[Top 10] SF6: Best A.K.I. Combos To Use

Best A.K.I. Combos To Use
Pupil of the Poison Fist

This season of competitive Street Fighter 6 is near its final stretch, and with that comes renewed interest for the game - with other challengers soon to join the fray and high expectations for this year's balance patch. With that being said, let's have a look at a recent addition to SF6's roster, A.K.I..

A.K.I. is the successor to the SFV character F.A.N.G., meaning her gameplan is focused on a unique poison mechanic and a handful of tricky special moves that make her an unorthodox character to play as and fight against. Much like her master, A.K.I. is generally considered to be on the lower end in terms of character strength, but still offers a lot for players who like more eccentric and creative gameplans.

While this is a "Top 10" list, combos have various starters and enders that can change their concept in significant ways. This is why each entry has multiple examples, to better illustrate the context of when these combos could occur and how. A.K.I. in particular rewards players who enjoy finding the most specific of scenarios in training mode, and so these combos will hopefully assist you on that path.


10. Light Confirms


* Standing Light Punch x2 [Target Combo] -> Heavy Serpent Lash [Poison Proc]: A.K.I. can't chain Standing Light Punches like everybody else in the cast - instead she has a Target Combo, which is still useful as the second hit has forward movement. All forms of Serpent Lash apply poison on hit, but the heavy version of it leads to frequent safe jumps - meaning you can go for airborne mix-ups on your opponent's knockdown without worrying about their invincible reversals. This is a big part of A.K.I.'s general playstyle.

  • Damage: 1226

* Crouching Light Kick -> Crouching Light Punch -> Toxic Wreath [Poison Proc]: A.K.I.'s light normal attacks have limited range - crouching light punch can connect up to three times point blank, but it's safer to only go for one after a crouching light kick and end with Toxic Wreath for the most consistency on block or hit. This big dirty bubble doesn't lead to safe jumps unless your opponent has slower Level 1 reversals, but it creates space and you can always set up A.K.I. 's projectile. It also applies poison on hit as well.

  •  Damage: 1081


9. Medium Starters


* Standing Medium Kick -> Standing Medium Punch - > Heavy Serpent Lash [Poison Proc]: Standing Medium Kick into Standing Medium Punch is a useful link - while Standing Medium Punch wont connect at max distance, it's still useful when poking in the mid range. Once again, you've now applied poison and get a safe jump.

  • Damage: 1956

* Crouching Medium Punch [Punish Counter] -> Sinister Slide [Heel Strike] -> Crouching Light Punch - > Heavy Serpent Lash [Poison Proc]: Crouching Medium Punch is a necessary normal in A.K.I.'s arsenal despite it's middling range. This is because it can be canceled into special moves like OD Serpent Slash and connect into Heel Strike on punish counter, such as in this instance. Heel Strike is the most common follow up from Sinister Slide, A.K.I's low profile (commonly called coward crouch) command state, as it links into Crouching Light Punch and the following bread and butter sequences.

  • Damage: 2146


8. Standing Heavy Kick Usage


Standing Heavy Kick is a great normal that tries to make up for some of A.K.I's other buttons by seemingly doing it all. It's her only heavy normal attack that can cancel into specials, but it also functions as one of her most reliable anti-airs and general combo tools.

* Jumping Heavy Kick -> Standing Heavy Kick -> Sinister Slide [Heel Strike] -> Crouching Light Punch x2 -> Heavy Serpent Lash [Poison Proc] . Highest damage jump-in with no meter usage or any prior poison affliction.

  •  Damage: 2916

* Standing Heavy Kick [Punish Counter/Anti-Air] -> OD Cruel Fate -> Level 1 Super [Poison Proc] . An ideal combo for when you predict an opponent's aggressive jump-in. Standing Heavy Kick can hit opponents very high in the air, and this lets you combo into the OD version of Cruel Fate - a leaping claw attack that causes a ground bounce when in a juggle combo. Tack on Level 1 for a good bit of extra damage.

  • Damage: 3769 (around -200 damage without prior poison proc)


7. Drive Rush Cancel


A.K.I's damage potential opens up a lot with the use of her drive rush -which travels a long distance very quickly when used in neutral. This will also be where applying poison pays off the most, as will be seen throughout the rest of this article. However, let's start with one more cashout option to create a general idea of what A.K.I's routes in regular drive rush combos look like.

* Jumping Heavy Kick -> Standing Medium Kick - > Standing Medium Punch -> Drive Rush Cancel Standing Medium Kick x 2 -> Standing Medium Punch -> Drive Rush Cancel Standing Medium Kick -> Standing Heavy Kick -> Heavy Serpent Lash [Poison Proc] -> Level 3 Super: With no prior poison proc, A.K.I.'s full cashout is a bit on the lower side as her heavy buttons don't benefit a lot from the advantages of drive rush like other characters in the cast, hence the usage of so many Standing Medium Kicks. This makes sense considering her potential damage when poison is applied, but regardless - this remains a combo worth knowing simply because it can still close out a round.

  • Damage: 5767


6. Drive Rush in Neutral


* Nightshade Pulse [Poison Proc] -> Drive Rush Forward Heavy Kick -> Standing Medium Punch -> Heavy Serpent Lash [Toxic Blossom] - > Drive Rush Crouching Medium Punch -> Heavy Serpent Lash [Poison Proc]. Nightshade pulse is a slow-moving but effective projectile that lets A.K.I. apply poison if it catches an opponent in neutral. When you have your opponent grounded, you can follow behind it with Drive Rush Forward Heavy Kick, a double-hit scissor kick that is plus on block. If your opponent simply gets hit by this instead, you now have the opportunity to convert and activate Toxic Blossom - a status effect that grants a variety of combo opportunities on opponents who have been poisoned. Heavy Serpent Lash is the most effective trigger for this as it can continue to juggle airborne opponents, and in this instance we end the combo with reapplying poison and going for another safe jump. This is a pretty effective loop to gain advantage on your opponent's knockdown.

  • Damage: 2854


5. Target Combo Toxic Blossom (Poison)


We've covered most ways to apply poison, so now we can go over triggering it with Toxic Blossom. Toxic Blossom activates when you hit a poisoned opponent with any version of Serpent Lash, the Venomous Fang follow up from Sinister Slide, and her heavy punch target combo. To varying degrees these can all work together in the same combo, but for now let's think of them separately.

* Standing Heavy Punch x2 [Target Combo/Punish Counter] -> Drive Rush Standing Heavy Kick -> Heavy Serpent Lash [Poison Proc]. A.K.I. 's heavy target combo is a practical way to activate Toxic Blossom when whiff punishing an opponent at long range. It leads to shorter combos than other Toxic Blossom starters, but has its uses when you're making your opponent play at your pace.

  • Damage: 2443


4. Serpent Lash Toxic Blossom


* Punish Counter Standing Heavy Kick -> Standing Heavy Kick -> OD Serpent Lash [Poison Proc] -> Crouching Light Punch x2 -> Heavy Serpent Lash [Toxic Blossom] -> Drive Rush Standing Heavy Kick -> Heavy Serpent Lash [Poison Proc]: OD Serpent Lash is a very useful special move, as it easily allows for multiple poison procs in one combo. This helps A.K.I. loop her offense on her opponent's knockdown. As you might have guessed from the combos we've seen so far, Heavy Serpent Lash is A.K.I's main way of both applying poison and activating Toxic Blossom when landing a hit.

  • Damage: 3306

* Drive Impact [Punish Counter] -> Standing Medium Kick -> Standing Medium Punch -> Medium Serpent Lash [Toxic Blossom] -> Standing Heavy Kick -> OD Serpent Lash [Poison Proc] -> Heavy Serpent Lash [Toxic Blossom] -> Level 2 Super (Light Version) : Example of Medium Serpent Lash's crumple state on opponents when activating toxic blossom, and OD Serpent Lash's unique fall state on opponents in a juggle. You can do a similar combo midscreen if you start with Standing Heavy Kick after Drive Impact, and do the medium version of level 2 instead.

  • Damage: 4459


3. Venomous Fang Toxic Blossom


Venomous Fang is a very strong combo tool, but it can be difficult to land without prior Toxic Blossom activations - although it's still possible to do so with some advanced reads on your opponent. The example shown in the video shows how A.K.I. rewards players putting time in training mode and finding unique situations against different characters. After landing Toxic Wreath midscreen, A.K.I. can immediately use Nightshade Pulse and safely react to whatever wake-up option Honda may use to try to counter her projectile (Drive Impact for OD Headbutt, Block or Parry for his Level 2 super). This type of bait wouldn't work on Cammy Level 3 Super, unless you spent extra meter for OD Nightshade Pulse on the knockdown to recover faster and block in time.

* Drive Impact [Punish Counter] -> Sinister Slide [Venomous Fang + Toxic Blossom] -> Drive Rush Standing Heavy Kick -> Toxic Wreath [Poison Proc] -> Drive Rush Standing Heavy Kick -> Sinister Slide [Venomous Fang + Toxic Blossom] -> Level 1 Super: On the ground, Venomous Fang puts poisoned opponents into a crumple state similar to Medium Serpent Slash. However, on opponents who are already in a crumble state or airborne, they go tumbling instead - which is what you'll see more often. This is great for corner carry and combos, and can even let A.K.I. set up a puddle of poison while the opponent is tumbling in the corner, if you want to save on drive and super meter.

  • Damage: 3921


2. Orchid Spring Starter


Depending on how much drive gauge you're willing to spend, A.K.I. 's longer routes that involve Toxic Blossom lead to some genuinely impressive damage - especially if you can capitalize on your own situational awareness. Once again, this example is pretty character specific due to Juri's extended animation sequence during her level 1, but the potential reward made finding it worth the effort.

* Orchid Spring [Poison Proc] -> Standing Heavy Kick [Punish Counter] -> Sinister Slide [Venomous Fang] -> Standing Heavy Kick -> OD Serpent Lash [Toxic Blossom] -> Drive Rush Standing Heavy Kick -> OD Serpent Lash [Poison Proc] -> Heavy Serpent Lash [Toxic Blossom] -> Level 3 Super [Critical Art]: Orchid Spring drops a puddle of poison that is instantly applied so long as the opponent is on top of it. You will be using it on your opponents knockdown 99% of the time, but this is where spending time in the lab can pay off. The key element to make this combo work is that Orchid Spring stays active enough even after Venomous Fang procs Toxic Blossom, immediately poisoning the opponent again allowing for the first OD Serpent Lash to also proc Toxic Blossom.

  •     Damage: 6611


1. Stun and Full Resources


A.K.I. isn't exactly a pick up and play kind of character. When first learning her, it's nice to have more simple and dependable combos to close out the rounds and to attempt her more complex routes when you've built a comfortable amount of muscle memory. Stun combos are a good opportunity to put what you've practiced in a real match.

* Stun -> Orchid Spring [Poison Proc] -> Jumping Heavy Kick -> Standing Medium Kick -> Standing Medium Punch -> Medium Serpent Lash [Toxic Blossom] -> Standing Heavy Kick -> OD Serpent Lash [Toxic Blossom] -> Toxic Wreath -> Drive Rush Standing Heavy Kick -> Drive Rush Cancel Standing Heavy Kick -> Drive Rush Cancel Standing Heavy Kick -> Heavy Cruel Fate -> Level 3 Super [Critical Art].

  • Damage: 5757


A.K.I. was made to appeal to players who like oddball characters, and for those who like to do their homework. Despite many believing her to be one of the weaker characters in the game since her release, she still has a good number of identifiable strengths that make her interesting to play. If you're still interested in reading more articles similar to this one, here are some other articles you might want to check out.

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