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About PokkenZard

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  1. Thanks Ricky, I incorporated those points.
  2. I definitely want to see more stage variety in our tournaments. While stage selection can make some MUs easier or harder, it doesn't seem game-breaking, and I think it could add a little richness to our meta without changing our game dramatically. I also think people underrate the value of the visual interest for viewers. The point I feel most strongly about in this discussion is that smaller events especially should feel free to try out whatever rules the players there like. I feel like through a combination of limitations in the game and the relatively small size of our scene, we established a consistent set of competitive rules pretty quickly and haven't tried out much else since. I think these discussions would be a lot more interesting if we had different experiences to draw from, and the best way to get there is to let tournaments experiment. I'm sympathetic to the points about stage selection adding time. I wonder if simpler selection rules are viable? Something like: "First game stage picked randomly from [a set the community decides], whoever lost the last game picks the stage for the next one." Yeah, that will sometimes lead to swingy situations where the first loser picks an extreme stage size, wins, and then their opponent picks the opposite extreme. But while that might be predictable, is it really a problem? Personally I'm not sure it is. But I don't really know what other FGs do, so maybe rules like that have other problems I haven't heard about.
  3. The tutorial teaches you how to guard, of course, and it will show you how counterattacks defend against your opponent’s attacks. But there’s more to defense in Pokkén than just those options. This guide introduces all the different kinds of armor and invincibility in the game, and how you can use them for yourself. Blue Armor / Counterattack Armor We’ll start with the most common armor, blue armor. You’re probably already familiar with some of this from the tutorial, but a quick review will help us discuss the other armors later. Blue armor is your basic counterattack armor. When it’s active, your character’s outline has a blue glow. If you get hit with an attack, unless it’s a piercing attack, the armor activates with a flash. When that happens, it’s like you weren’t hit: there’s no knockback, no hitstun, and you take no damage. On the flip side, if you get grabbed while you have blue armor, that’s a critical hit for your opponent—they won the Attack Triangle. You get blue armor by: Doing a basic counterattack (X+A). If you charge the counterattack, the blue armor lasts longer, delaying the attack portion. Each character has different minimum and maximum durations for this armor. A fully charged counterattack will pierce an opponent’s blue armor, so it’s useful to know whose counterattack charges faster in any given matchup. Doing a command counter. Almost every character has one, so I won’t list them all here, but some “popular” examples are Lucario’s Extreme Speed (8A), Pikachu’s Volt Tackle (8A), and Charizard’s Fire Punch (6A). You can recognize them because just like the basic counterattacks, the move gives the character blue armor during its warmup, and then the attack comes out. For a full list, check out the frame data, and look for attacks that are type “C”. Chandelure’s, Sceptile’s, Suicune’s, and Weavile’s burst attacks are all counterattacks, so they have blue armor too. Calling a support with blue armor: Electrode, Magneton, Qaugsire, Snivy, or Whimsicott. Electrode gives the caller blue armor as long as it’s on the field. All the rest grant a short burst of blue armor as soon as you call them. If you get grabbed out of this blue armor, it doesn’t count as a critical hit. Doing a stance that gives blue armor: These are a little funny, because they don’t show the usual blue glow. That’s because the stances only grant blue armor against certain kinds of attacks. Against those attacks, though, you’ll still get the blue flash and all the benefits of blue armor. These stances are: Blaziken’s high stance (against high projectiles) Blaziken’s low stance (against low attacks and projectiles) Machamp’s low stance (against low attacks) Mewtwo’s low stance (against low attacks) Shadow Mewtwo’s low stance (against low attacks) Red Armor / Special Armor Where blue armor is associated with counterattacks, red armor is associated with normal attacks. Where blue armor is a defensive option for you, red armor is more of an offensive buff to help you force your attacks through. The basic mechanic is the same: if you get hit with an attack when you have red armor active, the armor activates with a flash—but of course it’s red, not blue. The attack will sort of go through you: you won’t be knocked back or down, and if you’re in the middle of an attack animation, it will continue uninterrupted. However, unlike blue armor, you will still take damage from the attack (a little less than you would normally), and you can even be K.O.ed. Note that when a character techs a grab with an attack, there’s a similar animation with a red flash that goes in a wave from back to front. This isn’t red armor; this is just an animation to emphasize the grab tech. You get red armor by: Doing an attack with red armor. Again, there are too many to list, but moves that show the effect best are Chandelure’s Overheat (8A) and Mewtwo’s and Shadow Mewtwo’s Psystrike (8A). Check the frame data for attacks with “Armor” in the notes column. Garchomp’s burst attack has red armor for the first few frames. Using Charizard’s high stance. This grants red armor against special mids. Using Garchomp’s high stance. This grants red armor against low attacks. Red armor can fail in a couple of ways: If the hit gets your opponent to 12 phase shift points (PSPs) in Duel Phase, it will connect and cause a Phase Shift as normal. If the hit is the tenth hit that this armor has absorbed, it will connect normally, causing hitstun. Then the armor will reset. Burst Armor The tutorial covers burst armor, but now that we’ve covered red armor, discussing the parallels can help us remember the details of both. Burst armor is basically a weak red armor that’s always active when you’re in burst mode. Weak attacks (usually ones that use the Y button) will not cause you hitstun. If you’re in an attack animation, it will continue uninterrupted. It also has all the downsides of red armor. You still take damage, and it can fail the same ways. There’s no separate animation or indicator that burst armor blocked a hit. Just knowing you’re in burst mode is enough. Invincibility Frames Invincibility frames, or iframes for short, are exactly what they sound like: frames where a character is invincible from all attacks and grabs. Unfortunately there’s no single visual indicator or when iframes are active or prevent an attack from connecting. Instead, the attack animation just goes through as if it whiffed. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to remember what grants iframes. You get iframes by: Activating Synergy Burst: You’re invincible as soon as you activate Synergy Burst until the shockwave comes out. Doing your burst attack (usually): Sceptile, Suicune, and Weavile do not get iframes in their burst attacks. Gengar and Mewtwo get iframes from the first frame of their burst attacks. In version 1.3 (the Wii U version), Charizard gets iframes from the first frame of their burst attack if they activate it midair. Everyone else gets iframes from the fifth frame of their burst attack. These iframes last until the first hitbox comes out. Doing an attack that makes your Pokémon (nearly) invisible: Chandelure, Garchomp, Gengar, Mewtwo, and Shadow Mewtwo have various attacks that cause them to dig, minimize, or teleport. They’re invincible at these times. Check the frame data for exact numbers. Backdashing: Backdashes are invincible for the first few frames of their animation. The same often goes for attacks that incorporate backdash movement, like Weavile’s taunt. Again, check the frame data. Calling a support that grants iframes: Fennekin, Pachirisu, or Umbreon. These supports grant iframes as soon as you call them, and they last until the primary effect starts. Note that Pachirisu’s effect doesn’t get your opponent off you, so if they read your call, they can time their attacks around your iframes and still hit you.
  4. I wrote up the basics of it in this post, but it would be great to see a detailed video about it too.
  5. SW-6339-4321-8902 Probably won't be playing much until DX arrives, so don't worry if I don't respond quickly.
  6. Sorry, I definitely did not mean to suggest that, and I think you're right that I muddied my own message by trying to take on a little much in one post. Now that we've got the psychographics shorthand in the discussion, let me try to talk a little more directly about what nagged me about the Twitter thread. I'd say there are roughly two big categories of comment in that thread. One is identifying resource gaps: not enough character-specific resources, not enough discussion of the high-level meta, stuff like that. I don't have any issue with these; in fact, I think those are great discussions to have, and I would love to see all that stuff too. I think in general they'll make a richer game for most players. And even if some of those resources end up being tailored just to Spikes, that's cool too. I said I want to grow the tent, and that means growing it for more Spikes. The second big category is about player attitudes: complaints about players who don't utilize the resources that are already available, whose talk isn't backed up by their work, those kind. These are the ones that inspired me to make the original post. Because I get where those comments are coming from, and I understand the frustration, but my response would be: those players aren't as Spike-motivated as you all, and that's okay. They're playing for other reasons. I think this is true even within a single motivation psychographic like Spike. You're frustrated that more top-level players aren't working to advance the meta. That's fair. But I don't think that means they're not Spikes, or not competitive enough. Spikes set their own goals and work to achieve those. Proving yourself by being the best in the current meta, or just being the best at your character in your region, is just as Spike a motivation as trying to push the meta forward. One of the truisms you have to learn to play games competitively is that you can't change other players, you can only change yourself. I think that applies here too. Those players you're frustrated with, they have their own motivations for acting the way they do, and you're probably not going to inject them with new motivations. So I would encourage you to focus on filling the resource gaps you identified—I mean, I know you already are, but take this as encouragement to keep at it. Because I think doing that is the way to draw in more of the kinds of players you want to see in the scene. And that's really my suggestion to everybody. If all of us who care about the Pokkén community do that, chipping in more of whatever we like about the game, I think the results will be amazing.
  7. Today on Twitter there was some real talk about the state of the game’s competitive scene. I want to spend a little time unpacking it here, because I think these conversations can potentially set a lot of the tone as we grow the scene when we get DX. I think we have a pretty good thing going now, and I want to see us keep that going with an influx of new players. I want to do that by introducing an idea I learned from one of my older gaming obsessions, Magic: The Gathering. You know Magic, right? Because the creators of Magic always want to sell new cards to more players, they spend a lot of time thinking about what why people play and why they like some cards more than others. The chief designer Mark Rosewater has a mental model for thinking about this, which he calls player psychographics. He usually identifies three player psychographics—three different motivations players have for playing Magic—and he’s even given them names. Cribbing from this article: Tammy wants to experience something, an emotional or adrenaline rush from playing the game. Jenny wants to express herself, using the game as a canvas for what she thinks or feels. Spike wants to prove herself, by setting goal(s) and achieving them. I think you find similar motivations in Pokkén and most other fighting games. Pokkén has thrills for Tammy, like close timeouts and tight footsies. It has opportunities for Jenny, like labbing combos and bringing a particular playstyle to your favorite Pokémon. And it has an official stamp of approval for every Spike: the Burnside graphic. Again, this is a mental model. It’s useful for thinking about a playerbase in shorthand, but it also has limits. Probably the sharpest limitation is that there are plenty of players who don’t fit neatly into a single psychographic, but instead have a mix of motivations. Me personally, I’m like half-Spike, half-Tammy. I will never be a top player. I don’t have the innate talent or the drive to grind it out. But I do want to see myself improve, and I know the only way to do that is to change myself. I set goals for what I want to improve and I track my progress on them. That’s the Spike in me. But I might not have picked up the game at all if I couldn’t main Charizard. I love the big swings of playing as Charizard. The quiet patience required to get in, and then the big hits you land when you do. I watch vods of my matches, and I think to myself, “They had 400 HP, I had 1, and I came back to win it?” And it’s a thrill every time. That’s the Tammy in me. So what does this have to do with the Twitter thread? Equipped with this mental model, you might say: that thread is a bunch of Spikes talking about how they wished the scene appealed more to them. And that’s cool! I hope everybody who plays Pokkén finds something to enjoy in it. If the pure Spikes can talk amongst themselves to find even more ways to enjoy the game, they should absolutely go for it. But that doesn’t mean the whole community should only do what the pure Spikes want either. We will grow the scene more, and appeal to more players, if we have something for every psychographic. I want to encourage all of us to think of why all the rest of us are here, and when you can, give other players more reasons to enjoy the game on their level. That level might not be yours. But if you can bring them in, and give them reasons to stick around, they’ll probably bring in more players who match your own psychographic, whatever mix it is. And related, recognize that just because someone doesn’t share all your motivations doesn’t mean they don’t share any of them, or that they’re opposed to them. There are plenty of opportunities to find common ground with others who have any psychographic overlap with you. And there’s no limit on the size of the scene. There can be room for all of us. So I hope we as a community don’t just move the community tent in a single direction. I hope we grow it. That’s win-win for everyone.
  8. I think 3v3 definitely has potential as a competitive format and I'm happy to see tournaments offer it, but I hope it doesn't become the standard way to play Pokkén at tournaments. And that's basically because I'm one of those one-character players other posters are talking about hypothetically. I'm older than most of y'all. I've got more adult responsibilities than I care to count. Pokkén is the first fighting game I've been serious about. And that wasn't the plan when I bought it. It only happened because the game is approachable enough to help me learn it, and the great community picks up where the game leaves off. But it still doesn't come naturally. The learning is a lot of grind for me. I don't know if I could do it for two more characters. It's been five months and I'm still learning one. If 3v3 becomes the format I have to ask myself if it's worth the time and money to come to tournaments when the rules just widened the skill gap between me and most of the rest of the field. 3v3 doesn't seem like a bad format. Most of the rest of the other cons that people have mentioned, they might be real, but I'd be willing to give the format a shake and see whether or not it's actually a problem before I judge. But I think the Pokkén community is special because both the game and the community are so, so accessible, and I worry making 3v3 the main competitive format would raise the skill floor and take away from that some.
  9. Moving seems too basic to have a page about it. You press the arrows to walk, you press B to jump, what else is there to learn? We don’t need to cover those basics, but Pokkén includes several mechanics you should learn to help you get around the stage quicker, safer, and get the edge in those tight footsies games. This page talks about movement options where the tutorial leaves off. It provides more detail about some of the advanced options that are just briefly mentioned there, and covers additional techniques that aren’t mentioned in the tutorial at all. It does not cover character-specific movement options like Mewtwo’s air dash or Charizard’s glide. For more about those, check the character boards. Counterattack Dash Cancel (CADC) When you’re in the counter frames of a counterattack, you can hold a direction and press R to cancel the counterattack and dash in that direction. Note how this interacts with charging: charging a counterattack gives you more counter frames, and with them a longer window to dash cancel. This is a relatively common way to move around because it has a few different applications. When you’re just moving in neutral, CADCing gives your opponent less time to react, and you an opportunity to react to your opponent if they overextend. If you just dash, or just counterattack, the frames of startup animation for both those moves give your opponent time to know what’s coming and plan their reaction. When you CADC, your opponent doesn’t know what’s coming until the counter frames end, giving them less time to react and get an advantage over you. This leads to one of the game’s most common mixups, the CADC into grab. It’s not uncommon to see a player CADC toward their opponent to bring them within grab range, then immediately grab. Let’s break this setup down into its basic parts and see why it’s so effective. The player starts their counter frames. The opponent is out of grab range, so they can’t beat it the easy way. If the opponent attacks, or dashes forward to grab, the player can get a hit by letting the counterattack run normally, or they can dash back to try another mixup. The opponent might put up their shield to block the coming counterattack, or they might start their own counterattack hoping to catch the player in their own counterframes. In either of those cases, the player can safely follow through with the rest of the mixup. The player dashes forward. This is the vulnerable part of the mixup, because the opponent has an opportunity to catch the player with an attack or grab timed to catch the end of the dash. However, the player controls when it happens: they can do it as quickly as possible after the counter frames start, or wait until just before the counterattack is fully charged. The opponent gets no warning when the player starts dashing, so they have an extremely narrow window of opportunity to react. The player grabs. If the opponent blocks or started a counterattack back in step 1, they have no chance to react to this: they’re going to get grabbed. They can only avoid the grab by getting a fast attack out now (which was a dangerous thing to do a few frames ago, back during step one), or moving out of the way with a dash or jump. This mixup isn’t the only or even the main use of CADC, but it’s a good illustration of how they help you: CADCs give you more time to react, and your opponent less. You can also CADC to safely move through projectiles. This is often better than blocking because you won’t take any chip damage and you can’t be pushed back—in fact, you can often move forward. Just be careful for traps: if your opponent sees you coming, they can often set you up to take a hit at the end of your dash. And of course, you can’t CADC through counter-piercing projectiles. Homing attack cancel Every character can start a homing attack in Field Phase by pressing X. The player will move rapidly to the opponent, then do an attack. During the movement, it feels like you’re locked in. You can’t control the direction at all, and you can’t do other attacks. But there are two ways out: you can jump right out with B, or stop where you stand and bring up your shield with R. Both are handy because homing is usually the fastest way for a character to move around in Field Phase. These cancels let you use that mobility without committing to the full movement or attack. For example, a large Synergy Gauge Boost appears at the middle of every stage at the beginning of the final round. You can put yourself in a good spot to take it by starting your homing attack at the beginning of the round, and canceling it when you’re just on your opponent’s side of the Boost. They also open mixup opportunities. If your opponent starts charging a counterattack while you’re coming in with the homing attack, you can cancel it and go for a grab. Just be sure to practice the timing in Training Mode: there’s no opportunity to cancel once you start the attack animation, and that might be a little earlier than you realize. Most characters can’t cancel midair homing attacks. Jump cancel and special cancel You can cancel the ending animation of certain moves by jumping or doing a special attack (one using the A button). The tutorial mentions these, but if you’re like me, you’d like a comprehensive list of what moves are cancelable and how. Appleboom’s frame data spreadsheet has you covered. When a move is jump cancelable or special cancelable, that’s mentioned in the Notes column. It’s also worth adding that you can cancel if your attack makes any kind of contact with the opponent. You don’t have to get a hit; if you hit their shield or counterattack, you can still cancel the rest of the animation. Use the extra time to put yourself in a better position to defend against or punish their next move. Kara cancel “Kara” is Japanese for “blank” or “emptiness.” Kara canceling refers to canceling a move before it has any effect (i.e., while it’s blank) to do a different move. In Pokkén, you can kara cancel any one-button attack into a two-button input. For example, you can cancel a strong (X) or special attack (A) into counterattack (X+A), or a weak attack (Y) into grab (Y+B) (when you do, it’s called a kara grab). You have a tiny window of time to kara cancel, almost unnoticeable, but if the startup animation of your first attack moves you at all, you benefit from that movement before the second command. This is most often useful with grabs: if you start an attack that moves you forward, then kara cancel into a grab, you’ll noticeably extend your grab range. If you’re in neutral right at the edge of your range, a kara grab can help you make sure you connect. Kara cancels have utility beyond increased range. They can also add counter frames to grabs, time to counterattacks, and option selects. Bolimar’s kara cancels post has all the details. L cancel Also called “landing canceling” or “lag canceling,” this is a mechanic that lets players cancel their landing animation by inputting another command as they land. It got the name “L canceling” from Melee, where the mechanic lets you cancel by bringing up your shield with the L button. We don’t use the L button for this, but many characters in Pokkén can still cancel their landing animation by inputting an attack command as they land. This lets you get your next move out sooner, potentially besting your opponent in a race. madluk’s video covers who can do it and how. For each character, there’s a clip without L canceling, then the same sequence with the cancel added, demonstrating the frame advantage. Watch the input history for the right input to make. There’s a little flash on your character when you do it right. Exhaust frames Exhaust frames cover the animation when your character leaves Burst Mode to return to normal, mostly with a white flash. You have no direct control over exhaust frames, but they’re worth covering here, because if you’re moving during exhaust frames—and only moving, without pressing any other buttons—you’ll be invincible through the animation. And that’s usually your best option. Most players figure out pretty quickly that exhaust frames eat most inputs but not R, so they guard through them all the time. But of course, that makes you very predictable and vulnerable to grabs. What’s less obvious is that if you’re moving, you’re completely invincible for a short while. Even if your opponent knows that and times their attacks accordingly, you have more options to react than you would coming out of guard. Crow_Spaceboy’s exhaust frames article on Shoryuken has more background and discussion.
  10. Part of my original plan for this was to make it "the hub for information that isn't on Pokkén Arena." That way, you could come to PA to find everything, and this page would make it easier to find the stuff that was elsewhere, especially on sites that are tough to search like Google Docs and Twitter. But let's give it a shot. I've added this link with the other move data, and we'll see how it evolves from here. Thanks for the suggestion.
  11. Broad Street Battle

    Big E Gaming's monthly tournament in Philadelphia regularly features Pokkén. Event details and registration on smash.gg.
  12. V-Synergy

    "V-Synergy" is a tournament for Pokkén Tournament & Street Fighter V players from the Philadelphia and surrounding regions hosted by our very own SuperTiso. Event details on Facebook.
  13. Inferno

    Pokkén monthlies return to New England! Singles and doubles tournaments at Underworld Gamez in Wallingford, CT. More information and registration on smash.gg.
  14. If I'm not a TO, but I know about events that aren't on the calendar, is there anything I can do? I see registration links for Northeast tournaments all the time, and it seems like those pages have everything we'd need to add them to the calendar. I'd be happy to help funnel them here if I knew where to do it. TOs have enough on their plates already, this seems like an easy way to pitch in.
  15. Some other character-specific terms that I see or hear a lot that I think might help from explaining: FS = Flying Stance = A special stance for Charizard where he's permanently midair and has access to new moves iAD = Instant Air Dash = A Mewtwo thing that I can describe what it is but someone who knows more about Mewtwo can probably write a better definition Enhance = After certain moves connect, Pikachu Libre will enter an "Enhanced" state. This makes all of her Pokémon Moves deal more damage, and they even get an extra damage bonus on top of that if they cause a Phase Shift.