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Robo-ky's specials at level 1 are very, very bad. Due to this, and also due to his unorthodox normal moves, Robo-ky will be at disadvantage during almost every round start. Certain matchups won't have such difficult start, like against Millia. But with MUs like Axl, you will have an incredible hard time doing anything before getting meter for level 3, even deploying MatGuard:
is sometimes impossible. Due to this, one of the most crucial aspects to be a good Robo-ky, is your ability to Instant Block.
Robo-ky benefits much more from IB than the cast, he gains more meter per IB and the gaps created by IB are able to be contested with Robo's Level 3 DPGuard:
29+8 after landingAdvantage:
-22 or Punch SuperGuard:
+6. Thus he may completely reverse the situation against an opponent that is careless with his blockstrings, even if you don't, you can still get level 3 by IB'ing 1-2 blockstrings, gaining access to your powerful arsenal of level 3 tools without risking yourself too much, though your guard gauge might end up almost full against some heavy hitters.
Having that in mind, there are indeed some things a Robo can try during round start besides retreating to deploy the mat. His 5P is an excellent move, fast and with a very disjointed hitbox, it can stuff long moves like Sol's f.S/H at round start, you can Option Select it with 2D. Try pressing 2D during 5P's active frames, if the 5P connects, it will be cancelled into mat, and you can safely approach due to the opponent taking a counter hit from that. If the 5P doesn't connect, 2D won't come out because it was pressed during a move, so you will be safe. This isn't a fail safe strategy, but it's one of your options. Certain characters round start options also get beaten by Robo's 2P or even 2K, so keep that in mind.
While it's true that Robo-ky is at his weakest during the start of the round and isn't much of a threat, it doesn't mean that it can't change very fast. j.S and j.H are frightening moves, with powerful counter hits. j.S counter hit gives you a ground bounce, enabling you to hit robo dash and get to level 3 almost immediately, no matter if it hits OTG or in the air. j.H from round start position will probably net you a wallsplat, giving you a free robo dash, with corner, oki and level 3 to boot, taking the match instantly to your favor. Against setplay characters like Venom, or players in general that like to create distance and zone you, you can try to pursue and hit them with Robo dash, it's fully invincible during the second half of the startup up to the last active frame, giving you too free level 3 if they get hit. If you already instilled fear into your opponent with these tools, it can make them hesitate to chase you at round start, allowing you to retreat to deploy mat or even try to pressure them a little to deploy mat from a blockstring.
6P has a long range and can catch late jumps and moves from certain characters, it will knock them far away from you, while you can safely deploy mat and get meter. Beware that it can get stuffed by faster moves or low profiled by almost all sweeps.
So you finally created some distance between you and the opponent. In a sense, neutral isn't much different from round start, suddenly putting a mat can easily be met with a punish, your ground normals mostly have subpar boxes (2K, 2P, 5K) or are too slow to be used liberally (f.S, 2S, Level 3 6HGuard:
-1). An understanding opponent won't fear losing to Robo's normals, while an understanding Robo will aim to let the opponent play "neutral" alone and get meter during a whiff.
Vs Sol for example, Sol likes to throw 5H in neutral to fish for counter hits, so sometimes letting him whiff and laying a mat instead is better. This way you are pressuring your opponent into taking a risk of removing you from your resource, which might make it simple to intercept them or you can take the opportunity to IB the attack and get even more meter, because of the boost of being under the mat.
Playing passively like this however, can be dangerous against characters that are constantly setting up resources, like Dizzy and Venom. It's important to consider both players current resources in a situation like this, sometimes Robo might need little meter to finish them off, so rushing them down might be better than waiting around, especially when Dizzy gets such a strong cover with FishGuard:
It's easy to note how j.S and j.H both display apparently absurd disjointed hitboxes, with powerful counter hits to boot. Being able to properly use them gets increasingly frustrating, however. Both of these moves have extended hurtboxes during startup and it is really noticeable, making it hard to effectively counter hit enemies with them, since Robo will be almost doubling his hurtbox in the process, what would simply whiff against Robo will then ch him, he extended his hurtbox. It's especially important to note j.H vulnerability, it has almost an entire second of recovery and around 30 frames of counter hit state, whiffing this in neutral or trying to air throw is one of the worst possible mistakes and can easily get Robo killed.
|5K > 5K > c.S > f.S> 2D|
|5K > c.S > 2P > 236S|
|2K > 6H at 50°-80°|
2P can be used as a whiff to end pressure strings. Follow up with either 6H, 6P, or j.236S. Ending pressure strings with level 3 214S can catch people off guard.
Robo-Ky's most basic Okizeme will begin by comboing into a 2S knockdown > 2D, then set up a level 2+ 236S. Assuming the opponent blocks on wakeup, this gives you plenty of time to run the mixup.
If you scored the knockdown by less ideal means, such as a 6P, here are a few other options:
Meaty 5P into pressure; doesn't work on characters that can duck it like Faust or Zappa; use 2P instead here.
Meaty 6H at 50-80 heat into pressure; very advantageous on block, and has no pushback.
- While they're blocking a level 2+ 236S missile:
- j.P whiff: If opponent is blocking the 236S, normal jump toward them and throw out a j.P, then land and utilize a low. Alternatively, do a last second IAD into combo if you think/see they're blocking low too early.
- Dash at them, threatening a Robodash or 63214K.
- j.214D, threatening an overhead or empty land into 63214K.
- After meaty 5P:
Link into 5K, 2K, or 2S
Tips and Tricks
A playlist of Nagao's Robo tech. Some of the material in this playlist may be outdated in the most recent version of the game. Note that the Dustloop forum guides do not correctly link to this playlist.
Some common situations against the cast, and how Robo-ky can use his tools against them.