The King of Fighters XV/Shun'ei/Strategy
Overall, meter improves Shun'ei's anti-airs, whiff punishes, ability to deal with projectiles, and defense significantly. Having 1 bar of meter available shores up a lot of Shun'ei's weaknesses, improving his neutral and his defense significantly.
- 214AC is arguably Shun'ei's strongest whiff punish tool and can also be used to punish grounded projectiles on reaction.
- 236236P is an excellent tool for buffering anti-airs out of whiff cancels or recovery.
- 236236K is an excellent tool for buffering whiff punishes out of whiff cancels or recovery.
- 236236BD is great for punishing projectiles on reaction at mid-range.
- GC Blowback, GC Roll, and Shatter Strike are all very helpful for Shun'ei due to his naturally poor defense.
- 236AC can be used to clash with 2-hit projectiles, can punish single-hit projectiles if you're close enough, and can also be used for whiff punishes.
- 623AC is a risky hard read option in mid-ranged neutral, and has some surprising utility when defending against blockstrings or sliding through projectiles.
- j.236AC is plus on block in the corner and can be used to set up further frametraps and extended blockstrings.
- j.236BD can be used to reset your pressure after 6B in blockstrings, just keep in mind it's a punishable gimmick against prepared opponents.
- 214236CD is a great anti-air that can punish opponents trying to exploit Shun'ei's weakness to crossups.
- j.CD is your main approach tool. Its range isn't amazing, but it does have a decent hitbox for air-to-ground interactions. Its startup is a bit slow as well, but overall it's still a functional tool for approaching and controlling space. You can counterhit confirm j.CD into 214C pretty much anywhere on the screen, and sometimes even stronger conversions like 623AC, or j.236C/AC in the corner. j.CD's hitbox interacts a bit worse with jump normals coming above, so be wary of your opponents landing on top of your j.CD approach with their own jump normal.
- j.D can be used in situations where you need a bit more range when approaching/landing. At these farther spacings, you can try to frametrap after j.D with far.C or CD. j.B can be a good alternative against low profiles or crouchers, due to having more active frames.
- CD defines your ground approach game. It converts on trade, it's mostly safe on block when buffered into 214A, it can convert on aerial counterhit into 214A, it crushes lows, and it's very easy to dump meter into a conversion if you open an opponent up with it. Be very alert for aerial approaches which might punish CD's recovery, and be cautious of opponents that use their movement to try and bait a whiff for a hard punish. The prospective threat of CD can really allow you to control space, intimidate your opponent into not throwing out as many grounded pokes, and overall gives you some much needed dominance in the grounded neutral. You may want to buffer 236236 after 214A if you see your opponent in the air when you throw CD out, that way you can 236236P out of recovery to try and punish opponents that jump on top of your CD with late timing.
- Aqua Spear is similar to CD, interacting well against pokes that don't have enough range to trade against it. The reward on hit isn't as high as CD, but the lack of forward movement and whiff cancel property can make it a safer and more stable option. Don't forget to use the 2369 input technique to guarantee you don't get DP after running. You can buffer another 236 after the Aqua Spear to try and confirm into 236236K on reaction after any incidental whiff punishes.
- Far C can lead to some okay stagger pressure on block, with a variety of cancel routes available including safe on block specials like 214A or 236A/C. Overall, while it has passable range and startup, it still isn't a particularly impressive approach tool.
- 2D's weak range makes it an underwhelming approach tool. It will even lose interactions to certain far As or other hop check normals due to how stubby it is and how much you have to run in to get in range for it.
- Running up for a throw or a light confirm is mostly functional for Shun.
- 2A can actually be a relatively safe approach tool that can lead into frametrap/stagger pressure with 6B/6A/236A/236C cancels, and can confirm into 214A on hit. There's actually an OS that can be used for this - do 2A with a slightly delayed cancel into 6A/6B/214A/236A. The window for special/command normal cancels out of 2A is smaller than the cancel window for chains, so if you delay your 6A/6B/214A/236A input the right amount you'll get 5A/5B instead on whiff, and throwing out 5A/5B in neutral is much safer than whiffing 6A/6B/214A and less committal than Aqua Spear. You can also use this OS for keepout.
- Forward Airdash can be used to approach from unexpected angles, but your hops/jumps more or less give away your possible trajectory - a prepared opponent can try to pre-emptively catch your airdash approach, or move to a more favorable position. Use precaution when approaching with airdash, but feel free to use it frequently against opponents that aren't good at stuffing it out.
- Down Forward Airdash can be used to approach in a similar fashion, best used when the airdash will get you into range for a light confirm or a throw - a bit more dangerous and 'gimmicky' than forward airdash, since your opponent gets a full grounded combo if they manage to react and punish.
- Down Airdash can be used to adjust the spacing of your hops/jumps, but its most practical use is probably to bait and punish anti-airs when jumping in. Again, this sort of strategy can be much less effective against an opponent that's aware of the bait.
- All airdashes can be Tiger-Knee'd for tighter approaches/retreats, but it's more difficult than usual because there's a minimum height required before you can airdash. It's best to do your tiger-knee motions as fast as possible to extend the length of the motion buffer further into your hop/jump animation.
- Anti-air jumps on reaction with 2C, far D, or j.A. You get air reset pressure off 2C, allowing you to dash up and get a meaty 2A at least - if you hit your opponent with 2C when they are particularly high in the air, right above you, or slightly behind you then you may end up having enough time to run up and go for a spaced light confirm. j.A air-to-airs from a neutral/forward jump will allow you to run up for a grounded mixup of your choosing, and a well spaced air-to-air might even allow you to get a meaty hop on their air reset.
- j.A gives good pressure on hit and can be fast enough for anti-airs on reaction, but this strategy is vulnerable to opponents that throw out their jump normal earlier in their jump arc. You can try to punish their landing with 2B into a light confirm if they throw out their jump normal too early. However, Shun'ei doesn't have the greatest range on his light confirms, and 2B doesn't special cancel. 2D may be a preferable choice due to the slight range advantage over 2B. It may be preferable to avoid playing a game of "guess the jump normal timing" altogether and just roll out of any hop/jump approaches if you aren't at the right spacing for anti-air 2C/far D.
- Aqua Spear and CD can be decent choices for pressuring landings from further away.
- If you have meter to spend, Gaianic Burst (236236P) has a sizeable hitbox, invuln, and comes out on frame 7, making it a powerful and relatively consistent anti-air...it even converts on trade! You can either buffer 236236 in neutral and look for jumps to anti-air OR use far B/far C/far D/2D/Aqua Spear in neutral and buffer a 236236 input after - 2D/Aqua Spear can both be whiff cancelled into 236236P, and you can also hide a 236236 buffer behind the recovery of all moves mentioned, making your ability to play grounded footsies a fair bit safer.
- Shatter Strike is a great, consistent option for anti-airing jumps on reaction in neutral and offers excellent reward. Just keep in mind that it can move you forward underneath the opponent's jump, so you want to avoid using this against steep jump-in angles, and it helps to time the input right around the peak of your enemy's jump or a little bit after for better consistency.
- Phantom Singulation (214236CD) is 1 frame faster than 236236P while also hitting behind Shun'ei, making it a reliable tool for dealing with crossups.
- Running under steep/crossup jump-ins and punishing the opponent's landing frame with 2D can be doable, but Shun doesn't do this too much better than other characters. The range and low profile on his 2D are both just sort of average and he only gets a little bit of a low profile when running.
- Overall, it should generally be best to look for 2C anti-airs as much as possible to start with. Shun'ei's other anti-airs are all more situational. Rolling out of scary hop/jump approaches is a valid and reasonable habit, but be careful of doing it too late against characters with good roll punish tools. Keep an eye out for opportunities to hop in on your opponent's landing if they're too far for 2C anti-air or 2D landing punish.
- j.D, j.CD, and j.A are all valid options when trying to keep your opponent out with jumps/hops - j.D has good horizontal range and a hitbox angled for air-to-ground interactions, j.CD has a bit less range but can trade more favorably, and j.A has a hitbox good for air-to-air interactions. j.B can be good for 'fade-away' backward hops/jumps.
- CD converts on trade and can be buffered into 214A or 236A/C safely, but watch out for Guard Cancel Rolls. It can interact decently against hops, but you'll whiff if they're at the peak of their hop when your hitbox comes out. It's a reasonable tool to keepout with, but it's very easily whiff punished. Use it with precaution.
- Aqua Spear has a nice disjointed hitbox, but also extends your hurtbox. It can trade very easily, and requires precise spacing to fully benefit from the space control it provides. Its range, disjoint property, and safety when combined with 236236P can make it a reasonable tool for keepout. It can interact well against hops, but is even more prone to whiffing like CD. It can be somewhat dangerous to whiff, but compared to CD, the lack of forward movement during the animation can make you a bit safer. Keep in mind that you can't whiff cancel into super during recovery frames, so Aqua Spear is still somewhat vulnerable to aerial approaches - 236236P just makes it much safer.
- Far C can give great reward when used for keepout if you have a read on your opponent trying to run in for an approach. The recovery on it can make it somewhat vulnerable to hops or different approach timings, and somewhat whiff punishable. You can buffer into 6A midscreen for easy confirms, and go into 236A or 236C on block. In the corner it will generally be preferable to buffer into 6B instead. You can buffer 623C/214C and counterpoke with it. You can also whiff cancel it into its target combo to control space for a bit longer with the 2nd hitbox.
- 2D doesn't have the best range, but it's very difficult to whiff punish. Its whiff cancel property also makes it much safer and stronger against hops if you have meter for 236236P, which would normally be the ideal answer against 2D. It gives a good oki situation on hit, making it a surprisingly reasonable option for keepout. You can use 2362D36(P) as an input shortcut to prepare a whiff cancel into 236236P, and you can do another 236 after the shortcut in case you want to use super after 2D's recovery.
- Far A has surprisingly good range, and can stuff your opponent's attempts at approaching with hops/pokes.
- 2A can be used with the whiff cancel OS for a safe and low commitment tool. Just keep in mind it isn't particularly oppressive and can still be beaten by hops, blowbacks, and different poke timings.
- j.236C can be used in conjunction with hops and jumps to build meter and keep your opponent out. j.236C can also be tiger-knee'd, it functions a bit like a backdash that has less range and a longer animation, but with an active hitbox in front of it. Be careful of giving up too much space with j.236C, and keep in mind the hitbox on it isn't particularly dominant.
- 2B can be buffered into Quick MAX in neutral, and can be a good non-committal option against low-profile moves.
- Far B has a lower hitbox than far A and can be used a little bit more effectively against hops when you're further away from your opponent. It can also interact slightly better against lows, but far A will generally be preferable at its appropriate range.
- Far D has an unfortunately long animation, making it very vulnerable to whiff punishes. However, if you have enough meter you can hit confirm it into Quick MAX combos. Then it can be used as a risky high range tool to stuff hops and punish grounded approaches heavily.
Whiff Punishes and Roll Punishes
- 214AC is an incredibly flexible whiff punish tool with great range, speed, and solid reward. While it requires half a bar, it's still worth placing at the top of the list, due to it being able to pick up any whiff punish that CD can and more. You can buffer 214 motions in neutral and prepare easy whiff punishes at mid range, the hitbox goes about halfway across the screen.
- CD doesn't have quite as much range as 214AC, but it has similar speed and much better reward.
- 236AC can be an alternative to CD that's safer on whiff and deals similar damage, although the tip hitbox is a soft knockdown, so overall your conversions likely won't be quite as good as CD.
- Far C has mostly unimpressive range, but great reward on hit and you can hit confirm it with Far C > 6A/6B, which helps if you aren't sure if your opponent had time to block or not. Use this option when 2A won't reach.
- Far B can only be converted from if you have at least 1 bar, but it has nearly as much range as Far C with faster startup. You can use 2365B236K for easy super cancels.
- 2A is fast, has functional range, and converts well. Use this when you're up close and need something fast to use.
- If your opponent is point blank then throw, cl.A or cl.C are going to be your best bets depending on how much speed you need.
- Whenever you're buffering 236236 for fireball anti-airs, you can also keep an eye out for enemy whiffs and throw out 236236K for easy whiff punishes
Note on Spaced Safejumps: Adjusting the arc of one of your hops/jumps should be enough to turn a spaced safejump into a regular safejump.
- For example, after 236236P midscreen you can do Super Jump Forward, Airdash Forward, instead of just doing a regular jump forward to make it a regular safejump instead of a spaced safejump.
- For a corner example, after 214C in the corner, you can do Jump (instead of Super Jump) Back, Hyper Hop Forward if you don't want it to be a spaced safejump.
Note on Manually Delayed Safejumps: Any manually timed safejump should be a 2f input against 4f reversals - which means a reasonably high level of precision.
- It may be preferable to treat these situations like meaty jump-ins that are vulnerable to reversals instead of safejumps until you get consistent with your timing.
Note on Airdash Safejumps: Properly spacing yourself for a safejump setup that uses airdash requires manual timing on the airdash to adjust your spacing properly. You typically want to airdash at the peak of your jump to properly space your jump normal. You may want to airdash earlier if you're trying to do a spaced setup - but keep in mind this can signal intention to your opponent.
- Midscreen you can do Neutral Jump, Hyper Hop Forward for a spaced safejump - however, this setup is not spaced against King of Dinosaurs after a juggle combo ending in 214C. This setup should function just as well after combos or whiff punishes in neutral.
- Against King of Dinosaurs, you can do Jump Forward, Neutral Hop instead for a spaced safejump after juggle combos ending in 214C midscreen - however, this setup is not properly spaced against Heidern or Antonov, if you try to do empty jump 2B xx 2A, 2A will whiff.
- In the corner, you can do Super Jump Back, Hyper Hop Forward for a spaced safejump
- 214C even has a meter build 5f spaced safejump midscreen (623A, Hyper Hop) - however, this setup is not spaced against King of Dinosaurs after juggle combos ending in 214C.
Note on 214AC Safejumps: 214AC as a combo ender is normally sub-optimal in Shun'ei's combo routes, so while these safejumps are still tangentially useful, learning 214C/236236P/236236KK safejumps first will be far more beneficial
- Midscreen you can do Super Jump Forward, Neutral Hop after 214AC for a spaced safejump - however, this setup is not spaced against Meitenkun, Dolores, King of Dinosaurs, Leona, or Rock
- Against Meitenkun or King of Dinosaurs, you can do 2A, Back Jump, Airdash Forward instead for a spaced safejump setup - however, this setup does not work properly on Dolores, Leona, or Rock (2B xx 2A will whiff)
- In the corner, you can do Super Jump Back, Hyper Hop Forward for a spaced safejump
- 214AC Juggles with more air time give a regular safejump instead (2A, Jump Forward, Airdash Forward) - Examples: Counterhit j.CD, 214AC OR 623AC, 623C, 214AC
- In the corner, neutral jump instead when using the above setup
- Off a 236236P that lands close, you can Neutral Jump, Airdash for a spaced safejump setup - however, this setup doesn't work against Heidern (2B xx 2A whiffs)
- Against Heidern, you can do Hyper Hop Forward, Hop Forward instead for a spaced safejump (this setup is often too close to be spaced against other characters)
- Off a spaced 236236P, you can Jump Forward, Airdash for a spaced safejump midscreen
- If you juggle into 236236P from 623AC, 623C, 214C, then you can do Jump Forward, Airdash Forward for a spaced safejump midscreen
- You can do the above setup if you juggle into 236236P from 623C, 214A, but it won't be spaced
- If you juggle into 236236KK midscreen off of 623AC, 623C, 214C, you can Super Jump Forward, 5B, Hop Forward for a spaced safejump
- If you juggle into 236236KK in the corner off of 623AC, 623C, 214C, you can Super Jump Back, 5B, Hyper Hop Forward for a spaced safejump
- If you juggle into 236236KK midscreen off of 623C, 214A, you can 214A, 2A, Hop Forward for a spaced safejump
- If you juggle into 236236KK in the corner off of 623C, 214A, you can Super Jump Back, 5B, Hyper Hop Forward for a spaced safejump
- If done absolutely perfectly the above setup will whiff on characters with slower wakeups, but you can simply delay the super cancel to make the setup hit meaty
-6B xx 236A
- Midscreen, you can 5B, Neutral Jump, Airdash Forward for a spaced safejump - however, this setup is not spaced against King of Dinosaurs
- Against King of Dinosaurs, you can try Neutral Hop, 5A, Super Jump Forward instead - this isn't traditional safejump timing, but it should be good enough to be safe against King of Dinosaurs' defensive tools
- If 6B xx 236A hits from farther away, you'll need to Hyper Hop Forward, 5A, Hop Forward for a spaced safejump setup - however, this setup is also not spaced against King of Dinosaurs
- Against King of Dinosaurs, you can try Jump Forward, 5A, Hop Forward - like the other King of Dinosaurs setup, this is not traditional safejump timing
- You can also use the easier auto-timed regular safejump setup (Forward Jump x2) - however, this setup doesn't work against characters with slower wakeup timings
- It's important to note you'll typically be using 6B xx 236A after blockstrings midscreen and the variable spacing can result in spaced setups becoming regular safejumps or whiffing entirely. Hyper Hop Forward, 5A, Hop Forward seems to be the easiest/most consistent setup but usually won't be a spaced safejump after blockstrings.
- 2D and 214A allow you to run up and get meaty spaced light confirms midscreen
- In the corner, you can hop right after 2D or 236C to get a safejump on recovery roll, and then walk back for spaced meaty pressure on non-recovery roll wakeup.
- You can do the same with 214A or 236A, but your j.CD needs to be very slightly delayed - if done instantly with perfect timing, you'll whiff
- Forward throw can give you a manually timed safejump if you run and do a well-timed hyperhop j.CD
- After forward throw in the corner, you can framekill with 2A to make timing your safejump a little easier, however, you still need some amount of manual delay before or after the 2A, otherwise your safejump will whiff instead of hitting meaty
- You can safejump after a back throw with a slightly delayed hyper hop j.CD
- Grounded hit gives a safejump setup with jump forward
- Air juggles with 236236K result in a different knockdown timing, you can generally delay a part of your juggle sequence (like the cancel into 236236K) or your jump forward to make the above setup work
- Against the following characters, you do not have to delay any part of the safejump setup, and it will still function normally:
Meitenkun, Benimaru, Isla, Chizuru, Elizabeth, Kula, Angel, Chris, Whip, Ramon, Leona, Ralf, Clark, Andy, Joe, Ryo, King, Athena, Mai, Yuri, Blue Mary, B. Jenet, Billy
- Depending on the knockdown situation, you can walk forward/delay before your jump forward midscreen to get a crossup j.D for a left/right mixup
- Midscreen you can run up and get a meaty jump-in
- In the corner you can do a delayed jump j.CD for a safejump
- After 214236CD, you can do a slightly delayed jump forward j.CD for a safejump
- You can technically safejump recovery roll after 623A in the corner with a slightly delayed hop j.CD, but landing a cl.C air reset after the 623A in the corner should generally be better overall