No one has proved their kung fu is stronger yet
Ky Kiske Guide
Ky Kiske is special in the roster of Guilty Gear -Strive-. He’s the most beginner-friendly of all the characters. His moveset is straightforward and provides players with various tools. But in addition to that, Ky is a decent fighter to use at any skill level, so you might consider him as your potential main.
In this guide, we’ll take a deeper look at Ky’s attacks and moves, discuss his strengths and weaknesses, and highlight some of his combos in Guilty Gear -Strive-.
Who’s Ky Kiske?
He is the First King of Illyria, a noble person who values justice and honor.
Ky Kiske is a skilled swordsman. He trained a lot, and he surprised other warriors with his exceptional style. His dedication during the Crusades brought Ky glory, but soon after that, he dropped his hatred towards Gears. He’s ready to change his mind and tries to control his hot, explosive nature.
Ky has some idealistic conceptions, which are very close to being unrealistic. While understanding that clearly, Ky fights for them anyway. He wants to see the world being a better place and works restlessly for this.
Sol and Ky are friends and rivals. Sol Badguy is certainly the main protagonist of GG Strive (and the whole series). But Ky is the second prominent hero — a lot thanks to his accessibility in fights.
Playstyle of Ky Kiske
This character is genuinely Jack of all trades. Whatever you want to do in the fights, Ky Kiske gives you proper tools for this.
The game itself (kind of) recommends Ky for beginners as he has five “easy to use” stars.
Ky has pretty strong projectiles, excellent close-range options, and good air/anti-air moves. He is a solid all-rounder.
Mid-range pokes are essential for his gameplan (f.S, 2S, 6H). If they hit, you can follow up with the approaching moves (such as Stun Dipper). Jumping Slash and Jumping Kick are also good opening tools. Don’t forget that a throw is always a good thing to perform in Guilty Gear Strive to open blocking opponents.
Shock State is an important part of Ky’s playstyle. Various projectiles activate it on contact (even if the projectile is blocked). With Shock State, the opponent gets more damage, or longer blockstun, or a good (for you) hit effect. This feature opens additional opportunities for Ky. The time for Shock State depends on the move that activated it. Most of Ky’s specials remove Shock State on hit.
Some of the good usages of Roman Cancel for Ky are after Stun Dipper (236K) and Stun Edge (236S) to continue your pressure.
Ky’s Best Buttons
The beginners’ approach of (almost randomly) pressing buttons works surprisingly well for Ky. You shouldn’t stop here — enjoy the feeling of power the character can give you from this initial stage but observe and feel what he’s actually doing. When you understand his buttons, you can start building your own strategy with Ky.
These attacks are worthy of your special attention:
- f.S — this poke has a very good range. It can be canceled into 5H or 236S. 2S reaches a bit further, but it has a longer recovery.
- c.S — you can start your close-range pressure with it. c.S is good for punishing opponents. The follow-ups might be f.S, 2S, 5H, 6H, 5D, and 2D.
- 5K is a very quick low kick with a short recovery and just -2 on block. Use it to interrupt the pressure and find an opening. Some possible follow-ups are 6K, 6P, 6H, 5D, and 2D.
- 2K — use it for a fast low mixup. The range is bigger than of 5K.
- 6K — this kick is plus on block (+4), but the startup is very long (25 frames). The tool is effective in specific situations to reset pressure, but Ky’s 6K is rather risky, and you should feel a proper moment for it.
- 6P is just a universal anti-air tool that works perfectly well for Ky. Add it to your active arsenal.
- 5H has a bigger range than Slash attacks, but the recovery is long. Also, Ky’s 5H is -8 on black, and that makes it unsafe. Still, it can be used during combos as a juggling tool. You can cancel it into 236S or even into the overdrive Ride The Lightning.
- 6H — it’s a very strong attack with an impressive range. Ky pushes opponents a bit away. It can be canceled into 214K. Use 6H carefully; don’t forget about its long startup and recovery. One of the usages is for whiff punishing.
We can highlight these specials in Ky’s moveset:
- 236S, Stun Edge — it’s an excellent projectile that applies Shock State. The startup is only 13 frames, but the recovery is rather long. Use this attack to keep a too active opponent at a safe distance and break their pressure. Stun Edge is especially good against slow characters or those with no quick projectiles. When an opponent decides to react to 236S, it might be a moment to get more offensive at closer range. Charged Stun Edge, 236H, has significantly longer startup and recovery, but its multi-hitting feature makes the move useful for pressure and mixups. You should be especially careful with j.236S as it’s punishable due to long startup and recovery.
- 214K, Foudre Arc — it’s a good move to approach opponents. Be careful with its long startup as Ky can be easily punished. Still, a fast recovery significantly improves the general application of Foudre Arc. The distance you activate this move from is pretty significant. If Foudre Arc hits at later frames, Ky is more plus on block. If you activate it directly in front of a crouching opponent, the move will not affect them. Activate 214K from a mid range distance, and you will have some follow-up options — practice is crucial here.
- 236K, Stun Dipper is another move to quickly approach the opponent. Ky slides forward, so he can get underneath many attacks. It knocks down on hit. To combo into Stun Dipper, you should mind proper zoning — not too close, not too far away. If you have the Tension bar, spend it for Roman Cancel and continue your pressure.
- 214S, Dire Eclat — this sword attack is a great combo ender. You also can add Dire Eclat in the middle of some corner combos to apply Shock State and continue with high damage. 214S has a pretty significant pushback effect. The attack is not totally safe on block. If it hits, you can jump, use j.H, or activate Dash + 214K.
- 623S/H, Vapor Thrust is an invincible DP from frame 1. Ky swings the sword over his head, so it’s an anti-air move with the power to beat cross-ups. The move is still rather risky as it can whiff on opponents’ low attacks, and it’s vulnerable to throws. The S version is faster, and it’s good for escaping pressure. The H version deals more damage. Vapor Thrust is more beneficial if the opponent is in Shock State — Ky can combo after it.
In fact, the whole moveset of Ky is nicely balanced. Each tool here is good enough to have its place in a fight. That comes at a cost, though — none of them excels. These attacks and moves are decent and reliable but not breathtaking.
- 632146H, Ride The Lightning is an excellent Overdrive. It’s invincible from frame 1. Ky deals significant damage and performs a Wall Break. The attack can complete your strings, and it might be a good idea not to delay confirmation into Ride The Lightning — it’s damaging and beneficial enough to use at the first proper moment. Mind its long recovery.
- 214214H, Dragon Install — activate it if Ky has 30% health or less. It enhances Ky’s fighting options significantly (such as more damage, multi-hitting moves, midscreen loops), and you might perform a glorious comeback thanks to it. The activation process is risky, so it would be better to use the hard knockdown of 2D or Dire Eclat.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Ky
Being an all-rounder is the biggest strength of Ky Kiske. He gives you many tools, and it’s up to you to decide what’s the best in your fights.
Ky has options for close, mid, and long ranges. His projectiles are effective to check distant opponents and interfere with someone’s pressure. The mid-range pokes allow Ky to find an opening and then approach with his 236K and 214K. Punches and c.S give decent opportunities at close range.
This character has many good options for hit confirms, so it’s a chance for beginners to start combos.
Shock State is one of the unique strengths for Ky Kiske. This mechanic might seem pretty simple, but it also has significant depth. It’s a topic to learn in practice and experiment with different opportunities within SS and outside of it.
Dragon Install is also worth mentioning as an advantage of Ky. In general, it’s recommended to activate it whenever your Ky has low health. You need to experiment with his abilities in this state, but at the initial stages, it is enough to know that they all are enhanced and improved. Still, the activation process itself is risky (especially for beginners who have troubles even with input). Make sure you can start the animation safely to not ruin the whole idea.
Another good thing to spend Tension for is Ride the Lightning. It’s one of the best Overdrives in the game. Despite being invincible, it also requires a proper moment for activation — to not let the opponent have a chance to block. It’s the most effective close to the corner for performing a Wall Break. You can combo into Ride the Lightning from 6P, f.S, j.S, 5H, 2H, and 2D.
Being Jack of all trades is also a weakness for Ky (and probably every fighting game character of this archetype). It has no specific aspects to dominate with. That might perfectly correspond with you. But many players have some preferences… or even internal tendencies to fight better with a specific style.
If you learn Guilty Gear Strive, Ky is a great choice to start with. But then, it would be better to take the next step and experiment with other archetypes (every character here is a fresh experience).
For advanced players, Ky might also be a good choice — especially if you consistently land to such characters as Ryu in Street Fighter, Mario in SSBU, and Mitsurugi in Soulcalibur VI.
How to Fight Against Ky?
There are no obvious weaknesses in Ky’s moveset, so you can’t exploit specific aspects while playing against this character. Instead, you should understand the all-round nature of Ky, know what his moves can do in general, and just play your best game.
Ky is very good at mid range, so be aware of his pokes and don’t let them get you.
It might be difficult to avoid Shock State, but this condition is temporary, and if you understand this danger, you will be able to act accordingly.
Fast approach moves are not overpowered; they are just very useful. So make your character play Ky in the Training Mode to practice your defense against Stun Dipper and Foudre Arc.
In general, don’t hesitate to get your direct experience with Ky. Feel what he can do, and you will have some ideas about how you can fight against him.
Basic universal strings work well for Ky, so you can use such stuff as 2P ->2P -> 6P or 5K -> 2D. It’s not really damaging but helps interrupt the opponent’s pressure.
Some strings you can use with Ky are:
- 2P ->2P -> 6P -> 214S
- 5K -> 6H
- 2K -> 6H
- c.S -> 2S
- c.S -> 6H
- c.S -> 2H
- f.S -> 5H
- 2.S -> 2H
- f.S -> 2S -> 5H
Ky Combos in Guilty Gear -Strive-
|5K/2K -> 2D -> 214S|
|5K/2K -> 6H -> 214S, 66, 2K/5K -> 6H -> 623H, 5P/c.S, WS, 623H/214S||corner combo|
|5K/2K -> 2D -> 214S -> RRC, 665H -> 623H, c.S -> 6H, Wall Stick -> 623H||back to corner combo|
|5K/2K -> 2D -> 214S -> RRC, 665H -> 623H, 2K -> 6P, Wall Stick, 623H||back to corner combo|
|c.S -> 214S|
|c.S -> 5H -> 236K|
|c.S -> 5H -> 236S -> 66, Purple Roman Cancel, 66c.S > 2H(2) > 214S|
|Counter Hit c.S -> hold 5D, 2S -> 5H -> 214K|
|c.S -> 6H -> 214K -> 66, c.S -> 6H -> 214S, Wall Stick, 623H||corner combo|
|c.S -> 2H -> 214S -> 632146H||near corner combo|
|c.S -> 5H -> 214S -> 66, Red Roman Cancel -> c.S -> 5H -> 623H , c.S -> 214S -> Wall Stick, 623H||a midscreen combo|
|Anti-air 2H -> 623H|
|Anti-air 2H -> 214K -> 5H -> 214K|
|Counter Hit 2H -> 236H -> 6H -> 623H -> c.S -> 5H, Wall Stick, 623H|
|Counter Hit 6H -> delayed 214K -> 66, 2S -> 5H -> 214K|
|Counter Hit 6H -> 236H -> 6H -> 623H -> c.S -> 6H, Wall Stick -> 623H|
|j.H -> c.S -> 5H -> 236K|
|j.H -> c.S -> 5H -> 236K -> 66, Red Roman Cancel -> 2H -> 214K, Wall Stick, 623H|
|j.H -> c.S -> 6H -> 214K -> 2H -> 214S -> 623H||near corner combo|
|Counter Hit 214K -> 2K -> 214S|
|Anti-air 214K -> 2S -> 5H -> 214K|
|Counter Hit 214S -> Dash -> 5H -> 214K -> 5H -> 214K|
|Counter Hit 214S -> 6H -> 623H -> c.S -> 6H -> 623H, Wall Stick -> 623H||a corner combo|
|236K -> Red Roman Cancel -> hold 5D -> c.S -> 6K -> 5K -> 6H -> 623H -> 623H|
You can distinguish two approaches to playing Ky: a beginner’s aspiration to find their style and a conscious decision to main an all-round character. For beginners, Ky is perfect — to get your experience and then move forward. And for the second situation, Ky is perfect as well — he really has excellent versatile tools. Maybe those beginners who explore the game after practicing Ky will decide to return to him. Maybe all-rounder is your style.
For other character guides, visit the Guilty Gear -Strive- roster page on DashFight.