Mai is a versatile character with long-range normals, high mobility, and a strong assist set. She primarily makes use of her range and her spear toss that she can redirect at the opponent to control the neutral game and set the pace of the match. Mai can play both aggressively or defensively depending on the opponent’s characters, and even change playstyle mid-match if needed. She can also serve as a team’s point or assist depending on her teammate. However, her solo mixup game is very basic, consisting mostly of simple high/low/throw safejump setups and blockstring stagger/pressure resets, though she can easily help set up sandwich situations for her partner through the use of her excellent reversal, even mid-blockstring. Mai will typically make use of her strong neutral to force her opponents into uncomfortable situations and punish their commitments.
Drive: Gallia Sphyras - Exseal
Mai's Drive is to aim and throw her spear. While thrown, she can change it's trajectory and home in on the opponent no matter on hit or miss.
Decent fast attack, but doesn’t see much use compared to 2A. It does have better proration than 2A, so it has use in combos where the frame data is required for pickups, such as after grounded 236C in the corner. Jump cancellable on block.
4AA helps give time to hitconfirm into a normal route, if needed. Also jump cancellable on block.
4AAA is generally not used.
4AAAA is generally not used. Does not loop in the corner like BBCF 5B[B]6A.
Mai’s go-to ground poke. Good range and damage, also the typical punish starter as it has the best scaling. Difficult to convert at max range because 2B will whiff.
5AA has great range, but locked behind 5A as an autocombo route so it cannot be used to poke like in BBCF. Gets good damage after a 5A, but be careful if 5A hits farther away as this move can push the opponent out of range of her 2B follow-up in a combo. Slightly worse proration, try to avoid this move in longer combos to maximize damage, but good to use in shorter ones.
5AAA is a multi-hit combo filler and blockstring tool. Generally skipped in combos in favor of 2B, but provides a wide buffer for reacting to situations. Has many hits if not immediately cancelled, so it can help with waiting to adjust to a further spacing; useful for measuring out a 236A tipper on block.
Autocombo ender, try to avoid going for 5AAAA when possible in favor of better routes, but it does serve as a higher damage ender than 5AAA 236A/B. 236A is better on block, especially if spaced out to a tipper to stay safe.
Hold the button to charge the spear, it will do more damage and provide more knockback. Also, the toss can be angled while charging by holding up or down, though if done so mid-charge it will reset the charge timer. Very high speed, forces the opponent to respond to it. Can dominate matchups against less mobile characters.
Press B again after launching the spear to redirect it. This will aim at the direction of the opponent’s location the instant the button is pressed, but it won’t lock on and home in on them. Useful in combos, can be delayed to adjust for knockback distance/direction. Can be combo'd from at closer ranges on a counterhit or if charged.
A very long range Crash Assault, relatively quick but also very visible. Can be used in blockstrings to catch opponents off guard, especially after conditioning them to block low due to the reach of her 2C, and it isn't a huge risk as it's safe on block. Trading with a Crash Assault renders the opponent intangible while they are recovering from the stagger; Mai recovers much faster than her opponent and can pass through the opponent by running or using Juncture.
Mai’s fastest normal. A good ground poke, but with poor damage scaling as is typical for 2A moves. Can confirm into 5A for a standard combo route.
An excellent anti-air hitbox, but only gains head invulnerability at 7f. Leads into many combos and is also used as her mid-combo launch tool. Jump cancellable on block. If chained into 5C on block, it will trade with 8f moves, causing the intangible state. Very vulnerable on whiff, so don’t miss.
A two-part sweep, it has long range, the second hit even bigger than the first, and can be cancelled after the first hit as well. No real options to combo from, only cancelling into Juncture or Moon Blossom, so Mai usually requires an assist to convert from using this as a starter. Can also be used as an ender to set up a safejump.
Amazing air-to-ground tool with a wide hitbox. Good for jump-ins, can crossup when spaced properly, which can also be used to start Cross Combo pressure.
j.AA is primarily aerial combo filler, but it has very little endlag, and can be used in blockstrings into an airdash jAA for surprising the opponent with extra overheads they may not be expecting.
Mostly identical to the grounded 5B, although the spear does charge a bit slower. Can be cancelled into Moon Blossom on block, but good aim is required.
Unlike jB, the spear's redirect can NOT be cancelled on block, Mai cannot take any action until she lands and is very vulnerable, be careful when using this in neutral without an assist.
A new move to Mai in BBTAG, it uses her BBCF airthrow hit animation. Very long range poke with an excellent disjoint, but isn’t an overhead, and has somewhat slow startup. High damage aerial combo tool when possible in routes, usually in the corner, but mind the startup as it may drop the combo. Good for meaties, and useful for surprising the opponent in assist situations where Mai is far away, as she can still tag the opponent with it while Active Switching. Has a lot of blockstun, leaving Mai +11f if done immediately after jumping.
A great throw, confirms easily into 214~B for a strong combo. The move's animation can be cancelled with Juncture or Moon Blossom as soon as the hit occurs.
One of the best reversals in the game with excellent horizontal reach. The assist+reversal tactic was nerfed in BBTAG v1.5, where if an assist is entering the battle, a reversal will lose its reversal properties and become a normal attack, except that being hit after using it will still lock her out of bursting. Mai can still make use of this with assists that have longer startup, such as Yumi 6P or Waldstein 6P, to avoid this penalty. Certain assists can also set up a sandwich against your opponent if blocked if they last long enough to leave Mai plus on block after her DP, such as Vatista 5P — if done close to the opponent, Mai will crossup, a very useful situation in a blockstring as losing the DP properties won’t matter in those situations. Can also be used at the end of combos in the corner such as relaunch 2A 5A 2B A+D to set up a safejump, as hitting your opponent when they are higher in the air gives Mai more frame advantage compared to hitting a grounded opponent.
Has brief invulnerability at the start of the move. If A+D is used as a combo ender in the right situation, it may be better to not use the followup in order to allow for a safejump.
Has brief invulnerability at the start of the move. It can also be used as an aerial combo ender for additional corner carry, but it does not add much extra distance compared to 214B and does not enable a safejump because of the longer ending lag after landing. It can also be buffered after Moon Blossom to invuln through long periods of time and potentially avoid attacks such as an opposing reversal.
A quick dash forward. Can be used to cancel other moves such as 2C, can be chained into itself, provides the threat of Himeyuri, and can retain momentum if cancelled into a jump on hit with 2369, giving her extended horizontal distance. Versatile but unsafe, be careful with it the opponent can hit her out of it if she doesn't opt for Himeyuri. Juncture can be cancelled with attacks 7 frames before the move actually ends, making pressure resets such as 2A or throw more effective than jumping or blocking afterwards, though this is an option primarily when the opponent is respecting the threat of Himeyuri.
236A/B Juncture -> A/B
One of Mai’s signature moves. A very fast lunge that travels a short distance, and is safe on block. Inputting the move as 236~A instead of 236A will grant extra distance from Juncture, at the cost of lower damage. When striking with the very tip of the hitbox, it improves the hitstun and blockstun, although it does not let her convert solo. 5AAA can be used to measure out a 236A tipper to retain safety.
Similar to 236A, 236B is a fast lunge that travels roughly 3/4ths of the screen, it also does more damage than 236A and is safer on block with a tipper at ±0f. Can also be used to cross under airborne opponents.
214 (Air OK)
A backflip with many more uses than just a movement option. It has foot and throw invuln at 1f, and full invuln from 6f to 15f. Additionally, because of the movement, it can also be used to solo punish bursts on reaction with Suzuran. It can also cancel from aerials, and can lead into other moves if holding forward while pressing the button (input as 2146X in the air) to prevent the use of Suzuran in favor of other attacks.
214A/B Moon Blossom -> A/B
A version is a vertical diving stab that can be empowered by slightly delaying the input as 214~A, adding a second ground splash hit that pops the opponent up and allows for a combo, or is plus on block to gain the advantage. Be careful, as an opponent can block this move in the air if they see this coming, which will avoid the grounded hit and cause the move to become unsafe. If hitting the opponent in the air by initiating the attack when under them, it reduces the time Mai takes to land on the ground by a few frames, which she can use to pick up the opponent off the ground with a 2A. This can be achieved by slightly delaying her jAs when needed to manually adjust her microspacing.
B version is an angled diving stab mostly identical to 214A, primarily used in combos due to the extra reach over 214A.
236C Juncture -> C
Dashes slightly further than 236B, and is +5f on block with a tipper, though still slightly plus without one. Considerable corner carry distance, and can be combo’d off of in the corner with either 4A or 2A if the opponent was grounded, 5A and 2B also being able to combo if the opponent was airborne (if already hitting the opponent, 2C 236C is an easy way to set this up). Also useful for continuing pressure in blockstrings, typically with 2A.
214C Moon Blossom -> C
Acts as an instant enhanced 214~A, this move will dive straight down and pop up the opponent to continue combos. It also has some invuln on startup as Mai jumps backwards. Very useful both midscreen and in the corner, but keep in mind that the straight downwards direction could miss the opponent if they are in a situation where 214B is necessary to connect.
Mai’s 236B, serves as a very fast, almost fullscreen poke that wallbounces on hit, allowing for very easy confirms. Very threatening in neutral and forces the opponent to respect it.
Mai’s stance projectile from BBCF, she fires two of them that travel most of the screen but stop just short of it, starting fast but slowing down as they travel. The second projectile travels further than the first. These do not form a true blockstring with each other, allowing for mixups while pressuring the opponent on block.
Mai’s 2B, provides an amazing anti-air with large range and high hitstun, making it easy to combo from.
Sylvan Hurricane Assault
Two-part reversal distortion that rises up before striking the opponent’s location. Good combo ender, empowered by Cross Combo / Resonance. Also a good punish tool thanks to the targeting, for example she can punish Jin’s Touga on reaction to the super flash. Extremely unsafe, avoid tossing it out in neutral if the opponent can block.
Floral Blizzard Blossom
Reversal distortion that dashes up to fullscreen until it connects. Frame 1 invulnerability, but doesn’t hit immediately after the super flash, so be sure to use it to punish commitments, as it won’t function identical to Yang’s Burning Gold or Azrael’s Black Hawk Stinger. If the opponent jumps over it, Mai will end up on the other side of the screen, so it can be situationally used to escape the corner. Has a deceptively small vertical hitbox, so it may whiff if attempted as a combo ender, opt for 236B+C whenever possible.
Distortion Skill Duo
Shearing Cherry Blossom Storm
P during Partner's Distortion Skill
Mai’s Distortion used exclusively when using after her partner’s Distortion, fairly standard as far as these go. Will hit both characters if comboing both. Invulnerable on startup.
New Moon Lotus
Mai’s beautiful Astral. It does have invulnerability on startup and an excellent hitbox, so it may have some use outside of comboing into it. Can easily be combo’d into from most anything, including 5A, 2C, any Suzuran, grounded close range 236A, as well as the usual throw confirm.
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