MVC3 Character Analysis: Mike Haggar

Fear my mustache!

The man, the myth, the legend, the mayor of Metro City, the mustachioed Mike Haggar joins the ranks of MVC3 to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and he’s all out of bubble gum.  Taking a little time off from owning Mad Gear punks he’s agreed to step up and show the rest of the roster what it takes to be a man.  Even the ladies.

First impressions: Great range on his standing normals, huge damage from BnB combos, and a variety of grappling attacks makes Haggar my top pick in MVC3.  I just can’t get enough of the Piledrivers and Backdrops and Heabutt grabs.  I want more!  Granted, I don’t know how competitive he’ll be, but I aim to break him down and see what I can see.  TURN THE BEAT BACK!

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Normals
Haggar’s standing magic series has been pulled straight from Final Fight: two super manly gut punches (Video 1 – :24) into the double arm overhead swing (Video 3 – 1:46).  Though I’ve yet to see them all connect in a combo, I’m assuming they do.   The first two punches do decent damage, combo into his launcher and nearly all of his non-grappling special moves, and have great horizontal range.  I’m not quite sure of the qualities of his standing hard attack though so if anybody can fill me in, does it cause adownward wall bounce, connects to launcher etc. feel free to let me know and I’ll give you credit.

Next, enter the pipe slam.  It has great range, can be used on the ground (Video 1 – :42) and in the air (Video 1 – :47), and causes a downward wall bounce if used in the air (Video 1 – :47).  I’m assuming it causes a downward wall bounce when it connects on the ground too.  Only problem?  I don’t know if it’s a normal, command normal, or a special!  It could very well be a special but because it lacks a certain… penache I’m going to leave it in the normals section.

His aerial drop kick (Video 3 – 2:11) stays active until Haggar hits the ground, much like Thor’s hammer ride aerial normal.  You can super jump and then just drop kick all the way to the ground if you feel like it.  I wonder if it works as a crossup?  Hmm…  While we’ve seen a bunch of Haggar’s standing and aerial normals, we’ve seen very little of his low magic series.  We have seen a crappy looking downward open palm strike (Video 2 – 2:07).  He also has a low drop kick (Video 3 – 1:46).  I’m not quite sure what purpose it serves because it seems to blast the opponent away while putting Haggar into a knocked down state that he actually needs to get up from.  Hmm…

You look like a poopy excuse for a low attack

Overall I think that Haggar has some amazing standing and aerial normal moves but a very subpar low game.

Specials & Grabs
Air Toss
The big man simply puts an aerial opponent in their place, throwing them back to the ground (Video 2 – :16).  It looks like there might be just enough bounce to get in an OTG assist but I’m not quite sure.

Backdrop
Say hello to pain and herniated discs bitches.  Haggar backdrops his foe from the air (Video 1 – :35).  I’m wondering if this is just a normal throw or possibly the Piledriver command used in the air?  I’m guessing the latter because it does about 25% damage to Magneto there!  Regardless, it does some great damage and who knows, you might get at OTG assist out of it for extra damage.  But that’s a big MAYBE!

Piledriver
Haggar grabs his opponent and shows us you don’t need to activate the spin cycle to lay down a mayoral slamfest (Video 1 – :32).  It does pretty decent damage vs. Thor but that’s nothing compared to the 25% damage it does to a full health Chun Li (Video 2 – :47).  Disgusting!  However, this damage comes at a possible price: the Piledriver might have very little range as suggested by the video below.

Video 4

Over at the SRK boards I saw a lot of people tearing into Haggar because of the puny range here, but really all I have to say is “Why are you surprised?”  It’s an unblockable grab that does a crap ton of damage and if you’re not on top of your opponent you’re going to whiff.  How is this new or different than any grapple-based character ever?

BUT THERE IS HOPE!  Take a look at :48 in Video 2.  Chun is pretty dang far away and the Piledriver still connects.  Maybe that was just from an early build?  Who knows, but I don’t imagine you’ll be pulling it off very often except through assist coverage or shenanigans.  While a lot of characters look as though they can spam their specials this is going to be more situational.  Anyway, if the range happens to be ass on February 15th just think about how satisfying it’ll feel when you do finally pull it off.  So good!

Headbutt Beatdown
The Mayor grabs his unfortunate opponent and delivers an as yet undetermined number of headbutts to their noggin (Video 2 – :53).  This attack does significantly less damage than his Piledriver so I’m wondering if it’s just a normal grab instead of a special grab.  Also, it appears that it hits a different number of times in different situations.  This could mean that it’s a mashable grab like some early Street Fighter throws or the number of hits depends on the button pushed.  It does 5 hits to Chun Li in Video 2 at :53 but only 3 to Ryu in Video 3 at :59.  Anyone have any ideas?  Also, I want to say that it’s possible to OTG afterwards with an assist but we’ll just have to wait and see for that.

You know what they say: Hugs before headbutts!

Tackle Grapple
Haggar charges up and then hurtles across the screen and if he slams into his enemy he tosses them into the air for some big aerial damage (Video 1 – :22).  This is going to be Haggar’s go to move simply because it does great damage, can be used in combos (Video 1 – :49), and might even be a way for The Mayor to close the distance between him and keep away players.  There is also an anti-air version of this attack though it has yet to be seen connecting (Video 2 – 2:00).  I’m curious to see what it does.  Does Haggar throw his enemy higher into the air?  Bash them off the ground?  I want to know!  I can say it has horrible recovery though.

Since this doesn’t look like an actual grab per se, I have a feeling it’s going to be blockable so you probably won’t want to just throw it out willy nilly.  You’ll probably get away with it every once in a while outside of combos but be careful!  Also, it’s instrumental in Haggar’s most damaging combos, setting up chances for 50% damage strings on the Hulk, who likely has the highest stamina in the game (Video 2 – :25).

Also, the fact that it appears chargeable/delayable adds another fun aspect to the attack, setting up some nice mind game situations.  What would be even better is if you could cancel it, baiting punishes to dish out some punishment of your own.  I really like the way this attack is looking!

Destroying the Universe? Not in my city!

Aerial Giant Swing
Not to be outdone in the spinning department, Haggar can actually combo into this grab while in the air, swinging his enemy around and around before tossing them bodily to the ground (Video 1 – :52).  Can be comboed into from his aerial headbutt (hard attack?).  Useful as an aerial combo ender if you’ve already used up  your one ground bounce.  It does great damage, even after a big combo, and looks stylish.  Spin cycle please!

Violent Axe (Smash?)
Haggar rushes forward hitting the enemy with his shoulder, then following up with two double arm bashes that yield a downward wall bounce (Video 1 – :25).  As you can see in that previous vid, it combos off of his standing medium.  If we were placing bets and I was a betting man I would say this is one of his assists, but we aren’t and I’m not so I won’t.  But I did…  Anyway, this move will give Haggar some more options to extend his combos on the ground.  It connects into his launcher (Video 1 – :26) so you’ll be able to perform some aerial shenanigans afterwards.

There’s not too much to say here besides it looks pretty solid and is a welcome addition to Haggar’s arsenal.  I’m wondering how the different buttons will affect its properties, if at all.  Maybe the light attack only hits with the shoulder while hard hits with all three strikes?  If you look here (Video 2 – 2:02) I’m pretty sure that could be the medium variation, attacking with only two hits.

Lariat
Haggar’s crowd-clearing attack from Final Fight.  He spins around with both of his arms outstretched, hitting the enemy multiple times, lifting them slightly off the ground, and doing damage to himself (Video 1 – :45).  Yes, you heard right, Haggar hurts himself doing it.  Unless there is some sort of invincibility during the move (if you pause exactly at :46 during Video 1 you’ll see Wolverine’s claw strikes clearly violating Haggar’s body yet he doesn’t take damage), which appears somewhat likely, you probably won’t be using this very often.

However if this move does indeed have invincibility, in certain situations it may be worth the lost life (snuffing hypers close to you, avoiding unblockable set-ups, etc.).  This is also one of his assists (Video 3 – 1:06) and he takes damage during it as well.  I think you’ll have to determine the risk/reward factor for yourself on this one.

BODY SLAM!

Hypers
Body Slam
Haggar leaps forward slightly and into the air, then comes down with crushing force creating a blast radius around himself that reaches 3/4 way across the screen in front of him (Video 1 – :28).  It can be used out of aerial combos that end in a downward wall bounce and possibly has some OTG capabilities/ DHC possibilities.  As of right now I can’t really see this being used outside of combos because it’s so obvious and has such epic start-up before it actually does damage.

However, if it hit on the way up, like Colossus’ MVC2 hyper, that would be another story.  Unfortunately I don’t think that’s the case because if you check out Video 3 at 1:19 you can see Wolverine DHCs into Body Slam from his Berserker Barrage hyper while X-23 is clearly over his head.  When Haggar goes up he goes through X-23, hitting her on the way down.  Oh well.

Oooohhhh, just noticed something else!  If you look at the Deadpool example (Video 1 – :28) it only hits once but when The Mayor Body Slams X-23 (Video 3 – 1:19) the combo counter jumps from 28 to 30.  This probably means that the hyper does more damage if Haggar actually lands on top of them as opposed to getting them with the radial explosion.  SO EXCITED TO TEST THIS STUFF OUT!

Haggar doesn't like the Jolly Green Giant's veggies

Haggar Hundred Crack Fist
Haggar obviously watched Fist of the North Star as a child growing up in Metro City and in MVC3 he puts Kenshiro’s teachings to good use, blasting his enemy over and over with pulverising punches into an abridged version of the Violent Axe yielding a downward wall bounce for more punishment (Video 1 – :37).  The hitbox on the move is a little strange though, and Haggar looks like he doesn’t even need to physically connect to land the hyper.

While the range will need some testing, this looks like a great hyper.  Another strange thing is that possibly like the Heabutt grab, it may be mashable for more hits.  If you check out this screen shot here –

Mashable Damage?

you’ll notice that the hyper ends at 18 or so hits, not the 32 he serves up to She-Hulk at :37 in Video 1.  Curiouser and curiouser…  Regardless, this hyper is no muss no fuss, just big damage into relaunch for some even bigger damage.  Not only that but this will be a great option in DHCs.  BELIEVE IT!

Level 3 Spinning Piledriver
The Mayor owns his enemy with a suplex into a giant swing into an epic spinning piledriver and shows everyone who’s the boss.  Honestly, there isn’t too much to say here besides it’s an unblockable command grab that most likely does heaps of damage, more than 25% to Doctor Doom whom I imagine is a pretty hearty character (Video 1 – 56).  However, Haggar is X-Factored and the last member of his team alive so keep that in mind.

You never, ever, want to see this

Use your assists to get in, condition your enemy to block, wake-up reversal, see if The Mayor can rushdown.  Do what you can to pull this sucker off because if and when you do you’ll not only have beaten your opponent digitally, but mentally as well.  Spinning Piledrivers shatter psyches.  Period.

Miscellaneous
I’m not a huge fan of The Mayor’s voice I suppose it’ll have to do.  Love the character specific dialogue between him and the Hulk.

Final Thoughts
I cannot wait to play as Haggar.  I think he has the tools to be a terrifying presence on the screen.  He has great horizontal range on the majority of his normals, his medium attack combos into two very dangerous specials, the Tackle Grapple for aerial punishment and the Violent Axe for relaunch powah, and both of his Level 1 hypers look very useful.

Disadvantages?  He has virtually no useful looking low attacks, his Tackle Grapple has obvious start-up, a lot of his intimidation factor comes from his ability to grab his enemies, and he’s relatively slow.  If you can see or play through those shortcomings I think Haggar is going to be tons of fun to use and horrible to behold.  Three cheers for Mike Haggar!

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16 thoughts on “MVC3 Character Analysis: Mike Haggar”

  1. I think that Backdrop move is something like Alex’s air knee grab move, an anti air grab that you could see Haggar launching himself into the air in one of his videos. I also think that his bodyslam super can be connected from his medium attack.

    1. I think the anti-air grab is his Tackle Grapple using hard attack. Seth Killian mentioned that light shoots him forward a little, medium puts him almost full screen, and hard gets him airborne. Also, I would be surprised if the Body Slam could be connected after a medium attack. Because it doesn’t hit on the way up, I’m almost positive the opponent would have enough time to jump away. But who knows?!? You may be right!

  2. Always loving these write ups. Honestly I’m curious to see a write up on Ryu since he’s apparently not mobile enough to stay competitive unlike his TvC counter part. They should have gave him the TvC air dash since Akuma’s mobility he going to have people favor him over Ryu.

  3. if a man stands around like he’s the alpha male, his testosterone goes up. That is why Haggar takes damage during his lariat, testosterone poisoning.

  4. God I hope grapplers are viable in this game. I suspect we’ll be seeing Storm ice-storming everyone to death for a long while.

  5. Lovin’ these analyses of yours, it’s always nice to see another opinion on the cast from a gameplay point of view instead of ‘*enter character here* is a waste of a character slot’ or ‘I think *enter character here* sucks’. I take it you’ll keep doing these up until MvC3 is released or will you continue to do them until you’ve analyzed the entire cast?

    I too am looking forward to using Haggar; personally I think he’ll be a major threat when backed by the right assists.

    1. Just up until launch because then I won’t need to speculate anymore 🙂 I’m not going to do the more popular characters simply because they don’t interest me. I can’t even imagine attempting to analyze Dante and all of his specials. That would be more work than it’s worth so I’ll let the players that are truly passionate about him take care of that for me! Glad you like the write-ups. I’ve got another planned for tomorrow so come back for more!

      1. Dante would definitely be a nightmare, just trying to decide where to start would be a pain I’d imagine. I was kind of hoping you wouldn’t do the more popular characters as we’ve already seen them in abudance -be it during livestreams or otherwise- so we have at least some insight into how they’ll function.

      2. The only person I’m interested in out of the first reveals is Hulk and I’ve been toying with the idea of analyzing him but… eh. You read my Haggar post so you might have gleaned that I like the big smashers and Hulk is as big as they come. Can’t wait to play the jolly green giant!

      3. I think a Hulk write up could be pretty sweet, considering I didn’t use him much in MvC2 so I didn’t get a feel for him in the first place -though I’ve heard he’s changed for the better in terms of overall playability-. If only Juggernaut were in the game, then Team ‘Holy sh*t they’re big’ could be doable 😄

        Overall I’m rather pleased with the MvC3 roster, it feels more ‘complete’ than MvC2’s roster, mostly because so far it seems each character will play differently as opposed to the several ‘clones’ (Bone-Claw and Adamantium Claw Wolverine, need I say more?) in MvC2. Then there’s always DLC for those characters that didn’t make the cut for being on-disk.

  6. Apparently his C moves have super armor and his Lariat assist is invincible on start up and active frames.

    At least that’s what I’ve heard on SRK, just felt like throwing it out on here.

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