Once a normal schoolgirl named Carol, Painwheel was kidnapped by Valentine and delivered to the Anti-Skullgirls Labs' secretive Lab Zero. There she was implanted with the synthetic Buer Drive and Gae Bolga parasites and infused with experimental Skullgirl blood, transforming her into the monster she is today. Violent and unstable as a result of these experiments, as a precaution she's mentally controlled by Lab Zero's powerful psychic director, Brain Drain.
Fueled by rage, she draws her power from her pain and fury. Despite that, the soul of that scared young girl still lives on inside this monstrous body, desperately fighting off the onslaught of voices that would control her.
Painwheel has the ability to fly, which is used for mobility and its cancel abilities. She also has a special kind of armor on many of her normals called Hatred Guard, which deals back damage taken to the opponent.
Flight (214K): She can use her Fly special move to move freely in the air and stay unpredictable, as well as giving her control over the pace of a match. It also allows her to cancel normals and even some specials for mixups, combos, and pressure.
Hatred Guard: She has armor on many of her ground normals and on one of her air normals, giving her a strong defense option when applied in the right scenarios. You can also use it in staggers to catch abare or assist calls. Even during armor, she still has access to all her usual cancels. Confirm armor hits into Buer (236LK), supers, or quickly change your mind with flight to stay unpredictable.
Hatred Install (214KK): This is a very strong DHC option for only 1 bar. Powered up combos in install do big damage, and on block it's very safe.
Painwheel is a flight character that is able to maneuver around the screen with ease and demand respect with her unique armor mechanic.
Flight: 8 way flight allows Painwheel to have more manueverability in neutral, she can call assists while flying, and flight cancelling allows Painwheel some safety as well as unique strings and mix ups.
Hatred Install: One of the best DHC supers in the game, and its incredible damage output allows her to quickly swing a round's momentum in her favor.
High damage output: Even without Hatred Install, Painwheel is still a high-damaging character, and even tagging into Painwheel in the middle of combos lets you tack on a substantial amount of damage.
Unique armor mechanics: Hatred Guard is a Painwheel-specific armor mechanic, allowing her to absorb some damage and return it later. Moreover, this also allows Painwheel to call out attacks by charging armor as well as unique Anti Airing capabilities.
Armor breaker: Great at dealing with armor herself, thanks to Buer Reaper and Buer Thresher.
Decent range: Painwheel has moderately sized buttons with her main pokes 2LK and jMP. Spacing these correctly can lead to great reward.
Poor reversals: Painwheel must rely on 4f armor as her fastest meterless reversal against strikes, Deathcrawl leaves a lot to be desired, and Buer Overdrive is costly. Buer Thresher, arguably her best reversal, still has some flaws; most notably, the very first hit (the only one that is able to make use of super hitstop) is tiny, so a miss-spaced Thresher can be punished on reaction against knowledgeable players.
Slow buttons: Her fastest, stubby normal being 8f startup, next fastest 10f startup, and fastest low being 11f startup, you have to be mindful about where and when you place your buttons. This also makes it uniquely hard to punish some attacks from blocking.
Armor limitations: Can struggle vs multihitting moves on defense. Armor outside of Hatred Install has start up and does not function like regular armor.
Meter gain: Doesn't build a lot of meter outside or inside of combos, and nearly none during install.
Misinputs: She is prone to auto correct situations which result in facing the wrong way, this causes Painwheel to either face the wrong direction or cause misinputs such as getting Buer Reaper when inputting Flight and vice versa.
Flight Limitations: Has a flight ceiling controlled by the opponent's height and has a limited amount of flights per jump which can limit her options against zoning. This also limits conversion options from using multiple flights to approach.
Lacking at max range: While Painwheel does have fairly large buttons, she cannot always combo from them if you're far enough.
A setup assist that charges at the opponent and sends them flying backwards on hit. This allows for very unique conversions that aren't normally possible. Most notably, it allows Big Band to convert off of SSJ. Can also be used from a burst alpha counter that hits the opponent for a free conversion. All versions of Pinion dash are assist-only moves.
2MP (default assist)
A multi-hit lockdown assists. Doesn't use Hatred Guard, but if called as an Alpha Counter, the button can be held for Hatred Guard.
L Pinion Dash (22LK)
Fast horizontal move with decent hitstun and blockstun, and restands the opponent, allowing for some unique conversions or crossup setups for certain characters.
M Pinion Dash (22MK)
Longer startup than L, but knocks opponents far away in a knockdown state, and has a sizeable hitbox.
M Gae Bolga Stinger (236MP)
Projectile assist. Painwheel cannot charge Gae Bolga Stinger in a custom action and will always attack with the minimum number of projectiles. Can charge (and fly cancel) upon an alpha counter.
Similar to 2MP, but hits a little higher up. Doesn't use Hatred Guard, but if called as an Alpha Counter, the button can be held for Hatred Guard.
Character Mechanic: Hatred Guard
Painwheel's 5HP has Hatred Guard. She can hold HP to get armored startup frames, and release HP to attack.
Painwheel surrounds herself with a red lightning effect as she charges her Hatred Guard attacks. As armored attacks, the held start up frames of a Hatred Guard can absorb an incoming attack.
Painwheel stores a portion of the damage from an armored attack in a total that accumulates over time, up to a maximum of 33% of the opponent's total team health.
Painwheel can then redistribute this stored damage back to the opponent. Connecting with a move that can have armor will empty the stored damage into that combo.
Light attacks will deal an extra 33% of her stored damage, 50% with medium attacks, and 66% with heavy attacks. These are all scaled with the current point in the combo.
Painwheel's level 3 super, Buer Overdrive, will deal 120% of the stored damage on the final hit. This extra damage is not scaled by where she is in the combo.
The stored damage will not be spent on whiff or on block.
Multi-hitting moves such as j.hp or 2mp will add the stored damage onto the first hit that connects.
Hitting an assist or Fortune's head will apply the damage to the assist/head. Hitting both assist and point will apply the damage to both.
Hitting Peacock's Lenny will consume the Hatred Guard damage, as Lenny has an HP bar that we do not see.
Hitting projectiles built to eat a physical hit and disappear (such as Parasoul's M Egret or Eliza's Throne) will not consume hatred guard.
Hitting a dead body with a Hatred Guard attack will not spend the stored damage bonus.
Hatred Guard never protects Painwheel on the first frame of start-up (except during Hatred Install), but will always protect her on the first active frame of her attacks (5MP and Buer Overdrive's Hatred Guard protect her during all of the active frames).
Charging for at least 7 frames will keep Hatred Guard active up to the first active frame of the attack.
Heavy Hatred Guard attacks, such as jHP, 5HP, 2HK etc gain additional properties when fully charged.
The startup for Hatred Guard normals is listed as
Armor startup frames
(Additional armored frames from holding the button)
The rest of the startup, which is also armored if held
Add the 1st and 3rd numbers to get the unarmored startup.
Add all three to get the held button startup.
A launcher with Hatred Guard. It can only chain from LP and LK attacks, but will not chain if charged. If Painwheel absorbs at least 1 hit with the Hatred Guard, she will always turn to face the opponent for the attack's active frames. This property makes 5MP the perfect choice to absorb an incoming cross up attack.
A generally easier-to-use launcher than 5HK, making it preferable in most combo strings
A 4-hit Hatred Guard attack that covers a large area in front of Painwheel.
Usually confirms into m buer at lower heights or from the ground. If close enough, can convert into h buer as well. Can convert with even a 6HKx4 for a full combo conversion, but be wary that the more of hits of 5MK push the opponent further away, so cancel early for best chances.
Does the most damage of the mediums in combo strings, but be wary that the timing of 5MK 5HP L buer will change depending on character weights.
Launches opponents into the air for the hits, allowing for 5MK xx H buer strings which are very useful in corner combos to rack up damage.
A slow Hatred Guard attack that causes a crumple and hits overhead with a fully charged hit, which allows for a variety of possible follow ups. Without a full charge it causes a ground bounce, allowing Painwheel to combo with a cancel into flight and an OTG or simply using an L Buer.
Useful in Hatred Install combos since it's very easy to land this move fully charged after an L Buer stagger, allowing for an easy high damage crumple.
A multi-hit attack with a slow start up, high hit stun, multiple hits for a long active period, and a large attack box. It's best to space this button at its most disjointed point, once active this button is hard to beat. This is Painwheel's main method of poking but be careful, you can't be too reckless with this button as it's slow and not fully disjointed.
Even on block this move is strong, due to the long blockstun and Painwheel's ability to fly cancel. Use a j.MP fly canceled into air throw to catch opponents holding up-back.
Painwheel dramatically changes her jump arc to a lunge forward for her only air Hatred Guard move. Charging increases the number of hits from 4 to a maximum of 6.
Painwheel’s lunge forward can be somewhat useful to catch opponents air-to-air, however if so it’s best to confirm with an air Buer or a j.MK if low enough.
Armoring through an attack, then canceling into Thresher is a very strong tactic. Doing this will lock the opponent out from using a DHC before or after the superflash, until the first hit of Thresher is active.
Can be used for the occasional restands during combos
Due to it gaining hits when fully charged, it is optimal damage to release jhp right after armoring a single hit, as to not scale your HCH combo immediately.
A self chaining, long range command normal that causes ground bounce on the fourth hit. It leaves the opponent at an ideal range for a HK Buer Reaper, or it can cancel into Flight for a more difficult combo.
All hits cannot be cancelled during the last 11f of recovery.
Painwheel's normal throw and normal air throw have the same animation. Painwheel ends these attacks in the air where Flight can cancel the recovery and start a combo. Using a Flight Cancel on the recovery will only let Painwheel cancel to Flight once for that jump if it is her first Flight Cancel in that jump.
Can fast fall using any buer input, allowing Painwheel to save otg in throw confirms using a ground button, special move, a microdash, or even with a rising jump button.
Painwheel appears from the side of the screen with a hit grab that transitions to a less damaging version of her air throw. Even though this attack is blockable, it has the same throw break window as any regular air throw. Opponent's have plenty of time to react to Painwheel by blocking or escaping the throw. Comboing into the attack or landing it as a counter hit prevents the opponent from using a throw break.
This move builds the same amount of meter (15%) on hit regardless of what scaling it is at in the combo. This allows for Painwheel tag combos to build far more meter than most solo character combos.
When viewing the frame data for this move in game, the recovery is not shown due to a bug.
As a quick special move with no active or recovery frames, Flight is a powerful offensive tool for canceling the recovery of other moves and extending combos. Painwheel can fake Hatred Guard attacks by canceling to Flight during the charge.
Going from flight directly into an attack has is a 9 frame buffer window for the normal during flight's startup.
Attacks made from flight mode preserve Flight's momentum, which can subtly change the behavior of her air normals.
For example, inputting any up direction allows for Painwheel's j.MP to hit the opponent from a grounded Flight activation.
Starting Flight from the ground gives Painwheel enough height to use j.LP, j.LK, and j.MK as a fast overhead attack.
Painwheel can call assists at any time while flying, even if Flight starts during a super jump.
Painwheel gets 2 air flights per airtime, so if she starts her air time with a flight or with jumping, she has two flights to use.
Buer Reaper on hit will consume one usage of flight.
During Flight +
Painwheel can use this command to end Flight without an attack, preserving either half of her backward momentum or all of her forward momentum.
The 5f "unfly" animation does not restrict Painwheel from any other action and allows her to block.
Successfully blocking out of the animation gives Painwheel only 25% of the regular block stun from the incoming attack (signified by a visual blood effect).
Has one frame of input leniency, i.e. the two punches can be pressed one frame apart.
Painwheel ejects spikes from her arm, using them either as combo extensions or far-ranged pressure tools. Commonly referred to as "nails".
: The spikes go a short distance before touching the ground, pinning the opponent down for a short while.
First use in a combo has extra hitstop effect
No forced damage scaling during Hatred Install.
/ : The spikes fly out, becoming projectiles with an area of attack that grows as you hold down the button.
The MP version sends the spikes in a straight line, while the HP version has them fly in an arc. Painwheel can use both to figuratively pin down an opponent before she cancels to Flight and approaches from full screen. Holding the button increases the number of projectiles to a maximum of 5 for these versions and Hatred Install shortens the charge time.
Can hitconfirm closer distances with a fly cancel into jMK.
Partial charge M stinger travels at a faster rate than the charged versions
Painwheel spins her blade, winding up to lunge forward with an attack. This move can only be performed as an assist, with increasing button strengths offering more damage and better hit effects in exchange for a longer wind up time. All versions are extremely active.
: Fast startup, plenty of hitstun to confirm off of.
: Long startup, sends the opponent flying away
: Longest startup, sends the opponent in the opposite direction behind Painwheel. This allows for very unique conversions that aren't normally possible. Most notably, it allows Big Band to convert off of SSJ.
Pinion Dash can still be used on point from an alpha counter, which will also omit the wind up portion of the animation from the startup found in the M and H version. In this way, H Pinion Can be very useful to escape certain situations, or to hit off of an alpha counter burst that hit the opponent and lead into a full combo confirm.
The frame data graphs show the move as an alpha counter.
Painwheel's ground super will always connect for full damage against a standing or crouching opponent. Painwheel moves significantly faster if she switches sides with her opponent after missing the attack. She always crawls at this faster speed during Hatred install.
Can always connect after a L buer. Can also connect from an M buer even from far distances, however this needs otg even when done in the corner.
Does more damage than Buer Thresher at the end of combos, so always end combos in this super if you can.
Painwheel's air super begins with a series of stabs, then shifts to a throw for a series of faster hits. Painwheel gets a longer animation with more hits when performing this super during Hatred Install. Buer Thresher combos easily off of any Buer Reaper that leaves Painwheel in the air. Using a Flight Cancel to shorten the super's recovery will not let Painwheel cancel to Flight twice in a jump if it is her first Flight Cancel out of the air.
Invulnerability for 19f total, covering all start up and some active frames
When used more than once in a single combo, all versions of Buer Reaper (besides ground LK) behave identically as they would outside of Hatred Install.
Level 1 supers have minimum 45% damage scaling (same as a regular Lv.3) and level 3 supers have minimum 55% damage scaling (same as a regular Lv.5).
Death Crawl travels across the screen faster.
Buer Thresher has more hits and increased total damage. Does less damage at full scaling than Death Crawl.
The length of the install is determined by Painwheel's remaining life. Full health gives a 660f timer and 1 point of life left gives a 1300f timer. Painwheel keeps Hatred Install after tagging out and the timer will only count down when Painwheel is on screen. The timer drains at half speed when Painwheel is on screen as an assist. Timer does not expire during combos, allowing any full combo to be completed. When used from a DHC, the timer length is 1/3rd of the normal time.
Install activation gives +4 frame advantage when the opponent is in hitstun, allowing for easier hitconfirms into install
Useful as a safe DHC due to the few amount of total frames, making it mostly safe. It also only costs 1 bar when used as DHC, making it in many cases better to do short combo -> level 1 super -> hatred install DHC -> hatred install combo -> level 1 super than to do a full combo into painwheel level 3.
Bug: If Painwheel tags in while under Hatred Install, then the timer will still expire during a combo and the install will run out midcombo. However, if Painwheel DHC's instead, then the timer retains the normal property and the install will only run out after a combo is over.
Painwheel winds up and charges, cutting through the opponent with an extended animation with a successful first hit. On the last hit, Painwheel will use all of her stored Hatred Guard damage and return it to the opponent with a 120% multiplier. With Hatred Install active, Painwheel returns an especially brutal 190% of her stored damage.
Invulnerability for 7f of start up (before super flash).
The first hit is similar to a Hit Grab in that it ignores armor and teleports the opponent into position. However, unlike a hit grab, Big Band can parry the first hit (and all of the followup hits). Also, each hit applies its own scaling.
Hatred Guard covers all post-super flash start up and active frames.
If this whiffs the opponent, it has very short recovery frames, making this somewhat useful as an escape in many situations.
Due to the fast speed of this move, it allows Painwheel to punish many things that other characters cannot, and is Painwheel's only method to punish certain moves especially from fullscreen.
Has a buffer after it successfully connects, to link moves more easily.
painwheel cannot die while armoring through attacks with this super.