Arcana Heart 3/FAQ
I'm new to this game... who should I choose?
To be honest, you should just choose a character that appeals to you. Character love will take you pretty far, in all seriousness. The "tiers" of the game are tight and balanced enough through the use of Arcanas in the game, it's almost impossible to go wrong. Though, if you want to learn a character to get used to the engine without pulling up and defining character habits, Weiss, Heart and Saki are recommended. Characters like Petra, Dorothy, and Elsa have particular "set-plays" but their combos are not that hard and mesh well with the game's system mechanics.
There are just as many Arcana as there are characters... I don't know what's good
All of the Arcana have particular strengths and weaknesses as well as character + Arcana combinations that generally work out better. All in all, it depends on your playing style and preferences. There are people out there that pick weird combos like Ice+Petra and make it work. Here are some guidelines for people starting out though:
All Purpose Arcana
Love - Easy to use and has no standout traits that would become bad habits. Recommended for people just starting out. It has easy to use projectiles, good life modifiers and a fast burst recharge speed. Very balanced and easy to use.
Halo - Slow burst recharge speed, but very balanced with projectiles and combo specials. Its projectiles are slow but track well and are easy to combo off of. It also has moves and supers that work well as reversals. The changes to the Arcana during EF make it fairly strong.
Offense Oriented Arcana
Time - This Arcana is very attack oriented. Its super, Infinite Light, allows you to make very nasty mixups for okizeme, opponents that cannot deal with it will simply die. Unfortunately its burst recovery is extremely slow and its combos are hard to do during EF. You also need to bear in mind that you need to change your combos due the passive attributes on its 6D, some characters will have to avoid 6D completely since they don't have compatible attacks with it. You could say it's an advanced level Arcana.
Plant - Plant is able to make very damaging combos with the use of the Vine special. 236E will combo from just about any C move and make damaging, meterless combos. Due to the properties, frames, and reach of Vine, it can very easily snag your opponent out of what they wanted to do. The seeds are also great for okizeme. This doesn't have much going for it on the defense side, but since you won't need to use meter for combos that much, you can use that meter for your character inherent defense moves. This is very easy to use offensively.
Dark - The nature of Dark's specials make it great for okizeme. You can hold the button down to delay the onset of the attack to make strong mixups. The ability to turn your opponent into a dark slime is also very powerful for forcing damage and mixups. It's very straight forward and easy to use.
Defense Oriented Arcana
Thunder - Clash is a huge part of Arcana Heart 3, and the Thunder Arcana makes it very easy to clash the opponent in your favor and on your terms. Thunder has a clash-only special that can be baited, but it is relatively safe and discourages your opponent from trying to clash you in the first place. Thunder's super is also good for okizeme.
Wind - Wind's life modifier is low, but the passive changes to 6GC take the guessing game out of normal post-6GC situations and just gets the opponent off of you. Clash usually forces you and your opponent to read each other up, but Wind has a move that completely negates having to do this after a guard cancel.
Flower - Flower has the fastest Force Meter recharge from Bursting in the game. It's not rare for you to get two bursts in one round with this Arcana, so naturally your defense versus damage management increases greatly. On the subject of damage management, Flower nullifies all counter hits on your character. This will drastically reduce the damage you take from errors. The Multilayered Flower super has great range and is a good zoning tool.
This game is too complicated, I can't remember all this...
Take it easy, you don't need to get everything at once. First, you should familiarize yourself with the movement in the game. After that, taking the system mechanics one by one and then trying to employ them in a match would be the best next step. After getting familiar with the game, take a look at player matches and to see how each character is being used and exactly what is going on in the matches.
6GC? FG? What does that mean?
I don't always turn around when I go over someone
You don't. To be specific, when you High Jump or Homing over someone, you will automatically turn around in air. If you do a normal jump over someone, you will not turn around until you land or use your double jump.
Do I need to change directions when I wake up?
The golden rule is that you will need to input your commands in the same direction that you are facing. If you were facing right and the opponent jumped over you, you will still enter 623. While on the subject, even if you do a normal jump over your opponent, your commands will be in the direction you are facing.
What's with the command interpreter in this game?
The lower diagonals of the game are usually to blame for most mis-inputs in the game. The interpreter recognizes 1 and 7 as 4, and 3 and 9 as 6 when you try to put together Dragon Punch and fireball motions. So let's say you where crouch blocking (holding 1) before you tried to shoot a fireball. In that cause you may end up doing a 1236. Because of the command interpreter, you end up getting a 41236/426, or a Yoga Flame command. Likewise if you tried to do a Dragon Punch but reached into the corner too much and ended up doing a 6123, the 1 becomes 4 and the 3 changes to 6. You would end up getting a 6426, or Haoh Sho Ko Ken.
tl;dr - Make sure you hit your 2s right.
What do I do when I get clashed?
Not knowing how to deal with clash can get you into trouble indeed. When in a clash battle, it is best to throw out your faster attacks (As), a command grab or a move with invincibility. You could also play it safe with a High Jump Guard too. Depending on what's going on 4D could be used to get out of a clash battle. For more information on the clash mechanic, check out the Clash page.
I can't IAD...
AH3 registers 956 as IAD. 959 also works but you might end up getting a double jump instead; not recommended. If you are using a move that is jump cancellable, you could use 65658 to get an IAD right after the attack is complete.
Someone just got behind me in the corner, what the hell?
You can always jump in between the wall and your opponent, no matter how close to the corner they think they are. As such you can be crossed up in the corner just as well as if you were anywhere else. It is best to stay out of the corner.
I'm not sure how knockdowns works...
You can hit knockdown statuses in Arcana Heart 3, but there are some rules and limitations. You cannot use lock moves like rondos on someone who is downed. Throws also do not work on downed opponents. Even catch grabs such as Konoha's Izuna Drop will not work. There are a few exceptions though (Nazuna's catch grab). You cannot float opponents again once they are downed. Moves like 2E will not make them rise into the air again. There is one exception to this too (Petra αShot LV3). There is also an additional 50% proration value added to each hit during knockdown. Normally a move that does 1000 damage with 80% would look like this with three hits: 1000(100%)→800（80%）→640(64%). During knockdown, it would look like this:500(50%)→200(20%)→80(8%). So it is quite difficult to add on extra damage with OTG his.
How do counter hits work?
You can be counter hit (CH) out of moves during the start up of most moves, or particular frames of special moves. However, almost all A moves will not cause or receive counter hits. If you get counter hit, the hitstop from the attack will dramatically increase. In that period of time, you can do just about anything you like so combos that are not possible normally can be performed due to CH hitstop. Though, due to the long amount of hitstop, it is somewhat difficult to incorporate homing and etc; it takes some practice. No matter what you hit your opponent with, the starting prorate will be 91%. Most of the time, your starting prorate for combos is "80%~70%," so counter hit combos usually do 10 to 20 percent more damage than normal. Regardless of the numbers, "counter hits hurt..." should be on your mind constantly.
Anything else I should know?
In Arcana heart 3 there are 2 frames before your character returns to neutral after receiving an attack (except on down status). To be specific, there is 1 frame before your character returns to neutral and there is 1 frame before your character can do anything besides block from neutral. Therefore, if a move is -4 on block, you might think you could counter if you have a move with 3 frames of start up. However because of those 2 frames, you would not be able to punish them. Due to this, there are certain characters that can abuse this 2F gap for guard crushes and mixups. Most of these are resets and can cause some serious damage, no fun for the receiving side.