Killer Instinct Frame Data Analysis: Sabrewulf - Prima Games

Killer Instinct Frame Data Analysis: Sabrewulf

by Bryan Dawson

Sabrewulf is a brutal rushdown character, but can he really specialize in such a feat when he has less frame advantage than Jago? Let’s take a closer look!


Attack Notation Startup Active Advantage on Hit Advantage on Block
Overpower B+HP 8/16 2 2 2
LP LP 4 2 3 0
Close MP MP 5 2 3 0
Far MP MP 5 2 2 0
Close HP HP 7 3 0 -2
Far HP HP 9 2 -3 -6
LK LK 6 3 5 3
MK MK 7 3 7 2
HK HK 13 4 3 -2
Crouching LP Crouching LP 4 2 3 0
Crouching MP Crouching MP 5 3 3 -3
Crouching HP Crouching HP 6 3 N/A -6
Crouching LK Crouching LK 6 3 5 3
Crouching MK Crouching MK 7 3 7 2
Crouching HK Crouching HK 7 6 -2 -4
Jump LP Jump LP 6 8 20 14
Jump MP Jump MP 9 3 22 18
Jump HP Jump HP 9 4 24 20
Jump LK Jump LK 6 8 20 14
Jump MK Jump MK 8 4 22 18
Jump HK Jump HK 12 7 24 20

One of the most notable aspects of Sabrewulf’s frame data on his Normals is the existence of frame traps. While you need to be very close to the opponent, Sabrewulf’s standing and crouching light kick and medium kick are +3 and +2 respectively. This means that as long as you’re within range, you can use a standing or crouching light kick repeatedly without be interrupted by anything other than a Shadow move or an attack with invincibility. You can also shift from the standing or crouching light kick to the standing or crouching medium kick without being interrupted. Use this knowledge to poke away at an opponent until they give in and attempt to attack. You’ll interrupt their attack and be able to start a combo.

The other interesting aspect of Sabrewulf’s Normals frame data is Overpower. While the attack can be charged to make it unblockable, when it’s not fully charged it’s still +2 when blocked. This leads to frame traps with any attack that’s 6 frames or faster and will reach the opponent after a blocked Overpower.

Special Moves

Attack Notation Startup Active Advantage on Hit Advantage on Block
Ragged Edge B,F+LP 7 2 4 -1
  B,F+MP 10 2 2 -3
  B,F+HP 13 2 1 -5
Run B,F+K N/A 107 N/A N/A
Hamstring B,F+K,LK 8 3 5 -7
Jumping Slash B,F+K,MK 14 3 5 -7
Running Uppercut B,F+K,HK 4 4 N/A -2
Eclipse D,U+LP 3 7 N/A -11
  D,U+MP 5 6 N/A -13
  D,U+HP 7 8 N/A -15

The frame data on Sabrewulf’s special moves is fairly straightforward. Only the light and medium Ragged Edge are safe, while every other special move is unsafe except the Running Uppercut. At -2, the Running Uppercut can pose a potential frame trap when you account for distance. If you use the Running Uppercut at maximum range, when it’s blocked you can beat out some attacks with a crouching medium punch. The crouching medium punch executes in 5 frames, but the range allows it to beat out many faster attacks that would normally interrupt at close range. The timing and spacing is tricky, but it can work in many circumstances.

Shadow Moves

Attack Notation Startup Active Advantage on Hit Advantage on Block
Shadow Ragged Edge B,F+2P 2/2 1 6 1
Shadow Jumping Slash B,F+2K 1/9 1 6 0
Shadow Eclipse D,U+2P 6/0 3 N/A -11

Sabrewulf does have minor frame advantage on the Shadow Ragged Edge. However, it should only be used when an opponent does not have meter to Shadow Counter. Otherwise you’ll need to use an Instinct Cancel to avoid a potential Shadow Counter. Since Sabrewulf doesn’t have a battery combo ender, it’s generally best to safe your meter for use during a lock out, but if you really need to maintain pressure, the Shadow Ragged Edge can work in your favor. You can also frame trap with the Shadow Jumping Slash because it leaves Sabrewulf at 0 when blocked. Just make sure to follow it with a 4 or 5 frame attack.

About The Author

Bryan Dawson

Bryan Dawson has an extensive background in the gaming industry, having worked as a journalist for various publications for nearly 20 years and participating in a multitude of competitive fighting game events. He has authored over a dozen strategy guides for Prima Games, worked as a consultant on numerous gaming-related TV and web shows and was the Operations Manager for the fighting game division of the IGN Pro League.

More Stories by Bryan Dawson