GGST/Anji Mito/Strategy

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Anji Mito



General Strategies

Anji is a character who gets lots of mileage out of being able to call out the opponent, generally starting out by playing mostly reactively, then taking more initiative once the Anji player has a better idea of the opponent's habits in neutral and on defense.

Once you have developed an understanding of your opponent's habits, you can begin to take initiative and start taking risks to call the opponent out on their habits. Start using things like your autoguard specials to try punishing the opponent's poke attempts or to gain ground, or make use of your long airdash to take the opponent off guard when approaching.

Neutral

At closer ranges, 5K, 2D, and f.S are major players for Anji. 5K is a low risk, low reward poke that is effective at stopping reckless grounded approaches, with 2D and 6H gatlings that provide opportunities for Anji to begin pressuring the opponent. Anji will generally want to position himself just outside of the range of this move, giving himself time to react to and stuff a sudden approach, while still being able to fish for counterhits and whiff punish with 2D and f.S, which always combos into Fuujin.

Should Anji wish to take initiative against a passive opponent at this range, he can use 6H as a relatively safe gap closer to start pressure, or kara Issokutobi (236H~K) into Throw or 2K > 2D for a riskier but more rewarding callout.

At further ranges, Anji can make use of his autoguard spins to help him get in by threatening a variety of options that are difficult to respect all at once. His ideal positioning in these situations is around maximum held Fuujin (236[H]) range, from which he can do short, empty 236Ks to establish presence outside the opponent's threat range. By gradually introducing longer spins and pre-emptive cover options like held kara Shin: Ichishiki (236[H]~P), Anji can take note of how the opponent reacts and gauge opportunity for subsequent approaches:

  • if the opponent acts defensively, Anji can start to claim more space towards the opponent;
  • if they try to approach aggressively, he can go back to doing shorter spins and stuff approaches with, for example, 5K;
  • if they take to the air, he can control that space with held Kou (236[S]);
  • if they're acting too passive overall, a held Fuujin or kara followup should keep them on their toes.

Kara Nagiha (236H~S) in particular is a solid approaching option because of its long range and safety, allowing Anji to get back in near the opponent and granting him an advantageous situation if it hits. Kara Rin (236H~H) is also on the table if the opponent starts pre-emptively blocking low and is a remarkably better mixup than it is out of regular Fuujin. The key here is that the autoguard spins on the held versions of Fuujin and Kou are initially indistinguishable from 236K, so the opponent needs to make a decision as to which option(s) they actually want to respect. Alternatively, if the opponent is giving Anji a lot of leeway, he can use Shitsu (236P) to cover him as he approaches.

Anji is generally a very grounded character, and it's important for him to keep the opponent on the ground as well so he can safely use options like 2D, f.S, and Fuujin followups. Kou, 5P, 6P, j.D, and even his airthrow are great tools to dissuade the opponent from hanging out in the air, which is very important against characters like Ramlethal, Millia, and May that love to jump. Once the opponent becomes more hesitant to leave the ground against Anji, he can begin pestering them with kara Shin: Ichishiki (236H~P) to begin pressure situations.

Round Start

  • Anji's safest bet against an unknown opponent will likely be a defensive option, i.e. a backdash or jump back.
  • 2K (frame 7) is Anji's quickest round start button, and can gatling into 2D for a knockdown. Beats May's S dolphin and Sol f.S, for example.
  • 5K (frame 8) is a frame slower and hits some moves that 2K can't, such as Giovanna 5H (can 2D after) and Ramlethal f.S.
  • 6P (frame 10) is a strong counterpoke against moves like Leo 2D and Nagoriyuki f.S, but has more recovery. Launches the opponent towards the corner and can be followed up with Fuujin (236H) → Issokutobi (K) to close the gap.
  • f.S (frame 12) is a decent proactive option that will counterhit long but slow pokes (e.g. Nagoriyuki 5H) and combo into Fuujin.
  • Autoguard is also an option, albeit a very risky one, to get a bigger punish against most frame ≥10 buttons. Use sparingly or not at all.

Pressure

Anji's pressure revolves around the threat of his throw and his massively damaging counterhit starters, allowing him to get away with resetting pressure whilst being minus 8 or more on block. Anji has massive cancel windows on the majority of his gatlings, and almost any hit he can land will lead to potentially incredible meterless damage depending on positioning, making his staggers very scary to defend against. Another big aspect of Anji's pressure is what he does at around max Fuujin range; at this range, Anji can mix in a held 236H and a 236K, since the difference between the latter half of the attack's animation isn't easy to discern if at all. Thanks to the fear of Fuujin, you can get away with doing an empty 236K and reset pressure or even run up and grab if the opponent is giving you a lot of respect. Once the opponent is no longer inclined to respect 236K, they will either mash, run up and grab, or jump, which all can be answered in their own way. If the opponent mashes or tries to run up throw, you can do uncharged/half charged Fuujin and land a counterhit. If the opponent jumps you can answer with Kou, which either gives you a combo leading to hard knockdown or will place you back at point blank to continue pressure.

Fuujin, the Good and Bad

Fuujin is a defining part of Anji's gameplay that has been a famous part of his character since his inception, and unlike how it was in Slash through +R, it is (thankfully) not the memeworthy special move it once was, as the move and it's followups are not nearly as good. But this is not to say Fuujin and it's followups are not without their applications. In order to use Fuujin properly in Strive requires proper intentionality and a good sense of risk/reward in any situation where you would use it.

Pros of Fuujin:

  • Fuujin is a very quick burst movement option for Anji, allowing him to catch the opponent off guard in midrange or when expecting a different autoguard special
  • Fuujin's hitbox is deceptively long, allowing Anji to threaten a decently long ways away from him on the ground
  • Very rewarding on counterhit, especially when charged, where it is one of his best starters. Frametrapping or counterpoking with this special will make the opponent think twice about pressing something
  • Charging Fuujin adds an autoguard twirl to the startup, allowing opponents attacking in anticipation of Anji gaining ground to get punished and/or put into a defensive position
  • Low risk when properly spaced on block, as Nagiha and Shin: Ichishiki are near impossible to punish meaningfully by the mass majority of the cast

Cons of Fuujin:

  • Fuujin and its followups are susceptible to airborne opponents, as the positioning of the hitboxes of these attacks are all fairly low to the ground. If the opponent does a jumping button and you do Fuujin, they will almost always win or put you on the backfoot most of the time
  • There is a small window on charged Fuujin where Anji is vulnerable in between the autoguard and the actual attack, meaning the move can easily be stuffed if you're unlucky
  • Downright awful when spaced too close to the opponent without 50 meter, pretty much any followup you do can be beaten easily thanks to your close proximity in a variety of ways
  • Reward on normal hit is underwhelming at best, save for the charged version (unlikely) or when you have 50 meter

Fuujin "Mixup": Fuujin has a variety of followups that you can use on block or hit, allowing for an extra level of versatility. All of the followups are punishable in their own way (given the circumstances), but attempting to play around and punish one followup can make them susceptible to the others, this is the secret behind Fuujin's "mixups" as you entice the opponent into punishing a specific followup while you punish that expectation with a different followup. Because of how conditioning heavy the followups of Fuujin are in order to function, it doesn't really count as a mixup and is more of an RPS situation that you end your pressure with. The followups and the mindgames behind them are like so:

Nagiha: Fuujin's guessing game primarily revolves around Nagiha (S after Fuujin). Nagiha is the safest followup Anji has at his disposal after Fuujin and hits low, it is minus 7, meaning that he is essentially safe thanks to the move's high pushback unless spaced badly. There is a wide cancel window on Fuujin, meaning that you can delay Nagiha for frametraps and catching jump startup, granting you at worst a soft knockdown, which leads to a repeat of the Fuujin situation. Once the opponent has started to block Nagiha to let your pressure end or is trying to punish Nagiha by instant blocking, you can move on to using the other followups.

Shin: Ichishiki: Once you've conditioned the opponent to respect and play around Nagiha, you can now more safely use Fuujin's other followups. The next safest option you have access to is Shin: Ichishiki (P after Fuujin), which will reward you with plus frames if the opponent blocks it, allowing you to throw out a f.S or 5K to stuff an attempt to poke out from the opponent and continue pressure. Midscreen this followup is weaker as it's hitbox is narrow and following up after the move is inconsistent. The point of using this move is primarily to pester the opponent into trying to jump up and either punish you or escape the situation. Once they start to do so, you can return to using Nagiha to stop this behaviour. When the opponent shows that they don't wish to participate in the RPS between punishing Nagiha and Shin: Ichishiki by continuing to block is where the other two followups can come into play.

Issokutobi: So what do you do when the opponent is just downbacking? This is where Issokutobi (K after Fuujin) comes into play. Issokutobi moves you directly next to the opponent, allowing you to land a grab and go into butterfly oki. This followup is where you can start to put yourself at some serious risk, since if the opponent is looking out for this followup, they are able to punish you on reaction. This move is a prime example of what the Fuujin mindgame is about, as while this move is technically reactable, it is not reactable enough to punish every time unless the opponent is looking out for it specifically, which allows you to get away with all of the other possible options. Using this when you think the opponent isn't prepared for it is essential to keeping the opponent on their toes and opening themselves to the other followups.

Rin: While not useless, Rin (H after Fuujin) is certanly the followup you should abstain from using the most. It is a reactable, very unsafe on block and whiff overhead that loses to mashing and even sometimes jumping. Rin should only be used as a surprise tactic to call out people downbacking and looking out for Issokutobi a little too much, along with calling out backdashes. Make sure to use this sparingly, as it will work rarely against people who know what their doing if you abuse it.

Nothing: Sometimes when you have conditioned the opponent well enough with your Fuujin followups, it is possible to get away with not using a followup at all and resetting pressure from there, even though Fuujin is minus 16 on it's own! Make sure to use this especially against opponents who can react to both Issokutobi and Rin simultaneously, since they'll be expecting delays and other tricks. Usually when this happens, it can signal to your opponent that they are being too patient with you and can persuade them to be more aggressive, therefore allowing you to try frametrapping with Nagiha again, or shift the opponent's focus off of your other options.

REMINDER THAT YOU SHOULD NEVER RELY ON FUUJIN TO OPEN THE OPPONENT UP. WHILE FUUJIN IS IMPORTANT THINK OF IT MORE AS A PRESSURE ENDING RPS AND NOT A MIXUP.

Okizeme

Anji thrives off of hard knockdowns, which he gets primarily using 2D, throw, and Kou (236S). Because Kou leaves Anji airborne, he can also choose to forgo oki and airdash > j.H OTG for a bit of guaranteed damage.

Shitsu

Shitsu (236P) provides perhaps the safest way for Anji to continue putting the opponent on the defensive after a hard knockdown. The projectile will travel about halfscreen, and if it comes into contact with the opponent, it will pop up and dive back down for a second hit.

Anji usually has enough time after a hard knockdown to use Shitsu but needs to make sure he is spaced properly so that the butterfly meaties the opponent right as they get up. If he's too close, Anji is prone to getting hit by a reversal or whiffing the butterfly altogether; if he's too far, the opponent will have time to jump or otherwise avoid the butterfly. When positioned properly, the opponent is put in a position where they essentially have to block the butterfly on wakeup, triggering the pressure of the imminent second hit. Anji can continue his typical blockstring pressure from here, but throw mixups are also effective if timed properly around the projectile blockstun.

Midscreen Shitsu on knockdown can be very useful to stuff fast reversals in combination with IAD j.S. On hit, you can follow up with c.S against the airborne opponent for huge damage. However, this doesn't work against any of Ky's DPs or against the slower metered reversals (which are invulnerable for longer).

In the corner, you can OTG c.S > 236P to cover reversals and jump.

BRC/PRC setups

Anji can spend meter on a Blue or Purple RC to turn his regular Shitsu oki into a more complicated situation for the opponent by allowing him to apply additional pressure much earlier in the projectile's lifespan.

Microdash Shitsu

While more difficult to perform consistently compared to setups listed above, after a Throw, Anji can microdash in order to create gapless blockstrings like Shitsu > Dash c.S, allowing him to create pressure situations that could have previously been interrupted at midscreen. With c.S as a true blockstring, Anji can push better and/or different in between the first and second hit of Shitsu, such as neutral jump into landing 2K or falling j.S and fast tick throws. Note that, since he's left so close, Anji can slightly delay pressure after c.S to bait reversals without messing up his timing too badly.

Fuujin OTG

If Anji is too close to use Shitsu comfortably, he can also just hit the grounded opponent with Fuujin (236H) → Issokutobi (K). The hop will place him directly next to the opponent, from which point an immediate c.S or 5K will meaty.

Corner Throw, OTG normal > 236P (Shitsu)

After landing a Throw in the corner, Anji has a variety of options to keep pressure, and Shitsu is usually the safest one. In general, moves with more pushback can make it so Anji is safer against reversals, while moves with less pushback can give you better pressure and hit the opponent out their jump startup. From lowest to highest pushback, the main OTG options are c.S < 2S < 2H < 5H. Also keep in mind that the post-Throw distance increases depending on how close the opponent was to corner, so you have to adjust accordingly by choosing your OTG normal.

  • Shitsu after c.S is not safe against Ky or Leo, but it beats every other meterless DP, making it the best OTG option in all the other matchups. Against Ky you should use 2S instead. Against Leo, you have to use 2H or 5H unless you're properly spaced for 2S.
  • Shitsu after OTG 2H or 5H can never stuff pre-jump frames, but it's always safe against meterless reversals. As for metered reversals, it's guaranteed to beat Sol, Potemkin, Faust, I-No (max punish with 2H), Jack-O (only with 5H), but loses to every other metered reversal unless properly spaced.

Corner Throw, OTG 2H > 236K (Spin)

The other, riskier post-Throw option in the corner is to play RPS with Spin (236K), which is specially useful against characters that could easily beat OTG > Shitsu (Leo, Ramlethal, Anji) because held Spin is able to beat almost every Reversal if slightly delayed. Correct reads will allow Anji to Throw again (continuing the loops) or cash out for a wallbreak combo. Even some “losing” situations result in a neutral outcome where Anji can still transition into regular corner pressure. Video by Klaige explaining this setup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLTnS0NWTQA

The guessing game ends up working something like this:

  • Anji simply throws them again after the spin.
    • Wins against: hesitation, blocking, throwable reversals, slow buttons.
    • Loses to: fast buttons, throw techs, command throws, jumping.
    • Not a bad first option to try to catch a fresh opponent off guard and make them realize they have to do something.
  • Anji holds back after the spin to block.
    • Wins against: laggy buttons, attempted throw techs, reversals.
    • Loses to: nothing really; even if the opponent doesn't do something punishable, Anji is usually still in a position for regular corner pressure.
    • An easy, low-risk option that can punish opponents who are trigger-happy with their reversals or throw techs. A good bet if you're unsure what the opponent will do and don't want to risk guessing.
  • Anji presses meaty(?) c.S after the spin.
    • Wins against: most buttons, attempted throw techs, jumping without blocking.
    • Loses to: reversals.
  • Anji does Kachoufuugetsu (632146S) after the spin.
    • Wins against: pretty much any button.
    • Loses to: anything that isn't a button.
    • A very big callout that does good damage and wallbreaks with hard knockdown.
  • Anji holds the spin for the full duration (i.e. does 236[K] instead).
    • Wins against: fast buttons.
    • Loses to: throws, jumping, slow buttons.

The opponent should eventually figure out that upbacking is the least dangerous option for them, at which point Anji can actually try to airthrow them into Fuujin OTG. 2S OTG > spin after airthrow is an option to try to extend the loops, but Anji can be thrown while spinning because of the difference in spacing. If the opponent decides to try to match Anji's airthrow, he can go back to using c.S after spin, which will grant him a counterhit and easy wallbreak combo. Alternatively, Anji can replace the 236K with held Kou (236[S]) as a compromise that still allows him to continue corner pressure with landing j.S if the opponent doesn't end up jumping.

Kou safejump

After throwing, Kou (236S) > j.S is an easy safejump setup. If the opponent uses an invincible reversal, the j.S will whiff, allowing Anji to block immediately upon landing and punish. Otherwise, it will meaty the opponent's wakeup and allow Anji to continue on the offensive.

Defense

Anji can sometimes struggle to force his way out of defensive situations due to his lack of a meterless reversal. His 2p is 5f which allows him room to mash out of tick throws and some other mixups, but he still has to rely on other options (e.g. backdash or jump) often as well. Staying patient while blocking is crucial to avoid getting blown up off of a counterhit and to eventually reset back to neutral.

Kachoufuugetsu

When Anji has 50% meter, however, it's an entirely different story. Kachoufuugetsu (632146S) is a frame 1 counter reversal, and an opponent who swings into the active window will find themselves put into a blender cutscene, allowing Anji to get them off his back and deal a good chunk of damage. Also, because it's a counter instead of a plain invincible reversal, it will beat safejump setups.

However, Kachoufuugetsu has its fair share of weaknesses:

  • it's completely throwable;
  • it will do a weaker, non-cutscene variant when triggered by projectiles and large disjoints; and
  • it will not follow crossups.

These don't invalidate the move by any means, but are some things to keep in mind against characters like Nagoriyuki, Zato, Leo, etc.

An opponent who respects the threat that Kachoufuugetsu poses may opt to frametrap less often in favor of trying to bait this move by tick throwing. Because of this, holding onto 50% meter to threaten the counter can be more effective at weakening the opponent's pressure than outright using it.

The following is an excellent video by Klaige explaining what Kachoufuugetsu brings to the table: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG3EawOV5as

Autoguard

Anji's autoguard spins are not exactly a reliable defensive tool due to their 10-frame startup, during which the opponent can smack him for a counterhit or just walk up and throw. That being said, there are some situations where spinning during gaps in pressure can be beneficial. For example, after blocking Ramlethal's sword throw in the corner, if she doesn't cover the explosion with a normal, spinning with 236[K] immediately afterwards will allow Anji to autoguard it and force the opponent to adjust their pressure accordingly (keep in mind you don't actually gain any frame advantage from this). Such scenarios should be listed under the relevant Matchups section.

Fighting Anji

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Anji Mito