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Guilty Gear Strive : A Guide To Sol Badguy

by Lisa Hayden
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Sol Badguy, one of the poster children for the Guilty Gear series, has returned in Strive to deliver some more pain. This iteration of the iconic character sees him somewhat simplified, but that doesn’t make him a chump. In fact, Sol is considered one of Strive’s strongest characters. He’s also ideal for beginners as his kit is straightforward and versatile.

Whether you’re just getting started with Guilty Gear Strive or fighting games in general, our Sol Badguy guide will give you all the tools you need to kickstart your journey

Sol Overview

In neo fighting game community terms, Sol in Strive is considered a gorilla character. In layman’s terms, that means he’s a robust offense-based fighter who excels at forcing 50/50 mixup situations. He’s at his best when he’s in the opponent’s face, conditioning them to fear one option and then going to town with the rest of his moves.

Although he can hold his own in neutral midscreen situations, he lacks reliable range tools to make him contest proper zoner characters. His tools give him options for forcing his gameplan, though, which makes him such a strong character.

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Strengths

  • Has easy to understand moves that make his gameplan straightforward
  • Can easily convert into serious damage for most situations
  • Has powerful 50/50 mixup potential
  • Standing far Slash is a godlike button that can be abused

Weaknesses

  • Lacks tools to contest proper zoners
  • Your friends will hate you for playing him

This guide uses standard numpad notation to indicate motions and directional buttons. All moves are written as though performed from the left of the screen. Guilty Gear Strive also has its own naming convention for attacks as follows:

  • Punch - P
  • Slash - S
  • Heavy Slash - HS
  • Kick - K
  • Dust - D

Strive is a game that uses proximity normals, meaning some attacks change depending on your distance from your opponent. We’ll be using the c. notation for close normals and f. notation for far ones in these cases.

We’ll also be referring to Roman Cancels as RC. If you’d like to learn more about this mechanic, you can read our guide here

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Normals

P Normals

  • 5P - A fast jab that can be used to interrupt your opponent’s offense when there’s a gap between their attacks.
  • 6P - Strive’s universal anti-air normal. It has upper body invincibility, so it can also be used to counter attacks that hit above the belt. The downside is it blows the opponent back, so you don’t have many options for follow-ups from midscreen.
  • 2P - Slightly slower than 5P, so not ideal for interrupting the opponent in many cases. It can be used offensively for a quick poke as it has few active frames.
  • Jumping P - A quick jumping attack that can be used to content in the air.

S Normals

  • f.S - The god button of Guilty Gear Strive. This attack is a powerful mid-to-close range button that enables most of Sol’s gameplan. It can be comboed into itself then into a full combo on hit. On counterhit, it can lead to even more damaging combos. Because it gives your frame advantage on block, it can be spammed a fair bit.
  • c.S - Another powerful attack in Sol’s arsenal. It has slightly more frame advantage than f.S, which means it can be used for 50/50 strike or throw mixups.
  • 6S - A forward-moving slash that covers a good portion of the screen. It’s a competent neutral tool that can lead to some decent damage on counterhit.
  • 2S - Great poking tool in neutral that can stop most grounded advances in their tracks.
  • Jumping S - Good lower hitbox that makes an excellent tool for starting jump-in combos.
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HS Normals

  • 5HS - A strong combo tool that can be tossed out after f.S to catch the opponent pushing buttons. On counterhit, it can be comboed into Night Raid Vortex.
  • 6HS - A quick combo ender that causes a hard knockdown on hit and bounces the opponent on counterhit. It’s highly unsafe, so don’t use it in a blockstring.
  • 2HS - This attack is a bit too slow for an anti-air. Timing it correctly, though, can cause an aerial crumple that can lead to some decent damage.
  • Jumping HS - Similar to Jumping S, this is a two-hitter attack that can be used to start jump-in combos.

K Normals

  • 5K - Sol’s fastest attack and a two-hitter normal. This move has a lot of utility. It can interrupt the opponent’s offense, be used as an anti-air, and be used in combos. Be wary that it doesn’t hit crouching opponents if you’re not close enough.
  • 2K - Sol’s fastest low attack that’s useful for stopping advancing opponents. It can be comboed into 6HS for a hard knockdown into pressure.
  • Jumping K - A great air-to-air with good horizontal range.

D Normals

  • 5D - Strive’s universal overhead mechanic. It can open up opponents who are crouch-blocking. Charging this attack launches them into the air for considerable damage.
  • 2D - A powerful sweep attack that Sol can use to go under specific attacks. It leads to a hard knockdown and can be comboed into from various attacks. Great for starting pressure.
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Special Moves & Overdrives

Gun Flame (236 + P)

Sol’s projectile that’s a superb pressure tool from mid-to-close range. It’s not fast enough to content better projectiles, such as Ky’s, and doesn’t go very far. However, its active frames allow it to continue pressure on a knocked-down opponent. Its vertical hitbox enables it to combo opponents in aerial states.

Volcanic Viper (623 + S/HS)

This move is Sol’s DP, which allows him to anti-air jumping opponents and interrupt their pressure. The S version is the one to use on defense. It’s important to note that throws will beat its startup frames on wakeup. The HS version can be used as a combo ender. Its second hit will register as a Clean Hit (meaning more damage) if Sol is close enough to the opponent.

Bandit Revolver (236 + K)

Sol’s most prominent combo tool that has become even better thanks to recent patches. You can now manually input the second hit by pressing K a second time after the first attack. Its primary use is for combos. It’s the best move to use RC for combo extensions, especially in the corner.

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Bandit Bringer (214 + K)

A superb move that has a lot of utility. Because of its fast recovery, you can use it safely in the neutral to get in, though it won’t be your turn in most cases if the opponent blocks it. Bandit Bringer can also be used as a combo ender, and in many cases, it’s more favorable than HS Volcanic Viper.

Wild Throw (623 + K)

A strong command throw that can lead to scary damage when combined with RC. Its best use is as a surprise attack when you’ve conditioned the opponent to block a lot.

Night Raid Vortex (214 + S)

One of Sol’s specials that cannot be special canceled from any move. NRV can low profile many upper body attacks and has a lot of combo potential when combined with far hitting counterhits. A neat trick is to RC once the dash ends and immediately go for a surprise Wild Throw. The timing needs practice, but it’s highly rewarding if you have Tension to spare.

Fafnir (41236 + HS)

Another special that you cannot cancel into from other moves. However, Fafnir is a fantastic move to throw out in various situations. On block, it causes a guard crush which you can then follow up with a 6S that’ll lead to a counterhit if the opponent presses a button. Fafnir is also the go-to move when you get a wall splat.

Tyrant Rave (632146 + HS)

The first of Sol’s Overdrive attacks has a fair bit of utility and costs 50% Tension to use. It has strike and throw invincibility, so you can use this as a defensive move on wakeup if you know the opponent will go for something. It’s also wise to use this as a wall break attack because it will cause a hard knockdown after the stage transition.

Heavy Mob Cemetery (214214 + HS)

A less versatile Overdrive with a lot of style. The best time to use this is if you have Tension to spare and your opponent throws something from far away. Sol will blow through their attack, and the opponent’s only option is to jump to defend themselves.

Combos

The following is by no means an exhaustive list of Sol’s combos. However, they’re a good starting point to get used to playing the character as well as learning to utilize Strive’s mechanics. WS notation stands for Wall Splat.

Anywhere

  • 5P > 6HS
  • AA 5P > 6S > 214K
  • 6P > 236KK
  • 5K > 6S > 236KK
  • AA 5K > jc, j.S > j.214K
  • 2K > 2D > 214K
  • c.S > delay f.S > 5HS > 236KK          
  • 2HS > 236K, 5K > 6S > 214K
  • 236P, 6HS
  • 214S, c.S > 2HS > 214K
  • 41236HS, 214[S], 2K > 236KK

Corner

  • c.S > 5HS, 665K > 6S > 236K, 5K > 6S > 214K, WS 6HS
  • 2HS > 236K, 5K > 6S > 236K, 5K > 6S > 236KK, WS 6HS
  • 236P, 665K > 6P > 236K, 5K > 6P > 236KK, WS 6HS
  • 214S, c.S > 6S > 236K, 5K > 6S > 236KK, WS 6HS
  • 41236HS, 665K > 6S > 236K, 5K > 6S > 236KK, WS 6HS

Red Roman Cancel Extension

  • ... > RRC, 665[D], c.S > 2HS > 214K
  • ... > RRC, 665[D], c.S > 2HS > 214K, WS 6HS

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