As a solo Ms. Fortune player, I’ve had a lot of different matches on PSN (guitalex2007) and XBL (guitalex2010) and would like to offer my take on different aspects of Ms. Fortune. Obviously, input is appreciated. Hopefully at one point this will become more than just my experiences.
Ms. Fortune’s normals are pretty decent. Her s.LP chains into itself and s.MK has two hits, both of which allow you to hit confirm. Her s.HK stuffs most short range aerial light attacks, but being the launcher itself it’s hard to hit confirm. The easiest way to react to it is j.MK, giving you the two hit window to think about what to do next.
Her aerial normals let her have more aerial dominance than many characters. j.HK is Flying Screen Door, and is a great way to stuff flying Painwheels or jump happy Parasouls (provided you super jump). You can also stuff super jumps by regular jump j.HK, because the hitbox is the whole frontal part of the kick. It also allows for crossups from a Fiber Upper with air followup. Her j.MK is a weird one, and will allow you to change your jump arc. If you’re a fan of that junk, like I am, then you should know that hitting j.MK at the near peak of your jump coming down makes the second part hit standing opponents. Also, it can link and combo easily from an IAD j.LK, then on hit or block can be cancelled to air qcb+MK, leaving you safe enough to block, or giving you enough hitstun to continue. The j.MK is also the normal of choice to cancel into qcb+P to remove your head, causing a ground bounce that will not necessarily use up your OTG if you follow up correctly. Her j.MK really is a great way to space your responses, and will come in handy to position the head when headless.
Her head-on j.HP deserves mention only because it is one of her best IAD moves. Additionally, after a j.HP you can air dash into another j.HP, or even into j.MK, which cancels into qcb+K or qcb+P.
Her crouching normals are OK. c.LK is pretty fast, but can’t be chained as easily as s.LP. c.LP chains into itself and has fast startup, allowing to hit confirm. Her c.MP is a hidden gem I’ve found; it makes most aerial attacks whiff or trade with correct timing. This is because her hurtboxes are lowered almost to ground level, while the active hitboxes are raised diagonally up. It can stuff or trade Filia’s IAD normals, and you can option select to cancel into s.HK launcher and remain at a relatively safe distance even on block. Her c.MP, however, is unable to stuff Parasoul’s j.HP or most of Painwheel’s normals. For those you’ll need to use dp+K. Her c.HK hits twice and has decent range, but after the second hit the opponent will be invincible until they get to OTG state (and if you used your one OTG, nothing will hit). Like any of her normals, it’s cancellable into a move or blockbuster. In case of c.HK, cancel the first hit if you want to follow up.
Her throw is a good way to start combos, but only in the corner. Outside of the corner, her throw pushes the opponent too far to follow up with anything EXCEPT her qcf+PP blockbuster. In the corner, however, it can also combo into her qcb+PP level 3 blockbuster. If done with correct timing, the OTG will not be used, and a c.MP->s.HK can connect after it. You cana lso throw the opponent towards the head if headless, OTG with HP and dash in s.MP, delay s.MK into a sandwich combo (see Sandwich Combos for information).
Her air throw creates a ground state that is quickly teched afterwards so nothing can follow up at full height, except either her qcb+KK blockbuster or her qcb+PP level 3 blockbuster. If you manage to do it low enough, however, you’ll be able to connect a j.LK OTG, land, c.LK, s.MK and continue from there. There are certain ways to get that low in the air. Additionally, if the head is anywhere near you in the floor, you can OTG with HP, land, s.MP, delay s.MK and continue.
Her outtake (snapback) is actually pretty decent. It can trade with many aerial normals because of its long hitbox (it’s in front of her golf swing). The important aspect to remember is where the hitbox is (NOT directly under you, instead it’s a half circle in front), and you want to be aware of that because you can hit the head with the outtake, forcing the head to bounce around. If the head hits the opponent, it will perform the outtake and they will be forced to switch. Make sure that if you’re doing the outtake to bring partner 2, that you combo your own head into it to prevent it from doing the sneeze which is invincible at startup. If the sneeze hits the opponent after the outtake hit does, the opponent will not leave the screen, so watch out for that. Reasons to hit your own head: Parasoul, Painwheel, Peacock, or anyone who spends half the day in the air doing shit.
Her tag in with her head on hits opponents midscreen with a knockdown, so there’s not much use. With the head off, as soon as you hit the tag buttons you’re actually able to control the head completely, making it attack for you. Otherwise you just hop in.
Nadia has plenty of variety in her specials. Her qcf+P is a “rekka” style move, meaning the input can be repeated up to three times to make her follow the move up with two move attacks. The LP version is quick and does less damage, MP is slower and does more damage and so forth. The HP version is too slow to start, unless an assist is holding the opponent in place or a chain ends in HP. The timing for repeating the input changes with each strength as well.
She also has two optional followups that end the “rekka” chain but offer different outcomes. Either of these followups may be the second or third followup in the chain. qcf+K will make her slide and hit low. This is not safe, but on hit provides an OTG opportunity because she recovers before the opponent is able to tech (unless he’s already hit the ground once before). qcb+K is slow to start (can be stuffed with light attacks), but instead has her jump and hit an overhead attack, perfect for people who like to block low or expect the slide move. If you plan on using this, consider using the head to protect yourself. More “head games” later.
Her anti-air of choice is her dp+K (Nyantiair, also nicknamed Fiber Upper). LK version comes out very quick and has invincibility during the whole startup and during the first active frames. It can, as a result, outprioritize every move in the ground or in the air with correct positioning and timing. MK version has some invincibility and reaches further up, but has no invincibility immediately before its active frames or at any point after, so it can be stuffed. It’s also slower to start up and recover. HK version has full invincibility at the very start (but stops being invincible longer before the active frames), and although it’s slower to start up it hits the highest; it hits Painwheel out of flight or anyone out of super jump height. The interesting thing about this move is its K followup. When the move is at its peak (on hit or whiff only), hitting K will reform the body in the air. With proper positioning and height, this can provide good crossups with j.LP/LK/HK, throw opportunities in the air, or full combos by timing a j.LK, j.MK, qcb+MK after the hit, then getting a c.LK OTG and continue. Any version can stuff or trade every normal in the game, with proper timing. The HK version can even make throw attempts whiff on startup.
Her qcb+K in the air is a great way to alter your jump arc as well as end your aerial chains without using meter, or provide an OTG opportunity to continue. LK version comes out fairly quick, but sends the opponent falling in a slower speed. MK version comes out slightly slower, but the opponent will fall a bit faster. HK version comes out the slowest (even though it will still easily combo from j.MK;s second hit), and creates a ground bounce on opponents on the ground (where s.LP into a combo will not use the OTG) and a sliding knockdown on aerial opponents. Letting the opponents fall at different speeds is crucial for your “head” games, depending on positioning.
Head-on qcf+PP is mostly safe on block, except to throws. Online is a different story. However, it’s not positive on block, so you can never frame trap with it. On hit, the last hit will cause a sliding knockdown. If the opponent hasn’t hit the ground yet (a purple circle forms on the ground when this happens), in the corner it’s possible to follow up with another qcf+PP or a c.LK into a corner combo.
Headless qcf+PP is totally not safe. If the opponent happens to block everything and the head is close to you, you can call the head to attack. If close enough and fast enough, the head will keep the opponent in block stun (or hit them) and it turns the move a bit safer. On hit, the move will launch the opponent in the air behind Fortune. If the head is there, it provides a followup opportunity with qcb+HP, but only if the opponent has not hit the ground before.
Air qcb+KK is also not safe, although hitting your own head provides some cover but not all the time. It’s invincible on startup (so it can be used on j.HP-happy Parasouls and Painwheels), and has a large hitbox aimed downward at an angle. If the head is behind Fortune, it can OTG (or with most of the cast, catch them before they hit the ground) and provide a followup. Same with qcf+PP; if the head is close enough to the opponent it can provide some cover, but don’t expect this to save you often.
qcb+P makes Ms. Fortune remove her head. Instantly, she’s become the most hated character in the game next to solo Cerebella or anyone with Double assist. The reason is because with it, she can zone opponents and force them to take to the skies or continually block, none of which are good ideas against Fortune. Removing your head is invincible on startup, so using it on Painwheels approaching or IAD’ing Filias is a good idea. On close hit, removing the head will stagger and give you a free combo opportunity. Anything further than touching distance may not stagger. The air version provides a ground bounce on hit.
Now is when Ms. Fortune’s game is stepped up. While with her head on she had great HP normals with good damage, removing the head allows for more followups and mixups leading to potentially more damage.
There are drawbacks. First of all, qcf+HP will be disabled. Secondly, any chains, ground or air, will have to end in a move or HK, since HP is unavailable. Third, and most glaringly, your head cannot block, and will always take half damage. If the head is close enough to you to get hit by any attacks that are hitting you, you’re essentially taking 150% damage.
To reattach your head, perform a ground qcb+LP or qcb+MP but hold the button as the head approaches. If you let go at any moment, the head will stay where it is at that moment. Coincidentally, qcb+LP is a way to keep slower normals safe if you just tap it (similar to Parasoul’s LK Egret).
The head disables your HP because it is now your HP. Hitting HP will make the head do a small dash into a headbutt that simply hits the opponent, with a good amount of hitstun. This allows for the dreaded sandwich combo if the head is behind the opponent, because any normal into s.MK allows the head to recover from HP enough to link another HP and keep going. This move will move the head a small distance, but recovers very fast.
Another way to move the head is f+HP or b+HP. The head will slide about half a screen in the direction you’re holding (even though it looks like it hits low, any head attacks can be guarded while standing). This is a great way to move the head fast enough, whether to quickly reposition it for a combo or move it toward (or away from) the opponent.
A third way to move the head is qcb+HP. While LP and MP call the head back, qcb+HP will make the head start a slow dash, which is shorter than the f/b+HP distance. If the head is not blocked, the opponent is now trapped in OMNOMNOM. While this is happening, the opponent cannot move, block or call assists. You can hit the opponent out of this state to continue a combo. Note that this is a special move, while other head moves shown before this are head normals. Thus, either HP, f+HP or b+HP can be cancelled into qcb+HP. Note that this does not move the head too much, but has the most recovery out of any head moves. This move will hit OTG easily, and against most of the cast can hit them for multiple OTGs if timed right (not actually OTG, but being active while the opponent lands on it). Note: Using OMNOMNOM as a multiple OTG will NEVER work against Filia, Cerebella or Double. Their hitboxes are weird, thus when their physical bodies hit the ground their hurtboxes are not low enough to the ground for any head followups to catch before the OTG, meaning also that if you used the OTG you cannot catch them again.
The last way to move your head is to use dp+HP. It is an anti-air where the head sneezes. The head will always go toward the opponent with the sneeze. Additionally, the head is, like many other DPs, invincible at startup. Use it to relaunch opponents as you’re in the air or against those pesky people who like to just hit the head instead of having to deal with you.
Here are key things you need to watch out for in your “head” games:
- Always keep the head between you and your opponent, under the opponent or behind the opponent. NEVER under you or behind you. If the head is behind you, call it back or f+HP. If the head is in front of you, the following moves can eat a dick (as of the patched version):
Double’s Level 3 (if the first hit hit the head)
Parasoul’s Egret blockbuster
Valentine’s OTG scalpels
Peacock’s car bombs or slow bomb
The end result is that the head will, unable to block, take half damage, but Ms. Fortune’s body is completely unharmed and able to recover and retaliate. Because some attacks lose their hitbox once they connect (especially projectiles), they will hit the head once and lose their hitbox. For example, you may be tempted to laugh as a Double tries an OTG car against you. The head will take half the damage, but the car will lose the hitbox, allowing Fortune to stand up, stretch, look at her watch, then smack Double into submission when she reappears. The moral of the story is keep the head between you and the opponent, on the opponent or behind the opponent.
When outside of the screen, the head is never too far. A b+HP is enough to bring it close enough for an OTG in a combo. Even when you think you left the head at the other corner, there is a secret edge to the screen where all game assets have to be within. The head is therefore dragged with this invisible barrier, and most people don’t realize it.
You can move the head with any of the moves above at any time the head is not recovering or being hit and the body is not being hit or blocking. If the body is hit or put into blockstun, anything the head is doing (except dp+HP) is interrupted and the head stays in place and loses any hitboxes (but can still be hit). It can also not be called DURING your blockbusters. However, the head is ALWAYS available for movement after the last active frames of Blockbusters. Which means that an air qcb+KK can be followed up with qcb+HP or f/b+HP to continue (or to try to hit the opponent before they punish a blocked blockbuster). If you position the head correctly, most of the cast (except Filia, Cerebella or Double) can be hit by qcb+HP every time if timed correctly. To time correctly means to have the qcb+HP already in movement when they land directly on it. Timing is everything, and you must have the correct positioning. Practice makes perfect.
Know when to keep your head. Having your head out there is a great asset, but it is taking damage constantly. In some situations (keepaway) you want the head to take hits from you. But in some cases it’s better to call your head and keep that invincible qcb+P head roll available (aggressive players). If you’re not doing anything or planning anything with the head, recall it.
Know where your head is. When outside of the screen, you know it’s close. But make sure that in the training room you analyze exactly how far all your BNBs move you in the air, and whether you need to tap HP or f/b+HP during j.MK to reposition the head before qcb+KK hits. Once qcb+KK comes out, you’re unable to control the head until afterwards for the OTG, so make sure you’re comfortable with positioning the head. A trick with the correct range is to hit dp+HP after qcb+KK, then connect with j.LP into combo or into throw. This throw is low enough to link into a j.LK if the OTG hasn’t been used.
Know when to smack yourself. Any normals you do will hit the head and turn it into an active hitbox to hit the opponent with. This will create hard to escape situations because pushblock will be stopped by the head. Additionally, it will add a small bit of blockstun or hitstun. However, there is one situation where you have to be wary of doing it… close s.HK. Your launcher will hit your head into the air, but the head will then hit the opponent, cutting their launch short. You can easily follow up with qcb+LK/MK into qcb+KK, but if you want your combos to be long and fruitful, you have to know about negative edge. An additional advantage of hitting your own head would be to cancel the recovery of any head moves. The head will go through whatever trajectory the attack forces (so light attacks are recommended) and as soon as it hits the ground again it will be ready for another move.
Negative edge is a term used meaning that releasing a button is counted as another button press in order to make moves come out easier without having such a tight input window. The game has it, and you will likely only use it for ONE major purpose: when you’re holding HP and your head is off, it will be invincible to your own attacks, allowing s.HK or any normals/specials/blockbusters to hit without hitting your own head, and being interrupted by your own attacks. Letting go of HP will count as having hit HP, so you can do HP, f/b+HP, qcb+HP or dp+HP by doing the motions, then letting the button go).
An example is having the head in the corner. Hold HP and do qcf+MP, qcf+MP, qcf+MP then let go of HP and do qcb+HP. The end result is the head will be invincible to your Rekkas. Then when you let go of HP, the head will do its HP headbutt, then you’ll cancel it into OMNOMNOM. If you wish to keep comboing and relaunch, you’ll need to hold HP again (or use it immediately before s.HK). THIS will take practice, but in theory you could keep your opponent in a very tight blockstring using qcf+MP (holding HP), qcf+MP, qcb+K (letting go of HP XX qcb+HP, hold HP again) ground chain, launch, combo, OTG head (letting go of HP for it), etc.
- Know when to fake a head recall. Recalling the head only works as long as you hold down the button, but is still a special move. You can cancel unsafe strings on block into a quick qcb+LP/MP tap to cancel. It doesn’t become completely safe, but it allows you to block the punishment most of the time.
You have various possibilities for assist attacks. Her dp+HK covers a lot of vertical ground, hitting as high as super jumps and flying Painwheels to IAD Filias due to its initial invincibility. (Thanks to AceZTeller)
Others will be posted as suggested.