BBCF/Naoto Kurogane/Strategy

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General Tactics

There are several guides for starting out.

The TL;DR Version (For Beginners)

Important Moves

  • 2C: Antiair
  • 5A: Hits crouching opponents
  • 5AA: Frame trap, pressure extension, keeps Naoto in.
  • 623D: Meterless reversal. One of the best in the game.
  • 6A: Standing overhead
  • 6B: Great button to call out 2A mashing
  • 5[D]: Poke tool
  • 214D: Fast callout tool at midrange

Naoto is an excellent rushdown character who uses a variety of offensive options to open up his opponent. On offense, his 5A can hit crouchers, and he also has a 2A low. His 5AA is an excellent pairing with his 5A. In addition, Naoto's 6A is a good standing overhead that he can combo from for great corner carry and damage. 6B is a solid button to his kit that calls out mashing and throw attempts. In neutral, Naoto's goal is to stay close enough to threaten with enhanced specials like Slash Kaid or chip away at the opponent with fully charged Drive attacks. In defense, Naoto's 2A is a great low profile that can beat out certain attacks. Naoto's 623D is outright one of the best reversals in the game. It has great range, it's fast, and when rapid canceled allows Naoto to transition right into pressure. Naoto can stay at a midrange until he finds an opening, and then blow up his opponent for making any mistake.

General Gameplan In Depth (For Intermediate Players)

Take a look at This Advanced Guide for an in-depth look at Naoto. This section goes over some of these concepts more in depth



The key normals you want to use are 5B, 2C, and 2A
By using normals such as 2A to low profile air normals meant to hit a standing hurtbox you can press frame advantage and look to whiff punish or target landing recoveries
If you do this often enough, the opponent will be forced to start making deeper jump-ins, which will greatly increase the success rate of your 2Cs.

Ground Footsies:

Naoto is a mobility character. This means that you’re best rewarded when you stuff extended hurtboxes (startup) and whiff punish retracting hurtboxes (recovery), rather than challenging pokes head on
With that in mind, you want to play around:
Dashing 2B/3C - ate-waza
Waiting 3C/5C - oki-waza
Reactionary Sway/6B - sashi-kaeshi


Naoto has a plethora of reversals and half attribute invul moves that can be used on wakeup and in response to opponent's offense
f1 full invul reversals that will beat high commit meaties on wakeup include:
623D Inferno Crusader (air OK) - standard meterless option; fantastic startup and hitbox, but can be airdashed over before actives kick in.
632146B Divine Smasher (air OK) - horizontal reversal (startup only; projectile invul travel)
632146D Divine Reaper - 13f startup, most invul of the three options and great range. Will stuff backdashes on your wakeup to bait DP.
6AB in blockstun - Standard CA. Fantastic vertical/horizontal hitbox, hardest to bait and difficult to stuff. 
f1 half attribute invul moves that have situational uses:
214A Shift Sway - Loses to throws and foot attribute moves, is used as a neutral first response to gain frame advantage by making zoning attempts whiff, and potentially DCing into followups to press further advantage. Phantom Pain, its followup is not invulnerable to projectiles despite Sway carrying projectile invul. Invul on both moves start from frame 1.
6B - The complete opposite of Shift Sway, this carries invul against F attribute and throws only, starting from frame 5 instead of frame 1.


Staggering pressure using jabs is Naoto's specialty, and consist of 5A, 5AA, 2A, and 6B
2A makes 5f 5As whiff, 6B beats all 2As. 5AA beats mashing and trades in your favor anyway if you mess up. Establish hitbox threat
All A normals cancel into throw. 6B is throw invul and -1 on block. If they raw throw tech, they die. If they throw OS, you’re +/-0 on block. Establish throw threat
Everything is -1 or -2. That means they’re neutral/-1 on barrier. Make them regret barriering
5AA’s throw cancel will be most likely to connect after being IB’d
Outside of the A gatling table, 5B and 5C both have jump cancel windows. If they are barriering you out, you can attempt to reset pressure with IAD, Drives, or Dash Cancels


  • 5A>Stagger 5A>2A>2A>2B>5C>(5D)>Kaid
  • 5A>5AA>5B>6B>Rekka(1)>2A>...
  • 5A>5A>2B>5B/C>IAD j.A>j.C>2A>2B>Delay 5B>6B>Kaid/Rekka(1)/Wait
  • 5A>2A>5A>5B>2B>3C>Rekka(1)/Kaid
  • 5A>Stagger 5A>2B>Delay 5B>5C>5D>2D>Wait...
  • 2A>2A>5A>Stagger 5A>5B>5C>5D>Kaid/(5Ddc>EnRekka(1)
  • 2A>2A>2B>5B>6B>Rekka(1)>2A>...
  • 2A>2A>2B>5C>2D>Rekka(1)/Sway
  • 2B>5B>IAD j.A>j.B>2A>5C>5D>6D>Sway
  • 2A>5B>665B>5C>Jump Barrier>j.A>...
  • 2A>2B>2A>5B>jump back>j.D/j.[D]
  • 5A>2A>2B>5C>5/2D>Wait...
  • 5A>Stagger 5A>5AA>5B>(5/2C)>Jump Barrier>falling j.B>j.C
  • 2A>5A>Stagger 5A>5C>IAD j.B>j.C
  • 5A>Stagger 5A>5AA>5C>IAD j.B>j.A>5A>2B>5C>2D(>Sway)
  • 2A>5A>5AA>5C>5D>Sway>66>EnRekka(1)
  • 5A>5A>5AA>5C>5D>2Ddc>EnRekka(1)>...
  • 5A>2A>2A>5B>2B>2D>5Ddc>EnRekka(1)
  • 5A>5A>2A>5A>5C>5D>6D>j.D/j.[D]
  • 6B>Delay 6B>Rekka (1)>2A>5A>...

Note: Naoto's blockstrings can be varied/altered in response to your opponent's blocking habits (taking into account Instant Block and Instant Barrier as well as a few other instances)

- In relation to the above note, Waiting after a drive is also acceptable due to all his drives being -2, and -1 on barrier. This essentially means that you dont have to force yourself to the commitment of Dash Cancelling or Sway>Dash Rekka.

- Naoto also has the blessing of a gatling back into 6B from 5B and 5C. 6B gatling from 5B and most importantly 5C makes his pressure even stronger and more versatile due to the options available after. Either going into 2A to low profile certain DPs or to low profile most 5A Abare attempts. On Barrier 6B is 0 and 5C>Delay 6B on barrier can be up to +1 depending on spacing

- Waiting after certain strings, mainly drive enders or delay sweep is also rather strong as it allows you to defend against options that your opponent could make in anticipation to you over extending your pressure

- Reminder

  • 5D/2D>EnRekka(1) is -3 on block with it being -2 on barrier block, -1 on Air block and +/-0 on Air Barrier as well as only having a 1-2f gap. Blowing up most non invuln mash attempts as well as up-backing.
  • 5C>5D being a 2f gap
  • 5C>2D being a 4f gap
  • 5D>2D being a 2f gap
  • Most importantly 2D>5D being absolutely un-mashable, having a 0f gap


For Okizeme situations, Naoto Relies on a few options in knockdown situations

  • (66)2A
  • (66)2B
  • j.B off Pain safejump

These options all cover the basic situations, but the ones notated with (66) are mainly to punish roll attempts into full confirms which makes an already risky option such as rolling, even riskier against Naoto. (66)2A/2B can catch forward roll attempts as they try to pass through him and j.B not only catches rolls but can catch delay tech as well. In an instance 2A/2B whiff Naoto can still be on top of his opponent, thus keeping them within his effective range and can put them back into the same knockdown situation.

Tips and Tricks

Input Shortcuts

  • Enhanced Banishing Fang: 2366B
  • Enhanced Inferno Crusader: 6623C/D
  • Enhanced Distortions: 6321466B/D
  • Distortions out of Sway: 63214A66B/D
  • Enhanced Fang out of 2D: 2[D]366B
  • Enhanced Inferno out of 6D: 6[D]623C/D
  • Astral out of Shift Sway: 214A2366C
  • Tiger Knee'd Air Super: Input a full circle + B (6321496B). Used occasionally in double Distortion routes outside of Overdrive.
  • Enhanced Crusader on wake up: 63263D

Sway OS
Input is 2A (meaty) > 2B > 214A > 8A~C. OS is theoretically safe against an opponent unable to reversal faster than 12 frames

  • 2A is done meaty with the buffered input above
    • If the opponent does not reversal, the input buffer will cancel 2A into 2B > 5C since the entire Sway > Phantom Pain input is performed before 2B is cancellable
    • If the opponent reversals, 2A will whiff safely during the reversal start up. The 2B will not come out since 2A cannot be cancelled. Sway > Phantom Pain comes out and punishes the DP.

Fighting Naoto

Fighting Naoto relatively boils down to

  • Having options that disallow him to function at his full potential/use certain tools that would be a boon in other MU's (i.e: Neutral/controlling air space)
  • Being able to out neutral him and forcing him to make higher risks to get into a position where he operates best in
  • Handling and knowing your way around Rekka RPS, Such as Fuzzy Jump against Delay Enrekka strings
  • Being Arakune, which is the above three options exemplified on top of having a bad Hurtbox, making offense rather difficult--

When Defending against Naoto, your best friend in all honesty is System mechanics. Knowing what and when to Barrier, Utilizing IB against Rekka among other things. Being wary about his options/tools in situations on defense is also essential, mainly against Rekka and his Drive Pressure.

Firstly speaking about defending against him. Instant Block is actually one of if not the best option you have against Rekka more so than anything. Instant Blocking 1st Rekka makes it -6 instead of -3 thus heightening the risk of Rekka follow ups but still being apart of the RPS as a whole. What this does is allow the use of reversals if the Naoto continues the rekka after the first, either going into 2nd Rekka or potentially 2A/6B. If he doesn't continue, it can be your turn if you mash 5/2A against him, but keep in mind the RPS is still there.

In neutral, if a Naoto player Poorly spaces Enhanced Kaid, not only is it -7 but you're guaranteed a punish on instant block.

Against Drives it is a bit riskier due to them being -2. However, if there is a commitment into EnRekka from Sway Dash Cancel there is a 1-2 Frame gap as to where you can mash any invuln reversal or potentially mash, however the latter option carries far more risk.