No one has proved their kung fu is stronger yet
I-No is one of the central figures in the GG -Strive- story. She is a transcendental being that exists beyond time limitations. That’s a pretty good basis for a fighting game character, don’t you think?
Also, I-No is a musician. She doesn’t care about those barbaric swords or even big fists. The accords from her guitar can damage opponents the same effectively — but with such a great style! (ok, she also can smash you with that guitar, but probably gracefully)
If you like I-No and plan to play her in Guilty Gear -Strive- (and even make her your main), you are in the right place. This guide is all about her: general playstyle, strengths and weaknesses, the best buttons, and basic combos.
I-No in the Guilty Gear series
The world got acquainted with I-No in the game Guilty Gear X2. She is a servant of That Man, the creator of Gears, but she always has something more in mind than just following the orders. In general, I-No is a mystery — the time-manipulating abilities deeply confused her, deprived her of the full sense of reality.
I-No is rather a villain. She despises humanity and often uses her charms to achieve some tricky goals. I-No is a powerful witch, and her internal world is somewhat chaotic, at least for us humans.
You can find her in many Guilty Gear games as she is one of the main characters. There is not much need to delve into her background — it doesn’t affect the actual gameplay. Still, it’s nice to feel your character and enjoy spending time with them playing and practicing.
She is an offensive-mostly character with limited defensive options. The official qualification describes I-No as a Rush fighter.
Another thing to notice among official “documentation” is that I-No has two stars of difficulty. As we explained in our Guilty Gear -Strive- Beginners Guide, it means this character is rather challenging to play. Why so?
I-No has a unique feature in comparison to the other -Strive- character. Her dash is a Hoverdash. She floats — like probably a witch should do. It might not be easy to get used to this option. Traditional Air-Dashes also feel weird.
Defensive tools for I-No include mostly meter-consuming tricks. Without that resource, you should rely mainly on universal blocks.
I-No is very good at mixup, but her damage might not be that impressive. You need some experience with her to get the max from her mixups and combos.
Also, it’s worth mentioning how different your playstyle should be against different opponents. This feature makes I-No a bit harder to approach — practice her with all the roster to feel what she should do and what better to avoid in specific matchups.
The general gameplan with I-No is to find an opening and then keep the pressure. Two main ways of doing so are:
- Use the projectile Antidepressant Scale to cover your Hoverdash approach and start a mixup.
- Use Stroke the Big Tree to shorten the distance or to start attacking.
Then, it would be a great idea to confuse your opponent with low/high attacks and don’t give them a chance to seize the initiative. If you don’t have the meter, finish a combo with a hard knockdown to activate her projectile Antidepressant Scale and then continue the pressure.
Here are the moves/attacks you should use a lot while playing I-No. You might be interested in our guide on Guilty Gear -Strive- Controls to understand this part better.
- 214P, Antidepressant Scale
It’s a relatively slow projectile with a long startup. The more this note is out, the more times it hits (up to five) and the longer hitstun or blockstun it creates. Antidepressant Scale gives I-No a chance to approach opponents being covered from their defense. It’s also a tool to force them to move in a specific direction or do some actions — thanks to the ability to move the note upwards or downwards.
Antidepressant Scale is an attack to use after hard knockdowns to safely continue your mixups.
- 236S/H, Stroke the Big Tree
It’s a fast way to come closer to an opponent and immediately start attacking. Stroke the Big Tree is more dangerous than 214P+Hoverdash, though, as experienced opponents can see it coming.
Two versions of this move are pretty different. The S one covers a smaller distance, but it’s faster. You can use it as a follow-up after S, 2S, 5H, and 2H. 236H can catch distant opponents, but it’s slower and easier to spot. It’s +2 on block and can be used after S, 2S, 5H, 2H, and 6P.
Stroke the Big Tree is an effective pressure tool. It might be tricky to continue after it — the opponent has a chance to escape hitstun. If they don’t recover from stagger, you have quite a few options.
- 214K, Chemical Love
It’s a good projectile for your combo game. It hits high, so crouching opponents will avoid the hits.
- 632146H, Megalomania (Overdrive)
The good thing about this attack is its incredible damage. Actually, let’s add two things — the second is being an unblockable command grab. Alas, we need to mention the bad thing as well. Megalomania is effective only when I-No is very close to the victim. You should feel the best moments to activate this Overdrive. For example, it lands after j.K and j.P, or after 214P+Hoverdash.
- 5P is a fast and far-reaching normal. You can use it to interrupt the close-range pressure. You can try and start a short combo with it (into itself, 2P, 6P, or 6H) or follow with Hoverdash. It does not hit crouching opponents.
- 6P has a good range and speed. It’s a solid 6P, so don’t hesitate to use it as an anti-air and for quick punishes. The downside is that it’s hard to use in a combo. Still, the possible follow-up is 214K.
- 2K of I-No has a very good range. It’s a quick low hit to start your mixups. 5K is of the same kind — a quick poke.
- FS (S) has a good range, so use it as a counter-poke for many matchups. It has a big recovery, though. 2S is quicker and has -2 on block (instead of -13 for FS). It can be a tool to punish opponents.
- j.S is a move to use after I-No’s Hoverdash. Can be followed by j.H and j.D.
- 6H is quick and can be used right after 2K at a close range. You can link 236H into it or 214K after a delay.
- 2H is very low and has a surprisingly big range. The recovery is short. Use it to get counterhit during the neutral game, and then use 236S/H. 5H has longer startup and recovery, and it’s -8 on block. Still, this attack is a good whiff punisher. You can confirm 2S and FS with it and then follow with 236H.
Take into account how important matchups are for your gameplan with I-No. For example, 236S is easily punishable by Ramlethal. And j.214P, which is inadvisable for all the other opponents, might be helpful while playing against Goldlewis. It is better to develop your understanding of matchups in the game.
Strengths and Weaknesses of I-No
I-No’s offense is her primary strength. She has many effective mixup options and decent tools to just keep the pressure. She is the most dangerous in a close range, but she can jump to that position from any other distance — if you know how, certainly.
Defense is generally the weakest part of I-No’s moveset. If she has the meter, you can use 632146S Overdrive, Ultimate Fortissimo, which has invincibility on the ground. Or, Yellow Roman Cancel might do the helpful trick and return I-No to the offensive action. Without the meter, consider using 214K — especially in the air to stop air-dashing.
Hoverdash is a very unusual technique, and you should learn its features in practice. One the one hand, it gives I-No the ability to quickly initiate mixups of high-low attacks. On the other hand, the very nature of being airborne restricts some of the things during the flow of fights. You need to get used to how the Hoverdash works and avoid its weaknesses.
A theoretical understanding is insufficient with fighting games. To get better at playing I-No and potentially gain a high Guilty Gear -Strive- Rank, you should take the knowledge on her strengths and weaknesses to the game and convert it into your direct experience. The guide just shows the direction.
How to Fight Against I-No?
The answer here strongly depends on your Guilty Gear -Strive- character and their specific abilities. With I-No, it is even more important for you to know her moveset — than with other opponents. Take her to a training session and discover what she actually can do. Then practice your character against her and find tools to oppose her approaches (hoverdash+mixup, 214P, 236S/H), her midrange tools (214K, FS), and her close-range mixups.
A general strategy against I-No is to not let her play her offensive game. Try to break her pressure with quick moves. Take the offensive role and exploit her defense weakness.
Combos for I-No in Guilty Gear -Strive-
|For I-No’s combos, you should get chaotically creative and use different unpredictable follow-ups after a few universal “approaches”.|
|After her 214P+Hoverdash, you can go with:|
|j.S -> j.D|
|j.K -> j.D -> 236K/S|
|2K -> 6H -> 236S|
|Throw -> RC -> Hoverdash -> j.D|
|After 236S/H, you have such options:|
|236S -> 2D|
|236H -> 2H -> 236S|
|236H -> 2S -> 214K|
|236S -> 5K -> 214K|
|236H -> 6H -> 236S|
|236S/H -> RC -> Hoverdash -> j.D -> S, HS, 236H -> 2S, 214P|
|It’s a good idea to finish a short combo with a hard knockdown to then safely use 214P+Hoverdash and start mixuping again.|
|Here are some other I-No’s combo options with different starters:|
|5K or 2K -> 2D|
|5K or 2K -> 214K|
|5K -> 236S|
|5K -> 6P -> 236S|
|5P -> 5P -> 5P -> 214K|
|5P -> 2P -> 5P -> 214K|
|5P -> 6P -> 236S|
|5P -> 6P -> 214K|
|5P -> 6H -> 236H or 214K|
|c.S -> 6H -> 236H or 214K|
|c.S -> FS, 2S -> 2H -> 236S or 214K|
|c.S -> 6P -> 236S or 214K|
|FS or 2S -> 236S or 214K|
|FS or 2S -> 2H -> 236S or 214K|
|2H > 236S or 214K|
|counterhit 2H -> 236H -> 2H -> 236S or 214K|
|(far) counterhit 5H -> 236H -> 5K -> 214K|
|(close) counterhit 5H -> j.S -> j.S -> j.236H -> j.S -> j.H -> 214K|
|6H -> 236H or 214K|
|counterhit 6H (cancel after first hit) -> 236H -> 2H -> 236S or 214K|
I-No is a pretty interesting character, but it’s always up to you to main her or not. Try her out for a while, and only then make a decision! The game has quite a few other prominent fighters (who might be high in the Guilty Gear -Strive- Tier-List hierarchy), and DashFight is here to help you learn/master them.