Rook character guide


Rook has the most health in the game. Since most other characters can zone, and because he’s so slow, he has to make effective trades to close the distance and land big damage.

Rooks command grab is probably his best anti air since his normals are too slow, but it’s ineffective against cape, Val jAs and DeGrey jBs

After landing C, the first frame you can move is a really good time to press C again if you aim to throw loop. Earlier than that is reactable

Neutral jA is deceptively long ranged and is good if your opponent is very jumpy

Thunderclap can be followed up with C for a special animation. It’s a 2 hit combo, but only if you’re close enough.

Especially effective against bot DeGrey, if you suspect they will wake up with back dash, B easily beats it.

Sometimes nA is a better followup to fA after a jA because it knocks down, providing better control of the momentum.

After knockdown, jC is great for an ambiguous crossup right over their heads

Sometimes I just eat fireballs with B on react if I’m close enough to knock them down. Better than eating an invincible reversal.

Super only to punish. Throwing it out raw works only like 3% of the time ever


@CWheezy add stuff and stuff if you want you’re better than me
I’m going to bed the sun is rising and the birds are singing now dammit

Some disorganized notes:

C throw is one of your primary anti-airs. Doesn’t work against crossups, but it’s very strong against jump attacks coming from the front.

Thunderclap (back A) is slow, but has a good anti-air hitbox. It eats projectiles, including Valerie’s Rainbow Disc(!). (But not Geiger’s Cycloid Revolution.)

Air super is fast and invulnerable and beats most things air-to-air; it’s yet another good anti-air.

Always punish with normal throw instead of C throw if possible; this gives you much better oki. (Normal throw is also much faster.)

Your basic oki mixup can be C throw vs. The Boot. Throw if you think they’ll block; use The Boot if you think they’ll jump. Either half will do two damage. If you’re doing this off of a long knockdown, you can also mix in attempted cross-ups with jumping A. Also, if you don’t want to commit to The Boot, you can use neutral A sweep instead, which is of course much safer. (Also, there isn’t any timing fuckery that will get you Yomi Countered.)

The Boot is not safe on block if done point blank, but can be safe at some ranges. However, it will still be your opponent’s turn to push buttons. Depending on timing, The Boot is a great way to call out people who try to jump away to avoid throws. (If your opponent is throwable and you’re point blank, you can cover both jumps and blocking, since if they blocked, you’ll throw them.)

Ground B is a little like a jump when you’re using it vs. fireballs; you have to predict if you want it to hit, since it’s so slow.

Air A has a great hitbox. Better than the old air A I think, and the old air A was quite good.

Air neutral A is great for stuffing ground approaches, and can beat various air things too.

Air B (lariat) obviously goes through fireballs; this is a really strong property. It also has very good priority air-to-air, and it changes your momentum as well.

Air C can be used to avoid anti-airs like Grave’s knifehand, by stopping your forward momentum.

B/C/Super’s armor is broken by supers and also by DeGrey’s Pilebunker.

If you’re getting crossed up, try jump back air A, or air super.

That’s all I can think of right now that isn’t particularly matchup-specific; maybe it can be organized into more usable info and put into a proper guide.


There is so much value to be squeezed out of Rook’s C-throw as an anti-air.

Depending on the type of jumping cross-up, if you time it correctly (just after they pass over your head, but before their attack has active frames) you can auto-correct, take the hit, and still grab them. Against characters like Valerie and DeGrey, if they whiff the first hit of their air-attack, you can still get your grab as well.

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Rook ditto advice

@Djister is really damn good at punishing footsie boot kicks with C

the 2nd armored attack gets the knockdown, and for throws, the 2nd one is the one that lands, which kinda gives it its own yomi game

air C is probably the best way to close the gap, but it’s reactable, so you want them to try and do it first I guess

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But if they close the gap, they’re just exposing themselves to your C-throw. :thinking:

(I think the Rook mirror is absolutely awesome)


I disdain Rook v Geiger
I fear Rook v Rook

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It’s easy! Just walk up and C-throw their defensive C-throw on reaction. :wink:


It’s easy just win


Maybe this chart will help?


Don’t show it to Sirlin, he hates option selects.


Yeah, if they cross up before hitting then you’ll have a small window, but it can be tough to time.

The worst, though, is when they hit from the front and then land behind. (Are there any moves that still do this? Grave’s Whirlwind used to at FSX 2016 and it was a nightmare since he could jump in on you with impunity.)

C-throw can also lose to moves without landing recovery, I believe. (We’ve all seen Setsuki rejump straight through a C throw anti-air more times than we can count.) Edit: This is wrong. These situations are caused by Rook running out of active frames.

Oh, interesting. Can you give an example of that kind of move? I assumed since you can C-throw someone who is just neutral jumping, you should be able to C-throw any jump-in that doesn’t break armor or land outside the range of the throw.

Ok I’m actually wrong about this; these situations are caused by Rook running out of active frames.



MIDORI: This is a swing fight. Rook is better than human midori but Dragon beats lots of his armored throws with equally, if not longer, active throws. Midori doesn’t have as many opportunities to parry but be careful not to be too predictable. His flying kicks beat C and butt slam can be surprisingly effective. That said, his ground normals often lose to C if he didn’t get thousand palms out quick enough, and he’s not amazing in the air really. njA is good when you have pressure. Mixups typically favor C since he has parries, as well as YC. Fortunately purple state leaves if you jC knockdown.
Dragon is really tough. If you wanna lame it out, you can reduce the amount of active dragon time there is by jC. B is even better since his hitbox is wider, being really good at crossing up on wakeup. On block B can go into jC, which is a scary move to face. If you’re REALLY ballsy you can super as late as possible, but that’s not reliable. The only “reliable” way of dealing with the dive is air attacks. Sometimes you have to just outgrab the dragon, and he doesn’t have a reversal.

DEGREY: This is a fun matchup. The biggest things to look out for is his jB. You can’t really beat it reliably. Air ghost is also a really good deny. Spamming njA is still godlike, and jC to B is the best way to enter without getting a ghost in the face. DeGrey has a hard time waking up, but when he has super meter you have to be alert not to get countered OR YC. Fortunately Rook has the easiest time out of anyone dealing with the super counter. Empty jump to throw to bait super is very effective, and jC ambiguous crossup is effective on wakeup. He can also have an ambiguous crossup with air ghost. If he delays it, you may have time to jump and air super (maybe splash?). Also know that pilebunker BREAKS ARMOR so C and super do not work on reaction.

VALERIE: This is a very polar matchup. It’s either you getting perfect or getting perfected. njA is literally the most disgusting move to use. She can’t beat it with any move. When she BBC you can easily throw her, but be careful for YC. If you suspect YC then do nA. The worst thing that can happen is getting crossed up. This is where the blender starts. If she approaches with jA, you just have to block it since C loses to the double hit. When she throws rainbow disk as you wakeup, you might be able to grab her or super her. Sometimes though it’s just safest to take the chip. Her bA beats command grab, and she may also try to just poke you out with fA. When she supers, your C can beat it, but only if it connects before the 2nd hit of the super does.


SETSUKI: This one is more even than the other bad ones but it’s not great. Like Val, it’s either destroying or getting destroyed, but with way worse approaches to deal with. Not having an attack anti air is literally the worst here. Setsuki can pretty safely cape divekick kick loop and there’s really not much you can do about it. She’ll throw hooligans to mix it up, and she can teleport kick you if you try and jC, which isn’t amazing anyways because of how jumpy she is. Kunais obviously are a bit annoying. Someone once told me that if you suspect a cape, you can back jump splash. That is super unreliable though. Only C if you can react to teleport kick or divekick, or if she’s dumb enough to try and throw kunai at grab range. Same goes for super. You’ll want to save it for Air super though because that’s pretty much your only reliable tool against her. If Setsuki had 6 life this matchup would be terrible, but since it’s only 5, you only have to make 2.5 right guesses, as well as the fact she has bad wakeup options. If you can see a hooligan coming, C will beat it.

GRAVE: Grave kinda sucks to fight. Pretty much all zoners suck to fight. Careful about eating slow fireballs. Lariat can get nA or fA out of the sky. Sword is actually really good against rook when used properly. His crossups are super gross and that jB beats pretty much everything you can do besides jS. If you can punish sword whiffs or super whiffs, that’s the best opportunity you have to capitalize. Sword sometimes pushes you out of grab range though. You might be able to catch him with C when he jumps in on you, but it’s tricky timing with crossups. jC is your best friend here.

JAINA: I honestly don’t think Jaina is as bad as everyone thinks, but it’s still not great. I use B a lot in here actually. Careful not to eat an air-row when jCing. Lariats lose to fA into arrow. When she air supers I usually wait for the first arrow to fall and then lariat through the second one, which often lets me dodge ground arrows too. Eating DP isn’t the worst thing in the world since she lowers her life too, but it sucks to get close enough again. Baiting super pretty much wins you the round. If you have one life left and you’re not next to her, you’re pretty much dead since she can jC for ever and you can’t breach it.

GEIGER: Your opponent has to be bad. Geiger can kick you if you jump over gears, his low recovery compared to other fireballs makes B a lot less effective, his backfist is of course great at medium range. His pressure is also insane since jC is inconsistent with whether or not you can C after, and on block he can just loop it or throw in a B if you try and grab him. Both air kicks can cross up. Flash kick beats your C every time since it hits twice. And if you do catch him in the corner, he can super out of there and retreat to the other corner. Seriously it’s the worst matchup ever.

Be careful trying to throw Valerie on Rainbow Disc setups; there are ways to make sure you must block it, or punish Normal Throw with YC, or react to C/S with jump.

Blocking is always the safest option.

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Some notes I’ve found in my time playing, since all of these are a long time ago (though largely still relevant).

  • Ground C is still a good basic anti-air, but pretty much every character has some way of overriding it. I’d only use it against people who are just coming at you blindly with a basic air attack, which is to say newer players. More experienced players will use air attacks with more nuance or else just not jump at you.
  • Thunderclap might have had its speed improved since this was written, because it seems to come out reasonably fast to me. It’s slow relative to other attacks, but fast enough most people probably won’t react to it. I almost wish the follow-up grab was automatic on hit if not for it sometimes being out of range, because you can easily do it on reaction to the hit. If blocked, it does pull the opponent in to you, which is usually great.
  • Neutral air A (Rock Punch) I’ve found to be a surprisingly effective tool to keep opponents away if they would try to approach. That said, I’ve also found it to strangely fail on a number of moves, but it will take out key approaches.
  • I know it’s suboptimal, but I have a habit of attempting a crossup after landing the grab. Just jumping forward after the grab will usually make it cross up, but I’ve found backing up ever-so-slightly can make it much more ambiguous & dangerous.
  • In rare situations, depending on the timing, it’s possible to juggle a single hit after Ground Pound, and even rarer if hitting on the edge of Vine Spiral. It pushes your opponent far away doing so, but hey, if you need that last hit, it’s a thing. If you do it just right, you can land it more safely with Thunderclap, but usually you need to kick, instead. If done in the corner, you can even land a knockdown with Sweep, but this is about the sharpest corner case I’ve encountered.
  • I don’t know if this was patched since I started or I just never noticed, but Checkmate Buster seems to have a single frame of invincibility. This doesn’t usually matter much, but in a pinch, that has allowed me to use it against moves that would break armor or sometimes just completely avoid the hit an otherwise normal attack might do.