Under Night In-Birth/UNICLR/Londrekia/Strategy
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Londrekia's win condition is to land a poke in neutral, take the opponent all the way to the corner with the generous carry of his combo routing, and apply a mix of high/lows, knowledge checks, and basic UNI pressure in order to crack the opponent. Because his pressure is not particularly strong, returning to neutral in order to repeat the process is an acceptable strategy in his better matchups, as his accessible neutral tools are some of his greatest assets. Barring that, Londrekia can use metered pressure resets to stay in against his bad matchups and keep his turn.
Londrekia is a very scary character when walking back, as 4C and rekkas provide ample threats against approaches. Because his throw is relatively low reward, landing a mixup or baiting a response for a counterhit is the most ideal way to do damage. As such, Londrekia is at his best when he maintains spacings that force the opponent to overextend and make uncomfortable challenges. This is based on both matchups and conditioning.
The importance of 4C cannot be understated in using Londrekia, including in neutral. On offense, it can be used as a 50/50 situation that must be countered with reversals in order to punish/contest. However, the true power of 4C is that it is a disjointed wall that is potent for whiff punishing and halting reckless approaches in neutral. It catches assaults at midrange and can trade for a full combo against other pokes that do not knock Londrekia down. Because it is disjointed, it can also contest fireball pressure resets in matchups like Nanase and Vatista.
Consider projectile usage in neutral. In the matchup, are you approaching or retreating in neutral? What benefit does using 236A give? What are your opponent's character-specific options against it? In matchups like Merkava, Londrekia will not be using projectiles as much and will be trying to find ways to use rekkas to circumvent the opponent's neutral options (214[C] over 5C). In matchups like Orie, Lond will be using projectiles to set the pace and then using rekkas to punish reckless approaches (214B against jumping/FF). It's important to understand the risks involved with throwing projectiles/their high recovery, as well as the rewards if the opponent is frozen. Carefully placing your projectiles is important not only because you are likely to be whiff punished if you don't, but because shielding them prevents debuff and loses you the GRD cycle. It can be a slow pace, walking back and testing reactions with whiffing 5A and throwing a projectile when they're going to overextend - or waiting for a poorly placed assault in neutral that you can respond to with 4C.
It's also important to consider your opponent's resources. If Linne has 100 meter for C hien, suddenly using projectiles at all becomes a big risk. This is the same with Eltnum having 100 meter 236C, among many other examples in the cast. The neutral dynamic in some of those matchups may switch completely in those cases. Ultimately, your goal is to land a hit and take your opponent to the corner. Barring that, your second goal is to not overextend and get hit yourself, so knowing when to acknowledge greater neutral threats and resist the urge to throw projectiles is just as important. In those cases within those MUs, you may end up switching to being the one on approach.
Spending some time trying to understand the dynamics of 236x (and what sort of response you're trying to provoke from the opponent by using it) is a good basis for the MUs where Lond is able to set the pace.
Other actions to consider:
- 236B is essentially three layered projectiles that will consequently beat other projectiles in fireball clashes. However, the startup is significant and is very easily jumped over, so it must be used sparingly.
- 236[B] can be whiffed to test reactions and call out dashblocking/jumping. The active frames can make it somewhat difficult to whiff punish, assuming it isn't stuffed on startup.
- 22A can be set in order to run in and close the gap. 22B fires faster, potentially catching a bad reaction to an opponent responding to 22A. Both are projectile invul and are destroyed by normals. Their neutral application is extremely limited in many cases, but can be used when an opponent shows they are overly passive, either to approach or to concentrate for GRD.
It can be said that Londrekia's greatest asset in neutral are his rekka series. This may sound weak on paper, but in practice, they are very strong and very versatile, both for covering space on the ground and controlling air space.
214BB is a double hitting low sweep with incredible range. An opponent can be easily caught off guard if they attempt to walk away from Londrekia or backdash at the wrong spacing. Because it happens relatively quickly, it can be used as a round start option against opponents walking back. It also significantly strengthens the threat of 214B[C] and 214B[A].
214[C] has high profiling properties that allow Londrekia to go soaring over projectiles and other mids. It can function as a "super assault" to bypass pokes and whiff punish them. This can also be mixed with 214CC in order to sweep opponents standing up in response to 214[C]. It must be used carefully, however, as it is a head property move and can be antiaired with head invul moves - or just whiff punished if spaced incorrectly.
214B acts as an antiair covering a significant space in front of Londrekia, perfect for preemptively attacking opponents at the height of a normal jump. 214B has decent startup for the range that it covers (13F) and head invul on frames 11-14. 214[B] and 214AB can sacrifice speed to greatly increase the distance of this poke, potentially calling out upback.
If any of Londrekia's rekkas whiff, followups have the property of correcting sides to track the opponent. This is particularly useful when using 214BC, because even whiffing the first stage allows for the second to home in on where the opponent landed. It can create some wacky situations! If you have resources, it can often be best to complete a whiffing rekka series in order to catch an opponent trying to whiff punish a first or second stage rekka whiff.
Because of the relative strength of Londrekia's mid-range pokes (and the ability to bypass the opponent's pokes), there are many MUs where Londrekia is a big threat in neutral, so working around the opponent's spacings and pace of the match can be heavily rewarded. Scoring any hit in neutral leads to full corner carry, so playing in the mid-range and scouting for these opportunities is a legitimate strategy.
However, there are matchups where closing neutral and beginning momentum is more imperative, and in those cases spending meter on Frozen Vine (623C) can be worth it. Hilda, Carmine, and to a lesser degree Vatista are matchups in which beginning offense can be the best defense and the stakes are higher for the character without momentum. 236A 623C has a lot of obvious benefit in matchups against other characters that can put Londrekia in a fireball war. Any situation that can be set up that allows for raw 623C to connect on the ground is the most ideal.
Without spending meter or using rekkas, 9j3B can be used in a variety of ways to poke at the opponent relatively safely. At the tip, j3B is disjointed, so it can check the opponent at ranges where their antiair may whiff completely. On stand shield, j3B is -4, so this poke cannot be repeatedly used as a pressure reset if the opponent is paying attention, but it can serve as a good way to begin or reset pressure in a way that high profiles some crouching normals. Assault j3B is still not an overhead, but it reaches relatively far horizontally and can punish whiffs with relatively high reward, even without counterhit (~3k).
Beyond that, dashblock is a fundamental UNI tool that can help close the gap in relevant situations. Londrekia's run is also relatively useful in conjunction with 66C, which has a high hitbox that catches airborne opponents fairly reliably. Approaching with a run and selecting a moment to pause and observe the opponent's poke can be powerful when combined with 4C or 214x. An opponent should be made to feel uncomfortable committing too hard to any option when Londrekia is on the approach.
In the matchups where Londrekia has more free roam of neutral, his projectiles can be used to condition the opponent to jump. It's possible to wall out the more "stubby" characters on the ground by rotating strings ending in far 236A (up to +/-0 on block) and 4C. Matchups like Wagner and Enkidu benefit greatly from playing keep away, as Lond can be difficult to pin down. Reducing the opponent's neutral to dashblocking can also be an effective way to open them up for Londrekia's own approaches.
If the opponent is attempting to play around Londrekia's projectile patterns, 236[B] can be used to catch an approach from the air. This is relatively high commitment, so there's a certain amount of "trust" that must be placed on the opponent's reactions. This also sets up an air unblockable situation if the opponent blocks it in the air. On whiff, Londrekia is difficult to punish, and 236[B] can be whiffed intentionally at range to bait a whiffed shield from the opponent, leading to either a scramble or a head start on concentrating late in the cycle.
4C is the Wall that Londrekia can put up and stuff any reckless approaches, including poorly-spaced assaults. 5C also changes this range at faster startup and lower recovery than 4C. The disjoint properties of 4C allow it to catch advancing pokes like Wagner's A drill, Mika missile, Orie's Divine Thrust, and Nanase's "swordcar."
Using 7j3B can allow Londrekia to retreat out of dicey neutral exchanges while covering approaches from the air. 7j3[B] is very good at punishing opponents for attempting to assault in scramble situations, and it can be used early without increase in order to cover the space more quickly (but for less reward). On counterhit, j3[B] is an excellent starter. 7j3B can often be treated similarly to upback shield, but with more potential firepower. There is a noticeable weakness to 7j3B, and that is that the minimum height at which the move comes out is higher than most low pokes. Therefore, this strategy is really only used to cover approaches from the air/assaults, as the opponent running up and pressing a low attack will often go underneath Lond's j3B and punish his landing recovery. Learning the situations in which 7j3B can be used well in neutral is a matter of player interaction and experience.
While Londrekia can set up situations that are stronger for presenting the threat of throw, his most direct offense is in the form of high/lows. They are all reactable, so it's up to the Londrekia player to vary their pressure and add to the opponent's mental stack in order to set up the situations where his most damaging starters can connect.
Once Londrekia has taken the opponent to the corner, it's time to test the opponent, ideally while retaining advantage. Londrekia is generally not a character that is going to force frame advantage - most of his opportunities come from counterpokes, whiff punishes, and conditioning. For that reason, it's necessary to mix offensive options to encourage reckless responses from the opponent.
- String into C rebeat with whiffed 2A
- -2 on block. A fundamental option to mix into pressure to test reactions and bait green shields. Rebeat into 5B is decent option and can be mixed with whiff punishing tools like walk back 4C, 8j3[B], and 9j[C].
- String into 236A
- Can be converted on CH at virtually every applicable corner range. When spaced out at further ranges, it's +/-0 on block if they don't shield. In some MUs it hardly matters. In other MUs without strong disjoints like Akatsuki, it's a huge deal because you can leverage 5BB vs 4C after the projectile is blocked.
- String into 236B/236[B]
- Way more risky, completely fake in virtually every MU, but a knowledge check if they don't know their correct option to challenge with. 236[B] can lead to an AUB if they jump.
- String into 214A
- Strong in some MUs (Yuzu), -2 on block. Damaging starter even on non-CH. Can be gapless from C normals. When spaced correctly, you can RPS the range of your 6F 5A, shimmy 5B, and 214A[X] to catch hasty mash attempts.
- String into 214C
- Same exact idea as string into 214A, but a little less safe (-4). Much safer when spaced out of the corner to create pushback. Decent green shield bait and easily catches air movement.
- String into 214[C]
- Somewhat risky, pretty easy to react to. Usually not worth going for unless as an OS bait/punish, e.g. run up 5A 214[C]. High reward on hit (3.5k).
- String into 4C
- A very strong option, but one that you have to make VERY carefully depending on your opponent's resources (and your own). Using 4C opens you up to being hit with horizontal reversals, and outside some niche spacing applications of 214[B], there's nothing you can do about this except for CS and IW. Mix with 4CC vs 4C 214A, but be aware that if the 4C connects with the opponent, 214A will whiff. 4C 214[A] will combo on hit and is a better starter if they are opened up low, but leaves you closer to the opponent (and therefore less safe on shield). All of the "string into 214A" mind games apply, but with the added benefit that they tend to be more likely to mash after successfully blocking 4C 214A, so mix with 4C 214A~[X] accordingly.
- Additionally (thanks mission mode), mix with 4C whiffed 214B~[C]/214B~[A]/throw. This is higher commitment, though, so be aware of what option you're trying to bait from the opponent with this.
If necessary, you can make 4C gapless with 4C 236C.
- Note: be aware that 4C has a suction effect, so 236A/B both become more risky to use. The suction effect can also be used at close range to pull the opponent out of the corner for corner steal 4C 214B~X.
- String into 6B
- Don't do it... Except when you do.
Londrekia has a very unique set of strengths and weaknesses with his kit in the air.
- His j3B is fully disjointed at the tip and can alter air momentum for unique punishes in matchups like Hyde and Phonon (example). While 7j3[B] can be used defensively in neutral as a pre-emptive way to blow up assault in the mid-range, 9j3B can be used to begin pressure on the opponent. When shielded, j3B is -4 when the opponent is standing. It is -3 on shield when the opponent is crouching (it is a mid, not an overhead). Partial charging j3B when pressuring can be more effective than the full increase j3[B] and can potentially cause a whiffed green shield from the opponent if they are attempting to shield j3[B]. When j3[B] is used with assault, it is still highly rewarding (~3k damage), making it the most valid assault normal to use in neutral.
- His jA can be used while rising to clip stand tech (9AD). This can be confirmed with jA jC jB. On whiff, Londrekia recovers fast enough to fall with another jA. This jA is a crossup, so Lond may rising jA > falling jA at certain spacings similarly to Seth's rising jA falling jB.
- His jB is also a crossup normal with a slightly wider hitbox. It is very unsafe when shielded, lacks significant hitstun, and leads to poor damage when used with assault. As a result, it is best used in conjuction with jA and jC and has little value on its own.
- His jC hits directly below him and can be used to abuse reversal deadzones, or even deadzones of dedicated antiair normals. It can also be used while rising as a throw OS that still connects on crouching opponents. When the second hit of j[C] is shielded at peak jump height, it can be made -8, full combo punishable by the every character except Waldstein. However, depending on how deep in the jump j[C] is used, it can be up to +5 on shield.
- Jumping forward with j[C] is much more rewarding than assault j[C] and is a more reliable option for high profiling attacks. Because of the relatively stubby horizontal range of this normal, it has very limited use as an assault normal in neutral. Additionally, the second hit of jC can always be shielded on block when using assault, so the overall value of assaulting with Londrekia is lower than other characters. Assault j[C] whiff and deep assault jC (+2 on shield) are valid ways to play mind games with the opponent, but assault jC itself is an overall weak option overshadowed by his other air actions.
- In order to mitigate the risk of getting j[C] shielded, the second hit of j[C] can be omitted by using j3[B]. Because j3B alters Londrekia's momentum quickly downwards, the j3[B] will whiff. Between the blockstun of j[C](1) and the downward momentum of j3[B], the first hit of j[C] can be made +1 on block even at peak jump height. This allows Londrekia to both continue pressure on block and punish any attempts to shield the second hit of j[C]. The tradeoff for this relative safety is a notable damage decrease if only the first hit is used, but j[C](1)wj3[B] is still more rewarding than assault jC.
- Note: because of a hitbox issue with 5A, it's recommended that we enforce the +1 situation using 2A rather than 5A.
Pressure Options With Vorpal
- String into C normal 22B CS
- Creates a small amount of frame advantage while planting a blossom on the opponent. Whereas 22B CS can be slightly plus, 22A CS has less advantage and may lead to less opportunities. C normal into 22B CS can be followed by checking with a normal, usually 5B or 5C. When a normal is rebeated after this setup, it is roughly the same FD on block as normal, but without corner pushback, which can lead to some ambiguous throw opportunities. If the opponent respects the setup, going straight into throw can cause the "combo throw" effect of throwing into blossom for more damage.
- String into 4C 214A CS
- Baits most reversals and leads to good damage on hit. 4CC CS is also possible, but cannot be CS'd on whiff, leaving Londrekia vulnerable to horizonal reversals.
- Oki into 236A/236[B] CS
- Adjust according to knockdown advantage. Checks the opponent's wakeup using vorpal and leads to good damage on hit.
- Oki into early 22A CS
- Advertises that you are setting up a throw situation, which can bait hasty responses. It's possible to j[C] over some DPs/flashkick while retaining safety on shield from the blossom. This of course loses to universal options like wakeup dashblock.
- Oki into 214[C] CS vs whiffed 214[C]~C
- In situations like post-throw that offer good frame advantage, Londrekia can threaten with a high/low. The low option is very difficult to see and cannot be safely CS'd. The overhead option is very easy to react to but can be CS'd to remain safe against reversals. If the opponent's tech is read, CS can be used to play the mind game of whether or not Londrekia will go overhead and be safe or go low for high reward.
Snow Blossom (22A/B) Oki
If you are ending your combo on Freeze, you basically have three options:
- 22A/22B oki
- Dump some meter and then go back to option #1
- Use 6B into rekkas
The third option is heavily dependent on the quality of your routing.
Optimal damage and meter comes from freeze > 6B > rekka (usually 214ABC) > 236C > 214BC
If you spend meter for damage after freeze, you potentially miss out on a few extra hundred damage and 20 meter. Ideally if you want to dump resources at high health you use 6B rekka > 236C > poke into CVO… Although this is only about 100 damage more than ending your route with raw IW, so the CS use isn't worth it if it doesn't kill.
(some examples are shown in the Videos section)
- Any string into 6B
- Most strings into 236B can be challenged on reaction if the opponent is ready (just like Carmine wheel)
- Raw j3B "crossup" without the use of 22C for frame advantage
- Whiff 214B > throw
- 66C no cancel (66C has a very strict cancel window on block, so it can be reliably fuzzy mashed if the opponent confirms that Lond did not cancel into a special move)
Because of Londrekia's access to a "one-button DP" in the form of his force function, the opponent can be encouraged to limit their offensive options. FF can be mashed during a blockstring to expose gaps and overheads can generally be FF'd on reaction, so the opponent often must restructure their pressure to account for this option if it is presented.
However, at the core of Londrekia's defense is the use of 5A and 5B(B) to challenge the opponent's pressure. His 6F 5A reaches relatively far, allowing him to check opponents in ranges where in-fighters often feel comfortable. Keep in mind that although 5A 3C is the optimal confirm, the 3C is prone to whiffing at tip spacing, so 5A 5BB should be used in those cases. His 5B is 9F up close and 10F further away with the option to continue with 5BB on whiff. This can catch assault startup and is very hard to space out, but if the opponent causes 5BB to whiff, it has significantly higher recovery than 5B, leaving Londrekia open to punishment. When Londrekia is cornered, (5A) 5BB leads to a corner-to-corner route using 214B[C]. If 5BB connects midscreen, 214[B][A] is the optimal confirm.
Londrekia's 2B is a far-reaching low, but it's somewhat slow at 10F and is just behind his further-reaching 2C at 11F. 2C can often be the better option over 2B to press for a sweep, but it has more recovery on whiff. Londrekia's lows can be used to check an opponent that is walking back in order to bait force function/trying to cause his standing pokes to whiff. Keep in mind that if the 2B connects, it must be confirmed with 4C immediately in order to be able to connect 3C > j[C] for optimal damage. Using 2B 2C 4C prorates the combo. If both 2B and 2C are used before 4C, the combo should be treated like a 214C starter and end on 5B 2C 3C 214CBC. 2C 2B can be confirmed directly to 214B[A] and is a better starter.
At further ranges, 4C can be used defensively. It is a very slow button to start up at 15 frames, so it must be used carefully to avoid getting outright stuffed by a faster poke. There are certain matchups where the disjoint property is extremely valuable to have, such as the Nanase matchup where FF~j236x can be 4C'd on reaction. It also generally does a good job at dealing with assault repressure from a distance.
Londrekia's force function is his only reversal outside of IW. He has no metered reversals, and both his FF and his IW have relatively high startup. VO can be used in situations where force function is vulnerable like EX command grabs.
In theory, using force function effectively is as simple as paying attention to the opponent and picking a sensible spot to reversal. However, there are many ways that force function can be baited in pressure using disjointed normals or specials, so it's possible to be tricked by the opponent. Because of the relatively poor risk/reward, FF should be used sparingly in order to avoid getting harshly punished.
Londrekia has access to several reliable option selects. He can of course use the universal OS options of 1A~D/2AD, 1AD, 4AD, 7A~D/7AD, and 1ABCD. He has access to a 3CAD, which is head invul on frame 9. It does not have a very impressive vertical hitbox, but it does have the benefit of hitting somewhat behind him as well.
The most unique option Londrekia has is a 9CAD, which is a rising jump normal OS that still connects on crouchers (which exception to Linne and Merkava). This functions similarly to a divekick OS, but with the caveat that it will always connect on block and potentially moves Londrekia out of the corner. If the opponent shields either hit of jC, Londrekia will not have access to another jump normal and can be punished. If the opponent blocks jC, a falling jB can be gapless even on small characters like Vatista. At the height that keeps the normal gapless, shielding the jB causes it to be up to 6F punishable. The jC > falling jB can be delayed to leave a small gap. At that time, jB is safe on shield at -2/-3. If the opponent attempts to shield jB on the way down, Londrekia can omit the falling jump normal and throw the green shield for a GRD break.
9CAD example: https://twitter.com/foxof42/status/1244091302750425090
On hit, jC leads to about 3k meterless damage in the corner, so the reward for successfully hitting a rising jC is fairly substantial. The commitment of using rising jC as a throw OS is higher than 7A~D/7AD because of the difficulty of moving to 9 and then returning to . This means it is more susceptible to repeated lows like 2AAA from many characters, so the Londrekia player must be mindful of when to go for this option. 9jA~D may also be used (jA jC jB), but will whiff on crouching opponents. Similarly to Seth's rising jA/falling jB, Londrekia can use the crossup property of jA to input 9jA~D into falling jA if the opponent is in range.
In general, the hardest thing most players have difficulty dealing with is Londrekia's rekkas and the versatile ways they can be used. For that reason, this video explaining how rekkas work is the best resource for players learning the matchup for the first time: https://youtu.be/zwkeYSpY5rQ
The other things that should be leveraged against Londrekia are:
- Strings that easily bait FF using a disjoint
- Projectile invul EX moves in response to fireballs
- Horizontal EX DPs when Londrekia uses 4C
- Projectile deletion moves in response to 4CC
- Throwing Londrekia on wakeup after throw protection ends (on frame 8) but before force function can connect (frame 12) in order to punish raw DP attempts
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LIEwnpK9wiVfwQuYkNkGxPitWBO6WaTF5_LBvLC9s_U/edit?usp=drivesdk A doc with a collection of Londrekia resources.
Londrekia Wiki Roadmap
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Page last edited on: 2023-02-17 by Foxof42.