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Them's Fighting Words: Skullgirls Guide to Cerebella

Dominic Dimanche

For the fifth chapter in the Thems Fighting Words series, we introduce the Diamond Dynamo Cerebella.



The Rundown


Cerebella is the Zangief of Skullgirls; she moves slowly but if she can get her hands on you, you can kiss a good chunk of your life bar goodbye. Many of her command grabs have insane reach and can hit confirm into her surprisingly damaging supers. Plus, some of her specials have armor property which allows her to absorb a couple of hits before unloading on her opponent. As a single team-player, her damage output is extremely impressive, but she can stand to have another member to cover her bad match-ups.


The Basics


Being the bruiser of the bunch, Cerebella won’t win any matches in the speed department. Many characters like Ms. Fortune or Valentine can easily outpace her on the ground and the air. She does have a double jump to make some clearance through the air and she has access to an aerial glide to further cover the gap. However, that glide is also on the slow side so it’s not something to abuse lest you want to risk getting anti-aired into submission. On the ground she carries a slow forward and backward movement set. Her forward and back ground dashes, while slow have excellent range and can surprise some foes.


Cerebella’s strength lies in her incredible physical attack and throws. Being able to get a hold of her targets will be half the battle. The key to doing so, however, is not by running them down, but by using the naturally long reach of her attacks the many stun properties of her blows to make her foes sitting ducks for her command grabs. One of her most effective tools to doing this is her standing medium punch causes some stagger on hit and her forward heavy punch hits so hard it causes a stun coupled with a hard back slide, giving you time to follow up with a grab or a super combo.


Holding a heavy punch in the air allows her to glide through the air and follow up with a hard Hulk hand clap in the air. While the glide is slow, it can easily bait foes to jump to strike which leaves them open to the follow-up air clap. Some other air attacks are her downward medium punch which brings an elbow down on her foe’s head. Despite her slow speed, the natural reach of her attacks make her more than capable to close the distance.



Beauty and Brawn


Where Cerebella truly shines as a top performer is in her special attacks and command grabs, which cater nicely to her tank-class fighter status. Her “Lock n’ Load” attack has her charge up a strong straight jab that does modest damage and can lead into not one but two of her super combos. A nice bonus to the move is Cerebella is fully armored during the start-up and following animation of the hit, forcing her opponent to hit her multiple times if they hope to knock her out of it. The move can easily soak one or two hits.


Her first bread and butter command throw is “Diamond Drop” which does solid damage and has invulnerable start up against normal throws. In addition, the move is pretty quick and has great range to surprise her foes. On contact it can easily set up into her many other physical attacks or even a super combo. Her second command throw “Merry Go-rilla” also has invulnerable start-up against throws but also in the face of normal attacks as well. The dangerous part about the grab is its range is about medium screen so it can easily lasso in many keep away foes.


As for a more defensive maneuver, Cerebella has a move called “Diamond Deflector” that does some basic damage on hit but more importantly it can deflect any projectile attack giving her some time to catch up to her target to get some quality time with her throws. In addition it also has staggering status so it makes it doubly dangerous to throw anything at her if there’s even a remote chance she can catch you afterwards.


To boost her lackluster mobility, she has access to a move called “Tumbling Run” which gives her a quick ground run which is a lot more reliable and quicker than her basic walk and dash. From the Run she has some extra options to further play an effective mix up game. Hitting the heavy kick causes her “Battle Butt” attack which hits twice and has some armor quality to make sure it connects. The medium kick variation “Kanchou” makes Cerebella vault behind her target and winds up with a hard hit that cause the foe to wall bounce. Lastly, the light variation cancels out her run. The last version can be used to bait and switch her targets who think she’ll come in with a physical hit only to get a throw for their troubles.


The “Tumbling Run” should be one of her best tools to pursue those who like to use their quickness to escape her and can easily become one of her essential tools to play some good old fashioned mind games, forcing her opponent to think what her next step will be when she comes rushing in.




Super Combos


Cerebella has three super combos to choose from and each one hits hard and links extremely well from any special or standard attack.Her first level one super “Diamond Dynamo” is a multi-hit melee combo that has invincible start-up and some nasty ground bounce capabilities. Most of her normal moves and command grabs can easily hit confirm into it for some high damage and since it causes a ground bounce it can leave them open to some nasty follow-ups with a command grab or one of her specials.


Her other level one is a command grab. “Ultimate Showstopper” is one of the strongest level one supers in the game and also has invulnerable start up. The clincher is its incredible start up speed which doesn’t give her target much time to even try to avoid it. Due to its speed, it can be incredibly deadly as a counter during block strings, which would be nigh unavoidable when setting it up during a rush-down player’s combo strings.


Her final super is a level three called “Diamonds are Forever” which is a three hit attack where she digs up a giant diamond and launches it into her opponent with a hard punch at close range. This one hits low and very quickly after activating it forcing her opponent to have a twitchy reflex if they hope to block the attack at close quarters. Along with the high damage, it causes a nice wall bounce on contact with the third hit making it ideal to follow up with more punishment. What may be the most dangerous property of it is it has infinite armor status, meaning the only way to knock her out of it is by throwing her, otherwise you’ll be getting a giant diamond boulder in the face.


As a Team Player


Cerebella is one of the few fighters on the roster who may be best as a one woman team. The heightened defense coupled with the increased scaled damage output from rolling solo makes her a terrible force to be reckoned with. However, partnering up with some fighters who can counter foes who specialize in long-range keep-away styles would be of some help. As for support moves, many of them still retain their armored qualities making them a sure shot. In this capacity, Cerebella would also serve as a solid shield for whatever team she is on.


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You can follow Dominic on Twitter at @word_writer and listen to him wax philosophic about games and other randomness. Plus, follow us fine folks at @gamepodunk for the latest updates and the chance to win fabulous prizes!

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