A Beginner’s Primer To The New Fighters Of UMvC3: Part 1

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When I first got my hands on UMvC3, it was pretty overwhelming. The 12 new characters are the main draw and playing some of my old, classic teams defeats the purpose of having this new game. One of my best classic teams consisted of Wesker, Arthur, and Spencer, among others. I mainly compensated for my lack of technical skill with team synergy, creating mix ups to open up opponents online for free. Everybody arriving to Ultimate already knows about Wesker, Dormammu, Spencer, Wolverine, Akuma, and Sentinel. It’s all about figuring out the new characters and putting them to good use!

Frank West
Photojournalist extraordinaire made an interesting splash when he was revealed for UMvC3. It was obvious that he’d be pretty weak without leveling up by taking pictures for experience points. Playing as Frank at level 1 can be pretty intimidating, especially if he’s last on your team. He does, however, benefit from good teammates for assists and team aerial exchange combos. With good teammates and assists, select combos allow Frank to hit level 4 in one combo, giving him access to powerful paddle saws and relaunch combos.
Many pros have also taken to Frank, as a level 4 Frank is extremely effective. While aerial exchange combos can be countered, you’d be surprised at how good Frank West’s slide attack is to nab surprise hit confirms and get at least to level 3 with a good assist.
Frank West is a good all around choice for interested players and isn’t terribly hard to learn. Just pick his teammates wisely as he’ll need their help.


Rocket Raccoon
The mean spirited little vermin who was revealed alongside Frank. With my hands on time with Rocket Raccoon, I can safely say he is not for the faint of heart. Rocket Raccoon is the type of character with unorthodox normals which make normal chain combos hard. While on the ground, his jumping medium attack can instant-overhead a lot of characters. This same attack must be used with care during air combos as the attack immediately stops Rocky’s upwards trajectory, sending him straight forward and often times, underneath his opponent.
I haven’t had a lot of success in learning how he works, but some of the combos that have been discovered for him so far are extremely flashy and awesome to watch in motion.
If you intend on learning Rocket Raccoon and abusing his small size, be prepared to dedicate a lot of time to figuring out the technical details of his move set.


Nova was a character I was really excited to get my hands on and many things I predicted came true. He has an amazing capacity to find hit-confirms on his enemy, no matter what angle he attacks from but there are a few things I didn’t expect that Nova has as well.
The primary hyper you’ll combo with, Super Nova, does a surprising amount of damage for a level 1 hyper.  He also has a low amount of health, so expect to pay for mistakes with a high price. So in many respects, Nova is a lot like Akuma, with high damage and many options to combo, but low health. There is one difference though: his crouching medium is a massively, long reaching slide. Fortunately, Akuma’s Tatsu assist is still reasonably good in most situations, but Nova doesn’t really have any good assists, so don’t worry about Akuma Capcom fans!
If you’re looking for a well-rounded character and don’t mind some risky health, Nova is for you.


Hawkeye, like Rocket Raccoon, has an unorthodox set of normals. Unlike Rocky though, Hawkeye has a bit more health and isn’t nearly as technically demanding in execution. Don’t think that he’ll be easy to play though. Hawkeye does more damage per hit than Rocket Raccoon, but in order to do so, you’re going to need to memorize his special attacks, especially his trick maneuvers.
I do believe that Hawkeye makes a surprisingly good anchor sometimes. With a surplus of meter, Hawkeye can punish nearly anything your opponent can’t cancel with his hyper move, Gimlet. While the move isn’t invincible and doesn’t start up particularly fast, the move is like a beam, traversing the screen in an instant. Even better, it automatically tracks the target, so you can super jump over things and punish with it no matter where you are. With X-factor and some stocked meter, you opponent will be afraid to do much and you can chip, if necessary with Hawkeyes special arrows.
If you want a unique zoning character who can still perform some interesting combos, give Hawkeye a whirl.


Nemesis T-Type
Nemesis has unusual design in his armored attacks. He is unlike characters like Hulk or Sentinel, who have moves with armor that take effect immediately. The armor on Nemesis’ moves don’t take effect until midway through the move starts. Fortunately, while Nemesis can’t abuse any armored attacks, his repertoire of moves is much better and allow much more efficient combos. He can cause both wall bounce and ground bounce before going into an air combo and using his hyper, allowing for a lot of simple but powerful damage. While he’s slow, a few of his moves give him great reach.
Just keep in mind that like most big, bruiser type characters, most of his moves are very slow, which is compounded by the fact that their one advantage, the armor, doesn’t activate until it actually comes out. So an assist who can help with lock down benefits Nemesis greatly.
If you want a simple character who can do large amounts of damage without much effort, pick Nemesis. Just be prepared for people to approach you cautiously and even flat out run away when Nemesis hits the floor.


The monster otherwise known as Red Arremer requires a surprising amount of technical dexterity. His speed and mobility are very good but to use it means inputting tons of quarter-circle motions, as they’re special moves rather then traditional dashes.
Firebrand also doesn’t do a whole lot of damage despite being capable of combos that can carry your opponent up and down the playing field nearly three times before stopping. He also has unexplored potential in his transformation move, Luminous Body. This powered up state gives Firebrand a speed boost which could possibly allow for more elaborate and damaging combos which require the increased speed. All in all, Firebrand is about taking to the skies to outmaneuver his opponent, so those wings aren’t just for show.
If you want a character who is impossible to get away from without the risks of teleporting, put Firebrand on your team.

Related posts:

  1. An Analysis Of Rocket Raccoon And Frank West In UMvC3
  2. An Analysis Of Phoenix Wright And Nova In UMvC3

About striderhoang

One day in 1994, a child traveled to Fresno to visit his relatives when, on his birthday, he was given a Sega Genesis. Thus started a chain reaction that began a life of video gaming and skyrocketing oil prices (probably). In all seriousness, Strider has been reading video game journalism for the better part of 17 years of his life and what does he have to show for it? A BA in journalism and contributed articles everywhere from Bitmob to Destructoid. Currently looking for his dream writing job.