- Given the fact that Litchi begins each round staffed, she has great match control vs. a huge portion of the cast at round start. Litchi's biggest tools here are 5B[m], IAD 4/6 + j.B[m]/j.C[m] and the threat of ItsuuA/B/C. All of these hits (except j.C needs CH) will lead into knockdown at minimum. Double backdash (447) is also a great tool to give Litchi breathing room to place 5D or 2D, or simply control netural with her large normals from there.
- Learn what round start options other characters have so that you can make the correct choice to control the pace of the match.
Neutral Theory or Controlling Space
- Learn every staffed normal and its application in neutral, keep whiffing to a minimum because her larger normals have plenty of punishable recovery that can put you into a poor situation. Every single one has a strong usage case, ranging from beating aggressive IADs, punishing backdashes and zoning immobile/weak neutral characters.
- Apart from her staff normals, Litchi's drive is paramount to neutral success against most of the cast. However you need to be aware of the other characters options so that you can pick the correct arc and timing to call/place the staff. Learn when to use 5D, 2D and Four Winds. RiichiB also has applications vs certain characters such as Carl and Kagura.
- 5D CH, 2D CH and Vertical Four Winds are all air untechable on hit. 5D/2D CH has Counter-Hit Carry, making it one of the best ways to mount your offense by converting a staff1 CH into staff2 > 5B[m] > 4B[m] > Tsubame/Ender knockdown.
- Litchi has powerful offense that can quickly overwhelm her opponents due to it's consistently high reward that leads into inescapable knockdown situations. One of the main problems to surmount to begin this offense is getting the staff planted safely and in the correct position.
- Getting a hit into Tsubame, 6D, 3C > 2D or a full conversion will obviously solve this problem for you. However, you cannot always simply hit your opponent. Apart from 6A[m], 4B[m] and 6B[m] all of Litchi's ground normals can gatling into 5D and 2D, or in the case of Tsubame, 4D[m] and 6D[m] will simply set the staff down for you.
- In the most common cases at higher level play, you will need to set the staff down at some point during your pressure. The problem arises when you consider that using the 5D or 2D gatling will always leave you at a disadvantage. How do we fix this?
Anti-Mash and Anti-Jumpout
- Since chaining into 5D or 2D can get Litchi mashed or punished, we need to make sure that we keep our staff placements and staff pressure fresh and varied to keep our opponents guessing. No one likes getting slapped in the face or watching your opponent jump out and over your head when you've finally pressured them into the corner!
- An effective example is mixing up your staff sets with 6D[m]. 6D[m] will beat mashing, jumpouts and leads to extremely high damage while also being +3 on normal block. This is one the most basic and most effective ways of keeping your opponents respect so that you can use 2D instead to begin staffless pressure.
- Other options include late-chain 2C[m], 5B[m] IAD and staggered 2A pressure. 2A > 2C[m]/6D[m] also work well.
Staffless Pressure Theory
- We knocked the opponent down or have the staff placed next to them safely. Now what?
- Litchi has an essentially unlimited amount of options to use while pressuring stafflessly. An array of quick normals that are either safe/+ on block, jump cancel-able, late chain-able, special cancel-able and the ability to gatling into 5D/2D call for re-entry/pressure reset.
- Without proper timing, even Litchi's staffless pressure can be mashed or jumped out of, so not only do we need to keep our pressure solid and varied, we also need to time it correctly and use pre-prepared strings to beat defensive options. Litchi's pressure can be summed up as a constant respect and knowledge check for both players, challenging Litchi's knowledge and ability to stay in vs. opponent's knowledge of Litchi's pressure and their defensive abilities.
Example Tools and Strings to Use
- Interchangeable with 2A vs. certain characters. Will hit crouching Tager and Hakumen, will hit crouch blocking Relius, Carl, Kokonoe. +3 on block.
- Can cancel into nearly anything, including jump, drive and specials. +1 on block.
- Can chain into nearly anything, including 2A (5B>2A). Jump, Drive and special cancel-able. +0 on block.
- 5B[e] > 5B[e] / 5B[e] > 6B[e]
- Great to beat mashing and jumpers. Very easy to hitconfirm and keeps pressure.
- Late chain into 5C[e]
- Crumples on CH to beat mash. Decent pressure options afterwards including special, drive and jump cancel. Limited gatling options after.
- Jump cancel IAD j.C/j.B/throw/low
- Pressure reset + mixup, will jump over and potentially punish mashing while bringing jumpers back to the ground. Easy to use option and effective.
- 3C[e] > Haku
- Double low, beats mashing and jumping into full combo on proper hitconfirm. Disadvantageous on block unless properly covered.
- Special cancel into horizontal Four Winds
- Pressure reset, allows 1 free mixup that is hard to see. Can be jumped out of and mashed with quick reactions.
- 2D set > Call > Haku/Chun > staff2
- Covered high/low that can beat mash + jumps and will automatically hitconfirm for you.
- 2D set > [D] slight hold ]D[ > 6A[e] > Crush Trigger / 6[B] > staff2 > 5B
- Powerful and consistent hitconfirms off of a covered 6A[e].
Theory and Tools
- Defense is more specific to your knowledge of characters as a player, rather than knowing your character's defensive options. However, Litchi has some useful defensive tools that I will go over briefly.
- Tsubame Gaeshi or 623D while staffed
- Great DP, has one of the largest hitboxes in the game and leads into knockdown or damage + knockdown in the corner. The rising hits are Air Unblockable all the way to the top of the screen so it also makes a situationally incredible anti-air. However this move cannot be Rapid Canceled under any circumstances, so be wary of using it.
- Backdash / Double Backdash
- Litchi's first backdash can be punished like any other but her second one is incredibly useful. Litchi recovers in the air during her second backdash and can retaliate with j.B or use 66 to airdash forward and attack the opponent.
- Chinroutou / All Terminals or 632146C
- Reversal super. -14 on block and if your opponent jumps over it, it can be very difficult or impossible to punish.