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[Xrd] Axl Gameplay Discussion

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Honestly it's just a matter of timing. Your tech traps need to involve moves that have lots of active frames, so you can take advantage of tech recovery. I use 6K and 2S, depending on what kind of tech I'm trying to cover, but 6P works pretty well if you're looking for forward techs specifically.

As for rensen YRC, the idea is that you're letting them out of blockstun for a frame or two to get the YRC, so you're looking to YRC late into the animation (As close as you can get to when they block the actual projectile.) 

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Hello, I'm looking for some advice. Hmm, how to put this..I've been maining Axl in GGXrd since release, fighting many online opponents and sparring with friends here and there but no matter how hard I train I still feel like it hasn't made much of a difference. I guess what I'm trying to say is, have you ever reached that position where you know your character inside and out but despite that you still lose no matter how hard you try. So I'm starting to wonder if its just me, or if Axl is just in a horrible spot in GGXrd compared to his previous versions from older installments. I feel like other characters, new and old, just do what he does but better.

Perhaps I should just retire until GG Revelator comes out. :(

 

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I've been playing him since Xrd's launch as well and to be completely honest with you... Even after the buffs he got in 1.1 he just doesn't feel the same as +R Axl, which is why I picked him up in the first place.

The character also lacks depth, and can get boring really quick. I've already started messing around and playing other characters, maybe you should do the same.

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Honestly I feel like Axl is the character for someone who is okay with the depth being entirely in the neutral and playing against people's tendencies and playstyles. Yeah, there's not much to him in tech, but I really enjoy using his capabilities to dominate a match or turn the tide of a difficult round. If you want to learn more technical things, playing around with other characters isn't a bad idea, but for me I don't find as much fun in other characters.

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Maybe it's because I haven't watched too many Axl matches yet, but what's the current state of Rashousen? Situationally useful? Flat-out bad? Decent but not much reason to use it over Axl's other tools?

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It's pretty bad, but you can condition them into blocking, and then try it out maybe once per set. It can also be used to safely trap bad jumps from a distance, but that's pretty rare. If you have 50 tension, you can get nice damage off it, or RC if they react (be ready with 6P or air-throw for their IAD). If you condition them to expect Rensen at a certain point, Rashousen can get them, but it's still a once-per-set gimmick at best.

Use it up close, where it's harder to react to in time. Oh, and don't do it on netplay - that's pretty sleazy, lol.

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18 hours ago, LukeR said:

rashousen yrc can catch people who see it and like to jump

It can make for a good air throw set up, but keep in mind they don't need to jump - they can just whack you or backdash (in some cases).

I'd advise against those kind of setups vs Slayer, however. He has way too many options in that situation.

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The only change for Axl in 1.05 patch:

- After six hits of Haitaka, stance cancel is not possible.

However, many characters' (eg. Sol, Millia, May,) crouch and/or aerial hurtboxes were largened, so some normals (especially 6P and 5H) and combos (j.D loops) might work differently so anyone with the game, please test them out and report results.

Edited by Penguinator
more information

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I'm trying it out with a bunch - doesn't seem too different.

Millia/Sol still dashes under 6P and 5P, but their crouch gets hit by 6P.

May is... weird. 6P goes over her crouch when her head is at the bottom of the crouching idle animation, otherwise it connects (block or no block).

I can't remember how different that is from before.

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Rev2 ・FIRST LOCATION TEST CHANGES (translated by myself from official notes):

  • New air normals: j.6K and j.2S [which seem to hit diagonally up and diagonally down, respectively]
  • The cancel windows of 5P and 5H were extended
  • Haitaka stance has been reworked:
    • Startups, hitboxes and hurtboxes of stance attacks have been "changed drastically"
    • When a stance attack is blocked, canceling into another attack is no longer possible
    • After a certain time period of not doing any attacks in the stance, the next stance attack becomes unblockable [apparently around 3 seconds, indicated by "Yes!"]

The new j.6K:

713016.jpg

The new j.2S:

713015.jpg

 

Impressions of new air normals and Haitaka by Kaon:

j.6K:

  • Two-hits, second hit vacuums
  • Gatlings to j.6P and j.H
    • [According to Shimonkin, gatlings from j.6P]
  • Combos from 6K outside the 2S range; does better damage than the old j.6P route
    • j.6K > j.6P > j.6K > Bomber is possible

j.2S:

  • One-hit move, no gatling routes into it
  • Gatlings to j.6P and j.H
  • Antiair 2S combos into j.2S > j.H > j.D > Bomber
  • The range is good enough to hit crouching opponents even when done from a rising jump
  • Can prevent opponent's airthrow attempts when you high in the air
  • When doing an airbackdash, j.2S hits in cases where characters could slip under a  j.S  

Haitaka:

  • Follow-ups are possible on hit
  • On block or whiff, there is almost no recovery
    • Pressing H enters the stance cancel animation, so it shouldn't be pressed
  • Entering the stance is really fast, seemingly twice as fast as previously
  • Doing fastest Haitaka attack from 5P > 6K(1) is quick enough to force an airblock on opponent
    • This leads to Axl canceling the stance (because of the block) and puts him at frame advantage

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Are they 1 hit or 2 hit? I haven't been able to find any actual video of them.

Also, do we know what the new air gatlings are?

Edited by brningpyre
Post above mine has been edited with the answers.

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Translated stuff from relevant tweets by Kaon

https://twitter.com/Mr_kaon/status/822456384100790272

https://twitter.com/Mr_kaon/status/822457415283023872

https://twitter.com/Mr_kaon/status/822457665846579200

https://twitter.com/Mr_kaon/status/822458055220527106

Also, Shimonkin's tweet on gatlings etc. https://twitter.com/simo_niki/status/822280758555381760

In general these two players are saying the same stuff, but the information about new Haitaka is somewhat contradictory. I guess there's only so much you can get out of  location test without wasting time on lining up again and again.

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Haitaka might change a lot for the 2nd loc test - to me it seems like the most likely thing to change, if anything does.

Edited by brningpyre
Whoops, didn't see the changes above.

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Rev2 ・SECOND LOCATION TEST CHANGES (translated by myself from official notes):

  • All the changes from first location test are still there
  • 6H - Is now blockable in air [ie. without FD]
  • 2H - Counterhitable state reduced, cancel window reduced
  • Raiei - Command changed to 623K
  • Rashousen - Having up inputs [eg. 7, 8, 9] when executing the move makes the move not come out [this was mistranslated as Rashousen feint in a certain Google doc, but the Japanese wording is practically identical to Sol's command throw change]
  • Haitaka - New changes: Command changed to 214H, stance cancel with H is not possible on hit
  • Kairagi - Second hit hits an airborne opponent, the knockback effects have been overall changed

The input changes are more (Raiei) or less (Rashousen) useful, but otherwise the new changes are nerfs, especially the fact that you can airblock 6H. It's hard to say how Kairagi will act now on airhits, but there's a high chance that old corner combos from 2D into wallstick are going to change and airhit in midscreen might be able to combo into something.

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Now that the consumer version of Rev2 has been out or a while (even on Steam, the only avaible platform for me), I thought I'd share my own impressions so far.

j.6K is a fantastic normal. It's great for meddling with jump-happy characters like Faust and Ram, and it gives better damage (connecting into Bomber) and positioning (the height after Bomber is lower than highjump j.H > j.D routes which makes the recovery quicker) from 6K combos that are too far for 2S (which is also a legit follow-up combo from low altitude 2S into j.S, j6P link). Not being able to airthrow OS with j.K might be a problem for some, but IMO it wasn't that great in the first place when compared to regular j.H (only 2F slower, more actives, and much bigger hitbox vertically).

Haitaka is definitely better after the rehauling. The short startup and strong hitboxes make it actually useful in neutral, beating projectiles and even clashing with invuln stuff. Before Axl wasn't that strong in fullscreen range, but now he can force the opponent to act with limited options thanks to the unblockable and even on whiffed chain, the recovery is so fast you'll be safe most of the time. I feel the combos have become slightly harder after the hitbox adjusting (especally on thin hurtboxes like Leo), but being able to do all six hits for full damage AND restart the stance in time feels really satisfying, not to mention being able to actually combo from some counterhits like 5P and 6K(1).

j.2S is a welcome addition, but I haven't used it enough to really know how to utilize it for its full potential. It's definitely great for preventing airthrow attempts (and converting the big counterhit into antiair BnBs after landing) and people running under jS, but its subpar gatlings prevent it from being that great, especially when it comes to being a jump-in or an instant overhead tool.

Kairagi's second part air hitting is a pretty good thing. With 2D > Kairagi you can get almost as much damage + knockdown than from Rensen RRC combos with the added benefit of actual meter build. In corner, the 2D > Kairagi combos are now much easier to do since you can go into regular Bomber loops for pretty much optimal damage instead of having to link IAD j.H > j.D stuff with hard timing. In midscreen the ground tumble makes it harder to hit some hurtboxes (eg. c.S turns into f.S if you're too far, 3P > f.S whiffs on some characters, 6P whiffs over some characters etc), you can always play it safe with dash 5K if you don't care about the most optimal damage.

So far the only clear nerf IMO is 6H being air blockable. While the possibility of air IB'ing it on reaction for a punish is something I'd only worry if I wanted to win at top level tournaments, the fact that it doesn't catch fuzzy jumpers makes it even harder for Axl to control the opponent with ground pressure. I guess this is another reason to start using 5D more since it has a big hitbox that catches jumpers, not to mention having overall better risk vs. /reward than 6H (normal/counter hit leads to a good combo, air counterhit leads to a good combo, on block it's pretty safe since it's -4 with big pushback, when interrupted with a CH you aren't floating right in front of the opponent for a huge air combo etc).

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Real talk I hate the raei change. Even forgetting the input aside, it's gone from Raei only coming out when I wanted it to (Because there aren't really input overlaps with anything) to coming out sometimes when I'm going for running 2K, which is hella obnoxious. 

Tons of buffs this iteration but that change is horrible and I don't understand it at all.

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I don't remember that being a problem for me, probably because I always do it with 1K (and play on keyboard) to charge for Rensen, which was a problem in previous versions since run > 2K > cS with Rensen charge turned into Raiei.

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The Rev 2.10 patch has been out on Steam for a while, and my thoughts on Axl changes  are so far really positive.

2H lost its stagger, but in turn gained special cancel. Normal hit connects to Rensen at all ranges (as long as the second hit connects). On counterhit the second hit sometimes whiffs (especially on lightweights and jumpers), but that is a small price to pay for a fullscreen low poke that hitconfirms easily into meterless damage + knockdown. And while Rensen is obviously great on hit, it's also good on block, resulting in huge pushback, and the 6H/5D and other special moves can be used for a variety of legit options (as opposed to before where you only had a fifty-fifty between doing nothing for -4 or going for +20F startup overheads) .
The startup is also now slower, but in ranges where you have to worry about that you should be using 2P in the first place, not to mention it makes frametraps with 3P > 2H and cS > 2H (possibly as late cancel) more effective. There are less gatlings into it than before, but its a fair tradeoff for 2H being so much stronger.

214P now combos on succesful counter, but recovers slightly slower on whiff. Unless you were using this move for taunting to distract the opponent, it's a huge buff, making the reward for a proper reaction or read way better. It's actually really good as an antiair in some situations; it was already good against really strong moves like Chipp jD or Ram sword jH, but now with the combo reward you might want to use it for any kind of antiair situations, though it still requires the opponent to make the first move and good execution to pull the command in time (ie. picking a right antiair for the correct situation is more relevant than before).

2363214H (ie. "Rensen-super") was modified to be punishable more easily (startup of second part was made slower, hitboxes modified) , so using it carelessly is now riskier. The hitbox modifications made it easier to connect more hits in some combos, but on the other hand harder in some combos; in long bomber loops into super finish it was easier to get 1-3 more than before even on light characters, but on Venom the very BnB-ish combo cS > 5H > 2D > 2363214H ´whiffs one hit (ie. the combo has 9 hits instead of the usual 10, though I'm not 100% if that's how it worked on Venom before as well). It might be more useful as a round finisher now, but without heavy labbing it's hard to tell the difference.

Overall, these changes made Axl stronger. They weren't anything revolutionary that would turn around bad matchups into good, but were solid buffs for his existing strenghts. Combined with new Rev2 jump normals (which really helped his floaty air game), I think Axl has become much more complete as a character when compared to -Sign- 1.10 and Rev1 times. While there are still characters that you might want to pick for objectively stronger overall properties and toolset while being strong in the long range as well (ie. Johnny), his niche of "strong long range moves + unorthodox complementary tools" feels really fun to use now. Personally, at this point I would rather have fixes for small Axl problems and nerfs for the obvious S-tiers than any new big changes for Axl. The last missing piece that would truly feel great would be the holy Rashousen feint, but honestly the 2H changes were more than enough to satisfy me for now.

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2H being special cancellable is SO NICE. You can confirm almost any distance into knockdown, and it helps pin down grounded characters so well.

I'm with you on that Rashousen feint, lol. Would be nice if 2P/5P were 1-3F more plus, or they made 5K/2K 1F faster, but yeah.

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