Just wanted to throw out some of my thoughts on Julia’s normals, command normals, target combos and special attacks in the neutral game, and invite you all to share yours. This is probably what Julia is best at (outside of, you know, 380 damage meterless combos) and I want to develop it as much as possible.
What I’ve got
St.LP : As usual, pressuring tool. Not so good in neutral, an OK far anti air. If you AA with it, I think you can cancel into Wind Roll more pressure? Not the best jab in the game, sadly.
St.MP : Moves you forward, so it’s actually a lot longer than it looks on screen. As a counterpoke, you can obviously buffer Tiger for more damage or, probably preferrably, Wind Roll to get into pressure, but really, you’ll be using f+MK more for this.
St.HP : Excellent range and startup. This is a great counterpoke with a really good hitbox. You can kind of confirm Launcher after, but I’d just keep it for damage. Still not as awesome as f+MK. Can’t end chain combos safely.
St.LK : Fast mid-hitting poke. Only as fast as cr.lk, but a little shorter-- still, different hitbox, different normal. I actually use this a surprising amount. Use it kind of how you’d use Abel’s St.LK, to check people’s long pokes (Bison st.MK for example) and space for f+MK.
St.MK : No point to this. Press f+MK instead-- it’s the same normal.
St.HK : Longer range than HP (? Need confirmation, might be shorter.) No difference in damage, really. Same deal as with St.HP.
Cr.LP : Deceptive forward hitbox. I haven’t used this, but I’m thinking you could punish errant strongs or forwards with cr.lp into either Tiger or chain combo. Buffer. Also, if you get close, you can use it to check the opponent’s pokes and link into fierce or forward (range dependent) for a tiny hit-confirm. One of those surprisingly good ones. Don’t throw this out mid-range or you’ll bite chain combos off random pokes.
Cr.MP : Hits low. Limited use in neutral. -2 on block (safe), so you can end a blockstring here without having to CDC and give up space. Around the same length as cr.lp. Iunno about this one.
Cr.HP : Primary anti-air, but almost a poke in itself. Tap d.HP for a seventh standing normal! Counterpoke against stuff like bison st.rh if you’ve got reactions. Buffer wind roll K, P for damage or Tiger for knockdown. Low hurtbox/effective high crush? I treat it like Ryu st.hp-- don’t use it much, but keep it in your head for those situations.
Cr.LK : Personally, my favorite normal after f+MK. Really long. Same speed as st.lk (5 frames) but a longer, lower hitbox. Apply like cr.mk from Ryu, I think. I also use it in extended blockstrings as a frametrap. You can use it after advantage normals (jabs, Party Crasher, etc) to create frame traps. For mixups, you can stagger cr.lk a little more. In footsies, use as a really, really fast punish buffered into either Tiger or chain combos, like shoto low forward to stop them from walking in on you, and just to catch them not ducking. Pretty amazing, actually.
Cr.MK : Her longest range cancellable normal. Use it in conjunction with f.mk, cr,… On hit, you can tiger from max range, so I like to always buffer it in, just in case. Damage is damage and knockdown is knockdown.
Cr.HK : While it looks really dumb and Guile-y, and will get completely destroyed on whiff, you can actually tc this safely on block from the first hit. If you get an opening while down on life, you can chain into this. Does it actually have advantage or is it neutral? Disadvantage? Someone test…
Command normals! I haven’t tested ALL of them, so check me on it if one of the more useful ones are left out. These are the ones I use the most.
Mountain Crusher: f+MK (MP or HP) f.(MP or HP)
You’ve probably figured it out by now, but this is the bee’s knees midrange. A true blockstring that can confirm into either a completely safe CDC backwards and back into footsies or a high-damage combo for moderate execution into the tiger vortex or several other knockdowns that give Julia different advantages. Learning the range of f.mk is very important to learning Julia’s neutral game. Don’t buffer the followups, react-- this is because, on counterhit, f.MK crumples, leading into a full f.MP LP combo!
Options out of Mountain Crusher:
CDC back to safety (gives up space! be careful not to back yourself up too far with this. be conscious of your distance from the corner and know how far back you’ll be. the distance you land at is sub-optimal, so you want to walk forward a little after this.
LK Wind Roll in, unsafe and punishable before it even comes out. Use cautiously and with a good read. From here:
-P followup, overhead, safe on block. If the opponent can’t punish windroll mixups, default to this and keep up the pressure. (Frame advantage coming.)
-d+K followup, low, unsafe. Use this to mix up if the opponent gets used to blocking high instead of pressing a button through the roll. Sparingly, though.
-Empty wind roll, cr.lp. Hitconfirms off a fast normal for frame traps into big, damaging CDC Party Crasher tag combos.
On hit, see the combo thread. You can also cancel into qcf+HP for an overhead reset, or qcf+LP for a fake-overhead-into-low/throw reset, or just CDC back if you feel like trolling/losing.
Learn this range! When people play against Julia, their biggest threat will be f+mk. This is awesome, because they’ll want to stay out of that range-- you can tag them with cr.mk tiger from full distance until they learn to respect both pokes. By walking forward and pressing it, you can force them to walk back (considering they’re without a great poke to counter it.) If they try to press a button too close, they run the risk of ch crumples, which you can get an easy meterless 370 out of with f+MP, LP, or more with meter. If they jump at this range, work on your cr.HP anti air. Your foot is a fireball!
Party Crasher (f, f+mp)
Already getting a reputation from combo videos, Party Crasher can be CDC’d -into-, because it is technically cancelling the animation of Julia’s dash. This allows Julia’s hit-confirms to get REALLY scary, as one spare Mountain Crusher can now lead to nearly half health damage and a successful meterless tagout-- or, even worse, an introduction to the tiger vortex.
What’s more impressive is that Party Crasher is +2 on block, moves you forward and links into cr.lk on hit, bigger buttons up to hp on counterhit. Because of this, you can:
-check people for invading your personal space
-start pressure and tick throw mixups (WHAT’S AN OVERHEAD)
-make even a blocked Mountain Crusher scary as heck
I like fishing for this if I’m feeling confident and have free reign to walk forward. After this, your cr.lk is basically a 3 frame normal at the best timing. Very little will trade, and you’ll nigh always be respected if the opponent knows what they’re doing. If they don’t, I’d gamble f+mk for the counterhit. At worst, it will trade, leaving a crumpled up enemy for you to pummel.
One thing I’m working on is buffering f in neutral to come out with this as a counterpoke. It’s really fast, has decent range, is advantage on block, and links into free damage. Therefore, when you’re midrange and exchanging, try to wiggle your way in, discreetly, to the tip of this attack-- tap f in rhythm when you’re moving forward, and if you see movement (or just wanna poke with it, f+mp. I rack up CHs with this. It’s kind of fun to watch a Bison stop using roundhouse. It lets me know I’m top tier.