JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future/DIO/Strategy

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Basic Gameplan

DIO is a rushdown heavy character with great movement, by utilizing unpredictable dash-ins and teleports, and capitalizing maximally on every mistake the opponent makes. DIO is extremely lacking in ways to open people up, so he needs to mix-up with fast erratic movement and recognizing what makes his opponent stop respecting DIO's pressure and act when they shouldn't, giving DIO an opportunity to punish once you catch onto the patterns of the opponent's defense.

In order to pressure opponents, DIO needs to use "fake" pressure with gaps and frame traps, in order to catch opponents trying to escape or steal his turn when they shouldn't. Perhaps DIO's greatest pitfall, is combo fishing, which will make his blockstrings and pressure predictable and and prevent the player from pressuring the opponent right in order to open them up for a combo. DIO players also must be able to capitalize on every opening, and be able to convert into a full combo off of stray hits or pokes, as that makes DIO much scarier in neutral and is what differentiates a good DIO player from a great DIO player. Forcing scramble situations and making the opponent panic when up close is also a great way to open opponents up, though it is ill advised in harder match-ups like Avdol and Vanilla Ice.

Additionally, DIO has the ability to play defensively when Stand On, and mash s.[4]A for meter, while keeping away the opponent with normals like s.6B, s.5C and s.2A, converting into rekkas, and punishing predictable moves/jumps with s.236AA, and anti-airing with s.5C. Keeping away opponents can also be done with s.j.236x and air-to-airing with s.j.B and s.j.C.


DIO's gameplan is heavily based around offense and being in range to always punish your opponent for any button they press. DIO is always one step away from being in your face and excels at getting in. DIO has very fast, responsive and abusable movement that will go a long way when used right, and is perhaps one of DIO's greatest tools. Staying unpredictable with teleports, dashes, hops and safe pokes is the key to applying proper pressure and keeping your turn, in addition to knowing when to stop overextending said pressure. DIO severely lacks mix-ups and has no access to a grab, which results him struggling to open opponents up in many match-ups.

In the sections below, the offensive gameplan will be sub-divided into different categories and explained in depth separately


DIO's movement, as previously mentioned before, is one of his greatest tools. It is crucial to not only get comfortable with, but master DIO's movement and be able to manoever around and mess with your opponent. Movement varies greatly between Stand On and Stand Off. While Stand Off is 100% responsive, fast and is easy to sneak in on the ground, DIO's Stand On movement is slightly more committal. Despite dashes being nearly identical, Stand On dashes are not cancellable unless you turn your Stand off during your dash, leaving you somewhat vulnerable during them in certain situations, unlike Stand Off dashes where you can block through their entire duration. Where Stand On however excels, is the air, as you gain access to great air normal like s.j.B and s.j.C which can beat tons of normals out right, and more importantly give access to the Active Stand universal double jump, which allows you to alter your jump arc completely in order to reposition and bait anti-airs and air-to-airs.

Some specific things to realize, are DIO's preferred ranges in different situations. Generally while on the offense you would want to position yourself in about 66C range, where you can always pressure your opponent with the occasional 66C 236S, and always be ready to throw out a stray 663A into a full BnB. Always being ready to punish anything the opponent tries is key to being a threat in neutral. Aditionally your jump-ins are also a constant threat, as DIO can 669C at any point and start pressuring as well, which gives many options and will keep opponents on their toes at all times, with the threat of a BnB.

Walking in Stand Off is a rare ocurrance, considering how slow DIO's walk speed is, and how fast and non-committing his dashes are. You are more often going to find yourself doing short 661 and 443 motions to keep feigning dashes and always being ready to dash up or away from your opponent, keeping the threat up to always go in and pressure.

While Stand On, you have a somewhat different priority. Generally on offense in Stand On you would want to stay in dashing range on offense, specifically about s.663A range, and watch for pokes to beat while avoiding dashing too much as it can leave you widely open if done at the wrong moment. In order to keep dashes shorter and less committing you can throw out s.663A on approaches as well, though you would rarely want to move around too much this way as it takes away your ability to turn your Stand Off instantly.

Stand On mode is also very effective defensively for stalling because of the access to good pokes and defensive movement options. Most notably DIO's backwards stand on hyper-hop is absolutely great, despite being obscure. It will send you back almost full screen and travels quite fast, so it is difficult for most of the cast to catch up. Stand On aerial mobility is great in general, as it gives a plethora of ways to vary your jump arc, including double jumps, varied jump types, s.j.236x and it's mid air steering abilities, and s.j.236AA, which grants you invincibiliy frames and alters your jump somewhat. DIO's Stand On tools

Getting in and Opening up

DIO's offense relies heavily on the player's ability being able to make do with his limited mix-up tools and opening the opponent up through the means of constant presence and pressure. In order to maintain presence and keep up pressure, one would have to know how to approach correctly and how to bait the opponent into doing what they shouldn't, which more often than not means baiting a normal through the means of frame traps, pressure staggering and leaving gaps in blockstrings. Perhaps DIO's greatest shortcoming is his lack of a good grab in most match-ups, as it is punishable on hit by a full combo or super by the entire cast, except for very few characters.

Your main, core mix-up, is going to be stagger pressure. This is going to be done through means of tons of frame traps, pressing different buttons at different times, varying timings of button presses, changing up "blockstrings" and making sure you are unpredictable at all times. The main goal of this type of pressure is to chip the opponent out, make them impatient, wear down Stand Gauge if applicable, avoiding and baiting guard cancels, making pushblocking less effective and in some match-ups even using poor pushblock attempts to your advantage, and simply frame trapping your opponent's pressed buttons and poor reversal attempts.

This type of pressure should NOT be overextended, ad more often than not, after 2-3 attempts to open up, you can get interrupted yourself and opened up/ losing your turn to attack. Stagger pressure is often also paired with 214x pressure, which is risky in some match-ups, as it is easier to guard cancel, but is easy to do and can lead into confirms more easily. It follows a similar structure, which when varied can mix the opponent up.

Some stagger pressure strings to note are:

663A 214A 661A 66C

j.C 2A 66C 214x 669C 2A 66C

66C 214x 669C 2A 2A 214A

66C 214x 661A 2A

66C 214x 669(empty jump) 2A 2A 214A

2A 66C 236S

2A 66A 2A 5C 236S

s.5A s.663B s.663A

s.2A s.663A s.5A

s.663A s.2A s.663B

There strings are NOT the only option, they are mere examples of what stagger pressure looks like. You can use these examples to find what works for you, and what opens your opponents up, as you need to heavily adapt to the opponent, situation, and most importantly match-up. The style, rythm and overall pattern is up to the player to decide, so there is a lot of room for creativity.

Useful frame traps are the following:

2A 66C

j.C 66C

2A 661A 661A*n

2A 66B

2A 5C

66A 2A

66A 66A

These frame traps are set-ups that will allow you to open up impatient opponents and keep your pressure going. They will catch reversal normals, attempts of your opponent to jump out, and some can even bait out guard cancels if done correctly. These are not the only frame traps DIO has at his disposal, but they are simple examples you can use.

Baiting & punishing Pushblock and Guard Cancels

While DIO may have trouble opening opponents up, nothing stops him from baiting the opponent into doing a poorly timed Pushblock or Guard Cancel attempt. This is one by conditioning you opponent with blockstrings and conveniently changing those up whenever you want to deliberately bait out one of these two actions. This is done as follows:

Step 1: Identify your opponent's defensive option of choice. Some characters have great Guard Cancels, which you should always keep in mind, though DIO is in general weak to almost every Guard Cancel in the roster. Often times people will Pushblock in combination with looking for an opportunity to Guard Cancel.

Step 2: Identify your opponent's patterns Many people fall into patterns when it comes to Pushblocking and Guard Cancelling, trying to Pushblock a certan move in order to punish it or steal back their turn. The trick here is to spot their general pushblock pattern, and abuse it. This is done by looking closely at what moves they are Pushblocking, and on which hit they are doing it. If DIO as an example does 2A 2A 66A and the 66A is the move to get Pushblocked consistently, that would mean the opponent has generally fallen for a pattern of Pushblocking on the 3rd hit. The same may or may not apply for Guard Cancels

Alternatively for Guard Cancels, people will look at the bigger moves to Guard Cancel, most notably 214X as an example. If you do 66C 214X 661A a lot, chances are the opponent will try to Guard Cancel between 214X and 661A in order to catch you more easily.

Step 3: Baiting the opponent's action Once you have got your opponent figured out, the next step is acting on it. You generally have two options. You can either do your usual blockstring, and omitting the hit that you read as being Pushblocked, or conditioning them into your current blockstring and doing something completely different that would beat their attempt at stealing back their turn or punishing your pressure.

Step 4: Punishing the opponent's action

Once you have successfully baited the opponent's action, it is time to punish it. If it was a Pushblock you baited, this will result in the opponent rolling. Most characters would want to grab the opponent, but if DIO does that, he will in most match-ups eat a punish. That would mean that the best option is mixing the opponent up. This can be done in several ways.

First off, the most basic and popular one: 236C mix-up. This is performed by baiting the pushblock, and immediately dashing back parallel to the opponent's roll, and doing 236C right where they end their roll. This will grant you a 50/50 mix-up between j.A and 2A. More often than not people will block low, not being able to react, so j.A works very well, but make sure to mix it up if the opponent catches on. This functions identically to 236C okizeme and gives great damage, meter, and in some cases even more okizeme.

Another option would be simply jumping back, into a j.A/empty jump 2A mix-up on the opponent's roll. This is a very simple and reliable option that will grant you a full BnB if done right, but just like any empty jump mix-up it can be beaten with Option Select block transitioning.

Alternatively on some characters with slower rolls you can also do a shimmy style left/right 50/50 mix-up. This is done by dashing parallel to the opponent's roll, just like the 236C mix-up. Where the mix-up comes in, is where you move to afterwards. Depending on how fast the roll is, you can do several things. You can either simply stay on the same side, continue pressure or mix the opponent up if already conditioned to block the other way, or do a micro walk forward to cross him up and get a confirm like that. If the character which you are facing has a very slow roll, you even have time to do yet another micro walk in order to bait those trying to react to the micro walk to cross up but catching them on the same side. Aditionally, you can cancel your backdash and cross them up that way. This can also allow for a 236C mix-up as well, which has incredible synergy with his regular 236C 50/50, turning this effectively onto a 25/25/25/25 four way mix-up if you have practiced this before.

The final option you have, is letting the Pusblock happen, but beating the opponent's attempt at stealing back their turn or punishing your pressure. This is most often done by doing a 66C, which would result in you doing 2A 2A 2A 66C, getting Pushblocked and beating their normal altogether, scoring you a full BnB if done right. This can also often be referred to as a frame trap.

Furthermore there are also Guard Cancels. They are baited in the exact same way as Pushblock. You generally want to avoid the last mentioned option however, as going headfirst into a Guard Cancel is not very likely to end well. The way that this works is much more simple but very varied. For Guard Cancel punishing you have two options.

The first option is to bait the Guard Cancel and make them do the motion on whiff. This will result in the enemy doing 623x input if applicable, or 236x if not applicable. What you then need to do is simply whiff punish the special that comes out and converting into what will most likely be a full BnB.

The second option is setting yourself up so you block the Guard Cancel, by doing a fast recovering move and punishing on block. This is not very practical, but it is very much something you should be aware of. Moves that do this well are 2A or s.5A, both walk cancelled into block, resulting in you being able to punish the Guard Cancel after blocking it. You can also low-profile in some rare instances using 2C, though this is mostly a gimmick.

The third and final option is cancelling into a move that will beat the Guard Cancel out right. While special moves are rarely going to work in here, specials will more than get the job done. For this, you have a few options. You can either do Stand On Knives and beat the Guard Cancel that way, or alternatively, and even preferably, you can do 214S and either ghost through the Guard Cancel into a combo confirm, or just outright mashing out a full tandem into a simple ender if you want an easier option. This is extremely effective and safe, though it does cost a bar. If you misjudged the opponent and he did NOT Guard Cancel, you can always either do a tandem into 2A or j.A 50/50 mix-up, or go a {2A*n} into j.A unblockable.

Mix-ups & Okizeme

Despite lacking mix-ups, DIO has access to some very strong setups and and mix-up tools to open opponents up which will all be explained in this section. These are not all useful to the same degree, and some are even unsafe. All of this information will be given for every set-up

2A/s.2A // S9x s.j.236X- This mix-up is extremely powerful against Stand On characters, which is what it's meant for. You can convert into a full BnB off of either side of the mix-up, therefore it can be extremely rewarding. The way you most often go about setting this up, is after a blocked hit during pressure. The most popular normals to do it off of are 66A, 663A, 2A, s.663A, s.5A, s.663B and any jumping normal both Stand On and Off. The different ways to set this up go beyond even pressure, as you can also do it out of a defensive situation when the opponent is pressuring you in Stand On mode. It can be done after blocking an opponent's Stand On jumping normal, giving you a pseudo anti-air that converts into a full BnB combo. The possibilities are near endless, and the potential is huge and the amount of situations in which this set-up can be applied are very plentiful, as it is very versatile.

Follow-ups to this mix-up are also very versatile. The ones you will be using most are the following:

Low follow-ups:

2A 2A 2A 214A

s.2A s.5b s.214x s.214x

s.2A s.5A s.663A 214s

Overhead follow-ups:

s.j.X s.j.236x (mash) !SC sets up all of these combos. In order to insure you get the hits to Stand Crash the opponent you need to keep several things in mind. You will not always be at point blank, and that would result in you having to vary the jumping normal used. The most used one is s.j.A, as it hits the lowest to the ground and is the fastest, making it the best normal to IOH with and your only option vs some crouching characters. At greater ranges s.j.B can be used, due to it's better range. The main trade-off is 1f longer startup and a bit of a higher hitbox giving a slightly higher chance to whiff the IOH in some match-ups, which is a factor to consider. Finally s.j.C can also be used. This option is mainly used in fuzzy guard set-ups from a jumping normal, where speed would not be an issue and you can use the extra range s.j.C offers.

Aditionally there is also the issue of the s.j.236x falling out. This will at times inevitably happen, as s.j.236x can not be 100% regulated in the amount of hits they give, and can hit the opponent after the Stand Crash and drop your combo. This is simply something you need to get a feel for. Another possible problem would be the the s.j.236x being too far to hit. This can be resolved by steering yourself while mashing upwards and towards the opponent, which you would need to get a feel for.

The Stand Crash then grants great follow-ups that will lead into a full BnB, though you would have to be fast about it. They are the following:

s.663A 214s

s.663B s.5A s.663A 214s

s.663C 214s

s.663A s.214x s.214x

s.663B s.5A s.5B s.214x s.214x

s.663C s.214x s.214x

s.663B S+2A 663[A] 214]A[

Here is a video by japanese player SQ of this mix-up in action


DIO's okizeme options vary greatly in different match-ups, though against most of the taller crouching characters DIO gets his standard 50/50 okizeme.

Okizeme with DIO is scarce and usually requires a specific setup, most often out of s.2C or 663C>623x, though in some match-ups DIO can set up okizeme from more moves. These will be mentioned in this section, in addition to being mentioned more in depth in the match-ups section of this page.

DIO's main okizeme option is knockdown into 236C meaty, which lets you do an IOH j.A or 2A high low mix-up on the opponent's wake-up. In order to set this okizeme up, you would need to knock the opponent down with a move like s.2C or 2C, and get close to the opponent, and then do 236C. If done from a move like s.2c, you can hold 9 to jump towards the opponent, turn Stand Off in the air, and set up the 236C before the opponent gets up.

Alternatively, you can do it off of different moves, like 2C, s.214x s.214x, or even knockdown 5C. The way you usually go about setting up from 2C or 663C, is by doing a dash towards the opponent, after which you do 236C. In order to avoid getting an accidental teleport, you would want to do a trick similar to the 66A 236C link, by doing 66 5... 236C. Alternatively you could do 663C>623x(next to opponent) in order to have the perfect positioning for the okizeme set-up and making the normal safe on block.

s.214x s.214x- Sometimes in certain match-ups you can sneak in 236C okizeme after s.214x s.214x, though you need to be fast about it. This is most useful against Old Joseph, Young Joseph, DIO and Shadow Dio, but it is possible in more match-ups.

BA6AC- The okizeme you can have from BA6AC is varied, depending on match-up and whether it is Stand On or Off. Your most reliable okizeme would be to just do a meaty attack like 5C 236S, 2A, s.2A or any other attack with many active frames. Another option you have is 236C okizeme, though that is not very reliable. It works mainly on wide and tall crouchers, like DIO, Shadow Dio, Old Joseph and Young Joseph. After the super animation ends you want to do a 236C into a j.A and get a full 236C okizeme combo, however going for 2A, you would make the 236C fall out. This can be prevented by doing a micro dash similar to 66A 236C, by doing 66 5 236C. This is quite tight on some wake up speeds but it is your most reliable option. Adidionally, from Stand On BA6AC you can so 66 S 236C for more reliable okizeme which will not give you teleport by mistake.

Stealing turns

In HFTF and fighting games in general there is a concept known as "turns". This can be best described as offensive momentum that a character has during pressure. The way a "turn" can be maintained is by having constant frame advantage keeping up pressure, and the agressor being at least somewhat safe during said pressure. An example would be DIO doing light normals, 214x and s.on pokes as pressure, both leaving him at an advantageous position, and letting him stay close to his opponent, keeping up the constant threat of a mix-up, frame trap or in some cases accumulating chip damage. This offensive momentum ends once DIO is either too far to continue this pressure(in which case the situation resets to neutral), DIO lands a combo, DIO does something that leaves him at a frame disadvantage, or DIO gets punished.

Stealing turns is the concept of interrupting your opponent's pressure and either starting (stealing) your own pressure (turn) or punishing by landing a poke in a gap that the opponent leaves. This is most often done by means of Pushblocking, which DIO must get very comfortable with. Pushblocking and punishing moves is fully match-up dependent, though it generally follows a similar structure. This should extensively be practiced per character, so keep in mind that not every pressure is the same.

An example of Pushblocking being used to challenge and beat pressure, would be in the DIO mirror match. Generally something DIO players like to do, is a normal, cancelled into 214x, followed up by 669C 2A 2A in order to confirm and possibly combo off of a jumping in normal. This type of pressure is easily Pushblocked in a specific way to beat it. If you wait for one normal to land, and pushblock it very late, and as soon as the second one connects, you pushblock once again, you will leave DIO far enough to whiff his next normal, that being the second 2A, and leaving you free to do a 66C of your own to beat DIO's 66C in order to start a combo of your own. This is an example of how a specific type of pressure is beaten in a specific match-up. This will not work universally, though examples of this will be shown in the match-ups section per character if applicable.

Generally, great ways to reset to neutral or steal turns, is by doing 236S, 66A, 66C, 663A, S+jA s.j.236A, s.236AA or 214S as an example, after the opponent leaves a gap in their pressure big enough for you to interrupt. Even when blocked, DIO will still be able to continue his pressure and keep his turn going. 214S especially excells at this, as you can either do a full tandem to punish the opponent, or not input anything in the tandem and keep the invincibility in order to be able to do a more damaging combo. Tandem is aditionally also safe on block and the 214 motion means you'll still keep blocking even if you decide to not do a tandem.


Despite being a rushdown character, DIO also has the ability to play defensively by Stand On stalling. The best way to utilize this is after having established a life lead and want to keep building meter and force your opponent to try and open you up while having to chase you down and taking risks of being punished, all while having to deal with your great pokes like s.6B, s.j.C, and s.2A. Keep in mind however, that sitting back and holding down-back is not a great situation, as DIO lacks a good Guard Cancel in order to escape pressure. Once pressured, your pushblocking game, and blocking as a whole, needs to be on point as DIO has huge, tall and wide hurtboxes and relatively bad defensive options.

Anti-air & air-to-air

Perhaps one of the most important defensie concepts in fighting games as a whole is anti-airing, and this game is no different. DIO's anti-air game is not bad at all, great even, but there are many things to consider. This section will cover all of his options. Keep in mind that the dashing versions of all the anti-airs are functionally the same, the dash being used in order to space yourself. Dashing is mostly advised unless otherwise specified, though it is completely situational and up to preference, therefore you should judge the situation yourself.

5/66A 236S- Great late anti-air that can catch people in prejump, anti-air them late, or beat/anti-air during round switch skirmishes

5/66B 236S- Can anti-air very well and beat many moves if positioned correctly, beats many jumping normals. Use this when anticipating a jump and knowing you can space yourself a bit far away from the opponent at a 30°-45° angle

5/66C 236S- This is DIO's most popular anti-air. It has incredible Synergy with his pressure and does great damage. It will be a poke you use a ton regardlessly, so it will also naturally catch prejump and backjumps during your pressure. Use it a lot

2/663B (236S)- Godlike anti-air, despite being slow. This is very good against crossups and people directly above you. Great disjoint and priority, excels at beating cornered backjumps especially, and if positioned right it can beat almost any jumping normal.

2A 236S- This is a very awkward and specific anti-air, that would seem like a terrible idea, but it works more often than you would expect it to. The main things it is used for, are specivic moves like DIO s.j.236X and Rubber Soul j.A outright, by low profiling as 2A lowers your hitbox.

j.A- Active for ages, does well at beating opponents as it is fast, but the hitbox points downwards, so you should keep this in mind. Can be followed up with a tech-chase, or 9C if done right before landing

j.C- Another great air-to-air, less range and barely active, and slower, in exchange for better damage and a hitbox that can hit opponents above you. Very good. Can be followed up with a tech-chase, or 9C if done right before landing

s.66/5c- Great anti-air in Stand On mode. Somewhat slow, but can be used when watching for jumps. Can sometimes trade, though the trade is often favorable. Can lead into a tech-chase.

s.j.B- Perhaps DIO's greatest response to a jumping opponent. Great hitbox, great frame data, cancellable and great priority. Best used instantly while rising towards the opponent. Abuse it

s.j.C- Great aerial move. Godlike range. Can beat many air approaches clean due to it's range, but should be used proactively or when watching for aerial approaches, as it is somewhat sluggish. Can be done while jumping away from the opponent, or neutral jumping. s.

Transitioning between Stand On and Stand Off

DIO functions very differently in both Stand On and Off. The most basic difference, is that Stand Off is mostly used offensively, while Stand On is more often used to disengage, play slower, defend and stall. Transitioning between the two should be second nature if done correctly. A lot of the time, pressure strings will be ended with 2a 5C 236S, which leaves you Stand On, which leaves you in a very safe position, allowing you to safely poke, and stall after possibly securing a life lead.

Here are some general situations in which to go Stand On or Stand Off. These are very general, and despite being rules of thumb, every match-up has differing dynamics of Stand On and Stand Off. As an example, while fighting someone like DIO, you would want to remain Stand Off about 90% of the time, as being Stand On could render you vulnerable to a Stand Crash mix-up, while against Hol Horse you would want to remain Stand On 99% of the time, in order to avoid getting killed off of a single knockdown.

Situations when to be Stand Off:

Securing a life lead Opening opponent up Starting off pressure Looking for punishes Defending from certain types of pressure

Situations when to use Stand On:

Keeping a life lead Stalling Keeping opponents out Avoiding chip damage Chipping opponent down Avoiding knock downs Camping out Passive Stand Characters

In order to get a good feel of when to transition, you need to realize what normals and tools you will need in the next exchange. This is match-up dependent as well, though the general idea is to think about your life lead situation. The thought process is as follows:

  • Do I have a lifelead?

>If yes, then play safe in Stand On.

>If no, then choose accordingly between Stand On or Stand Off depending on the match-up E.g. Stand On to chip out passive Stand users/better buttons for anti-airing/playing neutral or Stand Off to open up for bigger combos and baiting opponents

Defensive options while being pressured

DIO's defensive options are generally quite weak, as DIO lacks a good Guard Cancel in both Stand On and Stand Off. DIO's Guard Cancel has bad invincibility and priority, and is ALSO extremely unsafe on both hit and block, leaving him open for a full combo. Due to this, DIO is very relient on good Pushblocking and using meter wisely in order to stay alive when pressured.

The defensive options will be covered in depth. This will tie back to the section about stealing turns, as these are inherently bound by purpose, as the goal in defense is to either reset to neutral, or steal the opponent's turn.

When Pushblocking, one should very sparingly pushblock, as DIO has a very slow roll which is easily grabbed on reaction, especially if the opponent is watching for it. The general idea is to pushblock the bigger buttons if uncertain, though this will not guarantee you escaping.

Pushblocking the opponent will generally have 2 uses. One being the safer and easier option to push the opponent out of range for their pressure, and therefore resetting back to neutral. This is done by Pushblocking their normals, especially the ones that are close together. Usually this is done by Pushblocking a blockstring like DIO's 2A 2A 2A by Pushblocking the first normal late and the next ones early, effectively Pushblocking 3 times in succession with a slight delay in the beginning, which will cause him to get out of range for his pressure. This technique applies to most of the cast, though it is very dependent on the match-up. You generally want to focus on Pushblocking the opponent, and not their Stand, as Pushblocking the opponent will push them away, while Pushblocking the Stand will only push away the Stand and keep the opponent in your face.

The other use would be to push your opponent away just enough to make them whiff a big normal and render them whiff punishable with a full BnB. This is much harder, though very doable, and is also much more match-up dependent and will require match-up knowledge to use effectively. This follow a structure similar to the previous example mentioned above. A popular example is DIO's j.A 2A, which can be Pushblocked in a way to make the next normal whiff. The way this is done is by delaying the first pushblock as much as possible, and following it up by Pushblocking the next normal as early as possible, effectively double tapping Pushblock. This will make DIO whiff the next normal, which you can beat out with 66C into a full BnB. The normals used to whiff punish the opponent are generally 66C, 663A, 2A, 2A 663A, s.663A, s.663B or s.66C. Aditionally you can in some cases pushblock Stand On opponents and hit them with a well placed IOH s.j.C s.j.236A !SC, which will open them up for a full BnB. This is done in situations like Polnareff doing s.j.B s.663A, and DIO pushblocks s.j.B and immediately does s.j.C , jumping over Polnareff's s.663A.

Next to Pushblocking, you can also use meter to escape the opponent. This is mostly done by Pushblocking the opponent and catching them with their pants down when their Stand is out. They will be unable to block or fight back effectively, and will therefore be forced to either jump, try to mash out a super and hope their Stand recovers in time, or roll. The way this is done is by Pushblocking them to be somewhat far from you, and then do s.236AA while their Stand is out. If they are in the air, they will be guaranteed to get hit, even if they manage to block it, as you will be able to guard break them with s.66C. If they are grounded they will either get hit or roll, after which you can do either a mix-up with sideswitching or 236C. Alternatively you could also do an unblockable tandem with 214s{2A*n>4ABC*n} and follow that up with a combo. The other way is to use a tandem instead of knives in order to hit the opponent, or even do an empty tandem to keep the invincibility, after which you are free to punish, though you will need to make sure their Stand is out, as they can do a tandem of their own as they will be able to do a super, or even tandem of their own.

Stalling, keeping your ground & keeping opponents out

Despite being a rushdown character, DIO can also stall and keep opponents out very well. This is mostly done in Stand On, due to the better defense value and normals, ability to double jump and alter your jump arc and a good backwards hyper-hop, and and last but not least, the ability to avoid chip damage.

The way keep out the opponent is by placing normals and stuffing your opponent's approach using normals like s.5B/s.6B, s.(66)2A, s.j.C or 66C>236S. Anticipating the opponent's actions will also be very important, as you can also accumulate good damage off of anti-airing with buttons such as instant air s.j.B, Neutral or back jump s.j.C and s.5C. This is all done by making sure you're either at your preferred poke range, that being just outside of neutral jump s.j.C range, or being far from your opponent and mashing s.4A in order to build meter, forcing your opponent to approach you, which you can punish by placing pokes like s.66C. s.663C, s.j.C or s.236AA. You also have lasers which you can use to add up damage. This works especially well once you condition the opponent to teching into your lasers, landing you multiple of them at a time, or even not teching at all, which can give you okizeme or a turn to pressure the opponent.

Another move you need to use wisely is Stand On Knives. Usage varies, but generally it is used for punishes. If you can make the opponent whiff something big during pressure, or you predict an aerial normal, you can very easily do a set of knives to anti-air them, followed by a possible tech-chase. This works especially well on Shadow Dio approaching with j.S, or an opponent recklessly approaching with something he cannot easily cancel to keep himself safe. Even on air-block knives give you great chip damage, and a free s.66C guard break while they're still airborne. Be aware however that many characters can beat knives on reaction if done at less than half-screen in neutral with a super with good invincibility, like a tandem. If they however do not have access to this option they will be forced to roll, which in many cases can result into you doing a 236C meaty mix-up on reaction against their roll, if they do not keep invincibility frames afterwards, an unblockable tandem through means of mashing {2A} and doing an IOH j.A, or possibly grabbing them. Alternatively they can choose to block it, which you can follow up with pressure as well, though you need to be very careful with Guard Cancels. If the opponent is conditioned accordingly you may even be able to whiff punish the opponent's Guard Cancel with either another set of Knives, or a full combo from 66C or 663A.

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System Info
In-depth System Info
New Kakyoin
Vanilla Ice
Old Joseph
Black Polnareff
Hol Horse
Rubber Soul
Shadow Dio
Young Joseph