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Avdol has some monstrous normal attacks. His attacks are fast, linger for a long time, and are almost always plus on block. His fireballs, dragon punch, wake-up options, and supers make him a strong zoning character.
As Chaka, you will struggle to approach. Your jump-ins will be mostly ineffective due to Avdol’s numerous anti-air moves. If your hops are too low, even his 2C can anti-air! Dashing in is no good either, due to Avdol’s strong normal attacks.
However, Avdol’s normals have some important weaknesses. He’s most likely to use 6C, 2C, and 2B in stand-off. For 6Cc and 2B, you have a better reach and can outpoke Avdol with 236s. For 2C, you jump over it and s.j.c if you can time it correctly and punish for big damage. Avdol can approach from the air using his double jumps, and his air normals are hard to anti-air, but you can use your Anubis counter or a j.c to beat an air approach (just remember that you still need to space against his s.j.c as it’s also an incredible air-to-air). If you show that he can’t outpoke you, Avdol will likely become frustrated and will try dashing normal, these are much easier to see coming, and you can use an Anubis counter or any other option to punish them. At this point, Avdol will likely switch to stand on, if he hasn’t already.
Avdol in stand on is where he really shows his weak spots. Avdol’s s.5b and his ankh projectiles all hit high, they can be ducked under with a dashing s.2c as well as 2b. Slide right under his moves and sweep Avdol off his feet. If Avdol is in stand on, you can follow up the successful sweep with a 236AA and convert into damage, or if you used 2b, convert into an optimal Stand Crash combo. If Avdol blocks the s.2c, you could use an Anubis parry to make them think twice, at the cost of getting read and punished instead.
If you score a knockdown on Avdol, know that Avdol players almost always wake up with a super attack or 236s. Get close, bait the reversal, then punish. Remember that he wakes up incredibly fast, so a lot of your oki options will be limited unless you specifically knock him down with a s.2c. If you knock him down with the regular rekka launcher after a CC BnB, keep in mind that you end up with your stand gauge at 1hp, so you need to be really fast turning it off (or being really good at timing a meaty hit) if you don’t wanna risk getting stand crashed.
The same advice goes for fighting all zoners. Get in a little bit of damage, then make them come to you. Avdol doesn’t have a lot of mobility options outside of his double jump and remote-control options. If he goes remote mode, that’s a chance to rush in and score damage (but be wary that Avdol can cancel remote mode into tandem at any time to make it safe). If you do manage to close the gap and corner Avdol, go all out!
Valuable moves to counter: s.j.b, 2C, 2B, s.5B, s.2B or 6C: There’s not a lot to go into for each specific move, the idea is that, in order to further exploit your gameplan of forcing him to approach, getting rid of some of his best moves for that purpose, or just to try and outpoke you in general, can make a huge impact on the matchup, even if you just counter a handful or even just one of them.
Alessi is a short character with long reaching s.on normals whose main gimmick is turning his opponent into their respective child mode. Despite his long range, Alessi's s.on normals have large preemptive hurtboxes which makes them prone to getting stuffed out. Alessi's s.off normals have much shorter range but have surprisingly good frame data, making some of his close range counterpokes difficult or impossible to punish.
Due to Alessi's short stature, some of Chaka's normals will whiff on him which will affect certain combo routes. These notoriously include s.5b whiffing (either raw or chained), as well as by extension the second rekka hit (as they share the same hitbox) if Alessi is crouching, in addition to s.6a, regardless of whether Alessi is crouching or standing, which means you can't use it as a followup for the UB reset and will need to settle for s.j.c into s.5a chain instead.
Alessi's biggest weakness is his lack of anti airs and mediocre air-to-air game. S.on Alessi's high reaching normals get stuffed out by active jump ins due to preemptive hurtboxes while s.off his limited range stops him from reaching opponents above him. Chaka can apply frightening pressure with his fast hops and force Alessi into an air-to-air exchange where Chaka's j.C can contest Alessi's air buttons. Be careful of going into an air-to-air while Alessi is above you as that's where his j.C is the most effective.
Alessi can poke and steal life lead with his gun special if he's not threatened. It deals a good amount of chip damage (almost as much as on hit) but is punishable on hit/block if Alessi is within a close proximity after the last shot (such as in the corner). Staying s.on helps negate Alessi's chip damage and can force him to approach, but watch out for his gunblockable where he'll strafe the reticle from behind you and make you unable to block it. Alessi's gun is also punishable on hit if he hits you in the air while you're s.on as all s.on characters can airtech out after the fifth shot. Furthermore, the second you see him pulling out the gun, you can punish on reaction with CC or, if you're anywhere closer than midscreen, s.236aa.
Alessi has a gimmicky high/low game during his custom combo by utilizing his s.6B. The far version of s.6B hits overhead while the close version hits low. To avoid this you should block high when Alessi is further away, then switch to blocking low once he's closer and avoid pushblocking (as it'll make his far/close proximity normal distance ambiguous).
Finally, as for dealing with child mode, provided the Alessi player drops his confirm and you have a chance to act, it's typically best to hold up back and attack. Child chaka has a fast prejump and a projectile attack that can keep Alessi at bay, at least enough to waste his precious child mode time.
Valuable moves to counter: 2c, 5c, s.5c. 2c is the main one you'll want to counter as soon as possible as it's one of Alessi's best pokes as well as being really hard to punish on block. Learn it and you'll severely cripple his options. 5c is a surprisingly fast normal that works as a really good confirm, also useful to counter. Finally, s.5c, or rather its dashing variant, is often used to extend blockstrings and can be annoying to adequately punish, learning it will save you a lot of that trouble.
This is a matchup where you’ll want to be extremely aware of how much meter bpol has. If he has no meter you have nothing to fear as he lacks the proper defensive tools to prevent you from pressuring him if you’re smart about it. If he has meter then you’ll want to be a lot more careful since his 214aa super can catch your hyper hops if he gets a good read and you’ll basically lose a quarter of your life for free as a result. That being said, 214aa is still very easy to bait and punish so do be on the lookout for it. As far as dealing with him, ideally you want to be up close, right in his face, as that's where he struggles the most to deal with your pressure/mixups due to his lack of good defensive options (except his gc but since you're gonna rely on staggered pressure you'll make it hard for him to gc you anyway). If there is space between him and you, you need to be careful with your hyper hops as you could run into either 214aa or his 623a, which can work surprisingly well at stuffing your hyper hops. 236s and jc are going to be (as usual) one of, if not the best moves for you in this matchup. Jc can cleanly beat his jb, which is a really strong button that bpol will probably be looking to use, as well as it can beat bpol's jc, his other really good aerial that doesn't quite work against you as an air-to-air, and 236s beats most of his grounded options. Some moves to look out for would be 2b (or rather the dashing variant) as it's a really meaty, disjointed hit that can be hard to contest, but you can just hop over it and punish on the way down, as well as 5a, which is an incredibly fast jab that can be cancelled into 4s for a decent anti air, though 5a won't beat your s.j.c and 4s is a really high committal move. Something that you might see bpol trying to do (and you shouldn't let him) is using his rekka on block. It has 3 phases and all of them are punishable on block (even on hit depending on the situation): if he just does the first rekka, you need to pushblock basically inmediately into 5b if s.off or s.5b in stand on (you could also go s+5b from s.off); if he commits to the second rekka, you can either pushblock the first one and hop over it to punish the second one on your way down if you're in s.off, or pushblock and inmediately counter if you're in s.on, as countering the second rekka will also let you learn the first one; finally, if he goes for the 236s finisher (something that he should never do but you should still know how to punish), you can either pushblock the second rekka and super through his 236s or, if you're in s.on, you can even let yourself get hit by 236s as it won't knock you down and you'll recover faster than he does. Keep in mind a cheeky bpol might want to throw you off by making the second rekka the overhead variant. This version comes out slower and won't combo from the first and it has a different animation, but it won't make a difference if you block the first one as the punishes will stay the same, just don't respect it as it's precisely what bpol wants you to do. Overall, as long as you’re careful not to get hit by a stray 214aa and you’re patient there’s very little bpol can do to beat you.
Valuable moves to counter: jb, 2b, 2c and 5b. Counter any of those (or ideally all of them) and you pretty much nullified bpol’s capacity to get in on you
In the words of Pablotarus, this matchup is like doing cocaine. It can often end up being blindingly fast, with the ebb and tide changing constantly as you and your opponent try to mix each other up at every opportunity. The most important thing to take advantage of here is your ability to transition into stand on via a stand off jump/hop. Frustrating your opponent's attempts to block your pressure can easily lead into a stand crash, due to Chaka's short stand meter.
While you and your opponent will likely be trading BNBs constantly, outplaying your opponent in neutral is also important. The player who has a firmer grasp on the range and speed of Chaka's moves, both in stand on and stand off, will have the advantage. Poke with 9C and 236S in stand off, while using 2A and 9c in stand on to work at stand crashing your opponent.
Valuable moves to counter: 236s, s.j.c. 236s and s.j.c are among your best moves, so it's no wonder that, in the mirror, you'd want to counter those. Learning 236s will make you extremely protected against his pokes, and s.j.c will mess up with his jump-ins (Chaka can substiute it with s.j.b but it's still far from optimal).
This matchup may seem annoying at first, but it's really a 5:5. Chaka's inability to hit Devo with his normal combos is made up for by the fact that you have way better neutral tools than Devo does.
Keep the doll in front of you. Your mobility is your greatest strength in this matchup. If you find yourself stuck between Devo and the doll, you can do a stand on backdash hop to screw up his positioning. Your stand off hyper hop and super jump will allow you to punish any mistakes Devo makes from either fullscreen or midscreen, which is where both of you will be positioned most of the time. If you make sure that Devo and his doll can only attack you from one side, this will frustrate many of his attempts to open you up. The worst thing you will have to deal with is pressure from the doll alone.
You will not win this matchup with combos. Being able to land Chaka's BNB or his supers through long combos is definitely a plus, but you will have to outplay the Devo in neutral if you want to win consistently. Rely on short, moderately damaging combos into super, such as 9C, 5C, 236AA in stand on and your buttons in stand off to win.
Valuable moves to counter: 2c, j.c. 2c is a fast move that causes hard knockdown (something you really want to avoid) as well as it being a common option out of roll, so managing to learn it will save you a lot of trouble. J.c is not particularly hard to manage but if you find yourself in a position where you don't have time to air-to-air or anti air it, it can be extremely valuable to learn it as well.
A really interesting matchup that will heavily rely on your ability to control neutral.
There's a really clear and important dynamic going on in this matchup, DIO severely outdamages you, but you can severely outneutral him as well. In practice this means that you have an easier time than him geting in, but he needs far fewer times to get in to compensate. In reality though, both of you have tools to compete in each other's area of expertise and, bar mirrors, this is arguably one of the most even matchups in the game.
This matchup is all about not leting DIO get in on you, trying to zone him out with your normals. It is for this reason that j.c and 236s are your absolute best moves here, learn how to properly space and use them to keep DIO at bay. Both those moves beat every normal DIO has, in the air and the ground, respectively, but you still need perfect spacing to deal with some of his stuff, like s.jb.
It's really important that you learn the standcrash setups for this matchup, since unfortunately you can't rely on ub resets too much. The reason is that once DIO lands in s.on, due to spaghetti code, he doesn't have a hurtbox on his lower end, so you can't meaty him with a low. You can still meaty his landing with higher hiting moves such as 5a or 2c but it's extremely more difficult to time right.
Remember that any time The World is out (such as when DIO uses 214x) DIO himself can't block, so if you see him trying to use it to cover bad approaches, inmediately punish with s.236aa.
His grab, both in s.off and in s.on, is extremely easy to punish, so you can roll for free all you want in this matchup. If you have meter, you just tech and cc, if you don't, you tech and 236s. Remember that you tech as soon as you get launched, you don't wait for the tumbling animation to finish, in fact that's precisely what you're canceling with your 236s/cc.
His teleport can be a good way to mix up his approaches, but remember that if you're paying attention you can grab him out of it. If you were to be super slow and he's trying to tech it, but you get grabbed instead, that just means it's another free chance for you to punish it.
DIO's 236s is probably the move that's gonna give you the biggest headache. It comes out on frame 2, which means it's probably gonna beat whatever you try to do, and it can be hard to punish on block too. Ideally, since most times he will be canceling a prior normal into it, it would be in your best interest to counter said normal, that way you can also nullify the potentially following 236s. Other than that, just try pushblocking as soon as 236s comes out.
Finally, be extremely wary of his s.on knives super. It's easily one of the best supers in the game, and it works extremely well against you as well. It's an extremely potent whiff punish tool, so you need to be really mindful of your approaches if DIO has meter, and it can work really well to stop your hyper hops too. You can block the knives in the air, but you'll get stuck there enough time for DIO to come at you with a d.s.5c or whatever he wants. On the topic of s.5c, it will likely be his main way of anti airing you along with 236s, both can lose to a properly spaced s.j.c but you need to space it really mindfully. On the topic of his knives, DO NOT TRY TO WHIFF PUNISH THEM WITH S.236AA. For some reason, DIO's knives have collision boxes that will make you stop before reaching him, so it'll just be a waste of meter. You need to be extremely close to him to actually punish, but it's generally not worth the risk.
Valuable moves to counter: 2a, 5c, j.a, 236s, s.2b, s.jb. His 2a will usually constitute his main ground approach, so it goes without saying that it would be extremely helpful to learn it. J.a is a really fast aerial that you may not have time to air-to-air with j.c or anti air, so it's also useful to learn it. Dio's 236s is an extremely good move that he can cancel all of his s.off normals with, and make his pressure a pain to deal with, countering it will sever that option entirely, that being said though, it's not really realistic to counter it since he will usually cancel it from a prior move. For that reason, countering 5c is extremely valuable since he will almost always try to cover it with a cancelled 236s, so you will basically remove both moves by countering 5c. S.2b, particularly the dashing version, can let him continue his pressure strings, and although not a necessity, it will certainly help you if you counter it. Finally, s.j.b is a really good air-to-air that you may actually lose some trades to, so if you manage to learn it you don't even need to risk that.
Chaka vs Hol Horse is a great matchup for you, the biggest reason being Chaka can ignore a lot of Hol’s zoning attempts due to his high mobility, covering a lot of distance really fast. When up close, Hol can’t really do much against you since your stand on buttons are a lot better than what he can do to you. Don’t get overconfident, however, since if the Hol player plays smart you can have a lot of trouble. While you can turn your stand on to avoid any kind of chip damage from Hol Horse’s attacks, you need to be very careful, since a full 623+A/B/C from Hol will deal a lot of stand damage, so you can get standcrashed extremely easy if you’re not paying attention. If you’re anywhere closer than mid-screen, however, you can punish his glass with a quick 236+AA if you’re fast enough. Another attack to watch out of is his hanged man special, as soon as you block it you should immediately pushblock it and then move. If the Hol player is trying to go for his hanged man frame traps you can just jump over it and hit him with a s.8C into a full combo. One thing you should be wary of the Hol player doing is air glass, whether it be just after a regular hit or after teching, since it delays their fall. As Chaka, this is one of the main things you’ll want to condition the Hol to do. If you’re expecting Hol Horse to air glass at any point, you can just s.236+AA him as he’s falling down, since he’s unable to perform any action until he touches the ground, 236+AA can also be used, but it’s advised to use s.236+AA since it comes out faster. If you don’t have the meter, or don’t want to spend it, you can stuff him out with an 8C or hit them with a quick s.5B into 623+A/B/C as they’re falling. Chaka has a relatively easy punish for Hol's grab, and it's extremely important that you learn it so that you can basically roll for free and disrespect most of his options without him being able to do much about. There's a punish provided you have meter and one where you don't, but both include teching down the moment you get launched into a s+j.c. If you have no meter, you then followup with s.5b and rekka (only do the full chain combo if you're really close to him, such as if you got grabbed in the corner, otherwise it will whiff). If you have meter you followup with the s.6a chain into either cc or s.236aa.
Valuable moves to counter: 2a. Due to the nature of this matchup you will usually not find yourself in a position where you're on the receiving end of Hol's normals, but if given the chance, the one you should really focus on is 2a as it will shut down his pressure attempts as well as it being a very common option after rolling, so if you don't have enough time to grab you still get a really good punish.
Hol & Boingo
Very similar to Hol as far as punishing his grounded and air glass attempts. This time, however, you might have a harder time dealing with his zoning due to his s bullet, which can keep you in place pretty effectively if the Hoingo player knows his patterns. This is a double edged sword for the Hoingo player, however, since if you’re anywhere closer than mid screen you can s.236+AA as soon as you see Hoingo readying himself for the s bullet and punish him, but you need to be fast since you don’t want to give Hoingo enough time to run away and creating too long a distance for your super to connect. Additionally, a lot of Hoingos tend to use 2B into s bullet since 2B is one of their best buttons, but you can punish it with a s.236+AA after the 2B even on hit, so be on the lookout for that. As far as avoiding his attacks go, a good hoingo will try to force you to block so that he can hit you with his command grab super, the only things you can do to prevent that is either pushblocking the initial attack fast enough so he gets put just outside of his grab range (with the exception of s bullet, glass or 4C, which all set up for 270 and can’t be pushblocked) or, again, trying to punish his attempts with s.236+AA. Be careful of his pipe super as well, since the startup with the pipes is air unblockable and you can’t tech after you get hit. Easiest way to deal with it is either s.236+AA or 214+s as soon as you see him in the animation, since the first hitbox is yet to be active. If you end up getting hit you need to hit Hoingo to cancel the super entirely. This can be done by either hitting him with any attack or grabbing him. Like Hol, Hoingo has a very punishable grab that you can exploit, refer to Hol's section above for the punish. This only applies as long as Boingo isn't on the screen.
Finally, Hoingo doesn't have any real attack that does a lot of stand gauge chip damage, outside of his glass which is highly punishable. What this means is, for the most part, you could turn your stand off to avoid any kind of chip damage he wanted to do to you, and use your dashing full jump to close the distance, which, although being very floaty, still travels quite a lot. However, Good management of stand off mobility is still key.
Valuable moves to counter: 2b, 5b, j.c. Countering either 2b or 5b can be really helpful as they're good buttons to Hoingo, but it won't shut him down as he can more or less replace them with the other one. However, should you counter both of them you will have severly crippled him. J.c isn't really a first priority either but just due to how much it's typically used, you will still get a lot of value in learning it.
A fight versus Iggy will be frustrating. Because of his size, none of your combos work on him. It requires some unconventional strategy from Chaka in order to come out on top. Any encounter with this rare Pokémon will certainly be a highlight for the day.
Iggy is tiny, has a quick walk speed, and has a strong, long-ranged throw. Since Iggy does not have a particularly good sweep, his goal is to throw you in order to score a hard knockdown and set up his 50/50 okizeme.
Your s.off 5B is very powerful. Chaka’s foot in this attack has a low, disjointed hitbox, and the attack lingers for a long time. If you backdash while doing it, Chaka’s 5b stops Iggy’s weak stand-off normal attacks and prevents him from getting close. Iggy’s air approach is abysmal, and you should be able to anti-air him, no problem, if he’s the one jumping at you. Because of Iggy’s typically poor anti-air, he won’t be able to corner you. If you back yourself into a corner while you back-dash, hyper jump over and switch sides. If you do get knocked down, abuse Chaka’s pre-jump frames to jump out of his okizeme.
If Iggy wants to contest your attacks, he will have to switch into stand-on mode. Switching to stand-on allows Chaka to combo Iggy properly, but now you have to watch out for Iggy’s tackle (4(wait)6a). It has high priority and can beat your normals, but it punishable on block. Be patient and rush him down if you get the chance.
Iggy may decide to retreat and start low-jumping/throwing sand-balls/using j.c. Your own J.c. does not work here, as the sand-balls will clip j.c.’s hurtbox, and the sandballs also stop Chaka’s supers. Instead, stay on the ground and use 236s to poke him out of the air through the sand-balls.
Be careful about Iggy’s super. Know that, due to Iggy’s wakeup speed and stature, you won’t be able to do okizeme on him. Instead, play patiently and defensively, rushing in only when Iggy is in stand on and you see an opening, and you’ll be able to power through and bag this mutt.
Valuable moves to counter: 2a, s.2a: by far the best 2 moves to counter as not only are they relatively easy to see coming and either react to or predict them, they’re his main combo starters as well as tick grabs setups, so it will help immensely to counter them in order to neuter his offense.
This matchup relies heavily on whether or not you can successfully stuff joseph’s approaches with your long pokes, since he lacks the tools to reliably get in on you or honestly beat you in neutral. He can easily overwhelm you with damage so that’s another reason why you need to be wary. BUT if you’ve mastered the ub resets then you can also beat him in that regard. There are a ton of moves you need to watch out for in order to punish. The most obvious of them is hermit grab, due to how fast and long your s.off hyperhop travels, a whiffed hermit grab is almost virtually always punishable. If he tried to jump in on you and pressure with overdrive (236a/b) you can pushblock the aerial or grounded normal and jump over the overdrive to punish, provided he’s committing to it. Pretty much most of his s.on chain combos are also punishable, especially anything that ends with s.5c or s.2c. When trying to approach, you’ll want to be careful about him running away and doing 66b, especially if you’re throwing out something like a jc, since that move extends your hurtbox just far enough for his 66b to beat you more times than you’d expect. Keep in mind as well that his gc is really good, so try to be careful with your pressure since doing s.5a repeteadly, as well as s.5c is very prone to getting gced.
Valuable moves to counter: 3b, jb, jc and any s.on normal. Jb and jc are good jump ins for you to counter and nullify that option for him; 3b can be used for some annoying mixups and learning it alleviates that completely; and oldseph can use a wide variety of s.on normal for blockstrings, so countering any of them will usually net you a substantial punish if you see it coming.
An extremely volatile matchup due to each character's ability to blow the other one up. Unfortunately, this is still tipped heavily in Jotaro's favour and it's definetely a tough matchup to deal with. For starters, you'll want to be extremely careful of when you decide to be in s.on, and you'll need to be mindful of Jotaro's threat range. Any time he catches you in s.on with a s.66a you will get blown up, not only that but he can then threaten you with Star Finger oki which will lead to you exploding again if you guess wrong. You have a really good way of dealing with that scenario, however, and it can lead into you nuking him instead. His s.66a will whiff if you're crouching in s.off. As such, if you get a good read or you're just fast enough to react, you can quickly go s.off and crouch by doing 2s, which will then let you 2b under his s.66a which can lead into a really damaging Unblockable Reset. Speaking of, while it's true Jotaro is a walking nuke, especially due to the fact you have a small gauge, he has a small gauge himself, which you happen to have a myriad of optimized Stand Crash and UB resets routes to deal with, so you're really encouraged to learn all of those. As for dealing with his general buttons besides s.66a as it was already covered, in a really simplified way you pretty much lose in the ground but win in the air. Jc and s.j.c work really well against his air buttons, just don't throw them willy nilly as it's not like Jotaro's own aerials suck or anything. Similarly, in the ground you have to deal with monstrous normals like s.5a or 66c but your 236s is still really good at creating distance between you, but it's still going to be rough. If Jotaro were to do Star Breaker on block, quickly pushblock it into either s.5b or 5b for a quick and easy punish. If he tries to do prolonged s.on blockstrings those are really prone to getting Guard Cancelled, so make sure you're good at gcing as well as following it up as it's gonna be free damage that you desperately want.
Valuable moves to counter: s.5a, 2a and 6b and 66c. Countering any move is always helpful in this matchup by virtue of how inherently hard it already is, but learning s.5a and/or 66c will usually alleviate the most pressure off you so it’s extremely favourable for you to counter them. Same goes with 2a and 6b: 2a is a great, fast poke that’s very hard to react to and contest, and 6b is a very meaty low that can also get you in trouble, so countering any of them will tip the matchup a lot more in your favour.
Not much can go wrong for you in this matchup cause you’re a way, way better character than him. That being said, he can still give you a tough time if you’re not sure on what to do. For starters, one of khan best moves is without a doubt his jc, which, luckily for you, gets completely beaten out by your own jc and even s.j.c depending on your spacing. His underrated air to air threat is his jb, which you need perfect spacing for in order to beat with your jc. On the topic of jc, it’s easily one of your best moves in this matchup cause khan is a really linear character and a lot of his options are beaten by that one move. In the ground, you’ll want to be careful with his 2a. It can be hard to contest but easily hopped over, and keep in mind a common tick grab setup for khan is to do d.2a into grab, either be ready to tech the grab or stuff his walk up with s.2a. It's important to note that, even if you do get grabbed, you can punish it by inmediately teching down into CC from anywhere on the screen, provided you're fast enough at least, so even his attempts to open you up through grabs should not faze you. 236S is a stellar move that you should abuse in this matchup, as it functions as a good anti-air against his jump-ins as well as an extremely effective poke to keep him at bay.
Almost anything khan does on block is punishable, and almost every single time your best move to punish him will be s.5b, but be especially ready for the charge slash (6a/b), the forward sweep (6c) as well as his dp. His gc is EXTREMELY punishable as well, so if you notice your opponent is too gc happy, bait it with a couple staggered s.5a or s.2a (since their recovery is pretty fast) and then punish him as he’s falling down with either d.5b or d.s.5b into cc.
Valuable moves to counter: 2a and jc. That’s it, if you counter any of those moves, his gameplay becomes even more linear and that much easier for you to deal with. Counter both and it wouldn’t be too exaggerated to say you completely shut him down.
The odds are stacked against you: Kakyoin’s nets and long-range normals means you won’t be able to approach him as you would other characters. Short-hopping towards him is futile, and trying to mount any sort of offense is an uphill battle. Even if you back him into a corner, he can easily escape due to his incredible air mobility. You have a few advantages: Kakyoin has a slow wakeup speed, allowing you to do some Okizeme you can’t do otherwise, and his grab does minimal damage, which makes rolling out of the way safer. These advantages are not quite enough to justify a rushdown strategy. So, don’t approach. Instead, play defensively, staying a full screen away from Kakyion in order to avoid his sweeps. At this range, Kakyoin becomes predictable: He will either try to dash in and use his long sweep, or he will try to use his Instant Air Dash to approach. Both can be countered with a well-placed s.off j.c. Get used to J.C.; This is your main tool against Kakyoin. If you land it, try to follow up with s.5b and a custom combo, or 236s if farther away. Use it to punish his attacks. Try to maintain a life lead, and don’t feel too bad if you win by time-out. Once Kakyion gains the life lead, it’s very difficult to get it back, so attack only when you see one of those openings. To break nets from a distance, the safest option is s.6a. Don’t count on being able to break nets and then attack – Kak can set traps faster than you can cut through them. Chaka’s Anubis counter won’t help much in this matchup. If you do go for a counter, try to counter Kakyoin’s sweep, since it's extremely annoying to deal with. Once Chaka has learned the sweep, you can punish a sweep on block by doing (5c 236aa) fast enough that you skip the 5c animation and go straight into Chaka’s super. Chaka’s stand crash combos and unblockable resets get the most mileage out of this matchup; Kak’s large stand gauge means Chaka can pull off multiple resets and gets more wiggle room to pull off these difficult combos, and the incredible damage from these combos is extremely valuable in such a defense-heavy matchup. Once you have mastered the basics of Chaka play, learning these advanced combos is a must if you want to tilt the odds in your favor.
Valuable moves to counter: s.2c: Honestly countering pretty much any move will let you breathe a bit more easily, but his sweep is probably gonna be the biggest pain for you to deal with, so it's extremely important that you can get rid of it as soon as possible.
As counterintuitive as this may sound, the best way to go about this matchup is to hardly give her options any respect.
Something that players unfamiliar with this matchup will do is get scared as Mariah increases her magnetism level, and progressively start playing more scared, allowing Mariah to zone them out. The thing is, even a Max level Mariah is hardly a threat to you since your air mobility is so great you can still easily suffocate her regardless.
Your goal is to play as fast paced and oppressively as you can, it doesn't matter what level Mariah is at if you don't give her time to set her traps up. That being said, it's obviously way easier to fight a low level Mariah than a high level one, so it's important to know how to deal with her stuff. Your best ways to cut her wires and outlets are gonna be s.j.c (particularly useful for outlets), 236s (particularly useful for wires), s.5b and s.2a for ground outlets (although it's extremely easy to jump over those). Her cuttlery projectiles have enough startup that you can react with a hyperhop or a s.236aa, but you can also super jump over them before they catch up to you.
All in all, don't actively try to jump into outlets too much, but know that even if you do, as long as you don't let go of your pressure, it will hardly be consequential. And remember that if you feel her level gets out of hand, a grab will lower it by one each time, even if she techs the grab.
Valuable moves to counter: 2a, 2c, 5c, j.c. To be honest, you hardly need to counter any move in this matchup since for the most part you'll want to be the nonstop aggressor, but those are Mariah's best normals and thus it will certainly do no harm to learn them.
Midler, queen of the air game and yet another zoner for Chaka to contend with. Thankfully, as Chaka, you’re just as mobile as she is and have the options to match hers.
Due to some programming quirks, Midler has nearly no pre-jump frames, meaning that she can make many grounded attacks miss simply by jumping. Any time you try to pressure Midler, she WILL jump, and you will have no way to keep her from going airborne. Her jumping b is a problem, since it beats all your grounded anti-air options and crosses-up if you’re directly below Midler (which is usually the case.) Moreover, Midler’s cars, harpoons, and abnormally far throw range make Midler nearly impossible to pin down.
To beat Midler’s air offense, take to the skies, yourself! Your j.c is perfect for chasing Midler around the air and can beat her j.b. Midler is floaty and takes longer to touch down to the ground, so Chaka can chase Midler’s air tech with more j.c and s.off 5a, 236s, and other air-unblockable moves. Of course, if Midler is on the ground, using her cars and harpoons, don’t jump, or you’ll eat a fender. That being said, while her car special can and will block your hyper hop, your super jump goes well above it, as the hitbox on the car is deceptively low. Judge when Midler is jumping vs. when she’s trying to use her projectiles, and act accordingly.
If Midler tries to cross you up with a j.b, use your Anubis counter to parry it. The counter can block the attack no matter which side it comes from, and you’ll essentially lock Midler out of that move for the rest of the game. Since it’s her only good air normal, Midler will no longer be able to approach from the air effectively.
If Midler fires harpoons, you can duck under them using a dashing 2C. If Midler fires a car, you can actually Anubis Counter the car (it doesn’t count as a projectile), which lets you attack through the cars from that point on. You can even attack out of her car super, which lets you walk right through it and punish Midler with a super of your own. As cool as this sounds, your best bet is to block the car normally and slowly push Midler to the corner.
If Midler tries to grab you or attack you while you’re knocked down, you can give her a taste of her own medicine and abuse your own pre-jump frames. Jumping will make her typical okizeme miss and will let you punish grab attempts. Midler’s anti-air at point blank isn’t very powerful, so jumping is a very strong option in this situation.
Use your supers liberally – if you can catch her buzzsaw special attack, it counts as a “remote mode” attack, so your super will score double damage. Your supers can also blow through many of her attacks and break her stand, letting you get close. Just remember that there’s no way to get an unblockable reset on her as due to the spaghetti code commonly present in the game, her hurtboxes disappear for a few frames upon landing and, as such, you’re unable to meaty her.
Same advice as the other zoners – once you have a life lead, you don’t need to keep fighting. Back off and let Midler come to you. Her offense is weak, and she can’t really approach you. If you do get close, rush her down and take the win.
Valuable moves to counter: j.b, 2a, 5c: j.b is one of her most annoying moves, especially since it can easily cross up, so locking her out of it will pay off inmensely. Conversely, 2a and 5c are some of her best grounded normal to poke/approach and convert into small confirms or even tick grabs, countering them will sever that option from her.
The cooler Kakyion. The advice from fighting regular Kakyoin also applies here. However, New Kak has some important differences that can be used against him.
Unlike regular Kak, New Kak does not have a normal dash. Instead, dashing makes him glide upwards at an angle. Experienced players can use this and j.b to “wavedash” across the map. While fast, it also means that New Kak MUST go airborne to approach – he won’t usually do a dash-in sweep like normal Kak (as his is a bit worse). Thus, your own j.c. becomes even more potent, since the sword slash is at just the right angle to meet him in the air. The “wavedash” greatly limits New Kakyion’s options for approach, making zoning him out easier.
New Kak also cannot do his Emerald Splash super while in stand on. He will do his 20 Meter Emerald Splash, instead, which is slower and more punishable. This makes approaching easier.
A stand-off New Kak will try to use a wrapping attack, similar to Rubber Soul. This attack leaves New Kak exposed for a very long time – you can use your 236AA to punish the attack, even if N.Kak’s stand seems to have vanished, since the stand’s hurtbox persists for an abnormally long time.
A note about N.Kak’s nets: New Kakyoin players typically place two nets, using their A and B buttons. Nets require that they hold down the buttons, so they can’t use A or B moves while the nets are active. This leaves N.Kak with only his C moves (Kak’s long range sweep), or only his B moves (if he used A and C nets). His B moves can anti-air, but are shorter ranged. His C-sweep has amazing range, but can’t anti-air.
This leads to a guessing game. If you think N.Kak is holding a B net, you can Hyper Jump way over his nets and sweep to land next to N.Kak (Don’t attack! Just jump). N.Kak will be forced to release the nets to answer your jump in – block those, and you’ll have a brief opening before N.Kak can set his nets again. If N.Kak is holding a C net, you can simply walk closer and break the nets using your long-range normals, and he won’t have the reach to stop your approach.
It… doesn’t really need to much. This is just advice for how to approach N.Kak if he’s trying to turtle you. Ideally, it should never get to that point. As with normal N.Kak, try to take an early life lead and hold it as long as you can. Force New Kak to come to you.
Valuable moves to counter: s.j.b, s.2c : s.j.b is is his “wavedash” tool , countering it stops one half of his okizeme and makes his approach even riskier. Countering his s.2c is also nice, since it means you can now more safely tag his sweep’s extended hurtbox with a super.
Chaka has some tools to relatively hold his ground against Petshop, but it's an extremely uphill matchup for various reasons.
The main reason why this matchup is so bad for you is that you don't have any threatening low to hit him with, 5b is the best one you have that doesn't whiff but it only converts into cc and 236s, nothing to write home about. In practice, this means that Petshop has hardly any reason to block low, which means you'll be basically unable to ever mix him up with high/lows and open him up. Additionally, even if you managed to, chances are he has icicles waiting to be dropped on you, thus nullifying any chance you had, and the fact he can charge them while blocking is also incredibly unfair against you.
Furthermore, some of his dashing normals are so fast and disjointed that you'll hardly be able to contest them, and geting hit even once could very well spell death for you.
Your best bet at dealing with this matchup is exploiting the fact that his dashes are uncancellable. If you manage to react to any of his dashes, and you have meter, you should always try to s.236aa him. Due to petshop's low defense value, s.236aa actually deals a huge ammount of damage, your goal will then be to steal a life lead and maintain it for as long as you can. It's still incredibly hard to hold a lead against him but, as explained before, rushing petshop down just isn't an option. If you don't have meter you can also try stuffing his dashes with s.5b, but it can be beaten out so it's not as reliable.
You'll want to be really good at guard cancelling to deal with his annoying strings, just be wary of any staggered pressure as well as him switching to lows, which are noticeably more difficult to gc than his mids. Should you happen to guard cancel a mid hit while in s.off, always try to followup with a s+5b into rekka mini combo, as even such a simple string will deal a lot of damage to Petshop.
Finally, Petshop can't block when he's flying up high either, so you may be able to super jump in s.off to catch him. It may not lead to much, but any damage is needed in this matchup.
Valuable moves to counter: any dash-in. Don't expect Petshop to give you many opportunities to learn his moves, but should the chance arise, countering his dash-ins will be extremely valuable since, as it was previously explained, they can be really tough to deal with and it would let you breathe more easily.
This matchup changes drastically whether Pol is in s.off or s.on.
When he's in s.off, it can be really easy to beat him provided you consistently manage to stop his Shooting Star shenanigans, which is something that, fortunately, Chaka is really good at. In order to charge ss, Pol has to be crouching for a couple seconds, which means he won't be able to block your s.j.c. This effectively means that as long as you're focusing, he should ideally never be able to throw out a ss in neutral since you'll be able to catch him with a s.off hh into s+jc. Just keep in mind he's able to inmediately roll after throwing ss out, so you need to be on the lookout for possible grabs.
If he manages to get close that's when you most need to be careful and keep your cool, since now he'll be able to throw ss "for free". This part is all about properly fuzzy blocking, that is, being able to constantly switch between high/low blocking, as well as exploiting the gaps in his pressure. You need to correctly pushblock and punish him as he's trying to dash back in. If you're fast enough and ss is out as you pushblocked him, you can land an unblockable s.236AA (he can't block if ss is out).
Finally, remember that Pol has a really good aerial in j.b, but you have a better one in j.c, which will always beat him with proper spacing, and it's also a really easy aerial to anti air/counter since it has so many active frames during which the hurtbox is also active.
Once Pol goes into s.on is where the most trouble begins. He pretty much outclasses you in every regard, except ironically enough damage wise (we'll get to that later). Your first priority will be his s.4b, amazingly disjointed normal that can both stuff your grounded approaches as well as perfectly anti airing your hyper hops. You have 2 ways of beating it, trying to low profile it with 2b (where you'll want to confirm into an ub reset or an optimized standcrash setup if the reset is a bit too hard) or, if he whiffs it, hyperhoping during the recovery frames into a s+jc and easy ub reset confirm. The ub resets are the biggest reason why you have a really decent chance, since a s.jc confirm leads to really easy routes that also blow him up, thus it's HEAVILY advised you learn those.
As for a general way to play against a s.on Pol, you just need to be really patient and careful. His buttons are better than yours so you cant recklessly go in, you need to patiently wait your turn and react the moment you notice him whiffing any unsafe move.
Granted, an experienced Pol player will fluidly transition between the 2 modes to keep you on edge, so you'll need to reciprocate by quickly adapting to it and changing your playstyle accordingly.
Valuable moves to counter: 2b/2c, j.b, s.j.a s.j.b. Countering any move will let you breathe a little bit more easily, but 2b/2c constitute his main ground options, and j.b/s.j.b/s.j.b his aerial ones. Specifically, you want to counter s.j.b since it's the most troublesome one to contest, and while s.j.a isn't as much of a trouble, it's a very frequently used move, so you'll get a lot of value out of learning it. Additionally, countering either 2b or 2c will also make you learn the other one, so it's basically learning 2 moves with one counter.
A tough matchup for sure, but not an unwinnable one by any means.
The first thing you'll probably want to do is forget about the CC for this matchup. You'll soon learn that s.236AA is way too valuable and, since Rubber is a passive stand, you wouldn't be able to get any damaging stand crash setups anyway.
One thing you'll inmediately notice is how hard to contest j.a j.s is. J.a on its own is not really threatening, you can just treat it as a permanently active hurtbox that you can hit with either j.c or s.236aa. The issue arises when it's paired with j.s, a move which you have realistically no hope to contest, in the air that is. The way to deal wth j.a j.s is either guard canceling or countering any of the 2 moves. Then your AGC should be s.5b/s.6a into 623x.
On the ground, Rubber is much more manageable. Remember that the moment he whiffs any s move that's not 236x and you're anywhere closer than midscreen from him, you can easily whiff punish with s.236aa for a quick burst of damage. 236x can get really annoying since it hits at the perfect height to stuff your hyper hops, but not your super jumps, which go way over it.
The most threatening stage of this matchup is geting caught in Rubber's vortex, where he'll do his best to suffocate you and remove all your options. This vortex will always involve, at some point, a normal cancelled into an s move. Your best bet will then be pushblocking said normal and trying to s.236aa the s move used to cancel said normal. Rubber's will usually (though not always) cancel 2a into moves like 6s, so it's advised to keep an eye on 2a to pushblock it.
As for miscellaneous tips, Rubber's grab is amazingly good, so it's no surprise you'll get tick grabbed a lot. Their tick grab attempts will almost always involve 2a, so be prepared to tech the moment you see it. Additionally, you need to ALWAYS respect his counter on wakeup, if you're trying to meaty him, make extra sure you're not misstiming it, cause messing up will cost you around half your health from a counter into 236aa.
Valuable moves to counter: 2a, j.a, j.s. Learning 2a is definetely useful to severely limit his ground approaches, particularly their tick grab attempts, though not a necessity. On the other hand, countering either j.a or j.s will throw a humongous wrench in Rubber's plans as it's usually an extremely annoying combo to deal with, both to air-to-air it as well as anti airing it.
Shadow Dio is lightning fast and can shred your life bar with his loop combo. He has throws, cross-ups, and tons of options to get in close. His game plan is typically to either land his combo or score a knockdown – from there he can loop you and end your game.
Shadow Dio's j.S stalls his air momentum and together with his small aerial hurtbox can make him tricky to anti air. If Shadow Dio jumps over you and presses j.S, his stand will appear from behind him and strike you from the opposite side, leading to a "fake crossup". Pushblocking his j.S lets you move instantly, allowing Chaka to potentially punish fake crossups both in neutral and on oki.
If S.Dio jumps, meet him in the air and swat him down with a j.c. Be cautious about jumping, since he can use 2B, 66B, or 66C to anti-air.
A really scary aspect of S.Dio’s gameplan is his okizeme, so it’s extremely important that you know how to deal with it.
Shadow Dio's okizeme options can be broken down into strike/throws where both options leads into another knockdown together with other options such as his 623X or World 21 50/50. Due to Chaka's fast prejump, Chaka can avoid grabs on wakeup by jumping due to grab invulnerability overlapping with Chaka's prejump. This option also let Chaka escape mistimed meaties as he may get hit airborne rather than grounded. Although this option is strong, a well timed meaty or tick grabs will always beat it out. If you see that the Shadow Dio player is consistent with their meaties, start mixing up your up+back wakeup option by blocking.
Blocking and punishing fake crossup.png Another option that can be tricky to deal with is his "fake crossup" previously mentioned. It's called "fake" because even though S.Dio will jump behind you, the stand won't cross you up, so you need to block that normally, then block the other way once S.Dio lands behind you.
Shadow Dio's d.2A is often used as a tick grab but is punishable on block and leads into nothing besides a grab on hit. Doing 4C when he throws out this move will consistently tech his grab or countergrab him, shutting down a very powerful approach option.
Whenever Shadow Dio throws out knives you can s.236AA on reaction and punish him.
Shadow Dio's blockpressure can be difficult to deal with. His 2A 5C frametraps on block and 5S gives him enough leeway to extend his pressure. The most consistent way of dealing with it is to stay patient and pushblock until he runs out of steam. One blockstring ending with 5S may let him overextend but you are usually safe to jump out/punish after a second 5S. By creating distance through pushblock you force him to choose between taking a risk in overextending or backing off into neutral. A whiffed 5S can be deadly for Shadow Dio if you catch his dash/hop in with a button or a super. Stay patient and watch out for d.2A.
Valuable moves to counter: 2A, 5C, S. Countering any of these completely neuters Shadow Dio’s offense, since they’re the key components of his loop and pressure. Countering 2A kills his tick throw attempts, and countering 5S allows Chaka to get out of almost anything Shadow Dio can throw, especially since you can counter 5S and it will learn j.S, and viceversa, basically learning two moves with one counter.
This is a difficult matchup for Chaka. Ice has insane priority and hitboxes on his stand on normals, extremely damaging tandem combos, and unblockable oki he can use to oppress Chaka. Chaka has one thing on Ice, though; he is the one who controls the flow of the match. He can run away effectively with stand on backdash jumps/hops, zone Ice out with his stand off 8C, and punish Ice if he drops his guard for a split second with his stand off hyper hop.
Ice, much like Chaka, has a very short stand bar; something Chaka can take advantage of if he lands a jumping attack. Assuming Ice is in stand on and has a full stand bar, stand on 9C, 5C, (236A/B/C)x2 will always stand crash him, allowing you to convert into a custom combo for extra damage.
The major source of unpredictability with Vanilla Ice is when he might decide to use his 236A/B/C, or his ball attack. It does a moderate amount of damage and sends you into an untechable animation, allowing Ice to start mixing you up with his 214A/B/C if he is close enough. If you are fighting against an Ice player who uses this move frequently, stay in stand off for the majority of the match, punishing him with 236S and 236AA when he tries to tag you with the ball.
This is a matchup where knowledge is extremely important. It is in your favour (though not by a landslide) but it can certainly feel extremely oppressive if you don't know how to properly deal with him.
You need to be careful because Yseph's aerial game can easily eclipse your own. J.c J.s as well as J.b J.s are among the best aerial tools in the game, both in terms of air-to-air as well as jump ins. You'll need to perfectly space a J.c of your own to contest it.
An easy counter to Yseph's aerial game is to simply let him jump with his aerial cancelled into J.s, and then pushblock. A common string for Young Joseph players is J.c J.s 5b 236b, and if you see him going for that, inmediately jump after the pushblock so that you go over him as he's doing 5b 236b and you'll have a very easy time punishing.
Because of the nature of his strings, guard canceling is also reccomended, it's not particularly hard and you can get some easy damage in if you learn the gc combos. The best timing for a gc would be right as his J.s is finishing, since if you do it too early you might still end up geting hit by it.
Against his 214s (the boomerang) you have a couple options: the first one is using 2b do dash under the volley. This can work well to quickly evade the hit and punish him, but don't abuse it since if you're too far he can just throw another one and pseudo lock you into blockstun; the other alternative is super jumping the moment you see the startup (or the audio queue of him yelling) so that you can quickly close the gap (remember, chaka's s.off super jump has astounding horizontal reach as well) and hit him with a s.j.c. If you're stand on, you can try to dash and hold jump for an equally long reaching, albeit slower and floatier, jump.
Another thing to keep in mind is his 44/66S, an extremely annoying move that will beat your options if you're carelessly trying to get in. One way to deal with it is either react (if you can) or predict it and punish with s.236AAA, or pushblocking it early into s.236AA. A relatively good way to bait it is being in s.off, dashing and cancelling your dash by turning s.on, then you block and pushblock it and punish accordingly.
His overdrive can also get annoying in terms of stopping your approaches, your ways to punish it will mainly be ducking under it with 2b (though you need to preemtively do it, if you try to 2b on reaction your hurtbox will probably not be completely lowered yet and you'll get hit regardless) or, as before, whiff punishing with s.236AA.
While not very oppressive, Yseph's okizeme can be tricky on its own right. As a rule of thumb, always block low in case he's going for 663c, and quickly switch to high blocking the moment you see him lifting off the ground if he goes for 66c. The startup isn't turtle slow, but it's enough for you to catch on if you pay attention.
Overall, Yseph's doesn't have a lot of good tools, and it shouldn't be an extremely difficult matchup for you provided you respect said good tools and play around them to the best of your ability.
Valuable moves to counter: J.b, J.c, J.s and 3c. Countering pretty much any of his normals is gonna be useful so that you can restrict his options even more, but the biggest offenders are his jump ins as well as 3c, which can lead into oki by itself or be used for oki mixups.