Carl Clover, the son of Relius Clover, was a student at the Military Academy along with Jin, Noel, Tsubaki, and Makoto. His academic career would not come to fruition however as Carl would eventually drop out to become a travelling vigilante. Together with his sister, Ada, whose soul is trapped in the Nox Nyctores Nirvana, Carl goes out to search for his father in order to stop whatever plans he may hold.
Carl's Drive revolves around controlling Nirvana. Pressing and holding the D button will cause Nirvana to become active. Once active, she can move forward (by holding 3, 6, or 9) and backward (by holding 1, 4, or 7), attack by releasing the D button while either holding a direction or after completing the inputs for one of her special moves, deactivate by releasing the D button without any directional input, or get hit by an opponent. Nirvana has her own life bar at the bottom of the screen, above Carl's heat gauge. It goes down when Nirvana is active, uses an attack, or gets hit by the opponent. Most of Nirvana's attacks have a continuation cost that make it so that if she uses another attack before being deactivated, it will cost even more life. If Nirvana's life bar reaches zero, she will be disabled and recover health slowly, but you won't be able to use her again until a short time after her life bar completely refills. Other than her Distortion Drives and Astral Heat, Nirvana's moves act independently of Carl, meaning they don't put him in any kind of vulnerable state and can be used even if Carl is already doing something else. However, if Carl blocks or gets hit, most of Nirvana's moves will stop and she will deactivate, and she can't be activated until Carl recovers from the blockstun or hitstun.
Overdrive: Synchro High Speed
Carl's overdrive grants Nirvana a power up. The recovery of Ada's moves will be lessened and many of her moves will gain new properties. Ada's walk speed is also faster and her meter recovery speed is also increased. Carl will also have access to a new distortion drive during OD.
- Strong and safe pressure
- One of the best mixup characters in the game
- Practical unblockable setups
- High damage with the right setups
- Unorthodox neutral game
- Nirvana can act as a shield from many projectiles or melee attacks.
- Low life and sub-par defensive options
- Unimpressive normals
- Limited mobility options
- Very dependent on Nirvana especially for neutral, offense and long range. Is essentially a joke character without her.
- Nirvana is very slow.
- Has some of the highest execution requirements in the game (This may or may not be an actual weakness, depending on the player)
- Japanese Name: カルル＝クローバー
- Japanese Wiki
- Japanese BBS
- Arcade Profile Dan Rankings
- Character Video Thread
Carl uses one of his robots into thrust a flag pole towards the opponent. This move can be used as a makeshift poke in neutral. Carl's safest option after a blocked 5B is to chain into 5C, which is jump cancellable on block.
===== =====Carl's best option as a long-range poke. Although it's useful for footsies and protecting Nirvana from getting hit, it can be an equally risky option due to the hurtbox extension on this move and it's relatively long recovery. On counter hit, 623C connects after it at any range, and an instant air dash j.2C usually does as well. Can be used to catch tech rolls if used in conjunction with one of Nirvana's moves, particularly Con Fuoco.
Carl's fastest low option and a staple in his pressure. It can be cancelled into itself once and can be used twice per chain. Although the damage scaling on this move is high, its speed and abundance of gatling options from itself make it an important tool in Carl's moveset.
- Can be charged. Frame data changes depending on charge level (see frame data for details)
- Partial charge is 57+F
- Full charge is 87F
Carl's only ground overhead option. Although it's a rather slow overhead, you might be able to catch someone sleeping with this thanks to the rather subtle animation. This move becomes unblockable and ground bounces when fully charged.
Carl slides along the ground while pointing his doll's lance forward. Mainly used as a means to combo into Fermata. Although this move can low profile certain moves and can lead to damaging combos counter hit, it's a rather situational gambit that's generally not worth the risk.
- 10F~ can cancel self-float into j.A, j.B, or j.C.
- Can only be used once per jump
Carl dives straight down with the lance below him. Because of how it abruptly changes momentum, it can be used to bait anti-airs. Although Carl normally bounces off his opponent after touching them with this move, by inputting 214C during hitstun or blockstun, Carl will continue towards the ground and if he is close enough to the ground, will recover almost instantly in a technique known as Allegretto Cancelling (or Alle-can for short).
Many of Nirvana's attacks have much less recovery and are more comboable when Carl activates his Overdrive. The major changes will be defined in brief detail in the move description. For the frame data of a specific OD-enhanced move, please refer to Carl's frame data.
Nirvana lunges forward and punches the opponent. This is a staple move in Carl's pressure and should be used to cover holes in Carl's solo blockstrings. Although this move is usable in combos, the high proration this move possesses will decrease the overall damage of the combo.
Nirvana pulls her arm up above her head and swings downward. Hits overhead.
Primarily used for unblockable setups while Carl does a low. The increased proration on this move means that Carl's combos won't be as damaging when this move is used.
Can also be used for fuzzy guard setups; this is performed by having Carl do a rising j.A or j.B after 2D is blocked.
Nirvana spins around, hitting close to the ground both in front of and behind her. Note that only the first hit is a low
Primarily used in unblockable setups while Carl does a jumping attack. There are even DP-safe setups where the jumping attack is done so low to the ground that Carl recovers in time to block almost all reversals.
Knocks down on air hit, cannot be emergency teched.
|320, 880||-||all, HL||(16+)38||3(15)6||68||-||F, B||1-55Ar(All)||-|
Nirvana first swings low to the ground, and then swings horizontally higher above the ground. Nirvana has super armor until the recovery of the move, so it is often used to try to hit the opponent when they try to poke Nirvana.
The first hit launches slightly upward, and the second hit launches the opponent high above the ground.
This move summons Nirvana directly behind you. By holding D after the summon, Nirvana will not go into cooldown and can be issued a command immediately after the move.
During Overdrive, the recovery of this move is reduced to 42 frames.
Nirvana extends her "fingernails" diagonally upward and in front of her. In addition, Nirvana has super armor to jumping attacks during this move's startup. Very long range and very fast, this move is used for not only anti-airing opponents, but also for when you just want Nirvana to do a move quickly. A good example is when Carl is knocked down in the corner and Nirvana is directly behind the opponent; having Nirvana do Brio while Carl wakes up is a very powerful option. Easily of one Carl's most important moves.
|0, 0, 2000||-||all||(16+)28~119||4||60||-||BT||-||-|
Nirvana walks forward either a set distance or until she reaches the opponent's position and then tries to grab them. If she successfully hits the opponent, she will slam them onto the ground so hard that they bounce up into the air, allowing for easy follow-ups. This is not an actual grab and can be blocked. Oddly enough, this move cannot be countered by Hakumen's drives.
After a long windup, Nirvana thrusts her arm forward. Long horizontal range, hits 7 times. This move is decent at covering Carl while he approaches from the air and is useful in okizeme setups. However, due to the long startup, long recovery, and low damage, it shouldn't be used much for other situations.
Nirvana creates a projectile that starts off slow and gradually speeds up. If Nirvana is far away off screen, this is another option besides teleporting Nirvana with La Campanella. The startup of the move is interrupted if Carl blocks or gets hit, but once the projectile is created, it only goes away if Carl gets hit. This means that if the opponent is pressuring you, they'll have to either try to dodge the projectile during their pressure string or just give up their pressure to dodge it (or take the risk and try to hit you before it hits them).
Nirvana's new move. This move resembles a faster version of 4D, where Nirvana quickly reels backs and then strikes the opponent twice. Due to its relatively quick startup, high damage and low proration, this is a fantastic move to use in combos. Spatial control, pressure and okizeme are other practical applications of this move. Another one of Carl's most important moves.
|0, 1400||-, SOR||T(90)||7||5||18||-||T||-||-|
Carl slams the enemy into the ground in front of him. Special cancellable and has a ton of untechable time which leaves plenty of time to teleport Nirvana in for a combo. This should be chosen over of back throw.
|0, 1400||SO(J)R||T (90)||7||5||18||-||T||-||-|
Carl flips the opponent over his head, and they bounce off the ground behind him. Special cancellable. Can use Vivace (236A/B) to get in position to continue the combo, but this throw is only recommended if you have your back to the corner and just want to switch sides with the opponent.
- 180F Heat Gauge Cooldown
- 1-20F fully invulnerable
Carl's counter assault is one of his better, if not pricey, defensive options. If Nirvana is nearby, she can continue the combo off the counter assault.
- Possible to charge / 180F cooldown
Carl's new move. Although it doesn't actually add much to his already scary mixup, this move is very useful to use to increase the damage of his combos thanks to its high base damage and minimal proration.
- A version has projectile invincibility for 1-16F
- B version has head, body and projectile invincibility for 1-30F
Carl's hitbox is removed during the early active frames of this special, allowing him to dodge moves and pass straight through any opponent close enough to him. Good for crossing up the opponent.
A command grab of sorts that tosses the opponent high into the air when it lands. Untech time isn't as long as Carl's normal throw, but still allows time to land an attack with Nirvana or chain into a Distortion. Long active frames, an incredibly long reach, and a low hitbox make this very different from other throws, but it has high recovery and gets worse on block so make sure this hits or have Nirvana nearby to cover you while recovering.
Carl stops whatever momentum he has in the air and repeatedly stabs the area in front of him with his robot. Aside from usage as a aerial space control tool and combo fodder, this move has some interesting applications. Since Carl's forward dash puts in him in an aerial state, Carl's dash can be cancelled into allegretto, giving Carl a ground control tool. The easiest input for this is 663214C
If Carl cancels j.2C on block or hit into allegretto, Carl retains downward momentum before going into allegretto. If Carl lands before allegretto comes out, his landing recovery is greatly reduced. This is called allegretto cancelling or alle-can for short and is a vital tool in Carl's pressure and combos.
Relatively quick and easy to combo into. Its damage is very low, but Nirvana can still act while Carl is executing this move, allowing further damage through additional attacks. If you have the Heat, you can even use this move alongside Rhapsody of Memories for big damage, performing this move on one side of the opponent while Nirvana attacks from the other.
Rhapsody of Memories
236236D, air OK
|Normal||200*6, 300*2, 350*2, 500||-||all||10+9||see frame data||49||+275||B||1~ Ar(all)||-|
|Overdrive||200*12, 300*4, 350*2, 500||-||all||10+9||see frame data||68||+260||B||1~ Ar(all)||-|
Decent speed, last hit wallbounces. Like Laetabilis Cantata, its damage alone is not good, but now Carl is the one moving and dealing additional damage instead. Because this executes from Nirvana's position, it's possible to catch the opponent off-guard if she's not close to Carl and they drift too close to her, allowing Carl time to close the gap and either cross them up if blocked or add his own damage if hit. Even if this is not the case, the speed at which Nirvana performs this move will apply constant pressure and can push the enemy into the corner while Carl does his own thing.
214214D, air OK
Arpeggio of Oblivion
632146D (OD Only)
|800, 4500||-, R||all||1+(8~16)||3||33||-30||B||1~All (Nirvana only)||-|
Carl's new OD-exclusive DD. Like Fermata, it's mainly used as a combo ender. Its minimum damage is huge (1735) so don't hesitate to burn meter on this move as an ender.
Deus Ex Machina
Carl has amazing combo damage, insane pressure, ridiculous mixups and crazy resets. The catch is that this is only true if both Carl and Nirvana are in position. Carl or Nirvana alone can't accomplish much; it's the synergy between them that sets Carl's offensive game apart from the rest of the cast.
Your main goal on the offensive with Carl, outside of simply hitting the opponent, is to put your opponent in between Carl and Nirvana. This is called "sandwiching" the opponent. This kind of positioning gives Carl pressure opportunities provided that Nirvana has enough life.
Pressure and Mixup
If you get the opponent to block one of Carl's moves, but Nirvana isn't in position and isn't doing anything else, you can try teleporting Nirvana in with 22D while Carl does a crossup j.2C allecan (short for "allegretto cancel," do j.214C when j.2C connects: rather than bounce away, Carl will land on the ground quickly). To do the crossup, make the opponent block a jump-cancellable normal (5A, 2A, or 5C), then jump and instant airdash over them. The crossup is rather hard to react to, but it is also punishable in a variety of ways if the opponent is ready for it. Depending on how you expect the opponent to react, some alternate options Carl has are to:
1. do a frame trap instead - this beats people who are trying to jump out
2. do the airdash, but instead do j.A or airthrow. If they jump out, j.A should put them in a blockstring so that you continue pressure and then can go for another mixup, and airthrow is good if you think they won't be ready to break it.
3. do a j.2C allecan, but don't make it crossup - this is useful against people who don't jump out, but instead either block the other direction or try to do an option select to beat the crossup (example: with Litchi, 421D+A+B to get a reversal if Carl crosses up or to get barrier block if Carl doesn't). While this may not result in a hit very often, it allows Carl to continue pressure, and if Nirvana was just teleported in, he gets more pressure options off of that.
Doing basic gatlings long enough for Nirvana to recover from whatever she may have been doing and then doing 6D is a good way to reset pressure in Carl's favor. Usually, the best Carl can get off of this is to try many frame traps, which catches opponent's trying to mash or jump out of pressure. Note that frame traps lose to reversals such as Ragna's Inferno Divider, so you have to constantly be on the lookout for attempts to escape with these kinds of moves. Some of Carl's gatlings have gaps where the opponent is not in blockstun, meaning this is automatically a frame trap; there is no way to perform this gatling without it losing to those reversals.
The only overhead Carl himself has on the ground is 6C. This is very slow and has very few gatling options (only off of 5A, 2A, and 6B). It is also even on block, meaning if the opponent blocks it, especially with Instant Block, the opponent could get an opportunity to get an advantage on Carl unless Nirvana's available to follow it up with another move. Overall, this move is not very useful, but it can be used very sparingly to catch people off guard.
Doing a blockstring into 236A/B to switch sides while Nirvana performs a move can cross up the opponent. This is a pretty strong mixup option, but you're at risk of losing your pressure if the opponent successfully blocks it. The best Nirvana moves to use for this are 2D and 4D due to how much time they give you to combo after them.
Nirvana's 2D can be one of Carl's more threatening mixup tools. Using it while the opponent is sandwiched often forces the opponent to guess what you're going to do next rather than try to react to it. Carl's options are:
1. Do a blockstring ending with a low move that hits at the same time as 2D to create an unblockable, or at least make it very hard to block. Usually, the best low to use for this is 6B.
2. Cut the blockstring short or jump cancel to bait the opponent's reversal.
3. Do the safest blockstring into 2D, then do a fuzzy guard mixup after 2D is blocked. For the overhead, do dash j.A into j.2C allecan to continue the combo, and for the low, just do 2A after blocking for a little while in case the opponent tried to reversal before 2D hit.
4. Crossup with 236A/B while 2D hits. 236B should also beat most reversal attempts.
Due to volante's low blockstun, it can be an effective way to setup a throw mixup. For example, end a blockstring with 6B > volante and then go for a throw or for a throw reject miss with something like 2A > throw.
While it might be tempting to use Rhapsody of Memories in pressure to get lots of mixup opportunities, it is not recommended against a well-prepared opponent due to how easy it is to IB and jump out of it while Carl is still in recovery.
Some uses for Carl's meter in pressure: 1. j.2C RC to continue pressure from positions where j.2C allecan normally wouldn't work, or just to go into an overhead before landing. In particular, j.2C RC > airdash j.B j.C can work. 2. 6B or 3C or 623C RC to frame trap and continue pressure when the opponent expects the blockstring to end, potentially counterhitting them out of something. 3. Cancel a ground dash into allegretto, then RC it. From this, you can do a falling aerial, or an airdash j.B, etc.
Carl's okizeme options mostly rely on using Nirvana while they're waking up to catch rolls and/or to perform a completely safe meaty. Carl's options are mostly similar to what they would be in a normal pressure situation, so this section will only list the oki setups that give results that stand out above the rest.
If Nirvana is not too close to the opponent, such as when you end a combo with 2D (and possibly 8D), Con Fuoco combined with Carl's 2B or 5C should catch any roll attempt, be a meaty attack, and go into a mixup afterwards: after the opponent starts blocking, jump and do either empty jump 2B or airdash j.B j.C.
Nirvana's 3D hits on both sides of her and allows plenty of time to react and continue the combo, so it is also pretty good at catching rolls. Since it also hits low, you can try for an unblockable on the opponent's wakeup when you end a combo with j.C; if they emergency tech, you hit them with an aerial and 3D, and if they don't emergency tech, all they can do is neutral tech to avoid getting hit.
IAD j.2C is still strong as an okizeme option. If properly spaced/timed, it even beats some wakeup reversals such as Ragna's Inferno Divider.
Carl does not have much in the way of defensive options. 236B travels far and has head and body attribute invincibility, so it can be used to dodge some attacks, but loses to 2As, lows, and throws. It is most useful when the opponent is in the air or throwing projectiles at you.
Since volante doesn't go away when Carl blocks something, if you used it before the opponent starts his blockstring, it will force the opponent to work around it to try to not get hit by it. This is most often done with Nirvana being completely off the screen, so there's less indication of when the projectile is going to come.
While Carl is teching, he can control Nirvana. The best use for this is to do Brio while waking up to try to catch the opponent doing something if Nirvana is next to them. This can be used to get around various okizeme setups, such as Litchi's Thirteen Orphans (if Litchi will get hit by Brio, do 236B to escape; this kind of trick can be used on other setups as well, if Nirvana is in the correct position). Another important option is teleporting Nirvana with 22D while Carl is waking up to get her to a better position.
Overall, the best defensive option Carl has is probably to just save meter for Counter Assaults. With Nirvana behind the opponent, you have options to make it safe or to even combo out of it. The main issue you need to worry about when using his CA is that the range is quite short.
The most important part of Carl's neutral game is that you need to use Nirvana to control space. This is a difficult concept to explain in depth, but the basics boil down to some important concepts: 623D (Brio) and 8D (the clap) are extremely good at limiting the opponent's air options due to being fast moves with gigantic hitboxes, in addition to 623D even having guard point against aerials; j.A and j.B are both great air-to-air moves while j.C is a decent air-to-ground, so combined with Nirvana's anti-airs, Carl's air game is very hard to deal with; moves like 6D and 41236D (Fuoco) can be used to pressure a grounded opponent into jumping out of the way or punishing slow enough projectiles; 421D (Volante) is a projectile that goes across the entire stage along the ground, but is only a real threat if Carl is very close to the opponent when the projectile gets there; and 5C is Carl's longest-reaching normal and is good at threatening people who are hitting Nirvana, although you have to worry about the opponent jumping over it and countering you.
Because Nirvana has such great tools for stopping an opponent from doing what they want, Carl will often want to stay behind Nirvana and slowly approach the opponent with her leading the way. In this situation, Carl must react to or predict the opponent's actions and try to counter them, primarily with the aforementioned moves. The best time to try to approach the opponent without Nirvana in front is when a Volante is coming in soon from off screen. Be careful not to get hit, though, because this will cause the Volante to disappear. In addition, since Volante has so little blockstun and so little hitstun on the ground, you might need to be careful even if it connects. However, if it hits an airborne opponent, they can't recover until they hit the ground.
Since Nirvana is where most of the neutral game threat comes from, most opponents should focus on weakening Nirvana before confronting Carl. Part of playing Carl is to also manage Nirvana's life bar correctly, and try to allow her to recover life when possible, and to not use her moves without reason so that she'll be healthy enough when you need her the most. Carl's best tools to stop an opponent from hurting Nirvana are 5C and 623C (very risky on block or whiff, but it's Carl's highest range attack and doesn't extend Carl's own hurtbox as far as 5C does), while Nirvana's best are 4D due to having super armor against everything through the startup, and 236236D due to super armor and starting up very quickly.
Miscellaneous Tips and Tricks
- Carl can cancel the first few frames of his dash into a jump or superjump. His forward momentum carries over into his jump, giving him a new angle to approach from.
- When Carl performs Volante, he will always shout "Volante!". By doing a 5A or j.A right during the "startup" of Volante's audio cue, Carl's 5A/j.A sound will overlap Volante's noise and erase it altogether. This is especially useful when used with offscreen volantes. An example of this being utilised can be seen here.
- If Nirvana performed consecutive attacks without deactivating, the cost of her attacks increase by set multipliers. By deactivating Nirvana between moves, the multipliers will be reset. This can lead to more cost-efficient doll meter usage if done during Nirvana-heavy sequences.
These are serve as BnBs and as such are not an exhaustive nor optimized collection of combos. For more details and situational combos, please refer to the Carl combo thread.
- (j.A) > 2A > 5B > 6B > 623C > 421D > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C > 8D > ender
- (j.B/C) > 5B > 2B > 6B > 623C > 421D > 5C > j.B > j.C > 46D > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C > 8D > ender
- (j.B/C) > 5B > 2B > 6B > 623C > 421D > CT > 6C (charge) > 46D > Lv2 6C (release) > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C > 8D > ender [Requires 25 meter]
- 6C > 5B > 623C > 421D > 5C > j.B > j.C > 46D > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C > 8D > ender
- Throw > 5C > j.B > j.C > 46D > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C > 8D > ender
- 2A > 5B > 6B > 623C > 421D > dash under > 5B > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C > 8D > ender
- 5B > 2B > 6B > 623C > 421D > dash under > 5C > j.B > j.C > 46D > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C > 8D > ender
- 5B > 2B > 6B > 623C > 46DD > CT > crossup airdash j.2C~214C > 5C > j.B > j.C > 421D > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C > 8D > ender [Requires 25 meter]
- 63214D > 6C charge > Lv2 6C release > 5C > 623D > sj.B > JC > j.B > j.C > 421D > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C > 8D > ender
- 4D > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C > 46D > 5B > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C > 6D > 6B >6A > sj.B > j.C
- Throw > 5C > j.B > j.C > 46D > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C > 6D > dash > 6B > 6A > j.C
- 2A > 5B > 6B > 623C > RC > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C *Requires 50 meter*
- 5B > 6B > 623C > RC > j.214C ~ 214C > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C *Requires 50 meter*
- Throw > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C
- 2A > 5B > 6B > 623C > 623D > 5C > j.B > j.C > 46D > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C > 8D > ender
- 5B > 6B > 623C > 623D > j.2C > j.C > 46D > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C > 8D > ender
- 5B > 6B > 623C > CT > 6C (charge) > 46D > Lv2 6C release > 5C > j.B > j.C > 421D > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.214C 8D > ender [Requires 25 meter]
- Throw > 5C > 623D > 5C > j.B > j.C > 46D > 6A > j.C
- 2A > 5B > 6B > 2C> 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C
- 5B > 6B > 2C > 2B > 6A > j.214C > airdash j.A > j.2C~j.214C > land> sj.B> JC > j.B > j.C
- Throw > 6B > 2C > 5C > sj.B > j.2C > j.B > JC > j.B > j.C