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Strategy Pressure with Nightwolf (not kidding)

Parnak

Fight me as you will yet you can never hope to win
Yeah, we all know NW's pressure sucks (no shit!!:() big time.. However, I think it IS possible to pressure with him. Not Kabal level pressure of course, but still a primary one at least.

Let's give it a go;

The most basic thing for pressuring with NW should be learning to hit confirm his F3,1,2 string, not for what you do when you hit confirm it (typical BnB F3,1~axe) but for what you do when you don't, you finish the string to stay in your opponent's face at neutral frames. What helps me in doing that, is regarding the first two hits/inputs as one, most of the times I would cancel a dash into the string, pressing 3,1 while still holding F. I press F3,1 (when I'm in F3 range), thumb goes from 3 to 1 fluently, as if it is a single input -to save time-, then I pause a moment for the ample duration of the first two hits to play out. I concentrate my "mental resources" upon "canceling" the string with either the axe motion if I see them bleed/flail or 2 if I see them blocking.

Before we see options after a blocked F3,1,2 string, let's mention that the string takes 2% chip for each hit (6% total) while building meter of course. The string can be interrupted by armor/parry stuff in between the F3 & 1 hits, if they do that, probably they are feeling pressured lol. If it so happens you anticipate this, blow it up with F3~axe, though this should be of use only against parry happy opponents.

After blocked F3,1,2 string, commit to choosing one of these;

D1~axe
Move has greatest speed available for NW; 7 frames. If D1 is blocked, axe can be interrupted by fast pokes as we know. Your best bet here is a jump attempt from your opponent, thus getting them in an air combo. 1~axe should work in that case too, but if they don't jump, it would be vulnerable to high crashers (they use these against NW a lot) like uppercuts & D4s. If this connects, you can carry them with four 1s before dashing for the final 122~shoulder. I tend to use one or two 1s to end with 12~choke. If this is blocked, block while being ready to react with godlike uppercut against a jip.

D3
7 frames too. If they jump it, you have time to block a crossover punch, even anti-air it with uppercut or D1~axe if you 're quick enough. If they have & try to use a 6 frame poke, potential blockstun may give you the edge.. If they block it, block or test your luck with a crossover. If it hits (could happen too) immediately follow with F3,1,2 string to loop this whole pressure wannabe thing, your 11 frame combo starter F3 mid (why is this not a low?!!:mad:) now becomes 8 frames, is in perfect range to hit, and maybe tech-jump a D3. You could also use D4 after a successful D3, but F3 I think is better at this distance for looping the same pressure and possibly hit confirming to a full combo. Is also 1 frame faster and more difficult to be jumped than D4, if you delay your inputs by mistake.

To sum it up, we have two fastest basic options after neutral frames and at a very close range (NW D3 range), the first is against jumpers and the second is against landers (non jumpers), but none of them gets particularly blown up by opposite opponent choice. You could also attempt a throw instead, but since your opponent knows the string is over, t'is not a very good idea.

D4 stuff
I have found that canceling a dash to 1,2,2~axe after D4 stand hits, is quite hard to succeed IF opponent ducks or high-crashes. You have to do it perfectly to catch opponent before they can duck your 1, timing is very unforgiving. You 're better off trying to dash cancel F3,1 instead, you lose two vital frames in comparison to 1,2,2 string, but you still have one frame left to make it in time, absent the likelihood to get whiff punished by ducks. Duck is instant, unlike jump. You have more time to catch opponent after D4 hits them standing with F3[mid(why?!:confused:)] before they jump, than catching them in same case with 1 (high) before they duck. Of course, this means that after D4 stand hits, one can apply pressure tactics like the above since F3 comes into play.

If however D4 hits at max range, you can't make this in time. In this case, you could try B2~axe instead, it easily reaches opponent at that range and has an arc similar to Sub's Kori blade in his 2,2 string, meaning that NW's B2 has an anti air arc that WILL catch opponents in the air if they jump asap after being hit standing with D4. Proceed with typical air combos mentioned before.

I hope this makes some sense, luckily some tiny light may have been shed upon Nightwolf's pressure game. (There exists such a thing?!?:eek:)

ALL CREDIT FOR FRAME DATA GOES TO SOMBERNESS (the one & only?!:D)


***UPDATED***

So, thanks to all the contribution from the community, I can update & sum up here some pressure & mix up stuff for NW;

* F3,1,2
Close distance offensively by canceling dash ins to it. First hit is mid, parry crusher & can stuff low pokes. Can hit confirm it to BnB midscreen & corner. Else, finish it to pressure with D3. If D3 hits, you can loop/repeat pressure with the same string. If D3 is jumped, it recovers fast enough for an uppercut to Lightning set up opportunity. Can also attempt to AA with 1~axe or D1~axe ASAP. If opponent manages to outpoke you consistently with a 6 frame poke, block & punish it with D3 to continue with F3 or block & punish it with F3 itself. If said 6 frame poke happens to be a low, you can attempt to stuff it with F3 itself (again?!) If you commit to this, always cancel F3 to axe on its own, cause string's 2nd hit may whiff upon said stuff.

* Jip
You can also attempt to jip after blocked F3,1,2. Can use 1,2,2,1 string with jip to attempt a BnB, but if you expect opponent to block against your jip, only do the string's first hit (1) that recovers extremely fast & then go for a throw that can come out surprisingly fast. You can even trade the throw with EX Lightning; it is risky but has the element of surprise here. From such close position, backdash into 1~axe or 2~axe for Lightning midscreen or corner resets/combos.

* D4
The only hope to fear stand block against NW, one has to make the best out of it. Surprise NW wise opponents by even linking this to a Jip! Can also dash in, hold down & press 4 to do it for closing distance and shrinking hitbox absent risk of triggering an unwanted shoulder instead of D4. Recommended follow up is cancelling a dash to F3 string ASAP, if done right they will be hit if try anything but block. So F3 mentioned tactics come into play here. If it happens that you hit them standing with D4 from move's max range, you can't make it near them in time to pressure. What you can do in this case is buffer in B2~axe. It will trap them in an air combo if they jump and you 're safe if they don't.

* safe shoulder
Block confirm a 1,2,2,1 or a B2,2,1 string to cancel them into a shoulder instead of axe BnB. The shoulder comes out following an overhead, thus becomes 100% safe. Can be done from jip if you go for a BnB attempt but see midways that your opponent blocks you. Due to the extra jip hit, it becomes easier to block confirm shoulder, especially with 1,2,2,1 string. After shoulder you can play footsies, for example by canceling a backdash to moves with great range such as B1 or B2.

* B1/B1,1,1 (shout outs for chief L0tFLY's favourite :D)

Nightwolf's secret weapon, that requires good reads to be used effectively. Has great range, cannot be ducked, is a BnB starter and builds tons of meter safely by canceling the whole string to axe. What makes this a good footsie tool is that you can extend its basic reach at will WHILE MAINTAINING YOUR POSITION by mashing out :fp. So in the footsies game you can use it solo to bait them whiff something that you could capitalize on by dash in 1,2,2,1 or F3,1,2 or you can bait them to whiff punish your expected to be a solo B1, when for real you extend it to a full B1,1,1 effectively punishing their attempt to whiff punish you! (HAVE AT THEE JANY JANY CAGE)-match up still remains 3-7 though :(

Guys, I hope this helps anyone who thinks picking up Nightwolf and all of us who like using him for whom he is, despite the fact that he's low tier only for having been denied some more decent frame data.

CREDIT GOES TO THE NIGHTWOLF COMMUNITY
 

GuamoKun

I Break Hearts, Not Combos
Premium Supporter
Neat, but characters with small hitboxes like Kitana can full combo punish Nightwolf's f312 string since she can avoid the second hit.
 

Parnak

Fight me as you will yet you can never hope to win
Neat, but characters with small hitboxes like Kitana can full combo punish Nightwolf's f312 string since she can avoid the second hit.
This surely is a bug that shouldn't exist in the game:mad:... Anyway, I tested it, it doesn't seem to work on Mileena (ducking the 1 part after crouch blocking F3) while on Kitana it does whiff most of the times, but doesn't seem to be consistent; some times Kitana takes the knife. This is absurd, if you have Kitana duck and whiff a F3 just out of range, the 1 part of the string hits her always, meaning that the attack shouldn't be duckable... However, if you land F3 from max range to a ducking Kitana, 1 whiffs (wtf?!) I guess one should take the chances that pressure F3,1 hits, or go for mentioned F3~axe to blow it up if anticipates this interruption, or nerf the pressure by using the pressure follow ups after F3 solo (can't hit confirm, pressure is no longer reliable but it could work if opponent expects the rest of the string) Mortal Kombat I guess...:cool:
 

AK L0rdoftheFLY

I hatelove this game
Premium Supporter
NW has a problem. His fastest attack is 7 frames when the majority of characters have a 6 frame d1. This means in the neutral game at point blank he always loses.

But being neutral gives him other options. The throw and the jump over. If someone commits to a d1, NW gets either a blocked jip or a jk shoulder. However if someone like Shang, kabal, counter pokes with f4 or cages f3, your gonna lose . But in those situations d1 axe most likely would have launched them.

His pressure needs to change drastically based on who he is fighting, how much meter they have, what their tendencies are, and how much meter NW has.

I pressure with 122 shoulder and space with b1 mostly. I use throw more often now. Good info though. All very applicable
 

Dizzy

False Information Police Officer
Premium Supporter
NetherRealm Studios
Neat, but characters with small hitboxes like Kitana can full combo punish Nightwolf's f312 string since she can avoid the second hit.
I have tested it against several of the low hitbox characters. Kitanja is the only one who can neutral duck to the make the second hit of F312 whiff from what i've seen.

Parnak

A few things:

For armoring through F31, there is no difference with F3 xx Axe, they are both the same speed, the gap is the exact same. So doing F3 axe will do nothing to cover up the hole in that string unless you are using it against Kitana specifically.

D1 axe has a pretty big gap, gets beat out by people who counterpoke with fast mids like Cage, Kabal, Shang, Rain, even NW himself can do it. I wouldn't use it that often.

Also, if you are going for a counterpoke with F3 (it is possible to do though not as good as other chars) it would probably be best to do F3 xx Axe as the second hit of F31 will whiff from pushback somewhat often.

P.S. I think you mean crush instead of crash.
 

GGA Saucy Jack

The artist formerly known as ImNewbieSauce
Nice write up. And a good explanation. If i may...

D1 axe gets eaten for breakfast. The cancel advantage is terrible. D1 axe gets full combo punished by anyone in the game who reads it coming. At least this is my experience. Everytime i try that against GGA Dizzy i eat a full combo. And its not just cage who can do it, its just my example because its happened a lot over the last month.

D3 is great. This is a really good option. The potential plus ten on hit is awesome. Dont get predictable though, or you will get jumped out on.

D4s are always good (sorry scorpion), but NWs isnt amazing.

A lot of the time, in my experience, your best bet is to F312, then block your opponents 6 frame poke and counter with D3. You get another free block string after that with a chance to launch.

Neutral is always good, but NWs lack of a 6 frame move and complete ass D1 make it hard to maintain pressure. It can be done, but i personally dont think your game can revolve around it. Hit n run. :)

Sorry to be a debbie downer, i really do like the post. Just relaying my experiences.
 

Parnak

Fight me as you will yet you can never hope to win
Nice write up. And a good explanation. If i may...

D1 axe gets eaten for breakfast. The cancel advantage is terrible. D1 axe gets full combo punished by anyone in the game who reads it coming. At least this is my experience. Everytime i try that against GGA Dizzy i eat a full combo. And its not just cage who can do it, its just my example because its happened a lot over the last month.

D3 is great. This is a really good option. The potential plus ten on hit is awesome. Dont get predictable though, or you will get jumped out on.

D4s are always good (sorry scorpion), but NWs isnt amazing.

A lot of the time, in my experience, your best bet is to F312, then block your opponents 6 frame poke and counter with D3. You get another free block string after that with a chance to launch.

Neutral is always good, but NWs lack of a 6 frame move and complete ass D1 make it hard to maintain pressure. It can be done, but i personally dont think your game can revolve around it. Hit n run. :)

Sorry to be a debbie downer, i really do like the post. Just relaying my experiences.
@L0rdoftheFLY I guess it's never easy applying pressure with NW.. Like you said, neutral's not good enough when your best is 7 frames. These pressure paterns can yield results but are still far from safe, like mentioned by ImNewbieSauce D1~axe can be punished hard & as LotF also said D3 eaten by a 6 frame poke. Jip after neutral has some effective options like we have discussed in another thread, but also takes risk (njp) However, what FLY does; hit confirming BnBs that contain an overhead to shoulder (confirm that BnB hasn't hit & thus choose shoulder over axe, overhead makes shoulder safe), is a great thing to do with NW imo. Iwould also apply B2,2 string for this, using a backdash to do it so that I may also space with it, making the best out of its great range. After blocked shoulder stuff like F3 & spacing can be used. ImNewbieSauce's thought on punishing pokes with D3 upon being neutral at close quarters is also great.

@GGA Dizzy I'm glad that this bug doesn't work on other low hitbox chars, only tested it myself on Mileena except from Kitana. Daaamn:eek: , I had NO clue that F3 xx axe can be interrupted, you sure?? (rhetorical) Can this be also done with parries, or armors only? This is major flaw..:(
Lol I 'll be using my 8way run term "tech-crouch" from now on.. Thanks for the neat info!
 

GGA Saucy Jack

The artist formerly known as ImNewbieSauce
Parnak

F3 cancel advantage on block is 15. Hatchet is 19. Thats a window where for example raiden can tele. Or jade can glow. Etc. So yes, its small, but if read, can be blown up.
 

Dizzy

False Information Police Officer
Premium Supporter
NetherRealm Studios
Parnak

Yeah. Armor, xrays, cyber sub parry and smoke EX shake can all interrupt F3 xx axe.

I think his d1 being 7 frames isn't as big of a deal as what is being said though. No character really uses D1 in pressure since they are punishable.
 

AK L0rdoftheFLY

I hatelove this game
Premium Supporter
My favorite thing is footsies with b1 and b111 axe/eh axe. A couple well spaced b111 axe will keep them at a distance and build lots of meter. Then switching it up to b1 dash in pressure (1221, f3, grab) or b1 eh lightning works so well.

Or reverse that with a couple b1s thrown out then throwing out b111 will catch them trying to punish b1 granting a full combo. His best tool with 1221 IMO. This is a must use tool vs characters like cage, jax, and kitana.
 

AK L0rdoftheFLY

I hatelove this game
Premium Supporter
Parnak

Yeah. Armor, xrays, cyber sub parry and smoke EX shake can all interrupt F3 xx axe.

I think his d1 being 7 frames isn't as big of a deal as what is being said though. No character really uses D1 in pressure since they are punishable.
I use d1 axe after two d3 in succession. This puts me at max range for the axe to connect through a counter poke attempt. Usually after a f312 I will do d3 axe. Goes under some attacks and has an extra frame or 2 of cancel advantage on block and massively more on hit.

Interrupting with armor and X-rays, parry or eh shake is dangerous cause f3 is safe on block, and it stuffs all parrys and shake options.
 

Parnak

Fight me as you will yet you can never hope to win
My favorite thing is footsies with b1 and b111 axe/eh axe. A couple well spaced b111 axe will keep them at a distance and build lots of meter. Then switching it up to b1 dash in pressure (1221, f3, grab) or b1 eh lightning works so well.

Or reverse that with a couple b1s thrown out then throwing out b111 will catch them trying to punish b1 granting a full combo. His best tool with 1221 IMO. This is a must use tool vs characters like cage, jax, and kitana.
Underutilized tool for sure. Why of course B1 string has great reach but unlike B2 it maintains distance. From that distance you could whiff punish them with 1221 and bait their whiff punish with mash B111. Let's be serious here, NW's spacing is better than his pressure..
 

AK L0rdoftheFLY

I hatelove this game
Premium Supporter
Underutilized tool for sure. Why of course B1 string has great reach but unlike B2 it maintains distance. From that distance you could whiff punish them with 1221 and bait their whiff punish with mash B111. Let's be serious here, NW's spacing is better than his pressure..
That's the point right there. His pressure is mediocre but his footsies can be very effective.
 

Axel_Redd

Vampire Jesus....he wants YOUR blood now!!
so is kitana's d3 a crush since it pretty much dodges all high moves and then some?
 

TakeAChance

TYM White Knight
so is kitana's d3 a crush since it pretty much dodges all high moves and then some?
No, someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe a crush is only a crush when it completely overrides a move.

Technically, Kitty B3 isn't a crush, but since the hitbox goes over MOST (not all) pokes people refer to it as a crush.

To give you an example. In SF X T raw launchers beat ALL lows. There isn't a low in the game that it wont beat, it crushes them.

In Mk9, Kittys B3 crushes most d3's but some characters long d3's will still work so it is not a true crush.

I may be wrong on that, but that is how I interpret it.
 

Parnak

Fight me as you will yet you can never hope to win
Parnak

Yeah. Armor, xrays, cyber sub parry and smoke EX shake can all interrupt F3 xx axe.

I think his d1 being 7 frames isn't as big of a deal as what is being said though. No character really uses D1 in pressure since they are punishable.
However, ice parry doesn't seem to work on axe as I tested it on my practise mode (could this be practise mode glitch?!), nor does it work for sure against F3 on its own.. Have yet to test axe against Liu Kang's parry & Smoke's :exshake. Raiden's teleport & armors should work however.
Also, I'd like to say here that Dizzy's tip about canceling F3 on its own to axe for tech jumping (eat/stuff) a D3, since the 1 part whiffs on this case, is very important for NW doesn't have other choices against let's say a 6 frame D3..
 

Dizzy

False Information Police Officer
Premium Supporter
NetherRealm Studios
I don't play CSZ and I haven't tested it, I've only tested armor and xray, so it's possible his parry doesn't work for some reason.

Maybe J360 knows something about it.

Liu Kangs parry definitely won't work. Way too much startup. His parry can't be used to interrupt gaps in strings.