Baiken is a brawler style midranged character in Guilty Gear, specializing in—well—hitting you like a truck. No, seriously. She hurts.

Baiken is one of the better characters in the game if your goal is to just go absolutely wild and beat opponents up. She has incredibly good disjoined buttons, a nine frame f.S, good defense with a 4 frame jab and a parry, and some of the best air normals in the game. She doesn’t have a traditional fireball, but she boasts two very unique tools to help her with neutral, pressure, and oki: Tatami Gaeshi, and Kabari.

Tatami Gaeshi is a mat that appears right in front of Baiken, then turns downward, having a hitbox all the way down and through. This is a physical hit that will trade accordingly with other projectiles of the same level. This means that you can use this to trade with fireballs in the midscreen or neutral, while recovering fast enough to punish a potential followup.

This will be your go-to anytime you get a knockdown. It is extremely safe, will always be meaty, and even makes it tough to see when you go for a mixup. You’re given a few frames to do basically whatever you want as well. Get used to this move, you’ll be using it a lot.

Kabari has two different versions, S, and H. S Kabari tethers you to your opponent, and is +2 on block. The startup is pretty slow; 31 frames, but if they let you get away with it, you can straight up true string most characters afterwards with 5P, as that button will be faster than literally anything they can do. If you have your opponent conditioned, and you aren’t worried about the potential risk-reward of being tethered, utilize this.

H Kabari has a follow up right afterwards, a shoulder charge/tackle that gives a hard knockdown on hit, and is -7 on block. This is your go to for combo enders, frame traps, and situational neutral options. As a combo ender it sets up the aforementioned Tatami. As a frame trap, especially when you have meter, you can do a soft-restagger by not doing the follow up (-3 on block), and going from there.  In neutral, you can sometimes catch people doing lazy or predictable options in its range, and get your offense going.


Now, you get your knockdown, and you set up Tatami. The third tool of your trinity of specials is Youzansen. A.K.A. Yo! Johnson!


This move will be your primary mixup tool, as well as have good use in air combo and confirms. This hits overhead, has only a 9 frame startup, and has a ridiculously wide range. The very basic is to use Youzansen right after IAD Tatami on oki, or after a 5k or c.S. If you’re feeling really cheeky, you can do it twice. Remember that if you use this too high, or off of a TK, you’re punishable. One of the most important things to learn as Baiken is TK Youzansen (2369S).

The last of her specials is Hiiragi, her parry. This parry is frame 1, but is only active for 6 frames. It’s not quite as good as a DP, but more suited for a read or callout. Parrying a strike at close range results in a metric crapton of damage, more than some supers in the game. Parrying a move at a certain range will guard break the opponent for 54 frames, but will not deal damage. This is what makes your defense so good, and it winds up more potent the better you are at the game. More often than not, people who don’t want to be conditioned will not true meaty you, which opens up options like jumping or mashing. Cycle through your defensive options to make this more dangerous!

Next, her supers. Both supers are pretty good, but aren’t perfect. Kenjyu (214214P) is the one true answer when someone is being ignorant in neutral. It does pretty good damage for how fast the projectile is, and while it isn’t invulnerable, it is +5 on block, meaning you can extend strings further if you so desire. You can create a mixup that’s hard to see out of it, due to the visual effect.

Tsurane Sanzu-watashi (236236S) is your go to damage super and super reversal. It has good corner carry, retains any tether you may have previously, and does great damage. About what you’d expect out of a super. Nothing to write home about. Be wary of its range, however, as it’s relatively short.

Baiken is one of the more in-your-face style characters in the game, making her mechanically good for beginners but very hard to master. Her relatively low defense is made up by very high guts, among the highest in the game, and many characters struggle to kill her from an already low life. I highly recommend giving her a shot if you like to see freight trains run through buildings.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.