I got some tips for all my fellow Nobushi mains out there. And all the Nobushi that i faced don't really use the things i worked out. So let me share them with you as a show of unity.
All the stuff i worked out is in the advanced video. But I'm going to go further and give you some situational context so that you can understand when to use this stuff.
First off. Hidden stance. USE IT. And learn how to use it. Yes on console the analogue dead zones are fked right now (i know because i use a controller on pc). That doesn't make it Impossible to use. It is a decent offensive tool and a good defensive tool, specifically at distances. See that raider running in for the grab charge? Hidden stance to dodge and stab away. Hidden stance counts as the first hit in a combo, so landing one light after hidden stance gets you a guaranteed bleed. That's what makes it a good offensive tool as well. If you get the impression that the opponent is playing passive. Then just hidden stance and stab, a lot of you will be finding that the three hit combo stab is basically impossible to finish. Because the second hit is always blocked. Well with hidden stance we can prevent that from happening. I will stress that you need your opponent to be at a distance. Hidden stance will fail miserably against any quick attacks. Think of it like a more forgiving parry. Only use it on slow attacks or ones that you can see coming from a mile away. It also is very handy for obfuscating your intents when the enemy is far away. Just going into hidden stance and staying there is enough to spook them considerably. You can poke them out of leaping/charge attacks. dodge and counter. Or initiate first of they slowly approach you.
Second tip. Kick covering. Just because a lot of people can't dodge kicks doesn't mean you should spam them. Once people catch on. And they will. Your kicks are risky as fk. Kicks should be used SPARINGLY against assassins and any hero with a dodge attack. You will get cut. Kicks can be decently covered with hidden stance against any other heroes. Especially if they dodge to the side. After dodging the kick, they might expect a bleed stab and will be ready to dodge again. But probably won't expect a hidden stance to come out and delay your attack. It's very easy to catch them off guard because of how little hidden stance is used. They have a minor brain crash "he didn't attack. He is in hidden a stance. I should attack" and by then you've stabbed them. Literally twice. If they dodge back then hidden stance is still worth using for the same reasons as outlined in the above paragraph.
Tip three. Dodge mixup. Nobushi has the honour of having two side dodge attacks. That come from different directions since the light goes with the dodge and the heavy goes opposite it. Further more. Nobushi also has the ability to vary the timing of her dodge attacks. Meaning you can perform them at the end of the dodge to maximise I frames. Or at the start to obscure which side you dodged to. That is four possible ways to catch someone out (dodge L light, dodge L heavy, dodge R light, and dodge R heavy). This will be important later. As a side note, the sidewinder form (dodge heavy) counts as a regular heavy and can be used to execute. The fact that Nobushi can use her dodge attacks too early is what makes using them as a counter tool very finicky as you can attack and prematurely end your dodge i frames. But with practice you can reliably dodge and counter a lot of attacks so i advise you to learn how to properly use these attacks.
Tip three point five. Dodge cancelling (the real juicy stuff). You've just kicked your opponent stabbed them. And now we're back to square one. Both of you in neutral and a good distance away from each other. Why the fuck didn't you keep attacking? Because you can. The advanced video says that cobra strike, and vipers retreat can be cancelled into a side dodge. That attack after a kick? THATS COBRA STRIKE. DODGE AND STAB HIM AGAIN. WHATS THE MOVE YOU JUST DID? COBRA STRIKE. DODGE AND STAB HIM AGAIN! he's getting smart and blocking? DIDN'T WE JUST TALK ABOUT HOW YOUR DODGE MIXUP IS FUCKING BEAUTIFUL? SIDEWINDER FORM HIM INSTEAD, BETTER YET, DON'T DODGE AT ALL AND INSTEAD USE VIPERS RETREAT TO ATTACK HIGH YOU CAN USE IT AFTER SIDEWINDER AND STILL CANCEL WITH A SIDE DODGE TO KEEP GOING. after all this left right mixup the last thing he'll expect is a top attack. Want to be a real fuck to him? Follow a sidewinder with a kick, risky I'll admit, the delay between the sidewinder and the kick is VERY long. But that's exactly what makes it unexpected. They think you've ceased the onslaught but you've just taken a moment to polish your boots with his face. People are all like "Nobushi doesn't have ways to open up an opponent" i'll agree with that all of her options can be reacted to fairly easily. But that's exactly why you just throw all of the out there at once. You are getting stabbed and slashed from all directions. HER HEAVIES PUT HER OUT OF RANGE WHEN THEY GET PARRIED. if that isn't an invitation to be an agressive fk. Then you don't get out enough.
Alright so time to condense this info into a workable and followable strategy. Nobushi has three parts to her strategy. Defence/zoning, opening up enemies, and glorious mixup. If you can succeed at all three then Nobushi becomes a "Roll" character (i believe the fighting game term is a "Rushdown" character but i prefer the term Roll character) She gets on a roll and has lots of tools to keep her going (bleed, and way of the shark). But her main concerns are starting the roll and keeping it going straight over the opponents. It's not as BS as the wardens vortex that's a straight 50/50 but more like a 20/20/20/20/20 there's lots of things she can do to mixup and most of them can be counted, but the counters for all the different outcomes vary so widely that it becomes hard to react to term them. That's the playstyle you should be aiming for.
But I'm rambling. I said i was going to condense information. But i just ended up spewing more. Here are your three parts of your strategy and some quick points on them.
- Nobushi's defence? Not being there to get hit. You can practice blocking and parrying all you want. It's easier to just be on the other side of the room. It even opens up chances to parry since opponents will use risky leap attacks to close distance.
- Vipers retreat is predictable but against heroes that can't dodge attack it's generally safe even if blocked or parried. Even if they do block you just get pushed further back so it's a win(ish) for you.
- You can press dodge immediately after blocking an attack to retreat back. Use it when you know the next hit in the opponents combo is a slow attack. Or when that was the last attack in the combo.
- Landing the kick will push your opponent back. If you don't have enough stamina to commit to the mixup then don't bother stabbing them and just back up. Stabbing them lets them resume attacking sooner and gives you less time to retreat.
- Stamina management is very important for Nobushi. Consider stamina cost reduction gear and stamina regeneration gear. The less stamina you spend on your defence. The more gets dedicated to the mixup.
- Roll. No not the offensive mixup, i mean dodge rolling. If things get hairy then don't be afraid to roll out. The only thing that can catch/punish a roll is a running attack (and some leaping attacks). And your opponent can't do that fresh out of the gate.
Opening up opponents
- Hidden stance. Like i said it's a good counter move. More forgiving than a parry but loses out to fast light attacks. It also moves you back ever so slightly so when an enemy attacks at max range, you can dodge physically as well as with I frames. Basically always use this at a distance. Things to look out for. Charge tackling Raiders, warlord and conquer shield bash, Shugoki charged heavies (good because the guaranteed double hit strips their stoic and bleeds) any hero performing a running attack.
- Parrying. Good way to open up opponents. But be careful there are a few which make it more difficult. Kensei, Shugoki, and other Nobushi have better ranged heavies than most, so sometimes they'll be pushed out of range for a GB. If you try and miss then you yourself can be GB'd and hit. if in doubt go for the stab instead of a GB.
- Dodge hits. Dodge predictable attacks and counter with one of your own. Learn how to control your button presses so that you can maximise I frames on your dodges. Cobra and sidewinder basically have two versions (early press or late press) so learn use late press to counter and early press to mixup.
- GB. Guard break after parries or when an opponent gets close (If they got that close in the first place then you need to rethink your defence). If they escape then they just put more space between you. If they don't, throw them forward, backwards, or into a wall (side is a little unreliable) stab and refer to the mixup section.
- Hidden stance, use it when you have lots of stamina and both of you are out of eachothers range. Being far apart forces the opponent to enter your range before you get in theirs. That is the literal definition of zoning. No guard means that they won't have a bead on your attack direction. And the fact that you can dodge means that they still risk being dodge attacked.
- Kick. The kick is a powerful tool if used properly. Not only offensively but as an inciting tool. E.g. while out of range, hidden stance/heavy attack, kick (whiff) hidden stance to dodge inevitable leaping attack. Initiate roll. Remember it loses to dodge attacks. You can cancel into hidden stance if it misses to dodge and delay follow up attacks. And if they dodge back then it's an opportunity to use hidden stance as a pressure tool.
- Feints. In addition to regular feinting, Nobushi has the option to cancel both her light and heavy attacks, as well as the recovery of her heavies with hidden stance. Not many people get to cancel their light attacks, be grateful.
Mixup. AKA "the roll"
- The roll begins when one of three things happens.
- You just decide to start it (possible when the opponent is frazzled, fearful, or desperate)
- You land a triple stab, viper, cobra, or sidewinder on the enemy (from hidden stance, kicks, GB, cancelling combos with viper, dodging and using sidewinder)
- The opponent runs out of stamina, gets knocked down, or you enter revenge/have revenge prepped (full bar but not active)
- When any of these conditions are fulfilled and you have sufficient stamina. It's time to go ham.
- The components of the roll are:
- Sidewinder form. Main component as it is not interrupted if blocked. Initiates from a side dodge and can cancel into a dodge so you can spam it, but that's a stupid idea. Has good range and steps forward to close in on targets.
- Cobra strike, used sparingly as if it's blocked then the roll might end. Like sidewinder used from side/forward dodge, but only cancels into side dodge.
- Vipers retreat. Used after triple stab or sidewinder. Cancels into side dodge. Also a good place to stop the roll if you're running out of stamina.
- Hidden stance cancelling. Cancel your sidewinders into hidden stance to vary attacks. transitions into the triple stab or kick (kick is not really recommended as that just delays it and gives them time to escape)
- Triple stab. Only really initiates from hidden stance. But can cancel into kick, viper, or the dodge attacks.
- Kick. If they start blocking then kick em to frazzle them once more. Initiates from hidden stance (no), a triple stab, or sidewinder. Against assassins it's best to reserve this for when they are out of stamina so they can't dodge attack.
- One last thing, if you knock down an enemy, (GB while they are exhausted, parry in revenge, parry on activation of revenge, kick while in revenge) then a good combo to use is knock down, dodge forward, heavy, kick, stab. If you time it right then they can't dodge the kick in time and will get stabbed. In revenge don't bother stabbing them after the kick as this will prevent them from being knocked down again. Don't bother attacking twice either. I find that after they get knocked down there's a period where they can't block. But they can block again if they are hit. Which is why you see stupid things like people immediately getting up and defending after being knocked down. That's why we use the kick as the second hit. Using this and revenge we can keep an opponent on the ground indefinitely.
And lastly i need some things clarified so if any of you could find out/test these for me? If no one knows then I'll do it myself but I'm lazy so who knows when that will get done
- GB while in hidden stance. Can you counter GB while in hidden stance? Or is it like the full block on other heroes where you can't. It's a unique feature to the Nobushi so I'd really like to understand it.
- hidden stance interactions. While i can attest that hidden stance can avoid raider tackles, and conq shield bashes. I have no idea if they avoid lawbringer charges, shugoki's charge of the oni, or his dreaded backbreaker. Testing plz.
- If I've made any mistakes then point them out to me and I'll fix them. Also a lot of the statements in this guide are generalisations. It's expected that there will be exceptions to the things that I've said. I'll correct it if necessary but please don't nitpick.
No tl;dr skill and victory are only brought about from dedication and diligence. You won't "git gud" if you can't be bothered to read.