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< GGACR‎ | Venom

General Matchup Notes

Below are matchup summaries for Venom, with more detailed 'full' matchup breakdowns detailed below. There are also some general themes worth noting:

Venom excels against characters that:

  • Lack an answer to the tempo dominance posed by ball set, and are forced to approach.
  • Do not have reversals, a single reversal, or a suite of mediocre reversals.
  • Lack reliable answers to his f.SGGXXACPR Venom fS-Hitbox.pngGuardMidStartup9Recovery18Advantage-6 and 2SGGXXACPR Venom 2S-Hitbox.pngGuardMidStartup6Recovery20Advantage-7 in the midrange.
  • Cannot punish f.S/2S > 214X on block or contest c.S/5H > 421X.
  • Can get 'stuck' behind chest-height balls on the screen, and are forced to commit to a jump, low-profile, or anti-projectile move.

Venom struggles with:

  • High-reward 'gambling' tools that leave the opponent spaced out, or outside of throw range and safer than -5.
  • Counterhit-fishing tools and characters who can convert stray pokes in neutral into strong damage or knockdowns.
  • Strong reversals (or guard cancels), or multiple reversal/abare tools that require different coverage.
  • Full-screen options that can be used to prevent or outright punish ball sets in Venom's traditionally strong ranges.
  • Steep air approaches or approach-covering tools, which cannot be contested with 6PGGXXACPR Venom 6P-1-Hitbox.pngGuardMidStartup9Recovery20Advantage-12 or air thrown on incoming.
  • Characters who naturally cover/counteract multiple universal defensive options, neutering Venom's main methods of defending himself

These sections are difficult to make, time-consuming to write, and require lots of vetting by strong players. Please be understanding of the fact that these are few, far between, and slow to update.

Axl Low

Axl LowIn the 'zoner' versus 'zoner' matchup, the cooler not-zoner wins (It's Venom. He's the cooler one).

Round Start

Focus on low-commitment pokes, or if Axl begins over-representing his parry and guardpoint counter, re-orient towards more defensive space-building round starts. Also, mind RaieiGGAC Axl RaieiSagekiS.pngGuardHigh/AirStartup28Recovery13+6 after landingAdvantage-4, a powerful leaping strike with great counterhit conversions that will readily check all of Venom's typical round starts - be prepared to get abstract with it to match the Axl you're playing, or disengage entirely.


Venom can box Axl out quite effectively, but this is not a matchup where you get to pollute the screen from the get-go. This is more of a f.SGGAC Venom fS.pngGuardMidStartup9Recovery18Advantage-6 matchup than it is a ball setGGAC Venom 214X.pngGuardStartup11Recovery15Advantage- matchup. Axl has easy, reliable, and rewarding checks on trying to place and use balls - most notably 2HGGAC Axl 2H.pngGuardLowStartup11 [17]Recovery16Advantage-5 and RensenGGAC Axl Rensen.pngGuardMidStartup12Recovery39Advantage-15- alongside strong midranged tools for harassing ball sets, like 5PGGXXACPR Axl 5P-5-Hitbox.pngGuardMidStartup9 [13]Recovery10Advantage-1.

Quick Tips

  • f.S is your god in this matchup, but don't get greedy after it because Rensen exists
  • Mind the Axl's timing and placement of Rensen
  • If you can't comfortably get a ball out and above Rensen, you probably shouldn't ball
    • Stay mobile and make Axl risk mis-committing on covering your movement
  • FD jump like your life depends on it, because it does
  • Ball + jump is quite strong

Overview | Frame Data | Matchups | | Strategy Return to Top


Weeeeeeeeeird matchup. Really weird. Totally fine, or even very good, for Venom, but you need to be prepared to play a very ball-light style and emphasize Venom's strong poking game and good movement. Don't feel forced to approach in this matchup; outside of Rensen range, Axl is generally forced to approach to prevent ball sets and remove any life lead you may have secured, and his approaches are generally unsubtle and lose him Rensen charge. Stay on your toes, anti-air well, don't get greedy, and life will be alright.

On defense, you get a surprisingly large amount of input, provided you respect 6HGGAC Axl 6H.pngGuardHigh/AirStartup23Recovery9 after landingAdvantage+1 and can occasionally IB/SB/ it to remove its frame advantage. If you can convince Axl to take tools like Rashou SenGGAC Axl Rashou.pngGuardUnblockableStartup27Recovery34Advantage- off the table, life gets a lot easier, and thankfully Venom can readily contest it - avoid playing the jump/don't jump game if you can!

Round Start

As with matchups in the game, your main priority at round start is basically to avoid getting knocked down. Thankfully, Axl's pressure isn't particularly grueling, so even with Venom's bad defense, it's not an untenable snowballing-is-all-but-guaranteed position. The layer one at round start is basically a contest between Venom's typical round start options and Axl's more decisive counterplay to them. 2SGGAC Venom 2S.pngGuardMidStartup6Recovery20Advantage-7, his fast projectile in H StingerGGAC Venom 46S.pngGuardAllStartup9RecoveryTotal 48Advantage-13, and playing more defensively all have a place, but they're kept in check by Axl's high/mid counterGGAC Axl TenhouSekiP.pngGuardStartupRecoveryTotal 31Advantage-, guardpoint attackGGAC Axl Hachisubako.pngGuardMidStartup20Recovery22Advantage-11, and RaieiGGAC Axl RaieiSagekiS.pngGuardHigh/AirStartup28Recovery13+6 after landingAdvantage-4, which will leap over any typical round start poke. Be careful over-committing to defensive round starts, because Axl can easily catch jumps and backdashes - blocking is your friend, and remember to FD when you have the meter for it!


On the whole, don't even bother trying to use charge moves in neutral vs. Axl (Hover to see slight editorializing by the author of this sectionNomadNoah: This is something I strongly dislike in general with Venom and think is a massive noob trap; keeping your movement alive and being an active player in neutral is, in my opinion, substantially more important than placing one projectile on screen.). At risk of sounding overly negative, but just being honest, Rensen is flatly better; it has a shorter charge time, more immediate range, and blows through three projectiles. Stinger loses outright in a direct contest (usually with you getting hit as well) and accomplishes very little outside of absolute max range during an established zoning sequence.

If you can get a ball on the screen, privilege formations that place a ball above you. Advancing with formations like K~D Ball > j.P > j.S/j.H is quite strong since it limits Axl's ability to anti-air you, will go over Rensen, and shut down many of his standing pokes.

  • Don't over-spend on things like FB Stinger; you need a healthy reserve of meter to FD jump
  • It can occasionally be good to IAD at Axl if you know he's going for a Rensen or 2H to control space, but be wary of 5P, 6K, and 2S, the first two of which will both patrol for ball sets and air presence. You need to get a feel for the other player's tempo, and if they don't let you IAD, don't do it - try it a few times and back off if you're getting smacked
  • Axls will frequently try to leverage neutral/forward jump or IAD j.S to close space; you can consistently beat this with 6P BUT you need to basically choose between 2x ball set (no knockdown) or FB DHM for your followup, and that's it
    • This is also kinda where you can get the screen pollution rolling, but it's important to either advance with the formation or use ones that cover Rashousen, since that's one of Axl's main zone-breaking tools


As I'm sure you've noticed if you've played this matchup for any amount of time, Axl is incredibly obnoxious to pressure. All of his options, save for his reversal super, can be shut down with no other concessions if you're willing to streamline your okizeme and tighten up your pressure. Let's walk through some common pain points.

"I keep getting murdered during my own blockstrings! What's happening?"

What and Why: Axl has some incredibly strong options to fuzzy during c.S, namely his guardpoint attackGGAC Axl Hachisubako.pngGuardMidStartup20Recovery22Advantage-11 and his mid counterGGAC Axl TenhouSekiP.pngGuardStartupRecoveryTotal 31Advantage- - both of these will beat Dubious CurveGGAC Venom 421X.pngGuardMidStartup21Recovery19Advantage-3 and Mad StruggleGGAC Venom j236S.pngGuardHigh/AirStartup18Recovery6 after landingAdvantage+7 clean, and the guard point will blow through CarcassGGAC Venom 28S.pngGuardAllStartup16RecoveryTotal 34Advantage+8/ StingerGGAC Venom 46S.pngGuardAllStartup13RecoveryTotal 37Advantage+2 if it's not gapless.

Counterplay: It's important to mix in lows, and do stuff like c.S(1/2) > 2D on block, empty S Mad Struggle if you have the execution for it, or use feintGGACR Venom 28X~P.pngGuardStartupRecoveryTotal 5Advantage- to hard bait and punish fuzzied options during your blockstrings.

"This Axl is totally fr fr just mashing! How do I stop them?"

What and Why: Right, so Axl has a ton of strong 'pseudo-reversals,' but only one real one. Let's look at the options Axl presents:

  • 2KGGAC Axl 2K.pngGuardLowStartup7Recovery6Advantage-1 - Hits in 7f, low profile in 3f. Loses to proper meaties, no invuln.
  • S BentenGGAC Axl BentenGari.pngGuardMidStartup4Recovery31Advantage-18 - Hits in 4f, upper body invuln and throw invuln through startup. Loses to proper meaties, no strike invuln.
  • High/mid counterGGAC Axl TenhouSekiP.pngGuardStartupRecoveryTotal 31Advantage- - Catch activates in 4f. Loses to proper meaties and lows.
  • AutoguardGGAC Axl Hachisubako.pngGuardMidStartup20Recovery22Advantage-11 - Hits in 20f but ignores hitstop. 1-13f high guardpoint. Loses to lows.
  • S RaieiGGAC Axl RaieiSagekiS.pngGuardHigh/AirStartup28Recovery13+6 after landingAdvantage-4 - Hits in 28f, airborne in 4f. Loses to proper meaties.
  • Reversal superGGAC Axl Byakue-1.pngGuardMidStartup14+1Recovery41Advantage-14 - Hits in 15f, full invuln for 16f. Block the first hit and then jump-in punish.

Counterplay: See what's going on here? Other than his reversal super, every single option requires at least a small gap or loses to lows. So, step one will just be tightening up your meaties and making sure your oki is on point. Past that, while you can do mixups on Axl of course (gotta get that damage somehow!) it can be good to represent ball + low or ball + throw OS (6S+H) more than other options to keep the opponent sitting still. Try to resist the urge to over-correct for awkward/fumbled knockdowns; keep stuff simple with a well-spaced meaty low, safejump, or block behind a charged Carcass.


  • 2S against Rashou Sen (the unblockable)GGAC Axl Rashou.pngGuardUnblockableStartup27Recovery34Advantage-. It's an easy 2S > H Stinger FRC > Dash 2D on CH, which it always will be, even if they feint. Don't engage with the jump/don't jump mindgame if you don't have to at medium-to-close range.
  • If you can, IBing 6H defangs his pressure significantly, taking it from +1 to -3 (provided it hits on its first frame, so be mindful of how deep it hits). If you can Slashback it, which is even better, it's a guaranteed turn steal unless they spend meter to be safe and/or punish your SB.
  • FD a lot on defense; focus on building space and escaping


JusticeHighly atypical because of Justice's nukes and fullscreen tools, but navigable with a mix of anti-zoning and careful movement.

Round Start

A scary, but important moment in the matchup. Venom loses to most of Justice's options, so moving defensively and blocking are advisable. TK H Michael SwordGGACR Justice j41236X.pngGuardAllStartup21Recovery25+10 after landingAdvantage- is especially menacing, since it beats literally everything Venom can do when timed right, further emphasizing the importance of playing it safe when you have no resources on deck.


Keeping Justice in range of Venom's f.S is essential to keep her from getting too nuke-happy; this is basically your optimal range in the matchup. Going too far opens you up to getting completely shut out by nukes (especially if you get block-juggled by them into her, which is a bad situation), and getting too close makes her counter more threatening, and opens up the risk of being hit by her sweep or pseudo-DP. Using balls can be neutral, but don't over-commit to a losing position; it's hard to zone your way out of trouble in this matchup, so preventing Justice from getting that ball rolling is essential.

Quick Tips

  • Hitting P/S balls between P and K nukes with 5P and 5H is a great way to force her to pre-detonate, or catch a nuke set, and keeping the timing varied is essential
  • Be mindful of Saperia Trance and Michael Blade, as these tools are frequently used to try and break Venom's zoning advantage if he secures it
  • Don't always f.S if you're in range for it, as that makes you fairly easy for Justice to catch with her parry

Overview | Frame Data | Matchups | | Strategy Return to Top


In many ways, this matchup is a tempo contest. Justice's NukesGGACR Justice 22X.pngGuardAllStartup7RecoveryTotal 51Advantage-13 vastly out-perform Venom's balls in most ways, but lack their flexibility. As such, Venom's goal is to avoid letting Justice use zoning formations that fully wall out balls, either forcing her to come to him or spend valuable time clearing the screen with pre-detonations.

Round Start

Round start is a fairly decisive moment in this matchup, owing to how much momentum Justice can generate off a single knockdown (as can Venom, full disclosure). However, Venom is at a far greater risk of being knocked down than Justice. Generally, caution is advised, with an emphasis being placed on staying on your feet; even if Justice gets a nuke off at round start, it is far easier to play around when she lacks meter and you're still in f.S range. Venom's 6P is quite effective versus many of Justice's round start options, but is still dangerously exposed to Justice's massive sweep - going back to our core risk of being knocked down. Defensive movement like backdashing and jumping back can be effective, but take care to not cede too much space to Justice; maintaining a spacing where your f.S is a threat is huge.

TK H Michael Sword deserves special mention as an absolutely menacing round start tool which, when done immediately, will beat out or avoid everything Venom can do at round start. If it is done slightly late, Venom can 6P it, but this really depends on both a good read and a mistake on the Justice's part. Exercise extreme caution if a Justice displays their willingness and ability to consistently leverage this tool at round start.


This matchup is... weird. This is sort of putting boundaries on broad spreads of interactions for the sake of intelligibility, but there are a few core phases this matchup can pass through that are important. Do not expect any of these phases to last forever; Justice is more than likely to score a counter, sweep, FB, or Overdrive eventually. Besides, you need to earn your damage. The phases are, roughly, as follows:

  • Venom secures poking advantage
    • Justice will frequently seek to resolve this by using much more of her counterGGAC Justice 236P.pngGuardStartup5RecoveryTotal 38Advantage- in neutral, which beats mids (f.S, 2S, 6P) but loses to lows (please be judicious about using Venom's 2D in neutral), projectiles, and throws.
    • Poking with a ball at the same time loses to Justice's counter; you can, however, use projectiles to cover advancing lows.
    • You can play off this by closing space and trying to throw, or by setting up more thorough projectile play.
  • Venom secures zoning advantage
    • Justice will frequently seek to resolve this by using NukeGGACR Justice 22X.pngGuardAllStartup7RecoveryTotal 51Advantage-13 FRC to get a stronger projectile on screen, or with Saperia TranceGGAC Justice 236P.pngGuardStartup5RecoveryTotal 38Advantage-, and Michael BladeGGAC Justice 632146H.pngGuardMidStartup9+4Recovery46Advantage-14, to interrupt zoning/setting paterns.
    • Simple formations like P Set > 5P loops can be great for keeping Justice from getting a nuke on screen without spending meter, but are highly vulnerable to Justice's fullscreen options.
    • Depending on the discipline of the opposing Justice, this can be a great way to get them to blow huge amounts of time and meter trying to clear the screen and hit you, or to make them slowly approach.
  • Justice secures defensive zoning (projectiles close to her)
    • This can be a good time to try and leverage enhanced H Stinger Aim or fast balls that will go between the P and K nukes, either to score hits, make Justice block, or defensively pre-detonate the nukes.
    • Closing space and leveraging f.S's poking/trading power can be extremely powerful at this time.
    • Don't over-commit to defensive zoning; if the Justice is competent at pre-detonating, you can end up lagging behind and getting cornered as you back off for safer sets.
  • Justice secures offensive zoning (projectiles close to you)
    • Pick a higher power of choice and pray.
    • Dark Angel has limited use for buying a gap in nuke placement, but is by no means a dedicated way out.
    • Justice may be forced to approach to ward off Negative Penalty or, if it is present, to make up a life deficit. Be prepared to deal with her overheads, and be willing leverage FD to buy space to poke out if she gets closer than her nukes.

Managing Nukes

So, nukes are already on screen. There are a few ways Venom can deal with these, some unduly risky and some quite reasonable.

f.S has two utilities. At the last third or so of its range, where it is fully disjointed, you can readily poke Justice out of movement behind nukes, and out of launching a nuke (just shy of full screen while zoomed in). The less disjointed portion of its range can be used to trigger nukes intentionally, eating a single low-damage hit that won't knock down in exchange for taking the nuke off the screen.

Just disjointed enough for the job. A highly valuable normal in this matchup.

6P can be superb for sniping actual nuke sets, but lacks trading potential due to its disjoint disappearing very shortly after going active, which will lead to Justice remaining standing while you are knocked down.

H Stinger Aim, enhanced to level two, can occasionally make it through nukes, but this feels basically semi-random. Level three balls, from both S and H Stinger will pass through, however. FB Stinger Aim will ricochet off nukes, but when charged can pass through the nukes, meaning it generally takes longer; generally this is disadvantageous.

Dark Angel does not interact with nukes at all, and can be used to force Justice to enter the air or block, but be mindful of Air Saperia TranceGGAC Justice 236D.pngGuardAllStartup11Recovery14Advantage-, which can let Justice move around Dark Angel's fixed path.

Dark Angel and Tactical ArchGGAC Venom TacticsArch.pngGuardStartup12RecoveryTotal 17Advantage- can both be used to set up super freeze unblockables, either with each other or with normal balls, which is an expensive but- if deployed properly- effective way of attacking Justice through a screen of nukes.


Contrary to popular belief, you actually can anti-air Justice, but it is admittedly hard. Meeting her air-to-air with j.P and rising j.D can be strong, and in the case of j.P, will consistently lead to knockdowns or air-to-ground blockstrings if you aren't beaten outright.

5P can force clashes with Justice's j.H if spaced (leading to an advantageous situation for Venom, since his 6P then becomes almost impossible to beat), and 6P must be done late and deep, but will work.

Typically this height is quite awkward for Venom to convert off of, but owing to Justice's size, CH 6P > 214P > 5P > 6H is possible.

Running under her is also essential to avoid getting backed into a corner, which is where this matchup usually ends for Venoms who walk themselves to the wall on accident.

Ball Sequences

Ball Hits

  • 214P/S/D > early 5P/K/H - Line drives that will go between P and K Nukes
  • 214D > late 2K/2S/5K - Low ball below P Nuke
  • 214K > 214P > 5H - Faster set of ball its between P and K Nukes
    • 214P > 214K~D > 5H > 214P > 5H can work as a set of two fast volleys
  • 214H 214D > 2S/66 5K > 2K - Set of low balls


  • One-ball sets that place a ball far horizontally and vertically (Namely H and H~D) are hugely important, and to some extent, are key to navigating Justice's nukes and to making zoning more difficult and unappealing [VIDEO EXAMPLE]
  • Two-ball formations that cover a lot of horizontal and vertical space (P > D, and D > P~D) can be used to give yourself both a ball to use and a teleport checkpoint to move around nuke pressure. [VIDEO EXAMPLE]
  • Adding to these formations by jumping during the second set can create situations where your teleports are extremely safe, and Justice's only reasonable counterplay is to try and hard read a teleport


PotemkinWin from neutral or die on your back.

A lot of people's first impulse is to put this matchup in the 'zoner vs. grappler' category where the zoner wins, but Potemkin has enough anti-zoning tools, and enough damage if he does get in, to force Venom to be an active participant in the matchup.

Round Start

A scary and decisive moment in the matchup. Your priority is to avoid getting knocked down. Jumping is risky due to the presence of hard read Heat KnuckleGGAC Potemkin 623H.pngGuardUnblockable, FD×3Startup14Recovery22Advantage-, but it isn't inadvisable altogether. Many Potemkins will choose between Mega FistGGAC Potemkin 236P.pngGuardHigh/AirStartup25Recovery0+13 after landingAdvantage-9 and HammerfallGGAC Potemkin 46H.pngGuardMidStartup19~35Recovery27Advantage-18, both of which are readily punishable but beat many of Venom's options like f.S and 2S. The risk is that trying too hard to cover these options leaves you more exposed to others, and to simple jump-ins. Play this phase of the matchup carefully.


The biggest threats to you here are Slide HeadGGAC Potemkin 236S.pngGuardLow, UnblockableStartup23Recovery25Advantage-11, FlickGGAC Potemkin 63214S.pngGuardAllStartup21Recovery12Advantage+2, and the timing mixup between a single jump and double jump at you. Together, neutral ball set on the ground becomes very risky, open to Slide Head, buttons like 5HGGAC Potemkin 5H.pngGuardMidStartup15Recovery16Advantage-4, and jump-ins if you really mistime your ball set. This is also why it is important to stay within your f.S range; once you do have a ball out, you can readily challenge Flick and Hammerfall attempts with a paired abll and button.

If the Potemkin doesn't have meter and/or hasn't shown the ability to FRC Slide Head, you can score major momentum by airdashing at Potemkin and punishing Slide Head on reaction.

Quick Tips

  • Take advantage of Venom's ability to re-hit his balls; make it hard for Potemkin to time flicks.
  • Being airborne with a ball nearby makes Venom nightmarish for Potemkin to approach
  • Even if Potemkin is easy to anti-air with 6P, display other options; the timing mixup between single jump and double jump gives Potemkin great opportunities to punish you

Overview | Frame Data | Matchups | | Strategy Return to Top


Broadly speaking, Venom does well in neutral provided you don't over-commit to a passive option (ie, ball setGGAC Venom 214X.pngGuardStartup11Recovery15Advantage- in neutral, where Potemkin will Slide HeadGGAC Potemkin 236S.pngGuardLow, UnblockableStartup23Recovery25Advantage-11 you) or give Potemkin a free flickGGAC Potemkin 63214S.pngGuardAllStartup21Recovery12Advantage+2 (a slow, linear ball with no change in timing). Within these two parameters, though, there's a fairly broad range of ways to approach the matchup. Playing defense is rough, though, between Venom's complete lack of defensive options aside from system mechanics, sub-par frame data for mashing, and his relatively low overall health.

Round Start

Pretty tricky; really your main goal is to avoid getting knocked down, as Venom already has a hard time escaping Potemkin pressure, and this only gets worse without meter

Hammerfall and Megafist are both unsafe, but will deal with single-hit buttons and mid/low-height pokes, and both lead into a knockdown and oki; even if they are 'gambly,' they demand absolute respect. While you shouldn't be too passive at round start, blocking can deal well with both of these, as can moving defensively - though be careful, as Mega Fist can catch backdash from round start distance.

5P/5K will interrupt many of Potemkin's grounded buttons, but will lose to his more committal options.


It is essential that you be watching where your pokes land; if a f.S or 2S catch a Hammerfall, be mindful of your cancel options between gatlings and specials; you can shut down Hammerfall almost entirely, it just takes work.

Ideal range

Playing between Venom's 2S and f.S with a ball nearby is extremely powerful

  • The combined normal and ball hit render Hammerfall a complete non-factor
  • The normal hitting before flick will also make trying to flick the ball on a read extremely difficult, but take care to not reach into flick
  • Potemkin can be readily anti-aired and air-to-aired at this range; 6P is quite consistent against Potemkin and will just about always lead to 6P > DBC combos
    • Be wary of the double jump timing mixup though; know your opponent's habits, and cover the air with balls when you can
  • Outside of Heat Knuckle range, neutral jumping with a ball nearby can be difficult for Potemkin to navigate
    • Can mix between jump, double jump, and air ball set to disrupt Slide Head and anti-air attempts

Ball speed

  • Do not slowball at ground level if at all possible
  • A flicked ball is more or less an instantaneous neutral loss, though you can still reverse the situation
  • Hitting slow balls with f.S, 5H, or H Stinger can work wonders for changing their timing, but also take care to not get hit by Slide Head while setting these up


  • Playing to strip Potemkin of meter can be important to deny Hammerfall FRC, though this is dependent on how the Potemkin is playing and using meter


HFB Frame Advantage Cheat Sheet.  
Attack On-Block On Block + HFB On IB + HFB
5P -1 -7 -9
2P -2 -7 -9
c.S 0 -3 0
5K -4 -3 -6
2K -6 -5 -7
2S -2 0 -4
2D -5 -3 6
6K -4 +2 -2
5H -4 +2 -2
f.S -11 -3 6
6P -9 0 -4
6H -11 +7 lmao
2H -21 +2 -2
  • Mix between backdash and FD jump in similar situations, otherwise it's too easy for Potemkin to hard read backdash or jump every time
    • Potemkin generally needs a hard read to cover an FD jump; getting Potemkin to mis-read and cover jump will be way more disruptive to his pressure than mis-reading and covering backdash
  • Venom basically cannot contest Hammerfall Brake > PB from level three or higher moves on normal block
    • Venom's status as a 5f character makes him incredibly susceptible to Hammerfall Brake pressure on the whole
    • If you IB key moves like Potemkin's 2S however, you can use 2K to interrupt Pot Buster.
  • Wait until after a Hammerfall to use Dead Angle Attack; getting your Dead Angle Attack eaten will leave you short on meter and probably close to death
  • Venom's backdash, while not incredible, is pretty good for dealing with Potemkin pressure
  • Know about Hammerfall FRC pressure.
    • 2S > Hammerfall > FRC is nightmarish; it beats Dead Angle Attack, all of Venom's mash options, confirms into huge combos on hit, and loops pressure on block.

Notable Footage

N-Otoko vs. FAB at G3 Exhibition PepperySplash vs. Shine at Combo Breaker Fino vs. FAB at Mikado casuals

(Note: This is AC footage; it is still helpful)

@ 44:59

(Note: This is AC footage; it is still helpful)



TestamentDespite the disparity in perceived character strength, this matchup is pretty even and highly interactive.

Despite the disparity in perceived character strength, this matchup is relatively balanced and highly interactive. Due to Venom's ability to comfortably play at range, Testament is typically the aggressor in neutral situations. Furthermore, because of Venoms's ability to control screen space with minimal commitment, tools like unleveled webs are significantly less centralizing. Beast being a full-screen control tool, however, is the thing that really tilts the matchup in Testament's favor more than anything else.


  • Testament cannot get throw combos on Venom midscreen. While they can still get a curse or oki, which are both excellent, their throw pressure is significantly defanged.
    • This can alleviate some pressure in Beast oki situations, where you can focus more on just blocking.
  • Testament's height is problematic for them as a defender. They are relatively easy to fuzzy and can be hit by big-body exclusive rejump combos.
  • Nightmare Circular (632146S/H (mostly S in this case)) deletes projectiles. Setups that rely heavily on balls for safety or pressure should be used carefully when Testament has 50% tension.


  • Covering angles that go slightly upwards and slightly downwards from horizontal are very strong for disrupting Testament's nets, summon patterns, and neutral movement.
  • Stinger FRC is a very important neutral and defensive tool against Testament, both for baiting Warrant and interrupting Beast pressure. It's uncommon for Venom to have to consistently spend meter in neutral like this, but it can be very important.
  • Air summon is good in safe (see: un-trapped) airspace to avoid Beast interactions entirely
  • At lower levels of play, backdashing Beast setups and taking the air hit can be used to throw off the combo routing of newer/weaker Testaments. This should be done sparingly; treat it like any other reversal option. It is significantly more powerful if you can do it with a ball in motion to cover you.

Notable Footage

Fiestament's 'Oops! All Venom' event ft. BlackSNAKE, Hursh, PepperySplash, and Ryan Hunter

Overview | Frame Data | Matchups | | Strategy Return to Top



VenomA very uneven-feeling even matchup. Venom's brutal offence tends to steamroll his lackluster defense, and the neutral is hectic.

This is a very bizarre matchup, simultaneously highly engaging and extremely obnoxious. Venom usually has the ability to place a huge amount of a given match's decision making burden on the opponent, but because this is the mirror, it ends up being a very draining and micromanagement-focused matchup. Because Venom's throw game is so good, and his defense is so bad, a Venom playing sloppy offense will quickly find themselves playing defense with few ways out of pressure; Venom basically hard counters himself on offense. As with all of Venom's matches, establishing ball sets and space control in neutral is absolutely imperative.


  • Venom's face-up wakeup is extremely fast
    • Comes from 6H, 2D(2), j.H, Dubious Curve (though the slide changes things), and air ball hits, among other tools
    • This generally means that Venom can have a very hard time pressuring himself on wakeup; faster or earlier ball hits are often necessary to keep setups un-jumpable


  • Mind the reversal throw
    • A defending Venom will likely make heavy use of IB > throw in defensive situations, so mix up air strings and don't exhaust your air gatlings early. j.D and Mad Struggle are very helpful for keeping air blockstrings true
  • Body-blocking can be very important
    • Venom's meterless non-c.S interactions tend to be unsafe and low-damage, meaning blocking a hit or trading to keep a ball in motion can be very important
  • Anti-anti-air
    • Venom's anti-air options are extremely committal. As such, making use of Venom's offensive tools that stall his air movement- namely all three Mad Struggle variants- is important for baiting and punishing anti-airs.

Notable Footage

BlackSNAKE vs. PepperySplash at Frosty Faustings XIII Online @ 32:55'

Overview | Frame Data | Matchups | | Strategy Return to Top



ZappaA rough and weird matchup that takes a lot of key tools off the table, demanding both tight decision making and execution.

Zappa's dash low profiles Stinger Aim and f.S (use 2S as your primary midrange poke instead), eliminating a large portion of Venom's midscreen presence. To counter this, making strong use of lower ball hits (such as S ball and D ball) is important for checking Zappa's dashes. Also, be mindful of the fact that c.S(3) will whiff on Zappa if he's crouch blocking, which makes tight blockstrings considerably more difficult.

At round start, the best thing to do is play reactively. Zappa's Centipedes (236P) and backdash together can beat or avoid most of Venom's round start options, including 2S. As such, backing off or waiting are typically fairly strong.


  • f.S - Whiffs on run. Utilize 2S instead.
  • Stinger Aim - Whiffs on run. Use low ball hits instead.
  • 5P - Whiffs on crouch and run. Not a particularly useful button in the matchup. Use 2P to replace 5P in the typical burst-safe 5P > 5P > 5P > 2D knockdown string.
  • c.S(3) - Only two hits connect on block. Re-orient blockstrings; use c.S(1) > S Carcass instead of c.S(3) > S Carcass as your core blockstring structure.


'Naked' - Centipedes (236P) is a major threat in the matchup, and to some extent it must be played around; Venom can deal with naked Zappa adequately, but all of the summons are to some degree problematic, so preventing summons is of the utmost priority. Centipedes is -12 on block though, so while you will have to play around it, it can be punished with 2D from further away or 2S > 5H up close.

Ghosts - While Venom can't exactly swing for the fences, this is probably the most manageable phase in the matchup. Waiting for a potential over-extension, where all three Ghosts are on cooldown, is generally a great opportunity to try and get something started, though Zappa's mobility is still problematic. Venom can block out Ghosts with relative ease though, so getting locked down isn't as directly threatening as with other summons.

Sword - Fighting Sword is very difficult for Venom; Venom gets pinned down by it easily and dies quickly. As a saving grace, once he's escaped pressure, Venom has a large number of tools to alter his movement in the air with ball set, Mad Struggle, FB Mad Struggle, and mixed options like airdash set, which limits Sword's ability to give chase or or corner Venom again.

Dog - Playing evasively is extremely important for fighting Dog, and your first priority should be to avoid getting sandwiched between Zappa and Dog. Past that, killing the dog and setting balls to reinforce pressure are extraordinarily important.

Raou -

Notable Footage

BlackSNAKE vs. KBNova at UFGTX

(More footage can be found in part one, but this has the bulk of their set)

PepperySplash vs. KBNova at Frosty Faustings XIII Online @ 1:14:10

N男 vs. Kuro at a-cho 3v3 (2013.1.13) @ 29:49

Overview | Frame Data | Matchups | | Strategy Return to Top


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