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Kustom Variation Analysis #7: Johnny Cage

DISCLAIMER: This series of posts isn't meant to go till the end of all kharacters, say "Kustom Variation Analysis #25" isn't gonna happen in a long time, I do these posts whenever I get around to it. What this post is supposed to be is a guideline for said kharacter's abilities that are and aren't in tourney variations (hope that restriction gets removed). It can also pique interest in "dead moves" and kasual play, but without further ado, here is what I've learned with Johnny Cage so far.

Kustom Variation Analyses: https://www.reddit.com/useOpenPayment2/comments/iasvdk/kustom_variation_analyses/

Ability #1: Pissed Off
This ability is a special move that does 120.00 damage and 160.00 damage if amplified. It is mainly used as a kombo ender. It solves the problem of Johnny Cage having low damage in his kombos. Here are some kombos with it
  • Midscreen Kombo : Starter [12, 244, 34, F4, F21, F344, B34], amplified Nut Punch, B2, F4, Pissed Off
  • Midscreen Kombo: Starter [12, 244, 34, F4, F21, F344, B34], amplified Nut Punch, 12, Pissed Off
  • ·Midscreen Kombo (Must have Say Cheese equipped): Starter [12, 244, 34, F4, F21, F344, B34], amplified Say Cheese, Jump 2, B2, F3, 12, Pissed Off
  • Midscreen Kombo (Must have Say Cheese equipped): Starter [12, 244, 34, F4, F21, F344, B34], amplified Say Cheese, Jump 2, B2, B2, F4, Pissed Off
  • Midscreen Kombo (Must have Say Cheese equipped): Starter [12, 244, 34, F4, F21, F344, B34], amplified Say Cheese. Jump 2, B2, 34, Pissed Off
  • Corner Kombo: Starter [12, 244, 34, F4, F21, F344, B34], amplified Nut Punch, 2, 2, 2, 2, 121, Pissed Off
  • Corner Kombo (Must have either High Forceballs or Low Forceballs): Starter [12, 244, 34, F4, F21, F344, B34], amplified Nut Punch, 2, 34, amplified High Forceballs or amplified Low Forceballs, 121, Pissed Off
  • Corner Kombo (Doesn’t work against female hurtboxes): 121, amplified Straight Forceballs, 1, 121, Pissed Off.
You could insert a jump 2 before all of these kombos to get even more damage. You can even amplify Pissed Off in some of these kombos for cash out on damage. You can also use Mime Time or Stunt Double as a kombo starter. You can also do Fatal Blow cancel after the starters and then repeat the starters and do the kombo. You can do the Throwing Shades krushing blow in any kombo with the Fatal Blow cancel. The possibilities are endless with kustom variations.
In some of these kombos (especially the ones that don’t cost 2 bars of offensive meter), you could do 121, Shadow Kick instead for more damage, but if that’s the case then why use Pissed Off as a kombo ender? You would use Pissed Off because it keeps Johnny Cage at neutral range with the opponent which is the perfect range where Johnny needs to be, meanwhile Shadow Kick leaves Johnny at zoning distance, not exactly a bad distance for Johnny but not the ideal distance for him. Pissed Off just gives Johnny the perfect okie for him.
Pissed Off (non-amplified) also leaves Johnny at the optimal range for his F4 to hit on okie, meaning Johnny has somewhat of a true meaty after doing Pissed Off (non-amplified). The F4 after Pissed Off beats any wakeup options that don’t use any meter, meaning if they try to wakeup jump, wakeup buttons, wakeup backdash, after Pissed Off (non-amplified) then they will get hit. It can be beaten by Getup rolls, U3s, and flawless blocking U2ing or U3ing the F4, short delayed wakeup into wakeup buttons. It would be best to cancel F4 into amplified Straight Forceballs to create a frame trap situation. Do be careful tho, as F4, amplified Straight Forceballs whiffs on certain characters when they crouch block which opens the oppurutnity to punish Johnny Cage when he's whiffing amplified Straight Forceballs. It would be best to do F44 against those characters that amplified Straight Forceballs whiffs on. Those characters are:
Shang Tsung
Frost
The Joker
Johnny Cage
Sonya Blade
Cassie Cage
Raiden (Very inconsistent): Just don’t even attempt amplified Straight Forceballs on block with him.
Jacqui Briggs
Kabal
Kitana
Skarlet
D’vorah
Kollector (Very inconsistent): Just don’t even attempt amplified Straight Forceballs on block with him.
I should also mention the uses of amplified Pissed Off. Amplified Pissed Off deals more damage and leaves Johnny at zoning distance and zoning okie. You would use amplified Pissed Off at the end of certain strings (such as F344, B34, etc..) for unbreakable damage and to snatch the health lead from the opponent so you can go back and play the zoning game.

Ability #2: Mime Time
Johnny Cage’s parry ability. This parry can be amplified in both its startup frames and its recovery frames. Amplifying Mime Time during its startup frames will cause it to last longer. You can also double amplify it in its startup frames and will extend Mime Time even further after the first amplification. Amplifying Mime Time in its recovery frames launches the opponent for a kombo.
Given that Mime Time is a parry, it can also parry certain attacks such as:
Spawn: 11, Hold B2. Mime Time can be inserted between 11 and Hold B2.
Cassie Cage: F343. Mime Time can be inserted between F34 and 3.
Shang Tsung: B3U4. Mime Time can be inserted between B3 and U4.
Liu Kang: F43U3. Mime Time can be inserted between F43 and U3.
Nightwolf: Amplified Rising Tomahawk (DF2). Mime Time can be inserted between Rising Tomahawk (DF2) and it’s amplification.
Jacqui Briggs: B34. Mime Time can be inserted between B3 and 4.
Erron Black: 114. Mime Time can be inserted between 11 and 4.
Sonya Blade: B234. Mime Time can be inserted between B23 and 4.
Raiden: 321. Mime Time can be inserted between 32 and 1.
Scorpion: 212. Mime Time can be inserted between 21 and 2
The Terminator: F32. Mime Time can be inserted between F3 and 2.
Kano: F12B2. Mime Time can be inserted between F12 and B2. Only possible if F1 or F12 is whiffed on a crouch blocking Johnny. Do be careful tho, a good Kano player will catch on to this gap and simply whiff F12 without doing the B2 in F12B2, and that leaves you as the Johnny player idle and vulnerable in Mime Time animation because you were trying to parry the B2 in F12B2, which gives Kano the opportunity to do a jump in kombo or a low starting kombo for F2.
Mime Time can also parry certain tick throws such as:
Spawn: S3, Hell Chain (BF2). Mime Time can be inserted between S3 and Hell Chain (BF2).
Baraka: D3, Blood Lunge (BF2). Mime Time can be inserted between D3 and Blood Lunge (BF2).
Geras: D1, Titan Tackle (BF2). Mime Time can be inserted between D1 and Titan Tackle (BF2). D3, Titan Tackle (BF2). Mime Time can be inserted between D3 and Titan Tackle (BF2).
Mime Time also has this nasty gimmick where you basically do D1, Mime Time. It catches many people off guard. A patient opponent will just block after the D1 and see you do Mime Time and jump kombo or low kombo you for a punish, so use this gimmick at your own risk.
Mime Time has a krushing blow which requirement is “Triggers on FIRST HIT of the match or after landing TWO extended Mime Times.” The Mime Time krushing blow can also be amplified which will lead into a full kombo. Mime Time krushing blow does 280.00 damage, and when you amplify it for a kombo, then you get even higher damage, we’re talking big boi dammy here. There are 2 ways you could go about getting this krushing blow. First one is:
You do it at the beginning of the match as a read. Maybe the opponent is throwing out a long range button such as Kotal Kahn’s F2, Shang Tsung’s F2, etc… and you parry it the second they throw it out. Maybe they would do a poke such as D3 or D4 (specifically D3 and D4 because they create some distance) and they would throw out buttons after these pokes where blocked. That gives you the opportunity to do Mime Time and get the Mime Time krushing blow.
The second way would be:
Just dash up and do D1, Mime Time lol. The gimmickiest and funniest way to start a match.
Oh yeah, don’t even bother trying to perform the other krushing blow requirement for Mime Time, it’s damn near impossible to do it that way and your opponent would have to be an idiot to let you amplify it and then hit you after it.

Ability #3: Low Forceball
Replaces Straight Forceballs. A mid arcing projectile that travels fullscreen and is aimed to hit the opponent at the middle part of their hurtbox. This projectile can be amplified in 2 ways. #1 is a normal amplify where it amplifies Low Forceball (the second one that comes after the amplification) to go at a higher arc. The normal amplify can be used to catch people jumping after Low Forceball in the cat and mouse zoning game. #2 is Low amplify where it amplifies Low Forcaball (the second one that comes after the amplification) to go at a lower arc. You would use low amplified Low Forceballs at neutral distance or closer as the low amplified version is less likely to whiff. Basically use the normal amplified ones at fullscreen zoning distance and the low amplified ones at neutral and all it’s surrounding ranges. You would also use low amplified Low Forceballs on hit as they are less likely to whiff on hit than normal amplified ones.
You can also get some kombos in the corner with Low Forceballs. Both it’s normal amplified version and low amplified version. The basic kombo with Low Forceballs would be 121, amplified Low Forceballs, 2, 121, Shadow Kick or Flippy Kick. Shadow Kick can be replaced by Stunt Double and Flippy Kick can be replaced by Rising Star.
Low Forceballs amplified can be used to get some plus frames setups by cancelling a string into amplified Low Forceballs which keeps the opponent standing and not knocked down and stuck in plus frames. Do note that Low Forceballs (normal amplified) whiffs on hit on all characters when cancelled into from these strings. These strings are 244, 34, F21, F344, B34, and F4. The only string that doesn’t cause Low Forceballs (normal amplified) to whiff on hit is 12, but it can only not whiff against specific characters such as Kotal Kahn, Shao Kahn, Jax Briggs, Raiden, Robocop, Terminator, Geras, Sheeva, Kollector, and Fujin. If 12 is cancelled into Low Forceballs (normal amplified) on anyone but these characters then Low Forceballs (normal amplified) will whiff.
With that in mind, it would be better to use Low Forceballs (low amplified) on hit to get those plus frame setups. Well here’s the thing, Low Forceballs (low amplified) can whiff on hit too when cancelled from these strings. 34, Low Forceballs (low amplified) whiffs on hit on every character except Kotal Kahn, Shao Kahn, Jax Briggs, Raiden, Robocop, Terminator, Geras, Sheeva, Kollector, and Fujin. Against Shang Tsung, The Joker, Johnny Cage, Scorpion, Noob Saibot, Baraka, Sub-Zero, Kano, Kabal, Liu Kang, Kung Lao, and Erron Black, only 34, Low Forceballs (low amplified) whiffs on hit, the rest of the strings (244, F21, F344, B34, and F4) when cancelled into Low Forceballs (low amplified) don’t whiff on hit against these characters (both the big bodies [Kotal Kahn, Shao Kahn, etc..] and the middle bodies [Shang Tsung, The Joker, etc..] ).
Against Frost, Sonya Blade, Cassie Cage, Jacqui Briggs, Kitana, Jade, Skarlet, D’vorah, Sindel, and Cetrion, only 34, B34, and F4 cancelled into Low Forceballs (low amplified) whiffs on hit against these characters.

Ability #4: High Forceballs
Replaces Straight Forceballs. A high arcing projectile that travels fullscreen and is aimed to hit the opponent at aerial distance. This version of Forceballs properties is very weird and inconsistent when cancelled into from strings. It whiffs mostly against everybody from any string Johnny does and sometimes even whiffs in the corner when Johnny Cage is so close to them (to the point he might be kissing the opponent) and It still whiffs when cancelled into from a string. Point is, it’s not meant to be used for plus frames setups. What it is meant to be used for is counterzoning. Say an opponent is zoning Johnny Cage, and what does Johnny Cage do? He uses High Forceballs to counter zone the opponent. High Forceballs are faster in travel speed when thrown from long distances so it’s best to use High Forceballs there. Examples of High Forceballs counterzoing are, High Focreballs countering Cetrion’s (Air) Hell’s Wrath, Kabal’s (Air) Buzzsaw, etc…
You can also get corner kombos with High Forceballs. These are the exact same as the Low Forceballs’ one so it’s pretty consistent there.
High Forceballs is also a really good anti air, and there are even some rare instances in which you could kombo from a High Forceballs anti air, so it’s Johnny Cage’s most damaging anti air option.

Ability #5: Brass Knuckles
Cannot be equipped with Throwing Shades. Is a buff ability which lasts 8-9 seconds. This ability increases Johnny Cage’s chip damage on block by a lot. It amplifies Johnny Cage’s blockstring pressure game and makes it even more scary. A usual scenario with Brass Knuckles would be you setting up Brass Knuckles and going for F344, amplified Straight Forceballs and then going for Johnny Cage’s frame trap mindgame. If they block after F344, amplified Straight Forceballs, then you are free to go for another string and do more chip damage on block. If they know the monstrous amount of chip damage that Brass Knuckles do on block and decide to try to backdash, then you could go for F44 after F344, amplified Straight Forceballs. You don’t even have to go for F344, amplified Straight Forceballs, you could just go for raw F344, and frame trap from there and that would still do a lot of chip damage on the opponent.
Brass Knuckles disappears if a krushing blow happens while it’s active.
Brass Knuckles makes the opponent scared to block Johnny Cage’s strings, it makes them want to jump out of them, mash out of them, etc… so it’s a pretty good ability for a pressure based Johnny Cage kustom.
If any of Johnny Cage’s strings have been done on block or cancelled into a special move on block with Brass Knuckles set up then they will deal 8%-10% damage on block. It is very useful to know the amount of health that goes down with Brass Knuckles equipped on block in chipout and low health territory.
How you would set Brass Knuckles up would be like this:
You would do any string of these strings (244, F21, 34, F344, B34, F4) into your kombo starter and do 121, Brass Knuckles. 121, Brass Knuckles is safe and not punishable on wakeup.
121, Brass Knuckles itself without anything done before or after it guarantees a safe Brass Knuckles setup.
121, Brass Knuckles looks like it might be punishable by a wakeup U3, but it isn’t. This is actually beneficial for Johnny Cage, as it can lead to the opponent thinking they can punish it with an U3 or wakeup buttons but they actually cannot, which can lead to Johnny Cage punishing the U3 or the wakeup buttons. This one of many scenarios that can happen when setting up Brass Knuckles.
Here are the most practical and realistic scenarios that might happen after Johnny Cage sets up Brass Knuckles:
Scenario #1: Johnny Cage does 121, Brass Knuckles at the end of a kombo. The opponent decides to do Backwards Getup Roll. What does Johnny Cage do? He punishes the Backwards Getup Roll with B34 into whatever Johnny Cage wants.
Scenario #2: Johnny Cage does 121, Brass Knuckles at the end of a kombo. The opponent decides to do Forwards Getup Roll. What does Johnny Cage do? He punishes the Forwards Getup Roll with 12, 244, or F21 cancelled into whatever Johnny Cage wants, or he can punish Forwards Getup Roll with a grab.
Scenario #3: Johnny Cage does 121, Brass Knuckles at the end of a kombo. The opponent decides to do U3. What does Johnny Cage do? He decides to whiff punish the U3 with B34 cancelled into whatever Johnny Cage wants.
IMPORTANT TIP: This differs from character to character, as some character’s U3’s have bigger range and the character’s bodies have a smaller or bigger hurtbox. I will list the special cases of these character’s U3s and how to counter it.
Shao Kahn: His U3 has an extremely big hitbox and is hard to whiff punish. Shao Kahn’s hurtbox is also very big as he is a big body character. To counter this, you must be sure that at any point during your Johnny Cage kombo that Shao Kahn is high in the air and not close to the ground when komboing him. You would 121, Brass Knuckles at the earliest possible moment you can when you launch Shao Kahn, so that you can whiff punish Shao Kahn’s U3 with B34. Keep in mind that you don’t have to backdash when whiff punishing his U3, backdashing actually make the B34 miss and not hit him, but there are cases when you need to backdash a little bit to whiff punish his U3. These cases are usually when Shao Kahn is a bit close to the floor when Johnny Cage does 121, Brass Knuckles. Best solution to prevent this mindgame is to just 121, Brass Knuckles as early a possible in the kombo.
You could also just flawless block the U3 and punish the U3 with a reversal Shadow Kick (not possible with Stunt Double equipped), but B34 offers a higher reward.
Scorpion: His U3 has great range, but sends his body closer to Johnny Cage. His U3 controls a lot of range, so naturally Johnny Cage would want to backdash right, well, if Johnny cage launches Scorpion and does 121, Brass Knuckles at the earliest possible moment when Scorpion is high in the air, then Scorpion does U3, and Johnny Cage backdashes and tries to whiff punish his U3 but fails and doesn’t punish. To stop Johnny Cage mistiming his punish, you just have to stand and do nothing after the 121, Brass Knuckles but stand in place. Scorpion’s U3 will naturally whiff by itself, and Johnny Cage can punish it with whatever he wants. He can do 34 which is his most optimal damage route to punish the U3.
You could also just flawless block the U3 and punish the U3, but it is much easier to stand and punish rather than flawless block.
Kitana. Her U3 sends her body away from Johnny Cage. Her U3 could be considered a backdash if you will. If Johnny tries to whiff punish her U3 by backdashing and doing B34, then B34 will miss completely, leaving Kitana free to punish Johnny Cage. To counter this, go dash up and whiff punish Kitana’s U3 by B34, F344, or F4.
Again, you can flawless block her U3, but is is easier to whiff punish
Kollector: His U3 has a ton of range, and keeps his body safe. Basically Scorpion’s U3 but doesn’t move his body forwards. It commands a lot of range and can make backdash B34 miss when whiff punishing Kollector’s U3. To counter this, just stand in place and punish his U3 with a B34, F344, or F4. It’s basically the same counter to Scorpiom’s U3 but you have to use Johnny’s ranged buttons instead of standing buttons.
Fujin: His U3 has a ton of range, and keeps his body safe. Same thing as Kollector’s, commands a lot of range, but is easily countered by Johnny standing and whiff punishing Fujin’s U3 with any of his ranged buttons.
Scenario #4: Johnny Cage does 121, Brass Knuckles at the end of a kombo. The opponent decides to wakeup jump. What does Johnny Cage do? He anti airs them with his projectiles, his normals, or his Shadow Kick.
Another important tip: This depends on the aerial mobility of a character, take Kung Lao’s (Air) Dive Kick, Kabal’s (Air) Buzzsaw, etc… Some of these aerial moves come out so fast that they counter most of Johnny Cage’s anti airs. There is one anti air tho that stops all these options no matter how fast they are, and it’s Shadow Kick. Shadow Kick will beat out anything in the air no matter how fast it is. I should warn you though that Shadow Kick is unsafe.
Scenario #5: Johnny Cage does 121, Brass Knuckles at the end of a kombo. The opponent decides to wakeup buttons or wakeup backdash. What does Johnny Cage do? He just wavedashes and does F4 to stuff anything the opponent does, or he can just let the opponent whiff his wakeup buttons and whiff punish the opponent’s wakeup buttons.
Scenario #6: Johnny Cage does 121, Brass Knuckles at the end of a kombo. The opponent decides to do short delayed wakeup or long delayed wakeup. What does Johnny Cage do? He just waits to see what the opponent’s wakeup choice will be and if it’s either short or long delayed wakeup, then Johnny Cage has the freedom to walk up on the delayed waking up opponent and pressure them.
Scenario #7: Johnny Cage does 121, Brass Knuckles at the end of a kombo. The opponent decides to block (least likely option). What does Johnny Cage do? He pressures them with Brass Knuckles chip damage.
These scenarios only work if 121, Brass Knuckles is done in a kombo, and not when 121, Brass Knuckles is done by itself with no extension done before it.

Ability #6: Throwing Shades
Cannot be equipped with Brass Knuckles. Is a projectile special move that keeps the opponent standing on hit and is unsafe on block. Has a krushing blow which keeps the opponent standing, deals 150.00, and is a kombo extension ONLY when done as a krushing blow. It’s krushing blow requirement is “TRIGGERS on FIRST HIT of the match or in a KOMBO that involves a FATAL BLOW DASH CANCEL”. It is mainly used to get a high amount of unbreakable damage.
You would mostly use this ability when cancelling strings into fatal blow dash cancel on hit to get that unbreakable damage.
This ability is best used to cash out on damage when Johnny Cage is in fatal blow territory. Say Johnny Cage is beating the opponent and causes the opponent’s health bar to be at 50%, and the opponent starts beating Johnny Cage and reduces Johnny’s health bar to 30%, well, Johnny Cage can play neutral till he gets a touch on the opponent and cash out with a fatal blow dash cancel kombo and do Throwing Shades in the kombo, which would guarantee 40% of the opponent’s health bar gone.
You can also keep the opponent standing after your Throwing Shades kombo has been done and do a grab, strike, short hop, empty short hop into grab, empty short hop into low, etc… to take even more of their health. You would usually go for amplified Straight Forceballs, Nut Punch, low amplified Low Forceballs, or F21, as these moves are plus enough on hit to guarantee a hit if your opponent mashes, jumps, or ducks.
This ability also works great with Say Cheese, as Say Cheese keeps the opponent standing too, so that means that both Throwing Shades and Say Cheese equipped deal monstrous amounts of unbreakable damage.
Oh yeah, don’t even bother with the other first krushing blow requirement of Throwing Shades, it is completely impractical and not guaranteed.

Ability #7: Say Cheese
Replaces Nut Punch. Is a 2 slot ability. Is a special move that keeps the standing and is unsafe on block. When amplified it becomes a kombo extender that keeps the opponent standing, so you can get unbreakable damage with this ability. This ability is mainly used for unbreakable damage and plus frame setups. You can do kombos with amplified Say Cheese and keep the opponent standing for a plus frame setup, or you can just cash out, either in an unbreakable damage manner, or by launching the opponent for more damage especially when they don’t have any defensive bar. Don’t forget you can armor break (not possible with Rising Star equipped) if you decide to launch with after amplified Say Cheese to make them waste more of their defensive bar.
It has a krushing blow on it’s amplified version that deals even more damage than it’s amplified non-krushing blow version. The krushing blow also keeps the opponent standing and is a kombo extension. It’s krushing blow requirement is “TRIGGERS on FIRST HIT of the match or if this move has MISSED 3 or more times in a row”
Just to clarify, it doesn’t matter if the 3 missed Say Cheeses are amplified or non-amplified, it will still count towards loading the Say Cheese krushing blow.
For more clarification, the 3 missed Say Cheeses don't have to be missed in a consecutive row. Doing other moves between whiffing the Say Cheeses doesn't affect the krushing blow at all.
There is absolutely no safe way to set this krushing blow up. All attempts to make the Say Cheese whiff can be punished by all characters. The only feasible way you’re ever going to load this krushing blow up is just by hoping the opponent whiffs something from zoning distance which buys you time to set whiff Say Cheese.
The closest thing Johnny has to safe Say Cheese setup is by doing F344U4. It has 32 frames of hit advantage and pushes the opponent far away which is the closest Johnny can have to safe Say Cheese krushing blow setup. Just hope the opponent doesn’t punish you as that setup is still punishable but if the opponent panics, does wakeup poke, etc… then Say Cheese won’t be whiff punished.
Oh yeah, the first krushing blow requirement for Say Cheese, the one says “TRIGGERS on FIRST HIT of the match” is also completely impractical and not guaranteed.
Also 34, amplified Say Cheese whiffs most of the time midcsreen, so keep that in mind.

Ability #8: Rising Star
Replaces Flippy Kick. It is NOT an armor breaker (unfortunately). Is a 9 frame mid attack that can be used as a reversal, poke into special, anti air, kombo ender, safe special cancel, or a stagger mindgame. It is a very versatile ability. It is unsafe and punishable on block, but if amplified then it becomes -4 with pushback on block. Johnny Cage loses 1 bar of offensive and defensive bar if amplified Rising Star is either whiffed or blocked. Johnny Cage can’t amplify Rising Star if Rising Star is flawless blocked.
Rising Star whiffs when cancelled into from these strings on block specifically. F344, 244, and B34. Amplified Rising Star will touch the opponent on block when cancelled from these strings. F344, 244, and B34.
At any point in Rising Star’s whiffing from these blockstrings, the opponent is free to anti air the Rising Star, even if it is amplified.
Your best option to anti air Rising Star and amplified Rising Star when cancelled into these blockstrings is to D2 Rising Star, as D2 is the most consistent, and can trade with amplified Rising Star if the opponent hits Johnny Cage late in his amplified Rising Star state. You can also S1 or S2 anti air with some characters and convert a kombo, but D2 is more consistent.
Rising Star whiffing from these strings on block depends on the opponent’s character and the character’s crouch blocking hurtbox state and the range at which F344, 244, or B34 is done. It mostly whiffs when character’s are stand blocking these strings, but not when they are low blocking. There are instances where you can low block the third or fourth kick of the F344 or the second or third kick of the 244 string to make amplified Rising Star whiff or where you can stand block the first kick or punch of F344 or 244 and low block the first kick of the 44 in F344 and 244 then stand block the rest of the string and make Rising Star whiff. Honestly, it’s RNG-based on how amplified Rising Star interacts with these blockstrings on block with the opponent. Best choice is to just not do amplified Rising Star after these strings.
34, amplified Rising Star can also whiff in some instances but it’s only possible for 34, amplified Rising Star to whiff on female hurtboxes (Sheeva excluded), and it’s as every bit as RNG-based as the other strings.
Same random whiffing issues apply to B34, amplified Rising Star.
RNG stands for Random Number Generator BTW.
Every other string that isn’t F344, 244, B34, and 34 (only with female characters), can be cancelled into amplified Rising Star with no issue.
Rising Star can also anti air close range jumps consistently.
Rising Star is also very useful as a kombo ender as it leaves Johnny Cage close to the opponent with 19-28 frames of hit advantage on okie, so he can start his pressure game from a single Rising Star on okie if they have no defensive meter.
You can also cancel any string into amplified Rising Star to reset neutral and be safe. Don’t try to test with F344, 244,B34, and 34 (only on females) as it whiffs and is punishable. Here's an example of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1F4tWLtlJk&list=LLebcjstuD5bXO8iyzJb16HQ&index=254
You can also stagger the other strings that aren’t F344, 244, B34, and 34 (only on females) if the opponent is anticipating a amplified Rising Star.
Amplified Rising Star is also a safe poke into special, further amplifying Johnny’s pressure game
KEEP IN MIND, that you lose 1 bar of offensive and defensive in any of these situations if the opponent blocks your amplified Rising Star. You could go for poke into special with a non-amplified Rising Star but then it becomes an unsafe poke into special, so keep the risk/reward factor in mind while using this ability.

Ability #9: Caged Rage
Cannot be equipped with Stunt Double. Is a 29 frame advancing special high that keeps the opponent standing and changes it’s move properties when done on block. It is Johnny Cage’s farthest reaching safe special move, but it can be ducked and punished on reaction so use it wisely. It’s move properties work like this on block:
If it connects on block for the 1st time: High
If it connects on block for the 2nd time: Mid
If it connects on block for the 3rd time: Unblockable
After that Caged Rage will return to it’s High state, and then you have to start the cycle again.
Caged Rage is -3 on block in it’s High and Mid state. Caged Rage can also be amplified which leads into a 26 frame knockdown which gives Johnny a safe Jump 2 setup. This setup can be countered by U2.
Caged Rage increases it’s damage by 20.000 everytime it connects on block. This damage increase also affects the amplification.
Caged Rage’s properties can also change depending on how it interacts with the opponent. If Caged Rage is in it’s Mid state and hits the opponent on hit then Caged Rage will return to it’s High state. It doesn’t matter if you amplify it Caged Rage in it’s Mid state on hit, Caged Rage will still return to it’s High state.
D4, Caged Rage is a true jailing poke. If the opponent gets hit by D4 and Johnny Cage decides to cancel it into Caged Rage, then it is 100% guaranteed. They have to block Caged Rage after getting hit by the D4. If they keep blocking the Caged Rage after D4 then you have a guaranteed mid and a guaranteed unblockable. There is somewhat of a counter to this but not really, lemme explain:
Remember how I said that of the opponent gets hit by Caged Rage in it’s Mid state it will revert back to it’s High state, yeah, the opponent could get hit by the Caged Rage in it’s Mid state after D4 so as to restart the Caged Rage cycle. But hey, that means free damage for Johnny Cage, so it’s not really a problem for Johnny Cage.
There is also another counter to this. The opponent can flawless block punish the Caged Rage in D4, Caged Rage and get a kombo or a plus frame setup from flawless blocking the Caged Rage. Caged Rage still keeps it’s properties if flawless blocked, U2ed, or U3ed.
If the opponent has no defensive meter or no offensive meter, then D4, Caged Rage on hit is very true and they have to hold D4, Caged Rage till it becomes an unblockable mid or chose to get hit by Caged Rage in it’s High or Mid state.
You could also use Caged Rage for a plus frame setup in the corner as it is plus 3 on hit and keeps the opponent standing.
You could also save up Caged Rage in it’s Unblockable state and use it as cashout in an unbreakable kombo.

Ability #10: Stunt Double
Cannot be equipped with Caged Rage or Say Cheese. Replaces Shadow Kick. Is a 2 slot move. Is a setup ability that is actually 2 abilities. These 2 abilities are Clothesline and Stunt Double. Both can be amplified in their startup frames. These 2 moves are meant to be used for setups and anti-zoning.
Clothesline is a mid hitting attack that sends a stunt double from behind Johnny Cage that has an untouchable hurtbox to hit the opponent. Johnny Cage can kombo off of the stunt double’s mid hitting attack in many instances. The stunt double from Clothesline will still come regardless if the opponent hits Johnny Cage or not while Johnny Cage is calling the stunt double in Clothesline. There is a very rare instance where the stunt double doesn’t come while Johnny Cage is in Clothesline but that requires the opponent to hit Johnny Cage at the EXACT time he starts Clothesline, like at the first frame exactly. Chances are the opponent won’t be stopping that stunt double consistently at the exact moment Clothesline starts.
submitted by OpenPayment2 to MortalKombat

Squadrons Prep/Training Guide

General
This guide is intended, hopefully, as a jumping off point for those pilots looking to start Squadrons running, and are looking for things they can do prior to Oct. 2 to maximize their performance in the actual game. Unless you were in the tech test (I was not) and are willing to violate your NDA, there’s still a lot around the actual game that’s conjecture, so this guide will try to stay away from making random assumptions (except for things that have been confirmed/stated directly by Motive), and focus more on general prep.
Intro
So what do I need to do to prep for Squadrons?
Are you ready for good news? Absolutely nothing. Nada. Zip. (Well, other than having a console or a PC that will run it and the game itself). Squadrons is very clearly going to be its own game, heavily influenced by the X-Wing series, especially in flight model, but with plenty of other sim influences, and its own unique features. There is absolutely nothing wrong with just relaxing, using whatever your existing control scheme is, and not worrying about the game until Oct. 2. Your time spent in Squadrons will be drastically more “efficient” in learning Squadrons than anything you can do previous to release. But if you want to try and get a head start, or like me, you just enjoy flying and shooting lasers? This guide aims to help.
So where do I even start?
To keep this simple, I’ve broken down prep into three main categories:
  • Physical Skills: The actual flying, shooting, holding a target. The actions you take in the game itself that generally require hand-eye coordination.
  • Mental Skills: Teamwork, comms strategies, tactics, ELS management, prioritization. All the think work.
  • Out-of-Game: Key bindings, equipment choices, etc.
In Physical Skills, I’ll break down some of the components that lead to good flying. I’ll also suggest some specific games you can play that hew towards developing those skills. Largely the same for Mental Skills, although the game selections are more limited, imo. Finally, I’ll get a bit into different control schemes, setups, and whatnot. So without further ado…
Physical Skills
Ever wondered why you can barely seem to hit a stationary target, then you matchmake, and someone comes along and it feels like their shots are literally homing in on you? There are multiple reasons for this, but one of the largest? Muscle memory. Space combat sims are, in many ways, about maintaining lighter awareness of multiple things (mental), while rapidly executing a series of tasks with maximum possible focus (physical), and never letting one suffer for the other. Think of it a little like RTS games, where concentration or focus is regarded as your “hidden resource”. Muscle memory is invaluable in drastically reducing the amount of mental energy you require to act or react in the game. I’ll break down a few individual components, and suggest how to work on them.
Flying
Just the simple act of guiding your craft through space. Whether you’re in wide open space and trying to pick the most optimal route to intercept a target, or you’re being chased in close quarters and trying to wrap your way around the terrain to lose a pursuer, much of your rise and fall in this sort of game is your ability to fly. Muscle memory is the difference between someone locking onto you and getting a free second or two on that lock while you decide what to do, or within the first half second of that tone, you going evasive and already planning for how you’re going to either fully lose your attacker or reverse on them. The bad news? This can take awhile to develop, and depending on the game, there will always be new “aspects” to master. The good news? You’re developing this really by playing any flight sim.
My Recommended Path: Honestly? I like the more “realistic” physics model games for this: Elite, Star Citizen, House of the Dying Sun, Into the Black (when it’s out). Maybe it’s because I started with the X-Wing series, but I find any game with inertia, or where lateral movement is more dependent on roll than yaw, to be much harder to execute “fine control” type of movements on. As I’ve improved in the more complex flight models of these types of games, the “your ship goes maximally in the direction you point your stick” flight model of X-Wing series games has felt easier.
There’s also a lot of benefit to learning how to fly with terrain, which the X-Wing series is probably the least helpful at. I find BF2: Starfighter Assault, to be pretty good for working on this, even if the flight model is probably the most dumbed down of any contemporary title. But there’s no special trick to this. Make sure whatever your favored control scheme (stick, HOTAS, controller, m/kb) is supported and fully setup, and then just log time.
Other Paths: Anything that breaks in your control scheme. The above games I found most helpful, but it’s really whatever works for you. You feel most at home playing modded X-Wing Alliance with an XBox controller? You do you. Whatever gets you the most experience executing flight with your preferred control scheme is the right pick for you.
Gunnery
The act of actually hitting things with your pew-pews, or acquiring lock with any missile that isn’t dumbfire or insta-lock. This is pretty much the opposite of flying, in that aiming/hit detection is often wildly different from game to game. There are broad flavors: The X-Wing series with no leading reticle and just a flashing indicator when you’re predicted to hit, to OG Wing Commander’s “always aim at the reticle”, to hybrid models with gimbaled weapons like Elite. And within broad types, there’s plenty of variation. That goes even more so for locking on, where the rules can vary broadly across games.
My Recommended Path: X-Wing series. This is pretty straight forward. X-Wing has always used “no leading reticle”, but there’s a hidden predictor that flashes your crosshairs when a hit is predicted (and that prediction is not flawless, either). It is confirmed that Squadrons is using that targeting model, so I’d practice primarily there. It’s not perfect. Rate of fire for most weapons in Squadrons looks faster than analogues in the X-Wing series, even the later titles like XWA and XvT where rate of fire was sped up. Locking behavior looks similar to the X-Wing series, but again I assume there will be some fundamental differences and more systems complexity than we ever saw in the old games.
Other Paths: I’d really spend time with X-Wing series if you have a PC. If you absolutely can’t or won’t play that, I’d recommend House of the Dying Sun (I just like how their hit detection feels, and it’s an awesome indie title I’ll plug at every opportunity), Star Citizen, EVE: Valkyrie or BF2. It’s not great because it’s an “aim at the reticle” model, but I still think you can build some useful skills. If you’re on console, I’d go BF2 or EVE: Valkyrie, but Elite’s better than nothing.
Other ship functions (Targeting, ELS management, countermeasures, utility)
This is all the other stuff that your ship does, that doesn’t directly factor into flying or gunnery. The big one that’s specific to Squadrons is ELS (Engine/LaseShield) Management. While other games have similar functions, the X-Wing series is the only place to find this specific system. However, the Squadrons iteration is going to be much “faster moving” and have some additional systems complexity with boosts or gun overcharging (X-Wing series had shield overcharging, but I think this mechanic will be different and significantly faster in Squadrons). Outside of ELS, many of these concepts, especially targeting and countermeasures, are fairly generic across space combat sims, though their particulars, like gunnery, vary widely between titles.
My Recommended Path: X-Wing series to learn some level of familiarity and comfort with ELS. We’ll all be learning new aspects of this system in Squadrons, but if you’re familiar with the base system and the concept of “shunting” power between areas going in, you’ll definitely have a leg up in terms of developing muscle memory. For everything else, or if you’re on console only? Elite. Elite’s level of overall complexity is just higher, and that holds especially so for all these different subsystems. It’s not directly analogizable to Squadrons, but think of this as the “if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball” way of training, like I recommend for flying. If you can maintain focus while executing all these different subsystems in Elite, Squadrons should be solidly within your capability.
Other Paths: Given Elite isn’t too expensive and is available cross-platform, I really would use that, or the X-Wing series for ELS. All the other titles have heavier (Star Citizen) or lighter (BF2) implementations of subsystems, so they’re not zero, but I don’t think they’re as useful.
Mental Skills
You can have the best flying, you can never miss, and you can still suck. Squadrons is very clearly setup to be a 5v5, squad-based game. Ships are designed to fill specific roles, with components offering further customization, and teamwork will be a massive factor in overall success. The devs have stated this over and over, but it’s also just pretty obvious from how the game is designed. If you don’t know how to work with four other pilots, it doesn’t matter how good your personal flight/gunnery skills are. There’s now a very hard, merciless cap on your success.
Understanding the anatomy of a dogfight
This is, without respect to anything else going on, the simple act of understanding how engaging a target works, the differences between approaching from advantage (on their six), versus being approached at a disadvantage (they’re on your six), turn fighting, disengaging, or head-to-head “jousting”. Basically, it’s just understanding all the individual phases and components of your interactions with a single target, so that you can make better overall decisions faster (e.g. you find yourself in a head-to-head with a target, but you know another enemy is free roaming. You will probably be more jukey and conservative on your pass, and probably more wary of dropping speed to enter into a turn war as opposed to trying to turn on the speed and disengage or evade with terrain.)
My Recommended Path: XvT/XWA or Eve Valkyrie. But wait, you say, these games both have tiny populations, how am I getting real practical experience? For the limited purposes of understanding viscerally how a dogfight works, less is actually more. If you’ve got 15 other people in the match with you, it’s harder to devote much attention to really studying how engagements work and their various phases, as opposed to just making sure you’re not getting jumped from behind (which is a whole other valuable skill that I’ll get to). These games are also among those that are likely going to be closer to Squadrons’ flight model, so that doesn’t hurt either. But being in a match with 1-3 other opponents really allows you to drill down. The flipside, if you’re drastically over-indexed in that type of flying (like me with XvT or XWA) it definitely forces you to fight your instincts more when you’re in a larger population matchup. Also, this works best with real people, at least for me. AI is too easy to pattern recognize and/or trick.
Other Paths: You can really use any game here to build this skill, it’s more just paying attention to how you engage or how you’re engaged, the different phases of that engagement, and learning over time what the best ways to react are. I like the above because they’re closer to the flight model and let you focus more on the individual components of a single engagement without getting blasted, but if something is working for you, use it.
Awareness
This is maintaining knowledge of what’s happening outside your immediate field of view. It’s learning to glance at your scope at regular intervals as second nature. It’s developing a sixth sense about where your enemies not in visual are, and generally making it as difficult as possible for someone to approach easily on your six. For this, we go in the complete opposite direction of dogfight anatomy: more is more. You need to spend time with larger scale populations of human pilots to really get a good feel for how to do this almost cost-free, allowing you to spend more of your focus on flying/shooting.
My Recommended Path: BF2 or Elite: Arena. Nothing in this genre has “huge populations”, but these two are both reasonable sources of consistent match-making, at a decently large team level. Neither is my favorite flight model, Elite is too different and complex versus Squadrons, imo, and BF2 way more basic, but in terms of developing this raw skill? They’re both your best, most reliable options. And they’re both on console too.
Other Paths: Anything where you’re flying on a team of around 5ish or more against another team. I’ve picked the two games above because they offer that with enough of a population to make it convenient. But if you’re getting those kinds of numbers in another game, great.
Comms/Coordination
This one is tricky, because it requires preparation. Squadrons is a team game. Sure, you can solo queue and learn to work as well as possible with the four randos you match with. But you will run into premades, and most of the time it will probably hurt. There’s likely not going to be much substitute for having four other pilots you’re familiar with and all linked together on voice comms. I get it, some people like to be lone wolves, and that’s totally fine. But if you want to achieve maximum success in this game? You’re going to want to find teammates, and you’re going to want to have some experience flying together.
My Recommended Path: Join a club/squadron. I think they’re sometimes on this sub. If you go to the official Discord, there’s a whole channel for them. Heck, I’ll even plug the one I’m in, the Emperor’s Hammer. It’s the oldest club in continuous existence for Star Wars Flight Sims (1994), and if you like the rest of the X-Wing series, they’ve got thousands of custom missions archived across the various games. Given my homebase will always be the X-Wing series, they made sense for me. DJO/TFA/TRA are great too, as I’m sure a lot of these newer groups that I’m less familiar with. Point is, go find some people, get on Discord, and fly something together.
Other Paths: Nope. If you want to be as successful as possible, you’re going to learn how to fly and coordinate with other folks, and hopefully develop some rapport. You don’t have to do this, and you can probably play the game and be both happy and decently successful all on your own. But you’ll never equal the success (or fun, imo) you’ll have if you learn to work with others. Straight up.
Note: As you can probably tell, my experience with space combat sims is overwhelmingly on PC. Thus, I've missed some things that have generally been console-only (such as Ace Combat, with the exception of 7 which is on Steam). As I understand it, AC7 is a pretty awesome game and even though it's atmospheric, you can definitely use it to build some of these skills. I just haven't played it so didn't include it for that reason.
Out-Of-Game
Control scheme
I first learned to fly with a stick. I can’t imagine playing a space combat sim without one. People do, and often quite successfully, but I don’t see how I could. What works for you is most important. Now I do think there are some realities, namely, without gimbaled weapons, I do think m/kb is going to be a struggle to match the performance you can get with a stick or a controller. I may be wrong about that, but based on m/kb control schemes in other flight sims, that’s my strong intuition. But if it’s what you’re comfortable with? Lean into it. But if you don’t feel like you have a “home” control scheme and can pick? I’d strongly recommend looking into a stick or using a console controller. I really think stick is going to give you the best outcome, but again, I’ll also admit I have a heavy experiential bias here.
If you do decide to go the stick/HOTAS route? I don’t have to go too deep here, because there’s already a really fantastic guide authored right here on this sub. I’ll only add a couple opinions.
First, I think the author’s absolutely correct about a Logitech Xtreme 3D Pro. I’ve used one, and for the price point it really does give you everything you need, and the stick feels surprisingly good. So if you’re skeptical about using a stick or just on a budget, it’s a great way to dip your toe in without taking out a second mortgage. I’d also quibble that I would move the VKB Gladiator into “premium”. Yes, I get it still uses plastic parts, but the real argument here seems to be over buttons. And honestly? Squadrons is going to use a LOT less than Elite (having to map for console controllers). So a Gladiator is an amazing stick with more than enough buttons for Squadrons. I’m not sure I can articulate what you’ll really gain if you double or even close to triple that price point on some of the more expensive sticks for this specific game.
I’m also not really on the throttle train here. I’m assuming we’ll be closer to the X-Wing series flight model, in which case we’ll really only care about two (or three) speeds: max, max turn rate (50% for squadrons), and maybe 0%. I feel more comfortable mapping those settings to buttons. If it turns out I’m wrong and there’s more nuance to speed usage (or I can’t do those binds), I’ll probably admit defeat and bust out the throttle. But otherwise? I want to simplify things wherever I can (without losing performance) so that I can maximize my focus on critical tasks, like blowing people up. So that works for me. But if you want a throttle? By all means, have a throttle. ;)
And one last note on equipment. There’s a lot of rig-showing off that happens on this sub, and I think it’s easy to think “oh my god, I just have this XBox controller and an old office chair, and this other guy has a fully replicated TIE cockpit with mounted top-of-the-line HOTAS, full VR setup, rudder pedals, and the chair moves pneumatically! He even has a mini-fridge! I’m doomed!”. Nope. Just no. No amount of money and fancy gizmos can cover up bad flying. If you’ve mastered the skills needed to be good at this game, and your control scheme is second nature to you, and the guy in the fancy rig hasn’t? Great, he’s now just an over-priced target dummy for your K/D padding pleasure. The pilot matters more than the equipment, and to some extent, what’s most comfortable for you is best. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that automatically means more $$$ means better for you.
Keybinds
My guess is, given standardized equipment, m/kb and console controller users will have a more streamlined time here. But for stick/HOTAS users with way more variability? It can be easy to have some choice paralysis. Again, this is a very subjective, “comfort”-based area. But if you’re not sure how to tackle this, let me give you what I use as a starting point. I’m planning on using my VKB Gladiator for Squadrons. I have a VKB Gunfighter Mk. III and a throttle, but for me personally, I like to simplify wherever I can to preserve my focus elsewhere. I am guessing the Gladiator will have sufficient buttons for me, and I already mentioned my throttle scheme, so I’m set. But that still leaves me with three different switches, a hat, and ten different buttons on the stick (if you count pressing in switches), and 10+ more buttons on the base of the stick. That’s a loooot of options. So how do I tackle all of that?
I utilize a usage prioritization system, simply: the more I use a function, the easier a bind it should be to reach. The obvious example is my trigger. I’m probably going to fire more than anything except maybe yaw/pitch/roll, so mapping that to my trigger, the easiest to reach button for me, makes sense. Given I’m assuming a level of fidelity to the X-Wing flight model, I believe pitch on the y-axis and yaw on x-axis, with roll on twist, will map to usage for me. But if the game winds up feeling more like Elite, I would probably map roll to x-axis, and yaw to twist. After fire to trigger, I assume my next most-used functions will probably be my 100%, 50%, and 0% speed settings. I’ll likely bind these to my upper right switch, which for me is the second most accessible set of buttons. And so on down the line, literally matching frequency of use to convenience of placement the whole way down the binding list. That’s intuitive and comfortable for me. If you like something else more, use it. The general goal with keybinds should be to make them as easy to remember and as effortless to use as possible.
Oh, and a quick word on voice comms. I use PTT, I’ve used it for so long I’m just more comfortable communicating that way on voice. For flight sims, even if you prefer PTT? I strongly suggest you go open mic for the duration of combat. I don’t think I’ll ever entirely get used to it, but again, removing one more thing to worry about? Worth doing.
Graphics/VR
People may disagree, but I don’t think VR will be much, if any, of an advantage here. I think it’ll be cool, sure, but I’m not sure the field of view enhancements are worth the additional concentration required from a performance standpoint, at least for me. Now I may be wrong and because of components, the sensor scope in Squadrons is next-to-useless and so any extra visual scanning is great. But my hunch is that the focus I gain from no sweating/drag from the headset, at least for some of the longer sessions I know I’ll have, is going to be worth it for me. Again, very subjective and subject to change, but that’s my intuition on what will work best. If you’re certain VR is going to give you the highest accuracy and precision? Then use VR. But again, don’t get tricked into more $$$ being better. If you feel comfortable with what happens to be the cheapest option? Great. Use that.
Setup/placement
More subjectivity! You’re ostensibly going to play Squadrons a lot if you’re reading this, so having a setup that is naturally comfortable for you is important. A few general tips. Something that encourages you to lean forward, hunch, or generally have bad posture is bad. There’s a lot of ways to fix this - if you can put together a rig and mount your HOTAS to your chair? Great. But if you just have a stick on a desk? Try to make sure your seat is set at an appropriate height relative to your desk. Roughly speaking, that’s desk-level-to-bellybutton, but here’s a calculator if you want more precision.
Try to set your stick in a way that doesn’t require you to lean or twist to reach it, and gives your dominant arm support so it doesn’t fatigue. For me, even though I’m left-handed, I fly right. I’ve found my most comfort placing the stick about 4-6 inches in from the edge of my desk, the outside of the stick roughly in line with the outside of my shoulder. For me this accomplishes two things: 1) It allows me to hold my arm back and close-in to my chest, making it feel supported and so won’t fatigue over hours of consecutive flying; 2) that lateral placement to my body allows me to use the twist axis on my stick most easily and fully. I have stiff wrists (thanks hockey!) so the less strain I have to put there, the better. But experiment with what feels comfortable for you, and then use it for at least a few consecutive hours to determine if it really is. And just like the rest of life, if something doesn’t feel good, you probably shouldn’t do it.
General tips
If you’re going to have some long sessions, and I definitely hope you will, don’t forget basic considerations. If staring at a screen dries your eyes out, keep some Visine on you or get a pair of Gunnars. Get up and walk around once in a while so you’re not fully sedentary. I plan on doing ten push ups or squats for every loss. Hydrate. Yeah, you’ll have to pee more, but it’s worth it. I’d use the toilet, but if you want to use piss jars on your desk, more power to you. If something (other than your ego) hurts? Stop and rest it, or try changing how you sit or use your control scheme. Just remember to take care of yourself. Squadrons will hopefully be there for years to come.
Close
If you’ve read through this, I know it’s dense, thanks for taking the time and I hope you found it at all helpful. I for one have been waiting for this game for two decades, and so the bigger and more robust the Squadrons community is, the more I get to live basically my dream scenario re: gaming. So if this has at all helped you acclimate or more want to join that community, awesome! And if you have any questions I didn’t cover, feedback or complaints, feel free to message me directly or drop them in the comments. I look forward to covering all of your wings come October 2. ;)
About Author
I don’t feel old, until I look back at my history with space sims, and then I feel reaaaal old. I started playing X-Wing and Tie Fighter in ‘95 (my family was late to a PC), with a club called the Rebel Squadrons, which did a lot of narrative driven custom missions. I’ve played X-Wing versus Tie Fighter (XvT) and X-Wing Alliance (XWA) competitively across a variety of clubs: UPA (Crusader), TRA (Gaelin), RS (Petr Margul), BOSS (Scion) and a couple others, most recently now with the Emperor’s Hammer (Lo Mar). I think most of those stats should still be archived on BattleStats. I’m not going to say I was the best, I flew with a lot of great pilots back then, but I’m confident I was in the top tier of competition.
I hung up my spurs in 2006, but came back from time to time over the intervening years, although honestly the netcode, especially for XvT, got cringier over time. Since then, I’ve logged serious time in most well-known sims, including Wing CommandeLancer series, Jump to Lightspeed (ugh, what could have been), Star Citizen, Elite Dangerous, and a few more niche things.
I’m giving my bio for two reasons: 1) For better or worse, I’ve been at this a long time; and 2) In most any guide, there’s a healthy margin of opinion. By giving you my experience, hopefully it shows where I’m coming from, and thus what I’m more biased towards. No hiding the ball, just some honest opinions from a grizzled old pilot. ;)
submitted by Toramedes to StarWarsSquadrons

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