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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future/Jotaro/Matchups
Alessi is incredibly prone to jump-ins so j.c is your go to button in this match-up. Match-up becomes a lot easier when you have the life lead and can force alessi to approach, but that can be quite difficult if Alessi is smart about his pokes and spacing. However, since Alessi-Jot is comprised of majority small stages, as well as Alessi not being able to manipulate his jump arc makes him prone to Jotaro’s strong anti-air and air to air buttons. This makes tech chasing a phenomenal way to quickly rack up damage and secure the life lead. Become comfortable with tools such as s.j.c and s.66a to catch airborne approaches. When it comes to contesting Alessi’s stand on pokes, 6b works wonders in stuffing out his pokes as the hurtbox is present before the hitbox. This is obviously a big risk as it relies on the Alessi to press a button, but even on patient players one hit can lead to a full convert. However, you mainly want to be approaching with stand on jump-ins. This will allow you to mix up double jump timings and will have s214aa to establish a threat if they choose to pushblock your jump-in. Regarding that s214aa is VERY strong in this match-up as Alessi has large lingering hurtboxes on most of his stand on moves and even some stand off. One hit can lead to a strong life lead, forcing Alessi to approach, which is the Alessi finds extremely difficult to do. In most cases this is your win condition forcing Alessi to approach against s214aa, s5b, and your other godbuttons.
Now how do you approach an Alessi who has secured the life lead and is now turtling? Mixing up double jump timing and staggering pressure with stand on are important tools in opening Alessi up, particularly the pressure. It will most likely force Alessi to go stand off as the stand gauge chip Jotaro outputs is quite hefty. This means he will be trapped without his best pokes, and with more jump timings and such he can be opened up. Due to Alessi’s wide stature, j.c becomes quite a consistent cross up in this matchup, and can often times catch opponents who try to cross under your landing. Obviously you shouldn’t gamble that the Alessi will just get mixed up on offense, so the most consistent method of securing damage is clean punishes, where damage is guaranteed when the situation arises. Take s.on landing Alessi- even without taking an air action, s.on landing had 1 frame of vulnerability, making it extremely prone to active moves, allowing anywhere from like damage to full confirms. Gun on block can be quite oppressive with its chip, so taking advantage of this disadvantageous position is key. Pushblocking gun completely nullifies the blockstun as opposed to giving you 15 frames. Meaning you can attempt to push an advantage. While not an punish, understanding how to deal with Alessi CC on block is crucial for not getting blown up by a knowledge check. (Note other counter tech will be in the video these were just particularly important or served to point out a flaw in Alessi’s gameplan) While in custom combo state Alessi can be pictured having two zones of influence. Close and Far. Typically when CC is blocked, they will try to space themselves in the Far region to gain access to 6b over head which confirms. This may seem near unreactable, which it is, but Alessi has NO comboable lows at this distance, so simply blocking high when spaced will prevent this. In order to see this distance better, avoid pushblocking. On a final note, holding up back will greatly increase the difficulty the Alessi faces when trying to do Alessi mode combos.
Avdol is primarily looking to play around your approaches and punish mistakes on your part. A large majority of Avdols normals outclass yours by quite a bit, but you still have very strong close up options regardless. Meter is an important thing to keep in mind in the matchup as Jotaro actively having meter will dissuade Avdol from throwing out normals to space or meter build. Jotaro finds difficulty in punishing Avdol for throwing out projectiles meaning the game becomes significantly harder if Avdol secures a sizable life lead. s.5b is your life line in this matchup as it’s disjoint can rival Avdol’s normals. On knockdown you cannot go for star finger oki safely, so you will either have to meaty 6b or use Ora/Starbreaker oki. This means while your hits still convert into big damage, you won’t be able to vortex and two touch as much as you would other characters. Alternatively, you could opt for a starfinger 50/50 reset or jc 2c xx 623x after tandem. With these things in mind, it’s easy to see how it comes down to securing momentum. Being at the brink of s66a or 66a range and just slowing down your movement can illicit response from the Avdol, meaning you can blow them up for taking an action, primarily with Star Breaker.
Can be quite a volatile matchup but it is infinitely harder for B. Pol to open you up and win neutral compared to Jotaro’s vast arsenal of tools. The main key concepts to keep in mind is to punish overextensions on block. B. Pols pressure is incredibly fake and easy to punish (refer to playlist), so better B. Pols stick to spacing themselves for a proper whiff punish into loop. B. Pol mainly capitalizes on the opponents mistakes to open people up so playing back once you have the life lead is incredibly strong. Additionally, you can stand off pressure him to some degree as his supers are either stubby or slow in terms of punishing 66a strings on block. However, you will do significantly less chip so balance stand on and off pressure accordingly. Secure life lead and play back and punish reckless approaches is all it boils down to. B. Pol has his best shot of winning if he can force Jotaro to approach so try to avoid that. Normals such as s.5a are vital in hard punishing B. Pols mistakes up close, while s2c and 3c can beat out telegraphed air approaches with j.b.
To deter a B. Pol from looping on block, you should first identity how far the commit to the rekka on block then act accordingly. While some punishes will always punish, you can get a greater reward or a meterless punish in some scenarios. B. Pols will either do 1 part of the rekka, 2 parts, or 2 parts and 236s. For both first and 2nd parts you want to pushblock 236x early. If you read that they will stop after the first, you can simply use 6b to punish. If they commit to the second, simply s.5a or tandem. If they opt for all three you have a choice. You can still do the same punish as the 2nd part on block, or you can simply pushblock 236s then s214aa or even 214aa. This is objectively the most overextended B. Pol can be on offense so punish accordingly.
This match-up is heavily dependent on respecting Chaka’s airspace. You want to stay grounded so you have the opportunity to jab out Chaka’s jump-ins with hyper hop. Chaka has excellent air mobility and jumping buttons so you should avoid contesting with air to airs. Chaka will be looking frequently cancel into 236s to catch bad whiff punish attempts and reckless approaches. Staying just out of reach and/or using star breaker discourages this behavior. Chaka has a couple options on wakeup, whether high/low or left/right. Block low until you see Chaka leave the ground. Fuzzy blocking is your friend. Luckily, Chaka has a small stand gauge meaning s.5a is at near full strength in this match up. Extended pressure strings such as rekka or a bad tech chase attempt can lead to large damage. Stay at a comfortable s.66a/66a distance, just outside of Chaka’s 236s range and play in the defensive aiming to heavily punish Chaka’s mistakes. Note, however, that overstaying in stand on is very risky as this can lead into large damage thanks to unblockable resets and even basic stand crash combos. The reset is incredibly punishing so getting caught and not punishing hyper hop s+j.c properly will put you in a danger life deficit and oki situation. All in all, play back in the s66a pocket in this match up and be content with letting Chaka push aggression a majority of the times. Simply punish with your tools and hold down momentum.
As mentioned earlier, Chaka can be hard punished if he over extends on hit and block. An important example is rekka on block. After the second hit, you are free to mash as long as they do not counter, as both options after are far too slow to frame trap, netting you an IPS free stand crash or anti air s5a into tech chase, both of which shift the momentum in your favor. Alternatively, just doing s214aa alleviates this. Also note that first rekka is incredibly minus and can’t be cancelled into counter, so watch if Chaka ends early on it or delays too much. However, you can get a punish even on hit- if a Chaka does C rekka ender as the 8th hit, launcher scaling will mean that you will be able to tech, while also being low enough to get a hard punish. Simply downteching into s+5a will net you a full punish. Chaka players may look for s+j.c after CC in an attempt to reset a combo and therefore scaling. Blocking it will result in Chaka backing off or overextending on pressure, both securing momentum.
Something to keep in mind is that given current lifelead, it may be a favorable decision to simply forego attempting to jab out Chaka’s approach- while this can let you tech chase into a favorable position, relying on safer options such as pushblock into s+5B helps to lower the risk while still providing an opportunity to get a hit in. Additionally, depending on the Chaka and the state of the match, meter holds varying levels of importance. With Chakas that mirror the Japanese playstyle of shorter, poke-oriented pressure, spending meter is not as common as with aggressive Chakas. Aggressive Chakas thrive if you respect their fake and overextended pressure, so blowing meter to contest that is quite important. You notice this split in playstyle between Japan and the Western scene in full detail. Just something to consider regarding meter usage based on the opponents playstyle.
Very dependent on matchup knowledge as fighting Devo requires several tweaks in traditional gameplan to accommodate for his low profile, puppet pressure, and reversals. Devo will usually be looking to open you up with puppet, so be wary as to not overcommit. He will like to avoid overstaying on pressure and will like to maintain his space, allowing Jotaro a lot of breathing room if he uses it right. Devo can usually secure a large life lead on one hit but Jotaro has a lot of room to punish attempts to open him up. You will be finding yourself stand off a good bit less than most matchups given safer moves in stand off such as 2a. Being chipped out is better than holding a lot of damage. Once you do have the life lead though, you can essentially lame out Devo by intentionally avoiding sandwich as much as possible, making it difficult for Devo to open you up and get substantial damage at the same time. Be extremely cautious of attacking the Devo when he is in remote/stand on as 214s is still a threat even if Devo is in hitstun, just like every remote mode user. You will either need to use a special that disables remote or go for a super (only do a super if puppet is in the middle of a high committal move s22c for example. Pushblock it and super.) Normals such as 66a, 5a, 2a, s2a, and s5b find a lot of use in this matchup. But arguably your best approach tool in the matchup is hh.jc as it beats a lot of Devo’s normals and you remain low enough to punish 5c on hit. Preemptive buttons are especially strong against Devo as he can struggle to safely go for puppet specials or normals. Tandem can find some niche use as an anti air option if s2c is too risky at the moment.
A matchup that gets discussed frequently, it is heavily in your favor if played correctly. On paper and in practice your tools are stronger and more versatile than DIO’s in almost every situation. s.5a and s.66a are INCREDIBLY strong in this matchup as they cannot be ducked unless DIO presses 2a due to his tall hurtbox. Additionally, he has difficulty contesting your tick throw mix as any attempt to tech a throw could result in a throw, leading to a sizable punish. s.5b is another normal that almost entirely beats him out. To contest your strong normals in footsies range, DIO will want to be stand on, which is another boon in that if you get a hit you can convert into a full combo, and given how superior your buttons are it happens quite frequently. Don’t be reckless with your air approaches but don’t stay entirely grounded either. On pressure a good DIO will mix in frame traps to catch those trying to gc 214x and hits after. Getting comfortable with how the DIO cycles their options on block is the key to blowing him up on offense. Don’t randomly pushblock, you will miss out on a large amount of punishes because of it. Play smart and once you have a life lead, it is not too difficult to lame him out. In fact, laming him out and playing hyper defensively shifts the matchup even further into your favor, as DIO struggles to approach and contest your stand on buttons and presence.
A short aside on roll. Given the fact DIO cannot throw risk free, roll is an incredibly strong option. Jotaro’s roll in particular is quite interesting, as if you end up on the same side after your roll, by not inputting anything, you can receive up to 20 I FRAMES that you CAN ACT OUT OF. This makes it incredibly easy to whiff punish attempts to meaty.
Hol and Boingo
Hoingo’s weak normals coupled with lacking a large amount of tools Hol has makes the matchup much easier. However, it may be quite unintuitive as new options such as S bullet patterns and normals xx 360a paired with old tools such as 236x and air glass means adapting to an entirely different option cycle. Although this may be a little bit overwhelming, understanding what makes these options weak when compared to Hol is important in beating Hoingo. For example, normals cancelled into S bullet on block can be hard punished with star breaker, tandem, and (depending on normal cancelled) s5a. Try to slowly position yourself in max s66a distance, as this pocket will allow you to hard punish over extensions such as air glass while preventing normals into 360 and other scramble options. Don’t feel pressured to approach as with stand on Hoingo loses his chip pressure and can struggle to deactivate stand without the use of 360. At s66a pocket distance you can find yourself rolling to close the gap if you suspect the Hoingo may go for a normal or special as you can easily punish and convert to knockdown if they attempt to grab. Another note is that S bullet oki and 623x oki (without 4c) is too slow to meaty Jotaro, be aware and reversal tandem etc. when applicable.
Approaching slowly into the tip of s66a range in Stand On allows you to punish Air Glass as well as whiffed normals, while also limiting the amount of normals Hol can use at that range. Most importantly, being in stand on denies Hol from ending a round off a single 5c/2c, as you cannot be knocked down in stand on. It can be quite unintuitive to approach a Hol who keeps his distance and uses 236b and his normals to stuff your approach. As long as you remain patient and get a hit to secure lifelead, the game is heavily skewed towards you. Lifelead can be attained by hard punishing or stray hits. With hard punishes, even just a small confirm gives you decent damage and, if it’s grounded, oki. What’s important about this is that it is guaranteed damage. Note that is important in several matchups, but you want to recognize and capitalize on these situations whenever possible. You want to punish stuff such as 2c on block, air glass, throw, 236x within star breaker range etc. Get comfortable with moving around in the matchup and positioning yourself so that you can easily catch and capitalize on the opponents mistakes.
Just as with DIO, due to the fact that grabbing is not practical as Hol, Jot can throughly abuse his roll in this matchup. While Hol has a hard time contesting you rolling out of his pressure, be aware that many hols are aware of this and will meaty your roll upon sideswitch, possibly leading into a frame trap or big damage.
Chapter 1: The Great Depression (Neutral, Offense & Defense)
Iggy is one hell of a polarizing matchup for Jotaro. Despite the fact that at the end of the day, this matchup is still in your favor, it's crucial to have a lot of experience and thorough understanding of it to make that advantage to actually work for you.
So first off, the first thing you understand right off the bat is that a lot of your normals will whiff against Stand OFF Iggy, and that's something you should always keep in mind and not mash that extra S.5A during defense and give him time to react with a grab. However your normals are still effective in this matchup, but the new situations create different uses for them.
If Iggy is playing in Stand OFF, he's most likely going to either walk up and attempt to grab/shimmy you, or keep you at distance with far 5C. Far 5C is one of Iggy's best pokes and the only way to actually kind of beat it in a match is jumping over it, since Far 5C is whiff cancellable i'd really advise against using Star Breaker to beat it, since he is most likely going to cancel into Tandem and make you eat a lot of damage. For dealing with his walk up grab shenanigans it's best to sometimes check on Iggy in neutral with stuff like 2A (sometimes 6B) xx 236S or 2C (safest option that can also catch him IAD'ing), it's important to always create a sense of doubt for him when he tries to go in as to not make it too free to get a grab.
Now let's talk about the air game and jumping. Iggy doesn't really have an anti-air that will always beat you out, but they are annoying enough to condition you into specific patterns of jumps. First off, it's his 2B - an EXTREMELY low profiling move, so low that it will make anything that's not 2A/6B/2C/S.2A/S.2B/S.5B whiff completely, it also makes all of your jumping attacks whiff, except J.C at a very SPECIFIC angle (roughly <35 degrees). Spacing J.C for pressure is actually crucial, you don't want to end up jumping right above him and give him a free anti-air, so if you are J.C'ing at him and are looking to go for another J.C to mix it up with lows, make sure you have properly spaced it, if you are too close it might not be a good idea to go for a forward jump, but a neutral one to punish his AA attempt if he tries to go for one while keeping up your pressure game. Another strong AA option for Iggy is 8A/B/C, while it may seem like it's not worth of much attention, it has a very solid hitbox and enough hitstun to keep chasing you around with it if you choose to tech into him again. It also has only a few frames of recovery on the ground (kind of like V.Ice's S.236A) so it can be a bit wonky to punish, but if you can time it well you are golden, so in short - don't keep jumping at him if you got anti-aired, and delay your jump-in buttons to hit when you are about to land to block it in time.
What you want to keep in mind at all times though - it's hopeless to get in on Iggy without meter. The meter is a tool to both punish him for grab attempts, IAD's and a way to keep him at bay psychologically. Star Breaker creates a large threat for Iggy that's impossible to ignore, since if he gets caught doing an IAD - that's 50% off his lifebar and the fact that he has to chase you now. Speaking of which, this matchup is notable for how difficult it is for both characters to actually get into each other, so keeping a single meter at all times can give you a big advantage, so if you don't have one then go build one now.
There's also something i should note about his s.6A/B/C, on block this move is extremely unsafe and you can punish it however you wish, but it's also punishable on hit, except not always. If he hits you in Stand ON it's actually fairly simple - D.S.5A or D.S.2A instantly and make him suffer. Getting hit in Stand OFF however is very hard to punish assuming he spaced it well, you have two options here, either attempt a big damage punish with S.5B (sometimes requires microwalk) cancelled into S.214B>S.214B !SC, or just press S.5C/S.2B, which will not give you anything more than 8-10 damage, the choice here is all yours.
Also one thing is that he has a quite annoying super - Stand OFF 236AA, it's one of these Supers that give you a free 50/50 in case you are unlucky to block it, the only way to avoid getting mixed is to time your Guard Cancel to hit the initial attack that comes from the Super after the flash. If you manage to block it all though you can punish it with either GC'ing the last hit. If Iggy whiffs it it's a free punish with any Super like 214AA (both S.ON and OFF). Also, if you are close to the corner, Iggy's 236AA doesn't actually knockdown, instead it wallbounces you and lets you ground tech, which means you can beat out his further pressure attempts.
Chapter 2: Stalling the Inevitable (Sandball Stalling)
Ok sonny Jim, we've got a problem, turns out Iggy is actually really good at zoning, so what do we do now? How do we deal with the Sandballs of Doom? It's quite simple, actually.
Despite these balls looking quite annoying, Iggy actually has a pretty big hurtbox while throwing them, which allows you to properly anti-air him and start your tech chasing game (which i will cover a bit later). First off you are gonna learn the heights where you can challenge him, and heights where you should change up your positioning to combat the great sandballs of suffering, i'm gonna list most of these possible heights and what you should do below:
A) The long range, normal-short jump height sandballs. Usually this one is very easy to beat with Stand OFF D.5C, D.5C usually works very well from a further range, but Iggy can try to read it and punish with something, so it's in your best interest to sometimes cancel it into 236A or 236S (unless he's going for 2B, which will make it whiff) if you see it whiff on him. Once D.5C hits you can keep chasing him with hyperhop S+J.C, it's a generally very powerful tool against Iggy since it's your strongest tech chasing normal. If you are feeling like you want to play it safe, you can try dashing in and doing D.S.5A, while mashing 4ABC during it to potentially tech a throw/convert into S.5A>B if it hits.
B) The mid-close range, normal-short jump height sandballs. This is not a safe ground for D.5C in Stand OFF anymore, so instead use S.5A or D.S.5A and then tech chase. If he's doing it closer to the ground it's actually safer to press S.5B which will beat out his walk up/low profile attempt with 2B, then confirm into S.214B>S.214B and start tech chasing like a boss.
C) Any range, hanging on the top of the screen. This one's actually tricky, since it's extremely hard (actually, kind of impossible) to hit him there, so what you will want to do is wait on the ground behind the sandballs. To do that you have to turn your Stand Off, roll behind it and react to when he drops down with S.5A>S.2C chain and tech chase like a real gangster. But here's the catch - there's a move like S.J.2C which can catch you completely off guard if you forget about it's existence. In short, it makes him instantly drop down on the ground, hitting in a similar fashion as S.DIO's J.S, meaning you will have to guard it as if it was a non-crossup (fake crossup, if you will). Otherwise if you can guard it, even if it hits, you can easily punish it with anything (on hit in Stand ON you shouldn't try to tech and just grab him), then follow up with a full combo.
But knowing how to combat stalling with sandballs is half the battle, since sandballs are also used in pressure. As you might know, you are vulnerable to throws during pushblock, and that's something Iggys will use to catch you with a grab, he will also most likely get the grab if you manage to block it standing, since he will recover just at the right time before your recovery, and get an easier timing on the grab. If you want to survive the aggressive Sandball Onslaught, it's in your best interest to make him afraid to go for one in the first place, with the use of your powerful buttons mentioned in the first chapter to stop his offense. Also try and jump out if you aren't feeling confident, i guess. (Prejump cancelling is OD for this).
Chapter 3: Suffering from Success (Tech Chasing)
So let's get this straight - you can't oki Iggy, just accept it and move on, your actual goal in this matchup is to tech chase him like a bitch he is. To start off - S.5A, 214B rekka ender, S.2C, S.J.C is your holy quadrinity, if you haven't yet started praying and thanking the lord for giving you this awesome set of tools then you should right now. 214B rekka ender is the beginning of our journey, it's the move that you will always end your combos with (unless you need that 1 extra damage to end the round). It gives you a good height for starting your tech chase, from there we also have to take a bunch of options in consideration, which i will explain here:
A) Down-tech. This one's can be kind of tricky depending on the Iggy player. You can usually keep popping him up into the air with either combination of S.5A>S.2C or just S.2C, but here's the catch - if Iggy techs and presses J.C at the earliest possible moment (which is kind of unlikely to be fair), then both of these options will get beaten, but you still can S.214A>214B him, which will keep launching him and actually deal good damage until he gives up and moves on with his life.
B) Forward-tech or Neutral-tech. A good option for Iggy to use if he knows you are chasing him for something else. Neutral tech is usually not used at all because of the lack of i-frames. To catch this one down your best bet is to neutral or backjump (usually earliest neutral jump catches him) and S.J.C, if he blocks it - you are in perfect spot to hit him with S.5A>S.2C before he touches the ground and reset the situation, or if he gets hit you get to keep chasing him down with S.J.C or S.5A>S.2C/just S.2C, which is way easier compared to chasing him after 214B since he's way higher in the air now.
C) Backward-tech. This one actually requires you to put in more effort, since all of the options above will not likely catch him in time and give him opportunity to reset the game back to neutral. So what you should do here is dash up to him, and then either catch him with S.D.5A or S.J.C, and from there you are golden and can keep chasing him.
Something that applies to almost all of these situations is whether Iggy dares to press a button/turn his Stand ON, this is your opportunity to go for the Ultimate Killer of the Swag - Star Breaker. If you have meter, of course. This will do a lot of damage at the cost of resetting the game back to neutral, which is sometimes better than just going with tech chasing every time.
Chapter 4: Ah Shit (Iggy's Okizeme)
An absurd thing about this matchup is while you have no oki options available at all, Iggy has access to all of them and more.
So you've got knocked down, what does he do?
A) Summons a sanddog. You've got two options, either jump out by holding or tapping at the right moment the neutral/forward, which will make you take small damage but is actually your safest bet, or Guard Cancel buffer with standing block and counter his J.C attack on wakeup. If the Iggy main you are facing is actually good at the character, chances are they are aware of this and will attempt to hit your pre-jump frames after the meaty frames are over, so you still get hit by the sand dog, in this case you can actually wakeup 214S way easier because you are supposed to get hit later, Guard Cancel (which is harder to do now because you'll have to cancel a singular hit), or mash S.ON prejump cancel and hope that you can get out.
B) The hover or sandball 50/50. Theoretically you can avoid this completely if you time your back jump right by also cancelling the pre-jump into Stand activation. This will instantly cancel out your pre-jump animation. This works as an OS because it will jump out if Iggy decides to go low, or block the overhead if he decides to go for one, the only thing that you have to do is react to the overhead part and go from there, push him out and get out.
C) Close 5C "Unblockable". This one still confuses me but the way it works is Iggy times the Close 5C to hit on your wakeup, cancels it into Tandem as he inputs the first hit to be S.2A (a low) and then goes for an instant overhead with J.C himself. This is really tricky to avoid, your only options are either to block it properly (which is damn hard), GC buffer (not much easier), or nash pushblock and hope that either Iggy or his Stand get pushed out and make it impossible for him to further convert into damage. If i ever find out how to consistently deal with this i'll be sure to add it here, but just keep this one in mind when fighting Iggy.
Extra Chapter: Know Your Meme (Helpful Stuff)
This chapter is dedicated to some weird stuff, whoever's gonna edit this should add something here because i don't have many ideas for it.
1.Both of Iggy's Stand OFF and Stand ON grab don't actually give him a true meaty - you can actually wakeup reversal this time, although the timing is frame perfect, but if you can do it go for it.
The Jotaro mirror is incredibly volatile due to small stand gauge and both Jots wanting to be close, meaning most hits result in either oki or death. The name of the game is hard punish as the match-up revolves around proper use of s5a, s5b, and starbreaker. You don’t want to over extend on pressure, as one mistake is usually the round. Along with proper use of close up pokes, anti-airing properly is also a deciding factor in the mirror. Small stand guage means that you can get near 80 damage on a typical route and about 100 on a more optimized routes solely off an s5a. Options like roll s+5a and dash up s+5a, while gimmicky, become even stronger in this matchup. Outside of that it's a very straightforward matchup as you are ideally going for the same gameplan.
A majority of this match up will be slowly approaching using frequent dash cancels, looking for opportunities to blow Kak up with an s5a or s214aa. Play slow and cautious, and although you will be at a disadvantage, do not panic if you lose lifelead. Keeping your approach safe and steady will allow you to clearly see opportunities to whiff punish or dash up throw accordingly. Dash up throw is quite useful in this matchup if the Kak begins to respect the threat of stand on breaker, as it will allow you to safely destroy/avoid nets as well as starting your suprsingly strong throw game. If Kak begins air dashing to attempt to hold on to lifelead as long as possible, stay at about Star Breaker distance and call the air dash out with s77 s.j.c. You have a much better time when the Kak is forced to approach, but it's still threatening. In the off chance you can land it, you can get about 60-70 damage simply off s214aa !sc s.j.a s.j.236aa on an IADing Kak. A majority of the time, however, you will not be able to react to it consistently at least with s214aa, so using s5a, pushblock, and simply jumping are answers to this type of approach. Outside of a limited amount of situations, jumping in this matchup is quite risky, so staying grounded a majority of the time approaching with dash blocks is ideal. There are a lot of tiny interactions such as oki-ing Kak, the RPS following a blocked net, and large guage routes, but the main concepts of the matchup are still very important to understand first. Do note that Kaks stand off jumping hurtbox makes s.5a less consistent, so using s2c and 3c are preferable.
Although this is a very easy matchup, it is fairly common for it to be somewhat unforgiving to newer players due to unfamiliarity. He is quite short, so s.5a only finds use as a punish. Ideally you want to get your hits from baiting out preemptive pokes such as 4b and 662a. Early pushblock 6b and s5b is incredibly potent in this matchup, and this is where most of your damage originates from. If you’re forced to approach, use 662a and s662a as they are strong and confirmable dashing lows.
A common situation you may run into in this matchup is charge on block. This is minus but the mind game is delayed dp. It’s not that real on block and you have several ways of punishing it. Just know that khans hurtbox after charge and dp allows him to be hit with a s.5a, the only time you should be using this move on a grounded Khan usually. When Khan goes airborne is where s5a is a godsend. It is an incredibly strong anti hop option, and paired with s.2c it can completely invalidate a majority of Khan’s air approaches.
At first a somewhat unintuitive matchup, you want to focus on calling out fake and weak tools that Mariah wishes to use on block. Options such as canceling into outlet or trying to set up wire are easily star-breakerable. Do NOT get impatient when approaching, remain calm and occasionally destroy Mariah’s tools with s.5a and other stand on normals. Mariah’s main way to get damage on you relies on you making mistakes, so play smart and lame and you will be opened up less and find yourself in a favorable position more times than not. Do not go complacent with the timing you use to destroy outlets, wire, etc. If you get predictable you can often eat 5Cs, which don’t lead to much but will allow Mariah to hold down a life lead even easier. Saving meter to dump into quick and deadly whiff punishes in the form of s214aa and raw tandem at lower levels makes the matchup a lot easier.
Although this is a heavily Jotaro favored match-up, it can be quite hard and unintuitive to play around a character that is proficient at jumping while punishing you for jumping in neutral. The main idea in this matchup is that Midler doesn’t want to get hit grounded at any cost, because she will die under pressure/from okizeme. This is why Midler players tend to jump quite frequently, to abuse to I-frames they have upon stand-on landing. To counter this, apply pressure with s.j.c. However, only jump after you see that Midler is airborne, as jumping prematurely may result in you getting hit by Cars/214aa. Keeping these things in mind makes this match-up a lot more straight forward but there are a couple defensive quirks and notes to take into play regarding stuff like Midler’s offensive throw os, crossup, divekick, and GCing Cars. When being pressured by Midler, understand what moves aren’t cancellable, and which ones are punishable. A notable example is 236c, which can be pushblocked and immediately punished.
Another incredibly volatile match-up, as both characters can punish with combos that are usually about 60~75% added to the fact that New Kak has the second lowest defense making every hit hurt. Just like in the Kakyoin matchup, Jotaro wants to approach slowly and cautiously in stand on. Although nets aren’t as punishing as regular Kakyoin, you will likely get yourself knocked down, resulting in a possible vortex of New Kakyoin okizeme and pressure. You are able to stuff out s665b with s5a and s5b, although this will typically be cycled along with s.x s.5c unblockable and s.2b to call out buttons. N. Kakyoin has fantastic pressure when left uncontested, with a plethora of net cancellable pokes, IOHs, and an amazing grab that setups up oki. The key is taking the matchup slow and capitalizing on over extensions, such as s2c on block or against stand on. You will get dominated on the ground, as s6b s5c s214[x] is an incredibly potent space control tool. Mixing up jump timings during pressure is quite crucial to safely opening him up. Do note that nets are somewhat easier to deal with as opposed to Kakyoin. Jumping is a lot safer, but there is still a large threat behind it so tread carefully.
This matchup is rather straightforward and is quite an easy one. Oldseph has to work incredibly hard to deal with your approach options with any consistency. Focus on getting a hit and vortexing as hard as possible, then just backing off if your oki is blocked or you are forced to reset to neutral. Joseph’s approaches are quite limited and he requires you to make a mistake in order to capitalize. Tools such as hh.jc, s66a, s5a, and s5b are quite important in this matchup given Joseph’s size and poor anti airs.
Oldseph 236x is a frequently used special in order to follow up a poke with 66b or 662a etc. However, this special is punishable on block resulting in huge returns. Simply pushblock 236x as early as possible and s5a. This will net you a punish into knockdown, where you can 50/50 him with ease. Avoid pushblocking s236x as it makes it harder to punish than just blocking s236x.
Not as abysmal as it seems on the surface but still quite difficult. Luckily you have access to all your basic combos which will chunk pet heavily due to low defense. However, instead of s214x s214a into star finger oki, you have to end with tandem knockdown to get a crossup 50/50. Luckily this means you can still two touch pet, the only concern is not getting blown up for trying to overextend for a hit. Most hits from pet will lead into 70-80% if not a tod, so be careful with your approaches and movement in neutral. Jumpins work quite well as well as dashing pressure. Success in this match up is bent around knowing how to deal with pets “pressure”.
Pet can gaplessly string mids in order to form an icicle, allowing him to do an unblockable. This requires you to gc in order to prevent getting blown up. To combat this pet may mix up or frame trap you with a low, which can be called out by grab. Because everything else is gapless, you can feasibly mash 4c during the string if you expect them to attempt a low. Normals such as s.5a can completely stuff out some of pets risky approaches and options on pressure, and 66a is a low commit button that can be used to move forward while pressuring to avoid icicle.
Arguably Jotaro’s hardest matchup outside of Kakyoin, Pol requires smart and calculated play. Polnareff’s stand on almost completely outclasses yours, so a big part of this matchup is catching over extensions in neutral and on pressure. As an example, SS blockstrings can be called out with smart pushblocks and/or empty tandem after SS summon. But in a general sense, you have to capitalize as hard as possible off of Polnareff’s mistakes, which makes this matchup heavily reliant on Polnareff’s aggressiveness and negligence towards stand on. Luckily, unlike many other characters, you have good tools to deal with SS and other elements of Polnareff’s offense. j.s.c is important in attacking SS and double jump can cause SS to whiff entirely. Once you get really comfortable with the Pol’s offensive patterns, you incorporate options such as 7 s.j.b to call out both an SS 663c and a bait. Even with decent meterless options, holding onto meter for star breaker is crucial in punishing overextensions. All in all, a very tough matchup despite the tools, but doable as long as you play around the opponent and their mistakes.
Rubber is similar to Iggy in the sense that both Rubber and Jotaro can struggle to approach, although Rubber has it much worse. Rubbers slow movement means many Rubbers rely on jump-ins such as j.A j.S to close the distance. This approach can be shut down by s.5a, s.2c, 3c, and star breaker fairly well, so Rubber relies of getting the life lead early and maintaining it. Once he does get a hit he can start an incredibly dangerous tech chase game that can result in large damage. Additionally his supers are incredibly damaging, namely 236aa. It can be used on early reaction to a jump-in to setup an air unblockable and make you tank the entire super. Due to Jotaro’s low stand meter, you are incredibly susceptible to a stand crash after blocking the super as it does a large amount of chip. Traditional star finger oki will not work, as Rubber has an exceptionally fast wakeup. This paired with how potent his counter is means you always have to keep wakeup counter in mind. 66c finds some good use in the matchup along with alternate oki options such as unblockables and Ora oki. Don’t over extend stand on pressure as rubber guard cancel can convert on stand crash. s.5b and Star Breaker as mentioned prior are very strong tools in shutting rubbers offensive game down.
Dealing with rubber vortex is incredibly difficult once he starts up, so you want to focus on just staying out of his 6s distance once you have a life lead. From there make sure to anti air any aerial approaches and stuff him out on the ground. However, if you do find yourself in the vortex, gcing j.s can get rubber off of you quickly.
Shadow Dio can deal massive damage off most hits and set up for his extensive okizeme, yet has an incredibly though time getting in to start his combo and wakeup game. S. Dio can struggle close up against s.5b but typically they will approach with normals like j.b, 66c, 66a, and 663c cancelled into j.s/5s. Buttons such as s5b and 66a work to preemptively stuff these options out, while 6b is excellent for whiff punishing into knockdown. Be sure to properly whiff punish or stuff these out as S. Dio pressure can be rather sticky if they are adaptive. s.5a is still a solid anti-air tool, just note that S. Dio’s jumping hurtbox can be a little bit deceptive on the uptake, which can leave you susceptible to cross over j.s. Additionally, due to S. Dio’s slow wake up speed, Okizeme is quite easy and potent. This mixed with the fact that 5ABC reps will still hit S. Dio crouching means hits are extremely rewarding. You want to focus on punishing any overextension in their pressure, such as looping on block, attempting cross over j.s when you are stand on, etc. Additionally, make sure to hold on to meter as S. Dio struggles to safely pressure against it. S. Dio can punish you rather hard for staying in stand on, but you need buttons like s.5a to beat out his offense- this is why getting comfortable with using s+5a from stand off is important as you get stand on buttons on demand while still keeping the crouch box until it’s safe.
Understanding S. Dio’s oki options helps a lot in this match up. A very frequent oki option is the “fake crossup” which involves S. Dio jumping over you and does a j.5s. This lacks crossup protection so you will have to block towards the direction the S. Dio is moving then quickly crouch block normally to prevent a 2a catching you after S. Dio lands. You are able to get a full punish simply by pushblocking j.5s and doing 2a or s5a. However, knowing how to beat this option is only one layer to S. Dio’s oki mindgames, so use your judgement to try to figure out when to respect and disrespect their oki. Another common issue that players may run into is dealing with tick throw as Jotaro has 6 frames of prejump, making fuzzy jump a bad option. Luckily, at least on block, 662a is minus, so you can press s.5a after to net a full punish. On hit it is much harder to deal with and react to, and will simply come to practice and time invested.
An interesting quirk to note is S. Dio’s immunity to raw tandem in some situations. (Note that a more detailed explanation will be synthesized soon.) Given he is not point blank, upon inputting 214s, Star Platinum will keep rushing towards S. Dio well after he has reached him face to face, allowing for S. Dio to 3c and beat it out entirely. This effect happens even when S. Dio is in recovery for some moves, so just keep this in mind when fighting him. Air tandems are still good to go.
An incredibly volatile and momentum based matchup, primarily because of how strong both characters’ offensive and defensive tools are. Once a life lead is established by either character, both of their strong stand on normals can stop the opponents approach. In this matchup Jotaro is looking to comfortably sit at about max range s66a and hard call out reckless or predictable spacing from Ice. V. Ice being a small stand gauge means most hits lead to massive damage. Once a life lead is secured, Jotaro can shut out a lot of Ice’s offense with buttons such as s.5b, s.5a, and 7 s.j.b. Additionally, star breaker is a large help in dealing with Ice overextending on offense. Become accustomed to patient play and hard call outs both in neutral and defense.
This match-up boils down to contesting Youngseph’s air space and area of influence as often as possible. Normals like s.5a, s.2c, and 3c beat out j.c, j.s. Even an occasional trade is fine as you usually benefit more from it given you are grounded, allowing you to tech chase. s66a is incredibly strong in the matchup as youngseph cannot duck it, allowing for ample tick throw mix and rush down/ pressure. You want to stay within the 66c pocket in order to stay out of range of 66s and IOH j.c j.s but still be able to punish clackers or cross bow. Approaching can be a little obnoxious at first as 3b, 5b, 236b, and 66s can catch your dash-ins, so staying just outside of range and being on point with whiff punishes using s66a, s5b, 6b, and s214aa is effective in swinging the lifelead back in your favor.
If you are not able to stop Youngseph from initially throwing clackers do not fret- simply turn stand on, pushblock each clacker to destroy it, then walk forward until the next. Due to pushblock negating pushback from clackers, you will eventually reach s214aa range, which can lead to a bait out aforementioned moves that beat your blind dash ins. Showing you are willing to punish 236b is quite useful in the matchup, as once that is established Youngseph will have a difficult time chipping you. This is due to the fact that j.c j.s does NOT do chip damage, meaning you can simply block the move in stand off and prepare to pushblock and punish.