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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future/Polnareff/Matchups
Old wiki MU strategy by SploogieMcNoodle: https://jojoban.fandom.com/wiki/Polnareff#Matchup_Strategy
Pol MU Chart By SQ
Avdol is a character with a main emphasis on neutral-focused gameplay with insane normals and anti-airs such as s.5b, d.2c, s.j.C, as well as a Stand ON DP (623A) that is air unblockable if it hits deep, and it's sort of hard to punish it properly if you try to meaty his landing. His main strategy is to use his strong normals to dominate neutral alongside his decent zoning and okizeme.
In this MU, you want to keep your distance with Stand ON with normals such as s.4B, s.5C, etc, while still utilizing stand off pokes to approach in order to keep him on his ten toes with d.2C. Zoning is one of his specialties so when you are in this situation, you have to play rationally, using your roll, neutral jumps, stand ON to avoid chip. Avdol is most powerful when he holds the life lead, so you can't go full out turtle and use stand ON, you are going have to approach.
In Stand OFF, he's most likely to use moves such as 6C (amazing poke, lots of stand damage), d.2C (very useful when countering SS due to it's big hitbox, sweeps), and d.3B (whiff punish tool) against Polnareff because he's very vulnerable if he sets up SS since he can't block so best advice here is to play extremely cautious, you will have to respect some moves and block them but once you get in, you can do some serious damage.
236A has very good recovery despite it's appearance so be extremely careful of that, you can sometimes punish it with your d.2C but it's a hard punish. 236S is unreactable with a startup of 0 frames, which means it can be used as a meterless reversal either on wake up or otherwise. So be very cautious.
In Stand ON, he uses his insane pokes such as s.5B (his main poking tool in Stand ON, beats out a lot of your moves) and s.j.C (one of the best air normals in the game). Your main objective here is to bait out his DPs and punish them on the way down, while pressuring Avdol with caution while doing so. Definitely watch out for his GC, so make sure you are utilising stagger pressure reasonably to bait it out and punish, it is one of the best in the game.
S.J.A/s.J.B is pretty good to just use in neutral and snipe his attempts at approaching. 2C, and s.5C are the go to pokes against him on the ground.
For 2C or d.2C, it's like your 2C but it knocks down. It's very safe but it doesn't hit low, it hits mid so you can block it high or low. You can also keep him back with stand on pokes such as s.4B. Do be aware though, because he can snipe the SS with DP.
You can interrupt his super (236AA) with a fast normal if you are nearby and maybe even get a confirm off of it. For example, it can be punished with a quick jab or even tandem if you are close enough.
Use your d.2C against him if he's being defensive and patient, use s.4B if he jumps a lot or neutral jump and use s.j.A if he tries dashing into you. It's like RPS. - BNOC
s.2A s.2C whiffs when he is crouching so keep that in mind and opt in for some alternative confirms like s.j.A/s.j.B s.5C into tandem.
Only throw out SS in combos and resets, or in situations where the SS will be far enough to bait a DP and punish.
5:5 - SQ
An interesting thing to note is that when Alessi runs backwards, SS will whiff against him, regardless of the variant. However, he can only run so far before he gets cornered and put at disadvantage. He also has practically no anti airs so make sure you stay on top of him a lot in stand ON and catch the man off guard.
If he rolls and you have SS out while trying to punish it with 2A, he can just 236AA and turn you into a child and get a lot of damage in. Make sure to utilise stand ON as it makes it wayyy harder for Alessi to approach you.
8:2 - SQ
You shouldn't have much problem with B.Pol. You can just run your SS game as usual, just watch out for any wild supers, make sure to block his 214AA or avoid it because it can take away a lot of your health off of one tiny mistake. S.2C also whiffs on him while he's crouching.
In addition, beware of his i-frames after roll similar to Jotaro.
8:2 - SQ
This matchup changes a lot if you are in stand ON or OFF.
If you are in stand OFF most of the time, it's going to be rough. Chaka has lots of ways to stop SS shenanigans and if you are charging up SS, he can just hyperhop s.j.C and punish your ass since you have to be crouching for a bit to throw it out. Keep an eye on his meter. If he has meter and you got SS out, he can punish that swiftly with a quick s.236AA and it'll work most of the time. In addition, if he's quick enough, as soon as he pushblocks and you got SS out, you can't block his s.236AA.
However, if you are in stand ON, Chaka becomes way easier to deal with. You can use s.4B to punish Chaka's hyperhop and can stuff out his grounded approaches. You can just outclass him with your superior buttons and he can't really get in without a good read and he'll have to play patient. He can't recklessly go in.
7:3 - SQ
You have to pay attention to so much stuff in this matchup. It feels like drinking a Mickey D's banana milkshake with a paper straw. It feels like dipping your balls into a bag of Doritos but forgetting to dip them in sauce afterwards.
Avoid getting sandwiched by the doll and Devo at ALL COSTS. Your normals will usually beat out his. Aim to be at least above Devo or being in front of the puppet. Be careful of his super, because he has tons of i-frames. Be careful of charging SS near the puppet because he can do an IAD into death. If he tries to spear loop you, you must tandem. Stand ON transition hyper hop jump ins are useful against Devo and if he's crouching you'll have to do s.j.X s.5C 214S because s.2C whiffs. S.j.C will be your air to air.
When Devo is crouching, he can be a pain in the ass. Ray Dart whiffs when he is crouching so you will have to get creative with your confirms. In the corner, you'll be wanting to do j.B 2A 2C (Send SS out) 2B (Release SS) d.3C 2C 214S. In addition, close s.5A whiffs so you must do your tandem reps carefully in order to get regular s.5A because that hits crouching Devo. There's actually a video detailing all the confirms for the little bastard so make sure to check it out:
7:3 - SQ
Like Jotaro, DIO can't really handle the Shooting Star pressure when he's grounded and stand off up close. Shooting Star is only really good when up close or in pressure because he can't jump up and stall with Air Mudas. The one thing you will need to watch out for is his stand ON knives. He can punish your SS and gain a good chunk of your health bar so make sure to be very careful and pay attention to his meter. He can go right next to SS in the air, throw out knives and it's pretty much a guaranteed hit so be really careful of that. You can still drain his health with SS resets, you just gotta be careful.
Jump in stand on a lot. DIO can't really contest s.j.A, as well as s.j.B if he is in the air. You can still drain his health with SS in neutral but you have to be careful cos DIO can BNB from a simple d.2A or good opportunity.
Learn how to Guard Cancel his 214x, you have a good one, don't be afraid to use it. It's got a lot of range and it is quite fast. It's going to be really important to escape his pressure, once you get it, it'll be a piece of cake if he's predictable with it. Just try to block any IOHs. DIO can bait GCs still and you might be liable to a full combo if it whiffs so be careful of your GC usage and make sure to PB the pressure. Look out for any gaps in his pressure and capitalise on any opening you see.
Definitely watch out for his d.5C. He can definitely catch you offguard, especially if you have SS out where you can't block. It has pretty good range and he can buffer 214A into a full BNB which can take away a lot of your health. If you set up SS and don't do anything afterwards, you are almost guaranteed death with d.5C. But as an S tier, you have options in this scenario so just adapt well.
DIO's grab can actually be punished! There are three ways to punish it, tandem, 236AA, or 214AB into d.3C 2C 214S. Usually, you'd want to do tandem here. Here's a visual demonstration of said punishes. 1:14
SQ - 6:4
This is quite bad for Hol. When Pol is up close and in his face, he really has no way to handle SS, he just has to hope that he blocked properly. However, when SS is looming over him, he can get rid of it with a well timed 623A so make sure to be wary of that. Zoning is quite bothersome to deal with Pol, so just turn stand ON, walk forward and block, slowly approaching him. Hyper hop stand transition jump ins are useful here as well. If he's minus or in the middle of some laggy move he can't cancel, just d.2C 214S him and clap his cheeks. Be careful of sending out SS at fullscreen cos he can just bullet and bam, you lost the interaction.
Also be careful of any raw tandems. If he has meter, he can punish your raw tandem with 236AA or even without, he can still 236C you, it will beat it out 100% of the time. Oh yeah, and don't stand off grab because he can punish that shit with a j.236AA. Be careful of any raw 5Cs while SS is out or just in general cos it can lead into the TOD.
You can even punish his grab! If you don't want to punish with stand on j.A, you can swap it out for another stand ON air button. 0:44
In addition, you can also punish his Air Glass! Also applicable to Hoingo. 0:40
SQ - 8:2
Hol & Boingo
His S Bullet is really fast and he will have some wacky patterns to accompany that. He can do the same thing as Hol and 623A your SS or he can S Bullet the SS as well so be very careful of that, both can be used but S bullet is generally more flexible. Don't use you stand off grab because he can punish that with a j.236AA similar to Hol.
Pol's Stand On is very oppressive here due to it's fantastic normals to keep him out, use it. Don't get too predictable with C Shooting Star. Once you get in, it's over. You can also roll while sending out SS and it'll make his zoning way easier to deal with. His zoning is hindered by the fact you can just turn Stand ON, walk and block to get in while jumping to keep him at bay, which will make this MU a lot easier.
His air glass is punishable like Hol Horse's! Here's a demonstration of such: 0:40
SQ - 8:2
Lame him out with s.4B at the mid range and 2C when he'll get closer. If you have an SS out and he's stalling and throwing balls, just jump forward and J.B or let go of SS, you basically got in. He can't really oki you well so just hold 7 and tap S on wakeup, the worst thing you'll have to deal with is his overhead which you can just block.
Watch out for his damage output and any wild CCs, other than that he has no real way to contest SS or his stand ON normals. You can lame him to death or use your ridiculous SS pressure to beat the shit out of him.
Jotaro can't really contest SS when he is grounded, he can do jump back s.j.B/s.j.C when the camera zooms out but you can just throw another one out straight after. He can also use his double jump which you can't really contest. Besides, if you see him jumping backwards to catch your SS, just let go of SS and get another one ready. You can also dash forward as SS scrolls along with the player. Be very careful of Star Breaker, if you have SS out, you cannot block so try to avoid that by either rolling or jumping so keep an eye on that meter! He'll mostly have to be on the defense when it comes to Shooting Star. Also, be careful about the i-frames at the end of his roll, it can fuck you over if you are trying to punish his roll with SS.
If Jot drops the hyperhop or right after you pushblocked his pressure, and you are buffering SS, focusing on only that, you will get punished because you will be too dummy dumb to react in time. You'll want to learn how to block well because he has some nastyyy pressure that can really fuck you over if you aren't careful whatsoever.
He has a variety of good normals all to stuff you out of your SS such as 6B, s.5B, d.5C, etc. Try to be careful and don't go full out SS monkey against him (doing that in general is a pretty bad idea). Jotaro has a lot of whiff cancellable normals that can turn into empty tandem and punish your ass.
Be careful of using Stand On up close because it's really good at keeping the Jot at bay from a distance but one slip up could cost the entire round, try to use it when he is trying to get in range of his buttons but turn it off as soon as he is in his 5C range.
Aside from Petshop, this is probably your worst matchup. You must utilise stand ON in this matchup because unlike a lot of characters, Kak actually has tools to deal with SS with C net and he can get a full combo off of that. Use your large stand ON normals to get rid of his nets such as s.4B, s.5C, s.d.5C.
His long normals are easy to punish, you catch them off guard with some super, especially tandem. IF you are up close, you can just kill em off like that.
Use your stand ON jump in normals. They have good priority and s.j.B can sometimes also contest Kak's s.5B, one of the best anti airs in the game.
S.2C WHIFFS AGAINST CROUCHING KAK AND HE CAN PUNISH YOU. BEWARE.
You shouldn't have much issue against Khan. Watch out for him j.Sing your SS and j.Cing you while charging SS but it's not that hard of a MU. Keep him grounded and he has practically no way to counter SS.
This MU is very hard for Mariah. SS outclasses her in almost every way and she can't really approach when you are in Stand ON. Make sure to break any wires with your stand on normals, block outlets or get rid of them with stand ON normals and punish her laggy moves with tandem or a full combo. Utilise that lots of her moves have a lot of recovery frames and punish.
It's pretty hard for Midler. For the most part, she can't really run her game. Always be on the lookout for cars, they are air unblockable so be careful of recklessly jumping in. It makes it all the more harder for Midler if you aren't an SS monkey. One thing she can do is pushblock your dashing low and punish it with a car super so be very very careful of that. Play it safe and use stand ON to anti air.
Be careful of jumping a lot, she can get a lot of damage off tech-chasing and put you in disadvantage. Don't try to use SS from mid to full screen as she can read it and punish it with projectiles/car special. Bully her with your stand, she can't contest your large ass normals or do much besides super/tandem.
If she's holding 7, you can sometimes catch her off guard using C Stand Off Ray Dart because it is air unblockable but don't rely on it.
New Kakyoin is generally more limited than regular Kak. He still has nets but they aren't as good anymore due to them not stand crashing the opponent and causes the opponent to fly up a few seconds after which you can just tech. Still, it's a tool to deal with SS but all he can really get out of it is unscaled s.236AA or a tandem confirm on the ground, so basically less reward than Kak's nets. You can still use stand on normals to poke out his nets like Regular Kak. He also has worse movement which makes it easier to land a hit on the man. His damage also sucks so you have a lot of opportunities to get in. Block his 50/50 if you can.
You can't do much at all. Your 2C will whiff most of the time unless he is crouching so you will have to set up SS using j.B 2A 2A. In the corner, you should be doing A 1A 4C RD instead of the usual 1C. After RD hits, do d.3C 2C quickly so you don't get the Chariot variant of 2C and get punished. You can opt in for stand ON as s.d.2A s.2A s.2C doesn't whiff against him and you can use your big buttons to keep him out a bit but there is practically no use in picking Pol against Petshop. You are pretty much outclassed in every regard.
This is living hell. Pol isn't so great at handling his own shenanigans, leading to SS colliding with each other, you are going to want to try and out-pressure your opponent and when you are on the defensive, make sure you correctly block SS strings and punish accordingly. Take advantage if your opponent has his guard down trying to do SS, do a hyper hop stand on jumpin to catch him off guard.
If he d.3B's right after he sends out SS, tandem on reaction and this will hit him no matter what since Pol can't block while SS is out. Double jumping is a good tool to deal with SS and chicken blocking (blocking in the air so you don't get hit with the low high mixup) in Stand On is pretty useful in this MU. Be careful of each other's good ass stand ON normals.
Shadow Dio, unlike the regular version of DIO, is a Passive Stand character which relies heavily on his fast movement. He is a character that relies a lot on positioning well in order to use his buttons most effectively. While he may be confused with a rushdown character, due to his risk reward, he has better uses as a mid-range character. Shadow Dio has a massive damage output and simple combos, however, his main weakness is the lack of defensive options. Shadow Dio is considered to be one of the biggest glass cannons in the game. The main vocal point of his offense is the loop and grab which both lead into his good okizeme, it sets up his massive damage and can fuck you over HARD.
SS is very oppressive in this MU, however, there are ways to circumvent it like jumping out when he sets it up, but you can catch his landing, follow him upwards with a j.B, etc. GC is a useful tool against Pol with it's big hitbox and lots of active frames so it's important that you attempt to play around it, keeping your distance while still pressuring him. However, don't get too complacent with SS because a good SDIO will spot your patterns and punish you accordingly, with 50% of your life bar gone. So, mix up the mix up, vary what normals you use, what time you send it out (don't always send it out immediately), and just generally don't be a dunce and fuck it up.
A very bad habit you can have is to roll every time you set up SS, especially against S.DIO, so make sure you are careful with that. The issue isn't with roll SS itself, the issue is how often you do it. Generally, you shouldn't roll right next to SDIO or otherwise you will be grabbed.
You can actually punish j.S on the way down with a tandem, since he cannot block while his stand is out, he can be punished easily, letting you corner carry and start your offense with SS mixups.
On oki, generally he's going to do 1 of 3 things:
- Fake crossup (block it normally from whatever side he is coming from, it's not a real crossup, then block the oher way once he lands behind you)
- Empty hop 2A (starts the loop, block it on the other side when he lands, he might even use it as a tick throw so be careful of that)
- Empty hop grab (starts his oki again, try to tech hit)
Polnareff has a regular wakeup but it's faster than others so it may throw off their meaty timing, and so, you might be able to retaliate with a reversal.
Learn how to pushblock and stay patient, only the necessary or you might accidently do a roll, letting S.DIO grab and start his game. Don't try to contest his pressure, or you might get fucked. Learn when to go stand off when S.DIO tries crossing up and then crouch. Be careful about blocking for too long because when SDIO tries to do the crossup oki, you can misinput raydart when changing block, leaving yourself open.
Watch out for him trying to jump over you, if he can force you into blocking a j.S or his 2A, it's essentially a 50/50 online which can lead into loop, which is almost half your lifebar. Learn how to countergrab/punish d.2A, it's actually punishable on pushblock if he doesn't cancel into 5S. Use your double jumps to keep him out. S.DIO can overextend with fake pressure so be patient and pushblock. Avoid scrambles where he can jump over you and use your mobility like double jumps to keep him out.
To deal with his pressure, pushblock S.DIO himself and PB early. Pushblocking is really effective against S.DIO. Just be patient and use them wisely. Accidental rolls will be the bane of your existence
You can actually punish his fake crossup on block! Here's a video to show you what I mean.
Rubber doesn't have much to contest SS, so go for it. Also, Pol's normals outclass Rubber's by quite a margin. Don't get grabbed by him whatsoever, you will have to guess when he's going to do the throw and tech it. If he can predict your movements well, he can do some heavy damage. Rubber has a lot of long lasting S moves so make sure to punish them since he can't block. Avoid getting in the corner at all costs. Utilise s.4B a ton, he doesn't have any moves in the air that can beat it out and it's a good poking tool. Don't get too predictable with your jump-ins and your moves because he can get a lot of damage off counter and that will be game.
He has a double overhead so make sure to block that shit. Rubber Soul's vortex is hard to escape so you'll just have to guess whenever he sucks you in it.
It's not recommended to use Shooting Star in this MU because it practically doesn't work on him. He has a lot of ways to stuff out your SS approaches and he can punish your 2A 2A 2C into SS on block with something like 6B, causing you to lose the round so be EXTREMELY CAREFUL when using SS. Instead you'll want to use his godlike stand on buttons like as s.4B for stuffing out attempts at balling and s.d.5C to outpoke him, it's a really good tool to deal with his s.2B s.2C. You will be forced into playing a more defensive playstyle with stand ON instead of your usual, run of the mill, SS pressure fanatic playstyle that you are so used to. This doesn't mean you can't use stand OFF. Just threaten him with d.2C and backwards s.j.Bs cos his Stand Gauge is one of the lowest in the game.
You can also punish his landing after he does ball with d.2C into tandem. The timing is very tight at 1f and if you mess it up, he might be able to do his DP super and get a whole chunk of your lifebar sent to the Shadow Realm so you shouldn't really attempt it unless you think you got rock hard balls. If you don't want to risk it, you can just punish with s.4B before he lands. Get used to learning how to punish ball because ball opens up the doorway for UB Oki hell.
If he does j.A and you want an air to air, use s.j.C but if you want to anti air, DONT DO ANYTHING except s.4b if you are further back because this move has insane priority and shouldn't be underestimated. One slipup and say goodbye to your lifebar.
DO NOT TRY TO WAKEUP TANDEM AGAINST HIS UNBLOCKABLE OKI.
It will meaty you and you'll die. Only do it when you KNOW he fucked it up.
If you do manage to have SS out and safely, if he tries to ball, you can let go of SS and get some free damage in.
This one of Pol's worst matchups.
4-6 - SQ
It's like Oldseph but he has a projectile, however you can just hit him with SS if he tries to clacker you. If you want to deal with Clacker Boomerang spam, just turn stand ON so you don't gain chip damage, block, and walk forward. It's not that hard. Make sure to block his double overhead (j.A/j.C j.S) and antiair with s.4B or backwards rising j.B. He can low profile s.4B and even get an Aja setup but that's about it on the ground. If they are right next to SS, they can j.C it so make sure to be wary of such things.