Hey all, I posted this on TestYourMight and haven't seen much discussion of it here, so in the interest of advancing Quan Chi I figured I'd post it here too.
Okay, so I don't see many Quan Chi players and those I do see aren't utilizing one of his most powerful tools: his mixups.
Quan Chi has the power to literally trap someone in a perpetual chain of resets more potently than perhaps anyone in the cast. This guide will teach you how to get into Quan Chi's most powerful reset situations, and how to get more resets from those resets.
Before I go into this technique, I'm going to explain some key things about Quan Chi and the game mechanics.
Up+3 - The One-Hit Medium
This medium, as the title suggests, is one-hit and can be Trance'd out of. It's good for mixups when used in conjunction with the following move.
Back+3, 1+2 - The Low/Medium
Wow, what a great attack. A quick Low followed by a Medium. Not only would a character need to guess correctly by blocking the Low, but they need the discipline to stand up and block the ensuing Medium.
The Rune Trap
For those who aren't aware, off a blocked (2, 1) Quan Chi can use EX Rune and land it for free. Remember this, it's important!
The Stagger State
In this game, some moves have a stagger state in which the opponent is stumbling and can do nothing but block. This can be initiated from landing Sky Drop on a grounded opponent or an EX Rune.
Okay, so those savvy with Quan Chi should be able to see where I'm going with this. Using these tools, you can keep someone in a perpetual guessing game with Quan Chi, and if they guess wrong the situation completely resets itself. Allow me to explain. What needs to happen is, Quan Chi must get the opponent into the stagger state. This can be done in a variety of ways.
Starting your Reset Trap (aka, Getting an Initial Stagger)
1) Landing a Sky Drop on a grounded opponent. There are several ways to accomplish this.
1.a) Naked Sky Drop. Okay, this is very punishable and it's not something I'd heavily advise unless you're in your opponents head like crazy and know exactly what they're going to do. But hey, if you DO land one, they're in stagger, and you may proceed.
1.b) Comboing Sky Drop from a Medium. Knowing that we can combo Trance out of Quan Chi's (Up+3) Medium, we may create a stagger situation. From the trance, use (1, 1 Sky Drop). So the combo will be (Up+3 xx Trance, 1, 1, Sky Drop).
1.c) Comboing Sky Drop from a Low. Using Quan Chi's (Back+3, 1+2) combo, you can combo into trance. If you have the discipline, you can do (Back+3, 1+2 xx Dash, Back+2, 1 xx Dash, Back+1, 1 xx Trance), but if you're dropping it a lot there IS a poverty version (Back+3, 1+2 xx Dash, 1, 1, 2 xx Trance). From either of these, they're tranced, so you can do a (1, 1 xx Sky Drop).
1.d) Comboing off a Naked Trance. Hey, it happens. If you catch a mad jumper with a naked Trance, you can simply do (1, 1 Sky Drop).
2) Rune Trapping. Off of any blocked (2, 1) Quan Chi can Rune Trap (2, 1 xx EX Rune). This will put the opponent into Stagger.
So, with all of these, you now understand how to put the opponent into stagger. Once the opponent is in Stagger, Quan Chi gets a FREE mixup (remember, all they can do is block), and with Quan Chi's unbelievable mixups, this is a very, very powerful tool. Once in stagger, Quan Chi can dash up to his opponent and potentially reset the situation in one of three ways. In total, he has four options, although one of the four will not reset the stagger.
From Stagger, How to get Back to Stagger (aka Perpetuating the Resets Indefinitely)
1) Off the (Up+3) Medium. Unfortunately, this is a lower damage option, but if your Low/Medium is predictable, mix it up with this. As outlined above, you can do (Up+3 xx Trance, 1, 1 xx Sky Drop) to put them right back into stagger. Congrats, you just reset! Now they're in stagger again and you can dash in for another free mixup.
Note: If it will KILL your opponent, do remember to simply perform a longer combo opposed to the (1,1 xx Sky Drop). Be cognizant of your opponent's health! The (1, 1 xx Sky Drop) is to be used when resetting is the favorable situation.
2) Off the (Back+3, 1+2) Low-Medium. This nets significantly higher damage, but your opponent is probably going to realize this. This combo is nice because even if they block low and guess correctly, they need to block the ensuing Medium. A good player will, but have fun destroying new players with this. Anyway, once an enemy is in stagger, you can use either of the combos outlined above to get your opponent into Trance, (Back+3, 1+2 xx Dash, Back+2, 1 xx Dash, Back+1, 1 xx Trance) or the poverty version, (Back+3, 1+2 xx Dash, 1, 1, 2 xx Trance). From Trance, you can (1, 1 Sky Drop). Now they're staggering again, and you can dash in for another free mixup!
Note: The poverty version will not work in a corner. I find they will go over your head if you use the 2 in the (1, 1, 2). Do (1, 1 xx Trance) after the (Back+2, 1) instead and it should work for you.
3) Rune Trap. From stagger, as we should all know, Quan Chi can do (2, 1 xx EX Rune Trap). This will put them back into stagger, which means you get to pick from this list of 4 again! Lucky you.
4) A Throw. You'll likely have to (1, 1, xx Dash, Grab). I know, it'll end the whole thing, but there's still a time to use it. I like to do it to safely kill an opponent if I don't have the meter for another Rune Trap (or I'm trying to save meter). It can't be breakere'd, and opponents will be so busy looking for High/Lows that a grab probably isn't on their radar. At low health, this is a great option for the clean kill.
So essentially, off of a Stagger State, which Quan Chi can get off just about anything, he can, for free, get a) Medium Mixup, b) Low Mixup, c) Free Damage, or d) Throw Opportunity.
There you have it. This guide has hopefully made you understand the power of Quan Chi's resets. If your opponent guesses wrong enough, the ONLY way out is a breaker, and it's all too easy for Quan Chi to start this cycle since just about all his moves can lead to a stagger state.
I've been sitting on this for a long time now and I wanted to make a video (I still might), but I kept figuring I'd see some Quan Chi player on streams doing it and the secret would be out. In all this time I haven't heard many people discuss this stuff, so here it is. Hopefully this will help, because I feel resets could be a huge part of Quan Chi's game because everything can just lead to more resets.
Feel free to discuss or add anything.
Note: I am aware that the Rune Trap is allegedly being fixed, but until it happens, it's staying in the guide because up until that point, it's a very powerful part of Quan Chi's strategy. Additionally, we have no idea how they'll change/fix it, so just enjoy the fact that we have it for now.