Which character do you feel wins the most with pokes and small combos?

Like the title asks.

And further, which character does it the most effectively?

Which one character do you feel that is? And make sure to lay out your reasons why, especially compared to other characters in the cast.

Mostly Jago wins with this kind of stuff.

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Aganos - he’s slow, but his chunk-armor helps get through a lot of stuff that other people otherwise wouldn’t be able to get past, granting him special opportunities not available to anyone else - add to that his insanely good range and neutral-game where he can hit others where they can’t easily hit him, as well as his ability to do lots of damage in small combos using his walls and you’ve got a recipe for crushing the competition. :slight_smile:

The reach on Ankle Slicer is, killer. He can reversal nearly anything with Sammamish and instantly command throw with Shadow within most character sweep distance. He can then devastate with powerful mini-combos/recaptures. Sure, his Neutral attacks aren’t the farthest, but he can beat and punish nearly any counter Neutral-poke with his mentioned attacks.

With Instinct, 1 Shadow Meter and full chunks, Aganos can momentarily be #1… Tank beats everything, when with full ( or near) resources. The Club is #1 in pokes and if you manage to make walls to smash the opponent through, you can deplete a full health bar in 5-7 hits.

Glacius, Kan-Ra, Hisako and Riptor are better at poking than Jago or Thunder but the latter 2 have better mini-combos due to scaling.

Glacius or Aganos, IMO


IMO that’s Jago and Wulf. They harass with pokes and traps, once they land a combo they keep it short, hard knockdown, safe wake up pressure, repeat.

I think pokes and small combos are really quite different from each other. Pokes I give it to aganos and hisako they both have good range and while hisako’s have some weakness’s she does often get a free counter hit with them.

In terms of short combos I have to give it to wulf. Jago and Orchid are a close second but wulfs hard knockdown into safe jump into mixup is really good add in his instinct where he becomes a short combo reset machine he easily can get 70% damage off of a shadow ender just by technically using short combos and resets.

Off just poke/stray hit damage, I’d say Aganos gets the most off it. He only plays the actual combo game pretty rarely, even (especially?) at high level. He gets the vast majority of his damage off simple one or two hit sequences into wall. Sweep into chunk, AA into ruin, etc - a lot of his game is about small hits.

Glacius would be another contender, but he’s also pretty darn adept at playing within the combo system since his in-combo damage is so stupid. Aganos doesn’t have much compelling reason to put you in combo except to gather chunks as his actual damage isn’t all that great, plus he’s super easy to break.

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Aganos. If he has meter and at least one wall every wrong move will hurt a lot.

Hm, I’m getting the sense that you’re a Street Fighter player looking for someone in KI to main. I sorta have the opposite problem: I want a character in SFV who has a safe unreactable move that travels half screen, a lot of frame trap pressure, a decent overhead and a DP…but that character is probably overpowered, right? I’m kinda looking through character overviews to see if anything comes close, but I don’t think the info is out there yet.

Anyway, I think someone like @Infilament might do a better job responding to your query, since I don’t think the answers given so far are that great and the sort of archetypal analysis you’re asking for is in his ballpark for sure. If he doesn’t drop in here, his guide breaks down each character’s game plan in considerable detail, and it’s just an incredible resource in general.

But I’ll take a stab first. (If, unlike at other times, Infil doesn’t edge in a reply before me. :stuck_out_tongue: )

I’m guessing you’re not looking for a zoner per se. When IG came in and buffed stray hit/first combo hit damage, Glacius was seen to’ve benefited maybe the most from that. Glacius players use a creative combination of half-screen pokes and hails, which behave like assists, to zone out their opponents, and also to encourage them to stay put to fall victim to an unblockable shatter (basically a ranged command grab). On balance he probably gets most of his damage from afar (helped by ranged combos, which for reasons of breakability you’re incentivised to keep short), but he also has a sickeningly strong setup game up close (and especially in the corner) and he hits like a freight train in combos. Also, his mobility is pretty terrible. Glacius is a lot of fun to play as, but I don’t know that he’s what you’re looking for.

I’ve also seen Jago, my main, mentioned here a fair bit – and tbh, I’m not sure about this “small combos” bit. There’s this craze of Jago players doing one-chance break combos into launcher into sweep for the hard knockdown, and saving their resources for unbreakable lifegain fireball juggles in instinct that lead to >50% lifeswings. I’d say that the instinct lifegain juggles are among the best things Jago can do with resources; but the one-chance break stuff does basically no damage, banks on hard knockdown oki being more favourable than more combo pressure (it isn’t), and frankly demonstrates an irrational risk-averseness to combo breakers that will go away as people gain a better understanding of the game. More likely we’ll see longer combos into meter ender from more developed Jago players, and a lot of the extra meter they glut themselves on will go into things like shadow fireball, fireball xx shadow DP enders for big damage.
As for pokes, I guess it depends on the matchup. Usually in mid-close range, when you’re not trying to zone out an opponent with fireballs (or dealing with getting mauled by someone whose rush game invalidates your neutral, such as TJ), the main things you’re trying to land are (a) a crMK (xx laser sword), (b) a double roundhouse, or © some amount of the time, a wind kick (as a loose rule in the mirror, typically (a) crushes (b) crushes © crushes (a)). Two of those things have frame advantage attached and go into Jago’s frame trap pressure game, and the wind kick either catches your opponent for not holding back often enough, or puts you at negative frames in front of them so they can begin their own pressure. I guess you could also use sHP, which you’ll cancel into a wind kick or a light fireball, but that’s not an amazing poke (for reference, it reaches about as far as Fulgore’s sMK and is slower) and I only really use it to extend pressure. Jago’s furthest-reaching normal is his 19-frame back+HP overhead by some margin, which can be abused in some neutral-ish situations but it’s not a go-to poke. Overall, I don’t think this paints a picture of a character who relies on poke damage.

Orchid, on the other hand, has a better walk speed and insane normals. Her sHP has incredible range, as do her standing and crouching MP (the latter also being a low). Her fwd+HK overhead has good range, too. Thing is, she is incentivised to convert those pokes into rekkas on block for mixups, which form the core of her pressure game, and she has a grenade assist (and firecats in instinct) to cover her arse during mixups. Also, she’s traditionally been known for large combo damage, although I think some changes may’ve reigned that in a little. So again, I’m not sure you’d say Orchid is mainly about stray pokes. But certainly more so than Jago.

Aganos is an interesting mention. I suppose the Aganos players I see use combination of his armor and his better normals (e.g. his sMP backhand and his crHK stomp) to threaten the space in front of him. tbh, you’re probably better off looking up Zergkiller’s Aganos (especially recent 8Bit Beatdown matches) and seeing for yourself, because I sure don’t understand his gameplan very well, and I think Aganos strategy is still very much a work in progress. Nevertheless, I somehow don’t think the gentle golem is what you had in mind when you made this thread.

To varying degrees, Maya, Cinder, Hisako and ARIA may do some of what you’re looking for. Maya and Cinder both tend to do smaller combos and rely on other mechanisms to get their damage (stray hits, yes, but also character-specific mechanics); Hisako and Blade-body ARIA have great pokes, but also spend a pretty standard amount of time in the combo system (and, I think I can safely say, do most of their damage there). All of these characters have much more elaborate gameplans going on. They’re all kinda asking you to experience something that hasn’t been done in a fighting game before, more so than recognise a character or strategy you’re intimately familiar with and pick up from where you left off.

I think the through-line of all of this is that KI characters have elaborate pressure games and related antics and dirt, and it all tends to eat into the neutral game in such a way that mid-range footsies tend to resolve quicker. Hell, these threads can turn into debates about whether KI has footsies, what footsies actually means, etc. My take is that KI has oppressive, scary footsies, which at the risk of selling short the heavy matchup-dependency of the game, I might illustrate with the Jago mirror: despite not being so great on block, some amount of the time it is correct to throw out a wind kick to check that your opponent is respecting the possibility by holding back enough of the time, which means every fireball, every crMK, every time you friggen hold forward, every commitment carries no small amount of fear of getting blown up. Whereas in a Ryu mirror you’re throwing fireballs and trying to edge your opponent into a corner with well-spaced crMKs and feeling relatively relaxed at mid range, a Jago mirror is always scary – we’ve seen that taken to extremes in some 8Bit Beatdown matches where both Jagos were dumping meter into heavy wind kick xx shadow fireball, to the point where both were almost afraid to move. I actually think that’s part of why I like KI, and also why I play a disproportionate amount of Jago mirrors: I find the fear that every commitment made in KI’s oppressive neutral game engenders exhilarating.

Or maybe I just play too many Jago mirrors, and my thoughts don’t pan out in the rest of the game at large. Either way.

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If you are asking about our feelings (not facts) then I say that I feel Jago and Aganos are really good at poking. Then I have Orchid in third.

Both characters have good pokes, but neither’s core game plan is really supposed to revolve around them. Particularly in Hisako’s case, she is actually incentivized against excessive pokes, as abusing them will drop your wrath and the threat of counter, which she needs to a certain extent to really unlock her game. Aria can poke (quite effectively) in blade body, but you really want to be fighting under the threat of her assists at all time, and so playing that form of neutral is pretty sub-optimal for her.

Totally agree. I made mention of these characters at the end as an aside, and briefly tried to make clear that they’re really doing other things.

It’s Aganos. His normals outrange all other normals in the game, including Glacius’ Ice Lance. If you have armor, you can mess up the timing on your pokes 2-3 times to get a few counter hits on a meterless opponent.

He also only gets damage from big single hits, not combos. It’s even inadvisable to do anything other than short combos outside of lockouts, since he’s ridiculously easy to break. His combos mostly are just for replenishing chunks or confirming into a wall crash.

With that said, his pokes are not very footsie-based since his walk speed is so damn slow. His pokes are almost to keep the opponent out, since they have pretty significant pushback on block, especially his sweep. The fact that he doesn’t have any low normals to combo out of means that more often than not, your opponent is approaching you rather than vice versa.

Nevertheless, there are more than a few characters that just completely bypass the poking game to get straight to his weak defensive game.

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So, it seems like most feel that Jago and Glacius are the characters that can do both of these the most effectively.

As for pokes by themselves, I’m surprised Orchid wasn’t mentioned more than in a couple posts, due to her walkspeed and pretty decent normals compared to the rest of the cast. But then again, there’s other characters with better normals (IMO), and she also mostly relies on big, heavy-damage combos.

There’s Aganos, but it seems he has trouble with the win “effectively” part.

[quote=“Fnrslvr, post:10, topic:1709, full:true”]
Hm, I’m getting the sense that you’re a Street Fighter player looking for someone in KI to main. I sorta have the opposite problem: I want a character in SFV who has a safe unreactable move that travels half screen, a lot of frame trap pressure, a decent overhead and a DP…but that character is probably overpowered, right? I’m kinda looking through character overviews to see if anything comes close, but I don’t think the info is out there yet.[/quote]

No, I’ve been playing the game for a couple years already.

There’s just constantly been back-and-forths in different places on which characters can do what, and I just wanted to gauge everyone’s opinions on which definitive character was most effective in this instance.

Wow, quite the variety of answers in this thread! I was going to say Jago, Wulf or Hisako on the pokes, but Aganos players have me pretty convinced that he should be up there as well. I tend to think that Wulf is the best on small combos.

I feel most comfortable with Jago’s pokes and small combos. I can’t actually decide on who has the best in the game but I do stand by the pokes with Jago just because of how aggressive yet defensive he can be.

Hm. Orchid has good walk speed and great traditional footsies - the issue is more that the rest of the cast to a large extent doesn’t play traditional footsies, and has no need or desire to do so against a character like Orchid.

She certainly gets a lot off her great pokes and normals, but the purpose of those is really just for that hit confirm into her own brand of smothering KI pressure. She’s always kind of had the issue that she is (in neutral anyway) a relatively honest character in a game of shenanigans. Orchid is great at honest footsies…but the rest of the cast simply doesn’t play them.

Aganos. Great range and decent damage off normals. Plus walls do huge damage if you smash them through it.

Jago’s definatley the good guy for this sort of thing. But in the right Hnads Fulgore can do some good stuff to. Same with Riptor.