Capcom vs. SNK 2

Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001 (CvS2) is a 2D 3-on-3 team fighter focused around grounded footsies. CvS2's Groove system gives players six different ways to play their team. Each Groove has its own sub-system of defensive mechanics, gauges, super attacks, and other abilities. The strongest characters have long ranged normal attacks that are difficult to deal with. The best way to beat your opponent's oppressive normal attacks, is to harass them with your own equally oppressive normal attacks. That is classic footsies.

Helpful Resources

The CvS2 wiki.
The CvS2 Discord server.
The CvS2 Facebook group.

Notation

Attack Notation

LP Light Punch Jab
MP Medium Punch Strong
HP Heavy Punch Fierce
LK Light Kick Short
MK Medium Kick Forward
HK Heavy Kick Roundhouse

Directional Notation

up-back up up-forward
back neutral forward
down-back down down-forward
ub u uf
b n f
db d df

High attacks are overhead attacks that must be stand blocked. Mid attacks are attacks that can be blocked with both stand block and crouch block.

Capcom vs. SNK 2 uses Legacy frame data notation. If an attack has 7 frames of startup, it hits on the 8th frame.

The Guard Crush Gauge depletes when an attack is blocked. When it's empty, the character suffers a guard crush. It regenerates after being out of blockstun or hitstun for a certain amount of time.

Throws are proximity throws performed with forward or back HP/HK and are teched with the same input. HP throws are faster than HK throws but do less damage and have a larger tech window.

CvS2 has a selection of six Groove systems that emulate the styles of classic Capcom and SNK games. The Groove affects the entire team, so pick a Groove that compliments all three of your characters. Each Groove has access to many sub-systems.

Sub-systems

Run by pressing forward twice. The run sub-system replaces dashing. While running, you have access to a running attack and a high jump.

Roll with LP+LK. Rolls are strike-invulnerable and projectile-invulnerable from the start. Rolls become vulnerable afterwards and can be thrown at any time. There are only forward rolls in this game.

Dodge with LP+LK. The entire dodge is strike-invulnerable and projectile-invulnerable. There are two predetermined attacks from the dodge: the first causes a knockdown and the second is special cancelable even on whiff. The main weakness of dodge is it can be thrown at any time.

Counter Attack is this game's Alpha Counter. Press forward and MP+MK in blockstun to perform it. It's invincible but costs Groove Gauge AND Guard Crush Gauge. Do not use it unless you absolutely have to.

Counter Movement is a Guard Cancel Roll. Press forward or back and LP+LK in blockstun to perform it. A forward Counter Movement is useful for getting out of the corner. A backwards Counter Movement is a backdash used to avoid attacks.

There is air blocking and it blocks air attacks and projectiles. Air blocking depletes Guard Crush Gauge.

Short Hop is exactly like it is in King of Fighters. It's a faster jump that is lower to the ground and is used for approaching, overheads, and hopping over low attacks.

Tactical Recovery is a delayed recovery after a knockdown. After a knockdown, hold two punch buttons to perform it.

Safe Fall is quick recovery. After a knockdown, press two buttons to perform it. The end of the Safe Fall is vulnerable and can be punished.

Grooves

C-Groove has the system mechanics of the Street Fighter Alpha games. Gauge builds quickly, the super attacks are easy to hit confirm into, and there are 3 different levels of super attacks. Level 2 super attack can be canceled into a level 1 super attack or special attack.

Sub-systems: Roll, Counter Attack, Tactical Recovery, Dash, Air Block

A-Groove is the custom combo Groove. If you can execute long combos, you have the Groove with the most damage potential in the game. 50% gauge is a level 1 super attack and 100% gauge is a custom combo.

Sub-systems: Roll, Counter Attack, Safe Fall, Dash

The custom combo activation is invincible for a short amount of time. Getting hit during the custom combo state ends it and removes 50% of the remaining gauge. You can manually end the custom combo state with a free level 1 super attack.

P-Groove is the parry Groove. The parry is the only meaningful sub-system for this Groove which means you need to live and die by the parry. It's a high risk and high reward tool. The parry is similar to Street Fighter III's parry with a couple of differences. You can air parry as long as it's not from a short hop, there's no parry during blockstun (no red parry), and the parry window in CvS2 is shorter than Street Fighter III's.

Sub-systems: Parry, Short Hop, Tactical Recovery, Dash

There is a single long Groove Gauge which stores a level 3 super art.

S-Groove lets characters inflict a lot of damage near the end of rounds. It's the only Groove with Dodge and for many players that's enough reason to select it. The Groove Gauge only fills by taking damage or by manually charging by pressing HP+HK.

Sub-systems: Dodge, Counter Attack, Short Hop, Tactical Recovery, Run

When the Groove Gauge is filled to MAX, a timer appears showing how much time is left to perform a free level 1 super attack. During this state, the damage on all your attacks is increased by 15%. After the super attack is performed, your meter depletes to 0%.

When your health drops below 25%, the character flashes red, damage on all attacks is increased by 5%, and level 1 super attacks are free until the end of the round.

If your health is below 25% AND you hit MAX Gauge, your damage boosts stack into a 20% damage increase and you can perform a level 3 super attack. Even after you've used your level 3 super attack and your Gauge empties to 0%, level 1 super attacks are still free until the round ends.

N-Groove has all the quick movement options from the King of Fighters games. There are three stocks of Groove Gauge that can be stored. Each stock is a level 1 super attack that can be saved for later use. Or the stock can be used for Power Activation by pressing HP+HK.

Sub-systems: Counter Roll, Roll, Counter Attack, Safe Fall, Short Hop, Run

Power activation increases damage on all your attacks by 20%. Doing a super attack during Power Activation turns it into a level 3 super attack. N-Groove is the Groove to pick if you want to be able to do multiple level 3 super attacks in the same round.

K-Groove has the system mechanics of the Samurai Shodown games. The only ways to build super meter are with Just Defend and by taking damage. That sounds like a drawback but the meter in K-Groove can fill up very quickly. When the Groove Gauge is full you can perform a level 3 super attack, your character takes 12.5% less damage, and they'll inflict a whopping 35% more damage on all attacks!

Sub-systems: Short Hop, Safe Fall, Run

Custom Combo

Let's create a custom combo for A-Groove. Start with attacks that do a lot of damage. It's best to cancel from heavy attacks and follow up with more heavy and medium attacks. After a many hits, damage scaling ramps up and that causes every hit to inflict the same amount of damage. At this point, switch to faster weaker attacks that hit multiple times. M. Bison and Sakura are famous for having multi-hitting, fast, and forward moving attacks that are ideal in custom combos. When the Groove Gauge is almost empty, finish the custom combo with a super attack.

Roll Cancel

Roll Cancel is a glitch that played a vital role in the development of the metagame of CvS2. Roll is performed with LP+LK and is immediately strike-invulnerable. Rolls can be kara canceled into special attacks. Input LP+LK then input a special attack the next frame. If I want to kara cancel Roll into Yun's HP Lunge Punch, I would input down, down-forward LP+LK, forward HP.

During a Roll Cancel, the special attack's startup will be strike-invulnerable. There are no drawbacks to Roll Canceling other than it being difficult to execute. This is a game changing glitch. Roll Canceling is incredibly powerful.

Do you HAVE to learn Roll Canceling? You don't HAVE to but it is an incredibly strong tool. If you play a Groove that doesn't have the Roll sub-system, you won't be able to do it at all. And the glitch isn't possible in all games like the GameCube port. The tournament standard versions of CvS2 are the arcade and Dreamcast versions. These versions have Roll Canceling but newer versions removed the glitch.