Claus, known as Xiān Wēng (Chinese: 仙翁, lit. "Immortal Old Man") in the Chinese version, is a master from a far-away land that has a large variety of tools to be a defensive powerhouse while also enabling him to be more aggressive. These moves (mainly 214P), alongside his normals, allow you to dictate the state of the match at any point, making him an easier character to pick up and play.
Unlocking Claus: Being the boss character, he normally isn't selectable. In order to play as him, use this code: Highlight Nic-San, press right 8 times, left 4 times, and down 4 times. If you did this correctly, your cursor highlights Nic-san's select icon (or doesn't highlight an icon at all) but has Claus's portrait.
Claus's defining strategy is punishing the opponent's approaches and overall dominating neutral.
Claus has a few definitive tools to control space: 5MP (Claus's second farthest button and very fast for its range), 2HP (Slightly worse range than 5MP, but deals more damage), 2HK (farthest button, knocks down, and Claus's only low), 5MK (Similar range to 2HP), and 214LP (anti-air special move with insane priority and recovery, rivals Ω Rugal's Genocide Cutter). 214LP can be hit out of with a sweep during its short recovery, with this fact being crucial in matchups like Stevareno and Drew, so it's not always wise to spam this move.
Whenever Claus has the opponent where he wants them after playing lame, he can start getting aggressive.
Claus generally wants to approach using 46P or dash, and a jump-in like j.HK or j.MK if your opponent is throwing a fireball or if they're generally vulnerable to an air button. A staple strategy against fireball zoning is using 214LP and then 46HP right after its recovery to combine the properties of both moves. The 214LP projectile follows Claus, so the fireball is nullified and the 46P hits the zoner during their recovery or startup of another move. Both uses of 46P give Claus great mobility that's difficult to contest but it can be hit with a button, so be mindful of when it's good to use.
Claus's offensive gameplan is to stay up close, or mid-range, and force the opponent to take what he's dishing out. Take advantage of the game's bizarre property of specials/supers dealing full damage on block, with blockstrings like 2HP/5MP xx 46HP dealing a sizable chunk of damage on both hit and block. He especially takes advantage of this "property" whenever he's in desperation range, with both supers ignoring blocking one way or another. With 2HP/5MP xx 64646P, the super hits regardless of if the opponent blocks or gets hit by the long-range button. 641236P, like many projectile supers, deals more damage than intended on block, making it an X-Factor that forces the opponent to scramble to jump or use their super.
The main defensive strategy that you want to use is abusing 214P projectiles and using your long-range lows (2LK, 2MK) as pokes from a fair distance. Characters like Fang have a difficult time with getting in, and it's important to maintain that lead while bullying your opponent with your great options. Using 2HK sweep or using 2LK xx 46P as a punish to any missed DP is a great way to reestablish yourself.
* button xx 46P (20-28 dmg)
This simple exchange gives you some decent damage, and pushes you away. More of a building block for combos than a combo itself, but you will want to land this in neutral. Use any button other than 2HK to successfully connect.
* 2MP/2MK xx 236LK 2HP/5MP xx 46HP (52 dmg)
You have to be pretty close-up to the opponent to fully land this, but the damage is very good.
Here is an example combo.
Here is an example combo.
|Another overwhelmingly good matchup for Claus. Burnie's character is basically a more restricted version of Dougster, with watered down tools and lack of TOD.
This allows Claus to have more leverage over how he wins. Burnie's faster and preferred buttons (Far MP, 2MP, 2MK) don't have nearly as much range as Claus does to make up for having similar speed to him, so you can just camp him with your superior range (5MP matches Burnie's speed, 2HP, 2LK/MK, 2HK). A weird countermeasure Burnie could use against standing buttons would be using his 646MP/HP, which is disjointed and would hit Claus's long limbs, but the terrible recovery can open him up to a punish (like 46HP) if you can read it.
Burnie's 63214K could be a good tool to approach you, but a well-timed 214P will guarantee a punish and other moves would give you good results. It's not invincible, so it can be hit with the myriad of tools Claus has. None of his supers are also particularly good, with 4641236P doing minimal damage and 6463214P not offering as much utility and pressure as Dougster's terrifying version of the super.
The only annoyance that may come in your way against Burnie is dashing / using 46P into his fireballs, which puts you in a unique burning knockdown state. This can be tedious to deal with if you're trying to rush him down, but you have all the defensive tools and low buttons you need to stop him from throwing them.
|To say that this matchup is campy is a massive understatement. While Claus has one of the most oppressive movesets in the entire game, he has almost no answers against his own playstyle. The game boils down to a game of chicken, where the first player who tries to approach typically loses.
The campiness comes from 214LP, the best move in Claus's arsenal. It renders Claus unapproachable for most characters because of its huge hitbox and insane priority, but you need to plan on getting around this if you want to win. Most attempts to poke at 214LP spam will be inconsistent at best, ranging from needing low health for 641236P to maybe hit to trying to poke with 2LK at the right time that even if it hits doesn't provide anything meaningful in the long term. The most consistent, but a very punishable, way to break through mindless 214LP is timing a Far HK to hit Claus's shoulder/hand while he spread out his arms. Predict that Claus is going to shoot another one, and properly space yourself where the tip of his foot hits the hurtbox. This can net you some pushback, good damage, and an opportunity to cancel into your own 214P to immediately set up your defense. If the opposing Claus sees this coming, you may very well be screwed due to its high startup (2HK or 2MK punish into 46HP).
If you have the health lead as Claus, do not engage! It is better to keep the opposing Claus out than to try to take another gamble at lowering his health more if he's doing 214LP spam, but otherwise you can get a bit more aggressive with 46P approaches. Using the regular 236P is too risky because of the extended hurtbox on Claus's launching arm against 214LP.
If you lose the match and aren't solo maining Claus, consider using a counterpick like Fang or Dougster. Other characters have better and most-likely easier ways of getting Claus to crack than himself.
|Normally, this matchup wouldn't be so bad for Claus even with the presence of his TODs. However, what really sets Dougster apart is his Football Super.
Claus doesn't really have any answers to this move outside of timing 641236P to hit all of the incoming projectiles. If he doesn't have super, he's basically a goner. In some rare cases, you can use 214LP to hit all of the football projectiles but this is very hard to set up and one football usually hits you while you try to do this. Using the LP+MP evade with a 214LP projectile leaves you open to Dougster's TODs.
What Claus has to do to win is be aggressive and trap Dougster in the corner. From there, you're pretty much set. If you let Dougster leave the corner, he can use Football super and you're back in a disadvantageous state. 214LP stuffs most of Dougster's options, but 214MP guarantees a DP punish due to Claus's extended invulnerability. Being too brazen gives Dougster the opportunity to hit you with a fast normal and start the TODs, so you really need to be careful when fighting him.
|Drew almost makes it even because of his 2HK xx 236K pressure in the corner and good zoning tools (214K, 214P), but Claus ends up edging him out due to superior normals.
Your long range really gives Drew trouble and helps you to punish a lot of his options, use good normals like 5MP / 5HP, 2HP, 2HK, and 2LK / 2MK. 2HK pretty much counters the listed options, and Claus can just use 214LP if he plans on keeping you away with his 236P bowling pin projectile. The move does have longer than usual startup so it's possible to use an air normal to punish and to get up-close, but beware that Drew can use 214P if he reads that type of attack. Another way to circumvent these options is 64646P which goes through any type of attack that Drew throws out and counterattacks him.
Drew does have tools of his own. If you block an attack, he can either get guaranteed damage with his hitgrab 646P to send both of you back to zoning range or use 236K as an overhead. It's also difficult to punish 214P with any standing button, making it necessary to punish with a sweep.
Overall, this is a decent matchup for Claus. If Drew plays his cards right however, you could be in a lot of trouble.
|Your options are a bit more limited because of the threat of being frozen with his glitched DP. Playing passively opens you up to being mauled by his many infinites as well, so keep your reaction game strong and try to play around him to the best of your ability.
Your gameplan depends on how much the Fang player respects your zoning. If he respects your 214LP zoning, then you're basically set for the entire match. If not, you're in a bit of trouble if not suitably prepared. Using low buttons avoids the DP freeze, but it opens you up to being endlessly looped. Punishing whiffed DPs opens the door for you to retaliate with some offense.
Fang is a big character, so he is vulnerable to 236LK blockstrings that do incredible chip as well as 214LP's uncanny ability to remove screen freeze (this briefly allows you to set up pressure and commit to unusual combos like 2MK 2MK xx 46HP / 64646P). Fang hates being cornered and would rather take advantage of his obnoxious options (214LP, 5HP, 5HK, 632LP), so that should be your gameplan if you get the chance. Fang's 236236P can go through 214LP spam unlike other supers like it, so that isn't an option that you can rely on.
Overall, don't try anything ballsy against Fang and make the best attempt to assert dominance over him before he does anything.
|Claus's general gameplan hard counters the majority of what Jean Paul wants to do. 214LP makes it incredibly difficult for Jean Paul to set up his instant kill loops on Claus, and has to play around the move's enormous presence.
If Jean Paul does get in though, he's just as deadly as Fang or Dougster due to his 46LP touch of death. Be wary of his power, but don't overestimate him to the point of giving him an opening. Keep him on his toes with the variety of options that you possess. If he's playing campy, barge right through his 646P projectiles and start establishing yourself while he's in the corner. Is he trying to get in? Use 214LP and your oppressive normals to keep him out.
This isn't a difficult matchup like the other characters with scary TODs, but keep the possibility of death in mind.
|An even matchup in the sense that both characters can turn the tide of the match quickly depending on how they play their cards. If Melanie gets you in the corner, you're basically screwed. If you're anywhere else, you're probably fine.
Melanie's 2HK xx 214HP corner oki is her signature, and can be overwhelming to deal with (and sometimes uncounterable). Using your strong anti-airs (214P, cl.HP/cl.HK, 46LP) to punish her jump-ins can help prevent that momentum from being set up. Her projectile is good as well, so she could potentially try to play more like a shoto and keep you out.
Abuse your long reach and tools to counter her offensive pushes. Punishing whiffed DPs are especially important as they have a deceptively short recovery, so use 214LP or any other fast options to deal with it.
|Basically a non-threat for Claus. Anything that he tries to do (412LK, 46P) you can quickly adapt to. Your kit is more developed and effective than Nic's, so take advantage of the amount of tools you have. Stay close for offensive corner pressure or far away to abuse 214LP.