Please help analyze my 8BBD matches


I had not played KI since SFV release and only picked it up again when S3 came out. At the time of the tournament, I had played literally three games against Kim Wu, so I had no idea what she’s capable of. And I got Draman Kuritani as my first opponent, so all things considered, I think I did okay. I welcome any and all criticism, as long as it comes with a tip on how to improve that particular aspect of my game. There are timestamps in the video description. Thank you for taking the time to do this! I also posted on Reddit if that’s where you’d prefer to reply.


  • I have no stagger follow-ups, especially to s.HP, s.MP and c.MP. I don’t know what combos or frame traps at the different ranges. Obviously need to work on that.
  • I dropped some shoulder combos. Sometimes it was because I’m used to the shadow shoulder and I didn’t press LP for the second time when doing the regular one; sometimes because I wasn’t expecting it to hit.
    I’m probably trying too hard to get “reads” - I call them “wishful thinks” - at range and getting punished for it, especially with s.HP
  • I did not use Skewer and the subsequent breaker/counterbreaker mind game once in both sets (but I’ve played some extended sets since and have incorporated it into my game). CORRECTION: I did use it once in Game 1, but got counter-broken immediately, then forgot about it altogether, apparently.
  • Playing against Kim Wu, I struggled defending against her dragon kicks; they surprised me almost every time (the one time I blocked I punished with c.HP, but one time is not enough).
  • Playing against Hisako, I got hit by the rekka too many times, I need to practice standing up against the high option. But I found out that the rekkas are pretty easily interruptible at least. Additionally, I found out the hard way that trying to meaty her is not a good idea.


  • Got caught twice trying to do a s.HP follow up after a combo breaker. Not a good idea against characters with good horizontal movement or range. Probably not a good idea ever, now that the flip out leaves the opponent ready to act.


  • At 2:00, I was expecting the jumping attack to cross up (since I’m so used to SFV and corner cross-ups being a thing), so I ended up walking forward right into the follow-up.


  • Complete fluke with the shadow DP at the end there, no clue what I was thinking


  • Found out Shadow Skull Splitter is not invulnerable. In fact, it seems pretty vulnerable in the beginning, when Tusk is winding up the sword for the first hit.
  • Got greedy at 7:40, should’ve cashed out instead of trying to squeeze in another double. Probably wouldn’t have changed the outcome anyway, though.

You pretty much covered everything I would have said in your general observations, but I’ve got some that might help anyways:

  • If you’re going to air-to-air someone, use LP. Turn hitboxes on to see what I mean. MK hits way too low for that situation, and most characters seem to end up above Tusk during air combat.
  • Immortal Spirit makes Tusk upper body invincible, meaning Kim Wu’s Dragon Kick cannot hit you and will fly over. If you’ve undershot your sprint you can default to the slide to extend your low profile a bit longer as needed. Basically anything that hits high will sail right over you, including stuff that looks like it wouldn’t such as Jago’s Wind Kick.
  • I actually think throwing out s.HP after a breaker isn’t such a bad idea, provided you’ve got a feel for your opponent’s habits. I tend to use it here if my opponent likes to jump immediately after breakers, and most of them do.
  • Instinct Mode. You probably already know this, but you didn’t really use it after activation. Tusk has a totally insane Instinct that is completely worth consuming in an instant if it means gaining the upper hand. Using it to score a free Conqueror is good, but instead of the usual Conqueror followup you can start canceling into Air Skull Splitter and repeat the juggle as you see fit. This allows for bigger damage with greater mix up as you can use any strength combination of Conqueror, Air Skull Splitter, and Skull Splitter (while keeping track of your spacing, though). When you’re ready, cash out with Shadow Conqueror.
    This will look super spammy, but it has won me a lot of fights.

Some might disagree with me, but I find myself burning through my Instinct in a single combo because it can swing the momentum so suddenly that often opponents don’t know what to do. If you land the hit, obviously that’s great, but even if you don’t you can continue rapid firing specials to keep the pressure on, and if they get scared cancel into dash and grab, or end your pressure with a grounded Light Skull Splitter or Shoulder because they’re both -1 on block.
Also, while I haven’t personally tested it, logically it makes sense to me that the faster Tusk can spend his Instinct bar, the sooner he can potentially get another one, and possible average more Instincts per match than other characters as a result, so don’t be frugal with it.

Cool, thanks. I noticed that my air-to-airs almost always got beat out, I just hadn’t found the right button then. I would also tend to agree with you on the Instinct bit, I’m just not that proficient with the repeat cancels or juggles yet, except that just today I saw this - so I would add the caveat that if you’ve noticed your opponent likes to shadow counter, you might want to hold on to that instinct a little longer when activated.

Also I’m thinking now that a slightly delayed c.HP might be a better post-breaker option - you can block a fast attack like a slide, you can counter a jump in when it starts coming down, and punish some of the unsafe horizontal stuff, too, like Kim Wu’s kick.

I agree with all of that.

The Shadow Counter Counter is pretty reactable, too. You have the entirety of the character’s shadow counter startup to input your deflect. You can see the inputs being made pretty early before the shadow reaches its active frames (I only really tested Conqueror, but I could see an MP Skull Splitter maybe working too).
With Instinct up Tusk can straight be a douche with his own shadow moves and essentially dare them to shadow counter on block or eat the chip, whichever they prefer. It’s pretty gross.

cr.HP sounds like a great option after breaker as you describe it, so I fully endorse that call.