top tier characters with this trait the goal is to make your opponent guess incorrectly so you can land your combo. Usually you want to make them block your assist and follow up with a mix up of high, low, throw.
- Throw Combo ability
- Even if they can roll before you can hit them with something this is still pretty useful. The fact that you can force them to roll means you have a chance for a roll wake up mix up. (which is to ambiguously position yourself next to where they are going to get up from the roll, making it hard to tell which side you are actually on) Then there are characters like Charlie that can combo off their throw midscreen as a juggle much like Magneto combos off Psylocke AAA. The drawback of course tech hits and tech falls but this is still another advantage you can use.
- Slow Moving Projectile
- Although not as useful as some of the other traits it can still help. Sometimes it can be as simple as providing a lead in to a dash in attack (e.g Guile sonic boom rush down) but other times you can use them in more deceptive ways. One of the trickier tactics is to throw a projectile you know your opponent will avoid and then when they attack your character you simply pushblock them back into the attack they just avoided. (e.g Bison's orb attack)
- Air Mobility
- Extremely important in this game more so than other games mainly because many characters and assists can control so much of the ground. So being able to alter when you land and close in on your opponent from the air is a very important asset. This is not limited to just air dashes either as flight, double jumps, teleports, wall jumps, and air attacks that allow you to block after their usage can all be useful in different ways.
- Ground Mobility
- Is still very important in this game, closing in on your opponent is key to landing your combos so it's utility is pretty plain to see.
- Fast Attacks
- This basically also includes high priority attacks. Whether it's to take control at the beginning of the match or just so you won't get counter hit and comboed every time you try to use a normal this is pretty important. Even if your character doesn't have ridiculously strong normals or specials it's still good to know what your best attack is and what situations to use them.
- Damage Output
- Damage output is pretty important because basically every time you land a mix up or get your opponent to block something you want the damage to be significant. If your character averages 46 damage per combo and your opponent averages 86 then you have to trick him twice as much as he has to trick you in order to do the same amount of damage. Of course this isn't everything and there are other factors as well (such as how hard or easy it is to trick your opponent into getting hit, or the other advantages your character has) but it's always a good idea to go to training mode and trying to find your character's most efficient and damaging combo before trying them out on your friends (even if it is just casuals).
- Meter Building
- This is extremely important, take for instance Thanos, he has excellent supers but he has a very hard time building meter for himself. Another good low tier example is Servbot. Good meter building is a very valuable trait and even if your character can't use the meter themselves it can of course benefit someone who can make very good use of it on your team such as a character like Cable or Storm.
- Chip Damage
- It's obvious what this is good for. Whether it's a good super that's safe on block or just a projectile you want to hit your opponent with as much as possible it's still something. You can build a game plan around a character's chip damage and although it's not nearly as viable or dominant as it was in the early stages of the game it can still work.
It is important you use every advantage you have with low tiers because they are low tier for a reason, they are likely to have some sort of crippling disadvantage or are just overall inferior to the top tier so you'll want to make the most out of your character. Even if you find a lot of tricks that will only work once those are still little surprises that can make the difference between a win or a loss in a clutch situation. It is also important to note that assist and team mate selection is even more crucial since you will most likely want to depend on them to make up for your low tier character's weaknesses. Overall, use low tiers because you want to and not necessarily because they are the best character for the job.
SRK Low Tier League rules
The SRK Low Tier League ran for several years on PSN and XBLA. The God Tier and High Tier characters were all banned: no Sentinel, Cable, Storm, or Magneto, and no Cyclops, Iron Man, War Machine, Dr Doom, Strider, Spiral, Dhalsim, or Blackheart. Additionally, the Tron-Y assist was banned.
If your team is using a god or high tier character, your team is not low tier.