|Street Fighter V||+|
(Changes when holding button)
Executed by pressing Medium Punch and Medium Kick simultaneously, Akuma stomps on the ground and widens his stance as red energy surges from his body.
Similar to Akuma's first V-Skill, Kiai is a versatile attack. Despite its 17-frame startup, it can be cancelled into like it is a special move. It combos from most of Akuma's normals like Standing Medium Kick or unique attacks like Tenha. The stomp has a hitbox that launches the opponent into the air, allowing him to follow-up with a Sekia Goshoha to finish the juggle combo. In the corner, the red fireball has to be slightly delayed in order for the projectile to connect.
The strength of the punch button pressed determines the speed of the fireball. The Light version travels the slowest while the Heavy version moves the fastest. Regardless of which punch button is pressed, Sekia Goshoha only hits the opponent once. Being able to cancel into the red fireball gives Akuma a tool against other zoning characters while using his second V-Skill. He builds V-Meter if the projectile hits the opponent or if blocked.
As of March 2020 update, the Kiai received another buff. Correctly canceling Kiai into Sekia Goshoha as soon as the stomp animation finished will strengthened the red fireball with more damage and extra hits.
While Akuma's second V-Skill is a viable offensive tool, it can be used defensively. Against other characters with projectiles, he can use the stomp to negate his opponent's fireballs. Unlike his first V-Skill, Akuma does not sacrifice gray health when using Kiai to neutralize projectiles. By holding Medium Punch and Medium Kick, Akuma remains in his stance as he builds V-Meter. He can remain in this position and increase his V-Gauge until he successfully builds 1-bar. This is useful when Akuma is close to obtaining V-Trigger or if he needs one bar for V-Reversals. It also forces the opponent to make a move. Unless they approach Akuma or use a projectile to force him to end the V-Skill, he can continue building V-Meter from afar safely.
Despite its versatility, it does have its weaknesses. Kiai is very unsafe on block. Even after Akuma cancels his second V-Skill into Sekia Goshoha, he is still -6. Unfortunately, he can only cancel Kiai into his red fireball. This not only limits his follow-up options and combos, but the opponent can use that to their advantage. If they see Akuma performing his second V-Skill, they can counter with a multi-hitting projectile to overpower his fireball, or perform a jump-in attack since the recovery of Kiai is fairly long.
Akuma's first V-Skill gives him a fast parry with plethora of options. He can perform side-switches to put his opponent back in the corner, or cancel it into his Critical Art. However, Kiai has a more reliable way to safely build V-Meter without having to risk gray health using Rakan. Because Akuma is very dangerous when his V-Trigger is active, it's crucial to use his second V-Skill to obtain them.
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