Killer Instinct: Glacius Advanced Tips - Prima Games

Killer Instinct: Glacius Advanced Tips

by Bryan Dawson

As with virtually all fighting games, Killer Instinct can be seen through two different eyes. You have the eyes of the novice, who believe certain aspects of the game are “cheap” and “unfair,” or who believe the game caters to “scrubs.” Then you have the high-level, tournament-hardened players who dig deep into the game system to find strategies that only the best players will utilize and understand.

This unofficial Glacius guide is designed for advanced players who already know the basics and are looking to take their game to the next level. If you don’t understand the KI system mechanics, check out our How to Play and Beginner’s Tips articles. If you want to get a little more in-depth than that, read up on Glacius’ frame data. This article assumes you already know everything from the more basic articles.

Keep Out

Glacius is a character designed to fight from a distance and make it difficult for an opponent to close in. His long limbs and ability to combo from nearly a full screen length away are valuable assets to the character. However, they also make the character difficult to use for many players.

Shatter is arguably Glacius best and worst attack. As an unblockable attack in most situations, it has the ability to catch an opponent off-guard, but its 26-frame startup is relatively easy for a skilled player to avoid. If you attempt to lock down an opponent with Hail or Shadow Hail, Shatter becomes blockable if it connects while the opponent is already in block stun. You can do some tricky timing setups by making Shatter hit just as an opponent gets out of block stun from Hail or Shadow Hail, but even then an opponent can jump to safety. Basically, if an opponent is in block stun, Shatter can be blocked, and if the opponent is not in block stun, they have time to jump to avoid Shatter.

While you should not be using Shatter raw, it still has many uses. From a distance, the heavy version of Shatter can stop an opponent’s dash. This is especially useful against Sabrewulf, because a well-timed heavy or medium Shatter can easily catch him out of his fast moving and far advancing dash. It can also catch Orchid’s Blockade Runner slide, or any opponent at the end of a jump. If an opponent attacks during a jump, they cannot block for 2 frames upon landing, or jump or attack for 4 frames upon landing. Time your Shatter properly and you can catch the opponent during that 4-frame window before they can jump or attack.

The Ice Lance is good from mid-range, but it’s unsafe if the opponent blocks. Like almost anything Glacius does, cover your tracks by canceling Ice Lance into Hail, or having Hail out before you use Ice Lance. Be wary when using Ice Lance against an advancing opponent. Many characters have ways to avoid Ice Lance and punish Glacius if it’s used improperly. Orchid and Sabrewulf can slide under it, Jago can punish it with a Shadow Wind Kick, and Glacius can even punish it with a light Cold Shoulder at the proper distance. If a Thunder player anticipates the attack, it can be punished with a pre-emptive Shadow Triplax, or a Shadow Call of the Earth after blocking Ice Lance. You have to make sure you have covered yourself with Hail or even cancel Ice Lance into Shatter on occasion.

Up Close and Personal

While Glacius excels at long-range combat, he’s not exactly a slouch at close range. Many Glacius players will complain that he’s slow and has no dash. Guess what? He doesn’t need speed or a dash to get the job done at close range. That’s not to say Glacius has the advantage at close range, you’ll have to take a few risks if you want to succeed, but so will your opponent. In fact, fighting Glacius at close range is arguably more difficult than fighting any other character at close range aside from Sabrewulf (whose primary goal in life is to maul you at close range).

You have one objective when an opponent is close to Glacius, get them back out. The easiest way to do this is a simple throw. Anywhere near a corner and Glacius can follow his throw with a short combo. Outside of the corner, the opponent is tossed out to nearly full screen so Glacius can start his ranged game plan again. Granted, throws are a risk because they have a considerable amount of recovery, but they also executes very fast, are difficult to tech on-reaction, and beat out a lot of attacks. Glacius also has considerable range on his throw and can throw the active hit box of an opponent’s limbs during an attack.

In addition to a throw, the Puddle Punch should be a go-to attack when an opponent is at close range. It’s not safe if the opponent blocks, but you can cancel into Shadow Hail to make it much safer. The best thing about the Puddle Punch is that it’s completely invincible at the beginning of the animation while Glacius is dropping into a puddle. Yes, it can be interrupted while Glacius is on the way back up, but that’s not the point. It’s not meant to be used in a situation that it may be beat while Glacius is on the way back up. If this is happening, you’re using it wrong.

When an opponent is pressuring, most characters have to rely on a Shadow attack for invincibility frames. Glacius does not, and this serves him well. The key is to make sure you do not overuse the Puddle Punch. Don’t let an opponent bait it out, especially if you don’t have the meter to cancel into a Shadow Hail. Keep in mind, if an opponent wants to punish your Puddle Punch, they have to wait until Glacius goes down and starts to come back up before they can attack. That leaves them open to a throw. It’s all about knowing which tactic to use based on how an opponent is pressuring Glacius at close range.

Another great tool at close range is a delayed light Hail. This is something you should already have out as the opponent is closing in, or right after scoring a knockdown. Once the opponent is at close range, it’s too late to use this because it can be punished in many instances. With the light Hail hovering over your head, an opponent can’t do much of anything beyond a throw. Even with a throw, depending on when you release the Hail, the opponent may still get hit.

It’s also important to make sure you capitalize on every Hail hit. With the Ice Lance and almost any close-range Normal, Glacius can start a combo if Hail hits an opponent anywhere near him. This actually brings up the next topic, Glacius is not slow.

Glacius has no dash, his walk speed is less than stellar, and you can’t rely on his floaty jumps escape an opponent. However, do not say that his attack speed is slow, because that’s simply not the case. Take a look at his frame data and you’ll see his Normals are basically equal in speed to every other character. He has 4-frame and 5-frame attacks like everyone else, it’s just a matter of how you use them. His crouching light punch executes in 4 frames and leaves Glacius at +1 when blocked. Use this to setup a tick throw and get the opponent back to full screen.

No Risk Counter Breaking

It’s common knowledge that Glacius can combo from full screen. It’s also common knowledge that if an opponent attempts a Counter Breaker, a skilled player can punish them. What doesn’t seem to be common knowledge is that Glacius can use risk-free Counter Breakers on his full screen combos. In this situation, if Glacius attempts a Counter Breaker, the opponent is so far away, they have very few punishment options.

Jago and Orchid can punish if they have Shadow meter available. Jago can punish with a normal Wind Kick if he’s not at full screen. Thunder, Sabrewulf, and Sadira have no way to punish Glacius if he misses a full-screen Counter Breaker. At best they can close in on him and start a close range battle, but even that requires an astute opponent who was waiting for the missed Counter Breaker.

The great thing about this is the additional mind game it plays on an opponent. For most skilled players, using a Combo Breaker to stop Glacius’ full screen combos is relatively easy. The animation of his full screen Auto-Doubles is a huge tell that allows players to easily determine which strength to break. This leads to the threat of a Counter Breaker, which means a skilled player will likely be waiting for Glacius to attempt a Counter Breaker in order to capitalize on the situation. They either won’t be breaking, or they’ll be so captivated by the thought of punishing, you can go for a reset and start a whole new combo. It’s a mind game within a mind game that can really pay off for Glacius.

Unleash Hail

Glacius’ ability to create three different projectile attacks based on the location of his opponent (or where he thinks the opponent will end up), is one of his best tools. Now add the fact that he can delay the projectile for an extended period of time and there’s no question that you should be using this attack as often as possible.

The only way to remove a delayed Hail from the screen is to release the attack or move away from it until it’s no longer visible (at which point is disappears for good). It canceled into frequently after a blocked Ice Lance, or any time an opponent is not close to Glacius. While it may not seem like a threat, the opponent doesn’t know when Glacius will release Hail, which means at any point their offense could be interrupted. An opponent is forced to respect the Hail, especially given the fact that Glacius can land a full combo with proper timing off a single Hail hit.

At close range the light Hail servers as a pseudo-Combo Breaker. It doesn’t disappear when Glacius is hit, which means it can be released and interrupt an opponent’s combo right after they hit Glacius. Add the fact that Glacius can start a combo from the Hail hit and it becomes even more powerful than a normal Combo Breaker.

Hail also counters attempts to approach Glacius. A light Hail will almost always stop Orchid’s Blockade slide from reaching Glacius. The multiple trajectories and speed of Hail makes it difficult for Sabrewulf to evade it with his Jumping Slash (which is only projectile invincible for 3 frames). If he’s close enough to use a Shadow Jumping Slash, bait him to do it by using Ice Lance with no Hail cancel, then punish with a Shadow Counter.

With a Hail on-screen, Glacius can even use attacks that would normally be unsafe. For example, the heavy Cold Shoulder is generally very punishable. However, it has good range and speed, and can catch an opponent off guard. If you use a medium or heavy Hail, then follow its release with a heavy Cold Shoulder, as long as your timing is accurate, any attempt to punish the Cold Shoulder will be interrupted by the Hail. As always, if the Hail connects, Glacius can start his own combo.

Once you have an opponent afraid to move due to Hail, you can start using throws. You can even use a jumping attack as a near-instant overhead, followed by a well-timed delayed Hail, then combo with an Ice Lance once Glacius lands. The possibilities are endless if you’re creative with your use of Hail.

Armor Up

A lot of people want to debate over which Instinct mode is the best, but it really doesn’t matter when they’re all very good for their respective characters. Glacius’ Instinct is no exception to this as it gives him five individual hits of armor. Not only can it be used to make attacks safe, but any smart player only has two options. Go for a throw (which is risky) to remove the armor temporarily, or back away from Glacius until the Instinct runs out.

If an opponent is pressuring Glacius, one of your best options is a Puddle Punch due to the invincibility frames at the start of the attack. If it’s blocked, you have the option of making it moderately safe with a Shadow Hail, but if you have Instinct available, you can use an Instinct Cancel to make the attack safe, then continue your offense.

As long as Glacius has armor, you should not stop attacking. It will eat a single-hit attack cleanly and allow Glacius to continue with his attack. This even works with unsafe attacks. For example, a Puddle Punch is generally easy to punish. However, with armor active, Glacius can have a Puddle Punch blocked and immediately go into another attack of his choosing. If the opponent attempts to punish, the armor will absorb the attack and Glacius’ second attack will proceed as if the opponent never tried to punish.

With armor active, Glacius becomes an offensive character that wants to be in an opponent’s face. You want an opponent to attack so you can blow right through it and start a combo of your own. Just make sure the combo is long enough to get another hit of armor before it ends. This keeps Glacius safe and allows him to start his offense, keep his momentum going or force an opponent to back off.

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