Bombs are a universal tool in IaMP, and they pretty much work just as you'd think they would; an explosion occurs around the player. Of course, there's a lot more to in than just that. The explosion will not interact with the opponent's projectiles (unlike a lot of shmup games), but rather the explosion will only interact with the opponent's hittable area (opponent's body). While the explosion can not be grazed, it can be blocked.
Each player has two bomb stocks that start filled at the beginning of a match. These stocks can be used by inputting a universal input (22C or 11C), however there are three types of bombs: Neutral Bomb (N-bomb), Offensive Bomb (O-bomb), and Defensive Bomb (D-bomb).
Due to the fact that all three are executed the same way, and partially due to their names, one might suspect that the only difference is when or how you use them; but in actuality all three bombs have different properties and effects when used in different situations. One major difference that should be noted is that N-Bombs and D-bombs have start-up invulnerability frames, while O-Bombs have no invulnerable frames. N-bomb and D-bomb's invulnerability starts on the first frame and lasts to either the thirteenth or fourteenth frame depending on your character.
Generally speaking: O-Bombs are useful for extending combos or making unsafe attacks safe on block, D-Bombs are useful for canceling blockstun and knocking your opponent out of a string, and N-Bombs are useful for recharging spirit while gaining a knockdown which opens an opportunity for rushdown (okizeme).
N-Bombs: Neutral Bombs occur when you perform a bomb while you're not attacking or defending. If you cancel an attack or a blocking state into a bomb it will either be an O-Bomb or D-Bomb (respectively), not a N-Bomb; which is performed without canceling anything into the bomb. These bombs have invulnerable start up from first frame to thirteenth or fourteenth frame depending on character. These types of bombs are often likened to Gold Bursting in Guilty Gear, since they have a very similar functionality. If this type of bomb hits the opponent it will restore all your spirit and knock the enemy down, but it deals no damage on hit/block. It can be punished if blocked, though the frame disadvantage is character specific -- generally somewhere between -8 to -11, with Alice's and Remilia's having the fastest recovery. The primary times you would use this is when you see a blatantly obvious attack coming your way that you can't necessarily beat with a anything other than a bomb. While this can be effectively used on anticipation when you read your opponents patterns, it's generally better to use on reaction to situations where you're likely to succeed (such as against an obvious jump-in).
O-Bombs: Offensive Bombs occur when you cancel an attack into a bomb. These bombs will also restore your spirit to full when they successfully hit the opponent. A major difference with this bomb type is that it has no invulnerability frames, but is also less punishable on block. They are a little disadvantageous on block (-3F for most characters, and -4F for Alice), but not technically punishable on block. Another major difference with these bombs is that it will lunch the opponent vertically, which allows for a follow up juggle combo. The primary uses for this is to extend combos, since you are able to cancel normal moves, command normals, graze attacks, and special moves into bombs, and then continue the combo after the bomb hits. Another use is to make some moves safe on block by canceling into the bomb, such as a special move that you can't cancel with a high jump that leaves you vulnerable to punishment on block. This can also be used as a bait, since some characters have attacks with extremely long recovery periods, the attack can be canceled right before the opponent's retaliation connects. If the attack was canceling into the bomb the result will be an O-bomb, which has the potential to hit the opponent when the opponent was trying to punish. A common example of this is a blocked Remilia's 22B canceled into an O-bomb very late into the move. The opponent may try to punish Remilia's 22B, only to eat the O-bomb while trying to perform their attack. Keep in mind that baits like this are risky though due to O-bombs not having any invulnerability frames.
D-Bombs: Defensive Bombs occur when you cancel blockstun into a bomb (meaning, when you bomb while blocking). These bombs have invulnerable start up from first frame to thirteenth or fourteenth frame depending on character. These bombs are even more punishable on block, though the disadvantage is character dependent ranging from -24F to -31F depending on character -- with Alice and Remilia having the fastest recovery once again. While these types may sound good for breaking the opponents attack strings, they often fail to bullet strings and can be easily punished on block if properly baited. Many novice or lazy players will abuse D-Bombs on block or as a reversal, thinking that it's an easy escape, only to get baited and punished. Therefor, it's important to use these bombs very sparingly (perhaps it's a good thing you only get two stocks at a time).
To regain used bomb stocks you need to collect point items. A description of this point system can be read on the Bomb Section of the IaMP Wiki.
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