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Fighting Potemkin

Potemkin is Guilty Gear's resident grappler. He cannot dash or air dash. As such, his goal is to utilize a combination of his far reaching pokes and his special moves to work his way into a position where he can threaten you with his command grab or hit you for trying to escape. Potemkin has counter measures for most situations, but they are often slow and committal. Leveraging, baiting, and punishing his neutral tools will allow you to safely start your turn and expose his poor defense.

Unique Attributes/Mechanics

  • Potemkin Buster
  • Kara Special Cancels
  • Armored Moves
  • Guard Crush

Round Start

Potemkin's lack of mobility means that walking back a slight amount and then crouch blocking is a safe option against Potemkin's most common round start options. If you do choose to get aggressive then fast-hitting low moves (generally 2K) or long-ranged pokes (generally fS) are good options. Round start options can be very particular to the specific matchup you are playing. While the advice given applies to most characters against Potemkin, you may need to experiment or consult a matchup guide for your character. There may be other relevant round start options in your specific matchup or nuances that change how common options interact.

Potemkin's most common round start options are:

2PGGST Potemkin 2P.pngGuardAllStartup8Recovery9Advantage-1: is Potemkin's fastest normal at 8f, though it doesn't reach full length until frame 10. If you have a faster low-hitting move then you can interrupt the 2P and start your offense. You can also just block as Potemkin's followups after are weak. If you jump round start then Potemkin can recover fast enough to anti-air you.

Delayed / microwalk backwards 2DGGST Potemkin 2D.pngGuardLowStartup13Recovery18Advantage-8: is used to beat out the faster moves that would beat Potemkin's 2P. Using a longer range attack, or dashing close and using a quick button are ways to beat it. If you block it then the followup options are weak.

kBMF (kara Backwards Mega Fist)GGST Potemkin Mega Fist Back.pngGuardHighStartup25~27Recovery12Advantage-2: Used to punish slower round start options. On block Potemkin is minus though not punishable. On a normal hit Potemkin is plus however not plus enough to frametrap with a c.S. If you have a fast 5f crouching button then you can that after being hit to beat any option except another Mega Fist.

HammerfallGGST Potemkin Hammer Fall.pngGuardAllStartup18~62Recovery26Advantage-9: Hammerfall has one hit of armor on frame 5. This allows it to punish a wide variety of round starts. However if blocked it is -9 and thus punishable by every character. Some fast attacks used multiple times can beat the armor before it connects.

Less common options you might encounter:

Garuda ImpactGGST Potemkin Garuda Impact.pngGuardAll (Guard Crush)Startup28Recovery24Advantage+19: Used on a heavy read to punish you for being passive. Very slow startup and recovery so can be beaten by nearly any usual round start attack or jump.

5KGGST Potemkin 5K.pngGuardLowStartup10Recovery9Advantage-4: Disjointed attack used to beat out fast low-hitting attacks such as 2Ks. Can often be beaten by longer-ranged attacks.

Mega FistGGST Potemkin Mega Fist.pngGuardHighStartup25Recovery16Advantage-6: Regular forward Mega Fist. A generally inferior option to kBMF, however common especially with less experienced Potemkin players. On block it is -6 and punishable by most characters.

Potemkin BusterGGST Potemkin Potemkin Buster Startup.pngGuardGround ThrowStartup5Recovery37Advantage-: If done with a frame perfect input, Kara Potemkin Buster will beat any grounded move that is 9f or slower. However walking back even a tiny amount will make it whiff.


Since Potemkin lacks a dash or air dash and has slow walk speed, his primary methods of getting in are a combination of jumping forward, as well the previously mentioned special moves Slide Head, Hammer Fall and Mega Fist. Remember, Slide Head creates a shockwave that hits low and fullscreen. While it is easy to defend against it, you do need to make sure you don't get hit by that shockwave. If you do get hit by it, Potemkin will have a chance to get in on you using Hammer Fall and you'll be placed in a position where Potemkin can enact his deadly strike/throw game. It’s worth jumping consistently if you’re a solid distance away from him to avoid Slide Head. You can also air dash forward and attack as well because this move has 28 frames of recovery.

Be wary when Potemkin has Tension, as he can PRC Hammer Fall into a Potemkin Buster. You really need to keep an eye out for this if he has Tension. It’s very fast. If you just block Hammer Fall, he can cancel the recovery of it with a red Roman Cancel into Garuda ImpactGGST Potemkin Garuda Impact.pngGuardAll (Guard Crush)Startup28Recovery24Advantage+19. This is Potemkin’s most oppressive oki tool. He leans back and launches a blast of fire from his gauntlet. On hit, it’ll put you in a stagger state. When blocked, this move builds up RISC, has ridiculous chip damage, and causes a guard crush. In addition to that, he can also Kara Cancel this move like Pot Buster and Mega Fist. (More info on dealing with this in the “Surviving Against Garuda Impact” section down below). If the Pot messes up and cancels into this with a purple Roman Cancel instead, it’s not safe, and you can challenge it. If you jump to avoid Hammer Fall in neutral, Pot can cancel it into a Heavenly Potemkin Buster. It’s difficult, but if you’re trying to maintain distance and avoid a Hammer Fall approach when he has meter, the best thing to do would be to time a backdash to avoid the PRC Hammer Fall.

If you try to challenge Hammer Fall, he can cancel into his Overdrive Giganter KaiGGST Potemkin Giganter Kai.pngGuardAllStartup10+1Recovery17Advantage+100. For this Overdrive, Potemkin unleashes an electrical shock all around him, while also summoning a slow-moving energy shield to assist him. Giganter Kai essentially grants Potemkin full control of neutral. It does not disappear until either it's 481 frame duration is over or until it lands three hits on the opponent. The hits can be blocked, but up close, Potemkin can put you in a high/low situation with his 5DGGST Potemkin 5D.pngGuardHighStartup20Recovery21Advantage-15 or set up a simultaneous high/low strike/throw situation after the end of the move. You can try and chicken block, but if Potemkin reads it, he can either lock you down in the air by spamming j.PGGST Potemkin j.P.pngGuardHighStartup7Recovery6Advantage+6 (Min. height) or he can go for an air throw or Heavenly Potemkin Buster if he has 100 Tension. It’s generally a pretty scary situation to be in all around. You could burst Pot away, but you don’t wanna burst until Giganter Kai ends since the energy field won’t go away even if you burst him. Until the end of Giganter Kai, block low, react high if he tries to hit you with 5D and then either burst or jump at the end of the Overdrive. Potemkin can’t grab you with either Pot Buster or a regular grab until the end of the move thanks to throw invulnerability.

If Potemkin is spamming Mega Fist as a means to approach, a tactic you can do to get around it is dashing underneath him and causing a cross up. Then you can follow it up with pretty much anything. Mega Fist also loses to specific air to airs. Lab with your character and find out what aerial moves will work against this. Just be aware that like Potemkin Buster, this move can also be kara canceled, which will allow him to travel a farther distance than normal. If he’s right on top of you, it’s definitely your turn to hit him. If he lands this move with the tip of his hands, he’s spaced the move properly, and you don’t want to press any buttons. Instead, backdash, because he’ll likely attempt to Pot Buster you.

If his specials are getting consistently stuffed, Potemkin might try to get in by jumping a lot and using his aerial attacks, in particular, j.HGGST Potemkin j.H.pngGuardHighStartup12Recovery16Advantage+15 (Min. height). This normal hits on both sides of Potemkin. You can counter this with well timed anti-airs (such as a 5P or 6P) or completely distance yourself entirely.

Some Pot players will intentionally use Heavenly Potemkin Buster to close the gap if you’re trying to keep your distance. They’ll land with j.DGGST Potemkin j.D.pngGuardAllStartup13Recovery9 After landingAdvantage+1 (IAS) and try to get you with that. Position yourself in a way that you don’t get crossed up and punish this accordingly if you see players just throwing out HPB like that.

F.D.B. (aka Flick)GGST Potemkin FDB.pngGuardAllStartup18~36Recovery19Advantage-6 is a special move that lets Pot reflect incoming projectiles. Solely relying on projectiles to keep Pot out isn’t necessarily the best way to do so. Up close, it can be used in blockstrings, and is -6. It is vulnerable to 3 frame buttons, 6Ps and low profiles.

Finally, be wary of Potemkin's pokes. 2SGGST Potemkin 2S.pngGuardAllStartup14Recovery18Advantage-4, f.SGGST Potemkin f.S.pngGuardAllStartup12Recovery18Advantage-8, and 5HGGST Potemkin 5H.pngGuardAllStartup16Recovery25Advantage-11. These can ALL be beaten by 6P. Space yourself around is his 2DGGST Potemkin 2D.pngGuardLowStartup13Recovery18Advantage-8. On hit, or block, Potemkin will be able to get his pressure started, however, it has 18 frames of recovery, giving you time to whiff punish, or set up one of your slower special moves uncontested. Properly using 6P and spacing outside 2D expose another weakness of his neutral structure: without meter, if he has to come to you, his options are linear and risky. Patience on top of a health lead often force Pot to flail around to make something happen.


Potemkin absolutely falls apart on defense. He can’t mash out of strike/throw pressure with his fastest button, his 5 frame 5PGGST Potemkin 5P.pngGuardAllStartup5Recovery6Advantage+1, because it whiffs on lows. Adjusting your strike/throw pressure to stay low profile means he has to rely on his backdash. It has 6 frames of invincibility, but staying low profile and covering it isn’t too hard. Combined with his 5 frame pre-jump animation, Pot may look to reversal Mega Fist to get out of trouble. Both forwards and backwards Mega Fist can be frametrapped and leave him in a counter hit state. If there’s anything you should learn, it’s how to trap a reversal Mega Fist. This will counter any desperate attempts to use armor specials as well.


What to Do When Pot Closes the Gap

If Potemkin ever manages to close the gap, you need to utilize your dashes, specifically your backdash, or air dash over him. Dashing is going to make him whiff and provide you an opportunity to punish. Neutral jumping can also be a way to avoid him. If he’s hitting you with normals, wait for the blockstring to finish, and then jump when there’s a gap, because usually at that time, Potemkin will be buffering a Potemkin Buster. You need to be careful, though, as he does have other options and he can potentially read this. He could use Heat KnuckleGGST Potemkin Heat Knuckle 1.pngGuardAir Guard CrushStartup12Recovery18Advantage+10~+3 to grab you out of the air. In the corner, this move will also lead to a wallbreak. Despite the fact that the move involves Potemkin grabbing, it is not actually considered a grab and can be blocked. However, blocking this move will put you in a guard crush state where you can’t move or YRC until the state is over. It will also pull you towards him for a strike/throw mix. You’ll be taking a lot of damage if you guess wrong. You’ll have to be wary of this in addition to Heavenly Potemkin Buster as well, so jump sparingly when Pot is up close. The worst thing you can do is panic and default to holding up and back.

If you’re in a blockstring, block low and respond appropriately when it comes to the few overheads he has, like 5D or Mega Fist. At worst, a backwards Mega Fist will be -2, but remember that forwards Mega Fist is -6 on block. You also need to keep an eye out for 6KGGST Potemkin 6K.pngGuardAllStartup22Recovery18Advantage-6. 6K can be special canceled into Flick or Garuda Impact. Pot can put you in a 50/50 situation here. The options that could challenge Flick will lose to Garuda Impact due to the pushback/disjoint. You also can’t jump here, because there’s a 4 frame gap that will catch jump outs. The best thing to do in this situation is to use Faultless Defense. While Pot can special cancel 6K into various follow ups, he cannot kara cancel these, so FD will buy you enough space that his turn is over. You can also use your Burst to send him flying back and reset neutral. Use this last, or in an emergency situation though, as this is a limited resource.

Surviving Against Garuda Impact

Potemkin will most often use Garuda Impact as a meaty after a hard knockdown, either from Slide Head or 2D. If you’re in the corner, Pot will also often attempt to go for it after a 6K, as previously mentioned. Garuda Impact has a slow start up of 28 frames, which is why it’s best used as a meaty. If a Potemkin is using this in a situation where it’s NOT a meaty, it can be jumped over or backdashed. Blocking it leads to a lot of problems. It’s +19 on block. This leads to over a third of a second where he has advantage over you, and most times Potemkin will follow up Garuda with another Garuda. If there’s no doubt he’ll do Garuda into Garuda, you can jump out of it. If he goes into it from a 6K, note that 6K is -6 on block. Combined with the 28 frame start up, you have plenty of time to jump out of this situation. On knockdown, however, don’t try to jump immediately. Since it’s usually used as a meaty, it’ll catch you if you try. Then you’ll get stunned, and hit with a Pot Buster. You’ll have to time your jump well.

In the corner, after either a Pot Buster or a regular throw into an OTG c.SGGST Potemkin c.S.pngGuardAllStartup8Recovery11Advantage+4/6K, Garuda can hit meaty enough that Pot can do a second Garuda that can also catch attempted jump outs. This first garuda is able to be avoided by backdashing on wakeup. The Pot can delay the cancel into Garuda to catch a wakeup backdash attempt but this sacrifices the extra plus frames that allow Pot to frametrap with the second Garuda. Do this until they prove that they are willing to gamble on delayed Garuda.

If your character has an invincible reversal, then it will clash. If it has multiple hits, it will proceed to hit Potemkin as well. If Potemkin is very close, there will be no clash at all, the invincible move will just win clean. Though bear in mind that this shouldn’t be your go to always on wake up, as DPs are throwable on wake up, so you can be Pot Bustered if you always try this. If moves clash, it can immediately be canceled into another move. This is another thing to be wary of, as your invincible can clash with Garuda, and then Potemkin can immediately cancel into a Heavenly Pot Buster, however, you can ALSO mash out a fast button and stuff it. These are all of your primary options for dealing with this move. However, it’s best to use Burst here and get out of the situation entirely.


What's The Mix? - Garuda Impact

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