~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Alexandra sisters: MORE than just a movelist - A starter's guide to two-three-six-bee. By Shun Goku Satsuma (Jez Ang), firstname.lastname@example.org Version: 0.6something ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (If you have any applications of moves or think I've missed something out, feel free to contact me. I'm usually on the Star Ocean, Till the End of Time boards if you don't want to e-mail me) Agenda: Punishing lists; specific matchups. Quotes. Tales of Souls paths. Costumes. Moves punishable by X, the witch. Cass' autos Unblockables in matchups. Counters and evasion. RO game. 9KK NC? Other char's low lists? 8WR punishing lists, eg 22AA. B+G 2A_B break G22 9A 66B tech trap? Recent additions: Mitsu and Taki punishing Contents list now works slightly. Explanation of frames. Copyright information: I don't own the game. I don't own the characters (I pwn some of them now, though). I don't claim to own anything Namco owns. This, however, is written by me. Not all of the information was discovered by me, but I have not partaken in plagarism to any degree. Little note - use Ctrl+F. This guide isn't really laid out too well. If you think you've found a good move and want to see its applications, just use the search function. Unfortunately, you'll have to guess whether you end up in the Cassandra or Sophitia section, but you can take a stab at that by reading around or looking at the scrollbar. In general, you can use Ctrl+F for a move, or ctrl+F for "#-chapter-" with the dashes and the number. For the matchup, just search for the contents entry. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Contents: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -Foreword -Notation, jargon and other gibberish. -Other things you may need to know. -frames -Miscellaneous FAQ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ =Cassandra= <3 1-Introduction 2-Story 3-Overview 4-Staple Moves 5-Other nice moves 6-Other stuff to try 7-Combos 8-Natural combos 9-Safe, unsafe? 10-Throws 11-Strategy 12-Cassie against the AI 13-Cassie against people 14-GI game 15-Cass in a nutshell ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ =Sophitia= <3 16-Story 17-Overview 18-Staple Moves 19-Other nice moves 20-Some moves to try out 21-Combos 22-Natural combos 23-Safe, unsafe? 24-Throws 25-Strategy 26-Sophie against the AI 27-Sophie against people 28-GI game 29-Soph in a nutshell ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ =Both= 30-Sisters side by side 31-Matchup and punishing lists Versus... Zasalamel. >:O Taki. D: Mitsurugi. x.x ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -Foreword- This FAQ isn't really focused on story and ToS paths and such. It's not just a movelist with high, mid and low, either. I want to give a description of how you should go about playing the sisters, which to pick against who, and how to show that they're cute and deadly at the same time. :P I write this guide assuming that you, the reader, knows most moves already, and want to find applications and further details in the mechanics of the game; or at least, you'll at least check up on what my rambling about moves is all about. This guide isn't a movelist. It's a little starter to give you ideas as to how some moves can be used. The idea isn't really to tell you how to play - it's to inspire you so you can acquire new tools to formulate a battle plan yourself. ^^;; If you only want to play the AI, and don't really have access to human competition, you probably want to skip most of this FAQ, as I'm writing with respect to mixup and mindgames a lot of the time. Still, you can read it if you're interested. Okay. Why play one of the sisters? Well, their main advantages are speed, range and damage. If you like the sound of that, then they're for you. However, their major drawbacks include a lack of mixup and lows, a mediocre throw game, punishability and step coverage. However, that's just a little bump in the road when you're considering the kind of punishment you can deal to the wary or unwary adversary. And it's not like they're totally lacking in those departments - they just don't have anything godly to abuse. ;p Why Sophie and Cassandra in the same FAQ? Scream at me. Fine. They're completely different characters in a sense - I know. But it's often the case that a Sophitia player will also play Cassandra and vice versa. I use them in response to my opponent - if I need Cassie's tools, I'll pick her. If not, then it's Sophie. So yeah, they're in the same FAQ because they're easy to compare ^^;;. This FAQ is for a beginner of competitive play - someone who knows how the game works in general, but wants to develop some strategies. It's mainly talking about playing humans. Most of the strategy here is pretty basic, but it should serve as help for you getting to an intermediate level of play. If you're already at a high level of play, you probably wouldn't be on GameFAQs. xP Little disclaimer. Some of this information might not be completely true. Partly because stuff has changed between the PAL and NTSC versions (even the 50Hz and 60Hz PAL versions have different frame data to an extent), and partly because I'm no tournament player. Okay. First things first. Not third... xD ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -Notation- During the twentieth century, a time for which written records do not exist to this day, a wise sage created a language for everyone in the world to understand. The extent of this sage's genius is not truly understood, nor is his name known. An unsung hero, whose work is used every day, lives on in the science that is Soul Calibur. His creation aids us as players, whoever we may be. He created... -The numberpad system- 7 8 9 4 5 6 1 2 3 Look familiar? Yeah, I think so. (If you haven't got it, look at your right hand, then go right from that a bout six or seven inches) This corresponds to the directional inputs from the P1 side (default, facing right.) So a 'Hadouken' motion would be 236, and so forth. A, B, K, G. No, this isn't the alphabet of a foreign language. It's the alphabet of the language of Souls and Swords. By default, A is square, B is triangle, K is circle, G is X. Inputs are not separated by commas as long as they are in one 'move'. You read moves from left to right, of course. Most people get confused as to whether to read a number and a button as a simultaneous press or a sequential press. The real answer is that it doesn't matter. 6,G and 6+G (as long as you time the former relatively quickly) are read as the same thing by the game. 236B means "Press down, down/towards, (towards and B) or (towards then B very shortly after)". A plus sign, +, denotes a simultaneous press of two buttons. 66A+B means "Press towards twice, then press A and B simultaneously" or "Press towards once, then press towards and A and B simultaneously". Underscores, _, denote the "or" identifier. So 66G+A_B means "Press towards twice then (G and A) or (G and B)". Some like to use brackets to remove confusion: 66(A+G)_B means "blah...press A+G or B" as opposed to the former case, which would be "66(A+G)_(B+G)". Square brackets, [ ], refer to a button that can be held. 8[B+K] means "Press up and B and K simultaneously, but hold the B and K". WS stands for 'while standing'. A strange term, since it really means "while getting up". WS moves can be performed only when a character is returning to the neutral state from a crouch. WS A means "While your character is getting up, press A". A colon refers to a just frame input. Basically, this means that you have to time the button after the colon precisely. 236B:B means "Press down, down/towards, towards and B, then tap B on the exact moment it requires it". You'll get the notation for this eventually. These moves won't mean much to you right now, but they will when I'm done with you, private. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -Other things you should know- Frame - a 'frame' refers to one of two things. Many people suspect them being the same thing, but we're not quite sure whether or not they are at the moment. A frame is either: 1) The shortest time interval in Soul Calibur III's game mechanics. 2) 1/60th of a second. Usually, we take it to mean the former. Frameology (the study of frames) is an imperfect sciences, in the sense that it's both hard to test and inconsistent. Frame data even varies between the PAL and NTSC versions. Range has an effect on frame data - in general, a move will be faster at short range, but have a longer recovery; and vice versa. -Frames The study of frames is imperitave if you want to maximise your chances of winning. A move has various sets of frame data: 1) Impact speed data 2) Frame data on hit and block 1) Impact speed data. This is a measure of the speed of a move. The notation "i#", where # is a number, implies that a move takes # frames to connect after it has been input. For example, Sophitia's 236B is described as i13. After inputting the last command of 236B (the B), there are 13 frames (13*1/60ths of a second, about) before the move actually scores a hit on the opponent. Smaller numbers are better. 2) Frame data on hit and block. These describe recovery. Imagine a time line. If Cassandra attacks Sophitia with an AA and Sophitia blocks, both characters experience a brief period of inactivity, where they cannot do anything. After a short time, both characters can act again. However, they will not recover into a state in which they can act freely at the same time (probably :P). Obviously, one character will recover first (except for the rare cases of symmetrical recovery). we describe the relative recoveries as ±x frames, accompanied by "on hit" or "on block", as the relative recoveries are obviously different for the two scenarios. If we say "236B is -14 on block", we mean that when 236B is blocked, the attacker will be in recovery (unable to do ANYTHING) for 14 frames longer than the defender. Therefore, any move which takes 14 frames to score a hit will be deemed 'a free hit'. A move that takes 15 frames to impact will be blockable - however, there are implications of this negative data. Let's say a move is -1 on block. While it seems a negligible amount, what if both characters do a move of the same speed? The blocker of the previous move will obviously win. There exist (in limited number) frame traps. These are moves for which the attacker recovers FASTER than the defender, even if the move is blocked. Let us say that 4[A] is +1 on block. If a defender blocks 4[A], and both characters do a move of the same speed immediately after, the attacker will win. On hit, the attacker is almost always on the vantage point. After a hit, the attacker recovers faster than the defender. Usually, anyway. Let us say that Sophitia's AA is +5 on hit. She scores a hit on Cassandra. The Sophitia player (since s/he obviously knows frame data) would know that s/he has an advantage of five frames' head start. Cassandra's fastest move is i11 - it takes eleven frames to impact. Sophitia, with her +5 advantage, can use any move up to i16 (due to the head start), and it will still clash or counter Cassandra's fastest option. Knowing frame data lets you decide a number of crucial things: "If the enemy blocks this move, will they get a free hit?" "If the enemy blocks this move, is it wise to attack afterwards?" "If the enemy is hit by this move, how much recovery will they have?" "If I get a head start of x frames, does this mean (move) has a large enough headstart to be uninterruptable?" For comparison: Sophitia and Cassandra's A hits at i11, 2A hits at i12. Sophitia's 236B hits at i13; Cassandra's at i14. Most other moves are slower than this. The implications of these speeds are that any move with a recovery of 11 or more frames relative to the attacker will grant Sophie or Cassie a free AA, and so on. -- Moves can be buffered. I hear the window is somewhere around 50 frames. Basically, this means you can input a command before it can come out, and the computer will give you the fastest input. This makes the game easier. 'tech crouch' describes a move that seems to duck in its animation, thereby evading some highs. Not that most tech crouch moves only have a small window of crouching, so don't expect them to automatically pass right through AAs. Although it's rare, a 5 is sometimes seen in a move. When you see a 5, it just means you have to not do anything. For example, 23658 means you have to do your down, down/towards, towards, then wait for a fraction of a section, then press up. When you interrupt your opponents attack with your own attack (but not during their post-attack recovery window), you score a counter hit. Counter hits give additional damage and often have different properties. For example, some strings become natural combos on counter, some moves launch, some stun, some knock down, so on and so forth. The abbreviation for counter hit is (you've guessed it), CH. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -Miscellaneous FAQ Coming soon. -_- It's not going to be a serious section. Does Cassandra use gel? Yes - if you look in her high-res illustration, her hair is clearly gelled. What happened to Sophitia's dress sense? The same power that infected her kids with madness slowly destroyed her aesthetic judgement. She's not on the verge of a wardrobe malfunction. Why is Cassandra's P2 so horrible? It's mainly because her P1 is so cute <3. But yeah, I'll have to reserach into this one, and punish whoever was responsible for it. How do you recolour Cassie and Sophie? For Cassandra, I generally use a deep red on her P1 and a teal shirt. But really, pretty much anything works, since it's such a nice outfit. As for Sophitia, I use her P2, and make it a kind of pinky purple (so it fits her P2 weapon or The Ancient). But her default P2 costume works well with her P1 weapon. Did Greek people really believe in the ancient Greek myths in the 16th century? No. Don't ask. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ =Cassandra= <3 "Don't die too quickly, okay?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1-Introduction- Come on. You know you like her. Everything from her hair to her overly- arrogant win quotes. Since Soul Calibur has generally been a series with relatively balanced characters, it's usually alright to base your preferences around things like that. However, aside for her sexy 1P costume, there are *real* reasons to take up this cute Alexandrian, who's two thousand years behind on her belief system. 2-Story- Cassandra's story is seriously silly. She's always existed in the Soul Calibur universe - Sophitia's stories mention Cassandra, her little sister, as the only one who believed her crazy tale about Soul Edge. In fact, it's so pointless, I don't want to type it out. But basically, she goes out on Sophitia's behalf in SCII, comes back because Sophitia makes her, then leaves again on Sophitia's behalf, breaks her equipment, comes back to Sophitia to get them fixed, then leaves again for SCIII. But she doesn't really do anything. 3-Overview- Although you can play characters how you want, they often naturally suit one or two play disciplines. For Cassandra, many would agree that "pit bull" and "rush down" come to mind. However, due to the nature of many of her moves, "turtle" and "punisher" are just as applicable. The key to winning is sometimes to switch between the two, forcing your opponent to predict your actions incorrectly. Cassandra actually has very few chances for mixup - you have to create them yourself, as opposed to with some characters that have a lot of cancels and multiple ending strings in their actual movelists. If you are creative and on your toes, though, your opponent will learn to fear the beast that is Cassandra. Mrow. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4-Staple moves- You'll probably find yourself using these moves every round. You don't have to, but these are the moves that I find particularly useful. They are listed in no particular order. A_AA - fast horizontal. High, of course. Damage isn't spectacular, but that's not the point of an A. On a hit, you get quite a bit of frame advantage (+5 maybe?), so make sure to follow it up with another move if it scores a hit. 3K comes to mind. A throw if you're in range, although you might be outspaced. Use a single A if you fear getting ducked. AK will catch a ducker if he doesn't come up in time or punish, too. B_BB - less fast vertical. But still fast. It has more range, too. On block, it's pretty bad stuff. So unless you're sure you won't get hit (range, conditioning, etc), it's probably a bad idea to follow it up. On hit, you don't get much advantage. So why use it? Well, it's your main thing to mix up with lows and throws. That's all. And it's nice and easy to do, obviously. Strangely, the second hit seems to track. I'm not complaining. ~.~ 236B:B - as fast as a BB. But yields such a reward. And the range is really quite magnificent. However, on block, you're open to a lot of stuff. Almost every character gets a free BB. Use it as a punisher, or to get under highs. However, don't be surprised if you get clipped by a high. It happens. It's imperitave to learn which moves give you a free 236B when blocked, and for which moves you can duck the last hit in order to punish. If you miss the just frame input, make sure to give your opponent a bit of mixup on wake up. 3B or BB with 2K or 1K would do, depending on how sure you are. If you get the just frame, a 22B+K or 11B is almost guaranteed. Go for the former most times - your opponent has to tech left to escape; and I've never seen the AI do it. 3K - fastish horizontal mid. Ah, horizontal mids. The bane of everyone's existence. Unfortunately, this one lacks in range and damage. However, it's safe (and therefore abuseable), and gives you a bit of advantage on hit. Go for a throw/mid mixup if you think your opponent succumbs to that kind of thing. A+B - for closing in. Use this when you want to pounce in on an unsuspecting keepaway. It covers a bit of step to one side, but be wary. On hit, you get a free 3B, so it yields nice damage. Some characters get a 2A on block, unfortunately. On the plus side, it has some frames of tech crouch (somehow), and obviously frames of tech jump (heh) - so use this to avoid and punish predicted moves. 2K - low kick of doom! Okay, it's not brilliant. But it's a 2K! It's no slower than a BB, so I really can't stress how much you should use this. It does pretty crappy damage, but the point is that it adds up. And think about - who's going to block a 2K on reaction? It therefore forces your opponent to try to predict it, thereby eating some mids in the process. It gives frame advantage on hit, though - so if you're up against an impatient opponent, go for two or three in a row, before going for the WS B. Or if you're feeling lucky, go for a 236B. 2K is actually unsafe on block. But shh, don't tell anyone. 2A - fast special low. Like 3K, it's used for covering step. Although it has virtually no range, you'll like this move. Abuse it to no end - against the AI or a person, it'll save you. It crouches, and is only a frame slower than an AA (or at least, it was...). If you score a hit with a 2A, a nice follow up is a 2K, although they might eventually learn. It seems to be like, -1~-2 on block, by the way. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5-Other nice moves- These are more situational, but I find myself abusing them to Jupiter and back when the situation requires it. 4[A] - ignoring the five year start up...this is a very nice move. The damage itself is mediocre, but it leads into so many combos. You'll find yourself getting addicted to this after a while. Make sure to check the combos section for the follow ups. Anyway. It covers step, and gives frame advantage on block. Woah. An AK is virtually uninterruptable (albeit duckable), and the AI will fall for this nine out of ten times. Even human players fall for the frame trap sometimes. Don't forget to use throws and lows on other people, though. 3K and BB should be used to cover different reactions to it. Strangely, it tech crouches, too. You'll see this happen quite a bit. 4AB4 is the in built followup, but it's not all that great. Can catch duckers though. It's really fast, so someone who ducks might not be able to get back up in time, or might even eat the B on Ch. 4AA probably shouldn't be used. xD 66B - a launcher. In the NTSC version, you get a 66A+B, 22B+K from this. In the PAL version, you don't. But you can try anyway, since it connects but just isn't guaranteed. It tech crouches. The frame data on block is pretty negative though, so I wouldn't try anything funny... The range is nice, though. 236AB - tech crouch from early on, fastish, covers step, nice damage. Guess what the downside is. Yes, that's right. It's about -a century on block. Use sparingly. 236A alone is still punishable, but your opponent might not know that. It's useful sometimes, but I'd avoid abusing it. 1K - a dodgy low. A lot of people like this move. I don't really, but it has won me a few matches. The advantage is that it doesn't really look like a low until you've stepped on your target's toes. It has toe stun too, so you get free stuff on CH. 3B - launcher. You get a free hit after it, so it's not that bad. It's bad on block though. Use it on wakeup if anything. 22A_AA and 88A_AA - spinny horizontals. If your opponent doesn't know the difference, s/he won't be ducking the second hit for free punishing. It completely thwarts some mashers, due to the inbuilt stepping. But it's not the best move on block, again. 6B - my eyes! It's fast. Doesn't cover step, and is high, but it's still fast. Throw it out at range. 66K - it's like a wannabe 3B. It's faster, though. And if you can do 33 or 99K reliably, then that's a safer version. It recovers slightly faster, so in the NTSC version (which I don't have...) apparently you can get the 66A+B thing off it. 236K - frame trap. Wooo. It seems to be +2 or +3 on block, which means your AA even beats X's. After a blocked 236K, go for an AA, 236B if you're risky, or a 2B+K. The 2B+K, if it hits on counter, gives you a few free guaranteed follow ups. Oh, it also covers step. Some people get confused by a spinning Cassandra and try to do something, only to be kicked. 2B+K - causes a crumple stun on counter hit. Nice tech crouching properties. Safe on block (maybe not against X, but nevermind her). Relatively fast. It's quite a nice move, considering the rewards. Use it if you anticipate a high, obviously. Lacking a little in range, but you should be able to judge it. If someone likes AAs, then make sure s/he eats some of these. :P 33KK - the first hit is low, and the string seems uninterruptable except by ducking. Some people might get caught out by the delay between the kicks. NCc. Safe on block (33K is negative frames on hit, and unsafe on block, though). Use it if you want. Second hit is high. :( Thanks to Darkwolf for suggesting those two. WS A - run of the mill WS. It has nice tech crouch frames though. A tad slow though. If you hold it, you get free stuff. WS B - run of the mill WS again. *shrug* WS K - this is a funny move. If you can afford to leave yourself open for the start up, this will catch people out. The frame situation is about equal on block - many people don't know this, and will attempt to retaliate. Use 2A or 236B to stop them. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 6-Other stuff to try- 3AK - "Y'what? I didn't know tha...". It works on people. Most people, Cassy players excluded, do not acknowledge the existence of the second hit. So they'll try to interrupt it, and eat the counter hit. You get free hits if they forget to break the stun, too. They'll wisen up even- tually, though. But it's safe, so who cares. Will destroy idiots. 6K - it's alright. Causes a double over stun on Ch. I find it a bit slow, but the mixup on Ch must be worth something. 7_8_9A - horizontal. Will jump lows and avoid throws. Safe on block, and if your opponent hesitates, you can sometimes attack even on block. 11B - toe stab of death. It crouches, has nice range, and is a low. It's worth using every so often. But it doesn't cover step at all, and it's pretty easy to block on reaction. Use for the coup de grace. Otherwise, there are probably better options. It's safe though, so if your opponent doesn't like step (like the friend I just played >:), feel free to throw it out quite a bit. A throw might be in range after, too. 9B - jumps lows and throws. Use when you're expecting a low - on a hit, it grants a bit of advantage, so you might as well use it. 2K, BB, throw. 9G~A_K_B - this is pretty funny at the end of a round, or post-GI. Low/mid mixup from a jump. Confuses and works. Sometimes. Update: I was playing a friend who liked to swtich to turtling randomly. This worked wonders. Mixup between 9GA and 9GB, and you'll get a load of hits in. The latter can keep you in range for a throw. 22K - low. Enough said. Unfortunately, it's bad on block. 9A+BK - second hit low. Lots of people forget this move exists, so it might win 8B+K - after a throw, or on wakeup. You can charge it for the quake stun, which will give you a free combo from the section. But it's generally not too useful. 9KK - for jumping lows. Some people don't know about the second hit, so it'll catch them off guard. The second hit seems to TC slightly too. 7K - it tech crouches. Less so than it used to, but it still does. But it's kinda unsafe, so I don't really like it. 2BB:K - it's unsafe on block, but it tech crouches and is NCc. If you can react and see the Ch, then use it by all means. I stay away from it though. It also goes into 8BAA. 4[K] and 44[K] - these do have uses. Ctrl+f for them, or check the combo section. They're to do with the backturned VC glitch. 4K is the ass launch though. Use it for novelty value. ^^;; 2365(2)_(8) series - okay, most of the moves off this are hideously unsafe. But whatever. Sometimes they confuse people into attacking, so you can experiment and play around with your opponent with it. The step can avoid some stuff, but don't trust it too much. Use it against hesistant people. :P B+KB_*B_[B] - a strange move. Can hop over lows, and side step some linear moves. Second hit is punishable on block though, so you might want to stay away from abusing it. 44B+K - completely useless, but use it post-death. :P ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 7-Combos- Cassandra somehow turned into a combo beast. Thanks to the SC.com community, by the way. 4[A], ch 6AAA, 3B, 3K, 236AB. The last hit of the 236AB is not guaranteed, but hopefully no one will figure out that you have to air control back right. If that do, then you use 236B:B instead. I usually fish for this quite a bit. Won't work on X on axis (works off axis), since she ducks the 6AAA in her hit animation. 4[A], ch 6AAA, 3B, 66A+B, 22B+K. More damage, but doesn't work on the PAL version. 4[A], 6AAA, 2B+K, 2A_B+G. Nice damage, although the throw can be broken. 2A+G gives an almost guaranteed AK. 4[A], 2B8BAA. Sometimes 6AAA won't hit (eg. side turned opponent). It seems character specific, but use this or the next combo when you're scared 6AAA will be ducked. 4[A], 2B+K, (2A+G, AK)_(2B+G) Hard to time, but it's not too hard. You'll have to buffer the 2B+K. You can stick a 6AAA before the 2B+K on some opponents. The main application is when you can see that a 6AAA won't connect properly after the 4[A]. It happens - it seems to be character specific too, so you might want to experiment a little. It also seems to not work at point blank. 4[A], 236B:B, (wakeup 11B/22B+K). This is for when 6AAA and 2B+K fail you (*cough* X *cough*). It's crappy damage, but at least it works. 3B, 3K, 236AB. Again, last hit isn't guaranteed. 3B, 236B. Standard. 236B:B works, but it can be air controlled out of. ch 3B, 66A+B, 22B+K. Doesn't work on PAL again. Shame... 66K, 66A+B, 22B+K. Nice combo. Doesn't work on PAL, though. 33B, 66A+B, 22B+K. Same as above. Slower start up, more damage. I don't use this much. Post- GI is an option, though. Not in PAL. 33B, 9A, 6B. Apparently this works. For PAL users. 66B, 66A+B, 22B+K. 66B tech crouches, so you might be seeing this one a bit. 66B, 6B, 236B. I think it's guaranteed. This is for PAL users. WS [A], 3B, etc. Alright, you're never going to get this one off. But might as well have it here anyway. Nice damage, though. A+B, 3B. This is common knowledge. But it's so useful it's unbelieveable. Don't forget the 3B. Kimarhi never forget 3B. ch 2B+K, 236B. It's guaranteed, at least. You can do a crouch throw instead of the 236B if you can time it right - although it's obviously breakable. 66B+G, 236B. Bah. Where'd 3A+B go? Oh well. The advantage of 66B+G is that it has a smaller break window than most throws. But a regular B+G does pretty much the same damage, now. 66B+G, 8B+K. Same damage, similar wakes. You can charge the 8B+K - it's pretty hard to avoid. Use it sparingly and it'll catch your opponent out. 236B:B, 22B+K/11B. Not a real combo, but it works most of the time. Can be teched out of, but your opponent might do it the wrong way. :P Feel free to experiement. You may find some damaging combo that isn't guaranteed. But feel free to use it - there's always a chance that your opponent will, say, forget to break the stun, or air control in the wrong direction. VC combos: A 'VC' refers to the input G22, which lets you cancel the recovery animation of some moves. For Cassy, the only VCing you can do is off throws from the back turned position (or side turned to an extent). You can be creative with these combos, but they all start with a throw or crouch throw from BT. To get into BT, use 4[K] or 44[K] - the latter gives a crumlpe stun on counter hit, and so crouch throws are a viable option with good timing. Examples (thanks to the trag of the Soul Calibur community): CH 44[K], BT 2A+G, VC, 4[A], 6AAA, 3B, 66A+B, 22B+K (or 3K, 236AB for PAL users). CH 44[K], BT 2B+G, VC, otg 3B, etc. 4[K], BT B+G, VC, 4[A] etc. 8-Natural Combos- AA BB AK BK 6AA 4[A]B 236AB 236B:B On counter: 6AAA 3AK 88AA 22AA 9KK 66B+KBK_B B+KB B4B 2BB(:K) 2B8BAA 8A+BK ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 9-Safe, unsafe?- The following of Cassandra's moves can be punished by Sophitia's 236B. Sophitia's 236B is slightly faster than the average BB, although it has exceptional range. On block, this is. 236B 236AB 2B8B series 22K, 8A+BK 2K 1K 1A 44B 9G A B+KB 66B+KBB and K Running K 44B+K However, there is justification for many of these moves. 236B is obviously a move that you would want to keep in your game, even if only for scaring your opponent. It is unwise to throw it out randomly, though - use it for punishing. 236AB is a funny one. Sometimes your opponent might forget to punish it, and if you only do 236A, there's a slim chance that they'll heistate. It does good damage and seems to cover step, so if you think it'd be a good addition to your game, use it. (Sparingly) 22K and 8A+Bk, especially the former, will catch opponents off guard sometimes. The latter is a NCc, so it has a chance of landing. 2K is fully justified. No one is going to punish something like that. No one even knows that a 2K is punishable on block. A lot of characters have 2Ks which are terrible on block, though - but range issues usually save you. There's no reason to not use it. 1K is still usable. Most people won't block it unless you whore it to no end. 1A is one that you should stay away from. Use it on newbies if you must, though. The other moves cannot really be justified except in very specific situations. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The following moves are punishable by Sophitia's 2A. Her 2A is i12, making it a tad slower than most AAs. It is faster than BB, but it has pitiful range. It can be performed out of a crouch, so lows/force crouch moves can be punished by it. A+B (range issue) 66B (range issue) AK 66K 4B+K 4B (sometimes) A+B isn't ever going to be punished. But it's nice to know that the block stun is horrible, so you don't try to follow it up too often. Don't ditch this move - it's too sexy. 66B can be justified by its range, and the reward. So use it if you want. I never found 66K to be worth using due to its pitiful range. But it's not like anyone's going to react that fast. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The following moves can be punished by Sophitia's A. AA is faster than 2A and 236B, so when range and crouching is not a factor, it applies to the above moves also. 3B Please note that this information may not be completely accurate. It's mostly for comparison. In general, most characters have a move to match i13 (sophie's 236B) or i12 (2A), so if it's punishable by one of these moves, don't be surprised if another character punishes you when you do it. About half of the characters have an i11 AA (Sophie and Cass do), so most characters have the ability to punish moves in all lists (except for with range issues). Also - frame data has been changed in the PAL version. <___<;; ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 10-Throws- Against an opponent, throws are invaluable. Especially if they don't tend to break them. Cassandra has one command throw and two crouch throws. 66B+G has a smaller break window than the regular B+G at the expense of damage, and the crouch throws only connect on a ducking opponent (or a crumpling opponent). Also, 66B+G cannot be GI'd (except for JI). So post-GI, it may be a good thing to use if they're not expecting it. On hit: 9B 2K 3K A 4A There are obviously more, but these ones work nicely. The standard mixup for a throw is BB. It's a simple 50-50. If you're afraid that they'll duck and punish, use a 2K (or another low) instead of the throw - or, of course, a crouch throw. 66B+G grants a free 236B (no JF) or 8B+K (you can risk charging it if you want). 2A+G supposedly grants a free AK, although an opponent can somehow duck the initial hit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 11-Strategy- A lot of this stuff will be obvious. I don't mean to sound patronising ^^;; But it's nice to have a reminder of some things that we might take for granted every now and then. The key difference between playing the AI and playing a person is obviously that you can play mindgames on another person; whereas against the AI, it's just a frame/manipulation competition. Bear this in mind. You must conciously play differently against a person. Delays, fake outs, lows, throws, changes in tactic all work against people - don't neglect them just because they're useless against the AI. Lows and throws. Two things you have to remember - you won't learn to use lows and throws naturally against the AI, so you'll have to make a concious effort when playing another person. However, half of Cassandra's game is in punishment. Learn which moves give you a free punisher - AA, 236B and 2A are your main options. Every time you succesfully block one of those punishable moves, make your opponent pay. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 12-Cassie against the AI- Most of you are probably interested in this section. Anyway, here it is. -Overview- Cassandra's basic move applications obviously apply regardless of the opponent, as with almost any character. Fish for combos when necessary, punish accordingly, stay away from most punishable moves and so forth. However, obviously, the AI won't fall for mind tricks. Not usually, anyway. Delayed attacks and frame traps can still work, though. The general rule for Cassy against the AI is "If 4[A] doesn't work, try it again.". 4[A] is the destroyer of the AI. -Easy to moderate AI- Okay, you really shouldn't be needing help to beat these guys. But you may need to find a way to do it quickly. The 4[A] combo is usually your best bet, here. Depending on the weapon, two salvos of the combo should deal with any opponent, and its range, step coverage and tech crouch properties make it very abuseable. If you want to go for a ring out, circle your opponent appropriately, and use a 236B:B when you see an opening (after a move, or a punishable move). 66B, 66A+B will also work. -Hard defensive AI- Concerning the AI of certain battles (Beloved and Olcadan, for example), regular abuse of moves, won't cut it. However, it's not as if the 4[A] series won't work. On the contrary - this move leaves the frame situation at neutral (or perhaps to your benefit very slightly), and so you shouldn't be afraid to use it. The most notable thing about the harder AIs is that it is extremely defensive. It pretty much only attacks after it has blocked one of your strikes. This means that you're free to charge up moves which have better effects on the charged versions. You can defeat any AI by doing 4[A] into any other move repeatedly. AA, AK, BB and 236B:B come to mind, since they're all fast. You can throw in a 2A or 3K if you think that's necessary. Because the AI is stupid, it will favour attacking after it has blocked the 4[A]. So, if it blocks the 4[A], make sure to buffer in a quick move. If the 4[A] is ducked, then you should block, as punishment will ensue if you don't. If the 4[A] scores a hit, then go for the 6AAA combo. For wakeup, you have a number of options. The obvious one would be a 2K. This works fine, although the AI obviously will use its psychic powers to block it most times. BB can score hits, but you'll have to time it properly. On some battles, a 4[A] works, since the AI will go into defensive mode on wakeup. This usually works on Beloved's Raphael. If you want to risk it, 4[B] (for the guard crush) can be used on a defensive opponent. Follow up with AK or 236B:B. 44bA has worked on Raphael, but I wouldn't really recommend it except for at the beginning of the round. It's advisable to not use BB or AA too much - single Bs and As are fine, though. 3K and 2A are still whorable. Do not use throws or any non-2K low. -Hard offensive AI- This bracket is basically limited to Night Terror. Since he's offensive and likes to move around a lot, he'll be eating 4[A]s like anything. Abuse it, make him pay with half of his life bar for each time he uses one of his slow moves. B+KB will avoid some moves, since it has an inbuilt sidestep. A+B at range to close in works quite nicely. Very useful when you can predict the opponent will use a slow move. Covers step to an extent. But the main thing is 4[A]. Yes. Abuse to no end. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 13-Cassie against people- There's a limited amount I can advise you in this department, as human players are obviously not restricted by the AI's flaws. Here are some things to think about - you probably do already, but if you're losing, think about what you're not doing. Punishing - this is the main thing. Learn your 236Bs and AAs. Mixup Delays Lows Throws Scare Versus - Masher If they're playing a short range character, use A+B and 4[A] to outrange them. If they're playing a long range character, close in with A+B and such, then play a safe game. If they're partial to Bs, use 22_88AA. Some mashers switch to turtle after losing a round. Don't forget to abuse lows and throws. Versus - Turtle Eek. This is hard. Basically, you have to squeeze in 2Ks and throws where ever you can. Use 4[A] frame traps if you can, but a good turtle might be able to duck it. 236~66B+G might work for confusion, but a lot of turtles are also throw breakers. Hrm. Make sure you take guaranteed punishers. Versus - Pitbull Oh this is a fun match. Unfortunately, most pitbulls shift from turtle to pitbull constantly, so you'll have to be on your toes. If you're playing a true pitbull (read: idiot), throw in a 236B after you've blocked and you think they're going to attempt another attack. 236B outranges most things. So yeah...feel free to use it at range. But don't abuse it too much, or you'll pay. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 14-GI game- Don't try any of this against the AI. After a GI, you have a few frames of advantage. 25, perhaps. The exact value is on the SCII forums, in the SCIII section, but it's irrelevant. Ignoring the G22 glitch, Cassandra has a moderate post-GI game. You have your generic AA and 1_2K mixup, of course. You can use 22B or 8B+K for the guard crush (which is useless) and to catch those who GI early. 236K might fool some people due to its delay. You can also go for the 4[A], which gives you huge damage and will catch early re-GI'ers and parryers. For those who never ever re-GI, use 236B:B or 3B. Darkwolf reminds me of the suggestion of 236K post-GI. It's a viable strat, although I don't know if you'll find it useful or not. Cassie also has a bunch of auto-GIs: 4A+B (horizontals) 4B+K (verticals) 214 (useless) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 15-Cass in a nutshell- If you don't wanna read my ramblings, then here are my suggestions summed up. Use Ctrl+F on the move commands to see what else I've said about them, or if you just want a description. Also, check the combo section if you haven't already. Step coverage: A (incase AA whiffs) AA (can be ducked) AK (to prevent ducking) 3K (range issue) 66A (slow) 4[A] (slow, high - good reward and crouch) 7_8_9A (jumps lows and throws) Partial step coverage: 6A A+B 236A Speed/Punishing (speed order): AA 2A BB 236B (long range and good reward - experiment) Range: A+B (for closing in. Can cover step) 22B+K 6B/66A+B(can be stepped and ducked) 4[A] (reward, crouch) 66B (reward and crouch) 11B (low) Throw setups (hit) (note range): 66A A 9B 2K 4A A 3K Tech crouches: 236~ 2B 2A 2K 66A 66A+B 4[A] 1A 11B 2B+K 22K 2B 66B Lows: 2K 1K 1A 22K G9A 33K 11B Subsequent hit lows: 4AA (mixup with B, but still crap) 9A+BK 66B+KBK Auto-GIs: 4A+K, vs horizontal mids and highs. 4B+K, vs vertical mids and highs. 214, completely useless. Guard break: 4[B] 22_88[B] Unblockable: 44bA 8[B+K] (max) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ =Sophitia= <3 "Will someone please think of the children?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's her again. She's back! And even better. Although she's a bit of a wardrobe malfunction now, that's not that much of a reason to not use her. Anyway, she's still secks. Just in a bad costume. 16-Story- Sophitia's story is slightly more significant than Cassandra's. She blew up Soul Edge about fifty years ago. But now she's just kinda trolling around Europe claiming to be important. The truth is, she really just wants attention. Rothion obviously isn't doing a good job. 17-Overview- Sophitia's a better punisher now. 236B:4 can be buffered, and it's faster and has a longer range than Cassandra's. She has relatively large versatility. She has tools for most ranged, a bit of step coverage, an arsenal of tech crouches, and quite a few good safe moves. Not to mention hefty damage. Since Cassandra lost half of her juggles in the PAL version, my preference is Sophitia over her. Her 236B grants more damage, also. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 18-Staple moves- Use and abuse. Kinda. AA_K - AK is a low. Use it to destroy newbs. xD (see Cassandra for AA) BB_K - BK covers step a little. Heh. It's high though, so if they duck, the second hit will whiff. (see Cassandra for BB) 236B:4 - whew. Damage. Ouch. At i13, it's faster than her BB. Spectacular range, and magnificent damage. Knocks down for a wakeup game, and stuns (breakable) on a shallow hit. Guess what. It's hideously punishable. Oh well - you still have to use it. Just figure out what you can punish, and you'll be getting tons of free damage. Oh, it crouches and seems to auto-GI some highs, too. 236236B:4 - this ducks some mids. It's actually safe too. Takes longer to do, but it means you can use it randomly (for non punishing purposes). Covers so much range, also. 3K_22K - (see Cassandra's 3K) 2K - (see Cassandra) 2A - (see Cassandra) 4B - moderate damage, advantage on hit (go for a throw or something), relatively long range. It's a nice move as it is, but its real strength is that it's like, -2 on block (meaning a 2A beats most retaliations) and that it hits grounded opponents for a 2K/4B mixup. It forces crouch too, so your opponent will have to retaliate with a WS or a FC move. A lot of WSes are mids, so the auto-GI, A+B, might be an option here. ^^;; I sometimes use it if an opponent's move whiffs, or if I've stepped and want an easier option than a 236B. 11A - long range low. You can kinda use this for punishing too. It has a few frames of tech crouch, so that's a nice reason to use it. On hit, you have something ridiculous like +6, so a throw attempt might be in order. On block, it's nice and safe, too. It hits grounded situationally, also. 66A+G - it's an A break now. It has a tiny break window, and does 55 damage. Not bad. 66B - the range on this thing is insane. Unfortunately, it doesn't really track at all. Use it for people who foolishly charge in at a range. See follow ups in the combos section, too. 66B+KAB - for damage. On CH, this gives a 137 (of 240) damage combo. It has a few frames of tech crouch too. Subsequent hits can be delayed - but the last hit is punishable, so only activate it if the first two score a CH. 66A and 3A - two mid horizontal tech crouches at long range. They're slow and punishable by a lot of AAs, but it's a risk you may need to take. 66A does more damage, but 3A looks harder to step. It's also easier to do in a sense. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 19-Other nice moves- You'll probably end up abusing a lot of these. But there are reason for not going all out on them. 4[A] - (see Cassandra). See the combo section, too. Heh. A great move to whore out. Really, do check out what this move is about. In a nutshell, frame trap, combos, tech crouch, step coverage, but slow and a high. WS B+K - launcher from crouch. Relatively fast, and also crouches for almost the whole animation. You get like, 90 damage from this silly thing too. 44B - same as above, but punishable, and doesn't give as high a launch. 3B - a quick launcher. Potential damage is pretty good considering its speed. It's a wakeup tool for when you're feeling too risky to use the plain old 4B. It is punishable on block, although you'll only want to be using it from range anyway. WS A+B_[A+B] - unblockable if held. USe it after a succesful 2A or 2K (most people will stop to block after taking a 2K). Mix them up. You get a free 4B too, if either hits. Can't be ducked, blocked or jumped. Stepping it isn't easy either. It has pitiful range, but if they're backing away, you release it early. 4K - it's a low. You get a free 236B on CH, too. 6AB - the second hit catches people out. Mix it up - do the first hit only for a bit, then throw out the second, which gives a stun on CH. It's breakable, but you get a free mixup attempt. I use it after the stun from A+B and 4[A] sometimes. Here are a few ideas for post-stun mixups. Throw; 11A, throw (for the good side throw <3); 66B combo, 66B+KAB combo, 2K_BB mixup. Remember that since your opponent has to mash 46464 to break the stun, there's a good chance that (s)he won't be in a position to completely efficiently react to mixup. A+B - auto-GI that does all mids. There were...quite a few mids in this game, last time I checked. If you counter a B, you get 85 (93 CH) damage, if you counter an A, you get about 50 and a free mixup (leading to over 100 potential damage) and if you counter a B, you get about 60 and a wake up game. Oh, the follow up to the vs B counter is AK. 1K_[K] - low that covers a bit of step. It doesn't look like a low to an unsuspecting opponent, also. So that's a plus. It's punishable, but few will be able to react to it anyway. You get free stuff on CH (or the held version normal hit) too. 9B - exactly what it says on the box. (see Cassandra) 9K series - you can use it to hop lows. The K follow up is guaranteed on hit although if blocked, you'll probably pay for it. The other follow ups can catch those who don't know Sophie (ie, silly people :P). 9G~A_B_K - run of the mill low/mid mixup. Use this a lot if you can get away with it. (See Cassandra) 11A[A] - the second hit is an unblockable mid horizontal. You can release it early also. It got slowed down in the PAL version, though. Still, use it sparingly, and your average opponent will be caught out. Your average serious player will punish you, though. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 20-Some moves to try out- A+K_A+KK - strange moves. Post-GI, maybe. A+K gives you about +1~2 on block. A lot of people don't know this, so if you're in a tense turtling situation, try A+K, then AA. Should be uninterruptable. 1AA - horribly punishable, but may catch people out in tense situations. 236AA - covers step, but is punishable. The second hit is low, so silly people may be caught out. Experienced players will jump the second, though. It seems to give you a fair amount of time to prepare wake up options though. Avoid abusing it - but the tech crouch starts very early, so it has its uses. Rather risky though. 23652_8 - (see Cassandra) 4[A]AA:A - it's not a combo, but it's quite a sight to behold if you can get the whole thing. 66K - a quick launcher. Seems faster than 3B, although it can be punished. It should give a 66A+B combo on most characters. 33_99K - same as above, but safer! :O Funny thing this move. -11 unless you're playing at 50hz, in which case it's only -10. xD B+K series - (see Cassandra). It's not that great though. 2BB:4 - I find it pretty useless, but some people like it for the damage. Same as Cassandra's, basically. Also goes into 8BAK. Tech crouch is basically the only thing I see good about it. Both NCc, by the way. 3A+B - it covers step, and does nice damage. Unfortunately, it's avoidable to one side. You can get a 4B on hit sometimes, if your opponent doesn't get up fast. 44bA - you get a lot of damage off this little thing now. And it has a frame or two of crouch. Use it on an idiot post-GI. 6K - I love this move. It looks so cute. xP BT B+K - do it post-death, after a 66B (by running under them). Haha. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 21-Combos- Sophitia's still the combo monster she was in SCII. 4[A], 2B8BAK. Standard. Easy to do. Hits for quite a bit of damage, and you're in range for a little wake up game, too. 4[A], 6AB. Use this sparingly if your opponent is known for breaking stuns. CH 6AB does not guarantee anything, but it means you get a free mixup. It works on the AI, of course. After 6AB, consider throw; 11A~throw (you get the siren throw <3); 66B+K series; 66B combo; 1[K]. After mashing 64646, an opponent probably won't be alert enough to block lows or break throws reliably. 66B, 66A+B, 66B. I abuse this quite a bit. Nice damage (~100), but 66B is horribly linear. Subject to range issues, also. In the PAL version, the last 66B is easy to tech out. I hear it's also possible in the NTSC version. The AI won't do it, and hopefully your friend won't discover it for a few rounds, though... 66B, A+K, 236B. Similar damage, but better wakeups. Also, it can't be avoided if you do it right. Seems to leave you in BT if it's AC'd strangely. Hmm. VC throw? :P Whatever - it leaves you in a good wake up position anyway. Won't always hit if the 66B connects off-axis. WS B+K, 66A+B, 66B. Such punishment from crouch. Ouch. WS B+K has great tech crouch properties. 44_11_77B, 66A+B, 66B. I can't get this working in the PAL version, but apparently it exists. 66_33_99K, 66A+B, 66B. 66K's punishable. 33_99K is too, although less so. It's a good combo, but I find limited uses for them. 3B, 3K, 236B. I like this one. It looks elegant for some reason. Anyway, if you ever need something to end a launch combo, just use the 3K, 236B. Also works off 44B. I don't actually know if it's guaranteed, but it seems to be if you delay it all a little. Ch 66B+KAB, G, 66A+B, 66B. Wow. Nice damage. Tech crouch, and safe if you don't do the last hit. Only complete the string if you see the Ch, of course. Get the timing on the 66A+B down - it's strange, because it's almost like an off the ground combo. Works from the straight off 33_99B launcher too. Ch 66B+KAB, G, 4[A], 236B. It seems guaranteed. The previous one isn't actually guaranteed, heh. Do it if the 66B of the last one tends to get avoided. 22A, 1K. I use this a fair amount. Standard combo. Ch 1K, 66B. This probably won't be happening much in a real battle, but it's a good damage addition to 1K. 1[K], 66B. 1[K] is slow, but it catches people out occasionally. 9G~A, 4B. <3 Don't actually know if it's guaranteed though. Ch 4K, 236B:4. Standard combo. I don't use it much, though. 44bA, 66A+b, 66B. The damage is good, but it has limited uses. Post-GI is an option, but it probably won't work on anyone who has a clue. A+B against K: 236B 6AB (B not guaranteed, but gives you wakeup) 2K A+B against A: 66B combo (hard to do) 66B+KA (the last B isn't guaranteed) 4K combo. 6AB~mixup (see 6AB) 2B series VC combos - coming in the distant future. Only 22A on block sets up BT. Like, yeah...right. ><;; 22-Natural combos- AA BB BK 236AA 66B+KA 4[A]B 9KK On counter AK KK 6AB 4[A]AA,A 2B8BAK 2BB:4 B+KB:4 66B+KAB ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 23-Safe, unsafe?- The following moves can be punished by Sophie's 236B. That's i13, which is a tad faster than most BBs. If in range, these moves will be punished by a lot of AAs. On block, this is. 236B 236A 1A 4K WL A 66B+KAB 33B 3B FC2K 7K 2BB 9KA 9KAB 9KK 3A+B 11B B+KB 236B is justified - but try to use it for punishing only/mostly. If you want a safe version, go for 236236B. It's slower, but at least it's safer. Still just as linear though. Oh, it does more damage. <3 236A...hm, this is a tough case. It can cover step, and the second A can catch people out. But I'd stay away from it. There's better, even if it does tech crouch very reliably. 1A is pants. Use 11A instead. 4K is a low, so you can use it if you want. It gives good stuff on CH too. And no one's going to react fast enough to punish it anyway. WL A is good. Well, it's a good mixup tool. I use it, and I usually get away with it even on block. 66B+KAB is something you'll want to keep in your game - mainly against people who aren't too good at the game, but you can fish for CH if you know how to even against relatively experienced players. Obviously, you don't let the last B come out unless you're going for a mind game or you've seen the Ch confirmation. 33B is a bit of a waste, even if it does tech crouch. I prefer 66B. But there are times when you just *know* 33B is gonna hit post-step, so feel free. I hardly ever use 3B. 33K is better to me - but 3B can be used on wake up. Your opponent will have to react quickly if it's to be punished, too. Fc2K...who's going to punish that... 3A+B covers step, and there's a fair amount of pushback. Tech crouches too. Use if you want. 11B has its uses. It gives a 66A+B in the NTSC version too. Pushback and speed mean it's not going to be punished all the time too. The following moves can be punished by Sophie's 2A. That's i12 - so if in range, fast AAs will punish. 66K 44B WS A+B 44K 1AA 4AB 236K 66B+KA 3A 66A 1K 2K 8B+K They all have their uses. Just use them if you feel they're useful. They won't be punished much, except by experienced players/Sophie players. 33K can be punished by AA sometimes. At 60Hz, 44B is punishable by 236B. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 24-Throws- Sophie's throw game is alright. It's not spectacular, but throws are throws. They're always useful. Just remember to use them, since you'll forget to if you keep playing the advanced AI. Strangely, her back throw does little over 30, and so does her throw from opponent's left. However, her other one (the on where she goes for the kiss <3) does over 70. So try to go for that one if you can. xD She has one command throw - 66A+G, which is now an A break. It has a small break window (this is noticeable if you try it out in practise). Her B+G can be left alone for ~46 damage and wakeup, or you can attempt a 2(A_B) for the 20 damage follow up. They can break the second part, obviously. One thing though - if they do manage to break the second part, input [G]22, then you'll recover instantly. Use this to get a free 66B combo. XD A+G has the option of putting your opponent to ground (30 damage) or leaving them standing for around +2 frame advantage (40 damage). I prefer the latter. Hold 2 as soon as A+G connects to ground the opponent. After A+G, mash out an AA. Your opponent will soon learn that s/he can't interrupt, and will duck. From there, mixup AA with BB/3K. If you can, by some miracle, get them into a fully turtling state post A+G, go for the 11A or rethrow. Here are some suggested setups on hit: 9B 2K 3K A 4A 11A 9K 4B ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 25-Strategy- Sophie and Cass are pretty straightforward to play. They're basically punishers. But here are some things to start on. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 26-Sophie against the AI- And you thought Cassie was good. Whew! 4[A] still works wonders. -Overview- Combos are the main source of damage here. This means 66B+K and 66B. WS B and 33K work too. Basically, it's just spamming your combo starters. Check the combo section if you haven't already. -Easy to moderate AI- Just whore out the 66B+K series, then follow the combo up with a 66B on wake up. 4B if they whiff a move. -Hard defensive AI- Okay, Sophie just owns the defensive AI for free. There are two ways you can do this. Combo based - 66B+KAB; delay the last B for a fraction of a second and the AI will almost always fall for it. The other way you can do it is to do 4B to stick the opponent in crouch, wait a few frames, then hit A+B for the auto-GI. It's not very reliable, but it's guaranteed damage if it hits. The 4[A] frame trap is still effective. If you haven't read about the 4[A] thing...4[A] puts you at an advantage whether it connects or if it's blocked. The computer won't know this, and will try to attack after it blocks 4[A]. So, just whore out 4[A], and on a hit, do a combo (6AB or 2B series), and on block, do an AA, BB or 3K. -Hard offensive AI- Keep your distance and use 66B. That's seriously all there is to it. xD ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 27-Sophie against people- Again, Sophie (like Cass) has little opportunity for inbuilt mixup. You have to make the mixup yourself, using random poking. Sophie has good lows, so don't be afraid to abuse them (11A). Remember to throw, also - 66A+G has a tiny break window. Sophie's 236B is faster than Cassie's, so remember to learn what gives you a free 236B. Abuse 2A and 3K to kill step. If someone's step happy at long range, keep them in place with a 3A/66A. Oh, on a 2A hit, chuck in a WS A+B_[A+B]. On a hit, you get the 66B for a bit of damage. Most people won't backstep fast enough on the UB, so it's a guessing game. Don't be afraid to use non-guaranteed stuns/combos, since people won't always figure out how to escape. Versus - Masher Okay, Sophie owns completely idiotic mashers for free. Stay away and use 66B and 11A. 236236B works too. Versus - Turtle In my opinion, Sophie has a better game against a turtle than Cassandra does. They both have a command throw, but I feel Sophie's has a smaller break window. 11A_(A[A]) and 4K are good for catching people out. WS [A+B] can work also. Versus - Pitbull 236B is now bufferable. It's unlikely that a pitbull will persist in that strategy if you keep throwing out 236Bs. Sophie's tech crouch game is also very strong, so a lot of highs will be dodged, even if you're not trying to go under them. Make sure to use A+B. 28-GI game- Sophie's GI game isn't really any better than Cassandra's. You have 44bA with its combo follow up, but no one's going to fall for that twice. 4[A] is what you probably want to be going for. A+K_K might work on twitchers. There's obviously the B~G and A~G stuff. Oh, she has three auto-GIs. 236 (highs) is useless. A+B (mids) is amazing. Learn the follow ups and use it whenever you predict a mid from your opponent. Which will be quite often. :P 4K (lows) has some uses, and it has a free 236B:4 on follow up. Use it for subsequent hit lows. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 29-Sophie in a nutshell- Step coverage: A AA_K 2A 3K BK 3A 66A 4[A] 8A Partial step coverage: 11A 3A+B 44A 66B and 4B to an extent Auto-GIs: 236, vs high A+B, vs mid 4K, vs low Speed and punishing: AA 2A 236B (BB if you're unsure) Range: 66B 11A 236236B 66A, 3A 4[A] Throw setups: 9B 2K 3K A 4A 11A 9K 4B Tech crouches: 236 series 2B 2A 2K 66B? 11_44_77B 33B 4[A] 33_66_99A 3A 1A 11A WS B+K WS A+B Lows: 2K 1A 11A 4K 1K_[K] 9GA Subsequent hit lows: 236AA 4AA AK Guard Breaks: 22[B] Unblockables: 44bA WS [A+B] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 30-Sisters side by side- My personal preference is Sophitia. While Cassandra is cuter, Sophitia has a few things over her. Here are some of the main things to consider: Sophie Cassie WS B+K - damage and crouch No counterpart 236236B - safe and long range, low crouch. No counterpart 4B - -0~2 on block. Force crouch. Wakes. No counterpart 33K - damage followups. 66K - virtually useless. 66B - longer range, more damage 66B - inferior, but crouches 33B - unsafe. Good damage and crouch. 33B - good damage in NTSC. 11A - low, horizontal, range. 11B - linear. Crouches well. WS [A+B] - crouch, unblockable, stun. WS A_[A]- too slow to be of use. 236B - i13, 40, 60, 70 damage. More range. 236B - i14, 40, 50, 60 damage. 236AA - second hit low, though not safe. 236AB - unsafe. No counter part A+B - good range and damage No counter part 22B+K - good range and damage. That isn't nearly a list of differences. But they're the main things I make my decision between them on. Most of my decision actually comes from the fact that her 236B is i13. Most of my game is based on punishing, heh. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 31-Matchup and punishing lists- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Soul Calibur is based equally on your opponent as it is on you. You have to know your opponent more so than in a Street Fighter or KoF. The main reason is because SC is a heavily mixup based game. So there's limited I can advise you - since not only does a match depend on your opponent's character, but obviously more so on your opponent him/her self. It is just as hard to play Soul Calibur against a character who you know nothing about as it is to play Soul Calibur *with* a character you know nothing about. Such is the nature of Soul Calibur. It's very newb-friendly at the mid level. What I can tell you, though, is how to avoid common moves, or which moves to punish or counter. If you're having trouble against a certain character, take down the punishing list and identify the punishable moves. If your opponent (I'm talking about people, here) tends to abuse an unsafe move, make him/her pay dearly. Little note. All 236B:B (Cass) punishes work for 236B:4 too (Sophie), as Sophie's 236B is faster. 236B:B punishes should also work with BB, depending on range. 2A and AA are in the same catagory - use AA unless you're forced into crouch. 2A and AA are faster than 236Bs, so they can punish the same moves. However, range plays a part. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Versus - Zasalamel. >:O Misconceptions/revelations: Zas doesn't rape Cassandra or Sophitia for free. He's not bare safe. 66B isn't that godly. Okay. If your opponent is careless, he'll be eating a lot of free punishment. You hope this will happen. If not, then you have a little problem. You'll probably have to go for lows. This is a problem, since Zas is both fast and ranged. 2Ks and throws will help break down a defensive Zas as expected, but they can only take you so far. One other thing...66BK gives the defender advantage on hit and block. XD Don't fall for the 66BB. The second hit is low. Block it appropriately. If you can't differentiate well enough, always block low for the second hit. I suggest spending a bit of time in practise to identify his lows. If you're Cass, don't forget to use a bit of A+B if you want to close in. A lot of Zas' staple moves are mids (you don't say... xD), so if you're Sophie, abuse that A+B!. XD Punishing list: 236B:B - 1A 1AA (duck second) 4A 44A 1BB 66BB 66BK WS B 2K 2B+K 2B+KA 4B+K 6B+KB 4A+K 22BB 11K 236B:4 (the above, and) - 4AB 1B 66A+B 6B+K 2AA 2A/AA (the above, and) - 3A 3AB 9A 44B bK 9GB 66K 6A+B 66B+K 6A+K 33B 22B ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Versus - Taki. D: Misconceptions/revelations: Her magic low things can be jumped. A lot of her stuff is unsafe. She's really ugly. It's a hard fight. 66B at range helps, although it can be rolled around. If your opponent goes really offensive, throw in the random 236B post block. As for the 4A+B_[A+B]_[A+B] max...you'll have to crouch guard then 9B. It's hard, but hopefully you'll guess right most of the time. As for 6A+B, stay down if it's on wake up and eat the damage ( :( ), or if you want to risk it, get up into a 9B. Learn the difference between 4A+B and 6A+B. 4A+B starts off blue, and can be released early. 6A+B starts off fiery, and so you *know* the timing of the impact - if you're standing, you know never to block (ie, attempt a jump move) if Taki starts charging a ground punch that starts off fiery. Some Takis like to step a lot, or use PO steps. 3K deals with that. Learn the punishes, as per usual. Oh - remember that a Taki in posession can't block. Taki's WS AAA, 22KA, and WR2 KA all give Sophie an A+B. Although they don't have to do the last hit. BBB gives you one also. If you have godly reactions, AA6B, ABB, BA6K, 3KK, 3KKK, and WR BBB all give you the free A+B auto-GI. Taki's 22_88AA should also give you a 4K (Sophie). Punishing list: 236B:B - 3AK 4A BAA BA6K 1A 3B 4B 4KK 9K 9KK FC A+K 33A 22AA 11A Stalker KA Wind Roll B PO 7K PO 9KA 236B:4 (the above, and) - AAB AA6B 4A 6A 44A 66B 1K 66K FC 2K 2A+B 22K Stalker A Stalker B Wind Roll 2 K 2A, AA (the above, and) - ABB 66A WSAAA BBB 6K FC 1A+B 33B (range issue) 22B ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Versus - Mitsurugi. x.x Misconceptions/revelations: Lots of his stuff is safe. His slower chains can be interrupted by AA. He has a very fast AA. He lost his pyjamas. Err. This one isn't fun. Of course, it all depends on what kind of a Mitsu you're up against. Most of his common moves are safe - so don't fall for the animations, since they all look unsafe. If you're unsure, go with the 2A/AA. A lot of Mitsu's play quite defensively, so throw out lows when you can. Use long range tools to try and catch your opponent off guard (Cassie, 22B+K and A+B; Sophie, 66B). There's little in particular you need to know. Just be on your toes, and find out what his lows look like. You can punish most of his lows, by the way. His 2KB can actually be interrupted (block the 2K) with a 2A or 236B if you can react that fast. I don't think Cassie's 236B will work though. If he does FC 1BB, you can jam in an AA to stop him. Or a 236B if you're confident. You can interrupt 11BAB with an AA, although 2A is better in case he shifts to mist to do that BBB thing. A note on stance transitions - some of Mitsu's moves change stance. While he cannot block in a stance (not immediately, anyway), he can duck and attack back. So some of these punishes only work if they go into a stance and do a slow move/try to block. If you're Sophitia, his 6AA can be auto-Gi'd with A+B. A little note about Mitsu. His damage potential is insane. I suggest turtling to an extent. His 22_88B now leads to a 50% combo. Be wary. His wake up game is horrible too. Getting up into a parry (1G) is an option here. 236B:B - 1A 4[A] (stance) 66BB bA 1K 2K 2KB FC 2K 44[B] (stance) FC 1A+B 4A+K 6A+K 33BB 22[A] (stance) 11A Rel B Mst BK 214[B] 236B:4 (the above, and) - Rel [A] (duck second or input fast to TC) Rel K Mst 4B Mst 6B Mst K AA/2A (the above, and) - 6AA B[B] (stance) 4B 6B2 6B4 44BB_*B 44[B] (stance) FC 1B 4KB (range) kB A+B B+K 22B+K ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Versus - Siegfried. :x Misconceptions/revelations: He can't really do much to punish you. There are two side stances now. Cassandra wants him. -Coming soon To be continued. ^^;; ---------------------------- Thanks to everyone on the Soul Calibur II forums for sharing their discoveries. This includes Mick, Shinjin, Pifactor, Ehow, Painful Fate, Trag, XCTU, Coke, Jin, 0, and many more - blame the memory and not the heart. I wouldn't have become one tenth the Cassie player I am were it not for them. www.soulcalibur.com/forums/index.php GO! Also, thankies to Ed (I forgot his name on GameFAQs...it's like EdTheDead or something) for being my ginnuea pig in past years. And of course...thanks to Namco for another relatively enjoyable instalment to this series. The Legend Will Never Die.