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Breakin’ : Killer Insight

Hey guys, it’s MasterONIon, letting you in on a few tips I’ve gathered about breaking combos in KI, basically a go-to guide to not spend your time locked out and getting roflstomped into a King or Godlike combo. Read more after the bump.

1.) When it comes to breaking regular combos, it’s smart to commit to memory exactly what each linker looks like for each character. For some characters like Sabrewulf and Jago you have been conditioned from trailers, streams, and content to know what their auto-doubles look like, and know how to stop them. For some, eyeballing the strength and speed of an attack is an easy way of breaking a combo, so knowing the difference between a jab and a sword butt to the chin is key to knowing how to break combos in Killer Instinct. Although, Sabrewulf is harder to guess because he only uses his claws and teeth, so it’s imperative to know the difference between the bites and scratches and full chomps and rends. A good way to learn is just practice and commit to memory, even take a snapshot or two for your mental rolo-dex. Glacius is very easy to remember to break, it’s almost sad in a way. You can’t tell from the footstomps, but you have to read where you are MOVING. If you are moving backward, it’s a Heavy auto-double, if you are getting pulled, it’s a Light auto-double, and if you aren’t moving, it’s a Medium auto-double. So if you are getting full-screen attacked, break Light, but you have to play somewhat smarter because that Glacius player is gonna play smart as well.

2.) When locked out, the opponent can get really greedy and start using heavy auto-doubles, especially Sabrewulf players who will try to get as much potential damage that they can with his Rabid Double combo trait. That means 3 seconds of watching the greed, and when it comes to that, you might want to try breaking as soon as the lockout fades. That said, your opponent could see it coming and Counter Break. To prevent this, try Instinct Cancelling your breaker attempt, or mashing break to convince your opponent you actually are attempting it. They might break their combo to anticipate a Breaker, and you can get a free combo. This is why I imagine Killer Instinct tournaments should have players as far away from one another, or sticks having silent buttons, because just the sound of you being desperate can be a weapon used against or for you to succeed.

3.) Shadow Moves are an investment in combos. It gives you free potential damage for less KV than if you tried to combo naturally, almost a 10% increase in damage, but they are easy to break if you are willing to commit to spending as much meter as they did to break them. Unfortunately that’s where the lapse of difficulty stops. All Shadow Moves hit 5 times. To break them, you need to input any Break command (any two buttons of the same strength) 3 times. Unfortunately, it has to be 3 inputs during the hitstun of the move TO THE IMPACTS OF THE HITS. So you need to follow the beat (GET LOST IN THE BEAT! deejay.jpg lol teehee jk) and input to the hits of the move. Some Shadow Moves have an easy to memorize beat, because the move actually is 5 strikes, not a 5-hit movement. Jago’s Wind Kick is 5 kicks, which is easy to spot and break. Moves like Sadira’s Recluse or Orchid’s Flik Flak Shadow Moves are 5-hit movements. When you find the difference between movement and strikes, you’ll be able to easily Shadow Break. You only need to get 3 out of 5, and it doesn’t have to be a sequence. You can get 1, 2, and 5 or 2, 3, and 4 and still break it. Get familar with the difference between movements and strikes. You have to mash for the Recluse, Flik Flak, Thunder’s low strike, and Sabrewulf’s Eclipse, but time your inputs for Glacius’s Puddle, the Wind Kick, Orchid’s Firecat Slide, Sabrewulf’s Claw Swipes, etc. Make the combo afterwards worth it, to gain the white health back from the potential damage they tried to bank on while hitting you.

4.) If you want to Counter Break, you need to sacrifice the combo to gain more strength to it. There is an ugly chance putting up a guard will leave you open to being punished and losing that potential damage. In that case, Instinct Cancel your attempt to Counter Break, and see if you can use an invincible move like Jago’s Uppercut to counter strike. It’ll get you back into the neutral game which is very important in Killer Instinct. And if you are Glacius or Orchid or Sadira, you can just Instinct Cancel and let the Instinct get you back to neutral. It’s risky, for one, Glacius only gets one hit of armor, so try to get a throw. Orchid’s cat backup is a projectile so be careful for a Shadow Wind Kick or Puddle, and same goes for Sadira, especially if they advance past the web ball.

I’ll write more tips as the tide continues to roll. My next article will be making combos work for you, and I might write an article on Instinct Cancels in the future as well. Thanks for reading.

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