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Player's Guide: The Baiken Handbook

The Baiken Handbook

The Baiken Handbook is a community-built, mostly complete guide, introducing a player to Baiken's mechanics, strengths, weaknesses, and techniques. This guide covers a vast array of combos & hit confirms, ranging from universal strings that can be used against any opponent, to weight-specific combos that work on select members of the cast, and even to character-specific combos that optimize damage done to only one or few particular opponents.

The document is still being updated, and further sections detailing Baiken's Okizeme options & more are on the way. The following paragraphs give a short overview over Baiken and is meant as quick introduction and for beginners.

General Tactics

Strategy Overview

Knowledge of the opposing character and tendencies of the player is helpful, if not vital to success with Baiken because of how azami works.

Mixing up air approaches, ground approaches, command dashes and Kabari and being one step ahead in the "guard or no guard" mind games are key. Tatami Gaeshis disjointed hitbox and Baikens ability to counter opponents with Azami and Suzuran can make her opponents hesitant to throw out attacks. Baiken doesn't need to win the neutral; she needs to create frustration with tatamis and defensive neutral, create fear with azami, and exploit this to get in and run her okizeme game with f-shiki, TK Yozansen and tick throws.

Simple Blockstrings

Variation is key to success in Baiken's pressure game, but here are some basic blockstrings to crutch on before you get used to actually varying up your options in creative ways. Pressure is generally divided into pressure at close range and pressure at poke range. Close range pressure tends to be short and dangerous; your options here are strong but you eventually get pushed out to poke-range where you generally gamble for less damage, but can take risks or spend meter to re-establish close-stage pressure.

Honorable mention goes to 2K 5S 5H Rokkonsogi, which generally accomplishes nothing but is super easy.

  • 2P 5P 5K 5H Rokkonsogi if they get hit immediately.

Close stage

  • 2P 5P > throw/nothing/dash
  • 2P 5P 6K or 2P 6K for frametrap while still being + (does not combo)
  • 2P 2K 5S for catching reversal backdashes and still getting an easy combo
  • 2P 5P 5S airdash j.P/j.H (or delayed crossover j.K midscreen). can also jump j.H
  • 2P 5P 6H or 5H to kill stupid people with
  • Anything > Yozansen. Because lmao ofc.

Poke stage

  • ... > 5S tatami to catch jumps, mashing. Can YRC for safe reset.
  • ... > 5S 2H delay tatami (maybe YRC) delay is at least 15+4f to frametrap. 15f hitstop, 4f to make a 1f gap.
  • ... > 5S 2H H/S Kabari or suzuran. Basic pressure reset for people asleep + downbacking.
  • ... > 5S 2S H/S Kabari or suzuran. For when people start looking for 5S/2S>2H to IB.
  • ... > Stuff > Suzuran (let the audio play out) > Sakura/Rokkonsogi. To kill backthrow mash
  • ... > 5K Yozansen. Because lmao ofc.

After Kabari

Remember that you DO NOT HAVE TO dedicate to a Kabari Followup. Kabari is +2 on normal block meaning linking into fast normals will still be able to beat mashing or jumping. Kabari is also +7 on hit, which means it can link into 5P, 5K, 2K and 2P for a combo, and into slower normals too if your opponent does not mash out of the stagger fast enough.

  • Kabari > 5P/2K is a 3f gap and will beat most mashing and jumping(and also possibly blitz, if you guess right)
  • Kabari > 5K is a 5f gap but has very good range
  • Kabari > 6K has some limited utility for going over low-hitting moves.
  • Kabari > Kabari is good as a check vs backdash

Tips and Tricks

Read Guiltybits and the Baiken Handbook to get an overview over properties of Baikens attacks and stances as well as inside into more Baiken tech. They have much more information, that I did not want to simply copy&paste, because they did awesome work and deserve every click.

Fighting Baiken

Azami works by letting Baiken attack in hitstop, and its guard-cancel variant has a 7f catch window that needs to be manually timed. This means that while Baiken can call out almost any habit that you have, she still has to know what you are going to do, and so being aware of your own habits and not falling into predictable pressure patterns is key to being able to pressure Baiken effectively without dying.

However, you can also rely on moves that have low hitstop, low recovery, jump cancels, or fast multihits to make Azami much harder to use effectively. Fast multihits give Baiken a free parry, but she also has to wait longer before throwing out her followup. Some moves come with low hitstop, fast multihits as well as potentially low recovery (Venom S Mad Struggle, Raven jH, Bedman jH) which can make them very strong. Fast multihits that also cross up are very strong because they trigger the azami/multihits glitch and force her to return to blocking, effectively deleting azami from the interaction. Having good high-low options can also be strong, but if you cannot compete with her on reward, or if the reward is very skewed towards a particular option in the high-low, then it is better to be careful about azami than to land a hit on a potential azami. She cannot azami throws, which makes a strong throw game very potent.

Projectiles are also often strong against azami, because if Baiken blocks or is hit by a projectile, only Baiken and the projectile are affected by its hitstop. This makes it harder for her to get counterhits from her azami followups, and with YRC projectiles can be very effective azami-baits. Most projectiles in the game come with higher-than-average recovery, however so it is important to consider your own resources before throwing out projectiles, unless the projectile has naturally low recovery(like Venom's pre-set balls).

For poking and spacing, Baiken has trouble dealing with strong low-hitting moves, and strong low-profiling moves. Your plan should be to exploit the bad range-to-speed ratio of her buttons to your advantage, which can force her to reposition or make a risky approach. Move safely and try not to get hit by tatamis, because they hurt.