BBCF/Es/Strategy

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Es


General Tactics

Es is a well rounded character that has straightforward tools, which allows her to both rushdown with her large normals or control space with her fireballs and crests. Her simplicity makes her a good choice for beginners and players new to the series, as she isn't too difficult to learn and does not have a high execution barrier in comparison to some other members of the cast. But Es is not without her shortcomings, her main problems include low to average damage without resources and limited mixup/gatling options. Noting this, Es is definitely somewhere in the middle of the roster in terms of character strength. Some characters can punish her more for having these flaws than others, like Nine and Jin who easily disrupt Es’s otherwise strong neutral with their superior toolkit.



In order to succeed with Es you need to not only optimize the damage you deal with your confirms (and this can be difficult due to the nature of certain combo routes i.e. character specifics), but you also need to know how to approach certain matchups and use your fundamental tools to your advantage. In certain matchups against characters who don't have good projectiles like Noel or Ragna, you'll want to use fireballs more often in order to either cover your approach or force them into making a mistake. But against characters that have better projectiles like Litchi or the Murakumo’s (Nu, Lambda), you'll want to rely less on fireballs and instead play a more footsie based game. Knowing when to switch playstyles is key to your success with Es.

The TL;DR (For Beginners)

Important moves
  • 6B: Anti-air.
  • 5C: Counterpoke tool
  • 3C: Low hitting sweep, great range
  • j.BB: amazing air to air.
  • 623C: Meterless reversal
  • 236A/B: Good projectiles for zoning
  • j.C: Air ender and instant overhead

Es has many tools that give her a flexible playstyle. You can box people out with projectiles and counterpokes, or opt to rushdown and use more setplay with crests. Each of Es's matchups can be played out differently. Regardless, Es has amazing tools at the midrange. She can use fireballs to push people out after ending pressure, use crests to steal back her turn, or just wait for her opponent to make a mistake and punish them. Es's objective is to use her range and crests to force people into making mistakes or eat high/low/throw mixups.

Neutral

Es excels in the mid range department, her tools at this distance can overwhelm most opponents with their range. At this range j.B, 6B, and 5C will be your best assets to poke the opponent with: fireballs are also fine at this range since the opponent won’t be able to punish them easily unless they dash over them. j.B is Es’ best air to air due to its size and range, if you can get an opponent to block it in the air you can easily transition into a blockstring until they hit the ground and continue pressure from there: effectively putting you in Close Range. In a lot of matchups j.B will be your best tool to control air space, but it still loses out to superior air pokes like Jin or Hakumen’s j.C. 6B could easily be considered one of the best anti airs in the game, with its amazing horizontal and vertical reach. 6B is a great way to halt the opponent’s air approaches, on block you can cancel into fireballs to push yourself away and make it safe. Be careful with whiffing it though, as the recovery is long. 5C is a good ground poke to, its range rivaling similar pokes like Jin and Ragna’s 5C. Unlike those pokes though it has noticeably longer recovery, making whiffing it in neutral dangerous. Similarly 3C is about equal to 5C in range, but has the benefit of low profiling a lot of the opponent’s options (Ragna’s 5C, Izayoi round start options 236X, 623B, etc.): it has slightly less recovery than 5C. In regards to fireballs at this range, 236A is preferable over 236B since it’s faster. Remember that you can use 6B to discourage your opponent from jumping over it.

Es has a few options while at long range from the opponent, most of them include using her fireballs. If you’re goal is to zone the opponent you can zone them from fullscreen with 236A~236B, a fast fireball that travels fullscreen, which can be used rapidly in succession. The opponent can jump over this with a super jump though, so if your intent is to keep them on the other side they may not sit still for long. This is also a safe range to apply Bors, which you should do before you start using fireballs. 236B or j.236B is a good choice here since it’s slow moving, this will allow you to run behind it and use it as cover for your approach. At this distance you’ll be able to assess whether the opponent chooses to jump over it, if so you can properly respond with 6B or meet them air to air with j.B. Drives are also an alright option here, you can set j.D or 2D down to discourage the opponent from approaching you, if they choose to do so you can play around the crest until it activates. If it activates while they’re near it and puts them in blockstun, you can continue pressure from it. 6D is also a good option since its activation is faster than j.D’s, but it doesn’t cover as much space. How you choose to use fireballs in different matchups is entirely up to you, but a good strategy to keep in mind is to use them with the intent to annoy your opponents until they make a mistake, and then capitalize on that mistake. You can’t win with just fireballs, but they go a long way towards victory.


General Offense

Close range with Es will vary heavily on what the opponent knows about Es, but ultimately Es’ close range pressure could be summed up in one word: lacking. Drive blockstrings should be used sparingly against an opponent that is knowledgeable of Es’ shortcomings: but it is important to not forget them as an option entirely. 6D and 2D are the main Drive attacks you’ll be using for pressure, as you can j.2B cancel 6D and jump cancel 2D. You have quite a few options after both of these attacks, let’s start off with 6D. Once you’ve canceled 6D you can go for a low 2B, a throw, instant overhead j.C, or 6A, among other options. You can switch between those options to keep the opponent guessing, but a good number of those options can be negated if the opponent jumps and barrier’s after 6D. Against these kind of opponents you’ll want to adjust your 6D pressure accordingly by meeting them air to air with j.BB or j.A, then transition into more pressure once they touch the ground. This applies similarly to 2D as well, if the opponent is trying to jump out of pressure after you use it, in addition to the meeting them air to air you can also jump back and use j.236A. If timed correctly it will hit at the same time 2D’s crest activates, allowing you to continue pressure or bait a reversal (you can do the same with 6D, e.g. 6D > 236A). If you seem to be getting punished for using Drive blockstrings, then you’ll have to fall back on more basic pressure strings. When it comes to basic strings and Es’ pressure in general, you want to keep it short: the farther you get into a blockstring the more unsafe it becomes. Remember, 5A and 2C are the only normals that can be jump cancelled on block, so using something like 3C or 214C in a blockstring without meter to rapid cancel can be risky. That being said, with meter you can perform more risky strings and then use rapid cancel to make it safe and continue pressure if the opponent didn’t fall for any frametraps: a simple example of this would be “5B > 5C > 3C > (delay) 214C > RC > 5A”. Frame traps are another simple but effective pressure concept that Es can use in lieu of drive blockstrings. Stagger 5A into tick throws and strings like “5AA > 5B > 2C > JC > j.BB” are good ways to test your opponent’s defense and to analyze what you can and can’t get away with.

As far as overheads go, Es has three options: 214B, 6A, and all of her air buttons. 214B isn’t a very good option unless you have meter, on hit you won’t be able to confirm into a combo and on block you’re left at -3: ending your pressure. With meter you can do things like “5B > 214B > RC > IAD j.C”, the j.C in this case will cross up and force the opponent into crouching state: allowing you to confirm into a combo. You can hold down 214B to make it safer on block, but can keep in mind this gives the opponent more of a chance to hit you out of the startup. 6A is a good option in sparing use, while it is on the slower side and has a tendency of being Overdrive’d through, it does have the advantage of having foot invulnerability: punishing players that try to mash 2A out of overheads. Though if it is blocked you don’t have much in terms of options to make it safe, and you will be forced to play “RPS” with your next move in an attempt to frame trap the opponent. Lastly, j.C makes for a fast instant overhead that can be setup in a multitude of ways. The most common ways include “5A > JC > j.C” and after a j.D setup in the corner: using j.C immediately after setting j.D will allow you to confirm into a combo “j.C > j.2BBB [j.D crest activates] > ..”. Unfortunately outside of j.D setups, you won’t be able to confirm into a good combo without rapid cancel, and even with meter the damage you get out of it may not be worth the meter that could instead be used towards mixup. But even it doesn’t net you much damage, it is a strong conditioning tool. (j.C has a habit of whiffing on some character’s crouching hitboxes, refer to this character specific list ). As for her other air buttons j.BB and j.A, Es’ low arched airdash allows her to pull off some trick delay airdash mixup once she has the opponent knocked down. Delayed airdash into j.B or j.A is another option you should consider after j.D okizeme in the corner.


Blockstrings

5A > 5B > 2B > 3C
- The most common blockstring, after the 3C you might be tempted to use an A or B fireball to cancel the recovery of 3C. But keep in mind A Fireball is -8 and B Fireball is 0. You might get away with using B Fireball if the opponent blocks it, but that version also has longer startup than the A version, meaning the opponent is more likely to jump out of the blockstring and attack you with a jump in while you’re recovering.

5A > 5B > 2B > 3C > 236A > RC > 2A
- An alternate version of the above blockstring, rapid cancelling the 236A is meant to catch the opponent trying to punish the unsafe fireball. From the 2A you can transition into a different blockstring or stagger pressure with more 2A's/5A's.

5A > 5A > 6D (j.2B) > 2A
- A blockstring that serves two purposes, the stagger 5A at the beginning is meant to catch the opponent mashing. 6D is low and throw invulnerable immediately following its startup, so if the opponent gets counterhit when you use 6D you can convert into a combo. If it is blocked you can cancel the animation of 6D with j.2B to transition into more pressure.

5AA > 5B > 2D > 236A~236A
- Another Drive blockstring, the 2D > 236A~236A is meant to serve as a frame trap: by the time you launch the second projectile the crest from the 2D will explode allowing you to continue your pressure. It should be noted that you need to slightly delay the second fireball in order to time it with the 2D crest correctly.

5AA > 5B > 2D > IAD > j.2BB > j.C
- A variation of the 2D blockstring above, the IAD j.2BB serves as a "fake crossup" of sorts. The second hit of j.2BB will hit the other side of the opponent, but cross up protection in the game will prevent them from getting hit so long as they continue to block in the same direction they were before. If they are hit by the j.2BB then you can confirm off of the 2D crest into j.C, if they aren't hit by the j.BB then you can continue your pressure off of the 2D crest and j.C. But if you do choose to delay the second hit of j.2BB, it can hit your opponent on the opposite side for real.

Defense

Es has quite a few defensive options at her disposal, including a dragon punch and a reversal distortion drive. Es’ DP is a decent reversal as it covers a large range, especially vertically. At 13 frames of startup though, it is possible for the opponent to “Hitstop Option Select” it, meaning you should be cautious when you use it. If you think the opponent might bait it, you can RC the first hit to make it safe and start up pressure afterwards. Other meter burning options include 623146C, which is invincible frame 1 making it a good wakeup option. If you want to play it safe and have access to full meter, you can also RC 623146C and pull off a small mixup with it if the opponent blocks. 623146C > RC > j.A creates an instant overhead, and you can also go low with 2B after the RC to keep the opponent guessing. Lastly, Es’ Install Distortion“Percival” is a good tool to pause the screen for a brief moment to quickly assess a situation. While you shouldn’t use Percival on wakeup as it does not have any invulnerability on startup, you can barrier guard immediately after the startup. Unfortunately this does leave you in the air, limiting your options. Don’t forget that she has two good anti airs at her disposal, 6B and 2C. 6B is more suited for opponents that are trying to instant air dash in or if they’re in the air space in front of you. 2C is for opponents that are right on top of you, the head invulnerability that 2C has makes it ideal for stopping things like Jin’s j.2C > j.C pressure, but you should use 2C with caution since it has even worse recovery than 6B. Es’s Exceed Accel is also a pretty good reversal option, the animation is that of a flash kick, as a result it has a good vertical hitbox: making it difficult for an opponent to bait it by just jumping over it. Additionally, relying on counter assault isn’t advised, as Es has better use for that meter since it can augment her pressure and mixup: but it’s still an option to consider if you’re put in a bad situation.

Okizeme

A video overview of Es oki


214C~214C Safejump

Es can perform a safejump after a 214C~214C knockdown with j.C. To perform this safejump, microdash after the 214C knockdown and input j.Aw > j.C. The j.A will whiff and time the j.C. The j.C will catch no techs, delay techs, quick getup, and bait reversals, but will lose to backward rolls. You won’t be able to get a combo off of the j.C unfortunately, since it forces emergency tech. However, this also means you’ll be able to pressure the opponent on their wakeup since they’ll be forced to tech immediately.

j.C > j.Dw Oki

A common example of Crest Oki. Es often uses this string in order to set up a j.D crest after a j.C knockdown. The j.D here is meant to whiff. 9/10 times it only hits if the opponent opts to not tech. The benefit of this string is that it sets up a crest for Es to use in pressure. This is especially common in the corner.

3C > 214D

This oki gives up frame advantage for getting a Bors buff. Depending on your playstyle and the matchup at hand you may find yourself in favor of getting Bors more often than setting up a crest, or vice versa. 3C is a very common knockdown into Bors because she can combo into it rather easily, and it ensures she sacrifices the least amount of frame advantage possible.

Tips and Tricks

Monarch's Es Tips


Fighting Es

Here's a video with multiple tips to deal with Es:

Defense

Es players often utilize her Drives to gain frame advantage via crest followups during blockstrings. This tactic can be negated by fuzzy jumping with barrier, mashing or using reversals during the gaps. Be wary of mashing, though. It's very common for Es to mix in frame traps with 6C, projectiles, etc. It's also beneficial to take Es to the lab and memorize crest timings. Each drive attack's crest lasts for a different amount of time before it triggers. Learning the timings of each crest will help you understand how much time Es has before initiating certain mixups. Depending on your character and the situation it may also give you the chance to disrespect some of her pressure or escape.

Es's overhead special, Gawain (214B) is plus on block when it's fully charged, but the uncharged version is minus on block. However, both versions have a noticeable gap that can be stuffed with a 5A or an anti-air. This is occasionally mixed in with her command grab (214A). Thankfully, these are slow enough to visually react to if your head's clear. Both attacks also lose to most 5As and anti-airs. Regardless, you have to be on your toes in case your opponent likes to mix it up with other options.

Es's j.C can be used during the rising portion of a jump to create an instant overhead (IOH). However, Es can only jump cancel her 5A, 2C, and 2D on block. Assuming there are no crests set, this means that her instant overhead generally comes at the start of pressure or the end of her pressure. She can rapid cancel other parts of her blockstrings to set it up, but that's more risk for Es without much guaranteed damage. IOH j.C is unreactable, but you can use this information to predict when Es might use it. If instant j.C is blocked, Es will lose her turn. Instant j.C is very minus on block, and Es cannot cancel into anything (even jumps) if j.C is blocked.

Offense

Es's DP has a giant hitbox despite what the crest placement looks like. While you can still do tricks like jumping above an Es in the corner, it's a bit obnoxious. Thankfully, it's slow enough that you can use hitstop OS to beat it. The enhanced version is also still minus enough to punish, though you may have to microdash in order to reach Es in time.

Be cautious about jump ins and air approaches. Es's 2C and 6B have massive hitboxes. 2C is relatively fast, hits quite high, can also auto correct for either side of her due to being a 2X normal. 6B is rather similar, but the key difference is that Es moves forward and has better H invuln than 2C. She can also opt to air to air with j.BB. Getting in Es's face or playing inside the range of her B normals is a solid reward in and of itself because it renders her massive range rather pointless.

Neutral

Es controls giant portions of the screen with her sweeping normals, multiangled projectiles, and a high level combined ground projectile. Do not expect to win fireball wars with her without strong projectiles. Her anti-airs are massive along with all of her C pokes but they all suffer from significant recovery. By moving deceptively, you can make Es whiff these normals and you can take the initiative from her. Moves with low profiles or body invuln are a valid way of going through a careless 5C poke.

External Sources

Es 2.0 Guide Google Doc

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