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Psyanide

vs. Pikachu

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Overview:

 

This matchup is one that is generally in Mewtwo's favor. Being able to hold his own in field, exert strong aerial pressure in neutral with iAD JY, and camp Pikachu with a life lead and force an approach allows the genetic pokemon to give Pikachu a hard time. However, don't sleep on the electric mouse - as he can also camp Mewtwo, take advantage of superior frame data in close quarters, and exert considerable pressure with a strong, long-lasting burst mode. One that, as a 100 cc character, he can get access to often.

 

 

Field Phase:

 

Key moves to watch for: Pikachu's J[Y], JX, fY

 

This is a pretty important part of the matchup, as whoever wins field phase sets the tone of the match. Should Mewtwo win, he can sit back in low stance in duel phase (low stance armors 5A, the only attack Pika can throw at Mewtwo from long range), hold the life lead, and force Pikachu to approach. If Pika wins, he can also camp Mewtwo in duel phase by sitting in low stance (which ducks under Psycho Cut and Hyper Beam, the only moves Mewtwo can throw at Pika from long range), hold the life lead and force Mewtwo to approach. Not only that, but Pikachu will have 40% of his meter just by winning field phase once. You'll want to mind spacing when using certain zoning options because if Pika jumps one of your projectiles, you can expect him to quickly JX to catch you during your endlag. Speaking of JX, make sure you're familiar with how to punish it. How you can punish it depends on the height that it's used at, and there's a little variation with spacing - but usually if Pika hits above Mewtwo's hand in shield, you can punish with homing attack. If Pika hits around Mewtwo's hand or the middle part of the shield, you can punish with grab. But if Pika uses JX from a low height and hits the lower part of your shield, he's only -5 so you can no longer punish them with grab. You could eat a homing attack if you try to grab when they're safe so make sure you pay close attention. Another good move Pika has in field that you can punish is his forward Y. Now normally the move is safe on block, but both hits of the attack are not a true blockstring so you can CA in between them. There's a few ways you can punish it by armoring between the first and second hits - either with CADC grab, using your own forward Y, or with barrier into drain punch, which will not only win you field but snag you 100 CC of meter ahead of Pika. These options go for both when Pika uses normal fY or fY(1) into 5A. Just keep in mind that if Pika uses fY from the max range of Mewtwo's fY or drain punch, he'll recover before either can hit him - so you may want to opt for drain punch for the less risky option on block. You'll often see Pika charging up J[Y] in field. If you can get psycho cut out before Pikachu releases J[Y], you can preemptively stuff it. Otherwise, if the J[Y] hitbox comes out as psycho cut does, it'll just trade since they have the same priority. Mewtwo's sY has less priority but often one or two of the disks will get past J[Y] because of how spread out they are. The same happens when Mewtwo's and Pikachu's sY interact.

 

 

Duel Phase:

 

Key moves to watch for: Pikachu's 5X, 5A, 6Y, SB 2Y

 

How you go about playing duel phase depends on who's got the life lead - you or Pikachu. If you're the one with the life lead, simply sit outside of Pika's 5X range in low stance and force them to approach. If they like to use 5X in neutral a lot, you can make them pay for it with iAD JY. Since 5X is a mid low, jump will avoid it starting at frame 5. If they try to jump in with a thunder cancel, wait until after the thunder cancel to put out 8Y. If you try to anti-air too early, you could get smacked with a delayed JX. Keep in mind that JY and JX are both plus on block, so it would be wise to respect the frame advantage. Once Pika is in close, knowing Pika's frame data and the gaps in his strings are important for dealing with his offensive pressure. 5YX, 5YYX, and 5YYYX are all +4 on block with or without their just frames but the weak hits into the strong hit is not a true blockstring so you can CA between them. Just be careful not to get too CA-happy when you see a Pikachu using 5Y/5YY/5YYY on your block because they can special cancel into nuzzle as a mixup. If Pikachu is using 5Y on Mewtwo's CA, he can beat it out with 2A due to it being a low crush. The same goes for confusion. If Pikachu is up close and tries call out iAD JY with [Y], remember that you can punish both the unenchanced version (-16) and enhanced version (-12) on block. If Pikachu uses 8Y on Mewtwo's shield, don't immediately try to catch him in the air with 8Y as Pikachu can alter the trajectory of where he moves into the air with 7Y or 9Y and further maneuver around and behind Mewtwo with a thunder cancel. Don't let him bait you into whiffing 8Y, giving them the opportunity to punish. You'll want to stay in shield until Pikachu is out of the air. If you go into duel phase and Pikachu is the one with the life lead, you'll want to carefully approach and look for an opening. Play footsies within iAD JY/2Y/grab range while being wary of Pikachu's 5X. If Pikachu tries to call out iAD JY with 7Y/8Y/9Y in neutral, wait until he commits to an aerial followup to antiair him. You'll want to be especially careful when Pikachu is in burst mode, as Pikachu's synergy burst 2Y becomes a looming threat whenever you're within range of it. Watch carefully and look for an opportunity to call out 5X or 2Y with iAD JY if they like to throw it out a lot whenever they're in range. You also want to be careful about using fire punch in this matchup, as Pikachu can ignore the Fire Punch/Ice Punch 50/50 with 8A - but if you space it far enough, you can make fire punch safe against 8A. If at any point you suspect Pikachu will use Nuzzle either in neutral or on oki and want to call it out, use 6YX instead of 8X because both will result in a hard knockdown on crit against nuzzle but 6YX will net you more damage. Also pay attention to whether the opposing Pikachu is hitting their 6Y just frames or not - as it'll make the difference between them being -8 or +4 on block. If they're not getting the just frames, try testing the waters with 2Y to see whether they block or keep pressing buttons during -8 situations. You can also use 8Y if they're going for highs after 6Y on block or you want to push them back and create space.

 

 

Recommended Support(s)

 

Togekiss: The go-to support in this matchup as this is a very neutral-heavy matchup and getting that boost to your footsies with speed buff will go a long way to making life difficult for Pikachu.

 

Eevee: Another option if you're wanting to be able to use your lights against Pika in burst, but it'll be more for being able to anti-air burst Pika with 8Y as your light pokes (2Y/5Y) won't do you as much good against burst Pika since he can outrange both of them with his 2Y.

 

 

If I've missed anything or if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below

 

 

Edited by Psyanide

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