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MvCI/Game Mechanics/Infinity Stones
Infinity Stones, though not entirely unique to the VS. series, adds a new dimension to the game by allowing you to select a stone during character select and change the outcome of battle. Stones offer the ability to change your experience in how the game is played, even if you use the same team! Finding the stone that fits for your team is important but experimenting with multiple stones is encouraged.
There are two primary functions for a stone, the Surge and the Storm.
The Surge is a basic one button input that acts as a special attack, stones can be chained or canceled from any normal or command normal and can cancel into hypers. Each time a Stone is used, it builds a bit of Stone Guage Meter which when built to 50% or above, can activate it's Storm. Learning how to use each stone's Surge is extremely important in neutral, combos and mix-ups.
The Storm is an important come back mechanic that grants you special abilities based on your stone. Storm can be activated multiple times per match once you reach 50% of your meter which is built by either taking damage or through the continuous use of your Surge, even if it doesn't hit your opponent. You also gain a large chunk of Stone meter when your partner is killed as long as you aren't already in your own Storm. You can activate Storm during combos or even during block stun and gain a large portion of invincibility, though you aren't at frame advantage. Storms have the same priority as Hypers, as you can cancel out of your Specials at any time but you cannot cancel into Storm during Hypers unless you are able to tag and Storm through your partner. By activating Storm again while it's active, you get a free level 3 at the cost of your remaining Stone Gauge. Each of the 6 Storms have the same duration however your gauge will deplete faster each time you strike your opponent with an attack.
Strong use of your Storm will be optimizing your buffs and using the last bit of your Storm meter to get access to a level 3. A strong use of Storm is to use it after your first character died and on incoming to avoid the mix up and gain momentum back to your side. However, only one Storm can be active at a time, another strong use of Storm is to simply lock your opponent out of using theirs which can be important in maintaining momentum and preventing a come back. If your opponent has a very strong mix up that is difficult to block, you can also Storm on wake up to potentially get out of the mix up but understand that although you are invincible on activation, you can still potentially be meatied when you recover.
Tip: As soon as you activate your Storms Level 3, your Storm immediately ends frame 1 and if your opponent has enough gauge to activate Storm, they can do so to escape your level 3 by gaining invincibility.
All Storm activations are 27 frames long and fully invincible through it's duration.
Reality Stone's Surge is a low priority, slow moving homing projectile that can be reflected. Seen as a strong stone for it's simple use of being able to track your opponents movements, it can help supplement a characters zoning tactics or offer additional support for characters who have none. Only one Reality Stone can be on the field per character, you can always Surge then tag and Surge again to have two on the field at once. This projectile goes away on hit or block and can be reflected back, if the projectile goes away you gain access to use another immediately. It's important to know that if Reality is on the field and the user who activated the stone is attacked, Reality will remain on the field and can help break combos.
Surge: 9f Start up, 2f Active*, 40f Recovery, -17 on block, -12 on hit*
- Reality is active until it runs out of duration or until it hits opponent, travels about 3/4 full screen. Hit advantage can change into a real advantage you can combo off solo depending on how late into the active window opponent gets hit.
Reality Storm is a powerful tool that adds elemental attacks based on the button you press, like the Surge, you can get two elemental attacks on screen if you tag. is a small wind attack that can be rapid fired, however this attack deals no hit or block stun. is a fire beam that spawns based on the height your character is currently at when activated. After a short delay, a full screen beam of fire will attack horizontally which is excellent for lock down but has minimal hitstun. is an ice attack that can only hit grounded opponents and will temporarily freeze them if hit which is great if you anticipate your opponents tag. is a thunder bolt that attacks from the sky vertically which is good for keeping your opponent out of the air, has minimal hitstun. Each time one of these elements is summoned, a bit of your Storm gauge is depleted.
Pick Reality if you want extra zoning support or a projectile you can use anywhere on the screen and tag out under the cover of this projectile. It's slow speed forces opponents to respect it, however it doesn't have too much durability and can be destroyed by most projectiles. This can be a double edged sword as opponents can also reflect this projectile back and will then track the original user. The Storm is strong as each of your normals can become powerful elemental attacks and through the use of Active Switch you can have up to two elemental attacks on the field at once. Every character can seemingly take advantage of this storm making Reality one of the most used stones.
Power Stone's Surge is a powerful physical attack that can break armor and act as an anti-air. An extremely strong button that will cause a wall bounce into a hard knockdown making for an easy conversion. What makes Power appealing is that it can trade favorably against other moves and other stones. If used twice in the same combo however, opponents will pop up towards the top of the screen where they will recover making this stone only usable once per combo. Combining this Surge with a fast moving character can create mix ups, if this Surge is used while in the air it will auto correct to towards the opponent creating strong 50/50s that are hard to contest due to it's sheer hitbox size.
Surge: 11f Start Up, 5f Active, 30f Recovery, -7 on block, +95 on hit
Power Storm grants an additional damage modifier (+30%?) and higher hitstun through out the Storms duration and each attack will cause a wall or ground bounce depending on whether they hit the ground or wall first. Important to know that while all damage is seemingly improved, the Storms level 3 is not affected. Using Power Surge during the Storm will not place opponent into a wall bounce, instead, opponents will pop high into the air for a soft knockdown that can lead into a combo. Each successful attack will seemingly cause infinite wall bounces and each attack will also drain a bit of Storm meter.
Pick Power if you want a close quarters button that is good for anti-airs, trades and easy confirms. The Surge is also quite amazing at setting up 50/50s and forcing the opponent to respect you at close distance. Characters with air mobility can use their air dash to get in close and abuse the Surge, if the opponent is in a defensive position, you can dash over their head then Surge for an auto-corrected 50/50 into full confirm. Having no other bonuses except for damage and hitstun, this Storm is one of the more honest stones to use as a come back factor however once a hit is made, opponents could potentially die in one touch due to how much raw damage is output.