Author/Twitter handle: @trippinhobbit
Character Discord Server: https://discord.gg/0sTNLglD2uMibgWs
Day 1 Combo
Day 1 Blockstring
Boasting pressure from a distance, Axl is a character that excels at controlling the neutral game. Great options for ground control and incredible ground to air normals let Axl keep opponents out and punish them for jumping and dashing in predictably.
1. Neutral: Pokes, Space control, far range converting
Long and Fast
5P – With a 7f startup, this is Axl’s go to poke. Special and super cancelable. It chains into both 6K and 2S for a full conversion on airborne opponents.
2P – Low hitting 5P. It’s slower and has slightly less range, but is a good option to stop ground approaches from a distance, since 5P whiffs on many character’s forward dash.
2H – 1F faster than 2P, twice hitting low poke that staggers on normal hit and knocks down on CH. Risky due to long recovery, but very strong because of its activity.
j.S – Jump back j.S is a great spacing tool. Will clash with enemy AAs when spaced.
j.6P- best used as a distant air to air, can also be done low to the ground to strike standing opponents.
j.2S- One of Axl’s new normal in Rev2, gives axl way more power to stop characters directly under him which tended to be a struggle previously. This normal can be used like a closer range version of j.S to stop approaches.
Long and Slow
Rensengeki (6S) – Starts up very slow with long recovery, but near instant travel time fireball with incredible range. Can be dashed into to extend length. Can be YRC’d to transition into pressure. Rensen->8 can be used for more damage, but grants no KD.
Haitaka (63214H) – Long range stance. All attacks hit mid and chain into each other: P for the ‘high’, K for the ‘mid’, S for the ‘low’, and H to cancel. Has up to six attacks that do increasing chip damage. Save YRC for a faster recovery. Good option from Rensen KD. In Rev2 the chains no longer have hurtboxes, start up is increased, and you leave stance automatically on the first whiffed or blocked hit – so in Rev2 it’s more of a poke than a fullscreen chip out tool.
3P – Slow-ish start up, incredibly fast recovery: usually the best tool for stopping dashing opponents. Hits low.
f.S – Decent range that combos into Rensen on CH or crouching opponents.
2D – Good low poke that starts up faster than 3P, but has a longer recovery. Very active. Hard KD and combos into Rensen
2. Offense: Pressure, close range converting, mixups and okizeme
Close Range Normals and Chaining Options
5K – Axl’s fastest normal at 6f. Use it with cl.S or 3P to extend the chain or 2D->Rensen to finish a spaced out combo.
2K – Go to close range low. 1f slower than 5K, but often just as – or more – reliable in pressure. Has a very low profile. Good for starting strings or setting up a tick throw.
cl.S – Chain filler with a tall hitbox, combos into Rensen, 2D, 5H, and 2S for airborne opponents.
3P – +2 on normal block, chains from 5K and cl.S. Try using this to reset pressure – can be staggered at a range to bait people into a CH launch.
5H – Frame trap king. Be wary of FD pushback before using this in a string. Try chaining from 3P. Will combo into Rensen or 2D.
6P – Can be low profiled – but grants a launch on CH.
6H – Godlike overhead with HUGE CH launch, but free to blitz – don’t overuse it.
2K-cl.S-3P, dash 2K walk forward throw
Try using tick throws as Axl gets full conversions off of normal throw.
Knockdown Mixups and Oki
You don’t need a mixup on every knockdown. Resetting to neutral off a knockdown is fine – and when learning the character this is a good approach depending on the matchup.
Basic Safe Jumps
IAD j.S from a long range Rensen with no ender;
Forward j.H or Neutral j.S off of TK Bomber/Rensen->2;
Also try delayed airdash/empty low i.e:
Knockdown off of Rensen-2 -> neutral jump with an immediate j.H to time forward dash -> low height forward airdash into j.P->j.D OR land 2K.
6H – Even if it doesn’t CH, will give a full combo into Rensen when done meaty by linking into 2/5K.
Raiesageki (63214S) – Will link into 5K if meatied, can be used to set up an ambiguous left/right mixup in the corner by dashing into the opponent before doing the meaty from the Rensen->2 knockdown.
Maximizing Damage with TK Bomber
Learn how to do TK Bomber, aerial Axl Bomber (j.623) done close to the ground via a tiger knee input. If you start practicing early, you’ll get good fast and it will really pay off when you confirm a loop. Any anti-air can lead into a TKB.
There many possible input methods to do this, so try them out and find a one that’s comfortable for you:
The key is presing H just a few frames after Axl leaves the ground, as Bomber has a minimum height requirement.
Try this on light-weight characters to practice the timing.
Throw into corner->cl.S->TKB->cl.S->TKB->cl.S->TKB
Experiment with timings for TKB from cl.S, 2s, and 2s(1).
3. Defense: Anti-airs, fending off pressure, and reversals
Axl has a lot of strong anti airs and a very serviceable DP, just being patient and finding the right gaps to DP, or abare with 5K/2K tend to be reliable options for escaping tough situations.
5P – Hits jump startup, IAD, or low air angles. Offers a full conversion with 6K/2S when close.
6K – Much slower than 5P/2S in startup and recovery, but has an amazing angle. Requires reading the opponent due to its speed.
2S – Overall best AA. Huge vertical hitbox, fast startup, combos on normal hit and CH (even on CH trades). This is your goto.
6P – Pretty situational because it’s upper body invuln is not very good – great sometimes, often worse than 2S.
2K – Low profile king. Avoids many jumping attacks, leading into a throw punish. Goes under some fireballs like stunedge, and normals like Faust’s f.S.
Bentengari (623S) – Solid DP. Very slow, but has a large hitbox. Unsafe, but reliable with meter. Be wary of safe jumps.
Byakue (2363214H/D): typically worse than reversal DP RRC, but can be YRC’d before the flash to escape some oki setups (17 frames of fully invuln startup). High damage, esp. In hellfire.
Tenhouseki (214P/K): Use sparingly. The low counter is very risky but gives a full combo – the high counter is good to beat things difficult to AA (Kum divekick thing, May j.2H, Bedman Air Task B) but only gives a knockdown.
4. Meter Usage Priorities
Combos – only do RRC combos for big damage/kills.
FD – Important tool for a character with crappy abare options, but don’t overuse it since meter is tight.
Safety YRC: make normals safe from whiff punishes, recover from bad jumps, make air dashing out of pressure more safe, or make difficult to react to defensive situations easier to react to. SJ forward airdash YRC to escape corners. Some normals that this can be good to have stocked for include 6k and 2h, as they have very bad recovery on whiff.
Blitz: Universal option against some oki setups/predictable players. If you hit a non-fully charged blitz attack, link into 5P and cancel it into Haitaka.
Offensive YRC: Use to maintain pressure. Try YRC Rensen from a blocked f.S/2D; if cancelled into Rensen, they aren’t true blockstrings, allowing the pressure reset YRC to take place. You can use Rashousen (41236H) YRC for a gimmicky mixup – but it will likely work once or twice in a set to get people off guard.
Dead Angle: Overall solid, very hard to punish at -5. Incredibly easy to low profile by most characters. Pay close attention to blocks strings to avoid being low profiled.
DP RRC: Get out of a bad situation and maybe get a combo if it isn’t blocked – it’s actually a decent starter. Don’t get baited.
Basic RRC Conversions:
Air hit 5P RRC dashing HCB.S link into cl.S
2H RRC (IAD j.H j.D) or (dash 5D)
6H RRC dash 5K
Rensen->8 RRC dash, wait for the RC flash to end, pick up with cl.S/6K or Raiei
Kairagi (214214S): Convert nearly fullscreen off of grounded 5p/2p tags. In Rev2 it’s also good for extending combos after 2D.
Byakue (2363214H/D): Use to kill with burst super from 2D/5H/air hit 2S