New Pai Tips!


Well-Known Member
Main Character
Pai Chan
3DS Friend Code
Hey everyone. I don't know how many of these things I've already said, but after a lot more play with Pai, I have some pointers and tips to provide everyone about using her in general. No order, no limit. Just things I'd like to share for those that may be looking for a few things to improve their game.

66H+K is a great launcher - when playing against heavy weights, you're essentially limted to 33P+K to land any 46H+K combos. 66H+K gives a bound when the second hit exceeds max threshold, allowing you to turn around and land 46H+K on any weightclass. If you're in range of a CB, you're in range for this to "launch" so to speak. This is especially useful on slopes or uneven terrain where 3H+K is iffy.

2P > 6_P is great - Do not neglect this potent combo. You can get a lot of free stuns with it if you know when to use it, or even sometimes when just randomly throwing it out. It's especially great after low negatives like 3KP, where a jab will beat out most every move that's not a high from the opponent, so your 2P will still be fast (i15) and crush highs AND cause a stun (if you can link it into 6_P) on CH!

7H+K is still your best friend - This tip will remain constant forever. It's one of the best moves in the game, honestly, at least for its intended uses. It's an i16 crush with 7 active frames and a relatively high damage output so it won't be easily out-prioritized. It's a high crush, creates space on block, hit, and whiff, cannot be throw punished, and is phenomenal for keeping enemies at bay. I can literally say, with no exception or exaggeration, that I only remember this move failing me once. It is THAT reliable and consistent with its job. Don't hesitate to throw it out whenever you want a breather or to take that last chunk of life.

BKT PP is great - A 2-in-1 string that can get them in range of a CB instantly (assuming they were recently stunned by 2P+K or 4K) is incredible. Add onto that the CB cannot be staggered fast enough, and it's always huge counter bait from opponents. Any stances with limited moves cause wariness in the opponent to look for specific things. For instance, everyone ducks HKS and always eat the P (more on that later). Likewise, everyone expects the P string early in stun, or the H+K launch if they're in the early yellow. You also can cause a lot of hesitation, as people will just sit there until you're out of BKT before attacking.

6KP7K and PPP7K are useful, but dangerous - Pai, as we all know, has almost no string delay. It's what keeps her from being someone that has the makings for a top tier character. And some will read this and say "no, she's top tier!" but having used her for as long as I have and knowing her ins and outs compared with the rest of the cast, her flaws are obnoxious to deal with and really hamper her. I'll talk about that some other time. ANYWAYS! Fear for that last kick will cause everyone delay. Almost no one tries to SS, and if they do, a delated kick will catch them. It has just enough delayable frames as to have a proper mixup with throws or a jab or 7H+K for safety. You -will- control the guard of you opponent if you know how to mixup the speed at which you input the kick, and the times in which you cancel it. Just don't overuse it, especially not on players that know how to punish it effectively with their own characters (some can get a LOT of free damage on block, like Bayman with a guaranteed 90+ damage).

P+K everything - To get damage, Pai really wants to bait a hold and get 24T. When she doesn't have that situation going, she's struggling to chip away at a life bar. Using SDSs liberally will cause opponents to hold more often, leading to more potential throws. Plus, it helps that it's + on block too and can hit Helena and Brad in their low states.

3PP is beautiful - on NH, the second move cannot be held if the low connects. It also has the nasty or wonderful habit (based on who you ask) of ducking under a lot of mids if timed well or at an appropriate distance away. It will hit grounded opponents after a PPKK ender or be unholdable, making it a safe string to throw out there whenever you want, and it has a high/mid K/mid P/parry followup. It also helps to add in some much needed chip damage.

64T is better than 46T in almost every situation - Unless you're next to a wall and want the guaranteed 3P+K from 46T, 64T offers higher guaranteed damage and more variability in followups than 46T can. I still don't know why CH status doesn't carry over between the two (it REALLY should, Team Ninja...), but again, if you want to use an i10 throw, go for 64T with the guaranteed 6P, 9K, jab, 2KK, 3P+K, or 33P. It also has better potential for vortex situations.

1P+K is a great tool for punishes - Having one of the longest PBs in the game is great, especially one that can sometimes make throw punishment impossible. Use it to balance out her poor range in punishing WUKs or bluffing it with a SS and mixing it up with 7H+K spam to keep opponents at bay on the opposite side of the map.

Use 4P+K feints - 4P+K doesn't always need to be linked into the P SDS. I admit I sometimes neglect the H+K string, and I shouldn't, but the knowledge of the power of that SDS will give pause to a lot of players. If they're feeling ballsy and think you'll cancel it, they'll eat a SDS on CH that can be chained into PP, giving you what is essentially a 1 stun CB setup (MS P > BKT PP is enough damage for a CB, and nothing can be held after the first hit lands on CH). If they're not up to challenging you, then a fast turn and a throw will be easy enough to start the offensive again. Or stay BT and use P, which tracks and is +1 on block. Your choice. Just remember that her MS stance is more useful than the moves that come out of it.

Use 2K after BT 2P+KT - A small note, really, but it's free damage. Why skip out on free damage? If they don't tech, you get a few points in. If they do, you can't be punished. Also, I find if people do tech, they'll eat the second K if you use 2KK in its entirety. And if they block, they're usually too far away to punish you.

33P is AMAZING ALWAYS - It's not the best move in the game by far, but here are some reasons why I think it shines. One, it can sometimes crush mids. Two, it's i14. Three, if the punch lands, the K followup is guaranteed. Four, the entire string is a wallsplat. Five, the stun is actually deep enough that a CB cannot be staggered (if I'm not misremembering the frames). Six, you can be cheeky and free cancel, the follow up with 46KK for a lot of wallsplat damage. Seven, doing what I just said makes a lot people try to counter after this stun (or just counter the kick that's actually uncounterable to begin with), letting you 46T them straight into 80+ damage hell. Eight, the kick also has decent delay frames attached to it. And's a good move folks, especially when coupled after a P+K for a guaranteed wallsplat.

Use 2P to cancel NH strings - I've got to admit, I ruined Pai's reputation in this community as a queen of canceling combos (I cancel throws, I cancel strings, I even cancel CBs). Because of that, everyone is weary of her moves that end stun prematurely. Now, that's also come with some benefits, though. You can play a very simple mix-up game. 2P > 24T, or 2P into any mid stun of your choosing. I usually prefer 6K or 3K, but it's all preference. You won't get much damage from a NH stun, which are common from her throws, poorly timed counters, stunning crouching opponents, or landing a 66P+K. Since everyone expects to be thrown after a cancel, they'll mash attacks, letting you upgrade your stun to CH more often than not. Now, this applies to move moves as well (2P+KK, 44K), but 2P is universally the most useful. Test this out sometimes, see how your opponent reacts. Once you've gauged their reactions after a few tests, start using it for mindgames and keeping the opponent locked down, forcing them to guess correctly or counter (and ALL Pai players wants their opponent to counter.

Pai has a LOT of pushback - A lot of Pai's moves create some space between her and the opponent on block. 3KP, 6P, etc.. Knowing the distance of these moves can really help you to bait whiffs and punish with 6_PPP, 6P, 2P+K, or whatever you want. For instance, often after a blocked 6P, I'll backdash away. Very few moves can reach me at that range, fewer still are moves that people will use given the low negatives on block and the fact that Pai has an i9 jab (so they know they should use something faster than i13), so Pai can quickly back away and force a whiff, allowing her to react however the player deems fit to the situation. Or just play a hit and run game to try for a stun, but back of immediately if you don't get it.

6T over 4T - You create more range for easier WUK punishes, you get explosive floor damage, you can run on the wall if you're in that situation, and you get more frames to work with. In all, it's just a better throw.

26T is also good - If the opponent doesn't know how to avoid these types of ground situations, 2P will often land and cause a tech. If not, you're not in much danger. 3P (the ground-specific one, not 3PP) will also prove useful here, adding an additional 10 damage to the throws respectable 50-80. Honestly, this is even better than 63214T, and it's only i10.

BKT K exists! - Don't forget about it! It's not the best move in the game, but if you just need some free damage or a tracking move from BKT, go for the low!

66P+K should be used in moderation - Yes, it's a safe and cancelable low that stuns on NH. It's great! But it's also pretty slow, and is easily reacted to. That said, you can play the fun game I always do. Cancel it a few times on a guarding opponent and see how often you see them even try to duck it. Countless are the times I've heard players say "that low would never work offline" yet don't even bother trying to duck the cancel when I throw it out. Just an observation, and it shows how often people want excuses for everything. It has long range, has a stance transition, and can be canceled into a low throw if they try to counter you, or just canceled in general. It's even unholdable after a specific situation (everyone has secrets), but just don't base an entire offense around it.

Delay your BKT P CB! - Here's a very generic combo I use a lot. Stun > P+K > 4K2 > _______. Seeing Pai primed for the CB is usually enough to make anyone try and counter it. You'll see it a lot. She can delay the hell out of using it though, so it's better to use on reaction than to use on gut. If they don't hold, so what? The 4K leads to a grounded opponent, so they can't retaliate. See, I think these things through. Bonus tip to go with this is to use 4K without heading into BKT. People are so accustomed to seeing 4K2 > P that they don't anticipate the CB after a normal 4K. Keep this in mind.

Don't neglect 66H+K - Though not her best SDS (worse launches, stuck in BT, not + on block), it's a nice mixup to pair with her P+K. You have access to BT 2P+KT for some healthy damage, or BT4K into a PPKK ender for the 3PP tech mentioned above. BT4K can also lead into 46H+K combos on lightweights.

Jab to your hearts content - With limited recovery and being neutral on block, jabbing with Pai is just a fun nuisance. You're like a bee that doesn't have to stop stinging, even if you won't cause much damage. Pai is reliant on poking typically for stuns, utilizing small negatives (-1 to -4) and jabs or crushes to eek out a critical hit. This will turn into a discussion on why Pai is limited, but also can turn these limits into a mindgame. Pai has almost no delay frames. She has almost no mixup in her strings. Therefore, once you commit to something, you're commited entirely. If you use 9K, your opponent knows EXACTLY how negative you are, and that you've free canceled the string. If you use PP4P or 2P+K, your opponent knows EXACTLY how negative you are, and that you've free canceled the string. Though these pokes are safe, you're never forcing the opponent to guess anything, really. They understand the situation, it's very clear. They don't need to block out of safety. All they need to do is make an intelligent decision. That decision is usually to attack. You will almost always be managing these lows negatives while you fight, so you need to understand your own options. How fast is your opponent? Is their mid i11 or i14? How quickly do their strings retrack? All of these things are crucial to know.

If you anticipate a high or a slow mid, go for 2P > 6_P. A throw or a high, try 2P+K. Anything slower than i13, go for her jab. A fast mid, go for a SS. A short range move, go for 1P. Hell, maybe even just block (but I hate losing momentum). Just remember that you are, for all intents and purposes (when safety of the 3 core heights and +-frames are considered as well) the fastest character in the game. You can abuse that fact, especially when you wield one of the best jabs (Nyo's can be argued for a Godlike one as well) and THE best 2P in the game. String together your jabs and 6Ps and 9Ks and SSPs and 2Ps into an annoying little dance sometimes. The neutral jabs are really what bind it all together and make it plausible. So cherish her P and 6_P. Come to terms with their awesomeness.
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