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The Ultimate Cheetah Guide

RoboCop

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The Ultimate Cheetah Guide


I figured I could go ahead and put together a basic guide to help people get acclimated to Cheetah, and continue to update and refine it throughout the life of the game. I still have a lot to learn, so feel free to share your own tech, combos, and corrections.

You can click the links in the Table of Contents to navigate to specific sections of the guide. This post will serve as a general introduction.

Table of Contents:
Introduction

Cheetah is an extremely mobile rushdown monster. She's amazingly fun to play and although she can bully many characters, she does suffer in some matchups due to her total lack of a projectile and a safe wakeup. That said, I believe she has the tools to cover herself nicely and get in against heavy zoning and footsies.

Type: Power Character
Trait: Boosted damage and chip to all "claw" normals and Primal Rage. Typically deals about double damage. Lasts 7 seconds with a 10-second cooldown.

Cheetah's strengths include:
  • Maybe the best f3 in the game (double-hitting +10-on-block long-range). This one move allows her to bully most characters in the game on oki and in the corner, as it will crush their armor and leave her either at +10 or doing a full combo.
  • Maybe the best d3 in the game. Seriously, this is one amazing button. It's like a d1 with a hard knockdown. 8-frame startup, almost totally safe, low-profiles many wakeups and projectiles (including mids like Darkseid's knee).
  • She doesn't have to be complicated. I've beaten many high-level players using almost nothing but f3 and d3. Many characters simply don't have an answer to those moves.
  • Her tick-throw game is on point. You're going to be throwing your opponent a lot.
  • Her mobility may be the best in the game. Her forward and back dashes are just straight-up bonkers, making it very easy to bait and whiff punish or just dash in d3 or throw. (Her back dash might legitimately be the best in the game.)
  • Her Blood Lunge allows her to immediately get in from up to full-screen, with j3 making her around +6 when she does so. She also gets easy j1 crossups from Blood Lunge. It's fast enough that your opponent has to be constantly on the lookout.
  • Did anyone say "+37 standing reset"? Because yeah, she's got that (off of a double-hitting 12-frame mid-low-mid...)
  • She's extremely safe. If blocked, she can almost always backdash to safety.
  • She also may have the best keepaway in the game, thanks to her Blood Lunge. She can make it almost impossible for her opponent to catch her once she has the life lead.
  • Overall, she bullies many characters hard. Once she gets a knockdown or even a blocked f3, she's got a million and one ways to leave her opponent confused, bloodied, and battered.
Cheetah's weaknesses include:
  • Her only long-range attacks are her Blood Lunge, which can be difficult to use and predictable, and her f3. Other than that, she has to be very careful and play a heavily footsie-oriented game, baiting and punishing mistakes. Luckily, it's pretty easy for her to do that against most characters.
  • Many of her opponents will simply walk backwards in the neutral; it's insane how effective this is at completely shutting down her offense.
  • Even with Blood Lunge, she can be zoned out pretty hard. She takes a lot of patience to play well. That said, once she gets a life lead, she can low-profile almost any projectile (and a lot of normals...) in the game, forcing her opponent to have to get in on her.
  • Her only wakeup is -24 on block and puts the opponent full-screen on hit. Not great. That said, it does leave you +40 on hit, which is enough time to trait up or go for a Blood Lunge.
  • Her air normals have zero priority; a sneeze beats her out of any of them
  • Her d2 has no horizontal range and no priority. Expect it to trade if it doesn't get outright beaten out.
  • Her biggest weakness, in my opinion, is her total inability to build meter unless she's right on top of her opponent. She can do good meterless damage with Trait, but otherwise is totally reliant on meter to break 400 damage.
 
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RoboCop

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Part 1: Normals

In this section, we're going to break down her normals and strings and see how to best utilize them. Her best strings are denoted with "***"..

  • 1
    • 7-frame high with decent reach.
    • Benefits from trait.
  • 11 ***
    • plus 4 on block, plus 12 on hit.
    • Just a really great stagger string to keep your opponent from punishing 12(throw).
    • Benefits from trait.
  • 112
    • a solid overhead-ending string that's only -3 on block. Good damage when used in combos.
    • Benefits from trait.
  • 12(throw) ***
    • A legit throw on hit or block, the opponent will be hit unless they jump, armor, or low-poke after the 12.
    • Great as long as you're not too predictable. Keep your opponent in check by using 11 and 112.
    • Leaves you +20 on hit. Midscreen you have to dash in to pressure, but in the corner it leaves you right next to them.
    • In the corner, you can follow up 12(throw) with another 12(throw) before the opponent recovers. The 2nd hit is mid, and comes out before the opponent has recovered.
    • The throw command will come out even on whiff, reaching about double sweep distance. This allows it to catch most characters who backdash after 12.
    • The first two hits benefit from Trait.
  • b1
    • 12-frame low with very poor range; whiffs a lot
    • typically better in the corner against adjacent knockdowns
  • b11d3
    • This is really only useful for training your opponent not to punish the gap in b12.
  • b12
    • a decent low-to-overhead string, though there is a major gap
    • the 2nd hit is very similar to Ivy's f3; it has very nice range
  • b12(throw) ***
    • This is not an actual throw, but a mid. Still a decent string to keep your opponent guessing.
  • 2
    • a 9-frame mid with 20 hit advantage and only -2 on block, making it a great poke. Decent reach, as well.
    • Benefits from trait.
  • 22
    • Not recommended, as it has a gap. Better options elsewhere.
    • Benefits from trait.
  • b2
    • an 11-frame mid with decent range; only -5 on block or +28 on hit
  • b2(throw), down-down
    • a legit throw, this will connect on block or hit.
    • The down-down extension is best because it leaves you +18 at around mid-screen distance, though the back-back extension may be used if you're trying to play keepaway, as it sends the opponent full-screen.
    • It also switches sides, making it a great corner escape.
    • To do it consistently, press b2(throw), then press down-down and make sure to hold the 2nd "down" until the move has completed. The same method can be applied to the back-back extension.
  • f2 ***
    • An unusual 12-frame double-hitting attack which strikes mid then low in rapid succession
    • breaks armor
    • stuffs many wakeups
    • very short range; the low reaches further than the mid
    • totally neutral on block but only +1 on hit
    • overall, just an amazing poke and Oki tool
    • Benefits from trait.
  • f23(throw) ***
    • One of her most powerful tools
    • Just a mid, not a real throw; doesn't even come out on block
    • On hit it will restand the opponent with you at +37 and within range of f3. Since f3 comes out in 30 frames, that gives you 7 frames to make it a legit blockstring. You're also in range for dash-up shenanigans or to do pretty much anything you want.
    • In the corner, leaves you within sweep distance. Extremely powerful.
    • Unfortunately, it's tough to end combos with it.
  • d2
    • Her d2 is a 9-frame mid with poor horizontal range but good vertical range.
    • Overall, it's a decent anti-air but it will whiff if not spaced correctly.
    • Whenever you land a d2 against an airborne opponent you can cancel it into her trait and still combo. (As in, you have to press d2~trait).
  • 3
    • a 14-frame mid with lackluster range
    • good for easy combos but bad in the neutral
  • 332 ***
    • This is an amazing string that leads to some very hefty damage all by itself.
    • allows you to easily hit-confirm into either db2 or bf3, since you can input the special so late
      • I wait to see if the low kick hits. If it does, I input db2. If it doesn't, I either cancel into bf3 or I just let the string play out and either get the overhead or get blocked and become -10.
      • If you cancel into bf3, you can either let it complete and leap to safety, or you can dash-cancel out to continue your pressure.
    • there is a gap after the first hit
    • hits mid, low, overhead, overhead, but may be special-canceled after the first overhead (input the special after the low kick)
  • b3
    • You will not be using this move, as her f3 is better in every way. The only exception is as a combo extender.
  • f3 ******
    • Hands down her best move (not even best normal), and possibly the best f3 in the game.
    • Double-hitting so it breaks armor
    • Crazy horizontal and vertical range, making it easy to catch jumpers and weird specials
    • +10 on block within range of d3 or her command grabs. Every blocked f3 means your opponent has to guess between all of your mixups.
    • There are setups to make it cross over your opponent on wakeup.
    • Very fast recovery allows her to throw it out pretty freely in the neutral.
    • On Oki, this move is a beast, and the meter-burn version is basically a "get in free" card; there is literally no way to punish it that I have found, even if you know it's coming (other than Parry).
  • d3 *****
    • Outshined only by her f3, Cheetah's d3 is the stuff of legend.
    • At 8 frames, it's more like a d1 than a d3, but with that sweet +24 hard knockdown.
    • It's almost entirely safe at -8
    • It will low-profile many moves and projectiles. It even low-profiles Darkseid's mid-hitting Knee special.
    • It has very deceptive range; it will hit at the start of the match and after the majority of blocked f3's. It eats d1's for dinner.
    • It benefits from her trait, dealing around 11% damage per hit with trait. That means it takes less than 10 d3's to kill gearless Superman. And you're going to be getting at least 7 or 8 d3's during the match. (*77 damage without trait)
    • This low and her f3 overhead make up the majority of her mix-up game. It's exceptionally good at training your opponent to block low, opening them up to your f3 and low-throw special.
    • Maybe one of the best pokes in fighting game history...
  • j1
    • This is her primary cross-up jumping attack.
    • It's also used for neutral-jump setups after a 332 knockdown.
    • It's a good followup to the +37 restand from f23(throw).
  • j2
    • This move has an impressive 27 Active Frames!
    • It's very short-ranged, so it best used right on top of your opponent or after Blood Lunge.
    • Due to it's active frames, you want to throw it out a little early.
    • It is double-hitting, so it will break armor, though it can be hard to space and time to make both hits connect.
    • Overall, I find the hitbox to be a bit wonky, making this move difficult to use effectively.
    • Benefits from trait.
  • j3
    • A satisfying dropkick but it's easily anti-aired.
    • Typically between +6-+8 on block.
    • Works well with full-screen Blood Lunge to get in and combo on hit or be plus on block.
    • If it hits, you can usually combo into 112~dbf1 very easily; just dial it in.
 
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RoboCop

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Part 2: Specials

In this section, we're going to break down her Special Moves and see how to best utilize them.

  • Savage Ambush (db1)
    • A command throw that will only hit a crouching opponent. Good to use once your opponent starts blocking your d3.
    • Tics on block after 1, 2, d2, d1, 12, and b1
    • Has deceptive range (just inside sweep distance)
    • Switches sides and kicks the opponent full screen, so not the greatest option unless playing keepaway.
    • This move can be used to build meter by just using it repeatedly. 13 whiffs builds 1 bar of meter. Great for when you're playing keepaway vs an opponent who builds a lot of meter with their zoning, like Batman, Fate, and Deadshot.
  • MB Savage Ambush
    • Same as normal, but throws up opponent for a combo.
    • Only comes out if attack is successful.
  • Deadly Hook (bdf1)
    • The high-hitting version of Savage Ambush.
    • Has better range, hitting outside sweep distance
    • meterless combo ender; leaves you at +31 within f3 range
    • tics on block after 1, 2, d2, d1, 12, and b1
  • MB Deadly Hook
    • Same as normal, but throws up opponent for a combo.
    • Only comes out if attack is successful.
  • Primal Rage (db2)
    • Her only wakeup option, other than backdash
    • Fully punishable, best used as a combo-ender or the occasional wakeup to keep your opponent honest
    • At 8-frames, it can also be buffered during blockstrings to punish many gaps
    • Benefits from trait, dealing 190 damage (before combo scaling).
    • Anytime you end a midscreen combo with Primal Rage (and it's a great ender for 332), you get a free Neutral Blood Lunge j1-ender, which can loop as long as the opponent doesn't block the overhead-mid-low-overhead or armor through the gap.
  • MB Primal Rage
    • Same as normal, but does a bit more damage; only used for closing out rounds.
    • Only comes out on hit.
  • (Air) Predator Pounce (j.db2)
    • Highly unsafe but good at stuffing other jumping and aerial moves.
    • Hits overhead and can be instant-aired, adding to her mixup game.
    • Has deceptively short range and is very punishable on whiff.
  • MB (Air) Predator Pounce
    • Pops up opponent for combo.
    • Only comes out on hit.
  • Blood Lunge (bf3)
    • Hold back for short lunge or forward for full-screen lunge
    • Short lunge is good for baiting the opponent
    • While in the air, Cheetah may use jumping attacks or Predator Pounce.
      • j3 will still leave her around +7 on block or allow for a combo on hit.
      • j2 can be used almost immediately and will last throughout the entire jump, acting almost like a damaging shield in front of Cheetah.
      • j1 is primarily used for cross-ups, especially in the corner
    • Can be held and canceled very quickly with forward or backdash
    • While held, it low-profiles many projectiles and attacks; she comes up to Superman's boots
    • When whiffed, it recovers immediately upon touching the ground.
    • When you have the life lead, you can use Blood Lunge to become borderline untouchable, depending on the opposing character. It's an amazing keepaway tool.
    • Be careful using it too predictably because she can easily be anti-aired out of her attacks by most characters.
    • This move can be used to build meter by just using it repeatedly. 13 whiffs builds 1 bar of meter. Great for when you're playing keepaway vs an opponent who builds a lot of meter with their zoning, like Batman, Fate, and Deadshot. Just hold and dash-cancel each use and you can low-profile zoning while building meter.
  • MB Blood Lunge
    • Pressing meter-burn during Blood Lunge causes Cheetah to immediately drop straight down. If she hits the opponent, it counts as a throw and deals 132 damage (264 with trait)
    • She can cancel almost any of her strings into Blood Lunge, then immediately meter-burn it for some very tricky setups.
    • It also makes for an amazing Oki tool, since a lot of wakeups will whiff and the opponent can't anti-air.
    • It leaves you +30 on hit, but outside the range of f3. You can still dash and start your pressure with d3, d1, f2, or 1 before they can jump, though.
    • Finally, mb.Blood Lunge is guaranteed after your f23(throw) standing reset. It literally cannot be avoided if you time it right.
  • Queen of The Jungle (Super)
    • Deals roughly 34%
    • She will very quickly run full-screen, and she has a hitbox the entire time, making it possible to catch jumpers.
    • -41 on block means don't get this blocked or goodbye.
 
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RoboCop

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Part 3: Combos

All combo damage is based on using the combos against Superman with Competitive Mode turned on.

Ending any combo with dbf1 leaves you at +31 with the opponent in range of both hits of your f3, which comes out in 30 frames. So essentially, anytime you end a combo with Deadly Hook, your opponent has to eat a mixup.

Ending any combo with db1 leaves you with enough time to Blood Lunge j3, which will jail on wakeup.

When attempting 112 after a j3, you want to do the j3 very late or else the 112 can whiff.

Note: Any jump-in combo can also be done from Blood Lunge.


Mid-Screen Meterless
  • f3-step forward-d2~trait-112~db2: 364 damage
    • This is a very easy, high-damage combo that also allows you to get your trait out. After the d2, let them fall a tiny bit before doing 112 or the first hit of db2 will whiff, reducing your damage.
  • f3-j3-112~dbf1: 361 damage
    • You have to do 112~dbf1 really late or the opponent will be too high for dbf1 to connect.
  • j.3-112~dbf1: 304 damage
    • This combo is super easy to do and super frustrating for your opponent. You can just dial in the 112 with your j3 and then input dbf1 late in the combo. Since the j3 is +6 or more on block and your string starts up in 7 frames, this can sometimes be a true blockstring.
  • j1-b12(throw): 166 damage
    • A great, easy cross-up combo into a low-overhead mixup.
  • j1-332-db2: 244 damage
    • Overhead-mid-low-overhead cross-up; easy because you don't have to reverse the inputs.
    • If the low hits, cancel into db2. If the low is blocked, either let the string play out and you're only -10 or cancel into Blood Lunge to stay totally safe; super easy to hit-confirm


Midscreen 1-Bar
  • f3-j3-112~dbf1.mb-112~db2: 440 damage
    • This is just a great, easy, damaging combo.
  • f3-step forward-d2~trait-112~dbf1.mb-step forward-112~db2: 457 damage
    • You have to take a slight step forward before the final 112~db2, but you still need to do the 112 while the opponent is as high as possible. Not difficult, just requires muscle memory.
  • f3-j3-112~dbf1.mb-step forward-112~db2: 569 with trait
    • If you already have trait active, then use this combo.
    • If trait runs out before the end of the combo, use dbf1 ender for more damage.
  • dbf1.mb-b3-j3-112~dbf1: 395 damage
    • If you have trouble with connecting the b3, you can replace it with (step forward)-112~dbf1. You still do 283 damage.
  • (air).db2.mb-112~dbf1: 284 damage
    • This is your go-to combo after landing a meter-burned Predator Pounce.


Corner Meterless
All of your Midscreen Meterless combos are also very effective in the corner. It's easier to connect some of the combos that are a bit inconsistent midscreen.

You can also start using j3 instead of j1 for cross-ups. A lot of times, j3 will cross up, but then you will phase through your opponent and they will stay in the corner. For this reason, use 112 or 332 followups so you don't have to worry about directional inputs.

In addition to those, you can finally combo into f23(throw). However, the timing is very weird. After f3, you have to try to make the 1st hit whiff and the 2nd hit connect. After j3, you have to make both hits connect (and that includes doing a j3 after a f3).
  • f3-j3-f23(throw): 315 damage
    • Wow, not only is that great meterless damage, it's a +37 standing reset.
    • It can be a little tricky to make the f2 hit. You want to wait until they're low enough for both hits of f2 to connect. It's not too tough, but it does take practice and timing.
  • j3-f23(throw): 240 damage
    • Get that +37 restand from a j3 starter!


Corner 1-Bar
All of your Midscreen 1-Bar combos are also very effective in the corner. Everything else mentioned in the "Corner Meterless" section also applies here.


2-Bar Bounce Cancels
  • 112~mb.f3-j3-112~dbf1: 481 damage
    • This is a great combo because it's so easy to hit-confirm off of 112.
  • 12~mb.b3-j3-112~dbf1: 430 damage
    • This is good to use if they keep escaping 12(throw).
  • b12~mb.b3-j3-112~dbf1: 441 damage
    • This is a great combo due to the low-overhead b12 starter.
  • 33~mb.f3-j3-112~dbf1: 474 damage
    • 33 is just a great string, and the f3 cancel allows it to keep its low-overhead while dealing much more damage or remaining +10 on block.
    • The timing to connect the final 112~dbf1 is a bit strict. You can replace the dbf1 with db2 for a much more consistent ender for 440 damage.


Bounce Interactable

Do any starter canceled into the bounce, then catch them with either:
  • j3-112~[ender]: 400ish damage
  • d2~trait-112~[ender]
 
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RoboCop

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Part 4: Strategies and Setups

Cheetah's got some dirt, there's no doubt about it. However, she's also amazing at the most basic level. Her normals and strings are just really good, and so she really doesn't need a lot of complicated setups to dismantle her opponents.

I've noticed one common thread between all of the matches I've played so far: if your opponent is walking backwards, there is absolutely nothing you can do to pressure them. If you try to fight an opponent as they are walking backwards, you'll either be whiff punished or you'll tap them with with the edge of your f3, which doesn't allow for a good followup unless they somehow don't block it.

When your opponent is walking back in this manner, the absolute best thing you can do is let them. Let them walk themselves into the corner; it will save you a lot of work. You can still play footsies and dash in and out of their range and throw the occasional d3 or f3 to keep them in check, but your goal is really to just let them corner themselves.

If you do your corner thing and they eventually escape, it's back to square one; play patiently until they corner themselves again.

Start of the Match
When the match starts, her d3 will catch most opponents. Even if they jump, you're still usually safe. Your other option is to jump back. If they do pretty much anything other than block or move backwards then you can (air).db2 them and use the 1st-hit meter to get a full combo.

The Neutral
Cheetah has an amazingly strong neutral game. Her back-dash and forward-dash recover almost instantly, allowing her to get in, d3 or f3, and then get back out for a whiff punish.

She can also Blood Lunge at any moment, allowing her to be immediately in her opponent's face with frame traps, mixups, and tic throws. We'll talk about Blood Lunge strategies in a little bit.

In the neutral, you can rely heavily on your f3 and d3 to keep your opponent in check. A lot of opponents won't give you an excuse to get much deeper than that. Just spacing, f3's, and d3's will win you matches. It's crazy.

Once Cheetah gets the life lead, it's over for her opponent. She is maybe the most evasive character I have ever seen in a fighting game. She can backdash until she reaches the corner and then Far Blood Lunge to the opposite side of the screen. Even with this game's insanely long clock, if there's one character capable of running it down, it's Cheetah.

Even if you don't plan on trying to run down the clock, you still need to capitalize on your life lead. One of Cheetah's biggest weaknesses is how she always has to be the one trying to get in on her opponent. As soon as you have the life lead, that paradigm shifts and now they have to get through your wall of f3 and d3.

A blocked f3 into d3 is a legit blockstring; the opponent has to block the d3; they can't jump, backdash, or armor. As long as you link it in time, it is a legit blockstring. This is great for training your opponent. Just follow every blocked f3 with a d3 until they start respecting them, which opens the opponent up to your command throw mixup game.

Once the opponent starts respecting your d3, start using your db1.mb special to get that combo damage. You'll have to learn the spacing, but db1 has deceptive range; if d3 will hit, db1 will hit. You can also go for jump-in mixups or even another f3 if you're feeling ballsy. You'd be amazed how often a mb.f3 will catch an opponent after a blocked f3. Play your cards right and every blocked f3 will leave your opponent in a nightmarish reality where their worst fears can manifest at any given moment. Bam!

Oki
Oh man, this is where Cheetah really shines. Depending on her knockdown, Cheetah's prey becomes vulnerable to most of her mix-up options.

F3 is one of the best Oki tools in fighting game history. Seriously, due to how weak wakeups generally are in this game, there are many characters who simply have no answer for Cheetah's f3 after a knockdown. Meter-burn it and there is literally no downside (other than parries). F3 hits? Full combo. F3 blocked? You're now +10.

Anytime you get a d3 knockdown, you get a free j1 into your ender of choice, depending on your opponent's wakeups. This is especially important against Parry characters like Joker and Batman, as your j1 will eat their parry. j1-332 is the easiest and most difficult to block, but j1-f23(throw) is also really good and nets you that +37 standing reset if it hits. It's also safer if they do block it.

You'll be ending most of your midscreen combos with dbf1, which leaves you +31 and within range of both hits of f3. There's usually no downside to going for f3 (or mb.f3), however you're also in range of j1 and all of its mixups. A slight step forward puts you in range of dbf1 and db1, though this is a bit risky since if you guess wrong, you can end up eating a full combo. If you know your opponent is going to wake up blocking low for that d3 then sure, toss out a db1.mb for a full combo. I wouldn't risk it if I didn't have the meter to back it up, though.

In the corner, you have the option of ending your combos with db2 for the increased hit advantage, closer spacing, and to keep your opponent in the corner (the dbf1.mb combos will switch sides with your opponent). The dbf1 ender does do more damage but pushes you further out. If you have trait out, the db2 ender does about 50 more damage. Anytime you end a corner combo with db1 you get a free cross-up j1, a free f3, a free f23(throw), or any other option since you're +40. If your opponent doesn't have a wakeup that can take f2 or f3 (which is a lot of the cast), they have no choice but to eat your followup and hope they defend correctly.

If you ever end a midscreen combo with db2 (which is a great ender for 332), you get a free Neutral Blood Lunge j1-ender.

If you ever get a knockdown off of 332, you're left +17 directly adjacent to your opponent. Depending on your opponent's wakeups, this leaves you open to mb.f3, d3, 12(throw), 11 (for the advantage), neutral-jump-1, or b12(throw) (probably the worst option since it only leaves you +4 on hit). In the corner, you get a free crossover j1.

Corner Shenanigans
Cross-Up F3

Whenever Primal Rage (db2) puts the opponent in the corner, you can do an f3 that will either cross up or not depending on how you time it (and whether or not they do a delayed wakeup). This is very powerful, as it's still double-hitting and stuffs a lot of wakeups. It looks like you might even be able to get the first hit on one side and second hit on the other, making it exceptionally difficult to block.
  • If you press f3 very early (but not so early that it whiffs) then the f3 will cross over the opponent but then return and hit from the original side.
  • If you press f3 just as the opponent touches the ground, you'll get a double-hitting crossup.
  • And if you wait any later than that, it will no longer be a cross-up.
While powerful, I tend not to rely on it too much, as a delayed wakeup completely nullifies it and leaves you in the corner.

Looping 12(Throw)

Whenever you end with 12(throw) in the corner, you are at +20. The 2nd hit of 12(throw) is a mid that comes out in less than 20 frames frames. If you time it correctly, the 2nd hit will be a meaty and then the throw will come out. This means you can loop 12(throw) in the corner until your opponent manages to escape or punish it.

Cross-Ups

Anytime you j1 or j3 into the corner, it's a cross-up. This includes Blood Lunge j1. The range of Blood Lunge doesn't matter if you hit the corner, so once you're opponent is cornered you can just use Far Blood Lunge as the default and it will always allow you to cross-up.

Anytime you j3 into the corner, it counts as a cross-up and it will keep the opponent in the corner (you won't be putting yourself in the corner, as you would with j1). If you do it too late, however, then it will either put you in the corner or your followup will come out facing the wrong direction. This also does not work when canceling strings into Blood Lunge; the j3 will totally whiff. If canceling a string into Blood Lunge, use j1 instead.

When using Blood Lunge j3 into the corner, if you press j3 just as you hit the wall, it will count as a cross-up. If you wait just a tic, it will no longer count as a cross-up, making it very ambiguous.

You can cancel any of your strings into Blood Lunge j1 for an automatic crossup. Cancel the j1 into b12(throw) for a great mixup or b12~mb.b3-j3-112~dbf1 for a 2-bar 430-damage overhead-low-overhead mixup that's totally safe on block. Just canceling into any of your normal strings, such as 332, is also totally fine.

Blood Lunge
This is your saving grace in many matchups (though it's also totally unusable in many matchups...). Blood Lunge compliments Cheetah's already strong neutral game by giving her the ability to instantly close the gap on her opponent. Her opponent always has to be on the lookout for Blood Lunge, which is a very powerful psychological advantage.

Since Blood Lunge recovers immediately on whiff, feinting with Short Blood Lunge from full screen can be a very effective tactic. I pretty much reserve Short Blood Lunge solely or full-screen feints, though that could change as new oki setups are discovered. That said, it does give you the ability to land a cross-up j1 from outside sweep distance.

The Mid Blood Lunge is very good. It's kind of "sticky", in that it feels like the game is making it easier to use it, like Cheetah is being pulled towards her opponent. Mid Blood Lunge j1 can usually be made to either cross up or not depending on how late you press j1.

Far Blood Lunge is the riskiest but is sometimes a necessity. If the opponent is full screen and walking backwards, the Far Blood Lunge will whiff and you'll usually get full-combo punished. That said, Far Blood Lunge j3 is an amazing tool that will typically leave you at least plus 7 (though don't be surprised when every online player and their mother is able to poke you afterwards for some mystical reason). If you ever land a Blood Lunge j3, the easiest and most consistent followup is just 12(throw). Even on block, the j3 should jail into 12(throw), though that's not always the case. For more damage, you can follow up with 112~dbf1 or 112~db2.

MB Blood Lunge

The Meter-Burned Blood Lunge is where things really get interesting. It counts as a throw, but comes down on top of the opponent. The hitbox is a little small, so it can be difficult to aim correctly, but it can be well worth the risk, especially if you have Trait up, which causes it to deal double damage.

You can cancel your strings into Blood Lunge and immediately meter-burn it for an insanely difficult-to-block reset that's great for closing out rounds. Just doing 332~BL.mb results in a total of 399 damage with Trait active. 332 is the best string for this, as it's the easiest to hit-confirm. If they block the low, cancel into mb.Blood Lunge; if the low hits, cancel into db2, unless a mb.Blood Lunge can close out the round.

Blood Lunge Cancels

You can cancel any of your strings into Blood Lunge and then cancel Blood Lunge into a forward or backward dash for some very tricky pressure or escapes. It is unsafe, so don't be too predictable, but it can be a great tool once your opponent starts blocking your mixups and is afraid to press buttons.
 
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RoboCop

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Part 5: Matchups

It's still very early in the game's life, so expect this section to evolve enormously. Everything I write here is based on my own experiences playing against other TYM members. As such, I still have zero matchup experience against the majority of the cast. That said, there are still a few general rules we can use to help determine her matchup numbers:
  1. Cheetah shines in the neutral and on Oki. She handily beats most characters who don't have an answer for her f3 or knockdown bullying. Even against characters with a strong neutral, if they don't have an answer to her Oki game then one knockdown is all you really need to take the match.
  2. Parry is a strong tool against Cheetah due to her reliance on f3. This means any character with a parry is going to naturally do better against her (though it still may not be a winning matchup for them).
  3. Cheetah's anti-air is nothing special. She can be bullied by characters with strong aerial offense.
  4. Cheetah's one invincible wakeup is -24 on block, making it not a great option. Characters with strong Oki can give her a lot of trouble as long as they're able to get a knockdown.
  5. Cheetah's keepaway game is insane. Characters without high-mobility moves or projectiles can have a very hard time chasing her down when she doesn't want to fight.
  6. Cheetah builds no meter while trying to get in, and many of her tougher matchups can build meter freely while keeping her out. This inherently puts many matchups in her opponent's favor.
So with that said, here are the matchups I am most familiar with. At this point, I'm reluctant to say anything is more than 6/4. The first number is Cheetah.

Flash: 6/4
I believe Cheetah wins this matchup rather handily. It could end up being a 7/3 since Flash has no way to catch her once she gets the life-lead. As in literally, unless the Cheetah makes a horrible mistake or the Flash player makes a godlike read, he simply cannot catch her.

As far as I can tell, he also has no answer to her Oki pressure. Her j1 shinanigans beat almost all of his options, and meter-burn f3 is just simply a free way to pressure him.

He does ok in the neutral, but I think she even wins here as well. He has no great answer for her f3. He's one of the characters I can still beat using almost nothing but f3 and d3 mixups. Cheetah's d3 out-ranges his pokes and gets her a hard knockdown every time he whiffs.


Batman: 3/7
I didn't want to start with this one, but I do want to get it out of the way. This is a nightmare matchup for Cheetah. I'd easily assign this 1/9 if the game wasn't so new.

The primary issue is that Batman never has to fight Cheetah without trait if he doesn't want to. He can trait up, bully her, then retreat and zone until trait is back up. Rinse and repeat. Cheetah simply doesn't have a single effective answer to trait, other than to try to bait the Batman into making some kind of mistake and wasting it.

Batman essentially controls the entire match from the second it starts. Cheetah can't use Blood Lunge, period. Batman's zoning is too strong for her to ever reach him with it, but even when you do get a lucky hit, he's already recovered and will typically just poke you out of your pressure and start his own.

Batman is going to be chucking batarangs like nobody's business and building meter like crazy. Batarang not only locks Cheetah down and builds insane meter, but it also causes Batman to automatically move out of Cheetah's range. With Batarang, Batman builds 1 bar of meter in just under 10 seconds. Meanwhile, Cheetah is going to be crouching, inching forward bit by bit, eating the chip from mb.Batarangs, and not building any meter.

Everyone is already familiar with Batman's jumping pressure. Combine that with Cheetah's weak anti-air and you have a situation where he can just jump in and cross up all day long and Cheetah really has no option but to hold it. Sometimes her d2 will trade, but more often it will get swallowed by Batman's j2. Her mb.f3 will get broken most of the time by Batman's fast normals. She can low-profile a lot of jumping attacks with d3, but not Batman's.

Batman's trait keeps him safe at all times and allows him to tear through our mb.f3 like paper. Whenever he has even a single bat, he can just start going ham and Cheetah has no answer that I've found.

Batman's b23 keeps him totally safe in the neutral. It's +1 on block and pushes him about a half-screen away from Cheetah; well outside the range for any kind of retaliation. It's a 12-frame mid with decent range. It can be used to anti-air Blood Lunge or other jump-in pressure on reaction.

Even when you do get a knockdown, it's very difficult to effectively bully Batman on wakeup. Parry counters f3 and his slide beats all other options (but is at least full-combo punishable on block). You also can't use any of your j1 setups or you risk a full-combo punish if he has meter. Your only decent option is to crouch block and hope he does something stupid.

All in all, Cheetah's only option in this matchup is to get Batman to the corner as quickly as possible, and then try deal as much mixup damage as possible before he escapes. Her f23(throw) is incredibly important for eliminating the Oki game (+37 standing reset), though it's vulnerable to his Parry. Also remember to always block Batman's first hit low and everything else high, unless you see his 123 string come out.


Aquaman: 4/6
Based on my limited matchup experience so far, I was tempted to put this at 5/5. Right now, the matchup seems fairly even. However, as the game develops and players become familiar with Cheetah's mixups, I can see this matchup easily moving toward Aquaman's favor.

Tentacle Strike is a constant threat; it's tracking is so good that it can even catch Cheetah out of Blood Lunge and Predator Pounce (though I have seen her forward-dash make it whiff on occasion). If this happens too close to Aquaman, he gets a very damaging full-combo punish.

d1-Trident Rush is a wall that Cheetah must break through before she can get anything going. It pushes her back so far on block that it basically resets the neutral. Jumping in and Blood Lunge aren't great options due to Aquaman's amazing d2 and mb.b3.

If Aquaman has meter, Cheetah can't pressure him on Oki due to mb.Water Shield. Otherwise, she can bully him pretty hard with j1 setups and f3 on knockdown.

Overall, she outranges him in the neutral thanks to f3, but that's really her only option for getting in on him. He can d2 Blood Lunge on reaction and anything else she wants to do must be done from within Aquaman's optimum range, where you'll be eating frame traps, pokes, and d1-Trident Rush for days. That said, Cheetah's f3 is one of the best normals in the game, so it doesn't hamper her too much that that's her only option.

If Cheetah gets cornered, it can be very difficult for her to get out. If you corner Aquaman, you want to abuse your j1 pressure after every knockdown, as his wakeups will usually get beat clean.

Overall, you want to block low by default and try to react to his slow overheads.


Harley Quinn: 4/6
This is the matchup I have the most experience with. It's fairly even right now, but again, as players figure out Cheetah's mixups, this one is going to become a really pain in the ass.

While her zoning is nowhere close to Batman's, it's still very difficult to slip in Blood Lunge. Harley just has too many tools to catch you out of the air.

Her Air Pistol Fury is a wall that Cheetah has to break through. Cheetah's amazing backward walk speed actually works against her in this matchup, since you have to block the shots standing. Every time Harley jumps, you have to walk backward a bit just to block correctly.

You have to be extremely careful throwing out your d3, especially as a counterpoke. Harley's Tantrum Stance will hop right over it, costing you at least 30% of your health. Punishing a whiffed d1 with d3 is great, but trying to counterpoke a blocked d1 with anything is a bad idea due to the risk of d1~Tantrum Stance.

It is very difficult to bully Harley on wakeup midscreen. Her back-dash and Tantrum Stance avoid a lot of j1 and f3 pressure, and they both beat d3. So once you finally get in and score a knockdown, it's almost impossible to keep Harley on the defensive for long. Even in the corner you still have to be extremely careful and you can't really use d3 due to the threat of wakeup Tantrum Stance.

Overall, Harley's tool set just seems to counteract Cheetah's tool set in a lot of ways, and Harley dishes out a ton of damage every time the game decides her move beats your move. Cheetah can't really use two of her strongest tools in this matchup: Blood Lunge and d3. Without those, this becomes another "inch forward until you can f3" match, at which point it comes down to the Cheetah player's ability to get through Air Pistol Fury and the Harley player's ability to whiff punish f3.

That said, I have had some luck using Blood Lunge into Predator Pounce, which can cause Harley's Up Pistol Fury to whiff and get you some nice damage. However, if blocked, Harley gets a lot more damage than you.


Superman: 4/6
I really hate putting all of these 4/6 matchups in here, but it is what it is.

In the neutral, Cheetah doesn't have too much of a hard time getting through Superman's zoning. You're going to eat some chip, but you shouldn't really be getting hit too often. However, once you make it through the zoning, you've got to contend with f23.

Midscreen, Cheetah has no options except to creep forward or Blood Lunge. However, Superman can d2 on reaction for a very damaging punish. Otherwise, Superman's backward walk and f23 make it impossible to ever catch him with a f3, which is by far your longest range move. You literally can't touch Superman as long as he's moving backward, but he can whiff punish any of your attempts with f23.

Your only option is to let him walk himself into the corner, at which point it becomes an incredibly dangerous game for both characters. Any mistake or wrong guess you make is going to cost you a holy butt-ton of health and let Superman out of the corner. Once Superman gets a knockdown, especially in the corner, it's pretty much game-over for Cheetah. Likewise, Cheetah's corner game is strong enough that as long as you don't let him out or put yourself in the corner, you can take the match.

A life lead doesn't really mean anything in this matchup unless it's substantial. Superman can chip you with his zoning until you're forced to make him stop.

You typically want to block Superman low-low-standing to avoid all of his mixups.

Note: Blood Lunge and d3 can both low-profile f23. This is especially useful when he's going for f23~trait-f23, as you can hold the Blood Lunge, then forward-dash-cancel as the 3 comes out and get a full-combo punish. Still risky, but it's an option. Anything to make him think twice about using f23 is a good thing.


Grodd: 6/4
I've only played this one a tiny bit, but it seemed like Grodd was able to put up a good fight. A lot of his normals seemed to have priority over Cheetah's, including in the air. Cheetah's bnb combos also whiff pretty consistently against Grodd for some reason.

Overall, it's Cheetah's f3 that really causes problems for Grodd, especially on Oki. I don't believe he has a single answer to it, especially when meter-burned. Grodd's Stampede is the only wakeup that challenges f3, and even then you're only risking 103 damage if he spends a bar.


Green Lantern: 4/6
Phew, this is possibly a 7/3, but time will tell. This plays like a combination of the Superman and Batman matchups. Green Lantern can just walk backward all day long and b1 whenever you whiff while trying to catch him, similar to Superman's f23.

Unlike Superman, Green Lantern can zone the hell out of Cheetah. She can't use Blood Lunge, even on a read, due to Lantern's Might. She can't sit on a life lead due to all of his other zoning attacks. Eat a single mb.Battery Blast and you've got to try to work your way back in from full screen.

She can pressure on Oki if she has meter, but otherwise he beats all of her meterless options. On the contrary, he can bully her on wakeup hard with his walk-up f3/b1 mixup. If you guess correctly, you either backdash or deal 101 damage from Primal Rage. Guess wrong, and you eat the full force of Green Lantern's combo damage.

So overall, GL wins the neutral game handily, along with the Oki game if Cheetah doesn't have meter.


Deadshot: 5/5
I've only played a single match against a random online Deadshot, so expect this one to change once I get some better experience. Right now, this writeup is based on that matchup, my own time with Deadshot (I've got him at level 20), and some tests run in Practice Mode.

You literally can't stand up during this match, making it one of the most annoying matchups in the history of fighting games. You literally just have to inch forward since you can't dash. It will take a few minutes, but eventually you will get close enough to have to guess which 50/50 option he will use. Guess correctly and you probably win the match. Guess wrong, and it's another 5 minutes of inching forward.

On Oki, Deadshot has no options as long as you have meter. Without meter, you have to respect his Assassin Knee wakeup. It will beat all of your Oki options, including your j1 mixups. However, if you neutral jump and the Assassin Knee whiffs, you get a free Predator Pounce punish.


Scarecrow: 4/6
I've only played one good Scarecrow as Cheetah (@Chongo), so this is another one that will be fleshed out a lot as I get more MU experience.

So far, this is looking like a really rough MU for Cheetah. The neutral game is a literal nightmare (I suppose in that sense, NRS really nailed Scarecrow). Scarecrow's mixup game is just as nasty as Cheetah's (maybe even more so), but she doesn't have his far-reaching normals. She has trouble punishing anything he can do due to pushback, unless she reads his trait activation, in which case she can sometimes punish with Blood Lunge.

If she can get him cornered then she can dismantle him, but one wrong move and now she's in the corner against him and it's basically game over. And getting him to the corner is no easy feat. He's going to be walking backwards a lot (as literally every one of your opponents will be doing...), but not enough to corner himself. He can bully you so hard in the neutral that he has total control over the spacing of the match.

Essentially, this matchup comes down to who can corner and mix up the other. The reason I have it in Scarecrow's favor is because he completely controls the neutral game, and it's a lot easier for him to corner Cheetah than vice versa.

That said, Cheetah is able to punish a lot of his gaps with Primal Rage (db2). As players get used to Scarecrow's gaps, it could end up being a lot less lopsided. She can punish after f21, 11, b221, and b122. She can trade with b12, though if Scarecrow just does b1 and you try, you'll get full-combo punished, so it's best to let the b12 come out and then punish the gap there..

Cheetah has no answer to f133. Unless you manage to armor through, you just have to hold it. After you block it, you can try a j1, but Scarecrow can d2.


Doctor Fate: 6/4
Full disclosure: I have actually yet to play a single Fate, so this matchup number is based purely on my time in the lab.

Cheetah can low-profile all of Fate's zoning by holding Blood Lunge (which she can hold for around 3 seconds). She can even release it during his meter-burned Amon Ra Blast to fly cleanly between the projectiles for a full-screen punish, or she can dash-cancel out to close in on Fate. So essentially, Fate can't really zone her. She can low-profile his Orb with d3.

I'm not familiar with Fate's rushdown game (@Pig Of The Hut any thoughts?), though it does look like Cheetah will have to be on the lookout for Fate's f3, f2, and Glyph of Osiris. When his trait is active, you need to been on the lookout for his throw, which he can now combo off of.

Otherwise, I can't see him having an answer to f3 or her j1 setups after a hard knockdown. Meter-burn f3 is effective as always.

Her neutral-j1 setups (after 332) don't work due to Fate's Glyph wakeup. However, because he steps back, jump-forward-1 will connect as well as avoid the Glyph. However, if he doesn't wakeup Glyph, the j1 will whiff.


Supergirl: 4/6
Cheetah simply has no answer to Supergirl's aerial game. She can float and air-dash and air teleport and there's just nothing Cheetah can do about it. Cheetah's d2 is too poor to reliably anti-air in this matchup. At best you get a trade, which is usually in Supergirl's favor.

When not playing the air game, Supergirl can zone Cheetah very similarly to Harley. As you get closer, Supergirl can just walk backwards and punish any of your pokes or attacks for 300+. Unlike other characters who will eventually walk themselves into the corner, Supergirl can just teleport out.

On Oki, you can't really pressure with f3, d3, or even mb.f3 due to Rising Sun Strike. It will typically make mb.f3 whiff, and it beats regular f3 and d3 cold. The only good news is if you bait it and it whiffs, you can j3 into your combo of choice. If you block it, you have to switch to j2.
 
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Zoidberg747

My blades will find your heart
For the D2 trait combo the key is to barely walk forward before doing the d2 trait. After that its very hard to miss. If you wait too long until you do the d2 trait the 112 followup will whiff.
 

Zionix

AKA Ponkster
The guide is very good, I really appreciate the effort you have put in.

I'd hold off on saying some strings and normals are bad just yet, for instance you say 22 isn't good because there is a gap, however 2 is one of out best tick throw options, you can't even jump out of the high tick option you have to backdash or duck.

Also some strings are great for lunge cancels with some being more plus on block than others. B11 into lunge stance is very good, removes the gap after b1 and you can choose to do a number of things fro mthat position to keep up pressure.

Also B3 has its uses with bounce cancels and you can link F23throw off it and F3 midscreen.
 
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  • b3
    • You will not be using this move, as her f3 is better in every way.
Great guide but this part is not true. b3 has farther range than f3, is faster than f3, and the startup of b3 causes Cheetah to lean back quite a bit which can cause a lot of things to whiff.
 

RoboCop

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Great guide but this part is not true. b3 has farther range than f3, is faster than f3, and the startup of b3 causes Cheetah to lean back quite a bit which can cause a lot of things to whiff.
Go into practice mode and do a b3 and a f3. f3 actually has slightly more range than b3, though it's a negligible amount. b3 looks like it has more range, but it's deceptive. b3 is also -1 on block instead of +10, and only starts up 2 frames faster and doesn't break armor. I stand by my comment; there is literally never a moment in a match where you would want to b3 instead of f3. Feel free to do it if you want to, but this guide will be championing the f3.
 
Go into practice mode and do a b3 and a f3. f3 actually has slightly more range than b3, though it's a negligible amount. b3 looks like it has more range, but it's deceptive. b3 is also -1 on block instead of +10, and only starts up 2 frames faster and doesn't break armor. I stand by my comment; there is literally never a moment in a match where you would want to b3 instead of f3. Feel free to do it if you want to, but this guide will be championing the f3.
Ah alright. I thought b3 had more range. I still think the back lean that b3 does has some application though.
 

Zionix

AKA Ponkster
Ah alright. I thought b3 had more range. I still think the back lean that b3 does has some application though.
If you hit confirm 112 on a grounded opponent and bounce cancel into b3 you can land F23throw for 360 damage with a plus 37 restand midscreen. B3 definitely has a place in Cheetahs game.

You 'can' land it off f3 as well but you need to whiff part of the string so its a bit weird.
 
I also forgot to mention that f3 is not a mixup against experienced players. Maybe online it'll work but 30f is way too slow to be a real mixup against experienced players. It certainly works now a lot online but don't get used to it. It's still extremely good for other reasons, but being a mixup isn't one of them.
 

RoboCop

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I also forgot to mention that f3 is not a mixup against experienced players. Maybe online it'll work but 30f is way too slow to be a real mixup against experienced players. It certainly works now a lot online but don't get used to it. It's still extremely good for other reasons, but being a mixup isn't one of them.
Not sure I follow. Who said f3 is a mixup? And sure, you don't just get free f3's (except on wakeup), but thanks to it's range, enormous hitbox, and armor-breaking properties, you'll catch plenty of experienced players with it. It also recovers quickly enough for you to just throw out from time to time to keep your opponent in check. I land quite a lot of of combo damage off of stray f3 hits that the opponent doesn't expect (or they expect it but underestimate the range).

As far as a mixup, a d3 after f3 is guaranteed. As in, it doesn't matter how experienced the player is, they have to hold it. An f3 after dbf1, db1, f23(throw), or pretty much any of her other enders is almost guaranteed; only certain wakeups will beat the meterless version, so a lot of characters just have to hold it.
 

EMPRESS_SunFire

Regina George of discord
Not sure I follow. Who said f3 is a mixup? And sure, you don't just get free f3's (except on wakeup), but thanks to it's range, enormous hitbox, and armor-breaking properties, you'll catch plenty of experienced players with it. It also recovers quickly enough for you to just throw out from time to time to keep your opponent in check. I land quite a lot of of combo damage off of stray f3 hits that the opponent doesn't expect (or they expect it but underestimate the range).

As far as a mixup, a d3 after f3 is guaranteed. As in, it doesn't matter how experienced the player is, they have to hold it. An f3 after dbf1, db1, f23(throw), or pretty much any of her other enders is almost guaranteed; only certain wakeups will beat the meterless version, so a lot of characters just have to hold it.
Your oponent can also backdash F3 on reaction after command grab on hit, I think once people know that the best ender will be B2~blood lunge canceled into forward dash into F3. It stuffs wake-ups as well and this one actually catches backdashes so if they don't have an invinvible wake-up they will have to hold that F3.
 

RoboCop

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Your oponent can also backdash F3 on reaction after command grab on hit, I think once people know that the best ender will be B2~blood lunge canceled into forward dash into F3. It stuffs wake-ups as well and this one actually catches backdashes so if they don't have an invinvible wake-up they will have to hold that F3.
Thanks for the info, I'll have to mess around with that. What is the benefit of canceling into a blood lunge cancel? It seems to be negative on block.

[Edit] Oops, I'm an idiot. I get what you're saying now. Yeah, that sounds really good. Gonna lab it up right now.
 

EMPRESS_SunFire

Regina George of discord
Thanks for the info, I'll have to mess around with that. What is the benefit of canceling into a blood lunge cancel? It seems to be negative on block.

[Edit] Oops, I'm an idiot. I get what you're saying now. Yeah, that sounds really good. Gonna lab it up right now.
Yeah haha, the timing is a bit weird but you can get that down with practicd
 

RoboCop

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Phew, got a ton of matchup info added and fleshed out the Strategy section a bit more. If you have any matchup information (including for characters already mentioned), please share. Thanks!
 

FoughtDragon01

Ask me about my Mileena agenda.
Wow, with the way people were going crazy when Cheetah first popped up in RHS and Ketchup's stream, you wouldn't expect so many 4/6's, on top of possible 3/7's. (haven't heard too many good things about the W. Woman MU either). It'll be interesting to see where she stands in a few months' time. Still, great write-up! This is quickly becoming my bible for Cheetah.