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The General Gameplan

As far as neutral, the goal is to get to a range where it's safe to shoot regular notes right over his head, and then try to drop them onto his back.

  • If he tries to FDB too early he'll whiff and you can drop the note on his back to whiff punish, and it'll likely be 3~5 hits and let you either HCL knockdown, or get in and do a short combo into knockdown.
  • FDB itself doesn't start reflecting until frame 4, and the attack part goes active after the reflect window ends, so it's actually possible to bait him into whiffing it.
  • If you're really good at this and the Pot can't figure out the timing, he may start jumping into the note and get forced to air block it, which will let you fly in while he's in blockstun and try to set up an air-unblockable with 5P mash or 5P > 5K.
  • You can also intentionally just let the note pass over his head to bait the FDB whiff and knock him down.
    • The note may not pass off the end of the screen in time for you to shoot another note for oki and guarantee that he blocks, so you might only reset the situation... you could take the risk on naked j.K safejump, but going in and making a mistake really isn't worth it.
    • An alternative is to HCL:E when you whiff punish the FDB and hopefully get in range to link 5K, so that you can convert via HCL 6FRC6 if you have meter.

Worst case scenario is he actually flicks the note, but when it's got the extra hits he still has to block and loses some of the time he would spend moving forward.

  • If the Pot is inexperienced and doesn't know this, the popped note will hit him after the flick invul ends and you can probably hit him with HCL to knock down, so long as you're far enough away to block the reflect wave after (getting hit by it would be a trade in his favor, since you get knocked down after him and let him get closer).
  • If he's smart enough to block, then you pretty much have to block the reflect wave and give him some room to move toward you, or commit to going over/under it.
    • What you do there might change based on how much meter he has, because if he can HPB, going over is a big risk.
  • If he whiffs FDB you can also try to HCL on reaction to whiff punish with a knockdown, if your note control isn't there or if you flubbed the situation somehow.

And then as always, when you either get him blocking a note or get a knockdown to set up a situation where he has to block, you're now free to move in behind the note while he's blocking.

  • Be wary of dead angles, cause he wont have a whole lot of options if you only get close while he's blocking and back up if your mixup and block string fails.
  • Run setups that are safe against Pot Buster and backdash primarily, but keep your eyes open for Dead Angles.

If you're up closer than about 2/3 screen you're actually in a bit of danger since he can Hammerfall though most of the buttons you'd swing to try to beat his buttons. You can try to STBT under it, Desperation super through it (but he can probably FDB this on reaction if you're guessing), FB dive through it (and also beat a few other things this way), or even Psycho Crusher to beat it since that's got 3 hits. Just be aware that all of these things can be counterpoked, and even in a situation where you trade the trade is almost always in Pot's favor. Even if he's knocked down, odds are you're knocked down after him and he gets oki. Pot getting to run oki is dangerous due to the multiple ways he can set up Potemkin Buster.

For this matchup to truly be in I-No's favor, you need a good command of your mobility. It doesn't require advanced j.236D cancel stuff, but your general movement needs to be tight and clean. You also need damage output as much as you can get, so without HCL 6FRC6 it's going to feel like Pot's favored in the matchup due to the sheer number of times you have to open up his defenses. If you lose a lot early on before you get consistent at this conversion method, don't feel bad. I-No has to work much harder at this matchup than Potemkin does. The same way that Pot has all the tools he needs to be oppressive once he gets close, I-No gets to do the same when she has him in the corner for oki and has some meter, but if your oki is unsuccessful you need to be ready to safely create some distance and go back to long-range neutral which is in your favor if you use the note control strategy. Or you can take the risk of trying to shut him down at close range, but guessing wrong can lead to him winning the match if you guess wrong one more time.

  • Only use 214D on oki, or maybe if he jumps, but otherwise there's an unnecessary risk factor due to his ability to flick the note no matter what. Regular note is preferred in this matchup for neutral situations.

What your opponent can do

Pot is pretty happy if he can land a good counterhit or knock you down with something. He's going to get in, probably oki with meaty 5K to bait reversal actions, and then either let it recover and Pot Buster you, or gatling to something else and run the same "gatling or PB" 50/50 from that normal. He'll run a damn train of 50/50s along the whole blockstring, or reset the blockstring with a hammerfall break, or just let the hammerfall rip if he thinks you're going to counterpoke to beat the setup, and then convert from there. He might do 6K into knockdown, a jump to bait something, or into Giganter into a full combo. He may even whiff 5P to condition you to block on wakeup just so he can toss you. So his mixup is legitimately dangerous once he's close and you don't want to be in that situation, let alone in the corner. He has all the tools he needs once he gets close.

In neutral he has a tool called FDB to flick projectiles and reflect them, which he'll use to try to stop you from using notes. Pot may even throw out FDB to catch you using HCL at the wrong time or dashing forward at the wrong time. Counterhit is going to put you into the corner and let him get close to oki, but ground hit staggers you for so long that he can link his 6H, which is very bad in terms of his damage output (since this would be unprorated). He has Hammerfall, which lets him move forward with 1 hit of armor. He has Slidehead, which causes knockdown if you're touching the ground, and also has sort of unusual upper body invincibility that lets him go under all sorts of stuff with the correct timing. He also has Judge Gauntlet, which is a force break that sponges up to 7 hits with armor before automatically swinging at you.

Pot is going to look for opportunities to Heavenly Pot Buster predictable jumps or bad movement. He'll also look to Hamerfall you if you commit to something at the wrong time (like Kdive or Sdive).

Your Opponent's Gameplan

Breakdown by Mike Z.

I was gonna write a whole big thing on strategy, but I realized it's not really all that big, and it's easier to write as if I'm advising Pot players, so:

If Pot is OUT vs I-No, there are only a couple of things to look for:

  • If she's far and throws notes (normal or FB), obviously Pot can flick them, but good I-No players will try to steer them to hit late so it's harder. Instead, Pot can do an early 5S to take the hit and detonate the note well away from him so it only hits once. Most notes are 5S-able if they were ever going to touch you after being steered, and it lets him get moving earlier for less than they even do as chip damage. If the note is below 5S range, then it's easily flick-able.
  • If she's within HCL range, it's possible to flick it on reaction but somewhat risky. Safer to either Hammerfall and absorb it then Break, or just superjump your way closer.
  • Slidehead is generally not a good idea vs her. Not only because she's in the air so much, but also because HCL/VCL go over it on frame 1, so if the I-No player is awake you’re just gonna get hit anyway.

If I-No is IN and on the offensive / Pot on the defensive:

  • Obviously her dash mixup is very strong, but Pot’s 6P is surprisingly good here, so always be trying for the 6P+H OS - either you get a throw or you get a 6P if she’s airborne. CH 6P, 5S->2S xx Heat Extend is great news! You can also go for 5P (->5S etc.) but the high invincibility on 6P makes it more useful overall even though it’s slower. And you can jump-cancel it on block anyway, or cancel to Giganter for a conversion if you have the meter.
  • Reversal Giganter or random Giganter during her pressure is very useful, especially if she’s airborne so she can’t throw you. At minimum Pot gets to start his offense, at maximum you get a CH into dizzy into death. HPB is not as useful against her dash pressure as it would seem, it tends to get stuffed a lot.
  • Judge Gauntlet is unfortunately NOT very useful against her either, because most of her dash pressure either lets her land or jump-cancel to block it. Additionally, she can cancel to Ultimate Fortissimo on reaction during any air chain and beat it outright for CH damage and a combo. Cancelling JG after being hit to get a Buster will work sparingly, but mostly you just kinda have to skip it.
  • Stroke the Big Tree is jump-cancellable on BLOCK (H only?) or if it hits armor, which is absolutely ridiculous vs Pot. It’s throw invincible for the middle parts (both versions) so if you go for a throw you might get an accidental Hammer Fall, which she’ll hit and then jump-cancel and block and punish. Stroke also low profiles most of his normals except 5K, which makes 5K even better than it usually is against her.
  • Many of her combos and much of her dash pressure is burst safe (or I just suck), as well as giving her opportunities to steal your soul, so in this matchup I generally tend to use bursts to keep her in the corner, rather than to avoid damage.
  • FB dive is dumb and safe, but it’s mostly just fast. You can airthrow it during startup, so if you air-to-air with 6P+H you at least can mostly deal with this option.

If Pot is IN and on the offensive / I-No on the defensive:

  • 5K is your friend. Combos to 5S on ground or air hits, beats Stroke the Big Tree, tends to hit dash pressure more often than you’d think. Meaty 5K beats reversal VCL for free followups, and of course it ticks to Buster. Her throw range is pretty bad, so it’s easy to do this from an unthrowable distance.
  • Raw Buster isn’t something you’ll hit very much vs her, and this IS because she’s mostly in the air. 6K on oki tends to work more often.
  • Again, Heat is not an anti-air.
  • Flick is a SUPER GOOD okizeme move against I-No. Do it from slightly far away, timed just after meaty. If she does a wakeup super or a reversal VCL you’ll flick it and can follow up, otherwise the hit will stuff anything else she can do in that time, so she’s basically forced to defend. Teach her not to do wakeup supers!
    • SlashGordon note: I'm going to interject here to point out something. FDB goes active on frame 21, and the reflect window is frames 4~14. If Potemkin wants to reflect I-No's wakeup super or gimmicky wakeup VCL options, he has to time FDB as is mentioned here. That also means that he doesn't have an active hitbox in your face and you can wakeup mash normals at him. 5P > manual JI > 2S > HCL 6FRC6 works wonders. If the Potemkin player's timing is off or they're trying to mess with you and time FDB's hitbox to be meaty, now you can reversal super against it. </SlashGordon note>
  • The two uses Slidehead does have are that it beats Stroke, and it beats dives. 6P does too, but you can combo off Slidehead on her (5P->2S xx Heat) for no meter.
  • She can beat j.D with 5P, which is also a crazy good antiair for not being 6P, so even if you were ready for a clash she can fully combo you out of a j.D. Be careful with it.
  • With all that said, she has low health, low guts, and low stun, so deal all the damage you can! If you combo to Heat, Extend is always worth it.
  • KNOW WHAT WILL DIZZY HER. Corner 6K xx Giganter, Buster, 5K->2S->Heat Extend has a very high chance of dizzying her outright, at which point you win the round. CH Giganter during her pressure means pretty much any followup is a stun, so be careful ending in Heat or she’ll have enough time to shake out before she stands up.

tl;dr Assume I-No players have great execution or they wouldn’t be playing her. Be prepared to eat a full combo into knockdown whenever you get hit unless it was a super scramble. Take advantage of Pot’s huge damage and stun whenever possible. Get good at neutralizing notes, and make sure you show her that she can’t reversal super without getting it flicked! This matchup isn’t quite as pants-on-head as Faust, but it’s close.

Spacing & Advantage (By Screen Position)

Up Close

This is bad and you don't want to be here, but if you've got a knockdown or plus frames it's not like you should outright run away. You should gracefully retreat if your oki fails or your safe attempt at pressure becomes less safe. That's it. You can outrun this character and so there's little reason to be up close, other than because you can't do a corner diveloop for big damage unless you're up close... but because you can convert from 2/3 screen and only get close when Pot is already in hitstun or blockstun, you should play that way.

At this range Pot has tons of options not only to hit you, but to hit you while you're trying to back away without committing as much to movement to catch those escape attempts. You really need to to long range (roughly 2/3 screen) to force him to commit to things you can easily dodge. However, you're in range to make use of all of your tools when you're this close. If you're in range of Pot's 5P or 5K, you're not just at risk of being bustered, which can lose you the game on 1-2 instances of oki, but you can also get slapped by his low commitment moves that are very strong for setting up tick throws.

If you're going to countermash out of Pot's pressure you need to be prepared for Hammerfall and Judge Gauntlet, as well as really good Katame setups for Potemkin Buster. Like you can expect Pot to do wait > buster, or 5P > buster, or 5P > normal, or any combination of normals into Buster... but he can also Hammerfall break into Buster or let the Hammerfall rip. Or even do a long block string and then Buster you from max range where you didn't think he could reach you from that far. And then smarter Potemkin players are going to be looking to hit you with FDB if they think you're going to try to mash Desperation during a blockstring, which you should also remember can be thrown (it's only strike invincible)!

  • At this range I favor using j.D and Pdive when I want to use an overhead or a jumping attack to get off the ground, to try to avoid situations where I'll be IB'd into Buster.
  • j.P is pretty effective at checking Pot's jump on the way up, while also being less committal than other actions so you're not totally screwed on the way down if he didn't jump or if he's below you on the way down.
  • STBT can get you under several of Pot's normals and also Hammerfall, but the throw invul doesn't last through active, so Pot can be patient to Buster it on reaction if you're not careful.

Round Start Range

Potemkin can make things happen from this range, but he typically has to commit to some kind of movement or take a risk of some kind.

  • 5P > whiff gatling to 5K is pretty good for catching a couple of things Potemkin can do.
    • If he uses Hammerfall at this range, odds are the 5P wont hit it but the 5K will, which you can gatling to 2S or special cancel to STBT-S to beat the Hammerfall.
    • If he uses Slidehead the 5K will catch it. It'll also catch the startup extended hurtbox on his 6H (which he'll use if he thinks you'll backdash).
    • This loses to Megafist forward.
  • STBT is a risk, but you can use it here to call out Hammerfall or buttons that don't reach the ground (like f.S, 5H, 5P).
    • Should go past Megafist forward if that's what he did, so you're not totally screwed.
    • STBT-S would beat Slidehead in startup time, but not STBT-H.
    • If Potemkin is patient/waiting he could Buster you for it...
  • IAD backwards gets caught by Heat Knuckle, but dodges just about anything else. You might get tagged by his 6H if you're not ready, especially if it's the start of the round and you don't have meter to FD.
  • j.D slightly forward catches Megafist Forward.
    • It should lose to Hammerfall and Heat Knuckle, but should also dodge Slidehead with enough time to punish it.
    • It can also beat 6H.

Overall the goal is to create a situation where you can move backwards, unless you cleanly hit Pot and can convert to a knockdown. You'll notice that not a lot of situations go in your favor... this is why you want to back up. But at least enough of them do that you can work with this position and create opportunities. Trades typically go in Pot's favor, but you have enough situations where you can score a knockdown from a relatively safe option (like the 5P > 5K whiff gatling) to encourage his risker plays, which you can then outrun or beat clean with something. If you manage to get counterhit j.D or STBT you can get worthwhile damage and possibly corner knockdown for it.

Long Range

If you're closer than about 2/3 screen you're actually in a bit of danger.

  • He can Hammerfall though most of the buttons you'd swing to try to beat his buttons, and he can also go through HCL if you do it at the wrong time without using FRC to make it safe. You also risk letting Potemkin jump over it at you.
    • You can try to STBT under it, Desperation super through it (but he can probably FDB this on reaction if you're guessing), FB dive through it (and also beat a few other things this way), or even Psycho Crusher to beat it since that's got 3 hits.
    • Be aware that all of these things can be counterpoked, and even in a situation where you trade the button, the trade is almost always in Pot's favor. Even if he's knocked down, odds are you're knocked down after him and he gets oki. Pot getting to run oki is dangerous due to the multiple ways he can set up Potemkin Buster.

Again, follow the gameplan. Try to shoot notes over his head to drop them on his back to make it difficult for him to reflect them.

  • If he jumps more often because you're good at this, great. Make him block those notes in the air so you can reposition or get underneath him to air-unblockable and take control.
  • It's easier to convert if you land hits when closer than at full-screen distance, but the risk of getting killed for a single screwup is so high in this matchup that you should feel content to take knockdowns from even further away and try to operate off of the oki. Potemkin's defense is high enough that the reward for converting from a higher risk situation may not be worth what he gets if he takes control.
  • If you try to shoot notes he may be able to reach you with f.S, 5H or 6H, so ideally you need to be outside of the range of those moves in order to act freely.

Remember that a low TK j.236H can beat Slidehead, and the multi-hit can help you deal with Hammerfall.

  • Just be cautious and try to use it when you have 50% to RC, so you can confirm and make Pot really feel it when you call those moves out, or so you can keep your turn if you screw up with your timing/guess and he blocks the j.236H.
    • Remember that each hit of a dive is worth about +5% tension. Since you get 3 hits here, you can actually get away with this when you don't quite have 50% because you'll build it on contact.

Full Screen

Just about the only thing Pot can reach you with is Slidehead, so take care to avoid it. HCL goes airborne on frame 1 so you can use that on reaction, and even if you screw up the input for HCL, 5K can actually dodge slidehead on the first 2 frames.

Stick to the plan. Shoot notes above his head to where he can't stick a hurtbox into them to pop them early or flick it easily, then try to drop them onto his back. If he jumps and is forced to block the note, learn to recognize when you have time to move in or not. If not, just shoot another note.

Look for opportunities to snipe him with HCL or j.236D, or otherwise punish him when he overextends, but the priority should always be to avoid giving him opportunities to get going.

Button Interactions

  • j.236D's hitbox can beat HPB's hitbox at certain spacing.
  • j.236H's 3 consecutive hits allow it to beat Hammerfall.
    • If you want to call out Slidehead you'll actually get in Pot's face instead of just dodging it with HCL. Use sparingly as he has a number of ways to call this out and no real reason to commit when he can wait it out and FDB improperly used notes.


Escaping Pressure

Special/Notable Confirms