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NORMAL MOVES | SPECIAL MOVES | ASSISTS | HYPER COMBOSCOMBOS | TEAMING GUIDE

 
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Gameplan 

Ranged

Sentinels ranged game is very match-up dependent. His spit becomes a liability against anyone with a tracking teleport and against characters like those you have to be very careful with your full screen spits and either cover yourself with an assist or a drones H call. You should also fly cancel your spits to reduce the recovery on them and give you more options if they randomly teleport in. 

Your opponent will eventually try to get right in your face, and if they can't from a direct approach, they will try super jumping/flying/tri-dashing in. Against super jumpers who can't change their trajectory, simply dash under them and allow them to corner themselves. From here you have the whole screen to work with again. You can also super jump and meet them in the air with a j.M or a fly, M, unfly, M. This will keep them honest and will convert into massive damage if they do get hit. Don't be afraid to occasionally throw out a st.M when you believe they might attempt jumping in with an attack, it is one of(if not) sentinels best ground normal and a really good AA. You can also air throw overly obvious jump ins once they are within st. M range(since sents normals are kinda too slow to be throwing out at this range). A jump back H canceled into a rocket punch can help create some breathing room. Plus if it connects you can cancel into hard drive and get yourself a nice combo at the other end of the stage. But be wary, if you get too predictable with this strategy, or you do it from too close a distance, your prolly gonna eat an airthrow.

Upclose 

Sents main style is being played up close. Now I refuse to call this rush down, because it really cannot be described as rush down. Sent has no high/low, left/right mix-up. The only real mix-up sent has is after a st. L he either chains into cr. M or ticks into command grab. Sents up close offense consists of him pressuring the opponent and punishing any attempts to fight back with high priority and often armored normals and like I said in the summary, when the opponent finally gets complacent and just sits there blocking you dash in for a throw, cr. M, or air throw. You need to fly cancel your normals to counter push blocks and keep on the pressure. Don't get discouraged if your not getting any hits, all sent really needs is one clean hit and your opponent is usually dead. The ideal range for sent is

To get in close, you can either fly cancel a cr.H and begin your approach, or double jump, call a horizontal assist activate flight and get in that booty. When you get over them, come down on them with an H unfly H to deter any airthrow attempts. From here you can start your pressure. You have to be patient though, impatience will get you nothing but a dead sentinel and no one wants that. 

A nice example of a pressure string with sentinel is j. H, Assist (if its an assist that allows him to fly cancel confirm) fly up if they blocked the j. H and perform a j.L unfly, M, st. L and then either go for a cr.M or command grab. If you go for a command grab don't forget to option select HSF to make it safe whereas if you go for a cr.M you can call an assist(if you have one available) while fly canceling to keep the pressure going. Be wary of going into autopilot(see what I did there?) and falling prey to either a happy birthday or x-factor guard cancel(if they xfgc your cr.M.

Welcome Setups 

Now this is where sentinel really shines, his damage output paired with just the simple amount of options he has on an incoming character can tear through a team before your opponent knows what the hell is happening:

His most versatile mix-up is to activate flight, hit a j.S right as the opponent comes in, if they push block, dash up and air throw. Once you've taught them to respect the throw, dash up and st.M, the armor will beat out their tech attempt and give you an even more damaging combo. Timing the dash to nullify the push block is a little difficult at first, but with a little practice you'll get the hang of it. This is also useable on any opponent who push block a j. S, not just incoming characters.

Another effective if corner exclusive mix-up is to activate flight, call an assist with long active frames(tatsu is the assist of choice, but Im certain it should work with countless others) and proceed to fly over the incoming character then come down with an S, it’s a really ambiguous left/right mix-up.

Monday
Feb072011

NORMAL MOVES

L - LIGHT

Sentinel's L attacks nullify low priority projectiles.  

St L (70k)

Best used exclusively for punishing unsafe stuff since its sentinels fastest normal, its also one of two normals with very underwhelming hit boxes and no armor. Nullifies low priority projectiles.

Cr. L (70k)

Sentinels second normal with an underwhelming hitbox, this is best used for punishing unsafe moves and ticking into his command grab up close because when your opponent is within range of this move, their normals will more often than not beat out yours. Nullifies low priority projectiles.

J. L (75k) 

Now were getting into the really nasty normals, sentinels j. L might look underwhelming at first sight, but don't be fooled, its his fastest air normal by a wide margin and as such can be used to punish air throw happy opponents, and since its chainable into a j. S it can be option selected into the ground bounce which leads to a nice fat combo. Plus at low altitudes it coves a very pesky area directly below sentinel where it can be chained into a cr. H for a full combo. It is also used to apply flight pressure and can lead into a tick throw set-up. Nullifies low priority projectiles.

M - MEDIUM

Sentinel's M attacks nullify medium priority projectiles.  s.M and c.M have super armor, allowing them to absorb one hit without being countered.  

St. M (100k)

This move has super armor from frames 6-15, and nullifies medium priority projectiles during active frames. One of, if not his best ground based normal, works as a really good anti-air, only hits once(so it doesn't scale like cr M) and it has very nice range, although this range can become an issue since a max range st. M will not chain into a st. S. Plus it can be flight cancelled into a combo using specific assists, like hawkeye's, magneto's, and akumas to name a few(st.M +Assist, Flight, J. L, J. M, Unfly, J.M). Be careful though, its relatively unsafe on block depending on your spacing, but a cancel into rocket punch HSF will make them weary of punishing it consistently, and it will whiff on some crouching opponents if your right next to them. But at that range, you really shouldn't be hitting buttons with sentinel to begin with.

Cr. M (97,600) 3 hits

Super armor from frames 6-15, and it nullifies medium priority projectiles during active frames. This move is an odd one, its sents only low attack, so if your trying to convince the opponent not to just block high you'll need to throw this out every now and then. With that said, whiffing this move is death, guaranteed, every time. You whiff, you might as well unplug your controller. In my experience though, I've found an effective way of using this move is toss it out after an air series into a st.L, even if they push block the L, the M should still hit(Im still testing this out) plus it allows you to either go for the cr.M or command grab, a solid 50/50. Also, this move is especially good on small characters since often they can duck St. M.

J. M (100k)

This is hands down one of the best air to air normals in the entire game, the sheer amount of screen this move covers is completely obnoxious, especially when paired with the fact that sentinel can get a fat combo off any hit confirms using this move. And you don't even require amazing reactions to hit confirm, simply double tap M and if the first one connects, it'll chain into the second one automatically, giving you time to see whether its hitting and continue with an S or cancel into flight if blocked. Just an all around amazing move in general, and it also nullifies low priority projectiles.

H - HARD

Sentinel's s.H and c.H fire a beam of energy from Sentinel's mouth.  s.H chains into c.H.  The mouth lasers form the foundation of Sentinel's long range gameplan.  Paired with the right assists, the mouth lasers alone can provide a strong zoning game.

St. H (102,300) 5 hits

Another really good "normal" and one of the best projectiles in the game, sentinel is blessed with a high durability projectile that he can call assists while using, unfortunately this comes at a price as a vast majority of the cast can duck his st. H (some can even stand under it) and can even duck his cr. H. From rocket punch range it can be chained into a rocket punch HSF cancel for decent damage and from full screen can be chained into a HSF DHC into any instant full screen hyper for the cost of 2 bars and about 500k damage. But while this allows sentinel to zone, do yourself a favor and avoid spamming this move without much thought, in a game with characters as mobile as magneto, and teleporters, one badly placed spit could easily lead to a dead sentinel.

Cr.H (102,300) 5 hits

Not much I can say about this that isn't reflected in the st.H discussion. Remember that small characters can duck this move and punish, so canceling into flight or H Drones can cover you and make you safer.

J. H (110k) 

Another exceptional air attack, this one is more suitable for applying air to ground pressure. Its a ridiculous +21 on block, so sent is pretty much free to do whatever the hell he wants after an opponent blocks this, and since it +25 on hit more often than not you'll have enough time to visually confirm that the move connected, land, dash in and continue the combo. Paired with a good assist and flight cancels you can keep your opponent blocking in the corner for an entire round until they get complacent and eat a command grab. Nullifies medium priority projectiles.


S - EXCHANGE 

St. S (120,000)

Super armor from frames 12-21, nullifies medium priority projectiles during active frames. An alright normal, and one of sentinels safest on block, I don't use this much outside of combos with the rare case being when I have a read on a teleporting dante I use this as a punish occasionally since it leads to more damage than an air throw punish. Other than that I use this exclusively for combos.

J. S (120k)

The infamous frying pan, probably the most hated move in the first month of vanilla, the hype behind it has sorta died down now that people realize how slow it really is. Being sentinels slowest air normal, plus the only one that can't be canceled into flight or hard drive you shouldn't make a habit out of throwing out the frying pan. Its usually best tagged to the end of his other normals(i.e poking with j. M chained into S as opposed to just raw S). But its still a very good air normal, covers a very wide 270 degree radius around sentinel and causes a ground bounce on hit leading to a dead character in most situations, this move is not to messed with. Just don't spam it at every given opportunity or you'll find yourself at the end of many an air throw. Nullifies medium priority projectiles.

SPECIAL NOTE

All of Sentinel's air attacks (except j.S) are double-jump and flight cancellable.

Monday
Feb072011

SPECIAL MOVES

ROCKET PUNCH - QCF+ATK - (150k) AIR OK

The L version extends into a 45 degree downward arc and its main use is to otg an opponent to finish a combo or to pressure/hit an overzealous small character from getting close. The M version extends straight forward in a line and is mainly used to either counter hit or combo from St. H into Drone Super. The H version extends at a 30 degree angle upwards and its very situationaly useful to tag a flying enemy since none of his other moves covers this area at a distance.  

 

SENTINEL FORCE - QCB+ATK - L/M(135k) 3 hits, H(25k) 15 hits

L version sends three drones at an upward-angle across the screen, M version send them at a downward Angle.Drones are an interesting tool sentinel was given, originally I thought they were completely useless but of late I've found them to be an invaluable zoning tool. The key with drones is to 1. Know your match-up because if your opponent has a fast full screen projectile your gonna have trouble getting them out, and 2. Covering your drone calls with spit(st./cr. H) and assist call depending on who you have. Once you can get a good rhythm of drone calls your opponent will find it difficult to get in on sentinel. And while they don't do the most damage or chip, they serve to frustrate your opponent and help give you time to decide what your next action is going to be. Plus if your opponent gets tired and decides to raw tag out, the drones will connect with the incoming character and depending on how far away you are you can get a full combo off them. This also works after finishing a combo that puts your opponent within chip distance, back off a little so the raw tag doesn't connect with sentinel (thus making the drones disappear) and call drones(preferably L since some characters can duck M) if your opponent sits there, they will get chipped out and die, but if they raw tag the incoming character will eat both the drones, and the full combo sentinel delivers afterwards. The H version sends out 3 drones to do a bombing run which can otg. This special move is useful in that unlike L and M, the drones don't disappear if sentinel is hit, so its best to call these out when you think your opponent is about to get through your zoning. I have also found that its a very good move to use against characters with tracking teleports, if they teleport in the drones will hit them. It’s especially useful when the opponent trades with it since you get a full combo off of it.

HUMAN CATAPULT - F,D,D/F+ATK - L (120K) M (140k) H (160k)

L version starts up in 2 frames meaning it can punish a lot of things and in the corner it is preferable to punish with this instead of a throw since you get a full combo. H version has the longest range and is the easiest to combo off of in the corner, plus you can use it as a meaty to grab chicken blockers on wakeup. A way to combo off the command grab mid-screen is by calling certain assists prior to performing it, at the moment the only two I know work are trish peekabo, iron man repulsor blast and rocket raccoon log trap. Naturally trying this is risky since if your opponent mashes out of your attempt he will get a two for one, but its still good to know and you can practice to make the set-ups safer.One neat trick to keep your human catapult attempts safe(because lord help you if you whiff one) is to option select a hyper sentinel force into the input. This way if it connects, it connects and you get your damage, but if it doesn't you automatically get a HSF keeping sentinel relatively safe from retaliation.

FLIGHT - QCB+S - AIR OK 

By far sentinels best special move, flight helps sentinel make all his laggy normals completely safe(except his S normals which aren't flight cancelable). In flight mode sentinel becomes extremely mobile, a much smaller target while still retaining his long normals, gains access to one of the best lvl 1's in the entire game and is almost a completely different character. Mastering fly unfly cancels makes sentinel a legitimate threat on point, but it takes some serious practice to get it down consistently. Plus you cannot block whilst flying so have those unflies ready at a moments notice.

 

Monday
Feb072011

ASSISTS

SENTINEL FORCE - CHARGE (135k)

Shot - Tilt Up

Generally considered on of the top 5 assists in the game, drones pretty much does it all. It can be used as a keep away tool on zoning teams because of how highly durable the drones are once they are on screen, or it can be used to for rush down characters since the drones stay on screen forever. Just an all around amazing multi-purpose assist and the only reason why sentinel is still one of the most popular characters in tournament. It really is a just add water assist for there isn't a single character on the entire roster that can't take advantage of this assist. With that said, constantly mashing on assist will either lead to your sentinel dieing really quickly or you and your sentinel getting hit. Sentinel is a massive target, and he stays out there for a very long time so if you are not covering your assist calls effectively sent is gonna keep getting hit causing all the drones to disappear. Covering drones is match-up and character dependent, but it usually involves using a high priority full screen projectile to protect sentinel from any projectiles coming from that direction, other than that you can also go airborne, activate flight, call sentinel and plink dash your way over to where your opponent is. Finally the easiest way to cover sent is to call him and then teleport, unless your fighting storm, its literally impossible for the opponent to punish sent, and in most cases if they do, your right behind them ready to make them pay.

SENTINEL FORCE - BOMB (67-162k)

Shot - Tilt Down

An underrated assist and criminally underused assist, this acts as more of a get off me tool similar to the actual attack. Once the drones are out, your opponent needs to stop attacking or they will get blown up by the bombing run. With that said, there is a reason this assist is underused, its just not as versatile(at the moment at least) as drones. Plus while the drones otg, they come out entirely too slowly to be used in conventional combos. Still there might be some untapped potential in this assist.

ROCKET PUNCH (130k)

Direct - Tilt Down

Sents least used assist by far, rocket punch would be a lot more popular if it was given to a different character. It otgs(which is always welcome) plus it nullifies projectiles so it can be used for a unique type of zoning. Plus its a very far reaching otg assist. Had this assist been given to nemesis for example, it would be the assist of choice, but simply because sentinel has it it will never be a popular assist. Still though, if you have sentinel on your team and are in need of an otg assist(plus you already have a strong horizontal assist), you could do worse than this move.

Monday
Feb072011

HYPER COMBOS

PLASMA STORM - QCF+2ATK (282k)

With the nerf to sentinels rocket punch, this is the hyper you will be ending your combos with more often than not. It doesn't have much utility outside of being a combo ender, but at 337,400 damage and ~200,000 minimum amount of damage, its a darn good combo ender. With that said, it does have some utility, it can be used to protect your assist if your opponent fires a full screen projectile thats slow enough for plasma storm to start-up before it reaches your assist(like hyper sentinel force for example).

HARD DRIVE - QCF+2ATK (275k) - AIR ONLY

Sentinel gathers his friends and flies across the screen in a straight line. Frames 1-70 invincible, causes spinning knockdown that ignores hitstun decay. No, thats not a typo, this move actually have 70 frames of invincibility. Arguably sentinels best hyper(if not the best lvl 1 in the game) this move is simply bonkers. If it connects, its allows for sentinel to go into a full combo for a nice amount of damage, allows sentinel to avoid most incoming character mix-ups entirely. Paired with the ability to air x-factor and this hyper is simply amazing and a reason for sentinel players to always try to have at least one bar of hyper available. Plus once you learn to tk your hard drives all of a sudden you can punish even ground based attacks with a hard drive. And I haven't even gone into the advantages of using it as a combo ender, while it doesn't give you the damage plasma storm or HSF gives you, what it loses in damage, it makes up in position. Any combo ended with a hard drive will leave the opponent in the corner, the optimal position for sentinel, plus if you have the meter and execution you can loop hard drives in the corner until your either run out of meter or your opponent runs out of health, but if done properly, with 4 bars sentinel can kill anyone in cast thanks to his hard drive. Be careful with your hard drive use though, some characters can punish hard drives(anyone with a fast full screen attack) and if you perform one while your opponent is cornered your ass is gonna get punished hard. Plus, if your opponent doesn't get picked up properly you could potentially be in for some serious punishment.

 

HYPER SENTINEL FORCE - QCB + 2ATK (306k)

Sentinel snitches on the opponent sending three waves of three very high priority wall of drones. HSF has an interesting property in that its completely disjointed(like hail storm) i.e., hitting sentinel will not stop the drones from coming out once the hyper has started, making this an amazing DHC hyper. Be warned though, random full screen HSF are not safe in the slightest, your opponent can super jump over it and punish sentinel right as the drones are finishing their rounds. In spite of that, if used properly this is a very very useful hyper, for one its one of the few ways sentinel can combo of his throws and he gets a very easy combo afterwards. Plus it makes for a very nice AA if you see your opponent jump over one of your spits and is within range to punish you, it will often trade but since the hyper is disjointed the drones will continue to hit the opponent while sentinel recovers and proceeds to lay down an ass whooping on the fool hardy opponent. Thanks to the nerf to his rocket punch though, sent can no longer combo into his HSF whenever he pleases, it has to be done really early in a combo, and even in some cases the opponent might be too far for it to combo. Some assists allow sentinel to combo into it at the end of long combos, but at the moment spencer slant shot and chuns lightning legs are the only ones I know off. This hyper is an amazing assist killer. Pairing it with full screen DHCs like Shinku or XF + do it again can easily kill assists from full screen. If you see the point character get tagged with HSF, you can XFC and mosey on over there for an easy confirm into an easy death combo. 1 bar and XF into death off a full screen punish is a nice trick to have up your sleeve. Also obviously good to do in happy birthday situations.

Monday
Feb072011

COMBOS

Cr M, S, j.H, Flight, pause, j.L, j.H, unfly, falling j.H, Land, S, j.H, Fly, j.L, j.M, j.H, S, Rocket Punch, Plasma Storm -835,200 damage (depends on opener)

Cr.m, S, j.M, j.H, Fly, j.L, j.H, Unfly, falling j.M, Double Jump, j.M, j.H, j.S, L Rocket Punch, Plasma Storm- ~800k (depends on opener)

In Corner, H Human Catapult, Jump, j.H, j.S, Land, Fly, j.L, j.M, j.H, Unfly, j.H, Land, S, j.H, Fly, j.L, j.M, j.H, S, L rocket Punch, Plasma Storm- 736,600

 

Monday
Feb072011

TEAMING GUIDE

When looking for teammates for Sentinel you either want an assist with good horizontal coverage(like drones, which unfortunately sentinel can't take advantage of) or one that makes it easier for him to control the air like hidden missiles. But the cool thing about sent is since he is such a versatile character, he can use a variety of assists. The only assists I would shy away from are lockdown assists not named tatsu, sentinels only real grounded mix-up is cr.M or command grab, a mix-up that is completely nullified by an assist that keeps the opponent in block stun for an extended period of time. I made the exception with tatsu because its extremely fast(unlike say coldstar) and can be used for fly cancel hit confirms(off both a cr.M and a j.H). But even with coldstar, Im sure if you so wished you could find a use for it, my experience with it wasn't pleasant but that could just be due to my incompetence.

The top assists for sentinel in no particular order would probably be:

Hidden Missiles, Akuma Tatsu, Any horizontal projectile(plasma beam, disruptor, greyhound, unibeam etc), Jam Session, Peekabo, Vajra.

As for team order placement, personally I feel sentinel is best played when he is 2nd. Playing him on point is workable since he has 2 assists behind him, but your giving up access to one of the top 3 assists in the game, so unless those two people behind him are doom and akuma, your scarcely gonna find another character in the game with a better assist. Plus you also sacrifice access to his really deadly cross over counter into hard drive that has killed many an over-zealous character and assist. But why not play him last you ask since most characters benefit more from his assist than he does from theirs, well because sentinel on anchor-while not nearly as bad as everyone would like to imply he is-is very hard to make work. Plus he has bad match-ups against most of the top tiers so if your ever in a situation where its one on one(which tends to happen quite frequently in this game) you'll more often than not find yourself in an uphill battle.

The 2nd slot on the other hand is perfect for sentinel because its the best of both worlds, you still have access to his amazing assist, but sentinel isn't gonna be forced to fight alone. Plus with my aforementioned point of sent being able to escape a lot of incoming character mix-ups, he can come in and slow the game down if it looks like your about to be steam rolled. Finally, your point character is given access to the plasma storm dhc, which is one of the most damaging dhc's in the entire game. Plus, depending on who your anchor is, sentinel gets the ability to combo his H's into HSF from full screen. Ryu, akuma, storm, trish, hawkeye, and dante are a few characters, but anyone with a fast full screen hyper can do this. All in all, Im a strong believer that 2nd place sentinel is the best spot for him. 

With that said, if you feel like running him on anchor don't despair, it is possible as rayray and infrit have shown numerous times to win with just sentinel since he has very high damage output, the ability to play either rush down or keep away, nice incoming character mix-up and has really good hypers.