SUMMARY: If in range, every character can throw for low damage + block some meteors, maybe giving Eyedol a mixup on you. Some characters have “easy” 1 meter punishes that always work if you block DP, others have “finicky” 1 meter punishes that require some spacing/timing knowledge and don’t always work, some characters can do nothing. If you don’t have 1 meter and are out of throw range, almost every character must block the meteors.
(this is now the complete list)
“Easy” 1 meter punishes: Thunder (throw only), Sadira, Orchid, Spinal, Omen, Aganos (shadow ruin only, tight because of height), Hisako, Cinder, Rash, Gargos (throw only), Raam (throw only)
“Finicky” 1 meter punishes: Jago, Sabrewulf, Shadow Jago, Fulgore, Aria, Kim Wu (from most ranges though), Mira, Kan-Ra
Needs 2 meters: Glacius, Eyedol, Riptor (very hard)
Can do nothing: Maya, Tusk, TJ Combo, Arbiter
I think this move is incredibly strong, so I want to open a discussion for how to deal with it. Let’s talk some facts about it first.
The frame data on this move is 2+2 and fully invincible. I looked at it with frame step and it is basically a 5 frame move (2 frames before freeze, 2 frames after, then it becomes active on the 5th frame). This is the hitbox of the move, so you can’t bait it by neutral jumping and you have to be very far away from Eyedol in order for it to whiff (remember that Eyedol pulls the camera back, so this is a bigger hitbox than it seems… it is at least 1.5x the size of Sabrewulf’s entire body).
You leave block stun a few frames after Eyedol lands from the DP. Versus “average sized” characters (I tested Wulf), you have 15 frames to move between when you leave block stun and when the first meteor hits you. Against taller characters (I tested Eyedol), it’s 12 frames. 15 frames sounds like “a lot”, but it’s really very little. For example, if you press a medium button as a punish, you are pretty much guaranteed to be hit, because your move comes out in 6 to 7 frames, then there is a few frames of hit stop, and then if you try to cancel into a special it’s already too late. Maybe there is an isolated case of a character that can press a medium button and cancel into a projectile invincible shadow, but I couldn’t find it. So 15 frames is small enough that you can’t special cancel a medium button. You certainly can’t, say… walk forward any substantial distance and throw, like you could against something like Aganos shadow rocks.
This move does 20% unbreakable damage and leads to any combo Eyedol wants, since he can juggle and recapture after the last meteor hits you, and it starts with 0 KV because it’s a shadow move. So you are guaranteed to take 20% if you get hit by the DP, and in practice you will take more on average (I don’t know how much more, but let’s call it 30%?). If you block the DP and then choose to also block the meteors, Eyedol gets to mix you up with both mage teleports and warrior overhead/low stuff while the meteors obscure your view, so it’s pretty tough to deal with.
So the idea is to block the DP and then try to avoid the meteors. This is very difficult in practice, but I want to test exactly how difficult it is, because it’s character dependent. You guys can help me test if you like.
The first thing you can do is throw, just like Aganos’s shadow rocks. You’ll punish Eyedol for throw damage, and then you will have to block the remaining meteors. How much of the meteors you’ll have to block depends on how long your character’s throw animation is, but for some characters with fast throws (Jago, Wulf, eg) I think Eyedol recovers fast enough to actually get a mixup on YOU. If you have a command throw with a long animation, like Thunder or Raam, you will probably get to dodge most of (or all) the rocks.
There are some problems with a throw punish. First of all, remember that you can basically not walk forward at all after blocking DP (at a vague point in time after Eyedol lands, you can walk forward for about 9 or 10 frames [since throws are 5f startup], and in practice you won’t be able to control this window very well at all). This means you have to be in throw range already when you block the DP for the first time (ie, you have to be super point blank). Unless you have Thunder’s shadow command grab range on your throw, you must be very close and if you are NOT this close for whatever reason, then a throw punish is strictly not possible. Secondly, you get to punish Eyedol only for your throw damage without a setup after, which for some characters is as low as 5% but might be as high as about 10 or 11%. Considering Eyedol gets 20% guaranteed and a presumed 30% on average, this makes the risk/reward very much not in your favor.
So can we do better than a throw punish?
In theory, you should be able to projectile invincible through the meteor (this is how you should punish the non-shadow version of Eyedol’s instinct DP by the way, since there is only one meteor it is more easily avoided). And you must be very fast, because Eyedol recovers quickly after shadow DP, but the shadow screen freeze should give you enough time to do it with some practice. However, the meteors come down in a huge spread in front of Eyedol and in training mode, I can find very few situations where you can dodge the meteors. You will run out of projectile invincibility on your punish and the meteors will be on top of you, guaranteeing that you’ll get hit. And if you get hit, Eyedol gets to combo you.
I want you guys to help me find guaranteed ways to punish this move with more than throw damage. I did all characters, but feel free to fact-check me or suggest something I missed.
Here’s what I’ve found so far. I won’t test every character exhaustively because that’s a lot of work (and a lot of loading times for training mode). Please help me by adding suggestions and I will try to keep the top post updated. Keep in mind that all of these punishes, even the ones that sound easy on paper (ie, “just reversal with perfect spacing”), are actually pretty difficult in real matches. You will definitely have to go into training and practice the timing to have any success.
And for basically every character, you need a meter to punish. If you don’t have a meter, you’re hooped except close range throw + hope to escape without taking further damage. If you’re not close range, you must block and take the mixup. If Eyedol is in the corner (ie, you can’t push him forward, out of range of meteors), none of the “horizontal push” punishes will work at all, which means Eyedol is actually stronger if he is cornered.
Jago: Shadow wind kick will sometimes avoid all meteors if you are 100% point blank AND you reversal it. Jago will just baaaarely push Eyedol out of range of the meteors hitting you. If you are only 95% point blank, or you don’t get reversal timing, you will get hit by the meteors almost guaranteed.
Sabrewulf: Shadow leaping slash works 0% of the time, from my experience, from any range. However, if you press cr.LP and then cancel it into shadow leaping slash, you somehow avoid the meteor pattern just barely and then you can do a standard combo safely. Pressing cr.LP with enough time to cancel feels like a 3 or 4 frame window at a fairly non-obvious time during recovery; doable with practice but not without. You can try to forward dash through Eyedol, away from the meteors, but Eyedol will be able to block/tech anything you try, and if you manage to hit him you’re just gonna push yourself back into the meteors anyway.
Glacius: Shadow shoulder xx shadow shoulder (2 meters to keep up projectile invincibility) is the only thing I could find. If you try to do a regular combo after shadow shoulder, you get hit. Also of note: if you back throw Eyedol, you dodge the meteors entirely. Not the best punish, but at least you don’t take a mixup.
Thunder: Light command grab (15%) is fast enough to squeeze in, if you’re in range. Shadow command grab also works (20%) and has lots of range, so that’s good. You dodge all the meteors either way and get your normal setups, which is better than most. I can’t find a way for Thunder to start a grounded combo.
Sadira: Shadow spin gets enough horizontal separation to always lead to a combo. Because it’s a fast startup move, it’s more lenient timing than some other moves.
Orchid: Can get through with shadow firecat.
Spinal: Shadow shield rush works but then you get hit if you try an auto-double. However, you can do teleport linker (any strength) and seemingly dodge the meteors, so you can convert into a full combo as long as you do teleport linker (or another shadow shield rush for 2 bars). Shadow shield rush is slow, so you have to be pretty close to reversal timing to hit Eyedol.
Shadow Jago: Because shadow slide is so slow, you must either reversal the move or be within 1 or 2 frames of reversal timing to hit Eyedol before he can block. This is very missable, even in training, so you must practice this to have any chance. If you do manage to land it from very point blank, somehow the back-and-forth of the slide dodges the meteors. If you are not point blank, you will get hit after the 4th hit. Another option is to try and cancel crouch jab into shadow slide, but this is very difficult (moreso than Wulf, who low profiles the meteor a bit). If you have instinct, you can use Annihilation no problem.
Fulgore: If you do shadow blade as a reversal, it will NOT work, because you’ll get hit when you try to convert to a combo. If you do it non-reversal about halfway through, then you will dodge the meteors somehow. So this is different from the other characters in that you want to try and delay and get non-reversal, which is difficult IMO. You can try to cancel low short into shadow blade to help with the timing, but you might get dunked. Shadow teleport is too slow, even with reversal timing, to hit Eyedol.
TJ Combo: Can do nothing except throw.
Maya: Can do nothing except throw. Shadow tumble kicks just gets hit.
Kan-Ra: Can do nothing except shadow command grab (12%). I list it as “can do nothing” because 12% is not that much more than most character’s regular throw and probably not worth the meter unless you are super far out of range. He can’t start a grounded combo. (EDIT - Kan-Ra can stand block the DP and shadow counter the 3rd hit of it, which gets him shadow Whirl and recaptures, and the meteors don’t come out. Then you can do a spike linker to keep the combo going and get a full punish. Very specific punish that requires practice but it should always work for 1 bar)
Riptor: If you are 100% point blank AND do perfect reversal AND have 2 meters, Riptor can do shadow talon xx shadow talon. Because shadow talon is so slow, if you are 1f late on reversal or not point blank, Eyedol will block or you will get it. Even if you do it perfectly, you need a 2nd meter to keep your projectile invincibility up. 1 in 10 tries, I was able to do regular talon rake linker and dodge a meteor, but it was inconsistent and I dunno how to do it every time (some weird spacing thing) which means it’s unreliable in real matches to me.
Omen: Shadow slide works and dodges the meteors because of the side switch and he can convert to a combo. One of the lucky ones with a universal option, and Omen has meter often enough to make this pretty viable. Shadow Form does not work.
Aganos: Shadow ruin is your only option, but it does 22% so it’s not too bad. Aganos is so tall so this move has to be close to reversal to dodge the meteor. Anywhere near the corner and you will have to block follow-up meteors because of Aganos’s size.
Hisako: Hisako is the best character to punish this, because she can counter shadow DP on reaction and the meteors don’t even come out! If for some reason you panic and forget to do this, though, shadow ORZ dodges all the meteors because of its best-in-game horizontal pushback. She can also do regular or shadow influence and the meteors will be gone by the time the throw is over, so if you have full wrath you get to combo the regular version like normal. From some ranges (though not all), you can dash and low profile the first meteor juuuuust barely and still do (light) influence, so Hisako is one of the very few who can punish with something substantial without needing meter.
Cinder: I wouldn’t have thought shadow Trailblazer had enough horizontal pushback to get out of the way of meteors, but interestingly it does! This is Cinder’s only option, but he should be able to get through and continue the combo without getting clipped, even without reversal timing. (EDIT - Cinder can input light fireflash during Eyedol’s super freeze and beat DP clean, and the meteors don’t come out. If you’re fired up, you get a standard Cinder juggle followup.)
Aria: Shadow shotgun knee works, but only barely… you must be super point blank and near reversal, or else Eyedol can block or you will get hit on the 3rd shotgun blast because she doesn’t push far enough forward.
Kim Wu: If you’re close to point blank, shadow overhead will work. If you’re about… 75% of the way out or at the tip of DP range, you’ll need 2 meters to do shadow overhead xx shadow overhead to get through it, otherwise you’ll get it. From “most” DP ranges, you’ll be okay though. Kim Wu cannot catch counter the DP.
Tusk: Can do nothing. If you are within range (which is fairly short), you can throw, and that’s it. If you do fwd+MP, you dodge the meteors, but Eyedol can block and punish you. (EDIT - In instinct, Tusk can use heavy DP to deflect during the super freeze, then cancel into a grounded combo punish, and the meteors won’t come out.)
Arbiter: Shadow overhead doesn’t work, it runs out of projectile invincibility and gets dunked. Your only option is a reversal shadow command grab, which does only 8% or so. If you are in range for regular throw (Arbiter has short throw range), then this is preferred because it does more than 8%. But Arbiter has no “good” options to deal with this. (EDIT - In instinct, Arbiter can parry the first 3 hits of the DP, then do mercy demise opener xx mercy demise linker to dodge the meteors)
Rash: Shadow battering ram does the job here. Timing does not need to be overly tight and the range can be anywhere you block the DP.
Mira: Shadow trephine works but only at super point blank. If you are even slightly away from him, you’ll get hit after projectile invincibility wears off. You can also mist form away from the meteors, but Eyedol can punish the mist form if he’s on the ball, or block your mixup and you can’t do anything super crazy because you’ll push yourself back into the meteors on all your mixup options.
Gargos: Shadow reckoning does not work, because you get clipped at the end, even if you do it point blank and reversal. And unlike other characters, he does not recover in time to do a second shadow reckoning to save himself. His only option is shadow command grab, which at least does as much damage as the shadow DP would have done raw (20%). Not a combo starter, but better than nothing.
Raam: Both light (12%) and shadow (18%) command grab always seem to work from any range where you block DP. No combos possible but Raam avoids all the meteors and can do some standard post-grab mixups. I still think he loses the trade more often than he wins it, but considering he has no projectile invincible move, this is a better result than expected since he is one of the few characters that doesn’t need meter to punish from max range.
Eyedol: In warrior, you need to do shadow shoulder xx shadow shoulder (2 meters). If you do one, you will dodge the meteors but trying to keep the combo going with anything except shadow shoulder will get you hit. His forward warrior throw does 11% (the higher range) and dodges all the meteors, so there’s something. Mage stance seems kinda screwed.