The best boy is finally here!

Guilty Gear Strive has been a major success in fighting games, largely due in part to its hyper aggressive-by-nature format. It has had its fair share of rushdown characters to boot, especially in its early release with Giovanna, Sol, and the like. As the game aged, more and more midrange characters have joined the fray, like Testament, while older midrange characters, such as Nagoriyuki, have seen major buffs. With the release of Sin Kiske, however, that all changed in the most welcoming way. It’s always good to have more characters, but Sin has brought a refreshing take on a familiar archetype that players have wanted for a while.

Sin Kiske is a midrange-rushdown character with incredible corner carry, big damage, and even bigger buttons. His primary mechanic is two-fold. The first is his stamina. Anytime Sin uses a follow-up to any of his specials, it takes a single bar of stamina. Stamina regenerates over time after a short cooldown from the last usage. Next, are the follow-up moves themselves. Each special has a unique follow-up. These actions are tied to their specific special and cannot be used separately, with the exception being Gazelle Step. If you want a character that can get in your opponent’s face with ease, do massive damage off of almost any hit, and look very flashy doing it all, Sin is for you.


  • Big, adult sized damage
  • Very easy to pick up and play
  • Abuse-able plus frames
  • Good defense, both in stats and in options


  • Rather linear pressure and offense
  • Needs stamina to make most of his options safe
  • Multiple double hitting attacks, making it relatively easy to instant block or instant faultless defend


Your primary normals in neutral will be 5K, 2K, and 2S. 5K is a solid poke with overall good function in most situations. 2K is a nice counterpoke when you don’t necessarily need the fastest button, but could use the range. 2S is your giant stop sign, and is pretty much the reason why Sin’s neutral is remotely good. It’s a tad slow, but it’s pretty disjointed, and only -5 on block, so you can preemptively throw it. Use the hell out of this button, especially against characters that have fast approaches, like Giovanna or May. c.S is your standard c.S in terms of frame data; +1 on block, but the big perk is its downward motion, stuffing any jumping attempts and putting them right back on the ground. It also ground bounces on air hit, enabling very easy confirms.


Sin has zero air specials. However, his air normals are incredibly good. j.H is super disjointed, and will be your go to when demanding your space in neutral. j.K hits very high, and is useful for jumping into someone above you. j.S is a solid combo tool, and while it isn’t disjointed, it’ll hit lower than j.H, so if you’re going to use it as a jump in, keep that in mind. Lastly, j.D is a hanged-momentum dive kick that can be used in combos, as well as function as a pseudo throw bait on a jump in. One of my go-to strategies is to jump back j.H in neutral against characters that are good in the air, and neutral jump j.H against characters with bad air options, establishing my space and taking control of the neutral in the air.

His specials are mechanically similar, but Elk Hunt is the star of the show here. Elk Hunt itself is a low profiling, sliding low that covers about 1/3rd of the screen, and its follow up is a whopping +7 on block. This gives you a free 2S at an extremely safe distance, and also accounts for 2S’s disjointed hitbox. It’s a completely messed up sequence that will allow you to maintain your turn and crank RISC, or just commit nonsense upon your opponent. The only downside to this is that a very aware opponent can grab the Elk Hunt midway. This is where your other specials come in.

Formerly the meme special in Xrd (in the best way), Beak Driver is a forward stab that covers a ton of space. It is your bread and butter when it comes to pokes, and its follow up is a sliding dash that is good for ending combos and corner carry. Its big downside is that it isn’t disjointed, so you’ll end up getting hit out of things very far away from your character if you aren’t careful, and it’s also very minus, even on hit. Very high level players can take advantage of this, depending on that character, by doing a full combo off of their punish. This won’t happen often, but it is something to keep in mind if you find yourself without stamina and are looking for a poke. Consider 2S or f.S in that situation.

Hawk Baker is his DP, and it’s a damn good one at that. It’s a two-parter, and he is punishable both in between the animation, and afterwards. The followup does good damage on hit, but it is mostly there for combos, and is also counterhit punishable. Lastly, Hoof stomp is a decently fast overhead that low crushes via a float over (nullifies low to the ground moves), and the follow up pushes you far away, so even if they do block it, you can make it very safe.

I know I said Lastly on Hoof Stomp, but Gazelle Step kind of counts too. At its basic, it’s a follow up step dash. Nothing special at its core, however, an extremely important, advanced skill to learn on Sin as a whole is how to kara cancel into a super using Gazelle Step. For those unfamiliar, a kara cancel is when you use a move’s startup to cancel into another move. It’s typically performed extremely quickly, and may take some time to get down, but it’s very worth it.


Now, on to his two supers. The first being Tyrant Barrel, which is a very high damaging two part super. It’s damage greatly depends on when you release the second part of the super, however. Hitting the “sweet spot” of the super has a one frame window, and there’s no way around it. Good luck!

His second super, R.T.L. is one of the most powerful supers in the game. At it’s base, it does good damage, and has extreme corner carry, enabling you to break the wall from many positions. What makes this super very powerful, however, is its follow up. It is the only super in the game with a follow up, and will use whatever meter you have left to execute it. The more leftover meter you have, the more range and damage it has. At 95 or so meter, you can break the wall from the opposite corner. This alone makes Sin one of the highest damage characters in the game with full meter.

Sin is an incredibly easy character to get into, and is highly rewarding. With great tools for rushing down, and for midrange, he is a very well rounded character that can end rounds very quickly. He is my new main and I’m very excited to start competing with him!

Anthony Lowry (they/he) is a seasoned TCG, MMORPG, and FPS veteran. They are extensively knowledgeable on the intricacies of many competitive outlets, and are always looking for a new challenge in the gaming sphere.

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