Real talk: Is Tusk overpowered?

I need somebody with bigger FG expertise to clarify it for me. I know KI is well balanced and all that, and as Tusk main I propably should sit quietly, but I need to know this.

Many times people send me ragemail after I beat them. And I gotta be honest, sometimes even I have guilty conscience about my wins. I just feel like I did not have to put much effort.

Of course on paper Tusk has obvious weaknesess with him being sluggish character. Which is imo false. He is slow for KI standards, which means he is still pretty fast.

His forward dash is awesome. His backdash is mediocre but his best retreat tool is jumpback with medium punch.

His sword swings are slow alright, but deflect windows are successful at scaring opponents to take advantage of it. And they have giant range and damage. And they are mostly safe on block. Exceptions are s.HP from close range and crouching HP, which is best AA in game and longest deflect window makes it excelent move to effortlessly deny opponent’s pressure.

And what of his slowness when his kick normals have excellent speed and range anyway?

His deflection windows are borderline cheap and encourage yolo play. There are countless times I did braindead s.HP when I should not and I deflected opponent’s attack. It hurts opponent’s sanity more than his health bar.

Staggers are also unearned reward for using these excellent tools. I personally would understand if devs decided to remove either deflects or stagger from sword normals (leaving them only on skull splitters)

His instinct is also considered difficult but I boiled it down to furiously cancelling DP into skull splitter until opponent loses patience. Just works best.

F+MP stagger is also kinda dirty. Not enough that opponent had to endure losing 70% in one combo, if he is low HP, he stands before even harder mixup situation.

I personally think Tusk is a great character, even top tier, but people sleep on him because he is not much popular.

This post is silly from my perspective but I would really appreciate your input.


I’m guessing a character that relies almost exclusively on CQC would have the worst time going up against Tusk because seriously… if you can Yolo deflect anything then whats that character supposed to do ? Throw You ? Haha… they can try.

Seriously though I’m no expert either so I actually would also like to know just good Tusk is. Kim Wu is the first Character that comes to mind when I think of who might struggle the most against good o’l Tusky Tuskington.

I personally don’t think he is overpowered. Deflect windows may take a conscious effort to beat out, but there are always frames before and after the deflect window in which he can be hit out of it. It is pretty hard for Tusk to open someone up and his combos are slow and easier to break than most of the cast. He can really struggle to get in against zoners and if he whiffs a sword normal, he will pay dearly.
In my opinion, truly OP characters in KI are like that often because of unbeatable mixups/setups (Fulgore, Omen, ARIA) and have few apparent flaws. Tusks flaws are very apparent and can be exploited easier than some other characters. So while he isn’t a pushover, I don’t think hes overpowered.

Actually throws are pretty good against Tusk, when you mentioned them. Tusk’s sword attacks have relatively long startup and throws ignore his deflects. So you have to throw him a lot. Unless Tusk main knows this and mixes kick normals in…


Yeah throws are quick but the trick is getting close enough to actually grab the ■■■■■■■… I’d imagine its not so easy. Unless of course his throw vulnerable hurtbox is moved forward to make him easier to grab… but this is rarely the case. That specific box is rarely ever modified as frequently as the Strike Vulnerable Hurtbox.

I don’t see it, to be honest. Seems more like a even-ish fight. Yeah, the big sword buttons can be a deterrent to walking/dashing into her effective range. The deflects are always an issue. And her jump is way too floaty for a Tusk player to not cr. HP her for the attempt. Also, in a lot of times and situations, Tusk is a character that can either be out of range for a parry’s blast to actually hit Tusk or for her Shadow Counter to work properly.

On the opposite side however, H Dragon Dance can beat out 2 of the 3 options from his run if you have the reaction timing. A whiffed button by Tusk always runs the risk of getting L Dragon Kick, which hurts comparatively to his st HP. For him to threaten with his low attacks, he has to get within the range of Kim’s; meaning they can both stand block each other all day until close range. Shadow Dragon Kick is a 100% clean punish on reaction to the activation of Tusk’s Shadow DP. And she can hit nearly just as hard as he can.

As far as Tusk being overpowered? Didn’t really consider the guy to be overpowered when there are a couple of characters that can kinda keep him in check, especially the rushdown type like Wulf or Riptor.

RAAM is the only character that i can think of that i’ve noticed this happen. It happens with his Kryll Rush move where he runs at you, but it does take a little while for the box to move forward.

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Kim is a fantastic counter to Tusk because all of his sword normals can be dragon countered on reaction and can lead to a full combo punish if she already has a dragon (as well as the reasons you already stated).


I don’t know man… 10 Frames seems alil narrow compared to Hisako’s 19 Frames Parry Window.

Has anybody tested if its Actually possible for an attacking hitbox to stray far enough from the hurtbox that a successful Dragon Counter from Kim can’t stagger the Opponent ? Kan-Ra maybe ?

Tusk is just super annoying, but honestly he’s not all that great. He has a huge problem with his buttons getting beat out and his offense is pretty linear.

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Happens with plenty of characters actually. Aganos has a few normals like this, Hisako’s st.HP, Tusk’s sword normals, Glacius ice lance, Kan’s bandage normals, etc. Most of the time you just wind up neutral afterwards, with Kim at +1 dragon. But yeah, Tusk’s sword normals are parry-able on reaction, even though Kim’s parry isn’t active for very long.

With regard to @VerminatorX’s question, no, I don’t think Tusk is particularly overpowered. I think he’s a strong character, but I think his strengths are mostly not overwhelming. Where Tusk is quite powerful is as a scrub killer, however. He’s not a scrub killer like Shago or Wulf with unreactable mixups, but more like Cinder where the opponent does need to understand things about the fight in order to do well.

Staggers are quite manageable - if you know the rough timings for what can be used after what. Tusk’s instinct is similarly manageable - if you are patient and know how to fuzzy guard. Jump+MP is pretty easy to deal with - if you know how the button affects his jump arc and the timing with which to challenge. Tusk is imminently beatable. But you do need to do your homework to know what his options are and the correct counters to them. If your instinct to every situation is “mash harder!” then Tusk will bully and brutalize you; if you’re willing to be thoughtful then he isn’t too hard to deal with.

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I think he’s a good character that can compete with most but isn’t running over anyone with a bit of game knowledge. I think every time you pressed “braindead st.HP”, you actually had an intention of hitting your opponent, yeah? That means it wasn’t braindead at all. Maybe you pressed it because it’s your default button and you don’t press too many other buttons, but you still pressed it with an intention. It’s on the opponent to make sure that it becomes a bad idea in some situations to press it.

I dunno, Tusk is pretty good against weak players who like to jump a lot and go nuts with buttons. HP does a good job checking both of those. But if I’m gonna sit there and block and sometimes be out of range of HP (and whiff punish on reaction), or if I press my buttons slower and more carefully such that I interrupt your relatively obvious HP attempts, then you have to start using other Tusk tools. Those can still be good, but it’s not braindead.


Tusk is simply a character people actually have to fight instead of just sticking to their same gameplan that they use against the rest of the cast. Because most people can’t handle that they get hit by simple stuff from tusk.


This is good… this has got to be exploitable somehow. :smiling_imp: If parried normals count as Hits then maybe theres a special move one could cancel into… Oh man… Parry Baiting would be Awesome !!!

Apparently if you smack her fast enough The Dragon won’t actually Spawn. I’m guessing they did it that way to stop players from some how being able to Dragon Counter multi hitting Shadow Fireballs.

I love characters like these… yes there are frustrating to go up against but I feel its very important for every fighting game to have character’s that just throw a wrench in the default game plan…

Helena & Marie Rose served this role in Dead or Alive 5… I’m guessing most characters are like this in Smash considering its reputation for being highly Asymmetric.

Yes, but sometimes in situations like when I deflect with s.HP attacks like Wulf’s divekick, Cinder’s heavy trailblazer, any character’s DP, it just feels dirty. Like, they did not do anything bad or mashed buttons, yet still got screwed over, often unable to get their head around for what mistake they eat 60% combo right now.

Also being too defensive often leads to kick → light spirit step into throw. You’re never too safe against Tusk tbh xD

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I mean, they jumped into a range where Tusk st.HP was gonna hit them. That sounds like they did something wrong at the wrong time to me.

Sure, if you’re defensive Tusk has to resort to other tools to get damage, but then you’re just playing the fighting game. If Tusk has to do spirit step → throw and hope I don’t react with a button or tech or backdash, because I’ve proven that he won’t hit me very often with st.HP, then I’m doing alright in the fight.


Far from overpowered. Just good but has his weaknesses and characters that mop him like anyone else.

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It’s already been said more eloquently by others but no, Tusk is not OP. But you can’t just trade normals with him and jump in all day and expect to win. He has huge damage normals in a game with low damage normals. He can take most of your life bar on lockout. But he has pretty lousy openers for this game, relatively slow, predictable and VERY punishable.

Tusk is one of the few characters who can (and often does) beat you entirely outside of the combo game. And if you are a scrub he can destroy you in the combo game because you mash lockout. But he’s not a character that I see in the other side of the vs menu and think “oh god no.” He has exploitable weaknesses and if you know what they are you can shut down his gameplan.

But he is murder in players who like to be constantly pressuring in a brain dead way. One of the things I love about tusk that I think is under appreciated is that he requires good spacing to play well and he forces the opponent to have good spacing to beat him. People think KI doesn’t require spacing knowledge because there are characters with long specials that are relatively safe or that are hard to punish but Tusk play (as and against) requires good spacing knowledge.

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From my experience, Tusk is a character I’d characterize as a pubstomper. opponents who don’t know Tusk very well or his weaknesses can struggle fighting him because they can feel overwhelmed by things such as his deflect and damage from a competent Tusk player. He’s a lot like Shadow Jago in that regard I think, though not nearly as pronounced as SJ is.

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Like people say, Tusk is basically a Scrub Killer. However, People that don’t know the matchup will get absolutely curb-stomped. But he is no means OP at all. Tusk is supposed to be the game’s “Bully” Character. Designed to make you nervous to do anything at all, and do massive amounts of damage for making wrong decisions.

Also, don’t have a guilty conscience about your character if you win. A win is a win. :+1:


Definitely Trademarking this Bad Boy… :slight_smile: