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Guide - Bartitsu Fighting them off with a stick! – A Living Guide to Bartitsu Bo’ Rai Cho


Time Warrior
Fighting them off with a stick!
A Living Guide to Bartitsu Bo’ Rai Cho

1. Introduction

2. Notation

3. Gameplan

4. Normals

5. Strings

6. Specials

7. Combos

8. Corner game

9. Setups

10. Links

1. Introduction

So here we go again. I’m writing another guide because why not I suppose. This one is for bartitsu which I believe is by far Bo’s worst variation but it does have some good strengths and can be a very fun variation to use. The worst part about bartitsu (in my opinion) is how you can’t launch your opponent midscreen without using meter unless you use one of Bo’s universal strings to launch, all of which are unsafe on block. However the variation does provide a great deal of mixup potential and more importantly, some insane range of his unique normals.

Not 100% finished yet but I've got all the essentials done so here it is.

2. Notation

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

3. Gameplan

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 although he is much more unsafe in this variation then compared to either dragon breath or drunken master. That said he also has a lot more options for punishing and playing his neutral game in this variation simply because of the added range on his kane moves.

4. Normals

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: 11, hits: high, safe on block) f1 is very good tool for Bo’s neutral and whiff punish game thanks to its insane range. The only real downside to this normal is the fact that it is a high so it will be easily low profiled by a number of your opponents pokes.

d4 – (startup: 11, hits: low, unsafe on block) Bo’s d4 is one of the best in the game, but in bartitsu it is even better, mostly because of the plus frames available on hit. Whereas Bo’s regular d4 is only +19 on hit, in bartitsu his d4 is +23 on hit which allows him to almost guarantee a mixup off of b3 or f3, his universal overhead and low starters. The range of this d4 and Bo’s regular d4 are pretty comparable but that’s ok because his d4 has great range regardless.

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: 14, hits: mid, overhead, safe on block) Bo loses his quick low starter in this variation but gains a pretty nice mid into overhead starter which is great for mixing your opponent with the b14 string (mid, overhead, low) and the db3 and df3 (overhead and low specials). The second hit has a lot more range than the first so keep that in mind during your neutral game.

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.

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.

5. Strings

Bo has a number of different strings that lend to his incredible mixup potential.

f11 – (hits: high, low, unsafe on block) This string is probably Bo’s best whiff punisher and an amazing footsies tool. It has great range but here is a lot of risk involved with this string as it is very unsafe on block, even at max range, you’ll want to be careful when using this string as it can’t be hit confirmed and you could end up in serious trouble if you commit to and unsafe special, (i.e. almost all of Bo’s specials in this variation)

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.

b14 – (hits: mid, overhead, low, hit confirmable) b14 is a great string for mixing your opponent, especially when combined with db3 and df3. Since b14 hits overhead and then low, you can mix the overhead and low specials to catch out your opponent after the string or even decide to only use b1 and go straight into the overhead flips to further mix your opponent.

b32 – (hits: low, mid) b32 is a low starter string with a lot of range but very slow startup. b322 can also be used to launch while in the corner but is unsafe.

f34 – (hits: overhead, overhead) 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) 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.

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 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. Bartitsu’s grabs in particular are the best of all Bo’s variations and are one of this variations strongest tools because unlike Dragon Breath and Drunken Master, these grabs will keep your opponent on the same side which is very useful in Bo’s corner mixup game. They also deal a pretty decent chunk of damage.

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. That said it is very unsafe on block so you will only want to really use this during a combo to launch your opponent.

6. Specials

db1 – (hits: mid, mid, mid, mid, very good chip on block, absorbs most normal projectiles, safe on block) db1 is a great special in a number of situations. It has great chip damage when used on block and is able to absorb projectiles in the same way as db1 in Dragon Breath. It’s also one of only a few moves in the game that can break the plethora of armoured moves that now have two hits (not all of them, but a fair amount). Apart from that it can be used as a combo ender for damage and to knock the opponent down.

db3 – (hits: overhead, overhead, unsafe on block) 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.

df3 – (hits: low, slow to startup, unsafe on block) A very potent special for mixing your opponent when used in conjunction with db3 and you can end any string in a 50/50. Keep in mind though that both db3 and df3 are unsafe on block and df3 is generally slow to startup so your opponent may react in time to block it. The ex version can be confirmed into and launches for a full combo.

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, mid, safe on block, knocks the opponent away from you.) A decent combo ender that knocks the opponent away from you. It can also be used to skip over some low projectiles with practice.

db2 – (hits: high, can be ducked, has very slow startup, unsafe on block, no armour) A combo ender for damage when used meterlessly but is more importantly used to launch your opponent for a combo by using the ex version. It is unsafe on block however so you will want to hit confirm into this special (also to not waste the bar).

df1 – (hits: high, restands the opponent, unsafe on block) You can use this special to restand your opponent at the end of a combo although there isn’t much you can do afterwards as the restand only leaves you at +9, guaranteeing at most a d1 or d3.

df2 – (hits: mid, ex version has armour, safe on block) Pretty much Bo’s only option in this variation for armour, however this move is very safe on block in both the regular and ex versions and has really good range, especially the ex version.

dd4 – (hits: unblockable, ex version can be guaranteed, leads into a vortex in the corner) 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.

7. Combos

Now for the fun stuff. Just add one or two percent for a jump in punch before the combo.

Midscreen meterless:​

Because of the way bartitsu is designed you can’t launch your opponent unless you spend bar or use one of Bo’s universal launching strings, all of which are unsafe on block. Apart from these combos listed here the only real combos he has are string into special for 16-24% damage so I didn’t think it was worth mentioning.

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:​

Pretty much all of these can be applied in the corner too.

starters – f3 (38%), b14 (39%), f11 (38%), b32 (40%), 244 (40%), 413 (39%), 1212 (38%), b233 (42%)

starter xx ex db2, NJP, rc, 12 xx db4, ji2, b233 xx db3

starters – f3 (30%), b14 (31%), f11 (29%), b32 (31%), 244 (33%), 413 (31%), 1212 (30%), b233 (35%)

starter xx df3 ex, NJP, rc, 12 xx db4, ji2, b233 xx db3
Corner meterless:​

f34, 21, 3 xx db4, walk back, ji2, b233 xx db3 (38%)

b322, 21, 3 xx db4, walk back, ji2, b233 xx db3 (32%)
Corner 1 bar:​

f34, 21, 3 xx db4, walk back, ji2, b233 xx ex db2, d1 xx db1 (44%)

b322, 21, 3 xx db4, walk back, ji2, b233 xx ex db2, d1 xx db1 (36%)
NJP starter:​

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. While bartitsu isn’t quite as potent or safe as Dragon Breath or Drunken Master he does have a good selection of options to go for in the corner, including a meterless true vortex.

Tumble Flips/OTG Option

The first and most common that I see is ending a combo in db3 and then using ex dd4 which is a guaranteed unblockable restand that leaves you decently plus. From there you can go into a mixup, 244, b14, 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, b14 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. Because of the fact that Bartitsu is so meter hungry to launch of the majority of his mixes I find it generally worthwhile to go for the next option so as to save my meter for the launching specials and not the OTG.

True meterless vortex option

So because of the fact that Bo’s d4 in bartitsu is +23 on hit compared to his regular +19 he can use this get a true meterless vortex in the corner (you can also use meter to mix and launch your opponent too). Basically the idea is the end your corner combo in a d4 to leave you at +23 which allows Bo to get for his overhead or low starter, that being f3 and b3. By using either f34 or b322 Bo can launch his opponent for a combo and restand them with the fart, walk back, ji2, d4 and repeat this loop until your opponent dies. This technique does have flaws however. Both f3 and b3 have very slow startup so your opponent may be able to react in time to block. The low starter option of b322 is also unsafe on block.

So now let’s add two more elements to this vortex, your meterburn launching options and bartitsu’s grabs. If you think your opponent is going to block your next mixup then you can instead input f3 or b3 into Bo’s grab. This is a great option for a number of reasons because 1. Your opponent will be afraid to jump or push buttons to avoid the grab if they think the full string is coming out, 2. Unlike DB and DM, bartitsu’s grabs don’t side swap so you maintain your corner positioning, 3. The grabs actually do a really good amount of damage, dealing 21% if the initial 50/50 hits and 17% if the 50/50 is blocked. Your other choice is the mix with another string like 244 of b14, however these strings won’t launch unless your hitconfirm into ex db2 or df3 ex but you can use these mix your opponent even further and put them back into a standing reset with d4 once again. Of course you can also knock your opponent down with db3 and use meter for an OTG into another mixup, it all depends on what you want to do.

9. Setups

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.

The tick grab options that Bo has won't work the same way as the do for Dragon Breath because Bo doesn't swap sides, however you do get a good chunk more damage from these throws and maintain your corner positioning so it's still a viable option.

10. Links

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 Dragon Breath Guide: What you can find there: A complete and comprehensive guide to everything Dragon Breath, updated for the 4th of October patch!

Bo' Rai Cho Combo Video Guide: What you can find there: Combo video for all variations!

Bartitsu Corner Ex Fart Resets: What you can find there: Big damage corner resets using the ex fart!

@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
Last edited:


Sky above, Voice within
Nice job once again!

Also, I noticed that b1 is good to stop opponent's jumps (but still it's not good AA, cuz you can't do a combo after it).
Plus, don't forget about this:
So, exdf2 is -2 on block and exdf1 is -11.
Both of them have 2hit armor.
And that's exactly what will help you to cover up gaps in b233 and b14 strings and use them more safely (especially, if yous use exdf2)
BUT: 1) opponent can backdash exdf1 or last hit in b233; string;
2) these armors dont work against Extreme Gotcha grab and Slippery Slide'

p.s. added to my guide link to this guide ;)