Killer Instinct Frame Data Analysis: Thunder

Take a more in-depth look at Thunder with an unofficial analysis of his frame data.

Thunder is a grappler character who needs a bit of frame advantage to setup tick throws and keep an opponent on the defensive at close range. Luckily, he has just about everything he needs!


Attack Notation Startup Active Advantage on Hit Advantage on Block
Horn Breaker F+HP 18 2 -2 -6
Sky Fall K (during Sammamish) 19 0 N/A -13
LP LP 4 2 5 2
Close MP MP 6 2 1 -2
Far MP MP 7 3 -1 -4
Close HP HP 8 3 -1 -6
Far HP HP 11 2 0 -3
LK LK 5 3 5 2
Close MK MK 6 3 4 1
Far MK MK 8 6 3 0
Close HK HK 7 4 -1 -5
Far HK HK 15 5 3 1
Crouching LP Crouching LP 4 2 4 2
Crouching MP Crouching MP 8 2 3 -3
Crouching HP Crouching HP 8 4 -3 -6
Crouching LK Crouching LK 4 2 4 1
Crouching MK Crouching MK 8 3 -2 -4
Crouching HK Crouching HK 11 3 N/A -6
Jump LP Jump LP 7 16 20 14
Jump MP Jump MP 8 2 22 18
Jump HP Jump HP 10 4 24 20
Jump LK Jump LK 7 14 20 14
Jump MK Jump MK 9 11 22 18
Jump HK Jump HK 10 12 24 20

Thunder has a few Normals that give him frame advantage. You can use most of these twice in a row, mixing in Call of the Earth to keep an opponent on their toes. For example, light punch leaves Thunder at +2 and can be canceled into the heavy Call of the Earth throw when it hits or gets blocked. You can use back to back light punches that are uninterruptible, or use one and then the heavy Call of the Earth. After the second light punch, you’re pushed back enough to avoid most fast attacks from the opponent, so you can use crouching heavy punch, then cancel into the heavy Call of the Earth. It’s a little bit of a risk, but as long as the opponent is afraid of Call of the Earth, you can take these risks.

Special Moves

Attack Notation Startup Active Advantage on Hit Advantage on Block
Triplax QCF+LP 8 2 4 -1
  QCF+MP 10 2 2 -2
  QCF+HP 12 2 1 -7
Call of the Earth QCB+LP 10 3 69 N/A
  QCB+MP 13 3 69 N/A
  QCB+HP 17 3 69 N/A
Ankle Slicer QCB+LK 15 2 2 -4
  QCB+MK 18 2 4 -7
  QCB+HK 20 2 5 -9
Sammamish DP+LP 7 8 N/A -31
  DP+MP 9 7 N/A -32
  DP+HP 11 7 N/A -36

The frame data for Thunder’s special moves is not very promising. Only the light Ankle Slicer and light and medium Triplax are safe. Unfortunately, the Triplax is always three hits, which means it is easily Shadow Countered if the opponent has meter. In addition, the light Ankle Slicer has minimal range, and the 15 frame startup makes it interruptible in many instances. Your primary offense is going to come from canceling Normals into the Call of the Earth when the opponent has meter, which is very limiting.

Shadow Moves

Attack Notation Startup Active Advantage on Hit Advantage on Block
Shadow Triplax QCG+2P 3/3 2 5 2
Shadow Call of the Earth QCB+2P 5/0 3 103 N/A
Shadow Ankle Slicer QCB+2K 1/9 5 6 -4
Shadow Sammamish DP+2P 6/0 5 N/A -31

Thunder has excellent Shadow moves. The Shadow Triplax is not only +2 when blocked, it also has one hit of armor. Shadow Call of the Earth is very fast and cannot be escaped once the screen freezes. If the opponent is not already in the air (or attacking), the Shadow Call of the Earth is guaranteed. Unfortunately, it can’t be used after many attacks as a tick throw because it’s so fast the opponent is in hit or block stun and the throw will miss.

The Shadow Ankle Slicer is a little slow, but invulnerable to low attacks until it hits and is safe if the opponent blocks. Meanwhile, the Shadow Sammamish is completely invincible, but that comes at the risk of being extremely unsafe if the opponent blocks it.

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.