GGACR/Faust/Strategy

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Faust


General Tactics

What do I do?

Poke from a distance into Item Toss. If you happen to knockdown in the exchanges that result from this, run mix or chill and pressure with meaty 2H on their wakeup.

Where do I stand?

Desired spacing in any given match is usually in a range where you can at least threaten a microdash far.S, even in matchups where Faust doesn't necessarily control of the screen. This allows him, at the very least, to threaten safe Item Tosses that need to be dealt with.

People seem to get in so easily...

Something to keep in mind as opponents approach on the ground, is that playing too reactively with your long pokes can lead to your downfall. You can't stop someone from running in if you try to confirm that they'll be in 2H range before swinging it. Swing your long pokes on a read, and don't focus too much on making sure they land.

The best range to land 2H is at a distance, where it's hard to whiff punish and not liable to be counterpoked/whiff-punished, so it's okay to swing it even if they're not in range yet, should you suspect they might try to run into range in that moment.

If you still want to challenge the front while also being ready to anti-air, use movement alongside faster, tighter options like 2P, 5P, 2K, 5K or a high j2K to hedge your bets.

How do I antiair?

6P

6P is a rewarding, dominant option that can be done at the very last moment provided the spacing is good and the hitboxes line up. Very likely to counter-hit trade in your favour, but won't in problem matchups where the air normal is simply too strong. Look for reactionary opportunities to 6P throughout various matchups, but know that your other options might be far less committal.

Summary: Use this when an opponent is coming in from an angle, or from the front. It tends to work when done later compared to other anti-airs, so it can act as a reactionary option to air approach, instead of one you need to commit to ahead of time.

5K

5K is incredibly hard to contest "from the front", in the sense that it will almost always counterhit trade, at worst, against anything trying to beat the hitbox outright. Characters, generally, must go over or under the hitbox to have a chance at beating it clean. The move has no extended hurtbox during startup or whiff recovery (Only a small, trivial amount on whiff), which is why it feels so dominant. This is a great move to use on prediction when you want to challenge air options.

Summary: Use this when characters approach "from the front". Press this when someone gets to "airdash height" to challenge them without leaving yourself open to punishment.

2K

2K's first active hitbox is disjointed and reaches to the top of the screen. This makes it incredibly strong at anti-airing characters overhead. That hitbox is also jump cancellable. Followups will almost never do that much damage, but the move has very little whiff recovery, and requires a pretty precise juke to beat out, or the opponent already needs to be in your face. If either happens, Faust normally would have access to other options.

Summary: Use this against characters airdashing overhead, or coming down from right above.

Crawl

Crawl (Holding 3) low profiles, this makes it incredibly strong as an anti-air where deep jump-ins aren't being threatened, usually airdash jump-ins. Think of crawl as an anti-air against those situations. Throwing immediately as they whiff their option is generally the most "solid" and fastest option from crawl, but you can often get away with a 2P into grounded punish.

Summary: Use this against airdashes and against moves that don't reach the ground so well.

Airthrow

Try this if you're up against a character whose jump-in options simply feel too dominant to be contested from the ground. Airthrow can reach higher, quicker, than normals in some cases.

Reposition

If someone is getting fancy over head, and 2K isn't reliable, sometimes it's best to try to dash out instead and find a better spot to play Guilty Gear.

Blockstrings

Your goal is to either confirm into Pogo or a jD ender on hit, or to pull Items on block out of high-blockstun normals. You want to learn to do this from your standard starters, but also counterpokes as well.

Some blockstrings aren't going to be completely tight, or even combo on hit, such as 2P>2H, but that's alright. The item pull you get from such a string is more than enough to give you an advantageous situation.

Heavier moves create more blockstun. With this in mind, Faust 2H and 6H create the most blockstun out of his entire arsenal. It's preferable to cancel into items from these moves, but not mandatory. 5H is the next heaviest attack, while far.S and 2S have their own utility for various reasons.

2K > 5H FD safe string from low.
2K > 2D FD safe string from low, that hits low an extra time. 2K needs to be chained on the last hit for this to combo, as 2K forces crouching on the last hit. Great for challenging people trying to jump out of pressure.
2K > 2P > 2S > 2H The high number of hits and heavier ender makes this really nice for comboing into Pogo > Going My Way in the corner, or ending in Item Toss
5P > 6H Overhead string, great for catching people mashing short, stubby buttons when pressured.
j2K Special mention. Depending on how high this lands (Lower is better), you can be incredibly plus on block. You can do them repetitively leaving only a small, unreactable gap, or you can use the advantage to make use of the options above.
2P > 2H Doesn't combo, but is a great, long, fast starter that leads into a good Item pull. Great for interrupting pressure, great at checking forward movement in neutral. Great roundstart option. You can OS the 2H by buffering it in the 2P so that 2H won't come out on whiff.

See Combos for routes when these hits. The idea is you either launch from 2D, Pogo from 5H/2H, or cancel into Item Toss on block. Cancelling into Item Toss on hit is still fine for beginners just looking to make things happen.

Sometimes, on block, just let the pogo rip anyways, because Pogo is +3 and 66 from Pogo is a 4f attack.

Okizeme

The below is a small summary of the Okizeme section

How do I run offense once I knock them down?

Here's a rudimentary breakdown into three "options". They're not specific options, necessarily, but roughly three categories of moves.

Option A (Shackling Jumps):

2K into 2D challenges attempts to jump out, either on wakeup, or done late into the string as a hedge against tick throws.

Option B (Shackling Pokes and Backdashes):

Frame traps after various normals, threatening to j2K suddenly in pressure, a well-spaced 6H outside of the range of their mashed normal, a sudden cancel into Forcebreak Chop (214D)... These are all quite good at discouraging attacks done on wakeup, or attempted attacks during blockstun as a hedge against sudden throws. Some of these options also challenge backdash simultaneously, based on matchup.

Option C (Shackling Blocking/Reversals):

Once you have them hedging against these two responses (2K vs. jumps and various things vs. buttons/backdash), they can only hedge against both by blocking and playing reactively or by doing something invincible.

Invincible moves are categorically unsafe, and are beaten by blocking outright on offense or using slightly delayed options that involve blocking before attacking when there's a gap. If they're not doing this, they're likely just sitting there watching the screen, this is where you would use Throw or Mettagiri (214H).

Thanks to how throw mechanics work in Guilty Gear, you need to make them hedge against both Option A and Option B for Option C to function well. Should they adjust to you throwing them, or adjust to you playing defensively with delays during your own offense, they'll be back to pressing buttons or jumping as described under Option A and Option B.

This is an oversimplification, but it should be concise enough to get you started.

Defense

Faust lacks a DP or a fast 2P that easily challenges throw attempts, so his options are non-standard on defense. That doesn't mean they're weak, however. What he does have leaves him comfortably top-tier on defense.

Jumping Out of Gaps

It cannot be stressed enough how good Faust's ability to jump out of pressure is. While in some situations you will want to poke out the same way most characters would, jumping as Faust is incredibly powerful. You wouldn't think this, as he has a below-standard 4f prejump, and his rising jump animation leaves a hurtbox far below him as he rises.

However, if you FD just as you leave the ground, you'll cancel your rising jump animation Faust's Air FD animation, which is incredibly small vertically (Instead, becoming wide horizontally), leaving him about as hard to catch as May or Millia in similar situations.

Jumping in this way, you only need a 5f gap to clear almost all low options in the game, while a few frames more will allow you to clear all sorts of moves, provided you "tuck your legs" when rising with FD.

Attacking Out of Gaps

j2K

Along the same vein as jumping, j2K piggybacks on Faust's ability to get airborne easily in small gaps, to the point where you can challenge small gaps with jump, and then divekick them as they whiff their far.S/Low/Projectile/Whatever option. j2K is very powerful when done as a fuzzy jump option, and makes Faust very dangerous to pressure traditionally. Looser stagger pressure that does well against certain characters might not work against j2K, in some cases, forcing characters to favour tighter traps that are easier to block, or sub-standard options that catch him airborne despite his small air hurtbox.

214D, Forcebreak Chop

This is lower-body invuln on frame 1, which makes it an even stronger option than jump in some cases. The move is +1 on block, but you recover in the air quite low to the ground. Double jump into j2K after recovery to really make your opponent sad should they block it. The move leads to full combo anywhere if you manage to hit the opponent with the Coin item at some point during the match.

Use Chop to challenge the smallest gaps in pressure. You can doubletap D to increase your chances of hitting a gap.

Dealing with Instant Air Dash or Sudden Jumps when Pressured

It's not uncommon for a character to do something like 5H > jump cancel > airdash jS, or 5H > jump cancel > jH. These maneuvers can catch attempts to jump away, while going up and over low pokes done on defense

In these cases, you can sometimes reaction 2K. If you can't react, or reacting seems unreasonable, try to predict with 2K in those situations. 5K or 6P might be more appropriate depending on the matchup. The key is to press buttons on prediction if you need to, and play reactively if you feel the need to hedge against another option.

Airthrow is technically a faster reactionary option than 2K, if the spacing is available for it, so in some cases it might be more appropriate.

Instant Blocking

Because the above strategies talk about gaps: the larger the gap, the easier it is to make use of the above. Jumping or attacking, all are easier to make use of the larger the gap is.

Get used to IBing before common gaps in order to create more reasonable windows to defend yourself. IB is an 8f window. Sometimes it's easier to hit an 8f IB window into a 5f jump window, than it is to hit a 2f window on it's own.

In short, practice IB > Jump, IB > Chop, IB > j2K, in common situations to increase your consistency and opportunity. Sometimes it's not about frame advantage, but about making gaps bigger so you work less and your opponent has to work more.

Backdash

Backdash is best against options with a decent amount of recovery, that aren't active enough to cover the entirety of backdash invulnerability, the first 7 frames of backdash being invulnerable to strikes or throws. In an ideal situation, you recover before your opponent and guarantee yourself a punish. This is not always going to be the case however, and oftentimes won't be something you get to do on reaction.

That doesn't mean backdash can work against moves that leave the opponent recovering before you do. If a player isn't prepared to punish a backdash, you can oftentimes "ruin" their planned pressure string by causing their normals to suddenly whiff (denying them the gatling they wanted), or by getting hit mid-air during backdash. If a player isn't ready for it, you can escape in situations like these as they make errors.

The Situation After Backdash (and a General Guide to Scrambles)

What are Scrambles?

Scrambles are situations where frame advantage is going to be too arbitrary to figure out in the moment. Players are going to challenge the situation with their fastest options, their safest options or an option that punches through the opponent's offense. Sometimes you'll enter a situation like this post backdash, sometimes you'll just find yourself in from of the opponent at some level of frame advantage. Sometimes you'll be surprised, sometimes you'll see the situation coming.

The options listed below will cover pretty much everything you could look to do here.

This is a little different from wakeup or coming immediately out of blockstun/hitstun, because there's no throw invuln to play with for either player.

Throw

This is probably the most potent and commonly used option after backdash, given that it's the fastest attack you have. If you backdash and your opponent remains within range, a throw is all but guaranteed should they miss their backdash punish.

5P or 2P

Meterless, fast, regains you the offense. If you see an opening from backdash, this is going to be a solid option when you're not in throw range. However, if they press buttons before you do, you're probably going to lose.

For alternative options that can still work even if you "go second", see below.

j2K

Backdash into j2K may seem like an arbitrary option, but this is an incredibly potent option in scramble situations. An opponent pressing a button on reaction to your backdash will be unable to catch you before you leave the ground. Unless they press a button with a fairly high hitbox, you'll go up and over their attack, whiff punishing them for trying to continue their offense. High-hitting options that would work on reaction often have some other inherent weakness (Involves jumping, weak to lows, worse on block, poor gatling options, etc). By threatening to j2K in situations like this, you force them to neuter their own offense.

Forcebreak Chop (214D)

Forcebreak Chop is very similar to j2K in this situation, except it crushes low and mid-hitting buttons on frame 1 instead of frame 5 to 7. It's a lot like a harder-to-contain j2K for 25 bar. The is the penultimate "I'm definitely going second, but I want to challenge you" option.

Jump FD/Superjump FD

Now imagine you thought the above two options were good, but you weren't 100% certain that the opponent wasn't going to punish you for them. Just jumping with FD and letting the situation resolve itself can allow you to escape back to neutral. This is a very conservative option. Because it's unlikely for an opponent to catch your prejump, and FDing something after you get airborne simply returns you to the ground, actually taking damage is unlikely.

FDing here as you leave the ground is important, as Faust's air FD hurtbox is incredibly small.

Blocking/Playing Reactively

Sometimes, backdash is only good for negating a mixup, and might not actually get you out of pressure entirely. You'll run into situations where you might be able to shut down someone's mixup situation, but recover into a projectile or button that you have no business challenging. As you gain experience, you'll be able to recognize these situations.

You can't take damage if you just block and wait for a better gap or opening, but it's important to use it in tandem with the above. An opponent playing around the rest of your options might jump after your j2K or jump FD, they might press something that gives up offense completely, or they might burn their meter on an FRC to hold you in place and dominate the spread of options.

In these situations, blocking and playing reactively will net you all sorts of opportunities.

Anti-air or Crushing Options (6P, 5K, 2K)

Prediction 2K, 6P or 5K can often be a solid challenge to a given situation where an opponent loves to airdash or jump suddenly in pressure and scrambles. First, ask yourself if you need to press it on prediction or on reaction. If you can anti-air such an attack on reaction, as that means you can do it in tandem with blocking, thereby hedging your bets against getting counter-hit unnecessarily.

Having to decide between reactive or predictive play is very common in the Millia matchup, where suddenly instant airdashes are commonplace. This is where pressing 2K, 6P or 5K on prediction can challenge the situation where playing reactively might just lead you to blocking forever or letting gaps go unchallenged.

These moves have the added benefit of being ridiculously disjointed in some cases, so even if they aren't jumping, you might find yourself winning an exchange anyways. This is especially true for 6P.

That's a lot of text, what do I do in the meantime?

Throw them if they're in range.

Block sometimes.

Jump FD or Superjump FD a LOT. It's really good, and really safe. It's like blocking but you get an escape attempt if there's a gap.

j2K is really dumb when done on defense or in small gaps. Forcebreak Chop is even dumber.

If you spy a whiffed option, 2P or 5P into a blockstring/hit-confirm.

Mash 6P sometimes. Preferably 6PH because it's also Throw...

FDC (AKA Faultless Drill Cancel, Faultless Defense Cancel)

Almost all normals can be cancelled in the first three frames of startup into FD (As a leniency mechanic. H buttons excluded so you can't throw someone and FD). Moves like Faust's j2K, which change his momentum on frame 1, take full advantage of this. j2K can be used for the momentum shift and then FDC'd immediately afterwards to change his air momentum abruptly. This works whether he's rising, falling or otherwise.

Why is it good?

  • Juke grounded anti-airs for a punish
  • Line up jH or jS to cover air and ground
  • Return to ground faster after jumping over a projectile, or jumping something like Potemkin Slidehead.
  • Run overhead/low mixups that: are hard to react to (or unreactable in some cases); that are plus on block; that lead to good damage when items are involved.

How do I do it?

There's a few ways to "properly input" FDC, so don't worry too much about your key bindings in the outset. You simply hold 1 in the air and press K into FD (Normally using P or S in tandem while holding your K input to finish the motion).

The goal is to press K and S "at the same time but not quite". Valid combinations below

1K~S
1K~P
1K~H

Hold 1. Press and hold K. Press S on the frame after (There's some leniency here, but the window is not just frame). Release S and K.

If you're having trouble, start with 1K+S in the air, pressing both attack buttons at the same time. It's alright to just get plain FD to start. Slowly space the inputs apart until you start FDCing the j2K. Release FD as soon as possible so you can do other things.

The FDC window is immediately after you input K, so if you're getting j2K and no FDC, you're spacing the inputs too far apart.

FDC for Movement

Just using FDC for movement in general is quite important. Sometimes it's better to cut your jump arc short in order to juke a projectile, or to leave yourself in a particularly spicy height to react to your opponent's offense. Very notable in the Venom matchup, where you'll want to do your best to avoid blocking balls if you don't have to.

FDC jD, the Anti-Anti-Air

When doing from a falling state, this acts as an "anti-anti-air" when combined with his regular falling jD. You'll use this to save yourself from situations where you find yourself underneath your opponent suddenly, either due to their movement or your own positioning. Less useful against air-to-air options, but incredibly potent at punishing even the most dominant grounded anti-airs.

FDC jH, Dominate Airspace and Dome Tall Characters

One of Faust's more dominant neutral pokes. Against taller characters (or characters with tall vulnerable boxes mid-attack such as Testament, Johnny, Sol and Dizzy) this move dominates neutral due to its incredibly low whiff recovery. It's weak to forward dashes and moves that can hit "from below" without leaving the opponent vulnerable.

It's an incredibly strong answer to airdashes when done preemptively. Half a matchup in some cases is using jump/superjump rising jH, falling jH and FDC jH in combination to control airspace and force people to play a grounded game you handily dominate.

FDC to Ruin Airthrows

If you find yourself in a vulnerable airstate, you can make yourself quite difficult to airthrow if you alter your air trajectory too close to the throw attempt for the opponent to react. Double jump is much stronger than this, but it's something to keep in mind.

FDC j.K

This gets its own special section because it's a more demanding technique. Essentially you can overhead a crouching opponent quickly from the front using FDC followed by j.K. This gives Faust the ability to mixup the opponent with high/lows, similar to Millia, without having to commit to much. In fact, unlike Millia, you're very plus.

It's not mandatory for running high-level offense, but it's quite strong to create quick, safe and sudden mixups when you have item cover, or simply need to secure the hit.

How fast is it?

The fastest you can technically do an FDC j.K is 15f, but because the sequence is height-sensitive, and contains a "Press, Release, Press" input, getting those speeds usually require tool-assist or a non-standard sliding technique.

Average FDC j.K generally remain in reactable ranges, usually connecting in the 19 to 24 frames, depending on the player. It's highly variable due to the nature of the technique.

What do I get from it?

From the j.K, you can combo into jump cancel j2K, or link after the j.K. There's reasons to do either depend on the matchup, usually something to do with ease of use due to hitboxes, or height of the initial FDC.

It's possible to link a 2H from FDC j.K, but it's a 1f link on crouching opponents.

It seems hard to combo from...

That's because the advantage and connection height of FDC j.K is based on two things:

A) How high you input FDC

B) How quickly you released FD and pressed K again

This means comboing "FDC j.K > jump cancel > j2K > FB Pogo" is probably going to be easier in the beginning compared to other possible conversions, since it doesn't necessarily have a height requirement (The j.K just has to connect on a crouching or standing opponent at any height). In order to combo consistently into meterless options, you'll want to be a large focus on making sure your height and your release of FD into j.K is fast and consistent.

If you FDC at the lowest possible height, you might struggle to connect a j.K, as you only have 3f to do so post FDC before you land. As you do higher and higher FDCs, the window becomes more generous but, naturally, your overhead becomes slower.

Tips and Tricks

Fighting Faust

High Commitment

Despite how terrifying many of Faust's pokes are, many of them have the common issue of being high commitment, with either awful whiff or awful block recovery. Sometimes both, such as f.S having a majestic 28 frame whiff recovery and being -20 on block, forcing him to either gatling to 2K or cancel to item toss if possible to actually use the move at all. The key thing to remember, though, is that you are not always going to have an opportunity to whiff punish.

This can be due to the fact that an item is on screen, the attack caused Faust to move (doors, f.S, etc.), or its whiff recovery was high but not enough for you to dash up and grab a punish. For instance, a 2HS that misses the mark and hits nothing will likely not get whiff punished unless you were performing a longer ranged attack or a projectile. If you see him miss it, use this opportunity to corner him instead.

Subpar Defense

While Faust has a lot of preventatives and counter-measures against ever being put in the corner or forced to deal with okizeme (items, etc.), he's only doing it because he has fairly poor or predictable ways to escape pressure. Many players know him as having a lot of "tricks" for defense, and that's exactly it: they are tricks, not actual replacements for defensive maneuvers like reversals, DPs, so on. This section will mostly go over what his gimmicky defense options are and what they lose to.

Remember two things:

1. Faust's defense is poor and volatile, many actually good players will focus on instant blocking and applying careful sprinklings of FDing to actually break out of bad situations.

2. By the rule of people typically aligning with their mains, Faust players are unpredictable and deranged. Even someone you think is "respectful" will randomly do an abare FB Chop and do a full knockdown combo on you, for a lot of damage, for no reason. Never turn your back on these guys.

Tiny Hurtbox

Faust crouching, and then crawling, has an infuriatingly small hurtbox. If he's blocking, there isn't much to be worried about, but he only needs a few moments to slip under a normal that's too high and confirm that it's safe to use 2P which is similarly extremely low to the ground. Going for 2P or crawling is still fairly high risk for him as one opens him up to counterhits (7f startup) and one relies on holding forward to avoid pre-block stance. The simple solution, when possible, is to use IADs, very low hitting jump normals (Dizzy j.2S, etc.) or even just to go for your average 2K. While he can crawl some overheads, there are a lot that hit low enough, so these are especially useful in pressure when possible.

For some characters, this can halt pressure or even force different routes. The "trick" is that Faust's life total is not very high due to having a flat 1 defense mod, and 0 guts. If he eats too much pain from holding forwards, then he does not have much of a choice, unless he's gone crazy and is gambling even at low heatlh - something that is never off the table with someone that claims to main Faust.

6PH OS and Throws

On wakeup, or when absolutely cornered, Faust can attack with 6P and OS (option-select) it with throw. Generally speaking this is the go-to option for a lot of Faust players because of 6P's dominant vertical range, the horizontal one being less of an issue in the corner. This will nab him a throw, or even just a CH 6P trade, which is almost always in his favor. While the move does not carry its invuln frames into the startup, it eliminates a good portion of his body from being hit until they come up, so you will have to very carefully apply your meaties to ensure his knees are included in the hitbox or this will beat everything you do. Faust's ground throw range is well above average at 48 pixels, putting him solidly in third place for throw ranges (48, 49, 55), and it will blow you far away from him on hit allowing an item toss.

6PH can be safejumped as well, which gives you the advantage of 6P's terrible whiff recovery, but comes at the price of doing much more predictable and "Safe" setups. This can pan out in Faust's favor and allow him to try something sneaky while you do a more safe, pre-baked okizeme setup, or make his job blocking and instant blocking easier.

While his Air Throw range is normal, it completely tosses the victim to the other side of the screen (or downward into the corner, as it throws in the opposite direction of input) which will either give him the chance to set up pressure or reset you to fullscreen which can be a nightmare depending on how good your character is at getting in.

Air FD and Friends

The FD Jump technique allows Faust to use his much slimmer blocking hurtbox to try to vertically slip upwards and out of pressure. This is mostly a problem when performing moves that don't reach upwards or have thin hitboxes, as he is essentially "tucking" his body in to try to ascend. Like 6PH, this is one of his safer but more predictable gimmicks and is not too difficult to lock down.

Supposing Faust actually takes flight for a moment, he has several ways in the air to actually try to mess with the pressure.

  • j.D

This move is insanely disjointed, but fully committed. He'll drop down to earth like a sack of bricks and have to deal with extra landing recovery making blocking or backing away from it fairly safe without giving up pressure.

  • j.2K

This option is only really going to be used low to the ground, as drill hitting or being blocked from high up isn't going to help a lot. Be wary though, as he can still cancel to Love!, Going My Way, and FB Pogo. It can be genuinely troublesome when combined with FD jumping as it makes him small long enough to execute j.2K at the right elevation that his hurtbox is out of danger but low enough to get a good reward on hit. Be on guard as his hurtbox goes up deceptively high, and despite the small hitbox of Drill, it can hit insanely deep (beating 6Ps) and is disjointed at the feet.

  • Airdash and FDC

In any situation where Faust tries to airdash his way out of a situation, simply kill him. His AD is slow and his hurtbox is ridiculously extended as he swims away. Beware that if he actually does get good air height/superjumps into an airdash, you will now need to deal with Love!, FDC float, and FB Pogo. Depending on how you react he might even have the opportunity to try normal air-to-airs on you, which is a situation Faust more than excels at.

The infamous Drill FDC will cause Faust to fall slower than usual, and if he's already on the move away from the corner, it can allow him to change his trajectory and keep moving in bizarre ways. For reference, if he is moving in the 6 direction, Drill FDC will make him fall slowly in the 1 direction.

  • FB Pogo

Air forcebreak that moves Faust far forwards, creates a gigantic (but not at all disjointed) scalpel hitbox below him, and quickly lands. If done so that he launches himself over the top of you, he'll land facing the wrong way - this is a TRAP. While you are behind him Faust has every reason to use 44, the backwards Pogo movement-attack, which has a full 7f of strike invulnerability, hits frame four and will push you back into the corner. CH will only improve his situation and give him more time to item toss and dismount for a full on steal. If he manages to slip into the air and has 25% tension minimum, you'll have to pick between Love! FRC and FB Pogo, and you never want to guess wrong against him choosing to do FB Pogo.

Dead Angle Attack

Faust's Dead Angle Attack is fairly good as it's totally invulnerable during startup/active frames and goes fairly high up, letting him challenge pressure blocked from the air as well. If the Faust has 50% meter and is pushed into the corner this is likely going to be his earliest and first response as it's reasonably safe to do so thanks to the invuln. Nonetheless, this move has the same weaknesses as his normal 6P, being that it does not have great horizontal reach and has no hitbox just below the knees, allowing certain characters to route into lows or even continue with their average pressure strings without getting clipped.

Faust's Other Options when Pressured

While his air repertoire is quite famous, he can still out-gimmick you on the ground without resorting to crawling or 6PH.

  • 236S

Pogo. Very gimmicky option but by far not "the worst" one. Its main ability is the fact that it will throw his hurtbox backwards instantly for around 16 frames, making conventional pressure sometimes whiff if it isn't long ranged. The hitbox from the backswing can also hit characters trying to go behind him, such as Slayer's Dandy Step or Chipp's teleports.

The forwards swing on frame 17 is not exactly scary, but it can hit if the first 16f caused you to whiff. Technically + on block, but he doesn't have a lot of options if you didn't take the bait, mainly relying on S Flower to push him away on block or launch you. Doing 44 will make him slip away while invulnerable, and doing 66 is just a 4f move that hits very low, so it's inadvisable to press buttons the moment you block.

  • 5P

Standard five frame jab. Faust's has a pretty big hitbox that's disjointed just before the wrist. It's +2 on block, and has a diverse gatling table with low and overhead options. Can fiendishly counterhit into 2D to get a knockdown and flee from pressure. Despite these strong positive qualities, it's ultimately still just a jab, and one that can be low profiled, jumped over, or beaten by frametraps or air-tight strings.

  • 5D

Insane move for insane people. Faust has strike invuln for the first 10 frames of the 28f startup, with the goal being to dodge active frames and hopefully score something on recovery. Your main issue is whether or not your character has that one big slow move that is usually pretty good in pressure because of + frames and threat of being counterhit. If they do sometimes use it, then regardless of what the risks are, there's a chance the Faust player will try to invuln it and blow you up - you don't have to worry too much because the move itself is very slow, obvious, and generally not very good. Still, on certain repetitive setups that use these kinds of moves he can dodge and punish/force a block with alarming consistency. If you do block it, the only way to punish is by IBing and having a 3f move tucked away, so good luck.

  • BAM! Outta Nowhere (FB Chop)

Metered option that often gets memed, but has genuine power behind it. FB Chop's strongest quality in this case is not actually the fact that it's a 19f overhead (it's extremely broadcast), but the fact that Faust is immune to ground throws and lows on the first frame, and his legs are surprisingly tucked in which will beat some other pokes with unimpressive vertical hitboxes. The move auto-jump installs so he has full air actions, so if you block it he is +1 and able to keep pushing an escape, while if you get hit he gets a free combo and goes back to midscreen neutral.

BAM! Outta Nowhere can go over a lot of pokes as well, if performed early into a Gunflame it will jump over it (can be tagged if he does it late or is too close), the same goes for a myriad of other attacks like Potemkin 6H where it's possible to hit him late but also opens you up to getting smashed if he presses it early enough to tuck in his legs. Check the hurtbox and the animation, keep it in mind.

  • 236236S Overdrive (Kancho)

The absolute last option for when Faust has no idea how to escape and is willing to throw away the entire round if it doesn't work. Invuln to absolutely everything for 15f, but insanely broadcast, insanely minus, and it's possible for characters to combo him when he gets blown up from the angel. If the Faust has at least 75% meter then the chances of him desperately throwing this out are dramatically increased, as blocking the super makes him perform a taunt that is FRC cancellable. If not, and he still does it, just wait for Taunt and reap your round ending combo.

It hitting low and having a far reach can be surprising, but there's plenty of time to wager a guess on which chest it is - just beware that he can hold a button as he performs the super and force himself to always pick one before you do. Can sometimes be preferable to try and jump it to let him swim past you as you'll have more opportunities for punishes (command grab if your character likes to use one) that don't involve letting him Taunt for a potential FRC.

Dealing with Items

By far the most infuriating, mind numbing part of going against the good doctor. Because his draws are completely RNG, there are times where he'll set up a perfect knockdown situation and throw a donut that you eat as soon as you stand. Other times, he'll do a completely unsafe item toss that gives you a counterhit combo - but whoops, he still had just enough time to throw out Meteor and now you're getting punished for punishing. There will even be times that you need to RC your combo to stop and block a Robo Ky from giving him a random air pickup opportunity.

The advice given here is general, because this character is one giant walking scramble situation. It also doesn't assume a lot of other items are on screen a la item super, since that is again one big situation that can't be accounted for. If you're wondering why people really hate (or enjoy) fighting Faust, then you've found it.

Washpan (Tarai)

Fairly wide hitbox that does a decent amount of damage. How tall you are affects how fast this hits you on the way down within a few frames, but overall it's not a big difference. The main thing to keep track of is that it takes just a moment for it to go up and out of the screen, before coming back down. It will track your location, but it's not really great at doing so even with its wide hitbox, and relies mostly on Faust or another item like a chibi to lock you in place and receive its blockstun.

Level 5, decent blockstun, and not something you want to connect - look out for random FB Doors, Scalpel, or f.S if he throws this.

Poison Vial

The vial is the opposite of a lot of Faust's items in that its hit and blockstun values are fairly unimpressive, meaning that blocking a reckless FB Door into a blocked poison will still net punishes. But, because you are in blockstun for so little time, he can actually attempt to throw or Mettagiri you right out of it for a jumpscare. On hit, you take damage that cannot kill but will ignore defense and guts mods, meaning he can gain a lot of damage on you that he wouldn't get from combos.

Poison Vial's other strength is that Faust can throw this while trying to pull something out of his ass preemptively, and if he does you cannot pressure or start a combo for 50 frames or you'll get hit. Annoying. The cloud protect him against punishes and attempts to move forward as it has a large, floating hitbox that lasts for almost a full second. He can also toss an item during its active frames, about halfway through, cluttering the screen with more junk and putting a lot of pressure on you to get hit by the poison.

Hammer and Dumbbell

Generally not items he can pressure with directly after throwing them, but Hammer registers as a Level 5 attack and Dumbbell is a full on Level 6, so if you block either he gets a free chance to do something (often another toss). Both fly fairly quickly and aggressively, but the Dumbbell's arc sends it almost full screen and makes it an exhausting possibility to contend with every time you see Faust raise his arm. Even on whiff, he can probably toss again since the lockout is so short.

Both will deal decent damage, crank your stun, combo off of 6P, act as anti-airs, and even sometimes give him access to grounded combo starters. In spite of simplicity these are absolutely fearsome items. With Dumbbell, at long range, Faust can actually try to hit you with an unsafe move and use the Level 6 blockstun as a cover.

Time Bombs

One of the more common, but extremely dangerous items in the pool. Time Bomb has a timer that lasts about 2 seconds, after that it will hit every projectile in its enormous range once (including chibis) and deal 80 damage to anyone inside of it. Jumping to avoid blocking is an option, but Faust is probably waiting for this with j.H which makes that incredibly hard. Blocking will take tons of tension or deal x2 chip damage, while giving him a chance to close the gap. Faust can even jump over the top of you to try to cross you up at the moment of explosion. Dealing with items, throw/mettagiri, crossups, and high/low mixups make bomb paralyzing.

Bomb forces aggression out of you more than it forces it out of Faust, so the foremost thing on your mind should be penetrating his defenses if you want to turn the situation around. If Faust gets hit by the explosion, he'll be stuck in the air for a long time with his huge hurtbox, so grabbing him near the explosion often ends up in a devastating starter.

Perhaps the worst things that can happen, is that bomb will land behind you off-screen. If it lands off-screen most of its explosion will not be a threat to him, only you. Keeping track of what comes out of his hand and listening for the cartoon-y sound the timer makes (it's the same as his round outro animations) are important if he tosses an item while you're in the corner - you NEED to know it's there and be prepared for pressure that tries to open you up to it.

Coin

Low blockstun and low damage, but has a few boons that make it something you don't want to see regardless. The first is that Coin is active for a long time, around 2.5 seconds. This means that approaching or attacking or comboing is vulnerable to getting dinked out of it. The second benefit is that its trajectory is randomly chosen, meaning that you cannot move around it reliably.

The third, and most intense bonus, is that if you get hit by it the phrase "OISSU!" will flicker over Faust's tension bar. For the rest of the round, getting hit by his Scalpel Rekka karate chop will cause it to deal more damage, auto-jump install, and give potential combo options - getting hit by 214D Chop will cause you to groundbounce as if you were counter-hit and give him stupidly easy combo starter opportunities. This bonus alone is the real reason this item is so annoying, despite tiny blockstun and long amounts of item lock-out being good for you.

Meteors

Probably one of the only things in the game that adds an intense mental stack without actually being on the screen. Meteors don't move from where they are going to land after being thrown, and the huge rock Faust throws makes it very easy to see them coming, but the fact that you have almost 200 frames to contemplate them doesn't help.

While Meteor spread is semi-random and may actually miss you entirely, you have to risk a lot here because of the potential damage incurred. Faust is good at keeping people in a certain area on the screen, so attempting to escape them can lead to getting zoned. Particularly painful situations are getting hit by Mettagiri or Scalpel, as both can be carefully timed to allow the Meteors to hit you as part of a combo (during the throw or before the karate chop) for massive damage. Combine with items, the fact that they ignore Faust and other projectiles, and you have an insanely powerful neutral "tool".

Jumping and FDing is a tried and tested safe way to guard as many avenues as possible, as it will beat his throw/command throw and make any other zoning attempts hit your guard. Do be aware though that if he attempts to move toward you from across the screen during the startup, he will essentially gain the upper hand the moment you land instead.

Food

Probably the only Faust item that is symmetrical in every way (Bomb is close, but still not all the way) and sometimes a relief to see. Food stays on screen for roughly 216 frames and stops Faust from being able to toss another item in that entire time, and you can pick up any of the items for the same benefits. We'll assume you know what they do from the main page, so for the most part you can choose:

  • Contest the food (stop low HP heals when desperate, prevent him from getting chikuwa at all costs)

or

  • Ignore the food (if it lands behind you, how does he intend to fetch it beyond a -17 teleport?)

Which can seriously give you a much needed breakthrough in his pressure. Unless the situation is especially unfavorable, most Faust players will try to get the food, if for no other reason than the extremely long timer. This gives you a chance to actually turn things around on him, but in of itself, this could still be considered another item scramble situation. Keep a note of what the enemy Faust likes to do when Food is out, as some will be content to run the timer instead, giving them a nearly 4 second advantage if they have health lead.

Chibi Pets

While they are all adorable, these are potentially some of the most irritating things you can face in this game. If you see one of these get thrown out, you need to start planning immediately for how you are going to deal with them, as having a slow moving hitbox across the screen is great pressure. Faust can abuse them to force you to block instead of punish him, force you to block during your own combo, or even force you to block after performing a throw and reduce your chances of setting up. Not only that, but once a chibi is crawling along the ground, he can throw more items out to increase the pressure.

The chibis continue to move until they are fully off-stage, moving off-screen will not despawn a chibi, and in some cases on the defense a Faust will often move in synchronicity with them to prevent you from attacking. On the offense he will often try to make you block one to extend his pressure where he normally couldn't, and you cannot always do something about this. If possible, using projectiles or projectile eliminators can hit the chibis and push them off the screen for good. Taking to the air to circumvent a chibi once it lands is an option, but this puts you at risk of Faust himself who excels at air-to-airs.

Faust's own time bomb will blow them up as well, but this is just a lucky happenstance, so don't rely on it.

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