The King of Fighters XIII/Maxima
|0 Stock, No Drive Gauge||
j.C, d.A, df+C, qcb+A =263 dmg
|1 Stock, No Drive Gauge||
j.C, d.A, df+C, qcf x2 +P = 357 dmg
|2 Stock, 1+ Drive Gauge||Anywhere||j.C, st.D, df+C, qcb+A [SC] qcf x2 + AC = 638 dmg|
|3 Stock, 2 Drive Gauge
HD Bypass Combo
|Anywhere||j.C, st.D, df+C, qcfx2 +CB [HD Bypass], [MC] hcbx2+AC = 796 dmg|
- df.C has better recovery
- No recoil after air vapor canon
-Guard points on normal are now cancel-able by specials
-Hit box on the follow up to EX Maxima Press improved. Can now hit from counter CD.
-No bounce back when EX Maxima Press is guarded. He’s now more vulnerable to punishes.
Yamamoto: "df.C can be used effectively as an early (okiwaza) anti-air as the recovery has improved. Also counter df.C and counter j.CD can be followed by EX Maxima Press for extra damage, possible to counter-confirm. Pressuring the opponent by earning precise follow-up damage is the ideal way to play Maxima "
The best way to describe Maxima is a big, blue wall. Maxima, from his specials, to his normals are meant to keep counter an opponent and lock them down. Although he has one command grab, he has an air grab and variations of his command grab to give him utility. On top of being a highly defensive player, his moves have the dreaded "Guard Point" ability that lets him absorb a hit while he does a move. Nothing hurts an opponent's spirit more than to have their attacks blocked AND get hit at the same time!
Some would think he's the "Big Guy" kinda tank, but this man packs power. For 1 meter, Maxima can take half an opponent's life away. He is rippling with power and should never be underestimated. Despite being slow, with meter, he can be a very big threat.
- Has very long range and powerful normals
- 5 normals, 2 specials, and 1 DM have guard point
- Can cancel any normal guardpoints into specials.
- A 1 frame command grab that can also change to a slow run grab.
- Follow up to command grab can be super cancelled!
- Deadly with meter and drive.
- Easy 100% HD combo with 3 bars, overkill with 4. Still does major damage without HD!
- EX moves are fast (EX Maxima Press) or have guardpoint (EX Air Vapor Cannon)
- Incredibly slow - All far normals can be punished by rolling through them.
- None of his moves are safe on whiff (So make sure to hit your mark!)
- Hard to get in without meter
- Very limited defense against cross ups.
- Requires a great deal of timing to utilize guardpoints (That won't stop us!)
- Only 1 move (d.C) has lower body guardpoint and is incredibly slow (Can work around that)
- Very limited in air offense because hop C has terrible hitstun and jump D is slow.
- 100% HD combo is hard to link (Needs perfect timing).
st. A: 30 damage,*special cancel-able, super cancel-able, hits high: Maxima extends his fist out in a quick punch. It's not the fastest normal, but it covers such a high area that hops and jumps get beat out by his st.A. Good anti-air!
Specials that can cancel from: (B) Maxima Press, EX Vapor Cannon, EX Maxima Press, EX M19 Blitz Cannon
st. B: 30 damage, hits mid: Maxima brings up the back of his foot in a hindkick. This move is pretty fast and good for poking. You can use it to kind of poke people out of the air if they're hopping or advancing in on you from the ground. You can't special cancel it or super cancel it and does not combo with other normals.
far C: 100 damage, super-cancel-able only, hits mid: Maxima rears back and punches forward in a punch. Far standing C has guardpoint for 1 hit. It can absorb mid to high hits. On hit, it can be super cancelled into the DM, but outside of HD mode, it can't be special cancel-able. Be sure it hits something 'cause it's not safe on whiff!
far D: 100 damage, hits mid.: Maxima rears back his foot and thrusts it in front of him in a forward kick. Far standing D has guard point for 2 hits even though it only hits once. It's very slow so you can time this much easier than st.C for standing guard points. Other than that, he can poke people from far away. Make sure that it hits as it's not safe to whiff this!
s. C: 50x2 damage, special and super cancel-able, hits mid: Maxima nudges the opponent with his elbow and quickly raises up his hand in a back fist to the face. St.C is a 2 hit normal. It's much faster than far standing C and the first hit of the move can be canceled into df+C. The second hit moves the opponent away. The two hits guard points separately, but they don't guardpoint two hits. All specials cancel as well. After the second hit, in midscreen, df+C might not hit, especially if the opponent is ducking.
s. D: 100 damage, special and super cancel-able, hits mid: Maxima brings up his knee in a crushing hit to the mid area. st.D guardpoints once and hits once. It's a slow and hard to combo into from jump ins, but the fact that it does so much damage in one hit makes it the optimal starter for combos. Since it hits once, you can do df+C and hit even on block.
d. A: 30 damage, special and super cancel-able, hits mid: d.A is a quick punch from Maxima. It links much better into its self from other normals so it's the best choice for tagging people who are trying to get in with ground pressure or just to start some pressure yourself. Like st.A, it can't combo directly into Vapor Cannon, but works with all EX moves and supers. However, it links well enough that there's little gaps between hits. Used with df+C, it's a pretty safe way to start a combo.
d. B: 35 damage, hits low: d.B is a slow, but long range low B. Maxima extends his leg out for a front kick. This is the only low that Maxima can combo into, but the timing to combo into it is weird. d.B can combo into d.A which combos into df+C. This gives you a bit more openings for combos with a mid to low mix up. As it is your only low, it's advised to use it often. However, remember the timing from normal to normal with this move is long so you have to delay the next press. Also, from a distance, d.B, d.A, df+C might not hit and especially true for crouchers.
d. C: 100 damage, cancel-able, hits mid: SAFE! Maxima chops at the knees of an opponent, looking like an umpire in a baseball game. This move is the only move Maxima has that guardpoints lows. It's very slow start-up and guardpoints one hit, but the utility for it to cover his Achilles' heel is the main reason why it's good to use it. By itself, it can cancel into everything and has a pretty decent amount of range. Aside from being special and super cancellable, it's also whiff cancellable. You can immediately cancel this into vapor cannon or even a command normal like df+C. You can make people afraid to get in or twitch by using moves that whiff cancel. This is also faster start up for that strategy than st.CD.
d. D: 100 damage, hits low: Maxima swings his long leg out to sweep his opponent. Although this is indeed just a sweep, there's something to note about it. Its range is quite long and it does 100 damage. Timing a sweep the moment someone lands after an anti-air or when they wake up makes it difficult for them to recover as well as something they have to deal with. The range makes it so you can do it from a long distance as well. Use it for just those reasons or in simple traps like when you're pressuring someone. Although it's telegraphed for being slow, properly timing it and hitting people is very rewarding!
j. A: 45 (40) damage, cancel-able, hits overhead: Maxima throws a lovetap to the head of the opponent from the air. It's a very quick normal and probably the easiest one to combo into. However, it does push you back. This is comboable with air Vapor cannon. If you feel like you've got the opponent stuck blocking low, you can combo a hit into a Air Vapor Cannon or EX Air Vapor Cannon. Other than that, good for pressure. The downward angle makes it choice for air to ground.
j. B: 45 (40) damage, hits overhead: Maxima strikes out with fast knee that has a horizontal hitbox. It's not often used, but it's fairly useful for crossing up crouching opponents or just applying pressure. It's easy, like j.A to combo into, but you cannot cancel it into Air Vapor cannon. Use it as an air to air or a means to get in without too much start up.
j. C: 72 (70) damage, cancel-able during (hyper) hops only, hits overhead: This is actually a two part one. Jump C is a wide body splash attack. Maxima comes down like a stone to crush his enemies under hsi weight. The move can cross up pretty easy and combos if you hit it deep. Almost all parts of his body are active, from his head to his toes, so it makes it an ideal air-to-air, ground to air, and cross up tool. Problem is you can only do this one a full jump so the utility can be taken away if you're baited.
Hop C is a completely different move all together. Hop C looks like j.A, but a much deeper and punch. The start up for this makes it hard to combo into once you land which is why the move is hard to combo with with slow normals like st.D or d.B. St.C and d.A are much easier to combo with as you don't have to hit so deep to combo. The hitstun may be terrible, but the range on the normal is long. This lets you poke and possibly cancel into Air Vapor Cannon or EX vapor cannon. Although Air Vapor Cannon isn't safe on block, it can score a knockdown on hit as well as be much safer from a distance/closer to the ground. EX Vapor cannon is safe on block and in the corner, you can net a full combo with any normal when you land!
j. D: 70 (68) damage, hits overhead: j.D is quite a weird normal. Maxima extends his leg out and cleaves at opponents with his boot. Although this move has a lot more hit stun than Hop C, it comes out very slowly. You have to time the move early so that it will hit in the right place. Don't be fooled, this will really hurt if someone gets hit by it and the hitbox is really deep towards the ground. Good for air to ground pressure and can even cross up at certain spacings.
CD: 110 damage, cancel-able, hits mid: FORE! Maxima clutches his hands together and rears back for a nice big golf swing. This move is whiff cancellable so any part of the animation can be cancelled into a special. It has guardpoint covering mid and covers one hit. It can be used as an anti-air to guardpoint a jump-in, but it has a pretty high hit box at the end of its animation to hit jumpers. Like most st.CDs, use it to psyche out an opponent or continue to pressure them with its huge blockstun.
j. CD: 90 (80) cancel-able, hits mid: Maxima extends both feet up in a Raiden-esque drop kick. This is one of Maxima's most effective air-to-air's because of its long and wide hitbox. On block, like most jump CDs, it causes a lot of blockstun. On hit, it just plain hurts. After hitting someone with a counter hit j.CD, you can accomplish quite a lot. Without meter, you can tag them with a vapor cannon. With meter, you can hit an opponent with a EX Maxima press for some corner combos. If you have meter and drive, you can do a Vapor cannon and super cancel into double vapor cannon (Though you got to hit them low or they have to be cornered).
GCCD: 10 damage, hits mid: Same animation as CD. Fairly self explanatory, pop it when you're getting pressured OR if you want to push people away in a certain direction (Like back into a corner!)
Dynamite Drop = (b/f+C/D) close 100 damage, can be broken, causes soft knockdown: Maxima grabs someone and boots them with a dropkick to the chest. His throw does not have a lot of utility as it's a soft knockdown. If they don't tech, you can start playing mind games with them. If they do tech, you might be able to time an EX Maxima press for when they come out of recovery and aren't blocking.
M9 Missile = (df+C) 80 damage, cancel-able, hits mid: Maxima ducks down and thrusts his fist up towards the air. It's a bit awkward because it hits at a diagonal angle, but if it hits or becomes blocked, you can cancel it into any special. You can use this as an anti-air as well on full jump players. If you manage to hit someone and you can react to it, a M-14 Blitz Cannon (DP+K) will hit catch for almost 200 damage! In combos, this is usually used to tag extra damage and hits in, but in midscreen, it's hard to connect all the hits if the opponent is too far away or they're crouching to begin with. Be mindful of your spacing when you use this in combos or just go for 2-hit chains. Recovers fast, but terrible to whiff this all the same.
M4 Vapor Cannon = (qcb+P): Maxima rears back his fist and thrusts it forward, driving it into his opponent and letting loose pressurized vapor on impact. For each version, Maxima takes a step forward. All versions, on counter hit, wire. Wire means when they are counter hit, they'll get knocked back into the wall and rebound. A version is much faster. C version is slower, but has upper body guardpoint and increased range (steps further)
(EX) = qcb+AC: Maxima thrusts his first fist forward and lets loose a second fist to the opponent. This has increased range over the C version and comes out fast. On hit, this will make the opponent wire for a full juggle combo.
- The EX version has increased priority and wire damage can be followed up.
- Hit Detection: High
- Damage: 120; EX Damage: 117
M4 Air Vapor Cannon = qcb+P (air): Maxima rears back his fist and thrusts it down towards the ground, letting out a pressurized vapor blast on impact. This move, on hit, causes a hard knockdown. It can be comboed into from j.CD, j.A, and hop C respectively. However, it's not safe really close up on block. It's best to do it low to the ground to avoid retaliation or use CD if you know it will be blocked so they have longer blockstun.
(EX) = qcb+AC in air: Maxima lets loose a vapor cannon that continues on for a short period of time. Depending on the arc of his jump, he'll move forward or backward. While hitting multiple times, it also has guardpoint throughout the duration of the move. When hit, Maxima gets covered in a blue shield that absorbs all the hits that come his way. Things like grabs or proximity unblockable supers (Like Leona's V Slasher) will still hit him. Use it to pressure your opponent when they're knocked down or to try to safely get in the opponent's face. It's safe on block and if someone is hit with it in the corner, Maxima can combo off of it.
- Can't be cancelled
- Hit Detection: High
- Damage: 110; EX Damage: 50 x 2, 60
M19 Blitz Cannon = (dp+K): Maxima activates boosters in his feet to launch himself into the air. If an opponent is caught, Maxima presses his fist to their chest and lets a vapor cannon loose, blasting them down to the floor. This is a nice anti-air, but should be used mostly to finish air juggles. It does not give an opponent meter because it's a throw as well as does a lot of damage. It's the ideal ender to a juggle. It does not trade well with air-to-air interactions and does 0 damage if it does trade.
(EX) = dp+BD: A very surprising EX DP that has guardpoint from start-up. Maxima can also cancel the first hit of the DP into another special move in a super/drive cancel. Will hit off the ground for extra damage and then do the initial amount done in regular Blitz cannon. The only issue is if it whiffs, you're in trouble! Don't fall for high jumps that might cross you up if you try to do it.
- EX version has guard point and additional hit frames on his knee.
- Normal version can't be cancelled; EX version is Drive- / Super-cancellable
- Hit Detection: Throw; EX Hit Detection: High
- Damage: 0, 150; EX Damage: 50, 150
Maxima Press = (hcb+K): Maxima, once he grabs you, activates his boosters and rushes you to the wall. On impact, he thrusts you into the wall. The B version is a 1-frame command grab while the D version causes Maxima to squat and slowly run towards you till he grabs you. B Maxima press is a great punish for those that don't respect your space on wake-up, after slower moves, or empty hopping into it. D version can be cancelled from normals and almost looks like when Maxima stops running. Creativity is key to mastering how to use these powerful grappler tools. If there was no follow-up, for any version, the opponent goes into a crumple state and falls to the ground slowly. This can set you up for cross up situations and corner pressure. Can't be teched.
(EX) = hcb+BD: EX Maxima press makes Maxima immediately shoot towards the opponent. On block, Maxima cools down and sits right in front. It does cause blockstun, but a proper punish will mean a very, full combo. It has a odd hitbox that can grab people out of the air as well as in the middle of combos where players have a certain hit detection. Players can extend combos for quite some time if given the opportunity.
- Can't be cancelled
- Hit Detection: Throw, EX Hit Detection: High
- Damage: 80
∟Press Plus = (qcb+P: After impact to the wall, Maxima pins the head of the opponent to the wall and slams his fist into them with brute force. This move is special and super cancellable, but most people will know you can only super cancel safely with regular Press Plus.
(EX) = qcb+P: After an EX Maxima press, you can super cancel with this variation of Press Plus or drive cancel. Allows for juggle shenanigans. Very important to know when to add Press Plus for a full combo or to just let them fall into a hard knockdown setup.
- EX version is very fast and hard to jump over. Press Plus can now be Drive and Super Canceled. It's an instant-grab when near opponent unlike the D version which has a start-up animation.
- Super-cancellable; EX version is also Drive-cancellable
- Hit Detection: High
- Damage: 50, EX Damage: 120
Double Vapor Cannon = (qcfx2+P): Maxima punches his fists together and extends both fists forward in a highly pressurized vapor blast. This actually hits around 6-7 steps in front of Maxima so it can be classified as a short range fireball. While he does this, he has guardpoint all around his body in a giant blue shell. You can poke him out of it and cross him up, but it will hurt quite a lot if you don't. Maxima can also wire this move if his super counter hits.
(EX) = qcfx2+AC: All aboard the crazy train! Like a steaming locomotive, Maxima comes out of the gates swinging like his EX Vapor Cannon special. The screen freezes, Maxima charges his Vapor Cannon cells, and lets loose an unscaled Double Vapor cannon hit that knocks the opponent away. Unlike the regular one, this does not have guardpoint, but it has VERY fast start up (3F) and it's completely invincible so it's a great reversal. The initial punches can be jumped over so the hitbox is a bit odd. If it's blocked or it misses, Maxima will wait a second and then let loose his vapor cannon anyway. A funny thing is if you're close to him from behind, he'll still hit you. This version is much easier to Max cancel into and is the main reason why he does so much damage. The last hit does not scale no matter how many hits were done. 180 is a lot of damage to go unscaled.
- EX version has faster start-up and increased hit count.
- MAX Cancellable
- Hit Detection: High
- Damage: 220; EX Damage: 80 x 2, 180
Maxima Laser = (hcbx2+AC): Maxima opens up his chest plate to reveal a very big hole. That hole unleashes a large torrent of laser energy that covers the ENTIRE screen. This is a full screen punish folks. It hits multiple times leading to a last, unscaled hit of 120. It's a very deadly Neomax on its own, but in an HD combo for Maxima, an opponent's life will go down the tubes in seconds. It is very fast, but can be safe jumped. It can punish full jumps on reaction. It also has the possibility of not hitting all the way if not done at point blank range.
- Hit Detection: High
- Damage: (15+0) x 22, 120
No Stock, No Drive Gauge -
d.B, d.A, hcb+B.qcb+P -->
Crossup j.C, d.A, df.C, qcb+P/hcb+B.qcb+P -->
1 Stock, No Drive Gauge -
(d.Ax3)/(d.B, d.A, df.C), Ex qcb+P (wires), df.C, (df.C), dp+K/Ex hcb+K.qcb+P -->
j.C, st.D, df+C, qcb+AC, df+C, dp+B = 487 dmg
1 Stock, 1+ Drive Gauge -
Crossup j.C, d.A, df.C, Ex hcb+K.qcb+P, [DC] Ex qcb+P, (wire) df.C, dp+K
If, --> hcb+K.qcb+P, [SC] qcfx2+P
j.C, st.D, hcb+B, qcb+P, [SC] qcf x2 + P = 446 dmg
j.C, st.D, df+C, qcb+A [SC] qcf x2 + P = 506 dmg
j.C, st.D, df+C, hcb+BD, qcb + P [DC] dp+B = 433 dmg
2 Stock, No Drive Gauge -
Hyperhop/hop C, Ex air.qcb+P, Ex qcb+P (wires), df.C, dp+K
qcb+P (counter), hcbx2+P NM
hop.C, qcf+AC, st.D, df+C, qcb+AC, df+C (the other way), dp+K= 553 dmg
2 stock bar, 1 drive gauge
j.C, st.D, df+C, hcb+BD, qcb + P [DC] qcb+AC, df+C, dp+B = 553 dmg
j.C, st.D, hcb+B, qcb+P, [SC] qcf x2 + AC = 578 dmg
j.C, st.D, df+C, qcb+A [SC] qcf x2 + AC = 638 dmg
2 Stock, 2 Drive Gauge -
If, --> Ex hcb+K.qcb+P, [DC] qcb+P, [SC] qcfx2+P
3 Stock, No Drive Gauge -
d.B, d.A, df.C, Ex qcb+P (wires), hcbx2+P NM
3 stock bar, 1 drive gauge
hop C, qcb+AC (in air), st.D, df+C, qcb+A, [SC] qcf+ACx2 = 714 dmg
Hyper Drive Combos
(1)j. C -> cl. D -> df C -> HD -> cl. D -> df C -> qcb + A -(DC)-> qcf + AC -(MC)-> hcb x 2 + AC = 1110 Damage
(2) If HD, --> [SC] qcfx2+P, [MC] hcbx2+P NM
- Maxima Press B is unblockable, it's considered a command grab. However, when it connects it'll press him against the wall. The whiff animation looks like any command grab.
- Maxima Press D is unblockable but has a slow start up.
- EX Maxima Press is blockable but is fast.
- All of Maxima's ground strong normals, have Guard Point (autoguard); d.D is the only exception.
- Vapor Cannon C will wire if it's a counter, EX Vapor Cannon will counter wire every time.
- d.C empty cancels.
- GP'ing takes no tick damage at all. It is possible to Guard Point Joe's entire Screw Upper DM (qcfx2+P)!
Quick notes between these two combos:
--> EX qcb+P (wire), df.C, (df.C), Ex hcb+K -->
--> Ex hcb+K.qcb+P, [DC] Ex qcb+P (wire), df.C, dp+K
Use the second one for more damage, but first one if you only have 2 stocks and no Cancels. Arguably, both combos can be extended, but use the first one for SCs and MCs as it uses one less Drive Cancel already.
Maxima only has three special moves (if you count Air Vapor Cannon, he has four). The cool thing is he does massive damage and his limit is his stocks (the more he has the more creative the combos can get). df.C has pretty good horizontal range as well.
So, in order to fully understand Maxima's guardpoint mechanic, I made it a separate section. Guardpoint is caused when someone attacks a person with a guardpoint move as they do said move. The start-up of the move is slowed, but the person who is being attacked takes no damage until the animation is complete. One might think of "Super Armor" in other fighting games, but the key differences are the following:
- You do not take damage when you guardpoint a move
- You can be grabbed out of the guardpoint move
- Unless the properties allow, two different hits will interrupt guardpoint
- Guardpoint moves are first in, last out. First person to do a guard point move when both are trying to do one is the last in priority.
- Some guardpoints are not full body.
Now, for Maxima, he has 6 normal moves with guardpoint. Those are st.C and st.D (Close), st.C and st. D (far), d.C, and CD (Blowback). His C vapor cannon has guard point on start-up. EX Air Vapor Cannon has 360 degree guardpoint as well as his EX M19 Blitz Cannon (dp+BD). His regular DM has 360 degree guardpoint. Learning when and how to use guardpoint is a very important aspect. For example, only 1 normal move (d.C) can guardpoint low moves. Far D and close D can guardpoint mid area moves like fat fireballs. Far D can guardpoint multi-hit moves like Joe's Screw Upper or Ash's Thermidor as well as C Vapor Cannon. st.C (Far or Close) can stop jump-ins and can hit confirm into DMs. You can guardpoint attack grabs like Kyo's Kototsuki You (hcb+k) and any move that requires a hit. You can't guardpoint grabs like Leona's V Slasher DM or Vice's Splash.
This is going to be a very short section. Maxima does not have very much, with any meter, that he can do to stop people from all the way on the other side of the screen. It's not advisible to stay in this range, especially against fireball characters. Make your way slowly to the other side. You can hop fireballs as they come or just block them. You won't lose much guard meter, especially with Maxima having one of the highest guard bars in the game.
You can safely deflect fireballs with far C. I'd suggest it as it's faster, but since far D is easier to guardpoint, at farther ranges, you can do that as well. People might use EX meter to try to get through your guardpoint if you're doing it too often so be wary of that always.
You can get in by jumping as well. Jump CD will put you practically horizontal so you can hop over fireballs and cover the space. Once you're in mid range, we can start doing more.
At midrange, you're within reach of hitting someone with Vapor cannon or hop range. Here you can play two different ways. You can be aggressive and throw out a vapor cannon to induce blockstun. Rather than that, you can hop in and pressure them with overheads. Although Maxima's air to ground game is terrible because of how little hitsun the moves cause, you can still do some serious damage as they do 80. You can be the aggressor by jumping in at your opponent with CDs as well. If it hits, you can knock them away and get into close range. If you don't hit them or they block, you're pretty safe. On block, you can keep up the hop pressure until you're ready to let them have it.
However, you can also be a bit more defensive. This is also the range where people like to hop or throw out some of their forward moving specials. Maxima can be an impregnable wall; standing stock still while deflecting off any attacks. Opponents that full jump could meet a st.A anti-air or a d.A stop gap between their ground pressure. Not only that, far C guard point will stop air attacks and d.C will stop pressure a little bit. You don't want to rely on d.C to stop lows. Blocking is usually the best answer, but at this range, most lows are nothing to worry about. You want to be reactive, looking to answer moves with the best possible solution. Knowing when to do df+C or when to use your guardpoint to defend yourself will define if you're a competent defensive Maxima.
Be sure to remember that at any time, you can cancel those guardpoints into something else. A st.C guardpoint could turn into a D version Maxima press, something an opponent won't know how to respond to in this situation. If you find you've knocked people out of the air or are at the proper spacing, throw out his sweep. It's very long range and allows you to trip people up on their wake up or as they're falling from a reset. It gives you that ample amount of time to get in. His sweep is a great, yet slow poke. Don't use it unless you're guaranteed they can't hop over it for a punish (like if they're already standing up).
Although a bit scrubby, you can try to get your opponent to press some buttons and respond with an EX move. EX Vapor Cannon has some pretty far range and it allows you the opportunity to wire damage for big offensive gains. The EX Maxima Press is very fast and opponents that aren't blocking at the right time or try to respond will often get snatched up. Some aren't even ready for the punish so it's important to get in a st.C so that it might beat out their delayed response or you guardpoint it in time.
Now, Maxima is at a range where all of his normals are faster and he can apply a different kind of strategy. When you have the opponent close to you, you can put them in a block string like d.A, df+C, qcb+A. Although this is very basic, vapor cannon puts you at a slight frame advantage. You can run in and get in some pokes. You can also cancel into D Maxima press from the df+C to trick people into getting complacent. They'll get run over by his command grab and taken to the wall. Your goal is really to score a hit by making them crack or keep blocking. You can approach from the air and connect with basic combos, anything to get in as Maxima does such huge damage, or keep at them from the ground.
You want to keep them from jumping out or into you. Poking with st.A is great, but a predictable jump can get stuffed and punished for 20% with a well timed df+C. Remember, df+C can be a great poke since up close you can cancel it into vapor cannon. It's actually more ideal because opponents won't have the opportunity to guard roll on the df+C into vapor cannon like they would if you started a guard string.
Once you string a hit in, keep on your opponents. Some of the most amount of damage will come from poking, but a decent 4 hit combo here and there can lead to more meter and more damage. Mix in a low B here and there. It's your only combo-able low, but it's also a fairly good poke if timed into a d.A which would mean more damage.
Once you've conditioned them to block, you can do all kinds of setups to get into a command grab. You can poke them with d.A, run up, and command grab them. You can jump up into a jump CD a few times, hop and do nothing, land and command throw. You can also cancel any of your close normals into D command grab without running up. This is also beneficial because you can cancel your block strings on the fly to just get in. Apply basic grappler footsies with your opponent to get them into your arms. Especially if they're not respecting YOU when you're knocked down. If you're knocked down and they're trying to poke you, grab them or use your EX DP to guard point any meaty pokes.
When you have someone in the corner, Maxima has a great deal of potential. With full HD, he can do a full combo without spacing or the positioning of an opponent being a factor. Also, in the corner, you can hop in with an EX Vapor Cannon. Two things could happen in this situation. They could not be blocking, tried to DP/reversal, and your guardpoint will eat it or they blocked it. That's great on both ends. If you hit someone with your EX vapor cannon, that's a free HD activation right there or any full combo for big damage.
Other than that, you can keep pressuring your opponent with d.A's into tick throw or Vapor cannon. Keep at them, forcing them to block your safe pressure and you'll eventually make them crack into doing something. That something you should be aware and looking out for. Remember that as Maxima, his blockstring at the df+C is not safe. Vapor cannon is NOT safe on whiff. If someone rolls through it or guard cancel rolled the move before it, you're going to eat anything they throw at you.
This is not a fun experience. Being cornered limits your mobility. Here is where you have to play solid and stop a lot of the opponent's advances and pressure. Any time you score an anti-air, run out of the corner. This is also a matter of not getting baited into doing the obvious answer. A lot of opponents will attack grapplers up closer and think if they jump they'll be safe. That's not the case. If they're close to you, mix up your wake up game with a wake-up df+C. On reaction, you could do qcb+A or C. If it hits, you'll combo with qcb+A. If it doesn't hit, you are still safe and qcb+C has guardpoint for if they were doing a delayed response.
Cover your weaknesses. You are very defenseless to cross ups and lows. The best thing to defend that is blocking them as they come or knocking them out of their pressure with st.A or d.A before their moves come out. Most people will try to jump in or run in, but your normals can save you. Close st.C and st.D can turn you around and autocorrect GP a cross up if timed properly. This puts them in the corner for you to screw with. Wait patiently for proper opportunities and timing to guard point a move and knock them away or to make them think twice about getting in on you.
Remember d.C? Well, that's whiff cancellable. You can do d.C into df+C to trick people into jumping over the d.C to get hit with the df+C. Close up, it still will link. You can also just cancel d.C into vapor cannon. Getting them to back up and give you room to play with is the mission of the day when you're in the corner. But of course, if they screw up and provide something for you to punish with with your command grab, use it. The situation is now reversed.
With No Meter/No Drive
If Maxima has no meter and no drive, you've likely put him first or he's last after the second player has ripped through all his meter and drive. That's fine! This is where getting in and staying in works wonders. Don't let the opponent get to far or even mid range. Stay in close range and pressure them. D.A, df+C into Vapor Cannon will be your friend. It'll allow you to really get in and poke them. Use your normals exclusively for anti-air like st.A, st.C or df+C. Keep them grounded so you can build your meter.
Use of hop CD to get in as well as mixing in high lows with d.B from hop C or jump D will give you an opportunity to get in a quick combo. Remember, any of your combos are damaging even without meter. Without meter, you might need to rely on aggressively trying to grab someone, either from a blockstring or by tricking them into blocking instead of avoiding it.
If you feel like you're safer from a distance, one of the best ways to gain stock meter is whiffing his B command grab. You can keep spamming it from a distance till you get stock. You can even do it when you score a knockdown in the corner. Just quickly do it and go right back into pressure.
With 1+ Meter/No Drive
With 1 meter, your baseline damage has practically doubled. An EX Vapor cannon in your full combo can guarantee and extra 200+ damage from follow ups. Maxima doesn't particularly need stock or HD mode to be threatening. If you want to punish someone or feel like their hop CD is too good to deal with, you can use your EX DP to grab them out of it or let 2 bars rip to unload your EX DM on them as they're in mid air. The move is fast and deals such ridiculous damage.
Your regular DM becomes a good reversal tool when someone moves in on you. Remember though that it's slow and not very good if they're fishing for you to do it. You can use EX Maxima press to get in from afar and punish moves that generally aren't safe from a distance like Robert's flying kick on block.
When you're trying to jump in, you can use that meter now to use EX Vapor Cannon to get in. In the corner, if someone tried to dp, you can time df+C properly to hit them 3 times with it! You can finish that combo for a dp+k for a cool 300-400 damage off of one bar!
With No Meter/50%-100% Drive
I'll just let you in on the secret. Maxima can't do very much of anything with drive without stock. Gain stock.
With 1+ Meter/50%-100% Drive
This is where Maxima is the most deadly. If you've got the opportunity and hit your opponent, throttle them for everything they've got. You could go for EX Maxima press combos and drive cancel into df+C for good damage. You could do even better by hitting a combo and super canceling into his DM or EX DM. With his normals doing such huge amounts of damage in one or two hits, we're talking killer amounts of damage. You could score up to 700 damage for 3 stock and 1 drive in the corner using hop C into EX Air Vapor cannon, land into a normal combo and finish with an [SC] EX Double Vapor Cannon DM.
The amount of damage he does in super cancel combos is ridiculous, but the real crazy damage is what happens when you land his neomax or HD. From far away, your Neomax is your only full screen punish, but it will HURT if someone gets hit. If you want to just pop it, activate HD and go in on them. A lot of your far normals are special cancellable in HD so that makes them more safe on block. You can also pop it if they jump in for 2 stock bars and all your HD instead of 3.
In the event you have the opportunity to do an HD combo, the spacing is a bit tight and hard to time. However, it can kill players for as easy as 3 bars. It will 100% them guaranteed for 4 bars. Use st.D if you can, but any HD combo can be done with your usual starters like st.C (1), df+C or d.A, df+C.
Best Team Position?
I believe Maxima benefits greatly from having stock. His best position on the team as a solid defensive character as well as pure game-changing element would be last. He can flip your head over with a 3 bar HD combo and come at your last character with 50% of their life missing in the first few hits for 1 bar. He makes use of bar much more than stock and that makes him very versatile for meter management.
On the flipside, I also feel he does not gain that much drive meter and atleast 50% is useful for doing large amounts of damage. I'd feel comfortable being second because you'll atleast have some drive set up to get in there for some heavy amounts of damage. He's also got very good defensive normals and guardpoint in most of them so utilizing that as your anchor or your second would be very frustrating for your opponent as they have meter they might have wasted or lost because of your strong defenses.
Iori Yagami (Claw)
Iori Yagami (Flame)
Kyo Kusanagi (XIII)
Kyo Kusanagi (NESTS)
Maxima (mirror match)
Links & References
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