Samurai Shodown VI/Hanzo
Hanzo is cool. Don't pick the white color because that's the color I pick when I play Hanzo.
The true ninja of Samurai Shodown, Hanzo has always played a remarkably different game to most of the cast. Instead of poking and recoil cancelling, he instead stays out of range with his fast movement speed and teleports, only running in for a mixup or an easy punish. Instead of using fireballs to win zoning wars, his slinky is strictly a setplay tool which gives him backup to run in alongside for his offense. Instead of punishing with combos, Hanzo can bet on his command grabs to do the heavy lifting, which may also serve as mixups in case he didn't actually get the punish. New to this game is his ability to set caltrops for the opponent to run into, and he can also turn invisible again. However, these are minor gimmicks and the way Hanzo fundamentally plays is the same.
- Dash type: Run
- Damage taken: 108%
- Rage retention: 66 (2nd Lowest)
- Rage duration: 16 seconds (3rd Longest)
Hanzo does not play footsies with pokes. His 5B is a decent disjointed poke which can recoil cancel into his slinkies (214S, particularly greater strengths which are faster) or caltrops (222AE) to buy distance, his 2C is a solid low-hitting punish tool which also recoils and his jabs are fine for what they are, but the ultimate weakness shared by these pokes is their short range. Furthermore these pokes on their own do not lead to amazing mixup potential, as Hanzo does not have the best recoil cancel options for such a purpose. What Hanzo does instead is run away. His backdash travels extremely far and can be cancelled in the middle into grounded specials, but in the aerial portions he can also cancel it into air shurikens (j236S), which are overheads with decent range that can potentially stop a pursuing opponent. After backdashing he is in a safe range to run in if he needs to. His run is not only extremely fast but is responsible for carrying both his punish and mixup game. 66D, a low slide, covers an amazing amount of range in a fast amount of time, so in addition to being able to punish anything with it Hanzo can also retreat safely afterwards. He can also punish with 66B, a more-damaging low slash, or his command grab (623S) if he is close enough. Another key aspect of Hanzo's movement is his teleports (421A/B/C/D), which after some delay can take him to any of the screen's four corners, which is useful for either getaway or for niche punish/mixup opportunities. This is aided by his fake teleport (22S), which can also be used for mixups if the opponent is expecting you to teleport somewhere else as it has a nice amount of invulnerability from after Hanzo disappears to when he reappears.
At far range or after a knockdown is when Hanzo can safely set up his slinkies. Only 214A is suitable for setplay in this game, as the other strengths come out faster but also vanish faster. In addition to 214C being a combo tool, 214B and 214C can both be used to catch tech rolls depending on how advantageous you are after a knockdown. The main purpose of 214A is to give Hanzo something to run behind safely while he enforces a running mixup, eating up not only counter pokes but also fireballs. Another gimmick available to Hanzo is the option to turn invisible (6464642BCD), which leaves you vulnerable for a while before vanishing and wears off immediately if you get hit but can potentially obfuscate any mixups you're going for. Hanzo's command grabs and running lows are complemented nicely by his 66C, which is not only an overhead but one which has the potential to crossup if performed close enough. After the running variant of his command grab and these other options, there is enough downtime from the opponent for Hanzo to run away and either teleport somewhere else or set up another slinky. A ghetto mixup option Hanzo can also perform is alternating between 6321AD, an overhead teleport, or 6321CE, a low teleport. Both options can simply be backdashed by an opponent, but if they are expecting you to go for any other teleport option then they probably won't be thinking about doing so. Another important mixup Hanzo can perform is a jumping 50/50 between jC or a command grab, as jC covers a wide amount of vertical space that the opponent cannot easily contest due to his high jump. Be ever mindful that Hanzo's jC is also pretty short compared to other similar normals, and that his only other good air-to-air is jB which isn't that flash either.
V Spirit is Hanzo's best choice by far. Hanzo's new WFT sucks and he has plenty of Rage retention so he can afford to simply meditate his Rage away instead for a game-ending State Of Nothingness punish (or mixup, considering he can convert from a tiger knee'd j236S during slowed time). Furthermore he doesn't need the occasional damage boost, since his command grabs have fixed damage and are thus unaffected by Rage. Additionally, he gets a lot out of rolls not only for mere movement but also to give extra range on his command grabs. II Spirit is a possible option for similar reasons, but also because he gains access to his Secret Move, a highly-damaging command grab, once per round which can be used as a devastating punish, mixup tool and roll cancel option. However, this one-time-use potential damage boost has considerably less synergy for Hanzo than meditation, which gives him great reward for staying out of arm's reach.
- 5A - Fast poke with good range. Cancellable but will not combo.
- 5B - Disjointed poke where Hanzo steps forward. One of your main pokes as it can be quite safe if spaced correctly.
- 5C - Hanzo slowly leaps forward and delivers a two-hit slash. This move is way too slow to be used as a ranged punish and it does the same amount of damage as your other heavies anyway. However, in this game, this move is an overhead, giving it some extra utility. Still risky, though, given its poor startup and the fact it doesn't even recoil.
- 2A - A quick dig to the shins. Very fast startup but hits mid. Special cancellable.
- 2B - Basically a slower 2A which reaches further and deals more damage. Not special cancellable.
- 2C - A low-hitting, damaging sweep. Your best punish tool besides 623C. It's a bit short, but Hanzo's fast walkspeed makes this irrelevant for the most part. This recoils on block but is no longer special cancellable.
- n5A - Short swipe downward. Special cancellable.
- n5B - n5A but heavier. Special cancellable like most close mediums, but Hanzo only has 214C to combo into. Use 623S instead if you can as that does more damage.
- n5C - A two-hit heavy slash with noticeable delay, and it doesn't knock down. Outclassed by 2C.
- n2A - Same as far version.
- n2B - Same as far version.
- n2C - Same as far version.
- 5D - Upward kick which can be used as an anti-air for its good vertical reach. Only hits tall characters like Gaira if the opponent is not sufficiently high enough. Special cancellable, so decent enough for setting up 214S after a reset.
- 6D - Standing low. Knocks down on hit. Unsafe.
- 2D - Relatively bad recovery for moves like these so isn't that good for tick throws. Hits low as you would expect.
- 3D - Low-hitting sweep wtih good range. Can be safe if spaced correctly. Use this instead of 6D.
- 66A - Running 5A but with very bad recovery afterwards. Stick with your other running normals.
- 66B - Cheeky fast low sweep. Looks like his 2C and it's just as stubby, but it's potentially more rewarding than 66D. Both are very good, so use both interchangeably.
- 66C - Hanzo leaps over and swings around him. This is an overhead, but against most opponents this may also crossup if spaced properly even when they are standing. Integral part of your mixup game for this reason.
- 66D - Hanzo slides very far for a running low. Recovery starts a bit earlier than you'd expect but it still hits from pretty far away. Useful mixup tool.
- jA - Very fast air-to-air swipe.
- jB - Best horizontal range out of your air attacks. Ideal as an air-to-air.
- jC - Big downward swing. You need to hit this pretty deep if you want to link into 2C normally. Otherwise can be spammed because Hanzo's jump is quite high, so the opponent is bound to be below him.
- jD - Jump-in kick. Can't be used as an instant overhead on most characters.
- u5S - Standing punch. Appears to low profile a bit and the reach is okay.
- u2S - Crouching punch. Has less range than u5S.
- u66S - Running punch. Knocks down on hit.
- juS - Aerial straight punch. Use in conjunction with jD which covers a lower angle.
Hyper Slash (I)
- A+B - The second hit of his n5C. Has more range than 2C.
Backdash - 44
- Hanzo's backdash, being a two-part backflip, has a special property where the handstand in the middle can be cancelled into a grounded special attack. The aerial portions are cancellable into air specials. It travels far on its own.
Triangle Jump - j9 near wall
- Viable as an escape option for Hanzo, who has a high jump but no reversals.
Triangle Get Off - j3 near wall
- Hanzo doesn't have any natural crossups, so this is only really useful if you have some mean setups with Baku'en Ryuu.
Rolling Aerial Attack - j(4/6)D near opponent, can be done unarmed
- Air throw. Carries the momentum of your jump as Hanzo drops the opponent to the ground. This deals a fixed amount of damage and causes a hard knockdown.
Ninja Exploding Dragon Blast - 214S, can be done unarmed (Samurai Drive)
- The slinky. After Hanzo sets the fireball he is able to move shortly afterwards. However, there are very important differences with these strengths compared to the games prior. 214A has the slowest startup, slowest fireball travel time and it bounces thrice before vanishing. It has been left unchanged. However, other strengths minimise all three of these things, with 214B only bouncing twice, 214C only once and both of these having successively faster startups and travel times. 214C is your best combo tool, and both 214B and 214C are decent recoil cancel options which can also catch short rolls if you are plus enough. 214A is still what you use for setplay.
- These bounce high enough to reach as compact anti-airs, but their dynamic trajectory is a little iffy. Sometimes they will clash with other fireballs, while other times they will simply pass through.
Ninja Shrike Dash - 623S, can be done unarmed
- Hanzo's famed command grab. In addition to being a strong mixup option this is also his ideal punisher, dealing fixed damage independent of the Weapon Gauge. Strength determines the startup and damage. 623A is better as a quick punish and as a raw mixup tool, while 623C with its lengthy startup usually shaves off around a quarter of the opponent's health. 623B is a happy balance between the two which does a bit more damage than running 623C. Hard knockdown.
- The main problem with this move is that Hanzo spends a bit of time adjusting his scarf after the move is done, screwing with any oki you could've gotten from this move.
Whistling Shrike Drop - 623S while running, can be done unarmed
- Running command grab. Strength determines the damage and how long it takes for the move to proceed. You will usually always want to land the C version unless you are really concerned about timeouts, which clearly isn't often the case. These variants deal significantly less damage than the standing versions but come out much faster. Hard knockdown.
- Hanzo teleports a few steps away from the opponent after landing this and recovers in time to set up a slinky or time a running mixup, making this much better for okizeme.
Ninja Windsplitter - j236S, can be done unarmed
- Shuriken tosses. Strength determines the number of shurikens Hanzo throws ranging from one to five. These aren't that great as zoning tools given there's no way to change the overly-horizontal angle and Hanzo spends a bit of time not only stuck in the air tossing them but then jumping back to recover. However, the fact these hit overhead and their angle means they are useful as tiger knee'd overheads if spaced properly, particularly in State Of Nothingness.
Ninja Silencer - 22S, can be done unarmed
- Hanzo disappears, then reappears in place. This move serves as a fakeout to his other teleports in neutral, but he is fully invincible during the puff and recovers not long after, which can potentially allow him to land 623S.
Ninja Monkey Dance - 421A/B/C/D, can be done unarmed (Samurai Drive)
- Hanzo disappears, then reappears at one of the corners of the screen. These moves aid in Hanzo's mobility, allowing him to keep on his toes and potentially score niche punishes before retreating once again.
- 421A and 421C see Hanzo reappear in the air, in the left and right corners respectively, as he then jumps from a curtain down towards the centre of the stage. He is free to use any jumping attack he pleases as he lands.
- 421B and 421D see Hanzo reappear on the ground, in the left and right corners respectively, not spending much time recovering afterwards. This is way better for simply keeping your distance or for sneak punishes but it's also much easier to punish if your opponent has the read, particularly because Hanzo spends a small bit of time recovering after this move.
- Only 421B and 421D can be cancelled with Samurai Drive.
Falling Ninja Cicada Larva - 6321AD, can be done unarmed
- Hanzo disappears, then reappears a bit above the opponent as he falls with his blade swinging around him. He will usually wait until the opponent is grounded before reappearing. This is an overhead which does a decent amount of damage, but it is not only punishable on block but avoidable by backdashes.
Gashing Ninja Cicada Larva - 6321CE, can be done unarmed
- Hanzo disappears, then reappears in front of the opponent as he slashes at their feet. He will usually wait until the opponent is grounded before reappearing. This is a low which does a decent amount of damage, but it is not only punishable on block but avoidable by backdashes. Worth noting is that up close you are better off performing 22S, 2C instead of 6321CE as it is faster, safer and more damaging, but when you are at fullscreen this is not an issue.
Ninja Conceal - 222AE, can be done unarmed (Samurai Drive)
- Hanzo rolls a great distance back, dropping caltrops in his path. These caltrops don't stay on the screen for long and do pitiful damage on their own, but they are fully unblockable. Curiously, they don't do any hitstun on their own, so an opponent can run through them and take every hit uninterrupted. The only purpose for this move in neutral is really to catch opponents running at Hanzo as he tries to buy space for himself to set something up. The other utility this move possesses is as a safe recoil cancel option, given how quickly Hanzo rolls back over such a great distance.
Ninja Shadow Down - 6464642BCD, can be done unarmed
- A legacy move which hasn't been seen in a long time. Hanzo chuckles for a bit with his arms folded, disappears in a puff of smoke and turns invisible. The startup is not invincible but the puff of smoke is. Hanzo will stay invisible for 9.5 seconds, but this will end immediately if he gets hit by or blocks anything. He will additionally reappear for a split second when he is performing an attack, but then disappear again. This is mainly a gimmick because you can see Hanzo's shadow anyway, but at any rate this makes it harder to tell what he's doing.
Self-Sacrifice Strategem Of Buddha (Aerial Dance) - 6464642AD, can be done unarmed
- This move can only be performed during the hitstun of an attack which knocks you backwards. So basically only for heavy slashes, which are the only attacks that will give you enough hitstun to perform this motion successfully. If pulled off successfully then a log decoy will appear in Hanzo's place as he goes for a Falling Ninja Cicada Larva.
Demonic Self-Sacrifice Strategem (Terrestrial Slash) - 6464642CE, can be done unarmed
- Same requirements as the move above. If pulled off successfully then a log decoy will appear in Hanzo's place as he goes for a Gashing Ninja Cicada Larva.
Toy Transformation - 6464642E (II)
Ninja Heaven Demon Flames Blast - 236AB
- Hanzo's WFT from II where he stabs the ground as pillars of flame surround him. Arguably Hanzo's biggest nerf coming from V Special, losing his super command grab for a very slow anti-air which he doesn't need.
True Shrike Dash - 1632143BC (II), 236BC (VI), can be done unarmed
- The WFT Hanzo had in V Special and other games prior, an enhanced command grab which comes out fast and deals a great amount of damage. II Spirit's rolls go well with this move in theory, but that depends on how good you are at doing pretzels. Hanzo lights fire in the palm of his hand for a bit after, meaning you don't get amazing oki from this move considering how far it leaves the opponent away from you.
- n5B 214C - Timing is surprisingly tight on this one, and it's dependent on spacing as well. Ideally stick with 623B or 623C in these situations.
Continuous Slash (IV)
- A+B BBC 214C - Unfortunately 236AB is too slow to combo even from Continuous Slash II. If the opponent long rolls after this combo you can set up a running 623S to catch them.
State Of Nothingness (V)
- j236S, ABC - Tiger knee'd shurikens are useful as near-instant overheads. They can be spaced at a safe range and are capable of converting into Issen from afar.
Frame Data - Provided by Tekitogate
|Attack||Startup||On Hit||On Standing Block||On Crouching Block||Notes|
|66D||3||KD||N/A||-15||Active for 8 frames|