Finding a Use for Shadow Air-ORZ

As someone who was quite unimpressed with Hisako’s changes in S3 at their reveal, I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong. The LP flipouts turned out to be really good, descent became useful, the counter nerf turned out to not be so bad after all, and the faster wrath refill turned out to be amazing (seriously - I think it was her biggest buff by far). The one area where my initial “meh” reaction seems to have been justified, however, would seem to be her new shadow move, shadow air-ORZ. I didn’t see much purpose for it upon reveal, and there hasn’t been much since S3 launched to disabuse me of this notion.

I haven’t seen it used in any tournament settings of any kind, and for my own part only use it to recapture after an ultra to punish taunting or other douchebaggery. But since I was wrong about most of her other changes, I’d like to ask other Hisako players what they use the move for, and if there isn’t anything, to see if we can’t find some good uses for it. I would like to think that the team didn’t waste their time giving us something that doesn’t have some use. The general issue is usually that I can just always think of better things to do with Hisako’s meter, and because of how fast wrath refills it’s really not too hard to recapture with normal air-ORZ anyway.

That said, I’m asking all the other Hisako’s out there: what do you you use shadow air-ORZ for, and in what situations do you find it useful? I’m thinking there might be some clever uses for it in lockout situations when you’re in instinct (particularly if it deals a good amount of damage), but other than that I can’t say I’ve got any great ideas.

But let’s see what we can’t come up with team! :slight_smile:

@Samish02 @Marbledecker @R1stormrider @BrandXplus @BoJima404 @MHXadiranXV

EDIT: tagged some more names for people I know who play/dabble with Hisako


Ah, I just thought of another use. After wall splat, a TK’d shadow air-ORZ will beat out two of the favorite options in this situation (throw tech or jump out), and recapture for a full combo. I think I’m actually going to start using this one :slight_smile:


The fact that it is a shadow move means it has more priority. Now you can guarantee hits against characters with air special moves, or special anti airs.

It is a better option for consistent recaptures against cinder, rash, and if you space it properly, maybe against any upward-moving dp.

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Use Shadow Air-ORZ when you want to recapture but don’t have enough wraith meter to do so


Ive only seen it for recaptures. :slight_smile:

Anti air cr.hp into tk s.orz is a good way to convert into a combo.

It also causes a stagger on grounded opponents.


Yeah, free unbreakable recapture after cr.HP, no matter your wrath state, seems pretty good to me.

How easily can it be shadow countered? If you get hit out of the air, I can see it being pretty good for pressure, actually, once you’ve spent all your wrath and still want people to be really scared of ORZ.

I guess I just feel like I generally prefer other options off a cr.HP anti-air - cr.HP->jump+LP->meaty influence/cr.MK does a LOT of raw damage, and the latter confirms into full combo as well. I don’t mind having to reset here, because the situation largely favors Hisako in any case. If you sit still I get a full damage influence and wrath refill, and if you jump out or backdash then the next time I know I get the free cr.MK into rekka. All the options to avoid the follow-up have counters, and each of those avoidances gives me a sense of how much you know about my character and how you’re likely to respond later in the fight. This could definitely be great for unbreakable ways to end the fight, but earlier in the fight I think you might gain more out of trying for the reset.

I don’t think it’s particularly easy to shadow counter though - it hits pretty fast, and people are pretty unlikely to have run into it enough to be used to shadow countering it.

Just as a fuller breakdown of our options off cr.HP anti-air:

cr.HP->shadow air-ORZ - 15% damage up front, full combo [wrath independent]
cr.HP->jump+LP->meaty influence - 26% damage up front [wrath refill, no combo unless instinct]
cr.HP->jump+LP->meaty cr.MK->ORZ - 22% damage up front, full combo [wrath independent]

The latter two are obviously resets and avoidable, so there’s that, but as I said earlier, even if I get DP’d in the face for trying it, that response is very useful data that can be used later in the fight.

And just so everyone is on the same page, here is the attack data for shadow air-ORZ:

But before we get too happy about it, here is the attack data for light air-ORZ:

Putting aside the fact that light air-ORZ hits harder than the shadow due to the first hit bonus, we also see that it has better frame data in general. From my time in the lab, I’ve surmised that while the shadow version does stagger, the simple fact of the matter is that all other air-ORZ’s give more advantage on hit. And this is not from the attack data (which seems wrong to me for all staggers…:unamused:), but from me testing various setups. To whit, it is possible to hit a combo of light air-ORZ->medium air-ORZ, but from the shadow it is only possible to get shadow air-ORZ->light air-ORZ. Basically, all other versions of the special are better on hit and block. Please feel free to test this for yourselves. I am more than happy to revise this statement if someone else is able to combo into a medium air-ORZ off of the shadow one.

But basically, it’s just kind of crappy that in virtually all respects except start-up and recapture (which the others also do situationally), the shadow version is inferior. :confused:

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The above limitations of the shadow air-ORZ led me to wonder if perhaps it has an improved hitbox relative to the other ones. I’m basically working off of “Xbox, take a screenshot” for my pictures here, so please forgive me for the low budget attempt to describe the shadow air-ORZ’s hitbox. :slight_smile:

Taken from the neutral reset position with Hisako moved slightly forward to have front foot on centerline:

So from this spacing:
Light air-ORZ whiffs
Medium air-ORZ hits
Heavy air-ORZ hits
Shadow air-ORZ hits [one time]

From what I could tell, the shadow version’s hitbox lies somewhere between the size of the medium and heavy air-ORZ hitboxes. The horizontal space covered by the actual attack is roughly similar when taking into account the “hop” associated with each one, though I do think heavy reaches farthest of them all (it’s got an additional hitbox stacked on the right for a few frames). The vertical size of each air-ORZ is pretty different, but here the shadow version again probably lies somewhere between the medium and heavy variants. The key difference is that shadow air-ORZ reaches high, which matches its use primarily as an air-to-air. The hitbox doesn’t go very low though - Hisako can actually low profile a TK’d shadow-air ORZ by dashing, and it will only hit once against her if she’s crouching. Medium and heavy air-ORZ’s hit much lower to the ground in general (cannot be low profiled when TK’d), and heavy covers the most vertical space by far.

PSA - if someone with better equipment than I wants to compile side by side comparisons of the ORZ hitboxes, please feel free to do so. It would probably be useful to have in this discussion.

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The problem with this is that the move isn’t particularly fast - 2 frames pre-flash, 11 after. For comparison, HIsako’s jump+HP only has 12 frames of startup. You’re liable to get punched out of the sky for trying to air-to-air with shadow air-ORZ. It’s got an ok horizontal hitbox, but at the spacings where that’s super viable you may as well just cr.HP or cr.MP them instead. And if someone’s whiffing or having a DP blocked, you may as well just hit them once they land.

Against aerial characters, I think Sako is better just playing that spacing game against them with her normals. She out-pokes Sadira in the mid-range in the air, Rash is moving entirely too fast to catch (and she’s got better options than air-to-air against wrecking ball), Aria largely isn’t throwing out crescendos in neutral, and Cinder gets outpoked and counterhit air-ORZ recaptured if he’s doing unsafe trailblazers. Shadow air-ORZ isn’t going to be all that useful against any of these characters in the neutral game.

So this is what everyone said about the move when it debuted, and while largely true, I just don’t think this is super great. It definitely has its uses, but what I’m looking for here is something more I guess. :confused:

Can we use it for specific setups (cr.HP->shadow air-ORZ is a good example)? Can we use it for racking up damage quickly in instinct? Is it a better use of meter in-combo than shadow possession? The wall-splat idea is a concrete and powerful (I think) use of this move - does it have other applications that could also be used to open up new offensive horizons for the character? That’s the question I’m really trying to get answered here I think.

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I will ask a few Japanese Hisako players as well on this topic.


TBH I do not see why you should use it. It’s either a recapture tool of a plus string.

Thanks @BoJima404 :slight_smile:

So I took an hour or so and just kind of played around with Hisako in practice, trying to see if shadow air-ORZ is useful as a damage multiplier within combo. One of the interesting things about Sako in general is that while she has really good meterless and 1 meter damage, she falls off a bit on the 2 meter comparisons because shadow ORZ is so slow that it blows up any lockout timer you might get. Shadow air-ORZ, on the other hand, does it’s damage really fast, so I was wondering if it would be possible to use this mid-combo to get better damage. The answer is unfortunately both yes and no.

Yes, in that there are certain combo strings that let you stack on extra damage very fast, and no in that generally speaking, the starters you need to make this possible are themselves damned slow :unamused: Basically, in order to get a shadow air-ORZ in-combo, you need to generate a stagger or equivalently long stun state. That means that shadow air-ORZ is really only viable after air-ORZ recaps and heavy linkers, as those are the only moves that give you enough time to fit a stagger manual in there. It’s also possible to just go from recap air-ORZ->shadow air-ORZ, and outside of instinct this is required, as your heavy manual won’t stagger the opponent. But obviously, this option is also fantastically breakable.

So our options to use shadow air-ORZ in-combo outside of instinct basically boil down to combos begun with full wrath, which means combos where counter is the opener. So not exactly a super common state in the first place. Then you’ve got to fit a heavy linker and heavy manual in there (easier than it sounds against most players to be honest), and then you’ve got to play the break/counterbreak game against them to see if the shadow air-ORZ gets to rock.

But what about lockout situations?
Unfortunately, shadow air-ORZ does not seem to be viable/optimal in most lockout situations from what I was able to suss out, because of how much “setup time” is required to even be able to do the shadow. Setting the practice dummy to break immediately and going into a counterbreak lockout, you only barely have enough time to fit in a single shadow air-ORZ, and the damage is not worth it. Because you can’t go into a linker after a counterbreak, the only way to fit this special in within the lockout window is the following: counterbreak->light AD->heavy linker->heavy manual->TK shadow ORZ. This fits the shadow right at the end of the lockout window, but is not particularly damaging. It also has the annoying wrinkle that it is not possible to go from shadow air-ORZ->ender - you must put another manual or double in there. You are much better off just using a standard heavy AD->light linker->etc->shadow possession if you want to maximize damage.

But what about instinct?
So this is the one instance where shadow air-ORZ as a damage multiplier feels viable, but it still requires an annoying amount of things to go right to make it work. In instinct, we are able to utilize TK’d light and medium air-ORZ’s in succession, which both allow for heavy manuals for the stagger whenever we choose (med air-ORZ also has enough advantage for you to combo with a heavy air-ORZ if you want to get really fancy :slight_smile:). So assuming you started the combo with an air-ORZ, you actually do have a good shot of being able to lock out the opponent and getting a chance to use that shadow air-ORZ to stack on damage. The downside is that if you want the shadow, the only manuals that you’re going to be able to use in this instance are heavies, as anything else forces you into the standard combo system and you’ll have to generate another stagger (read: heavy manual off heavy linker) if you want the shadow air-ORZ.

The greater problem on this score I think though might be that these kinds of setups take up a lot of instinct time, and to be honest I think Hisako can do better things with that time with standard command grab and anti-jumpout resets. The TK ORZ combos do have the benefit of being pretty hard to break, which is nice, but they also lead to people hoarding instinct in a way that I personally don’t think is beneficial. I hate to see Hisako’s go down in tournaments only having popped instinct one time because they saved it for that juicy confirm that would let them go into the hard-to-break TK’d ORZ shenanigans. While you definitely get good damage off them (I was hitting 73% with pretty practical 2-meter combos in practice), I don’t think that’s worth only getting a single instinct.

If you want to get shadow air-ORZ within combo though, I strongly recommend doing it off some form of air-ORZ confirm - the heavy linker->heavy manual stagger takes a lot of time and, again, Hisako can do a lot of other stuff with a full instinct bar. That 73% 2-meter combo isn’t the best she can do in instinct, not by a long shot.


i would love to give input on this but ill be honest with you @STORM179, i never use shadow ORZ because i just dont see it as useful. id rather spend meter on doing shadow damage ender, or doing shadow ORZ to use as counter breaker bait 50/50 to mind fuckk opponents. her wallsplat throw resets with full wrath, mid combo japanese influence resets, all that stuff is too good and easier to do than havin to set ppl up for TK shadow ORZ. yeah its cool, i seen a few vids on the ultimate fans FB page, but its too slow for me.

i have hisako as my strong 2nd to my Fulgore fugbot main. there are days where my execution is total crap because im either tired from work or other activities. hisako requires a degree of execution sure, but with how i play her its far easier to me. its just a matter of timing, though i really need to get off my As$ and start doing TK ORZ instinct shenanigans on people. i know the set ups, but i keep whooping ppl with middle of the road advanced tech with her thus causing me to stagnate in that dept. her influence at full wrath resets are just so good,and if somebody is expecting simply jumps up thats perfectly fine because they’re hit with my flip out tech lol.

stuffing TK shadow ORZ at this time is too much trouble for too little reward. her S2 tech is still quite strong at least for me, but my experiences in the game are different from yours. you probably fight alot more difficult opponents than i do on a more regular basis than i, our sparring session at least gave me that assumption considering how tough you were.

That’s the thing though - I don’t actually think this is true to be honest. Even at high level I’ve found that a mix of command grab and anti-jump out resets works really well. I do think instinct TK’d ORZ’s are probably the better pure damage option if you aren’t confident in your read/conditioning on them for a reset, but there’s an amount of setup and time required there that can also make this prohibitive I think. I feel “optimal” Hisako play will probably utilize both - the air-ORZ shenanigans when the opportunity presents itself, but also liberal use of her other options in instinct. Pure TK ORZ->stagger combos take up too much instinct time to be her best option in a lot of situations.

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I use it quite a bit, but only in the corner. After I do a wall splat, if I anticipate them to jump I’ll do the heavy On Ryu Zan into air light punch for the flip out. Now if I fight someone who jumps non stop, instead of doing a ground mix up after they land from the flip out. I’ll just do the On Ryu Zan again but do the Shadow air On Ryu Zan because they’ll more than likely break the air light punch. It’s a great punish for people who don’t respect Hisakos corner pressure.

That moment when you realize that you can just use a frame-stepped replay of a local match to illustrate hitboxes… :sweat_smile:

Here are the hitboxes for all versions of air-ORZ, performed as TK’s in the corner. You can see how they conform more or less to the above descriptions that I gave.

Light air-ORZ:

Medium air-ORZ:

Heavy air-ORZ:

Shadow air-ORZ:

Shadow air-ORZ’s hitbox is a bit deceptive, as it is seen when zoomed-in from the shadow activation effect. You can tell from the width of Jago’s yellow “presence” box that we are still zoomed in, even here on the last active frame of the move. I am pretty sure that heavy air-ORZ’s hitbox is slightly larger in comparison.

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Holy moly, I love this thread.

I really only use this for a wrathless recapture and as STORM mentioned, in the corner after wall-splat as an addition to the mix-up suite. I would likewise classify this option as “OK but not amazing”.

lol @ heavy ORZ’s hitbox

Might as well just make it the whole screen at that point.