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Baiken's tether mechanic attaches her to the opponent, preventing either character from moving too far away from the other. This turns all situations with tether applied into very high-risk, high-reward scenarios for both sides, as the tether will allow for combo extensions that would otherwise be impossible. It also creates a variety of tricky movement options that can be accessed by trying to dash away from the opponent.
Baiken's tether makes all combos that land during its duration much more damaging, because attacks that would normally knock the target too far away to be followed up on instead cause them to rocket back in for another hit. Because this is a threat to Baiken as well, it's important that Baiken work to stay on the offensive whenever the tether is applied, and that she be familiar with the unique, more damaging combo routes available to her.
The tether also greatly increases the threat of Baiken's pokes. Baiken's mid-range buttons are excellent, but suffer from a lack of follow-up options in most scenarios. With the tether attached, however, Baiken's pokes will pull the opponent back towards her rather than knocking her away. This allows her to follow up with a short but damaging combo, which can then itself be ended with another application of the tether and the opponent back in poking range to begin the cycle again. This makes Baiken's midrange game much more threatening, and allows her to constantly re-apply pressure if the opponent refuses to respect the threat. Note that the opponent can utilize invincible reversals to escape this pressure, and that Baiken will not always be in a position to parry this, depending on the exact reversal used.
For more information on tethered pokes, see Combo Theory.
Tethering does open up another extremely important option for Baiken: it gives her the threat of CrossupAttacking your opponent after changing which horizontal side you are on, typically by jumping over them. Youzansen(j.236S). Ordinarily, this offers Baiken very little opportunity to continue the attack after landing it without spending Tension because the opponent will be knocked away from Baiken while she is still moving. If tethered, the opponent will bounce back towards her, allowing for an easy follow-up.
Do note that as fantastic as tether is for Baiken, The opponent can make use of it as well if they burst, YRC, or reversal at the correct time.
Baiken can apply her tether through two methods.
The version of Kabari (426S) allows Baiken to threaten a tether application at substantial range, but has several limitations. The only way to combo into Kabari if the opponent is not already tethered is with a counter hit, but it is +2 on block. On hit, the opponent will be pulled all the way to Baiken; on block, the opponent will be pulled a fixed distance towards her, roughly half of the move's maximum range.
On hit or block, Kabari leaves Baiken at +3 and +2 frame advantage respectively with the opponent within c.S range. This allows Baiken to immediately threaten her primary mix-up with impunity against most characters. Keep in mind, though, that characters like Giovanna with access to a 4-frame normal can trade with Baiken's c.S if they mash defensively, and characters like Sol Badguy and Chipp Zanuff can use their 3-frame normals to score a counter-hit. In matchups against characters with normals this fast, Baiken can use faster normals or Hiiragi (236P) to force mashing opponents to respect her turn.
If the opponent is already tethered, Baiken can choose to end her combos with Kabari, re-applying the tether. This sacrifices some immediate damage, as there are more powerful combo enders available in any situation where Kabari is an option, but leaves the opponent at the optimal range for Baiken's mid-range pokes. Since the tether allows any of these pokes to themselves become a combo, and those combos can end in another application of the tether, this allows Baiken to maintain pressure if she is willing to give up immediate damage and risk giving her the opportunity to block or escape.
Landing a 4D or 6D throw is Baiken's most advantageous means of applying her tether, as it simultaneously puts the opponent in a Hard KnockdownA knockdown that forces the character into a prolonged knockdown state. After a hard knockdown, teching is disabled briefly, allowing the player who is on the offensive more time to set up a meaty, a mix-up, etc. state. Baiken's offense after this is extremely simple, but also extremely effective; aerial Tatami Gaeshi (j.236K) allows for an incredibly easy safejump by simply jumping and performing the move, forcing your opponent to block and respect Baiken's turn. From this, she can then go into her primary mix-up.
As a bonus, TKAn input method to perform a special move in the air as fast as possible after you leave the ground. Short for "Tiger Knee". For Example: 2369 for a j.236 input. Tatami Gaeshi (2369K) is also a safejump, and also serves as a CrossupAttacking your opponent after changing which horizontal side you are on, typically by jumping over them., allowing Baiken to switch sides after a throw and potentially catch the opponent blocking in the wrong direction before taking her turn.
Baiken has the tools to threaten her opponent at a variety of ranges. At all but the most extreme distances, she can always threaten some kind of poke to keep the opponent from resting easy. 5S, 2S, and 2HS form the cornerstones of her poking game, supplemented by and Kabari.
In general, Baiken's goal is to keep her opponent at mid-range and find either a counter-hit to safely apply Kabari's tether or a small combo that will allow her to close the distance. Once she gets into range for c.S, her primary mix-up becomes available.
The Basic Mix-Up
Baiken's 2D, 2H, and TKAn input method to perform a special move in the air as fast as possible after you leave the ground. Short for "Tiger Knee". For Example: 2369 for a j.236 input. Youzansen form the cornerstones of her mix-up game. These allow Baiken to threaten a high-low mix-up off of any 5K or c.S, as both are jump-cancelable.
- 2D is accessible from either a 5K or c.S starter, and can be a gapless blockstring or a frame trap off of either. Its primary limitation is that it results in the opponent not being launched as high as they would be from a 2H hit. This makes the timing on the combo that follows tighter, and limits Baiken's combo routes against heavier characters; their greater fall speed makes them harder to juggle with the smaller launch.
- 2H is a natural 1-frame trap from c.S, and gives a much greater launch height than 2D, making Baiken's combos easier to time and allowing more freedom against heavyweight characters if it connects. Its limitations are that it can't be used after a 5K starter, and the 1-frame gap, while usually useful, does give the opponent at least a chance to escape with an invincible reversal.
- TKAn input method to perform a special move in the air as fast as possible after you leave the ground. Short for "Tiger Knee". For Example: 2369 for a j.236 input. Youzansen is a natural (1- or 2-?) Frame TrapAn offensive technique where the attacker leaves a small opening in their offense, goading the defender into performing an attack. This opening is designed such that the attacker can easily counter the defender's attack with his own. from 5K and can be both a gapless blockstring and a Frame TrapAn offensive technique where the attacker leaves a small opening in their offense, goading the defender into performing an attack. This opening is designed such that the attacker can easily counter the defender's attack with his own. from c.S, depending on timing. It is extremely difficult to react to given its speed, and against most players will essentially be forced to guess between this and one of the low options, making it an almost true 50/50.
- As an additional option, Baiken can follow up her starter by simply running up and throwing. Because her throw can apply her tether and allows her to easily safejump afterwards, this is an especially threatening option for her, as the opponent is forced to block another mix-up attempt and, if they fail, will take even more damage than usual.
This gives Baiken an oppressive variety of options off of a simple 5K or c.S starter, as her opponent has to guess between high, low, and throw immediately afterward. Escaping the throw option requires them to mash defensively, but mashing defensively exposes them to Baiken's frame traps, which can appear almost anywhere in the blockstring. If the frame traps successfully condition the opponent into respecting Baiken's pressure, she can run up and throw, or just enjoy the situation of having an opponent who refuses to challenge her high-low mix.
This is an extremely threatening mix-up, but it is worth noting that its effectiveness is at least partially dependent on Baiken having Tension to spend. TKAn input method to perform a special move in the air as fast as possible after you leave the ground. Short for "Tiger Knee". For Example: 2369 for a j.236 input. Youzansen is incredibly fast, but unless it was done as a Frame TrapAn offensive technique where the attacker leaves a small opening in their offense, goading the defender into performing an attack. This opening is designed such that the attacker can easily counter the defender's attack with his own. and successfully caught the opponent with a counter hit, Baiken cannot combo off of it afterwards without a Roman Cancel. It also leaves Baiken extremely negative if it is successfully blocked, practically guaranteeing a punish from any opponent paying attention unless she Roman Cancels defensively. Without Tension available, Baiken's TKAn input method to perform a special move in the air as fast as possible after you leave the ground. Short for "Tiger Knee". For Example: 2369 for a j.236 input. Youzansen becomes much riskier and much less rewarding; unless it successfully Frame TrapAn offensive technique where the attacker leaves a small opening in their offense, goading the defender into performing an attack. This opening is designed such that the attacker can easily counter the defender's attack with his own.s the opponent, she can't get anything afterward even if it hits, and if the opponent blocks, she's going to take a lot of damage in return.
When Baiken gains 50 meter her mixup becomes alot more potent. The reason for this is BRC slowdown can be used to make TKAn input method to perform a special move in the air as fast as possible after you leave the ground. Short for "Tiger Knee". For Example: 2369 for a j.236 input. Youzansen or 2D plus if blocked while your opponent still has to guess between high or low. This can be setup in many ways but one of the easiest ways to perform this is off throw
Baiken's mix-up once she gets into a position where she can threaten her opponent with 5K and c.S is extremely powerful, but she doesn't start in that position, and it isn't her only strength. Baiken has a wide variety of excellent pokes available to her that will let her bully her opponent from a distance before moving in for the kill.
Baiken's primary buttons at range are f.S, 5H, 2S, 2H, and Kabari.
f.S is a simple, straightforward midrange poke. It is quick and effective with respectable range. Its primary weakness is that it lacks access to follow-ups at or near max range - unless the opponent is tethered, in which case it leads directly into Tatami Gaeshi and a full tethered combo even at maximum range.
5H has nearly identical range to f.S, but gains a disjointed hitbox in exchange for being slightly slower.
2S has slightly more range than Baiken's previous pokes while possessing similar speed to f.S. While it is not a low, its hitbox is very close to the ground, making it ideal for stopping low-profile approaches, and it benefits from tethering in the same way as its predecessors. It is, however, slower to recover than Baiken's standing pokes and does not have a disjointed hitbox, making it vulnerable to counterpokes.
2H is Baiken's slowest, longest-ranged poke, and her only poke that hits low. It is a massive, sweeping lunge that covers an enormous amount of space while also moving Baiken forward, but is extremely slow to recover and can be easily punished on whiff (or even if just blocked, at anything but the most extreme ranges). It also benefits less from tethering than Baiken's other pokes; while it does technically gain more follow-up options when it connects, the tether keeps Baiken too close to her opponents for it to be a practical option. This limits 2H's meterless follow-ups to essentially just Kabari.
Kabari is similar in range to 2H, but the projectile takes time to move across the screen, making it slower at longer ranges. It is, however, less vulnerable to counterpoking due to its disjointed hitbox, and it both forces the opponent to move towards Baiken on hit and allows Baiken the option to follow up and close the gap further if she is confident that the opponent will not interrupt the lunge by throwing her.
Aside from simply walking forward and bullying her opponents back into the corner with her superior poking tools, Baiken has three primary means of approaching the opponent: Kabari, j.S/j.H, and 2H.
Kabari, on both hit and block, pulls the opponent towards Baiken. See Kabari, above, for more information on how Kabari functions when pulling the opponent in.
Kabari, as above, is both a poke and an approach tool. It pulls the opponent towards Baiken on hit or block, and Baiken has the option of using the follow-up lunge to close the gap further. She just has to be wary of the opponent throwing her out of the lunge if they blocked the initial projectile.
If Baiken wants to approach from the air, she has two primary options available. j.S provides a long-reaching poke to cover her movement, and is ideal for jump-ins from long range, but its long recovery can leave Baiken vulnerable if she ends up close to her opponent. j.H, on the other hand, is more suited for closer jump-ins, as it recovers much more quickly on landing. Note, however, that neither hitbox is disjointed, and Baiken can be anti-aired if the opponent is ready for her. Both hitboxes are also angled downward, making it less useful against opponents who jump to stop Baiken's approach with an air-to-air; against these, Youzansen, j.K, or j.D can be used to force respect. Youzansen can also be used to add one additional overhead hit before landing, after the initial jump-in connects or is blocked, but it is enormously negative if the opponent blocks it.
2H can also be used as an approach, if a very risky one. It is slow and easily punished on whiff or if used too close to the opponent, but does provide an enormous hitbox while also moving Baiken forward.
Once Baiken has closed with her opponent and mid-range pokes are no longer her desired tools, she has an array of Frame TrapAn offensive technique where the attacker leaves a small opening in their offense, goading the defender into performing an attack. This opening is designed such that the attacker can easily counter the defender's attack with his own.s available to open up her opponent. These are especially desirable for Baiken, as securing a counter hit off of a trap can reward her with truly massive damage - particularly if that counter hit is Tatami Gaeshi.
In addition to the standard Gatling-delay frame traps available to all characters, Baiken has the following:
1- or 2-Frame Traps
These traps will catch any attack that is not invulnerable to strikes.
- 6P > Tatami Gaeshi (236K)
- 5K or 2K > 6K - this trap may trade with 3-frame normals at longer ranges, as Baiken takes time to move forward.
- 6K > Tatami Gaeshi (236K)
- c.S > 2H
- 2S > Tatami Gaeshi (236K) - note that spacing can cause this trap to fail to connect at longer ranges.
- 2D (either hit) > Tatami Gaeshi (236K) - note that spacing can cause this trap to fail to connect at longer ranges.
These traps will trade with 3-frame normals (e.g. Sol's 5KGuard:
-16 and Chipp's 5PGuard:
-2, but catch any other attack that is not invulnerable to strikes.
- 5P > 6K
- 2P > 6K
Baiken's defense is slightly better as of season 2; her fastest normal is her 5P, clocking in at 4 frames, and her only invincible reversal is her Tsurane Sanzu-watashi Overdrive, which costs Tension to use. It isn't the worst in the game, but it's not great, either. 2D can be used as a somewhat risky punish against attacks or pressure that relies on pushback to be safe due to its immense range compared to other sweeps. In situations where you and your opponent are too close for normal air-to-airs, mash j.P near the peak of your jump or hit j.K while rising. Avoid using 2K often, as Baiken tends not to go low enough to avoid other pokes or the opponent's pressure.
The defining characteristic of Baiken's defense is Hiiragi, her parry. While its timing is strict and it can't protect Baiken from throws or projectiles, it fundamentally changes the way her opponent has to structure their attacks. Becoming predictable in their attack timings or Frame TrapAn offensive technique where the attacker leaves a small opening in their offense, goading the defender into performing an attack. This opening is designed such that the attacker can easily counter the defender's attack with his own.s can mean losing more than a quarter of their health bar. On the other hand, failing to time Hiiragi correctly, or being baited by the opponent, means that Baiken will be left vulnerable to whatever follow-up they choose. It is high-risk, high-reward defense in its purest form, and rewards Baiken for getting into her opponent's head. Note in particular that Baiken can use Hiiragi during any frame trap attempt by her opponent. If they are expecting her to mash defensively and try to punish her for it, they'll take the full brunt of her parry; on the other hand, if they expect Baiken to parry, they can run in and throw instead of continuing to attack - or simply delay until the parry window has closed - and secure a punish. Hiiragi can also be used whenever you get a thorough read on an opponent's approach, allowing you to bag much bigger damage than normal off of simple exchanges when you would normally block a jump-in or a MeatyHitting an opponent to cover the moment as they lose invincibility. The most common one is performing an attack early on okizeme to gain frame advantage and bait reversals.. The threat of Hiiragi can be backed up with an Option SelectA technique where one command (or series of commands) will perform a different action depending on the circumstances, thereby allowing one action to be able to handle two distinct situations. using Roman Cancel.
Baiken lacks truly dedicated anti-air moves on the ground, outside of the universal 6P. A handful of other normals may be able to do the job in a pinch, but they are not nearly as reliable and don't hit far above Baiken herself. 5H and 6H in particular, despite having animations that show them cleaving the air above Baiken's head, only strike in front of her.
If Baiken wants to contest the opponent in the air, j.D's massive, disjointed hitbox serves very well to punish those trying to approach from above. j.K is also a serviceable air-to-air at closer ranges.
Baiken has a "4-way"* mix Tatami safejump available to her from a successful throw. It is safe to 7f reversals, and can true blockstring into a low (2K/2D) or a high (TK Youzansen (j.236S)). It is performed by inputting either a neutral or forward jump after Throw, followed immediately by Air Tatami (j.236K). Video Example
The most ambiguous version of this setup is performed by always doing the forward-jumping version, but slightly delaying the Air Tatami (j.236K) in order to hit same-side.
(* technically a safe left/right mix followed up with a safe low/high/throw mix)
6K > 236K
The light starters lead to lower reward, but you can still get IAD jH as a safejump against 7f reversals. For example, you can get 5P > 6K > 236K from a very close jab, granting you access to a 4-frame punish or as a smart mash in some rare situations. From farther away you can do the same with 2K or 5K into 6K > 236K.
After the opponent is conditioned to block, you can occasionally IAD jS instead. The air normal whiffs and allows you to sneak in a Throw (which would still beat DP if the opponent decided to go for that option for some reason).
An advanced version of the setup above can be done with 2D(2)>236K followed by superjump IAD jH. The added height from the superjump, gives you access to a high-low 50/50 by cancelling jH into j236S or landing for 2K. From either of those you get a combo that loops into the same situation, allowing you to vortex your opponent with jH safejumps.
Baiken's biggest two weaknesses are her committal options and her poor-anti airs. While Baiken has many good pokes, several of her options for converting leave her wide open. In particular, 2H is a huge sweep with lots of ending lag to punish on whiff. Be wary of contesting Baiken too much however, as getting predictable with your responses leaves you wide open to Hiiragi. As well, Baiken has very few options for dealing with approaches from the air while on the ground. Her 6P is pretty much the only option that can reliably beat air approaches, and even then it covers a specific angle that still leaves her vulnerable from above. Baiken will likely take to the air in order to contest with her suite of amazing air normals, but this can make your opponent very predictable. Look to 6P her out of the sky, or find buttons that can contest her j.S.
- 4P+K OS is a fairly safe way of dealing with Baiken's H Kabari RPS. If she goes for the same side option, or no cancel you will simply stand FD. If she goes for the delayed option you will 6P the crossup and punish.
- Guilty Gear Strive: Advanced Baiken Tech Tutorial which covers....
- FD/Parry OS
- H/S Kabari OS
- Normal Jump Youzansen
- BRC mixups
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