Getting to zoners

I’m sure this topic has been covered, but I’m fishing for tips on how to get to zoners more effectively. I’m using Orchid and Aganos (the intrepid duo) and consistently fail against characters like Kilgore, Kan-Ra, Gargos, or Aria. For sure I am lacking experience and skill, but it still feels like a huge step compared to many other characters. I try to slowly inch my way forward, but usually the opponent just ends up warping to the other side :rofl: Is it just fate? :upside_down_face:

The best I can suggest is to make good use of movement (Orchid especially has extremely fast walk speed) to get in, or to use a projectile Invulnerable Special Move to close the gap. For Orchid, her Shadow Blockade Runner (Firecat) is projectile invulnerable.

I don’t play as Aganos, but you can create walls to change the corners of the arena. I’d imagine smart use of that will help you close the gap.


Those two characters approach zoning very differently, and the strategies will also change somewhat depending on who’s doing the zoning. For Orchid, use her fast walk speed to close distance safely, and if they’re tossing projectiles just slide under them. If you’re very far away, you can also use grenade (hold the button longer to throw farther) to put something on the screen that they have to semi-respect and use that to steal a bunch of space with a safe slide or dashes.

With Aganos, it will depend heavily on the exact zoner you’re facing. Generally speaking though, Aganos’ medium payload boulder projectile is a projectile that nobody wants to trade with - it has very little recovery, so you can sometimes just shoot in response to an enemy fireball and chunk up again immediately after. Faced with that, more standard projectile zoning simply isn’t an option. Also remember that Aganos can just flick most projectiles into oblivion with his LP. Against buttonsy zoning like Kan-Ra or multi-projectile users like Eagle, you’ll have to just walk them down. Another good option will also be to put a wall behind you, turn it into a peacemaker, and then swing and/or toss it at range. If you throw it you get a stagger, and depending on resources Aganos can get anything from a straight combo to an unbreakable 40% combo.

A few notes against the characters you mentioned:

  • Gargos - after you block a portal punch of any strength, you get a free dash (Aganos may not be able to do this depending on chunks)
  • Kan-Ra - Orchid has great buttons for clearing scarabs, while Aganos should usually just flick them. You can also shadow counter some of Kan’s more common bandage normals (the windmill [hits 4x] and cr.MP).
  • Aria - if she’s zoning with bass assist and you’re Aganos, just shoot medium boulder at her. It’ll hit the assist and do insane damage to it, and is pretty much always safe (note that you will get hit by the Aria projectile, but the damage trade is waaay in your favor). If she’s in the actual bass body you’ve just got to walk and block usually, though can shadow through it if have the resources and can stagger her by tossing a peacemaker through her. With Orchid you’ve just got to walk and wait for resources to shadow through.
  • Kilgore - not super familiar with this fight for either of these characters, but most of the cast just has to walk and block. Once he gets overheated, be prepared to shadow counter the ball.

Thanks a lot both of you! Great tips and information. I always forget about Aganos’ flick to destroy projectiles! And just walking in step by step with Orchid seems like a great idea.