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Capcom vs SNK 2/C-Groove

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Cvs2 C-Groove Label.png
CVS2 CGrooveBar.png



C-Groove is one of the six grooves in Capcom vs. SNK 2. It features a multi-level super meter, air blocking, and the ability to cancel a Level 2 super into a Level 1 super or special move to extend super combos and add additional damage. It is a groove that rewards consistent, fundemental play due to its "always on" damage potential that needs relatively little meter to cash in on. C-Groove is inspired by the Street Fighter Alpha series, specifically A-ism in Alpha 3.

C-Groove is widely accepted as a top-tier groove in CvS2. However, nowadays many consider it a half-grade behind A-Groove and K-Groove due to the slightly more difficult—and less flashy—tactics needed to be effective in C compared to A and K.

Groove Data

C-Groove Data
Main Features Level 2 Supers cancel into Level 1 Supers or special moves; Air Guard
Groove System Three-Level Super Combo System
Groove Subsystems
  • Dash
  • Roll
  • Air Guard (Exclusive to C-Groove)
  • Counter Attack
  • Tactical Recovery
Meter Length 168 Units (56 Units × 3 Levels)
Guard Bar Length 48 Units Standard
Meter Bonuses
  • At meter Level 1: +1% damage dealt
  • At meter Level 2: +2% damage dealt
  • At meter Level 3: +5% damage dealt

See Groove Subsystems for complete technical data on specific subsystems.

Meter System

The super meter is a single bar divided into three equal sections. A filled section is equal to one level of meter. As each section fills up, the corner of the meter will visually indicate what meter level you are at: Lv.1, Lv.2, or Lv.3. Filling up all three sections—the entire meter—means you have up to a Level 3 super available.

When full, all the meter can be spent at once, but players can choose to only use part of the meter to perform lower level supers or system abilities like counter attacks. When performing a super, its power level is determined by the strength of the attack button pressed upon execution:

  • For a Level 1 super, use Lp.png or Lk.png;
  • For a Level 2 super, use Mp.png or Mk.png;
  • For a Level 2 super, use Hp.png or Hk.png.

If the meter is not completely full, higher button strengths will still execute the highest level super available. For example, if you only have the meter for Level 1 super but you perform a super with a medium or heavy attack button, the Level 1 super will still come out.

Any partial use of a meter will only deduct the exact amount needed for the action performed. This means that if you have 2½ levels of meter, and you do a Level 2 super, you will be left with a ½ a level of meter after the super.

C-Groove meter has a passive damage bonus applied to all player normals, specials, throws, and supers. The current power level of the meter determines the strength of this damage bonus:

  • At Level 1, all attacks do 101% damage (+1%);
  • At Level 2, all attacks do 102% damage (+2%);
  • At Level 3, all attacks do 105% damage (+5%);
  • There is no damage bonus when the meter is at less than Level 1.

The damage bonus is calculated at the moment an attack is connecting, In the case of supers, any meter remaining after the super flash determines what level of damage bonus will be applied. That is, when you start a Level 2 super with a full meter, after the super flash there will still be one level of meter filled, which means the Level 2 super will do 1% more damage than normal. (Note that if labbing for optimal combos in training mode, you will want to turn off infinite meter. Otherwise, everything you do will have a 5% damage bonus applied to it, including Level 3 supers!)

Meter is shared by the team and persists between characters and rounds. Any meter remaining after a round, win or lose, will carry over to the next round.

Unique Groove Abilities

Level 2 Supers

C-Groove is the only groove in CvS2 that has the ability to perform Level 2 supers.

Level 2 supers are a definite step-up in damage from a Level 1 super, but not as strong as a full Level 3 super. Still, they do very good damage for the amount of meter needed for them, especially compared to other grooves.

Other properties of Level 2 supers fall between Level 1 supers and Level 3 supers as well. They invalidate opponent inputs for 5 frames after the super flash, compared to 3 frames for Level 1s and 7 frames for Level 3s. They have more start up invincibility frames than Level 1 supers, but not as many as Level 3 supers.

This extra invincibility actually allows C-Groove characters to use Level 2s as reliable wake-up reversal supers, since the amount of invincibility they have will usually cover you up through the first active hit frame of the super. Level 1 supers in comparison generally only have three frames of invincibility, which almost always will run out before the first active hit frame.

With at least 2 levels of the super meter filled, they can be performed by inputting the desired super motion, then pressing Mp.png or Mk.png as appropriate. (If you have more than two levels but are still short of a full meter, you can use Hp.png or Hk.png as well. With a full meter, however, the heavy attack buttons will perform a Level 3 super.) Level 2 supers are distinguishable by their blue "shadow" animation, versus the Level 1 super transparent shadow and the Level 3 super red shadow.

Level 2 Super Cancels

The main feature of Level 2 supers, and in C-Groove overall, is the ability to cancel a Level 2 super into any Level 1 super or special move. This lets players extend combos and add on additional damage past what you would get from Level 2 damage alone, making them more powerful than their face value. Depending on the character and combo, it is possible to approach Level 3 damage numbers using only two-thirds of the meter; or get more damage with a Level 2 into Level 1 super than a straight Level 3 super!

In order to cancel a Level 2, the first requirement is that it actually connects with the opponent. A blocked or whiffed Level 2 super cannot be cancelled out of, still leaving you vulnerable to punishment.

If it does connect, cancelling can be done at any time during any hit of the super. Just input a valid special move, or a Level 1 super if meter is available (you will have needed to start the Level 2 with full meter in this case) and the current hit of the Level 2 will cancel into the performed action.

Just about any special or Level 1 can be used to cancel. However, it must be performed in the same place (e.g. grounded, in the air, with meter) as it would normally. Any inputs that would not successfully cancel the super will be ignored, resulting in the Level 2 super finishing as normal. For projectile Level 2 supers, a Level 1 super or special move will only come out as (or immediately after) the projectile hits, requiring some timing.

At the moment a Level 2 super is cancelled, the opponent's juggle potential is reset. This is what actually allows the move you cancel into to connect, as otherwise you would not be able to juggle with another attack after a super connects. There are circumstances where this can be exploited to create extended juggle combos, such as Kyo's upkicks after a Level 2 flame super, or whiffing Todo's command grab after a Level 2 Chou Kasane Ate (wave projectile) super to get more hits out of it than you would be able to otherwise.

Air Guard

For full technical information on Air Guard, see Groove Subsystems.

More commonly known as Air Blocking, Air Guard lets players block air-to-air attacks as if they were blocking normally on the ground. Although technically a Groove Subsystem and not a baked-in feature, Air Guarding is effectively a unique feature to C-Groove given that no other groove has it.

Air Guard only works if the blocking player and the opponent's attack (their projectile or the attacking opponent themselves) are both airborne. While this does not give C-Groove players complete defensive safety in the air like in P-Groove (air Parry) and K-Groove (air Just Defend), it does open up safer options for advancing or retreating with jumps. For example, a character that may unpredictably throw fireballs from a distance—especially Sagat and his high Tiger Shots—is much safer to jump in on (from distance!) as the projectiles can be blocked in the air.

Air Guarding while jumping backwards is a common defensive positioning technique, better known as Chicken Blocking. As you need to use back (B.png) to jump backwards (Ub.png), if you continue to hold Ub.png you will block any air attack from the very moment you leave the ground. This allows you to safely retreat from situations where you may be vulnerable to incoming crossups or surprise jump-in or projectile attacks, compared to a backdash which can leave you more exposed.

Blocking in the air is not a cure-all, however. If using Air Guard, you will lose trip guard when you land. Should you block an opponent's air attack but they land before you do, that may leave you wide open to get hit with a free combo. In some situations, it may be better to take the single hit in the air so you air flip out and are able to safely land and block immediately; versus blocking in the air and taking the full brunt of a super or A-Groove Custom Combo when you land and are unable to block it.

Groove Strategy

Overall, C-Groove is a top-tier groove in CvS2. It rewards consistent, fundamental play by turning every offensive opportunity generated into the maximum possible damage for the game situation. Even so, it is generally thought of as a "defensive" groove, though not just because of air blocking. Because players can patiently sit (some may say, turtle) on their meter knowing that big damage will result from any opening, there is less of a requirement to be the aggressor in neutral.

Strengths

Level 2 super cancels are a powerful tool, but they aren't the full story when it comes to what makes C-Groove so effective. The true power of C-Groove lies in the fact that players can use them very often during a match, since the meter gauge is short and it can be quickly refilled through basic play. This meter efficiency and value for damage is what makes C-Groove scary to play against.

With full meter and an opening to land a super, a Level 3 could be fired off. However, if a character has a very solid Level 2/special cancel combo that does (for example) 90% of the damage of their Level 3, consider the situation they would be left in if they just burned two levels of meter, leaving them with one. After just a few combos and pressure strings by both players, another Level 2 super will be ready to go. That's access to another 90% of Level 3 damage, just for filling one level of super meter!

There may be obvious times when that last 10% is needed with a Level 3. If not sure a Level 2 combo will kill but a Level 3 is likely to do it, go with the Level 3 every time. But this is another benefit of C-Groove: Any power level super can be used at any time. There may be situations where the Level 3 is best. So use it! There may be situations where only have a Level 1 super available but it's an easy confirm of a BnB combo. So use it! You may be starting to fall behind in the middle of the round, so a Level 2 is used to save some meter and quickly fill it up to Level 2 again for comeback potential. So do it!

The flexibility of the meter always being available lets players take full advantage of the current game situation. No other groove can do this like C-Groove can. Together with air blocking, which can help control space up close (via chicken blocking) and in air-to-air scenarios, C-Groove is a very formidable groove that can lay on the damage offensively just as effectively as it can play patiently on defense.

Weaknesses

In a vacuum, there are truly very few weaknesses in C-Groove. But there is an argument that may show otherwise when taken in the context of the whole of CvS2.

The one major point against C-Groove is that in close, pressure-filled game situations, it lacks a true "gimmick" to tilt things in its favor. K-Groove players can Just Defend and turn safe and reliable opponent attacks into suddenly unsafe and unreliable attacks. A-Groove players with a full bar have an anytime, anywhere invincible Custom Combo activation to threaten with—and even if they don't, they can lay back and whiff attacks to build meter until they do. Both can use these tools also provide a level of safety for jump-in maneuvers. C-Groove players might as well be playing Street Fighter II in comparison.

While the meter in C-Groove can be efficiently traded in for massive damage, it falls solely on the fundamental skills of the player—not the abilities of the groove—to open up the opponent to take advantage of that. Compounding this is how the C-Groove player must play against the K-Groove or (full meter) A-Groove player much differently than normal to account for their groove gimmicks. And yet, no matter the game situation, the K or A player can play against the C-Groove player largely the same way. The straightforwardness of C-Groove, therefore, works both ways: C-Groove players know they always have a lot of damage potential in their pockets, but all other things being equal, their opponents know there is only one way they can cash it out.

So while C-Groove is a very strong, top-tier groove in CvS2, it also has the most basic level of character matchups. You know pretty much exactly what you're in for when you face a C-Groove character... it's just a matter of being good enough to overcome that. If you're a player that knows their characters, can execute well, and has good fundamentals to force opponents into opening up, you'll be at home in C-Groove. It's just A-Groove and K-Groove players can be at home in their grooves too. If that's the case, the C-Groove player may find themselves in situations where they wish they had just one more thing they could do in the groove to turn the tide.

Character Considerations

Many of the characters listed below can benefit from the features of C-Groove in several ways. However, there are different facets of the groove that are better fits for some characters than others. When building a C-Groove team with characters you would like to play, considering these different facets can help you put together a winning combination.

The most obvious choices for characters that are good in C-Groove are the ones that can take the most advantage of Level 2 cancels. Those that have good follow-up special moves, reliable/damaging Level 1 add-on options, or both. The most ideal C-Groove characters can cancel out of a Level 2 with a special move, then follow that up with a link or juggle into a Level 1, getting the absolute maximum damage out of the meter and a hefty amount of stun on top of that.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of characters that noticeably benefit from C-Groove cancels:

  • Sagat
  • Cammy
  • Sakura
  • Chun-Li
  • Iori
  • Yamazaki
  • Ken
  • Ryu
  • Akuma
  • Kim
  • Kyo
  • Terry
  • Rugal
  • King

Chun-Li is arguably the most powerful character in C-Groove, given that she has a multitude of follow-up options after a Level 2 super and one of the most damaging level 1 supers on its own. She has a theoretical Ratio 2 100% combo that will kill every Ratio 1 character and many Ratio 2 characters, which uses every element of C-Groove's meter system and the unique properties of Chun's moveset. The video explains it all.

However, characters that don't have good Level 2 cancels can still be extremely effective in C-Groove. Remember that one of its strengths is that you can use the meter very efficiently and get a lot of damage out of a little meter. This means that characters that can reliably open up opponents with their regular moveset can turn bread and butter combos into big damage very quickly. Hibiki is the best example of a character where meter efficiency can trump Level 2 cancelling. She cannot get any follow-up damage off her single Level 2 super, but she can very easily confirm into a Level 2 (or Level 3) super off her bread and butter combo. Because she is able to turn the majority of her simple combo attacks into high damage supers at a very high rate, it almost doesn't matter that her Level 2 cancel is useless.

When played in a patient and turtlelike style, especially when the C-Groove player has the life lead, it can put pressure on the opponent to take more risks to get in and do damage. Unsurprisingly, the characters that are some of the best at staying back and daring the opponent to come at them are the "charge" characters, who are natural fits for C-Groove's defensive play:

  • Blanka
  • Vega (Claw)
  • Bison (Dictator)
  • Guile
  • Honda

Finally, there is a subset of characters that spend a lot of time in the air, often forcing air-to-air engagement from the opponent, that can also greatly benefit from air blocking. Some of these characters include:

  • Mai
  • Rolento
  • Maki
  • Morrigan

Rolento and Maki in particular benefit from air blocking off of their wall jumps, greatly expanding their safety factor and mixup options.

C-Groove Character Tier List

In June 2022, Japanese player 178 put together a back-of-the-napkin C-Groove tier list:

CvS2 C-Groove 178 TierList.jpg

Note that this tier list is not universally accepted, but it definitely good enough of a list to give a general idea of how C-Groove helps or hurts particular characters in relation to each other.

Groove Comparisons and Matchups

The info in this section is for direct comparisons between grooves and generic groove vs groove matchups, which may apply differently to specific characters. For more detail on how a character plays in and against the different grooves, refer to their character info page.

Cvs2 C-Groove Label.png

C vs. C is about as close as you can get to "scratch golf" in CvS2. There will be no custom combo setups, parries, dodges, or just defends to have to worry about. Aside from air blocks (and roll cancels) it's just straight-up Street Fighter: Open up the opponent with fundamentals, then execute with your meter to extract the maximum amount of damage possible. The one to do that with their characters the best, wins.

Cvs2 A-Groove Label.png

C vs. A is a battle between how much damage the C-Groove player can do before (and as a bonus, while) the A-Groove player has full meter, and whether or not the A-Groove player's custom combo conversions are damaging enough to overcome that.

C-Groove may be the most meter-efficient groove, but A-Groove isn't far behind. C-Groove players will get to their damaging Level 2 super faster, but A-Groove players can fill up their entire meter sooner (144 units) than can C-Groove (168 units). Not to mention, optimized Custom Combos can do just as much or more damage than straight Level 3 supers or high-end Level 2-to-Level 1 super cancels. A-Groove has the added benefit of keeping half of their remaining meter should they be hit out of a failed Custom, making another go at one even closer than you think.

An advantage C has over A is the fact that C-Groove players have little reason to hold back on their meter; if there's a Level 1 or Level 2 super opportunity to take, then there is no reason not to take it. A-Groove players, on the other hand, will rarely if never use a Level 1 super if they have the meter for it given how much damage potential they are wasting by not saving up for another Custom Combo opportunity. The best time to get in your damage against A-Groove is when they do not have full meter; that's true in all the grooves, it just happens that C-Groove is unquestionably the best at doing it.

However, once the A-Groove player has that full meter, the C-Groove player is at a disadvantage. They can't approach the A-Groove player in the same way, making it much more difficult to open them up for a super. The A-Groove player, on the other hand, can be much more aggressive knowing that even the most basic of actions—pressure strings, throw techs, jump-ins, etc.—can lead to an invincible activation and a big damage custom combo.

C-Groove players that like to use air blocks need to take care against A-Groove players with a full meter. If they jump up to meet you and activate in the air, you will be able to block the initial flurry of custom combo attacks but it will cost you your trip guard. If they land before you do—which can easily happen due to how an air block hangs you up in air for a little bit, to say nothing of several in a row—you will be unable to block and they will be able to get a partial custom. For top-tier A-Groove characters like Bison or Sakura, that might as well be a full custom combo.

On the bright side, counter attacks in C-Groove are the cheapest of all the grooves, only costing you one level of super meter. If you block a custom, you have an option to get out of it that way, although against some characters it will trade instead of beating it cleanly. Another option is to just block it, which will generate a decent chunk of meter for you.

Cvs2 P-Groove Label.png

C vs. P can be a tricky matchup against someone that knows how to parry. But C-Groove comes out far ahead due to its greater opportunity to do optimal damage while the opponent can't do anything good with their meter in response.

From a meter vs. meter standpoint, P-Groove suffers greatly against C-Groove. Not only is the meter in P is 15% longer than a maxed-out C-Groove, but once it's full, P-Groove players usually are stuck with a suboptimal decision. Do they burn their meter on an overkill Level 3 to win a round, or risk dying in a close match trying to save the meter for the next round? C-Groove players will never face such a dilemma.

This disparity is very noticeable when it comes to what P-Groovers can do off parries. A player that does them well can be a headache for C-Groove players, as a well-timed parry can really screw with the fundamentals game. However, unless their meter is full and they feel they are in an optimal position to burn it, the worst they can do to you off a parry is a meterless punish combo. On the flipside, the C-Groove player without full meter can do their BnBs, Level 1s, or Level 2s with cancels thereafter. It's not uncommon for the C-Player to get all that spent meter back while the P-Player still sits on full meter, waiting for a good opportunity to use it.

Still, C-Groovers need to open up the P-Groove player to land those options, and someone that's good at parrying can make that difficult. P-Groove's shorter guard crush bar hurts it here, however. C-Groove players can patiently work on whittling it down (trying to not get parried in the meanwhile) to pressure them to make a mistake, or use all the meter generated from the blockstring pressure leading to a guard crush to drain them of their life bar as well.

Cvs2 S-Groove Label.png

The C-Groove player will be at an advantage most of the time due to having meter-boosted attacks available much more often than the S-Groove player. Naturally, this changes once the S-player has less than 25% health, at which point they will have unlimited Level 1 supers at their disposal. C's cheap Counter Attacks are a help against some of the more annoying Level 1 super pressures, ensuring a knockdown to take back a turn.

C-Groove players that rely on the fundamentals game to open up their opponent will be easily frustrated by S-Groove dodges. Countering this so as to be able to physically hit the opponent will require an extra level of gamesmanship against the dodge threat; more throws and empty jumps to bait them can often create chances for openings, allowing the player to spend their meter in response.

Cvs2 N-Groove Label.png

The C vs. N matchup is almost as straightforward as the C vs. C matchup. There are very few "gimmicks" to have to worry about, so for the most part character matchups can played straight.

The biggest difference here is that N-Groove players are generally more aggressive, especially after meter activation. The ability to run and the small window to take advantage while powered up usually means N-Groovers have every reason to come at the C-Groovers. N-Groove players can also use Level 1 supers if the opportunity comes up, though they are much less meter-efficient than in C-Groove. Whether the C-Groove player should respond with equal aggressiveness or sit back and play defense very much depends on the character matchup and game situation.

Cvs2 K-Groove Label.png

C vs. K is the toughest matchup for C-Groove. K-Groove's Just Defends easily disrupt straightforward tactics to land meter-burning super attacks, and much of the passive meter attack bonus and extra Level 2 cancel add-on damage can be largely negated by K-Groove's Rage state defensive bonus. Whether they are hit while Raged, or they eat a super and Rage as a result of it, it's tough sledding to stay ahead of things as a C-Groove player.

The silver lining is that the K-Rage defensive bonus isn't as potent against C-Groove as it is against other grooves, making things even out on that side of things. Still, this does not change the fact that while Raged, the massive K-Groove damage boost is in full effect against C-Groove players, who must avoid getting thrown, hit, or supered on too many times. Otherwise, the meter efficiency of C is no match for the overwhelming damage of K.

CvS2 Wiki Navigation

General
Controls
Notation
HUD
Glossary
System
Combo
CvS2 Versions
Netplay/ Training
FAQ
Grooves
Groove Overview
Groove Subsystems
C-Groove
A-Groove
P-Groove
S-Groove
N-Groove
K-Groove
Capcom Characters
Akuma (Gouki)
Balrog (Boxer)
Blanka
Cammy
Chun-Li
Dan
Dhalsim
Eagle
E.Honda
Guile
Ken
Kyosuke
Maki
M. Bison (Dictator)
Morrigan
Rolento
Ryu
Sagat
Sakura
Vega (Claw)
Yun
Zangief
SNK Characters
Athena
Benimaru
Chang
Geese
Haohmaru
Hibiki
Iori
Joe
Kim
King
Kyo
Mai
Nakoruru
Raiden
Rock
Rugal
Ryo
Terry
Todo
Vice
Yamazaki
Yuri
Boss Characters
Shin Akuma
Ultimate Rugal
Evil Ryu
Orochi Iori