Looking to specialize on Sabrewulf, any tips?

Topic says it all.
I can play w/Jago (as a lot of KI players do), but want to dive into Sabrewulf, and make him my main character.

He’s got some of the fastest attacks in teh game, framewise, so use them often. His shadow eclipse is practically instantaneous, for example. He’s also got some really great low punch attacks - you might want to use those a lot too (his d+HP, while slower, also causes a hard knockdown). His throw is also pretty quick.

Since Sabrewulf is a rushdown character, you want to get in close and stay there. You can mix things up with his b, f+k attacks: L = low and crosses up; M = overhead; H = safe on block and juggle on hit.

His forward dash is also unique as it is only 1 of 2 in the game that can cross-up an opponent (the other being Shadow Jago), and it’s by far the better of the 2 (IMO), so that can help with a lot of mixups as well, especially on knockdown.

He’s got a chain combo you can use to confuse opponents when starting combos too: LP, MP, HP. Since many of Sabrewulf’s punch attacks look similar you can use that to get an early lockout on many opponents before actually going into the standard combo sequence, which consists of openers, ADs/manuals, linkers, and enders.

His eclipse and his d+HK make great anti-airs for opponents who like to jump.

Every character can activate instinct when it gets full (the yellow bar just below your health bar) just before losing their 1st health bar and again before the end of their 2nd health bar. Sabrewulf has 1 of the best in the game - his damage increases with every attack, does more chip damage on block, AND he can feral cancel anything just by pressing HP+HK while his instinct is activated, which further adds to his absolute crazy mixup potential.

That’s pretty much all I have for now, since I don’t main him myself - I’ll let others correct me on things I may have gotten wrong, or add specifics or give you more detailed info that I may have missed. Otherwise, have fun! :smiley:

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I want to add, even though I’m not myself a Wulf player (not a great one I mean), that :

Crouching Fierce is amazing. I think that’s a low profile, that’s fast and cause a hard knockdown.

Back Fierce (Overpowered I think) is a command attack that can be charged, like Orchid heavy Ichi ni San. It’s unblockable (or, for the non full charge, positive I think). You can manual of it, I like to do Hard Knockdown > Charge the command move > Hit > Then Down Roundhouse (the most interesting thing, here, is that if you miss the manual, you could totally do Run Light/Medium or Throw)

Speaking of throw, a stupidly good mixup is crossover dash > throw, crossover dash > neutral jump HK or crossover dash > (shadow) eclipse. Everyone take that. Shadow Eclispe is really good too.

Off a combo breaker, if you have the ressources, you can recapture with shadow leaping slash (back forward + 2 kicks)

And, last thing, I invite you to search some PaulB matches, he has a great Wulf (there was another one during the last top 32 but I’m bad with name so I can’t remember his GT, sorry)

Thanks for tellig me some of this. I’ve seen a lot of this particular tech in action from other players but never really put much thought into how to do since I don’t use Sabrewulf so much. Now, that I’ve read your description, I know how to do these things for myself, which will greatly improve my skills with this character - thank you for that. :slight_smile:

Unfortunately it seems my guide to Sabrewulf has been lost since the forums reset. I will have to do a rewrite sometime. Until then, I hope this can get you started.

Sabrewulf’s best move is b+s.HP (overpower or Back+Fierce) by a country mile. It is actually one of the best moves in the entire game.

Here is an illustration of Overpower’s range:

Overpower has one of the best ranges in the game, and the fastest startup for a heavy move (most are 9+ frames on startup, overpower is 7). Overpower reels you in close instead of pushing you back like most attacks.

Your bread and butter frame-trap is Overpower, then cr.LK, and repeat. You should be able to do this repeatedly over and over, and your opponent should not be able to poke out with a normal. If they get out any other way than DP reversal, backdash, or shadow counter, you need to practice your timing more.

When you have Overpower -> cr.LK blockstrings down, your opponent has learned to respect your pressure, they’ve learned to cling to block. This is when you throw them. Off any throw Sabrewulf get’s an ambiguous 50/50 using his crossup dash. You don’t always have to dash behind. You can back up slightly before, and then dash, and sometimes end up in front. Your opponent has to guess. I would recommend this as your main mixup, while your mixup off your run should be your secondary mixup. It should be complementary, but not your focus, as it is UBER unsafe.

Running Uppercut and Medium Ragged edge are Sabrewulf’s best way to catch backdashes. DO NOT fall into the trap of constantly fishing for openers using Ragged Edge, as it is uber-shadow-coutnerable. Your opponent is apt to want to backdash you on wakeup after you’ve done some good cr.LK pressure on them, so condition them to want to backdash before you start throwing out too many Ragged Edges.

Learn to use Feral Cancels This is undoubtedly one of the best instincts in the game. It is quite difficult to learn, so start with something simple. Do MP -> HP -> Ragged Edge -> Feral Cancel -> MP -> HP -> Ragged Edge -> Feral Cancel… and so on. Do this in practice mode with unlimited instinct until you get it down.You should be able to chip a practice dummy out of their entire lifebar before you allow them to mash a light punch out.

There are a ton of great tricks with feral cancels. My personal favorite is in that above block string. On the second hit of ragged edge, juuuuust before it, do your feral cancel and then throw. This is insanely tricky for the opponent, and even better- they are so often conditioned to shadow counter Ragged Edge that you have a good chance at throwing them and causing them to waste a bar… Basically, Feral Cancels make Ragged Edge uber + on block, but super risky to shadow counter, and it still catches backdashes like crazy.

Some other notes:

  1. Shadow leaping slash is good because of it’s recapture, but honestly it’s best use is still as a great low-crush move.
  2. Sabrewulf can’t wake up if the opponent is smart. It’s super easy to safe jump him and his backdash is crap. Often opponents make mistakes and you can catch them with a wakeup SE, but resist the urge to wakeup much at all because at the end of the day you are relying on your opponent to royally crew up.
  3. cr.MK is Sabrewulf’s best meaty due to a super-large amount of active frames. I use this on a knockdown after a crossup dash.
  4. Sabrewulf best tick throw string is cr.Lk, s.LK. Because you can tick throw at any of the three gaps in between. Notice the second is standing s.LK instead of crouching. After two cr.LK’s in a row, you are pushed back out of tick throw range, so follow up a point blank cr.LK with s.LK instead to keep your opponent threatened by the throw.

If you’d like some Wulf on Wulf practice, feel free to add me. GT is:
Tony at Home


To add, there is lots of great Sabrewulf footage in tournaments, as he is one of the most popular tournament characters. Most top 8s in online events have at least one Sabrewulf show up.

You should browse the 8 Bit Beatdown archive here and just skim through the matches until you find some Sabrewulf footage, there’s lots to study from and you won’t have to look too long: https://www.youtube.com/user/Official8BBD/videos

Also, wanted to clarify that Shadow Eclipse is a great move (fully invincible) but is actually on the slow end for moves of its type. I think it’s 7+1 or 8+1, which is pretty slow for a reversal (meaning it can be safe jumped with ad-hoc setups and stuff). All other (shadow) DPs in the game are much faster than this one, and some of them (Jago, Orchid, Fulgore, Thunder, Aria too I think) are 0 after the freeze so you can’t even block if you weren’t already blocking.

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Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts and tips on Sabrewulf!

My suggestion dont. He is one character that you shouldnt main.

Sabre has too many weak matchups. I recommend you main a zoner type they are the one who seem to be OP.

IG always release OP characters so when they first come out that is the time to learn them. Not only are moves usually slightly OP, no one know their weaknesses or how to break them.

Wulf is an old dog you cant teach new tricks…

This is a rather inaccurate and baseless post.

That said, MyGod and PaulB would disagree and clearly outmatch many of those who are considered to be Zoners and prove that Wulf is a phenomenal character. He has even won some matches on 8BBD against Glacius, TJ and Maya (https://www.youtube.com/user/Official8BBD/videos).

I will note the EVO event where Sleep came back with a zone character (Kan-Ra) to beat MyGod (Wulf). However, I will add that Wulf clearly outmatched Kan-Ra. It was because of MyGod’s decision to withdraw and timeout that lead to his defeat.

Without getting too much into the numbers of frames or tools that he has, I will end on a simple note. Wulf is great, against anyone in the cast. He will clearly have weaknesses but I assure you none of his matchups are as worse as it is for Thunder to face Shago.

As a Sabrewulf player since I have memory I can tell you this: I LOVE being the wulf and playing with him. I was afraid he would’ve changed too much from the original but now I know he’s the same but even faster (yeap, KI 1 was a charge character and more defensive while here he is more of a rushdown beast). I’m working to control this wulf, which is taking longer than I expected, but I’m also ejoying it a lot. You will have to learn a lot of match ups, and some will give you headaches, but apart from some specific ones you have good tools against most characters.

I highly recommend Tony’s guide. Also it helped me a lot to watch PaulB, cr Cupcake and MyGod. Also I like Dayton J’s solid Wulf, and BM Kay has a beast too!. I watch all those wolves but I’m working to get my own style =)

Best KI guide on the web:


Read it, live it, love it!