Raoh

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Introduction

Raohportrait.png
Raoh is slow, powerful, and more than anything else, a combo character. He is likely the hardest character to learn - he has no 'basic' combos, his bread and butters all being 100%'s. Theoretically he could perhaps be the strongest character in the game, as he is capable of doing 100% combos from any hit with no meter. However, realistically, getting a 100% off of every hit is simply not possible, and due to the length and difficulty of his combos even top Raoh users will often make mistakes. Also, while he is fairly good at applying pressure, his mixup is lacking due to his slow speed. This, along with his very poor defense(no backstep, no reliable reversal, guard lag), is why he is considered to be in the bottom end of the 'top tier.' All in all, Raoh is still a very strong character despite his weaknesses, but is not one that can be recommended to beginners.


Strengths:

  • No gauge 100% combos possible from almost any hit
  • Traveling combos recover a large amount of Boost and Aura while granting very little to his opponent
  • Decent star reducing ability and easy 3 star combos
  • Good matchups against the lower tiers


Weaknesses:

  • Bad matchups against Toki and Rei
  • No backdash - his KOF98-esque 'fade' is useless and will often be the cause of your demise when you accidentally use it
  • Switching guard from high to low/low to high takes 8 frames due to a hardware bug, making quick overheads extremely hard to block
  • Can be crossed up in the corner
  • Defense relies heavily on Musou or powerup stocks, has no way to get out of pressure without meter
  • Relatively poor mixup


Before diving right into the combos be sure to familiarize yourself with Raoh's special/super moves and important normals.

Normal Moves

See Normal Moves section.

Special Moves

See Special Moves section.

Combos

See Combos section.

Matchups

Kenshiro

Raoh is considered to have the advantage in this matchup, due largely to the fact that Kenshiro is extremely easy to combo, but this is by no means an easy fight. While Raoh can kill Kenshiro from pretty much any hit, Kenshiro is more than capable of returning the favor, as Raoh is the easiest character for him to Dribble. Against any competent Kenshiro user you are more than likely dead if you get hit when he has a bar of Boost stocked.

Raoh's normals are very effective against Kenshiro for the most part, as long as you stay out of the range of his far D. 2B and 2D will beat his ground attacks, and his air dashes can be dealt with using far B. Rising jump A is also great for combating air dash attacks at close range, and can be easily chained into a 100% combo. At the opening of the round your best option is crouch guarding or walking backwards. If you try to jump in or attack you will likely receive a far D to the face for your efforts. However, if Kenshiro does a far D and it misses, which it will if you are just crouching there, you can hit him with 2D while he is recovering. You will be too far away to follow up with a combo in the first round, but if you manage to pull this off in later rounds when you have meter, you can use Insatsu or Boost to follow up into a combo and win the round right there.

Another point it is important to understand is that due to hardware lag Raoh has a great deal of difficulty guarding Kenshiro's air dash B on reaction. For this reason the use of fuzzy guard and fuzzy jump is imperative. (Note: guard lag is specific to the Atomiswave version of the game and is not present in the console port. Regardless of which version you are playing, utilizing fuzzy inputs will make your life a lot easier)

When being rushed down your first reaction is often to use a Guard Cancel, but this can lead to painful consequences against Kenshiro, who is well equipped for dealing with them. As a rule you never want to use a Guard Cancel against any of his weak attacks, especially 2B, as he will recover with plenty of time to Agility Guard or Musou it. He can even punish Guard Cancels done on strong attacks by canceling them into Ryugekiko or 6B, so you really want to pick your spots carefully.

This is a good matchup that can go either way, so you will want to make sure your combos are well practiced and your footsies game is solid.


Raoh

Probably the worst mirror match in the game next to Heart versus Heart. This match is all about who hits who first and thus wins the round. Raoh is extremely easy to combo, so you want to make any hit mean death for your opponent. As one hit will mean death for you as well, you need to play extremely tight and avoid anything too risky, especially when your opponent has Boost or Aura. Raoh's mixup is terrible and you should obviously be very familiar with it, so there is nothing wrong with going on the defense and waiting for your opponent to make a mistake.

One thing to note is that while 2B > far D connects during a combo, it is not a continuous string while blocking. This means that can get a guaranteed Counter Hit chop off on your opponent if they always use the same attack pattern, like 2A > 2A > 2B > D.

In general luck is a big factor in Raoh mirror, but it is important to play safe and keep your cool even when you are in a seemingly hopeless situation - remember, it only takes one hit to win the round!


Toki

Raoh's worst matchup is, as you probably guessed, Toki! Toki's strengths need no introduction - specifically of note in this matchup, Toki is able to cross up Raoh in the corner, and his 6D hits as a high attack.

It is very important that you try to get Musou activated or at least a powerup stock charged up before Toki manages to close in on you and turn on the pressure. Without either, things will usually get messy very fast. Fuzzy jump is also a must in this matchup for escaping Toki's insane rushdown.

Generally when guarding your best bet is to stay standing most of the time since Toki's only low, 2B, doesn't see that much use and has a pretty slow startup. This is quite counter-intuitive and it can be hard to get used to, but it is definitely worth it. You will however want to throw in a little bit of low guarding every now and again so your opponent doesn't catch on.

Toki can at times be difficult to combo, especially on his stage due to the lag on the left side. As an alternative to going for Traveling, Raoh's Dribble is also viable option, and worth practicing to perfection. As in Raoh's matchup against Rei, you need to take advantage of every opportunity you get if you want to have any hope of victory.


Shin

This is a decent matchup, until Raoh activates Musou that is, at which point there is little left for Shin to do. Shin's main normals he uses for zoning are far C and 2B. Once you get Musou Shin can no longer rely on far C, and his 2B can easily be beaten by Raoh's own 2B.

One important point to remember about this matchup is that Raoh has a guard gauge against Shin. If it starts getting low and/or Shin has Boost, you could be in trouble. Between his crossups and command throw Shin also has a solid wakeup game, which can make Raoh's life quite miserable. Don't forget that Raoh can get crossed up in the corner! If you have Musou available you can quickly do 4 > 6 > neutral when waking up, which will get you either an agility guard or Musou depending on which direction you are attacked from.

After guarding Shin's Gokutoken, you can usually follow up with a Grave Shoot - technically speaking you need to Agility Guard it to get a guaranteed hit, but most of the time your opponent will not be able to Aura Guard in time to block it.

Shin is quite hard to perform Ura-sai on - you will want to make sure you are well practiced in the Shin-specific routes, otherwise you will find yourself dropping a lot of combos. However, as long as you play a solid game and aim to active Musou as soon as possible, you shouldn't have that much trouble winning this matchup.


Rei

Rei is a very tough matchup for Raoh. Rei's speed and great normals make him extremely effective at keeping up the pressure, and once he gets Raoh locked down in the corner that can spell the end of the whole match.

Your strategy here should be similar to that you would take against Kenshiro: distance yourself and wait for a good opportunity, try to be the one to make first contact, and activate Musou as soon as possible. You should also be aiming to charge some powerup stocks any time you have the opportunity, as being able to use powerup chop gives you an actual option to get out of pressure, and forces Rei to think a bit when approaching you. It is also very important to use discretion when choosing where to Guard Cancel, as Rei has plenty of options for baiting them.

Ura-sai can be relatively difficult to perform on Rei, making him one of the harder characters to combo in some situations. On the other hand, Traveling is quite easy to pull off on him. Also, if you manage to score a hit on Rei while he is crouching and you have or are close to having a bar of Boost, you can easily chain into Raoh's infinite. As this is such a hard match, you really want to make sure you have your Rei-specific combos down pat, because if you miss an opportunity chances are you wont get another one.


Juda

Juda is without a doubt Raoh's best matchup of the top 3 - he is extremely easy to combo and many of his setups can be escaped with the help of Musou Tensei. At the same time Raoh's lack of a backstep makes things tougher for him until he is able to activate Musou.

Juda is very easy to cross up, so you will want to use this to your advantage as much as possible. Aside from just air dash B, you can also try to aim for some harder-to-see setups like high jump (air dash) D.

Against Judas dam super, Agility Defence > throw or BD throw is your best bet to avoid the water and debris, and if you have Boost you can follow up with a nice combo as well.

Also important to remember is that Juda's Banishing Strike has an unreal amount of active frames - even when it looks like he has missed with it you will often receive a counter hit if you try to punish him too early. It is best to exercise caution when Juda is throwing Banishing Strikes around.

While generally a garbage move, against Juda ground Goushouha, especially the powerup version, can function well in punishing him when he is setting up land mines etc. Keep in mind that it is still by no means safe, and should not be used when Juda has a Boost stock available. Another move that normally doesn't see much use but can be useful against Juda is Tenshou Honretsu. A common setup for Juda at the end of a combo is 2D > Dagar Rush > max Banishing - in such a situation a reversal Honretsu will take out both Juda and Dagar and net you big damage as well as a nice 3 stars. You can think of it as a really ghetto Sekkakou.

While certainly not an easy match, Raoh has a slight advantage overall, and once you get used to Juda's setups you shouldn't have too much trouble dealing with him.


Thouther

Thouther is similar to Mamiya in that he is seemingly unstoppable when on the attack, but terrible on defense. Raoh has a definite advantage, but when Thouther gets on a roll, he can make quick work of you. If you let him take a round things start to look bleak, as in most cases you will be down to your last star and one mistake away from losing the match.

Thouther is quite easy to combo for the most part, but as he has such low health most 100% combos will kill him before you are able to start building meter. Since you can Guard Crush him, going for a Chikuseki combo is usually the best option in the first round, as this allows you to max out your meter and take off most of his stars.

As many of Thouther's mixup options simply can not be guarded on reaction, this is another matchup where the use of fuzzy guard and fuzzy jump is very important.

A few of Raoh's moves are particularly useful against Thouther. Raretsuken is great to add in the the end of a blocked attack string, as is takes off a huge chunk of Thouther's guard bar while building meter for you. It will also go right though his fireballs and Counter Hit him. Combined with Boost this can be a deadly way to close the distance and punish fireball spam. It is also worth noting that Raretsuken is the only move you can punish Thouther's Houshou Juujihou reversal super with on normal guard. This will counter-hit, so ideally you want to follow it with a Boost to continue into a wall combo.

Another useful move is ground Goushouha, which can be used to take out Thouther and his fireballs in one stroke from a distance. Against players who like to high jump and throw out a fireball right away at the start of the round, this move can be used every once in a while to shake them up. Keep in mind that the startup and recovery are both huge so caution is necessary when using it.

As long as you are able to avoid Thouther's lock down and maintain control of the match, you should be able to make quick work of him.


Jagi

Jagi sucks. Really bad. No one will deny that he is cool, and using him makes you awesome, but let's face the facts. Raoh outclasses Jagi in pretty much all areas, and Jagi is also the easiest character for Raoh to combo along with Kenshiro. The match basically ends as soon as Raoh activates Musou Tensei, as this makes most of Jagi's moves unsafe.

One thing you want to remember is that when Jagi takes a hit while crouching he recovers extremely quickly(think the opposite of Rei), and because of this 2B > far D will not combo. In the event you do hit him while he is crouching you will want to connect 2B to 2D and follow up with a (Boost) Grave Shoot or Insatsu. Also it should be noted that Jagi's Rakangeki super is guaranteed as a Counter Hit after blocking any of Raoh's normals and most specials, and will take off two stars and a good amount of health.

If your opponent is capable of using Jagi's magical Basuke combo then you will want to avoid getting thrown or hit with his overhead near the corner when he has more than 2 Boost, but otherwise there is not much he can do to you.

Jagi has two combo enders that can be a pain if you don't know how to get out of them. The first is 'Gas Hame,' which is done by ending a Banishing Strike combo with a match and then dashing in and dropping gas barrels over and over, causing the match to ignite the barrels and continuously knock you down. This can be escaped using Musou, a Guard Cancel, or any move with big invulnerability like Honretsu or a powered up chop.

The other, known as 'Misora-shiki,' is likewise done by ending a Banishing Strike combo with a match, and then using his gas super with a slight delay so it covers the ground under you. This results in the gas igniting in a huge fire when you get up, and will net Jagi a bit over a full bar of Boost if you guard it. This is generally followed up by a Heavy Strike or other mixup, which using the boost gained allows Jagi to reset into another Banishing Strike combo. This however is extremely easy to counter - if you have Musou activated you can just Musou it, otherwise it is safe to simply not guard and take a small amount of damage from the fire. If you are low on health without Musou and can't afford to take the hit you can also Guard Cancel just before the Heavy Strike connects, although the fire still hits sometimes anyways for reasons unexplained.

Overall this is a really easy match and you should win most of the time without any problems.

Mr. Heart

While Raoh has a huge advantage in this matchup, a single mistake will often spell death, as it is laughably easy for Heart to perform his BD throw infinite on Raoh.

For half a bar of Aura Heart is capable of using a special Guard Cancel that allows him to follow up with a combo on hit. It basically functions in the same way as Baiken's counter moves do in Guilty Gear, with the main difference being that Baiken can't kill you in one combo. If that doesn't sound wonderful enough, Heart can get a guaranteed Guard Cancel off of all* of Raoh's normals, which makes approaching him when he has meter a willful act of suicide. (*Note: There is one exception to this: jump C, which has zero landing recovery. When performed near the end of an air dash you are able to land and Agility Guard or Musou Heart's Guard Cancel)

Another important point is that Heart can store up the Super Armor from his jump C by charging the move and then landing before it executes. This makes it so he can absorb a hit if you attack him while he is performing any normal or special move, which really lets him get in your face. Once he has stored the armor you can get rid of it by either hitting him with any attack or normal throw, or making him guard a move that does chip damage(all special moves). However, he is able to guard special moves without losing his armor charge by making use of Aura Guard. Whenever Heart stores up Super Armor, you want to remove it right away with air Goushouha before he is able to get close. Don't forget that if he Aura Guards it he won't lose the armor, so just keep shooting until he either gives up or loses all his Aura.

Heart is very similar to Raoh in that his defense relies heavily on having meter, and until he gets enough Aura for a Guard Cancel his options are very limited. For this reason you can really go all out at the beginning of the match, as the worst he can do is hit you with a Banishing Strike combo for 50% life or so. Once he has half a bar or more of Aura however, the whole match changes. You can no longer attack him safely head on, so at this point you should switch to high jumping around and throwing fireballs, powering up with Kohou whenever you make him guard one. As long as you stay out of his anti-air throw range and avoid eating an Earthcrush, there is very little Heart can do, and he will be forced to take risks to approach you. If your opponent doesn't do anything you can just sit there all day throwing fireballs until you win by time up.

Quite a few moves that rarely ever see any use have opportunities to really shine in this matchup. Due to his poor mobility Heavy Strikes and max charged Banishing Strikes are extremely effective against Heart, as long as you don't overuse them. Also, since you will often have lot of powerup stocks built up, your charged normal moves can be used to really surprise your opponent. Even most Raoh users forget about them most of the time, so chances are your opponent won't even know they exist. Air C is especially deadly as you can charge it at long range, then Boost in at the last moment, continuing into a wall combo for an easy win. Even Tenshou Honretsu has its place in this matchup, as it can be used to negate Heart's annoying Kenpou Goroshi setups.

All in all Raoh undeniably has the advantage, but it is necessary to be very patient and make significant changes to your strategy in comparison to how you would fight most characters. Failure to do so will result in a quick loss against any half-decent Heart user.


Mamiya

In theory, Mamiya is a 6:4 favorite in this match. The reality however is that very few players play Mamiya at all, and of those even fewer are capable of using her to her full potential. Against any but these select few this is a pretty easy match.

With her great mobility, crazy projectiles, and unblockable wakeups, Mamiya does pose a threat if you let her build momentum. However, she drops extremely quickly when under pressure. As she possesses a Guard Crush gauge against Raoh, the best course of action to take upon landing a hit is often to go for a Chikuseki setup as opposed to a 100% combo. This will allow you to take off most of her stars and build up a ton of meter, giving you a huge advantage going in to the second round.

One thing it is important to note is that in the event you bait Mamiya's Guard Cancel with a chop, it will not Counter Hit due to her Guard Cancel's quick recovery. This makes it so that you need to use either Insatsu or Boost if you want to follow up with a combo.

In this matchup you really want to take the fight to Mamiya right away and keep the pressure up the whole time. If you are able to do this then you should be able to come out ahead most of the time.

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