The Last Blade 2/Strategy
Neutral in this game is similar to samurai shodown, slow-paced and patient at first, then explosive offense. Using your normals correctly is vital, as any bnb can take more than 30% of your life (Some of them, like Moriya's can take more than 50%!) so take care and don't throw buttons randomly. Using deflect in neutral is also very risky, as after the deflect window is over, you'll be completely vulnerable for a while, your opponent can get a free combo, which the starter can be a counterhit, dealing slightly more damage.
A really big part of the gameplay in LB2 is the air game, air normals are really strong, and they always allow for a combo. Most characters will try to jump-in, and that's where the game starts it's mindgames.
All characters can do the following. The "basic" route after a jump-in.
>Air attack (usually jC or jB) >Hit? >Guaranteed Free Combo! And you'll most likely be able to do your BnB with highest damage. >Block? >Free mixup! (If spaced correctly) Since air attacks are always high, you can and should attempt one. Poorly spaced jump ins can almost be universally punished by a throw or command grab so be wary. > land then throw (c+d) Depending on the character, resets neutral or gives you free okizeme
Reducing Blockstun, or "Guard Rigidity Shortening Operation", or "Switchguard". While you're in blockstun, if you switch from standing to crouch or inversely, you'll be able to recover faster than usual. This is vital to escape blockstrings and make "safe" things unsafe, allowing the player to do either a deflect or a punish after a risky move.
Before you get into it, Switchguard is not entirely perfect.
- Be careful about fast strings, especially low ones cause you have to wake up for Switchguard and you might eat a low there
- Be careful about command grabs, Switchguard reduces your blockstun making your throw invulnerable frames end faster than without switchguard.
- Don't be delusional to it, you need to block something to use Switchguard. It means they can empty throw you or delay low etc.
- You can’t buffer normals to come out asap after switch guard, you must time the button press or you may miss your punish. Specials/DM’s can be buffered however.
The throw game is a very important part of the game, as they win against missed deflects and blocking. If you whiff a throw, however, you'll be punished with a counter-hit. All standard throws universally have 33 recovery frames if they whiff, which is enough for someone with crazy execution to get a free fandango, (this isn’t realistic in a match, but just as a worst case scenario example) or a full jump in combo if they read the throw, so do your best to make sure they will connect. The distance that they're done is almost point-blank. All characters can do throw setups, but for most of them, they have better ways of doing damage. Universally all standard throws grab 1F after input in range.
You can also setup tick-throws, but these can be somewhat tricky to do. After hit or blockstun ends, there are 8 frames where characters are throw invulnerable (with a few exceptions), so the timing for a tic throw is later than it seems like it should be.
Kaede, O. Kaede, Akari, and Shigen have air throws. These follow the same rules as normal throws and have a lengthy recovery on a whiff. They can be used in combos in most cases, and Shigen can empty cancel air normals to and from his air throw animation if it misses for whatever reason.
- If player 1 and player 2 input a throw on the same frame, player 1 will always win. This quirk does not seem to apply to same frame command grabs.