Need help with learning Cinder

I picked Cinder few days ago, and I am struggling af. I have 42 lvl already and I am losing 80% of matches. I studied Infil guide, watched some tournament Cinder players, some guides, and I still suck with him.

Could anyone help me with some guidance or game plan? I mostly struggle with getting in to start Third degree punches pressure and generally using Trailblazer, I feel like this move just sucks. Most forward moving moves have priority over even shadow version, I often find myself whiffing it just a pixel and getting painfully punished, also how do I make opponent scared of moving after sticking pyrobombs? They just block at full screen because they know they can punish my trailblazer easily and I have no other means to get close.

When I manage to set somebody on fire, they go full turtle and its easier to get a girlfriend than get in for cash out.

I will propably get posted to ScrubQuotes but HE IS SO GODDAMN WEAK, UGH!

Anyway, thanks in advance.

Basic points of Cinder gameplay.

Aerial rushdown - Lock your opponet into the air. Cinder can take a lot of advantage while airbourne.

Mind games - Keep an eye on your foe and wait for its errors and mistakes.

Burnout - Never forget to make the fire damage work for ya!

Inferno - Basically it’s Cinder’s pseudoname in this game. Use it!

Shadow damage - Shadow Pyroboms & Shadow Fireflash. Nuff said.


@DurtyDee810 @BHswordsman09

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Do what every Cinder player does; push buttons, jump, and trailblazer. You will win 90% of games.


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Aww thanks for the shout out lol. But I got a lot of my tips from swordsman too.

It don’t matter. You’re cinder is solid. Give him advice lol

If you want to play Cinder you need to accept a few things:

  1. He is Mid-Low tier. That’s not really a bad thing. His low damage output and his sub optimal normals are his drawbacks. Even though his target combos with his punches are decent, most of his normals are kinda slow so he’s not that good if your into poking your opponents.

  2. If you want to succed at a mid-high level, you can’t play him like a traditional KI character. By that I mean just doing Linker —> Auto Double --> Ender all day just isn’t going to cut it. Therefore he has a bit of a high learning curve.

Other than these two things, he really fun to play! Dealing big damage with Cinder is SOOOOOOOO satisfying. Here are some tips:

  1. Learn Some Block Strings - Target punches into fission or shadow fission is a really good way to lock your opponent down and it builds a lot of meter if you keep doing it.

  2. Chip Damage and Potential Damage are your Friends - Ending your target combos with Shadow Fission is great way to deal a decent amount of guaranteed chip damage. You can take a good 30% of your opponents life just by doing chip damage all day and its kinda hard to shadow counter it.

  3. Don’t Wake Up with Flash Kick All the Time, Try Mashing Standing LPs - your LP, LP, LP target combo is really fast and is a great wake option. Don’t forget that.

  4. HK Inferno is VERY POWERFUL! - you can throw it in just about any situation and things will work out in your favor. And the best part is that its a low attack so you can catch your opponent off guard. I like to wall splat people and HK inferno them. If I have any KV meter left, I do a shadow move and perform an ender to cash out damage. If I run out of KV meter, it is ok because I still cause a hard knock down on my opponent and the move last for so long that by the time they wake up, they are still getting hit by it!

I’m sure you already know that he is a great juggle character. Juggling is fun and is a great way to get damage that is hard to break, but in my experience it is kinda time consuming to get used to and not that important compared to the other tips. Also, Jumping MK and HK are great crossup normals. You can even do both in quick succession. Just try not to do it too often because it can be easily shadow countered.

If you ever want a set, hit me up. Thanks again @DulXboxOne for the shout out! I feel special lol.


thank you very much. I use most of mentioned tips, altough I did not know about power of light Third Degree on wakeup, gotta utilize that.

From my observations my main struggle is execution. I have problems with maintaining block pressure, because I mostly assume wrong.

I mean, sometimes I expect opponent to block and mash punches for Third Degree block pressure, and he does not block, I drop combo, and vice versa.

Also I have to learn to fully utilize Pyrobombs. As I said, opponents are not scared of my bombs. they wait to anti air me, cause they know I wont get to them in time other way than using Trailblazer, cause what will I do, walk to them?

Another tip, trailblazer is pretty good of you just do one, drop it, and perform some other command.

For example, you see a lot of Cinder players trailblaze twice or three times even when the opponent is blocking. People are conditioned to block trailblazer. If you need to get in, just MK trailblaze once, drop down, and quickly grab your opponent. You can catch them off guard a lot like that.


At one time Keits did comment that the move priority on trailblazer was, as a design decision, dropped to a lower level because giving it special move priority for being so fast and such a hard to react versatile move made it really strong. So there’s a little balance to it to keep it from going completely OP.

If they are blocking your pyrobombs to let you in with trailblazer, then the pyrobombs are doing they’re job. Should the opponent make a move or do something to make them vulnerable, the pyrobombs can make them regret that decision, giving you the opportunity to capitalize off a stray hit and juggles. Pyrobombs are there as a fear factor, though you may have to pop a few to condition some opponents to block them than try some other offense. Just be careful as some characters can take advantage of the throw animation to get in on you. Always be mindful of what range you toss them at.

That’s why you need to strengthen your mixups. If your opponent is going full turtle, you need some ambiguous setups to break their block. Some basic ones involve using LK trailblazer, HK trailblazer, and HP inferno, where off of any third degree combo you can cancel into the LK trailblazer for a zip-over-their-head to their opposite side for a crossup with a dropping j.MK or j.HK. Another one I like is on hard knockdown, I like to toss a close range pyrobomb and use st. HK into HK trailblazer for a mid-high mixup that can be hard to read in panic mode, or you could use HK into HP inferno for a low crush mixup, and with shadow stock, you can cancel into shadow trailblazer for a combo. Or you can use third degree or HK trailblazer into potential tick throw setups.

Tick throws are beneficial because they provide two key opportunities:

  1. Spending your fired up state to give them a burnout, or
  2. Detonating attached pyrobombs before the end of the throw for a juggle combo.

Tick throws are good honest damage, and if they have pyrobombs attached, they can be detonated for your opportunity to cash out white damage from all your burnouts. All you need is one good stock of meter, then just hit them for one quick manual, and cancel into shadow fireflash to cash out. Cinder’s strengths allow him to bypass the traditional combo system in a sense to allow him much bigger and better damage from his burnouts. He also builds meter like crazy and all his shadow moves are insane good on block or hit.

Something to also know, HK trailblazer, the projectile that comes out on the landing leaves Cinder at -3 on block. This isn’t bad, but it usually leaves him in range for a throw, and if you don’t try to throw, your opponent usually will. So you can try to throw, and possibly end up teching their throw attempt, you can use his backdash to roll out of danger and begin your offense again, or you can throw out a fireflash, which if they go for a throw (and 6 out of 10 they usually do) the fireflash kick will usually knock them up.

I is disappoint I am not on this list. I guess I no Cinder well…

How did you know my…I mean, it’s more sophisticated than that…

Respectfully disagree. I believe he is a little more upper tier, but I do agree he is a higher learning curve to get excellent with.

I do like a lot of what @DurtyDee810 said though.

I would also note that using crossfire, the recapture move, against a grounded opponent off of something like a near ground trailblazer or jump in move will leave you fairly positive to do a third degree block string for more offensive pressure. Just don’t use it too much because after a while, people will see it coming and try to shadow counter it.

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I HAVEN’T PLAYED YOU YET LOL we should do a set.

Yeah me too. @DulXboxOne What the hell man.


Trailblaze over them, detonate the pyrobombs, and then bask in your plus frame block pressure. The bomb detonation locks an opponent in place, and you can use that to get to the ranges you wish to be at and cover your approach.

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Thank you all for the help. I will keep trying altought he gives me cancer. I just lost 19-4 to some guy, ffs thats embarrasing.

*shrug * I’ve done (much) worse to people. It’s fine to lose 50 games in a row (and no, that is not a hypothetical number) so long as you are actually learning and adapting with your character. Until you really understand and have a feel for your character, I would recommend prioritizing learning over victory in general.


You’re going to have to be more creative with your Trailblazer approach. You can’t always go for the 2nd one because it’s very punishable and you can get poked out easy.

There are plenty of other ways you can get in as well. You have Pyrobombs that you can use to set up a juggle off of a grab. You have a very far reaching low that you can start a combo with if you use a bar of meter with Shadow Trailblazer. Just experiment and find the ways that work for you.

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After a week+ of struggle I feel like I am finally getting a grip on him. My muscle memory for third degree combos is getting better, and I am utilizing Fission more efficiently.

I think the core of my gameplan is annoying opponent by flying across the stage with light trailblazer followed by down forward afterburner.

That’s not always gonna work. They’ll catch on to that eventually and start beating it out.

Works fine so far. People tend to ragequit before they adapt to it.

Damn, after week of forcing myself I actually start to like him.