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Guilty Gear Strive Season Pass DLC #4: Baiken - Character Breakdown

Guilty Gear Strive Season Pass DLC #4: Baiken - Character Breakdown

Baiken returns to round out the original Guilty Gear cast in Strive and is taking online play by storm. Check out why in my latest character breakdown!

JohnnyChugs

Baiken is back, baby. The one-eyed, one-armed ronin warrior has arrived in Guilty Gear Strive's roster as its fourth DLC character of Season Pass 1. What's more, she's taking over online lobbies as large amounts of players have taken to learning and using her this last weekend. What makes her such an enticing pick? Let me shed some light in my latest character Breakdown!

Who is Baiken

Baiken is a returning character that dates back to the very first Guilty Gear game and has appeared in nearly every core entry (not including Guilty Gear 2: Overture, which we don't talk about in this safe place). She's a Japanese survivor of the original Gear Wars who took up search of the creator of all Gears to take vengeance for the loss of her family, arm, and eye. To that end, she grew up studying the katana, attached all sorts of deadly gadgets where her missing arm used to be, and learned to implement Ki (being one of the few Guilty Gear characters known to outside Jam Kuroduberi, Chipp Zanuff, and Kum Haeyhun).

As for combat, Baiken's design translates to a rushdown character with a wealth of interesting gimmicks. In previous games she used to be able to seal an opponent's buttons or functions with one of her supers (meaning no using Slash or jumping for a time). She also always has use of hidden clubs, cannons, chained spears, and other such gadgets in addition to aggressive swordplay.

In Guilty Gear Strive, her gimmicks have been simplified a little bit, but she's nonetheless deadly and can quickly wreck a foe in short order thanks to some new tools at her disposal. That and a history in the games that has given her a dedicated fan base are probably why players have taken to her like a duck to water. Definitely not that certain prominent assets of her character design keep growing with each new game, no sir. No lewd reasons here. ANYWAYS...

Tie them down, beat them up

In terms of functionality, many of Baiken's core elements are still present. Her main projectile, Tatami Gaeshi, returns in arguably its strongest form. She quickly kicks a tatami mat up and this move is usable in air and on the ground. On the ground, it will launch enemies high and can be comboed into from basically anything, making it a strong combo extender. In the air, the tatami mat floats to the ground, doing damage if it makes contact with the opponent, making it a strong screen for approaching enemies.

Youzansen also returns. Usable in air, Baiken sweeps her sword in a circle. This move is a massively awesome defensive and offensive tool for how much range it has. Also, if you get behind opponents and hit it on Baiken's back swing, it will knock them, allowing for good comboing.

However, the coup de grace of Baiken's new kit is, by far, Kabari. This move comes in two forms. The Hard Slash form will throw a chained spear and if Hard Slash is pressed again, Baiken will rush in for a slash. It's easily her best combo starter and also great for wall breaks. The real move to build her strategy around is the Slash version of Kabari. Baiken throws a weight at her opponent that straps a tether to them on hit whether they block it or not. Baiken will also attach a tether to her opponents on any normal throw.

That tether is massively important to Baiken's kit. It makes her and her opponents rubberband towards each other if they get too far away. When Baiken hits opponents in this state, it makes absurdly damaging combo routes possible. In my time with her, I've found that you can even cycle the tether with some practice to keep your opponent constantly under pressure. My route is as follows:

(While Tethered) Slash (close), Down+Hard Slash, Tatami Gaeshi, Slash (close), Forward+Hard Slash, Kabari (Slash)

By doing this while tethered to your opponent, you damage them and set another Kabari tether to keep the pressure going. You just have to be careful if opponents have the initiative on offense because if you're tethered to them, they can also do wildly terrible things to you. See below:

How does Baiken change GG Strive?

Quite frankly, of all the DLC characters that have launched so far, Baiken is a standout for two reasons.

  1. She is the most easy-to-use DLC character yet with a kit that is well-rounded and easy to understand.
  2. Her tether gimmick is extremely accessible and makes for insane damage against unprepared opponents

I think that combination of well-rounded plus easy access moveset and gimmicks has made her a much less daunting challenge to learn compared to Goldlewis, Jack-O', and Happy Chaos, whose gimmicks are awkward and take a lot of practice to even begin to utilize efficiently against opponents of the same skill level. Baiken is just plain easier to use than all of them so far and it shows if you look at a Guilty Gear Strive online lobby right now.

With the tether, you can also get really tricky and creative with your attacks, so that makes her fun to play too. Honestly, figuring out how to effectively combine Baiken's tethers with comboing has been some of the most fun I've had in Guilty Gear Strive in a long time, and I see numerous pros out there are have an equally fun time figuring her out.

It's also possible her... bountiful assets in Strive are a draw, but I like to think better of my community.


So that's my break down of Baiken in Guilty Gear Strive. She's the fourth DLC character in the overall Season Pass right now with one more to go. I'm pretty happy with her so far, but how do you feel? Is she as strong and easy to use for anyone else as she's been for me? Have you fought her and feel different? Let me know in the comments below! You can also check out the recent livestream I did of gameplay with her to see more of Baiken in action!

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 30, 2022 6:46 PM

    Here's why Baiken is Guilty Gear Strive's favorite new character

    Read more: Guilty Gear Strive Season Pass DLC #4: Baiken - Character Breakdown

    • reply
      January 31, 2022 2:07 AM

      I've dropped watching DBFz and (never really started the awful) MvC:I, mostly just Tekken, SF, and MvC3. I have GG XX AC +R, but just tried it out so far.

      • reply
        January 31, 2022 2:10 AM

        D`oh. I also haven't kept up with GG:S so I haven't seen Baiken. I should watch some Snakeeyes.
        P.S. Lidia in Tekken is pretty cool. Still working on Fahkumram though.

        • reply
          January 31, 2022 7:20 AM

          Frosty Faustings tournament was this weekend and it was really good. Lots of variety in top 8 including Jack-O and Happy Chaos

          • reply
            January 31, 2022 7:43 AM

            I saw! Really, really, REALLY enjoyed Stealthy's Axl. Especially the match against Kizzie Kay. Hotashi way too strong with Nago right now though.

        • rms legacy 10 years legacy 20 years mercury super mega
          reply
          January 31, 2022 7:33 AM

          TJ covered all her moves in that stream!

        • reply
          January 31, 2022 7:44 AM

          Fahkumram is really cool and if I had any time to cram more games into my life, I'd probably get back into Tekken 7 to learn him. Looks rewarding.

    • reply
      January 31, 2022 7:43 AM

      She feels a bit stilted to me initially. Her length on some normals can make special cancels a bit odd, and the recovery on some moves will take some getting used to as well.

      And I feel like she's been more inconsistent than other chars when it comes to what will actually combo and juggle with an airborne opponent. Sometimes you have to delay buttons to connect, sometimes they whiff altogether. I'm sure there are actual reasons why, but occasionally it's not clear at all why some followups miss when visually they shouldn't have.

      Despite her supposed ease, she definitely has some quirks and awkward timings you'll need to learn. To me that makes her way more difficult than some other characters up front.

      • reply
        January 31, 2022 7:49 AM

        That's fair. As an Anji main, I'm incredibly used to awkward hitboxes and delaying buttons for when they'll actually work.

        Even then, I've definitely run into whiffs like you described with buttons like Down+Hard Slash and even her three-hit super just completely whiffing first hit.

        I just think she's easier to handle specifically in comparison to the other DLC characters in this season pass so far.

        • reply
          January 31, 2022 8:00 AM

          They officially rank her as a 4/5 in easy to use. I thought she was way easier to pick up in Rev2, even though she had a lot more going on in that one.

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