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

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A mixed bag in Ranked tonight! Had some good matches, still more losses than wins, but the wins I did get I was pretty happy with.

On another “celebrity” note, I ended up in a match against Brandon Alexander himself! I’ll just leave this image here, and let you decide the outcome for yourselves.

Here are today’s captures, before I jumped in a lobby with @STORM179 and @TheNinjaOstrich. The Hisako match is particularly noteworthy for having a 72% non-Counter Breaker combo in it!

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Did a little bit better in Ranked tonight, though I had some rough losses against Tusk and Thunder. I definitely don’t understand those matchups with Kim yet!

Fought a couple Sadiras, Sabrewulfs, another Hisako, the ever-present-Jagos, a couple Kim Wus and Glacius’; it was a pretty mixed bag tonight, which was nice.

I practiced using the Dragon Counter against a few people, mainly Glacius (oh how sweet it is to catch that jumping kick…), and I think I’m learning the timing slowly. I also tried to make sure I was using Dragon Cancels, and started experimenting with her alt-throw, although so far the best I’ve done with it was tack on a Dragon Kick. I think my inputs are still too wild, because I’m still getting inadvertent Dragon Kicks on crossups, unintended Cancels and drops, etc. I’m also throwing out Dragon Kicks far too often, and need to break myself of the habit, particularly when successfully combo breaking someone, because they block it often. Plenty of work to do, yet.

I played a match against a Silver Jago (I’m still in Silver with < 200 points, ~53 wins and ~104 losses!) who was apparently on his Promotion match: he was begging me via voice chat to “just let me win” and promised to send me a MS gift card if I did, as he said this was the fifth time he had reached his Silver promotion.

I don’t use my mic in Ranked at all, and I also don’t play gimmes in Ranked either. I could hear him mumbling something throughout the entire match, and it came down to the wire, with both of us in Danger. I baited a DP on wakeup and finished him with a sweep, and heard a massive screaming expletive through my speakers which was so loud my dog woke up, looking concerned. I’m not going to lie, I laughed. I didn’t record the match because I wanted to tell this story without calling him out specifically.

Enjoy the following matches; a Sabrewulf fight, and one against a completely different, already Gold Jago. The Jago match includes another relatively chunky 70% combo, too.

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This weekend was very sparse when it came to KI.

My wife’s birthday was Saturday, so we spent most of the day doing fun things, spending time with the dog, and then going out to dinner and an event with a bunch of friends, so absolutely zero KI was played.

I spent about an hour and a half playing KI today, a portion of that time was spent in Exhibition with @Dayv0 getting my ■■■ handed to me!

I uploaded the following matches because I thought they were notable, though the Riptor match was the least impressive of them. The Sabrewulf match was one of my best matches in terms of defense; I read a lot of combos correctly, leading to an 80% break ratio, and successfully predicted several throws and teched them.

The Jago match was fairly mixed, I landed some good combos and mixups, but ended up making more mistakes than I wanted to. In the end, I was proud of anticipating a wakeup attack, and successfully parried into a punish and Ultra!

I guess some days playing less can actually give you better results.



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Not bad! Lol

Stuff to work on:

  • Better Neutral: Practice Kim’s buttons. Learn her max ranges she can hit moves at. There are a lot of instances where you could have actually poked or stopped an attack that had been whiffed. Sure Kim is a bit stubby in range, but learning that could help in many ways.

Be careful with Dragon Cancels. Using them as air dashes is a good tactic, but If I knew you were going to do that for space, I could AA you, and possibly lead into a full combo. Remember, during DC, she is vulnerable.

I saw in the Riptor match, you were using her Target Combos. Good! Those are to be used sparingly, but can help to control space.

During Shadow Dragon Kick, try Dragon Canceling in the air, then hit a Light Dragon Kick as soon as you land. Those will help a lot. Or even a Heavy one works too. It will open up new possibilities for combos. But they can be broken. :slight_smile:

More taunts too. Mindgames are important too. lol

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My Aganos lost to a really good lvl. 50 Kim Wu today, because she was savvy enough to use her target combos to get past my chunk-armor. I would think that she was doing a normal combo, block the 1st hit, and let go of the block so I could combo-break her while absorbing the hit with my armor, only find myself getting stuffed despite having the chunks. This, if today was any indication, is apparently a great tool for fooling Aganos players or other characters with armor. :wink:

Maybe it was just you lol Jk jk.

Today was a really good day on the corpse-strewn battlefields of Ranked Leagues.

I played four matches of Ranked and happened to play pretty well and win all of them! I still had some problematic inputs and decisions, but in the end I made it work. After playing these Ranked games, I was invited to play some casual matches against @MisterFoxtrotVG and @TheNinjaOstrich, which were really fun, and a nice step down in pressure from playing Ranked!

The end of this vs Jago match looks really weird, but I was following some logic; either he was going to damage me enough to give me enough Instinct meter to pop Instinct and snipe him with a dragon, or he would stop his pattern and move right into a jumping HK/HP. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked!

Apologies for the Replay upload, but there were a couple of lag spikes towards the very end which messed up the DVR clip; so Replay was the best option for a viewable experience.

This match was against an opponent I have faced several times before this Season, and it was surprising to see him playing Hisako and not the Arbiter I was used to seeing him play. I also hit Level 50 with Kim in the previous match, and switched from her Retro to her default costume so I could play a match with Color 9!

Feedback more than welcome!

@xSkeletalx What time are you usually on ranked? I’d love to have a go at your Kim Wu in a chance encounter with my Aganos. :slight_smile:

I play at completely random times, depending if I’m playing something else, my wife is using the TV, we have company, etc.

Sometimes I will jump on, play three matches, go AFK an hour, play two more, eat dinner - it’s nothing consistent.

This is amazing! I’d love to do something like this. Like a ladder seasons worth of a character to see how far I get and to learn how everyone sort of plays.

Today was another good day in Ranked. I didn’t win every match, but I won all but three! Still a positive spread for the day, although I’m only winning like 40% of my games overall.

As we’re coming up on two weeks of the challenge, I think it’s time for a Ranked update.

I’m fairly well on my way through Silver now, and I will consider it a really gratifying success if I’m able to reach Gold with Kim Wu by the end of the month! I think what I will do is open Ranked access to any character I want to play during the last week of each Challenge, at the point in time when I open up voting for the next Challenge. This will allow me to kind of refresh before moving on to the next Challenge character, and will give me the chance to try to earn the Ranked achievements for characters I don’t really play. I think that’s reasonable, no?

I ran into a few Omens and Rashes today, and split those matches pretty much evenly, winning half and losing half. I also fought a brand new Orchid, brand new Jago, and another Jago who played such a heavy block game I was almost ready to believe he was never going to attack me. When he did finally start attacking he was actually doing decent combos, but I basically had him in block constantly. I didn’t record it because I think it would’ve been really boring to watch!

A decent win against a Riptor, where things mostly went my way outside of a few accidental Dragon Kicks (surprise, right?) and a few poor choices.

A revenge match against a Rash player who had just beaten me previously, I was happy that I had picked up a lot of his play pattern during the first match, and put it to good use during this match.

After many, many struggles against Shadow Jago, this was a very satisfying match. I broke several juggles and blocked a lot of his tricks, while playing a few of my own.

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Oooooh! Good stuff! Keeping up that Kimpecible Kim Wu! Woo!

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A very small update today. I had company over, and so I was only able to get in a few matches of KI.

The only clip I have to share with you today is unfortunately Replay quality, because it was from one of the most infuriating matches I’ve ever played. The match was filled with lag spikes which only seemed to conveniently happen when I was attempting a combo or comeback, but I managed to claw my way to victory in the end. While I will not directly make accusations about a lag switch, there’s a moment in the middle of the match where I became convinced of my opinion directly by my opponent.

I’ll leave you to guess what that moment is.

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Pretty good stuff. I’ve been doing this exact same thing with the rank reset. I just hit Gold last night with a 2.00 WL ratio in Silver. Kim Wu is actually quickly becoming my favorite character in the game. At first it was very hard to click with her due to her short size, but once I started playing like a hothead like her and placing emphasis on offensive oki and corner games, I have been slaughtering people. I freaking adore her standing medium kick :smiley:

Question: Does anyone know the start-up frames on her counter? I need to learn when to throw it out after certain blockstrings.

Pretty sure it’s instant. It will catch meaties, so that generally means it’s active on the first frame.

Oh okay, so if your opponent thinks it is their turn because they just blocked axe kick and you are at -3, that means you can still counter a 4-frame follow-up jab. I’m curious about its active frames now to catch slower moves in retaliation.

We’re on the precipice of golden glory, boys and girls.

How will this end?

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I hope you guys are in the mood for a few videos!

Today, I purchased a brand new Xbox controller for myself. When not playing with my fight stick, I am now riding onto the field of battle wielding a special edition Copper Shadow controller! It felt very odd to have a brand new controller, and I also think the buttons, sticks, and triggers might be a little sturdier or solid than the standard controller, or at least need to be broken in a little bit, because I noticed my inputs were a little more difficult. By the end of the night, though, I had acclimated to the controller fairly well, as any decent gamer would!

I’d also like to give a quick shout out to @SadisticRage76, who defeated me with Riptor shortly before my full-steam run of victories!

So, you’ve probably noticed that in the last post, I shared a screenshot of my full Silver League Points bar and Promotion Match indicator! How did that turn out, you’re asking?

Well, before we get to the Promotion match, let’s look at a few which led up to it!

The first match I want to share with you was against a Jago player. I know, I NEVER have a Jago match to share with you, right?! This match was a bit of a weird one, with an opponent who was extremely fond of his Wind Kick inputs. I had a fun combo at the end with a Dragon Cancel and standard reset, which let me put a pretty large amount of damage away!

The next match is against a Shadow Jago: I was already excited from the loading screen, as it was a matchup of Level 50 Kim Wu and a Level 50 Shadow Jago - we also both chose Color 9, so it felt like we were gearing up for a pretty epic fight. I pretty much dominated this fight, which I felt was a definite result of having fought several Shadow Jagos with Kim Wu during this challenge, as I believe I have been learning more about the matchup as I go. I even escaped and punished his desperate Annihilation attempt at the end!

The next match also happened to be against Shadow Jago! This player was a lot trickier, and I was sometimes struggling to block or counteract his slides and divekicks, but I was pleased to find the right breaks off of his juggles! He also never changed his juggle strength throughout the fight, which made that easier. This player also decided to attempt Annihilation twice, but I was able to counteract it both times! I botched an input which caused me to end a combo with a wallsplat ender in the middle of the stage, instead of ending with an Ultra or at least the Dragon Kick ender; whoops!

The fourth video I have to share with you was another Sabrewulf fight. I found out that this guy loved to push buttons, and almost never blocked! Wulf is fast, but I was able to put Kim’s not-quite-ninja moves to work, and get the job done. I was able to read and correctly break most of his offense, and even though I lost my first life bar, I felt it was a solid win without too many mistakes on my part!

I’ve kept you waiting long enough, so here is my Promotion match!

So far, I’ve managed to win my Silver and Gold Promotion matches on the first try! not sure if that’s a testament to my ability, or lucky matchups which went in my favor! You’ll notice my overall win/loss ratio isn’t great, but I’m still proud of my accomplishment. I did not expect that I would make it this far, especially in only 15 days! Having this “blog” has given me the drive to make this Challenge successful, and while the Rank isn’t important in that regard, the fact that I feel like I have learned how to be a better player as well as how to play a new character feels like a major step forward for my KI game! I want to thank everybody who has participated in this thread through comments or likes for their support, in particular @TheNinjaOstrich for his constant feedback and advice both on and off the Forums!

I will continue playing Kim exclusively for the next week or so before I set up the next month’s character poll, and we will see how high I can climb! I will most likely need to change my videos to Replay clips, though, given the fact that a Gold vs Gold match will likely climb past the 5 minute recording duration of the Xbox One!

Thank you again for allowing me to shamelessly share this journey with you! I hope it inspires others to do the same and step out of their comfort zones in order to improve their Killer Instinct skills!

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Good job. I wouldn’t worry about any win loss ratio. That’s normal when using ranked as “practice” mode, lol

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Good job taking Kim all the way to Gold :slight_smile:

I’ve only got a few thoughts:
(1) If you instinct freeze and the guy just started a jump, AA dragon kick the SOB :smile:
(2) If you kill someone with a wall bounce, dragon grasp directly into firecracker ender. This is a good way to get a free dragon at the end without having to rely on firecracker’s terribad damage.
(3) In the Riptor fight, I highly recommend saving shadow sometime for shadow counters. A lot of Riptor’s meaties are 3 hitting and very susceptible to a good shadow counter. Although I guess, depending on range, Kim’s SC may or may not hit :disappointed_relieved:

Good stuff again, and congrats on taking Kim this far!

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