A Bone to Pick -- Skulloton discussion

The closest thing this game has to a "secret character", Skulloton is... pretty interesting, to say the least. While I've only just started playing this game at all in the last few days, and had very little time to learn much of anybody, Skulloton is rapidly seeming like a good match for me.

Skulloton seems to be a "power character". Most of his attacks do fairly good damage, and combos come very naturally. He definitely likes being close-in to the opponent; while he does have some longer-range options, you're not going to be able to just sit back and hit the opponent from range. Skull Bash and Bonemerang do allow for some mindgames. For mobility, in addition to standard movement, Skulloton has Bone Club, 3B, and 3C. That may not sound like much, but it's enough.

All damage statistics are based on Sack Dummy, and are very rough estimates.

Some Notable Normals:

j. B: Skulloton puts out both feet and hands -- a foot and hand in front, and another behind. Not only does it come out quickly, but just as it appears, it hits both in front of and behind Skulloton. Because of this, this move can easily be used for a crossup. This move is also useful for air-to-air, due to how well it covers Skulloton.

j. C: Pretty standard angled kick. As simple as it gets, but it's decent for air-to-air, and when used as a jump-in, is very easy to follow up on. Like j.B, this can be used for a crossup; depending on the specifics, you can end up either in front of or behind the opponent, and hit with this either way.

j. 4B: Skulloton stretches out an arm at a downward angle. A good move for covering yourself while retreating, or for poking. Not much for power compared to most of Skulloton's normals, but very good range; I recommend mixing this up with Skulloton's other jumping attacks to mess with opponents that try to counter you by assuming a j.B or a j.C. Can be useful for air-to-air, though given the angle, you will have to watch your aim.

2C: Ducking kick. Knocks the opponent up into the air a little, and if not followed up, is a knockdown. Can be followed up with 5A to keep the opponent in the air slightly longer, or by 5C. Can combo into itself, though this fact doesn't seem to be all that useful.

3A: Skulloton stretches out his arm for a punch. Not much for damage, but it comes out quickly enough and has very long range for a Skulloton normal (about a third of the screen).

3B: Skulloton quickly moves forward and sticks out a foot for a kick to the midsection. Again, not exactly great on the damage, but like the 3A, it's the range (and in this case, movement) that matters. Range is a little less than 3A, but still about a quarter of the screen.

3C: Sliding kick. Slower than 3A and 3B, but has longer range and better power, and is a knockdown. It does come out much slower than 3A or 3B, though, so be careful. Still useful, though; it's a knockdown, hits low, and moves Skulloton forward.

5C: Standing kick. Mostly useful because it is easy to combo both into and out of. For combo'ing in, your best bets are jump-in C and 2C. It can also be combo'd into from jump-in B, though you have to throw out the B relatively late, and the timing is tight even then. A very close hit of 5C will combo into another 5C.

5ABAC: Technically, this is a combo, but I'm putting it under Normals due to how it works. It's a "canned combo", so to speak. Skulloton starts with his normal 5A (a quick standing punch), then follows up with an elbow strike, then a knee, then a high kick. The kick hits twice, and launches. Note that each hit must connect (blocked or not) for the next hit to be available. This is an extremely useful move. It combos off of jump-ins, and the launcher leads to many possible follow-ups. Also, this string alone causes quite a bit of damage; combos that include this string can be VERY damaging.

Special Moves:

Bonemerang (2, 6, any attack): Skulloton declares "Bonemerang," and throws a wrench at the opponent. If it misses initially, it will come back toward Skulloton, and can still do damage. The stronger the attack button, the longer it takes to come out, and the farther it travels. The weak version is relatively easy to combo into, though the medium and strong versions... not so much. After a knockdown, can be used to force a block on wakeup (A-Bonemerang is best for this). Be careful, as this move can leave Skulloton vulnerable for a fairly long time, especially for the B and C versions.

Skull Bash (2, 4, any attack): Skulloton ducks down, sticks his head out, and declares, "Come on!" It's kinda reminiscent of Cammy's Beretta Counter, for those of you who play Capcom fighters. If hit by any attack at the right point during this move, he will take no damage, and will counterattack the opponent. The window for a counter is short, and there is a significant delay after that window in which Skulloton is vulnerable. Which attack button is used seems to change how Skulloton counters. I haven't tested this as thoroughly as the other moves. Best used as a surprise move, and should only be used if you're very good at prediction.

Bone Club (2, 4, 6, any attack): Skulloton rears back, takes his wrench in both hands, and jumps toward the opponent, declaring "Bone Club." Which attack button is used determines how far Skulloton rears back and how far forward he jumps. I've only ever managed to combo into the weak version, and only in one way. I'll go into that in the combo section. It is possible for this move to land two hits under certain circumstances. The most obvious use for this seems to be the movement. Be careful, though, as Skulloton is pretty vulnerable if you miss or are blocked. All versions will knock down the opponent on a successful hit.

Bullet Punch (6, 4, 6, any attack): Skulloton releases three quick punches, declaring, "Buh-buh-buh". Which attack button is used determines how far ahead of himself Skulloton punches. Even the A version has more range than most of Skulloton's normals; the C version goes out about a third of a screen. Regardless of which version you're using, the second punch has the most range of the three. If the third punch hits, Skulloton charges in for a fourth punch, declaring, "Punch!" In the C version, this fourth punch knocks down. I recommend throwing out a B-Bonemerang when knocking an opponent down with C-Bullet Punch, as with proper timing, the Bonemerang will be in perfect position to hit the opponent when they get up. The A version can be combo'd into Bone Rush, although due to damage scaling, this seems to actually do less damage than Bone Rush would on its own. The timing is tight, but it can be done. The A version can also be combo'd into A-Bonemerang. Again, tight timing, but it works. All versions can be combo'd into from a jump-in or from 5C. When hitting an airborne opponent with this move, how much will hit depends on the opponent's exact elevation when you hit them. This move cannot land all 4 hits against an airborne opponent, but proper timing will allow the final hit to land. When any version's final hit lands against an airborne opponent, the opponent will be knocked to the opposite end of the screen and knocked down.

Performed with the standard command (A+B). Skulloton grabs the opponent, jumps over them declaring, "Worthless!", kicking them as he lands from this maneuver, then tosses the opponent forward in a high arc. A B-Bonemerang launched after the throw will be in perfect position to hit the opponent as they get up from this throw -- yet another example of Skulloton's wakeup game.

Spite (B + C): Skulloton stands up on one foot, puts his thumbs in his ears with his fingers up, and declares "Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah!" in the usual singsong. (Quite a weird effect, considering Skulloton's "robotic" voice.) His own super meter drains, but his opponent's super meter drains faster. Skulloton can use any attack to cancel this ability. Personally, I don't much recommend using this, but it is there, and it makes Skulloton appear vulnerable without actually making him all that vulnerable. True, he can't cancel by moving or jumping, but since he can attack out of it, he should be fine. Can conceivably be a good way to lure an opponent into falling for Skull Bash.


Bone Rush (2, 6, 4, any attack): Skulloton declares, "Take This!", and brings out his wrench. He swings forward twice, then goes into the air for a spinning strike (5 hits), then gives another forward swing. If one of the first two swings connects on a grounded opponent, all of the spinning strike and the final swing will connect as well. Against a non-grounded opponent, a hit with one of the first two swings does NOT guarantee that the spinning strike and final swing will fully connect. A full connection without being combo'd into will take off about half of the opponent's lifebar. This ends with a knockdown, so make sure to follow up properly.

Please note that, since I have little experience with this game, there's probably far better combos available than what I have listed here. Moves in brackets can be skipped. Jump-in refers to jumping in with an atatck; I test with jump-in C, but jump-in B and jump-in 4B also work.

1. [jump-in] > [2C > 5C, 2C > 5A, 5C > 5C, 5C, or 5A] > A-Bonemerang.
For some versions, the combo counter claims that B-Bonemerang or C-Bonemerang will work, but I recommend sticking with A-Bonemerang for all versions, since in the versions where the stronger versions do work all end up with the opponent landing first, the timing is tougher, and there's no difference in damage. Different versions of this are a big part of Skulloton's offense, simply because depending on the version, you can do some pretty high damage.

2. [jump-in] > 2C > 5A > A-BoneClub.
The only way I've managed to combo into any version of Bone Club. Incidentally, done right, this will give you two hits from the Bone Club. A little harder to land properly than the A-Bonemerang combos, though, and doesn't seem as worthwhile; the A-Bonemerang combos seem to do more damage.

3. [jump-in] > [5C] > [5C] > A-Bonemerang or Bone Rush.
Though perhaps not as great as the next entry, this could be considered one of Skulloton's bread-and-butter combos. Simple, but painful. Remember that 5C > 5C requires the first 5C to be very close in.

4. [jump-in] > 5ABAC > [j. C] > [5C] > A-Bonemerang, B-Bullet Punch, or C-Bullet Punch.
This is one of Skulloton's bread-and-butter combos. In fact, this should probably be considered his primary bread-and-butter combo. Relatively easy to land, and very painful. You can probably replace the jumping C with a different jumping attack; I've only really tested with C myself. According to the combo counter, if ending with an A-Bonemerang, you can add a second A-Bonemerang, though the opponent does land first and the second A-Bonemerang doesn't do a lot of damage. When ending with a Bullet Punch, the opponent will be knocked to the other end of the screen and knocked down; throw a C-Bonemerang after this for the wake-up. In the corner, you'll be using a lower version of Bonemerang. Remember, though, the timing with a Bullet Punch is a little tricky. The damage isn't much different for Bonemerang versus Bullet Punch. Whether you go for Bullet Punch or Bonemerang really depends on whether you prefer the knockaway knockdown or the opponent remaining fairly close for you to continue your offense.

5. [jump-in] > 5ABAC > (any) Bullet Punch.
Personally, I'd go for the above combo rather than this one, though this works too. No matter which Bullet Punch you use for this one, make sure you learn the timing. A proper connection will have the Bullet Punch contributing 3 hits; it can't land 4 on an airborne opponent, but those 3 hits will include Bullet Punch's final hit. The timing's a bit tight on that Bullet Punch. With the right connection of Bullet Punch, as in the previous combo, no matter which Bullet Punch you used, the opponent will end up knocked down on the other end of the screen; throw a C-Bonemerang (use a lower version in the corner) for the wake-up.

6. [jump-in] > 2C > 5C > A-Bonemerang.
Yet another example of how simpler is sometimes better. It's only 3-4 hits, but it does very good damage. With the jump-in, damage is about 1/3 of a lifebar. Even without the jump-in, it's still about 1/4.

Well, that's all I've got for now. Discuss!
Everytime I pick up a character, someone makes the character topic! How convenient.

So, Skull feels solidly top tier up there with Rev. Haven't decided if he's too good or not, will need to test.

As usual, I play quite aggressively. Skull is good for hanging back a little if necessary, though.

The most important combo is 5ABAC, 5C, light bonemerang. If you edge forward after the launch before the 5C, you can mix up most characters with 3C or dash up grab after the 'rang. Then if you sweep, you get an immediate chance to do a light 'rang wake up mix up. If you throw, they are too far away to mix up (good design imo!) unless you're in the corner with them. This makes for extremely good pressure! 5A is not hard to land.

Skull controls space really well, too. 'Rang, Club, and that high mobility combined make for great spacing.

In a rush but I'll post up some videos of my skull later to demonstrate what I mean!
Because Bonemerang hangs out for so long, you can throw a light bonemerang and grab-throw while they block, because then they risk getting hit with a bonemerang anyways if they DON'T block.
Yeah, light 'rang is great. Against Argh, you can toss one out and immediately prevent all his approach options. Mach punch, jump in etc all get stuffed by it.

Of course, if the Argh isn't being stupid he can just wait for it to start returning and mach punch in the window between 'rang disappearing and skull throwing a new one, so it's okay. I've also noticed that mega punch is more useful than usual in that match up, s'long as skull isn't using club.
Just based on a bit of observation in Training, I can see why the 5ABAC > 5C > A-Bonemerang combo is a good one.

As a side note, it works off of a jump-in C, and a jumping C can also be added in between the 5ABAC and the 5C.

EDIT: Also, some more information not yet in the top post (I'll probably add it later). What I called Counter is actually called Skull Bash on Skullaton's movelist, and I'd forgotten a move -- Bullet Punch (6, 4, 6, any attack). I'll have to do some experimenting with Bullet Punch before I can add info on it to the top post.
I've played almost nothing but skull and i feel you're missing some important points(and an entire move, bullet punch). Don't have time to do a big writeup, but i'll throw in some of my combo's, discoveries, tactics, whatever.

3a: Extremely far reaching low. Poke with this randomly to score free dmg and force the opponent on the defensive.

3b: A good way to get in and of course useful in combos. It's great for keeping up pressure, but a little risky.

3c: Great range on a sweep that leads to knockdown that skull loves so much. Since 2c is a combo starter you'll wind up using this one more for poking.

5c: I feel that this thing is basically Dictators roundhouse. Great poking, great damage, great range, and it can AA as well. Best of all if you poke with this you can cancel it into bullet punch(easier when it's mash punch, but still doable with the current input) for a rather scary mixup that nets you a knockdown on connect.

j.b/j.c: Both of these moves can crossup, and both corssup in different ways. This helps keep your jump in mixup constant and hard to guess.

j.4b: Sim's jumping Fierce. Doesn't lead to damage, but like 3a should be thrown out now and again to worry opponents. Found it very useful vs krill since it'll actually beat out some of his dive moves.

Bonerang: Great projectile. Good damage, great speed, variable range and throw speed, but best of all you get to throw one on any knockdown to help you mixup and vary your timings. Just remember that if it goes off the screen it vanishes so use a/b/c versions accordingly.

Boneclub: An overhead and a great way to get in on projectiles. b/c versions are pretty slow and are mostly used to counter projectiles or just get past them. a version can actually be used up close for mixup since it comes out fast and scores that crucial knockdown.

Counter: To be honest i need to start using this more.

Bullet punch: Insanely good move. Great poke, very fast, very safe, good damage. a version combo's into super and probably other things as well. b version i don't use too much. c version can cancel from 5c, beats out a ton of other moves(oak's woodhammer for example) and scores a knockdown. You must use this move.

Can be combo'd into and out of, does great chip, seems totally safe on block, and has the added bonus that if they block everything but the last hit it'll do something like 80% dmg. A great use of meter since his ability is pretty useless as things stand.

Note: Launcher = ABAC

Launcher, j.b/c, 5c, Cbullet punch.

jb is easier to land than jc. If you start this combo off a j.c it can take about a third of the opponents health, and easily leads to a bonerang setup and tricky crossup since bullet punch gives knockdown.

2c, 2c, 3b, 3b, 3b
Credit to srrwb for this one. End with a light bonerang and you're in the perfect spot for extremely tricky mixup.

Launcher, j.a, j.a, 5a, j.a, 5a, j.a, 5a
Go until it drops. Not a great combo for damage but i feel like there's more that can be done to this, and it's wonderful for forcing someone to the corner.

Super combo's:
a Bullet punch, super, walk forward, 3b, 3b, 3b.
The most likely way you'll land it. Won't get the full damage but it still stings like hell. You'll have to vary the followup if you're near the corner since it can lead to other options, but you should always follow it up.
Added information to the top post. Among other things, I covered the throw, the ability, Bullet Punch, 5ABAC, and some more combos.
Great write ups, Max and Eji.
I've recently tried picking up Skull with mixed results. He has a grab bag of mixups and possibly the best and most rewarding crossups in game.

Fim recently uploaded a number of rounds of my Skull going up against Via's Revenankh. The matchup sort of forces you into a defensive zoning game which Skull, thankfully, can do really well. I feel like the rounds would have ended in favor if I'd maximized the damage at every opportunity, but you'll see I'd often whiff a combo or not capitalize on a hit confirm.

A great aspect of his mixup is his really great throw range make his tick throw game rather viable.
Here is an extremely simply combo:

2C > 2C > 5C (>) Weak Bonemerang/Weak Bone Club

When I put the parens, I mean that you can possibly do it to keep up the pressure on the opponent. Max already said that 2C combos into itself since it launches opponents up before sending them down, so do it twice and use a neutral C followed by a light bonemerang (Or light bone club in theory, but I don't have the finger dexterity to do it, lol).

But in honesty, Skull just loves knocking people down and preying on them during wakeup frames in my opinion. He doesn't really care about combos like Pyroak; I mostly hang Skull back when I play as him, throw Bonemerangs to my hearts content, and then when I want to approach use Bone Club (The game's best approach technique), and start attacking from there.
Another simple combo is 2C > Heavy Bonemerang > 5C. It can be done by pretty much rolling your fingers over down and then towards the opponent, while pressing C.
2C does indeed seem to be an excellent move for getting the damage rolling.
It's a fairly slow move, and the only set ups for it I know of are j.C and the target combo into launcher.

Actually...I'm near convinced Skull's damage potential is a little over the top.

Try landing a crossup J.C

you can follow that up with 2C 2C 2C! into 5C > BRang

It destroys close to half of the sack's health, and we know it isn't that hard to land a crossup with Skull.

I'd like to do some some testing with Skull. If possible, would some of you Skull players be willing to go a few rounds with me exploiting combos like these? I'm thinking nerfing him by making j.C to 2C possible only if j.C is done at the last possible moment. Much like how Syclant's j.C to Glacier Smash or Fidgit's j.B to 2B now work.
You can only land 2 Cs max before the sack falls beyond the range of the third 2C and you have to hit it with a 5C to continue the combol, and then you can't hit it with a Rang before the combo stops. And that only knocks off 33% max after all those hits.

Or maybe I'm just bad @_@
It's possible to get three 2Cs in a row, but you have to be really well positioned, or lucky.
Eji posting as zen:
You can, but with how the combo system works i've never ever been able to follow up with anything. The damage is much better off of 2c, 2c, 3b, 3b, 2a, 2a(although no knockdown and you might not be able to even combo one 2c into itself in the current beta.)

Although i can confirm Jumpin, 2c, Cbonerang, 3a, 3b, a or b rang.
I have an even better one ;)

jC -> 5ABAC -> jC / jB (i find jB easier for this) -> 5C -> B-Rang -> 5C -> B-Rang -> Dash forward -> 5A -> A-Club.

Edit: As for the 2C 2C comboes, those were removed iirc because I could earlier pull off-

crossup jC -> 2C -> C-Rang -> 2C -> C-Rang -> (5A -> A-Club) or (6B -> B-Punch) or (5C to B-Rang).

And that did what 60% to dummy
Yeah, thats better. Do a 5B before the 5ABAC though.

I'll stop pretending I know new skull >.>

Edit - You can also end the combo with 5A - C bullet punch

It does slightly less damage (I think?) but comes with its share of advantages. Its a lot easier to perform (for me at least) and it gets the opponent farther away from skull generally so you can reset your zoning game easier.

If you tend to play a campier less agressive skull then it would probably be better to end that combo with C bullet punch.
Dear toons,
Must you insist on removing every combo i commit to muscle memory with each new patch?

In other news 3b no longer juggles at all which i was just starting to really get used to using. This means it can only be used to end combos for a little extra damage.

Important changes this brings:
Best follow up after a midscreen super(so far)
Super, walk forward, 3a, 3a.

Other random stuff i've found that needs to replace original combos(all combo's can be started with jumpin C or B):
2c, C bone, b bullet punch. Gives a nice chunk of dmg and a wall splat/knockdown to continue you're fun little games off of.

2c, C bone, A bone gives better dmg(i think) and the standard bone reset options when they land.

Best way to land super:
JC, 5B, A bullet punch, Super, followup.

Also on the combo listed by blackbuddah you can use a jump C instead of a standing C after the first B rang and i'm pretty sure that the standing A can be followed up with more than club(if i understand the combo system right technically 2 more jumping hits might be able to fit into that combo. i'll work on it but it's a tricky one.)

Edit: comboing the jump C might only be possible if your first jump(after the launcher) was a B. Still i once again find myself hating dmg maxing bone combo's just due to the insane number of options. At least 2C and 3B being nerfed narrows it down a bit. I still need to work on combo's for a landed corner super as well(the followups are nasty.)

Edit 2:
Just landed:
JC, 5B, Abullet punch, Super(carried to corner), 5c, Brang, JC, 5B.

Granted i was just freestyling after the Brang, but this is seriously why i love skull. The amount of crazy stuff demonstrated in that alone and the portion of his movelist used is insane.
Breaking bones!

TGM here to offer my own comments on the potential Skull has. I've been tinkering around with him for a while (All of you on the IRC know how that always turns out!), and lemme tell you his sheer combo ability is insane. I've just found a combo that will, if executed in full, will:
Give Skull his entire bar of super, or very very close to it.
Set up a free bonemerang and crossup/low/grab wakeup game
Give about 50 damage off of a simple jumpin with no meter necessary
Can be done anywhere onscreen
Works on almost everyone. Those who it doesn't work on only need a few moves omitted or shuffled around to end up at the finisher.

(C-Rang backswing, j.C, 2A if you want to add a low to mix things up) 5ABAC, walk forward while they're falling. 5C, B-Rang, j.C, 5A, j.C, 5A, j.C, 5ABAC.

The reason that 5ABAC at the end works is that being the 3rd air-landed 5A, the juggle-stopper triggers and the enemy starts to just fall straight to the ground instead of getting popped up. This allows tye BAC portion to hit. Some characters get hit by one kick, some get hit by both, and the foe gets sent flying into an unhittable state. Which means no continued juggling, but you can set up a rang wakeup without them falling on top of it. If against the wall, just back up a step and throw an A-rang instead. Soil needs the juggling j.Cs removed/that last C turned into an A-Bullet, so the followups may be a bit harder but still there.

Worth noting, that string of j.C 5As can also work off of a Bone Rush near the corner. Which means that off of a j.C 5C (Which is his strongest Bone Rush setup bar a C-rang j.C), Skull can chunk out about 75 damage off of almost everyone. (Some characters don't register hitting the wall until at max distance, which means Skull gets shoved to the other side of the screen anyways...)

(And yes, this combo was sparked from piecing together some of the stuff i read in this thread with my own old knowledge.)
Dear toons,
Must you insist on removing every combo i commit to muscle memory with each new patch?
Haha, but you know it's worth it. I'd like to remove as many of the tedious and lame looking combos as I can, just because it's way worth using all the other moves in his arsenal to get similar or even more damage. (c'mon, 3b 3b 3b is lame)

Give Skull his entire bar of super, or very very close to it.
Set up a free bonemerang and crossup/low/grab wakeup game
Give about 50 damage off of a simple jumpin with no meter necessary
Can be done anywhere onscreen
Works on almost everyone. Those who it doesn't work on only need a few moves omitted or shuffled around to end up at the finisher.

Now prove to me it's broken.

The set up seems very situational, and the timing for the latter part of the juggle looks strict. Skull's a high reward combo machine. What else is there to say?
Haha, but you know it's worth it. I'd like to remove as many of the tedious and lame looking combos as I can, just because it's way worth using all the other moves in his arsenal to get similar or even more damage. (c'mon, 3b 3b 3b is lame)


Now prove to me it's broken.

The set up seems very situational, and the timing for the latter part of the juggle looks strict. Skull's a high reward combo machine. What else is there to say?
Agree'd on 3b/2c reps being lame.

And skull's pretty insanely high reward. I mean at this point if he lands a jump in he will take half your health from anywhere on the screen, and probably build an insane amount of meter doing it. Thank god his ability is subpar.
K i just found a qay to further extend TGM's combo, here it goes-

On KD-> C-Rang (for the backswing hit) -> crossup jC -> 5b -> (backswinghits) -> 5b -> 5abac -> jc -> 5c -> b-rang -> and so on so forth

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