Kata #43 v1.0
Difficulty Advanced Kata
Focus Corner Escapes and Corner Guard
The intention of this kata is to help train the skills of defense in the corner, watching for one's opportunities to escape, and the skills of guarding the corner, making sure opponents who are trapped there must stay there or take the maximum amount of damage on their way out. This can be a relatively advanced concept and varies by character quite heavily. The character for this Kata is Nash, the understanding you gain from it will need to be adapted for each character individually depending on their backdash length, range and comboability of aerial heavy and medium attacks, and max range normals/whiff punish ability. If you alternate between V-Trigger I and II on your own character, even if not against Nash specifically, make sure to train with both options here.
NashBot is almost constantly in motion, but unlike many of our other bots, he does not have a lot of switchy/ambiguous actions. When in certain positions, he is likely to do easily discernable things. His long range on his sweep and crouching medium kick also help this process, and his jumps are not too hard to distinguish from his Moonsault attack. It is therefore not likely that your character has no options against Nash's movement or options, only that you have to be quick and think about your spacing relative to him as a character. Since he also lacks fully invincible moves/wakeup options, there should be minimal false positives relative to properly spaced lockdown moves of your own. NashBot's original purpose, of helping you train your punishes and 'auto-pilot', also tie in well here, as you can compare your reactions when doing Corner work to your more standard reactions when you are less stressed or focused on those things.
This Kata uses NashBot 1.0 with all actions turned on. Note that for this Kata, the input for NashBot's Action #5 should be reset to the default given on the NashBot 1.0 page until the player is comfortable enough with the Kata to know if they want to change it back to their custom input (assuming they had one). This Kata does not work as well if your NashBot was imperfect (by your own standards) so it may require some extra effort. We suggest using the new method for FirstFrame inputs (see the Glossary Page) for this bot as it greatly simplifies the edge-shifts at the ends of various inputs.
Many of the options for how best to approach certain goals will differ by character, but the options themselves should be universal. For example, all characters have a jumping heavy kick, all characters can backdash. The difference in the options will be based on the range or timing of those things, so please pay attention to this.
Settings for 1P side, Health - "Auto-Recover" (it can be useful to set this to "Normal" if your character fights mostly midscreen and you prefer not to have to use the "Restart Battle" option due to tending to forget - it should also be set to "Normal" for the 'Full Focus Test' mode), V-Gauge - "Normal", CA Gauge - "Normal".
Settings for 2P side, Health - "Auto-Recover" (when not in 'Full Focus Test' mode), V-Gauge - "Maximum Start", CA Gauge - "Maximum Start" (these settings are more useful if 1P side Health is set to "Normal", but also work when using the 'Restart Battle' option). NashBot's V-Trigger should be set to I - Sonic Move. Screen Positions should be set to place the player's character in either corner at the start. Alternating corners may be good.
Katas do not specifically have a point system, as they are intended to be a test of focus and endurance. Instead, this section will explain the why and how of the kata. Aims are still given below in a similar way to Bots and will be referred to as Aim A, Aim B, and so on when explaining.
- A - Escape the corner, with the intent to put Nash into it, without just going for a knockdown and jumping over him (knockdowns are ok if done on reaction/as whiff punish situations)
- B - Move to position to anti-air or air-to-air Nash's jump if he tries to escape the corner, and do so.
- C - Punish or whiff punish Nash's Overhead attack, with a full combo or command throw if possible.
- D - Refrain from responding after blocking Moonsault while doing everything else (that is, you should consider it a goal to NOT counterattack right after or try to punish, as the move is advantaged to Nash)
Situation One - The Great Escape
This Situation, like all others in this Kata, differs by character quite a lot, but there are a few themes. Characters with the ability to teleport or dash past the opponent have good options but can generally only use them in response to an opponent's attack. Whiff punishes and knockdowns are less likely to help, but since the opponent cannot maintain their exact spacing in this position if they press just back rather than crouching block, overhead attacks can sometimes catch them off guard. Beware of this missing due to your range. Jumping over an unprepared opponent or one who has just missed with a slow move from max range is the easiest way out, and 'faking' this by using a neutral or even a back jump can sometimes help if the opponent has moved out of the range of their easier anti-airs. However, there really is no specific method that must be used, so do it according to your character's strengths, as long as you do not just use a strike that will knock them down from neutral stance, as NashBot is not built to block enough to defend from these, and it would most likely give false positives. When Nash moves himself closer with one of his attacks, back throws and other punishes are good and should still be used. Focus on Aim A and Aim B in this phase. When Nash is cornered, he will sometimes dash forward and do a throw, which you can consider to be his 'successful corner escape' from this Situation if you failed to stop it. The difficulty of this stage of the Kata is in keeping yourself from overcommitting to anything and being ready to escape or anti-air, while still not giving up your position when Nash dashes up to attack..
Situation Two - Occupying Space
For this situation, focus on Aims A and C. While you generally still want to at least try to anti-air NashBot, he often jumps himself back into the corner anyway, so you can continue, or hits you and puts you into the corner, and you can work from Aim A again. Your focus therefore should be, occupying the space where you can whiff punish the opponent but they cannot land attacks easily. In this case we will be using a relatively slow move that cannot easily be hit by just 'flailing with buttons' without it being obvious. Your aim should be to react to Nash's overhead attack and hit him before he can recover, whether you blocked it or he missed. Positionally, you want to be at the spot where he will barely miss, with most characters, but a few benefit from being closer, or even further away and just making sure to block the attack standing.
Once you get used to this, you can try with some of Nash's other, faster moves such as his sweep or crouching medium kick.
Situation Three - Reinforcing The Mindset
For this Situation, focus on Aims A, B, and C all at once, with more of a focus on being ready for his dash and out of the range of his overhead attack. This one depends quite a lot more on your character's backdash, since many knockdown or pressure options that one could do, would also allow for good setups if you decided to guard instead. For some characters, their backdash alone is enough to get them entirely out of range of Nash's Overhead attack, but for others it can end up being not quite enough. Note that since Nash will move himself forward a bit with his standing Heavy Kick, you should now pay more attention, since being close enough that you need to block this move often means that you cannot whiff punish anything that follows it and have to either hope, or if the HK whiffed, you may need to either reposition slightly (dangerous due to his low attacks) or whiff punish that move instead, which can be harder overall. Since a lot of Nash's attacks move him forward or greatly extend a forward hurtbox, some characters have success with neutral jump Heavy Kick or Heavy Punch. A few can manage to do some good damage off a neutral jump Medium Kick as well, even from that range.
Situation Four - Holding Back
This Situation requires the focus to be on Aims A, C, and D. Aim B, the anti-air portion, can be temporarily dropped if needed. It is important to consider that the opponent's aims with their jumps or advantaged attacks, become different when they are cornered. They are more interested, often, in taking space or getting a little further away from the corner, safely, than they are in dealing damage. This means that the chance of them launching an attack just so that you defend and let them jump past you, increases. Some characters can anti-air even this type of jump, but in this case, the goal of this situation is simply to recognize this type of advantaged attack and prevent yourself from trying to counterattack it, since it is not safe to do so. You should also then try to anticipate where the opponent will try to go after it and if you have an appropriate response. Preferably one that manages to put them back into the corner or at least nearer to it than you are. This is a mental control check, since it is easy to get distracted by all of Nash's movement and start to respond too much. Keep a clear head and try to keep your defensive flow flexible.
Full Focus Test Mode
When you feel as if you have a good handle on each situation and all the ways you could deal with the opponent, change both Health Gauges to "Normal", but make sure that you go to the regular 'dummy' version of the Training Mode options and set Stun to 'Off' (this setting carries over to bots and CPU). The goal is now to defeat Nash using the Kata as normal, but without using any knockdown pressure and yet aiming to end each match with Nash in the corner when he is defeated. Unlike most Katas, max damage combos and such are encouraged, as long as you do not 'go for pressure' on Nash's wakeup and always back off to your corner guard position instead, even when he is not in the corner. If you manage this before he defeats you, consistently, pay attention to how it is happening, and consider if you could recreate most of the situations in other matchups, against opponents that have invincible wake-up options or different dash or jump timings. If so, then your focus is probably enough to handle this sort of situation in real matches. Repeat with familiar characters until you are satisfied with your performance.
This bot uses an unaltered NashBot 1.0, found here. Since no variations are needed, you can use that bot as is, but note that in order to make this Kata effective, you may need to tighten up some of the inputs, as the acceptable threshold for leniency in the Bot is not the same as for the Kata. See the sections above to decide which of the inputs to prioritize, and don't worry about it too much if it does not seem to be exactly as intended, as long as it serves the purposes described.
Still in progress.