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Match-up Discussion Lex vs Aquaman

rev0lver

Come On Die Young
Premium Supporter
So this has been discussed a lot over the past couple months and there hasn't really been an in-depth explanation of it. Some people have been asking for this so here's my best attempt at it -

Basics of the matchup -

Lex dominates the neutral game in this matchup. He has a lot of ways to get trait, and when he does get trait, Aquaman has to either take risks or start holding dat until it's gone. The two strongest tools Aquaman has are his footsie tools, which are negated by armor, and his chip damage, which is negated by a level 3 trait. Aquaman's lack of an advancing special or mobility tool makes Lex's setups work really well, giving Lex a lot of reset potential and free mixup situations. When not traited, Aquaman's corner pressure works as well on Lex as it does most characters, but with any room to get out Lex can turn it back in his favor.

The neutral game -

In zoning, Aquaman's only great option is FTD. Against Lex however, any blocked FTD brings the situation to his favor. From about 3/4 of the screen and closer, Lex can trait dash a blocked FTD and corp charge through a followup for a free setup (otherwise just giving him a free trait). Aquaman otherwise then has to either play a reactionary game looking for you to try something, or come to you. In the latter situation, well placed j3's work greatly (as long as you're not doing them where he can d2). Any hit j3 gives you a free trait, even if you can't follow up with a corp charge. Basically, the idea here is to find a way to get trait in the neutral game and then abuse it. There is NO reason to try things without it outside situational opportunities, otherwise you're opening yourself up to everything Aquaman excels at.

When Aquaman does get his pressure started against a traitless Lex, there are still ways out. A jb3 can only be beat by preemptive jumps by Aquaman. Against a blocked trident rush, with experience you can generally tell if corp charge will be able to punish it or not. But if you can't or you're unsure, it's good to remember, and this is important in a lot of situations not just with Aquaman, that trait is sometimes the best punish. In the corner you're more limited with this, as he can simply catch your dash and punish/keep pressuring you. But as he's further away from you in this situation you can make reads with d3, jb/nj 3, or mb b3 to get you out.

Using trait -

From a distance, Lex can start setting up traps or starting a zoning game. The latter works better with a lifelead, as he can otherwise take the tradeoff with a FTD to take your armor away. As far as setups go, you can pretty much play around as much as you want. Trait grants you free probes/mines when you're outside his range, but you can otherwise j3 yourself in and look for mixups. When you're in his face, you can generally do what you want, but if you're in a situation where you have to block you have to be a bit more patient. The only things that are likely to break your armor are scoop, which is easily punishable, and trident rush, which you can block for 0% chip and armor the last hit for a full punish (MB or not).

Dealing with his trait -

Obviously, Lex runs into some trouble against Aquaman's trait as all of his regular midscreen bnb's include mb vacuum. Because of this, it's best to avoid the situation altogether by using his low string a little bit less and ending strings in a probe, mine, or trait (like 112~probe). This will either make him waste it while giving you reset options, or will just put you in a good situation to get your trait and find other ways to do damage. When you are caught with a vacuum against a trait, you still have some good options though. F2/D3 mixups, b1 pressure, 22d1/22b3, and 21~trait are all good against a traited Aquaman, and can even sometimes net you something better, as it's basically just a standing reset without the normal b13 option.

The oki game -

Even though it is stuffable, Aquaman having a 2-hitting scoop means you can't always just go braindead on his wakeup. Up close, it's better to respect it more often than not if you're not looking to stuff it, so setups where you can jump into a mixup or create unblockables are the way to go. As long as you're setting something safe up (where he can't just d2 you), Aquaman's free to Lex jumping at his wakeup. From a distance, fullscreen in particular, Lex can spam missiles for a ton of unclashable damage and there's nothing Aquaman can do to deal with it.

If there's any questions or anything I should add/explain more let me know!
 

imblackjames

Ive seen the leprechaun
So this has been discussed a lot over the past couple months and there hasn't really been an in-depth explanation of it. Some people have been asking for this so here's my best attempt at it -

Basics of the matchup -

Lex dominates the neutral game in this matchup. He has a lot of ways to get trait, and when he does get trait, Aquaman has to either take risks or start holding dat until it's gone. The two strongest tools Aquaman has are his footsie tools, which are negated by armor, and his chip damage, which is negated by a level 3 trait. Aquaman's lack of an advancing special or mobility tool makes Lex's setups work really well, giving Lex a lot of reset potential and free mixup situations. When not traited, Aquaman's corner pressure works as well on Lex as it does most characters, but with any room to get out Lex can turn it back in his favor.

The neutral game -

In zoning, Aquaman's only great option is FTD. Against Lex however, any blocked FTD brings the situation to his favor. From about 3/4 of the screen and closer, Lex can trait dash a blocked FTD and corp charge through a followup for a free setup (otherwise just giving him a free trait). Aquaman otherwise then has to either play a reactionary game looking for you to try something, or come to you. In the latter situation, well placed j3's work greatly (as long as you're not doing them where he can d2). Any hit j3 gives you a free trait, even if you can't follow up with a corp charge. Basically, the idea here is to find a way to get trait in the neutral game and then abuse it. There is NO reason to try things without it outside situational opportunities, otherwise you're opening yourself up to everything Aquaman excels at.

When Aquaman does get his pressure started against a traitless Lex, there are still ways out. A jb3 can only be beat by preemptive jumps by Aquaman. Against a blocked trident rush, with experience you can generally tell if corp charge will be able to punish it or not. But if you can't or you're unsure, it's good to remember, and this is important in a lot of situations not just with Aquaman, that trait is sometimes the best punish. In the corner you're more limited with this, as he can simply catch your dash and punish/keep pressuring you. But as he's further away from you in this situation you can make reads with d3, jb/nj 3, or mb b3 to get you out.

Using trait -

From a distance, Lex can start setting up traps or starting a zoning game. The latter works better with a lifelead, as he can otherwise take the tradeoff with a FTD to take your armor away. As far as setups go, you can pretty much play around as much as you want. Trait grants you free probes/mines when you're outside his range, but you can otherwise j3 yourself in and look for mixups. When you're in his face, you can generally do what you want, but if you're in a situation where you have to block you have to be a bit more patient. The only things that are likely to break your armor are scoop, which is easily punishable, and trident rush, which you can block for 0% chip and armor the last hit for a full punish (MB or not).

Dealing with his trait -

Obviously, Lex runs into some trouble against Aquaman's trait as all of his regular midscreen bnb's include mb vacuum. Because of this, it's best to avoid the situation altogether by using his low string a little bit less and ending strings in a probe, mine, or trait (like 112~probe). This will either make him waste it while giving you reset options, or will just put you in a good situation to get your trait and find other ways to do damage. When you are caught with a vacuum against a trait, you still have some good options though. F2/D3 mixups, b1 pressure, 22d1/22b3, and 21~trait are all good against a traited Aquaman, and can even sometimes net you something better, as it's basically just a standing reset without the normal b13 option.

The oki game -

Even though it is stuffable, Aquaman having a 2-hitting scoop means you can't always just go braindead on his wakeup. Up close, it's better to respect it more often than not if you're not looking to stuff it, so setups where you can jump into a mixup or create unblockables are the way to go. As long as you're setting something safe up (where he can't just d2 you), Aquaman's free to Lex jumping at his wakeup. From a distance, fullscreen in particular, Lex can spam missiles for a ton of unclashable damage and there's nothing Aquaman can do to deal with it.

If there's any questions or anything I should add/explain more let me know!
This is going to be great for the peeler who don't know the match up good going dude
 

Yoaks

A spaceman
This is awesome and comes at such an opportune time! I just started learning this character and last night I was having trouble with the Aquaman mu. Excellent stuff!
 

rev0lver

Come On Die Young
Premium Supporter
Too bad the Aquaman players all use superman , DS, zatanna and sinestro as a backup

Theo
Wound
Slayer
DeG
MIT


Great write up though

How does syknis do w his style of Aquaman vs lex
I aint scared of magic

Syknis doesn't do much differently than the others. Different styles just don't really have an answer to what Lex can do against him. Like water shield isn't going to do shit against my trait lol.
 

EMPEROR_THEO

I only use characters with wakeup scoops.
Some people try to give me advice on this matchup by saying, "Dude, just play footsies with Lex when he doesn't have trait!" That's like saying, "Dude, just launch Aquaman when he doesn't have trait!"

You can't complain about my character having his trait come back so quickly, and then chastise me for being unable to play footsies with a character that...gets his trait back so quickly.
 

rev0lver

Come On Die Young
Premium Supporter
Some people try to give me advice on this matchup by saying, "Dude, just play footsies with Lex when he doesn't have trait!" That's like saying, "Dude, just launch Aquaman when he doesn't have trait!"

You can't complain about my character having his trait come back so quickly, and then chastise me for being unable to play footsies with a character that...gets his trait back so quickly.
Dude, but Lex is slow because he's big and big characters are bad and can't mess with top tiers! He has a floaty jump just uppercut!