The King of Fighters XV/Orochi Shermie/Strategy
Orochi Shermie wants to keep her opponent at a distance with her Kisses and Fireballs while occasionally surprising them with her strong mix ups and explosive damage. She thrives on making her opponents' movement as uncomfortable as possible. Cutting off huge portions of the screen at a time and capitalizing on their mistakes. At her core she is a zoner with enough tricky tools to force opponents to play at her pace.
O. Shermie has a great time fitting on any team. She is a versatile character with enough strengths to safely slot into any position depending on what the team needs.
Her most comfortable and common position. While she loves having a plethora of meter to work with, she doesn’t need it to win. Her zoning naturally builds a great amount of meter for her and her team. Though this does usually lock her from her higher damage combos and better set ups, it also comes with an inherent amount of safety. Lack of meter on the opponents end can mean more chances to survive and thrive in neutral and lessen the risk of encountering her worst enemy, Guard Cancel Roll.
Probably O. Shermie’s best position in a lot of cases. She loves having meter to play with and spends it very efficiently. It also lets her start playing with Quick MAX confirms which can very quickly turn the tide of the game. Her point strengths also apply here thanks to her great meter build. Do be wary that O. Shermie has options that become marginally less scary the more meter an opponent has.
O. Shermie’s explosive damage and great Quick MAX buttons make a serviceable anchor. At this position her zoning might take more of a back seat in favor of trying the quickly kill off characters. That said, if it’s a one-on-one or even a one-on-two situation she can still very effectively use her zoning to stop the onslaught of rush down that is usually associated with other anchors. Finally, this is where her Quick MAX activations come to a head. Being able to turn her stellar pokes into 400+ damage is a fantastic reason to play her here.
O. Shermie focuses on zoning and playing neutral with the potential for set play and explosive damage. Her first and foremost priority is getting Mugetsu no Raiun (41236X or Kiss) onto the screen. Kiss is her most defining move and is the center piece of her neutral, mix ups, and zoning. Once a Kiss is on screen her gameplan can actually begin. Most of O. Shermie’s moveset serves triple duty as zoning, combo, and pressure tools. Because of this the Neutral and Pressure sections will cover her moves in individual use cases for easier readability.
Kiss (41236 Series)
O. Shermie’s actual game plan differs depending on situation and match-ups. In match-ups where the opponent struggles against zoning, Kiss is used to control the ground and force the opponent to move into spaces of the screen that O. Shermie has better control over. In these match ups it is important to note that putting a Kiss on top of the opponent is not always the best idea. While getting them to block Kisses is nice for chip and meter, it’s often more important to deny screen space and capitalize on mistakes. This means that the A version of Kiss is often the best and most used version as it denies the space right in front of O. Shermie.
It's also important to note that Kisses DO NOT disappear if O. Shermie blocks or is hit. This is once again most important with the A version as it allows her to get trade combos, especially against opponents trying to jump in on her. When trading with jump-in attacks her most consistent combo is to juggle with Shukumei, Genei, Shinshi (236236B/D) Depending on height and screen position she can confirm into larger combo starters such as 214BD though these situations are extremely few and far between. Her EX Kisses are a contentious use of meter, especially in neutral. 41236AC is the easier of the two versions to justify as it slowly moves towards the opponent while deleting any and all level 1 projectiles it comes into contact with. This move is the best middle ground between Kiss and Fireball. Controlling ground space and forcing movement without the need for prediction or reaction.
41236BD is awkward and often not worth the meter. It moves progressively slower towards O. Shermie. It appears ¾ of the screen away before it begins traveling. Theoretically this can be used as insurance to deter overaggressive opponents since like all Kisses, it doesn’t go away on hit. In practice however its better to spend the meter pushing them away or just not use the meter at all. Avoid using this move outside of set ups. While Kisses are her number one priority a good O. Shermie player must utilize the rest of her toolkit in a way the accentuates the strength of Kiss. This includes her stellar normals and Yatanagi no Muchi (214A/C or Fireball)
As with most projectiles O. Shermie’s Fireball does a great job of controlling the horizontal ground space. However, her Fireballs come with quirks that affect how she uses them compared to other fireball characters. Her 214A is close to functioning like a traditional fireball but only travels ¾ of the screen. Because of this O. Shermie can’t quite contest other zoning characters like Joe and Ash who can throw projectiles from full screen unimpeded. While the lack of distance is a hindrance this move is still useful in most of the situations a normal fireball would be.
214C makes up for 214A’s short comings however it overcompensates in a few ways. Thankfully, it does go full screen and is O. Shermie’s only true full screen option as even her D Kiss isn’t quite full screen. This fact alone makes it her most accessible zoning tool. The quirkiness of this fireball comes in the form of its durability and recovery. Even after the 1.62 recovery buff this version still leaves O. Shermie wide open if the opponent gets around it. As a projectile it also has slow start-up as O. Shermie swipes her hand twice before actually throwing it. The initial swipe has the ability to cancel out other level 1 projectiles while still throwing the Fireball with her second swipe. This gives her an edge in projectile wars as she can easily eat through opposing projectiles while controlling the screen space with her own. It also needs to be said that this is generally her safest blockstring ender and combo ender from Light attacks. You cannot be mindless about this as it’s common knowledge that the first hit can be Guard Cancel Rolled allowing for a full punish. Overall, these projectiles are meant to overwhelm grounded approaches so that she can force opponents into the air and onto Kisses.
214AC is mostly the best aspects of the other two versions with the added benefit of being a level 2 projectile. Just like the C version the initial swipe can delete other level 2 projectiles giving her an option to overpower most other EX fireballs. Meter is a very precious resource for O. Shermie and she tends to have better uses for it. As such she shouldn’t throw this out carelessly.
One last quirk about her fireballs is that O. Shermie takes a sizeable step forward when throwing them. It takes approximately 10 A Fireballs to walk O. Shermie fullscreen and approximately 8 C Fireballs. This isn’t a super important detail however it does affect her in hardcore fireball wars as it means she will slowly approach her opponent. Whether this is a good thing though is decided by the match-up and preference.
Axe Kicks (214B/D and J.236B/D)
Both the air and ground version of her axe kicks (214B/D and J.236B/D) are mostly combo filler but have some neutral use. Her jumping axe kicks provide a great option to mess with the opponent’s anti-air timing as both stall her air momentum. The D version has a larger delay while also providing plus frames. As of 1.62 her 214D travels about half screen and is virtually safe (-3 with huge pushback) This means it can be used as a pseudo lariat style attack for moving across the screen while attacking, though mileage may vary on this. On hit it provides a free A Kiss set up which is great.
It should be noted that the Air Axe Kicks can be used from Back Jump and Back Dash. This is great for feigning a retreat and allows greater control of Axe Kick Height. Since J.236D is plus it can also be used to transition into a pressure situation.
The final piece of her zoning puzzle is her normals. Simply put, they're all incredible. Amazing speed and range on all of her normals makes them the glue that holds her zoning game together.
Far B – Great standing poke with a lot of active frames thanks to its multiple hits. Only the first hit is cancelable but this is hardly a downside since O. Shermie doesn’t want to buffer her specials at the ranges this move is useful at.
Crouch B – Lightning fast for its range but can’t chain into itself meaning its often relegated to a pure and simple poke rather than a long range combo starter. At further ranges this move won’t combo into 214C and never combos into 214B. In punish cases it easily combos into 214BD for big damage. As of patch 1.62 this move is now whiff cancelable which ironically weakens it as a buffer.
Far C – The normal that dreams are made of. A decent speed for the amount of space it covers, this move hits all in front of O. Shermie while covering the perfect air space to stop hops. Like most of her tools it isn’t as abusable as one would like but it can’t be understated how much space this one move controls. This move is also a prime candidate for MAX Mode cancels and O. Shermie is great at spending meter. Even if you don't have the bar for a full Climax combo don't be afraid to Quick Max this move. Doing so allows for easy combos into 214D which sets up the world for her.
Crouch C – The normal that gives hope for the future. Unbelievably fast for the space it covers (faster than regular Shermie’s 2C as of 1.62) Not as much horizontal range as the animation suggests but its vertical range is absurd. THE go-to anti-air.
Jump C – The normal that enlightens our souls. O. Shermie shrinks herself quite a bit while also creating one of the most egregious cross up hitboxes in the game. Jumping at the opponent with this move is a great way to transition into pressure.
Crouch D – Like most of her normals it has incredible range for its speed. The go-to low check in neutral that sets up Kiss on hit and remains incredibly safe on block. Buffering this move into Kiss or Fireball is a great way to create space.
Jump D – A rather lack luster move in the grand scheme of things but an essential part of her neutral as it hits far and can start combos.
Neutral Jump D – A quirky normal with great range and a retracted hitbox. The input limits its usefulness but it can act as a wall to halt approaches.
Jump CD – An alternative to Jump D. Similar range but slower with a far bigger hitbox and provides a knockdown. You can use them interchangeably in most situations but Jump CD is usually better for Jump Back escape attempts.
6A – An unassuming but amazing normal. An airborne kick that crushes lows, is safe, and is cancelable. This move can be thrown out with relative impunity. It can be hit confirmed into her J.236236B/D super which can intern be cancelled into 236236AC for incredible damage. For less meter dump she can also cancel into J.236BD for a full combo, though this can’t be confirmed and is punishable if blocked.
O. Shermie has acceptable pressure and can transition from her zoning into offense pretty seamlessly. Most of her pressure relies on knocking down the opponent with one of her various neutral tools and setting up a Kiss for them to wake up into. She lacks as scary of pressure tools as dedicated rush down characters but her set ups and great normals let her keep up the offense when needed. At the end of the day O. Shermie is a zoner. She can take the up-close initiative when given the opportunity but she isn’t the best at forcing it.
Kiss (41236 Series)
Kiss once again takes center stage as the center piece of O. Shermie’s pressure. She can set up a Kiss for the opponent to wake up into from most knockdowns. In particular setting up an A Kiss from 2D in the corner and 214D anywhere gives her a mix up and an easy way to start running offense. It can be tantalizing to try and use this in block strings to force plus frames but it comes with a great risk since it’s so slow.
Kiss on a knocked down opponent is O. Shermie’s bread and butter but like all her tools, the situation dictates how it’s used. Not all Kiss knock downs lead to a mix up and as such it can sometimes be worth it to get them to block a Kiss on wakeup for free chip and a reset to neutral.
Antsy opponents will try to roll away from meaty Kisses but this can be mitigated with a read. O. Shermie doesn’t care too much if they roll away since her neutral is so good but in cases where it’s necessary to keep up the pressure you can chase down rolls with relative ease, though a read is often required depending on the knock down. 41236AC Kiss is a weird pressure tool. Unlike every other Kiss this version is unsafe and sometimes punishable if used too close to the opponent. You can space it to be plus but depending on the normal cancel it can be very difficult to find the right range. It can be used as a chase down tool midscreen if cancelled from 2D which is probably its best use in her pressure but this is only for situations where a reset to neutral needs to be avoided at all costs.
41236BD has a ton of theoretical uses in pressure but in practice in ends up being overly situational and impractical. This version has the unique effect of pulling the opponent towards O. Shermie on hit and block which leads to situations were Neutral Jump C can become a cross up. This situation has zero practical application and no good set up for it has been found. Unfortunately even her best knock down, 214D, doesn’t enhance this moves viability. After a 214D>41236BD O. Shermie is left of +0 which means characters can mash out with 4 frame jabs. Not too scary since the Kiss will continue to move towards you but some characters have combos that naturally avoid this. Against timid opponents this move can be used to combo from raw 6B but this relies on opponents not mashing or moving, so play it by feel.
TL;DR Don’t use EX Kisses in pressure unless you’re feeling quirky.
Example of feeling quirky
Not much to say here as a pressure tool. Both regular versions are unsafe but with pushback. 214C and 214AC are often used as disengage tools to reset to neutral but this becomes riskier the more meter the opponent has as a Guard Cancel Roll will spell death. 214C is also your go-to meterless combo ender and 214AC is a great combo extender that leads into 214D, her best ender by far. 214A can be used as a quirky frame trap since it isn’t a true string from Light Attacks but it’s unsafe on block AND hit.
Axe Kicks (214B/D and J.236B/D)
Not much to say for the grounded versions. None of them are overheads and all are varying levels of minus on block. 214B can be used to extend and/or squeeze damage out of very specific combo routes but doesn’t hold much value outside of that. 214D is her best combo ender and sets up for her best mix ups. Trying to end blockstrings with it isn’t the worst idea since it might catch someone flinching and the reward is so high, but be mindful that it can’t be true stringed into. Its safe against 99% of the cast (Benimaru’s EX Iai-Geri and a few command grabs are the only real punishes) It often costs 1 bar to combo into it (0.5 bar with the right hit) but it’s well worth it. Look forward to the mix up section for this move’s full potential. Finally, 214BD is her premiere combo starter. It combos from all her Lights and can set up extended juggles if more meter is available. This is never a bad use of meter.
Her air Axe Kicks have very interesting applications in pressure. The B version is a decent frame trap from 6A but the less than favorable block frames might be a hindrance. J.236D is where things get spicy. It has a much larger gap from 6A than the B version but makes up for it by being plus on block. O. Shermie doesn’t have any scary mix ups from these plus frames but she can use them quite effectively for spacing traps or to reset pressure if the opponent stays still. Tiger Kneeing (TKing, performing 2369B/D to use the move right off the ground) can also be used to great effect. The frame data of these moves changes quite a bit depending on height. The B version at its lowest height is only -4 with great pushback while the D version becomes even more plus at lower heights with better pushback. Doing them from greater heights has added benefit of more drastically affecting her jump arc but the D version in particular becomes less plus the higher it is. This isn’t a huge deal because plus frames are plus frames but it is something to be aware of. The last note on TKing these moves is to mind the range at which you throw them out as they can sometimes fly straight over the opponents head, especially if they’re crouching. On hit the B version allows O. Shermie to chase rolls due to its long untech time or set up a meaty D Kiss. In the corner it will combo into sweep. The D version is a hard knock down and provides the same Meaty A Kiss set up as 214D. The EX Version is O. Shermie’s best combo starter. It leads to her highest damage and is her only 0.5 bar route to 214D but will only combo from 6A which itself only combos from Heavy attacks. Using the plus frames from J.236D isn’t the same as using plus frames on other characters. O. Shermie gets pushed back quite a bit so she can’t really force a Strike/Throw mix up and her lack of a super scary High/Low means most opponents can just block whatever comes next on reaction. O. Shermie’s most pertinent use of these plus frames is the shimmy. After the opponent blocks J.236D walk back a bit to see if they try to press a button or jump away. Respond appropriately with a whiff punish or a rest to neutral. As stated, these moves can be used from Back Jump and Back dash. This is just as useful in pressure scenarios as it is in neutral since it can feign a retreat before going back on the offensive.
O. Shermie’s normals aren’t built as much for pressure as they are for neutral. A such you’ll mostly be using her A Normals for quick plus frames and her B and C Normals for spacing traps and whiff punishes. That isn’t to say they are useless in pressure, far from it. But they are not the kind of moves people fear.
A Normals – Far A, 2A, and 5A all serve similar purposes as quick plus frame generators. Use them as such. The only special note is that Far A has a surprising amount of range and is her only cancelable Light normal that maintains high pushback on block. What this ends up meaning is that in cases where you do decide to use 41236AC in pressure, this is usually the move to use it from.
Last note for these moves is that 2A and 5A can link into either 2C or 5C, setting up for higher damage combos. Though neither of these links work if more than 2 Light Normals are used prior.
Crouch B – Her only low starter and can be chained into other Light Normals. Neutral on block and can be chained into from other Light Normals which makes it a good reset tool after being pushed out by a blocking opponent.
Close C – Unremarkable in the grand scheme of things but it’s fast and sets up high damage combos. Prime punish normal where speed is necessary but Close D is better for damage.
Jump C – The dream maker returns, this time doing what it does best, breaking the opponents’ ankles with its absurd cross up ability. This might as well be O. Shermie’s only jump normal at close ranges due to its ambiguous hitbox and combo ability. We'll talk more about this move in the mix up and set up section. In short, if you can set up a Meaty A Kiss this move becomes a premium mix up tool.
Close D – This is very interesting for one reason alone, it’s immune to throws. It isn’t technically airborne but the small hop she does moves her into the air enough to avoid any and all throw attempts. This is most useful in knock down situations since it means she can meaty without fear of Wake-Up Reversal Throw.
This isn’t as important with O. Shermie as it is for regular Shermie since O. Shermie would rather meaty with Kisses but it is still an exceptional quirk that she can take advantage of. Other than that it’s her highest damage Normal and sets up for her optimal damage combos.
CD – A move we haven’t talked about yet. O. Shermie’s CD has abysmal horizontal range but surprisingly good vertical range. The real use of this move is the fact that it’s plus on block. Now, it’s only plus 1 so nothing crazy but any plus frames are good plus frames.
In the corner she can end certain combos with this move to set up a Meaty A Kiss but doing so often requires a sacrifice of damage and it’s generally less practical than using 2D for the same purpose.
If this move is hit raw midscreen she can cancel into D Kiss for a full screen restand or hit confirm into 214C for a knockdown. She can also run in to set up a Meaty A Kiss or do a micro dash into 214D. Both of these are rather precise and the range at which 214D leaves you in this case isn’t quite the optimal range for her usual A Kiss set ups. In the corner she can start juggles with CD>41236A or late confirm it into 214D.
6B – Another move we haven’t discussed yet. O. Shermie does a front flip hitting once as an overhead when used raw and twice as a mid when canceled into. The first hit of the canceled version can be special canceled and is combo confirm glue for her grounded combos. The raw version of this move can be used in some situations with Meaty A Kiss but these same situations often provide better mix ups with different tools (namely Jump C)
Both versions are neutral on hit and safe on block (-2) which is pretty good for a double hitting normal. The cancel version of 6B can be used as a safe confirm from Heavies and a frame trap from Lights (though it doesn’t frame trap 4 frames) If it hits it can easily be converted into a combo and if it’s blocked you can safely let the second hit connect. Just having a grounded overhead is a nice boon since she can cancel it into Quick MAX for a scaled combo. Note that when using the cancel version for Quick MAX combos it’s better to let both hits connect before MAXing to get a bit more damage from it.
6A – All the great benefits of this move in neutral can still be applied here. Safe, low crush, hit confirmable, and leads to her highest damage combos. Use it to punish opponents that like to poke out with low attacks.
O. Shermie’s mix ups rely almost exclusively on her Kisses. Setting up A Kiss after 214D has a devastatingly powerful mix up attached to it but outside of that her mix is a bit shallow.
214D>41236A – Your bread and butter mix up. This allows for a meaty Kiss and a “50/50” with Jump C. After A Kiss immediately hold up forward and come down with Jump C to hit in the front or Super Jump up forward and come down with Jump C to hit behind. The better you are at timing the Jump C the more ambiguous this becomes. If they start guessing right or you just feel like getting cheeky empty jump low is always an option. It is technically a seeable mix up but that only becomes an issue against VERY aware opponents. Finally be wary of uppercuts as most will hit you out of the air.
Though on this note juggling into 214D gives slightly better frame advantage than hitting it raw which allows O. Shermie to set up A Kiss>Jump and avoid some reversals (Like Kula H. Crow Bite) DO NOT rely on this though as the number of reversals this can evade are very sparse.
Finally, you lose access to this mix up in the corner.
The later half of this section might make it seem like a lack luster mix up but it can’t be overstated how powerful it is for a zoner to have access to a set up like this. Other than that, 2D>41236A in the corner is her other primary mix up as it provides a safe strike throw mix up which intern loops into another Meaty A Kiss. Combined with 5D’s ability to avoid throws O. Shermie’s throw game in the corner begins to resemble her regular counterpart.
Outside of these set ups most of your mix will come from jumping around the screen with Jump C.
O. Shermie’s defense revolves around keeping the opponent at a distance with projectiles and normals. For in depth detail about her zoning check the Neutral section above.
At close range O. Shermie’s defense can suffer. She lacks an meterless invincible reversal forcing her to rely on her 236236C super which is slow (9 frames) and costs a bar. Her jabs can be used to great effect for mashing out of pressure but this comes with the inherent risk of getting counter hit easily.
Her throw immune 5D and Low Crush 6A have theoretical use in certain situations however the former is situational and the latter is slow. For a good unique option her Air Axe Kicks (J.236B/D) do a great job at altering her jump arcs for tricky escapes. Be aware of the landing recovery and when jumping over the opponent you will have to reverse the input. She won’t change trajectory so doing this will have her Axe Kick away from the opponent.
O. Shermie’s use of universal mechanics is lack luster at best. Her Shatter Strike is even slower than her super while costing the same amount of meter and suffering from CD’s abysmal range. The reward is also mediocre since O. Shermie needs to spend even more meter for a decent combo or settle for 214D. This isn’t the worst thing in the world but the risk far outweighs the reward.
Her Reversal Throws and Rolls are as good as any other characters but good players will already have set ups ready to punish these options.
Countering Orochi Shermie
Countering O. Shermie often involves the same tools used to counter other zoning characters. Projectile immune moves and armored moves will blow past her defenses and her lack of a reversal means she can be freely pressured once you get in on her.
Be wary of anti-airing her as her Air Axe Kicks (J.236B/D) can easily alter her jump arc to make some anti-airs whiff. Try using air-to-airs or if you have a good read, run under her to avoid them entirely.
O. Shermie suffers greatly against good low profile moves. Sweeps and slides that get under her Fireball and Kiss are infuriating to deal with and can often stop her from setting up her mine field.
Certain characters that have access to high level projectiles (Ash, Joe, Yuri, etc) can easily over power her zoning. Though be aware of her Kiss ranges as these can be placed on top of you at all but absolute fullscreen.
Technically outdated but still an extremely informative starter Guide by Dandy J