Scorpion’s Falling Ashes attack, or +,, can be quite intimidating because if it hits as a Kounter or Punish, it’ll become a Krushing Blow and lead into a full combo. The threat of +, allows Scorpion to continuously pressure with +. Understanding how to defend against +, is key to stopping Scorpion from mindlessly throwing it out and limiting his options up close.
Taking the Hit
One strategy that can work is to purposely take the hit of +, at the beginning of the match. If you have two bars of Defensive Meter, you can allow Scorpion to use his +, Krushing Blow then Breakaway afterwards. This will cause Scorpion to waste his Krushing Blow and you will not have to worry about it for the rest of the match. Because +, is necessary to enforce his pressure off of +, his options off of + become much weaker once he does not have the opportunity to land a Krushing Blow anymore.
Blocking Falling Ashes
+, creates a good amount of pushback on block. If your character does not have a quick advancing move, it might be difficult to approach Scorpion in this situation. When blocking +,, you should make sure to block the 2nd hit low. If it’s blocked crouching, there will be less pushback than if it were blocked standing.
Note: This strategy is less effective against Scorpion’s Searing Rage variation because of his +, string.
Flawless Blocking Falling Ashes
The 2nd hit of +, can also be Flawless Blocked. If timed correctly, you will punish Scorpion and make him think twice about throwing this string out.
If playing against Scorpion’s Searing Rage variation, Flawless Blocking can be risky because if he does +, into Hell Port instead, he’ll avoid your Flawless Block Attack and punish you. In order to defend against both +, and +,, what you must do is wait after Flawless Blocking then react to whether Scorpion used +, or +, before inputting an +. There is a lengthy amount of time to input an + after Flawless Blocking +,, so you can easily react in time to punish both attacks.
Flawless Block Option Select
The final way to counter +, is to option select your Flawless Block. When inputting a Flawless Block, you can option select it by inputting it as either Block, , or Block, , . This can be very useful against Scorpion because you’ll be able to defend against multiple options.
If you input Block, , , you will Flawless Block +, while also teching a Forward Throw if Scorpion chooses to stagger his +. Scorpion’s Forward Throw is much stronger than his Back Throw, so he will most likely throw forward making this option select very viable.
If you input Block, , , you will Flawless Block +, while also doing a Hop Attack. The Hop Attack will avoid both Scorpion’s Forward Throw and Back Throw because you will be airborne. This will also punish Scorpion for a small amount of damage. The downside to doing this is that if Scorpion does a + into a poke, there’s a chance that you will be hit out of the air.
For more information on option selecting Flawless Block, check out the Flawless Block Option Select guide: