- High Damage
- Shield for trading
- Good throw ranges
- Good special moves
- Strong wall stun follow up
- Stamina reduction combo
Shugoki’s strength comes from a few things. He has the ability to trade favorably due to his high HP and damage by using his shield. He also has the unique mechanic of basically healing while damaging his opponent. He can easily work against not-very-good players but requires a lot of effort to pilot versus people who know what they’re doing.
His slow attack speed is compensated by damage and by allowing, strangely enough, mix ups on a missed attack, but that can be unreliable. Shugoki fights often result in a series of resets, with Shugoki trying to get a good trade or parry and punish, possibly changing into a more aggressive playstyle when opponent is on low HP
- Slow everything
- Reliant on shield
- Weak to guard break
- Low Stamina
- Weak Dodge
- Weak to bleed or quick double attacks
- Easy to be parried
- Weak follow up on regular guard break
The Shugoki’s strengths are balanced with a lot of high-impact weaknesses. His slow attack lead to a lot of issues in fights – very easy to parry, guard break on startup etc.
Very reliant on his shield, meaning if it is disabled or simply not activated yet, you’re at a disadvantage so you should be defensive.
His low stamina will often lead to reset attempts and defensive plays until you regain it, since every action practically depletes it.
Lack of options in the gap closer department leads to a lot of stare contests and defensive plays. An occasional zone attack can be attempted but if the opponent parries or deflects it, you won’t be able to abuse it.
Shugoki has a lot of special moves and almost all of them are useful even versus skilled opponents
Shield – one of the unique aspects of Shugoki; the shield allows you to not be staggered by one attack of the opponent. This is your main trading tool – if you see opponents attacking you can trade a hit – yours usually does more as a percentage of HP. Important notes – bleed disables this shield, so do not trade when you have a bleed on; successful guard break disables it, leaving you open; (17.02.17 – there is currently a bug where non-successful guard breaks also remove your shield, so watch out); it WORKS against unblockables, such as Lawbringer push, Shugoki Demon Embrace, Warden shoulder bash – basically anything that would stagger you in some way stops. Your shield comes back 5 seconds after it is used up and reduces the damage of your hit by 10%, allowing those sweet trades.
Charging Heavy Attack – this right here is the reason you want your opponents out of stamina. If you manage to guard break an opponent without stamina, then push him to the ground and IMMEDIATELY start charging a top heavy by holding the heavy attack. This leads to 60 damage, which is half of most character’s HP. The opponent can punish you with a guard break so don’t do it near a cliff, but he is out of stamina so he can only light attack after the guard break, so the trade is favorable. This is obviously massive but it is also possible in very rare cases to do this if you predict an opponent will do something you can surprise them with one of these. Use the latter option sparingly, because people will learn that you do it an will punish you for it
Crashing Thunder – acceptable occasional opening from a sprint – also a good finisher if they are on less than ¾ of a bar of HP. It’s a fast attack for 20 damage out of sprint, but it always comes out of the right so it’s predictable. Feel free to experiment with it on some rounds, but keep in mind it will be parried sometimes.
Charge of the Oni – a lot of people like this move, but I don’t. It’s very gimmicky and unreliable. Once you charge there are 5 possible outcomes: you outright miss your opponent but you’re not punished, other than having no stamina; opponent dodges and gets a free punish; you hit the opponent and they’re close enough to a wall so that when you stop you are in range to hit them with heavy; you hit the opponent but can’t reach them for a hit because the cancel hit confirm is pretty difficult; you hit the opponent and they fall off the bridge and you win. Overall you see there’s a lot of possible outcomes in this opening so I’d avoid spamming it. Can work in clutch situations. If you use it, make sure to cancel it if with your feint button in order to be in range to follow-up with a heavy.
Demon’s Embrace – probably the best ability style wise and strength wise. Shugoki grabs someone, breaks their back for 40 dmg and heals for 40(?) health. If on critical HP, instantly kills enemy. If you miss you lose 2 bars of HP and can be punished – if you’re at ~half HP and you miss this, you’re dead. There are 3 options for using this – the feint heavy into embrace, the wall stun into embrace and the yolo mind games embrace.
- First one means that it is possible to cancel a heavy attack into an embrace, but you need to be sure the opponent means to parry. This doesn’t work well vs deflecting characters, because they will dodge your embrace in attempt to deflect.
- Second option is a guaranteed embrace but somewhat difficult to execute. When you push them towards a wall you have to commit and press DOWN + Guard Break after their head is not in your hand anymore. Meaning that if they are outside of your guard break, moving in any direction you can mash back + guard break and you will do it. It is possible to start doing it too early and do a simple guard break so test it out for the feel. If you do it too late in order to confirm they will hit the wall, you will probably miss it. You have to commit which means sometimes they will slide off a wall or an object without any reason and you are either dead or almost dead. Still, if you get stomped to low HP and you manage to parry into wall stun, it’s always worth a shot to turn the game around. If you are missing 20% or more HP, it’s worth risking, because the reward is high. If you are missing little or no HP, I prefer to just Heavy attack after the wall stun.
- The other option works during staring contests, if you see the enemy will commit to a shoulder bash or a heavy dash attack, react very quickly, absorb it with shield and heal yourself and damage them. NOTE: Doesn’t work when you’re at critical health.
Demon Ball – this move is a mixed blessing. Once you guard break and hit a heavy attack, you will do this move no matter the direction. On one side it does less damage than a heavy and resets the fight, which are things you sometimes prefer not to do. On the other hand it resets (sometimes you need that), it MIGHT throw off a cliff or, most times, just throw someone next to a wall (where you have an advantage). A very important fact is that if you bring someone to critical and they heal back to 30 HP, this will kill them. So aim for a GB or a parry>GB if someone went critical and then healed up, it is a sure kill. Overall this is your GB follow-up, it is decent, it can be used strategically to throw for an insta-kill or just reposition.
Headbutt – combo move the follow up your Heavy/Light attacks, the most often used combo is top light into Headbutt, since top light is your fastest attack. It’s a good follow up taking 75% of someone’s max stamina, forcing them to either wait or foolishly attack and be out of stamina. It also stuns allow for a risky unblockable or just a GB/poke. I’d like for someone to confirm if it has a cooldown or it does not affect people at certain stamina values because I’ve had it have no effect.
So, what are your offense options? Usually you are not a particularly aggressive character, but if people start abusing you being overly defensive through feint > guard breaks, faint > parry, aggressive light attack mix ups and stuff like that, you might have to invest in some aggression to abuse their greed:
- You can poke a top light (or side if you have done top light too many times) and headbutt. This chips some damage and also puts you in a stamina advantage. Of course it’s not safe but it’s fast – if they’re hitting you with light attacks you can get one of these in with your shield (they won’t be able to do a follow-up combo light attack) and lead into a headbutt; good for stopping pesky aggression
- Recognize when the enemy is about to take an action and start a heavy attack – if they guard break and you did it early enough it will go through the guard break, if they also hit you, you will absorb and hit them for a favorable trade. Beware, they might be able to dodge, punish if you whiff or even parry if they feinted
- Something I really enjoy doing is closing in on the opponent, just out of range, whiffing a side heavy or a light attack, which they do not expect and they go in for a punish, but you have a HUGE window to throw another heavy as part of your combo, which will trade for their punish, or if they guard break, it will just hit them. It’s wonky and requires a lot of mind games.
- Your only gap closer is your zone attack, when you do it you dash a bit and hit relatively quickly from the right and the left. If you hit the right attack you got lucky and took them by surprise, the chance to hit the second one and not get parried versus a good opponent is small, so cancel it if it’s a hard duel.
- Bait a parry by winding up an unblockable and trading 60 dmg for their probably 30 dmg. Very risky and works only if you surprise them.
- Use the light>heavy combo on a block and hard feint the heavy into a demonic embrace for a surprise demonic embrace. best used during long staring contests when opponent is waiting for your attack. it’s still very risky.
- Guard break them and either wall stun into heavy/embrace or demon ball them into a wall to set up a wall stun eventually after that. Or just baseball them out of a cliff. FeelsGood
- As with most characters, you can feint a heavy into a punish: either a soft feint into embrace or counter parry to their parry. This is mostly for high lever mind games – if you have played against someone for 10-15 rounds+ or you’re both good.
- If you’re very far from one another a sprint into a fast heavy out of it is a good poke, but it’s pretty risky.
- Whenever you do one of these make sure you rest because chances are you will have no stamina after anything but the light > headbutt.
- Whenever enemies are on the ground, follow up with a unblockable heavy (can be punished with a GB>light, you also have no stamina) or with a light into headbutt to keep them without stamina, while conserving yours.
- An alternative to demon ball from a gb is a light into headbutt, allowing you to manipulate their stamina more effectively. The blind allows for a mixup or even a charge of the oni into heavy.
Don’t forget that you’re still mostly a reactionary character, you better know how to parry.
- If you’re being hit by a mix up of light attacks, AFTER you fail to parry the first one, focus on BLOCKING the rest. It’s very difficult to parry the combo attacks, because they’re fast, so even blocking them is fine, to disrupt the combo. After you block wait for an opportunity (they’re out of stamina or just stop after their chain fails), and recover.
- Parrying is the name of the game and allows you to control the flow of the fight. If you’re in the middle of an arena, parry into GB into Demon Ball to throw them near a wall, allowing you to be aggressive, parry again for a gb into wall stun, or just regular GB into a wall stun, both followed up with your embrace/attack.
- After you manage to hit something and you’re on low stamina and they’re not, make sure you watch out for guard breaks and random hits. If you find yourself on no stamina, don’t risk parrying, just block and counter guard break. Don’t try to spam dodge like assassins when you’re out of stamina, dash attacks ruin you because of your small dodge range.
- If you have a shield on you can ignore certain unblockables (I have not tested which, I would love to add info if someone knows exactly) and trade a heavy if you predicted/reacted fast, or just a light if you react closer to the end of the unblockable.
- You have a lot of HP so don’t be scared to just take damage, if you also deal some in return
- If you are on almost no HP and the enemy has a lot of it, trading doesn’t work since you will probably die from a heavy. IMO it’s always better to attempt a regular GB or parry into GB for a wall stun into Embrace; worst case they dodge, you die, best case you instakill them or exchange HP, putting you in a much better position to trade.
- Make sure to try and fight with an environmental hazard to your front-left (around 10-11 o’clock) – that way if you parry/GB someone, you can demon ball them for an environmental kill
- If an enemy is out of stamina you will NOT be able to punish in guard stance – start sprintingaround them and attempt a guard break – maybe hit a light and then GB so they don’t expect it. The point is that every GB you do while they have no stamina is 60 guaranteed damage. It is VERY gimmicky to sprint around them and guard break them but you can get used to it and it swings fights in your favor. Just make sure to mix up how you do it.
- Make sure you check your enemy’s stamina. If they have no stamina and you guard break in order to wall stun > embrace, but they just fall, you whiff and just lost a ton of HP and might even get punished if you don’t realize what happened. Watch the stamina and follow-up accordingly.
- Mind games, mind games, mind games, this hero cannot rely on hitting random things against decent people