Once a normal schoolgirl named Carol, Painwheel was kidnapped by Valentine and delivered to the Anti-Skullgirls Labs' secretive Lab Zero. There she was implanted with the synthetic Buer Drive and Gae Bolga parasites and infused with experimental Skullgirl blood, transforming her into the monster she is today. Violent and unstable as a result of these experiments, as a precaution she's mentally controlled by Lab Zero's powerful psychic director, Brain Drain.
Fueled by rage, she draws her power from her pain and fury. Despite that, the soul of that scared young girl still lives on inside this monstrous body, desperately fighting off the onslaught of voices that would control her.
Painwheel has the ability to fly, which is a very unique kind of movement option. It's not only useful for flexible air mobility, but since it's a special move, she can use its canceling abilities for conversions, mixups, and pressure. She also has a special kind of armor on many of her normals called Hatred Guard, which deals back damage taken to the opponent.
Flight: She can use her Fly special move to move freely in the air and dominate the skies with her large and powerful air normals such as j.MP. Flight allows her to repeatedly cancel normals into flights for combo extensions and strong neutral confirms. This also allows her to fish for hit confirms, making her offensive approach to opponents safer than most characters, while also letting her back away when needed for defense. Her ability to cancel all normals and special moves into flight is not only incredibly versatile for mixups and pressure, but necessary when attempting to play this character at a high level.
Hatred Guard: She has armor on most of her ground normals and on one of her air normals, giving her strong offensive options. Use the armor to absorb the opponents attack as a read in neutral, stagger into armor moves in blockstrings to catch assists, or simply use the armor to bait out reversals into devastating punishes. Combined with their cancel ability into Buer hitgrabs, flight to stay safe or add more pressure, or any supers, makes her armor options incredibly strong in most matchups.
Hatred Install: While Painwheel is typically played on point due to her strong offense, she also has an extremely strong DHC option in Hatred Install. While it is 2 bars on point, it only costs 1 bar when you DHC into it. Not only is it mostly safe and lets her powerup, but this can also be incredibly useful when used early in combo confirms. Hatred Install combos can rack up damage extremely fast, and often enough can do much more damage than most normal point character full combos into DHC.
Reversals: Painwheel's reversal options are not the strongest. The armored normals don't have armor on frame 1 and are typically too slow, and Death Crawl's small hitbox leaves much to be desired. Level 3 is very strong and fast, and Buer Thresher is one of the better air reversals, in part thanks to the input being the same as flight, meaning you can just fly out of many slow crossup reset attempts from the same super input.
j.MP - Slow startup, but amazing disjointed hitbox with large hitstun and blockstun that can even eat up DP assists and armor for breakfast. Use this button primarily for your air offense because opponents must respect this button.
L Buer (236LK) - Essential move for combo strings and ground confirms. Learning to confirm into this Buer is going to be essential for most Painwheel strings.
c.LK - Slowest cLK in the game, but extremely far reach that confirms from most every distance into other normals/specials.
j.MK - Large hitstun and hitbox on this decently fast move makes this an amazing tool for hitconfirms, even from high in the sky, when used in conjunction with fly cancels.
j.HP - An armored air normal that can eat up 1 hit, making this extremely useful not only to get through zoning attempts, but can also cancel into specials or supers to catch the opponent pressing buttons.
A launcher with Hatred Guard. It can only chain from LP and LK attacks, but will not chain if charged. If Painwheel absorbs at least 1 hit with the Hatred Guard, she will always turn to face the opponent for the attack's active frames. This property makes s.MP the perfect choice to absorb an incoming cross up attack.
A generally easier-to-use launcher than sHK, making it preferable in some combo strings
A 2 hit Hatred Guard attack that covers a large area in front of Painwheel.
Usually confirms into m buer at lower heights or from the ground. If close enough, can convert into h buer as well. Can convert with even a fHKx4 for a full combo conversion, but be wary that the more of hits of sMK push the opponent further away, so cancel early for best chances.
Does the most damage of the mediums in combo strings, but be wary that the timing of sMK sHP L buer will change depending on character weights.
Launches opponents into the air for the hits, allowing for sMK xx H buer strings which are very useful in corner combos to rack up damage.
A slow Hatred Guard attack that causes a crumple and hits overhead with a fully charged hit, which allows for a variety of possible follow ups. Without a full charge it causes a ground bounce, allowing Painwheel to combo with a cancel into flight and an OTG or simply using an L Buer.
Useful in Hatred Install combos since it's very easy to land this move fully charged after a stagger, allowing for an easy high damage crumple.
A multi-hit attack with a slow start up, high hit stun, multiple hits for a long active period, and a large attack box. Painwheel can recklessly throw herself at an opponent behind this attack's overall priority and confirm to a combo off of any glancing hit.
Even on block this move is strong, due to the long blockstun and Painwheel's ability to fly cancel. Use a j.MP fly canceled into air throw to catch opponents holding up-back.
Painwheel dramatically changes her jump arc to a lunge forward for her only air Hatred Guard move. Charging increases the number of hits from 4 to a maximum of 6.
Painwheel’s lunge forward can be somewhat useful to catch opponents air-to-air, however if so it’s best to confirm with an air Buer or a j.MK if low enough.
Armoring through an attack, then canceling into Thresher is a very strong tactic. Doing this will lock the opponent out from using a DHC before or after the superflash, until the first hit of Thresher is active.
Can be used for the occasional restands during combos
A self chaining, long range command normal that causes ground bounce on the fourth hit. It leaves the opponent at an ideal range for a HK Buer Reaper, or it can cancel into Flight for a more difficult combo.
All hits cannot be cancelled during the last 11f of recovery.
Painwheel's normal throw and normal air throw have the same animation. Painwheel ends these attacks in the air where Flight can cancel the recovery and start a combo. Using a Flight Cancel on the recovery will only let Painwheel cancel to Flight once for that jump if it is her first Flight Cancel in that jump.
Can fast fall using any buer input, allowing Painwheel to save otg in throw confirms using a ground button, special move, a microdash, or even with a rising jump button.
Painwheel appears from the side of the screen with a hit grab that transitions to a less damaging version of her air throw. Even though this attack is blockable, it has the same throw break window as any regular air throw. Opponent's have plenty of time to react to Painwheel by blocking or escaping the throw. Comboing into the attack or landing it as a counter hit prevents the opponent from using a throw break.
This move builds the same amount of meter (15%) on hit regardless of what scaling it is at in the combo. this leads to tag combos into painwheel building far more meter than most characters can do solo.
When viewing the frame data for this move in game, the recovery is not shown due to a bug.
As a quick special move with no active or recovery frames, Flight is a powerful offensive tool for canceling the recovery of other moves and extending combos. Painwheel can fake Hatred Guard attacks by canceling to Flight during the charge.
Going from flight directly into an attack has is a 9 frame buffer window for the normal during flight's startup.
Attacks made from flight mode preserve Flight's momentum, which can subtly change the behavior of her air normals.
Starting Flight from the ground gives Painwheel enough height to use j.LP, j.LK, and j.MK as a fast overhead attack.
Flight then ↗+j.MP will let Painwheel use j.MP before hitting the ground
A PP command during Flight causes Painwheel to immediately stop flying, allowing her to block and preserving either half of her backward momentum or all of her forward momentum.
Painwheel can call assists at any time while flying, even if Flight starts during a super jump.
During Flight +
Painwheel can use this command to end Flight without an attack, preserving either half of her backward momentum or all of her forward momentum. The 5f "unfly" animation does not restrict Painwheel from any other action and allows her to block. Successfully blocking out of the animation gives Painwheel only 25% of the regular block stun from the incoming attack.
A volley of barbs that travel in various directions. The MP and HP versions create a spread of projectiles, which Painwheel can throw to figuratively pin down an opponent before she cancels to Flight approaches from full screen. Holding the button increases the number of projectiles to a maximum of 5 for these versions and Hatred Install shortens the charge time.
Can hitconfirm closer distances with a fly cancel into jMK.
Painwheel catches an opponent with a blockable throw. All versions can cancel their recovery to Fight and end with Painwheel in the air.
The ground LK has the shortest range and leaves Painwheel at enough of an advantage to combo her standing opponent.
The MK version has a longer horizontal range that is useful for corner carry.
The HK grabs at an upward angle and is unblockable on rising opponents.
The air LK is a horizontal grab, air MK version is angled downwards, and air HK is straight down. All of these versions knock down. Be warned that these can miss opponents at extremely close range. Using a Flight Cancel from an air version of Buer Reaper will not let Painwheel cancel to Flight twice in a jump if it is her first Flight Cancel out of the air.
During Hatred Install:
Ground LK version of Buer Reaper causes a Stagger or leaves Painwheel +8 (if stagger was used already in the combo).
Ground MK, HK, and air LK version of Buer Reaper causes a Wall Splat.
Air MK version of Buer Reaper causes a Sliding KD.
Painwheel spins her blade, winding up to lunge forward with an attack. This move can only be performed as an assist, with increasing button strengths offering more damage and better hit effects in exchange for a longer wind up time. All versions are extremely active.
Fast startup, plenty of hitstun to confirm off of.
Long startup, sends the opponent flying away
Longest startup, sends the opponent in the opposite direction behind Painwheel. This allows for very unique conversions that aren't normally possible. Most notably, it allows Big Band to convert off of SSJ.
Pinion Dash can still be used on point from an alpha counter, which will also omit the wind up portion of the animation from the startup found in the M and H version. In this way, H Pinion Can be very useful to escape certain situations, or to hit off of an alpha counter burst that hit the opponent and lead into a full combo confirm.
The frame data graphs show the move as an alpha counter.
Painwheel's ground super will always connect for full damage against a standing or crouching opponent. Painwheel moves significantly faster if she switches sides with her opponent after missing the attack. She always crawls at this faster speed during Hatred install.
Can always connect after a L buer. Can also connect from an M buer even from far distances, however this needs otg even when done in the corner.
Does more damage than Buer Thresher at the end of combos, so always end combos in this super if you can.
Painwheel's air super begins with a series of stabs, then shifts to a throw for a series of faster hits. Painwheel gets a longer animation with more hits when performing this super during Hatred Install. Buer Thresher combos easily off of any Buer Reaper that leaves Painwheel in the air. Using a Flight Cancel to shorten the super's recovery will not let Painwheel cancel to Flight twice in a jump if it is her first Flight Cancel out of the air.
Invulnerability for 19f total, covering all start up and some active frames
Level 1 supers have minimum 45% damage scaling (same as a regular Lv.3) and level 3 supers have minimum 55% damage scaling (same as a regular Lv.5).
Death Crawl travels across the screen faster.
Buer Thresher has more hits and increased total damage. Does less damage at full scaling than Death Crawl.
The length of the install is determined by Painwheel's remaining life. Full health gives a 660f timer and 1 point of life left gives a 1300f timer. Painwheel keeps Hatred Install after tagging out and the timer will only count down when Painwheel is on screen. The timer drains at half speed when Painwheel is on screen as an assist. Timer does not expire during combos, allowing any full combo to be completed. When used from a DHC, the timer length is 1/3rd of the normal time.
Install activation gives +4 frame advantage when the opponent is in hitstun, allowing for easier hitconfirms into install
Useful as a safe DHC due to the few amount of total frames, making it mostly safe. It also only costs 1 bar when used as DHC, making it in many cases better to do short combo -> level 1 super -> hatred install DHC -> hatred install combo -> level 1 super than to do a full combo into painwheel level 3.
Bug: If Painwheel tags in while under Hatred Install, then the timer will still expire during a combo and the install will run out midcombo. However, if Painwheel DHC's in instead, then the timer retains the normal property and the install will only run out after a combo is over.
Painwheel winds up and charges, cutting through the opponent with an extended animation with a successful first hit. On the last hit, Painwheel will use all of her stored Hatred Guard damage and return it to the opponent with a 120% multiplier. With Hatred Install active, Painwheel returns an especially brutal 190% of her stored damage.
Invulnerability for 7f of start up (before super flash).
Hatred Guard covers all post-super flash start up and active frames.
If this whiffs the opponent, it has very short recovery frames, making this somewhat useful as an escape in many situations.
Due to the fast speed of this move, it allows Painwheel to punish many things that other characters cannot, and is Painwheel's only method to punish certain moves especially from fullscreen.
Has a hit on it if you want to be a jerk. Cannot KO the opponent.
If the bread and butter combos are too daunting, try to become comfortable doing each of these combos. Start with the first, then move to the next one. When you play matches, it's good enough to use the one you can perform the most consistently. Once you can do all of them, try learning the combos in the following sections!
c.LK > c.MK > c.HK
A basic ground chain combo ending in sweep. Unsafe on block.
c.LK > c.MK > s.HP xx M Buer
A basic ground chain combo ending in a special cancel. Unsafe on block.
c.LK > c.MK > s.HP xx L Buer xx Death Crawl
A basic ground chain combo ending in a special cancel. Unsafe on block.
c.LK > c.MK > s.HP xx L Buer xx Fly
9j.LP > j.LK,
c.LK > c.MK > s.HP xx L Buer xx Death Crawl
A basic combo that utilizes fly cancels. After the air chain you can choose to go for a reset with throw or fly 3j.LK.