I have always felt that the unique abilities of each class is what makes them special and their play style should reflect this… What I mean by this is that the strongest way to play these classes is to use these abilities to their fullest (Warden Shoulder Bash, Valkyrie Heavy cancels and sweeps, Raider Stunning Tap cancels, Lawbringer Shoves and parry’s’ etc.) to get the best results, which is why I believe utilising Hidden Stance is the very core of how to play Nobushi well.
Nobushi is my pride and joy, I love playing her despite her glaring flaws and will continue to play her until either the game dies entirely or I stop playing. However that is not the point of this post, the point of this post is for me to put out my thoughts on when best to utilise her unique ability which is Hidden Stance… Not the aggressive attack feint side to it, the defensive side. We Nobushi have one thing that uniquely makes us qualified to counter most of the unique abilities of other characters to allow us to punish them for using it.
Before we begin let me preface with this;
As any semi-decent Nobushi is already aware Hidden Stance start up has a dodge aspect to it, but not just any normal dodge, a superior dodge, one which cannot be GB punished allowing us to CGB during its start up. Not only that but it dodges attacks entirely regardless of attack direction (To explain this with an example: If a Raider does their zone attack, you can dodge at the deflect timing into the direction the attack is coming from and because of the hit box of the attack you dodge it entirely, however if you dodge backward or in the direction the attack is going, you will get hit, this is the same with many other attacks as well (Valkyrie sweep)).
This allows Nobushi to dodge every single attack and ability in the game (With the exception of the Shugoki’s ‘Charge of the Oni), regardless of guard location or position on the map (Like trying to dodge a Conqueror’s ‘Shield Bash’ while in a corner, there is no room to move away from its hit box)
Why use Hidden Stance
Nobushi has no opener, and is arguably the least safe character to attack with due to how telegraphed it is (At least IMHO), she also has one of the slowest guard changes in the game (Equal with Shugoki and only a single frame faster than Raiders), so we can’t even rotate our guard around for a sudden light from a quick direction change despite having one of the fastest light attacks in the game. This forces Nobushi into a defensive play style and a reactionary play style over an aggressive one.
So, knowing this we can then use Hidden Stance to its fullest and use it at its most optimal times against each class it allows.
Lets get to it then:
It goes without saying that Hidden Stance can be used to dodge any Heavy or Light attack your opponent can throw out, (though personally I’d recommend not doing it to lights as the follow up attack will most definitely hit you, you’re better off parrying or just blocking). So, you Hidden Stance a heavy attack, you can then just follow up with a safe double light attack for damage and bleed due to them being in a recovery state for missing an attack. But again, that is not the main focus of this…
This is to focus on the other abilities it can counter better than any other class can and in a way which is more rewarding than simply dodging.
Everyone hates the Warden’s 50/50 Shoulder Bash, however Nobushi has the least reason to do so because of Hidden Stance, 1 of 4 things will occur in this situation.
- The Warden uses an uncharged Shoulder Bash: In this situation you Hidden Stance upon them starting their animation, and get the free light light if they commit.
- The Warden uses a charged Shoulder Bash: In this situation you dodge to the side out of your Hidden Stance and get a free GB for the Top Heavy.
- The Warden cancels their charge into a GB: Hidden Stance has no recovery penalty like a dodge does, so you just CGB. (Note: You can go for a light light instantly however this is a guessing game and if they decided to go for a charged shoulder bash, you will then trade a single light for their heavy.)
- The Warden simply cancels their Shoulder Bash: In this situation you want to dodge backwards out of Hidden Stance. If you go for an attack it will just get parried, if you try to kick, they will dodge and then get the guaranteed Shoulder Bash, so just dodge backwards and recover some stamina. (Once they fix the 5 second Stamina Regen delay bug, this’ll be more effective.)
Shove being their special. They dodge forward and use their Shove, Hidden Stance for a free double light.
The shove which comes after them blocking however, cannot be HiddenStance’d, nor can the attack that comes after it, so it doesn’t help us there.
We can Hidden Stance the Shield Bash, however we cannot punish it in anyway, as they recover in time to block the light and can dodge if we go for a kick… It can still be used in situations where we’re pinned against a wall where you would otherwise be unable to dodge the Shield Bash. If they go for the running knockdown, this can be avoided with Hidden stance in which you can punish with a double light.
Legion Kick is what you’re looking to Hidden Stance here. One of two things will happen;
- Centurion dodges forward does his Legion Kick: Hidden Stance and double light.
- Centurion dodges forward goes for GB: CGB.
We can also Hidden stance the Charged Jab, however I would argue that simply dodging it and Guard Breaking is a better alternative, though if you struggle dodging it, a Hidden Stance works just as well and can then punish with a double light.
Like Conqueror we can Hidden Stance his Headbutt, however we get nothing out of it except style points. Also like Conqueror, if they go for the running shield push/guard break 50/50 we can Hidden Stance for the double light.
Valkyrie has two things you’re aiming to Hidden Stance here; Shield Bash and Sweep.
If you manage to Hidden Stance the Shield Bash, you can punish with a double light, however if it hits you, and they go for a Sweep or a Light, you can Hidden Stance either of them for a double light punish. (Basically you want to hold down Hidden Stance as you’re being hit from the shield to guarantee you do it in time)
If you were hit by the Sweep and they’re going into a Sweep combo (Bash, Sweep, Heavy, Bash, Sweep) As soon as you get up after being hit by the Heavy, you can Hidden Stance to dodge their next move.
Though I condemn Nobushi on Nobushi violence, sometimes we must. Very simple, if they go for a kick, Hidden Stance for a free light light, heavy or kick of your own.
Much like with the Warden’s 50/50, we can Hidden Stance the kick/gb guess we have to do after a Shinobi’s double dodge, if you Hidden Stance once the animation of the double dodge concludes you can safely go for the double light if they go for a GB or a Kick (Because they have to wait a moment to do the GB, you can stop their GB with your attack).
These are the situations in which I find Hidden Stance to be the best option for the Nobushi and I wanted to share so that fellow Nobushi’s can use them to.
I know I’m long winded so thank you for reading if you stuck around. (I also write the way I talk so my grammar is probably terrible to)