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General Tactics

(credit to @dot_nova for the basic write-up)

Jack-O’ is an unorthodox character with strong ground normals, a versatile set of specials, and a very unique win condition, involving the creation of ‘servants’ which attack independently. The general goal is to successfully place 3 houses (which create servants), protect and maintain them, and eventually win by overwhelming the opponent. When, where, and which houses are placed will vary depending on the matchup.

In most matchups, the goal of neutral is to look for opportunities that allow Jack-O’ to safely set a house. Look for a chance to begin offense to force a rock-paper-scissors situation (RPS) to set a house, score a knockdown for a safe house set, or be at a position/situation in which the opponent cannot immediately respond to a house set.

Once houses and servants are a factor, the goal is to protect the houses and stay nearby or behind servants to maintain momentum. As houses level over time, it forces the opponent to take risks and make decisions on whether it’s best to focus on destroying houses, servants, or focusing on Jack-O’. The same applies to Jack-O’ as the decision to take a risk to protect a particular house lies within the player.

After knocking down an opponent and depending on the special/normal used, Jack-O can:

   Set a house
   Pickup and throw a house
   Safe jump meaty
   Organ command

Tips and Tricks

Video Primer for Minions:

You can YRC normals and house pickup/house set/house throw/organ command to avoid being punished.

Using Calvados to make blockstrings safe is also useful as tension pulse is not affected (RC/YRC/PRC affect tension pulse for an extended period of time).

c.S can frametrap into c.S if you have running momentum during the first one. This is useful for spacing out f.S afterwards, which should make your 3H safe unless your opponent instant blocks f.S.

2K frametraps into 2K on block, and combos on counter hit. There's often situations where you'll hit the second 2K, in which case, you can go straight into f.S 3H.

Jack-O's main mixup tools are 5D, 6K, 6D, and her frametraps.

Once you've got your opponent locked down with minions, that's when you're OK to go for overheads. 5D can often be disguised in the frenzy of minions, but 6K has no flash. If 6K hits, that's when you probably have the meter to RC for a knockdown combo.

Fighting Jack-O'

Instant Blocking f.S gives you a chance to hit Jack-O with something like a f.S or 2K before she can use 3H.

Instant Blocking 3H ruins the plus frames that Jack-O aims to gain by using it at distance.

Dead Angle Attack, Burst, and Blitz Shield (yes, just the shield!) destroy all of Jack-O's minions on hit. Use your resources defensively against her, but do NOT use Faultless Defense against her ground strings! Unless you're confident that it'll make 3H whiff, it will give her more plus frames to keep her pressure up and delay for Servants.

The houses that the minions spawn from have a sort of "cooldown" when you hit them, before you can hit them again. Mashing a fast normal against them is not good because you'll probably just whiff completely. It's best to kill Jack-O's houses by using big, swinging normals and projectiles, so that you can either keep Jack-O in blockstun, or simply hit all of her houses at once if they're stacked near each other. For example, doing Axl's 2H into Rensen on block gets 2 hits in on her houses.