Take advantage of Scorpion’s slow mid attacks by utilizing pokes whenever you are at a slight disadvantage. Scorpion’s fastest mid is his +, which has a start-up of 13 frames. Because of this, Scorpion has very weak answers to opponents who poke against him. The only thing Scorpion can do most of the time is to use his own poke, which doesn’t yield much damage.
Gaps & Punishes
One string that can punished via Flawless Block is Scorpion’s ,,. The last hit of this string has a start-up of 30 frames, which can be easily reacted to. This string can also be interrupted with an attack if you do not wish to Flawless Block.
The second hit of Scorpion’s +, can also be Flawless Blocked. Being able to Flawless Block this string will hinder Scorpion’s offense off of + as he will no longer have the option to safely attack after it.
Another important string to Flawless Block is Scorpion’s +,. This is a low into overhead attack so be sure to block low and then high when Flawless Blocking. If you do not Flawless Block this string, it can be difficult to punish because Scorpion can either use +, or finish the string with +,,. In order to punish, you must anticipate when Scorpion will stop the string. If +, is blocked, Scorpion will be at -10 and can be punished by 9 frame or faster attacks. If +,, is blocked, Scorpion will be at -8 and can be punished by 7 frame attacks.
Punishing Hell Port
Scorpion’s Hell Port is extremely punishable on block. Punishing however can be tricky because if it is Amplified, you will be hit for trying to punish the regular Hell Port. With proper timing, it is possible to punish both the regular and Amplified Hell Port. Instead of immediately trying to punish, wait a split second. In case the Hell Port is Amplified, you will be able to block and punish. If the Hell Port is not Amplified, you will have enough time to react and punish before Scorpion can recover.
The first hit of Scorpion’s Hell Port is also a high attack. If you are crouching then you will avoid it. Throwing out low pokes in the neutral is a great way to interrupt Scorpion’s Hell Port without worrying about reacting to it. Hell Port can also be punished by crouching without blocking and quickly using a jab before the Amplified portion comes out.
Hell Port Cancel
In Scorpion’s Reborn variation, he gains the ability to cancel out of his Hell Port. This allows him to use Hell Port after strings such as +, string and cancel out of it for pressure. When Scorpion uses the Hell Port Cancel off of +,, it will leave him at -8 on block. Characters with a 7 frame attack will be able to punish for a full combo. If you predict that he will do the cancel, be ready to interrupt with a jab. Be cautious though because if the Hell Port is not cancelled, there is a chance that you will be hit by the Hell Port for trying to punish a cancel. Note that if your character does not have a 7 frame attack, you will still be able to interrupt Scorpion out of his follow-up attack after cancelling. Throwing out a poke will also safely interrupt Scorpion after the cancel.
Defending Against Mix-ups
Scorpion’s primary mix-up comes from his + and +,. Scorpion’s + is a 22 frame overhead attack, while his +, is a 16 frame low attack and can be hit confimed into a combo. + can normally be blocked on reaction due to its slow start-up. If you fail to block the overhead, it will only lead to a knockdown. Since the low comes out quicker than the overhead, it’s best to always block low and only block high to the overhead being used.
More often than not Scorpion will use a Toward Throw because it will leave you close, whereas his Back Throw will send you away. Because of this, it’s usually best to tech Scorpion’s Toward Throw when trying to Throw Escape. However, Scorpion may try to mix this up with his Back Throw because both throws can trigger a Krushing Blow if you failed to Throw Escape the previous throw. If Scorpion has met the Krushing Blow requirements for his throw, be prepared to Throw Escape his next throw attempt. Since you must guess which direction Scorpion will throw in, it may also be wise to duck or jump away if you predict that Scorpion will try to throw and trigger his Krushing Blow.
Scorpion’s The Damned (,) string can be staggered when mixed with his ,,. Since the final hit of ,, only leads into a knockdown, it is worth it to try and interrupt Scorpion after staggering the first 2 hits. Use a quick jab after Scorpion’s , to interrupt for a full combo.
Scorpion’s Banished (,) string is +2 on block, which he can then follow up with a +. The safest thing to do is to simply block, however there are a couple of other options to counter Scorpion’s offense after this string. After blocking ,, do not be afraid to challenge him with an attack. If Scorpion attempts to go for a grab or a slower attack, jabbing will interrupt for a combo. This will also interrupt his ,, string because of the large gap before the final hit.
Another option is to jump after blocking ,. If Scorpion does a +, it can be very difficult for him to convert off of it. You will also be knocked down and have more defensive options on the ground. If Scorpion does not do a + and instead uses a slower attack, you’ll completely avoid it and be able to punish him on the way down.
Scorpion’s Flick Kick (+) can also be used for pressure. + can be staggered as it is only -2 on block. Scorpion can then go for a grab or use another + to continue pressure. After blocking +, you have multiple options to deal with Scorpion’s pressure. The safest option is to block and focus on defending against the next attack. Most of the time, Scorpion will tend to use a throw after staggering with + so be prepared to use a Throw Escape.
Another option is to try to interrupt Scorpion’s follow-up attack with a jab. This however can be quite risky because Scorpion’s +, will trigger a Krushing Blow if it hits as a Kounter. A safer option is to duck after blocking +. This way, Scorpion’s +, will not trigger a Krushing Blow and instead will knock you away. You can also use a Short Hop instead to avoid a throw and quickly punish upon landing.
In Scorpion’s Searing Rage variation, he gains an additional string that enhances his pressure. Wrath (,,+) adds an extra hit after Scorpion’s ,, which cannot be interrupted. If you attempt to attack after blocking ,, you will be hit by ,,+. Continue blocking after , if you think he will finish the string.
,,+ is also -3 on block. Scorpion may attempt to use a + after this which will beat any attack that is slower than 10 frames. To stop Scorpion from poking, either use your own poke or use an attack that is 10 frames or faster. Throwing will also work as throws have a start-up of 10 frames.
Hack and Slash
Scorpion’s Searing Rage variation consists of another string, Hack and Slash (+,). This string adds an overhead into low attack after Scorpion’s +. Be sure to block high and then low after blocking + then punish for a full combo. It’s important to not get hit by the overhead because Scorpion can cancel it into Hell Port for a combo.
Note that if you are trying to Flawless Block Scorpion’s +, and he uses +, into Hell Port instead, your Flawless Block Attack will whiff and you will be punished by the Hell Port. In order to punish both +, and +,, you must wait after Flawless Blocking and only input + if Scorpion used +,. If Scorpion did not use +, and instead used +,, do not input + and continue to block.
A lot of Scorpion’s combos involve using his Spear as a combo ender. If you predict that he will end his combo with Spear, use a Breakaway to escape the combo and punish him. Most times however Scorpion may try to stay safe and not use Spear. In this case, do not use Breakaway to avoid wasting meter.
It can also be a good idea to save Breakaway for when Scorpion triggers his +, Krushing Blow. Using a Breakaway will cause Scorpion to waste the Krushing Blow. Once Scorpion can no longer trigger a Krushing Blow off of his +,, his offense becomes much easier to deal with and allows for you to challenge more after his +.
Scorpion also has the ability to Armor Break with his + to counter your Breakaway. This is usually done after Scorpion has hit you with a +. The best thing to do is to wait for Scorpion to continue his combo before using a Breakaway. Once you see that Scorpion did not use his + to Armor Break, you will be able to safely use Breakaway to escape the combo.
In Scorpion’s Burning Specter variation, he gains access to Misery Blade. Misery Blade puts Scorpion into a stance that can lead into 4 different attacks:
– Hate Strike
– Tsuka Poke
– Hamon Sweep
If Scorpion cancels out of the Misery Blade, he will usually be at a disadvantage on block. If used after Scorpion’s +, however, he will be +1 on block. If you predict that he will cancel out of the Misery Blade, use a jab or poke to interrupt his follow-up attack.
Scorpion can also use Tsuka Poke after Misery Blade, which is a quick mid attack. Although it does not deal much damage, it gives Scorpion a safe way to cover up his gaps. If you attempt to interrupt his cancels or Flawless Block his strings, he can safely stop you with the Tsuka Poke. Because Tsuka Poke deals low damage, most of the time it’s best to ignore it and continue to try and interrupt Scorpion’s offense. Depending on the distance and how it’s blocked, certain characters will also be able to cause the Tsuka Poke to whiff by moving backwards. If you notice that it whiffed, quickly punish Scorpion before he has a chance to recover.
Misery Blade also gives Scorpion a 50/50 mix-up. When defending against Misery Blade, it’s best to block low, and block high on reaction to the overhead. The overhead is reactable as it has a start-up of 19 frames, while the low has a start-up of 13 frames. Be careful when trying to react to the mix-up because if Scorpion Amplifies the overhead, the Misery Blade will hit as a low. Similarly if he Amplifies the low, the Misery Blade will hit as an overhead. These mix-ups however do not yield much damage and are extremely punishable on block.