Skullgirls for Numbskulls Act 1: Team Construction and Synergy



Disclaimer: If you find an error, or feel like you have more up-to-date or relevant information, please let us know. We’re able to update our current material after the fact, create addendums, and generally revise our process for greater accuracy and effectiveness, so don’t hesitate to tell us.

Writers:Dean “Dean[SG]” Eddy, Thomas “Tomo009” Bishop.
Art and Photoshop: Swordsaint32, Dana “BreadKrew” Hare.
Consultation: Dime_X, Novril, WorldJem

With the release of Skullgirls 2nd Encore and considering it is the most definitive release for the game, myself with the help of the Skullgirls community are going to put together a helpful series of articles addressing the game, it’s characters and all of their play-styles in the hopes that we can help those that are unfamiliar or overwhelmed at picking up the game.

Ladies and Gentleman, this is Skullgirls for Numbskulls!
Team Construction and Synergy:

Skullgirls is known for it’s ability to give players a large amount of team customization, allowing you to pick team size and custom assists that allow for amazing utility. When picking this game up for the first time it’s difficult to decide what characters are right for you and how you want to play. This article will give a brief introduction to each character and a basic look at how to go about team construction and synergy.


Team Size:

Solo (1 Character): Most Health and Damage, No assist use.
Solo characters have a lot of health to spare and can dish out a lot of damage, but no assists to cover approach, set up the game or cover you for the end game.
Solo’s also get a unique property against teams, they save red health that can be recovered by performing a successful Outtake!

(QCF+MP+MK or HP+HK, 236 MP+MK or HP+HK)

Duo (2 Characters): Lots of Damage and Health and the use of 2 assists among the team. Good for teams who can cover many different options and play-styles, Very Susceptible to *Double Takes as losing 1 character means losing half your team.

Trio (3 Characters): 3 Assists among the team, Least health and damage.
Great for players who want to have plenty of strategies tactics at their disposal, they have the least damage and health compared to the former 2.

(*Double Takes: Refer to the MvC2 “Double Snap” glitch now made an official feature in Skullgirls)

A quick note on Team Positions:
There are terms used within the community to help distinguish different positions in a team of 2 or 3.

Point Characters refer to the first character in your team, usually your meter builder, Your Middle character is your second character, your early to mid game assist, your Anchor which is your last character, usually your best assist and end game character.

Some characters are rather flexible in where they can be placed on a team while others may require a certain tactic and finese.

Assist Types;
Invincible: Invincible assists are used for defense to help create space between you and your opponent. These can generally be anti-airs or for converting neutral hits into full combos off of otg hits. Filia’s Updo or Big Band’s L. Beat Extend are fantastic examples.

Horizontal: Horizontal assists are used as neutral game pokes and offensive tools that help cover a character’s rushdown or to maximize a characters keep-away. These can be projectile’s like Parasoul’s Napalm Shots or moves that span a long distance like Double’s Hornet Bomber.

Mix-up: Mix-up assists are moves that compliment a character’s mix-up options. These can be low or high attacks to force the opponent to block differently, or throw assists to catch opponents blocking. Squigly’s c.HP is a great example and Eliza’s Horus Dive is another.

Lockdown: Lockdown assists are multihit assists that serve to apply pressure to the opponent, allowing for continued pressure after mix up attempts and a way to counteract pushblock. Cerebella’s Cerecopter and Eliza’s H.Osiris Spin are great examples.

Meet the Cast!

Currently there are 14 playable characters, all with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Don’t feel pressured to pick a specific character or combination, every character in Skullgirls 2nd Encore is completely viable, so have fun experimenting!


(Best suited as a Point or Middle character).

Goal: Use her fast horizontal mobility and attacks to get in and apply pressure

with her relentless mix-ups to score a hit into potential reset situations.


– Fast horizontal movement.

– Very fast mixups that can leave her at advantage even when blocked.


– Short ranged normals.

– Limited options against projectiles and long pokes.

– Her pokes and approach can tend to be obvious and linear.

Assists that benefit this character:

Filia benefits from having a Lockdown assist as her mix-ups are already fantastic, though using a Mix-up assist would not hurt at all. Horizontal assists can help to cover her approach.


Assist options to use with this character:

H.Updo: Z-motion forward+HP (623+HP), Invincible;

Fantastic Invincible DP assist, making Filia a fantastic middle or anchor character in your team.


H.Hairball: QCB + HK (214+HK), Horizontal/Lockdown;

Good Horizontal assist, great for zoning or for keeping blockstrings safe. Ideal Counter-call* assist.


French Twist: c.MK (2+MK), Mix-up/Lockdown; Great Mix-up and mini Lockdown assist.

(*Counter-call assists are used to counter your opponents assist calls. They can be disruptive and hard to react to, creating huge gaps in your opponent’s play. These can be assists that are active for a long time (Filia’s Hairball), or invincible/armoured assists such as Cerebella’s H.Lock ‘n’ Load).


(Flexible in team placement)


Bully the opponent with high priority normals and armour to force a mistake from your opponent or to land a grab.


– High priority pokes on the ground and in the air.

– Long range grabs and armour to effectively bully from close to mid range.


– Lacking mobility options.

Assists that benefit this character:

Horizontal assists to cover her approach, Invincible assists to capitalize off of opponent’s mistakes on offense as well as enhancing her mid range play.

Assist options for this character:


Cerecopter: Z-motion+HP (623+HP), Lockdown:
A multi-hitting move that fills a considerable amount of space. Great for characters that have good mix-up options by themselves or to make blockstrings safe.


H.Lock ‘n’ Load: QCF+HP (236+HP), Horizontal:
A medium range move, good for covering rushdown approach and counter-calling due to it’s armour properties and delayed hit, allowing it to absorb an assist’s attack then hit them back for heavy damage.



(This character is best suited as the Point character of your team)

Goal: Maintain an aggressive projectile pattern to keep your opponent locked down.

Transition to tricky rushdown play using M.Shadow of Impending doom.


– Various projectiles for all areas of the screen.

– Fantastic meter build and Blockbuster/DHC options.

– Very versatile, can be played offensively or defensively in many situations.


– Has a slight dead zone above and in front of her while the opponent is moving.

– Weak reversal options, especially against airborne opponents.

Assists that benefit this character:
Horizontal assists to fill holes in her zoning patterns. Invincible assists to keep your opponent away from you and allow tricky pressure, particularly involving teleports.

Assist options for this character:


Any George Bomb: QCF+K (236+K), Horizontal

Any and all of Peacock’s bombs can be used effectively. Light is good for creating a slow threat that the opponent has to account for, Medium creates a fast moving threat, great for approach or for zoning and Hard is great for stuffing air mobility while being a mid point between the previous two.


Shadow of Impending Doom: QCB+P (214+P), Horizontal, Lockdown

A unique assist that can track your opponent depending on whether you use the M or H version. Used in combination with another character’s tools for many purposes, usually for further range lockdown.

You can chose the fully charged version by pressing LP+MP (LP), MP+HP(MP) or LP+HP(HO) at assist selection, but these are highly situation and are usually only used in specific setups.


Burlap Beatdown: Throw command (LP+LK), Mix-up: A decent mix-up tool, good for creating space.



(Flexible in team placement)

Goal: Utilize high priority pokes and counter-pokes covered by projectiles that

become traps on contact to cover her poor mobility and force the opponent to have to

deal with her potent mix-up and okizeme game.


– Fantastic pokes and counter-pokes including fireballs that set traps.

– Highly active and high priority air normals.


– Very limited mobility options.

– Susceptible to incoming mixups.  

– Can struggle against good use of some defensive techniques such as *PBGC.

(*PBGC or “Push Block Guard Cancel” is a defensive technique that uses Push blocking to decrease blockstun being dealt to you, don’t worry we will cover this eventually).

Assists that benefit this character:
Mix-up assists are very potent combined with her own mix-ups.
Lockdown assists are also very useful to counteract push-blocks.

Assists options for this character:


Napalm Pillar: Charge Down+HK([2] 8+HK), Invincible: A great reversal assist, Has a dead zone behind the pillar that enemies can take advantage of.


Napalm Shot: Charge Back+LP or HP([4] 6+LP or HP), Horizontal: A fantastic projectile assist, on hit or block creates a trap on screen that the opponent has to respect. Light is slow making it great for approach and offense while Hard travels fast for keep-away tactics. (Medium is also viable but very situational).




(Best suited as a Middle or Point character)

Goal: Use her great mobility to apply relentless pressure, remove her head sacrificing some mixup and defensive potential to make her pressure even more potent and fight from further distances.


– Fantastic pressure options, difficult to pushblock

– Plenty of mobility and approach vectors.

– Can gain long range options and different pressure by removing her head.


– Though mobile, she isn’t fast.

– Generally below average priority on most of her normals.

– Recalling her head can be very difficult, leaving her defenses down.

Assists that benefit this character:

Very versatile, Mix-up and Lockdown assists really make this character excel in her offense, while Invincible assists are effective particularly for head-off Fortune and Horizontal abilities aid her approach.
Assists options for this character:


H.Fiber Upper: Z-motion+HK (623+HK), Invincible:

A somewhat effective invincible assist. Large diagonal range but lacks the benefits of other Invincible DP assists.


Wheel of Fortune: s.HK (5MK), Lockdown:

A decent lockdown assist, but becomes much less useful when Fortune loses her head.


(Flexible in team placement)

Goal: Control the air scoring hits with her large air normals and flight mobility. Use moves with Hatred Guard to absorb hits and counter-hit your opponent while you force them to block your terrifying mix-ups.


– Fantastic air mobility, whiff punishing, conversion potential and mix-up using flight.

– Ability to respond offensively to opponent’s defensive options with an appropriate read.

– Amazing and safe DHC in option with Hatred install.


– Mediocre grounded reversals.

– Playing around anti airs more important to her gameplan than other characters.

Assists that benefit this character:

Mix-up assists can create difficult to block situations using flight, Invincible assists give her a lot of room to move during neutral.

Assists options for this character:


Cruel Lily: C.MP(2+MP), Lockdown:

A simple but effective lockdown assist.


Gae Bolga Stinger (MP): QCF+MP (236+MP), Horizontal:
Creates a small projectile on the screen, moves at an average pace and can help to cover approach. Inflicts a lot of blockstun making it also useful during pressure.

Pinion Dash (all): DD+K (22+K), Horizontal:

A slightly delayed forward moving assist that can aid in offense. In some team configurations it is incredibly potent.



(This character is best suited as the Point character of your team).


Maintain safe pressure from the top corner of the screen, using her incredible mobility options and speed to convert from almost any situation. Utilize assists well to really put pressure on the opponent at all times.


– Incredible mobility that allows her to pressure space and create advantageous situations easily.

– Makes better use of assists than other characters while converting from them easily.


– Subpar reversal options.

– Lackluster assist choices.

Assists that benefit this character:

Valentine benefits from Horizontal and Invincible assists to help her apply pressure from afar, get close or peel away pressure.

Assists options for this character:


Kakushi Caliper C.MK(2+MK), Mix-up:
A far extending, two hitting low. Great for quick, nifty mix-ups.


Savage Bypass HK: QCF + HK (236+HK), Horizontal: (requires picture)

A fast forward moving assist that can be used somewhat like a projectile. Flings the opponent into the air towards the point character making it useful in multiple situations.


Anesthesia: Neutral Throw (LP + LK), Mix-up:
Great for catching blocks, leaves the opponent close and in a crumple state.



(Flexible in team placement.)

Goal: Use Lugers, j.HP and s.HP to poke/counterpoke.

Play a footsies game with fast vertical mobility. Pressure is straightforward

but becomes deadly with assist usage.


– Great spacing options allow her to often dictate the pace of the match.

– Fast jump arc allows her to make great use of her effective air normals, particularly j.HP.


– Can struggle to keep up pressure without assists due to subpar blockstrings.

– Her jack of all trades nature means that although she has answers for most situations, she can be predictable.

Assists that benefit this character:
Having a Mix-up assist or two will make Double an incredibly difficult character to defend against. Invincible assists are critical in allowing Double to avoid being pressured heavily.

Assists options for this character:


Cilia Slide: Back, LK+HK (4+LK+HK), Mix-up, Horizontal:
A far extending move that hits low, on hit it trips the opponent, bringing them closer to you. Beats armour making it situationally useful as a Counter-call assist.


Hornet Bomber: Z-Motion + K (623+K), Lockdown, Horizontal, (Invincible in the case of Light):
Hornet Bomber is Double’s signature assist option that can keep the opponent locked down and each version is useful in its own way. The Light version can be used as a close range invincible assist, the Hard version used for extended keep-away and lockdown at a distance and Medium is the most useful lockdown assist for offense. (though it has a tendency to go over crouching characters).



(Best suited as a Middle, viable as a Point character)

Goal: Space out the opponent while building stance charges, use her large pokes and center stage to catch your opponents mistakes and utilize her stance cancel mix-ups put pressure on the opponent.


– Effective, though easily counter poked spacing options.

– Stance charges greatly improve her options, giving her excellent pressure and the ability to punish the opponent from anywhere using seria center stage cancelled into squigly battle opera.


– Many matchups hinge on her ability to get stance charges.

– Very poor horizontal speed without taking center stage into consideration.

– Without proper baiting she suffers against opponents who can push block her well.

Assists that benefit this character:

Horizontal assists will help with her space control and building stance charges. Mix-up assists are useful for when she is fighting up close.

Assist options for this character:


Cremation: c.HP (2+HP), Lockdown, Mix-up:
A multi-hitting low that can keep the opponent in blockstun or face its potent mix-up threat.


Drag ‘n’ Bite: QCF+HP (236+HP), Lockdown, Horizontal:
Used more as a combo ender for continued mixups or for keeping blockstrings safe. Covers a decent amount of ground.


Center Stage: QCF+MP (236+MP), Horizontal:
Centers the camera on Squigly, can bring characters that prefer to turtle straight to you. Fantastic for catching opponents out.

Big Band:


(Best suited as a Middle or Anchor)

Goal: Pester the opponent with fullscreen attacks to intercept their approaches with armour, anti air grabs or big normals. Force the opponent to feel unsafe and play defensive/reactive until landing a hit to convert into oki.


– Effective from all ranges with great ground based space control and special moves that pressure the opponent from far out.

– Multiple effective defensive options.


– Gigantic hurtbox, susceptible to many instant overheads and mixups other characters don’t have to deal with.

– Relies heavily on mindgames to scare the opponent and create openings.

Assists that benefit this character:

Horizontal assists can help Big Band cover the Distance, to help keep his Brass Knuckle moves safe or even to allow conversions that are otherwise impossible. Lockdown or Mix-up assists will also enhance his offensive capabilities in the corner or in Oki situations.

Assist options for this character:


H.Brass Knuckle: Charge Back – Forward+HP ([4] 6+HP), Horizontal.
Covers a lot of the screen(but not exactly full screen) and has a lot of armour. Great for keep-away or pushing the opponent to the corner.


L.Beat Extend: Z-motion+LP (623+LP), Invincible (Borderline Horizontal):
The best Invincible assist in the game. Has a large hitbox and can lead into a combo without having to use up an OTG.


H.Giant Step: QCB+HK (214+HK), Horizontal, Mix-up:
Decent mix-up tool. Can trip opponents standing on the ground, forcing them into the air.



(Flexible in team placement)

Goal: Zone the opponent with shadows and fireballs and predict their approach angle so you can intercept them, catching mistakes or earning safe pressure that is easy to convert into damage.


– Projectiles and shadows that allow her to easily approach when they are blocked.

– Answers to pretty much any situation she can end up in.


– If the opponent does not respect her, she can struggle to get offense started.

– Her meterless reversal is only strike invulnerable, her 1 meter reversal is very slow and does not hit high in the air.

Assists that benefit this character:

Mix-up assists to enhance her offensive pressure. Horizontal assists can be used either for zoning or for approach. Invincible assists can give her some leeway at moderate distances.

Assist options for this character:

Any Lovedart Assist: QCF+P (236+P), Horizontal:
Great for keep-away or for covering space, Light bounces along the ground, Hard is an arch and Medium goes straight forward. Good meter building tool.


H.Platonic Drillationship: QCF+HK (236+HK), Horizontal, Lockdown:
Great for covering space, locking down the opponent, as a combo extender or ender into mix-ups.


Forever a Clone: QCB+K (214+K), Horizontal, (Light and Heavy are Mix-up):
Medium is good for covering space as it it tracks the opponent and can catch opponents on the ground or in the air. Heavy is an overhead and Light is a low attack that beats armour as well but neither is as long as the medium version.



(Flexible in team placement)

Goal: Threaten the opponent from far range using her large pokes to gain a solid confirm. Predict your opponent’s offensive patterns and catch them with summons or sekhmet to land heavy punishes.


– Incredible ranged pokes and great anti air options relative to the rest of the cast.

– Has sekhmet as a reversal safe pressure option.


– Easily counter-poked and outsped by most of the cast.

– Very poor defense. (Her only meterless reversal hits very specific locations and is not throw invulnerable; requires 3 meters for something reliable).

– Sekhmet can be mostly played around, leads to a waste of meter.

Assists that benefit this character:
Invincible assist help Eliza significantly due to her own poor defense. Horizontal assists to create a defensive wall or to cover your approach. Lockdown assists are also viable options.

Assist options for this character:


Throne of Isis: QCF+LK (236+LK), Horizontal:

A fast, large projectile that does not clash with other projectiles. Instead it is destroyed by physical attacks. Knocks up the opponent on hit.


Dive of Horus: QCF+MK (236+MK), Mix-up:
An overhead attack, if it lands it creates an OTG follow up opportunity.


H.Osiris Spin: QCB+HK (214+HK), Lockdown:

A fantastic multi-hitting assist that deals a tonne of chip damage on block.


Butcher Blade: QCB+MP (214+MP), Lockdown, Horizontal:
Good range, decent chip and lockdown. Hyper Armour at the cost meter.


Carpenters Axe: QCB+HP (214+HP), Horizontal, Mix-up:
Good range, overhead attack that is faster than Dive of Horus. Hyper Armour at the cost of meter.



(Flexible in team placement)

Goal: Space with heavy punches on the ground and in the air or approach with

Wulf Blitzer. Land a hit and combo into a knockdown, abuse his hop dash mixups and

myriad cross-ups to keep offense going. Though risky, use chairless mode to

counterzone and punish predictable offense.


– Big active normals, can lead into effective mixups.

– HP chair toss assist is effective as a DP and as a high angled projectile.

– Multiple defensive options that can double as offensive mixups or mindgames.


– Poor mobility outside Wulf Blitzer which is easily accounted for by assists.

– Meterless reversal leaves him chairless which in some matchups can be very risky.

– HP chair toss assist leaves him chairless on incoming, which can lead into heavy unpreventable incoming damage, poor on incoming in general.

Assists that benefit this character:
Lockdown assists to make his Okizeme safe and potent. Invincible assists are also very helpful for his play-style.
Assist options for this character:


Chair Toss: QCF+P(236+P), Horizontal, Mix-up, (Hard version is Invincible):
Beowulf’s Chair Tosses all have unique properties. Light has medium range and is a low, Medium has little range, but hits twice vertically and is an overhead while falling. Hard chair toss is the most popular choice because it is invincible and is a full screen, high arc projectile.



(Flexible in team placement)


Use her fast run, j.HK mobility and beams to keep away from the opponent and build head drones to increase the potency of your zoning and rushdown


– Very fast run speed and unique j.HK mobility give her a unique ability to effectively play run away.

– Beams make good full screen pokes to keep the opponent in check or force errors though they don’t lead to much reward themselves.

– When she has heads stocked, both her zoning and rushdown become more potent and safe,


– Very poor defense.

– Beams are incredibly risky from half screen and closer due to long whiff animations and being negative on hit.

– Difficult gaining head drones.
Assists that benefit this character:
Invincible assists are perfect for when opponent is too close. Horizontal assists are also very useful for enhancing keep-away patterns. Mix-up assists allow her unique offensive options to shine.

Assist options for this character:


  1. Theonite Beam: QCF+HP (236+HP), Horizontal, Lockdown:

Fullscreen projectile that freezes the opponent in place if blocked while also doing chip. Great for pressuring the opponent at great distances. Tends to make the opponent want to crouch under it, giving it extra use when mixing up.


Collimating Saw: s.HP(5+HP), Lockdown:
Multi-hitting move with armour. Great for blockstrings and decent for counter-calling.