Finding a Use for Shadow Air-ORZ

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.

Sounds legit :slight_smile:




Lol. That’s a lot of hitbox. No wonder I get hit from Space fighting you @STORM179. Seriously. XD

Lol. In her defense, that move’s got 27 frames of startup. It’s not like you can really use it in neutral. It’s pretty much an oki or instinct-only move.

After combo breaker this year I think I’m done with KI and Hisako. I’ve put in wayy too much time and effort into her just to keep coming up short. The shadow air ryo zan is damn near useless, she has no launcher ender, minimal juggles, among other things… Maybe I’m just salty now but seeing characters with safe dps, unpunishable openers, and endless pressure tools just makes me want more for our ghost girl, she has to work way too hard for combos and setup. Ok rant over.

Meh. While I do think that Hisako is a character who takes a lot of work, I very much do not think she is in any way underpowered, not even at high level. I thought this was true in S2, and I think it’s even more true now in S3. She doesn’t need more juggles, a launcher ender, or even a DP (which would make her broken) - she’s a very, very good character in her own right. Good meterless damage, great reset potential, and a really good combo trait as well.

She does take work, and she’s not Top 5 or anything, but Hisako is a monster of a character when played well. I can definitely sympathize with the struggle (cause damn, she does take work), but she’s really good.

You’re definitely free to switch characters (or even quit KI, though of course we’d prefer you to stay :slight_smile:) if you feel like it’s not worth it or you’re not having fun. But felt like I had to defend my girl :joy:


I think I’m gonna stay with her, I just had a bad night in ranked and was ready to drop her. But things got better today, when she is on, She is very hard to beat. Back to the topic of the thread I use to only use the shadow air ryo zan as a recap after wallsplat ender-juggle with heavy on ryo zan, linker then and ender, but that was hardly worth the meter since it’s so easy to break. I also wish it was projectile invulnerable. It would crush glacius shadow hail

Me too. That would give it quite a few more MU specific uses. It honestly seems like it should be.

Really? That seems like a super specific property to wish for. Just about the only situation where this would be useful would be against Glacius. It doesn’t have much “travel” to it and is fairly slow, so it’s not like you’d ever use this in any neutral situation to blow through a projectile - you’d just use shadow ORZ instead. Regular air-ORZ clears most fireballs easily enough, so I don’t think this would be much of a buff at all.

Now if you wanted to buff the move’s post-flash startup…THAT would be a buff worth talking about. :slight_smile:

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Hmm. We’ve got Sadira and Kan-Ra who like to toss projectiles in the air, seems like those would be MUs might benefit from it as well.

Or it could just be one of those “hey the grounded version is projectile invincible so my brain expects the air version to be too” kind of things.

I can see it being useful in the Sadira MU as a hardcore punish to widow’s bites, but I don’t think she needs it against Kan. That “one aerial action per jump” nerf means that if he’s putting up a scarab in the air, you should be using descent to get behind him and punish, or at the very least force him to get defensive again at a range he’d prefer you not to be in.

Yeah I can agree with that - if Kan were to spit scarabs at you in an air-to-air situation, then the projectile invulnerability would definitely come in handy. Same with Sadira’s shadow projectile - though oddly, I’ve beaten that on reaction with Shadow Air-ORZ, probably due to a difference in startup frames.