GGST/Happy Chaos/Strategy

From Dustloop Wiki


General Strategies

Happy Chaos is a unique "all-range" character who can fight effectively at whatever range he pleases so long as he has resources. His general gameplan is highly dependent on both the matchup and what the individual player wants to accomplish at the given moment, which gives him a lot of flexibility. Generally speaking, Chaos can play at three general ranges: close up, midscreen and fullscreen. In order to get an idea of how to play each one however, we must first talk about how his gun stances work.

The Gun: Understanding Happy Chaos's Stances

Chaos's most famous tools are his two gun stances. Both are extremely important to his gameplan, and must be understood if you wish to play Chaos effectively. The first is simply titled "At the Ready", and is a one-handed stance that Chaos adopts upon pressing HS. The second is called "Steady Aim", and is a two-handed stance he enters by inputting 214S. At the Ready can be exited by pressing 2H, while Steady Aim can be cancelled out of by inputting another special that is not 236S, or by using 214S again. Both can also be exited by performing 22P/ReloadGGST Happy Chaos 22P.pngGuard:
-
Startup:
23
Recovery:
23~77 total
Advantage:
-
.

There are major differences between the two stances. Here's a quick summary of how they work:

At the Ready

  • One handed stance
  • Drains Concentration slowly while active
  • Chaos can move and use any other normal while in this stance
  • Entering this stance causes a cursor to center on the opponent with slow tracking
  • By pressing and releasing H, Chaos will fire a bullet at his cursor
  • Firing a bullet will make any poke safe or plus depending on spacing
  • Exit by pressing 2HS


Steady Aim

  • Two handed stance
  • Drains Concentration quickly while active
  • Chaos cannot move while in this stance
  • Entering this stance causes a cursor to center on the opponent with fast tracking after a delay
  • Chaos can fire a bullet by pressing and releasing HS
  • Capable of "Clean HitWhen certain attacks in Guilty Gear hit a very specific part of an opponent's hurtbox. These well-aimed attacks will cause some positive benefit for the attacker, like a higher launch or a wall bounce." if you delay the cursor aim for a second. Clean Hit shots Guard Crush and launch higher in combos.
  • Exit by using 214S again or cancelling out of it with another special.

Note that the tracking on the reticle means that enemies who move can outpace Chaos' gunfire unless they are Cursed.

Resources

The two main limiting factors to the gun are Concentration and Ammo. Each one is tracked independently above your Tension.

Concentration is the small orange bar above your Tension meter, and will turn blue and slowly drain if Chaos is in one of his gun stances. If Chaos fires a bullet, the gauge will drain much faster for a short period, ultimately limiting the amount of bullets that Chaos can fire at any use of his gun.

An important note about the Concentration gauge is that At the Ready and Steady Aim have differing drains on your Concentration. If we assume that the Concentration gauge is full, then Chaos can fire four-to-five times in At the Ready before it fully empties, while Steady Aim can only fire three times before the gauge runs out. The concentration gauge will drain at different rates depending on a variety of factors. At the Ready and Steady Aim have differing drains on your Concentration, Steady Aim drains concentration faster idly and costs more concentration per shot. Additionally the distance between you and the opponent effects the amount of concentration used, costing more the greater the distance between you and your opponent. More precise info about the affects on distance on concentration costs is available on the 'Full Frame Data' page.

Concentration replenishes on it's own over time, but can be filled faster by performing 214P/FocusGGST Happy Chaos 214P.pngGuard:
-
Startup:
-
Recovery:
46 total
Advantage:
-
or 214214P/Super FocusGGST Happy Chaos Super Focus.pngGuard:
-
Startup:
5
Recovery:
6
Advantage:
-
, as well as gaining a 'Concentration' buff that reduces the focus lost due to both the idle drain, and the cost to fire.

Ammo are the small yellow bullets that sit above your Concentration meter. Each time Chaos fires a bullet, it expends one pip from the ammo meter. By performing a ReloadGGST Happy Chaos 22P.pngGuard:
-
Startup:
23
Recovery:
23~77 total
Advantage:
-
, Chaos can initiate a reloading stance that freezes him in place while he fills his gun back up. He can also refill his bullets completely by performing his 632146S super "Deus Ex Machina". In total, Reload takes 66 frames to fully Reload Chaos's gun, and 77 frames if it is not cancelled.


Resource Management

Both of these resources must be above zero for Chaos to fire even a single shot. At the same time, keeping these resources filled is a huge part of Chaos's gameplan and is an essential element to mastering him. Chaos is massively punished if one of his gauges are empty. If his Ammo is empty, then the gun will not fire and Chaos will open himself up to being punished. While that's bad, being out of Concentration is even worse- if the Concentration gauge hits zero, then it will turn red and Chaos will be unable to enter At the Ready or Steady Aim at all until it fully refills. As an additional punishment, if the player still performs the inputs to enter either of his stances, then Chaos will briefly fumble with his gun before putting it away. This leaves him open for a huge punish, meaning that keeping up both of his gauges is absolutely essential.

For beginners, focus on keeping your Ammo up over Concentration. Both are vital to performing well as Chaos, but Ammo is far harder to replenish. Concentration comes back over time and can be immediately replenished with Super Focus in an emergency, which is incredibly safe. By contrast, Ammo can only be fully replenished with Deus Ex Machina, which is slow, punishable, and has no invulnerability. Excellent places to Reload would be after a hard knockdown, after a wallsplat, and at fullscreen. As a tip, Chaos can reload approximately two, potentially three, bullets if he manages to land a wallsplat. If a combo will wallsplat, preemptively cancel into Reload after landing the final blow before the splat, then cancel out of it with 6S to force a wallbreak.

Once you've mastered reloading, it's time to move onto Concentration. Learn when to stay back and refill your Concentration in order to make your offense safe. Utilize Chaos's pokes, his evasive specials like Roll and Scapegoat, and Focus to keep your Concentration topped up well. The places you can Reload are often the same places you can Focus, but be warned about managing space between yourself and your opponent. After a 2D it is recommended to Focus, if you do not need bullets.

As a final tip, rarely try to Reload and Concentrate in the same opportunity. In order to get away with refilling both of Chaos's resources, your opponent needs to be afraid of your offense enough to fear reprisal as well as being far away from him. Refilling resources against an opponent that is fullscreen distance away and has been conditioned to sit still is one of the best examples of this. Use Steady Aim to keep the opponent blocking for long periods of time, and then condition them to allow you some of your resources back.

Hopefully you should now have a good idea of how to keep Happy Chaos's resources filled for much of the game. Lets move on to how to play him in neutral, starting with his close range game.

Neutral

Close range

As all his buttons are capable of confirming into high damage on hit, and pressure on block move choice in neutral is based around startup speeds, and the hitbox of the moves. At close range Chaos will prefer using his faster buttons. 5P or 2P when speed is the sole priority, and 5K or 2K for when a combination of speed and range are needed.

An important thing to know about Happy is that due to his poking playstyle, he is very vulnerable to invincible moves up close. DPs in particular give him a hard time and push him more towards the corner, which is not where he wants to be at all. As well, Happy Chaos has no invincible reversals, meaning being put in the corner can seriously screw him over. Learn when to keep establishing pressure and learn when to back off and let your opponent have an inch so you can replenish resources.

Midrange

This is Happy Chaos' preferred range, as most of Chaos' normals have an excellent combination of speed and range. Midrange normals are generally slower than Close range normals, but have additional range and reward on Counter Hit.

At this range, try and use 2S to help maintain space in neutral. 2S is usually too slow to use at close range, but with your opponent further out you can use it to stuff approaches. On normal hit most mid-range buttons should be confirmed into on hit or block using a Clean Hit Confirm, and learning it is foundational converting from the midrange. More information on this technique can be found [HERE EVENTUALLY]

Otherwise at closer ranges, 2D into Gun Draw launches into a combo, which can then be linked into Steady Aim for big damage and corner carry.

Fullscreen

When he's fullscreen from his opponent, Happy can easily replenish his resources and begin pestering his opponents with irritating Steady Aim shots. Happy's Chaos is extremely annoying to deal with when he's fully set up, so lets go over how to do so. The first thing you need to learn about is Curse.

CurseGGST Happy Chaos 236P.pngGuard:
-
Startup:
-
Recovery:
29 total
Advantage:
-
is a bouncing projectile that deals no damage when it comes in contact with the opponent. What it instead does is apply a debuff that makes it much easier for Chaos's gun to lock on to opponents. It applies this buff on hit on block and even as an OTGThe act of hitting the opponent when they are knocked down. Short for "off the ground" or "on the ground.", and the orb itself cannot be interrupted with projectiles. Curse lock-on is extremely fast compared to normal lock-on, which makes the reward of landing this move extremely high in neutral. Because of the importance in maintaining the Curse Debuff on opponents there are strings that can be used to force the opponent to block it. ... > 214S > H ~ 236P + H > 214S > H > ... is a string commonly referred to as Curse Jail.

Once Chaos has forced you to block a gunshot from either stance, Curse is no longer necessary, as being in Blockstun has a greater effect on accuracy than curse does. This can allow you connect Steady Aim Clean Hits into themselves repeatedly on block while losing no bullets by reload canceling after every shot. Characters without a dash like Nagoryuki or Potemkin will find it extremely difficult to make headway against Chaos, and even normal dash characters like Ky or Ramlethal struggle to make any meaningful distance. This Guard Crush Zoning as it is known is a real menace to deal with depending on the matchup. However, there is a catch: successfully cancelling Steady Aim shots into Reload into more Steady Aim shots is a three frame link, meaning this string can be very difficult to consistently perform. The notation is provided below.

214S + [H] > 22 ]H[ P > Repeat

While Guard Crush Zoning Is an extremely strong tool, it should not be the basis of your entire gameplan as it and able to be defeated by a patient opponent as you will eventually run out of focus. This becomes a lot less significant when in Positive Bonus though, as Happy Chaos is able to generated more than the 50% tension required for Super Focus before the focus is spent due to the removal of meter penalty allowing you to effectively 'Checkmate' opponents after a wallbreak if your ammo, concentration and tension gauge are sufficiently filled.

Anti-air

This is the sole area where Chaos's normals do not shine. 6P is a functional antiair due to above upper body invulnerability, but it's hitbox leaves a lot to be desired. 5P also serves as an anti-air but does not have the same Upper Body Invuln properties of 6P, with less startup frames.

6S also can serve as an anti-air, and works well for hitting Air Dashing opponents, but carries greater risk than 6P due to lacking any form of Upper Body Invuln or Disjoint.

Happy Chaos can struggle to Anti-Air opponents who are directly above him, as most of his Anti-Air normals hit in front of him so incorporation of Air Throw is vital.

Tension

Chaos builds a ton of Tension with everything he does. His specials give him tons of meter, his combos absolutely shower him in meter, he can perform some powerful midscreen corner carries that reward him with wallbreak and Positive Bonus, Guard Crush zoning gives him buckets of meter, and his general aggressive playstyle is heavily favored by the game's systems. All of this means that his meter gain in total is off the charts. This is perfect for Chaos, since he can use meter as a panic button of sorts to save himself if he ever runs out of resources. His two supers are tailor made for this.

632146S/Deus Ex MachinaGGST Happy Chaos Deus Ex Machina.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
13+(193 Flash)+7
Recovery:
Advantage:
-25
is a tracking fullscreen super that instantly reloads Chaos's bullets and and a potential whiff-punishment tool. While it does have some weaknesses, like a long startup time and no invincibility, it can be used for anything from extending Chaos's combos to ensuring his ammo is fully reloaded in an emergency situation. 214214P/Super FocusGGST Happy Chaos Super Focus.pngGuard:
-
Startup:
5
Recovery:
6
Advantage:
-
is a buffed version of FocusGGST Happy Chaos 214P.pngGuard:
-
Startup:
-
Recovery:
46 total
Advantage:
-
, that instantly refills the concentration gauge completely, and gives a longer last version of the buff that normal Focus gives. It can also be cancelled into from pretty much anything while making it plus, meaning it can also work as a pressure reset in the event that Chaos is running low on Concentration. Additionally Chaos is able to Cancel a Steady Aim Clean hit into Super Focus, and then link it into another Steady Aim Clean Hit as a true blockstring while zoning.

ScapegoatGGST Happy Chaos 236K.pngGuard:
-
Startup:
10
Recovery:
43 total
Advantage:
-
or Clone, when Roman Canceled quickly creates a single hit absorbing wall that when combined with RC slowdown enables easy counter hit starters. If the opponent is intent on not swinging into clone, the brief time airborne allows 66PRC to enable instant overheads that are DP safe.

Defense

Chaos lacks any strong character specific defense tools, so must make use of System Mechanics. For AbareAn attack during the opponent's pressure, intended to interrupt it. he has two 5f normals in 5P and 2P, with 2P being the preferred choice to mash due to not whiffing crouching opponents. 2K also serves as a good AbareAn attack during the opponent's pressure, intended to interrupt it. button due to it's speed (7f) and low profile.

Yellow Roman Cancel is very valuable on Chaos, since it puts opponents far away enough that you can often dash in and poke with 5K to begin Chaos's pressure chain. Don't get too accustomed to using it though, since opponents can counter-YRC and nullify it's use. As well, meter is better spent on places like Super Focus or PRC.

Thus, techniques like Instant Block, Faultless Defense and Instant Block Faultless Defense are important to use when on defense. When all else fails, pushing someone away and cancelling into a gun stance is a good way to prevent someone from charging back in. Overall, smart Happy Chaos players can use his meter bank to elevate his defense, but his lack of overall solid defensive options is a genuine weakness. Learn to use universal system mechanics to your advantage to overcome this.

Pressure

Frame Traps/Gaps Chart

This can be used as a reference when creating your own blockstrings. The top row represents the starting button, with the left column showing the button canceled into.

Attack Level First Normal f.S 2S 2D 6P 6K 6S 236S
Frame Gaps on Immediate Cancel
Level 0 2P / 5P N/A 0 7 3 0
Level 1 2K / 5K N/A -1 -2 5 1 -2
Level 2 f.S / 2S / 2D N/A -4
6P / 6K / 6S N/A -4
Level 3 c.S -6 -5 -6 -7 0 -4 -7
6S N/A -7

Steady Aim Clean Hit Confirms

Clean Hit ConfirmsEasier on block, than on hit.
Medium

Normal(s) + [H] > 214]H[S ~ [H], 22]H[P (CL) > ...
Steady Aim Clean Hit confirms work by connecting a normal with a Steady Aim Clean Hit via inserting a well-timed At The Ready shot. Since Happy Chaos can use fire at any time during strings, we can use it to extend the hitstun from a normal long enough to cancel into Steady Aim and charge a Clean Hit.

Functionally identical to the 'Clean Hit Confirms' mentioned in combo theory, but has much greater leniency, as mistiming and delaying the Steady Aim Clean Hit, will not cause the combo to drop, but instead just introduce a slightly larger frame gap between the 'ATR' shot and the 'Steady Aim Clean Hit'. Using the same timing as for when performed on hit is ideal as it leaves the smallest gap between shots (2f). Additionally your opponent will be left in the Guard Crush state after blocking a Steady Aim Clean Hit.

When done correctly canceling a Steady Aim Clean Hit into

  • ReloadGGST Happy Chaos 22P.pngGuard:
    -
    Startup:
    23
    Recovery:
    23~77 total
    Advantage:
    -
    1, is +20 on block.
  • Reload 2, is +13 on block.
  • Reload 3, is +4 on block.
  • FocusGGST Happy Chaos 214P.pngGuard:
    -
    Startup:
    -
    Recovery:
    46 total
    Advantage:
    -
    , is -3 on Block.
  • Super FocusGGST Happy Chaos Super Focus.pngGuard:
    -
    Startup:
    5
    Recovery:
    6
    Advantage:
    -
    , is +32 on block.

Cycling between these options is vital for maintaining resources and continuing pressure.

236S Loops

236S LoopsDash Cancel Kara optional, but recommended.
Hard

c.S~2H~2366S + [H] > ]H[ + 66 > ...
At any time during a blockstring Happy Chaos can utilize 2H to exit 'At the Ready' and allow him to utilize 236S to frametrap. You can fire afterwards while dashing as a true blockstring, which enables you to close in the distance to get c.S and start the loop again. This Allows chaos to effectively trade his resources for tension gain while increasing his opponent's RISC gauge in a risk free but extremely high execution sequence.

Increasing the Mental Stack

RollGGST Happy Chaos 214K.pngGuard:
-
Startup:
-
Recovery:
35 total
Advantage:
-
comprises the primary meterless Left / Right portion of Happy Chaos's mix. It is not incredibly high reward but is used to keep your opponent mentally taxed with another potential way you could route pressure. Utilize Roll by firing after the startup of the move has finished and you have passed through your opponent, confirm using c.S into either 2D for 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. and chance to regain resources or continue into a full combo.

5D is the primary meterless Overhead portion of Happy Chaos' mix. Chaos is able to confirm 5D into 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. by firing and then using 2D. Note, 5D cannot be followed up with a Clean Hit Confirm as 5D cannot be special canceled.

Both 5D and Roll are not extremely strong mix by themselves, but the ability to do them at almost any time, and requiring different countermeasures to play around increases the amount of options your opponent has to play around, and makes their life more difficult on defense.

Zoning

A lot of what can be said here is ultimately covered in the "fullscreen" section above. Instead, this section will be ruminating on how best to facilitate Guard Crush Zoning. For starters, let's look at the ease with which we can replenish our resources (Ammo, Concentration and Curse) during Guard Crush Zoning to keep it going as long as possible.

Ammo is covered quite well. Since optimal Guard Crush Zoning reloads a shot between each rep, we only really need two shots to get started. One shot is used to fire at the opponent during Curse application to keep them pinned down, and the second is used to consistently Guard Crush our opponents. This bullet is constantly recycled within the zoning string. All in all, this is a very efficient setup, so Guard Crush zoning can be used with very little ammo in stock. It can also end with a full reload of your clip if you need it via Deus Ex Machina or a committal Reload.

Concentration is the main limiting factor of Guard Crush zoning. The Guard Crush from a Steady Aim shot provides enough frame advantage to safely reload one bullet, but not enough to safely Concentrate without ending the string. Happy Chaos must end Guard Crush zoning entirely if he wants to Concentrate... at least on paper. If Chaos has 50% meter, he can use Super Focus to extend his zoning game further. This is part of what makes Happy Chaos so annoying to deal with- while Concentration will slowly run out, he will also slowly be building meter to refill it in an emergency situation. Even if he fully runs out of Concentration and Tension to end the zoning string, he will often have built half a bar or more.Season 2 has changed the amount that Concentration depletes based on Chaos's position relative to his opponent. At fullscreen, Concentration empties rather quickly. It is no longer possible to extend the zoning sequences for incredibly long periods of time as was the case in Season 1. Chaos players should bear in mind these changes when performing Guard Crush Zoning.

Lastly, Curse is easy to replenish too. Thanks to the debuff being applied on block or on hit, Curse is very easy and safe to apply. As well, Curse moves Chaos backwards during application, meaning he not only applies Curse but also backdashes, which naturally synergizes with Guard Crush Zoning. It's worth noting that if your opponent does take the risk and jumps to avoid your Curse, thing get a little dicey. If you can successfully hit them with a Steady Aim shot, you can convert into a small combo and bring them back down as a reward. Unfortunately, this means Curse is no longer applied to your opponent, making it easier for them to approach.

Season 2 introduced an important change in that Curse goes away if Chaos is struck while it is applied. Zoning tools from the enemy can interrupt your own zoning, so be mindful of what your opponent throws out. All-in-all, Happy's zoning game is safe, reliable, strong, and very efficient with resources. Players who successfully rotate between his resource replenishment options will be heavily rewarded.

BRC

If you are able to make your opponent block c.S while having plenty of resources you can utilize Blue Roman Cancels for pressure, See Okizeme Page for more detailed information.

Dash Cancel BRC ReloadTurn tension into ammo.
Medium

c.S ~ dc 66BRC > c.S > 22P (2-3) > c.S
Can also be done with a jump cancel BRC that stays grounded.

  • Reload 2 is a true string.
  • Reload 3 is a frame trap.

Dash Cancel BRC FocusSignificantly less meter penalty than Super Focus.
Medium

c.S ~ dc 66BRC > 2P > 214S+[H] ~ 214]H[P (CL)
An alternative to using Super Focus than allows you avoid the long penalty attached to overdrives.

Leaves you +6 on block after Focus if done correctly.

  • Super Focus has a 460F (7 2⁄3 seconds) Meter Penalty duration.
  • BRC only has a 120F (2 seconds) Meter Penalty duration.

Fighting Happy Chaos

General Tips

In neutral, you will spend more time looking at Chaos' Concentration Gauge than you will looking at the actual fight taking place on the screen. As long as Chaos has concentration, he can essentially guard crush you infinitely. Rather than getting impatient and giving him free burst safe combos, wait until he must replenish his resources and dash forward to take space. Depending on how mobile your character is, you may have to do this 2 or 3 times before you actually get a chance to touch him. Happy Chaos is most susceptible to being challenged when going for a focus, as reload cancelling is usually plus on block.

What is really scary for many characters is his midrange buttons. After you get out of the zoning, playing footsies with Chaos is an unfair game for most. Depending on your character, you may be able to contest him with some success, but never be afraid to keep blocking.

Curse

It is a common misconception that Curse (236P) is something you must dodge. This is not always possible. It will hit you, and you will deal with his increased accuracy. Really, this move is Chaos sacrificing time and stage control for more powerful zoning or pressure. When Chaos uses curse, rather than do a cheeky IAD that will most likely get you shot, simply take space by dashing forward a modest distance.

Scapegoat

Colloquially referred to as 'clone', Scapegoat (236K) sacrifices 15% of Chaos' remaining health points to summon a statue of himself that will take one hit. Any move that hits the clone is incapable of hitting Chaos, no matter where he actually is, so don't be confused when you whiff on Chaos standing in front of his clone. This usually lets him regain some of his resources in relative peace. Obviously, Chaos regaining resources is disastrous, so this move must be answered in some way. The answer to this move, however, will depend greatly on what character you play and the situation that you are in. Try options out, keeping in mind that you can special or jump cancel normals off of the clone just as if you had hit an opponent.

Clean Hit Confirms on Block

Attempting to challenge a Chaos who is confirming normals into an 'At the Ready' Shot followed by a Steady Aim Clean Hit, is usually a death sentence, as the gaps are 2-3f at most and trades favorably for Chaos if he does get hit. What you can do instead is backdash the Steady Aim Clean Hit. Happy Chaos is able to catch you attempting to backdash the Steady Aim shot by delaying the shot more, but if he does that the gap widens to something that becomes more challengeable.

Counter Strategy Guide

Happy Chaos Counter Strategy Guide

Video Resources

aD Time's Complete Happy Chaos Guide
Neutral Inputs and Tech Pressure and OkizemeFrom Japanese "起き攻め". Attacking an opponent about to wake up after they were knocked down, usually with meaty attacks or mix-ups.


Romolla's Season 1 Happy Chaos Guides (Much of it is still relevant):
General Guide Clean Hit Confirms Guard Crush Looping

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