Is Kan-Ra a defensive character

I, like many of us, find Kan-Ra to be too weak in season 3. However I’ve been watching a bunch of Fubuki while at the same time watching the random Kan-Ra’s that are in tournaments. Almost every Kan-Ra that plays defense with short combos and scarabs, while harassing with sMP, sHP or cMP end up getting overwhelmed or just left behind in the damage.

However Fubuki seems to do away with any form of zoning and goes for almost exclusively command grab setups left right and center. Every thing he does either setups of a manual into a command grab, poke in command grab, or jump around into command grab.

So I ask you guys is S3 Kan-Ra a defensive character because I’m beginning to believe he’s not and that our old defensive play isn’t going to cut it in the long run. Thoughts?

Kan-Ra is not a zoner.

He is a trap grappler.


It’s true, this is how IG has most often refereed to Kan Ra’s playstyle. He is meant to put his opponent into situations in which their options are very limited and they must take damage in some way. The most common example is doing a grab after his swarm ender, so you must choose between risking dodging the grab, getting grabbed, or jumping into the swarm.

But with the nerf to swarm damage jumping into swarm isn’t really a bad option. But I guess I should reword the topic to say should Kan-Ra be played aggressive or defensive.

Well technically, just about everyone can do both, if you think about it. Overwhelming your opponent and just waiting until they do something stupid are both viable strategies.

In Kan-Ra’s case, he just happens to excell really well at the “wait till you do something stupid” plan. He can bait out approaches and counter attacks like a dead whale brings out sharks. If you jump into a swarm, he has multiple ways of recapturing you into a combo. If you try and stay grounded, he can pester you with sand spike. If you focus on blocking or trying to get around his non-sense on the ground, out come the half screen (and situationally anti-air) command grabs. Teleports can be stifled with jumping or Sacrifice and even just basic punishes.

He can turn the arena into a minefield and choose how you walk through it. A good Kan-Ra, while not nearly as insurmountable as in Season 2, is a force to be reckoned with.

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That’s the way I want to play Kan-Ra but from what I’ve been seeing and also faced defensive Ra just doesn’t get the job doesn’t as consistently or as efficiently. I feel like there’s some key part to it that I’m missing but most evidence points to offensive being the better strategy

Then use him aggressively, if you’d like. Use your traps to keep your opponent pinned and then hit them with crazy BS. Though I’m pretty sure most of the nerfs Kan-Ra received were in direct detriment to a more rushdown oriented play (such as not being able to use another attack after a jumping swarm, or making shadow swarm shadow-counterable) I’m not going to say you shouldn’t do what you want.
I mean, I try to turn basically every character I play into a particular cocktail of playstyles, and sometimes it ruins me. Other times it gets me big wins.
The best solution is the try things out yourself rather than wonder what we think. :wink:

True doesn’t help to get other opinions though. Maybe someone has a hidden strategy that they like using that’s the missing link for my own personal strategy. Can’t hurt right

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I’m assuming you mean doesn’t hurt :wink: But you’re right. If there’s something fundamental that your missing, seeking assistance is a good way to find out. But seeing as you seem to have a pretty firm grasp on the tools Kan-Ra has (correct me if I’m wrong) the only piece left is to put it in motion.

This thread for me is almost a bit of an eye-opener. I’ve heard people call him a trap grappler before, but it never really clicked with me until I read this thread. While I knew Kan Ra had good setups, I could never quite pull them off very effectively, which is why I so often play him defensively. If I put out a swarm, they destroy it, go right through it with a projectile safe move, or rush in before it becomes active, etc. If I use sandspike, they block it. If I put out a sandtrap, it either comes out too slow or never where I need it. While the command grab is effective, I never quite mastered moving my opponent backward or forward while doing it, since I have a habit of completing the input and letting go. If I use shadow sandspike I waste and lose it by accident by doing other moves. If I use whirlwind, it’s easily broken… I have him at level 49, but feel like I’m nowhere near where I need to even be remotely considered good with him…

I have him at 50 and it still feels like I haven’t unlocked how this character plays to his fullest. I’ve recently started putting command grabs into my game and there’s a definate difference. It’s just really hard to break the keep away habit.

All you guys should follow Fubuki 142 on xbl. He streams a lot and he answers questions in his chat.
So take a notebook and watch him doing his work.

He definitely adds some swag to Ra with his crazy instinct setups and his ability to confirm every random hit into something awesome.
The best part for me in watching him is that I see a lot of stuff that he can still improve. His meter management is far from optimal and he could use shadow trap a lot more.

His style is very different from mine and IMO if I am able to combine both our styles that Ra would definitely be viable.

I see him as more of a trap/set up character

Been trying to play Kan-Ra and whether I play him agressive or defensive, I always, near enough without fail, get beaten. Mostly by jumping characters, even if I put a swarm up in the air, they still avoid it and can punish me without me able to do a thing.

I wouldn’t get too down on yourself playing a character that you are unfamiliar with especially with Kan Ra. He’s not the easiest character to use.