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
- Wing flap. Can be used on the ground or air. Both versions are visually identical, but X has higher damage and much more knockback and hit/blockstun, at the cost of higher startup and total frames. X is generally the version you will use 99% of the time, especially as an air to air to push her opponent very far back. Their damage is extremely low, and Y version is minus on hit/block, and still slower on startup than hurricane winds, so it will only ever be useful as an interrupt when you don't have a hurricane wind buffer ready. Even then, because of how unsafe and unrewarding it is, you might find it preferable to just air dash out of pressure instead. Priority is rather mediocre, though it is a pretty large hitbox at least.
- A bite throw. Can air dash behind them for a back turned unblockable followup in some situations. Can also stand glitch into hurricane winds to softlock the round and force a time over if she's leading.
- Energy bolts course through her arms and knocks her opponent down. Low damage and moderate stun, but animation is short and recovery is fast. She can followup with uf air dash for a back turned oki in some situations, so could be useful to vortex with to setup a fast stun. Damage is lower than bite throw and frame advantage is a bit worse though.
- Izuna drop. A large single hit burst stun and very low damage for a 270. Gives back turned oki afterwards. Long animation makes it not actually very good for stun since they're recovering during that time, and the high height she ends up with means she can't get an easy unblock meaty fireball or hurricane winds, and has to risk a meaty dive bomb. Has the highest guaranteed combo damage potential, but probably still her worst throw overall.
- All her specials are air only unless otherwise specified
- Hurricane winds.Flaps her wings rapidly to create small lines of wind at various, possibly random heights. Has very low knockback, great chip, and very high stun. The wind counts as projectiles, and can technically be used to cancel other projectiles, but their small individual hitboxes and short lifespan makes this extremely inconsistent and completely impractical. It's useful for almost everything else though, being her best reversal to get out of pressure in the air, and also a great followup on offense to tack on a bit of extra damage and a lot of stun, while also pushing them a safe distance away from her. As this game doesn't have kara cancelling, you will need to start mashing while in another animation to get this out without any wing flaps.
- Y version has a lower rate of fire, much lower mash rate requirement, and seems to have faster startup.
- X has a higher rate of fire, and a very high, physically exhausting mash speed requirement. There seems to be a dead period during startup where although the winds are already animated, the hitboxes aren't active, meaning it possibly has slower startup. Despite the higher rate of fire, the total damage and stun dealt are often identical to Y version cuz knockback per hit is exactly the same.
- Dive bomb. Her main attack, she dives down diagonally very suddenly to tackle her opponent. Although the hitbox is active very early, you'll generally want it to hit as late as possible so you can't be punished. Priority isn't very good and is easily stuffed if predicted. Will still have an active hitbox even if it hits the ground.
- Y version is 2 hits, doesn't knockdown, and does less damage per hit, but more total damage per dive. The 2 hits frame trap, and is a bit easier to make safe since the first hit can knock back and cause the second hit to connect very late, while also pushing her opponent even further. It dives down at a steeper angle, but doesn't go down as far, nor as far horizontally. It can leave her at awkward heights where she's too far from the ground to dash to and command jump back up, but low enough to be vulnerable. Hurricane winds is almost always a good follow up.
- X version is only 1 hit, and travels further both horizontally and vertically, and knocks down on hit. The shallower angle makes it superb for crossups, which, due to turning around frames and her continuing to move away from her opponent after the hit, is very safe. Can be confirmed into another dive on hit for massive damage. Is also safe from max range when it hits in front, but this is difficult to space due to her speed tapering off towards the end of the dive.
- Wing powder. Tosses out a stationary cloud that absorbs and reflect energy projectiles within itself, including your own. The reflected projectiles pierce on hit or block, continuing to deal damage as it passes the target, causing it to deal more hits the more centered into the cloud the target is. Massive damage and chip potential, but long startup and limit of 1 active cloud per Mothra makes it more of a zoning tool to threaten with than an effective offense.
- Y version has shorter startup, lifespan, and travels a bit less than half screen. Excellent to defend yourself on reaction or to highly discourage opponent from approaching temporarily.
- X version has much lnoger startup, lifespan, and travels 3/4 screen. This would make for a dangerous offense, if it wasn't so easy to reactively close the gap on Mothra when you see her throw this out. Mostly used as her only defense against Ghidorah's wrath.
- Antenna beam. Fireball with long startup but pretty good recovery. Her hurtbox is pretty large for the entire animation.
- Lift off. A backwards command jump with invincible startup, but punishable recovery. One of her most important specials, without it she would just die to meaty knockdowns over and over. This at least forces her opponent to either guess or option select with their oki. Because of the appreciable backwards distance, it is not easy to punish when used miscreen. Can also be used at round start and after dive bombs to quickly recover height and get back to safety. In many cases, her safest defensive option will be to db air dash to the ground then cancelling landing recovery into this to reset herself to a safe position. It is quite unsafe and easy to option select against when cornered, since she can't use it to create horizontal distance anymore, but often times she'll have to try for it anyways if she gets herself into a situation that bad.
- 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 (that 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 again for the second dive. You must then input the meaty wrath very quickly as late as you can to give yourself enough time to finish charging.
- 270 throw, meaty unblock hcf+X, OTG hcf+X
- Not recommended, extremely risky and impractical. Highest damage throw combo, ~45% without meter.
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