In neutral, Captain Ginyu is defined by his use of the elite Ginyu Force. Being a very versitile tool for Ginyu, cycling through the force efficiently is vital.
The Ginyu Force can be summoned from anywhere on screen, and can be cancelled into from normals and specials. The most common scenario in which you should use your summons is after a hard knockdown. The knockdown gives Ginyu the time to start pressure on the opponent by taking up valuable screen space. One of the most important aspects of the summons is knowing when to summon. A common mistake among new players is jumping high into the air before doing a summon. While Ginyu can get away with doing this sometimes, other times, Ginyu becomes an easy target for superdash confirms. The general gameplan is using assists to cover summons, or using summons to cover other summons.
Ginyu Force Summons in Neutral
The best summon for each scenario will vary depending on the situation, but some are better suited for neutral than others. Below is a list of all available summons and their uses in neutral, broken down by character.
Guldo's 5S is a fast projectile with high priority. As such, it can be used in neutral with relative safety to call another member of the force. The opponent must beat the projectile with a beam, otherwise it will find its target. It also cannot be superdashed through, further adding to its effectiveness. The tracking also serves to make the move safe, locking down an opponent who might try approaching.
Guldo's 236S and 214S are mostly reserved for okizeme and corner situations and offer little of value midscreen due to their short range and relatively low blockstun. Along with being slightly slower than 5S, it's not a move that should be thrown out regularly. 214S in particular offers a tiny bit of potential as the hitbox for the freeze effect extends past Ginyu a small amount. This can catch an opponent attempt to superdash punish your summon, but this is not often the case.
Recoome's 5S is the signature Recoome Kick. It offers some potential in neutral due to the wall bounce it grants on hit. In addition, it offers great ground coverage and ki blast invulnerability. The trade off for the train-like nature of the attack is its lack of vertical coverage. If an opponent can react to Recoome's fighting pose, they can jump over the hitbox of the attack (which starts as early as frame 37). Offers some utility, but not nearly as useful as some other summons.
Recoome's 236S is an oppressive on-demand beam that shuts down the entire floor of the stage. Sporting a whopping 45 active frames, making an opponent block this leads to a terrifying mix-up situation and lets Ginyu get the party started. Pair this with Burter's 236S or a ground-to-air assist to lock down the opponent's entire movement game.
Recoome's 214S is the iconic Recoome Ultra Fighting Miracle Bomber. This moves comes out in a blazing 350 frames. Being that slow, no opponent is realistically going to get hit by this unless comboed into it or their controller disconnects. DO NOT use this in neutral, for Recoome will get stuffed before the move can ever come out. If (for some reason) this move connects, prepare for the easiest conversion of your life.
Burter's 5S is a swift flurry of kicks that vertically tracks the opponent's movement. It is mostly used as a swift poke when it comes to neutral, having a 9 frame start up. It is a low risk move that can disrupt the opponent's movement if Burter crosses paths with them.
Burter's 236S sends Burter to the air, effectively denying your opponent from having any air movement for several seconds. This is one of Ginyu's most important neutral tools, having the ability to lock down an opponent that is only rivaled by Recoome's Eraser Gun, and even that is debatable. An overall excellent move in neutral, use often.
Burter's 214S is often relegated to corner pressure scenarios to fully utilize the vacuum effect of Burter's round trip. Although the ground pressure is nice, air pressure is generally more important in more scenarios. Use 236S more often, but do not forget about this tool.
Jeice's 5S is a low priority ki blast that grants an easy conversion on hit due to its massive ground bounce. The tracking on the move is nothing to scoff at, especially since Jeice appears above the opponent, potentially stuffing jumps. Use this to set up another summon or convert if it connects.
Jeice's 236S and 214S are massive attacks that cover the length of the screen in a whirlwind of low priority projectiles. The downside to this move is that Burter must be called back from his mission to begin the attack, so you might give up the air control. The benefit however, is even more air control. Not only do Jeice and Burter patrol the airways, but they also cause collateral damage to anything below them, including opponents. Opponents can reflect or superdash through the projectiles when they see the attack coming, but Ginyu has the freedom to punish any unwise decisions that the opponents might try, making for a great tool in neutral.
This is Captain Ginyu's safest bet. Having two assists available allows Ginyu to unleash chaos by summoning two Ginyu Force members at once, allowing him to go for the insane pressure he's known for, and cover the bases against characters who can stop Ginyu's two-step neutral gameplan. Likewise, your team isn't truly losing much if Ginyu dies since he's not very powerful by himself. You likely won't be able to abuse Body Change on this position without extreme planning ahead that your opponent can shut down by forcing you to rotate off of Guldo, and you likely won't get Ginyu's most powerful setups either. Still, there are plenty strengths to this, especially how the Point position will allow Ginyu to show off his outrageous damage output best with sparkless TODs.
Ginyu possesses three intricate assists your point character can put to great use. He will have to take more risks in neutral and pressure to open opponents up, but having one assist is enough for him to get his plan going. In addition, being the second character can allow for more opportunities to use Body Change against the opponent's anchor, potentially making victory much easier to achieve.
Ginyu is not good solo, since Ginyu requires assists to safely set up his Ginyu Force and doesn't gain any real scary setups solo, still relying on stuff like 6M and silly Burter crossups. His A and C assists are both fine, B can be great or terrible depending on your team, but ultimately it's not worth keeping him solo even for Limit Break damage.
That said, Ginyu on Anchor is not a terrible choice if you have a character like Kid Buu on point, whose supers both last a long time and give an SKD afterwards. The goal of that team changes, Ginyu is not actually your anchor. You're instead running a powerful shell at the start to get into the corner, then DHC into Ginyu and start using nasty setups such as the Guldo 236S -> Recoome 5S. Now Ginyu is in his prime area, the corner, has two great characters to back him and the opponent is locked in a very helpless situation. This "Ginyu Shell" composition also keeps Ginyu in a safe spot for your team should you have a bodyswap setup. As silly as these sound, it is a tournament-proven effective strategy and is used by some of the best Ginyu players in the world.
Still, should your shell be defeated, you will unfortunately be stuck with Ginyu solo. It's best if you raw tag Ginyu in should things get dicey rather than end up with a solo character with some truly abysmal matchups against the game's actually good mids and anchors like Android 21 or Broly. Don't let yourself get caught in that situation, you will lose unless about a hundred things went right for you.
- Piccolo's A assist makes Ginyu’s pressure even scarier, giving him even more options after hard knockdowns. A well-placed Piccolo assist and 236S Recoome/Burter/Burter + Jeice combination can really frustrate opponents with its potential to keep opponents locked down, opening them up for a well-timed grab after blockstun ends. Works somewhat decently for extending combos, but there are much better assists for that.
- Kid Buu's A assist gives you enough time to setup your Ginyu Force mix-ups, keeping your opponents locked down. Alternatively, you can go for a standard crossup 50/50 midscreen, something Ginyu can put to good use thanks to his damage and you'll probably enjoy a lot thanks to how difficult it can be to open players with good defense at times.
- GT Goku can prove invaluable for getting characters like Android 21 out of the sky and letting you safely call a force member behind his beam. Any beam assist works fine should you not want to use GT.
- Master Roshi has two assists that work just fine for the Captain, his A is a beam and his B gives Ginyu protection on his calls and more. Roshi himself can get some leeway out of the Captain's assists to make his neutral game even tougher to deal with.
- Generally assists with high blockstun are pointless with Ginyu as he does not have a low 2L, and will not be able to abuse the blockstun for true mixups unless it holds them in place like Kid Buu's. If the assist has enough stun for the force call to be safe, it's fine.
- (2L) > 5L > 5LL > 2M > 5M > 2H > 236L
This is Ginyu's true blockstring. 2L does not have very good range, so you might just want to start with 5L instead. You can stagger off of all of your light buttons, but 5M and 2M are both a bit riskier.
Don't be afraid to use 5S at points in these strings, especially if you have a character like Guldo or Jeice who can snipe the opponent from a safe area should they try to mash you.
- 5L > 5Ll > 2M > 5M > 2H > (236L) > Assist > 236S
Easiest and safest way to get force pressure started. 236L will push Ginyu and the opponent back into a different position which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the call, either way you can cancel Ginyu's last button into a force call and use an assist to cover.
Safe Calls for Lvl 3
After 214H+S you can call a Ginyu Force member for Oki. This is a list of every call you should use post-lvl 3.
- Guldo 5S
- Recoome 236S
- Burter 236S
- Jeice 5S, 214S
Anything else either loses to 5L or isn't entirely safe to start pressure with. Guldo 5S lets you run up, Recoome 236S is just a beam assist and beams are really good, Burter 236S shuts down the airspace for a while which allows you to start pressure if he's blocked, Burter 214S can work if you use a blockstun assist on their wakeup to cover your approach, Jeice 5S lets you run up and begin pressure, and Jeice 214S/236S is a good way to catch people trying to use a reversal on Jeice 5S. In the corner you get way more options though.
- Guldo 5S, 214S
- Recoome 236S
- Burter 5S, 236S, 214S
- Jeice 5S, 236S, 214S
Both Guldo 5S and 214S do 20 frames of blockstun so use 214S to cover the most options. Recoome's beam is so active it honestly invalidates his kick even in the corner. Burter 5S hits meaty in the corner and covers everything. If they mash on wakeup and begin pressuring Ginyu, most 5LLs will beat the incoming 214S from Burter, use an assist to stop this from happening so you can get the left/right mix on 214S. Jeice 236S can pull them out of the corner, but it's also just a good backup plan in case they mash out of your pressure.
Guldo and Recoome Setplay:
Tips and Tricks
Ginyu fuzzy guard set-up:
Fighting Captain Ginyu
- Always keep track of which Ginyu Force member is going to come out next. Almost all of their moves have extremely slow startup, and without an assist to cover Ginyu, they can be very easily disrespected.
- Ginyu has no defensive options outside of universal mechanics, so he has trouble responding to pressure. He also has no projectiles of his own, so counterzoning is often strong enough to shut down his entire gameplan.
- Ginyu cannot stagger past his light attacks, and has no real mix-up options outside of 6M and some dirty corner setups. Patience and good blocking will take you far.