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How the FUCK do you beat Kabal?

MadPropz101

"I still got it...but not much of it"
Been randomly bumping into this Kabal Main online, he plays "The Spins" variation, there's literally not a single thing I can do, I've tried Baraka who's my main since the beta, Joker and Spawn as well. Now I'm not the best player but I'm better than average, this matchup for Spawn is literally impossible. He can't even play his 34 projectile game cause Kabal can just jump at you after 34 and get a full combo.
Kabal is freaking safe on everything, his zoning is ridiculous, insane damage and krushing blows, fatal blow that makes you shit your pants. I get outspaced nonstop, or he just gets a button off after a string since it's either barely - or just enough pushback so he can enforce his bullshit.
How the hell is this character not played more often in tournaments, he is literally godlike...
 
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Vagrant

Noob
Been randomly bumping into this Kabal Main online, he plays "The Spins" variation, there's litrrally not a single thing I can do, I've tried Baraka who's my main since the beta, Joker and Spawn as well. Now I'm not the best player but I'm better than average, this matchup for Spawn is literally impossible. He can't even play his 34 projectile game cause Kabal can just jump at you after 34 and get a full combo.
Kabal is freaking safe on everything, his zoning is ridiculous, insane damage and krushing blows, fatal blow that makes you shit your pants. I get outspaced nonstop, or he just gets a button off after a string since it's either barely - or just enough pushback so he can enforce his bullshit.
How the hell is this character not played more often in tournaments, he is literally godlike...

I play v2 spawn and v3 kabal.

Spawn is one of the characters that actually has comparable footsies to Kabal. It's definitely not "literally impossible" and kabal is definitely not "freaking safe on everything" I wouldn't say his zoning is ridiculous but mid screen his air saw definitely is a hassle. He also doesn't get free buttons after strings. Enforce your d1,d3, f4 string etc. if he's minus up close. watch for the shimmy after f22 staggers. You have options for that too. If he likes to neutral jump alot up close after you block a string. Stand jab into ex bf3 for like 30 percent.

Against the spins, you can duck his saw from full screen and throw green shit at him. Neither character really gains that much full screen unless you have a life lead and want to turtle. When he gets into his mid range spot you do have to be mindful of jump 2 and air saw and his buttons. He has to be mindful of your buttons too. It's also a good thing that you have one of the best dashes in the game to approach and start your own strike throw game when you're mid screen. Backdashing out of range of his b12u2 string and whiff punishing with f2,b1,3. or whatever will also be important. back dash b1 will also work to dash out of j2 range and hit him on trip guard. You will probably eat occasional air saws. That's ok. He'll probably eat green shit too. Aaing far out jump 2s with standing 3 into ex bf3 will also probably work.

Point is you have options. Chill.
 

LaidbackOne

Scrubby nice guy
I play v2 spawn and v3 kabal.

Spawn is one of the characters that actually has comparable footsies to Kabal. It's definitely not "literally impossible" and kabal is definitely not "freaking safe on everything" I wouldn't say his zoning is ridiculous but mid screen his air saw definitely is a hassle. He also doesn't get free buttons after strings. Enforce your d1,d3, f4 string etc. if he's minus up close. watch for the shimmy after f22 staggers. You have options for that too. If he likes to neutral jump alot up close after you block a string. Stand jab into ex bf3 for like 30 percent.

Against the spins, you can duck his saw from full screen and throw green shit at him. Neither character really gains that much full screen unless you have a life lead and want to turtle. When he gets into his mid range spot you do have to be mindful of jump 2 and air saw and his buttons. He has to be mindful of your buttons too. It's also a good thing that you have one of the best dashes in the game to approach and start your own strike throw game when you're mid screen. Backdashing out of range of his b12u2 string and whiff punishing with f2,b1,3. or whatever will also be important. back dash b1 will also work to dash out of j2 range and hit him on trip guard. You will probably eat occasional air saws. That's ok. He'll probably eat green shit too. Aaing far out jump 2s with standing 3 into ex bf3 will also probably work.

Point is you have options. Chill.
Agree with everything you said except the "not freaking safe on everything" part. No gaps, barely minus frame data on almost all moves. When does he risk anything except low hook?
 

Vagrant

Noob
Agree with everything you said except the "not freaking safe on everything" part. No gaps, barely minus frame data on almost all moves. When does he risk anything except low hook?

I mean I hear you on not having anything super minus that he uses in neutral besides yolo nomad dash. But when he goes for a throw or sticks out a limb in midrange I would argue that he's taking a risk. Sure this idea applies to everyone, I just think those are two big parts of v3 kabals game and they get blown up on reads. But not blown up from being super minus.

So sure. I agree. His frame data is safe. But I guess keep in mind that he does have to take "risks" to open up prepared players.
 

thlityoursloat

kick kick
I mean I hear you on not having anything super minus that he uses in neutral besides yolo nomad dash. But when he goes for a throw or sticks out a limb in midrange I would argue that he's taking a risk. Sure this idea applies to everyone, I just think those are two big parts of v3 kabals game and they get blown up on reads. But not blown up from being super minus.

So sure. I agree. His frame data is safe. But I guess keep in mind that he does have to take "risks" to open up prepared players.
what limbs? What button do you press in the midrange that doesn't involve his 12" dildo?
 
Been randomly bumping into this Kabal Main online, he plays "The Spins" variation, there's litrrally not a single thing I can do, I've tried Baraka who's my main since the beta, Joker and Spawn as well. Now I'm not the best player but I'm better than average, this matchup for Spawn is literally impossible. He can't even play his 34 projectile game cause Kabal can just jump at you after 34 and get a full combo.
Kabal is freaking safe on everything, his zoning is ridiculous, insane damage and krushing blows, fatal blow that makes you shit your pants. I get outspaced nonstop, or he just gets a button off after a string since it's either barely - or just enough pushback so he can enforce his bullshit.
How the hell is this character not played more often in tournaments, he is literally godlike...
basic rule: if you cant do anything, dont do anything. just stay away from the spins and youll see that he feeds off your attempts to work in. he cant do much but a little chip if you stay outside jumping range. then try whatever your char can do from there. doesnt really sound good but works surprisingly well.
 

LaidbackOne

Scrubby nice guy
I mean I hear you on not having anything super minus that he uses in neutral besides yolo nomad dash. But when he goes for a throw or sticks out a limb in midrange I would argue that he's taking a risk. Sure this idea applies to everyone, I just think those are two big parts of v3 kabals game and they get blown up on reads. But not blown up from being super minus.

So sure. I agree. His frame data is safe. But I guess keep in mind that he does have to take "risks" to open up prepared players.
Interesting way of looking at this since I think most characters have to (sometimes at least) exit their comfortable range. I get what you mean though. Respect your opinion old-timer
 

MadPropz101

"I still got it...but not much of it"
I play v2 spawn and v3 kabal.

Spawn is one of the characters that actually has comparable footsies to Kabal. It's definitely not "literally impossible" and kabal is definitely not "freaking safe on everything" I wouldn't say his zoning is ridiculous but mid screen his air saw definitely is a hassle. He also doesn't get free buttons after strings. Enforce your d1,d3, f4 string etc. if he's minus up close. watch for the shimmy after f22 staggers. You have options for that too. If he likes to neutral jump alot up close after you block a string. Stand jab into ex bf3 for like 30 percent.

Against the spins, you can duck his saw from full screen and throw green shit at him. Neither character really gains that much full screen unless you have a life lead and want to turtle. When he gets into his mid range spot you do have to be mindful of jump 2 and air saw and his buttons. He has to be mindful of your buttons too. It's also a good thing that you have one of the best dashes in the game to approach and start your own strike throw game when you're mid screen. Backdashing out of range of his b12u2 string and whiff punishing with f2,b1,3. or whatever will also be important. back dash b1 will also work to dash out of j2 range and hit him on trip guard. You will probably eat occasional air saws. That's ok. He'll probably eat green shit too. Aaing far out jump 2s with standing 3 into ex bf3 will also probably work.

Point is you have options. Chill.
See this all sounds great on paper until you actually play against him. Spawn has great range but he is really freaking slow compared to Kabal. Kabal has mids leaking out of his ass, and much batter staggers. It would be nice if you could block his air projectile from upclose and punish that at least, but he recovers too quick, and using the cape parry is a hard read because the startup is crap and it's hella unsafe even when you cancel it. Than there's the 34 issue, can't use his chain game against Kabal.
Kabal has more useful kb's as well, they are all practical. Who the hell is going to let Spawn throw them when he's in the corner?
And yeah about throwing "green shit", one nomad dash and you get full combo'd, and when he is in fb territory you can say goodbye to zoning him.
He can do anything he wants and you can't make one mistake otherwise you're DoA. B1 shimmy, F2 shimmy, F4 shimmy, everything's a fucking shimmy with this guy.
Oh yeah and he has a throw KB LOL
 
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Wigy

There it is...
Kabal is hella frustrating as it's never really your turn. My best advice is to try whiff punish his attempted whiff punishes after a f22 etc. I don't like to get bogged down to constant guessing games on -3. I just back off and try hit him after.
 

Gojira Prime

Zoner Green Lantern for Injustice 3.
Well I play Shang so for me I just use ground eruption/body drop. 99% kabals just spam jump or like to swing half way across the screen so it shuts them down pretty hard.
 

DixieFlatline78

Everyone Has A Path
Generally speaking once you know how to handle the matchup he has to play very risky. Hes generally strong because he can control the pace of the match

For the neutral, Nomad Dash is unreactable anywhere other than Full Screen, so you basically want to block until you see what hes doing. If he throws a saw, neutral duck and dash forward and start blocking again. Try to flawless block it if you can. If he jumps forward and hes in range for J2, I usually like to air to air him as soon as he's off the ground. If you block an air Buzzsaw, you can challenge him after with a faster mid. If you're out of range, you can give up some space to let him whiff a string or jump again

For his stagger/shimmy pressure you're just gonna have to take some pressure for a while most likely if you're in the corner. It's not fun to deal with, but Kabal has a lot of trouble fighting patience. His dash cancels are almost always plus except B12, but he uses half his meter and afterward he the only real mix is mid or throw so just wait to react to the throw. Other than that hes gonna be minus all the time, so you 100% have to challenge after he finishes a string.

Both of Kabal's wakeups are jab punishable, so you can usually get away with blocking on his wakeup.

It can be so annoying to fight him but honestly you just have to get out of the mindset that you have to be winning at all times. Sometimes you just need to let him run his pressure on you, because trying to regain control of the match is exactly what gives him the opening he needs to open you up. I struggle against him too.
 

Blewdew

PSN: MaxKayX3
Well this was mostly a waste of time.
I was surprised someone actually gave some good advice but as always people rather complain than appreciate and lab.

1. there is a reason why kabal gets absolutely bodied by good zoning characters. He‘s also 5-5 with the majority of the cast as long as you have a solid projectile. The most obvious but best working gameplan is play outside his b1 and j2 range, get the life lead and lame him out for the rest for the game. Kabal is terrible at chasing because his buttons while being long ranged don‘t help him to move forward. As long as you have the life lead you can trade with his projectile full screen because it‘s a. Low damaging and b. even with a hard knockdown it doesn‘t allow to close the gap when you‘re fullscreen.

2.The only shimmy he has is 111 and even with this string people argue that it’s a true shimmy.
For staggers the usual scenario people get openend up is if Kabal does f2/f22 on block into walk back b1 so either walk back and make his b1 whiff. I highly doubt most kabal players use the b1 amp buzzsaw OS online so they‘ll probably throw out b12 instead of just b1 which is a easy whiff punish for you.

3. b1 is Kabals Holy grail so if he‘s in neutral and throws out b1 like there is no tomorrow either back out of it‘s range and throw projectiles at him or jump over it because it‘s actually has some recovery on whiff. B1 staggers are really annoying to deal with but as soon as Kabal does b12/b12d2 his turn is over.

I play the joker - kabal matchup a lot from both sides and I can tell you joker does well against him as long as you don‘t challenge him non stop in the range where he‘s the best at.
 

SonicNinja3532

The Wannabe Prodigy
Been randomly bumping into this Kabal Main online, he plays "The Spins" variation, there's literally not a single thing I can do, I've tried Baraka who's my main since the beta, Joker and Spawn as well. Now I'm not the best player but I'm better than average, this matchup for Spawn is literally impossible. He can't even play his 34 projectile game cause Kabal can just jump at you after 34 and get a full combo.
Kabal is freaking safe on everything, his zoning is ridiculous, insane damage and krushing blows, fatal blow that makes you shit your pants. I get outspaced nonstop, or he just gets a button off after a string since it's either barely - or just enough pushback so he can enforce his bullshit.
How the hell is this character not played more often in tournaments, he is literally godlike...
That Kabal main would be me. Pretty sure it was you I played yesterday.

Anyway kabal is safe on everything but he’s rarely ever plus (just like virtually every other good character in this game). If he staggers then simply backdashing (especially for spawn) or even walking back for some characters will get you out of being shimmied, as well as just pressing a far range button that isn’t too slow. Those are both easy ways to deal with his pressure and force him to make a read on what you’re gonna do. Also flawless blocking the air saws is critical to shutting down his air game, I do it to other Kabals all the time, and likewise top players I play with do it to me. There’s no denying Kabal is a strong character, but most people I see complaining about him are the same people I see not playing the matchup correctly at all, yourself included.

Or you can just pick v1 shang and play a one player game in that matchup instead.
 
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1man3letters

Alpha Tarkatan - Moderator
Moderator
Premium Supporter
Been randomly bumping into this Kabal Main online, he plays "The Spins" variation, there's literally not a single thing I can do, I've tried Baraka who's my main since the beta, Joker and Spawn as well. Now I'm not the best player but I'm better than average, this matchup for Spawn is literally impossible. He can't even play his 34 projectile game cause Kabal can just jump at you after 34 and get a full combo.
Kabal is freaking safe on everything, his zoning is ridiculous, insane damage and krushing blows, fatal blow that makes you shit your pants. I get outspaced nonstop, or he just gets a button off after a string since it's either barely - or just enough pushback so he can enforce his bullshit.
How the hell is this character not played more often in tournaments, he is literally godlike...
Personally I think bone picker does best of baraka variations Vs kabal different 3 ones.
Maurader will make him want use dash cancels less and punish him more for it when you get him without stamina and the df1 vgood vs kabal but spikes Vs kabal is just so so good (even better Vs the diagonal projectile kabal variations also) changes things so much having it or not imo

I'd actually take beserker over maurader in the mu if wasn't going bone picker but as said personally I think bone picker fights kabal best
 

Marinjuana

Up rock incoming, ETA 5 minutes
Yeah the air saw is very frustrating for me. Unavoidable chip and it's like an anti-anti-air. Those type of moves always get me and my character doesn't have a great answer against it. Good advice in here though, think I just need to figure out the risk reward better here and maybe panic less if I have to block a couple JI2s.