Everyone's favorite geezer with a cleaver, Kliff is a slow and devastating midrange character. He can bring the pain with highly-damaging, long-ranged disjointed normals that cover all angles of approach. Moves like c.S, j.S, and 2S can cover massive space in neutral and rack up a fair amount of damage overtime. 6P and Scale RipperGuardMidStartup1Recovery0Advantage- also serve as terrifying anti-airs, letting him shut down other avenues of approach as well. He also boasts strong unique movement, with air DustGuardAllStartup6Recovery13Advantage- giving him acute control over his air momentum and his slow airdash letting him use a lot of air normals in one jump. All this harassment combines to form a character that can rack up singular solid hits often and potentially set up a devastating stun.
However, Kliff's gameplan has a lot of holes. While an individual swing does a lot of damage, Kliff's combo game is severely lacking; his main combo ender leaves him minus on hit, and a lot of moves don't have a combo after at all. He also lacks traditional dashes, which both removes his ability to perform charge cancel infinites and makes maneuvering on the ground difficult. Combined with his low health and highly committal attacks, Kliff can struggle to keep up with his opponents in the damage race and can find himself being punished for far more damage than he can deal. If you land the right hits and keep the pressure up, though, Kliff can powerfully wall out opponents and keep up with the competition.
Kliff spaces opponents with his strong normals while looking to convert into a stun.
- Small Size: Kliff is amongst the smallest characters in the game and the smallest while standing, causing many of some characters' toolsets to whiff against him.
- Good Air Movement: Kliff has a slow air dash, which combined with his great air normals, is more of an advantage than a disadvantage. Kliff also has his midair Dust, which lets him quickly float around the screen while still retaining all his air options.
- Strong Normals: Kliff has some huge normals, many of which are fast for their size. His sword normals are also completely disjointed.
- Anti-Airs: Kliff boasts two air unblockable moves: one is a 3f normal that covers the area right on top of him, and the other is a gigantic, disjointed, 1f special with no recovery at all. These two fast and powerful anti-airs let Kliff punish jumping.
- Terrible Dizzy: Kliff has the lowest dizzy threshold in the game, which gets even lower if he attempts to leverage one of his few good tools in his Dust Attack. If he's using Dust liberally and is a pinch unlucky, he can get stunned off of single hits, even.
- Miniscule Tech Window: Kliff has the worst tech window in the game at 8 frames. This means he's more liable to eating a knockdown than anyone else bar Testament, and his horrid health and dizzy mean eating more hits than he technically has to can be disastrous.
- Limited Ground Movement: Kliff has a slow walk speed, no dash, and his backdash is a spot dodge, severely limiting his ability to move while grounded. He can use his ground dust as a pseudo dash, but it isn't the best option.
- Limited Combos: While Kliff does high damage on individual hits, because his ground movement is limited he doesn't have a true infinite despite being able to charge. Additionally, his main combo ender, Skull CrusherGuardAllStartup12Recovery23Advantage-, keeps the opponent standing and leaves him minus on hit.
- Don't Miss: Kliff's long-range normals are great, but all his normals have long animations; if Kliff whiffs a normal, he's left highly vulnerable and will probably die.
- 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.
Kliff's iconic sweep. There aren't many places you'd want to use this over 2S as they're both big low-hitting buttons, both of which kill you on whiff and need to be charge cancelled on block but this one's minus on hit due to the launch & it's considerably slower. The low profile would be especially good but 2S is just disjointed in that space instead of evasive, and also hits farther. Mostly pressed if you're bored of just using your sword normals.Combos into c.S > Scale Ripper if you do decide to use it. Otherwise, a charge cancel is recommended.
Slow and pretty unwieldly normal. Not very useful in neutral due to the poor range it covers. Potentially a very rewarding low option, but Kliff doesn't have any overhead threat, so this won't come up terribly often. Its function in later games as an OTG for combos is useless because this is Missing Link and they're not getting knocked down anyway.
This move's true calling is as a low crush. Kliff's off the ground starting on frame 4, and remains up there well into even the recovery, letting you hop over low pokes and smack them for devastating damage. How helpful this is is up for debate, though.This is also a useful combo tool, as it combos from c.S and can then in turn combo into Bellowing Roar, your most solid combo that does a single healthbar's worth of damage if Bellowing Roar is level 2.
One of Kliff's most important moves. During this move, Kliff can move left and right, making it a pseudo dash. Making this stronger is the air version, which, in addition to allowing him to change his air momentum, recovers incredibly quickly with all air options. This lets him use it as a pseudo-air dash that he can fly around the screen with.All this utility comes with a MAJOR caveat. Using dust increases Kliff's stun, and with him being dizzy prone as is, overuse of this move can spell disaster for Kliff. Unfortunately, he has to make frequent use of this if he wants to keep up with the rest of the cast.
Pulverizing Dragon's Roar
Taunt with a hitbox. Sends out four insulting projectiles that persist until they hit something or fly offscreen. Would be alright for space control if it wasn't so slow.
Uniquely and very funnily, all of the kanji projectiles are reflected back towards Kliff when they're blocked by the opponent and can hit him, turning this move from pointless to actively detrimental.Like in +R, there's a small chance for the final kanji to become larger and deal extremely high damage, but the chance is astronomically small in this game. Kliff is stuck with a bleeding mouth animation afterwards for a much longer recovery period that probably ruins his day. On top of that it does self damage that can potentially be fatal.
|Bellowing Roar Level 2||76||All||16||4(4)8||39||none|
|Bellowing Roar Level 3||128||All||30||4(4)12||44||none|
Big, damaging projectile attack. Gains extra range and damage with charge. Level 2 does incredible damage and covers around 2/3 of the screen's horizontal distance at max zoom. Level 3 is nearly twice as slow, but deals an obscene 128 damage and goes fullscreen, making it a dangerous option. Very high recovery and overall slow startup make this risky in neutral, and it can only be comboed into from 2H and 5H (level 3 won't combo no matter what). Level 1 is pretty useless outside combos, but higher-level versions are exceptional tools to punish opponents due to their massive size and damage.
- Launches, might be minus on hit
Very slow movement option. Covers most of the air with its hitbox, and has no recovery whatsoever, making it a potentially powerful tool for maneuvering around the screen. It can lead to gimmicky, interruptible crossups after some normals that otherwise lead to nothing, like mid-range 2S & just-shy-of-tip-range f.S. It's difficult for even Kliff players to tell which side it'll hit in these situations.One of the only moves in the game that consistently steals the corner, this is usually unpreferable to do on purpose but it's difficult for the opponent to adjust to, so you can surprise people with it occasionally.
|16xN||Mid||1||mash to extend indefinitely||0||none|
Massive, air unblockable, instantaneous, and possessing 0 recovery whatsoever. Amazing anti-air in conjunction with 6P, with this one able to catch even the most distant flyers and deal pretty heavy damage on contact. A great way to keep people grounded, and an excellent thing to just do if your opponent is above you. However, as a mash move, it does need to be buffered from something else and can't just be used on demand. Thankfully f.S can be whiff canceled into it, but this still means you need to take time to commit to it. Also a very good option to challenge the opponent's pressure.Uniquely, Kliff can do Scale Ripper in Sakkai state by simply pressing S. This means that when Kliff is hit by an IK at close or mid range, rather than having to dodge, he can punish the opponent for trying to IK him. This is incredibly useful especially against Ky, as it turns one of the most threatening tools in the game into a non-factor.
Two Steps Forward
Despite how the hurtbox looks, this move is fully invincible for its entire duration, similar to other backdashes. However, unlike most it stays perfectly in place. Still a good tool for dealing with pressure, especially since it can be canceled into Hellish Charge at any point, even on the first frame.
Just like in later games, Two Steps Forward has a chance to fail which'll deal damage to Kliff and leave him vulnerable, the opposite of whatever you wanted to use it for. The chance is generally smaller than later titles at a 1/8, but it's not impacted by Kliff's stun value at all. It does a large chunk of Kliff's health when it fails, and the recovery & visually loud animation probably allows your opponent to confirm into a CC infinite afterwards. Adding insult to injury, the damage done by a fail can be lethal if he's low on health.Still integral to getting out of pressure as Kliff, but be wary of Old Man Mechanics.
|5x4||All||1||3,4,5,3||17||Above Toes 1~3, 5~7, 9~12|
Does alright damage and boasts generous invulnerability. Not as useful as a traditional backdash for escaping pressure, since this loses to low attacks. Technically Kliff's fastest attack if inputted frame-perfectly, being 2f at best, but c.S is probably still your go-to for mashing.It's a little minus if blocked and if one of the later hits whiff due to pushback, a hurtbox receding, etc. but it's still a good reversal. It low profiles under many moves - Millia's 2HGuardMidStartup4Recovery11Advantage-10 is a good example of an attack that looks like it should hit but doesn't. Has a higher stun modifier than most normals, normally this would be irrelevant but Kliff actually cares about stunning opponents since he can't infinite.