Pay attention to spacing with your pokes - many of his attacks push the opponent away from him, even on block (s.LP, s.LK, s.MP, s.MK, and s.HK.) - this can be useful for setting up throws for chunking, since you can push many characters out of their own throw range, preventing them from throwing you in turn (also, don’t forget that many pokes can segue into combos on hit). Generally speaking, if the opponent blocks, I like to use s.LK because this puts them into the aforementioned ideal throw range. Alternatively, you can follow it up with a s.LP, and then s.HK, instead of doing a throw, which will push your opponent far away enough on block to prevent most counter-attacks (but not all) and allow you to plan your next move. If you hit with the s.HK, it’s even better, as it pushes them back further, can potentially cause a wall bounce, and is great for setups (such as an immediate shadow payload assault follow-up, which can be used for wall-crashing, wall-setups, or for getting chunk-armor).
Here are some other spacing facts:
c.MK reaches further than s.MK, moves Aganos forward as well, and lowers his hitbox.
- Pulverize (all strengths) actually moves your opponent closer to you, on hit or block, unlike many of his other moves. On block, if you’re not careful, this can actually put your opponent into their own throw range to throw you so be mindful of this!
Use Aganos’ c.HK often, as it’s 1 of his only 2 low attacks (the other being c.HP with the peacemaker). It’s fast, knocks the opponent back, hits twice (mid, then low) and can cause a hard knockdown on the 2nd hit for a free wall or chunk. You can even use his f.HK (which can be pressed repeatedly to march towards the opposition) to try and confuse your opponent into thinking you’re doing the ground stomp while also moving you forward - and you can use this to bait shadow counters or to simply push them into a corner.
Aganos has some of the best normals in the game. Do NOT neglect them!
Another anti-air option that @RFGCAtsumachi didn’t mention is the medium payload assault, since it arcs differently than any other projectile in the game and pushes your opponent back far enough for a free chunk or wall in most cases. At a distance, even on block, it can still give you enough time for the free wall or chunk. Also regarding projectiles, Aganos payload assault (all versions) can be used to destroy most other projectiles (there are a few exceptions) - so use this often to create openings your opponent may not expect!
If you anti-air with c.HP, you can immediately cancel into a medium ruin for an easy wall-crash, on hit, if you have walls up. Be careful though, as it can easily be punished on block. Light, heavy, and shadow ruin can work for this too, but in my experience, those can sometimes whiff, which is why I suggest the medium version - it’s more likely to hit and prevent you from being punished since it won’t whiff as often, if ever.
If the distance from your opponent is far enough, you can even “jump” during his natural disaster (simply press up during the move) to knock them down as an anti-air and give yourself good positioning. Be careful of characters with in-air projectles though, like Shadow Jago, who can use them to knock you out of your own jump. Even better, you can change the velocity of the natural disaster’s jump by pressing up and away at the same time, instead of just up - this can be used if they’re closer, to delay the hit, or even to purposefully whiff for a potential mixup (such as a throw they may not be expecting).
Put up walls constantly - it genuinely puts fear into the opponent. If it’s behind them, it’ll be nearly impossible for them to jump without getting wall-crashed, especially if you have chunk armor and/or shadow meter - the latter allows you to use shadow ruin, which is invulnerable to everything but throws on startup and that is projectile invulnerable AND has infinite armor until it hits. If you put up a wall behind you, it allows you to get a peacemaker quickly, which is fantastic for creating space and for recycling purposes, and if your opponent can teleport, it can be used to immediately trap them into a corner if they try to get behind you. Also be mindful of how many walls you have up, how much damage they’ve taken from wall-bounces and from when Aganos gets knocked down, as well as where they are. I’ve had numerous instances where I’ve put up walls behind me, because I knew there was already a wall further behind me off-screen - this has allowed me to set up a massive-damage combo (60+% or more, depending on how many walls you have set up) by exchanging sides with my opponent soon after - either with the exchange ender, jumping crossup, or the back-throw. If you have plenty of chunk armor, you can even use the walls to instantly make your opponent claustrophobic by putting walls on both sides, where you can constantly poke, punish, and wall-crash them to your heart’s content as they try to poke through your chunk-armor (be wary of grounded, heavy normals and throws though, as those ignore the chunk armor, but thankfully, don’t remove them). Also don’t forget that your walls can be used for wall-bounces with the s.HK for great setups (but also remember that it’ll do damage to your own wall in the process).
If your opponents try to damage your walls, it’s important to remember that the walls can take any combination of 3 hits from wall bounces or from Aganos getting knocked down - wall bounces cause 1 hit of damage against the wall it hits, but knocking Aganos down causes 1 hit of damage to ALL walls that are still standing. Many opponents will try to incorporate both into single combos to do as much damage as possible - try to break their combos to prevent them from doing this. Don’t be afraid to replace your already damaged walls with fresh new walls either - it’ll help maintain fear in your opponent by limiting their options and by giving you more options for resources.
One final thought on walls - if your opponent is already low on health on their 1st health bar, it might be better to use an ender other than the ruin ender, so you can still kill them, but save the walls for potential massive damage to end their 2nd health bar quickly. Furthermore, they can still be used for other resources as well (peacemaker, for example) and continue to keep the fear of them in your opponent.
Regarding the peacemaker - it’s really, really good. Many players like to use it to destroy projectiles or keep their opponent at bay by throwing it. IMO, it’s better to hold onto it if you can, because it makes for great near full-screen mixups simply by using s.HP or c.HP interchangeably while holding it - the former is great for hard knockdowns and anti-airs (and allows for setting up walls or really fast chunking) while the latter is great as a low attack. I’d recommend only throwing it away if you know your opponent’s going to jump or use a projectile, as this can lead into a full combo punish if you cancel the throw into a heavy natural disaster (since the throw staggers on hit). If they block the thrown peacemaker, it still knocks them back nearly full screen too, so it’s incredibly hard for them to punish, and still gives you time, in most cases, to re-chunk. Also, because of the new recycling mechanics, you can use the peacemaker to put up new walls WITHOUT having to expend your own chunk armor - it’s kind of like having an additional chunk to spend. So, technically speaking, you can have up to 4 chunks of armor, with a 5th chunk (your peacemaker) on reserve for other things. Your walls, since they can be used to get the peacemaker, can also be seen as a 6th, 7th, 8th, or even 9th resource - depending on how many walls you have up (which has a maximum of 4). If you’re in a mirror match, there could potentially be a total of 13 total resources in play for Aganos to use (since the other golem can also put up 4 walls as well), although this is incredibly unlikely to happen.
I’ll add more for you as I think of it, but for now, I promised my mother I would take her to church for Mother’s Day. Good luck! I wish you the best!