The Golem vs. The Ghost in S3

Okay, so after a partial set against @Storm179 (partial because I was too salty to continue), I was shown just how much S3 has changed this matchup towards HIsako’s favor.

@developers I can understand why you might make changes to make a certain unfair matchup fair, but why on earth would you take a relatively fair matchup and crumple it up, light it on fire, throw it into a vat of acid, and roll it down the hill-side into an exploding volcano? :confused:

@Infilament I’d like your input on this matchup, since you’re so good at analyzing things. Also, I’d like you to point out any mistakes/assumptions I made below and correct them. :wink:

@Storm179 I’d like your input, since you’re officially, as of now, the best Hisako player I’ve ever seen (and I genuinely mean that). I think you could offer a unique perspective since you’re on the other side of the fence during this matchup. :slight_smile:

First, her long-reaching grounded heavies - her d+HK in particular. Thanks to S3 changes, it now bypasses Aganos’ chunk armor. In S2, this wasn’t so much of a problem, because it could easily be absorbed and punished accordingly. However, now that it’s a legitimate threat, it gives her a brand new mixup she didn’t have before. Even worse, it comes out so fast (for a heavy attack), you can’t even jump over it, because it’ll catch you in the pre-jump frames - although according to Storm, this was true in S2 as well (but I never knew that because I never had to try it thanks to the chunk-armor). This gives her a free and devestating mixup. She can:

a) use d+HK for a hard knockdown, giving her options.
b) use a command grab for straight damage or full-combo punish (depending on which 1 she does).
c) use a jumping attack, like her in-air on-ryo-zan for an overhead.

In regards to the low attack, I find that the only thing I can do is shadow ruin it or block. If I block it, she can do it again before I can let go of the block and counter-attack. Shadow ruin, while good requires meter, which is something you generally want to save against Hisako to avoid the command grabs or to catch her out of the air.

Hisako’s command grabs can be devestating, and thanks to Aganos’ rather large hitbox, he’s probably the easiest person in the cast to grab. While it’s nice to see that shadow pulverize now works on possession in addition to influence, it’s still a disadvantage for Aganos, because he has to save it as a precious resource to counter it rather than being able to use it on other things, and even that’s not guaranteed, because she can hit you with the command grab as a linker as long as she has wrath meter and continue her combo to deadly effect. Sure, you could jump it when it’s done outside of a combo, but you have to know that it’s coming and that isn’t always so easy. Not only that, but attempting a jump opens you up for the aforementioned mixups listed above.

If you block her d+HK on wakeup, it can open Aganos up to another mixup by way of possession, which again creates a hard knockdown, giving her advantage.

Her in-air on-ryo-zan is probably the weakest choice for a mixup on wakeup, but it’s still a useful tool for her if you’re trying to jump to avoid her command grabs. Even worse, it recaptures with shadow or wrath, making it even scarier than you might think.

Her teleport, in S2, was easy to deal with. I could chunk up while she did it and absorb whatever she had coming, jump her command grabs, or simply jump backwards for a crossup (my personal favorite). You’d think that the speed-gain on Aganos’ chunk-up in S3 would help out, but sadly, that’s not the case. S3 also introduced a speed-boost to her teleport. In fact, if anything the matchup with Storm has shown me that chunking up when she teleports in S3 is an instant punish. In fact, she can hit you (again with the d+HK) before you even get the chunk in, so you can’t even gain the benefit, despite being hit. Even worse, she now has the ability to cancel a teleport into ANOTHER teleport - this gives her ANOTHER mixup and makes for some crazy mind-games, all of which are in HER favor.

Another option she can use to her advantage that I forgot to mention is her d+HP. This little diddy can be useful for hitting a jumping Aganos or even 1 that’s trying to cross-up. This move is so good, I’ve seen Aganos fully on the other side of Hisako and still get hit by it, even though the tip of the blade is nowhere near him (must be that ghostly magic). This is yet ANOTHER example of a potential mixup that Hisako has against Aganos AND it’s a grounded heavy to boot, which means, sorry chunk-armor - you need not apply, even on the ground. Worse yet is the fact that it launches Aganos high into the air, giving her juggle, recapture, and flip-out options, which means more mixups - YAY!!! :unamused:

…and I haven’t even gotten to her counter yet. Then again, I probably don’t need to, because from Aganos’ perspective at least, not much has actually changed there.

Her whole gameplan, it seems, is to knock you down. In S2, this wasn’t always a problem because of the chunk armor, but in S3, because she can ignore the chunk armor, it practically makes her the defacto winner in this matchup. Even worse, if you’re lucky enough to have walls up, this makes it even easier for her to bring them down, even moreso than it already was in S2 with her double-bouncing ender.

So, fellow golemites - what can we possibly do against Hisako? From what I’ve seen, the answer is NOTHING. She is custom built to train the golem into doing what she wants and/or simply knocking him down. If that isn’t true, then please, by all means, enlighten me, because the tiny, pale girl makes me want to cry… :sob:

Well… you mentioned in a post a few days ago that you don’t really think matchups or tiers exist, and that it’s all dependent on the players playing. So it’s really hard for me to offer meaningful advice here, aside from Storm was outplaying you I suppose?

If you wanted to post a few match replays, I’d be willing to take a look and see what you’re doing wrong.

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So based upon what I’ve said prior, you’re not willing to tell me about the matchup based upon what YOU know regarding the 2 characters? Thanks… :expressionless:

…and for the record, it’s not that I don’t believe in matchups between characters - just that you should also include the players themselves, since they’re such a big factor. It’s not the characters or the players - it’s both.Saying it’s just the characters is wrong. Saying it’s just the players is also wrong. Regarding the players in this instance, I know exactly what I did wrong against Storm. It’s the characters I’m referring to here, though. I’ve already given you several scenarios above. If you already know of some available options that I haven’t thought of, then please share them instead of being indignant and righteous.

From all my interactions with you on these forums, I know you’re the type of player who would prefer advice directed specifically at a match, rather than in vague terms about two hypothetical players.

For example, in your post above, you mention that d+HP with Hisako is an amazing tool because it works as anti-air. But every character (pretty much) has good anti-air. So to me, it sounds like you are jumping too much, or being very predictable with your jumps. Hisako’s d+HP is not the problem. You called d+HP a “mixup” which is not true (there is no mixup there), and it only launches on full wrath counterhit, so she doesn’t always get the flipout reset on you (which, by the way, is breakable).

If you would like to post a few match replays, I can provide more help to you that way.

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I will not do that, as it takes too much time. It’ll take me an hour to edit and upload a clip of each match. Then it’ll take me another hour to upload it to YouTube. Then I’ll have to post it here on the forum with a detailed account of the clip - that’s at least an additional 10 minutes. You’re very helpful Infil and have been in the past, but I will not waste 2 hours and 10 minutes just because you won’t help me the same way you help everybody else based upon what I’ve said the other day. Now re-read the edit I made to my last post and please help instead of avoiding the topic entirely.

Maybe ask @STORM179 politely if he’ll upload one or two match replays. I don’t know why it would take you 2 hours to upload a 2 minute replay (I don’t need it on youtube, nor do I need a 10 minute detailed account of the match, just the Xbox DVR site is fine).

Yes sir.

Because my Internet connection runs at only 6mbps down and 1mps up with ~100ms ping for latency. This is something I’ve reiterated for well over the past 2 years that I’ve been a member of these boards. Even if you wouldn’t know the exact numbers, I’d at least expect most people to know that my connection’s “not great” by any stretch of the imagination.

Not as scary of a mixup as you think. If you have chunks, you can totally ignore air ORZ, since your chunk will swallow it up and you get a punish. The “will she attack or will she command grab?” mixup is something every character deals with regularly in all fighting games. You’ll have to read Storm’s habits and take a guess, or challenge with a button. Crouch HK is -3 on block, so if you block it, you win and can take your turn back. If you lose, you get knocked down but you don’t lose a chunk and he can’t combo you. Not a big deal.

Just block. Take your turn back, she’s at minus frames. Shadow ruin also does not beat command grabs. Your only option to avoid command grab is shadow pulverize or jump (or backdash which I don’t recommend).

You’re describing a common mixup here. It’s pretty decent, but lots of characters get tagged by it.

Not even really sure I know what this means. Possession is not a hard knockdown, and why would somebody want to meaty you (or wake up) with d+HK? How does blocking it give her a mixup? I’m so confused.

For most characters in the game, if you chunk up at a bad time, it’s an instant punish. I think the people you’ve played against in the past let you get away with a ton of chunking up that is very, very unsafe. Storm was smart enough to not let you do that. It’s not a vs. Hisako problem. If you want to stop random teleports, react with throw or some other button. Force Hisako to do something stupid there.

The matchup has probably swung a bit in Hisako’s favor, since Aganos is weak to throw mixups and Hisako is good at throwing, and also has good heavy buttons. But I doubt it’s unwinnable by any stretch.

Without video, I can’t give you specific advice as to which habits of yours Storm was picking up on and punishing you for. That seems like more useful advice here. Maybe he will be kind enough to reply to this thread and help you out, but without seeing video I can’t help you that much.

Don’t worry. I am having a few fights with Geek. If you want,I will upload the replays for him if he doesn’t mind. Plus some tips for me will also help :smiley:

Sounds more like you’re just not used to dealing with normal Hisako shenanigans. I get playing Aganos in S2 meant you didn’t have to deal with a lot of what the cast can do but now the only real option is to just deal with it like the rest of us have been.

Lemme at him. I’ll show you how to handle him.


Heh. I’m game Styles - been a while since we ran into each other in Ranked :smile:

Reply incoming @GalacticGeek. There’s a lot to unpack in there. I also went and saved some of the matches so that you can get a specific critique from some of the other Aganos players, as well as Infil.

@STORM179 play in 20 min?

Sorry, won’t be able to play tonight. You free sometime tomorrow night?

Tomorrow around this time will work yea

If I block her d+HK many things can happen (see below). One of the things that Storm did specifically was followup with the exact same move. After I’d block the 1st one, I’d try to counter-attack, usually with d+HK myself. However, hers ignores my chunk armor, because it’s a grounded heavy, and even though I raise the one leg, she’s still within range to get the knockdown. If I try other moves, they lose out. Aganos’ light attacks don’t reach her own sweep range (in other words they whiff and she can still hit me), and although the MP/d+MK does reach her, her d+HK is even faster than those due to the block stun from the previous attack. She’s at advantage her when compared to Aganos.

As for the mention of ruin, that’s a typo that I didn’t catch. Even though I said ruin, what I was really thinking of when I wrote this was shadow pulverize, which DOES ignore her command grabs, possession (thanks to S3 changes - yay!) and influence. So, go back and re-read that whole paragraph and replace any instance of “ruin” with “pulverize” and it’ll make a whole lot more sense. :wink:

I thought it was when used as an ender - it certainly looks painful enough for it. As for the d+HK, they’d do it to bypass the chunk armor. Blocking the d+HK gives her a free mixup because once she identifies the block, she can then use possesion against me, which is an option she wouldn’t easily have before (at least not without risk). She can also go into her air on-ryo-zan if I’m blocking low for the overhead and knockdown - that’s the mixup I was talking about.

I know how to deal with teleports, especially those from behind. I either place a wall directly behind me to discourage them or jump backwards to catch them in a crossup.

First off, just some general notes. I honestly think the thing that killed you Geek, more than anything else, is that I think you’re afraid to take damage. You break very early most of the time, and because of that, pretty much every time I touched you in-combo I got 40-50% damage. It’s very hard to beat anybody when you’re taking that kind of damage on every opening.

I also think you’re a little too afraid to pressure against Hisako. In a lot of our matches, you tried to either play very far from me, or at that semi mid-range where Aganos outranges most characters with his normals. The former isn’t all that great because you can’t hurt me from there and Hisako doesn’t care all that much whether you have chunks or not anyway, and the latter isn’t spectacular because Aganos isn’t outside of Hisako’s range, and I get to push buttons too when you’re at that distance and I block something. At a certain level, you have to be willing to disrespect Hisako, otherwise she’ll just play at her pace and you’ll get run over. You should be close enough to throw me on my wakeup - that way you can bait counters, command grabs, and attempted throw techs.

I think you should use chunks more freely in this fight. Hisako ignores them anyway, and while walls are good, having something uncounterable out on the screen is probably better. Especially since Sako breaks walls very easily.

Learn to use jump+HP. It is a fantastic button, and a way to punish people down+backing against Aganos.

Now for your specific thoughts:

You never saw down+HK in S2 because it would have been a terrible option, but I actually used another button in a very similar fashion. In S2 the MU was all about conditioning Aganos to jump by abusing possession on his wakeup, and then punishing the eventual jump out with a meaty cr.MK into full combo. Hisako’s still not good at stealing chunks, so now I just use cr.HK to catch jump-outs, bad buttons, and teach you to sit still to boot. The button is definitely a new wrinkle in the fight, but it’s not really good because of the “mix-up” afterwards - it’s good because it lets me contest in neutral as well as condition you.

I maintain that air-ORZ is terrible in this MU. Hisako has much better ways to punish jumps in S3 - if Aganos has chunks, air-ORZ is mainly there to get you killed. Pretty much every time you saw me do it was a muscle memory thing.

Yes. Descent is good now, and you can’t just toss things out fullscreen anymore. I’m pretty sure descent->descent would be an awful mixup though :open_mouth: And if the situation is neutral, descent mix-ups are pretty much never in Hisako’s favor - everything she can do out of it is wildly unsafe. I highly recommend punching Hisako in the face when she does this move in neutral. Out of all the options she has, counter is the one thing she’d really rather not have to take a chance on in most situations.

Down+HP is a good button, but it’s mostly just a punishment for you trying to jump out of everything. It’s not good on block, so if you stay grounded instead it will then be your turn. @Infilament - pretty sure raw down+HP->flipout LP isn’t breakable. It’s breakable if I catch you with an ORZ juggle->flipout though.

This was her gameplan in S2 as well. And yeah, it actually sucked for Aganos then too, because none of what Hisako does to him on wakeup is dependent on chunks anyway, at least not when the read is right. That aspect of the MU hasn’t really changed to be honest.

And this, in a nutshell, is Hisako’s gameplan against everyone. :slight_smile: Your job as the opponent is to not give her what she wants, to make yourself as untrainable and unpredictable as possible. That aspect of the fight has not changed at all.

I do think the S3 changes favor this fight towards Hisako, but it’s definitely not anything serious. I’m not even sure I’d call it a 6-4 to be honest - it feels closer to that kind of wishy-washy 5.5 range to me.

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And here is a few matches from the set, picked more or less at random (think it’s fights 2, 4, 6, and 8 or something). As a note, I don’t actually consider this to be great Hisako play - there are a lot of missed opportunities and sub-optimal stuff in there, and one or two egregious punish fails. :disappointed_relieved:

Feel free to pick it apart everyone :thumbsup:!4327&authkey=!AEJ9LXlPXDMJfbQ&ithint=video%2Cmp4

The ONLY thing that’s really changed in this matchup as far as I’m concerned is the whole grounded heavy attack thing - that’s what really gets me. Unfortunately for Aganos, that opens a whole host of crazy mixup options she didn’t have against him back in S2 (but did with the rest of the cast, so yeah, you’re right about that part).

As for “not used to dealing with normal Hisako shenanigans”:
Back in S2, with the grounded heavy thing aside (since I would almost alway armor through it), I NEVER really had issue with Hisako, so long as I was careful to watch for her counter, which I often was easily able to bait out. However, with Storm, he almost never used counter to bait basic things like jump-ins where I could bait it. He would almost always do it after an instinct cancel where I’m already stuck mid-move and can’t do anything. In other words, he makes sure it’s a sure bet.

Every time she did a her on-ryo-zan, I could armor through it and instantly punish her or throw her for a chunk. While this is still true in S3, with Storm, he opens with the mixups and grounded heavies and THEN does the on-ryo-zan as a linker, so I can’t armor through it because he’s already hitting me and bypassed the chunk armor.

In S2, if she teleported, I could either jump over her for a crossup, grab her, or chunk up because of how slow it was. In S3, however, since it’s faster, I don’t have time to chunk up (even though it is also faster) and, with Storm, she seems to recover fast enough that she can poke me out of a throw attempt once she appears on the other side - so 2 of my 3 options are automatically shut down when fighting him. Furthermore, once she conditions me to block, she can teleport almost immediately upon reappearing (which is what I meant in my initial post about her canceling into another teleport, even though it’s not really a true cancel), which gives her another mixup option (similar to Thunder’s reverse grab, but without the grabbing part) for mind-game shenanigans.

In S2, I could even avoid her influence command grab simply by anticipating and neutral jumping. With Storm in S3, it always seemed like he’d do it mid-combo via counter hit with wrath or a simple combo reset, so again, I couldn’t react to it. Her other command grab, possession back in S2 was actually worse then than it is now, because Aganos couldn’t shadow pulverize through it, which he can now do in S3 (yay!). This is largely and easily avoidable in most cases. Against Storm, I don’t recall him ever really using it, although I’m sure there were a couple of times he’d put me into block stun and then hit me with it - that’s certainly how I’d use it.

Her air on-ryo-zan is scarier than ever because it crosses up easily, is an overhead (I think) and causes a hard knockdown (again, I think) and she recaptures with wrath, creating some scary setups. In S3, she’s scarier than she was before because they fixed the balance between the varying strengths, making them all more viable, and she now has a shadow version, which means more damage potential, which is, well, bad news for anyone really. While it’s easy enough to armor through this move, against Storm, I didn’t often have the chunks to do so, forcing me into a block, where she could then cause a mixup off of the block-stun.

So, in S2, Hisako wasn’t really a big problem. In fact, she was quite an enjoyable 5-5 matchup IMO, and yes @Infilament, I’m using matchup knowledge because I never said it was completely useless. In S3, if a Hisako player knows about the hard knockdown, she becomes a much more real threat. If the other player is a HIsako pro, like Storm appears to be, then the golem doesn’t stand a chance.

@CStyles45 Thanks for posting! I would like to see you take on Storm for me. Please share any clips you make or otherwise stream/record of those fights, so I can learn what you know that I don’t. Conversely, instead of keeping me waiting until tomorrow or whenever is good for the 2 of you, why don’t you just tell me what’s good to use against her in a lot of the situations I’ve described in this thread. :wink:

Descent pokes will lose to you throwing out a button on reaction. Don’t be afraid to punch Hisako in the face for using descent raw. I suppose she can chain descents, but again, it’d be a terrible mixup since she can be punched or thrown as she’s coming out of the ground. Any time you saw me doing multiple descents, it was because you were jumping away from me and I wanted to catch you with a jump-HP as punishment. You’ll notice in the replays that I got blown up a lot for using it too often. Descent has its uses, but it really isn’t very good unless you’re doing something with a lot of recovery like chunking up or placing walls.

You can’t predict a Hisako command grab reset - good practice is just to hold up if she is combo-ing you. Sako can punish that, of course, but if you don’t hold up, then she’s just going to keep hitting you with them.

I don’t really use possession in this fight much anymore unless you start backdashing (but when does Aganos backdash?) I don’t think I ever tick grabbed you either - chunks tend to blow that up, and if you’re chunkless Hisako generally has better ways to hurt you.

Air-ORZ is an overhead, and does cause a hard knockdown. I still maintain that it’s a bad option in this MU in S3 if Aganos has chunks. Grounded meaties will achieve the same thing (bypassing chunks and going into combo), and won’t get you murdered if you happen to be wrong.

@CStyles45 - yeah, that time works for me. Look forward to playing with you again :slight_smile: