Since all the cool kids are doing it, use this thread to discuss combos, mechanics, and matchups for everyone’s favorite catgirl.
I’m planning to main Tao, so this thread is relevant to my interests.
I think one of the first things we need here is a link to this:
Dustloop Taokaka Guide for Dummies - http://www.dustloop.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5942
- Taokaka’s triple jump allows her to drive command cancel twice in the air. This paves the way for numerous cross-ups, mix-ups, and surprising gimmicks.
- She can air dash twice in the air.
- Her average damage output rivals Ragna’s and V-13 (3k - 4.5k).
- She has the lowest gaurd libra rating in the game - 80%. This means that it’s easy to guard crush Tao. For example, two full pressure strings from Ragna will cause her to guard break.
- Tao has no good anti-air and reversal options. The only exception is her Hexa Edge, but that requires 50% meter.
Know your A, B, C, and D’s
‘A’ for Ambiguous - Is Tao a trap?
5a - Standing paw slap (165 damage)
- It’s not, particularly, her best normal, but it’s the one with the least amount of active and recovery frames. This means, “the time during which the opponent can be hit by, guard, or reverse an attack.” You can special cancel, jump cancel, or follow up with any other standing/crouching normal.
- Note; 5a will not hit low crouching characters.
6a - Standing 2 hits (320 damage after two hits)
- She can cancel into another special move or jump cancel after the first/second hit. This can be very useful to bait bursts or simply initiate another combo. Also, the first hit causes a little vacuum effect that sucks your opponent in.
- 6a is also Tao’s anti-air, but it’s nowhere near as good as Ragna’s or Noel’s 6a.
- Word of caution; 6a does NOT, I repeat - does NOT, hit low crouching characters (Litchi, Carl, Rachel, Jin, Noel, and Taokaka) OR characters who push you far back from perfect guarding. If you wiff, then your opponent will have all the time in the world to punish you.
2a - Low Paw Attack (165 damage)
- This normal is a very useful poke that forces your opponent to block low. It prorates heavily (meaning you’ll score less damage), but you can gatling into any other normal, special, or super. It’s a great move that can be used for gimmicks (such as 2a -> grab (b+c) or just trying to force damage on your opponents.
j.a - Jumping Paw Attack (165 damage) - [To Be Completed]
‘B’ for Bastard - Cause your opponent will be screaming this word at you once you wield the almighty Tao.
5b - Standing Tiger Knee (340 damage)
- Well, not really. Unlike in HDR, you can’t triple Tiger knee your opponent. On the flipside, this is one of Tao’s best standing normals in the game! Her 5b has the same execution start up as her 2a, except that her standing knee has 90% proration! This means that any time you land a 5b, you will land an even bigger damaging combo. And since it has a 6 frame execution advantage, most of your opponent’s normals will get countered or - at the very least - exchange hits! So if you have a opponent that likes to mash buttons, then 5b your way to victory!
6b - Overhead Somersault Attack (440 damage)
- A nice useful overhead that can cancel into her Hexa Edge super OR jump mashy claw.
- If you ever land a CH with this attack, then you’re free to punish your opponent with a follow up combo. E.g.: 5b -> 3c -> (5d~6 -> j.c) x3 -> j.a -> j.c -> 8d~6 -> j.236bbbb
2b - Low Slide (210 damage)
- 2b is a fast normal that can only be blocked low. It doesn’t have the greatest damage or proration, but you can gatling into stronger normals. This move is a great tool to use for throw gimmicks (2b -> b+c), mixup games, and extending your combos.
j.b - Jumping Leg Split Attack (385 damage) - [To Be Completed]
‘C’ for Crap - Cause your opponent will be staring at you in disbelief when - nearly - half his/her life is gone after a random Counter Hit.
5c - Standing Claw Strike (550 damage)
- [Chargeable] 5c is a decent normal that you can use to gatling to a 2c, 3c, 6c, jump cancel, special or a drive attack. It doesn’t have fast execution (10 frames) and has lots of frame recovery (31 frames), but if you score a Counter Hit, then be prepared to punish heavily!
- A fully charged 5c does a 2,400 guard crush against your opponent - which is a LOT. Be aware that you are prone to getting throw countered (meaning someone can throw you and you can’t tech out of the throw) during the frame recovery and the execution.
- Note: Charging 5c doesn’t increase damage or change proration.
6c - Hadouken Palm Strike (700 damage)
- [Chargeable] This is her most damaging standing normal. Like all of her C attacks, 6c has lots of execution (23-64 frames) and recovery frames (18 frames) - but deal insane amounts of damage. Unlike her other normals, you can only gatling into her drive, specials or supers.
- Just remember - big risk; big reward. All combos initiated by 6c will land a 4k combo, but it’s also very easy to punish. Even if you gatling into a drive or special, EVERY character will have a response to it. For example: Ragna can Inferno Divider the 6c gatling, Bang can gaurd point punish, and Tager can backdash 720. I don’t recommend that you use this in every pressure string, but be wary when you use it.
- Note: Charging 6c doesn’t increase damage, but increases the proration scaler*.
- = For more information about proration, take a look at the Taokaka guideline for ‘Proration.’
2c - Claw Swipe (575 damage)
- [Chargeable] Like the rest of her C command attacks, 2c has high damage but slow execution (15 frames) and recovery frames (27 frames). She can gatling into her 3c, 5c, specials or distortion drives.
- Note, “You can charge the attack by holding the button, start up is 11 [frames] after button release, guard crush value is 1600 when you hold it 22~31 (start up 33~42), guard crush value is 2800 when you hold it 32~35 (start up 43~46)” (Blazblue Zetaboards).
- Charging 2c doesn’t increase damage or proration.
3c - Double Paw Strike with Foot Sweep (390 damage 2 hits, 440 damage 3 hits)
- This is one of Tao’s most interesting command attacks. She can gatling into her drives, specials or supers at any given strike. 3c is also what she uses to initiate her drive loop - which is one of her main bread n’ butter combos.
- 3c can serve as a potential anti-air. It’s nowhere near as good as Ragna’s 6a or Jin’s DP. But since Tao has no good anti-air options anyways - except for her berserker barrage and her super prorating 6a - her 3c is the next best bet. Just as how Faust can duck to avoid some standing or air normals, Tao can do the same thing while crawling forward. The idea is to use a normal that has similar properties to her crawl. So if a Ragna player air dashes in with a j.c, you can CH that by using a 3c. Landing a 3c gives you 90% proration - which can lead into a hefty 4k combo. But if you miss, misjudge your opponent, or get baited, then you’ll take your opponent’s most damaging combo.
- Note: Her foot sweep can only be blocked low.
j.c - Jumping Claw Attack (480 damage) [To Be Completed]
‘D’ is for Discouraging Finish - Her Dancing Drive: Reckles Kitty is the epitome of her success. It is also her best damaging and prorating attack. All drive attacks have 90% proration, but damage varies based on the one you use.
What is Drive?
- In Tao’s case, “She launches herself, like a torpedo, toward the opponent. You can control her launch any direction with the joystick. She has immediate recovery after the hit and can do another hit or even another Drive attack after the first hit” (Gorehound).
2d - Diagonal Forward Drive (650 damage)
- Allows you to drive diagonally forward. This only applies while you’re on the ground.
5d - Forward Drive (560 damage)
- Allows you to drive parallel to the ground. This is the most commonly used gatling command after a 3c, so get used to seeing this in combos.
4d - Leap Backwards and Pounce Drive (720 damage)
- This has the most execution frame start up (35 frames). But if timed correctly, then you can leap backwards in order to bait bursts.
j.2d - Diagonal Down Drive (600 damage)
- While you’re in the air, you can drive down diagonally towards your target. Note, if you want to do taunt combos, then get used to doing this input.
j.d - Jump Forward Drive (570 damage)
- Just like the 5d, you drive forward - parallel to the ground. Most drive loops require you to apply the j.d, so be sure to keep an eye out for them in the combo section.
j.4d - Plummet Straight Down and Forward Drive (680 damage)
- While you’re in the air, you plummet towards the ground and drive straight.
- Random Tip: V-13 (aka Nu) cannot hit Tao with her standing drive while you execute j.4d. Tao will fly right over it.
- Tao can cancel any of her drives by pressing the A, B, or C button:
A Cancel - This will cause her to stop in midair.
B Cancel - She will travel through her opponents by means of some transparent acrobatics.
C Cancel - This will cause her to jump in midair.
Forward Cancel - You can also cancel your drives by holding forward (6) as you hit your opponent. If you do, then you will bounce towards your opponents instead of getting ricochet.
Taokaka can cancel her drive attacks at any given moment - whether she’s across the screen or in your opponent’s face. Just as she has three jumps, she can drive in the air up to three times.
**Cat Spirit ONE (370, 330 damage)
236a x N~ press ‘A’ for more hits
- You cancel the move by rapidly tapping, or mashing, the A button. In the early Tao days, most players usually end their gatling combo with Cat Spirit One - and some still do. It’s not really damaging or has the best proration, but - for what it’s worth - it is the easiest move to execute.
Cat Spirit TWO (380 damage)
j.236b x N~ press ‘B’ for more hits
- Like her Cat Spirit One, you can cancel the move by mashing the B button. I haven’t seen top JP players use this as a CH strategy. But you’ll notice, in most of the Tao videos, that she ends her air combos with this move - Cat Spirit One is the only special she can cancel into after exhausting all three of her jumps while gaining a free okizeme* game.
- According to Mike Z, “Air 236B gives you enough time afterwards to link another hit (236B again, or A/B/C) if you are high enough. However, this also shows there are no easy rejump combos after 236B without RCs - if you do very high 236BB, wait, C, you can land but you can’t move again or hit any buttons for a small period, so the combo becomes techable.”
*Okizeme = Strategy concerning attacking a rising opponent.
Cat Spirit THREE (560, 580 damage)
236c x N~ press ‘C’ for more hits
- [Chargeable] If the C attack category hasn’t gotten to your head now, then it better after this. This one of her slowest attack (30 - 64 execution frames) and has a 17 frame recovery. Keep in mind that this also her most damaging AND one of her best prorating moves. Many JP Tao players still follow up with Cat Spirit Three after a 6c hit - big damage and easy to execute.
- If you try using this move outside of your gatling combo strings, then you’re saying, “Hit me here for big damage.” Remember, huge risk; huge reward.
- Note: High block only.
Flying Cat Ball (216 damage*) - Projectile based attack that throws out random items depending on the input you do:
214a = Diagonal Projectile (31 execution frames)
- Apple, Pillow (2 hits), or Bomb (2 hits).
214b = Forward Projectile (39 execution frames)
- Puppet, Fish Bone, or Baseball (can fly from one side of the screen to the other as long as you don’t get hit)
214c = Tao throws a Bowling Ball that travels across the floor (49 execution frames). Don’t ask or tell me where she gets these things.
- = Bowling ball does 288 damage.
**Nail Mashy Claw (80 damage per hit)
22c x N~ Press ‘C’ for more hits
- Tao ducks down and shoots nails out of her paw causing multiple hits. [To Be Completed]
- Tao leaps toward her opponent in one pounce. It can allow you to do some fine mix up maneuvers, but be aware that you’re prone to getting Counter Hit while you’re doing the leap.
- [Chargeable] At the end of the screen, Tao sticks to the wall and stays there as long as you hold the ‘D’ button. If you press 6, then she’ll leap off the wall with some spiderman manuevers.
(Charge) 2 -> 8d
- This allows Tao to glide backwards, diagonally up, then drive straight forward.
- Press 2 or 4 for an extra move.
** = All of Taokaka’s Cat Spirit attacks and 22c have projectile property - meaning, the attack hit box extends the reach of her normal hit boxes.
Distortion Drives - [To Be Revised]
Hexa Edge (1,900 damage after four hits)
- Berzerker Barrage style super.
- Tao can gatling any of her standing normals into a super. Just remember that her distortion drives are her only reversal. Sorry, but Tao doesn’t have any fantastic DPs.
Brutal Kitty Fest (2572 damage)
- She pounces towards her opponent and pummels them before kicking them into the air.
- Brutal Kitty Fest is unblockable since it is a grab. You can swipe your opponent out of the air and/or gatling your combos into it.
- Note, pouncing supers will not hit crouching opponents.
Almost Becoming Two!
- Tao gains a doppelganger for 425 frames.
- Things to note about AB2:
- Damage is cut by half when this super is activated and has a fixed proration at 90%.
- The doppelganger can be blocked by ALL, but Tao’s standing normals still apply. For example, “236236b -> 6b (1st hit block high only, 2nd hit block ALL)”
- “The [doppelganger] is 17 frames slower than Taokaka” (Blazblue zetaboards).
How to do Tao’s bread and butter
When you’re watching videos of kazu’s Tao beasting on Ragna; when you’re scratching your head trying to find out what inputs you have to do; when you’re, downright, confused about the jargon that people tell you about how to use Tao; it’s best to start off at the beginning - how do I hit my opponent efficiently?
Step 1: Learn how to gatling her combos
You can link your attacks by pressing one normal to another. The easiest way to understand this is by the following, “All her stronger command attacks are initiated by her weaker attacks.” For example,
2a -> 5b -> 5c -> 236aaaa (1.8k damage)
The weaker the attack is, the easier it is to hit your opponent. In exchange, you cap your potential damage to a combo that’s 2,000 damage. Stronger normals, like 5c or 5b, have higher proration - and thus - can lead to bigger damage. But since they have a longer execution time, it’s harder to hit your opponent.
If you want a place to start off combos, then go to the Taokaka Combo and BnB Thread. You may want to start learning some of the ‘A’ command combos.
Step 2: Practice
Goryus said it, “Practice, practice, practice. Learn as much of the game as you can. Because for a new player, there’s just a lot of things to take in.”
Don’t get discouraged just cause some Ragna player keeps on beating you for no apparent reason. Once you can practice the basics, the rest will snowball into place.
How to do Tao’s drive loop
Unless you can manage to do her taunt combos, Tao’s drive loop is the next best damaging option. So how do you do it?
Before we start, there’s two ways you can drive cancel a move: #1 - Press a command button, or #2 - press forward (6). For more information about drive canceling, go to the Drive Cancel section underneath the command list.
Like in Guilty Gear, you can buffer an input while you execute another normal. For example, May can charge her dolphin after inputting a 6HS. The same thing applies with Tao - except it’s easier.
Step 1: Create a Situation Where You Can Drive Loop
The easiest way to set up your drive loop is by starting a back throw (4b+c*). After the 4b+c, followup with her Cat Spirit Three (236cc). Remember, you can buffer inputs while you execute another command attack - including throws. You should see Tao claw down - and up - at your opponent, so they should be in mid air. If you mash the ‘C’ button too many times, then you’ll continue to repeat the Cat Spirit attack.
- = This will work against everyone but Carl.
Step 2: Prepare to Drive
While your opponent is in mid air, you can press 2d to drive diagonally forward. Here’s the trick:
- Hold 9 (diagonally forward up)
You do not need to constantly press 6 to Forward Cancel your drives. By holding 9, you’re buffering your input while putting in another normal. After you hit your opponent with the 2d, you should notice that Tao bounces - with your opponent - in the air. If you failed to do the input correctly, then she’ll bounce in the opposite direction. In any case, follow up with a j.c. After landing the claw hit press 9d (you should still be holding 9 throughout the entire loop). Repeat 3 times.
Some of you may have noticed that combo list says 8d~6, but you can cancel your drives by, simply, inputting any forward direction (9, 6, or 3).
Step 3: End All Drive Loops with Cat Spirit Two
After the third drive, don’t input a j.c. Instead, finish off with Cat Spirit Two (236bbbb). So your complete drive loop should look like this,
4b+c -> 236cc -> 2d~9 -> j.c -> 9d -> j.c -> 9d -> 236bbbb
Tip: Whenever you do a drive loop parallel to the ground, hold 6 instead of 9. Put it this way, the drive loop is executed based on where your opponent is located. If they’re above your head, then you have to drive diagonally up (9). But if they’re right next to you, then you should do a neutral air drive (j.d).
With some practice, you’ll be able to pull it off. There are much more advanced variations of Tao’s drive loops, but you have to start somewhere.
Since the guide is not finished, it’s probably better just to link it off instead of pasting the whole thing. Still, TaoFTW’s guide is pretty awesome.
I can’t wait to get my paws on Tao and rush people down.
Wait, what? I’ve read through that a couple times on Dustloop but missed that both times. You can’t back throw Carl? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
I won’t paste any more, I just wanted to get some really basic stuff on this first page so people interested in her might have a place to start learning some basics.
I’m not sure if the issue is that you can’t back throw him, or if the issue is that you can’t start her drive loop on him off a back throw.
This freaking game needs to come out NAO!
I was doing this against people all day when I tried BB. I wanted to do her taunt combos, though, but I couldn’t figure it out.
We call that chaining.
Not my words buddy.
But you can head over to dustloop and talk to the author about it (see the first and only link I posted).
I thought that pretty much all the BnB combos in BB were chains, not links.
Yeah that combo seems easy to get it in since her 2A can be mashed out and hit confirmed easily … well from watching videos that is.
I’ll have to try it when it comes out. Carl and Litchee are the only characters I haven’t faced.
Problem is her 2A has like 60% proration :bluu:
Normals cancelling into other normals (or specials) typically chain (some people call these Gatlings after GG, or … I think it’s Revolver Action or something now), unless you’re Slayer/Hakumen and need to use links instead.
I think the actual drive part of Tao’s drive cancels is a link, but everything in between (the combo on the ground, hits after the drive connects) chains.
I love that Taokaka guide at Dustloop. Should be helpful… when I can actually play the game.
Just throw more bowling balls damnit.
Hey guys. Sorry for the delay, but the guide is still in the works. I’m juggling two jobs and playing BB whenever I have time. Lately, I’ve been swamped with Grad apps n’ such, but I’ll be done by Sunday - assuming I don’t procrastinate.
In any case, I’m still conducting some frame research and trying to edit/add to the guide. I won’t be updating them in the Dustloop forums since I reached my 30,000 text limit. So I’m attempting to make a pseudo-professional guide for anyone interested in using Tao.
But rest assured, our almighty kitty is in good hands. :3
Edit: Please note that while the guideis still being revised, there are lots of room for improvement. So if you are an avid fighting gamer with lots of perception of BB gaming mechanics, then I want to hear your feedback.
That - particular - combo I described for the Drive loop won’t work on Carl - even Bang. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do damaging combos on Carl, but the point is to find out how to do drive combos efficiently and effectively with easy setups.
In the future, “Taokaka’s Advanced Guidelines,” I’ll go into the specifics about how to exploit her drives specifically to work on all characters.
I can tell you that nobody has been able to use Tao to her maximum capacity. I’m still discovering new ways to master her drive and find new uses to her j.b.
Goodgames the other day. I learn something new from you every time I play BB. :<
Keep on practicing. Once BB hits the consoles, there will be plenty of opportunities to test out your almighty Tao. Speaking of which, I believe that we’re planning a console party. Get hype.
Just a word of awareness - you should get out of the habit of following up your drive attacks with j.a. It does little damage and you lose oki game.
Im still learning I’ll use d.C from now on
What’s an effective block string for the shadow super? Seems like you should be able to guard crush someone quickly if they’re not prepared.