Clean Cut Mixups and Pressure Guide


In Kabal’s Clean Cut variation, he gains access to Low Hook Grab, or BackForward2. This is a low Special Move that can be used for mixups, but is -17 on block and punishable if the opponent guesses correctly.


The primary mixup that you want to use is Kabal’s Eviscerated string, or Back+1,2, and Hook Strike, or Back+1, into Low Hook Grab. Low Hook Grab has a startup of 15 frames, and the overhead in Back+1,2 has a startup of 16 frames, making this a true 50/50 mixup.

After Back+1,2 you have a variety of options. First, you can complete the string by doing Back+1,2,Down+2 which is safe at -4 on block.

The next option is to cancel the Back+1,2 into Extended Hook, or DownBack3. Although the Extended Hook is -12 on block, it is safe against most characters due to the amount of pushback it has. This also leaves the opponent standing and is +2 on hit. Use this if you want to stay away from your opponent.

If you wish to launch your opponent, you can cancel the Back+1,2 into Amplified Buzzsaw, or BackForward1 AMP. You can then combo off of this by doing a dash into Forward+2,2BackForward3 or Forward+4BackForward3. This leaves Kabal only at -1 on block. The Amplified Buzzsaw can be punished if your opponent ducks and does not block, but this means they can be hit by Back+1,2,Down+2, Back+1,2 Extended Hook or Back+1,2 Nomad Dash.

In the corner, Kabal can combo meterlessly without having to Amplify the Buzzsaw. However, this is punishable at -10 on block.

For a more risky approach, you can cancel the Back+1,2 into Nomad Dash, or BackForward3. The Nomad Dash is very unsafe at -29 on block, but leads into a combo.

Maimed and Mangled

Kabal’s Deep, or Forward+2,2, is a safe, hit confirmable mid attack that leaves Kabal only at -3 on block. This string has less range than Back+1,2, but has more pushback on block when spaced out. This is very good because if your opponent tries to poke after this string, you can walk back and whiff punish their poke with Back+1,2 or Forward+2,2. Kabal also gets a Krushing Blow off of these strings when used as a punish.

Maimed and Mangled, or Forward+2,2,4, ends in an overhead and knocks the opponent down. While Kabal cannot combo off of this, it is only -2 on block. When used with Low Hook Grab, this becomes a mixup. However, this is not a true 50/50 mixup as the low hits faster than the overhead, which means this can be fuzzy guarded.

Left For Dead

Left For Dead, or Forward+4,1+3, also ends with an overhead and is -5 on block. Mix this up by doing Forward+4 Low Hook Grab. Similar to Forward+2,2,4, this is not a true mixup and can be fuzzy guarded because the low hits faster than the overhead. This is strong because Forward+4 has a startup of 9 frames and allows Kabal to apply a mixup off of one of his fastest attacks.

Taking Your Turn Back

Many of Kabal’s strings have very low disadvantage on block. This allows Kabal to disrespect opponents by doing a Down+1 afterwards. When using a string such as Kabal’s Back+1,2,Down+2, he is only -4 on block. Kabal’s Down+1 is 7 frames, which means it will beat out any attack that is slower than 11 frames. For example, against a character such as Scorpion whose fastest mid is 13 frames, this is a very strong tactic because Scorpion can only stop Kabal’s Down+1 with his own poke or throw. On the other hand, against a character such as Jacqui Briggs, this isn’t advised due to her having a 9 frame mid attack.

Other moves that leave Kabal at low disadvantage are his Forward+2,2, Forward+2,2,4, Forward+4,1+3 and Amplified Buzzsaw. Forward+2,2 is -3 on block, Forward+2,2,4 is -2 on block, Forward+4,1+3 is -5 on block and Amplified Buzzsaw is -1 on block. Kabal’s Forward+4 can also be used after these moves because it has a startup of 9 frames.


Kabal has the ability to restand opponents at the end of combos as well. This is done by ending combos with Extended Hook, or DownBack3. This is very strong because it eliminates the opponent’s options to Get Up and leaves Kabal at +2 allowing him to apply offense. If your opponent tries to poke out of the restand you are able to walk back and whiff punish their poke with Back+1,2 or Forward+2,2.

If done in the corner, the restand leaves your opponent close allowing you to check with a Down+1. Since you are +2 after the restand, Kabal’s Down+1 will beat out any of the opponent’s moves. Once your opponent is conditioned to block the Down+1, you can then go for a throw.

Kabal’s Forward+4 can also be used after the restand as it cannot be jumped out of and can trade with your opponent’s pokes.

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