Note: This was written by Amuzan and translated by Modelah.
Amuzan's VF5FS Beginner's Blog post
Hi, I'm Amuzan. I've been playing since VF1 and have been using Shun since VF2. I pop into busy Tokyo arcades from time to time so hit me up for games if you see me around!
Shun's Characteristics, Strengths and Weaknesses
Shun is the only member of the VF cast that has a drinking system; the more drinks he has, the stronger he becomes. The number of drinks you have is displayed on the screen as drink points (X) during the match, and new moves become available as you drink more. Other characters have moves that will strip you of drink points, so managing your drinks is very important for Shun's game. As you start out with 0 you should focus more on getting drinks than damaging your opponent. This means that as Shun, not only do you have to have a sound nitaku game but you've also got to have a strategy of getting more drinks during the match. I think this extra depth makes Shun a very rewarding character to pick up.
Basic Skills- Elbow class
: At 15 frames it's 1 frame slower than everyone elses' elbow attack. The follow-up hits mid and will get you 1. It's advantage is great on counterhit, so go for a throw, knee-class mid or low attack. If you're short on drinks (like at the start of the match) I recommend with or a throw for good nitaku pressure.
: Same frames as above, but with a longer reach it's useful to poke at mid range. When you have 8dp, you can use . A word of caution, when doing this from a crouch you might end up throwing out instead.
Basic Skills- Upper class
: A long-reaching mid that you can only unleash from a crouching state. Mostly used after a CH but also useful against backdashers if you read it right. Causes a stomach crumple on counter hit allowing you to follow up with a combo.
Combos:(): One of Shun's mainstay techniques. The follow-up () is available at 8. A special mid, it doesn't do any damage to a crouch-guarding opponent. However, you can execute it quickly from a crouching state so the main strategy here is to use it when high attacks and throws whiff, and just throwing it out at mid range. This move has deceptive reach so just throwing it out can still pose a threat to the opponent.
(CH), , -A simple combo that works on all characters
(CH), , -For more damage when you have 6 or more
(CH), (to Chōkarō Stance), Chōkarō -Good damage on lightweights.
Combos:Basic Skills- Knee class
(), , , -for midweights (excluding Akira) at 7 or less
(), , , -same as above, at 8 or more
(), , -for Akira, Wolf and Jeffry
, dash, or , (at 8) -for Taka
: A two-legged mid attack that can lead into combos regardless of normal or counterhit. Being a double-limbed attack it will beat sabaki attempts and reversal techniques so it's good to use when you can read your opponent well. It has a slight ducking startup so when at small disadvantages it can often go under high attacks and hit.
, (brief pause), -A stable combo for most characters.
, -Use this if you're unsure, but the damage isn't so great.
, dash, , (at 6 or more) -Slightly trickier but allows you take a decent chunk of damage so it's definitely worth practicing.
Some combos won't work on Taka so I think the heavy pounce is a safer choice.
: A half-circular mid. Counterhits opponents that evade to Shun's back, giving you a good advantage. Following-up the counter with a throw or mid attack is recommended. The opponent's retaliation after may be difficult for beginners to handle. It leaves you at a small disadvantage when guarded, but thanks to the slight pushback simply backdashing away will be enough to make the opponent's short range moves whiff. Holding will put you into Chōkarō stance. As the transition phase helps to lessen the frame disadvantage against you, after hits hold to enter stance then go to , or for santaku pressure.
: A half-circular low. Opposite to the above, this will hit opponents evading to Shun's stomach. It knocks down on hit (except Taka) allowing you to continue to press the advantage. If you're after drinks, step back and you'll be able to get 1 in safely. If the attack is guarded hit to lie down, helping you to reduce the opponent's punishment damage (at the cost of 1).
The majority of Shun's throws aren't that powerful but some can get you a bunch of drink points, so try to incorporate them into your game (damage values in brackets).
(66): Shun's strongest throw, unlocked at 10. Also gives you 4.
(10, more with combos): Unlocked at 6. Puts you facing the opponent's back, guaranteeing .
Combo:(50): No drink point requirement but you will lose 2 if the throw is escaped.
, , -A stable combo with good carry, great for ringouts.
(50): Tricky direction to throw-escape.
(40): Shun's neutral throw. Will give 2 but leave your back open to attack if the opponent escapes from it.
(40): Low damage but will net 4 for your troubles. Damage is reduced to 30 if the opponent tech-recovers.
(0): A throw that puts you facing the opponent's back. No damage inflicted by this throw but mid attacks 16 frames or less and high attacks 12 frames or less are guaranteed to hit. can be too but the input must be buffered. The safest attacks after the throw are and .
Other useful moves
:: A half-circular mid hit-throw. Kinda slow and the throw is possible only after a successful hit, but it gets you 3. Good for hitting opponents that evade to your back.
or : A diagonal-back stepping maneuver. It look like it moves far off axis but you can still get hit by long reaching attacks. From this move and are both useful high attacks. gives a head crumple on hit allowing you to do a combo for more damage.
Combo:: Great for blowing through low attacks and throw attempts, this is one of my main weapons. Leads to combos on some characters. If you throw it out at a slight disadvantage and get hit by a launcher it won't launch you, and you'll just be knocked down instead.
or , , -Works on all characters.
World champion Fuudo and pro player Itazan also use Shun so I'm sure you can find lots of videos of them in action. Shun really is an interesting character that is well worth investing your time in so I'd be really happy if this post inspires you to try Shun!
Go to Starting out with Shun #2