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In-Depth Character and Match-Up Strategies by Cazaki (Read 9521 times)

Started by Sean Altly, January 23, 2012, 10:59:08 pm
In-Depth Character and Match-Up Strategies by Cazaki
New #1  January 23, 2012, 10:59:08 pm
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So Cazaki has been writing these extremely helpful, in-depth guides to character match-ups and strategies for SHADEs of Manhattan 2. He started doing this because I asked him if he could develop a Tier List for SHADEs 2. I know some people take tier lists more seriously than others, but I just wanted to know so I could work on balancing the game further, and I feel I'm too close to the material to determine those sorts of things on my own. Anyway, I'm going to be posting these here at his request, since he wanted them to be seen and used by the general public as well. Here are the first two, Snow and Sabotage. The next few posts will be reserved for further write-ups.


SNOW


While Snow is overall a solid character, a few matchups can make you want to pull your hair out. Snow is a character of diverse playstyles, however, and how you play along with how good you can execute can be the difference maker between a win and a loss when it comes to Snow.

Vs. Adamas

   Against Adamas, both Snow and Adamas don't have any definitive move against each other that has the potential to shut the opponent down completely, but Adamas does have some tools that will break up any attempts of a keepaway game. He has a projectile attack just as good as yours, jumping projectiles, EX dash punches, and his ground slide (Will more often than not trade with your low fireball and launch you anyway.). Adamas has a means of stopping all your attacks, for alot of his moves it's pretty difficult getting off a reversal psych slice. Adamas is a tougher matchup to win simply because he shuts down your projectile game and applies his effective rushdown quite easily. Once you have meter though, this fight gets much easier, as pretty much every super you have has a good chance of hitting Adamas, since his attacks are usually long and far-reaching. He doesn't have a super that's any major threat to you, you should be able to avoid or block everyone of them. Just keep your composure and pick your spots and eventually Adamas will go down, but it'll be tough. The matchup is 7-3 in Adamas' favor.

Vs. Apollo

   Fighting Apollo, it won't take you long to realize that you can play however you want in this matchup with minimal risk. His projectile doesn't reach full screen, and if anything it only works to nullify incoming projectiles, but his beam is excellent, and if you are careless you WILL be hit by this quite a few times. Just be careful about peppering Apollo with projectiles because if he does his beam you'll be caught. Apollo's Number Crunch serves as an anti-air move that will serve as a means to stop Psy Kick, and will be a reversal to blocked Psych Slices, so Apollo will pretty much punish you on any major risk you take. There's no reason to ever be hit by any of Apollo's helpers, that goes for anyone, really, just toss out a projectile before it comes to your side of the screen and then block it. Mover Discombobulator is the move that might swing this in Apollo's favor though. If the Apollo player is competent, he will use this to disrupt what your doing, and capitalize for big damage. If they are competent, they'll also be using Apollo's far-reaching normals, and play footsies, but you have various moves including Psych Shot and Slice to take care of this problem. There's no reason to be hit by either his level 1 or 2 super, well Mega Photon Beam is sure to catch you off-guard from mid-screen, but it doesn't do anything for Apollo that you can't deal with. Apollo's Chariot has many ways of hitting you, however. It does MAD damage and it can land if you do the smallest mistake from mid-screen. When he has meter for this, be careful, learn it's range and stay out of it. However, the move that suddenly makes this matchup harder for you is Apollo's DM. It will hit you from pretty much anywhere and will land from the smallest mistake. An unsafe Psych Shot is sure to get you a loss if he has DM. Otherwise, he's not bad. It's a 6-4 matchup in your favor, and the only reason it isn't 7-3 is because of DM.

Vs. Bloodtide

   Bloodtide, if in the right hands, will fuck Snow up in a hurry. Bloodshot can potentially make your projectile game unsafe. Crimson Arrow will hit off the simplest mistakes, and shuts down your Psy Kick. Scarlet Tornado, her best move against Snow, makes every projectile unsafe, shuts it down, and then dishes out an attack of it's own. If it's the right version of Scarlet Tornado you can just Psych Slice it, but if you miss, it's a costly mistake, ESPECIALLY if she has meter. It's proven itself to be the hurdle that has to be jumped in order to beat Bloodtide. Bloodtide's Vermillion Strikes is strictly for combos, so it has no effect in this matchup, she shouldn't be close enough to launch you anyway to use it, but if she gets EX Vermillion it will hurt. Hurricanrana can make you uneasy, since you already feel unsafe using projectiles, she'll do this to make you feel helpless. Try to counter it with a Psych Slice. Her Red Cyclone can be countered on reaction with a Psych Slice. The Wall should be blocked, but it can easily land off a misplaced Psych Slice, and it makes this matchup all the more scarier. Crimson Tide, when you see her glow red, be ready to block it, you should be fine, no move you have should make you get hit by it except maybe a heavy Psych Slice or a missed super. Born in Blood makes her a nightmare, because she can get in at will, and because of this, your vulnerability to this attack is increased. She'll land it more than a few times, trust me. If humans didn't make mistakes, this could just be a 6-4 matchup, but instead it's a 7-3 matchup due to the mindgames Bloodtide can play, and then she can counter your only means of countering better than you can. An absolute nightmare.

Vs. Byrne

   Fighting Byrne can be overwhelming. Really it's an even matchup, but alot of things Byrne does can make you feel insecure. His Flare Shot is not a better projectile than Psych Shot, and you'll beat him in a projectile battle. Byrne's Firestarter rekka-chain can be scary sometimes, it shuts down Psy Kick (Jesus christ what DOESN'T shut Psy Kick down.), serves as a go-to counter for your moves, but it's start up can be Psych Slice'd, however to do this reliably you would have to be psychic. Flare Burst can apply some pressure in the corner, and it also counters everything you do. I've also seen it used as a trade to stop mid-range Psych Shots, and EX Flare Burst does this even better, watch out for it. Brazen Slash is almost strictly used from mid-screen to shut down low Psych Shots, and it can be Psych Slice'd, but it's hard to do this reliably it seems. It can catch you off guard sometimes though, and if he lands it, he's right in your grill. When Byrne starts up Ignition mode, it's startup attack hurts, and can be a good counter. The actual Ignition mode isn't so scary unless he has you in the corner, where he can make you play the universal guessing game having to do with the easy overhead. Nova Knuckle is a solid super than will capitalize on your mistakes. Flare Cannon is faster than most supers of it's kind, and it serves as a powerful way to shut down your projectile game. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT BE HIT BY HELLFIRE BLITZ. It hurts. Alot. It can hit off of the simplest mistake, but ultimately you shouldn't be unsafe for even a second while he's in Ignition mode. Byrne's Heat Wave looks like it would be a threat, but really it isn't, you should block it 85% of the time unless used directly as a reversal. Byrne's DM is pretty scary, and it will hit if your close. It is unblockable, and I would say it tips this in Byrne's favor if only Byrne had a better way to shut down projectiles than what he has. Byrne has as good a shot of beating you that you do him. 5-5.

Vs. Chad in Black

    This fight can be hell. Chad's amazing keepaway skills will destroy you if you make the simplest mistake. Rule number 1 of fighting Chad, stay out of the corner. If you get in the corner Chad has nothing but options. Lost Soul will not only shut down your projectile game if Chad is mid-screen, but Chad can combo out of it with any special she likes. Revenant's Resonance stays out for a very long time and Chad can do whatever she wants after putting you in the heavy version's blockstun, either play some more guessing games or set some more Lost Soul traps. If you aren't in the corner, alot of Chad's tactics don't work, but some more open up. Lost Soul can go behind you, and if a Revenant's Resonance puts you in blockstun, you're gonna get fucked up. Lost Soul shuts down all your mobility. Forget about double jumping, forget about Psy Kick, you don't want to do neither of these, or risk getting hit by her effective level 1 super that can hit any opponent anywhere on the screen. Getting hit by Lost Soul at all also leads to getting hit by a Dead Rising for free. So jesus Cazaki? What can I do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Pick your spots to attack, and hope you can get in some solid trades, if you land any hits at all it's the opposing player's fault. When you have some meter you want to do a Psych Spike to catch Chad in an animation, but otherwise, that's about it. Chad doesn't even really need to hit you even, if the Chad is good enough, they'll just chip you out before long. Your DM will never hit if the Chad player is competent, so when you play a good Chad, you're fucking done. 8-2 in Chad's favor.

Vs. Exile

   Another unlikely one, fighting Exile is annoying, but possible. You're going to be the one pinned down the whole fight, because Exile's moves reach far and his specials even further. Being hit by Cursed Spiral will hurt, and push you back, but outside of a combo it won't land if you're careful, and you can just reverse with whatever you want. Being able to successfully do charge particioning is helpful because then you can do extended combos to keep yourself out of the corner, and some Psych Slice combos can give you some time to think about your next move, maybe get a knockdown and double jump your way out of the corner. If you see Exile doing Cursed Scythe, punish it, before he gets the attack off if you have charge, or respond with a combo after it misses, but you shouldn't be hit by it too much. Downward Spiral can fuck with your projectile game if the Exile player is fast enough, so watch out, if you're lucky you'll just block it and counter.  Mortal Coil shouldn't ever hit you, because you shouldn't be jumping with Snow anyway besides evasive double jumps. Spinal Distortion adds a brand new element to Exile's game, he'll be able to reach under your low shots and possibly do some trades or evade your projectile completely and hit you with a combo. Just counter him accordingly and you should be fine, and for the love of god, don't get supered. Cursed Vortex proves to be a safe means of attack for Exile, don't try to punish it, because you will fail. Radial Distortion can catch you off guard while he's in Spiral Distortion, just be careful and you won't get hit. Always play it safe while he's in Spinal Distortion. You'll never get hit by Further Down the Spiral because Exile has to be at point-blank to land it. Don't worry about it too much. Best thing I can tell you about Blade of Ruin is not to get hit by it, it's not hard to block at all. Thinner is extremely scary and can reach past a close-range Psych Shot. Be careful when dealing with it. Slow Chemical has the same purpose, and whenever the opponent uses it, I've never been not hit by it. Beware of Slow Chemical. Exile prides himself in being able to deal with characters like Snow, but truth be told this is an even matchup, it's not hard to beat Exile if you are just patient. 5-5

Vs. Fray

   Difficult matchup. Fray is a close ranged character that will have you locked down in the corner the entire fight, the only thing you can do really is pick your spots and react before she can attack. Energy Grenades, while short ranged projectiles, take up alot of space on the screen when they explode, preventing you from using any mobile attacks like Psy Kick or his dash -> Heavy kick. She'll pepper you with these grenades until she's close, and then hit you with Ups and Downs or RTJM to invade your personal space. God forbid she has meter to use EX Ups and Downs, because when she's that close, she's a dangerous bitch. She has a command grab and counter in her arsenal to break up that crazy blockstun she keeps you in if your in the corner. Guess wrong, and your life will just fly away. What you want is to stop her before she can even attack with a Psych Slice, or Psych Shot, but she has a means of punishing you if you rely on projectiles. If you push her back to mid-screen, she'll just do some more energy grenades to keep you busy. Her supers also work to prevent you from stopping her rush down, Clash City Rockers can counter a blocked Psych Shot or Psy Kick, not sure about a Psych Slice. My Sweet Fracture hurts a whole lot, and it's a more powerful asset to her mindgames than a normal counter. Sonic Reducer should be blocked 95% of the time it comes out, and a high Psych Shot can stop it early. Fray's DM shouldn't land either, and in it's recovery, dish out the more destructive combo you have in your arsenal. Fray has this matchup by a landslide, but you can still win it with smart play. 6-4 in Fray's favor.

Vs. Det. Garrel Laurel

   Looks like the detective needs to ask some questions but fuck the police! West side! Resisting arrest isn't so hard if you can get past Die Hard. Die Hard is the difference between a win and a loss in this fight, as it has one hit of super armor. The light version doesn't have alot of range and it'll whiff you alot, but the medium and heavy versions will hurt from mid-screen. You can't Psych Shot it because it'll just blow by you, and you can't Psych Slice it from my experience. You can, however, use Psy Kick. NOW Psy Kick has a purpose because it hits twice, and can break through that super armor, then open Garret up, so you can do some high-low rushdown. Of course this is just theoretical talk right now, but it's done well for me. Sudden Impact can be seen a mile away and you can just Psych Slice it or block -> punish, as usual. Striking Distance can be painful if you try to run a non-combo based rushdown, but like normal special counters, it's based on low-mid-high, so diverse strikes can help you out in that aspect if that's how you play Snow. Hard Boiled has something of a double-use for Garret been a means of catching Snow after a block, which hurts, and then using it in his combos, which hurts a bit more. It shouldn't hit you by itself too much simply because you are a charge character, and you probably are down-backing 85% of the time. Lethal Weapon, however, is what makes this fight a bit more peculiar. While it would seem you want to stay away from Garret, turns out that he has projectiles of his own, that hurt and combo into each other. Turns out this isn't an advantage at all against Snow. Don't mind the shotgun rounds because they shouldn't ever hit you, but the pistol rounds might scare. The startup animation however, negates any keepaway game he might have, as well as well as any threat they might pose from long range. Medium or Heavy Psych Shot (High or Low) will hit his arm before he has a chance to even shoot, and EX it if you are reacting, the only thing is that you might not ever throw a Psych Shot if you fear Die Hard, and that may lead to some difficulties. Which means you should be using a Psy Kick will stop the threat of it AND Die Hard. Dark Blue might never hit due to it's laughable range, The Enforcer might catch you off guard but it doesn't do well up-close, and from far out it probably won't hit you frequently, unless you are doing a Psy Kick or something. Magnum Force should be too slow to hit you reliably but the melee attack that comes before that isn't. He might catch you when you don't expect it and BLAM, massive damage. The best advice I can give is be careful when he has meter. Last Action Hero might catch you after a missed or blocked Psych Slice, Psy Kick or even some blocked normals, and he'll make you pay. Anything but a Psych Shot is risky, and so be ready for anything. Cop Land is just as scary, it's a command grab that's pretty fast and has excellent range. He can incorpate it into a scary rushdown game in unison to his Die Hard, Striking Distance and normals. Guess wrong, that's your life bar. It can also punish your DM if you use it poorly. It's easily the scariest tool Garret has in his aresenal, and not being prepared for it will be the end of you. Overall though, Garret will have to work harder, but it's not so difficult for Garret to defeat a solid Snow. 6-4 in Snow's favor.

Vs. Kane Kelly

   A final boss to be feared...is he? Kane is pretty speedy and it’s tough to establish a keepaway game, but being patient can take care of him. Jet Black Stare complicates shit, though, it’s many options can either be punished if you guess right, or you’ll just be hit if the opponent doesn’t do what you anticipate. Avenging Angel isn’t scary, Comet Pressure creates for a tricky wakeup game and Entity Strike isn’t something to fear, it just is tacked on at the end of combos usually, but Entity Grab will keep you guessing and keeps his rushdown game varied. EX attacks are nothing to fear, but his supers are always a threat since they can be combo’d into, and all serve as a solid reversal. It is about even, though, all you have to do is be smart, there’s no trick to beating him, just play well. 5-5

Vs. Moses Maddigan

Scary. Moses can wreck your shit if you aren’t careful, this fight is extremely similar to Guile Vs. Balrog in Street Fighter. He has a means of getting past your projectiles in Tax Evasion, but Ground Floor Shake Up can also breach your defenses. After a knockdown, he’ll go to work on you, with a rushdown that is based entirely on guesses. Your only two options is to jump out of the way or Psych Slice, so beware. If you can keep Moses away from you, you’ll win, but it doesn’t look pretty for you if he gets in. His supers do nothing but enhance the aforementioned rushdown game, so if you are keeping him away like I said, you shouldn’t be screwed. 6-4 in Moses’ favor.

Vs. Ruckus

This can go any number of ways. Off his dash you can’t know whether to block high or low, but some attacks might be able to shut down your projectile game, so be careful. The moondrop should not ever hit ever, because you can see it coming, but if you are in certain areas of the screen you can get DDT’d but that’s if you are rushing Ruckus down, usually, which may be effective, since he doesn’t have real answers to offensive tools. Other than Around the World his other specials are just quick medium-powered strikes, and might only hit because you aren’t paying attention. Don’t be too afraid of his supers, except Fighting Spirit! Because of it’s invulnerability and surprising range, and Kicky Fast, because if it makes contact with you in a hittable state, you are swallowing mad damage. Both of you have tools that work well on each other, but ultimately you have this matchup most of the time due to Psych Slice and Psy Kick having the capability to punish his retreats, and even hit him out of his early dash frames. 6-4 in Snow’s favor.

Vs. Sabotage

Your best friend can really pack a punch (pun intended). Juke & Jive really fucks with brains, and will make any projectiles useless. With that said, it becomes a close up brawl that you will lose 75% of the time. Rum Punch also shuts down projectiles, and it can even duck under some standing attacks, which will keep you paranoid. It’s pretty fast, hard to punish, along with most of Sabotage’s moves for that matter. Ascension serves as a vertical version of that very same utility, and Earthquake Test can only make you feel even more unsafe, because you’ll probably be too on-edge to anticipate when it’ll be used. Double German has a zillion uses, can be used as part of his mindgames. His supers are all damaging, have their own unique way of hitting you, and you are pretty much boned when you fight Sabotage. Hope for some Psych Slices, Psy Kick will be useless in the fight, but try to get you a rushdown going that can compete with his superior rushdown skill, punish him in any unsafe moves he might do with Snow’s long reaching attacks, and you can still pull off a win, but you’ll be working much harder than him. 7-3 in Sabotage’s favor.

Vs. The Specialist

The Specialist is an interesting matchup against Snow. Pretty much both of you have an evenly matched projectile game, but that’s where the similarities end. In the right hands, the Specialist can be devastating, however, this is easy pickings for Snow. Snow can run him into the ground with moves like Psy Kick and Psych Slice. The Specialist doesn’t have typical utility for any of his moves, so all you can do is fight however you want and it PROBABLY won’t backfire. With some meter too you’ll probably destroy him, but a great human player will use his traps and invisibility although that probably won’t save them from the beatdown they’ll get. Undercurrent has a weird hitbox though and the active frames are ridiculously long, so beware of that but other wise...7-3 in Snow’s favor.

Vs. Thirteen

Thirteen has mad range on his normals, and he’ll keep you blocking alot, but well-placed Psych Shots can hurt this strategy. Thirteen has a pretty mediocre rushdown against Snow in particular, because alot of what he does can be Psych Slice’d either before it comes out or after it’s blocked. Don’t worry about his supers, they don’t have any scary properties that make them hard to avoid, just be cautious when he has meter, as usual. One thing about Thirteen...he was designed to fight other rushdown characters, against Snow, he’ll just be picked apart. 6-4 in Snow’s favor.

Vs. Vesper

Vesper is an extremely fast character, be afraid. Triangle Jump can catch you off guard, but she can’t combo out of an attack from it, but the throw of course is the scary part of it because it has solid range. Twilight Fang will complicate your charging, because it’s an overhead, and you probably will be too afraid of Sudden Dawn to toss out any projectiles to stop it. Sunset Bite is more of a gimmick than a viable move, but Vesper has a solid toolset to beat Snow down. Snow just wants to pick his spots when using projectiles, and punish Vesper’s easily punishable specials. If patient, you’ll be able to beat this woman down, just be careful. 5-5, but only because Vesper’s attacks are easy to defend and you can easily punish her.

Vs. Wyldestar

First off, her projectiles aren’t as good as yours, so you’ll feel like you want to try to pepper her with Psych Shots, but then Shooting Star Bomber happens. Shooting Star Bomber is quick, but if you are ready for it she’s gonna eat up some damage. Sunny Side Up will throw you off from up close, and really puts her at an advantage, even though the player would need some excellent execution to really use it to it’s full potential. Heavy Crescent Star Kick has excellent range, and is quick, so be careful, and her supers are pretty good, she can really beat you down if you don’t know what you are doing. Luckily for us, her moves are mad easy to punish, so all you want is to just access the situation and react accordingly. Don’t rely on specials, just use common sense to counter, and you can come out with the win. 5-5

Vs. Zenith

Interesting fight. His Saku and it’s followups serve as another guessing game kind of move, but Psych Slice/Shot have both been able to take care of it for me, it kind of eliminates the threat, for the most part, I know certain followups require you to use one or the other, so it won’t be uncommon for you to be hit by it. Makibishi probably won’t hit because you won’t be moving much, but his dive kick, Sagi Naguri can be troublesome. It has excellent mobility, and you won’t be able to reverse it so often and it circles over your head, causing for some charging headaches. From there Zenith can run his usual rushdown. His teleport can serve the same purpose, but is much more unsafe, and it won’t catch you off guard MOST of the time. His overhead slash is also something else to fear. His supers are typical run-of-the mill supers and there’s nothing new to fear from them. He has tools that don’t neccessarily work against characters that are like Snow, so it becomes an average fight, 5-5.



SABOTAGE


The protagonist of SHADEs 2...or is that Snow? However it goes, Sabotage is an excellent character. Just like with Snow execution is key, but maybe even less so with Snow because combos aren't nearly as important with Sabotage. This is because Sabotage is incredibly mobile and has extremely fast attacks that can make any dropped combo look like some sort of reset. He benefits heavily from the universal mechanics as well, the overheads, the short hop-dash, and guard break (Depending on how good you are, it's kind of hard to really guard break unless you experiment HEAVILY with it.). Sabotage also has the best wakeup game out of anyway besides Chad in Black of course, because you have no idea where he's going to end up when you get up, behind you? In front of you? Maybe he'll ground pound? You'll never know. It's also interesting to note that mostly every projectile in the game doesn't scare Sabotage because he can evade them with dashes and specials, but you just need the right timing and distance so you dont get punished immediately afterward because theres a few frames after the dash you can be hit.

Vs. Adamas

   Adamas is not a threat to Sabotage at all, and here's why. Most of Adama's specials don't really affect characters like Sabotage. His normals hit hard so you don't want to be hit by THEM but his ground projectile you can easily dodge, you can evade his Fist of Adamas on reaction (Except point blank obviously.), don't try to juke his Diamond Spike because the hitbox stays out a bit longer than you might anticipate, and if playing against a player you might find that he or she might try to punish with a Diamond Spike, which can be scary. Diamond Dust can catch you off guard, but as long as it's not the EX version try not to be too rattled by it. His command throw will probably land a few times as well if your TOO aggressive, you want to play a read and punish style against Adamas, frustrate him and whittle him down to 0 health, because there's not much he can do about your explosive rushdown. 7-3 Sabotage.

Vs. Apollo

   Apollo is a bit more menacing than he looks against Sabotage actually, this is because some things you figure would not work against you, actually do. Photon Blast's CLSN is bigger than you might think and it's pretty slow, so you must be precise if you Juke an Apollo player that uses it alot, Mover Discombobulator is an instant punish for any ill-advised Juke, and if you get too close to him with it you'll immediately be pushed back, if you do it from full screen that's a medium punish, the worst one, because he can follow up with either number crunch or a super, and for every level of super meter he has it can be combo'd out of medium Mover Discombobulator (Yes, even Ion Militia.). And this is why this Apollo matchup is difficult. In fact Apollo doesn't have to do much at all to beat you down, but you have to be smart to beat him down, and that's why Apollo will take this matchup 6-4.

Vs. Bloodtide

   Bloodtide is extremely dangerous. One opening in the corner and she can hit you with insane EX Vermillon Strike air-to-ground combos. Outside of the corner she has some nifty ways to bring you TO the corner, and she must get you there to give you her best. Luckily for you the woman's moveset is optimized for projectile characters. Scarlet Tornado is an attack that you can write off entirely, it has no use here for her.  Anyway, in this matchup, utilize your quick moves, rely less on Juke because you don't want her to get an opening. Throw out Rum Punch alot, as a quick punish. There's no real reasons that you want to be using many other attacks than Rum Punch or Earthquake Test as a matter of fact, she can easily punish Hammer Time, do not use it in the corner especially, if she punishes with a launch you can lose a sizable chunk of health if she has any meter whatsoever (Level 1's can really put the icing on the cake of some of her combos. Try cr. mk -> High Heel -> delayed j. lk -> j. mk -> st. lk -> Bloodshot -> QCF x2 K in the corner, hard to land mid-screen but possible.) Be weary of command grabs as well, any whiffs can lead to Hurricanrana, which leads to lots of damage with meter on hand. Light Bloodshot moves just slow enough to be a lingering threat that can annoy you if you do not execute. Though she's dangerous, you can be just as dangerous, and that's why this matchup is 5-5.

Vs. Byrne

   This matchup is one of frustration if you are fighting against a solid Byrne. Byrne has the ability to shut down your rushdown with his efficient moveset. Jukes are completely shutdown in this fight because of Byrne's quick attacks that have plenty of range. If you were to stop in front of Byrne after Juking a light projectile you can get punished for free with a light Flare Burst. If you Juke from almost mid-screen, you can expect an After Byrne for him to just get back, which may or may not do damage depending on what you do. If Byrne catches you with a combo his Firestarter combos do sizable chunk of damage, and if he has meter and uses Phoenix Ignition you need to get away, because his basic combos go for serious damage. Byrne also has an excellent EX Flare Burst that almost instantly anti-airs. What you want to do is make Byrne come to you rather than the other way around because on offense Byrne can be quite sluggish, his mix-ups aren't all that efficient and when blocked alot of his attacks leave him open for you. Byrne has your number if he doesn't go on the offensive however, and his supers are pretty quick as well, but you can beat him down if he makes mistakes, he takes this matchup 6-4.

Vs. Chad In Black

   This matchup is a little bit more comfortable for you now than it ever was with a freshly nerfed Chad. For one let me tell you the true threat here is Dead Rising. If you ever catch yourself not blocking it's easy damage for Chad. It has quick start up, but thanks to Sean's brilliance he can't do anything out of Dead Rising if she lands it on the ground. In the air it only leads to another Dead Rising, some bang for her buck, but not nearly as crazy as before where she could get a super or Revenant's Resonance out of it. But Dead Rising on it's own can create space for Chad or she can try to get a wakeup game going which actually is incredibly effective, so try not to get knocked down. Revenant's Resonance has been reduced to a combo move now basically after the nerf, but she can still get solid damage off of it in a combo so try not to get caught up, which is actually easier done than said. Lost Soul takes her a million years to actually move after she commands it, and it disappears when she's hit, so it's no issue, you can just get a free punish if she uses it midscreen with Rum Punch. Chad In Black's true game lies in her meter-using attacks, EX Revenant's Resonance is a hell of a punish if you get in her face. EX Lost Soul is still a move to be feared, setups for it can still be confusing so just be careful when she has meter. The supers she have are also pretty scary for characters like Sabotage. Die Die My Darling is an instant Juke/Jive punish if she isn't currently doing anything while your doing it. Revenant's Regret and Soul Pressure alike are effective anti-rushdown supers, but no real reason to ever be hit by Collective Souls. Your key to success is a smart rushdown. Don't do anything unneccessary and it's really not much she can do. 6-4 in your favor.

Vs. Exile

   What a matchup. With Exile, there is no proper way to fight this guy. Don't worry about certain attacks like Cursed Spiral and Mortal Coil, Downward Spiral perhaps because that move can really catch you off guard, but Exile might find himself in Spinal Distortion the whole fight. He's incredibly mobile in it, and moreso than I might have ever payed attention to until now. He can attack from any range while in it thanks to his Helix and Capture attack, his normal punches in it have plenty of range and the only way you can really hit him out of it is a sweep, Earthquake Test, grabs, and some supers, specifically Seismic Hammer, Triple German and the last two hits of Onslaught (Really if you ask me you should just be able to uppercut him out of it anyway.). Your best bet is Earthquake Test, it's pretty fast and it's a quick way to get a knockdown to establish a wakeup game, though you can't land Earthquake Test against his many aerial specials of Spinal Distortion like Helix so you just need to be careful. This whole fight is completely dependant on skill level. If the Exile is better than you then you won't be able to knock him out of Spinal Distortion too much, Exile has access to a double jump so there goes your corner rush, he has long reach, and some of his supers are downright hard to avoid. It's an easier fight for him than it is for you so it's a 6-4 in his favor.

Vs. Fray

   Fray's a bitch but this matchup is one you can cope with. Fray has effective rushdown and effective keepaway but all your moves pretty much shut her down at the end of the day. Juke/Jive will stop any kind of corner rush she might have, she doesn't have enough quick punishes for it. Rum Punch will stop any Energy Grenade spam, plus the backward one works wonders against certain versions of Ups and Downs and RTJM. Earthquake Test is another effective anti-grenade spam move, and even Ascension has it's uses, because if you do find yourself in a bind due to attacks like Ups and Downs, toss this baby out and it will snuff it out. There's not much else to say but watch out for her quick supers but they don't really have all that much influence on this matchup beyond that quick level 1 of hers, in which case you just need to block it. 6-4 in your favor.

Vs. Garret Laurel

   What an unfortunate matchup for the detective. The only thing you might even have to consider in his arsenal as a major threat is Hard Boiled, which can't be followed up with anything (In SHADES 2.5 of course he can do a bit more with it.) and his wakeup game is simple. With Garret, your only guessing if he's going to do Hard Boiled, grab or instead hit you with Sudden Impact (Which is an overhead.). But the real conundrum of him making you block high or low is negated only because Sudden Impact is a bit too slow, you have time to think: "Oh shit he's jumping let me block high.", so the only threat here is if you need to be weary of the grab or will you eat a Hard Boiled. His j. mk doesn't crossup properly either, so the only true threat in this matchup is gone. His Lethal Weapon is slow to start (Easy to punish with Rum Punch.) and if he manages to get a shot off, block it then anticipate the punish. Really simple. That just leaves his supers, and they are all really easy to dodge except Cop Land, his DM, beware of it, but this matchup is mad easy for you. 7-3 for Sabotage.

Vs. Kane Kelly

   The main boss of this game for a reason. This guy is kind of tough. Comet Pressure is probably the fastest overhead in the game, Avenging Angel is a fast anti-air (You shouldn't be jumping this matchup anyway.), Jet Black Stare is a quick move that easily punishes, and can exploit gaps in your rushdown, for serious damage at that, all of it's follow ups are effective at their purpose, creates for all sorts of fakeouts and cause guessing games similar to Guy with the overhead thrown in (Good thing Kane can't sweep out of this move though.). Entity Strike's light versions are surprisingly fast, and so is the grab, can catch you off guard. Kane's seemingly infinite uses for his quick moves sometimes so it's kind of hard to do anything. I really don't have many suggestions for this matchup but to be smart. It's not against you so much, his tools aren't going to completely shut you down but they are dangerous, but it's the same the other way around for Kane. 5-5. Though this is my personal experience talking.

Vs. Moses Maddigan

   Moses isn't reall all that hard to handle with Sabotage. He has slow moves which is good for you, you can Juke or Jive alot of his moves but he has crafty ways of getting at you as well, such as Tax Evasion's invincibility, Insider Trading (His counter), and Ground Floor Shake Up's quickness all can disrupt your rushdown. Moses won't get anything going for him offensively, but his patience against you will pay off for him. You don't want to use Hammer Time because it can be airgrabbed on reaction, so get that out of your mind. Rum Punch if he see's it coming is easy for him to counter, and it's hard to punish him for missing it (In my experience anyway.). Ground Floor Shake Up is an easy punish for Juke/Jive, but nothing he has can really stop you, but he has a lot of health, so it's the matter of who's better. His supers can be devastating, and hard to anticipate. Market Crasher is the main threat, it's quick, it goes far, and is probably one of the best anti-Juke supers in the game if you ask me. He can't shut you down, but patience is key to Moses' strategy against you, so you just need to be smart. This matchup is all about the skill of the both of you, and I think it's a 5-5.

Vs. Ruckus

   Fuck. Ruckus can do a lot of damage in a hurry, he can confuse the hell out of you in a million ways. "2T5B" is an excellent Guy-esque move that really fuck with your head, though it can be Juked, if he stops on reaction he can easily punish you for it. There's a million answers for this move that may or may not work, but for safety I just use his C attack, which can stop the run if he doesn't get too close before you use it. He has crazy range on his Asai move, though you can Shory-I mean Ascension it on reaction for sexy results. He has 2 quick punish moves that are incredibly safe, Blast Zone and New York Minute, which will have you scared to Juke or Rum Punch, and well really even though he has other moves I've been unable to overcome these particular obstacles and this is actually a 7-3 matchup in Ruckus' favor, there's nothing else that needs to be said.

Vs. Snow

   I'm gonna be lazy and say that I've already detailed this matchup in my other write-up, so I'm just going to move on.

Vs. Specialist

   The Specialist really can't do all that much, but what he can do I've found to be really efficient against Sabotage in particular. Gun Manifestation is a quick projectile that Sabotage might find himself struggling to punish. From mid-screen it'll result in a Rum Punch, so that's no issue, but from far away, Juke is not the way to go about it, because you'll eat some buck shot, and fly to the other side of the screen, or you'll eat Undercurrent, which is a far-reaching sweep that's faster than it appears, Specialist can also lay land mines down that will really set you back, and my partner here been able to get a super out of a land mine at will, and it does pretty good damage. When invisible you have absolutely no clue what Specialist will do, which is actually a lot more dangerous than you may think. After fighting this matchup I've realized that the Specialist has more depth than I previously thought, and he isn't to be underestimated. Another 7-3 against Sabotage.

Vs. Thirteen

   This matchup was a tough cookie to crack, I thought there would be a gimmick, but let me be lazy here again, Thirteen has nothing that can be used against you that would heavily impact this fight, but yet you won't be able to do everything you want. This matchup is as basic as it gets, it's a player skill-defined matchup that only has to do with the skill level of the players. The only thing, the ONLY thing that you should worry about is his DM and his level 3 which can both catch you off guard. 5-5.

Vs. Vesper

   It's quite simple, this matchup. Vesper's Triangle Jump serves as a get out of jail free card for your rushdown, don't try to punish it unless you are at a correct angle for Ascension. Twilight Fang is a standard anti-air attack but don't let that fool you, it has range, can even punish a blocked Rum Punch. Dusk Kick is a slow overhead, but the animation can really confuse you sometimes just because it's kind of silly, after looking at it a few times it'll be instinct to block it and it won't be confusing at all besides in the midst of a blockstring, but she can't combo out of it with any normals so dont fret. Sudden Dawn is scary. It's an instant punish to anything you have pretty much , even Earthquake Test, so just like with Chad in Black, don't be foolish and do anything stupid. It's what's really gonna be the difference between life and death. Sunset Bite might land a few times, because just like Vega in SF you don't know which way she's coming from, and I haven't developed any sort of move that can really counter this, you just gotta make it miss, that was another theme of this matchup in my sets against her. All her supers are as threatening as supers generally tend to be, nothing much to say, 5-5.

Vs. Wyldestar

   You got this one in the bag. Wyldestar is quick with her Blanka-like moves but don't be scared, it's really easy to win this one. She has no real answers for your quicker moves, Rum Punch especially, so the plan is to do what you normally do. Mix-ups, BnBs, Juke/Jive confusion, the like, but let me tell you what she can do: Absolutely nothing. She was basically made to fight projectile characters, so when matched up with a character like Sabotage, she's suddenly shut out. Honestly, I can't think of anything that isn't common sense to tell you. You know, watch out for her blanka-like attacks, dont get hit by supers...nothing to say. 6-4 in Sabotage's favor.

Vs. Zenith

   This Zenith matchup is similar to the Ruckus matchup, minus the insta-punish moves that fuck you up. Well I'll tell you again that Juke/Jive both are unsafe, but you want to be using Earthquake Test to disrupt Zenith's approaches and zoning (He has so much range on his normals.), you need to get him into a corner and work from there because he's alot more effective mid-screen than anywhere else, and he can escape the corner quite easily, so stay locked in. Zenith is an effective rushdown character, but don't let him get to you, stay on him the whole fight, because he has no defense attacks. He can't disrupt anything you can do, but you can disrupt what he has, your roundhouse, just like with Ruckus' dash can hit him out of his dash, your Ascension can hit him out of his dive kick, and you can easily punish his teleports. His anti-air is slow and bad, and I like to punish it with my own anti-air. His overhead on the other hand is quick and if he ever puts you in position to be hit by it, you'll probably fall for it, and if knocked down, you don't want to be caught in his effective wakeup game, trust me. He has less health than you as well, which is really bad for him, because he's going to eat alot of attacks before he can get anything going. It's all dependent on how good you are to reaction to his attacks, but there's a million ways for you to stop him, and not so many ways for him to jump on you, 6-4 in your favor.
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Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 11:03:42 pm by SeanAltly
Re: In-Depth Character and Match-Up Strategies by Cazaki
#2  January 23, 2012, 10:59:36 pm
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Reserved for future write-ups.
Guess who's back off the couch, got the panties in a drought

altly.bandcamp.com
Altly on Soundcloud
Altly on BeatStars

All my stuff is open source, you never need permission to use anything I make. Just have fun!
Re: In-Depth Character and Match-Up Strategies by Cazaki
#3  January 23, 2012, 10:59:43 pm
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Reserved for future write-ups.
Guess who's back off the couch, got the panties in a drought

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Altly on Soundcloud
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All my stuff is open source, you never need permission to use anything I make. Just have fun!
Re: In-Depth Character and Match-Up Strategies by Cazaki
#4  January 23, 2012, 10:59:52 pm
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  • Who's that guy? A-L-T-L-Y
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Reserved for future write-ups.
Guess who's back off the couch, got the panties in a drought

altly.bandcamp.com
Altly on Soundcloud
Altly on BeatStars

All my stuff is open source, you never need permission to use anything I make. Just have fun!