Tien's kit makes him most suitable as a means to finish an opponent due to the excellent damage scaling his supers receive. In particular, "Farewell, Chaotzu" does an astounding amount of damage at the end of any of Tien's combos. Neo Tri-Beam is his Z-Change Level 3 Super and can easily polish off an enemy given enough meter.
His normals are relatively standard, with his 5H in particular having respectable range. The armor on his Medium Volleyball Fist means that he can punish in unexpected and sudden ways, while his Heavy Volleyball Fist is a command grab that many people forget about. His mixup game in the corner is heavily dependent on Chaotzu's paralysis, so it's generally recommended to not sacrifice the little guy until Tien's job is nearly finished.
While not the role he is best-suited for, Tien's basic and special moves give him a respectable neutral game. His offense isn't as oppressive as most point characters' tend to be, therefore Tien relies more on counter play than many of the mainstream choices for the role.
Tien works alright here too, but his assist is so good he's usually better off being an anchor.
With the ability to suddenly, if not violently, finish off an opponent with a switch-in super Tien is at his best in the Anchor slot. His level 3 supers, in particular, receive some of the craziest damage scaling in the game. Very little is more nerve-wracking than seeing a full health Tien and 4+ bars of meter when you're on your last fighter!
The goal should be to give Tien the health advantage going into the late game. With a healthy amount of meter, the ability to punish and bury your enemy can create pressure on its own. Plus in Season 3.5 he got the bonus of his supers doing less damage to himself in limit break.
Tien doesn't need help getting slide knockdowns, but his damage skyrockets if you get an assist like A16 that allows him to pick up a combo off of Volleyball Fist.
- 2L/5L > 2LL/5LL > 2M > 5M > 5H > 236L > assist
Always blockstring if you can into 236L. It's a long range low and can extend into damage with an assist. If you're feeling ballsy, you can use 236M instead to plow through what ever the opponent does, but you get less damage from it if it hits.
Tips and Tricks
- 236H is a good move to use when you've conditioned your opponent to block.
- Use vanish and EX moves instead of supers for damage so you can conserve health.
- Telekinesis is an excellent oki tool, it covers all wakeups and combos on hit.
- Use guardpoints. It provides an immense amount of power to Tiens buttons and forces the opponent to play honest or make insane risks with supers.
- Please duck Chiautzu. Please.
- If he has bar and is in sparking, he will try to TK EX Vollyball Fist. Watch your dome.
- If you block any version of 214X, you can chase Tien afterwords as his options are very limited.
- If Tien is in the air, carefully consider approach. j.236X has guardpoint allowing him to easily swat away superdash or other direct attacks.
- Tien has no plus on block moves and none of his attacks truly jail into vanish. patience will force him to exhaust assists or use a special move, allowing you to take your turn or at least return to neutral.
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