This is just an advanced system FAQ since a lot of people seem to want to know how to play the game at higher levels.
Updated Jan 31, 2007
You can find some Japanese match videos on my youtube account:
DarkOne Combo Video
KoFUnion Combo Video
Also some of Abar’s stuff:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Kea1wjzca9I&mode=related&search= (Lower your volume before you watch this one)
**A-CHO Ban List
General Advanced Game System FAQ:
:snka: = Light Slash
:snkb: = Hard Slash
:snkc: = Kick
:snkd: = Deflect/Repel/Parry AND Ground/Air Recover
:snkc::snkd: = Throw
:snkb::snkc: = Overhead/Unblockable
Hold :l: or :r: on the ground to roll in either direction while you’re getting up.
DM’s are always done with :snka::snkb: SDM’s are always (with one exception for Shigen) done with :snkb:. SDM’s are only available on Power/EX, and most DM’s can be part of speed chains.
Motions are always:
Speed combo specials
Initiated with :d::d: :snka:/:snkb: (A hits high, B hits low) on Speed/EX modes. Drains an entire super bar and can’t be spammed at low health.
You must block the :snka: version high
You can jump straight up over them close-up if you’re not in extended hit stun.
Everyone has 4, but they all share one basic one.
:snka::snkb::snkc: :snka::snkb::snkc: :snka::snkb: :qcf::snkc:
(Don’t mash your way through it, time each hit right about when the other one finishes. You can however mash out the last :qcf::snkc: part)
There are only 2 or 3 variations on the other ones, so it’s just a matter of memorizing a couple of them.
A good low hitting/launching one that a lot of people share is:
:snka::snkb::snkc: :d::snkc::d::snka::d::snkc::r::snkb::snkc: OR
:snka::snkb::snkc: :d::snkc::d::snkc::r::snkb::snkc: (Less common but it’s used for Setsuna’s and few others).
You can cancel off the :r::snkb::snkc:
You can pseudo-trap an opponent into trying to block one of these by doing them off a hitting hard slash, but they’re only ever guaranteed off a deflect or an overhead stun.
Good players may be able to low-jump :uf: deflect one if you try it off a hard slash.
:df::snkb: or just :snkc: when the person is on the ground. The :snkc: tends to have less recovery lag. Be careful with these when the person is able to ground recover. Especially with the :df::snkb: because it can have some bad lag on it with certain characters. Some characters can get a ground attack-in after their throw or a sweep.
*Amano’s ground attack will also hit standing opponents for some reason.
*You can chain off certain ones. Pretty useless except for whiffing certain moves quickly to get meter.
Only available on Speed/EX.
Done with :snkb::snkc:. Some have more range/speed than others. Hibiki, Lee, Kaede, and Zantetsu have fantastic overheads. Amano and Mukuro have the worst. These hit high obviously, but they’re more effective than they are in most games.
Overheads will stun you if you’re blocking low. Otherwise you get launched.
If you stun with an overhead, dash-in and follow quickly with a combo or throw. If you launch them, dash in to see if they’ll try to quick recover, or chain a special after if your character can do it. If they don’t recover, you can probably at least get a ground attack :snkc: off or something.
Only available on power. Use these very sparingly. They’ll get you murdered at high levels. You can hold these longer by holding the buttons down, but eventually the game makes you let go. This is helpful, because generally everyone has the same unblockable timing so it becomes easy to deflect. If you can extend the charge time, you can mess some people up.
You can be jabbed/thrown out of these so know when to use them, and really later on, I wouldn’t use them much at all. Also, most people will either let go right away or hold them down all the way. If they’re holding it, jab them quickly.
*Washizuka and Kojiroh can move forward with their’s if they charge them, so back the hell up if you can’t deflect or jab them out.
Only available on Power/EX. Not all of them are all that useful. Basically lets you cancel certain specials into super moves.
Power :r::snkc: cancels
Exactly what it sounds like.
Normals will chip and are safer on block on power. They will not chip kill a near dead opponent however.
You can’t block ground attacks while you’re in the air.
*You can only air block when jumping straight-up or backwards. Anti-airs and projectiles can be air blocked EXCEPT Akari’s fireball.
Defending against high-low
Overheads must be blocked high as well as some supers. Keep these things in mind. Remember that most overheads will come out in this order and you can either jab them out of it, block it, or deflect it:
:snka: > :snkb::snkc:
:snka::snka: > :snkb::snkc: (Moriya can’t do his overhead off AA).
:snka::snka: :snkb: > :snkb::snkc:
So low block and when you see the pause for the overhead come out, switch to high block, jab or deflect. In a worst case scenario just attack, so even if it hits, you don’t get stunned.
Replace :snkb::snkc: with :df::snkc: and you have the same patterns for sweeps. This is why you always want to block combos low if possible. If they do a sweep, you don’t have to switch your block. If they do an overhead, they come out slowly anyway so you can just switch.
Hibiki and Zantetsu have quick overheads which look almost the same as their :d::snkb:'s but after a while you get used to them. I haven’t gotten hit by either in a while. Just remember that Hibiki and Zantetsu’s :d::snkb: hits right away, while the overhead animation is more jerky and hits later. Hibiki’s overhead animation is also less crouched.
Tap :ub: OR :u: OR :uf:.
This game has the touchiest low-jump out of all of SNK’s fighters. In KoF, you can tap it pretty hard and still get it out, but you really have to tap it lightly in this for it to work.
If you’re doing a jump-in, it’s almost always better to be dashing or low-jumping while you do it. A straight high jump-in is just way too predictable.
Try to get low jumping down. It’s not completely necessary until you get to higher levels, but it’s very helpful. It makes it a lot easier to get in, start combos, and zone with jump attacks without getting parried.
Press :snkd: to ground recover a second after you hit the ground, or :snkd: ONCE in the air after you get launched up. Don’t press it twice or you’ll parry on the way down and you’ll be a sitting duck. You are NOT invincible while ground recovering, so make sure you’re a certain distance away when you do it. Or around characters like Kaede/Kojrioh/Lee/Zantetsu/Akari/Moriya who can punish ground recoveries easily, don’t do it much at all.
Just know when to do it and when not to. Never do it in the corner.
*You can attack/use air specials on the way down from an air recovery.
*You can ground recover out of a lot of stuff you can’t air recover from
***You can’t ground recover from stuff that knocks down immediately, like sweeps, or attacks that send you flying like :r::snkc:. **
If someone’s trying to jump straight up on you for a jump-in while you’re on the ground, get up with a jumping (straight-up) :snka: or :snkc: depending on the character.
If someone tries to roll towards you, jump back and greet them with a jump attack. Be careful though, these can get parried. If they start to parry, just jump back, dash-in throw instead.
***Again, you shouldn’t deflect when you’re getting up, or the other guy is getting up. It’s way too risky. This isn’t like 3rd Strike where you can safely option select.
On the ground
In case you missed it, hold :l: or :r: on the ground to roll in either direction while you’re getting up. Or nothing to stay where you are. Don’t get predictable and always roll one way.
First off, you know should know that you can deflect while standing, crouching and in the air. Crouching deflects will generally only work on crouching attacks, while air deflects will work on almost anything. Air deflects are much stricter on timing however.
Last Blade’s deflects have a miss animation on them, so be very careful when you use it, also the trail of blue shadows will make it easy to spot one.
Also, pressing D once deflects, pressing :snkd: again after the deflect causes a knock-down. It’s usually better to go for a combo after instead of the knock-down. Unless you’re deflecting an air-attack. You can’t use the knock-down :snkd: if it’s an air to air deflect, but you can use an air normal/special immediately after.
There are generally a few things you should deflect:
-When someone is blindly rushing down/pressuring you.
-Really obvious jump-ins
-When someone jumps straight up next to you
-To counter anti-airs/air to air attacks.
** You can deflect some supers, but you cannot deflect projectiles. **
How to deflect combo strings
Generally, you can only deflect light hits on the first hit. However, you can deflect any hard attack they throw in the string.
Just block the first hit high and switch to low block during the string (Or go from low to high). Then before their hard attack comes out, deflect. For some reason, switching your block position like that allows you to deflect in block stun. Think of it kind of like red parrying in Third Strike.
*** You can deflect while still holding back **
Know when to deflect
I listed a bunch of situations where it would be a good idea to deflect. Now obviously, the good players know these as well, so they’re gonna try to fake you out. Be very careful when you deflect. I can easily jump straight up next to you, have you whiff a deflect, then run in and throw you. Also, it could seem like I’m blindly poking you with A, but then I switch it up at the last minute to a throw when you try to deflect. People who’ve been playing a long time, generally have a good idea of when someone is going to try and deflect or attack. So try to get deflecting down, but use it conservatively.
Gauge your opponent’s patterns, and remember it’s very dangerous to be deflecting too much around mashers or new players. Most of them will just mash out random attack strings like A, A random pause special. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to deflect what I thought was an incoming hard slash, and ended up eating a random super instead.
Also, you can greatly reduce the lag on a low-jump air deflect by deflecting late in the jump.
*Try not to deflect when you’re getting up, or the other guy is getting up. You’ll likely just get hit by a jump-in or late combo.
Uses up all your meter. Allows you to deflect an attack a split second AFTER you’ve blocked it. This is helpful for avoiding chip damage. Also, it’s basically near guaranteed damage when you need it. These are much more helpful on power since your meter fills faster and they do more damage.
The motion for these is :l::db::d: :snkd: while blocking. I find it helps to mash the the whole motion several times when you’re learning.
Generally, jumping :snka: or :snkc: is going to be your best air to air attack . Also different air attacks have different properties depending on whether the opponent is above you, below you, or right beside you.
Quick list of good air-air attacks for each character
(Amano, Akari and Lee’s :snkc: and Moriya, Kagami and Zantetsu’s :snka: are annoying. Yuki’s air attacks all pretty much suck. :snkb: is OK, but it’s slow)
(If you’re finding it hard to gauge the angle, just use the “All around” ones)
(If I list more than one attack per character, it usually means multiple attacks will work. Doesn’t mean that one isn’t better than the others, but it’s hard to go in-depth into that in a general FAQ. I highlighted some of the ones I thought were really good, or better than the other ones in most situations)
(Some are better or worse depending on whether you jump or low-jump. All the close/cross-up ones are better with low-jump)
:snka: for Mukuro, Akari, Shigen, Moriya, Hibiki, Lee, Zantetsu, Kojiroh, Setsuna
:snkb: for Mukuro, Juzoh, Kagami
:snkc: for Yuki, Mukuro, Lee, Kagami, Kojiroh, Washizuka, Setsuna, Juzoh, Amano, Akari
:snka: for Kaede, Moriya, Kagami, Okina, Shigen, Hibiki, Juzoh, Zantetsu, Kojiroh, Washizuka, Setsuna
:snkb: for Juzoh (From further back)
:snkc: for Lee, Okina, Mukuro, Amano, Akari, Setsuna, Juzoh
:snka: for Juzoh, Shigen, Hibiki, Zantetsu, Kagami, Kojiroh, Washizuka, Setsuna
:snkb: for Yuki, Lee, Kaede, Moriya
:snkc: for Amano, Okina, Akari, Lee
:snka: for Yuki (Close-up only), Akari, Kaede, Okina, Shigen, Moriya, Hibiki, Lee, Zantetsu, Setsuna, Kojiroh, Washizuka, Kagami
:snkb: for Akari, Setsuna, Mukuro (Close-up only/Crosses up), Kaede, Okina, Moriya, Hibiki (Close-up only/Crosses up), Zantetsu (Close-up only/Crosses up), Kagami, Yuki
:snkc: for Yuki (Close-up only), Amano, Lee, Akari, Kojiroh (Close-up only/Crosses up), Washizuka (Close up only/Crosses up), Setsuna, Mukuro, Kaede (Close-up only/Crosses up), Shigen (Close up only/Crosses up), Moriya, Hibiki, Kagami (Close-up only/Crosses up)
:snka: for Kaede, Washizuka, Kojiroh, Moriya, Kagami, Hibiki, Shigen, Okina, Zantetsu
:snkb: for Juzoh, Yuki
:snkc: for Lee, Amano, Akari, Mukuro
Last Blade is very heavy on air poking. Especially low-jump air pokes. This is because there is very little lag between getting off the ground and landing after your jump. Also, jump attacks tend to have very high priority. For example, you can keep a lot of people back with just Kagami’s jumping A. Also, know when to go high or low. If you try a jump-in and they block the first hit, use a low attack or a dash-in throw after. A standing attack is almost guaranteed to get deflected.
You can use an early jumping attack to make them whiff a deflect, and then just run in and throw or wait a second and start a combo.
Pokes on power, will put the opponent in kind of a semi-guard break animation, which makes it easy to throw like 3 A’s out in a row. Also, normals will do chip damage on power.
Be careful with hard slashes. They’re very easy to punish/parry.
You can stop a dash by pressing back on the joystick. Also, if you dash attack and press back and attack, you’ll do a regular standing version of the attack instead of the dashing one. Also, you have to have been dashing a certain span of time for a dash attack to come out. Otherwise you get a normal standing one.
Rarely should you ever dash attack someone head on. This is just asking to get parried. Instead, use them after you stun with an overhead, or to punish whiffed attacks from afar. If you have to mix it up, go for a dashing sweep (Dash + :d::snka:/:snkb:/:snkc:). Certain characters have guaranteed dash attacks on people who are ground recovering from a knock-down/launch.
You can dash under someone who’s in the air and use a low poke to hit them as they land. You do this by quickly jump-canceling the dash just before you hit the button. This only works just as you’re crossing over. Any later and you’ll end up facing the wrong way.
Throws are a huge part of Last Blade 2’s game, because of the dash speed/lack of jump recovery. Get dash throwing down pat, and get dash command throwing down especially. They’re the easiest way to punish missed deflects, and they make it so you can punish one without even having to wait for the animation to come out.
Basic/Advanced combo strings
**Keep your specials/DM’s inside your combos. Unless you know it’s safe to use, or it’s a projectile for zoning. If you’re not comboing, spend your time using pokes/air pokes/throws or very brief speed chains instead of spamming specials. You’d be surprised how easy it is for the other person to punish a whiffed special.
Think of it like Third Strike where it’s very poke centered. Except more on air-poking than ground footsies.**
Your most basic attack string is:
:snka::snka: :snkb: > Special move/DM OR :df::snkc: OR :snkb::snkc: OR :r::snkc:/:snkb:
Advanced attack string:
:snka::d::snka::d::snkb: > Special move/DM, etc
Only works for some characters. Kaede, Juzoh and Shigen for example don’t have low hitting A’s, and Moriya can only chain after his :d::snkb: from a very specific distance, so it’s pretty useless for him.
Advanced attack string 2:
(For characters who can’t chain or can’t chain well off :d::snkb:)
:snka::d::snka: :snkb: > Special move/DM, etc
Most people can use their supers in their speed chains. The exceptions are Amano, Kagami, Kaede/
O. Kaede and Okina.
Many characters can also chain specials off low attacks which is very helpful.
You can start combos with :l::snka: to make them come out a bit faster on certain characters, but you lose too much range for me to recommend it for everyone.
These are generally quite difficult, and will separate top level players from the upper mid-level ones. Basically a link is an attack that hits immediately after the lag from the first attack goes away rather than cancelling one into another, but the whole thing still counts as a combo.
Hit stun is long as hell in this game, so there are a lot of link combos available.
They’re all very reliant on timing. Mashing only works for Mukuro’s links and maybe Lee’s :d::snkc: links.
Some like Kagami’s, are 1-framers
For a basic idea of what I mean. Try to chain Lee’s :snkb: from his :d::snkc: (x1-3) and then follow-up with
:qcb::snkc: (x3) OR :hcb::snka: > :qcb::db::r::snka::snkb:. You might get it a few times, but the trick is to be able to do it consistently in the middle of a fight.
An easier one to try is Mukuro’s:
:l::snka: (x1-3) :r::snkc: > :dp::snkb:
:l::snka: :snkb: :hcb::snka: > :qcb::db::r::snka::snkb:
The main advantage of most of these links is damage. Power mode doesn’t have any chain combos so people think you have to rely on pokes. This is true to some extent, but the fact is, these power links often do more damage than most speed chains. Also, one of their biggest advantages is that they let you turn every low poke, into a full combo. Imagine if almost every character in Third Strike had
:d::mk: > SAII, and that’s what this is like, only a lot harder.
You need to have low-jumping down to be able to use these effectively. The only way you’ll get them off most of the time, is through a low-jump jump-in/cross-up.
Combining power-links with speed chains
Here’s where things get a bit interesting. Speed players noticed how you could link lows to highs and started using these links to get into speed chains from their low pokes. An example of this is Lee’s
:d::snkc: (x1-3) > :snka::snkb::d::snkc::d::snkc: > Special/DM. This only works for characters with low-high links obviously.
Some people also use them for extra damage. Like :l::snka: (x2) with Kaede and then on the third :l::snka:, go into the rest of his speed chain.
Deflecting makes attacking a defensive foe a lot more risky, so you have to be careful.
If the first hit of your combo gets blocked, it’s usually best to just either stop completely, or end quickly with :df::snkc: OR :snkb::snkc: (slides are not as safe as sweeps unless from max range).
On power, be careful when you go for your links. Don’t try them off blocked attacks. If the first hit gets blocked, stop completely or switch to a low attack/dash-in throw or something.
Random mix-ups list
-Dash-jump :uf: whiff air attack, dash-in throw
-Jump straight up, whiff air-attack, dash-in throw
-Low-jump :uf: close up, dash-in throw.
-Low poke, dash-in throw.
-:snka: > :snkb::snkc:
-:snka: > :df::snkc:
-Low-jump :uf: whiff air attack :snkb::snkc:
-Low-jump :uf: whiff air attack :df::snkc:
-Whiff low poke while the opponent is waking-up, and then low-jump cross-up/jump-in/dash-in throw.
With certain characters if you knock the opponent up in the corner, dash over the body and then stop when they get up, you’ll be in front of them again when they stand which can be very confusing visually. How useful this is, is debatable and varies from character to character.
**-If you’re just starting out. Use Speed mode first, and get comfortable with it. The learning curve on power is quite a bit more steep. **
-Contrary to popular belief. EX is not overpowered. You take like 150% damage, which doesn’t make it worth it on most characters.
-Lee and Zantetsu have air chains. O. Kaede has them with a glitch.
-Zantetsu has a bad bug with :snka::snkc: (together) where he can chain it infinitely in the air. This is banned.
-Speed Setsuna/Power Mukuro are probably the most beginner friendly characters.