How To Choose And Play A "Rushdown" Fighter In Guilty Gear Strive

How To Choose And Play A "Rushdown" Fighter In Guilty Gear Strive

Originally posted on November 3, 2021

Rushdown characters are characterized by their toolkit generally being geared toward quick, aggressive play. These characters have great mobility and options to disorient and mix the opponent up. They force the defender into a series of quick decisions in hopes of scoring a hit. These rushdown characters often have weaker defense and health to compensate.

Before I go into the characters, I will explain the notation I use for characters’ moves. I will use numpad notation in which each button's direction will correlate with the numbers on a number pad. I will also use the abbreviations P for Punch, K for Kick, f.S for Far Slash, c.S for Close Slash, D for Dust, and HS for Heavy Slash.

Fighting Game Notations that are numeric based

Millia Rage

Millia Rage from Guilty Gear Strive

Milla Rage uses her superior aerial mobility to open up the opponent’s defenses. Once she scores a knockdown she can set up really good pressure with her Tandem Top. This means she can force the opponent to react or guess if they will be hit high, low, left, or right.

Millia is much more comfortable in the air where she can have access to a second air dash, a fastfall, and a command jump. This can make it exceedingly difficult for her to track in the air. She often deceives the opponent into thinking they can anti air her, and instead, she switches direction and hits them. She is not weak on the ground either. Her dash is very fast and her f.S and 5.K can be used to poke and feel the opponent out. Once her opponent is disoriented and weary of jump options she can quickly approach to surprise attack.

Once she scores a knockdown her main goal is to throw out an H Tandem Top. This launches Millia in the air and the disc suspends in midair with a delay timer when it becomes active. From there you are allowed to go for a high attack on the way down, or delay a button and attack them low. She can also air dash forward or back to switch her opponent’s guard and force them to get hit by the disc. Even if you block correctly Millia is usually plus and can go for a strike or a throw mix-up to try and loop her pressure. When she has meter she can cancel into Iron Savior and Roman Cancel to further pressure her opponent.

Millia has a weak defense. She has slower buttons than most and no invincible reversal outside of Winger. She's also very frail so any stray hit can cause massive damage to her.


Giovanna from Guilty Gear Strive

Giovanna is a character without a run but makes up for it with an incredibly fast dash to cover space. She has many forward moving normals with a lot of active frames to approach the opponent. Once she is in, her strike throw game is second to none. In the corner, she gets a safe jump that covers wake up buttons, reversals, and can loop that throw pressure if the opponent is not careful.

Giovanna’s dash can be cancelled by any normal which allows her to approach the opponent very quickly. The large active frames of her f.S and 2.S chases opponents back dashes down which can make it very tricky to maintain space from her. She does not have many left right or many high low options without meter but makes up for it in speed and unrelenting mids. Giovanna’s c.S is plus on block and be staggered with other normals to frame trap the opponent or she can just go into throws to break the opponent’s guard. She can also cancel her normals into Trovão, a plus on block special that launches into the opponent. As well as Sol Poente, a plus on block move where she leaps in the air. Sol Poente can also cross up so it can be tricky to deal with. These moves are interruptible, so they need to be used sparingly.

Giovanna can also slow down and play defensively with her 2.D. This normal has an absurd hitbox and quick recovery which can frustrate the opponent. Her 5.P is quite fast to check the opponent's pressure as well. While she has no true reversal without meter, Sol Nascente can low profile certain mids to shake up the opponent’s pressure.

Giovanna Starts off with a lower than average defense but as she builds meter she gains defense and damage for each 50 percent bar acquired.


I-no from Guilty Gear Strive

I-no uses her unique hoverdash to mix the opponent with very quick high or low attacks. She has no run or normal dash so her neutral is not traditional. She has several attacks with good active frames to counter poke the opponent to start offense. She also has multiple projectile moves to play at a range. She can approach quickly with Sultry Performance, her dive kick special, or Stroke the Big Tree.

Since I-no has no regular air dash or grounded run her approach might seem difficult at first. She can try to sneak in hoverdashes to approach the opponent but keep in mind the opponent can stuff that approach if they are ready. A good counter poke that I-no can employ is 2.HS, she can buffer this move on hit or block into Stroke the Big Tree to start pressure. Stroke the Big Trees H version is plus on block so she can get offense started from there. It also can low profile certain moves so it can be difficult to stop. It is a little slow so the opponent can interrupt it with low moves or in some instances throw her out of it. She can go into a high with air dash j.H or J.S or go low with 2.K into 2.D. Once she scores a knockdown her goal is to go for a high, low, or throw and loop that until her opponent falls. Her air attacks can be gatlinged or cancelled into each other or jump cancelled to stagger pressure. If you have meter you can use Ultimate Fortissimo to continue pressure. With fifty percent tension I-no also gains access to an Overdrive command grab Megalomania. Just the threat can make the opponent jump or back dash which will open them up to I-no's basic pressure.

I-no has very very weak defense. She has no reversal without meter. Her normals are also a little on the slower side so interrupting pressure can be more difficult. Another weakness that I-no has is not very good damage. She makes up for this weakness by being able to peel away her opponent’s defense.

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Written By

Mia 'Mira' Reshel

Journalist and competitive FGC player