Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

[Xrd] Elphelt Sniping 101

Recommended Posts

This is a guide intended to help Elphelt players utilize the sniper stance more consistently and to give an overview of how the stance works for those who play characters not as cute.

The sniper stance is one of the most abusive aspects of Elphelt's gameplay. With perfect reloads and good cursor movement, you can easily force your opponent to take unfavorable risks. You may have seen Sharon, a top Elphelt player, use the sniper stance to great success.

While I want to be as objective as possible, I also want to be detailed. Take what you will, and feel free to correct me or offer your own opinions.

General Information:

Enter stance by inputting 236S.

Elphelt is unable to move, but gains a cursor she can move around with directional inputs.
The cursor can be moved anywhere except the top third of the screen and directly behind her.
Fire by pressing any button other than D when the cursor is colored. I recommend S.
These shots can only be blocked in the air with Faultless Defense.

If the cursor is unmoved for 0.4 seconds, it grows to cover a greater area and the shot becomes unblockable.
The unblockable shot needs to be blitz shielded, backdashed, or avoided.

After firing, you will exit stance unless you reload the sniper rifle.
You can also exit stance by pressing D or by entering shotgun stance.
There are two types of reloads: a bad reload and a perfect reload.
Bad reloads are only done accidentally after failing a perfect reload.
On a successful perfect reload, the recovery of the reload gets cut in half from 23 to 11.
Detailed advice on performing perfect reloads in succession will be in a later section.

When to Take Out the Sniper and Aiming Theory:

Sniper has 27 frames of startup before entering stance, which isn't bad at all. You can take it out about a little more than a half screen away and still shoot them before they hit you, not that you should, but you can. The main concern is being able to aim at your opponent. This isn't an FPS where you can flick your mouse and aim as quickly as you can. You are limited by the speed of the cursor, and the cursor moves slower than your average opponent.

This is why smart cursor movement, rather than aim, is emphasized. Good directional control is also important so that you can precisely press and release a direction on a dime. To catch up to an opponent with your cursor, you have to be able to visualize the future paths of your opponent and your cursor and move your cursor straight there. It is not enough to simply follow your opponent with the cursor in that case. You need quick reactions to react to your opponent's sudden movement options or your cursor will be effectively "juked" and you'll have to spend meter and/or lose neutral instantly. There's also a great deal of luck and guessing involved. "Mind games" are what they call them, but it's a sad euphemism when you see this sniper in action.

There is a delay between when you're able to move your cursor and when you can fire! Your cursor is on average slower than your opponent, which means that if they were already ground dashing at you, then your cursor will lag behind and never catch up because of dash acceleration at least against faster characters. Air dashes are even faster, but they have negative acceleration(?) and only move a set distance; thus air dashes are more effective the closer they are, especially if they have a good air to ground off an airdash.

Due to this delay and ground dash acceleration, it makes sense that taking out the sniper is safer when they aren't in a position to be moving forward. This lets you move your cursor ahead of your opponent and mix-in unblockables as well as partially charged shots from the threat of unblockables. Common situations when their movements are more stable are after a knockdown, after throwing a grenade at them, and after an offensive feint or backdash.

Perfect Reloading with Good Technique:

This is input for perfect reload:
S(Fire) > delay > 46S

There are two requirements for perfect reloading:
You hit the second S at the right rhythm after the first S.
You hit the second S within two frames of hitting 6(forward) and not any earlier.

Intuitively, you focus on the timing of the second S, but that's actually the hardest way to do it.

Humans are better at timing shorter intervals than longer ones. We will apply this in two ways:

1) Hit 6 at the fastest consistent speed.
Bounce smoothly and quickly off the gate when you hit 4. This will carry your momentum better allowing you to hit 6 faster. You will have more certainty of when the forward directional is activated. Remember that for a stick, the direction is activated about halfway between neutral and the gate of the stick.

2) After you hit S to fire, memorize the delay before you hit 4 rather than the delay before you hit 6S.
If you keep constant the number of frames it takes to move from 4 to 6S(by doing it quickly and consistently), then you can memorize the the timing of a shorter interval (from S to 4) instead of the longer interval (from S to 6S).

Four more tips:

3) Hit the second S exactly one frame after hitting 6.
That way you have a margin of error equal on both sides. Hit it one frame early, and you hit 6S at the same time. Hit it one frame late, and you're still in there. To do this, you need to know how slow one frame actually is. If you barely don't hit the microswitches at the same time, that's probably too fast.

4) Don't get greedy and try to get perfect perfect reloads.
The window where you can do a perfect reload is big. I panic when they're too close by trying perfect reloading on the first possible frame, but you lose the margin of error for doing it too early. I'd leave about a third of the window; half on each side is too much.

5) Don't buffer the shot after taking out the sniper or reloading if you don't have to.
If the shot is buffered, the timing of the perfect reload window is also shifted, and who knows exactly how many frames it was buffered. Make sure you learn the timing of when the cursor turns pink, and internalize that it's better to be late than early.

6) Practice:

The more you practice, the more precise your timing will be and the faster and more consistently you can hit 6~S.

Here's are some ways to practice:

1) Mash the bounce off 4 into a quick and consistent 6, P1 and P2 side whenever you can in between games.
This will help you warm up and prevent cooldown for doing perfect reloads.

2) In training mode, do these exercises for both P1 and P2 side
a) 236S > [S(fire) > Perfect Reload] x 10
b) [236S > S(fire) > Perfect Reload > 236H > backdash] x 5
c) [236S > S(fire) > Perfect Reload > 236H > 236P > 2P > dash FD brake > charged SG-H > shoot] x 5
d) [236S > unblockable > Perfect Reload < 236H] > x5

3) Keep using it in real matches even if it's killing you.
This will help you achieve fluency with the cursor and teach you to perfect reload even in panic situations.

4) Watch Sharon's matches and decipher the reasoning behind each frame of cursor movement.

YRC and RRC:

If you YRC while in stance before firing, the cursor will reposition itself onto the opponent, but the delay before you can fire after taking out the sniper or reloading is not cancelled. Don't YRC too early and this will help occasionally.

If your YRC after firing, then the 42 recovery frames are canceled into the 7 frame startup of YRC. This is extremely useful and dirty unlike Elphelt's existence. If they are above you, you can punish them for avoiding your sniper volleys by air grabbing them.

When you have 25-49 meter and they're dangerously close, you can do the standard YRC OS where if it hits, you don't get RRC due to lack of meter but get YRC on whiff.

With 50 meter, you can convert into a combo with RRC and a full combo if it was also a counterhit.


Fire > Perfect Reload > 236H recovers faster than Fire > full recover, but the latter retains more options.
If you counter hit your opponent after Fire > full recover, you can follow up with dash up 5Hx5 or better.
Be aware of all your opponents options. For example, Sol's Grand Viper is much faster than your cursor and requires you to aim at the ground.
It's safer to more your cursor forward and move it back to aim at them, but don't let them take advantage of this either.
Sniper is more effective when a grenade out on the field, but against some characters you won't have time for both even after a knockdown.
You would rather hit them than let them block it. If you predict an FD, occasionally just continue leading your shot until you think they will let go of FD.
If they're already rushing you via dashing or dashjump when you're taking it out, consider getting out of stance by pressing D or entering shotgun stance.
Positioning your cursor diagonally in front of them may cover their movement options better.
You can shoot Faust Bag Bombs and Zato's little Eddie.
Your opponent can YRC to slow down your cursor.
Some characters can superjump where your cursor can't reach and do all sorts of odd things from there.
If you get a bad reload, consider switching to shotgun stance immediately.

Thanks for reading.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some other notes of importance:

Sniper Rifle has a max Height.  Zato can fly above this max Height and people can super-jump over this max-height, so you should learn the max height the crosshair goes and adjust accordingly to wait for them to fall into it.

Sniper rifle shot can be low-profiled, blitzed, backdashed, and flicked. However I don't think Zato can reflect it? 

IIRC you can also shoot some other projectiles too but not all.

You can't aim behind Elphelt, you have to use YRC to have her turn around if the opponent gets behind you in Sniper Stance. 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Matchups where sniper use is particularly effective:

Very strong: Bedman, Faust, Leo

Interesting for specific situations: Venom, Axl, Elphelt (read on neutral berry plays), Ram (Good against players who abuse sword summon in neutral though 5h and jD are better imo)

Not that useful: Chipp, Millia, Sol, Ky (S stun edge doesn't disappear on hit) , Slayer(dash k mappa cancel to punish sniper stance), Potemkin(Hammerfall Break will tank a hit)


Alioune's list

Very strong: Faust Bedman Axl Elphelt Sol Venom

specific situations: Leo  Potemkin May Ky Ram


 Not that useful : Chipp Sin Millia


A section that I believe should be added or elaborated even further:


On normal sniper shot with no CH you will get no specific properties or additional untech time. Not much you can do with that.

On CH the opponent will be launched upwards for a ton of untechable time. Generally in neutral, that's the main reason why you would want to go into sniper stance as it provides you a lot of time to get in safely and get her game going.

It's possible to combo and get a knockdown from sniper stance alone off CH shot uncharged by doing

CH sniper shot>reload>move cursor close to the ground>sniper shot

Will give you a KD but like you can guess the rewards aren't that great and just getting the CH then getting in is much more efficient especially on characters with poor defensive options like Faust and Venom.

With RRC, sniper shot becomes much more efficient as a CH sniper shot RRC will allow you to dash in and combo for great rewards +oki.

Even non CH sniper rrc can be useful as it will allow you to get in and possibly combo if you're close though it's not that common.


Another section that might be interesting to add:

Slip up:

Sometimes it happens when you guessed wrong and your opponent is getting in. In that case leaving stance and choosing to block to avoid getting punished might be the smartest choice.

If you're not in any recovery but still in sniper stance, whiffing a sniper shot yrc to leave stance and get the slowdown is very useful. In some cases you can even poke out right afterwards with 2S or AA cS if you got dem balls of steel.

Without tension, entering shotgun stance will allow you to block faster than pressing D. You can attempt a YRC>236H too if you're already in recovery due to a reload   but if you're doing that on reaction and get a PRC due to being too late, you will end up taking more time to recover due to PRC startup + 236h startup so watch out for that.



Nice and interesting guide. Pinning it. Looking forward to more discussion on that subject.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great Thread ! Here's what I gathered with my meager Elphelt MU exp about Rifle's uses.

Very strong

-Faust : Same issues as Bedman. lack of mobility + item toss call-outs. you can shoot love bags  and door special on cue as well. even if you miss a shot, you can switch to shotgun and be safe relatively easily. Great harassment tool in this MU

-Bedman : Doesn't have the mobility to punish you for sniping him. Can call out every head toss and 1/2/3H with practice. Just be careful about the guard point on command dash (which is CH, so don't miss your chance when you call it out).


-Elphelt : As being said by Magaki, it's used to call out berry play, and it's damn good at that. You should still be careful with it, as you probably know well enough that the cute bride has enough mobility and good enough normals to get you if you're not paying attention.

-Venom : Mostly used to punish ball set and zoning in general. mind the fact balls don't disappear on hit, so you'll  mostly use a single shot, then avoid the ball by jumping over or shotgun rolling to try and get some pressure.

-Axl : Pretty much only used fullscreen, as Axl doesn't have any move that  reach that far fast enough. The only thing you'll have to be really careful of is IAD j.S as it can hit you even from fullscreen, so focus on stopping that. Rifle harassing works well here.

-Ramlethal. : Mainly used to call out sword summons. She doesn't have real answers against it, except for Dauros YRC, and it's not even that great. Sniper is very efficient here but don't go overboard with it : Ramlethal getting a clean hit on you means corner carry and vortex.

-May : Used to stop her from getting dolphins and beach balls on screen. you should still mind her dolphin lounge's trajectories, as they can easily mess with aiming, and of course the infamous Great Yamada Whale that can just bring you on the verge of death if you eat a full combo from it.

Specific uses

- Sol : Sol can try to break your sniping with Ground Viper, Riot Stomp and usual airdash approaches, with or without "Kudakero" divekick. You can deal with both Ground Viper and Riot stomp by aiming at a specific point (towards the middle of the screen, with aim slightly lowered), and react to airdash approaches from there too.The thing is you don't have anything to call out with your rifle unless the Sol player did something really stupid.. Still one of the few chars you can somewhat harass with rifle, although you're taking quite a bet here (getting pressured or at worst, hit and cornered by Sol if you fail)

-Ky : Mostly used to call out bad stun edges. thing is stun edge S version doesn't disappear on hit. meaning  you will be mostly taking single shots and then go to shotgun or get out of rifle ASAP.

-Potemkin :  Pretty much only used to stuff flicker startup to prevent him from reflecting berries, and to kill Slide Head on prediction. Hammer fall makes it too dangerous to use it on a whim.

-Zato : good to interrupt bad Eddie summons. Can also be used to kill Eddie or force Break the Law mindgames on him. Eddie's flight makes it hard to use rifle in an harassing fashion, so keep it strictly for call-outs.

-Leo : Good  to stop his projectiles. But if the Leo sees you entering stance, he can use 236H YRC to get quickly on you. Not only you can't get the cursor to keep up, but the invul on it makes it very hard to get a clean shot during its recovery. More importantly, why take risks with rifle when your normals, shotgun moves and berries can shut down pretty much anything he can do.

I-no : Good for preventing her from summoning notes, and can be situationally used to blow a summoned note. Again, note doesn't disappear on hit, but I-no loses control of it from the moment she is hit, so you'll need to assess whether it'll sail over you or if you need to shotgun switch and roll it.  Since I-no has a hover dash,a very good low profile move and decent aerial tools (jH, Dive, j.D FD cancel). It can be surprisingly hard to harass her with Rifle.

-Sin : Good to call-out a Sin being overly passive or making himself a snack on neutral, althouh it's always a bad decision for Sin in this MU anyway. Sin's ability to control Leap trajectory,  his slide (with YRC or not)  and R.T.L can be troublesome to deal with. Rifle is still efficient as a tool against Sin, but the reward he can get from the mindgames is vastly superior to what Elphelt can get from it in most cases. Best is to have a berry covering the ground while you cover the air with the cursor.

Not that useful

-Slayer : Like Sol, you have nothing to call out from Slayer at this range. As said earlier, dash K Mappa effectively goes fullscreen, and is hard to call out. It's generally hard to hit him out of his dashes anyway, so try not to use it unless the Slayer is already in blockstun because of a berry.

-Chipp/Millia. :  Both are too mobile and want to get in your face, and have plenty of ways to do so. Keeping up with them can be hard enough with your normal mobility and moveset, but entering a stance during which you can't move or block on cue is suicidal in most cases. Chipp gets the added threat of teleports and Alpha Blade to get you, while Millia gets a chance to set up her vortex with her pin and sheer speed, which is the very thing you want to avoid at all costs. You can still use the shotgun switching for situational mindgames but that's it.



Edited by Zephyrion22

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually think its pretty strong vs I-No, I-No doesn't have a ground dash, so she can only move forward by going in the air, (Dash or Jump) this means you can just camp the air with the crosshair and not worry about a ground dash

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually think its pretty strong vs I-No, I-No doesn't have a ground dash, so she can only move forward by going in the air, (Dash or Jump) this means you can just camp the air with the crosshair and not worry about a ground dash

I-no has the option of using Stroke the Big Tree which could go under the cross hairs if you're just trying to do that,

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The delay CT warrior is talking about  S(Fire) > delay > 46S. Is 16 to 29 frames after the first S is pressed. Just though I'd point that out.

So just to be explicit S(Fire) wait(16-29 frames) 46S(hit 6 and second S on the same frame or hit S a frame after 6)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this