Samurai Shodown VI/Shizumaru
Shizumaru is a more-than-complete package with great pokes, reversals, air mobility and damage output. There are two gimmicks which put Shizumaru on the map: his float, which allows him to bait anti-airs and poke defensively without much risk at all, and his TAP which can take out big chunks of the opponent's health either in neutral or during combos. The Start glitch is no longer a thing with Shizumaru, but his TAP has arguably been buffed with the addition of the E button, meaning Shizumaru doesn't have to switch around which button he's holding down nearly as much to access basic commands such as throws or his WFT.
- Dash type: Run
- Damage taken: 110%
- Rage retention: 128
- Rage duration: 8 seconds (3rd Shortest)
- Miscellaneous: Shizumaru can cancel the beginning of his weapon pickup animation, Shizumaru's blocked Continuous Slash can be counter hit.
Shizumaru is a hit-and-run character who is good at poking and baiting while leaving himself safe. This is an archetype which has historically led to the franchise's strongest characters and Shizumaru is certainly no exception. Shizumaru can poke with 5A for something quick and 2C for a long-ranged, three-hit which not only recoils but is also special cancellable for an easy hit confirm. By using his umbrella float (j8A), Shizumaru gains access to his air-to-airs as grounded pokes, including his jA (essentially a higher 5A and a decent air-to-air) and his jC, a strong poke both horizontally and vertically made stronger with Shizumaru's potentially low jump height. Floating gives Shizumaru a lot of utility in neutral; it can be used to bait anti-airs (which Shizumaru can then punish with j8A~jAB for good damage) and to maintain a low vertical spacing for a while, the latter of which is suitable for ghetto hop pressure. If your opponent mainly plays a grounded game and does not have a good answer to jumps outside of air-to-airs then simply floating low and occupying space with jC can be very hard to stop. Additionally, Shizumaru may cancel his backdash into a float, then catch opponents running at him with jAB. Outside of floating, Shizumaru can throw his umbrella (236S) which will eat up most other fireballs, or reflect fireballs with 236D.
In addition to being strike-invincible reversals and effective anti-airs, given they actually hit a little behind him, Shizumaru's DPs (623S) are also suitable combo enders. Shizumaru's pinwheel (214S) is another anti-air option but it is gimmicky given its short range. However, the real money maker damage-wise is his TAP. In addition to have successively stronger damage output the longer you hold the button, these also start gaining a bit of invincibility by Stage 3, which you only need six in-game seconds to reach. Shizumaru can hold down any of the five face buttons, being able to change which one he's holding down on the fly, but the E button is perfect for the task considering Shizumaru doesn't usually need to use rolls, dodges, Mikiri or other evasive manuevers (if you are using a real controller then the rainbow layout VI uses should make this not too uncomfortable). While you're charging for a high-level TAP you will want to use your DP and WFT (which is another great anti-air) as combo enders instead, which can be easily combo'd into from close mediums and the low-hitting confirms 2C and 6D. However, even with a Stage 1 TAP you still get full corner carry, decent damage and a hard knockdown with plenty of advantage. Simply landing a TAP has the potential to turn the match around in Shizumaru's favour.
As for Spirit choices, ending combos with 623C will build a massive amount of meter in VI Spirit, giving you access to your WFT which is not a bad thing to have on you as a combo ender at all times. Additionally, IV Spirit may be used because Continuous Slash II allows for easy confirms into any three of his enders, notably his TAP. The TAP juggle is easy enough to mistime the cancel, so make sure you've got it down pat first before attempting to pull it off. The float alone gives Shizumaru more than enough movement and space control for his gameplan, so he doesn't usually need to rely on any Spirit-exclusive manuevers to get around.
- 5A - A forward umbrella poke with decent range.
- 5B - Shizumaru swings his umbrella in front of him. Has deceptively more range than 5A.
- 5C - Shizumaru's most damaging normal on its own, but outside of this niche it is outclassed by 2A which reaches further and hits low.
- 2A - A low umbrella jab. Will combo into 623A.
- 2B - Two hits as Shizumaru pushes his umbrella upwards. May potentially make hitconfirming into TAP easier.
- 2C - Shizumaru pokes forward with his umbrella lying down. This deals three low hits, with most of the damage resting in the final hit. The first two hits are special cancellable.
- n5A - A quick elbow thump. Not special cancellable, so less rewarding than 2A, but better at stuffing short jumps. This recoils for some reason.
- n5B - Close medium starter. Deals less damage than 2B but uses a bit less of the Weapon Gauge.
- n5C - An upward blade swing. This can easily link into 66B from anywhere on the screen, which gives you plenty of time to not only deal damage on a heavy punish but also hit confirm into TAP. Do the math.
- n2A - Same as far version.
- n2B - Same as far version.
- n2C - Same as far version.
- 5D - An upward kick. Only really useful for stopping short jumps and hops but can combo into 623A.
- 6D - Standing low. Special cancellable and has decent hitstun for combos.
- 2D - A low kick. Only really useful for tick throws given its speed and very short range.
- 3D - A mid sweep. Reaches fairly high for a move like this.
- 66A - Running palm shove.
- 66B - Running n5B. Combo tool.
- 66C - Running n5C which knocks down on hit. The range on this move is made shorter as Shizumaru starts losing momentum quickly.
- 66D - Running 3D.
- jA - Aerial 5A. Actually has more range than jB.
- jB - Aerial n5B. The main reason to use this move is for its decent priority and crossup potential.
- jC - Fraud button, especially when paired with j8A. This occupies a lot of space in front of and below Shizumaru, so from a float it is very easy to stop the opponent's grounded (and sometimes aerial) approach without much commitment. If the opponent was crouching or you hear a counter hit jingle, go in for the kill.
- jD - Aerial 2C. Usually outclassed by jA but it's there if you're unarmed.
- u5S - Standing jab.
- u2S - Crouching jab.
- u66S - 66A but it knocks down.
- juS - Aerial jab.
Hyper Slash (I)
- A+B - Essentially his 5C.
Continuous Slash (IV)
- A+B - Good range for its speed, though followup hits will whiff near max range. Shizumaru is one of three characters who is put in a counter hit state after Continuous Slash is blocked. The other two are Gaira and Nicotine.
- Holding any button other than E will prevent Continuous Slash followups, so Shizumaru will need to slide to E for CS combos to preserve TAP charge if not already holding E.
Triangle Jump - j9 near wall
- Can be used to gain more height for umbrella floats, or to have a safer time escaping the corner with or without the float.
Triangle Get Off - j3 near wall
- Can be useful when paired with jB crossups.
- Shizumaru opens his umbrella diagonally downwards. This deals less damage than jC but comes out faster and covers a very wide area. This move can crossup.
- This is not possible during a neutral jump or from a float.
- Has 17f landing recovery.
Mist Blast - 236S
- Shizumaru throws his umbrella. Strength determines how far. As this is his weapon this will cut through most fireballs, but its slow startup is an issue. Shizumaru is unarmed until the umbrella returns to him, meaning you can pull off a Weapon Catch and then immediately have your umbrella back.
Cross Current Slicer - 623S (Samurai Drive)
- Shizumaru's DP series is a multi-purpose combo ender, anti-air, and reversal. Stronger versions are slower, move farther forward, and do more hits/damage. Strength determines damage, amount of hits and if/how far Shizumaru rushes forward while doing it. 623A/B launch the opponent away, while 623C drops them in front of Shizumaru. 623A is your best bet for a stationary anti-air and can combo off 2A and 5D, while 623C is best for combos from stronger buttons or Continuous Slash. 623C also recovers quickly enough for Shizumaru to tech chase with either neutral jump jC or forward jump jB to cross up. The latter does not work against smaller characters.
- All versions have a windup swing near ground before the second, more vertical slash, so while these can be used as anti-airs they do require more preemptive action to do so. They also tend to trade unfavorably, as the last hit deals most of the damage.
- 623C is a true reversal with full invulnerability during startup.
May Shower Slice - 214S
- Shizumaru covers himself with his spinning umbrella for a hitgrab attack, catching opponents on either side if they can't beat its priority. Strength determines how long he spins for and the amount of damage. The various timings can be used as a mixup to punish pre-emptive counter pokes, but there's still a bit of recovery at the end of every version which can be reacted to with something quick. It's not as good as your DP for the same purpose but it's safer.
Freezing Rain Repeller - 236D
- A fireball reflector. Pretty fast. The attack itself has short range, deals the same amount of damage as your n5B and causes a soft knockdown.
Cold Rain - 421A
- Shizumaru charges forward while opening his umbrella in front of him. This has two followups, but neither of them combo even with a counter hit. This may potentially be used for recoil cancels, preserving your offensive momentum.
- Both followups hit 23f after canceling 421A.
- Sudden Rain - 421B during 421A
- An overhead hop. Soft knockdown.
- Ground Rain - 421C during 421A
- A low sweep. Soft knockdown.
Crazy Downpour - hold A/B/C/D/E then release
- This is a TAP move, meaning it requires you to hold a button then release it after enough time has passed. However, Shizumaru can freely change which button he's holding down, as long as he's holding down something. The E button isn't clogging up any throw or WFT inputs in this game, so you can easily devote your pinky to that button while letting your other fingers control the character just fine. Shizumaru will announce the stage (ichi/ni/san/yon/go) during the startup.
- All strengths will carry the opponent to the corner of the screen and will give hard knockdowns with plenty of frame advantage.
- This move's charge can carry between rounds.
- They removed the Start glitch so Shizumaru doesn't have a win button anymore.
- Stage 1 (1 in-game second) - Shaves off about an eighth of their health. Pretty good combo ender already, as it's fast enough to combo from a close medium slash. And you get the best oki from it.
- Stage 2 (3 in-game seconds) - Shaves off about a fifth of their health. If you're not that good at TAP this is still good damage and you still get the ender's benefits.
- Stage 3 (6 in-game seconds) - Shaves off about a quarter of their health. Has strike invincibility on startup.
- Stage 4 (20 in-game seconds) - Shaves off about a third of their health. Has full invincibility on startup.
- Stage 5 (80 in-game seconds) - Shaves off about a half of their health. Has full invincibility from the startup to the hit.
Rains Of Time - j2D
- A pogo attack which deals about the same amount of damage as your jB. After making contact with the opponent you can either hold left or right to alter how you jump or do nothing at all to spring straight up, but you will be stuck doing another pogo.
- In this game there is extra recovery time when you land. Doing this from a backdash will not alter your trajectory but will just make you more punishable, so stick with j8A for that.
- Shizumaru's collision box here is too fat to crossup in the corner.
Dreadful Drizzle - j8A, cancellable with 2
- Shizumaru starts floating in the air, immediately halting his momentum, drastically slowing his vertical momentum downward and allowing him to slowly swerve left or right. 8 must be pressed with A, not held beforehand. He can not attack while floating until he cancels it with 2 or if it cancels naturally by running out its time or by hitting the ground, in which his aerial momentum will be reset before falling. This makes it very easy to bully with float into falling jC, which shuts down many gameplans of characters who do not possess a solid anti-air. Additionally, the fact this stops his momentum immediately makes it great for baiting anti-airs from a distance without committing to anything really.
- Only possible while falling or during a backdash or hop.
- You may float multiple times in a single jump.
- Any up input will work, not just 8.
- Lightning Rain - jAB during j8A
- Shizumaru dives diagonally downward with his umbrella spinning around him, dealing very good damage and scoring a knockdown. This is an overhead. Though it is quite fast it is also very unsafe, so save this for punishes if you can.
- Backdash j8A~jAB is an option for catching opponents who are running at you. It can also function as an instant overhead, but despite appearances the hitbox does not remain active for long after landing so this only works at very close range. Hops give more room here, but also open the possibility of a lower risk falling jA instead.
Toy Transformation - 6321464E (II)
Hurricane Shredder Slash - 236AB
- Enhanced 214S. Shizumaru travels midscreen quickly as a giant hitgrab hitbox surrounds him. In addition to anti-airs and raw punishes this will reliably combo from close mediums, making this a very useful super to have.
Hurricane Current Slicer - 623623BC (II), 236BC (VI) (Samurai Drive)
- Enhanced 623S. Shizumaru performs three Cross Current Slicers in succession, with only the last one leaving the ground. This move is susceptible to Rage Explosion.
- 2A/5D 623A - Light combos.
- n5B/2B/2C/66B/6D 623S/TAP/236AB - Medium combos.
- n5C, 66B - Highly-damaging link combo. Works from anywhere.
Continuous Slash (IV)
- A+B BBC 623S/TAP/236AB - Standard juggles. This is a much easier hit confirm into TAP, and pressing A+B and mashing the dial-a-combo while your pinky is stuck on E is certainly doable.
Frame Data - Provided by Tekitogate
|On Standing Block
|On Crouching Block
|Active for 7 frames