The Last Blade 2/Strategy
Neutral in this game is similar to samurai shodown, slow-paced and patient at first, then explosive offense. Using your normals correctly is vital, as any bnb can take more than 30% of your life (Some of them, like Moriya's can take more than 50%!) so take care and don't throw buttons randomly. Using deflect in neutral is also very risky, as after the deflect window is over, you'll be completely vulnerable for a while, your opponent can get a free combo, which the starter is a counterhit, dealing more damage.
A really big part of the gameplay in LB2 is the air game, air normals are really strong, and they always allow for a combo. Most characters will try to jump-in, and that's where the game starts it's mindgames.
All characters can do the following. The "basic" route after a jump-in.
>Air attack (usually jC or jB) >Hit? >Guaranteed Free Combo! And you'll most likely be able to do your BnB with highest damage. >Block? >Free mixup! Since air attacks are always high, you can and should attempt one. >Throw (c+d) Depending on the character, resets neutral or gives you free okizeme
Reducing Blockstun, or "Guard Rigidity Shortening Operation", or "Switchguard". While you're in blockstun, if you switch from standing to crouch or inversely, you'll be able to recover faster than usual. This is vital to escape blockstrings and make "safe" things unsafe, allowing the player to do either a deflect or a punish after a risky move.
Before you get into it, Switchguard is not entirely perfect.
- Be careful about fast strings, especially low ones cause you have to wake up for Switchguard and you might eat a low there
- Be careful about command grabs, Switchguard reduces your blockstun means your throw invulnerable ends faster than normal.
- Don't be delusional to it, you need to block something to use Switchguard. it means they can empty throw you or delay low etc.
The throw game is a very important part of the game, as they win against missed deflects and blocking. If you whiff a throw, however, you'll be punished with a counter-hit. The distance that they're done is really close, almost point-blank. All characters can do throw setups, but for most of them, they have better ways of doing damage.
You can also setup tick-throws, but these can be somewhat tricky to do. After hit or blockstun ends, there are 8 frames where characters are throw invulnerable (with a few exceptions), so the timing for a tic throw is later than it seems like it should be.
Kaede, O. Kaede, Akari, and Shigen have air throws. These follow the same rules as normal throws and have a lengthy recovery on a whiff. They can be used in combos in most cases, and Shigen can empty cancel air normals to and from his air throw animation if it misses for whatever reason.