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Cetrion gameplay strategy

Obly

Noob
Now that we have a (partial) moves list for Cetrion, I wanted to create a thread exclusively for theorycrafting. Everyone who is psyched to play with this interesting, dynamic new character, please post your thoughts about potential strategies!

Constructive suggestions for her moveset are good too, but if you just want to outright complain about her, there are other threads for that already--thanks.

One issue, of course, is that we don't know which moves will be in a tourney-legal variation at launch. It wasn't explicit, but I'm hoping 16Bit was (more or less) sticking to her planned variations in choosing which moves to describe.

Spoiler tags used just to manage length.

Zoning
Obviously Cetrion is a "zoner" but not a relentless spammer like Starfire or Dr. Fate. Her distance attacks have significant startup and recovery, so she has to make smart reads and condition her opponent to be successful.

Her ideal spacing seems to be more or less full screen, outside jump-in range. From there, she can enforce her zoning and also counterzone effectively. She may be able to punish some projectiles safely with her air flame beam, and make her opponent fear trades with vine grab, ground pound, and especially her fatal blow. It looks like her d4 should low-profile mids, for extra protection.

MU-specific, her mid boulder and ground pound might be fast enough to counter Kabal’s full-screen ND—not clear yet. Also not clear how her moves will interact with Jade’s anti-zoning glow. Boulder and flame beam won’t hit, of course, but will her vine grab and ground pound whiff too? If not, she should be able to counter Jade’s “get in” tool easily.

The more she controls the fightline, the more the opponent will want to jump in on her. Finding ways to bait jumps and punishing with air boulder will be a big part of her meta. I’ll be looking for ways to feign a vine grab or pound (like whiffing a similar looking normal), then quickly throw air boulder on jump. This should work well against downward air zoning like Kabal’s and Jade’s. She’s still liable to be vulnerable to opponents with buffed air mobility (e.g., Kabal’s air dash, Sonya’s flying kick).
Escaping pressure
Looks like Cetrion has some decent buttons, but (like Jade) they’re range-y but slower. So she’ll mostly want to escape pressure and create distance. Her aura buffs should be helpful defensive tools here.

We can expect a lot of opponents to try teleporting in on her. On a good read, her two-hit ground pound should punish slower teleports like Scarlet and Raiden (and other Cetrions!), but she’s still very vulnerable to fast (air) teleports like Scorpion. Her “water of life” aura should prove helpful here. Pop it preemptively from full-screen as part of her zoning game, and she greatly cuts down her risk of being punished by a teleport.

Her water aura should also be good for escaping a corner. If cornered, try canceling into water aura from d4. Even if the opponent punishes on block, they’ll only get one hit and their corner combos are shut down. She’ll have a much easier time pushing the opponent away or trading sides.
Speculation
Too soon to know yet, but I’m dying to see if Cetrion’s water aura lets her flawless block hits no one else can. Normally you can’t be in a stun state to FB, so it’s only useful against gaps in strings, wakeups, projectiles, etc. But since the water aura lets Cetrion block from hit stun, it may allow her to FB as well…?? If so (and with a lot of practice), she could immediately punish strings and really give opponents something to fear.

What are your thoughts and ideas?
 
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SaltShaker

In Zoning We Trust
Nice write-up. I'll add what I'm thinking based around what you mentioned in your OP.

Zoning

-I think her ideal spacing will be around the 3/4 screen range. This will probably be superior than full screen because you'll be able to use Air Beam as part of your arsenal. You'll also be able to control the zoning/spacing easier with the "threat" of retreating farther, putting in the opponent's mind they must close the gap before you are too far (ex: might make them more likely to risk a jump).

-MU specific, I speculate she'll do well against the non-projectile types from afar, and against diagonal zoning. Things like Kabal or Jade throwing the diagonal projectiles might not be as effective against her, as being outside of their range can be her ideal zoning range, while air boulder hits hard (KB + additional hits). I do see a potential problem against quicker zoning tools. Erron's Kast comes to mind, Cassie low gunshot potentially, Liu's fireballs, etc.

-Frames will matter on those projectiles. If they are too negative on block, or recovery is too long, it's going to be a rough time with slow startup already being confirmed.

Escaping Pressure

-I think aura buffs will be in a main variation due to assisting in this area. Range/priority on the normals look average, at best. D4 looks like a major low profile "slow down" low poke. Looks like all her strings end in heavy pushback on hit, which helps the keepaway too.

-Vine grab and GnP can keep teleporters weary, and even a blocked rock toss depending on the block frame follow up options. Unless I am misremembering, I didn't see a single up close AA option. This may be problematic against strong jump ins that lead to block pressure ala Jacqui. I wouldn't use the Water of Life Aura at distance though. It requires both bars of defensive meter so it isn't something I'd want to pop on the chance someone teleports, because if they don't and it expires than you're at risk for way too long, while also not having any D Bar options. I'd use it possibly after landing hits, in the corner to guarantee pressure, and on oki.

Speculation

-Looks like you can FLB in water shield, so if you anticipate the string you likely can blow it up. In the gameplay against Noob, boulder toss had pushback similar to Skarlet's tongue. Depending on the startup/distance on block, you may be able to frame trap here with Vine Grab or GnP if the frames allow. If so, it opens up lots of mind games and yomi, too much to type. If not #PauloPlease.

-The "Wind Toss" I am unsure of. Doesn't seem to start up too fast, did minimal damage, doesn't launch or KD. Not sure the purpose. Seemed pretty useless at first glance.

-She will not be a character that will shine day 1, because the tools are not as simplistic to use as most characters. Though if not unnecessarily nerfed (zoning omg nerf it NRS thank you for your help), she may be solid long term.
 

xenogorgeous

... Groovy.
Premium Supporter
very good writing indeed ! her amplified vine grab move is a restand option, very dangerous and useful , seem as one of her main options as combos enders .... and very curious about that freeze moving that they did not show in her Game Informer gameplay breakdown, hummm .... :DOGE
 
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Vslayer

Ask me about my Cassie Cage Agenda
Premium Supporter
I feel like I'd probably play her the way I played Scarlet, which was to punish them with her 212 combo, if they block throw them and then zone. Once they get in again, rinse and repeat. Use the KBs if you need a bit of a health lead.
 

Obly

Noob
Now that we've seen all four of her auras, can we talk specifically about them for a minute? Standard disclaimer: The game isn't out yet, so there's a lot we don't know. This is just my opinion based on the breakdowns we've seen.

After a lot of thought, my enthusiasm for her auras has cooled quite a bit. They're not bad by any means, but they're extremely expensive: All four auras cost both bars of defensive meter to cast (confirmed) AND likely require two ability slots (confirmed for earth and water; strongly suspected for air and fire).

So to use one of these, you're (a) permanently losing one ability that could help you throughout the match, and (b) sacrificing defensive options for a long time (wakeup attack, roll escape, interactable [which includes corner escapes], or combo breakaway). So you become more predictable to the opponent and thus considerably more vulnerable.

Do the auras give you equal value for these handicaps? I'm not so sure. There are some fundamental problems (using spoiler tags for length--no actual spoilers!):

They can't help you on reaction
Your other defensive options are there to get you out of a tight moment: The opponent knocked you down, cornered you, or popped you up, and has an advantage--but you can spend some meter on reaction to try to get back to neutral.

But none of Cetrion's auras can do that. They all have clear startup time, and presumably can't be cast if you're in a stun or capture state. They can only be cast preemptively, before the opponent attacks; that makes them very limited as far as actual defense.
  1. You can cast them from a distance to discourage your opponent from advancing/teleporting, which will probably work but not for long--you can't enforce much damage while it's active and the opponent can just wait you out.
  2. Earth and Water can help you escape pressure if you're cornered--but so can a roll escape or corner leap for half the meter cost and no ability slot cost.
Useful for corner pressure, but Cetrion is not a pressure character
None of the auras have good mid-screen use on offense; all four appear around Cetrion and don't move, so the opponent can easily back away and just wait them out. So their only real offensive use is in the corner, where the opponent can't easily escape and you can enforce pressure or DoT.

But how often will you corner your opponent with Cetrion?? She doesn't have the toolkit to be effective at that range. She used to have a 50/50 mix-up between her water drill string ender (overhead) and vine grab (was a low), but the latter has apparently already been nerfed into a mid. :( I don't think she has any other moves for opening up the opponent? And at that range you can't use her projectiles, which are 90% of her kit. It's just not good strategy in general, and I'm not sure auras alone make it a viable strategy.
Water seems redundant with Earth?
Now that we've seen how Earth works, I'm struggling to see any unique value in her Water aura. Water lets her block from hit stun and interrupt a combo. That's good, but it's limited:
  1. Even if blocking, you're still going to get hit by command grabs at the end of the opponent's string--or be vulnerable to a throw attempt after a staggered string.
  2. Not confirmed yet, but it probably won't work if you're juggled. So if the opponent leads with a jump kick or can otherwise get you in the air (e.g., d2 KB), you're probably eating the whole combo.
  3. You can be hit again if you mess up and block a low or overhead the wrong way.
Earth has none of these limitations; it looks like it will stop any combo completely--including juggles--by counter-hitting the opponent. It will also punish pokes (or at least try--seems like the rock can be low profiled).

And yet they both cost exactly the same. Does Water have any unique value? Not clear yet, but speculatively:
  1. One cast of Earth gives you three counters, while Water is presumably unlimited. Too early to tell if that will actually come into play in any realistic situation.
  2. No way to know yet, but maybe Water will have better frame data? Quicker startup and recovery, and longer duration?
Fire has little defensive value
Fire applies a small amount of DoT while the opponent is inside the aura. It doesn't impede the opponent or protect you in any way. Yes, it punishes the opponent (slightly) for being close, but if they've gotten in, any attack they do will be well-worth the trade with the DoT. And if they open you up or corner you, you have no meter left with which to escape.

The only time it might be a smart move is to chip out a close match. Otherwise it might help apply a little more pressure (although again, Cetrion is not a pressure character!) but that feels like a huge gamble of your defensive resources for very little payoff. I'm honestly not sure why it costs defensive meter at all?
Bottom line is, these auras might cost too much for what they do. If both of Cetrion's competitive variants are stuck with an aura, her competitive viability is going to be harmed, maybe by a lot.

I hope NRS has their eye on this situation, and considers lowering the cost of her auras if this turns out to be true. Any of the following would make her auras more viable:
  1. Take up only one ability slot instead of two
  2. Cost only one bar of meter instead of two (and Fire should use offensive meter, not defensive)
  3. Keep as is, but have defensive meter regen much more quickly after an aura then after a breakaway
Thoughts?
 

xenogorgeous

... Groovy.
Premium Supporter
her wind aura combined with amplified tornado projectile, make her a funny cool ultra keep away character to be dealt with, hehe :D
 

Circus

Part-Time Kano Hostage
Personally, I feel like she's going to be very efficient (but not amazing) vs some characters, but actually struggle pretty hard against some other characters.

Because the startup on Boulders is so high, I feel like anyone with an 11frame advancing special like Jade, Johnny, Kano, SubZero, and others can smack her out of the startup of the boulders on reaction if they are at mid range. She'll have to keep these characters at 3/4 full screen or further as much as possible, which might be easier said than done.

What is really going to be her bread and butter is the sky diagonal-beams that cover tons of space. If a character could reliably deal with this move too though, I feel like Cetrion is going to really have to outplay her opponent to win. Her normals seem decent, but they don't have the range that Skarlet has to continue her strategy without her projectiles.

In all honesty I think she will be good, but not "OMG SCARY OP" like some are afraid of, which is a good thing IMO.

If I had to compare her to another character as far as utility, I'd have to pick Kenshi (good vs some, but has to play perfectly vs others).

All of this is obviously just my speculation and opinion at this point.
 
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SaltShaker

In Zoning We Trust
Now that we've seen all four of her auras, can we talk specifically about them for a minute? Standard disclaimer: The game isn't out yet, so there's a lot we don't know. This is just my opinion based on the breakdowns we've seen.

After a lot of thought, my enthusiasm for her auras has cooled quite a bit. They're not bad by any means, but they're extremely expensive: All four auras cost both bars of defensive meter to cast (confirmed) AND likely require two ability slots (confirmed for earth and water; strongly suspected for air and fire).

So to use one of these, you're (a) permanently losing one ability that could help you throughout the match, and (b) sacrificing defensive options for a long time (wakeup attack, roll escape, interactable [which includes corner escapes], or combo breakaway). So you become more predictable to the opponent and thus considerably more vulnerable.

Do the auras give you equal value for these handicaps? I'm not so sure. There are some fundamental problems (using spoiler tags for length--no actual spoilers!):

They can't help you on reaction
Your other defensive options are there to get you out of a tight moment: The opponent knocked you down, cornered you, or popped you up, and has an advantage--but you can spend some meter on reaction to try to get back to neutral.

But none of Cetrion's auras can do that. They all have clear startup time, and presumably can't be cast if you're in a stun or capture state. They can only be cast preemptively, before the opponent attacks; that makes them very limited as far as actual defense.
  1. You can cast them from a distance to discourage your opponent from advancing/teleporting, which will probably work but not for long--you can't enforce much damage while it's active and the opponent can just wait you out.
  2. Earth and Water can help you escape pressure if you're cornered--but so can a roll escape or corner leap for half the meter cost and no ability slot cost.
Useful for corner pressure, but Cetrion is not a pressure character
None of the auras have good mid-screen use on offense; all four appear around Cetrion and don't move, so the opponent can easily back away and just wait them out. So their only real offensive use is in the corner, where the opponent can't easily escape and you can enforce pressure or DoT.

But how often will you corner your opponent with Cetrion?? She doesn't have the toolkit to be effective at that range. She used to have a 50/50 mix-up between her water drill string ender (overhead) and vine grab (was a low), but the latter has apparently already been nerfed into a mid. :( I don't think she has any other moves for opening up the opponent? And at that range you can't use her projectiles, which are 90% of her kit. It's just not good strategy in general, and I'm not sure auras alone make it a viable strategy.
Water seems redundant with Earth?
Now that we've seen how Earth works, I'm struggling to see any unique value in her Water aura. Water lets her block from hit stun and interrupt a combo. That's good, but it's limited:
  1. Even if blocking, you're still going to get hit by command grabs at the end of the opponent's string--or be vulnerable to a throw attempt after a staggered string.
  2. Not confirmed yet, but it probably won't work if you're juggled. So if the opponent leads with a jump kick or can otherwise get you in the air (e.g., d2 KB), you're probably eating the whole combo.
  3. You can be hit again if you mess up and block a low or overhead the wrong way.
Earth has none of these limitations; it looks like it will stop any combo completely--including juggles--by counter-hitting the opponent. It will also punish pokes (or at least try--seems like the rock can be low profiled).

And yet they both cost exactly the same. Does Water have any unique value? Not clear yet, but speculatively:
  1. One cast of Earth gives you three counters, while Water is presumably unlimited. Too early to tell if that will actually come into play in any realistic situation.
  2. No way to know yet, but maybe Water will have better frame data? Quicker startup and recovery, and longer duration?
Fire has little defensive value
Fire applies a small amount of DoT while the opponent is inside the aura. It doesn't impede the opponent or protect you in any way. Yes, it punishes the opponent (slightly) for being close, but if they've gotten in, any attack they do will be well-worth the trade with the DoT. And if they open you up or corner you, you have no meter left with which to escape.

The only time it might be a smart move is to chip out a close match. Otherwise it might help apply a little more pressure (although again, Cetrion is not a pressure character!) but that feels like a huge gamble of your defensive resources for very little payoff. I'm honestly not sure why it costs defensive meter at all?
Bottom line is, these auras might cost too much for what they do. If both of Cetrion's competitive variants are stuck with an aura, her competitive viability is going to be harmed, maybe by a lot.

I hope NRS has their eye on this situation, and considers lowering the cost of her auras if this turns out to be true. Any of the following would make her auras more viable:
  1. Take up only one ability slot instead of two
  2. Cost only one bar of meter instead of two (and Fire should use offensive meter, not defensive)
  3. Keep as is, but have defensive meter regen much more quickly after an aura then after a breakaway
Thoughts?
I was going to make a thread about this, I agree with you. As cool as they appear theoretically, I also have tapered off significantly. In reality, they appear like they will be much more of a situational use rather than a match by match tool. I hate that something which may be a situational use will require two D Bars, that regenerate at a snail pace. Not like you can pop it like Aquaman's trait and such. Or that you'll have it available often.

Her startup on specials are slow, actual slowest in the game level slow. So with auras, the follow up window will be nonexistent at ranges. When is it worth the risk then? When you are up on life about to close out a win yes. When else? Not mid match on equal footing, because you can't lose all your D Bar options for so long. Definitely not down on life or down a round. Auras are situational. Situational is fine, if it wasn't so resource heavy, both requiring two slots and two slow regenerating D Bars. Most times I think I'd prefer to keep my two bars for WUs and FLB usage options.

My other concern about the slow start up is kinda what @Circus touched on. I mean in the same Kast we saw Kitana throwing fans at lightning speed. I think of those 30F start up (or however slow they are) boulders and imagine getting hit in the face by fans nonstop. Or Scorpion full combo punishing you every time you lift up a rock with Amp Tele. Bad startup and bad recovery is rarely the answer to success if you think of the history of characters.

I guess we'll have to see how it plays out Day 1 and I'm in love with the character in theory, but I'm just not seeing anything looking overpowered (which again is perfectly fine as long as she's viable) atm.
 

Obly

Noob
Nice write-up. I'll add what I'm thinking based around what you mentioned in your OP.
Great stuff! Thanks for this. Agreed with everything, so just adding a few random thoughts.

Agreed that her flame beam will probably be her most useful base kit zoning tool. Being in the air makes her a bit safer against trades, ground pounds, and the like. And you have to presume (hope!) that with a close-range option, it's fast enough to be used safely on block at that range. That alone will help a lot in dealing with pressure.

I'm actually stoked to play around with her cyclone projectile. It's got hella long startup (like all the rest), but it hits mid so it can't be ducked and is tall enough to make it tricky to jump as well. Amplified makes it screen height and literally unavoidable. The opponent really has to think about how they want to react: hold the block and eat huge pushback, or attempt a FLB or jump and risk eating the hit; no matter what, it gives her a slight edge in initiative.

Cyclone might even be great as an anti-pressure tool. If it's as slow-starting as it looks, I might not use it in a full-on block string, but maybe a d4 (to push the opponent out of poke range) canceled into cyclone on block would really let her re-establish range. If you're too predictable, I could see the opponent learning to FLB and punish, but if you keep mixing things up, FLB becomes a big gamble they might not want to try.

One other thing I'll throw out as I haven't seen it mentioned elsewhere. I know some have said her KB from her anti-projectile barrier is a waste, since no smart opponent will ever throw a projectile that close. But I was rewatching one of her breakdowns, and when her move list came up, I noticed there was actually a "far" version of her barrier (same command with a held F).

Hasn't been demo'd yet, so no idea what kind of range it has, but it could potentially be a fabulous move. Imagine scaring your opponent out of throwing projectiles with the threat of popping an exploding wall in their face at any time?
 

SaltShaker

In Zoning We Trust
Great stuff! Thanks for this. Agreed with everything, so just adding a few random thoughts.

Agreed that her flame beam will probably be her most useful base kit zoning tool. Being in the air makes her a bit safer against trades, ground pounds, and the like. And you have to presume (hope!) that with a close-range option, it's fast enough to be used safely on block at that range. That alone will help a lot in dealing with pressure.

I'm actually stoked to play around with her cyclone projectile. It's got hella long startup (like all the rest), but it hits mid so it can't be ducked and is tall enough to make it tricky to jump as well. Amplified makes it screen height and literally unavoidable. The opponent really has to think about how they want to react: hold the block and eat huge pushback, or attempt a FLB or jump and risk eating the hit; no matter what, it gives her a slight edge in initiative.

Cyclone might even be great as an anti-pressure tool. If it's as slow-starting as it looks, I might not use it in a full-on block string, but maybe a d4 (to push the opponent out of poke range) canceled into cyclone on block would really let her re-establish range. If you're too predictable, I could see the opponent learning to FLB and punish, but if you keep mixing things up, FLB becomes a big gamble they might not want to try.

One other thing I'll throw out as I haven't seen it mentioned elsewhere. I know some have said her KB from her anti-projectile barrier is a waste, since no smart opponent will ever throw a projectile that close. But I was rewatching one of her breakdowns, and when her move list came up, I noticed there was actually a "far" version of her barrier (same command with a held F).

Hasn't been demo'd yet, so no idea what kind of range it has, but it could potentially be a fabulous move. Imagine scaring your opponent out of throwing projectiles with the threat of popping an exploding wall in their face at any time?
Nice! Yea and with Flame Beam, they stated it can be done "from the ground or in the air". I didn't understand what they meant since she's in the air every time she does it, but now I see that if you do it "on the ground" it's the short jump beam, and you can also jump and do it in the air. That's definitely easier than trying manual short jump, so input is a big plus. It seems like it'll be safe with frames+pushback so that's an even bigger plus.

I am much higher on cyclone now after seeing it shown. It's a must have! You hit all the points dead on. Even on a projectile block-trade you win if you're trying to space them out (say fighting Sonya and you block rings while she blocks cyclone). This will probably be the frustrating move because they'll badly want to jump, opening up air rock and far beam. Or they'll fish for teleport opening up punishes.

That's interesting on the barrier, I wonder what the Far version looks like. If it shoots the counter far at them, or the speed. To be able to KB at or near full screen would be epic. It seems like the go to combo ender so I was thinking to store the KB and rack on the damage after that. If there is a far version of it though I'd be sooo ready!

Extra speculation I'll add in is that I think Ground and Pound will be in one of the tourney variations. It would make sense that they changed Vine Grab to a mid if GnP is a low. Both of them being lows might have been overkill, but making GnP unusable in tourney also might be overkill, so I think they will be paired in one of them.
 

Pterodactyl

Jacqui main since Dead Alliance
Nice write-up. I'll add what I'm thinking based around what you mentioned in your OP.

Zoning

-I think her ideal spacing will be around the 3/4 screen range. This will probably be superior than full screen because you'll be able to use Air Beam as part of your arsenal. You'll also be able to control the zoning/spacing easier with the "threat" of retreating farther, putting in the opponent's mind they must close the gap before you are too far (ex: might make them more likely to risk a jump).

-MU specific, I speculate she'll do well against the non-projectile types from afar, and against diagonal zoning. Things like Kabal or Jade throwing the diagonal projectiles might not be as effective against her, as being outside of their range can be her ideal zoning range, while air boulder hits hard (KB + additional hits). I do see a potential problem against quicker zoning tools. Erron's Kast comes to mind, Cassie low gunshot potentially, Liu's fireballs, etc.

-Frames will matter on those projectiles. If they are too negative on block, or recovery is too long, it's going to be a rough time with slow startup already being confirmed.

Escaping Pressure

-I think aura buffs will be in a main variation due to assisting in this area. Range/priority on the normals look average, at best. D4 looks like a major low profile "slow down" low poke. Looks like all her strings end in heavy pushback on hit, which helps the keepaway too.

-Vine grab and GnP can keep teleporters weary, and even a blocked rock toss depending on the block frame follow up options. Unless I am misremembering, I didn't see a single up close AA option. This may be problematic against strong jump ins that lead to block pressure ala Jacqui. I wouldn't use the Water of Life Aura at distance though. It requires both bars of defensive meter so it isn't something I'd want to pop on the chance someone teleports, because if they don't and it expires than you're at risk for way too long, while also not having any D Bar options. I'd use it possibly after landing hits, in the corner to guarantee pressure, and on oki.

Speculation

-Looks like you can FLB in water shield, so if you anticipate the string you likely can blow it up. In the gameplay against Noob, boulder toss had pushback similar to Skarlet's tongue. Depending on the startup/distance on block, you may be able to frame trap here with Vine Grab or GnP if the frames allow. If so, it opens up lots of mind games and yomi, too much to type. If not #PauloPlease.

-The "Wind Toss" I am unsure of. Doesn't seem to start up too fast, did minimal damage, doesn't launch or KD. Not sure the purpose. Seemed pretty useless at first glance.

-She will not be a character that will shine day 1, because the tools are not as simplistic to use as most characters. Though if not unnecessarily nerfed (zoning omg nerf it NRS thank you for your help), she may be solid long term.
The purpose of the wind toss seems to be the immense pushback on block. you also can’t duck it, so mixing it in with her other stuff like high rock will probably fuck with people trying to get in.

I did notice that her amplified fire beam does push back a similar amount on block but of course that one costs a bar of offense
 

SaltShaker

In Zoning We Trust
The purpose of the wind toss seems to be the immense pushback on block. you also can’t duck it, so mixing it in with her other stuff like high rock will probably fuck with people trying to get in.

I did notice that her amplified fire beam does push back a similar amount on block but of course that one costs a bar of offense
Oh yea check the post above yours that I wrote. I have definitely fell in love with it after seeing it showcased. Seems like the most "core move" of the non core moves. That pushback+blockstun is the thing that greatness is made of. It'll most likely be the variation I use for sure. Love how the AMP one covers the entire screen too, so you won't even have to worry about the jump if you burn the bar. I think I'd want them to feel they can risk the jump though lol.

I wonder if the Vine Grab can pre-trip guard jumps. Since they said it's one of the only tracking moves, say if you toss low boulder or cyclone and they jump, but you won't be able to hit toss air boulder in time, I am thinking you may be able to Vine Grab them on the way down. That would be godlike. Fingers crossed!