Skeletal's Ranked Challenge Month Four: Tusk!

Continuing the discussion from Skeletal's Ranked Challenge: Introduction & Poll Thread:

What Is Skeletal’s Ranked Challenge?

Throughout the first two seasons of Killer Instinct, I played Thunder almost exclusively. Because of this, my ability to play other characters has been limited, and I’m hoping to change that with Season 3! I am planning to use a combination of the changes to Ranked Leagues, input from the forum community, and a healthy dose of trial and error to earn some achievements, expand my understanding of the game, and my stable of playable characters!

Skeletal’s Ranked Challenge is a pretty simple experiment:

  • During the last week of each month, a poll will be posted in the following thread to allow forum members to vote for their favorite character from a list I have selected.

  • For the next month, I will practice with the winning character, in order to learn their moves and playstyle.

  • On the first available day each month, I will voluntarily reset my rank in Ranked Leagues and drop back down to Qualifier. My Ranked matches for that entire month will be played with the chosen character, in order to keep a list of my progress, wins/losses, and to force me to actually USE the character I’m learning.

  • My progress records for Tusk will be listed in this thread, sometimes as “bloglike” text posts, and other times featuring clips, gifs, or screenshots when available. Ranked stats (including potential end-of-month Killer League points) will be kept in this thread whenever possible.

  • I will not always be playing Killer Instinct when I have time to game, and when playing Killer Instinct I will not limit my character use when playing single player modes, or Exhibition matches with friends. I do not want to completely burn myself out!



  1. Please understand that I am not an extremely high-skilled player. I do not spend much time in Practice mode or studying frame data. I have a bit of a tendency to button mash, and am AWFUL at breaking. I also sometimes struggle with particular inputs. I have never been as interested in or committed to a fighting game before, but I love Killer Instinct! With this in mind, please make sure that any posts you decide to share in this thread are constructive criticism, advice, and encouragement, because I understand that I have many flaws to my gameplay, and I’m looking to improve through this Challenge.

While this will hopefully be an interesting or entertaining experience for you, I already know that this will be a difficult and potentially embarrassing journey for me because I am sharing the information with everyone here.

  1. Please vote in the monthly polls, and share your character-specific feedback on each character’s thread. Your input will be important to this experiment, as your comments, suggestions and advice can help me to learn a particular character or matchup, or understand how to correct a fundamental weakness as well. By helping me to choose a character each month, you are also motivating me to not simply fall back on Thunder all the time, and to pick a wide variety of characters even if I would not normally have chosen them on my own.


July’s monthly poll for the Skeletal Ranked Challenge has concluded, and the winner is the nordic warrior, Tusk!

I did not play a lot of the original KI games in the arcade as a kid, as I was not very good at fighters at all, and didn’t own any Nintendo consoles, but I have definite memories of playing as Tusk. I got into fantasy and medieval stuff very early in life, and the Conan The Barbarian movies were pretty high on my favorites list (and still are)! A big brute with a big sword is an inherently interesting design, and Tusk pays that bill with change to spare.

When Tusk’s teaser and trailer were first revealed, I watched both videos over and over again. I couldn’t get enough of his music, stage, or persona; “Let evil come; for I am the Watchman of the Gods!” still sends a shiver up my spine, along with the lifting chorus in his theme. I love the deflect concept, and after having been introduced to the old Weaponlord game here on the forums and watching some gameplay I can see exactly where it came from.

I think Tusk’s slower style will be an important thing for me to nail early. TJ, Kim Wu, and Mira all awarded aggressive play, but I know that even missing normals with Tusk will be problematic. I plan to experiment with both a defensive style and an aggressive one, but in order to do either I believe I will need to teach myself to be more patient and methodical. Coming off of a TJ Combo month, I think it will be simple to work in followups to Immortal Sprint, as I used Powerline and it’s followups a lot while playing TJ.

I will be reading through the KI.Infil Tusk page, and can hopefully convince a couple of Tusk players to stop by or play some sets to give me some pointers. Tag an experienced Tusk, if you know any! (I’m being far too bold, but maybe @ULTRAODINSON can spare some time for a budding Tusk?)

I have a couple of key points I definitely want to hit this month;

  • Precision execution for DPs. When playing Thunder I will admit I needed to mash to get a DP to work. It’s not an input that I have really ingrained into my muscle memory yet, and I believe that DP is very important for Tusk. Deflect on the HP version and using it as an ender for damage will be key, and learning to DP correctly will help me when I return to Thunder, too.

  • Patient, strategic neutral play. From playing against him and watching others play him, it seems that having a plan is critical when playing Tusk. I believe I will be better off playing slowly and using his normals correctly (between the deflect windows and the areas of the screen which are covered by the normal itself) than simply throwing something out “just because.” This should also help when playing other characters, too.

  • Building a better combo. Tusk’s combo damage is so high that a short combo can do well, and a lockout can lead to huge amounts of damage. I want to try to teach myself to use the optimal AD’s, linkers, and Enders to quickly and efficiently cash out safely. This, again, should also help when playing other characters.

Feel free to share your thoughts, wellwishes, advice, setups, whatever! Worgram will taste blood tonight!

1 Like

Just one advice. Stay in range of… and do nothing. Walk away… walk in… crouch… backdash… taunt and backdash…

People gets REALLY nervous on that range… and when they react with an attack… almost any button you press leads to DAHmage city

1 Like

First, I felt the same way about the Tusk trailer haha. Second, I am ALWAYS down to help a fellow Viking. Add and message me on Xbox at Tusk Odinson when you can play some sets.

Didn’t know you were actually on the forums. Thanks for all that you do for the KI community man! :slight_smile:

Ran into you a day or two ago in Ranked - you counterpicked my Hisako with Spinal. I was like “damn. I respect that :joy:

Bro your cinder is godlike lol

Well, I may have been silent on the forums since the start of the Challenge, but I have not been idle!

Tusk has positively EXPLODED through the lower tiers after a 6 win - 4 loss Qualifier run which placed me into Bronze. All but one of the Qualifier losses were fairly close fights, and I tried to make note of the mistakes which I felt caused me to lose. Lack of Deflect knowledge was a direct cause in at least one of the fights, where I misjudged when Deflect would be active.

The following matches occurred during my relatively short tenure in Bronze:

This match was, I believe, my second Ranked fight as Tusk. I experimented with a bit of juggling, practiced combo transitions, and attempted to play with Deflect. It’s not a great example of Tusk, though, as my opponent didn’t seem to want to block and I made some choices which weren’t ideal, in the end.

My next battle was against a Jago, and despite having some combo drops and mistimed Deflect attempts, I feel I did reasonably well. I did successfully land one Deflect, as well.

This match was my Bronze to Silver Promotion match, against a player I had just beaten in two successive matches immediately before this one. Interestingly, they played a different character in each of our matches, so while I was learning a little bit about their personal preferences, I was not able to use too much specific “data” on their character play styles. This was my first Tusk vs Glacius experience, and I think the balance between the two is fairly interesting. If Tusk can slowly and carefully work his way in, his high damage can really make Glacius pay. Multi-Hail seems to be a bit of a problem for Tusk, as are some of Glacius’ jumping kicks.

In this match, Tusk and his (former? future?) wife tried to work out their differences. I think Maya’s dagger pressure and mobility might actually cause some problems for Tusk, given that he cannot Deflect projectiles, and there are a couple of examples in this video of Maya using her mobility to evade some of my strikes. When I did catch her though, I was typically able to bring some serious damage to the table. Tusk really does hit like a truck!

This match against Shadow Jago was a bit like the Glacius fight, considering Shadow Jago’s fireballs can come at various heights and angles. I tried to determine whether Tusk is better off jumping over or using Immortal Spirit to go under the projectiles; I’m still uncertain, but it might just be situational. I felt like a gazelle when hopping over a pair of fireballs, but to be fair I was anticipating the use of Annihilation and was attempting to keep my feet off the ground in case it happened.

Another Glacius fight, this time against a Killer! I was a bit nervous going into this one, but thankfully I was able to use knowledge from the previous Glacius fight, as well as general knowledge of Glacius to anticipate some of my opponent’s setups. Hail was a problem, I failed some breakers which I was annoyed about after the fact, and was happy to predict/react to the Shatter attempts. Glacius’ jumping kicks were landing more than I should have allowed, but I was also pleased with the way Shadow Skull Splitter managed to catch Glacius right as he landed on the ground so I could Ultra him!

Before this fight, I played a fairly long set of Exhibition matches against @Dayv0, (thanks for the advice and examples!) who was kind enough to share some tips with me. From here on out, you should notice that I am using standing HP to threaten my opponent more often, and it really is useful because of the amount of space which it covers! For some reason, there’s a little lag-like blip in the middle of the fight, sorry about that!

This fight went pretty quickly, and I think the “odd” break timing of Shadow Skull Splitter, as I had already noted, was pretty helpful here. Sabrewulf really messed me up during one of his dash-throughs, causing what was supposed to be a Shadow Conqueror into a vulnerable Shadow Skull Splitter, which I was subsequently grabbed out of. I also should have paid more attention to Sabrewulf’s lifebar in the first round, because I ended a locked-out combo early enough to keep him alive accidentally (although my throw cleaned up the mess without incurring damage). Uppercuts were definitely helpful in this match!

While working my way up through Silver, I won around 75% of my fights, which in my opinion was great! I ended up with Killers for four of my 5 Promotion matches, though, losing to all four of them. One of the fights was close, the other three were blowouts. It was frustrating to lose the 150 points, but thankfully I was able to get Tusk back up to 1000 points in Silver pretty fast each time. RAAM’s Kryll Rush ability is definitely one to watch out for as Tusk, due to the fact that you can’t count on Deflect (at least from what I see) to protect you. This was not a fancy win, but it was a win at an important time!

Any and all feedback is appreciated. I’m absolutely amazed at how fast I was able to reach Gold Tier, but I also believe that Tusk’s brute force is covering up some of my personal faults with Tusk’s playstyle, so I do not want to get cocky about it.

So far I believe that I need to work on Normal usage and timing, as well as combo efficiency and setting up more opportunities to go for Counter Breakers, which I don’t do too often myself. Breaking and blocking are improving, though!

@Dayv0, @TheNinjaOstrich and @TUSKODINSON, whatever input you care to share with me would be immensely appreciated! I plan to set up some exhibition matches with each of you when I get the chance to! Be on the lookout for messages/invites!


Well, it’s been a couple of days, so I think it’s time for another update!

I spent some time playing KI though the long weekend (did everyone have a good Fourth?) and played several matches today, and I’ve got some clips I’d like to share. I’d also like to extend a GG to @killerinstnct94 , my fellow Connecticutian who pretty much destroyed me in a Ranked set with his Riptor!

I’m noticing that firing off Counter Breakers is getting easier, and I’m starting to work on some strategies, at least with Tusk. When performing easy-to-break moves against someone I don’t know, I’m waiting to use any Counter Breakers until they have proven that they are both capable and willing to break it; Tusk’s Skewer, for example. From there, I typically allow one or two more breaks to happen before I even attempt to Counter Break. What I’m finding so far is that this can lure my opponent into thinking that I don’t use CBs at all, and that it is safe to break whatever they see. Once I start throwing out successful CBs I often find that I can typically count on reflexive decisions to gauge whether my opponent will keep breaking.

I need to work on Deflect a bit more, and loosen up with what I am using and accurately timing things. Happily I’m finding it easier to input an uppercut, but I’m also getting a bit trigger-happy with them. I need to get that under control, because I have had a few opponents who have baited them with a block and punished me for it. Not a habit I want to allow to fester for long!

This first match was a rough set against a Hisako player. I was getting caught off guard by her use of Descent as an escape tool and to swap sides, as well as low taps into On Ryo Zan, and Vengeance Counters. She also strategically used Instinct to lock me out while attempting to break Shadow On Ryo Zan! @Marbledecker and @STORM179 were my first glimpses at what a good Hisako player can do, and now I actually find myself struggling against some Hisako players pretty hard. I tried to time Deflect windows and grabs to their best effect against this player, and though it was a struggle I managed to scrape out a win in the end!

This match was against a Mira whose play style was the very definition of “glass cannon.” Their bat use was good, at least against me since I’m not used to the timing of Tusk’s Immortal Spirit special with regards to its Projectile Invulnerable properties. I also noticed they were favoring Heavy specials and normals most of the time, and since I’ve got experience playing Mira, it wasn’t too hard to break this strategy, though I still ended up taking some large damage combos! I noticed that jumping MP is pretty successful at poking Mira when she’s using LP bats. Since my opponent showed a willingness to break Skewer really early, I used that to my advantage and started Counter Breaking her. Throws and Deflects rounded out this victory!

This match against Riptor showed me some holes in my gameplay; namely that I am relying on DP too much on wakeup, but also that my Deflect timing needs work. I messed up several breakers as well, which made things harder than they needed to be. Partway through the match I got kind of tired of listening to my opponent trash talking through the mic (as I hadn’t muted them pre-fight) and decided that I didn’t need to be nice any more; hence the taunts! The second round I was able to adjust to Riptor’s play from the first round and I think I took the final win fairly convincingly.

My very next fight was against the same opponent, this time playing TJ Combo. Some of the same defensive, breaking, and offensive trends continued with TJ, and between the previous match’s “data” and personal experience playing TJ, I felt pretty confident in this set. The ■■■■ talking continued (forgot to mute again!) and got worse after I lost the first round. I counter-broke almost ever single time I used Skewer, which worked out fairly well, even though it meant I gave up a few free flips since I was able to capitalize on successful CBs but also break most of the retaliatory salvos from TJ. I landed a few large combos, taking off large chunks of TJ’s lifebar, eventually ending the fight with an Ultra without giving TJ enough Instinct to trigger Last Breath!

This fight was from a set I ended up losing, but I was happy enough with the first round that I wanted to save that part, at least. I lost the set overall because my opponent was on point with their anti-air Cr. HPs, and I ended up eating massive combos during RAAM’s instinct. I was happy of several moments in this fight, like a couple clutch breakers, a Shadow Counter, and enjoyed the transition from Ultra to Stage Ultra at the end. Not an amazing match, but I enjoyed it!

Ahh, the elusive Ranked Perfect! So far, this is only the sixth Ranked match I’ve managed to win with a Perfect, and at least two of those were fights where the opponent spent most of their time standing still doing nothing for some reason. I had this Arbiter confused, I think. They were trying to start something and successfully broke me early in the fight, but I was able to keep up enough pressure and switch things up in such a way that Arbiter was just unable to land a successful hit. Neutral jumps, throws, and sweeps were the largest sources of damage throughout the fight, except for a couple of combos. Not elegant, but hey, a Perfect is a Perfect, right?

The final match I want to share with you was a set against a cool Cinder player. He had a fairly solid defense, and some tricky stuff with burnout, Trailblazer and juggles. I was able to land a few solid combos, but wasn’t able to land Deflect as often as I wanted to, or expected to. Definitely some timing screwups on my part. I botched a comeback opportunity after a Shadow Counter in the second round, which was too bad, because I think I had the potential to take that round if I had the timing right!

This entire set felt very back and forth, I felt that we were pretty evenly matched, and we exchanged a few friendly messages back and forth afterwards. Overall a nice way to end my night of KI.

This is my current standing in Ranked; 78 wins and 27 losses is pretty good, especially considering my Tusk is only five days old! Hopefully this trend continues, I would love to see the nordic warrior crest into the realm of Killers! I’m getting close to Level 50 as well, which was certainly helped along by the weekend’s XP boost. Soon I’ll be able to “cosplay” everyone’s favorite 80’s barbarian; I’ll have to set up an accessory set for that…


Good job beating a Sako with Tusk - that fight sucks for him :thumbsup:


Thanks! I think I struggle against her, in general, even outside the matchup. Some of her stuff just hits so fast (like her low) that even on wakeup I struggle to do basic stuff like jump, and sometimes I hate the fact that she can (with Vengeance) drop into a Counter and make things safe for herself. With Thunder or TJ it was a bit easier because I could mix in command grabs, but with Tusk I have to be super careful not to push a button unless I’m certain I’m going to hit her. Her range is nothing to sneeze at, and I have a hard time reading her doubles/linkers! Most of the time they look like she’s just flailing around to me.

Your Hisako in particular is terrifying. I doubt I’d get much done with Tusk against you!

1 Like

I have a few recordings which need to be converted into my clip format, but I expect I will have an update tonight!

On a somewhat related note I upgraded my PC to Windows 10 yesterday and installed KI overnight. I ran the Performance Test and passed with everything On or set to High; I will experiment with playing on my PC and see what the recording options are. If the GameDVR feature through the Windows 10 Xbox app isn’t great, I will need to do all Replay recordings for any matches played on my PC; I hope that turns out not to be the case!

Sorry for the delay, but I’ve run into a small snag. I have been playing KI on my PC the last few days, and while the recording function is simpler and means I don’t have to record any Replay footage, I also can’t throw those clips into Upload Studio to edit them as I have been doing from the Xbox itself.

Not a major problem but I need to try out a video editing program and see what I can do regarding the clips.

I should have an update sometime soon, it depends how much I’m able to get done tonight!

1 Like

No videos? RIOT :tada::rage::tada:


As promised, I’m finally going to share a real update with you!

I’ve had several of these matches recorded for days, but I have had a pretty busy weekend. I spent Thursday through today at a few different events, as well as spending a lot of time walking around with my wife and dog, playing Pokemon Go. It’s a fun game and it’s motivating me to walk, which is really good because I need to be in the habit of exercising more. Turning walking into a game is a good way to get me to do that!

I played a long series of fights today on my PC (I’m already loving being able to play KI on PC if my wife is using the television), and I saved the best to share with you. Grab some popcorn, and watch Tusk bring the pain!

This first match was one which I felt I did a great job in mechanically. Multiple Deflects and (if I do say so myself) well-timed Counter Breakers made this fight stand out for me, and I feel like for the most part I was able to control the match with them. My opponent was doing a pretty good job of tricking me in his combos; he had several transitions from lights to mediums which I was either not reading correctly or reacting too slowly to, and the damage I took was a testament to my break failures!

This match ran a bit long, but that’s to be expected with a 2-1 fight, I suppose. Overall I did a fairly good job of breaking Shadow Jago, though my opponent did pick up on some of my patterns. My opponent was doing well with fireballs and divekicks, and I was having trouble working around them and punishing them. After losing the first round, I was able to start making smarter choices with Tusk’s normals, and making Shadow Jago pay for some of his unsafe decisions. I won’t lie, it felt really good to Stage Ultra him after having had it done to me round one! The final round, I felt stupid to be hit by Annihilation while in recovery from D+HP. I’ve been pretty solid about dodging that for a while, but I hadn’t even looked at his Instinct meter. I landed a MASSIVE combo off of the non-crossup version of F+MP, and the momentum shifted fully in my favor. This was a really fun match.

Ahh yes, a Jago match. Yadda yadda yadda, when do you EVER see him? I actually don’t mind fighting Jago so much as Tusk at this point. I feel like I have enough of a grasp on Deflect that I can often interrupt typical Jago strategies. This particular Jago was a pretty big fan of Windkick, but I also out-maneuvered and punished a bunch of Endokukens too. In the first round, I noticed that he was quick to break; I probably should have tried to use a few Counter Breakers, but in the end I didn’t need to risk much. Round two was pretty solid.

Another Cinder fight! I have actually been fairly pleased with my Tusk performance against Cinders so far. Some of their aerial tricks are tough to deal with, but I have learned by now to watch out for the HK recapture and his wakeup DP, which were both big problems for me originally. I made some bad decisions and should have blocked on wakeup a bit more, but I was able to tough out what looked like a losing first round and catch my opponent jumping with a couple of big HP hits to take it! Round two felt like all the momentum was on my side. I don’t know if he was trying to jump or attack most of the time, but Tusk had an absolute field day. When Cinder jumped, an HP was there. When he stood still, I either threw him or used a sweep, and just kept the train rolling.

Sabrewulf is always one of my most-understood matchups for any character, since my best friend mains him. I get a lot of experience fighting against Wulf, I guess! Deflects, crossups and hit confirms let me maximize most of my damage opportunities in round one, and it was mainly rinse and repeat for round two. Tusk’s HP normals are really amazing in this matchup.

This match against Riptor had both good and bad elements to it. I misjudged the range, speed, and amount of time that Riptor’s flames were active, and even walked into a basic Counter Breaker in round one. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to Stage Ultra after my first round Ultra! What worked well for me when I wasn’t getting torched was the fact that my opponent just refused to block on wakeup. Almost every Riptor wakeup started with HP, so I eventually got used to the idea of jumping and punishing from the air. Since I had the opportunity, why not force Riptor into a second defenestration?

After brawling my way through a bunch of wins and some losses, I could see blood on the horizon. That shining “Promotion Match” pillar is tempting but also stressful, because you know that the next match is going to either make you really happy or dash your hopes! Will this end in victory or defeat? Watch the next video and see!

There you have it, folks, I have reached Killer Tier for the second month in a row with a Challenge character! It feels like a real accomplishment, and gives me a sense of pride that I seem to be learning and improving my KI skills! Arbiter versus Tusk feels like a 50/50 fight; I have won big as Tusk, and lost big to Arbiter as well.

My Killer opponent, Arbiter took an early lead, and part of that was my fault as I was forgetting my own advice and crouch blocking against him! A few key deflects and hit confirms really helped in the first round, as well as properly punishing his shadow command grab. The second round felt like I had the fight’s momentum squarely behind me. I landed crossups, punished Shadow startups, Deflected a couple important attacks, and managed to mess up my double Ultra at the end, of course.

Here are my initial Killer Rank stats; For someone who has typically maintained about a 40% win ratio in Ranked, reaching Killer with 110 wins and 42 losses as Tusk feels like an awesome feat. Tusk has been a lot of fun to play, and I’m not sure whether I’m legitimately getting good with Tusk, or if the character himself is patching massive holes in my personal ability. It’s felt like a pretty quick journey up through the ranks, and I’m surprised that I summited faster than with TJ! TJ placed in Silver and took 15 days to hit Killer. Tusk placed in Bronze and made it to Killer in 10 days.

Whatever the reason, I’m happy I’ve done as well as I have! I feel like the pressure is off now, and I will do what I can to go as high through the Killer leaderboard as possible; but now, I have proven to myself that these Challenges are working, and that I am deserving of Killer Rank with Tusk. Any success from here on out is just icing on the cake!

My next plan will be to challenge @TUSKODINSON to a FT5 or FT10, assuming he can spare time away from EVO training! It should make a fun video, if we can make something work.


One piece of advice I’d generally give to you is to avoid using sweep as the low part of your high/low/throw mixup on their wakeup. Sweep is unsafe on block, low damage, and generally kind of slow. You’re much better off using something like crouch MK and canceling it into a safe special move (light skull splitter, maybe); this is faster, safe on block, and leads to a combo instead of a knockdown so you get way more damage.

Basically, you want to take as few risks as possible while leading to big damage. Using sweep kind of gives you the worst of all of that (no damage and you get punished if they block). You have much better low options here.


Thank you for the feedback! I did a fairly thorough read of your Tusk page right before I started the Tusk Challenge, and although I know I wasn’t able to assimilate everything there, it certainly gave me a solid base to start from.

I’ll be honest, other than the shadow version I think I criminally underuse Skull Splitter. I’m actually still working on the timing of Immortal Spirit into its followups, particularly when I’m trying to use it to link off of a stagger (when I don’t have Shadow, of course). Do you feel that Skull Splitter is useful enough to use often for more than simply covering space?

I understand the cons of using sweep, and I probably should switch it up for other specials more often; what I learned during my TJ month (June) was that using the low/throw/OH mixups the way I do can rack up a fairly large amount of damage if I have the correct reads and keep catching my opponent off guard. Obviously it’s probably better to get a combo off of these mixups (which I am capable of when landing the overhead or on the rare occasion my low is IS -> M or a low kick) but I also think there is something to be said for several small chunks of unbreakable damage as well.

This trick admittedly works better with TJ because of his command grab as that’s yet another mixup AND leads to a combo if done right (though it’s breakable) but so far with Tusk it’s worked ok too. I will definitely try to work other techniques into these mixups like you suggested!

Any other zen critiques or sage wisdom you could share with me? I’m not sure how many of the clips you’ve watched so far but I’m sure there’s plenty I could do to be more efficient.

Sorry, meant to watch these but haven’t gotten the chance yet. I’ll just pop in for a second to comment on the “small, unbreakable damage” part.

Small, unbreakable damage is awesome! I highly recommend going for such things. But when you get the exact same mixup off a string that is both safe and leads to a full combo if it hits, then there is really very little point to going for the small, unbreakable, but unsafe mixup. Don’t forget that combos that get broken also do damage; unless you’re prioritizing positioning about all else, there isn’t a huge reason to be afraid of getting broken. You’ll still get your upfront damage, be safe from reprisal from your opponent, and have the potential to put a more serious hurting on the opponent.

Use the sweep when you just absolutely need the extra range on your low - otherwise cr.MK is almost always going to be the better option.

1 Like

Thanks! If you do get around to watching some of the clips I would definitely appreciate some feedback.

You and I have played several times, and I think you have at least some understanding of where I was at the end of S2, after that (not unjustly) critical discussion we had at the end of that long set. I would definitely value your input on how I may or may not have improved.

Any tips in particular against Hisako? She’s been a large source of my losses as Tusk, I think Orchid is the runner up. Hisako’s counter option seems to make her so ridiculously safe against Tusk. I also struggle with some of her On Ryo stuff (particularly low on wakeup which seems to be unjumpable…) and her range means that Tusk’s ideal distance isn’t even helpful.

Sure, I’ll definitely watch and comment when I get the chance - if the Internet is good enough in this airport I should be able to do it now.

With regards to the Hisako/Tusk MU: as you’ve surely surmised by now, it’s absolute buns for Tusk. Your normals actually are longer than hers, but you can’t bully her with them, as all the big long-range buttons are counterable on reaction. I recommend empty spirit step->throw mixups to start out with, just to get the Hisako out of the mindset that buttons are coming. Once she starts teching the throw or otherwise avoiding that mixup, then you should be a bit more free to start tossing in the overhead swipes and things like that. Be aware though - Hisako has the option to just say “nope” to spirit step mixups as well, as she can also descent in reaction to the run and avoid whatever follow-up you were going for. She also avoids and blows up his DP’s pretty easily. I don’t personally think that Hisako wins very many MU’s, but she certainly wins the Tusk one.

On the ORZ stuff, if she’s doing the rekka meaty (regardless of which one), it’ll be unjumpable. It’s bloody difficult to time a meaty low rekka though, so I’ll confess that I’m a bit impressed that people are managing it :joy: If Hisako is rekka’ing, I recommend just blocking it out.

1 Like

To add to Storm’s comments about the high/low thing, if I was playing against you and I saw you did close-range sweep as a mixup option, I immediately know that all I have to do is block it out. I might get thrown once or twice, but as soon as I block the sweep, I get all that damage back immediately (because I can punish you). Basically, while you technically have a mixup, as the opponent I’m not very scared of it because I see that you are taking risks that can get you killed.

But if your mixup involves cr.MK xx light skull splitter, suddenly I know that no matter how much I block your mixup, I don’t get anywhere… a successful guess on my part just puts us both in neutral, so I’m much more scared of the situation knowing that a correct guess on my end doesn’t lead to any reward.

This is why safe + unreactable mixups (like meaty low vs. meaty throw) are good and largely preferred. Also, I bet cr.MK xx light splitter does more damage as an opener chain than sweep does raw (or, at least, very comparable damage), so I don’t even think the damage part makes sweep viable.

As for light skull splitter, yeah I think it’s a pretty good harassment tool. Try sprinkling it into your offense (and option select a linker/double after it) and see if you can convert more hits into damage. Being cancelable off normals and being faster than st.HP means it has uses.

1 Like

@xSkeletalx confirmed scumbag for full ultras and taunts :tada::rage::tada:

I think I really only saw a few main points for you to maybe work on.

  1. Maximizing damage - pretty straightforward, by just try to maximize lockout damage whenever possible. Ideally, you want to have your ender come out at the very tip of the lockout timer. You generally seemed to be ending a second or so before you had to, even in confirmable situations where you were already tacking on lockout damage.

  2. Punish buttons - you seem to like to use really big buttons to punish with as Tusk. While I’m certain those big buttons are hella satisfying to punish with, you should probably be using smaller, hit-confirmable buttons as your go-to punishes. For one, you’ll be a lot less likely to miss the punish (a decent amount of the time it worked it was because your opponent tried to press buttons, not because it was a legit punish), and you’ll also get into the combo system. While a first frame break would make your punish less damaging than a big sword normal punish, the upward potential for damage is a lot better. If you get broken, your neutral situation isn’t much different than the big normal post-hit situation, so again, don’t be afraid to take a chance on getting broken.

  3. Instinct - you should really try and learn how to do Tusk’s instinct cancels - they’re really, really good. You can set up some really disgusting stuff with it.

  4. Spacing out your normals. I think you might be pressing some unsafe buttons at point blank range a bit. None of your opponents seemed ready to punish them, but Tusk’s really big buttons are definitely not safe once you get too close to the opponent.

Bonus thought: did you know you press lights after nearly every jump-in? :slight_smile:

1 Like