Submitted and written by KPB Master Onion
Okay, so I made the first article without a clever title…sorry…anyway, it’s MasterONIon and I’m here with some more tips for Killer Instinct to elevate your game to Godlike proportions. To better do that, I’m going to go in-depth with each character’s unique combo trait. Get your tips after the jump
Jago - Daft Punk Doubles (citationneeded.jpg)
Okay, pardon the pun, but Jago has what Double Helix is calling Around The World Doubles. This means that Jago can, after mastering the unique timing, chain doubles around the control pad. As in, you can start with MP, connect with a heavy attack, then loop back to light, then continue ad infinitium until your KV meter goes past its limit, or your opponent breaks the combo (if they know this, they can break, so try to open up your opponent with a Counter Break or force a Lockout so you can just loop through your Around the Worlds). This is especially important to remember with Jago’s Instinct Mode, which lets him gain back health, and all of his moves give him +4 frames of blockstun more than usual, so he can keep you in a block string and gain meter until you do something. He can also do Shadow moves out of his back throw. Remember your openers, linkers, and enders. Laser Sword and Wind Kick are your special openers/linkers, while ending with Endouken and Uppercut will maximize damage when you ‘cash out’. Try out your wall bounce and activate Instinct to restart the KV meter and get more damage out of your combo. This can net you about 70% if you commit to it.
Sabrewulf’s combo trait, Rabid Doubles, allows him to maximize damage on lockouts by mashing out the same double over and over to rack up potential damage while managing the KV meter’s increase. Sabrewulf’s charging strike allows him to throw off players for a lockout, and you can then use his Rabid Doubles to get a huge chunk of potential damage out of your opponent, then input a linker at the end of their lockout to keep the combo going. That said, Sabrewulf can also throw off opponents with his Run to Slide. Even on block he will be right behind the opponent, and if you can master using Instinct Cancel to lure out a lockout, you can decimate an opponent’s lifebar. His moves are inputs you’d see in games like Mortal Kombat, where you don’t need to charge back or down for the moves, but you still need to go back to forward to get the move. His openers are his Raging Slashes, his Run to Slide, or his jumping slash from Run, and his enders are his Eclipse and his Running Uppercut slash.
Glacius’s combo trait is Full-Range Doubles, which lets him combo from range with the use of his command normals like the Icicle Spear or his special move Shatter, which is unblockable. You might think that is cheap, but there is a huge tell that lets you know its coming out so you can clearly avoid the damage that is coming to you. Glacius requires you to pay attention, or you will just take 20%-40% damage at half or full screen just for not paying attention. Full-Range doubles allow Glacius to either drag you closer to him, or push you further back, or keep you where you are, depending on which double input he used. Light pulls you in, mid keeps you there, heavy pushes back. Knowing this will let you break your combos easy, but Glacius, for all of his inability to dash affords him, will force you to block every range move he does, which just gives him more meter to use to keep you out or get within hitting range. His Shadow Shoulder Charge will let him get up close and personal, and if he gets you there, it means your chance of reading what to break is steadily lower, since now he doesn’t need to drag you in, and can actually push and pull you at his leisure. His openers are his back throw in the corner, his command normal Spear, his specials Shoulder Charge and his projectile Hail and Shatter, while his ideal Enders are the Puddle Punch and Shatter. His Instinct Mode lets him spawn 5 iterations of super armor, meaning he can take 1 hit without flinching, and after a short while new armor will come, but only 5 times. This is important for combos and range adjustments, especially against Sadira’s Instinct, since you can just absorb a web ball hit and punish her.
Thunder: There’s a Fly on Your Face
Chief Thunder is always down to help you when a bug gets on your face. He’ll take you into his arms, throw you on the ground to be sure he can get the bug, and then stomp it to death for you. If you couldn’t tell, Chief Thunder is the only character in the game with a command grab special, which he can chain into and in some cases, out of (his Shadow Grab throws the opponent into the air for a Sammimich ender). This kind of extends to his backthrow, which lets him reposition the opponent either into the corner or out of it in the middle of a combo. This doesn’t damage the opponent and it adds a bit to the KV meter, but it’s a nice way of throwing the opponent off mid-combo, as well as start a combo in the corner. He can also catch aerial opponents with his command throw, in case you wanted to end it that way. You cannot go into his Shadow Command move twice though, so keep that in mind in case that was what you were interested in doing. As far as other moves go, his Shadow moves gain 1 hit of armor, letting you move into close range which is the only range Thunder can bring the hurt in. He does have some long limbs though, but his command overhead is very easy to read, and his low slice special gives a small window to block right for. The key to using Thunder is to use his Instinct Mode to have your invincible special-cancellable dash to cross up opponents with mobile 50/50 mixups. Use your Triplax and Sweep Slice, as well as his backthrow, as combo openers, with Sammimich and Neck Breaker as combo enders.
Sadira: Screen Full of Nope
Sadira, being a new character, brings a whole new combo trait to the table, in that she can cancel air normals into air specials, of which she is the only character with them. Her Web Daggers is her only air special to really keep an eye on, as her Web Wall is mostly a mobility option which you should interrupt to knock her back to mid or long range. Orchid can stop Sadira cold during her Web Wall move by air-throwing her. Just be mindful of the fact Sadira can jump-cancel the Web Wall with her shallow double jump and throw daggers as well. That jump can make or break a Sadira offense, since it lets you make cross-up opportunities with her Instinct and lets her mis-time her jump-ins to let her get a clean hit for a long combo. On the ground she is at her weakest, with Recluse not being as safe as you might think, even in Shadow, and her spin move isn’t that safe either. That said, they make good linkers, especially Recluse since it’s just a spin she can use in the middle of a combo to keep it going. Most of your enders should focus on her launcher, since you can jump cancel them into a heavy kick in the air or Shadow Web Daggers. She is a pressure machine, able to close the gap reliably and can definitely force players to make mistakes and wind up in her Web Balls from her Instinct, which lets her drop them one at a time whereever she pleases. She can even Ultra Cancel with them for flash, or cancel any combo string with them to work towards another combo opportunity. Even the jumps after her Dagger throws are steps towards another combo. She really does play like a spider. You don’t know the damage of her bite until the swelling starts.
Orchid: Links for Every Kink
Orchid still has her classic Flik Flak combo from KI1, in case you were concerned she lost it. That said, her Golden Path is a lot more diverse than other characters because of her combo trait, Double Linkers. Just input the same linker over and over in your combo to perform them. This does a number on your KV meter though, and though it is not easy to break, the increased KV and repetition shows your hand to your opponent too much for it to be used unless you are baiting Lockouts, which is great because since they can’t really break Linkers, only Auto-Doubles, you can trick the opponent into trying to break a double by doing a Linker and move up to the Heavies. She is also the only character with an air-throw, which gives a small ground bounce you can combo with, but air moves add a heavy toll to the KV meter, so at best you can do Shadow Upper Firecat or Shadow Ichi Ni San to get guaranteed damage out of an air-throw. You can also go into the air-throw from Shadow Upper Firecat, but you can only add one air-throw per combo. She also has a Rekka special, which has three follow-ups. Perform Ichi Ni San, then press Light Punch for a low strike, press Medium Punch for her overhead strike (which is kinda choreographed), or Heavy Punch for her charge strike, which can throw off timing and cause Lockouts if you commit to it. Her slide is great against projectiles. You aren’t projectile invulnerable, just you slide under Endouken and might evade high Hails, but if it hits along your level you’ll take an unnecessary hit. That said, you can use the Shadow version of Slide, Firecat, for a full screen projectile punish. Also, she doesn’t corpse-slide (that is, pass opponents on the ground when they are knocked down) so you can use it for a meaty strike that hits low, but let’s be honest, if you do it too early you are going to eat a punish, which is defs no bueno, muy insano. If you are going to try it, use her Instinct as backup. She can summon Firecats at will whenever she is in an advantagious position (when not getting hit) which runs pretty quick and along the ground. It’s a projectile, so invulnerability to that will gyp you, but if you use it for backup on cross-up j.MK setups or to support your Ichi Ni San to HP inputs, you can trick your opponent into fearing the Firecat. That said, use Slide, Flik Flak, and Ichi Ni San for openers and Linkers you can spam through Double Linking (I believe the Slide is the only Linker that can’t be doubled, due to sliding twice and all, but Flik Flak and Ichi Ni San Rekka Inputs can be doubled) and rack up massive cash-out returns with her Rising Knee strikes. If you do Flik Flak as an ender, she’ll pop them up behind her like Elena’s EX Lynx Tail from SFxT2013 so you can jump, air-throw, and end with Shadow Ichi Ni San, which is her ground laser.
That’s all for today, but I’ll be writing more tips when I can think of enough to share. I’ll definitely update this come January for Spinal, and March for Fulgore, but until then, feel free to reblog or share this on Facebook, and spread the word on my Killer Insight.