SONYA: Guide by A F0xy Grampa BEST NORMALS: *HIT LEVEL:H - Standing jab used for anti air, has a high reaching angle. With proper spacing you can beat any jump in punch attempt with it, leads to a combo that ends them in a MS mixup. *HIT LEVEL:H,H,M - (114) 3 hits string that juggles. Safe on block. Jails the opponent into standing block if landed from a JIP and can be hitconfirmed into a juggle from MSB2. If all hits are blocked you get a free (depending on the character) mixup of overhead tackle or MSB4 sweep which are (against depending on the character) uninteruptable. Can be poked out of if used against a crouching opponent. Does 4% chip damage on block. It starts off her weakest combos but it is definitely her most useful string because of the options you have from it. *HIT LEVEL:H,H,M - (112) 3 hit string used to end combos. Its important to end ALL of your combos in this move so that you can then make your opponent fear the military stance. After any combo is finished with this string you are gauranteed a MSF1. (opponent can block but has to take the chip at least) It lands the opponent back on their feet denying them any wakeup situation giving you complete control. *HIT LEVEL:M,H - (21) 2 hit string that jails. Safe on block, same rules as 114 apply but can only be hit confirmed into Cartwheel for a launch. Used to start off her mid level damage combos from a divekick. 3% Chip on block. *++HIT LEVEL:H,M,M - (B21F2) 3 hit string that launches. Safe on block. Used to start her most damaging combos. Best used from a jump in punch or as a punisher for moves such as slides and KL's spin. From a JIP it does not jail after the first hit, so by the time the 2nd hit lands on block what ever position the opponent is in (standing/ducking) is their true blocking position and therefore you can land a correct MS mixup. The last hit (F2) can be hit confirmed. If B21 is blocked you are free to enter military stance and take your mixup. B21 does 4% chip on block, the entire string does 6%. *+HIT LEVEL:M(overhead) - Safe overhead that gives Sonya a safe jump on hit. Preferably use the safe jump to land a B21(hitconfirm)F2/MS mixup. This move makes Sonya airbourne too, can be used to hop over Kung Laos low hat. *HIT LEVEL:M,H,M - 3 hit string only to be used in her corner combo. Doesnt jail on block and is relatively slow on start up. *HIT LEVEL:M,H - 2 hit string that jails. Safe on block. First hit is special mid, second is high. Can be cancelled into MS for a mixup. *+HIT LEVEL:L - Low poke that gives advantage on hit and can be cancelled into Military Stance on block. Its the same as Mileenas, has a long range and also a low hitbox so a well timed D4 can help avoid an opponents cross over punch. *+HIT LEVEL:N/A - Military Stance. Can be canceled with or . This is by far Sonyas most important move, it helps create mind games and makes the opponent fear even being close to her. Everytime an attack is blocked or hit against the opponent she is always able to cancel into the Military Stance allowing her a mixup attempt. Every time she enters the stance she builds a little bit of meter too, its best to learn her combos that involve the most MS attacks/cancels in them to always keep building them extra bits of meter. *while in military stance +HIT LEVEL: L,L - Two fast punches that hit low and do 9% damage naked or 7% after a (112) reset. Excellent move in her footsie game, can hit an opponent from roughly jump distance away. It can also be canceled into any special move which can lead to mind games. 3% chip damage on block. *while in military stance +HIT LEVEL:H - Safe on block high launcher. Can be punished if ducked. Also can catch a jump back if you make the read, but other than that you mainly want to use it in her hitconfirmed combos *while in military stance +~+HIT LEVEL:M(overhead) - Overhead tackle. 15% damage and cant be broken, will knock the opponent away and is especially devestating in the corner. *while in military stance +HIT LEVEL: L - Safe, fast sweep. Cannot be jumped out of unlike MSF1. This is the preferable low attack to use at the end of a blockstring. Very quick recovery and can still leave you in a preferable situation even if its blocked. (Fear of divekick, your own poke, jump, ExCartwheel etc etc.) SPECIALS: *Kissd++)HIT LEVEL:H - Grants a combo on hit. Safe on block vs stand block. Vs crouch block is punished by uppercut. Mainly used to extend combos but can be used to catch a jump if you read beforehand that the opponent is going to jump and it then leads to a 40% combo. *Dive Kickd+ while in air)HIT LEVEL:M - Has priority over most moves because technically its a jumping kick, which cant be anti aired. On hit grants a combo. Punished by full combo if blocked. This is an amazing whiff punisher, while an opponent is recovering from a missed move they will pay 40% for it off of a divekick combo. Also a useful tool to encourage the other player not to poke or anti air you, which then opens up opportunities for JIPs and more block strings after MS cancels. An incredible punishing move up close. Has some recovery when its missed. *Cartwheeld+)HIT LEVEL:M - Safe mid launcher. Can hit from a max distance of about just under half screen. Its her best wakeup move. *Leg Grabl+)HIT LEVEL:M - Very unsafe. Practically useless move, it can swap positions but her combos have quite a long carry to them so by the time you end in a leg grab you will already be away from the wall. The best use is on wake up because it is her only true invinsible on wake up move since her other wakeups require meter otherwise she can be hit out of them. *Ringsl+)HIT LEVEL:H - Projectile. Safe on block even up close. Very quick recovery, one of the faster projectiles in the game while at the same time one of the higher projectiles in the game. E.g. Sub Zero can slide under them but cannot slide under an iceball. *Arc Kickd+)HIT LEVEL:M - Travels almost full screen. Knocks down on hit. Punished by full combo on block. Use it to clear space against zoners, just make sure its well timed because the start up is relatively slow and you may be hit by a projectile on your way up or down. *Air Throwfp while in air)HIT LEVEL:Air - Throws the opponent out of air. Has priority over air moves. Comes out even if the opponent doesnt jump and is punished by full combo. Reverses positions on the screen but typically it isnt seen that much. :en MOVES: *:en Kissd++)HIT LEVEL:H - Grants a combo on hit. Safe on block vs stand block. Vs crouch block is punished by fast uppercut only as it recovers faster. It can also be cancelled out of which can lead to a divekick set up if the opponent is aware that they can only punish it from a low move. *:en Dive Kickd++ while in air)HIT LEVEL:M - Has priority over most moves. On hit will not combo. Punished by full combo if blocked on the head. Fast special if blocked on the chest or lower. Mainly used to close out a round in an air to air battle, not very useful overall. Last hit is overhead and in total all 3 hits do 16% *:en Cartwheeld++)HIT LEVEL:M - Safe mid launcher with armor. Her best wakeup and what most of her meter will be spent on. Can be used to break out of frametraps from characters like Scorpion, Cage and Baraka. *:en Leg Grabl++)HIT LEVEL:M - Forget about this move unless you want to see a flashy animation. *:en Ringsl++)HIT LEVEL:H,M - Projectile. Safe on block even up close. 2 hits, first will hit a crouch block second will hit special low. Can be used to close out a round, the 2nd hit should catch the opponent if they jump the first one, unless they have a divekick or a teleport of some sort. *:en Arc Kickd+)HIT LEVEL:M - Faster version of standard arc kick and does more damage. Punished by combo on block. Same uses as regular arc kick but can be used to go through a projectile if you're getting impatient STRATEGY: Military Stance: Since this is her most important move you're going to be using it ALOT. Every single time you touch the opponent on block you're going to cancel into MS. The reason that the Military Stance is such a powerful weapon is because it gives Sonya a rediculous amount of options off of a block string. Once you get the opponent to start to respect the stance by using simple 50/50 mixups from the overhead and low at the end of the block strings you then are able to start mixing it up even more depending on the way the opponent reacts to your actions. Here are some things you can do from the MS after a block string. 1. Low sweep. 2. Overhead tackle. 3. Cancel into another block string. 4. Cancel into a cross over jump punch. 5. Cancel into block, maybe to bait a move trying to punish your MS attack.* 6. Cancel into Xray for chip or to beat out a poke. 7. Cancel into a jump back divekick to beat out a poke. 8. Cancel into a throw which will be untechable if the opponent is blocking. *Only a few characters can punish Sonyas MS attacks, Kung Lao cant punish her sweep but he can punish her overhead with a spin. That means you can bait the spin but cancel into a block. Just keep in mind the importance of the stance when you learn her, remember that she can even go into MS off of a blocked poke, in the corner you can pick people off of the ground with D3, cancel into MS and carry on mixups making her corner game brutal. 'This is the basic way to keep yourself up close with Sonya, but at some point you're gonna have to take the 50/50 because if you always cancel they have opportunity to attack you. (If they poke you can divekick however) The beauty of it all is that all of her moves and options on hit or block keep her roughly within the D4 range which you can abuse D4MSF1 and play her insane footsie game. Thats pretty much what makes Sonya a sick character, how upclose game and footsie game complement eachother so well when using the military stance. ' Safe Jump: After + hits Sonya gets a safe jump. Use the safe jump to jump in punch +(hitconfirm)+/MS mixup Throw: Sonya has advantage off her throw. Either dash in and pressure, cross up jump in to reverse the controls of your opponent, bait a wakeup attack or use MSF1 once they stand up to knock them back down again to continue reminding them of the stance. Its also possible at the 'Finish Him!' screen to finish your opponent with 2 forward throws because it recovers so fast Jump in Punch: ANY TIME a jump in punch is blocked go into a hitconfirmable block string then into the stance. The more you make the opponent fear the stance the more options you maintain throughout the fight. The more unpredictable with the stance you are the harder you are to beat. Cartwheel and :en Cartwheel: Cartwheel is safe and leaves you at slight disadvantage but leaves you in a situation to play mindgames with the opponent, especially when you have meter. For example a good setup if after its blocked, jump back then dive kick to beat out a poke like a D3. This hits opponents advancing toward you in an attempt to follow your jump back and will also hit them if they jump after you. :en cartwheel has armor which allows her to escape pressure traps or beat out attacks. On wakeup the regular cartwheel generally struggles to beat opponents attacks since it is quite a slow move, meaning that when you do wake up you'll have to use the Ex version. Dive Kick: For starters, DO NOT use the :en version. Use this to punish ranged whiffs or projectiles. Threat of dive kick also frees up jump in punch which then frees up MS mixups which then again frees up more JIPs its a vicious circle and it builds alot of meter This move is especially useful if people try to anti air your JIP attempt, it punishes anti airs for at least 40%, just dont become too predictable with it. Zoning: Obviously Sonya is not a zoning heavy character but with all her tools players will try to keep her out. The occasional ring toss works well in these situations and is also good for building meter. Kiss is also good as a zoning tool from 1/4 screen or closer, it can also anti air if its already on screen. The ring is especially useful against characters like Cyrax who needs to put bombs on the screen but will struggle since her projectile is on the screen so fast. It can also help tenderise a Cage player or bait them to use their meter. Ending Combos with : Ending combos with a well timed will bring the opponent back down to the ground and Sonya is at extreme advantage. Use that advantage to MSF1 to make the opponent respect the option after a finished combo. Even though a leg grab combo says it does more damage, the reset will give you more damage through chip alone if you do MSF1~Cartwheel. Once people begin to respect the F1 you then again get to begin all sorts of mind games with the opponent. Are you gonna jump at them? Throw them? Poke them with D4? Keep them guessing! Wake Up Attacks: Leg grab is invincible on start up when done as a "wake up attack". On block it is fully punishable however. Her most useful wakeup attack is an Enhanced Cartwheel since its safe and will go through most attacks opponents throw at you. Be careful with it against characters like Sub Zero though because the armour isnt long enough to go through his clone 100% of the time. Sonya's : Her X-Ray is arguably one of the best X-Rays in the game since it can be used in so many situations. To use it in a combo make sure its used before a cartwheel since the cartwheel will make it scale ALOT. It does considerable damage in very short (or shorter versions of) combos: JIP 2 : = 40% Divekick 2 : = 44% JIP B21F2 NJP Kiss Divekick 21 : = 52% Uses of her : are: - Chip damage. The : itself does 4% chip but it can be linked off of 114 and cannot be ducked (only if the 114 is blocked, the first two hits can be ducked if its thrown out naked) - Armour. It's fully armoured so you can use it to interuppt an opponents offence. - Anti Air. A well timed : will take an opponent out of the air and juggle them for 27% damage. - Set ups. Since its safe on block it means that you can start a mind game off of it. People like to try punish it by dashing in, which means you can catch them with a dive kick. If they respect the divekick and block you can attempt a block string/poke into MS. Or you can just back off and start up her footsie game. FOOTSIES Sonya's footsie game is very strong since she does so well from a mid range. She has a quick projectile, 2 long reaching low move (one that can be linked into the other), a divekick that can whiff punish for a full combo and a kiss than can stop people from advancing as well as a great standing 1 for AA. D4 - Reaches from roughly just before jump distance, use this to gain advantage on hit and also gain free entry into the MS. It lowers her hitbox in the same way it lowers Mileena's on her D4 so you can use it to avoid cross over punches and if timed well you can catch a cross over punch with a D4 into Cartwheel. It is also quite good at catching a backwards jump if you dash in and D4 into Cartwheel. Her D4s range is so long that after a blocked MSB4 from a blockstring, you can take a step back, D4 back into MSF1. Once your opponent respects that everytime you D4 them you're gonna MSF1 you can begin to cancel into her F4 overhead for safe jumps etc. These are just a few examples of what her D4 can be used for, but its mainly dependend on the way your opponent reacts to your moves. MSF1 - People will have to respect this move as they approach you otherwise they will keep losing 9% at a time for not blocking low, this will make them cautious on approach giving you the advantage and possibly encouraging them to jump. Kiss - This stops a jump in if spaced and timed properly. Its good since you can cancel out of the MS with it, say they expect an MSF1 and they jump they could jump straight into a kiss. Ring - 2% on block 8% on hit and very quick recovery, can trade with most projectiles in the game and still have time to block from full screen. Use this to annoy the opponent. Possibly encouraging a jump again. Standing 1 - You can dash in and catch a forward jump with this move and land them in a 112 reset at the end of it and choose to either continue a footsie game of go in and pressure. COMBOS STANDARD COMBOS: 1. ++, NJP, DashxxKiss, Divekick,, ++, 48% combo that ends in a reset leaving the opponent open for a MSF1 2. , , , +,, dash, , 28% combo off of the hit confirmable 114 string ending in a reset 3. JIP/Divekick ,, , ++, , 36/40% combo ending in a reset. 4. (In the corner) JIP/Divekick ,, +~Kiss~ ++, x3/5 , 41/45/46% combo ending in a reset 5. Anti Air - , , , +,, dash, , 26% AA combo ending in a reset (This combo also counts to any anti air move used except for the kiss and MSB2 e.g. D1, Standing 2 etc. 6. NJP~Kiss Divekick , ++, , 40% combo ending in a reset. 7. Military stance +, NJP, DashxxKiss, Divekick, , ++, , 39% combo ending in a reset, can be used as a cannonball punish. Typically only used for Mileenas Ball Roll but can also be used if you manage to catch a jump back with the MSB2 8. Corner combo - Jumpkick x2 32% corner combo from 114 string, best damage from 114 in the corner/most practical COMBOS: 1. Jump in punch/Dive kick~: - 40/44% Short and hardly scaled, best used just before opponent gets a breaker. 2. . Jump in punch ++, NJP, DashxxKiss, Divekick: 52% 3. (In the corner) JIP/Divekick +~Kiss~ Divekick : 49/53% 4. Corner combo - Jumpkick x3 : 37% 5. Military stance +, NJP, DashxxKiss, Divekick: 44% Fatality 1: (Jump) Fatality 2: (Sweep) Stage: (Touching) Babality: (Jump) Now you have some info to go on... ITS KOMBAT TIME!