Merrick Baliton takes his cue
Merrick the Lunar Wolf Ranger is an attacker that can overwhelm the opponent with speed. He has well rounded damage and no expensive moves, so he can keep up pressure and reliably perform damaging combos. He’s also got incredible range on most of his attacks, so the opponent usually won’t be able to run away from him. On top of all that, he gets access to an uncounterable combo-starting super attack after he’s taken enough damage. Merrick’s incredible speed and power can make him easy to pick up, but it can take time to truly master his nuances and take on the best.
Similar to Psycho Green, Merrick has a system that powers him up when he lands strikes. Unlike Psycho Green, it improves speed rather than power.
Level 0: 0 stacks
Level 1: 1 stacks
Level 2: 3 stacks
Level 3: 4 stacks
Level 4: 6 stacks.
With each level, his breakers improve in speed. At Level 4, he has some of the fastest breakers in the game. As icing on the cake, his movement speed also increases with each level, which helps him avoid attacks.
He’ll lose 1 stack any time he gets hit, and he’ll revert back to Level 0 after finishing a breaker.
Primary 1: Lunar Cue
A 50/50 strike with some nice range and speed. It ends in a stagger, so a combo into Ancient Warrior or another Lunar Cue isn’t guaranteed.
Primary 2: Ancient Warrior
Another 50/50 strike. Goes a bit further than Lunar Cue, but is also a bit slower. It ends in a knockback, so you can combo into just about anything afterward.
Special 1: Moon Slash
A breaker with excellent range. It can be challenging to combo after this attack if you don’t have the opponent cornered. If you’re hit by a strike during the startup, you’ll be caught in a juggle, so use its lower level versions with caution.
Special 2: Howling Wolf
Another breaker with awesome range, but with two main benefits over Moon Slash. First, it ends in a launch, so it’s the ultimate combo tool. Second, it has a lot of invincibility that makes it risky to challenge with a strike. It’s slower than Moon Slash at level 0, but is faster on all subsequent levels.
Super: Laser Pool
Merrick gains super meter only by taking damage, not damaging the opponent. You’ll gain access to this attack after he’s taken about 50% damage. It’s an unreactable fast uncounterable attack that knocks back the opponent. Easy to combo after when the opponent is cornered, but may require specific moves otherwise.
Assist: Lunar Sniper
An unreactable fast breaker that ends in a stun. Although it’s extremely fast, it doesn’t have much in the way of range. It also has a long animation, so your opponent will have a lot of time to use a strike if you miss with the first hit.
Lunar Cue → Howling Wolf → Dash → Moon Slash
An 11 energy combo. Dashing or taunting is necessary to recover the 1 extra energy in time for Moon Slash.
Lunar Cue → Laser Pool→ Strike → Strike
It’s risky following up the Lunar Cue’s stagger with another primary, but you might not have a choice if you have a block covering your special slot. This is where Laser Pool comes into play, helping you get the most damage you can. Backdash after Laser Pool if you have the opponent cornered; you need the extra travel time of the projectile to let Ancient Warrior juggle properly.
VS Merrick Baliton
-Merrick’s breakers have huge range, so use a similar strategy that you would against someone using something like Cammy assist. If you’ve already done the bulk of your damage in a combo and have energy to spare, avoid spending it so you can use a strike to stay safe.
–If Merrick is saving speed stacks rather than finishing his combo with a breaker, you can try using a strike or even breaker pre-emptively to hit him once he’s nearly at 10 energy.
-If Merrick has 0 speed stacks, his breakers will be too slow for him to reliably react to a block with one. Dashing up and using a block on a hunch isn’t too bad in this case.
-Ancient Warrior is blockable on reaction, so if you see the strike indicator there’s an overall chance that it’ll work out well for you. Half of the time it will be Ancient Warrior, and the times it’s Lunar Cue it might not be cancelled.
Guaranteed Laser Pool
Laser Pool is so fast that it’s practically guaranteed if you do it immediately after cancelling one of his strikes. To avoid a potential disruptor, you can backdash and Laser Pool will still connect.
Speed Stack Usage
Strike → Strike → Breaker may be optimal damage, but it doesn’t let you make use of the stacks. Whenever possible, you should be saving breakers to open up the opponent rather than extend combos. Build up to maximum, trick the opponent with your upgraded movement speed until you reach 10 energy, then go for Howling Wolf. This lets you combo into your strikes so you can repeat the process.