Guilty Bits Xrd: Potemkin

Author/Twitter handle:
@ZoKHiZzz, @ novriltataki

Character Discord Server:

Day 1 Combo
Day 1 Blockstring

General style
Potemkin is the Guilty Gear’s classic grappler archetype. His big hurtbox, limited mobility, and slow normals, give him a hard time during the neutral phase and even while under pressure, but patience and good blocking skills can help him manage until he finds opportunities to start his crazy close ranged pressure and mixups, and potentially take the round.

1. Neutral: Pokes, Space control, far range converting

Potemkin lacks universal mobility options like running, and airdashing. He can only super jump or double jump. But many of his special attacks double as utilities that can help him during neutral.

2P- Second fastest normal at 6f. Decent mid range poke. Good for setting up tick throws, especially Potemkin Buster(632146P).

5S- Mid ranged poke. Good at stopping instant airdashes. Can usually be followed with a Heat Knuckle after an aerial hit.

2D- Mid range safe low poke. Cannot be cancelled to anything.

Hammerfall & Hammerfall Break- Potemkin’s most important special move. Hammerfall(HF, [4]6H) is a charge special that moves Potemkin forward, and has armor that can absorb one hit (but doesn’t work against supers and throws). It ends with an attack that’s very unsafe on block at -16 frames. HF can be cancelled into Hammerfall Break (HFB) by pressing P at any point of the move before actives start to stop Potemkin’s momentum, which allows Potemkin to perform the dash without the unsafe attack. Canceling normals into HFB is a core element of the character, as it cancels the regular recovery of the attacks while also getting closer while the opponent is stuck in hitstun or blockstun. There’s a tradeoff between position and who gets to act first. The more you delay the P break, the more distance you’ll advance, but you’ll get to act later, compared to the opponent. Most of the time you should go for very early cancels.

HF can also be YRC’ed, enabling you to move forward, absorb 1 hit with the super armor, YRC and attempt a Potemkin Buster, while the opponent is recovering from the absorbed attack. Under the YRC’s slowdown it’s more likely that the opponent will try to jump rather than attack, so mixing the Buster with 623H becomes less risky than usual.

Flick(63214S)- Can work as mid range poke or frame trap after other normals. Slow startup but has a massive hitbox. A counter hit causes a tumble roll or wall stick in the corner. It also destroys normal projectiles during frames 4-18. When it does it creates a slow moving projectile that provides cover and allow Potemkin to advance forward.

Megafist Forward(236P)- Can be used as hard read to jump over low hitting moves. Unsafe on block at -4. When properly spaced it can be used to move in on opponent relatively safely.

5H- This long ranged normal should always be canceled into specials or 2D, and each option provides different benefits. The most commonly used option is to cancel into HF, and then confirm what happened, and continue accordingly. If you see the 5H scored a counter hit (the opponent flashes red) you let the Hammerfall finish and get close knockdown. If you see the 5H scored a normal hit, or that it was blocked, cancel the HF into HFB to be safe.

Canceling 5H into Megafist allows you to advance more effectively than with HFB, and can be relatively safe when whiffed, but it lacks the versatility that HF offers, with its different possible outcomes.

At a third screen distance, where 2D can still reach, canceling 5H into 2D converts into a knockdown and offers the best reward on normal hit.

Slide Head(236S)- Slide Head’s main use is the fullscreen unblockable earthquake which will hit grounded opponents, granting a knockdown for very long time and allowing you to HFB close to them. If the move touches the opponent, it becomes a slow, unsafe low, so use it only from afar to get the earthquake.

If you really need to get some damage in, the earthquake can be RRC’d, which allows you to combo from it.

j.p is an air to air, j.s is an air to ground, j.h can cross up, and j.D delays the landing to make anti-airs whiff (but it can be unsafe if blocked.)
Overall Potemkin’s air tools are subpar, which is why he should engage mostly from the ground.

2. Offense: Pressure, close range converting, mixups and okizeme

Potemkin’s close ranged offense is how he wins. It’s higher risk and higher reward, compared to other character’s offense. In this case “higher risk” means that it’s easier to escape when the opponent predicts correctly. But at long as Potemkin mixes his patterns well, the rewards can be much bigger, since he can combine strong mixups inside his pressure strings in ways other character’s can’t.

Hammerfall Break serves as the core of his offense, as almost all of his normals can be canceled into specials. HFB serves multiple roles- Brings him closer, resets pressure, and allows Potemkin to grab blocking opponents with Potemkin Buster, his powerful command throw.

But HFB is weak when the opponent predicts when it comes, and can either attack, backdash or jump away from the pressure, so it’s all about doing it at unpredictable times, and mixing it with baits.

The first layer:
While not a true blockstring, the basic chain is 5K>c.S/2S>6K, and a HFB can come at any point. If the opponents expect it and attacks at the wrong time, they will get hit by the next normal in the chain. Potemkin can also cancel into other special moves instead of HFB, which may end his momentum if blocked, but can beat attempts to attack the HFB.

The second layer:
2S canceled into HFB leaves Potemkin at equal frames, and the heavier normals 6K and 5H leave Potemkin at +2 after canceling into HFB, with 6K being the most ideal as it also moves in close. So even if the opponent blocked them and knows a HFB is coming, it’s too late to do something about it because of the frame advantage. Instead, the opponent needs to instant block the 6K which removes the frame advantage. But that opens another guessing game of “when will the 6K come?” Potemkin can use it earlier in the string, or mix it with other normals, like 2D, which require different timings to IB. And even if 6K did get IB’ed, there’s still the threat of canceling it into his other specials instead…

The third layer:
If Potemkin has enough tension meter, he can start going crazy with the Hammerfalls, and not just cancel them into a break. With 25% meter he can HF into the opponent’s face and YRC into a mixup. With 50% meter he can let the Hammerfall rock all the way and use its attack. He has enough time to confirm what happened, only RRC it on block, and continue his pressure afterwards. So as if all the aforementioned chaos wasn’t bad enough already, now on top of it there’s also a threat of a relatively safe Dragon Punch that moves forward!

This is pretty much how Potemkin wins, but it gets even more complex.

While not important to beginners, be aware that at higher levels of play, opponents may try to escape the hit/throw mixups via the fuzzy jump option select, and that Potemkin has options against that as well. Delayed jump attacks like j.D, Heat Knuckle, and chasing after them with a rising j.P, all are valid options against this technique, each with different pros and cons.

There are also backdashes, invincible reversals, and supers to consider, but the point is that both of you are playing a complex guessing game with a lot of options, but overall in Potemkin’s favor.

Potemkin can score a knockdown from a 2D, throws, Hammerfall and Potemkin Buster. From there, his okizeme consists mostly of safe jumps, which require unique timings for every character, but cover their wake up options, like reversals and some characters’ backdashes. His basic mixup from a jump is a j.S/j.H into a low or a Potemkin Buster, or empty jump straight into a low or Potemkin Buster.

Against characters that without threatening reversals, you don’t even need a safe jump, as you can simply HFB closer to them after the knockdown and do simple low/Potemkin Buster mixups.
After combos ending with ICPM(j.41236H), Potemkin has enough time to go for one of the strongest okizeme setups in the game, and do a Trishula(63214K) YRC. The opponent is forced to wake up into a huge flame projectile which can’t be evaded with a backdash, while Potemkin is free to wait to block bursts, reversals, and DAAs, while still having time to attack afterwards. Because the flame hides Potemkin really well, making his rewarding 5D extremely hard to block high based on reaction, and it now becomes a true 50-50 mixup.

Wake up Slide Head- A bit hard to time, but forces the opponent to wake up into the unblockable earthquake. For most characters, the only solutions against it are reversal backdash and reversal Blitzshield.

3. Defense: Anti-airs, fending off pressure, and reversals

6P- The main anti-air used 90% of the time, good hit/hurtboxes. Low reward on normal hit but a counter hit gives you time to continue a combo afterwards.

5P, 5S and 2H are situational anti-airs. 2H is very hard to use, but on counter hit it leads to Potemkin’s strongest combos.

Instant Blocking- Some ground/air moves can be punished with IB Potemkin Buster and air strings done too high up in air can most of the time be punished with IB Potemkin Buster after landing.

Backdash- Slow to finish but extremely evasive. 21 frame long, and only 1 vulnerable frame at the end. Can be used to evade slow or easy to read moves, and maybe even punish with a Potemkin Buster.

Giganter EX (632146H)- Doesn’t have invincibility but is still used like a reversal and trade hits. Potemkin creates a projectile mirror and can trade hits with the opponent’s attack. The mirror gets a counter hit, causes stagger which can leave Potemkin at a frame advantage after the trade, and also does a lot of stun, putting the opponent at risk of entering a dizzy state. Be wary that it’s too slow to be used against meaty attacks and safe jumps, as the opponent will recover in time to block the mirror.

4. Meter Usage Priorities

RRC- Convert hits into full combos in the corner or create corner carry midscreen.
Hammerfall YRC- to get in safely & punish moves with YRC buster.
FD- to create space.
Slide Head RRC- unblockable starter with decent damage near corner.
ICPM(j.41236H) YRC- Situational ghetto instant airdash to get out of sticky situations.