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Written by: Inso
Hitboxes by Lezyes
– Great space control tools provide for strong neutral
– Unique air mobility (flight)
– Fast grounded dash and fastest walk speed in the game
– Low health
– Slow normals
– Floaty jump
– Struggles to fight in the air
– Struggles if cornered
What makes Half stand out from the other moons are her auto activating wind mines. A few of her wind related moves will leave a wind mine on screen that’ll active after a set time, and you can play around it for both defensive and offensive purposes. Other than that, she dominates neutral and will punish others if they don’t know their place (on screen, not like she is a princess and stuff).
Yes, she can fly! Well, not really, but she can float still or hover in a direction while descending at a really low pace. Good enough if you ask me, what is flying really?
A unique mechanic to this character is being able to cancel her air normals’ recovery in EX moves, and flight (22D) for all intents is considered an EX move. Every other move that has an EX cancel can also be canceled into flight, thus giving her a very unique playstyle in the sense she still has an option even if she goes for something that would be otherwise unsafe.
That doesn’t mean however that flight doesn’t carry risks. You are in counter hit state during flight activation and you cannot block while flying.
Other important things to understand about flying is that it runs on a timer, and you will leave flight mode when that time ends. You can voluntarily leave flight state by jumping, air dashing and by other moves, and in that case you can enter it again by doing light pillar. Regardless, the time you have is always the same, it’ll freeze when you leave, but start ticking again when you return to flight mode. Also, staying in flight mode slowly depletes your meter, but that does not mean that you require meter to enter or to continue in flight mode. When in flight mode, you gain access to a fast fall that will move you swiftly to the ground. And in case you have already used your airdash, entering flight mode will make it available again.
Nami (geyser) 236A/B
This move is honestly a bit overpowered, a fast half screen low hitting move that reaches high into the air and can be jump canceled leading to a combo. This is the move to put the fear of not blocking low into your opponent, and once he realizes he needs to respect it you can go straight to the offensive from a neutral standpoint. But beware, both versions are punishable on block if done too close to the opponent.
Kaze (wind blast) 214A/B/C
A mostly air unblockable multihit wind blast that comes out fast and covers a good amount of space in front of you. Can also lead to a combo depending on how it connects. It is safe on block and a good move to spam if your opponent likes to be in the air. The A version is slower but will leave a wind mine on screen. The EX version is a reversal and is invincible for a long time, possibly beating any other reversal in the game.
Air Kaze (wind jump) j.214A/B
On neutral, this move can be used for mobility purposes, to put more distance (and a wind mine) between you and the opponent, best done close to the ground and at the end of air dash to take advantage of the momentum. On offense, a TK or low wind jump can be used for cross up mix ups that lead into a combo or an airtight blockstring since it is really plus on block. Because the opponent is forced to respect you and there is now a timed wind mine on top of him, you can go for very threatening mindgames (tick throws, j.6B instant overheads, etc). As soon as the wind trap activates, you can go for another wind jump and try to keep the opponent locked down.
Toiki (light pillar) j.236A/B/C
A highly positional zoning tool that can be used to deny the opponent specific portions of the screen, but due to slow startup it isn’t really useful on neutral except for punishes (think Nero summons). Despite that, it is plus on block so it has its uses for pressure and to force respect on oki since it’ll beat most DPs outright if done meaty.
The EX version however is extremely useful. It is a universal punishing tool as it is virtually instant and it tracks. If you have meter available and reactions you can punish anything, from ground techs to whiffed normals and heats. It also serves as a combo ender damage dealer, especially from stray hits where otherwise the damage would be minimal. On hit, it creates a soft knockdown aka tech punish situation.
3C- Great anti air if you can position yourself below the opponent.
5A6AA- 5A is your main poke up close since it hits crouchers and her 2A can’t be cancelled on whiff. The 6A followup will catch both back dashes and jump out attempts, so you will be buffering it a lot. The final 6A interestingly can be canceled into normals on block, so get used to using that to your favor.
j.B- Your best air to air option, but you don’t want to use it as such unless the opponent has a jumping normal that hits cross up and outmaneuvering isn’t an option. It hits twice, but only the second hit is consistent in air to ground situations making it generally a no-no.
This move hits all around you making it adequate for both air to air and air to ground situations, were it not for the very slow startup. It can be easily anti aired on reaction so my advice is only use it when you are pressing advantage. Another thing to keep in mind is that the animation is deceiving making it look like it hits evenly around her, but the hitbox actually stretches farther to the sides than below her.
Rising j.6B is an instant overhead that is hard to block unless expected and works really well when it follows your fastfall. Depending on how close you are and the opponent’s character crouching hurtbox you’ll need to adjust your jump angle for the move to actually hit. The general rule is that you need to jump backwards at point blank, neutral at half char distance and forward if you’re farther than that. Getting good damage out of it (as in, into a wind mine activation) requires some effort, but you can always go straight into EX pillar for a simple, low damage route, and it is usually safe since the EX will come out even on whiff.
The charged version however is more of a half screen poking tool that can catch people off guard, but you’ll rarely want to stay in the position to use it unless for some reason you need to stay off the ground for a while. It’ll launch the opponent on hit and you can combo if you cancel it into airdash, but it is unsafe on whiff so you might want to option select with flight (6A+B 22 A or D).
Since your best air-to-ground normal (j.C) and your air approaches are slow, you should stay grounded if you want to dish out aggression while you still don’t have an edge over your opponent. Your focus here is to abuse your space controlling moves to get some damage while forcing your opponent to either move in a predictable pattern or stay still and block. If he decides to block you can take advantage of your superior range and pressure him. In case he moves, make sure he doesn’t get to a position he can threaten you by either staying behind a wind mine, positioning for anti air DP or dashing under him. Some moves are more spammable than others, so be careful when choosing what to go for. Other than that, your general mobility should be more than enough to outmaneuver your opponent.
Due to her range advantage and anti jump tools, the transition to pressure can happen at anytime as you keep the opponent guessing when and if a geyser will come. On pressure, instant overhead j.6B, throws and TK wind jumps are the only way to open up the opponent.
Midscreen, throws will set you up for a safe jump IAD j.C cross up, and with slightly different jump and/or button timings it could also be a same side j.C or a whiff j.C 2A. You can also go for wind jumps to cross up at any point you’re in the air. This can be very tricky to block if the opponent isn’t aware of what you are capable. In the corner, both TK B wind jump and the wind mine it places will suck the opponent out of the corner, creating a gap that you can use to apply tricks further. A high enough B wind jump or properly spaced TK A wind jump on wakeup can also make many reversals whiff, although the punish you get from that can be lacking and it won’t lead to an airtight blockstring anymore in case it gets blocked.
The thing that really hurts her chances to snowball in a match is that after most conversions you’ll end up too far to press oki, and the only thing you can do to force respect is a geyser to catch jump outs. That usually is enough of a mind game to make them stay still while you re approach, but remember there are ways to disrespect it, like back dashes or forward moving reversals. What you can do to get oki is ending combos in Arc Drive or Ukeru ga yoi (j.63214C), or even EX pillar if you forfeit the air throw. Alternatively, whenever possible go for this combo since it’ll leave you close enough to catch him with a normal before he jumps.
You never want to be in this position since it demands a commitment to a faulty escape method. You don’t want to jump out because your jump is floaty, you don’t want to mash out of pressure because your normals are slow, you don’t want to shield because you are half moon, and you don’t want to DP because while it is good it is extremely risk. Also, your backdash has tons of recovery. That being said, as bad as they may be it is possible to get out of pressure by means of any of those options, so you should be ok as long as you make precise, well pondered decisions. But if you want to get out of pressure somewhat safely, you’ll have to rely either on half moon bunker if you have the meter or precisely timed meterless bunkers.
Tricks and mixups: http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm23471198