KI Matchups, help needed! ~ Cinder

Hi, I’m currently making a matchup PowerPoint on the KI Characters for new beginners, For Cinder, I need help from people who know how he works and i need to know crucially, what characters from the whole roster are difficult opponents for him, and what are characters are safe for him to play against. You will definitely receive credit for the help. ~ Kieran

The parts that I bolded are the important bits. Thing like the characters that I think are especially good, or bad, or things that you’ll need to note. Just remember that this is all my opinion though. I’ll edit it as needed like adding details if you need them.

Everyone I don’t mention here I think is mostly even.


Cinder is definitely a character that you’ll need to get use to his mobility with. The thing I always tell people that want to learn Cinder is that Trailblazer is the most important this you’ll need to master. Because it’s going to be his main mobility tool and a primary offense tool as well. I also tell them that learning how to juggle with Trailblazer is just as important.

He’s not the kind of character where he’ll be immediately getting damage with. His damage output is actually pretty bad lol. He needs to set up that damage with Burnout and then cash it out in one short combo. Don’t get into the habit of always going for the long combo with him IMO.


Cinder does well against…

  • Sadira (as long as you don’t let her get on top of you)
  • TJ Combo / Kim Wu (abuse their lack of a strong wakeup)
  • Aganos (Many ways of stopping him from getting chunks)
  • General RAAM (Has a tough time catching up to Cinder, but there is still room for discovery)

Cinder has trouble against…

Characters with really good normals or zoning.

  • Jago (Normals)
  • Sabrewulf (Normals, this would be more important if it weren’t for his damage reduction)
  • Glacius (Zoning)
  • Orchid (Normals)
  • Fulgore (Both)
  • Kan-Ra (Zoning, but there are exceptions)
  • Hisako (Normals, specifically the range)

Special cases

  • ARIA (Mostly Good) - Most of the time, you’ll spend this matchup trying to catch her and I think that’s easier to do with Booster Body, because of Cinder’s mobility, but harder to do with Bass body, because of her good zoning. Burnout is also crucial in this matchup since ARIA can’t recover potential damage unless she switches bodies.
  • Shadow Jago/Rash - Both of these characters have good normals but their overall playstyles lean more on the gimmicky aspects. Although I will say that I think the Rash matchup can be explored further on both sides.
  • Arbiter (Bad) - This matchup isn’t hindered because of neither his normals or zoning. It’s the Overshield that makes it a bad matchup which covers many of Cinder’s basic combo starters such as Fission, and Fired Up Fire Flash.
  • Mira (Good) - While Mira has good normals, this matchup is heavily influenced by the fact that Mira sacrifices her own health to deal offense. In conjunction with Burnout, this makes it tough for Mira to survive long. You still have to worry about her big damage output though.
  • Gargos - While Gargos’ zoning is powerful, he falls short when you manage to get close to him. He lacks a good wakeup and his armor can easily be dealt with using Heavy Third Degree combos. Trailblazer can be used to close the distance and hit minions at the same time.

I can agree with the matchup advice you’re giving.

However, from my own experience and thoughts, I don’t know if I agree with his good and bad matchups. Kim Wu and Raam definitely have the tools to deal with Cinder pretty well, and I think those are even. And if you know how to apply all your tools well, I think Hisako and Kan-Ra are pretty even as well. I also can’t say anything about the Aganos MU because I suck at fighting him in general lol.

Other than that, I can agree with the other MUs. Cinder play requires that you set up your offense with bombs or strange trailblazer patterns. Once you get in, you have to pressure the opponent with frame traps and inferno for potential damage. Just try not to get caught midscreen without anything set up, or else characters like Hisako can really take advantage.

In response to your Kim and RAAm:

Kim struggles b/c any dragon cancel/overhead special is a free combo punish off of third degree and even though she can reflect bombs, it blows and bombs can still get through it.

RAAM? Lol, zone. Bombs, inferno, and escape his pressure if he does it close. He can’t do anything. His dash sucks, and if he tries to do kryll rush? Hold inferno. Yeah, it has full projectile invincibility…until he tries to grab at the end.

Short and sweet since I’m at work:

Season 1 beats Cinder

Does well against season 2

Tusk/Arbiter are a struggle for season 3

Mira is even.

I’m not sure I understand your Kim point. Overhead is -3, so Cinder can’t punish it. And reflecting bombs is actually a very good strategy. I played a long set with @BHswordsman09 and found that it really worked well.

Also, Raam has good zone busting tools that I’ve seen few people try to use. That kryll shield dash cancel is MUCH better at getting past zoning than people give it credit for. Also Raam has the best anti-airs in the game, so trailblazing all over him doesn’t work either. I haven’t seen this MU much, granted, but I feel like (if played right) Raam can do well against Cinder.

I’ve played Kim’s too. Overhead is not a true block string. Why are you letting them land it? Punch her before she even lands.

Also, been playing against several RAAM’s. Learn your neutral! Trailblazing around with someone that has a godlike anti air? Stop. Same with anybody with a dp. Those mixups might be nice, but it’s an easy punish waiting forever for the trailblaze to stop and get your hk/mk out.

His FADC is useful, but quite slow too. You have to play zoning and only that. Don’t play up close with a grappler. You’ll lose.

Cinder’s medium kick into overhead and inferno aren’t true blockstrings either, yet people get hit by them all the time.

Also, if a Raam uses kryll shield well, he can get a TON of meter off your zoning with little cost to him. I’m not going to try to compete with your opinion on this MU since I’ve only seen it maybe once, but I’m willing to believe that many Raam players don’t use their zone busting tools right.

Bad habits right there. The people I’ve been practicing with rarely ever fall for that now. It makes me sad. Not even worth doing.

Bait shields since it is slow and the dashes are punishable. Fired up? Inferno inferno inferno. Lock him down. The shield is not as amazing as you think.

Guess your experiences have been different than mine. The people you’ve been fighting must have had a ton of practice in the MU to punish those things on reaction. There’s always frame traps if I need to back up a bit, though.

Rather practice with people who knows the gimmicks. Helps me not do them.

Frame traps are nice tho! Wish it’d work against the lovely dps of season 1 tho

He bodies Thunder lol. Thats for damn sure.

Considering I fight in the Glacius MU a hell of alot more than some folks (and I say this in a degree of shame and confidence)

Here’s some MU advice against Glacius.

Your main objective when fighting the “Angry Snowman from Outer-Space” is to get in as close as possible and stay on him. Glacius is not as good up close but there’s a few reasons this is easier said than done.

1-Glacius has great rach for alot of his attacks, especially his icicle kick (which a certain someone I know abuses…alot).

2- The Hail isn’t really biggest problem unless your trailblazing and you can run into stuff like that.

3- Way stronger damage wise, even up close.

4- Your trailblazer is a good mobility but’s ■■■■ at everything else. Don’t expect to beat the ice-man in a cold-shoulder vs trailblazer lancing contest. Because cinder will always lose that.

That being said I have some tips for alot of these.


Against Glacius’ hail he’ll usually do this when he’s full screen. Don’t use trailblazer yet. Throw some bombs to stick them or hit them. If you don’t break the hail. You can at least stick em’ make them think about their moves before they throw it out. This is because a press of the trigger and boom Glacius is knocked down. THEN you can move in to get close.

Just don’t get hit when the bombs stuck on Glacius other wise they fizzle out. He can puddle but there’s certain points where he is vulnerable when using puddle.

Now if he’s just within range of Fired Up Trailblazer, you can shoot that, once you hit ( blocked or not) )and if you have meter, cancel into shadow trailblazer, which makes up for the fact it had crap range on raw.


This always ticked me off but when Glacius did icicle kicks, it made it hard to fight them. Thanks @SonicDolphin117 who’s opinion is this MU is way more fair than I once thought. You can time some jump kicks like your light or your medium, you time it and you’ll hit Glacius instead. Becuse the icicle kick does extend a hurt box.


If you’re close enough, use your light inferno to shoot into the air and hit him when he either kicks or is about to jump.


Ok let’s say you get to Glacius and you wanna get him. The biggest issue is to watch out for a puddle punch and so on. However in a hilariously ironic twist, all his close combat moves are “kicks” SO if you have him cornered in a combo light his feet on fire. To get you off Glacius will use all his close combat tools but he’ll only be lighting himelf on fire.

OR it can force Glacius to use his punches which are more range. and you can throw in some third degree target combos to catch him if he tries this.

Now if you don’t have him cornered light his hands on fire and back off. He’ll either zone with punches and build up fire damage. OR he’ll come to you. Either way you want him to play to your tune. Not the other way around.


Against Glacius zoning, Cinder’s trailblazer is an untrained pilot flying blindly into a mountain with cover on the windshield, blind folded, and ears plugged. If Glacius is to far away to catch with trailblazer don’t do it. Follow tip 1.

Personally I don’t use trailblazer much in this MU unless I can juggle, or use it to get in via shadow-trailblazer but only on ranges where it works.

Glacius is one of the few that can make Cinder play differently than what his designs are intended to do. But with this MU you have to be patient if you ever want the candle to beat the glacier.

From my experience that’s how you snag a win against Glacius.

Here’s what I collected…

To be honest, I don’t think the Jago matchup is as bad as we think, and neither is the Orchid or Fulgore matchups.

To me, the most troublesome matchups he has are:

Kan Ra - For the most obvious reasons really, his pure wall of defense projectile abilities and his unusual mobility in instinct, his super good j.HP and nicely super ranged normals really pose a problem for Cinder’s traditional mobility methods, and force him to abandon trailblazer for a more methodically slow approach, which almost always plays into the Kan Ra players hands. While the bugs get trashed by Trailblazer, a good mummy player will pick up on the enclosing range and switch to his normals to swat Cinder out of the air. He’ll also be prepared with teleport options if he’s smart, and lockdown with sand traps as well. It’s a more careful matchup he has to play.

Glacius - Hail always presents a problem, no matter the matchup, but considering this is probably Cinder’s worst, it’s super important to pay attention to it. It’s like a free combo breaker without actually trying to combo break. Upon hit, the hail releases and knocks Cinder out of the combo state, giving the Glacius player the upper hand for a combo. Cold shoulder outranks trailblazer anyday as well, and the normals on Glacius heavily outrange him. Combine this with his instinct giving him armor and a teleport puddle punch crossup, it’s a hard days work with Cinder. However, not all is really lost, as attacking Glacius with certain angles of trailblazer can actually avoid the hail if positioned correctly, and now angled inferno has a more usefulness in this matchup, giving Cinder a lot of useful options he didn’t have before.

Riptor - Another really bad one for Cinder, as his trailblazer can get smacked around by the tail, and can now get walled out and around with Riptor’s firebreath flame carpet, mortar, and HP opener. The biggest offender is the Riptor’s tail anti air is super fast and reactionary good. Her lockdown is also accentuated by a long reaching throw. Overall, she shuts down some of the good offense Cinder can start with good powerful smacks.

Hisako - She is bad news, as those normals are super quick, and long reaching, and his usual trailblazer approach can lead him to trouble against a well placed counter. This match sort of requires you to be fairly creative, and think a little more about how to fight, especially based on the player’s tendencies, but she is a good fight.

Thunder - While his normals aren’t terribly reaching, he has good ones that make him really dangerous, and give him a decent mixup game, and his anti airs and Sammamish really make him threatening in this matchup. He also possesses a very versatile command throw that can be used to great effect, and a dash instinct buff that can give him some wicked crossup potentially better than even Sabrewulf. I feel like Thunder is really underestimated this season, but he stand as one of Cinder’s harder matchups. Not as hard as the four previously mentioned ones, but a tough one nonetheless.

While I believe Arbiter is a tough fight given his reach, he’s still not too difficult to deal with, as Cinder’s mobility isn’t so easily hindered and pyrobombs give him a much easier approach. The only difficulty in this gameplan would be as @BHswordsman09 said is his overshield giving him the ability to give no craps about fireballs or anything most people would take as threatening from Cinder, but given it’s fairly rare he has it, at least in my experience I see a lot of players misuse or underutilize it, it’s not too hard to deal with. Also, a good inferno can drain it, and chip damage will wear at it as well, I’ve noticed.

I don’t really see Jago, Orchid or Sabrewulf as very threatening. Good normals yes, but Jago’s playstyle puts him into some real repetitive loops and frame traps, and while he’s tough in the right hands, it requires REALLY solid reads to do well. With a lot of repetition, the holes in the normally ironclad offense Jago puts up become more apparent and more exploitable. Mostly these three characters just have really good normals that keep them on the offensive, but all these characters offensives require some guesswork, but nothing too bad.

Can you be more clear with these? I assume Cinder’s greej is easy, yellow is hard, and red i very hard?.. I do still feel the Glacius one is fairly accurate based off of y experiences. Since you have to change things up. It can make trailblazer a tad too risky.