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    Astaroth by Kent Dela Pena

    Version: 1.2 | Updated: 03/30/03 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    **********
    *Astaroth*
    **********
    
    Author: Kent Dela Pena
    Email: anus_maximus@hotmail.com
    Version 1.2
    
    This FAQ is copyrighted (c) Kent Dela Pena 2003.  All rights reserved.
    
    I can't really believe I have to say this, but this work is not to be used for
    profit and doing so bequeaths you the title of poor sad loser who must find a 
    real job. Really, there's better ways to make money out there.
    
    Do not try to reproduce this and write it off as yours. You'll never amount to
    anything in life if you're out there copying FAQs and saying it's yours. There
    are better and more important things to plagiarize. Do not go out there
    claiming to be me either, or an FAQ writer for that matter. Although I know
    these moves, I am not the greatest player, nor should I recommend living my
    life. It's something you don't wanna do. If you knew me, you wouldn't wanna
    be me.
    
    This FAQ is in English and the only foreign language I can speak is French.
    I'm sorry if you can't understand it or get any of the jokes (there's jokes?)
    Please do not email me in languages other than French or English. Those will
    be deleted immediately. Also put "Asty FAQ" as the subject.
    
    This FAQ should be posted on www.gamefaqs.com unless you ask me for permission
    to post it on your site (chances are, I'll say yes, especially if you baked
    cookies). 
    
    This FAQ can also be found on the following sites:
    
    
    *******************
    *Table of Contents*
    *******************
    
      1. Version History
      2. Introduction
      3. Legend
      4. Who is this Monster?
      5. Move list
      6. In depth moves
      7. The Game
      8. Playing Astaroth in a Nutshell
      9. Credits
     10. Main Contributors
     11. Final Words
    
    *****************
    *Version History*
    *****************
    
    1.0 - Jan 30, 2003 - Astaroth FAQ is born.
    1.1 - Feb 04, 2003 - Fixed spacing
    1.2 - Mar 30, 2003 - Added moves
                         Added more comments on Astaroth in a Nutshell
                         Deleted that weren't useful in certain sections
                         Removed combos that do not work
    
    **************
    *Introduction*
    **************
    
    This FAQ is for all those players who want to learn to use Astaroth. We all
    have our reasons, so just continue reading and see what's up with him in his
    latest Soul Calibur adventure.
    
    I made this FAQ and any FAQs mainly for myself. I used it as a guide
    for which moves to use under various conditions. I've always believed in
    sharing my wealth so I would like to pass on this knowledge to anybody else
    who wishes to learn Asty. If there are errors, holes, or strats, you are
    more than welcome to kindly send an email.
    
    ********
    *Legend*
    ********
    
    I'm assuming that you know the conventions such as 1_2 and so on. Here's just
    a rundown on all the buttons and directions. I think the illustration below 
    insults your intelligence, but if ya stil need them...
    
         Facing Right                             Facing Left
    
          7  8  9                                  9  8  7   
           O O O                                    O O O
            \|/          (A) (B) (K)                 \|/           (A) (B) (K)
         4 O-5-O 6   (G)                          6 O-5-O 4    (G)
            /|\                                      /|\         
           O O O                                    O O O
          1  2  3                                  3  2  1        
    
    I'm guessing that you're aware of the console buttons, so I won't use an
    illustration here. Plus, everyone has their own button layout. Here are some
    other terms used in the FAQ:
    
         WS: While Standing from crouch           FC: Full Crouch
          *: Move is delayable                   [X]: Hold button (usually
                                                     optional)
         CH: Counter Hit (interrupt opp's move)   GI: Guard Impact/Parry(4G or 6G)
        8wr: Side step (hold or double tap 3_2_1_7_8_9)
         RC: Recover Crouching
    
    **********************
    *Who is this Monster?*
    **********************
    
    Astaroth is a giant who uses an axe. That's all you need to know. Do you
    really care about his story? What is this? The Asty's Story FAQ? Read for it
    somewhere else. Given his fighting style, you know Astaroth won't be depending
    on finesse and fancy techniques, but devastating throws and brutal attacks.
    Don't expect something flashy with this guy. Most of the time, you'll be
    depending on his post GI, wake ups, spacing, and throw games.
    
    ***********
    *Move list*
    ***********
    
    Okay, maybe not to its entirety. There is no movelist on this FAQ. If you need
    one that badly, check out www.soulcalibur.com; www.guardimpact.com; and many
    other FAQs that lists Astaroth's moves. SC websites also gives you frame rates,
    damage properties, and such detailed info as well. Please check there if you
    need it that badly. I'm just assuming you know all of Astaroth's moves or at
    least have a move list printed out and just want to know what's good to use.
    
    ****************
    *In depth moves*
    ****************
    
    The following are moves I use the majority of my matches. Rarely used moves
    will be listed in the game section under its circumstance. In no particular
    order, here are Astaroth's moves that I use a lot during his fights, in other
    words, you should too.
    
    Strikes
    -------
    
    A*A - Double side swipes with the axe. 
    
    Astaroth's natural combo. If the 1st connects, the 2nd swipe is guaranteed.
    This move has great horizontal range, but the string can also be ducked under.
    The first hit is also G cancellable which is useful if you can anticipate a GI
    attempt and fake out your opponent. The G cancel fake can also be used as a
    throw set up by causing opponents to block and freeze in one spot.
    
    A*[A] - Same as above, except the 2nd hit is unblockable.
    
    Use this when people turtle. The 2nd unblockable causes some damage and turns
    the opponent BT and within axe range. Both swipes hit high so watch out when
    using this since people can duck the unblockable. Try using the following as
    follow ups:
    
     66B - Please refer to the corresponding moves in the FAQ.
     66K
     1A
     PT
     Throws - Use this after training your opponents to block a 66B, PT, or 66K.
    
    A*B - Axe swipe into an axe stab.
    
    Catches opponents who try to duck the 2nd hit or retaliate after the 1st hit.
    Pushes back on block leaving Asty safe from throws and a few close range
    moves. Also, if the 2nd hit is CH, the opponent will crumple stun.
    
    6A*B - Elbow into axe uppercut.
    
    Astaroth's fastest move, but unfortunately, must be done up close. Natural
    combo when it isn't delayed.
    
    66[A],B or 8wr 3_9[A],B - Two handed side swipe into a giant over head chop.
    
    Another one of Astaroth's dangerous moves. On CH, this becomes a Natural Combo
    and takes off a nice chunk of health. Even if the 1st hit is blocked, this
    move is quite safe due to the high damage & guard stun properties of the 2nd
    hit. However, the 2nd hit is easily SSed or GIed. The non charged version of
    the first hit allows Astaroth to recover faster.
    
    1A - Counter clockwise low axe sweep.
    
    The 1[A] version has its follow ups, but honestly, that'll only land against
    scrubs and mashers. This move goes under high hits while hitting low, making
    it some what useful.
    
    214A(Ax5) - Asty spins around with his axe Hammer Throw style.
                AKA Poseidon's Tide (PT)
    
    One of Astaroth's popular moves. He can do up to 5 hits & you can control which
    direction he moves as he spins. If the 1st hit connects, this move will turn
    into a throw. Other amazing properties of this move is that it tech crouches
    under High hits, a great mid hitting 8wr tracker, and he can side step as he
    executes the move which as a result can evade many linear moves. No Astaroth
    player is complete without this move.
    
    B*A - Axe chop into a side swipe.
    
    Use this to catch crouchers & anybody who tries to 8wr or retaliate after the
    initial axe stab. The first strike is also G-cancellable.
    
    B~6,K - Downward butt stab into rising knee.
    
    The Air Throw is guaranteed on a CH. The initial stab comes out fairly quick,
    but quite linear.
    
    3[B] - Uppercut with the axe.
    
    The hit always launches. Follow ups vary based on the nature of the hit. Yes,
    the move is quite linear and the unblockable charge is long, but keep in mind
    that the charged version can be G cancelled. Thus, this move becomes great for
    PT and throw set ups. This is safe on block if opponents choose to stand there
    and block it.
    
    4B - Simultaneous stomp & head butt.
    
    Although this is his 2nd fastest move, you'll be using this more than the
    other one due to its better range.
    
    6B - Astaroth spears his opponent with his axe.
    
    On a CH, this causes a crumple stun. Nice spacing tool from close.
    
    66B - Vertical cross check with the axe
    
    Probably Astaroth's fastest mid range move. You can use this to punish a lot
    of moves with lots of lag or intercept your opponent trying to do a move.
    This move can cause Ring Outs. Use this a lot to train people into using a
    stand block. That way, they become prone to throws. When in doubt, 66B except
    against 8wrers.
    
    6K - Jumping knee
    
    On CH, this will launch and high enough to land an Air Throw. I use this
    pretty much as a masher killer move.
    
    4K,K - 4 hit alternating foot stomps.
    
    The 2nd hit of each stomp will squash opponents playing dead. You can cancel
    into a Soul Charge (A+B+K~G) and play a throw guessing game.
    
    66[K] or 8wr 3_9[K] or FC 3[K] - Shoulder charging Bull Rush
    
    A classic move that's as popular as ever. This move goes under high hits and
    can cause ring outs. Since Astaroth is quite a wide individual, this move is
    difficult to side step from close to mid range. On a full charge, the Bull
    Rush launches opponents. Use the 8wr version because it's easier to follow
    up after. The charged version can also be cancelled, thus creating a good
    throw or PT set up.
    
    A+B - Single handed swing
    
    Astaroth can use his other hand by intputting 2A+B (8A+B when facing left).
    Best used as a mid range punisher and keep away/stalling tool. This will
    catch 8wrers.
    
    3[A+B] - Astaroth does an upward cross check lifting his opponent.
    
    Without holding A+B, Astaroth lifts his opponent off their feet. When A+B is
    fully charged, Astaroth locks his opponent onto the axe's shaft, runs a few
    paces, then disposes of them ahead, setting them up for some punishment.
    This move can ring out, but if Asty's too close to the edge of the ring,
    he'll ring himself out instead. This move has a little bit of tech crouch
    properties.
    
    6B+K - Astaroth jumps at his opponent spread eagle slamming his chest into
          their face.
    
    This move is quite useful against quick pokers. It has a built in GI ability
    and knocks people down on CH.
    
    BT B+K - While his back's facing the opponent, Asty uses the butt of the axe
            to stab.
    
    Unable to find a practical section to list this under, use this move whenever
    an opponent is approaching Astaroth's back since this comes out quite fast.
    
    8wr 2A,A - Astaroth twirls like a ballerina while holding the axe blade outside.
    
    Although sissy looking, this move can save on many occasions. Good quick punisher
    off an 8wr and also catches 8wrers. The 2nd hit whether it does damage or is
    blocked will push opponents back. Try using the following after executing this:
    
     66B - Once again, refer to these moves and their uses.
     66K
     PT
     Command Throw
    
    8wr 2B - Astaroth does a giant uppercut swing
    
    Although the opponent is launched sky high, nothing is guaranteed off this move,
    but Astaroth is left in a good position for wake ups or is given enough time to
    Soul Charge. This move is quite safe on block as well.
    
    
    Throws
    ------
    
    G+B4 - Astaroth flings his opponent high into the air.
    
    The only throw you should be going for. B button escape, small escape window,
    and some damaging follow ups.
    
    G+B6 - Astaroth picks up his opponent into a backbreakeresque throw.
    
    Only use this when your opponent escapes the previous throw when you become
    predictable with that throw. Does better damage than the basic throws, quite
    simple to execute, a small escape window, and sets up great position for wake
    ups.
    
    G+B (While opponent's in the Air) - Asty catches & dangles his opponent by the
                                      leg and stabs 3 times with the axe.
    
    Probably his most damaging move when an opponent is plummeting to the ground.
    It's up to you if you want to use this for good damage & psychological
    advantage or go with something else that leaves him in better position for
    wake ups. At times, you can pick people out of the air with this move. If
    Yoshimitsu's caught in his pogo stance, try plucking him out with this for
    some good laughs.
    
    2G+A_G+B (While opponent's ducking) - Astaroth grabs the crouching opponent
                                         does a power bomb.
    
    Obviously only use this when opponents are crouching. Good mix up between this
    and the normal throws. Also, this throw cannot be GI'ed and he's been known
    to catch people out of various stances with this throw, such as Voldo's
    Mantis Crawl.
    
    3G+A_G+B - Same as above, but Astaroth hops prior to grabbing.
    
    2A+B_B+K (While opponent's down) - Pick up the laying opponent with his axe
                                      only to slam them back down.
    
    Damaging follow up if opponents decide to play dead. Sometimes it is guaranteed
    after certain moves, which are listed later. It is escapable based on the
    command used. A breaks A+B while B breaks B+K.
    
    2A (While opponent's down) - Scoop up the opponent with the axe head, forcing
                                them to stand.
    
    Like above, but this move is unbreakable and not as damaging. The enemy is
    forced to stand, but there isn't anything guaranteed after this move. However
    you're more likely to have the psychological advantage here. Try using one of
    the following after being successful with this move:
    
     66B - Cross list these moves for reference
     66K
     PT
     3[A+B]
     Another throw
     
    **********
    *The Game*
    **********
    
    As you fight, you'll be put into various situations. Here are some moves
    that I've suggested during each scenario. I suggest that you continue
    reading since I may add more moves that were not suggested under the
    in-depth moves section.
    
    Opening move - What you do right off the bat can determine the outcome and
                  flow of the match. Try mixing up the following:
    
       - A+B_8A+B - Anybody who tries to 8wr, use a short ranged attack, or
        rush forwards will be nailed with this move. 
       - Run 'n' Throw - Use this once you've trained your opponent to
        block/avoid an oncoming A+B.
       - 1A - Same use as A+B, but goes under any attempted high hits by
        opponents.
       - 9B - Leap over quick moves or even catch an opponent standing still.
        However, if the adversary side steps this, Astaroth's in plenty of
        trouble.
       - PT - I suggest doing this while move to the side. You can catch in
        coming opponents while dodging an opponent's move at the same time.
        Also quite safe if whiffed since this move is controllable.
       - Defensive - Either holding G, go into 8wr, GIing, or backing off in
        general. Some times it's a good idea vs. other characters who can beat
        Astaroth to the punch right off the bat, like Ivy and Voldo.
    
    Spacing - Yielding the largest yet slower weapons in the game, Astaroth
             will have to take advantage of his long reach when attacking
             opponents. Try using these moves to keep people from approaching
             further:
    
       - A+B or 2_8 A+B - 8wr catcher and mid hitting. This pretty much confines
        opponents to the space in front of Asty's axe.
       - 3A_3[A] - Decent ranged unblockable. Unfortunately, this can be ducked. 
       - PT - If you've experienced how amazing this move is, there's no need to
        explain.
       - 66[A],B_8wr 3[A],B - The initial mid hitting axe swing is decent and
        the fear of the high damaging 2nd hit will deter anybody from coming
        closer. 8wring the 2nd hit on the other hand is a whole different story.
       - 1A - Low hit option. Don't expect it to connect, but use this to keep
        players on their toes.
    
    Pokes - Use pokes just to show people that Astaroth can still smack people
           even if they're too close for his optimal weapon range. Really, when
           you're up close, you would want to throw them. Use the following to
           train people into using the standing block or push back:
    
       - A series - Usually to stop 8wrs and also create space.
       - 2A_K - Simple low hit tick, but with decent range and RC properties.
       - B*A - Use 1st hit to catch crouchers, 2nd to stop possible 8wrs.
       - 4B - Fastest move here. 
       - 6B - Slower than his average pokes, but creates a little distance and
        has a nice crumple stun property off a CH.
       - B6 - The knee follow up will usually keep people from retaliating
        after the inital strike. Throw set up right here as well.
       - 1K,A - Low hit to high that's guaranteed on CH.
       - 3K,A - No low hit, but guaranteed on CH.
       - 8wr 2_8 A,A - Anti-8wr, quite quick.
    
    Whiff punisher - If your opponent does a move from too far and completely
                    misses, you've successfully dodged it, or you blocked a move
                    with lots of recovery, try these:
    
       - Pokes - Use that section if you're close enough.
       - Command Throws - Usually devastating and spirit breaking.
       - 66B - Quick, good damage, knocks down your opponent close enough for
        some good wake ups, and can Ring Out. This knockdown move comes out real
        fast and serves as a stance punisher.
       - 66K - Same as above plus it goes under high hits.
       - PT - No need to explain.
       - B+K - Regardless whether the opponent can stand block in time or not,
        they will find themselves with their backs towards Asty. 
       - 6B+K - Useful against quick pokers who attempt to interrupt at midrange
        thanks to its built in GI.
    
    Wake ups - Astaroth is quite deadly in this department. This is one of his strengths
              in the game since each individual hit can pack quite a wallop. Here are some
              useful moves to try:
    
       - Command Throws - Use when opponents always recover with a standing
         block. Use crouch throws when a crouch block is anticipated. Ground
         throws are meant for sleepers.
       - 1A - Use when opponents play dead and to discourage any high GI (6G)
        attempts.
       - PT - Can catch crouchers who duck too early & also intercepts any
        attempted wake up attack.
       - 3[B]G - 
       - 66B - Interrupts any wake up attacks.
       - 66[K] - Same as above but as well as cancelling the charge in order to do a
        throw set up.
       - 4K,K - After the 1st stomp, you can Soul Charge cancel which can lead
        to a throw set up or GI bait.
       - 3[A+B] - Catch crouchers and throw off possible GI attempts.
       - 4[A+B] - If you're close enough, untrained opponents usually try to
        block or duck when they see Astaroth with his arms wide open. As a
        result, they get hit by the unblockable throw. Once people get used to
        the unblockable, you should start releasing early when they try to
        attack early. The non chargeable version becomes unblockable after a
        level 1 Soul Charge.
    
    8wr - Despite being large and heavy, Astaroth's large legs have wide
         strides. His first step off a 8wr is one of the widest in the game,
         but everyone else can catch up to him due to his slow speed. 8wr is
         always important for getting into better position or even evading a
         linear attack. Here's some suggested moves while 8wring:
    
       - 2_8A,A - A fast move that serves as anti-8wr as well. Also sets up
        throws and power shots.
       - 2_8B - Sky high launcher that creates decent wake ups.
       - 3_9[A],B - Hopefully, you'll catch this on a CH, nice to throw out
        anyways.
       - 3_9[K] - One of the best options. Most 8wr tracking moves hit high.
        The Bull Charge goes under high hits. Put the two together and Astaroth
        has an amazing option while he does an 8wr. Usually, full charge isn't
        recommended unless you plan to G cancel. 
    
    Post GI - Another aspect where Astaroth truly shines. His Guard Impact
             follow ups is another reason to be intimidated. This aspect is
             quite important since he lacks a dependable interrupting move.
             Mix up the pain by using the following:
    
       - Command Throw - Most commonly used as an instant GI punish. Up to 50%
        of life can be taken out and/or more pressure in wake ups.
       - 3[A+B] - This delayed follow up is best used while playing with Version
        A machines due to its guaranteed followups.
       - PT - Nice delayed follow up to throw off reGI timing.
       - [K] - Another decent delayed followup.
       - 3B or 3[B]- Launcher's quite decent and sets up some wake ups, another
        strength of Asty's. Use the charged version to throw off re-GI timing
        and/or G cancel the charge into a throw.
    
    Launchers - Being the largest character who can push people around, Astaroth
               has ways to send people into the air. Here they are:
    
       - 3B_[B] - On a CH 3B, opponents will be launched as high as [B].
       - CH 6K - Decent priority.
       - CH B~6,K - See above.
       - 3A+B - 
       - 8wr 3_9[K] - Only a true launcher in Version A.
       - 8wr 2_8 B - Opponent is launched, but nothing's guaranteed. This does
        leave a good opening for wake ups or Soul Charging.
    
    If you want to be successful with juggles, you have to have the mentality
    that all your launchers will connect. That way when you see your opponent
    in the air, you won't be caught off guard and mess up a juggle.
    
    Juggles - Astaroth is not a strong juggler. There are no strings in his
             arsenal that will create good punishing juggles. He does have his
             ways with dealing with plummeting opponents. Here's what he can do:
    
       - G+B - You'll probably use his Air Throw a lot when opponents are
        launched high enough. This is usually used after CH 6K (B~6 included),
        CH 3B, 3[B], G+B4, CH 3A+B, or 8wr 3_9[K]. You can also use this off
        of 3A+B, but I find 4B to be more reliable.
       - 66B - If Astaroth can catch a guy into an Air Throw, this move will
        connect as well. Use this if you can get a possible Ring Out or if
        you're bored with Air Throws, as if that'll ever happen.
       - 66K - See above.
       - 4B - If you cannot catch an opponent with an Air Throw, then you'll
        have to settle for this. However, using this as a follow up (charged
        version is usually better) sets up Astaroth in a better position for
        wake ups.
       - PT - Only guaranteed after a launched Bull Rush in Version A.
    
    Guaranteed stuff - These aren't juggles exactly, but after doing these moves, 
                      their followups are guaranteed. Here's stuff Asty can do
                      in sequence:
    
       - G+B4,8wr 2B - Standard follow up to this throw. You can also substitute
        with an Air Throw, 4[B], or 66B after the throw.
       - 8wr 3_9[K], 8wr 2B - Best follow up to the charged Bull Rush in Version D.
       - 6B,Ground Throw_8wr 2B - Use any ground throw of your choice or substitute.
       - CH 6B+K_6[B+K], Ground throw
       - 3[A+B], PT or 3G+A_B - This is only guaranteed in Version A. In Version
        D, this combo is possible, but avoidable.
    
    Walls - My experience with walls are quite limited. You may try the following:
    
       - PT - You should know by now.
       - 66B - Sets up a nice wake up follow up. 
       - B+G - Most likely an Air Throw will come out. Other times not, but by
        now you should have a habit of jerking the joystick to 4 or 6 everytime
        you land a standing throw (by now you're also only using B+G to throw with
        Astaroth).
    
    ********************************
    *Playing Astaroth in a Nutshell*
    ********************************
    
    When using the big man, take advantage of his strengths (obviously!): Post-GI,
    Wake Ups, and Throws. When you get an opponent down, punish them for getting
    up the wrong way. Simple to say, but sometimes difficult to do. Guard Impacting
    is important for this character due to his slow nature. Astaroth lacks a
    reliable interrupting move, thus, depending on GIing in order to break up an
    opponent's rush. However, do not try to GI everytime you think your opponent
    will attack. You will end up getting hurt that way. Another way to prevent
    from getting pressured is by using his long reach as a stalling tactic. You
    can also use this when you want to set up your own rush. In other words,
    throw when you're in range (Astaroth has the best throw range in the game),
    keep them out side when it doesn't feel right to rush in.
    
    However, in order to land throws consistently, you have to attack unlike
    most other characters. Astaroth is a trainer. When fighting as him, condition
    opponents to use the standing guard. This means using plenty of mid hits that
    were listed in the FAQ.
    
    *********
    *Credits*
    *********
    
    I would like to thank the following:
    
    Avex Honda NSX - Getting me started in SC2 in general since T4's pretty dead
                    on campus. You owe me 3 hot dogs!
    Every opponent - Challenging me. Nobody likes to play the CPU all the time.
                    This is the only way we get better.
    Game sites - Posting this up.
    Me - Need I explain?
    Namco - Making a great game to a great series with a great character
    Reno - I learned quite a lot from a superior Astaroth player first hand
    Shao Khan - Helping me get started with Astaroth
    Toronto Crew - Okay, there's no standard official team name, but the players
                  are good.
    York University - Having this game on campus so that I could find some time
                     to play when I'm not studying or getting drunk on campus.
                     But no thanks for charging us a loonie to play!
    You, the reader - Giving a purpose for this FAQ
    
    *******************
    *Main Contributors*
    *******************
    
    These guys had some major input when it came to this FAQ. Although I started
    writing this, these people helped out on some strats regarding Astaroth:
    
    Noh Bah Dee - You'd understand this if you've read the Odyssey
    
    *************
    *Final Words*
    *************
    
    This FAQ wasn't that difficult to write, just long. Unless I get real bored
    and start using someone else or have reached my maximum potential with Asty,
    this FAQ will never be finished. Always feel free to write (email's at the top
    of the page) and you will receive credit for any worthwhile contributions.
    Just because I am teaching others out there how to use Astaroth doesn't mean
    that I won't learn anything here.
    
    I am not the greatest Astaroth player in the world or even in Toronto for that
    matter (Reno's better, much better). I can't even do his moves 100% of the
    time (especially when you've got awful sticks). I'm sure there are some
    readers out there who can beat me using Asty. In the SC.com forum my screen
    name is AnusMaximus. If I ever come across an establishment with this game,
    I'll be there playing. Currently, my source for SC2 has been on Campus Cove
    at York University.
    
    Remember, reading every FAQ will not substitute for experience. So go out there and play.