As in so many fighting games, a lot of the average Soulcalibur 6 match is two players pacing around each other in eight-way run mode, trying to position themselves for a hit. If you get yourself into position and make the hit, that’s all well and good, but another great way to inflict damage is getting your opponent to take the shot and miss.
One of the major ways you’re going to score damage in Soulcalibur 6 is taking advantage of the opponent’s misses — not the attacks you guard but the ones that just hit air. In fighting games we often call this a “whiff” and the reprisal a “whiff punish.” This may seem like no-brainer stuff, but it’s key to your game.
In this example, Sophitia runs to just outside of the range of Taki’s Assassin’s Strike (running B). Because the move completely missed, Taki is particularly open to reprisal. So we go for Sophitia’s big hit, Angel’s Strike (B during Angel’s Step). This does a ton of damage and is a lot better than just simple standing slashes. Alternatively, use a launcher (down-forward and B) and finish with an air combo.
Moves with quick start-up and long range are great candidates for punishing whiffs. Find some in your own move list, and keep them in mind the next time your opponent slices air.
Guarding and advantage
Things change a little bit if you guard the attack instead. You have the initiative to attack first, but as your character is recoiling from the guard, there is a bit of a delay before they can attack. This means you need to choose faster moves.
In this example, we have Sophitia guard Assassin’s Strike instead. Big hits are out of the question, but in this small window we do have some options. The basic option would be a simple B, B strike. Since Taki can’t block or move out of the way, and vertical attacks generally do better damage than horizontal ones, there’s no need to use a horizontal strike here.
If we react a little faster, we can use the forward + K low blow. This does a little less damage than the B, B series, but it leaves us much closer to the opponent and leaves them open for a moment longer than our first solution. Now our follow up can be that much heavier than before, and in this case we opt for a throw. That throw isn’t guaranteed, mind. This is just an opportune moment.
If we react very quickly after the first impact, we can fit in a launcher (forward, forward + K) and get a combo. This is the best answer for damage, but it requires very quick timing and is easy to miss.
Keep in mind that blocking isn’t always the answer on defense. Moves with slower startup and especially Break attacks will put the opponent at advantage on block and eventually break your guard entirely. If you see your opponent at the very start of a slow windup, don’t be afraid to hit B for a quick jab that might interrupt it.
Though long, complicated combos are possible in Soulcalibur 6, the game generally deemphasizes them. Here we’ll cover the basics.
Generally speaking, a character’s launcher move for air combos is almost always down-forward and B at the same time. This and other moves will knock the opponent into the sky, allowing you to deliver some free hits on the way down.
Soulcalibur 6 doesn’t have the same emphasis on long air juggle combos that Tekken does. In fact, fighters can wiggle out of a juggle combo after the first hit. Instead, as a rule of thumb, try to find a simple hard-hitting chain to conclude your combos with. For starter ideas, try the example combos listed in the in-game move list under “Main Attacks.” (That’s where we got these Geralt combos!) Many of these simple combos are in fact your highest-damage option.
When experimenting with air combos in training, make sure to keep in mind that a real opponent being juggled will try and fall away from your attacks, unlike the dummy. Set Aerial Control to “random” in training settings to be truly sure that your combo will hit 100 percent of the time.
When a character appears electrified, that means they’re stunned. This doesn’t always mean you can land a combo; sometimes the stun doesn’t last long enough for you to attack again. Some attacks, however, cause a stun that allows you to strike again. At that point, you want to find the single most damaging hit you can land within that time.
Characters will also be stunned when hit against the wall. This is a big opportunity for the hardest hit you have, or even an air juggle. The wall can be fickle, so make sure the opponent is actually stunned before you follow through with the rest of your combo.
And of course, following a stun or launcher with a Critical Edge is an easy way to get a huge amount of damage. Most characters have some means of landing this combo.