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Written by Sabator
Ridiculously high stable meterless dmg, guaranteed corner carry from anywhere onscreen for 0 meter into hard KD and free oki. Glass cannon, not in terms of HP amount but simple lack of ability to cope with defensive or even many neutral scenarios.
Extremely meter dependent for defence: Only invincible reversals are bunker and super. VS characters with easy bunker bait, or VS anyone with good pressure when you have less than 70% meter, often means you will likely lose the round the moment you have to block a string. General gameplan: ToD them into 5k and a 50/50, land the mixup into another 5k and you’ve almost won the round.
Comparisons with C-Moon:
Much easier bnb and combos in general. Different lightning (214) is matchup-specific but H lightning is preferable for the majority of matchups. Trades C’s gimmicky overhead 6B for a big forward rush kick. Gains actual pressure strings and a jumpin but C has a better mixup (a true invisible 50/50). j.B is different, not better or worse, but worth noting that C has no true jumpin attack. Cannot easily hitconfirm her sweep. Uses purple bunker as her main form of defence rather than HEAT activation.
Comparisons with F-Moon:
Totally different character. That being said, C and H have some horrific matchups, so if you’re picking this game up seriously and planning to enter tournaments running standard rules (can change moon after loss) it’s reccomended to have a pocket F-Pciel.
Basic BnB: 2A/5A mash 2B 5B 5C 6B 2C 3C 9 xx j.B xx 5B 6B 236[A] 2C 5B 4C 3C 214A
-As stated earlier, this corner carries from anywhere onscreen, even with you in the corner. Note that from long range you may need to walk forward after 236[A] to make the mixup viable.
-due to proration you can skip doing both 2B and 5B at the beginning and lose very little.
-the 5B 6B pickup can be replaced with 2C 5C 6B. Very different timing. Damage difference is negligible, it purely comes down to player preference. Try both and see which works for you.
-Substitute the 5B at the end for 5C for a bit of extra damage if you think it will close out the round. 5C does not allow for any kind of corner crossup (more on that later).
Wildly matchup specific. To be frank, much of H-pciel’s gameplan is to run varying types
of gimmick offense to try and catch an opponent doing something silly. She has her best matchups VS opponents of the same breed, especially projectile pokers or characters who want to “set up” stuff before going in(Aoko, C-Roa). She struggles against many of the “fundamentals” characters who simply try to poke at you with their strong hitboxes(Tohno, Miyako).
The most crucial thing to remember is that Pciel is slow. Her dash is slow, her jump is slow, and her airdash is slow. Keep your movements deliberate and try to be achieving something with every movement. You can’t get away with simply trying to move around in the air and watch how your opponent reacts. From a flat, no-advantage neutral position, you generally have these options to pick from:
-Lightning: The B and charge B hit at very specific, differing spots. They also don’t help you get in much, so use them sparingly. A lightning is fast and hard KD, a good choice that both pokes them and protects you if they try to go in. Charge A lightning
is less safe but allows you to safely move in if they don’t press a button. One of H-pciel’s key tools is her ability to jump cancel after j.214A. Bait antiairs, airdash to safety, basically take an extra turn.
-236B~C poke: Wildly matchup-specific. Do your best to find out if your opponent can punish this move on block, either in terms of character ability or the player’s timing/execution. It is key to remember that a large part of making this move safe comes from your own execution – Hitting them with the tip of the flipkick leaves you out of range of all jabs in the game. Only characters with fast, long-range moves (fast sweeps like Sacchin and Pciel) can reliably punish this. This move gives you untechable launch (only from ground hit) and you should be able to corner carry from most of the screen after a hit (even non-CH). This is your absolute no.1 go-to move for wrecking characters who have to “set up” stuff from a long distance away(with exceptions, such as Nero). This also beats a lot of projectiles due to it having a clashbox for 1 hit (multihit projectiles will blow you up). Think of it as a C-Nana 214B that’s safe on block (mostly) and leads to big damage and mixup. Doesn’t need to be said, but remember that over-reliance on this move will see it get shielded and you will have sad times.
623A rush: A weird option. Utilising the big hitbox and forward movement on your dp, you treat it as a sort of offensive “short hop” (think Nameless/K9999 from kof2k2) that you can jump cancel. A very good choice VS someone who likes to IAD at you a lot. Single hit, and if you score a 1-hit CH with it just let yourself fall back down and you can very easily pick up with 2C 3C j.B into your standard. On block, again, your options differ based on opponent. VS some characters it’s safe to go in with j.B and start an offense, other times you might want to go for lightning or backwards jump j.C and see if you can bait a reaction.
j.C fishing:Self-explanatory. Get off the ground and try to score some counterhits with j.C. Generally not reccomended due to your incredibly slow speed in everything you do. Also having lost the added utility of C-moon’s j.B you have no real way to deal with people jumping higher than you and throwing a downwards aerial.
Wait and see: Sometimes (or in some matchups) you don’t like any of the above options. Unlike many characters in this game, jumping for the sake of jumping can get you into some gross situations with Pciel and all of your strongest hitboxes are available to you on the ground. Your antiair options are also reasonable, so simply walking or dashing along the ground and looking to land a CH 5B or 623A can be a solid choice VS someone who can counter all your other options. I do this a lot in the C-Tohno matchup – He beats all my aerials clean, he can punish 236B~C on block for free, he deals with 623A approach fairly easily and he can EX berial edge lightning on reaction for free damage and oki. It doesn’t need to be said that in a game like Melty, abstaining from playing the aerial footsies game is a handicap and if you find yourself using this option often consider switching up your moon choice.
5A – A low kick, unlike C-moon’s weedy knife poke. Start your strings with 2A and use this for stagger pressure with 6AA. 1f faster than 2a so go to this for clutch moments.
6AAA – Staggering these can give you great rewards as the hitconfirm from entire 6AAA string is very easy and leads into big damage. The hitboxes on these moves are nothing amazing so keep your staggers tight, they WILL lose trades to standard poking tools.
2C – Your lightning fast sweep. One of the fastest sweeps in the game. Unlike C-moon you cannot easily hitconfirm a counterhit 2C without great reactions and yomi. A good poke, but if you get read it will cost you bnb jumpin damage (5-6k for most of the cast) if they read it and iad it. Resist the temptation to spam it, and mix it up with your other big poke. You often have to accept that if you do hit them when poking with this, a KD is all you’re likely to get from it.
5B – Your other big poke. 7F startup, but unlike all of your other normals, presents no outward hurtbox before its’ active frames begin. In many situations, a better antiair than DP, and much easier to press on reaction. As long as it isn’t poked out of startup, this move will crush almost anything thrown at it.
5C – The irresistable temptation. Never press this button in neutral vs low crouchers (kohaku and len especially). Even vs normal height crouchers, this move is slower than C-moon’s variant and is already not a reccomended poke for her. Throw it out VERY sparingly. A lot of what you want to do with this move, you can get with 5B. But when you refrain from using it, you often find your opponent willing to try risky stuff (slow projectiles, IADs) within its range. 5C 6B 2C will whiff at max 5C range. 5C 236A is a guaranteed hit at any range, but 236A on block can be very gross vs many characters.
6B – Key to H-pciel’s pressure game. Similar to Cnana’s 2C slide, use it to move yourself back in during a string. Whiff cancel to 5A, and then either empty reset to 2A or frametrap them (6AAA is good here).
j.C – Your best of a bad bunch of air normals. Unless you’re going for a jumpin(j.B) or have a direct read on them that you want to poke with j.A, stick to this move. As it’s a C move, it’s SLOW and not massively rewarding for the amount of time you wait for it to come out. There are some characters in this game you simply cannot safely poke at in the air. Has a crossup hitbox with dubious usability.
H-Pciel can run a reasonably strong whiff cancel/frametrap game based around her 6AAA series. For this reason, remember to try and always start your strings with 2A. Stagger 6AAA and be ready to mash for more 6A hits on reaction to a hit, the final hit of the string is very easy to combo off on reaction with 2C. Cancel any of the 6AAA series into lightning on block to keep your opponent honest. 623A works but is riskier. When you have them scared you can start resetting into 214[A], or even 2A 6B. Unfortunately with no high jab and a very slow dash, you will struggle to score throws from your pressure, which is a shame as your throw damage is quite high. Your best throw setup is 623A into fake j.C throw, but your opponent will have to be pretty terrified to sit and eat that. A trick to bait something out of a stoic opponent is to use up your 6B, stagger some of your C moves to push yourself away from them, then rush back in with the 236B~C when they thought you were far away enough that they could safely stop blocking. Lastly, if you pressure them for long enough that the guard bar starts to creep upward, throw out 236B~A for some insane guard bar damage.
The Corner Mixup:
H-Pciel’s corner mixup is free after every standard corner combo. It is a fairly simple whichway 50/50 that involves knocking your opponent down in the corner, jumping into the corner, and crossing them up if you left a tiny space in the corner, or not crossing them up if you pushed them right into it.
The mixup portion of your combo is the pickup after the 236[A] in the corner – note the distance you carried your opponent can alter how far they wallbounce from the 6B before the 236[A] and can alter the dynamics of the mixup. You mix up these two options by inserting a set amount of delay between the 2C that catches them falling out of the air, and the 5B afterwards. For example, gatling 2C 5B 4C 3C 214A 9 (forward jump) will always cross up. However, depending on how late you do the followup 5B, the 2C could push them all the way into the corner, and thus you will stay the same side of them when you land.
Two key points to remember:
– Doing a meaty after this mixup is difficult.
Using 5A meaty is easy but of course puts you at risk of being blown up by shield, so use it at your own risk.
The most recommended crossup method is to use 623A to launch yourself into the corner. However, the timing is very tight to meaty into a B move, so beware. Alternatively you can do a fake short hop (9~2AB), making sure to cancel into j.C on the way down to cancel landing recovery. This is actually required to meaty a B move against some of the faster-rising characters, and is simply impossible on some of the fastest-rising members of the cast.
Remember that the short hop covers very little distance and you may need to walk forward mid-combo (after 236[A]) to be in range to use it after knockdown.
Lastly, to make your life easier, against Nero, Aoko, Ries and Kouma you can simply forward jump after 214A rather than deal with any of this bullshit.
– This mixup is generally considered easier to see than C-Pciel’s mixup. Due to the audio cue for the hitsounds when you insert your delay between 2C and 5B, players with matchup experience vs H-Pciel may be able to make a rough estimate at whether they will be crossed up or not. It’s nigh-impossible to be sure, but a decent hunch can turn a 50/50 mixup into something more like a 70/30.
Stealing C-Pciel’s Mixup:
When you are playing against the fast-rise characters (archetype and miyako especially) who can mash or jump out of the corner mixup, your choices are either to concede mixing up these characters and just meaty them into continued pressure, or sacrifice a chunk of combo damage to run C-Pciel’s midscreen mixup on them instead. In order to run C-Pciel’s mixup you have to save your jump cancel, which means omitting the 2C 3C j.B portion of your BnB.
2AAB 5C 236B~C xx 2C 6B [wallslam] 236[A] 2C 4C 3C airthrow towards midscreen j.236A xx A
This combo can be enhanced with extra normals at the cost of more difficulty (i.e. 2C xx 5C 6B rather than 2C 6B, or another 236[A] loop)
From this position, you simply walk towards them for an instant then jump forward. Amount of forward walk frames is character dependent, and in many cases the difference is simply jump forward VS any amount of forward walking at all. C-Pciel’s mixup is much harder to see and react to than the corner mixup, and also much easier to meaty with. However it requires throwing the opponent into midscreen so you have a less advantageous situation in the event they block it. Like all 50/50 switchup mixups it’s vulnerable to 22 reversals, however is surprisingly resistant to buffered 623s due to how early it can be performed.
It is of course worth noting that if you find yourself running the C-Pciel mixup often you should question whether you might be better served switching up moons. Unless you really need H-Pciel’s better pressure (which is being wasted when you sacrifice a corner mixup for a midscreen one) or vertical lightning for the matchup, you may as well switch moon and do 6k into this mixup instead. That being said, there’s no real harm in simply throwing out this mixup occasionally to surprise your opponent and unsettle them.
None worth mentioning. Your only reversal with invincibility is Arc Drive, which is fairly safe on block and not a bad option if you find yourself in heat. Your general go-to option will be shield bunker. Some characters (Hi Nero!) have great tools for baiting bunker so you will have to learn to be unpredictable. Awful mobility means jumping out is a huge risk. Your next best options are 2C and 623A, both enormous risks. To be frank, most of the cast can guarantee damage on you if they catch you meterless in the corner. Some characters can just outright win the round from such a scenario. Blocking with this character is really gross and something you want to avoid at all costs. Don’t be afraid to meter dump 214C just to keep yourself in control if you did something dumb (like flipkick too close or 236A on block) or purely to control your meter and avoid HEAT status. HEAT does nothing for you on offence, all your EXes are garbage and the super is garbage damage. The best defence with this character is to random CH them into 5k, and mix them up into another 5k.
H-Pciel is difficult to view in a vacuum. As a single character, she’s quite poor, posessing a large number of extremely difficult matchups (mostly against her fellow mid-tiers) while being reasonably adept against a lot of top tiers. However, taken in the context of Pciel as a single, whole character; It’s probably accurate to say that she is the most versatile, well-rounded moon style that sees usage against the majority of your opponents. However, it will be extremely difficult to succeed in a tournament setting with this character without mastering all three of her moon styles, as for the most part they cover all of her difficult matchups. Playing H against any Nero variant is pain – simple A crow pokes shut down your lightning game AND hit you out of 236B rush. In the event you do hit him with the flipkick, he likely summoned snake or deer and you will lose out in the damage trade despite hitting him first. He can antiair your awful jumpin for free, while both his j.B variants will regularly beat your 5b and 623A clean.
However, C-Pciel can fight the matchup much better using some tools that normally wouldn’t be that useful against most opponents. Her j.B is much better suited for poking nero’s huge hitbox air normals, her slightly faster 5C is a more viable tool for keeping him honest at mid range, and her much faster and more ranged 214A can at least trade with A crows and take free damage off him when he tries to summon anything else. C is the worst moon style for the majority of your matchups, but having a pocket C benefits you massively for situations like this. F moon is also useful since there are still a few matchups where neither H nor C can cope (C-nana, all miyakos, f-len).
Ultimately what you should take away from this is that Pciel is a character that will always struggle with matchups unless you take the time to learn all three moons. Nevertheless she is an incredibly unique character in the game and her meterless damage + mixup capability is peerless. If you have the time to invest into her you can beat any opponent.