What's new

TJ Combo: General Discussion Thread!!!

JHCRANE 14

GO VOLS!!!
Ok, so I have a question for you guys. Have any of you seen TJ Combo's comeback mechanic from his instinct? If you haven't then simply skip to 13:00 minutes in the video posted below...

I don't know...that's pretty crazy!!! Do any of you think that it's overpowered? Or is it overrated?

One thing that may perhaps balance it out is the fact TJ Combo's instinct doesn't give him anything special during the fight. Sure, you can instinct cancel a combo like anyone else for bigger damage or protection on whiffed attacks, but that may be it.

This is the first time I have seen his comeback mechanic being used while developers are explaining it. Technically TJ Combo is not finished being developed as a character so things could change, but if I'm not mistaken they said that if you let your ultra go too long (getting some style points) that TJ Combo can instinct cancel...ending your ultra...getting himself back in the fight. WOW!!!!

So pretty much you have to quickly ultra and then immediately finish the ultra with the ender to guarantee the victory!!!

Thoughts???
 

John Grizzly

The axe that clears the forest
Premium Supporter
So uh.....anyone playing this dude? Feels so good to have him back in my hands. God damn this Powerline into throw is too good.

I was hoping for some day 1 thoughts on him but I see nothing so far. =/
 

PND_Ketchup

"More deadly than the dawn"
Official ESL Gaming
CDjr seems to be destroying people with him.

Haven't been that hands on with S2 yet, but he looks really solid. His dash into various moves seem to be an important part of playing him, especially with the armor he has.
 

PND OmegaK

Drunk and Orderly
Premium Supporter
I cant afford S2 yet but I want to try him really badly. He seems like my kind of character (black and lots of armour) .
 
Having too much fun with Feral Cancels to try him out. But I did run into a few good ones.
*Impressions from playing Some Random Dude online the first day. In other words, a totally accurate, solid breakdown of the character.*

Felt alot like playing against grappler. I wanted to jump to get out of his command throw, but I had to watch out for his air-recapture move.

His pokes are terrible. He can't approach you in a "Orchid" or "Sabrewulf" fashion. He's completely reliant on high/low crush moves, and super armor to get in. Honestly, it feels like a complete guessing game if he successfully gets in on you, or if you choose the right response and punish it. Jump beats one option, blocking beats another option, shadow counter beats another option, shadow move beats another option... Kinda like rock-paper-powerline. Though I suppose without Shadow Meter I'd be unable to counter a couple of his options, and he could get in easily. The shadow-counterable option is a slow-startup leap that is negative unless he cancels it into another move.

From what I played, if he chooses to use that armored move to get in, There's so many ways to stuff that with Shadow moves that are multi-hitting or invincible. Not sure if he had any other options, but as soon as I was sitting on a bar of meter for Shadow Eclipse, the other player didn't seem to have any options to get in at all, and basically had to let me get 20% on him.

At first I thought all his advancing moves where either negative or unsafe, but it looks like one of them he could cancel into a special to make it slightly + on block. But I suppose this makes it extremely risky against Shadow Counters, because although it goes far, you can see it coming from a mile away.

No reversal options from what I can see, apart from some way to go over lows that can get you if you aren't too careful. I switched to standing MK for my meaty and it appeared he couldn't wake up at all.

His oki pressure is pretty terrifying. Especially if you find yourself without meter. Feels like alot of his options will cover both backdashing AND neutral jumping on wakeup. So he doesn't need to guess much on knockdown. Specifically, his ground pound cross-ups.

His air attacks seem really good, but I don't think this character has good anti-airs. I mean, he has powerful anti-airs with his recapture move, but from what I saw, nothing with fast startup that could really deal with smart or unexpected jumps.

His "ground pound" air recapture move is extremely frustrating. Not sure what is going on. It seems to be unblockable if it DOESN'T hit you- and will have a Jax kind of effect. But if it DOES make contact with you, it's blockable.... I think... I really have no idea what's going on with that move.
 

John Grizzly

The axe that clears the forest
Premium Supporter
Imo his face looks weird
This is exactly the sort of in depth info I was looking for on this character.

Having too much fun with Feral Cancels to try him out. But I did run into a few good ones.
*Impressions from playing Some Random Dude online the first day. In other words, a totally accurate, solid breakdown of the character.*

Felt alot like playing against grappler. I wanted to jump to get out of his command throw, but I had to watch out for his air-recapture move.

His pokes are terrible. He can't approach you in a "Orchid" or "Sabrewulf" fashion. He's completely reliant on high/low crush moves, and super armor to get in. Honestly, it feels like a complete guessing game if he successfully gets in on you, or if you choose the right response and punish it. Jump beats one option, blocking beats another option, shadow counter beats another option, shadow move beats another option... Kinda like rock-paper-powerline. Though I suppose without Shadow Meter I'd be unable to counter a couple of his options, and he could get in easily. The shadow-counterable option is a slow-startup leap that is negative unless he cancels it into another move.

From what I played, if he chooses to use that armored move to get in, There's so many ways to stuff that with Shadow moves that are multi-hitting or invincible. Not sure if he had any other options, but as soon as I was sitting on a bar of meter for Shadow Eclipse, the other player didn't seem to have any options to get in at all, and basically had to let me get 20% on him.

At first I thought all his advancing moves where either negative or unsafe, but it looks like one of them he could cancel into a special to make it slightly + on block. But I suppose this makes it extremely risky against Shadow Counters, because although it goes far, you can see it coming from a mile away.

No reversal options from what I can see, apart from some way to go over lows that can get you if you aren't too careful. I switched to standing MK for my meaty and it appeared he couldn't wake up at all.

His oki pressure is pretty terrifying. Especially if you find yourself without meter. Feels like alot of his options will cover both backdashing AND neutral jumping on wakeup. So he doesn't need to guess much on knockdown. Specifically, his ground pound cross-ups.

His air attacks seem really good, but I don't think this character has good anti-airs. I mean, he has powerful anti-airs with his recapture move, but from what I saw, nothing with fast startup that could really deal with smart or unexpected jumps.

His "ground pound" air recapture move is extremely frustrating. Not sure what is going on. It seems to be unblockable if it DOESN'T hit you- and will have a Jax kind of effect. But if it DOES make contact with you, it's blockable.... I think... I really have no idea what's going on with that move.
Interesting stuff. I had only messed with him a bit but I could definitely see him struggling with anti-airs. Nothing seems like it would be reliable. I was hoping he would have something like Dudley's D+HP I could just throw out.

Like you, I was very confused by his ground pound/recapture move. When it knocked them down without me being anywhere near the opponent, I was very surprised. It seems to do little damage, but I can see it being very annoying.

I watched a quick video of Max playing TJ last night and he was doing some crazy stuff. He has some really great post ender juggle options. I really wish there was somewhere that had his post ender juggles listed somewhere, but I can't find shit. I was using his LP Cyclone for anything that popped the opponent up but Max was doing way more post Cyclone ender, at least.

Anyway, this character is incredibly fun and I'm looking forward to playing him more.
 
Had some more games with Combo players and finally took him into practice mode to go over him in depth.

So the ground pound isn't unblockable if it doesn't make contact with your block. Instead, it hits low. If it does make contact with you, it hits overhead. So if it falls just short of you, it could hit you low when you are expecting to have to block it high. I thought this could lead to some really ambiguous setups, but after trying it out a few times, it looks like it's really easy to fuzzy guard it. Just block high when he's in the air, and low as soon as he hits the ground. The overhead hits substantially long before the low does.

His up-down punch is a decent enough anti-air I guess. 3 frames, but it doesn't seem to have any invincibility on startup, unless he uses Shadow Meter for it- in which case it appears to have invincibility.

But if you block his Shadow "DP" he is screwed. Royally screwed
. Like "go back to KI2 you're done here" screwed. It's a two part move, with the initial punch, and then the wind up for the second punch. So if you bait and block the shadow version, you get enough time to use your most damaging attack, and you can time it so it interrupts his punch to get extra counter-hit damage.

If I block his Shadow Uppercut punch as Sabrewulf, and I have shadow meter to spend, I can charge my overpower as much as possible (damage level before the final unblockable), and then release to get bonus counterhit damage to an already MASSIVELY damaging move, cancel that into Shadow Leaping slash opener, do 1 manual (heavy, medium, or light) and then go straight into an ender. 40% at minimum, varying based on what manual I use. One-chance to break that punish combo. Basically, if you block TJ's Shadow Uppercut as Sabrewulf, GG's you win. Game over. I'm sure other characters also have pretty damaging counters. So his only good Shadow Reversal has an EXTREME amount of risk.

As for his pokes, he actually DOES have a decent above-average poke. His standing medium punch is above average. It actually beats out any of Jago's medium pokes at range and the startup isn't bad. The draw back is like all his pokes, they are extremely vulnerable to whiff-punishing because he lunges forward. His standing medium punch and standing heavy punch are not difficult to whiff punish like Jago's standing medium and heavy, because after the whiff, he's right in front of you in range for a quick light. It seems to fit his overall design though. He has ways to get in and is scary once he's there, but I everywhere I look I see the common theme of "High reward/high risk".

Apparently, CDJR is really good with him. I need to see him play, because if this character is as ridiculously good as he says he is, I'm obviously missing something HUGE.

Apart from his instinct. His instinct is absolutely bananas. Bee-ay-en-ayy-an-ayy-ess bananas. It's basically God Mode, and that's not even including the fact that he rises from the dead like some MMA deity.
 

John Grizzly

The axe that clears the forest
Premium Supporter
Lots of more good info there, Lt. Luthor. I've not been able to play him against anyone yet, as I only have the early access digital version.

Are there any vids of @CD jr playing TJ yet anywhere? I'd love to check them out. This character is fun as fuck to play.
 

Mikemetroid

Who hired this guy, WTF?
Premium Supporter
Lots of more good info there, Lt. Luthor. I've not been able to play him against anyone yet, as I only have the early access digital version.

Are there any vids of @CD jr playing TJ yet anywhere? I'd love to check them out. This character is fun as fuck to play.
I'd check his stream archive
 
Watching it now.

But this whole "TJ combo in instinct mode, best pressure in the game guys". Not sure about that. Feral Cancels basically allow Sabrewulf to do the exact same thing. The only difference being I have Shadow Eclipse. So If TJ pops Instinct at the same time as I do, and I've got a bar of meter, he has to let me go first.

Still sick stuff though. already took the cr.MP loop into the lab and got it down consistently. It's ridiculous.
 
Is there a single character in the game that this statement doesn't apply to?
I don't know of any move in existence I can punish as hard as his Shadow Uppercut.

I can get 41% once-chance-to-break (light manual) for punishing Combo's Shadow DP
I can get 35% one-chance-to-break (light manual) for punishing Jago's DP

And, Jago's DP does more damage on a successful wakeup- 17.2% for a regular non-shadow heavy DP, combo only gets 14% guaranteed I think, the rest is breakable.

In terms of risk reward, all DP's a pretty risky- but TJ combo's wakeup DP definitely takes substantially more risk considering the damage I can get from it.
 

NRF CharlieMurphy

Kindergarten Meta
Is there a single character in the game that this statement doesn't apply to?
if orchid drops a grenade ;)

Combo looks HELLA shadow counter-able. Sort of how Jago plays with his frames. Combo seems to use his power line in instinct the same way.

He's interesting. He reminds me a ton of Thunder. like a ton.

Watching Jr play him..... freaking plays him just like Jax. It was kind eerie.
 
Ok, so I have a question for you guys. Have any of you seen TJ Combo's comeback mechanic from his instinct? If you haven't then simply skip to 13:00 minutes in the video posted below...
I don't think his instincts comeback mechanic is that crazy. Just have to touch him once more which I guess is pretty nice, but that means he's saving it during his second life bar in situations where he could have canceled to make something safe. Also as a spinal main it's even less effective since it just means that I have to save a bar of meter and finish him with shadow skull which means he just spent his second bar of health saving instinct for nothing.
 
Is there a single character in the game that this statement doesn't apply to?
Actually more perspective on how comparatively risky TJ's reversal is:

Jago reversal DP after a blocked Wind Kick does 17.2%

My average combo I get from baiting his reversal is 25%. Any more than that and I need to throw in autos/heavy linkers and risk getting broken. 13% of that 25% is guaranteed, so I actually get less guaranteed damage from baiting a reversal DP than I'd take if I got hit by one.

Combo on the other hand, doesn't have the same risk/reward. It's not like Jago where I genuinely am going to think twice alot about pressing buttons when he's negative. He doesn't do as much damage with his reversal, and he takes WAY more.
 

Hades

Noob
Just picked up killer instinct and i've been enjoying it quite a bit and i've decided i like tj combos design and the way he plays. I still haven't quite grasped this game yet but i'd like to know if you guys could give me some info on how to play this character.

What are his best normals/pokes? What are his guessing games? (i know about his command throw but i mean like OH and lows and whatnot) whats his best oki? Wake up options? Just basically any information anyone can provide about this character would be greatly appreciated.

@Tony at Home @John Grizzly @CD jr
 
Just picked up killer instinct and i've been enjoying it quite a bit and i've decided i like tj combos design and the way he plays. I still haven't quite grasped this game yet but i'd like to know if you guys could give me some info on how to play this character.

What are his best normals/pokes? What are his guessing games? (i know about his command throw but i mean like OH and lows and whatnot) whats his best oki? Wake up options? Just basically any information anyone can provide about this character would be greatly appreciated.

@Tony at Home @John Grizzly @CD jr
I'm actually just picking up the character, so I'm by no means an expert, but here's my take on the character and my strategy so far.

I recommend watching Rebelo if you can find him on stream though. His TJ is AMAZING.

TJ's best pokes are (far) s.HK (+ on block, super long range, but slow startup), s.MP (always cancel into backfist because it is negative), cr.LP (really good mid-hitting hitbox that can't be crushed easily)

TJ's roll also works as a poke of sorts. Most standing heavy pokes opponents will use to "check" you at long range have 8+ frames of startup, and 22+ frames of recovery. Roll is 18 (IIRC) frames and invulnerable to those pokes, and you can throw out a light punch into backfist right after, and essentially punish any opponent who throws out a heavy spacing poke. Some opponents will wait and bait this so be careful. TJ can be thrown out of the roll, and many opt to throw instead of poke TJ out because the timing is quite hard.

Backstep is pretty awesome, it's kind of a "mental poke". Do it when you are in mid range (so heavy tremor still hits), get the opponent to jump in anticipation of trying to punish your powerline, then recap with heavy tremor.

Tremor is unsafe on block, but actually pretty safe on whiff due to the shockwave it sends you. So you basically can use this to get free reads on forward jumps. You can, for example, do a medium tremor guessing they will jump forward for whatever reason- and if they forward jump it will catch them, and if they stand where they are it will simply cause the shockwave to make it safe. Basically the idea is to make it so if your read isn't right, you are safe- and thus it's important to use this on guessing forward jumps so your Termor misses if they don't.

Between baiting them with backsteps, stuffing jumps with tremor, you should be able to get opponents to sit still and eat the Chute Toss command throw.

TJ doesn't have any wakeup options on hard knockdown. On soft knockdowns opponents may have difficult OS-ing you if you do quickstand or sometimes not, and then roll out every once and a while. But all of TJ's wakeup options are stuffable, and on hard knockdown they can all easily be OS'd and stuffed for free. So don't wake up after a hard knockdown.

Light punch xx Backfist pressure is GODLIKE. It's one of the few loopable frametraps in the game. Really good for getting them to block while you toss a command throw in eventually. You can loop this over and over and over again, and stuff in a command throw any time. The weakness of course, is some characters have DP's to get out, and Shadow Counters are a risk.

Flying knee is sometimes good out of powerline to catch jumper. This move is -8 but is actually somewhat hard to punish because the recovery is pretty much completely in those 8 frames. In fact, on whiff it is pretty much safe because TJ recovers so dam quickly. Regular Flying Knee isn't as good of a low-crusher as you'd think though. Alot of lows like Orchid's cr.MP and Jago's cr.MK also lower their hitbox. So if you try to low crush these moves with Flying Knee, you'll just go over them and whiff yourself. Shadow Flying Knee, however, has a better hitbox. It's also safe on block so it is AWESOME for crushing lows.

Tremor also crushes lows, but is unsafe. However if you make a bad read and your opponent throws out a high poke that stuffs you, TJ is considered airborne and the opponent doesn't get a good punish on you.

Forward+down heavy punch crushes low, is *safe*, but has a long startup and TJ is considered grounded throughout, so if you get interrupted because your opponent throws out a mid or high while you try to crush low, you are at risk of a full combo.

So TJ has ALOT of low crush options, but they have different strengths/weaknesses you need to weight out in different situations.

Overhead/Low guessing game is not strong, because cr.MK has poor range- so most of the time you're only going to be in range for his Superman Punch overhead, and they'll know that's all they have to look for. Since his Overhead is 10+ frames faster than his low, it also means it is a somewhat fuzzyable mixup. You can catch people with a low/overhead mixup after maybe some backfist pressure, but I wouldn't rely on it too much. Tremor does not work as an overhead mixup really. It's startup is too slow and VERY evident and can be blocked quite easily on reaction. TJ's best mixup is backfist pressure with throws tossed in I think- that in addition to his very strong crush and counterpoke game with his low crush and roll.

The strongest thing about Combo is he doesn't play by the combo systems rules. His medium autos are 10 frames faster than the rest of the cast, his lights are around 6 frames faster, his heavy is also quite faster (but still reactable). He also doesn't play by the same linker-manual rules. His vortex linker is AMAZING. Basically he can get any strength manual off his vortex punch linkers. Don't really bother with his autobarrage ender (except on lockouts). Linkers rest auto-barrage slowdown, and TJ's damage is fine without it.

For example, TJ can go:
light opener -> light vortex linker -> medium manual -> medium tremor linker -> heavy manual ... etc, etc.

That's all I have. I'm not really up on how to best apply oki with him.
 
Last edited:

Hades

Noob
I'm actually just picking up the character, so I'm by no means an expert, but here's my take on the character and my strategy so far.

I recommend watching Rebelo if you can find him on stream though. His TJ is AMAZING.

TJ's best pokes are (far) s.HK (+ on block, super long range, but slow startup), s.MP (always cancel into backfist because it is negative), cr.LP (really good mid-hitting hitbox that can't be crushed easily)

TJ's roll also works as a poke of sorts. Most standing heavy pokes opponents will use to "check" you at long range have 8+ frames of startup, and 22+ frames of recovery. Roll is 18 (IIRC) frames and invulnerable to those pokes, and you can throw out a light punch into backfist right after, and essentially punish any opponent who throws out a heavy spacing poke. Some opponents will wait and bait this so be careful. TJ can be thrown out of the roll, and many opt to throw instead of poke TJ out because the timing is quite hard.

Backstep is pretty awesome, it's kind of a "mental poke". Do it when you are in mid range (so heavy tremor still hits), get the opponent to jump in anticipation of trying to punish your powerline, then recap with heavy tremor.

Tremor is unsafe on block, but actually pretty safe on whiff due to the shockwave it sends you. So you basically can use this to get free reads on forward jumps. You can, for example, do a medium tremor guessing they will jump forward for whatever reason- and if they forward jump it will catch them, and if they stand where they are it will simply cause the shockwave to make it safe. Basically the idea is to make it so if your read isn't right, you are safe- and thus it's important to use this on guessing forward jumps so your Termor misses if they don't.

Between baiting them with backsteps, stuffing jumps with tremor, you should be able to get opponents to sit still and eat the Chute Toss command throw.

TJ doesn't have any wakeup options on hard knockdown. On soft knockdowns opponents may have difficult OS-ing you if you do quickstand or sometimes not, and then roll out every once and a while. But all of TJ's wakeup options are stuffable, and on hard knockdown they can all easily be OS'd and stuffed for free. So don't wake up after a hard knockdown.

Light punch xx Backfist pressure is GODLIKE. It's one of the few loopable frametraps in the game. Really good for getting them to block while you toss a command throw in eventually. You can loop this over and over and over again, and stuff in a command throw any time. The weakness of course, is some characters have DP's to get out, and Shadow Counters are a risk.

Flying knee is sometimes good out of powerline to catch jumper. This move is -8 but is actually somewhat hard to punish because the recovery is pretty much completely in those 8 frames. In fact, on whiff it is pretty much safe because TJ recovers so dam quickly. Regular Flying Knee isn't as good of a low-crusher as you'd think though. Alot of lows like Orchid's cr.MP and Jago's cr.MK also lower their hitbox. So if you try to low crush these moves with Flying Knee, you'll just go over them and whiff yourself. Shadow Flying Knee, however, has a better hitbox. It's also safe on block so it is AWESOME for crushing lows.

Tremor also crushes lows, but is unsafe. However if you make a bad read and your opponent throws out a high poke that stuffs you, TJ is considered airborne and the opponent doesn't get a good punish on you.

Forward+down heavy punch crushes low, is *safe*, but has a long startup and TJ is considered grounded throughout, so if you get interrupted because your opponent throws out a mid or high while you try to crush low, you are at risk of a full combo.

So TJ has ALOT of low crush options, but they have different strengths/weaknesses you need to weight out in different situations.

Overhead/Low guessing game is not strong, because cr.MK has poor range- so most of the time you're only going to be in range for his Superman Punch overhead, and they'll know that's all they have to look for. Since his Overhead is 10+ frames faster than his low, it also means it is a somewhat fuzzyable mixup. You can catch people with a low/overhead mixup after maybe some backfist pressure, but I wouldn't rely on it too much. Tremor does not work as an overhead mixup really. It's startup is too slow and VERY evident and can be blocked quite easily on reaction. TJ's best mixup is backfist pressure with throws tossed in I think- that in addition to his very strong crush and counterpoke game with his low crush and roll.

The strongest thing about Combo is he doesn't play by the combo systems rules. His medium autos are 10 frames faster than the rest of the cast, his lights are around 6 frames faster, his heavy is also quite faster (but still reactable). He also doesn't play by the same linker-manual rules. His vortex linker is AMAZING. Basically he can get any strength manual off his vortex punch linkers. Don't really bother with his autobarrage ender (except on lockouts). Linkers rest auto-barrage slowdown, and TJ's damage is fine without it.

For example, TJ can go:
light opener -> light vortex linker -> medium manual -> medium tremor linker -> heavy manual ... etc, etc.

That's all I have. I'm not really up on how to best apply oki with him.
Thanks for putting so much time into that i really appreciate it. Theres a lot of things in there didn't think of or know so thanks for helping me out. Just a few things im not sure about. How do i do manuals? They are just like a faster auto thats harder to break right? Also does his roll make him invulnerable to being poked for a certain period of time? Anyway thanks for the info man, you dont know how much i appreciate you helping me out
 
Thanks for putting so much time into that i really appreciate it. Theres a lot of things in there didn't think of or know so thanks for helping me out. Just a few things im not sure about. How do i do manuals? They are just like a faster auto thats harder to break right? Also does his roll make him invulnerable to being poked for a certain period of time? Anyway thanks for the info man, you dont know how much i appreciate you helping me out
The last several frames of linkers/openers can be canceled into a manual- though the cancel is such a small part of the end animation that it doesn't look like a cancel. To do a manual, near the end of an opener or linker animation- near the very end- just hit the manual and a regular attack should come out. If it hits it registers as a manual. This is best learned in the Dojo.

Here's an illustration of what manual-timing typically looks like.
http://fat.gfycat.com/MeanCavernousBarnacle.webm

That picture is from Infil's awesome guide to KI which you can find here:
http://ki.infil.net/index.html (read this guide, it's awesome!)

It also describes the manual restrictions (which do not apply to TJ :) ):
"An important thing to realize is that Killer Instinct places restrictions on manuals after linkers. If you execute a linker of a particular strength, you will only be able to follow it up with a manual of the same strength or lower. This means that light linkers only can be followed by LP or LK manuals, while heavy linkers can be followed by any manual. This is an interesting risk/reward balance which forces offense to go for an easier-to-break heavy linker to get access to the full suite of manual options."

TJ Combo does not follow these rules, making him the hardest character to break in the game. Abuse the hell out of this.

Basically, you get easy combos off your vortex punch linker, because this launches the opponent into the air. You basically don't have to cancel anything, just hit the opponent in the air with a light,medium or heavy. And this works off any strength of vortex linker, even light- which normally only allows for light manuals! Then, after that manual, cancel into a Tremor "linker", and once again, when this linker is used as a recapture, it doesn't play by the rules. You get quite easy manuals of any strength regardless of the strength of the Tremor recapture. So with TJ you can do good damage, while never allowing your opponent to break on anything other than a guess.

So your combos with TJ should have a good amount of "vortex punch -> manual -> Tremor -> vortex punch -> manual -> tremor -> repeat...." These loops are hard to break, in addition to TJ's already difficult-to-break autobarrage.

TJ's roll is invulnerable to everything but throws for the majority of its 18 frame duration. 10 frames of complete invulnerability, while the last 7 or 8 are vulnerable to pokes. This seems like alot but it really isn't. You can get poked out if the opponent mashes lights, but it is very easy to roll through long range heavy pokes, and punish them because of their long recovery. Even medium pokes you roll through you have a good chance of being at frame advantage against the opponent if not straight up able to punish them.

So for example, Jago does a typical frame trap: Double Roundhouse, cr.MK xx Laser Sword, s.MP xx Wind Kick
You can use roll between Laser Sword and s.MP, and do a cr.LP xx Backfist to either punish or start pressure on block.

By rule of thumb, anytime you do a roll at the same time your opponent does heavy poke from far range to "check you", you should be able to punish by rolling through and doing cr.LP xx Backfist into a combo because of the recovery.

Also, though roll has 8 frames of vulnerability in the end, you can actually cancel out of a portion of these by doing a roll into a Shadow Vortex punch. This makes it possible to roll through and interrupt things you wouldn't normally be able to given their low recovery. It's a very "YOLO" tactic, but it can be quite effective.
 

Hades

Noob
The last several frames of linkers/openers can be canceled into a manual- though the cancel is such a small part of the end animation that it doesn't look like a cancel. To do a manual, near the end of an opener or linker animation- near the very end- just hit the manual and a regular attack should come out. If it hits it registers as a manual. This is best learned in the Dojo.

Here's an illustration of what manual-timing typically looks like.
http://fat.gfycat.com/MeanCavernousBarnacle.webm

That picture is from Infil's awesome guide to KI which you can find here:
http://ki.infil.net/index.html (read this guide, it's awesome!)

It also describes the manual restrictions (which do not apply to TJ :) ):
"An important thing to realize is that Killer Instinct places restrictions on manuals after linkers. If you execute a linker of a particular strength, you will only be able to follow it up with a manual of the same strength or lower. This means that light linkers only can be followed by LP or LK manuals, while heavy linkers can be followed by any manual. This is an interesting risk/reward balance which forces offense to go for an easier-to-break heavy linker to get access to the full suite of manual options."

TJ Combo does not follow these rules, making him the hardest character to break in the game. Abuse the hell out of this.

Basically, you get easy combos off your vortex punch linker, because this launches the opponent into the air. You basically don't have to cancel anything, just hit the opponent in the air with a light,medium or heavy. And this works off any strength of vortex linker, even light- which normally only allows for light manuals! Then, after that manual, cancel into a Tremor "linker", and once again, when this linker is used as a recapture, it doesn't play by the rules. You get quite easy manuals of any strength regardless of the strength of the Tremor recapture. So with TJ you can do good damage, while never allowing your opponent to break on anything other than a guess.

So your combos with TJ should have a good amount of "vortex punch -> manual -> Tremor -> vortex punch -> manual -> tremor -> repeat...." These loops are hard to break, in addition to TJ's already difficult-to-break autobarrage.

TJ's roll is invulnerable to everything but throws for the majority of its 18 frame duration. 10 frames of complete invulnerability, while the last 7 or 8 are vulnerable to pokes. This seems like alot but it really isn't. You can get poked out if the opponent mashes lights, but it is very easy to roll through long range heavy pokes, and punish them because of their long recovery. Even medium pokes you roll through you have a good chance of being at frame advantage against the opponent if not straight up able to punish them.

So for example, Jago does a typical frame trap: Double Roundhouse, cr.MK xx Laser Sword, s.MP xx Wind Kick
You can use roll between Laser Sword and s.MP, and do a cr.LP xx Backfist to either punish or start pressure on block.

By rule of thumb, anytime you do a roll at the same time your opponent does heavy poke from far range to "check you", you should be able to punish by rolling through and doing cr.LP xx Backfist into a combo because of the recovery.

Also, though roll has 8 frames of vulnerability in the end, you can actually cancel out of a portion of these by doing a roll into a Shadow Vortex punch. This makes it possible to roll through and interrupt things you wouldn't normally be able to given their low recovery. It's a very "YOLO" tactic, but it can be quite effective.
Heading to work now so i'l try these when i get home. Oh and thanks mani checked out rebelos videos and the dude is nuts, gave me heaps to work off thank you so much