The following video guide is good if you want to incorporate a few new ideas on moving around with Bullet, or if you need a refresher on the character: General Tips and Tricks for neutral.
The TL;DR Version (For Beginners)
Basic Gameplan: Build Heat, Make People explode. Rinse and repeat as needed.
- Bullet's anti-air is 6B. Great vertical range, terrible horizontal range.
- Bullet's best poke is 2B.
- Bullet's jump-in is j.C. It's not jump cancellable on block.
- Bullet's reversal is Cutting Sheer (623B). It's slow and has bad range.
- Use Crossfire Wheel (360B) to keep people guessing on defense.
- Flint Shooter (236A) is a good way to force people to approach
Bullet deals a lot of burst damage but has a hard time getting in. Bullet's big damage comes from Heat, so you need to manage it carefully. More Heat = Better Combos = Better Damage. Thankfully, you don't have to dash in 24/7. At Fullscreen, use Afterburner (214D) and Flint Shooter (236A) to force people to approach. Her dash is risky to use at closer ranges, so sometimes it's best to play it safe and forward jump and hold barrier to approach slowly. Against zoners, use super jump barrier at fullscreen in order to block and move forward safely. Against rushdown characters you can rely on 2B to low profile most moves and poke them. Bullet isn't great when defending against pressure, so sometimes you have to just sit and block. Bullet's Overdrive is very good, so it's best to use it instead of Burst most of the time. Neutral is rough sometimes, but Bullet's pressure is solid and she can deal good damage off of many hits. During Bullet's pressure, the biggest threat she provides is a counterhit or a C starter, because they can lead to absurd damage.
General Ideas/Gameplan In Detail (For Intermediate Players)
As stated in the overview, Bullet is a high damage character with a unique resource, Heat. Her offense is backed up with 2 standing overheads, a great low profile in the form of 2B, and a command grab. She's a simple character with a low execution barrier and grounded neutral. Bullet's main goal is to catch her opponent, build heat, and use it to make her opponent explode. Bullet's main problem is the first step. Many of Bullet's tools make it difficult for her to approach: Her stepdash has a very small window to cancel into barrier (3 frames!), so her dash is a much higher commitment than most other characters. Her projectile, Flint Shooter, is solid against zoning but doesn't clash against many projectiles. She also lacks fullscreen options to contest many spaces. Her other problem is staying in once she's gotten to her opponent. Most of her pressure resets have large gaps that lose to mashing or reversals. Thankfully, the threat of taking massive damage keeps opponents in check.
With all that being said, many people assume Bullet that needs to rush in and build heat. In reality, Bullet plays a relatively defensive neutral. Bullet has a few tricks up her sleeve to help her survive neutral. Her B normals are great pokes and counterpokes, and 2B in particular low profiles a disgusting amount of pokes. Despite her limited movement, her air buttons also keep her from becoming dead weight if she's forced to jump. j.B and j.C have solid hitboxes and both lead to good reward. J.D is a particularly good button because she can use it to air stall, and with heat it becomes fully invuln during the travel. You can also special cancel from j.D, so you have many options on hit. Bullet also has high health so she can afford to take stray hits in neutral. The cherry on top, of course, is the fact that she has absurd burst damage that can completely change the momentum of a match. This means that Bullet needs to make the most off of any straight hit.
Bullet's first objective in neutral is to either secure a good knockdown or build a level of heat. Depending on the matchup she can play aggressively and dash up with 5B/2B, or she can back off and try to build Heat with Afterburner (214D). In certain matchups, using Afterburner is risky because you can get hit with a projectile move during recovery, and some characters have full screen options to call it out. Afterburner in neutral is more or less making a read on your opponent's intentions. On the other hand, just about every knockdown leads into Heat. The main problem is that her most common knockdown (2C) has terrible frame advantage if you cancel into Afterburner. This means that Bullet needs to commit to cover very few wakeup options at a time. Generally speaking, there are times where Bullet has to prioritize between getting heat and getting a good knockdown. This decision making varies from matchup to matchup. There are no hard and fast rules to this, but a good rule of them is to gauge your needs based on the strength of your opponent's neutral. Most people would prioritize knockdown against characters who can abuse Bullet's neutral like Relius, Hazama, or Rachel. Again, these aren't hard and fast rules and they will vary with each character and each player. Keep in mind that knockdowns without Heat are inherently less scary for Bullet's opponents.
Most of Bullet's pressure is built on her command grabs and staggers. With heat, her command grab is particularly good because she can use its followup for good damage and oki, on top of maintaining heat. After using command grab, your opponent may be inclined to start mashing or fuzzy jumping. This is where stagger pressure comes in. Her 5B and 2B are great normals to stagger with because of their range and speed. She can call out fuzzy jumps with a delay 2B, or bait them into fuzzy jumps by resetting pressure on 5B or 2B. With heat, she can also dash cancel on 5B and 6B to stick to her opponent, though this loses to mashing. She can also stagger from her 5C. 5C is minus -1 on block, so you can catch people mashing if you delay a 2C after it. If your opponent decides to play more passively, you can reset pressure with 2A or charged Flint, or simply walk up and command grab. In addition, with meter she can opt to use her command grab super, Serpentine Assault. Bullet is completely invulnerable until the screen flash, and the hitbox becomes activate on Frame 0. If your opponent did not jump or input a throw invuln move before the flash, they will get hit immediately after it. At H2, this super does absurd damage. With the right setup, you can buffer this super and catch your opponent out. On top of these options she has two standing overheads, 6A and 6D. 6A can gatling off of 2B and 5B normals and her other A normals. While it does have poor range, it's a good tool to mix in. Try experimenting by using it in different places. 6A is particularly good for when your opponent doesn't fuzzy jump nor Barrier much. You can also do limited high/low mixups with it because her 2B and 2C are both lows. On block, though, 6A isn't good because it has very limited cancel options. Bullet's other standing overhead is 6D. The main benefit is that it always leads to good damage, and it shares the same startup animation as 2D (a low), making it a 50/50. 2D/6D can catch overwhelmed people, but they both lose to jump back barrier and reversals. Coupled with a slow startup and lack of cancels on block, these moves are much more risky in pressure. With heat they are safer because they become +4 on block, but you still can't cancel into anything. It's important to gauge your opponent's defensive behaviors. Getting greedy during your pressure means your opponent either escapes to neutral, they start their pressure, or they get a hit.
Bullet has a hard time dealing with most characters' pressure. Her reversal, Cutting Sheer, is embarrassingly slow and has a terrible hitbox. Its saving grace is that its engage switches sides. Bullet's 6B is a solid tool for calling out jump-ins, but the horizontal hitbox is lacking so she has a hard time dealing with shallow jump-ins and opponents who place themselves directly above and behind her. All of this means that Bullet often relies on defensive system mechanics like Instant Barrier and Overdrive. Thankfully, her 2B's low profile compliments good Instant Barrier usage and her strong damage potential on counterhits can make a well timed Overdrive turn the tables. Bullet's Exceed Accel has a good vertical hitbox so it can catch people jumping in recklessly, and it also switches sides, so she can suddenly swing the momentum. OD also works well with Serpentine Assault (720A). 720A already has invuln during the startup, and Bullet can pair that with Overdrive to buffer the input. Additionally, the Heat gain from Overdrive guarantees at least one followup from 720A.
As a general rule of thumb, these blockstrings aren't something to be married to. Showing different options and different stagger points are important in every match. Blockstrings also change depending on the the players fighting, the opposing character, and the current game state. GCOD and CA in particular can change how people structure pressure. The following blockstrings are some of the simpler examples given in this Pressure guide by KDing:
"..." Denotes you can do whatever you want as long as it leads to the first listed button. E.g for "...5C > 2C", using "5A > 5B > 5C > 2C" is acceptable, as is "2A > 5B > 5C > 2C" and so on.
... > 5C > 2C
- Only -2 and unless the opponent instant blocks you should be around optimal 2B poke range which can beat out a lot of other characters buttons even at -2.
- 2C after 5C can be delayed by a lot, use this to catch jumpouts or mash attempts.
- on counterhit 2C > 6D works as a combo for immense damage.
- Dies to OD after 5C as 2C takes a long time to finish.
... > 5C > Microdash 2A/2B/360B
- 5C is only -1 and moves Bullet close to the opponent, on top of that she can greatly delay it into 2C to catch lows or mashing for giant reward or into 6C.
- The microdash is not necessary for 2A/2B but puts you closer, it is necessary for 360B though.
- Pretty safe reset since most opponents are conditioned fast not to mash vs Bullet.
… > 5C > 2C > 236[A] > microdash 2B/5B/5D
- 236[A] is +3 on block, but the pushback is pretty big making it hard to follow up midscreen.
- Is a pretty strong pressure reset option in the corner since opponents have to guess between the charged version and uncharged version if they don't have OD.
- Microdash 5D can catch opponents that try to jumpout after a blocked flint mid screen
… > 5B/6B > Dash cancel
- Gives the opponent 20 frames to react with a jump/mash/dp etc so its rather risky.
- Puts you in perfect range for command grabs.
- Not reccomended for the corner as better pressure reset options are available there. At midscreen it's the best way to set up for command grabs however.
… > 5C > 720A
- Super easy to buffer the 720 during 5C.
- Easy to set up.
- Predictable, but jumping after 5C risks getting swatted by delayed 2C.
For a more in depth overview of Bullet's oki, check the guide here:
Most of Bullet's oki revolves around trying to optimize for some combination of heat, damage, and frame advantage. Bullet's best oki almost always comes out of j.D > ender. j.D gives Bullet a Heat Up Level and also gives great frame advantage even on some special cancels. Afterburner in particular becomes much more useful because you quickly gain 2 Heat while maintaining great frame advantage. Cutting Sheer (623B) is an exception because the frame advantage is the same regardless of doing j.D beforehand.
- Leads to safe jump
- In corner, can catch rolls with instant j.[D]
Bullet's gets great oki off of Cutting Sheer/DP. It gives her great frame advantage to check for different tech options and leads into her safe jump. To perform her safe jump, input 9 > j.A > j.C. This will cause Bullet to jump forward and whiff j.A, then j.C while falling. The j.A is to help time the j.C consistently. If your opponent emergency techs and reversals, Bullet will block it (with very few exceptions). If your opponent mashes or crouches, they'll get hit with j.C. If your opponent decides to block, then Bullet gets to start her pressure. Either way, it's a favorable situation. Keep in mind that j.C will whiff on delay emergency tech and forward roll.
- Easy, consistent knockdown
- Usually done for Afterburner oki. Gives a heat level, but with minimal frame advantage.
You often use Afterburner (214D) to grab Heat after a 2C knockdown. 2C > Afterburner is extremely consistent and easy to get. The problem is that 2C > Afterburner has terrible frame advantage. Bullet's opponent can use many tech options to escape pressure with little to no risk. Bullet has to commit hard to beat out only one or two options. A quirk of Afterburner oki is that you have much better frame advantage if you hit an airborne opponent with 2C(1) or 3C beforehand.
It's often better to try and combo in to j.D if you have the resources available. j.D > Afterburner leaves you at H2 and with frame advantage. You can use the frame advantage to command grab them on wakeup, or 2A and check for delay techs.
- Special Cancel gives many oki options
- In the corner, 214D cancel can be buffered into 720A to catch rolls
Arguably Bullet's best ender. The special cancels give Bullet some flexibility on her offense. She can cancel into Sheer to set up a safe jump, cancel into 41236C > Brake to time a command grab, 214D to get another heat level or not cancel at all. j.D no cancel has the best frame advantage and is also crucial if a combo has prorated too much to get a knockdown from Cutting Sheer. In the corner, 214D can be buffered into 720A to catch rolls for massive unburstable damage. This works by buffering 720A such that Bullet walks back slightly so that 720A will reach and catch either roll. 720A will autocorrect for forward roll, and Bullet will reach forward far enough to catch back roll.
Tips and Tricks
- Use j.D to stall air momentum
- Bullet's ground buttons have great frame trap applications. Try staggering and resetting pressure in different places!
- j.D is Overdrive Cancellable. You can close some rounds with j.D > OD > 2363214C
- Overdrive is a great way to reduce heat requirements and build momentum
- You can also use Overdrive to chase zoners, deal high damage, to quickly gain Heat, or to make some confirms unburstable. The Heat Level it gives and its high damage potential make it a great comeback factor.
- 2B is an amazing low profile move. Use it to counter poke! With the right spacing, it can beat infamous pokes like Ragna 5B.
- Microdash > Barrier Brake (66 > 4A+B) is extremely difficult to do consistently on Bullet because of her stepdash. Try doing dash > jump > barrier or super jump > barrier instead. This is easier to execute and still safely moves Bullet forward
- Characters with dominating neutral (e.g Relius) naturally counter Bullet
- Bullet's pressure suffers particularly hard from IBB and Barrier
- Use super jump j.A or super jump air throw in order to beat out j.D stall usage.
- 6D/2D mixup is often very fake, you can up-back Barrier on reaction or just reversal outright.
- Her DP has terrible horizontal and vertical range. You can bait it out in many ways e.g jumping, or hitstop OS.
Sometimes it's best to play risk averse vs Bullet and simply cut down her options. Bullet's neutral and lack of strong approaches are major weakness. Keeping her at bay and forcing her to play the aggressor is often a great strategy.
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