One of the 3 top tiers in the old jp tier list, and due to her low skill floor, Mothra is often considered the cheapest normal character in the game. That said, she does have actual depth to her gameplay, and isn't infallible. Her inability to block and having only 1 wake up that can be option selected against means there are many cases where she loses 50-100% her health from a single mistake. Her perma fly mechanics are fairly unique to 2d fighters, and is a great pick for players wanting to play something fresh.
- Can turtle extremely hard by hugging top corners of the screen
- Easy moderate risk 50/50 crossup mixups
- Powder allows her to dominate many ranged situations
- Hurricane winds having very fast startup, respectable chip, and relatively high stun on block gives her an easy way to create distance
- Divebomb has extremely fast startup, and passively forces her opponent to play slowly
- Small size and lack of normal juggle mechanics means a lot of normal conventional combos don't work on her
- Easy and simple to play effectively
- Damage output is generally low
- Damage taken when caught is generally very high or fatal against seasoned opponents
- Divebomb has pretty bad priority and can get stuffed by many things
- Very vulnerable when near the ground and when she's at frame disadvantage. Many block strings and frame traps effectively become combos on her
As soon as the round starts, you want to spam command jump to get off the floor ASAP. In fact you never want to spend more time near the ground than you have to, cuz that's where she goes to die. Once you're at the top of the screen, it's all about understanding your divebomb ranges. The Y version dives at a steeper angle, is 2 uncombo'ed hits, and loses less height. This makes it much more difficult to punish when it hits in front, and is also a built in frametrap if they misread which dive you did and try to reversal punish after the first hit. Because it doesn't knock down, you can always follow up with hurricane winds to get some extra chip and push yourself to safety. The X dive is the more nuanced tool. It is only safe at max range or if it crosses up, but it knocks down on hit, allowing for an easy followup OTG dive for big damage, into command jump to quickly get height back. Get used to all these different ranges and heights to make her dives effective and keep your opponent guessing, and that's pretty much 99% of Mothra's gameplay. There's a distance where dive becomes a true 50/50 guess, where Y hits in front but X will crossup. What you absolutely should not do with either dive is to end up at a height where she is grabbable. Giving up a knockdown with wakeup oki to her opponents is a death sentence in many cases.
Try not to use her fireball randomly too much, as it has a very long and telegraphed startup, while also making her hurtbox tall. Powder into fireball may be tempting, but X powder is way too slow and anyone can easily just approach her on reaction and put her in an uncomfortable position, and is mostly only used as her only defense against Ghidorah's wrath. Y powder is a great reactionary defensive tool and zoning area denial to slow down the pace of the match even more, just by throwing it out between her and her opponent and threatening to fireball it. A great way to burn down the clock when you have the lead. Her normals don't have the best frame data, damage, or priority, however, X does have extremely high knockback on airborne opponents, making it a great air to air to punish bad jumps as long as you already had the lead.
She can be really aggressive with her safe dives and dashes when she wants to be, and has solid chip options, but her overall best gameplan is probably to just get a lead then run away, especially once her opponent has wrath. There just isn't that many attacks that can threaten the top corners of the screen in the game, but she can always threaten random dive from them.
- 6 way air dash with sluggish total frames, but fast initial speed. Makes for a decent noninvincible dodge.
- 6 way air dash with sluggish total frames, but fast initial speed. Makes for a decent noninvincible dodge. Hurtbox gets really weird and some attacks can be made to whiff by dashing right into them.
- Note that roar only checks horizontal distance. Dashing above their head and roaring will generate the max stun while being relatively difficult to punish
- Very short
Wake Up Speed
- Perm flying, cannot block, jump, or crouch
- Y/X dive
- Y does more damage if both hits hit, but might not travel far enough in some cases for both hits, nor have enough time, causing the second hit to be eaten by wakeup animation, and can lead to her being punished. Always using X is recommended. X is also likely to get you close enough to the ground to db dash into command jump to safety
- Meaty hurricane winds
- Far less damage, but lots of stun. Very worth if you manage to find time to crossup for backturned unblock winds
- Crossup hcf+X dive, OTG hcf+X dive, dash df/db, meaty ground wrath
- An extremely difficult combo, but the only way to combo into her wrath. The first dive must hit as a late crossup. The second dive must be input noncrossup during the recovery frames of the 1st dive (this is, if you start on the left and end up on the right, you still do the motion as if you were still on the left), and down must be held immediately after to begin charging the wrath. You need to have finished the motion late enough that the input buffer is still around a couple frames after recovery so she can turn around before hitting X. You must then input the meaty wrath very quickly as late as you can to give yourself enough time to finish charging.
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