Dealing with Eyedol's instinct Shadow DP + meteors

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.


You should make a guide for how to deal with Gargos’ minions or something. This is well written!

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Thanks for the write-up as always. Can’t wait to put this in practice.

Well Raam can just regular command grab Eyedol after the DP, even at max range of the DP’s hitbox the light version will still reach. He’ll outlast all the meteors and make Eyedol eat a follow up mix up.

A goofier option for him is shadow emergence, instinct cancel, shadow emergence. Complete waste of resources and you need perfect reversal timing for it to actually punish but hey, it works.

Rash can just grab him and hold him until the meteors are over. Shadow ram won’t outlast the meteors and shadow wrecking ball will move you both out of the way but is too slow to actually punish.

Hmm, in my testing (midscreen), it does… it’s one of the few that can get out of range. It’s one of only 7 shadow moves (that I can find, anwyay) in the game that will always work regardless of spacing and timing.

If Eyedol is in the corner, no shadow move (that isn’t a throw and dodges the meteors because of a cinematic) will ever work because you’ll just always get hit by the meteors when your projectile invincibility runs out.

I’ll test myself in a bit, but I’m curious if characters with meterless sideswitching moves like wulf’s hamstring or omen’s slide could avoid the meteors with those.

I can’t get it to work by itself. You just get hit because there’s not enough frames to get out of the way.

With Wulf, it seems you can cancel run slide into shadow leaping slash with tight timing, but I doubt that works for Omen, and Wulf gets hit if he doesn’t cancel.

EDIT - Oh, I got it to work one time (dodged the meteors), it must be super tight. But then Wulf just gets hit by the meteors if he does any combo because he’s fighting back into the meteor rain, lol. So I don’t think this will work.

I wouldn’t call Kan-Ra’s shadow clutch useless in that situation. If it let’s you escape a mix up and let’s you setup your defense it’s quite good.

Excellent work nonetheless.

so as far as on block. Riptor is pretty screwed,

S-Talon needs to be done back to back with very specific timing,
sweep hits, but you take the meteors and Eyedol still gets to hit you for free.

Shadow counter seemed like a good idea. since those are projectile invul too.
but its not really, riptor only blocks 2 hits crouching, and 3 standing. so aim to catch the 3rd hit wtih SC, and if you catch that 3rd hit, Talon rake jumps into the 4th hit and she gets knocked down, even if you dont quick rise, you still gotta deal with like 3 meteors on wakeup.

dang. however if she sniffs out an instinct Shadow DP reversal from Eyedol, the Armor on HP headbutt can stuff it. so we have that at least

It’s okay because you dodge the meteors, but if you are close range you’re better off back throwing (IMO), because you’ll dodge the meteors and apply a curse. Then you can save your meter for shadow sand later. I don’t think shadow clutch does enough damage in this spot to make it worth the tradeoff.

But it is an option if you absolutely need to avoid dying, you’re out of range of throw, and you have a bar.

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Hisako is the best character for punishing, because she can counter shadow DP on reaction after the freeze and start a combo, and the meteors don’t even come out. She also gets all the regular punishes (shadow ORZ dodges meteors) if you panic and forget to counter, and she can do dash (low profile) and light influence from some ranges and combo with full wrath that way.

But really, just counter and you’re fine.

Kim’s counter gets dunked because it works differently than Hisako’s counter, but she has a reliable-ish 1 meter punish so she’s better off than several other characters.

I’m curious when exactly the meteors trigger; wonder if it’s possible for arbiter to parry all hits then tag eyedol out of the air before the meteors come down. Not necessarily saying it would be a good punish, just speaking from a standpoint of pure curiosity.

Edit: He can! If arbiter parries 3 hits then jabs eyedol, the meteors won’t come out at all.

Edit 2: Okay so, if arbiter is in instinct with full shield, he can punish from point blank by parrying 3 hits, doing MP>MP target combo, shadow truth seeker, and a truth seeker linker. His shield will absorb the meteors during the parts where he’s not projectile invincible and the truth seeker linker at the end will take him out of range of the meteors…sometimes. The shield isn’t always lasting to the end, I assume I’m not being consistent enough with my timing. However if you could do this consistently it would definitely be a good punish, sacrificing your shield to go into a full combo.

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Good writeup! I’ve just spent a few minutes messing around with Jago, and I think there is more stuff he can do. (And by extension Fulgore, to some extent.) I might try labbing up some other characters later. Most of these require an action during or right after the freeze, so I can’t say how practical they are.


  • DP during the freeze: as long as there’s the slightest bit of space between Jago and Eyedol so that the hitboxes overlap, any of Jago’s regular DPs will trade, in Jago’s favour by a factor of 4 if you use the heavy DP. This works from a few character lengths out because of how big the two hitboxes involved are. If you’re willing to spend meter, shadow DP actually beats it cleanly even if you are right next to him, but you want to be in close to get the full 15% for your meter. If you then instinct cancel that shadow DP you can get a relatively worthless juggle off of it, say 17% damage and recover 10% health if you have the second meter, or get a flipout into a mixup.
  • Shadow fireball during the freeze: seems to recover quickly enough to avoid punishment from the meteors, punishes Eyedol for ~10% unless you’re very far away.
  • Wind kick cancelled into shadow wind kick: this is finicky, because if Eyedol hasn’t landed yet then you won’t push him forward all that much, and will end up eating the meteors. If you’re at nearly full screen, then heavy wind kick during the freeze will catch him when he lands and the shadow wind kick should push you far enough. Otherwise, you need to use medium or heavy wind kick slightly after the freeze, so that Eyedol has time to land and the meteors don’t clip you before you go projectile invincible, and sometimes you get clipped by meteors at the end. The worst part of this idea, though, is that you can’t counter-break, so if the Eyedol player knows their stuff and doesn’t ■■■■■ up the breaker timing, you’ll get broken and consumed by the meteors, but it’s a weird interaction and I can’t tell if Eyedol comes out on top or not.
  • Shadow wind kick, instinct cancel, another shadow wind kick: for the resources this probably isn’t worth it most of the time, but you can threaten a counter breaker without worrying about the meteors, and it deals ~13% and sets up a level 2 ender if that helps?
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Wow, I was way overthinking that arbiter thing. Parry 3 hits then do regular mercy’s demise into mercy’s demise linker, eats about half your shield but that’s a small price to pay for a meterless combo punish!

Can you manual into an Eclipse Ender to have a one-chance punish combo, or does any button just move you too far forward?

He has to do it preemptively due to its startup, but spinal can power devour 3 hits then do slide into skeleport linker to punish. Since his soul sword linker doesn’t move him forward much he can combo without pushing himself into the meteors. Less practical than arbiter’s parry because you have to do it preemptively, but it’s available to him regardless of instinct so he does have that advantage.

So I tested the characters that didnt have options.

Arbiter,Kan-ra and Combo can shadow counter the 3rd of the shadow DP and hit him before the meteors can come out.

TUSK can do the same thing, but the meteors come out, he’ll hit Eyedol, take one hit, then wind up on the opposite side. WIERD. Sadly it doesnt work if Eyedol is cornered.

Maya’s shadow counter doesnt hit him fast enough and she gets tagged by meteors, so shes p much boned. best thing Ive found to do is HK leap kick just to send him flying away if your midscreen, make it harder for him to convert.

Its seeming like shadow counter is a good general option, ill probably test with other characters that dont have it easy. see how it turns out.

If aganos has 2 chunks he can respond to the startup with shadow natural disaster to take 2 hits, recapture, and prevent the meteors from coming out at all. Neat!

Also something to keep in mind is characters with fully invulnerable reversals may be able to blast through it on startup due to the low amount of invincibility on eyedol’s shadow DP. For example, thunder’s light uppercut and shadow uppercut both beat it cleanly, and jago’s light uppercut will trade with the DP and prevent the meteors from coming out. In this case, a slower reversal is generally better because assuming it’s invulnerable to the hit you’ll be able to use reversal timing to beat it.

Looks like you can manual and end the combo immediately and be safe. The combo doesn’t do much damage though, so you might as well throw (same-ish damage) or do the 1 meter punish (legit punish but you have to practice it).

I think shadow counters are okay punishes, but only if you can actually convert to something substantial. Kan-Ra can, though, since his SC recaptures. So this is the preferred punish for him and I upgraded his status to “finicky 1 meter punish” in the OP.

In general, the goal is to try and punish Eyedol for “full damage” for trying to get away with a fully invincible shadow that gives him high unbreakable damage, a full combo extension, and mixups on block. While shadow countering to get 8% or so is good to know, reading an invincible wakeup + trading meters to just get 8% is not the trade I’m looking for. Not to discourage you from doing more research (by all means, please do), just was hoping to find ways to get “real” damage.