P4U2.5/Yu Narukami/Strategy

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Yu Narukami


Gameplan at a glance

  • Land a clean hit, lead into a safe jump, and carry momentum from there.

With the amount of corner carry his confirms get, Narukami can easily put the opponent in a bad spot where he can extend his BNB and combo off of moves he normally would not be able to (i.e. 236B, Throw cancelled into supers, etc), making every opening dangerous. Having generally safe pressure, he can bait out a lot of reversals and punish extremely hard, then use your strong pressure (arguably best in the game) riddled with a bunch of mixups to open up your opponent easily. With resources and the corner, you can do explosive damage and go for kills.

Tutorial Videos

2.0 Narukami Quick-Start Guide by JayPhoenix


Normal-type or Shadow-type?

So far in P4U2 2.0/2.5, the recommended mode is currently Normal-type Narukami. Now, you may be asking, "But why is that? I thought Shadows were OP, and that they make already good characters ultra broken, so why isn't Shadow Narukami recommended?" Well, we can answer that here by seeing what Narukami does in his gameplay and how picking Shadow would interact with it at all:

Normal Narukami Shadow Narukami
Auto Combo Leads into safe-jump on all reversals anywhere, can be used in corner combos for bonus meter, does not sacrifice knockdown to gain meter bonus. Can only IAD j.B for a safe-jump that can't cover faster reversals, cannot be used effectively in combos, sacrifices meter bonus to get full safe-jump knockdown from juggle 5AAA > jc and only in the corner.
Damage Can pull ~3000 damage minimum combos out of a hat with 1 OMC, or ~4000 with OMB. Supers can be used liberally after either for even better damage, or saved for SBs or to finish later combos. Similar regular conversion potential as Narukami except naturally deals 10% less damage, but opts not to use his Burst as a resource until he has a good amount of meter. Using meter mid-round for OMC or supers keeps him from using Shadow Frenzy effectively or at all later on. If conditions are met, Shadow Frenzy combos can deal ~5000-7000 damage and be completely unburstable.
SP Gain Normal SP gain, but gets 50 bonus SP from Awakening. Also able to net bonus SP consistently mid-combo from his more favorable autocombo route. Slightly increased SP gain all throughout, but no Awakening.
SP Use Frequently spends meter all throughout the round in just about any situation for damage, conversions, and pressure resets, starting from 25 meter. Can be the same as Normal-type, but opts against using meter mid-round as it does affects how much he can save for Shadow Frenzy combos to kill. Also only gets good returns on Shadow Frenzy when used at 70 SP or greater.
Burst Use Can use OMB to extend combos for great damage without touching his meter. OMB can also be used on block for a pressure reset. Opts to only use Burst offensively when he has meter. Specials into Shadow Frenzy have better plus frames, but will cost all your meter alongside your Burst. Using Burst defensively in a round locks you out from accessing your cash out until it comes back.
Awakening in general Gains ~1.4x defensive buff from Awakening, but cannot use Cross Slash until then. Can theoretically have more health than Shadow, but must reach the threshold very early and even then it's almost negligible. Can use Awakening supers any time, but never gets the Awakening SP, gauge capacity increase, or defense bonus. Has bonus 1000 health to offset this.
Thunder God Dance and Instant Kill Full Swag Points Cannot use either.

As you can see, there's an incredibly good case to be made about Normal Narukami being better than Shadow:

  • His autocombo in general is more favorable
  • He is more free to use his meter on his strong SB skills without worrying about saving it up for Frenzy or being forced to spend it all at once
  • The damage between the two for the resources used is around the same, if not better on Normal's side

But even with this, it still isn't absolute. Maybe you like the unburstable routes to be able to deny your opponent Awakening and create early kill scenarios, or maybe you would rather just not have to worry about Shadow Frenzy routing when regular Narukami BNBs work just fine. We can give you the suggestion of Normal-type Narukami, but ultimately, it's up to personal preference.

General Tactics

Narukami is a well rounded character who has a tool for just about any situation. Therefore, the main goal is to utilize this flexibility to exploit the opponent's weakness, whether they cannot handle zoning, aggressive rush-down, or safe and consistent poking.

Neutral

Important Normals

5B

Main spacing and poking tool, obnoxious range and can hit opponents on round start. Use this to clip forward ground movement from the opponent, or early jump frames if they like to jump around but are too far away for 2B. Much of your ease (or difficulty) in neutral is going to depend largely on how well your opponent and their character can navigate around this button just being thrown around about any given time. If they refuse to or just can't manage to work around this button, they are in trouble and you (probably) have the upper hand in the match.

2B

Good "dash-in" button as it is fast and a little more active than most buttons, covers a good amount of space on the ground and a little in the air next to Narukami. Can catch both ground movement, reactive buttons, and jumps or backdashes away from close contact. Obviously, it can also anti-air opponents approaching via the air.

5C

Best range and space coverage, including hitting airdashes and sweeps unlike 5B, but notably unsafer on whiff and doesn't lead to much on normal hit or block at far ranges. Instead of always trying to poke with this as if it's 5B, you should rather use this primarily as a counterpoke / whiff punish tool, as it leads to a slightly extended combo for some actual good midscreen damage on CH. With OMB on deck, your CH counterpoke can hit up to 4000+ damage almost anywhere. Similar to 5B, if the opponent can't hang with 5C being thrown out at any time you are in range for it, they are in trouble.

2A+B

Always remember that you have your sweep to out-prioritize certain pokes from some characters, i.e. Narukami's own 5B. As a result, you're going to be landing this as a CH in most cases, in which case you can cancel into C Swift Strike for a knockdown or 236C+D when close for a full combo.

j.A, j.B, and j.2B

All three of these normals are absolutely amazing for air neutral. j.A and j.B have plenty of active frames for air-to-airing and space control respectively, while j.2B is also perfectly suited for hitting opponents running towards you on the ground or even attempting to run under you, as the back hitbox from j.2B can hit behind you too to cover some cross-under attempts.

Important Specials

C and D Zio (236C/D)

Narukami's projectile, and a big part of his safety in neutral. It can be used to feel out an opponent and see how their character responds to it, or see how they themselves choose to respond to it. When used after an IABD (754 input), it can be used to dodge pokes or offensive attempts and hit them in the face with a projectile for their efforts. Also note that any Zio on connect can be cancelled into C Ziodyne (236236C), so you can dump meter to punish lazy neutral in such a way. Do note that you should not mindlessly throw Zios versus some characters, as some can outzone Zio reliably, so once you figure that out in a match-up you should limit your usage and use your other tools.

C and D Swift Strike (214C/D)

These are your options for low-profiling pokes and projectiles at longer ranges where you can't use sweep. Mileage varies based on the match-up: In some, this won't ever need to be used in neutral. In others, this can cut through entire gameplans and put the whole match-up in your favor based on this alone. The C version is short-ranged but can also be used at certain spacings to make it safe on block if your prediction was wrong. The D version doesn't really have this luxury, tending to always be unsafe, but can duck and punish some zoning from a full screen away. Keep this in mind, paired with the risk/reward of landing this move versus some characters.

SB Heroic Bravery (236A+B)

Arguably an "auto-neutral" tool that can be used for both getting in and whiff punishing. Sends Narukami forward very quickly, and is advantageous if it connects at all, to where it even gives a combo on CH. Even if it whiffs, it is relatively safe as it doesn't have all that much recovery. Very useful for bruteforcing your way in from far pokes.

Niche Tools

j.2A

Your divekick can be used in neutral to alter your air momentum / trajectory and make it more difficult for the opponent to catch your airtime and landings, or do so safely. For example, you can IAD, and cut it short with a divekick. Other examples include doing a superjump forward, then an air turn > divekick to land back where you started. You can also fake a bad jump-in and CH the opponent on their recovery frames with this instead, since it has a start-up where it holds you in place for a moment.

j.D

Sometimes used after high airtime such as after a superjump or double jump, as a way to get around the opponent's zoning and force them to block to allow your pressure to start as you come down.

If all else fails...

Ziodyne > OMC is very expensive, but quite literally forces your turn, allows you to force a potentially invisible mix-up at the same time, and can grant a subsequent safe-jump if the mix-up hit. This should only be a last-ditch effort if you absolutely need to take initiative to either close out a game, or avoid snowballing in certain match-ups.

Pressure

  • A normals are very safe and have many options, including tick-throws, jump cancels, and staggers. Note that due to the combination of their stubby range and push-back on block, risks will eventually have to be taken to maintain pressure.
  • B and C normals have unique reset options via forward and back dash cancels, as well as a high reward for landing a hit during stagger pressure. They are extremely easy to use thanks to their range and varied cancel options. However, these moves are unsafe on block and lack any truly ambiguous mix-ups, relying on conditioning to land committal options such Narukami's high/low hitting specials and his command grab.
  • D normals are primarily set-up tools, granting Narukami the chance to apply tricky mix-ups that would normally be unsafe without them. However, their long start-up requires the opponent to be put into an unfavorable situation first (such as waking up from a knockdown or stuck in blockstun from a plus on block attack) to use them without having the opponent escape from or attack through the set-up.
  • A Heroic Bravery leads into most of his special move mix options and is safe on block. Can only go into a high/low mix or pressure reset without a OMC.
  • SB Heroic Bravery can do the same things A version can but faster, and having the benefit of naturally being plus on block to allow for pressure resets that way.
  • B Heroic Bravery is a command grab with good range but reactable start-up. Still a strong choice for opening up complacent opponents.
  • A/SB Raging Lion is a fast overhead that lacks follow-ups on normal hit but leads into a full combo on counter hit. The jump at the beginning allows it to beat grounded throws and most lows, making it a great option for catching an opponent for mashing 2A or trying to tech throws.
  • B Raging Lion is a safe overhead that can even reset pressure against opponents who lack fast jabs, like Minazuki. It can also be feinted for much more ambiguous mix-ups like empty jump low/throw or late air dash into multiple overheads.
  • Swift Strike should only be used as a last resort low when 50 SP is available. The reward is low and the risk is high, do so at your own risk.
  • SB Zio can reset pressure or be used to frame trap opponents and cause a fatal counter combo. The somewhat fast startup of it allows it to be easily implemented into blockstrings, though, it costs 25 SP to use.

Okizeme

Setting up Okizeme

After Narukami lands one of his many hard knockdowns, he can then transition into solid okizeme to keep his momentum up on the opponent, which is made even better by his mix-up game he can start employing once the opponent respects it. His main way of doing this is off of the safe-jump setups he gets from numerous moves and combo enders.

Here are Narukami's moves and combo enders that grant safe-jump okizeme:

  • Ground Throw (C+D)
  • B Heroic Bravery (236B)
  • C and D Swift Strike (214C/D)
    • D version only allows IAD j.B okizeme.
  • B Raging Lion (214B)
  • Air hit A Heroic Bravery > B Lion Feint (236A > 214[B])
    • Auto-times falling j.B okizeme.
  • Air A Raging Lion (j.214A)
    • Must hit low to the ground, such as at 5AAAA height (and 5AAAA is included too, of course). Will not work at the end of some longer combos due to proration.
  • 2C > dash cancel
    • Must hold [6] after the dash cancel until they hit the ground, and jump forward for the j.B when they do. Will not work at the end of long combos due to proration.
  • Sweep > delayed B Lion Feint (2A+B > dl.214[B])
    • Delay must be considerably late, but still a cancel out of sweep. Also auto-times falling j.B okizeme.
  • Cross Slash (214214C)
    • Set-up is distance dependent. At close ranges, simply hold [9] for the jump. At further ranges, you must IAD j.B.
  • Big Gamble (B+D)
    • Counter Hit only. If the opponent is hit too high, untechable time can wear off before they land, making good okizeme impossible.

In many of these situations, Narukami can go for a safe-jump with either a microdash into a forward jump, and then a j.B while falling that is timed to 2-hit, or with some moves or enders, he must perform an IAD j.B that is also timed to 2-hit. The ones that require IAD j.B will have it explicitly stated, but assume jump-in j.B on the ones where it is not. If done correctly, the opponent will have to hold the meaty jump-in, but Narukami will also land and be safe to reversals if they chose to use their Furious Action (B+D) on wake-up, hence the term safe-jump. After the opponent eats a nasty punish combo from trying to reversal against the set-up, they will most likely be conditioned and inclined to avoid using their DP against it (unless it's a special one, like a counter-type).

Jump-in j.B Okizeme

If you land a hit on the jump-in congratulations, you can go into a combo and repeat the situation. If the opponent can consistently block your j.B into most likely 2A (a basic high-to-low mix-up), you now know that they are most likely recognizing and fuzzy-blocking the mix-up. From there, Narukami can start pressing mix-ups on the opponent's wake-up with less fear of getting reversal'd, but the issue is that their fuzzy blocking will cover both a jump-in mix-up of j.B > 2A, and empty jump 2A. As a result, naturally, we should start mixing up with ones that can beat fuzzy blocking by attacking outside of their block switch windows:

  • Jump-in j.B(1) cancelled into j.BB > land cancel 2A (Single overhead so the 2A comes faster, opens up opponents looking to fuzzy block against 2-hit j.B rather than a 1-hit jump-in)
  • Jump in, then late airdash j.B (Late overheads that should hit when the opponent switches to crouch)
  • Jump-in j.B > land 5A+B (Triple overhead via double overhead to delayed overhead with AoA, catches players crouching to block a 2A after j.B. Very slow and reactable, but still better reward than Narukami's other grounded overhead options)
  • Jump-in j.B > low j.214A+B (Triple overhead at the cost of meter, same principle as the last one but this time is basically un-reactable as air SB Lion is 17F)

Now you can see that extra overheads helps mix the opponent, but stronger opponents may learn to hold their standing blocks just a moment longer to block some of these mix-ups, since most of them are adding or delaying your overhead timings. From there, you can add to your arsenal:

  • Empty jump 2A (Empty jump low, that will hit opponents looking to stand block multiple overhead mix-ups.)

And after that, there's another mix-ups that can be done to straight up outplay an opponent that is hyperfixated on blocking:

  • Empty jump throw

Solutions for Delay Tech & No-Tech

If your opponent is strong, eventually they may try alternate tech timings to get you to mess up your meaty and mix-up timing. With certain situations and bad reactions, this can be fatal for Narukami. For this reason, it's a good idea to figure out how to deal with alternate tech timings.

Delay Tech

With the jump-in j.B okizeme, if your opponent chooses to delay tech, they will lay on the ground briefly before they recover with invincibility a little bit later. Obviously, with your regular jump, the j.B will whiff yet you will still be at an advantage, but you will be forced to perform a regular meaty 5A/2A that is then vulnerable to reversals on wake-up. What Narukami can do to circumvent this, however, is perform a very late air dash while jumping in before the j.B as if we were going for a late airdash mix-up. If timed properly, this will be a safe-jump set-up on the opponent's delay tech recovery, with the only issue being that it leaves you very vulnerable on opponents who are immediate teching as they can DP him in the air dash for free.

This may see like it's a guessing game, but the reality is that the opponent's tech timing is very much reactable and we can adjust our setup in response.

If the opponent immediate techs, they should start recovering at around the same time that you hit 9 on your dash jump with every aforementioned HKD option aside from j.214B and 214D. If not, they will still be lying there, and locked out of their tech until the delay tech window, which will also always be the same unless they just don't tech at all. What this means is that on your way up, you watch for whether or not they teched, and in response you either simply go for a falling j.B if they did, or you go for the late air-dash if they didn't. This lets you cover and safe-jump that solution to Narukami's safe-jump setups, making them all the more effective.

No-Tech

The opponent's other option in this okizeme situation of just not teching at all, which is conventionally unadvised, may just be an option in this situation. If they choose not to tech at all, the late airdash will go over their head and they will get to wake up relatively safely. The fortunate thing is that in such a situation, they will be able to be OTG'd into an extended combo. Covering no-tech is simple: you can use j.2B with a no-airdash jump to pick up the prone opponent instead of j.B, at the cost of a bit of mix if you guessed wrong and they just opted to block. This can go into another combo, and advantageous knockdown.

IAD j.B Okizeme

Defense

Important Normals

5A
  • Moderate risk, moderate chance of success

This is Narukami's fastest attack, and thus his best option for mashing out of pressure. Being a 5F normal, the frame data is good enough to where Narukami is effectively at a frame or two of more advantage versus many characters. For example, Labrys 2C > dash cancel is effectively -1 instead of +1 vs Narukami, since her fastest buttons are only 7F. It also has a generous hitbox that allows Narukami to reliably stuff out many IAD and air turn air dash mix-ups / resets mid-pressure.

It is also relatively safe on whiff if the opponent went for DP or throw baits, such as an IABD mid-pressure, or dash forward / dash cancel > backdash to throw bait. However, it is obviously vulnerable to frame-trapping.

2B
  • Call-out button

As Narukami's head-invulnerable anti-air, 2B is obviously good against committal air approaches such as IADs, but is much more often saved for beating out the opponent's head-attribute moves during their pressure such as normals from hop cancels. Not very good for mashing out of pressure otherwise, unless there's space between you and the opponent where they may be opting to Re-dashWhen the attacker in a pressure situation dashes back in on the opponent after a frame advantageous or low frame disadvantageous attack, to reset and thus continue their offense..

Important Specials

Big Gamble (B+D)
  • High risk, high chance of success.
  • Cut through lazy pressure

Narukami's DPDragon Punch A move that has invulnerability during its startup, long recovery, and a rising motion. is one of the best in the game, having the fastest start-up for an attack-type, relatively length active frames and thus invincible time, and also a large hitbox to boot. His highest risk option for getting out of pressure, but also the one with the highest chance of success as frame-traps will lose to it unlike his 5A. You're going to want to represent your DP frequently since it is easy to input and gives you initiative to start your own offense on hit, but not too frequently as a proper bait can result in big punishment.

It has particularly high reward for a DP as well, since it's actually amazing on hit: on CH, it goes into a safe-jump, or with resources can go into a short combo.

Also remember that if it is blocked, it can be cancelled into your supers during recovery to catch certain punish attempts.

Guard Cancel Attack
  • Low risk, high chance of success.
  • Blow through (most of) any pressure.

Narukami's GCA is also one of the better ones in this game due to the range, since it shares his 5AA animation and hitbox. If a pressure situation is especially hairy, or you see a mix-up coming that you don't know if you have a gap to DP, don't be afraid to drop 50 meter on this to get out as it is relatively reliable.

Weak to jump cancels and backdash cancels, but it isn't the easiest for the opponent to react to with these in some situations.


Reversal Supers

C Ziodyne (236236C)

Your average reversal super. Its start-up is somewhat lacking and it is VERY unsafe on block, to the point where it enables Fatal starter punishes on many characters. On the other hand, the fullscreen range and push is great for getting the opponent off of you if it connected, while also dealing good damage. The unique issue to it is that it has so many rapid hits that on block, the opponent can mash IB to build ~20-30 meter before going for the punish. Sticking to meterless reversal options or GCA until you reach Awakening to be able to use Cross Slash is typically preferred as a result, unless you have extra meter to OMC or are using it to cover your blocked DP.

C Cross Slash (214214C)

The C version of Cross Slash slashes off basically all of the unique issues of Ziodyne, while keeping and even improving upon its strengths, to present as simply one of the best reversal supers in the game. It is reasonably difficult and terrifying for the opponent to account for in their pressure, as he can punish so many pressure sequences, from so far away, for 3000 damage and then score a safejump afterward to start his turn.

Niche Tools

Swift Strike (214C/D)

On defense, Swift Strike goes from an essential call-out tool to a fairly niche tool, since the good low-profile frames take at least 6F to start, and it can still be beaten out by many moves whose hitboxes reach the floor anyway. Your usage of Swift Strike to escape pressure will depend heavily on the match-up as a result.

Tips, Tricks, & Technique

What's up with j.A(whiff) or j.C+D(whiff) > j.B for safe-jumps?

If you have been watching Narukami gameplay, you may have noticed that Narukami players often do j.A(whiff) > j.B for their safe-jump almost religiously. Well, here's the hidden details behind it:

  • Doing this perfectly times a j.B to 2-hit on crouching opponents that may get opened up by safe-jump j.B, making it easier to confirm the hit into a combo without having to unnecessarily scale the combo with 5A or 2AA.
  • The low j.B also helps set up for a comboable air SB Raging Lion, which is to be explained in the next section.

On the other hand, whiffing air throw instead of j.A is used in some safe-jump setups to beat out certain characters' reversals. Air throw whiff animation takes longer, so Narukami's immediate falling j.B / j.2B will hit lower and give him more time to land and block versus some counter-type reversals such as Teddie's and Yosuke's, and also set up for other things...

F-Shiki setups

Narukami has numerous F-ShikiSometimes known as "Fuzzy Overhead". When you are in blockstun, you can switch high/low blocking, but your blocking animation and hurtbox does not change until you leave blockstun or block another attack. F-Shikis take advantage of this and use overheads that would miss on crouching characters, but not on standing characters. set-ups available to him that work on most of the cast. They are also easy to set up: it only requires a low-to-the-ground j.B to connect with an opponent, and then a double jump cancel into an immediate j.A. Fortunately, we have numerous pressure sequences that can possible go into this mix-up:

  • Safe-jump j.B
  • 5D set-up after an IssenP4Arena Yu ShidenIssen.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    5+(66 Flash)+1
    Recovery:
    25
    Advantage:
    -21
    (post-5DD)
  • TK Kara j.236C+D

Characters that can be hit by F-Shiki j.A: Margaret, Narukami, Naoto, Yukari, Yukiko, Yosuke, Chie, Kanji, Marie, Ken, Yukari, Mitsuru, Aigis, Adachi, Elizabeth, Akihiko, Junpei

Demonstration of the mix-up

Comboable air SB Raging Lion

If you perform j.214A+B close enough to the ground, Narukami will have enough advantage to OTG with 2A to combo off of it, which normally isn't possible when it connects higher. Very strong, as in most situations you can mix-up between either the very fast if not unreactable overhead SB Lion, or a simple land 2A, with the former leads into a combo totaling ~4000 damage on hit.

Some setups for this include:

  • Safe-jump j.A(whiff) > j.B > j.214A+B
  • 5A > jc IABD j.C > j.214A+B
  • 5A > jc instant air-turn airdash > cross-up j.B > j.214A+B
  • ...stuff... > Hop (2A+C) > delay j.B > j.214A+B

Video:

(Footage recorded on 1.1, but technique and combos still relevant in 2.0. May be re-recorded for 2.0 eventually.)

All about low j.214A+B + conversions by ZeBo


Meaty Raging Lion

In a similar vein, if Narukami lands a 214A meaty enough, he will be able to link a microdash 5A afterwards into a full combo of choice when he normally wouldn't be able to. The best known setup for this is any high air combo ending in j.2A, which brings both Narukami and the opponent to the ground, with him having just enough advantage to press an immediate A Lion on the opponent's wake-up that grants enough advantage to link into 5A.

In the corner, the microdash is not needed if the 5A link is buffered to come out as soon as possible, making it a bit more lenient. Overall, a very useful gimmick as it allows you to get A Lion conversions without requiring resources.

(Footage recorded on original P4U so combos may be out of date, but technique still relevant in 2.0. Will be re-recorded for 2.5 eventually.)

Raging Lion > 5A link by VrRaiden


TK Air SB Zio mix-ups

Narukami can set up a mix-up opportunity at the same time as a throw bait by performing a TK Kara-Cancelled air SB Zio after a 5A jump cancel. It can go into numerous different mix-up options for Narukami, while also having some very interesting and strong specificities revolving around it.

  • The input is: 5A > 8 or 9jc > j.236C~D

You must perform this from a raw jump cancel, not a traditional TK input, else Narukami will super jump and then the air SB Zio will whiff on shorter crouching characters.

The kara-cancel is also necessary, because air Zios halt Narukami's air momentum on frame 1. As a result, he will be going into the SB Zio with no air momentum, and will fall afterwards instead of travelling in an arc like normal. From this, Narukami has numerous basic mix-up options:

  • Falling j.A for a high, which is a blockstring from the air SB Zio's plus frames, cannot be mashed or DP'ed on.
  • Land > 2A, which will CH a reversal mash (even 5F mash), but is unsafe to DP.
  • Airdash j.A for a slight delayed high to beat fuzzy blocking. With proper execution, this can blockstring from air SB Zio as well.

Temporary video of the execution + mix options: https://streamable.com/meygly


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