Starting with Hisako: Advice!

Hello everybody!

Recently I started to use Hisako. I want to understand her better, and I would love to see some shared tech from you!

I know there are lot’s of tech threads around, but what I look its more a “Hisako analysis and quick tips” with useful advice for diferent situations.

For example:

-Principal strong and weak points
-Best/Worst Match Ups
-Advanced setups/tips(Example: during instinct, drop a combo into Influence for a reset, good uses for flipout, air on ryo zan uses…)
-Your personal opinion about her(Current character balance, why do you play her, what’s the most fun aspect of her gameplay for you…)

The Hisako mains I know are @STORM179 and @marbledecker, but please, feel free to tag anyone you want. Every opinion it’s wellcome.

I would like to invite @infilament to the conversation, although we already know a lot of his opinions from his guide :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Dayv0! Welcome to the Village! :smiley: :thumbsup:

Just woke up; I’ll chime in later today.

1 Like

Eager to read! Please, don’t restrain yourself, I want to read HUGE wall texts of info and opinions!

1 Like


Some general strategy related tips are below. The title says beginner but it’s actually for beginning Hisako players rather than people new to KI.

Also KI4Life can give advice on Hisako.

PS: my Mira experiment failed. I officially suck (like Mira?). So it’s Hisako for now.


I’d say take a look at the thread Bojima linked first - it actually has a lot of the info you’re asking about in there. I’ll chime in later on some of the other questions that you have in your OP that I haven’t really answered elsewhere.


Already did! Lot’s of good advice!

My objective with this is more or like seeing “Expert analysis” of Hisako. Infil’s guide it’s great in terms of info, but doesn’t go deeper into MU data and some advanced setups. It dissects with precision each aspect of Hisako gameplay, and what I want it’s your vision and route course from that point for specific situations.

For example, one of Mira’s best setups its wallsplat ender into command grab to maximize black health recovery. Or knowing that Thunder’s c.HP, either blocked or hit, can be canceled into h.CotE, creating a hard to avoid throw setup. Thats the stuff I want to learn with Hisako(like her instinct influence resets).

There are a lot of threads speaking of these. This thread aims to be like a professional player stadistics card. So looking at Marbledecker analysis(for example) could be a “fast to consulte” road route against X characters, and so on.

Hmm - so this is going to be a pretty broad topic then. Probably best to point us at specific targets that people are curious about!

So I’ll start with the points in your OP and go from there:


  • Footsies. Hisako has GREAT buttons. Pokes with full wrath meter are guaranteed counter-hits. Even in situations where they trade, you tend to get the counter, and thus the hitstun/hit confirm.
  • Mobility. Hisako has the best dash in the game, full stop. Teleport is now viable in S3. Minute spacing adjustments are made allowable by her mega-slow walk speed (best done moving backwards for obvious reasons)
  • Space Control - Between her excellent naginata normal and ORZ (both grounded and airborne), Hisako is adept at controlling specific areas of the screen as needed.
  • Light influence comes out in 2 frames. TWO. FRAMES.
  • Heavy influence beats most throws when used with proper timing.
  • Lots of people seem to have a hard time breaking her combos. Delayed doubles honestly do not seem to be the reason either.
  • She is incredible at mixing people up on their wakeup.
  • Jumping normals have great frame advantage. It’s not her only way into a tick throw but it’s damned effective.
  • P A R R Y B O Y Z


  • Despite being a formidable grappler with 9 on-demand frames of throw-invulnerability, she’s ironically weak to throws and neutral jump/throw mixups. As you come to be a better Hisako you will be less susceptible, but this is part of every Hisako’s learning curve (especially if you ever plan to fight a Jago).
  • No combos out of her light attacks without meter. You can start a combo out of a jab/LK with Shadow ORZ, but there are far better uses of meter since Hisako doesn’t really struggle with getting a combo going. Prior to S3 her jab was nigh-on useless, as LK/Cr.LK did its jobs better in almost all cases. Now with flip-out we have incentive to land her wonky jab… but it’s still wonky :stuck_out_tongue:
  • It can be difficult for her to escape block pressure that is rich with projectiles.
  • Oddly, her mobility is also a weakness of hers. When Hisako travels to another location, it’s often a huge commitment… and without taking risks and making commitments, she’s going nowhere fast. Also - and this is more of a player weakness - because of this odd fashion of getting around, we REALLY need to learn to capitalize on opportunities that get dropped in our lap (ex: popping an influence grab when someone jumps in on you closer than they expected and stall for a split second).
  • This character is NOT easy to pick up. Getting the juice out of Hisako requires a bit of a commitment to training. It takes a while to make her idiosyncrasies work for you rather than against you.

Hmm… Always up for debate in this game, but my personal assessment would be…

BEST: Tusk, Kan Ra (literally no-one will agree with me here), Kim Wu (opinion pending, haven’t fought one since the walk-speed change)

WORST: Riptor, ARIA. Honorable mention to Mira.

Gosh, one really could go on for a while with this particular item.

OK - so first thing’s first - we really don’t need to wait until we’re in Instinct to perform Influence resets. They’re honestly not a bad idea without full Wrath; you’ll get yourself a knockdown, the grab damage will be un-scaled, and with her Wrath regen buff you’ll be sitting on another full keg of “oh sh*t” meter.

Flip-out can be landed in a plethora of circumstances. Once landed, you’ll have to assess whether or not you opponent expects an attack or a throw and choose the appropriate option to beat their next move (ex: heavy influence or a medium/close heavy normal/jump and descending punish if you expect they’ll attempt a throw-tech).

Air-ORZ is great as a means to control the air-space directly in front and above you. It’s also a great tool for pressuring your opponents wake-up. Heavy TK ORZ will most often cross up your waking opponent with the correct spacing. In instinct, you can use them as swaggy, hard-to-break manuals. Perhaps STORM will have more to say on this one. I use these like a madman, haha… don’t want anyone to follow my examples too closely.

Hisako is often referred to as low tier. But I think that’s a bit of a bad rap. She’s a mostly honest footsies character, in a game with totally insane neutral game - that’s either going to click with a player, or it’s going to frustrate the crap out of them. And as we know, when people are frustrated they have a funny tendency to blame the character. There are also those who seek to downplay her for strategic reasons.

It’s tough to describe why I play Hisako. It was a rare circumstance where literally everything about the character struck all of the right chords with me; love the aesthetic, love the play style, love the voice, love the effects (the jitters, the black streak on the ground where her weapon drags), love the stage, love the theme… honestly have never been this compelled by a FG character, and likely won’t ever be again.

My favorite aspect of her gameplay is - if you have the correct read, you’re almost always going to have a punishing answer to your opponent’s action. She REALLY rewards good reads.


Here is a super secret tech I have never shared to anyone until now: You can counter mid and high attacks with PPP Vengeance counter!! Just don’t try it with projectiles, you’ll get hit in the dead face.

M’kay besides that. If you have full wrath meter during a wall splat ender and the opponent is at danger, or very close to being in danger, you can influence after the wall splat for a guaranteed ultra. Make sure you influence immediately so to keep the combo going. Don’t want to make it a reset influence and have the opponent jump out. This works if you don’t have full wrath but you do have instinct to use. Just wall splat, pop instinct, and influence. This is great because sometimes your damage ender won’t be enough for the kill or you couldn’t ultra cancel.


1 Like

Also - can the Hisako Sub-Forum get its nomination for most active character community yet?!

Gotta say her Instinct is probably THE best to use when the opponent is pressuring you. I play a lot of Mira now and when I get corner pressured I think I’m playing Hisako and I’ll activate instinct. Well crap, the opponent is kicking me on this frame, I either have to block, mist, or get hit. What a waste. No, with Hiasko it’s fully in your control. They are in the air? Dash underneath and attack when they land. Kicking? Vengeance counter. Grabbing? Influence! That’s part of the reason I like her. She can change the flow of the game so fast while in instinct.

Gotta agree on the learning curve. She is not easy to use at first. But in time it will come to you.

I remember watching her game play reveal and was so hyped. Grudge character sealed the deal immediately, but then they said she can counter? Hype. And then they said she can command grab? Mega Hype. Then they said you can do delayed auto doubles? Supreme Hype

If you’d like OP I can show a gameplay or 2 of some recent games I have played with her. Seriously don’t mean to brag but currently I’m in top 32 so I got some game play against some really good players


Haha… it’s like you were right there in my living room watching it with me :laughing:

Principal strong and weak points:
Super strong oki, great space control, gets to put the opponent in constant 50/50’s even while she’s comboing them. Optimally designed for conditioning opponent, and well equipped to capitalize on that conditioning.

On the other side of the ledger, she’s ironically weak on defense, and can struggle mightily against either very patient or exceptionally erratic opponents. Unsafe on everything, and relies to a sometimes prohibitive degree on you being able to get a read on what someone wants to do.

Best/Worst Match Ups:
Worst MU’s: Riptor, Aria. High level Sadira can also be a problem.

Best MU’s: Tusk, Orchid, Kim Wu. Most players would add Wulf and Glacius to this as well, but I personally hate fighting both those characters. Sako’s interesting in that I don’t think she outright wins many MU’s, but I also don’t think she loses all that many fights either. I tend to think she goes even with almost the entirety of the cast, with your victory or defeat largely just a question of “how well did you use your tools to shut down the opponent’s game?” She almost always has options - the only question is if you’re using them wisely.

And yes @Marbledecker - I do currently disagree that Kan-Ra is one of her very best MU’s :smirk: I do think she does very well against him though, particularly in S3. With a bit more play against him, I actually could see myself coming around to your point of view on this one.

Advanced setups/tips:
As Marble says, command grab resets are actually always good. Normal->ORZ->light linker->influence command grab reset is something like 25% damage. Off a one chance. That refills your wrath and gets you a meaty setup of your choice. So yeah, pretty good :slight_smile: As a note, you should generally use medium influence for your command grab resets - the light one often hits too fast and will whiff off some things, and the heavy takes just a bit too long to come out. The medium one gives you a good blend of speed and range. Hisako can influence reset off almost any portion of her combo, so get creative with mixing them in there (heavy influence may be necessary if you’re doing it off of something like a medium AD, since those can be pretty long range). Once the opponent starts holding up, punish him with anti-jump out resets instead.

Air-ORZ is a great space control tool. Make sure it hits though - it’s got a lot of recovery on it if you whiff it completely. It’s also no longer positive, so we don’t get to push buttons after anymore. However, because it isn’t positive anymore, it now functions as a fantastic setup for tick grabs. If someone blocks an air-ORZ, buffer a light influence as you’re coming down. Light air-ORZ (the worst one on block) is -2, while a jab is 5 frames. Light influence hits in 3 frames, meaning that even in the worst case scenario, an opponent has to reversal the jab to get it out at the same time as your command grab. On the heavier air-ORZ’s (which are 0 on block), only DP or something with throw invincibility will outright beat the influence tick. Also, learn to tiger knee your air-ORZ’s - they have oodles of start-up, and the higher up you hit with them, the worse they are on block. I’m not a huge fan of TK’d air-ORZ instinct combos. They are not actually super hard to break if you’re familiar with the character, and more importantly, they take away a lot of instinct time that can be put to better use. Hisako can REALLY tack on damage once she’s in instinct, but she won’t do it (not really) by using her swaggy TK’d air-ORZ shenanigans.

Aside from the above air-ORZ scenario, never tick throw with influence. Influence has ■■■■■■ range and weird timing to try and tick with. When you tick with possession, always use the light one. All possessions do the same amount of damage, and the light one starts sucking them in the fastest.

For uses of her shadow air-ORZ, see this thread:

After flip-out, your go-to options are meaty influence and meaty cr.MK->rekka. Influence will beat blocks, and cr.MK will beat jump-outs.

Your personal opinion about her:
Fantastic character who gets slept on because she doesn’t have braindead offense and takes work. You will always be having to think about what your opponent is going to do to get good with her, and you have to have an understanding of how to condition someone to do what you want them to do at any given moment. Hisako doesn’t get to run “flow chart” offense very often - your oki and pressure is almost always a hard read of some form or another.

Current character balance, why do you play her, what’s the most fun aspect of her gameplay for you:

I think Hisako is the best she’s ever been. The biggest addition to her game is definitely the faster wrath refill - it lets you run an incredibly oppressively pressure game, and means that you’ve got a lot more license now to use her fantastic normals in neutral. Tier wise, I think she’s solidly middle of the pack. I disagreed vehemently with people putting her bottom tier last season, and I think there’s even less call to put her there this season. She’s hard to break, has great meterless and 1-meter damage, fantastic reset potential, and for almost the entire cast forces them to adjust their playstyle to account for her options. Even Shago doesn’t just get to run his game against Hisako, and that’s a very powerful strength in a FG with offense as crazy as KI’s.

I actually picked up Hisako primarily as a counterpick to Sadira, who I was maining at the time. Sadira mirrors are terribly, terribly boring, and I could not for the life of me block her cross-ups (later found out this was probably a function of display lag). I saw that counter didn’t care about cross-ups and basically said “yep, that’s my new pocket.” And then, lo and behold, I just found that I really, really enjoyed playing the ghost girl. She was just more fun that Sadie was, so I found myself playing her more and more until one day, I had to reluctantly admit that I was in fact a Hisako main with a pocket Sadira, and not the other way around. :slight_smile:

The reason I find Sako fun is the fact that I have to always be thinking with her. Sadira was just a really flow-charty character, where once you get started it almost doesn’t matter who you’re playing against or what their options are - Sadira imposes her will on you, and you pretty much just have to take it. That’s fine as far as it goes, but it also gets pretty boring after a while. I like that Hisako has to constantly evaluate what her opponent’s options are, and strategically play her pressure game in such a way as to avoid or mitigate those options. I like the challenge of conditioning someone to do or not do something, and then punishing them for finally “learning” the lesson. It’s just incredibly satisfying, and a lot more rewarding than “haha - you can’t block my crazy, shenanigansy mixup where even I didn’t know what side I was on”. That’s what I love about Hisako, and why I’ve gone all in on specializing with her :slight_smile:


That was beautiful :cry:

1 Like

Would you care to elaborate? Not necesary a deep MU analysis of each one, this is not a MU thread, but some universal advice. For example, what’s the best tools to deal against Riptor and Aria, and why do you consider them so good against Hisako.

These are the the little gems I was looking for. All your posts are great guys, very much appreciated!

1 Like

Generally speaking, any character who can consistently pressure Hisako with meaty projectiles is a problem for her. Riptor has enough varieties of flame breath that countering is rarely a good option, which removes a lot of the fear factor that Sako needs to be able to regain momentum once she’s lost it. Aria is similar so long as she has the bass and booster body combo - she gets to lock you in place with projectiles and then run her game. Some of her normals are also long range projectiles, so she gets to pressure you with buttons that you aren’t allowed to counter.

Against Riptor, be sure to shadow counter all jump+HP’s if you have meter - this is a tool that you need to make Riptor think twice about using. It isn’t a strict punish, but if Riptor tries to do anything after it, then you’ll get a grounded combo. Other than that, just suck it up and block.

Against Aria, maintain control in the neutral with neutral jump+heavy ORZ - this will allow you to avoid bass projectiles at range, and put a wide hitbox in front of you to keep Aria from just shotgun kneeing in behind it. Always punish assist calls where possible, because you’re likely to be down on life if you can’t quickly kill the booster body, and need all the help you can get. Most important thing in this MU though is to kill booster body - pull out every trick in the book to make this happen. Once you knock it down, do not allow it survive. Use resets, meter, whatever - booster body has to die.


What’s your opinion about the MU against my main, Aganos?

I think it’s 5-5, but with a very slight edge in Hisako’s favor now in S3 (so 5.5-4.5, if that was allowed). The fight is very heavily momentum based, with both characters pretty able to shut the other down once they get going. The heavies blowing past armor though is a big boon to Hisako in this MU, as she’s one of the few characters with buttons that can contend with Aganos’ in terms of range. It’s not enough to make this a “bad” fight for Aganos, but it’s definitely a weight on the scales against him here.

If you’d like, we can play a few matches to get a sense of what I’m talking about. :thumbsup: