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.SGuardMidStartup9Recovery18Advantage-6 and 2SGuardMidStartup6Recovery20Advantage-7 in the midrange.
- Cannot punish
f.S/2S > 214Xon 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 6PGuardMidStartup9Recovery20Advantage-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.
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 6HGuardHigh/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 SenGuardUnblockableStartup27Recovery34Advantage- 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!
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. 2SGuardMidStartup6Recovery20Advantage-7, his fast projectile in H StingerGuardAllStartup9RecoveryTotal 48Advantage-13, and playing more defensively all have a place, but they're kept in check by Axl's high/mid counterGuardStartupRecoveryTotal 31Advantage-, guardpoint attackGuardMidStartup20Recovery22Advantage-11, and RaieiGuardHigh/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 attackGuardMidStartup20Recovery22Advantage-11 and his mid counterGuardStartupRecoveryTotal 31Advantage- - both of these will beat Dubious CurveGuardMidStartup21Recovery19Advantage-3 and Mad StruggleGuardHigh/AirStartup18Recovery6 after landingAdvantage+7 clean, and the guard point will blow through CarcassGuardAllStartup16RecoveryTotal 34Advantage+8/ StingerGuardAllStartup13RecoveryTotal 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 feintGuardStartupRecoveryTotal 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:
- 2KGuardLowStartup7Recovery6Advantage-1 - Hits in 7f, low profile in 3f. Loses to proper meaties, no invuln.
- S BentenGuardMidStartup4Recovery31Advantage-18 - Hits in 4f, upper body invuln and throw invuln through startup. Loses to proper meaties, no strike invuln.
- High/mid counterGuardStartupRecoveryTotal 31Advantage- - Catch activates in 4f. Loses to proper meaties and lows.
- AutoguardGuardMidStartup20Recovery22Advantage-11 - Hits in 20f but ignores hitstop. 1-13f high guardpoint. Loses to lows.
- S RaieiGuardHigh/AirStartup28Recovery13+6 after landingAdvantage-4 - Hits in 28f, airborne in 4f. Loses to proper meaties.
- Reversal superGuardMidStartup14+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)GuardUnblockableStartup27Recovery34Advantage-. It's an easy
2S > H Stinger FRC > Dash 2Don 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
In many ways, this matchup is a tempo contest. Justice's NukesGuardAllStartup7RecoveryTotal 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 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 counterGuardStartup5RecoveryTotal 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 NukeGuardAllStartup7RecoveryTotal 51Advantage-13 FRC to get a stronger projectile on screen, or with Saperia TranceGuardStartup5RecoveryTotal 38Advantage-, and Michael BladeGuardMidStartup9+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.
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.
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 TranceGuardAllStartup11Recovery14Advantage-, which can let Justice move around Dark Angel's fixed path.
Dark Angel and Tactical ArchGuardStartup12RecoveryTotal 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.
- 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
Broadly speaking, Venom does well in neutral provided you don't over-commit to a passive option (ie, ball setGuardStartup11Recovery15Advantage- in neutral, where Potemkin will Slide HeadGuardLow, UnblockableStartup23Recovery25Advantage-11 you) or give Potemkin a free flickGuardAllStartup21Recovery12Advantage+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.
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.
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
- 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|
- 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.
|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)
(Note: This is AC footage; it is still helpful)