Samurai Shodown/Mechanics

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< Samurai Shodown
Revision as of 08:14, 28 June 2019 by Sleepmode (talk | contribs) (Movement)
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  • If there is a cancel period on an attack, it always works, regardless of hit, block, or whiff.
  • Most normal slashes will cause your character to reel back, or recoil on block. This recoil animation is, in most cases, special cancelable -- this is often referred to as a "recoil cancel", and is very important for keeping your opponent in check.


  • Jumps have no startup, you are off the ground from frame one.
  • Holding an upward direction will not cause you to immediately jump after landing. To immediately jump after landing, time another up input just as you land. This is referred to in the in-game tutorial as a Combo Jump.
  • When you land, there is a short landing animation. This is cancelable by any action.
  • There's two frame uncancelable landing recovery when you use an air attack. You do not turn around during this period, and you cannot block.
  • If you land a jumpin attack in the two frames before landing, you will gain substantial bonus hitstun, letting you combo after. This is usually referred to as a deep jump-in.


  • 66 - Dash
  • Dashes are your all-purpose forwards movement tool, hold 6 to dash further.
  • When not in the recovery animation, you can do a dash normal (66A, 66B, 66C, or 66D) or jump.
  • During the recovery animation, you can cancel the latter frames with any action. You can cancel the earlier frames of the recovery animation with a back walk, which allows you to quickly perform standing or crouching normals from a run.
  • If you dash under an airborne opponent and perform a dash normal, you will instantly change direction and attack. This means that you can use dashes to confirm vs forward jumps, depending on how good your character's dash normals are.
  • 44 - Backdash
  • All backdashes have a small amount of startup invulnerability and set you airborne from the first frame. This is a great way to evade throw attempt on landing, since you'll just get out of the way.
  • Some characters are able to cancel the airborne portions of their backdash into aerial special moves.

Spot Dodge

  • Spot dodges are performed with AB.
  • Spot dodges provide full body invulnerability, but have a long, uncancellable recovery period. They are not invulnerable from frame 1.
  • Spot dodges are primarily used to avoid throws.


  • Throw in this game is performed with 4/6CD. This is referred to in-game as a Guard Break.
  • Throws start up in about three frames (i.e. they connect on frame 4 after input). They have an insanely long recovery animation, leaving you wide open to punishment.
  • Throws deal no damage, but instead push your opponent a small distance and give you enough frame advantage to land a free attack or combo.
  • Back throw, due to leaving your opponent back turned, generally allows for stronger follow-ups than forward throw.
  • Throw is the only move in the game that applies damage scaling. All follow-up attacks from a throw will only deal 80% of their full damage.


  • As you take hits, the rage meter is filled. When full, it remains in that state for a fixed period of time. The data sections on character pages list each character's rage duration.
  • When the rage meter is full...
  • You deal bonus damage.
  • You can perform a Weapon Flipping Technique (WFT) by doing 236BC. They are considered a special attack for canceling purposes, and disarm your opponent on hit.
    • WFTs will only end rage on hit. If WFT hits, the Rage meter will be depleted on the first hit.
  • When the rage timer ends, the meter is reset to empty.
  • When you have your rage meter, are on the ground, and when either being hit or standing still, you can perform a Rage Explosion by hitting ABC.
  • This destroys your rage meter for the remainder of the match.
  • You can do it while being hit, so you can avoid inevitable losses due to death, but only on the ground and only on moves that do not catch.
  • The rage explosion burst is an unblockable hit that pushes back nearby opponents. It does no damage.
  • The burst is invincible for its full duration. You can block immediately after it ends.
  • It stops the clock temporarily, preventing inevitable losses due to time out.
  • The damage bonus from Rage Explosion is much larger than the damage bonus from Max Rage.
  • The Rage Explosion timer is based on how much life you have when you Explode. Less life = longer Explosion timer.
  • During Rage Explosion, you can perform a Lightning Blade (commonly referred to as Issen) by hitting ABC.
  • This immediately ends Rage Explosion, so the Issen itself does not benefit from it.
  • Issens are a fast moving forwards dash attack that instantly catches the opponent on contact.
  • They have general invulnerability on startup, and projectile invulnerability for their whole duration.
  • They are blockable.
  • Damage is constant and is not affected by the opponent's defense.
  • Damage is based on your Rage Explosion timer. More time left = more damage.

Just Defend and Stance Break

  • Blocking an attack just before it would connect will cause you to Just Defend the attack.
  • The Just Defend window is very generous -- pressing 1 or 4 within roughly 8 frames of an attack connecting will result in a JD.
  • Because Samurai Shodown does not have Absolute Guard (i.e. you must continuously hold 1/4 to fully block multi-hit attacks), you can attempt to JD an attack after blocking normally.
  • Just Defend does not cause you to take reduced blockstun. However, a successful Just Defend will build a small amount of Rage for your character, and grant access to your Stance Break.
  • Stance Break is a special guard cancel available only from a Just Defend. It is performed by pressing AB after a JD.
  • Stance Break is a blockable attack that does no damage, but will knock down on hit.
  • Stance Break has a lot of recovery, so whiffing or blocking can leave you very punishable. It is advised that you do not attempt to Stance Break after JDing jumping attacks.

Counters and Weapon Catches

Counters and Weapon Catches are really important for keeping your opponent from being too predictable, but can mostly be ignored by new players. They're both considered to be specials, so you can cancel into them normally.

  • 236AB - Counters
  • These are often referred to as Deflects.
  • This will counter any normal weapon slash, barring lows and a few odd ones out. Punches and kicks cannot be countered. With very few exceptions, specials cannot be countered.
  • The effect of the deflect depends on the strength of the attack deflected:
  • Countering a weak slash stuns them for a short period.
  • Countering a medium slash stun them for a long period.
  • Countering a heavy slash will disarm the opponent and stuns them for a short period. Any deflectable running slash attack will count as a heavy regardless of input.
  • You can't counter opponents that are in the air, but you can counter air attacks if they are still active when the opponent lands from the jump.
  • u.236AB - Weapon Catch
  • Weapon catches may only be done when unarmed.
  • This will catch any normal weapon slash, barring lows and a few odd ones out. Punches and kicks cannot be caught. With very few exceptions, specials cannot be caught.
  • All catches will disarm the opponent and give an untechable knockdown, so they're stuck on the ground for quite awhile.

Sword Clash

  • A Sword Clash happens when both player's armed normals connect, causing them to run together and have a button mashing minigame to decide who gets disarmed.
  • The following conditions must be met for this to occur:
  • It can only happen once per round.
  • The clash boxes overlap each other. These generally exist before the attack actually comes out, have greater active time, and cover a larger area than what the actual attack would hit.
  • Most low attacks cannot clash.
  • There must be at least 16 seconds remaining on the timer.
  • Both opponents must have at least 160 life remaining.
  • If the clash boxes overlap but the full conditions are not met, there will be a distinct clash sound and nothing else will happen.
  • Once activated, both players will have 160 frames(2.6667 seconds) to reach the 10 button press limit. When time is up or when the limit is hit...
  • If there is a tie, both players will be disarmed.
  • Otherwise, the loser will be disarmed.
  • Disarmed weapons will fly off in a random direction. If both players are disarmed, both weapons will go in the same direction.


  • If someone is hit with two heavy attacks in a row in a combo, they will be knocked down, even if the attack does not normally knock down. This can be avoided by doing something like heavy, medium, heavy, etc.
Samurai Shodown

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