Melty Blood/Shiki Tohno/Crescent Moon

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Combos

Before beginning the rest of the Combo Section, it is important you understand (for the sake of convenience) the common setups and enders Tohno can utilize. The remainder of this section will NOT repeat the following information more than once, if at all (for clarity). This will be to help make the learning curve more practical, while cutting down on the redunancy that was written here prior.

  • All AT enders can be replaced instead with j.623C. For 100 Meter, you can add damage that would be significantly greater than an AT ender; at the cost of the enemy being able to airtech long before you land. Note that ending in 623B not only allows this same drawback, but does even less damage than AT enders. Do not end on j.623B for any reason unless somehow, you find yourself in the specific scenario where you desperately require that 10 extra Meter above all else And no, stacking (j.)623C on top of (j.)623B does not do more damage, so don't dream of canceling from one into the other.
  • As these combos are specific close/to the corner, 2C > 5BB routes can go three ways. One, the basic hj8.BC > dj.BC > AT ender, which sports an easy source of optimized damage at the cost of a good post-knockdown position. Two, j9.[C] > j.22A > land > 623BB, for less damage yet a solid, hard knockdown. Or three, the trickiest, delayed j9.[C] > land > 5A > 5BB > 2A(w), j.CB > dj.BC > AT. This last one is fairly difficult to do, but possible to do consistently. You could think of it as the advanced variant of the first route, except it nets even higher damage, gives more meter, and better post-knockdown position.

It should also be known that the more hits a combo has, the more meter you gain. This rule is much more consistent than the damage calculations based on starters, properties, etc. Because Tohno is so flexible with his combo-ability, this makes it difficult to determine which route is most damaging based on which starter, the preceding normals, and so on. Not even 5BB is always the most optimal route for damage; in fact a vast majority of the time it just isn't.

All of the following transcripts will be in terms of the best damage route possible, unless otherwise stated. As an actual Tohno player, your performance for the most part isn't make-or-break if you don't memorize the specific routes. Often times you'll also have to know when to not go for the optimal damage routes and opt for something omre basic in order to alleviate Reverse Beat Penalty. But if you do want to memorize said routes, then the information is definitely here for everyone's sake. These routes have all been tested to assure that no other combination of normals is more optimal in terms of damage.

Normal Combos

Staple Conversions and Combos

Your TL;DR C-Tohno combo section, for when you're starting out. These will also be what you want to use even at the highest level of play.

He has a lot of ways to optimize based on starter, but suffers heavily from Reverse Beat Penalty. This him unable to use quite a hefty fraction of them, encouraging your pressure to play ideally almost as if he was a Full Moon fighter. Ideally, these are the conversions you'll want to use most if possible, in their respective contexts. These are your highest damaging bread and butter conversions. And C-Tohno without Reverse Beat Penalty does quite dense damage numbers.

Stuff like what to do on certain counter hits, super confirms, what the most optimal route in this or that scenario is, etc., are all listed in the subsections after this. Most of them are niche, if not almost-impractically specific. But look to your routes off corner combos and supers if you wish to expand on your Tohno play. They'll be most relevant to this section. The rest of the combo list will explain in detail what they are good for, for the sake of info and documentation.

  • 5C > 2C > 6B > j.BC > dj.BC > AT
Since 2C is safe on block unlike 5C, and is way less to start up and be punishable on whiff, 5C > 2C is ideal for C-Tohno as a reactable frametrap that's 100% safe on block
  • 2B(2) > 5C > j.BC > dj.BC > AT
Crouching opponents only
For some reason this is the highest damaging non-super variant of 2B(2) confirms on crouchers. Damage won't increase no matter what you add to the ground starter
  • Every Aerial Counter-Hit (except DP. Yes, every) > 5C > j.BC > dj.BC > AT
Actual most damaging and practical conversion
  • DP Aerial Counter-Hit > 2C > 5C > j.BC > dj.BC > AT
Only one normal more. Adds about 100 damage. Easy to do, but not much is lost if you don't

Basic Combos

  • 2C > 5C > (5B >) j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Absolute basic yet staple Tohno combo.
You'll find yourself converting into this quite often, as there are seldom other ways in which to consistently do so using 2C from a range.
Opt for this in other combos when you want to spend time cutting down on Reverse Beat Penalty
  • 2C > 5BB > hj8.BC > dj.BC > AT
Higher damage combo from 2C as opposed to the above route, at the cost of better post-knockdown positioning
Note that you can hold 8 after 5BB for an automatic superjump
  • 2C > 5BB > j9.[C]
Hard knockdown variant of the above combo. Sacrifices a significant amount of damage for poor okizeme, but still considered somewhat essential in its own right as a part of Tohno's potential.
Can only be followed up by sj.9 > IAD > land during knockdown, leads into meaty. It can also be followed up by 22B~D, however this isn't very scary and is easily reactable; also leads into meaty. If you want to scare your opponent, you can also do Dash > 22B~D after landing. Unfortunately this isn't universal and is easily masahble, but it can be meaty against opponents with slower wakeup such as Riesbyfe. Also has the benefit of at least looking very real to those that don't know it isn't actually safe to set up.
Also the only HKD combo Tohno has where he can OTG the opponent. This can be used for extra damage depending on position, in order to compensate for the loss of damage through the other route. Can also potentially be used to set up tech punishes, if the opponent gets greedy.
  • 2B(2) > 5C > 2C > 5B > 6B > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Standing opponents only. Must also be about point blank when doing this for it to work
Optimal, meterless, universal punish, anywhere on screen
May have to delay the 5B or wait a little after 6B on some characters to get this to work
If the delay is too annoying, do j.CB(2) > dj.BC(A) > AT instead
  • 5B > 2B(1) > 5C > 2C > 6B > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Crouching opponents only. Must also be about point blank when doing this for it to work
Second most optimal in terms of damage. Meterless, universal punish, anywhere on screen
May have to wait a little after 6B on some characters to get this to work
If the delay is too annoying, do j.CB(2) > dj.BC(A) > AT instead
  • 5C > 2B(2) > 5B > 6B > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Crouching opponents only. Must also be about point blank when doing this for it to work
Most optimal in terms of damage. Use this as a punish when you're close enough and if the average startup of a C normal will be fast enough to work.
Unlike the above combo, is easier to execute on everyone and doesn't require obtuse timings
  • 6[B] > (5B > 2B(2) >) 2C > 5C > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Your one and only overhead combo (that works anywhere onscreen)
Omit the B normals and go to 2C > 5C if you're too far
Every other possible route gives less damage, unless you do 5C > 2C > 5BB > etc. The increase doesn't even amount to 100 to justify the bad position

Neutral & Counter-Hit Confirms

  • Gold Airthrow > land > 2C > 5B > 6B > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
The most damaging and meter-gaining combo you get off of a raw airthrow done anywhere. Easy to perform as well
Omit the 5B on Ryougi or the combo will drop
  • j.X(CH) > land > (Dash >) 5C > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Staple conversion off of an air-to-air counter hit
Dash helps to stabilize the 5C conversion based on distance
Do note that the most optimal conversion for this combo is 2B(1) > 5B > 6B. Unfortunately, due to the nature of 2B(1) as an overall normal, it is impractical to expect this to work. But on the other hand, if you omit 2B(1)...
  • j.X(CH) > land > (Dash >) 5B > 6B > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Significantly higher damage but slightly more difficult version of the above combo.
Theoretically, very practical to pull off in actual matches thanks to the angles of 5B and 6B
  • 623B(CH) > land > 2C > 5B > 6B > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Both the most practical and optimal conversion off of the CH starter, only second in damage to the actual most optimized version in terms of damage (2B(1) > 5B > 6B > Aircombo)
Works in both the air and the ground. Ground assuming you trade Counter Hits, otherwise the enemy will be too low for this conversion to work
  • Shield > 623B(CH) > land > (2B(1) >) 5B > 6B > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
The most damaging conversion route off of a shield into 623B CH.
Making a route where 2C or 5BB are involved does not actually make this better
Must CH the enemy rather high for this to work. 5B and 2C come out at about the same rate, so the slight difference in general height this should work shouldn't be significant
  • 2C(CH) > 5A(w), 2C > 5C > j..BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Basic conversion off of 2C counter hit starter
Works anywhere. Best used when you're too far for anything else to work. If you're closer however...
  • 2C(CH) > 5A(w), (2C >) 5B > 6B > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Highest damage variant of a meterless 2C counter hit conversion that can be done anywhere on screen
Use this if your reactions are good enough and if you're close enough for this to work
May have to delay the 5B and 6B on some characters to get this combo to work
  • 214A/B(CH), 5A > 5B > 6B > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Can work regardless of distance. If this move counter hits, that's always a potential conversion no matter where or what
Linking/Execution is rather tough, making the attempt at conversion alone a bit of a risk. But it is possible to perform consistently. Not to mention the followup here is the best in terms of damage, no Rebeat Penalty, and so on. Not that you have other alternatives of which to really speak. Significantly better damage than if you were to OTG instead, as well
  • 214B(CH), 5B > 5C > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Absolute highest confirm you can get with no regards to position thanks to the slightly added stun frames on the B version of this move
Close to the damage you'd get from the optimal corner combo conversion (about 46 dmg apart). Given that there's no Rebeat Penalty on this route, it might even score higher at some points.

Special Confirms

  • 22C, 2C > 6B > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Staple 22C combo for when you are too far from facing the corner
Most optimal confirm in such a scenario. Works on everyone

The j.22C Combo

  • 5B > 5C > 2B(2)/2C > 6B > j.B(2)/C > j.22C, sj.8 > j.CB > dj.BC > AT
Your staple metered midscreen route. The highest source of damage you'll get in such a situation
This route is the most optimal in terms of damage which exists for j.22C. So do 2B(2) if the enemy is crouching and 2C if the enemy is standing. j.C will net more damage than j.B, but not any significant amount, so do j.B(2) if you feel that confirm is simpler
Unlike C-Tohno's 5BB, you will not autonatically superjump if you hold upwards after a move. So you can't superjump automatically by holding up after j.22C. You have to manually input 28 (down-up) and then get the jumping normals to connect at the right time.
If you find the j.CB part too difficult, it might be easier instead to replace the first j.CB with a j.AC

Extremely Situational Combos

  • 5B[B] > 22D, 2C > 2B(1) > 5B > 6B > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Extremely impractical as 5B[B] is usually not followed up with 22D since both parts are highly unsafe/gimmicky. But if you need a confirm for this starter, this is the highest damage one that works anywhere onscreen
Per usual, depending on character, you may have to delay the normals just enough for these to all connect. If not then just omit 2B
  • j.[C], (2B(1) >) 5B > 6B > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Nobody that knows what they're doing is ever under any circumstance going to fall for this in a serious match. But if you're that much of a madman and want a conversion off of this starter of all things, this is the absolute best one outside the corner
Omit 2B if the spacing/timing is too tricky. You're only giving up about 5 damage anyway

Corner Combos

Note: All of the following combos which involve doing 2C/sweep in the corner with 5B available after will ALWAYS have the 5BB > delay j9.(delay)[C] > land > 5A5BB > Etc. variant as both the highest damaging and the greatest meter gaining variant. Should this following subsection contain 2C combos whose routes are not the aforementioned, they are there as easier but still rewarding options if you cannot execute the better one. All starters under "Normal Combos" that are not directly mentioned here (unless extremely circumstantial) can be extended using one of the conversions listed here. E.g., 214B(CH) combos not listed, but you know it can link into 2A, 5B, 2B, or 2C, which leads you to the 2C conversions listed here. Same for 623B(CH), since you should know what that can lead into, as well as 2C(CH), etc. Starters listed in this section are specifically for (near enough to) the corner, and conversions listed are the same.

Basic Corner Specific Routes

  • 2C > 5BB > j9.[C] > j.22A > land > 623BB
Corner HKD variant. Cannot OTG
Have to do j.9[C] as quickly as possible while ascending, and j.22A should be input as soon as j.[C] hits. Leave a bit of a gap between j.22A and 623BB, since it won't buffer immediately due to the landing portion
  • Gold Air Throw > land > 2C > 2B(1) > 5B > 6B > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Most optimal damage and meter gain aside from the j.[C] route
Same as the midscreen conversion, but now you can 2B(1) without being too far

Special Confirms

  • 22A, 2B(1) > 5B > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Corner conversion off of a stray 22A
Strangely, but truthfully, the most optimal yet simplest conversion there is for the starter
Remember to delay the 2B(1) a little if the 22A counter hits. Still optimized the same
If the opponent is jumping as this hits, 2B may not connect. In which case, omit it and just do 5B.
  • 22[A], 5B > 6B > j.BC(A) > dj.BC(A) > AT
Exact same as the above EXCEPT DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS ON RYOUGI SHIKI. Due to her strange properties, this will drop on her.
For Ryougi Shiki, just do the 2B(1) > 5B route instead
Weirdly enough, for some reason, 22[A] is better optimized with 5B > 6B before air combo. Keep that in mind
  • 236B (on jumping enemy), OR 214BB > j.(A)BC > dj.BC(A) > AT
Corner confirms off of both Specials.
For 236B, you have to connect with j.A, otherwise the combo will drop. For 214BB, it's optional but if you can do it then go for it.
214BB confirm loses to 5BB > j.CB > dj.BC > AT in terms of damage, but is overall far more practical to land consistently

Advanced Corner Combos

  • 2C > (2B(1) >) 5BB > j.9 > delay > j.[C] > land > 5A5BB > 2A(w), j.CB(2) > dj.BC > AT
C-Tohno's signature corner combo. Also rather difficult to do
The 2B(1) is there for extremely situational purposes, but it usually not part of the combo unless the height is too low or gravity is too high
Unusual, situational starters which can lead into this: 2C(CH), 214B(CH), j.[C]
  • 2C > 214C > 5A(w)5B(w)[B] > 22D, 2C > 2B(1) > 5BB > j.9 > delay > j.[C] > land > 5A5BB > 2A(w), j.BC > dj.BC > AT
Metered version of Tohno's signature corner combo.
If you find the parts after 2B(1) too difficult, replace the rest with 5B > 6B > j.BC > dj.BC > AT
  • 2A > 5BB > 6[B] > 2B(1) > 2C > 22A, 2B(1) > 5BB > j.9 > delay > j.[C] > land > 5A > 2C > 6B > 2B(1) > 5BB > 2A(w) > j.BC > dj.BC > AT
Combo specifically doable on Aoko and Powered Ciel. On her, it's 5855 dmg, and for C-Tohno, 285% meter gain. Right below the 25-hit mark before the enemy's meter gain becomes a problem too.
Omit the 2B(1) after 22A if you're heading towards the corner going this. A.k.a., when you're not already in the corner when you start this.
This should also be possible on other characters, but hasn't been tested thoroughly at the time of this writing due to its extremely difficult execution
Video example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDjupZTd2RI
  • 236A(CH)
This is not a conversion, but a starter. And it is C-Tohno's absolute most deadly CH starter if he can actually nab it at the right timing and spacing. You can link it into either 2A > 5C > 2C, or 2C. It's tough to do, but because the proration is nonexistent, that means you get not only a Special CH combo starter, but the rest of your combo optimizes ridiculously in terms of damage for it. You can use either the 2C > 5BB or 214C routes in light of this information.
  • Etc. > 2C > 6B > 22A, j.A(B)C > dj.BC(A) > AT
Please check the below subsection (titled "The Corner 22A Combo") for more details

OTGs

  • 5AAA > 5B > 2B(2) > 2C > 5C > 2A(w)/236C
Max damage 236C OTG route. Use this if you want a bit of extra damage and are willing to spend 100 Meter for that and a better knockdown than the 214C variant. If you find this entire sequence too hard, then you can stop at precisely any point you wish past the first 5A, and the 236C will still connect.
Go for the 2A(w) route if you don't wanna spend the meter but are hoping to catch a tech punish and wanna recover in time to catch it. 2C can and will punish after 2A(w) recovers
  • 214C
214C can be used to pick up for about a 3-4K damage combo, in tandem with the Advanced Corner Combos listed above. If you have the spare meter, or if this will kill, absolutely go for it

The Corner 22A Combo

  • Etc. > 2C > 6B > 22A, j.A(B)C > dj.BC(A) > AT

Due to the amount of minute yet important details which surround this particular combo, it will have its own subsection apart from the rest.

This is the second of C-Tohno's two defining corner combos. It can also be done near the corner. Please remember that if you are going towards the corner doing this, as opposed to already being in there, you must omit j.B as it will not reach and the rest will drop.

You'll want to confirm into this whenever you can since it not only gives about 4K damage each time, but about 115-120% meter too. Quite the absurd departure above average in terms of reward, especially considering its meterless too. However, confirming into this combo is tricky for a number of reasons. Said reasons most primarily revolving around the 2C > 6B portion, and how characters in this game have independent falling speeds.

Certain characters will need to have a certain number on the combo counter satisfied before 2C, otherwise they'll not fall quickly enough for the 22A to connect, allowing them to airtech. Some characters might need about as much as 5 hits minimum before the 2C, and others might not need any at all. Hence the "Etc." portion not being strictly defined. Necessary hit-count varies among characters, and there isn't any particular combination of normals you're forced to stick to. Do note that this combo's execution doesn't differ at all based on whether the opponent is crouching or standing.

The following is a list of how many hits you require before 2C, based on character.

Characters Who Need:

  • No Hit Before 2C:
Neco-Arc, Neco-Arc Chaos, Nero
  • 1 Hit Minimum Before 2C:
Warachia
  • 2 Hits Minimum Before 2C:
Aoko, Kohaku
  • 3 Hits Minimum Before 2C:
Miyako, Len, Powered Ciel, Riesbyfe, Ryougi
  • 4 Hits Minimum Before 2C:
Akiha (Seifuku), Akiha Tohno, Ciel, Kouma, Nanaya, Tohno, White Len
  • 5 Hits Minimum Before 2C:
Akiha Vermillion, Archetype: Earth, Arcueid, Hisui, Mech-Hisui, Red Arcueid, Roa, Satsuki, Sion, Sion Tatari

It should be known that you can get the hit-count to 5 before 2C on any character, and the combo will still work the same. Of course, for those that absolutely require 5, you can't have any less. The following are some (of the most practical) examples that work on everyone. Note that all of these will include 5C. It helps to know that delaying 5C as opposed to cancelling it ASAP allows Tohno sink in, getting him to get closer to hit his next normals.

  • Dash forward > 2AAA > 5B > 5C > 2C > 6B > 22A, j.A(B)C > dj.BC(A) > AT
  • IAD forward > j.B(2) > land > 2A > 5B > 5C > 2C > 6B > 22A, j.A(B)C > dj.BC(A) > AT
  • IAD forward > j.B(2) > land > 5B > 2B(1) > 5C > 2C > 6B > 22A, j.A(B)C > dj.BC(A) > AT (higher damage variant, tougher to confirm)
  • IAD forward > j.B(2) > 5B > 5C > 2B(2) > 6B > 22A, j.A(B)C > dj.BC(A) > AT (highest damage variant, toughest to do and confirm)


Now here's where it gets tricky. The above information is relevant ONLY if you perform the combo with similar timing across characters (which is how you should be doing it most of the time regardless in order to confirm right.) The "number of hits you need per character list" in a more objective manner of speaking, is less the actual hit-count you need, but the amount recommended to let the combo go smoothly. For example, Sion Tatari is listed as "5 Hits Minimum Before 2C", when in actuality, it's 1. On her, if you do Normal > 2C, then delay 6B as long as possible before 22A, gravity won't matter at that point as she's low enough for the Special to connect. The above list and combos are there since the delay timing is tough regardless, and the lesser hits make practical confirms even tougher. Nonetheless, this is good to know when labbing/theorizing/experimenting Tohno setups and confirms, just to have that extra bit of leverage. It may be difficult to make practical, but certainly not impossible as this knowledge has been demonstrated and put to practice by past Tohno players.

So with this bit of information in mind, the following is a list of:

Characters Who Need:

  • No Hits Before 2C Delayed into 6C:
Akiha Tohno, Akiha (Seifuku), Aoko, Ciel, Kouma, Kohaku, Len, Miyako, Neco-Arc, Neco-Arc Chaos, Nanaya Shiki, Nero, Powered Ciel, Riesbyfe, Ryougi, Tohno Shiki, Warachia, White Len
  • 1 Hit Minimum Before 2C Delayed into 6C:
Akiha Vermillion, Archetype: Earth, Arcueid, Hisui, Mech, Red Arcueid, Roa, Satsuki, Sion, Sion Tatari

Strategy

It is reccomended you check out the Move Descriptions section to get a basic idea of what you've got first.


Your ultimate goal as Shiki is to trap the opponent in the corner, where a lot of your moveset becomes much more obnoxious to deal with. As well as this, his standard airthrow knockdown in the corner will lead to further pressure, continuing the momentum. He also has some high damage, hard knockdown options at the corner as well.


Though, to start, you'll first need to get them there.

Mobility and Spacing

Grounded

Walk

Shiki's walkspeed is slightly below average in Crescent, at 510 forward (6) and 400 backwards (4) (However, this in itself is still a huge buff compared to his pitiful walkspeed before, of 300 forward and 200 backward). He walks around fast enough to utilise somewhat effective basic grounded footsies with his 2c, where you could walk in and out of an opponents range to try to bait pokes or particular attacks. He doesn't particularly excel at this though, so using his regular walking is only typically useful against specific characters such as Nero (to bait 4c or summons).

Dash

Shiki has a fairly fast dash type 66/6ab. His acceleration during it is the fastest in the game, at 2400. However, because it's a dash style, it does not go very far. Although it's completely cancelable, there is a very long period of time before you can dash again. As such, he cannot cover a long distance on the ground quickly. Being a dash type though, he retains all of the forward movement upon canceling the dash into attacks. This can help out to make his 2c poke very annoying, as dash 2c has enough range to make up for the limited distance he can cover. In a lot of situations, it will allow you to catch people lazily spacing or getting greedy with ground control.

Another good tool to use when dashing with Shiki is dash 2a 5b or dash 5b. This is a very useful string because it is lower risk and commitment than throwing out the 2c in a neutral situation, where you cannot always be sure that the 2c will hit or be blocked (its really bad on whiff). Shiki's 2a hitbox has a high enough angle to catch people who are just starting their jump, and 5b will let you convert into an air combo off of it with ease by either using 5bb followup, or going straight to air combo.
5b also has a decent upperbody clashframe, meaning even if you are too late in your approach you could still clash their retaliation jumpin. If you catch someone who isn't in the air, you can still easily confirm into 5c 2c for whatever combo of your choice afterwards, or if they are actually blocking, you can go into a standard blockstring. If your opponent is scared, you could reset the blockstring off 5b into another 2a, as 5b is only about -2 on block, meaning that unless the opponent is mashing out you can probably get away with it.

Final thing to note about his dash; A common trick to mess with the opponent is to immediatly cancel his dash into his backdash (44/4ab), as it will end up looking like he should be moving forward, but he actually isn't.

Backdash

Shiki's 44/4ab is a very solid backdash. As with other backdashes, it has startup invulnerability, making it a reasonable escape option. It's fast and travels a long distance backwards as well, making following after it somewhat of a chore compared to other characters. It's typically a better choice than walking backwards to create space when you need to reposition yourself out to start moving in again safely.

In addition, Crescent Shiki has access to a special backdash extender by pressing 44 after his backdash (you cannot use ab for this). This extender is FULLY invulnerable, and causes him to backflip and travel even further backwards. Whilst it's got a lot of recovery, this is a useful tool to use when you really need to get yourself out of a hairy situation midscreen, as trying to catch him after this on reaction is nearly impossible with some characters.

Note that there is a gap inbetween the initial backdash and the extender where Shiki is still vulnerable, meaning this is not a complete get out of jail free/avoid os anti backdash tool. It can be amusing to backdash into the extender whilst cornered and see an opponents punish go sailing through you, but don't overuse the move too much, as a good player will instead just keep following you as you backdash instead of trying to catch the inbetween part in neutral.

Aerial

Shiki has pretty average jumps. They cover a regular distance and trajectory, and travel at a decent speed. His superjump is one of the faster ones, and has a very good angle for meeting an aerial opponent up close with j.a, or just approaching them for a jumpin with j.b or j.c. His airdashes to the unexperienced eye seem lacklustre, lacking forward movement and not giving much of a speed bost. However, precisely because they have these features, they become really useful for air to air spacing games. They also function well for close ranged instant air dashes (IADs). Combined with the low recovery, they help him make minute adjustments in his spacing games that will help keep the opponent unsure of where and when to attack, and at what angle.

Forward Momentum

Because of his quick dash, you can combine it with his jumps to boost the range and speed of them significantly. Dash into forward jump j.a is a common multipurpose approach against an opponent who is either backing off by jumping backwards, not committing early to their air to airs, or possibly just using jumpin attacks to cover a neutral jump. It's relatively easy to hitconfirm this into a jb/c djbc on regular hit, or land into a relaunch on counterhit. If the opponent blocks he can keep them blocking by spamming more j.a or other air attacks, possibly creating a guard break situation with 2a/5a/5b upon landing.

Another common tactic is to preform the dash forward jump, but then double jump backwards and not commit to anything. This allows you to potentially punish people fishing for your j.a, where they would end up throwing out their moves a bit earlier than usual. This means you could airdash forwards after this to be above them as they come down, leaving them with very few options but to simply block, allowing you to to get some pressure going. It will also keep you safe vs people trying to dash jump attack or superjump attack you as well.

Additionally, if an opponent does not jump at all, you can usually just throw out a j.c on the way down and use the angle to get in. Alternatively, you can double jump neutrally to start limiting their frontal air space safely. If the opponent is still in a strong position to interrupt you with a back jump attack or anti air, airbackdash into j.c will pretty much safely cover you entirely on the way down.

Neutral Jumps

You can effectively utilise his j.c from neutral jumps to deny a lot of space because of its great range for air to airs, and great jumpin hitbox as well. Unless an opponent takes a risky manoeuvre under or directly into Shiki, simply neutral jumping, even without throwing anything out can make an opponent have to simply give up space to back off and approach at a better angle of attack. When pressuring opponents, because of the reliability of his j.b and j.c as jumpins, many characters will be cautious of anti airing you if you are spaced correctly, meaning you can take the opportunity to airdash in on them, or cancel a blocked jump attack into an airdash to do a double overhead and still be getting in.

Against a cornered opponent, this tactic is very hard to deal with. The opponent will be unable to move backwards to give themselves space to attack, and cannot reliably jump up or past Shiki to escape the corner. The safest way out of this is to try to dash out under him, and trying to do this on reaction to single jumps can be really hard unless they are looking for the neutral jump, and their dash is very low, like Ciel.

As mentioned before, this general approach can also be countered by people moving into you with a quick j.a. To catch people doing this while still being threatening, you can throw out your j.c a little earlier. This can leave you a sitting duck if they did nothing, or neutral jumped and weren't in range to be hit. You can also double jump instead while blocking to see what happens. If they do not commit, you can still deny space with j.c on the way down. If they go under/through you, you can try to airdash backwards to land on top of them with a j.c. However, they most likely have retained a double jump and airdash, so this is quite risky. Genereally the safest option after it is to just reset the situation to neutral and airdash forwards.

Backwards Jumps

Alternatively, you can beat people approaching like that by doing back jump j.c instead. Back jump j.C controls the least amount of space, but is basically not going to lose to anything short of a superjump airthrow. With that said, airthrows did get buffed in this game, meaning you should really try not to rely on doing this too much because people can and will be comboing off it into solid damage and knockdown now.

When utilising jump back, keep in mind the use of surprise j22.a. The move has a strong hitbox and will move Shiki towards the opponent, meaning that if they are trying to track him in the air and catch him, the attack will very likely stuff whatever they are doing. This is unsafe as hell on whiff so you have to be careful about using it as an option.

Another example of when to use j22.a in the air would be after your own airtechs following unconfirmed back jump air to air hits. A lot of characters will be probably dashing in to try to catch you as you fall; to tripguard or guardbreak, to techpunish, to or potentially pick you up if you don't tech in time. Teching into j22.a can help you beat a lot of attacks that are useful in this position, such as Kohaku 2c or Tohno's own 2c.

Superjumps

As stated before, Shiki's superjump can be used to effectively get in on an opponent. However, any decent player should be capable of covering themselves from superjump attacks reliably. This means you will often end up either double jumping or air backdashing after moving forward a lot with the superjump to retreat safely. Meanwhile, you are forcing the opponent backwards, or making them commit to a riskier approach.

Two final thing to note would be using aerial superjumps and neutral superjumps. Aerial superjumps are preformed in neutral by pressing 1 or 2 then 9 in the air. Neutral superjumps are preformed by pressing 2 then 8 when on the ground. These are grouped together because the uses for aerial and neutral superjump in air spacing are very difficult to explain for general application, aside from one case where they are both used at the same time. By neutral superjumping, then air superjumping, you will go over pretty much every possible attack the opponent can throw out. This technique can help you get over a lot of irritating space controlling traps and fireballs

Unfortunately, because of the height you are at, it means the opponent would be free to go under you and try to anti air if they aren't doing anything else.

To solve this, you can use air dodge to turn yourself around while coming down. This allows you to angle yourself with an airdash properly to attack with j.c while falling. You could also airbackdash to be on the safe side, but by doing this you do not really gain any significant distance in on the opponent.

Defence and Poking

Dealing with Pressure

When being pressured, Shiki's got a decent amount of tools available to him.

  • Block. Please block, it's your safest option. Learning to recognise when an opponent has used too many of their blockstring tools or cannot convert off their normals anymore will let you just make escapes without taking as great a risk.
  • Backdash is probably the best escape choice. As detailed earlier, Shiki's has a good amount of distance and invulnerability. As such, it will let you you run away from potentially bad situations when an opponent outspaces you and gets a jumpin, or on wakeup or in pressure. Watch out for people using the backdash option select though. If they are trying to track your backdash then you could use the extender to increase your chances of getting away. Backdashing shouldn't be used in the corner though.
  • Back jump block. Obviously another universal option, but good to know about. Will lose to people that are using high angled attacks like 5b or 5c, and becomes much easier to catch in the corner because of a lack of backwards distance traveled.
  • 623a/b on wakeup are legitimate reversals. They are scarier than most Shoryus because they can be combo'd off readily on trades and counterhits without burning meter. They have bad horizontal range though, making them not very reliable to get out of pressure strings with. If the opponent stand blocks the followup attack, it is actually safe on block. However, any smart player will just crouch to not get hit.
    • 623a can be ex canceled into 236c on the first hit to make it safe. This is basically impossible to hitconfirm though, so you will forfeit any big damage if the dp does actually hit the opponent. If the first hit is counterhit, then the full 236c will connect. If it's not, the last hit of 236c will whiff, but they cannot airtech. This leaves you with an odd techpunish situation, but there is not really any easy option to cover everything.
  • 2a is not reliable, being 5f startup. Do not mash this move on defence! The range is bigger than most though, so sometimes it can get the job done, and it will catch iading opponents with its higher hitbox.
  • 2c has ridiculous speed for its range. You can beat lots of stuff when at the right disatnce when an opponent has overcommitted or done something you can recognise as a reset with it. It loses to jumps or iads because of its really bad recovery though, so again, not a good choice.
  • 214a will go under lots of 5b or 5c across the board. When you can recognise a gap or an opponent is trying to bait mashing, it can catch them out a lot. It's also relatively safe on block unless blocked at point blank. Keep in mind it has a fair amount of startup though, and the range is only considered into the distance it travels during active being a slide. Regardless, this move is slightly safer than a 2c, because it will generally recover in time to block a jump, or even let you go under them entirely to avoid it. It will still lose to typical iad attacks, but it can anti air some. On counterhit, can be combo'd off with 5a 5b 6b.
  • 214c has complete startup invul till the first active frame. This means it will trade with meaties on wakeup, but can sort of work to get out of pressure as well. Once again, due to being a slide, it could also inadvertently anti air, and if the opponent isn't around to get hit, you can slide out and possibly be safe. Unsafe as hell on block though.
  • 214d shield bunker. Shiki's is pretty much your average shield bunker, comes out fast enough to clash with chained moves. If done out of block, like most raw bunkers, it's much slower, but does retain a clash hitbox. Don't rely on this move a lot unless the opponent is doing very patterened, unstaggered pressure strings.
  • 2AB. This is the sidestep/dodge. Can also be done with 2E/QA. Dodges have 1f startup (you cannot do them against real meaties) and are fully invul till the end of the animation(about 23 frames usually), where they have recovery (about 2 to 3 frames). In a nutshell, dodges lose to A attacks, since the opponent recovers faster. They are usually about even with B attacks, since you typically both recover at around about the same time. They will let you get punishes vs C attacks, so this is really the only time you can think about using them. Note that dodge loses to any sort of jumpin since the opponent will always recover faster via landing.
  • ABC. Heat. Also done with 5E/QA. This is a universal Crescent Moon option, and requires at least 100% meter to use. The character becomes invulnerable and causes a small explosion around them, similar to a burst. The explosion is unblockable and will knock the opponent far away. Shiki's heat has 18 frames of startup, and is invul for 24 frames, and has 25 frames recovery after that. His hitbox has less vertical range than normal, but more horizontal range. Heat's considerable invulnerability makes it reliable vs almost any sort of attack, but the huge recovery and startup make it quite easy to bait and punish.
  • 5/2d or 5/2[d] (shield/parry) canceled into 5a/2a, 623a or 214a. Compared to anti air shields, you really need to have a good read to shield grounded attacks, beacuse you must correctly shield mid/low attacks with either 5d or 2d. 2a and 5a can only be done off EX shields, and if done right you can just chain them into whatever combo you want afterwards (note that shielding prorates combos a lot). 623a is the more reliable attack off held shield, but 214a is a lot safer on block. Keep in mind that 214a is now actually unsafe if blocked point blank, making this not as safe as it used to be. On counter hit, you can combo afterwards. If necessary, you can ex cancel the 623a or 214a into a 236c to keep yourself safe.

Anti Airs

Shiki has an array of potential anti airs available to him.

  • His 5b has a solid upperbody clash frame, meaning it could be used to beat out jumpins if spaced and timed correctly. Will net you a counterhit if used correctly that can be followed up with a full combo. This move is fairly difficult to use effectively though.
  • His grounded 623 series are air unblockable on the first hit, but the aerial portion is air blockable. Nevertheless, the hitbox is still pretty good and will result in trades or counter hits that you can convert off a lot of the time. In addition, the manual followup is fairly safe on block against an air blocking opponent.
  • His 236a has a very very good hitbox for anti airing with. However, because of the dash run up at the start, it tricky to get the right spacing to anti air with it consistently. Can be easier to use this move by dashing into it, which is done by doing 236AB~A.
  • 214a shrinks his hitbox a lot, meaning it will go under most jumpins or lazy air to airs being used as jumpins. On counterhit, can be followed up with a combo. Note that this move also can save you when an opponent is messing above your head trying to get you to 623a, and you get this move instead, which is harder to punish.
  • Jump at aerial opponent and j.a. Whilst this may seem obvious, application of doing this is limited to when you really know and understand where and why the opponent is dicking around in the air above you, how many movement options they have left, etc.
  • 5d or 5[d] (shield/parry) canceled into 5a/2a, 623a or 214a. 2a and 5a can only be done off EX shields, and because of their low hitboxe and startup they do not certify aerial counterhits (opponents can jump cancel to avoid them in time). It's better to stick to 623a and 214a here. 623a is the more reliable attack, but 214a is a lot safer on block if you are unsure of whether or not they will jump cancel or land in time to block. Keep in mind that 214a is now actually unsafe if blocked point blank, making this not as safe as it used to be. If necessary, you can ex cancel the 623a or 214a into a 236c to keep yourself safe.

Pressure

Basic Blockstrings and Pressure Resets

There are two main things to know about Shiki's midscreen pressure.

  • 2c is the threat. You have to keep this move available for as long as possible in pressure to make sure the opponent does not want to jump. By using it early or starting a string with something like 2a x n into 2c, you have already sacrificed any sort of pressure you could possibly do.
  • Being just barely outside of the range of the opponent's 2a is your ideal position to be before committing to a pressure reset. 2c will effectively stuff anything anybody can possibly throw at this range. As long as you have not used it in your string yet, you can abuse simply not using it make the opponent not want to press a button or jump out. Try to not overuse this though as a smart player will note that you're never actually stringing into it and probably just start jumping or backdashing out.

With that out of the way, here's a rundown for blockstrings when you get in.

Midscreen

A Normals

Ideally, you do not want to use 5a if you could use 2a instead. His 5a is worse than 2a in all aspects, for catching jumpers on the hitbox, to recovery on block, to recovery for whiff cancels. It can be good to use at the start of a blockstring if you are planning to use 2a whiff cancels in pressure or for restarting a blockstring by staggering 2a later.

2a is just -1 on block. This means that just by staggering it a bit, the opponent will probably have to just play it safe and block. You can combine this with his fast dash and instant airdash to reset pressure from a few staggered 2a's into more of them.

If the opponent is respectful, it's not uncommon to just tickthrow them from this situation. Whilst it's not exactly the most damaging option, it's good to remember to keep the opponent on their toes. Shiki also gets a pretty solid knockdown after throw and some possible mixups and option selects.

Instant air dashing after a few blocked A normals is typically riskier than just a straight up dash. Fortunately, Shiki's extremely short and low airdash make it more viable than most characters at this range. IAD into j.b or j.c is not hard to block, but can be difficult to respond to correctly because j.b hits twice, and j.c does not. Both will also potentially lead into j22.b 214a which adds another overhead hit straight into low. Near the corner, you can otg relaunch off this for some solid damage.
IAD j.a can be used if you are unsure of whether the opponent is going to jump out or not.
You can also do j.[c] while iading, which will result in the startup for the move coming out, but no actual attack. Then, you could land into a 2b for a low, or a throw. Pretty legit mixup once you have scared your opponent enough. The IAD j.a j.22a throw mixup here is nice too, check the mixup section for more info.

Using instant air dashing in general flat out loses to backdashes midscreen, so do not overuse it.

If you smell backdash from this situation, you can use the option select which covers backdashes. This OS is preformed just by 2a 2c. If an opponent backdashes your attack, the 2c will cancel from the whiffed 2a, and catch them as they recover. Then you can combo off it with something like 5c or 5b 6b. Note that by doing this, if an opponent does not backdash, you will forfeit further pressure. You will have to just string into more normals and end on something safe like a 5c 5a whiffcancel or a 236a.

It is not impossible to continue pressure after that situation, but most smart players will be able to see and respond to the fact you've used 2c already. A riskier but somewhat better alternative to this is to do dash into delayed 2c while resetting your pressure. If the opponent backdashed, you should tag them. You can also still string into 2a on block if they did not press anything, meaning you have somewhat of a decent position assuming you push yourself out and stagger/restart your string to get access to 2c again.

Remember to throw in the occasional 2c from staggers instead to catch people trying to disrespect these situations. It is the threat of it that lets you keep pressuring, and by not ever using it, you have no threat.

B Normals

Listed before, another decent choice is to use dash 2a 5b. Instead of catching backdash, this will catch people jumping out. It's really important to learn to hitconfirm this into an air combo on reaction when they get tagged in the air. If it hits a grounded opponent, confirm into 5c for a combo. If they backdash, you are still basically safe against anything, but your pressure is over.

If they block, you have 2 choices.

  • Reset the blockstring by recovering fully, then 2a. 5b is only -2, and has a very very late cancel window. So against a respectful opponent, you can get away with this.
  • Keep stringing, and end on something safe.


Note that dash 5b itself is also a solid option if you believe the opponent is likely to jump very early, as in this case 2a is more likely to whiff. If blocked, you still have 2a here, so can reset easily and safely.

2b has poor range for combos, but for blockstrings, it can actually be a nifty tool. Due to its two hit nature, it can be somewhat annoying to deal with. The first hit will often whiff when you do it in a blockstring at any sort of range, but the second hit comes out very quickly after. This means it can tag all sorts of mashing and disrespect at ranges they may not expect. Because of this, some people will just default to blocking when they see the 2b start coming out on block.

This means you could potentially try to reset your blockstring again. By having them block the first hit of 2b, then canceling it into a 5a or 2a so that it connects on block (if you still have them available), they will take "two hits" and may not react in time to the fact that you could now reset pressure with more staggers, a dash or an iad reset.

If you have scared your opponent a lot you can try to reset and continue pressure after 2b. It is -3 however so it is not really recommended.

6[b] could be utilised here effectively too. Because the second hit of 2b is low, an opponent is going to be conditioned to block low more likely after the first hit of 2b is blocked. This means you can try to sneak the overhead in here. Another advantage to this is that 2b is not used in the basic meterless combo off this overhead, making it doubly useful.

To use 6[b] overhead, you must keep in mind that you need a sweep, and a launcher to make it convertable off meterless. Aside from that given example, using a varied blockstring (with prior b and c normals) before the 6[b] will mean your damage off the 6[b] is going to be quite low. Sometimes just doing 2a into 6[b] is good enough.
With meter, and near the corner, you can pretty much throw in the 6[b], or a partial charge 6b in basically anywhere. After that cancel it into 214a on block or hit. Then, otg relaunch with 214c. This creates a psuedo 50/50 mixup of high low, which can be difficult to react to properly.

C Normals

It is usually safest to end blockstrings with either 5c or 2c into a whiff cancel, or a canceled into a safe special like 236a or 22a. You could delay these enders to try to catch jumps or general disrespect. You can also convert into decent damage off them near the corner. However, your pressure is effectively over after using these moves. 214b is an additional, riskier reset option that can be used if the opponent is watching out for the previous two moves. If you space it correctly and it hits on the tip, it's essentially even on block. This could let you throw out a 2a afterwards and let you stay in.

5c or 2c into 2/5a whiff cancel (ideally 2a if you have it), then dash 2a, is an o.k option if the opponent is looking for the special cancel as well. However this is not as strong as it used to be, so do not overuse it, you will most likely get mashed. To mix it up, just end the string with the whiff cancel and back off. Or, empty cancel the 2a/5a to the special instead, which can catch them if they try to press a button on response to the whiff cancel. If you think they will backdash, use the backdash os.

Note that if you're really looking to mix it up, you can use that same idea for your B normals as well. Whiff cancel earlier on after 5b or 2b to bait responses, but instead quickly following up with empty cancels into other normals, instead of a special (due to your probable closer range)

Another o.k choice is to cancel into 22b~d or 22d. These could let you reset pressure off the threat of 22a. The opponent could also see the startup of the 22 series and either respond by mashing (which, if you are pushed out correctly, should miss you, potentially scoring you a punish depending on the character) or by trying to jump or backdash. You cannot stop this escape effectively midscreen, but the idea will be elaborated on further in the corner section.

Least effective of all, are 236b and 236[b]. These attacks just have too much startup to be used effectively most of the time, but the critical delay before the attack can make a scared opponent respond incorrectly, potentially netting you a hit. If they jump out, you can now confirm off a 236b hit since it has a lot of air untechable duration. If they are really scared, you can just do the full 236[b] and 2a to reset pressure, or throw them.

Corner

General Corner Pressure

In the corner, a couple of important dynamics change.

  • Backdashing is no longer an esape option.
  • Jumping out is reduced in effectiveness due to the fact that the opponent cannot move any further backwards.
  • 236a and 22a become comboable off much more readily into deadlier combos. 236a can be combo'd into 214c, and 22a wallslams allowing for a meterless followup.
  • 6[b] and j22.b mixups into otg relaunch come into play.
  • Shiki's airthrow, when done low enough leaves him with enough time to "meaty" a 2c or dash 2a, to force the opponent to block after a combo
  • 623bb hard knockdown combos become usable. This lets you use option selects or meaty mixups.


Effectively, most of the same tools work the same way. Now though, beacuse of the additional respect you can net from 236a and 22a, moves like 22[a]. 22b~d, 22d and 236[b] start becoming a bit more viable. In addition, they cannot take the easy way out against these moves by jumping backwards or backdashing.

IAD also stops losing to backdash. If the opponent tries to jump block out, Shiki's very fast airdash into j.b/c will usually end up tagging them as they rise, resulting in a guard break situation where you can use 2a5b or just 5b to get an air combo.

Because IAD is safer now, you can also use one of Shiki's neater tricks, dash, backjump, iad forward jb/c. This looks extremely weird because he basically cancels out both his backward and forward movement from the airdash and back jump to sort of hang in the air a bit whilst attacking.

Shiki's also capable of just abusing neutral jump j.c in the same way you can control space for neutral here. It's even more difficult to stop him from simply denying space with this. They cannot jump back, or backdash to create space, and then you can move in again with an airdash or ground dash once they have blocked the move.

A common attempt that opponents make to escape the situation is to jump up, block, then try to double jump or super double jump out of the corner. You can stop this by tracking them in the air and j.aing them when they try to go over. You can also airbackdash into j.a or j.c if the escape is hard to cover reliably with just j.a.

Jump forward rising j.a, falling j.b/c is a lazy way to cover escape options and retain pressure afterwards if they did not try to get out.

If you feel you've overcommitted in blockstrings then do not be afraid to just back off a little. Even if you can't safely get back in, you can still play a decent spacing game to keep the opponent in the corner, and potentially move back in if they make some sloppy movement choices.

Post Corner Airthrow

When you have a cornered opponent, you need to avoid using 5bb into the neutral superjump followup for air combos. The reason for this is that the height that this leaves you at when you airthrow means that you fall back too far to get the "meaty" 2c to scare an opponent with, resulting in a guessing game instead of an almost certified blocking opponent. This is also why j.a and sdj are typically not added in corner bnbs, because they will end up raising you and your opponent higher.

To explain better, when you preform an airthrow, Shiki starts falling backwards. The lower your height on the airthrow, the less he falls backwards. If done low enough, you can "meaty" 2c, and if done properly, "meaty" dash 2a.

The 2c is not actually completely meaty vs all characters, but it is still good enough to catch anything besides long range fully invulnerable reversals. Note that many reversals will whiff or only tag you once from this range, making it a relatively "safe" guess to take. Using cancels like 2c to 22a, 22d, or 236b can also cause attempts to shield and punish the 2c to be counteres as well! 2c 22a even combos on counterhit vs mashers or fake reversals.

If you do choose to 2c them, if they get hit you can confirm after it with 5c into air combo. To get this to work reliably, delay the jump cancel on 5c as late as possible to make sure that you get all the forward momentum before jumping.

If they block, you can 2a whiff cancel into dash 2a to keep going. Or use a special cancel like 22a/22[a]/236a to catch any disrespect. Your pressure would effectively end after this but remember, they are still cornered, and you can just back off and make sure they do not get out easily.

Dash 2a5b is once again a solid wakeup option. The opponent will not be able to reaction poke you when they get up, so for this to lose they have to be mashing on wakeup (note that if done low enough, there isn't anybody who can mash out of it if you are canceling dash into 2a fast enough). As before, 2a5b will confirm into a guard break situation, or let you do more blockstrings or combos. Importantly, scoring a hit like this means you can do a 214c combo, which leads to big damage and a good knockdown if you choose.
Also remember that dash 2a 5b will automatically beat wakeup heat from many characters after a corner airthrow, can can even clash through fmoon shield bunkers if they are not canceled fast enough.

You can also use the same dash, back jump, iad trick here as well to mess with people conditioned to respect the dash 2a.

Lastly, you can just forward jump j.c. This is the safest option overall, and will only lose to a good anti air or dp. If they jump you catch them in the air. This potentially creates another guard break situation if they blocked, or you can just do an air combo if they got hit. If they mashed you go over the mash possibly punishing, and if they blocked you can start doing airdash cancels off the j.c to stay in and do mixup.

Setups and Mixup

Shiki has a few select mixups and setups to use at his disposal. Most of them either require meter or severe damage loss though, so they are not used very much. Consequentially, these are not very important to his overall game, so don't worry too much about them. You can watch a video demonstrating these here.

22b~d Which Way

  • (near corner) 2aa 5b 6b 5c 2c 214c 22d 2c 214c 214a 2c (combo ends) 214a 22b~d
  • (near corner) 2aa 5b 6b 5c 2c 214c 214a 2c (combo ends) 214a 22b~d
  • 214a (combo ends) 22b~d
  • (any combo into 236c hard knockdown) dash 22b~d
Any any variations into the same basic ender set this up.

This mixup is based around the teleporting in 22b. By pressing d at different times, Shiki can cancel the teleport to change which side he appears on. This creates a sort of acceptable left right mixup, as it also obscures the vision of the opponent with the dust flying up from the teleport.
Unfortunately, this mixup is actually somewhat risky to use, due to the nerf to Shiki's 214a in Current Code. The additional frames of recovery mean that Shiki cannot always 2a the opponent before they can reversal 2a him. If you do not actually teleport through the opponent you can still get the 2a out before anybody else, but by traveling through them, the only character who will not be able to interrupt you is Nero, because of his slow wakeup speed.

The mixup also has a weakness to reversal shield. If Shiki wanted to use 5b or 2b to catch out incorrect shields, the opponent can just mash out.
Overall the meter setups are not very useful anymore, and the first one that actually does o.k damage costs 200%. This relegates it to being a MAX mode only combo typically.
On the plus side, if you get a 214a hit in, via pokes or whatever, the mixup will work just fine on anybody. Midscreen, this is probably one of the better things you can followup a non counterhit 214a with.

236c Which Way/Safe Heat

  • 2aa 5b 6b 5c 2c 236a 236c (combo ends) dash, slight delay, neutral jump, hold backwards, j.c while falling.
  • 2aa 2b 5c 2c 5bb j.[c], land (dash 5a) 236c
Note that this combo does less thant he above one, but is useful for hitconfirming into from aerial counerhits or 2c pokes at a distance when you want a safe heat and want to keep momentum going.
The dash 5a is for chars that the 236c whiffs on.
  • (midscreen blockstring) 236a (hit) 236c (combo ends) dash, slight delay, neutral jump, hold backwards, j.c while falling.
  • (midscreen otg knockdown) 214a/long ranged 2c dash 5a5b2c 236c (combo ends) dash, slight delay, neutral jump, hold backwards, j.c while falling.

Goal of this mixup is to use the directional influence on neutral jump to create a confusing ground crossup when you land on top of the opponent. Shiki has enough time to use 2a, 2b or 5b after this mixup, making it much better vs shields and mashing. The alternative is to cancel into air backdash as late as possible to do an overhead j.c instead.

The 22b~d mixup can be used here too since there is enough time, but this mixup is stronger if you can do it well.
The 236c also allows you to safely heat and still get a meaty afterwards, though you cannot do the mixup.
Problems include the justification of 100% meter for quite mediocre damage, and the fact that 236c is not a very common move to use anyway.

Midscreen 5bb j.[c] Which Way

  • 2aa 2b 5c 2c 5bb j.[c] (combo ends) superjump forward, airdash forward, j.c while falling.

Goal of this mixup is to use specific airdash timing to land on top of the opponent to create an ambigious ground crossup. By changing the timing of your airdash and j.c you can control where you land. Shiki has enough time to use 2a, 2b or 5b again, keeping them guessing with potential shields. You can also use a similar technique to the previous mixup, where you dash, neutral jump and influence your fall before j.c, or airdash backwards, but this is not really mixup more than a way to play it safe.

Ths mixup unfortunately really really gimps your damage for a midscreen combo, and is difficult to execute correctly.

IAD j.a j.22a throw

  • (anywhere) point blank IAD j.a j.22a (whiff) land throw

Not legitimately a setup but this is an incredibly dirty way to tick throw the opponent. Works because j.a has extremely low pushback and the j.22a moves you forward a lot, but won't actually come out as an attack. You will also land with no recovery due to being in the startup of an attack, allowing you to throw immediatly. Works the same way as the IAD j.[c] throw mixup but this is much safer overall (you can get mashed out of that one easily)

Offensive Option Selects

Tohno's upperbody clashframe on his 5b is a useful tool for helping him beat a lot of reversals, as well as his solid dp. The most common situations you can use these in are from a throw (anywhere), or a 623bb hard knockdown in the corner. To see the original thread for option selects in Actress Again ps2, check here
Note that Crescent Bunkers can not counter hit anymore, meaning that Shiki can no longer get techpunishes after a bunker OS.
This video showcases the Universal OS.

  • Universal OS - meaty 5b 2b~214d. Beats wakeup shield counter and bunker. This also beats most wakeup dps, though for any that have a super flash you need to input bunker again after the super flash. Unless otherwise stated in a specific OS, while it says 5b meaty there needs to be a slight delay on the 5b hitting. If the 5b hits as early as it can it will still be meaty but it won't clash with certain dps.
  • Anti Heat OS - meaty 5a/2a 5b. When done right, you will clash the opponents heat if your 5a/2a whiffs, and you can cancel into whatever off the clash for a combo. Works off corner airthrow into dash 5a/2b 5b against most characters as well.

OTG Techpunishes

Check the OTG section in combos to get up to date on the basic setups first.

  • (near corner, opponent knocked down) dash 5a 5b 2c 2aaa
  • (near corner, opponent knocked down) dash 5a 2b(2hit) 5b 2aaa

Essentially, after these strings, Tohno can reaction 2c to cover all possible techs into a 2c 5c combo for back and neutral techs, and into larger combos for when they tech next to him. Although it's possible to add in an extra 2c in the second combo too, the reason we avoid using it, or why it's prefferable to avoid using the higher damage techpunish is because the extra pushback in the string causes you to end up positioning yourself so that forward techs (techs that will come out of the corner) are going to end up being difficult to punish because Tohno won't turn around till later. This means your attempted punishes would whiff. You can remedy this by walking backwards a little but then you cannot properly punish or combo neutral or back techs, meaning this is not really a solution.

It is important to make sure you only throw out the 2c on reaction if you are trying to bait the tech because whiffing his 2c like that will make you very vulnerable. Note that if they forward tech you can also just techpunish with any other move to start a much more damaging combo (like a 2a or a 5b)

  • (following one of the two above otg combos) dash 5a 2c 2aaa (5c)
  • (following one of the two above otg combos) dash 5aa 2b(2hit) 5b

Dash 5a 2c option select covers all techs (except sometimes first frame neutral techs, which are basically impossible anyway. However, in training mode, the AI always does these, so dont worry if this setup doesnt always work on the dummy), but can be a little tricky to hitconfirm. It can also be hard to actually catch the forward tech into the 5c into air combo with this too. However, it's definitely worth learning to do the OS techpunish just for the fact it will scare opponents into basically never teching your otgs. If you end with 5c, then you recover in time to 2a all techs again (except first frame neutral techs again)

Here is a video that demonstrates how the double OTG os techpunish works for Crescent and Half Shiki.

If you attempt the second double otg and they neutral or back teched your 5a will catch it for at least a block, but forward techs will get out.

  • (near corner, opponent knocked down) dash 5aaa 5b 2b(2hit) 2c 5c 2a/jumpcancel

For this otg, using 2a allows you to potentially cover all techs via reaction 2c, but forward techs are hard to catch without some adjustment (outlined above). If you jumpcancel you cannot cover neutral techs. Back techs can be covered by instant air dash j.c/b and forward techs by instant air backdash j.c/b.

Other Information

Players to check for in videos: Shikki (also known as Mongol, Shikkii and Shiki, can make searching for him confusing), T.I, Backwards (sometimes uses Kaigi)
When searching nicovideo or youtube you can usually use one of these 3 tags , SHIKI TOHNO , 志貴 , shiki

Move Descriptions

Normal Moves

2A [MID]

- Crouching poke. Hits mid. Has solid range and height, making it beat a lot of low invulnerable moves. However, it's quite slow for a 2a so it isn't reliable to mash out with. Less recovery than 5a makes it more useful for pressure strings and whiff cancels.

5A [MID]

- A short range kick to the shins. Despite what it looks like, it hits mid. Overall not a very useful move because 2A has more range and better recovery, but its low profile helps in otgs.

2B [LOW]

- Two part low attack that slashes at the opponents ankles. The first hit has poor range and isn't very fast, making it a bad poke choice. The second hit has larger range and will knock down crouchers. Mostly used as combo/blockstring filler or for a low/high mixup.

5B [MID]

- A forward stepping elbow attack. Moves you forward a fair amount and has a solid clashframe box on the startup and active frames. Can anti air with this attack, but it requires precision to use effectively. Good for using after dash 2a to confirm into either a ground string or air combo.

5BB [MID]

- Followup knife haul attack to 5b. Launches the opponent very high on hit. Can be canceled with a special superjump command by using neutral jump ( 8 ) to follow up for air combos. Can only cancel into specials on block, but the window is quite large. Mostly used for setting up corner hard knockdown combos with j.[c] and j.22a.

5B[B] [HIGH]

- Charged up version of 5bb that is an overhead. Launches the opponent on hit into a very long air untechable state. Is pretty slow for an overhead so not used much. Can only cancel into specials on block, again with the large window. Mostly used for advanced corner bnbs.

2C [LOW]

- Extremely long range and fast low turn kick. Knocks the opponent down on hit. One of the best sweeps in the game due to its speed and range, but has very bad recovery on whiff, so you have to be careful about poking with it.

5C [MID]

- Slow knife thrust that has good range and moves you forward a lot. Has a very long cancel window, which combined with the forward movement, can let you get in range to do particular combos from greater distances if canceled from late. Due to the startup, it's generally relegated to combo/blockstring filler.

5[C] [UNBLOCKABLE]

- Charged up version of the 5c that is unblockable and does a lot of damage. Cannot be canceled. Note that it is only unblockable on the first active frames, so if you end up moving forward to hit the opponent, it will be blockable. Has a lot of startup, so is somewhat risky to use, but being unblockable means the opponent will have to resort to riskier options like shield or dodge to avoid the attack if they cannot react quick enough. Mostly used to only partially charge to create frametraps and staggers in blockstrings.

6B [MID]

- Awkward looking overhead punch attack. Only cancels into specials on block. Does a lot of damage and has solid range, so it's a common combo tool, but not much else. Has upperbody clash frames late in the animation, but is slow and has a poor hitbox for anti airing with.

6[B] [HIGH]

- Charged up, this move becomes an actual overhead. It loses the clash frames, but it is pretty fast as far as overheads come. Only cancels into specials on block. Mostly used for pseudo 50/50 mixups with the partial and full charge and a 214a cancel.

JA [MID]

- Small and fast air to air jab that angles upwards. Good for up close and personal air encounters, and at swatting people who are floating above you with a rising j.a. You retain air movement options after whiffing this move, making it a low commitment air to air.

JB [HIGH]

- Downward angled two hit knife slash attack. The first hit has a very poor hitbox whilst the second has an amazing one. These traits combined make it a fairly reliable jumpin at low angles and close range, such as from instant air dashes. On the other hand, it's a weak air to air option unless your opponent is directly below you. Has recieved increased hitstun from previous versions of Melty Blood, so that it now combos into grounded B and C normals on hit more easily.

JC [HIGH]

- Long range air to air kick. Comes out pretty fast, has extremely long active frames, and has a slight downward angle, making it a solid multipurpose jumpin at lots of ranges and a strong air to air tool if spaced correctly. Probably his most important normal due to the sheer versatility of the move.

J[C] [HIGH]

- Charged up, this move gets a much stronger hitbox that hits more above and around it than before. It causes an untechable knockdown on an air opponent, and will groundbounce a grounded one. Mostly used for hard knockdown combos with j.22a.

Special Moves

Trump Card No.1 (Great Slash) 「切り札そのいち(大斬り)」 - 236ABC
  • Shiki dashes forward and slashes up and in front of him in a similar animation to his 5bb. Has an extremely good hitbox, but due to the distance traveled and startup, has to be used a little carefully to get the full effectiveness of the move out. All versions are air unblockable and hit mid.
  • (A version) - The fastest version, and the most commonly used one. Can anti air effectively anything if spaced correctly, but requires a bit of precision. Is slightly disadvantage on block, but has enough pushback to keep you safe. Typically used as a blockstring ender or a multipurpose high risk/high reward poke. If it hits in a blockstring on a grounded opponent, you can supercancel it into 214c in the corner for a followup combo, or 236c for a midscreen hard knockdown. If it catches a jump, you could cancel it into 623cc for a hard knockdown anywhere. Common tactic to use the move to its fullest is by dashing into the attack, which is done by using 236AB~A.
  • (B version) - Much slower version with multiple hits and a bigger distance traveled before the attack. The only reason to use this move is in blockstrings, as the extra delay can catch people autopilot jumping or mashing. Also, compared to the A version, if it catches a jumper you can actually link a j.a by jumping after them from mostly anywhere on the screen. Then you can go into a further air combo. With that in mind, this move is still quite vulnerable to the dedicated masher, so has to be used more sparingly than the A version. Can hold down the button to cause Shiki to simply keep dashing forward with upper body invincibility, making the slash never come out. Again, this is slow, so although it could be used to setup an easy tickthrow or reset pressure, you have to have scared the opponent a lot first.
  • (EX version) - Has the speed of the A version and the range and multihit properties of the B. Also has an extra hard knockdown final hit where Shiki charges through the opponent, that could be used to setup a mediocre which way crossup midscreen. This move is very safe on block, but does not really leave you in a desirable position afterwards. Only really ever used to cancel from a 236a blockstring connect midscreen or to possibly make an unsafe 214a safe. OTG relaunch.
A Kick Even I Don't Understand (Flash Run: Six Fish) 「自分でもよくわからない蹴り(閃走・六魚)」 - 623ABC
  • Dragon Punch/Shoryuken kick move. All versions have complete startup invulnerability. Air unblockable on the first hitbox, which is very low to the ground, air blockable after that. All versions hit mid. Can be followed up by pressing A, B or C again after during the attack or holding the button down, whereupon he does a j.c kick that causes untechable knockdown. This followup will not hit crouchers, but if an opponent stand or air blocks it, it is safe on block. A strong move overall.
  • (A version) - After the initial startup invul, has low invul, making it reliable vs most low attacks. On any counterhit, can be combo'd off if you make sure not to do the followup. Will trade with higher angled hitbox attacks or jumpins, but you can still combo off this because you recover in time. Useful to use from 5d or 5[d] shields as it launches on hit and will beat jump cancels to avoid the shield or mashing to get past it.
  • (B version) - After the initial startup invul, has high invul, making it reliable vs most jumpins/high/mid attacks. This version is harder to combo off on a grounded counterhit (have to use 5a/2a), but against aerial opponents/opponents aerial due to specials it's easy. Will trade vs most low attacks, but you can still combo off this because you recover in time. Goes significantly higher than the A version. Generally, on wakeup, A is prefferable beacuse you can combo off it even on non trades. However, B is useful for some option selects later on.
  • (EX version) - Adds extra attack portions near the ground, and is completely invulnerable till he starts flying higher off the ground. This move will flat out beat nearly everything, but can only be combo'd off if the airborne section of the attack counterhits. Goes significantly higher than the B version. This EX is good but not used much beacuse his A and B dps are already very strong. OTG relaunch.
A Kick Even I Don't Understand (Flash Run: Six Fish) 「自分でもよくわからない蹴り(閃走・六魚)」 - J.623ABC
  • Aerial version of his shoryuken. Here, they are only used for combo enders if you do not wish to airthrow the opponent. Only the C version has invulnerability, and is air unblockable on the first hit. Cannot do the hard knockdown followup after these versions.
  • (A version) - An almost completely useless move. However, it could be canceled into after an air to air held shield (5[d]) to try to get a counter hit, but j.22c would probably be better.
  • (B version) - Can preform j.623b supercanceled into j.623c to gain roughly 10 to 5 damage at the end of short combo strings. Most of the time you'll just end up losing damage making it almost entirely pointless to ever use this unless you want to purposely keep the opponent in the air after your combo.
  • (EX version) - Complete invulnerability and a pretty decent hitbox mean this move could be used to flat out beat a lot of air to air attacks. Unfortunately you won't be able to combo off it unless you get a single clean counter hit, and the move has 2 possible attack hitboxes so it's not too likely. It's also unsafe as hell on whiff. Mostly used to add extra damage at the end of an air combo. OTG relaunch.
Trump Card No.2 (Low Scoop) 「切り札そのに(下段掬い)」 - 214ABC
  • Low sliding attack. Shrinks his hitbox a lot during the slide, meaning it will go under a lot of attacks, and can even be anti aired with. All versions are air unblockable and hit low.
  • (A version) - Has the fastest startup, and shrinks his hitbox the most, but has the worst attack hitbox. Is usually safe on block, but will be punishable if blocked point blank. On counterhit, can combo off it, making it a fairly low risk poke/anti air that can lead to solid damage. Most commonly paired with his special cancelable overheads to create pseudo 50/50s.
  • (B version) - Has a longer startup and travels a greater distance. Has the least hitbox shrink, but has a solid chunky hitbox at the tip that will beat most attacks. If spaced properly in blockstrings, this move is basically neutral on block. Has an additional followup that can be preformed by pressing B again after the first attack, after which he will preform the same mid hitting knife haul as 5bb. This part cannot be canceled on block but cancels into anything on hit. Can combo off counterhits if spaced correctly, or just be generally combo'd off with the followup. Due to the long startup and vulnerability to people just plain jumping out of your blockstring, this move does not see a lot of use.
  • (EX version) - Has startup invulnerability to the first hit. Combines the speed of the A version and the distance of the B version. If the slide connects on hit or block, he will automatically preform the same followup attack that 214b has, except that it wallslams. The first attack has a very good hitbox that is likely to stuff most other attacks despite not being completely invulnerable. This move is unsafe on block but can be annoying to punish properly at specific distances. Because of the wallslam part, it's mostly commonly used in corner combos to get more damage, or supercanceled from a connected 236a on a blocked opponent to confirm into damage. It is also his most useful OTG relaunch, as it lets him secure the easiest and highest damage compared to the other relaunchers.
Serious Stance (Flash Run: Full Moon) 「本気の構え(閃走・名月)」 - 22ABCD
  • Shiki poses in a crouching pose before executing one of 4 different attacks. All 4 have the same initial startup animation and are useful for messing with the opponent in blockstrings.
  • (A version) - Lunging forward, Shiki donkey kicks the opponent in the groin (ouch). This move wallslams on hit, making it comboable off in the corner, and is relatively safe on block if spaced correctly, making it a very useful tool for ending corner blockstrings with. Air unblockable, hits mid. Can be charged up to become an overhead.
  • (B version) - Shiki teleports forward. The teleport goes forward pretty far, but can be canceled at any point by pressing d, where he will instantly reappear again. Is a handy tool for continuing pressure on people respecting your 22a, and lets you punish people trying to shield, dodge, or reversal it if you cancel the teleport quickly. If done on a knocked down opponent midscreen, you can use it to create a mediocre which way mixup.
  • (C version) - Shiki teleports forward again, but this time he will always attempt to appear behind the opponent, whereupon he will command throw them into a groundbounce situation that can be combo'd off from anywhere (except midscreen on Kouma). Because this move requires you to get behind the opponent, it has a pretty annoying range requirement, and it will not work on a fully cornered enemy. This move is so difficult to use properly that it is very rarely used, but since it is now comboable midscreen on everybody now, it could be a useful trick to cinch out a close match with.
  • (D version) - Shiki poses...then does nothing. This move is a feint attack that allows him to stay safe and recover vs nearly anything an opponent could do on reaction to the intial pose. Technically a rapidly executed 22b~d cancel has better recovery than this move alone for use in blockstrings. Whilst this move is not very useful by itself, combined with his other versions it can be used as force respect whiff cancel to lead to more pressure. It's also commonly used in his corner 214c combos, despite not being strictly necessary for them, but it does look cool!
Dazed Counter (Flash Sheath: Eight Falcons) 「夢中の反撃(閃鞘・八隼)」 - J.22ABC
  • Shiki flies downward in the air at a rougly 45 degree angle while extending his knife. Somewhat resembles Ragna's Berial Edge from Blazblue. These moves have quite a lot of startup, but have very strong hitboxes, meaning that if you can recognise the correct situation to use them, they can be pretty scary. The landing recovery for A and B versions is only cancelable into specials.
  • (A version) - The fastest version. Has a pretty good hitbox for hitting people in front of and below you. Sometimes used in situational air spacing to control an area of space that Shiki doesn't usually have access too. Could be combo'd off on air counter hits, and if it hits a grounded opponent you can cancel the landing recovery into 214a to knock them down, or cancel into an EX/Super move of your choice for better damage. Hits mid.
  • (B version) - Slower startup, and causes Tohno to rise slightly before executing the attack. The hitbox is a lot worse and only really extends at the tip of the knife. Hits high, so it's only really used for double overhead mixups from jumpins, that then lead into a 214a knockdown and otg relaunch.
  • (EX version) - This move sports a huge amount of invulnerability, at a whopping 23 frames. In addition, it has a ridiculous hitbox that hits absoloutely everywhere around Shiki, as well as traveling extremely quickly. Hits high, and launches the opponent on hit high into the air. This move can blow through almost anything in the air, and could be used to attack an opponent on the ground safely as well, going through any possible anti air or lingering zoning traps/fireballs. Can be used for high damage combos midscreen by following it up with a neutral superjump into air combo. OTG relaunch.


Arc Drive

Mystic Eyes of Death Perception 「直死の魔眼」
  • After the superflash, the entire game is slowed down whilst Tohno leaps forward at the opponent. If he connects, he teleports through the opponent and entire screen is cut up whilst they take a lot of damage. The initial part of the attack before he leaves the ground is unblockable, whilst the later parts are blockable. This super has complete invulnerability, but has recovery during the slowmo part at the end if it whiffs. Not very useful overall, because the opponent can always just reaction jump it, unless they were in the middle of an attack. The only real use is as a reversal, and it is not worth comboing into because of the bad damage.


Another Arc Drive

Seventeen Dissection 「十七分割 」
  • Has pretty much all the same properties as the regular Arc Drive, except that he travels a shorter distance, does more damage, and instead of 1 hit, it does 17 hits. Ironically, this super is named after the infamous situation where Tohno dismembered Arcueid into 17 pieces in Tsukihime, but by cutting 17 times in Melty Blood, Tohno will have cut his opponent into at least 18 pieces. Is slightly more practical for comboing into, but any real combo involving meter would net in more damage. As a result, it is again, mostly useless except as a possible reversal.


Last Arc

Mystic Eyes of Death Perception ・Instant Death 「直死の魔眼・決死の一撃」
  • Preformed by EX shielding on the ground when in Blood Heat. Shiki leaps forward and teleports across the screen, cutting through everything in his wake. Circuit Breaks the opponent on hit (destroys their meter bar for a time). Fullscreen unblockable and instant. There is no way to avoid this once he has successfully shielded you, unless you were already invulnerable during your attack. During this attack, Shiki spouts his famous one liner from the end of Arc's route in Tsukihime.

Kore ga, mono wo korosutte iu koto da - This is, what it means to kill something

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Characters

AkihaAkiha (Seifuku)Akiha VermillionAokoArchetype: EarthArcueidCielHisuiHisui & KohakuKohakuKohaku & Mech-Hisui
KoumaLenMech-HisuiMech-Hisui & Neco ArcMiyakoNeco ArcNeco Arc ChaosNero Powerd CielRed ArcueidRiesbyfe
RoaSatsukiShiki NanayaShiki RyougiShiki TohnoSionSion TATARIWarakiaWhite Len

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