The Blood Gauge is a unique mechanic exclusive to Nagoriyuki. The gauge will start to fill when he uses special moves. He can cancel special moves into each other, which will stack their effects. Filling the gauge increases the speed and power of his sword normals, as well as the range of his normals. The gauge depletes if he lands any sword normal (except 5DGuard:
-15), Bloodsucking UniverseGuard:
NA (623P) or WasureyukiGuard:
-37 (632146S). It also depletes passively over time.
Blood Gauge is divided into three "blood bars", consisting of 100 "blood points" each. Every blood bar filled up increases the speed, range and power of 5H, 2H and 6H. However, filling all three bars fully forces Nagoriyuki into Blood Rage, a state so risky that defeat becomes near certain if the opponent punishes it. It’s important to keep the Blood Gauge below 300 points to avoid the Blood Rage state.
The following two tables show all moves that affect the Blood Gauge. The first table shows all moves that increase the Blood Gauge, whereas the second table shows which moves deplete the Blood Gauge. The “On Block” and “On Hit” columns show by how much the Blood Gauge is reduced by connecting moves on block and on hit, respectively. Filling or depleting the Blood Gauge is always gradual, occurring over several seconds. The “Duration” column shows how much time it takes for the move’s gauge increase or gauge depletion to finish.
|Move||On Block||On Hit||Duration|
|f.SSS||0, 0, 64.8||7.2, 7.2, 115.2||6 seconds|
|Bloodsucking Universe||N/A||280.8||3 seconds|
Blood Gauge Management
+5 (236S), KamuriyukiGuard:
-3 (214H) and ShizuriyukiGuard:
-7 (623H), all fill the Blood Gauge by 90 blood points. FukyoGuard:
N/A (236K/214K), fills it up by a mere 43.2 blood points, less than half of the other specials. This means that Fukyo is quite a resource efficient option, making it better than the other special moves when you can’t afford to increase the gauge any further. Bloodsucking UniverseGuard:
NA (623P) reduces the Blood Gauge by 280.8 blood points if it connects and costs nothing to use. It’s very useful as part of a strike/throw mix-up when the Blood Gauge inches close to its limit. The final hit of f.SSSGuard:
-25 reduces the gauge by a whopping 115.2 blood points on hit, making it an excellent option for depleting the gauge. It also drains an impressive 64.8 blood points on block which is uniquely high for any blocked move. Because of this, it can be used to reduce your gauge without needing to open the opponent up, but you'll need RC to make it safe. On hit, the final attack can also be RC'd to extend the combo to further reduce the gauge.
Blood Gauge increase and depletion is gradual, and the effects of multiple moves stack if additional moves are used before the effects of previous moves are finished. For example, using 214H into 623H in quick succession will fill the gauge by 180 points, even if the latter is used before the effect of the former is finished. This applies for gauge increases, gauge depletion and a mix of the two, which can be used to your advantage. For example, say that Nagoriyuki is currently at 270 blood. At this amount, using 236K will force him into Blood Rage. However, by landing a 5H and canceling into 236K, the 57.6 blood point depletion of 5H will ensure that 236K won’t push the gauge to its limit. Effective management requires you to keep the effects of previous moves in mind when going for the next move.
The only exception to the stacking rule is 623P. If 623P successfully hits, the Blood Gauge's progression is completely halted - no matter how fast it was previously increasing or depleting - before the move applies its own drain effect. It’s useful for preventing Blood Rage at the last second. In addition, the drain effect will last its full 3 second duration even if the Blood Gauge empties during the effect. For instance, if you land 623P while having a low Blood Gauge and follow up with 236K to pressure the opponent's wake-up, the Blood Gauge cost of 236K will be negated by the residual drain effect. You can use multiple special moves during the drain effect and have all of their Blood Gauge costs negated, as long as their total Blood Gauge cost is less than 280 points. This dramatic decrease of the Blood Gauge allows for more special move usage and longer pressure sequences than normal after 623P lands.
Increased blood levels upgrades the range and frame data of Nagoriyuki's sword normals, which allows for better neutral pokes and better conversions/strings. For example, with two blood bars, 2S > 5H becomes a combo. With one blood bar, 5K > 6H becomes a combo against both standing and crouching opponents, with 0 blood bars it’s only a combo against crouching opponents.
Increasing the Blood Gauge by one or two bars in order to take advantage of enhanced sword normals is a crucial aspect of Nagoriyuki's gameplan. However, filling it completely (300 blood points total) is dangerous because doing so forces Nagoriyuki into Blood Rage, a mode with several immense drawbacks.
- Loss of specials: Blood Rage takes away access to Nagoriyuki's specials, which are crucial for his ability to approach and mix up enemies. Without access to them, Nagoriyuki is forced to walk, jump, or high jump in order to close the distance. Without specials he has very little to open up a patient player with.
- HP depletion: Blood Rage rapidly drains 50% of Nagoriyuki's maximum health over its duration, meaning every moment spent in Blood Rage has a hefty health cost. The health depletion cannot KO Nagoriyuki, but the health depletion persists even if Nagoriyuki is being comboed. As a result, getting caught in a combo during Blood Rage can spell a swift end.
- Transformation animation: Entering Blood Rage forces a lengthy, non-damaging attack, allowing any character to set up whatever punish they want on whiff. On block the animation is less unsafe at -12, but still leaves him consistently punishable.
In addition, Nagoriyuki has no good way to exit Blood Rage. The player can either let Blood Rage end naturally at the cost of 50% of their maximum health, or spend 50% Tension on ZansetsuGuard:
-66 (632146H) to end it early. The latter option is a -66 mid, so using it in neutral means every character in the game can easily play reactively and punish it. The only advantages of Blood Rage is that his sword normals receive further buffs to range and damage and that he gets access to Zansetsu. The drawbacks of the mode massively outweigh the advantages, however, so it should generally be avoided.
If you do end up entering Blood Rage, you have two options for stalling it out. The first is to retreat and play defensively until the duration finishes. The second is to fish for 5H/2H > Zansetsu to finish your foe off. Zansetsu reaches full screen, so if you have good enough reactions you can punish impatient opponents from almost anywhere. People who know the match up will most likely commit to blocking as your health bar drains, as the risk/reward ratio is more favourable for them that way. The best you can do is to land 5H to deal a bit of chip damage. None of these options are particularly strong, they are simply ways to make the best of a bad situation.
Nagoriyuki players must constantly keep note of how filled the Blood Gauge is and manage it carefully to avoid entering Blood Rage. It is integral to understand how to maximise the benefits while mitigating the drawbacks of Blood Gauge in order to play Nagoriyuki effectively. That being said, there are some specific scenarios where skilled players can make use of intentionally activating Blood Rage. Which brings forth the question...
Is Blood Rage Actually Good?
The drawbacks of Blood Rage can be mitigated during the right circumstances. On hit, the Blood Rage activation hitbox blasts the opponent away to the edge of the screen, knocking them down. Normally this is a bad thing, as Nagoriyuki won’t be able to approach the now distant opponent without his special moves. But if the opponent is cornered when they are hit with the activation explosion, they will have nowhere to go, and end up in a hard knockdown state right in front of Nagoriyuki. This allows for deadly close-ranged mix-ups that are often enough to finish the opponent off, especially if you have Tension to spend.
This set-up allows you to mitigate the various drawbacks of Blood Rage. On hit, the transformation animation becomes rewarding instead of punishing. Nagoriyuki’s difficulty approaching without special moves doesn’t matter if he’s right in front of his opponent already. The HP depletion cannot KO Nagoriyuki, which means that if he’s already at low enough health to be knocked out in one confirm, the HP loss doesn’t matter much either.
It’s possible to combo into the activation with loop combos, such as c.S > 623H > 236K loops and 623H > 214H loops. Once you have them knocked down, Nagoriyuki has access to both strike/throw and high/low mix-ups. In Blood Rage, j.H becomes an unreactable overhead if done instantly from a jump, which can be mixed up with lows and throws. You'll need to use a Roman Cancel to convert off of j.H, though. Without Tension, you’ll have to make do with just strike/throw.
While it can be rewarding, this strategy is far from fool-proof. You’ll need a good understanding of the Blood Gauge’s behaviour to combo into the activation reliably. Even pro players mess it up from time to time. Additionally, you’ll have to take the opponent’s resources into consideration. If they have Burst, they can time the Burst to escape the combo after you’ve used enough specials to enter Blood Rage, but before the activation itself occurs. This would result in activating Blood Rage at a distance where you can’t capitalise on it. If the opponent has enough Tension for an Overdrive, you won’t be able to force a 50/50 safely as any strike or throw risks being beaten. Lastly, keep in mind that there is no guarantee that your mix-up will work even if you set it up correctly. Sacrificing HP for a reward that isn’t guaranteed to pay off is risky.
To summarise, if you manage to combo into its activation, Blood Rage can lead to rewarding mix-ups. But the set-up requires stage positioning, awareness of the opponent’s resources and quick adaptation and timing to combo into it correctly. For beginner and intermediate players, there’s just too much to keep track of for the strategy to be a good one. Advanced players can make good use of it, as long as they assess the situation correctly. But above all, it’s an excellent option for styling on noobs. Get to practice immediately.
Round Start Options
- Beats run ins and walking back
- Beats jump ins and IADs
- Beats slower buttons that extend their hurtboxes and hit from round start distance (Sol f.S, Ram f.S).
- Will not hit on round start itself if they don't press
- Beats a lot of things due to it's upper body invuln
- Beats some round start low pokes
- Beats round start backdash
- Disjoint makes it useful for fishing for counterhits
- Niche high air dash or neutral jump read option due to how surprisingly high it hits.
- Does virtually nothing on normal hit, but much better reward than 2H on CH
- Highly rewarding answer to backdash
- Highly rewarding IAD and 6P punish
- Excellent for corner carry and for continuing pressure on block
c.S > 6H > 632146S
- Basic midscreen super combo
- Works from any wallsplat, even ones where you'd otherwise be stuck with c.S or 5K
- Really solid damage off a throw, gets 50% in the corner
Mid Range / Footsies
Nagoriuki is excellent in the mid range due to possessing outstanding mid-ranged space control tools, such as 2S. It has a great combination of speed and range. It's likely to score a counter hit or interrupt a grounded approach when used in footsies range. It also has rather short whiff recovery, which means that throwing out a second 2S after one missed is quite effective for interrupting overly aggressive opponents. If your opponent jumps while 2S is out, interrupt their aerial approach with an anti-air instead, if you have time. In addition, the hitbox of 2S hits low enough to be able to counter Low ProfileWhen a character's hurtbox is entirely beneath an opponent's attack. This can be caused by crouching, certain moves, and being short. moves, such as I-No's Stroke the Big TreeGuard:
-7 or Sol's Night Raid VortexGuard:
-17. Thanks to Nagoriyuki’s powerful special moves, 2S is exceptionally rewarding for an button. Another great tool is f.S, which complements 2S quite well. It has incredible range and has a higher hitbox than 2S, allowing it to contest aerial opponents. It’s also quite easy to hit confirm due to its in-built follow-ups. It’s on the slower side, which means it might have to be used preemptively, but it’s well worth it.
A counter strategy against mid-ranged pokes is to position oneself to make them whiff before approaching or contesting them with 6P. For 2S, this isn’t too much of a problem due to its fast whiff recovery and due to its hitbox hitting low enough to interrupt 6P. On the other hand, f.S is quite vulnerable due to having a whopping 28 frames of recovery. If your opponent attempts this, vary your timing, positioning and move choices more to throw them off. Stay sharp!
At 0 blood bars, Nagoriyuki’s normals are underwhelming. His buttons are strong, but at low blood, Nagoriyuki’s powerful strike/throw mix-ups are more rewarding than playing keep out. Therefore, your goal at 0 blood bars is to find a way to close space. Fukyo (236K/214K) is a teleport that has invulnerability above Nagoriyuki’s chest. The ability to mix up Fukyo forward and Fukyo back, in combination with it’s fast speed, makes it difficult for the opponent to react to it. Combining it with normals like 2S or 5K makes for a strong approach option. If you manage to land a stray hit with or buttons, you can convert into combos and initiate pressure from there. On block, use their various gatings and special cancel options to initiate pressure.
Kamuriyuki (214H) is another powerful approach option. It has massive range, good speed for its range and yields high reward on both normal hit and counter hit. It also has some airborne frames, allowing it to jump over certain attacks. However, the move is -3 on block at close range, making it punishable. Cancel it into 214K to retreat or other specials to create frame traps. Like a swiss army knife, 214H is able to deal with a wide variety of situations. Nagoriyuki is also armed with a powerful projectile attack in Zarameyuki (236S). It shoots a clone that leaves Nagoriyuki plus on block, and it cancels out single-hit projectiles, should it clash with them. Unlike Chipp's Gamma Blade, Nagoriyuki’s clone is fully invincible. Cancel 236S into 236K to advance towards your opponent. The frame advantage of 236S allows you to initiate a strike/throw mix-up if it's blocked. Keep your Blood Gauge in mind though, as 236S into 236K fills the gauge up by a significant amount.
Mix up all of these tools to make your approach as unpredictable as possible.
At two blood bars, the dynamic shifts completely. Nagoriyuki won’t be able to go for the same mix-ups due to the risk of entering Blood Rage. Instead, the goal is to use his enhanced sword normals to punish unsuccessful approach attempts. With one or more blood bars, 5H has outstanding range and good speed, outranging even f.S. At two blood bars it is a great tool to keep the opponent at bay - especially so considering Nagoriyuki's options are more limited - and it's an option that must be respected due to its damage and blood drain. It’s an excellent tool for bullying characters with less range than Nagoriyuki, which is most characters. While 5H covers ground space well, remember to be wary of jump-ins and certain Low ProfileWhen a character's hurtbox is entirely beneath an opponent's attack. This can be caused by crouching, certain moves, and being short. moves. 2H is similar to 5H but covers air space instead. It also catches some characters running forward, but whiffs against crouching opponents. Use it to box out characters and players that often approach from the air. Both 5H and 2H lead to knockdowns on normal hit and powerful combos on counter hit, the easiest of which is to simply cancel into 236K and go for 6H OTG.
Don't forget about mixing in 2S as a safer way to check an opponent slightly closer, or to counter Low ProfileWhen a character's hurtbox is entirely beneath an opponent's attack. This can be caused by crouching, certain moves, and being short. moves. 2S > 5H is a combo at two blood bars, which helps Nagoriyuki build momentum. Try to restrict your special move usage to only Fukyo at this level. Landing an normal completely nullifies the Blood Gauge build up of a single Fukyo. Therefore, feel free to cancel normals into Fukyo in order to maintain optimal distance and keep up the pressure. normals also slightly reduce the cost of Fukyo on block. If your opponent sits still when you teleport after landing a move on block, feel free to mix them up with Bloodsucking Universe (623P). You can also go for 623P if you score a knockdown.
At one blood bar, Nagoriyuki can play either the mix-up strategy or the space control strategy, but neither will be as effective as they are at their optimal blood bar amount. The mix-up strategy won't be as effective as it is at 0 bars because you have to be more mindful of the cost of your special moves. Two special moves can easily bring you to two bars or trigger Blood Rage. Alternatively, you can use Fukyo or 236S to safely reach two bars from a distance and then use Nagoriyuki’s massive normals.
Close Range / Brawling
At close range, Nagoriyuki can employ powerful strike/throw mix-ups by combining his normals, specials and command throw in clever ways. However, the limitations of the Blood Gauge means that you can only afford to go for long pressure strings when the gauge is low.
One of Nagoriyuki’s best pressure starters is c.S. It’s fast, plus on block and highly rewarding on both normal hit and counter hit. It also has a long vertical hitbox, which means it can catch opponents trying to jump. It’s very versatile during blockstrings, as it can gatling into , , and command normals. Use its +3 frame advantage to go for resets or threaten with frame traps. When the opponent respects you, mix them up with a throw. 5P is Nagoriyuki’s fastest strike, which can come in handy if you need a move faster than c.S. It doesn’t have the best range, horizontally or vertically, but it’s a necessary tool because of speed alone. Its damage output is also good due to it comboing into 6P > 214H > 6H OTG.
While useful, the aforementioned moves are lacking in range. That's where 5K comes in handy. Its range is quite impressive considering its relatively fast startup speed. It has threatening gatling options and special cancels and is even neutral on block, which means that it can be staggered to make your offense more unpredictable. This makes it useful for tick throw set-ups when combined with the forward momentum gained from a 236K. Considering its speed, the reward on hit is extraordinarily high. With blood to spend, it can lead to midscreen to corner carry combos that deal 50% damage with a wall break. It’s undoubtedly the most rewarding button in the game. 2K is Nagoriyuki’s fastest low, and his best low option in close range by extension. It has shorter range than 5K, but is just as fast. It’s similar to 5K in application due to its identical gatling options. However, it’s not as rewarding due to its increased combo scaling, which is a reasonable trade-off for hitting low.
There are many normals that 5K and 2K can be followed up with, such as 6K, 2D and 5D. 6K is a low stomp with decent range. It pulls Nagoriyuki’s lower hurtbox back during its startup, so it can also be used in anticipation of a low poke. It moves Nagoriyuki forward, which is helpful for getting in range for a throw. 2D is a decent sweep. It’s a bit slow, but leads to good oki on hit and powerful combos on counter hit. If you're feeling bold, 5D is a risky but very rewarding mix-up option. It is reactable, but if you condition your opponent to fear other moves 5D can catch them by surprise. Against opponents that play passively, stagger Nagoriyuki’s fast moves to condition them to block and mix in throws when they don’t expect it.
For special cancel options, Kamuriyuki (214H) is a decent move for extending blockstrings. It’s -3 on block though, making special canceling it a necessity, such as using Fukyo backward (214K) to retreat. Shizuriyuki (623H) is also good, it can be used after 214H (or anything, really) to dissuade opponents from attacking. The second hit of 623H is highly delayable, which makes for two frame traps in one move. 236K will allow you to reset into any move from any move if you’ve conditioned your opponent to respect it. If they attack against it, use 214K and punish their whiff. Of course, using special moves will fill your Blood Gauge, so remember to party responsibly.
If the gauge approaches two bars, use 214K from any move to disengage and transition to mid-ranged strategies. Alternatively, mix in Bloodsucking Universe (623P) to deplete the blood gauge and continue your offense.
Long Range / Closing Space
Nagoriyuki has many powerful space control tools, but none of them reach full screen. Therefore, your goal at longer ranges is to find a way to close enough space to use mid-ranged or close-ranged tools. Mid range is preferred if your Blood Gauge is high. Try to get in close if the gauge is low.
Nagoriyuki’s lacks a run, air dash and double jump. As a result, his forward movement is rather limited. Using Fukyo forward (236K) is a necessity to compensate for this weakness, as a single 236K will bring Nagoriyuki into the mid range. If you have low blood and wish to get up close, 236K leaves Nagoriyuki half-way there, allowing you to use the gap closing tactics discussed in the mid range section. The momentum gained from 236K is kept if canceled into another special, allowing Nagoriyuki to close space quickly. Combine 236K with Kamuriyuki (214H) to lunge across the entire screen rather quickly. Just keep the Blood Gauge in mind.
With high blood gauge, the opponent will be in range of 5H after Nagoiryuki uses 236K, allowing you to start your space control game. Another great option from 236K is 2S, use it if you think your opponent might try dashing up at the same time as you or go for a Low ProfileWhen a character's hurtbox is entirely beneath an opponent's attack. This can be caused by crouching, certain moves, and being short. move. However, if you use 236K into strikes too often, an alert opponent can interrupt your attack with a counter poke. You’ll have to mix up 236K into strikes with 236K into block to avoid becoming predictable.
Characters with projectile attacks can use them to interrupt 236K, which can make it difficult for Nagoriyuki to close space. You will need clever usage of all of Nagoriyuki’s options to close space in situations like these. Super jumping is very important for Nagoriyuki, as it is his only suitable replacement for double jumping or air dashing over projectiles. It has slower startup than regular jumping though, so you might have to use it a bit more preemptively. It's also easy for an opponent to react to and anti-air if they aren't stuck in a recovery animation. Try to only go for an aerial attack out of it if the opponent can't respond to it.
Alternatively, Nagoriyuki can contest enemy projectiles with his own: Zarameyuki (236S). It shoots a clone that starts up with a projectile clashing hitbox before becoming a traditional projectile hitbox. As luck would have it, 236S also reaches full screen and is quite fast, making it a strong anti-zoning tool. 236S > 236K allows Nagoriyuki to advance towards the opponent while having the projectile cover for him, providing an opportunity for a follow-up attack. This is a key approach option in certain match-ups, as it allows Nagoriyuki to nullify an enemy projectile and close space at the same time. This can be used as a rewarding, albeit Blood Gauge intensive, way to bypass enemy zoning. If 236S connects, Nagoriyuki can combo into f.SSS, mitigating the Blood Gauge increase. The move is also effective for finishing a low-life opponent off.
As surprising as it might be, 6P is actually useful against projectiles. The upper-body invulnerability of 6P allows Nagoriyuki to go through some projectiles without taking damage. You can practice this against Ky's Stun Edge. Just be wary of projectiles with hitboxes that hit low to the ground, such as Sol's Gun Flame. In addition, projectiles that are slow and have many active frames, such as Ky's Charged Stun Edge, can hit Nagoriyuki when his upper body becomes vulnerable again.
Nagoriyuki primarily plays a grounded play style due to his poor aerial movement options and underwhelming aerial attacks. However, there are still situations where using aerials is necessary, so understanding Nagoriyuki’s aerial options is important.
j.P - Tied for Nagoriyuki's fastest aerial attack, alongside j.K. It's combination of fast start-up speed and short recovery frames makes it useful for stopping air approaches. However, Nagoriyuki’s lack of aerial special moves means that you won’t get any powerful conversions from this.
j.K - Has a larger hitbox than j.P and has the same startup speed, but has longer recovery and suffers from the same lack of reward.
j.S - A standard air-to-air poke with good horizontal range. It is fairly slow and unrewarding at 0 blood bars, but improves a fair bit with higher blood. It is Nagoriyuki's best air-to-air option when you need good range, but generally speaking you should stick to ground-to-airs.
j.D - A disjointed attack with massive range that hits diagonally upwards in front of Nagoriyuki. It wall bounces on hit. When its speed and power is boosted by high blood, j.D can lead to surprisingly powerful dustloop combos in the corner. It also briefly stalls his air momentum on use. Can work as an air-to-air for opponents that approach from high angles. Just keep in mind that you'll need good timing to land a j.D. It can also be used to alter the time when you hit the ground to confuse the opponent.
Nagoriyuki primarily plays a grounded play style and his offense is strike/throw oriented. His lack of an air dash means that jump-in options are going to be on the slower side, so they aren’t particularly threatening. However, there are still situations where using aerials is necessary, so understanding Nagoriyuki’s aerial options is important.
j.K - Nagoriyuki's fastest jump-in option. The hitbox below Nagoriyuki is wide enough for j.K to function as a Cross-upAttacking your opponent after changing which horizontal side you are on, usually by jumping over them., which can be used well by using j.H combined with drift RC.
j.S - Has decent speed considering its very wide hitbox, which makes it a decent jump-in option. It can lead to powerful combos on counter hit against grounded foes. This, in combination with its long horizontal range, makes it one of Nagoriyuki's most important tools for punishing projectiles.
j.H - A decent jump-in option due to having a good hitbox below Nagoriyuki. Keep in mind that its horizontal range is very poor. At 0 blood bars, this move is too slow and short ranged to be worth using. Try to go for it with at least one blood bar. It can also lead to powerful combos on counter hit, making it a rewarding option for punishing projectiles if you have the right read.
Defensive System Mechanics
Faultless Defense (FD), Psych Burst and Yellow Roman Cancel (YRC) are cornerstones of defense in Guilty Gear, as they are quite handy for breaking out of pressure. They all cost a resource though, so think about how you use them. Nagoriyuki struggles to challenge pressure due to his mediocre abare options, lack of low profile moves and lack of meterless reversals. Therefore, mastering defensive system mechanics is especially important for Nagoriyuki.
- Hold any two buttons except while blocking to perform Faultless Defense (FD). As long as the direction and buttons are held down (and the Tension Gauge isn't empty), you will continue to perform Faultless Defense.
A unique type of guard that gradually depletes Tension when used. Faultless Defense augments your block by giving it several special properties. Firstly, it increases pushback on block, making it useful to make space between you and the opponent. By using Faultless Defense early in the opponent's blockstring, the opponent will be pushed back enough that later attacks will miss, allowing you to punish the opponent's whiffed attack or disengage. When in use, Faultless Defense also prevents the R.I.S.C Level from increasing and nullifies chip damage. This is essential for survival in situations where chip damage runs the risk of finishing you off.
Keep in mind that you don't have to hold two buttons for a long time in order to use Faultless Defense effectively. It's also possible to press the buttons briefly - slightly longer than a tap - just before the opponent's hit connects. By doing this, you can let go of Faultless Defense in between the hits of an opponent's blockstring, allowing you to save some Tension. This requires some precision though, so it will require practice.
Yellow Roman Cancel
- Press any three attack buttons (except ) simultaneously while in blockstun to perform a Yellow Roman Cancel (YRC). Costs 50% Tension.
Yellow Roman Cancels can be used when blocking at the cost of 50% Tension, for the purpose of stopping an attacking opponent and resetting the momentum of the match. Yellow Roman Cancels can not be performed when your character is in a Guard Crush state. Upon activation, your character creates a shockwave that forces the opponent into a Guard Crush state, granting your character massive frame advantage. Yellow Roman Cancel is a useful tool for challenging an opponent’s pressure, especially for characters that are lacking in character-specific tools.
However, Yellow Roman Cancel is -16 on block and leaves your character in Counter Hit state during its recovery frames. Sharp opponents can block it on prediction and punish it heavily. Make sure to vary when you go for a Yellow Roman Cancel to avoid becoming predictable. In addition, the hefty 50% Tension cost must always be taken into consideration. Said Tension could be used for Overdrives or extending combos or blockstrings with other types of Roman Cancels. Practice utilizing all of your defensive options so as to not end up over relying on Yellow Roman Cancel and burning Tension too quickly.
- Press + any other attack button to perform a Psych Burst. Costs a full Burst Gauge.
A powerful defensive option that can be used in a variety of situations at the cost of a full Burst Gauge. Upon activation, your character releases an invincible shockwave that knocks opponents away. Bursts can be used at almost any point in the match, including when you’re in blockstun or hitstun. This allows Bursts to function as both a combo breaker and as a way to challenge the opponent’s pressure. The Burst Gauge refills very slowly over time, so it can be a good idea to use it early in a match to break out of a powerful combo, such as a Counter Hit combo. This will allow you to spend the rest of the round recharging it, making it more likely to have another opportunity to use it again later in the match.
While Bursts are very powerful, they are far from infallible. The activation shockwave is not instant, so sharp players can predict incoming Bursts and punish them heavily. A common method of doing so is canceling attacks with jump cancels or Roman Cancels, then blocking the Burst and punishing the recovery. Because of the risk associated with it, you should vary the timing of when you go for Burst to avoid becoming predictable. In addition, the activation shockwave's range is limited. Characters with long ranged attacks, such as Nagoriyuki and Ramlethal, have access to Burst-safe combos and blockstrings that allow them to punish Burst if you go for it or continue their offense if you don’t. Against players that employ these tactics, you will need strong match-up knowledge to survive. Lastly, keep in mind that Burst cannot be performed while your character is stuck to the wall, being thrown, or being hit by an Overdrive.
Counter poking is the act of attacking preemptively for the purpose of interrupting the opponent’s actions. By placing hitboxes in front of your character, the opponent runs the risk of being hit out of their forward movement or being counter hit out of their attacks. Counter pokes are key for playing a preventive playstyle, which is useful against aggression. The best counter pokes are typically long-ranged, highly active, quick to recover, protected by invulnerability of some kind, or a combination of these traits.
6P - An attack with frame 1 upper body invincibility, which makes it useful as a counter poke. Use it to challenge an opponent's attack in mid or close range. Many forward-lunging, plus on block special moves, such as Giovanna's TrovãoGuard:
+4 and May's Mr. Dolphin HorizontalGuard:
11 (20 OH)Advantage:
+5, are vulnerable to 6P. In addition, many attacks extends the character's hurtbox further out than the animation implies, due to the weapon itself having a hurtbox. This is especially prevalent on moves like Nagoriyuki's f.SGuard:
-17 and Leo's f.SGuard:
-13. If you experiment with 6P, you might be surprised at how many attacks can be beaten with it.
2S - Overall a great button because of its speed, range and cancel options. It functions well as a counter poke because of the aforementioned reasons and because it has slight Low ProfileWhen a character's hurtbox is entirely beneath an opponent's attack. This can be caused by crouching, certain moves, and being short. properties.
2D - A low sweep with minor Low ProfileWhen a character's hurtbox is entirely beneath an opponent's attack. This can be caused by crouching, certain moves, and being short. properties. It leads into strong okizeme on normal hit or powerful combos on counter hit. Can be useful against opponents that preemptively use short buttons.
5H - A strong counter poke due to its massive range and disjoint. Keep in mind that at 0 blood bars, the speed and range isn’t good enough for it to be effective, so use it with at least one blood bar. It’s quite rewarding on counter hit. Good usage of 5H can make it difficult for the opponent to approach you. Use it from ranges where Nagoriyuki’s other counter pokes won’t reach.
Anti-airs, as the name suggests, are moves that are useful against aerial opponents. They are typically either fast, high-reaching, protected by invulnerability of some kind, or a combination of these traits. Nagoriyuki has five effective anti-airs: 6P, 5P, 2H, Shizuriyuki (623H) and Air Throw.
6P - A safe and reliable option due to its upper body invulnerability. Combos into Kamuriyuki (214H). A useful option if your reaction speed is fast enough to use it in time.
5P - Lacks the upper body invulnerability of 6P, but it’s much faster, making it essential in situations where you don’t have enough time to use 6P. It can also catch opponents trying to jump during close range brawling.
2H - A massive anti-air. A bit sluggish, but compensates with sheer size. While a move this huge is invaluable as an anti-air, you shouldn't get too cocky with it, as the move has its fair share of weaknesses. It lacks the speed and upper body invulnerability of moves like 6P and Shizuriyuki (623H). This means that a slow or improper read makes Nagoriyuki more likely to eat a counter hit. The high amount of recovery on this move also means your turn ends if it whiffs. On the flip side, 2H is massively rewarding on counter hit, and even if the move is blocked, the blockstun is usually enough to start your offense if you cancel into Fukyo (236K). Just keep in mind that the speed and range of 2H isn't very impressive with 0 blood bars, so stick to other anti-airs in that scenario. It's when boosted by one or more blood bars that 2H truly shines.
Overall, 2H is a rewarding option best used preemptively to interrupt aerial approaches from longer distances, such as IAD approaches.
Shizuriyuki (623H) - Functions as an anti-air due to its upper body invulnerability. It's more rewarding than the buttons and has a much larger hitbox, making it useful when you need the extra range. It has faster startup than 6P, but it requires a motion input, making it roughly equal in practice. A bit tricky to use, but can be useful if you get the hang of it.
Air Throw - A useful anti-air for all characters, especially against opponents that like to jump into block. Combos into 6H OTG, making it quite rewarding. If your opponent has a habit of jumping out during your pressure, use air throw to punish them.
Abare means to attack during an opponents frame advantage with the intention of interrupting their pressure. Naturally, fast moves work best for this task.
5P - At 5F, this is Nagoriyuki's fastest move and best abare option by extension. It combos into 6P > Kamuriyuki (214H) for a meterless knockdown, something that not every character can get from their buttons.
2P - Slightly slower at 6F, but has the advantage of hitting lower to the ground, making it more effective against opponents that crouch or use Low ProfileWhen a character's hurtbox is entirely beneath an opponent's attack. This can be caused by crouching, certain moves, and being short. moves.
5K - Has much longer range than the previously mentioned moves, but suffers from slower speed at 7F. Use 5K when you need a move with a bit more range during longer holes in the opponent's offense. 5K is also very rewarding if you're willing to spend blood for a strong combo.
Nagoriyuki’s invincible reversals, Wasureyuki and Zansetsu, can also be used for abare due to their invulnerability.
Invincible reversals are moves used to steal your turn back by force. They can be used during holes in an opponent's blockstrings or during your wake-up to punish sloppy oki. Nagoriyuki has an invincible reversal in Wasureyuki (632146S), which is replaced with Zansetsu (632146H) when he is in Blood Rage.
Wasureyuki (632146S) - An Overdrive with frame 1 invulnerability against both strikes and throws. It is punishable on block, but can be Roman Canceled for safety. This would end up costing 100% Tension though. If all else fails, it can be used as an expensive cover-all option to take your turn back by force. If it hits at tip range, the first hit won’t link into the cinematic, reducing the move’s damage potential. In addition, the opponent can sometimes fall out of the attack if the angle is a bit off.
Zansetsu (632146H) - Functions similarly to Wasureyuki, but has enough range to reach full screen. On the flip side, it's also a bit slower, making it more likely to fail against safe jump setups. If Zansetsu connects, Nagoriyuki exits Blood Rage. If you manage to enter Blood Rage in a way that doesn't guarantee being punished (such as making the opponent block the Blood Rage activation), you can use Zansetsu as a rewarding option to get out of Blood Rage quickly. Just keep in mind that it is -66 on block, which allows every character in the game to get a full screen punish. This would result in the loss of 50% Tension and whatever damage the opponent's punish will deal to you on top of the 50% HP drain from Blood Rage. To put it more succinctly: you're screwed.
Nagoriyuki’s pressure is one of his most unique traits, due to his ability to cancel specials into other specials. This requires you to rethink the way you typically pressure opponents, and requires the opponent to rethink how they defend. Clever use of his pressure tools will allow you to obliterate opponents thanks to Nagoriyuki's tremendous damage output. Mastering Nagoriyuki's unique pressure is essential to achieve victory.
Strike / Throw Mix-Up
Nagoriyuki lacks unique overheads and has poor jump-in and cross-up options. Instead, Nagoriyuki specialises in strike/throw mix-ups, using powerful normals and throws. After initiating any blockstring, you have the options of either continuing the string with strikes or mixing in a throw. Your opponent has three main options: continuing to block, jumping or attacking. Choosing to finish the string with strikes will interrupt jumps or attacks, but gives up your turn against blocking opponents. Throwing will open them up if they block, but loses to jumping and attacking.
Bloodsucking Universe (623P) is Nagoriyuki's command throw. Landing it, or at least threatening with it, is important to condition the opponent to jump or mash, which allows you to open them up with frame traps. Use Nagoriyuki’s various gatling options and special cancels to frame trap opponents that fear 623P. Kamuriyuki (214H) and Shizuriyuki (623H) are especially useful for frame traps if no gatling options are available. Note that there is a 5f throw invulnerability window after blockstun, meaning that many tick throw setups require a minor delay between the attack and the command grab or else the grab will whiff.
There are several ways to initiate strike/throw mix-ups. Connecting f.S or 2S on hit or block is one of the simplest ways of doing it. You can also meaty your opponent’s wake up with either c.S, 6H or 623P. If you connect a move and knock them down, meaty them again. They will be forced to block at some point, which allows you to transition to Nagoriyuki’s various blockstrings to frame trap them.
Fukyo Mix-Ups & Pressure Resets
When pressuring with blockstrings, varying your offense is key to opening up your opponent. Fukyo forward (236K) is one of Nagoriyuki’s main pressure tools, as it allows Nagoriyuki to mix in throws. For example, try using 2S > 236K. After the dash, you can use a strike or a throw to open the opponent up. Throws are vital tool for Nagoriyuki, but their timing must be varied, lest a skilled opponent catches on to your timing and employs counterplay. Keep your offense unpredictable by mixing up Fukyo forward with Fukyo back (214K) and by using various options from either version. Remember that cancelling Fukyo's gliding momentum can be done by pressing the direction opposite to the one you Fukyo'd in. Doing a Fukyo back during a blockstring and instantly cancelling its momentum by walking forward puts you right in range for your long normals to do their work, so learn how to do so as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that you don't have to land a direct hit to be in a good spot. For example, if you use 214K > 5H and the opponent chooses to sit still and block, you will deal a bit of chip damage and R.I.S.C while remaining safe and having the option of canceling 5H into another special, effectively resetting your pressure. The more ambiguous your mix-up becomes, the greater the chance that your opponent will make a mistake. Resetting pressure increases the mental burden on your opponent due to the R.I.S.C gauge increasing and the ever looming threat of throws. They have to try to escape eventually, which provides you with opportunities to punish if you have the right read. Due to Nagoryuki’s specials being special cancelable, you always have the option of going for another strike, no matter which move you connected on block, so long as you have blood to spend.
Let's take a deeper look at some examples of how to use Fukyo to mix up your options.
(...) > 236K, 623P - A basic command throw mix-up. Very important for opening up opponents that respect your offense. Keep in mind that an aware opponent can simply block your strings and either button mash or jump the moment they see the 236K. This brings us to the next option…
(...) > 214K, 5H / 214H - A strike mix-up to complement the command throw. 214K allows Nagoriyuki to dodge responses and punish with strikes. It's not possible to discern between 236K and 214K due to their identical start-up animations, forcing the opponent to guess. The high damage of 5H and 214H on counter hit make them excellent for punishing the opponent. Whilst this option beats frantic mashing and strikes with long recovery, it will not punish strikes that recover quickly. Knowledgeable opponents will challenge you cautiously by going for a single, safe poke, such as 2P or 2K, and then blocking to stay safe against 214K into strikes. But of course, the trusty vampire has an option for this as well.
(...) > 214K, 236K, 623P - An advanced command throw mix-up. This option is a hard read against the opponent’s safe strike into block option. 214K allows Nagoiryuki to dodge the strike, granting an opportunity to close space and use 623P to punish them for blocking. If the opponent wants to cover for this option with strikes, they would need to continue pressing, making them vulnerable to the previous option. The opponent can throw a wrench into your plans by using Chicken BlockJumping into the air and blocking rather than standing on the ground and being forced to guess a high-low mixup. Loses to air unblockable attacks such as BBTAG's Reversal Actions. when they see Fukyo, as it will cover all three of the aforementioned Fukyo mix-ups. To beat this option, you will have to act boldly by taking to the skies yourself!
(...) > 236K, j.6D - An Air Throw mix-up. Use it as a call-out against chicken blocking. Landing an Air Throw allows you to combo into 6H OTG and cancel into Fukyo for another mix-up, making it quite the reward for reading the opponent. Keep in mind that this only works if the opponent has been conditioned to chicken block. In other words, you must instill fear into your opponent for this option to be required. Only use it as a response if the opponent has used chicken blocking before.
If the opponent is afraid of taking an Air Throw, they will most likely stay grounded, allowing you to mix them up with the previously mentioned options. Against most opponents, this is as deep as Fukyo mix-ups generally will go. However, a proficient opponent with fast reaction time might have yet another option up their sleeve: Jumping back and responding with their own Air Throw to tech your Air Throw if they react to your forward movement. The recovery frames of Fukyo combined with prejump frames, Air Throw start-up, preemptive camera panning, sound effects and human execution imperfections means that the Air Throw will typically be telegraphed for at least 16 frames if the opponent has the skill to detect these minute visual and auditory cues. While this weakens the option against very sharp opponents, it’s not enough for 236K into Air Throw to be consistently techable on reaction; there will always be a degree of prediction involved. If they mispredict, the recovery frames of their Air Throw will leave them ripe for punishment. The best option for which is…
(...) > 236K, c.S - A basic strike mix-up. In addition to punishing the previously discussed Air Throw tech attempt the opponent can go for, this option also functions as safe pressure against options such as backdashing. The opponent can stay safe against this option by simply sitting still and blocking. But of course, that leaves them vulnerable to…
(...) > 236K, 623P - And so, the wheel of mix-ups has come full circle. Decision making trees always do so eventually.
All enemy options discussed so far are ones that all characters have access to without needing to spend any resources. Options such as Burst, YRC and invincible reversals will further complicate the situation and require their own call-outs or option selects to beat. Always keep an eye on your opponent’s resource gauges when you make your decisions, or you will unnecessarily be eating a lot of Overdrives. If you're up against a Sol or Leo player, you will need to hold back on your offense quite a bit as they tend to DPDragon Punch A move that has invulnerability during its startup, long recovery, and a rising motion. like it's an addiction. Don't become too cautious though, or you will end up giving up your pressure too often.
Analyse your opponent's patterns, stay unpredictable, and of course, have fun!
The following are some basic, useful blockstrings. If you're new to Nagoriyuki, these will help you get your gameplan started. Keep in mind that any move in any of the listed sequences can be canceled into Fukyo to initiate the mind games discussed in the previous section.
- (c.S) > f.SS > 214H / 623P
Using f.SS into 214H leaves a natural 1f gap frame trap. If you initiate the string up close, start with c.S and manually delay f.S to frame trap. 214H should be your first option for finishing the string in order to test the opponent’s patience. If your opponent respects 214H, mix it up with 623P.
- c.S > (dl) 6H > 214K / (dl) 214H
c.S > (dl) 6H > 236K > 623P
This string is a true blockstring if done as fast as possible. Preferably, delay 6H to create a frame trap. 6H > 214K is +2 on block, allowing you to either continue pressure if 6H is blocked or whiff punish a missed button. 6H > (dl) 214H is a powerful frame trap. If your opponent respects the 214K/214H reset, mix it up with 236K into 623P.
- 2S > 5H > (dl) 214H
A blockstring that starts from Nagoriyuki’s best low. After blocking 2S at close range, the opponent can interrupt 5H with fast buttons if you have 0 blood bars. In this scenario, skip 5H and go straight into 214H.
- (...) > 214H > (dl) 623H(H) / 214K
214H into 623H is a true blockstring if done as fast as possible. Preferably, delay 623H to create a frame trap. If your opponent challenges you after blocking 214H, use 623H to counter hit them. The second hit of 623HH, allows for yet another frame trap, should they block the first one. The risk of being counter hit by either hit of 623HH means that the opponent is likely to block if you condition them to. Mix in 623P into any point in the blockstring to punish their passivity. For a more reserved option, 214K allows you to safely retreat.
- 5K / c.S > 6K > 623P / 214H
This string is a good command grab set up. 6K needs to be done relatively close to the opponent in order for Nagoriyuki to be in range for the throw. Use 214H instead of 623P for a natural 1f gap frame trap, which is tight enough to catch counter throws.
- 236K > 5P / 5K / c.S > 623P
This blockstring makes use of the forward momentum from 236K to be in range for the command grab after the initial attack. All of these normals can gatling into tight frame traps to discourage jumping and mashing.
- 236S > 236K > 623P / c.S
236S is +5 on block and can be canceled into 236K to close the gap and initiate pressure. Due to being a projectile, 236S will not cause pushback on FD, allowing you to get a tick throw off it. Useful if the opponent starts using FD on your other blockstrings. Use c.S as a strike mix-up for 623P.
Nagoriyuki's options are stronger against a cornered opponent, his combos particularly so. Normally, c.S can't combo into itself due to pushback, but it will combo into itself against a cornered opponent. This can be combined with 623H (1) > 236K for strong juggle combos. Cranking up your damage output increases the mental burden on your opponent, increasing the chance that they make mistakes.
Backwards movement is an essential strategic option. For example, while under pressure, backwards movement allows one to disengage from the opponent. However, using backwards movement brings the character closer to the corner. With their back to the wall, there is no space to escape to, meaning the backwards movement options become unavailable. You can think of the space behind your character as a resource that depletes when you move backwards. When your opponent is cornered, Nagoriyuki can maximise the benefit of said positional advantage by making use of his massive range.
Place Nagoriyuki about a 2S away from the cornered opponent. This is the spacing in which he can threaten with 2S and other moves. Due to the possibility of being hit by a low, the opponent must think twice before moving. Any movement option will lose the crouch guard input, which makes it punishable. When the Blood Gauge fills up, the range of Nagoriyuki's normals are magnified significantly. Nagoriyuki can use the massive range of 5H and 2H to pressure opponents from safer distances than most characters, reducing his risk of being counter poked. Get comfortable with the range of 5H and space it from its tip range. Use 2H if an opponent tries an air escape. This is safe strategy that still allows you to go for mix-ups with Fukyo (236K/214K).
When in the corner, your opponent has two main options for escaping: Counter poking and escaping through the air, typically with a super jump or air dash. Vary your options to cover for these escape attempts.
- Use back and forth movement and space control tools to cover for counter poking. Your opponent can challenge you with either a fast attack or a long attack. A fast attack can stop your pressure up close, but runs the risk of whiffing at longer ranges. A long attack will reach further out, but their slower speed makes them susceptible to counter hits. Varying your spacing with back and forth movement makes it difficult for your opponent to discern which attack to go for, increasing the likelihood that they will make a mistake. Punish them if they whiff a short attack, and go for pokes like 2S or 5H occasionally to check their long attacks. Checking with pokes also stops them if they dash in for a throw. Confirm into combos if your pokes hit. 2S and 5H are negative on block, but by spacing them at tip range and occasionally special canceling, your opponent will have a hard time punishing.
- Deny their air escape. While spacing and checking the opponent, spy for their movement options. An air escape usually loses to a preemptive 2H, which will force them back into the corner with Nagoriyuki in an advantaged state, even on block. You can also air throw them on a read. As long as you don’t swing too often, you will have many opportunities to interrupt their air escape.
- Capitalise on their fear. If you manage to condition your opponent to play passively, incorporate Fukyo mix-ups, such as the occasional 236K into 623P, in order to keep the opponent on their toes. If you have 50% Tension, it's a great idea to PRC 623P for safety, should it whiff. You can also fake a throw by using 236K and then 214K in quick succession. This option can bait out attacks and gives you an opportunity to punish. If they block or jump, this option puts you back at poke range where you can continue to check them with 5H and 2H.
Many of Nagoriyuki’s combos can lead into 6H OTG. Some examples of such moves include Air Throw, 214H and CH 5H. 6H OTG is a strong option, as it deals a lot of damage and can be canceled into Fukyo (236K) for a mix-up. The frame advantage of 6H OTG > 236K is +10, which sets up a meaty c.S or 2K. Most combos include a 214H for a knockdown or 236K to close space, the blood cost of which must be kept in mind. If the blood gauge is high, these moves might be enough to push Nagoriyuki into Blood Rage. And beware of enemy bursts, as they can burst before 6H connects to cause your gauge to increase by more than you planned for. Because of these drawbacks, if the Blood Gauge is high, it’s sometimes better not to go for it. Keep an eye on your and your opponent's resources. When 6H OTG can be comboed into reliably, it's usually the best option.
Key Knockdown Moves
2D - A sweep attack with good range. Can lead into 6H OTG.
5D - Leads into a powerful combo and knockdown if charged, but is punishable on block. Use it with discretion.
5H - A knockdown move that knocks the opponent far away on hit. Cancel into 236K in order to keep up the pressure.
2H - Similar to 5H, but is best used against aerial opponents. Counter hits or hitting an opponent very high up leads to a combo opportunity, don’t squander it.
f.SSS - Leads into a knockdown, but it has a lot of pushback and recovery frames. Do note that f.SSS cannot be special canceled into 236K, so you'll have to time it when Nagoriyuki's recovery frames end to create a mix-up opportunity. f.SSS is not particularly rewarding from the perspective of damage or oki, but it does drastically reduce the Blood Gauge.
Ground Throw - After a ground throw connects in the corner, go for an immediate 6K. This is a set-up that will cause fast strikes, such as c.S, to hit the opponent meaty. It can also be used to get Nagoriyuki in range to use 623P to interrupt a DP, though this will require a slight delay after the 6K.
Bloodsucking Universe (623P) - The oki from this move isn't quite as advantageous as Ground Throw, but it comes with the advantage of depleting the Blood Gauge, allowing for a more extended offense afterwards.
Air Throw - Can lead into 6H OTG, making it more rewarding than most characters’ air throws.
Kamuriyuki (214H) - An excellent special move, useful for frame traps and approaching. It’s possible to combo into 214H from a variety of moves, such as 6P, 6K and f.SS. Can lead into 6H OTG depending on distance and combo scaling.
Key Okizeme Options
c.S - A great meaty option for many reasons. Fast startup, 6 active frames, great reward on counter hit, plus on block and the most gatling options out of any normal. The downsides are that you have to be close enough to not get f.S and it only narrowly outranges reversal throws. It's many active frames should give you a relatively generous window to meaty a reversal throw attempt however, so that is only a minor drawback. c.S is a great option after a close OTG 6H > 236K.
6H - Another great meaty option for many of the same reasons as c.S. Has the same number of active frames, even greater reward on counter hit, and can be made plus on block when canceled into FukyoGuard:
N/A (214K). Additionally, the disjointed hitbox allows it to clash with invincible reversals, pass through Bursts and potentially avoid YRC at range. On block, 6H > 214K is +2, allowing you to continue to pressure respectful opponents. When compared with c.S, it has less pressure options on block, less reward on normal hit, and slower startup, but is still a great option in its own right. In order to take full advantage of the disjointed hitbox, meaty the opponent with 6H at its maximum range.
2K - A quick low to beat opponents walking back on their wake-up. Gatlings into 2D to loop back into more oki. Walking back against Nagoriyuki's oki is a low risk option to avoid the strike/throw mix-up, but it only works when waking up at the tip of Bloodsucking Universe's range. 2K beats this otherwise safe option, so use it if the situation calls for it. When timed right, meaty 2K > 5P will link while also being safe to 10f reversals and slower. 6H OTG > 236K will set this up for the link but only meaty enough to recover in time for 11f reversals which notably still includes Ky's Vapor ThrustGuard:
-33 and Axl's Sickle StormGuard:
-2. On block, this setup will leave Nagoriyuki +2 on block instead of the usual -1.
Being a low, this option also beats the FD/throw tech option select.
Bloodsucking Universe (623P) - The throw in strike/throw. It is important to be aware of the 5 frames of throw invincibility on wake-up in GGST. Due to this, throws can never truly be "meaty" and can only land on frame 6 after wake-up at the earliest so time it accordingly. Nagoriyuki has throw invincibility himself during this move so it naturally beats reversal throws. Since meterless reversals are only strike invulnerable, throws have a narrow window to beat meterless reversals after the wake-up throw invincibility and before the hitbox become active.
Notably good against Anji since it beats his counter Overdrive. Keep in mind that every character has 5F or faster normal, so mashing jab is a universal answer to this option.
Fukyo (214K) - A safe option, but it gives up pressure. It can be strategically used to safely test how your opponent will react to your oki. Notably can punish opponents trying to keep their invincible reversals safe by canceling into RRC on block since invincible reversals cannot be PRC'd when they whiff.
Zarameyuki (236S) > Fukyo (236K) - Hits meaty off 6H OTG or delayed after 623P. Can tick throw or continue pressure on block, confirm on hit, or hold block during the flash on reversal super and punish. Can also hold back to block reversal DPs but it's harder to confirm off of.
Bloodsucking Universe: The Demonic Pressure Starter
Many characters have access to improved okizeme and pressure strings in the corner. Nagoriyuki is especially threatening in the corner if he manages to land Bloodsucking UniverseGuard:
NA (623P). Landing 623P essentially grants Nagoriyuki an extra 280 blood points to spend if the special moves are used while the gauge is still decreasing. The okizeme from the command throw in combination with liberal special move usage allows for extremely oppressive pressure sequences.
Try starting pressure with a meaty ZarameyukiGuard:
+5 (236S). It becomes a more powerful pressure starter in the corner because Nagoriyuki is close enough to the opponent to go from 236S directly into normals, rather than having to close the gap with FukyoGuard:
N/A (236K). It’s also plus on block and easy to land due to its long active frames. Another option is the ol’ reliable c.SGuard:
Here are just a few examples of Nagoriyuki’s monstrous pressure strings:
- 236S, 2K > 214H > 214K, 214H, 623P
- c.S, 2K > 214H > 236S > 236K, c.S > (dl) 6H > 236K, 623P
- 236S, 2K > 2D > 214H > 236S, 5K > 6K > 214H, 623P
- c.S > (dl) 2S > 214H > (dl) 623H > 236S > 236K, 5K, 623P
- 236S, c.S > (dl) 6H > 214K, 214H > 236S > 236K, c.S, 623P
- 236S, c.S > (dl) 2S > 236S > 236K, 2K > 2D > 236S, 5K > 6K > 236S > 236K, c.S, 623P
These long pressure sequences provide many opportunities to sneak in throws in the middle of them. A blocked 214HGuard:
-3 can lead into a throw. c.S and 5K can do it with the momentum of a 236K, and don’t forget to sneak in throws directly after 236K. If the opponent is conditioned to expect long sequences and respects your offense, you could also go for a throw after they block the very first move in the sequence. Just keep in mind that Faultless Defense will push Nagoriyuki out of throw range after a blocked attack. You’ll have to do a micro walk before throwing to close the gap.
If you have 50% Tension, you can also mix in 5DGuard:
-15 > RC for a frame 20 overhead. If the 5D connects, confirm into a combo. If it’s blocked, continue the pressure sequence. Here are two examples:
- 236S, c.S > 5D > 66RRC > c.S > 214H > 236S > 236K, 5P, 623P
- c.S > 214H > 236S > 236K, 2K > 5D > 66RRC > c.S > 214H, 623P
Don’t think you’re restricted to the sequences listed here; these examples are just the tip of the iceberg. The number of ways to mix up Nagoriyuki’s pressure routes is essentially infinite. Become one with the Blood Gauge, and go wild!
A safe pressure option that beats invincible reversals. Typically requires setups since the timing for the jump is strict and you have no tell to base that timing on. Not the most common option for Nagoriyuki since much of his oki comes from 6H OTG soft knockdowns.
- c.S > f.SSS, j9, j.H
- [4D or 6D], j9, j.H
Nagoriyuki must play around his Blood Gauge, which means players fighting against Nagoriyuki also must pay attention to the blood gauge in order to know what options Nagoriyuki has available at that moment. In general, Nagoriyuki will have more dangerous frame trap options at low blood but a better neutral game at high blood. When the blood gauge is higher Nagoriyuki's command grab becomes more rewarding as it will give him oki as well as the blood to open up more of his frame trap options once again. As a defender, avoiding the grab with jump or backdash will become the lower risk option as Nagoriyuki will have very few options of extending combos especially without tension. Knowing when Nagoriyuki has overextended on special moves and has made blood rage imminent will also help with defense as Nagoriyuki's only option to stop the Blood Rage activation from happening is landing his command grab and any combo he starts will be cut short from the activation animation.
Defending and Punishing Blood Rage
|BR Activation||N/A||Guard Crush||4+38+3||10||70||-12|
Blood Rage is a fail state for the Nagoriyuki player, but it's up to you to maximise the punishment it brings. Don't get surprised by the activation. Make sure you're watching the Blood Gauge so you can set yourself up to punish.
If possible avoid blocking the activation. It's -12 on block, which while rather hefty, it can push you outside of c.S range. As long as your back is not up against a wall you should have time to avoid the activation with a backdash after the screen freeze. For optimizing damage off of a whiffed activation, front-load your damage to avoid guts scaling later on and be sure to use a combo that will last the full duration of the Blood Rage health drain (about 3.5 seconds). If you've missed the punish on the activation and the Nagoriyuki tries to exit Blood Rage early with his Blood Rage Overdrive, block it and you will have a full second to dash up (or Fukyo, or Hammerfall) from fullscreen and punish.
When defending against Blood Rage just block and use Faultless Defense. FD will be your best friend during Blood Rage. Nagoriyuki gets huge chip damage in Blood Rage so you want to prevent that whenever possible. Nagoriyuki does not have access to his command dash or command grab in Blood Rage so his ability to open up your guard is very limited. The only exception is that his j.H becomes an instant overhead. Look out for that threat when Nagoriyuki is close enough and has tension to convert off of it. Nagoriyuki's Blood Rage Overdrive has very slow startup. If he catches you committing to an attack or backdash (which you shouldn't be doing, you should just be blocking) you should be able to PRC it and block the Overdrive in most cases.
An important element to keep track of with the Blood Gauge is how it can limit Nago's offensive capabilities. While Nagoryuki likes to play at midrange when he's at level 2 and 3 Blood Rage, circumstances may make it so that he remains up close with it full, such as after a corner carry combo. In this situation, retaining pressure can be difficult due to the Blood Gauge effectively limiting his best frametrap options in his two specials. Thus, an observant Nago player will likely either go for a Command Grab to retain pressure via emptying the gauge, pressure with normals while fishing for a counterhit, Fukyo in for a normal grab if his opponent is at low health, or Fukyo out and try and zone you with his normals. On defense, try to identify which of these options your opponent likes to go for and punish accordingly.
Intercepting Command Dash
|236K||Fukyo||-||Total 25||1~25F Above Chest||● Increases Blood Gauge over 3s (+43.2/300)
● Can cancel into specials from Frame 14 onwards, except either variant of Fukyo.
● Holding down K and 4 or 6 will fast cancel into their respective directions of Fukyo on Frame 14. These cancels cannot be delayed and re-inputting 214K or 236K will not perform a cancel.
|214K||Fukyo||-||Total 16||1~16F Above Chest||● Increases Blood Gauge over 3s (+43.2/300)
● Can cancel into specials from Frame 9 onwards, except either variant of Fukyo.
● Holding down K and 4 or 6 will fast cancel into their respective directions of Fukyo on Frame 9. These cancels cannot be delayed and re-inputting 214K or 236K will not perform a cancel.
Nagoriyuki's forward command dash can be used to reset pressure or sneak in a command grab but doing so off of anything but 236S (the clone projectile) is risky and can often be punished with a c.S starter. If you block one of his normals and he follows up by canceling into a forward command dash he will be at -7 frame disadvantage, which is punishable depending on the spacing.
Forward vs Backward Both directions of Nagoriyuki's command dash have identical startup animations so they can be confusing to react to during block strings. Backwards command dash has less recovery than the forward version so you are likely to get whiff punished if you blindly intercept the forward dash before determining which version it actually is. On the other hand, if you wait long enough so that Nagoriyuki reappears after his dash you will likely not have enough time to interrupt his next attack.
Since Nagoriyuki's backwards command dash has less recovery, he'll stay invisible for a much shorter duration during the back command dash compared to the forward version. You can use that fact to react to the forward command dash sooner than normal. Instead of waiting to see where he'll reappear it can be better to get familiar with the timing of just his backdash and react to whether or not he has reappeared on time. If he hasn't reappeared on time further back, you will know it's a forward dash just a little bit earlier than if you were to wait and react to him appearing in front of you.
Avoiding vs Intercepting Intercepting is a high risk/high reward response to the command dash situation. A lower risk answer though is to just avoid the possible grab with a jump in response to either command dash. It's nearly impossible for the Nagoriyuki player to catch your jump startup. At best you can get a jumping counter hit punish against his command grab and at worst you'll have to air block and let Nagoriyuki reset pressure.
Blocking 214H (Beyblade)
|214H||Kamuriyuki||50||Mid||14||5||17||-3||Increases Blood Gauge over 3s (+90/300) • Airborne 5~12F|
Nagoriyuki's 214H is -3 on block when blocked close, making it punishable by a ground throw. However, Nagoriyuki has the option to spend Blood Gauge to cancel the recovery into another special move. It's important to know which options are available to Nagoriyuki given his Blood Gauge.
The Special Cancel Frame Trap - Nagoriyuki can cancel 214H into ShizuriyukiGuard:
-7 (623H) or ZarameyukiGuard:
+5 (236S) for a total of 1.8 bars of Blood Gauge. While very expensive on blood, they lead to huge reward on hit even without spending additional blood if in the corner. This is your main incentive to continue blocking and let Nagoriyuki reset his pressure. Always keep the Blood Gauge in mind though as this will become less threatening at high blood due to its cost, allowing you to contest the situation at lower risk.
Respecting Back Dash Cancel - Nagoriyuki can cancel 214H into his backwards command dash leaving him +2 on block and in range for his 16/14/12F f.SGuard:
-17, or his 12/11/10F 2SGuard:
-5 in the corner. Less rewarding than the frame trap, but cheaper at 1.3 bars of Blood Gauge and safer to reversals so you will see it a lot against more cautious players. If you get caught pressing a button to contest Nagoriyuki's 5P option Nagoriyuki will easily whiff punish. The combos Nagoriyuki can do at this range are all mildly blood or tension expensive though and he already used 1.3 bars of Blood Gauge for 214H and 214K, so keep in mind the option will be less threatening when Nagoriyuki has high blood and low tension.
Avoiding Command Grab - If you show you're willing to continue blocking, Nagoriyuki will try to open you up with his command grab. If 214H connects close, it's possible to punish it with a ground throw, though this can be heavily punished if Nagoriyuki uses a special cancel frame trap. A delayed backdash or jump can beat both the tight 623H frame trap and command grab, but both will lose to the 236S frame trap. At very high blood levels the command grab becomes much more rewarding for Nagoriyuki and the frame traps become more of a non-option due to Blood Rage so jumping, backdashing, or jabbing become better options. If you FD Nago's 214H he will not be in range to use command grab, but he will also be out of range for you to punish 214H with a throw.
All around it's a lot more complicated RPS situation than the -3 on block would imply, but know your options and keep in mind how the Blood Gauge changes the risk/reward and you should be able to keep up.
Blocking f.SS (Advancing Slashes)
The blocking situation is very similar to Nagoriyuki's 214H as described in the section above. All the same special cancel threats still apply. The main difference is Nagoriyuki is -8 off of f.SS so he cannot continue pressure with 5P like he can off of 214H in some matchups. The new option to be aware of here is f.SSS.
f.SSS Risk/Reward f.SSS is the fallback frame trap option if Nagoriyuki's blood gauge is too high to use his better 214H or 623H frame traps. By itself it has very little reward on hit and is extremely punishing on block at -25 making it very risky. Because of this, many players will never use this follow up on block without RC to back it up. f.SSS also drains an impressive amount of the blood gauge on block, so it won't be too uncommon for Nagoriyuki to commit to this option just for the blood drain. In short, don't think you're safe from the frame trap when Nagoriyuki is at high blood especially if he has tension for RC. If Nagoriyuki is at very high blood but does not have RC available, the frame trap is riskier for Nago and therefore less likely to be used allowing you to focus on dealing with the command grab.
Characters with 6F backdashes can successfully reversal backdash this move, but since this is punishable to PRC it is not advisable without an RC of your own. f.SSS also has a very small window to delay the gatling which will catch backdashes, but this is rarely done due to execution and niche usefulness.
Avoiding Command Grab Nagoriyuki can late cancel his f.SS into command grab to catch you blocking. This is possible because the recovery animation of f.SS moves Nagoriyuki forward. If you're blocking at range, you don't need to worry about this threat. Additionally, you can FD to push Nagoriyuki out of throw range. Lastly, you can go for a fuzzy jump. If you jump precisely after the frame trap would hit, but before your block stun throw invuln wears off you can effectively beat both options. The timing is strict, but if you get it right the Nagoriyuki will be forced to delay his frame traps or make a hard read to catch you.
5H & 2H
|5H Level 1||60||Mid||20||6||27||-14||Lowers Blood Gauge on block/hit over 6s (OB -7.2/300, OH -57.6/300)|
|5H Level 2||65||Mid||18||6||27||-14||Lowers Blood Gauge on block/hit over 6s (OB -7.2/300, OH -57.6/300)|
|5H Level 3||70||Mid||16||6||27||-14||Lowers Blood Gauge on block/hit over 6s (OB -7.2/300, OH -57.6/300)|
|2H Level 1||50||Mid||19||7||29||-17||Lowers Blood Gauge on block/hit over 6s (OB -7.2/300, OH -57.6/300)|
|2H Level 2||55||Mid||17||7||29||-17||Lowers Blood Gauge on block/hit over 6s (OB -7.2/300, OH -57.6/300)|
|2H Level 3||60||Mid||15||7||29||-17||Lowers Blood Gauge on block/hit over 6s (OB -7.2/300, OH -57.6/300)|
Click [★] for character's full frame data