Raven's main goal is to use his good far reaching normals and zoning tools to control the opponent's movement and score a knockdowns in the neutral game. After scoring a knockdown, Raven can become very aggressive, utilizing his multiple okizemeFrom Japanese "起き攻め". Attacking an opponent about to wake up after they were knocked down, usually with meaty attacks or mix-ups. tools to lock the opponent down and keep them guessing. As his excitement level increases, he gains stronger pressure, better mixups, and much more damaging combos.
Excitement is Raven's unique resource mechanic. It is naturally gained through many of his regular combo routes and pressure options. While focusing on the mechanic itself not mandatory to establish an effective gameplan as a beginner to Raven, it is critically important to optimize him as a character and can dramatically change his damage output, combo routes, decision making, and overall gameplan depending on how effectively he can build and maintain the resource against an opponent.
Each round, the gauge starts at level 1 with 0 ticks. If Raven goes 10 seconds without gaining any excitement, the gauge starts to drain quickly. While Raven is in hitstun, the timer is paused and excitement doesn't drain. Hitting an enemy with Raven's stab super (214214H) will cause excitement to drain immediately regardless of all other factors.
The excitement gauge affects Raven's damage output and the properties of some attacks: the more excitement, the better. Each "tick" gives a 3% damage boost, up to a maximum of 30% when the gauge is full. Excitement enhances the properties of his Special moves and supers: ScratchGuardMidStartup17Recovery31Advantage-3 becomes faster, OrbGuardAllStartup71RecoveryTotal:46Advantage+30 gains more hits and attack level, NeedleGuardAllStartup13Recovery36 + landing 12Advantage-9 slows for a longer duration, Command grabGuardGround ThrowStartup27Recovery37Advantage+52 becomes comboable, and both supers hit more times.
|Orb||Command Grab||Dash Super||Stab Super|
|0-2 Ticks (Level 1)||17f||12f||1.5 seconds||2 Hits (level 2)||Knockdown||2 Hits||Each tick adds 5 hits|
(Maximum of 50)
|3-5 Ticks (Level 2)||16f||11f||2 seconds||3 Hits (level 2)||Combo:
Fast starter (2P,5K,2S)
|6-10 Ticks (Level 3)||15f||10f||2.5 seconds||4 Hits (level 4)||Combo:
Slow starter (5H)
Excitement increases when Raven connects with certain attacks:
- Scratch (236S)GuardMidStartup17Recovery31Advantage-3 increases Excitement by 1 tick. This will generally be Raven's primary or most reliable way of building and maintaining excitement in most matchups, as it's a very common special ender for combos and blockstrings.
- Command grab (63214S/H)GuardGround ThrowStartup27Recovery37Advantage+52 increases Excitement by 3 ticks. This is a bit more risky thanks to its lengthy startup, but the large reward in excitement gain and combo return on landing one while excitement is high is a large part of what makes Raven scary when he manages to stay in high excitement.
- Dash super (632146S)GuardMidStartup6+2Recovery62Advantage-55: increases Excitement by 5 ticks. Not a great super and mostly used to secure knockdowns from a high j.D, this can be a good way to jump to level 2 Excitement from 0 in a pinch.
Raven can also use his armored stance (214K)Guard-Startup-RecoveryTotal 29Advantage- to gain excitement at a rate of 1 level/3 ticks for each hit absorbed. Using the stance to absorb big hits is "less efficient" than tanking small hits or multi-hit moves, because it generates more purple health (see move description) for the same reward. While it carries a lot of risk, Stance is usually the fastest way to top out on Excitement quickly.
Even without getting hit at all, maintaining the Stance by holding K will cause Raven to gain one tick of excitement after 41 frames and subsequently gain more as long as the stance is held, refreshing his Excitement decay timer without having to connect with the opponent or be hit in stance. Against characters who do not have any sort of zoning or fullscreen set-up tools, this can be an effective way of goading the opponent into approaching to stop Raven from freely building Excitement.
Raven's airdash is unique in that it follows a curve, rather than going straight. This means that he is constantly changing directions for the duration of the airdash until he is parallel to the ground. However, like most other character's airdashes, even if cancelled into an attack, Raven will keep the momentum of the airdash (Unless you use j.2K or a special move, which alter his momentum). Once the airdash is cancelled into an attack, Raven is locked into the direction and momentum of the airdash and will not stop until he runs out of momentum or hits the ground. Performing this cancel from above the height at which he reaches parralel to the ground is known as a glide cancel.
The trajectory of Raven's airdash is generally the same sideways J shaped curve no matter where you do it, except for when he reaches a certain minimum height where the trajectory will flatten and go parallel to the ground. The lower the airdash is executed, the shorter distance you have to cancel before Raven travels parallel to the ground. This means that while raven is traveling parallel, he is completely locked into a forward trajectory which is very easy for the opponent to anti-air or Blitz against. While Raven can call out 6P attempts with j.K while locked into parallel momentum glide, other anti airs need to be baited via glide cancel to reach the ground in a diagonal manner
- Glide Cancelling
Glide must be cancelled at a certain jump height by using an air normal before Raven begins to travel parallel to the ground, allowing him to recover grounded. Glide Cancels are used in Raven's Okizeme mixup game for high/lows. Raven generally cannot use glide cancels to change his trajectory from an IADAn 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., though whiffing a j.P can allow IAD glide to bait some wakeup options at longer spacings. In addition to pressure mixups, Glide cancels are also useful in neutral to greatly vary Raven's approach options and prevent the opponent from freely anti-airing him. It's an especially useful technique to complement his invulnerable forward dash for closing in on opponents.
To perform a Glide cancel, simply perform a forward airdash to initiate glide near the peak of Raven's normal jump height, then press any air normal (besides j.2K) as he is travelling diagonally towards the ground. Note that the glide itself has a startup, so you must delay the normal until after Raven begins moving forward.
- Glide Cancel j.HGuardHigh/AirStartup9Recovery21Advantage- is typically used for mixups, as its high recovery when done from a lower-than-peak height will cause it to whiff.
- Glide Cancel j.KGuardHigh/AirStartup8Recovery12Advantage- can be used to beat out low profile or 6P attempts. j.S can also be used for this if glide cancelling diagonally, though j.K will hit much deeper on more horizontal approaches.
- Glide Cancel j.PGuardHigh/AirStartup6Recovery8Advantage- is the fastest and least risky glide cancel option, typically used strictly for movement, falling quickly to the ground from an air RC in combos, or landing early from an IAD to bait wakeup options.
Using forward dash
Raven's unique forward dash is an important part of his gameplan that compliments his long range normals and unique airdash. It's fully invulnerable from frames 10-26 and rapidly accelerates from one of the slowest run speeds in the game to one of the fastest - the visual effect is similar to a teleport, but he can't pass through opponents. Because it counts a normal run, he can cancel out of it at any time just like most other characters: FD braking, attacking, jumping, etc.
With practice, Raven can run through projectiles and pokes easily, allowing him to apply pressure from much longer distances than usual. Being able to consistently dash > throw, or dash > poke can scare opponents into sitting still without forcing Raven to take much risk as FD braking is always a safe option from forward dash.
On the other hand, Raven's initial dash speed is pitifully slow. That slowness combined with his poor up-close frame data means that Raven cannot simply abuse plus on block buttons like Sol or Leo for pressure: he must use his disjointed attacks and distance-based frame traps to discourage opponents from jumping or mashing.
An example of using Forward Dash's invincibility to phase through a projectile for a huge counterhit punish
Raven's role in neutral is very contextual and matchup-dependant. Against characters with shorter range, he prefers to play somewhat of a keepout game to control their movement on the ground with his long range normals and zone with Needle. Against characters that can match his range (such as Faust), Raven's approach is more of a neutral footsies plan to try and whiff punish, leading to a slower match pace. The goal will generally be to convert stray hits into knockdowns whenever possible, usually from Scratch.
While IADAn 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. glide may seem very tempting to use in neutral as it rapidly closes distance and gives Raven some of his most rewarding combo damage alongside being a strong pressure starter on block, it's a very linear and predictable approach and thus it is very important for Raven to vary his glide cancels to change his approach angles in order to be less predictable or mess with the opponent's anti air timing/attempts (For example, doing a "triangle jump" by performing a high airdash into j.H, landing and using 2H to counterhit an opponent that tried to react to the glide with an anti air). Being careless with spamming Glide will also allow opponents to just outright jump over it, forcing Raven to fly into the corner.
Round Start Options
Raven has a suite of pretty solid Round Start options that can be hard for many characters to deal with. Walking back and reacting to the opponent is always a strong option to try to get a read on the opponent's general behavior as Raven has a suite of strong tools to respond to the opponent's tendencies. Once opponents are conditioned to respect the safe and fast options, Raven can leverage slower options or even AA command grab to call out jumps on read.
A safe roundstart option thanks to its reach, speed, and large disjoint. It's a good "check" that usually only loses to faster moves that also hit at roundstart range or low profile moves. Should it hit, Raven doesn't get much reward unless it's a counterhit, which can combo into 2D. Otherwise, on regular hit or block, Raven can start basic pressure sequences or keep distance using Needle.
Both moves share the same startup and complement eachother well. 2S is one of Raven's most potent roundstart options - it acts as a pseudo low profile, has a huge disjoint, and combos into 2H on counter hit. A great go-to option against characters that don't have a button fast enough or with enough reach to counterattack Raven out of it. 2D is similar in application, however it's far less disjointed and thus prone to trading or being counterhit itself, but has additional range and combos universally into Scratch on counterhit. Where 2D shines over 2S is on normal hit - it knocks down and allows Raven to begin his okizeme game right off the bat. It also covers 2S' minor weakness to fast low profile moves as 2D hits all the way to the ground. Notably, both options also hit low enough to beat round start 6P attempts that would trump his other long standing pokes.
Neither option is foolproof however as at 9 frames they are a bit on the slower side and don't catch jumpouts.
High risk high reward option. Generally only done as a hard read to beat out characters that prefer to start with a low-reaching poke like Venom 2SGuardMidStartup6Recovery19Advantage-7 and then convert into a glide string for high damage and corner carry. Great at catching backdashes with longer recoveries as it will chase and meaty them. Establishes solid pressure if the opponent simply blocks as well, though the risk lies in the slow startup and airborne state that allows a defensive or patient opponent to blow Raven up for half his health with their ground to air or anti air combos of choice.
- Backwards jump
A somewhat safe option that can be used as an alternative to back walk in order to watch what the opponent's actions are; if they whiff a long recovery button (like Sol 6HGuardMidStartup17Recovery26Advantage-10) then Raven can punish with a glide. If they approach or use an advancing move that whiffs against airborne opponents, Raven can then respond with j.D knockdown into j.236H for meaty orb pressure. Don't abuse jumping back at round start as it's also prone to getting anti aired or air grabbed.
A risky but good option to opt for once in a while, especially against opponents that like to press buttons at roundstart. Its 5F startup makes it tied for Raven's fastest move with 4P, allowing it to armor through the majority of common roundstart options in the game. While the reward isn't offense or pressure for Raven, it does rapidly jumpstart his excitement more than any other option can (should he absorb hits) which can allow him to snowball and quickly close out a game. Do not attempt this frequently, especially against more passive opponents, as they can react to it and run up grab to set up okizeme on Raven.
Midrange is generally where Raven shines the most, leveraging his strong ranged pokes to control the opponent's ground movement, forcing them into airborne approaches where he can make use of his strong suite of anti airs. f.SGuardMidStartup10Recovery16Advantage-10, 2SGuardMidStartup9Recovery15Advantage-5, and 5PGuardMidStartup7Recovery10Advantage-6 are all safe pokes to use in neutral with excellent range for their speed, and 2HGuardLowStartup15Recovery25Advantage-12, while slower, is by far Raven's longest range grounded normal. The sheer reach of 2H and the fact that it can combo into a knockdown on hit via ScratchGuardMidStartup17Recovery31Advantage-3 often leads to opponents preferring to jump a lot against Raven to not have to deal with it at all.
It's important to not overuse 2H as it has enormously long whiff recovery at 45 frames allows for the opponent to IADAn 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 punish.
While his normals are suited for playing midrange, Raven often struggles to convert into anything off of them should they hit normally at longer ranges, though they can be used to start approaching via jump cancel glides or NeedleGuardAllStartup13Recovery36 + landing 12Advantage-9 YRCs. On block, f.S/2S > Scratch is still a solid blockstring that leaves Raven back in the midrange. On counter hit or crouching hit however, f.S and 2S will confirm into 2H or Scratch to secure good damage, excitement, and a knockdown.
In matchups where Raven prefers to try to brute force his way into close range, he can use Glide cancels, Forward dash, and Needle YRC > 66 to make his way in. The latter option also serves as an excellent whiff punish as it can convert into a glide combo from nearly fullscreen should the needle hit, but be wary of frequently relying on it as a gap-closing option, as the opponent can react to and 6P through the needle, hitting Raven's glide. This can be somewhat circumvented by gliding in with an immediate j.K, which hits low enough to beat most 6Ps in the game at horizontal glide height.
- Air Needle YRC Mixup
Similarly to grounded needle YRC glide, Raven can air needle YRC glide cancel as a mix-up to his approach or escape. The timing of the glide cancel depends on your angle of approach. Off of the the P needle variant, perform an early glide cancel to approach and combo or pressure off the needle, and perform a late or no glide cancel to cross over the opponent. Off the K needle variant, perform a late glide cancel to approach with the needle. Varying the timing of the glide cancel controls how many overhead hits Raven will connect with before landing.
While Raven can employ somewhat of an effective zoning game with Ground NeedleGuardAllStartup13Recovery36 + landing 12Advantage-9 and Air NeedlesGuardAllStartup21RecoveryTotal 45 + landing 8Advantage-4, which are very direct and cover great angles, they do very little damage. As such, their purpose lies more checking the opponent's movement, to frustrate them, or to disrupt their setups if they prefer to play at longer ranges. Thanks to the slow effect on hit, they can be especially effective against characters who normally rely on fast movement options to get around Raven's strong normals. YRCing Needle in a grounded projectile battle can allow Raven to punish the opponent's projectile recovery if both projectiles clash and get erased, as gliding in from the RC is usually fast enough to reach the opponent before they finish recovering. Be advised that this will fail against higher projectile levels like Leo'sGuardAllStartup10Recovery36(46T)Advantage-8 or if the opponent also RCs back.
2H's long range makes it a solid zoning option against shorter ranged characters who don't have incredible speed, such as Slayer and Leo. It's also quite good at counter-zoning since it will low profile enemy projectiles and counterhit them for an easy Scratch confirm.
Against characters with linear approaches, Raven can opt to control a large portion of the screen with OrbGuardAllStartup71RecoveryTotal:46Advantage+30 which will force characters to approach in alternate ways in order to get around it. A common tactic is also to use StanceGuard-Startup-RecoveryTotal 29Advantage- after deploying the Orb in order to safely gain excitement and goad the enemy opponent into approaching in matchups where both characters prefer to play midrange. Be aware however that while an orb is deployed, Raven cannot use Needles and vice versa.
Another concept that may be a somewhat unintuitive idea of Zoning is jumping backwards. From a back jump, Raven can leverage j.DGuardHigh/AirStartup8Recovery18 + landing 5Advantage- to score knockdowns against approaching opponents regardless of whether they are airborne or grounded, then cancelling into air Orb for a meaty projectile. Other air options include Needles, which, (much like grounded Needles) can be confirmed into a combo with RC. Being airborne can also allow Raven to snipe air approaches with his j.S, from which he can land and rejump for a combo on counterhit if the opponent is close enough to the ground. The biggest reward for taking the "back jump zoning" approach however lies in reacting to the opponent's whiffed moves with a Glide, swooping in for a strong punish.
While Raven's anti airs can be powerful, they often require more precision to make proper use of compared to most characters. Note that all grounded normals can confirm into anti air command grab on counter hit.
The universal anti air. Raven's 6P has an incredible vertical hitbox but suffers from an extremely short active time and is the second worst in the game in terms of recovery. While it has a great vertical reach for swatting opponents out of the air above Raven, it doesn't combo into anything on normal air hit unless the opponent is low to the ground, where Raven can gatling into c.S(1) or f.S and jump cancel into air combo. On counter hit, it usually combos into AA command grab (63214S). This even works grounded as 6P CH will pop grounded opponents into the air - though 6P's lack of horizontal reach makes relying on 6P has a counterpoke ill advised unless close to the opponent.
A strong but precise option, use with care.
A standing kick with surprisingly high vertical reach. Good for hitting enemies above raven and slightly in front of him. It's jump cancellable unlike 6P, but since it's not disjointed at all it tends to trade which can end unfavorably for Raven if the opponent jumps in with an H button. Still a good option to use to cover an angle that Raven's usually more vulnerable from since his other grounded normals are much more linear, and 5K is much safer on whiff than 6P. It is also Raven's most active grounded anti air normal at 7 frames.
A bit of a middle ground between 5K and 6P. It doesn't hit as high as either of the previous two options, but it is completely disjointed and actually safer than 5K on whiff. Jump cancellable as well, which lets Raven "catch" falling opponents with a 5P and jump cancel into an air combo. This is Raven's overall safest anti air normal but can be tricky to confirm into a combo due to low hitstun.
Covers a decent angle in front of Raven and shrinks his hurtbox somewhat, making it great for swatting low IAD approaches out of the air. While it's probably his most rewarding anti air on hit, it also carries a ton of risk in being one of his worst normals recovery wise on whiff.
While it's highly rewarding should it connect, it's rather slow and very whiff punishable. Use only as a hard read on obvious IADs (such as from a blocked Scratch) or against telegraphed airborne move approaches (like Sol's Riot StompGuardHigh/AirStartup10 after reaching wallRecovery5 after landing/
5 landing recoveryAdvantage+6)
A great, fast, and safe air to air which can be easily confirmed into full air combos. Strong go to option when other normals wouldn't reach an opponent in the air above Raven.
Alternative air to air option over j.P for opponents that are horizontally spaced outside the range of Raven's other air normals. At long ranges, only combos into Scratch. Good for sniping air retreats, and on air counter counter hit low enough to the ground, the increased untech time allows Raven to rejump for a full air combo.
4P is Raven's fastest normal and only traditional "jab" equivalent. It has great reach for its speed and is frequently used to mash out of pressure - its great gatling routes also allow it to reliably combo into Raven's ground strings. 2P is one frame slower but has long reach for its speed at the cost of being rather high for a crouching normal, making it lose against low profile options and a lot of 6Ps, though the fact that it's crouching makes it a bit more stable than 4P.
Occasionally used for mashing out of pressure due to being Raven's fastest low, beating out options that would cause 4P and 2P to whiff. Easy to confirm into a knockdown from all distances into 2D.
While not a mash option, 2S's very long disjoint allows it to be a good counterpoke after pushing opponents out of their preferred range with FD during their blockstrings. Forcing a whiff and scoring a 2S Counter or crouching hit allows Raven to then combo into 2H > Scratch for a knockdown. On normal hit, he can 2D, though it will whiff at longer ranges.
Stance (214KGuard-Startup-RecoveryTotal 29Advantage-) is an important defensive tool for Raven as he lacks any other form of invincible reversal option. At a very fast 5 frame startup, Stance can be used to get out of frametrap situations (especially from an instant block) where he will absorb a hit and increase his excitement. While the opponent is normally free to continue to cancel attacks due to being in hitstop, Raven can actually YRC stance after absorbing a punish, allowing him to keep the opponent stuck in their hitstop and score punishes in situations that are normally safe for the opponent, such as Sol's FafnirGuardMidStartup18Recovery12Advantage+2 or moves that are usually impossible to punish, such as May's Horizontal DolphinGuardAllStartup5Recovery6+5 After LandingAdvantage-4 recovery leaving her only slightly minus on block but very far away while being in counterhit recovery and airborne.
Stance YRC can also be used as preemptive anti-air against moves that are normally very difficult to contest. After stance YRCing a jump-in that isn't too close to the ground to land quickly, since the opponent is in hitstop and airborne, Raven can get a nearly foolproof 6P counterhit into AA command grab for 6 excitement ticks and good combo.
See Raven's Matchup Page for specific applications of Stance YRC.
Escaping the corner
Since Raven's IAD has him swoop parallel to the ground before moving forward, it can be very challenging to escape the corner against characters that use long range active moves or slow projectiles that are normally "countered" by IADing to keep their opponents cornered, such as Sol's GunflameGuardAllStartup20RecoveryTotal 50Advantage-4. As such, it's often easier for opponents to air throw him on jump out attempts or anti air him as he tries to escape. If the opponent is being too predictable with their projectiles however, Raven can use his invincible forward dash to get out and often score a counterhit if the opponent doesn't Roman Cancel their recovery.
Some other options can include j.D to knock the opponent down after beating their anti air attempt, or Stance to get out of a blockstring, but it's most important to learn the opponent's options in order to understand the gaps in their pressure and utilize universal system mechanics like Blitz and FD to stop pressure.
One "Trick" Raven can use is to superjump j.236P and YRC, allowing him to glide out of the corner at a height that is usually fairly safe. This can be beaten reliably if the opponent is prepared for it, so it's important to not overuse this option.
Since all of his normals (except c.SGuardMidStartup8Recovery12Advantage+2) and all of his special cancels are minus on block and will end Raven's pressure (especially against opponents that can reliably Instant Block) Raven's close range pressure relies on representing a suite of options that are taxing on the opponent's mental stack in order to cause hesitation and create openings from them. His close range pressure relies on leveraging his long cancel windows to stagger normals, keeping the opponent blocking and fishing for hits, attempting tick throws into his comboable normal grab, or threatening special cancel options like his highly rewarding command grab or safe on block options in Needle and Scratch, both of which can combo on RC or buy more pressure on block if Raven decides to spend the meter.
Raven's Glide strings are generally very free-flowing. You have a variety of ways to mix-up your opponent and make them guess on how to defend, making Glide a heavy threat against a guarding opponent.
- j.S, j.H(2): One of the more damaging strings should it hit. j.H(3) does more damage but is unsafe on block.
- j.S, j.P, j.S: Easy to confirm into Glide Scratch, great for corner carry, hits all characters crouching.
- j.S, j.P, j.H(1): One of the most versatile and reliable glide strings. The high blockstun of ending with j.H(1) leaves Raven approximately +10, but also pushes him back. You can also delay the H long enough to have it whiff and get a grab/2K, and if you only slightly delay j.H, it'll catch people mashing too early. Its main weakness is there is a gap if the j.P is IBed
- j.P, j.S, j.H(1): Similar to the above string but is completely gapless even on IB and still leaves Raven plus on block in exchange for less mixup potential.
- j.K, j.S, j.H: Raven's odd "Glide snap" string. j.H doesn't hit and causes Raven to quickly land, so you can grab or go low with 2K. Use carefully, because the opponent will recover first, allowing them to grab Raven before 2K connects.
- j.K, j.S, j.P: Fake 2 hits into grab w/ late overhead. Hard to confirm into anything besides 2P/4P. j.P's low blockstun also makes this pretty effective for tick throw attempts
- j.K. j.S, j.D: Leaves you close to the opponent. Knockdowns if the second hit of j.D connects, but it can be canceled into his grounded normals when timed properly
- ... > j.P > j.236S will counterhit and launch opponents mashing throw.
- Glide, delay j.K, anything will beat people mashing 6P or grab.
Once they're afraid to mash grab/6P after Glide, you can do:
- Glide hit, nothing, Grab
- String into j.P as a second hit, do not perform a third, Grab
It's good to run through each of these strings at least once to see how the opponent will react to them in terms of IB/FD/Grabbing/Mashing. After landing, you can connect many of Raven's normals, the most common being c.S and 2K, though 2P/4P will be the most reliable due to their speed. Be aware that if Raven delays glide buttons too much, a savvy opponent will be able to Blitz any followups.
On top of all the Glide strings, Raven can opt to end with Glide Scratch which, unlike regular air scratch, will leave him slightly minus or even on block depending on the previous normals used in the string. With the slight pushback, this can still be an advantageous situation for raven as he can outrange the oppponent's abareAn attack during the opponent's pressure, intended to interrupt it. attempts with a disjointed normal. Should the glide scratch actually hit, Raven then gets to run Oki, or, if in the corner, confirm into a combo that also leads into oki.
Once the opponent is respecting Raven's other options, attempting a pressure reset with IADAn 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. glide off of Raven's jump cancelled grounded S or H normals can be an effective way to try to goad them into making a mistake and pressing buttons. Note that in most situations, Glide resets leave a mashable gap that is vulnerable to most 5P and 2P mashes.
A sample blockstring of 2K > 5P > (2K > 5Pomit this if the opponent is FDing) > f.S > jc IAD opens up a few options for Raven as a reset:
- Gliding j.K hits low enough from IAD glide to beat most 6Ps in the game, including Slayer'sGuardMidStartup18Recovery14Advantage-1.
- Gliding j.S will hit the opponent as soon as possible out of the glide reset, allowing a pseudo frametrap if the opponent reacted late with a non 6P button (or actually connect as a whiff punish if their button was too fast) and keeping pressure going should they stay blocking
- Otherwise Raven can opt for any of the string options listed above / simply go for a tick throw. Note that the gap on the reset is wide, so it's important to condition the opponent to respect f.S's other cancel options such as the 2H frametrap.
Blockstring Mixups & Frametraps
As a rule of thumb, starting from point-blank range, 2 hits will leave Raven at command grab range (c.S is somewhat inconsistent with this). Both hits of c.S and 5H are almost functionally identical when it comes to combos and mix-ups. For c.S, both hits combo into 2H, and for c.S and 5H, both hits (of the respective move) have the same amount of blockstun and are jump-cancellable.
(5P) > f.S > 2H > 236S
2H serves as both a low and a frametrap. The string of f.S > 2H has a 2-frame gap in the blockstun, so it will catch even the fastest mashed normals plus jumps. 5P > f.S also has a 1-frame gap in the blockstun which can come in handy. Cancelling into 63214H at any point in this blockstring will grab opponents who are over-respecting the other cancel options.
(2K) > 5P > f.S > IAD > Glide String
Hits opponents who over-respect 2H by crouch blocking too long. Even if the opponent doesn’t get hit, a blocked glide is a a very good situation for Raven as it leads to several more strong mix-ups.
5P > c.S(1 or 2) > 2H > 236S
While this is not exactly a mixup string by itself as c.S(2) > 2H is a true blockstring with no gap, the 2H will still catch people stand-blocking or trying to jump. Where this string's mixup opportunities come in is from c.S due to the fact that it's Raven's only plus normal. If the opponent is respecting the 2H or plus frames, Raven can opt to go for an IAD reset from c.S or a walk up throw. The high blockstun and variable number of hits from c.S also make this a suitable place to attempt to use 5D as a mixup option, since it's safe on block to boot. Once an opponent is respecting all of the above options, Raven can opt to cancel into command grab.
Be cautious that a c.S that is not used close enough to the opponent can be FDed out on the first hit, causing the second to whiff which gives the opponent a devastating counterhit punish. c.S(1) being IBed also allows the opponent to throw Raven before the second hit starts up, so it's important to not be predictable with c.S.
6P > c.S(1 or 2) > 5H(1-2) > IAD > Glide String
Great RISC building string. If you use c.S(2), only one hit of 5H will connect.
6P > c.S(1 or 2) > 2H (> 2D) > 236S
A dash-in variation of the above string as you can only connect with both c.S(2) and 2D if you dashed in to start this. In most cases, use c.S(1) or omit 2D to keep the blockstring as stable as possible. If you choose to use c.S(2), you get two IAD points in your blockstring. If you choose to use 2D, you keep the option of two lows and the frame trap between 2D and Scratch.
2K > Throw
Works very well against opponents who are respecting 2K > 2D or other blockstrings from 2K. Use dash 2K to make the tick throw as seamless as possible.
2K (> 5P > 2K > 5P) (xN) > Block/Hit/Crouch Confirm or IAD
2K’s ability to reverse-gatling back into 5P can be used to great effect to cancel back and forth between 2K and 5P as many times as you want in a string, as long as you will reach, thus keeping your combo and blockstring options open. This string is extremely good for confirming whether your opponent is blocking or getting hit, since it provides you with many low-commitment hits which can all go into the same options. If you confirm during the string that the opponent is getting hit, you can cancel any of the hits into 2D for a KD or a 2D scratch combo. If you confirm that they are blocking, you can route into any blockstring you are comfortable with, such as 2K > 5P > 2K > 2S > 2H > 236P.
In addition, since 2K is only -1 on block, you can use this string to set up the 2K tick throw that was mentioned above. Where the 2K > 5P string really shines though is its ability to let you confirm both whether the opponent is being hit and whether they are being hit while crouching. If you confirm that the opponent is hit crouching, you can use a more damaging confirm, such as 2K > 5P > (2K) > f.S > 2H > 236S.
Using Meter in Blockstrings
Raven's use of meter in blockstrings is usually to either rebuy pressure, push opponents towards the corner on block, or force a mixup situation.
- Blocked Scratch RRC
Scratch is a very common safe blockstring ender when the opponent isn't opened up by any of Raven's mixup options. Its massive blockstun allows Raven to force another mixup if he RRCs, giving enough time to perform a forward jump and glide cancelling for a high/low. Alternatively, he can dash directly into the opponent or perform an IAD glide to both pressure and push them into the corner. This is generally only worth spending the tension on if the opponent is low on life and Raven only needs one or two good hits to close out the round, or when playing against a slippery character that Raven has a hard time controlling in neutral, like Chipp, Jam, and Millia.
- Needle YRC
Like its use in neutral, needle YRC is also an effective "pressure re-buy" when cancelled out of a blockstring. The needle leaves Raven airborne, so you can glide in after it, and you can convert off the needle if it hits the opponent. Make sure there is a gap in the blockstring by the time you throw the needle so that you can YRC it instead of RRC. While Raven can call out 6Ps with j.K at certain spacings, beware of other invincible moves that will go through the needle and hit him.
Other options from Needle YRC include 2H and 2K.
- 2H catches opponents who preemptively try to stand-block or 6P a potential glide after the YRC. This option is somewhat reactable.
- Land 2K must be very close to the opponent after the YRC. The needle puts Raven airborne, so it’s great for baiting and punishing grab attempts. The YRC also heavily messes with reversal timings, and if you YRC preemptively enough, it will let you block and punish successful reversals. This string is much harder to react to than Needle YRC 2H pressure, but it’s still fuzzyable.
- Air orb YRC
Generally done from a blocked air string ending in sufficient pushback, or from a jump cancel into j.D, the YRC allows Raven to go for a mixup via Glide/Land and dash in/Land and IAD/etc. YRC keeps you safe if you accidentally j.D > Air orb on an opponent’s block, and it also lets the orb reset pressure if the opponent is hesitant to escape. This option is somewhat reactable.
- H command grab YRC/PRC
A bit of a gimmicky option, but sees some use. When an opponent is frequently jumping out of command grab attempts out of blockstrings, Raven can opt to burn meter on an H command grab RC in order to scare them into jumping and immediately go for an S command grab to catch them out of the air. This is difficult to escape, especially in the corner - the main countermeasure is air blitz as AA command grab is an unblockable strike rather than a grab.
Using Glide as a Safejump
Known as Safeglide, this is typically done off of as grounded Scratch knockdown, where Raven can perform a Safejump via IADAn 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. Glide - timed correctly, gliding j.H will cause only one hit (usually the final hit) of to connect against a blocking/mashing opponent but whiff against reversals, allowing Raven to land and block. On both hit or block, j.H(1) will link gaplessly into c.S for combos or any of the solid blockstring mixups listed above.
The timing of the j.H varies depending on spacing and the opponent's character wakeup time. While this safeglide can be performed from anywhere on the screen, its timing highly varies depending on Raven's spacing relative to the opponent, the position on the screen, and from which attack the Scratch was performed from.
For more applications of Safeglide, see Raven's Okizeme Page
- Safeglide Throw OS
- j.H(1) > 6H+S
Throws the opponent out of a safeglide setup should they take a throw-vulnerable action that would beat c.S, such as Baiken's Azami.
- Safeglide Backdash OS
- j.H(1) > 4 S+4
Connects into c.S on block and backdashes if j.H(1) whiffs. Timing is precise, input the second 4 when c.S would normally connect. Very useful against DPs, especially if the opponent has 50 tension to RRC or against Sin who can special cancel it on block
- c.S Burst OS
- c.S(1)~871~c.S(2) > 1H
Requires precise timing. Automatically jumps and blocks a burst on c.S hit and combos into 2H should they not burst. Can also be done with 4H instead of 1H in order to get a 5H. It's important to input the up directions at the same time the second hit of c.S would connect in order to not accidentally jump cancel from the first hit. This same OS can also be used to automatically throw a burst by inputting 8/96H or 8/94H instead of 871H
- Stance Super OS
- 5H > 214[K]214H
Mostly used after a level 3 command grab, Raven can connect with 5H and special cancel into stance -> stab super to combo on raw hit while also automatically absorbing a burst via stance.
A more complete list of Raven's hitboxes can be found in the following Imgur album. Consult them when considering how to poke/counterpoke with or against him.
Beating Stance (214K)
If Raven is holding the stance in neutral, you can usually run up and throw him if he doesn't have meter to RC it. While Raven is in his super armored stance, similarly to Potemkin's Hammer FallGuardMidStartup18Recovery33Advantage-16, you can YRC when he absorbs an attack and you can even throw him if he's absorbing a projectile! Raven is also completely vulnerable to unblockable attacks during stance.
Dealing with Needle YRC
Needle YRC is a frequently used "neutral skip" option by less experienced Raven players, and a common pressure reset out of Raven's blockstrings. Generally, most characters can simply react to the YRC and jump+FD or IAD out before the needle reaches them. Do not attempt a backdash in most cases, as the needle will cover it. If needle YRC is thrown in neutral and not out of a blockstring, then most characters can simply 6P and beat the approaching Raven if he chose to Glide from it, unless he calls out the 6P attempt with gliding j.K.
If the Raven tends to always airdash forward after needle YRC, holding Blitz is also a generally foolproof option in beating it.
Dealing with Scratch in blockstrings
While Scratch may seem like a very obnoxious and safe ender at first, it tends to leave a small gap on block between it and the preceding normal, especially at lower excitement levels and on instant block. This gap allows for a blitz attempt, but the best countermeasure is generally IBing his H normals to widen the gap and then jumping out, which will cause Scratch to whiff and allow you to punish Raven as it has very long whiff recovery. The gap can also allow you to use an invulnerable reversal through it should Raven be close enough.
If Raven is using ... > 2D > 236S as a blockstring, you can jump out after 2D for an IAD punish against Scratch's long recovery even without instant blocking, which also works against 2D > 236P depending on your character's airdash speed