MK9 | Skarlet matchup thread

This is a thread created so as to discuss different matchups as Skarlet, while also covering (hopefully) how to deal with Skarlet should you be the unlucky bastard facing her. I will get the ball rolling.

As Skarlet - Keep that EX bar handy for EX Dash; it can punish net from full screen on reaction. If Cyrax tosses a bomb, dash cancel a dagger moving forward, then do Blood Dash to close the gap. Slide is generally a good idea, if only to keep them honest in order to score an overhead later. Cyrax’s wakeups are generally bad, so in most occasions you’re safe doing a Dash->Slide. Never teleport unless it’s to punish a net. One combo reset with Cyrax and you’ll eat 60+% of your life so fast you’d think Freddy Krueger is comboing you (no shame in using your bars on Breaker here). You can try dash cancelling daggers moving back, but wakeup net takes the damage and keeps going. Cyrax can also jump and teleport, although if done right Skarlet will probably be able to recover anyways before Cyrax can retaliate.

As Cyrax - Don’t always only toss out Nets. Every now and then toss out close bombs anticipating an EX Dash. 1,1 is a relatively decent frame trap. Mix it up a little by adding the third hit or using a net. Don’t forget your command grab. Only toss out net when Skarlet has no meter, or as a wakeup. If you find yourself trapped by dash cancelled daggers, you can choose to jump and land on one of them, using a projectile-invincible net on wakeup, or jump and teleport. Teleport won’t net you an attack, though. With net, you at least get to slow Skarlet down enough.

Freddy Krueger
As Skarlet - Save all of your meter for EX Blood Dash and Breakers. Freddy’s dangerous at any range due to his lifting claws having full screen range. He can outspam Noob, and I’m not joking; I’ve been playing as Freddy almost as much as I do Skarlet. As is usual for keep away, EX Dash to close in, punishing with a slide is preferable. Make sure you keep pressuring him at this point, and especially time your jump punches so you’re nowhere near the ground when he does his wakeup, since he can do his EX lift claw, stagger you and combo afterwards. Freddy does not have a very good anti air, so if you’re immediately next to him when knocking him down, then crossup punch he cannot retaliate most of the time. Dash cancelled daggers are a bad idea, since his lifting claw can hit you anywhere, and his fast horizontal claw projectile is a BAD BAD trade. The low projectile can be jumped over with almost zero fear of retaliation, possible even scoring you a combo (if mid screen). Keep holding that damn block button when you’re not doing anything, or risk having a light lift claw, into a medium lift claw (or just medium lift claw), into a far lift claw putting you at full screen EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. followed by any of his projectiles, mixing them up with far lift claw which punishes jumping attempts and projectile spammers. If in the corner, Freddy can EASILY, and I’m not joking, score 61-63% with one EX bar, so save your EX bars for Breaking and EX dash. TL;DR version: Save bars for EX/Breakers, get close, cross up on wakeups, block when idle, get out of the damn corner.

As Freddy Krueger - You are a keep away character’s worst nightmare (pun extremely intended), but Skarlet can approach with a punishing Teleport or an EX Dash. She is also extremely aggressive in the right hands, with insane pressure and mixups. Punish a dash cancelling Skarlet with a Hell Spike. Or toss a sleeping drop, which will land where they are, temporarily stopping her and allowing you to gain some ground. Or simply move past them with the “only-projectile-invincible” front teleport move. Laugh, as you maybe take the damage from a single dagger and teleport through the rest. It’s unfortunate, but you’ll have to be aggressive against her. After every triple Hell Spike combo, teleport forward to gain back some ground. Save your EX bars for EX Hell Spike in combos, as well as an EX Teleport (which IS fully invincible on wakeup) to get out of a corner. When being pressured, the back teleport, while not invincible, moves much faster than the front teleport and as such can help you escape some frame traps. If you manage to get a crossup punch in the corner, f+4, 2, 1, EX Hell Spike, dash back, jump forward punch (the opponent will still be staggered if you do this fast enough), f+4, 2, 1, Hell Spike Close, f+4, 2, 1, Glove Toss for 65%. I wish I was joking about how easy this combo is. It’s easy so you won’t drop it unless you put the wrong input for the spikes (do d,b for all of them to avoid confusion; the EX will always home in no matter which version).

As Skarlet - Reserve your EX bars for only EX Dash. Her daggers don’t combo into each other, and as such don’t do as much damage on trade with ANY of Kabal’s fireballs. Punish instant air fireball spam or low sawblades with an EX dash to absorb it, then cancel it into an Up Slash. From there you can do a short combo into maybe another Up Slash or forward dash-cancelled dagger, into 1,1,2 reset. Resetting Kabal is important because he loses the invincibility on his dash move, and keeps him on the ground unable to spam fireballs. After the reset, you can cancel into dash and do slide or Down Slash. If the glitch is not patched, always follow the slide with an Up Slash or Down Slash (the down slash if you anticipate a low block). DO NOT TRY TO PUNISH A SAW BLADE WITH A TELEPORT; it whiffs completely, even the EX version, because Kabal steps forward for his animation. EX dash is preferable over blocking, and with a single f+2, 1, 2, 1+2 XX Blood Dash XX anything you get a good bit of EX bar so it’s not a problem as long as you stay aggressive. If you knock him down, wait and block for a sec and see if he steps forward for his saw or starts a run. If not completely up close it’s easy to react to either of those wakeups. If you want to try something fun against a keepaway Kabal, toss a Blood Ball aimed up when he’s doing his instant air fireballs. But remember this takes 7% of your health, doing 8% on block and 15% on hit.

As Kabal - Your keep away will likely not work as well as against other characters due to Skarlet being able to punish your air fireballs with Teleport and dash and absorb everything else with an EX Dash (even going as far as forcing you to reel back if you tried the Dash move as if you had blocked, setting you up for a full combo). Instead dash cancel your Dash move to gain ground without getting punished. If Skarlet starts her dash cancelled daggers crap, a single saw blade will pause her plans, given how the startup is very fast, and leave you with some breathing room to do your Dash move. Once up close, reset reset reset. Keep the pressure going because once single EX bar she gets she will push through your offense otherwise. Never X-Ray Skarlet. With a single combo, mid screen, no bars she can dish out 45%+ damage. In the corner, with no bars, she can dish out 52%. Which means that unless you’re comboing into X-Ray and are 100% sure it will kill, and you won the first round then GO AHEAD, but otherwise beware. If she has enough health left to absorb a hit, she will go through your defenses, combo you, reset you and possibly score a comeback.

As Skarlet - Crouch, with no block, if at mid screen. Punish Shoulder Rushes with uppercuts. But that will only work against extreme noobs (better to do a quick combo punish). Better players will only scarcely try them, and only as wakeups, and mostly as EX. As a result, if you have no meter and you knock him down, you are slightly at an impasse. Shoulder Rush is invincible on wakeup for the first few frames. So dash cancelling a single dagger may be a good idea, holding block after the dash. You might not have time to punish the shoulder rush this way since you’re blocking. You can also crouch, again with NO BLOCK. Can’t stress this enough. You cannot punish his shoulder rush on block. It has to whiff. Luckily it whiffs on crouching characters who are doing nothing, or attacking low. After the shoulder rush whiffs (or the first part of the EX one) uppercut. Again if you have no bar, impasse. If you have an EX bar, you officially don’t give a damn about wakeups due to EX blood dash having so much damn armor. EX Dash into Up Slash, into combo, into hopefully a 1,1,2 reset in order to deprive Nightwolf of his invincible wakeup. Crossup punches are suddenly not so good of an idea unless you have just knocked him down and have the balls to not care about Shoulder Rushes, or have just reset him. His uppercut is so damn fast it’s stupid. If you’re closer than mid screen, suddenly crouching without blocking doesn’t work because of his stomp combo string. From full screen, dash cancel daggers as much as you want. If you’re fast enough, even if Nightwolf reflects them they will disappear before they hit you. Of course if he has EX bars, try not to do this since he might gain some health back with the EX version.

As Nightwolf - Don’t be predictable with Shoulder Rushes. If you have EX ones, punish anything suspicious with them and quickly dash in to close the gap. There is a small problem here. Nightwolf can almost do nothing against dash cancelled daggers. Reflecting them from full screen is futile since if cancelled fast enough the dagger will disappear before it hits Skarlet. If you have EX bar, absorb at least one, then move forward slowly. At a certain distance, a reflected dagger will hit her. Another somewhat ghetto option is to simply jump forward at the daggers, get hit by 1, 2, 3 or 4 depending on the timing, then using wakeup rush or EX rush. If you find yourself spamming reflect on daggers, watch out. Skarlet can simply teleport punish the reflector. Of course the good news is that by taking that teleport, Skarlet is no longer at full screen. Yay? Since Nightwolf cannot combo into X-Ray, NEVER X-Ray against Skarlet. You need the Breaker to prevent death and the EX bars to get through her shenanigans. Obviously, I haven’t mentioned this before, but punish overly aggressive Skarlets with Shoulder Rushes, only if they are in the air (otherwise expect a crouch and an uppercut/combo).

As Skarlet - Rain’s mixup is bad. After every jump punch, continue to block low unless you see the second hit of his b+2, 1+2 chain (believe me, you’ll see it coming). His b+2, 3 chain hits low in the second hit, and this is the only overhead mixup he has that can combo into anything. His quick 1,2, f+4 chain doesn’t leave him at much disadvantage, but you can always try for a quick uppercut in case it is spammed, as the uppercut will crouch under the first and second punches. His double kick chain can cancel into any of his moves for an easy hit confirm (except for Roundhouse Kick, but on block beware being tricked into releasing the block too early; watch his movements carefully). Beware his teleport when trying to zone. It’s slow enough to be punishable on reaction, most easily with an uppercut. A Raiden teleport it is not. Beware doing crossup punches on wakeup; his anti-air will knock you down nearly a full screen away, and you need to stay close because he has a teleport move. If you can bait one, it is punishable on whiff by a quick 2,1,2 or even a Down Claw. If you need to close in, an EX Dash can get you there with full armor, or you can dash cancel daggers forward once then Blood Dash into anything. When at full screen, keep moving to avoid a Lightning hit confirm into Water Ball. If you see Rain try any projectiles whatsoever, as well as any moves, EX Dash through them for full punish.

As Rain - After every block string, if you expect a punish do a quick d+1. On block, follow the two kicks with a Roundhouse move. Use EX Roundhouse to absorb jumping attacks and retaliate with a full combo. Stop dash cancelling Skarlets with a quick Lightning. You should recover from the single dagger quick enough to even dash in and possibly continue. Whenever far enough, Lightning is relatively safe on block. Never under any circumstances toss out Water Balls without hit confirming. You will eat tons of damage in the recovery. Teleport if Skarlet dagger cancels too much. Try a quick strike like the 1,2,f+4 string or a crouching 1 if you expect an uppercut. Beware of her EX wakeup dash. Block it low first, then when the dash slows down block mid. Even though your mixup is bad, try doing Roundhouse Kick cancel after all unsafe blockstrings. A blocked Roundhouse is safer than his combo strings since it creates some space and recovers quickly, even if it has a slow start.

As Skarlet - Beware of wakeup dash moves. If the opponent tries to spam them a bit too much, anticipate this by dash cancelling a dagger back, or jumping back and tossing a down dagger. If the dash cancelled dagger is not answered by spit, continue dash cancelling daggers back. If the dagger is answered by spit, take or block it then proceed with daggers. If the opponent keeps spamming spit, teleport to punish but be wary of the incoming wakeup approach. Every now and then hold the dagger without cancelling so as to throw the timing off but only do this if you anticipate a jump. As soon as the dagger hits you’ll need to dash cancel another one in case of wakeup moves. A Reptile spamming his dash will eventually make it to close range if you’re only doing daggers, so anticipating either another dash or a jump do an EX dash. Another idea is if you knock down the opponent right outside dash distance, try a Blood Ball. Reptiles will usually thing their dash is quick enough but if you’re outside the range they will likely take a Blood Ball or blocked Blood Ball to the face. Punish EVERY acid ball with an EX Dash into Down Slash for a combo into a reset into inescapable Blood Ball (combo, then juggle 1,1,2 into Blood Ball, aim down. If the opponent tries to dash or basically do anything except block they take 15%, but they take less on block depending on the combo length so basically you force them to block into more damage), or into another mixup.

As Reptile - Punish overly aggressive Skarlets with a dash move. Even though it seems like a dumb thing to do, if Skarlet spams daggers your best bet is to jump over one (possibly landing on the other, then being careful not to hold forward, crouch then use dash moves until you’re close. Use your mixups and pressure Skarlet with crossup punches. Her only decent wakeup to deal with this (Teleport is too slow) is an EX Dash, which will become more difficult to do when being crossed up, but if you see the dash, block low, then change to a high block if the dash slows down (meaning the Up Slash is coming) and punish with a full combo. Make sure to close the gap after the combo with an empty dash move. It is crucial to stay close.

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As Skarlet - Dash cancelling daggers is not an option here, since Sindel’s low fireball animation crouches under the first dagger entirely, and even on trade it is not favorable. She also has an aerial fireball for some aerial mobility, helping trade with a single dagger and again, not a favorable trade. However, try to bait the low fireball by cancelling a couple of daggers first, then punish with a teleport. Keep your distance on wakeup, unless you have an EX Dash to go through her flip kicks or wakeup fireball. Sindel’s keep away is better than yours; ergo you must close the gap. Jump over low fireballs, then dash block (or EX Dash into Up/Down Slash) any aerial fireballs. Make sure to close the gap, but always be mindful of her somewat invincible wakeup flip kicks. On whiff they allow for you to punish with a quick 2,1,2 into dash cancelled dagger into whatever into a reset. Resetting Sindel (juggling 1, 1, 2) is important because she loses access to her invincible wakeup, as she is immediately forced to stand. Take this opportunity to dash after the 2 hits and keep the pressure going. Make any blocked 2,1,2 safer by cancelling into a dash and slide or dash cancel a dagger back.

As Sindel - If the opponent is too dagger happy (crouch without blocking to confirm) toss out at least one low fireball. Expect to be punished if you toss out too many, though. Don’t try air fireballs from the peak of your jump; they are easily punished by teleport. Instead practice throwing them right off the ground, either from the levitate move or by TK’ing the motion. Even then, make them scarce. The teleport will still punish it if you become too predictable. An overly aggressive Skarlet is taken care of by your flip kicks on wakeup most of the time. If they are blocked, toss in a quick low 1 or 4 in case they try to punish. Because Skarlet will have to approach you, save your Breakers. Remember that whenever Skarlet dashes, you must immediately block low unless the dash seems to slow down (or right after the slide is blocked in case the glitch is never fixed), indicating an overhead (switch to high block). Punishing the overhead might be troublesome with a slower chain, especially if online, but b+3, f+2 should work, as should , 2, 1 or u+4, 3 (or whatever that flip kick into knee is). Of course you will most likely get more damage out of b+3, f+2 but you should be able to get a full combo off of this punish. If you get within crossup punch range, do so. Make sure to mix up some of them with a throw in the direction of the corner. With a cornered Skarlet you can only expect a few obvious things: 1) for her to try jumping out, 2) for her to try teleporting out or 3) for her to EX dash. If by chance she has no meter, have no shame in stuffing her wakeups with well-timed meaty flip kicks. If she does have some meter, but you have Breaker, do it anyway. If you’re reset and don’t expect a throw, block low unless Skarlet reels back or dashes in (in which case the block low/high strategy applies). If you expect a throw, you can jump over Skarlet and punish with a jump punch into a combo (preferred) or slow her down by teching her throw. Any time a Skarlet has meter, be wary of her EX Dash on wakeup, and try not to become predictable with your fireballs. And remember the preference on blocking low first then quickly high as opposed to just low or just high if Skarlet comes in with a dash. If the glitch is fixed, block high. A slide does like 8%, whereas an Down Slash can lead to 35% combos with a reset.

As Skarlet - Stay a distance away a bit larger than Sonya’s arc kick would. When seeing an arc kick start, start up a Down Slash for a full punish. Dagger cancel all day as needed. If expecting an arc kick, you can dagger cancel or throw a Blood Ball aimed up. DO NOT let Sonya get close. Lame as it may be, her blockstrings are safe and she can easily corner you.

As Sonya - This is an uphill battle but what you need to do is get close. Jump over a dagger and dive kick into another one. Hold down when falling to ensure you don’t accidentally recover back and thus further from Skarlet. EX Cartwheel has armor so you should use it midscreen. This is a pretty horrible one.

Sub Zero
As Skarlet - Beware of being too aggressive. The ice clone will prove a problem if you try to do crossup punches on wakeup. If you suspect this will happen, do an EX Dash into the Down Slash and start a combo. Instead, try your hand at dash-cancelling daggers. Throw a dagger, hold, dash back or forwards, do it again. Once you have this going, not even Sub’s EX Ice or EX Slide can hit you. If the opponent starts jumping over them, don’t dash cancel one of them. Instead hold it and hit the jumping opponent, dash back and repeat. Should he get too close for comfort you should have enough EX to do one EX Dash under the jumping opponent, absorbing any possible hits and putting you at full screen again.

As Sub Zero - Jump over every other dagger. For as long as possible, crouch every other dagger without blocking but beware a quick slide or Down Slash. Don’t try to do any moves, even EX, if she has her dash cancel going. If you get hit by a dagger in the air, do not hit forward so you don’t accidentally roll back and further away. Hold down and block when laying on the ground. If she dashes, block low, unless she pauses slightly in which case you must block high. Punish with a quick combo into an ice, then make sure you finish the combo with a slide in order to prevent losing ground and keep the pressure. DO NOT do ice clone (or any of your moves for that matter) when she is on the ground, or risk an EX dash into a combo and having your ice clone or other move absorbed.

Tom brady was saying that she 8-2’s a lot of the cast?? is here zoning game that good?

Yes. Well, I’ve heard 7-3, but close enough.

This is because of her daggers. Throw a dagger, hold it, dash to cancel, throw it again. This can be done so quickly that a lot of the cast (ones without quick teleports or aerial mobility moves) have a hard time getting through it, or doing any moves in between. Not only that, but doing it while dashing forward helps Skarlet gain ground easily.

Even against some teleporters she can block after dash cancelling so she can punish those too. Not to mention she has an easy reset, a good high low mixup and an EX move with armor that moves her across the entire screen in a fraction of a second and can lead to 40+% resets and helps her deal with pressure.

OK, I’ve added notes from what I’ve gathered in my Skarlet travels, and the good and bad things the opponents have done (Reptile and Sindel were added). Is this helpful? You can all contribute as well.

Added three more characters to the list: Nightwolf, Kabal and Freddy Krueger. Of course feel free to add to the discussion. Or simply let me know if the advice is helpful.

Added Sonya and Rain from my own experiences.

Added Cyrax after extended play time with him. Had to move some characters to the second post due to space limitations (thankfully I reserved that spot in advance).