In the original Killer Instinct, every character was essentially a rush down character. With the new KI, the developers at Double Helix are making sure the characters see a little more variety. Jago is your all-around balanced character, Sabrewulf is a rush down character and Glacius is now a zoning character. He has all the tools you’ll need to keep opponents at a distance, and if they get in, he even has a couple different ways to send them out again.
This article goes over what we learned about Glacius during our playtime at Evolution 2013. In addition to this breakdown, we’ll also have an update to our pre-Evo mini-guide coming soon that will include a full move list for Glacius, as well as the various updates to the game system. If you can’t wait that long, the current version of the mini-guide covers the general system mechanics, along with a bit of what Jago and Sabrewulf were capable of in the E3 build.
Special thanks to Maximilian and Todd for playing a ton of Glacius at Evo, enabling us to find this information.
General System Mechanics
Glacius is the first zoning character in Killer Instinct. This means that it will take a little longer to understand how he works within the system. You probably won’t be able to pick him up as quickly as you would Jago or Sabrewulf, but once you have him down, he’s a very solid character. The main aspect of Glacius that sets him apart from the other playable characters is that he can combo from across the screen. He has a variety of attacks that reach nearly the entire length of the screen, and he can even execute Auto-Doubles from a distance.
While at first it may seem as though Glacius is a bit overpowered due to his ability to combo from nearly full-screen, keep in mind you can still break those full-screen combos with a well-timed Combo Breaker. In addition, he doesn’t have many choices when it comes to combo variety from a distance. His long-range Auto-Doubles are easy to read, and his only long-range Manual is his Ice Lance. Depending on how far away he is, he will be limited in how he can close the distance and shift to a more traditional close-range combo.
If you get inside on Glacius, you’ll find that many of his attacks are very slow. He can’t use most of his normals to push you back out. Instead, he can use his Ice Lance canceled into Hail to create distance, or simply throw you. Glacius’ throw pushes you almost a full screen length away, and if he throws you into a corner, he can combo from the throw.
Last but certainly not least, his Instinct mode gives him five hits of armor. If you’re hit while the armor is active, Glacius will absorb the attack and continue his offense. However, after a hit, his armor is gone for a few seconds before it becomes active again. In addition, his armor lasts a limited amount of time (a little over 10 seconds), meaning that you can wait it out if need be.
Ice Lance – F+MP
The Ice Lance is your main attack from a distance. It’s unsafe against Jago from full-screen, but Sabrewulf has a hard time punishing it unless he’s fairly close. Cover yourself by canceling the Ice Lance into Hail, Shatter or a LK Cold Shoulder if you’re close enough. Combine the Ice Lance with varied Hail attacks and his jumping kicks, which act like an aerial Ice Lance and your opponent will have a hard time closing in on Glacius. If you connect with the Ice Lance, it acts as an Opener, allowing you to follow with an Auto-Double into a combo.
Ice Pick – B+HP
In previous games, Glacius had an anti-air attack that resembled the Ice Lance, only it extended upward at an angle to hit an aerial opponent. That attack has been retained for the most part, it just looks a little different. The Ice Pick is a great anti-air attack that works in almost every instance. The only time it really fails is if you’re trapped in the corner and the opponent goes for a cross-up. It’s very difficult to connect the Ice Pick in this situation, but otherwise it works well to knock opponents out of the air.
Hail – QCB+P
The Hail is your primary projectile attack. It has three different variations and can be used to keep an opponent at bay. The LP Hail falls slowly, directly in front of Glacius, the MP Hail falls about mid-screen and the HP Hail travels nearly the full length of the screen. Use it after an Ice Lance, or to simply keep your opponent on their toes. It does not disappear if Glacius is hit, so you can use it to stop an opponent’s combo before it begins if they’re closing in on you. If Hail connects, you can usually combo with an Ice Lance or Cold Shoulder, depending on the distance.
Cold Shoulder – QCB+K
Cold Shoulder is a dashing attack that can be used to close in on an opponent during a long-range combo, or as a safe poke. The LK Cold Shoulder is safe when blocked, so you can cancel into it after a normal as a solid block string. During a long-range combo, use the Cold Shoulder as a Linker to get closer to the opponent and transition to a normal, close-range combo. The Shadow Cold Shoulder is invincible to projectile attacks, which makes it a great tool to use against Jago, or a Hail-happy Glacius player.
Puddle Punch – QCF+K
The Puddle Punch is another attack that has been a mainstay for Glacius since the original Killer Instinct. It’s unsafe when blocked, but has quite a few uses nonetheless. First and foremost, it’s invincible while Glacius moves downward into the puddle. This makes it a very good anti-air attack, and also useful during wake-up if you think the opponent will try to attack you. To balance this out, it’s susceptible to an attack as Glacius makes his way back up to form the punch portion of the attack. Use it just as an opponent lands from a jumping attack to go through the attack with the invincibility, then combo from the punch.
Shatter – QCF+P
The best aspect of Shatter is the fact that it’s unblockable. There are three variations of Shatter depending on which button you press. LP Shatter appears close to Glacius, MP is about mid-screen and HP is just shy of full-screen. While the attack is unblockable, it does not execute very quickly. A smart opponent can jump on-reaction to avoid the attack, unless you mask it with Hail or possibly an Ice Lance. You can definitely get tricky with Shatter once you understand all of the tools Glacius has available to him. If Shatter connects, you can follow with an Auto-Double into a combo.