Feel the burn!
A Living Guide to Dragon Breath Bo’ Rai Cho
A Living Guide to Dragon Breath Bo’ Rai Cho
8. Corner game
So I’ve decided to put together a guide specifically for Dragon Breath because I’ve seen a decent amount of people asking about it and while there have been threads and other guides that have covered some of Dragon Breath, no one has made a dedicated guide for the variation yet, so I figured I would go ahead and put all this information together in a neat and tidy package for you all. I’ll be updating this post with more information as needed so if you see that I’ve missed something crucial then don’t be afraid to let me know so I can add it. Point out any mistakes I’ve made too, I really want this to be a good guide for people so your help with that would be appreciated. I know there are some things I have yet to put in here and I'll get around to that eventually, more videos demonstrating things should be coming soon as well. Also I'm just going to say straight up I did not discover/come up with everything in here myself, I have included setups and tech that I have seen posted by other players, this is just meant to be a neat collection of information. Anyway, let’s get into it!
Updated with the patch notes from the October 4th patch.
1 – square/X
2 – triangle/Y
3 – X/A
4 – circle/B
d – down
b – back
f – forward
u – up
xx – cancel
rc – run cancel
njp – neutral jump punch
njk – neutral jump kick
ji – jump in
Bo is a very situational character in a lot of ways, his neutral is very unlike any other character in MKXL and he suffers greatly when being zoned out by his opponent. Bo’s goal is the get his opponent to the corner, keep him there, overwhelm him with mixups and kill him. Luckily he has A LOT of mixup potential, especially in the corner and I think you’ll find that you actually have a ton of options while playing this variation with regards to opening up your opponent.
As far as good normals go Bo is really lacking in comparison to most of the cast however he does have some good options and they can be used in a bunch of cool ways.
f1 – (startup: 8, hits: mid, safe on block) f1 is a pretty decent mid attack which can be cancelled at any point during the multiple hits of the move into a special for a combo. You can also “stagger” this normal by using f1 without cancelling into a special, most commonly db1, because your opponent will most likely be blocking to avoid getting launched by the db1 for a combo which allows you to simply go for another f1 or another mixup.
d4 – (startup: 12, hits: low, safe on block) Bo’s d4 is one of the best in the game; it has incredible range and can be a very useful tool for his neutral game.
d3 – (startup: 8, hits: low, safe on block) Bo’s d3 is a decent low poke, what it lacks in range it makes up for in relative speed and it does a good job of low profiling some moves that d1 and d4 wouldn’t.
d1 – (startup: 7, hits: mid, safe on block) A pretty decent down poke with a good startup and decent range.
f3 – (startup: 26, hits: overhead, safe on block) Bo’s overhead starter has very slow startup but can lead to big amounts of damage especially in the corner. Generally speaking your opponent may be able to react to this move coming out.
b1 – (startup: 11, hits: low, safe on block) One of Bo’s two low starters, this one has a faster startup but less range so it is generally a better option in the corner as your opponent will be unable to react.
b3 – (startup: 23, hits: low, unsafe on block) Bo’s other low starter; this one has a much longer startup but has much better range. Can be reacted to because of the slower startup but can be made safe by cancelling into db1.
4 – (startup: 11, hits: high, unsafe on block) Bo’s standing four can used as an anti-air with practice, the move has a long whiff recovery though so you’ll have to be careful. It is also incredibly negative on block.
Bo has a number of different strings that lend to his incredible mixup potential.
244 – (hits: high, low, low, hit confirmable) 244 is one of Bo’s best strings because of its raw mixup potential and ability to be hit confirmed for a full combo. Bo can cancel from this string at any point in his special db3 which hits overhead to mixup your opponent. (i.e. 2xxdb3 [high, overhead, overhead], 24xxdb3 [high, low, overhead, overhead] and 244xxdb3 [high, low, low, overhead, overhead]) This essentially forces your opponent into a guessing game of how many lows hits they will have to block, zero, one or two. The string can also be confirmed into db1 in the corner for a combo.
341 – (hits: high, low, overhead, launches, has a gap) 341 is a good string to punish with when your opponent commits to something very unsafe, it is also a decent mixup tool as the string hits low then overhead, however there is a gap between the second and third hits of the string that can be armoured. The standing 3 can be cancelled into the overhead flips to mix up your opponent and keep them guessing but it doesn’t achieve much damage. The string does launch for a full combo though.
b12 – (hits: low, mid) b12 is a low starter string that can be cancelled into db1 for a combo midscreen or in the corner.
b32 – (hits: low, mid) b32 is a low starter string with more range than b12 but much slower startup. b3 can be cancelled on its own into db1 to launch for a combo in the corner as well as b32. b322 can also be used to launch while in the corner but is unsafe and scales worse than b32xxdb1.
f34 – (hits: overhead, overhead) While f3 can be used on its own when cancelled into db1, f34 is quite useful as a double overhead and is safe on block. It can be used midscreen to launch for a combo and gives good corner carry. This particular string leads to Bo’s biggest damage combos in the corner.
1212 – (hits: high, mid, mid, mid, hit confirmable) Not really a string for mixing up your opponent but this string does cover the whole screen, provides good chip and meter build and can be cancelled for a combo. Can be hitconfirmed into ex db1 or ex db4 for a combo.
21 – (hits: high, mid) Mostly used during Bo’s combos for juggling and damage but it can be used in the neutral to launch your opponent for a combo, however the conversion is a little touch and the string itself is very unsafe on block.
b3, 1+3 and f3, 1+3 – (hits: [b3] low, unblockable, [f3] overhead, unblockable) Bo has two tick throw options to use against his opponent from either his b3 low starter of f3 overhead starter. This can especially useful for opening up your opponent if they keep reacting to your slow startup moves. It is also useful for swapping positioning in the corner and throwing your opponent into an ex db4 setup.
413u4 – (hits: high, mid, low, mid, very unsafe on block) This string can kind of be a mixup because I don’t see many players blocking the low in this string. You can cancel into the db3 overhead flips before the low to mix your opponent or even in db1 instead of the full string to make it safe. That said it is very unsafe on block so you will only want to really use this during a combo to launch your opponent.
db1 – (hits: mid, launches for a combo, very good chip on block, safe on block, can parry most normal projectiles) db1 is a fantastic special and is a huge part of the reason why Dragon Breath is Bo’s best variation. This special can be used to make everything Bo does safe on block and is also a great meterless launcher for his combos both at midscreen and the corner. The meterburned version can be hitconfirmed into from a string at midscreen to launch for a better combo with more damage. Both the regular and meterburn versions of this move allow Bo to absorb a projectile if timed correctly, although in some instances it may be better/easier to block or neutral duck the projectile instead. It's also very handy in the Smoke matchup.
db3 – (hits: overhead, overhead, unsafe on block, ex version has two hits of armour) A fantastic combo ender that has great corner carry and sets up Bo’s guaranteed OTG stomp. It is unsafe on block but can be difficult to punish because of the animation. It’s also a fantastic mixup tool as previously stated. The ex version has armour and can be used to armour gaps and projectiles and gets good corner carry when used this way.
db4 – (hits: mid, a decent neutral tool, restand in combos, armour breaking setups, ex fart setups, etc.) One of Bo’s best specials, it’s incredibly multipurpose. It can be used in the neutral to catch opponents running/jumping in or using advancing strings for a full combo/corner carry. The ex version can be hitconfirmed into midscreen from combos that don’t launch as regular fart won’t combo.
bf4 – (hits: mid, unsafe on block, knocks the opponent away from you, ex version has two hits of armour) A decent combo ender but unsafe on block in both regular and ex versions, however the ex version has armour and swaps sides so it can useful for escaping the corner and gaining positioning.
db2 – (hits: high, can be ducked, has very slow startup, safe on block with good pushback, ex version has two hits of armour) The only real use of this special is as a combo ender for damage. It does restand the opponent when it connects so it can maximize the damage from df1 in the corner. The ex version has armour but the slow startup of this move makes it easy to break.
df1 – (hits: unblockable, tick damage over time, ex version is an unblockable reset) Mostly used for damage over time in the corner and is very useful in chips setups. The ex version can be used to reset and launch your opponent for another combo, however it can be jumped out of or armoured so try not to use it too often. Save it for when you don’t think your opponent won’t react.
df2 – (hits: high, ex version guarantees a mixup in Bo’s corner vortex, can be used for a chip setup.) A semi ok neutral tool with decent reach and damage but it’s more useful as a combo ender. The benefit of this move is that it leaves your opponent standing so they don’t have a chance to do a wakeup attack. Ending with a regular df2 will leave you at +9 frames which allows you to go for either a f1 or a throw depending on how you want to condition your opponent. If your opponent is blocking after the df2 ender than you can mix them with a throw and alternatively if they start trying to jump out or duck the throw you can start using f1 to get another combo. The ex version of df2 is +26 on hit so ending a combo in it guarantees that Bo will be able to go for ANY of his mixup options in the corner as his slowest move is his overhead starter f3 and 26 frames.
dd4 – (hits: unblockable, ex version can be guaranteed, leads into a vortex in the corner, scales heavily) A full screen unblockable, but very slow to startup. The main reason to use this move is the ex version which is a guaranteed OTG on opponents who are knocked down after ending a combo with db3.
Now for the fun stuff. Just add one or two percent for a jump in punch before the combo. More to come later.
Midscreen meterless:Any combo ending in db3 guarantees the OTG stomp afterwards.
starters - 1212 (24%), b3 (22%), b12 (21%)
starter xx db1, rc, 2 xx db3
starters - 244 (26%), f3 (22%), 413 (24%)
starter xx db1, rc, d4 xx db3
f34, rc, b233 xx db3 (27%)
341, rc, 12 xx db4, ji2, b233 xx db3 (32%)
21, rc, 12 xx db4, ji2, b233 xx db3 (32%)
Midscreen 1 bar:
starters - f3 (35%), b12 (33%), b32 (36%), 244 (37%), 413 (35%), f1 (3rd hit) (33%), b233 (39%), 1212 (35%)
starter xx ex db4, jump back, ji2, b233 xx db1, rc, 2 xx db3
Damage is the same for these combos whether you end them in db3 or df2, it just depends on whether you want the knockdown/OTG setup or if you want to leave your opponent standing and go for a f1 or throw.
starters - f3 (36%), b12 (34%), b32 (37%), 244 (38%), 413 (36%), 34 (37%), f1 (3rd hit) (34%), b233 (40%), 1212 (36%)
starter xx db1, 21, 3 xx db4, df1, b233 xx db3/df2
starters - f34 (36%), b322 (31%)
starter, 21, 3 xx db4, df1, b233 xx db3/df2
Corner 1 bar:
Corner Vortex Combos
Ending your corner combos in ex df2 will guarantee any of Bo's mixup options.
starter - f3 (36%), b12 (35%), b32 (38%), 244 (39%), 413 (37%), 34 (38%), f1 (3rd hit) (36%), b233 (41%), 1212 (36%)
starter xx db1, 21, 3 xx db4, df1, b233 xx ex df2
starter - f34 (38%), b322 (32%)
starter - 21, 3 xx db4, df1, b233 xx ex df2
Designed to get the maximum amount of damage for a bar.
starter - f3 (44%), b12 (42%), b32 (45%), 244 (45%), 413 (44%), 34 (45%), f1 (3rd hit) (42%), b233 (47%), 1212 (43%)
starter xx db1, 21, 3 xx db4, df1, b233 xx ex db4, 413 xx db2
starter - f34 (46%), b322 (38%)
starter - 21, 3 xx db4, df1, b233 xx ex db4, 413 xx db2
OTG Setup Combos
Setup into db3 for an OTG.
starter - f3 (42%), b12 (40%), b32 (43%), 244 (43%), 413 (42%), 34 (43%), f1 (3rd hit) (40%), b233 (45%), 1212 (41%)
starter xx db1, 21, 3 xx db4, df1, b233 xx ex db4, f1 (3rd hit) xx db3
starter - f34 (44%), b322 (36%)
starter - 21, 3 xx db4, df1, b233 xx ex db4, f1 (3rd hit) xx db3
njp, 12 xx db4, ji2, b233 xx db3 (29%)
Fart starter:After catching your opponent in a fart: ji1, 413u4, NJP, b233 xx db3 (33%)
8. Corner game
This is pretty much the meat of Bo’s gameplan and how you are going win your matches. The mixup potential that Bo has in the corner is unrivaled in my opinion, and the only corner game that could match Dragon Breath is probably Grandmaster, however Bo’s corner game is very meter dependent so bear that in mind. So let’s talk about what Bo’s corner game entails. The basic setup is to do a combo into one of a few options.
Tumble Flips/OTG OptionThe first and most common setup that I see is ending a combo in db3 and then using ex dd4 which is a guaranteed unblockable restand that leaves you at +16. From there you can go into a mixup, 244, b12, b32, f3 etc and get another combo. You just loop the situation until your opponent dies which is likely but this option does have its flaws. The OTG stomp only leaves you at +16, which does jail into f1, b12 and 244, but it doesn’t jail into b3 or f3 because of their slow startups so your opponent may poke or armour out of those options which would be very bad to say the least. That said your opponent will have to risk that you might go for a jailing option and get hit when the go to poke or armour so it is still a good option, it just has it’s holes. Due to the changes in the October 4th patch, the OTG now scales much harder but this is offset by his more damaging combos due to the changes db1 received.
The ex Fire Spit Option
The next option is end my combos in ex df2 which leaves my opponent standing and leaves me at +26 which is enough to guarantee that my opponent is jailed into ANY of Bo’s mixup options since f3, his slowest normal and overhead starter is 26 frames. After the ex df2 hits, you simply go for another mixup. You can see in the video below that I try to armour out of the mixup after the ex fire spit but I am unable to. The only way for your opponent to escape this loop is to block correctly or use a breaker, unless you run out of meter first which brings us onto our next two options.
The regular Fire Spit Option
We aren’t really talking about loops anymore but these options will allow you to maintain control of the game and keep your opponent in the corner. If you run out of meter to loop your opponent then you can end your combo in regular df2 which leaves them standing and leaves you at +9. Since f1 is 8 frames the df2 ender jails your opponent into the f1, of course they can just block because it is a mid. Here is where conditioning comes into play, instead of f1 you can go for a throw because your opponent is constantly blocking the jailing f1 and open him up again. Once your opponent realizes you are beginning to throw him they may start trying to jump out or duck the throw, in which case you start using f1 again and catch them for a full combo. You can also just use the f1 “stagger” technique I mentioned earlier, which will give you good chip, meter build and maybe even a combo if your opponent lets go off block. You can also go for a regular mixup if your opponent is respecting your f1 with b1, 244 or even f3 but none of these will jail and can be armoured.
There are two kinds of setups I want to cover here at the moment and possibly more later.
Because of the slow startup on Bo’s ex df1 (54 frames) it isn’t possible to jail into the unblockable which is crucial to remember if you’re going to try this. If your opponent reacts to the ex df1 they can jump out of it or armour it so keep that in mind. These particular setups involve ending a corner or midscreen combo with ex df1 after the b233 which commonly appears in Bo’s combos. It’s also important to keep in mind that you can’t do this reset while the regular df1 is still active. If the unblockable hits, it can be an easy 50% or more for the cost of one bar so it is worth the risk if you think your opponent won’t react.
Ex Fart Setups
What these involve is basically trapping your opponent in the corner with an ex fart and applying a mixup of some sort. After the opponent is launched you can uppercut them up and over into the fart and continue a combo for good damage. Another option is to go for the mixup with f3 or b3 and use Bo’s tick throw to toss your opponent into the fart cloud and continue the combo. Depending on how close you place the fart there are different combos you will have to use depending on whether or not the opponent swapped sides with you or not.
You can see in the video below how the close cloud prevents Bo from swapping sides and allows him an easier combo while the far cloud requires you to jump over to maintain your positioning. This is a really great option for a number of reasons because the risk reward is highly in Bo's favour here. If you are going for the tick throws into the cloud and your opponent begins neutral ducking them then you can always opt for the full launching 50/50 into the uppercut. Also if your opponent tries to jump out or teleport out they will likely land in the cloud anyway, giving you a combo. It also makes it dangerous to punish the whiffed grab or blocked string for fear of landing in the cloud.
Some more proper setups are explained here.
Here you can find a lot of videos with match footage, techs, combos, overviews, etc:
My channel: What you can find there: DB, DM and bartitsu matches, DB, DM and bartitsu tech;
PND Omega's channel: What you can find there: DB techs, moment compilations;
Reo's channel: What you can find there: DB techs; Bartitsu matches;
PND Ketchup's channel: What you can find there: DB overview, DM overview, moment compilations, DB and DM matches;
Percimon's channel: What you can find there: DM and DB matches, techs, moment compilations, combos;
Fishmungah's channel: What you can find there: DB and DM tech, DM matches;
Percimon's "TOO MUCH RICE WINE GUIDE": What you can find there: Mostly focused on drunken master but has a good amount of information on dragon breath and bartitisu too, give it a look!
My Bartitsu Guide: What you can find there: A complete and comprehensive guide to everything Bartitsu, updated for the 4th of October patch!
Bo' Rai Cho Combo Video Guide: What you can find there: Combo video for all variations!
Dragon Breath Corner Ex Fart Resets: What you can find there: Big damage corner resets using the ex fart!
Anti Ex Phase Tech: What you can find there: Nifty little piece of tech to help you in the Dragon Breath versus Smoke matchup.
@Percimon @PND OmegaK @Thefish @BanTheTesters @Name v.5.0 @Youphemism @FrankOceansWaifu @pretty flocko @TamedLizard @Other Bo' Rai Cho's who I forgot I'm sorry