Samurai Shodown VI/Kazuki
Kazuki has received a few nerfs from V Special, such as his far medium slash no longer being special cancellable, Level 1 fireballs not being advantageous enough to link from and his exploding pants being turned into a counter. To make up for this he has two new specials: a firey dash based off of his WFT in V Special, and an overhead that hops over low pokes. Additionally, his anti-okizeme fireball now homes in on the opponent instead of travelling in a straight line. To make up for his VSP WFT being turned into a special, he now has Enja's, and it's been buffed. Looking past these changes Kazuki is still a great character, and the explosive rewards you can get from taking a moment to charge are just as plentiful, no thanks to this game's universal damage nerf not impacting him all that much.
- Dash type: Run
- Damage taken: 108%
- Rage retention: 225 (4th Highest)
- Rage duration: 6 seconds (Shortest in the game)
- Miscellaneous: Kazuki's throw has only 44 frames of recovery rather than the standard 50, Kazuki's deflect can not be counter hit.
The gist of Kazuki's gameplan is about finding opportunities to charge (214D), which he can do so for up to three Levels. With enough charges, Kazuki can win zoning wars easily with multi-hit fireballs (236S), net greater punishes from a distance with his forward lunge (214S) or make his hitgrab (623S) both a more threatening anti-air and combo ender. Furthermore, he can sacrifice his charges to deter opponents from doing okizeme on him. However, charging wastes time. The safest moments you can charge, such as after landing a hitgrab, are also moments when you could be spacing yourself or preparing a mixup. A vital skill as a Kazuki player is determining when to charge and when to keep your momentum going. From there, Kazuki must then figure out how he's going to use the charge he has accumulated, whether it is best to press an advantage in neutral with them or save them for highly-damaging combos.
With or without charges, Kazuki is mainly going to be playing a hit-and-run game which takes advantage of his above-average mobility. For ranged pokes, his 5B and jB are effective on the ground and in the air respectively (he can use Triangle Get Off to space his jB vertically if he is cornered), but outside of these pokes Kazuki is a bit cut for range. Instead, Kazuki relies on his run and backdash to dart in and out of range, with his low-hitting 3D being complemented with his new high-profile overhead (236D) and his 66B and 66C both serving as effective punishes. All of these give knockdowns. Kazuki may also go on the offense with his jC, which can serve as both a ghetto anti-air and a heavy jump-in. If Kazuki is at fullscreen his only real threat is his fireball, which is only as threatening as the amount of charge he spends. 236A is a slow fireball which can force a move from the opponent, but given how little vertical space it takes up it can be avoided easily by jumps, slides, rolls and other evasive manuevers. 236B, a faster, two-hit fireball, will not only blow through most other fireballs but has more vertical reach, locking down more options from the opponent. 236AD is usually not worth wasting all of your resources for on its own, but it is a very fast, damaging punish from anywhere which is much safer than any Level of your forward lunge. 236C, a fast, three-hit fireball, is usually unnecessary for fireball wars and is instead best used to extend combos into well over 40% damage as Kazuki has enough frame advantage after hitting with this to run in and hit with 66C, or better yet a 66B combo if the opponent is in the corner. Combo damage with enough charges is precisely what makes Kazuki scary, but without anything degenerate to force his way in, Kazuki will have to play the footsies game with his dashes. Exploding pants (421D) is no longer a reversal but a counter, so Kazuki can no longer rely on that move to keep the opponent honest.
IV Spirit is Kazuki's best Spirit choice by far, as Continuous Slashes are strongly beneficial for charge management. A simple juggle into 623S is high damage on its own, and given the nature of Continuous Slashes any extra charge you use is guaranteed to hit. Normally, Kazuki would have to waste two stocks on 236C for equivalent damage, and typically from a starter which doesn't give you much time to hit confirm. Furthermore, Kazuki's Continuous Slash starter is the fastest in the game at a blistering 7f startup. Yunfei's is just as fast, but his whiffs on crouchers while Kazuki's doesn't. Finally, the loss of exploding pants as a reversal means that both dodges and Rage Explosion come in handy as defensive options. II Spirit is a gimmicky-but-usable choice, not only because he can take advantage of roll cancels for some niche punishes and counters, but also because he can use his once-per-match Secret Move to give him three stocks instead of just one at the soonest chance you get. Furthermore, his already good WFT gets buffed by it's ability to break weapons, making it a more threatening anti-air/combo ender.
- 5A - Short elbow. Worse priority than 2A but it's a frame faster.
- 5B - A quick, far-reaching poke which recoils on block. It's no longer special cancellable, which sucks and is stupid.
- 5C - Very desperate punish/counter-poke if it is to be used at all. Short range for a heavy slash, only a little more than 5B, slow startup and leaves Kazuki open if it whiffs. At least it recoils, right?
- 2A - Kazama jab. Useful for its short startup, great priority and quick recovery.
- 2B - This move still sucks. It's way too slow and it doesn't lead into anything that 5B or n5B can't do better.
- 2C - A grounded uppercut. It may be used as an anti-air but considering Kazuki is left in a crouching state it may be safer and more reliable to air-to-air with jC instead. This is great for punishes given it is cancellable, but not only is the cancel window weirdly late but the sheer amount of pushback restricts you from landing certain enders such as your WFT unless you are in the corner. This will still combo into 236C at any range.
- n5A - Same as far version.
- n5B - Combo starter. Punish with this move if 2C isn't fast enough.
- n5C - Slightly faster than 5C.
- n2A - Same as far version.
- n2B - This strongly resembles the far version, which definitely isn't good given its atrocious speed, but on the surface it has even worse frame data on hit. However, this move is actually special cancellable.
- n2C - Same as far version.
- 5D - A hopping knee attack. Immediately immune to throws on its startup though it cancels and combos into your ground specials.
- 6D - An outlier to the other Kazama 6Ds. While it's still a standing low with the same animation, Kazuki's is faster but causes a soft knockdown instead of giving him frame advantage for link combos. Not really that useful.
- 2D - Your fastest low and an option for tick throws.
- 3D - A low-hitting sweep. Curiously, this has the exact same frame data as 6D, but it low profiles and reaches further, making it wholly superior.
- 66A - Running 5A.
- 66B - Running n5B. Doesn't recoil cancel. A devastating option for punishes if you have at least two stocks.
- 66C - Running 5C without the recoil cancel, but not only is it faster but its range is boosted by the momentum of Kazuki's fast run.
- 66D - Running 3D. A terrible move that is slow to come out and easily punished, especially by Hyper Slash. Your running mixup should be frame traps with 66B into fireball, not this move.
- njA - Kazuki puts his fists down, occupying the area in front of him for a long amount of time. Fast startup as well means this is a reliable defensive tool if you need one.
- jA - Jumping Kazama jab and a solid air-to-air.
- njB - Has less active frames than jA but does a bit more damage. The best part about jA is precisely its active frames, however. Ignore this move.
- jB - A fast, long-reaching air-to-air which will cover ranges your jC will not.
- jC - Vertical attack which covers a fat area in front of you and above you. Can be combo'd from easily if it hits low enough. Arguably not as useful as Enja's jC given Kazuki's jump is higher and floatier, but it is still one of his best options for checking jumps.
- jD - Weak air-to-air. May be used as a tick throw or lead into some other mixup due to its low hitstop and good priority.
- u5S - Same as 5A.
- u2S - Same as 2A.
- u66S - Same as 66A but it knocks down and pushes back a fair distance.
- juS - Same as jA.
Hyper Slash (I)
- A+B - Essentially his 5C.
Triangle Jump - j9 near wall
- Kazuki normally doesn't need to use this but it can be used to escape the corner easily, considering Kazuki does not have a reversal anymore.
Triangle Get Off - j3 near wall
- Can be used to give you a short hop jB and jC for poking/jump-ins when you are cornered.
Soul Burner - 236S/AD
- Kazuki's fireball and perhaps his most charge-dependent special. All versions hover above ground and travel in a straight line, but at different speeds depending on the version.
- 236A is Kazuki's slowest fireball and is useful for that alone. It's not an amazing fireball by any means, but it's something Kazuki can throw out at a distance if he needs to. It can be slided under by plenty of low profile attacks such as Sogetsu's 3D and it's actually negative on hit when performed up close given the lengthy recovery.
- 236B has been nerfed in that it takes Kazuki longer to recover after firing it, leaving him unable to convert from it with a running attack for instance. However, the fact this is a two-hit fireball means it will blow through the ubiquitious one-hit fireballs present in this game, and furthermore Kazuki is actually left advantageous on hit at point blank. Think of this as an EX fireball and save it for fireball wars as such.
- 236C gives you three hits and plenty of frame advantage to work with. It's normally a waste to use this in fireball wars, as this gives Kazuki important conversions into his most damaging combos.
- 236AD will launch one big fireball at the opponent. It travels so fast that Kazuki himself recoils back for a hard knockdown. This will eat up any standard projectile, deals a great amount of damage and causes a soft knockdown on hit.
Exploding Death - 623S/AD
- Fast anti-air hitgrab with well-above average priority. It's not fully invincible, however, and it's quite unsafe on block. The main use for this move is as a damaging combo ender, as it is easy to combo into and it results in a hard knockdown. Kazuki recovers a little before the opponent hits the ground.
- Each Level will increase the damage output and launch the opponent back a greater distance. All Levels will give you time to charge before the opponent recovers. New to this game is that Kazuki will waste charge with this move depending on which strength you use even on block or whiff, while before the move would only use charge on hit. 623A leaves the opponent close to Kazuki, but if you use this opportunity to charge you will only have a small amount of advantage to work with, which may instead be useful for okizeme or for buying yourself space. Knowing when to focus on spacing, mixups or meter management in situations like these is something which defines how you play the character.
- 623S will no longer juggle the opponent during State Of Nothingness. Instead they will fall down at a normal speed.
Flames Crush - 214S/AD
- Kazuki's WFT from V Special, now a special move. Kazuki will quickly light up in flames and make a sprint from fullscreen. If he makes contact with the opponent they will be pushed far away for a soft knockdown. Kazuki, however, will also be pushed away, landing on his back in a hard knockdown state. He is able to perform Flaming Backdraft during this state. This move is no longer invincible at any Level and can be stuffed easily with a displaced poke. As such, it is best used as a combo tool or as a punish.
- Each Level will add an extra after-image to Kazuki's sprint, increasing its hitbox size and the amount of hits.
- 214B and 214AD deal more damage than 623B and 623AD respectively, but the opposite is true for the other strengths. Regardless, this leaves you with much worse advantage on hit than 623S. Keep this in mind during combos.
Flames Of Disaster - 214D
- The most important move in his kit. This is how Kazuki levels up the three moves listed above. Kazuki takes a moment to charge a fireball which will follow behind him but will not have any hitbox. He can charge this fireball up to three times. This moves takes less time to complete than in the games prior, but it is still easily punishable in neutral if the opponent is looking for it.
- When performed while maxed out, Kazuki will take an extra moment to recover as he looks in confusion.
Raging Flames Kick - 236D, can be done unarmed (Samurai Drive)
- Kazuki leaps forward a great distance and does a jumping kick. If it hits a grounded opponent, then Kazuki will continue kicking for decent damage across twelve hits, with the last hit kicking the opponent away for a soft knockdown. This is an overhead which can leap over lows, and is a solid recoil cancel option against opponents who like to poke with low attacks. Furthermore as this is your only unarmed special, it is useful for helping you to get your weapon back.
Annihilating Flames - 421D
- Exploding pants. This move has been changed into a counter which will activate if the hitbox of any slash attack comes into contact with it. It still has startup invincibility to strikes. Upon activation, Kazuki will explode, reappearing a few steps behind where he was.
Flaming Backdraft - AD during a knockdown, requires charge
- Anti-okizeme tool which sacrifices your current charge to send it at the opponent. This move can be used at any point while Kazuki is knocked down. New to this game is that, instead of charging in a straight line, this fireball will actually home in on the opponent, although it still travels at a snail's pace. Even if the opponent blocks it that's still plenty of frame advantage you're working with just for getting knocked down.
- Each Level of fireball will deal successively more damage, but Level 3 will additionally launch the opponent back for a soft knockdown.
Toy Transformation - 6321464E (II)
Enja Awaking - 236AB, cancellable with ABCD
- Bust-Kazuki's WFT with faster startup, allowing it to combo from more starters while still retaining its upper body invincibility. The increased startup furthermore makes it a dependable anti-air. You can cancel it early with ABCD but either way Kazuki will fall into a slump for a moment.
Super Flames Of Disaster - 4632BC (II), 236BC (VI) (Samurai Drive)
- Enhanced 214D. Regardless of the current level, Kazuki will charge his fireball to Level 3. Nothing special will happen if he is already at Level 3, but you will have just squandered your Secret Move so don't do that. If you are running II Spirit then this can be used early enough in each round to create an immediate threat for yourself the second you have a moment to charge, but be mindful that this still takes as much time to charge as 214D.
- n5B/2B/66B/2C/5D 623S/214B/214AD/236AB - Standard combos into enders that can give you okizeme/charge time (623S), damage (214B/214AD), or the ability to disarm your opponent (236AB). 2C 236AB only works in the corner due to its pushback.
- n5B/2B/66B/2C/5D 236C, 66C/214S - Two-charge conversion that works at all ranges, can cost three charges if you end with 214B.
- n5B/2B/66B/2C/5D 236C, 66B 623S/236AB - Corner-only two-charge conversion, can cost three charges depending on what you choose to end it with.
- n5B/2B/66B/2C/5D 236AD - Easier to land than the combos above if you have three charges and leaves you at a much greater distance.
Continuous Slash (IV)
- A+B BBC 623S - Basic Continuous Slash combo into hitgrab.
- A+B BBC 623AD/236AB - With three charges, his Continuous Slash II into 623AD becomes the most lethal practical combo in the game. You get good okizeme and at minimum one charge to begin his damage output again. You can also go into WFT to disarm your opponent.
Frame Data - Provided by Tekitogate
|Attack||Startup||On Hit||On Standing Block||On Crouching Block||Notes|