Samurai Shodown VI/Mina
Remember when Mina was just a knowledge check that scrubs would pick because they couldn't win with anyone else, but then she sucked once you knew how to beat her? Here, she's the best character in the game.
Mina is a very competent zoner in this iteration, moreso than the mixup-based glass cannon she was in the games prior. Thanks to the reduced damage overall and her better defense modifier (though hers is still the highest) she is a lot better at taking the occasional hit, while she fares much better at close range thanks to her arrow and bow attacks being separated into command normals a la ST Dhalsim giving her more opportunities to poke and recoil cancel, as well as the addition of an aerial bow attack which she can use as another air-to-air and as a crossup. In addition to having better zoning tools, Mina can now stock up to five falling arrows and they have set positions, making her near-unblockable setups more damaging in tandem with her stronger low options. Mina can do it all.
- Dash type: Run
- Damage taken: 120%
- Rage retention: 135
- Rage duration: 8 seconds
Mina can no longer do midscreen overheads with instant air arrows, mainly because they hit mid now. How does she open the opponent up, then? Easy: zone the opponent with your various arrow normals (6A, 6B, 3A and 2C for your various anti-airs, 3B for a ground fireball, jB for a retreating poke, jA and j2S for air-to-airs etc.), chip from fullscreen with your Bow-Heart specials (41236S) and, while you've got space, shoot a few arrows up into the sky (421D). Upon calling these arrows down (421S) they will register as an overhead hit, and coupled with low options such as 2B and 3D these will not only be very hard to block but Mina can then go for another mixup, hit confirm safely with 6D into the highly-damaging 41236C or just go back to zoning. Usually because Mina has plenty of time to shoot arrows up, she can extend her pressure pretty easily with repeated arrow falls in one sequence. She can mix in crossups such as j2S and Shinabui's Grief (623S) into her pressure if needed, but otherwise the near-unblockables with arrow falls and your constant access to them means it's usually better to just go for lows and/or safe hit confirms with them out.
Mina has one of the best WFTs in the game. It's a fullscreen punish which she can not only combo from your regular punish tools (i.e. your medium bow attacks) but also from 6C which juggles now. Mina is likely to play proactively at all times with constant zoning and rushdown, so VI is a great choice for its offensive Rage gain. It grants unlimited WFT time until used, access to Mina's strong Secret Move when low on health, and some useful defensive tools to keep her out of trouble. IV gives Mina damaging combos into 41236C or WFT with Continuous Slash II, the ability to build over half a bar of Rage with Continuous Slash IV, and Rage Explosion + Issen as a last ditch option. V gives her added mobility with rolls, and she can take advantage of 6C and 2C's juggle properties for damaging, unburstable State of Nothingness combos at any range. However, V demands Mina commit to meditation when she could zone or set arrows with 421D and greatly limits her access to WFT.
Mina has new button assignments to her grounded slashes which allows you to perform bow attacks at far range and arrow attacks at close range. EX Mina, who is based on her Samurai Shodown V incarnation, uses her old inputs, which means that whether you get an arrow attack or a bow attack is dependent on proximity.
Arrow Attacks (EX Far Slashes)
All arrow attacks are projectiles, meaning they can be reflected and cancelled out by other fireballs and an opposing Mina player's arrows. However, your opponent will not receive chip damage upon blocking them. These will not drain your Weapon Gauge if they whiff. You do not need to wait for an arrow to leave the screen before you perform another one.
- 6A (5A) - Low committal anti-air shot. Strong anti-air option especially against opponents with high jumps.
- 6B (5B) - Another anti-air shot but it flies lower than 6A (5A), making it better for catching pre-emptive jumps as your opponent attempts to reach you.
- 6C (5C) - After some startup Mina shoots three arrows straight forward for one powerful hit. This coupled with her faster shots theoretically gives Mina to consistent fullscreen punishes. Launches the opponent before they are knocked down, allowing you to follow up with arrow shots and special moves. Cancellable on startup for a fakeout, and during recovery for combos.
- 3A (2A) - Another anti-air shot. The difference between this and 6A (5A) is that the arrow is shot at a higher angle, which results in it falling down earlier. The falling arrow will hit an opponent who is sitting exactly at fullscreen but despite appearances they can block it low.
- 3B (2B) - Straight shot which sails close to the ground and must be blocked low.
- 3C (2C) - Mina fires three arrows at a 45 degree angle for one powerful hit. Has a bit less startup than 6C (5C) but still notably more than your other anti-airs. Knocks down.
Bow Attacks (EX Near Slashes)
- 5A (n5A) - A relatively sluggish swipe with the bow which hits a bit short for how it looks. 5B (n5B) is generally better for footsies.
- 5B (n5B) - A bow swipe with noticeably better range than 5A (n5A). Special cancellable and your best tool for hit confirms.
- 5C (n5C) - Mina thrusts her bow forward with both hands. This punish tool has about the same range as 5B (n5B).
- 2A (n2A) - Short palm thrust. Cancellable.
- 2B (n2B) - Despite appearances and properties this doesn't sweep, but it still hits low. Special cancellable.
- 2C (n2C) - Exactly the same as 3C (2C).
- 5D - Two-hit kick. Special cancellable but only combos into 623D, which is a very, very bad idea.
- 6D - Mina donkey kicks the opponent then rolls back half a screen regardless of whether this move made contact with the opponent, all the while ducking under some attacks. Special cancellable but hits mid.
- 2D - Probably Mina's best "get off me" poke. Hits low and has decent range.
- 3D - A low-hitting sweep where Mina falls on her front afterwards for a lengthy period of time. Does a bit more damage than 2B.
- 66A - Running 5A (n5A).
- 66B - Mina shoves two fists forward. Fast with good frame advantage but it isn't really a move Mina uses.
- 66C - Running 5C (n5C). Fast startup and tall hitbox. Knocks down.
- 66D - Running 2D. Knocks down.
Mina's jB and jC no longer hit high (jA was already a mid in V Special), so you no longer have midscreen overheads to open up the opponent with outside of falling arrows. This also applies to EX Mina. Upon firing an aerial arrow, Mina will bounce back a fair bit as she falls, and when she lands she will experience extra recovery time where she is vulnerable to throws.
- jA - Mina fires an arrow straight forward, with the shot succumbing to gravity a bit as it travels allowing it to hit grounded opponents if you're low enough.
- jB - Mina fires an arrow diagonally downward. Slightly more damage than jA.
- jC - Mina fires an arrow nearly straight downward. Deals the most damage by far.
- jD - This comes out a lot faster than your other air attacks and has decent range. You have j2S for air-to-airs now but this is still worth considering as a high-priority light air attack.
- u5S - Standing swing.
- u2S - Same as 2A (n2A).
- u66S - Identical to her 66B. Knocks down.
- juS - Aerial palm.
Hyper Slash (I)
- A+B - Essentially her 5C (n5C). Has the worst damage out of all Hyper Slashes tied with Iroha and Amakusa but doesn't even have that sort of range going for it.
Triangle Jump - 7 or 9 near wall
- Mina's normal jump is already pretty slippery, so triangle jumping coupled with her various ways to alter her air momentum can make her hard to pin down. Triangle jumping is a valid option for Mina to escape the corner with for this reason.
Triangle Get Off - 1 or 3 near wall
- Your j2S crosses up so this gives Mina some tricky mixup opportunities in the corner. She can also pester with j2D.
- Essentially an aerial 5B (n5B) in terms of visuals and range. Mina now has an air-to-air to work with that isn't an arrow. Registers as an overhead, can cross up and knocks down on hit.
Note: ★ = Chample special. There are no restrictions to Chample specials as long as Chample is on the screen in some way.
Earthly Bow-Heart - 41236A/B (EX 4,6S)
- Mina shoots a bunch of arrows straight forward. Given that normal arrows do not chip, this is Mina's best shot at dealing chip damage consistently from fullscreen. 41236A is your best combo ender as 41236B's startup is too slow, but in return it deals more damage.
- EX: This version of this move has a much slower startup overall. Strength determines the startup and amount of arrows she fires.
Heavenly Bow-Heart - 41236C (EX 4,6D)
- Mina hops up and shoots five arrows diagonally downward for very good damage, at least if you get a hit on a grounded opponent. Functional as an anti-air of sorts.
Sungan's Lure - 421D (EX 421A)
- Mina shoots an arrow up into the sky, waiting to be activated by 421S. You can save up to five arrows. When attempting to fire another one up when you've reached the limit she will still perform the attack, but the excess arrow will drop down without a hitbox.
- The arrow shot actually has a hitbox so theoretically this move can anti-air. For some reason even if this arrow hits the opponent it still adds to your arrow reserves.
- EX: Mina may only store three arrows instead of five.
- Sungan's Arrival - 421S (EX 421B)
- One of the arrows Mina shot upwards will fall down for an overhead hit. Strength determines the distance the arrow falls from you. This move will hit OTG and it comes out fast enough that it may be used as an anti-air.
- This is often coupled with 3B (2B) for near-unblockables, but keep in mind that true unblockables do not exist in VI and that, in the event that both 421S and 3B (2B) hit on the same frame, the opponent can get away with just blocking high. Regardless, the fact this move doesn't track means that it's a lot harder for the opponent to avoid these setups, provided you know where they're going to move to.
- EX: This version of the move tracks the opponent's current position.
Shinabui's Grief - 623S (also in EX)
- Mina jumps in a rainbow arc above the opponent, crossing them up, then fires a shot which knocks down. The leap is quite fast but the move is punishable on block. No difference between versions.
Umichimun's Range - 623D (Samurai Drive)
- Similar to her old WFT. Mina first leaps up for one hit, then dives straight down onto the opponent's current position. These hits do not combo into each other but the dive hits OTG. This is not invincible at all but the first hit comes out very fast, and if it trades for a counter hit and you recover in time you can then link the move into itself. Still not recommended as a reversal of any sort.
- If they short roll after getting hit by a 5C you could potentially use this to catch their recovery, but would you want to?
★Come, Chample! - BE (EX 214B)
- Chample hides away into Mina's dress. If Chample is far away then Mina will wait. Performing this move again will make Chample emerge from a zipper out of nowhere. The purpose of this move is to shut Chample up.
★Good Night, Chample! - CE (EX 214D)
- Chample puts a leaf over its belly and dozes off. Performing this move again will make Chample wake up. The purpose of this move is to shut Chample up.
Abysmal Incantation - j2D, can be done unarmed (also in EX)
- High priority Dhalsim drill. This deals multiple hits but the damage is low and it doesn't chip. Its high priority can make it quite hard to stop if spaced correctly, but if performed too close you can expect to be punished with a throw. Still useful as one means of altering your air momentum.
★Put Out Something, Chample! - EX 63214A
- One of three special moves exclusive to EX Mina. Chample will pull out an item at random from its hat. If an item is already out then Chample will find nothing.
★Take That, Chample! - EX 63214B
- If an item is on the screen then Chample will walk to it, pick it up then either throw it at the opponent (weapons, poison) or run to Mina and place it at her feet (food, money, bombs). If there is nothing to pick up then Chample will worry in place for a bit.
★Catch It, Chample! - EX 63214C (Samurai Drive)
- Chample charges forward with its arms out. If it hits the opponent they will be stuck as Chample freezes them in place for a decent amount of time, opening them up for a free hit or letting you stock arrows. This attack hits mid.
★Toy Transformation - 321421E (II)
- This will reset Chample's current position, which means if you used any of the Chample commands you'll have to shut it up again.
Nirya-Kanaya's Spellbinding - 236AB
- Similar to her Overkill from V Special. Mina shoots a fast arrow fullscreen, and if it hits the opponent then she fires a bunch more. This can serve as a fullscreen punish tool and as a strong combo ender. This knocks the opponent a great distance back, which is great for you because there's not many things that most unarmed opponents can do against your zoning. This can not be reflected.
Umichimun's Rage - EX 236AB
- Her old WFT. It's just as useless as it was in V.
Mitunci's Judgement - 41236421BC (II), 236BC (VI) (also in EX) (Samurai Drive)
- Essentially an enhanced version of her falling arrows. Mina fires ten shots upward very quickly, then after recovering immediately there is a brief delay before the arrows fall down successively in front of each other. This is very strong for setplay and just generally leaving a giant hitbox in front of you. By the way, these all hit overhead too.
- 5B/2B 41236A/236AB - Standard medium combos.
- 6D 41236C/236AB - When used in conjunction with falling arrows Mina can use the arrow + 6D as a hit confirm.
- 6C 6A/6B/3A/2C/66A/66C/421S/41236A/41236C/236AB - Juggles from a 6C hit. Some of these are distance and/or position dependent.
- 421S, 236AB - Easier to hit confirm depending on the distance.
- 5D 623D - Don't ever use this.
Continuous Slash (IV)
- A+B BBC 421A/41236A/41236C/236AB - Note than the cancel window is surprisingly early.
State Of Nothingness (V)
- 6C, 6C ABC - A fullscreen punish that they can't Rage Explode. And yes, the juggle into ABC will work from fullscreen.