In the transition to Strive, I-No received nerfs to many of her long-range tools. Note is note-ably weaker in neutral than in previous games, being slow to come out, travel and recover, and HCL is shorter and even easier to low profile than before. In exchange, she receives a unique airdash- one that travels at a downward angle as opposed to straight forward. With these changes I-No has to play neutral closer and more carefully than ever.
Despite the nerfs, I-No's toolkit is loaded with ways to get in and start her offense, which is likely why you play her at all. The first is Chemical Love, which no longer needs to be qualified as Horizontal. It's quick, disjointed, and causes a soft knockdown on hit, allowing I-No to significantly close gaps between her and her opponent. Although it's much worse as a poke than in previous games, it's generally safe at long range and beats plenty of moves for decent reward. This move becomes significantly stronger against tall characters such as Potemkin, Faust and Nagoriyuki as it stuffs many of their moves and forces them to take big risks to get hits. It might be well-advised to keep your distance until you can score a good knockdown.
Once you're at midrange, I-No becomes much harder to keep out. Using Stroke the Big Tree, she can low profile and punish high-hitting pokes, and IAD with her unique airdash to whiff punish lower pokes from opponents trying to catch STBT. For less committal options, 6P and 2S also come with low profile, reach far, and give great reward on CH. 2H can also be a good button to fish for counter hits as it has great disjoint and reward. Once you've scored a knockdown from close enough, take advantage of I-No's great mixup and okizeme to break your opponent's kneecaps.
I-No is often in the air herself, but against more mobile characters such as Chipp or Millia you might find more success playing more reactively. 6P is a solid and reliable option to smack the pixies out of the air, but has very low and inconsistent reward. 5P mash also functions as a clutch anti-air and works against people closer to your head. It also leaves them close enough to you for a hoverdash j.H. Air throwing is a strong option against upback and people trying to airdash over you, but it's committal and leaves you in recovery until you touch the ground. j.P is a solid air-to-air as well. 6H is much slower, but covers the area over and in front of your head well as a pre-emptive move, and is by far the most rewarding of I-No's anti-airs.
If you're in the air as well when they jump, you can use Sultry Performance as an air-to-air. Even if they block and you use the follow-up, you'll be plus, allowing you some pressure.
I-No's anti-air options are unfortunately not that rewarding apart from CH 6H, but it is extremely important to pick the correct option. Performing the wrong anti-air can mean the difference between starting your offense and taking 40%.
I-No is one of the only characters to have 'traditional' Guilty Gear okizeme in Strive. However, she is slightly limited in when she can set it up. Her main tool for this, of course, is Antidepressant Scale, a projectile that gains hits as it travels. Setting it up from a hard knockdown and forcing her opponent to block it allows I-No to safely run her strong mixup game.
I-No has three ways to get hard knockdowns: ending a combo in 2D or 236H, or throwing her opponent. Throws won't give enough advantage unless you're close to the corner, but cancelling your 2D ender into Antidepressant Scale will often force your opponent to block the projectile. Using 236H as an ender instead requires you to buffer Note to come out as soon as Stroke recovers, but it shouldn't be too tricky. Note that if you're too far from your opponent, the projectile won't reach them quickly enough and they'll be able to jump over the projectile. Certain reversals like Ramlethal's Mortobato reach far enough to hit I-No during her hoverdash and have enough invulnerability for note to pass through them safely as well. With this in mind, let's take a look at:
Meaties and Safejumps
With Strive's knockdown system, I-No often won't have enough advantage to set up a note. However, she can still continue her offense from a knockdown by chasing the opponent's recovery with a j.H, stuffing attempted jump outs, normals, or even throws. If she's close enough to her opponent, I-No can even time her hoverdash well to safejump. With how hoverdash works it's difficult to put setups into text, so try to lab things out a bit for yourself.
I-No's mixups all stem from her hoverdash. From there, she has several options:
Cancels into j.D for a second overhead. You can also land and go for a low with 2K, or throw afterward.
Jump cancels for F-Shiki setups with j.S or j.K. Has the same options as j.K after landing.
Land into a low or a throw, or Megalomania.
I-No's pressure works a little differently from other characters in Strive. As she lacks a normal run and her walk is very slow, she can't go for throws nearly as easily as other characters. However, many of the general concepts still apply.
After a hoverdash, frame trapping with 2K, c.S or 6H is the go-to option to establish respect. If they don't get hit you can continue frame trapping, either with 2D from 2K or 2S > 5H from c.S. If you've exhausted all your gatlings and they're still blocking, you can try to catch jumps or mashing with 236S, delaying it as necessary to account for blockstun or your opponent's habits. However, if they block 236S your turn should be up.
If you're willing to disrespect your opponent, you can try to jump back airdash to high profile their attempted punish after 236S and get a combo of your own. If they start anticipating this, you can low profile their attempted anti-air instead.
If you've noticed your opponent's respecting your frame traps, it's time for you to force them open. After landing from a hoverdash, quickly hoverdash again into j.S for another quick overhead. You can also do this from a low-recovery normal like 2K or j.S. These resets are extremely difficult to react to and a lot of people will have to guess or mash if they don't want to get opened up. Another option is to use 236H where you would use 236S, as it's plus on block and forces the opponent to guess by mashing if they don't want to eat constant pressure.
I-No is supposed to win when she gets close, and she forces you to guess. Make liberal use of defensive options such as YRC and Burst, and beat her in neutral where she's usually disadvantaged. Be aware of what your opponent likes to do. Stuff STBT with lows, stuff airdashes with 6P.
If you're confident in your guesses, you can mash after j.K to beat j.D gatling, or any hoverdash resets.
Don't get gimmicked:
- Always mash after blocking an uncharged dive grounded. The hops are minus.
- The slow STBT is +2, and the fast one is -7. See if you have a normal you can punish it with, and interrupt slow STBT if you think it's coming.
- Her reversal super (Ultimate Fortissimo) has a significant gap between the two hits, allowing you to interrupt the plus projectile with a combo.
The answers to I-No's toolkit are highly character-specific. It might be helpful to consult your character's page or discord to find answers.
Click [★] for character's full frame data