Instinct Canceling Shadow Moves on Last Hit


I think everyone knows what I’m talking about. You do a shadow move and instinct cancel it before the last hit. It makes sense. The opponent can shadow counter and if they do, you get to punish them. If not, you get frame advantage.

Here is a question though. When has this ever worked? Does anyone even attempt the shadow counter if you have instinct? From my experience, no. It never happened. No one shadow counters. Why? Because everyone always instinct cancels before the last hit. If no one shadow counters though, why do people still instinct cancel it. It makes sense if the move is unsafe but people do it with moves that are plus on block. It makes sense if there is a mind game of will the opponent shadow counters or not, but that doesn’t exist.

I would like to know then why do people still instinct cancel before the last hit of a shadow move every single time.


I’d say it definitely does work. And I myself still occasionally fall for it, even knowing everything you just wrote.
It’s easy to theorize stuff like that outside of the game, but during fight any human can mess up.
Like I’ll just forget to even think about my opponent having instinct ready, he’ll do a shadow move that I block (which he probably set up on purpose), and I’ll just feel like I need to punish with a shadow counter. Then the instant I see the instinct pop I get that wonderful feeling of “I fucked up”.
So yes, at some level there may actually be a bit of a mind game of whether or not the opponent will shadow counter. If I see you in battle now, I now know that you think doing this is useless, so then I will shadow counter you.

Aside from that there are other reasons to cancel also, even if it’s just to immediately go for a mixup.


People should be playing the mind game there, where sometimes they don’t cancel the shadow move. It gives you another free mixup, either with frame advantage in some cases, or marginally negative and you might DP xx instinct cancel.

I would only cancel the shadow move every time against a beginner player who isn’t thinking about instinct.


I play primarily Glacius. In every game there’s that moment, where I’m in a combo and I do a S Cold Shoulder. It’s the easiest stuff to break. Are they gonna go for that easy break? So then am I gonna go for the easy counter breaker?
Anything can happen and I love that


I often still shadow counter in that situation, especially against players I know who are good enough that they will try and take their free plus frames there. I hate it when people get free plus frames :joy:

But yeah, at high level a lot of players won’t cancel shadows when they have instinct, so the mind game does exist.


It’s not supposed to be a universal always do it or always don’t do it. Like every other “do it or don’t” thing you’re supposed to choose based off what you think your opponent is going to do. But most people could care less what their opponent is going to do so they just boil it down to picking the option with no risk of getting countered (even if wasting instinct might cost them more in the long run.)


Are not all Shago players doing shadow recap -> Instinct cancel -> Annihilation?


If I won’t instinct cancel shadow move, I have two scenarios:

-Opponent won’t Shadow Counter, cool, i can continue pressure

-Opponent Shadow Counters, I’m screwed

If I will Instinct cancel:

-Opponent won’t shadow counter, I can pressure, tick throw, bait throw with jump, use whatever Instinct gives me

-If he Shadow Counters, he will whiff and I’ll punish him hard.

It’s win/win to Instinct cancel.


Here is the thing though. Because you will instinct cancel every time you have it, the opponent will never shadow counter. Now the situations are the following.

If I don’t Instinct cancel, I continue pressure and keep my instinct. That way, I can do even more mix ups at when I do something unsafe, I’m still safe.
If I instinct cancel, I continue pressure but sacrifice the instinct activation(the activation itself is also very useful option get’s rid of it) so I can do almost I can if I didn’t use Instinct.

Both situations are a win win but one uses an additional resource for no gain. No reason to cancel a plus on block(or at most marginally minus but then you can do a dp into instinct anyways). The reward for not canceling and the opponent not shadow countering is higher than just canceling. It’s kind of similar to people canceling Jago’s forward hk into windkick. You are canceling something that let’s you continue pressure for something a bit less.

Sure there is the risk of the opponent shadow countering but that’s only if you play that mind game. A mind game that is nonexistant if the shadow move is instinct canceled every time. If you cancel it everytime, you can remove the situations where the opponent shadow counters.

That’s just my perspective though. What I’m curious is if people shadow counter you. If they do, then instinct canceling makes a lot more sense. If not though, I would like to know if you would still instinct cancel.


Schrodinger’s Instinct :joy:


This feels relevant