I'll try to answer them to the best of my ability!> counters
There's a time before and after, it depends a bit on the attack. For example the 'flipgrab' of white-ninjas have a very active counter-box so to speak before the grab becomes active, allowing you to pre-emptively counter it. Other moves also have a pretty big counter-box/window/whateveryouwanttocallit afterwards.> drunken skelly
There's a few methods:
- UT spam, using the essence from the bugs/gajas you can lock him down pretty badly.
- Dualkatana 360Y abuse is pretty effective
- kusarigama 360YYYY is pretty safe, as long as you keep the Gaja's offscreen or keep Skelly between you and them, they can't really do a lot.
Generally, learn to anticipate his pattern and what he can cancel into what (he has a few pretty nifty cancels into that kick of his. Also, dodge TOWARDS him. A lot of his ranged attacks arc upwards (like the rock kick). If you dodge backwards or to the side you'll get clipped. It's also a pretty big fight in terms of positioning. If he ever puts distance between you, you're basically done for.
It also helps to learn the inferno-method. Basically if you start casting Inferno the second he starts to tumble, it'll hit him with a critical. It seems to be a bug, but this deals like 60% damage to him.> bluedash
Just a fancy visual.> Piercing Izuna
Yes, and no. Technically you can do Piercing Mountain into shuriken into XXY iirc, but you have to be near a wall otherwise he gets out of range. > staircase without ninpo / UT
I sorta 'did' it once on a NG+ file on 360, though you can substitute 'no UT' for 'a few level 1 UTs' haha and I used a two healing items. You can view the fight here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB9NfMYoebQ&lc=Ugxiao5sqdMqNx9jPs14AaABAg
Looking at it now I still have a lot of room to improve here, but the video is over 3 years old at this point so I've learned a lot since then. On the other hand, it's still solid gameplay imo and really...the staircase is so epic when the Xbox is melting like holy shit it just looks so insane and cool haha.
I think I could do it better today if I just grinded it out. The general things that help is IS usage and wall-attacks when IS'd for i.frames. Sometimes you'll see me use AoE attacks while angeling the camera away to get as many delimbs as possible, like with >XXX.
As you noted you CAN use the delimb tactic but that tactic honestly lives or dies in the first few seconds of the fight. If you cannot get the key delimbs off you're dead before you can seperate them.
(note: at the end I kinda go ham though haha, I always love just throwing out UTs and other massive attacks in that final wave)> metal gelfs
I always locked them down, they technically cannot damage you in close range since you can guard-reset their entire string and they tend to slot, meaning they won't attack together. For a punish I tend to use either >Y with the flails or talons, or Tonfa sometimes. YYY with DS works too or any other three-hitter.
These days I kinda just skip them with Ninpo, don't feel they are worth my time haha.
My personal favourite, paired with the TDS. Flails just has such fantastic mobility while Piercing Mountain is just...wow. XXYY is my favourite though, the decapitation% on that is just beautiful. Fun fact: Ryu states in the description that "it's okay" haha.
It's a weapon that requires a lot more thought imo, but plays wonderfully. It's a tad slower, OT's are a lot more unsafe, but it has a ton of great other options. Fun note: grounded enemies are OHKO grabbed by hit, so you can use On-landing-X for example to knock enemies down and cancel into a ranged grab for a sweet insta-kill.
JUP! It really is the flow weapon, maybe even moreso than the tonfa somehow. It isn't the best, but I like how it has a bit of everything.