Friday, October 19, 2012

Pseudo Force Wake Ups

adjective [soo-doh]
1. not actually but having the appearance of; pretended; false or spurious; sham.

When Helena's old DOA4 force wake ups were taken out the game, Helena players had to start getting real creative in DOA5 when it came to coming up with tactics to get rid of your opponents wake up kick and forcing them to get up off the ground right away. Now this is something that I personally found towards the beginning stages of DOA5 and something I play around with, but I also see a couple other Helena players have discovered this as well when I see them using it online. So I'm going to explain this new piece of Helena technology that I personally feel that every Helena player should start adding to their arsenal.

Every juggle Helena has, on any weight class, can end with almost any string variation that ends in her Handslaps. The following three strings are the Handslap strings I'm talking about to use at the end of her juggles:

BT 4ppp
BKO 6p4pp

This will leave you in BKO Stance. Once the Handslaps slam the opponent to the ground, you can force tech them with BKO 6P. Here's the twist though... BKO 6P does NOT force wake ups. The opponent can actually tech up before the BKO 6P hits them grounded. The thing is though, whether they get hit with BKO 6P or they tech themselves up, Helena is still pretty much in the same advantageous situation as if she force tech'd the opponent herself. Replacing her typical Bread and Butter combos with either one of those three strings only do a tiny bit less damage, but puts you in better Oki position. Problem in DOA games is that when you knock someone down, there is always that fear of wake up kicks. So most of the time, you can't pressure a grounded opponent. Using Handslap strings at the end of the juggles takes away the wake up kick and you can continue to pressure the opponent with your attacks. (as it should be in a fighting game)

This is gonna be your most common juggle ending string considering this is out of Helena's normal stance. Whenever you launch the opponent with a launcher that doesn't leave you in a stance, use 33p4p to end the juggle and then go into BKO 6P. You can also use this string in BKO Throw combos. (BKO Throw -> 4ppk -> 33p4p -> BKO 6P)

BT 4ppp:
You use this string from BT launchers or front-facing launchers that leave you BT.

BKO 6p4pp:
This is where things get real scummy. You use this string on the opponent when their back is against the wall. The difference with this particular string on the wall and the other two Handslap strings is that the other two will kinda push the opponent back when you force tech them or they tech up themselves. With BKO 6p4pp against a wall, it leave them RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU AGAINST THE WALL. Pretty much resetting the whole situation. So when you slam the opponent against the wall, (cause it grants you a free combo) combo right into BKO 6p4pp. Once they are up again, that is where the real mind games begin. You can do 2f+k, or something that slams them into the wall to do it all over again, or 6f+p to get a wall throw where they can't wake up kick, or you can do BKO Throw -> P -> BKO 6p4pp -> BKO 6P, etc. The possibilities are incredible. All these options put them back in the same F***** up situation against the wall.

End your juggles with Handslap strings. It only does a little less damage than the combos you are using now and lets you keep up the pressure. After handslap juggle enders, use BKO 6P to either force their wake up or they tech themselves and the BKO 6P whiffs, but still puts you in a similar situation as if you hit them with BKO 6P. If the BKO 6P whiffs, I believe you are at a little less advantage, but still enough to pressure and mix up the opponent. Keep in mind that when they do tech up though, the opponent is not gonna be right in front of you. (they will be pushed back a little bit) So be sure to dash in a little or use ranged attacks. Take this to Training Mode, play around with it, find some post-tech setups that you are comfortable with, etc. You'll also start to notice that the juggles with 33p4p and BT 4ppp can kinda carry the opponent to the wall... Get the opponent to the wall...


Sunday, October 7, 2012

DOA5 Helena Patch Wish List

Dear Team Ninja, (PLEASE READ)

There was once a time where I felt that Helena was the perfect fighting game character. She embodied all of the tools to make her a serious and respectable character in DOA4. In DOA5, all that changed... The fighting system has changed in DOA5 to where we now have unholdable stuns, pretty good frame advantage on block, etc. As the game changed, Helena did not. DOA5 Helena plays a lot like DOA4 Helena. The best way I can describe her now is if DOA4 ever came out with a patch and they nerfed her by making her unsafe and taking away her force techs, this would be that character. The problem is that this isn't DOA4 and this is a new system. She plays EXACTLY like a DOA4 character. She has to be the only character in DOA5 that got worse since DOA4 while every other character got either a little better or a lot better.

I wanted my next blog post to be a breakdown of Helena's best moves, but I felt that this could not wait. People feel that Helena is "still good" because they aren't fighting her correctly. A lot of players aren't punishing her unsafe moves at all. She doesn't have safe ways going into her stances. She is one of the most unsafe characters in the game now for no reason. She lacks good unholdable stuns. One of her sitdown stuns, (6pp) is the second punch in the middle of a string. I also find her sitdown stuns to be easily Slow Escaped before any good followups can connect. This is a character that people feel is strong early on, but she will only get very weak later on down the road once people learn to properly fight her.

Now I'm not a big fan of nerfing the other characters. (Especially this early on in the game's life) Just straight up making the "good" characters worse can hurt the game in the long run. Instead, make the weaker characters better. Give them buffs to also make them good. In this post I decided to list a couple of changes that Helena should get in a future balance patch of DOA5:

This move should be +1 on block.

Helena lacks any real good DOA5 unholdable stuns. What I suggest is give her back her Limbo Stun on Counter Hit for 6P, like how it was in DOA2. Keep people honest. This would be a really great addition for Helena and make her one step closer to feeling like a DOA5 character.

BT 4ppp
When this move is used in a juggle state, it should hard knockdown. (like Tina's 6f+k) That way, you can force tech the opponent with BKO 6p or BKO Sweep.

I feel you should be able to go into either BKO Stance or Back Turn Stance from this move. Do F+K and hold the DOWN button to go into BKO, and to go into BT, hold the BACK button after inputting F+K. Going into either stance after F+K should leave you at least +3 on block. Helena needs more safe and advantageous ways to go into her stances. This would be fair too because the move isn't really that fast and it's a high.

This move, on CH and in middle of stun, should give her that unholdable stun where you lean backwards and fall to the ground. It's the same stun that Gen Fu's 4p+k on CH and in stun gives. Again, she needs more of these type of stuns to truly fit the DOA5 mold.

236p+k leaves her at neutral on block right now. I think she should be at +1 on block. She has strings that end with the handslaps that leave her at -4 on block. (BT 4ppp, 4p2p, 33p4p) They should be either neutral or -1 on block.

Not even gonna say 8k should be real safe or advantage on block, but I don't think it should be -8 on block. I think -5 is pretty respectable. That way it can still be punished by only Grappler Characters.

Why was this move made unsafe? Not even that it's unsafe, but it's REALLY unsafe. This move and any string that ends with this open palm should be -2 or -3 on block. This was her "Get in" move. I think it should also sitdown stun as well. It wouldn't be cheap because I'm pretty sure you won't get anything guaranteed on hit by the time you recover.

Helena needs more safe ways to go into her stances and just overall more safe moves in general. She needs these unholdable DOA5 stuns that everyone else has. The BKO duck nerf makes sense to me. She needs to be an overall better character because, like I said earlier, she is gonna get much worse as the game matures. This Helena that we were delivered right now, is just a bad version of DOA4 Helena. She needs buffs.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Early DOA5 Helena Impressions

So Dead or Alive 5 is FINALLY out. I had some time with the game, (both casually and in competition) and I have to say that Team Ninja delivered a great product this time around. They tweaked the Hold System, added an actual Sidestep System, Made the Wall Game real good, Frame Advantage, etc. It's a good fighting game, I LIKE IT!

This is gonna be about my early Helena impressions though. Pre-Release of DOA5, people seemed to have went into mass hysteria about Helena being bad now. I will say that, though Helena got weaker, she is still capable of doing work.

Let me start off with the main nerfs. She no longer holds the power that was the BKO Throw Force Wake Up. (Helena's Vortex for you FGC people) This was, hands down, her most devastating mix up she had. (MOST DEVASTATING MIX UP IN THE GAME!) After you hit them with her throw from BKO stance, you can force them up off the ground and it put them in some pretty messed up situations. She had an uncounterable setup after it, mix them up with BKO sweep, throw loop, etc. It was almost a wrap once you were caught in the mix up... But it is gone now....

Another setback is that her BKO Duck doesn't duck under all Mid Attacks anymore. She can now get hit with mids that either hit the ground, (ex: Hayabusa's 3f+k) or mids that come up from the ground. (ex: Hayabusa's 3p+k) I'm gonna be very unbiased here, she kinda deserved this nerf. It actually makes sense. BKO Duck is still useful for getting out of certain situations, but you CANNOT rely on this as much as you use to be able to in DOA4. Also, P+K isn't the ultimate High and Mid crush, panic move anymore. High attacks still get crushed. Certain mid attacks can still be crushed, but so far it doesn't seem like many can. Just like BKO Duck, you can't rely on P+K as much anymore, but doesn't mean that you should take it completely out of your arsenal. P+K is still useful if you think your opponent is gonna throw you.

Last main nerf is that she is really unsafe now, and I mean REALLY unsafe! One of her stable moves in DOA4 was 66P and was safe on block. NOW IN DOA5, it is -9 on block. (along with any string that ends with that open palm) Now that she is really unsafe on a lot of her attacks, she seems more risky to use now.

All Doom and Gloom right? Well lets get to her good stuff.

Even though her pp2kp was removed from the game, she can now end her juggles with 236pkp. Since DOA4, this was one of her more powerful juggle enders and you had to have a high enough Stun Threshold, launch, to be able to use this ender. Now this is just her regular BnB juggle ender off any launch height and on any weight class.

88_22K is def a real nice addition and should be in every Helena player's arsenal of moves. It's actually her BKO Sweep made into a SS kick attack. Sidestep + Sweep that ducks + Stuns on hit = Probably one of the best SS attacks in the game.

I like what they did with her KKK and 3KKK strings. It's pretty much the same speed as it was before, but now when the opponent is hit with them, they don't fall to the ground anymore. You can use these strings to extend the stun. I feel Helena's stun game is pretty weak. So with her kicks, it helps her stun game a little more.

Though she is pretty unsafe, she does have a couple of safe moves that come to mind:
F+K is +7 on block
236p+k (Handslaps) is +0 on block
Any string ending with Handslaps is -4 on block
1K(P) is +9 on block

The BKO Throw Force Wake Up may be gone, but she now has a wider variety of combos that she can do from BKO Throw:
1.) BKO Throw, 4ppk, 9K = 60 dmg
2.) BKO Throw, 4ppk, 8pp2p = 67 dmg
3.) BKO Throw, P, 66kp(p) = 60 dmg
What is special about BKO Throw combo number three is that, in DOA4, you can only use that one against the wall. Now you can do it out in the open space and near a wall. You get an extra 10 dmg if this slams against the wall or object.

2kk buff is one of my favorite buffs in the game. 2kk kinda sucked in DOA4 and you couldn't get much off of the launcher on a stunned opponent. In DOA5 however, up close, you can get 236pkp as a juggle.

Yes, Helena is quite nerfed and isn't the powerhouse that she used to be. This doesn't mean that she can't win. You have to work a lot harder with this character now and really know Helena and your match ups to win. Helena's evasiveness isn't what it used to be, but she can still be pretty evasive. Helena doesn't play the new DOA5 system too well. I feel her stun game is pretty weak due to the fact that her best attacks during the stun threshold are Mid Punches. If you choose to toy around with a stunned opponent, you have to get REAL creative. In my opinion, I think your best bet with Helena is to Stun -> Launch right away. It is good that a lot of her best moves from DOA4 still work exactly the same on Hit. (2f+k, BKO Sweep, 33P, BKO 6k, etc.) You have to be able to read your opponent better now, take more risks, use wacky setups, etc. Helena is the type of character now where you truly have to be a master of the character. Character loyalty will payoff in the long run.

My next Kill Blog entry will be a breakdown of her best attacks. Until next time, and please, DON'T DROP THIS CHARACTER YET!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Match Analyzer #2 (Pre-Release Edition!)

It has been too damn long, but the Kill Blog is back! With the new DOA5 coming out, time to get back on the Helena grind. I thought I'd do a breakdown of the recently released Helena reveal video. From what I can see from the video and from what I read, Helena is def nerfed a bit. In the video, there was still some stuff that I did like though. Fighting Game players have the tendency to say a character is bad by ONLY looking at all their negatives and completely disregard the positives. Let me break it down in my perspective and what I saw in this video:

@ 0:15 - 0:21
First thing I notice is that she still has her KKK string. They seem a little bit slower, but might be due to the game overall being slower. These were some of her better pokes in DOA4 and used for interrupting. The kicks were unsafe, but you can delay them for so long, that the opponent has to respect the followups. Right after the KK string, Helena went right into BKO throw. It still seems pretty fast and useful. The combo that was used after the BKO throw consisted of a new string. (Looks like from her 8P) I kinda like what I see from this combo because Helena recovers pretty fast from it and it looks like you can continue the pressure afterwards. I just like the position that Helena is in after ending the BKO throw combo. (Especially after Lisa teched backwards, which means she can't wake up kick) Now one can only assume that the untechable setup from BKO throw is gone. That was her main tool in DOA4. As of right now, I'm not too worried about it being gone because there were other ways to use BKO throw setups without the untechable and make them get up and still apply pressure. I think that new combo might just add another option to do the trick.

@ 0:26 - 0:31:
Here we see her old BNB BKO throw combo. This was the other option from DOA4 when you didn't want to go for the untechable setup and just wanted damage, and it still seems like it does good damage. Right after the combo in the video, I see Helena still has 66K. In DOA4, the full string was 66KPP (Low, Low, Mid) and you can go into BT stance or BKO Stance from the 66K. I'm glad to see this move back in the game because it was one of my favorites. Now with 66P being unsafe in DOA5, this might be one of the alternative options of getting in with her now. Though I have to say that even on NH, 66K obviously didn't leave Helena at much advantage, so be careful with this move.

@ 0:42:
BKO Sweep is still in the game and it still looks fast. This was the best sweep in DOA4 and I am glad to see that it is still intact. What made this sweep so good was, not only was it fast, but it stunned from tip range and tripped up close. Also on CH, it trips from any range. You can stay into BKO after the sweep and keep looping it if you wanted. One of her key mix up tools and I'm just gonna assume that this will be a good step killer.

@ 0:49:
In DOA5, I wonder how good 1PP is gonna be. Will it kill step? Will it be a Natural Combo? I hope so!

@ 1:19:
Well, 2F+K is still in the game and still looks like an amazing move. It still gives off that deep stun and leaves you into BKO. That's that stuff I do like!

@ 1:26:
And here we have a new string to play around with. (Looks like from her 33P) On block, I think it gives you slight advantage and puts you into BKO Stance. What caught my eye is how fast Helena was able to cancel out of BKO Stance. She recovered pretty fast from this new string. This string might have potential. I want to see what it does on hit.

@ 1:34:
Here we have another new string. (From her 3P) Damage didn't look too impressive. Maybe there is a use for this string, but I'm not sold just yet.

@ 1:40:
Wow, her SS Kick Attack is her BKO Sweep. This is gonna be a real good option after stepping an attack because you will more than likely get the CH trip, leaving you in a great position for mix ups.

@ 1:58:
Glad to see 33P still stuns.

@ 2:08 - 2:11:
I see she does still have the P followup after 33P for the launcher. (33PP) They might have replaced her other followup (33P4P) with that new string from 33P I was talking about earlier... Good, because 33P4P was not that great. So anyways, after Lisa got launched, we notice one of Helena's nerfs. PP2KP got removed from the game... it was her main BNB combo ender. It was good because it juggled every weight class in the game when you didn't get a high enough launcher. Now I see that Helena players will have to resort back to DOA2U BNB combos with PPP or PPK from launches that aren't high.

@ 2:22:
And here is her Power Blow attack from her 4P+K to end the match.

Yes, Helena got nerfed a bit, but it isn't all doom and gloom. Some of her best tools are still in the game and still works the same, and even a couple of new tools as well. The things that will make her not AS STRONG anymore is: The fact that she is more unsafe, Her evasion from BKO won't be as strong, and one can only assume that she will be linear. Even if she is linear though, BKO Sweep should be a good step killer. Pretty much from what I gathered, you will have to put in a lot more work trying to win with her. It's work that just might payoff in the long run. I think the key strategy that the rest of the Helena players are gonna have to start adapting is: Stun opponent and go into BT Stance or BKO Stance, and you can't be as reckless with your attacks anymore because SS is good in this game.

I'll be back with more Helena DOA5 info as it becomes more available.


Video courtesy of TecmoKoei

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dead or Alive is BACK!

I took a long hiatus from the Kill Blog, but now with the return of Dead or Alive with their next installment, "Dead or Alive 5", I will be making more posts before and when the game releases. Expect a new post when the Helena DOA5 Reveal Trailer gets released. (Hopefully soon?) So stay tuned in the coming months for more Helena strats, theories, Match Analyzers, and Helena shenanigans!