Melty Blood/MBTL/Kohaku/Strategy

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Kohaku, when allowed to, will typically enjoy a more defensive role in neutral in which she baits and intercepts the opponent's approaches with her large normals and tricky air movement. Kohaku shines the most in the midrange, a space in which her toolkit excels due to its range and speed being fairly uncontested for most of the cast, granting her a solid grasp on neutral in those Matchups. In Matchups where Kohaku is denied the ability to play in the midrange (such as zoners), Kohaku typically favors the air, abusing her large j.C to contest from awkward angles.

Dominate the ground by...

  • Poking and Intercepting run-ins with the low hitting, long ranged 2C and 236A.
  • Completely denying the space in front of you with the absolutely massive 6BC, typically converting directly into a 236C knockdown.
  • Baiting approaches by throwing out 2B and 5Bs at the mid-high range.
  • Placing down a 22B, 22[B] 22C or 2B+C plant when given the opportunity to do so to take space and cover yourself.

Swat opponents out of the sky by...

  • Calling out jumps with 236B.
  • Swatting opponents out of the sky from afar with 236[B], preferably with a plant covering you.
  • Clipping high-air approaches with a preemptive 22A.
  • Anti-Airing even opponents directly over you with Kohaku's fantastic 3C, which may even hit behind her!
  • Using 5B and 5C(Twirl) high hitbox to catch lower aerial approaches.
  • Clipping IAD and lower air approaches with the massive 6BC because yes, its good at that, too.

Strike from the air by...

  • Using Kohaku's heavily disjointed j.C to strike from areas hard to contest, typically by getting very high into the air beforehand by performing a high air dash or super double jump.
    • Usage in conjunction with Kohaku's far reaching airdash makes this strategy even more potent.
  • Using the even harder hitting j.[C] in high-confidence situations from high up, or even while rising.
  • Air-to-Airing opponents with the upwards hitting j.B
  • Fishing for counterhits with the fast and horizontally ranged j.A.

In MUs where you are allowed to, become good friends with Moon Charge to for the enemy to approach if they are trying to play defensive back. Lifelead is something fairly important to consider as Kohaku, and once you've established it and the opposing character can't win by timeout, you will have a much easier time in games as you can comfortably charge for resources while tree covers you in case your opponent isn't throwing themselves at you.


Defensively, Kohaku has very little character-specific to offer.

Her defensive struggles are summed up by her...

  • having no meterless reversals.
  • having a terrible backdash which carries her a very small distance while having a long recovery period and underwhelming invulnerability frames, often getting her caught for just repositioning in neutral alone.
  • only non-AD grounded metered reversal of 214C being a gimmicky at best knowledge-check which experienced opponents will easily punish her for by shielding.
  • her Arc Drive, while competent, being fairly slow and expensive to perform.

As such, Kohaku has to rely on defensive fundamentals and system mechanics such as Heat, Shield, and Moon Drive.

As far as abare goes, Kohaku however has some fairly alright options in 5C and 2B, both hitting at frame 8 and specifically 5C possessing very solid range, being able to check somewhat far Rebeat resets and gaps. 5C's second hitbox, the twirl, will also often catch IAD resets, and 2B's first hitbox also hits high enough to hit IADs. In long range pressure situations such as against Powered Ciel, Kohaku can also make use of her fairly "fast for its range" 2C and 6BC to call out far 2Cs.

In Moon Drive, Kohaku does not have access to any particularly fast Moon Skills to abuse Clash Frames with. Your best bet will be 6BC, which at 9 frames (1 frame faster than normal due to Moon Drive), is not the most reliable to punish Moon Skill Clashes with, but can put in some work.

A special mention also goes out to j214C, which is a fully invulnerable air reversal that is surprisingly fast. While it is fairly risky and requires you to pass the 5 frames of jumpsquat, performing a TK j.214C can often catch a variety of attacks if they leave a gap big enough to perform it.


It can generally be said that Kohaku plays two very different pressure games with and without plant (22B/2BC) active. While the first is fairly typical melty pressure, the latter is where Kohaku gains access to fairly unreactable and unfuzzyable high/lows without the threat of retaliation (outside of Guard Cancel heat) thanks to plant holding the opponent in blockstun.

Pressure without Plant - Simple Flowchart

The following is a fairly easy Kohaku pressure flowchart which offers a simple and easy but still powerful pressure gameplan for Kohaku. Note that this is not the be-all-end-all, but rather just one of the many strategies you could employ.

MBTL Kohaku Pressure Fllowchart.png

Note that this gameplan is assuming you are using 2A > 2B > 2C as the starter of your BnB combo, as seen in the Combo Section. By the time you hit them with 2C you should be able to react to the fact that they are blocking.

The core of the flowchart lies in the ability to put your rebeat point in the same place every time; right after the 2C. Opponents are being denied the ability to reliably challenge the rebeat point at this point by the hefty and easy to perform frametrap caused by doing a delayed 2C~2C follow-up. If opponents try to challenge, you can simply frametrap, and then convert into a combo thanks to the counterhit. And if your hunch is wrong, you still end the blockstring safely (Only perform 236A~A if you are hitting them. The counterhit and 236A hit, especially with 236A's large cancel window, should offer plenty of time to react).

Once your opponent stops challenging the rebeat, the pressure plan unfolds. The following things are fairly common alternative responses players tend to have to the situation portrayed:

Response 1: Continue blocking

Counter: IAD j.B in to get close again. Then proceed to hitconfirm with a 2A > 2A on the ground. Most players will block the overhead - in this case, after the 2A > 2A, you can go for a grab if they are respectful, or go for one of Kohaku's large amount of frametraps, such as doing another 2A into 5B, 4BC, or simply doing a late normal after the 2A. Using grab a lot in this situation enables the use of frametraps, so do not underutilize them here! If your hunch is wrong and they don't challenge the frametrap, try ending with 2C so you can repeat the situation and try again.

Response 2: Jump Back

Counter: Performing IAD j.B after the rebeat will result in the j.B hitting them out of the air. If they are blocking in the air, Kohaku can even go for an AUB 5C and get a full Double Battou combo. Alternatively, 6BC > 236C will catch their jump.

Response 3: Backdash

Counter: While this heavily depends on the spacing and the opponent's backdash, the natural IAD j.B actually already punishes a couple of backdashes provided Kohaku was close! If Kohaku isn't close (like after doing 3 2As, or delaying the chaining of moves which pushes Koha a bit further), she can't punish, but continue pressuring backdashes by simply delaying her j.B a bit. This is thanks to Kohaku's long and variable duration airdash. And while the j.B won't punish, it will often hit between frame 1 to 6 of them being actionable, which punishes a lot of actions if they arent blocking. Alternatively, Backdash too is beaten by 6BC > 236C due to its large range and active frames.

Response 4: Delayed, IAD catching Challenge

Counter: 2C after the rebeat. You can auto-pilot after the 2C into a 5A and just "take" the knockdown for plant oki, or do 2C 9A~B, which will do 5A Rebeat on block and IAD on hit. 6BC > 236C also beats delayed challenges.

The "go-to route" is typically 2A > 2B > 2C > Rebeat 5A > IAD j.B > 2A ( > 2A, if you need it) > Grab. It's only when your opponent has given you a reason to not go for this route that you should bother doing something else, really.

Pressure without Plant - General Info

The situation you will find yourself in usually. Without plant, Kohaku still boasts a fairly strong pressure game, using a variety of her tricky and gimmicky specials to reset pressure and generate plus frames to keep attacking. In addition, Kohaku has access to a large amount of easy to setup frametraps, heavily punishing naive retaliation. Melty fundamentals apply, and below you can find various tools in Kohaku's toolbox to open people up with.

Safe blockstring enders:

  • Rebeat (Cancelling into 5A/2A after a C/B normal) will leave you -1 to -3, and is a fairly common blockstring ender to enter the usual melty rebeat resets. Rebeating after generating a lot of space (such as after letting 5C play out) can often be advantageous, as it will leave Kohaku in her preferred range outside of the opponent's typical strike range.
  • 236A will leave Kohaku -4 and generate a fairly high amount of space between you and the opponent after common blockstrings, often leaving Kohaku in a range she can strike from again using 236A or 2C provided the opponent doesn't have access to very fast, advancing moves or is simply respectful.
  • 22A, typically used in the corner or very early in blockstrings due to otherwise whiffing, will leave Kohaku plus, especially against standing opponents.
  • 2B and (late) 5B, leaving Kohaku -2 and -3 respectively. 2B in particular can be very jarring for opponents to end blockstrings with.
  • 6BC leaves Kohaku -2. Rarely used due to the resource cost.

Unique Resets:

  • 236[A], a feint, will leave Kohaku negative but comes with the advantage of being a special cancel, thus allowing Kohaku to cancel into it from her Rapid Beat series. Will also generally throw off opponents expecting 236A, allowing for greedy resets.
  • The entire Molotov Series (214A, B, each with their own follow-ups and 4BC) will generate plus frames if the opponent does not react and or is respectful enough, easily granting Kohaku a pressure reset. All variants which throw a Molotov are vulnerable to shield, so care must be taken, but mastering this move and its fakeout of the ~4A follow-up can generate very favorable situations for Kohaku.
  • 2BC, a slow overhead that only combos vs. crouchers and hits crouchers frame 35. Can work, but should be enjoyed with care, as it's easily reacted to once anticipated. Since it's a Moon Skill, it's a guaranteed punish if your opponent reacts and stand shields it, since there is no opportunity to BC counter or shield back.
  • 22B, the greediest reset as it will lead into a very long pressure sequence for Kohaku, but leaves her wide open. Most effective use comes in corner when Kohaku is also doing 22A, as the animation is similar, and whiff canceling into 236C as a frame trap to encourage waiting and blocking.


  • 2A > (small delay) > 5B. Small delay is not required if the 2As hit from outside point-blank range, such as when performing 2AAA > 5B.
  • RB2 > (small delay) > 236A. Particularly effective in catching opponents anticipating a feint.
  • C Normal/Rapid Beat Normal > 236[B]. Unlike the frametrap above, 236[B] is unsafe on block, but will often leave Kohaku at such a long range that she won't get punished anyways. Also becomes more effective when the feint also gets used.
  • 2C > 5C(1) Whiff > 5C(Twirl). Very jarring looking frametrap and requires somewhat specific spacing. Forward movement of the 5C Twirl will hit the opponent after a 2C, and leaves a 2 frame gap between 2C and the Twirl.
  • RB2 > 22A. Only really usable in corner, only a frametrap vs. crouchers. Part of Kohaku's excellent corner pressure. Using this frametrap will frequently cause opponents to respond with low shield, which Kohaku can exploit by doing 22B, 2BC instead or performing a 236[A] feint.
  • 4BC at very close range. Very vulnerable to shield, but fairly small gap and also leaves Kohaku plus.

Air approach blockstrings and j.C Pressure:

Kohaku has very powerful air blockstrings mostly enabled by her vertically disjointed j.C and j.[C]. To apply this pressure properly its important to note that rising aerials hit mid. A very common and powerful air blockstring Kohaku has is a triple overhead in the form of:

  • j.[C] > j.B > j.A

which can be fairly difficult to block. She can perform it off a superjump or off a double-jump cancel provided you are high enough, and as such has plenty of opportunities to run it, such as simply super jumping after an opponent after a pressure reset/safe blockstring ender to catch a backdash or get a triple overhead off someone respecting a lot.

  • j.AA

Is another fairly common one as it standing opponents will have to block two overheads, while on crouchers the first j.A will hit late and the second j.A will not come out at all. While these two are pretty fundamental ones, mix and match your overheads to throw off the opponent's timing for big results.

Corner 22A Pressure Loop:

If the opponent finds themselves in a corner position, Kohaku has access to a powerful "pressure loop" exploiting the plus frames gained by 22A. You can perform it by going into the Rapid Beat Series and the cancelling into 22A (RB1 > RB2 > 22A). This will have the aforementioned frametrap, but will also leave Kohaku plus, even against crouching opponents. Immediately performing 5C afterwards will result in it hitting frame 7 (due to Kohaku being +1) at a distance that is fairly hard to contest for most characters at that speed. Kohaku can then let the 5C play out as a way to hitconfirm, and in case they are blocking, cancel the 5C at the end of the twirl into another RB1 > RB2 > 22A. You can loop this as many times as you want until your opponent reacts with a defensive option such as shielding the 22A frametrap, which is a response you can exploit by placing down a 22B plant and then going for a grab/strike or going into the feint instead. As an alternative to 5C after 22A you can also go into 2C > 5C > RB1 > RB2 > 22A, which is *another* aforementioned frametrap (2f gap between 2C and 5C twirl as 5C(1) whiffs) and hits low.

What to do after a Rebeat?:

While this is mostly melty fundamentals which will apply here, say you did some cool blockstring, and then did a rebeat 5Aw. What can Kohaku, generally, do now? This situation generally goes two ways: either you try to counterhit/catch your opponent's aggression, or you cash-in on them being respectful/trying to jump out.

To deal with aggression after a Rebeat:

  • Keep tabs on the spacing and generally try to rebeat outside their threat range, but within Kohaku's threat range (e.g. 2C/236A)
  • Immediately strike back with 2C/5C for a counterhit provided their counterpoke is slow enough
    • 2C in particular is good for this because you can, if you want to, fully focus on the heavy knockdown and ignore hitconfirming to go into another 5A Rebeat > Dashup 22B. So something like Blockstring > Rebeat > 2C > Rebeat > Dashup 22B if hit, another 2C > Rebeat if blocked (or something else!)
  • forward jump > j[C] to avoid their counterpoke (provided it isnt something like kouma 3C) and punish the recovery of the whiffed button with a powerful starter

To make the most out of respectful opponents after a Rebeat:

  • Super Jump Triple Overhead
  • Run up > Grab
  • Run up > Strike to reset into another blockstring

Misc Tips:

  • The Rapid Beat Series greatly moves Kohaku forward and is a great way to "tune" your distance after ending/resetting your blockstring with a special, especially using the feint to be closer in grab range.
  • Knowing the ranges of your opponent is key, as in some MUs Kohaku will prefer to end her blockstrings closer or further away. Make sure to generally end your blockstrings in a range Kohaku controls, not the opponent, to make maximum use of her range.
  • Due to the nature of Kohaku's plant pressure, netting a grab is a fairly high-reward situation for Kohaku, unlike for most characters. Make sure to in cooperate grabbing into your gameplan with a higher priority than usual!

Pressure with Plant

Thanks to the plant oppressing the opponent, Kohaku now gets to make full use of her arsenal without having to worry about silly things such as gaps in her blockstrings which opponents could shield through or even hitconfirming. As a result of this, if performed right, Kohaku can run high/low mixups that can barely be reacted to nor fuzzy blocked. While the sky is the limit as far as your creativity goes, below are some appetizers - if you please, you could just exclusively run these, because they can very well be considered 50/50s.

From IAD: j[C] Fakeout 2A / dj j[C] Mix:

Easy to execute, powerful universal screen position high/low

IAD > (j[C] > 2A) OR (dj. j[C])

How to perform:

  1. IAD (9 > 66/Dash Macro)
  2. Perform j[C] into immediate landing 2A for a low OR simply do an immediate double jump j.[C] for a high

So how does this work?

Doing j[C[ after an IAD makes Kohaku land on the ground without a hitbox. You can then do 2A afterwards to hit for a low. Starting from the first frame of j[C], the 2A will hit after 20 frames - not unreactable, but pretty hard to react considering the mental stack.

If you instead, however, perform an immediate double jump j[C], the j[C] will hit for an overhead on the exact same frame the j[C] > 2A would've - Frame 20. This makes this setup unfuzzyable - they are forced to guess, or react. With the latter being exceptionally difficult considering Kohaku can also just opt in to delay the entire setup thanks to her variable airdash length, or go for something else entirely like a simple j.A overhead.

TIP: It can be a bit hard on the execution to get the 2A out ASAP after landing with a charged jC without accidentally letting C go and having the jC come out. It can be helpful to just hold C down, even well after landing, and then pressing 2A.

From Double Jump (IAD height): dj j.[C] follow-up mix:

When you need another high/low after your first high/low

dj > j[C] > (j.A > j.A) OR (land 2a)

How to perform:

  1. Double Jump cancel an aerial from around IAD height
  2. immediately input j[C]
  3. land and input 2A OR cancel the j[C] into j.A > j.A

Typically done of the overhead option of the Fakeout/No Fakeout mix or after generally just cancelling a blocked air normal into a dash at roughly IAD height, yet another high low scenario that's unfuzzyable and fairly hard to react to.

If you pick the high option, being the j[C] > j.A > j.A, the second j.A will hits 18f after the j[C]. If you however pick the low option and simply land, the 2a hits after 19f.

Depending on the plant and the circumstance there is a chance that the plant mightve run out by the time you get to go for the 2A, leaving a small gap for the opponent to, for example, backdash. Beware!

It's important to note that these can be done off a variety of scenarios. Especially off triple-overhead blockstrings (sj > j[C] > jB > jA) you can often just cancel the jB into an airdash, which allows you to run the Fakeout mix, which you can then cancel into double jump provided you did the jC, which (depending on the height) you can then convert into the jA > jA mix, or simply go for another triple overhead if you are too high!


Kohaku’s setplay mostly focuses on her plant oki, which typically begins after 236C or ground throw hard knockdowns. The default plant to use is 22B, often thrown after quickly dashing up to the downed opponent. 2B+C is also a good option, and if you delay dropping it you can occasionally catch your opponent off guard with the overhead on wakeup. Once the setup is in place, get creative with your mixups and make sure to vary your options.

Post 22B-Dashup: 4 Core Options

Below are 4 core options Kohaku can pick between to deal with just about anything the opponent may do on their wakeup.


Basic low strike that covers most of the options your opponent has but ends in the opponent's favor against the titular low shield.

Manually time your 2A to hit roughly around their wakeup and input it like this: 2A > D. If the opponent performs any invulnerable action, Kohaku will shield. If they get hit or block, the hitstop will prevent the shield from coming out. This allows us to cover more options at the same time.

KOHAKU WINS: High Shield, Strike, Grab, Jump, Heat, High Block, DP (Depends on your timing. The closer to meaty you are hitting your 2A the more likely you are to shield it!)


OPPONENT ADVANTAGE: Low Shield, Moon Drive Activation

OPPONENT WINS: Charged Heat, EX DP (If you are a god and perfectly, manually time your 2A to hit meaty, the OS will still beat it, but you are probably not a god.)

Your go-to option, usually, as it covers most things your opponent can do. A common response to this Option is low shield, which is beaten by Option 2.


Deals with low shield while also still covering wakeup aggression, but now loses against high shield.

Simply strike them with 5B on their wakeup, or go even harder and perform a true overhead by doing IAD (Instant Air Dash) j.A. The timing on this doesn't even have to be meaty - just do hit them before the tree does.

KOHAKU WINS: Low Shield (if IAD j.A), Low Block (if IAD j.A), Strike, Grab, Jump

KOHAKU ADVANTAGE: Low Shield (if 5B), Low Block (if 5B), High Block

OPPONENT ADVANTAGE: High Shield, Moon Drive Activation

OPPONENT WINS: EX DP, DP, Heat, Charged Heat

As you can tell, 5B is a "soft" call-out for low shield that merely disables it and lets Kohaku run her pressure, while IAD j.A completely blows it up, as its a proper overhead. So why 5B? The Answer: IAD j.A is technically reactable. Attentive players with good reactions will just be able to high shield on reaction depending on the circumstance and mental stack. 5B on the other hand cannot be reacted to. Additionally, 5B generally leaves you safer with more benefits (such as being able to true punish a Shield > BC with another BC). Pick whichever one the situation calls for.

If you want to deal with Heat/Charged Heat as well, you can space the 5B in a way that you will still hit them, but avoid getting hit by Heat. This will typically require you to already be spaced when the knockdown happens, so this is mostly something for midscreen. All you have to do in that situation is slightly walk back after, for example, a 236C to space yourself so you only hit with the tip of 5B, use charged plant 22[B] to still cover backdash and the usual, and then 5B. If done right, the 5B still hits a crouching shielding player, but is so far away that heat doesn't touch you. You won't hit meaty with either of them, but it should be close enough that any major actions get punished by 5B.

But now we've just traded losing to one shield for the other. Is there a way to deal with both, and maybe even blocking in general?

OPTION 3: Grab

Deals with blocking, both shields and Moon Drive Activation (with meaty timing) at the cost of losing to wakeup aggression.

Just grab them with either meaty timing to deal with Moon Drive Activation/Shield or late timing to win against blocking aswell as Shielding.

KOHAKU WINS: Moon Drive Activation (~Meaty Timing only), High Shield, Low Shield, High Block, Low Block



OPPONENT WINS: Heat, Charged Heat, Jump, Strike, Grab, DP, EX DP

The last piece in the Kohaku Okizeme puzzle to really make an opponent's head hurt. This Option will beat all defensive options and thus encourage offensive options which get beaten by most other options. Mind that the opponent is throw invulnerable for the first 8 frames of their wakeup and that the timing you can throw a blocking opponent can be very tight if you immediately performed 22B after a dash-up (3 Frames!).

To make this timing even easier, consider half-charging (holding the B input of 22B for a bit, but not for long enough that 22[B] comes out) the tree so that you drop it slightly later, artifically increasing the gap between the opponent's wakeup and 22B hitting them, granting you more time to throw.

The core disadvantage of this option is that Kohaku will not be able to go into another 22B if she grabs someone, as the plant-lockout will still be active when it's time to drop another plant. In this situation Kohaku will have to opt for more traditional Okizeme which is also listed below.

At last, how does Kohaku deal with EX DPs and Charged Heat?

OPTION 4: Taking a bit of distance

Deals with EX DPs, DPs, Heat, Charged Heat, but leaves an opening for the opponent to escape by jumping aswell as generally just getting a free shield.

Whether that be by walking backwards, backdashing or super jumping over them. Simply move out of strike/grab range and chill for a moment.

KOHAKU WINS: EX DP, DP, Heat, Charged Heat, Strike, Grab

KOHAKU ADVANTAGE: High Block, Low Block

OPPONENT ADVANTAGE: High Shield, Low Shield, Moon Drive Activation

OPPONENT WINS: Jump (Opponent escapes)

A very specific call-out, but one that you should definitely enforce, especially if the opponent has an EX DP or anything else thats invulnerable and hurts you. What this option obviously gives up is that the opponent can now escape by jumping out of the plant, and that the opponent now gets a free, uncontested shield either way.

Rotating between these 4 Options based on your opponent's habits and really getting into their heads is Kohaku's greatest advantage and a core piece of her gameplan, as successfully doing so will allow you to completely steamroll an opponent.

Post 22B-Dashup: Misc. Setups and More

OPTION 5: Molotov Crossup

Completely unreactable cross-up that also leaves Kohaku invulnerable - a hard call-out version of Option 4. Important Counterplay vs. Saber's Avalon.

Dash up, place a plant down, and immediately perform 214B. This will make Kohaku cross-up with the opponent provided you were at least +15 after placing a plant down - which can be somewhat tight, but is still lenient. Perform your dash, place your plant and then perform 214B ASAP one after the other! A hard call-out version of Option 4 which sacrifices some flexibility but gains the input-breaking tendencies of cross-ups. Completely unreactable due to the cross-up happening frame 15.

KOHAKU WINS: EX DP, DP, Heat, Charged Heat, Strike, Grab

KOHAKU ADVANTAGE: High Block, Low Block

OPPONENT ADVANTAGE: High Shield, Low Shield, Moon Drive Activation

OPPONENT WINS: Jump (Opponent escapes)

If the opponent shields, you can typically perform a late molotov-drop follow-up which will carry Kohaku too far for a shield BC to hit. This doesn't mean that they cant just press a button after the B+C, but it does make the timing for it all a bit awkward, since if they B+C a bit too late, Koha will have recovered by the time they get to press a button after the B+C - so the worst youll typically have to fear is a shield B. If they block, you are still plus if you just perform an empty 214B. Alternatively you can perform to slow double molotov follow-up where she steers backwards to enforce plus-frames and a close position, or perform the empty steer back for a jumping strike. Generally, less time to take advantage of plant pressure than just staying back a bit.

So why bother with this? Because it breaks inputs. This is specifically useful against Saber's Avalon, which would typically force Kohaku to cease 22B okizeme, and will cause her to instead perform her 236BC, which Kohaku can easily avoid by just steering backwards. For other characters, with for example 623 inputs, this will also cause them to not get that input and just get hit by plant. (Unless they are using the double-side OS, but in that case they will still just whiff and you get a punish.)

Dashing up and performing a superjump will be too slow to cross-up requiring 19 frames, as such 214B is preferred.

Anti-DP "OS"

How to be safe from DPs while not forfeiting to Shield

Let's be real here, manually timing the 2A > Shield OS to catch DPs, especially EX ones, is very tough. But constantly not doing anything (Option 4) will often let your opponent get a free shield. Is there a way to both be safe from the DP menace in a relatively consistent fashion, but not forfeiting to shield?

The answer is: Yes! Simply do the following things:

  1. Dash up as usual
  2. Half Charge (Hold the B Input, but not long enough for 22[B] to come out) 22B or manually delay a normal 22B input.
  3. Hold down back for a few frames (10 ~ 12)
  4. 2A / 5B / Grab

By delaying the 22B plant (either by half charging it or manually delaying it, though I recommend a half charge since it makes it more ambiguous), 22B will now hit the opponent even later on their wakeup. This gives Kohaku time to hold back for a few frames, which will block any wakeup DPs, and then input her Option, 2A for blowing up high-shield, 5B for blowing up low shield or grab for blowing up shielders, blockers, and teching opposing grabs. If you have blocked a DP, 2A/5B/Grab won't come out and you can go for a punish, and if you haven't blocked a DP, 2A/5B/Grab will still hit the opponent before the 22B plant, allowing you to prevent a free shield!

Grab in particular comes with the added benefit of teching the grab of your opponent if they feel like they can get away with it. The timing is a bit tight - 5 frames to be exact. You'd want to input grab as soon as frame 8 of your opponent's wakeup, but no later than frame 12. Any later will have you fail the grab tech, if they have done one. As a tip: While 236C has variable frame advantage, the amount of time it takes for the opponent to be actionable starting with their getup animation is always the same! As such, try to "react" to them getting up and starting your timing from that point, as that will always be 100% consistent in length, compared to the crumple animation.

There are some setbacks to this strategy, however. Namely, not hitting meaty means the opponent can technically do wild stuff like perform an immediate jump out. Additionally, an opponent could technically just delay their DP by 10 frames or so to deal with this. However, both of these things would come with great risk for the opponent, which makes performing these actions fairly unattractive unless they are really looking to call you out.

Overall, against characters with a DP, it isn't too unwise to make this your "go-to".

Dealing with Fuzzy Jump Shield

A short piece on how to deal with a popular anti-22B OS, Fuzzy Jump Shield.

To cover as many options as possible, some opponents will seek to Fuzzy Jump Shield Kohaku's 22B situation. More info here.

How can you, a Kohaku player, deal with this? The answer is pretty simple: Slightly delay your strike and don't hit meaty. This will cause the opponent to get hit during their jumpsquat or the time they spend not blocking, and for you to get a combo into another 22B situation.

Not hitting meaty can come with a few consequences, such as becoming more vulnerable to wakeup mash. A well spaced 5B can deal with this threat and still catch their jumpsquat, but will still lose to the now-un-OSable DP. As an alternative, you can time your 22B plant-drop in such a way that it doesn't quite hit meaty, but hits the opponent during the time they'd jumpsquat. You can do this by skipping the dash-up and instead simply microwalk for a few frames, then do 22B. Alternatively a slightly delayed 22[B] will also work.

Plantless Ground Throw

When you grab someone after having used plant recently, you will not be able to place another plant. In those situations, Kohaku will have to opt for more traditional oki.

236[A] Safejump:

Very easy and powerful safejump which even works against 5f DPs.

236[A] > 9 > delay > j.C

How to perform:

  1. Land Ground Throw
  2. Perform 236[A], the faint
  3. Perform a forward jump (9)
  4. Delay j.C so it hits when you are about to land

The ease of this safejump comes from the fact that everything can be buffered for quite a while. 236[A] may be input at the end of the Ground Throw animation to leverage the generous special input buffer frames, while timing the forward jump to happen immediately just requires you to hold 9 during the 236[A] animation. Once you are in the air, all that is left to do is to input j.C when you are about to land and hold back when you land, as per usual of safejumps.

For this, you get the usual safejump benefits: automatically blocking DPs, and this one even includes 5F EX ones. If you want to be really fancy you can then input D when your j.C would've locked you in hitstop to OS and automatically perform shield on the ground - which would shield all DPs, Heat, and if you hold the shield, charged heat. This is an advantage the safejab lacks, for example, due to whiff penalty.

Double Jump Safejump:

Easy and consistent to perform safejump that will even block 5F EX DPs

8 > j.Aw > 9 > j.Aw > delay j.C

How to perform:

  1. Land Ground Throw
  2. Perform a vertical Jump (8)
  3. j.A
  4. Perform a forwards double jump (9)
  5. j.A
  6. Delay j.C

Everything must happen immediately one after the other with the exception of j.C, which has to be delayed by a small amount of time, since doing it too early will have it miss the opponent. The timing on the j.C however is very lenient. The ease of this setup comes from the fact that a ton of it can be buffered with a fairly generous window - to get the first vertical jump, you can simply hold 8 during the Ground Throw animation and it will immediately jump as soon as it can. Then you can buffer the j.A during jumpsquat to get it as early in the jump as possible, and then during that animation hold 9 to buffer the double jump forwards + j.A at the same time. All that's left is doing j.C in a way that it will have the hitbox active on your opponent's wakeup. The most difficult part is timing the second j.A to happen immediately after your double jump - so basically doing it at the same time, but this is another thing you can just buffer during the animation of the first j.Aw.

For this, you get the usual safejump benefits: automatically blocking DPs, and this one even includes 5F EX ones. If you want to be really fancy you can then input D when your j.C would've locked you in hitstop to OS and automatically perform shield on the ground - which would shield all DPs, Heat, and if you hold the shield, charged heat. This is an advantage the safejab lacks, for example, due to whiff penalty.

Autotimed 2A Meaty:

Practically autotimed setup to meaty someone with 2A ("safejab").

5Aw > 5C > 2A OS

How to perform:

  1. Land Ground Throw
  2. Input 5A
  3. Immediately input 5C, whiff cancelling your 5A into it.
  4. 2A. Preferably the OS associated with it.

Provided you are doing everything as soon as possible, the 2A will automatically hit the opponent meaty. If you then perform the classic 2A > D OS, you will be able to shield even EX DPs alongside the usual DPs and Heat. A perfect meaty like this also allows you to shield any Moon Skill provided you clash with one on the opponent's wakeup. Other than that you can also use this setup to "meaty" someone with your grab if you are reading a Moon Drive Activation, or generally go for grounded mix. Even if you are fumbling the input, the worst that will happen is that the 2A will hit a bit too late, which sure, loses the ability to OS EX DPs, but the other benefits remain.

McDonalds Left/Right:

Easy to perform Left/right except its either pretty seeable or has Kohaku land at a disadvantage and is also manually timed

9 > Air Dash > Delay > 8 (+ Drift 4/6) OR 9

How to perform:

  1. Land Ground Throw
  2. Perform a forwards jump
  3. Immediately Airdash
  4. Delay for a variable amount of time
  5. Perform a vertical double jump and then drift Left/Right to determine where you will land (in addition to your delay timing determining that) OR Perform a double jump forwards to land behind or in front based on your delay timing (dj early to land in front)

Kohaku does not have access to a "true" Left/right off her Ground Throw, so you are getting the fairly scuffed version. The one with the vertical double jump can be very ambiguous but comes with the downside that Kohaku's 2A will typically hit on frame 7 of the opponents wakeup - technically letting them mash you out and take their turn. If you delay less, you will always land same side, but typically at a timing where you will hit meaty or close to meaty.

The one with the forwards double jump will almost always land behind them with enough time for Kohaku to meaty with 2A provided you had at least a little bit of delay. With even less delay, Kohaku will land in front, but so early that performing 2A right after will whiff the opponent because they are still waking up.

So with Kohaku's only consistent way of getting a proper meaty 2A side-switch being a forward double jump, and same-side being the vertical one, and you suddenly have a pretty obvious tell for the opponent which side you are picking. This will still work against plenty of low and mid-level players, however. So go nuts there.

Against more high-level players your best bet is the vertical one, and then mixing your drift + delay in a way that will make the opponent think you are landing cross-up, letting them think they can mash you out, while you are actually landing same side with a frame advantage, beating their mash. Unless you do the vertical jump with not a lot of delay however, the manual timing of this setup will make it very, very hard to OS just about anything that isn't standard heat. Overall, your are trading mix for safety, which depending on the situation can be just what you need.

More Specific Setups

This section is work in progress and needs to be integrated with the rest of the page.

Knockdown Advantages

Move Advantage
Combo ender 236C +64, +68, +72, ...
214C ?
236BC +83
Ground Throw +62
Air Throw ?
j214C ?

Common Frame Kills & Misc. Durations

Action Duration
5A(wc) -9
5A -17
2B -32
22B -34
22[B] -44
Moon Charge -23
Jump -43
Super Jump -44
Instant Air Dash -49
Heat ?
Charged Heat ?

Advantage on Opponent Tech/No Tech

Action Advantage
236A > No Tech ?
236A > Neutral Tech ?
236A > Forward Tech ?
236A > Backwards Tech ?
6BC > No Tech ?
6BC > Neutral Tech ?
6BC > Forward Tech ?
6BC > Backwards Tech ?
(Charged) Heat > No Tech ?
(Charged) Heat > Neutral Tech ?
(Charged) Heat > Forward Tech ?
(Charged) Heat > Backwards Tech ?

TODO: List all setups, set up table with:

  • Location (corner/midscreen/anywhere)
  • General option coverage (what is it safe against)
  • Options for mix


Knockdown advantage from 236C depends on combo proration. The more prorated the combo, the less advantageous the knockdown. You can place 22B after the knockdown to figure out the proration - if it hits 9, 8, or 7 times, the advantage is +64, +68, or +72 respectively.

If the combo is not very prorated, the advantage can be greater than +72; if the combo is techable (not a true combo), the advantage can be as low as +61, but these are uncommon situations.

236C knockdown (+64)

You can check if your combo leads to this knockdown by buffering 22B after 236C and checking if it hits 9 times.

  • 22B, IAD j.C

236C knockdown (+68)

You can check if your combo leads to this knockdown by buffering 22B after 236C and checking if it hits 8 times.

This tends to be the most common and also least convenient proration for autotimed frame kill setups.

236C knockdown (+72)

You can check if your combo leads to this knockdown by buffering 22B after 236C and checking if it hits 7 times.

  • 22B into IAD j.X whiff, 2A/throw or IAD delay j.B
    • j.B is the easiest air normal to use for the meaty, since j.A only hits crouchers for one frame (even though it has 4 active frames in total), j.B hits for all 3 of its active frames, and j.C only has 2 active frames before landing.
  • 22[B], IAD j.B

Any knockdown

These will generally be manually timed.

  • Dash 22B/22[B], 2A/IAD j.A/5C/throw

Air throw

End a combo with 22A, sj j.BA/j.AA, air throw.

  • Delay superjump, j.C on landing
    • The window to delay the super jump is wide
    • Safejumps 4f invincible moves, with 1 frame active, 2 frames recovery after wakeup. (The fastest invincible move in the game at the time of writing has its first active frame on frame 5.)
    • Replacing j.C with j.B can lead to slightly more damage on hit, since it won't SMP j.[C] in the punish combo. However, j.B can be low-profiled by attacks on wakeup.
  • Immediate dj 66, j.[C] whiff, 2A, 2AD
    • Safejabs 5f DPs

Ground throw (+62)

  • 22B, IAD j.B
    • Safejumps 6f DPs.
  • 236[A], 9, dl j.C
    • Safejumps 5f DPs.
    • You can whiff j.Aw as soon as possible when beginning the jump to recover one frame faster, though this setup already safejumps the fastest DPs in the game.
  • 8, j.Aw, 9djc, j.Aw, dl j.C
    • The j.Aw causes you to land 1f earlier so that landing recovery is completed in time to block 5f DPs.
    • Leaves you further away than the 236[A] frame kill.

236A/6BC soft knockdown


The Game
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Hisui & Kohaku
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