Guard Primers: 5
Play-style: Offensive, Rushdown, Frame traps
Movement Options: 1 Double Jump/Airdash, Run-type Dash
Makoto's Drive is called "Impact". All of her Drive moves have 3 different levels - holding down the D button charges the move from level 1 to level 3 and back down to level 1, while releasing the button executes her Drive for that particular level. Charging a Drive move to level 3 is usually preferred since they do the most damage and are usually better for continuing combos. However, lower level drives can exhibit some interesting and useful properties.
- See also: Makoto Full Frame Data
|5C > C|
|6B > C|
|j.C > C|
D during Comet Cannon
D during Corona Upper
46 > D
|Asteroid Vision A
|Asteroid Vision B
|Asteroid Vision C
A after A Asteroid Vision
B after A Asteroid Vision
C after A Asteroid Vision
D after A Asteroid Vision or Lunatic Upper
A after Lunatic Upper
A after Lunatic Upper or Mars Chopper
C after Lunatic Upper
D during B/C Asteroid Vision
|Big Bang Smash
Makoto has many decently strong tools at her disposal in every area. However, she definitely does have exploitable weaknesses in certain areas or situations that Makoto players have to recognize in order to do well. For the most part, Makoto wants to be close to her opponent where she can use her decent frame traps and versatile mix-up to carry them to the corner and blow them up. She has trouble dealing with zoning characters who can keep her well out of threatening range while staying relatively safe (EX: Hazama, Lambda), or strong poking characters who easily stuff her footsies (EX: Ragna, Hakumen).
What is neutral? Long story short, it's when neither of you are in each other's faces but you want to be. Capcom fans refer to this as "footsies" - both players will intelligently and safely use their attacks while blocking or avoiding the other's, until one of them makes a wrong move and gets knocked down. Naturally, Makoto likes the knockdown part a lot more, but she still has to deal with this in order to win. Some characters have very good zoning, which is a lot like footsies except further apart (worse for you). So how does she deal with this?
- Dash barrier: by inputting 66 > 2AB, you can immediately cancel out of a dash with barrier block. This carries some of the momentum of the dash to get you closer while still keeping you safe from eating an unexpected attack. This is a fundamental tactic for every character with a dash but EXTREMELY important for Makoto players to master - most characters outrange her and force her to risk approaching.
- Footsies: 5B and 2A have the best reach of all of her pokes while being relatively fast. Dash in with these attacks after your opponent whiffs a move with a lot of recovery.
- Anti-air/Air-to-air: Makoto has surprisingly strong options to deal with players trying to jump in on her. 6A will trade at worst with a lot of attacks, though it lacks a bit in horizontal range. jA is very fast and can stuff jump-ins or airdashes with ease - it's almost as good as Carl's jA, and that's saying something. jB is a nightmare for characters that like to float above their opponents, like Arakune.
- Zoning: This one is tricky. Comet Cannon can reach full screen or cancel out projectiles, but no longer penetrates through Nirvana. This made Carl a lot easier to deal with in the past. It also has a ton of recovery now, making it very unsafe if used shortsightedly. Asteroid Vision B and C can be used to approach quickly through the air - cancel their recovery with a jA and you can immediately barrier after it too. This is very important for approaching Lambda. 3C can avoid some stuff but got a lot worse from previous games, so do NOT abuse it.
There will be more generalized words here soon.
KNOCKDOWN MATRICES: Okay, so you landed a hit and executed some combo and now it's done. What do you do now? If you were midscreen then even her most damaging enders will net average damage off most starters. On top of that, many of them will send her opponent flying far away from Makoto, possibly reseting them back to neutral positioning where she has inherent disadvantage in many match-ups. Generally, you do not want that. The following is a comparison of all of her combo enders and the best times to use them both midscreen and cornered:
- j623CD: This is one of her most common combo enders since it almost always leads to the most damage. However, unless it's used low to the ground it also gives Makoto the least amount of frame advantage for wake-up pressure which limits her options. The opponent at least stays within Makoto's preferred range, so it's a decent option. If the combo is not highly prorated, then she can OTG with 2B if they don't emergency tech and squeeze in a bit more damage.
- 214ACC: This is definitely one of her strongest enders. While it does send them pretty far, Makoto is left at enough advantage to immediately get back on top of them. If the opponent does not emergency tech, she can immediately OTG with 2B and send the person closer to the corner. Once the person is trained to emergency tech, she has two distinct options. The first is to simply run up and pressure normally, which has the obvious weakness of losing to invincible reversals without baiting it and possibly losing pressure. The second is to buffer a dash into a forward jump and execute a falling jC while holding back. When timed correctly, this creates a safe jump and ensures that she will get her Okizeme.
- 214ACA: This is an all-around "meh" ender. The recovery is so long that Makoto is left at little frame advantage, making it hard to punish roll techs from midscreen and limiting her options greatly on emergency tech. It doesn't get much stronger in the corner, either. Use sparingly.
- 2D Lv1: This was nerfed pretty badly in Extend. Using it means that you sacrificed a lot of damage, and its follow-up setups are not very good. However, ending a corner combo with 2D Lv1 on a sliding opponent puts her at very significant frame advantage and can set up another safe jump. Terrible midscreen ender, but strong corner ender.
- 5D/jD Lv3: These are some of her worst midscreen combo enders. If the opponent will be sent close to corner then it can be worth it; in every other situation it just sends them to the opposite side of the screen and resets neutral positioning, where most characters have an advantage over Makoto. In the corner, they can be followed with a 6B to force an emergency tech setup or a meaty Comet Cannon to eat roll tech or force blocking on neutral tech, making them strong choices.
- 6B > Meaty Comet Cannon: This is specifically mentioned to address the nerfs to Comet Cannon in Extend. In previous iterations, this guaranteed very strong corner okizeme versus almost the entire cast and ended the vast majority of combos. In extend, the start-up animation on Comet Cannon was nerfed very hard and now most characters have reliable options to shut it down on reaction. Do not use it against good players.
So what's the verdict? Midscreen, most combos on standing opponents end with 214ACC for the best damage and wake-up Okizeme. Crouching opponents should be juggled with 214ACB since it drastically increases damage. Midscreen air combos should almost always end with j623CD for the highest damage and passable Okizeme. In the corner, her Okizeme becomes MUCH stronger and pretty much anything goes. Mixing up her enders for different setups will keep opponents on their toes and make it easier to land mix-ups.
Makoto's most notable defensive options are Space Counter (46), Corona Upper (623C), and her backdash. 5A used intelligently can also be a strong defensive option for interrupting unsafe strings and mix-up. It is extremely important for Makoto players to recognize the strengths of all of her options, as well as their weaknesses, in order to identify when to use them and when to block.
As an example, lets take Valkenhyn. After Makoto neutral or emergency techs from a knockdown, Valkenhyn can use 2B to option select out of every defensive option except blocking. Why does this work?
1. Valkenhyn has frame advantage, which prevents makoto from using 5A or 2A to mash out of wake-up pressure.
2. His 2B has a very low hurtbox, while corona upper lacks a hitbox in the front-low area. If Makoto tries to DP, it will completely whiff and give him a free fatal counter combo.
3. His 2B hits low, while Space Counter can only parry mid and high attacks.
4. Makoto's backdash only has 5 invincible frames while his 2B has 4 active frames. Timed correctly, 2B will beat it and give him another combo.
Now, not every character has options this insanely good after a knockdown, but it does illustrate an important point - Makoto's defensive options are useful but ONLY WHEN USED WISELY. If you like to press buttons on wake-up, this is not the character for you.