Close Range Normals
c.L - Mash Confirm
Close light normal, clocks in at 6f. Does catch jumps, but can be tricky to confirm on air hit. Chains into autocombo, oftentimes you’ll chain into this from 2L or be mashing this out to beat throw attempts.
Example Strings and Starters:
5LLL xx 214H 5LLL xx 236H 5LLL xx 236236H/U
2L - Low Starter
6f startup, low. This is your standard low starter in pressure, and two chained into each other can combo into EX Shots. Damage on this as a starter seems better than 2L,5LLL in the corner, but offers less confirmation time.
Important/Summary: A great pressure starter for close-range stuff. If you find yourself coming out of hop in their face, you’ll usually choose between j.H or an empty low using 2L.
Example Strings and Starters:
2L,5LLL xx 214H 2L,5LLL xx 236236H/U 2L,2L xx 214H 2L,2L xx 236H
c.M - safe normal ender and better UOH-contest
8f medium. 0 on block and +4 on hit, making it your best normal to throw out after sth like a hop jump-button and still being very safe (without the danger of 2L whiffing against jumpers). If your enemies respect you going into autocombo, it can also occasionally be used for some reset shenanigans. Other than that, it can be better than c.L when used to jab people out of unique overheads, as it has a higher hitbox and better range, where c.L might whiff when not up-close.
Example Strings and Starters:
Counterhit: c.M > c.MMM xx 236H
c.H - Three Hitter
11f startup, -4 on block, but offers ample time to confirm the situation. Can be used explicitly as a trap against throw techs or to catch jumps for a reasonable amount of damage, but offers far fewer layers to your pressure compared to c.M or a 2L confirm.
This move finds a lot of use in corner combos due to it’s high damage and low scaling.
Pokes and Footsies Tools
far.L - Disjoint Standing Low Poke
This normal is 8f startup (Matching 2M) and is fully disjoint. You can use it to stop close-range approach and it absolutely ruins pokes with extended hurtboxes. The main benefit of it being so fast is that if it whiffs against a jump, you can still anti-air cleanly, and it can be very hard for certain characters to even contest it at range. Use it when you think jumps, rolls and runs are still on the table, but you don’t want to commit to something slower that might get counterpoked.
Important/Summary: Press this when you’re not sure what to do and the opponent isn’t trying to outright punish this. Great mash-out tool at close-ish range. Can’t be DP’d at range due to it’s lack of hurtbox and recovery.
Example Strings and Starters:
far.L xx 214M far.LL xx 214M far.LL xx 214H Standing only: far.LL xx 236X Crouching counterhit: far.L > 2M xx 214M
2M - Bow Swipe That Isn’t a Low
Similar to far.L in use, as it also clocks in at 8f. This normal has very short recovery for such a long normal, and is great for punishing rolls on reaction. It also leaves you fairly safe against sudden jump ins compared to far.H. More hitstun than far.L, obviously, but can’t really chain into anything but shots. This will be a go to in mid-range footsies simply due to how big the hitbox is, and how hard it is to whiff punish. You’ll often cancel this into shots. When you’re not sure about the opponent’s roll habits, you might just let it rock instead of cancelling into shots on block when it clips them at range.
Important/Summary: Not a low. It’s a good poke and good against jumpy/rolly/dodgy opponents.
2M xx 214M/H Standing only at a distance: 2M xx 236M/H
far.M - Axe Kick
11f startup with a smidge more total recovery than 2M (I feel it’s also worse to whiff when someone’s jumping at you or spot dodging through your poke). Great at trashing low pokes at a distance, as it does not really extend a hurtbox downwards, and is a smidge better than 2M at catching jumps after the fact. A strong harassment tool, as the tail end of the active frames also catches rolls. Use it similarly to 2M, especially when contesting low pokes like Katalina 2M at a distance.
Important/Summary: Just like 2M except even better at beating low pokes. Slower and potentially weaker to jumps that manage to clear it, but still liable to beat rolls.
far.H 🦋 - Forward Shot
Juice normal. This thing clashes with projectiles, and is usually your go-to harassment normal. If your opponent isn’t trying to jump, roll or spot dodge, this button should be pressed often enough to make them try for the former. Because it’s completely disjoint, it acts as a great predictive whiff punish against other normals, and trades well against single-hit projectiles. On hit you can confirm into Shot, and at mid-range you can blockstring into 236M for chip and general harassment.
Important/Strategy: Because it clocks in at 16f, and has travel time this normal is reactable at a distance, meaning there’s a range where players can spot dodge or roll through it with no risk to themselves. Online this range is much further out than offline, so accommodate appropriately to your delay and opponent. If someone is playing reactively, they’re more vulnerable to you simply walking/dashing forward into 5M/2M, so you can use the threat of this move to jockey for space.
If the opponent doesn’t know about the above, just keep using it and switch to far.L/2M to contest their pokes while also leaving yourself open to punish jump-ins.
It should be noted that 236M/H and 214M/H are faster projectiles than far.H, so they don’t suffer as severely to a player waiting to react (The effective range is further out compared to far.H).
f.H has less total duration than the shots, so they’re less likely to give the opponent a full punish if they jump, but you likely won’t be able to anti-air if they do.
Important/Summary: Use this normal at mid-range to crush all pokes and clash with projectiles. Force them to play around it and build a gameplan to punish them for their attempts. Weak to jumps. Weak to reactive play at a distance. Big prediction rolls or jumps will get them inside. Switch to 2M and your own reactive play as they adjust, depending on what they like to do.
2U - Slide
This normal confers a pretty great situation on hit. You can set 22L/H and go right into meaty 2L. At a distance this move is safe, and can be great for challenging approach, catching moves out of startup or prediction rolls/spot dodges.
You can confirm into this off of hop j.H or Butterfly explosions. As far as midscreen oki is concerned, this is a strong option that doesn’t require the use of H Shots, meaning you have more damage on deck for the next mixup.
236X 🦋 - High Shot
This is a smidge faster than your far.H, but more overall recovery (Weaker to jumps, close range rolls and spot dodges). These are minus on block (But mostly safe) at close range, but whiff on crouchers anywhere but point blank, making them less combo-friendly than 214X.
Each version has its purpose. The L version travels slowly, so if your opponent blocks it at a distance, it may give them a gap to roll or spotdodge that’s hard to contest. The kicker is if you lead with this at longer ranges, you can follow after it and there’s not a lot they can do to contest (Depending on the character, of course). To block a projectile at longer distances means you’re super-mega-plus, so you can really bully in neutral with risk-free butterfly sets as you force a jump or roll from them.
The M version is far more likely to blockstring them, netting your guaranteed chip. This is usually preferable to L shot in close quarters against stronger opponents. I need to follow up on this, however.
H Shot is used to turn stray hits into knockdowns, punch through L/M fireballs in exchanges, and is used in the corner for really laying on damage. It’s not set in stone yet, but you will likely be using 214H before you burn 236H, as Low Shot doesn’t play as nice with Butterfly, and you’ll lose access to j236X (It shares the 236X cooldown).
Important/Strategy: Even on projectile clash, all versions of Shot will continue to move forward (sans hitbox) and trigger butterflies.
Important/Summary: Use shots to encourage jumping, rolling, dodging and fireballs. Fireballs are amazing for challenging longer, more dominant pokes from your opponent where your normals might get stuffed outright. Use it just enough, paired with far.H, to convince them you’ll keep doing it, then switch to far.L/2M to leave yourself available to anti-air.
Important/Synergy with 22X: At about 3/4s screen, you can safely 22X after they block an M shot. At about half-screen, you can safely 22X after they block an L shot (It travels slower and is more plus)
214X (🦋ish) - Low Shot
Similar in all respects to 236H. I would go to this one first in combos/conversions and in stray counterpoke situations, simply due to its ability to hit crouchers at a distance.
Important: Doesn’t hit any butterflies except the falling butterfly on 22C, hence the 🦋ish.
Important/Synergy with 22X: At about 3/4s screen, you can safely 22X after they block an M shot. At about 2/3rds screen, you can safely 22X after they block an L shot (It travels slower and is more plus, but not as plus as 236L)
j236X (🦋) - Air Shot
j236L/M is a great anti-fireball tool that has potential to beat grounded fireball options without committing to much. However, it loses to people dashing forward on prediction, so be mindful of overuse. Use it on a read against fireball, and only as much as needed to convince them to try to punish it.
j236H is a highly damaging tool for punishing early throw break options (Tech and mashed lights) in midscreen situations. It’s probably one of the few ways Metera can pump out damage on a grounded opponent without taking them to the corner first, or having butterflies set up.
Of j236H you get an air launch, so you can link 2H5U > jH > 2H into carry, damage or what-have-you.
Important/Opinion: I would personally only go for j236H when I know my opponent is not late teching. 236X is on the same cooldown, so you’re losing a valuable neutral tool in midscreen situations if it gets blocked. Late teching is quite hard to crack open in this game, so I like to reserve j236H for early techs and mashed light attacks done out of blockstun.
5U/4U - Hop
Metera’s hop is quite good when done in situations where opponents may not have strong anti-air options on deck, or are gravitating to moves that lose directly to hop jH, such as long-winded pokes with low hitboxes. Mid-hop, you are capable of catching prediction rolls or spot dodge.
Hop does lose to reactionary anti-airs in many matchups, and does not clear a majority of far.H/far.M normals. It also struggles to clear fireballs if you don’t do it early enough. I consider it risky play, but it can be good to throw out once in a while as a footsie tool.
M+H 🦋 - Overhead
This move is reactable, but can act as a great punish to people trying to tech throw early, and is also a great low crush. Can be very potent in the corner with 22H Butterfly, as it leads to 5000+ damage conversions if you have at least a shot on deck.
At the very least, with butterfly, this moves leads to more pressure when blocked.
22X - 🦋 Butterflies 🦋
The butterflies offer an extra layer of protection to Metera’s pokes, alongside some nutty combo potential midscreen and in the corner. If you blow up a butterfly in front of the opponent, they will die trying to roll or jump over whatever you used to trigger it (Usually a far.H or 236L/M).
If they do not bite to the jump/roll bait, and you make the read, you can trigger the butterfly on top of them, which leaves you incredibly plus.
These are quite unsafe to do raw in neutral, or at least give up a ton of ground. The summon animation has a lot of recovery, so unless your opponent is blocking a long-distance 236L, 214L or 623M, I don’t recommend doing it. You might be able to do it as a response to a jump at full screen, or if their character really does lack the ability to punish you for it.
Important/Strategy: The optimal place for blowing up butterflies on a character is usually right in front of them, so that the back end of the hitbox still catches them. This will likely save you from rolls and give them a smaller window to clear your far.H or 236M… I think...
Both L and M butterflies will travel until they leave the screen (22H will hang around until they get to the stage edge, then they’ll chill there so you can run mixups). So long as you’re not on cooldown, you can always replace existing butterflies with subsequent 22X inputs.
22L is a slow butterfly. This is great for setup after forward throw in the corner, off 2U knockdown, and general harassment in neutral. You can pop this immediately with 623M.
22M is a faster butterfly. Same properties as 22L otherwise. Can’t be used for corner setups. I find that this is better in neutral to set up the jump trap I mentioned above. You jockey for space faster and more aggressively with this one over 22L, giving your opponent less time to move forward.
Important/Strategy: Getting 22M out in a fireball war against characters can be a boon, because a clash with the butterfly on top of the opponent will get triggered by any 236X, even if the projectile hitbox is negated.
22H summons two butterflies. One travels in a straight line, and one travels upwards before falling after a time. This is normally set up off corner knockdown throw, 2U or 623H. This is how Metera sets up most of her big damage corner situations, so it’s great to just default to this in the aforementioned situations.
623X - Rain of Arrows
This move has a rising hitbox followed by a rain of arrows.
In neutral, both L and M versions of this move act as pretty solid cover to set up 22L/M Butterfly, and since they’re air unblockable they can act as unwieldy anti-airs. I personally need to do some lab work to figure out just where they can anti-air.
The H version offers a great knockdown in neutral and in the corner (As the main projectile won’t travel off screen like 623L/M), giving you plenty of time to set up 22H Butterflies. In the corner, this will often be your go-to ender for the Butterfly oki or Super.
Important/Strategy: While it’s spacing and character specific, on an airborne opponent in the corner, Metera can combo 2H 623L into 2H 623H. 623X does a lot of hits overall, so this generates far more meter and comparable damage to other routes. Learning how to land this goes a long way to combo optimization.
Important/Summary: Do 623L and 623M in neutral where applicable to set up Butterflies. 623H will be useful when paired with Metera’s 1H and 2H, given that they’re normally air-blockable. See below.
1H/2H 🦋 - Up Shots
Air blockable anti-airs, but huge returns on counter-hit. Can be canceled into 623X to force a proper anti-air. Luckily, these are also majorly + on block. I believe it’s possible to confirm the situation and choose what you cancel into, but that requires some labwork. 2H acts as an incredible combo filler in the corner, and off midscreen anti-air combos.
Neither of these have much application in grounded footsies, but they’ll be your go-to anti-airs in many cases. 1H hits straight up and ahead, while 2H hits further forward. Both can anti-air above Metera’s head, but you’ll have to watch out for more disjointed jump-ins that will force you to use 1H over 2H.
Important/Summary: Anti-airs GOOD. Damage GREAT. Air blockable BAD. Hella plus GOOD.
236236H - Flippy Fire Kick
Her H super is air unblockable, making for a great anti-air. You have to make sure to get it out early enough, as the startup is quite slow. I feel like you should prioritize keeping this for midscreen confirms off autocombo into damage, alongside keeping it on deck as an anti-air. Just having it available gives Metera lots of room to breath against certain characters.
As a reversal option, I feel it’s middling. It’s startup is slow enough that you can meaty with lights and recover before the super will connect.
236236U - Please… Step on me.
This move does more damage than 236236H and offers a hop safejump on hit. Not all good as an anti-air or as a reversal, but I always recommend going into this if you find yourself confirming from a midscreen auto-combo, or your successful anti-air won’t take you to the corner.
Taken from the Metera doc, link at the bottom of the page
If you have to be up close, your go-to normals are c.M and f.L, because they're her only plus on block normals. c.M is +2, which is a problem against characters with 5f c.L normals because they will beat you even if you use c.L after c.M. f.L is better, but it has relatively short range. Your main goal up close should be to push the opponent out into at least f.M range, where you can start to use your fireballs. If you're midscreen, you can back off with 4U and start zoning.
Your main blockstring in neutral is f.H > 236X/214X/623X/22X. Outside of interactions between your fireballs, The Great Fall, and Aetherial Seal, you'll be doing this to keep pushing the opponent farther and farther away from you.
Off of a hard knockdown you have two main choices: summoning a butterfly with Aetherial Seal or using The Great Fall. The differences come down to what you're setting up after, and also sometimes the matchup you're fighting.
If you're in the corner, it's really easy to set up a Universal Overhead combo with 22H. You can also detonate a butterfly with f.H to cover a Zephyr mixup. If you get a far knockdown in neutral midscreen, that's also an excellent place to set up a butterfly.
The Great Fall
If there's some space between you and the opponent in the corner, you can use The Great Fall to set up a safe Zyphyr mixup. It's not as good as a butterfly, but it's good if you have to worry about cooldowns.
|Ferry||?:?||I feel like j236M works well in this matchup, given the duration of Ferry’s normals. She can reaction punish spot dodge with 2M, and that’s a free confirm into her 236H. Try to play more patiently, however, depending on the Ferry they may not be able to. Get hoppy after blocking normals. If you can bait out her 236H you’re golden. Jump immediately after you block her normals with j236M (She can’t catch jumps without 236H, and she has to do it on prediction). If she starts to commit to 236H she’s going to be in trouble when you don’t jump.|
|Gran||?:?||Prediction Spot Dodge is almost mandatory to steal away frame advantage from this lord. Make sure you know what buttons he can’t 214X through. Don’t let him touch you with the plus one. His j.U is super scary, it can be rough to try and anti-air him if you’re recovering from a whiffed j.M if he’s landing a lot of jump ins, try to play patiently, and perhaps keep your super in reserve to anti-air.|
|Lancelot||?:?||Safejump into buffered forward dash as an option select shuts down his wakeup 22H midscreen. He’s got great tools in this matchup if you don’t put things in his way. Take the initiative if you find you’ve shut down his attempts to bully his way in with H moves.|
|Percival||?:?||Dash Spot Dodge against his strings into Fireball seems good. Forces him to riskier options.|
|Katalina||?:?||Challenge 2M by shimmying out of 2M range and pressing your far.M, or challenging her with 214M. Prediction Dodge/Roll can net you a big payday in this matchup, alongside Hop jC. Be careful, however, she has more than enough tools to punish you for gutsy reads.|
|Metera||5:5||Shoot them fireballs boi|
|Ladiva||?:?||Ladiva roll is notoriously weak to reaction punishes. I believe you can get much more than just 2M but I need to check. Spot dodge is your major worry. Be ready to anti-air.|
|Charlotta||?:?||A backdash read against her H Flash Kick on wakeup means 50% for you, so perhaps consider it. You can also option-select roll in your safejump to net a nice punish, but I believe that’s midscreen only. c.H makes for a decent high-reward anti-air against her j.L and Potato Flip shenanigans.|
|Zeta||?:?||Instant j236M is your friend, I believe. I hear airthrow is great in this matchup.|
|Vaseraga||?:?||far.H gives you a reaction 236H or 214H cancel in neutral against his armor. Do not commit your shots to anything else. Be aware of armor when he has it and confirm your H Shots. He’ll hate you.|
|Lowain||?:?||Practice Spot Dodging Yggy. Learn to Spot Dodge Cancel when you activate counter. It’s okay to just jockey for space and play patiently. If he burns his cooldowns on H moves in neutral, just try to chill, the resulting gamestate favours you dramatically.|
Tips and Tricks
- Generally, stay afar from your opponent and use all of your arrow moves to suppress the opponent from advancing. A f.H max range is your nice reference.
- For Metera is the second best zoner in the game after Ferry. She forces other characters to be close to get an advantage, so they will always attempt to go around your arrows and shorten the distance with a jump, a 6G cross-over, a 4G evade or a advancing move like Katalina's Enchanted Lands. Keep in mind each of these actions has its own weakness:
- Jumps can be suppressed with a 1/2H, and a hard read The Great Fall sets the opponent back to ground with some nice damage. If your opponent jumps vertically at the mid-range repeatedly, this usually means that they are trying to hold the situation and watch what you do, which you can counter with a Zephyr > j.M air-to-air.
- For those rely heavily on 6G cross-overs, use your long range ground melee moves (f.M, 2M, 2U and f.L) to suppress or even punish them. It is possible to do 2U on visual reaction to knock your opponent down, which will make them think twice about doing it again.
- 4G evade is probably the best way to counter Metera's zoning game for the reason that it extends your cool-downs when your Starry Sky misses. It is relatively safer than a 6G for its fully strike invul. It's also less telegraphed and has faster recovery (4G:4F vs 6G:8F). Doing visual 2U punish is still possible but very risky. The good news is, they are still afar from you, so try to maintain your sense of rhythm and change your zoning move-sets unpredictably.
- If your opponent attempts some advancing attacks on you, simply continue firing arrows should stop them well. If they advance when you are airborne however, they are assuming you are to fire a 236M Starry Sky, use 4/5U to escape or use 236L instead to counter them. A 236H can also be used with a hard read to gain you some big damage and corner carry.
- Unfortunately sometimes you are threatened by heavy pressure situations, which is really dangerous for Metera because she has no way to get out without full meter. You should be very cautious in pressure because Metera's mediocre melee normals.
- As a byproduct of the above point, you will have to work on your defense. Blockstrings always have a gap somewhere, maybe a punishable gap, a jump-in which can be anti-aired.
- Make full use of just-guard system. Every just-guard increases you SBA gauge by 1%, together with some throw-breaks, Metera will gain a full meter sooner to do Dense Caress or to just scare the opponent away.
- You want a life lead, but at the same time you don't want to sacrifice your EX moves to do so unless you're 110% sure it will hit.
- When you fall behind, be patient and wait for a chance instead of mashing 5U > j.M all the time. 5U is a strong offensive tool, but it can leave you open to huge anti-air counterhit punishment. Mix your jump-ins with air Starry Sky to throw them off.
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