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General Tactics

Use your long range to either out-poke characters with inferior range, or to chase down and pressure zoning characters. Use mist cancels in combination with strong pokes to hit opponents who attempt to escape your pressure. Use throws and TK Ensenga to compliment your counter-poke game, and use coins to either continue pressure or give you more close range mixup/poke opportunities. Combo into coins to improve your mist finer level for future damage output, spend tension to improve damage, combo into 1 hit Ensenga for mist setups or re-coins, or end in knockdown for setups / oki.


Johnny's neutral game is very dependent on his limited movement. It's important to vary the way you move, as your movement dictates your spacing, which dictates what poke range you're at. Focus on using wavedashing, jumpcancelling your dash, and varying backdashes / other movement to be sure your opponents cannot freely anticipate when you are going to be standing still.

Another fundamental issue with Johnny's neutral game is learning how to deal with your dead zones. Moves like f.S, 5K, and even 5H/6H can whiff against a variety of low profile moves, and f.S will whiff over many crouchers / forward runs. Preventing yourself from whiffing normals is one of the primary goals of mastering Johnny's spacing game. Learn the pros and cons of each normal and understand them. Be especially wary of opponents who use FD dash or other means of abruptly changing their movement.

5K: Primary close range poke.

6P: Your primary anti air. Punish people for jumping / iad'ing recklessly at you. It's also useful as a counterpoke due to its upper body inv, allowing you to deal with moves like Ky or Faust f.S, or Slayer's Mappa. Also can be used to go through Stunedge.

f.S: One of your primary pokes due to your range. Just make sure it doesn't whiff. Great after backdashing to punish.

2S: Will not be beaten by low profile, making it a very useful tool against characters who can simply run under f.S, such as Sol.

j.S: Due to it's amazing range, j.S can be an incredible tool for getting an opponent to block at neutral as it's hard to anti-air if spaced correctly. Strong as an anti-air as well, this move is very good for chasing people with, or protecting your air retreat.

6H: A great way to punish an opponent for whiffing or incorrectly spacing their pokes.

Coin: Generally good for you on trade, coin stays out a while and covers a good amount of ground, usually resulting in forcing the opponent to block. Coin can be a very useful way to force your way in, but at the cost of spending coins. Has lots of character specific usages for beating pokes / moves.

Divine Blade: One of your primary anti-anti-airs, this move is great for forcing opponents to block (if you can FRC it), or for punishing opponents for mindlessly 6P'ing you.

Airthrow: Johnny's superjump is very good due to how high he jumps, so Airthrowing is a very effective option even if they are quite high up. A very reliable anti-air if timed, airthrowing is an essential tool to utilize. Leads to knockdown, and mist / combos / coin in the corner.


Most of what Johnny does is +, so while you may not have amazing mixup potential, you excel at punishing players for attempting to escape or counterattack improperly. Walk forward after mist cancels, and continue harassing them with properly placed normals if they attempt to mash you out. Sneak in dash-ins if they respect your pokes too much, for extra pressure. Use coins or Killer Joker FRC to maintain air-tight or semi-airtight pressure. Punish jumping with Mist Finer high, 5H, coins, or 6K.

6K: Low profile and moves you forward and + if Mist Cancelled. Stagger / cancel into Coin gives you good frame traps and combos on hit. Great for punishing lots of desperate backdashes, jumps, or pokes. A good move to use to get back in but very vulnerable to sweeps and other low profile moves. If FD'd, this move doesn't put you very close to them, so be aware of that.

5K: Jump cancellable on block and -2 on block, but has great range for its speed! Generally gatling this into 2S, c.S/f.S, 5H, or 2D to continue pressure. Mainly used as pressure starter.

2K: +2 on block and a low makes this a great tool for frame trapping. Especially on characters where 2D CH leads to a full combo! Very good for meaty'ing due to its fast recovery frames, 2K can be a good way to start your offence when you want to stay in. String to c.S, or delay into 2S, 2D, or 3H for a CH. Recover and 5H is also a decent option.

f.S: One of your primary pokes, f.S has amazing range. Be careful that it doesn't whiff over their crouching hitbox, and it will also go over many character's forward dashes / low profile moves. Use this move to punish attempted counterattacks while walking forward, as many characters do not have strong equivalent's to this moves range/speed. If blocked, you can gatling into 6H, or mist cancel.

5H: Huge hitbox, use this move to catch people jumping, or similarly to f.S, to mist cancel and maintain advantage. Better +frame than f.S, it also racks more guard bar than f.S as well, though much worse on block. It has less of a deadzone than f.S as well, though it will still lose to moves like Grand Viper.

2S: Slower, less +, and less range than f.S, 2S is primarily used as one of the few ways to stuff out low profile moves that throw a wrench into Johnny's plan, such as Testament 2H, I-no's Stroke the Big Tree, etc. It also functions as one of your primary lows, with longer range than 2K. Use this to keep them honest / punish people for blocking high / holding up back. It also functions as a good meaty.

6H: Similar to 5H, but with farther reach and slower startup. Due to it's range, 6H is often used as your only attack option if you're out of f.S range, and can be used to compliment dash-in f.S. It's also jump cancellable! Can also be used as a strong way to punish counterattacks if used properly. Just don't whiff this move.

Coin: Cancelling into Coin will usually allow you a free dash in, giving you an extra chance at tick throws or more pressure games. Common strings are 5H > Coin, f.S > Coin, 2D > Coin, 6K > Coin

Divine Blade: Best used as a way to punish throws, or continue pressure with an FRC.


2H: At 5f startup, it's as fast as your 5P or 2P, but with much better range. On Counterhit, you can combo for free if they don't shake - otherwise RC to followup. It's -16 on block, but gatlings to 5D. Won't combo, but gatling'ing to 5D can make it slightly safer. Use this move to beat out opponents who stagger or re-dash at you. Just be careful of getting baited, as it's CH the entire time, and horrible on whiff, making it extremely easy to punish.

5P: Can be used as a fast anti-air for opponents who like to airdash over you a lot.

5K: Johnny lift's his foot up, allowing him to go over some pokes such as Slayer 2K, Axl 2K/2D, etc, giving 5K some character specific use when defending.

Coin: Useful for its ability to at least trade even in disadvantagous positions, the angle of coin is good for covering an opponent who's attempting to re-dash at you or stagger. In addition, its trajectory gives it some use as an anti air as well, particularly against air dashes. Just be sure they don't run under it.

Super: One of his only defensive options, Johnny's super is great if it works, not so great if it doesn't. Loses to a lot of low profile moves such as various sweeps, as well as various upper body inv moves like misc 6P's. It's hitbox also does not extend behind him, allowing some characters to simply move forward if they're right in front of you with certain moves, like Jam's 6H. Be aware of super's weakness, and use it if you feel it necessary. However at 50% tension, it's a big gamble.


Some basic blockstrings to get you started:

5K > 5H (MC): where most people will start out. Good on block, and your basic BnB starter. Pushes you out, and ideally you'd like to block confirm after 5K instead. Also weak to FD. Regardless, still a recommended starting point

2K: +2, low, fast recovery. A great way to start off pressure. Delay cancel to 2S or 2D for a very tight frame trap, or recover then 5K/2K/5H for a strong punish or repressure. Note that 2K > 2D is particularly good when its a character where 2D(CH) > Coin > f.S/5H will combo. Only disadvantages are its difficulty to hit confirm off the single hit, and poor reward as a starter (prorates)

2K > c.S: ends at +3, and still keeps you close. No delay cancel window on c.S, though, so you must recover. The extra hit gives you more time to confirm the situation, though.

5H > Coin: automatically frame traps almost anything. Most opponents just have to hold this. Very good against opponents who try and stop you from redashing or 6K'ing a lot in pressure.

f.S > 6H: usually thrown out when you think they might get CH by f.S (hitconfirming f.S into MC or 6H is unrealistic generally). Pushes you very far out, but you do have options from 6H if need be (IAD, coin, etc)

Tips and Tricks

Mist Cancel

Essential Johnny technique.

Example: 5H on block is -16, punishable by many characters. When Mist Canceled, it becomes +7. Better than safe, it's advantage!

How to Mist Cancel
  1. Do a move that is special cancelable.
  2. Special cancel into a Mist Finer.
  3. Hold button to stay in Mist Stance.
  4. While holding the button, press H to Stance Cancel. Example: 5H xx 236[P/K/S]~H

Mist Cancel Frame Advantage Chart

Shows the frame advantage for each attack level assuming fastest possible mist cancel by level.

Mist Cancel total frames: LV1: 11(8F+3F). LV2: 8(5F+3F). LV3: 6(3F+3F)

Attack Level Normals MC Level 1 MC Level 2 MC Level 3
Level 1 2P, 5P, 2K -2 +1 +3
Level 2 5K +0 +3 +5
Level 3 c.S, 2S, 6P +2 +5 +7
Level 4 f.S, 2D, 6K +5 +8 +10
Level 5 5H, 6H +7 +10 +12

FD Dash

FD Dash, also called Wave Dashing by some, refers to Johnny's ability to cancel his dash recovery into FD in order to chain successive dashes together faster than normal. On the 11th frame of Johnny's forward dash, he can cancel the recovery of his dash into anything, except additional ground movement. Example of a single dash into a FD Cancel:

  • 66[PK]4

Note that P and K are not need for the FD. You can use any combination of buttons that will produce a FD.

  • A FD Dash into a dash (double hop): 66[PK]4646
  • Looping FD Dashes: 66[PK]{4646}xN

Note that there's an extra 4 in between each additional dash past the first that isn't actually needed. It's a little trick that for for some people acts like a mental-metronome and helps keep a steady tempo.

  • Coin into a double hop: (...) xx 236[H~P], 664646
  • Mist Cancel into a double hop: (...) xx 236[P/K/S]~[H], 664646


Guilty Gear XX ♯Reload
Click [*] for character's frame data
System Explanations

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