Samurai Shodown VI/Galford

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Samurai Shodown VI




Ever wanted to play a puppet character with none of the management? Here's Galford, who can send his pet husky to rush at the opponent and restrict their options while he is free to move and do whatever he pleases, whether it be mixing up with an overhead, a low, his buffed command grab or a crossup, or taking the opportunity to run away and start spamming fireballs. Poppy can be hit but it means nothing as she'll just get up and hop back behind you, waiting for your next order. New to VI is the ability to direct her even more with additional sequences after sending her to rush forward, one of which being a fakeout, and furthermore his WFT is way faster now. Galford's keepaway game is as strong as ever, but now he has truly strong mixups to back it up.


  • Dash type: Run
  • Damage taken: 106%
  • Rage retention: 180
  • Rage duration: 10 seconds


Galford can be considered to be a prototypical puppet character. While Poppy provides him space control, setplay and a strengthened keepaway game, she requires none of the maintenance that puppets usually demand from the player. Spacing is not an issue, as Poppy will not only teleport right above the opponent's head for her Replica Dog special (214C), which restricts their movement and allows Galford to mixup safely but she will diligently hop right behind him when she is ready to be ordered again. Protecting the puppet isn't an issue either, as while Poppy will react if she gets hit (her ground rush specials are not completely invincible), this will make no difference for Galford himself rather than Poppy taking slightly longer to return. Finally, it goes without saying that execution is not an issue with Poppy by any means - it's all quarter-circle-back motions and nothing else.

However, Poppy's functions are very basic for a puppet character, although carrying similar principles. Replica Dog provides plenty of opportunity for setplay - Galford can run in safely with his overhead (66C), any of his lows (66B, 66D), his command grab (623S) or even attempt a crossup by either jumping over just as Poppy is about to hit the opponent or by using his own Replica Attacks for a 50/50 (6321AD or 6321CE). Alternatively, he can just use the opportunity to flee to fullscreen with his very fast backdash (which can be cancelled into special moves halfway through for even faster retaliations) and start zoning with his very fast fireball Plasma Blade (236S), in which its dismal recovery matters a lot less when further away and can be mitigated by using Replica Dog as backup anyway. However, the opponent only needs to make one right guess or simply tech roll away after a knockdown to escape. Galford has a fast run and he can used his command grab to punish the throw vulnerability of long rolls, but this is ultimately a gamble which may simplify your wakeup game considerably. Furthermore, outside of a ghetto reversal in Overhead Crash (214D) and using rush dog specials as counter-pokes, Poppy can not really be used defensively. In fact, Poppy commands are precisely what leaves Galford most vulnerable. New to VI is the ability to extend pressure from rushing Poppy attacks by cancelling them into various followups, but these must be used sparingly if the opponent is anywhere near close to you.

Galford's defense, then, involves making the most out of his movement rather than relying on Poppy or his own attacks, as his anti-airs are dismal and unrewarding while his air-to-airs, though quite good, may be hampered by his unusually tall jump. Galford possesses a fast, far-travelling backdash, quick walkspeeds and long-reaching rolls (II or V Spirit) which he can use to evade the opponent with rather than hitting them with something. This actually works in Galford's favour, as he is most comfortable when well out of arm's reach where he can more safely pester with Plasma Blade and dart in and out of the opponent's range with mixup tools such as his long-reaching 66D slide. If he happens to score a knockdown with either of these then that gives him ample opportunity to either retreat into more keepaway or to safely set up Poppy for his setplay. Ideally, you want to annoy the opponent with keepaway sufficiently long enough so that your attempts at rushing in are made easier with a frustrated opponent on your hands.

Galford gets a lot out of rolls for both landing his command grab and for spacing Plasma Blades, but though he is usually in range to meditate safely this carries the risk of sacrificing his momentum at fullscreen, which is why his fireball game is strong in the first place (though he certainly has no problems restoring such momentum). As such, II is usually the superior choice as Galford's WFT has been improved as an anywhere punish and anti-fireball tool while his constant poking benefits from the more readily-available burst damage that II has to offer. If you actually want to combo into your WFT then Continuous Slash II juggles are pretty much the only reason to run IV Spirit.

Normal Moves

Far Slashes

  • 5A - Fast poke with good range. Cancellable but will not combo.
  • 5B - Disjointed poke where Galford steps forward. One of your main pokes as it can be quite safe if spaced correctly.
  • 5C - A swing forward with surprisingly good range, and it recoils. You're still better off poking with 5B in case this misses and saving it for punishes, but if spaced correctly this isn't that bad of a poke anyway.
  • 2A - A quick dig to the shins. Very fast startup but hits mid. Special cancellable.
  • 2B - Basically a slower 2A which reaches further and deals more damage. Can combo into Plasma Blade even at max range so may be used in footsies.
  • 2C - A low-hitting, damaging sweep. Your best punish tool. It's a bit short, but Galford's fast walkspeed makes this irrelevant for the most part. This recoils on block, so if they don't have anything fast enough you can recoil cancel into Plasma Blade to punish them. This will leave you even more unsafe, however, so only do it if you're willing to gamble the clutch. Not special cancellable.

Near Slashes

  • n5A - Short swipe downward. Cancellable but won't combo.
  • n5B - n5A but heavier. Your main combo starter but you only have Plasma Blade to combo into.
  • n5C - Basically a stubbier 5C, which doesn't matter at this range anyway. Gives plenty of frame advantage for backhit combos.
  • n2A - Same as far version.
  • n2B - Same as far version.
  • n2C - Same as far version.


  • 5D - Upward kick which can be used as an anti-air for its good vertical reach. Can combo into Plasma Blade but it's a pisspoor combo starter because it only hits tall grounded opponents like Gaira.
  • 6D - Standing low. Knocks down on hit. Unsafe.
  • 2D - Relatively bad recovery for moves like these so isn't that good for tick throws. Hits low as you would expect.
  • 3D - Low-hitting sweep wtih good range. Can be safe if spaced correctly. Use this instead of 6D.

Dash Normals

  • 66A - Running 5A but with very bad recovery afterwards. Stick with your other running normals.
  • 66B - Cheeky fast low sweep. Looks like his 2C and it's just as stubby, but it's potentially more rewarding than 66D. Both are very good, so use both interchangeably.
  • 66C - Galford's old universal overhead with some of your running momentum. Knocks down on hit. A direct improvement over his V Special version as there's no stupid windup at the start and you start high profiling early.
  • 66D - Galford slides very far for a running low. Recovery starts a bit earlier than you'd expect but it still hits from pretty far away. Useful mixup tool.

Air Normals

  • jA - Very fast air-to-air swipe.
  • jB - Best horizontal range out of your air attacks. Ideal as an air-to-air.
  • jC - Big downward swing. You need to hit this pretty deep if you want to link into n5B or 2C normally. Otherwise can be spammed because Galford's jump is quite high, so the opponent is bound to be below him.
  • jD - Jump-in kick. Can't be used as an instant overhead on most characters.

Unarmed Normals

  • u5S - Standing punch. Appears to low profile a bit and the reach is okay.
  • u2S - Crouching punch. Has less range than u5S.
  • u66S - Running punch. Knocks down on hit. Has a noticeable disjoint between where Galford is and where it hits, which is problematic for potential Machine Gun Dog followups.
  • juS - Aerial straight punch. Use in conjunction with jD which covers a lower angle.

Hyper Slash (I)

  • A+B - Essentially his 5C.

Command Moves

Backdash - 44

  • Galford's backdash, being a two-part backflip, has a special property where the handstand in the middle can be cancelled into a grounded special attack. It travels far on its own.

Triangle Jump - j9 near wall

  • Viable as an escape option for Galford, who has a high jump but no reversals.

Triangle Get Off - j3 near wall

  • Galford doesn't have any natural crossups, so this is only really useful if you have some mean setups with Replica Dog.

Stardust Drop - j(4/6)D near opponent, can be done unarmed

  • Air throw. Carries the momentum of your jump as Galford drops the opponent to the ground. This deals a fixed amount of damage and causes a hard knockdown.

214E, can be done unarmed

  • A fake Poppy move on its own. Galford makes the call while Poppy does nothing. Can not be cancelled into and doesn't have a name, hence why it is listed here.
  • If performed during the recovery 214A or 214B, Poppy will stop running at the opponent and return to Galford. Similarly, this may also be used as a fakeout if your opponent expects to block a followup. By the time Galford recovers Poppy will be behind him, ready to be used again.
  • If the button is held then Poppy will yawn. This can be cancelled into other Poppy attacks, but don't be a dick like that for fuck's sake.

Special Moves

Note: ★ = Poppy special. Upon performing one of these moves or their followups it will take a moment for Poppy to travel back to her original position behind Galford. During this period Poppy specials can not be performed. You can no longer make these attacks hit high or low by timing a separate move with those properties just as Poppy hits the opponent.

Plasma Blade - 236S, can be done unarmed (Samurai Drive)

  • A fireball with very fast startup but bad recovery. Strength determines its speed. Knocks down on hit and results in decent damage, making it ideal as a combo ender. May also be used as a recoil cancel option and as a punish tool.
  • When zoning with this from fullscreen you can either toss in Replica Dog to make your fireball game even harder to escape or throw in a Replica Attack for an easy mixup.
  • This move knocks back very far on hit, which helps your zoning game immensely considering there are no forward wakeup rolls in Samurai Shodown VI to mitigate this for the opponent.

Strike Heads - 623S, can be done unarmed

  • Buffed from V Special. This does twice as much damage as your regular throw, and you get a hard knockdown from it. Viable as a mixup option and usually preferred over your regular throw as it can't be teched and it can lead into either setplay or keepaway, depending on what you're going for.

Plasma Break - 632146AC, can be done unarmed (Samurai Drive)

  • Galford surrounds his body with electricity. This is not invincible and will usually trade or get stuffed by other attacks, and in return it does pitiful damage. This is still one of your better options for anti-airs if you need to use it if you don't mind doing this sort of input on the fly, but ideally you should be operating well out of jump-in range anyway unless you have Poppy covering you.
  • Deals multiple hits of chip damage when blocked, but as all hits can cause a knockdown they will not juggle into each other.

Replica Attack - 6321AD or 6321CE, can be done unarmed (Samurai Drive)

  • Galford stops in place, vanishes then teleports above the opponent, swinging his blade around him as he falls. Galford is vulnerable until he completely vanishes. These don't do much damage but are nice for opening the opponent up every now and then, though it should be noted that the unarmed version will do a bit less damage while not knocking down like the armed version.
  • AD will hit in front while CE will hit behind for a crossup.

Imitate Replica - 6464642AD or 6464642CE when being attacked, can be done unarmed

  • This move can only be performed during the hitstun of an attack which knocks you backwards. So basically only for heavy slashes, which are the only attacks that will give you enough hitstun to perform this motion successfully. If pulled off successfully then a log decoy will appear in Galford's place as he goes for a Replica Attack, front or back depending on the button combination you pressed.

Rush Dog - 214A, can be done unarmed

  • Poppy charges two character lengths in front of Galford, delivering a headbutt to the opponent. This distance is quite short compared to other entries. Knocks down on hit.
  • Poppy can be hit out of this attack, in which she will fall over then return to Galford.
  • Galford won't recover until after Poppy is done charging, but new to VI is the ability to cancel this recovery into one of four different followups, including 214E listed earlier.

Machine Gun Dog - 214B, can be done unarmed

  • Similar to Rush Dog, but instead of headbutting the opponent Poppy mauls them in place, allowing you to go for a free hit. If you don't follow up with anything, the move will do negligible damage but you will get a hard knockdown. If you follow up with a knockdown move such as your sweep or a Plasma Blade, you will get a hard knockdown as well for some reason.
  • Poppy can be hit out of this attack, in which she will fall over then return to Galford.
  • Galford won't recover until after Poppy is done charging, but new to VI is the ability to cancel this recovery into one of four different followups, including 214E listed earlier.
  • Change Dog Rush - 214A during 214A/B recovery, can be done unarmed
    • Poppy pauses and then leaps forward, covering a rainbow arc. This is an overhead but may also catch a late jump given its arc.
  • Change Dog Replica - 214B during 214A/B recovery, can be done unarmed
    • The same move as 214C, but with the added bonus that your opponent had probably reacted in some way to the dog rush beforehand.
  • Change Dog Strike - 214C during 214A/B recovery, can be done unarmed
    • Poppy stops in place for a hitgrab, which has decent range but it's neutered by the fact she halts her momentum. Deals a fixed amount of damage independent of your Weapon Gauge, but it will do less than a heavy slash followup after 214B hits. The animation involves Poppy going for an electrified Izuna Drop, which gives Galford himself plenty of time to move around.

Replica Dog - 214C, can be done unarmed

  • Basically your Replica Attack, but it's your dog doing it instead. This move is extremely useful for setplay, where it can lock the opponent in place for a standard high/low/throw mixup or even an ambiguous crossup, which you can accomplish either with Replica Attacks or by timed forward jumps if you are close enough (i.e. crossing over the opponent just as Poppy is about to hit them). Alternatively, if you're zoning at fullscreen with Plasma Blade, you can throw this in to make your fireball game more airtight.

Overhead Crash - 214D, can be done unarmed

  • Galford will dart back into the air with Poppy, then volley her around a character length past where he was standing. This is a pretty gimmicky pseudo-reversal that can leave you very vulnerable, but if Galford gets poked out of this move then Poppy will still crash down to cover you.
  • This move is not an overhead.

Toy Transformation - 6321464E (II)

  • Galford can perform this move while Poppy is returning to him. She will respawn directly behind Galford after he recovers, allowing you to go for a Poppy special immediately.



Double Mega Strike Heads - 236AB or 236AD

  • Essentially a suped-up Replica Attack where Galford takes one side and Poppy takes the other. Using the secret input will switch their positions so Galford strikes from behind and Poppy from above, meaning this will crossup.
  • This is a much better WFT than what it was in V Special, mainly due to the faster startup and faster falling speed making it feasible as an anywhere punish. This can also be timed to catch short rolls easily.

Mega Strike Dog - 632146BC (II), 236BC (VI), can be done unarmed

  • Galford's old WFT from Samurai Shodown II, essentially a suped-up Machine Gun Dog. Galford will pose for a bit as Poppy mauls the opponent but will be free to move as she goes for the Izuna Drop.


Standard Combos

  • n5B/2B 236S - The classic. Use this if 2C isn't fast enough, as that does more damage and leaves the opponent closer. Don't bother using 5D as it whiffs over most opponents.
  • 214B, u66S/3D/66D/236S, 3C - Rare guaranteed pursuit followups. 236S pushes back far, so you can only really pursuit after it in the corner. Beware of u66S's disjoint between Galford and the punch.
  • n5C, n5B 236S - Backhit only.

Continuous Slash (IV)

  • n5C, A+B - Backhit only.
  • A+B BBC 236A - Basic juggle.
  • A+B BBC 236AB - You can juggle with 236AD in the corner.

Frame Data - Provided by Tekitogate

Attack Startup On Hit On Standing Block On Crouching Block Notes
n5A 8 0 -2 +3
5A 10 0 -2 +3
2A 7 -1 -2 +3
66A 9 -2 -14 -9
j8A 5 N/A N/A N/A
j7A/j9A 9 N/A N/A N/A
n5B 11 +2 -8 -3
5B 11 -8 -8 -3
2B 10 -1 -8 -3
66B 7 KD N/A -13
jB 11 N/A N/A N/A
n5C 19 +3~+4 -20 -15
5C 19 0~+1 -20 -15
2C 14 KD N/A -15
66C 25 KD -25 N/A
jC 13 N/A N/A N/A
5D 8 -8 -20 -15
6D 11 KD N/A -13
2D 5 -4 N/A -3
3D 9 KD N/A -14
66D 3 KD N/A -14 Active for 4 frames
jD 10 N/A N/A N/A
u5S 9 -1 -5 0
u2S 9 +3 -1 +4
u66S 5 KD -5 0
ujS 10 N/A N/A N/A
Hyper Slash 29 KD -52 -42
Continuous Slash 9 N/A -20 -15



External Links

Samurai Shodown VI


Samurai Shodown VI



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