A standard move is a move that many characters share, either with exactly the same frame data (generic move) or with a similar function (archetypal move). As a whole they make up big part of Tekken’s overall “system”. Understanding their function will make it easier to both pick up and play against new characters quickly.
The jab, also known as one jab, is the baseline fastest standing attack. It functions as both an offensive tool—giving frame advantage even on block—and a defensive one—being able to interrupt almost anything, with a fast enough recovery that it’s almost impossible to whiff punish.
- Transition to r24 with f
- Transition input can be delayed 16f
The crouch jab, also known as duck jab or dick jab, is a primarily defensive tool. Its main value is being both fast and high crushing, enabling it to beat almost any opposing attacking option—highs are crushed, and mids and lows are too slow.
However, its payoff on hit is small, and the risk is high: It can be low parried, and its hitbox is so bad it's almost guaranteed to whiff against an opponent doing any movement whatsoever.
Note that unlike other crouching moves it’s able to recover standing. This helps many characters convert the plus frames on hit into real pressure by allowing standing moves to be done right away.
The crouch straight is similar in function to the crouch jab, except it’s 1 frame slower. The tradeoff for this is a better hitbox, more damage, and more frame advantage. However, since the crouch jab’s main function is to relieve pressure, this tradeoff is mostly not worth it, so this is not used often.
Crouch shin kick
The crouch shin kick is similar in function to the crouch straight, except it’s 1 frame slower. The tradeoff for this is, once again, a better hitbox, but more notably it's a low instead of a special mid—and for that it also gets worse frames. This makes it not a strictly defensive tool, since it’ll also do some damage against a defending opponent.
The delayed hopkick is a jumping launcher that deals a huge amount of damage. However, it's so slow that it often gets floated and is borderline reactable, and it's unsafe on block, so its main function is as a punisher for stagger lows and for hard reads against lows.
Archetypal moves are defined by and named after the most iconic version of it. Whether or not a particular move falls into an archetype is often hard to answer, with the definition of the archetype often somewhat vague. The archetypes listed here attempt to be as well-defined as possible while still matching popular perception about whether a move “counts” as a this or that.
The mid check is the most central archetype in Tekken. This move—almost always a left hook and bound to d/f+1—acts as a general purpose answer to both slow and evasive moves.
Its defining characteristic is being a fast (usually i13), safe-on-block mid. It usually has good tracking and respectable enough frames that it doesn't lose the turn on block. It often has extensions that, depending on their usefulness, come at a tradeoff of frames on the base move, with the extension giving it mental frame advantage.
By being both low risk and covering most enemy options, the mid check is arguably the most oppressive attack in the game, and the strength of a character is heavily influenced by how good theirs is.
Aside from the standing mid check, most characters also have an even faster (usually i11) mid check from crouch, ws4. This serves to make crouch a formidable stance, since its mid check is faster than everything short of a jab, which crouch goes under.
A magic four is a fast (between i11 and i13) high that launches on counter hit.
A stature kick is a standing low that is not easily reactable, plus on hit, and -14 or better on block.
It functions as a relatively safe mixup and pressure tool on opponents who are getting too defensive.
Despite the name, a stature kick is not necessarily a kick, but it almost always is.
A hopkick is a fast (usually i15) jumping (usually js9~) mid that launches on hit and is unsafe on block (usually -13).
It functions as both a hard counter to lows and as a mixup tool.
An orbital is a slow jumping (usually js9~) mid that launches on hit and is usually safe on block. It's named after Bryan's u/f+4, Orbital Heel.
It functions as a hard counter to lows, but usually isn't as effective as a mixup tool since it can be reactable.
A power low is a low that is not easily reactable and gives 28 or more guaranteed damage on hit or clean hit. It's usually very unsafe on block. Having a power low substantially increases a character's comeback and mixup potential.
See also: Snake Edge
A snake edge is an easily reactable low with a big payoff on normal hit. It's named after Bryan's d/f+3, Snake Edge. It often high crushes and can function as a counter to jab strings and magic fours on a hard read, but is otherwise just a callout move.
A hellsweep is an unreactable low that knocks down on-hit and is launch-punishable on-block. The Mishimas' cd+4 are the most infamous hellsweeps, but Leroy and Lidia have similar moves. Paul and Noctis's d+4,1:1+2 is similar, but requiring a clean hit up close to get the knockdown property.
A shadow cutter is a low that high crushes and launches only on counter hit. It's named after Lars' d/b+4, Shadow Cutter.
It functions as a hard counter to jab strings where it can get a counter hit before the string ends, encouraging opponents to only use single jabs. Most are borderline reactable and very punishable on block, such that against alert opponents it becomes less useful outside of a hard read.
There is often some overlap between shadow cutters and snake edges, such that some moves could be described as both. If one has to be chosen, the line is generally drawn around the behavior on normal hit, with a snake edge giving 28 or more guaranteed damage on hit. In addition, a shadow cutter can be unreactable, but a snake edge cannot.
A clef cannon is an i10 high string that's a guaranteed combo if the first hit is a counter hit, but not if it's a normal hit. It's usually a 3-hit string, with the 3rd hit being counterhit confirmable. It's named after Julia's 1,1,1, G-Clef Cannon.
It functions as an ultra fast counter hit tool, for when a magic four isn't quite fast enough. It usually knocks down for a wall splat, making it particularly dangerous at the wall.