MVC3 Character Analysis: Taskmaster

The Master of Tasks!!!

Man or mutant?  Hero or villain?  Well he’s definitely a man, but Tasky has worked on the side of both angels and demons, as long as the pay was good.  Armed with “photographic reflexes” and the weapons of an assortment of Marvel heroes, the Taskmaster fights for himself and his employer, and that’s that.

First impession: While Taskmaster looks like he has a fairly linear playstyle, that may not be such a bad thing, especially for beginners.  With sick normal range, a projectile counter, physical counter, a meaty launcher and a hard hitting hyper, I think we can expect some mean play from this masked marauder.  To the training room!

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Normals
This is where Taskmaster shines, or rather his sword does.  The range on his normal sword-based attacks is simply staggering.  If you watch Video 2 and pause at just the right frame around 2:20, just as Taskmaster tags in, you’ll notice his aerial sword slash reaches the middle of the screen!  Not only that but it hits twice (Video 2 – 1:27)!  Also, his low medium has sick range too and can lead into some disgusting launcher, and probable aerial Mighty Swing shenanigans (Video 1 – :23).

However, the range on his attacks might also cause some slight problems for the uninitiated.  On at least one occasion his magic series, in this case, cr. lite > cr. med > st. hard, has pushed the enemy out of range of his launcher, even though his launcher moves him forward (Video 3 – :50).  It looks as though you need to cancel the st. hard into the Charging Star to make the launcher work (Video 1 – :23).  Now this might be character specific, but it’s something to keep in mind.

He also has what looks like a command normal that could be an overhead (Video 2 – 1:12).  It covers a huge portion of the screen but takes forever to come out, unless that delay is controlled.  I think one of Taskmaster’s strengths will be utilizing his jumping hard attack to snuff jumpins and cash in on combos that would be lost to other characters.  Like I said above, jumping hard gives you two hits, unbelievable horizontal and vertical range, and remarkable combo opportunities.

This is the money maker right here!

No one on the roster can hit someone nearly a character height above their head in an air combo but Tasky (Video 2 – 1:39).  His light and medium aerial normals aren’t anything to write home about, but out of Mighty Swing his light attack pushes his opponent a little higher vertically to make comboing easier (Video 1 – :27).  You’re going to be using Taskmaster’s jumping hard attack a lot.  Mark my words!

Specials
Aim of Hawkeye
Taskmaster brandishes a bow that fires anywhere between one (Video 1 – :53) and three arrows (Video 1 – :21).  Whether this means it’s a mash attack remains to be seen, but because Taskmaster can fire the arrows in three directions in the air as well as on the ground this probably rules out a correlation between number of arrows fired and strength of button pushed.

On the ground he fires them horizontally (Video 1 – :54), at an upward 45 degree angle (Video 3 – :36), and straight up (Video 1 – :23).  In the air he can fire the arrows at a downward 45 degree angle (Video 1 – :21) and straight down (Video 2 – 1:41) and I’m guessing horizontally because he uses his arrow hyper horizontally (Video 3 – 2:32).  They negate other character’s projectiles, such as Zero’s (Video 1 – :39), and Chun-Li’s Kikoken (Video 2 – 1:12) and can be cancelled into his Hawkeye’s Arrows hyper (Video 2 – 1:21).  However, unlike Deadpool’s bullets into hyper, it doesn’t look as though you’ll get all the hits from Taskmaster’s arrow cancel.

Bombs er... arrows away!

Finally, the grounded arrow shots have different trajectories, with the upward 45 degree angle shots sloping down after they hit their peak(Video 3- :36) and straight up shots coming straight down at the far side of the screen (Video 1 – :38).  This just adds another dimension to Tasky’s projectile game because his arrows aren’t perfectly horizontal attacks and even once they’ve left the screen they can come back to do damage.  Very useful.

Shield Charge
I’m unsure if this is a command normal or a special move but Taskmaster rushes forward with his shield in front of him once he hits the enemy he can cancel into his launcher (Video 1 – :22).  Now that I’m looking at it more closely I think it’s a command normal because of how easily it flows into his chain combos and I haven’t seen much of it outside of combos.

What’s important is that it gets him in range to launch off of his standing chain combo.  His launcher whiffs otherwise (Video 3 – :50).   If it is a special I wonder if it cancels out projectiles like Cap’s Charging Star?

Physical Counter
Taskmaster lifts his shield in a blocking motion and if he’s attacked he can do a whole host of counters, which I’m not allowed to mention quite yet, to punish the enemy.  The counter works on both high attacks (Video 3 – :51 and low attacks (Video 1 – :40).  I’m not quite sure how long the window is from the start of the animation ’til Taskmaster’s counter will fail so that’s something that needs to be tested.  It’s a counter, maybe we can OTG after some of the follow ups?

 

Look at the range on these normals! Sickening.

Projectile Counter
Taskmaster swings his sword in an arc in front of him that reflects projectiles back at their sender (Video 1 – :38).  It looks like if you are able to reflect quick enough and catch your enemy in their recovery frames from said projectile you can cancel into his Hawkeye’s Arrows hyper for great damage.  What’s interesting is that it might even be able to reflect “bullet” type projectiles (Video 3 – :43)!

Now in that instance does Wesker get hit by his own reflected bullet or was he just slashed by Taskmaster’s reflect animation?  I can’t say but if you pause it at just the right frame there’s a little yellow hit confirmation explosion on Wesker and it doesn’t quite look like he was hit by the sword.  Does this mean anything for Deadpool’s Trigger Happy bullet-fest?  Probably not.  I’d be willing to bet that it reflects a single bullet projectile (if at all!) though if it did indeed punish Trigger Happy I could see Taskmaster being a VERY popular counter-pick to Deadpool and Dante teams.  At the very least it’ll make fireballers think twice before spamming, which is always a good thing.

Mighty Swing
This is probably the most interesting addition to Taskmaster’s repertoire.  Ripped straight from the Amazing Spider-Man, Tasky uses a grappling hook to swing forward, kick his enemies into the air and from there continue his combo (Video 1 – :26).  It looks like you can set up some pretty juicy, very solid combos with it and you can use it to set up an aerial Hawkeye’s Arrows hyper (Video 2 – 1:05).  The fact that you can combo into it as well as out of it into launchers and hypers makes it an amazing addition to his move set.

Feet meet face.

Not only that but since Taskmaster is slower than Spider-Man this move looks that much easier to utilize than the wall crawler’s version.  Instead of missing combos because you didn’t hit the buttons fast enough or you were mashing I think the inputs are going to be a lot more deliberate here.  Granted you won’t be catching people by surprise with this one, but you won’t be dropping combos either.

Hypers
Hawkeye’s Arrows
Hand’s down Taskmaster’s most versatile hyper, though that’s not saying much since he only has two.  He fires a rapid burst of arrows across the screen that travel horizontally if you’re on the ground (Video 1 – :33).  If you’re in the air you have a choice of either horizontally (Video 2 – 1:04) or at a downward angle (Video 1 – :58).  The grounded version looks like it’ll be used to punish and you can combo it after his Shield Charge special (Video 3 – 1:34).

What’s really important is the aerial version because I feel like Taskmaster will do the majority of damage in the air off of Mighty Swing set ups.  You can pull it off after a Mighty Swing in the air and if you check out Video 2 starting at 1:02 Taskmaster takes nearly 75% of Chun-Li’s life from a Mighty Swing combo into Hawkeye’s Arrow.  Also the fact that you can use this to OTG (Video 1 – 58, Video 2 – 1:26) makes it so much more useful.

Granted this move is linear as all get out it does great damage, compliments Taskmaster’s move set and game plan remarkably well, and is relatively safe regardless of how you use it.  Great move.

Putting his replica Ebony Blade to good use.

Counter Hyper
This move is capable of countering hyper combos (Video 1 – :44) as well as normal attacks (Video 3 – 2:39) but will probably get stuffed by projectiles.  If the counter works Taskmaster goes slash-happy on his enemy (the effect looks a lot like the Crawler Assault) and finishes with a bullet to the head.  It looks amazing, but I don’t know how useful it will be.

I’d like to say that counter hypers have a place in MvC3 simply because of rushdown characters like Wolverine.  When your opponent is going balls to the wall non-stop attacking intuitively it seems like it’ll be so easy to just quarter-circle forward plus two attacks, or whatever the notation might be, and counter for big damage with either Wesker or Taskmaster.  I wonder if that will be the case?

Miscellaneous
It would have been cool if Taskmaster copied one move from every member of the cast ala Rogue in MvC2.  That is sort of his thing.  Otherwise I really like his intro music.  Foreboding.

Which one is uglier?

Final Thoughts
What many people think of as a gimmicky character due to his stolen specials really looks like a very solid character.  I said before that he does look relatively simple, or rather “linear,” but that just means that he’s going to be a great learners’ character and I have no doubt he has a ton of tricks we don’t even know about yet.  Mighty Swing looks like a great way to rack up the hits and confirm into the Arrows hyper, you can launch out of Shield Charge, he can counter just about anything his enemy throws at him.

He has amazing reach on his aerial hard attacks, his Arrows hyper is incredibly versatile and compliments every aspect of his gameplay.  While his Counter hyper is probably less of an asset it looks freaking sick and does a bunch of damage to those unfortunate enough to get hit with it.  Honestly I’m liking the way Taskmaster plays right now and I hope he doesn’t fade into obscurity.  I can’t wait to see some great Taskmaster players!  Heck, I can’t wait to play him myself!

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12 thoughts on “MVC3 Character Analysis: Taskmaster”

  1. Excellent analysis once again, you bring up a valid point about how potent his normal moves have the potential to be. Facing him will be a pain with physical-attack-centric characters, conversely someone using him will have to be on their toes at all times when up against one of the many characters with command throws. If you don’t mind my asking, are there any teams in particular you’re really looking forward to giving a test run upon MvC3’s release?

    Oh, and congratulations on the freelancing job you mentioned getting one article back.

    1. Honestly I haven’t been thinking too much about teams but one that piques my fancy has to be Thor, Haggar, and Hulk. Unfortunately I love playing the heavy hitters but I have a feeling I would get ground into the dust using those guys in tandem. I know I want to play Hulk, Akuma looks really fun, and Spencer? Gah too many! What about you man?

      And thanks! I’ll actually start posting my Marvel.com articles up on the blog, or at least the links so I can give people a little taste of my actual professional writing, which happens to closely resemble my blog stuff… I love the way Taskmaster looks. Simple to start, tons of depth. He actually has a ton of moves, move options, not shown in the videos so there’s a lot more to him than meets the eye.

      1. I’m on the same boat as you, I love heavy hitters, and as long as the game is balanced to a good degree I think they’ll have decent enough synergy at least to the point they’ll be a semi-viable team. Another team I’m looking forward to is Hsien-Ko, Felicia, and Morrigan, being a Darkstalkers vet I shouldn’t have too much trouble adapting to them in MvC3 despite their obvious changes. Other than that, yeah there’s so many characters that look fun to play it’s hard to decide.

        Glad to know there’s more to him, I was a bit worried when I first saw him; my initial thought was ‘oh boy…people are going to spam the crap out of aim of hawkeye’, but with the excellent range on his normals, as you mentioned, I think he’s going to be a bigger threat up close…well kind of up close anyway.

        I’ve already checked out the Hulk vs. Haggar and Iron Man vs. Ryu pieces and I enjoyed them, it’s nice to see a balance of character history and gameplay information. I’m actually reading S. Skrull vs. V. Joe right now -thanks to Eventhubs linking to it-, and it’s a good read so far.

  2. Great Analysis, and for extra info, Tasky is using the abilities of Spider-Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Knight and Punisher’s gun. 🙂

  3. Best theme music in the game I think. Really epic stuff, sounds more like a hero actually.

    I too wish they had given him a move from every other character in the game, but that could have been ridiculous. Here’s a command grab! And a dive kick! 8-way air dash! Uppercut! Air grab! Slide kick! Teleport! Full screen hyper! Stop time! Invulnerability! etc.

  4. Good stuff as usual. Taskmaster is shaping up to be quite the character lol. I also think he has the best theme in the entire game. Being voiced by Steve Blum doesn’t hurt either XD.

    Who’s next? A newcomer? Or vet? Do Sentinel or Hsien Ko lmao. Sent as we all know was the god of MvC 2, so an analysis of how he’s shaping up in the new game could be kewl XD, but Hsien Ko is a pretty cool newcomer. Her reflector move projectile… things looks scary and appear to be able to shut down some projectile games =O

  5. Is it Mighty Swing or Spidey’s Swing?

    I like it when he does the Charging Star he said “Shield” and when he launches he said “Just like Cap!” or “Sword of the Black Knight!”.

  6. Great analysis. I don’t know how you’re able to see all of this info from these few videos but I’m glad you can for the rest of us. I love how they used the character to give little nods to people not included (Hawkeye, Black Knight, Punisher) who might not have made as interesting choices on their own.

    For those wondering, Taskmaster is just a human so he’s different from Rogue in that he can’t “copy” anything that he shouldn’t already be able to do in theory. Therefore, he can copy Spider-Man’s web swings but not his ability to climb walls. Meanwhile, he can’t copy anything useful from, say, Phoenix, because all of her abilities are based on things that he’s just not able to do. Interesting twist on the power, I think.

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