Unblockable (and miscellaneous)

Tranquility Maya's shadow summon (236b) creates a shadow that mimics Maya's every move. The interesting thing about this is that it's not like Yang or Rose, it's more like SFA3 V-ism shadows. Reason being: You have to block the correct way against Maya's shadow, which means you can't block her shadows jump attacks low (or the shadow's low attacks high).

What this means is that she is able to creat unblockables with this shadow. For example, if you have the shadow out and do a jumping A, then land and do a crouching B, the opponent will not be able to block all of the hits because the 2B connects low at roughly the same time as the shadow's j.A high -- and you can't block high and low at the same time.

Now, the shadow doesn't last very long so it's not easy to use out in the open. It seems the best use for it is to create meaty guard break situations after a knockdown, which suggests the need for a set-up to utilize properly. I've found a couple of ways to set this up, both involving the use of her Bash Combo super (214c). Which is fine really, since basically that means she can get her normal BnB damage (roughly 4k) and then use the shadow to tack on some unblockable damage (roughly 2k). Of course you can probably escape it with backdashes/shifts/supers but I'd imagine it's rather difficult to escape in the corner. I'm sure it's pretty useless against Katze though, but then again F-Maya is probably a better Shift selection against Katze anyway.

Personally, I feel F-Maya's cross-up gimmicks are only useful midscreen, and she becomes rather useless once the opponent has backed themselves into a corner. So, T-Maya is probably going to do you better service when your opponent turtles a lot. But for midscreen games, F-Maya is still a very vicious and difficult to block character.

Speaking of Katze and Maya, Maya's one of the few characters (along with Katze) who's BnB has no burst points until the very end of the combo. But the great thing about Maya's is that even if you attempt to burst, there's a high probability that you'll get PB for it. This makes it a "true" burst bait, rather than a burst-neutralizer, since you can punish bursts attempts without modifying the combo at all.

Something else we've found to be particularly powerful is Orju's and Maya's corner powerbreak combos, which are particularly strong in comparison to other characters. Maya's being [5bc]xN (which translates to repeated 5bc). And Orju's being [5bc, empty 66]xN (which translates to 5bc, then cancel 5c into a dash and do nothing during the dash, then repeat). When you get 15 or more points in a powerbreak, which happens to be very very easy for Maya to do, these combos do ridiculous damage and are very easy to execute. It's also very easy for Orju to put his opponent in the corner from anywhere on the screen, since his dash is so good -- what he can do is dash until the the opponent is nearing the ground, then do: 5bc j.c j.c 5c and the 5c will usually be in the corner, perfectly setting up his corner loop.

Orju also has an unblockable. When you enchant (236a) while Freedom shifted, it makes your shoulder check (214a) leave an unblockable blue trail behind. The thing is, the 214a has to whiff in order for the trail to be unblockable. But that's not really a problem since it's easy to use as a meaty attack. Basically once you have the blue ring and get a knock down you can then whiff a shoulder check when the opponent is waking up and they can't block the trail. The other way to land it is to wait for your shift to end so that Orju's shoulder check has more range, and then it's fairly easy to land the blue trail during a block string. Although, I think the best use of it I've seen so far is simply to do a shift enchanted 214a (while still shifted) at point blank range against a cornered opponent. For some reason a cornered opponent will still get hit by it, even if Orju is still shifted, so no need for a crossup. Great way to get free added damage.

Speaking of Orju, I forgot to mention that his F-enchanted 5c rebuilds his meter Shift, which makes me feel even more like Yun. Basically my playstyle with him right now is: land a combo, shift, combo -- use confusion tactics during shift -- wait for shift to almost be depleted and use enchant -- then spam 5c to rebuild meter very very quickly and repeat the process. It's almost exactly like playing Yun.

Turns out F-Orju also has good midscreen combos that work just as well as his corner combos. That makes him especially dangerous while midscreen since he's able to screw up your blocking almost as good as F-Maya. So I'm starting to wonder why the Japanese have ranked Orju so low, considering he's so good in both T and F modes. I hear rumors that certain people are taking an interest in Orju, I've also decided to really concentrate on getting good with F-Orju, so we'll see. Speaking of tiers, the latest tier lists (both EN and JP) can be found on the Monster Wiki: here. The Wiki has also received some minor updates to several of the sections.

Meanwhile, I'm still scared of M-Rail. We had always assumed F-Rail was the primary Shift of choice, but M-Rail is surprisingly good at run-away. In fact, although they changed Rail's properties in the latest set of patches, M-Rail seems to be able to spam projectiles and do extreme keep-away tactics almost like the "old Rail". I might even go as far as to say that M-Rail is even better than F-Rail if you play him properly.

Though, I've started to realize that certain Shifts should be used for certain match-ups, and certain other Shifts are actually better for specific match-ups than others. Great example would be to say that F-Ryougen is ideal for most match-ups, but T-Ryougen is really almost necessary to fight Siely and Rail properly. Personally I love the idea of match-ups and counter-matches, especially since the characters play rather differently between Shifts.

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