Andy greatly parallels a “shoto” character for those familiar with Street Fighter: his non-grounded projectile is a great zoning tool that can be used in blockstrings, and should an opponent jump he can easily react with an invulnerable anti-air DP or his upward, Chun Li-esque sweep, while covering the remaining approaches with st.A, st.D, or an air-to-air. On offense, his hitconfirms are simplistic and especially convert when in the corner, and his blockstrings into either Zan’eiken or Hishouken or a cross up can initially be overwhelming, giving an Andy player a good chance at landing a guard break.
Thankfully, Andy is not quite the overman that he initially appears to be once you’ve established his flaws. His jump and hop arc is higher than normal, which gives defending players more time to anti-air his hop approaches and setups. Projectile blockstrings are strong, though predictable strings are completely punishable with a Guard Roll; Zan’eiken isn’t as safe and frustratingly good on block as it might feel. Taking these weaknesses along with the below information should sharpen your matchups against Andy and give you more confidence against this all-rounder.
- Normal/high jump D has better hitbox for use in crossups.
- Close C hits twice. The first hit has no knockback so his Hirate Uchi (forward + A) will combo without whiffing.
- B>D is a chain combo. Can be canceled.
- Chou Reppadan's damage has been increased from 162 to 198.
- EX Kuuhadan's invincibility has been taken out.
- Chou Shin Soku Zan'eiken (Neomax) comes out faster.
- Removed a guard break block string
- Make no mistake: while Andy’s sweep was slightly toned down from KOFXIII Arcade, it’s still the best Ashitai "Tripguard anti-airs" in the game and an excellent whiff punisher and long-ranged poke. The only way to successfully stuff this attack’s active frames from a hop is to land deep into Andy with a vertical jumping attack, such as Shen’s j.C. Certain j.CD attacks can be timed and spaced to work or trade (in your favor), though an Andy player could react to an oncoming hop arc and recognize that they need a different anti-air approach, such as st.D or a DP or in some instances a j.D air-to-air. Few air specials could provide much help here either since Andy crouches while sweeping; the safest measures to beating his sweep from a hop is to cross him up or approach from a close range where he might not be too willing to commit to a sweep as much.
- When up close in close quarters, Crouching D is a nice footsie poke though as with all sweeps, it’s possible that it could be hopped over during its startup which leaves the Andy player vulnerable to a jump-in. Because of this inherent risk, Andy players may want to rely on less-chancy anti-airs such as st.C or st.D, which could then be countered with a sweep or heavy normal of your own. The key here is to condition your opponent’s intentions and then to attack with a counter, such as hopping enough to make an Andy player start to look for a st.D/st.A anti-air, and then sweeping or out-poking him. The next time when on the offense and pushed out a bit, he may be more willing to try countersweeping you, which is why you’d ideally want to bait this reaction and counter it with a hop, bringing things full circle.
- Thankfully, Andy is unable to cancel his sweep which increases its risk on whiff while inhibiting the recovery period on hit or block. Because of this, Andy doesn’t get many superb setups from his sweep on hit, and on block he’s negative though he does push you back.
- This roundhouse can hit grounded and aerial opponents just as King’s st.D does, making it a strong close-ranged tool for controlling both spaces (it’s horizontal range isn’t too exceptional, and most characters could counterpoke it with a long-reaching heavy normal of their own). While this will hit crouch-blockers at a specific, near-max range, it’s quite possible to move back a slight distance and cause the kick to whiff on crouchers. From this positioning, it’s quite easy to sweep (and go underneath the active hitbox) or attack with a cr.B to punish a st.D attempt, especially since his vulnerable hitbox shifts forward during this attack.
- When up closer to Andy, it’s possible that his Close Heavy Kick may register due to spacing. Cl.D only hits crouching hitboxes from point blank; it’s quite possible to space yourself so that an Andy player tries to use a st.D as a preventive poke/anti-air, only to accidentally be at maximum cl.D range. By baiting a cl.D, Andy will whiff his upward kick and be left completely exposed to low attacks while whiffing, though the recovery is fairly short, so the defending player would need to be pre-emptively attacking or delaying a blockstring.
- Aside from these specific situations, his st.D is his best vertical anti-air outside his DP. If you wish to trade or beat it when Andy uses it as an anti-air, time your jump-in to hit early. The downside to this is that by doing so, you might get baited into being anti-aired by a low for whiffing your jumping attack, and Andy players definitely get a kick out of his cr.D, so as with all things there is a counter.
- As with Benimaru, Andy’s j.D is his primary jumping tool for most situations. It’s his best high-hitting air-to-ground - meaning his best tool for comboing out of - and it crosses up. J.D also contains the furthest horizontal and vertical reach out of all of his jumping attacks, so it really is a simplistic wonder just like Elizabeth and Benimaru’s j.D. This added length can occasionally backfire since Andy’s vulnerable hitbox extends during the animation, so he’s more susceptible to anti-airs (especially DPs and air-to-airs) than he would normally be. With this in mind, Andy’s feathery hop makes all is jump-ins and air approaches much more telegraphed than other characters.
- This wheeling axe kick has two hitboxes: the high, initial strike zone and the ensuing downward smash. This two-front attack makes his j.CD a perfect air-to-air since it covers such a broad crescent, and if timed really late it can hit crouching opponents. However, the amount of active frames of this attack is quite short: coupled with Andy’s hop drift, he’ll really need to active this move early in order to get max effectiveness out of it as an air-to-air. Whenever an Andy player wants to use this as an air-to-air, it’ll usually wilt away in the air before it can hit crouchers, so you can react (or read out the situation and his intentions) with a cr.B or cr.D to punish him, on top of beating him with a strong anti-air (invuln DPs, vertical cl.Cs, run-unders, or moves with Guard Points). When timed late, the defending player is left with the opportunity to cleanly contest with an air-to-air, or win with a traditional grounded anti-air that hits him before his j.CD’s downward hitbox becomes active.
Hirateuchi: f + A
- Andy’s command normal is mostly safe on block, so if he ever ends a blocksting by not canceling this attack, know that he’s negative though difficult to punish. The main reason an Andy player would stop after using this move rather than going into his projectile is to keep safe from Guard Rolls, so know that Andy can look to bait out GC Rolls with this move. On a bad scenario, the opponent blocks the attack and then goes back to neutral, with a slight attack advantage to act ‘first’ though Andy still has plenty of defensive and offensive options he has access to as well.
- As for punishing the attack, only very fast specials and DMs get the job done. Certain DPs may work to punish him, though be sure to test to make sure that whatever move you’re using connects from a max-ranged f.A, such as from cr.B > cr.B > f.A.
Zan'eiken: db,f + P (EX)
- A move that Andy uses so much in combos, blockstrings, or to travel around that you’d almost forget that he can walk or run forward. Due to the pushback on block, punishing this move can be rather tricky since most normal attacks can’t quite reach him, and many standard burst specials and DMs aren’t fast enough to hit him in time. However, be willing to try everything you’ve got; many DPs are actually fast enough to just barely tag him on recovery while your traditional fast moves just wont cut it. A handful of DMs are fast enough to punish Andy every time, such as Claw Iori’s Maiden Masher (2363214+P).
- There's one other issue with punishing: Andy can space this move to hit at max range to space it out even further than normal, so it has better recovery. In these instances, select punishes may fail to connect, so be sure to recognize if this can happen to your characters.
- If none of your normals or specials or DMs work, there’s one other option available when in the corner. By reading a 2-in-1 into Zan’eiken, it’s possible to Guard Roll backwards into the corner and then quickly punish with a close normal, though the timing is demanding on top of the required read.
- If you’ve got nothing (other than Guard Cancel Blowback) you can block your way out since Andy’s still negative on recovery, so you gain a little breathing window to act, though be careful of the dreaded Zan’eiken > Shoryuudan frametrap. Just for completion sake, I’ll mention that cr.B > Zan’eiken isn’t a perfect blockstring so it’s possible to sneak in a reversal in there (or sometimes even land a normal throw before he can hit you).
- Trying to counterpoke Zan’eiken is difficult, though possible. Just about any attack can interrupt it, though whiffing an attack leaves you open to a delayed fireball, sweep, st.C, or Zan’eiken. A safe way to try and beat it is to quickly renda cancel light attacks into themselves to eliminate any recovery downtime, though projectiles do a smashing job or discouraging Andy from skating at you.
- Last, you may have noticed that as soon as a round starts, Andy can perform a light Zan’eiken immediately and either just barely whiff and go for a throw, or if you press a button or crouch block he may hit you at max range and be frustratingly safe. A safe counter to this opening action is to walk backwards as soon as the round starts, and then toss out a st.A which will cleanly stop Andy or recover at a blazing speed on whiff. Some characters could even buffer specials on their st.A; K’ could begin the round with walk back st.A > Ein Trigger which will combo should the Zan’eiken come out and be relatively safe on whiff.
- EX: Completely safe on block, so don’t try punishing or you may end up wasting meter or getting caught by a followup frametrap. The best course of action is to be patient and remember that he has to waste a bar of meter to use this move, so block and make his effort in vain. Keep an eye out for this move when nearing a guard break.
Kuuhadan: HCF + K (B + D to cancel) (EX)
- This move can be annoying due to it’s odd hitbox properties. Attempting to anti-air the spinning cannon with normals almost always results in a trade in Andy’s favor, though invuln moves should always win on reaction, and horizontal air-to-airs can cleanly beat it at times. Unless you have a ready DP, your best bet is to crouch block and see if it whiffs. The B version stays low to the ground, but it can still whiff crouchers, sometimes even crossing up unfortunately. A remedy to this issue is to always start blocking with downback, and then switch over to downforward to auto-correct block should a gap arise and cause a crossup. If he completely whiffs you, he’s open to being swept or punished during the recovery. The D version is much easier to get underneath and punish, so it’s not used as often except as a flashy anti-air.
- Both versions are safe on block against everything but instant command grabs, but since it’s negative Andy’s forced to either block low against a cr.B or try teching a normal throw/cl.C attempt, as his only other option is to whip out a reversal. Because of the bad block situation and the fact that the move can be punished on whiff, it’s not very reliable.
Kuuhaden (Break) - HCF + K ~ B + D
- While mainly used for combos, it’s possible that a player might not hitconfirm into this or simply use it at odd times to instill frustration due to its fast recovery. Fortunately for us, the donkey kick is actually punishable on block (though the window for a cl.C/D or cr.B is somewhat tight) and should the kick whiff, he’s left vulnerable while recovering from the roll.
- While a decent gimmick, if you keep your eyes open for the attack it’s definitely not safe.
- EX: Invuln on startup and totally safe on block. One of the few remaining safe reversal attacks left over from the arcade release, though the startup is too slow for it to be of much use against an airborne opponent. Instead, the blue rainbow’s an alright choice on wakeup or during blockstrings against grounded opponents.
- The hitbox is also much lower now, so it wont whiff on crouchers. Since it’s safe on block, don’t always try to stick out a quick counterpoke as Andy could also do the same or do another reversal to trade/win with your poke.
- While I said this was safe on block, it’s not safe against Guard Rolls: if you roll backwards on the third hit, you’ll recover just as the last hit whiffs and be able to easily tag Andy with a close heavy attack for a nice punish. Getting the Guard Roll punish also helps eliminate the threat of getting guard crushed with this move.
Hishouken: QCB + P (EX)
- Andy’s fireball has a decent recovery time, though his projectiles are on the faster side which means that’s he mostly unable to move while his projectile’s on screen. As you’d expect, the A version has slightly stronger recovery as you would find on a LP Hadouken (likewise, Andy can sometimes follow a light fireball with his SRK to anti-air you as the last second if you jump in from a bad range or at a bad time), while the C version’s about high speed, high recovery. While it may be tempting to sniff out when a projectile ‘should’ be coming, don’t go carelessly jumping into DPs; try hopping over the fireball, or even neutral hopping/jumping to get your way in when blocking isn’t cutting it for you.
- As a non-grounded projectile, certain characters have ways to maneuver underneath a Hishouken. Chin’s 22+P stance (coward crouch) and Kensou’s cr.D shrink their hitboxes enough to go underneath an oncoming fireball; the flipside of this height is that his fireball’s more suited for anti-airing, though it’s severely lacking at providing any sort of cover against point-blank hops/jumps since the fireball launches from his extended hand.
- Also, reacting to a fireball with an (EX/DM) projectile or (projectile) invuln move or reflector is a surefire way to force an Andy player to be more cautious when shooting ki.
- Any blockstring into Hishouken is going to be unpunishable once the fireball is blocked, though just like with any projectile you can attempt to Guard Roll forward when anticipating a 2-in-1 from a telegraphed blockstring. For instance, if an Andy player performs cross up j.D > cl.C > f.A then it’s very likely that they were anticipating a hit, and once they’ve confirmed it’s blocked then there’s a high chance that they might cancel f.A into a projectile to gain better positioning than if the f.A is left uncanceled. As with most blockstrings, keep an eye out to see if your opponent likes to cancel their command normals into projectiles and then hit hard when you’ve successfully applied a Guard Roll. After eating enough damage from bad blockstrings, the opponent will be forced to use fewer of them in blockstrings, which allows you more leeway to escape his shorter blockstrings or to gain advantage from an uncanceled f.A.
- EX: This is mainly a tool for fireball wars as EX projectiles negate any normal fireballs. Avoid being baited in fireball fights, and remember that it costs a full stock to toss one of these out, so it’s not the best move for tossing out randomly unless the damage could close out a match. The most effective counter is to block to slightly gain meter while draining a whole bar from the opponent.
Shoryuudan: DP + P (EX)
- Solid reversal and anti-air tool. The “A” version’s the fastest, though it only has upper body invuln so it’s cleanly stuffed by lows and it can also trade or lose to deep jump-ins, meaning for it to work best an Andy player will have to react quickly enough to get it out before he can get hit by the jump-in: it’s not reliable in last-second situations. The C version can offers a brief period of full invuln and Andy travels forward quickly during the startup so it’s quite difficult to reach back far enough to hit him once the invuln wears off. All of his Shoryuudan’s are somewhat slow, so don’t be too terrified of trying to feel out a safejump against him. Bait one, and he’s toast.
- EX: About the same speed as the A version, but with more invuln and slightly better damage. Otherwise, treat this the same as his normal DP.
Choureppudan: QCBHCF + K (EX)
- A flaming Kuuhaden with a very high travel arc. Though it’s invincible on startup, it isn’t too fast so Andy’d be better off DPing for faster speed. In the instance that this move is blocked, just be sure to wait until Andy touches down on the ground before running forward with a close heavy punish; run too early, and it’s possible to run into him while he’s still attacking in the air.
Geki Hishouken: QCBx2 + P
- Andy’s swirling palm blast is completely safe on block, so he’s safe if he messes up a combo or attempts an odd blocktring. There’s no startup invuln, and the DM is slow and doesn’t travel too far so there’s not much to worry about it in terms of being a random super. If you can Guard Roll forward before the exploding finisher, you can recover in time to punish Andy.
Chou Shinsoku Zan'eiken: QCBHCF + A + C
- A Zan’eiken NEOMAX that works in the air. The grounded version is unsafe on block punishable by close heavy attacks. The air version is pretty much unpunishable on block or whiff, but by blocking it you’ve won the attritional advantage since he’ll have wasted at least 2 meter and burnt his HD meter. If you don’t want Andy landing in front of you and allowing him the chance to land and DP after his safe Air NEOMAX, hold A+B during the super flash to roll forward so that you’ll both be fullscreen afterwards.
- The hitbox itself isn’t too great as it’s possible to jab him out of the NEOMAX, but why risk losing 45% when you could block or roll?
As usual, here’s the quick rundown:
- Nice anti-air and poke.
- Can’t be canceled, but safe on block.
- Whiff-punishable by hops/fireballs/pokes.
- Doesn’t work well against deep vertical/cross up approaches.
- High vertical anti-air, can hit crouchers.
- Very vulnerable to lows.
- Sometimes may trigger cl.D which whiffs crouchers completely.
- Good cross up, and main jump-in.
- Overextends vulnerable hitbox; susceptible to DPs and air-to-airs.
- Floaty hop arc; easier to react to.
- Good air-to-air and air-to-ground control.
- Very few active frames; usually functions only as air-to-air or only as jump-in.
- Easy to counter with an Ashi Taikuu on whiff.
- Floaty hop arc; easier to react to.
- Fairly safe blockstring ender; leave uncanceled to bait GC Rolls.
- Negative on block; punishable by very fast DMs/specials.
- Too slow to be a decent poke on its own.
- Good shoryu; anti-airs and works as a reversal.
- Moderate startup; easier to safejump.
- A: upper body invuln. C: fully invuln. EX: fast, fully invuln.
- Heavily unsafe on block.
- Fast travel speed, but less followup opportunities.
- Good for zoning or setting up anti-air DPs.
- Projectile can be hopped over safely.
- Poor close-range anti-air; loses to jump-ins.
- Safe on block.
- Punishable by guard rolling a 2-in-1.
- Nice hitbox, difficult to punish on block.
- Can be spaced at tip to be even safer on block.
- Interruptable by throws or light attacks.
- Negative on block; theoretical advantage given to defender.
- Punishable by fast specials and DMs.
- Punishable by guard rolling a 2-in-1 backwards when in the corner.
- EX: completely safe.
- Difficult to cleanly anti-air, though forcing a trade is easy.
- B & D: Safe on block except against 1 frame throws. EX: Safe.
- B & D: Can whiff on crouchers; punishable during whiff recovery. EX: hits crouchers.
- B & D: Can cross up; block with 1 then 3 to avoid getting crossed up.
- EX: startup invuln and safe on block.
- B: Guard roll backwards on 2nd hit to punish.
- D: Guard roll backwards on 2nd to last hit to punish.
- EX: Guard roll backwards on 3rd hit to punish.
- Fast, but unsafe on block and punishable on whiff.
- Punish on block with cr.B/close attack.
- Punish during whiff with cr.B or other fast poke.
- Keep an eye out for the attack so that it doesn’t slip by unpunished.
- Invincible, but very slow and not too useful on its own.
- Unsafe on block and whiff; don’t accidentally run into Andy before he lands.
- Invincible and decently fast but not too useful on its own.
- Unsafe on block and whiff; don’t accidentally run into Andy before he lands.
- Slow startup that’s vulnerable to attacks, but totally safe on block.
- Punishable by guard rolling forward before the final explosion.
- Fairly fast NEOMAX. Works in the air.
- Grounded version is unsafe on block.
- Air version is safe on block and whiff. Roll forward during superflash to stop him from getting in safely.
- Questionable hitbox/invuln, but don’t try counterpoking when blocking is a much, much better idea.