Gaps & Punishes
This is Sonya’s main attack. The 2nd hit is an overhead and must be blocked high. The final hit launches for a combo, but is punishable at -14 on block.
One of Sonya’s least-used strings. All hits can either be interrupted or Flawless Blocked. Use a 7 frame attack to interrupt in between the first 2 hits. The final hit is a low attack. To interrupt the final hit, use a poke or mid that is 9 frames or faster. It can also be punished by simply blocking as it leaves Sonya at -20.
Similar to the above, this string is rarely used. The final hit of this string is an overhead which can be used as a mix-up with Sonya’s +,,+. This can be interrupted with any move that is 13 frames or faster. Additionally, it can be punished via Flawless Block and using an +. After blocking Sonya’s +,, it’s best to use a poke as it will interrupt both Sonya’s overhead and low.
This is a double-hitting low attack. Once blocked, Sonya will be punishable at -13. The 2nd hit can also be Flawless Blocked and punished with an +.
The 2nd hit of this string is a mid attack, leaving Sonya safe at -4. However, it can be Flawless Blocked and punished with an +. The final hit of this string is also safe at -5 but can be punished via Flawless Block. It should be noted that due to pushback, some characters’ Flawless Block Attacks will whiff, so it’s advised to Flawless Block the 2nd hit instead.
Countering Bo Bash
In general, Sonya doesn’t have very good range on her attacks. Outspacing her is ideal while staying outside of her Bo Bash (+) range. Sonya’s + is a high attack, which means it will lose to pokes. By mashing out pokes, you will be able to attack while simultaneously avoiding her +. Poking with a + is especially good here due to its long range. If you predict that Sonya will use +, another option is to duck underneath it and quickly stand up to punish it. This requires precise timing but will reward a full combo punish.
Defending Against Mix-ups
Sonya’s main mix-up comes from her +,, and +,. The 2nd hit of her +,, is an overhead, while the 2nd hit of her +, is a low. By blocking Sonya’s mix-up correctly, you will be able to punish both options. Most times, it’s best to block high because +,, launches for a combo while +, will only deal 14-19% damage. Once the overhead is blocked, Sonya will be punishable at -14. After blocking +,, continue blocking low because it will usually be followed with her Leg Breaker move which also hits low and is -19 on block.
Sonya can also use her ,, string as a low mix-up with +,. Because the low in ,, hits faster than the overhead in +,, you will always want to block low and react if she uses +,.
Punishing Energy Rings
Instead of finishing the +,, string, Sonya can opt to cancel the +, into Energy Rings. If Amplified, she will shoot an additional Energy Ring which is -4 on block. Some characters will be able to punish this by ducking underneath the 1st Energy Ring and quickly using a jab before the 2nd one comes out. However, if you are ducking and she uses +,,, then you will be launched by the final hit. Whenever Sonya goes for her overhead, you must guess whether she will cancel it into the Energy Rings or not.
If using a character that cannot duck underneath the Energy Ring but has a 7 frame attack, then continue blocking. If Sonya Amplifies the Energy Ring, it can be interrupted by 6 or 7 frame attacks. This is a much safer option than ducking because if she uses +,,, then you will block it.
If using a character that does not have a 7 frame jab, then you will be able to punish by Flawless Blocking the Amplified Energy Ring. This is especially useful if you react too late to punish Sonya through the previous methods.
Energy Ring Cancel
In Sonya’s Ring Master variation, she has the option to cancel out of the Amplified Energy Ring. This allows her to combo off of her +, in the corner by cancelling out of it and using +,, afterwards. This can be punished by ducking underneath the 1st Energy Ring. Keep in mind that Sonya can also cancel the +, into a Special Move such as Leg Breaker which will counter your attempt at ducking, however this will only deal minimal damage.
Note: Unlike the overhead, you will not be able to interrupt the Amplified Energy Rings on block with a 7 frame attack or Flawless Block due to pushback on Sonya’s +,.
Boot Kamp & Flying Knee
To prevent you from ducking and poking out of her +, Sonya will attempt to use her mid attacks: + and +. Sonya’s + has the ability to low crush pokes, meaning it will counter pokes by going over them. It is also +1 on block, allowing Sonya to start her offense.
After blocking Sonya’s +, it’s normally best to continue blocking in case she follows up with a + poke. However, it can also be a good idea to challenge her with your own poke. Since her poke deals small damage, there’s very little risk in trying to interrupt her next attack. By poking, you will also stop her from using her + and throw.
Sonya’s + is much faster than her +, but is -3 on block. Due to only being -3, Sonya may try to stop your attack by using a + afterwards. To counter, use your own poke after blocking her +. Alternatively, you may also use a Reversal throw, which will grab Sonya out of her attack.
Most times you will want to use a Throw Escape against Sonya’s Toward Throw to prevent her from attacking again on knockdown. Neither of Sonya’s throws do trigger a Krushing Blow, so failing to Throw Escape isn’t as threatening. Another option to counter Sonya’s throws is to duck underneath them on a read and punish with a +. Since Sonya does not have any strong mid attacks that she can combo off of, you will not be taking a risk by ducking.
Sonya has the ability to Armor Break with her + to counter your Breakaway. This is usually done after Sonya has hit you with a +,, or +. The best thing to do is to wait for Sonya to continue her combo before using a Breakaway. Once you see that Sonya did not use her + to Armor Break, you will be able to safely use Breakaway to escape the combo.
When trying to approach Sonya, you should continuously duck because her Energy Ring is a high. Make sure to not jump over an Energy Ring because if she Amplifies it, the 2nd ring will hit you on the way down and send you fullscreen. It’s best to duck underneath her projectiles and slowly walk your way in. Be careful when ducking underneath Sonya’s projectiles because if she Amplifies the Energy Ring, she will shoot another Energy Ring to stop your approach. The Amplified Energy Ring is a mid projectile and can be up to +22 on block. If you try to forward dash after blocking an Amplified Energy Ring, you will be hit by the next Energy Ring. After blocking an Amplified Energy Ring, either walk forward or dash and block immediately before the next Energy Ring will connect.
K.A.T. Orbital Drop
In Sonya’s Ring Master variation, she gains access to K.A.T. Orbital Drop. Do not try to avoid this move because she can direct it anywhere on the screen. The best thing to do is to block once it comes down, which will give you a free forward dash afterwards because it is -23 on block. Since it is an overhead, you will want to block high. Some characters will also be able to punish the K.A.T. Orbital Drop with an advancing Special Move.
In Sonya’s Ten-Hut variation, she gains access to her Summon K.A.T. move. Once used, Sonya will summon a K.A.T. Turret which will temporarily stay on the screen and assist her in the fight.
The K.A.T. Turret can use 5 different attacks:
– K.A.T. Tantrum (Overhead)
– Mortar Strike (Mid)
– Leaping .50 Kal (High)
– Straight .50 Kal (Low)
– Detonate K.A.T. (Mid)
K.A.T. Tantrum is an overhead projectile. This can be used as a mix-up with Straight .50 Kal. If you predict that she will use K.A.T. Tantrum, block high. Due to pushback, this is usually safe on block when used at a distance unless you have a fast advancing attack or projectile.
Another option is to jump back on reaction to the start-up. Once you see Sonya enter in the command for the K.A.T. Turret, quickly jump back. This will allow you to dodge both the overhead and low, and will completely avoid the mix-up. However, jumping back will lose to Leaping .50 Kal so it should not always be used. Note that because K.A.T. Tantrum only reaches halfscreen, Sonya will not be able to use it for mix-ups when fullscreen.
Mortar Strike is a mid projectile that leaves Sonya at least +10 on block depending on the distance. This can be avoided by jumping back on reaction to the start-up of the Mortar Strike. If used up-close, Sonya can pressure with Mortar Strike after blockstrings. Do not try to interrupt the Mortar Strike as it will not go away on hit. Instead, simply jump away once you see it being used up-close.
Leaping .50 Kal is a high projectile. This is mainly used to hit opponents out of the air. If you are attempting to jump away from the K.A.T. Turret, then you will be hit by the Leaping .50 Kal. Since this is a high projectile, you can easily avoid it by crouching.
Straight .50 Kal is a low projectile. This can be used as a mix-up with K.A.T. Tantrum. If you predict that she will use Straight .50 Kal, block low. Due to pushback, this is usually safe on block when used at a distance unless you have a fast advancing attack or projectile. As mentioned earlier, you can also jump back on reaction to the start-up to avoid the mix-up.
Detonate K.A.T. will cause the K.A.T. Turret to self-destruct. There is a short period before it detonates, so you will be able to react and have enough time to escape. Make sure to avoid blocking the explosion as it gives Sonya a large amount of advantage on block.