NOTE: Old matchup subforums can be found here: http://www.dustloop.com/forums/index.php?/forums/forum/42-johnny-matchups/
When ABA's in Normal Mode(NM), staying at tip of KMF range is ideal. at this range, you can react to slide, bloodpack, anti air accordingly, and there's not much ABA can threaten you with when she has no meter. However, when she does have meter for FB Slide, you have to be really cautious as she can slip past any poke and throw/keygrab you for whiffing. Cover this option with neutral jump DB FRC, being far enough away to not get put in a mixup, or react and throw. Pushing her to the corner with KMF1/coins/MF pressure is ideal. Here you can keep her blocking or go for a throw which has great reward even at level1. Throw->upcoin->S.J PPKSD enkasu is consistent in the corner. You can cover all of her wakeup options with 3H when she's in NM without meter for FB slide. When she gets GM is where the MU becomes a bit trickier. The range you want to stay at is the same, but you have to make more guesses between IAD and run up button/danzai. 6P/PMF to discourage IADs and KMF to whiff punish are your best friends here. Abuse Johnny's amazing backdash to stay at these ranges. If you get cornered, IB to build bar for DAA/FD her out of pressure are recommended. 2H is also an okay option if you have 50 meter, but can easily get you killed if she jumps over it.
- While ABA is in Normal Mode, play at your mid range and play the whiff punish game. Wait for your opportunity and take advantage of it.
- Versus Moroha mode, play defensively and try to whiff punish or stuff approach attempts.
- Versus Goku Moroha, play extremely defensively and prioritize survival.
- While she's in both Moroha modes, prioritize hard knockdowns, as Johnny's IK is extremely viable to go for if her Moroha meter gets drained.
- Route into Enkasu and unblockable her if she doesn't have meter. If she does, account for FB Slide if NM and FB Danzai if MH/GMM.
You generally want to stay a decent distance away, about 1 backdash from round start range. Here, ABA will have to commit in order to enter Moroha mode. Be cautious of random slide usage in neutral, as it can slide under many of your pokes and coins. 3H is your ideal move versus slide, as it's extremely active and hits low to the ground. If she's trying to bloodpack to activate, make sure you keep a close enough distance and knock her down with something like KMF or 2D if you're able to.
Backdash and whiff punish if you're able to. Throwing coins can also be decent if you're far enough away, as it can stuff IADs and run up button attempts, but be wary of doing things like coin->dash, as if she decides to run up Danzai, Danzai will tank the coin and tag your dash.
Goku Moroha Mode
Run away and try to survive. Use your meter (if you have it) to either DAA out of pressure, DB FRC, KJ FRC, etc. FDing her out of her pressure is also extremely practical vs GMM. These are pretty much the only ways you can try to interact with her in this mode without taking a massive risk.
6P is your go-to anti air, but it can trade with Aba NM j.H at some spacings. PMF is more reliable if you have the spacing for it. Versus NM j.H, you can also IB air throw, as it's active for an extremely long time, similar to Potemkin j.D. Dashing under or away from her NM superjump attempts is also recommended, as you can force her to block or play the ground game again.
Instant Killing off Moroha Recovery
If ABA doesn't have burst and her Moroha meter gets drained, you can IK her from anywhere on the screen depending on the kind of knockdown you get. It's often worth it to RC your knockdown if you have the meter for it in order to setup IK (mist finer, ensenga, etc.)
Watch out for getting tick thrown into keygrab, as this will be what a lot of ABA players look for in order to get into MH. Jump or mash out can work. Backdashing while up close can be finnicky due to keygrab being extremely active, so it can actually tag your backdash vulnerable frames and grab you. One thing to note about keygrab is that it functions as a grab if you're close (our c.S range), but farther out it functions as a hit that's unsafe on block. ABA players will likely be mashing this on both offense and defense, and it's extremely active, so be on your toes and whiff punish this accordingly. If you notice you're in keygrab range, jump or mash out should be on your mind.
IBing to increase your tension pulse and build bar for defensive options like FD/DAA/TMN is ideal. If you notice the ABA player isn't tight with their pressure, you can also IB->backdash or IB->jump out. You'll have to be cautious of ABA's massive anti-air 2S when coming down from the air, so either DB FRC high up or FD it on the way down. ABA players will also try and use her flip-kick(41236K) to open you up, which staggers on ground-block, essentially meaning it's unblockable. However it has one active frame on the hitbox and is 28f startup, so you can backdash or up-back on reaction. This is mainly up to preference and how confident you are in your reaction to backdash and punish it.
First off, we'll talk about the Goku activation super. On her wakeup, it will beat any meaty you attempt to do, so don't even try. To beat it, you'll want to either be far enough away to 6H/Jackhound/Coin punish it, or jump above her, wait for the superflash, and Divine Blade FRC. If you choose to stay grounded you can also gold burst or super it after the flash. Other than that, pretty much everything from Moroha mode applies here as well. One notable change in defense is you'll want to utilize FD to push her out of her blockstrings more, and look for opportunities to jump out.
Dealing with Danzai
On ABA's wakeup, 2K c.S can stuff out non-FB Danzai, you can also 2K>block first hit>6K before the second hit comes out. Fairly consistent punish unless you block the first hit from pretty far out. In a situation where the first hit pushes you out from the second, you can throw 2 coins and start your offense. Another viable option is simply staying out of range and whiff punishing the recovery with something like KMF. Just make sure you aren't trying to hit her out of Danzai, as she will armor through the KMF if you try this. Slashbacking is also consistent if you want to go for that. The only counterplay ABA has is RCing the Danzai to punish you.
Dealing with FB Danzai
The same 6K rule applies to FB Danzai, but the spacing is a bit more strict; you have to be pretty close to 6K punish her. Your options here are: block first hit->6K, block first hit->super, whiff punish recovery (KMF, 6H, etc), gold burst, and throwing coins from far away.
ABA is on the easier end to enkasu, as her j.D wallbounce hurtbox is quite lenient. KMF2->IAD j.KSD rejump j.KS DJ KSD Enkasu is extremely consistent on her from many distances. Throw->Dashjump PPSD Enkasu is also consistent. However enkausing her off of PMF loops is trickier than the rejump route and often requires tight SJ IADs or dashjump IADs. Still consistent but more difficult. Also important to note that due to ABA's extremely slow wakeup time, you can often meaty 3H without needing to FRC bacchus.
Few enkasu video examples:
Level 1 corner throw enkasu:
At level 1, Throw->Coin->PMF2 is consistent on ABA.
For Throw->DB Knockdown, do deep dashjump PSH DB.
Anji's got some great pokes to contend with Johnny's, such as 6S, 6P, and 2D to low profile. Fuujin can also completely go through your traditional buttons like 5H 5K and f.S. In this matchup, staying outside of his farthest poke (usually 6S) and whiff punishing with KMF or f.S is ideal. Coin can also be good vs Anji's pokes, however it gets completely blown up by Fuujin. After they get hesistant to throw out pokes is when you can start dashing in and starting pressure. Alternatively, if he does Fuujin at this range, you can react and press one of 2S, 3H, or 2D. 3H being the most reliable as it hits really low and has a lot of active frames there, however it's a bit on the slower end at 11F. Like any matchup, there's a few ways for both the Johnny and the Anji to approach this matchup, but generally speaking the most important things to know are how to stop them from spamming Fuujin (3H, 2S primarily) and knowing which buttons are which and what properties do they have (6S having early high autoguard frames, 6P leaning back in startup, etc). Side note: be wary of using coins in blockstrings as Fuujin will just go through it and potentially punish you. Doing MC into 3H or 2S can potentially catch this.
- Make Anji respect your pressure with anti-Fuujin tools such as 3H and 2S.
- Whiff punish Anji's pokes/Fuujin attempts at neutral.
- Get level 2 and get a knockdown/get him blocking.
Dealing with Fuujin
- Fuujin can be called out with low hitting moves such as 3H, 2S, and 2D. 3H being the most reliable to hit, as the low hitting part is active for 8 frames. 2D can also work, but it can be finnicky, as it's not as active. However, with the two hits, it's possible the first hit(frames 9-10) whiff and the second hit (frames 14-16) hits. 2K is also a fantastic option worth using if you're up close. It can be combined with 2S or c.S to create very potent anti-Fuujin sequences that are active and hit late into Fuujin's startup. 2K doesn't have the best active frames, however it recovers extremely fast, so you can do another option such as 2S, 2D, c.S, throw, or simply block Fuujin.
Dealing with Fuujin on wakeup
2K > 2S is a fantastic tool against wakeup Fuujin if timed properly, as 2K will whiff and 2S will come out just in time to stuff it. However, you're still prone to wake-up low autoguard shenanigans, so mix-up throwing Fuujin (Fuujin isn't throw invuln), and delayed 3H (delayed slightly to catch Fuujin's later frames, also great for catching mash attempts and fuzzy jumps). Delayed DB FRC is also a great option that's relatively low risk and blows up mashing as well as Fuujin.
Dealing with Fuujin in neutral
6H - Can be a good tool if you suspect a Fuujin in neutral from farther away, however is prone to whiffing (only 2 active frames), but usually the slow startup of 6H is enough to tag the later frames of Fuujin. Can also potentially get blown up by H/D (overhead) followups, as they autoguard vs highs. 3H - Ideal if you are in range for it and suspect a Fuujin is coming. 2S - Decent poke that can be used pre-emptively to stuff run up Fuujin attempts. 2D - Roughly the same as 2S, but with more potential reward on hit (doesn't prorate) and less active frames. Riskier to throw out as it has more recovery and be easily whiff punished. S Mist Finer - Can be used as a whiff punish if you're already in the stance and far enough away. At level 1, link into upcoin. More consistent of a punish at lvl2 due to faster startup.
Dealing with Fuujin on block
After blocking Fuujin, generally you want to stick to just down-backing and playing a reactionary game. However if they are getting too predictable with their Fuujin follow-ups you can take advantage of it.
P Follow-up(Fans) - j.S Ensenga on reaction.
K Follow-up(Hop) - Throw or 5K depending on distance.
S Follow-up(Low) - Block and punish with f.S if they have no meter for RC. If they do, force them to use it or go for the punish.
H/D Follow-ups(Overheads) - 2K is a viable option here that's relatively fast, recovers quickly, and can get decent reward. Slashback on reaction is also a viable option that leads to more reward. Delayed 2H can is also viable, as long as you time it properly and don't hit the autoguard frames of Rin/FB Rin.
Worth nothing that if they choose not to do a follow-up, they are -16, punishable by f.S. However the cancel window for Fuujin can be delayed for a long time(33F for H Fuujin), and you can get frame-trapped by a late follow-up, so be mindful of this.
Dealing with Butterfly in neutral
If you're already in stance, you can jackhound on reaction to butterfly given you're close enough for it. You can also use K Mist Finer to trigger the second hit of the butterfly pre-emptively so that it stops in its tracks. If you have level 2, this will eat through the butterfly and hit Anji as well if you're in range for it. Pre-emptive IAD can also be a good option, however it's a bit riskier.
Dealing with autoguard
If you're frequently getting autoguarded by Anji, it means you're being too predictable with your timings and move selection. Make sure you're mixing up between highs and lows in your pressure and in neutral, as Anji's moves can only autoguard one or the other, and usually at very specific frames during a move, aside from some exceptions like 3S (1-27 Low autoguard) and 5D (4-18 High autoguard).
9/10 difficulty. Extremely difficult outside of few specific setups. Recommended to go for either OTG upcoin, j.H or DB enders in combos to score hard knockdown.
Enkasuing Anji is possible but requires specific setups that demand execution.
Surprisingly a pretty easy enkasu, just requires a bit of delay. However, the spacing required to setup the spacing for this KJT KJ FRC is extremely specific.
The only way you are getting an enkasu off of a normal IAD string is to fallkasu. This requires land-cancelling the Ensenga such that the second hit doesn't come out.
Axl has many good tools for keeping Johnny out. 5P, Rensen, 2H, and his amazing anti airs in 2S and 6K. Key to this matchup is both patience and precise aggression. At round-start and your 2S range, you can afford to gamble and bully your way in with things like coin (stuffs pokes such as 5P and 2H) 6K (goes under 5P) a fast button to stuff such as 5K/f.S, or you can gamble on a dash with dash->throw. The most important thing is if you get to this range, make it count in some way. Because you won't get into this range very often without taking a risk. If you're outside of these ranges, such as at Axl's tip of 5P/Rensen range or fullscreen, you should be using a mix of walking->crouch or backdash, coin, dash->downback FD (to block faster and potentially duck under 5P) and the very occasional jump/IAD. If you're at edge of 5P range and you're crouching, the only things he can hit you with are 2P and Rensen, which really isn't that scary. Coin can be a great option as well, as it often trades or stuffs his pokes, however he can go under it with 2K or trade/stuff it with Rensen. Just remember: backdash->walk, build meter, crouchblock, and look for an opportunity.}
- Get into 2S range and make Axl block or guess between button/coin/dash up throw
- Walk to build meter if they're intent on zoning you out
- Instant Block Axl's blockstrings to build tension pulse
- Get your hit and make it hurt
There's three main ranges to take into account when playing neutral in this matchup. Your 2S range is ideal as here your buttons are likely to beat Axl's slower buttons, and the risk reward is often in your favor. Then there's the intermediate range where you can hit with things like 6H and IAD buttons. This range can be fine to play, depending on your resources, you can gamble on a 6H, dash, or an IAD callout and get a huge reward. Satou stepping (Dash forward->FD->Backdash) can also be good in this range to whiff punish Axl trying to catch your dash with a button. When playing the IAD game here it's important to look at Axl before you fully commit to your IAD choice. If you see that he's in a whiff recovery or something like 2P or 2H, press a button like j.H or KJ FRC. If you notice he's just sitting there crouching, FDing is recommended, as getting hit by a 2S will really hurt. If he just whiffed Rensen, and you're not in time for j.K j.H or KJ FRC then FD to avoid getting hit by the follow-up and eating a CH combo. Past this range is Axl's tip of 5P/Rensen/Fullscreen range. This is where you mainly want to be walking->crouchblocking and looking for your opportunity. If you do decide to gamble on a dash it's recommended to FD cancel it to recover as fast as possible and block. You can also throw coins here to try and force an opening or get levels for when you get your hit.
If you're close to Axl, 5P, 6P, Airthrow are all great options. If he's farther away trying to do options like j.S to stuff you, coin can tag his extended hurtbox and lead to great reward on CH.
The main things to look out for on offense are his 623P (auto-guards mids and highs) and his pseudo-DP (comes out on frame 3, upper body and throw invuln) however both of these are vulnerable to lows, hence why being at 2S range is important, as 2S is active enough to stuff these options.
You're going to be blocking a lot in this matchup, so getting comfortable with IBing to increase tension pulse/decrease frame advantage is crucial. FDing to push Axl out can also be viable if you have the meter to do so. If Axl has the meter for Rensen FRC, you're going to have to respect this situation and try to fuzzy jump/mash out of the strike/throw mixup. Best to respect it and wait until he runs out of meter to take your turn back.
Dealing with 6H
If Axl is using 6H when pressuring you, such as with 2H 6H, you have a few options. With 2H 6H, you can IB the first or second hit of 2H and 5K CH punish. If they're doing it raw and they're close enough, you can also IB throw it. Just regular blocking it is fine, but Axl will be +1 afterwards. It's recommended to IB it and contest afterwards with better frame advantage. Slashbacking is also a viable option that leads to high reward.
In general Axl is a little finnicky to combo with PMF2. His air hurtbox makes midscreen and corner PMF loops extremely wonky, often forcing you to do some weird routing or spend a lot of resources if you want an enkasu, so it's recommended to go for enders such as j.H, stance jackhound, or OTG upcoin-bacchus.
Your regular j.KS DJ KSDE combo should work every time. You can also do j.K DJ SH DB if you want the KD, but it's a bit more difficult and less damage. j.K KJ FRC IAD PKD stuff can also be used to enkasu reliably if near the corner.
After KMF2 in the corner, Axl is one of the easier characters to enkasu, all you need is (dashjump if far away) delayed IAD KSD~E. Big delay from D to E is the most important part. UB looping Axl is quite strong as he doesn't have good reversals, all of which will lose to a properly timed 2K.
For enkasu in the corner, use dashjump PPSD~E. Not too long of a delay on the ensenga or you'll only hit with the second hit. Close to max delay though. Coin->PMF2 is not possible on Axl without throw FRC. For throw KD, do dashjump j.SH DB.
Baiken's Guard Cancels can punish many of Johnny's typical pressure strings, so it is important to mix up your offense. If Baiken is aiming to Guard Cancel by anticipating your strikes, it can be effective to aim for lots of Throws, as Baiken is also stable to Enkasu. Mixing in TK Ensenga as an overhead can also be another good way to punish a Baiken who is concentrating on using Guard Cancels.
Interactions / Counterplay
- When pressuring Baiken from afar, Baiken's H Guard Cancel, Ouren, is commonly used to stop Johnny. Use Mist Cancel to block and punish, or cancel into Coin for a juicy counterhit.
- From close up, her S Guard Cancel, Sakura, must also be respected, but 2K and c.S can be used freely since they typically recover in time to block / punish.
- At the tip of 5H range, Johnny can Mist Cancel and walk forward to block Ouren while also being out of range of Sakura. A perfectly buffered Sakura, as well as her Force Break GC, can both still punish 5H, but it can still be a strong way to reduce your risk while pressuring Baiken.
- Note her Force Breaker Guard Cancel, Baku, cannot be avoided in such a manner, and you must rely on mixing your offense up to play around it.
- During Bachus Sigh setups, Guard Cancel will punish the standard meaty into unblockable mist finer. Vary by meatying with raw Mist Finer, delaying your meaty, or using other resources such as Coin, Up Coin, or Divine Blade.
- At neutral, use Level 1 P Mist Finer to stuff her instant airdash approaches, as 6P is unreliable vs iad Tatami.
Fighting Bridget generally plays out in an orthodox fashion, but catching the character and playing the ground game require navigating her strong midrange tools. See following section for details.
Interactions / Counterplay:
- At neutral, Bridget's f.S and 6S are both strong at stopping Johnny from entering poke range. 6P as well as 6K can be used as a call out, and Coin can also be used here to create an opening.
- Bridget 3P can be effective at stuffing many of Johnny's normals due to its lower body invuln and hitbox, so plan accordingly.
- If Bridget takes to the sky, pre-emptive usage of Up Coin and High Mist Finer are common responses, as well as chasing with air normals such as j.S, j.D, or even Ensenga.
- If Bridget has set up a yoyo, 421H, the sliding belly flop call from Rodger, covers a lot of screen space and can be tough to play around due to Johnny's mobility. Bridget's Roger commands always face the direction she is facing when she initially set the yoyo, so it can be a strong strategy to run underneath Bridget in order to remove the threat of the sliding attack.
- When knocked down, note that Bridget can meaty 2K to completely avoid That's My Name.
- 2H can also be used to defend against Bridget pressure strings into rolling.
Interactions / Counterplay:
- Chipp's 6P is extremely effective due to its upper body invuln, allowing it to completely counterpoke many of Johnny's normals. Low hitting normals such as 2S, 2D, and 2K can stuff it, but be aware that while 2S will often feel like the best response, due to Chipp's run speed and hurtbox extension, it is common to hit Chipp with 2S only for 5H to whiff - be prepared to 1 hit confirm 2S into Mist Finer or Jackhound if you are planning to contest Chipp with 2S.
- Johnny's step dash can feel awkward at neutral vs Chipp, but is one of the best ways to mitigate Chipp's teleport by moving you away from where Chipp descends.
Overview: Dizzy's fish summons can give Johnny a tough time. If Dizzy has successfully summoned fish, it is not recommended to leap headfirst at her recklessly, as your attacks will absorb the fish before Dizzy, allowing her to hit you at the same time. Note that strategies vs Fish summons are all depending on which version of the fish was input, but similar to fighting Eddie, you can try and kill the fish while Dizzy isn't ready. Jump back j.H, rising j.K, or use of low recovery / jump cancellable attacks such as 5K or Coin, can help sneak in a kill. Alternatively, you can attempt to disengage from Dizzy, as there is a small cooldown where Dizzy cannot resummon Fish. While she can keep you out with Spear, Ice Spike, and Bubble, such tools are generally easier to deal with than fish. If Dizzy is summoning fish summons such as K and D which move towards Johnny, jumping back and killing it with falling j.H can be effective. Note that playing too defensively vs Fish summon can be called out by her laser fish, which reach full screen, so you should be comfortable mixing up your responses to fish. While it is often tempting to avoid the fish by jumping above Dizzy and then stalling with Killer Joker or Divine Blade, well-adjusted Dizzy players can often simply run underneath you and wait for you to descend while being protected by fish. Being forced to block a run under c.S / f.S will force Johnny to spend a heft amount of meter to FD, which is a huge boon to Dizzy's general strategy that can lean heavily into a resource war of attrition. That being said, the goal is to get close enough to Dizzy such that she cannot summon fish without being punished by Johnny's approaches.
Interactions / Counterplay:
- Jackhound is also a great tool for punishing Dizzy on reaction for throwing spike/fish/bubble.
Overview: Eddie has fairly poor defensive options, and if Eddie is by himself, Johnny can often spend meter to bully his way in using moves such as Killer Joker. As such, Eddie will often summon at neutral in order to control the screen and slowly pin Johnny down. It is ideal to force Eddie to exhaust his summon gauge at neutral by feigning approaches, as Eddie must typically use pre-emptive Nobiru commands in order to stop Johnny from approaching from the air. Utilize your air movement as well as super jump to keep Eddie on his toes.
Interactions / Counterplay:
- As Johnny's defensive options are somewhat poor, be sure to familiarize yourself with universal defensive options vs Eddie's summon mixup strings, such as instant blocking the 1st hit of Mawaru then backdashing, or utilizing IB backthrow.
- At neutral, you can aim to kill Eddie's summon with moves such as Level 1 S Mist Finer, Coin, or low pokes such as 2S, as long as Eddie is not protecting it. Or, when descending from the air, air tools such as j.H and Divine Blade can also be used.
Interactions / Counterplay:
- While crouching and performing most crouching moves, Faust is extremely short, evading f.S, and even 5K. You'll often need to utilize moves that hit down, such as 2K, 2S, 3H, and 6H, but as these moves are slower than your ideal 5K and f.S options.
- When pressuring Faust, Up Coin can be an effective way to stop Faust from escaping the corner, due to his large size and slow airdash.
- P Mist Finer can also be very effective against strategies leaning heavily on jump back bomb bag. Predictable scalpel at neutral can be called out with 6P.
- When meatying Faust, such as from an Enkasu, note that wakeup Force Breaker Chop, 214D, will go over most of Johnny's normals, including meaty 5K and 3H. Since it is + on block, it is ideal to stuff the move rather than block it. To be safe vs Faust's wake super as well, meatying with c.S is your best bet.
- Coin can be a good response to blocking a Faust doing f.S > Item, as you are often not in range to press a normal, but not advantageous enough for forward dash into a poke.
- 6P can be a strong tool both to deal with Faust's drill, as well as many of Faust's higher reward abare normals such as Faust 5K, f.S, and 5P.
Overview: A Johnny does not have a run, approaching from the ground will often be met by I-no's Horizontal Chemical Love. Avoid predictable forward dashes as getting tagged by HCL at neutral is a free opening for I-no. You can go under HCL with a well timed 6K, and it is common to simply walk forward and crouch under HCL if represented.
Interactions / Counterplay:
- I-no's Stroke The Big Tree low profiles through most of Johnny's attacks, but can be called out with low hitting moves such as 2S, 3H, 2K, and 2D. 2H can also be a solid answer while also tagging I-no hover dash at some angles.
- Expect dives from I-no as a way to both stall in the air, or as a way to threaten Johnny from outside poke range. Instant Block is a reactionary option, but when anticipated, 6P is a high reward answer as well.
- I-no's wakeup super is a common option due to being advantageous on block, so consider meatying with a superjump height Divine Blade to enforce your Oki.
Overview: Due to how easy it is to combo Jam into Enkasu loops, throw has extremely high reward in this matchup, as Throw > Coin > LV2 High is extremely stable on Jam.
Interactions / Counterplay:
- Be wary of Jam's 6P, which can go through many of Johnny's standard pokes. Use low hitting normals to keep it in check.
- Be sure to track Jam's access to her carded special moves, as they give her access to tools Johnny needs to respect in many situations
- Attempting to low poke too often can leave Johnny susceptible to Carded Gekirin, which is a fast overhead that can low crush many pokes, but is punishable on block.
- Card Ryuujin is difficult to react to in close-mid range, is invincible on startup, and leads to high reward for Jam. Since Johnny's forward step also makes him vulnerable, approaching Jam requires caution if she has access to this tool.
- Be cautious of overusage of 2H, as Jam has many ways to quickly go over it and capitalize on Johnny's CH state recovery
- Jam may be tempted to repressure Johnny with iad, particularly after a blocked Sweep. If Jam is opting for deep crossup j.H, 5P can be used without needing to react too quickly.
Overview: 'Much of the neutral game is dictated by Johnny's ability to punish Justice's NB startup on reaction with Jackhound. Walking forward to approach Justice allows you stop Justice from easily deploying NBs, while also building meter. Dashing forward can seem tempting but leaves you susceptible to Michael Blade, which will fling you far away and allow Justice to start zoning. Inching forward and blocking Michael Blade will push Justice farther into the corner, which can be difficult to escape from with her lack of mobility.
Interactions / Counterplay:
- Though Jackhound can punish Justice NB, it can be FRC'd to be kept safe and give Justice some control at neutral, while also punishing any Jackhound attempts.
- 5K is the recommended meaty vs Justice, as it is safe vs her supers while also properly stuffing her 623 which has low invuln
- A well spaced forward superjump can be used to clear the parabolic S version of NB, which is typically used to stop standard jump / iad approaches.
Interactions / Counterplay:
- 6K can go under Coin, and is also strong at catching Johnny's backdash
- Level 1 K Mist Finer can be a surprisingly effective tool due to its range and pushback on block
Interactions / Counterplay:
- Kliff's lean back on wakeup can give Johnny a hard time. Use fast normals such as 2K to recover, and if you suspect Kliff will not perform the followup, throw can be used if you are unsure on punishing the recovery.
- Due to Johnny's step dash, be careful of Kliff's 214S, which can catch reckless approaches. At -8, it can be a strict to punish, so instant block is recommended for safety.
Interactions / Counterplay:
- Stun Dipper will beat many of Johnny's pokes, and while it can be punishable on block, it can be spaced to be fairly safe while also FRC'able. Backdash as well as neutral jump can lead to whiff punishing it at the expensive of forgoing your offense. Patiently looking to block Stun Dipper is also a valid answer
- From afar, Stun Edge can be avoided cleanly with a well timed 6P. Instant blocking a Ky who is happily Stun Edge'ing away is also extremely valid, as the tension pulse increase and resulting meter for IB'ing Stun Edges is typically worth the RISC / chip damage. Mixing between IB and 6P can be a good way to get ahead in resources before initiating a poke war.
Even at best, but in all likelihood, Johnny favored. The two most annoying things about May, 3K and Restive, aren't the biggest deal for Johnny if you play a slightly more passive than usual neutral game. Backdashing and building meter is the cornerstone of this matchup as a result, and despite May being relatively easy to enkasu, OTG upcoin enders are actually quite strong against her, as well. May's offense is also fairly committial, allowing Johnny to simply jump or contest against most of what she does there.
Don't allow May to dictate the pace of the round. As Johnny, you are in no rush to get in against her, so stay back and build meter. Restive can still be a pain at times, but if you position yourself right, it's nothing high MF can't take care of. Failing that, you can simply backdash again to make it whiff and play the scenario from there.
May's best abare tools against Johnny are 6P and 3K, both of which aren't particularly hard to deal with. Both can be avoided by jumping and answering with DB FRC, mist canceling and blocking, or even mashing 2H. While combos ending in Enkasu are good against May, oki can become a slight issue once she has 50% tension. Enter the OTG upcoin: not only is the reversal timing changed from a standard knockdown, if she does tech, she's right where Johnny wants her and with few truly good answers to boot.
You can punish dolphin with f.S on block, and May is crouching until the end of recovery, so you can just kill her with f.S 6H stepjack.
Interactions / Counterplay:
- If blocked point blank, May's 3K recovery is low enough to make most normals, including 5K and 5H, whiff. 3H or 2K can be used for easy punishes.
- Due to Johnny's tall stature, May's iad j.S approach can be difficult to deal with and catches Johnny's backdash. Forward dashing under the iad will not typically lead to a punish, but will reverse the situation and catch May off guard. Forcibly crouching to avoid j.S is also viable and often can lead to a punish, but leaves you susceptible to j.2H counterplay.
- IB'ing can help give you the frame advantage and reduced pushback needed to punish her Horizontal Dolphins with f.S
- Be wary of May's 6P, which will go through many of Johnny's normals, making it a strong option for May both at neutral and while pressuring Johnny. Use low hitting normals to stuff it, though note that these will also leave you more susceptible to her strong jump arc.
Millia favored, but not as bad as it may initially seem. Your anti-airs can actually put in a lot of work against her and if you land a good knockdown via enkasu you can potentially win the round right there.
Millia legitimately struggles against Johnny's oki when he lands enkasu. Sometimes this can even be extended to landing sweep, Divine Blade, or j.H knockdown. While meaty 3H may not always be an option, it doesn't necessarily always have to be. 2K and 2S can both be quite reliable against Millia if she doesn't have 50% meter. Additionally, if you find yourself losing offensive momentum to her roll, simply time 3H to catch her as she does it. You don't need to backdash or often times even significantly delay it for this move to win. You can pretty much time it 1:1 with her roll attempts and beat it clean.
Millia, of course, has pretty good offense. While lacking a non-metered reversal does hurt a bit here, it's not as bad as it may seem. First of all, recognizing when disc hits as a true meaty vs when it's fake can go a long ways in not having to hold Millia's offense. Timing fuzzy jump on wakeup can make life a lot easier when defending against Millia. Additionally, being comfortable with airthrow, defensive throw, and yes, even 2H can help a lot when it comes to defending against Millia. She does have airtight oki and mixups, but they're not exactly easy for her to get. She also struggles quite a bit when it comes to landing combos vs Johnny (moreso than most characters), so having some sort of plan for teching out of her combos early can help a lot, too.
Be sure to tell the person playing Order Sol that their character is a gorilla that wins neutral for free as you press the HS button and win.
Matchup is likely Potemkin favored, though not by much. The main thing that's going to be annoying for Johnny is dealing with Potemkin's backdash. Because of its duration and invul, it makes doing a lot of things you would want to do against a large body character far less viable. In other words, don't expect to be able to get in and press buttons against Pot, nor should you expect to be able to low airdash and get easy fuzzy guards against him either.
Dealing with Hammerfall
A forward charging armored move, Hammerfall is somewhat rough for Johnny to deal with. Answers depend on range, available resources, etc., but as a general primer, the following ways to deal with Hammerfall are a good place to start:
- Mist cancel: Fairly self explanatory, however, be aware that at closer ranges this becomes more difficult due to the hit of Hammerfall connecting sooner. This is generally a good answer at mid/long range.
- Jump normal to defeat armor: This is generally a good answer at close/mid range. Basically, you neutral/forward/dash jump, stick out a jump normal such as j.P or j.K, double jump and kill Potemkin once you've confirmed that you did in fact absorb the move's armor and it hasn't been FRC'd.
- 2P mash: Not ideal, but certainly an option. Best used at close range.
- Throw: Obviously this is to be used at close range, but it is a hard counter to Hammerfall.
- Level 3 MF: Can be used at nearly any range. Expensive, but can lead to recoin and/or knockdown. Up to you if you think it's worth it.
Dealing with Backdash
As mentioned before, this is probably the most annoying thing to deal with. Not so much because the answers to it are hard, but because of how well it shuts down so many other avenues of play for Johnny. That said, it's still good to know the best answers to backdash so you don't die for not knowing.
- 5K: A particularly active normal with relatively low recovery, 5K is a good move to throw out when you expect a backdash vs Pot. As an added bonus, you can hitstop OS it with 5H depending on what Potemkin does. *link to hitstop OS table here*
- Coin: Slightly more risky due to its longer recovery, however, a well placed coin can make Potemkin regret mashing 44.
- Ensenga: Even riskier than coin, but at least it leaves the ground, making you temporarily non-busterable.
6K all day
Pretty even matchup. Slayer has annoying ways to move around your pokes but if you time them correctly, they'll win against most options he has. The main thing as far as Johnny's concerned is being ready for Dandy and/or Mappa. Correctly timed f.S will beat Dandy (option select with throw for good measure), while an early 6P will beat Mappa pretty reliably.
Slayer has BDC, yes. That can be annoying. But if you expect a BDC on offense, you have a few options. For oki or sometimes even as part of a blockstring, Divine Blade FRC can shut down BDC in many instances (sometimes you may have to follow up with j.K or j.H to land a hit). Additionally, you can backdash and time f.S, 5K, or even 3H to beat what Slayer plans to do next. When Slayer has 50% meter, Divine Blade FRC can still be useful, but commitments as far as normals go should be minimized. 2K as a meaty or timing it early so it whiffs can be good vs most of what Slayer can do on defense. The general idea is that while he may have decent reversal and fake reversal options, simply maintaining good spacing and/or whiffing small moves in front of him can either shut down or make said options far less effective.
Instant blocking will go a long ways vs Slayer. True meaty sweep may not always be punishable on normal guard, but if you instant block it, it can be. Same goes for Dandy followups. Under Pressure on IB can be punished with 5K, for instance. Slayer 6K becomes a bit less appealing when the opponent can IB it, but also, it loses clean to your 5H. Slayer also doesn't have very many ways of dealing with reversal super as far as meaties go, though his 6P is generally quite good at avoiding it. In short, your goals for playing defense vs Slayer are to IB when possible, punish/contest when comfortable, and escape with FD jump if all else fails.
Sol favored, but you both hate each other. Neutral is hard for both of you and neither one of you likes being knocked down by the other. Sol can do more for oki since you have no reversals besides supers, but you have better pressure.
Dealing with Sol's neutral
Figuring out when to backdash against Sol may very well be the most difficult aspect of this matchup. Because Sol's moves tend to be very active, move him forward, or sometimes both, it can feel like an exercise in futility at times. The main thing you want to keep in mind while fighting Sol is that you will almost never get the chance to whiff punish off of a backdash. His moves are simply too good at covering ground and even in the event they're not, reversal DP (among other reliable mash options on defense) is always on the table.
That said, backdashing can still be very effective against Sol, so long as you don't rely on it too much. You're mainly trying to stay at the range where you can react to the startup of Gunflame and land a counter hit. If Sol starts chasing you by running in when he sees you backdash, start mashing 2H, throw, etc. If he starts answering with Bandit Bringer, either be ready to Slashback or attempt to 6P or high MF.
This may seem like a bit of a risky guessing game revolving around backdash, and it is, but it's still crucial to know how to play this part of the matchup. At most other ranges, Sol simply out pokes you. It doesn't help that he out damages you in most cases, too. If you choose to start playing the outfighter against Sol, you have to become quite comfortable using 6H. It can beat an awful lot of his options, but only with the right timing.
Dealing with GV/BB/RS
While the hard counters to these moves all differ, when it comes to sniffing them out in neutral, simply jumping is a good way to reduce the likelyhood of getting hit by any of them. It's also much better than blocking them, especially when Sol has meter. Having a good feel for the other player's tendency to throw any of these moves out in neutral can go a long ways, and all three of them can be dealt with by jumping.
Testament favored, though not by much. The main obstacle for Johnny in this matchup is working around Testament's zoning tools and generally superior normals. Johnny's air options are surprisingly good for this, though. A well spaced j.S or j.H can instantly turn the scenario around in your favor, so be sure to become very familiar with these moves.
Dealing with Warrant
Warrant, Testament's 2f counter, is a strong move and one that is normally quite reliable in terms of outcome once it connects. Not the case against Johnny, though! By buffering Mist Cancel after a normal, you can react to the followup animation and punish it. The best part? You don't even have to change your Mist Finer input to do it!
As an example, let's say Johnny is on 1P side and Testament is on 2P side. Johnny sticks out 5HS, Testament successfully Warrants it, but Johnny was ready and decides to Mist Cancel. Using the following input, you can ensure MC comes out and the followup is blocked:
5H 236P/K/S H 1
Honestly kinda sucks for Venom, 6P nerf really hurts him here. You can't get too comfortable pressing buttons on him but generally speaking he's not too hard to deal with as long as you're comfortable with KJ FRC over ball formations.
Not as bad as people said it was early in the game's life. Once you get him blocking you can use the upcoin to great effect and bait anything he can do besides a true reversal with 3H or 6H.