Fantasy Strike/Rook

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"Rook was not always made of stone, though the circumstances of his transformation are little-known. What is known is that his stone form seems to have slowed his aging and provide incredible armor. Rook has always loved nature and felt close to it and now he is a force of nature. Towering, mighty, and dangerous, yet gentle and warm. (...) DeGrey suggested he (Rook) create an event that would bring together people from all over the many lands. To frame it as a competition, but to actually use it as a way of getting powerful warriors together so they’d talk about the injustices going in their respective lands. Rook created the Fantasy Strike tournament to this end." (source)

Character stats

Health Character Type Super Meter charge time
8 Grappler 14.8 Seconds


Rook is Fantasy Strike's "mighty glacier" character. He is the big, slow grappler archetype who wants to get close to throw opponents. He struggles to get in but he can win the round if he gets a knockdown. This polarizing dynamic can cause rounds with Rook to appear lopsided. Sometimes Rook gets in and demolishes the opponent like it was nothing, and other times the opponent effortlessly denies all of Rook's approaches without giving him a chance to hit. A good Rook player will maintain a steady mindset through all this in order to come out on top.

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Grappler Strength: Rook has constant access to potent special throws. His throws, special throws, and Yomi Counters all deal extra damage. His grounded normals also deal chip damage, because he is just that strong.
  • Terrifying Okizeme: Once Rook scores a knockdown, his safe jumps, ambiguous cross-ups, and throw mix-ups allow him to trap opponents in a vortex of unfavorable guessing games.
  • Large Health Pool: Rook's warm, kind heart provides the most health points. He can spend it to armor through attacks or preserve it to stall opponents.
  • High Reward On Read: Rook's riskier options allow him to approach faster or add dangerous layers to his mix-ups.
  • Very Slow Walk Speed: Rook often struggles to approach opponents, control spacing, and retreat from bad situations.
  • Tall Hurtbox: Rook is too tall to ride most amusement park attractions, so he is more vulnerable to attacks and combos.
  • Limited Defense: Rook has no standard anti-air, no meterless reversal, and his armor can be broken. His supers lose invincibility quite fast.
  • High Risk: Some of Rook's options are very punishable if the opponent guesses right.



FS A.png
FS Rook 5A.png
Damage Startup Active Recovery Hit Advantage Block Advantage Counter Advantage Properties Attribute
1 8 8 18 KD (+45) +3 KD (+45) Knockdown Strike
Total: 34

Rook puts his best foot forward, knocking opponents to the ground.

Usually Rook's best normal when in range, due to high speed and reward on hit. It "only" does 1 damage, but the resulting okizeme can win the round! Advantage on block lets Rook tick throw or frame trap opponents.

  • Has a hair less range than throw (FS T.png).
  • Low profiles, though Rook is so tall he becomes more like standard height.

FS R.png+FS A.png
FS Rook 6A.png
Damage Startup Active Recovery Hit Advantage Block Advantage Counter Advantage Properties Attribute
1+1 7 5(7)14 19 +7 -10 +7 / +17 - Strike
Total: 52

Rook delivers a very fast knee strike followed by a slow but far-reaching kick.

Despite its fast startup and raw damage, Rook's kick is surprisingly niche due to being slow overall, lacking knockdown on hit, and pushing opponents away, which is generally not what Rook wants. It is even less appealing in the corner where it pushes Rook far back instead. Despite negative advantage on block, it is usually safe due to massive range and pushback.

  1. The first hit (knee) is often used to strike when sweep (FS A.png) will not reach, to finish opponents, or to safely increase combo damage to start stalling with Rook's anti-zoning tools.
    • Combos grounded opponents for 2 damage.
    • Hits aerial opponents for only 1 damage and is unsafe, up to -19 advantage.
  2. The second hit is quite slow but can poke, threaten block damage, or situationally anti-air.
    • Rook's toe has the highest anti-air priority.

FS L.png+FS A.png
FS Rook 4A.png
FS C.png
FS Rook 4A 2.png
Windmill Crusher 1.5
Windmill Crusher 1.5
Damage Startup Active Recovery Hit Advantage Block Advantage Counter Advantage Properties Attribute
1 20 5 15 +3 +1 +9 Cancellable Strike / Projectile
Total: 40

Rook leans back and claps, creating a large shockwave that destroys projectiles.

Overall Rook's best normal once he gets past the sluggish startup, with most properties being superior to his other moves. It is often used when Rook is advantaged or too far to be punished.

  • The clap is a strike, but the shockwave is a level 2 projectile with a more massive hitbox.
  • Creates a vacuum effect that always pulls opponents in the opposite direction that Rook is facing.
  • +6 ~ +16 advantage on anti-air.
  • Cancellable on hit, block, or projectile clash into Landslide (FS B.png) or a unique version of Windmill Crusher (FS C.png). (Frames 22-30)
    • Combos into FS C.png on hit.
    • Combos into FS B.png on counter hit.
    • Allows an airtight FS C.png/FS T.png mix-up on block.
Damage Startup Active Recovery Hit Advantage Block Advantage Counter Advantage Properties Attribute
1 7 14 30 KD (+45) - - Knockdown Special Throw
Total: 51

This version of Windmill Crusher skips the first 5 frames entirely and deals less damage but rewards much more advantage on hit.

  • After a blocked Thunderclap it has 11 frames of practical startup, up to 19 if buffered immediately.
  • 1 hit of armor on frames 1-20.
  • NOT throw immune.

FS B.png
FS Rook 5B.png
Damage Startup Active Recovery Hit Advantage Block Advantage Counter Advantage Properties Attribute
1+1 25 7(6)5 17 KD (+74) / KD (+56) -4 KD (+74) / KD (+56) Knockdown Strike
Total: 73

An armored punch that leaps forwards.

Very slow and somewhat risky, but excellent reward on hit. It lets Rook blow through obstacles and knock down opponents with huge corner carry. A clean hit lets Rook Landslide again to cover even more distance. It often combos into sweep (FS A.png) in the corner. It is typically throw punishable unless it hits meaty or at max range.

  • 1 hit of armor on frames 1-44.
  • Throw immune on frames 17-41.
  • Double Landslide leaves Rook at +14 advantage.
  • Whiffing the sweep follow-up leaves Rook at +26 advantage.

Windmill Crusher
FS C.png
FS Rook 5C.png
Damage Startup Active Recovery Hit Advantage Block Advantage Counter Advantage Properties Attribute
2 12 14 30 KD (+14) - - Knockdown Special Throw
Total: 56

An armored special throw with high range.

Rook's most important move. It is used to punish jump-in attacks, pokes, frame traps, throws, close range projectiles, and whiffed attacks. It is also used as a mix-up option along with strikes and normal throws. In exchange for its vast utility, it is slower, less rewarding, and often riskier than Rook's normal throw (FS T.png). As a bonus, Rook can use it as a round-ending punish to generate about 10% more super meter than a normal throw.

  • Like all special throws in Fantasy Strike, it cannot be Yomi Countered. Opponents must jump to escape.
  • 1 hit of armor on frames 2-25.
  • Throw immune on frames 1-25.
  • Startup becomes reactable if you hit too meaty.

FS T.png
FS Rook T.png
Yomi Counter
FS Rook YC.png
I'll throw you!
I'll throw you!
Version Damage Startup Active Recovery Hit Advantage Block Advantage Counter Advantage Properties Attribute
FS L.pngFS R.png 2 3 4 16 KD (+50) - - Knockdown Throw
Total: 23

Rook's forward and back throws are identical, except his back throw switches sides. His spinning piledriver is the scariest throw in the game, giving him enough advantage to set up almost any okizeme he wants. It must be used with some care: Being Yomi Countered can be devastating.

Universal Throw: All throws have the same frame data and can be beaten with a Yomi Counter.

Yomi 2 - - - KD (+25) - - Knockdown Parry

Rook throws his opponent instead. While powerful, it does not give enough advantage for safe jumps. Note that Rook can also beat normal throws with his special throws (FS C.png/FS S.png).

Universal counter for Throws. In a neutral state, the opponent's throws will be automatically countered by Yomi Counter.

Checkmate Buster
FS S.png
FS Rook 5S.png
Damage Startup Active Recovery Hit Advantage Block Advantage Counter Advantage Properties Attribute
3 6+0 23 26 KD (+39) - - Knockdown Special Throw
Total: 55

An armored special throw with high speed and power.

It is literally a checkmate buster, primarily used to escape pressure that Windmill Crusher (FS C.png) can not. The fast startup also allows more real mix-ups and the extra damage makes it a strong punish option.

  • Invincible on frames 1-6. Infinite armor on frames 7-29.
  • Throw immune on frames 1-29.
  • Has a hair more range than throw (FS T.png), but much less than Windmill Crusher (FS C.png).
  • Because the super freeze animation happens after the startup, opponents normally can not jump out on reaction.
    • Opponents CAN jump out on reaction if it hits meaty.


Rock Punch
FS A.png
FS Rook JA.png
FS Rook JA 2.png
Version Damage Startup Active Recovery Hit Advantage Block Advantage Counter Advantage Properties Attribute
FS J.png 1 12 12 [2] +12 ~ +19 +11 ~ +17 +18 ~ +25 - Strike
Total: 26

An air to ground punch with high range and priority, mostly used to wall out an opponent's approach. Use it at the apex of Rook's jump to sacrifice speed to hit shorter characters, as early Rock Punch expires 4 frames before landing.

FS R.png+FS J.png 1 6 Until Landing [2] +12 ~ +19 +10 ~ +17 +18 ~ +25 - Strike
Total: 8

Rook does a very fast body splash and drops on opponents.

Its speed makes it effective air-to-air and its infinite active frames allow it to hit air-to-ground in the same jump. It also changes Rook's hurtbox from tall to wide, helping him squeeze past opponents' defenses. It has low priority.

Its properties make it incredibly useful as Rook's primary safe jump and mix-up tool during okizeme. Splash has set forward movement so performing it late boosts Rook forwards for easier cross-ups. At the correct spacing, delaying splash further (very late, just before hitting the ground) causes Rook to land on the opponent and slide onto their front for a same-side hit. This results in a controlled ambiguous cross-up. Later splashes also cause Rook to hover above the ground, extending his jump and resulting in a real mix-up with empty jump throws.

  • Empty jump Checkmate Buster (FS S.png) will always hit at least 2 frames later.

Vine Spiral
FS B.png
FS Rook JB.png
Damage Startup Active Recovery Hit Advantage Block Advantage Counter Advantage Properties Attribute
1 7 29 27 KD (+22 ~ +50) -29 ~ -9 KD (+22 ~ +50) Projectile Invincible Strike
Total: 63

Rook spins through the air with vine whips while ignoring projectiles.

Very slow and often unsafe, but harder to punish if it is blocked multiple times or at range towards the end of the move. It is mostly used to contest air moves with disjoint or situationally bypass projectiles.

  • Projectile immune on frames 1-40.
  • Breaks armor.
  • Uses the forward version if performed out of a neutral jump.
  • Does up to 3 hits against taller blocking opponents.

FS C.png
FS Rook JC.png
Damage Startup Active Recovery Hit Advantage Block Advantage Counter Advantage Properties Attribute
1+0 11 Until Landing / 1 [25] / [39] KD (+41 ~ +46) / KD (+80) -17 ~ -11 KD (+41 ~ +46) / KD (+80) Hard Knockdown Strike / Projectile
Total: 50

Rook becomes a stone block and crashes down, creating a shockwave on whiff.

  1. The attack has higher priority than Splash and stops Rook's jump arc, making it useful for baiting and beating anti-airs.
  2. The whiff attack is incredibly punishable but delivers a huge knockdown to grounded opponents (0 damage). It is usually followed up with Landslide (FS B.png) to close the gap.
    • The shockwave is an unblockable 1 frame projectile that only hits grounded opponents (opponents in pre-jump frames are considered airborne).
    • Using Landslide after the whiff knockdown leaves Rook at +20 advantage.

Head Crush
FS S.png
FS Rook JS.png
Damage Startup Active Recovery Hit Advantage Block Advantage Counter Advantage Properties Attribute
1 0+5 3(0)20 [2] +7 ~ +17 +5 ~ +19 +13 ~ +23 - Strike
Total: 30

A high priority headbutt used to crush certain aerial options and anti-airs or at least discourage them. Unfortunately the range is paltry and the invincibility ends very fast, limiting its uses. It can also be used to cancel Rook's jump arc with far less recovery than Earthquake (FS C.png).

  • Invincible on frames 1-9.
  • Turns into cinematic version if the first 3 active frames hit.
Damage Startup Active Recovery Hit Advantage Block Advantage Counter Advantage Properties Attribute
2 0+5 3 - KD (+31) - KD (+31) Knockdown Strike

Cinematic version: Rook's headbutt dizzies the opponent. He throws them to the ground.

  • Breaks armor.
  • Side switches.


All Splash combos also work with Rock Punch
Combo moves Result Hit-confirm window Special requirements Inputs
Splash, Sweep 2 damage
KD (+45)
23-30 frames
+7 on counter hit
FS R.png+FS J.png FS A.png, FS A.png
Splash, Kick 3 damage 24-31 frames
+7 on counter hit
FS R.png+FS J.png FS A.png, FS R.png+FS A.png
Thunderclap > Windmill Crusher 2 damage
KD (+45)
33 frames FS L.png+FS A.png > FS C.png
Landslide, Sweep 3 damage
KD (+45)
61-66 frames Corner only* FS B.png, FS A.png
CH Thunderclap, Sweep 2 damage
KD (+45)
43 frames Counter hit FS L.png+FS A.png, FS A.png
CH Thunderclap, Kick 3 damage 44 frames Counter hit FS L.png+FS A.png, FS R.png+FS A.png
CH Thunderclap > Landslide 3 damage
KD (+74)
26 frames Counter hit FS L.png+FS A.png > FS B.png
CH Thunderclap > Landslide, Sweep 4 damage
KD (+45)
26 frames Counter hit
Corner only*
FS L.png+FS A.png > FS B.png, FS A.png
CH Splash, Thunderclap > Windmill Crusher 3 damage
KD (+45)
21-25 frames Counter hit FS R.png+FS J.png FS A.png, FS L.png+FS A.png > FS C.png
High & late Vine Spiral, Sweep 2 damage
KD (+45)
~44-50 Airborne opponent
Corner only
Extremely situational
FS J.png FS B.png, FS A.png
High Earthquake, Sweep 2 damage
KD (+45)
~53-59 Airborne opponent
Corner only
Extremely situational
FS J.png FS C.png, FS A.png

* Landslide doesn't combo into sweep against Setsuki or cornered Jaina and Midori since they don't ground bounce. It may still combo after an anti-air hit.



Rook's gameplan usually depends upon landing a good knockdown which can snowball into winning the entire round. Rook's close range options are so good that they warp the game: Even characters who normally play up close will change play styles to keep Rook away. Rook's primary method of getting in involves walking forward with a mix of jumping, blocking, and Thunderclapping projectiles. He doesn't take block damage until blocking 3 projectiles, and after 4 seconds his chip damage will reset. Having options to deal with projectiles allows Rook to play patiently and learn the opponent's zoning habits to potentially dive in with a hard read option. His biggest gap closer is to knock down with Earthquake then immediately Landslide.

Simple Okizeme for Beginners

Once Rook scores a knockdown, he can mix up the opponent with strikes, throws, and special throws. If he picks a random option and no reversal is involved, he has a 66% chance to win the next exchange. The most basic mix-up involves three meaty options:

  1. Sweep beats jump and Yomi Counter.
  2. Throw beats block and jump.
  3. Windmill Crusher beats block and Yomi Counter.

All of these options cause knockdowns and let Rook repeat the mix-up until the opponent guesses correctly. In reality Rook will choose sweep more often and adjust throw probabilities based on the matchup and game-state due to disproportionate risks and rewards.

NOTE: Landing Windmill Crusher usually leaves Rook out of sweep and throw range. A micro step forward is required to continue pressure. The timing for sweep can be especially strict. If it is too hard, Rook's kick works as a meaty 2 damage strike with no knockdown. It is also possible to use non-meaty Thunderclap after Windmill Crusher because opponents are unlikely to challenge Rook's mix-up. The reward is higher on any kind of hit (though non-cornered opponents will escape pressure) and the penalty for being thrown during Thunderclap's startup is less than if Rook's own throws fail.

Safe Jumping & Fuzzy Guarding

A well placed reversal can quickly nullify Rook's entire character. You can get around them with safe jumps.

  • To safe jump, splash (or Rock Punch) as an opponent rises from a knockdown, and hold block. If they use a reversal, you will block it. If they do not, you can react to the hit/block stun and hit/block stop (freeze frames) and continue your combo/pressure.
  • To safe jump special throws, hold jump instead of block.
  • Safe jumps condition opponents to stop using reversals.
  • Safe jumping faster reversals requires more frame advantage.

In many situations (such as after a blocked safe jump!) Rook will have enough advantage to perform mix-ups, but will not be safe from reversals. You can block expected reversals for big punishes, but what if the opponent tries to throw your block immediately? You can fuzzy guard instead.

  • To fuzzy guard (in Fantasy Strike), simply do not block when attacks can not actually hit you. Do nothing instead.

For example, Geiger's Flash Gear does not hit until frame 10. If you do nothing until frame 4 then block by frame 10, you will Yomi Counter wakeup throw AND block wakeup Flash Gear without needing to guess. This is a type of option select that works against most reversals. In fact, you can actually fuzzy guard just about everything in the game if you're not disadvantaged. As you grow more proficient as a player you will learn when to expect certain attacks and be rewarded for blocking precisely.

Safe jumps and fuzzy guards are crucial to beating reversals so that Rook can actually execute his gameplan.

Mixing It Up Like A Boss

Rook can subtly adjust his spacing, timing, or even move choice to create ambiguous cross-ups. But there is one better than the rest: If Rook jumps such that he lands directly on top of an opponent, he can splash late just before his feet reach their head to boost forwards and hit cross-up, or wait a moment to slide onto the front and hit same-side. When performed as a safe jump, this becomes a safe and ambiguous 50/50 with huge payoff. Once the opponent is conditioned to stop using reversals, Rook can then mix in empty jump throw and even empty jump Checkmate Buster to create a deadly 4-way mix-up! If the opponent blocks the splash, Rook can then do a standard strike/throw/special throw mix-up (or fuzzy guard or another splash). If the opponent blocks a Thunderclap or sweep, Rook can do yet another throw mix-up. This is Rook's strongest vortex. An easy way to set this up in Practice Mode is to simply sweep Geiger at close range and buffer a forward jump.

Against knocked down opponents, Rook can whiff moves on purpose to give the appearance of one option while actually picking something else, often still hitting very meaty! This is especially powerful against unprepared opponents. After a throw, Rook can whiff a splash while keeping up to +8 advantage for the real mix-up. Rock Punch is also great for baiting opponents because he can showcase the dramatic animation before whiffing at the last moment. Sweep and throw can also be whiffed due to their speed. Rook can repeat distinct patterns during oki to condition the opponent's defense.

Using Windmill Crusher without frame advantage is not a "real" mix-up unless you delay your strikes and throws as otherwise the opponent can fuzzy jump as an option select. This makes Windmill Crusher seem unreliable in many neutral or disadvantaged situations, but do not let that stop you entirely. If the opponent is conditioned and fearful enough, you may prey on their hesitation. You can even double Thunderclap if your pressure is ludicrous enough.


Rook's meaty splash fails to hit Grave, Midori, Quince, and Onimaru during their pre-jump frames. The solution is to use Rock Punch or delay splash. Delayed splash may be impractical against Grave as splash's active frames must end exactly 4 frames after Grave's wakeup in order to strike his first potential airborne frame and still be safe from Dragonheart.

When Rook gets an Earthquake (whiff) knockdown, he usually follows up with Landslide and meaty Thunderclap (or another meaty option, if he is close enough). However, from full screen this may whiff entirely. At that range Rook can instead follow up the knockdown with an empty jump forwards or manually timed walk, followed by meaty Landslide (3 frame window, 4 frames if walking). If timed correctly, this will uniquely leave Rook safe AND close enough to throw. He will be at a slight disadvantage (-3 to +0) but opponents are generally scared of competing directly with Rook at close range.

Knockdown Guide

Unless otherwise stated, all knockdowns allow a meaty splash that safe jumps all reversals.
Notes on same-side/cross-up hits are only for non-cornered oki.
Move KD Frame Advantage Notes
Earthquake (whiff) +80 Usually follow up with Landslide then your choice of oki, often meaty Thunderclap.
From full screen, jump/walk forwards then meaty Landslide to get into throw range.
Landslide (2 hits) +74 Landslide again to get closer OR corner combo into sweep.
Sweep doesn't work against Setsuki or cornered Jaina and Midori since they don't ground bounce.
Landslide (1 hit) +56 Double Landslide is not an option, leaving Rook at -4!
Throw +50 Micro step backward to make Splash hit meaty and threaten same-side Splash. Walking further back makes it easier to hit same-side but may not be reversal safe.
Empty jump auto-times meaty Windmill Crusher.
Sweep +45 Splash does not cross up Grave / Setsuki / Rook / Quince / Onimaru.
Empty jump auto-times meaty throw.
Thunderclap > Windmill Crusher +45 Splash only hits cross-up.
Empty jump auto-times meaty throw.
Earthquake ~+44 Splash only hits same-side.
Empty jump auto-times meaty throw.
Checkmate Buster +39 Splash only hits same-side.
Early/apex Splash safe jumps Grave's Dragonheart. Practical minimum startup of 16 frames.
Splashing no more than 1/3 into Rook's descent safe jumps Flash Gear. Practical minimum startup of 13 frames.
Empty jump auto-times +0 throw.
Head Crush +31 Grounded mix-up only.
Yomi Counter +25 Grounded mix-up only.
Vine Spiral +22-77? Grounded mix-up only?
Hitting late in the move or high in the air improves frame advantage.
Windmill Crusher +14 Grounded mix-up only. Micro step forward for sweep and throw to reach. When in doubt, Thunderclap. Buffered meaty sweep works against:
Rook / Midori
Grave / Jaina / Lum
Cornered and jumping
Quince / Onimaru


Rook tutorial by shobbs (Note that the tip at 1:48 is wrong)

Rook Safe Jump Guide by Simon Braendli

Random Rook Thoughts by professorplacid

Rook Knockdown / Oki Guide by Dr. Zeus


Name Type Matchup Strategy
FS icon Argagarg.png
  • Arg's stretchy upward punch can hit grounded Rook from unusually far away. Thunderclap's lean-back and range allows it to counter upward punch abuse at mid range.
  • If Arg gets Rushing River or Giant Fish going, Rook has essentially lost his turn and has to play defense until the gold/giant fish are gone. Rook has to Earthquake to discourage too much Rushing River. If Arg likes to cancel into it Rook can Earthquake immediately after blocking stretchy punch. If Arg is knocked down but the river is still coming, Rook should simply jump over it. Landslide is barely faster than walking so going through the river will slow Rook down.
  • One of Arg’s more troublesome tactics is blue Flying Fish followed immediately by upward punch. There is a spacing close enough where Rook can react to the blue fish and jump forward into Earthquake. If done right, the Earthquake starts soon enough to beat or trade with Arg’s upward punch. From further away Rook cannot safely jump over the blue fish without getting hit. In this case he can use Head Crush to hit Arg’s extended hurtbox. Without super at this distance, Rook has to block or Thunderclap the blue fish.
  • Rook can do nothing during oki to bait Bubble shield, then mix up Arg with Checkmate Buster, Vine Spiral, throws, etc.
  • Arg's Yomi Counter often wins the round and his grounded options provide versatile defense, but his jump is floaty and provides limited options. Therefore Rook should use fewer throws and more special throws.
FS icon DeGrey.png
Wild Card
  • DeGrey's basic attacks all lose to Windmill Crusher unless he gains frame advantage from a blocked Ghost.
  • Counter-point Step grants DeGrey 9 invincible frames allowing him to escape basic oki options and safe jumps. While it is possible to catch the 10th frame with anything, sweep and Windmill Crusher's long active frames can be used as real oki options while also stopping Counter-point Step. However, the delayed sweep is vulnerable to Ghost Riposte (DeGrey's ground super parry) and if it's delayed by too many frames Rook will be vulernable to wakeup throw (but DeGrey probably won't do that!).
  • Rook has a safe jump option select against DeGrey's reversals. After attempting a late splash, he should immediately input a throw or Checkmate Buster. If DeGrey blocks the splash, the throw input will be lost during block stun. If DeGrey tries to escape with Counter-point Step or Ghost Riposte, he will be thrown instead.
    • If Rook knocked down DeGrey with a sweep, he must splash at the correct height for the maximum forward boost to cross up and land in throw range.
    • If Rook's sweep does not hit as close as possible, Rook must step forward to land in throw range. However, his splash will no longer bypass Ghost Riposte.
  • DeGrey puts himself in a 50/50 situation every time he uses Counter-point Step from close range. Rook can block to punish Justice Kicks or Tyrant Crusher, or use Windmill Crusher to punish Daggerfall and empty step. From long range DeGrey can space Tyrant Crusher to be safe on block.
  • DeGrey may try to poke/zone with his ground pound, but if Rook jumps over it early he will get a free throw.
  • DeGrey may try to use Ghost like he is a zoner, but it takes more time for Ghost's cooldown to reset than for Rook's chip damage to reset. DeGrey must take a risk or use his super meter to inflict reliable block damage.
  • Once DeGrey has super, it is better for Rook to not jump unless he has super as well. Final Arbiter usually loses to Head Crush on reaction.
FS icon Geiger.png
  • Because Geiger has so many effective anti-air options, Rook prefers to get in with an Earthquake knockdown or stall and punish Geiger's approach if possible.
  • Thunderclap destroys Time Spiral gears on reaction at most ranges, allowing Rook to stall if he has a health lead.
  • Windmill Crusher (raw or canceled) destroys pokes and jump-ins, but leaves Rook vulnerable to reaction punishes and Geiger's aerial mix-ups.
  • Delayed Time Spiral loses to Earthquake and kick on reaction, but if it's actually a normal gear it will punish Earthquake at close range and kick at any range.
  • Geiger's anti-air backhand often loses to Earthquake.
  • Geiger's aerial kick loses to faster Splash, disjointed Vine Spiral, and Head Crush.
  • Flash Gear loses to a well-spaced jump or Earthquake, or a well-timed Head Crush. It is possible for Rook to land on a Time Spiral on purpose to flip out, causing Flash Gear to whiff.
  • Geiger's low punch is only fully beaten by a very low Head Crush. If Rook lands directly on top of Geiger, Splash will trade and Earthquake will beat it. At further ranges Splash loses and Earthquake can trade.
  • Cycloid Revolution is easily destroyed by 2 Thunderclaps unless Rook is cornered. The CR can eat Rook's claps causing a normal gear to get through and hit him. Normal gears can also be clapped, pulling Geiger and giving Rook more space to avoid the CR. Earthquake can also be used to prevent Geiger from throwing more gears during this time. Rook can space a Rock Punch or Thunderclap against the CR to intentionally knock himself down while avoiding chip damage, although this is fruitless if he would instead land on a gear. Rook's last option is to just Vine Spiral right through, often for a down-trade (which may still be favorable for Rook).
  • Meaty Checkmate Buster can leave Rook up to +9 against Flash Gear, granting a free throw.
FS icon Grave.png
  • Rook can Thunderclap Lightning Clouds on reaction from far away to resist chip damage. From closer ranges he can only Thunderclap on read or jump over them.
  • Grave's fat cloud is a very effective anti-air against Rook; unless Vine Spiral is performed with advantage Grave can usually Sword punish it on reaction. Rook must therefore jump backwards and Earthquake to beat fat clouds on read. The penalty for guessing wrong is taking 1 damage, but the reward for guessing right is the knockdown Rook needs to win.
  • If Grave tries to anti-air with the much faster Knifehand, Rook will need to beat it with immediate Earthquake or approach on the ground to threaten with Windmill Crusher.
  • At mid range Rook can react to the start of Lightning Cloud by blocking then jumping backward a moment later. If Grave sent a fast small cloud Rook will block it, but if Grave sent a slow large cloud Rook will jump backward. You can react to the backward jump to unleash an Earthquake punish.
  • Rook should generally avoid using Head Crush as a raw air-to-air if Grave also has super.
  • Rook can beat wind by stunning Grave with Earthquake or Thunderclapping his Lightning Clouds. However, Grave can also use the wind to just pressure Rook back into the corner with little risk.
  • If Rook is knocked down in the corner, Grave can initiate a strong fireball trap to deal heavy chip damage. Depending on the exact nature of the trap Rook may need to block a few fireballs before jumping out or using an armored move to escape.
  • After landing a non-cornered Windmill Crusher, Rook should micro step back before using it again. This allows it to armor through Dragon Heart, scoring Rook a free throw.
FS icon Jaina.png
  • As Jaina drops from a jump she can fire a headshot Flame Arrow that hits Rook's tall hurtbox. If Rook wants to avoid chip damage he must low profile it with sweep, Thunderclap (tighter window), or Landslide (unsafe).
  • Arc Shot is very effective at walling out the tall Rook but it does little to help Jaina reclaim space. If Jaina stacks arrows Rook can Thunderclap them all at once. If she gets predictable Rook can blow through it with Vine Spiral or Landslide.
  • Ground Flame Arrow is a tricky projectile for Rook to navigate. There’s a spacing far away from Jaina where if Rook jumps forward over the arrow, Jaina can react with dragonheart and hit Rook guaranteed. The way to avoid this is to instead neutral jump over the arrow. Once closer it becomes possible to jump over arrows and land in time to block Dragonheart. Jaina can instead use her faster Knee to anti-air. Rook can beat late Knee with high Earthquake and early Knee with Head Crush. Jaina can still use Dragonheart to beat Earthquake, so Rook should still empty jump sometimes so he may block.
  • When Jaina uses Rain of Fire, Rook can potentially score an Earthquake knockdown and use Vine Spiral to avoid chip damage, otherwise he can try to Thunderclap some of the arrows to take less chip damage. At closer ranges it may be possible to Landslide through.
  • Heavily delayed Windmill Crusher can armor through Dragonheart but is weak to Red Dragon and fuzzy jumping.
FS icon Lum.png
Wild Card
  • If Lum gets too many items out he can completely control the match, so Rook has to play more aggressive than usual.
  • Pay attention to what items are out. Sometimes Rook just has to defend and find opportunities to remove items.
  • Rook's sweep, Thunderclap, and Earthquake are safe ways to destroy mini-Lums.
  • Earthquake often to shut down Item Toss.
  • At closer ranges Melon Toss loses to Vine Spiral in the air and Windmill Crusher (raw or canceled) on the ground.
  • Polar Cartwheel loses to Checkmate Buster and Head Crush.
  • Slots Of Items loses to any throw on reaction.
  • Lum's claw sweep is very good at keeping Rook away. It boasts better speed, range, and reward on hit than Rook's own sweep. Jump over it and splash to apply pressure.
  • If Lum blocks Landslide and there's a dice in the way, the dice will be hit first and Lum will block a frame later. This makes Landslide safe on block at -3 advantage.
FS icon Midori.png
  • Rook wants to smother Midori with pressure before he can turn into a Dragon.
  • Rook often wins or trades during aerial interactions. Rock Punch easily denies Midori's approach, Splash beats most air options, and Earthquake beats Midori's usual anti-airs.
  • Splash is fast enough to always safe jump Midori's parry, leading to to a free throw at best.
  • Rook should be cautious about using non-meaty Thunderclap as it can be parried.
  • Midori's Floating Axe Kick is hard to punish when spaced well but if he spams it he will slowly be walked into the corner.
  • Midori's Flying Kick (any) loses to Landslide and Flying Kick (ground) also loses to Windmill Crusher.
  • Dragon Transform allows Midori to outright beat some of Rook's oki options on reaction. Rook should therefore choose safe strike options more often when Midori's super meter is full.
  • Splash, sweep, and Thunderclap are fast enough to be used as meaty oki options that prevent Midori from using Dragon Buster on wakeup.
  • Once Midori becomes a dragon Rook should just block by default. Rook can then either crush the dragon with his supers or otherwise find an opening to apply his own pressure.
FS icon Onimaru.png
Wild Card
  • Rook wants to get in as fast as possible to smother Oni with pressure. Oni struggles to escape Rook's vortex due to his sluggish frame data, mediocre anti-airs, and his only reversals being vulnerable to throws. However, if Rook fails to get in Oni will comfortably zone him with huge range, big punishes and powerful supers. Clockwork Soldiers are particularly devastating.
  • If Rook gets pushed out he will often need to spend large amounts of health to armor strikes to regain his position. If Rook is pushed all the way into the corner he will often explode.
  • Because Oni's Yomi Counter will likely win the round and his air options are limited, Rook should use fewer throws and more special throws.
FS icon Quince.png
Wild Card
  • Whoever wins the neutral game gains a significant stall advantage because it's hard for either character to safely hit the other. Quince wants to take a life lead then wall Rook with Alternative Facts (small mirrors) and poke with High Standard.
  • Rook can react to Alternative Facts with Earthquake then Landslide to break through the mirror. This is a safe but very slow approach. Raw Landslide also works if Rook wants a riskier read with more reward.
  • If Quince manages to safely get a mirror out, Rook can destroy it with a number of different moves, including Rock Punch spaced far away. If Quince tries to hit Rook's outstretched arm with Truth Geyser, Rook can punish it by performing Earthquake instead.
  • Quince's pokes and mix-up options are vulnerable to Rook's armored throws. After a blocked High Standard, Rook has the advantage.
  • Quince's Truth Geyser denies Rook's jump-ins, but loses to Earthquake and can be whiff punished by Windmill Crusher.
  • Once Quince has super meter, jumping becomes dangerous since Quince can anti-air with Patriot Mirror.
  • In Two Truths mode Rook can not do much other than block. Quince's clones will lock Rook down while the real Quince slowly applies chip damage. Rook can turn the tides with Checkmate Buster if Quince over-commits.
FS icon Rook.png
  • The Rook mirror is odd because many times if two players use the same move, the slower player wins. This results in the need to be patient and only take calculated risks... Rook's primary goal is to take a life lead then stall with primarily Rock punch.
  • Rock Punch can be beaten with a faster splash or spaced Vine Spiral, but the most reliable answers are Head Crush and Windmill Crusher.
  • Empty jumps can bait and crush Rook's supers and reversals on reaction, while being less risky than usual due to Rook's lack of standard anti-air.
    • If you react to Head Crush with your own, you can be delay it by 1-4 frames to get the cinematic hit. This may not be preferable if the side switch puts you in the corner.
  • Rook's kick can be used to threaten chip damage and punish jumps. During oki it is useful to push the opponent into the corner to help maintain Rook's lead. Be sure to hit meaty to avoid Windmill Crusher.
  • Vine Spiral is used to win air interactions, break armor, and safely force chip damage onto the disadvantaged player. Early Vine Spiral wins air-to-air with disjoint but is unsafe on block. Late Vine Spiral is vulnerable air-to-air but safe on block due to hitting 3 times.
    • In strong oki (after landing a sweep) Rook can safely forward jump and late Vine Spiral.
    • In weak oki (after landing Windmill Crusher) Rook can neutral jump and Vine Spiral to beat all reversals. It loses to forward-walk block and anti-air sweep though.
FS icon Setsuki.png
  • Splash's speed and Earthquake's priority allow Rook to frequently win air-to-air interactions if he is not disadvantaged. Setsuki's only reliable anti-air is her ground super.
  • If Setsuki zones with Kunai Rook can trade with his kick or blow through it with Landslide. Due to the large difference in health, Setsuki can not win a battle of attrition. If the Kunai are too predictable Rook can also use Vine Spiral.
  • There is a 4 frame window where Rook's Checkmate Buster beats both Ninja Port enders.
  • Rook will want to use fewer special throws because Setsuki's jump-out reward is massive.
  • Landslide hits a frame meaty after Checkmate Buster due to pushback. This isn't particularly practical but it can still be used as a knowledge check.
FS icon Valerie.png
  • Val’s low stroke is a fast poke that can be spaced to safely beat all of Rook’s ground options and timed to anti-air all of Rook’s aerial options. Rook can mix up the timing of his jumps with his different attacks to throw off Val’s timing.
  • Val’s aerial swipe works differently based on her timing. If she attacks early she will beat Rook air-to-air, but be vulnerable to Windmill Crusher. If she attacks later she will beat Windmill Crusher, but be vulnerable to Rook's air-to-air. Either way she will lose to Checkmate Buster. Rook can also use Landslide to beat her jump on read, but only if she doesn't have super.
  • Things become tricky once Val gains super. Rook wants to jump attack so that Val can not safely jump in with Rainbow Disc, but if Rook jumps too predictably Val can anti-air Rook with Chromatic Orb.
  • Chromatic Orb loses to Rook's special throws on reaction.