Them's Fightin' Herds/Shanty/Strategy
You are able to charge parley to be plus on block by timing it with the opponents wakeup. An easy way to practice this is by setting the training mode ai to 'Block after first hit', then in the corner do 2c > 22[a]. Your goal is to make it so the second charge of parley hits late into its active frames, when done correctly this leaves you +12 at best.
When the opponent is in hard knockdown, you're able to consistently time a shorthop jC input so that you land in time to block if the opponent uses an invulnerable reversal, or hit them if they dont.
Fuzzy Guard Breaks
After the opponent blocks a shj.C or late shj.B, they might fuzzy guard your next attack. Fuzzy guarding is the act of timing your block inputs so that way you can successfully defend against a high and a low attack with the same input. However, as Shanty, you are able to perform a fuzzy guard break. This is timing your high and low so they would come out on the same frame. Keep in mind that the opponent is able to pushblock your air normal, giving them absolute guard for a time. There are 4 frames at the end of a pushblock where the opponent does not have absolute guard, so by timing your fuzzy guard break accordingly you're able to beat pushblock.
Shanty has a few neat empty cancels that can help in various situations. Empty cancels will be notated by 'xx'.
- 236A/B/C xx 236AB
- - By empty cancelling Cutlass into Super you can give yourself a slight momentum boost before your super comes out. This is most effective with 236C, as it carries you the furthest, and has projectile invulnerability.
- 4/6C xx 236AB
- - You can use Bulkheads high profile to move your hurtbox over some attacks, then empty cancel into super to whiff punish. This can be safer than a raw super, due to you having time to react to if the opponent does a move or not.
- 4/6C xx 5D
- - By empty cancelling Bulkhead into Run Stance, you're able to very quickly shift your hurtbox from very high to very low, letting you escape from some situations easier.
By inputting 3C > 228A you are able to cancel 3C into parley. By properly charging parley, you are able to time it so that if they buffer air tech, they will be forced to block or get hit by it. This gives you a very safe max JD combo ender, while also giving you +2 magic stocks, and time to setup oki if they don't air tech.
By inputting 3C > 2369A/B/C you are able to cancel 3c into cutlass. You can only combo into cutlass b pre-max JD, and can only combo into cutlass a if JDG is high enough. TK Cutlass is important due to it making up most of Shanty's optimal combo's. TK Cutlass B is a 3 frame link at pre-max JD, and a 1 frame link at max JD, however as gravity increases it'll eventually become impossible. By having your stick end on 6, you are able to negative edge the B input, which can give you 1 extra frame of leniency.
- 6A: Shanty 6A Anti-Air has head invulnerability.
- 2A: Shanty 2A is the longest in the cast, which makes this tied for her best poke option alongside 2B.
- 2B: Shanty 2B low profiles. Another excellent poke and can even anti-air in some situations.
- 5C: Massive first-hit damage best used for punishes.
- 2C: 2C can cancel into 5C and vice-versa. 2C on block while stanceling is +2 allowing a safe pressure reset.
- 4/6C: 4/6C has an extreme high-profile, and can be used to go over several normals, projectiles, and specials.
- shj.C: Your ideal pressure starter, granting lots of plus frames, the ability to perform a fuzzy guard break, and massive first-hit damage.
Shanty's neutral can be extremely difficult. With her best pokes lacking meaningful disjoints, it can be hard navigating around the opponents normals.
On roundstart, your goal is mostly to get close to the opponent without getting hit. Your safest way of accomplishing this is dashblocking and willingly taking a blockstring, although it does put you in disadvantage. While Backdash > 22A doesn't get you close to the opponent, it is a fairly safe way of gaining magic while beating many layer 1 roundstart options, which can be very beneficial in certain matchups. Backdash > 5B can be used to whiff punish most roundstart buttons that aren't disjointed. Despite not allowing for a full combo without meter, you can cancel into 236A for a very advantageous hard knockdown. If the opponent is respecting you too much, you can use 2B or shj.C to establish offense, however these carry significant risk.
When further away, you're best way of approaching is unequivocally dashblocking. Shanty doesn't have any truly fullscreen options, although with her quick dash and quicker run she can get into a distance where her longest pokes start working. Microdash 236C can be used to steal a quick hit versus zoners getting greedy with projectile summons, due to its high speed and projectile invulnerability. Keelhaul (D~A) is an extremely long-range disjointed low, with enough active frames to be plus when meatied properly, making it good for establishing pressure on more patient opponents.
Closer up you start to develop more options. Dashblocking is still the safest, but a well-spaced 2A or 2B can establish your pressure. j.C also provides a very good jump in, especially from a full jump. If you delay it towards the peak of your jump, you will be plus upon landing, allowing you to continue offense.
Shanty's movement is her calling card. Run Stance gives her access to some of the most hail-mary burst options in the game, with a sliding low, high-damage mid, and a projectile invulnerable overhead. Ontop of that, she sports a very quick forward and back dash, strong jump-in normals, and an exceptional wavedash. Throw all of these options into the melting pot and what comes out is a character that's essentially a wildcard in neutral, able to force several strong, but risky, options that the opponent has to either react to or play around in order to avoid.
This is where the fun begins. Shanty's like a mosquito, in the sense that once she's on, even if you manage to swat her off, her options are almost always faster than yours and she'll manage to find her way back on with relative ease. 2B is the move that immediately comes to mind, as it quickly and seamlessly closes and small gaps between Shanty and her opponent, and from there she can continue pressure very easily with a stancelled 2C, leaving her +2, continuing the blender. Shanty's shorthop is an absolute beast of an option on a character like her. Shorthop j.A is quick enough to fuzzy into, and can cancel into j.B to stay plus, or into j.C to land extremely quickly. Should the opponent try to pushblock to get her away, Shanty has forward momentum on all of her normals, letting her stay in with relative ease.
Whenever Shanty has magic, she has the ability to cancel her normals into her 5D Run Stance, with a selection of followups. One followup is to simply hold 2, cancelling the stance as soon as possible, allowing Shanty to reset her pressure. This action leaves her +2 if done from 2C, +1 if done from 6A, and at a slight disadvantage from other normals.
This gives her the opportunity to reset her pressure, but isn't safe to do so once you exit 2A's range
One way to circumvent this problem is to use Broadside (5D~B). Broadside is a mid-hitting special that is only -2, and can be made advantageous on block if spaced. Shanty can cancel into her Run Stance, run backwards slightly, and then use Broadside to frametrap opponents who may try to challenge her pressure resets, while staying plus. This is especially dangerous in the corner, where Broadside leads to a wallstick, allowing Shanty to meterlessly get a full combo. Forcing respect with Broadside opens up the potential for Shanty to capitalize on her Stancel pressure and Run Stance's other followups.
When done well, Shanty's hard knockdown oki is incredibly strong. With several fast options, you can easily overcome the opponents mental stack. You also have the option of safely gaining magic and running your normal pressure afterwards. 236B gives the best oki by far, due to location and plus frames, however it does add a hefty amount of JD so other options can be more advisable. Some setups include:
- 2C/236B > Meaty 22[A]
- - By timing 22[A] correctly, you can be up to +13, allowing you to easily continue pressure with a good amount of magic to use. Timing it after 236B can be tricky, as it only works on certain spacings and is a link.
- 236B > Crossup 236B
- - While technically able to be accomplished from any HKD ender, it's fairly difficult to space correctly even with stancels, and thus is mostly used after 236B hkd. This is a very strong option due to it being a 19 frame crossup and it often leading to a full combo, but has the caveat of being -11 and only being cancellable into supers on block. That being said, it's good to show occasionally to try and make your other options less predictable.
- TK 236B > Microdash 2A/shjC
- - While the opponent is falling after TK Cutlass B, you are able to microdash under to crossup and meaty. This can be further expanded on by shorthopping over them after the initial crossup, forcing your opponent to stay on their toes and giving nice 4 way mix.
- TK 236B > Breaker
- - Giving her an extremely plus, extremely close knockdown, Shanty has a lot of strong options she can present. The opponent is stunned in the air long enough for Shanty to dash under, while still being plus enough to crossup with a corpsehop, allowing her to run extremely scary 4 way mix.
- TK 236B > Breaker > 236A > D~
- - A different version of the previous setup, this gives you a few more options at the cost of adding more jD. You're able to stop your run either before or after crossing up the opponent, while still having time to corpsehop over the opponent and strike with a 2A.
- 2C > shjC
- - A very plus, 19 frame overhead which then can setup a fuzzy guard break. This is a very strong, safe option as it can also be timed for a safejump. You can also slightly delay the jC after the shorthop so it whiffs, granting a nice high/low.
- 6A > 236A > 22C~
- -By climbing onto the wall and immediately holding down to get off of it, you can steal the corner vs a cornered opponent and meaty with a 2A. Make sure that the opponent is hit by the very top of 236A's hitbox, otherwise you will be less plus.
- 2C > 236C xx dl.236XX
- - If you time this well, the second hit of your super can crossup. This is an extremely high risk option, due to super being -71, and having a long superflash to react to, meaning you should rarely ever, if not never, do this. However it is a funny knowledge check!
Soft Knockdown oki is usually fairly weak due to how much variance there is. However this is not the case for Shanty, as she has several great SKD options, although they are generally very hard due to requiring quick reaction times. Having a quick dash and shorthop available, with practice you can react to any roll and then fuzzy guard break them for trying. This is because after a roll, there are a few frames where you can't input any move other than block, and are forced into a standing hurtbox. You can also get good magic by doing 2C > whiffed 22[A], giving you plus frames even if they instant neutral getup, which is the fastest SKD wakeup option. You are also able to safejump shjC on reaction to their wakeup, although this can be tricky as it's a tight reaction.
|A mix of attacks/buttons with good range, good AAs, projectiles and access to even better keep-away tools if you let Oleander be can make for a tough match-up to handle for Shanty. It will require a good amount of patience in your approach, and confidence in how you can threaten Oleander in most neutral interactions, to prevent her from gaining resources/magic and potentially snowballing afterward.
In Neutral against Oleander, Shanty’s goal will be to stick in ranges where she can present threats, such as dash in 2B, dash in 2C, 5D~A (Stance A or Keelhaul, and 236A (Cutlass A), alongside 236C (Cutlass C) and 5D~C (Stance C , Gangway!) for projectile callouts, by mostly dash blocking her way closer to Oleander. The main rewards Shanty can get from that are either pushing the Oleander in the corner to limit her options (back dash, force poorer spacing), forcing Oleander to take risks to open you up (jump and double jump in, dash in resets, unsafe overhead with 6C), leading to an easier time for Shanty to get the opening she needs to get her Offense rolling.
Shanty also has pretty good tools to get around fireballs on top of projectile invulnerable ones, namely 6C that can move you overall ground sparks and close to the ground air sparks, plus it also works to high profile some of Oleander’s normals (5A 5B 2C for ones seen in neutral), Shanty 2B that can low profile any fireball and entering Stance (5D) which will also low profile while giving you a good range of options by either going into any stance move, exiting stance, run closer and stop to bait potential moves to stuff your approach, etc…
At roundstart, the safest option for Shanty will be to block/dash block since most of her common offensive roundstart options will lose to a 5B or a dash in 5A from Oleander. Shanty only got a few ways to win against those roundstart options, being 4C/6C (feinting with C could also get you in a good position if not stuffed) and backdash 2C, the former being liable to be stuffed by Oleander choosing to wait before pressing on it/ simply blocking the overhead or her going for any moves that beat the high profile (6A, 6C, 5C), and the later leaving you at a poor position if Oleander decides to backdash at roundstart, gaining distance that will greatly benefit her, leaving her room to throw fireballs and gain magic.
As an overall rule, the further Shanty is from Oleander, the worse her position is. At long range, with no quick options to threaten Oleander with, Oleander is now free to gain magic, use fireballs, and possibly set up Chapter traps and Epilogue. Access to magic also means that Oleander can safely teleport A/B (22B for cross up, 22A for same-side) alongside a fireball to either open you up, start her blockstring, or put her further away from the corner than before. Shanty can microdash Cutlass C, 22C (Wallcling), using run stance + any stance moves, usually, Stance A, can be ok options to show from time to time to punish Oleander over reading, though Oleander can punish all of those options if she doesn´t over read.
Once Oleander is at 3 magic stocks, you will usually see an Epilogue being put down: this is counted as a (stationary) projectile, which will last ~13 seconds and won't disappear when Oleander is hit (except when she’s hit during the startup of the move). It is best to remove it asap, the safest way being dashblocking into it, so that you do not get zoned out for the whole duration of the move. Use Cutlass C/Stance C at your own discretion, if you end up on the epilogue without 2 meter, you will get hit, and Oleander may be able to combo you even if she got hit. You also can’t use 22C when Epilogue is out, you'll get hit out of it. 22B and then wall switch goes above it but is even slower. With 2 meter, you can go into your super 1 > 2, and instantly go for a Cutlass C to avoid the epilogue. Else, getting an opening on Oleander when she has Epilogue up close behind her usually means that you can’t convert that hit into a combo, though in that situation, managing to get a back throw to get her off the epilogue is extremely valuable. In the case of chapter traps, you can remove them by either blocking them or hitting them. The latter count as a hit, meaning that you can cancel into another normal/a special/enter stance after hitting it.
Once you reach Oleander, get an opening, and go for your desired offense gameplan/oki, you’ll want to keep that advantage for as long as you can, and hopefully until the end of the round. The good thing is that Oleander reversals aren’t numerous, rely on resources, and aren't difficult to deal with. 22D (Teleport D) costs 1 magic stock and is a very slow reversal (25 frames of startup) that can be safely jabbed with 2A or 2B on wake up and blocked, the other use is to catch Shanty during gaps in her pressure, which she'll need to be aware of as long as Oleander has magic. Her other reversal is her level 3 (19 frames of startup), which hits low but will usually be a non-issue since it’ll require 3 bars from Oleander, which she’d rather spend on her lv2.
That means that an Oleander that lacks resources to have access to her reversals will need to rely solely on good blocking and proper callouts in Shanty’s pressure with her very good 5A that will catch short hop resets (5 frames, good range), alongside Cross Canters if Oleander is willing to spend meter for it, which will set her back on her meter economy to gain access to Fred, but will leave her with her turn back despite being +0 since her buttons will reach whereas Shanty buttons won’t. The same situation is in the case of throw tech, Oleander will always have the advantage since her 5A will reach whereas only Shanty 2A/2B will.
Oleander's offense will mainly be structured around Strike/Throw, potentially using her double jump to go for a second aerial and/or go for a cross-up when going for an aerial on Oki, and being able to go for an unsafe overhead with 6C on rare occasions. Alongside that, Oleander's stagger pressure will be hard to contest at her max 5A range outside of PB’ing her away and resetting to neutral, or going for 6C as a risky option to call out the staggering.
If Oleander has access to magic, which will usually be the case since she can gain 1 to 2 magic before going for her oki depending on her combo ender, she also gains access to potential cross-ups with chapter trap into 22B (for 2 magic). For that setup, blocking the chapter trap will leave Oleander slightly minus, and you can take your turn back afterward.
The three most common blockstring ender Oleander will go for are 236X (Shadow Spark, Fireball), 214A (Chapter trap) or 22C (Teleport C, Teleport Back). Chapter trap is simple: blocking it leaves Oleander +2, IBing it leaves her -1 meaning you can take your turn back if she’s close enough to be jabbed, which can be achieved by trying to IB a good part of Oleander's block string, giving her less space when pressuring you. IB also helps when dealing with Fireball ender, which is -2 on normal block, and -5 on IB, which means it is barely jab punishable if in range. Teleport C is a mostly safe ender for Oleander, dash blocking in low and reacting to the options is the safer option from Shanty: you can low profile if she goes for a fireball, or just block and PB if she presses from range to just bring her closer to the corner and return to neutral. Stance A will punish Teleport C after 2C. It also catches both fireball and 5A startup when she teleports after 5C, if reacting early enough. Another option Oleander can present in her block strings is going back to 6B after any C button, which can then be made safe with chapter trap (which will be a natural frame trap if you try a 5A punish) or fireball (doesn’t frame trap). Shanty can dodge the 6B and punish by going for a backdash and pressing afterward.
When Shanty is on defense, she’ll now have to deal with safe “unreactable” cross-ups with Teleport B as long as Oleander has magic, safe overhead by covering 6C recovery with Fred buttons and safe pressure resets with yet again Fred covering it. Although jabbing out of her pressure becomes very high risk, there are still some options left for Shanty, such as PB to deal with mid blockstring cross-ups, Super to call out a gap, or any projectile invulnerable move to go through Fred buttons since they are considered projectiles. Be warned though, since Oleander is still actionable, she should be able to react and block/mash accordingly for that last option.
|Keeping a keen eye on Pom's puppies and their number of uses is critical. For details on how Pom's puppies work, see: Pom's Magic. A tip some players do is to use the in-game HUD to keep track of which dogs she has available. Sometimes Pom players would leave the dogs off-screen to mess with the opponents. It can be difficult to know if the dog's uses are finished and are gone in the heat of the moment. Sometimes the dogs are just hiding from the camera view waiting for their opportunity to strike.
Pom dogs are projectile moves that can be used at any time. Shanty having projectile invul moves and stances can use those dogs to make unsafe and risky callouts somewhat safe. (IF THEY ARE ACTIVE) The fastest way and safest way is to do 5C 2C 2D. You can do 2C into Cutlass (A,B,C) to KO dogs and stancels to be somewhat safe. This can throw your opponent off if they are not ready for it. You need to keep in mind Pom as well, if Pom is blocking or attacks you, Pom will get a hard counter hit and you will lose half your health if Pom decides to spend meter. A good idea is to try to hit the dogs when Pom is moving them manually. It can be difficult to hit dogs when they are moving/active. It takes some time to get used to Shanty disjoints like 2C or 5C to hit them.
(Following 2 statements were tested without the use of any dogs. This is just talking about solo Pom)
Knowing how to Anti Air Pom is also key when playing neutral. Pom players are known for jumping in attacks like j.B or j.C. 2B is strong Anti Air but can't cover some specific ranges that 6A or 236A can cover. The general rule is when Pom is doing j.C you dash up 6A or 236A to Anti Air into a combo. When punishing j.C at max range it can be tricky to get a combo off. Some adjustments might be needed to keep the combo going or end the combo short and go for HKD instead.
Pom j.C is a fake mix mid-screen on her own in both HKD or SKD, you can easily 6A it and not worry so much about pom dogs (236B). It depends on which dog Pom is using in said setups. A lot of it can vary.
Stagger Pressure with Shanty is great to have under your belt in this MU. This helps deal with defensive Poms who Pushblock Sheepherd A/B > 236XX. Acting as a frame trap to cover Sheepherd or caught a mistime Pushblock. When Pom Sheepherds Shanty would automatically turn if Pom passes you.
ADD GRABS for your corner set-play. Grabs in general are very important for Shanty RPS tools. Grabs allow you to set up Fuzzy block strings, Grabbaits, or in this case, help deal with sheep herding RPS. Showing more Grabs in your game plan is never a bad option to show and help mix up your pressure. Make the Pom respect your pressure, although the actual reward for grabbing mid-screen is fairly weak for Shanty. Shanty’s Grabs really shine in the corner. When in the corner, grabs allow Shanty to set up either a corner steal pump a little more damage or gather magic resources.
It is ok to go in and stay in but also learn how to play at Mid ranges. Now it can seem bad to just stand there but it can actually work in Shanty's favor. Stay in Mid-range vs Pom, this makes some Pom panic. Shanty magic gathers slowly over time while Pom needs to input a special to get a dog out. By just standing there you are threatening to punish any dog summons. While at the same time gaining something from it. If the Pom super just answers back with Cutlass C > Super 1, as Cutlass C invulnerability lets Shanty ignore the Super and hit Pom.
For deal with j.B (and IADj.B) 6A and 2B work just as well. Sometimes Pom does left-right situations and doing 2B can help deal with the potential incoming mixes. If Pom does full jump j.B Back Dash or Forward Dash Block. Against IADj.B it is a lot easier to deal with 2B or Back Dash. It is important to remember that 2B is a move that can help Pom deal with her overwhelmingly strong vortex mixes.
|Tianhuo can do a great job at boxing opponents out with her large normals and strong air mobility, forcing Shanty to play the aggressive, using her quick approach options to close in larger distances, and strong anti-airs to swat out jump ins and IAD's when necessary. Having a good sense of Tianhuo's positioning is key for this matchup, as it lets Shanty know when she should anti-air, air-to-air, or dashblock.
If she's taking to the skies more often, namely with her superjump and fly, Shanty can use 236C's extremely tall hitbox to swat her from afar, or rising j.B at closer ranges. All of Tianhuo's IAD normals will lose to Shanty's 2B, due to its extreme low-profile and good hitbox. This makes keeping Tianhuo grounded a relatively easy task, letting Shanty focus more on whiff punishing Tianhuo's large grounded disjoints.
Tianhuo's primary mixup will be using 4D > j.B as an instant overhead, but Shanty has several options to avoid it. She can Pushblock to try and Absolute Guard through it, which avoids the mixup but allows Tianhuo to reset pressure. If she wants, Shanty can use meter to Cross Canter, allowing her to avoid the mix entirely. But this does come with its downsides, as it is very expensive due to Shanty's difficulty in gaining meter, and can be baited if Tianhuo chooses to block. An empty Run Stance will low-profile Tianhuo's j.B, allowing for a whiff punish.
No-tech is particularly strong vs Tianhuo, due to it preserving your JD. This makes Tianhuo's next combo do significantly less damage, drastically increasing her touch count.