GGST/Leo Whitefang/Strategy

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Leo is considered an all-rounder type character with good tools for any situation, and his kit favours a very measured approach. In fact, contrary to the ‘unga bunga gorilla’ memes, Leo wants to play a defensive neutral with careful pokes, whiff punishes, and harassment with dash-momentum normals. His unique step-dash makes him slow to take space and difficult to reposition, meaning he needs to inch his way in at times. In exchange, it allows him the powerful ability to block while his entire dash animation plays, allowing him to close space very safely. This slow but steady, ‘footsies’ approach is Leo’s main gameplan in neutral - his poor jump-ins and slow run make him poor at forcing offensive situations.

Leo can switch into backturn stance anytime from 214[S] and 236H (if it crosses up), but these are very unsafe if used raw. Backturn removes Leo’s ability to block, and as such is not very good in neutral situations. Instead, Leo wants to enter stance from ground throw or from specific combos or knockdowns that lead to these aforementioned moves safely, where he is then advantaged enough to run offence directly afterwards. Understanding the flow of a defensive neutral to get into a situation where oppressive offence can be applied is the key to mastering Leo.

Once Leo is in backturn stance, the real party starts. He gains access to low-hitting staggers that are plus (bt.K), a fast overhead that is partially invulnerable to throws (bt.H), a great harassment and blockstring tool (bt.S), an extremely damaging cash-out super (632146S), and the ability to cancel stance (22) after any stance normals to make them plus on block and lead into additional pressure. Beyond these staple options, he has crossups (66 or 236H), a powerful anti-air to beat any jump-in (bt.P), and a reset tool that completely restarts pressure on block (214[H]). Leo can loop backturn mixups, and so a player good at conditioning and reading an opponent's defense can really melt people with his toolset.

Neutral Game

Front-turn Leo is made to play neutral in a ‘footsies’ style. This is a very complex topic, so to simplify, think of neutral as a ‘triangle’ of different options that beat each other.

  • Preemptive play, or poking, will beat aggressive approaches. For instance, if someone runs at you with a button, but you’re already pressing 5H, you will force them to block or counter-hit them, giving a slight to major advantage.
  • Reactive play, often consisting of whiff punishes, will beat poking. If someone is hovering outside Leo’s poke range so you press 5H in anticipation of their approach, you have extended Leo’s hurtbox and cannot do anything, allowing them the chance to react and hit you with one of their moves or take space to start their offence.
  • Aggressive play will beat reactive play, because if an opponent is waiting for a big button at a distance, they are allowing you time to take space and approach an opponent (with or without a button). For example: if someone is hovering out of Leo’s poke range, he can simply move forward and close in with dashblock or even dash 2K.

This is the general simplified ‘flow’ of the neutral game, and is also a useful way to conceptualize how to analyze an opponent as to adapt and beat them. Figure out how an opponent likes to play in certain scenarios, and use this ‘triangle’ as a general guide as to how to counter their strategy. The rewards vary - taking space and very slowly pushing your opponent to the corner is much less impactful than a big Counter Hit - but the high-reward options aren’t always available, so it’s important to understand every advantage possible. Of course, different characters have different quirks - against  Axl, for instance, Leo will have to dashblock and take space to beat his zoning because Axl’s disjointed pokes cannot be whiff punished at longer ranges.

Listed below are Leo’s best moves for each of these scenarios.


5H is an incredible poke, owing to its great range, hitbox that cannot be low profiled, and great Counter Hit reward anywhere on the screen. f.S is a poke with similar range and usage to 5H that also leads into guardpoint, but it has less reward on Counter Hit and loses to low profiles (notably 6Ps and slides like  Ky's Stun DipperGGST Ky Kiske 236K 1.pngGuardLow, AllStartup7Recovery30Advantage-19 [-14]). Its only advantages are that it does not extend Leo’s hitbox before becoming active as well as a slightly faster startup and recovery.

These pokes have two unique mechanics that make them particularly good in neutral. First, by holding H or S after the corresponding button, Leo will enter a guard stance that retracts his hurtbox and blocks mids and highs. It is extremely useful for preventing punishes on whiff, and the follow-up's disjoint and armour make it a great poking tool in of itself. It can also be used as an anti-air if an opponent likes to jump in after blocking. Second, Leo has reverse gatlings - H normals will cancel into S normals, so if an opponent blocks these pokes, Leo can push them back with any H-S-H-S string before special canceling for a frame trap or letting the poke recover.

At closer spacings, or against faster opponents who can easily weave around his slower pokes, Leo still has good normals to stop approaches. 2K is an excellent choice for this purpose. It has solid range, recovers fast, and is active for 6 frames. Consequently, it’s great at catching people walking or dashing in. 2S has slightly less range than 2K and is also less active, but is one of Leo’s only disjoints, making it useful as a short-ranged poke. It will reliably counter-hit opponents' approaches with low buttons, and as such, it’s a great button for holding ground between the mid and close ranges. 5P is a highly-active jab with low recovery, good for controlling space directly in front of Leo with little commitment against very fast approaches or in scrambles. 2P sees similar use. It catches low profiles that beat 5P, but in exchange, it has worse range and higher recovery.

Whiff Punishing/Reactive

To whiff punish is to look for and bait a preemptive response from an opponent, usually by standing just outside of range of a specific poke, and then punishing during the move’s recovery. It can be a bit tricky to get the hang of - you have to figure out what situation the opponent likes to press the whiff-punishable move and then try to ‘set up’ that situation so you can be ready to react to it - but even on block Leo still gets the advantage of pressure. His stepdash and sluggish walk can make repositioning difficult, but staying in an ideal range to whiff punish an opponent is very important to Leo’s neutral because his reward for doing so is great.

To this end, 5K is a premier button. It is relatively fast, has solid range with dash momentum, and leads into a somewhat damaging combo via Eisensturm which allows backturn pressure afterwards. Even if it is used late and it gets blocked instead, Leo can convert the situation into a basic strike-throw mixup. 2K can fill a similar function and is slightly faster, though the higher proration makes it less rewarding on hit.

The main flaw with these options is that Leo has to be rather close to the opponent’s whiffed move to pull this off, and this tight spacing makes other options more appealing at times. At these ranges, Leo can instead whiff punish with dash 236S, which has substantial range. 236S’s main flaw is its poor convertibility without 50% tension, but with it, it can be RRCed into damaging combos, such as his j.S routes. Dash 2D is another long-range button, which leads to a hard knockdown and backturn on hit but is unsafe on block.

One final reactive option is Leo’s S Gravierte Werde, a projectile best used for counter-zoning and beating out other projectiles on reaction when your opponent relies on them to cover space. It has two hits, and trumps single-hit projectiles such as  Ky's Stun EdgeGGST Ky Kiske 236S.pngGuardAllStartup13RecoveryTotal 46Advantage-14 . On the other hand, its small reward and particularly high recovery mean that throwing it out preemptively is not a good idea. Use it to counter other fireballs on reaction, or very occasionally to keep the option represented, but do not rely on it to cover space. Most characters can easily IAD An air dash performed from a standing position as quickly and as low to the ground as possible from a jump. Done by inputting 956 754, and depending on the game, using a dash macro right after a jump. over it and get a damaging Counter Hit punish on Leo.


Leo’s stepdash, while slower than a run, is a great tool for getting closer to an opponent by dashblocking, since it only requires pressing the dash macro and then holding down-back to close distance safely. It also grants him great burst movement and momentum on his buttons, which can make Leo’s approach difficult to predict once he’s close enough - it extends his active range significantly.

Leo’s best all purpose tool for aggression is dash 2K. It is well-suited for chasing backdashes and catching walks, and covers a lot of ground with dash momentum. It can also counterpoke certain lows that extend their hurtboxes prior to becoming active. 2S can also be used on approach. It is slower to startup than 2K, but it is entirely disjointed, grants better pressure on block, and has a bigger reward on counterhit; on the other hand, it is worse at chasing opponents owing to its fewer active frames. Pick between these two depending on when your opponent prefers to make space with walking or if they cover space with lows.

Stun Dipper 2

Leo's 2D is a lunging low normal and an explosive approach option that commands respect. When used in conjunction with dash momentum, 2D reaches halfway across the screen, meaning it can catch opponents walking, call out unsafe zoning, or simply be thrown out as a neutral-skipping gamble. The hard knockdown gives Leo enough time to whiff 236H and apply a meaty for basic backturn okizeme. However, it is -8 on block and its momentum can make it difficult to space safely, so it needs to be used with caution and finesse. If Leo has at least 50% Tension, 2D can be Roman Canceled on block for safety, which skips neutral and allows immediate close-range pressure.

GGST Leo 6P Hitbox.png

One strategy to beat pokes is to counterpoke - use a move with a disjoint to catch a move’s extended hurtbox, even while it’s active. 6P is an upper-body invincible move that is great for beating many common long-reaching pokes aimed above the knees, such as  Bridget's 5HGGST Bridget 5H.pngGuardAllStartup11Recovery29Advantage-17. Approaching with it can often catch out opponents who rely on these moves to keep Leo away. However, Leo’s has poor horizontal range, so it is prone to clashing with slightly disjointed moves, and its notable recovery means it can be whiff punished fairly easily if used too often. Always keep this option in mind, but avoid using it as a main approach, because it requires a good read to use well.

GGST Leo 46H Hitbox.png

Against a very passive opponent who stays fullscreen, one final trick up Leo’s sleeve is his H Gravierte Werde. It is a slow projectile that Leo can use to cover an approach if he has the time to set it up, with two caveats. One, many characters have projectile-crushing moves which easily beat it on reaction (e.g.  Nago's CloneGGST Nagoriyuki Zarameyuki1.pngGuardAllStartup18~29RecoveryTotal 39Advantage+5). Two, it has over a second of recovery, and unless Leo is nearly fullscreen from his opponent, he will be punished for trying it.

Ground-to-Air Options (Anti-Airs)

An anti-air, as the name implies, is the art of hitting an opponent out of the air. When an opponent grows anxious with Leo’s slower neutral, they may resort to an IAD An air dash performed from a standing position as quickly and as low to the ground as possible from a jump. Done by inputting 956 754, and depending on the game, using a dash macro right after a jump. to force a situation that gets them in. Be ready for them and punish their impatience!

6P is Strive’s universal anti-air: it has upper body invincibility and hits directly above Leo. Generally, if someone jumps in with an IAD, this is the safest button to press. 5P is faster and less committal, making it better against ambiguously-timed jump-ins, and it covers the diagonal in front of Leo quite well. If 5P cleanly anti-airs an opponent, it consistently combos into backturn, so it actually has better reward than 6P. However, its lack of a disjoint means it will lose to deep jump ins that 6P would handily beat out. Getting a sense for which to use is important to properly play defence against players who like to jump in, and these two are the ones to use most of the time.

Against opponents stalling higher in the air, these moves will whiff; in these cases, Air Throw is Leo’s best tool. It has surprisingly good range and beats blocking, used by jumping to meet them in the air when slightly below an opponent. Its speed also gives it use stopping cross-overs and swatting down people who escape corner pressure by jumping. Eisensturm also seems like a good anti-air against very high opponents, given the massive vertical disjointed hitbox. However, the charge makes it very situational - it cannot reactively anti-air someone unless charge is already held (e.g. holding down-back before an opponent’s jump-in). Plus, it can also be unsafe if blocked, even by an airborne opponent, and the safer S version has poor reward. It is mainly useful for beating divekicks against an opponent very high on the screen.

GGST Leo 28S2 Hitbox.pngAir throw hitbox

bt.P is backturn stance’s anti-air, comparable to a 6P due to the upper body invincibility, but faster and with much better reward on hit. Opponents who jump out of backturn pressure should be met with bt.P, which will reset offence on block or float them on hit for a damaging combo. It is one of the best anti-airs in the game if the chance to use it arises.

Air Options

Leo prefers to stay grounded. His air options are poor at hitting air-to-ground, and he has nothing outstanding for air-to-air, either. Consider all of these options niche.

  • j.P is a mash that's good for scrambles when Leo is slightly above the opponent.
  • j.S is a workable air-to air against opponents slightly above Leo, owing to its fast startup, two hits, and convertibility near corner, but it has poor horizontal range and is mostly outclassed by air throw.
  • j.K is very active and covers a good angle, but has very little blockstun and only works when Leo heavily preempts an opponent's jump, which is typically not a situation he wants to be in. It is minus on IAD An air dash performed from a standing position as quickly and as low to the ground as possible from a jump. Done by inputting 956 754, and depending on the game, using a dash macro right after a jump., and is only good as a jump-in when Leo is falling onto the opponent, but is still easily anti-aired.
  • j.H is a large, disjointed move, but it is slow and has few active frames. It is mostly useful for punishing slow projectiles from midscreen (such as  Ky's Charged Stun EdgeGGST Ky Kiske 236H.pngGuardAllStartup39RecoveryTotal 62Advantage+22 [+25]).
  • j.D is a move that stalls Leo’s air momentum, making it good for baiting out opposing 6Ps in specific situations.



A reversal is a tool used to take back a turn by interrupting an opponent’s offence - be that during wakeup or between small gaps in strings.

Anime Fighter Flashkick

While a highly situational anti-air, Leo’s Eisensturm is a great reversal. Thanks to its charge input, [2]8S can easily call out and punish frametraps that no other character could safely challenge, meaning an opponent will have to think twice about leaving gaps in their blockstrings. Like other reversals, it can also be used on wakeup to counter meaty attacks. However, you must be wary of overusing it! If it doesn't connect, the opponent has a full second to set up a nasty counterhit punish, which can often cost Leo half his health bar and force him to a disadvantageous position to boot. Red Roman Cancel it to stay safe on block as needed.

GGST Leo 632146H1 Hitbox.png

Leo also has a metered reversal in 632146H, which is strike and throw immune with great horizontal and vertical range. It’s a good tool to have, but not one to be used frequently. Uses cases include: a way to wrestle back offence for the cost of 100% tension, for punishing projectiles at a surprising distance, calling out unsafe oki (such as Potemkin’s Garuda Impact), causing a super wallbreak from halfscreen, or finishing a round while preventing Burst. It can also be used to 'Super PRC'. By using a Purple Roman Cancel during the reversal's startup, Leo will dodge meaties and usually allows for a small punish - this only costs 50% tension and is far safer than a reversal super, requiring a delayed meaty to call out.[1]


Abare refers to 'mashing' out of pressure to interrupt an opponent's offence during a gap in pressure. Because Leo has Eisensturm, he doesn’t use abare as often as other characters, but it’s still an important tool for taking your turn back, since using a DP can be so risky.

  • 5P is a 5 frame button and is therefore Leo’s best mash option most of the time. The low recovery and high activity makes it great for scrambles as well.
  • 2P is a variant of 5P that beats low profiles but is worse in every other way - it loses to throws, has less active frames, and takes slightly longer to recover.
  • 2K catches opponents at longer distances and hits low, which can be useful against opponents trying to bait out DPs by walking back or after strings that leave the opponent out of jab range.
  • 2D serves a similar purpose to 2K, but will also beat throws and some low pokes. However, it's slow and very unsafe on block and thus should not be used without a good read on the opponent's offence.


Frontturn Pressure

First: A Primer on Strike-Throw

Strike-throw, as the name implies, is offence where the attacker either uses a strike to force the opponent to block or stops the blockstring short to run up and throw the opponent. The central idea is to goad your opponent into pressing buttons mid-string and getting Counter Hit for it, or take advantage of their passivity and fear of being Counter Hit to throw them or reset pressure.

The three pillars of this offence are:

  • Frametraps: Utilizing delays to catch someone pressing buttons. For instance, using c.S into a delayed 2S will Counter Hit opponents who try to call out unsafe options, and is generally your safest option to apply pressure with.
  • Throw: Dash up and throw the opponent in the middle of a blockstring. This is the main ‘threat’ of pressure, but it’s also quite risky, since it will hard lose to mashing and jumping, as well as reset to neutral on a throw tech. Keep it as a surprise option.
  • Reset: After a move is blocked, dash up and press another button. Essentially a lower risk & reward version of throw in terms of what it beats and loses to, usually granting only a longer blockstring on success. It’s safer against backdashes and jumps, as well as beating techs, and thus is a less committal option to condition your opponent to take defensive countermeasures such as mashing. As a bonus, it cranks the RISC gauge, meaning that any subsequent hit you get will deal more damage.

Leo has a burst-movement stepdash, high-reward throws, and damaging counterhits, as well as the option to go for a cross-up at any time, which altogether makes him very effective at breaking through defences with the right fundamentals. The opponent needs to be very careful, lest they guess wrong and take a lot of damage or end up having to fight out of Leo’s backturn stance.

GGST Leo Whitefang Kaltes Gestober Zweit.png

Leo has one other tool beyond strike-throw: his cross-up. 236H is rewarding on hit and can be used at any time during pressure, but it can be thrown on reaction if the opponent sees it coming, so it needs to be used sparsely and unpredictably. That said, the very fact that he has this move means the opponent has to watch out for it, which can make his other pressure more threatening, because they have to devote some of their attention to looking for a run-through instead of, say, a tick throw. This principle, known as mental stack, underlies all of Leo’s blockstring pressure. Consider it carefully when you are deciding to go for 236H. It is far more effective in situations where the opponent has to look for other options in addition to it.

Keeping this knowledge of strike-throw in mind, here are some of Leo’s common pressure situations and some of the theory behind them.

Slash-Heavy Slash Pressure
GGST Leo Whitefang c.S.png GGST Leo Whitefang 2S.png GGST Leo Whitefang 5H.png

Leo's best frontturn pressure starter is c.S, as it is +1 on block and leads to damaging combos on hit. If blocked, Leo's options are as follows:

  • c.S > slight delay 2S (A manually-timed frametrap)
  • c.S > run up c.S (Beats things like backdash and delayed jump but can be mashed on)
  • c.S > run up throw (Beats blocking but highly risky on whiff)

If c.S > 2S is blocked, it's a similar situation.

  • 2S > 5H (No manual delay needed)
  • 2S > run up 2S (Particularly good against characters who rely on low-hitting abare, as it can counterpoke them. Run up c.S is also an option, but this is far less safe)
  • 2S > run up throw (As highly risky as before)

2S pressure is worse on block and leaves you farther away from the opponent, but pressure options remain similar - they are simply more lenient for an opponent to beat out via mashing or jumping away if you go for a reset or tick throw.

If c.S > 2S > 5H is blocked and the opponent is out of range for f.S Leo's pressure becomes far less threatening. He has three very limited options.

  • Slightly delay 236S to frametrap
  • Hold [H] to enter guardpoint (allows Leo to RPS off the 0-on-block follow-up attack, [H]S)
  • Use 236D to reset pressure (a very pricy option, worth considering in Positive Bonus or as a way to end a match)
  • Let the poke recover (your turn is over)

These options are technically all the same off f.S should you be in range to use it on block after 5H, but as f.S is -13 on block, it's very difficult to tick throw or meterlessly reset with it.

236S still leads to a good combo or full reset into c.S with Red Roman Cancel, but as this is your only option, it's far easier for an opponent to play around it. Against a passive opponent who is adamant to block, try catching them with [H]S and then transitioning into 2S or 2K pressure.

Kick Pressure
GGST Leo Whitefang 5K.png GGST Leo Whitefang 2K.png GGST Leo Whitefang 6K.png

Leo’s kick pressure is similar strike throw.

5K and 2K both gatling into 6K for a frame trap, and often leave Leo close to the opponent - after an opponent blocks one of these moves, Leo can let the move recover and dash up for a tick throw or go for a reset with another one. However, on non-counter hit, these moves cannot be hit-confirmed, meaning that Leo will often have to commit to a tick throw or reset preemptively, and if these moves hit in such a scenario, he loses a lot of reward. Combined with their lackluster on-block frame data (-3 and -5), this makes Leo's kick pressure noticibly weaker.

If 6K is blocked, Leo can choose to let it recover - it is only -4 and is usually safe, though it ends his turn. If you notice your opponent immediately takes their turn after 6K, you can gamble and try a special cancel frametrap to punish them for it. There are three options for this.

GGST Leo Whitefang Kaltes Gestober Erst.png
GGST Leo Whitefang Turbulenz.png

236S: The safest frametrap option, as it is -6 and can push Leo out of punish range, but must be delayed slightly with manual timing in order to work properly and has poor meterless reward, even on Counter Hit.

214S: Leaves a 4 frame gap after 6K (which means it loses to 3 or 4 frame moves), but the massive Counter Hit slowdown means it will lead to damaging combos, even on trades with 5 frame moves. It is -8, so take heed that Leo will likely be punished if it’s blocked. Make sure not to use 214[S], as entering backturn immediately does not grant Leo a better combo and ensures he will be punished on block, even if the opponent is sleeping on defence.

GGST Leo Whitefang Eisen Sturm.png

[2]8H: A very high-risk option that will beat every offensive option your opponent has, but comes with all the risks of whiffing a DP - if this is blocked, it's possible that Leo will lose the round outright. Save it for situations where you are utterly certain your opponent will press buttons, and only use it against opponents with a 4F or 3F button (as it is outclassed by 214S in reward and safety in those cases).

In this way, Leo can threaten an opponent with a damaging frametrap, which can cause them to hesitate on taking their turn. If they do, Leo can then attempt to steal his turn back by following up with another button. However, there is risk associated with either option, because each special cancel is punishable on block, and neither surprise option will work if your opponent is expecting it. Leo must first condition his opponent to take their turn back immediately, and only once they start doing that can he successfully catch them with these options. If he has meter to Red Roman Cancel, he also gets far more reward and can reset pressure off any of these moves back into c.S, putting the opponent in another guessing game.

Punch Pressure (WIP)
GGST Leo Whitefang 5P.png GGST Leo Whitefang 2P.png GGST Leo Whitefang 6P.png

Leo's P pressure is quite strong, as it is fast his 5P is a great pressure starter which can also be reversal safe. This is because it serves as a safejab, and is also plus. See here for more details.


These pressure sequences work on any blocked 5P (or 2P, though 2P generally hits incidentally in neutral rather than being a pressure starter of choice). If you’re looking to safejab, buffer the cancel early and then hold back, so that if an opponent does reversal, the cancel won’t come out and you’ll be able to block.

5P > 6P

A 1F frametrap. Beats mashing or abare throw attempts cleanly, but pressure afterwards isn’t very strong. On a Counter Hit, follow up with 214[S] to enter backturn.

5P > slight dl. 5P

Your most versatile frametrap option. It will beat most mashes and outspace throw techs, and while it only leads into a basic combo, its safety to reversals and ability to set up strike throw makes it a really good low-risk medium-reward option. It’s also easy to confirm on a hit, even if the initial 5P hits, and will usually catch backdashes. While it usually leaves you out of range for 5P > c.S on a hit, you can still get 5P > 2K into Eisensturm for okizeme. Follow up with 2K or dash 5P or against a passive opponent to continue pressure - 5P > 5P > 2K will also beat attempts at mashing out with P buttons due to the spacing, which will cause Leo’s 2K to go under the mash and hit anyway. You can also risk a tick throw or use 2S to counterpoke an opponent trying to mash with something like a 2K.

5P > 6K

A 5F frametrap (trades with 5 framers, leaving Leo +7, enough to trade combo with 2K – or at least restart pressure). It has great reward and will even combo if the initial 5P counterhits, but loses to throws. I don’t use this one very often.

5P > 66 Throw

An extremely fast tick throw setup. Your opponent cannot react to it and will have to commit to beating it, which opens them up to get frametrapped. If they’re teching, try...

5P, > walk back

Calls out delayed or instant throw techs for massive reward. Hit them with a CH c.S or 2H and watch them explode.


If 5P hits meaty, it becomes a safejab against all reversals. In addition to the previous pressure options, which still work, Leo gains access to a few new pressure options, which are both very powerful:

5P, > 2K

Beats delayed techs, backdashes, and fuzzy jumps and preemptive throws (unless IB’d) making it a solid option to call out any way an opponent tries to beat a throw short of mashing – and even sometimes beats out mashing; depending on how well timed your meaty is, the gap can be 4F-6F. However, committing into 5P > 2K means that 5P cannot safejab meterless reversals (with metered ones, you can usually hold FD during the super freeze to kara cancel and block); delaying 2K to avoid this means slower mashes can beat it out more easily.

5P, > c.S

An alternative to 2K. It also beats backdashes and fuzzy jumps, but it leads into much stronger pressure if it’s blocked and has much higher reward on hit. However, it does not beat preemptive throws. If your opponent commits to mashing a fast button immediately, they might win – as with 2K, it has a variable 4-6F gap.

Entering Backturn

Click the dropdown on the right for a list of all the feasible ways Leo can enter backturn safely.



  • 214[S] is usually the best combo starter, but 236H can be used in situations where Leo is close to the corner.
  • 214[S]* indicates that 214[S] is spacing dependent; 236H is a better general choice in these situations.
  • Combos ending with ellipses mean that a backturn juggle can be continued afterwards.

Starter Follow-Up Basic Combo Sequence
Anti-Air 5P 214[S] AA 5P > 66 > c.S > 214[S]...
CH Grounded 6P 236H, 214[S]* CH 6P > 236H
5K [2]8H 5K > 6K >[2]8H, whiff 236H
2K [2]8H 2K > 6K >[2]8H, whiff 236H
CH 6K 214[S], 236H CH 6K > 214[S]...
c.S 214[S], (236H) c.S > 2H > 214[S]
CH f.S 236H, 214[S]* CH f.S > 236H
CH 2S 236H, 214[S]* CH 2S > 236H
CH 5H 236H, 214[S]* CH 5H > 236H
2H 214[S], 236H 2H > 214[S]
6H 214[S], 236H 6H > 214[S]...
2D Whiff 236H, 2D, Whiff 236H
CH 2D 214[S], Whiff 236H, CH 2D, 2K > 214[S]...
Ground Throw Automatic N/A
[2]8H* [2]8H [2]8H, Whiff 236H
236H 236H 236H
Red Roman Cancel 214[S], 236H Starter > RRC > 2H > 214[S]...

Going into backturn is not always ideal. Sometimes, routing into the most damaging combo is better (such as when an opponent is at low health). Other times, it’s a matter of screen positioning. The main one is when you will put yourself in the corner with a whiff 236H, and:

  • The opponent has burst ready.
  • The opponent has a reversal ready.
  • The opponent's character has very strong defensive tools against backturn (e.g.  Sol,  Leo).

Backturn Pressure

Once Leo has won enough of an advantage, he transitions to backturn stance to begin his dizzying array of mixups. Backturn has two main mixup points: starting strings with bt.K/bt.H for a meaty high low, and following up bt.S with a Stance Cancel 2K/bt.H for a mid-string high low. On a hit, Leo has the option to cash out backturn combos into the highly damaging 632146S or use enders that reset into further backturn pressure (see Okizeme for details). As if all this wasn’t enough, Brynhildr stance has many high-risk, high-reward moves which can overwhelm an opponent with the amount of options they need to account for.

However, this comes at a cost. Every option in backturn has counterplay by itself that leads to a punish, even the basic strings and mixups noted above, so correct usage demands variety and adaptation. Once opponents can block or counter your pressure sequences, use other options that beat the options they pick. For example, if your opponent always backdashes after bt.S to beat bt.H, try delaying bt.H slightly to beat it. By representing more options, Leo can stack his opponent and create an overwhelming offence that will leave them guessing. Play around with different sequences and mix things up depending on an opponent’s responses, and you’ll be pureeing your opponent’s health bar in no time.

Generally, the risky options are good for when your opponent is blocking but not taking countermeasures. If they’re getting hit by basic backturn strings, there’s no need to risk an advantage by going for slower options.

Primary Options
The low that staggers

Bt.K is Leo’s only low when in stance, and its extremely quick recovery and plus-on-block nature make it great for starting stagger pressure by itself. The immediate gatling into bt.S will also hit anyone who backdashes a bt.K meaty. Contrary to popular belief, bt.K does not gatling into itself. Repeated bt.Ks have a 2-frame gap, but the move’s pushback on block can quickly force Leo out of range for more bt.Ks. Beyond this stagger, it also opens up less safe options. Leo can microwalk forward between bt.K to keep the pressure on and catch people who instinctively block high after blocking one or two bt.Ks, dash cancel to go for an unsafe cross-up or chase a backdash, or stance cancel for a surprise tick throw.

Sets up mixups and stabilizes confirms

Bt.S is the glue of backturn pressure. It naturally gatlings into bt.H with a 2-frame gap, but on stance cancel, it will frametrap into 2K, also with a 2 frame gap. This makes for a highly effective high-low; adding tick throws after stance cancel bt.S gives a full high-low-throw mixup situation, with the caveat that backdash will avoid all options of this mixup midscreen (though note that in the corner, 2K *will* catch backdashes). Bt.S staggers on counterhit, so it’s fantastic as a meaty against opponents who like to mash on wakeup. Confirm this stagger into 2H for damaging midscreen juggles, 214H for his best corner combos, or 214[K] for his best oki.

The overhead threat
Bt.H is Leo’s overhead which is both fast and leads to solid conversions when stance cancelled, though it is unsafe if backdashed. It's often used as a meaty to enforce a low-high mixup or after bt.S to complete a blockstring. Going directly from bt.K to bt.H leaves a mashable gap and will not combo (barring a bt.K counter hit), but since bt.S will telegraph the overhead, it’s worth skipping every now and then. Leo should almost always stance cancel (22) after bt.H. On a hit, this leads to conversions that loop back into further backturn pressure. On block, always stance cancel to put Leo at +5 and enable basic frontturn pressure - typically with dash 2K, which is a 3 frame-gap frame trap. Against very passive opponents who continue blocking after bt.H in anticipation of a stance cancel 2K, Leo may risk a 214[H] reset or an auto-timed stance cancel tick throw.

Secondary Options
GGST Leo Whitefang bt 214H.png

214[H] is great for calling out opponents who attempt to backdash after bt.S to beat bt.H (with huge reward if Leo has 50% Tension), and will also reset pressure back to the high low 50/50 if blocked anywhere in a string. However, it’s slow enough for Leo to be hit out of it on reaction and is easily punishable on whiff, so be wary of overusing it. It’s also not a good choice to begin pressure with due to it only having 3 active frames, rendering it easily backdashed.

GGST Leo Whitefang bt 214K 2.png

214[K], the command throw, is a high-risk option that gives great oki midscreen, but it's reactable and will lose to any option that isn’t blocking. It’s best saved for confirms after Counter Hit bt.S, because on whiff, Leo will lose his advantage and eat a Counter Hit punish - using it in pressure is taking a massive (and often unnecessary) gamble.

22 66 4D/6D (stance cancel tick throw) is Leo’s best option for throw mixups off any of his backturn buttons. A good mix-up to represent against an opponent expecting a strike. You can do this at any point in your pressure and isn't reactable unlike the rest of these options; but it is fuzziable and can be read by the opponent. Adjust and vary your pressure accordingly to not be predictable with this option. You don't want to get CH.

GGST Leo Whitefang Kaltes Gestober Zweit.png
236H can be used as it is in frontturn occasionally as a mental stacking tool during times when an opponent has many options to account for when trying to block pressure. Given the risk-reward of losing backturn, though, it necessitates good judgment to use well.

Sample Backturn Blockstrings

Two notes:

  • Keep in mind that these are just samples. Backturn naturally allows a lot of expression and adaptation, so play around with strings to beat certain options.
  • After stance cancel (notated as 22), the best move on block is generally dash 2K (which will beat mashing). On hit, the best follow-up varies by situation - see the backturn okizeme section for details.

Sample Backturn Pressure Strings
Combo Risk Explanation
bt.K > (bt.K >) bt.S > bt.H > 22 Very Low The basic Brynhildr string. Most people with some matchup experience will be able to block it, but it is good to use when your opponent commits to unsafe options to beat out strings (such as mashing).
bt.K > bt.S > 22 66 > 2K Very Low Low of the high-low mixup after bt.S. Lower reward than bt.H, but most people will block high after bt.S on instinct, which makes this easy to land. Will reset to neutral if the opponent backdashes after bt.S, but if they are in the corner it will catch them instead.
bt.H > 22 Very Low Meaty overhead that makes up the high of Leo’s high bt.H - low bt.K at the start of pressure. Unsafe after certain knockdowns, and best used in situations where Leo has enough time to make it hit meaty.
x(bt.K) > bt.H > 22 Low Vary the amount of bt.Ks before going directly into the overhead to catch people who block high after a while or who use bt.S as a telegraph to block bt.H. Leaves a 7F gap that cannot be reacted to but will lose to preemptive mashing.
x(bt.K) > 22 66 > Throw Moderate Tick throw setup against a passive opponent. Reactable if the opponent is looking for it, but this will mentally stack them against other options.
bt.K > bt.S > 214[H] Moderate Demolishes opponents who backdash after bt.S (which is common counterplay), and also resets pressure if 214[H] ia blocked. However, 214[H] is a 29 frame move, and can be easily punished if overused.
x(bt.K) > 236H Moderate A good tool for opening up an opponent stacked after bt.K chains, but can be thrown if the opponent is looking for it.
bt.K > bt.S > bt.[H] > 214[H] High Pressure reset against an opponent who anticipates a stance cancel after bt.[H] and does not mash. However, post bt.[H] is a common mash point, and 214[H] is reactable on startup, making this risky to do on an unconditioned opponent.
bt.K > bt.S > 22 66 > Throw High Tick throw setup that utilizes the large visual noise of bt.S. Particularly useful if stance cancel 2K has been used already. Risky because it loses to backdashes (common after bt.S) and also loses to anything preemptive that beats 214[H], but it cannot be reacted to.
bt.K > 66 > bt.K High Dash cancel cross-up. Very unsafe and reactable for somewhat middling reward, best used when an opponent is stacked with other options.
bt.K > bt.S > 214[K] Very High Very high-risk, high reward setup using Leo’s backturn command throw. Will lose to any option that isn’t blocking, but sets up extremely good okizeme midscreen if it hits. Almost always worse than a stance cancel tick throw.

Reversal-Safe Pressure

Leo has very few proper ‘safejump’ setups, but he does have ways to make his pressure reversal safe.

All ‘timing windows’ noted here are for 9 frame reversals. Against reversals with higher startup, this window is expanded (for instance, a 2 frame window against a 9 frame reversal becomes a 3 frame window against a 10 frame reversal).


If Leo is +5 or +6 and in backturn, bt.K will hit meaty; in this case, the recovery frames are so small that it will recover before any reversal comes out, allowing you to press bt.D or [2]8S during the super freeze and get a punish. While it is technically possible to do this against meterless reversals, they lack a super freeze, so they can’t be reacted to with this setup, and it’s generally not worth the risk to call it out.


5P’s low recovery allows it to hit meaty while avoiding 9 frame reversals if the last two active frames hit. This can be attempted anytime Leo scores a knockdown in place of c.S, but it is a very narrow window to time manually; luckily, there is a setup to make it much easier. Anytime Leo scores a hard knockdown with [2]8H near the corner, he can use 2D to OTG the opponent, then immediately press 66 5P 4. This setup also links into 2K on Counter hit and leaves Leo +2 on block, which allows for further pressure while also giving him time enough to block any reversal attempts. Similarly, anytime Leo breaks the wall with a move resulting in hard knockdown, there is a setup by dashing, followed up by 66 5P 4, which yields the same results as the OTG 2D setup.


Meatying with 5H is less than ideal, but after 236S knockdowns, it can be the only option available. By holding it, you can meaty and then immediately go into guard stance, which allows it to block reversals as well. However, this is a three-frame window, and there is no autotime setup to do this, so it can be tricky.


Okizeme (shortened to oki) is a term that refers to offence against an opponent who has been knocked down. Think of it as a situation to ‘set up’ favourable pressure situations while the opponent is unable to do anything.

Listed below are some common knockdowns and the options available off of them.

Frontturn Okizeme

236S is the weakest of Leo’s okizeme situations, as it leads to a soft knockdown that launches the opponent far away from Leo, such as after hitting stray 5Hs, f.Ss, or grounded 5Ps. Many of Leo’s moves can lead into 236S and, therefore, a soft knockdown. It can lead to a lackluster 5H or 2S meaty midscreen, but the pressure this grants is limited, so it should only be used as an ender when it’s the only option available. In the corner, it allows a much better c.S/5P meaty, making it much more rewarding.

Super Wallbreak gives Leo enough time to dash up with a c.S or 5P meaty, but he cannot enter backturn reliably.

H Eisensturm usually gives Leo enough time to whiff 236H into a bt.K meaty (see here for details). In certain instances, crossing over the opponent in this way is a bad idea - for example, if they have burst and are in the corner, using 236H after this knockdown is a good way to lose all your advantage and put your back to the wall. In those cases, Leo can either start pressure with c.S or OTG the opponent with 2D and follow it up with a dash 5P for a reversal-safe meaty.

2D is an analogous situation, allowing immediate-whiff 236H that usually leaves Leo enough time to apply a bt.K meaty and avoid throws. While it can also be combo’d into via 5K or 2K, it’s not recommended, since the move is -8 on block, uncancelable, and practically impossible to hit confirm, which makes it altogether punishable.

236H on hit knocks the opponent a short distance away, and gives Leo enough time to meaty with dash-in bt.K or bt.H. It’s a reliable way to enter backturn off many Counter Hits.

Throw is very threatening, and one of the most rewarding knockdowns Leo can get. It puts him at +50 in backturn stance, granting enough time for a four-way mixup: Low meaty via bt.K, high meaty via bt.H, stance cancel throw, or cross-up meaty. The cross-up requires a very short microwalk into two dashes, followed by bt.K or bt.S, which will take some practice to learn the timing of. This is demonstrated in the video below.

Backturn Okizeme

236H can also be used in backturn combos as a sideswitch ender. If you manage to land a backturn hit when your back is close to the corner, this is an option that gives slightly worse oki but takes you out of the corner and puts the opponent there. It will drop the opponent somewhat far away, so you’ll have to microwalk before a bt.K meaty; bt.H will still reach. Combo into it using:

(X -> bt.H) -> 236H

Note that you can also stance cancel, dash 5K -> 6K, and then whiff 236H for a bt.K meaty, but this does not grant a 50/50 on wakeup and is generally weaker as a result.

214[S] gives similar oki 236H, but does not switch sides. Some close-range counter-hits combo into it, but it can also be combo’d into using 2H from c.S. It is also Leo’s best all-purpose option for backturn oki, allowing a low-high-throw mixup without switching sides. It does not work if the combo is started with two or more bt.Ks. However, any other backturn combo can be connected into this loop by the following enders:

  • At closer ranges: ( -> 22 66 -> c.S -> 214[S]
  • At further ranges: ( -> 22 66 -> 2S -> 214[S]

On a raw bt.H hit, Leo can link a bt.K after 214[S] and then dash cancel it, granting comparable advantage but also leaving Leo much closer to the opponent.

214[H] sends the opponent away in a rolling tumble that leaves Leo very plus, but also very distant. Due to this, it is best saved for when your opponent is somewhat close to the corner, when 214[H] will put them there and give similar oki to 214[S]. Generally, this is best done when you need to dash up twice before being in range for bt.H - this will allow a high-low meaty or throw. Further midscreen, this move only grants a bt.K or bt.S meaty at a distance, which makes it relatively weak. As with 214[S], it will whiff if the combo is started with two or more bt.K.

Below is a demonstration of the above three backturn combo enders that lead into okizeme.

214[K] is a rare knockdown that is very difficult and risky to attempt to hit, but gives Leo some of the best okizeme in the game. Like a regular throw, Leo is +50, but he is much closer to the opponent when compared with a regular throw’s knockdown. This enables Leo to safely cross the opponent after two dashes and still be +16, enough advantage to safely meaty with any backturn normal. As such, 214[K] connecting leads to a devastating five-way mixup midscreen: same side low, same side high, cross up low, cross up high, or stance cancel throw. However, using the command grab is very risky and often not worth the extra reward, as a regular throw gives very good okizeme already. Save it for confirms off of bt.S counter hits.

Whiff 236H Frame Advantage

Listed below is a chart detailing the frame advantage where Leo gets a hard knockdown and follows up with the 236H cross-up.

Whiff 236H Frame Advantage Chart
Combo Advantage after whiffing 236H
2P > 2P > [2]8H +6
2K > 6K > [2]8H +6
5K > 6K > [2]8H +6
2D +5
5K > 2D +5
2K > 2D +4
6K > [2]8H +8
j.K > 2K > 6K > [2]8H +4
j.P > j.P > 2K > 6K > [2]8H +4
[2]8H +5
[2]8H, First hit whiffs +4
[2]8H, Counter Hit +4
[2]8H, First hit whiffs, CH +4
[2]8H, Anti-Air ≥ +5
[2]8H, CH, Anti-Air ≥ +4

Frame advantage increases relative to how high in the air the opponent is on hit.

A few notes about interpreting these numbers:

  • +4 allows Leo to beat out throw attempts with a bt.K meaty.
  • +5 and +6 allows Leo to beat out throw attempts with a bt.S meaty and safejab metered reversals with bt.K. See here for details.
  • +7 and +8 means that a bt.K meaty will whiff unless delayed.


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