Hisako Matchup Thread: Sabrewulf

Good Day, Village of Whispers!

Third thread in the Hisako Matchup series. We’re here to talk about my favorite drug-addicted dog, one Count Von Sabrewulf. I am super excited to hear what everyone has to say about this topic.

Thanks to the patch coming later tonight, I’ll be able to fight endless Sabrewulf shadows as Hisako, and endless Hisako shadows as Sabrewulf. I’ll have a lot more to say about this matchup in the coming weeks as a result. It’s terribly convenient for me, since these are my two main characters.

Just a few notes to start:

  • Unless Sabrewulf has meter, there’s no need to respect his wakeup. Bully that puppy after you score a knockdown. Even when Wulf has meter, his Shadow Eclipse can be catch-countered, just make sure you’ve got the correct read because Wulf has some nasty tools with which to punish a whiffed counter.
  • Abusing catch-counters works well against a scrubby, sporadic, button-mashy Wulf. It will get you mauled by a smart Wulf player.
  • Feral Cancel: Wulf in instinct has the ability to instantly cancel any special or normal. Most other characters will defend against this with clever blocking and shadow-counters; however, Hisako’s shadow-counter is pretty much garbage-tier, and can be stuffed by Wulf, so your best defense against Wulf following up a cancel with an attack is a catch-counter. Don’t get caught in a whirlwind of confusion, remember that you have ample means to stop that puppy from crapping on your floor.
  • Speaking of catch-counters, low (K-K-K) counter is your friend. Wulf’s only “standing” overhead is Leaping Slash, which must be countered with P-P-P. Other than Leaping Slash and jump-ins, Wulf’s arsenal can be countered with K-K-K. With the exception of…
  • Fully Charged Overpower (if you’re not familiar, it’s the move that makes Wulf look like he wants a hug before his hands turn blue and he claps your skull, Hugo-style) CANNOT be catch-countered; it’s unblockable, and Hisako’s counters do not work against unblockable attacks. If those paws turn blue, keep your distance (if spacing is permitting, jump-back > Airborne ORZ is a nice whiff punish).
  • Hisako’s forward dash will NOT low-profile Leaping Slash (Shadow or otherwise); Hisako’s dash will be stopped due to Wulf’s yellow box elongating and remaining in contact with the ground. Your best defense against this continues to be a P-P-P counter (K-K-K will not work, as this attack hits overhead), which CAN be done as a reaction to the freeze; however, it’s not your ONLY option. Cl.MP can also be used to stuff this attack as a reaction to the freeze (though clearly a counter is your better option).
  • Take to the sky: Take Wulf into training, turn hitboxes on, and take a nice browse through his catalog of attacks; you’ll notice that he’s largely horizontal, and his anti-airs are all predicated on your being somewhat close to him. Your superior air mobility and fantastic Naginata range can be used to geometric advantage in this matchup. Just be careful not to be right on top of him, and try to stay out of the range of his running uppercut.

All this having been said… I don’t know nearly enough about this matchup (or this game, for that matter) to state how this matchup plays out at a high level. That’s why I start these discussions… I need to learn. Please chime in on any of the above, and please feel free to share any thoughts you might have.

Going to tag some Wulf players I am aware of; feel free to bring any dogs you might know or I might have forgotten into the discussion!

@UAPaulB @TwoDogKnight @Fwufikins @SabreMetrics @TGZBossWulf @AddictedToKaos @MaruMDQ @AbrahmLion

1 Like

Thanks for the tag sir, I would be happy to run some sets sometime as I have a pretty good Hisako locally that bodies people in our ranbats. I will add you and send an invite if you are on. Nice post.

TGZ Boss Wulf

1 Like

Thanks man, that would be awesome! Looking forward to palying some sets with you! :grin:

I’d say there are a few areas where Waifu vs Wulf gets interesting.

-Hisako as pretty good damage for a Season 2 character, but Sabrewulf can chew through your life bar a lot faster if they get the upper hand. Their combos are quicker and their overall damage can get higher, especially in instinct where a Wulf with full meter can almost take an entire lifebar in one go.

-Both of them have pretty easy manuals, and some rather deceptive linkers, making them both difficult to break in certain situations.

-While Hisako definitely has range advantage, it would be unwise to underestimate Sabrewulf’s ability to close that distance. He’s got some pretty lanky limbs for good normals, and with the exception of eclipse all of his specials send him flying forward.

-Hisako has her command grabs, but Wulf’s basic throw has better range than hers AND causes a hard knockdown.

-This probably goes without saying, but Hisako without wrath meter isn’t in a very good place. If the puppy can keep her on the defensive after a failed offensive push, she’s in big trouble. If I remember right, Hisako doesn’t regain Wrath if she’s blocking or being combo’d.

-Doggy’s ready for walkies, and their in game speed reflects this. They’re going to have a much easier time getting around. Or, they would, if ghost girl’s counters, ridiculous reach, and vacuum command grab weren’t in the way.

-Wulf is a good exercise for Hisako catch counters. She can counter either high or low, and Wulf has a mostly ambiguous high/low mix up. It’s like Rock Paper Scissors, but with more bleeding. Obviously, though, bae can usually rely on low counter for non running/jumping…well, anyone. However, Wulf’s running slash could be a foil to this, since it comes out pretty quick compared to some other overheads.

-They’re both quite flexible. Neither will have any issues with stiffness growing old.

-Wulf’s definitely been working out more, though I suspect he might be abusing performance enhancing substances.

-Hisako definitely has a better butt. There was a spooky booty hype train for a reason. Fuzzy buns doesn’t stand a chance.


Absolutely. Hisako’s meterless damage is on par with Wulf, but with Shadow and Instinct considered, Wulf hits Hisako like a freight-train.

And this is why air mobility, in my opinion, plays a big part in this matchup. You are absolutely correct in saying that Hisako shouldn’t be caught sleeping on Wulf’s attack range.

I confirmed this just last night in training mode, it’s pretty important and I can’t believe I forgot to mention it. One can always compensate with heavy Influence if a throw is anticipated.


And let’s not forget her ultra-sweet forward dash, wall jump and s e x y airtime. :wink:

I find it easier to react to the distinct snarling sound Wulf makeson startup when this move is executed, rather than the animation, for that exact reason.

:laughing: Yep, it’s a Fwufi post alright! :laughing:

1 Like

This is actually one of my personal struggle MU’s. I know a lot of people think Hisako beats Wulf, but I think he does pretty well against her. The fight is no more than 5-5 tops for Hisko IMO.

I think @Marbledecker mostly hit the high notes here. Wulf’s wakeup options against her are pretty bad in general, even once he does get shadow eclipse since Hisako has a lot of ways to bait it into catch counter. I think he really wrecks her on knockdown though. Hisako’s in general have been taught to play real defense instead of just throwing out counters, and Wulf has always more or less blown up attempts at “real” defense across the entire cast. He just has so many options off a knockdown that it’s really, really difficult to cover all the bases. I think in a longer set Hisako begins to catch up on the particular offensive style favored by the Wulf player, but in a quick set there usually just isn’t enough time to develop a solid read, which you emphatically need in this fight.

And I think the strength of Hisako’s air mobility is a bit overstated in this MU. Wulf running upper goes far enough fast enough to punish a lot of her standard aerial approaches. Air ORZ may change your trajectory, but it also loses to running upper and is trip-guardable. Wulf is among the better members of the cast in punishing a whiffed one.

Wulf’s like to push buttons while in instinct, so I actually think his activation isn’t the scariest thing in the world for her. You can usually just mash counter at the first feral cancel you see while in blockstun and then profit.

That’s pretty much all I’ve got on this one. Hisako’s oki games are as strong as ever, but things can get pretty rough on defense. Her balls-bad backdash hurts her more in this fight than in most others, as she can’t clear either neutral jump or overpower pressure. You really just have to sit there and take Wulf’s pressure, in whatever variety he deigns to unleash on you.


Great stuff as always @STORM179! Thanks for your $0.25 on the matter!

Great points made here. I’d say that I tend to use her air mobility more in the context of frustrating Wulf by always being outside his effective range, forcing him to do something stupid to try to get in. But this should obviously be done with care, and if we’re just flying about tossing out Air-ORZs all day we can expect to get tyrannosaurus-rekt.

1 Like

Thanks for the tag! I’ll also send an invite out and we can run some. Your post was well done, informative, and easy on the eyes!

As you alluded to, wulf’s rushdown tactics can get him torn apart if he spams attacks constantly. I personally keep 3 things in mind when ghost-hunting the girly ghoul:

  • Vary attack timing more than most other matchups, especially wake up pressure. Being consistent (predictable) in your approach with anyone will make your life bar disappear quickly, but Hisako can take advantage of this better than most.

  • Shadow Eclipse on wake up (or any opener while she’s standing for that matter) will probably be a waste of shadow bar fighting a good ghost. Best save bar for linkers or enders.

  • work the dash a bit more than the average matchup. This includes situations that you would normally never entertain the notion. It won’t get caught, and should allow a counter attack opportunity at best. At worse, well… just don’t get predictable heh heh.

Hope to see ya on at some point!
(Anyone else feel free to send an invite, too)

  • SabreMetrics
1 Like

OK so… Hisako cannot dash under Leaping Slash whatsoever, shadow or not, but it’s NOT because of the hitbox! Take Wulf into training mode and turn hitboxes on; when you input the Slash, you’ll notice that the yellow box will actually expand (err, elongate) and contract in accordance with Wulf’s jump arc. If you attempt to dash under it, Hisako cannot get past the yellow box representing Wulf’s physical presence.

I’ll update the OP accordingly. :relaxed:

People try and dash under leaping slash? That’s hella ballsy o_O


I tried… and failed :cold_sweat:

tried and failed here too lol.

something you have to look out for is that some wulfs are really fast with that sweep of his. wulf obviously watched the karate kid one time too many, because he can go cobra kai on your a$$ and take sensei’s advice. SWEEP THE LEG. then you are open to his pressure. i try to stay out of range of his sweep and use my naginata normals to counter hit him and get some stun in there so i can open up on him.

i also have noticed that if you get combo’d by wulf, i think its best to break his linkers and not his manuals when you’re fightin a manual only wulf which is like 80% of the time for me grumbles. idk about you all, but i never knew his heavy linkers hit only twice, not 3 times. that threw me off so bad and cost me dozens of matches, wish i knew this earlier.

upon learning that, my win rate has gone up so long as i am not combo’d. he gets really hard to break. eager wulfs who love to dash at you, you can kirby them if you get the read good enough and they arent far away enough to react in time.

countering low as you mentioned is also the way to go against his cobra kai tactics and usually wulfs do cr.lp to hit confirm into something. some also go for magic series which is easily breakable but watch it you dont break it all the time cuz they turn it into CB bait.

wulfs usually frequently dash thru alot trying to throw you. ive started seeing improvement in landing my influence grabs. IF you are fast enough, you can input the motion opposite direction and when he passes through, you’ve got him running into your naginata. even better if its a 100% wrath so you can start throw cancelling shenanigans etc

these are just some of the things ive seen this past week. im getting better against wulf, i just need to slow down and be more patient. i find when i am fighting way too quick, trying to wake up (lol i know shes got none), it gets me killed against wulf and anybody else.


Wulf’s sweep is definitely amazing. Play my Wulf shadow and you’ll see just how much I love it, haha!

I haven’t attempted the Influence grab after he dashes through, I’ll have to give that a shot in training mode!

As I recall, his punch linkers hit 1/2/3 times based on the strength utilized. I may be having a momentary lapse of memory… I’ll be in training mode this weekend though :smile: Kick linkers are a different story altogether.

You’ll see smart wolves using the Cr.LK to confirm, since it’s plus on block and can be used with :arrow_left: + HP to frame trap. CORRECTION: Just mash counter when getting the ol’ Cr.LK pressure. Credit to @STORM179’s post below, and confirmed in game one night after posting this.

Hopefully I can get some Sabrewulf matches recorded this weekend that are worthy of example/sharing.

Hmm… that actually gives me an idea for training mode this weekend… :grinning:

Meh. Doable, but requires that you make the extra hard commitment and input QCF+P on your wakeup. Will still lose if the setup is dash->meaty, and will lose to basically anything else that Wulf does besides late dash-through or dash->throw. Rekka start-up is awful, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get hit for trying it if Wulf stays in front. All in all, I think it’s a very poor way to try and punish dash-throughs. In neutral she has better options to use against Wulf’s dash, and on knockdown it loses to too many things.

Eff that. Hisako has one of the better responses among the non-reversal cast to this type of pressure. Someone wants to cr+LK you repeatedly, just mash counter. The "setup " that’s in vogue for the light kick frame traps is to either keep pressing it for the frame trap, or to toss out one or two and then throw. Unless they’re going for cr+LK->throw immediately, simply mashing counter will put a stop to that nonsense. Once you do that once or twice most people will either shift to more standard pressure, or begin to go for the throw more quickly. Like everything Hisako, your goal is to train them to not do annoying things and then punish them for not using those simple annoying things.

You see someone use a LK frame trap, you mash counter on them and teach them they better do something that’s more of a commitment. Force them to do things to bait counters that leave them punishable if they guessed wrong.


Played Vs. my Sabrewulf shadow last night quite a few times and found that the instances where this worked to be due to luck more than anything. I actually never attempted it on wakeup, I think I convinced myself some time ago that influence was a poor wakeup option unless you’ve got a read on a throw. Then again, I think @R1stormrider was using it specifically in the scenario of a Wulf that does Dash > Throw over and over, so using Influence could be a way to train them to stop doing that so much.


Had a moment of revelation last night on that very same topic… “Wait, my counter comes out in basically no frames at all… going for it”. Totally works on both Cr.LK spam as well as Cr.LK > :arrow_left: +P. I’ve edited the post to reflect such, and credited you for the correction.

So, a brief digression:

TJ Combo, Glacius, Kan-Ra, Spinal, Sadira and Cinder all had one vote on my poll in the Jago thread.
Which of these matchups would you folks like to explore in the next thread?


  • Glacius
  • TJ Combo
  • Kan-Ra
  • Spinal
  • Sadira
  • Cinder

Sadira vs Hisako. Battle of the waifus.

She’s got 2/3 votes thus far… and I suspect that @STORM179 is probably stoked to hash that one out :relaxed:

I recently fought Mitonson and “Favorited” the replays, but ended up playing so many matches afterward that I lost the replays :frowning:

Lol. I’ve actually got 3 replays ready to go on that MU @Marbledecker :grin: Unlike the Saberwulf or Riptor MU’s, I actually have something to contribute in that one. :+1:

1 Like