As seasonal updates kicked in, Yamcha was powercrept out and is often very overshadowed by other fighters. In the field, Yamcha is honest to a fault, with normals ranging from okay to terrible for neutral and having straightforward mixups. This bodes poorly for him against the stronger tiers of this game who have neutral skip tools that lead to explosive damage and pressure. Simply put, Yamcha is a fair earthling fighter competing against gods.
Yamcha's kit is still worth appreciating, and it's not bad, in fact it's just enough to get the job done with a good sense of neutral and yomi. Yamcha's most definitive strength is how slippery he can be on the offense and in neutral, being hard to catch and hard to escape from. In neutral, Yamcha has a simple yet surprisingly useful S buttons due to him leaping back every time he fires, putting distance between the opponent and forcing them to take more predictable and punishable approaches, which he can hit confirm into Flash. As for pressure, Yamcha has one of the best rekkas in the game with Wolf Fang FistGuard:
-5, and its infamous FlashNo results followup is great for both neutral and crossup mixups that even allow Yamcha to combo from on hit. Thanks to all of this, Yamcha can operate decently solo.
In the end, Yamcha still does have options that even some strong characters don't. He can consistently special tag DR, and has strong pressure. Even with this however, he still has lacking neutral, lacking buttons, and relies quite a bit on meter. Pick Yamcha if you want to make your opponent second guess their options on defense.
|5LLL||80×4, 1000||All||U3+||15||[1 (5)]×4, 1||20||-5|
- Slow but great jab
- Staggers indefinitely into itself, and will connect after nearly all of Yamcha's buttons
- Can be cancelled into itself with 4L.
Go-to starter for both pressure and combos thanks to the fact that its speed and range make up for the lack of said traits on his mediums.
- Vacuums on block or hit.
Works even in the corner for surprise IAD j.M crossup. This button being safe is a godsend since your strings will start having holes from here on out.
- Smash hit wall splats. Combos into SD.
More often used as a blockstring filler before going into 236X because the only truestring alternative to this button is 2M, so using this in your pressure doesn't actually sacrifice much else than a low. This also true string into Z Change, letting you tag in safely.
Also good for corner combos. Yamcha has so much frame advantage on hit that he can dash in 5L or even 2M, 5LLL by itself also builds a lot of meter.
- Reels back then strikes. The strike has good forward movement.
- Slow, mid-hitting 5M intended for frametraps
- Will still reliably connect after 2M and 5LL
- Yamcha's 5L is 7f, so you'll need to rely on your stubby 2L to reset pressure or risk getting mashed.
A built in frame trap from 5LL or 2M that's 0 on block, making it a good point to reset pressure. In turn, it sacrifices absolutely everything that would make another 5M good, failing to truestring from any normal and being horrible as a poke. It doesn't deal any more damage than the average 5M despite the startup, which means as a frametrap it's not actually any better than just delaying a regular 5M. It being 0 on block also loses luster when other characters can typically use 5S and 5H in their strings as well, something Yamcha cannot do without additional sacrifices.
The overall weaknesses of this button make it better to not use often in your strings. Learning to do 2M immediately into your rekka series will do you more good. The main upside of 5M is its animation being somewhat confusing, and it will strike people incorrectly reacting to it as 236MGuard:
32f (sideswap), 25f (no sideswap)Recovery:
-5. This however doesn't work on more seasoned players who know to listen for the teleport sound instead.
- Performs a sick back flip then lunges forward.
- Smash hit wall splats. Combos into SD.
This normal exists to bait sparking activations and reversals, and that's about it. 5H usually gives you lower reward than 5M for even higher startup, making it easily reactable and almost impossible to use in combos. If the opponent jumps, it can be reliably punished. It's always +4 on block so this is more often the best spot for you to cross them up.
Due to 5H and 5M having such hefty startup, Yamcha's pressure revolves around abusing his light buttons and his rekkas since he won't be quite able to do the same strings as others. In the corner it leads to better damage, but for the effort and risk it's still not worth it.
- Leaps back while shooting a Ki Blast.
- No longer whiffs on crouchers and small characters.
Allows Yamcha to disengage from a bad block string and return to neutral with a small frame advantage. Recovery is low enough that if the opponent tries to chase you down with SD, you can easily anti-air on reaction. You can also mash this in neutral to bait them into flinching, then go for a surprise Flash. Additionally, at close range you can followup with 214H.
Mashable, short ranged jab at 6f. Mostly used for contesting pressure or after ±0 situations like blocked 6M.
- Vacuums on hit.
While it is his only low and is pretty fast for a 2M, it's really only ever used as blockstring filler and for combos. The range is so short that it can even be hard to punish blocked Guard Cancel, and Yamcha's mixup game isn't about high/low.
|700×2 / 700,850||All||U1+||13||2 (8) 6||23||-24 (1st hit), -13 (2nd hit)||4- Head|
- Smash on the second hit if both hits connect.
- Smash hit has longer hitstun and combos into SD. Non-Smash can still combo into SD in the corner.
Puts Yamcha into an airborne state which removes every safe cancel option except for j.2H, which lets him stay safe and keep up pressure. It even works midscreen!
|600||All||19||21f (10f in air cancel)|
- 5S but leaps higher.
Aside from having increased movement backwards, this move is identical to 5S and thus has almost identical usage. Leaps high enough that he can add a j.S before landing.
|850||High||24||6||4+6 After landing||0|
- Universal overhead.
Abhorrent range like his other buttons. Has high chance of whiffing completely mid-blockstring in midscreen.
Tiny jab with some vertical reach. Combo filler.
Yamcha's IAD crossup normal. On hit, get used to buffering dash 5L since a stationary land 5L can whiff.
- Knocks aerial opponents sideways instead of the standard diagonal downward angle.
- Dynamic hit causes a wall bounce.
Yamcha has absolutely NO hurtbox below his crotch, so this is his best jump-in.
Used before Wolf Fang Fist: Gale Claws in all of his combos.
- 5S but in the air.
Yamcha has air OK anti-airs so use this like how you would use 5S. At close range you can followup with 214H.
- Knockdown airborne opponent.
- On hit or block, can cancel into 5H, 5S, or 236X after landing. This can be used for combo follow-ups or for left/right mixups.
Since this move is almost always minus (even on hit) when hitting a grounded opponent, get used to canceling into 236X.
In 2H or DR combos, you can use this to take both you and the opponent to the ground for a 236X extension
Wolf Fang Fist
|236L||220×5||All||11||[1 (4)]×4, 1||20||-5|
|236M||400×2, 220×3||All||32f (sideswap), 25f (no sideswap)||[1 (4)]×4, 1||20||-5|
- Wolf Fang Fist 236L
- Regular rekka starter.
- Covers 80% of the screen.
- Reverse Wolf Fang Fist 236M
- Dashes forward for a bit before starts attacking, goes further than full screen.
- Teleports behind enemy to attack if he reaches them during the dash, otherwise it's the same as the L version.
- Can work even without corner space.
- Extremely simple and efficient mixup.
- Most of the rekka followups can only be used once (the exceptions being Whiskers and Tail, which can be used twice per string).
- All followups can come out on whiff, and can combo into Gale Claws.
- Using Finisher or Flash will end the string.
- Attempting to do Pack Attack after it's been used in the rekka string will give you Finisher instead.
- Flash can be canceled into at any point during the string.
5L/M during Wolf Fang Fist
|236X > 5L||220×7||All||4||[1 (3)]×6, 1||20||-5|
|236X > 5M||220×8||All||16||[1 (3)]×7, 1||20||-5|
-  is when used immediately after 236L/M.
- L is the fastest followup without the use of bars.
- 236L > L is a true blockstring.
- M followup is slower than L followup for more damage.
- 236L > M has a gap which will catch mashing.
6L/M during Wolf Fang Fist or Pack Attack > L/M
|236X > 6L||1200||All||9||3||18||-5|
|236X > 6M||1500||All||D1||14||3||25||-5|
- L version has a short hitbox in front of Yamcha but has fast recovery frames.
- M version causes a sliding knockdown.
- Surprisingly long range where you even can use Tail and still hit at that distance.
- Pack Attack L > M has a gap that will catch mashing.
5H during Wolf Fang Fist
- Used in metered combos to boost damage by around 500.
- Crazy high recovery on whiff, Yamcha is visibly stuck in place and punishable.
- Useful in neutral as a full screen poke thanks to its speed and easy confirms, and after Whiskers for a quick cross-up.
- Can catch your opponent pressing buttons after a blocked 5S, and catches opponents after a reflected vanish. It's that fast.
Yamcha's infamous Wolf Fang Fist Flash. One of Yamcha's strongest tools and the butter that holds his kit together.
With its insanely fast start-up, high priority, and being -5 on block, the move alone commands a ground presence. Flash complements with his 5S as it can be confirmed from massive distances while spacing Yamcha out from dangerous ranges. On hit, Flash will bring the opponent up, allowing for extensions that scale like a medium starter, allowing Yamcha to finally get some decent damage. Unfortunately, Flash has terrible recovery, and thanks to it being ground only means the opponent will likely find themselves jumping a lot versus Yamcha, where using the move is a death sentence.
Flash is also Yamcha's go-to for fast cross-ups during his Wolf Fang Fist pressure. Go in with Reverse Wolf Fang Fist or Whiskers and follow up with Flash for a fast cross-up that leads into good reward (for Yamcha, any way). Just once again, take note that if the opponent jumps to avoid it, you're going to be in for some serious hurt.
5S during Wolf Fang Fist
|30 Total (cancel to 6L/M on frame 22 and H on 17)
19 Total from 4S (cancel on frame 13)
- Dashes a short distance forward, passing through the opponent if close.
- For a short while after this move, only rekka follow-ups are available.
- Can be performed up to 2 times in one string.
4S during Wolf Fang Fist
- A special backdash, can be used to disengage from a blocked rekka.
- Can use Whiskers to dash back in.
- Can be performed up to 2 times in one string.
Neo Wolf Fang Fist
|80×10, 380×2||All||U1+||9||[1 (4)]×3, 1||22||-5|
- Consumes 1/2 Ki Gauge.
- A faster version of 236L that covers a slightly shorter distance.
- On hit or block, automatically performs Pack Attack > Finisher > Flash. Can use vanish to cancel these followups.
- On whiff, does not have access to 236L/M rekka followups.
- Wallbounces, allowing you to squeeze out a bit more damage in your strings.
- Easily combos into 214M for a sliding knockdown.
- Can combo into itself once for a "level 2".
- Consumes smash on the final hit.
Wolf Fang Fist: Gale Claws
214L/M/H (Air OK)
|214L||50×7, 700||All||9||7 (15) 2||19||-4||4- Head|
|214M||50×7, 800||All||D1||13||7 (15) 2||19||-7||4- Head|
|214H||50×7, 900||All||D1||9||7 (15) 2||19||-7||1- Head|
|j.214L||50×7, 700||All||9||7 (15) 2||19||-4||4- Head|
|j.214M||50×7, 800||All||D1||13||7 (15) 2||19||-7||4- Head|
|j.214H||50×7, 900||All||D1||9||7 (15) 2||19||-7||1- Head|
- Good for its soft knockdown to mixup and surprise the opponent.
- All versions keep momentum, L keeps the least and H keeps almost all.
- M is the classic air combo ender that gives a sliding knockdown.
- H is able to easily followup after j.H in midscreen due to its very fast startup and snappy movement. Good followup for 5S or j.S (when they are done at close range)
- Slower startup than other Kamehamehas.
- -4 on block, but links to 2L on hit in the corner.
- Flash will catch the opponent trying to hit buttons after this.
- Is able to use this move during Wolf Fang Fist, giving him an option to jail into vanish and opens up combo routes.
- Cancels into SD.
Sub par neutral tool due to its speed, but weirdly enough better suited for pressure. Once you have conditioned your opponent to look out for WFF cross ups, this move can be used as a same side option that still converts to a combo in the corner. It's only 2-3 frames slower, so the difference is hardly noticeable if your opponent is simply reacting to the delay. The reward on hit is slightly higher in terms of damage than DR and you have the option to Vanish if it is blocked to continue pressure.
Wolf Fang Fist
|200, 140×3, 210||All||19||20||48||+40|
- Yamcha dashes forward with a series of claw swipes.
- Opponent stays grounded on hit.
- Travels forward about 80% of the screen.
A very fast assist, which is useful in blockstrings for pressure, and can extend combos somewhat slightly. Also useful to catch people at certain ranges for pushing buttons. Amazing for scrambles and converting stray attacks into pressure or a combo. Also one of the fastest assists in the game, which lends to it also being amazing in clash situations due to its high priority and multiple hits.
- It's a beam assist. Use it for beam things.
Although it is a beam, Yamcha is one of the few characters that has an arguably better and more unique assist in his first one. Nonetheless the beam option is still present. Controls space much better than it's A assist counterpart but loses some speed and frame advantage in return.
Wolf Fang Fist: Pack Attack
|100, 70×4, 400×2||All||35 ||Total 116-165||+55|
- Very niche.
Only gives 15 extra frames of lockdown, for 16 more frames of startup and twice the cooldown of his A assist. You can already hitconfirm pretty easily off of his A assist as well. Main benefit is less time between hits for HSD purposes as A drops often at high hitstun decay.
236L+M or 236H+S
- Can only be landed once per combo (unless you have another Yamcha through Body Change).
- Pressing L/M/H/S and a direction after the first ball causes the Spirit Ball to fly in that direction, up to 5 more hits.
- The first hit that lands will always deal 1300, every next hit deals 200.
- Minimum damage for all 6 hits: 390, 60*5.
- Downward directions cause sliding knockdowns, unless the opponent is too high up.
Can force the opponent into different positions for oki or follow-up Supers such as high up, knockdown, close or far away, behind you...
For example, Yamcha can combo Spirit Ball into Ultimate Wolf Fang Fist by pressing buttons with these directions:
Ultimate Wolf Fang Fist
214L+M or 214H+S
- Yamcha dashes fullscreen forward.
- Minimum damage: 1505.
On hit in midscreen, the opponent will be put a fullscreen away. But on hit in the corner, they'll be pulled slightly out of it while Yamcha will be at +11. From here you can crossup with IAD j.M or 236M~H, bait Sparking with 5H, or just do something simple like meaty 2M, 6M, 5L > DR.
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