Season 3 Mechanic Preview - Stagger

Appearing with Shadow Jago is the new S3 Mechanic, stagger. It appears to reward the person that connects a stagger specific move on an opponent with additional frame advantage. In addition, this can also be used with specials as well which makes this incredibly intriguing.

This seems like a great way to reward playing good neutral and footsies on someone! I wonder if it’s only used (outside of specials) for fierce attacks… considering the overhead kick is a command normal input of a fierce kick.


From my time playing Skullgirls, the best thing about stagger for me was that it was a stun state from which you can throw the opponent. I made liberal use of this playing as Cerebella; she’s got a staggering normal and a command grab on top of her normal LP+LK throw.

This mechanic is obviously going to help Shago quite a bit, as he gets juggles off of his throws, and this is a alternative way for him to land those throws. I’m very interested to see if and how this mechanic plays into further characters.

Yeah I’ll be really curious how this mechanic is applied to other characters. I’m willing to be that a good number of season 3 characters will have this mechanic, if season 2 and recaptures is any type of blueprint to go off of.

I just hope that this mechanic is more evenly distributed throughout. I’m not saying every character has to have it, but it’d be nice if there was more of an even balance than what we got with recapture. Don’t get me wrong, I like recapture. If anything, that’s kinda why I was hoping to see a few more in season one get it.

Not gonna lie - I have been fantasizing about the ridiculous, preposterous things Hisako could do with Stagger :smiling_imp:

…is the right word. She DOES NOT need a stagger move. Lol!

1 Like

She needs something… but probably not that, haha! I’m honestly not qualified to say what she should or shouldn’t have. I’ll leave that up to the experts :smile:

I’m already picturing Aganos with a stagger-type move… :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, stagger isn’t really anything Hisako needs - she has a functional “manual anything of this” with her wrath counter hits already. I also kind of tend to think that staggers won’t work too effectively with command grabs in general, as this is true of wall splats more generally (post wall splat command grabs are heavily scaled), and Shago’s special command grab also didn’t work off stagger. Now annihilation may be a special case, but I tend to think command normal->unscaled command grabs->subsequent oki is probably not a great design philosophy.

I’m interested in the mechanic, but I can’t say I’m super super stoked about it or that I think it somehow changes everything. For all intents and purposes, it’s basically just an opener that yields a guaranteed manual or throw. It’s already possible to hit most manuals after most openers, and throw resets aren’t exactly uncommon either. There’s certainly some extra wrinkles within the mechanic (in Shago’s case it seems the post-stagger manuals are very easy), and if the throws are untechable then that could be quite strong, but I guess I just don’t see it as this tremendous game changer that needs to be added to all the S1 and S2 characters as well. I never thought S1 characters particularly needed recaps either though, so maybe that’s just me.

So long as characters are viable and strong with their given toolsets I’m content. I don’t need Sadira to have a recaptures or for Aria to stagger - the characters are balanced around entirely different mechanics and tools, and I think that makes them more unique and interesting.

1 Like

Close fierce would be nice

Excuse me for my ignorance, but what is a stagger?

New game mechanic that’s coming in S3 - They revealed it during the Shadow Jago stream, because he uses the new mechanic on 1 of his moves. With him, we’re getting kind of a quasi-preview to what the mechanic entails.

One can get a taste of non-KI stagger if they own Skullgirls. Can’t at all guarantee that these experiences will be parallel, but perhaps similar enough to get a feel for it.

Basically, if a stagger move connects on the opponent, they’re rewarded with additional frame advantage where you can continue to attack an opponent, throw, or completely go into another mix up.

It helps you appreciate neutral game more.

1 Like

ah ok thanks for the reply

1 Like

I like the reset potential it looks like it has. Build up some good potential damage, stagger, free mix up, one chance break.

It’s more of a tool to help appreciate the neutral game between two opponents. You whiff punish a move but didn’t buffer a special cancel? Whiff punishing with a stagger move grants you that additional frame advantage to punish them more and take a nice chunk from their life bar. In the end, it all adds up.

Your comment about Hisako leads me to believe that certain characters will have this, rightfully, while others really don’t. I’m thinking Sabrewulf being another one of those who doesn’t need it because he has overpower, which is like a stagger in its own right especially being as rewarding for be + on hit or block no matter what.

Yeah, I see the potential on that, but the fact of the matter is that KI isn’t terribly focused on whiff punishes in general, and in the events where you can do so (bad medium widow’s bite spacing, whiffed air-ORZ or powerline), a normal into opener or raw opener or even normal->shadow is generally the better and more damaging punish. I guess I just don’t see staggers as changing that dynamic drastically. Particularly if they’re high start-up command normal like Shago’s (which obviously doesn’t have to be the case for everyone).

Shago is kind of forced to rely on normals into stagger axe kick because he’s so terribly unsafe on everything, but that’s very much a conscious character design decision. Overhead->windkick (Jago) or cr. mk->rekka (Hisako) or overhead->ankle slicer all yield much the same result when you get right down to it, even up to what punishes such strings or their shadow counterability.

Again, I think it’s a cool mechanic, and I think it will provide combos with an additional amount of flair and variety, and probably open up the two-way interaction a bit further as well. I just don’t think that its this super revolutionary game mechanic that’s going to change the way we look at KI the way some people seem to be thinking. And as we’ve both said, don’t necessarily think it belongs on a bunch of legacy characters just cause people in the S3 cast have it.

Without getting too far off topic, let me ask this.

Do you think it is KI that isn’t terribly focused on this, or is it the players?

Nah, I think it’s a product of the game and its systems. The specials in this game are really, really good for instance, and often have quite a few special properties on them, travel quickly or far or both, etc. Every normal is special cancelable, and many of those specials are fairly safe on block.

KI largely isn’t played with a patient exchange of normals not because its normals are bad, but simply because its specials are so good, and they’re what lead to the damage in the game. There’s also the fact that quite a few characters don’t play much of a standard neutral game, and have all sorts of ways of bypassing or otherwise getting around a slow paced poking strategy.

1 Like

mmm… I beg to differ on your opinion, but that would digressing from this. I’ll save it for another time.