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MK11 KABAL Discussion

xQUANTUMx

Twitter: @xxQUANTUM
Premium Supporter
Royal Contributor
I use mean streak but I'm starting to feel clean cut is the way to go in this MU. I use mean streak almost exclusively so my thoughts will come from that MU for the most part.

Cassie is in complete control in the neutral at all times, forcing you to come to her. When Kabal is the one trying to work his way in it can actually cause problems due to his lack of decent advancing moves. You have to play pretty patient in this MU and have to just play a solid grounded footsie game until you can get your pressure started, then really make the most of every touch.

J2 is only good for reading low shot at footsie range as Cassie actually has a relatively easy time dealing with it between her s1 anti air and trip guarding with B1. Her footsies are also really good, meaning she's one of the easiest characters to whiff punish your own B1 with.

Her shimmy game is also worth taking note of, B1 staggers into walk back B1 will actually make a lot of your buttons whiff, besides a very well timed F2 or having to throw out B1 at a range where you wouldn't really use it. Be careful of poking out of her pressure, she can whiff punish your pokes in the exact same way you can with hers.

IA Straight Buzzsaw is good for a check every now and again, but Cassie can just change the timing of the gunshots so she goes under it. This isn't one of the MUs where you're going o be throwing Buzzsaws all day, even on a life lead.

Clean Cut could change a lot of this though, I feel like this is one of the only MUs where the utility of air Buzzsaw might actually make it the go to variation, but I haven't really played it out enough to say for sure.

I like using hook sword restand in blockstring in this mu. Safety is key or this chick will blow your back out for mistakes. IA straight is good but I prefer whiffing an air normal into down saw from time to time to catch her. I totally agree, chucking metal at her isn't what's going to win the match....I'm still fleshing it out but i agree Cassie dictates the match from start to finish, at least that's the way it currently feels
 

The_Tile

Your hole is mine!
Any Kabal players found any safejump setups or setplay from knockdowns etc?
Slight walk back into forward jump 2 after DB4 beats most wakeups in the game from my experience, though I haven't actually tested with every wakeup in the game. This also beats forward roll as it auto corrects and if they delayed wakeup you usually have enough time to beat a wakeup d1 with F4. Only thing this loses to is back roll but that just resets neutral, and certain characters U2s.
 

Blewdew

PSN: MaxKayX3
so I did a long set with @Wam-Zlay and something interesting happened. when he was in the corner he tried to wake up neutral jump while I thought he's going to wake up so I walked back and did b12. when I saw him jump I just rolled with the full b12d2 string where the last hit of the string hit him. usually I don't try to convert after it because I didn't think you could combo from it but I just tried for the sake it.
well guess what, it actually works.
I don't know if anyone found this yet so I'll just post it. yes, it's quite situational but it's good to know that if you happen to catch them jumping with b12d2 you can actually convert and get some really good damage with it. I am also pretty sure that it works against wakeup jump ins but I have not tested it yet.
 

NB Semi Evil Ryu

Former Sub-Zero of the Midwest (2011 - 2015)
Thinking of switching from Sub-Zero to Kabal in this game....

Which variation do you folks feel like is the more viable (or at least the most commonly used) for Kabal? I'm thinking of starting off with Clean Cut.
 

Blewdew

PSN: MaxKayX3
Thinking of switching from Sub-Zero to Kabal in this game....

Which variation do you folks feel like is the more viable (or at least the most commonly used) for Kabal? I'm thinking of starting off with Clean Cut.
I only use mean streak but I think they‘re both equally good it‘s just a personal preference
The best thing about clean cut is his restand and his air buzzsaw while mean streak gives you better pressure and a hitconfirmable f4
 

REYTHEGREAT

..........................
so I did a long set with @Wam-Zlay and something interesting happened. when he was in the corner he tried to wake up neutral jump while I thought he's going to wake up so I walked back and did b12. when I saw him jump I just rolled with the full b12d2 string where the last hit of the string hit him. usually I don't try to convert after it because I didn't think you could combo from it but I just tried for the sake it.
well guess what, it actually works.
I don't know if anyone found this yet so I'll just post it. yes, it's quite situational but it's good to know that if you happen to catch them jumping with b12d2 you can actually convert and get some really good damage with it. I am also pretty sure that it works against wakeup jump ins but I have not tested it yet.
not gonna lie, that was sexy
 

Wam-Zlay

Noob / Reptile / Grodd / Sub Zero
so I did a long set with @Wam-Zlay and something interesting happened. when he was in the corner he tried to wake up neutral jump while I thought he's going to wake up so I walked back and did b12. when I saw him jump I just rolled with the full b12d2 string where the last hit of the string hit him. usually I don't try to convert after it because I didn't think you could combo from it but I just tried for the sake it.
well guess what, it actually works.
I don't know if anyone found this yet so I'll just post it. yes, it's quite situational but it's good to know that if you happen to catch them jumping with b12d2 you can actually convert and get some really good damage with it. I am also pretty sure that it works against wakeup jump ins but I have not tested it yet.
Thanks for tagging the victim haha :D


I don't always do wake up jump, but when I do, I get full combo punished :DOGE
 
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TackyHaddock

Salty Mashers Krew
Premium Supporter
has anyone else noticed that when you play with release check on and you input 11 BF3, the buzzsaw comes out rather than the intended nomad dash? Seems like a bug to me, as it reads you inputs as intending the buzzsaw rather than the dash, even when you input 11 first and then quickly input BF3

and then when I turn release check off, it creates other issues unrelated to that string. So not sure what the optimal button settings are!
 

BigMilk

Former Divine Power Abuser
has anyone else noticed that when you play with release check on and you input 11 BF3, the buzzsaw comes out rather than the intended nomad dash? Seems like a bug to me, as it reads you inputs as intending the buzzsaw rather than the dash, even when you input 11 first and then quickly input BF3

and then when I turn release check off, it creates other issues unrelated to that string. So not sure what the optimal button settings are!
What issues are you having with release check off? Try the inputs 1b1f3 and see how that works out for you
 

karaokelove

Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.
Premium Supporter
i swear im missing something really dumb here, but what the heck is the input for NDC!
Yeah, it's block, though the in-game input will always say LB even if you've changed the controls. It's certainly a bug with the in-game move list.
 
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Nihil

Noob
I only use mean streak but I think they‘re both equally good it‘s just a personal preference
The best thing about clean cut is his restand and his air buzzsaw while mean streak gives you better pressure and a hitconfirmable f4
Hi,

I'm new here, even if it's not the subject :)
I was wondering why you think Mean Streak is equally good than Clean Cut.

Because of the bad damage output, I find the ndc pressure bad.
I mean I lab a lot and it's simple.
You can't really use ndc a lot. First, you can't play it as a gimmick because you will get heavily punished.
If someone bait your cancel he can full punish you, it means 30+ and maybe KB for more. The only possibility is to d1 which is a not really worth a defensive bar.
So you can realease your ND, but the trade is not fair since Kabal has poor damages.

Mean Strak can try to make différents mix up with f4 1+2/ f4 low buzzsaw, or B12/B1 low buzzsaw and F224/F22 low buzzsaw.
Technically any good players can react to that mix up. So if you low buzzsaw, it's full punish.
Biggest problem is when you amplify your buzzsaw, you are safe on the second buzzsaw BUT between the two buzzsaw, you can full punish Kabal with s1 or 10frames mid(sure about 9frames with Jacqui), maybe more, I don't really remember.

So kabal has abolutely no decent mix up in Mean Streak and usually take full combo since he rarely has two defensive meters.

I don't want to say Kabal is bad. He has really greats normals, safe on everything, but Mean Streak is a poor choice and against really good players who know the MU, on the paper it will be impossible to play.
You will have to NDC very few times, poor output damage, no safe mix ups and reactable, so Clean Cut is basically the true choice to win with him.
Unfortunately I hate that variation :)

Maybe I'm wrong! it will be interesting to see what do you think.
 

Blewdew

PSN: MaxKayX3
Hi,

I'm new here, even if it's not the subject :)
I was wondering why you think Mean Streak is equally good than Clean Cut.

Because of the bad damage output, I find the ndc pressure bad.
I mean I lab a lot and it's simple.
You can't really use ndc a lot. First, you can't play it as a gimmick because you will get heavily punished.
If someone bait your cancel he can full punish you, it means 30+ and maybe KB for more. The only possibility is to d1 which is a not really worth a defensive bar.
So you can realease your ND, but the trade is not fair since Kabal has poor damages.
alright I'll go over that step by step
first the bad damage, mean streak typically gets 1% less than clean cut which really isn't that big of a difference. you still get 29% midscreen off your best mids being b12 and f22 for one bar which is pretty good damage.
actually, you can do ndc's more often than you think. recharge time for a ndc cancel is between 8-9 seconds while a bar of defensive meter usually regenerates between 17-18 seconds after a breakaway.
when you're getting punished your playing too predictable. let's look at the frames of your best buttons:

f2ndc -> +3
f22ndc -> +1
b1ndc -> +1
b12ndc -> 0
f4ndc -> +1

ndc adds so much to kabals pressure. it's alot about conditioning. if you're doing b12ndc22 like all the time of course you'll get punished so you have to mix your options, because you have ALOT of them.

things you can do:
d1 which frame traps from f2,f22,b1 and f4 except against 6f d1 characters
f4 which frame traps from f2 and can only be full combo punished from a 7f frame perfect jab after f22 and b1ndc
d4 if they except f224
cancel walk back to punish counter pokes
cancel flawless block if you know they're gonna poke
roll with the string, it's always safe
not canceling nd as a hard read

these are the options to condition your opponent to block after ndc, after that you can pretty much anything you want like throwing etc.

Mean Strak can try to make différents mix up with f4 1+2/ f4 low buzzsaw, or B12/B1 low buzzsaw and F224/F22 low buzzsaw.
Technically any good players can react to that mix up. So if you low buzzsaw, it's full punish.
Biggest problem is when you amplify your buzzsaw, you are safe on the second buzzsaw BUT between the two buzzsaw, you can full punish Kabal with s1 or 10frames mid(sure about 9frames with Jacqui), maybe more, I don't really remember.
low buzzsaw mix isn't something you go for tbh, b1 low buzzsaw is like the only mix that's worth mentioning. it's good against people who neutral duck your normal buzzsaws though

So kabal has abolutely no decent mix up in Mean Streak and usually take full combo since he rarely has two defensive meters.

I don't want to say Kabal is bad. He has really greats normals, safe on everything, but Mean Streak is a poor choice and against really good players who know the MU, on the paper it will be impossible to play.
You will have to NDC very few times, poor output damage, no safe mix ups and reactable, so Clean Cut is basically the true choice to win with him.
Unfortunately I hate that variation :)
mean streak has some things that clean cut does not have which are:

  • easy safe hitconfirms
  • safe mix, clean cuts mix with low hook isn't good nor is it really less punishable than mean streaks low buzzsaw
  • single hitconfirms that are plus on block especially f4 which is a 9f +1 hitconfirmable mid.
  • straight buzzsaw shenanigans if you have the execution
mix doesn't end in overhead/low 50/50's. ndc gives you plenty of possibilities to open up your opponent.

if you want to see a good mean streak in action xarakamaka has a really good one.

also @The_Tile what's your take on this?
 

The_Tile

Your hole is mine!
alright I'll go over that step by step
first the bad damage, mean streak typically gets 1% less than clean cut which really isn't that big of a difference. you still get 29% midscreen off your best mids being b12 and f22 for one bar which is pretty good damage.
actually, you can do ndc's more often than you think. recharge time for a ndc cancel is between 8-9 seconds while a bar of defensive meter usually regenerates between 17-18 seconds after a breakaway.
when you're getting punished your playing too predictable. let's look at the frames of your best buttons:

f2ndc -> +3
f22ndc -> +1
b1ndc -> +1
b12ndc -> 0
f4ndc -> +1

ndc adds so much to kabals pressure. it's alot about conditioning. if you're doing b12ndc22 like all the time of course you'll get punished so you have to mix your options, because you have ALOT of them.

things you can do:
d1 which frame traps from f2,f22,b1 and f4 except against 6f d1 characters
f4 which frame traps from f2 and can only be full combo punished from a 7f frame perfect jab after f22 and b1ndc
d4 if they except f224
cancel walk back to punish counter pokes
cancel flawless block if you know they're gonna poke
roll with the string, it's always safe
not canceling nd as a hard read

these are the options to condition your opponent to block after ndc, after that you can pretty much anything you want like throwing etc.


low buzzsaw mix isn't something you go for tbh, b1 low buzzsaw is like the only mix that's worth mentioning. it's good against people who neutral duck your normal buzzsaws though


mean streak has some things that clean cut does not have which are:

  • easy safe hitconfirms
  • safe mix, clean cuts mix with low hook isn't good nor is it really less punishable than mean streaks low buzzsaw
  • single hitconfirms that are plus on block especially f4 which is a 9f +1 hitconfirmable mid.
  • straight buzzsaw shenanigans if you have the execution
mix doesn't end in overhead/low 50/50's. ndc gives you plenty of possibilities to open up your opponent.

if you want to see a good mean streak in action xarakamaka has a really good one.

also @The_Tile what's your take on this?
Honestly I think you summed up everything pretty well. Only thing I'd add is NDC also opens up the possibility for lots of strike throw mix which allows him to rebuild around half a defensive bar back after a cancel, and Kabal gets oki and a KB off a back throw so his throw game is pretty good. He also has plenty of spacing traps and plus frames without the cancels anyway so it's pretty easy to build your bar back.

The low mix in Clean Cut isn't even worth mentioning really imo, the utility you get with NDC more than makes up for that. Having a 9f, +1 hitconfirmable mid alone is better than the mix really. The things worth mentioning though are the restand which is definitely good, though Kabal gets really good oki without it so I'm not sure if that's worth it really. That being said though, Air Buzzsaw is the thing that may make Clean Cut the go to in certain match ups.
 

Blewdew

PSN: MaxKayX3
Honestly I think you summed up everything pretty well. Only thing I'd add is NDC also opens up the possibility for lots of strike throw mix which allows him to rebuild around half a defensive bar back after a cancel, and Kabal gets oki and a KB off a back throw so his throw game is pretty good. He also has plenty of spacing traps and plus frames without the cancels anyway so it's pretty easy to build your bar back.

The low mix in Clean Cut isn't even worth mentioning really imo, the utility you get with NDC more than makes up for that. Having a 9f, +1 hitconfirmable mid alone is better than the mix really. The things worth mentioning though are the restand which is definitely good, though Kabal gets really good oki without it so I'm not sure if that's worth it really. That being said though, Air Buzzsaw is the thing that may make Clean Cut the go to in certain match ups.
That‘s definitely true. One thing that made me think is watching xarakamakas mean streak, he‘s throwing out ia buzzsaws like crazy even close up and converts most of them. I don‘t really have the execution for that but it might be something worth mentioning
 

The_Tile

Your hole is mine!
That‘s definitely true. One thing that made me think is watching xarakamakas mean streak, he‘s throwing out ia buzzsaws like crazy even close up and converts most of them. I don‘t really have the execution for that but it might be something worth mentioning
Yeah having angled buzzsaw is really useful in some MUs but straight buzzsaw is hella underrated honestly, being able to confirm it into damage from anywhere on screen is really strong
 
All the ndc's and it is still easy to mash out d1's and other fast moves. The low hook gives them a continuous threat to look out for, restand on block is only bad vs sub, otherwise it gives free positioning and diagonal buzz saw has more utility but less combo potential, imo of course. Still missing my ndc mk9 kabal
 

The_Tile

Your hole is mine!
All the ndc's and it is still easy to mash out d1's and other fast moves. The low hook gives them a continuous threat to look out for, restand on block is only bad vs sub, otherwise it gives free positioning and diagonal buzz saw has more utility but less combo potential, imo of course. Still missing my ndc mk9 kabal
Yeah I can see the arguments for Clean Cut but I just feel people aren't using Mean Streak right, if you were then people really can't mash all the time. You're plus off basically everything, just d1 check or throw, or block if you're 0 and steal your turn back. You don't even need to NDC half the time, just do raw strings and normals like S2, 22, F2, B2, F4 for spacing traps whenever you want to save meter.
 

Nihil

Noob
@Blewdew@The_Tile
Thanks for the answer.
First when i spoke about the damage,I didn't want to compare Mean Streak and Clean Cut, I just wanted to compare Kabal whith others characters.

We are totally agreed about the fact NDC is about conditionning. Maybe this is my main problem. Maybe I am not able to diversify my playstyle and play him too obvious.

I m pretty sure you are right about what you said with the frames depending of the strings you are using. Maybe I'm a little bit old fashioned and I miss Kabal MK9.
So, thank you to you clarification about the frame advantage, I will try to use it and see what will happen.
It's just you are explaining that you can use often because of the recovery time and grants to that, usually you are ofent in advatange. Maybe my main problem is I am not playing it safely. So when I m using it, of course I won't have the possibilities to break away and eat full combo.

I will check about Xarakama. I m not sure I already saw him playing. I remember I saw only one player using Mean Streak and has good results on his stream. Maybe it was him.

When I see your replies guys, It tends to say Mean Streak is above and can match with plenty of opponents but at now, I can't see any top players playing him with that variation. I don't want to say I am right and you are wrong. It's not the purpose of this reply. I just say I will enjoy to see that to open my mind, because right now I am a little bit disasppointing with Mean Streak and I really want to love it :)

About the safe confirm, you are right, even if it's an Advanced tech. I m pretty sure i'm not in point about that.

Last thing, I like the air straight buzzsaw. It's really good, particularly if you lead the zoning game.
 

Blewdew

PSN: MaxKayX3
@Blewdew@The_Tile
Thanks for the answer.
First when i spoke about the damage,I didn't want to compare Mean Streak and Clean Cut, I just wanted to compare Kabal whith others characters.

We are totally agreed about the fact NDC is about conditionning. Maybe this is my main problem. Maybe I am not able to diversify my playstyle and play him too obvious.

I m pretty sure you are right about what you said with the frames depending of the strings you are using. Maybe I'm a little bit old fashioned and I miss Kabal MK9.
So, thank you to you clarification about the frame advantage, I will try to use it and see what will happen.
It's just you are explaining that you can use often because of the recovery time and grants to that, usually you are ofent in advatange. Maybe my main problem is I am not playing it safely. So when I m using it, of course I won't have the possibilities to break away and eat full combo.

I will check about Xarakama. I m not sure I already saw him playing. I remember I saw only one player using Mean Streak and has good results on his stream. Maybe it was him.

When I see your replies guys, It tends to say Mean Streak is above and can match with plenty of opponents but at now, I can't see any top players playing him with that variation. I don't want to say I am right and you are wrong. It's not the purpose of this reply. I just say I will enjoy to see that to open my mind, because right now I am a little bit disasppointing with Mean Streak and I really want to love it :)

About the safe confirm, you are right, even if it's an Advanced tech. I m pretty sure i'm not in point about that.

Last thing, I like the air straight buzzsaw. It's really good, particularly if you lead the zoning game.
To be fair I don‘t see any top player using kabal regardless of the variation. But mean streak is definitely going to rise up once people start to realize how it‘s meant to be played. Mean streak is probably the closest thing to mk9 kabal, like a fair version of him lol