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-up options that dazes experienced and inexperienced players alike. His unique moveset allows him to punish what would have been safe moves or better defensive options against strong mix-ups or unfavorable situations. His overall execution is fairly easy excluding special timing on certain moves or combos. He has an unorthodox playstyle that can span vast possibilities and rewards players who can think outside the box.
In Tekken 7, his move set has undergone tweaks that made his game play more fluid. Many of his standard moves have better utility that lets him keep up with the rest of the cast. He has numerous small tools that aren’t all powerful by themselves but can flow into many other contingencies.
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 and most of them are viable in matches. There are many to choose from depending on the right situation.
Yoshimitsu’s unique move set comes with 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, get 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. He isn't as well rounded as the general cast so it is best to block and move out of harm's way rather than going toe to toe with faster opponents. 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 so there are times opponents will opt to stay on the ground. With cd+1 added property, it is now a good option to hit grounded opponents to discourage opponents from laying on the ground and setting up your launcher oki options.
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 4 is a good safe counter hit launching mid option 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.
Overall, his general gameplan is fighting for specific situations where his specialized tools can be most effective. Majority of his tools leave you negative or put you in uncommon positions so he has an unconvential way of engaging opponents in the neutral. A solid foundation, such as positioning, movement and character knowledge, is essential in setting up the next mix-up option or situation where he can thrive.
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
Gap closing move. Plus frames on hit. Good move to initiate offensive position. Be aware of range as its tracking and reach can be predicted by good spacing. Transition to DGF can lead to stance mix-ups but note that it can easily be floated. A very good catalyst to gauge opponent's reactions and establish an ongoing mix-up.
15f safe mid launcher. Use as whiff punisher or against advancing opponents. It has very good range and but it is linear so beware of stepping opponents. Note that it does not launch crouching so be mindful of punishing moves that recover in crouch.
1,1 | 2,2
10f punish moves. 1,1 puts opponents in crouch on hit. Stops opponent in place and gives chance to punish impatient opponents who respond with predictable while standing moves after hit. 2,2 deals less damage, leaves opponent standing and can transition to KIN. Transitioning to KIN is a lot riskier but can be useful against very passive opponents.
Two-hit string. Second hit is cancelable, screws, knocks down and is natural on counter hit (NCc). A very good all around move that can build offensive strategies, pressure at the wall or catch floated opponents. Note to take account of the spin motion as it can affect the axis of move.
12f safe mid. It can be a standard punish on a small punishable move or a quick whiff. Offensively it can be a good mid check or a simple mix-up in tandem with a quick low. Defensively it can be used as a keep out tool to stop advances. The move is very linear so be careful of being too predictable and forced into using the move to be stepped or countered.
13f mid, tracks clockwise. The single hit d/f+1 can be a good move to throw out by itself. Condition opponents with d/f+1 and eventually fishing counter hits with the d/f+1,2 extension. The second hit of d/f+1,2 is a counter hit launcher but it is duckable so overuse of this move can come with hard punishes. d/f+1,2 is also a natural combo on counter hit; it doesn't launch but can be a good fishing tool at the wall for wall splats. Tbe string can be extended even further with d/f+1,2~d/b+2 to leave a smaller window for the second hit to be ducked and punished. The d/f+1,4 string is a mid, mid string but it jails so it does not go with d/f+1,2 as a mix-up and is more suited for punishment.
14f mid. Tracks counter clockwise. Can be used as an initial move to gauge opponent reactions and tendencies. b+2,2 is a natural combo string that is his 14f punish that knocks down. Great move to punish but not to throw out as it can be ducked and launched. b+2,1 is mid, mid where the second hit launches but only natural on counter hit. It is very punishable on block so best used on backturned opponents or counter hit situation confirms.
Counter hit launcher and safe on block. Great move to throw out from movement and pokes. It is one of his more adept moves that require some experience to be used effectively.
Unblockable low launcher. Popularly known as Sword Sweep. Best used during crouch recovery or as a launcher against tech rolls. Although it is a slow move that can be crushed or avoided, many unfamiliar opponents try to block in vain. More seasoned opponent know better however, so mainly use on favorable situations or unsuspecting opponents.
Knee Cap. Quick and easy input with d~D/F+4. It has good range, tracks well and launches on counter hit. It also hits grounded but it may miss at times against tech rolls. It performs as a very functional low with its damage, speed, range and counter hit potential but it is considerably launch punishable on block so it becomes a very high risk option that requires much confidence in using.
14f screw move. Able to track both sides but punishable. It's quick and hits low to the ground so used useful for long or improvised combos.
to the ground.
Long range launcher. Launch punishable but a great whiff punisher. Added functionality of hitting grounded opponents so a great option against opponents who opt to stay on the ground.
Flash. 6f, fastest move in the game. Juggles on hit but launch punishable on block. Stops many advances. Often a double edged sword as it can be an ace in the sleeve or an obvious bluff depending on how skillfull the player who holds it. 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.
11f while rising move. Punishes most quick lows but has short range. Can transition to KIN. A very standard mid move in crouch mix-up situations.
15f while rising move. Automatically transition to DGF. Float punishable on block. A great launcher to catch ducking opponents during crouch mix-ups but it's a huge commitment because of the obvious float punish. Use during a big low block, whiff punish or an assured hit on an opening.
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.
The most common combo formula to start with is [launcher], f+3 S! d+2,2, 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. 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 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+2,2, b+2,1~1+2 KIN f+2
u/f+3, d+2,2, 2,3 S! f+3+4 FLE 2
ff+4, bt 2 S! 1+2 KIN b+2,1 b+2,1~1+2 KIN f+2
1+4, d+2,2, d/f+1, d+2,1 S! d+2,2,1
ch fc D/F+4, ws 4~1+2 KIN b+2,1, cd+2 S! f+3+4, FLE 2
b+2~d+4 or b+2~qcb+1+2
S! ff+1+2~bt d+1 or S! ff+1+2~bt 3, bt d+1