After getting my hands on Killer Instinct in season 3 and feeling just how open and pliable the combo system was, I knew I had to make a video for it.
I won’t be giving an input transcript for every combo but I’ll explain the important bits of each.
This combo uses a training mode-only glitch that allows you to reset screen position while leaving fireballs on the screen. This opens up a lot of combo possibilities both in terms of grounded manuals and juggles, especially in the corner; here I use it to allow Jago to cross his opponent up mid-combo. Afterward I use his instinct (which gives him 2 additional frames of hitstun/blockstun on all moves) to do some unusual manuals, including comboing into the non-ender version of his Tiger Fury uppercut. Cancelling Tiger Fury into shadow Laser Sword actually requires very clean execution–if you accidentally input 6236P>214PP instead of 623P>214PP you’ll get shadow Endokuken due to the 236 input having priority over the 214 input.
Surprisingly, this short run cancel combo took quite a bit of time to record. Spinal can spend his skulls to run cancel moves and 2MK has quite a bit of hitstun, and his instinct gives him 3 skulls right away, so the combo is straightforward. It just has pretty tricky execution.
That’s a lot of meter! Firstly, his surged Air Shendokuken has hits staggered enough to let him combo into a grounded one followed by instinct activation. Shago’s instinct halves the cost of shadow moves while draining the opponent’s meter if he can “tether” them; normally this requires dashing through to the other side of them or hitting them with a fireball, but it’s possible to tether them while remaining on the same side using his Dark Catastrophe uppercut out of a dash-cancelled Gatekeeper step kick. It also gives him the same boost to frame advantage that Jago gets, allowing for similar manuals later in the combo.
This combo takes advantage of Aganos’s incredibly high-hitstun moves to let him jump twice mid-combo; first, using his long range 5HP stagger and low-recovery projectile to create a very delayed 2-hit combo allowing him tojump forward, and second his instinct cancelled wallsplat to jump back. Instinct immediately gives him access to his Peacemaker (PM) club, and the normals associated with it, which allows him to continue the combo from a very long range. Afterward it’s more of his extremely high hitstun moves– PM j.HP has enough hitstun to combo into his slow PM 6HP, which has a stagger long enough to combo into his PM target combo 5LP>5MP. The “teleporting” ender at the end is technically something that can happen with any character doing an ender after a max range manual, but it’s most impressive with Aganos due to his extremely long range Peacemaker normals.
14 pips! Holy smokes! For a character with a regular shadow meter that would be the equivalent of spending 3.5 stocks. To break down the meter expenditure:
1 pip to cancel Energy Bolt into itself
1 pip to cancel Energy Bolt into Eye Laser
1 pip to cancel Eye Laser into teleport
1 pip to cancel Eye Laser into teleport
10 pips to use Devastation Beam
By staggering his projectiles from long range, Fulgore can create a situation where he’s extremely plus after his teleport in, allowing him to do two eye lasers before cancelling to instinct. The combination of starting at max spin speed and using instinct mid combo allows him to build enough pips to have 10 for the beam at the end without having to extend the combo with decidedly unstylish doubles and linkers too much. Fun fact: for some reason, heavy Eye Laser is only cancellable into Devastation Beam while in instinct!
This one is a little odd. Normally, omen’s throw is a low damage option that allows a combo afterward using either the corner or instinct. However, for some reason, if the opponent is his by an attack (say, Omen’s shadow Rashakuken) while flying back from the throw, their momentum is stopped as normal but they still land on their feet afterward. This allows him to combo from the throw midscreen. The rest of the combo shows off some of his other combo-extending talents, such as using Shadow Form for stylish manuals, and (like Jago and Shago) using the additional frame advantage from his instinct to perform unusual manuals.
Similar to Aganos, this combo takes advantage of extremely high-hitstun moves and a mid-combo projectile. Using her Flame Mortar to extend the hitstun of her 5HP, she can cancel into Predator Stance and dash in for a Flame Arc. To explain what happens with the damage in this combo, Killer Instinct’s damage scaling is on a per-hit basis on most regular hits, while doubles/linkers follow different rules for different characters. In addition, shadows don’t scale in grounded combos, but scale for every hit in juggles. Eventually the damage scaling in the combo will make hits in the combo do 0 damage, and because this combo uses many moves with multiple hits as well as two shadow recaptures in juggles, it eventually hits the point of doing 0 damage. Anyways, after the instinct activation I do Flame Carpet into another Flame arc, followed by her j.HP–this doesn’t combo on all characters, so I took advantage of Glacius’s high hurtbox to make sure it worked.
Staggering the release of his Multi Hail allows him to combo into and out of a low air ice lance, landing into a cold shoulder. Glacius is pretty low on cool things to do to extend a juggle, so I figured I’d go for something visually interesting–a combo where he turns around in place several times. First turning around for the shadow Hail, then flipping back for instinct activation, turning once more for the Ice Pick, then finally turning around for the ender.
In a recent update, the hitstun on Arbiter’s 3HK gunbutt normal was reduced, but the counter hit stun was left alone, which means that the opening part of this combo still works! Heavy Truth Seeker has a huge amount of frame advantage which allows him to combo into his jump gunshots (which technically could be extended with many more jumps, but I left it at 2 for time.) The final part of the combo also still works after the reduction to his hitstun, and in fact I could have manualled 3HK, cl.mk, cl.mk, but I thought the heavy > medium > light manual looked better.
EDIT: Since this video was made, Arbiter’s air gunshots were adjusted (for balance purposes) to require quicker shots, rather than the highly delayed shots shown in this combo. I haven’t tested it, but it’s possible trying to adjust this combo for that would result in the KV going too high, and a blowout on the last hit.