Your favorite special Your favorite counterhit Your favorite combo ender
Sickle Flash > 8 or 9
|Spinning Chain Strike
Sickle Flash > 2 or 3
Sickle Flash (or "Rensengeki", usually abbreviated "Rensen"), a long three-hit chain projectile, is the move that defines Axl as a character. It has a relatively quick startup, a hitbox that reaches all the way to the floor, projectile-absorbing up to three hits, and almost full screen range, which makes it a strong tool for stopping any ground approaches.
- Knocks down on hit, though in longer combos (eg. antiair normals into TK Bomber, 5P > Rensen) the opponent may be able to recover before hitting ground.
- Loses to pre-emptive IADs, especially IAD YRC which slows the time too much for the follow-ups to even come out. Also, mind the unsafe range against moves like Bandit Bringer and Megafist.
- The hurtbox extends forward a lot, so for neutral footsies try to use it only after fast pokes like 5K or f.S when in close range.
- Can be YRC'd for a great pressure and neutral tool which puts a grounded opponent in long blockstun and lets you react to jumpers with 6K.
- Rensen hitting on later frames (ie. further away) gives you a better frame advantage; don't autopilot into up-followup unless you really want to push them back.
- Because of the startup and travel time of the projectile, connecting a Rensen without a gap in blockstrings can be difficult; beware of moves like Pot's F.D.B, Slayer's teleport dash, and Chipp's Zansei Rouga.
- Thanks to Xrd's lenient charge buffer, Rensen can be done after microdash (input being 66S) for additional horizontal reach, though it obviously makes the startup significantly longer.
- Pushback doesn't work in corner since it's a projectile (ie. it only pushes the opponent away from yourself, not yourself away from the opponent); doing Rensen or any of its followups on block in corner is easily punished.
Melody Chain ("Kyokusageki") is mostly used to prevent opponents from jumping over a Rensen to get in, but can also put them in an unfavorable position to tech after a hit.
- Counter hit gives full untech time until knockdown, which means a free combo followup with 6K or run c.S/6P.
- When the opponent jumps over a Rensen, this creates an important 50:50 situation:
- Opponent can bait your up follow-up with a doublejump and punish your huge whiff recovery after the fall. They can also use FD to be at no risk, but it obviously costs tension.
- If you do nothing, you are vulnerable for the regular jump-in, but if they doublejumped, you'll recover in time for antiair stand-by against a very predictable trajectory (excluding some characters like Chipp, Millia, Kum).
- Canceling into it from Rensen on hit allows the opponent to tech (ie. loses the knockdown of regular Rensen hit), but you can use 6K, 5P, 2S and 6P to try to catch them after a tech for a new combo.
- Can be RRC'd for easy big damage combos; there is enough untech time to wait for the RC proration to cool off, which also works well for baiting bursts.
- If a normal hit connects when the opponent is very close (ie. very meaty) as an antiair or in pointblank corner combos, you can link into 5P if they are not too high above.
- Can be slightly delayed for creating more pushback in a blockstring or combo (also lowers combo height for the post RRC parts making a knockdown easier), though it's still easy to IB for -17 disadvantage.
Spinning Chain Strike ("Sensageki") provides a more damaging knockdown option in the corner, and even in midscreen for specific characters.
- Although it's the only non-projectile form of Rensen, it's still easily punished by making it whiff with FD pushback, so use very cautiously on block.
- Can be used to surprise opponents who refuse to keep blocking low on Rensen and it's follow-ups (eg. trying to hold up-back for a jump or forward for immediate closing in).
- Good alternative for the final TK Bomber in corner combos, but connecting succesfully can be quite character specific because of different wieght and hurtbox combinations.
- Amount of successful hits and the timing of knockdown varies greatly between different hurtbox types; the closer you are, the easier it is for all the hits to connect.
- If the opponent is too far away, the later hits may hit OTG and allow the opponent to tech, Faust being a prime example who falls off and OTGs really easily.