There are several resources for Carl available:
- A video featuring Unblockables
- Another video guide on Carl Unblockables
- A collection of Twitter videos showing various tech
The TL;DR (For Beginners)
- 5C: Large disjointed poke. Even better when microdashed.
- 4D: Covers a good range and keeps the opponent in to keep up pressure. It's also one of the few ways you can stop them from harassing Nirvana. Loses to lows
- Con Fuoco (41236D): A great move to cover ground approaches
- Volante (421D): You can use this projectile to catch opponents off guard and steal your turn back, especially if Nirvana is off-screen
- Con Brio (623D): Nirvana's anti-air. Great range.
- 8D: Another anti air. Always untechable on hit
- La Campanella (22D): Keeps Nirvana safe, or repositions her for oki.
- Vivace (236A/B): This can escape certain pressure sequences, or set up crossup situations with Nirvana. Also good for dodging projectiles if you don't want to body block with Nirvana.
Carl is a puppet user who's game plan revolves around using Nirvana to create tricky mixups and pressure situations for his opponent. The best way to achieve this is to get good knockdown in the corner or sandwich your opponent between Carl and Nirvana. By activating Nirvana while your opponent is sandwiched, you can lock down opponents anywhere on the screen and severely limit their options. As of CF2, however, Nirvana's moves cost more meter to use. This means that you can't throw out doll moves recklessly, or else you'll drain Nirvana's health quickly. Moving Nirvana also drains her life bar slowly. Without Nirvana, Carl is a very frail character. Outside of system mechanics he has no reversal, his normals are small, and his mixups are severely limited. However, with Nirvana, Carl has an array of strong tools to pressure and mixup the opponent.
Like most Blazblue characters, Carl's blockstrings are very freeform. With Nirvana, however, Carl has to juggle more at once. Nirvana's positioning vastly changes for Carl's pressure and blockstrings. Learning how to move Nirvana during blockstrings is critical. Without adjusting her positioning, it's very awkward for Carl to draw out some of his best mixups and pressure. These blockstrings will often force you to move Nirvana in order for 2D to connect properly:
5A > 2A > 2B > 5B > 2D > jc > X
Uses a jump cancel to keep Carl safe while 2D locks down the opponent. You can barrier after jumping to stay safe, or jump in with another attack.
X > 5C > 2D > 6C/6B
A similar setup, but uses 6B and 6C as a high/low mixup while Nirvana uses 2D to cover Carl or extend the combo.
These are adapted from the Carl Combo Beginner Tutorial:
Midscreen Fuoco is a strong oki option after j.C ender. Input fuoco, land, then 5C. The 5C will catch rolls and Fuoco will pick them up. If 5C is blocked you can cancel into 6C for an overhead, 6B/3C for a low, or special cancel into vivace to force a sandwhich on block. This setup loses to reversal DP, but you can B vivace through most of them. This creates a guessing game for your opponent between the following: holding the cross up, attemping to DP the meaty 5C, and/or dealing with the high/low mixup.
A very common ender in the corner. Leaves Carl in a good poking range. You can also combine it with delay 2D for more effectiveness.
After most knockdowns like j.C, Carl can use 2D as a meaty in order to cover all tech options. When using Alegretto, delayed 2D will also let Carl jump in whilst OSing reversals. If you jump forward j.B and they delay tech the j.B will be a safe jump.
For both j.C and Allegretto ender, calling Volante while you’re falling down will shut down DP > RC attempts as they will RC and still have to block the fireball. This effectively makes them waste 50 meter while you've only spent doll meter for Volante.
Doll Move + Vivace
After many knockdowns Carl can use a Doll move to hit meaty while he uses Vivace to cross up. Using Vivace this way will also put the opponent in a sandwich situation.
Tips and Tricks
- Learn to dash super jump. It makes some of the the harder match ups much more even because you can approach more safely.
- You can opt to dash jump in some places. It's easier to execute and just as important.
- Try to sandwich the opponent between Carl and Nirvana as much as possible.
- Use Volante when Nirvana is offscreen to surprise your opponent!
- Sandwich your opponent between Nirvana and Carl.
- Use Nirvana to cover angles that Carl alone can't.
- If you're at a disadvantage, play defensively to regain doll meter for the next exchange.
- Try out extended corner carry routes. The payoff comes in mixup potential in the corner.
To do the dash super jump, input 6269. The timing is relatively tight at first, but it makes Carl's approaches much safer, especially when Nirvana is down or far away.
There are several anti-Carl resources:
- A guide to beating Carl's defensive options(mostly outdated)
- NOTE: Wakeup Doll options are no longer possible as of CF2.
- A guide to disabling Nirvana
- A video guide on dealing with Nirvana's normals in neutral
Here are some anti-Carl tips:
- Forcing Carl to block will stop the startup of certain moves
- Listen for Carl to shout "Volante" or listen for the static of the projectile to recognize offscreen Volante.
- Vivace loses to lows, throws, and 2As.
- Solo Carl is extremely weak, press the advantage if Nirvana is disabled.
- Try not to hit Nirvana if Carl is close, he can jump in and take his turn anyway.
- Hit Con Fuoco with low profile attacks.
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