Skeletal's Ranked Challenge: Month Two - Mira!

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 Mira 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.


May’s monthly poll for the Skeletal Ranked Challenge has concluded, and the winner is Mira!

Vampires can be extremely cool, when done properly, and visually I believe the guys and girls at IG and MS have done a great job giving us Mira - you can even say they’ve staked their reputation on it! (Sorry.)

I’m a bit intimidated by her health management. In the little experimentation I’ve done so far, I have found that I am struggling to land her command grabs at times. I think my previous experience with Thunder is actually working against me, contrary to what I was anticipating. Thunder’s grab is definitely longer-ranged, and I feel like my opponents have been anticipating grabs more often against Mira due to the fact that she needs the grab to recover health. One tip I saw which I will need to work into my play is to end a combo with her bats into a wallbounce, which supposedly gives you a “free” heavy bite for some health back.

So far, I’m working way harder than I suspect I’m supposed to with Mira. I’ve been cycling between pumping out big damage, then failing miserably to get it back, meaning I’m almost always behind.

I will be studying the Mira Tech Thread, and trying to put the notes there into practice. If you know of any decent instructional videos floating around (I’m looking for basics and general knowledge more than “OMFG LOOK AT THIS 97.126% COMBO” right now), please be sure to let me know!

Feel free to share your thoughts, wellwishes, advice, setups, whatever! I will play my first Ranked matches with Mira tonight or tomorrow night!


Glad to see you’re back for month two! I’ll be following the thread closely. Might want to fix your fourth bullet point:

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.

Whoops! As you can see, I went with “copy what I previously wrote” rather than rewriting it by hand!

Thanks for the heads up, and for your interest!

Sajam put together a basics for Mira going over her basic moves, specials, etc


Thanks for this! I will definitely have to check it out, his similar Kim Wu video was definitely helpful.

Working on the first update now, it should be up soon!

You’re a far better player then me and im starting to jell well

Mp has range seems slow and now constant

Lk has good range

Hk is great med low reapers godly

Day One Update:

The name of this update may be a tad misleading, considering it’s being written on May 2nd, but considering I was not able to play KI last night, today was the first of my Ranked matches with Mira!

So far, the problems I have with Mira are pretty glaring. I struggle managing her health, and haven’t adapted to her various mobility options. I have so far ignored air dashing and mist form, but only because so far when I’ve tried it I have managed to miss her crossups. More practice should help with this. I have a tendency to “run hot,” putting me in a position with a lot of silver health which I am then panicky to recover - this usually ends with me doing most of my opponents’ work for them. I’m not used to her buttons whatsoever yet (for those of you who are new to my challenges, I barely ever touch Practice mode, and simply hit the ground running through trial and error) which results in a lot of panic and delayed decisions while trying to decide which special to trigger, what power level, and also what the input is.

I don’t know how I feel about her combo options so far. It’s nice that she can use a bite linker to get a little bit of health back, but I also tend to go for Reaping linkers, and unintentionally end up stacking a lot of silver health up when I don’t entirely want to.

It’s day one, so I’m not trying to be overly hard on myself, but I do want to be aware of the things I’m struggling with as I go.

It’s clip time!

Jago, my ever present nemesis, is of course my first clip. This Jago wasn’t particularly skilled or tricky, but they were consistent with their pressure. I spent a lot of time blocking and then unsure of how to respond, again due to button unfamiliarity. I wasted some shadow bar and dropped a couple combos unintentionally, then fucked up and missed the Ultra input, ending with an unintentional semi-teabag.

I should’ve thrown bats a few times, tried to recapture, etc.

This match went reasonably well. I was able to break a fair number of Orchid’s combos (though admittedly they weren’t all that varied) and I landed a few solid combos of my own. I experimented a bit with using bats to cover dashing in, and had some (in my opinion) solid corner pressure, including the wall-splat ender -> bite at the end of a combo.

This one is a prime example of my “new character panic.” Because my best friend is a Sabrewulf player, I would say that I am probably the most familiar with his moves, strategies, and animations. But I still missed a lot of things which I normally could have/should have been able to react to and block, Shadow Counter or break correctly. I was pretty pleased with my first round comeback like combo, and though it was messy, my short combos and throws in the “third round” worked out - though I of course missed my inputs on her Ultra entirely!

So, my first recorded Mira mirror (Mira Mira? Mira/Mira Mirror?) match. I was able to switch up my combos throughout the fight, and correctly hit with M Reaping in the early round to convert block pressure into a good combo. I eventually decided to let my opponent hang herself, considering she started to build up a lot of silver health for a while, but she recovered some of that with her Instinct vampire mist. A very anticlimactic Instinct Bat ended this one.

First off, let me apologize for the Replay video, because my estimated three minute record was not long enough. I don’t know whether the “overhead” Trailblazer is new, but I was not ready for that, and he hit me solidly with it a few times. I managed to catch him pushing buttons a few times and convert a knockdown into a decent combo, and I definitely think Mira has a solid Back-HP. I caught Cinder with Reaping and Bats a few times, but again, botched the Ultra.

That’s what I’ve got to share so far, but there will obviously be more to come. I will review the above video and see if I can incorporate that stuff into my Mira game!

Feedback is welcome, folks!

If you’re having trouble keeping health up, I recommend doing opener > bite linker > shadow bite ender. You’ll build back a substantial amount of health, though you’ll also be giving up a bar that you could potentially have used on shadow bats.


You need to use her standing MP more. It’s a great button that reaches almost half screen. Also you should always cancel your reapings into shadow bats, if the reaping is blocked you get a second mix up, if the reaping hits, you get a nice little unbreakable damage after your opener.

Day Two Update:

Today I had about the same percentage of wins with Mira, but I feel like I was more successful in my performance in general. Better conversions into combos, more steady with some of her specials, etc.

I noticed I am falling back on an old habit from when I previously believed you did a heavy AD by holding the Medium input; I need to make sure to correct that ASAP because I know it will cause problems for me. Some of my opponents were spot on with combo breaking tonight, and I know a portion of that was due to my unwanted Mediums. Still need to work on her normals, spacing, and general strategy, but I have hope that I can make her work eventually.


Ironically, this match was against an opponent who was focusing on Mediums, and because I realized that early on I was able to break a decent amount of Kim’s combos. I’m sure having just played Kim for a month had nothing to do with that. Managed to successfully trigger Mira’s Ultra this time, only to have it cut short by a quit/disconnect. Bad form, sir or madam!

This match went… well. I caught Fulgore pushing buttons (or at least not blocking) on most of his wakeups, and was able to convert those hits into decent combos. I effectively took his first bar for free! I was proud of myself for recognizing the opportunity to use Shadow Trephine’s projectile invulnerable properties to punish Fulgore’s Shadow Plasma Bolt and successfully convert it into an Ultra!

I’m learning things, guys!

The final match I have for you today was one I expected to lose. This player’s Kan Ra was level 50, so I expected I would be swarmed and bounced around the screen nonstop, as I typically struggle against Kan Ra players. To my surprise, this match went pretty well, and I was able to keep pressuring Kan Ra and got some fairly heavy damage combos while keeping my health mostly intact. Towards the end of my opponent’s first health bar I missed a great chance to use Mira’s Heavy Reaping to recapture him and possibly end the round. I will have to keep an eye out for more opportunities like that in the future.

Again, feedback is welcome, and I hope I’m providing some level of entertainment for everyone!

Day 3 Update:

A very short update today, because I wasn’t able to play too many matches, though I still feel like I’m improving. I’m trying to focus more on correctly comboing with Mira, using (and landing) the correct normals, and getting used to her recapture and Ultra input.

I have three clips to share with you, though I will have to do a deeper evaluation of them tomorrow.

One bit of news, though, is that I’ve progressed from the Bronze tier and into Silver tier! I actually lost my first promotion match, but earned enough points for a second try with my next two wins, and this Arbiter match was the second, successful Promotion match. A shame that the rage quit ruined the end, though.

Mira vs Jago, in which I land some sizable combos (one with a juggle cashout) and a timely Shadow Counter which leads to the win!

A Mira mirror match, the classic case of red versus blue. True to her vampire form, my Mira won out in the end.

Want to enrage me?

Get me on a 16+ string of losses.

Super upset right now.

By looking at these videos it will give me ideas of how to use her the right way.

I hope they give you some insight! I’m still learning Mira myself, so I may not present the best example, but one of the things I hope to do with these Challenges is help others to raise their level of understanding about the game as I improve my own!

Please let me know if you have any questions I may be able to answer, and feel free to share any tips you may discover on your own!

To everyone else, I am definitely behind with regards to getting matches played and certainly with uploading clips and giving you an update, and I apologize about that. I had a very difficult day on KI over the weekend, and I’ve been spending the main part of my gaming time playing something else because I was so frustrated. My game time has been limited anyway, because my wife and I have been binge watching a TV show, though since we are getting close to the end, I expect I will be able to play more again soon.

I promise I will have an actual update sometime before the weekend, and hopefully another during the weekend. How are the rest of you enjoying Mira?

Approaching your opponent is very tough, IMO. I am getting shadow countered easily or just use up too much blood/life to find an opening which hurts me down the stretch. Also, I am losing quite a lot of trades on normals :frowning: not an easy character.

Anyway, Nice vids!

It’s time for the long awaited Day 11 Update!

The last week or so has been pretty mixed with the Mira Challenge. I have lost somewhere around 30 matches while only winning ~10 or so; even knowing that I’m playing a character who is outside my comfort zone (due to her health management, mostly) I’m not terribly happy with those numbers. I need to put a much greater focus on fundamentals with Mira, and become more familiar with her normals. I need to learn to convert properly off of jumping opponents (medium Embrace) and to catch airborne opponents with her H Reaping recapture.

While this isn’t my finest update, and I have a lot of work to do, I also have three clips to share with you that I was happy with. Several of my other wins were very sloppy or had laggy periods, and I don’t consider those matches suitable to share with anyone. I need to do better.

The first clip is a match against Jago. I tried to work in a few mechanics and tricks I haven’t been using much, such as going for a mixup with Mistform; sadly, that didn’t work out as Jago didn’t advance like I suspected he would. I was happy with my ability to convert Embrace grabs during this match, as it allowed me to pick up what I would consider a fairly significant amount of health, rather than losing a health bar.

I took a rare opportunity to end this match with the Pinnacle’s Stage Ultra, as I don’t get to pull that one off very often!

I like to call this one the Mira High Pressure System. First off, I was happy that we both managed to coordinate matching outfits, as two undead undoubtedly should when entering into (non?)mortal conflict. I realized that this Spinal was pushing a lot of buttons, and decided that rather then stay defensive, I might as well see the kind of havoc I could create by just going ballistic. Once I had him in the corner I was able to be incredibly aggressive, and never even ended up trying to recover my health; I took a gamble, obviously, but in the end it worked out.

I anticipated he might try to break when I first pushed him into Danger, but I was wrong. Thankfully, I was able to keep my green bar and log another Surpreme Victory!

I have only had a few matches against TJ with Mira so far, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of some decent ways to pressure him. The TJ I was facing was a level 50 player with TJ at ~30 or so, and I’m not sure if he was just somewhat unfamiliar with TJ, the matchup, or if I was just pressuring him enough to throw him off, as he didn’t go for a lot of the flipouts and recaptures I’ve come to expect from TJ players, and triggered his Instinct at a point in time where I really don’t think it was beneficial for him.

Maybe an accident?

I spent some time with Mira this weekend, and it was probably about a 50/50 split between wins and losses. She is DEFINITELY a challenge, and I had a few matches where one or two relatively minor mistakes cost me the entire match! Not that that’s a new or unheard of thing, but it was definitely in evidence this weekend. It’s getting repetitive, but the go-to-phrase to explain my level of mastery with Mira is still “I have a long way to go.”

This match against a Riptor had some odd notes to it. There were two times where I thought my opponent had stopped playing completely, only to have them land a perfectly timed breaker! This match went pretty well, but I had some spacing issues which could have cost me a lot more than they did had things gone differently. I missed a few opportunities, and noticed that I have a tendency to block the first two hits of Riptor’s downward flame from a jump while standing, then move to crouch block before the third hit, which explains why I sometimes have a lot of trouble dealing with it. That’s something specific to work on no matter which character I am playing.

This Shadow Jago LOVED his jumping HP. I sometimes have trouble blocking it on crossup, which you’ll see a few times here. I also struggle with surged slide, and will typically block the initial hit, only to get nailed from the opposite direction; his divekicks are also a frustrating issue for me. Shadow Jago is not one of my easier matchups, personally. I am trying to work Mist and airdashes into my play with Mira, and I was happy with how Mist helped me out towards the end of this match. I probably shouldn’t risk that much recoverable health, but I seem to struggle with landing her grab sometimes, and sometimes I miss the Ultra but get the grab instead. /run program frustr@e.exe

Another Riptor match, this time with Mira dressed in pink! I’ve been experimenting with trying to cover an advance with bats, but I typically stay with light bats so I don’t add on even more recoverable health. I noticed in this fight that I rely on M Reaping too often in pressure, and I need to work in more H Reaping to catch the crouch-blockers. I’m annoyed about losing my green bar, as that combo was supposed to continue with Shadow Trephine, but I crossed up and lost the combo instead. I am still struggling against myself when it comes to varying my autodoubles and inputting moves too fast during/after crossups, resulting in a different special being input accidentally.

Food for thought as I continue the march (edit: long slow slog) through Silver to Gold Tier. I’m currently sitting around 800 points, so hopefully we will cross that gilded peak before the end of the month!

So I have been slacking on updating this thread, but as many of you are likely aware, this Challenge officially ended last Friday, 5/20, when I gained early access to Gargos and lost access to Ranked Leagues completely.

Unfortunately, I was unable to raise Mira all the way to Gold tier, although I reached my promotion match three times and ended up losing, including two losses to Killer tier players with 2 or more Pro Stars. I had a lot of fun (and frustrations) playing Mira, and although I didn’t like her enough to consider her a “main,” I will play her from time to time. I was successful in completing her achievements (except for winning a friendly match as her, but that’s a throwaway) and reaching level 50, so even though I didn’t get to Gold tier I am confident that I did enough to call this month’s Challenge a success!

Please check out the Introduction thread for the next Character poll!