TJ Combo's Instinct

I think it might be a good thing to reconsider his instinct. Basically all decent players use it the same way: Activate it as soon as it’s available, then save the 2nd bar for last breath.

I think it would be cool if last breath was altered so that either the instinct doesn’t last as long or you get even less life back. Maybe this would force players to use it in different ways. Maybe more players would start activating it a 2nd time instead of saving it.

What do you guys think? Is it perfectly fine as is in your opinion?

One hit into ultra, in addition to a bunch of ways characters have of taking advantage of the last breath trigger, isn’t enough to discourage it?


I don’t think making have less life (or instinct) would really matter much because with one hit you’re already in danger just ripe for an ultra. If that’s the case, you might as well remove it entirely. Saving it for last breath is already a bad strategy because it doesn’t guarantee a comeback. Can’t really blame the game for the player’s bad habits you know.


I think a pretty convincing case can be made that you should never save for last breath, ever, even in its current state.

The times where last breath is valuable exist, but they are actually pretty rare and certainly not “every match” as many TJ players believe. TJ’s instinct is so scary that sacrificing 7.5 seconds (it’s more, really, considering your opponent can attack you from neutral or run away and waste time) and a plus-frames mixup or reversal to allow yourself to survive just one extra grounded hit (in a game where grounded hits are earned often) is really ludicrous to me.

I’ve been playing fighting games for many years and the insistence on using TJ’s instinct for last breath in all situations for 2+ years is, with no exaggeration, the most puzzling and confusing misjudgment of strength for a tool I have ever seen.


I do believe TJ has an incredible comeback/clutch potential , and it also has to do with mind games. People start losing it and get killed because of that. It’s a combination of things. The only ones who will keep calm and play carefuly will be the ones that have their mind cold, if not it can easily catch you of guard.
I do recommend TJ players to use instinct as soon as possible, then most Combo players tend to get instinct just before dying which can make them very dangearous if they really know how to use instinct.

If TJ comes back be prepared to block and if you have instinct use it to see what on Earth that crazy man is doing, because a stom of madness will be unleashed and a counterbreak or missed break can lead to a lost match before you can know what happened.

Last breath is a waste. Simple. And then people want to nerf it? Why? What I hear is "people aren’t using his instinct to his maximum potential so lets nerf how they are using it to encourage people to use it normally. Might as well remove last breath.

It’s part of his character. Doubt they will get rid of it. Only thing to do is nothing.


I can agree because I can’t honestly count any time where I fought a TJ player, they get last breath and don’t ever come back from it…

I mean, it’s fine that they keep last breath in. It’s cool in situations where you eat a giant combo at the end of round 2 and die before you built instinct, so you get a “free” shot at a comeback that you normally wouldn’t have had.

It’s definitely up to the players, not the game, to understand the relative power of their tools and use them accordingly.

Maybe it’s just the way the instinct uses sound that makes one more favorable. Moving slightly faster vs Coming back from the dead. Last breath sounds infinitely better when you say it like that.

The misjudgement about TJ instinct doesn’t surprise me.

It’s the equivalent situation to use one chance combos to avoid guess breakers.

You could use long combos to punish a bad guess break for big damage. Instead, you use one chancers to avoid the break.

Applied to TJ, you could have 15 seconds of high as ■■■■ TJ, and potentially destroy your enemy(but not guaranteed, since you could be hit and forced to not play the offense), or a guaranteed extra hit after losing your health bar(althoughit can be OSed)

Same applies to Shago instinct and anihilation. People prefers the guaranteed damage than the potential (and shago can do way more damage during instinct than with raw anihilation)

It’s just that people prefer safe low rewards over riskier high rewards. IMO sub optimal

To me, the value of TJ’s instinct is more than just 7.5 extra seconds. If it was just that, I still think it would be worth it more often to use it, but there might be more situations where one hit is slightly more valuable.

The real benefit of using TJ’s instinct is that you get to decide the terms of its activation. Want to use it as a reversal? Go for it. Want to use it to make an unsafe mixup safe? Sure. Want to do backfist, then guess with tremor, then cancel into delayed shadow uppercut THEN instinct cancel so you can do another mixup with frame advantage (basically forcing your opponent to be correct on 4 consecutive mixups)? No problem.

This is the real power of it. If you activate last breath, your opponent gets to fully decide the terms on how he engages you. He can run away, or challenge you with a meaty, or avoid your activation burst with Raam focus or something and make you guess, etc. It’s considerably worse. And not only that, your opponent knows you won’t be popping instinct manually during all of round 2, so he gets to run more powerful offense on you without fear. If the threat of instinct pop was real, he might back off on some wakeups or not try to punish some Tremors or whatever else. This sort of strategy is common for every character in KI except TJ because players are using his toolset poorly.

The fact that you get to decide the terms AND get double the instinct time just… blows away the value of one extra grounded hit.

The worst part is that it’s all psychological. If someone activates last breath and then dies immediately, he just shrugs his shoulders and then says “oh well, guess I deserve to lose.” If he activates instinct manually, takes 50% of the opponent’s life bar and then loses, he says “man what a waste I should have saved it, maybe I would have won,” even though the odds of him winning more matches in the long term are significantly higher. The psychological effect of “undoing” your last mistake, even if it doesn’t help you with your actual goal of winning the match, is so strong that it clouds the judgment of players.


In all the matches that I’ve played against TJ Combo players, I’ve only lost one match to a player who used last breath. As a Sadira main, if I’m anywhere close to him and have meter, I will use Sadira’s Shadow Demon Blade to go right through his push back attack and end the match right there.

In matches where the player used TJ Combo’s Instinct the way it was designed, I usually end up dying. The best TJ’s NEVER depend on Second Breath for anything. His instinct is too valuable to be wasted on a smidgen of life bar.

I have the same argument with Sadira mains who think Sadira’s instinct is too weak and waste webs by laying them haphazardly around the stage. As most who’ve played me can attest… when I go Instinct, I’m going to take your life (or most of it).

I think that this part is key. If players want to use his instinct a certain way, that’s fine. If some think that last breath is useless, that’s fine too. Clearly some prefer to keep that second instinct for last breath and some don’t, so I think that kinda negates OPs original assertion that everyone uses it the same way.

The players are deciding how to use his instinct, regardless of whether they’re using it to what some consider the fullest potential or not. I like having the option between the two. As a Sabrewulf player, I’ll take TJ’s instinct over chip damage and feral cancels, but that’s mainly because I’m pure garbage at using FCs to their fullest potential, but while I hate them, I realize that’s ultimately on me. :slight_smile:

Long story short, I think his instinct works just fine and see no need to change it, regardless of how predictable some are with it.

I love TJ’s instinct, and use it frequently, but as good as it is, I almost always blow it. I get ancy because everything’s faster so I end up making mistakes, or my opponent will block/counter effectively and/or win the neutral. It basically boils down to the idea that I don’t know much of his more advanced setups to really take advantage of it… :frowning: