Fighting against long-range characters

TiZ

[11] Champion
Okay, so... I am really, really, *really* sick of getting shat on for free by long-range characters. The only advantages I really have over much of the cast as Leixia are my speed and my frames, and the only thing long-range characters have to do to neutralize them is step backwards. Some characters' backstep is so good that they can escape 3B after 4K. I feel like backstep is a very powerful move in this game, made more powerful in the hands of a long-range character. It's not very hard for them to take their comfortable range and stay there. Once there, they can start pressing buttons to keep me out, and with half of the moves in the game being TC or TS, they often just evade my 66 attacks by coincidence. I can't just run in and use something else; the fact that I have to run in is what kills my frame advantage! If a long-range character attacks me at the tip of their weapon and I block, and they're, say, -10, it's more like +2 since I have to run in before I can do anything.

So the only option left to get in safely is to run forward and guard over and over... which means I have to take guard damage, and/or get mixed-up on the way in. Not to mention they can continue to run away while I try desperately to close in. It's a desperate bid to get ANYTHING started... only to have them escape again the moment I make a mistake, and then it's back to square one, which I simply cannot afford due to the damage deficiency... which is even more glaring considering most of the long-range characters hit ridiculously hard.

Please tell me there is something essential I am missing in how to fight these long-range characters. On paper, this just looks absolutely horrid for Leixia, and I'm tired of feeling like playing against this very common subset of characters is a Sisyphean task.
 

TiZ

[11] Champion
It really depends on the character your facing. Range is a universal weakness for many characters.
So there aren't really any general tips for me to follow for closing in on someone efficiently and staying in my desired range as Leixia? If there is really nothing general to go over, I can consult the matchup threads, but I figured that since this is a problem very common to certain matchups, there may be a common solution I am overlooking.
 

ZeroEffect317

[13] Hero
Well there are ways to try to get in, but it's harder vs some chars than others.
Universal ways?
- Move in & guard/JG
- Move in & step
- Move in & backdash
- JG/Move defensively at advantage

Leixia ways?
- Run-in AA (fast, deceptive range. beats step and most attacks by surprise.)
- Run-in 66B (hits from far. if they are trying to react to your run-in)
- B+K (if you predict a high or there's a stalemate)

I dunno who you're getting zoned by, so all this may not work
 

Der Lindwurm

Premium Member
The worst culprits, if you ask me:
Raphael: You have to chase him all over the place while he attacks with what seems like impunity. Advancing 3 or 9 can get you around his longest range stuff, but he has moves that can pull him out of range of your attack and punish once you get close.
Cervantes: Controls horizontal space extremely well and has some great mid verticals that can keep you out or punish you for charging in.
Xiba: Similar to Cervantes - controls horizontal space, and can head off charges with 4B or 6B+K. His moves do have some slower startup that give you more of a chance go for 66B, 66K, or 3B+K after block some of his strings at mid range.
Mitsurugi: Those stupid hitboxes put you at risk for big damage any time you attack even if you have outmaneuvered him.
Nightmare: He has so many options for controlling horizontal space and can keep pushing you back with his verticals. You have to consistently outguess him to get in and stay in.
 

ZeroEffect317

[13] Hero
Raphael - He is annoying, but his pokes, with the exception of 22B, don't do a ton of damage or KND. It's not the easiest thing to get through it, but careful stepping will almost always grant you an opportunity for a whiff punish at some point.

Cervantes - His horizontals hurt, but they're also mostly unsafe. 1AB/aB is launchable, 3A/3A+B/WS AB is 6KK punishable, and 66A is AA punishable. You don't wanna step too much in close. His mid verts don't really push out much on block besides maybe 33B and 6A+B. 33B is a good move, but it can be JG/GI'd/stepped on reaction, even most times he uses it on wakeup.

Xiba - 6B+K is unsafe to JG, (you can JG the last poke and 3B punish), and free move list on whiff. 6A is AA punishable (regardless of the K followup). 4B is like -13 on block. You might be able to CE punish if he does it in close, but if not, you can use your frames to get back within range of at least 66B.

Mitsurugi - This one is tough because 6B/6B2/6B8 and 4A all do a great job of chipping your life bar away trying to get in. Getting through this is all experience. The more familiar you are with his poke range and tendencies, the better off you'll be. WS B (not iWS B), and 1B+K are good tools here, as is JG. Otherwise, you can dance around his pokes until a whiff presents itself.

Nightmare - Also tough. agA and 3A are great keep out tools and his 6K is annoying to deal with because of the KND on CH. If you can JG it helps a ton, but if not, you gotta play it like Mitsu and wait for him to whiff and close the distance. Watch for 22A, and if you can, JG it for a 3B punish.
 

Reptile

Soul Calibur V
It's honestly harder for the long range characters to keep you out than coming in for Leixia. Maybe with the exception of Mitsurugi, he's very annoying in this MU I'm not gonna lie. ZE pretty much gave all the good ways to approach someone with Lei. Personally I almost always attack at advantage though. You can rush with 66K too, but the range is a bit lacking.

So it depends if they space while spamming things (like Mitsurugi's 6B8) or if it's just neutral spacing, staring at each other.
When they spam long range shit, you can usually be patient and whiff punish with good movement or even straight up block punish in many cases (Cervy and NM, for example). When it's staring, you can always run up and block, or run up and throw (if you have the psychological advantage, or momentum). Lastly, when you're up against a character that backstep very predictably like NM. You gotta go with some 66BB reads to get your damage, or it will be very uphill. Once you're intimidated and backing off yourself, it's over. Pick your moments, say "fuck it" and go in.
 

Reptile

Soul Calibur V
Because I main a spacing character, I know. Spacing is a process that requires thought at high level and is not braindead.
Against a powerful opponent, it is much easier to go in and press buttons than to outplay them with movement. Knowing that is a psychological advantage too. You can turn your brain off and say "fuck it" like I said. Leixia was designed to be overwhelming with her frames, speed, and guard damage. She can't have high damage and range too. With that in mind, try to play her in the most effective way.

Last tip : CE punishes from Lei are very unexpected and can limit your opponent's options if you show you can use it properly. Only Lei and Raph have an i12 CE, and Lei's has somewhat a lot of range.

DAMN
 

EyeofCalamity

[10] Knight
You pretty much have to be confident in your neutral game if you wanna deal with spacing characters in general. Patience is key, the good thing is with the exception of rugi and maybe cervantes once leixia gets in close range your patience will be a virtue because her close range pressure is scary when its applied well.

Now if you do get hit on your way in just accept that they made a good read(unless its online on a bad connection) and try again, don't let the knockdowns discourage you.