Under Night In-Birth/UNICLR/Vatista/Strategy
Disclaimer: This is a community written page and may contain opinions that all players may not agree with. Use at your own discretion.
- Vatista is a character with simple but strong tools who is capable of dictating the pace of most matchups. Because of the strengths of her tool kit, she can be played in many different styles: extreme passivity or aggression are both valid. However, changing up tempo and approaches to neutral situations on the fly is encouraged, if not necessary.
- Vatista is just as capable of playing careful keep-away as she is of running a vortex-like series of mixups to melt the opponent's health bar. However, the best Vatista play tends to blend the two and reward neutral pokes with full confirms into snowballing pressure.
- Vatista is capable of throwing a rhythmic barrage of projectiles that make approaching her recklessly very punishing. Because her fullscreen Mico Ruseo requires a forward charge, it is necessary to mask the charge time with her Lumen Stella specials (6x). The basic Vatista strategy involves alternating between  and  charges in order to keep a series of projectiles going.
- Vatista is a strong zoning character. However, because of this, it is very easy to throw projectiles and lose a great deal of GRD. In order to win vorpal cycles, Vatista must mix between using her projectiles and setting Si Deus Fragmentum. Gems allow Vatista to concentrate and threaten to detonate them if an opponent approaches recklessly. She can do this at close range with 5A or at a long distance with 5C. Because of the nature of the vorpal cycle, using gems effectively is imperative in order to play Vatista successfully.
- Because of her dash, she is a character that benefits greatly from backing off and setting up obstacles rather than engaging directly. Vatista must first back off before she can advance safely! She does this by jumping back and using a projectile in the air like Air B Lumen. While j6A provides much better frame advantage, it is slower to start up and therefore easier to react to or even interrupt. Her j6B starts up much faster, is very hard to react to, and launches Vatista backwards when it fires, acting almost as a second jump backwards. This can be easily abused to safely retreat to fullscreen.
- After backing off, she can either poke from fullscreen with Mico Ruseo ("lazers") or set up gems. Lazers are a very important component for checking movement, but they are easily shielded. Therefore, if the opponent shows that they are respecting the threat of lazers, gems should instead be set so that Vatista can concentrate and have a threat ready to go. Backing off even further away from the gem and threatening to 5C can make checking the opponent's movement easier and concentrating safer.
- It is very easy for playing keep-away to go wrong. The worst-case scenario of playing too much keep-away is that the opponent wins vorpal and Vatista is cornered. Therefore, it's important to pay very close attention to screen position and the GRD war in order to adjust the gameplan if necessary.
- After backing off, she can take advantage of the threat of lazers to set up A Lumen (6A) in order to mount her approach. Once A Lumen is out, she can safely dashblock behind it in order to close the distance and set up pressure. This is very difficult for many characters to contest. However, if she successfully approaches but then is unable to run strong offense, the opportunity is wasted. Therefore, it's very important to either:
- win vorpal first before approaching or
- set up a situation where Vatista can still win vorpal on her offense
- While approaching behind A Lumen, it is possible either to wait for the projectile to connect OR meet the opponent preemptively before the projectile. The latter comes with some very notable advantages. If the opponent is trying to shield the projectile by crouch shielding, Vatista can GRD break them with assault jB. Although assault jB has some whiffing issues against some characters up close, the further hitbox is much more consistent and does a good job of punishing opponents too eager to try to shield for GRD. Stand shielding can be equally risky, as Vatista can run up and use the long-range low hitbox of 2FF.
- Because opponents are likely to try to jump over your projectiles, there are several strategies you can use in order to prevent your opponent from leaving the ground safely:
- Using "gem bridge": following behind A Lumen and using the projectile hitbox to detonate gems, which cover the space above you.
- Using 66C gem set: the 66C will initially check movement and the projectile will detonate the gem, leading to a full combo on hit or large frame advantage on block.
- Both of these concepts are shown in this video.
- Using rising jC falling jA: jC can be used to meet the opponent in the air. Even if it is air shielded, the projectile will extend the opponent's blockstun, potentially setting up an air-unblockable 5A. On hit, it can be confirmed with jC > jB > (projectile hits) > rejump > jA> A drill. If the opponent remains on the ground, jA can hit just before the projectile and lead to a high/low mixup. If the jA connects before the projectile, it will remain plus on shield and Vatista can take her turn. An example can be seen here.
- If it is not feasible to approach the opponent behind A Lumen, dashblocking is a fundamental UNI approach. After dashblocking, 66C provides a very strong way in when resources are available. By using 66C FF CS, Vatista can transition very quickly from a neutral situation to a high/low mixup. 66C (FF) C Lazer (4C) is also very plus on block, so meter can be used instead of CS in order to transition to offense.
- Note: C Lazer is +7 on the ground, but +11 just off of the ground. By using low altitude j[FF] 4C, more advantage can be gained on block and a high/low mixup is possible.
- Vatista's new barrier mechanic in CLR is a very important new aspect of her neutral game. It acts as a very strong counter-zoning tool in matchups like Hyde and Akatsuki, but also has universally-applicable cancel mechanics that change her zoning patterns significantly.
- By inputting 2AB~6A, Vatista can send out an A Lumen and immediately follow this with an A Lazer. This can catch an opponent off-guard if they attempt to run in after seeing the A Lumen startup. B Lumen can be used instead at mid-range for high reward on counterhit if the opponent is antsy.
- By inputting 2AB~A, Vatista can use an A Lazer and then follow it up with a B Lumen.
- By inputting 2AB~2A/B, Vatista can set a gem. This can catch opponents preemptively shielding or running anti-projectile counterplay in response to seeing the barrier, and it allows Vatista a critical leg up in concentration wars.
- The most powerful use of Concordia in the current version is using it to partition three projectiles. The "triple ball" partition is extremely useful both defensively to help time out rounds or offensively to close the distance. One example can be found here.
- Although it has become more difficult in recent patches, it is still possible to partition A Lazer C Lumen.
- Once Vatista scores a clean hit, she is capable of running very strong pressure resets with gems and can leverage the threat of throw or nearly-unreactable high/low mixups in the form of her "B drill" Trans Volans, an instant overhead. Her offensive capabilities go through the roof when she has vorpal, and many setups have no clear counterplay, so getting knocked down by Vatista (especially when she has CS available) can be a very scary situation.
Pressure Without Gems
- If there is not already a gem set on the opponent, Vat's offensive options are relatively limited. Her basic blockstring/attack patterns could be summarized as:
- String into 2C rebeat (+/-0, very strong in some matchups when followed by 66B, 66C, or assault jC)
- String into gem set (ranges from safe to punishable depending on the matchup, normal used, and distance)
- String into A Lumen (ranges from uncontestable without careful shielding to fully punishable depending on the matchup, normal used, and distance)
- String into lazer (low reward on hit)
- String into B Lumen (high reward on counterhit or in the corner)
- String into 2FF/5[FF] (low reward without resources, but potentially very high reward with resources)
- It is also possible to run stagger/throw pressure with Vatista's A normals. However, it is a relatively weak aspect of Vatista's pressure. It can be made stronger with the threat of B drill. By using 5AA, it is possible to set up drill at close range if the pokes are not contested. This can be mixed with frame trap 2C or 5B to catch the opponent pressing a button.
Pressure With Gems
- Because normals can be cancelled to gems, and because gems can be detonated by those same normals, it's possible to gem detonate into gem set ("det set") and run psuedo-infinite pressure once a gem is on the opponent. The possibilities in this pressure are not endless - there are certain "rules" that apply in order to keep gem pressure plus on block. However, the mixup opportunities are virtually endless, especially when paired with B drill partitions and throw baits.
- Information on throw baits with gems can be found here: Throw Strategy With Gems
- Information on gem frame data, pressure patterns, and mixups can be found in this document: foxof42's ST Vatista Tech Archive
Basic Mixups With CS
- The most basic mixup available to Vatista with CS is B Drill, although it requires 100 for C Lazer in case the B Drill is blocked. B drill can be performed gaplessly after 66C using FF CS. It is also possible to use jFF CS to create even more dynamic high/low opportunities. A few examples can be seen here. (A gem is not necessary for any of these, but gem explosions often aid in the mixup by making it more visually confusing/obfuscated.) It is especially worth noting that the momentum after jFF CS is influenced by the last direction held before CS. By rising with jFF and then holding , it's possible to "fast fall" into 2C. This is a very rewarding mixup that is also very safe if the Vatista does not also have meter.
- A very powerful and versatile mixup involves CSing the startup of A Lumen. This causes a "bouncing ball" effect, slowing down the speed of the projectile so that Vatista can move in and throw before it connects. That is simply one layer, however, as Vatista can just as well dashblock and let the opponent be counterhit if they try to fight back. When cancelled early after normals like 2C with heavy blockstun, the common options available are:
- 66B > confirm hit/block > dash up throw
- 66C > FF > Lumen connects
- dash 5A > dash throw
- dashblock > backdash
- It is worth noting that when midscreen, opponents are more likely to attempt to evade the situation. 66C is extremely useful for stuffing backdashes and catching jump outs.
- When in the corner, A Lumen CS can also be paired with gems and B Drill partitions to create very oppressive setups. Examples can be seen here.
- B Lumen can also be CS'd in order to gaplessly set a gem and still have advantage. This can be particularly useful in the corner as a way to safely transition to gem loop pressure.
- Gem sets cannot be CS'd on startup on block. However, they can be CS'd on hit. This can allow Vat to option select hit confirms in her blockstrings by using button > gem > CS. One could also CS after the gem on block in order to set up a high reward counterpoke with B Flashkick, or to simply leverage a situation in which Vatista is neutral with the opponent but with a gem between them.
- 66C A Lumen: 66C to the other side of the opponent and frame trap with Lumen either for a full combo or to be +9 on block.
- Why it's a gimmick: the opponent can react to the startup of A Lumen and reversal throw in the 4F gap. This in turn be punished by using 66C into 2FF. However, if the second hit of 2FF is shielded, it becomes -6 and is full combo punishable.
- Assault jC B Drill: assault at the opponent and then surprise them with an instant overhead - or go low for higher reward. If the assault jC is used deep in the assault, both options are gapless.
- Why it's a gimmick: the opponent can shield any of the three hits of assault jC in order to add landing recovery and disrupt the B drill input. While Vatista is actually still slightly plus when jC is shielded, inputting B drill quickly as a surprise is taken off the table, and the opponent is free to mash against bad drill attempts unless the Vat plays very carefully by pressing their own A normal.
- A Flashkick C Lumen: 4F flashkick cancelled into a special that locks the opponent down for a mixup.
- Why it's a gimmick: there is a large gap between A Flashkick and C Lumen that can be interrupted by the opponent. It is always punishable!
- 2BBB gem set: a very stable ender introduced in CLR that works even at very high prorations. It allows for very damaging combos into very strong oki with nothing sacrificed in between.
- 2C gem set: still technically the highest hit advantage ender. It is possible to slightly increase ender damage using 2BBB > 2C or 2C > 2BBB depending on the route.
- Satelles Triangulum: the optimal meterless oki ender in ST. Requires very specific routing in order to preserve proration. If the combo is overly-prorated, the opponent can forward-tech after the knockdown, causing instability.
- A Drill: there is virtually no reason to ever use A Drill as an ender, despite it being the staple knockdown tool in mission mode.
- Vatista has a total of five different EX enders, all which serve a unique purpose in context:
- C Drill: the highest-damaging ender when paired with jC jFF for high altitude. Because it ends in a wall bounce, oki can vary in consistency.
- C Flashkick: provides the most corner carry while still preserving a knockdown. Second-highest most damaging ender.
- C Lumen: does not add damage, but provides oki/setplay and allows for setups like empty jumps into high/low, gem sets, and even B drill partitions to be gapless. Must be set up from jFF or after a satellus ender. Note: when the opponent is in the corner, shielding jC can push Vatista very far very fast. This can be mitigated with a forward dash into a forward jump.
- C Lazer: provides a moderate amount of added damage, a moderate amount of corner carry, and ample frame advantage to set a gem. When used to get closer to the corner, it can set up corner gem pressure. When used in the corner, it can set up an aerial gem set into falling jA safejump. Must be set up from jFF.
- C Satelles: inputted as 2AB~2C, this ender acts as a metered version of the satellus ender. It can be performed in any combo ending in a chain detonation. It provides the most frame advantage for setting up gems and can stabilize routes where a preferred meterless ender (such as 2BBB) is not available. It does the lowest average damage.
- When Vatista is knocked down, she is far from defenseless. She has access to flashkicks that make pressuring her tricky. Her 5A has incredible range for a 6F normal that can contest pressure at a range normally reserved for B normals. Her 2BBB is a 10F startup, extremely far-reaching and active button that confirms easily on hit and is difficult for the opponent to space out in pressure. Her 2C has variable startup starting at 10F and can catch an opponent walking back and scouting for her other options.
- When defending as Vatista, it is ideal to confirm blocked pokes into a gem set. Even if this ends your turn, it changes the dynamic of your opponent's pressure and can allow you to easily punish them with 5A detonate for overextending.
- Flashkick series (8x): She can use flashkick on wakeup, as a reactionary antiair, or to blow up obvious gaps in blockstrings. When she has vorpal, these threats go up significantly, as she is rarely in a situation where she cannot CS a gap and successfully reversal.
- A Flashkick: notably NOT fully-invincible, but has frame 1 head invul. It is 4F startup point blank and reaches an opponent at tip range at frame 6. Requires 38F to charge, faster than other flashkicks. It functions similarly to other characters "A DPs," meaning it can be cancelled with meter or CS. When used as an antiair, it can be confirmed into C Drill for high reward (most consistent on counterhit). However, there are two important caveats:
- If meter is to be spent on block, A Flashkick (one hit) into C lazer is ideal. However, this requires 53F of forward charge, so it is most ideal to use on your wakeup in combination with CS.
- A Flashkick can function as a very fast antiair, but does not actually have dive invul. It is important to know if the move you are trying to antiair has dive property.
- B Flashkick: fully-invincible, 4F startup. Takes 53F to charge. Reaches further than A Flashkick, but has a bigger blind spot above/behind it. It is important to use this move carefully when cornered so it does not whiff if the opponent is above you. Note: because this requires 53F to charge, it can often only be used once during an opponent's blockstring. Inputting it recklessly can both waste the charge and opens up the possibility of being caught by a low attack.
- C Flashkick: fully-invincible, 4F startup. Takes 53F to charge. Reaches further still than B Flashkick, allowing it to punish moves outside of B Flashkick's range.
- Veil Off: universal reversal option requiring 100 meter. Easily option selected during an opponent's blockstring. If the VO is successful, Vatista can safely use TK C Lumen in order to go on the offensive.
- Vatista does not have any normals with head invul properties. Because of this, her primary antiair throw OS is her flashkick: 8AD for A Flashkick or 8BAD for B Flashkick. Worth noting that A Flashkick can be used in conjunction with CS and is a very powerful option.
- An alternative OS is 5FF~AD. Whilst it is not guaranteed to catch all assaults due to lacking any type of invulnerability, it is safe on block and grants a full combo on a successful air counterhit.
- It is also possible to OS with 5BAD. It does not have the same guarantee of stopping an assault, but usually trades well and can be lower commitment than a flashkick.
- Universal option selects: 1AD, 4AD, 1A~D/2AD, ABCD. Jump shield OS is difficult to perform and can often result in a flashkick OS instead.
Additional general character information:
- Neutral Starter Guide by Flavortown
- Vatista Charge Partitioning Guide by Bea
- UNIst Vatista Tech Archive by Foxof42
- UNIclr Vatista Tech Archive by Foxof42 (Regularly updated)
Vatista Wiki Roadmap
Click here for the UNICLR roadmap.
Page last edited on: 2022-09-01 by Ayr.