Street Fighter V pro Packz reveals how to master Kage

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Struggling to get to grips with Street Fighter V's newest character Kage? Packz is here to give you his top three tips.
Written by Yinsu CollinsPublished on
Street Figher V's fourth season kicked off back in December and the community has already been getting its hands on the latest addition, Kage.
Kage, who has a Ansatsuken fighting style, is a relatively straight forward character to pick up but pro player Marcus 'Packz' Parker feels it's a tricky one to master and doesn't quite live up to the original hype that was generated around the character when it was first released.
"He’s not as good as he was made out to be," Packz told us. "When they first revealed what he was going to be like, people in the community thought he was going to be ridiculous.
Kage means 'shadow'
Kage means 'shadow'
"He has a weak neutral game, which is when the two players are both standing apart and nobody is in a combo or knockdown or anything. There isn’t anything scary about him to an opponent in that position. He’s very linear in that sense."
So how do you get good at Kage? Packz gives his top tips below.

Kage's biggest strength

"His biggest strength is when he is able to get close," explains Packz. "He has a very good standing Oki, and a good mix up at the end of his combo that puts you in a better position when you want to use the frame advantage against your knocked-down opponent."
Take advantage of Kage's standing Oki

Kage's biggest weakness

"One of his biggest weaknesses is that in order to pressure his opponent, he almost needs to be at a point-blank range, which is made worse by the fact he doesn’t have that many avenues to get to that position effectively. Players aren’t just going to let you walk up to them, so it is a difficulty that you have to overcome when you play as Kage."

Packz' tips for playing as Kage

1. Patience
Patience is key when it comes to mastering Kage
Patience is key when it comes to mastering Kage
"Of course you need a lot of patience when it comes to perfecting any of the charactersm but this is especially important if you want to play Kage well. He hasn’t got any great ways to be able to close the gap physically when facing another character so you really need to prepare and wait for your moment.
"You cannot be in too much of a hurry or too eager when playing Kage. For example, when a Cammy is jumping, the opponent is required to guess to a degree what the Cammy is going to do next, but you don’t have that luxury as Kage. He does have a dive in the air but it isn’t that great. You shouldn’t rush with Kage, just take your time when approaching an opponent."
2. Prioritise positioning over damage
"You can’t always end your combos with damage if you want to get the best Oki. A lot of the time, if you end with the move that causes the most damage, you will lose your pressure afterwards which means you are back to square one and have to slow down and wait for your moment again. Sometimes you have to sacrifice the damage and go for the position instead. With Kage, it is always more beneficial for you in the long run to prioritise positioning over using your high damage move as a finisher."

3. Utilise Kage's V-Skill

It's important to utilise Kage's V-Skill
It's important to utilise Kage's V-Skill
"Make sure to use his V-Skill in neutral as much as you can. It’s got a lot of range so even though it’s minus two, it’s quite far away, and is definitely your safest option. If you time it well, you can use it to block or beat some of your opponent’s moves but that does come with practise. It also helps to build on his V-Trigger, which is arguably Kage’s best way to become oppressive – this is an area you’ll definitely want to focus on.

Should you play Kage?

Kage has some of the best looking moves in the game
Kage has some of the best looking moves in the game
"He’s got decent damage in the right situation and he can be oppressive when he gets V-Trigger but you need to be a patient player with good fundamentals.
"He could be in high-mid tier at best. I personally don’t think he’s a top-tier character. I don’t expect he’ll be making much of an appearance in the pro scene to be honest. However, for a casual gamer, he is really fun to play. His combos look sick and you can do some of the most flashy stuff when you get his V-trigger going. Most players can pick him up relatively well but he is definitely difficult to master."
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