(Witchcrafter Madame Verre
Note that I just took notes while I was reading and decided it was enough to post as a comment, so these weren't really pressed into a comment ready form.
- The way Verre can save Neutral Special's level of Polish for either combo or kill presure when she otherwise might struggle more is clever. Good Sheik needle here.
- Kinda unreal how everyone got the "Use Yoshi's double jump mechanic" brainrot in the same contest.
- Makes sense that the LIGHT attribute glass maker can reflect her light beams through glass.
- Mirror Force feels like a perfect card use here, VRains writer popping the **** off rn
- Down Smash being thought of not just in terms of how she plays but in how she would be picked up by newcomers definitely shows some nice, deeper game design thoughts and shows why you've come into MYM as a powerhouse.
- The way Jab 3 can choose between combo ender or combo extending trap is neat. It also forces Verre to sacrifice the safety of her Jab to place down, which feels appropriate.
- The fact Madame Verre is a Sheik style character and yet we have not seen a single combo tool and instead have seen a bunch of moves that say they are atypical of her playstyle could probably be avoided with some better organization.. I don't usually discuss input placement much, but this set makes me think the Standards would do better if we saw some of her more Sheik-y combo options after Jab (or maybe before but I like after Jab) rather than Dash Attack to make it feel less like an informed attribute early on. I know some people have asked about this kinda thing / talked about it, so.
- Down Tilt's little variable range is fun. I feel like it has particularly nice synergy with Neutral Special, and kind of gives the foe an "ideal range" to try and play in where they're not point blank but not far enough for the far Down Tilt to hit them when Verre has a good Neutral Special ready. It also gives Verre a casual, very natural way to play with her walls. Reminds me of Tutankoopa. Probably my favorite Standard although I also liked Forward Tilt because I feel like it is a fun twist on a Sheik F-Tilt that plays into Verre's mechanics well.
- I think it's kinda funny if Forward Aerial was just named Glass Slippers and nobody knew it was a reference they would all just nod their head (which also makes me think it is fine). With how hard it is to hit, I do think it could be buffed to be slightly more powerful.
- In general this set seems to be good about layering Verre's strengths and weaknesses, for example her back weakness and how while Back Aerial helps solve that with some useful multihit options it also isn't quite ideal because of her inherent stats and thus serves as a bit of a swiss army knife that helps give two strengths but isn't perfectly suited for both so that there's still weaknesses. Back Aerial is an easy move to dismiss as a basic, 2-paragraph long attack but it existing as it does actually adds some meaningful texture to the set in a good game design way.
- Up Aerial seems unlikely to combo on early hits unless landed. This IS the kind of move I was hoping to see in the set, because with how Verre mixes up her combos due to her Polish mechanic her wanting to drop a foe and instead do a 50/50 frame trap or mixup makes sense, and because it is a high value reward. I do think the later hit could stand to be a bit more powerful to emphasize that (and I wonder if either it or Forward Aerial could have been designed with that more in mind).
- "5 frames after the move is input, her throne makes a rapid descent, falling down at Ryu’s normal fall speed." that is one SLOW stall than fall
- "The restriction is mainly so she can’t go far offstage and endlessly DAir, jump, DAir, jump, and repeat to stall the match out once she gets a stock lead." Since Verre doesn't refresh her second jump on her platforms would this even be a Thing anyway?
- Grab lasting 19 frames feels pretty dang strong, although not so strong as to be broken. It does mean that Verre's grab can outlast spot dodges, which is something powerful that would play into her combo mixup game. Having both bad range AND lag makes me think it is definitely not a balance issue though.
- Forward Throw's animation feels very fitting for our Smug Magician Girl here.
- Back Throw's glass gets...rusty?
- It giving Verre an additional reason to mess with her mechanic in a very different way is cool though.
- Up Throw creating an item feels wild in the context of Verre's more direct and down to earth overall set, but the logic is sound and I think it plays into her moveset in a very satisfactory manner.
- The extras on Verre definitely give a lot of personality to her, really selling her characterization in an impressive way for a card. The guitar riff is an excellent choice for Yugioh victory theme, by the way. The "Grape Juice" victory screen was amazing lol
- Verre felt REALLY good overall and it feels insane Tern is a newcomer tbh. A great exploration of the lesser seen Sheik style combo character in an MYM context, being more of a glass (ahem) cannon due to her recovery in addition to having less accessible kill power and a bit more setup, but in return she gets some potentially wilder kill options (Side Special being especially fun), some fun more niche tools like the Steve-esque Up Special, and a fun and very clever stale move mechanic that encourages her to use her more creative combo options directly (which given most combo characters like this have a LOT of combo paths has inherent interest to me). The moveset overall feels solid and I'd say I don't really have any notable complaints with it. I would say the biggest thing that could have pushed it to the next level is having a deeper game when Verre tries to frame trap or 50/50 the foe: Her mechanic inherently wants her to consider "dropping" combos and going for riskier 50/50 or frame traps and while Verre does have some good reward options for that (Forward Smash, Up Aerial) I felt like giving her a more scary and crisp one (or an extra grounded option in general) would add that missing piece to boost it more in the Crewmate range. I do also think that compared to your stronger sets like Crewmate or Remilia (and some other sets near it such as, IDK, Alex, Jodie and Miruca) that Verre takes less risks and is generally a bit less innovative. Still great work and also you having three sets this high on your first contest scares me for where you might go past this contest lmao
The Big Sleaze
- ngl I thought Sleaze would be a lightweight. I feel like making him a heavyweight bizarrely adds to the otherworldly feel.
- Pockets are...weird. Given that Sleaze, to me, seems like he has a bit of an eldritch feel to him this is fitting. I get the base of what they do without reading forward but, like, everything else is like a freaking ABSTRACT to start out and I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me a little. There HAS to be a better way to explain this thing.
- So pockets can become items as well? That's cool. It reminds me of, of all things, DarkMega.EXE's Dark Chips except not attached to a bunch of very stupid moves. These actually seem like some very cool uses as well, they're not too easy to activate which is good since they're powerful. Honestly, they make me think of like...customizable fake Smash Balls that a character can make which is wild.
- This moveset has a totally messed up method of showing its inputs, going Down Tilt -> Side Special -> Up Tilt to start. To be honest, I enjoy it, and I think the fact that you don't feel beholden to MYMian preconceptions of what constitutes a moveset organization or style is a strength. You're a very unique fellow!
- The fact this set can in theory reach 6x damage is very funny, as utterly impractical as it is.
- "This one is called Pathways; think of them like Portals, because that’s what they are." Nods
- Pathways are portals with a twist. I rather like the placement method that makes it feel like a traditional fighting game, and it seems like it instantly has some gratifying interactivity with Sleaze such as the wave Pockets, with the way fighters in hitstun move through them feeling like it gives Sleaze a unique play around them even compared to other portal sets. The way that characters can't just move through it also gives it a different feel than some traditional portal sets (as example, Quilby).
- "Translational"? Learn something new every day, I guess.
- If I had a nickel for every moveset I read today that had a Sheik needle style move as a Special basis...
- I feel like Side Special's interactivity with shields gives them a unique niche among these style of effects (and I do love me a good time bomb), as the opponent has to decide if shielding the hit they could potentially shake off is worth allowing a trap they CAN'T shake off but CAN pressure Sleaze into due to it also hitting him. The move feels evocative of Sephiroth's Side Special with the thin hitbox and how the explosion feels like it works + higher difficulty the more needles you land, although Sleaze's body type and angles also make me think of Dio Brando in Heritage for the Future.
- Certified Hol Horse Moment: https://i.imgur.com/9hsqwnH.png
(This actually is a real nice visualization though, good work)
- "But if not, he simply holds that pose for a moment, then clenches his hands into fists and rolling his neck while he takes his sweet time going back to his idle." Kinda love this animation. The Side Special itself feels like a cool callout attack with a clever use of Focus Attack armor that works into how Pocket works and even aside from that one animation sick flavor that kind of sells off the slightly "off", nightmare-y/eldritch vibe I'm still getting from Sleaze. Another thought is he almost feels like an Enderman as a businessman. The non-armored Side Special version DOES seem quite scary but it does also seem quite hard to get a sufficiently large pocket for it to become cheese.
- Up Special's air dodge mechanic is...a bit wild, but seems acceptable enough. The entire thing is basically putting them in a premade, choice 50/50 (or as you put it here, 33/33/33) situation with a twist. It definitely feels VERY fighting game, but in a good way. It almost gives me the vibe of Sleaze being some kind of secret bonus boss who can be unlocked in an older fighter, only accessible under specific conditions and, like, otherwise appearing in the background blink and you miss it style.
- I appreciate how tapped Dash Attack doesn't feel the need to add more to the basic utility move it already is.
- I'm also glad Sleaze has some moves like Forward Tilt that are simple, yet effective moves in his gameplan that use the Pocket in simple, yet effective ways. Just having a zippy fast angled hit is very primo for doing Pathway setups outside of galaxy brain plays.
- I joked that "A very simple move in concept; imagine a mix between Hero’s Up Smash and Sephiroth’s Up Tilt, except without a sword." made me imagine him thrusting up with the length of Sephiroth's Up Tilt but with his arm and then the hitbox hit the top battlefield platform so I guess I was right. Tracks with his stats image too. Also, speedfy.
- Held Up Tilt made me go "ooooooh" when I saw the division, check the math to make sure it was right and nod my head in an excited way. And I feel it adds another dimension to Sacrifice since this move gets to be "better" with it, adding a reward option to Sacrifice's impressive risk. It does still perhaps feel too strong for how safe the move is, but Sleaze's frame data overall so far IS on the bad side and he requires awkward setup to make the most of it. The full 3-hit combo also feels like the big point where this set shows what it is about and how the more strong Pocketless melee has to play with the more setup oriented Pocketed gameplay and make Sleaze really think about just what he wants.
- Okay Sleaze's Forward Smash seems simple but I can think of few sets that actually did this and the effect is cool, the reverse charging also is fitting to it. Also, the names being "Sales Pitch" and "Shown the Door" are great lol
- Held F-Smash choosing between an ultra-strong but ultra-slow attack or an ultra-range but ultra-slow / risky projectile depending on Pocket use feels intuitive and powerful. The way the set plays with hitstun does make the set continue to have a like, otherworldly businessman theme.
- "Bringing his arms out from behind his back, Sleaze holds them at chest-level, fingers splayed, before leaning back slightly and shooting his arms outward and upward. Almost like a child asking for an even more gargantuanly-tall being to pick him up." terrifyingly large baby
- The A + B Down Smash is definitely one of the most minmaxed moves in the set, allowing Sleaze either MASSIVE damage and a strong debuff, or horribly, horribly punishing him. Part of me does wonder if it is TOO much on hit (mostly in the sense of casual matches), but then again most moves like this just eviscerate the foe at super early percents which is better than a debuff (given it is, you know, a KO) so it isn't necessarily worse than getting hit by Dedede F-Smash in those. I would consider reducing the X-Slash damage by a bit anyway, but this is a small balance thing.
- Given everything this set can do, Tapped NAir just being a straightforward combo/late KO aerial with a bit of evasion that doesn't feel the need to explain 50 ways it fits into the playstyle is nice and refreshing. With the range held NAir presumably has from the animation, I wonder if it should come out more Frame 12 or so, or be a slightly weaker spike.
- Tapped Forward Aerial feels on the strong side.
- "I can’t find a good gif for this one… So I’ll just use Hugo; it’s a clap, this is a clap." Even when Hugo isn't a set this contest, Hugo arrives all the same.
- "Held Bair: Half-Kayex Squared" sure (also this move is pretty swag money, although I could see the Pocket interaction feeling a bit cheap)
- Tapped Up Aerial without any upwards hitbox is a bit weird, but it does still fit the input (he GOES up), Held Up Aerial hits above and attacks like the Held Back Aerial have psuedo-Up Aerial properties, so I don't really dislike it the same way I might in other circumstances. It also helps sell the tapped Up Aerial weaknesses.
- Held Down Aerial is up there with A + B Down Smash for minmaxed moves here, feels like something you'd see on a crazy Jigglypuff style fighter.
- "This move is a trapping tool! Do you ever find opponents just won’t jump into your sick AoE setups, or you’re having trouble using Pathways?" I should have called Saul!
- Sleaze really does just punt the hell out of the foe on his Forward Throw! I do like the way it largely exists as either a spacing tool or just to try and force some of the sick setups, which considering the sacrifices he has to make for Pockets having something direct to play off of them is ideal.
- "Afterwards, he holds the opponent at arm’s length and casually swings them in a half-circle, wiping his nose with his other hand as he nonchalantly drops the enemy behind him." This set has so many little animation flourishes. Back Throw itself feels like it uses Sleaze's long arm boi body type and setups to take what could be a very standard throw and make it into something that truly helps weave itself into Sleaze's playstyle, a bit of a more rewarding, combo oriented tool to Forward Throw's more direct, yet less followup-y self.
- The fact that a bunch of the Pathway gameplay paths (ahem) in Sleaze felt like they used the Pocket makes it feel like the throws tie the mechanic together by giving them a stronger usage against the foe outside of Pockets. I'm impressed how these throws aren't delving into any kind of crazy effects yet feel so integrated into the gameplan and non-generic. Up Throw could in theory be used for some annoying stage spikes but I feel the amount of telegraphed setup required makes it a non-issue basically.
- Sleaze's close Final Smash is like the most raw Final Smash in the entire contest. I love it.
- In general Sleaze's characterization feels EXCELLENT, especially for an OC basically made out of a weird dream, the character feels incredibly coherent and Weird and with a ton of care put into animation, personality, the whole nine yards. This guy really does feel like some kind of obscure, fighting game bonus boss that just would not be fully explained, with like a G-Man element to it in style. Doing all of this with the level of minimal backstory presented feels truly impressive and the fact it never felt like it "broke" character was huge.
- Speaking of excellent, Sleaze is a VERY good set. The initial confusion when reading was the worst it got, and I do think that could be improved to some degree by having some (not all) attacks mention what an "average" Pocket might cause it to deal (since this gives the reader a bit of a lead-in on how much it is, which they can then generally apply to other moves) would help people not be sludged out by the mechanic. I also do think that the Up/Down Taunt usage is a bit sus, I'm not opposed to it but it DOES really feel like you just ran out of inputs, and given how many attacks the controls I have I do have to wonder if there was a better way to implement it.
But aside from that and some balance quibbles, Sleaze is excellent from head to toe. The melee is deep and compelling, not afraid to let short moves shine but also diving deep into attacks and their uses when it has to, the core sacrificial concept and inherent tug of war between Sleaze's Pocket and Pocketless options is highly appealing and feels very well balanced both in game terms (IE not overpowered) and in the sense of both having distinct strengths, weaknesses and issues. Sleaze himself feels like he has acute strengths and weaknesses, ones that play out in a unique way, all without really pushing too hard outside of what happens in Smash. The characterization is superb (complete with some excellent extras), it has great individual moves as well (personal favorites: Down Special, Side Special, Forward Smash, Up Special, Up Tilt, and more are in this set. Maybe Side Special could have been talked about a bit more, but one other thing this set does is that it is very aware of when to go off and when to cut extraneous details / what are IMPORTANT details overall which I realize is a strength of yours. Really, the only reason Sleaze is long is due to the large number of inputs, not excessive writing. It feels like a set that it is hard to argue with and definitely one of the topmost sets in MYM26.
Haine a Rest?
- Haine is pretty bulliable then, huh.
- I found Haine's Neutral Special a bit confusing, but nothing too bad, and also when I asked UserShadow I had the information exactly right so it still communicated effectively enough.
- Haine's Down Special makes me think Lisa Lisa. Another unique counter to add to this contest's strong amount of them.
- Up Special basically turning the game into a platformer is fun.
- Down Smash riding threads feels like it could honestly get in the way of the Hothead-y effect, but it is still positive so.
- Characterization feels highly on point, with Haine having a paper tiger mix of confidence and "oh nyo D:" to her. Absolutely an "I'm a genius! OH NO!" girl right here.
- Sometimes, I wonder if some of the melee you write is trying too hard to be balanced, if that makes sense? Or maybe organizationally changed up? Something I noticed in some of your sets is that it can be rare for a move to just feel like it is "good" for the character sometimes, and I think sometimes it can be because your standard move format tends to dump all the downsides of the move near the end at times. I don't really entirely know how to put it, but sometimes characters just kind of have a Good Move on them that while it has weaknesses doesn't have some sharp downside (something like, IDK, Lucina Forward Tilt comes to mind), and I think some of yours sets might miss that or maybe just not always have as much emphasis on it. I don't know if anyone else even agrees with this but my mind got to thinking about it while I read Haine. (And it came to mind Jodie feels like one of the sets that DOESN'T have as many moves end like that, which makes me wonder if that was helpful for people) (Extra Note: This is another one of those comments I worry if I will say and people take too much and start excising it too much, you know? It's more of a lighter thing I thought about, rather than "stop doing this". Especially since it didn't end up being a Thing at all in, say, the aerials.)
- Dash Attack makes me think of a Zelda Up Special as a Dash Attack, pretty neat. I like the teleport cancel. (Also this is a move that I feel DOESN'T have any issues listed above)
- Haine's NAir is very cool
Down Aerial is also pretty rad. These are probably my favorite two moves in the set.
- In general, Haine's aerials feel more integrated into her core concepts, more fleshed out and better executed.
- Down Throw is smart. Up Throw is a cool "beam go up, beam go down" throw. It feels like something I'd find in Ilias. Back Throw's failstate feels too punishing for the benefit, I'd probably let Haine get a little bit more off of it.
- To be honest, Haine is just a good set I don't think I have any particular insight into. It's solid. It doesn't really have many notable flaws. But it also doesn't feel like much stands out to me, either. The melee is mostly solid and she has some fun aerials, I'd say the most consistently good thing was some pretty good characterization. Concept reminds me of Rose Lalonde, although I don't know if the set took full advantage of it (even ignoring interactions and speaking just melee). Enjoyable, but you had stronger sets this contest IMO. I would normally say she is a solid RV but this contest is nutty so she's actually my 2nd lowest WV+ right now.
2 Man Hugo
(The Baseball Boys
- Baseball Boys combining the intro and the stats is interesting, novel.
- What font did you use for the headers? It's very Yoshi's Island.
- "The other option happens by dodging, shielding, or jumping out of the attack, or otherwise doing nothing. In this case, the captured projectile is condensed down into a convenient baseball shaped size and kept on Green Glove for later. The new ball even features a design reminiscent of the captured projectile!" I like the little fluff of this move (sorry for almost exclusively talking about flavor elements lmao)
- Okay, so Side Special is pretty legit. The idea of either letting it rip instantly for more power OR for storing it for later to allow it to take on Fastball's properties is a pretty cool one, or you could try to have your cake and eat it too by compressing it into baseball form and THEN reflecting it!
- I like the Watermelon lob being based on Slugger's location. smh, Icemlon not freezing for those PK Freeze kills.
- The entire Mesopotamian politics rant continues to be incredibly unhinged in the best way possible, I can't say it is the most unhinged thing this contest (Felicia and Alex both exist) but it is HILARIOUS.
- Down Special is rather cool, giving the Baseball Boys some basic yet interesting projectile hell between the omnidirectional Fastball and the up 'n' down Shot Put Down Special, but I particularly like being able to Shot Put your stored projectiles here.
- Baseball Boys recovery is funkadelic and I like that. It feels highly unique and makes perfect sense with their characters, fun Yoshi's Island reference, feels very different from a normal Belay or the like. It also feels like it gives the Baseball Boys a recovery weakness in the same way as Yoshi, which is also fitting.
- Up Smash is a nice addition to their projectile power (that does make the gimping pretty scary by now), I like how it goes medium -> weak -> strong to both make the duo work for it and I got called away from my computer and forgot the second part so that's it that's what you get.
- Forward Smash is very inventive for what it is working with! I wonder if it would have been fun if it had a Ness style sweetspot? I like the Slugger + Needlenose combination serving as a bit of a Slugger-based variation of SSpec.
- "Call your boss and tell them you’ll be late, we’ve got back to back Slugger moves!" The only thing I'm late to is reading these sets!
- "Instead, Green Glove will leap forward out of his dash and enter a belly dive, as if desperately reaching to tap the hope plate." Since Green Glove is a fielder or pitcher you would think it would instead be like diving to catch a baseball rather than-
- Bunt giving Slugger a way to reflect a projectile into a slower, more approach / trap oriented is actually something I don't really remember seeing in a set. I like how his really quick reflection option reduces the damage and kill power as well. So far I'd say the reflectors carve out their own niches fairly well.
- I do wonder if Up Tilt is a bit too much of a shortcut to Side Special, but I mean Villager grab Pockets so.
- Neutral Aerial saying it is the last reflector in the set unless you decide otherwise and then the very next move being a reflector is peak comedy. Also Down Special -> Forward Aerial feels like a natural move combo so I'm glad the set went kinda ham on it.
- Up Aerial does feel kinda odd in the set.
- "Slugger points his bat forward in the air for a brief moment, similar to other baseball legends like Babe Ruth and Ness’s Side Taunt." This implies Ness' Side Taunt (or perhaps the legendary Saude Tint) is its own character. This made me laugh.
- Honestly feels like the third hit of BAir could kill slightly earlier and be fine since it seems rather difficult to hit. Also daaang the defensive options for these guys aren't the best in general but poor Slugger has it ROUGH, definitely feels like "solo Slugger" is a challenge (rightfully).
- Grab is...well, interesting for the animation (the poof is from Yoshi's Island IIRC albeit not for teleporting Baseball Boy grabs), and hello magic white glove.
- Forward Throw is the throw that felt like it had to be on the set, executed fairly well.
- My heart rate ****ing spiked when I thought Up Throw was about to introduce like a full item capsule RNG or something.
- "FAir can technically reflect these, sure, but there’s seriously no point to this in 99.99% of instances due to both speed and the fact the ground is almost always going to be right there." Plus they only do 3% to begin with.
- It might be because it is starting to get late for me, but Back Throw feels rather needlessly convoluted for what it is trying to do. I don't really like it overall, I think.
- "Behold, the ultimate in projectile power! (Author’s note: forget to remove the reference in every projectile attack saying it's the last projectile, statistically this one has to be the last one)." Naturally, the Final Smash is a projectile.
- "as Green Glove pulls out a comically large projectile which audiences already know as the Chomp Rock!" Almost as well known as a Baguji.
- THIS IS A CARGO THROW??
- This does not actually function like a Cargo Throw whatsoever.
- Final Smash is actually really cool flavor.
- Overall, Baseball Boys are quite the fun set for most of it, an Ice Climbers duo that feel like they are strongly unique in a contest that was awash in those. Their projectile game feels robust and while Slugger does have a lot of reflectors, they for the most part fulfill their own purposes and most of them feel like they don't even invalidate projectiles as much as some reflectors in-game do (although I could see NAir doing some cheap reflector stuff, especially if Slugger just shorthops it over and over hoping to catch a projectile). The melee feels pretty solid and I appreciate how the moveset feels svelte without losing cohesion or important info. I do think the set's grab game is pretty weak. Back Throw feels overly convoluted for "throw two baseballs at them", Down Throw says it is a Cargo Throw but isn't and mostly seems to be a weird grab-stun state like a K. Rool Down Throw but eh. Up Throw was pretty fun and Forward Throw was solid, but it was definitely the least impressive part of the set. There's a few other quibbles that knock it below sets like O. Dio and Sam Fisher that felt more consistent throughout, but Baseball Boys still present cool ideas with largely good execution to success in my eyes. Sorry it took this long for me to read a set aside from Giganotosaurus from you lmao