GGACR/Faust/Strategy

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Faust


General Tactics

What do I do?

Poke from a distance into Item Toss. If you happen to knockdown in the exchanges that result from this, run mix or chill and pressure with meaty 2H on their wakeup.

Where do I stand?

Desired spacing in any given match is usually in a range where you can at least threaten a microdash far.S, even in matchups where Faust doesn't necessarily control of the screen. This allows him, at the very least, to threaten safe Item Tosses that need to be dealt with.

People seem to get in so easily...

Something to keep in mind as opponents approach on the ground, is that playing too reactively with your long pokes can lead to your downfall. You can't stop someone from running in if you try to confirm that they'll be in 2H range before swinging it. Swing your long pokes on a read, and don't focus too much on making sure they land.

The best range to land 2H is at a distance, where it's hard to whiff punish and not liable to be counterpoked/whiff-punished, so it's okay to swing it even if they're not in range yet, should you suspect they might try to run into range in that moment.

If you still want to challenge the front while also being ready to anti-air, use movement alongside faster, tighter options like 2P, 5P, 2K, 5K or a high j2K to hedge your bets.

How do I antiair?

6P

6P is a rewarding, dominant option that can be done at the very last moment provided the spacing is good and the hitboxes line up. Very likely to counter-hit trade in your favour, but won't in problem matchups where the air normal is simply too strong. Look for reactionary opportunities to 6P throughout various matchups, but know that your other options might be far less committal.

Summary: Use this when an opponent is coming in from an angle, or from the front. It tends to work when done later compared to other anti-airs, so it can act as a reactionary option to air approach, instead of one you need to commit to ahead of time.

5K

5K is incredibly hard to contest "from the front", in the sense that it will almost always counterhit trade, at worst, against anything trying to beat the hitbox outright. Characters, generally, must go over or under the hitbox to have a chance at beating it clean. The move has no extended hurtbox during startup or whiff recovery (Only a small, trivial amount on whiff), which is why it feels so dominant. This is a great move to use on prediction when you want to challenge air options.

Summary: Use this when characters approach "from the front". Press this when someone gets to "airdash height" to challenge them without leaving yourself open to punishment.

2K

2K's first active hitbox is disjointed and reaches to the top of the screen. This makes it incredibly strong at anti-airing characters overhead. That hitbox is also jump cancellable. Followups will almost never do that much damage, but the move has very little whiff recovery, and requires a pretty precise juke to beat out, or the opponent already needs to be in your face. If either happens, Faust normally would have access to other options.

Summary: Use this against characters airdashing overhead, or coming down from right above.

Crawl

Crawl (Holding 3) low profiles, this makes it incredibly strong as an anti-air where deep jump-ins aren't being threatened, usually airdash jump-ins. Think of crawl as an anti-air against those situations. Throwing immediately as they whiff their option is generally the most "solid" and fastest option from crawl, but you can often get away with a 2P into grounded punish.

Summary: Use this against airdashes and against moves that don't reach the ground so well.

Airthrow

Try this if you're up against a character whose jump-in options simply feel too dominant to be contested from the ground. Airthrow can reach higher, quicker, than normals in some cases.

Reposition

If someone is getting fancy over head, and 2K isn't reliable, sometimes it's best to try to dash out instead and find a better spot to play Guilty Gear.

Blockstrings

Your goal is to either confirm into Pogo or a jD ender on hit, or to pull Items on block out of high-blockstun normals. You want to learn to do this from your standard starters, but also counterpokes as well.

Some blockstrings aren't going to be completely tight, or even combo on hit, such as 2P>2H, but that's alright. The item pull you get from such a string is more than enough to give you an advantageous situation.

Heavier moves create more blockstun. With this in mind, Faust 2H and 6H create the most blockstun out of his entire arsenal. It's preferable to cancel into items from these moves, but not mandatory. 5H is the next heaviest attack, while far.S and 2S have their own utility for various reasons.

2K > 5H FD safe string from low.
2K > 2D FD safe string from low, that hits low an extra time. 2K needs to be chained on the last hit for this to combo, as 2K forces crouching on the last hit. Great for challenging people trying to jump out of pressure.
2K > 2P > 2S > 2H The high number of hits and heavier ender makes this really nice for comboing into Pogo > Going My Way in the corner, or ending in Item Toss
5P > 6H Overhead string, great for catching people mashing short, stubby buttons when pressured.
j2K Special mention. Depending on how high this lands (Lower is better), you can be incredibly plus on block. You can do them repetitively leaving only a small, unreactable gap, or you can use the advantage to make use of the options above.
2P > 2H Doesn't combo, but is a great, long, fast starter that leads into a good Item pull. Great for interrupting pressure, great at checking forward movement in neutral. Great roundstart option. You can OS the 2H by buffering it in the 2P so that 2H won't come out on whiff.

See Combos for routes when these hits. The idea is you either launch from 2D, Pogo from 5H/2H, or cancel into Item Toss on block. Cancelling into Item Toss on hit is still fine for beginners just looking to make things happen.

Sometimes, on block, just let the pogo rip anyways, because Pogo is +3 and 66 from Pogo is a 4f attack.

Okizeme

The below is a small summary of the Okizeme section

How do I run offense once I knock them down?

Here's a rudimentary breakdown into three "options". They're not specific options, necessarily, but roughly three categories of moves.

Option A (Shackling Jumps):

2K into 2D challenges attempts to jump out, either on wakeup, or done late into the string as a hedge against tick throws.

Option B (Shackling Pokes and Backdashes):

Frame traps after various normals, threatening to j2K suddenly in pressure, a well-spaced 6H outside of the range of their mashed normal, a sudden cancel into Forcebreak Chop (214D)... These are all quite good at discouraging attacks done on wakeup, or attempted attacks during blockstun as a hedge against sudden throws. Some of these options also challenge backdash simultaneously, based on matchup.

Option C (Shackling Blocking/Reversals):

Once you have them hedging against these two responses (2K vs. jumps and various things vs. buttons/backdash), they can only hedge against both by blocking and playing reactively or by doing something invincible.

Invincible moves are categorically unsafe, and are beaten by blocking outright on offense or using slightly delayed options that involve blocking before attacking when there's a gap. If they're not doing this, they're likely just sitting there watching the screen, this is where you would use Throw or Mettagiri (214H).

Thanks to how throw mechanics work in Guilty Gear, you need to make them hedge against both Option A and Option B for Option C to function well. Should they adjust to you throwing them, or adjust to you playing defensively with delays during your own offense, they'll be back to pressing buttons or jumping as described under Option A and Option B.

This is an oversimplification, but it should be concise enough to get you started.

Defense

Faust lacks a DP or a fast 2P that easily challenges throw attempts, so his options are non-standard on defense. That doesn't mean they're weak, however. What he does have leaves him comfortably top-tier on defense.

Jumping Out of Gaps

It cannot be stressed enough how good Faust's ability to jump out of pressure is. While in some situations you will want to poke out the same way most characters would, jumping as Faust is incredibly powerful. You wouldn't think this, as he has a below-standard 4f prejump, and his rising jump animation leaves a hurtbox far below him as he rises.

However, if you FD just as you leave the ground, you'll cancel your rising jump animation Faust's Air FD animation, which is incredibly small vertically (Instead, becoming wide horizontally), leaving him about as hard to catch as May or Millia in similar situations.

Jumping in this way, you only need a 5f gap to clear almost all low options in the game, while a few frames more will allow you to clear all sorts of moves, provided you "tuck your legs" when rising with FD.

Attacking Out of Gaps

j2K

Along the same vein as jumping, j2K piggybacks on Faust's ability to get airborne easily in small gaps, to the point where you can challenge small gaps with jump, and then divekick them as they whiff their far.S/Low/Projectile/Whatever option. j2K very powerful done as a fuzzy jump option, and makes Faust very dangerous to pressure traditionally. Looser stagger pressure that does well against certain characters might not work against j2K, in some cases, forcing characters to favour tighter traps that are easier to block, or sub-standard options that catch him airborne, despite his small air hurtbox.

214D, Forcebreak Chop

This is lower-body invuln on frame 1, which makes it an even stronger option than jump in some cases. The move is + on block, but you recover in the air, quite low to the ground. Double jump into j2K after recovery to really make your opponent sad should they block it. The move leads to full combo anywhere should you connect with Coin anytime during the match.

Use Chop to challenge the smallest gaps in pressure. You can doubletap D to increase your chances of hitting a gap.

Dealing with Instant Air Dash or Sudden Jumps when Pressured

It's not uncommon for a character to do something like 5H > jump cancel > airdash jS, or 5H > jump cancel > jH. These maneuvers can catch attempts to jump away, while going up and over low pokes done on defense

In these cases, you can sometimes reaction 2K. If you can't react, or reacting seems unreasonable, try to predict with 2K in those situations. 5K or 6P might be more appropriate depending on the matchup. The key is to press buttons on prediction if you need to, and play reactively if you feel the need to hedge against another option.

Airthrow is technically a faster reactionary option than 2K, if the spacing is available for it, so in some cases it might be more appropriate.

Instant Blocking

Because the above strategies talk about gaps: the larger the gap, the easier it is to make use of the above. Jumping or attacking, all are easier to make use of the larger the gap is.

Get used to IBing before common gaps in order to create more reasonable windows to defend yourself. IB is an 8f window. Sometimes it's easier to hit an 8f IB window into a 5f jump window, than it is to hit a 2f window on it's own.

In short, practice IB > Jump, IB > Chop, IB > j2K, in common situations to increase your consistency and opportunity. Sometimes it's not about frame advantage, but about making gaps bigger so you work less and your opponent has to work more.

Backdash

Backdash is best against options with a decent amount of recovery, that aren't active enough to cover the entirety of backdash invulnerability, the first 7 frames of backdash being invulnerable to strikes or throws. In an ideal situation, you recover before your opponent and guarantee yourself a punish. This is not always going to be the case however, and oftentimes won't be something you get to do on reaction.

That doesn't mean backdash can work against moves that leave the opponent recovering before you do. If a player isn't prepared to punish a backdash, you can oftentimes "ruin" their planned pressure string by causing their normals to suddenly whiff (denying them the gatling they wanted), or by getting hit mid-air during backdash. If a player isn't ready for it, you can escape in situations like these as they make errors.

The Situation After Backdash (and a General Guide to Scrambles)

What are Scrambles?

Scrambles are situations where frame advantage is going to be too arbitrary to figure out in the moment. Players are going to challenge the situation with their fastest options, their safest options or an option that punches through the opponent's offense. Sometimes you'll enter a situation like this post backdash, sometimes you'll just find yourself in from of the opponent at some level of frame advantage. Sometimes you'll be surprised, sometimes you'll see the situation coming.

The options listed below will cover pretty much everything you could look to do here.

This is a little different from wakeup or coming immediately out of blockstun/hitstun, because there's no throw invuln to play with for either player.

Throw

This is probably the most potent and commonly used option after backdash, given that it's the fastest attack you have. If you backdash and your opponent remains within range, a throw is all but guaranteed should they miss their backdash punish.

5P or 2P

Meterless, fast, regains you the offense. If you see an opening from backdash, this is going to be a solid option when you're not in throw range. However, if they press buttons before you do, you're probably going to lose.

For alternative options that can still work even if you "go second", see below.

j2K

Backdash into j2K may seem like an arbitrary option, but this is an incredibly potent option in scramble situations. An opponent pressing a button on reaction to your backdash will be unable to catch you before you leave the ground. Unless they press a button with a fairly high hitbox, you'll go up and over their attack, whiff punishing them for trying to continue their offense. High-hitting options that would work on reaction often have some other inherent weakness (Involves jumping, weak to lows, worse on block, poor gatling options, etc). By threatening to j2K in situations like this, you force them to neuter their own offense.

Forcebreak Chop (214D)

Forcebreak Chop is very similar to j2K in this situation, except it crushes low and mid-hitting buttons on frame 1 instead of frame 5 to 7. It's a lot like a harder-to-contain j2K for 25 bar. The is the penultimate "I'm definitely going second, but I want to challenge you" option.

Jump FD/Superjump FD

Now imagine you thought the above two options were good, but you weren't 100% certain that the opponent wasn't going to punish you for them. Just jumping with FD and letting the situation resolve itself can allow you to escape back to neutral. This is a very conservative option. Because it's unlikely for an opponent to catch your prejump, and FDing something after you get airborne simply returns you to the ground, actually taking damage is unlikely.

FDing here as you leave the ground is important, as Faust's air FD hurtbox is incredibly small.

Blocking/Playing Reactively

Sometimes, backdash is only good for negating a mixup, and might not actually get you out of pressure entirely. You'll run into situations where you might be able to shut down someone's mixup situation, but recover into a projectile or button that you have no business challenging. As you gain experience, you'll be able to recognize these situations.

You can't take damage if you just block and wait for a better gap or opening, but it's important to use it in tandem with the above. An opponent playing around the rest of your options might jump after your j2K or jump FD, they might press something that gives up offense completely, or they might burn their meter on an FRC to hold you in place and dominate the spread of options.

In these situations, blocking and playing reactively will net you all sorts of opportunities.

Anti-air or Crushing Options (6P, 5K, 2K)

Prediction 2K, 6P or 5K can often be a solid challenge to a given situation where an opponent loves to airdash or jump suddenly in pressure and scrambles. First, ask yourself if you need to press it on prediction or on reaction. If you can anti-air such an attack on reaction, as that means you can do it in tandem with blocking, thereby hedging your bets against getting counter-hit unnecessarily.

Having to decide between reactive or predictive play is very common in the Millia matchup, where suddenly instant airdashes are commonplace. This is where pressing 2K, 6P or 5K on prediction can challenge the situation where playing reactively might just lead you to blocking forever or letting gaps go unchallenged.

These moves have the added benefit of being ridiculously disjointed in some cases, so even if they aren't jumping, you might find yourself winning an exchange anyways. This is especially true for 6P.

That's a lot of text, what do I do in the meantime?

Throw them if they're in range.

Block sometimes.

Jump FD or Superjump FD a LOT. It's really good, and really safe. It's like blocking but you get an escape attempt if there's a gap.

j2K is really dumb when done on defense or in small gaps. Forcebreak Chop is even dumber.

If you spy a whiffed option, 2P or 5P into a blockstring/hit-confirm.

Mash 6P sometimes. Preferably 6PH because it's also Throw...

FDC (AKA Faultless Drill Cancel, Faultless Defense Cancel)

Almost all normals can be cancelled in the first three frames of startup into FD (As a leniency mechanic. H buttons excluded so you can't throw someone and FD). Moves like Faust's j2K, which change his momentum on frame 1, take full advantage of this. j2K can be used for the momentum shift and then FDC'd immediately afterwards to change his air momentum abruptly. This works whether he's rising, falling or otherwise.

Why is it good?

  • Juke grounded anti-airs for a punish
  • Line up jH or jS to cover air and ground
  • Return to ground faster after jumping over a projectile, or jumping something like Potemkin Slidehead.
  • Run overhead/low mixups that: are hard to react to (or unreactable in some cases); that are plus on block; that lead to good damage when items are involved.

How do I do it?

There's a few ways to "properly input" FDC, so don't worry too much about your key bindings in the outset. You simply hold 1 in the air and press K into FD (Normally using P or S in tandem while holding your K input to finish the motion).

The goal is to press K and S "at the same time but not quite". Valid combinations below

1K~S
1K~P
1K~H

Hold 1. Press and hold K. Press S on the frame after (There's some leniency here, but the window is not just frame). Release S and K.

If you're having trouble, start with 1K+S in the air, pressing both attack buttons at the same time. It's alright to just get plain FD to start. Slowly space the inputs apart until you start FDCing the j2K. Release FD as soon as possible so you can do other things.

The FDC window is immediately after you input K, so if you're getting j2K and no FDC, you're spacing the inputs too far apart.

FDC for Movement

Just using FDC for movement in general is quite important. Sometimes it's better to cut your jump arc short in order to juke a projectile, or to leave yourself in a particularly spicy height to react to your opponent's offense. Very notable in the Venom matchup, where you'll want to do your best to avoid blocking balls if you don't have to.

FDC jD, the Anti-Anti-Air

When doing from a falling state, this acts as an "anti-anti-air" when combined with his regular falling jD. You'll use this to save yourself from situations where you find yourself underneath your opponent suddenly, either due to their movement or your own positioning. Less useful against air-to-air options, but incredibly potent at punishing even the most dominant grounded anti-airs.

FDC jH, Dominate Airspace and Dome Tall Characters

One of Faust's more dominant neutral pokes. Against taller characters (or characters with tall vulnerable boxes mid-attack such as Testament, Johnny, Sol and Dizzy, this move dominates neutral due to it's incredibly low whiff recovery. It's weak to forward dashes and moves that can hit "from below" without leaving the opponent vulnerable.

It's an incredibly strong answer to airdashes when done preemptively. Half a matchup in some cases is using jump/superjump rising jH, falling jH and FDC jH in combination to control airspace and force people to play a grounded game you handily dominate.

FDC to Ruin Airthrows

If you find yourself in a vulnerable airstate, you can make yourself quite difficult to airthrow if you alter your air trajectory too close to the throw attempt for the opponent to react. Double jump is much stronger than this, but it's something to keep in mind.

FDC jK

This gets its own special section because it's a more demanding technique. Essentially you can overhead a crouching opponent quickly from the front using FDC followed by jK. This gives Faust the ability to mixup the opponent with high/lows, similar to Millia, without having to commit to much. In fact, unlike Millia, you're very plus.

It's not mandatory for running high-level offense, but it's quite strong to create quick, safe and sudden mixups when you have item cover, or simply need to secure the hit.

How fast is it?

The fastest you can technically do an FDC jK is 15f, but because the sequence is height-sensitive, and contains a "Press, Release, Press" input, getting those speeds usually require tool-assist or a non-standard sliding technique.

Average FDC jK generally remain in reactable ranges, usually connecting in the 19 to 24 frames, depending on the player. It's highly variable due to the nature of the technique.

What do I get from it?

From the jK, you can combo into jump cancel j2K, or link after the jK. There's reasons to do either depend on the matchup, usually something to do with ease of use due to hitboxes, or height of the initial FDC.

It's possible to link a 2H from FDC j.K, but it's a 1f link on crouching opponents.

It seems hard to combo from...

That's because the advantage and connection height of FDC jK is based on two things:

A) How high you input FDC

B) How quickly you released FD and pressed K again

This means comboing "FDC jK > jump cancel > j2K > FB Pogo" is probably going to be easier in the beginning compared to other possible conversions, since it doesn't necessarily have a height requirement (The jK just has to connect on a crouching or standing opponent at any height). In order to combo consistently into meterless options, you'll want to be a large focus on making sure your height and your release of FD into jK is fast and consistent.

If you FDC at the lowest possible height, you might struggle to connect a jK, as you only have 3f to do so post FDC before you land. As you do higher and higher FDCs, the window becomes more generous but, naturally, your overhead becomes slower.

Tips and Tricks

Fighting Faust

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