Gameplay

Injustice 2: Understanding SonicFox’s Top 10 Characters For Competitive Play

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Injustice 2
Source: Injsutice 2 in-game screenshot

The winner of both Evo 2017 Mortal Kombat X and Combo Breaker 2017 Injustice 2 tournament, Dominique “SonicFox” McLean, has posted his 10 top tier picks for Injustice 2 on his Twitter. Understanding the strengths of these characters needs intimate knowledge of fighting game terminologies and Injustice 2’s systems. With some help from another professional NetherRealm Studio fighting game player, here’s how to understand SonicFox’s tier list.

Injustice 2 Top Tiers According To SonicFox

SonicFox’s tweet listed down ten characters from Injustice 2’s roster, which he considers as the best picks right now. Here’s his top ten picks:

  1. Black Adam
  2. Aquaman
  3. Atrocitus
  4. Darkseid
  5. Deadshot
  6. Batman
  7. Superman
  8. Bane
  9. Poison Ivy
  10. Robin

McLean just listed the ten characters without obvious context. However, he did have brief discussions in his Tweet replies, which may sound too technical for the uninitiated player.

Fighting Game and Injustice 2 Basics

Knowing fighting game jargons and basics tend to be tedious and difficult to understand, especially if playing the game alone. This article will condense the information about these Injustice 2 top tiers from another professional player, Imperium Pro Team’s Migo from the Philippines. IPT.Migo has won first place in the recent Summer Salt 2017 Mortal Kombat X tournament in the country. He is also known to be a pillar of NetherRealm Studio fighting game community in the Philippines.

Here’s an article from Gamespot discussing Injustice 2’s terms and special systems. One run of reading the fighting game glossary should also help. Not all of the terms will be used but it’ll be useful to keep track of the discussion.

Top Tier Breakdown

In an interview, IPT.Migo explained to The Bitbag SonicFox’s top tier character strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully, we might be able to learn something from his analyses of these characters. While he provides the high-level tech, we’ll provide the easier tech for these characters for players still unable to keep up with high-level Injustice 2 move execution. Keep in mind that this guide doesn’t cover all of these character’s strengths (+) and weaknesses (-)

Black Adam

  • + Bread and Butter combos deal half health
  • + Good Zoning through far-reaching, low hit lightning projectile (Lightning Strike)
  • + Instant lightning projectile (Lightning Storm and Black Magic)
  • + Not too Execution heavy
  • + Best Character Power: three Unblockable Lightning Balls circling around Black Adam that are deadly against low health opponents
  • + Good backward dash and forward combo attacks makes for a good close range fighter
  • – No decent wakeup attack options

Injustice 2’s Black Adam definitely has a great set of specials coupled with combo attacks ending in plus frames. Most of Black Adam’s specials come out fast and its meter burned versions could send enemies flying away or launched up for a combo. Meter burned Black Magic has a unique launcher that sends enemies flying in a slow speed.

Black Adam’s damaging combos apparently deal good damage, and they’re not too hard to do. His combos may require meter burned specials and charged attacks, but they’re not too difficult to pull off because of Black Adam’s easy-to-connect specials. Dealing half of your enemies’ health through bread and butter combos means that you’ll just need enough resources for two good combos to end rounds.

Meanwhile, attacks that end in plus frames allows you to act faster than your enemy if they block it. Plus frame attacks are great against players who rely too much on blocking.

Black Adam’s plus frame combo attacks (Corruption, End Phase, Heru’s Swiftness) start with light attacks, which makes them reliable as they are the fastest moves in Injustice 2.

Aquaman

+ Defensive Powerhouse because of attack ranges and trait

+ From The Deep special attack solves zoners that rely too much on projectiles

+ Great Bread and Butter combo damage like Black Adam

–  Meter-reliant for most of his combos

Even without competitive fighting game knowledge, Aquaman has obviously good range with his attacks that use his trident or specials. If played well, his good range can be used for both offense and defense. His character power allows him to have increased hit recovery which can be used in mid-combo to ruin enemy juggles and catch them off guard. Aquaman also has a good amount of slow reliable projectiles. If playing online, expect to see Aquaman players use his range and projectiles well even if they don’t know how to do a single combo.

Atrocitus

+ Dex-Starr’s attacks can be used to cover Atrocitus’ vulnerable recovery animations and slow attacks

+ Good set of normal attacks

+ Bloodnado special move is a good anti-zoner character, launcher, and combo filler move

– Unsafe moves

– Dex-Starr backup attacks must be used well to make his unending pressure work

Atrocitus’ is one Injustice 2’s large characters and it shows on his damage output and his normal attack animations. His Bloodnado special move can be seen used mostly by AIs to lift players towards them. Even if the AIs don’t always continue the combo, correct Bloodnado use could be devastating in the hands of competent players.

Dex-Starr and Atrocitus’ working together may look funny at first but the cat is actually extremely useful for players. Dex-Starr is commanded separately from Atrocitus and can attack while Atrocitus is throwing punches of his own. A little creativity with this character can lead to interestingly fun combos or keep enemies blocking as long as the cat is around.

Darkseid

+ God-like zoning because of laser special moves

+ Zoning tools can be used both in the air and ground

+ Teleport combo setups

+ Anti-Projectiles

– Teleport setups might need some practice

Darkseid’s teleport can be outright frustrating to deal for new players. He can teleport behind you and does a stomping move that hits you low. Players with good reflexes could react to this and get out of the way, but most will have their block command used against them. SonicFox also showed a clip on Twitter that features him breaking a training dummy’s defense set to all block. The Combo Breaker champion also suggests to use Darkseid beyond his good zoning tools.

Speaking of zoning, Darkseid has the most unnerving projectile animations in the Injustice 2 roster. It zigzags on the screen but actually stays committed to its intended programming. Even at casual play, a good mix of his teleport and lasers can frustrate any player if not prepared.

Deadshot

+ Best projectile move in the game: Wrist Cannons   

+ Beats any character who can’t stop him from shooting

+ Has enough projectiles to keep enemies from a distance and control their movement

+ Best projectile move generates good amount of meter even if it misses

+ Good combo attack options to break an opponent’s guard or approach if they get too close to combo Deadshot

+ Character Power gives special properties to his bullets which adds extra frustration against any enemy

– Most likely to get a heavy nerf in a future patch

Currently, Deadshot has been one of SonicFox’s choice picks for Injustice 2 tournaments. Even without professional knowledge, it’s easy to see what he’s doing as he consistently uses the best projectile attack (Wrist Cannon) in Injustice 2 to keep opponents away. Wrist Cannon shoots out a fast bullet and recovers fast enough to keep players frustrated with repeated shots.

Deadshot’s zoning play consists of many Wrist Cannon moves and doing the correct bouncing bullet projectile if an enemy jumps. Alternatively, meter burning Wrist Cannons in Injustice 2 and low rifle shots are enough to send your opponents flying to the opposite side of the screen. Your meter gain comes from repeated use of Wrist Cannons. The tactic can be cheap if players are stuck crouching far away from Deadshot. NetherRealm Studio might nerf Deadshot if this tactic stays around and damages the playerbase too much.

Batman

+ Injustice 2’s Ryu/Scorpion

+ Easy to learn

+Jumping Medium Attack is a great cross up tool

+ High damage output in combos

+ Actually says “I’m Batman” in some Clash dialogue

– Predictable combo attacks as you get more familiar with Batman

– Can’t deal with projectile characters well

Batman is the first character you touch in Injustice 2, if you’ve played the tutorial. His moves are devastating even in the hands of a casual player, especially if they keep landing their blows. In other fighting games, Street Fighter 5’s Ryu and Mortal Kombat X’s Scorpion were mostly suggested to newer players as they have basic tools and a good character to start learning advanced combos

Batman’s jumping medium attack has been the usual starter of many casual players as it was the first cross-up move taught during the tutorial. Batman is best for budding competitive players as they try to learn high-level Injustice 2 play without fear of getting destroyed too easily.

Superman

+ Heat Vision projectile spams

+ Forward Medium Attack to Heavy Attack is a good plus combo attack

+ Plays too similar to his Injustice 1 version who is also a strong offense character

+ Ignore Armor + Damage buff character power is straightforward to use

+ Good mobility

+ Can deal with most characters well

– Could be as predictable as Batman

Superman is one of Injustice 2’s easy-to-learn characters and is still strong in both the hands of casual and high-level players. Players can easily resort to using heat vision projectile moves to punish an enemy’s whiffed attack and keep blasting them with lasers until death. His armor break character power can also be used to buff damage and encourage newcomers to remember using his character power.

However, Superman is one of the cast’s basic characters. Players will definitely have an advantage if they know how to block all of Superman’s attacks and punish him correctly. Fortunately, Superman is one of the characters with a few combo attack moves in Injustice 2. Learn how to react to his attacks and you might do fine against this offensive powerhouse.

Bane

+ Character Power adds Armor to his all of his Special Attacks

+ Level 3 Venom-charged Raging Charge special move is projectile invulnerable

+ Can set your enemies for inescapable throws

– Has to get close to do his job well

Bane is one of Injustice 2’s grappler characters who thrive on landing command throws consistently in between his combos. Unlike regular throws, command throws cannot be escaped when landed. They can also be set up to end blocked combos to prevent them from jumping away from your throws. Bane’s character power allows some of his attacks and all his special moves to get armor. This is best used against knocked down players who press attacks on wakeup. The armor will soak the damage and the move will continue. Efficient use of well-timed command throws and armored attacks are crucial for him to be threatening in matches. However, he struggles against players who know how to break his armor and punish Bane when his character power is on cooldown.

Poison Ivy

+ Multi-hit normal attacks and good combo attacks (Evil Root-ine, Thistle Hurt, Prune The Weak)

+ Special moves with good potential to keep enemies afraid of their positions

+ Good zoner character through her character power

+ Has a tracking special attack that stuffs projectile heavy characters like Aquaman

– Needs practice and deep understanding to make her tools work

Poison Ivy’s combo attacks make her hit her foes at a rapid pace, which is useful for newcomers. However, Injustice 2’s stiff command input system might not allow them to mash out the full combo. Meanwhile, some of her combo attacks starts off with a fast, standing low and one even ends in a decent launcher. Ivy is pretty reliable in close range, but don’t let the lengthy combos fool you as enemies can punish reckless spamming of these moves.

Ivy’s special moves focus on controlling ground and enemy position rather than outright destroying them with devastating blows. One special makes Poison Ivy grow a bed of barbed vines that deals damage if the enemies stand on it. They warrant correct use of positioning and attacks to keep them in the zone or just in the effective area of their attacks. Bad uses of her specials can easily be answered with a quick jab to the face. Poison Ivy has a great potential to lockdown foes but will have to work for it to be effective.

Robin

+ Best normal attacks in terms of speed, range, and reach

+ Can easily improvise combos with a simple poke punish

+ Smoke Birdarang teleport can continuously be used to confuse enemies on where to block

+ Beats Aquaman and Brainiac’s range

– No low starter

– Suffers against good zoning

– Meter dependent

By far, Robin is one of the quickest characters in Injustice 2. His combo attacks are fast and reach far which are good for poking opponents from a short distance. As long as his sword connects, a meter burned Sword Dance can pop up foes for a combo. Due to his speed and range, he can beat Aquaman’s trident and Brainiac’s tentacle attacks, which also reach far.

However, Robin’s problem is his lack of reliable combo starting from a low, which could encourage his opponents to easily predict his combos. It’s not that risky if Robin punches low as he can’t do long meterless combos afterwards. Robin’s mobility tools could also be countered with a well-placed projectile, especially if he uses it to approach or escape. Lastly, Robin’s combos need to have a meter burn move in between it, or else it won’t deal great damage.

Tier Lists Are Subjective and Tentative To Change

Mostly, tier lists are created as a guide and not the gospel truth to decide a fighting game’s best characters. The developers could always tweak character stats and new strategies to fight against known tactics could be discovered at any time. However, tier lists are made from competitive observations and it could count when a professional player says it. If a character stays on top of most professional player tier lists, they might actually be good and effective in the game, and this also applies in Injustice 2.

Despite the great help that tier lists have, you can still pick and play your favorite character to have fun. We hope that this tier list analysis helps you understand how strong these characters are in Injustice 2. Stay updated with more Injustice 2 news and guides here on The Bitbag.

Thank you again to IPT.Migo and CG.Champo for giving The Bitbag some time and supplying information for these Injustice 2 characters.

Also read: Tekken 7 Handles Loot Better Than Injustice 2, But Reveals Its Lack Of Content

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