Ivy Guides

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Mage

I'll make you submit!
When SCII originally came out, a few guides were posted as extremely helpful pointers on how to get good with Ivy. Recently, I was chatting with Slade and KineticClash in the chatroom and we decided to take a look at one of the guides, made by Kvalsternacka.

I was pretty impressed by the detail it beheld and decided it would probably be good to post them here for people to read and try to get some understanding of SCII Ivy (or regain the knowledge, if you played it in the past) in preparation for the upcoming release of Soulcalibur II HD Online. Now, at the moment, it is unknown whether it will be patched, however we do know that it will be based on the PS2 version.

They all go into to detail about her moves, combos, little tips and tricks, and more so I would urge you to take some notes if you plan on using Ivy in the re-release.

If you are new to Soulcalibur completely, please watch this video and keep this page bookmarked as they both explain the notation in Soulcalibur very well, and even though the video is recorded using Soulcalibur IV, it applies to every Soulcalibur game.

This is Kvalsternacka's original guide for Ivy. It was written in late 2003 and is based upon the Gamecube version but most of the stuff in it still applies to the Playstation 2 and Xbox versions also. Kvalsternacka opens the guide by giving a beginner's introduction to the notation used in the Soulcalibur universe, and then moves on to talk about how Soul Charge affects her moves and then talks about Ivy's ring out options. He then continues to tell us about her "lick" which is her move that is used to grab people out of the air and smack them down onto the floor. Moving on he talks about moves that are not listed in her movelist, her combos, and extra tips and tricks for Ivy. This guide will definitely get you started with Ivy.

This is NikolakakisGr's original guide for Ivy. It was written in early 2003 before Kvalsternacka;'s guide came out and is based upon the Xbox version but as I said about the guide above, most of it will still apply to the Playstation 2 version (which will be used in the remake). He begins by talking about Ivy's story and her profile before moving onto her movelist. He then talks about Ivy's stances in Soulcalibur II and her weapons, after which he talks about different tactics for Ivy. Definitely worth a read for potential Ivy players.

Finally, this is Tyrasibion's original guide for Ivy. It was written just before Kvalsternacka released his guide, late 2003 and was last updated early 2004, and is based upon the Gamecube version of the game. In most aspects it is very similar to Kvalsternacka's guide. It presents Ivy and her story, then it moves on to explain simple notation, not as explicitly as Kvalsternacka, but it explains the simple notation of directional inputs, and then covers her movelist. It then talks about good moves that are recommended to be used by an Ivy player and explains why. The final few paragraphs talk about trivial things about Ivy, such as her signature stage within the game, and her costumes. Although similar to Kvalsternacka's, I would still recommend you read this as it contains pieces of good information that Kvalsternacka missed.

I hope I gave you a good idea of what each guide contains and what it will present to you, happy reading, and after release look out for updates to this thead!
 
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Mage

I'll make you submit!
Here is short guide written on 1UP that gives a couple of short pointers for each individual character; this is the section concerning Ivy (click on the box to open the whole guide):
Ivy

By Harold "Kageh" Hess, Soul Calibur II National Champion

Ivy is an extremely versatile character whose unique weapon allows her to attack from any range. Obviously, she has a strong long-range game, a vicious close-range game with her powerful throws and damaging mid attacks, and a decent mid-range game which beautifully complements her other ranges. While not particularly effective at any specific range, Ivy is best played as a range floater. By moving in and out while varying your attack ranges, opponents will have a difficult time trying to counter. This requires an excellent understanding of when to use her attacks. That, along with the difficulty in execution of her essential command throws, Ivy is a difficult character to master.

Command Throws
As mentioned, Ivy's two special throws, the Summon Suffering and Calamity Symphony, have difficult commands (Down-Forward, Up-Back, Forward, Down, Down-Forward, Down-Back, A+B or Down-Forward, Up-Back, Forward, Down, Down-Forward, Down-Back, A+K from Whip stance, respectively). Seemingly impractical at first glance, Ivy has the unique ability to buffer the commands for these throws with or during the execution of other moves.

Another example is to do a move with fairly long execution such as While Rising B+K, buffering most of the commands during the attack's execution, and then pressing Down-Back, A+B afterwards to release the throw. With enough practice, buffering can be done even during the execution of Ivy's fastest attacks. Sequences such as Down, A, or Back, B, or B into Summon Suffering are possible and very effective. These attacks enable you to interrupt your opponent and follow up immediately with a Summon Suffering. This concept is explained further in the close-range section.

The Calamity Symphony is trickier to set up since Ivy is required to be in whip stance to execute it. The easiest way is to buffer the commands for the throw during moves that end in Whip. For example, Down-Back, A ends with Ivy in Whip stance. It is possible to buffer the commands for the throw during the execution of Down-Back, A and then perform the Calamity Symphony immediately afterwards. Other noteworthy moves that end in whip and set up the Calamity Symphony nicely are: Back, A+B, G (guard cancel), then B+K (auto GI), and Back, Back, (H)A to name a few.

EXPERTS ONLY: FORCED/FLAMING CALAMITY SYMPHONY
It is possible to perform Calamity Symphony from the sword stance. This makes it more viable since normally it is only possible to perform from whip stance. The execution is somewhat tricky, though: Down-Forward, Up-Back, Forward, Down, Down-Forward, Down, Down-Back, Back, very slight delay, A+K. If done correctly, Ivy's sword will be cast with flames and there will be a special sound effect as well. This is sometimes referred to as a "Flaming CS" or "Forced CS." The last three inputs must be rolled out smoothly and the delay before pressing A+K can be tricky. With practice, this can be used in exactly the same way as Summon Suffering. Sequences such as Down, A, Back, B, or B into Forced CS are possible, but extremely difficult without a lot of practice.

EXPERTS ONLY: TRUE CALAMITY SYMPHONY
Few know about this, but there is a special version of Calamity Symphony that some call "True CS." Essentially, it is just a Camality Symphony executed extremely quickly from whip stance. If done correctly, Ivy will laugh instead of saying the usual voice track and the throw will do ten more points of damage. This can be done from normal whip stance or immediately after moves that end in whip. Just to stress the point, the execution must be done VERY quickly to achieve this Calamity Symphony. Because of the slight delay required, it is not possible to perform True CS when attempting a Forced CS.

Short-Range Game
Unlike other characters' short-range games where they are usually attempting to get in, Ivy's is unique in that she usually draws the opponent towards her with her strong keep-out game. The fact that the opponent will be approaching you cautiously as a result of this makes them much more susceptible to her command throws and mix-ups. It's important to always try to have your command throws buffered when you or the opponent enters this range. The threat of your powerful throws will make opponents hesitate or duck. Punish accordingly.

Some of her key moves at this range are: A, or B, or Down, A, or Down, B, or Back, B, or Forward, K. These quick attacks can be used to interrupt opponents as they rush in and allow you to press your offense immediately afterwards. Down, A in particular is extremely useful for this. Make sure to buffer for Summon Suffering or Criminal Symphony!
Ivy also has a great assortment of somewhat slower close-range attacks. Up-Forward, A+B, A and 8Way Run Up, B or 8Way Run Down, B are great for punishing crouching opponents. Make sure to hold B for the latter to go into Spiral Tribute. Spiral Tribute K will interrupt most counter attacks on block. The other stance moves provide great natural mix-ups.

Down-Back, (H)K, or 8Way Run Up-Forward, or Down-Forward, A, or Forward, Forward, K all leave the opponent in a block stun and allow you to further press the attack, which is useful for baiting the opponent into thinking it's safe to attack and then hitting them with one of your counter hit launchers like Forward, Forward, B or Down-Forward, B. Another noteworthy close-range attack is K, Down which hits low and provides a good advantage. Also, Back, A+B variations are great when thrown into your close-range game.

Mid-Range Game
Ivy's mid-range game compliments her other ranges nicely, but she'll probably spend the least amount of time in this range. Opting to either press the attack and go into close-range or back off and harassing at long-range. Down, A and Down, B are just as effective at this range for stopping opponents who are rushing in. Forward, B is a nice quick move which pushes the opponent out, ideal for your long-range. Conversely, Forward, Forward, A is a nice fast move for attacking the opponent and closing distance. Down, Down-Back, Back, B is an excellent tracking, evasive attack that will beat out most attacks. It's not extremely abusive, though. Stance variations afterwards are decent if used sparingly. 8Way Run Up-Forward, A or 8Way Run Down-Forward, A are excellent moves for evading and punishing mid-range vertical attacks. They also lead to extremely powerful combos if they hit and mix-ups if the opponent blocks. 8Way Run Up, B or 8Way Run Down, B are also great at this range for punishing whiffed attacks. Make sure to go into stance afterwards in case it is blocked.

Long-Range Game
Ivy's long-range game is pretty straight forward. Certain moves obviously lend themselves to being used at long-range. Some of her key long-range tools are: Forward, (H)B, or Forward, (H)B, Up, or Down, Down-Back, A, or Down-Forward, B+K. These moves are usually used so that they will just barely hit the opponent from their maximum range. From there, Ivy has the choice of stepping back for more long-range harassment, standing her ground and containing the opponent with her mid-range game, or rushing forward and taking the opponent by surprise with her close-range game. This is the concept of range floating discussed earlier. At Soul Charge Level 1, Down-Forward, B+K becomes a Guard Crush. This can be useful for throwing the opponent off balance and then rushing in for the attack. Forward, B+K and (whip) A+K are slow long-range moves that have some useful applications if used sparingly.
 

Mage

I'll make you submit!
Another short guide I found for Ivy, it was posted on IGN and briefly explains her key moves and their usefulness (click the box to open up the whole guide):
Key Moves:
66A
Perfect as part of a combo or killing off sidesteppers, this move will drop your opponent right in front of you, where they can be setup for just about anything you wish. Try buffering a Summon Suffering or Spiral Punishment afterwards for optimal results


66B
Ivy is not known for her ability to break horizontals, because she lacks multiple moves to do so. In fact, this attack is the only one that can break consistently for her. There are a lot of benefits to this move. It's relatively safe on block since it pushes your opponent out, and you can make the transition to Spiral Tribute by holding down B. On a counterhit, this move will launch your opponent into the air, where they are in a perfect position for Ivy's 9B+K air throw. If you happen to launch them while going into Spiral Tribute, make the transition to Ivy's Spiral Embrace stance and let the mixup games begin.

22_88B
Because Ivy has one of the best sidesteps in the game, you'll find yourself using this move quite a lot. It launches your opponent on any hit, although on counterhit they're in a position to eat an airthrow. Like 66B, you can go into Spiral Tribute by holding down the B button.

1AA
This is probably the only good low attack Ivy has, so you'll be using it a lot. One thing to remember here is that if you perform only the first hit in this string, you'll end up in Whip mode, which allows you to setup Ivy's Criminal Symphony throw. Using both attacks will leave you in Sword mode.

236B
One of Ivy's strengths is her ability to space her opponent out to any range she wishes. With moves like this, it's no wonder she can do it so easily. The range on this attack is deceiving, and since you have the ability to go into Serpent Embrace by holding down B, you can deal out a lot of damage with this attack. Like Ivy's other key moves, if blocked this attack can't be punished too hard, so use it frequently.

6B
This poking attack is one of Ivy's best moves, as it can clear out the area around her very easily. By just inputting the attack as is, you can get a short range poke that pushes your opponent out. By holding down the B button, Ivy's sword will stretch out and reach opponents from over half a screen width away! Additionally, you can tap 2 or 8 on your controller when using the long-range version to swipe at opponents who try to sidestep your attack.

9A+BAA
If moves could be rated based on annoyance factor, this move would be near the top, no doubt about it. With this move Ivy performs a little hop in the air with her sword entangling her. While it doesn't do a whole lot of damage, it's the perfect move for her to buffer either Summon Suffering or Criminal Symphony. The last hit in this attack will surely drive players nuts, as it's a little poke that can catch even the best players off guard. On top of that, this move is completely safe is blocked. Be sure to abuse it whenever possible.

376231A+B
Also known as Summon Suffering, this complex attack is the second-most powerful throw in the game, second only to Ivy's Criminal Symphony. In order to input this move correctly, players will need to learn the fine art of buffering. By buffering the motion while performing another action (such as attacking, blocking, guard impacting), you can pull out the Summon Suffering much faster than you would normally. Ideally you want to buffer Summon Suffering through moves that give you just enough time to input the entire throw just as the throw ends. One good move to use for buffering purposes is Ivy's 3A. Since the attack itself uses the first input of Summon Suffering, it's even easier to use. By the time the attack ends, you should just be inputting 1A+B to get the throw out. Other good attacks to use for buffering Summon Suffering are K2, 9A+BA, 1A, and 4A+B.

WP 376231A+K
This is Ivy's new throw. It's called Criminal Symphony. Say hello, introduce yourself. You'll learn to love her, trust me. CS pretty much shares the same traits as Summon Suffering, except that you have to be in Whip mode in order to pull it off. This is a little more difficult to do since your choice of moves to buffer are limited to those that end in Whip mode, but it's still doable. Good moves to use to buffer with are 9A+B, 4A+BG, 1A, 44A and B+K.

Ivy's stances
Ivy has three major stances and two minor stances. The two minor stances are her Whip mode and Spiral Lust (SL) stance, and while you'll be using Whip for Criminal Symphony, SL won't get used too often. The three new stances she has are Spiral Serenade (SR), Spiral Tribute (ST) and Serpent's Embrace (SE). Each stance has numerous moves that are good in specific situations. For example, SR B,B is a good move to use after you've connected with Ivy's 44. In fact, it's a guaranteed combo. Ivy's ST stance has her fearsome 5 hit JF, a DOS attack with ST K and a terrific low attack in ST 2A, which can ring opponents out from a fair distance. Finally, Serpent's Embrace has a long range unblockable that can catch a lot of opponent's napping if they don't get out of the way quickly. It's important to remember that like all stances, you are vulnerable to attack if your opponent reacts quickly enough. Ivy's stances should be used primarily for extending your combo or flowchart, and not thrown out there recklessly.
 
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