Tekken Tag Tournament 2/Jaguar Throw Buffering
Tekken Tag Tournament 2: The Jaguars Guide
As we all know, both Kings are throw happy characters (duh). Both charaters take pride in having not only among the largest, but also the most diverse set of throws in the game. They have throws that gives different breaks, and many give ridiculous damage and gives different okizeme looks that people can capitalize on.
But sadly, many of these tools are underutilized. I'm honestly frustrated to see when Kings players settle for few set of throws (particularly GS and iSW only) everytime and wonder why they have trouble breaking down turtlers, as both characters have other just as strong throws in their arsenal. Many would argue that because the other move's bufferability isn't on par compared to the main throws, therefore it has lost its usability. But hey, that's why we do research!
I believe, not only for King players but also for every Tekken player, that we should be all able to look at all of our character's moves and see it on how the move was designed to use accordingly to the character. As I have learned after all of the days practicing and learning the game that there are many moves that fit a great purpose, and sadly those purposes aren't as apparent to others. My hope is to be able to show people the uses of many moves King and Armor King has and give training regimens so they would be able to use them in battle instinctively.
This guide's goal is for players to be able to:
1. Show the advantages and disadvantages of King and Armor King's bufferable command throws.
2. Help people understand how the moves work as a command.
3. Find the appropriate times where you can buffer such throws
Why use Command Throws?
Well, as people who have spamming Giant Swing alot know already, many command throws really has greater rewards to compensate for their "complicated" input (compared to generic throws anyway, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't use generic throws as they still have uses). Those unique properties that each command throws have makes them really good to use in a competitive setting. It's commonly known that command throws does way more damage than regular throws, but some also give really good okizeme, and some come out faster, making the throw harder to break without anticipation. Combined with great buffering, and you can use them like you would use your regular pokes, which can be nasty.
But even with that, it's hard to use many of them because, well, many have a complicated input that some don't even bother. Many command throws suffer the same problems as multithrows in this sense that people won't bother practicing them because they are a bit hard to use at times. To an extent, only Giant Swings and Shinings are being bothered to learn by most Jaguar players because they are taught to learn them, basically ignoring the other just as good throws. It's understandable especially for a beginner's standpoint, but at the same time, you want to widen your tools.
Things we need
For these bufferable command throws to be effective, you need to:
1. Learn your pokes and punishers. Most of the time, you will buffer your moves after connecting either one of these. Besides, this should be a requirement because both Kings got awesome punishers that you miss out on all the possible damage if you don't use them.
2. Get your left hand ready. Cause many of these stuff are left-hand extensive, it can take a while to learn, but if you learn it, it's something you will not lose forever. So don't get too discouraged.
3. Don't be predictable. Yeah I know... but most of the time we tend to forget these. Because of Giant Swing's deceiving animation, instead of relying on reaction throwbreaking, people would try to read you and find your throw setups and break them accordingly, or worse, duck your throw to a WS launch. So be aware of the times you love to throw, and be sure to put a break and do a mid to keep them honest.
As I mentioned before, learn your punishers and pokes first. This is important. I actually recommend doing this first and avoid throwing. As a player, you don't want to use these tools as crutches to cover up your fundamental flaws, like most beginning Jaguar players do. I'm not saying don't throw ever, but at the same time, be solid first, then you can implement these tools in your game easily after that.
NOTICE: Don't be deceived, this is an advanced tutorial, especially later on when we are trying to buffer throws out of wavedash and doing iWR motion. Those things alone take a while to learn, but it's gonna be worth it. I do recommend at this point to buy a gaming monitor as most of the time you rely on visual cues when doing buffers, and having a bad monitor will screw you up. I also highly recommend buying a stick, and K-Stick will be preferred highly because its rubber stoppers makes it easy to go to neutral, making iWR motions really handy.
Direction Buffering Review
As mentioned in The Art of Buffering, Directional Buffering involves inputting neccesary directions while your opponents still recovers after a command. This makes many moves come out immediately after a specific thing your character recovers. I would like to say that this isn't exclusive to attacks recovering, but also many kinds of movement (like backdashes, forward dashes, crouchdashes, sidesteps etc.) and even block stuns. This makes bufferable throws way flexible as long as we get rid of the execution barrier by practicing. The ways you can use them becomes so much that you can actually use them as pokes.
Just remember though that despite this, some bufferable throws have couple requirements in mind, so they will not be bufferable in every situation. The goal of this tutorial is to know the throw's required situation to be bufferable, and to an extent "cheat" the input so they become bufferable. This can cause somewhat complicated directional inputs that could take weeks to practice, especially when buffering through movement comes in. With this in mind, we made a specific color codes to this guide to make sense of how the notations chain and transition on each other.
- Black is for Forward Dash
- Blue is for Crouchdash
- Light Blue is for Sidestep
- Green is for Instant While Running
- Red is for the throw-related notation
Giant Swing input
Before I start, I would like to say that King is doing Giant Swings before Cesaro made it cool (wears hipster glasses).
Anyway, Giant Swing (f,hcf+1) throw is the most flexible throw the Kings have. This throw is a 10f throw, 1 break throw that has 1+2 break animation, does 45 damage when teched, 65 when unteched, and 71 at a wall. THAT HURTS. The beauty of this move too is that it's bufferable on anything. After a dash, when crouching, after a move, after a block stun, yeah you name it. We as Jaguar players use this alot, and people noticed. So people tend to look for this move. Despite that, it's still a great throw that we should use, cause after all, it's a throw, you won't get any kind of punishment with it.
(Just take note too that Roger and Alex have their own Giant Swing, but it cannot be buffered when crouching.)
Buffering in Recovery
This is the time we tend to buffer the throw. When our attack goes into recovery, we can input the f, hcf+1 input and it will come out nice. First of all, this is a simple but always ignored idea, because this decides whether you get a Giant Swing over Tiger Driver 91 (qcf 1) as a throw. When the f is buffered before recovery, it will not register, so make sure that you do the input WAAAAY later in the animation. Not only it helps you get the right input every time, it also forces you to do the input quicker AND gives you this tiny bit of time to actually stop if necessary, especially when people tend to duck your throws when they noticed that you are using the same throw setups a bunch of times.
Second thing is, buffering this throw isn't limited to doing after an attack. As it was said before, you can buffer it on a block stun. What this means is you can use Giant Swing as a "punish" of some sorts, especially when people don't expect you to. It also works well when you and your opponents are stuck with trades of pokes. This seriously gives your opponents a bit of hesitation since they are worried about breaking the throw, which is enough when doing other setups in mind.
Buffering in Juggles
Giant Swing for both Jaguars have a canned airthrow for both characters, for King, he does a Spinning Powerbomb that leaves the opponent close in KND position, similar to air iSW, while for AK, he does a Muscle Driver that leaves opponents close on FCD. Both airthrow gives really good okizeme options, but because of the nature of the Tag Assault, these throws are used lesser than it used to be. Despite that, they still shine on Low Parry Bound Combos because of their ease of input and Low Parry Combos tend to be shorter. The way you buffer it works the same way as buffering in recovery, so it's just a matter of practice.
With King, he also have another similar input throw in Tijuana Twister (f, hcf+2), a 2 break 50 damage throw where King tosses the opponent up in the air and does a catch spinebuster. The throw leaves the opponent in a offaxis KND position, which makes it good yet tricky at the same time oki wise. This throw can be buffered with the exception of King crouching.
What makes this move nice is it also have the similar air GS airthrow. This can be handy in juggles at walls. When Giant Swing, Shining Wizard or Cobra Clutch is done on a wallsplatted opponent, it turns into a wall throw instead (Called Shining Torpedo, it's KENTA Combo to Shining Wizard). However, Tijuana Twister does the Spinning Powerbomb even at walls! This gives you an option if you want to finish with a Shining Torpedo or Spinning Powerbomb, as the Spinning Powerbomb can be handy on walls with breakable floors.
Buffering in Movement
The beauty of this move is you can really buffer it on anything, including movement. One of the most used way of movement buffering is after a forward dash.
Summarized Notation: ff,n,hcf+1
Expanded Notation: f,n,f,n,b,db,d,df,f+1
This gets handy when used along with Shining Wizard, which is a 1+2 break throw with the same break animation. The initial problem with this is when you input the haIf circle forward, you initially cancel the forward dash, but if you can do the half circle forward quick and smooth, the difference would be hard to notice, giving your opponent a harder time to break the throw.
Being able to buffer it on a forward dash means it would take the same way on a wavedash.
Summarized Notation: cd,n,f,hcf+1
Expanded Notation: f,n,d,df,f,n,f,n,b,db,d,df,f+1
I prefer to buffer GS on a forward dash not only because it's easier but also the dash gives it bigger range. One of the reasons why it's still a valid option when multithrows are around is because of its speed can throw people out of rhythm, though it's not something that I can say is spammable, or even worth it damage wise. Either way, It's still good to know your multithrows.
Muscle Buster/Go to Sleep Input
This refers to King and Armor King's qcb+1+2 (both chars have this for 1+2 break). For King, he does a painful Muscle Buster that does 50 damage and leaves opponent close to him in King's back, while Armor King on the other hand does a modified kick version of Go To Sleep which looks just as painful and stiff, worth 45 damage but knocks opponents a bit farther. The notation and properties of this move give people fits. First of all, it's a quarter circle back, meaning it tends to stop most movement. Second is, it's only bufferable in standing movement, meaning you can only buffer this move in forward dashes, backdashes, and sidesteps. Due to this, people have stopped using these throws despite being good damage wise and just being a honest 1+2 throw to complement Giant Swing.
Even if it's not as used now, it doesn't stop the fact that it's still a really good throw and it's still in our current movelists. There should be a way to use these throws, and luckily, with a little bit of experimenting, we have found a way that qcb+1+2 can be buffered seamlessly from movement and even after pokes.
Buffering in Movement
For some reason, Muscle Buster is only fully bufferable with movement, which some people have problems with, but it still doesn't stop the throw to be unusable. First of all, it's a pretty good throw to buffer out after a sidestep.
Summarized Notation: d,n,qcb+1+2
Expanded Notation: d,n,d,db,d+1+2
Because of the d,n,d input, the Muscle Buster will come out smoothly out of sidestep because the game is fooled for transitioning from sidestep to sidewalk. This works easier when sidestepping in the foreground. It's still good buffer when sidestepping on background, but the u,n,d input tends to cancel the sidestep quicker which some might find undesirable.
Next up is, buffering out of a forward dash, which is the more common way to buffer Muscle Buster.
Summarized Notation: f,n,hcb+1+2
Expanded Notation: f,n,f,df,d,db,b+1+2
This notation gets handy with stick players, because it's easier to execute when doing a dash. The problem with doing dash qcb is the down tends to cancel the dash, not to mention it's slower to do. The hcb does it so it's a seemless transition from forward dash to the throw that it seems like a ff+1+2 throw already.
This same idea works when buffering Muscle Buster on a Wavedash.
Summarized Notation: cd,n,hcb+1+2
Expanded Notation: f,n,d,df,f,n,f,df,d,db,b+1+2
Notation wise, be sure to know that the first f in half circle forward will buffer the forward dash for you, but you have to go to neutral first (meaning do not slide from the last part of the crouchdash input to back). In general, unlike Giant Swing, IMO Muscle Buster is a must have in wavedash, as it's a really good 1+2 throw that complements the other multithrows. It's a good alternative to Reverse Special Stretch Bomb especially when your opponent some has an eye for it.
Buffering in Recovery
This is the more tricky part. The problem initially with Muscle Buster is that it's not a throw that you can buffer when you are recovering after an attack, and because of this, the usability of the move decreased in time. But just around now, we found a way to cheat around it hehehe.
Summarized Notation: f,n,hcb+1+2
Expanded Notation: f,n,f,df,d,db,b+1+2
If you noticed, this is similar to the forward dash buffer for Muscle Buster, cause it is that same thing! It dawned on me when trying to learn how to buffer iSW is that the actuality, what we are trying to buffer first of all is the forward dash, which means after a forward dash, I can technically buffer Muscle Buster! Not only it gave us a powerful 1+2 throw after recovery, it also became a stepping stool later on when trying to figure out the timing of iSW buffer! (As if it's still practical at this point lol)
Now let's go back to the notation. I will say this now but it's just a little bit harder than it looks, because what we are trying to do first is to buffer the forward dash first, then buffer the muscle buster. It's important to know, even if the result will be seamless buffered Muscle Buster after you attacks. The key is to do this whole notation REALLY LATE in the animation. The problem is, when we try to hurry up on the input, we press the f,n,f part when the recovery animation isn't finished, and because of this, the forward dash isn't buffered properly and will not come out, hence you get a missed input. This is important to learn, even when you are too cool for Muscle Buster, because it will help you later when you are trying to buffer iWR moves out of recovery.
Instant While Running Input
Instant While Running Throws refer to King's Shining Wizard (step-up knee) and Armor King's Shining Black (step-up boot), mainly called iSW in the Tekken world (the iSW name is stuck now despite the other moves isn't really a shining wizard lol). As a bonus, this works too for characters that have WR 2+4 throws like Lars (running headbutt), Julia (Sling Blade) and Michelle (Neckbreaker Drop), and even while running attacks like standard running 3s and even Jaguar running exploders.
Just to take note, instant while running state can only be done during forward dash state, so you can technically treat instant while running moves as another set of moves performed in forward dash, and without forward dash, the iWR moves will not come out. Using this knowledge, we can have an idea on how to buffer them (at least to give us a little bit of direction and ease on a already-hard input).
Buffering in Recovery
There are 2 walls that makes buffering instant while running moves a pain to do, one of them is figuring out the right time to press the input, and second is being just fast enough to do the triple forward input. These 2 things need to be addressed or you will just screw up your wrist trying to train in the wrong way.
- First, the wall of inputting the fff input the right time. This is exactly the same problem we have initially when buffering Muscle Buster, as instant while running moves really are just forward dash moves. To work this out, go back and train on doing buffered Muscle Busters off of recovering moves, because not only Muscle Buster is a great move, but it also teaches you the timing to buffer the dash on each recovering move. Remember that each move will have different recovery (when both are -3 on block doesn't mean the recovery length are the same. Frame Data is the difference between your recovery frames and your opponent's block stun), so in the end you have to practice them.
- Second is doing the fff motion as fast as possible. I will tell you this right now, I am no Snap who can do crazy left hand inputs on a JLF Sanwa Stick like it's nothing. This thing is hard on point blank range because the forward dash window is really short, possibly a few if not a just frame. But do we have to always do it the hard way? What I realized about instant while running moves being forward dash moves is, the input window gets larger when you stay longer in forward dash state, and since we know that forward dash only stop when we are face-to-face to our opponent, we will know that the farther your opponent is, the easier the fff input becomes.
You might be saying "duh" now, because the second idea is pretty basic, but we tend to forget this or just force the issue many times. If you observe closely, all moves do some sort of pushback either on hit or on block, including jabs. This is really the window that makes iWR buffering possible. There are moves that give reasonable amount of pushback like King df+1, df+2, AK df+1 and df+4 that it becomes a good idea to use iSW as a buffered throw, and there are some throws that leaves opponents too close that it's better to use a buffered muscle buster. Be sure to know your tools, your abilities, and the situations when to use either moves and even practicing in general. Remember, play smart.
Buffering in Juggles
Concerning juggles, air iSWs are used alot for both Jaguars, more so with King. Ten years ago in DR, if you want to land an air-iSW you have to learn how to buffer it after a attack, usually with a forward dash neutral jab (you will still do this for low parry juggles), but after the introduction of bound in Tekken 6, King players buffer iSW after a bound move, which in comparison to jab iSW, is much easier (though still challenging). The same rules on buffering on recovery still apply, that you need to take account on both your move's recovery and the distance. Most of the time though, the distance of your opponent gets farther due to amount juggle fillers you did, so it's just a matter of timing the input where it's not gonna be too early or too slow.
Just a note, King's f+2,2,2 B! is an harder iSW buffer move than b+2, 1+2 B!, though it doesn't mean it's impossible, it's just harder. Also, when trying to learn how to buffer iSW through a jab, it's advisable to do it on the ground before doing it in the air. Take everything one step at a time.
Buffering in Wavedash
As a King player, doing wavedash to instant Shining Wizard would be a testament of your execution prowess. When you land this especially when up close, your opponents better be scared of you. I would even say that if you can do this, you can do anything lol.
Summarized Notation: cd~f,n,f,n,f+2+4
Expanded Notation: f,n,d,df,f,n,f,n,f+2+4
Honestly, for only 40 damage throw, it's not something I would honestly recommend people to do when you can use either muscle buster (50 damage)or reverse special stretch bomb (df+1+2, 40 Damage plus followups) as 1+2 break throws at wavedash (though I admit, Shining Wizard being just a really quick throw would make it really hard to break when combined with wavedash), but it's something that King players can practice for left hand training purposes. It also get handy when you use Snap-style wavedash for both King and AK as Snap Wavedash rely on going to instant while running state. If you want to practice it for a bit, try to combine Snap Wavedash and SRK wavedash up close on practice mode if you are serious about buffing your wavedash execution. (f,d,df,f,n,f,n,f,d,df...)
Yeah, Tombstone Piledriver, the cerebral move popularized by The Undertaker, and both Jaguars have them (as well as Roger and Alex). In terms of raw guaranteed damage, this move does the best damage in 58, just equaled by the Jacks' Piledriver. despite being an obvious 2 break, this throw should be attempted many times because of the raw damage that it can do. It also helps that Giant Swing, Muscle Buster and Shining Wizard were the primary throws opponents tend to focus on breaking, making regular animation throws harder to break when used as a rhythm killer throwbreaking wise.
Buffering in Recovery
Tombstone Piledriver's real input is db, f+2+4. Despite being a honest input, it could be tough to buffer this throw because of the timing involved (the f+2+4 part should be done close to the end of recovery animation). Good thing is that some people on TZ knew about an alternative input for Tombstone...
Alternate Input: qcb, F+2+4
This alternate input is eerie similar to the Chang's Dejavu/Mad Axes throw and works the same way buffering wise (in fact, the previous game's input for Tombstone was db,f+2 with alternate qcb,f+2, exactly the same input as Mad Axes, for some reason they changed it into 2+4). Using this alternate input makes it as bufferable as Giant Swing when recovering standing. Knowing this, it's just a matter of incorporating the throw again to our game as one of our go-to throws, and looking at the damage and the oki the it gives to use, we should be using Tombstone more and more.
Rock Bottom/AK Driver Input
This input refers to the FC db,b,db throws. For King, he does a 45 damage Clotheline Press (Rock Bottom) that leaves opponents on off axis KND position and AK has Electric Chair Powerbomb (AK Driver) that does the same 45 damage and leaves opponent in KND similar to air iSW. These throws are only accessible on crouch, that might lesser their value for a bit until people realized that it's a fully bufferable throw at crouch. Many characters have similar bufferable moves from crouch like Kazama Falling Rain, Bryan Chains of Misery and Changs Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex, and they make it work. Why not us? This throw along with Giant Swing gives Jaguars a perfect throw mixup at crouching, so there's no reason why we shouldn't bother...
Buffering in Recovery
This throw honestly is an easy throw buffer to do, the only problem is you gotta check which moves you can buffer this move in. Because it's only a throw that you can do while crouching, these throws will be a little bit picky on which moves it can go well.
|Moves that Recover Crouching|
| d+1 (crouch jab)
d+2 (crouch jab)
d+4 (generic low kick)
d+3+4 (King ali kick)
db+3 (crouching low kick)
FC df+1 (Leg Breaker)
SS 2+4~B (King Slide)
| d+1 (crouch jab)
d+1+4 (Shadow Step)
d+4 (generic low kick)
d+3+4 (AK aki kick)
db+3 (foot sweep
First of all, if you are using King, do not use ali kick as a poke until you know it's gonna kill. Second, do not bother using King's Slide as Rock Bottom Buffer because the canned multithrow does not only having the same break, but it's also a 40 damage throw plus followups, not to mention easier execution. just sacrificing 5 damage on a throw is worth it. On another note, this throw is excellent after King's db+3 as db+3 tends to put King close to the opponent, not to mention plus frames on hit. Just beware of sidesteppers, so keep them in check with WS 2.
For AK, aside from crouch jab, there is no attack for AK that will consistently put him close enough for throws (AK ali kick and db+3 doesn't close the gap, so throws tend to whiff). This is where Shadow Step comes in. You can treat Shadow Step like a FC/WS stance, and because of the canned spear, people tend to not attack you. It's really a good way to get in to your opponent, but just beware that AK do not have any tracking option out of crouching, and to make it work, you have to at times restrain yourself from doing attacks.
Other Bufferable Throws
King Reverse Special Stretch Bomb
Aside from df+1+2, King's Reverse Special Stretch Bomb is also accessible after sidestep (SS 2+4 or King's Slide, 1+2 break on front) and also as a bufferable crouch throw (df,df+1+3_2+4, breaks vary depending on which input). Consider that the bufferable crouch throw does 40 damage plus followups over the regular crouch throw which is 45 damage alone. That 5 damage sacrifice is worth it considering the followups already surpass the damage you can do with a lone regular crouch throw.
This buffered throw comes in handy when partnered with Jaguar Step. JGS 2 when hit on a crouching opponent gives King a free crouchthrow, which is probably the lone opportunity that you can safely use this buffered throw, but it's worth it.
Aside from GTS, Armor King also got a bufferable 1+2 throw in DDT (db,db+1+2), a Waning Moon style throw buffer that does 45 damage, and leaves both characters grounded, causes iffy oki. I say iffy because the opponent actually recovers faster than AK does. Remember, IF AK DOESN'T BACKROLL, ANYTHING AK WILL DO WILL BE BEAT BY THE OPPONENT'S WAKEUP LOW KICK. If your opponent knows this, you basically are taking damage for every DDT oki attempt, but if they don't, it's something to take advantage from, like doing a wakeup low kick on your own to add to the damage the DDT does.