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Axl, everyone's favorite British goofball, hits the ground rough in his GG debut as the most incomplete, rushed character in the game. His moveset is, put bluntly, absolutely awful; both of his supers fail to combo into themselves and are punishable on hit, several attacks are counterintuitive and clunky to use with strange animations resulting in zero combo potential, he can't charge because the devs ran out of time so they just dummied out the code, and his seemingly practical framedata is misleading due to the hitboxes actually being somewhere in Narnia. Winning with Axl is damn near impossible due to how sloppily made he is.

Or at least it seems. Being incomplete has its benefits, such as when the devs sometimes forgot to fill in your hurtbox data as well. Axl is completely invincible at arbitrary intervals on many attacks, and mysteriously sports a 12f overhead that's completely safe on block and an incredibly low profile Instant Kill. Perhaps the move that best exemplifies Axl is Dototsu, a safe-on-block, low profile yet randomly invincible move that also works as a fullscreen option when dashbugged. You can effectively play him as a weird cross between Axl and Anji Mito, abusing invincibility and turtling your opponent out.

He's still pretty awful. But, y'know, at least he's not Potemkin. Also he's got jorts.
GGML Axl Portrait.png
100%Raw Value: 10
Jump Startup
Meter Gain Mod
120%Raw Value: 12
Charge Time
Forward Walk Speed
100%Raw Value: 768
Backward Walk Speed
96%Raw Value: 563
Dizzy Resistance
83%Raw Value: 25
Fastest Attack
2SGGML Axl Low 2S.pngGuardLowStartup4Recovery13Advantage- (4F)
Dust AttackGGML Axl Low Dust.pngGuardAllStartup3Recovery9Advantage- (3F)
Yousou RenjinGGML Axl Low 632146K.pngGuardLow,AllStartup1RecoveryN/AAdvantage- (1F)
DototsuGGML Axl Low 214K.pngGuardAllStartup16Recovery5Advantage- (16F, only invincible for parts of startup)
Byakue RenshouGGML Axl Low 23632H.pngGuardAllStartup6Recovery3Advantage-(6F, equally bizarre invuln)

 Axl uses janky, cheesy, incomplete moves to randomly make stuff whiff and turtle to victory.

  • It Could Be Worse: Axl doesn't have much going in his favor, but at least he's not as bad as  Testament or  Potemkin.
  • jorts
  • Can't Charge: ArcSys ran out of dev time, so they dummied out Axl's ability to charge. This means Axl misses out on infinite combos and the ability to instantly cancel normals on hit and block.
  • Broken Supers: Neither of Axl's supers actually combo with themselves; opponents simply fall out of them and can block and punish the rest.
  • Finnicky Ground Buttons: Axl's normals have a tendency to be slower than they appear. Their early hitboxes often appear in an unfavorable position and need to travel to hit where they are wanted. Combined with his awkward gatlings and normals' long total duration, it can be punishing to press buttons against mobile characters.
  • Lacking Air Buttons: j.P, j.K, and j.S all cover similar angles, but all have poor range. j.H has an enormous dead zone between him and the Kusarigama's head.
  • jorts
Note: Axl's movelist is smattered with random periods of invulnerability. These are placed in awkward points within the animations, which can make them impractical to leverage intentionally, and can result in awkward interactions on occasion. Axl has a situational infinite, but it doesn't hit many characters, has a strict spacing requirement, and takes ages to kill, so it is very likely to drop before killing the opponent.


How to Read Frame Data
A quantification of how a character's health bar is reduced when they are hit.
The act of defending against incoming attacks. Guarding either negates the damage from an attack entirely or reduces it to minor chip damage.
Guarded against while crouching
Guarded against in either the crouching or standing state, but not while airborne
Guarded against in the standing state
Guarded against while crouching, standing, or while airborne
Cannot be guarded against, but only applies to grounded opponents
Cannot be guarded against
The time before an attack is active including the first active frame. For example, an attack with 10F startup means the attack will do nothing for 9 frames, then hit the opponent on the 10th frame.
The active frames of an attack refers to the amount of time an attack can hit the opponent.
The recovery of an attack refers to the amount of time an attacker must wait before they may perform another action, even blocking.
A measure of frame advantage when the opponent blocks an attack. Positive values indicate that the attacker can act first. Negative values indicate that the defender can act first.
A measure of frame advantage when the opponent is hit by an attack. Positive values indicate that the attacker can act first. Negative values indicate that the defender can act first.
Short for InvulnerabilityA state where a character cannot be hit. A common component of reversal moves.


Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
7 All 5 10 15 -15 -5 none

Fairly long ranged and fast normal, and it's angle makes it good for catching air dashes. However, it's mostly outclassed by 2P.

Both buttons are difficult for a variety of characters to contest at roundstart, with 5P being a bit better at catching jumps and 2P being a bit better at catching low profiles.

  • fully extended on frame 10


Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
14 Overhead 12 16 9 -3 +3 none

A gap closing overhead for a zoning character. Converts into 214K on hit.

Used to infinite by linking this move into 2P/5P, and then comboing back into 5K. The infinite works best against wide characters—such as  Potemkin,  Justice, and  Ky—and works on roughly half of the cast when the opponent is cornered.

  • Typically hits close standing opponents on frame 16, and crouchers or far opponents on frame 20


Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
13 All 8 11 11 -2 -2 none
Horrendous hitbox with nothing else going for it. Exclusively to be used as combo filler.


Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
15 All 12 8 20 -8 -8 none

Unfortunately slow poking normal. Could be decent thanks to a solid hitbox but in the time it takes to come out most characters will have hit you with their best poke into an infinite.

Sees use as combo fodder that actually lets you keep charge, which is a blessing. At the range where f.S comes out, you typically won't be able to combo into Dototsu, so be sure to keep charge on hand.


Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
17 All 6 12 10 +8 +12 none

Giant anti-air and combo normal. It'd seem like a great thing to stuff in combos, though a problem arises wherein Axl's command overhead is on both 6H and 4H, and since this would be your string ender, he can't keep charge whilst using this move.

It's a bit too slow to see use as an anti-air in most situations when leveraged against your other options, though since it covers essentially every angle around you and isn't too horrible to whiff, it can deny some solid space.

  • Hits in front of axl on frame 12

Fierce Strike

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
11 All 7 17 11 -19 -18 none

Very bizarre normal. It's not a good anti-air and the range is so bad it makes you wonder what on earth this move is supposed to do. Does have a crazy amount of active frames but that rarely comes into play.

  • Knocks away on hit, probably minus unless you jump cancel

4H or 6H

4H or 6H
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
9x2 Overhead 7 33 7 -13 -8 none

The first appearance of Axl's classic overhead. In ML it's mostly outclassed by 5K in terms of being an overhead but it's a solid throw OS and high profiles to an absurd degree. Airborne during its recovery meaning even if it is punished, it can't lead into anything meaningful.

As the only H command normal in the game, 4/6H oddly gatlings from 5H and nothing else. This doesn't have very solid applications as this button is substantially minus on hit & block and doesn't cancel into anything, but it's neat.

  • Never links into anything, while 5K does
  • Hits in front of Axl on frame 16


Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
7 Low 5 11 13 -16 -5 none

This is actually a really nice button. It's fast to start up, has an above average hitbox, and becomes essentially a 2S in disguise when allowed to extend fully. On top of that, unlike future games, it can gattling into most of his buttons.

The main problem with this, and other chain normals, is that the total duration is long. Be mindful not to whiff.


Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
9 Mid 9 13 14 -13 none

Anti-air kick. Also used in combo since he often doesn't have a better gatling option. It is air unblockable, but the range isn't great. Probably one of your better reactionary anti-airs since 623S covers a specific angle and is liable to not work against opponents close to you.

  • Air Unblockable


Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
14 Low 4 4(4)4(4)4 13 KD none

A bizarre move which alternates between hitting in front of and behind Axl at regular intervals. Much shorter range than you'd expect for an Axl chain normal, struggles to reach further than many characters' 2Ks.

Causes a techable knockdown, which would just be bad but Axl can't even CC to make himself safe so it's pretty egregiously terrible instead. Has no hurtbox at his feet for most of the duration so may have niche use against characters who use a lot of low pokes.


Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
12x3 Low 12 8(3)8 31 Strike 19~22, 31~34

"Long" range ground button. The first hit is diagonally up-forwards from Axl which can whiff on many opponents. Unlike future games this is special and jump cancelable. Also unlike future games, this button doesn't go nearly as far as you'd like, it's only slightly longer than your P normals when it's fully extended, which is overall underwhelming because this is your only real "chain" normal that isn't a P button.

3 relatively long-ranged lows would be good and make this solid combo fodder, but unfortunately it cannot be gatlinged into and the initial hitbox (of which you need to wait 12 frames for) whiffs on many crouchers and the remaining hits can fail to connect point blank. This, combined with Axl's inability to charge or generate much of any frame advantage, makes this move difficult to leverage as anything but an okay poke that combos into Rensen.

The most interesting thing about this move is that it's missing hit and hurtboxes at 2 points in the animation, randomly making him unable to hit or be hit for a few frames at a time.


Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
5 Overhead 8 8 4 Full 5~7
Laughably tiny button. It's like j.K but slower and with a few invuln frames for memes.


Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
9 Overhead 7 10 8 none
This wouldn't be too bad if it weren't for the range. Sadly, the hitbox is almost identical to the size of Axl's body, which makes it easy to anti-air.


Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
15 Overhead 6 3 13 none
Axl's best air button yet still lacking compared to almost any other character. The hitbox is a pretty solid disjoint though, and it helps to have it. Timing this to hit grounded crouching opponents is difficult unless you hit low enough to a point where the disjoint won't come into play, though if you do land it, 5P/2P links consistently into a short combo.


Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
22 Overhead 5 24 1 none

This move is almost good. It has a very tall hitbox, it's fast, and it's really active. The problem is that the entire space between Axl and the head of the kusarigama is a dead zone, effectively making the move into a thin vertical line roughly round-start distance away from him.

  • The active frames are so long that under most circumstances you land before a recovery animation can play through

Universal Mechanics

Dust Attack

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
18 All 3 8(19)9(12)6 9 none

This move makes no sense and has no clear purpose.

Axl does two consecutive weird, tiny hits with his kusarigama with a little hitbox in between, either being cancellable into Homing Jump, but the second hit is pointless and will almost certainly whiff either because it's out of range horizontally or it whiffed on a croucher as did the first. It is frame 3, but calling the hitbox inconsistent would be an understatement.

On top of that, Axl can consistently launch with Dototsu, meaning there isn't even a point comboing into Dust.

  • Whiffs on some crouchers


6H or 4H
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
20 Throw 1 N/A N/A N/A KD N/A

Standard Guilty Gear throw.

  • Side Switches on hit

Dash Attack

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
13 All 22 until contact 10 KD
Axl's dash attack, nothing of note.

Instant Kill

Purgatory: 1000 Cuts

P+K > 236X
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
FATAL All 18 3 9 N/A N/A Above Ankles 1~29
Axl's instant kill has an incredibly low profile hurtbox for the entire duration. Although it's slow and not that big, the hurtbox makes it valuable to counter-poke and get out of pressure.


Rensen Geki

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
14 All 16 13 42 KD Strike 63~70

It's the same Rensen you know and love from later games in the series, but with a major downside: Axl cannot roman cancel (or an equivalent) in this game. In later games, rensen + roman cancel is an incredibly potent, multi-purpose option. Without access to roman cancels, this move is significantly less valuable and is considerably more risky when the opponent avoids it.

Oh and it's randomly invuln for a few frames at the very end of the recovery.

Kyokusa Geki

[4]6S > 8H
Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
5x2 Mid 6 26 31 Strike 6~14; 51~63

The first 8 active frames are fully invulnerable, and then the last 12 frames of recovery are also fully invulnerable. The first bit of invuln kinda makes sense for what the move does, but the end? I don't know why. The invuln helps in mitigating this move's bad on-hit/block frame data, as it's difficult for characters not named  Chipp to punish him with much, though Axl has to either play RPS or hold pressure after.

As for the intended use of this move, it's a bit spotty as a reactive measure to people jumping over Rensen with how fast IADs are in this game, though it covers a lot of space while being very active once it does come out. Instead, it's mostly used as a minus-but-generally-safe combo followup to Rensen, with both hits either comboing due to a lack of tech or catching the opponent with their air unblockable hits if they do. Since Rensen Geki takes so long to recover on its own, you're often not in a much worse spot using Kyokusa Geki after regardless of on block or whiff, so the common sentiment when playing Axl is "might as well".

  • Air Unblockable

Benten Gari

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
18 Mid 8 19 18 Upper Body 8~11; Strike 40~45

Big anti-air special with some ok invuln to help it in that aspect. It can follow-up into itself on hit (only on the later active frames, for some reason?) by inputting 623S again, which can be done as many times as it hits. This can make it potentially a fairly high reward anti-air but the hitbox is a bit specific to be especially useful.

Oddly enough, this move is supposed to be charge cancellable, but the developers added a semicolon to the end of the function declaration that would allow him to charge, meaning that when you try to charge, the function doesn't return anything, so he can't charge. With some minor adjustments to the code, Axl is able to charge cancel this special. While his options don't open up massively from being able to Charge Cancel, he can perform infinites along with the rest of the cast. Knowing this, you may mourn for your combo potential that could've been every time you do a minus on hit ender.

  • Air Unblockable

Tenhou Seki

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
All 5 33 16 KD Anji 6P shaped 5~38

Rather than countering specifically highs and mids like in later games, it counters anything that hits the activation box. This means there are crouching mids that will not trigger it and standing lows that will. Aside from that, this counter doesn't lead to a combo, is slow to start up, is unable to be used as a guard cancel for some reason, is competing with other good defensive options, and does absolutely piddly damage on connect to boot. It's not particularly safe to just throw out in neutral at all, either, since the whiff animation's almost a full second long.

This move's most notable feature is that it has a long animation on connect to let the embarrassment of landing it sink in.

For some reason this Tenhou Seki has funky upper body invuln that looks identical to  Anji's 6P. This doesn't matter a ton as long as an attack was going to touch its catchbox, but it helps it marginally as an anti-air.

  • active frames refers to the duration for which this move can counter.

Raiei Sageki

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
28 Overhead 63 15 47 KD Gone 20~62; Strike 103~114

This move travels up off the top of the screen then comes back down while enveloped in hitboxes. You can influence Axl's horizontal movement during this move significantly. Unlike in +R, you cannot delay the move by holding the button.

It's generally unsafe on block and can be air blocked just fine, with particularly mobile characters having no trouble simply getting out of the way and making it whiff. Regardless, it can result in some very strange ambiguous crossup situations and can hit several times against airborne opponents for solid damage. Occasionally worth doing to get in fullscreen against a character you struggle with approaching; also acting as a weird, not great gravity-inversed version of  Zato's Break The Law.GGML Zato 63214S.pngGuardN/AStartup30Recovery15AdvantageN/A

  • Invulnerable for a few frames during the animation rising from the belly flop
  • There's three 1 frame gaps in the middle of the move's hitboxes, but I can't be bothered to count that nightmare.


Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
14 All 16 8 5 Strike 1~3,6~15,24~28

One of Axl's better moves. Dototsu is an intermittently invulnerable attack that causes a dust launch on hit, allowing Axl to potentially follow up with different options. This is useful on defense and as a combo ender. It's also safe against most characters when spaced properly, not accounting for guard cancels. Importantly, if dash cancelled with 21466K, the move goes almost full screen, giving Axl a strong burst option in neutral thanks to the invincibility.

On hit, following the dust launch is a bit spotty and will seldom lead to reward or even a plus on hit scenario. 41236K can be high reward depending on hurtbox size, but it requires an immediate cancel while you're still grounded in order to combo, which can be hard to react to. If you have a good angle lined up for it, 623S works and keeps you safe, though the amount of times it'll self cancel and how it'll work in general is pretty nebulous. If you do follow the dust launch, j.K>j.S combos when hit early, but you get nothing from there and are potentially minus or punishable on connect. Tends to drop also.


Yousou Renjin

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
~50? Low,All 1 Until Reaches Wall/Enemy N/A KD none

For some reason, this move isn't listed in Axl's move list in game in either the original release or the 2019 re-releases.

It functions the same as Chipp's Banki MessaiGGML Chipp Zanuff 236236K.pngGuardAllStartup9Recovery0 on whiff, 20 on hitAdvantage- in that it travels (very slowly, in comparison) until it reaches the opponent's collision box. When it activates, Axl does a Ranbu-style super that cycles through a bunch of normals before ending in 214K, complete with the dust launch. There's a 2S somewhere in there, so it has to be blocked low and will pop the opponent up for a little launch which'll make the following hits behave strangely.

Terrible super that has zero applications. If you manage to hit someone with this, they can tech out after the first hit and punish Axl, and it later drops on hit even if they don't tech. This also applies to his other super, but at least that one deals more damage on its first hit, so there's no upsides to this one.

Byakue Renshou

Damage Guard Startup Active Recovery On-Block On-Hit Invuln
50,7x2 All 6 20(21)50 3 KD Strike 1; All-But-Foot 2~9; Strike 10~14; All-But-Foot 15~36; Strike 37~43

Drops on hit just like 63214K, and is very easily punished. However, the first hit does a lot of damage, so hit-confirming into this off of a stray hit when your opponent is low enough is a viable kill option. It also reaches near fullscreen so it might have use in getting ranged chip damage, but it could just be jumped upon reacting to the super flash.

If you're feeling spicy or Dototsu keeps getting blown up, this super is a passable but extremely nebulous abare option due to its spotty invulnerability and solid speed. You're likely to be punished even in the best case scenario but since you're picking Axl, the possibility is something you're comfortable with by now.

  • What on earth is that invuln



To edit frame data, edit values in GGML/Axl/Data.
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