Samurai Shodown IV/Nakoruru

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Overview

An Ainu shrine maiden, Nakoruru fights to protect nature from evil alongside her hawk Mamahaha and wolf Shikuru, gradually becoming one of SNK's most popular and iconic characters. In the Samsho series, she's an annoying hit-and-run like character with both rushdown and zoning, but with the focus of frustrating her opponents into mistakes and slowly dwindling their health away. Between sliding attacks and relying on help with her animal friends, she's often unpredictable and hard to pin down in a match. Here, not only does she excel immensely at that, but she also excels at just about everything else that at every skill level, she's a nightmare of a character to deal with in the right hands. If anything, this is where Nakoruru is at her strongest in any game she's appeared in, and it only takes a couple matches to see how dangerous she is to fight against.

Slash

The traditional Nakoruru move set, she has slides and can summon Mamahaha to attack for her, or even ride Mamahaha. While almost nothing has changed between her previous appearances, to call her overpowered is an understatement. She is unequivocally the best character in the game with basically zero flaws, and the only restriction to playing her is needing tight execution. Many of her combos are very difficult to do, let alone if you're playing online with delay of any kind, but their reward far outweighs the time investment learning to play her. She has amazing normals, is fast, countless different conversions into combos and/or infinites where any stray hit can potentially lead to a combo, a great WFT, Mamahaha that either leads to a knockdown for oki or stuns the opponent to - again - convert into combos and control space, her small size making it difficult to hit her, being able to force her way in, emergency slide further widening her pressure, the list goes on why she's top 1. It almost doesn't matter which character is fighting her, because chances are they have to play by her rules first.

It's worth noting that while Slash Nakoruru is tournament legal, and so are infinites, Samsho 4's gentleman's rule to not use said infinites and exploits, combined with the sheer strength of Nakoruru, can lead to people not liking you if you play her at all. Don't let it discourage you from playing her if you want, just know you might encounter it.

Bust

Relying instead on the help of her wolf Shikuru, Bust Nakoruru trades zoning in for much more aggressive movement and rushdown. By riding on Shikuru and utilizing Shikuru exclusive attacks, she's even harder to pin down than she already is while also constantly moving around and brute forcing her way in, including an unblockable w.j.C. While not as broken as Slash Nakoruru, Bust Nakoruru is still a top tier character that's incredibly threatening in her own right, and a character who opponents are still forced to play at her pace. Most of everything that makes Slash so strong applies here, too, just without the zoning. Her only serious flaw is that you lose access to important system mechanics while riding Shikuru, but with all the added utility she receives for doing so, it's seldom an issue.

[ Info Needed ]
Pros Cons
  • Extremely damaging combos
  • Tons of infinites and death combos
  • Small hitbox
  • Can emergency stop slide on both hit and block
  • Slash has the best zoning in the game
  • Bust has the best movement in the game
  • Cannot block w.j.C as Bust
  • The strongest Nakoruru's ever been; almost flawless character
  • Very high execution barrier
  • Non-14-hit CD Combos lack any good use
  • Getting hit while on Shikuru knocks you off
  • While on Shikuru, Bust Nakoruru loses access to tools like sidestep


Move List

Normals

Far Slashes

5A
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
15(18) - - - - - Yes Mid Yes No

A somewhat slow slash that covers a little bit in front of Nakoruru. Whiffs on smaller characters, including other Nakorurus.


5B
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
21(25) - - - - - Yes Mid No No

A slash that reaches farther than 5A while also being faster. In return, it isn't special cancellable.


5C
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
30(36) - - - - - Yes Mid No No

A Slow slash that does more damage than 5A, but isn't special cancellable.


2A
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
8(9) - - - - - No Low No No

A quick crouching slash that hits low.


2B
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
2+13(3+16) - - - - - Yes Low No No

A slow spinning slash that hits low and hits twice.


2C
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
8+21+25(9+25+28) - - - - - Yes Mid No No

A slow upward slash that has three different hits, but you can't get all the hits at once.


Near Slashes

n.5A
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
4(5) - - - - - Yes Mid Yes No

A quick slash that does little damage.


n.5B
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
8(9) - - - - - Yes Mid Yes No

A slightly slower version of n5A that does more damage.


n.5C
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
8+30(9+36) - - - - - Yes Mid No No

Like 5C, but does two hits.


n.2A
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
8(9) - - - - - No Low No No

Identical to 2A.


n.2B
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
2+13(3+16) - - - - - Yes Low No No

Identical to 2B.


n.2C
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
8+21+25(9+25+28) - - - - - Yes Mid No No

Identical to 2C.

Kicks

5D
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
8(9) - - - - - No Mid Yes Both

A roundhouse kick that can be special canceled.


6D
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
8+1+2(9+2+3) - - - - - No Mid No Both

A slow flip kick that can be canceled into a heavy pursuit for some reason.


2D
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
8(9) - - - - - No Low No Both

A very quick low kick.


3D
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
8(9) - - - - - No Mid No Both

Nakoruru's sweep. This is not a low.

Jumping Normals

j.A
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
8(9) - - - - - Yes High Landing No

A short, but fast downward slash.


j.B
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
17(20) - - - - - Yes High Landing No

A midair forward slash. Good for air-to-airs.


j.C
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
32(37) - - - - - Yes High Landing No

A midair upwards slash. Works for when your opponent is above you.


j.D
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
13(16) - - - - - No High Landing Both

A jumping kick that seems to be a bit faster than jB.


j.2D/j.6D
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
8(9) - - - - - No Mid Landing Both

Nakoruru does a midair flip into a kick. Knocks down on hit.

Dashing Normals

66A
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
17(20) - - - - - Yes Mid No No

A slash that's faster than Nakoruru's other A normals. Plus on hit.


66B
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
17(20) - - - - - Yes Mid No No

A running slash that's slower than 66A, but slightly more plus on hit.


66C
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
17(20) - - - - - Yes Mid No No

A running slash that knocks down. Good for running under jump-ins.


66D
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
5(6) - - - - - No Low No Both

A sliding sweep.

Unarmed Normals

u.5S
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
4(6) - - - - - No Mid No Yes

A stubby punch that does little damage.


u.2S
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
4(6) - - - - - No Mid No Yes

Same as u5A but crouching.


uj.S
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
4(6) - - - - - No High No Yes

Nakoruru points at you, dealing little damage.


u.66S
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
5(7) - - - - - No Mid No Yes

A running version of u5S that does slightly more damage.

System

BC
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
17(20) - - - - - No High No No

Nakoruru does a short hop and performs j.C.


u.BC
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
17(20) - - - - - No High No Yes

Nakoruru does a short hop and does a downward kick.


Light Pursuit
3S While Opponent is down
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
4(5) - - - - - No No No No

Nakoruru stabs the ground in front of her.


Heavy Pursuit
8S While Opponent is down
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
4(5) - - - - - No No No No

Nakoruru jumps and stabs the ground in front of her. There's really no reason to use this over light pursuit


Light Pursuit (Unarmed)
u.3S While Opponent is down
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
8(9) - - - - - No No No No

Nakoruru kicks the ground beneath her.


Heavy Pursuit (Unarmed)
u.8S While Opponent is down
Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
17(20) - - - - - No No No No

Nakoruru jumps and kicks the ground beneath her.

Special Moves and WFTs

Slash Only

Rera Mutsube
236S
Version Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
A 28(32) 1(2) - - - - - No Mid No No
Version Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
B 30(36) 4(5) - - - - - No Mid No No
Version Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
C 30(36) 4(5) - - - - - No Mid No No

Nakoruru flies into the air with her blade. Strength determines the travel distance. A version deals slightly less damage. B and C versions can combo from CS3.


Annu Mutsube
412S
Version Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
A 28(1*3+31) 1(1*3+2) - - - - - No Low No No
Version Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
B 30(1*4+31) 4(1*4+2) - - - - - No Low No No
Version Damage(Rage) Chip Damage (Rage) Startup Active Recovery Hit Adv Block Adv Deflect Guard Cancel Unarmed
C 30(1*6+31) 4(1*6+2) - - - - - No Low No No

Nakoruru Slides along the ground with her blade. Strength determines the travel distance. A version deals slightly less damage. Does multiple hits when Raged.

Samurai Continuous Slash

14-hit CD

Hit # 6CD - 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th
Cancel X O O O O X X X X X O O X X

Other CD Combos

AAA Cancel ABC Cancel BBC Cancel
1st Hit 5CD X 5CD X 5CD X
2nd Hit A X A X B X
3rd Hit A X B X B X
4th Hit A X C X C O/O

Combos

Universal

  • Throw > 66A > 66A
  • Back throw > Backhit 66A > 5C > 2S OTG
Requires a microwalk for 5C to connect.
  • Back throw > [Backhit 66A > 5D]xN
Infinite combo taking advantage of Nakoruru's strong 66A. The infinite can be difficult as the 5D requires precise spacing to keep going, plus not accidentally doing 6D. Harder against a midscreen Kyoshiro.
  • Throw > [66A > 421A]xN
Infinite that does not work on Ukyo, Basara, Shizumaru, and Jubei. Against Nakoruru, Galford and Tam Tam, it works only in the corner.
  • Back throw > Backhit 66A > 5D > 66B > 66C > 2S OTG
  • 66A > Anything
  • [421A]xN
Incredibly impractical combo due to the extremely low damage of Kamui Rimuse. Dealing only 2 damage per hit, in order to kill from full health it would take 126 reps of Kamui Rimuse to kill, and that's assuming you can keep it going for that long without tiring out. That said, the link is easy and doesn't leave much room to be punished if it's dropped, either. Near the end, you can also press the button again to do the follow-up for a slightly quicker kill.
  • n.5B > 66A > 421A > 5B
  • (During Rage Explosion) j.C > n.5B xx 421A > 66A > Rage SCS (9) > 421A > 66A > Rage SCS (9) > 421A > 66A > Rage SCS (6) > 421A > 66A > 66A > 2S OTG

Slash

  • 66A > 412S > 2S OTG
  • CD BBC xx 236S
That's all you get as Nakoruru with CD BBC. Does 25% damage, which is still okay, but not really much reason to use this especially when so many other combos are far more rewarding.
  • [j.C > 214B]xN
For the infinite to work, j.C has to hit deep and then immediately cancel the landing into 214B. With practice it's easy to do consistently, though midscreen you can make the mistake of overshooting your jumps and dropping the combo as a result. A microwalk backwards helps prevent this. In the corner, as long as you're consistent it's a guaranteed death combo.
  • [214B > n.5B]xN
Starting the combo with 214B extends the opponent's hitstun longer than usual which is what makes this infinite work. This combo will not work if you start with n.5B first. You also need to cancel n.5B immediately to make sure it combos and occasionally microwalk forwards. Very strict window, but a lot easier against Basara.
  • [Backhit n.5B xx 214B > circle step]xN
Easier variant of the above combo if you struggle to cancel n.5B immediately, however it takes much longer to do as you're wasting time between reps doing a circle step. No microwalk is needed for the circle step depending on the character you're facing.
  • 214B > n.2C (2) > 66A > 2S OTG
  • 214B > 66A > j.C
Unfortunately, you cannot deep hit j.C with this combo, but from a far distance, it's still a decent combo to have.
  • [Rage 412S xx ABCD]xN
Nakoruru can infinitely stop slide and loop back into itself while in rage, making for huge damage off of an infinite if you can get the hang of consistently stopping slide.
  • Rage 412S xx ABCD > 66A or 421S or CD combo
  • j.C > WFT
  • 214S > WFT
  • [CD BBC > Rage 412S xx ABCD]xN
Nakoruru's hardest infinite combo you aren't very likely to land in a real match. Only works on Nakoruru, Rimururu, Galford, Kyoshiro, Shizumaru, Gaira, Charlotte, and Tam Tam.

Bust

  • w.5B xx WFT or w.412S > follow-up
  • [w.5B > w.66B]xN
Possible on both the front and back thanks to Nakoruru being able to cancel wolf attacks into a dash. Harder on the front due to lack of backhit stun, but still doable.
  • [Backhit w.u.5S > w.u.66S]xN
Unarmed version of the wolf dash infinite, but only works on backhits. Nakoruru's w.u.5S deals really high damage so this combo doesn't take as long as you might think.
  • Backhit w.5B > w.66B > w.2C
Samurai Shodown IV
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