Skeletal's Ranked Challenge: Month One - Kim Wu!

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007fd709d35350> #<Tag:0x00007fd709d33820> #<Tag:0x00007fd709d33730>

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 Kim Wu 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.


April’s monthly poll for the Skeletal Ranked Challenge has concluded, and the winner is Kim Wu!

I will be honest, I was dreading the idea of Kim winning the poll. I think that Tusk and Arbiter have enough similarities to Thunder which would have made for a simpler transition, and Rash seems goofy but easy to learn.

Kim, on the other hand, is someone I will definitely need to spend time in practice with, to play around with her nunchuck combos, “whiff-punishing,” Dragon Cancels/Dashes, and managing Dragon resources in general. This month should be a good indication of how interesting or beneficial this challenge will be, since she’s very much outside my current comfort zone for characters.

I’m looking forward to jumping into practice with her this evening, and I’m planning to study the Kim Wu showcase from the KI World Cup stream, Sajam’s video, and Kim Wu’s section in Infilament’s guide, if she already has one.

Feel free to share your thoughts, wellwishes, advice, setups, whatever! I will play my first Ranked matches with Kim Wu this weekend.


Update: I didn’t play AT ALL last night, so I have zero additional experience with Kim Wu. Sounds like a good time to jump into Ranked and get my Qualifiers done!

This sounds pretty cool tbh. It’s a good way to learn more characters, I feel like I have kind of done what you did with Thunder but with Spinal. Though I have recently branched out to Fulgore and Rash a bit too.

Anyway good luck dude, I look forward to seeing your progress!

1 Like

I finished my Qualifier matches 6-4. One loss was against a Pro Star player who was playing what I assume was their main, so I was not surprised to lose! Another was a very close match against a Glacius player, and the other two were normal losses.

At the point where I have currently stopped, I am 20-20 including my Qualifiers. A few of those losses were ones which I knew how I could have won the moment it was over, one of which was to an Arbiter jump-in HP; I had a Shadow stock, but froze up on the input for Shadow Dragon Kick, which I believe would’ve given me the win, due to invincible frames and the damage from the kick (Arbiter was also in Danger). I’m trying to piece together combos as I can, and get used to how she maneuvers and what moves to use when.

I ended up facing two teabaggers during this morning’s games, which ended up accumulating 5 of my losses between them. This was extremely frustrating as they were not playing at a level I would have lost to using Thunder, and maybe not even Arbiter, but as Kim I had some real difficulties. That’s going to be a real test as this challenge goes on, because ending up against someone I know I can beat as a particular character really makes me want to make that switch at the character select screen!

Special shout out to @GreenHawk84 who defeated me in a Kim mirror match. The first “round” was pretty close, but after he took my first life bar I choked completely. I missed inputs and made some really bad decisions which gave Greenhawk all the openings they needed.

Notes so far;

  • I’m dropping a lot of combos with Kim. I need to work on linking things together and getting my cashouts.

  • I’m struggling with her nunchuck “target combos.” I don’t like how I occasionally will move forward into a hit I was looking to avoid, or backwards away from my opponent. Moving back with MP has made me miss some Shadow Linkers completely (mainly Shadow Firecracker).

  • I think I need to rely on jumping HP (and stop jumping!) so much, and practice using Dragon Cancels more, and the Dragon Counter.

Took a couple of recordings which I will share here for posterity.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to stream some Dark Souls 2. Maybe I will stream some of my Challenge gameplay as well!

1 Like

Haha, man I thought that was you! Glad I could put up a challenge. Today has been rough overall, I am getting bodied by many players. That’s the struggle when you’re trying to learn a potential main.

[quote=“xSkeletalx, post:4, topic:7970”]
I finished my Qualifier matches 6-4. One loss was against a Pro Star player who was playing what I assume was their main, so I was not surprised to lose!
[/quote]That happened to me too! :slight_smile:

I decided to dive back into Ranked with Kim Wu after having played some Dark Souls 2, and things went reasonably well. First off:

I’m still trying to work on the same things, although combos and reactions are starting to become a little bit easier. So far Dragon Cancels are mainly coming out accidentally in combos, or are being used for an air dash. I can definitely see the potential for doing really cool things with them, though!

Shadow Dragon Kick has come in handy a few times, which is good - I just need to keep practicing (and maybe actually go INTO practice mode!) and adjust my thinking and play so that I can take Kim as far up the ranks as possible.

This experiment, while not easy, feels good. I feel like my breaking has started to improve (less guesses, more reads and patience), and I’m slowly slowing down my inputs so that I get specifically the special or auto double (occasionally manual) that I want.

A couple more games, including some good moments of proper mechanic use, break reads, etc.

Any feedback would be much appreciated! Like I said, I’m looking for interaction from any of you who might be choosing to follow along with my Challenge, and to share in the struggles with anyone else who is playing Kim right now. Once I’ve got a few days of practice/Ranked slogging under my belt, it would be fun to play some community matches as well.

PS: Just for laughs, play all three videos at the same time with sound. You won’t be able to make sense of ANYTHING, and it’s amazing hearing four different characters at the same time!

All right. Let’s get to work. (cracks knuckles)

You are using Kim well! I’m impressed!

Things to work on:

  • Try not to jump so much. Kim has a lot of tools that can punish in the air. Especially her Dragon Kicks. Once you figure out the ranges, you can throw them out and catch many people! :slight_smile:

  • Dragon Counter is your friend! In Glacius matches, this helps a LOT. You can counter everything Glacius throws out, even his Command Ice Pillar (Can’t remember name).

I’d rather parry that, and take a hail to the face, then get caught in one of those. Also, don’t forget you can reflect his hail with Firecracker! Same thing with anyone’s projectiles. Even Cinder’s Pyrobombs, which is HILARIOUS to see a Cinder stop in his tracks, and is forced to play a different way. And Kim being the Punish Monster she is, it gets hard for our favorite cocky Man on Fire.
Even Sadira’s. :imp:

  • IMO, Dragon Cancels are best used in combos, to force the opponent to block, to catch buttons and open people up. I like doing a Raw split kick, into Dragon Cancel before i touch the ground, and Dragon Grasp, to start a combo, or just a grab for a confirmed Knockdown. There is some neat stuff you can do!

  • Try not to use it just for an air dash, lots of people can catch you, and knock you out of the air.

I’ll post more soon! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Have you used Kim Wu in a match against Maya yet? It’s oh so much fun. :smiley:

So far, today’s been pretty mediocre on the KI end of things.

I won my first match of the day, against a Fulgore player. I was pretty happy with the result because I feel like even though I didn’t do a very good job of breaking correctly, I utilized Dragon Cancel a couple of times and got big results out of it.

My second match was against @Marbledecker, who destroyed me in glorious fashion. I have always had a bit of a struggle against Hisakos, because I don’t come across too many of them, often underestimate her normals’ range, and can NEVER remember which strength is which during On Ryo Zan. I was happy to take his green bar, and actually thought I had a decent combo which did so; one of two or three small moments where I felt I did something right. Be honest, did you let me take the bar? :open_mouth:

This began a 12+ losing streak, which was so abysmally frustrating I can’t even begin to explain it. I lost several of those games due to weird input problems (if I jump over someone and cross up with HP, then try to do a M Dragon Dance, I get a Dragon Kick which completely whiffs and sends me back the way I came from…!), getting hit while in Sh. Dragon Kick (Isn’t it supposed to be invincible?) or just making terrible decisions because it was a close match and I got nervous. I definitely feel annoyed and I can tell it’s affecting my most recent games, so I’m taking a break for a few hours.

I did finally manage to win another match, so with 2 wins and ~15 losses so far, I decided it was time to take another clip and do some laundry or something! Hopefully more later.

1 Like

I have! Deflecting her daggers back at her is the most satisfying part of that matchup.

Well, the evening went pretty badly still, I had far more losses than wins unfortunately. Four or five lost games in a row were incredibly laggy, and then KI froze on me, and actually rebooted the entire console. I ran a speedtest during the laggy portions, and I was seeing speeds as fast as I ever get them (~65 down, ~12 up) so it didn’t look to be anything on my end, but considering it stopped after the reboot it had to have been the console acting up.

The only real gem I was able to take away from the evening was this:

Shadow dragon kick is one of the worst invincible reversals in the game. It has a small hitbox, loses its invincibility really quickly, and will lose handily to all sorts of cross ups and the like.

As Ostrich said, I would recommend trying not to jump quite so much. Kim’s got a floaty jump, so against better players that will get you handily DP’d and anti-aired. Your Kim pressure seems to be pretty solid for the most part, but you definitely want to make sure that you watch some of those ranges that you’re approaching on. Also try and make sure you’re paying attention to the opponents’ habits. That one Jago player DP’d almost every time he got knocked down - pay attention to things like that and punish accordingly.

And I wouldn’t sweat the fight with Marble all that much. He and I played a LOT of Kim/Hisako matches the other day, so he’s definitely not wholly unfamiliar with the MU. Hisako’s actually got really good options against Kim.

1 Like

GGs @xSkeletalx! It’s tough for Kim to get going in that matchup, but once she does she can really lay down the pressure. You did well capitalizing on my mistakes. Let’s play again sometime! :smiley:

1 Like

@STORM179 Thanks for the feedback! I’ve still got a lot to learn, and I may even break down and go play around in practice mode. I’m kind of working on two specific things while doing this challenge;

  • I’m looking to expand my list of playable characters beyond Thunder, and I plan to add at least four or five, if possible.

  • As you can attest to, I’ve had a problem in the past with button mashing or sloppy inputs. That hasn’t gone away yet, but I feel like I’m working towards it. Since the start of Season 3, I’m trying to train myself to slow down and make sure I’m doing my inputs correctly and in the right time. This has actually been easier to start teaching myself than I previously would’ve expected, probably because I barely played between KIWC and the S3 launch.

I completely agree with you in that I need to adjust to my specific opponents’ playstyles. I do also need to stop jumping so much and work on footsies. I think if you were to see every match I play, one after the other, you’d see how much of a patchwork my Kim game is right now. I tend to have one or two things which I will do well every match, but it’s been tough to stitch them all together. For literally only having two days’ time with her, I do at least feel like I’m learning.

@Marbledecker We will certainly play again at some point! I was particularly happy with three moments in our fight, even though I expected to lose going into it: I landed that 40-something-percent combo to close out your first bar, which also included a Dragon Cancel use. I also caught you at least once by grabbing after an empty jump in where you tried to Counter. I don’t think anything else was particularly good, although I might’ve landed at least one Dragon Kick too. You on the other hand did a really great job poking me in neutral, and controlling the air too. I think Hisako might end up being one of Kim’s hardest matchups, considering her options for getting in.

Thanks for the feedback, everybody. It helps me to stay committed, and I have no delusions of grandeur about what I can do with Kim so far. Lots to learn, and thankfully I have a community like this to share my experience with and to help teach me. A month is a long time, so if I can learn little bits at a time, the small victories should add up to greater knowledge in the end.

1 Like

Very small update today. I didn’t have much time to play, but I was able to get in two matches.

The first was a win against a Hisako, ironically enough! I didn’t decide to capture it because although I won and I made some good moves with in-combo Dragon Cancels, some decent combos and trickery, the player wasn’t really playing his Level 50 Hisako well. I successfully grabbed Hisako 5 times in a row in a very short period of time. I think he only tried to Counter me once, and it whiffed. Essentially I felt like even though I won and had a couple good moments, it wasn’t a good one to capture.

The second game was pretty good though, against an Omen player. The one weird thing about the match was that during the second round things started hitting really solid lag spikes. I don’t know why it was happening, but I managed to pull down the win regardless. @FallofSeraphs76 now I know, if you ever use that Shadow fireball move up close, I can just grab you to avoid it!

You will see two instances of that crossup HP -> M Dragon Dance giving me a M Dragon Kick instead. Still can’t figure out what that’s about.

1 Like

Not much to report from last night, as I didn’t get to play long and spent most of that time walking a friend through basics in Exhibition (we really need online Practice)!

Had a couple good games, a couple bad, but this one stuck out because I realized I was going for actual whiff punishes, felt I did well in combo, and utilized Dragon Cancels (including a dash out of a jumping opener).

It was also my first Kim mirror win, which is something.

I plan to play a bunch tonight, and have a few things I plan to work on, namely using Sh Dragon Kick to end combos, jumping less, proper Dragon Cancel use, and more whiff/jump punishes.

Adding her alt throw and parry will be work for another day.

Not bad Skeletal!

Points and Stuff I’d Look out for:

  • Less Full Screen Dragon Kicks. Highly Punishable, and if you don’t have dragons, it’s worse.

  • Practice CR. Heavy as your anti-air. From there, you can do all sorts of things. Try other buttons from different ranges as well.

  • Always have AT LEAST one Dragon in stock.

Other than that, well done! :smile:

1 Like

The biggest problem I have with regards to DK is that I don’t have all the ranges down yet. You’ll notice in some of the matches I’ve shared that I may throw out a light one when the opponent is exposed, but it falls short because I needed to be closer on startup than I was… I also don’t have the angles/speeds memorized for the M and H versions; in this most recent video I intended to use M to antiair the jump-in, but botched the timing and whiffed it instead.

Thanks! As ever, a work in progress.


Rough day in ranked. Lost a LOT of matches. Doesn’t do much to put one in a great mood!

Lots of input troubles, missed punishes and dropped combos.

Several matches which felt like desperation all the way through, Tusk and Shadow Jago are real problems for me right now. A bunch of my losses were due to failed Ultras or dropped combos which were then turned back against me for the win. Really frustrating stuff.

To soothe my wounded pride, watch me beat up this Hisako.