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Eddie's main goal when solo is to get the shadow out. The safest way of accomplishing this is to score a knockdown. Eddie's knockdown tools are limited so you will have to find specific opportunities. You can get a knockdown with the following:
- 214[K] > 41236S
- CH 2H
- CH j.D
Aside from these options you can directly summon in neutral. When you want to risk doing this will depend a lot on the matchup as some characters won't let you get the space needed. You can also directly summon from blockstrings, however this is nearly always punishable via abare, leaving you with a dead shadow for a long time. You will need to condition the opponent to respect your blockstrings with drills in order to be able to do this.
Eddie is somewhat inherently an inconsistent character to win with. You need to not only find a way to summon, then get in without blocking anything and then open your opponent up. For this reason you have strong, hard to react to mixups and several unblockable setups and that can ensure a victory once you have momentum. Unblockables however cost a lot of Eddie meter to perform, usually leaving you to fend for yourself after your combo. Unblockable starters also have proration on them so they do not overshadow real mixups as a way to open people up.
If Shadow is dead you will have to waste time for him to recover. You can do this by running away. If you have your opponent blocking you can perform some slower blockstring options such as repressuring after close drill to waste a little extra time. 22H FRC is a very useful tool for this purpose as you have enough advantage to move forwards and force a block again. Command throw also lasts a long time, landing one can recover a large amount of the Eddie meter.
With the shadow out Eddie turns into a fully fledged character. You are now about to control a large variety of spaces. You can choose to cover two different spacings or the same spacing at different timings based on how sure you are that the opponent will occupy those spaces.
When summoning from a knockdown you are able to instantly apply pressure and mixups by alternating between Zato and Shadow attacks. You can learn more in the "blockstrings" section.
In neutral it is important to master controlling both Zato and the Shadow. You will need to be able to protect one another by denying the opponent's actions. Keep in mind blocking or getting hit while the shadow is summoned will unsummon, leaving you where you started. If the shadow itself takes a hit it will be put in a dead state and will take a long time to recover. Some general things to keep in mind are to use your movement tools to avoid blocking any zoning tools. You can use "break the law" (214K) to completely remove your hurtbox temporarily, but will leave shadow unprotected.
While the shadow is out, you can use a number of tactics to protect him, obviously keeping him outside of your opponents pokes is a good place for him. Drills are a strong part of your space control toolkit. Not only do they stop ground approaches, they put a long active hitbox in front of the shadow, protecting him from hits. Normal summon -P- has invul until the active frames and can be used as a great counterpoke. -K- reaches quite far in front of shadow and can whiff punish some poke attempts which will let you dash in and begin your strong mixup game. Vice -D- can be used to avoid some projectiles and get shadow close quickly. Your options depend a lot on the matchup.
Since you can control multiple spacings at once Eddie has a strong neutral presence. You can consider drills like a hadoken and -S- as a DP. using drills will encourage your opponents to take to the air where you can punish them with -S-. -S- does not have any invincibility but it has a strong hitbox and does not require any commitment from you. You can certainly play Zato as mainly a zoner, stray hits will add up quickly. Important to keep in mind you are on a timer with the Eddie meter. You will need to unsummon to restore it or spend meter on 236D. This can encourage players to take a lot of risks especially since Eddie meter recovery was heavily nerfed in +R. But you do not have to take those risks and can play plenty of matchups without taking many risks as you are rarely committed to options with shadow available.
The main theory behind Eddie's blockstring pressure is to mix up between summoning and drills, guessing correctly allows you to get your offensive game going which is where Eddie is strongest. Common ways into it are from 2K or 2S. Note there is no guaranteed way to get Eddie out without a knockdown, you are always risking a mash by doing this but it is often necessary to take the risk as your ways of opening people up is very limited solo.
With shadow available the general thing you will be doing is alternating between Zato actions and shadow actions to keep the opponent in a constant state of blocking. Midscreen normal summon is generally stronger and in the corner Vice summon is generally stronger.
The applications of -P- are quite varied, although the low hit/blockstun requires a lot of dexterity to be able to use effectively, generally you will want to rely on the other moves when learning but will want to graduate to using -P- to optimise. Vice -P- is stronger for blockstrings and combos because it recovers faster. You can still use normal summon -P- for it but it will require more specific timing. You can use -P- to link various things together such as 2S > -P- > 22H. On block you can -K- after and start your regular high/low mixups. On hit you get a knockdown and can dash in for strong oki. You can loop dash 5K > -P- and at any point throw in a 623S> This is a true mixup as they will have to jump to escape the throw as long as you are outside of throw range. You can also end with nobiru unsummon if you are unsuccessful to remain + block. You can also throw in a 6K once in a while, there is a gap but it is useful to do once in a while to catch people off guard. On hit you can convert with 5K > c.S > -P- 5D into an impossible dust combo to set up unblockable or you can knockdown.
Midscreen you will want to use normal summon -K- because you get much better reward for a successful mixup and it uses less Eddie meter than Vice -K-. Your basic mixup with normal summon -K- is 5K > c.S / 6K > 214S. This is a hard to react to mixup. You can convert either way using the combos listed in the combo section. Keep in mind there is a gap between the two hits of -K- that the opponent can use to escape. You can bait escape attempts of course which leads to its own layer of mixup once your opponent has shown that they are not going to just take it forever. The way to stop escape attempts is to press a button timed to hit between the hits of -K- to make it a true string or cover the space that they will escape to with a hitbox (often drills will work for this). You can start spicing up the mixup with a j.K > flight/land 2D/empty land 5K> c.S mixup, this is harder to react to however is easier to escape. Example blockstring
In the corner Vice -K- really gets to shine, it uses more Eddie meter but is gapless and keeps them locked down for a long time. This makes the fuzzy mixup a lot stronger and allows you to convert with it too. You can keep looping this mixup if successful as long as you have meter to refresh Eddie.
-S- is like an in-between stage of -P- and -K-, in both effect and cost. with normal summon you can substitute -S- for normal summon -K- in the corner for most things since the pushback doesn't matter as much anymore. It can be used to stop jump outs and cover yourself if you go for a command grab mixup. While with -K- you want to keep them in constant blockstun to negate escape attempts, -S- is strong when used to bait counter hits. Since you have full control of the timing you can add delays to create small frame traps. On counter hit you can get significant damage but will usually have to give up the knockdown. Both versions of -S- have near identical uses in blockstrings but Vice -S- has better frame data so in the corner prioritise using that. You can use a technique called "Nobiru unsummon" to safely unsummon the shadow. The input is 236]S[ and then press S to activate the unsummon. If done frame perfectly you will be + on block and can repressure. This is limited in its use due to the slow recharge speed of unsummoned shadow so it is mainly used to end strings without overcommitting and causing shadow to die
There is basically no use for either version of -H- in the context of a blockstring, you will be killing shadow for no reason if you use it.
Both versions of -D- cause shadow to perform an overhead. The startups are quite slow so they are easy to react to. The strength in these moves isn't in traditional high/low mixups. Because you are able to perform a low with Zato at the same time as the shadow overhead hitting this creates an unblockable* situation. normal summon -D- uses much more Eddie meter than Vice -D- which uses about as much as -K-, this limits what you can do with the combo afterwards and on top of the proration leads to not getting very much damage. However the damage is near guaranteed so it still has situations when you would want to use it. Vice -D- uses much less meter and therefore can be used to get more damage and even set up a further -H- unblockable after the combo has ended.
(*)Because of the way the engine handles multiple simultaneous hits one of the hits will always be pushed to the next frame as long as it still has an active frame. The priority is based on the property of the move. The priority goes in this order Zato > Shadow > projectile (Check this!!). Because of this rule all of Eddie's "unblockables" are actually blockable with frame perfect block switching, causing them to be jokingly referred to as "hard to blockables". If somehow your opponent is consistently managing this you can manually mix up the timing so the other move hits first.
Your okizeme options depend entirely upon what kind of knockdown you have gotten. They are largely the same as your blockstring options so you can basically do whatever you want. Solo you have the option of doing a meaty drill which will leave you significantly + on block. With the right spacing you can avoid many reversal attempts and have enough advantage to dash in button after.
Combo enders - AC summon
From every ground combo, Eddie has three main options:
- Puddle ender into Drunkard Shade loop - Builds a lot of meter, returns most of Eddie gauge back but typically results in going back to neutral after stalling.
- Exhaust ender (costs 25%) - Grants back 100% gauge for another round of Oki. Can be understood as an Oki ender.
- UB ender (costs 25%) - With Spitball (-D-) and 22D, Eddie can easily get guaranteed damage with this UB. In the corner, this can be further extended with aircombo or 2H. Also burstsafe due to Eddie doing this from distance.
The choice is up to the player's personal preferences which can be decided by the matchup or opponent's resources (e.g. doing UB when they already have burst since puddle would not do much damage/be bursted and oki could be escaped with burst) as well. But generally, puddle enders are designed to mostly be used to enable either exhaust into further oki or UB through metergain.
Tips and Tricks
Easier combos into drill: The way the input reader works in guilty gear allows you to hold the first directional input for a special move for as long as you like and then do the rest + a button for the move. Using this information you can more easily do drill inputs for example 2S > 52H will give you 2S > 22H. When trying to do the 2S > -P- > 22H combo it will be much easier to input it as 2[S] > 52[H] > -P-. If you are getting drill when trying to summon this is why. You need to not return to neutral.
Dash drill input: During a dash you can utilise the above by inputting 66 for the dash, you will continue the dash as long as you hold 3 and when you want to drill simply 52X. You can use a similar idea to dash directly into command grab (623S).
Shadow dies when unsummoning but you still had Eddie meter: This is likely because you are releasing a button and triggering an Eddie move before the unsummon kicks in. This is done by tapping. You can avoid this by holding the button you are using to unsummon until Eddie has begun to disappear. Be careful when unsummoning using H as -H- will instantly drain all your meter if triggered and put shadow in the recovery state even though the move doesn't actually trigger.
Command grab -S- OS This is an OS that you can do which protects you from late mash outs or jump outs. tap S while doing 623S and it will auto time it assuming you don't need to wait for blockstun. If attempted midscreen with Vice you are giving up your unblockable opportunity since you will not have time to move eddie into place but in the corner you can still do it.
Midscreen, Instant Block second hit of Mawaru (-K-) and backdash to get out.
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