Instinct cancelling from combo breakers

I’m surprised actually that this is still in the game. A combo breaker should only reward the breaking player by putting the game back into neutral for both players. No advantage should be given to either player from a breaker, let alone give the breaking player a combo or a setup situation, no matter how many resources he or she spends or how much risk is being put in by attempting the breaker. The breaker itself is rewarding enough in that that you prevent damage done to you and you are breaking the pressure that led to you getting opened up.

Can we please get rid of this in S3?

Agree? Disagree? Discuss!


This may be an over-site and may not of been addressed because no one complained about it till now.

1 Like

Well, I’ve seen others bring it up on the old forums. I never heard anyone being in favor of it.

It’s been complained about before, on the old forums Keits gave his reasons about why it won’t be removed, don’t remember what his points were but honestly aside from Jago and Spinal (maybe Hisako) instinct cancelling a combo breaker is just a waste of instinct.

I’d add Sadira to the list since she can go right into offense after the cancel and her instinct is so good.

Hisako can definitely benefit from it. Sabrewulf too. Recapture then go for a reset. Jago, outside of him being able to regenerate, can also go for resets. Spinal, will take your instinct and bars. A character like Glacius, who already isn’t the strongest character in the cast, has nothing more than mere frame advantage (he had some unblockable stuff but they took that away for some reason, iirc).

Most (if not all) recapture characters can go for one-chance-to-break hard knockdowns and proceed with pressure just to name one option. Is it worth the instinct? Depends on the state of the match. If the other guy is on his last pixels, then yes.

I’m very curious to know what Keits points were regarding this issue. Unless it is very hard to remove, I see no reason to keep it.

i like it, but then again i use it sometimes :blush: just like the way you cancel a dp to keep it safe, you can cancel a break for a little offense. Not a big deal.

1 Like

It goes along with the risk/reward design of the game. For some characters, popping instinct after a breaker can lead to an advantage, but since the Breaker acts as an opener it’s usually breakable.
Some can recapture, maybe even into ultra, but that usually requires spending meter for a move that’s usually quite breakable, leading to a waste of both instinct and shadow if your head’s in the game. Otherwise, the most you can get off of instinct canceling after a break are some light juggles, and those don’t deal enough damage to be worth the risk.
The only character that gains a definite, distinct advantage would likely be Jago, since his fireballs regain health and aren’t breakable. Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry too much.

By this logic you’re saying that you can potentially waste your own meter and due to poor management can potentially ■■■■■ you over.

On the other hand it can benefit if you’ve done so at the right time.

1 Like

You can only do this 2 times in a match, and your own reversal can be broken. So I don’t really see a problem here.


It’s been brought up before, mainly about what Jago gets off it, with Spinal thrown in there as well. The general rationale Keits gave for why it’s viable and why it shouldn’t (won’t) be removed is that in order for the biggest swings from it, the characters generally have to be holding onto shadow meter. If they’re holding onto their meter for breaker->instinct cancel->shenanigans, then they by definition aren’t using that meter for other very important things, like upfront combo damage (normal->shadow), shadow counters, or damage enders. The fact that they’re hoarding their meter means they’re intentionally gimping themselves throughout large portions of the fight. Fuglore breaker->instinct cancel->hype beam is dangerous and ridiculous and shenanigansy as all heck, but it also drains the entirety of his bar, bar that could be spent doing amazing fireball setups or nearly impossible to catch zoning.

Basically, the rationale is that the cost of holding onto meter for breaker->instinct->shenanigans is a commensurate tradeoff to what shadow meter can be used for throughout the fight, and that the instinct cancel window itself is also a prize that is being “spent” to pull it off. Even for a character like Hisako, who gets a free (if breakable) meterless recap off her version of break->instinct cancel, giving up the screen freeze is a notable trade. I always say that “if Hisako pops instinct next to you, then you just got combo’d” - but if I spend the instinct cancel on a breaker, then I’ve now given up that opportunity to get up for free, or to do something unsafe, or to instinct cancel reset a combo or bait an orange lockout on a wind-up double.

Your mileage may vary on how convincing that sounds, but that’s the developers’ rationale for the mechanic. I think it mainly holds true, but I do think some characters * coughJagocough * probably get a bit too much off it. Jago is safe on most things and does great damage anyway, so the meter loss isn’t a huge tradeoff for a guaranteed 30% health regen. But I can understand the argument, and even if I don’t like Jago’s particular application of the mechanic, it doesn’t bother me too much overall.

ill admit i feel really dirty getting unbreakable health regen from it lol


As far as your Jago breaker mechanic, whats to stop him from Instinct canceling a stray DP anyways? It gets the same effect. So regardless of whether or not it comes directly from a combo breaker is usually irrelevant. The same effect can be gotten more often it’s just a 1 or 2 time thing that can happen but it is by far not absurdly broken in any way shape or form. As a Fulgore player I would never instinct cancel a breaker into beam. The only useful setup for the beam is a wall splat into beam because it is not scaled and you’re in setup range for an easy cash out.

Also I would bring up Kan-Ra over Jago since he can theoretically get a full combo from a breaker without even having to move. A Full combo that doesn’t even require meter btw.

Hisako also gets the meterless recap off breaker->instinct, as do Cinder and Aganos. That mechanic isn’t particularly unique. Multiple other characters get recaptures off of the same with the use of a bar. What Kan-Ra can do off the instinct cancel isn’t particularly impressive. Nor did I say the mechanic of breaker->instinct cancel->shenanigans was broken - I’m pretty sure in fact that I said the opposite. Yes, I picked on Jago, but as much as his particular use of this mechanic is annoying, no, I don’t think it’s broken.

I think the thing that makes Jago’s instinct cancel from breaker so annoying (and why people consistently bring him up in this argument) is that it’s a massive life swing that comes about because you hit Jago. He messed up in neutral, you take your combo as a reward, and then he mashes out a lucky breaker and has 30% of his health back. And if he touches you with an overhead or low forward from that point on, you’re about to eat another life-building combo that’s probably going to build a bar for him to hit you with another life-giving shadow fireball. It’s downright annoying, and it all happened because Jago got hit. Now, the other characters also get shenanigans off the mechanic - and that’s ok, cause KI is full of shenanigans across the board. But aside from Spinal (and Fulgore, for whom it’s just probably a bad idea), most of the rest of the cast’s breaker->instinct cancel shenanigans tend to work within the breaker system, and thus they have to take their own chances to profit off breaker->instinct cancel. Jago does not - his flowchart is pretty much combo break->instinct cancel->profit. That’s why people complain about it.

And the difference between DP->instinct cancel and breaker->instinct cancel is that the former means the situation was already neutral, whereas the latter means he is in the midst of being punished. The two situations are not the same - going from neutral to winning and going from definitively losing to winning are not equivalent. At least not in my opinion.

But no, all that said I still don’t think the mechanic is broken. I think Jago life regen is pretty BS generally, but it’s not broken. Annoying, yes - but not broken. Please don’t put words in my mouth.


I never put any words in your mouth… That situation requires Jago to have Full instinct, and 2 full shadow stocks to earn his 30% Hp back. Then he has to break you, and decide to burn all of his resources for 30% HP rather than potentially dealing 50-60% to you in a combo. So the actual Hp difference he nets from using 2 shadow stocks and his instinct is 30-40% so it’s theoretically a loss from using it in combo. Yeah it might be annoying but, if he is saving his resources for that situation, he isn’t using it to extend or make his combo’s harder to break or do more damage. He isn’t saving his instinct to cover up a potential mistake he might make. As far as I see it, it might look like a very good thing to spend all of your meter and instinct on, but unless it’s going to guarantee a round or victory, I would honestly use my meter elsewhere if I were Jago. It’s just too situational since it requires full resources, even on a character who can build them. There might be a situation where he wants to use it, but it’s like a Fulgore deciding to use his beam. Is the effect meh, good, or great? Will it win me the match? Can I capitalize on it into an advantageous situation? Say he burnt his instinct and 2 shadows to pull him out of danger, and gets a decent life cushion but then doesn’t have enough meter where a shadow cash out would have won him the match and he gets caught in a short shadow combo and loses? Those are all things I try to analyze. It’s all speculation really and I can understand where you’re coming from, but at the same time I can also see that it may not be the best use of his meter either.

I think there are “a few” characters that can get good stuff off of it. Clearly Jago and Spinal are at the top of the list, but Hisako, TJ, Cinder, and others (Kan-Ra probably?) can get full combos. I think it’s the only time Aganos can use instinct on defense (although if he just breakered and then activated first frame in neutral it’s still okay I guess).

Dunno. It’s pretty good for Jago and Spinal, decently good for a few others, and fairly useless for other people because the instinct activation freeze is a really precious resource. If they keep it in, I’ll be okay with it. If they remove it, I won’t be particularly sad either. -shrug-

“The general rationale Keits gave for why it’s viable and why it shouldn’t (won’t) be removed is that in order for the biggest swings from it, the characters generally have to be holding onto shadow meter. If they’re holding onto their meter for breaker->instinct cancel->shenanigans, then they by definition aren’t using that meter for other very important things, like upfront combo damage (normal->shadow), shadow counters, or damage enders.”

Why do you need to be holding on to meter? There are plenty of times when you break someone and you just have the meter to spend. I usually don’t save my meter for something or other, it’s depending on the situation. Can I kill someone by using a certain resource? If yes, then I will.

This whole mechanic doesn’t really bother me most of the time, but taking someones lifebar (even if it’s just the first one) off of a situation where you were punished just seems wrong to me.

I get that it isn’t viable in most cases but why not just remove it?

AFAIK it was Ishmae1 who weighed in on the previous discussion rather than Keits. The combo breaker > instinct cancel > follow up combo was intended by the developers and was introduced as the only way to combo off a breaker (in s1 there were one or two other ways to do so but they were removed). It’s not an oversight, it was specifically designed that way, and as such I can’t see it being removed as it is performing as intended.

1 Like

There are actually other ways to combo off breakers. If you air break certain moves with certain timing/spacing, you can land before they do and continue the combo. It’s pretty rare, though, and it’s only a certain few moves that don’t get sent flying on air breaker the way you normally are.


Intended? Whuuuuuuut.

Well, there goes my hope of seeing this removed, haha.

I think it’s dumb, having your combo broken and losing damage should be enough punishment you shouldn’t have to be punished further based on what match up your in and whether or not their cancel can lead to damage.

Instinct cancelling is already powerful enough for making a move safe, locking people out in combo and guaranteeing an anti-air punish with certain characters. I don’t see why it also needs to serve to further punish and already punished opponent (who was on offense) in a combo breaker. And with Jago specifically it’s a joke, the execution is trivial since you don’t really need to hit confirm your combo breaker either you’ll get your combo breaker or you’ll get locked out so mashing instinct cancel after hitting combo breaker can be done regardless.

The reward far outweighs the risk.