Tekken 7 is the latest game in the globally popular Tekken series. Its titles have been around for almost thirty years, and for the majority of its lifespan, it was an example of what 3D fightings should be. Nowadays, it’s one of the most regarded titles worldwide and is respected by the fans of even the most traditional 2D games.
One of the reasons for such success is the gameplay of Tekken and how many different styles it’s able to incorporate. The characters have become iconic at this point, and every new addition tries to push the envelope even further.
Katarina Alves is a new character who joined the cast in Tekken 7's base roster. Her lavish design combined with a simple but deadly playstyle immediately made her one of the more popular characters in Tekken 7. Katarina uses savate as her signature fighting style, a variation of kickboxing that restricts the use of shins and knees in favor of flexible and powerful foot strikes.
The Best Buttons are simple inputs that in many ways form the identity of the character. They’re likely to be your best tools for getting a grasp of any particular fighter.
1 - standard +1 on block, +8 on hit jab. It has relatively good reach thanks to built-in forward movement, it also has really good follow-ups.
1,4 - quick low poke out of a jab that your opponent will hit by if they don't expect it.
1,1 - i10 punish option which goes in Harrier.
1,1,1 - the last 1 is not a natural hit but it's a mid that will guarantee a follow-up on CH.
1,1,2 - string that ends in a high that is +7 on block and launches on CH, the opponent can duck it but if they do, they risk getting hit by 1,1,1.
df1 - another standard tool, i13 mid poke with decent forward momentum and a df1,1 followup which can lead into Harrier.
b1 - quick mid poke and Katarina's best transition into Harrier.
b1,2 - a follow-up with good tracking, it's a natural combo that can loop into itself and catch opponents who try to mash, sidestep, or duck, they will get hit.
b1,1 - another follow-up that mostly serves as a combo filler and should not be used in neutral.
d3 - very fast low poke with exceptional tracking, 0 on hit and merely -11 on block.
d3,3 - if the opponent tries to punish d3, you can counter them with this mid follow-up.
d3,4 - a high follow-up that knocks down on CH, leading to more guaranteed damage.
b3 - i12 safe on block mid with great reach. It doesn't lead to a guaranteed follow-up on CH but gives Katarina a massive frame advantage. At the wall it allow you to use d3 without the risk of getting parried and served as a solid tool to interrupt and poke your opponents.
4,4,4,4 - the infamous Katarina string. It's an excellent magic 4 that can lead to massive damage and transitions into Harrier.
3,3,3 - quick, hit-confirmable mid poke that can serve as a very damaging i14 whiff punisher. The first two hits are safe but last one is -10 so it's recommended to practice hit-confirming this move.
df4 - quick and safe CH launcher. It's best to use it when you have frame advantage and understand your opponent's patterns or tendencies to score a massive counter hit.
FC df4 - quick and chunky low that leads to guaranteed damage on CH.
Harrier is Katarina's unique stance that gives her access to a variety of strong options. Despite having many different transitions, b1 is by far the best. Due to its speed, opponents have less options to deal with the follow-ups, and on CH it can combo into Harrier 1. Let's take a closer look at her options in Harrier stance:
Harrier 1 - a high strike that leads to massive damage if the opponent tries to interrupt Katarina.
Harrier uf3 - if the opponent tries to duck under Harrier 1, this mid follow-up will hit them and lead into more guaranteed damage
Harrier df3 - once you conditioned your opponents to block and take the mixups, you can use this low option. Since it has a similar start-up animation to uf3, you can use that to confuse opponents between blocking mid or low.
Harrier cancel - when opponents respects your offense, you can also use the Harrier cancel to transition into crouching and mix them up with your FC and WS moves.
Harrier 4 - if your opponent is committed to trying to crouch Harrier, this wall-bounce mid will make them reconsider.
Best Katarina combos
uf44 > 4 > d2~f > WS4 > d2~f > HAR df23 s! > d2 > HAR 4
df4 CH > df1 > d2~f > WS4 > d2~f > HAR df23 s! > d2 > HAR 4
444~f CH > WS4 > d2~f > HAR df23 s! > d2 > HAR 4
4 CH > dash > 2 > d2~f > WS4 > d2~f > HAR df23 s! > d2 HAR 4
In Rage uf44 > 4 > df24 s! > d2 > HAR 4 w! > df11~f > HAR 1+2
Katarina's Strengths and Weaknesses
Some of Katarina's main strengths are her amazing wall carry and solid damage output. Her poking is quite strong with a good df1 and excellent d3. The combination of strong pokes and good damage means she can perform well in neutral and accumulate a lot of damage over time, similar to Steve.
Despite how good d3 and FC df4 are, Katarina overall lacks good lows that could win her games or steal rounds. This makes it difficult for her to come back when she's at life deficit and playing against patient opponents.
Katarina's Guide Conclusion
Katarina is a relatively solid and well rounded character. Her straightforward plan and simple execution make Katarina a solid character for both beginners and players who want to focus more on strategy over technical aspect of the game. However, weak lows make comebacks challenging, requiring a more solid control of neutral and good decision-making to avoid playing at significant life deficit.
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