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New to KI, got it because of the sale. Reading your guide, wondering what "shadow OK" means? It's used in the context of linkers or openers or enders, but I don't know what OK is abbreviating?

It just means "also applies to the shadow version of this move". For example, a damage ender could be the normal version or the shadow version, so I'd list it as "Tiger Fury (shadow OK)". You'll also see "air OK" elsewhere, which means "this move can also be done in the air".

Poor noob here, playing on a 360 pad on Steam. I prefer the PS4 controller (tho I don't own one) for its superior d-pad, and know I should get an arcade stick. Until I can afford either a PS4 controller or arcade stick, should I avoid QC input characters and stick to Wulf, Riptor, etc? Thanks!

Zachary Alvarado
Lots of people do quarter circles on 360 pads just fine, so I wouldn't use that as a reason to avoid QC characters. If you find it impossible to do and you like a back-forward character, then go ahead and play them, but I wouldn't avoid QC characters because of your controller.
Liked by: Zachary Alvarado

Are you doing kilgore ?

Haven't decided yet. I think it's probably 50/50 that I'll do him, or that the guide will stay in its current form.

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I'm wondering about maximizing meter gain for characters without a battery ender. During a combo, does the attacker gain meter more or less proportionally to damage dealt? Or is the game biased towards some moves gaining more shadow meter per damage dealt than others?

Harold Foong
I think it is character dependent, I don't think there is a standard for whether a move gains more meter in a combo because it does less damage.
That said, most combos don't build a ton of shadow meter; to verify this, just look at the meter you build when you are comboing someone after round 1, you usually only get about 20% of one bar for the entire combo of heavy autos and linkers. So whatever advantage might exist on a per-move basis is going to be pretty minimal.
In general, the best way to build meter for characters without battery enders is to make them block moves in neutral. You get more meter if your move was blocked than if it hits, and this is especially true of projectiles. So someone like Mira, who has no battery ender, builds a ton of meter because she is constantly making you block st.MP xx light bats, and this string (and others) just generates a ton of meter for her.

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Great work on the guide man! I was wondering now that the Rash beta has ended, what did you think about the character? Does his moveset need anything and if so, what?

I think he's a very well animated character! I didn't get to play him very much unfortunately, but I do know his moveset will be tricky to balance (characters with air mobility usually are), so I look forward to seeing what they do with the zipline/tongue move in particular.

Thank you for answering the question on cinder but I am confused because the shadow fission is then breakable. I read on hisako's page that her 2 hit into shadow is unbreakable damage that leads to a combo. Why is it different for cinder because his shadow follow up is always breakable.

I rewrote my combo breaker page just the other day (so check it out if you like), but KI's combo breaker system starts to work every time you get hit by a special move. So, Inferno is a special move, so anything you try after it becomes breakable, including cancels and stuff.
Hisako (and Orchid) have rekkas that are really... weird. They don't trigger the "this is a special move" until the 3rd hit, so you can do raw 2 hit rekka into shadow move and this is not breakable because the game thinks you haven't done a special move until the shadow move. On the other hand, if you do a normal canceled into 2 hits of rekka and then further canceled into a shadow move, THIS becomes breakable because of the 3-Move Rule (check my rewritten combo breaker page: http://ki.infil.net/cbreaker.html); the normal is your first move, "2 hits of rekka" is your second move, and the shadow is the 3rd move. The game still thinks you haven't done an opener or you haven't done a special move, but the 3-Move Rule catches this specific case.
I will go through my Hisako page and make sure that I make clear what is and isn't breakable about 2 hits of rekka into shadow move... it's possible I have some misinformation here.

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Could you include a section on each character that explains how best to fight AGAINST that character. I'd love to know each character's weaknesses, the best counters to certain moves, the proper way to deal with certain kinds of pressure, etc. Thanks!

Hopefully there is a bit of that scattered in each of the pages already! But ideally, yeah, it'd be cool to have a section like that on each character page. Unfortunately it's a ton of work, but I'll keep that in mind if I have some time in the future for expanding the guide at all!

This is a cinder related question. There is this odd thing about inferno that I have noticed. It is not an opener but can combo into shadow moves. If I do a full range inferno into shadow fission on hit Cinder teleports over to the opponent. The shadow is breakable. Isnt it the opener for that?

Yeah, some special moves can't be canceled into linkers/auto-doubles, but CAN be canceled into shadow moves (and then these shadow moves can be openers if you want). Inferno is like that for Cinder but it's not the only move in the game like that. Orchid/Hisako can do the same after 1st or 2nd hits of their rekka specials, Aria can do the same after medium Allegro in blade body, most characters can cancel their fireballs into shadow openers, etc.
Inferno is a little unique because you MUST cancel into shadow inferno/fission in order to continue the combo (you can't do a manual after it or continue the combo any other way), but it's not the only move in the game that isn't an opener but lets you cancel into shadow openers.

I don't have KI to test this, but if you manual a special move, do you get the special linker version of the move or the neutral version? e.g. with orchid doing Ichi Ni San after a grenade hit in the middle of a combo. Was wondering if you could do unblockable rekka in middle of a combo

You get the neutral version, and it will be breakable via the same rules. You also get the neutral version if you do special moves directly after jump-ins (even though the jump-in is an opener, all special moves are links/manuals for some reason), which can make for some tricky break situations (if you do a shadow move, for instance, it's breakable but you get the "opener" version which might have different timing than the linker version).
You can do Orchid's rekka string as a manual in some situations, including as a link after grenade if you set it up correctly, but the unblockable HP one has a lot of startup and it never combos. But yes, you can try to reset with it.

When you decide to crouch attack, do you instantly go through with the crouch attack start up frames (just crouch attack frames) or do you first have to crouch, go through the crouching frames and then add the crouch attack frames? (Crouch + Crouch attack frames)

Interesting question that I don't really know how to answer without recording footage at 60fps and doing a frame by frame comparison. My guess, however, is that if you manage to crouch on one frame and then press a button on the next frame, you will immediately go into the startup for your crouch attack and "cancel" however many frames are left on the crouching animation.

Is there a way to calculate/find out the hitstop a move causes?

You can capture the video feed at 60fps using an external capture card and then step through it in a video editor, or perform the move in a local replay and then frame step through it, but otherwise no, the game doesn't tell you the number of frames of hitstop for a given move. I imagine most attacks cause similar hitstop within their "class" though (light, medium, heavy) so you probably only would need to double-check a handful of moves in each class to get a general idea.

Do you have a PayPal account setup for donations? You've done a great job with the site, and I'd like to buy you a beer.

That's very kind of you! I'm considering my options for people who have asked me for ways to donate; although I have nothing to share right now, if in the future I add a donation button or other type of method, I'll be sure to let people know! (Reasons it's not up now: there are some odd legal ramifications around a PayPal donate button that I can't seem to get clear answers for, and I'm trying to decide whether it's a good idea in general to have a donation method on the site)

Hello I'm practicing Maya. I would like to know her juggle combos & Instinct combos. Can you help me or where can I find the notations? Thx!

Richard Hung
Best place to ask would be the Maya subforum on ultra-combo.com, I don't know the exact specifics of the dagger combos.

Jago's HP Auto D Data says S.U. 8 - Active 2- Rec. 32. I watched a replay and saw the following: Hit one lasts 7f, next 18f of nothing until the 2nd hit of the auto double hits at frame 26 and lasts 11f (36frames total). Why does data say active 2f vs 36 in game?

Not all of the frame data in the game is correct, sadly. I would definitely not trust the data for auto-doubles, since heavy autos are definitely active for more than 2 frames.

When exactly can I break an auto double? (On startup+active+recovery?) a manual? (Only on histop?)

Correct, you can break an auto-double at any point (startup, active, recovery; some "guess breaks" often hit the startup of an auto-double and appear to break before the offense has moved at all) but a manual only on the hitstop. Even if you predict the manual correctly, it can be hard to hit a very small hitstop window, so when used in combos, manuals get 4 extra frames of hitstop that they normally don't get in the neutral game to help people hit the small window more reliably.

Not a question but a suggestion. In some clips on Cinder's page, you use his Trailblazer to dash towards and then back, go behind the opponent or smash down in front of them. His Trailblazer is quite similar to USF4's Decapre's Scramble. Perhaps you should add Decapre to his "Most Similar" field! :D

Dana Sami
There are some similarities to Decapre, comparing Trailblazer and Scramble, it's true. As far as overall gameplan goes, though, I tend to find a few more similarities to Cammy (better frame trap game, instant dive kick stuff). I'll give it some thought though!

A suggestion: I think Cinder is more similar to DeeJay than Cammy in terms of Zoning and Damage output.

Hmm... not really seeing too many similarities to SF4 Deejay. Cinder's gameplan is less about zoning and more about mobility and frame traps.

Hi, I just took your image of Kan-Ra and added some sand effects, looks great with a black background, not su much in a white one :S, feel free to use. http://cubeupload.com/im/1zQdnc.png By the way, great job in the KI guide, really helpful for noobs like me.

Thanks! Yeah, it doesn't look too hot on a white background, but I'll save the image and maybe find a use for it in the future. :)

Hey dude, not a question, just wanted to express how much I love the Killer Instinct site (I have shared it with some other players). I'm not a beginner, but still learned from it, and the design is clean and useful. Thanks!

Glad you enjoy it!

I notice that Hisako's Vengeance Counter stops both high and low attacks, as if she has instinct. Is this too strong, or maybe a bug?

Yeah, during instinct, Vengeance will counter highs and lows. It's definitely intentional. I don't think it's too strong, either... it's just a short time where she gets to cover a few specific situations that she otherwise couldn't. Not too uncommon for instinct modes to do that.

What is damage scaling like in KI?

Sadly, I don't know the exact specifics. Some moves degrade the damage scaling by more, it would seem (perhaps it a move-specific property?), so I can't give you an obvious, universal answer, and running tests to determine all the cases is too difficult for me to do right now.
I will say that first hits (ie, hits not in a combo) always have 200% damage bonus applied to them; this only applies to the first hit in multi-hitting moves (like shadow moves), which means it's big for things like Jago's DP (which hits only once) and heavy moves in footsies. And there is some semblance of damage scaling that kicks in as you do a combo, so hits will slowly start to do less damage (and less potential damage and less meter gain) until it eventually hits some rock-bottom value. But because of things like KV and combo breakers, you're unlikely to hit this value very often in my experience.
Damage scaling does affect some decisions you make, though... for example, if you were to counter break early in a combo, your counter break punish does considerably more damage since it is not nearly as scaled, and it is more beneficial to front-load your counter-break punishes with heavies and shadow moves if possible so they are less affected by the scaling. But you can go into training mode and find the most damaging counter-breaker punish, learn it, and apply it in a match and you should be okay here... no need to learn several variations that depend on the scaling factors. Sorry for the non-definitive answer, perhaps this question is best asked to the developers?

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Any plans on making your guide a .pdf file? So KI is my first fighting game, and well right now is 2 month since i started playing. i have done a lot of research on fighting games in general, should i be worried about frame data at my level or what should be my focus, just grind online?

It helps to know a few key frame data numbers, but I would definitely say you don't need to memorize frame data like a textbook. You should know a few more in-depth things about the character you play, but you don't need to know everything about the entire roster.
The most important things to know, typically, is how unsafe your opponent's special moves are, and how fast on startup his reversals are. Did you know that TJ's Tremor is -6 on block at best? The medium and heavy ones are even more unsafe! And did you know that every character has a normal that is 5 frames of startup? This means you get to punish TJ's Tremor, every time you block it. This type of basic knowledge is important... it's less important to know some largely meaningless information like how many active frames TJ's jab has.
Those two bits of information (how unsafe are my opponent's special moves, and how fast are his reversals?) basically answer the same question: "is it okay if I press my fastest button right now?" There are some advanced applications for frame data that are important, but as a beginner you shouldn't be focused on them right now.
As for what your focus is, I would try to find someone around your skill level (either locally or online) and grind matches with them. If you don't know a person like this, next time you fight somebody in ranked who you think is around your skill level, send them a message and ask if they'd be willing to play some exhibition matches with you in a lobby. Fighting games are a lot of fun if you can measure your progress against a specific person and share lots of close matches together. You'll push each other to get better much more quickly than grinding ranked matches against random players of varying skill.
(No plans to make the guide .pdf right now, because the video files are important aspects of the site.)

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Liked by: Fulgore Amuro

I don't understand KI's neutral game. How can you play footsies when everyone has on-reaction 5-frame full-screen punishers? I whiff a jab and I get punished. It's even easier to punish fireballs on reaction, making them useless for zoning.

Yeah, it's pretty tough, isn't it? KI has strong offensive tools.
There's a few things I think are important to know:
1) Shadow counters are great. Most really strong offensive tools are susceptible to shadow counters on block, which means that even though they are safe on block and invincible to lots of stuff, they have weaknesses.
2) Most horizontal traveling moves, while safe on block, are negative (usually -2 or -3, some are even truly unsafe like TJ's tremor and Cinder's MK trailblazer), which means they are giving up their pressure when blocked. Putting yourself at negative frames isn't the end of the world, but it does mean that they need to block/backdash themselves after doing this move, or else risk a reversal or something; pressing more buttons afterwards is usually a recipe for getting hit. There are very clear moments of "now it's my turn" in KI when dealing with horizontal special moves, even if you don't get a strict punish.
3) Combo breaking works well in the KI engine because the tools are often *so* overwhelming that the game designers just expect you to get hit sometimes. It's why combo breaking is something all players need to get used to, because it's not just "a failsafe if you play bad", the game is fundamentally designed around it.
That all said, you can still play some really strong footsies in KI, once you establish a few base things (you can shadow counter obvious pressure, you will take control of the match back after your opponent puts himself at -2), but like all fighting games, if you're looking to play footsies with your typical online player, it might be hard to find the meat. It also might resolve itself a little faster than other games (like SF4), because the strong offensive tools means somebody will win the footsies war relatively fast. But the footsies game is definitely there.

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Liked by: Fulgore Amuro

Either KI doesn't have a Trials mode like SF4, or I can't find it. Except for the Jago Dojo, what are good ways to learn BnBs with other characters?

There are some trial combos in the Dojo, but those aren't typically combos you use in real matches (just like most trials in SF4).
It's hard to think about combos in KI as traditional "BnBs", because most characters do combos in the same way. You start with an opener, which is usually just a grounded special move, and then you do a mixture of normals (auto-doubles) and linkers (special moves) in a combo until you get broken or you choose to end it. This flow can be followed by every character and there aren't very many specific cases you need to learn (Sadira has some air stuff you can do, some characters will use their "combo trait" to vary this path a bit, but it's not a big departure). If you want more details on how combos work, check out http://ki.infil.net/combo.html
The real trick in learning characters is learning the neutral game, and which safe-on-block openers you should be looking to land. Once you land that, you can perform similar combos between each character in the roster and have success. You don't need to learn too many "character specific BnBs", since they all follow the opener, double/linker, ender path.

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Sadira. I'm new to the game and I have a StreetFighter background so it's kinda difficult for me to understand how to play this game at all. Your tutorial help A lot, but I just need Guidance with her. Any Tips & Pro players I should watch?

There's a lot of good Sadira players online you can check out. I'm not a Sadira player so I can't offer any specific advice to you, but you can check out the Sadira forums on ultra-combo.com and look for some players on Youtube: Maciaga, T Swaggg, MisterSadFlumps come to mind as good Sadira players and I'm sure there's many more. The 8 Bit Beatdown tournament series tends to have lots of Sadira representation, so check out some of their archives here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Official8BBD/videos


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