Under Night In-Birth/UNIST/Linne/Strategy
On a fundamental level, Linne neutral revolves around using kuuga, air kuuga, and ground pokes at their best ranges for the matchup, and simply dashblocking in or backdashing away if you feel like none of these are currently favorable. Which tools are best and when to use them is matchup specific, but here is an overview of Linne's most important tools in neutral.
- Bluntly put, ground and air Kuuga are Linne's strongest moves, and define her and her playstyle. 236b is fast and covers a good distance, while j.236a and j.236b are both fast, and cover strong vectors: All three are good for poking and stopping reckless approaches. Assault Kuuga covers a unique and important vector as well. Get used to using Kuuga, because you'll be using it a lot.
- Air EX Kuuga:
- Since it's a faster, more active, and farther reaching version of B kuuga, it's Linne's best EX by miles. Air EX Kuuga is the most important version for neutral; it's a critical tool in matchups against the top tier, and useful in every matchup, period. It has great reach; covers a hard-to-deal-with vector with a lot of active frames; hits multiple times; confirms air kuuga, and can be cancelled from air kuuga even on whiff; traps anyone airblocking it so that you can guardbreak them; and gives you ample time to get in if your opponent blocks it on the ground. Almost all your meter spend in neutral goes to this move.
- Dash 5A:
- Linne's 5a has great range and speed for a jab; Linne 5b actually has -less- range than 5a. Dash 5a is its most valuable use in neutral. Use your judgment for choosing between this and Linne's other main poking tools.
- Arguably one of the best buttons in the game. Fast, moves Linne forward, and covers good space. This is probably your most favored poke.
- Covers more range than 2b at a slower speed, but is good for most of the same reasons. Useful in matchups where 2b range isn't always as favorable (Orie springs to mind).
- Incredible move with a ton of applications. Huge, active, good reach. It's especially useful in matchups like the Hyde matchup, where Hyde's 6B can really shut down your other pokes.
- DP A/DP B:
- Linne lacks strong anti-air normals, leaving her main anti-airs to be DP A and DP B. DP A gets a much better conversion on counterhit; DP B beat some things (notably Wald assaulting in) that DP A cannot. Use them at your discretion.
- In several matchups -- particularly Yuzu, Carmine, Merkava, and Vatista -- dashblocking is your safest tool to advance in neutral and attempt to get into a favorable range. Note that, although this is most relevant against zoners, dashblocking is useful in every single matchup, and is also Linne's most consistent round start.
- Use 6A+B~/ when dashblocking, since dash macro inputs faster than 66.
- Linne's backdash isn't particularly strong, but it covers backward space well in certain matchups and at certain ranges. (For example, backdashing Gordeau in slide range is dangerous, but backdashing another Linne player outside Kuuga range may create desired space at low risk.) Don't forget that backdashing costs GRD.
- In addition to creating space, backdashes can be used to make pokes whiff, and punish said whiff. For example, Linne runs towards Yuzu, and in response, Yuzu 2Cs; however, the Linne player anticipates this, so the Linne player stops running early and backdashes, making the 2C whiff, then 66Cs Yuzu's recovery to punish.
- EX Hien:
- EX Hien has a strong, but risky use in neutral for calling out obvious projectiles, or things like bad Hilda pokes or questionable battous. The damage return on and carry from EX Hien are strong if you guess right, but you're out 100 meter and will get punished if you don't. Use it carefully.
- Linne roll goes through projectiles and has a very small period of invincibility, making it another option for dealing with certain types of zoning. However, roll is extremely mashable, and if you get hit out of roll, you'll get High Countered eat serious damage.
- Using Chainshift:
- Chainshift is incredibly strong in neutral. While I can't list all of chainshift's uses here, since there are so many, important and common ones include:
- Making a whiffed kuuga safe, or maked a kuuga blocked at an unfavorable distance safe
- Chainshifting to make anti-airing easier
- Chainshifting to see if a projectile is coming, and using EX Hien to go through the projectile
- Chainshifting for meter to get EX Kuuga
That should cover basic, matchup-unspecific Linne neutral.
Block, shield safe moves to win in GRD or to push them back. Throw tech with 1(B+C)~(A+D)~B or 3B~A+D to OS assault, and 1(A+D) to OS staggers. Don't always throw tech; getting thrown is better than getting combo'd.
Buffer backdash with 4 if you're midscreen and think you can get away with it. Sparingly mash gaps with your fastest normal that hits.
Chain shift the first possible gap safely with 2DDDDD so you don't green shield while trying to input it.