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Guilty Gear XX Accent Core/Testament
Thanks to Caer:
Testament used to have a strong focus on zoning and keepaway in his gameplay, but with the additions in AC, he can be played quite freely. In many matchups you will still be best served by a careful zoning strategy though, so keep this in mind if you are considering wether or not Testament is for you.
His gameplan revolves alot around his traps and his long range pokes, both designed to keep the opponent at a distance. Offensively, his main weapon lies in HS EXE Beast, as this move allows you to combo from most hits you get in. It also serves a purpose, both offensively and defensively, to simply beat out another characters pokes, as it does not disappear even if you're hit. Damage is perhaps a bit above average, but considering the damage output in AC I can't be sure. You could say that depending on the setup, damage will be quite small or huge.
One of the more interesting points of this character lies in the move "Phantom Soul". If this move hits the opponent he will be marked (or "cursed") for a certain period of time, during which Testaments crow will continually attack him with one of four different patterns. Using this fully is often very hard as you need to constantly synch with something largely out of your control. You can do well without the crow, landing the curse only when opportunity happens to arise and using it only as a source of annoyance. For me though, the crow is really what makes Testament special and genuinely fun to play, as the possibilities with the crow are close to endless.
I'll try to make a rundown of Testament's basic gameplay options in the most common situations. If I don't mention a move in a certain situation it means it either suck there or it's too situational to list.
Generally what you want to do is get your traps in place in order to make the battle happen at your terms. The trick lies in finding the time to get them out as you want them without being punished for it, i.e. you need to keep the opponent away until you decide it's time for him to get close. I'll list the main moves for this below.
f.S. Far slash is the longest reaching move, and has decent values for both startup, active and recovery frames. This is generally the move you want to use when the opponent is far away in order to keep him there. Connect with is in some way and chain it into a web or tree. Also, note that on counterhit it chains into 2HS, Badlands and Gravedigger for some damaging options.
2S: f.S has a weakness in it's hitbox not going very low. Many moves can thus punish it by going under (like grand viper, Big bang upper, etc.) It's for situations like that that you want to use 2S instead. It has a bit longer recovery which combined with its low profile makes it a bit more vulnerable against people going for jumpins. It does though reach almost as far and as stated stuffs low profile moves. Also, 2S is one frame faster than f.S, meaning it combos from 5P, 2P and 2K, which is important to know for some matchups.
5P and 5K: Two moves for when the opponent is a bit too close for comfort. 5K is most common, but against certain characters 5P is prefered in some cases (e.g. Slayer). It's mainly when 5P is used as a poke that you need to remember to chain it to 2S, since you often won't be in range for close S.
If a close range poke is blocked, just combo it further to get the opponent away and end with 2HS or 2D before placing a trap. Since those two are long reaching, high level attacks, they will give you more time for trapping.
6K: For 6K, you have to be pretty sure it's going to hit because the recovery is enormous. Also be vay of the fact that Testa's hitbox is huuge in this move. The main reason to use it is either to punish someone you think will jump or do a slow move, or because of its chaining properties. 6K can be chained further at any pont during it's animation. This means you can try to fool the opponent by doing blocked 6K, wait, and then chain to HS, 6HS or EXE. It gives you a good chance to get a counterhit, so combo potential from those followups is high.
6HS: Long reach but very slow and has a terribly large vulerable box. It also doesn't hit close to you, which sucks. Recovery is on the humongous scale, often demanding an FRC just to keep it safe. Despite all this, it is viable to throw out once in a while because it does reach very far, knocks down on hit and a counterhit is one of the best starters you can get. Just use it sparingly.
2HS: Reaches far and has a good deal of invulnerability, making it very useful against some characters. Should however be used with care because it i very slow and can be punished severely. Slayer is an example of a character that can rape you really badly if you try to use this move outside of blockstrings.
EXE: S EXE is your main tool for forcing the opponent to move. It makes turtling useless, but can be baited. Count the opponents jumps/airdashes and catch them with it on landing if you want to be sure. HS EXE, also known as HADORYUKEN! will win over pretty much anything and is +9 on block. It can also be baited with an IAD or the like, but it is an excellent tool nonetheless. It's mere presence can make opponent think twice about attacking on the ground. Also very good defensively since it will come out even if you are hit, and a ch HS EXE will most often lead to combo even if you traded, but at the very least gives you knockdown.
Air to Air
Testament is rather good at air to air, mainly due to his range. Badlands untechable time makes for good combos or at least knockdown from any landed poke. Always try to get a 1-hit in.
jS: Main air to air. Has very good range and a pretty good vulnerable box. A bit slow though, so not that good if the opponent is close by.
jK: Faster than jS and thus a good choice either if the enemy is close or just to stuff characters that can move in on you really fast. Not that good range though. I often use it preemptively, by e.g. dashing and doing jump and jK immediately if I think the opponent will jump/dash in. It's a better choice than jS since it also recovers faster.
jD: Very long range, but the vulnerable box really sucks and it's a bit slow. This should be used only at long range, as something like a shield. Its common for this move to be spammed a bit too much, but it's understandable since a counterhit is arguably the best combo starter Testament can get.
jP: Fastest move, if only be a small margin, but no range. Use only when you need to hit an opponent who is waaay to close for comfort.
Air to Ground
An area in which Testa is severely lacking. Try to avoid having to use it at all.
jHS: Best air to ground only because it hits in a large area under Testa. It is however very, very slow and easy to antiair. Preferably use it either very close to the ground (e.g. as okizeme) or high enough up that you have time to chain it to jD, or you will get thrown when you land.
jP: Hits under Testa making it viable in this case. However, the hitbox of jK and jS makes it so you don't have any really good options for chaining into from it.
jD: Hits pretty well under Testament, and once again gives excellent combo opportunities on hit. However, the vulnerable box stil sucks majorly, as it can be anti aired easily by almost anything the opponent decides to throw out. Should preferably only be used at a decent range.
An area of varying profitability. Against some characters, you will own them majorly in this field and against others you have almost nothing to work with.
5P: Main anti air in my opinion. Will beat or clash with a very large number of attacks, and you can usually chain it to close S for a combo. This move is mainly used for people coming down at you from above but can also stuf IAD attacks pretty well if not too ranged, especially IAD pressure such as that of Jam and Slayer. This move makes or breaks Testas AA game. When it works, you can own the opponent. When it doesn't, your only remaining options lie in guessing games.
6K: Good against airdashes if used early enough. This means you will mostly have to predict a dash-in to stuff it with this. It does however work fairly well for that and gives you free combo through 6K > BL on hit.
6HS: Takes heavy predicting since it's so slow. Mainly good if you have the opponent somewhat in the corner, where you can almost guarantee it to be at least blocked. As stated it's very nice on counterhit so you can try for it now and then, but be ready with the FRC.
6P: Very situational. It upper body invulnerability is good, but it's very slow and hits way too low. You just have to figure out what specific situations where this is good.
Basic okizeme revolves around nets. If you have time for it, planting a net over a downed opponent is quite like having an automatic meaty when they rise. This comes in handy as you can use it to ensure that they block. For example, against Sol you can plant a net and then wait for a fraction after he rises, until you see the net being blocked. This way you do not need to fear reversal VV's.
An alternative is to use a well spaced S EXE instead. If you don't have time to properly place the net, you can run up to the opponent and do a S EXE that hits meaty (or at least close to it). This will let you keep frame advantage without FRC (since S EXE has 19 active frames and is only -2, there's plenty of room for frame advantage to be found) The correct spacing is so that they are pushed just close enough for you to do your mixups after the EXE hits. The distance will keep you safe from quite a lot of reversals.
Number three that I have come to like a lot is to jump in with a late jHS. You should ideally hit with it just before you land. jHS > 6P is a good mixup, since many players reflexively block low after the high jHS. You can slo try for a tick throw after it. The nice point about this is that landing after a jHS kills the recovery, meaning it will keep you safe from most reversals.
Next up is the Shounen crossup. After a knockdown that lands them sufficiently close to you, run up and plant a meaty tree. Now do an IAD over them as fast as you can. This will result in the tree hitting them while you cross them up. If the tree hits, do a BL and go into a loop. After doing this enough times, you can actually just plant a tree nd then do nothing and make that be a mixup. If your opponent is scared of the crossup, he might block wrong without you having to do anything. Also, a similar variant is that you plant a tree and then backstep at the last minute in order to bait a throw.
Badlands and it's usage
Badlands is that hip new move Testament got instead of his old Gravedigger. It carries some cons with it but it's mostly all good. Important to note is that it connects from 6K if you hit an airborne opponent with it, making the old 6K > 6HS almost obsolete. Also important is that since badlands knocks the opponent behind you, it suddenly becomes a bad idea to do the old standard combo gatling > BL (standard with GD that is...) if you currently have the opponent in the corner. You do not wish to knock them out of it for a meager 30 extra damage. Keep them there for future high damage combos. Get them cursed instead if you can or set up a loop (see below) that can knock them back into the corner again.
Right with that out of the way, I'd like to adress the basics of combos with BL.
This is that thing that everyone is yelling "broke" at when they see it. It's strength lies in it's ability to get damage from many situations where it was previously impossible, often without any tension involved. The "trick" to the loop is that all but the first BL's should be tigerkneed, i.e. you do the aireal version, as low as you can. This version starts up faster, reaches farther and recovers faster. A tk BL can be done witht the input 2147P.
The easiest way to practice this is to do throw > 6K > BL > tk BL > ... You can do 3-4 loops on mediums and 6-7 on lights.
Important usage for the loop is from throw, warrant, Nightmare Circular, Dust and any random 6K hit on airborne opponents. These are situations where your other options are very limited or require an unnecessary amount of tension.
two important notes:
1: When you use tension to set up a loop, you gain close to no tension from it due to tension penalties. Do not deceive yourself by thinking you're making up for the loss. BL doesn't even have that good a tension gain to begin with.
2: regarding the "curse loop", as I just dubbed it ( go here for more info), all I can say is "learn it". It's really not easy, but it is definitely the best thing you can do with a BL-loop. It can be done from many starters, notable ones being throw and warrant. Learn to see when it's possible and when it's not. And don't feel bad if you can't get the curse at the end. It will come with practice, and until then the combo is still close to the best variant in that situation.
I do not really recommend using tension for setting up the loop, e.g. doing combo > HS EXE FRC > 6K > BL or the like, unless you're confident you can get a curse loop from it, as the loop generally gives you a fairly poor knockdown (far away and/or midscreen). Tension is better saved for 1-hit combos, as they generally have a higher strategic value. Exceptions are when you either need just a bit more damage or can't continue the combo through normal means. It is however often possible to go from a normal gatling combo to the loop without tension. More on that can be found in the combo-section.
If you hit an opponent that is high enough or deep enough with a BL, only the first hit will connect. This causes very long untechable time and they fall down pretty much right in front of you for easy continuation of the combo. This is a central part to Testaments combos in AC, as they give excellent setups, carry you into the corner and grants you knockdown from almost all combos. They particularly make random aerial hits much more threatening, as you can now get both a decent combo and knockdown from them, something that was impossible in earlier games. Note that a 1-hit from a ground BL has shorter untechable time than both aerial 1-hit and the 2-hit of both versions.
The most basic and useful setup is to lift the opponent in any way you please and do jK > jS > jHS > BL. The only problem with this setup is that the jHS will only connect early in a combo. This means it will not work if you try to get a second 1-hit in or if the setup was unusually long. A good alternative is to do jK > jP > jK > jD > BL. However, getting 1-hits is not an exact science. It varies a bit from character to character. It's really a matter of practicing and getting to now the correct height. Experiment for great success
When doing an air combo, there is most often no reason for doing a 2-hit BL at the end. You can almost always get a 1-hit with some planning (adding punches or whatever), the difference in damage is negligable, and even if you can't follow up on it you either get a knockdown close to you or a chance for a tech-trap. It's not always easy to get the 1-hit after a random setup, but try your best.
I'm not going to say much about this, as I find it to be kinda crap, but what the hell. The basic idea is that you knock someone into a net with BL. From this, you simply lay another net and do tk/jump BL. You can see it in action here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZA0HUjLO2UM The damage is crappy, but you can gain quite a lot of tension from it. Easy to be bursted out of though. The main use I can see is if you can get them poisoned before it, as it pretty much guarantees full poison damage, which is nice. Of course, if you happen to get the chance, by all means go for it. I'd not really recommand trying specifically for it though.
I decided to go ahead and make this into it's own topic, as I think it's very important for Testas combos. The idea here is that you do a 1-hit combo that makes you switch sides with your opponent. This can be made to work even deep in the corner, and gives the advantage that you can end the combo with a P skull. Example combos for this are: corner 6P > S > 2D > HS EXE FRC > jHS > jD > BL 1-hit > HS > Net > dash > jS > jHS > BL 1-hit > sideswitch > HS > Net > tk BL > 236P and 6P > S > 2D > HS EXE FRC > dash S > delay > jK (or jP) > jS > jHS > BL 1-hit > sideswitch HS > net > tk BL > 236P
There are several things needed for making the switch work. They are primarily momentum, timing and getting the opponent high enough.
First off, you need some momentum in you air combo in order for Testament to fly further than the opponent. There are two ways I have found to attain this. First off is the easy way of trapping the opponent in a net and then dash and do for example jS > jHS > BL. The net gives you time to do a dashing jump and thus gain momentum for the combo. The second way generally starts from a HS EXE FRC. You then dash in and do 5K or 5S. Now, if you jumpcancel immediately, Testament will make a normal jump with no speed retained from the dash he did before the previous attack. However, if you wait for just a moment before canceling to a jump, much of the momentum will be left, enough for you to get the sideswitch without nets.
Step two is that you need to get the opponent pretty high up with your combo, as you need enough time to land and adjust yourself after the 1-hit. I'm not sure of how this works exactly, but simply try to keep the opponent high up. It often helps to delay jS or jD if you're using them.
Last off, on most characters it is imperrative that you time it right when you do the last HS. You often need to do it as late as possible for the sideswitch to happen, but do it too late and you will get an OTG hit instead. This is very hard from some setups, but you'll get it with enough practice.
A final note for the curious: The last Net > tk BL is needed to get a knockdown in many cases. Even though the frame data says otherwise, air badlands second hit seems to have longer untechable time than the ground version. Also, the net is advantageous as it saves you from screwups when you mis-time the HS.
Thanks to Caer:
(BL = Badlands, GD = Gravedigger; Damage calculated on Sol unless otherwise noted)
L = Low, H = High, S = Schythe, F = Feathers. Brackets are K-curse extensions.
1: L L S F H (L S S)
2: F S L H H (L S F F)
3: H F L S F (S H L S)
4: S S H F F (L H H)
6P > S > 2D > 236P (69 dmg)
2K > S > S > 2D > 236P (59 dmg)
6P or 2K > S > S > 2D > BL (108/80 dmg)
midscreen throw > 6K > BL > tk BL > dash K > HS > BL > tk BL
- more loops possible on lights*
Corner throw > HS > net > dash jK > jS > jHS > BL 1-hit > (land behind opponent) > HS > net > tk BL > 236P
- works on Sol, Slayer, Axl, Zappa, Anji, Johnny, Order Sol, Ky, Eddie, Venom ... [incomplete list]*
Thanks to Rabite for pointing them out. List of characters they work on will be fleshed out later. Far gatling = any ground combo where the distance from you to the opponent at the end of it is maximized.
far gatling into 5hs > delay BL > (dash) 6k > BL > dash (k) > hs > BL (Sol, Slayer, Eddie)
far gatling into 2d or 5hs > BL > tk BL > dash 5hs > BL (Lights)
far gatling into 5hs > BL > (5hs > BL)*3 (Potemkin)
lights: midscreen 5D > jD > BL > (tK BL)*n
near corner 5D > jD > BL 1hit > HS > net > dash jS > jHS > BL 1hit > (sideswitch) HS > net > tk BL > 236P
Mediums: midscreen 5D > JD > BL1hit > short dash 6K > BL > tk BL > dash > 6K > HS > BL > tk BL > dash 236P
near corner 5D  > jD > jD > BL 1hit > HS > net > dash jK > jS > jHS > BL 1hit > (sideswitch) HS > net > tk BL > 236P
Combos to curse:
corner 6P > S > 2D > HS EXE FRC > jHS > jD > BL 1-hit > HS > GD > 6K > HS > BL > tk BL > tk BL > dash 236P
- combo is for lights. Some lights have too small a hitbox to curse at the end.*
midscreen 6P > S > 2D > HS EXE FRC > dash S > jK > jS > jHS > BL 1-hit > HS > GD > HS > net > BL > 236P (177 dmg)
corner 6P > S > 2D > HS EXE FRC > jHS > jD > BL 1-hit > HS > GD > S > HS > BL > 236P (194 dmg)
opposite side 6P > S > 2D > HS EXE FRC > dash S > jK > jS > jHS > BL 1-hit > 236P (138 dmg)
Corner 6P > S > 2D > HS EXE FRC > dash S > delay > jK (or jP) > jS > jHS > BL 1-hit > sideswitch HS > net > tk BL > 236P
- Delay the jump cancel from close S as long as possible. Remove first jHS for lights, add another jP for potemkin*
corner 6P > S > 2D > HS EXE FRC > jHS > jD > BL 1-hit > HS > Net > dash > jS > jHS > BL 1-hit > (land in the corner) > HS > Net > tk BL > 236P
Close to the corner 6P > S > 2D > HS EXE FRC > dash S > sj > jP > jK > jS > jHS > BL 1-hit > (land in the corner) > HS > Net > tk BL > 236P (155 dmg)
- works on Sol, Axl, Zappa, Dizzy, Johnny... [incomplete list]*
- For Ky, add another jP after the superjump*
Midscreen 6P > S > 2D > HS EXE FRC > dash in deep K > S > sj > jP > jK > jS > jHS > BL 1-hit > (land in the corner) > HS > Net > tk BL > 236P
- works on most non-lights*
midscreen or closer 6P > S > 2D > HS EXE FRC > dash S > sj > jP > jS > jHS > jD > BL 1-hit > (land in the corner) > HS > Net > tk BL > 236P
- works on A.B.A, Dizzy, Order Sol, Eddie, Venom... [incomplete list]*
Shounen combo #2
jD ch > dash in S > HS > BL > S EXE FRC > dash jHS > jD > BL 1-hit >
> 236P (203 dmg)
> S > jP > jP > jK > jD > BL 1-hit (230 dmg)
- the starter is only an example. This combo can often be used to save damage if you get a 2-hit BL where a loop is impossible.*
High damage combos:
When you get the chance for unprorated big damage, this is what I usually do, given sufficient tension.
ch jD, baited blue burst or something like it > HS > GD > run under opponent > HS > BL > 2HS > GD > HS > net tk BL > 236P
ch jD, etc. > HS > GD > run under opponent > (S) HS > BL > tk BL > tk BL > tk BL > tk BL > dash 236P if possible
- only on lights*
Midscreen: Warrant FRC > Dash 6K > BL > tk BL > dash K > HS > BL > tk BL > dash 236P
- A bit difficult on some characters, unless the warrant hits as a counter hit*
Midscreen: Warrant FRC > tk BL > dash K > HS > BL > tk BL > dash 236P or HS BL
- You will probably need to negative edge the BL*
Corner: Warrant FRC > dash K > S > jK > jS > jHS > BL 1-hit > ...
> S > jK > jS > jHS > BL 1-hit
> HS > GD > S > HS > BL > 236P
Corner: Warrant FRC > Dash HS EXE > S > jK > jS > jHS > BL 1-hit > ... (see above)
Corner: Warrant > HS EXE > 6K > BL > tk BL > dash K > HS > BL > tk BL > dash 236P
- doesn't work if you're too close to the corner after warrant*
Corner: Warrant > HS EXE FRC > jHS > jD > BL 1-hit > HS > Net > dash > jS > jHS > BL 1-ht > HS > Net > tk BL > 236 P
- This is the one you want to do 90% of the time. Learn it today!*
counterhit GD > 2P > S > jK > JS > jHS > BL 1hit > ...
> dash K > HS > GD (wallbounce) > dash under opponent > HS > BL > 236P
> HS > BL > tk BL
counterhit GD > HS EXE > 6K > BL > tk BL > jP > jK > jD > BL 1hit > dash 236P
GD > HS EXE FRC > jHS > jD > BL 1-hit > HS > Net > dash > jS > jHS > BL 1-ht > HS > Net > tk BL > 236 P
- When GD takes you close to the corner*
With 1 doll midscreen 6P > S > 2D > 214S > HS EXE FRC > BL > Net > jump BL > Net > tk BL > Net > tk BL > ... (about 160 + full poison)
The following is really just flash, but fun to do nonetheless
Mop FRC: the setup 6P > S > HS > MoP FRC > Dash in close > S > Net > 214S > backdash > 236K > wait until they leave the net > jHS > jD > BL 1-hit > ...
---> Pattern 1: dash in > OTG HS EXE > S (crow hits) > Net > dash jP > jP > JK > Succubus hits for knockdown.
---> Pattern 2: If started from midscreen or closer > OTG HS EXE (Succubus hits) > Net > dash jP > jP > jK > jS > BL (must hit right after next crow attack)
---> Pattern 2: If started farther away > wait on landing until crow returns > dash in 2K (meaty unblockable) > Whatever combo you feel like
---> Pattern 3: dash in close > OTG HS EXE > Net (right after all feathers have hit) > dash jP > jP > jK (right after next crow attack) > Net > dj > jP > jK > jS > Succubus hits for knockdown.
- Feathers will now immediately cover you, and you can make yourself ready for an unblockable chance after those.*
---> Pattern 4: Okizeme Net > 2K (unblockable) > jK > jS > jHS > BL 1-hit > (if close enough) HS > GD > whatever
http://dustloop.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=28 - AC Testament Discussion