(For an explanation of notation (ie. 236H), please click here)
Converting into a knockdown
This is true for the whole cast, but especially for Ky it's important to finish your combos, ideally into a hard knockdown A knockdown that forces the character into a prolonged knockdown state. After a hard knockdown, teching is disabled briefly, allowing the player who is on the offensive more time to set up a meaty, a mix-up, etc. and set something up (okizeme From Japanese "起き攻め". Attacking an opponent about to wake up after they were knocked down, usually with meaty attacks or mix-ups.) while your opponent is still recovering.
A really good Ky round will usually involve an opponent being hit which leads to a knockdown into okizeme into getting hit as soon as they get back up which leads to a knockdown into okizeme into...
These normals let Ky dictate neutral in many matchups, both preventing the opponent's ground approach and enabling Ky's own offense. Bully the stubbier characters and hold your own against the longer-ranged characters.
Some other notable pokes are:
If you're jumping yourself and you need a quick air-to-air:
One incredibly useful trick with both is throw Option Select A technique where one command (or series of commands) will perform a different action depending on the circumstances, thereby allowing one action to be able to handle two distinct situations.ing. For example, input j.6P+H (press P and H at the same time); this will airthrow the opponent if possible; j.P if not.
Other notable normals
You can turn that hit into a 2D knockdown, no excuses.
(starter) > (c.SGuardMidStartup7Recovery18Advantage-3) > 2DGuardLowStartup7Recovery12Advantage-10- Flexible and always-relevant combo route that leads to a knockdown. A few other examples of useful routes:
- 2P/2K > 2D
- c.S > 5H > 2D
- 6P > c.S > 2D
- 5K > 5H > 2D
2K > c.S > 5H > Stun DipperGuardLow, MidStartup8Recovery26Advantage-15 (236K) - An example route that leads to a Stun Dipper knockdown. Stun Dipper has a lot of use in ending combos in a knockdown where 2D may not reach, but really wonky to actually combo with and is unsafe on block.
- Stun Dipper's animation has Ky slide forward (the first hit) and then slash with his sword (the second.) This does not naturally combo. For both hits to combo, try to hit at the tailend of the slide to leave a small enough gap between the hits.
c.S > 6KGuardMidStartup17Recovery11Advantage+4 > Stun EdgeGuardAllStartup13RecoveryTotal 52Advantage-9(236S/H) - Grounded combo route that ends in Stun Edge
- By itself, this route wouldn't be preferred over a 2D route, but is worth remembering as a combo starter if you eventually wish to learn Stun Edge FRC routes (If interested, please check the Further Learning section)
- Is a fine blockstring by itself, especially if using the S version of Stun Edge.
5DGuardHighStartup25Recovery22Advantage-12 on grounded hit > hold 9 > j.S > j.S > j.H > Vapor ThrustGuardMidStartup11Recovery30+13 after landingAdvantage-33 (623H) > S or H followup- grounded Dust combo. 5D is a risky overhead (must be blocked standing) and be easily gatling'd into from most of Ky's other normals.
- Between the slow telegraphed animation and being punishable on block, this should be rarely used to catch the opponent off guard, rather than a staple tool.
- 5D will only have the special launch property if the opponent is grounded.
Basic combo into 2D > setup Charged Stun Edge
Basic combo into Stun Dipper
Basic combo into Stun Edge
Simple Dust Combo
Some examples of routes that lead to an air/juggle combo:
5P / 6P > c.S > 2H> … - Anti-air route
Greed SeverGuardHigh/AirStartup18Recovery5+11 after landingAdvantage-14 (214K) > c.S > 2H > …- Greed Sever route
Ground Throw (4H or 6H when close to the opponent) > Roman Cancels > c.S > 2H > …- Throw route
After the previous routes you can finish with these:
… > 623H (Vapor Thrust) > S or H followup
… > j.S > double jump > j.S > j.H > 623H (Vapor Thrust) > S or H followup(can also use this route from an air-to-air such as j.K)
Anti-air Starter into Vapor Thrust ender
Throw Starter into air combo ender
For general notes on defense, please click here. Some quick reminders/notes below:
- As per most 2D fighting games, you should default to crouch blocking and switch to stand blocking on reaction, as low-hitting attacks are both far faster and far more numerous compared to overhead-hitting attacks.
- Mindlessly mashing buttons either during pressure or waking up from a knockdown is a death sentence against competent players. Default to blocking/Faultless Defense on wakeup. Blocking first will often make escaping pressure or hitting back afterwards far more likely to succeed.
- Ky's character-specific defensive tool Vapor Thrust (623S/H) has some use as a standard risky invulnerable reversal To perform an attack as soon as possible after getting knocked down or leaving hitstun/blockstun.. It's best to have 50 meter handy to Roman Cancel the move if it's blocked as the move is otherwise massively punishable.
- The poor lower hitbox means that it can outright whiff on low-to-the-ground attacks such as Sol's 2D. The slow startup also means that many characters can time an attack to hit you as you wake up but still recover in time to block the Vapor Thrust.
- The S and H followups stall Ky in the air and also have an Force Roman Cancel point (see the Further Learning section)
- Ride the Lightning is a 50% meter super that also acts as a reversal. It's as fast as H Vapor Thrust but with a much better advancing hitbox and greater damage.
- A caveat is that Ride The Lightning can't move through projectiles, making it surprisingly poor against projectile zoning The act of denying the opponent the ability to approach, jump, or other movement options./okizeme.
- While Ky's reversals are not especially good, his excellent normals (particularly his quick 2P) and easy conversions into a knockdown (such as 2P/2K > 2D) lets him steal the turn from the opponent.
Ky can get excellent okizeme off knockdowns (i.e. from 2D) with Charged Stun EdgeGuardAllStartup43RecoveryTotal 68Advantage+18 (236D) and 3HGuardMidStartup23Recovery3Advantage+15. These can be easily timed to be hitting/on top of the opponent as they wake up from a knockdown. If any of these hit, Ky can do a simple combo route into 2D into Charged Stun EdgeGuardAllStartup43RecoveryTotal 68Advantage+18 (236D etc. to force the same advantageous situation.
Other tools for okizeme would be Aerial Charged Stun Edge (j.236D) and Stun Raising (j.214D).
Ky knocks down a mashing Sol who catches Ky's poorly timed offense with 2P. Ky then uses Charged Stun Edge (CSE) which cleanly beats Sol's mash and combos into the same CSE okizeme
Ky uses CSE okizeme which is beaten by Grand Viper, as it instantly ducks under CSE. Next time, Ky uses his 3H as a meaty, cleanly beating Grand Viper
Ky times 3H to the last couple of active frames to meaty Sol and also be able to recover and block Sol's fully invulnerable Volcanic Viper in time
- While not character-specific, don't forget to save meter for Faultless Defense and Dead Angle Attack
- Save 25 meter for Lightning SphereGuardMidStartup6Recovery4Advantage+8 (236D > 4D) This is an all-around excellent tool that can act as an anti-air, pressure extender, approach callout and combo tool.
- Save 50 meter for Roman Cancels. This allows you to safely use otherwise punishable tools such as Stun Dipper (236K), Greed Sever (214K), Vapor Thrust (623H) and 5D.
Ky’s overhead tools to open up a crouch-blocking opponent are punishable and telegraphed (ie. Greed Sever (214K) or 5D). 5K, 2K, 2S, 2D and Stun Dipper (236K) all hit low. Against players able to react to and punish the overheads, you will need to make use of throws and frame trap An offensive technique where the attacker leaves a small opening in their offense, goading the defender into performing an attack. This opening is designed such that the attacker can easily counter the defender's attack with their own. to open them up.
Attempt grabs safely on a blocking opponent with 6S+H. You will either grab the opponent if in range or otherwise perform c.SGuardMidStartup7Recovery18Advantage-3, which is much faster compared to 6HGuardMidStartup20Recovery17Advantage+2. The same principle applies to airthrows.
Ky attempts a grab twice with the standard 6+H input. Ky isn't close enough at first, so his slow 6H comes out. Ky repeats the attempts with 6S+H. This time, his much faster c.S comes out if he isn't in range.
Another example of the previous 6S+H trick (or Throw Option Select) in action. Ky is doing the exact same inputs in both examples.
A good time to attempt a grab is when you end a block string A series of multiple attacks that work well against a blocking opponent. Generally, a block string will be composed of several plus on block or cancelable attacks performed in quick sequence. When blocked, these will slowly push your character out of range and prevent the opponent from counter-attacking, which makes them a very good default, low-risk option when trying to apply offense. early and then walk forward (ie. if you were performing 2K > c.S > 2D > Stun Edge (236S/H) as a blockstring, you could instead occasionally perform 2K > walk forward for a bit > 6S+H).
Ky performs a regular blockstring from 2K, then does a tick throw setup from 2K instead to open the turtling Sol
Reset your pressure with 6K, 3H and Lightning Sphere (236D > 4D). This gives you more chances to perform a blockstring or attempt a mix-up. If opponents attempt to challenge these reset options, make use of frame traps (2K > 5H, slightly delayed normals etc.)
The turtling Sol wises up to this and mashes 2P to catch the tick throw setup, Ky responds by doing a frametrap with 2K > 5H to catch the 2P mash
Stun Dipper (236K) and Greed Sever (214K) can be used to get one last hit in before being pushed out. These have the added benefit of dodging low and high pokes respectively. Exceptionally risky unless you have 50 meter for a Roman Cancel.
You do not need to risk it all to open up a turtling opponent. Chip damage, the build up on their Guard Gauge and any spent resources on Faultless Defense or Dead Angle Attack etc. from your pressure are still worthwhile. Ky is also happy to play in neutral against most of the cast.
(These are intermediate/high level techniques that are best gradually learned and integrated into your play rather than learned up-front.)
- Force Roman Cancel (FRC) points
- Throw FRC is a simple and riskless thing to attempt to get throw combos for half the meter cost
- Stun Edge FRC turns Stun Edges from a middling blockstring and neutral tool into a pressure extender and combo tool. Extremely important for optimal Ky play.
- Stun Dipper FRC lets you get away with Stun Dipper on block for half the meter cost
- Vapor Thrust's S and H followups FRC lets Ky get out of a blocked/whiffed Vapor Thrust with relative safety.
- Vapor Thrust / Lightning Javelin loops
- 623H (Vapor Thrust) into S follow up (Lightning Javelin) near the corner wallsticks the opponent. You can pick up with 6H > 6K > meaty 236D for example, but these require some manual timing and adjustment for different character weights/hurtboxes.
- H followup midscreen is often used for a knockdown, but it is possible to pick up midscreen with a 2P with specific timing.
- Meaty 3H
- Timing this normally is very easy due to the massive amount of active frames, but is still vulnerable to invulnerable reversals. However, if you time the 3H so that it is at the tailend of its active frames, you can get away with a minimum of 4F of recovery, allowing you to block almost all reversals in time.