The Replay and Analysis Thread


Since someone mentioned wrath I’ll assume that you probably just didn’t have the wrath to parry the shadow counter. Hisako has to have at least 50% wrath to counter cancel, which is the mechanic she uses to blow up shadow counters.

Will watch both sets above and give feedback later on tonight.


Sometimes I forget how good arbiter’s normals are, even though they’re negative. It’s a great tool to zone people out. As for jumpgun trick, it’s was obvious that you were waiting already for it. Regarding cmd grabs, I don’t like to overdo it, especially against killers, because it’s a high risk move. If I miss it, it’s a free combo for sure. As for the grenades, most people have no idea that popping Instinct and blasting a grenade gives me a free combo, so it works most of the time. I assume you’re an Arbiter player too or at least you know his setups very well. Anyway, you’re right on your analysis. That’s why I lost our match.


And if you hit it’s a combo for you. Arby’s grab is on the slow side, but it’s still a strong option for him, and if you don’t use it then you’ll find it very difficult to open opponents up. He has almost no high/low game, so frame traps and grabs will be your go-to options for landing those hits long term.

Better players will tend to know a character’s tools and options, even when they have never touched the character. If your opponent is good, you should never expect to “surprise” them. You hit them by making better decisions than they make in a given moment, not because they were unaware of what your character could do in that situation.


Watched your matches @CodeComplete85. Feedback below:

  • Hisako’s damage loop is heavy AD->light ORZ linker->heavy AD->etc If you get a counter breaker or see your opponent lock out, that is the combo path to do. Anything else is leaving damage on the table.

  • You jump in with j.MP a lot. That’s a weird button to use there because it doesn’t hit very far below Hisako. Use j.HK if you are trying to hit a grounded opponent with a jump-in (it also crosses up). Only use j.MP if you’re trying to air-to-air someone.

  • Don’t guess break. It’s a great way to eat ridiculous damage. If you don’t recognize someone’s moves, don’t break.

  • Try to work on canceling your normals into ORZ a bit more consistently. This is something that will come as you play more, but in the meantime you get a fair bit of touches where you land the normal, but then the opponent manages to block your rekka. This means you aren’t canceling into ORZ fast enough.

  • Hisako is a close-up character. In neutral a lot of times you walk backwards, which is just space you’ll have to make up later. If you want to be defensive or a bit patient, then hold down+back, not back.

  • Don’t use ORZ as a linker unless you’re doing a light one. The others are among the slowest linkers in the game, and are easily breakable on reaction. Use influence as your preferred linker in general.

  • Hisako can dash under most fireballs. There was no need for you to jump at Shago that insistently. Simply down+back, and then dash when he tosses a fireball your way.

  • Use your instinct twice per fight. Hisako’s is one of the best in the game, and is particularly good to use defensively on your wakeup. If they have a button out, counter them, if they’re standing next to you or trying to throw you, use influence and snatch them. Hisako gets almost nothing from popping her instinct in neutral - use it to see a mixup or to steal your turn back.

  • Those super high air-ORZ’s you do are unsafe. If you can’t tiger knee them that’s fine, but when you do them from the top of the screen they become fully punishable. Try to do them on the way down, not up. Your best option though is take a few minutes each day to work on TK’ing them properly (which you may already be doing - some of your jump MP’s look like botched TK’s). They are much better when done this way.

  • Shadow ORZ is generally a bad option for piling on damage during lockouts because it takes a significant amount of time to complete. Do the damage loop mentioned above into shadow possession ender instead.

  • Don’t descent in neutral - it’s reactable and wildly punishable.

That’s most of what I saw. Hope it helps!

EDIT: and yeah, you couldn’t parry people’s shadow counters because you were out of wrath. Try to work on slowing down your play a bit so that you have enough to do the things you need to do.


@STORM179 Oh wow, there’s a ton to digest here. Just a few questions:

  • I shamefully use Combo Assist, which allows a Heavy AD -> Heavy Manual -> Heavy AD loop. Is light ORZ more damaging because it’s faster? I definitely see that Shadow ORZ taking too long.
  • I use j.MP because I know its timing/hitbox best. I recognize the utility of j.HK, so I’m practicing it right now, but is j.MP still an ok option when I’m too far away for j.HK to hit?
  • This is probably a topic in itself, but how do I play her close-up, and how close? Like st.MP range or like Influence range? I feel like very little goes right when I hang around too close to opponents.
  • So when/where is Descent useful?

Also, since being easily broken came up, I read from Infil’s site that Hisako is supposed to be hard to combo break, but I don’t think he made it very clear how to maximize on that. Varying in Influence and wind ups?


You can prolong her doubles, which causes fear of xb. You can make some small pauses between doubles and linkers. It is easy for your opponent to lockout, due to those.


No shame at all in using CAM. Because I think nomenclature is important however (just to make sure we’re all speaking the same “language”), I’ll give a slight correction to say that what you’re doing in your combo is heavy AD->heavy linker->heavy AD. This is worse both because heavy ORZ takes forever, and because heavy linkers in general don’t hit very hard. Heavy autodoubles are the primary damage dealers for combos across the cast, so damage loops always try to fit as many heavy AD’s as possible within the window. Using a heavy linker (and particularly the one CAM gives you, ORZ) means you get to fit less heavy AD’s in the window, and so you will do significantly less damage than you could otherwise get.

Eh, I suppose? So long as you can actually hit them with it it’s probably ok, but if you really need to hit someone from extreme range with a jumping button then j.HP goes even farther :man_shrugging:t5:

It is indeed a topic in itself, and I’d recommend checking out the Hisako sub-forum for a bit to see if maybe some of what’s there can help answer your question (there are a bunch of “Beginner Hisako/Teach me to play Hisako/etc” type threads in there). Short answer here though is that on their knockdown you want to play at influence range, while in neutral you’re fine playing at st.MP/HP range. In these ranges though you still will want to be able to represent dash-up command grab as a threat.

From what I’ve seen of your gameplay though I suspect you’re probably overly antsy in close range, which is why things might not go well. You’re pretty new to the game so probably not fully aware of when it’s your turn or not in certain MU’s, so in all likelihood you’re probably pushing buttons or trying to “do stuff” when it’s not quite your turn. That’s fine. For now just try to focus on playing well at your poke range, and try to work on being patient enough to not blow all of your wrath or wanting to jump or backdash away.

As a punish to someone being predictable with their zoning, and as a way to semi-safely cancel a missed possession or blocked rekka. Bear in mind the latter two require you to have over 50% wrath though, so that’s where managing it becomes important again.

Sako’s wind-up doubles are excellent at baiting timing lockouts, but even apart from them lots of people have a difficult time differentiating between Hisako’s AD’s. She uses her naginata in all versions of her mediums and heavies, and that throws people off. At higher level she can also stagger her influence linker in weird ways, and because she moves well before her hits actually land people often break earlier against her than they should and timing lock themselves out. You can see this in pretty much any of the sets I’ve posted above - I often wait a very long time before doing my first linker.


Thank you SO much for taking the time to write such detailed responses. I have a lot of direction on what to research/work on now.


Well I press buttons and cool things happen. :joy:


You’re just a bully :rofl:


Couple more quick questions:

  1. I’ve been playing with doing and baiting Counter Breakers more, and I had this thought: can I intentionally mash only heavy during a lockout to bait a Counter Breaker when they come out of lockout? In general, do any of you ever fake a tell like that?
  2. I encountered a Killer who was just excellent at combo breaking. No matter how I tried varying the order of stuff, he just seemed to catch it, so I tried doing shorter combos, and he started heavy-breaking the enders. I’ve only ever ended heavy, but do the various Possession-ender strengths all do the same damage? That seems to be the case, from Infil’s data and what I see going by on the attack data, but I wanted to be doubly sure.
  3. I’m getting better on my blocking, but when I try to counter after a block string, I get stuffed a lot. Even cr.MK seems to get beat out a lot, and the lights don’t lead to a combo, unless the opponent isn’t careful. Assuming the block string leaves them right in my face, is Light Influence what I should be using here?
  4. I know TK ORZ is a great option on an opponent waking up, but I noticed it also brings the hitbox pretty high pretty fast (especially for the light version). Is this ever useful in neutral?


For 1, yes, people are mad when you lock them out, and they sometimes see the last heavy double as an overextension of your combo and go for it. You can counter break that, but it’s still playing with fire, do the most damage and cash it out quickly.
For 2, if you do not add doubles or a linker after your opener and go for ender immediately, it is an opener-ender, it’s a free break anytime. Consider light linker into HKD ender for a quick combo and mixup opportunity.
For 3, light influence is alright, you may try jab into tick grab, if you have instinct that’s your go to. If you notice some offense patterns, you can try to parry.
For 4, it catches people off guard, I’d still recommend heavy ground game.


Thanks for the response

  1. I realize counter breakers are always high-risk; I’m just exploring with the psychology. I did one match where I intentionally guess broke ASAP (successfully), guess broke again, and then a third time right after a lockout, then watch my opponent drop his next two combos. I then did one more to make him think he just was slightly off in his timing, and he did another two drops. It’s all very interesting.
  2. Ah, I didn’t realize I didn’t put any doubles/linkers. That explains it
  3. I’m familiar with the concept of tick grabbing, but what are Hisako’s best options for that after the jab. Regular throw, Light Possession?
  4. Yeah, I wasn’t planning on doing it all the time, maybe an occasional mix up


Yes and yes. You see this strategy used even at high level on occasion.

Yes. Possession is an always-ender, and will always do the same ender regardless of what button you push. (And yeah, you were doing opener-ender).

If what they’re doing is leaving them point blank, then yeah, feel free to use light influence. Its range is absolute ■■■■■■■■ though, so they had better actually be point blank.

It can be used on occasion, but not for the most part. When air-ORZ is used in neutral it is usually from an actual jump, since you tend to use it to punish an approach. The medium and heavy TK ORZ’s are pretty slow, and the light one is fast but doesn’t have great range. You’ll generally be better off relying on Hisako’s buttons instead.

Sako’s normal grab range is maybe the shallowest in the game, so it sucks as a tick. You’ll want to use light possession.


As always, thanks for the long, detailed responses. This all would have taken so much longer to figure out empirically.

Also, to be sure, air-ORZ and 2nd/3rd Medium ORZ are Hisako’s only overhead attacks, right?




In theory they are, but you might be surprised at how little risk they are against other beginner players. Often times they will just throw you (for low damage), or they’ll be holding up and not attack at all, or they’ll mash a button and drop the combo immediately. Even if they do a combo, it won’t be a high damage starter and you’ll often get away with taking way less than 10% overall.

As long as you do the optimal counter breaker combo when you’re right, which for Hisako is very easy (with combo assist, it’s just HP LP HP LP HP) and almost identical for 0-bar vs 1-bar, you’ll way way way outdamage other beginners by going for counter breakers reasonably often. This breaks down against better players who will fall for them less (and punish them harder) but go ahead and explore the psychology and try them out a bit more against other beginner players.


About a third of the way through this set between you and Nate, Storm. Man, I miss watching stuff like this. Wish I had caught this back in August.

Storm, when you are winning it makes Hisako look like the best character in the game. I know she isn’t, but when you are on point you are on point.

Nate’s play style though can be so erratic and it is brilliant in its own way. The first match he does stuff that there is no reason to expect him to do. Like… why does he do that? Doesn’t matter because it worked.

PS. is the vid 60 FPS? It doesn’t seem like it.


Glad you’re enjoying the set. It was a lot of fun to play as well :slight_smile:

Nah, it’s defintely just 30. I use a very budget (free) recording scheme, so anything I upload will always be at 30.


Hmm, OBS (free streaming software that also does local recording) does 60fps just fine, what are you using?