Kazuya wants to play a bait and punish neutral with a heavy emphasis on the punish. He doesn't really bait the opponent to messing up as a lot of his moves just have intangibility to go through attacks allowing Kazuya to beat out moves that, traditionally, would be the correct option to go for. This forces the opponent to move from a traditional style of "pressure with aerials, counter with aerials, and mixup with tilts" to an unorthodox style of "pressure with tilts, counter with tilts, mixup with aerials" as Kazuya hard counters aerials. Kazuya will try to anti air attacks with EWGF to start combos, UTilt to combo into EWGF, and BTilt for extra horizontal range. Kazuya can also air-to-air with UAir, which has intangibility, and FAir, which will launch the opponent horizontally off stage or combo at low percents. Against grounded opponents, Kazuya can Crouch Dash through attacks, but that will be hard to do. He can whiff punish with EWGF, BTilt, FTilt, DFTilt, DBTilt, UTilt, Grab, Dash Attack and Hellsweep. When Kazuya has Rage, he will mainly want to get Rage Drive off of a combo, but sometimes it will work well in neutral as it has a lot of range and full intangibility then full body super armor on startup. At far range, Kazuya will want to move in. If it's the opponent that is not trying to stay away, Kazuya's laser can catch them off guard to launch them to grant Kazuya a chance to move closer. Kazuya also has a reflector to protect against projectiles as well as his Crouch Dash being intangible. Once he gets to midrange he will want to try to whiff punish then once in close range he will just want to brute force through attacks. For platforms, Kazuya does not really use them in neutral and although can use them in combos, doesn't want to use them.
Kazuya's shield pressure is not the greatest. He has shield breaks, but the strings to get them are not tight at all. First, EWGF has a Nullbox which will force the opponent out of shield into hard landing lag. Depending on the weight of the opponent, Kazuya is anywhere from +5 on block against Pichu to -1 on block against Bowser. But, the knockback increases with the highest being against Pichu and the lowest being against Bowser. Because the knockback decreases as the weight increases, the super heavy characters can end up tripping when the Nullbox hits their shield. This gives Kazuya a free combo. If it doesn't trip, even though Kazuya is plus on block, the opponent is too far away for Kazuya to actually utilize that. The best Kazuya can do is to make a read against what the opponent will do afterwards and counter that. As for Kazuya's tilts, they are not safe on shield, but they provide a lot of push back. Enough where short range OOS options, like Grabs, will whiff. Noteably, DFTilt 2 does a lot of shield damage. Kazuya's FSmash and DSmash are not safe on shield but can break shields. Full charge FSmash fully breaks shield and full charge DSmash almost breaks shield. Although, Kazuya's jump is bad, his aerials are really good. Noteably, NAir is -3 on block. Kazuya can do NAir > EWGF and because of the intangibility on EWGF, most characters can't be aggressive against Kazuya. The best thing Kazuya can do against shield is grab, as he has a 0-to-death off of DThrow at 0-30% and he has strong, high damage, command grabs.
Out of Shield
Kazuya's out of shield is bad. His fastest option is frame 11 with UAir and Grab. His second fastest is frame 12 with USmash and Up B. USmash has frame 7 heavy armor, but the armor is pretty weak. It only tanks up to 7% base damage. Kazuya can also do jump cancel UFTilt or UBTilt which are both frame 15 at best and have intangibility on his lower body.
Out of Parry
Out of parry, Kazuya can get his best punishes. He can get his combo starters and get his ToDs in. He can also Crouch Dash out of parry for extra intangibility, though EWGF gets more.
Kazuya has a bad disadvantage state. He is a heavy, so he gets comboed pretty hard. His fastest escape option is frame 3 with air dodge, which is not bad, but because of his bad air speed, he is not going to get far with the air dodge. His double jump is very slow. It takes about 12 frames before he starts moving up, but he will go pretty high. He can do an aerial with the double jump to make the double jump faster, but Kazuya will not go as high. Offstage, Kazuya has a far recovery, but it is slow. Kazuya can stall with Neutral B and Down B but they are very laggy and can spell death if the opponent is ready to edge guard against it. It is best to use Up B first before the double jump as if Kazuya gets hit, he will get his Up B back, but he will not get his double jump back. Side B can also be used to go to the ledge but it is not recommended as it takes a while before it can grab the ledge. Once Kazuya is on the ledge, he has all the normal stuff. Except, because of his slow double jump, ledge drop double jump is very reactable. For example, ledge drop double jump Down B is very powerful as it is a command grab beating opponents who like to shield then react with jump OOS. It is, however very slow, and a better option would be to do ledge jump double jump Down B. And doing an aerial after it is very slow as well. If he does the aerial too early, then he won't go high enough to make it onto stage. Kazuya can do ledge jump > Side B for an aggressive ledge option as if it crumples the opponent, Kazuya gets a combo. But it is not safe on shield and it gets beat out by all hitboxes and it doesn't hit low profile hurtboxes. If Kazuya does neutral getup, he can do Crouch Dash to only have 2 frames of vulnerability. And one of the two frames of vulnerability he has upper body intangibility.
Ordered from best at the top to worst at the bottom.
These stages are best for Kazuya as the lack of platforms let him combo without having to guess.
If your opponent didn't ban Final Destination, go here immediately. There are no platforms meaning the only way the opponent is getting out of combos is by the Kazuya player's own execution.
Northern Cave is basically Final Destination but with side platforms. They are out of the way for most combos to work, but are low enough that Kazuya can easily access them with Ferps tech if he has to. This stage also has the lowest ceiling of all legal stages and Kazuya mainly KOs off USmash and USpecial.
The first phase of Town & City allows the opponent to platform camp Kazuya, but the second phase and the transition are both essentially FD.
Kalos Pokemon League has the same layout as NC, but the platforms are slightly higher. This makes accessing them harder. Also, the ceiling is higher making USmash and Up B KO later.
These stages have low platforms that allow you to do Ferps tech relatively easily.
Small Battlefield offers Kazuya the best way to get Ferps tech combos. These can lead to earlier KOs due because of the platforms.
Hollow Bastion basically offers the same thing as Small Battlefield, but it is harder to get the tech chase due to the platform's size.
These stages have some benefits to them but still have some key drawbacks.
Lylat's slants don't affect Kazuya much in neutral. If anything, they benefit him. UBTilt becomes plus on block when Kazuya is lower than the opponent. The platforms are about PS2 height. The blast zones are a little close making KOing better.
Smashville is the small stage, which makes it hard for the opponent to run away from Kazuya, as they cannot get far. The platform, though, is very high making Ferps tech hard, and the platform is large making getting a tech chase also hard.
Pokemon Stadium 1 is like PS2 but the platforms are lower, so Ferps tech is easier.
PS2 is larger allowing for more non-platform combos, but can also use platforms. They are a little higher making Ferps tech slightly harder.
You should avoid these unless the opponent is very uncomfortable on these stages and leaves them open.
Yoshi's Story is large enough to allow the opponent to platform camp Kazuya, but the high and wide platforms mean that if Kazuya does catch the opponent on them, then he can KO them early. On the slants, UBTilt becomes plus on block.
Battlefield's platform layout allows the opponent to platform camp Kazuya if they can. It also hinders him from getting out of juggles due to, if he lands on the platform, his bad jump squat. Jumping off of platforms is the main way to get off of them due to the sticky ledges. Kazuya having the slowest jump squat makes getting off them harder when being pressured. The ceiling is higher than SBF and the top platform is not likely to be used in combos.
Fighting Kazuya will involve a lot of Rock-Paper-Scissors-esque gameplay. Kazuya's entire moveset revolves around a fully intangible, combo starting anti-air attack. That being said, aerials are no good against it. He will either hit the opponent right through them or go through it untouched. The only way aerials, or any move will work will be by whiff punishing it. Some moves, though, are much better at whiff punishing EWGF than others. The reason is because his upper body has a longer period of intangibility than his legs. Those moves are the low pokes. EWGF's hitbox is all above his knees, so a limb of DTilt should not get hit by Kazuya. If Kazuya does hit the opponent out of their DTilt then it was because Kazuya was close enough to the opponent's body to hit them, (or the DTilt doesn't have enough horizontal range). Also, because EWGF's hitbox is above the knees, some characters can just straight up crouch under it and it will whiff. As for those who can't crouch under EWGF, crouch canceling EWGF will not let Kazuya combo off of it, unless he reacts to it, in which, if he does, he will not be getting a ToD. So what does Kazuya do vs low pokes? He does high pokes. He uses his aerials, or his high profiling moves like UBTilt, UFTilt, or DA. To beat Kazuya's aerials, they can do their own aerials to air-to-air, or use grounded anti-air moves. Kazuya beats air-to-airs with his own anti-air attacks (UTilt, BTilt, UBTilt, or EWGF) and he beats anti-air attacks, or spaced grounded attacks, with his own grounded moves. These include basically any tilt attack and Hellsweep. In disadvantage, it is best to DI his EWGF in. This will avoid combos like EWGF > FSmash and EWGF > NAir > NAir > NAir off the ledge. If platforms exist it does not mean to DI to the platform. Instead DI should be mixed between landing on the platform and not landing on the platform to make Kazuya guess wrong. As this is the only point in Kazuya's combo where a ToD is not guaranteed. What is guaranteed is ending the combo early with an aerial to launch the opponent off stage, but it almost never KO.
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