GGST/Ky Kiske/Strategy

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Ky Kiske



General Strategies

Shock State

Shock State (SS) is a unique gameplay mechanic exclusive to Ky. It functions as a passive debuff that Ky can inflict his opponent with. Using special moves or Overdrives to hit an opponent inflicted with SS results in various bonus effects. Understanding SS is essential for a Ky player who strives to make the most of the character.

Inflicting Shock State

Ky’s opponent will become inflicted with SS for three seconds if they come into contact with Dire EclatGGST Ky Kiske 214S.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
14
Recovery:
25
Advantage:
-8 [-6]
(214S), Stun EdgeGGST Ky Kiske 236S.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
13
Recovery:
Total 46
Advantage:
-15
(236S), Charged Stun EdgeGGST Ky Kiske 236H.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
39
Recovery:
Total 62
Advantage:
+22 [+25]
(236H), Aerial Stun EdgeGGST Ky Kiske j236X.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
21
Recovery:
Until Landing+10
Advantage:
-
(j.236S/H) or Sacred EdgeGGST Ky Kiske 236236P.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
4+3
Recovery:
32
Advantage:
+10 [+15]
(236236P). These moves inflict the opponent with SS on hit and on block, making it rather easy to apply. If an SS-induced opponent comes into contact with an SS-inducing move again, the effect reapplies, restarting the timer. If they are hit by a special move or Overdrive that does not inflict SS, the effect is removed.

A common way to apply Shock State is by utilizing SS-inducing moves to finish blockstrings. 214S has plenty of pushback on block, making it a decent blockstring ender. It does have limited range however, making it best for blockstrings that begin with P or K buttons, due to said strings having little pushback. 236S is unsafe if blocked close, but safe at longer distances. This is Ky's go-to option for finishing blockstrings with lots of pushback, such as strings that end with 5H. If you manage to score a knockdown, a 236H set-up will inflict SS and provide Ky with plenty of plus frames for a mix-up.

Effects of Shock State

  • Damage Boosts: Ky’s special moves and his Overdrive, Ride The LightningGGST Ky Kiske 632146H.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    8+1
    Recovery:
    99
    Advantage:
    -82
    (RTL), deal an additional 10% damage against SS-induced opponents. Stun DipperGGST Ky Kiske 236K 1.pngGuard:
    Low, All
    Startup:
    5
    Recovery:
    26
    Advantage:
    -15 [-10]
    (236K) is an exception, only the second hit gets a 10% damage boost, resulting in a 5% boost overall. Sacred Edge gains an impressive 19% damage boost.
  • Frame Data Improvements: Several of Ky’s special moves and Sacred Edge also deal more blockstun to an SS-induced opponent. This is especially important for 214S, 236K and Foudre ArcGGST Ky Kiske 214K.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    24
    Recovery:
    6
    Advantage:
    -2~+6 [+4~+12]
    (214K). 214S becomes -6 instead of -8, making it safe against moves that could otherwise punish it, especially against instant block punishes. 236K becomes -10 instead of -15, reducing its risk somewhat. 214K receives enough added blockstun to become advantageous on block against stand blocking opponents, which it normally isn’t. 236H is changed from +22 to +25, making a follow-up 5[D] uninterruptible by non-invincible strikes. Sacred Edge is changed from +10 to +15, which makes it easier for Ky to close the gap and continue pressure safely.
  • New Combo Routes: The H version of Vapor ThrustGGST Ky Kiske 623H.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    13
    Recovery:
    44
    Advantage:
    -38
    (623H) lifts the opponent higher than normal, which can result in powerful corner combos.

Dragon Install

Dragon Install (DI) is a unique power-up state that amplifies Ky’s special moves and Overdrives. It can only be activated when Ky is at 30% HP or less, at the cost of 50% Tension. When activated, it will last until the end of the round.

Keep in mind that Ky generates a shockwave attack the moment DI activates. The shockwave can Wall Break if it's used during a corner combo. If blocked, the shockwave is plus.

The Positives of Dragon Install

  • Comboing into DI will hard knockdown the opponent. On block, it is +4, which can be useful for resetting pressure against opponents respecting Ky's offense.
  • Boosts the damage of Ky's Specials and Overdrives. The damage boost varies from 25% to 100%, depending on the move.
  • Improved frame data on all Ky's Special moves. Notably, Dire Eclat (214S) becomes -6 instead of -8, making it safer against moves that could otherwise punish it.
  • New combo routes become possible, such as meterless combos off of H Vapor Thrust (623H).
  • DI special moves can in some cases be better than Ky's normal or Shock State specials. For example, Leo's projectile, Gravierte WürdeGGST Leo Whitefang Graviert Wurde.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    10
    Recovery:
    Total 54F
    Advantage:
    -16
    ([4]6S), usually beats Stun Edge (236S). But thanks to its second hit, the DI version of 236S will pass through.
  • Chip damage on all Specials and Overdrives is significantly increased.

The Drawbacks of Dragon Install

  • Because it only becomes available at 30% HP, the chance is high that you won't survive long enough for it to be worth the Tension cost. RC and Ky's other Overdrives have an immediate effect, which is important towards the end of the round when it's likely that the opponent has also taken some damage and the round can be ended with a Ride The Lightning confirm.
  • Characters that have an invincible reversal can use it to beat the DI activation shockwave because there's 1f of startup after the cinematic. It's best used after a hard knockdown or by incorporating it into a combo, but doing so sacrifices oki or combo damage.
  • DI Specials can in some cases be worse than their regular or Shock State versions. Some of Ky's DI specials cause less RISC gain than their regular versions, and some combos and setups are broken or altered by the extra hits and pushback, mainly with DI 214S.

Round Start Options

Rounds start from mid range, which happens to be Ky's best range. Naturally, Ky has better options than much of the cast. His lengthy 2S hits low with a fast startup of 10f, giving Ky a chance to poke the opponent from the round-start position. Most of the time 2S recovers and remains safe on whiff if the opponent jumps over it. Usage of 2S can result in mind games in Ky's favor. If the opponent blocks, Ky can inflict Shock State with 2S > 236S. If the opponent performs a jump to evade 2S and try a jump-in attack, Ky can safely block it, or counter read by performing round-start j.K / j.S air-to-air. In this situation, the opponent will most likely delay their jump-in attack in order to hit a grounded opponent, giving Ky's attack a head start. If the opponent backdashes to escape 2S, Ky can perform 236S directly for SS, or if you want to gamble, perform 236K to knock them down (this won't work against May, whose backdash recovers too fast for 236K to hit). Another escape option is jumping back. Ky can apply pressure with 214K, but this option can be inconsistent.

  • Do note that in a normal Wall Break reset, players are placed slightly further than the round start position. The strategy above won't work for this situation, or at least won't work as well.

Other notable round start options for Ky include 2D, which grants massive reward on counterhit, f.S, which will beat select round start options Ky otherwise struggles against (such as Nagoriyuki 5K), and 6P, which can cleanly beat many character's go-to round start pokes.

Tension Usage

All characters get good mileage off of spending Tension on universal mechanics, such as Roman Cancels and Faultless Defense. As for character specifics, Ky can choose from Ride the Lightning (RTL), Sacred Edge (236236P) and Dragon Install (DI). 236236P has some uses as a combo tool, but it's rarely the best option.

Ride the Lightning

RTL is a powerful Overdrive. It deals good damage and locks the opponent out of Psych Burst. The startup is quite fast at 8 frames, making it possible to combo into from a variety of moves. It pushes the opponent forward a great distance on hit due to its forward momentum and it wall breaks if the opponent is carried to the corner. When used in a combo, RTL can score a wall break from slightly longer than half the stage, a feat no other Overdrive can accomplish. You could think of RTL as a free wall break once you reach 50% Tension, as the meter you spend will quickly be replenished by the resulting Positive Bonus. Moves that can combo into RTL include 6P, f.S, 5H, 2H, 2D, j.P and j.S. Nearly every move in Ky's arsenal can either confirm into it directly or combo into another move that confirms into it. With proper utilization of RTL, Ky can obtain Positive Bonus more often than most characters. RTL confirms are a key component of Ky's gameplan and should be practiced by every Ky player.

Stun Dipper > RC

Stun Dipper (236K) is a useful move due to its fast 5 frame startup and good low profile properties. However, the first hit won't combo into the second hit when used at close range, making it punishable. This issue can be circumvented by using a Roman Cancel after the first hit, allowing Ky to reap the benefits of the first hit of 236K without the drawbacks of the second hit, at the cost of 50% Tension. Having a 5 frame, low-profile combo starter at your disposal is very good, as it can be used during blockstrings to dissuade opponents from jumping and conditioning them to block instead, allowing Ky to go for more aggressive mix-ups. 236K > RC can also be used during neutral to catch the opponent by surprise. Should 236K > RC be blocked, Ky gets enough frame advantage for a mix-up.

Burst Safe Combos

By making use of Roman Cancels, Ky can create combo routes that will allow him to punish an enemy Burst if they go for it, or continue the combo if they don't. These Burst safe combos are usually more rewarding when the opponent is cornered. In the corner, try routes such as 236K / Ground Throw > 44RRC > 236H. The Drift RC back will put Ky out of range of the opponent's Burst, causing 236H to punish the Burst. If they don't Burst, the RC will combo into 236H, which in turn can combo into long-ranged moves that will also keep Ky safe from Bursts. These combos are bit more technical than the average Ky combo, but they are well worth the time and effort. Video Example

Neutral

Mid Range / Footsies

Ky is versatile enough to function well at any range, but is especially good at mid ranged poking. Against characters that have shorter range than Ky, this is your prime position to be in. 2S is his strongest poke. It hits low, has a great balance of speed and range and several good cancel options. It's likely to score a counter hit or interrupt an approach when used in footsies range. Ky's f.S is slightly smaller and slower than 2S, but complements it by having more active frames, shorter recovery and the ability to contest aerial opponents. For a move with as much range as f.S, 13 frames of recovery is rather short. This makes it relatively safe on whiff, making it a great option for checking the opponent. On block it's also rather safe, as -5 is very good for its range, making it useful for stagger pressure if spaced. Both f.S and 2S can gatling into 5H for a frametrap, or be counter hit confirmed into combos. If either of these moves are blocked at tip range, canceling into Stun Edge (236S) is usually a safe way to end the string, but beware of characters that employ tricks to work around it.

A counter strategy against mid-ranged pokes is to position oneself to make them whiff before approaching or contesting them with 6P. Ky's f.S is difficult to whiff punish due to its short recovery, but it is vulnerable to 6P. His 2S hits low enough to contest 6P, but is more vulnerable on whiff. If your opponent successfully plays around these moves, vary your timing, positioning and move choices more to throw them off. Stay sharp!

5H and 6H have more range than the S buttons and have proper disjoints. While similar at a glance, both moves have their own use cases in neutral. 5H is the faster of the two, and it's also slightly more disjointed and has more active frames. It has enough hitstun to confirm into Stun Dipper (236K) or Ride The Lightning (632146H) even on normal hit, making it particularly useful when you're seeking a knockdown or an un-Burstable Area Shift from midscreen. 6H, on the other hand, knocks opponents down and away on normal hit, and the hitbox reaches lower to the ground, which makes it great for simultaneously covering some Low ProfileWhen a character's hurtbox is entirely beneath an opponent's attack. This can be caused by crouching, certain moves, and being short. attacks. It can also lead to Area Shift combos if it wall bounces, and on Counter Hit leads to high damage combos with tremendous wall carry. Situationally, if you are looking to keep yourself a bit safer and fish for a midscreen knockdown or confirm into RTL Area Shift, consider using 5H. If you are looking to deter an overly aggressive opponent with the threat of an explosive Counter Hit wall carry/Area Shift combo (especially one who is using a lot of advancing/low profile moves), consider using 6H.

In addition, Ky also has an excellent sweep in his 2D. It has good speed and range, and leads to stronger Okizeme than any of his S or H buttons. If used wisely, 2D will also condition opponents to block low, which is useful for getting them to sit still.

Ky can complement all of the aforementioned mid range tools with Stun Dipper (236K), a fast low with Low ProfileWhen a character's hurtbox is entirely beneath an opponent's attack. This can be caused by crouching, certain moves, and being short. properties. It can be used to slip under quite a fair share of attacks, and also works well as a preemptive response to certain options. For example, if your opponent has a tendency to attack or jump after blocking pokes, canceling into 236K can interrupt them. The first hit won't combo into the second hit at close range, and the second hit is punishable on block, which means that the second hit can be more of a liability than a benefit. Use Stun Dipper > RC to alleviate this issue.

If you wish to go on the offensive, Ky can smoothly transition from mid range to close range by ending any blockstring with Foudre Arc (214K) or by using it raw in neutral. If used during a dash, 214K's range is extended even further, allowing it to reach nearly full screen. However, 214K is vulnerable during its start-up. If you use it in a predictable way, the opponent can react to it and interrupt it with a fast button. In addition, characters with strong space controlling normals, such as Leo or Nagoriyuki, can intercept the move quite easily just by throwing out counter pokes. Don’t use 214K recklessly.

If you cycle Ky's mid-ranged moves well, your opponent might start approaching from the air to avoid having to contest with Ky at mid or close range. Ky is armed with many solid anti-airs, be ready to whip them out at a moment’s notice.

Close Range / Brawling

At close range, Ky can use his fast c.S, P or K buttons to contest opponents. c.S is quite a versatile button, being able to gatling into S, H, D and command normals. It's also jump cancelable. 2P is Ky's fastest button, and it can combo into 6P > Dire Eclat (214S) for a meterless knockdown, something that not every character can get from their P buttons. 2K is Ky's fastest low combo starter, making it essential for mix-ups. Using it is important to condition the opponent to block low and respect your frame advantage. 5K is another low, it's similar in application to 2K due to its identical gatling options, but it has a longer active duration. This makes it quite good for interrupting moves in scramble situations and it's a great meaty option as well.

Ky lacks a unique overhead or command throw. This means that he is especially reliant on mind games universal mechanics for close range mix-ups. If your opponent has strong defense, you need good understanding of fundamentals to open them up. Throws are a vital for cracking through anyone's defenses. It's a good idea to stagger Ky's fast buttons and mix in throws for a strike/throw mix-up. When pressuring with Ky's K buttons, a key gatling option is 2D. This sweep attack allows for a double low sequence which can be staggered or reset for more mind games. If you're feeling bold, 5D is a risky but very rewarding mix-up option. It is reactable, but if you condition your opponent to fear other options 5D can catch them by surprise. You can also pressure reset with 6K, but it should be done sparingly due to 6K's hefty startup.

If you wish to return to mid range, any of Ky's blockstrings can be ended with Stun Edge (236S) or 214S to apply Shock State and create space. Do note that these blockstrings aren't as airtight as more aggressive characters, some characters have enough range to punish blockstring enders like 236S or 214S.

Long Range / Zoning

At long range, Ky can zone his opponents out with Stun Edge (236S). If your opponent likes to attack preemptively, position yourself outside of their range and fire 236S to punish them. This will condition your opponent to play more reactively, giving you ample time to utilize more aggressive tactics. Many characters have good ways to move around projectiles, so vary your timing and positioning. The horizontal aerial Stun Edge (j.236H) is useful for stopping an approach from the air, should they try to jump over the grounded ones. The vertical aerial Stun Edge (j.236S) can be used after an air dash to fake out an aerial approach and punish them if they use an anti-air. If your opponent respects you a lot, you can set up a Charged Stun Edge (236H) and run behind it to close the gap.

Full screen projectiles are a great tool to have. Don't get into the habit of over relying on them though, as all of Ky's projectiles can be counter hit punished during their recovery frames. In addition, many characters have strong tools for closing space against projectiles, such as Sol's Night Raid VortexGGST Sol Badguy 214S 1.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
15~31 [32]
Recovery:
32 [26]
Advantage:
-17
(214S). This means that the risk-reward ratio of firing projectiles is not as favorable for Ky as it might seem. Exercise caution. The exception is against characters that have limited mobility, such as Potemkin and Nagoriyuki, who might struggle to punish projectiles. You can be a bit more bold in matchups like these.

There are situations where closing space is preferable to zoning. Understanding how to use basic movement options is key for closing the gap. Keep in mind that many of Ky's best moves are mid-ranged ones, so even if zoning doesn't work out, you don't have to run from full screen all the way to your opponent's face. Especially not because doing so would make your approach predictable and punishable with large attacks. Keep your approach safe by dashing shorter distances and then blocking. Mix in the occasional dash into an attack. f.S is a prime contender as it can carry dash momentum, has long range and short recovery. 5H is also good due to its disjoint, just don't get predictable with either of these moves. Air dashing is also a good tool for closing space. Mix air dash into aerial attacks with air dash to block.

Ky has two special moves that move him forward. The first one is Foudre Arc (214K) - a long-ranged, acrobatic flip-kick. If used during a dash, 214K's range is extended even further, allowing it to reach nearly full screen. It's useful for jumping over moves with low hitboxes. However, 214K is vulnerable during its startup. Mix up your options or pay the price. Ky also has a Low ProfileWhen a character's hurtbox is entirely beneath an opponent's attack. This can be caused by crouching, certain moves, and being short. slide attack in the form of Stun Dipper (236K). It can be used to slip under quite a fair share of attacks, use it if you predict your opponent to go for a move with a high hitbox.

Defensive Aerials

Aerial attacks are an essential part of Ky’s gameplan. The utilization of aerials can be divided into two broad categories: Air-to-air and air-to-ground. Both of these can be used either defensively in order to retreat, or for aggressive purposes. This section will cover both defensive air-to-air and defensive air-to-ground, as they function similarly. The same options and moves work for both purposes, they just require different timing and positioning.

IAD Back > j.S / j.H - Useful against grounded foes. The backwards movement of an instant air backdash combined with the range of j.S or j.H makes for a strong preventive option. If the opponent likes to close space when Ky is at minus frames, such as after 214S is blocked, this option can stop them and force them to either play more patiently or to attack more preemptively, which is less threatening.

j.K - Useful from a neutral jump or a backward jump against aerial foes. This move’s generous speed and range make it a good aerial poke. It can link into itself and convert to a ground combo. If used during the beginning of the jump - while Ky is still rising, it can combo into j.S (this is easier from a neutral jump), which in turn can confirm into Ride The Lightning (632146H).

j.H - Useful from a neutral jump or backward jump against both grounded and aerial foes. Somewhat slow startup at 13F, but the range makes up for it. It covers a wide area when used preemptively, deterring the opponent from approaching carelessly, both from the ground and from the air.

j.D - Useful from a neutral jump or a backward jump against aerial foes. Same startup as j.H, but has more active frames, recovers faster, and is fully disjointed. However, it doesn't reach as low to the ground as j.H, making it primarily suited to intercepting air approaches. It also briefly stalls Ky in the air, making his landing harder to predict when mixed up with other options, but also makes him easier to punish if the move whiffs and the opponent is ready. j.D can also intercept and destroy incoming projectiles with the proper timing.

Aerial Stun Edge (j.236S/H) - Useful against grounded or aerial foes, depending on version and positioning. The different angles of the two versions complement each other. j.236S can be used while retreating to stop a grounded approach, or used after an air dash to fake out an aerial approach and punish them if they use an anti-air. j.236H is useful for stopping an approach from the air, should they try to jump over 236S or j.236S. Both versions stall Ky in the air and shift him backwards as the projectile comes out, allowing him to dodge and punish even if his movement options are exhausted. Both of these moves can also be TK'd (Tiger Knee) from the ground.

Keep in mind that Ky is very vulnerable if either version whiffs, as they have a uniquely long landing recovery at 14F, and put him in a counter hit state the whole time. Be careful.

Air-to-Air

This section covers air-to-air for aggressive purposes, either from a forward jump or an air dash.

j.P - Ky's fastest aerial attack. Its ability to gatling into itself makes it a safe air-to-air. It can be confirmed into RTL on hit.

j.K - This move has a larger hitbox and more active frames than j.P. It can link into itself and convert to a ground combo. It's Ky's most reliable air-to-air overall. It can also gatling into j.D for combos or blockstrings. If used during the beginning of the jump - while Ky is still rising, it can combo into j.S, which in turn is easily confirmed into RTL.

j.S - Has a slightly larger hitbox than j.K. However, it also has significantly longer recovery, making j.K the generally preferred option. There are situations where the extra range of j.S can come in handy, such as when used close to the ground. The counterhit slowdown addition to j.S makes it extremely easy to convert into a full combo, as well as making RTL confirms trivial.

Jump-In

Jump-in refers to aggressive air-to-ground options, used to initiate pressure or as an okizeme mix-up.

j.S - A good jump-in due to its generous range. The hitbox reaches much further down than the animation implies. This attack is especially effective when used in conjunction with the air dash FDC technique (See the Okizeme section for more on FDC).

j.H - Slightly larger than j.S, but also slower. The speed difference isn't severe enough to be particularly important in situations where jump-ins are preferred, such as against a grounded, passive opponent. Do note that j.H does not hit below Ky's feet or behind him, despite what the animation suggests.

CH Option Select

An Option Select that takes advantage of GGST's Counter Hit system. By attacking with a medium strength or higher poke like 2S or 5H, then inputting a special move immediately followed by another, you can guarantee that the second special you input will only come out on counter hit.

Examples:

  • 2S/f.S/5H > 214S~236K: Gives 214S on block/hit, 236K on CH. A bit difficult since you have to input two different direction commands quickly. Not too useful since 214S is preferred on hit, CH, and block, but 214S will whiff at max distance pokes so it's situationally useful.
  • 2S/f.S/5H > 236S~K: Like the above, only it gives 236S on normal hit/block, and 236K on CH. The above is generally preferred but if for whatever reason you absolutely don't want to whiff 214S this is pretty safe at mid range.

Defense

Defensive System Mechanics

Faultless Defense (FD), Psych Burst and Yellow Roman Cancel (YRC) are cornerstones of defense in Guilty Gear, as they are quite handy for breaking out of pressure. Using them well is essential for mastering any character. They all cost a resource though, so think about how you use them.

Faultless Defense


Powerful defensive option, but drains Tension as you use it!
Hold any two buttons except D while blocking to perform Faultless Defense (FD). As long as the direction and buttons are held down (and the Tension Gauge isn't empty), you will continue to perform Faultless Defense.

A unique type of guard that gradually depletes Tension when used. Faultless Defense augments your block by giving it several special properties. Firstly, it increases pushback on block, making it useful to make space between you and the opponent. By using Faultless Defense early in the opponent's blockstring, the opponent will be pushed back enough that later attacks will miss, allowing you to punish the opponent's whiffed attack or disengage. When in use, Faultless Defense also prevents the R.I.S.C Level from increasing and nullifies chip damage. This is essential for survival in situations where chip damage runs the risk of finishing you off.

Keep in mind that you don't have to hold two buttons for a long time in order to use Faultless Defense effectively. It's also possible to press the buttons briefly - slightly longer than a tap - just before the opponent's hit connects. By doing this, you can let go of Faultless Defense in between the hits of an opponent's blockstring, allowing you to save some Tension. This requires some precision though, so it will require practice.


Yellow Roman Cancel


It's just like Xrd, but not at all!
Press any three attack buttons (except D) simultaneously while in blockstun to perform a Yellow Roman Cancel (YRC). Costs 50% Tension.

Yellow Roman Cancels can be used when blocking at the cost of 50% Tension, for the purpose of stopping an attacking opponent and resetting the momentum of the match. Yellow Roman Cancels can not be performed when your character is in a Guard Crush state. Upon activation, your character creates a shockwave that forces the opponent into a Guard Crush state, granting your character massive frame advantage. Yellow Roman Cancel is a useful tool for challenging an opponent’s pressure, especially for characters that are lacking in character-specific tools.

However, Yellow Roman Cancel is -16 on block and leaves your character in Counter Hit state during its recovery frames. Sharp opponents can block it on prediction and punish it heavily. Make sure to vary when you go for a Yellow Roman Cancel to avoid becoming predictable. In addition, the hefty 50% Tension cost must always be taken into consideration. Said Tension could be used for Overdrives or extending combos or blockstrings with other types of Roman Cancels. Practice utilizing all of your defensive options so as to not end up over relying on Yellow Roman Cancel and burning Tension too quickly.


Psych Burst


Press D + any other attack button to perform a Psych Burst. Costs a full Burst Gauge.

A powerful defensive option that can be used in a variety of situations at the cost of a full Burst Gauge. Upon activation, your character releases an invincible shockwave that knocks opponents away. Bursts can be used at almost any point in the match, including when you’re in blockstun or hitstun. This allows Bursts to function as both a combo breaker and as a way to challenge the opponent’s pressure. The Burst Gauge refills very slowly over time, so it can be a good idea to use it early in a match to break out of a powerful combo, such as a Counter Hit combo. This will allow you to spend the rest of the round recharging it, making it more likely to have another opportunity to use it again later in the match.

While Bursts are very powerful, they are far from infallible. The activation shockwave is not instant, so sharp players can predict incoming Bursts and punish them heavily. A common method of doing so is canceling attacks with jump cancels or Roman Cancels, then blocking the Burst and punishing the recovery. Because of the risk associated with it, you should vary the timing of when you go for Burst to avoid becoming predictable. In addition, the activation shockwave's range is limited. Characters with long ranged attacks, such as Nagoriyuki and Ramlethal, have access to Burst-safe combos and blockstrings that allow them to punish Burst if you go for it or continue their offense if you don’t. Against players that employ these tactics, you will need strong match-up knowledge to survive. Lastly, keep in mind that Burst cannot be performed while your character is stuck to the wall, being thrown, or being hit by an Overdrive.


Counter Pokes

Counter poking is the act of attacking preemptively for the purpose of interrupting the opponent’s actions. By placing hitboxes in front of your character, the opponent runs the risk of being hit out of their forward movement or being counter hit out of their attacks. Counter pokes are key for playing a preventive playstyle, which is useful against aggression. The best counter pokes are typically long-ranged, highly active, quick to recover, protected by invulnerability of some kind, or a combination of these traits.

Thanks to its frame 1 upper body invulnerability, 6P is useful as a counter poke. It can challenge an opponent's attack in mid or close range. Many forward-lunging, plus on block special moves, such as Giovanna's TrovãoGGST Giovanna Trovao.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
27
Recovery:
15
Advantage:
+4
and May's HMr. Dolphin HorizontalGGST May Mr. Dolphin Horizontal.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
25
Recovery:
11 (20 OH)
Advantage:
+5
, are vulnerable to 6P. In addition, many S attacks extends the character's hurtbox further out than the animation implies, due to the weapon itself having a hurtbox. This is especially prevalent on moves like Nagoriyuki's f.SGGST Nagoriyuki fS1.pngGuard:
Mid
Startup:
16
Recovery:
28
Advantage:
-17
and Leo's f.SGGST Leo Whitefang f.S.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
12
Recovery:
21
Advantage:
-13
. If you experiment with 6P, you might be surprised at how many attacks can be beaten with it.

2S - Overall a great button because of its speed, range and cancel options. It functions well as a counter poke because of the aforementioned reasons and because it has slight Low ProfileWhen a character's hurtbox is entirely beneath an opponent's attack. This can be caused by crouching, certain moves, and being short. properties.

f.S - This button is slightly shorter and slower than 2S, but it hits higher, is much more disjointed, has more active frames and has much shorter whiff recovery. It can complement 2S by catching opponents that try to jump over it or low crush it.

6H - Slower than the other options, but has long range, a good horizontal disjoint, and enough vertical coverage to beat many low profile moves. It's also more rewarding, as it can lead to powerful counter hit combos or strong wallbounce combos on normal hit. Use it from ranges where 6P won't reach.

Anti-Airs

Anti-airs, as the name suggests, are moves that are useful against aerial opponents. They are typically either fast, high-reaching, protected by invulnerability of some kind, or a combination of these traits. Ky has six effective anti-airs: 6P, 5P, 2H, Foudre Arc (214K), Vapor Thrust (VT) and air throws.

6P - A safe and reliable option due to its upper body invulnerability. It can combo into Dire Eclat (214S) for a knockdown. A useful option in many instances.

5P - Faster than 6P but lacks upper body invulnerability. It can catch opponents trying to jump during close range brawling.

2H - A riskier option than the P buttons due to being slow and lacking invulnerability of any kind, but it yields greater reward on counter hit.

Vapor Thrust (623S/H) - Not particularly rewarding considering the risk involved, but it does have high reach and full strike invulnerability. Can be handy in certain matchups, such as against Chipp's j.2K. Use it with caution, though.

Foudre Arc (214K) - Has by far the most horizontal range of Ky's anti-airs, but it's also the slowest to start up. If you predict an aerial approach from long range, such as an air dash approach, use 214K to snuff them out. It's also highly rewarding, as it scores a combo on hit against aerial opponents and on counter hit against grounded opponents.

Air Throws - A useful anti-air for all characters, especially against opponents that like to jump into block.

Abare

AbareAn attack during the opponent's pressure, intended to interrupt it. means to attack during an opponents frame advantage with the intention of interrupting their pressure. Naturally, fast moves work best for this task.

2P - At 5F, this is Ky's fastest move and best abare option by extension. It combos into 6P > Dire Eclat (214S) for a meterless knockdown, something that not every character can get from their P buttons. 2P is preferred over 5P because the latter has a nasty tendency of whiffing against opponents that crouch or use Low ProfileWhen a character's hurtbox is entirely beneath an opponent's attack. This can be caused by crouching, certain moves, and being short. moves.

2K - Slightly slower at 6F, but can lead to more rewarding Oki setups due to its ability to combo into 2D. Also hits lower to the ground.

Ky's reversals can also be used for abare due to their invulnerability. Do note that Vapor Thrust (623S/H) loses to throws in some situations where attacking will not.

Reversals

Invincible Reversals are moves used to steal your turn back by force. They can be used during holes in an opponent's blockstrings or during your wake-up to punish sloppy oki. Ky has three reversals to choose from: SVapor Thrust (623S), H Vapor Thrust (623H), and Ride The Lightning (632146H)

Vapor Thrust (VT) - Functions as an invincible reversal due to its frame 1 strike invulnerability. It does have some exploitable weaknesses though. The first is that VT lacks a hitbox low to the ground, meaning some attacks can low profile under it. It's also vulnerable to throws during the startup and is punishable on block. If your opponent knows how to deal with VT, you should use it sparingly. Feel free to go nuts with it if they don't know how to deal with it, or if they attack into your wake-up in a predictable manner.

Ride The Lightning (RTL) - An Overdrive with frame 1 invulnerability against both strikes and throws. Unlike VT, it does not have any hitbox issues. RTL can Wall Break from longer distances than most Overdrives, making it less meter expensive due to Positive Bonus. Try using it in distances where a Wall Break is guaranteed. It is punishable on block but can be Roman Canceled for safety. This would end up costing 100% Tension though.

Pressure

Pressure is one of the shortcomings of Ky because he lacks a blockstring ender that is safe in all situations. His S and H buttons have good range but are heavily minus on block. Dire Eclat (214S) has good pushback, but is short-ranged and -11 on block. Stun Edge (236S) can be avoided with a jump at longer ranges and can be blocked and punished at shorter ranges. Characters that have normals with a good combination of speed and range, such as Ramlethal, can comfortably punish him. Therefore, it is very important to not fall into predictable habits when pressuring in these match-ups.

Strike / Throw Mix-Up

Ky's mix-ups are more limited than most characters. He doesn't have any unique overheads, grounded cross-ups or command throws. As a result, Ky is reliant on universal mechanics to open opponents up, which he does best by utilizing strike/throw mix-ups. After initiating any blockstring, you have the options of either continuing the string with strikes or mixing in a throw. Your opponent has three main options: continuing to block, jumping or attacking. If they play patiently and block, throw them to open them up, which will condition them to try to beat your throws by jumping or attacking. You can beat jumps and attacks by continuing the string with strikes to interrupt them, but finishing the string gives up your turn if the opponent chose to keep blocking.

There are several ways to initiate strike/throw mix-ups. Connecting c.S on hit or block is one of the simplest ways of doing it. Another option is f.S, which is likely to cause the foe to play patiently after blocking it due to its short recovery frames and frame trap potential. You can also meaty their wake-up with strikes like c.S or 5K, or a ground throw. If you connect a move and knock them down, meaty them again. They will eventually block a strike on wake-up, which allows you to transition to blockstrings to frame trap them.

Pressure Resets

When pressuring with blockstrings, varying your offense is key to opening up your opponent. If you employ frame traps in a predictable manner, your opponent can simply block until you reach the end of the blockstring. Throws are vital for opening them up, but the timing of throws must be varied, lest a skilled opponent catches on to your timing and employs counter play. It is with the help of pressure resets that throws can be made more ambiguous.

After attacks that recover quickly, such as c.S or 5K, take advantage of the opponent’s hesitation by dashing up into attack. This will reset pressure, extending the blockstring and increasing the amount of opportunities you have for mixing in throws. The more ambiguous your mix-up becomes, the greater the chance that your opponent will make a mistake. Resetting pressure also increases the mental burden on your opponent due to the R.I.S.C. Level increasing and the ever-looming threat of throws. They have to try to escape eventually, which provides you with opportunities to punish if you have the right read.

6K and Foudre Arc (214K) are useful moves for pressure resets. 6K is +4 on block and has decent range. P normals, K normals and c.S can gatling into it. 214K has massive range and is safe on block at worst. It's -2 if the opponent stand blocks and plus if the opponent crouch blocks. If the opponent is in Shock State or Ky has activated Dragon Install, 214K is plus against standing block as well. Together, 6K and 214K provides Ky with many ways to reset pressure during blockstrings. However, both 6K and 214K are at risk of being interrupted due to their long startup (25 and 27 frames, respectively) so don't become predictable.

Sample Blockstrings

The following are Ky's best blockstrings due to their versatility and ease of use. If you're a beginner, start with these and practice other sequences later.

  • f.S / 2S > 5H > (Special)

f.S and 2S are some of Ky's best moves due to their speed and range, making this an effective blockstring when used at mid range. If you want to special cancel, you can use 236S to finish the sequence or 214K to reset. Do note that 5H whiffs if 2S hits at tip range. In this situation, skip the 5H and go straight for specials. You can also reset after a f.S because the opponents will likely expect a follow-up. The fact that f.S recovers so quickly makes resets from it hard to react to. If either of these moves score a counter hit, you can confirm into 5H > 236K / RTL.

  • c.S (dl) 2S > 5H > (Special)

A variant of the former blockstring that works from a dash. Dash momentum makes all three hits to connect reliably, allowing for two frame traps. Due to the combined pushback of the three attacks, 236S is usually a safe way to end the string and apply Shock State. 5H can also be delayed and c.S can be staggered for a strike/reset mix-up. If 2S scores a counter hit, you can confirm into 5H > 236K / RTL.

  • 2P * n > 6P > 214S

This blockstring starts from Ky's fastest move, making it useful in many situations. 2P can be staggered for a strike/throw mix-up and can be confirmed into 6P > 214S if a 2P hits.

  • 5K / 2K > 2D > Special

Starts from Ky’s fastest lows. You can stagger K buttons for a strike/throw mix-up. You can also delay 2D for a frame trap or replace it with 5D for a mix-up. If the lows connect, you can hit-confirm into 214S / RTL or go for CSE Oki.

Other Blockstrings

These blockstrings are either more niche / technical than the previous ones or require conditioning to be effective. They are still great additions to your arsenal.

  • c.S > (dl) f.S > CH Option Select

Simple string for setting up the OS from close range. Delaying the f.S is required in order to create a frame trap. You could also end with 214K to reset pressure.

  • 5K / 2K / c.S > 6K Reset

Go for the many blockstrings shown earlier to condition your opponent to block and open up opportunities for riskier sequences. This one takes advantage of your opponent respecting follow-ups in order to reset pressure.

  • 5K, 2K > 2D > Special

Similar to the former blockstring in that opponents need to respect you. This one is a triple low sequence. 5K is a good tool for stagger pressure due to its narrow gap and its ability to cancel into 2D airtight, which sometimes catches DP attempts (The motion input for a DP causes the user to let go of their crouching guard for a brief moment). The 5K, 2K sequence has similar timing to 5K > 5D. The standing animation of 5K makes it harder for the opponent to discern which sequence is coming, especially when 5D's orange light is covered by a CSE.

  • 5K / 2K / c.S > 6H > (Special)

Canceling from 5K / 2K into 6H creates a natural frame trap to fish for juicy CH 6H combos. However, the gap is 4 frames, which means that characters with normals faster than 5F can interrupt. If your opponent blocks the sequence, you can finish with 236S/214S or reset with 214K.

Corner Pressure

Ky gets more options against cornered opponents. Notably, 6H can wallbounce for a combo. H Vapor Thrust (623H) lifts the opponent higher when they are inflicted with Shock State. This enables devastating corner combos from 6H > 623H. Cranking up Ky's damage output increases the mental burden on your opponent, potentially leading to worse performance.

Corner Blockstrings

The following is a list of blockstrings that are useful specifically in the corner. Ky is by no means restricted to these in the corner, as all blockstrings shown in the previous sections will also work.

  • 5K > 6H > (Special)

5K is a useful attack for meaty setups that can gatling into 6H for a frametrap. If your opponent respects 6H, try to stagger 5K and mix in throws.

  • 5K / c.S > j.c > IAD FDC > j.S > c.S

An advanced blockstring that utilizes the air dash Faultless Defense Cancel (FDC) technique. After jump canceling into air dash FDC, your j.S will hit very low. If it connects, c.S combos for a Wall Break. On block, c.S is a frame trap that can lead to Wall Break combos or reset pressure. If your opponent reacts and blocks j.S often, mix them up by using IAD FDC empty jump and go for lows or throws when you land.

  • 5K / c.S > j.c > j.S > 66j.S

This is a double overhead blockstring. If you connect j.S on the way down, you can air dash into a second one. There is a punishable gap before the first j.S and between the first and second. Therefore, you need to condition your opponent to play passively before going for this blockstring.

Corner Footsies

Backwards movement is an essential strategic option. For example, while under pressure, backwards movement allows one to disengage from the opponent. However, using backwards movement brings the character closer to the corner. With their back to the wall, there is no space to escape to, meaning the backwards movement options become unavailable. You can think of the space behind your character as a resource that depletes when you move backwards. When your opponent is cornered, Ky can maximize the benefit of said positional advantage by using his great mid-ranged tools.

Place Ky about a 2S away from the cornered opponent. This is the spacing in which he can threaten with 2S, f.S and other moves. Due to the possibility of being hit by a low, the opponent must think twice before moving. Any movement option will lose the crouch guard input, which makes it punishable. Your opponent has two main options for escaping: Counter poking and escaping through the air, typically with a super jump or air dash. Vary your options to cover for these escape attempts.

  • Use back and forth spacing to cover for counter poking. Your opponent can challenge you with either a fast attack or a long attack. A fast attack can stop your pressure up close, but runs the risk of whiffing at longer ranges. A long attack will reach further out, but their slower speed makes them susceptible to counter hits. Varying your spacing with back and forth movement makes it difficult for your opponent to discern which attack to go for, increasing the likelihood that they will make a mistake. Punish them if they whiff a short attack, and go for pokes like 2S and 6H occasionally to check their long attacks. Checking with pokes also stops them if they dash in for a throw. Confirm into combos if your pokes hit. 2S and 6H are negative on block, but by spacing them at tip range and occasionally special canceling, your opponent will have a hard time punishing.
  • Deny their air escape. While spacing and checking the opponent, spy for their movement options. An air escape usually loses to a reactive j.K or j.S air-to-air. You can also air throw them on a read. As long as you don’t swing too often, you will have many opportunities to interrupt their air escape. It’s fine if your attacks are blocked, as the goal is to get them back into the corner.
  • Capitalize on their fear. If you manage to condition your opponent to play passively, close the gap and go for mix-ups, such as jump-ins and tick throws. You can also fake a throw by moving close and then backdashing into 2H. This not only does the job of a high damage strike-throw mixup, but also sends you back to poke range with the option to special cancel if they block.

Okizeme

Ky's mix-ups aren't particularly strong against crouching opponents because he lacks command throws and overheads besides the universal ones. Scoring hard knockdowns and making the most out of them is essential for Ky because his mix-ups are lackluster without them. Stun Dipper soft knockdown can now lead to tight Okizeme from mid-ranged pokes.

Key Knockdown Moves

2D - Causes a knockdown that provides strong Oki. 5K and 2K combos into 2D. Cancel into CSE for a strong Oki set-up.

5D - Leads into a powerful combo and knockdown if you charge it, but it is punishable on block. Use it with discretion.

Throws - Grant knockdowns, the Oki is especially powerful if the opponent is thrown into a wall.

Dire Eclat (214S) - Grants a hard knockdown but also has large pushback, which means you have other options for mix-ups. You can do a short dash into an Instant Air Dash mix-up (go for an aerial attack or simply land and go for a low or throw), or just run forward to close the gap. You could also go for a meaty Foudre Arc for plus frames. The pushback is reduced somewhat if the opponent is pushed into a corner.

Stun Dipper (236K) - Grants a soft knockdown that leaves the opponent close for a dash meaty 5K > 1D option select that beats reversals if timed correctly. c.S is another meaty option that leads to massive damage on Counter Hit.

Foudre Arc (214K) - Starts a combo on air hit. You can cut this combo short for powerful Oki.

Ride the Lightning / Overdrives - RTL can wall break from surprisingly long distances, which grants a decent mix-up and Positive Bonus. You can also wall break with Sacred Edge and by activating Dragon Install, though the opponent will need to be cornered already.

Key Okizeme Options

5K - A fast low with long active duration that can be set up from practically any knockdown. It's effective as a meaty attack because the frame advantage can reach a staggering +5. It can gatling into 2D for a double low or be jump cancelled for even more options. Use 5K to condition your opponent to block after a knockdown and go for throws, pressure resets or other mix-ups later.

  • Most reversals have 7 or 8 frames of Startup, and Ky's 5K has only 6 frames of recovery. If timed early so that the DP hits after 5K recovers, it becomes possible to use 5K like a safejump by inputting 5K > 1D. The timing is not as tight as it seems.
  • It's the easiest meaty option that you can always do after 214S. Try using the dash macro for this.

Charged Stun Edge (236H)

You can capitalize on hard knockdowns by setting up Charged Stun Edge (CSE). Forcing your opponent to block it rewards you with massive frame advantage (+22!) and inflicts the opponent with Shock State. It can be set up from moves that cause hard knockdowns, but you need to be mindful of how you use it.

  • If set up from a sweep at close range, delay the CSE slightly, or else it will pass through the opponent before they get up.
  • To set it up after a throw midscreen, you have to dash in (this is easier with the dash macro) before using CSE from up close or the opponent will be able to jump over it. If you throw the opponent into the corner, you can just use CSE without dashing.
  • Many combos, such as ones that juggle an aerial opponent, give an opportunity to set up CSE. 5H knocks airborne opponents up, which gives ample time to set up CSE by canceling into it. However, doing so cuts your combo short, and your opponent can jump over the move if you set it up after certain combo routes. Be prepared to punish with anti-air options if they attack, or go for an air throw if they empty jump.

CSE into 5[D] becomes a much stronger option if the opponent is already in Shock State when CSE connects. If the opponent gets hit by CSE, it will combo into 5[D]. If they block CSE and then try to jump or mash, 5[D] will hit them for a homing jump combo. In addition, the strong visual effects of CSE can help cover up the start-up of 5[D]. All of this makes CSE into 5[D] a good option for conditioning foes to block high, which can be punished with lows or throws.

  • You can also use dash up c.S in the corner after a throw to then special cancel into Charged Stun Edge (CSE) to safely counter certain reversals and get a little bit more damage off of okizeme.
After Throw Corner Oki Guide
(Which setup covers certain reversals for if the opponent has meter or not.)
Character If the opponent is without meter If the opponent is with meter
Sol c.S > 236H 236H
Ky c.S > 236H 236H
May c.S > 236H 236H
Axl c.S > 236H 236H
Chipp c.S > 236H 236H
Potemkin 236H 236H
Faust c.Sdc > 5K c.Sdc > 5K
Millia 236H 236H
Zato 236H 236H
Ramlethal c.S > 236H 236H
Leo Slight dashup c.S > 236H 236H
Nagoriyuki c.S > 236H 236H
Giovanna c.S > 236H 236H
Anji c.S > 236H 236H
I-No 236H 236H
Goldlewis c.S > 236H 236H
Jack-O c.S > 236H 236H
Chaos 236H 236H
Baiken c.S > 236H 236H
Testament c.S > 236H 236H
Bridget c.S > 236H 236H

This is just one example of a CSE's potential as a mix-up tool. Experiment with all of your options, such as lows, throws, aerials, cross-ups, empty jumps, blockstrings and anything else you can think of. The more creative you are, the more effective the mix-up becomes. The sky is the limit!

Air Dash Faultless Defense Cancel Safe Jump

Faultless Defense Cancel (FDC) is an advanced technique that enhances Ky's air dash mix-ups by creating a powerful safe jump option. By performing an air dash, cancelling the air dash with an aerial attack, and then using Faultless Defense to Kara CancelA type of cancel where the beginning of an action is quickly canceled into another before the first action completes its startup. that aerial attack before it comes out in rapid succession, Ky's falling momentum is altered such that he can perform an aerial attack (usually j.S) that comes out lower to the ground than normal.

Hitting an aerial attack lower to the ground opens up more combo opportunities and makes the move more advantageous on block. It also makes it harder for the opponent to discern whether or not the air dash has enough momentum to cross-up and whether or not the aerial attack will have enough time to connect before Ky lands. This makes the mix-up more ambiguous, since Ky can sneak in left/right mix-ups and high/low mix-ups more effectively. Throws are also a good option from this technique. It's worth noting that FDC mix-ups have higher technical execution than CSE mix-ups, so beginners might need to rely more on CSE.

FDC has so much depth and intricacies that explaining it this briefly doesn't do it justice. For a proper guide, check out SuperKawaiiDesu's air dash FDC guide on youtube.[1]

Misc.

5P will not reach some crouch blocking characters, and won't reach most crouching characters in general, which is why it's not used much on offense despite being 1f better on block than 2P. In the cases where it does work, proximity block will cause the opponent holding a block direction to extend their hurtbox and be forced to block 5P. In the cases where it doesn't, the character's blocking hurtbox isn't large enough to touch 5P, so they duck under it.

Fighting Ky

Ky is a well-rounded character, which means that there is no overarching weak point for you to exploit (such as Potemkin's slow movement speed). Counterplay against Ky requires you to learn the ins and outs of each of his moves rather than overwhelming him with a particular strategy.

Foudre Arc (The acrobatic flip-kick)

input name damage guard startup active recovery onBlock invuln
214K Foudre Arc 40 [44] All 24 11 6 -2~+6 [+4~+12] 8-11f Foot
12-28f Below Waist
  • React and hit Ky out of the startup with a 5P/fast normal/reversal.
  • If you block it, stand block to make it negative.
  • After stand blocking, challenge with a 5f normal or jump to escape.
  • If you're in Shock State it's always plus, even on stand block.
  • Midscreen, it will pass over you if you crouch at certain spacings.

Foudre Arc (214K) has a long startup animation. It doesn't hit grounded opponents until frame 27 at earliest, which gives you an opportunity to intercept the move with a 6P, an invincible reversal, or another fast normal. Try to interrupt it if Ky is using it in a predictable manner. If you cant read your opponent's patterns you might be forced to block 214K. In this situation, be sure to stand block it as doing so reduces Ky's frame advantage. On standing block, it's -1, but on crouching block it's always plus. Ky's fastest normals are his 2P and 5P at 5f. You can jump out if he does anything except 5P, which you can block but will be forced back to the ground with.

Foudre Arc Countermeasure Recipe
Character Name Recipe Number Difficulty Notes
PC
Universal Foudre Arc No Shock State Punish 46056 Easy Ky will do a blockstring into 214K and try to continue his pressure with a 2P. You will have to stand block, then counterattack with any 5f normal such as a 2P

Keep in mind that if you block 214K while in Shock State (or Ky is in Dragon Install), he will always be at advantage, even if stand blocked. Therefore, Ky players might be more tempted to go for 214K during the three seconds you're in Shock State (or when he is in Dragon Install). Try to predict the attack and interrupt it!

Vapor Thrust (The invincible reversal) / Ride The Lightning (Charging cinematic super)

input name damage guard startup active recovery onBlock invuln
623S Vapor Thrust 48 [52] All 11 4 43 -33 1-14f Strike
623H Vapor Thrust 60 [66] All 13 8 44 -38 1-16f Strike
632146H Ride the Lightning 21×4, 50 [22×4, 60] All 8+1 3×4(20)2 99 -82 1-10f All

Both the S and H versions of Vapor Thrust (VT) have strike invulnerability from frame 1, which means it can be used as a reversal on wake-up. The S version starts up faster at 11f, the H version is slower at 13f. VT can seem rather difficult to deal with when you're attempting offense, but it actually has several exploitable weaknesses. Ride The Lightning(RTL) is another reversal option Ky has, and it covers a lot of VT's weaknesses at the cost of 50% Tension.

  • Bait and punish - The classic bait, useful in that it's not difficult and will beat both VT and RTL. Move in close to trick Ky into thinking you will attack, and then back away. This will allow you to avoid or block the reversal and punish. Backing away will also allow you to whiff punish a throw and stay safe against a jump. However, this option will allow your opponent to initiate a blockstring if they button mash.
  • Throws - VT is susceptible to throws during the startup. Standard throws have a startup speed of 2 frames, which means they will beat anything but a normal 5f or faster, should Ky go for it. Throwing against an opponent's wake-up requires precise timing though, so practice it in training mode (If you keep getting counter hit by VT, you're most likely throwing too early). Keep in mind that RTL has both strike and throw invulnerability, so it will beat your throw attempt.
  • Low-profile - VT's hitbox doesn't hit close to the ground, which allows some characters to get under it using low-profile attacks such as Sol's 2DGGST Sol Badguy 2D.pngGuard:
    Low
    Startup:
    10
    Recovery:
    18
    Advantage:
    -4
    . Explore your character's options. You cannot low profile RTL, however.
  • Meaty OS - Both versions of VT are slow enough to Option Select with fast normals, such as Ky's 5K. When timed correctly, 5K will recover in time to block VT if the opponent used it, and still hit them if they don't. Explore your character's options. Only very specific normals are fast enough to OS RTL, such as Ky's 5K.
  • 6P - Many 6P's will either pass through or clash with VT due to their low profile hurtboxes. For example, May's 6PGGST May 6P.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    12
    Recovery:
    18
    Advantage:
    -7
    will clash with both S and H VT. Ky's 6P will clash with S VT.

Dire Eclat (The lightning turn-slash)

input name damage guard startup active recovery onBlock invuln
214S Dire Eclat 40 [44] All 14 3 25 -8 [-6] none
  • (Warning: this section is partially outdated and assumes Ky is -11 on block, which is not true in 2.00. Neither Ram or Sol can punish it anymore)
  • It's always very negative on block and is the end of Ky's blockstring without spending resources.
  • In some situations you can punish it on block with fast, long reaching normals.
  • Usually comes at the end of a blockstring, since its timing is somewhat predictable you can aim to IB it so it's much easier to punish hard.
  • Extremely high damage on corner counter hit.
  • Puts you in Shock State on contact.

Dire Eclat (214S) is a common blockstring ender for Ky. Its frame disadvantage on block means that Ky loses his turn. It's -8 on block, and the pushback makes it difficult to punish for most characters. It usually comes at the end of blockstrings, so you can try to predict it and go for an Instant Block. Keep in mind that the range of 214S is somewhat lacking. You could use Faultless Defense on the hits before 214S to make it whiff, giving you a chance to punish. There are also some characters that can punish it on block without using Instant Block or Faultless Defense.

Because he can special cancel into this move from nearly any normal, it can be very dangerous to mash out of Ky's block pressure. The resulting combo on counter hit can take out well over 50% of your life, even without meter.

Sol: 6HGGST Sol Badguy 6H.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
9
Recovery:
43
Advantage:
-27
has long range and starts up at frame 9. This allows it to consistently punish 214S on block against both the normal and Shock State versions.
Ramlethal: f.SGGST Ramlethal Valentine fS.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
11
Recovery:
21
Advantage:
-10 [-13]
can consistently punish 214S on block. However, f.S cannot punish the Shock State version.

Dire Eclat Countermeasure Recipes
Character Name Recipe Number Difficulty Notes
PC
Sol Dire Eclat 6HGGST Sol Badguy 6H.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
9
Recovery:
43
Advantage:
-27
Punish
46055 Easy Ky will do a blockstring into 214S and Sol will punish with 6HGGST Sol Badguy 6H.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
9
Recovery:
43
Advantage:
-27
Ramlethal Dire Eclat f.SGGST Ramlethal Valentine fS.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
11
Recovery:
21
Advantage:
-10 [-13]
Punish
46054 Easy Ky will do a blockstring into 214S and Ramlethal will punish with a f.SGGST Ramlethal Valentine fS.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
11
Recovery:
21
Advantage:
-10 [-13]
combo

Stun Dipper (The slide attack)

input name damage guard startup active recovery onBlock invuln
236K Stun Dipper 20×2 [20, 22] Low, All 5 12(7)3 26 -15 [-10] 1-4f Upper Body
5-16f Above Knees
  • Will go under a lot of attacks.
  • Grants a soft knockdown on hit.
  • Always very negative on block (-15, -10 in SS).
  • Get a <=10f punish so you can deal with the normal and SS version on block, then get a <=15f punish for when it's the normal version.
  • Usually comes at the end of a blockstring to catch jumps when Ky has 50 meter.

Stun Dipper (236K) is fast (5 frames) and can low-profile under many attacks. Lots of Ky players utilize this move to steal their turn back when they are at minus frames or to interrupt defensive options such as jumping back. Should a 236K connect, Ky is rewarded with a soft knockdown. It may make it seem like Ky can't hit you with oki, but he actually has enough time to meaty with normals like 5K, so be careful upon waking up. If Ky uses 236K often, play a bit more patient. Study their patterns and predict the move. The risk-reward ratio of 236K is unfavorable for Ky, as it is -10 on block at best. Therefore, a simple block punish goes a long way for dealing with it. Doing so will force the Ky player to either burn 50% Tension on an RC to make it safe or to use the move less often.

Stun Edge (The projectile)

input name damage guard startup active recovery onBlock invuln
236S Stun Edge 30 [33] All 13 Until Hit Total 46 -15 none
236H Charged Stun Edge 20×3 [22×3] All 39 Until Hit Total 62 +22 [+25] none
j.236S Aerial Stun Edge 30 [33] All 21 Until Hit Until Landing+10 none
j.236H Aerial Stun Edge 30 [33] All 21 Until Hit Until Landing+10 none

Using short forward dashes into block is a common strategy to close the gap against projectile users. However, Ky's Stun Edge (236S) will inflict Shock State on the defender even on block. Mix in air dash forward to avoid blocking the move entirely. Don't air dash into aerial attacks recklessly, as he can intercept predictable approaches with 6P or other anti-airs. Air dash into block is essential to make Ky respect your aerial approach. One weakness of all versions of Stun Edge is that it leaves Ky vulnerable to counter hits during the recovery frames. Experiment with your character's options to find a way to exploit this.

Sol: Night Raid VortexGGST Sol Badguy 214S 1.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
15~31 [32]
Recovery:
32 [26]
Advantage:
-17
(214S) can low-profile under Stun Edge and punish the recovery. At long distances, you can use Vortex to punish Stun Edge on reaction.
Ky: Stun DipperGGST Ky Kiske 236K 1.pngGuard:
Low, All
Startup:
5
Recovery:
26
Advantage:
-15 [-10]
(236K) can low-profile under Stun Edge and punish the recovery, though you need to be somewhat close to ensure it will reach.
Axl: RensenGGST Axl Low 46S.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
24
Recovery:
29
Advantage:
-19~-9
([4]6S) will nullify Stun Edge and punish from long distances.
Nagoriyuki: ZarameyukiGGST Nagoriyuki Zarameyuki1.pngGuard:
Mid
Startup:
18
Recovery:
Total 39
Advantage:
+5
(236S) beats Stun Edge, allowing you to deal damage and build Blood Gauge. You can also teleport after shooting the clone for a safe approach. With enough Blood Gauge, 5HGGST Nagoriyuki 5HComparison.pngGuard:
Mid
Startup:
16
Recovery:
27
Advantage:
-14
becomes large enough to contest Stun Edge during the start-up.
Leo: Gravierte Würde'sGGST Leo Whitefang Graviert Wurde.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
10
Recovery:
Total 54F
Advantage:
-16
([4]6S) first hit will absorb Stun Edge, the second hit will continue as normal.
I-No: Stroke The Big TreeGGST I-No Stroke the Big Tree.pngGuard:
Low
Startup:
28
Recovery:
16
Advantage:
-2
(236H) can slide under Stun Edge in neutral, during blockstrings, and punish when at midrange or closer. Ky can counter your predicted Stroke in neutral by using 2SGGST Ky Kiske 2S.pngGuard:
Low
Startup:
10
Recovery:
20
Advantage:
-8

Stun Edge Countermeasure Recipes
Character Name Recipe Number Difficulty Notes
PC
Sol Type of countermeasure: Low Profile: Use 214S to land a counterhit on Stun Edge in its recovery. 45528 Easy Ky will Stun Edge as soon as the recording starts, input Vortex as fast as possible.
Ky Type of countermeasure: Low Profile: Interrupt Ky's blockstring using 236K. 45531 Normal Low profile Ky mid blockstring by interrupting the recovery of his Stun Edge.
Axl Type of countermeasure: Nullification: Cancel out Ky's Stun Edge with [4]6S. 45536 Hard Ky will block for a second or two and then Stun Edge, punish him when you see the Stun Edge startup.
Nagoriyuki Type of countermeasure: Counterhit: Stuff out the Stun Edge startup at long range with 5H. 45539 Hard Ky will crouch block for a second or two and then Stun Edge, Walk forward while he is crouch blocking and then react to the Stun Edge startup with 5H and hit him.
Leo Type of countermeasure: Nullification: Use [4]6S to land a counterhit on Stun Edge during Kys blockstring. 45540 Normal Ky will do a blockstring into Stun Edge, stuff out the Stun Edge mid blockstring.
I-No Type of countermeasure: Low Profile: Use 236H to low profile Ky mid blockstring. 45544 Normal Ky will do a blockstring into Stun Edge, slide under the Stun Edge mid blockstring and counterhit him for a combo.

Another weakness of Stun Edge is that it's -14 on block. This hefty frame disadvantage means that if blocked at close or mid range, it runs the risk of being punished. Experiment with your character's options to find a way to punish it.

Final word of advice: Don't approach Ky if you don't have to! Approaching an opponent always carries risk. If you have a significant life lead, Ky will be forced to approach you or risk losing to the round timer. If Ky keeps shooting at long range despite being at a life deficit, you can jump over the grounded Stun Edge and duck under the horizontal aerial one. Keep doing this until he is forced to switch his strategy to a less favorable one.

Dragon Install

input name damage guard startup active recovery onBlock invuln
214214H Dragon Install 80 [88] All 11+1 5 25 +4 none
  • Is a true blockstring from any of Ky's normals except for 5P/2P/5K/2K, and plus on block afterwards. You can punish the recovery at most ranges if he does it in neutral.
  • Has no invulnerability. If Ky does it close to you outside of pressure, input a reversal during the cinematic super freeze to invul through it and punish.

When transformed:

  • None of Ky's normals change.
  • Ky's grounded forward dash becomes almost as fast as Millia's.
  • Treat Ky's specials as if they're always the Shock State versions. Mainly, this means Foudre Arc (214K)GGST Ky Kiske 214K.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    24
    Recovery:
    6
    Advantage:
    -2~+6 [+4~+12]
    is always plus and Stun Dipper (236K)GGST Ky Kiske 236K 1.pngGuard:
    Low, All
    Startup:
    5
    Recovery:
    26
    Advantage:
    -15 [-10]
    is always -10 rather than -15.
  • Dire Eclat (214S)GGST Ky Kiske 214S.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    14
    Recovery:
    25
    Advantage:
    -8 [-6]
    becomes almost impossible to punish without Instant Blocking due to the increased pushback.
  • Ky's chip damage on all Specials and Overdrives increases significantly. Make sure to use Faultless Defense when low on HP.
  • Watch out for Gold Bursts, which will immediately recoup the tension cost and give him lots of options to work with.

External Resources

SuperKawaiiDesu's air dash FDC guide (Youtube)

Players to Watch

This section has a list of players from different regions you can watch yourself, both to get a good picture of how a good ky plays as well as to pick on certain strategies you might have not found obvious - even if not all of them are the elite force of the character, they can still be presented as good example to study. Note that each player plays the same character differntly, so watching a couple of different players can give you different perspectives and approaches to their gameplan. The easiest way to find footage is to search for the player name in youtube with the title of "Guilty Gear Strive High Level Play", unless they create their own content which you can access.

This is a work in progress so feel free to add players who you think may belong here


NA:

FlashMetroid/flash

Stankboy/stankboys

Kizzie Kay


JP:

Ain

Churara/Tyurara


EU: KR:

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Ky Kiske