Time for a basic matchup knowledge write-up. This time, it’s Ramlethal (Ram). Feel free to comment or tweet me with feedback as I plan to write more of these moving forward. (I don’t want the basics write-ups to be too lengthy.)
Sword (normals) give Ram a lot of meter. P and K attacks gives her little to no meter. You can remove swords by hitting them as they deployed, which results in Ram getting less meter.
S Sword set is the horizontal attack. It is the sword positioned in front of Ram on the screen.
HS Sword set is the vertical attack. It is the sword positioned behind of Ram on the screen.
Hence, you can see what sword Ram deploys.
You definitely need to know what beats Sword-fS. Beat it by: (1) hitting it w. a low profile attack, (2) hitting it deep w. an attack that has upper-body inv., or (3) hitting it during its long whiff-animation w. an IAD. For Baiken, this includes a slightly deep 6P, buppa iad jP/jS, and azami-rokkonsogi. All very much so among the more risky options in Baiken’s arsenal.
You should also know what beats (Green) Dauro, both from gattlings (as abare bait) and when used as buppa. Dauro has 15f startup gets beaten by pre-emptive attacks (oki-waza). Green Dauro is -2 on normal block and -6 on IB. For Baiken, Green Dauro leads to a very weak punish on IB, whereas if Green Dauro hits the reward is high for Ram. Pre-emptive attacks can beat Dauro. This includes IAD back tatami.
You must know how to handle Sword-jHS, which can be special cancelled (overhead or the new air specials). You can: (1) go for an air throw, or air IB it into ground throw, or (2) utilize it’s weak horizontal hurtbox by jumping and hitting it from the side. For Baiken, this includes beating it w. azami-tsubaki or pre-emptive jP/jS. If Baiken blocked Sword-jHS, standing azami-sakura beats Sword-jHS cancelled into the overhead special.
You should also know what beats Sword-2S, which can be followed up with either 2HS, 5D or nothing at all. For Baiken, suzuran after Sword-2S into rokkonsogi beats all these.
Sword summons from block
Ram can summon swords from block. If she does not have a sword covering her, she is at a frame disadvantage. Common examples include: 2D, 5H, fS and P>K. She can also jump cancel into sword summon mid-air. Hence, if you read that she will summon a sword on block, you can abare. (If you think she will bait abare, you guess that, and block.) This is one of the basic mindgames of Ram, and setting swords from block is associated with a low risk. I see it similar to Bridget’s yoyo-set.
Ram has many ‘combination’ strings.
= -1 on normal block, -4 on IB. For Baiken, IB into 5K, otherwise Ram has the advantage with her 4f 5P.
= -12 on normal block, -15 on IB. Punish on block etc.
= +3 on normal block, -1 on IB.
For Baiken, azami-kuchinashi (ch) if you commit to the read.
2K>P>K (low) or 2K>P>P (high)
= can be fuzzy blocked, yet blocking the overhead gives Ram frame advantage.
= -7 on normal block, -11 on IB. Can be cancelled into sword summon. Can also be delay cancelled into 4K to beat abare. For Baiken, 5K on block or bait 4K (which is -24 on block). If you see sword summon, you can also press buttons.
= -4 on normal block, -8 on IB. For Baiken, IB into 2D.
Attacks with deployed swords.
Two types of attacks, basically. One that has a quick startup, but smaller hitbox and shorter blockstun. Another that has slower startup, but bigger hitbox and longer blockstun.
As Ram deploys the swords, she can only do the quicker version. When swords have been set, the slower versions can be used.
If Ram blocks, the attacks disappear. Hence, as long as you can’t be punished by having your attacks blocked, it is beneficial to have Ram block one of your attacks if swords are out.
Initial thoughts on Ramlethal vs Baiken
I honestly need to play this matchup to have an educated opinion.
It seems to me that Ramlethal can push Baiken to approach in risky ways by using HS-Sword set together with Sword-f.S.
Damage-wise, Ram is always scary. As I understood it, Baiken is also easily comboed from Ram’s command throw.
Her air-mobility will be hard to deal with on the offense.