Jack-O’ is my main character for Season 2 of Guilty Gear Strive.

For almost the entirety of season one, I floundered pretty hard on a main character. So much so, that my group would say that I mained “Random Select.” I had never really found my footing. On the game’s release, I gravitated towards Sol. It just so happened that Sol was easily the best character in the game. I played him in a few tournaments, but ultimately dropped him for Ramlethal. I typically gravitate towards three archetypes: The hyper aggressive brawler, (Bardock in DBFZ or Wagner in Under Night), the big button midrange (Merkava in Under Night, Ramlethal in Strive, Double in Skullgirls), or “Oh my god get the hell away from me” characters.

Jack-O’ fits the latter perfectly. 

Jack-O’ is a hybrid zoner/summoner character. By herself, she is incredibly and decidedly average. Her normals are pretty good; nothing too wild given the context of everything else going on in the game. She has a very good 6P anti-air, and a massive stop sign in 6H, which is also used in some combo routes. Defensively, she’s more squishy than a sponge after washing the dishes. She does have the advanced Super into RC cancel trick that only a few other characters have, so she does get an extra option in that. Her reversal super is nothing special by itself though. It has mediocre range, doesn’t hit airborne, and whiffs on a command grab trade. It does a lot of damage and is your only direct damage-related super. 

She’s just fine.

Until the homies come out.

Her summons are the central core of her character. They enable an infinite amount of possibilities in her pressure, general offense, and mixups. They enable her zoning, her midrange game, her punish game; everything.


The entire crux of your gameplan is hinged on these little guys. It’s extremely important to understand what they’re capable of, as well as what you’re capable of when they’re out or not. Pay attention to what you can do with multiple, and how to manage the resource that comes with them. I still have trouble with managing them in scramble situations, but it just goes to show how difficult the character really is.

Normal Moves

The normals that I get a lot of mileage out of are 2D, 2K, and probably 2P.


2D is an incredible tool for low profiling so many other characters’ pokes and approaches. It is 10 frames of goodness, and a very easy way to cheese parts of neutral, especially with a minion already established.


2K is a wonderful poke that also low-profiles, and goes quite far for being only 6 frames. I often use this button against characters like Sol and Giovanna, catching a lot of the buttons they use to automatically space themselves.



2P was always a pretty okay button, but in this patch, it’s now 5 frames. That’s tied for her fastest button. This is your mashing option against everyone not named Ramlethal. It goes incredibly far for a jab, and can also work in some minion setups. If you need a solid abare against the oppression sessions, this is your go-to.

Season 2 Updates

Now, the big changes to her in Season 2 made her much of a menace in neutral, pressure, and damage. There are three major character changes that impact her the most: c.S being 10 frames and +1 on block, minions having Level 2 clash instead of 1, and having max minion gauge at round start. c.S being +1 on block really opens up a lot of frame traps and minion shenanigans right off the bat. Combined with dash canceling being universal, she can now utilize c.S in every combo if she so chooses. This enables more damage and more practicality. Level 2 clash on minion throw and kick is an incredible game changer that makes her one of the best zoners and counter-zoners in the game. She can throw and kick through any non-super projectile. Yes, including this abomination of a move:

Granted, you do need to have a bit of a read on it. It’s still extremely fast and will likely catch you if you are even a little bit slow. But if you manage to get said read, you win the interaction. This change alone completely turned the Jack-O’ vs. Leo, Ky, and Testament matchups on their heads. They aren’t necessarily good matchups; there’s still a lot of work to be done and a lot of experience to be gathered, but fundamentally, the way you play these matchups out are completely different. Her zoning tools allow her to create space and actually maintain it, something only Happy Chaos could do pre-patch. Obviously it isn’t on the same power level as Chaos, but there is a lot to be said about how powerful she is at any point of the screen once her minions are established.

Speaking of established minions, having max minion meter at round start is one of the biggest changes, if not the biggest change, any character could have gotten in this patch. The implications of this were already wild before we got our hands on it, but now that I played her, it’s even better than I could have imagined. If you win neutral early, you can now just set up as if you won neutral late. If you zone things out early and manage to get in, you can now have some minion meter left to set up your set play. If you lose neutral early but pressure can’t be established on your opponent’s end, you can set up double minion zoning and go to town. Her gameplan, which was previously locked out by time, is unlocked from the very first opportunity. I could go on all day about how big this change is, but hopefully the Jack-O’ mains out there will demonstrate for me.

So yeah, Jack-O’ is great! She still has the same weaknesses she had before, like being very squishy and extremely execution-heavy, perhaps one of the most in the game. But if you’re willing to dedicate the time and effort, she is worth it. I’ll be playing her almost exclusively this season, and will continue to work on her and develop her.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.