Samurai Shodown 3/Galford

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ガルフォード=D=ウェラー, Galford D. Weller
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Introduction

Galford travels Japan extolling the virtues of truth, justice and the American Way. He does this by practicing a fundamentally Japanese martial art while also being really loud and obnoxious about it.

Galford is an odd character. His ninja buttons don't lend themselves to footsies very well despite their utility, and he’s rather flighty in the neutral -- he doesn’t take well to sitting still. What he does have across the board, however, is great mobility, solid projectiles, a grounded combo escape option, and a strong command throw with a numerous ways to set it up.

Slash has Galford attack with his ninja dog Poppy, giving him access to a variety of attacks using her as a projectile to cover several angles. Plasma Dog in particular can be used as a meaty allowing for damaging command throw setups. For more traditional long-range needs, he also has a “regular” fireball with good travel speed. Sadly, none of these things are good enough to make up for most of his projectiles simply not being good and his combos being situational at best. Slash Galford is left feeling underwhelming and gimmicky as a result.

Bust Galford puts Poppy on maternity leave, losing all attacks that utilized her talents. He instead is retooled to play like a more aggressive Hanzo with 3rd Strike Ken hitconfirms. He can combo off of all of his worthwhile normals and has some very active special moves, making his midrange poking game much more threatening and rewarding. He even at long last gets a true counterpart to the Slinky that enables command throw okizeme and all sorts of related setups. If Hanzo was a bit too tricky and not direct enough for your tastes, give this all-American himbo ninja a shot.

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Amazing mobility and access to a combo breaker
  • Slash's command grab hurts a lot and has a few good setups
  • Bust can confirm into great damage and positioning off of any stray hit
  • Weak footsies and defense
  • Slash is very gimmicky and has few worthwhile combos
  • Bust struggles to meaningfully open up patient opponents

Stats

Damage taken Rage rate Rage duration Throw startup Deflect advantage Deflect disadvantage modifier
110% 75% 3.5 sec 14f +22 ±0

Normal Moves

Far Slashes

5A
  • (Properties) - Air unblockable. Deflectable. Cancellable.
  • (Description) - A quick low commitment slash. Your best footsies button due to its quick startup and recovery.
5B
  • (Properties) - Air unblockable. Deflectable. Cancellable.
  • (Description) - Your fastest, longest range button. Sadly marred by long, punishable recovery on whiff. You can combo reliably into your Technique's combo tool of choice from even full range, making it your ideal poke if it can hit them.
5C
  • (Properties) - Air unblockable. Deflectable.
  • (Description) - Sort of like 5B but stronger. Very slightly slower, but not by much. Still ridiculously fast for a heavy.
2A
  • (Properties) - Air unblockable. Deflectable.
  • (Description) - A fast downward swipe. Not extremely useful.
2B
  • (Properties) - Air unblockable. Deflectable. Cancellable.
  • (Description) - 2A but with a little more startup and a little more recovery. Oh, and a cancel window.
2C
  • (Properties) - Hits low. Air unblockable. Cancellable. Deflectable.
  • (Description) - This right here is the good stuff. The right stuff. One of the fastest heavies in the game, featuring long range, and even a cancel window for funny gimmicks. Use this as a punish tool, neutral tool when whiff cancelled into 236S, and combo tool in back hits. When in doubt, press this.

Near Slashes

n.5A
  • (Properties) - Air unblockable. Deflectable.
  • (Description) - A swipe. Not very remarkable or useful, but still functions as a panic button. Misses when directly point blank.
n.5B
  • (Properties) -Air unblockable. Deflectable. Cancellable.
  • (Description) - n.5A with a cancel window. Still fast, but allows combos. Very good button.
n.5C
  • (Properties) - Air unblockable. Deflectable.
  • (Description) - Similar to 5C in that its a slightly slower, stronger version of n.5B without a cancel window. Still super fast for a heavy, and surprisingly okay range.
n.2A
  • (Properties) - Air unblockable. Deflectable.
  • (Description) - Same as 2A.
n.2B
  • (Properties) - Air unblockable. Deflectable. Cancellable.
  • (Description) - Same as 2B.
n.2C
  • (Properties) - Hits low. Air unblockable. Cancellable. Deflectable.
  • (Description) - Same as 2C.

Overheads

5BC
  • (Properties) - Hits high. Air blockable.
  • (Description) - A very "unique" overhead, to say the least. Galford does an incredibly fast flip kick (5f!) with deceptive long range. The usual 5BC characteristics of absurdly unsafe on standing hit or block and safe on crouching hit apply. Can be used as a strange directly vertical anti air due to its vertical range and speed.
u.5BC
  • (Properties) - Hits high.
  • (Description) - Same as 5BC.

Kicks

5D
  • (Properties) -
  • (Description) - A vertical kick. Can be used as an anti air, but not to great effect due to its slow speed and awkward hitbox. It cannot hit grounded opponents.
6D
  • (Properties) - Hits low.
  • (Description) - A spinning low kick. Knocks down on hit.
2D
  • (Properties) - Hits low.
  • (Description) - Your other panic button. Great range and speed.
3D
  • (Properties) - Hits low.
  • (Description) - A standard sweep.

Jumping Normals

j.A
  • (Properties) - Hits high.
  • (Description) - An aerial version of n.5A.
j.B
  • (Properties) - Hits high.
  • (Description) - A quick horizontal slash. An amazing air to air.
j.C
  • (Properties) - Hits high.
  • (Description) - A downward slash with great horizontal and vertical range and priority. Your best jump in. Nailing a deep hit with this lets you combo into 2C.
j.D
  • (Properties) - Hits high.
  • (Description) - A downward jumping kick. Faster than j.C, but not a strictly better jump in.

Dashing Normals

66A
  • (Properties) - Air unblockable. Deflectable.
  • (Description) - A running version of 5A. As with other 66A moves, it does lots of hitstun on back hit. Confirm into your Technique's n.5B combo afterwards.
66B
  • (Properties) - Air unblockable. Hits low. Knocks down.
  • (Description) - A running version of 2C. Not quite as committal on whiff.
66C
  • (Properties) - Unblockable. Knocks down.
  • (Description) - A standard universal unblockable. Features cool sword twirling.
66D
  • (Properties) - Hits low. Knocks down.
  • (Description) - A running version of 2D. Good range, but long recovery period and few active frames.

Unarmed Normals

u.5S
  • (Properties) - Air unblockable. Cancellable.
  • (Description) - A mid range punch. Bust Galford gets to combo this into 6AB and get the stun. Fun stuff.
u.2S
  • (Properties) - Air unblockable. Cancellable.
  • (Description) - A crouching version of u.5S. Slightly better on block, but worse on whiff and has fewer active frames.
uj.S
  • (Properties) - Hits high.
  • (Description) - A jumping version of u.5S.
u.66S
  • (Properties) - Air unblockable. Cancellable.
  • (Description) - A running version of u.5S. Surprisingly mostly safe on block, which is nice.

Command Moves

- 「Sankaku Tobi」 - j.3/6/9 near wall
  • (Description) - Galford's wall jump. May be useful for escaping the corner.
- 「Stardust Drop」 - j.4/6C (can be used unarmed)
  • (Description) - Air throw. Pretty much the same as Hanzo's air throw, meaning it's the ace up your sleeve for air-to-air battles. It also means you need to do this when really close to your opponent.

Special Moves

Universal

- 「Shadow Copy」 - 641236A/B (can be used unarmed)
  • (Description) - Galford's version of the shadow clone mixup teleport, and sadly not as safe as Hanzo's equivalent. 641236A will have Galford appear on the left side of the screen, and 641236B has him appear on the right. After 12 frames of startup, Galford disappears and two images of him swap places a few times before he appears in his chosen destination. There is a vulnerable recovery period of 19 frames where he can be punished for doing this, but the opponent will need to have a good read or a good guess to hit him for it. It's largely a gimmick, but maybe you can catch them off guard once or twice.
- 「Replica Attack」 - 63214AC/BD (can be used unarmed)
  • (Properties) - Hits high. Knockdown. Air blockable.
  • (Description) - Attack teleport where Galford comes crashing down from the sky either in front of or behind the opponent. 63214AC is in front, 63214BD is behind. This is fairly reactable as far as "mixups" go, but it's completely invincible starting on frame 1 unlike Hanzo's version, and is notably faster than it as well. This lets it feasibly punish some slower projectiles from anywhere on a read or reaction. On hit or block, Galford can hold left/right to bounce in the chosen direction, potentially making punishes a bit trickier for the opposition. Don't rely on this move too much, because the risk heavily outweighs the reward.
- 「Imitate Replica」 - AC/BD when hit (can be used unarmed)
  • (Properties) - Hits high. Knockdown. Air blockable.
  • (Description) - Replica attack but done during grounded hitstun -- the Log Trick. Press AC/BD during hitstun from a weapon attack, dizzy, or when knocked down to teleport out Naruto style and retaliate. As with Replica Attack, AC has Galford attack from in front and BD attacks from behind. It’s pretty easy to see coming and block, though just like with Replica Attack, Galford can choose a direction to bounce and make punishes more challenging. It’s obviously risky, but a way to potentially escape back hit combos or stun punishes is something most characters wish they had.

Slash

- 「Plasma Blade」 - 236S (can be used unarmed)
  • (Properties) - Air blockable.
  • (Description) - Your usual medium-commitment projectile to control horizontal space -- pretty quick for a SamSho projectile, really. It doesn't knock down unless it hits from behind, instead doing a lot of hitstun. This makes it surprisingly okay in some combos, too. Heavier versions travel faster and have longer recovery.
- 「Rolling Crash」 - 623C (can be used unarmed)
  • (Properties) - Unblockable. Knockdown.
  • (Description) - A fairly damaging command grab. Your play will likely revolve around landing this. It leaves you right next to your opponent with a lot of time to set up a mixup. Unfortunately, because of how the move works, using this immediately after sending Poppy out will halve the damage because she won't do her part. Your stage positioning after it lands also isn’t consistent, so you may occasionally give up the corner if you use it. This move also features throw invulnerability on its active frame to help potentially get you the edge in a roundstart command throw trade. You take what you can get with this character.
- 「Rush Dog」 - 214A (can be used unarmed)
  • (Properties) - Knockdown.
  • (Description) - "Hey, Poppy!" The classic Poppy attack, where she runs forward and headbutts the opponent. Knocks down on hit and sends the opponent a good distance backwards. It's quicker to start up than Plasma Blade, but he stands there pointing for quite a while. You don't get much off of this, but a good trade once in a while never hurt.
- 「Machine Gun Dog」 - 214B (can be used unarmed)
  • (Properties) - Knockdown.
  • (Description) - Slower Rush Dog that, rather than knocking the opponent down, locks them in place on hit. You don't get much time to follow up afterwards, and the attack's startup is fairly lengthy, so the most you get is a 2C more often than not. Not particularly useful.
- 「Replica Dog」 - 214C (can be used unarmed)
  • (Properties) - Hits high.
  • (Description) - Poppy can teleport too, I guess. Rather than run at the opponent head-on, Poppy teleports above them and falls down with a delayed overhead. Like Machine Gun Dog, the startup and recovery for Galford are both fairly lengthy and he can still get hit while pointing, so his possible shenanigans off of this are limited. It does a lot of hitstun if it manages to connect, so you can likely smack them with a 2C if close enough.
- 「Overhead Crush」 - 214D (can be used unarmed)
  • (Properties) - Hits high. Knockdown.
  • (Description) - A quick Poppy move, for once. Galford hops up and sends Poppy flying at the opponent, bouncing around like a pinball for a little while. Her hitbox remains active until she stops moving, as well. The only move that Slash can consistently combo into on front hit, and it's very useful for that alone. Thankfully it’s very consistent, as Poppy will always hit the opponent immediately when the move is cancelled into. This also makes it good at fishing for trades. The oki positioning afterwards isn’t great and the attack itself is fairly committal, leaving you open to a huge back hit if you miss, but it’s the best Slash has. And it’s an overhead for once.
- 「Plasma Dog」 - 214214A (can be used unarmed)
  • (Properties) - Knockdown.
  • (Description) - A funny move. It’s basically just Plasma Blade and Rush Dog thrown into a blender. In exchange for its long startup (noticing a pattern?), Galford can act almost immediately after Poppy takes off. It also comes with a significant amount of blockstun so you can snag them with Rolling Crash. This is probably his most generally useful tool for oki. But don’t be too quick to grab them or this will happen.
- WFT「Double Mega Strike Heads」 - 641236C/D
  • (Properties) - Hits high. Knockdown.
  • (Description) - Super gimmicky, what did you expect. Galford attacks from either in front (641236C) or behind (641236D), having a fake copy of himself in the other spot to trick them. Galford himself will appear slightly lower than the fake. It’s technically a left/right guess and quick enough to catch a whiff or a bad fireball, but the opponent can jump out or do pretty much whatever on reaction. The screen positioning also gives away which one is the real Galford. If they get out or simply block correctly, expect a punish. It’ll actually link off of a well timed Plasma Blade from fullscreen but that’s combo video stuff. Or maybe it's a super yomi fullscreen mixup.

Bust

- 「Plasma Break」 - 236S (can be used unarmed)
  • (Properties) - Air blockable.
  • (Description) - Looks superficially similar to Plasma Blade and has the same frame data, but after travelling a set distance it dissipates, leaving a lingering hitbox where it dissipated. Heavier versions will travel farther before dissipating. Like Plasma Blade, it deals a good chunk of hitstun rather than knocking down, but Bust is a lot better at capitalizing on these openings. The ability to leave out a lasting projectile hitbox forms the backbone of his entire okizeme game in the vein of Hanzo’s Baku’en Ryu.
- 「Plasma Factor」 - 6AB/3AB (can be used unarmed)
  • (Properties) - 6AB - Air unblockable. Knockdown. 3AB - Air unblockable. Hits low. Knockdown.
  • (Description) - Super cool electric heavy slash. 6AB is a mid, 3AB is a low. Both versions knock down, have a lot of active frames, and deal huge damage. It's not plus, but it feels quite safe on block at longer distances. Thanks to this, it can be a nice preemptive anti-air or a guard break if the opponent tries to chicken block your Plasma Break oki. Just be careful not to accidentally get a side step or circle step when trying to use this move.
6AB has a close version and a far version; the close version is faster, more active, and recovers quicker. Regardless of proximity, it's very good at beating abare. If close 6AB is crouch blocked, you get a free command grab at close range. 3AB comes out much faster, making it a staple in high-damage combos.
Like a lot of Galford’s moves, Plasma Factor can be used unarmed, becoming Plasma Fist. Unlike his other moves, its properties change when unarmed. It sacrifices range and the ability to hit low for quicker startup and even more damage -- unarmed 6AB twice in a row will combo as well as stun your opponent. He doles out these hands for Justice.
- 「Lightning Thrash」 - 623C
  • (Properties) - Air blockable. Knockdown.
  • (Description) - Lightning fast (heh) rushing kick with a canned slash follow-up that forces the opponent to get up with their back turned to you, allowing you to try and set up some okizeme. It sideswaps on hit, but it does good damage and combos out of basically everything, including f5B and 2B at max range. Thanks to a lack of recoil cancels, you have no reason to not buffer this off of any recoiling poke. A nice albeit risky punish when used raw if nothing else will come out in time. Be careful using this when you’re cornered, as the positioning can make the second hit whiff, leaving you open.
- 「Strike Heads」 - 623D (also from dash/can be used unarmed)
  • (Properties) - Unblockable. Knockdown.
  • (Description) - Strike Heads is a command grab that works similarly to Hanzo’s Mozu Otoshi, albeit with less damage. After the drop, Galford will separate from his opponent, but he stays closer to them than Hanzo. If the opponent wakes up into a lingering Plasma Break, snatch them out of blockstun with this. It also has a running version that carries his momentum through the animation and drags himself and his opponent forward slightly during the drop. Galford's incredible run speed means this is a potent threat from almost anywhere on the screen, especially during oki situations. It doesn’t do as much damage as Rolling Crush, and the running version is weaker still, but you’re not exactly starved for openings so it’s not a huge deal. It still features the same throw invulnerability on its active frame, too.
- WFT「Lightning Strike Three」 - 632146C
  • (Properties) - Air blockable. Knockdown.
  • (Description) - Really good and really fast WFT. It boasts high damage as far as WFTs are concerned and you can buffer it from just about any move where you’d normally buffer Lightning Slash. Again, no reason not to buffer it from every medium poke you throw out.

Strategy

Galford is a character with great mobility and projectiles in both Techniques, and to win you need to abuse both of them. With a walkspeed tied with Zankuro for fastest in the game and his wall jumps, you're in no short supply for movement options. Really the only strategy that carries over between Techniques is run around, whiff cancel 2C into 236S in neutral, and set up your guaranteed command grabs on block when you score a knockdown.

Slash

Slash is relegated to mainly controlling space with 236S and 214214A, and punishing mistakes with his uncomfortably high damage 623C command grab. 214214A allows Galford to move immediately after Poppy takes off, and she recovers from the hit quick enough to easily land a 2 hit 623C. This move is unique in that if Poppy is currently in recovery from a 214S move, or currently performing one of these moves, the grab will do much less damage and lead to a "soft knockdown" in which the opponent recovers much faster than normal.

Interestingly, both parts of this move are checked at separate times. Meaning you can start 623C, have Galford be flying to the wall, and if Poppy recovers in the middle of the animation, gain the second hit.

Sadly, any other poppy move than 214214A is nearly useless due to its incredibly long startup and recovery. However, quickly cancelling 2C into 214C sets up a sort of knowledge check situation. While Poppy will not hit the opponent as they get up due to, for once, the move being TOO fast, it will look like they're going to get hit, allowing you to get a free command grab on a scared opponent. If you do this, make sure you delay the grab by a very small amount to get the Poppy hit.

WFT

Slash's WFT is a very, very gimmicky move. As a mixup, it's lackluster and really should only be used as one for a hail mary ride-or-die move. The real strength of the move is it's fast startup and fullscreen presence. If used properly, you can punish fullscreen fireballs, running attacks, command grabs, and really anything you can think of. The side swapping version, 641236D, is also good for doing this up close. If you think they'll do a normal, you can quickly teleport behind them and punish. At the end of the day, however, the move is still very punishable on block and you can very much die from it. Proceed at own risk.

Bust

Bust plays like Hanzo with a much more direct approach. Thanks to 236S being changed from a standard projectile to leaving a lingering hitbox, Bust can set up guaranteed grabs easily on the opponent's wakeup or otherwise force unfavorable situations for them. Knock them down and toss out a hitbox, then move to preemptively cut off what escape action you think they'll take. His punish game and neutral are both bolstered by 3AB and 6AB, and he can get great damage off of any stray poke by comboing into 623C.

The nice thing about 236S oki is that if the opponent tries to chicken block, you can easily guard break them with your attack of choice. 623C doesn't give them a chance to chicken if you properly meaty afterwards, so get used to running oki off of this every time you land it -- you'll be landing it a lot. 6AB is great to catch jumps and chicken blocks if done preemptively, and it knocks them down so you can start the mixup all over again. Raw 623C to chase during Plasma Break oki will cover attempts to jump out and leave them directly in front of you if air blocked, where you can threaten a 623D if they don't mash. It's actually possible, though situational, to run under them while they're attempting to chicken block 236S and make the lingering Plasma Break hit cross up.

623C is the linchpin of your poking and front combo game. It combos off of nearly everything you could ask for, does great damage, and is your big oki starter. Sadly, it will sideswap and in the corner the second hit won't connect, but in those situations it can be substituted with 3AB. 623D is a command grab that works similar to Slash Hanzo's 623CD, in that it has a regular and running version, which does slightly less damage but will land from longer distances thanks to keeping his running momentum.

Bust's WFT essentially functions like 623C on steroids. Will once again connect off of anything (though not quite as reliably as 623C) and give you great damage for your troubles, and is what really makes you scary while in rage.

Combos

Slash

Front hit corner stun combo: 214B, 236S, 2C
I know it’s a combo that starts off Machinegun Dog, but it’s something! Doing this a second time will kill lower defense opponents.
Back hit ToD: n.5B n.5B 2C [stun] [circle step] n.5B n.5B xx 214D
Each link in the first string requires a microwalk to be able to land 2C. You must substitute 214D for 2C on high defense characters such as Shizumaru or Gaira. Timing is relatively strict overall.

Bust

Back hit ToD: n.5B n.5B xx 3AB [stun] n.5B xx 3AB
He doesn’t really need much else. n.5B reps still require microwalk, but far easier than Slash’s equivalent. Needs one more n.5B rep after the stun to kill high defense characters.
Low into WFT combo: 2D xx 632146C
This is thanks to Lightning Strike Three coming out ridiculously fast. Lightning Slash also works.
Unarmed stun ToD: u.5S xx 6AB [stun] 6AB 6AB
Uhhh yeah.

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