Samurai Shodown VI/Basara
Basara has a few more gimmicks here than in V Special. His combo potential has also opened up considerably, with brand new links for high damage. Puffball moves slower now, making it less immediately threatening for midscreen setplay but locking down air space longer. It also gives him very oppressive, looping roll coverage built into his corner setplay. Overall the way Basara plays hasn't changed much, and he's very well suited to VI's system mechanics.
- Dash type: Run (has brief periods of strike invincibility)
- Damage taken: 118% (2nd Frailest)
- Rage retention: 150
- Rage duration: 16 seconds (3rd Longest)
- Basara's chain normals (5B, 2B, 5C, 2C) negate projectiles on contact. All except 2B immediately rebound into recovery when this occurs; 2B continues as normal.
Basara is a fast but extremely frail character whose best tools carry a considerable amount of risk. The puffball (236D), a fireball which travels slowly in a rainbow arc, will make things less risky by locking down a good portion of the screen, providing him either a safer opportunity to go for a mixup or a predictable reaction from the opponent for you to exploit. Given the slow startup of the puff and your poor defense, you'll need to earn a knockdown before setting it up. Your 236S moves are particularly good for this. The grounded versions are all fast anti-airs which travel a considerable portion of the screen, while the aerial versions can be considered air pokes which reach particularly far. Be mindful that j236S has very bad recovery. Backdash j236C can be used as a fast midscreen overhead, but given your only threatening low attack at that range is 2B your opponent will most likely be fishing for this attack for an easy punish. If your opponent is on the offense you may need to rely on a gimmicky option such as the puddle (214D) to escape. New to this game is 421D which is an invincible reversal, but it doesn't extend very far and is thus ineffective against well-spaced attacks (your WFT still has invincible startup, however, and it's faster). Given its recovery, 421D won't give you that much time to set up a puffball even if it hits. 66C, 236S and your command grab (623D) are key tools which will leave you at optimal spacing for your puffball.
Once you've got a puffball out, what can your opponent do? For most opponents the puffball will peter out before quite reaching them, unlike in V Special where it would further trickle behind their back (this made it easier to set up Rage Explosion unblockables, among other things). Furthermore your opponent has more space to simply backdash away, although this will leave them closer to the corner. However, they are still locked out of jumping, meaning their only way out of your mixup is to either take the hit (which means you can just set up another puffball), move horizontally or attempt a reversal. Part of Basara's mixup game is to take advantage of the puffball to run in and attempt a mixup with 623D (command grab), 66B (overhead), 66D (low) or 66B 623D (overhead kara cancelled into command grab). However, opponents who aren't complete sitting ducks can take advantage of this to run at him and strike before he does. This is where Basara's long-ranged pokes come in - 5B, 2B, 5C and backdash j236C are just some of the ways Basara can hit a running opponent (particularly if they do not runstop in time). With puffball controlling the skies Basara can also safely jump in with one of his good air attacks or go for an empty jump mixup. Shadow clones are also an option to spice up your mixup game if your opponent is of the reactionary type, but be aware of their telltale signs. Notably, if Basara is flashing red with Rage then the fake, who won't be flashing red, will be very easy to spot.
Note that Basara's 214S and 421S clones do not flash red during Rage, making them easier to identify when Basara is in Rage. Characters do not flash red during VI Spirit Rage.
- I Spirit maximizes the reward from Basara's good Rage build and long duration with a massive damage bonus during Rage. However, he has to give up his good WFT and defensive/movement actions from other Spirits. His Hyper Slash deals good damage, but is slower than average and has poor range.
- II Spirit gives Basara his full Rage duration, and weapon break makes his WFT even more threatening. Rolls are nice as a defensive option alongside hop and duck, and roll cancels offer another setup into command grab. His SM gives him a one time reversal.
- III Spirit cycles Rage quickly with Basara's good Rage retention, but Basara often wants to play more proactively instead of pausing to charge Rage. Infinite Rage duration at low health is scary to play against, but 10% disappears quickly with Basara's low defense and his Rage then resets for the next round. Dodge and circle step are good defensive options.
- Basara's Continuous Slash is unusually slow, making it difficult to incorporate. CS4 builds about 60% Rage and sideswaps, while CS2 leads to 236S or WFT. IV also offers dodge and circle step for defense, along with Rage Explosion and Issen as a last ditch option.
- V Spirit downplays Rage and WFT, though Basara's Rage duration is still good even with V's penalty. He has good tools for State of Nothingness, with good mixups and a launcher for unburstable combos into Issen. He can also create space to meditate well, though it may require giving up initiative on knockdowns. V has the same rolls, hop, and duck as II, along with a 6E forward hop. Rage Explosion is available, but without Issen and using it locks you out of State of Nothingness.
- VI Spirit lets Basara hold Rage indefinitely to get the most out of his WFT. Mikiri dodges are very strong defensive options that enable stronger punishes than other Spirits, or you can create space with Hyper Guard at the cost of some meter. VI also gives access to Secret Move at low health.
- 5A - Fast jab for buying yourself some space. Better at hitting jumping opponents than 2A.
- 5B - Far poke. Basara's far B slashes travel even farther in VI than the games prior, but also take longer to recover. Solid anti-projectile tool, starts up faster and recovers quicker than 5C or 2C on successful negation. Whiffs against low crouches, as well as Cham Cham and Gen-An's standing guard animations.
- 5C - Very good range. If you expect your opponent to run at you after throwing a puffball then let it rip.
- 2A - Crouching version of 5A but with better frame advantage. Good for getting the opponent off your back.
- 2B - This is a lower version of 5B which not only travels farther but hits low. On paper this sounds like the tits, and it is the tits, but if they jump forward you will not enjoy it. Great against grounded fireballs that 5B will not catch, especially since it will continue forward and can then punish opponents after.
- 2C - Slow, midrange anti-air. You're better off with 236S for anti-airs given it's faster and covers more range.
- n5A - Same as far version but it has one frame less recovery.
- n5B - This normal combos into 236S but it will only land against tall opponents.
- n5C - Standard punish. Reaches high up.
- n2A - Same as far version.
- n2B - New move. Basara swipes upward for two hits, with the second hit being an anti-air. Carries the usual dangers of crouching anti-airs but may be useful in a pinch.
- n2C - Two-hit punish, although on Kusaregedo it's actually three hits. In this game, you are +32 on hit, meaning you can link pretty much anything afterwards. At 15 frames, it's pretty fast, too. Just be mindful the second hit may whiff on some characters in the corner.
- 5D - Quirky anti-air with good vertical priority. Good at dealing with Enja's short jumps. Links into n5B but this only works in the corner.
- 6D - You don't have the universal overhead anymore but you still have this hop kick, which is sort-of safe but doesn't have the best range. Basara leaps forward a little before it hits. Results in a soft knockdown.
- 2D - Your fastest grounded attack but for jabbing purposes 5A and 2A are generally more useful. Hits low.
- 3D - It's a sweep.
- 66A - Running elbow which can be used for pressure. Safe if spaced correctly.
- 66B - Basara's running overhead from V Special. This move is famous for being a self-contained strike/throw mixup and a defining aspect of Basara's mixup game, as its startup can be cancelled into special moves - notably his command grab - while the overhead itself is high enough to catch jumpouts.
- 66C - Similar to jC and just as good priority-wise. Special cancels and gives you optimal spacing to set up puff, made even better in this game as you no longer have to deal with pesky forward rolls on wakeup.
- 66D - Same as 3D. Basara's go-to low for running mixups with 66B/kara 623D. Notably stops his momentum completely. Safe on block when spaced or meaty.
- jA - Tick throw option which can crossup.
- jB - Basara whips with his chains for an air-to-air.
- jC - Large downward slash which covers a wide area in front of Basara, but normals like Ainu jump heavies will still beat it.
- jD - Another jumping light attack.
- u5S - Same as 5A.
- u2S - Same as 2A.
- u66S - Same as 66A but it knocks down.
- juS - Same as jA sans the weapon. Can't crossup.
Hyper Slash (I)
- A+B - The startup may look like he's going to do 5C, but really it's his n5C. Visual trickery is Basara's thing, y'know? Unfortunately, this means you are just out of range to link into this from n2C. At first glance, it appears to be possible against Kusaregedo in the corner. However, presumably because n2C's final hit connects with him faster than other characters, Basara is only left at +28 after landing n2C, meaning he is just one frame short of linking into Hyper Slash. What a beautiful nightmare!
Triangle Jump - j9 near wall
- This exists if you need a tricky option to escape the corner or more height for your j236S.
Triangle Get Off - j3 near wall
- Another option to interact with the wall if you don't want to go higher but still want to approach your opponent with jB or jC.
Ground Slash - 236S
- Basara tosses his shuriken high, travelling a distance forward in the air before swinging down and returning to him. Strength determines how far it travels. Given its quick startup and how far it travels this is an effective anti-air which will grant you a knockdown necessary for starting puffball setplay. Basara can combo into this on tall characters.
Aerial Jab - j236S
- Another shuriken toss, but instead of travelling at an arc it follows a straight line then returns. This has a height restriction in that Basara can only perform it near the apex of his jump, but you may also cancel your backdash into it. Strength determines the angle, with the light version hitting nearly below him and the heavy version sticking horizontally far as an effective air-to-air. Useful for sniping opponents from the air but they are a lot easier to punish than your ground shurikens.
- Backdash j236C is notorious as a midscreen overhead and is one of Basara's more threatening aspects in neutral, but even at max range most characters are able to punish it on block. Don't get predictable with this.
- This move will stop being active and immediately start to recover if the shuriken hits the floor. The height restriction on this move makes this irrelevant unless you are cancelling from your backdash, in which this can be seen with the light and medium versions.
Shadow Exit - 623S
- Basara dives into the shadows then leaps from your opponent's feet with an upward slash for one hit. Heavier versions have longer startup, do more damage, and take longer to recover. All have a period of invulnerability while Basara disappears, but are vulnerable again before the hit. This is useful as an anywhere punish or an anti-fireball tool if you have the read.
Friendly Rip - 623D
- Command grab. Modest damage but leaves you with optimal spacing to continue your puffball vortex. Roll cancels and kara-cancelled 66B are common ways to lead into this grab somewhat safely, though simply dashing in and grabbing is also viable.
- Zankuro is launched backwards over Basara instead of forward like everyone else.
Soul of the Beast - 236D (Samurai Drive)
- The puff. Slow startup so you need a knockdown and good spacing to set this up. Travels slowly in a rainbow arc with some tracking near the end, effectively locking opponents out of their ability to jump towards you and thus opening up your various setplay options.
- This move will only reach grounded opponents if they are close enough for it to home in on them before it expires. It is not guaranteed to hook behind them like it is in V Special, meaning no more Rage Explosion unblockables.
Shadow Sucker - 214D, can be done unarmed
- Basara descends into a puddle, gradually lowering his profile until he is fully submerged. While your time spent in the bubble is set, in this game your movement is buffed considerably, with Basara darting across the screen as you move the puddle. This makes it effective for escaping close quarters if you have a minute.
Shadow Coat - 421D, can be done unarmed
- This is literally just Basara's intro from V Special. An invincible reversal, but with bad range, bad damage and bad recovery. You can roll cancel into it and perform it unarmed, so it may be useful for getting the opponent off of you while you retrieve your weapon.
Shadow Feint - 214X, can be done unarmed
- Basara makes a false move, then reappears in place as the shadow clone disappears. The tell is that the screen doesn't shift with the clone's movement; however, this can be amended if you perform this in situations where the screen doesn't move, for instance when at midrange in the corner.
- In Samurai Shodown VI, this move has an additional weakness: if your character sprite is flashing red with Rage, your shadow clone is considered a separate entity and thus will not. In previous games this was not an issue, as Basara was the only character whose skin colour wouldn't change in Rage (he has no blood flow because he's dead). This is not an issue in VI Spirit where characters in Rage will not flash red.
Shadow Troublesome - 421X, can be done unarmed
- A new take on Basara's shadow clones, though just as situational. Basara stops as he doubles in place, then a shadow clone emerges and Basara is able to act a frame later. The intended use for this move is to misdirect your opponent into possibly attacking your wrong move, while you use this to get somewhere on the screen you actually want to be. Given the startup this move is somewhat tailored towards setplay, though its startup is a clear indicator you're going for something. Ideally, if at all, you would want to use this at ranges where Basara has multiple good options for getting in, like for instance at forward jump range (will the opponent attack the Basara dashing at them, or the Basara jumping at them?).
- Avoid using this move in Rage, as the real Basara, flashing red, will be easy to distinguish from the clone who won't be flashing red.
Shadow Feint (214X) and Shadow Troublesome (421X) Clone variations:
- A - The clone jumps forward.
- B - The clone jumps in place.
- C - The clone jumps backward.
- AD - The clone walks forward.
- AC - The clone rolls forward. Use with II or V Spirit.
- BC - The clone dashes forward.
- BD - The clone does a Circle Step. Use with III or IV Spirit.
Flaying Feet - j2D, can be done unarmed
- Basara can cancel his backdash into this and Skull Cleaver, so they technically count as special moves. On hit or block you will jump off the opponent, in which you can alter the direction by pressing left or right - you can then use up your triangle jump if you haven't.
- If your opponent is tall enough then this can be used as an instant overhead.
- This move can bounce on fireballs.
Skull Cleaver - j1/3D, can be done unarmed
- A wheel kick with some startup, but it knocks down. Can be used as a neutral option from a triangle fall if your opponent is running at you, as it has decent priority. If you are unarmed you can aim to land this to buy yourself time to reach your weapon.
- You can backdash cancel into this for an instant, plus on block overhead. Requires a very fast cancel and starting from point blank. Later cancels extend Basara's backdash distance and allow him to act immediately on landing.
- Launches on hit, leading to combos for knockdown or potentially an air reset into inescapable 623D in corner. V Spirit can also use it as a launcher for State of Nothingness combos.
Toy Transformation - 612364E (II)
Shadow Dance Repay - 236AB
- Basara leaps back into the shadows, then lunges forward across the whole screen. The backstep is fully invincible from frame one, while the forward lunge maintains a high profile. This will beat attacks that hit below the waist, but is also susceptible to ducking, rolls, and other low profile actions. The ensuing animation from a successful hit will leave the opponent in place and in a hard knockdown state, allowing for a free pursuit followup. If it gets blocked, however, he bounces off the opponent, practically begging to be punished. This is now fast enough to combo into.
Shadow Exit Evil Defence - 412364BC (II), 236BC (VI) (Samurai Drive)
- A reversal version of 623S which hits 12 times. Full invulnerability through the first hit. Slightly faster startup than 623A, but not fast enough to combo from n5B. Tracks your opponent's current position just before Basara reappears.
- 5D, n5B 236AB - Combo into WFT. The 5D link is corner/backhit only.
- n2C, 5C/66C/j236B/236AB - New links. n2C is a big source of damage on close range punishes. 5C deals the most meterless damage, 66C closes space for soft knockdown and oki, while j236B sets up a knockdown at fullscreen.
- 5D, n2C/n5C - Backhit combo. n5C knocks down on hit.
- 44j1D, 66C/236S - Instant overhead combo into knockdown. 66C gives you some time to hit confirm. Button for 236S doesn't matter at this range.
- 44j1D, n5B/5D/n2C, 623D - Corner instant overhead combos. Air reset leads to an inescapable meaty 623D for more damage and puffball setplay. n2C only works on large hurtboxes.
- n5B 236S - Earthquake, Gaira, Kusaregedo, Mizuki, Sieger only.
Hyper Slash (I)
- Meaty n2C, A+B - Corner only, otherwise they'll be pushed too far away for A+B to land. n2C must connect at the last possible moment for this to work, and even then, it has to be spaced far enough so the last hit doesn't whiff. Just for fun.
Continuous Slash (IV)
- A+B BBC 236S/236AB - Really the best you can do with IV Spirit.
|On Standing Block
|On Crouching Block
|Blockstun accurate for first hit blocked