This ninja girl with two swords and a not-that-good face over there is Shiki, a character from the Samurai Shodown series. Her first appearence was in the Samurai Showdown 64 series(She appeared on some NGPC games too), and she was very good in there. Here, she is good(And a little simple) too, but you'll need to have good hands to play her. Now for her pros and cons.
The Sad Woman's Good and Bad things
- Good walking and jumping speed;
- Can combo with her Command Moves;
- Can do teleports(And the inputs for it are very easy to do, unlike some characters in the game);
- Has a low-hitting special move(Which can help her in mixups) and a ground overhead;
- Her command throw will reverse the opponent's directionals;
- Exceed will absorb the opponent's health;
- She has some MAXIMUM Mode 100% combos.
- Has low Stamina;
- Her air normals have only one animation;
- Has only one Super;
- The reach for her command throw is very small(But she can connect it after some moves);
- Although it can look like a grab, the Exceed can be blocked(And easily punished);
- Has a high crouching hitbox(One of the highest in the game).
A very easy arsenal to use. There are some moves that you will not use. It won't be hard to you to begin your strategies here.
s.LP - (Far) A fast slash that can be normal canceled, but cannot chain into itself or even the LKs. (Close) The same thing as the Far version, but with less reach. Can be used in Light Attack chains.
s.LK - (Far) A great poke that cannot be normal canceled. Can be used as an anti-air in some cases. (Close) Good close move for Light Attack chains(It's a little faster than the cl.LP).
s.HP - (Far) A slow poke that will knock down the opponent if he is hit by this move. The best way to use it is by hitting with the tip of the swords. Shiki will walk forward while she's performing the move. This move cannot be normal canceled. (Close) This move will do 2 hits, but only the first can be normal canceled, and the second one can be Super canceled(Or in case you're in MAXIMUM Mode, MAX canceled, to add a hit for your combos). It's just her most damaging cancelable move(Use it).
s.HK - (Far) Very fast anti-air. Cannot be normal canceled. Only that. (Close) An overhead. A little fast, I can say. Cannot be canceled, but in MAXIMUM Mode, you can cancel it(If you try like f.HK, QCF+P, it will be an overhead followed up by a low, which is great for mixups).
j.LP - The Diagonal and the Neutral versions are the same(This will be keeped for all of Shiki's jumping attacks). A very good jumping attack. Can be used as an air-to-air or even as a jump-in attack.
j.LK - A good(And very fast) air-to-air, and only that.
j.HP - The most used jump attack for Shiki. It's used for the damage, and it can even crossup the opponent if you aim well. You should use this move in your combos. It can be normal canceled into Shiki's air moves.
j.HK - I don't know what to say about this move. The j.HP is just better. The best way to use this move is by neutral jumping. It can be normal canceled into Shiki's air moves.
(Note: All of Shiki's air normals can be MAX canceled into any of her air moves.)
cr.LP - Shiki's best Light Attack chain starter. It can chain into itself, and even some other Light normals(Not all of them), and it can be normal canceled too. The reach is very nice for a poke.
cr.LK - Another one of Shiki's anti-airs. It's very fast, like the f.LK. Can be normal canceled, but it's better to use it as an anti-air.
cr.HP - Shiki's only low-hitting normal. It will knockdown the opponent(Like most of the cr.HKs over there). Very fast, and a little strange to use. Can be normal canceled.
cr.HK - Another anti-air. Nothing very special about this move, but can be normal canceled.
Tsurane Giri: Tensei
- f+LP(3x) - This move is very simple to use. It's the best(Along with the move below) on her combos. The first hit can be normal canceled, and can even be used to confirm her command grab(Which is one of the best in the game), and the last hit will send the opponent far away from Shiki. You don't need to hold f to get the other hits too. On MAXIMUM Mode, all of the hits can be canceled, leading to great combos.
Tsurane Giri: Rinne
- f+LK(4x) - This move is great on combos outside of MAXIMUM Mode. Like the move above, the first hit can be normal canceled(And you don't need to hold f to get the other hits too), but after the last hit, you can juggle your opponent with almost anything she has(Including her Super/Exceed). Shiki can do some great combos with the juggle finisher on MAXIMUM Mode too. Oh, and you cannot change the versions after you begin one of those two(Even on MAXIMUM Mode).
- QCF+P - Shiki will do a kind of dash, and after a little time(Or if she is near from the opponent), she will do a slash that hits low(And yes, Shiki has only two low-hitting moves on her arsenal, being them this move, and her cr.HP). The button pressed will determine the distance of the dash. This move is very nice on MAXIMUM Mode combos(It can be Super canceled, and you can easily connect the Exceed after it). It has a followup too, and it is below:
- Shizuku Gari
- Press K(After any version of the move above) - Sadly, you can use this followup only if the slash hits the opponent. After the slash, Shiki will jump and do a backflip(I think) in the air, while she uses her sword to slash the opponent(And to be cool while slashing someone). Use this only on the normal mode(It can't be MAX canceled too).
- Shizuku Gari
- DP+P (In the ground or in the air) - This DP is very great as an anti-air. The LP version will make Shiki land faster, but will do only one hit, while the HP version will make her land a little later than in the LP version, but will do 2 hits. In the air, the versions are almost the same(They can do more hits than the ground versions). There is an interesting thing about this DP. It can be MAX canceled, but into the air version too(But they will connect only with the HP version).
- QCF+K - Good move to use, but very bad on combos. In the normal mode, if you want to use this, use it alone. The LK version is very useless on Shiki's normal mode game, because she has better combo options(It will knockdown the opponent, but she can do better- and easier - than that. More details will be on her MAXIMUM Mode combos section). But don't worry, this move is very nice to use in MAXIMUM Mode. She has some good combos with it(The hit can be MAX canceled). The HK version is very useful in the normal mode, and only because it hits as an overhead. It's useless on MAXIMUM Mode because it will do a hard knockdown on the opponent(So you cannot followup it, but you still can cancel it).
- QCF+K (In the air only) - Shiki will do a dive slash. On the normal mode, use it only if you want to land quickly(By using the LK version), or to get near from the opponent(By using the HK version). This move can be canceled into the DP(Air version), but you cannot followup it if done with your opponent in the ground. This move is part of great MAXIMUM Mode combos.
- QCB+K (While near from the opponent) - This move is just one of the best command grabs in the game. Shiki will kiss the opponent, and after that, a pink(and flaming) skull head will appear in the opponent's head. The damage is nice, it will knockdown the opponent(And he/she cannot recovery roll from it, which can lead to some really good corner wakeup setups), it will reverse the opponent's directionals(Like up is left, down is right), but not the attack buttons(The punches still will be punches, and the same with the kicks), you can hit-confirm it(By canceling the first hit of her cl.HP, or by canceling the first hit of the f+LP/LK string). The skull(The directional changing thing) will disappear only if someone is hit(No matter who is hit, if Shiki was hit, it will disappear, and if the opponent is hit, it will disappear too). While the skull is in the opponent's head, you cannot use this move again(It won't come out). You'll need to learn on how to use this move. It can help you against some players.
(Note: About this move's input, some sites were saying that the input was HCB+K, but I could get the move with a QCB+K. If someone could confirm what the input is, I'll be glad.)
- d, d+P/K - This is Shiki's teleport, her main anti-zoning too, and yes, Shiki isn'y good against most of the zoning characters due to her big crouching hitbox. The button pressed will determine where she will go. Oh, and she is invincible while she is teleporting too. Below, you'll see a little things that you should know about the different versions of the teleport(Considering the opponent is in the corner of the screen, and Shiki is in the other corner):
- The LP version will make Shiki move forward for two(Or three) Shiki sprites;
- The LK version will make Shiki move backwards for two/three(I don't really know) Shiki sprites(The Punch buttons will make her move forward, and the Kick buttons will make her move backwards, but... Assuming Shiki is with her back to the corner, it should be useless to use);
- The HP version will make Shiki move near from the opponent(She will move forward, and land almost on the corner);
- The HK version will make Shiki move backwards for an almost full screen length.
- QCB, HCF+P - Shiki's only Super to use on her combos. It's said that Shiki's invincible during the dash, and the HP version will make Shiki dash further, so if that's true, the HP version has more invincibility frames. Good to use after the f+LK string(With the juggle, but it's a little hard to use, because Shiki will stop dashing if the opponent jumps over her, or even if whiffs the opponent while he/she is in a juggle state), or in MAXIMUM Mode combos.
- QCB, HCF+KK - This move has the same uses as the Super above(Shiki will do the invincible dash, can be used in combos- as a substitute for the super - to get more damage, and she will stop if she whiffs the opponent in a jumping/juggle state, which will be very bad for her). It can be used only once(We're talking about an Exceed), and has more damage(Obviously) than the Super above. Oh, do I said that it will recover Shiki's health? Not so many characters can do that in this game, as I can remember(I think only herself and Zero can recover her health bars).
Shiki is fast when she wants, and very offensive for rushdown games, so if you like her offensive style, she is your character. Try to land her command grab when you can(You can even punish your opponent with it, and that's where you'll see if your opponent knows which directional will make him/her block. If he/she don't know, abuse of the grab until he/she learns. Now, if he/she knows which directional will make him/her block, you'll need to do high/low mixups on the opponent. Her best high attack options are the QCF+HK, and her s.HK. For low hitting moves, she has only two, her cr.HP, and her QCF+P). If you're needing a defensive game(You can need on some matchups), you can use her air moves, to make her safe in the air, or even her ground DP, to use as an anti-air. Shiki can do some great combos, very nice mixups(Especially on MAXIMUM Mode), but she lacks some important things, like some more low-hitting moves(She has only two of them, mentioned above), and a lower crouching hitbox(Which can make Shiki a bad character against some zoning characters, but don't worry, she can teleport if she needs).
Some Combos (Without MAXIMUM Mode)
Shiki is a very combo friendly character, due to her "Tsurane Giri" moves(f+LP, and f+LK), which will lead her to damaging combos. I'll put here some good ones, but if you know some more possible ones, just add it here if you want.
1- [Jump Attack] cl.HP, (Cancel the first hit) f+LK(4x), DP+P/Super/Exceed - 7(DP, but it can do less than that)/20(Super)/8(Exceed, and I think it's 8, the game won't recognize the slash as a hit); 8/21/9 with a Jump Attack
Very good combo to use as a BnB. The juggle after the f+LK can lead you to great followups, and here are the most damaging ones. The timing to hit with the Super/Exceed can be tricky(She will stop dashing if she whiffs any opponent in the air), but with practice you can land them easily. (Note:For some of Shiki's combos, you can substitute her cl.HP to a simple Light attack link, like cr.LP, cl.LK, and cancel it. Use if you want one more hit in a combo, but that's just an option.)
2- [Jump Attack] cl.HP, (Cancel the first hit) f+LP/LK(Only the first hit of one of them), QCB+K, do what you want after the skull appears - 3 hits(The game won't recognize the grab as a hit, but they will connect anyway); 4 hits with the Jump Attack]
This was the best way I found to land her command grab. Very simple to do, and very good if you like cursing kisses. If you want an easier way, just do cl.HP, QCB+K. Watch out for the reach of the grab too(If the opponent isn't on the reach, the grab will whiff).
3- [Jump Attack] cl.HP, (Cancel the first hit) f+LP/LK, QCF+P, K - 4 hits; 5 with a Jump Attack
Very simple combo to use if you don't have meter. The damage is very good too(Almost half of one bar). You don't need the f+LP/LK to make this combo work.
4- [Jump Attack] cl.HP, (Cancel the first hit) f+LP(3x), (Cancel before the finisher) Super/Exceed - 20/8 hits; 21/9 with a Jump Attack
This combo is great too. "Is it as good as the first in the list?" Yes. They are almost the same(Even in damage terms), so just use the coolest in your opinion.
Shiki doesn't have so much advanced strategies, but you can watch some online matches(On Fightcade or even in YouTube) to see if you're doing something wrong(Or if you need to add something on your strats). Now for her MAXIMUM Mode combos.
Some combos (With MAXIMUM Mode)
Again, if you know some more possible combos, just add it below if you want.
1- [Jump Attack] cl.HP, (Cancel the first hit) f+LP/LK(3x), QCF+P, Super/Exceed -
It's like a combo from the normal mode section, but with something included(The QCF+P, obviously). It's one of the best, one of the easier, and one of the most used combos in Shiki's game. Practice this combo.
2- cl.HK, QCF+P, Super/Exceed - 17/4 hits
A combo starting with an overhead move(And if your opponent blocks the overhead, he/she will need to prepare for a low). The hits will connect if you're fast enough. Simple to do, and very good to use on the wakeup(The cl.HK is very slow to use like a normal combo). Just master this, you can need.
3- [Jump Attack] cl.HP, f+LP/LK(3x), QCF+P, QCF+K, DP+P(Air version), (Cancel after the last frame hit) QCF+LK(In the air this time), jump, DP+P(Air version), QCF+K(Air), jump ...... (When you want) DP+P(Air version), QCF+K(Air), Super/Exceed - n+15 hits(With the super, and n is the number of loops)/n+2(Exceed); n+16/n+3 with a Jump Attack
This is Shiki's 100% combo. It's very hard to land, but you can juggle your opponent if you cancel the air DP after the last frame hit(Very hard, but her air DP can do up to 4 hits, so just cancel in the first, or even if you like risky things, on the third). The good part is that you can use it everywhere, even on midscreen(The QCF+K in the air makes you go forward, and this helps you on this combo). It's a possible, but very hard combo to use. Use and learn this combo only if you want. If you're a beginner, just stick with the first and the second ones, they are as effective as this one.
Corner Blockstrings in MAXIMUM Mode
Yeah, a corner blockstring for Shiki(In MAXIMUM Mode, you can cancel nearly anything she has). I don't really know if this blockstring is good in midscreen, but try if you want. This can make you(not 100%) safe against GCF+grab attempts(The opponent can just use an attack to hit you, but grabs are the most used ones after a GCF). Here it is:(Remember:This will only work if your opponent is blocking in a crouching state)
QCF+P(You can add any MAX cancelable normal before this move if you want), QCF+LK(The HK version will do a hard knockdown on the opponent, stopping the string, and it's slower than the LK version), QCF+K(In the air this time, but no matter the version, your opponent will block it anyway), (After you land) do any cancelable Light Attack, and repeat the process.
This isn't the only blockstring she has, you can do some variations of the above, like this:
Any cancelable Light Attack, QCF+LK, QCF+K(In the air), and repeat the process after you land
Easier, and you'll be in the air(To escape from GCF+grab attempts), but you can eat some DP-like moves if your opponent can react fast enough.
Shiki's f+LK string is very nice, due to the juggle in the end of it. So what if you add a normal move after the juggle? Your opponent will get the damage, and his/her char will be standing after he/she lands. What now? You have many options, like: (Assuming that you've done any normal move that hits the opponent while he/she is in a juggle state)
- You can do a QCF+P(It hits low, and you can even MAX cancel it on her Super/Exceed if you want more damage);
- You can do a dash and after that, do a s.HK(It's very slow for an overhead in a reset, but if the opponent blocks it, you can do the combo number 2 in the list above, but only if you're in MAXIMUM Mode);
- You can dash and do a cr.HP(It hits low, it will knock your opponent down if it hits, and don't worry about the speed of it);
- You can do a QCF+HP(It will hit as an overhead, it will do a hard knockdown in your opponent, and you can even cancel the normal used in the reset, it's very slow, so it's kinda like an insta-overhead in your opponent).
Any of those above is good, so you don't need to get predictable, because you have 4 options to use after a normal.