Advanced Nightmare Strategy


[10] Knight
I'd like to point out a few things before continuing
-Everything typed out is only just my opinion. This means I may or may not be correct.
-I'm by no means, the greatest NM player. My strongest matchup is against Siegfried. High tiered characters such as Tira, aPat could easily wreck me if the player is experienced.
-I haven't written anything informative, ever, so expect to be disappointed.
-This thread could be completely unnecessary to some. I respect that.
-A bunch of things mentioned could have been mentioned in the general discussion thread, but it could be easily overlooked. Another purpose of this thread is to give emphasis to it.
-I don't want to be praised. This may or may not contain new information.
-Feel free to contribute.

A short introduction of myself.
-I've been into the SC franchise since SC2
-Kilik was my first character. After some time, I picked up on NM out of curiosity and have not regret it since.
-I think NM is badass.
That's it.

Okay so, if you haven't yet, read up on frame data, guides, and learn the combos.
I've only read up on frame data a few days ago and I've played this game for a long time now, haha.

Part of the reason why I decided to even make this thread is due to the many unbalanced matchups that NM has. After being juggled by characters such as aPat, I slowly transitioned into a safer playstyle and also restricted myself from using certain moves.

If anyone of you played/know starcraft broodwar, you should be well aware that the Zerg vs. Terran matchup is completely tipped to the Terran's favour: Zerg has to work ten times harder to defeat Terran. As I battled against experienced players playing as high tiered characters, nightmare feels like Zerg.

Moves that I do not consider using (keep in mind that this is in referenced to opponents that have experience against nightmare):
Moves that I rarely use (whiff punishers, but can be punished by most characters if blocked):
Moves that I actively use:

-I find that using aGa immediately after a backstep punishes whiffs effectively. For example, after blocking siegfried's 3(B), backstepping and aGaing right after does wonders.
-I read up in the general discussion thread that 1B should be used when your opponent is in stance and in great distance.
-I recently discovered that 1k is (-) on hit (frame-wise). Chained 1k's might work for slow characters, but fast characters will punish these. You should backstep or block if against fast characters
-66k6 ~> GS A has proven to be useful against astaroth (Thermidor vs lolo)
-Throws and crouch throws after GS tend to throw an opponent off.
-After hitting a person with aGa, I follow it up with a 1k (if in range) for extra damage.
-66A+B does wonders in terms of breaking guard guage. I prefer to use it over 66B
-I read up in the general discussion thread that you can cancel GS stance by inputting the stance for NSS (B+K) at the end of the animation for the GS stance. This makes 33B6 safe (and useful). I personally find it great to use at a medium distance, since it will whiff most of the time when the distance is large (which is when your opponent will tend to step)
-When I'm completely at a huge distance from my opponent, I always use 22A and aGa to keep my opponent at bay. 3K and grabs are used when the distance becomes closer.
-3k -> 1k is a good mixup. You can also 3k again.
-When an opponent is downed, I tend to use GSB to break gauge meter, or 1k for extra damage. I find that 66B isn't reliable for this scenario because it whiffs easily.
>22A6 ~> GSB is also useful for breaking gauge meter. However, if used often, opponent will start to predict it and punish.
-Most experienced players keep an eye for NM's super meter, and as such, adjust their playstyle to expect your CE. Play as if you expect this aswell.
>I find that right after your super meter charges enough to use a CE, that is the optimal time to plan to use it.
>When your super meter charges enough for 2 CE, your opponent will 100% definitely expect you to use your CE. Adjust accordingly
-NM's super meter moves are unforunately risk-heavy. This means that, most of the time, you'll probably end up banking your meter.
>This also means that you should use your BE when following up a combo or as a whiff punish.
-I find that setting up wall combos becomes more and more challenging against experienced players as NM's wall combo setups become predicatable. This means you should adjust your playstyle too
>>This means, when your back is against the wall/edge and you want to perform a grab, try to mixup with A+G instead of B+G (depending on the situation). Players will expect most of the time B+G and you can punish them for that.
>>This also means, you shouldn't rely on wall combos for damage. Maintain your spacing, do some pokes, and punish whiffs.
-You can delay the second k in 4KK. Since the second k can be ducked, master delaying the second k depending on if the first k is either blocked or CH.
>>This means that, if your first 4K is blocked, immediately cease to press the second K and prepare to guard
>>Alternatively, if your first 4K is a CH, immediately press the second K as it will chain.
If the first 4K is not a CH but a normal hit, you can decide whether or not to press the second K. It can be guarded, though, but not JG (maybe).
-When your opponent is against a wall, expect that your opponent will be more defensive and will 100% expect you to use: (moves that can be followed up by GSkABK)
The following are more least expected, but still punishable
NSS(A+B) (can be a whiff punish)
The following are safe to use, but punishable if your opponent ducks this

Opponents will tend to JG these (string) moves:
The second A after 22AA
The second A after 3AA
The second B after BB
They will additionally JG your GSB if you are using it too much to make their guard flash.

-Opponents will punish the NSS stance with TC attacks such as 1k. Avoid going into this stance, unless you are you following up on a combo.
If you are in this stance because of a blocked WRB or a 3B (always go into WRB NSS stance as WRB is punishable anyways), the most you can do is walk backwards (hoping that the opponent will whiff) or use NSS K (hoping that it will still hit the opponent)
You could try to use NSS A+B if you find that your opponent will crouch to use a non TC attack

When your opponents guard meter is flashing red, your opponent will expect you to be more offensive. Use this to your advantage. Keep your distance and poke with safe 22A/33B GS cancel pokes
Try to use GSB6 ~> GSB6 ~> GSkABK as a combo after you break your opponents gauge.
If your opponent has a little health with flashing red guard meter, you can alternatively guard break with 66A+B (very effective) and follow up with WRB ~> NSS A+B ~> 2A+B
If your guard gauge is flashing red, and you have super meter, expect your opponent to go offensive. This is the perfect time to use your CE.

This is all for now and I hope it remains helpful to some. I might update it. This thread might contain errors. Enjoy!

Also, don't forget to use some dropkicks as a mixup (as demonstrated by Thermidor) :D
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[10] Knight
Wow that was a lot to read! Looks like you know what's up for the most part. Congrats on finally learning the frames lol!

I like 66B personally because it's +2 on block and it Guard breaks in 9. This move is fantastic on wakeup if you're trying to pressure their guard, simple because you not only kill the guard meter but you also get a frame trap giving you yet another move to waste their guard. If they're stupid enough to get hit by this slow ass vertical you can follow up with Aga.

Also, 4B is only -8 and it breaks in 8, 44B is also -8 and breaks in 9 and if you go into NSS from 44B it's +2 on block giving you a potential frame trap.

I personally like 44A. It's only -12, and due to the pushback at tip it 'can' be safe depending on the matchup (this statement might be wrong, need to check). It combos into 663B (same as 33B, but you have to input it this way in order for it to work), for like 60-ish damage. This isn't bad for a horizontal mid.

I really really REALLY like 3B simply because 3B-NSS-B:A JF does a crap ton of damage with no meter. I've gotten to the point where I pretty much get the JF 90% of the time!

I don't like 4KK unless it's a wall combo, though I have used it outside of that on occasion. I think the delay option you speak of might potentially be a bit too risky but I might be wrong on that one.

I really don't like 66K very much, really. Although with the advent of the safe GS transition with B+K-G, this might be useful. I need to to some further testing. plain 66K is -16 and is not worth the risk imo.

I like to throw out raw GS-A. this is copy/pasted from the frame data, GI [12-28 All verticals] / TC[11~]. The auto-GI at frame 12 onward is why I like this move. On CH you get GS-A-6B-NSS-K-2 A+B for around 70 damage and nice meter gain.

I am not a pro either, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

Good luck dude!


[10] Knight
Hi CaptainHook!

I'm glad that you read what I had to say, and thanks for some additional input!

I'd also like to add that you can relaunch your opponent using 66B right after NSS (A+B) if they decide to ukemi, which you can (though hard) follow up with an aGa after. I do agree with 66B being useful on wakeup though.

The problems that I have with 44A is that through experience, it tends to whiff as it has less range (than aGa) and has a slow startup, which may lead to be backstepped by reaction. I do agree that the pushback is useful to maintain some spacing.

The only problem that I have with 3B is that it's heavily punishable if blocked. Though, I've seen some players backstep and 3B for some potential whiff punish. I tried doing this but I find that 3K is too slow and most of the time gets interrupted, so I prefer backstep aGa instead. However, spamming aGa too much could make your opponent duck it and punish you, so using 3B wouldn't be that much of a bad idea.

I personally don't like 4KK either, as it is easily steppable. Also, I apologize for the confusion as I typed it out badly and I have edited it.

"-You can delay the second k in 4KK. Since the second k can be ducked, master delaying the second k depending on if the first k is either blocked or CH.
>>This means that, if your first 4K is blocked, immediately cease to press the second K and prepare to guard
>>Alternatively, if your first 4K is a CH, immediately press the second K as it will chain.
If the first 4K is not a CH but a normal hit, you can decide whether or not to press the second K. It can be guarded, though, but not JG (maybe)."
I actually found this out after battling the NM stage in legendary souls (hahaha)

I agree, I don't like 66K either. Though I find it to be sometimes useful in setting up a wall combo (though risky)
66K6 ~> GSB ~> aGa ~> 2A+B
Or 66K6 ~> WRB ~> NSS(A+B) ~> GSkABK ~> 4kABK ~> 2A+B (though this doesn't work most of the time as it depends on the angle of the wall)

Throwing out raw GSA use to be my thing in SC3/SC4, but they made it slower and unsafe on block I believe, so I don't really tend to use it.

Thanks for reading!

Do you play on xbox360 or Ps3? I wouldn't mind playing some matches with you, (I use Ps3)


[10] Knight
Sorry it's been awhile since I responded. If my wife catches me playing online she's gonna kill me :)

Long story short, I'm not 'allowed' to game online because it almost destroyed my marriage a few years ago.


[13] Hero
y'know I've been considering putting together something like a visual Nightmare guide, only problem is I lack the software >.<
which is why I say I wanted to put together a visual tutorial...however I lack the software to do this
If my cousin ever actually lends me his streaming equipment like he said he would, I plan to do a NM and Voldo tutorial, and then matchup discussion for them both.


[13] Hero
If my cousin ever actually lends me his streaming equipment like he said he would, I plan to do a NM and Voldo tutorial, and then matchup discussion for them both.
aha cool...I was gonna ask at some point if you wanted to get on board with this, but it looks like you already were.
I was gonna my capture card to record various bits and bobs ranging from his entire moveset;
  • explaining what they're best used for, what to use, what not to use.
  • general strategies, basic and intermediate (because I'm far from advanced), stuff like spacing, whiff punishing, RO game, oki game, pokes, stepkilling, advantage etc
  • movement and spacing
  • midscreen combos/wallcombos

I've probs missed a few things out...but all this is a lil' too much for one person to take on alone.
My only problem is lack of video editing software