GGST/Ky Kiske/Strategy

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Ky Kiske



General Strategies

Shock State

Shock State (SS) is a unique gameplay mechanic exclusive to Ky. It functions as a passive debuff that Ky can inflict his opponent with. Using special moves or Overdrives to hit an opponent inflicted with SS results in various bonus effects. Understanding SS is essential for a Ky player who strives to make the most of the character.

Inflicting Shock State

Ky’s opponent will become inflicted with SS for three seconds if they come into contact with Dire EclatGGST Ky Kiske 214S.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
14
Recovery:
25
Advantage:
-8 [-6]
(214S), Stun EdgeGGST Ky Kiske 236S.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
13
Recovery:
Total 46
Advantage:
-15
(236S), Charged Stun EdgeGGST Ky Kiske 236H.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
39
Recovery:
Total 62
Advantage:
+22 [+25]
(236H), Aerial Stun EdgeGGST Ky Kiske j236X.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
21
Recovery:
Until Landing+10
Advantage:
-
(j.236S/H) or Sacred EdgeGGST Ky Kiske 236236P.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
4+3
Recovery:
32
Advantage:
+10 [+15]
(236236P). These moves inflict the opponent with SS on hit and on block, making it rather easy to apply. If an SS-induced opponent comes into contact with an SS-inducing move again, the effect reapplies, restarting the timer. If they are hit by a special move or Overdrive that does not inflict SS, the effect is removed.

A common way to apply Shock State is by utilizing SS-inducing moves to finish blockstrings. 214S has plenty of pushback on block, making it a decent blockstring ender. It does have limited range however, making it best for blockstrings that begin with P or K buttons, due to said strings having little pushback. 236S is unsafe if blocked close, but safe at longer distances. This is Ky's go-to option for finishing blockstrings with lots of pushback, such as strings that end with 5H. If you manage to score a knockdown, a 236H set-up will inflict SS and provide Ky with plenty of plus frames for a mix-up.

Effects of Shock State

  • Damage Boosts: Ky’s special moves and his Overdrive, Ride The LightningGGST Ky Kiske 632146H.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    8+1
    Recovery:
    99
    Advantage:
    -82
    (RTL), deal an additional 10% damage against SS-induced opponents. Stun DipperGGST Ky Kiske 236K 1.pngGuard:
    Low, All
    Startup:
    5
    Recovery:
    26
    Advantage:
    -15 [-10]
    (236K) is an exception, only the second hit gets a 10% damage boost, resulting in a 5% boost overall. Sacred Edge gains an impressive 19% damage boost.
  • Frame Data Improvements: Several of Ky’s special moves and Sacred Edge also deal more blockstun to an SS-induced opponent. This is especially important for 214S, 236K and Foudre ArcGGST Ky Kiske 214K.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    24
    Recovery:
    6
    Advantage:
    -2~+6 [+4~+12]
    (214K). 214S becomes -6 instead of -8, making it safe against moves that could otherwise punish it, especially against instant block punishes. 236K becomes -10 instead of -15, reducing its risk somewhat. 214K receives enough added blockstun to become advantageous on block against stand blocking opponents, which it normally isn’t. 236H is changed from +22 to +25, making a follow-up 5[D] uninterruptible by non-invincible strikes. Sacred Edge is changed from +10 to +15, which makes it easier for Ky to close the gap and continue pressure safely.
  • New Combo Routes: The H version of Vapor ThrustGGST Ky Kiske 623H.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    13
    Recovery:
    44
    Advantage:
    -38
    (623H) lifts the opponent higher than normal, which can result in powerful corner combos.

Tension Usage

All characters get good mileage off of spending Tension on universal mechanics, such as Roman Cancels and Faultless Defense. As for character specifics, Ky can choose from Ride the Lightning (RTL), Sacred Edge (236236P) and Dragon Install (DI). 236236P has some uses as a combo tool, but it's rarely the best option.

Ride the Lightning

RTL is a powerful Overdrive. It deals good damage and locks the opponent out of Psych Burst. The startup is quite fast at 8 frames, making it possible to combo into from a variety of moves. It pushes the opponent forward a great distance on hit due to its forward momentum and it wall breaks if the opponent is carried to the corner. When used in a combo, RTL can score a wall break from slightly longer than half the stage, a feat no other Overdrive can accomplish. You could think of RTL as a free wall break once you reach 50% Tension, as the meter you spend will quickly be replenished by the resulting Positive Bonus. Moves that can combo into RTL include 6P, f.S, 5H, 2H, 2D, j.P and j.S. Nearly every move in Ky's arsenal can either confirm into it directly or combo into another move that confirms into it. With proper utilization of RTL, Ky can obtain Positive Bonus more often than most characters. RTL confirms are a key component of Ky's gameplan and should be practiced by every Ky player.

Burst Safe Combos

By making use of Roman Cancels, Ky can create combo routes that will allow him to punish an enemy Burst if they go for it, or continue the combo if they don't. These Burst safe combos are usually more rewarding when the opponent is cornered. In the corner, try routes such as 236K / Ground Throw > 44RRC > 236H. The Drift RC back will put Ky out of range of the opponent's Burst, causing 236H to punish the Burst. If they don't Burst, the RC will combo into 236H, which in turn can combo into long-ranged moves that will also keep Ky safe from Bursts. These combos are bit more technical than the average Ky combo, but they are well worth the time and effort. Video Example

Neutral

Round Start Options

Rounds start from mid range, which happens to be Ky's best range. Naturally, Ky has better options than much of the cast. His lengthy 2S hits low with a fast startup of 10f, giving Ky a chance to poke the opponent from the round-start position. Most of the time 2S recovers and remains safe on whiff if the opponent jumps over it. Usage of 2S can result in mind games in Ky's favor. If the opponent blocks, Ky can inflict Shock State with 2S > 236S. If the opponent performs a jump to evade 2S and try a jump-in attack, Ky can safely block it, or counter read by performing round-start j.K / j.S air-to-air. In this situation, the opponent will most likely delay their jump-in attack in order to hit a grounded opponent, giving Ky's attack a head start. If the opponent backdashes to escape 2S, Ky can perform 236S directly for SS, or if you want to gamble, perform 236K to knock them down (this won't work against May, whose backdash recovers too fast for 236K to hit). Another escape option is jumping back. Ky can apply pressure with 214K, but this option can be inconsistent.

  • Do note that in a normal Wall Break reset, players are placed slightly further than the round start position. The strategy above won't work for this situation, or at least won't work as well.

Other notable round start options for Ky include 2D, which grants massive reward on counterhit, f.S, which will beat select round start options Ky otherwise struggles against (such as Nagoriyuki 5K), and 6P, which can cleanly beat many character's go-to round start pokes.

Mid Range / Footsies

TL;DR: Use f.S, 2S, 6H, 6P, and 2D as your primary ground pokes coupled with Stun DipperGGST Ky Kiske 236K 1.pngGuard:
Low, All
Startup:
5
Recovery:
26
Advantage:
-15 [-10]
Red Roman Cancel for spontanious threats. All of these tools have their own advantages and disadvantages, and are overall great to keep in mind.

Ky is versatile enough to function well at most ranges, but he is especially good at mid ranged poking, especially against characters with a shorter reach.

f.S is his strongest poke. It reaches really far with dash momentum, has a lot of active frames, has a fairly notable disjoint and some of the fewest recovery on a slash normal in the game. It's likely to score a counter hit or interrupt an approach when used in footsies range, and is in turn also very harder to whiff punish. Ky's 2S has longer recovery, shorter active frames and an extended hurtbox compared to f.S, but complements it well by hitting low and having faster startup to contest in midiscreen scramble situations. Both of these pokes can chain into 5H, 214S for a frametrap from long range, and either 214S or 236K for basic conversions from long range

Once the basic understanding of ground poking is developed, you can continue by using ky's more particular tools in neutral and capizalizing on his versitility in it. Ky's 6P is arguably one of the best in the game. It has a great-horizontally reaching hurtbox with top-notch startup and great active frames and recovery. While the reward on a ground hit may not be the greatest, it can be an excellent tool to contest long reaching pokes against characters who do outrange ky. In addition, like all 6Ps, its also a great anti air that is very rewarding and easy to use.

6H is another great tool to compliment Ky's neutral game. It is his slowest poke of use at 15 frames, but it reaches really far and has a very big disjoint. This move's hitbox lets it beat out a lot of pokes that would collide it with, especially effective at hitting crouching pokes and even low profiles. While it doesn't lead to much options on block or on a normal hit midscreen, it is in fact one of Ky's most rewarding pokes on counterhit, as it can easily lead into 214K for corner carry and oki or a high damage punish closer to the corner.

2D is Ky's second low poke of choice. Its range isn't the best compared to his other pokes, however it is fairly fast, has a lot of active frames, is a low, and is also highly rewarding on counterhit, like 6H. In addition. it also gives you a hard knockdown on hit so the reward is more solid on normal hit compared to 6H.

Once Ky has 50% Tension meter, he can unlock one of his best tools: Stun Dipper RRC (Stun Dipper > RC. It is a 5f fast low with Low ProfileWhen a character's hurtbox is entirely beneath an opponent's attack. This can be caused by crouching, certain moves, and being short. properties and covers a lot of range very quickly. It can be used to tag pokes and approaches very easily, although without meter it becomes possible to block the second hit and leave ky punishable even if he gets the hit. With RC, though, it lets ky both start his pressure immidiately if they block his poke, and lead into a full rewarding combo on hit. This makes ky a spontanious and unpredictable threat to watch out for in neutral.

If you cycle Ky's mid-ranged moves well, your opponent might start approaching from the air to avoid having to contest with Ky at mid or close range. Ky is armed with many solid anti-airs, be ready to whip them out at a moment’s notice.

Close Range / Brawling

At close range, Ky will generally need to rely on good strike/throw offense to open opponents up, with mixups only being available with meter or in 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. situations.

Your best tools to start/restart your pressure are c.S and 5K.

c.S has a lot of active frames, threatens with high damage, and has a variety of useful gatlings to threaten with frametraps, namely f.S, 2D, 6H and 5D. It is the easiest to use and a good, basic meaty to start offense up close. 5K's utility is a big trickier - its unusually long active frames, low recovery and status as a low make this an excellent meaty if it hits at its latest active frames, which can be done in multiple ways as elaborated in the okizeme section. Being a +5, reversal safe, low meaty, its arguably a better way to start your pressure compared to c.S, although either requires tighter timings or more specific scenarios for it to shine.

2P can also be a solid but passable way to start basic pressure from scramble or defensive situations. It's low hitstop, self-chainability, low disadvantage on block and frametrap into 6P give it good base to be used in pressure. 2K can be used as another alternative from neutral, in situations where ky being crouching or the longer range of 2K may be preferable. It is much worse as meaty than 5K, though, so this should only be reserved for when the former isn't possible to land.

Ky lacks a unique overhead or command throw. This means that he is especially reliant on mind games universal mechanics for close range mix-ups. If your opponent has strong defense, you need good understanding of fundamentals to open them up. Throws are vital for cracking through anyone's defenses. It's a good idea to stagger Ky's fast buttons and mix in throws to incentivize them to act. Throws are especially good if you have 50% meter to prc the recovery and make them much harder to punish, particularly if backdashed or jumped away from.

When pressuring with Ky's K buttons, a key gatling option is 2D. This sweep attack allows for a double low sequence which can be staggered or reset for more mind games. If you're feeling bold, 5D is a risky but very rewarding mix-up option. It is reactable, but if you condition your opponent to fear other options 5D can catch them by surprise.

You can also frametrap somewhat with 6H at further ranges where the opponent will not be able to reliably grab or mash on the gap, but the higher reward and range compared to 2D keep this a viable option.

Once you get the opponent to respect your blockstrings and be willing to take the throws, you can mix in pressure resets by dashing up mid pressure and using any of the aformentioned normals. It's risky, but potentially very rewarding even if blocked, and another great way to force the opponent to commit on defense.


If you wish to return to mid range, any of Ky's blockstrings can be ended with (236S) or 214S to apply Shock State and create space. The former is likely to be harder to punish when blocked at further ranges, while the latter can be very rewarding on counterhit/corner hit if used as a last-chance frametrap.

Long Range / Zoning

While Ky does have a few options at far range, this is probably where he is at his weakest - any character who's designed to play at that range probably has better tools all around and can contest very effectively. In addition, his zoning tools aren't very competent at keeping opponents out, especially when everyone are given either solid mobility or multiple anti-zoning tools, at worst.

Still, it can be useful to keep in mind what you can do from this range, and the risks that each of your options carry.

At long range, Ky will use his fireball series Stun Edge. The grounded slash version (236S), is fast enough to be unreactable, and is decently safe at further ranges. However, it has respectable recovery which is in counterhit state throughout, and the fireball itself is small enough to be both low profiled and jumped over with relative ease. In addition, the reward on hit is nearly nonexistent, which brings up the main issue of the fireballs: they are high risk, low reward neutral tools. As such, they are almost exclusively used to contest or hit opponents out of whatever action they'll be trying to do from fullscreen, such as Goldlewis trying to send a drone or Jack-O trying to set up minions to throw.

Deceptively, your best tool for actual zoning or contesting other long range options are your air fireballs, j.236S and j.236H. When tk'd they are indeed slower to both startup and recover. In addition, they also leave clearer blind spots for opponents to run under, depending on the version. Their biggest advantage, however, is their unique trajectory letting them to dodge other fireballs or hit in angles that are hard to contest. They are decent to use against character's such as Leo Whitefang or Testament when they try to throw their respective fireballs, as air stun edge is most likely to dodge the opponent's projectile and hit their recovery.

Air game

Aerial attacks are an essential part of Ky’s gameplan. The utilization of aerials can be divided into two broad categories: Air-to-air and air-to-ground. Both of these can be used either defensively in order to retreat, or for aggressive purposes. This section will cover both all of Ky's air options and their varied uses. The same options and moves work for both purposes, they just require different timing and positioning.

j.P is ky's fastest air normal. It's best used in defensive air situations or scrambles due to its inferior hitbox and reward to other air normals, but its ability to chain into itself makes it easy to confirm off of.

j.K is a fairly good reaching, fast air to air normal. It launches in a good trajectory and cancel option intoo j.d makes it rewarding in air to air interactions. It's also got very little recovery so the risk of whiffing it is also very small. Overall a good move to challenge opponents in the air

j.S has the same startup and about the same reach as j.K, but has a big disjoint for a hitbox in turn of a significantly longer recovery. Due to its better damage and initial scaling, its a higher risk - higher reward air to air normal that can contest more options due to its hitbox. Also your normal of choice in left/right FDC mixups due to its long reach.

j.H is a fast but slow air button. It's got good reach and high damage but its hitbox isn't very good. It's your best jump in, however, even if not a good one. Due to its damage its also good to insert into combos if possible, but he sure to not get reckless with this.

j.D is probably Ky's best air normal all around. It's a big slow, however it has a big, disjointed hitbox, it stops Ky's momentum in place and is a projectile. Aside from being a potent air to air thats easy to chain into, its both jump and airdash cancellable very early into its animation, making it very easy to pick off of. The airdahs cancel especially is key to convert into big damage from air to air interactions and lead into your best punish combos. Finally, being an airtight string into j.s after an airdash cancel on ground block, and ability to chain from other air normals like j.h make it a great tool to enable Ky's high/low mixups in the corner following up 236H.

Aerial Stun Edge (j.236S/H) is Ky's most notable option from far range, due to its unique trajectory. It's slow to startup and in counterhit state during recovery, but it pushes ky up-backwards and can even be + on block if it hits really meaty.

CH Option Select

An Option Select that takes advantage of GGST's Counter Hit system. By attacking with a medium strength or higher poke like 2S or 5H, then inputting a special move immediately followed by another, you can guarantee that the second special you input will only come out on counter hit.

Examples:

  • 2S/f.S/5H > 214S~236K: Gives 214S on block/hit, 236K on CH. A bit difficult since you have to input two different direction commands quickly. Not too useful since 214S is preferred on hit, CH, and block, but 214S will whiff at max distance pokes so it's situationally useful.
  • 2S/f.S/5H > 236S~K: Like the above, only it gives 236S on normal hit/block, and 236K on CH. The above is generally preferred but if for whatever reason you absolutely don't want to whiff 214S this is pretty safe at mid range.

Defense

Defensive System Mechanics

Faultless Defense (FD), Psych Burst and Yellow Roman Cancel (YRC) are cornerstones of defense in Guilty Gear, as they are quite handy for breaking out of pressure. Using them well is essential for mastering any character. They all cost a resource though, so think about how you use them.

Faultless Defense


Powerful defensive option, but drains Tension as you use it!
Hold any two buttons except D (or the FD Button if one was set) while blocking to perform Faultless Defense (FD). As long as the direction and buttons are held down (and the Tension Gauge isn't empty), you will continue to perform Faultless Defense.

A unique type of guard that gradually depletes Tension when used. Faultless Defense augments your block by giving it several special properties. Firstly, it increases pushback on block, making it useful to make space between you and the opponent. By using Faultless Defense early in the opponent's blockstring, the opponent will be pushed back enough that later attacks will miss, allowing you to punish the opponent's whiffed attack or disengage. When in use, Faultless Defense also prevents the R.I.S.C Level from increasing and nullifies chip damage. This is essential for survival in situations where chip damage runs the risk of finishing you off.

Keep in mind that you don't have to hold two buttons for a long time in order to use Faultless Defense effectively. It's also possible to press the buttons briefly - slightly longer than a tap - just before the opponent's hit connects. By doing this, you can let go of Faultless Defense in between the hits of an opponent's blockstring, allowing you to save some Tension. This requires some precision though, so it will require practice.


Yellow Roman Cancel


It's just like Xrd, but not at all!
Press any three attack buttons (except D) simultaneously while in blockstun to perform a Yellow Roman Cancel (YRC). Costs 50% Tension.

Yellow Roman Cancels can be used when blocking at the cost of 50% Tension, for the purpose of stopping an attacking opponent and resetting the momentum of the match. Yellow Roman Cancels can not be performed when your character is in a Guard Crush state. Upon activation, your character creates a shockwave that forces the opponent into a Guard Crush state, granting your character massive frame advantage. Yellow Roman Cancel is a useful tool for challenging an opponent’s pressure, especially for characters that are lacking in character-specific tools.

However, Yellow Roman Cancel is -16 on block and leaves your character in Counter Hit state during its recovery frames. Sharp opponents can block it on prediction and punish it heavily. Make sure to vary when you go for a Yellow Roman Cancel to avoid becoming predictable. In addition, the hefty 50% Tension cost must always be taken into consideration. Said Tension could be used for Overdrives or extending combos or blockstrings with other types of Roman Cancels. Practice utilizing all of your defensive options so as to not end up over relying on Yellow Roman Cancel and burning Tension too quickly.


Psych Burst


Press D + any other attack button to perform a Psych Burst. Costs a full Burst Gauge.

A powerful defensive option that can be used in a variety of situations at the cost of a full Burst Gauge. Upon activation, your character releases an invincible shockwave that knocks opponents away. Bursts can be used at almost any point in the match, including when you’re in blockstun or hitstun. This allows Bursts to function as both a combo breaker and as a way to challenge the opponent’s pressure. The Burst Gauge refills very slowly over time, so it can be a good idea to use it early in a match to break out of a powerful combo, such as a Counter Hit combo. This will allow you to spend the rest of the round recharging it, making it more likely to have another opportunity to use it again later in the match.

While Bursts are very powerful, they are far from infallible. The activation shockwave is not instant, so sharp players can predict incoming Bursts and punish them heavily. A common method of doing so is canceling attacks with jump cancels or Roman Cancels, then blocking the Burst and punishing the recovery. Because of the risk associated with it, you should vary the timing of when you go for Burst to avoid becoming predictable. In addition, the activation shockwave's range is limited. Characters with long ranged attacks, such as Nagoriyuki and Ramlethal, have access to Burst-safe combos and blockstrings that allow them to punish Burst if you go for it or continue their offense if you don’t. Against players that employ these tactics, you will need strong match-up knowledge to survive. Lastly, keep in mind that Burst cannot be performed while your character is stuck to the wall, being thrown, or being hit by an Overdrive.


Counter Pokes

Counter poking is the act of attacking preemptively for the purpose of interrupting the opponent’s actions. By placing hitboxes in front of your character, the opponent runs the risk of being hit out of their forward movement or being counter hit out of their attacks. Counter pokes are key for playing a preventive playstyle, which is useful against aggression. The best counter pokes are typically long-ranged, highly active, quick to recover, protected by invulnerability of some kind, or a combination of these traits.

Thanks to its frame 1 upper body invulnerability, 6P is useful as a counter poke. It can challenge an opponent's attack in mid or close range. Many forward-lunging, plus on block special moves, such as Giovanna's TrovãoGGST Giovanna Trovao.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
27
Recovery:
15
Advantage:
+4
and May's H Mr. Dolphin HorizontalGGST May Mr. Dolphin Horizontal.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
25
Recovery:
11 (20 OH)
Advantage:
+5
, are vulnerable to 6P. In addition, many S attacks extends the character's hurtbox further out than the animation implies, due to the weapon itself having a hurtbox. This is especially prevalent on moves like Nagoriyuki's f.SGGST Nagoriyuki fS1.pngGuard:
Mid
Startup:
16
Recovery:
28
Advantage:
-17
and Leo's f.SGGST Leo Whitefang f.S.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
12
Recovery:
21
Advantage:
-13
. If you experiment with 6P, you might be surprised at how many attacks can be beaten with it.

2S - Overall a great button because of its speed, range and cancel options. It functions well as a counter poke because of the aforementioned reasons and because it has slight Low ProfileWhen a character's hurtbox is entirely beneath an opponent's attack. This can be caused by crouching, certain moves, and being short. properties.

f.S - This button is slightly shorter and slower than 2S, but it hits higher, is much more disjointed, has more active frames and has much shorter whiff recovery. It can complement 2S by catching opponents that try to jump over it or low crush it.

6H - Slower than the other options, but has long range, a good horizontal disjoint, and enough vertical coverage to beat many low profile moves. It's also more rewarding, as it can lead to powerful counter hit combos or strong wallbounce combos on normal hit. Use it from ranges where 6P won't reach.

Anti-Airs

Anti-airs, as the name suggests, are moves that are useful against aerial opponents. They are typically either fast, high-reaching, protected by invulnerability of some kind, or a combination of these traits. Ky has several effective anti-airs: 6P, 5P, j.K, j.S and air throws.

6P - A safe and reliable option due to its upper body invulnerability. It can combo into Dire Eclat (214S) for a knockdown. A useful option in many instances.

5P - Faster than 6P but lacks upper body invulnerability. It can catch opponents trying to jump during close range brawling. It is still very rewarding on air hit as it can link into c.S or 5K for a rewarding juggle.

j.K and j.S are both great air to airs you can do to chase opponents in the air. Both have the same startup and approximately the same range, but the former has less recovery (hence less commitful) while the latter has a better hitbox for direct contesting of other air normals.

Finally, air throws are a good way to stop opponent's air buttons and approach in their tracks and get an easy knockdown. This will require you to be in proximity and has a lenghtly whiff animation, though, but the reach makes it still fairly effective.

Alternatively, 214K can be used as a commitful but rewarding option to call out jumps from a distance. While far too slow to react or chase jumps in mindgame situations, it is rather an option to throw out if you think your opponent is about to jump from a distance, such as after a wallbreak. It is very rewarding on air hit and has a lot of air blockstun, while having a great hitbox for hitting above Ky. Still, the long startup make this quite the commitment, so if they throw a standing ground poke or wait it can pay off badly

Abare

AbareAn attack during the opponent's pressure, intended to interrupt it. means to attack during an opponents frame advantage with the intention of interrupting their pressure. Naturally, fast moves work best for this task.

2P - At 5F, this is Ky's fastest move and best abare option by extension. It combos into 6P > Dire Eclat (214S) for a meterless knockdown, something that not every character can get from their P buttons. 2P is preferred over 5P because the latter has a nasty tendency of whiffing against opponents that crouch or use Low ProfileWhen a character's hurtbox is entirely beneath an opponent's attack. This can be caused by crouching, certain moves, and being short. moves.

2K - Slightly slower at 6F, but can lead to more rewarding Oki setups due to its ability to combo into 2D. Also hits lower to the ground.

Ky's reversals can also be used for abare due to their invulnerability. Do note that Vapor Thrust (623S/H) loses to throws in some situations where attacking will not.

Reversals

Invincible Reversals are moves used to steal your turn back by force. They can be used during holes in an opponent's blockstrings or during your wake-up to punish sloppy oki. Ky has three reversals to choose from: SVapor Thrust (623S), H Vapor Thrust (623H), and Ride The Lightning (632146H)

Vapor Thrust (VT) - Functions as an invincible reversal due to its frame 1 strike invulnerability. It does have some exploitable weaknesses though. The first is that VT lacks a hitbox low to the ground, meaning some attacks can low profile under it. It's also vulnerable to throws during the startup and is punishable on block. If your opponent knows how to deal with VT, you should use it sparingly. Feel free to go nuts with it if they don't know how to deal with it, or if they attack into your wake-up in a predictable manner.

Ride The Lightning (RTL) - An Overdrive with frame 1 invulnerability against both strikes and throws. Unlike VT, it does not have any hitbox issues. RTL can Wall Break from longer distances than most Overdrives, making it less meter expensive due to Positive Bonus. Try using it in distances where a Wall Break is guaranteed. It is punishable on block but can be Roman Canceled for safety. This would end up costing 100% Tension though.

Pressure

Pressure is one of the shortcomings of Ky because he lacks a blockstring ender that is safe in all situations. His S and H buttons have good range but are heavily minus on block. Dire Eclat (214S) has good pushback, but is short-ranged. Stun Edge (236S) can be avoided with a jump at longer ranges and can be blocked and punished at shorter ranges. Characters that have normals with a good combination of speed and range, such as Ramlethal, can comfortably punish him. Therefore, it is very important to not fall into predictable habits when pressuring in these match-ups.

Strike / Throw Mix-Up

Ky's mix-ups are more limited than most characters. He doesn't have any unique overheads, grounded cross-ups or command throws. As a result, Ky is reliant on universal mechanics to open opponents up, which he does best by utilizing strike/throw mix-ups. After initiating any blockstring, you have the options of either continuing the string with strikes or mixing in a throw. Your opponent has three main options: continuing to block, jumping or attacking. If they play patiently and block, throw them to open them up, which will condition them to try to beat your throws by jumping or attacking. You can beat jumps and attacks by continuing the string with strikes to interrupt them, but finishing the string gives up your turn if the opponent chose to keep blocking.

There are several ways to initiate strike/throw mix-ups. Connecting c.S on hit or block is one of the simplest ways of doing it. Another option is f.S, which is likely to cause the foe to play patiently after blocking it due to its short recovery frames and frame trap potential. You can also meaty their wake-up with strikes like c.S or 5K, or a ground throw. If you connect a move and knock them down, meaty them again. They will eventually block a strike on wake-up, which allows you to transition to blockstrings to frame trap them.

Pressure Resets

When pressuring with blockstrings, varying your offense is key to opening up your opponent. If you employ frame traps in a predictable manner, your opponent can simply block until you reach the end of the blockstring. Throws are vital for opening them up, but the timing of throws must be varied, lest a skilled opponent catches on to your timing and employs counter play. It is with the help of pressure resets that throws can be made more ambiguous.

After attacks that recover quickly, such as c.S or 5K, take advantage of the opponent’s hesitation by dashing up into attack. This will reset pressure, extending the blockstring and increasing the amount of opportunities you have for mixing in throws. The more ambiguous your mix-up becomes, the greater the chance that your opponent will make a mistake. Resetting pressure also increases the mental burden on your opponent due to the R.I.S.C. Level increasing and the ever-looming threat of throws. They have to try to escape eventually, which provides you with opportunities to punish if you have the right read.

6K and Foudre Arc (214K) are useful moves for pressure resets. 6K is +4 on block and has decent range. P normals, K normals and c.S can gatling into it. 214K has massive range and is safe on block at worst. It's -2 if the opponent stand blocks and plus if the opponent crouch blocks. If the opponent is in Shock State or Ky has activated Dragon Install, 214K is plus against standing block as well. Together, 6K and 214K provides Ky with many ways to reset pressure during blockstrings. However, both 6K and 214K are at risk of being interrupted due to their long startup (25 and 27 frames, respectively) so don't become predictable.

Sample Blockstrings

The following are Ky's best blockstrings due to their versatility and ease of use. If you're a beginner, start with these and practice other sequences later.

  • f.S / 2S > 5H > (Special)

f.S and 2S are some of Ky's best moves due to their speed and range, making this an effective blockstring when used at mid range. If you want to special cancel, you can use 236S to finish the sequence or 214K to reset. Do note that 5H whiffs if 2S hits at tip range. In this situation, skip the 5H and go straight for specials. You can also reset after a f.S because the opponents will likely expect a follow-up. The fact that f.S recovers so quickly makes resets from it hard to react to. If either of these moves score a counter hit, you can confirm into 5H > 236K / RTL.

  • c.S (dl) 2S > 5H > (Special)

A variant of the former blockstring that works from a dash. Dash momentum makes all three hits to connect reliably, allowing for two frame traps. Due to the combined pushback of the three attacks, 236S is usually a safe way to end the string and apply Shock State. 5H can also be delayed and c.S can be staggered for a strike/reset mix-up. If 2S scores a counter hit, you can confirm into 5H > 236K / RTL.

  • 2P * n > 6P > 214S

This blockstring starts from Ky's fastest move, making it useful in many situations. 2P can be staggered for a strike/throw mix-up and can be confirmed into 6P > 214S if a 2P hits.

  • 5K / 2K > 2D > Special

Starts from Ky’s fastest lows. You can stagger K buttons for a strike/throw mix-up. You can also delay 2D for a frame trap or replace it with 5D for a mix-up. If the lows connect, you can hit-confirm into 214S / RTL or go for CSE Oki.

Other Blockstrings

These blockstrings are either more niche / technical than the previous ones or require conditioning to be effective. They are still great additions to your arsenal.

  • c.S > (dl) f.S > CH Option Select

Simple string for setting up the OS from close range. Delaying the f.S is required in order to create a frame trap. You could also end with 214K to reset pressure.

  • 5K / 2K / c.S > 6K Reset

Go for the many blockstrings shown earlier to condition your opponent to block and open up opportunities for riskier sequences. This one takes advantage of your opponent respecting follow-ups in order to reset pressure.

  • 5K, 2K > 2D > Special

Similar to the former blockstring in that opponents need to respect you. This one is a triple low sequence. 5K is a good tool for stagger pressure due to its narrow gap and its ability to cancel into 2D airtight, which sometimes catches DP attempts (The motion input for a DP causes the user to let go of their crouching guard for a brief moment). The 5K, 2K sequence has similar timing to 5K > 5D. The standing animation of 5K makes it harder for the opponent to discern which sequence is coming, especially when 5D's orange light is covered by a CSE.

  • 5K / 2K / c.S > 6H > (Special)

Canceling from 5K / 2K into 6H creates a natural frame trap to fish for juicy CH 6H combos. However, the gap is 4 frames, which means that characters with normals faster than 5F can interrupt. If your opponent blocks the sequence, you can finish with 236S/214S or reset with 214K.

Corner Pressure

Ky gets more options against cornered opponents. Notably, 6H can wallbounce for a combo. H Vapor Thrust (623H) lifts the opponent higher when they are inflicted with Shock State. This enables devastating corner combos from 6H > 623H. Cranking up Ky's damage output increases the mental burden on your opponent, potentially leading to worse performance.

Corner Blockstrings

The following is a list of blockstrings that are useful specifically in the corner. Ky is by no means restricted to these in the corner, as all blockstrings shown in the previous sections will also work.

  • 5K > 6H > (Special)

5K is a useful attack for meaty setups that can gatling into 6H for a frametrap. If your opponent respects 6H, try to stagger 5K and mix in throws.

  • 5K / c.S > j.c > IAD FDC > j.S > c.S

An advanced blockstring that utilizes the air dash Faultless Defense Cancel (FDC) technique. After jump canceling into air dash FDC, your j.S will hit very low. If it connects, c.S combos for a Wall Break. On block, c.S is a frame trap that can lead to Wall Break combos or reset pressure. If your opponent reacts and blocks j.S often, mix them up by using IAD FDC empty jump and go for lows or throws when you land.

  • 5K / c.S > j.c > j.S > 66j.S

This is a double overhead blockstring. If you connect j.S on the way down, you can air dash into a second one. There is a punishable gap before the first j.S and between the first and second. Therefore, you need to condition your opponent to play passively before going for this blockstring.

Frame Traps/Gaps Chart

This can be used as a reference when creating your own blockstrings.

Gaps on immediate cancel
Level 0 Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
Move Startup 5P / 2P 5K / 2K f.S / 2S 6P / 2D c.S 2H(1) / 6H 2H(2) / 5H 6K (link)
6P 9 0 -2 N/A N/A -7 N/A 5
6K 25 16 14 9 21
f.S 12 N/A -4 8
2S 10 -6 6
5H 14 1 -2 10
2H 11 -2 -5 7
6H 15 6 4 N/A -1 11
5D 20 N/A 9 4 16
2D 10 -1 -6 6
214S 14 5 3 1 1 -2 -2 -4 -2 (cancel)
  • 6K > 5P/2P is 1f
  • 6K > 2K is 2f
  • 6K > 5K/c.S is 3f
  • c.S > 5D loses to 4f buttons (i.e. will not trade)

3f moves: Sol 5KGGST Sol Badguy 5K.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
3
Recovery:
25
Advantage:
-16
, Chipp 5PGGST Chipp Zanuff 5P.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
3
Recovery:
10
Advantage:
-2

4f moves: All prejumps except for Potemkin/ Nagoriyuki/ Goldlewis Dickinson, Baiken 5PGGST Baiken 5P.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
4
Recovery:
10
Advantage:
-2
, Giovanna 5PGGST Giovanna 5P.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
4
Recovery:
9
Advantage:
-2
, May 5PGGST May 5P.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
4
Recovery:
8
Advantage:
-1
, Millia 2PGGST Millia Rage 2P.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
4
Recovery:
10
Advantage:
-2


Corner Footsies

Backwards movement is an essential strategic option. For example, while under pressure, backwards movement allows one to disengage from the opponent. However, using backwards movement brings the character closer to the corner. With their back to the wall, there is no space to escape to, meaning the backwards movement options become unavailable. You can think of the space behind your character as a resource that depletes when you move backwards. When your opponent is cornered, Ky can maximize the benefit of said positional advantage by using his great mid-ranged tools.

Place Ky about a 2S away from the cornered opponent. This is the spacing in which he can threaten with 2S, f.S and other moves. Due to the possibility of being hit by a low, the opponent must think twice before moving. Any movement option will lose the crouch guard input, which makes it punishable. Your opponent has two main options for escaping: Counter poking and escaping through the air, typically with a super jump or air dash. Vary your options to cover for these escape attempts.

  • Use back and forth spacing to cover for counter poking. Your opponent can challenge you with either a fast attack or a long attack. A fast attack can stop your pressure up close, but runs the risk of whiffing at longer ranges. A long attack will reach further out, but their slower speed makes them susceptible to counter hits. Varying your spacing with back and forth movement makes it difficult for your opponent to discern which attack to go for, increasing the likelihood that they will make a mistake. Punish them if they whiff a short attack, and go for pokes like 2S and 6H occasionally to check their long attacks. Checking with pokes also stops them if they dash in for a throw. Confirm into combos if your pokes hit. 2S and 6H are negative on block, but by spacing them at tip range and occasionally special canceling, your opponent will have a hard time punishing.
  • Deny their air escape. While spacing and checking the opponent, spy for their movement options. An air escape usually loses to a reactive j.K or j.S air-to-air. You can also air throw them on a read. As long as you don’t swing too often, you will have many opportunities to interrupt their air escape. It’s fine if your attacks are blocked, as the goal is to get them back into the corner.
  • Capitalize on their fear. If you manage to condition your opponent to play passively, close the gap and go for mix-ups, such as jump-ins and tick throws. You can also fake a throw by moving close and then backdashing into 2H. This not only does the job of a high damage strike-throw mixup, but also sends you back to poke range with the option to special cancel if they block.

Okizeme

Ky's mix-ups aren't particularly strong against crouching opponents because he lacks command throws and overheads besides the universal ones. Scoring hard knockdowns and making the most out of them is essential for Ky because his mix-ups are lackluster without them. Stun Dipper soft knockdown can also lead to tight Okizeme from mid-ranged pokes.

Key Knockdown Moves

2D - Causes a knockdown that provides strong Oki. 5K and 2K combos into 2D. Cancel into CSE for a strong Oki set-up.

5D - Leads into a powerful combo and knockdown if you charge it, but it is punishable on block. Use it with discretion.

Throws - Grant knockdowns, the Oki is especially powerful if the opponent is thrown into a wall.

Dire Eclat (214S) - Grants a hard knockdown but also has large pushback, which means you have other options for mix-ups. You can do a short dash into an Instant Air Dash mix-up (go for an aerial attack or simply land and go for a low or throw), or just run forward to close the gap. You could also go for a meaty Foudre Arc for plus frames. The pushback is reduced somewhat if the opponent is pushed into a corner.

Stun Dipper (236K) - Grants a soft knockdown that leaves the opponent close for a dash meaty 5K > 1D option select that beats reversals if timed correctly. c.S is another meaty option that leads to massive damage on Counter Hit.

Foudre Arc (214K) - Starts a combo on air hit. You can cut this combo short for powerful Oki. In Shock State it becomes plus enough to link into a 2K > 2D on the ground, giving power okizeme on ground hit as well.

Ride the Lightning / Overdrives - RTL can wall break from surprisingly long distances, which grants a decent mix-up and Positive Bonus. You can also wall break with Sacred Edge and by activating Dragon Install, though the opponent will need to be cornered already.

Key Okizeme Options

5K - A fast low with long active duration that can be set up from practically any knockdown. It's effective as a meaty attack because the frame advantage can reach a staggering +5. It can gatling into 2D for a double low or be jump cancelled for even more options. Use 5K to condition your opponent to block after a knockdown and go for throws, pressure resets or other mix-ups later.

  • Most reversals have 7 or 8 frames of Startup, and Ky's 5K has only 6 frames of recovery. If timed early so that the DP hits after 5K recovers, it becomes possible to use 5K like a safejump by inputting 5K > 1D. The timing is not as tight as it seems.
  • It's the easiest meaty option that you can always do after 214S. Try using the dash macro for this.

Charged Stun Edge (236H)

You can capitalize on hard knockdowns by setting up Charged Stun Edge (CSE). Forcing your opponent to block it rewards you with massive frame advantage (+22!) and inflicts the opponent with Shock State. It can be set up from moves that cause hard knockdowns, but you need to be mindful of how you use it.

  • If set up from a sweep at close range, delay the CSE slightly, or else it will pass through the opponent before they get up.
  • After a throw midscreen, doing raw CSE is an option but dashing up (usually with the dash macro) will likely give better pressure. The problem with dash up CSE midscreen is that it is likely to not be reversal safe. In the corner, throw into raw CSE is the best option as it is reversal safe while also giving options for great setups with jump in j.H > j.D.
  • Many combos, such as ones that juggle an aerial opponent, give an opportunity to set up CSE. 5H knocks airborne opponents up, which gives ample time to set up CSE by canceling into it. However, doing so cuts your combo short, and your opponent can jump over the move if you set it up after certain combo routes. Be prepared to punish with anti-air options if they attack, or go for an air throw if they empty jump.

CSE into 5[D] becomes a much stronger option if the opponent is already in Shock State when CSE connects. If the opponent gets hit by CSE, it will combo into 5[D]. If they block CSE and then try to jump or mash, 5[D] will hit them for a homing jump combo. In addition, the strong visual effects of CSE can help cover up the start-up of 5[D]. All of this makes CSE into 5[D] a good option for conditioning foes to block high, which can be punished with lows or throws.

This is just one example of a CSE's potential as a mix-up tool. Experiment with all of your options, such as lows, throws, aerials, cross-ups, empty jumps, blockstrings and anything else you can think of. The more creative you are, the more effective the mix-up becomes. The sky is the limit!

Air Dash Faultless Defense Cancel Safe Jump

Faultless Defense Cancel (FDC) is an advanced technique that enhances Ky's air dash mix-ups by creating a powerful safe jump option. By performing an air dash, cancelling the air dash with an aerial attack, and then using Faultless Defense to Kara CancelA type of cancel where the beginning of an action is quickly canceled into another before the first action completes its startup. that aerial attack before it comes out in rapid succession, Ky's falling momentum is altered such that he can perform an aerial attack (usually j.S) that comes out lower to the ground than normal.

Hitting an aerial attack lower to the ground opens up more combo opportunities and makes the move more advantageous on block. It also makes it harder for the opponent to discern whether or not the air dash has enough momentum to cross-up and whether or not the aerial attack will have enough time to connect before Ky lands. This makes the mix-up more ambiguous, since Ky can sneak in left/right mix-ups and high/low mix-ups more effectively. Throws are also a good option from this technique. It's worth noting that FDC mix-ups have higher technical execution than CSE mix-ups, so beginners might need to rely more on CSE.

FDC has so much depth and intricacies that explaining it this briefly doesn't do it justice. For a proper guide, check out SuperKawaiiDesu's air dash FDC guide on youtube.[1]

Dragon Install

Dragon Install (DI) is a unique power-up state that amplifies Ky’s special moves and Overdrives. It can only be activated when Ky is at 30% HP or less, at the cost of 50% Tension. When activated, it will last until the end of the round.

Keep in mind that Ky generates a shockwave attack the moment DI activates. The shockwave can Wall Break if it's used during a corner combo. If blocked, the shockwave is plus.

The Positives of Dragon Install

  • Comboing into DI will hard knockdown the opponent, setting up for Charged Stun Edge okizeme. On block, it is +4, which can be useful for resetting pressure against opponents respecting Ky's offense.
  • Boosts the damage of Ky's Specials and Overdrives. The damage boost varies from 25% to 100%, depending on the move.
  • Improved frame data on all of Ky's Special moves. Here are some notable mentions:
  • Dire Eclat (214S) becomes -6 instead of -8, making it saferThis can become the opposite if the opponent is sharp enough to react to the move being used and Instant Block the third hit, giving a punish. against moves that could otherwise punish it.
  • Foudre Arc (214K) becomes +8 instead of -2, enabling pressure resets even on opponents that block the move standing.
  • Charged Stun Edge (236H) Gains much more frame advantage, becoming +45 instead of +22, giving Ky true crossups off of any hard knockdown.
  • Stun Dipper (236K) Becomes a move that grants a hard knockdown, instead of a soft knockdown. This grants Ky an opportunity to use 236H off of any Stun Dipper knockdown, which used to be unavailable to him before.
  • New combo routes become possible, such as meterless combos off of H Vapor Thrust (623H).
  • DI special moves can in some cases be better than Ky's normal or Shock State specials. For example, Leo's projectile, Gravierte WürdeGGST Leo Whitefang Graviert Wurde.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    10
    Recovery:
    Total 54F
    Advantage:
    -16
    ([4]6S), usually beats Stun Edge (236S). But thanks to its second hit, the DI version of 236S will pass through.
  • Chip damage on all Specials and Overdrives is significantly increased, which can create chip kills once the opponent is at a low enough health value.

The Drawbacks of Dragon Install

  • Because it only becomes available at 30% HP, the chance is high that you won't survive long enough for it to be worth the Tension cost. RC and Ky's other Overdrives have an immediate effect, which is important towards the end of the round when it's likely that the opponent has also taken some damage and the round can be ended with a Ride The Lightning confirm.
  • DI Specials can in some cases be worse than their regular or Shock State versions. Some of Ky's DI specials cause less RISC gain than their regular versions, and some combos and setups are broken or altered by the extra hits and pushback, mainly with DI 214S.

Meeting the Dragon Install Prerequisites

If Ky is at 30% health, Dragon Install might be a good option for him to try as a last ditch effort to steal back the round since it is plus on block and is able to be cancelled into from normals, it might be favorable to activate into as a late game scenario to make your pressure more threatening and your knockdowns much more deadly, as any stray hit can lead to 236H setplay once in Dragon Install.
But getting the meter required for Dragon Install might be a bit tough, it can usually be done from one of two ways at 30% life:

1. Using a Gold Burst, this can be used as a wake up options on your knockdown and allow you to be liberal with your meter after being used, as you have an opportunity to get in with an RC before DI is activated. But this may require saving burst even when it could get you out of a tough spot.
2. Saving meter throughout the round, this is not always very useful as the opponent may die before you get to the health threshold needed to use DI and leave your meter locked away from being used for other setups to extend pressure, but this can leave your burst safe for future rounds or combo escapes.

After one of these conditions has been met, Ky can transition into thinking about activating Dragon Install.

Activating Into Dragon Install From Neutral

Generally, what Ky needs to do to activate DI safely from neutral is:
1. Approach the opponent. (Get close to the opponents face)

This can be done in many ways, but not all of Kys normal approach options are usable if getting into DI activate is the goal. For example, one of Kys approach options could be from a dash in f.S, which may seem like an obvious option. But the reason an approach with a long range poke like this is not recommended is because once you go for the super cancel into DI, it will almost always whiff or leave you at a position where none of your somewhat fast moves will connect, which is not an ideal spot for DI. Because since you are at low health when getting an opportunity to activate DI, you want to be relentlessly pressuring the opponent if they give you an inch. While DI has very potent neutral, it isnt worth returning to that gamestate due to one hit likely spelling your doom.

Some good candidates for approaches from neutral are:

  • Run up into a blockstring starter (more info on step 2)
  • Gold Burst > run up > Stun Dipper (SD 1st hit connect) > 66RRC This is the most ideal situation to start DI pressure as after the RRC, which skips step 2, allows you to go straight into DI and be smack dab in the opponents face with plus frames. This leaves lots of frametraps on the table that will be elaborated on later.

2. Start a blockstring with an attack that either has an Attack Level of 2 or higher (c.S is recommended) or true blockstring into a normal that has an attack level of 2 or higher from any lower level normal (6P or 2D are recommended to gatling into). A good blockstring starter is your c.S and if you need to continue a blockstring into DI activate then K normals with gatlings behind them should be your go to, the things these 3 normals share is that they are very fast and do not push Ky back very far from the opponent (important for gatlings after K normals), which allows the DI shockwave to hit to gain plus frames and decent spacing afterward.

If starting a DI activate blockstring from a K normal, usually after a Shock State 214K frametrap, then you will need to gatling into either 6P or 2D, as if this is not done, you can be hit with an invincible reversal through the DI shockwave. But if the opponent does not have an invincible reversal available, then using 5K/2K > DI activate is perfectly servicable while also possibly giving you better frametraps afterward.

Doing a meaty DI activate on a knockdown may sound like a good idea, but the opponent will be able to invincible reversal on reaction the DI cinematic, if the opponent does not have one available, then meaty away with DI activate.

Most of these concepts will work as long as you are in range of your light normals when hitting the opponent, but the situation after activation may be harder to capitalize on. This would be due to your fast buttons not reaching at long distances, forcing you to go for wider gaps on offense after DI block.

All of this is entirely ignorable if you have approached with something like Stun Dipper RRC with 1 bar remaining afterwards, as raw activate will leave you closest with the least chance of being pushed back with FD while also likely having an opportunity to frametrap after activating.


3. Cancel into Dragon Install, if steps 1 and 2 were followed correctly, you are now in the opponents face with plus frames! Now how do we make use of all this power?

DI Blockstrings

After Ky has activated Dragon Install successfully close to the opponent, he has an opportunity for frame traps due to the DI shockwave, while also gaining new blockstrings even without using the shockwave.

  • DI ShockwaveGGST Ky Kiske 214214H 1.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    11+1
    Recovery:
    25
    Advantage:
    +4
    > 2K > 2D > (Special)

This is for when you are close to the opponent after the DI shockwave hits, as the DI Shockwave > 2K only has a gap of 2 frames! This means any counter attacks from the opponent will be fruitless, unless an invincible reversal is available for the opponent. Some special move enders include 214S for the pushback and safety on block or 214K for a pressure reset, as in DI the move becomes plus 8 on block!

  • DI Shockwave > 2S > (5H) > (Special)

This is for when you are slightly farther out from the opponent after DI activates, which usually happens if the opponent utilizes Faultless Defense to push you out. 2S is your fastest button at this range, at 10 frames it creates a 6 frame gap on block. The opponent could possibly mash if they are aware of this fact, but this creates a spacing trap and can give Ky a whiff punish if he is ready for the opponent to mash, but the opponent could also press a long range button if Ky expects a short ranged button, in short this leads to a spacing RPSRock Paper ScissorsA situation wherein an attacker and a defender have options that only beat certain responses from their opponent. For example, on wakeup a defending opponent may use a reversal to stop an attacker from using an attack, but the attacker can also block to defeat the reversal. If the attacker blocks, the defender can use the opportunity to take the offensive. that changes depending on the matchup. If the opponent continues to use FD, 5H might not be an option for a frametrap. Notable special enders are 236S for its safety on block at range and 214K for a pressure reset.

Blockstrings Without DI Shockwave

Since the DI Shockwave is only usable once, any further engagements while Ky is in DI force him to go to other options for pressure.

  • 2K > 2D > 214K x infinity

Since Shock State is no longer a factor for Ky, 214K always is a good option to reset pressure, this allows Ky to repeat this string infinitely, if the opponent does not know how to hit 214K during its startup frames, this will do a lot of chip damage to them while also threatening a strike/throw mixup each time 214K connects.

Misc.

5P will not reach some crouch blocking characters, and won't reach most crouching characters in general, which is why it's not used much on offense despite being 1f better on block than 2P. In the cases where it does work, proximity block will cause the opponent holding a block direction to extend their hurtbox and be forced to block 5P. In the cases where it doesn't, the character's blocking hurtbox isn't large enough to touch 5P, so they duck under it.

236S and 236236P can be 6P through for style points or to avoid chip, especially from 236236P if you can't jump it.

  • The timing is very tight, and larger bodied characters have a harder time doing it.
  • If Ky is under dragon install, 236236P will still hit you unless you're close enough to hit Ky.

Fighting Ky

Ky is a well-rounded character, which means that there is no overarching weak point for you to exploit (such as Potemkin's slow movement speed). Counterplay against Ky requires you to learn the ins and outs of each of his moves rather than overwhelming him with a particular strategy.

Foudre Arc (The acrobatic flip-kick)

input name damage guard startup active recovery onBlock invuln
214K Foudre Arc 40 [44] All 24 11 6 -2~+6 [+4~+12] 10-11f Foot
12-28f Below Waist
  • React and hit Ky out of the startup with a 5P/fast normal/reversal.
  • If you block it, stand block to make it negative.
  • After stand blocking, challenge with a 5f normal or jump to escape.
  • If you're in Shock State it's always plus, even on stand block.
  • Midscreen, it will pass over you if you crouch at certain spacings.

Foudre Arc (214K) has a long startup animation. It doesn't hit grounded opponents until frame 27 at earliest, which gives you an opportunity to intercept the move with a 6P, an invincible reversal, or another fast normal. Try to interrupt it if Ky is using it in a predictable manner. If you cant read your opponent's patterns you might be forced to block 214K. In this situation, be sure to stand block it as doing so reduces Ky's frame advantage. On standing block, it's -1, but on crouching block it's always plus. Ky's fastest normals are his 2P and 5P at 5f. You can jump out if he does anything except 5P, which you can block but will be forced back to the ground with.

Foudre Arc Countermeasure Recipe
Character Name Recipe Number Difficulty Notes
PC
Universal Foudre Arc No Shock State Punish 46056 Easy Ky will do a blockstring into 214K and try to continue his pressure with a 2P. You will have to stand block, then counterattack with any 5f normal such as a 2P

Keep in mind that if you block 214K while in Shock State (or Ky is in Dragon Install), he will always be at advantage, even if stand blocked. Therefore, Ky players might be more tempted to go for 214K during the three seconds you're in Shock State (or when he is in Dragon Install). Try to predict the attack and interrupt it!

Vapor Thrust (The invincible reversal) / Ride The Lightning (Charging cinematic super)

input name damage guard startup active recovery onBlock invuln
623S S Vapor Thrust 48 [52] All 11 4 43 -33 1-14f Strike
623H H Vapor Thrust 60 [66] All 13 8 44 -38 1-16f Strike
632146H Ride the Lightning 21×4, 50 [22×4, 60] All 8+1 3×4(20)2 99 -82 1-10f All

Both the S and H versions of Vapor Thrust (VT) have strike invulnerability from frame 1, which means it can be used as a reversal on wake-up. The S version starts up faster at 11f, the H version is slower at 13f. VT can seem rather difficult to deal with when you're attempting offense, but it actually has several exploitable weaknesses. Ride The Lightning(RTL) is another reversal option Ky has, and it covers a lot of VT's weaknesses at the cost of 50% Tension.

  • Bait and punish - The classic bait, useful in that it's not difficult and will beat both VT and RTL. Move in close to trick Ky into thinking you will attack, and then back away. This will allow you to avoid or block the reversal and punish. Backing away will also allow you to whiff punish a throw and stay safe against a jump. However, this option will allow your opponent to initiate a blockstring if they button mash.
  • Throws - VT is susceptible to throws during the startup. Standard throws have a startup speed of 2 frames, which means they will beat anything but a normal 5f or faster, should Ky go for it. Throwing against an opponent's wake-up requires precise timing though, so practice it in training mode (If you keep getting counter hit by VT, you're most likely throwing too early). Keep in mind that RTL has both strike and throw invulnerability, so it will beat your throw attempt.
  • Low-profile - VT's hitbox doesn't hit close to the ground, which allows some characters to get under it using low-profile attacks such as Sol's 2DGGST Sol Badguy 2D.pngGuard:
    Low
    Startup:
    10
    Recovery:
    18
    Advantage:
    -4
    . Explore your character's options. You cannot low profile RTL, however.
  • Meaty OS - Both versions of VT are slow enough to Option Select with fast normals, such as Ky's 5K. When timed correctly, 5K will recover in time to block VT if the opponent used it, and still hit them if they don't. Explore your character's options. Only very specific normals are fast enough to OS RTL, such as Ky's 5K.
  • 6P - Many 6P's will either pass through or clash with VT due to their low profile hurtboxes. For example, May's 6PGGST May 6P.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    12
    Recovery:
    18
    Advantage:
    -7
    will clash with both S and H VT. Ky's 6P will clash with S VT.

Dire Eclat (The lightning turn-slash)

input name damage guard startup active recovery onBlock invuln
214S Dire Eclat 40 [44] All 14 3 25 -8 [-6] none
  • It's always a bit negative on block and is the end of Ky's blockstring without spending resources.
  • You can almost always take back your turn, but Ky can use his DP to stop you from pressing a button on this move.
  • Usually comes at the end of a blockstring, since its timing is somewhat predictable you can aim to IB it so it's much easier to punish hard.
  • Extremely high damage on corner counter hit.
  • Puts you in Shock State on contact.

Dire Eclat (214S) is a common blockstring ender for Ky. Its frame disadvantage on block means that Ky loses his turn. It's -8 on block, and the pushback makes it difficult to punish for most characters. It usually comes at the end of blockstrings, so you can try to predict it and go for an Instant Block. Keep in mind that the range of 214S is somewhat lacking. You could use Faultless Defense on the hits before 214S to make it whiff, giving you a chance to punish.

Because he can special cancel into this move from nearly any normal, it can be very dangerous to mash out of Ky's block pressure. The resulting combo on counter hit can take out well over 50% of your life, even without meter.


Stun Dipper (The slide attack)

input name damage guard startup active recovery onBlock invuln
236K Stun Dipper 20×2 [20, 22] Low, All 5 12(7)3 26 -15 [-10] 1-4f Upper Body
5-16f Above Knees
  • Will go under a lot of attacks.
  • Grants a soft knockdown on hit.
  • Always very negative on block (-15, -10 in SS).
  • Get a <=10f punish so you can deal with the normal and SS version on block, then get a <=15f punish for when it's the normal version.
  • Usually comes at the end of a blockstring to catch jumps when Ky has 50 meter.

Stun Dipper (236K) is fast (5 frames) and can low-profile under many attacks. Lots of Ky players utilize this move to steal their turn back when they are at minus frames or to interrupt defensive options such as jumping back. Should a 236K connect, Ky is rewarded with a soft knockdown. It may make it seem like Ky can't hit you with oki, but he actually has enough time to meaty with normals like 5K, so be careful upon waking up. If Ky uses 236K often, play a bit more patient. Study their patterns and predict the move. The risk-reward ratio of 236K is unfavorable for Ky, as it is -10 on block at best. Therefore, a simple block punish goes a long way for dealing with it. Doing so will force the Ky player to either burn 50% Tension on an RC to make it safe or to use the move less often.

Stun Edge (The projectile)

input name damage guard startup active recovery onBlock invuln
236S Stun Edge 30 [33] All 13 Until Hit Total 46 -15 none
236H Charged Stun Edge 20×3 [22×3] All 39 Until Hit Total 62 +22 [+25] none
j.236S Aerial S Stun Edge 30 [33] All 21 Until Hit Until Landing+10 none
j.236H Aerial H Stun Edge 30 [33] All 21 Until Hit Until Landing+10 none

Using short forward dashes into block is a common strategy to close the gap against projectile users. However, Ky's Stun Edge (236S) will inflict Shock State on the defender even on block. Mix in air dash forward to avoid blocking the move entirely. Don't air dash into aerial attacks recklessly, as he can intercept predictable approaches with 6P or other anti-airs. Air dash into block is essential to make Ky respect your aerial approach. One weakness of all versions of Stun Edge is that it leaves Ky vulnerable to counter hits during the recovery frames. Experiment with your character's options to find a way to exploit this.

Sol: Night Raid VortexGGST Sol Badguy 214S 1.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
15~31 [32]
Recovery:
32 [26]
Advantage:
-17
(214S) can low-profile under Stun Edge and punish the recovery. At long distances, you can use Vortex to punish Stun Edge on reaction.
Ky: Stun DipperGGST Ky Kiske 236K 1.pngGuard:
Low, All
Startup:
5
Recovery:
26
Advantage:
-15 [-10]
(236K) can low-profile under Stun Edge and punish the recovery, though you need to be somewhat close to ensure it will reach.
Axl: RensenGGST Axl Low 46S.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
24
Recovery:
29
Advantage:
-19~-9
([4]6S) will nullify Stun Edge and punish from long distances.
Nagoriyuki: ZarameyukiGGST Nagoriyuki Zarameyuki1.pngGuard:
Mid
Startup:
18
Recovery:
Total 39
Advantage:
+5
(236S) beats Stun Edge, allowing you to deal damage and build Blood Gauge. You can also teleport after shooting the clone for a safe approach. With enough Blood Gauge, 5HGGST Nagoriyuki 5HComparison.pngGuard:
Mid
Startup:
16
Recovery:
27
Advantage:
-14
becomes large enough to contest Stun Edge during the start-up.
Leo: Gravierte Würde'sGGST Leo Whitefang Graviert Wurde.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
10
Recovery:
Total 54F
Advantage:
-16
([4]6S) first hit will absorb Stun Edge, the second hit will continue as normal.
I-No: Stroke The Big TreeGGST I-No Stroke the Big Tree.pngGuard:
Low
Startup:
28
Recovery:
16
Advantage:
-2
(236H) can slide under Stun Edge in neutral, during blockstrings, and punish when at midrange or closer. Ky can counter your predicted Stroke in neutral by using 2SGGST Ky Kiske 2S.pngGuard:
Low
Startup:
10
Recovery:
20
Advantage:
-8

Stun Edge Countermeasure Recipes
Character Name Recipe Number Difficulty Notes
PC
Sol Type of countermeasure: Low Profile: Use 214S to land a counterhit on Stun Edge in its recovery. 45528 Easy Ky will Stun Edge as soon as the recording starts, input Vortex as fast as possible.
Ky Type of countermeasure: Low Profile: Interrupt Ky's blockstring using 236K. 45531 Normal Low profile Ky mid blockstring by interrupting the recovery of his Stun Edge.
Axl Type of countermeasure: Nullification: Cancel out Ky's Stun Edge with [4]6S. 45536 Hard Ky will block for a second or two and then Stun Edge, punish him when you see the Stun Edge startup.
Nagoriyuki Type of countermeasure: Counterhit: Stuff out the Stun Edge startup at long range with 5H. 45539 Hard Ky will crouch block for a second or two and then Stun Edge, Walk forward while he is crouch blocking and then react to the Stun Edge startup with 5H and hit him.
Leo Type of countermeasure: Nullification: Use [4]6S to land a counterhit on Stun Edge during Kys blockstring. 45540 Normal Ky will do a blockstring into Stun Edge, stuff out the Stun Edge mid blockstring.
I-No Type of countermeasure: Low Profile: Use 236H to low profile Ky mid blockstring. 45544 Normal Ky will do a blockstring into Stun Edge, slide under the Stun Edge mid blockstring and counterhit him for a combo.

Another weakness of Stun Edge is that it's -14 on block. This hefty frame disadvantage means that if blocked at close or mid range, it runs the risk of being punished. Experiment with your character's options to find a way to punish it.

Final word of advice: Don't approach Ky if you don't have to! Approaching an opponent always carries risk. If you have a significant life lead, Ky will be forced to approach you or risk losing to the round timer. If Ky keeps shooting at long range despite being at a life deficit, you can jump over the grounded Stun Edge and duck under the horizontal aerial one. Keep doing this until he is forced to switch his strategy to a less favorable one.

Dragon Install

input name damage guard startup active recovery onBlock invuln
214214H Dragon Install 80 [88] All 11+1 5 25 +4 none
  • Is a true blockstring from any of Ky's normals except for 5P/2P/5K/2K, and plus on block afterwards. You can punish the recovery at most ranges if he does it in neutral.
  • Has no invulnerability. If Ky does it close to you outside of pressure, input a reversal during the cinematic super freeze to invul through it and punish.

When transformed:

  • None of Ky's normals change.
  • Ky's grounded forward dash becomes almost as fast as Millia's.
  • Treat Ky's specials as if they're always the Shock State versions. Mainly, this means Foudre Arc (214K)GGST Ky Kiske 214K.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    24
    Recovery:
    6
    Advantage:
    -2~+6 [+4~+12]
    is always plus and Stun Dipper (236K)GGST Ky Kiske 236K 1.pngGuard:
    Low, All
    Startup:
    5
    Recovery:
    26
    Advantage:
    -15 [-10]
    is always -10 rather than -15.
  • Dire Eclat (214S)GGST Ky Kiske 214S.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    14
    Recovery:
    25
    Advantage:
    -8 [-6]
    becomes almost impossible to punish without Instant Blocking due to the increased pushback.
  • Ky's chip damage on all Specials and Overdrives increases significantly. Make sure to use Faultless Defense when low on HP.
  • Watch out for Gold Bursts, which will immediately recoup the tension cost and give him lots of options to work with.

External Resources

SuperKawaiiDesu's air dash FDC guide (Youtube)

Players to Watch

This section has a list of players from different regions you can watch yourself, both to get a good picture of how a good ky plays as well as to pick on certain strategies you might have not found obvious - even if not all of them are the elite force of the character, they can still be presented as good example to study. Note that each player plays the same character differntly, so watching a couple of different players can give you different perspectives and approaches to their gameplan. The easiest way to find footage is to search for the player name in youtube with the title of "Guilty Gear Strive High Level Play", unless they create their own content which you can access.

This is a work in progress so feel free to add players who you think may belong here


NA:

FlashMetroid/flash

Stankboy/stankboys

Kizzie Kay


JP:

Ain

Churara/Tyurara


EU: KR:

Navigation

Ky Kiske