Welcome back, Injustice fans!
Happy 2014 to you all. I hope you had a great New Year’s Eve!
This is my last week analyzing Aquaman players in pools matches from NEC14. Like last week, I’m going to go through this quickly (there are a lot of matches) by listing timestamps for you to skip to and describing why those moments drew my interest. Let’s get to it.
Note: Every time I say “he”, I am referring to the Aquaman player in the video.
JamesMK (MMH) vs Ice Angel (Aquaman)
0:26 – he whiffs an F2 and activates Aquaman’s trait to avoid punishment.
1:12 – he uses B12 to whiff punish his opponent’s landing lag.
1:43 – his D1 gets blocked (-3) but he hits MMH out of his jump with F1 and is able to convert that into a combo. I think he got lucky here that his opponent jumped away instead of quickly counter-attacking, as MMH has a few options that could have punished the blocked D1.
1:58 – he reads MMH’s Sky Teleport and punishes it with MB B3. I wonder if that was on reaction…
2:49 – he combos D2 into B12. I didn’t know that was possible due to D2’s long cool down.
CTRL Unknown (Scorpion) vs Atlas (Aquaman)
:29 – he uses From the Deep from way too close and gets punished for it.
2:43 – he traits too late to block after MB Spear hits him. I’m guessing he was trying to mash it out while his trait was finishing recharging, which caused him to activate his trait while he was being combo-ed. This wasted his trait, forcing another 12 second wait for it to recharge.
2:58 – he does a sweep (D3) from over half-screen, which gets him punished, as it should.
3:04 – he (again) traits too late when reacting to getting hit by Scorpion’s MB Spear.
Flipkev (Zod) vs Insaynne (Aquaman)
1:14 – he hit confirms B1~Trident Rush, then does it again. It surprised me that he didn’t get punished, but according to TYM, Trident Rush is +1 on hit, so I guess this is a practical tactic.
1:40 – he uses sweep as a hard knockdown to set up a cross up attempt. This is a tactic that I have used myself, but due to Aquaman’s mediocre mix up game, it is a gamble.
Outworld (Black Adam) vs Ice Angel (Aquaman)
:16 – His D1 gets blocked. This leaves him -3, but he F1s anyway and gets away with it.
1:47 – he starts the match with an F2. Unsafe, but he gets away with it. I do it too sometimes.
3:05 – he gets in off a whiff punish to take the 1st life bar.
3:20 – he catches Black Adam dashing in, allowing him to MB From the Deep and follow-up by dashing in and using B12 to get the full combo punish. Really shows off Aquaman’s range.
Ken123103 (Superman) vs D-Cent (Aquaman)
1:50 – he whiff punishes Superman’s jump in attack.
2:06 – he anti-airs Superman with B2 and gets a combo (which he drops) out of it.
2:10 – he block punishes Superman’s D2.
2:36 – he connects a B12 off of a B2. I didn’t know that worked. Also, he ends the combo with 3~From the Deep for extra damage and positioning.
Tom Brady vs Theo
This money match should probably be its own post since it is nine games , but whatever. Arguably the best Aquaman player playing one of the best Superman players.
:40 – he catches Superman’s dash with From the Deep. His next From the Deep must have been mistimed because Superman backdashes through it. He punishes a whiffed Heat Zap with From the Deep. His next From the Deep misses Superman’s Rising Grab, he must have mistimed it.
1:03 – his wake up Scoop gets blocked. Still, it is nice to see a high-level player use wake up Scoop. Yes, it is a gamble. But sometimes (okay, a lot with Aquaman) you have to take risks.
1:07 – he backdashes after B12 gets blocked. For some reason I love this. Seems very safe.
1:48 – he jumps late to dodge Superman’s eye lasers.
1:50 – he combos B2->Interactable->B3 into a full combo for huge damage. Wow.
2:00 – he tries using B2 as a meaty attack and gets blown up for it. Again, gambling.
2:35 – he uses From the Deep but Rising Grab goes through it. Must have mistimed it.
2:42 – he blocks Superman’s Low Scoop and punishes.
3:52 – he use D1 (blocked) and cancels(?) into the background interactable! I don’t know how that worked. Is the background bounce an overhead? Was Theo not blocking after the D1?
4:04 – he uses From the Deep but Rising Grab goes through it. Must have mistimed it.
6:05 – He ducks Heat Zap and punishes with From the Deep.
6:27 – he goes D1 (blocked), D1 (blocked), Trident Scoop. I have no other explanation for that working. Each D1 leaves him at -3 frames. Theo must have just gotten mindgamed here.
6:43 – this time, his From the Deep beats Rising Grab. See, it can work!
7:15 – he wakes up with Water Shield to counter Superman’s Heat Vision. Interesting tactic.
8:10 – he catches Superman’s dash with From the Deep.
8:21 – his spacing baits out a wake up Rising Grab, which he punishes. This might have actually been a misplay on Theo’s part, simply misjudging how far his Rising Grab would reach.
9:31-9:45 – incredible patience, great blocking, and he finds an opening with an anti-air D2.
9:52 – he checks Superman with From the Deep, forcing Theo to wake up blocking.
10:29 – he whiffs From the Deep, but catches Superman’s dash in with D2. Intentional? Can’t say.
10:46 – he punishes Superman’s Heat Vision with From the Deep, like he said you can.
10:49 – From the Deep pays off again. I don’t know why Theo didn’t block this – maybe he wanted to backdash or jump or do an attack – but not blocking got him punished. However, at 13:10 and 13:12, he corrects this mistake.
16:21 – he combos B2 into the background interactable. I didn’t know you could do that.
18:31 – he combos D1 in the background interactable. Again, I didn’t know you could do that.
18:39 – he baits Rising Grab and punishes it with D2.
Like last week, I’m not seeing much in terms of offense created from pressure. Most of it seems to come from whiff punishes and catching jump ins and dash ins with From the Deep.
This seems unreliable at best.
There are some bright spots, like Brady’s use of the background bounce interactables. Also, I learned that you can connect B12 off of both B2 and D2. Good to know. But overall, Aquaman continues to feel like a rather turtle-y character. I’m not loving his style.
I’m not really sure where to go from here. It’s a brand new year. Do I continue the Aquaman experiment? Or do I give it up and search for a new character for EVO 2014?
Join me next week to find out.
Thanks for reading!