Yoshimitsu Starter Guide
Yoshimitsu has been defined as a mechanized space ninja circa Tekken 3. The leader of the Manji Clan, he is seen as a Robin Hood like character standing up for honor, righteousness and justice. He is a very unique character that has looked different in every iteration of the game. He has been a mainstay character since the first Tekken and over the years he has undergone a complete character overhaul that made him a more advanced character.
Yoshimitsu is well known for being a tricky character with many mix-ups options that rattles experienced and inexperienced players alike. His standing moves are decent but his stronger tools comes from his full crouch game and oki. They are loaded with different kinds of mix-up opportunities along with his stances and transitions.
In Tekken 7, his move set has undergone tweaks that made his poking game more fluid. He has numerous small tools that aren’t all powerful by themselves but they lead to other options for breaking down defense and frustrating opponents. His overall execution is fairly easy save some special timing on certain moves or combos.
Unblockables are also a specialty. Their damage isn’t as good as in previous games but he has the most unblockables than any other character. There are many to choose from and most of them are viable in matches.
Yoshimitsu’s unique move set comes with a high risk. The disadvantage of a blocked move is easily seen and felt during matches. Good character knowledge or defense can stop many of his advances. It’s a hard battle when opponents are more familiar with punishment and flow of the player’s game plan.
Along with being high risk, a lot of his moves are also quite situational. There are a lot of move properties that put you in an abnormal position that you need to be aware when they hit, blocked or even executed in a weird angle. There’s a lot of knowledge to be used when playing the character and it’s what makes him so hard to use.
A good range for Yoshimitsu is around mid range or closer where most of his tools can be utilized and start momentum. At far range you have moves like [3,4] or ff+4 to bridge the gaps but be aware that his moves often have bad recovery or put you in a weird angle. Get used to whiff punishing with d/f+2, ff+4 or cd+1 from range. In close range you can stick to small pokes like b+2, d+4, d/f+1 and d/f+4. When under pressure you have the option to 1+4 or b+3_b+4 out when necessary and get back to a more favorable neutral position.
His full crouch mix-ups and oki are areas where he truly shines so getting crouch status and knockdowns are very helpful in his overall game. Close range crouch is often your destination so that you can start going for sweeps, hop knees or standing launchers. He has more options against wake-up than grounded. There are times opponents will opt to stay on the ground in which case going for moves like u+1, u/f+3+4 or u/f+2 will net you more damage. Establishing his oki options is a major key in his offense.
Another big part of his game play is his stance transitions but it takes some experience which stance to go for and which move to make. Going into Kinchou (KIN) is normally an offensive stance and can be more effective from quick transitions. KIN 1+2 is a strong safe mid and puts you in back turn for a guaranteed bt d+1 partnered with KIN 3 low that guarantees fc d/f+4 on hit. You also have an quick backswing type unblockable move with KIN b+1+2. Most KIN moves are more effective against standing opponents. Dragonfly (DGF), Flea (FLE) and Indian (IND) are good pressure stances when you have the advantage. DGF 3 and DGF 4 are good low and mid options along with DGF 3+4 which is an unbreakable throw. FLE can be used for more launch set-ups and is more functional in T7 with the inclusion of backwalk. IND is a little trickier to use but can be more unpredictable. Be warned that being hit out of DGF, FLE and IND puts you in a float status and is susceptible to being comboed. Meditation (MED) can be used more of a defensive stance to heal and space the enemy during the neutral game. MED 3 the backhandspring is safe, has good range and is a juggle starter against incoming opponents. No Sword Stance (NSS) is a whole new beast that changes properties of numerous moves he has and would require more experience with the character.
There’s a lot of stances and properties to learn but combining consistency with variety can make a strong showing of the character.
i6 - 1+4
i7 - 4~1
i8 - NSS 1+4
i9 - NSS 4~1
i10 - 1,1 | 2,2 | 2,d+3
i12 - d/f+4
i13 - d/f+1,4
i14 - b+2,2 | cd+2
i15 - d/f+2 | u/f+3
i17+ - cd+1
i10 - fc 1
i11 - ws 4
i14 - ws 1,2
i15 - ws 2,1
i16 - ws 3,2
13f mid. d/f+1 is good by itself. d/f+1,2 is a mid,high string that is duckable but both hits are guaranteed on counter hit. Condition opponents poking with d/f+1 and eventually fishing counter hits with 2nd hit. Can extend string even further with d/f+1,2~d/b+2,.... to leave a smaller window for 2nd hit to be ducked and punished. d/f+1,4 is a mid, mid string but it's -14 on block and it jails so it cannot be mixed up with d/f+1,2. Mainly use it for punishment.
Gap closing move. Plus frame on hit. Can be flash bait on block. Can transition to DGF for DGF mix-ups. Note that DGF transition can easily be floated. Mix-up [3,4]~U with [3,4]~d.
15f safe mid launcher. Good range. Use as whiff punisher or against advancing opponents. Linear so beware of stepping opponents.
Good move to throw out from movement and pokes. Launches on counter hit is safe on block.
Unblockable sweep. Use during crouch recovery or as juggle reset against tech rolling opponents. Slow move and can be hopkicked. Use mainly on unsuspecting opponents.
Good low poke. Easy quick input with d,D/F+4. Launches on counter hit. Use from range or from a quick duck to catch counter hits. Launch punishable on block so beware the risks involved throwing out this low.
1,1 | 2,2
10f moves. Good punish moves. 1,1 put opponent in crouch. 2,2 leaves opponent standing and can transition to KIN
14f mid. Use as opening move for more pokes such as quick lows, quick mids or throws. b+2,2 is natural on hit and is a 14f punish, can be ducked and launched. b+2,1 is a counterhit launcher, use on backturned opponents or confirmed counter hit situations.
12f quick safe mid. Tracking is bad but a good mid punish and poke.
14f new screw move. Punishable but high crushes, tracks both sides and hits very low to the ground.
Flash. 6f, fastest move in the game. Juggles on hit but -15 on block. Stops advances. It can be very hard to use but is a strong offensive and defensive tool when used at the right times.
Good tracking mid move against sidestep. Knocks down. Hitbox is very high and sometimes does not hit low hitboxes. Great when used at the wall.
Good tracking low poke. First 2 hits guaranteed on hit. Can add more lows or end with 4 for a safe knockdown/wall splat. Fairly slow and abuse of this move can render it easily seeable.
15f while rising move. Automatically transition to DGF. Use during a big low block or whiff punish. Float punishable on block.
Good mid move. Knockdown on hit and pushback on block. Irreversible. Linear move so watch side step/walk.
Power Crush move. Punishable but block frames varies. Automatically transitions to FLE on hit and can offer more FLE mix-up options.
Long range launcher. Launch punishable but a great whiff punisher.
Jumping low that hits grounded. Cancelable. Flash guaranteed at close range but combo follow-up requires right presence of mind..
The most common combo formula to start with is [launcher], f+3 S! d/f+1, 2, b+2,1~1+2 KIN f+2. Any aerial launcher works and even some sweeps can be followed with f+3 for the screw. After the screw is followed by a d/f+1 then a right jab which is often mistakenly read as the d/f+1,2 string. The ender can be buffered by pressing b+2,1 then holding the 1 and pressing the 2 which will be read as 1+2 to go into KIN. Pressing f+2 right after KIN will result into a smooth 3 hit string that is used as an ender in many Yoshi juggles.
At the wall, reliable follow-up combos would be W! d+2,2,1 or W! d/b+3,3,4. A high wall splat can be followed with u/f+3+4,b+1,4 for good damage depending on a clean hit. A late wall combo can usually be saved with d/b+3's. For stage breaks, d+2,2,1 can be used as a wall/balcony break and d+2,2,d+1 as a floor break. Single hits such as cd+2 for wall/balcony and f+1+2 for ground can be used to extend the combo after the stage break.
There are countless juggle variations a player can use for combos specially for Yoshi. Some important factors to consider when choosing combos are damage, difficulty or wake-up option. It is often a dilemma what the right combo to use is but practice and experience will eventually make it easier to selecting the appropriate combo for the situation at hand.
d/f+2, f+3 S! d/f+1, 2, b+2,1~1+2 KIN f+2
u/f+3, f+3 S! d/f+1, 2, b+2,1~1+2 KIN f+2
ff+4, bt 2 S! d/f+1, 2, b+2,1~1+2 KIN f+2
1+4, d+2,1 S! d/f+1, d+2,2,1
ch fc D/F+4, ws 4, b+2, cd+2 S! f+3+4, FLE 2
b+2~d+4 | b+2~qcb+1+2
S! ff+1+2~bt d+1 | S! ff+1+2~bt 3, bt d+1