I'm gonna divide this into 3 different parts to consider.
- Stage 1
- This is the stage that most Tsubaki players will start off doing. It will be a textbook blockstring using 5BB > 2BB/6A > 5CC > 6BB. Now this will work against players who can't block, but against those who can block, you would be getting yourself nowhere, with no success in opening up your opponent. Understand that all the opponent needs to do is hold down back, and they will successfully block common 6A patterns.
- Stage 2
- This is where you may incorporate charge cancels in your pressure. It's useful for pressure resets, and throwing your opponents offguard. You may also throw more at this stage, especially since Tsubaki has a very useful kara throw. The charge cancels will generally make your blockstrings shorter as well. This consists of using strings like, 5C > CC > Throw and using a lot of 5As. It's much more useful than the Stage 1 blockstrings because you're using a variety of options to try and open up your opponent, whereas with the above it's the same blockstring you're relying on. Incorporating charge cancels is also quite risky because it's liable to mashing. For quick reference, here's a list of the frame advantage of the charge cancels again.
- 5A > 5D = -9
- 2A > 5D = -9
- 5B > 5D = -2
- 2B > 5D = -5
- 5BB > 5D = -5
- 2BB > 5D = -5
- 5C > 5D = -2
- 5CC > 5D = 0
- Stage 3
- This is where using the charge cancels can occasionally cost you your pressure momentum because the opponent is now comfortable with how to tackle Tsubaki. In addition to this, it's difficult to open up your opponent because they can react to 6A, they can tech throws and they IB 6B and poke you out of what you're going to do next. At this stage they will realise it is not very difficult to disrespect Tsubaki's pressure and they may mash more. This is why you will need to include blockstrings from all 3 stages. You may even fall upon the textbook blockstring because you don't want the opponent mashing. At this point you may start to add a little more gimmicks in your gameplay (see tricks and gimmicks below) and stuff like TRMs (Throw reject Misses, e.g 5A > Dash 5A > Purple Throw), throw baits if you want, frame traps (delaying followup gatlings slowly) and using throws and command grabs more.
- 2A > 5B - Standard. Just a quick jab into 5B to start pressuring.
- 2A > throw (time for green) - Easy setup for a throw given you've got the timing down to do it quick without it being pink.
- 2A > 6A - Quick chain into an overhead but all three of those are more or less a setup so you can condition your opponent to fall for the 2A > 2B which will punish them for tying to either trying throw/hit you in between the 2A > overhead/throw attempt as it has a very small space for them to try to do something but it will get CH by the 2B unless they DP.
- 2A > 2B
- 5BB > 6A - standard chain into overhead.
- 5BB > 2B > 6A - added low before transitining into overhead
- 5BB > throw/command throw - Actually incredibly deceptive to spot and sets up below link nicely
- 5BB > 5(C) delayed - to easily punish people trying to throw or press buttons anticipating throw/over head gap
- 5BB > 2B > 5C > 6B - two low continuation ending in + frames for quick dash 5A/2A pressure
- 5BB > 2B > 5C(C) delayed - if they try to to dp or press buttons after IB 5C or not, they'll get CH if you time the delay correctly
- 5BB > 2C > j.C
- 5B > j.C
- 5B > 5C > 6C > j.C
After j.C you can opt to do j.C(C) delay which will hit them as they block the first and then adjust their blocking to low as you look as though you're going to land. The delayed hit will hit them low to the ground and if they get hit by it, it goes into a full combo of your choice. If they block it, continue the pressure with 2A/5A. Another option is to jc and hit them with the first hit of j.C late and then immediately transition into 2B when you land which will amount to overhead into low in a quick pace.
Some tighter blockstrings are:
- 5A x 3/2A x 3
- 5B > 2B > 5C(C)
- 5B > 5C(C) > 2C
- 2B > 5B > 5C
- 2B > 5C > 2C
- 2A > 5C(C) > 2C
- 5A > 5C(C) > 2C
- 5C > 2C
- Throw Resets
- This is done with Tsubaki's back throw only, because it causes stagger. Rather than following up with the usual combo you simply dash and then do one of the following:
- 6A overhead
- Crush Trigger
- Command Grab
- You can then go for 2B if they start opting to block high or jump out.
Tsubaki has a particularly interesitng and useful oki which she can take advantage of in the corner without using any resources. This is the j.236A oki which is done from 22B knockdowns. You followup with 5C > 2CC > j.7 > j.236A and the fireball is supposed to come out. As you initiate the attack use j.D to not only gain charge, but it helps you to time a falling j.C in case the opponent rolls forward. If they do neutral tech and block the orb, go for a quick 6A. Alternatively you may wish to wait until the last active frames of the attack so you can either bait a DP, or go for a throw or command grab. If they don't tech, then you'll get the standard oki but you will have at least gain 2 charges with no disadvantage. For information you can view the strategy guide on Dustloop forums, or you can watch this video:
|Tsubaki j.236A Orb Oki Tutorial|
Tsubaki also has a few other interesting oki setups which you may be interested in. Another one is to use the 6C fireball after a 22B knockdown. It has the benefit of keeping opponents on the defensive but remember you have to sacrifice charge. The effectiveness of this setup ranges from each character. Some characters can jump out to avoid it whilst others will not be able to. Additionally you could opt to whiff the 22B on juggled opponents and go straight into 6C which forces opponents to block; they cannot jump out. Both setups do lose to fast DPs and reversals however so take caution.
|Tsubaki Option Selects & Setups|
This is more beneficial to Tsubaki now as it maximizes her damage output with her drive specials as well as her charge meter not going down during hit-stop. All Mugen combos will require at least 50 meter and 1 charge.
Similar to CSE and despite SMP, Tsubaki can use 6D > 236D twice consecutively in a mugen combo to deal a lot of damage before following up with 623D > j.236D > j.214D. Provided you haven't badly prorated the combo you can use this anytime from any starter. With 1 charge mugen combos, from any starter involving a combo into 6C > Mugen, you can use the 6D > 236D [x2] route or 6D > 236D > 623D > j.236D > j.214D into your choice of ender. If you're using 5BB > 5CC > mugen will you have to followup with 623D > j.236D > j.214D instead as the 6D will not work. With 2+ charge mugen combos, you can use the 6D > 236D [x2] > 623D > j.236D > j.214D. As previously stated before the mugen combos will lead into the same combo ender and so all of them will not be listed. It is just to give you an idea of what you can do with varying amounts of stock. For a visual idea on mugen combos, check out this video by Kazu:
|Tsubaki Combo Movie 「衣-koromo-」|
Tsubaki has a decent anti air AA (2C), which makes her a threat to players who like to jump in. Even if it is blocked, you can jump cancel 2C to pressure the opponent, or jump away.
Under pressure, Tsubaki isn't too bad. Her 623C is more reliable in CP because it has more range, invincibility and is no longer a projectile. However, it is heavily punishable on block or whiff, so it's advised to use this more when you have the charge to try and make it 'safe'. 623D is not needed as a reversal because 623C suffices, so it's not worth the charge. On the other hand, you can opt to barrier block to push the player out. Due to how much more useful Tsubaki's DP is you do not really need to fallback on her counter assualt unless you are under severe pressure. Remember the heat gain in CP is more severe so use the 50 heat sparingly. Try to instant block too, as it will easily help you to escape most pressure situations and you can also use it to have an easier time punishing the gaps in opponent's strings. In addition, use her great mobility to move around the stage to avoid being placed in disadvantageous positions. This involves alot of backdashing, jumps and air dashes.
Remember to be mindful of how long you charge for. If you charge for long you will most likely be forced to undergo the opponent's assault and will have to block, and if you charge for too long you will get punished and then you will most likely have to block the later onslaught. In a neutral position, backdashing whether it's on the air or ground.
Whenever you charge, you sacrifice oki game and you lose all pressure/momentum you had on your opponent, but it's necessary in most cases in order to deal more damage later. Here are some setups in order to gain time/space to charge.
- Ending combos with a 22B knockdown.
- After an air combo ending in j.214A/B/C.
- After a 236236C/D super.
- During 632146B.
- After a burst.
- After a counter assault.
- In neutral.
- During a CT CH.
- Charge cancelling during pressure/blockstrings. It doesn't give much but it allows you to slowly gain charges while staying on your opponent.