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December 23, 2014 / Jett

Ultra Street Fighter IV Showdown: Decapre vs. Rolento


Decapre and Rolento have more in common than just being two of the five new characters in Ultra Street Fighter IV. They’re also characters that I’ve put a lot of time and effort into. As of writing, my Decapre is ranked 4th in the world on PSN, while my Rolento is 7th. Clearly, I’ve managed to garner a fair amount of success with both, to the point where they probably give my Rose a run for her money.

In this post, I’ll analyze both characters based on my experiences with them and determine which of the two is better. Which of the two will come out of this fight still standing?

Play Style

When used to her fullest potential, Decapre is like a buzzsaw. Darting around the screen within the blink of an eye, she can tear an opponent apart before they can even comprehend what’s happening. By leveraging all of the different variations of her Scramble maneuver, she can assault her opponents from seemingly any angle. If she’s not zipping in and out of sight, she can use her Rapid Daggers to assault her foes head-on.

Rolento, on the other hand, floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. He has a number of different special moves that give him unique mobility options, such as his Trick Rod and Mekong Delta Attack. The former lets him shorten his jump arc while allowing him to bounce towards or away from his opponents with an attack. The latter allows him to quickly roll towards his opponents while avoiding projectiles along the way. By making the most of his unique movement options, Rolento can rush his opponent during a moment of vulnerability and then slip away before his opposition can strike back.

Strengths

Decapre has the tools to trap her opponents in an offensive vortex. Once she knocks her opponents down, she can leverage her moves to create a series of hard-to-block scenarios that can quickly dismantle someone. Even in a neutral state, once she starts to apply pressure, she can quickly turn the tide with a Scramble mix-up. My personal favourite tactic is to force my opponent to block a string of normal attacks, then cancel the last attack into her Scramble.

Decapre Mix-UpOnce I’m in the air, I can either quickly come down for a dive kick, quickly land in front of them for a throw, execute a ground pound from the front or the back, or simply fly away to safety. With my opponent already on their heels from blocking the first few attacks, the likelihood of them stopping the next maneuver is greatly diminished. If I’m able to strike with an EX ground pound, I can create a myriad of reset opportunities by hitting them out of the air first.

Because of the tricky nature of her offensive approach, Decapre can be a threat at basically any point in the match. All she needs is one opening in order to blow a match wide open. Even the most dire of situations for her can be quickly fixed with the right series of offensive maneuvers. At her best though, she’ll leave you flat on the canvas before you even know what happened.

Rolento is no slouch on the offensive end, either, though his approach is a bit different. Unlike Decapre, who thrives at point-blank range, he thrives when he’s got a bit more room to use his stick. Rolento’s standing light punch is one of the longest-reaching light punch attacks in the game. I also love his standing heavy punch, where Rolento swings his stick downwards for a two-hit attack that reaches almost half-screen.

I think the best tools in his arsenal are his Mekong Delta Attack and Trick Rod. The first move sends a rolling Rolento forward for a one-hit strike, while the latter lets Rolento use his stick like a pogo. The regular version of the roll passes through fireballs and it also works as a weirdly good anti-air attack. As for the Trick Rod, you can use it in a myriad of ways as an attack, or as a method of altering his jump arc, as a way of attacking directly below. After the bounce, Rolento can either travel left or right and attack in the air again. The quick gif below highlights all of these uses in one quick sequence.

Ultra Street Fighter IV Rolento At his best, Rolento is never where your opponent wants him to be. He’s in your face when you need room to breath, or he’s scurrying away when you want to fight back. Even zoning characters like Guile or Dhalsim will struggle to keep a lid on Rolento, as he has the tools to travel wherever he wants, whenever he wants. As long as he’s able to stay on his feet, Rolento can be a nightmare.

Weaknesses

Both characters have issues with playing defensively. When attackers jump in, neither of them have a reliable go-to anti-air attack. Decapre has an uppercut, but it’s not hard for an opponent to space their jump in a way to make it whiff completely. Her normal moves don’t really work as anti-air options, either. Rolento’s standing medium punch is the closest thing he has to an anti-air attack, but that one is very spacing and timing specific as well.

Against large grapplers such as Zangief and T. Hawk, both characters struggle. Most of their damage comes from being relatively close, which is exactly where they want you. Decapre is going to have to risk it in order to create damage, but she’ll likely eat a number of command grabs in the process. Rolento has some tools to poke them to death, but his distinct lack of wake-up options make him a huge target the moment a grappler is able to get within point-blank range.

Their biggest weaknesses are what set them apart. For Decapre, her damage output potential is severely reduced when she’s not charged. Without a Scramble or Psycho Sting ready, the best she can do in these types of situations situations is land a staccatto poke followed by Rapid Slash. Not to diss Rapid Slash, as it’s a great mash move, but the overall damage output from these scenarios is fairly low. She can’t be charged all the time, so she needs to mitigate this deficiency as best she can while still staying mobile and aggressive.

The other hole in her game comes from the overall riskiness that’s inherent to her special moves. Her Rapid Dagger and Spiral Arrow moves can be hard to punish in certain cases, though they’re almost always punishable on block. Also, pretty much every version of Scramble can be punished if your opponent correctly reads the follow-up move. Even if you’re highly creative in the way you pull these moves off, you’re still forced to gamble your well-being on a special move in hopes of scoring massive damage if it works.

As for Rolento, he’s a huge liability when his opponents are directly in front of him. Aside from his crouching light kick, all of his normals at this range come out too slowly to beat the game’s faster normal attacks. Also, once he’s knocked down, he better hope his opposition gives him some breathing room. If they don’t, he has very few ways to escape pressure on wake-up. Unlike Decapre, he doesn’t have any sort of invincible uppercut to knock someone out of the way. His back dash is too slow and too short in range to move him into safer territory. The closest thing he has to a get out of jail free card is his EX Mekong Delta Escape, which causes Rolento to jump off the closest wall with some invincibility on the way up. The problem with this move is that it’s punishable as soon as he jumps off the wall and the flight path is predictable. Smart players will simply swat him out of the sky whenever he goes for it, which nullifies its effectiveness.

My Match-Up Tier List for Decapre

Match-Ups Opponents
6:4 in favour of Decapre Seth, Gouken, Dan, Dhalsim, Dee Jay, Rolento, Guile, E. Honda
5:5 even Ryu, Ken, Ibuki, Makoto, Dudley, Akuma, Gen, Sakura, Oni, Elena, Yun, Abel, C. Viper, M. Bison, Cammy, Cody, Guy, Hakan, Poison, Evil Ryu, Blanka, Rufus, Vega, Balrog, Fei Long, T.Hawk, Adon, Rose, Yang, Hugo,
4:6 in favour of Decapre’s opponent El Fuerte, Chun, Sagat, Zangief

I think Decapre has the tools to hang against the rest of the roster. However, I don’t think she beats anyone at the character select screen. Most of her fights I’ve listed at being even, with only a handful of inherently good or bad match-ups. Against most opponents, I think it’s an even playing field and winning will be determined primarily by her ability to outplay her competition.

My Match-Up Tier List for Rolento

Match-Ups Opponents
6:4 in favour of Rolento E. Honda, Dan, Dhalsim, Dee Jay, Guile, Balrog
5:5 even Ryu, Gouken, Gen, Oni, Elena, Juri, Chun, M. Bison, Sagat, Cody, Guy, Hakan, Poison, El Fuerte, Vega, Fei Long, Rose, Hugo
4:6 in favour of Rolento’s opponent Ken, Makoto, Dudley, Seth, Akuma, Sakura, Yun, Abel, C. Viper, Cammy, Decapre, Evil Ryu, Blanka, Zangief, Rufus, T. Hawk, Adon, Yang, Ibuki

Rolento, on the other hand, is a bit more spread out. He has a handful of good match-ups, and a lot of bad ones. The fundamental challenge with Rolento is that he’s such a liability on defense. If any of those 4:6 characters knock him down and keep the pressure going, he has very few options to escape. By exploiting this weakness, many characters can score easy wins, while Rolento players will have to work their butts off in order to maintain control of the match.

The Verdict

At this rate, neither of these characters are going to reach the top of the tier lists. Right now, I think both of them are somewhere in the middle. Both of them are also fun to play. If I had to pick one though, I’d say that Decapre is the better character. Both can be offensive powerhouses when they have the momentum, though Rolento really falls apart when people fight fire with fire. When things get rough, Decapre can use her Psycho Sting to hit people out of the way or Scramble to safety. Unfortunately, Rolento’s defensive options aren’t as strong, which makes him more susceptible to aggressive play. Sorry bud, but Decapre wins this showdown!

 

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