GGXRD-R2/Axl Low/Combos

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Combo Notation GuideCharacter Name Abbreviations
7 InputIcon 7.png 8 InputIcon 8.png 9 InputIcon 9.png
4 InputIcon 4.png 5 InputIcon 5.png 6 InputIcon 6.png
1 InputIcon 1.png 2 InputIcon 2.png 3 InputIcon 3.png
Numbers represent direction on a keyboard numpad. For example InputIcon 236.png+GGXRD P Prompt.png becomes 236P.
> = Proceed from the previous move to the following move.
land = Indicate that the player must land at a point in the sequence.
, = Link the previous move into the following move.
->/~ = Cancel the previous special into a follow-up special.
dl./delay = Delay the following move.
whiff/(whiff) = The move must whiff (not hit).
c. = Close
f. = Far
j = Jump
hj/sj = High Jump/Super Jump
jc = Jump Cancel
hjc/sjc = High Jump Cancel/Super Jump Cancel
dc/adc = Dash Cancel/Air Dash Cancel
CH = Counter Hit
AA = Anti-Air
WS = Wall Stick/Wall Splat
[X] = Hold input.
]X[ = Release input
(move) = Move is optional.
[sequence]xN = Repeat sequence N amount of times.
(N) = Attack must deal N amount of hits.
[X] or [Y] = Perform X or Y.
IAD = Instant Air Dash
MC = Mortal Counter
JI = Jump Install
RC = Roman Cancel
RRC = Red Roman Cancel
YRC = Yellow Roman Cancel
PRC = Purple Roman Cancel
IK = Instant Kill
Rensen = [4]6S
Raiei = 623K
Rashousen = 41236H
TKB = TK Bomber
Bomber = j.623H
AN = GGXRD-R2 Answer Icon.png Answer
AX = GGXRD-R2 Axl Low Icon.png Axl Low
BA = GGXRD-R2 Baiken Icon.png Baiken
BE = GGXRD-R2 Bedman Icon.png Bedman
CH = GGXRD-R2 Chipp Zanuff Icon.png Chipp Zanuff
DI = GGXRD-R2 Dizzy Icon.png Dizzy
EL = GGXRD-R2 Elphelt Valentine Icon.png Elphelt
FA = GGXRD-R2 Faust Icon.png Faust
IN = GGXRD-R2 I-No Icon.png I-No
JA = GGXRD-R2 Jam Kuradoberi Icon.png Jam
JC = GGXRD-R2 Jack-O Icon.png Jack-O
JO = GGXRD-R2 Johnny Icon.png Johnny
KU = GGXRD-R2 Kum Haehyun Icon.png Kum Haehyun
KY = GGXRD-R2 Ky Kiske Icon.png Ky Kiske
LE = GGXRD-R2 Leo Whitefang Icon.png Leo
MA = GGXRD-R2 May Icon.png May
MI = GGXRD-R2 Millia Rage Icon.png Millia
PO = GGXRD-R2 Potemkin Icon.png Potemkin
RA = GGXRD-R2 Ramlethal Valentine Icon.png Ramlethal
RV = GGXRD-R2 Raven Icon.png Raven
SI = GGXRD-R2 Sin Kiske Icon.png Sin Kiske
SL = GGXRD-R2 Slayer Icon.png Slayer
SO = GGXRD-R2 Sol Badguy Icon.png Sol Badguy
VE = GGXRD-R2 Venom Icon.png Venom
ZT = GGXRD-R2 Zato-1 Icon.png Zato-1

Combo List

  • All damage values are damage dealt to Sol unless the combo cannot work on him, in which case the character with the closest defense modifier is used.
  • Damage values listed for combos with interchangeable combo parts assume the highest damage variation unless otherwise stated.
  • Multi-hit normals that use their maximum amount of hits in the combo do not require specification (eg. 6K > 2S (HJC) j.S is equal to 6K(2) > 2S(2) (HJC) j.S(2)).
  • This page is NOT meant to be a comprehensive list, only a general guideline.

Ground Combos

Combo Position Damage Works on: Difficulty Notes
2K or 5K > c.S > 2H > Rensen Any 70 / 106 All Very Easy Axl's most stable BnB combo. 2K starter has 70% scaling.
2K or 5K > 2D > Rensen Any 55 / 85 All Easy Compact combo for outside c.S proximity range.
c.S > 5H > 2D > Rensen Any 131 All Very Easy Big close range combo for midscreen.
6P > c.S > 5H > 2D > Rensen~8 Any 161 All but KY, MI, BA Very Easy Huge point-blank combo that prioratizes damage.
3P > 2H > Rensen Any 97 All Easy Doesn't connect on counterhit (second hit of 2H whiffs).
2H can drop against standing opponents at longer ranges.
6K > c.S > 2H > Rensen Any 125 Standing Very Easy Hitconfirm for the rare groundhit 6K.
5K > c.S > 2D > Rensen~2 Corner 144 All Very Easy Basic corner combo for Rensen-2 power.
Full hits may require delaying the followup (beware of OTG).
6P > c.S > 5H > Rensen~2 Corner 175 All Very Easy Hefty combo that gives you a strong knockdown.

Anti-Air Combos

Combo Position Damage Works on: Difficulty Notes
(5P) > 6K > 2S (HJC) j.H > j.D > Bomber Midscreen 166 All Easy The BnB anti-air combo from 5P or 6K, no knockdown.
j.D and Bomber can whiff if the opponent is too high in the air.
6K (JC) j.6P > j.6K > Bomber Midscreen 121 All Easy 6K route when you're too far for connecting into 2S.
Use (HJC) at high altitudes, notably on light characters.
(5P) > 6K (HJC) j.6P > j.S(1) > j.6P Midscreen 107 All Easy Outdated route for long-range 6K, usable in rare cases where j.6K would whiff.
j.S(1) and last j.6P can whiff depending on opponent's hurtbox.
2S (JC) j.K (JC) j.H > j.D > Bomber Midscreen 140 All Easy Easy and stable choice for a lower altitude 2S confirm.
Can OS throw bursts by inputting j.4H after jump cancelling j.K.
2S > TK Bomber Midscreen 82 All Medium Less damage, but secures an easy knockdown.
Knockdown may require delaying the Bomber.
2S > TKB, 5P > 6K > 2S (HJC) j.H > j.D > Bomber Midscreen 202 Most Medium Height-dependent combo when anti-airing opponents higher up in the air.
6P > c.S > 2S > TKB, 5P > Rensen Midscreen 161 Medium Medium Good for horizontal approaches (IADs), knocks down.
Trades less against pre-emptive attacks than 2S, but doesn't reach nearly as high.
2S (HJC) delay j.D, j.6P > Bomber Midscreen 126 Medium Hard High altitude 2S into decent damage, can knockdown at lower heights.
Connecting j.6P requires hitting j.D at around same height as opponent.
2S (JC) j.D, j.6P, 5P > 6K (HJC) j.6P > j.6K > Bomber Midscreen 180 Most Hard Low altitude 2S into great damage and corner carry.
Quite character specific.

Air to Ground/Air Combos

Combo Position Damage Works on: Difficulty Notes
Air dash j.S (> j.P/j.H), 5K > 2D > Rensen Any 97-122 All Easy Connects a successful air dash j.S into compact ground BnB.
At IAD height j.H is usually possible, but j.P may be needed instead if j.S hits too late.
At lower air dash heights just j.S will suffice.
IAD j.H > j.D, (66) 5K > 5P > 6K > 2S (HJC) j.H > j.D > Bomber Midscreen 198 All Medium Launches the opponent for huge damage, but is risky on block because of j.D.
Great for punishing stuff, e.g. IADing over Gunflame or Slidehead on reaction.

Counterhit Starter Combos

Combo Position Damage Works on: Difficulty Notes
CH 623K, 6K > 2S (HJC) j.H > j.D > Bomber Midscreen 184 All Easy Similar to throw BnB, but lacks the damage proration.
6K can whiff depending on range/character (use 66, 5K > 5P instead).
CH 623K, 5P > 6K > 2S > TKB, 5P > Rensen Midscreen 194 Medium Medium Knocks down. Use run 5K > 5P to connect easier on some characters.
CH 3P, 5K > 5P > 6K > 2S (HJC) j.H > j.D > Bomber Midscreen 166 All Medium 3P to 5K link is a bit tight, but works from most ranges.
CH 6P > 623K, c.S > 5P > 2S(1) > TKB,
5K > 2S > TKB, 5K > 2S > TKB
Corner 218 Medium Hard Huge damage with a knockdown if you can confirm the CH.
Lots of corner carry as well.
CH 5H > 5K, 2D > Rensen Any 117 All Easy Simple CH confirm
CH 5H > 5D~8, j.D > j.D > j.6P > j.K (JC) j.H > j.D > Bomber Midscreen ~177 All Hard While actual execution is easy, confirming the counter hit into 5D is hard.
CH 5H > 5D~6, j.D > j.D > j.D, 6P > c.S > TKB, 5K > 2S > TKB Corner 197 Medium Hard Same as above

Roman Cancel Combos

Combo Position Damage Works on: Difficulty Notes
c.S > 5H > 2D > Rensen~8 (RRC)
delay, IAD, delay, j.D, 6K > 2S > TKB
Midscreen 195 Medium Medium RRC combo from Rensen~8 which works universally. Knocks down when timed right.
Whiff a 5H after RC for the delay timing and do j.D late for more untech time.
623K (RRC) 6K > 2S (HJC) j.H > j.D > Bomber Midscreen 154 All Easy Throw-like combo with RRC proration.
6K can whiff depending on range/character (use dash 5K > 5P instead).
623K, delay (RRC) 5K > 5P > 6K > 2S (HJC) j.H > j.D > Bomber, Midscreen 157 All Medium Raiei RRC route that is easy to hitconfirm for normal hit only.
Delay prevents wasting meter in case of counterhit by RC'ing late.
623K, delay (RRC) 5K > 5P > 6K > 2S > TKB, 5P > [4]6S Midscreen 155 Medium Medium Raiei RRC into knockdown with time for normal hit confirm.

Overdrive Combos

Combo Position Damage Works on: Difficulty Notes
c.S > 5H > 2D > 2363214H Midscreen 216 All Easy Easy and damaging close range punish with a decent knockdown.
Really destructive against low health (OD minimum damage), especially in Hellfire.
2P > 214214S, 66, 6K > c.S > 5H > 2D > Rensen Any 158 Most Medium Long-range Kairagi hitconfirm, much easier with CH but works even on normal hit.
Buffer 214214 after 2P and hit S after a visual confirm of ground hit.
c.S > 5H > 2D > 214214S,
c.S > 5P > 6K(1) > 2S > TKB, c.S > 2S > TKB
Corner 212 Medium Medium Corner Kairagi confirm for great damage and tension build.
Use 5K > c.S > TKB as stable finisher on thin hurtboxes (Ky, Venom, Zato etc).
c.S > 5H > 2D > 214214S,
3P > f.S > 2S > TKB, 5K > 2S > TKB
Corner 204
(Elph)
Light Medium Corner Kairagi confirm for light characters.
Use delayed Bomber to knock down.
c.S > 5H > 2D > 214214S,
c.S > 6P > c.S > 2S > TKB, 5K > 2S (JD) jS > jH > jD, 2S > TKB
Corner 200
(Bed)
Super-Heavy Medium Corner Kairagi confirm for super-heavy characters (Pot, Kum, Bed).

Dust Combos

Combo Position Damage Works on: Difficulty Notes
5D~8, j.D > j.D > j.6P > j.K (JC) j.H > j.D > Bomber Midscreen 125 All Easy Tiny additional damage with slightly stricter cancel timing.
5D~8, c.S > 5H > Rensen~2 Midscreen 84 All Easy Midscreen Dust (Homing Dash) combo for a knockdown.
5D~6, j.D > j.D > j.D, 6P > 2S > TKB, 5K > 2S > TKB Corner 144 Medium Medium Corner Dust into big damage and knockdown.
5D~6, j.D > j.D > j.D, 6P > c.S > 2S > TKB, c.S > 6P > 2S TKB Corner 134 (Pot) Super-Heavy Medium Corner Dust route for Potemkin, Haehyun and Bedman, ends in knockdown.
5D~6, j.D > j.D > j.D, 6P > c.S > 2S > TKB, c.S > 2S TKB Corner 148 Heavy Medium Corner Dust route for Leo & Johnny with knockdown.
5D~6, j.D > j.H > j.D, c.S TKB, delay 5K > c.S > TKB Corner 138 (Elph) Light Medium Corner Dust route for light characters.
To reduce height for knockdown, do first j.D ASAP, and delay 5K.

Throw Combos

Combo Position Damage Works on: Difficulty Notes
Throw, Rensen Midscreen 69 All Very Easy Puny damage, but burst safe and universally knocks down.
Throw, 6K > 2S (HJC) j.H > j.D > Bomber Midscreen 113 Most Easy The BnB throw combo, doesn't knock down.
2S(2) either easily or completely whiffs on some characters.
Throw, 66, (5K) > 5P > 6K > 2S (HJC) j.H > j.D > Bomber Midscreen 116 Most Easy Alternate version of throw BnB for different hurtboxes.
Works well on Ky, Zato, Venom, Jam, Jack-O, etc.
Throw, 6K > 2S > TKB Midscreen 93 Most Medium Basic TK Bomber combo for a knockdown.
Knockdown on lights (notably Elph) requires a very strict delay.
Throw, 6K > 2S > TKB, 5P > Rensen Midscreen 113 Medium Medium More damage and a far knockdown for IAD j.S safejumps.
Throw, (66,) 6K > 2S (vertical JC) delay j.S > Bomber Midscreen 99 Light Hard Midscreen route for knockdown on lights.
On Jam and Jack-O, microdash after the throw.
Throw, 66, 5K > 5P > 2S (JC) delay j.S > Bomber Midscreen 99 Elph Hard Most stable knockdown route for Elphelt.
Throw, 66, 2H, 5K > 5P > 2S, delay j.S > j.H > j.D,
2S, j.H > j.D > Bomber
Midscreen ??? Millia Hard Stylish Millia-specific combo.
Throw, 66, 5K > 2S (JC) j.S > j.H > j.D, microdash j.S > j.H > j.D,
j.S > j.H > j.D, j.S > j.H > j.D, 2S > TKB
Midscreen 115 Potemkin Very Hard Full corner-carry Dustloop with a knockdown.
The first 5K must be hit as low as possible.
Throw, c.S > 2S > TKB, c.S > 2S > TKB, 5K > c.S > TKB Corner 136 Medium Medium Basic 3-rep Bomber loop. Knocks down.
Mind the link timing after landing recovery of Bomber.
Throw, c.S > 2S > TKB, c.S > 2S > TKB, 5K > 5P > Rensen-2 Corner 139 Medium Medium Alternative ender for the Bomber loops.
Throw, 6P > TKB, c.S (JC) j.D, j.6P, 2S > TKB, 5K > 2S > TKB Corner 143 Medium Hard Flashy AMR route for knocksdown + damage.
6P is replaceable with c.S, but makes jD whiff on Ky, Zato, Venom.
Throw, c.S > TKB, c.S > TKB, c.S > TKB Corner 128
(Elph)
Light Medium Simple 3-rep loop for lights. Knocks down.
Throw, c.S > TKB, c.S > TKB,
c.S > TKB, 5K > 2S > delay TKB
Corner 146
(Elph)
Light Hard 4-rep loop knockdown for all light characters.
Requires strict timing to connect everything, finish with delayed Bomber.
Throw, delay c.S > TKB, c.S > TKB,
5K > 2S(1) > TKB, 5K > 2S > delay TKB
Corner 145
(Elph)
Light Hard 4-rep loop knockdown with slightly more leeway.
Delayed c.S lowers height for knockdown. Doesn't work on I-No, May.
Throw, 66, c.S > TKB, c.S > TKB,
5K > 2S > TKB, 5K > c.S > TKB
Corner 144
(Elph)
Light Medium Easier variation for slightly less damage, works on all lights.
Throw, (66,) 5P > 6K(1) > 2S > TKB,
5P > 6K(1) > 2S > TKB, c.S > Rensen~2
Corner 126
(Pot)
Super-Heavy Hard Reliable 2-rep loop on super-heavies.
Microdash on Kum, dash longer on Bed to connect TKB easier.
Throw, (66,) 5P > 6K(1) > 2S > TKB, 5P > 6K(1) > 2S > TKB,
c.S > 2S (JC) j.S > j.H > j.D, 2S > TKB
Corner 126
(Pot)
Super-Heavy Hard 3x TKB + j.SHD filler = almost 50% meter gain.
On Bedman, ...5K > 2S > (JC) j.S... is more consistent.

Parry (214P/K) Combos

Combo Position Damage Works on: Difficulty Notes
Parry, 5K > 5P > 6K > 2S (HJC) j.H > j.D > Bomber Midscreen 155 All Easy Basic, easy to execute parry route without a knockdown.
Parry, 5P > 6K > TKB Midscreen 130 All Medium Guaranteed knockdown for reduced damage.
Parry, 5P > 6K > 2S > TKB, 5P > Rensen Midscreen 156 Medium Medium 5P > Rensen knockdown route on SO, ZA, CH, AX, SL, SI, JO, AN.
Sin and Johnny require delaying 2S.
Parry, 5P > 6K > 2S > TKB,
5P > 6K (HJC) j.6P > j.S(1) > j.6P
Midscreen 169 IN Medium I-no only route, mostly useful to get that slight
extra damage to close a round.
Parry, 2S (JC) j.2S > j.H > j.D,
(6K) > 2S > TKB
Midscreen 148 (BE) BE, KU Hard Bedman and Kum specific route that gives knockdown and more damage.
6K addition still gives knockdown on Kum.
Parry, 5K > 2S (HJC) j.S > j.H > j.D >
2S > TKB
Midscreen 155 SO, AX, SL,
SI, FA
Hard Knockdown route for a few midweight with decent damage.
You can use 5P instead of 5K on Faust.
Parry, 2S(1) (JC) j.S > j.H > j.D,
j.S > j.H > j.D > Bomber
Midscreen 149 PO Very Hard Stylish combo that gives great damage and Knockdown on Potemkin only.
Look at the Video Examples category for a demo.
Parry, 2S (HJC) j.2S > j.H > j.D,
6K > 2S (HJC) j.H > j.D > Bomber
Midscreen 179 RA Very Hard Ramlethal Only, probably the hardest in that list
because of how hard it is to consistently land 2S after parry.
Parry, 5P > 2S (HJC) j.2S > j.H > j.D,
6K > 2S (HJC) j.H > j.D > Bomber
Midscreen 207 MI Very Hard Millia only route, 5P has to be done ASAP so you can combo into 2S.
The first j.D has to be delayed so you can relaunch with 6K.

Instant Kill Combos

Combo Position Works on: Difficulty Notes
41236H (0), (RRC) Activate, IK Any All Very Easy Burst safe due to the throw state of 0-hit Rashousen.
Holds the opponent long enough to even taunt before the IK.
Ground string > Rensen~8 (RRC) 66, Activate, IK Any All Easy Easiest way to IK with 100%, bursts can be avoided with careful spacing/timing.
IK attack has great range, so the dash can be left quite short.
Throw, 6K > 2S > TKB (RRC) airdash, land, 66, Activate, IK Any Light Medium The pre-RC part builds lot of meter, so you don't have to be quite 100%.
Be prepared to block their burst during/after Bomber RC part.
Ground string > Kairagi, 66, Activate, Throw, IK Corner All Medium Safe from bursts once you connect the Kairagi.
Works midscreen on Sol, Sin, May, Slayer, Axl, Leo, Johnny.
5D~6, Activate, IK Corner All Easy If you land a corner Dust, this is an easy confirm.
Vulnerable to bursts since you have to be close.
CH 6H, Activate, IK Any All Hard Activate quickly after the 6H recovery (avoiding 6H RRC).

Combo Theory

TK Axl Bomber Loops

Bomber loop is an umbrella term for Axl's combo routes that are done near the corner on aerial opponents.
The basic structure can be divided into three parts:

  • Starter: the move that initially launches the opponent in the air: ground throw, counterhit Raiei/6H/6P/3P, antiair confirms, Rensen-up/Benten/Rashousen RRC, 2D > Kairagi, Rensen YRC, and j.D.
  • Relaunch: a string of normals eventually canceled into a TK Bomber that links into another relaunch (hence "loop") or the ender.
  • Ender: the final part that secures a knockdown (or something else like damage or positioning when prefered).

Bomber loops lead to big damage, huge tension gain, and most importantly a knockdown, so learning them is by far the most the most important step in becoming a better Axl player. In most cases loops have 2-4 relaunches (aka "reps"), light characters getting more reps with less normals and heavy characters getting less reps with more normals to compensate for the untech time, gravity, and pushback scalings.

Relaunch

Relaunches are most commonly done with:

  • (5K, c.S, 6P, 5P, or 6K) > 2S or 2S(1) > TKB
  • (5K or 6P) > c.S > TKB

5K and c.S are the most stable normals in relaunch strings, former because it has the fastest startup and great hitbox, while latter because it has good damage, good hitbox, and decent startup. Normals like 5P and 6P (and even 6K) have their specific uses, but their hitboxes are much smaller/thinner so they can whiff easily on some characters causing fatal combo drops. 2S is the best normal for going into TK Bomber since it cancels from all relevant relaunch normals, has a great hitbox with a second-hit vacuum, and both of its hits have additional untech time (making delayed Bombers possible). Unfortunately 2S(2) can whiff in longer combos (3 reps or more) on many vertically thin hurtboxes (eg. Ky, Venom, Zato, I-No), which means 5K > c.S > TKB is a more stable finisher, though getting a knockdown with it can be harder depending on the situation.
While relaunches are most commonly finished in Bombers for the loop to work (ie. to link into another relaunch or ender), there are also other options; filler parts such as c.S (JC) j.S > j.H > j.D and c.S (JC) jD, j6P can also give enough untech time to link into the next part while doing better damage than common TKB strings, but they are much more weight/hurtbox specific.

Ender

There are several different ways for finishing a Bomber loop:

  • Final TK Bomber - This is the universal, stable ender for a knockdown, though it requires proper height control during the combo (especially on light characters).
  • Rensen-down - Does slightly more damage and gives a knockdown with crossup potential (eg. Raiei, IAD j.H/j.D), but connecting into it is quite character specific with different hurtbox types.
  • Sickle Storm - The biggest damage and a guaranteed knockdown, but not really worth meter unless you can kill with it (which usually requires the Burst OD version).
  • Fullscreen pushback - By utilizing an aerial string with back-jump cancel and j.6P, it is possible to push yourself to the opposite corner for a Haitaka setup.
  • Damage - When finishing the opponent, going for an easy j.K (JC) j.H > j.D > Bomber can be a good choice, though high Guts rating can make it pointless (where multiple hits from Rensen-down would be more effective).

Height Control

The balance between lifting the opponent high enough for more reps and hits (ie. damage), and finishing low enough for a knockdown from the ender is something you have to learn by practice and experience, especially from random antiair starters where the pickup height and amount of hits isn't identical each time (unlike from throw starters).
Ways to control the combo height for a knockdown and optimal damage:

  • Extend the relaunch by adding normals for higher height and more damage, eg. 5K > c.S > 5P > 2S > TKB (5 hits before Bomber)
  • Shorten the relaunch by reducing normals for lower height and better untech time scaling, eg. 5K > c.S > TKB (2 hits before Bomber)
  • Delay the relaunch for lower height: very useful on high altitude antiair starters after the first rep when there is still plenty of untech time.
  • Delay the last Bomber after the second hit of 2S (aka "delayed Bomber"): important method for securing the knockdown, especially on light characters.
  • Choose between different relaunch string normals:
    • 5K, 5P, and 6P hit aerial opponents on their first active frame, so they tend to increase combo height.
    • c.S and 2S have 7F and 8F startups but can take few frames longer to reach aerial opponents, so they tend to lower the height.

j.D Combos

j.D has properties that make it special as an air normal: big damage, big untech time, and wallsplat. These features allow air combos to be extended in spectacular ways. If you hit with a low altitude j.D, you may recover fast enough to link into 5P, c.S, 2S, or even a microdash j.S.
Examples of j.D usage:

  • IAD j.H > j.D which continues into BnB antiair combos for big damage.
  • j.D, j.6P link (now also known as "Axl Makes Revolution" thanks to Kaon) which can be used really diversely in both corner and midscreen (antiair 2S, Benten/Rensen-up RRC, corner throw, etc).
  • j.S > j.H > j.D, aka "Ghetto Dustloop". Connecting the whole thing is very hurtbox and weight specific, but it is the most damaging type of combo filler (CH Raiei, midscreen/corner throw, etc).
  • 5D, 6, j.D > j.D > j.D which combines the special properties of 5D (free cancel window) and j.D (long untech time + wallsplat) for the most efficient corner Dust combo starter.

Basic Ground Combo Theory

Axl's ground combos are quite basic since the gatlings are simple and Rensen is the optimal meterless finisher in 99% of cases, but there are still few things that should be taken into consideration depending on the situation. With meter the freedom increases and efficient combo routes aren't always obvious.

  • 5K vs 2K: In general, 5K is the optimal choice in combos because it's better in basically all areas (startup, damage, hitstun, range, gatlings) except hitting the area really low to ground. There are very few cases where 5K would whiff while 2K would connect which are mostly related to hitstun animations where the character reels back while crouching (e.g. trying to link 5K after a jump-in j.H may whiff while 2K might connect). 2K is useful in the neutral game for all sorts of situations thanks to its low-profile hurtbox, but it is generally weak as a combo starter because of the 70% initial proration and as a combo part because of its generally inferior to 5K.
  • 2H vs 2D vs 5H before Rensen: 2H connects from c.S and 3P really well since it has a big hitbox that covers a lot of range, but on the other hand it is slightly slower and causes lot of additional pusback in the corner. 2D isn't as stable against few characters after c.S and 3P (e.g. Ky, Millia, Baiken who lift their front leg during their standing hitstun animations), but not having much pushback and putting the opponent in aerial state makes Rensen-2 connect much more easily in the corner. 5H is also slow and quirky so it may fail to connect after c.S in certain situations (e.g. Chipp, Potemkin in max c.S range), but does a lot more damage than the other normals so using it when it works is the best option.
  • RRC vs Overdrive: The biggest difference between the two is that OD combos won't stop your meter gain, either during the combo itself or few seconds after it (eg. okizeme into another combo or blockstrings), making optimal Kairagi routes quite attractive, while RRC will reduce your meter gain basically to zero.
    RRC routes will give you more opportunities for combos in any situation (making it great for improvising) and generally lets you do more damage, but as a combo extension it may not be worth the 50% unless its kills because of damage scaling; for example, c.S > 5H > 2D > Rensen-8 already does 147 damage while extending it with RRC Haitaka K~P~K~P~K~S adds 46 damage + knockdown while a simple Rensen-8 does 64 but extending it with the same RRC Haitaka combo adds 67 + knockdown, so RRCs are more efficient the more you can rack up additional damage.
    Overdrives are generally much more situational; in some cases they may be the only option to get a significant combo (like max range 2P > 214214S) and in some cases they may do more damage more easily than RRC routes (like c.S > 5H > 2D > 2363214H doing 216, Burst OD version doing 244), but they can't be tacked on literally anything like RRCs and the combo routes need to optimal to do as much damage as equal RRC routes.
  • 214214S vs 2363214H: The biggest weakness of the Byakue Renshou, a.k.a the flame super (2363214H) is that the first attack has surprisingly short range, huge pushback in corner, and funky interactions with some hurtbox types which can make it hit OTG, letting the opponent tech and punish your long recovery. It's also weak to bursts during the startup (before the super flash) and its common to whiff some of the second attacks hits (doing 4-6 instead of the full 7 hits). Its major strengths are the high damage (minimum OD damage, Hellfire bonus, Burst OD version) and simplicity of combos.
    The strengths of Kairagi, a.k.a the green super (214214S) is the meter built during the combos (easy routes give about 12% while optimal routes give over 25%) and its quick startup + long range that makes it very consistent for connecting combos in situations where anything else (including RRC options) wouldn't work, but its weaknesses are the low damage from the super itself (only 52) and the following combo being vulnerable to burst. You also need to learn lots different routes depending on the starter, positioning, and weight / hurtbox types for optimal damage and meter gain.

Rensen-2 Stability Table

While Rensen without followups is the safest ground combo ender in midscreen since it gives you a knockdown for a IAD j.S pressure unlike the up follow-up (Rensen-8) which lets the opponent tech towards you, if you are in range for the down follow-up (Rensen-2) to connect then it's the superior choice because it does more damage, gives you a stronger knockdown and builds a lot more tension. The problem is that most characters have hurtboxes which make Rensen-2 whiff partially or completely (reducing the damage and the frame advantage after knockdown) or even hit "Off The Ground" (letting the opponent tech on your Rensen-2 recovery with strike invulnerable frames for a punish).

This table demonstrates how effective Rensen-2 is against each character by scoring the amount of clean Rensen-2 hits at the end of various point-blank combos. The numbers indicate how many times the down follow-up actually hits (i.e bigger number means more damage and tension) while a blank space indicates it whiffs completely. Parentheses indicate the numbered hit is OTG.

The pushback increases the longer the combo is and 2D launches opponent in air while 2H vacuums, so for a high score the hurtbox must be large in all dimensions and states (standing, crouching, aerial). Even though this aggregate might seem to lack practicality (point-blank starters are rare because of 1F throws), the character specific hurtbox still affects all combos that utilize Rensen-2; if the character has a low score, they are relatively harder to combo with Rensen-2 in any kind of situation (ground corner combos, TK Bomber loop finishers, Kairagi stagger, charge Blitz crumple, etc).

Rensen-2 Stability Table
Character Score 2D 5H > 2D 5K > 2D c.S > 2H c.S > 2D 5K > c.S > 2H
(on crouching)
5K > c.S > 2D
Answer 12 4 4 4
Axl 18 5 5 4 4 (3)
Baiken 22 5 5 4 4 4
Bedman 25 5 5 5 5 5
Chipp 9 5 4 (2)
Dizzy 20 4 4 4 4 4 (1)
Elphelt 29 5 5 5 5 4 5
Faust 7 4 3 (1) (1) (1) (1)
Haehyun 8 4 4 (1) (1) (1)
I-No 12 4 4 (3) 4
Jack-O' 16 4 4 4 4 (3) (2)
Jam 23 5 5 4 5 4 (2)
Johnny 34 5 5 5 5 5 5 4
Ky 30 5 5 5 5 5 5
Leo 29 5 5 5 5 5 4
May 30 5 5 5 5 5 5
Millia 12 4 4 4
Potemkin 28 5 5 5 5 4 4
Ramlethal 3 3
Raven 29 5 5 5 5 5 4
Sin 10 5 5 (1) (2)
Slayer 16 4 4 4 4
Sol 9 5 4
Venom 12 4 4 4
Zato 35 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

Video Examples

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