Trainer’s School: Mewtwo Character Guide

The fearsome Legendary Pokémon can devastate his opponents

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This is part of a series of written guides on Pokkén Tournament Deluxe for Nintendo Switch. I’ve always loved this game and I’ve wanted to give back to the community and generate more interest in it. I’ll be creating more guides like this in the future and I hope this gets new players invested in the fighting game that taught me about fighting games. These character guides are meant as surface-level breakdowns of each of the playable Pokémon in the cast. If you would like to try out Pokkén Tournament Deluxe, and learn more information about the game, be sure to check out the community Discord! Access to the character-specific Discords will help you find any information that isn’t listed in this guide, and you can also ask the players there for specific advice.

The seventh Trainer’s School character guide focuses on Mewtwo, the legendary Genetic Pokémon from the first generation of RPGs. Made infamous by his brutality, tragic backstory, and power over the course of several games, films, and crossover appearances, Mewtwo and his Shadow counterpart take center-stage in Pokkén’s singleplayer narrative. While Mewtwo is a Standard-type Pokémon, he is also both an indisputable top-tier character and one of the harder characters in the game to master. The aggressive Legendary Pokémon has several tools in every Phase and situation, but to balance him out, he has the largest Synergy Gauge in the game and spends that meter frequently on many moves, which can lock him out of accessing his Mega Mewtwo X Burst Mode when he really needs it. On the other hand, success and proper meter management will allow Mewtwo to snowball and become an uncontestable threat.

Mewtwo: Overview

Playstyle: An all-arounder who has to win aggressive situations frequently in order to manage Synergy.

Values: 600 Hit Points, 600 Shield Health, 400cc Synergy Gauge

Poké Moves: Psycho Cut and Psycho Cut Followup (Duel 5A and 5AA, Field n.A and n.AA,) Barrier (Duel 4A, Field b.A,) Hyper Beam (Duel 6A, Field f.A,) Focus Blast (Duel j.A, Field j.n.A,) Psystrike series (Duel only, 8A/8AA/8AAA,) Fire/Ice/Thunder Punch series (2A/2AA/2AAA only if Ice Punch hits.) Barrier can be cancelled into the following moves: Telekinesis (4AY,) Confusion, (4AA,) Drain Punch (4AX,) and Teleport (4AB.)

High Stance: Charges Synergy Gauge at a rate of 5cc per second. Mewtwo can move during High Stance by holding diagonally back or forward (7 and 9.)

Low Stance: Does not crouch high-hitting moves. Grants counter armor against low-hitting moves from frame 5 on.

Unique Features: Mewtwo can airdash forward (J.R.) When holding back after airdashing, the airdash length will be shortened- doing this short airdash immediately after a jump cancel (j.2R) is called an Instant Air Dash or an IAD. IAD will change the trajectory of Duel j.Y. Focus Blast can be charged. 6Y:X, 2X:X and 8A:A:A have just frames that grant bonus damage and Synergy if landed correctly. Hyper Beam can be cancelled into Teleport during the windup. Teleport can be aimed in any cardinal direction. Mewtwo spends Synergy on all of his Poké Moves in varying amounts. The costs are as follows:

5cc: Confusion, Psycho Cut and Psycho Cut Followup.

10cc: Fire Punch, Ice Punch, Telekinesis, Drain Punch, Focus Blast (both charged and uncharged)

12.5cc: Barrier

30cc: Hyper Beam

45cc: Psystrike

Remember as always to consult the frame data sheet for specific moves and their properties.

Mewtwo has a wide variety of tools at his disposal- apart from his special moves, many of his normals like his aerials are completely different depending on his Phase. This can make him unpredictable and allows him to change his gameplan seamlessly depending on the situation. His Teleport and several armored moves can also let him escape bad situations, giving him more opportunities to look for openings and build more meter. However, these same moves (and most of his gameplan) also cost meter, and given that his meter is the largest in the game, Mewtwo’s stakes in winning Phases and Attack Triangle exchanges is incredibly important. (Mewtwo’s meter gain can also be optimized in combos, which we’ll discuss in relevant sections later.) A good Mewtwo player can use all of the character’s tools in a cohesive manner that allows them to tap into his true potential.

Field Phase

B.Y is really great at holding down your opponent after a wakeup or a Shift.

Mewtwo can play at any distance in Field, with several useful zoning tools operating alongside powerful close-range tools. Three of his Y moves on the ground will cancel into Psycho Cut when mashing the button, and they all have different uses depending on the scenario. N.Y is a very good poke with fast but weak projectiles, whereas s.Y is a better tool to use while strafing. B.Y is usually used after having earned a knockdown, as it sets a Fire Spin-style trap over the opponent. Forcing them to block the Fire Spin on wakeup, especially after a Duel Phase transition, is an excellent way to maintain your pressure. Anyone who tries to mash through it will eat a Homing Attack; if they try to block or CA through it, you can easily grab them (Mewtwo’s standard grab has the largest hitbox in the game) or even hit them with Hyper Beam if you’re cheeky and at a far enough range. While f.Y doesn’t cancel into Psycho Cut, it often doesn’t need to- the move has 20 frames of counter armor and will often earn you a Shift.

Mewtwo’s Field j.Y is a different move than the one he uses in Duel, and the three icicles are good at halting both grounded and aerial approaches. Both Hyper Beam and Field j.Y can be aimed with 7 or 9. While Mewtwo cannot airdash in any direction but forward (the IAD trajectory still goes forward) he can mix up where he appears in the air via Teleport. Barrier Teleport and Hyper Beam Teleport will fake out your opponent, and once you’re in the air you have access to all your aerial options. J.Y will punish randy approaches and j.X and Focus Blast may catch mistimed CADCs. These air options are especially good against characters or opponents that have difficulty stuffing your own air approaches. As always, you can rely on Homing Attack and CADC on the ground, both of which are especially strong options for Mewtwo. Mewtwo’s dash is especially quick and the first hit of Homing Attack is an uppercut that can often anti-air.

Duel Phase

If you won Field Phase, you will likely have earned a shift at a mid-to-close range, unless you scored a cheeky Hyper Beam or something. Mewtwo trades some of his more zoning and okizeme-oriented tools from Field, like b.Y, f.Y, and Field j.Y, for more aggressive options. That being said, Mewtwo still has decent midrange and zoning options like 2Y, 8X, Focus Blast, Psystrike, and even Hyper Beam (but only at fullscreen to punish mistakes or reckless charged CAs.) He also trades the f.Y armor projectile for his elemental punch series (Fire Punch has counter armor) and Psystrike (which has red armor.) However, most of Mewtwo’s tools in Duel are also either very situational or only effective in combos, and should not be used recklessly. Fire Punch will only combo into Ice Punch during a juggle or after a successful crit; Psystrike doesn’t deal any hitstun until the sixth hit and thus can be blocked or punished in neutral. Mewtwo’s 2Y, the universal throw crush, is also one of the few i11 throw crushes of its kind that doesn’t special cancel.

Mewtwo can turn around a Phase with only a few exchanges, and doing it optimally will fill his Synergy.

Your main, safe, aggressive damage dealing options are going to be off moves like 5Y/5YY and 5X, both of which can cancel into Barrier and let you react based on the situation. If you need to bail, you can Teleport away; if you need to throw crush, you can go for Drain Punch; if you need the additional armor, you can go for Confusion; if you want to punish them for continuing to hold block or CA, you can get a combo off Telekinesis. Mewtwo’s Duel j.Y is also one of his best moves, especially when its trajectory changes out of an IAD. J.Y is a strong combo starter and poke as it cancels into j.X, which is +4 on block. It’s also fairly useful for extending juggle combos, which you will often earn after an 8Y antiair or a 2XX. (6X also launches, but unlike 8Y it’s not jump cancellable on hit, and unlike 2XX you barely have enough time to IAD j.Y them before they fall, so it’s best to go for a Fire Punch after instead.) Mastering the 2X:X just frame is also important as the just frame version will leave you plus- to practice it, try hitting the second X input right before Mewtwo’s tail collides with the opponent. Apart from additional damage and bonus frame data, these just frames grant Mewtwo additional meter gain and are important to master. 6Y:X and Psystrike also have just frames. For 6Y:X, try hitting X as soon as Mewtwo’s glowing hand has finished its initial arc; for Psystrike, the first just frame is immediately after the opponent is launched, right before the screen transition, and then the second just frame is right before Mewtwo’s tail connects.

Most of the details about how to get big damage from Mewtwo’s hits will be explained in the Target Combo section further down the page. In general, if you get a launcher and you’re afraid you may drop a high-dexterity input like jump-cancel IAD j.Y, you can simply go for the elemental punch series after. Also, if you get a simple 5YY confirm, go for Barrier Drain Punch in order to optimize your meter gain. You can do the same off 5X and j.X. After a successful CA, land 6YY or 6Y:X for additional damage and meter. In an okizeme situation, you can try Focus Blast, IAD j.YX, or a Barrier mixup.

Synergy Burst

Mewtwo’s Burst Mode transforms the character into the Psychic/Fighting dual type Mega Mewtwo X. With a 12 second duration, Mewtwo’s Burst Mode is a little on the short side, but it’s also one of the strongest in the game, and is thus unsurprisingly locked behind a massive 400cc gauge. Mega Mewtwo X gains the following properties:

  • Mewtwo’s standard grab in Field Phase does additional damage.
  • Homing Attack 2 is now a kicking multihit move that does more damage but otherwise features the same properties.
  • Duel Phase j.Y is changed into a new axe-kick move that deals additional hitstun (but otherwise has similar properties to the normal Duel j.Y, including being j.X cancellable.)
  • Instead of a Flamethrower-like move, 8X is now a downward punch that is +8 on block and forces a knockdown on hit.
  • The elemental punch series will now combo into itself naturally. Fire Punch will debuff the opponent’s Attack, and Thunder Punch will debuff their Speed.
  • Confusion will now stun on crit.
  • Psystrike now has hitstun throughout the move.
The debuffs from the elemental punch series can hamper your opponent drastically. Psydisaster is also a powerful Burst Move that can be difficult to challenge.

Mega Mewtwo X’s fighting prowess allows him to continue going on the offensive. Tools like Fire Punch and Psystrike immediately being effective on hit makes them much more threatening than they already were, and the changes to j.Y and Confusion allow for more combo opportunities. Since you’ve only got 12 seconds, and you will likely be unable to Burst again for the rest of the game, you should make this activation count, either in a round 2 that you know you can win in a dominating fashion or a round 3 that you need to close out. Mega Mewtwo X’s Burst Attack is Psydisaster, a frame 1 invincible command grab that is i15 and will land on any opponent touching the inner sphere of the move’s animation. Opponents in hitstun or blockstun won’t be grabbed by it- this is the case for most grabs in the game. This means your main option to confirm into it is via Barrier Confusion or any Support that stuns the opponent similarly. Being a grab, it can also be crushed on whiff, but its initial invincibility may still punish some normals anyway.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Mewtwo is easily a top five character in the game, and his main limitation- and the first hurdle that new players need to cross with him- is that his gameplan revolves around snowballing and building meter successfully while also spending it on his more useful moves. You don’t need to spend your whole life in the training room before playing with others, and input delay online will probably hamper your just frames anyway, but it’s good to practice with Mewtwo a little bit until you’ve got the feel for the character’s moves. Still, Mewtwo has a fairly good matchup spread overall, with tools for nearly every situation and an ample amount of damage to boot. Some frustrating matchups may include characters that are good at swiping Synergy from you, such as Weavile, Scizor, and Gengar, especially since they can often access Burst more frequently than you and stay in it longer. You can still just as easily earn that meter back with successful plays and Drain Punch. Picking a top tier doesn’t always guarantee a free or easy win, but as long as you know all of your options and use them effectively, Mewtwo is a very reliable character. Practice (and patience) makes perfect!

Support and Cheer Pairings

When starting out with Mewtwo, you may want to rely on the easy Jirachi-Whimsicott and Synergy Cheer pairings as a crutch. This way, you can more or less guarantee a continual meter gain regardless of your just frames and combo optimization. Once you’ve gotten more familiar with the character, you can try switching up your Support Set depending on the matchup. Both Supports in the Rotom-Togekiss Set are valuable, as they can both control the speed of the match in different ways. Rotom will stun the opponent and debuff their Speed, opening them up for combo opportunities that will be easy to come by due to your several launcher and anti-air moves. Togekiss will heal you and make you faster in neutral, allowing you to close in on characters trying to keep you out. When running diverse Support Sets, you can switch to Standard or Special Cheers in order to have your Supports at the ready while also boosting your meter gain.

Target Combos

These are some easy combos that you can get started with right away- they are bread-and-butter combos, not necessarily the most difficult or the most optimal. If you want to learn more about what your character has to offer, I suggest exploring the longer combo guides found in the Pokkén character Discords, as they will often be the most up-to-date with the current version of the game. The sample combos in the tutorial mode are also very good at helping you figure out your character’s combo theory.

The 5XXX Poké Combo is a guaranteed Drain Punch, but 5X itself isn’t really great to throw around in neutral. (You should also practice the input without mashing X in order to get more familiar with the cleaner Barrier Drain Punch input.) Get familiar with this short string to guarantee a Drain Punch and Phase Shift:

6j.2R j.YX 5X 4AX

6J.2R (jump forward, hold back and airdash) is the input notation for Mewtwo’s IAD, but oftentimes others will put IAD in their combo formulas instead. This is usually because when writing out juggle j.Y loops, it’s often easier to just write IAD.

You should also get familiar with longer combos after launching your opponent with 2XX or antiairing them with 8Y. This target combo will work regardless of landing the 2X:X justframe:

2XX 6j.2R j.Y 8Y 6j.2R j.Y 6YX

Antiair 8Y 6j.2R j.Y 8Y 6j.2R j.Y 6YX

I got it here with the just frame, but you don’t really need it.

Finally, here is a version of the 2XX launcher combo that only requires one IAD j.Y loop and can be instead ended with the elemental punch series:

2XX 6j.2R j.Y 2XX 2AAA OR 6j.2R j.YX 2XX 2AAA

The importance of landing 2X:X is mainly three-fold: bonus damage, bonus meter, and less Phase Shift Points means you can extend your combos and time in Duel for longer.

Conclusion

Mewtwo is a character who may initially be difficult to master but is ultimately rewarding to play. He is designed to be very oppressive and difficult to stop once he begins winning early situations. In Field Phase, Mewtwo can zone, set up powerful traps, and punish midrange mistakes with his various projectiles, all while approaching with Homing Attack, aerial movement, and Psycho Cut. After earning a Shift, Mewtwo can continue the pressure with powerful mixup options and launcher combos designed to amplify his meter gain. Mega Mewtwo X is a late-game Burst Mode activation that provides new combo opportunities that can convert into his Psydisaster Burst Attack. Newbie Mewtwo players may want to use Jirachi and Synergy Cheer, but should transition into more suitable Support Sets once they’ve gotten familiar with the character.

The next guide in the Trainer’s School series, and the last guide to cover a Standard-type Pokémon, will focus on Suicune, the Legendary Aurora Pokémon!

Written by

Nathan “Lite the Iron Man” Dhami can be found on Twitter (@LiteTheIronMan,) on Twitch (twitch.tv/litetheironman,) and at your local.

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