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Taokaka is an extremely mobile hit and run character that uses her movement to stay safe and capitalize on her opponent's mistakes. This mobility makes up for weak defensive options and lackluster pressure by giving Taokaka extremely flexible movement options in neutral. Taokaka's Drive amps up this movement by letting her use an air option to launch herself in various directions. Taokaka has several cancel options from this Drive that give her even more ways to move around the screen.
Taokaka's defense has notable weaknesses; she lacks a meterless reversal, and is tied with the lowest health in the game. On offense, Taokaka has some struggles as well. Many of her strings and options leave gaps that smart opponents can abuse. Used properly, however, Taokaka's offense has several frame traps and staggers she can use to open up the opponent. Depending on her starter, Taokaka can deal solid damage. However, Taokaka's optimizations require tight execution. She also has access to solid mixups, especially in the corner where she has strong crossup potential. Taokaka is a fun character for those seeking high mobility and high paced neutral.
|Lore:||A young beastkin of the Kaka tribe who live in the lower class part of Kagutsuchi. Her coat is equipped with massive paw-like hands that include long, retractable claws. She wants to get back the sky above her village that was sealed off with an enormous plate by humans who came to the land and started building a big city. She left her village in search of someone called Ragna after she heard that you could gain a lot of money for defeating him. She doesn't know it, but she is a descendant of bio-weapons created from one of the six heroes, Jubei.|
|Taokaka is a fragile hit and run character with the most flexible mobility in the game.|
Buffs to Cancels:
- Normal moves can cancel into all other normals (Reverse beats). Tao may only use 2 normals per gatling sequence.
- All normal moves can be jump-cancelled
- Special attacks (except for 63214X) can all be special-cancelled indefinitely on block and on whiff.
- 63214X only cancels into normals
- All Drive attacks are special cancellable on block and on hit.
The shadow clone mimics all of Taokaka's actions, including attacks and movement. On top of Taokaka's additional cancels, the shadow clone assists with linking normals in new ways. The shadow comes with certain limitations, but it is a net bonus for Taokaka.
Shadow Clone Effects:
- Attack damage reduced to 50% for duration of AB2
- Shadow clone mimics anything Tao does with a 12F delay
- Any effect on hit or guard (like float) is reduced by 8F
- If Taokaka whiffs a move, the shadow clone's move will whiff as well
- If Taokaka connects a Low/OH on block, then the clone's hit will count as a mid.
For more information on using Taokaka's Overdrive, see the Strategy section
- Mashable and surprisingly long ranged 5A.
- Slower than the average jab
- Hits crouchers
- Not jump cancellable
Surprisingly enough, this normal is slower than Taokaka's 2A. However, this move is better for stagger pressure because it hits crouchers and has much better frame advantage than 2A.
- Gatlings into 5A
- Limit 2 uses per gatling sequence
- Not jump cancellable
Astonishingly fast move, but with very similar statistics otherwise to 5A. Most characters would have these moves the other way around.
- Standing long ranged jab, one of Tao's best starters, specially given its speed.
- Jump-cancelable on block
- Air unblockable
- Useful for Kara throws
You can cancel this attack early into throw to move yourself slightly forward and extend your throw's range. If 5A/2A/2B are instant blocked, 5C is a natural frame trap. 5C's hitbox is a little odd; it doesn't extend to Tao's claws, but it has a small hitbox in the back.
- Low hitting and faster than Tao's 5A, this is your go-to jab move at close range.
- Faster than the average 2A
- Fairly low profile, can go under a lot of moves.
- While its startup and range is solid, at -4 it's risky using it in stagger pressure
- Low-hitting slide kick move that exchanges range for fast startup
- Very unsafe and puts Tao in the opponent's face so be sure to cancel into something else
- Tao's best starter in terms of raw damage but with worse startup and recovery than 5C.
- High startup makes gatling into 5C a high-reward frametrap
- Vacuums opponent towards Tao
Functionally this move is a great frame trap from just about every ground normal. Depending on the character, 2C sees use in optimized confirms.
- General purpose anti-air, hits twice.
- Good vertical hitbox, but poor horizontal range, making it effective against crossups.
- Second hit is jump-cancelable on block
- Air unblockable
- Launches on CH
Solid antiair. Hits a good area above her
- Relatively slow overhead
- Gatlings from 2A, 5A and 5B
- Fatal counter
- 110% bonus proration
The F invuln starts much earlier than when Tao actually jumps. Without a counterhit, you can combo from it using j.236B > 2A/5B, j.236B whiff cancel, D moves, OD, or Rapid Cancels.
- Tao's best standing poke due to its speed, horizontal hitbox, and recovery
- Moves Tao slightly forward. Gains a little extra distance by holding C
- 6[C] deals more damage, wall bounces at midscreen, and wall splats in the corner. It also Fatal Counters.
- 110% bonus proration
Great move for higher damage combos. Somewhat surprisingly, it can be special cancelled.
- A strange sweep move, hits twice with Tao's claws and then follows with a sweep kick.
- Only the third hit knocks down.
- The third hit will not reach the opponent at long ranges, making 3C very bad as a poke despite the quick startup.
- One of the better j.A moves due to Tao's tiny hurtbox.
- Hitbox does not extend as low as the animation suggests.
This move has very fast recovery, so you can practically air dash immediately afterwards.
- One of the few anti air moves performed in the air
- Also useful in combos when you end up hitting your opponent above you during combos
- Hitbox does not cover the space below Tao's leg very well so it's awkward as a jump-in unless delayed or canceled into
- Very good active frames
Because it covers the area above Tao, it's useful at stopping an opponent's excessive jumping or covering certain jumps.
- Not a high!
- Longest aerial for vertical reach, but limited horizontal reach that also extends behind her
- For when you just need a big hitbox to cover lots of possibilities, j.2B is the move for you
- Beware that this also increases Tao's own hurtbox quite a lot as well
Only aerial that can inherently crossup, but can require high precision. Fairly reliable when forward jumping point-blank or off jump cancels due to limited horizontal movement, though easily stopped by barrier
- Surprisingly good hitbox, good damage and faster than most j.C moves.
- Great air poke, but questionable jump in move.
With good movement and spacing, this move is a good punish when Taokaka is baiting antiairs.
- Low profile starts on Frame 1
- Can be buffered during gapless blockstrings
Not really a move as such, but Tao has the unique ability to move while crouching, which gives her a much lower profile compared to remaining stationary.. Obviously, due to the input you cannot block while doing this (Although you can switch to blocking without delay), so you need to choose between crawling and blocking. Thankfully, because of the buffer you can use this as an OS.
For more information on attacks Taokaka can low profile with crawl, check the resources in the Strategy section
- For reasons known only to Tao, her taunt actually has some active frames and deals some damage. However unlike in previous games where it could actually be used in some combos, this is basically just for... well... taunting your opponent.
- Blows opponent back and causes groundslide
- Wall bounces on CH
Standard forward launching drive, useful in ground combos to keep yourself in range and launches both Taokaka and her opponent into the air
- Launches Tao upwards, making it quicker to go active than simply jumping and attacking.
- Effective pre-emptive anti-air, make them afraid to jump in on you. Even if they block you still have all of your normal drive followup options.
- Tao can be in Sticky Kitty automatically, while holding raw D, if you're near the wall. Doesn't work during combo.
- No longer jumps back before performing the attack like in previous iterations.
- Jumps forward in an arc with Tao basically being one big hitbox during the active part of the move.
- Hold 4 or 6 to make Tao jump closer or farther
- If you B cancel 4D, Tao can airdash cancel her recovery frames.
- A bit like 5D, but with a slight downward angle.
- Only launches airborne opponents
- Wall bounds on CH
- It's a dive claw
- A quick, if somewhat reckless, jump-in move. Useful for catching anti air attacks by attacking earlier than they expect.
- Dives to the ground, dealing damage only to airborne opponents, and does a 2D once reaching the ground.
- Tao is briefly considered grounded as she lands, meaning she can be ground thrown during this time.
- Useful for picking opponents up during a hard knockdown, or to reset your jumps in combos.
- Can only cancel after jumping from the ground
- Like Tao's 2D, but from the air.
Useful for chasing opponents you've knocked upwards or in place for your double jump.
After hitting or being blocked when using a drive move, holding 6 will cause tao to cancel the recovery into a low forward jump of sorts. Useful for chasing down opponents knocked away by drive moves.
- Back Cancel goes backwards, typically used on block to bounce back to safety.
- Can be performed by pressing a back input, or simply doing nothing
- Stops Tao dead during a drive move. Can be used during the startup or active frames of the move, even if it doesn't hit (Allowing you to feint out attacks).
This cancel leaves her at an advantage on hit and -2 on block. This is mostly used to frame trap on hit and is one of the two primary cancels that can be safely done on block/instant block.
- Similar to the A version, except Tao passes through her opponent before stopping.
B cancel makes Tao pass through the opponent, and is heavily negative on block (-5) and on hit it's neutral. If Tao uses the B cancel high enough off the ground she can still perform actions such as air normals and utilize her unused jumps. This cancel is commonly used with 2D and j.8D to create cross-up j.A, j.B, j.2B, and j.C situations. It can also be used in the air to alter her landing and control space. A high B-canceled j.D is advantageous on block due to being able to input j.A before landing making it one of her best air pokes.
- Stops Tao dead after landing a drive move, and pops her upwards a little bit, can be used to cancel the active frames of her drive moves to perform a feint
The C cancel is the second most used on block as it leaves her +2 and she can choose to go for pressure or return to neutral. Another usage it has is with j.4D since j.4D causes Tao to touch the ground, and she can C-cancel this infinitely due to her jumps being refreshed every time she touches the ground. This makes for a very good spacing tool in neutral. It's important to note that despite being +3, since Tao is mid air, she is very susceptible to anti airs.
- Cancels into Drive attacks
- Wallbounces in the corner
Tao pushes the opponent and herself backwards. Most combos involving forward throw cancel immediately into a drive attack
- Can't special cancel
Tao grounds the opponent behind her. To follow up, use a fast normal that can hit grounded opponents (2A, 2B, 5B)
- Izuna drops the opponent behind Tao. Followup with anything relatively fast
Followups are very consistent because Tao and her opponent's always have the same relative positions
When blocking 6A+B
Long-reaching but relatively slow Counter Assault. Uses her 2C animation, so its vertical hitbox is rather lacking.
- Causes hard knockdown on air hit
With all of the ways Tao has to open up opponents, it's unlikely you'll need to use this.
Cat Spirit One!
- Mash or hold A to slash the opponent up to 10 times total.
- Drive cancellable
Used to add damage to ground combos or tack on damage when the opponent decides to use a delayed tech option.
Cat Spirit Two!
- Hold B for up to 5 kicks total.
- Air combo ender
- Can be used as an air poke, as it has longer horizontal reach than Tao's aerials outside of drives
- Retains some of Taokaka's aerial momentum
- Last hit wallbounces at midscreen and wallsplats in corner
A great move in neutral. In combos, however, it's tricky to get all hits to land because the first 4 hits don't vacuum the opponent in. Part of the trick to learning Taokaka is to learn which combos allow you to land this move in full.
Cat Spirit Three!
- Can be delayed on first input, if fully held it becomes an overhead.
- Typically used in crouching confirms, followed by 2D and 5D. Only 4D whiffs.
- If timed well with 2369C right when the 2nd hit connects, it becomes a repeating rekka. Does up to 16 hits. It can be connected with Cat Spirit One, too, if timed well.
- At the end of certain combos if you delay this a bit, the opponent will land behind Taokaka. If this happens, use 8D (Tricky Edge) to bring her back to her original position to get out of corner.
Cat Spirit Encore!
- Low hit that causes knockdown. Requires rapid cancel or counterhit to continue comboing off it. On CH or RC, you can use 2B to combo off it.
- Very long range low. Covers roughly a third of the screen
- Virtually unpunishable when not done point-blank
- Causes opponent to drop a character specific item that Tao eats (no matter what it was). This has no gameplay effect
Kitty Litter Special 
- A and B versions have a set of items Taokaka chooses at random
- A Version items: Doll, Pillow, Bomb, Apple
- B Version items: Fish, Hammer, Baseball
- Pillow bounces for a second hit on block and on hit.
- If the baseball whiffs, it will reappear from the side Taokaka threw it after a short period. The rebound disappears if Taokaka is hit.
- The hammer staggers the opponent on CH
- C Version always throws bowling ball. If Tao is hit while the bowling ball is rolling, it will fall off the screen.
- C version can be charged to make bowling ball hit 3 times instead of 2.
Tao throws out an item of choice. The A and B versions have random items of varying use. The A version always throw an item at an upwards arc, while the B version always throw an item in a straight line.
Good to throw out at fullscreen to annoy your opponent, or cover an approach in the case of the pillow and bowling ball. The pillow bounces after making contact and then falls to hit the opponent again, so it can keep people trapped better than the other items.
- Jumps over the opponent when relatively close. Requires delaying aerials fairly long for them to autocorrect.
- Quickly becomes actionable once she's in the air.
A faster and more aggressive forward jump, for when you just need some more mobility. Opens up an easy crossup with j.2B when the opponent is mostly cornered. After most long combos in the corner, if you do 3C(2) > 214D, she may end behind the opponents for a surprise crossup.
j.214D (at edge of screen)
- Tao grabs the side of the wall with her claws and slides down.
- Release the D button to stop clinging to the wall
- Press 6 to leap away from the wall. This does not count as an air option.
- Used mainly for ambiguous corner cross-ups
If Taokaka is in the corner, this move is a good option. It's a good way to reach a space that's hard to contest. If Tao is near the wall facing her, holding the D button after a Drive move (except for 5D and 4D) will automatically start Auto-Sticky-Kitty on that side. If used this way, it will not activate if the opponent is in blockstun or hitstun.
- Tao jumps to the wall behind her and then leaps at her opponent.
- Treated as a Drive attack, and therefore has all of her Drive move's cancels
- Depending on the jump input's direction (7D and 9D for left and right corners, respectively), you can jump to different sides.
- If you hold 2 after 8D, Tao will launch to the ground, instead at the opponent, cancelling it. It's good for some setups.
- This is also treated as a Drive attack.
- Tao must reach the wall before launching her attack, giving it an obvious startup at midscreen but an incredibly short startup when her back is to the wall.
Paired with 214D, you can use this move and it's cancels for crossups, especially when you jump towards your opponent when they're in the corner.
22C (Can be Held)
- Can be used for sudden chip damage to end a round
- Can cancel into Drive on hit or block
- Unlike other "22" moves, this doesn't need opponent to be downed before using it in a combo.
- The claws can absorb projectile moves, though it's not entirely reliable.
Downed move designed to force your opponent to emergency tech after a hard knockdown. Also great for just having loads of active frames and putting up a barrier of pain in front of you. It's also convenient for preventing certain rushdown moves.
Hexa Edge 
- Big Damage ground combo ender.
- Can be used as an emergency reversal.
- Can be rapid cancelled on all hits.
Imma Beat The Crap Outta You 
- Command throw.
- Jumps from Tao's position to her opponent (Maximum range isn't quite fullscreen).
- Unblockable, but fails on crouching or superjumping opponents. It can hit aerial opponents only at normal jump height.
- Mainly used reactively against zoners.
- Can only rapid cancel the last hit
- Full invincibility until she lands.
Great surprise unblockable given the distance it covers and the arc Taokaka jumps in. However if you use it when your opponent is grounded and not currently performing a move, they'll just duck and score a free counterhit on you since it leaves Tao at point blank range and completely exposed if it fails to hit.
If the opponent jumps back and does a low air attack, similar to Tao's j.C, you can still use this move to punish.
- P2 only applies once for the entire move
- If you rapid cancel the 1st hit, Tao will land on the ground, but her opponent will have full Invincibility frames until they recover.
- Switches sides.
- Distortion ender
Good combo ender, but absolutely terrible if whiffed. The end of the combo switches sides, so you have to be mindful of your positioning afterwards.
Kaka Clan Hospitality!
ABCD during Overdrive
- Does not cost Heat, but immediately ends Overdrive if used.
- Becomes stronger and flashier with Active Flow.
- Behaves like all other Exceed Accels.
- Easy to punish on block
- Switches sides if Taokaka's back is close to the corner
One of Tao's only meterless reversals. It has short range and lacks strong pushback, so some characters can punish this even on Barrier block. The side switch will trigger when Taokaka's back is up to about a half screen away from the corner, so you can use it to get much better positioning.
Attack Meow Pow!
- Tao jumps to the middle of the wall behind her, activates the Astral super pause, and then dives to the floor, covering about 3/4 of the screen. If the dive hits, the Astral will play out.
- Somewhat awkward input and attack execution makes this very awkward to combo into.
- Can bait out jump in attacks, like Trick edge
Someone wonky Astral given its input and animation. Its input is very close to Trick Edge, so it's not uncommon to accidentally get that attack instead of your Astral. Without Overdrive, she can only combo into it from certain moves (j.236B, 5DA and [6C]). You can also combo into it if you set up a bowling ball with good timing with 6A > 2C > 6C.
With Overdrive all previous moves, including Cat Spirit One and Slashy-Slashy work. You can even combo into it from her Taunt to troll your opponents. If you want to combo and end with her Astral, you'll usually need to Overdrive. Otherwise, it's likely her Astral will whiff and you'll be punished big time.
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