List of character metagames

Since the day i first saw the tier listings i just couldn't understand what they represented. In my efforts to understand each character's strength i ended up sorting out the cast in two categories: those that can force you to play their own metagame and those who can't and have to rely on the standard mid/throw guessing game that is the same for all VF characters.

METAGAME characters:

The first group should definetly have Shun, Lei Fei and Kage for obvious reasons. Against those three (frame) advantage is meaningless due to super evasive moves, stances or sabaki.

Then has to be Aoi. I know you're going to think "Aoi is low tier" but the fact is you can't go around using regular mid attack-throw guessing games against Aoi's inashi, reversals and sabaki. You have to change your timing and that qualifies as playing her metagame in my book. As if that wasn't enough, you have to second guess yourself constantly trying to figure out if she's going to cancel her own moves. And, for the record, her max combos do hurt, search for kingo on xbl if you think otherwise.

Then i'd probably put Lion and Eileen for their crazy hit boxes. Both of them have magic moves that go under mids which means that even when the opponent has the advantage he still has to guess which also qualifies as metagame is my book. Even if you manage to nail them with a floater they were probably in some crazy position rendering a regular max damage float impossible. Plus both of them have crazy oki games.

Last comes the dreaded keep-away duo, Vanessa and Jacky. Vane has pushback, jacky has moves with built in flee options. This generally means that going for an elbow afer blocking a move it will often whiff. You can try going for a far reaching move but those are generally slow and you could get interrupted, so you have to guess on advantage, blah blah metagame.

METAGAME-FREE characters:

In the regular mid-throw guessing game first come the three wrestlers, having the most damaging throws (duh).

Then come Akira and Pai with their unsabakiable attacks and reversals messing up the opponents' defensive techniques & mids respectively.

Following far behind is Sarah and Brad. They both can put pressure on their opponents by using flamingo and slipping & ducking respectively. However that pressure is frame- not hitbox-based, they both have to keep standing meaning a well placed evade into floater can net half their lifebars, the attacks that come out of those stances are reversible/sabakiable and, most importantly, they can't be used to space an opponent.

Finally there's Lau and Goh. Lau has the dreaded (df+)ppp canon and Goh has …attitude i guess.

To sum it up:

Metagame Characters: Shun, Lei Fei, Kage, Aoi, Lion, Eileen, Vanessa, Jacky
Metagame-Free Characters: Jeffry, Wolf, El Blaze, Akira, Pai, Sarah, Brad, Lau, Goh

I'm not forcing anyone to believe these are "tiers" depicting each characters "fighting ability" or anything like that; i do believe the game is balanced and that everybody can win depending on his player skills. However i also do believe that fighting against the first bunch of characters is way more tiresome mentally given the amount of second guessing you have to make.

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