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Testament vs Baiken

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Baiken - thought by many, regardless of their own character, to be one of the trickiest matchups. This goes for Testament as well, since you'll have to adopt a quite different playstyle to get to grips on this matchup. The lack of jumpcancels and fast-recovering moves hurt in this matchup, but nets and warrant mostly makes up for it.


The first thing you want to do when facing a Baiken-player is to assess what kind of player he is. The two main types are 1) the ones who are careful with their counters, and tries to only use them on mostyl guaranteed spots and 2) the ones who has practiced fast counters and are able to pull them off immediately after a blocked attack, and does so frequently.

The first type will give you much more freedom with your pressure and allows for mixup opportunities, while the second is harder to get in on but may in turn be easier to bait counters from. I'll be writing this mainly with type 2 in mind, partly because that's what I'm regularly facing, and partly because it's a more interesting matchup.


Baiken has five counters that can ruin your life. I'll outline them and tell you how it's possible to deal with each one.

Sakura: She stabs you with her sword. it's fast enough to hit you after a blocked 2P, making it a constant threat. It can't hit you from a long range far S though. The main problem here is that it has an FRC and can thus be made completely safe for her, as well as turn the pressure right around at you. If you get hit, make sure you start mashing out of stagger so she doesn't get bullshit combos from it. You can bait it it by chaining your poke to either warrant, dust or a jump cancel. The first two options gives a great punish, but both are guesses and can be punished by other counters.

There is another, sneaky, method. A net that gets hit by an attack will absorb one of the active frames that attack has. Sakura has two active frames, and it's FRC is right on the hit. This means that two nets close to you will completely nullify Sakura, while one net has a chance to nullify a Sakura FRC, depending on which frame she FRC'd it on.

If you block a Sakura, remember that it now has upper body invulnerability all the way through. Punish with 2S or 2D, depending on distance. You have to be quite fast to get the 2D to hit.

Mawarikomi: She runs behind you. This is annoying, especially now that the FRC point is during the invincibility, which makes it almost completely safe. If you used a fast move when she used this, you can throw her as it has no throw invincibility. For other moves you can chain into a net, as she will most often have to FRC to avoid getting stuck in it.

Youshijin: antiair-counter. This is probably the worst counter for her, so it's not that much of a bother. It's presence does however mean that all jump-ins that aren't extremely low (e.g. meaty jHS) are out of the question. It also gives easy counters for blocked GD or BL, so don't throw those moves out randomly. The correct way to punish youshijin is to simply to not be in counterhit state. As long as you're not, you can take the hit and still punish her any way you want.

Ouren: She jumps behind you and hit you with a high crossup. This move makes far range S no longer safe as they used to be. She has no invincibility on it, so it's possible to chain into something and eat it, but very few attacks work for this. Examples are 6HS, BL, none of which are recommended. This will mostly be used against far ranged pokes.

Your choices here boil down to chaining into a net or into warrant. An instant ouren will beat out the net as it's too fast, but warrant will punish this. If she instead delays ouren, warrant will run out of active frames so it doesn't work, but then a net will. It's a constant guessing game. However, if you poked with 6K you can wait and do warrant on reaction against this, as as the cancel window is much longer.

It's possible to punish it on block if you IB'd it (which you usually do automatically) by doing 5HS. What comes after depends on the spacing. Gravedigger always works but might require as much as 50% to get a good punish. If she's close enough though you can chain it to BL and still be able to combo with a low tk BL for no tension at all.

Baku: Her FB, can be chained to a seal for 25% more. This one can't really be handled properly as it's too fast. An immediate warrant might beat it, but even that depends on how fast she was. Once again though, it only has 2 active frames and can be canceled by two nets. Unfortuantely, she can still do the followup even on whiff so be careful.


After a poke you usually have the basic options of chaining into either a net or warrant, since one of these will eat pretty much anything. What you do depends on how your opponent is playing and your current position. Against Baiken you always have to be in her head to win.


When you want to attack Baiken, you have to be very careful. It is usually safer to go for the zoning approach, but more on that later. You don't really get pressure on a Baiken like you do against others. EXE resets of course becomes void, so there's a lot riding on your first mixup attempt.

Throws are very good though. If she is sitting there waiting for a counter, just throw her instead. Throw combos hurt badly on her. Also, 5K is a very good poke since it's your only ranged move that can be jump canceled. Use it to bait counters and remember to FD after jumping in case of Youshijin.

Another important bait is to do a poke and chain it to S EXE FRC. This allows you to recover and block a possible counter, and then go for the punish.

The best situation is if you can manage to get nets out preemptively. If you stand close to a net, you have disabled both ouren and mawarikomi, giving you an easier time. If you have two nets around you, you have disabled all counters except youshijin, which kind of sucks against grounded opponents. I'd say there are three setups for this situation.

The direct method is if you do a combo into a sideswitch, you can do BL out of the corner and immediately place two nets after you recover. You might have to use a HS EXE FRC to get in after this though.

Method two is a bit more risky. After knocking her into the corner, run up and place one net, then run in for a mixup. That first net should protect you a bit, so now try to land a mixup and end it with 2D > net, and you're all set.

At this point, she still has a few options apart from sitting there and taking it like a normal character, but they are quite risky. Sakura or Mawarikomi FRC work, but make sure you punish those hard if she misses the FRC. She can also do a Baku and then the follow up but if you are ready for this and take it easy with your gatlings, you can warrant it instead. If she has no tension, you've got almost nothing to worry about.

Of course this is a bit roundabout a way to make Baiken into a normal character under pressure, but I think the best part of it is simply that if a Baiken player relies a lot on counters, this situation invites mistakes. And it's hilarious if the player in question didn't know about the properties of the net.

Defense and trapping

Since Testament is missing a proper antiair 6P, I'd say Baikens most common approach is through the air. Choices are basically coming in with IAD and jS, jHS or Tatami. The Tatami isn't really a problem. If you see it coming you can warrant it, otherwise just punch her out of the air with a 5P.

jHS can also be punched pretty easily, but jS poses a problem as 5P does not work reliably against it. If you crouch however, IAD jS will whiff and you can proceed to punish. Because of this a crouching position as default is often advantageous. The problem is that it's too hard, at least for me, to react to if it's jS or jHS. It's easy enough to go up and block the jHS, but she just got in on you. The medicine here is to try and have a tree placed under you to protect you from this. Even better if you have time to get one more out a bit behind you.

For grounded attacks, you outrange Baiken, but there's still her counters making poking unsafe. To counter this, it is best to have a net placed around the area you are standing. Preferably you should be standing inside the net, as this protects you from long range counters, allowing you to use your range to keep her away.

Some interesting trivia is that you need to stand pretty much in the nets range for it to protect you from an ouren, but if you place two nets you can have them quite far behind you since, yes, ouren only has two active frames. She'll even get stuck if there's two, but I can't really explain why. This is good if you ever get the time to place them, as it will be much harder for Baiken to disarm those nets .

Baiken has her own zoning move in Kabari (the chain) that can be used pretty effectively to disarm traps and possibly pull testament out of hiding while Baiken stays out of his effective range. Here it is important that you are ready to immediately warrant if you see Kabari coming. RC the warrant for a loop and that's your win right there, which should teach her not to use that move so much.

If your Baiken is defensive (read: hasn't played much against testament), this is a windfall for you. Use her hesitation and backdashes to get some time to place your traps. getting the time for that is usually the hardest part of the matchup.

Also, if she likes doing airdash back Tatami, you can punish it by doing S EXE FRC > IAD > jHS to whatever works from that spacing.

As a last random note, if you are trapped in the corner and you have trouble to deal with her jHS here (it can be warranted, but the confirm is hard), you can use 2HS to glide out when you see it coming.

Summing up

In the above text, I have tried to outline the tricks and special ways to punish that I have found while playing. While helpful to know, in the end you are going to win most matches by staying patient and capitalising heavily on baikens mistakes.

Baiken has very low defense and okiseme on her is tricky due to counters. This means that it's almost always best to do the most damaging combo you can from any given setup, and not worry too much about setup after the combo.

Getting the fortress constructed here is halfway to victory, but if the Baiken is aggressive, finding time for it will be difficult. Take any chance you can get and don't underestimate her jS. It reaches extremely far and she moves in fast with, enabling her to punish trap sets effectively if you're not careful.

I'd say try and not be too hasty, instead concentrate on what she does and how to deal with it instead of attacking too much yourself. And remember to throw a lot.

Combo Notes

Baiken is light meaning you can do random air combo to BL(1), and then immediately do tk > BL > loop after you land for some easy damage. For some ranges, you might want to do 5HS BL after landing, but that's not as common.

Also, after air BL(1), you can do 2HS > GD > dash into the corner > HS > BL > tk BL x4. Very good damage and allows you to end with getting her into the corner.

After warrant on Ouren, you can do FRC > tk BL without the need to negative edge the BL.

Learn to do BL > S EXE FRC > tk BL for when any given BL launches her too far away to continue. thsi can save you a lot of damage.

After a throw, you either have to do a small dash before the 6K, or wait until she is aligned with you horisontally, or you will only get one hit from the BL.

In this matchup, it's important to learn to do very low tk BL's. This enables you to do far gatlings > BL > low tk BL for some really good and most of all cheap damage.

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just a minor addition to your youshijin remarks: if you get hit in the air, even on normal hit, it's possible for Baiken to get a sj.S-D for a knockdown. (depends on how high Testament is when he gets hit.)

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^^ So does Testaments 5p beat out Baikens j.S? If it does beat it, would it be like a situation where 5p beats out the move in a distance/spacing situation or is it like a which move is faster thing?

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The hitbox and speed of Testament's 5P let it beat out almost anything Baiken has from the air. My TV is broken or i'd figure out exactly what happens if Baiken already has j.S active from further away.. I think it clashes or trades at worst for Testament. Oh and a note for Baiken cancelling baku if Testament blocks it (into the FB followups): If Baiken just does the first baku hit, she will be plus frames so you can't really punish it (aside from pre-emptive warrant I guess.. but as mentioned baku is extremely fast). If she cancels into a followup, each followup has 15 frames of startup (9 of which are super flash), and are -24 on block (versus +1 without it) and require that extra 25%. Basically, don't bother being offensive after a blocked Baku, and punish the followups for free if she's foolish enough to do it anyways.

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Not just in theory, it's almost the sole thing stopping her from whoring it more than she already can from close-mid range. From further away I think tree backdash is great... it really depends on whether Testament is reading or reacting to it though. Caer mentioned in his post, but I can't stress enough how important it is for Testament to abuse crouching hitbox in this match. I think that this is one of the hardest things in GG to master, and that Testament gains probably the most of anyone from it. Being able to use your crouching hitbox against air attacks to make moves whiff and then punish immediately is something I only see shounen use consistently.

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I hate Baiken so much... Thanks a lot Caer for posting this, it will be really useful for me as I get my ass kicked by good Baikens almost every time. :v:

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Being able to use your crouching hitbox against air attacks to make moves whiff and then punish immediately is something I only see shounen use consistently.

You must not play the CPU then... It does this a TON. The one good habit you can get from fighting the computer is to never do an air attack that can be crouched...

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