Instant Low Air Dash Attack - reorient and track 360 degrees

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Porcupine
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Instant Low Air Dash Attack - reorient and track 360 degrees

Postby Porcupine » 18 Nov 2014, 02:10

I guess I've known about this phenomena for about a year now but I've continued to learn more about how it works since then, and only recently started thinking that it could become a core technique for advanced competition. This mechanic exists in both Force and VOOT but it works better and has several extra abilities in VOOT, taking it levels beyond in potential application. Everyone has seen it, but how much they understand it is the key in learning how to abuse it.

In simple terms, with the enemy out of your view, if you do a low air dash and then press attack immediately after pressing the dash button, your air dash will become weird. It will not move in the direction you expect. Furthermore, your air dash attack will instantly track up to 360 degrees and shoot towards the enemy no matter where he is. This is great for those (relatively uncommon) air dash attacks that have poor rotation.

More precisely, the requirements to get this are: 1) you must start your air dash before your mech finishes rotating to face the enemy as the jump rises, 2) after starting the air dash, you must press attack as soon as possible, every frame of delay here weakens the technique - your final air dash will be in a more normal direction and your air dash attack will get less bonus tracking. In consideration of these requirements, note that the air dash does not actually have to be that low. Depending where the enemy is, it can be a medium height dash. You only have to attack immediately, hence why I call this an Instant Low Air Dash Attack.

I do see various Western and Japanese players take advantage of the Instant Medium Air Dash Attack, mainly for the 360 degree shot tracking properties, but I've never really seen anyone do any Instant Low Air Dash Attacks, so that's what this thread will focus on. Could this technique become a staple of the next level of competition, or is it just a limited idea and an evolutionary dead-end?

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Re: Instant Low Air Dash Attack - reorient and track 360 deg

Postby Porcupine » 18 Nov 2014, 02:47

Let's discuss various features and benefits of Instant Low Air Dash Attacks. First, let's consider low air dash attacks (no Instant features). Zaarock has recently been talking about the benefits of low air dash attacks in Force; people interested in the details can check out the Force forum. Since doing them means you are effectively on the ground, with a mandatory small freeze at the end, performing one leaves you vulnerable. Fortunately, just as in Force, in most cases the total time of recovery from a low air dash attack, including the landing freeze, is comparable to the recovery time of a ground dash (not including the freeze, because it can be canceled with perfect timing into a jump, meaning you never need to stop moving for even a frame in theory). Whether a low air dash attack or ground dash attack recovers faster is VR and move dependent.

In VOOT though, the way the low air dashes recover is different than in Force. The landing freeze at the end is much smaller and can be canceled into a standing shot (but which will still have its own mandatory small freeze). In exchange, the air dash recovery animation after attacking is usually much longer than in Force, and it doesn't get partially erased from a premature landing. With one exception, in VOOT a 1-frame off the ground perfectly super low air dash (whether you attack or not) will eventually hit the ground prematurely. (This is the weird carryover mechanic I referred to in the Force thread, as this legacy OT mechanic causes a 1-frame perfectly super low air dash in Force to prematurely land at an even earlier stage than the other premature landings). When this happens in VOOT your air dash recovery animation can become as low as zero, but the unique premature landing freeze is not cancelable and horribly long, about half a second. (This horrible freeze is comparable to the average Force landing freeze after doing an air dash attack). In most cases the resulting recovery time from a perfectly super low air dash attack is less than after a regular low air dash attack or ground dash, but the tradeoff is the greater freeze time, so players can choose the one they prefer better, assuming they have the dexterity to execute the super low version.

In rare cases, most notably Temjin's air forward dash RW, the recovery time will be less with a regular low air dash attack, so never do super low air dash with Temjin RW. This occurs because Temjin's air forward dash RW has an abnormally fast air dash recovery animation, and Temjin's landing freeze animation is abnormally short.

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Re: Instant Low Air Dash Attack - reorient and track 360 deg

Postby Porcupine » 18 Nov 2014, 03:06

As for the attack itself, in VOOT it seems to be the case that air dash attacks are more powerful on average than their ground dash equivalents. However that is only a weak rule; there are many exceptions. Air dash LW and CW tend to be stronger, while air dash RW tend to be the same as the ground version on average.

(This section will probably need to be edited a lot if I ever get around to testing it more thoroughly).

Notably stronger air dash RW: Angelan (in damage)
Same damage air dash RW: Feiyen (but hitting ability is superior, knockdown ability might be slightly better, V. Armor penetration far higher), Raiden, Apharmd S
Notably weaker air dash RW: Temjin (worse in damage, hitting ability, and gauge use)

Just for reference, in Force most air dash LW and CW are slightly weaker or the same as their ground counterparts. While most air dash RW in Force are significantly weaker than their ground counterparts. Average is that they do about 70% the damage of the ground version, however there are a few VR that do 50% of the ground version, and a few that do like 90% of the ground version, and at least one that does the same damage as the ground version.

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Re: Instant Low Air Dash Attack - reorient and track 360 deg

Postby Porcupine » 18 Nov 2014, 03:57

With the prerequisites out of the way it's time to get to the fun stuff. Here is possibly the most broken thing about the Instant Low Air Dash Attack. If the enemy is behind you somewhere and you are completely disorientated, you only need to do an Instant Low Air Dash Attack and you will not only shoot at him, but you will instantly reorient yourself to him, and you can even control the direction you dash in (relative to him) without having ever known where he was in the first place!

This is where you need to know how Instant Low Air Dash Attacks work in further detail. Earlier I said that when you do this technique, your dash will be in a weird direction. But actually the direction is not weird and now it's time to understand how it works. If you do an Instant Low Forward Air Dash Attack then your resulting direction will always be exactly 45 degrees diagonally-forward, relative to where the enemy is standing. (Why it is 45 degrees diagonal and not straight towards the enemy, I have no idea, but that is how it works). This is a miracle because what direction this will actually end up being is something you do not know beforehand, as it is a direction relative to the enemy, and you don't know where the enemy is prior to performing the maneuver. (As for whether it will be 45 degrees to the "left" or "right" of the enemy after viewing him, it's hard to explain but it's not random. It depends whether the enemy is to the "left" or "right" of you before you executed the maneuver. You can know which it is by the left/right orange arrow that appears when the enemy is offscreen. Suffice it to say that after you do this enough, you will know which it will be, which is in turn important below).

You can do all sorts of things with this miracle power (which by the way does not happen at all in Force, this is one of the VOOT powers). If you hear the enemy shoot at you when you can't see him, you don't have to guess and take a chance at dashing in the wrong direction anymore! Just execute an Instant Low Forward Air Dash Attack and you are guaranteed to dash in the correct direction to dodge it! (45 degrees diagonally-forward is usually one of the best ways to dodge. If you need side dash that can be done as well as I'll explain later). Or you can just take the initiative and do an Instant Low Forward Air Dash Attack anytime you can't see the enemy, after all it is guaranteed to be your most powerful attack plus you will be dodging perfectly diagonally-forward for sure. The only risk you take is that you might get vectored and punished, but that is when you may appreciate the recovery speed of low air dash attacks. Besides, if neither of you can see each other, it is highly unlikely you will get punished. Unless of course, your opponent has also mastered the Instant Low Air Dash Attack and responds to yours with one of his own.

But what if you don't want to move diagonally-forward relative to the enemy? It turns out that if you do an Instant Low Air Dash Attack in any of the other directions, your resulting direction will be correspondingly displaced from the base 45 degree diagonally-forward direction. So if you want to dash straight towards the enemy, you actually do an Instant Low Diagonal-Forward Air Dash Attack (you have to choose the correct side; it will become natural with experience). If you want to dash sideways relative to the enemy, you can do either an Instant Low Diagonal-Forward Air Dash Attack (towards the other side) or an Instant Low Backward-Diagonal Air Dash.

This is why I say in the topic title that one of the main powers of the Instant Low Air Dash Attack is reorientation. You can reorient yourself automatically to the enemy without having to perform a jump cancel first. On the other hand, jump cancels are super quick in VOOT (though a 180 degree jump cancel needs to be bigger than the minimum) so that also reveals a limitation of the Instant Low Air Dash Attack. You can always replace it by a big jump cancel followed by regular ground dashing. In general situations that would be a fine alternative. Likewise, you don't necessarily have to panic with an Instant Low Air Dash Attack when an enemy you can't see shoots at you. A common response is instead to double-jump and then fly all around. Nevertheless, the Instant Low Air Dash Attack seems to me like it could become a powerful mixup option when you don't know where the enemy is. Even when you are pretty sure where the enemy is, as long as he is out of your view you can do the technique, and it will give you the ability to do your most powerful forward dash attacks instantly in two directions, perhaps making it a good way to chase down runaways too.

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Re: Instant Low Air Dash Attack - reorient and track 360 deg

Postby MentholMoose » 24 Nov 2014, 16:41

Thanks for the detailed analysis. Your findings about the angles and such is interesting! I'll have to try it out to see how useful it might be with Grys-Vok.
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Re: Instant Low Air Dash Attack - reorient and track 360 deg

Postby Porcupine » 24 Nov 2014, 19:13

I tried abusing this technique in Japan's weekly Sunday morning Ranked gathering. (I don't know why they do not have this gathering on their Saturday mornings also). It didn't help me but it didn't hurt me either, which means it can probably be somewhat useful in high-level play if used properly, in moderation. I beat players I normally beat and I lost to players I normally lose to. At least I showed a different style.

Seabass hunter uploaded a replay of me, Temjin vs Temjin, which is a fairly good demonstration of the technique as both of us do it. He did his in response to mine to try to counter and punish it, exactly as I had theorized earlier in this thread. I don't look that cool as I'm much higher off the ground than you need to be, but when I try to do it lower than that I start messing up. It did create some funny moments in this match though as I kept accidentally landing on the same tiny obstacle and throwing my opponent off.

I suspect the technique will not be as good for Grys-Vok as his forward air dash RW has horrible recovery and poor shot properties (though the damage is good). His air dash LW is amazing but doing it this way just seemed to turn it into a ground dash LW. But since one approach to fighting Grys-Vok is to circle behind and disorientate him, this technique might still be useful for him as a counter-tactic since it grants new ways to move when fighting blind.

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Re: Instant Low Air Dash Attack - reorient and track 360 deg

Postby Porcupine » 27 Jul 2015, 14:41

I was sort of wrong when I said Fei-Yen's air dash RW has much higher V-Armor penetration than her ground dash RW. Here are more detailed comparisons between her forward dash RW, air forward dash RW, and forward dash crouching RW.

Forward dash RW does full damage (130 damage) up to a rough distance of 65m. It will cease to knockdown at roughly 75m, which is where its damage drops a second time. It will penetrate Dordray's V-Armor until roughly 165m.

Air forward dash RW does full damage (130 damage) up to a rough distance of 70m. It will cease to knockdown at roughly 80m, which is where its damage drops a second time. It will penetrate Dordray's V-Armor until roughly 165m. This was all tested with super low air dashes.

Forward dash crRW does full damage (80 damage) up to a rough distance of 50m. It will cease to knockdown at roughly 150m, after its damage has dropped many times (below 70 damage). It will penetrate Dordray's V-Armor until roughly 185m.

So air forward dash RW does technically have slightly better knockdown ability than forward dash RW, but in practice they are equal when air dashing at reasonable height. In contrast, technically their V-Armor penetration is equal, but in practice it usually feels as though air V-Armor penetration is far higher since air dashes will change the direction of your dash to stick closer to the enemy. The standard scenario often encountered against Dordray is near the start of a round, where Dordray dashes forward-diagonally, and Fei-Yen does either forward dash RW or air forward dash RW to vector punish him. In this particular positioning, the forward dash RW is actually going opposite the direction Dordray is going, so the distance is increasing prior to the shot coming out. But if Fei-Yen does air forward dash RW, whether a low instant version, or a full height non-instant version, she will tend to be following him so the distance is decreasing prior to the shot coming out.

These tests are for pink Fei-Yen, the hyper one has significantly changed properties on all forward dash RW variants.

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Re: Instant Low Air Dash Attack - reorient and track 360 degrees

Postby Porcupine » 19 Oct 2016, 19:17

After another year of experience, this technique is indeed used to varying extents by most players. It's probably still not being used in all the ways it can be (the mechanics are fully described in this thread, no update there). At the same time, some ideas for using it were probably too optimistic.

Doing low forward air dash RW with Temjin just for the quicker recovery never caught on. The problem is that even the quicker recovery is not unpunishable. A medium height air dash RW is actually harder to punish in most situations because after dodging the RW on the ground there is little time left to punish the landing freeze. The low forward air dash RW can just be treated as a ground forward dash RW, and jumped over and shot in the back.

Players do commonly use instant low forward air dash RW with Temjin for the reorienting features, especially when the enemy is directly behind them.

Meanwhile, forward air dash LW with Temjin is a great attack, and has horrible rotation so benefits the most from the low instant reorientation trick. But there is a problem: if a very low forward air dash LW misses the enemy, the grenade won't detonate and flies away into oblivion. So it becomes nothing more than a good normal attack, with no shield afterward. This has to do with the way Temjin's LW works, it has nothing to do with this trick. I'll make a new thread later, but essentially Temjin has to gain some height over his opponent so that if his forward air dash LW misses, it rams into the ground and explodes.

This makes using Temjin's forward air dash LW tricky. You have to jump to the perfect height so that you can both ram the grenade into the ground, yet also gain extra rotation somehow. The correct height depends on how off-angle the enemy is from the center of your view. If you want to use the instant air dash attack trick, jump until Temjin has almost auto-rotated to face the enemy, but before the camera starts panning, then do an immediate air dash LW. If you don't want to use the instant trick, wait further until the camera finishes centering the enemy, then do air dash LW. The non-instant version is not as good because while the camera pans the enemy can move off-center again. You can optionally fix that manually by doing side air dash to bring the enemy back in front of you, then change direction and do forward air dash LW.

If Temjin does not do it right, his air dash LW will not have enough rotation and he will throw it into oblivion. In this case, even the projectile itself is wasted as it won't even aim at the enemy.

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Re: Instant Low Air Dash Attack - reorient and track 360 degrees

Postby Porcupine » 04 May 2017, 20:01

I noticed something interesting with Fei-Yen's ground versus air forward dash RW. As in the above test, the ground version technically has equal or maybe slightly better V-Armor penetration. However that was against Dordray at full V-Armor.

I discovered that against Temjin at full V-Armor, or Dordray at greatly reduced V-Armor, the performance is very different. Fei-Yen air forward dash RW has far, far higher V-Armor penetration. In fact it penetrates from any distance. What we can infer from this is that V-Armor penetration ability of different attacks may not drop at the same rate with distance. So Fei-Yen ground forward dash RW has stronger V-Armor penetration up close, but the penetration ability drops off quickly with distance. While Fei-Yen air forward dash RW has equal or slightly weaker penetration up close, but it either drops slower with distance, or it has a minimum value that it drops to, which is still fairly penetrating.

Dordray with only moderately reduced V-Armor behaved mostly like full V-Armor with regards to Fei-Yen air forward dash RW. Against other attacks though, reducing his V-Armor by even 1% can have great effect. For example pink Fei-Yen standing LW and standing CW can both be blocked by Dordray 100% V-Armor, but not by 99% V-Armor.


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