Note: Ram's main method of building meter is through sword hits. This includes the following moves:
- f.S, 2S, j.S, 214S, 6S/2S (Deployed)
- 5HS, 2HS, j.HS, 214HS, 6HS/2HS (Deployed)
Ram's neutral revolves around flowing between offensive pressure created with combination attacks and deployed swords and defensive zoning that starts with f.S and j.S. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CORRECT THIS STATEMENT/EXPAND ON IT
With those in mind, the goal of her neutral is to carry the opponent into the corner to set up wall-splat okizeme that creates oppressive offensive pressure.
Note: Ram's offensive pressure mimics that of her okizeme with the exception of the easy set-up. Still, its concepts can be applied.
Her offensive pressure requires deployed swords to be in position to lock the opponent down in block stun, or meter to extend her normally short gatling combos into two short gatling combos.
Let's start with the deployed swords and the type of offensive pressure they exert:
- 6S (Summon) -- If timed correctly, can cover landing or backdashing opponents and extend normal strings into a high-low or throw mix-up.
- 6S (Deployed) -- Similar to summon, but it can be used in the middle of a blockstring as a delayed attack.
- 2S (Deployed) -- Threatens a wide amount of space in front of the opponent. Prevents the opponent from jumping/IADing out of pressure. Slightly slower start-up compared to the Summon version.
- 6HS (Summon) -- Faster summon that can cover opponents trying to jump out of pressure. Can lead to air-to-air pressure strings. Similar properties to its 6S counterpart.
- 6HS (Deployed) -- Difficult to use in the middle of blockstrings due to pushblock mechanics.
- 2HS (Deployed) -- Covers jumping and blocking opponents. Prevents the opponent from super-jumping out of pressure. Fast start-up.
Once swords are in position, the following combination attacks/gatlings can be used to open up the opponent:
- 2K/2P -- Low that can follow into a tick throw or a combination attack or a dust attack.
- 2D -- Low trips. Is a gatling into 623P.
- 2KPP/KPP -- Overhead (gap between each P). Gives frame advantage.
- 2PPK -- Low (Gap between P and K).
- 3K -- Low that can catch backdashes.
- 6K -- Overhead that's relatively fast.
- 5D -- Overhead that has a slow start-up.
- 236K -- Command throw. Slow start-up.
- 214K -- Overhead special. Honestly, unless the timing is ultra-tight, this move is easily thrown. It does give a slight frame advantage, which is alright.
Safely Summoning/Retrieving Swords
What makes knockdowns so powerful with Ram is that she is able to set or retrieve swords without being punished and use that to start her offensive pressure.
However, in neutral, in order to establish meaningful offensive pressure Ram, again, needs to summon her swords without being punished.
Let's model it off of Machaboo's article on the fundamentals of Guilty Gear.
|Fast moves with a tall Hitbox||Upperbody Invincibility||High/large moves||Invulnerable moves||Air-to-air||Air Throw|
|5P and 5K somewhat fall into this category||6P||
||2141236K, Blitz Shield||
||Input 4H or 6H when near the opponent, if you didn't know this already.|
If you can't tell already, Ram's anti-air options aren't great. Many of her ground-to-air options involve high-risk, high-reward moves that are extremely vulnerable to whiff-punishing
With this known, it's probably best to engage the opponent in the air, or to out-maneuver the opponent on the ground when it comes to anti-airing.
Let's continue using Machaboo's fundamentals article to understand zoning. Keep in mind that the loose RPS is the following: Hard reads beat run-up buttons. Run-up buttons beat whiff punishes. Whiff punishes beat hard reads. Zoning involves controlling space to bait the opponent into choosing an option that loses to the RPS.
Note: This requires deep match-up knowledge.
Def: Pre-emptively make a move. "Stuff the opponent." "Throw out the hitbox." "Hard read." "Buffering Specials"
Many of Ram's normals fall into this category. Based off of positioning, here is how the following moves can be used as Oki-waza. The bolded moves have more utility.
Def: Throw a move to hit waiting opponents. "Run-up buttons."
Because of Ram's limited offensive pressure many of the options she has for Ate-waza are limited. Still, the section above on "Offensive Pressure" highlights how Ate-waza can be safely set-up.
Use to catch forward/backward jumps.
Ram's IAD range makes this a difficult option to take advantage of.
I'm having a hard time imagining this type of option and positioning.
Def: Waiting for a move, then reacting to it. Whiff-punishing. Reaction-based playstyle.
Standard Street Fighter-esque whiff punishes aren't really available to Ram without meter. Other than her f.S, 5K, and 2D (of which, only the last leads to a substantial meterless corner-carry), her whiff-punishes consist of punishing the recovery frames of high-risk moves. Again, knowing the match-up is crucial to utilizing this aspect of neutral.
I have no idea how to whiff-punish in the air. Please enlighten me, I am dumb.
Use equipped f.S to poke your opponent on the ground and j.s in the air to control space.
On counter hit, hit confirm into daruo(623P) and start a juggle.
Perform a combo and bring your opponent to the corner, set up your swords and maul your opponents to victory.
4PPP xN > f.S (frame trap to catch people mashing, f.S will counter hit in between the gap, and allow you to confirm into daruo)
KPP / 2KPP blockstring into overhead, canned mixup.
2KPK low option instead.
KP>2D if they expect an overhead, with a low option.
c.S>2D> special cancel or jump cancel into 623P/214S/214P/214K
Tips and Tricks
in order to break one of her tekken strings, input 4(back) while pressing a button. For example:
If you input 5P>5P>5P, she will do her 5PPP string.
However, if you input 4P>4P>4P, Ramlethal will instead do the first jab 3 times.
Green daruo(enhanced daruo) can be performed by hitting P within 3 frames of hitting the 3(down-forward) input. You want 623P to be an ideal dragonpunch input.
If you become too used to hitting green daruo, you can force an imperfect daruo by hitting the same motion, while inputting P+H to get an imperfect daruo. This is mostly useful for combos on females/light weight characters.
She has on offensive throw option select if you do not want to use her command grab(236K). This OS is done by inputting 6P+H, which will give either a throw or 6P( the fastest forward input normal ramlethal has).
This OS can also be done in the air with jP+H, and instead of 6P gives her j.P if you're in the air.
You can OS her wakeup super via proximity as well. The input for this would be 2363214 K+S, which will option select between Faultless defense and her explode super based on proximity.
Whenever Ramlethal sets a sword, there is a certain amount of startup before the sword becomes active. If you're in neutral, be sure to hit the swords before they hit you. The hurtbox for the swords are the circular familiars she has, you'll want to either run up and 5P or jump and press P to hit the familiars.
Ramlethal's swords will also go away if she blocks, be sure to keep the pressure on. Do not allow her to setup swords.
Be sure to understand her tekken strings, as they have pre-determined follow ups. Learn them.