Samurai Shodown VI/Gaoh
Gaoh previously had issues with opening up his foes, particularly when he was on a life deficit, as he didn't have much in the way of mixup potential to make it any easier. Samurai Shodown VI has rectified this a little, converting his far-reaching hitgrab into a command grab which additionally rewards him with a hard knockdown. Other quality-of-life changes, including a buffed WFT and access to VI Spirit's unlimited Rage duration instead of working with his poor Rage balance, have allowed Gaoh to move up the food chain considerably. Gaoh still plays a straightforward poking game but now he has high damage potential and effective mixups to back it up.
- Dash type: Run
- Damage taken: 105%
- Rage retention: 98
- Rage duration: 9 seconds (4th Shortest)
Gaoh is mainly about poking with his big buttons and playing footsies. His 5B and 5C both have excellent reach for their respective strengths and can recoil cancel into a deflect or Hateful Thrust (236S) for his best counter-pokes. At closer ranges Gaoh can also poke with his high profile overhead (6B) or go for further mixups with his sweep (2C) or his command grab (623D). Gaoh's spear swing (623S) is an excellent anti-air on paper as it reaches well in front of and behind him, but because it's slow Gaoh is usually better off taking to the skies and bullying with his amazing jC, which can be used as both an air-to-air and a jump-in. When in Rage Gaoh can also anti-air with his WFT, which reaches high and far extremely quickly and deals an impressive amount of damage. Gaoh can't do much at fullscreen besides rushing in and maintaining 5C range, but he does have a fireball reflector (214D) to work with in matchups where he is easily zoned out otherwise.
- I Spirit is an unconventional but workable choice for Gaoh. His short rage duration means taking advantage of the additional rage damage boost is difficult, but he’s not sacrificing much by ditching weapon flip and his hyper slash has incredible reach.
- II Spirit offers Gaoh rolls, hop, and duck to aid his mobility and defense but his short rage duration and mediocre weapon flip means he won’t have many opportunities to break his opponent’s weapon.
- III Spirit doesn’t have much to offer Gaoh. Again, his short rage duration makes charging rage unrewarding in situations where he could be mixing or playing neutral. Unlimited rage at low health only means he briefly has access to a high damage anti air when he’d nearly KO’d
- IV Spirit may also be used for its high damage output with Continuous Slashes and its access to a dodge. Gaoh is fortunate enough to have a cancelable CS IV (cancel window is at AABBCC), giving him extremely threatening punishes. Additionally, as IV's Rage Explosion is dependent on the player's current life for its properties, this allows Gaoh to potentially come back from a life deficit with high burst damage and a powerful Issen.
- V Spirit is a solid choice, as Gaoh gets a lot out of V’s enhanced mobility and defensive options and can make room to meditate pretty easily. Run V Spirit if you don’t mind not raging and if you’re on point catching opportunities to whiff punish with state of nothingness.
- VI Spirit is a decent choice, as Gaoh builds plenty of meter through constant poking and he appreciates having more than nine seconds to hold onto his WFT. As a character without any reversals, he not only appreciates Hyper Guard as a defensive option but because it also spaces him well for his best pokes.
- 5A - Gaoh stabs forward a bit with his spear for a quick poke.
- 5B - Gaoh pokes further with his spear. This is a standard poke which has above-average reach.
- 5C - A massive poke which reaches well over halfscreen. This is important for spacing some of his Hateful Thrust specials as recoil cancel options.
- 2A - 5A but lower and special cancellable, though it won't combo into anything.
- 2B - Gaoh strikes upward with the butt of his spear. Not special cancellable nor will it recoil. Really only useful as a situational anti-air.
- 2C - A low-hitting sweep. Best suited for close ranges as its range isn't the best, but still decent for sweep standards. Its recoil cancel window is surprisingly early.
- n5A - Standing punch.
- n5B - Two-hit combo starter. Reaches high up as well, allowing it to catch jumps effectively.
- n5C - An enormous swing which is also very good at catching jumps. Starts up way slower than n5B and doesn't knock down, but will deal way more damage than any meterless combo from n5B can.
- n2A - Same as far version but better frame data.
- n2B - Same as far version.
- n2C - Same as far version but better frame data.
- 5D - Literally all of Gaoh's grounded kicks are lows. This one has a hefty amount of startup, but it is plus on block and advantageous enough on hit to link into stuff easily. Useful as a meaty.
- 6D - Standing low which knocks down. Special cancellable at the end.
- 2D - A low kick.
- 3D - A low-hitting sweep.
- 66A - Running 5A.
- 66B - Running n5B. Also a good combo starter.
- 66C - Running n5C. Has very impressive range for a punish tool coupled with Gaoh's decent runspeed. Results in a soft knockdown. This move is now prone to deflects.
- 66D - Running 5C but with faster startup and it knocks down. This is a low attack.
- jA - Gaoh jabs downward with his fingers. This is his fastest air normal. Useful for tick throws.
- jB - Gaoh pokes with the spear diagonally downward. Comes out faster than jC and deals decent damage on its own.
- jC - Gaoh swings in front of him, covering a wide arc. Only the bottom half has a hitbox, however. Regardless, this move is very useful both as a long-ranged air-to-air and as a jump-in.
- jD - A downward kick with more range and active frames than jA. This may also be used for tick throws.
- u5S - Same as n5A.
- u2S - Crouching punch.
- u66S - Running punch which knocks down.
- juS - Same as jA.
Hyper Slash (I)
- A+B - Essentially his 5C.
- His universal overhead from V Special. Has short range and only travels a short distance forward, but causes a soft knockdown on hit. Gaoh isn't really a mixup monster so this is mainly used to go over lows and beat throws.
Hateful Thrust Flame Way - 236A
- Gaoh charges forward a bit with his spear. Decent recoil cancel option, combo tool, all the good stuff. Just one problem: it doesn't do much damage on its own. That's because now, this move is a rekka, and you can only get each hit if the attack before actually hit the opponent. They will not come out on block or whiff. This means that, if you were to anti-air with this move (which is a bad idea, considering the hitbox is rather low), that the second hit would miss because the opponent was reset by the first hit, that you wouldn't be able to perform the third hit at all and that you would thus get pitiful damage from it. As such, this move is strictly to be used on grounded opponents.
- Hateful Thrust Blood Way - 236B during Hateful Thrust Flame Way
- Gaoh thrusts the opponent upward with his spear. Despite appearances this is not a launcher, meaning you cannot juggle anything special after it.
- Hateful Thrust Blade Way - 236C during Hateful Thrust Blood Way
- Gaoh strikes the opponent down with his spear. This is a soft knockdown which occurs very quickly after the opponent gets hit by this, meaning Gaoh doesn't get the best advantage after landing this. However, this is where the weight of his damage from this rekka series comes from, so be prepared to buffer the whole thing.
Hateful Thrust Vanity - 236B
- Gaoh braces himself then charges forward over half the stage. This deals slightly less damage than the rekka and Gaoh is vulnerable to strikes and throws while bracing himself, so he can be poked out of it for decent reward. Best used as a recoil cancel option from the tip of your 5C where Gaoh is least likely to get stuffed out of the startup, but be mindful that this isn't so great on block either.
Hateful Thrust Enlightenment - 236C
- Gaoh backdashes then charges forward the same length as 236B. This backstep is useful for evading throws and certain attacks which are too short to catch it, while the damage output is even higher than his far heavy slash. However, this backstep means this move is quite telegraphed, making it easy to see and punish when done raw.
Tornado Spear - 623S (Samurai Drive)
- Gaoh's trusty anti-air as he lifts his spear above his head and starts spinning, covering a very wide area above him which covers crossups as well. However, for anti-airing purposes it's a bit slow, meaning it must be done pre-emptively in some matchups. It is more safely used as a combo tool, but it is weaker than his rekka series. No difference between strengths.
Hazy Thrust - 63214S (Samurai Drive)
- Gaoh's mash special where he stabs repeatedly with his spear as he moves forward, which has been given a more ergonomic motion. Strength determines the startup and amount of hits, with the light version dealing three, medium dealing five and heavy dealing nine. This move will not result in a knockdown and is too slow to combo with any version, but it doesn't leave Gaoh too unsafe on block (though it is still punishable). As such, it is best used as a chipping tool.
Steel Smasher - 623D, can be done unarmed
- Previously this was a hitdab, but now it's a command dab. This boasts tremendous range as Gaoh reaches forward a fair bit, and as Gaoh doesn't have a good high/low game this gives him much-needed mixup potential. Additionally, its fast startup means it can be used effectively as a punish tool. This move results in a hard knockdown as the opponent is pushed away, but Gaoh is unable to pursuit after this move. Use this opportunity for spacing or okizeme instead.
Elegant Oxidation - 214D, can be done unarmed
- Gaoh's fist glows before he strikes it down. The main purpose of this move is to reflect fireballs, but in this game the fist itself has a small hitbox. It does pitiful damage and doesn't chip but it's an overhead which causes a soft knockdown. You don't have any other grounded overheads when unarmed, but really you should be trying to get your weapon back instead of worrying about mixups.
Toy Transformation - 412146E (II)
Howling Inferno - 236AB
- Gaoh engulfs himself in a burst of energy. A direct improvement from V Special, this WFT is not only way faster but all the damage is concentrated into one hit. However, this attack will deal multiple hits of chip damage on block. This makes it much better as a combo tool and anti-air. The damage is above average for a WFT as well.
Diamond Smasher - 6321463214BC (II), 236BC (VI), can be done unarmed
- Enhanced version of his command grab where Gaoh headbutts three times instead of once. This deals nearly twice as much damage but is practically the same move otherwise with the same applications.
Assume 236A denotes the full rekka sequence 236A~236B~236C.
- n5B/66B 236A/623A/236AB - Standard combos. Go with 236A when meterless because it leads to more damage.
- 5D, n5B - A link combo for when you actually decide to mixup with Gaoh.
Continuous Slash (IV)
- 5D, A+B - Another link combo.
- A+B BBC 623S/236AB - Standard juggles.
- A+B AABBCC 236A/623S/236AB - These deal more damage than the respective combos above. Gaoh's Continuous Slash IV on its own will cause a wall bounce on hit.
- A+B BBC 214D - Corner only and extremely impractical. Use it for swag only.
Frame Data - Provided by Tekitogate
|On Standing Block
|On Crouching Block