First off, because of what a threat Susano'o's damage is no matter the opponent, your primary strategy in most matchups should be to safely fish for a hit confirm and then pile on attacks as aggressively as possible. Though the specifics depend on the character, handling any of bad matchups is mostly a matter of patience. And you can use your insane damage and decent defensive game to make them think twice about trying hard to suffocate you.
|Ragna the Bloodedge||5:5||This matchup is pretty annoying. Though he doesn't fully invalidate anything you do, his 5A and 5B let him keep up with you in neutral. He has pretty high damage for the most part and what's more is that his lifesteal lets him reverse your own damage output. If you're going for a 2-touch attempt, make it count or else he'll probably start making an alarmingly powerful comeback. Don't rush in recklessly when he's injured except for safejumps; it's not worth risking that you watch him heal 5-7k of your hard earned damage.
Gauntlet Hades is rather hard to watch out for, but that's essentially the only thing to fear from him when you're blocking. Just try your best to spot or anticipate it and take advantage of its punishable frames. Hint: Crouch after the first hit for a full damage punish. Pushblock is a decent alternative if this attack is too sneaky for you.
|Jin Kisaragi||5:5||This matchup is all about patience; it will probably take a while to charge in on him safely. j.B walls off your air game completely and is pretty hard to whiff punish. Meanwhile 236X will make ground approaches challenging. The good news is that you can punish him pretty hard for trying to get on top of you. Incentivize him to rising j.B your approaches by jump blocking into him, especially since it can whiff punish his zoning. Then when he seems to default to j.B, you can mock charge him and catch his landing with 5A or 2B. Save your meter for punishing 236B and Touga; they're both pretty reactable.
Touga is a fullscreen, + on block reversal with a tall hitbox. This means you have to make due with a DP or super punish whenever you go for a safe jump. It's not ideal for the purposes of a 2-touch, but it's better than letting him steal all the momentum in the match, especially if he's in Resonance. Also don't underestimate his offense. Even though his pressure and mixups are awkward, they're strong enough to get the job done and properly reward him for winning neutral. Save pushblock for after he hits you with an overhead or uses up his lunging move. Otherwise he can get back in pretty easily.
|Noel Vermillion||6:4||If you know how to counter Noel's B normals, this is a pretty comfortable matchup for Susan. Chain Revolver renders Noel invincible to either lows or non-lows depending on what attack she chooses. But none of them are invincible to aerials, meaning you can counter them all with j.B. Still, since she can counter j.B with her DP (albeit with horrible risk/reward), you should also be able to react with a grounded attack, ideally 5B or 2C. Alternatively, you can cover in advance with 4A and react with a reversal if she ends up choosing 6B. You can play evasively against her, but she's faster than you; you should be ready to strike back any time she tries to chase you down.
Noel's offensive game is really bad. Default to blocking low, and you can react to everything with either abare or pushblock. The latter will shut down all her best 50/50's if she goes for B normal pressure. If she tries to use Assault Through, either use a reversal at the last second or better yet jump out and punish with j.B for a full combo. Watch out for Zero Gun: Fenrir if you're the one pressuring, as it's frame 6 and beats a good number of your safe jumps.
|Rachel Alucard||4.5:5.5||Rachel is one of several zoner matchups who bully you hard in neutral but explode upon eating a single hit confirm. In addition to staying patient enough to get your turn, the general rule of thumb is to let her get close to you only when you want her to. Her mixup game is ridiculous upon entering j.A range and her lobelias and wind movement are great at slowing you down enough for her to reach this point. As best you can, move carefully around her lobelias and make use of pushblock whenever she's just outside her melee range. Meanwhile you feel free to use your normals whenever you get out of a space occupied by her traps.
Once you get a hit confirm into safejump, there's not much she can do to escape. If she manages to pushblock you out of corner pressure, rush back in and don't let her escape. Forward jump j.B is good for this purpose since it beats forward lobelia toss and catches jump out attempts, both of which are her best options. It's also decent against dash out attempts. Naturally try to pair this with an assist for good measure.
|Iron Tager||6:4||One of Susano'o's best matchups. 2A, 2C and 214B nullify most of his checks against you, and your 2-touch power invalidates one of his only true strongpoints: his high health. What's more, your j.B serves as an IOH vs his tall hitbox, allowing you to employ safe 50/50's. There's not much reason to safe jump him due to his super command grab; just force him to guess between 2A and rising j.B. Just try not to air approach much, or risk getting caught out by 2A or one of his many aerial command grabs.
Stay patient against his command grabs. As you have high health, it takes 5 uses of Gigantic Tager Driver to kill you from an intact state, at any which time you can call it out once you get a read. Backdash and reversals are good for this purpose if you want to OS a potential 4A, but really you should try to jump away from the command grab to set up your 2-touch. This goes double against Wedge Catapult, and you'll have to IAD backwards to fight its magnetism. If Tager might go with his GETB as an offensive tool and you're not going to die from it, let him. It doesn't have good oki midscreen and he loses meter he could save for Spark Bolt. Don't be too scared unless he seriously starts to snowball you.
|Hakumen||5.5:4.5||His B normals are quite solid at walling you off, but his slow movement and poor pressure game mean you can easily take your time fishing for a hit. Hakumen sits high enough while crouching that your j.B will always IOH him and let you dodge his DP after triggering it (it still loses to Yukikaze though). So even though stagger is rather weak against his counter reversals, your damage and 50/50's should more than compensate for that.
Hakumen's offense isn't that hard to deal without a sandwich. He has a fine IOH in 214C, but he more often than not won't be in position to use it. For the most part, you're best off either pushblocking him out of sandwiches or letting him just run out of road with his blockstrings. He can't stagger that well so it's usually not that hard to just wait for him to lose his grasp.
|Nu-13||5:5||Closing the distance is rather hard, but she blows up once you succeed. Unless you're bad at reacting to Act Parser, her fullscreen zoning isn't much of a threat to you. Single jump forward is your best friend for getting into midrange. After that you have somewhat of an RPS situation between lunging forward and committing to IAD. Don't be that afraid of risking that you take a sword when you're about to get a hit confirm; her reward off her B normals is vastly inferior to your reward off any hit.
Save meter for Liberating Dagger to stop her from cheesing neutral wins with Legacy Edge and Spike Chaser; to that end try to stay on the ground unless she forces your hand with 5B. If she gets hit by either of your sword attacks, neutral is over and you can rush in pretty quickly. Remember she's a 16k fighter and has pathetic countermeasures to your offense save for her metered reversal.
|Hazama||5:5||Hazama's zoning and mobility make him a pain to pin down. He's more evasion than space control, but make the mistake of hard chasing him down and he'll get a full combo once you run into Ouroboros. The first step to win this matchup is to get into a dead-zone where he can't touch you with chains; getting above him in an air-to-air is a great example of this kind of dead-zone. Until then, you should keep away from your attacks and default to dash blocking. Hazama won't normally try to fight you from the ground, but be wary approaching him if he does. One way you can lure him into a punish is to airdash away just barely before his DP can hit you. If you make it a habit to space your jump-ins at maximum distance, you can airdash away and punish with 5B for 10k damage. Lastly for neutral is that you shouldn't be too eager to anti-air him unless he makes a habit of charging in with j.BBB. Hazama has several ways to feint you and punish an anti-air attempt, so save your anti-airs for hard reads.
Hazama's offense isn't amazing, but he does have a gapless 50/50 special move allowing for unblockable setups with a partner. Also he has a command grab, which while fairly weak can still cause some trouble, especially if you're critically injured. If for whatever reason you're not pushblocking him, watch out for his frame traps. His 4A is +2 on block, and he can easily afford to space his pressure because of 5B. None of his offense is inherently lethal, but the damage from his mixups can add up pretty quickly. If you're the one on offense, be warned that he has a frame 5 guard-point super. If your Grand Viper safe jump isn't frame perfect, it will hit you and allow Hazama to combo you. However it also trades, so you don't have to be perfect if Hazama has less than 2k health.
|Makoto Nanaya||6:4||Most of Makoto's normal attacks are worse versions of your own, which gives her little to nothing against you in neutral. Save sword for her Comet Cannon and you should mostly be fine. You should have the advantage in jump-ins provided you space your j.B. One caveat to defaulting to 5A is that her 2C has invincibility to mids, so it may be wiser to default to 2A as your primary ground poke. Of course, if you're patient and you catch her committing to it, you can punish at the last second with 5B.
Makoto's pressure is quite good against your defense. Her 2A has just enough frame advantage to win against 4A as a reset. 214A will trade and get you out, but it loses to 4A (albeit that's a hard callout). She also has a + on block lunging attack, so you ought to save pushblocks for that if she's on the ground. The other time to pushblock her away is when she safe jumps you with her quadruple overhead. When you're on the offense, remember she has a frame 5 4A. Just keep your strings rather tight and you should be fine.
|Platinum the Trinity||5:5||Text|
|Izayoi||5.5:4.5||She's rather hard to pin down, but there's not much more she has against you in neutral. Izayoi doesn't like to fight on the ground much, so you'll primarily engage in air-to-airs. If she does camp on the ground, odds are she's trying to get you to run into Crusade Seraphim. Mock jumping can eventually score you a combo if you're patient enough. Alternatively you can try for a risky but harder to anticipate airdash just before you land. For specific callouts, look out for her teleports and counter with 2B. Also countering grounded EX Sonic Saber with sword super is a must.
The thing about Izayoi's offense is that she has a great overhead game. Expect to guess between 2A and Morrigan Dash j.A a lot. Also remember that teleport is a free sandwich. She's pretty meter hungry for her damage output, so it's often safe to go for a reversal or pushblock on wakeup. Still, don't overdo it or else you'll die pretty quickly.
|Azrael||5:5||Azrael is another 2-touch fighter; he'll kill you quickly if you're not careful in neutral. You'll mostly have to look out for step dash and Gustav. Step dash is important to respect because it has temporary invincibility, allowing him to force 5A to whiff and let him easily whiff punish. Instead 5A is best used passively on reaction to a teleport into your attack range. Gustav is problematic for different reasons. Keep a sharp eye out for the move's startup lest he either follow up on block with 4A (your fastest attack trades) or start a full combo on CH. 4A is your most reliable answer to both teleport and Gustav, though try to make sure in advance it has a good chance of catching him. Alternatively you can take to the air and cover against them with j.B; the caveat is that his 5A is really good at trading with it and sometimes will counter outright as an anti-air. If your spacing is good, you can erase the threat of 5A by airdash just before you hit the ground. Save this as a surprise attack and condition him with double jump, or else he'll call it out rather easily with a preemptive Gustav. Nevertheless, the risk/reward of this interaction is in your favor since double jumping will let you punish on reaction.
Don't mash much versus his pressure. Again, Gustav lets him beat every mashing option but 214B, and his 5A is +1 on block. DP can be a good option and is theoretically strong against his pressure, but his 2-touch power means that you'll die if he blocks or dodges it. Try to reserve it for reacting to something committal. Patiently blocking his pressure and waiting for an opening to punish or pushblock him is usually your safest option. Though even then he has a step dash and can teleport behind you for an unreactable crossup. It's most threatening with an assist, but he can also do it himself with Growler. You can beat this out pretty artfully with sword super, but you have to be certain that's what he'll do. Otherwise just try to guess which side to guess as you would with any sandwich mixup.
|Celica A. Mercury||5:5||Text|
|Nine the Phantom||4:6||You must take risks if you want to approach Nine, and her own approaches are rather hard to intercept because of her spells and tricky teleports. The matchup especially gets ugly if she combos you into the corner, since her unblockable setup can only really be countered by Bloodspiller, and even then only if she doesn't use a teleport crossup instead. Good news is, she must have you in the corner for her offense to be a threat.
You'll mostly want to handle neutral just outside her 5B range. From here you can dash jump and whiff punish with j.B, stop just outside melee range and whiff punish her j.A, or just simply stop mid charge and start pressure with a run-up 5A. You'll want to mock charge her a lot from fullscreen. And you should save your meter for pushblock and sword attacks to fend off her neutral setups. Try to use sword only on reaction, or else you'll run low on meter pretty quickly. And 4A is a boon vs her teleports. If she teleports towards you, you can punish single teleports on the spot and hunt for a pressure starter if she double teleports. Finally, keep in mind she has a bad defensive game. Except for her reversals which even then are alright at best, she's cursed with a frame 8 as her fastest normal and a backdash that doesn't even start off with invincibility. Frame traps are splendid for keeping your turn in this matchup, and you can use the threat of your safejump mix to force bad decisions for her.
|Naoto Kurogane||5:5||First off, be sparing in your air approaches; Kuro's myriad of powerful anti-airs means it'll usually be a weak tactic. On the ground, the hardest move to deal with in neutral is his 5B. Not only does it outrange all your normals, it can also be dash cancelled which itself can cancel again into DP or a special move, allowing him to easily react to your whiff punish attempts. Even though he can so effortlessly vary the correct way to beat this move, you can scare him from rushing you down by taking control of the correct way to close the neutral win. At fullscreen you can single jump forward or even just shuffle forward with a few microdashes. You can also bait him at midscreen by either neutral jumping or IADing backwards. If you catch him committing to something, you can dodge and whiff punish it or sometimes just outrange it with a poke. Other than that, remember he's generally fast and can catch up to you rather easily if you try to play keepaway.
Kuro doesn't have a lot of great mixups, but his pressure game will keep you stuck for a while. He has some of the best stagger pressure in the game, and 214C is a + on block lunging move to use in case you pushblock him successfully. In short, taking back your turn will require a lot of patience. He does love crossups and sandwich setups, so if you see him commit to those a lot, sword super will punish his offense pretty well. As with any metered reversal though, don't default to it.
|Susano'o||5:5||There's not much to say about this matchup that isn't common game knowledge. Though both you and the other Susano'o will have decent tools to make a comeback, usually whoever gets the first grounded hit confirm wins the round. 5A, 5B and j.B are going to be your primary dueling tools, and as with any mirror match you'll want to either bait and punish a mistake or quickly commit to a surprise attack. Try to get creative if you try the latter.
If you're a fan of sandwich mixups, keep in mind Susano'o is a fighter with plenty of tools to OS both sides. Keep your opponent stuck in setups for the whole duration lest you eat a nasty Liberating Dagger. Above all, focus first and foremost on analyzing your opponent. Because unless you're running a Susano'o counter like Nine as a partner, that very well might be the only edge you'll truly have.
|Es||4.5:5.5||Es controls neutral because of her projectiles and strong j.A. And she can easily shut down air approaches with her massive 2B. Save your meter unless you get knocked down, because she can rush you down easily if you don't react to her grounded projectiles with sword super. Of course, she's also fast and can approach quite well with IAD j.A even without setup. 5B is a rather good counter to meet these kinds of rushdown attempts. Though if you rely more on this than on trying to dodge, she can just outpoke you with 2C. When you're trying to rush her down, you'll have to make her mess up on pulling the trigger against you. Mock charges are imperative against her projectiles, single jumping at her is a safe way to observe her anti-airing habits, rapidly double jumping into her can mess up her 2B timing, and IAD can sometimes work as a surprise attack. If you somehow force her into the air, your best positioning is directly underneath her.
If she's pressuring you, there's good and bad news. Good news is that her pressure game is pretty weak. Bad news is that her mixup game is quite strong, especially because of her IOH j.B. Do not use DP on wakeup, as it doesn't reach high enough to beat her IOH. Instead, try to block her first hit on wakeup and think about retaliating afterward. If you block the 50/50, let her pressure play out until she does something unsafe or she calls an assist. Her resets aren't hard to handle at all, so handling her first attack is generally all you need. There's no shame in pushblocking her j.C oki, as it conditions the Es to not risk whiffing j.B as a followup. Try to attack her partner, since her mixups are neutered without an assist for coverage and followups. Suddenly, it becomes a battle of pure neutral against you with her poor damage output. Meanwhile you still have the potential to 2-shot her.
Persona 4 Arena
|Yu Narukami||4.5:5.5||Narukami's neutral is going to be frustrating. His normals reach far enough to match your melee game, and on top of that he has an air OK projectile that keeps you at bay pretty easily. First off, don't jump into him that often or else you'll eat his DP with little chance of dodging. If you're jumping to mock approach him, airdash back before you hit your apex. Fullscreen normal jumps are still fine. The main hassle of this matchup is backwards IAD. At fullscreen your safest option is to react to the IAD with a microdash. Then you stop and react to the Zio with a normal forward jump. This will allow you to safely cover distance, and you can then choose to either airdash away or land with j.B to fish for a bad 5A. If he charges up EX Zio, walk backwards and airdash away after it goes flying. Things get rather inconsistent at midscreen. You get in range for sword to beat Zio calls, but it's usually a waste of meter since he can just empty jump. Not to mention instead of IAD back he can just single jump away, superjump over you or charge in with 5A. Boxing him in is key to gaining control of neutral.
Narukami's pressure is easily some of the best in the game. Bottom line is that if he makes you block, you're probably not going to stop blocking for a while. Nevertheless, you should pushblock him away to get him out of overhead range and keep yourself safe. If he sets up oki against you, pushblock whatever comes after j.A. Make the mistake of pushblocking j.A itself, and he'll be able to cancel into EX Zio and come right back in for more overheads. If you're the one on the offensive, watch out for Ziodyne when he has 4 bars. Since 4 bar Ziodyne is massively + on block, you'll have to counter its startup with a reversal of your own. Any time you create an offensive setup, make sure you can either dodge the beam or counter the attack entirely.
|Yosuke Hanamura||5:5||You'll find Yosuke is pretty hard to pin down. He'll rarely be anywhere close to the ground which means your grounded normals will be almost useless in neutral. And j.B is hard to know when to use because of Yosuke's flips (they have invincibility) and V-Slash. This fighter favors a hard evasive playstyle, so your best default is to play the game just as passively: run under him a lot make him frustrated enough to forego his strong dodging tools and start rushing you carelessly. Once he starts getting aggressive, you have a few ways to safely contest his approaches. 4A buffer 2B is a rather nice callout to IAD attempts, and you can crouch V-Slash for a punish or sometimes even dodge the whole move. Superjump rising j.B can counter his flips depending on the spacing, though make sure you know there's no way you could take a stray hit.
Yosuke has an annoying stagger game owing to his frame 5 4A. Just let it play out and wait for a heavier move you can pushblock. His main mixup tool is his Crescent Slash. The flips themselves aren't too hard to block, but he has EX Moonsault for added layering. Watch out for the blue flash at all times, and try to pushblock the first crossup he goes for. Alternatively, you can block 2 crossups in a row and then use DP or Bloodspiller. As for your own offense, you'll find it hard to get the proper hit confirm for a 2-touch. You'll probably have to focus more on chipping him down and relying on midscreen setups. That said, if you're fortunate enough to get him in the corner, remember he has a counter DP. You can slip past it rather nicely on wakeup with forward jump rising j.B. That does lose to Garudyne though, so don't mindlessly commit to it.
|Chie Satonaka||5:5||You can handle Chie's neutral quite artfully. Wait out Agneyastra whenever she pops it, but otherwise feel free to counter most of her approach attempts with j.B. Her j.C is rather tricky to get past, but fortunately it's much more annoying than threatening. If you can't punish on the spot, just let the attack play out and persona break it for that small bit of free damage. 4A is a pretty nice poke since Chie will mostly have to rely on whiff punishing you with 5B and j.B. Once you see her mock approaching a lot, that's a good time to shift gears and start committing to IAD.
Chie's mixups aren't impressive, but with meter her damage is even higher than yours. A lot of teams allow her to 1-touch you. Whenever she tries to execute a pressure sequence, you must respect it. That goes double since Power Charge can make any normal artificially + on block. As for your own offense, you'll mostly want to substitute 4A resets with hard cancels. Otherwise you'll trade with her frame 5 which is an opening to then jump out and escape from your pressure. And as she has a counter DP, you'll want to use feint attacks a lot (including empty safejumps) in order to bait it. If you're ever inflicting sandwich pressure, 4A>2C>AS is a good reversal proof mix to potentially hit an opening.
|Yukiko Amagi||5:5||This fighter will kill you if you let her have breathing room. Late-game Yukiko is an extremely dangerous opponent because of her Flame Boost, as she'll eventually become able to 1-touch off a single 214C which renders her questionable mixup game irrelevant. And that's to say nothing of her insane resonance game. As she is a hard zoner, you still have to be patient when approaching; it's just that you should also refuse to let her create space of her own. A general rule of thumb is to let her be no farther away than 2/3 the screen. Save hard chasing for when she's airdashing away. She pretty much just has her fans until landing, and their bottom-tier reward means you can easily afford the stray hits in the name of hunting these retreats. Everything else is boilerplate anti-zoning advice.
In addition to the fact that it takes a long time for Yukiko to set up her late game sweep, the good news is once again that if you score a hit confirm, she's toast more often than not. She has nothing against Grand Viper oki and her fastest attack is a frame 8 low kick, letting you snuff her out fast. Just remember Maragidyne is heavily + on block, meaning you should save meter for countering with Bloodspiller.
|Kanji Tatsumi||5:5||This is even primarily because of Kanji's defensive game. Avoid Grand Viper oki like the plague, or get super command grabbed and then vortexed. And his top notch DP means grab proof oki generally won't cut it either. Typically you'll have to deploy your assist right off the bat if you want to force him to sit down. Though if you're willing to risk letting him escape, j.C oki is great for making him guess how to defend properly. Aside from not falling for fullscreen shenanigans, neutral is all about handling his j.B. First off don't anti air him often or else you'll probably eat a fat CH and get corner carried. It does have pretty slow startup, meaning you can catch his landing on reaction with 5A. And of course 2B still works decently if he gets aggressive with j.B usage. Although it could backfire if he instead uses a special move or j.C.
Handling his offense is in theory the same as any other grappler like Tager and Waldstein. The caveat is that Kanji can kill you in 3 command grabs because of his excellent corner game. And on top of that he has several ways to reset combos and scam you for free damage. Though you'll survive the vortex more often than not, it will lead to critical damage pretty quickly. Above all, avoid his super command grab as the corner carry it provides is by far Kanji's fastest vehicle to victory. If he manages to combo you, 5AA is his best reset point due to leading into 5AAA or a command grab. If you don't want to guess what he'll do, backdash is generally you best habit to form. Just remember he can punish with 5B as a read. If you get launched or air comboed, charged 214B and flying grab are his only good resets. Just refrain from teching at all if he does this. He'll still have the advantage, but it's not worth taking another 6k just because you wanted to leave the corner.
|Teddie||4.5:5.5||This is another fighter whose normals allow him to easily wall you off. The unique thing with Teddie however is his items. Though you want to be patient against him, don't overdo it or else he can setup an obstacle course with impunity. In general you should play slowly and methodically by default and crank up the aggression the moment you suspect he's about to toss an item.
If he tries to approach you from the air, anti-airing him is out the window; just wait for him to land and catch him with tail. IAD j.B can work well as an approach option, but you have to be fast or risk eating a 2B. As for Teddie's j.B, there's not much point in directly punishing it. Just try to stay safe from it and use 4A or 214B to Persona Break him for chip damage. Above all, try to avoid his crossup setups. He can setup CC sandwiches rather easily with Bearscrew and 22[C], and he can setup nasty solo crossups if he manages to get you stuck in buckets. Nothing's that special about his defensive game, so you can rather easily take him out if you get a good hit confirm.
|Naoto Shirogane||4.5:5.5||This matchup is a battle of patience. Though she's not inherently harder to outneutral than any other zoner, her instakill system means you can't afford to take nearly as many risks against her as you can against other zoners. In short, be fine with running into her zoning attacks and she will 2-touch you. Instead you should default to dash blocking: take advantage of her unimpressive guard breaking power by safely moving into her traps to disarm them. Sometimes you can also safely get rid of traps with your attacks. In most cases whichever of you plays the more carefully in neutral wins the matchup.
Shiro's offense, while annoying because of her persona pressure, is fortunately not that threatening. She does have a decent unblockable setup, but normally she won't be in position to use it unless her partner escorts her to you and/or you seriously go yolo during a rushdown attempt. For the most part, you just have to be mindful of her instakill. If she marks you, she can't go into oki unless you're in the corner. This means you can easily buy yourself some time by partner swapping. Your own offense is pretty strong against her because of her poor reversals and 16k health, allowing you to score the kill against a reversal attempt in the corner with Bloodspiller. More skilled Shiro players will know this weakness by heart, allowing you to bully them with impunity whenever you score a good combo.
|Akihiko Sanada||5:5||Most of your strong points overlap completely with Akihiko's. You both have insane stagger pressure and anti-reversal tools, and you both can 2-touch each other with roughly the same efficiency. Generally speaking whoever eats a combo first has to defend with surgical perfection to not be torn apart on wakeup. You have a slight edge in neutral because of your strong hitboxes. But that doesn't mean you can autopilot walling him out and call it a day. If you whiff a grounded poke at any point, which is especially possible because of his 66 and 214B, neutral is over and you'll probably hit for a full combo. The good news is that he has to rely hard on his lunging moves to control neutral, and their poor advantage on block makes them just as dangerous for him as for you. Jump and airdash often to fish for a commital lunging move or buy yourself time to analyze his habits.
If he doesn't have a Cyclone count, default to blocking high. He only has a single low and can't combo off it at Cyclone Level 0 without calling an assist. You also have to watch out for his throw during rekka and crossup 236C. The latter is incredibly hard to react to, but if you can then DP will beat it and let you immediately start your own offense. Typically though it's a lot safer and more reliable to just pushblock him out of crossup range as a failsafe. Don't mash after any of his normals nor 214X, no matter what.
|Tohru Adachi||5:5||Adachi wants to set up B Maziodyne for his partner as much as possible. As usual counter with sword super if you can, especially if he's on the ground (you can react easily by watching him lift his arms). If that's not doable, you'll have to dodge his setup. Try to not let Adachi achieve fullscreen distance; the closer you are the easier you can just jump over the beam and cross up to safety. If he's solo, he's essentially a garden variety zoner. Try to jump over his A Maziodyne for an easy whiff punish, and break his persona whenever you get a chance to do so (hint: use 2B against Vorpal Blade). Other than that, try to be careful against 5B and j.B when going in for a melee fight. For what it's worth, his anti-air game is rather weak so you might be able to get him with an aggressive super jump.
Hopefully, it's obvious what insane mixups his B Maziodyne can grant his partner. If you're forced to block this, there's unfortunately not much you can do about it. You essentially have to minimize the damage by jump blocking and allowing your opponent to DP you. If you're at fullscreen, what you might be able to do is burst right after the DP to land a combo or at least get a headstart in neutral. On his own he still has pretty good pressure, but his mixups aren't that impressive. Patience is your best friend once you get rid of Adachi's partner.
|Carmine||5:5||Carmine is an extremely volatile matchup, since the point of his character is that he drains his own health whenever he uses a blood move (5B, 5BB, j.C and all his special moves). As such, you can eventually let him bleed out enough to kill him in your next hit confirm, which given your insane damage isn't that tall an order. The catch? His win condition is the exact same as yours, down to having roughly the same damage and normals. And a smart Carmine will save his blood attacks for just the right moment in neutral. If you're impatient, you will lose to these blood moves and get vortexed. Getting above him is a pretty good way to stay safe from his blood moves, and as with most matchups you gain the upper hand in air-to-airs. But don't default to approaching this way, or else he'll eventually catch you with one of his anti-airs (albeit they're subpar). You can also react to all his grounded blood moves with sword super, so keep a sharp eye out in order to force him into the air.
Unless you keep running into his frame traps, Carmine's offense requires that you watch out for two things: his j.A crossup and his resonance chip damage. One of the most powerful callouts to j.A is using 2B to OS both crossup and fake crossup. However it's risky since he can mix up with j.C or double jump. The less rewarding but much safer callout is to jump away. Ideally you super jump forward and block whatever direction is blocking before you jump. You can also tag him with j.B along the way if you're confident. Handling his resonance game is a bit different from other characters. He regenerates his health enough to more than counteract his health drain, so a lot of Carmine players will become far more aggressive once they pop resonance. Another caveat is that he can combo you, pop resonance and still easily retain frame advantage. This is especially a problem if he uses 236C to pop resonance mid combo and kill you with an unburstable. Don't rush a lone Carmine unless you know you can afford the risk.
|Gordeau||6:4||Gordeau can control neutral but must take extreme risks to do so. 5B gives him a definite advantage in attack range, but its abysmal recovery means you can beat it on reaction with the following options: jumping forward just outside its range, neutral jumping and airdashing before you land, braking and then running up with your own 5B, calling an assist, or backdashing and then using sword super. Grim Reaper is unsafe on block and forces him to call an assist. And if he uses it too far away, you can back up and easily punish it with either 5B or sword super. Watch out for his 2B though. It's no better than an average anti air, but it still does a good job snuffing air approaches.
Gordeau command grab, while hard to defend against, is pitifully weak. You can fall victim to it several times and still keep on fighting. And it's just as easy to punish as any other grab if you jump. That and Gordeau's bad frame data for stagger pressure mean your best course of action is to safely block and wait for an opening. No shame in committing hard against the cheekier Gordeau players though. Next is that Gordeau's defensive game is awful. As his fastest normal is frame 8 and he has a frame 21 DP, escaping safely from your pressure will be expensive for him. Attack him however you want and don't panic if your plan backfires. Just let the game go back to neutral and start all over again.
|Vatista||5:5||Vatista's premier neutral tool is her orbs. They operate by slowing you down and covering her rushdown attempts. Though you can and sometimes should just patiently defend against her zoning, the ideal strategy is to stop her from properly setting up at all. First off if she uses a projectile on the ground, react with sword super. This will force her to set up her zoning in the air, which incidentally is your cue to start running in. Don't worry too much about laser (unless it's the super). They're less for aggressive sniping and more for punishing bad rushdown attempts. Just block it and you'll be fine. If she does manage to set up her orbs, try to dodge them instead of blocking. This is especially important with her bouncing orb. Jump over it after it hits its apex so you won't have to keep backing up. Or if you get really close, you can just block it during Vatista's recovery. Finally, keep in mind Vatista has pretty good melee tools if you get past her projectiles. If you feel you've gotten in too easily, odds are she's luring you into being outpoked. Watch out for 2C on the ground, and stay wary of her j.B and DP during your aerial approaches.
Vatista has an IOH, and like most UNIST fighters she has a single jump crossup. Plus she has solid stagger pressure which can make countering her a challenge. The good news is that she has no dedicated lunging moves, allowing you to deny extended blockstrings with pushblock. Also her damage isn't that special, so you can afford to surprise her with a risky defensive option every now and then. Your own offense is the same as always with one major caveat; watch out for her 4 bar reversals. Always be ready to use DP during your safejumps. And if she pushblocks your safejump, stay on the ground and back away slowly. Counter with sword super if her next action is Lacteus Orbis.
|Seth||5:5||You are not going to have an easy time pinning him down. He has a setup projectile that puts a time limit on your control of the neutral game, and his mobility is slippery enough to keep him safe from most of your hit confirm attempts. Not to mention he can close the distance all at once because of his natural runspeed and EX Issen, the latter of which renders edging him into the corner useless. Your first priority should be to single jump a lot. That way you can whiff punish a proactive EX Issen and deter him from doing it in the future. Mix it up with double jump and airdash to stop him from catching your landings. Halfscreen is a rather good spot to favor in neutral. This makes it riskier for Seth to set up against you, and it lets you take advantage of his poor anti-airs. You can force him into a retreat and dodge his counterplay more easily. If you end up at fullscreen, just dodge his orbs and play passively until you find an opening to retake your ideal spacing.
This may sound completely backwards, but buffer a backdash during your safe jumps. He has a frame 13 super command grab so if he uses it, your backdash will activate and render you safe and in prime position to punish him with a 5B combo, all while still covering DP and 5A. Also Sundering Claws is still as good as ever for anti pushblock since it puts Susan too low for super grab to touch him at all. As for Seth's offense, his pressure and mixups are going to take you for a ride, even when he's completely solo. The most important things to look out for are sandwich mixups with Issen and a 4-way mixup with orbs. Susan's reversals and 2B help out as usual against sandwiches, but still don't over do them, especially because of Seth's high damage. The 4-way mixup involves TKing his 236B to cross you up. DP is the most consistent counter, but you can also 2B if you're certain he'll commit.
|Hilda||5:5||Yet another zoner who dominates you in neutral but breaks once you get a single combo. Her normals consist of almost nothing but pokes, so you're going to have to whiff punish her more often than not; fortunately her abysmal frame data means this isn't that tall of an order. To that end, try to dodge her attacks instead of blocking them unless you have no other choice, especially her B normals since their recovery is easily punishable. Other than that the typical anti zoning advice applies. Though one caveat is that her DP is massive, meaning you should be careful single jumping at her once you get into midscreen distance. Also airdash only on reaction to a whiff. Her 5A and j.A let her catch IAD out for free.
With a frame 11 mashing option and horrible reversals, Hilda has the worst defensive game of the roster. So once you get a good hit confirm, you can just kill her. In addition to the usual ammo you carry as a Susan player, you have two unique options against Hilda because of her slow frame data:
1. If she blocks 236A, you're guaranteed to have at least 1 frame of advantage against all her normals and specials. Only throw will outright counter this, but you can make a read by jumping instead and then using j.B on reaction to the grab whiff.
2. Hilda can't punish your 5C nor j.C on block. That means you have another safe way to force overhead mixes if you can't count on assists.
Don't be intimidated by Hilda's offense. Though her mixups are rather good in theory, that's assuming you avoid pushblocking her and allow her to get close enough to use them in the first place. And if she does somehow get into range, her awful damage output means you won't go down for a while. Again, patience is key in this matchup.
|Ruby Rose||5:5||Controlling space is a tall task against Ruby. She flat out beats you in the air with j.A, and even your 5A falls rather short to her strong mobility and faster than average recovery on her pokes. You can't even run away too well because of her natural runspeed. Your best strategy is to hunt for IAD with your B normals. Usually though she'll go for a single jump or just stop mid charge, so be ready to react with run under or dash up 5A respectively to buy yourself time. 214B is actually rather decent to check raw run in attempts, though try to be sparing in its use. Finally don't forget you can use j.B as a whiff punishing tool, especially against run up 5B.
Ruby doesn't have a lot of unique offensive tools; it's just the whole package of her offense is pretty strong. As such all your typical defensive options should work well enough, but since she's pretty fine at everything try to think more carefully about how to defend. She does have the ability to corner steal, so get suspicious whenever she calls an assist on your wakeup. Sword super is your friend against that setup. Other than that, remember her overhead game hurts you a lot, and don't underestimate her damage output. When in doubt, go with whatever will hurt the least to fail at.
|Blake Belladonna||4:6||Let's say you get past her B normals that can wall you off easily. Blake's ridiculous mobility makes it a nightmare to score any meaningful hit confirm, let alone start your 2-touch. You're best off coming at her from above with single jumps since her one invincible anti-air a small DP. Remember that she can respond to this with IAD j.B, so try hard to stake just outside her B normal range; give her less time to react. If she springs high into the air, there's not much you can do other than wait for her to come down. Your best counter to this is to pay attention to her movements and get roughly to the spot she's going to land in. This is unfortunately easier said than done, but if you get it right, you'll usually be able to start your offense.
Her pressure and mixups are above average, but you're saved by her rather low damage output. You can afford to make risky callouts like reversal and burst, or you can jump out of her whip resets and get back to neutral where you're decently safe. IAD j.B is a pain in both neutral and pressure, and your safest responses are to either jump away or pushblock her. If she keeps doing it and you really want her to suffer for it, you can also counter her with a risky Bloodspiller.
|Yang Xiao Long||5:5||Fun Fact: because Yang loses HP when hit in armor, you can shred through a good chunk of her armor moves with 214B. If you do this at roundstart, you can actually 1-touch her with an assist to convert off of. That aside, it's not that hard to wall Yang off. Mostly stick to jump cancellable pokes like 2A, 5A and j.B. That way if you somehow get tanked by her armor, you'll usually be able to jump as a failsafe. Her rockets can slow you down, but they have pretty weak reward which means they're not much of a threat to you. And don't forget about her semblance. If you're going to put her health in the red, try to make sure you can land the killing blow in the same combo so you don't have to deal with her heightened damage.
Yang's offense is rather cut and dry, but things can get ugly if she's in semblance; any attack she gets on you will have massive reward. Watch first and foremost for her j.C and command grabs; react as best you can. Also, challenge her pressure with 214B: a lot. In most matchups it's a meme move but a frame 7 1-touch is a boon vs her 5B resets. Make her terrified to armor through your reversal attempts. Grab can be a decent option if you think she won't dodge it nor frame trap you.
|Neo Politan||5:5||First of all, don't catapult into Neo with rising j.B in neutral, as her j.A will usually trade or sometimes flat out win the interaction. You'll mostly want to stay grounded as your 5A gives you the advantage in attack range. Let her claim the sky as her domain, and try to catch her landings with 5A or brute force through her air approaches with 2B (it's actually rather effective vs her toolset). If she's oppressing you with fullscreen teleports, you're letting her scam neutral for free. 2B is once again strong as a counter to both her A and C teleports (nothing happens to either of you if it's a B teleport). And if she uses 236X, you can react with 5B for a full combo. You can actually still cancel after hitting the A version, including into sword super for a fullscreen punish.
Your offense and ability to keep her locked in your 2-touch loop is the same as always with one important caveat; Neo has a super command grab. Instead of relying on Grand Viper as your oki ender, you should followup with j.C and single jump backwards. All your mixup options and tech coverage will be the same, and you can mixup with double jump or airdash in case you want to bait the grab. Another minor thing is that she has a frame 6 normal, which wouldn't be noteworhty at all except that it has long range for a mashing option. If you rely on maximum spacing your opponent's offensive options, that's going to be less dependable vs Neo. Stick with basic frame traps if your 2-touch goes out the window. As far as handling her own offense is concerned, she's mostly a low damage mixup specialist. She has a metered stance that turns j.A into a + on block instant overhead, but it has low reward meaning you can afford to just block low for a few turns. Then you have to keep in mind her Azrael/Juubei style crossup step, which fortunately won't come much into play until you go to the corner. And finally try not to let her abuse teleports. Liberating Dagger will counter all her teleport options if you're waking up. Or if you have no meter you can OS the teleport by blocking high and then blocking low right after the teleport. Remember: she will appear on whatever side she WAS on when she inputted the teleport.
|Heart Aino||5:5||Heart is a pretty resilient against your hit confirms, courtesy of homing dash to provide invincibility and great mobility. Anti-airing her the traditional way is dangerous, so you should patiently wall her off with j.B. As with the other fist fighters, 4A is a pretty safe poke if you're scared of a 5A callout. Also if she sets up an orb and you fail to punish her for it, try to dodge it or run into it and use pushblock.
You can't burst Heart's special moves because she can react with backhoming dash. If you want to burst Heart's combos/pressure, you must do it during her normals, which of course means you must only burst when she forgets about it. And because of her incredible stagger pressure, mashing doesn't work against most of her offense. It is however a good callout against false safejump into low, which can help short circuit her mixup game. And pushblock is a rather reliable escape option since her lunging attacks have a hard time getting her back in. Just make sure to not use it against 4A stagger lest you get an accidental DP.
|Yumi||5:5||For similar reasons to Narukami, Yumi is painful to close in on. She has (marginally) worse tools to control space, but she's a 2-touch fighter with unburtsable combos and as such demands caution at all times. First watch out for 5B. Its long range, suction properties and excellent combo scaling mean it will probably win her the game more often than anything else. Dodge it as best as possible, or pushblock her if you see no good way to dodge. In order to whiff punish it, single jump forward is your best strategy as usual, taking care to airdash away if you don't see 5B. Then you can go for aggressive airdashes once she's used to 5B being punished. Grounded whiff punishes aren't very feasible in this matchup. If you must whiff punish from the ground, do it with one of your sword attacks. Snow Bird is your next hassle, particularly because of how safe they are. Other than hard reads with sword, the best you can do is charge her from far away and keep charging to chase down her back airdash, allowing you to punish with 5B. Easier said than done because of her own 5B and ground Snow Bird. And remember she's pretty fast so try to hinder her approaches if possible.
As far as advantage and disadvantage are concerned, both of Susano'o and Yumi are very similar fighters because of their damage and stagger. Normally whoever is first to get a good combo wins the game. And if you are unfortunate enough to not get your combo first, you're more or less defending against another Susano'o. There are however some key differences to account for in this matchup.
1. Your light reset relies on a 4A, forcing you to spend some frame advantage running back up to close space back up. Yumi's 6A reset lets her close space with no added risk.
2. Yumi's j.C is a much more powerful IOH than yours, so try to keep an eye on when she goes into the air.
3. Since Yumi doesn't have a lunging move like you, a carefully timed pushblock is a great way to short circuit her blockstrings.
4. Yumi has a frame 4 (albeit metered) counter reversal that starts an unburstable combo. This means you must be cautious with any gaps you leave behind in your pressure, especially for 4A stagger.
And try to focus on quashing resonance if you get her alone. She doesn't have any special ways to make it safer, and if she does get it out you're going to endure EX Snow Bird spam with little to no counterplay. Her defense is fairly average so you can afford to keep piling on attacks in the name of denying her resonance.
|Blitztank||6:4||The running theme with your good matchups is the same here. Your vastly superior mobility gives you a much easier time enforcing your win condition, your damage invalidates Tank's 20k health as a strong point, and you get to IOH him with j.B. And since nearly all its normals are armor moves, you get to turn one of its strong points completely against it with 214B. It takes a while for you to close the distance, but that's essentially all Tank has going against you.
Tank's offense is rather easy to defend against. Just stay on guard against laser super and j.C, and you should be golden. It does have an IOH in j.B, but if you're playing with a decent level of caution, there's very little way Tank will get into range without an escort. You somehow do end up in range of that attack, Bloodspiller will serve as a great counter since Tank can't safejump. Just stop Tank from being able to wrack up damage and you shouldn't have a hard time in this matchup.