Overwhelming and Zones

"Defense Part 2; Overwhelming, Zoning, and Controlling".

Due to the nature of bullets in IaMP, mid-range bullet wars become inevitable. However, because not all graze attacks are all-purpose it's sometimes necessary to rely on bullets in order to either limit your opponents options or defend yourself. It almost becomes a mathematical battle, since each projectile can clash with and negate with an enemy projectile, therefor bullets that have more projectiles and are more densely packed tend to "overwhelm" enemy bullets.

Overwhelming Bullets 1, Sakuya 5C vs Alice f.5A

Here we see Alice Margatroid firing some bullets with her f.5A. In response, Sakuya fires 5C which fires many more bullets than Alice's f.5A. Thus the knives begin to trade with the shots, and after all the shots from Alice's f.5A are subtracted from the field we are still left with some knives that continue firing past the point of impact. This is a very basic example of "Overwhelming", and probably wouldn't occur much in battle anyway since Alice has better bullet attacks in her arsenal.

One advantage to this technique, as you might guess, is the option of dealing with bullet+melee combinations that your opponent uses. Rather than relying entirely on Graze Attacks or avoiding your opponent's setups, you can try overwhelming them. Which takes us back to Sakuya:

Sakuya j.2C D6

As you can see, Sakuya airdash canceled the j.2C rather quickly, so there's only six knives on the screen. Rather than attempting a graze or an air-to-air beat, it stands to reason that a bullet attack that fires more than six projectiles would overwhelm Sakuya's knives. Once the bullets pass through Sakuya's knives, Sakuya is forced to either block or graze the opponent's overwhelming projectiles which grants a little more leeway to the defender. Unfortunately for Yukari, none of her bullets are well suited for this. But in the case of an opponent Sakuya, the defender Sakuya could use 2C to quickly overwhelm the knives.

Overwhelming Bullets 2 Yukari fj.A vs Yuyuko j.C

As we see here, simple numbers aren't always the cause of bullets being overwhelmed. This is Yukari's fj.A knives against Yuyuko's j.C butterflies. Both attacks send of three waves, and five projectiles in each wave. Thus, because of numbers, we could assume that they would simply collide and break even; canceling each other out. This is not the case though, because Yuyuko's butterfly bullets actually have rather large hit areas (like the fat cow herself), and that leads to multiple butterflies trading with a single knife. The end result is that there are some knives that did not collide with anything, and therefor persisted through the waves.

Here we see the opposite happen. This is Yukari's fj.A against Yuyuko's fj.A fired at slightly different heights. The hit areas of both types of bullets is quite small, so what ends up happening is they pass by one another without collision. Despite Yuyuko's fj.A not firing as many bullets, the end result is actually more in Yuyuko's favor than if she had used j.C in this situation. This is because if she had used j.C then all of her bullets would have been negated and nothing would have reached the opponent, and yet Yukari would still have succeeded in getting a few bullets past Yuyuko's waves. But with Yuyuko's fj.A, she is able to at least sneak some bullets past the enemy's bullets.

Overwhelming Bullets 4 Sakuya f.2A fj.A vs Patchouli 236A

Here we have an interesting situation. Not all projectiles in IaMP can be overwhelmed -- some are indestructible like Patchouli's 236A (seen above), and some do not collide with enemy bullets such as: Youmu's far-A attacks (all three types), and Yuyuko's far-B (standing and jumping).

However, rather than trying to overwhelm Patchouli's fireball (because it can't be overwhelmed), we see Sakuya use the bypass method with a f.2A which sends knives slightly below the oncoming fireball. At this point, Patchouli has no choice but to high jump cancel the recovery animation for the fireball, otherwise the knives will impact before the recovery ends. The Sakuya player, knowing that Patchouli's only option for avoiding the ground knives is to high jump, sends off another set of knives with fj.A. This puts bullets in a horizontal area that Patchouli will eventually cross while moving upwards. Therefor, Patchouli can not stop in that particular area to fire more bullets, the Patchouli player will need to continue grazing higher into the air, or use an air dash to pass through the second set of knives.

While both sets of knives are likely to whiff an opponent that is paying any bit of attention, that does not mean the act of tossing the knives was worthless/pointless. In reality, the point of throwing the knives was for two reasons:
* First, to force Patchouli into the air. Because Patchouli's arsenal is reduced once in the air, Sakuya will have an easier time advancing on the opponent than against a grounded Patchouli.
* Second, to "buy time" to move forward against Patchouli. Because Patchouli will be busy grazing the knives, Sakuya is free to either throw more bullets or move freely while Patchouli is grazing. After all, if Patchouli is busy grazing then she can't very well be firing bullets.

This is essentially the same as limiting your opponents options through the use of "zoning". By forcing them into the air, and then forcing them higher, you have both limited what they can do and "purchased" time to take initiative by "controlling" specific areas where you know your opponent is likely to move.

More information regarding zoning can be found here and here

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