Some months ago I was watching Street Fighter V at some random local they do at Vegas, EVO was its name, I believe. Nothing important, just a small tournament, you probably don’t know about it. The thing is that I was watching jumps here and there, all over the place, nonstop. The day after that, I played ranked on Tekken 7 with my Chloe and an Akuma player didn’t stop trying to jump at me. Not gonna lie, it took a few matches until I figured out how to beat jump-ins in a game where only three characters, maybe four with Noctis, have real aerial options. This made me think “hey, what about Pokkén? Jumps are something vital there”. So let’s talk about antiairing. Not about aerial game, about antiairing. As a Lucario main, I can’t rely on my aerial game. How can I possibly stop other characters that want to jump at me to get in? We’ll see about this.
How can we define antiairing in this game? Well, before defining that, we’d better talk about aerial game. In this game we have a designated button for jumping, which is B by default. Every character in this game has access to this option. Most characters have standard jumps, like Lucario, Blaziken, both Pikachus… It covers a decent horizontal range, they stay on the air for a reasonable amount of time, landing lag may vary between characters… Other characters like Croagunk and Scizor have a slightly faster jump. It doesn’t cover a lot of horizontal space and they stay on the air for less time. If you know about Smash, you should know about air acceleration and similar parameters. This game also has them but we have no information about them yet. And then, we have characters like Gardevoir, Gengar and Darkrai who have a floaty jump. They cover big horizontal distances and their vertical speed is overall slow, which makes them remain on the air for longer than other characters. Each of these kind of jumps have advantages and disadvantages but again, this article isn’t about aerial game, it’s about antiairing, so we won’t go in-depth about each character's jump.
Let’s think now about the generic options every character has in the air. Allow me here to make an analogy with games that have heavy, medium and light attacks. Most characters j.Y and j.X (divekick) are combo starters. If you land them, you usually get a full combo out of them. j.Y are usually fast attacks and even though we’d say they’re light attacks, they actually overpass the light armor every character gets on SB. We say “light” in the sense that they deal less damage when compared to “heavy” which would be j.X and they’re way faster than those. On the other hand, divekicks lead into bigger confirms that deal more stun and consequently, more damage. j.A is the third option every character has, and since those are what we call special moves in Pokkén, they can be anything. Projectiles, lungies, anti-antiair options, anything goes. This is where specialization begins, specially if we add inputs like j.R which lead into jump cancels, dashes, stances… that not every character has and directional inputs like j.3Y, j.8X, j.8A… which might give moves different properties. Aerial game really deserves a different article and it’s mostly an aggressive option, this article is about defense.
What are the properties of jumps, then? Why are they a great option in this game? The reason is simple. Jumps avoid Low attacks on frame 1. Lows are usually fast pokes that can be used to control the game and jumping over them might give you a big confirm if you’re able to read your opponent. Jumps also avoid Mid Low attacks on frame 5. Not on frame 1 but if we think about the fact that most useful moves in neutral are Mid Lows (mostly 5Y) and they’re at least i15, jumping over them isn’t a bad option neither. Once you’re in the air a big amount of moves will whiff, so even though jumping can be used to start offense it’s actually a decent defensive option if you’re not in a too bad situation like a -4. There are exceptions that deny jumps as a defensive option, of course (ask Aegislash players and their magic button called 4Y), but it’s an acceptable option if you don’t want to take a mixup.
Now here comes my favourite part of FGs by far: defense. Some of you might know about my style, defensive to the point of frustration for my opponent. My first article in PA was also about defense, check it if you haven’t and yes, this is some shameless self promotion: About grab crushing and grab teching
How can we possibly defend against jumps? The answer is variable but the option that works most of the times and that should be deemed as a standard is antiairing. And there’s a reason for this. Allow me to write the core definition of an antiair for this game. It’s mostly what I consider an antiair, we might differ on this one but you’ll get my point.
ANTIAIR: A move is considered an antiair if it grants High and/or Mid High invulnerability on its startup frames.
Remember what you just read about j.Y, j.X and j.A generic options for everyone? It’s not a coincidence that the majority of these moves are all High or Mid Highs. What’s going to happen if your opponent uses a generic aerial option and you antiair them? The answer is easy. You’re most likely to win that interaction. We’ll go into character specific interactions in a second but no matter who you are, the answer is that you’re probably going to win that interaction. If you don’t, there’s always a reason why. The important thing is that if every character has generic aerial options there must be a generic antiair option as well. The answer is yes, of course there is. Allow me to introduce the button we’re going to use for this. Ladies and lads, say hello to 8Y.
When the game description for this move of every single character says something like “useful against aerial opponents” you don’t really need to study the frame data or some random player writing on an article about it to figure out that this is your go-to antiair. Does 8Y grant us High and/or Mid High invulnerability on its startup? Yes, it does. Most characters get iframes on frame 5, there are a few ones that get it on frame 1, so everyone has a generic antiair move. There are good ones, there are bad ones, but their function is the same for all of them. There are some that have other specific uses. That’s what we’re going to study now. We’re going to talk about every character 8Y and see what can we extract from it. I’m also going to write about other antiair options, not so generic and not real antiairs because they don’t have these iframes we’ve talked about, but they work for several different reasons. I’m also going to give generic advice about what to do after the antiair lands. At this point, you can just skip to your own character section to learn more about it but I encourage you to read every character section so you can get an idea of how risky is trying aerial approaches against them.
DISCLAIMER: no need to say but those of you who know me also know that I’m a dedicated Lucario main with no secondaries (no real ones at least) and most of the information here comes from labbing, tons of experience with Lucario MUs and watching matches. There are chances of having wrong information in this article. Let me know anything that’s not true or not accurate.
8Y: i23, 2 PSP, 80 dmg, Mid High, 50% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5. Cancellable into aerial moves.
And yes, we start with what most people consider the worst antiair in the game. Reasons? Well, i23. Chances are that, if you use this move to antiair, you might go through your opponent’s attack with your iframes but 8Y is so slow that they might have time to land and block, leaving you in a mixup situation. If this move gets blocked, you have to do something, whether you like it or not. If you don’t and you try to land after hitting the opponent’s shield, you’re going to get launched. Fortunately for Blaziken, he has his air dash that allows him to escape from that uncomfortable situation and make the opponent second guess if they want to press a button there. A quick air dash downwards into j.Y is a fast option there that might stop the opponent’s answer, but the opponent might try to antiair you as well. Unfortunately for Blaziken, if he air dashes and crosses his opponent up and the opponent didn’t press anything you’re pretty much doomed, your opponent can do whatever they want with you. This 8Y also has a bad hitbox, completely diagonal and with not-so-good range, so it won’t antiair the opponent at weird angles. This move requires good reactions and proper spacing for it to be useful, which means you need good FG fundamentals. Not a move that everyone can use on a character that not everyone can use.
j.Y: Even when coming with the jump startup, this move is faster than 8Y, has more range and it puts you in the same situation as 8Y. It also destroys projectiles. This move has no iframes, though, but it’s a real air-to-air option better than Blaziken’s generic antiair. Cancellable into airdash and Brave Bird to smack the opponent down if you catch an aerial move with CA frames like Shadow Mewtwo Barrier. In general, there’s no reason not to use this instead of 8Y.
Blaze Kicks: fast, damaging, big horizontal hitbox, completely safe on block. Again, it lacks High and Mid High iframes but it gives you Low iframes on frame 15 which can be useful for hard reads such as Garchomp and Shadow Mewtwo Earthquake.
Sky Uppercut: also fast, very damaging, extremely big vertical hitbox and extremely unsafe on block. It also destroys projectiles on frame 1, so it’s a good answer against characters with lots of different projectiles and allows you to do something as cool as completely going through Suicune’s BA, to get those style points.
]X[, a.k.a. Bird Flop: a reference to Paul Phoenix (no, not deathfist) with a highly situational move which surprisingly has iframes on frame 5 against Highs and Mid Highs like a generic antiair. This is a tool to completely switch and stop all the momentum. The opponent gets launched to the skies, you fall to the ground. 8 PSP, so the chances if you land it are not just the momentum getting stopped but the phase getting shifted as well. In general, save this move for combo finishers. It gives tons of style points but it’s super risky.
What to do after 8Y
If it gets blocked, guess and guess right, as you read in the overview of the move. If you get an antiair with it, go for an airdash into j.Y in most situations, it’s going to be your most damaging option. After that, go for as many Blaze Kicks as you can for both damage and wall carry. If the opponent’s gonna fall, finish it with 6YX. The damage output overall is around 150, so around 25% HP of the opponent is gone, assuming a standard health bar of 600.
8Y: i19, 0/3 PSP, 40/40 dmg, Mid High, 20%/20% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5. Cancellable into aerial moves. Can be angled forwards with 9Y.
As Blaziken’s, this 8Y is kinda mediocre as well. Not so slow, but slow. The hitbox is time dependent, which means isn’t active through the entire animation. You might land it or not, depending on your timing. The horizontal range is also lackluster, even though it gets better with 9Y, but the problem relies on that vertical hitbox. Since the move is time dependent, the vertical hitbox isn’t an entire vertical column, but two points at specific heights. It’s not a reliable antiair, but it’s not that committal or dangerous to use due to the fact of it being aerial cancellable and the confusing aerial movement Pikachu has with his Thunder cancels. Still, it should be used sparingly. Comboing out of it also requires specific options due to the fact that either one or the two hits might land. Another not too easy move to use on a character that requires good execution (just frames) to be played.
6Y/6:Y, a.k.a. Wind God Fist/Electric Wind God Fist: as any Mishima, Pikachu has this excellent move which surprisingly has iframes against Highs on frame 5. Fast, plus on block if you land the just frame, good vertical hitbox. Keep in mind it doesn’t give invulnerability against Mid Highs, which is the height property of most aerial moves.
j.X: I’ve seen this move taking people out of the air multiple times so I’d like to list it as an air-to-air option due to the fact that Pikachu’s aerial game is decent and this move is more usable than it looks like and because it’s plus on block, as most of Pikachu’s DP moves. Can be angled to change its horizontal hitbox.
4A: not useful to stop jump-ins due to the fact it doesn’t have High or Mid High iframes (Lows on frame 5, though) and due to its slow startup (i27) but it might be useful to stop long range aerial moves such as Gardevoir Magical Leaf and Gengar Astonish because it’s a projectile.
8A: like any reversal, it has an extremely quick startup and CA frames, which makes it a phenomenal option if the opponent jumps in your face. And like any reversal, it’s extremely minus on block, so you know what happens if you fail. Gains a followup in SB which instantly shifts phases allowing Pikachu to play his great FP.
]Y[: another Mishima move, quite similar to the God Fists, 4 frames slower on startup, unsafe on block but it can be charged by holding the button for longer and it has an even bigger vertical hitbox than the God Fists. A lot of PSP and launches, so it can be a huge momentum shift if you land it. As any other held button, it has the problem of Pikachu losing access to his Y moves.
What to do after 8Y
On block, you have aerial mixups to make the opponent second guess if they want to take you out of the air. If you’re good at this you might be able to continue your offense after 8Y gets blocked. If you hit, you’re gonna have to lab this to study situations, but the most useful options here are the God Fists and 5YX combos. Since scaling is already at low levels, specially after the combo filler, you might want to finish it with 2Y into Iron Tail. There’s no wall carry potential out of an antiair with Pikachu. These combos deal around 100 damage on average, depending on the height of the antiair it can be from around 85 to 110 damage. Again, study the situations.
8Y: i15, 3 PSP, 40, High, 10% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5.
A phenomenal move in most MUs, a situational one in other ones. It’s a High so it can be low stanced. Some characters don’t even get hit by it on the ground due to how short they are, such as Pikas, Weavile and Croagunk. It’s a projectile so it gets deleted by Garchomp ij.]X[ or Croagunk j.Y and it can even be Mirror Coated by Suicune (I’ve seen this happening to me, it’s something you never expect to happen until it happens). Due to its good frame data it’s also possibly to use this as a poke or just randomly throwing it to prevent any jumps. Disjoint hitbox, very good range, even possible to combo out of a critical hit on the ground (this is about antiairs, so that doesn’t really matter in this case). Overall a great move. You just have to be aware of the fact that it’s a projectile. Don’t jump against Lucario, that’s not an option with most characters.
5X: slightly slower than 8Y at i19, smaller hitbox, Mid, chances of landing 5X1 for a very high damaging combo. Decent option but it doesn’t have good vertical range.
Bone Rush Uppercut: only usable at long ranges due to the lunge Lucario does when using Bone Rush. Extremely high vertical hitbox, good spacing is required to antiair with this one. Bone Rush itself is also a good antiair tool due to how active it is and to its fast startup. The active frames make up for the low vertical hitbox this move has.
8A: exactly the same as Pikachu 8A. Reversal, fast, CA frames, extremely minus, gains a followup in SB.
What to do after 8Y
When blocked, you’re neutral again so you can continue playing the same game you were playing before using this move. When you hit, Bone Rush loops. The more, the better. They also give you a lot of wall carry. The scaling is almost non existent. Landing most of the Bone Rush hits leads into 200+ damage combos, even reaching 250.
SECRET TIP FROM A LUCARIO MAIN: 8Y can be +1 against some characters if you space it properly.
8Y/8[Y]: i15/i27, 1 PSP each arrow, 60/80 dmg, High, 50% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5. 8[Y] has counter piercing properties.
Moves like 2X make 8Y be useful for Gardevoir. Since every Garde projectile can be CADCed but 2X, one of the most common options for players is jumping over 2X. This is when 8Y comes into play, hitting them out of the air and resetting the situation for the opponent having to approach Garde. Enormous horizontal range, good vertical range, projectile, counterpierces if charged, not punishable on block. Straightforward use. Antiair with it and that’s all, don’t use it for anything else. It has some pushback when hits on a shield but trajectory of the lowest arrow makes it very likely to whiff if the opponent isn’t in your face.
6X, a.k.a Demon Slayer: not only it’s the same move as Asuka’s f+2 in Tekken, it has the exact same properties or almost, because this one isn’t cancellable, sadly. Iframes on frame 1 against Highs, big vertical hitbox, very unsafe on block, less unsafe on block on SB but still unsafe, launches as antiair too. The horizontal range is very specific so you need to know your spacing when trying to use this move.
Stored Power: preferably with at least two Calm Mind stacks, it works not just as an antiair but as a way to stop the opponent from approaching. Can be CADCed. Lots of pushback.
Energy Ball (diffuse): extremely similar range to 8Y, height is Aerial instead of Mid High, so it won’t hit grounded opponents at all. Makes the opponent second guess if they want to jump over Energy Ball, another zoning tool that has some antiair potential.
Moonblast: mostly used for chip on phase shifts against those opponents who don’t know it can be CADCed or they don’t do it because the situation isn’t appropriate, the initial hitbox is bigger than it looks like and it can antiair. The real use of Moonblast as antiair is when Gardevoir is on SB. The arrows cover the entire screen and there’s no way to avoid it. Even though the shot itself is slow, the fact that it can come at any point makes it scary for the opponent to jump.
What to do after 8Y
Unless you get a W! after it, there’s nothing you can do, it causes an instant air tech. Getting your opponent off is already a good reward for landing it when playing as this character. Damage varies from 54 with an uncharged, one-arrow shot to 120 with a charged, four-arrows shot.
8Y: i15, 0/4 PSP, 10/20 dmg, Mid High, 0%/20% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5. Can be angled with 7Y and 9Y.
Similar to Pikachu 8Y but probably better, this move is useful not just as antiair but as a neutral move due to Libre’s excellent aerial options out of it. Good vertical range, short horizontal range that can be improved using 9Y for a different angle. Fast move, deals some pushback, pretty active, launches grounded opponents, overall a very useful move, maybe Libre’s best move. Learn how to use it and how to maximize what you get from landing it.
j.Y: a case of an air-to-air option due to how active this move is, how fast it is and the fact that Libre can play in the air as well as on the ground, so this will stop any opponent who is reckless enough to challenge Libre while she’s in the air. Specially dangerous when enhanced, due to j.R movement.
5X: 4 frames slower than 8Y but it has a deceptively big hitbox and iframes on frame 1 against Highs. Useful to stop jump-ins when 8Y doesn’t reach not even with 9Y.
6[A]: this is more of a warning sign than an actual antiair. Useful for those opponents who don’t stop jumping from the other side of the screen trying to set something up, like Empoleon j.Y or Darkrai j.Y. Cancellable, very slow, projectile.
Electroweb, a.k.a. NET: “When in doubt, net.” Famous words of an ex-Libre player. And he wasn’t wrong, specially if the opponent tries to jump towards you. The vertical range of this move is something worth defining as “insulting”. If you think it’s not gonna catch you, you’re not gonna like what’s going to happen next. Extremely dangerous when enhanced, due to the instant phase shift that gives Libre the scary attack buff and increases her momentum. +12 if you tech it, by the way!
What to do after 8Y
You can do pretty much whatever you want after 8Y gets blocked. You can continue your offense with j.Y or j.X, you can retreat with j.R, you can retreat and get in again with an enhanced j.R. Whatever you do, the opponent has to either take the mixup and guess or stay in shield. If you antiair with 8Y, wall carry is probably your best option. After 8Y, you have to use j.Y (maybe you’ll have to delay it) and then carry your opponent with another j.Y or moves like 5X or 2XX, this last one if you’re close to the wall. As a finisher, you might want to use 2Y into Electroweb for damage and a speed debuff for your opponent. Damage is usually something around 120~140.
8Y, a.k.a. Toxic: i19, 3/0 PSP, 20/30 dmg, Mid High, 0%/50% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5. Each hit deals a defense debuff for 3 seconds.
A short ranged antiair, with a small horizontal and vertical hitbox. Rather slow. It does its function as antiair but you have to realise its awesome strengths. First, it deals a defense debuff if it lands, but from its two strenghts this one is the less important one given that it only lasts for 3 or 6 seconds, depending on how many hits you land. The important trait of this move is the amount of active frames it has, allowing Sceptile to do some terrifying super plus oki setups. Those active frames allow the player to use 8Y not only on reaction but to prevent jumps as well. A good move when combined with Leech Seeds for those opponents who don’t want to keep their feet on their ground.
j.Y: another fast air-to-air option that some characters that like to be on the air have, like Sceptile to set up traps or after j.R cancels. This move is hard to use as an air-to-air option, though, its hitbox is rather small and you have to be precise with your aim, since you can aim with j.8Y, j.5Y or j.2Y,
4X: as slow as 8Y, but it’s 0 on block which doesn’t make it bad at all when we think about Sceptile’s awful frame data on block. This move is here because it has iframes on frame 5 against Highs and a medium size hitbox which becomes huge when Sceptile is on SB. It’s also a throw crush, which might make it even more useful against Machamp.
CA: because of the armor and because of the good vertical hitbox it has, the standard CA gets a spot here. Sceptile has access to an i27 CA, the fastest CA tier out of 5.
Leaf Storm: the hard read alternative of 8Y due to the fact that this is a grab. Be sure that if the opponents jumps in it’s because they want to attack and there’s no way you can grab them like that most of the times. The risk/reward ratio isn’t that bad if you get knocked down of the air instead of comboed, but if you fail the read and if the opponent has good reactions, you’ll get whiff punished for it. Keep in mind you’ll get crit launched. The trick here lies in this move being invincible against Highs and Mid Highs on frame 1 but only hitting Aerial. Another case of a hard move to use on a hard and technical character. The 2018 World champion's choice.
What to do after 8Y
Chances are that you’re gonna be plus after it if they block but not plus enough so be aware of characters with good i11 options. You might want to space yourself a bit after it but it’s your choice, since Sceptile can be played in very different and creative ways. If you land that 8Y and there’s no wall near, you can take the easy way and just Leaf Storm or if you have all the PSP available and can go for a slightly more damaging combo. 159 damage for raw Leaf Storm and 173 for a full combo, that’s what I’ve been able to get without being a Sceptile expert. At the wall, stack defense debuffs and go for a setup if the opponent can’t handle pressure.
8Y: i19, 3 PSP last hit, 10 dmg each hit, Mid, 10% scaling first hitbox/0% remaining ones. Invulnerability on frame 1. Invincible from frame 5 to 31. Can move while active.
One of the two antiairs that get iframes on frame 1. Gengar is a special case since he gets complete invulnerability after frame 5. The horizontal range is almost inexistent even when moving but the vertical range is something that can’t fail. No matter the height, if the opponent is in your face and in the air, they’re getting hit. This is just an example of Gengar being a completely different character than the rest of the cast due to all the iframes he has. He doesn’t antiair per se, he makes moves whiff. This 8Y is another example of this but you get the iframes against Highs and Mid Highs on the first frame, so it’s an actual antiair, it just has poor horizontal range.
6Y: good horizontal hitbox, relatively good vertical hitbox that can be compensated with 6YX even though it requires some more frames. It covers a good space, it’s cancellable, it’s special cancellable, it can transition into Shadow Stealth.
j.Y: as a character who also has access to iframes in the air, j.Y is a good air-to-air option. Fast, super active and special cancellable.
Astonish: with a big vertical hitbox on the first part of the attack and the ability to cancel it into Shadow Stealth, this can stop any opponent who is reckless enough to try attacking Gengar from the air.
Curse: it’s a low, yes, and it’s invincible after frame 9 but if you catch the landing of your opponent the hitstop might not let the opponent get out of the hitbox before the last hit, scoring a knockdown and an oki situation.
NOTE: Basically anything that has iframes can stop any move, no matter the height properties. Gengar’s defense is something completely different than any other character’s.
What to do after 8Y
It depends on which character you’re fighting, but this antiair is unsafe. For those who don’t have an i11 punish for it you can try backdashing and getting away from them. When 8Y hits, there’s barely anything you can do, since it causes an instant airtech but it can cause a W! if you are close enough. Damage is 45 if you land the five hits.
8Y: i15, 3 PSP, 60 dmg, High, 20% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5. Cancellable into specials.
This move is supposed to be an antiair but it doesn’t really work like that. The range is almost inexistent so the opponent has to be literally in your face for this move to work. It has other uses, specially because it’s +4 on block. Not a lot that can be said about this 8Y, Machamp has better options to take the opponent out of the air. I’ll just write something here. 8Y into Cross Chop, Karate Chop and Close Combat are blockstrings. For shield breaks and timeout purposes.
2Y: as far as I know, the only move in the game that’s a Low and a High at the same time. If you time it right, you should be able to antiair people with this move. i11, -4 on block, so it’s a button often used and you should know what to do if the opponent lands on the ground before you can use this move.
CA: a CA that’s a High, i27 which means fastest CA tier, and extremely active which means it’s a solid option to use. Be aware that you have to be really fast, either a quick low stance from the opponent will get them a full combo.
]X[: one of Machamp’s charge moves. This one is slow at i23, but it has real antiair properties with an amazing range and getting iframes on frame 1 against Highs and Mid Highs. It can be charged for more and more damage with three different levels of charge. Levels 1 and 2 are -16, so you have to be prepared to use this release move.
Scary Face: the other charge move. This one has a huge hitbox, both horizontally and vertically and it grants you CA frames from frame 1 to 26, which makes it a reliable option for those jump-ins or aerial attacks that don’t pierce. Keep in mind that it comes out on frame 35 so there are still some vulnerable frames before the attack startup, like a standard CA.
Heavy Slam: even though it’s a fast move, it can still be stopped by aerial attacks due to not having any iframes other than Lows on frame 1. The trajectory can be changed by pressing 7 or 9 instead of 8 depending on the angle your opponent is attacking from.
What to do after 8Y
When it gets blocked, you’re +4 as previously said, so a 2Y is always a good option out of it, only getting beaten by i27 CA. If 8Y lands, it causes an almost instant airtech. Only Karate Chop and Heavy Slam seem to work out of it, with Heavy Slam being more consistent and Karate Chop working for low antiairs. Damage is at least 100 when unenhanced.
8Y: i19, 0/3 PSP, 30/30 dmg, Mid, 0%/10% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5. Cancellable with supports.
A very decent 8Y, with good range in both dimensions. It launches grounded opponents and it’s safe on block. A very solid move for a lot of situations. One of Braixen’s support cancellable moves but since this one is safe you might not want to waste your support on this one. Landing only the second hit grants a super high launch which means you can get almost any combo you want out of it.
6Y: although this move has good horizontal range, the hitbox changes with time, so you have to be good at timing this or you might get hit a j.Y or a j.X and this move is also a Special Mid, which means moves like Decidueye 6XXX which can be antiaired normally go over it. Keep this move for very specific antiair situations.
4Y/4[Y]: pretty much the same as 8Y but with no iframes of any kind. It shoots a projectile. It can catch people jumping at midrange or even beyond there. It can be charged for a more damaging projectile.
8X: as 6Y, this move has good horizontal range but its vertical hitbox isn’t that good. Another move for specific aerial situations. Damaging and leads into a full combo on SD.
Flamethrower: an i19 special move and with the same invulnerability properties as 8Y, this one is the perfect choice for diagonal antiairs, specially when Braixen is on SD. It doesn’t give you a full combo but it’s a better choice when you need some more instant damage like a timeout or in some specific situations where the wall is too close and only 8Y won’t grant a W!.
What to do after 8Y
You might want to block after hitting a shield or using your support if you don’t need it, it depends on your resource management. As long as you don’t press anything else, you should be fine. I can’t give you something to do after you land it because you might want to use your support or not and there are a lot of different supports. I’ll just say that you get above average damage with this antiair.
8Y: i19, 2/2 PSP, 30/30 dmg, High, 0%/20% scaling. Invulnerabillity on frame 1. Cancellable with specials.
Infamous. This is probably the word that best describes this move. Everyone has gotten hit by this move over and over and over and spilled a lot of salt because of it. But the move is balanced. If Chandelure had a lackluster antiair, the MU would be far easier for all characters. One of the two frame 1 antiairs, has the biggest range of any antiair, it’s very active, it’s special cancellable and you can convert out of it. A move that truly makes approaching Chandelure by air with any character almost useless unless you have a big read. This move is for antiairing and just for antiairing, you don’t need anything else as long as the opponent isn’t on SB. Probably one of the best moves in the entire game. If we can say something bad about it… It has a blind spot right above Chandelure.
j.8Y/j.8[Y]: combining 8Y with this makes jumping against Chandelure a risky idea at any possible range. As a laser, it covers the entire screen and it can pierce when charged. It’s the perfect complement for those who try to avoid Hex by jumping at the proper range.
8X: even though it has a slow startup, it can catch some opponents jumping or doing a low aerial move like their own 8X. Grants a small combo out of it and it’s cancellable into j.R, making the opponent second guess if they want to antiair and risk whiffing it.
j.8X/j.8[X]: this works usually as a panic move to escape pressure but you can also catch aerial opponents with it. Take advantage of the fact that most people don’t CA through it.
Flame Burst: i23 and invincible against Highs on frame 1. But the most important trait this move has is that it removes synergy meter. Depending on the aerial moves your opponent is using you might to antiair with this one if you’re afraid of their SB. It can also be charged for more damage.
What to do after 8Y
It’s -12 but the fact that the move is special cancellable makes it a mixup for the opponent if they want to answer back. Get away or push the opponent back, that’s the most reasonable thing to do in most situations. After landing it you can go for most of your Y moves to combo and finish with a special like WoW or Smog to deal a debuff on the opponent and an oki situation. Most combos lead into 130 dmg, but 5YY reaches 150.
SECRET TIP: It’s hard to land it but this 8Y can deal three hits instead of two. It adds some more damage and no scaling.
8Y: i15, 3 PSP, 60 dmg, Mid, 20% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5. Cancellable into specials. Critical hit launcher.
A very good antiair move. Fast, safe, more than decent range, even though the horizontal hitbox is kinda short. With that being said we’ve also seen that move hit right above Suicune so it definitely has a good range. You can also get a small combo out a grounded opponent and the Hydro Pump cancel makes it easier to stay safe if you don’t hit confirm it. Suicune does have some other options to antiair but they’re not as reliable as 8Y.
5X/6X, a.k.a. Waterfall: a very useful move to keep the opponent away, cancellable and of course, it works as antiair. It’s slower than 8Y, i23 to be exact, and the horizontal range isn’t good but the vertical hitbox is pretty good. It’s quite similar to 8Y when it comes to hitbox properties but 5X has more active frames.
CA Y: Suicune’s version of a reversal. Slower than the usual ones and with a bigger gap between the CA frames and the startup of the move. Nothing new to say about it that can’t be said about usual reversals.
Icy Wind: specially when charged it covers a big vertical space on screen and advances towards the opponent. In a Sceptile’s 8Y-ish way, it can work as a preventive antiair because it’s extremely slow to be used on reaction. Useful as a trap against too happy CADC opponents.
Aurora Beam (upwards): only Aerial move, won’t hit grounded opponents, but that’s not the use we’re gonna give to this move. It’s slightly slower than the standard 8Y but it gives Suicune iframes on frame 1 against Highs and Mid Highs, which also makes it highly efficient against aerial approaches.
What to do after 8Y
If you committed to anything that’s not Hydro Pump, you’re going to get punished for it. If you committed to Hydro Pump, cancel so they don’t get the biggest launcher they can. If you didn’t commit, you did the right thing. Grounded 8Y isn’t a hit confirmable move as far as I know. If you take somebody out of the air with it your best choice is going for 5Y loops into 8A. Other loops are valid as well but you should be able to get at least 150 damage confirms even if you have no PSP left.
8Y: i19, 0/3 PSP, 20/20 dmg, Mid High, 0%/30% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5. Cancellable into specials.
An 8Y similar in several ways to Blaziken’s 8Y. It’s slow, it has a quite similar range, it has to be cancelled if you don’t want to get punished if you hit a shield but it has a property Blaziken 8Y doesn’t have and it’s that it launches grounded opponents. It can’t be angled so you need a particular spacing for it to work as antiair and not whiff. With that being said, its hitbox looks bigger than Blaziken’s so it’s overall a better antiair but it could be better, definitely.
5X/5[X]: same speed as 8Y, doesn’t have Mid High iframes but it has High iframes on frame 1, it can be charged and it has a similar hitbox to 8Y. It’s safe on block and special cancellable and it pierces when charged. Depending on the height of the aerial options the opponent uses, you might want to use this for instant invulnerability or 8Y.
8X: with variants in 7X and 9X to get more horizontal range, this move has a decent vertical hitbox as well. It has iframes on frame 1 against Lows and it’s a throw crush. The two important things about this move is that it causes a bounce when hitting an aerial opponent and it has 0% scaling. It’s i27, so you better be fast if you try to antiair with it.
2X, a.k.a. SHWAA: yes, a low that works as an antiair. Weavile’s hurtbox is so low when using this move that it usually hits the opponent before they can hit you, specially because it has iframes on frame 1 against Highs and Mid Highs. So yes, it works as an antiair.
Knock Off: not your run-of-the-mill antiair but it can be useful. Slow at i23 but it draws a big arc above Weavile which might stop any attempt of jumping in from the opponent. Don’t forget that this move removes some synergy meter. Cancellable and unsafe, so use with caution.
What to do after 8Y
Usually, after this move gets blocked you probably want to get out of the air as soon as possible and Icicle Crash will help you to create some space for that, plus jump cancels. After this move hits you have three common options which are 6Y for wall carry, Icicle Crash into 3B for longer combos and Icicle Crash into 1B for reverse wall carry or damage. The approximate damage outcomes for these three routes are around 110, 120 and 140 respectively.
8Y: i15, 2 PSP, 20 dmg, High, 0% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5. Cancellable into aerials. Can be angled forwards with 9Y.
One of the masters of aerial movement in this game, Charizard, has a pretty good antiair. It’s fast, it covers a lot of space like most of his moveset and you can cancel into aerial moves but it doesn’t transition automatically into Flying Stance. Even though overall you don’t want your opponent to be in your face as this character and it’s better to keep them at midrange where you can reach them but they can’t, this is a decent “get off me” option when used good if the opponent tries to jump in at you. And if you ever wondered why does the 8Y into BA confirm deal so much damage, 8Y has no scaling. Good to know.
j.6Y: not just a good air-to-air move but also great to hit grounded opponents. At i15 and with the fact that removes projectiles, it can be considered a poke that can take down aerial opponents. It’s a High, though, which is kind of a drawback against opponents with low stances.
5X/5[X]: astoundingly big hitbox that stops any non armored aerial approach. Slow at i23, cancellable into Flying Stance, disjointed hitbox (not sure about this but it looks that way), can be used as an antiair if you have a big read on a jump.
6X/6[X]: another move with a huge hitbox but not as big as 5X. Slightly slower at i27 but can transition into Flying Stance with 6[X] making it safe, another disjoint hitbox move (again, don’t quote me on this).
CA: quiet slow at i35 but the range in both dimensions is pretty decent. Due to how slow it is you might get caught on vulnerable frames so it's more of a read than a reaction. Don't overuse it.
SB Flamethrower: this move's vertical hitbox becomes a big burst of fire that reaches very high when Charizard is on SB. This can be used as an antiair if you don't have your Burst Attack available anymore or if you've been sealed. Another example of a slow move, at i31, so you might still want to use the faster ones.
Seismic Toss: remember what happens with Electroweb from Libre? Well, this is exactly the same but even more damaging. Catches aerial opponents who aren’t too fast with their attack inputs and it deals no PSP, so it can trap the opponent into a vortex.
Flare Blitz (direct): this is just a hard read tool. Don’t use it if you’re not sure you’re gonna land it or else you’ll get punished for it besides the recoil it deals. Since it’s a special move it should win most aerial clashes, so that’s in your advantage if you choose to use this as an air-to-air option.
Air Slash: I almost forgot about this one, but Flying Stance has a projectile with a huge range that catches opponents who are in the air and basically comboes into itself if you keep holding Y between attacks.
What to do after 8Y
Press R to go into Flying Stance and get out of there. Find the opponent’s blind spot and maneuver around there so you don’t have to worried about getting hit if they try anything without moving. If you hit with it, your easiest option is a j.Y into Flare Blitz. Depending on height you might want to go for j.6Y and go for a slightly more damaging route.
8Y: i11, 3 PSP, 50 dmg, High, 20% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5. Throw crush.
This is probably the most extreme antiair we have in this game. Let’s analyze why. It’s i11, which means it’s the fastest antiair in the game but it’s also -16, which means it’s unacceptably unsafe. It has awful range in both dimensions, similarly to Machamp 8Y, but it launches the opponent to the skies. It’s supposed to be an antiair but you get the most out of it as a punisher because let’s not forget: we’re talking about an i11 launcher. A frame 11 that gives you a big damaging combo without a wall (the combo is 8Y -> ]X[ for 162 dmg). For a -12 punish. I’ll just write that.
j.Y: as an air-to-air option is extremely solid due to how fast it is and specially because it can lead into j.X, which causes a bounce giving Garchomp a full combo out of it. With his good aerial options, this character is in the air more often than it looks he should be but the ]X[ threat is always there so you might have to respect his jumps and not challenging them with your own jumps.
]X[: this is the real antiair. Iframes on frame 1 against Highs and Mid Highs, extremely damaging, only i15. You lose access to Garchomp X moves which aren’t that useful when compared to moves that transition into Running Stance, for example. If Garchomp is shielding be sure that this move is ready to come out and jumping in isn’t an option unless you have some long lasting armor move or a lot of iframes.
Running Stance X: slower than all the other options but not as committal as them, big hitbox and plus on block, requires some execution to do it instantly. It also causes a bounce when hitting an aerial opponent. A lot of similarities with Dragunov’s WR+2 in Tekken, even though Garchomp is based on Bryan.
What to do after 8Y
Nothing. In both cases. If they block it, you get punished. If you land it, there’s no followup because the opponent gets launched far away. Pay attention at the wall, where you can actually get something out of it, whether it’s from a hard read or a punish.
8Y: i15, 2 PSP last hit, 10/10/10/30 dmg, High, 10% scaling on last hit. Invulnerability on frame 5. Cancellable into jumps.
A staple in Mewtwo’s arsenal. This character can’t be played without this move, which is extremely versatile. Fast, decent range in both dimensions, safe and a lot of pushback on shield, leads into very damaging conversions, his main High move in High/Low mixups, besides iAD j.Y. Simple execution is required to do antiair combos out of this move, good execution is required to get big damage from them due to just frames in two of his key moves in combos, it truly rewards those who practice.
j.Y: the usual air-to-air option in a character with a good aerial game. Fast, active and safe. Leads to a similar combo that antiair 8Y gives. Once you learn a route, you already know the other one.
6X: your go-to whiff punisher is also an antiair tool due to the horizontal lunge Mewtwo does and the big vertical hitbox this move has. No iframes whatsoever and -16 on block, so be careful when using it.
Barrier: defensive move that gives you CA frames on frame 5 so you can be protected from attacks and CA if timed properly. Use the followup you might need, depending on if you can get a crit, you want meter or you want a full combo. Confusion is i11, while Drain Punch and Telekinesis are i15.
Psystrike: red armored option that comes out on frame 15, even though it has no hitstun until the last frames so the opponent might be able to shield if you’re not fast enough. It gets total hitstun when Mewtwo is on SB.
What to do after 8Y
On block there’s not much you can do. The opponent gets pushed back so far that the frame disadvantage is barely real. Once you antiair the opponent with 8Y you have to go immediately for j.Y and after that, the more just frames you can fit in the combo, the better. More damage and more synergy. Specially 2X:X for filler and 6Y:X as a finisher. The average combo damage is around 170 but reaching 200 is completely doable.
8YY/8Y[Y]: i15, 4/12 PSP, 120/140 dmg, High, 20% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5.
An example of a move that it should be used exclusively to take opponents out of the air or comboing. It’s a High, so is the followup, charged or uncharged. It has a really good vertical hitbox and some decent horizontal range. It’s mandatory to use the followup after antiairing, otherwise an instant airtech happens. Fast move, you can go for a charged followup and cause a phase shift or you can go for a combo spending some HP that deals a big amount of damage. It’s a specific move for antiairing and nothing else.
6Y: an i15 safe Mid launcher with a huge vertical hitbox so in some ways it might be better than 8Y if we ignore the fact that it doesn’t have any iframe properties. Since it can be used on neutral as a solid option, it can antiair moves like 8X or random jumps.
Psywave Vortex: pretty slow but it has a big vertical hitbox, it pretty much creates a barrier of CA frames around Shadow Mewtwo that can only be surpassed in a few ways like aerial grabs such as Leaf Storm or Seismic Toss. It can work as an antiair but it’s way too situational and it’s HP consuming. Think twice before using it for this purpose.
Reflect: an air-to-air armored option with followups. It doesn’t have a hitbox but it allows you go through an opponent move and respond with an extremely damaging move like Flamethrower or Earthquake. Thunder is also a followup but it’s quite slow.
Psystrike: same as Mewtwo, a red armored i15 option but this one has hitstun from the moment it’s active, not just on the last frames like Mewtwo’s.
Teleport: this is a similar case to the Gengar one. You get iframes instantly, you recover, you whiff punish their aerial attempt. It doesn’t have a lot of recovery frames when you’re vulnerable, so it’s an actual option to avoid aerial mixups. Teleporting back is also an option but it requires more health. It also helps creating more space to avoid aerial mixups.
What to do after 8Y
Most of the times you’ll get automatically punished by characters who have an i11 move. If you don’t, go for the 8YY followup to put yourself at a very plus situation or to beat their option as long as it doesn’t beat Highs. When you land 8Y as an antiair you get a huge combo out of it thanks to 6Y into Miracle Eye. 200+ damage is guaranteed with healthless routes or HP consuming ones.
8Y: i23, 0/0/3 PSP, 20/20/60 dmg, High/Aerial/Aerial, 20%/0%/0% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5.
A slow antiair with one grounded hit, the other two only hitting the opponent while they’re in the air. Its vertical hitbox is pretty decent but the horizontal one isn’t enough for it to be a working antiair, specially being i23 and getting iframes on frame 5. This move can be charged and it becomes a completely different move that doesn’t behave like an antiair, even though it keeps the iframe properties. It becomes a long range move that hits grounded and aerial opponents but it’s too slow to be used as an antiair. Most of the good options to beat down aerial opponents are available on Bad Dreams Rising mode.
j.Y: a good air-to-air move specially in standard mode because it guarantees Dark Void if the opponent goes through the thorns. It’s fast enough to beat aerial approaches.
4X and 2X rifts: both being i23, one of them has horizontal range and the other one has vertical range, which covers basically any aerial option the opponent can do unless it’s a crossup. Most useful on BDR due to the fact that they’re instant attacks instead of Nasty Plot setups. The amount of active frames they have make trying to CA almost useless thanks to moves like Nightmare.
Shadow Claw: similar in functionality to j.Y. Slower and doesn’t transition into BDR but it deals a lot of damage with the followups, pushes the opponent far away and deletes some projectiles.
Nightmare: only available in BDR, it’s a big advancing move in the air that can be cancelled into aerials and it gives iframes on frame 5 against everything. Be careful because it’s i27 so the opponent might be able to land and shield before you hit them if you’re don’t react fast enough.
What to do after 8Y
If you’re not in BDR mode, don’t try to fish for a Nasty Plot because you’re -8 after this move gets blocked, so i11 will stop your move before you get CA frames. Your best option here is probably shielding. When you land this move it’s probably because you’re not on BDR mode so your best option is probably entering BDR. Throw a j.Y and go for Dark Void. If you want damage instead, 6Y just frames and Shadow Claw will grant you a lot. Dark Void finishers usually deal 100+ damage, around 110~120, while damage wise routes can reach 200 easily, I’ve been able to get 220.
8Y: i15, 0/0/3 PSP, 10/10/40 dmg, Mid, 0%/0%/30% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5.
Scizor’s antiair game is pretty weak. He doesn’t have a lot of reliable options that work for this purpose and even though his generic antiair is useful, the reward isn’t big at all. I’ve also heard from Scizor mains that he has problems with aerial approaches so it must be true. His 8Y has some decent range, bigger than it looks like, it’s fast enough to do its work and that’s all. Nothing special about it.
U-Turn: Scizor’s reversal is useful to take opponents out of the air because of its relatively big range, CA properties and Swords Dance extension if necessary. Like 8Y, it’s i15. It’s not as negative as other reversal but you still eat a big punish if you fail so make sure you’re gonna land it before using it.
Bug Bite: Even though it requires holding a button losing access to some of Scizor’s useful options like Bullet Punch and Metal Claw you might catch somebody who’s just trying to approach you through air without committing to any attack. As Charizard’s Seismic Toss, it catches aerial opponents with no big problems but it has a disadvantage. Scizor is considered grounded when he uses this move so any divekick will break bug bite and you’ll eat a full crit combo. Use this move’s more than decent range to space yourself so this doesn’t happen to you, don’t use it in your opponent’s face.
Bullet Punch: with a theoretically full screen horizontal range, this move is probably your best antiair option if you have good spacing. Keep in mind that even though you have three different ranges for this move the horizontal hitbox is small and the vertical hitbox doesn’t reach too high. This move also has variable speeds depending on the range you pick, being i11, i19 or i27. If you have swords up you can extend this move into a full combo.
What to do after 8Y
-8 for you, so you might want to hold shield or backdash to create some space and start again with Scizor’s movement pressure. And if you land it but there’s not a wall behind the opponent the airtech won’t give you a good oki most of the times, so you’re back to neutral in most situations. 54 damage is better than nothing.
8Y: i19, 0/0/3 PSP, 10/10/20 dmg, High, 0%/0%/20% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5. Cancellable into jumps.
I’m going to say it right now. Do not jump against this character and respect this character’s jump. Even though his 8Y is quite slow, it has very good range and it can be charged for more damage but we’re missing the point. His 8Y is jump cancellable and if you know a bit about how does Croagunk work you can already tell that getting hit by this is terrifying. I don’t need to write about it, just watch this clip.
I’ll just say that the scaling in that clip is at 70% through the entire combo, not counting the damage ceiling at 240. And that clip doesn’t even have RNG options which can make your situation even worse. You might think “but it’s frame 19, it’s slow, they won’t catch me”. Fair. Let me write something else.
6[Y]: specifically 6[Y] and not 6Y due to the angle the projectile does. i19 but technically slower due to the projectile's speed. The effect is the same, no matter if it's a rock or a bomb. Nothing to get from it, it causes instant airtech when landing it.
j.9Y: an instant upper air swimming will hit you on frame 15 making you stay in the air while Croagunk can do everything he wants with you. If you think it can’t get worse than the clip you just watched keep in mind that air swimming has no scaling at all.
j.X: the air roll is a different kind of divekick. It’s definitely a solid air-to-air option given that it’s an X move instead of a Y like most air-to-air moves listed here so this means it beats them. And of course this can be cancelled into aerial options so it leads to the same result the previous options do.
]X[, a.k.a. Shoryuken: a solid version for an antiair due to the fact that it grants the High and Mid High invulnerability on frame 1 and complete invulnerability if Croagunk has two debuffs which makes you question if you want to oki him. Tremendous vertical hitbox that will hit you out of the air if they have it ready combined with the iframes. Like 8Y, it’s i19.
Poison Jab: not having any kind of antiair properties I’d like to list this move here because it has a surpisingly big vertical hitbox and the fact that it has armor ignoring any hit or grab that can come from the skies. Unfavorable RNG might happen so if you want safe bets pick another option.
Thief: with High and Mid High invulnerability on frame 5 and a long horizontal range and even though it's a Low, this move works pretty good when it comes to antiairing purposes, specially if the opponent has buffs, which increases the range of this move. The problem about it being a Low is that if you are too slow and the opponent jumps again after landing this move is going to whiff. It looks like the opponent should get hit but they don't. Go to the lab and check the timing by yourself.
Gunk Shot: anything can happen. Welcome to the RNG world. Jump at your own risk if the Croagunk player likes to use this move. You’ve been warned.
Foul Play: it’s usable but not reliable due to the weird trajectory Croagunk does which is the same as his jump but slower and because the opponent might just want to approach you and not attack. If that happens, the whiff punish is guaranteed. Unless the opponent is another Croagunk. Better used with bomb setups, even for antiairs.
What to do after 8Y
You probably want to jump back after this move gets blocked. Create space, go to the air which is where this character really shines and throw stuff to the opponent or just get away safely with your fast jump. Whenever this move lands on an aerial opponent you know what you can do, no matter the PSP. Loops. With all 12 PSP and good execution you can deal 250+ damage, the most damaging antiair combo without wall or resources in the game.
8Y: i19, 2/0/2 PSP, 40/30/30 dmg, Aerial/High/High, 20%/0%/20% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5.
An antiair that is both, a physical hit and a projectile. The projectile is listed first in the list of properties, in case it’s not too clear and as you can read it’s Aerial, while the hits are both High, so this move dies to a low stance but you’re not supposed to use it in neutral. Being a projectile means that the horizontal range is technically full screen but it moves relatively slow. The hits themselves catch opponents at almost any height, maybe not at the highest one out of a jump, and the horizontal range is nothing special, that’s what the projectile is for. If all the hits land it deals above average damage for an antiair. As a counterpart, the move has little to no combo potential, not even at the wall.
j.Y: the barrage of projectiles can easily take an opponent out of the air at mid or long range which isn’t too uncommon because of the frame trap j.Y can be at long range when combined with Aqua Jet and Ice Beam.
4X: a backswing move which also gives iframes against Highs and Mid Highs on frame 9 so it’s kind of a slower antiair on iframes and impact (i27). Big hitbox overall, can take opponents out of the air if you read their jump in time.
8X: good vertical hitbox, avoids Lows on frame 13 which can be useful against previously mentioned moves like Earthquake or the own Empoleon’s j.X. Usable, but there are better options.
Steel Wing: probably one of the most inconsistent moves we’ve seen in this game, who here can say they haven’t seen this move whiffing against an opponent who is in the air even though you can clearly see the move clipping through the opponent’s hurtbox? I include it in this list because even with that, it can work because of the hard knockdown this move gives, shifting completely the momentum in your favor, leaving the opponent exposed to Empoleon’s brutal chip okis.
Drill Peck: with not a lot of horizontal range but with a big vertical hitbox this is an i11 move that can be used as antiair pretty easily if you time it properly to make up for its lack of iframes, other than for Lows. It goes into Aqua Jet transitional moves so you can get something more out of it besides the antiair.
What to do after 8Y
It depends. When blocked, this move’s frame data is variable, from -8 to -20. If you don’t get punished for it, you probably want to shield after it. But if you land it, depending on the height you might want to go for Drill Peck if it reaches. You should go to the lab if you’re not sure about the height and study it by yourself. It reaches 129 damage and a bit more if you’re able to land the followups.
8Y: i19, 0/3 PSP, 30/30 dmg, Mid/Mid High, 0%/20% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5. Cancellable into Soaring Stance.
A two-hit antiair that can be cancelled into Soaring Stance by pressing R which leads into comboing when it hits. Its range is more than decent in both dimensions but it’s slightly slow. Depending on which angle you hit your opponent from you might cross under them. Thanks to the SS cancels this antiair might have potentially the best wall carry in the game so use that to your advantage and even reverse wall carry with Acrobatics. A pretty good move overall.
4Y: the amount of active frames this move has makes that even when used at any moment like right after the opponent’s jump startup it will catch any aerial approach. With a big horizontal hitbox and some vertical range, its only drawback might be the slow startup, at i27. If it catches the opponent on the ground instead of the air and they shield you get a +4 so it’s not even a bad situation if you don’t catch them jumping.
j.Y: the infamous rising j.Y works for everything, antiairing included. Extremely fast as it’s an i9 aerial, even with the jump startup frames it’s faster than any other antiair option, maybe just surpassed by Fury Attack or Frenzy Plant.
Fury Attack: incredibly active, i15, huge horizontal range, decent vertical range, great combo potential. Decidueye’s version of Bone Rush with the addition that it can be cancelled into Soaring Stance. A usable move when the opponent is in the air, just make sure you don’t cross under them.
Frenzy Plant: jump-ins that don’t have an aerial grab mixup on them can be beaten easily with this move. Having a shorter range than other moves that can be used as an antiair except on its lower part, Decidueye’s reversal can be used to stop those who just want to be in your face by jumping. Specially usable against crossups due to that sweetspot behind Decidueye with deals twice damage and instantly phase shifts.
Soaring Stance X: this suicide divekick might be usable with antiairing purpose if you’re in SS and the opponent tries to knock you down by using an aerial option. Not the smartest option they can do, but it can work in some specific situations. Other than that, don’t use it as a generic antiair.
What to do after 8Y
If this move gets blocked you either have to cancel into SS or you’ll eat a i15 punish. Cross your opponent up and punish if they press them, do a backdash cancel to get some iframes or continue your offense after it. If you land it you’re also forced to cancel into SS if you want to continue the combo, either with SS Y or j.Y. I haven’t been able to find all the possible combo routes after those but 170 damage can be reached without a wall. When a wall is around you try to sneak in Acrobatics as soon as you can to get a W! and go for bigger damage.
8Y: i15, 0/0/3 PSP, 20/20/30 dmg, Mid High, 0%/0%/30% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5. Transitions into Shield Form.
A completely different kind of antiair due to Aegislash reasons. First, it’s a CA but it doesn’t have armor until the move is active. After that it transitions into Shield Form and then he gets the armor frames associated to such stance. Second, it benefits from Aegislash enhance mechanic. When enhanced, this move deals five hits instead of three and 25 chip damage if it’s blocked. Third, it’s a -16 move but due to the fact that it transitions into Shield Form it can’t be punished with attacks that don’t have piercing properties so a standard grab is guaranteed for every character in the game. With all this being said, the move has a rather big hitbox with all these white animation lines being part of it. Fast at i15, it does its work against aerial attacks, beating them with CA properties but it loses to aerial grabs. Good option if it wasn’t because of that other move all Aegislash players use nonstop.
4Y: just do it. i11, Mid, safe when enhanced and for this specific case, it’s absurdly giant hitbox and the fact that it doesn’t cause airtechs, giving Aegislash a full combo, makes this move your go-to antiair and being honest, your go-to everything if you’re enhanced. So yeah, just do it.
j.Y: for midrange jumping opponents where 4Y doesn’t reach this is another phenomenal option Aegislash has in his arsenal. Hit confirmable into j.YY giving you a full combo out of it but be sure you can hit confirm it, otherwise this move is extremely minus but if you use it at the right range this won’t really matter too much.
Enhanced 4X: a counterpiercing full screen projectile that reduces your buff duration which would be useful for zoning if it wasn’t because of this. For those who might fear a raw 6X in their face or a long ranged 5X while they try to approach the sword and might want to try jumping this is your best option to stop them if you don’t have problems getting the self attack buff Aegislash has.
Shield Form 4Y: and here’s the specific option you have to use when trying to bait jumps out of Iron Head cancels. Despite its hitbox making it look like an Aerial, it’s actually a Mid High but you should use this move out of baits, fullscreen if you’re in Shield Form and to continue some particular combos.
Gyro Ball: gorilla them out of the air with this movable aerial move which can reach 180 dmg against Togekiss users if you also have the attack buff. More of a hard read tool than anything because it doesn’t pierce and all the aerial options Aegislash has are susceptible to CA.
What to do after 8Y
Nothing. Eat the punish. And if it lands, nothing. Take your attack buff, set up Sacred Sword mist or continue the wall combo if you get it. Landing all the hits will net you 63 damage when unenhanced or 81 when enhanced (not attack buff) and 99 if it’s the attack buff.
8Y: i19, 0/3 PSP, 30/40 dmg, Mid High/Mid, 0%/30% scaling. Invulnerability on frame 5. Cancellable into specials. Can transition into Shell Fortress Stance.
Big boy has a big antiair with that second hit big hitbox. As most of his toolset, it’s slow but it pays off by being a good utility move thanks to the special and SFS cancels. The first hit isn’t as reliable as the second one, so it should be considered slower than it actually is. Despite the animation it doesn’t crush Lows on its startup but it does it with Lows and Mid Lows in the middle of the animation.
6X: not counting the full screen lasers and other similar moves, this is probably the move with the biggest hitbox in this game and because of this it can work as an antiair as well, or it would if it wasn’t because it’s i31. It launches any opponent it touches, making it also the most damaging launcher in the game if we ignore Machamp’s ]X[, dealing 100 dmg if the three hits connect. Use it when you’re far away from the opponent.
CA: ranking second to last on the CA speed list at i35, this CA has a huge diagonal advancing hitbox that can easily take anyone out of the air. With this being written, it’s not a disjoint hitbox so you can also be taken out of the air by a well timed attack.
Dragon Pulse: an almost full screen projectile that covers any height besides some specifically high options like Weavile’s double Icicle Crash in SB or Charizard transitioning into Flying Stance after landing a Seismic Toss. Usable move when the opponent tries to avoid Water Guns by jumping.
Water Spout: despite having a deceptive horizontal hitbox which is not as big as it looks like, it’s vertical hitbox and its counterpiercing properties make it dangerous to jump against Blastoise when being at a specific range. Again, as most of his moveset, it’s extremely slow at i39.
Bubble: an eternally lingering projectile which is basically a launcher. Use it to limit the opponent’s movement options including the aerial ones by using it at different heights.
Hydro Pump: a laser move that can be charged. Like 8Y, it’s i19 and it gives High and Mid High invulnerability on frame 5 so it can be considered as another version of a generic antiair. It’s an Aerial so it won’t hit opponents who are in the ground and it causes instant airtech, contrary to 8Y.
Shell Fortress Stance X: at i9, this is Blastoise’s fastest move. He launches himself through the air in a 45 degrees angle. Not a real reversal since it comes from SFS and it doesn’t have any kind of invulnerability. Situational use but due to its high hitbox I’d include it as an antiair in the appropriate conditions.
What to do after 8Y
At -8, you’re in a mixup situation if the opponent blocks 8Y but you have several options out of your specials and the SFS cancel. You’ll need some knowledge on what does the opponent like to do in this situation. When you land it, most routes following with 2Y or SFS X will grant you around 160 damage, and the ones with Rapid Spin usually deal 130~140 damage due to maximum scaling.
With this, we’ve covered every character generic antiair and some specific options for each of them. Some have better options to take the opponent out of the air, some have not that many options but everyone has an 8Y. Two more things that I’d say they’re important to remember, specially the first one.
-8Y are Y moves, which means they’re weak, which means they don’t surpass the armor opponents in SB get. Keep this always in mind, you might want to use some other of your antiair options.
-As antiairs, when hitting somebody out of the air there’s an inherent 10% scaling for it. In specific situations this might change the optimal antiair routes. Study your basic route and make the required conversions depending on height, walls, scaling, timeout purposes...
This is it for now. It’s primarily focused on people who are new to this game and FGs in general, even though not every FG has necessarily a strong aerial component, but I assume you get the general idea. If you’re a new player, I hope this gave you some clues about what to do if your opponent is in the air. If you’re not that new, maybe you found something you didn’t know about some particular character. Again, since I’m a solo main player the information on characters that aren’t Lucario might be wrong. If so, please feel free to provide feedback on the comments and I’ll be glad to change whatever it’s wrong. And I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. This has been a work of around two months of studying situations and combo routes and it’s finally done. As my previous article, this one is focused on duel phase. The 3D aspect of field phase makes it much deeper than this but simpler from a combo pointview. I might add field phase work to this at some point. Time will tell.