Bully her with midrange normals to keep her out of Moroha mode. Dash 5K can shut down both her low profile slide and her low crushing overhead. Once she does enter Moroha, Ky can still secure knockdowns, and use his extremely fast Instant Kill to end the round. The threat of IK can cause ABA to back off early and spend blood packs to stay safe.
- Dash 5K beats both slide and overhead.
- 2D is amazing for stealing knockdowns.
- Basically everything Ky does knocks down, which is scary for ABA.
- Restricted access to high damage means you need to steadily weather her storm.
| Anji Mito
| Axl Low
Ky is very good at making people block, Baiken doesn't have to block.
| Chipp Zanuff
Faust plays in Ky's ideal range better than he does, can duck under CSE, all air normals, and j.D crossup oki. He isn't terribly deterred by Stun Edge zoning, and can OS Vapor Thrust with 2K.
- Stun Edge zoning may feel comfortable since contesting his normals is difficult, but you generally don't want to give Faust time to back up and start throwing items, especially considering that he can get under them if he chooses with crouch walk. Use Stun Edge to cover approaches instead.
- Faust's anti airs are fantastic and Ky's jump ins don't hit low enough to deal with him crouching, try to avoid jumping in with a normal unless you're reacting to something and IADing in or making a specific read.
- Ky can combo Faust from 2D JC to j.K/j.S, giving him a noticeable damage boost.
| Jam Kuradoberi
Not necessarily a bad matchup on paper, but can easily snowball badly for Ky if he does not play with precision. Very different from Ky's usual "footsies and fundamentals" gameplan because Justice can out-footsie Ky easily. Will feel miserable the first time you play it.
- Stun Dipper and Greed Sever do absolutely nothing for getting past nukes that have already been set. The nuke either explodes automatically from being close to Ky or manually because the Justice player released the button.
- Sacred Edge does nothing to nukes. Save your meter for Stun Edge FRCs or Force Breaks.
- Ky is much more mobile and flexible than Justice, which lets him (threaten to) contest nukes consistently. Stun Edge FRC, Stun Dipper, and dash > poke do this well.
- Ky can easily spend 25 meter to add decent damage to a combo and still secure a knockdown (Lightning Sphere, Stun Edge FRC). Thus, he can be more liberal when spending meter to win neutral (Stun Dipper FRC, FB j.D, etc.)
- Ky's okizeme using CSE and (force break) j.D can beat Strike Back Tail, Justice's high profile "reversal." 5H and 6H are also plus on block moves that will hit Justice out of Strike Back Tail.
- Ky is also generally safe to reversal Michael Blade even when not doing those options (for example, if he decides to try 3H meaty).
- Force Break j.D is a large, persistent multi-hit projectile that limits how Justice can poke. Does little to nukes but can shield Ky from other attacks if placed close to the ground.
- Hitting P nukes with the tip of f.S explodes them without knocking you down, at the cost of a small amount of health.
- TK H Stun Edge can hit Justice through the P > K nuke set.
| Kliff Undersn
A strange matchup: Kliff can murder Ky easily and his normals are impossible to out-footsie, but he has very limited movement. Kliff's low stun resistance can be a real liability in this matchup because Ky will often be scoring small but repeated counter hits.
- Be very careful about airdashing: Kliff only needs a single counter hit to convert into an enormous combo.
- Kliff 2D is a 7f low sweep that reaches about halfscreen. This makes it very difficult for Ky to frame trap Kliff with distance (2S > 2S) because he can challenge almost any gap. However, Ky 5K is disjointed enough to go over top of Kliff 2D, although the reward is minimal.
- 2S will beat many of Kliff's pokes if done from just outside their range because it's disjointed. The same is true of 6H and 5H but those are much larger commitments.
- Pre-emptive low height j.D at about 3/4ths screen will counter hit Kliff if he tries to pole vault as a gamble. May also work against Kliff doing IAD > buttons.
- Stun Edges are extremely useful in this matchup because Kliff is often expanding his hurtbox whenever he attacks. Air CH Stun Edge has a ton of hitstun and will often knock Kliff down.
- 2H is a good AA because it lets Ky combo even on trades. Not as useful against Kliff j.D because that will groundbounce Ky on CH.
- Kliff j.D is -2 at best, but much worse if Ky blocks it early (when the tip of Kliff's knife hits around Ky's head). Simply blocking and punishing is more reliable than trying to gamble with an AA.
- Kliff 214S is -8/-7 on normal block. Can be safe if done from far away, but in other cases 5K will let Ky punish reliably. IBing makes the punish better and more consistent, as usual, and note that Kliff is grounded on the last frame of his recovery, which will require a different combo from an air hit.
- 3H may be less useful for okizeme because its long active frames are a liability against Kliff's sidestep reversal. Consider safejumps, CSE, and j.D so that you can better react to Kliff doing the sidestep and attempt to throw him.
- Kliff's tiny ground hurtbox can make it difficult to combo into 5H and/or Stun Dipper reliably.
| Ky Kiske
"So this is what getting counter hit by 5H feels like." Ky has great tools for challenging or disrespecting his own pressure and frame traps, so this matchup will depend quite heavily on getting a read for your opponent.
- Stun Dipper goes under Stun Edge, but can lose to pre-emptive low pokes like 2S or 2D.
- H Vapor Thrust challenges frame traps well, but can easily be baited with 3H or safejumped.
- The additional versatility Ky gets from Stun Edge FRC (ground and air) and Stun Dipper FRC are very nice in this matchup. Make sure you practice them in training mode and real matches.
- Stun Edge, like any fireball, is a good whiff punishment tool. The air version is nice for stopping airdashes.
- H Vapor Thrust has a wide hitbox, good for denying crossups and disrespecting pressure.
- Jumping is really risky in general due to 6P and 2H. Then again, you can always bait them with an air Stun Edge.
- 6P beats or clashes with H Vapor Thrust if timed properly.
| Millia Rage
Read heavy matchup, Pot has all the counters he needs to fight Ky so you need to read his habits and keep rotating options.
- Rising j.P/j.K is a strong base option. This will avoid hammerfall, many grounded pokes (5H/2D) and beat megafist or any jump attempts. If Pot stays grounded, you can retreat with an airdash or throw j.236S/H. Loses to preemptive f.S/Heat Knuckle and more passive neutral like walk forward.
- 6H's range and high potential reward make it a good preemptive option and suitable to rival the range of Pot's normals.
- 236S and 236H beat Pot's normals but are best used sparingly, since he can flick them or hammerfall through. Using them just out of range of his 5H is good for making them harder to react to. Once you get the feeling he's trying to flick one you can advance more safely.
- Slide Head will go through higher hitting attacks like 236S and f.S.
- 623H is great for interrupting his strong hammerfall/break pressure.
- j.D oki beats all of Pot's reversal options but backdash and on a successful crossup mixup his large size makes it easy to confirm into midscreen Javelin loops.
- Pot's size enables Ky's f-shiki mixups on many blocked jump ins and makes 214K hit earlier than on other characters, giving Ky a faster overhead.
- Ky dictates the pace of the match because of his safe, disjointed pokes and SE zoning.
- Ky is generally superior to Slayer in air-to-air combat.
- Ky has an easier and more flexible time maintaining pressure than Slayer does.
- Ky has a really easy time comboing Slayer.
- Slayer relies heavily on meter for BBU to contest Ky in neutral and to punish SEs.
- Slayer does more damage than Ky, and has more ways to lead into his damaging combos and frightening okizeme.
- Slayer has many moves that come out very fast and have partial body invulnerability and/or large hitboxes, and which lead to pain and suffering if you're not careful.
- Slayer can bait reversals using his dash, and Ky's reversal is pretty slow. Unless it's very obvious what he'll use for meaty attacks, blocking and FDing is safer.
Good moves against Slayer:
- j.K - Beats any of Slayer's air normals easily.
- Air throw/2H/623H - Good to use to AA Slayer's jump-ins, especially j.H. 2H must be done early and 623H is a huge commitment, so try to meet Slayer in the air rather than gambling on the ground.
- 2D is very nice for beating Dandy Step due to its long active frames. One of Ky's biggest commitments on the ground, but worth it considering how easily it can stop Slayer from approaching.
- Greed Sever/5H - Good at beating Slayer's 2H and 2D. GS can be fairly safe if done from a distance, but the sheer minus frames may let Slayer punish with BBU or force an approach.
- Slayer's longest range poke is Mappa Hunch, which is outright beaten by many of Ky's staple ground pokes: 5H, 6P, 2S, and 2D.
Slayer's moves that require special attention:
- 2H - Fast, long range, lower body invulnerability, and has special hitstop that makes it hard to react to/punish. One of Slayer's better ground pokes, although unlike what the animation might suggest it is completely incapable of hitting any airborne character. Simply jumping or IADing over this move is enough to counter it. SE also works, though the reward is much smaller.
- j.H - Giant downward hitbox that can stuff 6Ps, and clahes with Ky's in particular. Will need to be beaten by an air throw or a pre-emptive 2H.
- Big Bang Upper - Force Break Slayer 6P, just in case Slayer 6P wasn't aggravating enough. Very fast and far with tonnes of upper body invuln and huge return on hit, and must be FD'd in the air. Very unsafe on block, but when has that ever deterred a Slayer player? Take care not to mindlessly end your blockstrings in SE or running loose oki with CSE, because BBU will blow you up for it.
- 6K - High profile, airborne overhead that leads to a standard combo if it connects and can be feinted for further mixups. One of Slayer's more common mixup options, but it is slow enough to block on reaction if you're looking for it since he jumps into the air very early in the animation. Mashing out with 5P is more consistent than mashing out with 2P.
- 5P/2S/6P - Slayer's trio of AAs, in order from fastest to slowest. 2S in particular is much larger than it looks, and may hit you out of a seemingly safe crossup j.S. Unlike many other characters, Ky doesn't have a degenerate jump-in to invalidate his opponent's AA, so you will need to play the usual footsies game of using air SE, backwards double jumps/airdashes, and spaced j.H to make your opponent second guess his AA.
- 2D - A slide that is unsafe at point blank and safe or even plus when connecting late in the active frames. One of Slayer's longer range ground options, so you'll see it occasionally. Can be beaten by just about any of Ky's ground pokes if they're done pre-emptively.
- Dead on Time - Functionally a 0f reversal super that wallsplats on counter hit and does a tonne of damage. Highly risky and hideously unsafe, especially compared to various BDC options, but that doesn't mean Slayer won't do it every now and again.
Slayer combines a huge damage output with excellent scramble moves and high-powered mixups that can beat basic throw mashing. It may feel as though the odds are never in your favour, but the matchup is quite winnable for Ky.
- Zoning/Footsies - Ky's biggest strength in the matchup. Slayer, for all his strong points, can't do much if he isn't right next to you and often has to make a read to get in. Ky is good at safely preventing Slayer from approaching: start off with simple, safe options like 2S, j.K, 2D, and the occasional SE. Once you've gotten a handle on how your opponent tries to approach, you can move onto more committal and more rewarding moves like (FB) j.D, counterpoke 5H, or even Greed Sever.
- Slayer's Hurtbox - A minor point, but Slayer's hurtbox and weight make Ky's combos pretty consistent against him. This is more important than in other matchups because the more time you spend playing neutral against Slayer, the more likely he is to get a big read and kill you. Converting pokes into damage + okizeme with SE FRC or VT loops is important to make Slayer pay for all the stupid, unsafe stuff he does.
- Air Superiority - Although Slayer's air options are good, Ky's j.K can beat all of his approach options safely. Other options like j.S or j.P can also work, but j.K is the most reliable and rewarding because Ky can confirm it to a simple air combo > VT > knockdown.
- Pressure - Slayer's pressure is scary, but his limited gatling table means he has a harder time resetting into plus frames than Ky does. Ky can very easily do something like a 2P > 6P > c.S > 3H, which has a couple small gaps and ends on a move that is double digit plus. Slayer either needs to spend valuable meter on FDing Ky out (which means less meter for BBU, FRCs, etc.) or take a risk to escape. Ky's ability to apply safe, flexible pressure and his ability to RC/FRC his throw for bigger damage make his pressure much less risky than Slayer's. Even if Slayer blocks and pushes Ky out, that's fine because Ky doesn't need to approach in neutral.
| Sol Badguy
Classic risk/reward management, Ky is better at neutral and has more tight offense but Sol can kill you fast and is slippery on defense. Things can get heated as you read each other.
- Sol's j.P and j.H jump-ins are hard to contest, even with Ky's strong anti airs.
- Dash up 2S is great. It goes under his IAD normals, interrupts 6P/2D/Gunflame, and can recover in time to avoid Bringer.
- Stun Edge can be risky since he can get under it or over it (2D/GV/Bringer/IAD j.H).
- Don't get CH by 6P/Bringer/Sidewinder/Gunflame, stick to lower risk options and pay attention to how he's approaching you.
- Keep pressure tight and short if he's choosing to DP through gaps, leave off on + normals like 6H and 5H and watch what he does.
- j.D crossup oki can mess with his DP inputs.