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Highly atypical because of Justice's nukes and fullscreen tools, but navigable with a mix of anti-zoning and careful movement.
A bit of a weird matchup as you can't just throw balls in neutral freely when nukes are out due to their projectile deleting properties.

Ball Sequences to Bypass Nukes:

    • 214P/S/D > early 5P/K/H
    • 214D > late 2K/2S/5K
    • 214K > 214P > 5H
    • 214D > 214S~D > 5H/2K
    • 214P 214D > 2K/2S/5K (same as D by itself but sets P ball to teleport past K nuke)
    • 214H 214D > 2S/66 5K > 2K/2D

Quick Tips:

  • Trade with P nukes using the extended hurtbox of f.S to clear the way.
  • Navigate Nukes with 623K
    • Jump Install Teleport to retain air options
    • 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 formations where your teleports are extremely safe, and Justice's only reasonable counterplay is to try and hard read a teleport


A matchup where you either win 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.

Broadly speaking, Venom does well in neutral provided you don't over-commit to a passive option (ie, ball set in neutral, where Potemkin will Slide Head you) or give Potemkin a free flick (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
  • Block and slight delay backdash are relatively reliable and safe
  • 5P/5K will interrupt many of Potemkin's grounded buttons, but will lose to his more committal options

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
  • 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
  • f.S/2S > Stinger will also invalidate Hammerfall by default, but this requires good awareness and charge management


  • 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

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


  • 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; you cannot fight out of Pot pressure - you need to escape it
  • 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 (Note: This is AC footage; it is still helpful)

PepperySplash vs. Shine at Combo Breaker's LOOK ALIVE Day 1 @ 44:59

Fino vs. FAB at Mikado casuals (Note: This is AC footage; it is still helpful)


Despite 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. While he can still get a curse or oki, which are both excellent, his 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 him as a defender. He is 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


A 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'


A 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.

Raoh -

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