Guilty Gear Strive's I-no can be tricky to learn and understand which helps her in overwhelming her foes fast in matches. In exchange for her unorthodox dash, she has access to confusing mixups that make her a threat once she gets the momentum of the fight. However, fighting her becomes easier once you understand her options in Guilty Gear Strive.
Read More: Guilty Gear Strive Tier List
I-No As A Character
In Guilty Gear, I-No is a rush down character with a unique Hover Dash mechanic which changes how she advances towards her foes. Instead of a regular straightforward run, double-tapping the forward button makes her float diagonally upward and toward the enemy's position.
At first glance, her float looks unusual but it gives her access to a unique offence that focuses on opening her opponent's block more easily. Once she dashes to an enemy's position, she can ambiguously go for an overhead, low, and throw depending on how her players feel what she can do. Once she opens your guard, she can end her combos that set her enemies up for an ambiguous setup. If I-no keeps this momentum, she can go for another one until her opponent runs out of health.
To get out of her pressure, her opponent must guess correctly and interrupt with the right move to stop her to get started with their own offence.
Rinse and Repeat
I-no's goal in matches is to get momentum and carry it as far as she can up until she can end the round with the final blow. To achieve this, all of her combos will end in hard knockdown and follow it up with an Antidepressant Scale fireball.
This setup allows her to freely hover dash her way into the mixup position as her foes will have to deal with her fireball first before they can attack cleanly. Trying to stop her pressure with the Antidepressant Scale note incoming on their wakeup often ends up in a hit confirm where I-no can continue the combo and knock her foe down again for another setup.
This pattern will be seen a lot in matches against I-no so it'll be better to chill and try to find an opening such as a whiffed move, relenting on a button press or over-relying on one option to open up a block. While I-no's pressure has the potential to be overwhelming, it's actually filled with holes that make it a risk for her to keep going in.
Options To Escape
Once she knocks you down, she has these basic options she can use to continue her momentum and here's what you can do.
- Hover Dash to Jumping Punch - A rare choice in Hover Dash setups, I-no's jumping punch never hits crouchers so just crouch on this and punish with your own jab and take the turn when she falls over the floor
- Hover Dash to Jumping Kick - One of the three basic I-no options to open you up with an overhead on wakeup. Out of all her overhead options, this Jumping kick has the least block stun which allows you to act sooner when she drops. If she drops to the floor after this, she is punishable with a throw. However, be careful as she can link her kick to Jumping Dust which turns it into a frametrap and can even avoid the interrupt with a jump.
- Hover Dash to Jumping Slash - I-no's aerial guitar kick is also an overhead block opener when she uses this option. When it connects, she can go for another combo that'll knock you down. If she uses this, try to block it standing and will often use it as early as possible to continue the pressure faster. If she repeats this move after you just got hit with one, you can press Punch right after to escape the pressure.
- Hover Dash to Jumping Heavy Slash - I-no's slower overhead option which is often used to punish their enemies trying to interrupt her pressure. If you feel this one incoming, it'll be better to simply guard it. Check if her spacing is too far as you can use a Forward Punch to also stop her from doing this.
- Hover Dash to Crouching Kick - I-no's empty hover dash option where she uses the dash as a overhead feint to go for a low. This option completes the overhead-low 50/50 for her mixups which makes her threatening on paper as she can continue for another knockdown if this connects. However, this option barely has a good reward on block.
- Hover Dash to Throw - Another I-no empty hover dash option where she feints for neither hits and opts to grab you instead. This option defeats a foe who is looking to block either of her options. Try to jump or back dash out of the way of this option.
All-in-all, I-no's offence seem overwhelming but it's actually is a dance where one side will pick an option and hope it's the right one. Try to understand which options does your I-no use a lot to prepare for the next setups to come.
Even though I-no's momentum-based pressure is strong, her normals and attacks are actually subpar. Moves like Chemical Love, Stroke The Big Tree, and the Sultry Performance divekicks have glaring weaknesses that can discourage any I-no player from using them if punished correctly. Meanwhile, her normals are always overshadowed by her opponent's best options. I-no often has to work her way for a victory as her damage isn't as explosive as most of the cast.
Here are some weaknesses you can take advantage of when fighting against I-no
- Chemical Love - Amazing Horizontal reach but thin Vertical reach. This move will whiff against foes crouching under it and can even run under it.
- Stroke The Big Tree - The fast version is unsafe can be punished with a fast normal on block. Meanwhile, the slower version can be thrown in the middle of the animation if done too near against their foe.
- Antidepressant Scale - Can be controlled but actually has a slow turn speed which allows some characters to pass through it.
- Ultimate Fortissimo - This move has a large punishable gap in the middle before the explosive shout. She can be anti-aired and even air thrown out of the second hit of this super move.
- Megalomania - This command throw super becomes a projectile super on whiff which makes it a strong option for scramble situations. However, players who see this move must jump over her and punish behind her. Let her fire the projectiles first as approaching too early may allow the heart projectiles to unusually track behind her and deal full damage anyway.
Once you get a handle of how I-no works, the matchup gets bearable to play. Keep your wits about you even at low health as her damage output is easily overpowered by a lot of the cast and steal the win from her anyway.