Who are KIs pressure characters?

Who are the pressure characters of KI? By this I mean characters who make use of plus frames to lockdown an opponent and make them afraid to press buttons. I’ve been playing a lot of Cinder since season 2 and he’s definitely in that vein of character so I want to branch out and try others.

Sabrewulf and Raam come to mind.

Rash, Sadira, TJ, Sabrewulf, that’s who pops off on the top of my head.

What makes you say Raam? I see him more as a grappler so less about keeping people blocking and more about kepeing them guessing on when the grab is coming.

1 Like

What makes you say TJ? I always put him more so in the grappler area whenever I fight him.

No one mentioned Jago yet? His whole thing is plus frames.


Target combos are crazy good in pressure

1 Like

Riptor’s Predator Stance cancels can lead to some frightening shenanigans. Jago is safe in pretty much everything.

@Harlequin969 A lot of the characters in KI are pretty flexible in their playstyle. Hell, even the zoning characters can be pretty effective up close. The grapplers in KI also tend to have some above average footsies. RAAM’s Heavy Decimation special, for example, leaves him plus enough to grab. Thunder can tick grab off of his heavy buttons, and TJ can actually combo into grabs with his heavy punch.
Also, any character that uses the Flip-Out mechanic has bonus points for pressure an mixups, since they can instantly turn a juggle-state into grounded mixups. Jago, Sabrewulf, Sadira, TJ Combo, Kan-Ra, Riptor, Hisako, ARIA, and General RAAM all have this mechanic. TJ, Riptor, and RAAM are absolutely terrifying with flip out, and now Sadira has flip out to add to her list of ways to make you her plaything.

1 Like

Presently the people I play are KanRa and Cinder confidently with a Gargos, Fulgore and Mira that I’m trying to learn but none of them 100% scratch the itch.

I was thinking of trying Maya or KimWu but I didn’t think they were that type of character

Really good normals; grab pressure is still pressure (if you can get in).

That’s fair. My definition of pressure actually comes from MK since that was my major fighting game before KI. So more like blocking strings that end in plus frames that guarantee more buttons or a high low mixup. Since shadow counters are a thing in KI that’s some counter play that makes it not dumb unlike in MK

Hisako. Idk if she is considered a “pressure” character or not but if you want a character that makes people scared to press buttons its Hisako lol


RAAM’s case is sort of interesting, actually. Shanks aren’t plus at all, actually (maybe EX?). The Shank>Grab frame trap is more like a Windkick>DP frame trap (minus invincibility), in that the Shanks are minus (M -3, H-1) but the Grab is actually fast enough at 4f (EX 1f) to catch any button and most specials that try to contest it. If RAAM tries anything else here, he will lose to the incoming button. Shank is less of a pressure option, more of a conditioning enabler, that can then become a pressure option because the opponent is shaking in their booties.:scream:

While you’re correct that none of his normal stabs are plus on block, his Heavy one is only -1, so you can use s.LP and s.LK to become plus by 2 and 3 respectively.

That’s not really what being plus means. If you do heavy decimation and mash jab or LK and your opponent mashes jab as well, you’re going to get counterhit.

@Harlequin969 to be honest, just about every character in KI can be played with heavy pressure - just kind of depends what kind of pressure you’re looking for. If you want “it’s not your turn yet dummy” pressure, then I’d recommend Jago (king of plus frames), Wulf (overpower along with some great plus normals), and Riptor (frame traps for days if you know what you’re doing). Those are kind of the characters who get to be really buttonsy, without necessarily worrying that they’re giving up their pressure by doing so.


I believe Spinal is a great pressure character, in a very different way of course. He’s about to rush an opponent with Skulls that bounce off from a blocking opponent to the other side of the wall (Instinct Mode Only). This forces the opponent to either find a way to jump in or keep blocking the projectiles until they go away while the Spinal player attacks.

If that’s not pressure then, I don’t know what is.

Yeah I worded that wrong. Don’t post 5min after waking up.

I was just about to say…

1 Like

^This, except I think Jago’s “king of plus frames” moniker isn’t really earned when lined up against Wulf and Riptor. With Jago you pick up better defense and a situationally plus overhead, but Wulf and Riptor have an easier time getting in and keeping the plus frames flowing, and are also better at opening opponents up with better throw ranges and more potent mixups. Play Wulf or Riptor if you want to be potent and play Jago if you just want to be solid.

Other characters to consider for frame trap pressure include Thunder (grappler frame trapping obviously, HK is +1, can convert counterhits off LK or condition for an unreactable grab), Fulgore (very similar kit to Jago, but now that laser isn’t plus you want to convert counterhits off normals or pip-cancel specials), Omen (apparently Infil’s pick for top 1 character in patch 3.4, furious swipes into rashakuken should allow you to press buttons afterwards, has a bunch of Jago-like normals), and Kim Wu (clMK like Jago/Riptor, buttons into medium dragon dance, dragon cancel nonsense).

Not entirely sure if I’d go so far (yet) as to claim he is certified #1, but yes I do believe he is very healthily in the discussion for it this patch! Other candidates include Aria and I do think Jago/Fulgore are still up there as well.

A lot of characters that were “kinda mid but maybe/probably a lot better than mid??” like Hisako and stuff are also, I believe, very strong this patch. By being very good but not good enough to see nerfs, they just got a lot better by proxy.