Samurai Shodown V Special/Mechanics

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  • If there is a cancel period on an attack, it always works, regardless of hit, block, or whiff.
  • Some normal slashes have a property where when blocked they will go into a recoil animation where the character holds his sword back. This recoil animation is almost always special cancelable. Very important!
  • If you use the console training mode, there will be a dot next to the character's name. This dot indicates if you can cancel or not.


  • Jumps have no startup, you are off the ground from frame one.
  • You can't hold the jump direction to rejump, there will be a short duration before it will recognize it. Instead, time the rejump to do it instantly.
  • When you land, there is a short landing animation. This is cancelable by any action.
  • If you are still in a jump attack animation just before you land, you will be considered grounded 2 frames before you land, meaning any hits that occur in those two frames will not air reset.
  • If you land a jumping attack in the two frames before landing, you will gain substantial bonus hitstun, letting you combo after. This is usually referred to as a deep jumpin.


Samurai Shodown V has a wide array of movement abilities available to the characters, and it's a good idea to get used to them all.

  • 66 - Dash
  • Dashes are your all-purpose forwards movement tool, hold 6 to dash further.
  • If you let go, there's a 3 frame grace period before you go into a recovery animation where you just stand there like a stump.
  • When not in the recovery animation, you can do a dash normal(66A, 66B, 66AB, or 66C) or jump.
  • During the entire dash, including the recovery, you can cancel into a special move, any hop, any roll, or weapon pickup.
  • If you do a cross under a jumping opponent and do a dash normal, you will instantly change direction and attack. This means that you can use dashes to confirm vs forward jumps, depending on how good your character's dash normals are.
  • 44 - Backdash
  • All backdashes have a small amount of startup invulnerability and set you airborne from the first frame. This is a great way to evade throw attempt on landing, since you'll just get out of the way.
  • During the airborne portion of the dash, you can cancel into air moves such as Shizumaru's umbrella fall, Yoshitora's Botan, or Kyoshiro's falling spin.
  • There is a short recovery period at the end of a backdash which is special cancelable.
  • 4D / 6D - Hops
  • Both hops immediately set you airborne. Additionally they have a fair amount of lower body invulnerability, 4D more than 6D.
  • When you land from the hop, there's one frame uncancelable, 3 frames cancelable only by throws, and then the remaining 3 frames cancelable by throws, specials, or weapon pickup.
  • 2D - Duck
  • Ducks make you lay very low on the ground and evade throws. This has a substantial amount of upper body invulnerability.
  • They are made up of three parts: The duck animation (21 frames), a special cancelable window (4 frames), and an uncancelable recovery (7 frames).
  • 1D / 3D - Rolls
  • Rolls all have a few frames of startup invulnerability to all forms of attacks. (Except for Kusaregedo's, which is invulnerable for 15 frames.)
  • Forwards rolls all have a special cancelable point.
  • Backwards rolls are cancelable for almost their entire duration, making them good tools for baits and antiair.
  • Yoshitora's backwards roll acts like a backdash.


Throws in this game are amazingly wonky.

  • You throw in this game with 4CD and 6CD.
  • Throws have a startup animation. They hit on the third frame. During the throw startup, you have autoguard. On whiff, there's a lengthy recovery period.
  • You can follow up a throw with an attack with any S, which will knock them down and deal approximately 22 damage. If you are unarmed, the A button will pick up your weapon, while B will attack, dealing approximately 10 damage.
  • If you throw the opponent into the corner, most of the cast can follow up with a free Small Pursuit (2BC) for more damage.
  • If the opponent is not in a throwable state, it will act as if you hit only the D button, getting you a hop instead. This can be used both offensively or defensively. It is jokingly referred to as Hoption Select.
  • Not throwable states consist of: Airborne, in stun of any sort, the 17f throw invulnerability window, or simply being out of range.
  • The 17f throw invulnerability window activates on wakeup, after being hit, or after blocking.
  • If both players throw on the same frame, player one always wins. Hooray oversights.
  • If you cancel the throw animation with a weapon pickup, some characters will recover fast enough to follow it up with a combo.
  • Throw damage is constant and is not affected by character defense or the Kenki Gauge in any way.
  • When jump landing recovery comes into play, things get weird fast.
  • There is two frame landing recovery. This can be canceled, but only with unbuffered actions such as rejumps or 2D.
  • A buffered motion, such as a backdash, will evade throws.
  • Command grabs, such as Gaira's, can be started up before you land, which means they will grab you during the landing recovery. Backdashes will not work here.
  • An effective countermeasure is to not do any jumpins which grant large amounts of hitstop, such as j.ABs or other heavies. This makes it more difficult to buffer the command grab in.

Utilizing throws effectively is important to opening your opponent up, because all countermeasures are unsafe in some way.

Detailed explanation of throws and countermeasures.

Rage and Concentration Gauge

  • As you take hits, the rage meter is filled. When full, it remains in that state for a fixed period of time. In the data sections of the character pages, rage duration and the amount needed to rage is listed. (The amount is the number of times Haohmaru has to smack you with close 5A to rage.)
  • When the rage meter is full...
  • Your Kenki Gauge is extended, enabling up to 40% more damage.
  • You can perform WFT moves by doing 236CD. They are considered a special attack for canceling purposes. These will disarm the opponent when the last hit connects. Rage meter is lost on the first hit that connects, provided that it is not a trade. Consequently, single hit WFTs will do considerably more damage than multiple hit WFTs.
  • When the rage timer ends, the meter is reset to empty.
  • When the rage meter is not full, you can Meditate by holding 5D to move the meter from the rage meter to the Concentration Gauge. Doing this will...
  • Increase the duration of Mu no Kyouchi / State of Nothingness.
  • Increase the damage of Issens at fixed intervals.
  • Allow you to use State of Nothingness earlier.
  • But also allow you to be hit by Fatalities earlier.
  • When you have your rage meter, are not disarmed, are on the ground, and when either being hit or standing still, you can perform a Rage Explosion by hitting ABC.
  • This destroys your rage meter for the remainder of the match.
  • You can do it while being hit or deflected, so you can avoid inevitable losses due to death, but only on the ground and only on moves that do not catch.
  • The rage explosion burst is an unblockable hit that pushes back nearby opponents. It does no damage.
  • The burst is invincible for its full duration. You can block immediately after it ends.
  • It stops the clock temporarily, preventing inevitable losses due to time out.
  • Your kenki gauge is extended drastically, allowing a ludicrous 80% damage bonus when maxed.
  • When the opponent is on his last round and his life is below his Concentration Gauge, you can use Zetsumei Ougis/Fatalities by doing 214CD.
  • Fatalities are a forwards dashing attack that instantly catch the opponent on contact. Using it will end Rage Explosion.
  • They are blockable.
  • The attack is not affected by an opponent's State of Nothingness.
  • Fatalities are invincible to all but projectiles.
  • Hitting with one will cause instant death.
  • When you have your rage meter, are at neutral, are on your last round, and your life is below your Concentration Gauge marker, you can perform State of Nothingness by hitting BCD.
  • This destroys your rage meter for the remainder of the match.
  • This has a short, 8 frame startup period. You will not lose your meter if hit during this. However, if hit on the first startup frame, you will lose your meter.
  • While active, time is slowed to 1/4 for the opponent. This is a debuff to the opponent, so if both players activate they will both be at slow speed.
  • The duration depends on how much has been filled into the Concentration Gauge.
  • Pushback is heavily delayed, so you can perform combos and strings that would otherwise be impossible.
  • During time slow you can perform an Issen by hitting BCD.
  • This immediately ends time slow, so the Issen itself does not benefit from it.
  • Issens are a fast moving forwards dash attack that instantly catches the opponent on contact.
  • They are not invincible in any way.
  • They are blockable.
  • Damage is constant and is not affected by either the opponent's defense or the Kenki Gauge.
  • Damage is based on how much the Concentration Gauge has been filled up. It increases by level:
  • Gauge at initial state to 1/3rd health: Does about 30% damage.
  • Gauge at 1/3rd to slightly below half health: Does about 40% damage.
  • Gauge around half health: Does about 50% damage.
  • Gauge more than half: 70% damage.
  • Issen damage bug: If you rage explode and have the meter expire, either through use or running out of time, your opponent's Issen will do its weakest damage regardless of the charge level. (video)
  • In Japan this bug is considered a banned technique to deliberately abuse (eg by exploding and then immediately doing Fatality to kill the meter).

Deflects and Weapon Catches

Deflects and Weapon Catches are really important for keeping your opponent from being too predictable, but can mostly be ignored by new players. They're both considered to be specials, so you can cancel into them normally.

  • 216D - Deflect
  • 2 startup, 11 active, 25 recovery. You can't use it as a wakeup reversal.
  • This will deflect any normal weapon slash, barring lows and a few odd ones out. Punches and kicks cannot be deflected. With very few exceptions, specials cannot be deflected.
  • The effect of the deflect depends on the strength of the attack deflected:
  • Deflecting a weak slash stuns them for 68 frames.
  • Deflecting a medium slash stun them for 76 frames.
  • Deflecting a heavy slash will disarm the opponent and stun them for 68 frames (same as a weak slash). Any deflectable running slash attack will count as a heavy regardless of input.
  • Frame advantage depends on when the deflect catches an attack. Weak and heavy slashes range from 32~42, medium slashes range from 40~50.
  • You can't deflect opponents that are in the air, but you can deflect air attacks if they are still active when the opponent lands from the jump. If someone's aiming for deep jumpins a lot, you can often backroll -> deflect to catch them.
  • The game will accept 2146D as an acceptable input.

You can view a breakdown of Deflect frames here.

  • u.216D - Weapon Catch
  • Weapon catches may only be done when unarmed.
  • As with deflects, there is one frame of startup and 11 active frames. However, there are only 6 recovery frames, making this very safe to use in most circumstances.
  • This will catch any normal weapon slash, including lows, but it still won't catch other undeflectable slashes. Punches and kicks cannot be caught. With very few exceptions, specials cannot be caught.
  • All catches will disarm the opponent and give an untechable knockdown, so they're stuck on the ground for quite awhile.
  • The game will accept 2146D as an acceptable input.

Weapon clash

  • A weapon clash happens when both player's armed normals connect, causing them to run together and have a button mashing minigame to decide who gets disarmed.
  • The following conditions must be met for this to occur:
  • It can only happen once per match.
  • The clash boxes overlap each other. These generally exist before the attack actually comes out, have greater active time, and cover a larger area than what the actual attack would hit.
  • Most low attacks cannot clash.
  • There must be at least 16 seconds remaining on the clock.
  • There must be a life difference of at least 25%-ish between players. (Exact value unknown.)
  • If the clash boxes overlap but the full conditions are not met, there will be a distinct clash sound and nothing else will happen.
  • Once activated, both players will have 160 frames(2.6667 seconds) to reach the 10 button press limit. When time is up or when the limit is hit...
  • If there is a tie, both players will be disarmed.
  • Otherwise, the loser will be disarmed.
  • Only one button press is accepted each frame. For example, pressing all four buttons on the same frame will lead to only one button registered. There are no other restrictions.
  • Disarmed weapons will fly off in a random direction. If both players are disarmed, both weapons will go in the same direction.


  • If someone is hit with two heavy attacks in a row in a combo, they will be knocked down, even if the attack does not normally knock down. This can be avoided by doing something like heavy, medium, heavy, etc. Some specific multi-hitting heavy normals naturally trigger this effect, such as Tam Tam n.5AB and Rasetsumaru 2AB.

More supplemental information can be found in mauve's mechanics guide.

Samurai Shodown V Special



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